Monday, March 17, 2014

Aurora Wings First Challenge "Anything Goes"

Finally, the day we've all been waiting for!  Today is the very first challenge here at the Aurora Wings Challenge Blog and we're thrilled to kick off with the favorite theme of


That's right!  Not only may you use any theme, but all stamps are welcome here.  Please do read the rules, however.  They are simple but important.  Also, for those of you who are new, Mitzi has graciously offered a Freebie, as well as a discount code for our followers, available through the end of the month.  You can find them under the "Offers" tab up top.

Our prizes each month will include:
1 (one) Artist's Choice Award winner to be selected from entries using AuroraWings digi (badge and $20 GC)
1 (one) random winner ($20 GC)
Top 3 winners (badge and $10 GC) to be chosen by our DT
We also have a very active Facebook Fan Group with additional contests, challenges and inspiration.  Hope to see you there as well.

Now to anounce the winner of Mitzi's fabulous Coloring Book. Drumroll, please!
A huge congratulations to you!
Please contact Mitzi at studiomiyabi (at) aol (dot) com to claim your prize.

So, shall we get started with a little inspiration from the talented team?  
Here ya go!





Please note:  In fairness to all, creations must be NEW, meaning not blogged about before this March 17th date, and must be linked to the BLOG POST, not your entire blog to be eligible.  I'm sorry, but entries not following this rule will be deleted. 
LIMITONE entry per person, THREE if you are using Aurora Wings images.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Interview with Donna Mundinger

Hi, everyone!  Mitzi here.  Welcome to the sixth and final installment of Designer Interview series before the first challenge announcment.  I'm so happy you can join us.  Today, I'm delighted to introduce to you Donna Mundinger.  Everyone, please meet Donna!

Donna Mundinger
Mitzi: I recall the first card I saw from you that was made with one of my digi's was "Las Calaveras" (Sugar Skull Day of the Dead Catrina). You were one of the first people to join my FB group and to post a photo. I loved the traditional yellow and orange color scheme, and was thrilled to see the 3D effect. How long have you been coloring/paper crafting and how did you get started?

Donna's stunning Day of the Dead card with "Las Calaveras"
Donna:  I've always been a crafter, even as a little girl. My Daddy was always my big inspiration. He was a mechanical engineer by trade, but an accomplished "inventor" and artist at heart. During grade school he made gorgeous 3D Valentines for my teachers, I recall especially, a lamp post and wheelbarrow, and "built" many of my Halloween costumes. I began papercrafting in 2008 with the purchase of a Cricut die cutting machine. My husband and I were both retired and he had gotten heavily into the piano and thought I needed some sort of "hobby" too.  For several years I did mainly Cricut crafts and used Design Studio to "build" many layered, shaped cards.  Although I liked stamping, I sort of stunk at rubber stamping and was often discouraged when the the impression didn't come out perfectly.  Then came digi stamps and I was smitten.  Not only did they come out perfectly every time, they were resizeable.  WooHoo!  Copics are my coloring tools of choice, although I'd love to become more proficient with pencils and even watercolors, but I still have lots to learn with my markers.  I still prefer to add dimension to my digi cards, though.  I'm no good with sketches.  No imagination for my own, and I feel like I have to follow those of others exactly, which sort of stifles my creativity.  So most of my creations are shaped or layered or have some element of surprise.  I find fussy cutting by hand very relaxing.

Mitzi: That's fantastic that you and you father got to have so much fun together working on projects.  I'm also glad that you found digital stamps!  As an artist, I always thought the size limitation of the rubber stamps to be disappointing in the way they confined my larger fantasy pieces and robbed them of their details, so I was happy to offer my lines in this format, too. Glad our paths have crossed.

Next question.  You do a lot of crafting and are on a DT for multiple artists/companies. What does your crafting area/room look like? Do you keep the space pretty neat? Or are you someone who can work perfectly well in an organized chaos? (That's me.)

Donna: How embarrassing!  I just KNEW you were gonna ask that.  My craft room looks like a bomb went off and spills into the adjoining bathroom and exercise room.  I'd send you a pic, but I'd hate to totally incriminate myself.  LOL  I underestimated the amount of "stuff" I was going to accumulate and quickly filled every available inch of storage.  Now there are bags, boxes and piles EVERYWHERE.  My New Year's resolution every year is to "get organized" . HA! I'd probably have to stop crafting for a year and that's not gonna happen.  Unfortunately, this makes me a very inefficient crafter.  Sometimes I'll lay something down on my desk, turn away, and then not find it again for a half hour.  I tell myself to just put the stuff away after I finish a project, but my mind works way faster than my hands and I can't wait to get started on the next thing sooo... I manage.  They say admitting publicly that you have a problem is the first step to recovery.  What do you think?  Fortunately, somehow the rest of the house remains in a reasonable state.

Donna's adorable new baby card with "Sleepy Bunny Elf"
Mitzi: Hehe, I feel as if I've found a kindred spirit!  I've panicked once, thinking I've lost an original painting overnight in my messy work area, only to find it in under my scanner lid, perfectly safe and sound.  LOL  Wasted about 15 minutes looking all over the place for it, falsely accusing my kitties and family members in the process.

Next question.  
Aside from coloring and crafting, what other activities do you enjoy? 

Donna: I love gourmet cooking, wine and entertaining, decorating for the holidays (not taking the stuff down, though) and gardening.  I'm happiest when my rooms are filled with flowers and am thrilled that most of the time I don't have to go to the Farmer's Market to purchase them.   I just walk out my back door.  I'm also a regular hiker, doing 6 to 7 miles a day on the trails near our house.  Feel lucky to live in the Wine Country of the Livermore Valley in CA, as the views are spectacular.  I'm also refreshing my long neglected Spanish with Rosetta Stone and hope to regain the fluency I once had.

Mitzi: Fantastic!  Sounds lovely!  You're such an all-round awesome lady! :D  Now, onto the next question.   I know from your blog that you are a cat person. (Me, too!!) If you can choose to be an animal for a day, what would it be?  (I love asking this question.)

Donna: You know, if you'd not said "for a day", I would have probably said cat.  I love their independent nature, streak of wildness, affection and domesticity on their own terms, well pretty much everything about them.  But if it were only for a day, I guess I'd want to fly.  I walk past a red-tailed hawk's nest every day and I have to say, they're pretty awesome.  They say they mate for life,

Mitzi: Wow, you get to walk past a hawk's nest every day?  How awesome is that!  It would be cool to be able to fly.  (And I'd enjoy looking and being so dignified, too.)   OK.  Next question.  You had a blog entry that showcased a wonderful Dia de los Muertos decorations celebrating and honoring your family. How long have you been doing it? Do you dress up with face paint, too?

Donna: I took Spanish in school for 13 years and was introduced to the celebration in 7th grade by my Spanish teacher Mrs. Parizek who brought in Pan de los Muertos for a treat.  YUMBO!  I still make it.  The whole personal celebration came much later.  I'm an only child and each of my parents was the last of their siblings to pass and I've inhereted most of the photos and keepsakes from both sides.  When decorating for a Halloween party ( gosh, maybe 10 years ago?) I decided to do my dining room in the Dia de los Muertos theme since I'd begun to collect traditional Mexican art like this beautiful Catrina. 

Donna's Catrina
 Building a giant ofrenda (altar) and filling it with family treasures became a labor of love and a way to keep memories alive.  I've been adding to it ever since and have participated in a Dia del los Muertos Blog Hop since 2010.  If you're interested in this, you can check out some of my blog posts.
I'm excited to add the project I did with your "Las Calaveras" digi next year.  Although I've never painted my face, it's always been one of my dreams.  Sorry to say, I'm not too handy with the makeup.  LOL 

Mitzi: That's so wonderful!  What a great way to honor your family and keeping the memories alive!  It kind of reminded me of my grandfather's Buddhist altar.  All my ancestors photos were on the wall near it, and offerings of incense, fresh flowers, and food were made daily.  It's a fond memory from my childhood when my grandmother would let the kids go fetch the food offering off the altar after an hour or so, and let us eat it.   

OK, this next one is a random question.  What is your favorite genre of movies?

I pretty much love all kinds of movies so it's easier to say what I DON'T like.  LOL  Not a big fan of the slapstick kind of comedies.  I love the romantic kind, however, and suspense, psychological thrillers, horror (not necessarily the slasher type, but demonic posession, etc. is good), period pieces, and fantasy.

Donna's journal made with Flower Sprites digi's

Mitzi: Hehe, I totally get you there.  And the next question is something I ask everyone.  What is your favorite art tool and why?

A year ago I would say my Cricut, which is how I got started in papercrafting and how many of my followers know me.  However, I got a bit burned out with that and now am fully enjoying coloring with Copics and working towards improving on that front.

Mitzi: Awesome!  The next question is the one I love asking all my DT ladies.   When you were little, what did you want to be when you grow up? 

Donna: At 3 or 4 I wanted to be a nurse.  Even had a little nurse outfit, medical bag and rolling cart to play with.  (Back then, girls really didn't dream of being doctors)  However, I soon realized nurses gave shots which pretty much blew that out of the water.  I still can't look at injections, even on TV, although I no longer scream, cry and lock myself in my room when I need to get one. 

Mitzi: Aww, you must have looked so adorable!  Last question. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you like to go visit?

Donna: I toured all over Europe with my high school choir and enjoyed many places, as well as a trip to Bermuda with a high school boyfriend's family.  Since I've been married, our favorite trips out of the country have been all over Canada and we had a once in a lifetime trip to Bali that I'll never forget.  However, travel has become increasingly stressfull and unpleasant since 9/11 and unless I could be beamed to the destination, I'd prefer to stay home.  My hubby is really a home body so getting him to go anywhere is like pulling teeth.  We're now more the drive for a couple days away kind of travelers and fortunately that's easy to do in CA.  If I could go on my own though, I think Australia would be fun and I could visit some of my teamies and bloggie buddies.

Mitzi: Tighter security measures at the airports (plus crimes and political unrest in many parts of the world) definitely made international travel more stressful and unpleasant for sure.  It would be so cool for all of us to get together in Australia (or somewhere) some day, though! :D  

It was really fun getting to know you, Donna.  Thank you for the fun interview!  And I thank the readers for joining us today.  Hope you had fun reading this interview.  Now, I'd like to show you some more of Donna's lovely work.    You can also find her blog at this link.

An anti-Valentine card by Donna with "Anti-Valentine Girl"
Sweet Little Pop-up Valentine with "Valentine Kitty"
Fabulous St. Patrick's Day folding card with "Leprechaun"

And here's the final reminder.  The FIRST challenge is coming March 17th!  That's only a week away.  Hope to see you all here at 9 am/ noon ET!  Till then, happy coloring~!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Interview with Alyce Keegan

Hi, everyone!  Mitzi here.  Only 2 weeks till the announcement of our first challenge!  Are you excited?  I sure am!  I'm glad you can join us today for another installment of my Designer Interview series.  Today, I'm thrilled to introduce to you Alyce Keegan.  Everyone, please meet Alyce!
Alyce Keegan
Mitzi:  I remember the first card I saw from you with my digi was "Girl with Pansy". The coloring on the image was so unique and beautiful.  You really captured the magic and added something so special with your artistry.  How long have you been coloring/paper crafting, and how did you get started? 
Alyce's luscious card with lace and flowers with "Girl with Pansy"
Alyce: I have been crafting and colouring for just about 2 years now :) I first bought copics as my tutor suggested them to me in uni for my final assessment (I studied for a bachelor of interior design). I bought them...didn't know how to use them...and left them in the box ;) After uni I found them again and thought I spent way too much money on them not to use them! So I googled copics and found The Greeting Farm stamps... and then I was hooked! I practiced every night to get better. 

Mitzi: It's a good thing your box of Copics got a second chance.  Now they love you!  Next question.  One of the things we notice right away when looking at your cards is that you put a lot of yummy lace and flowers. The resulting look is very feminine and opulent, but remains delightfully airy. Just curious, but do you dress like that in real life, too? (I'm picturing a porcelain doll.) 

Alyce: Haha...this is my favourite question...YES! I wish I was born in the 1950s... I love that clothing style! We have a beautiful store over here called Review where all of the furnishings and outfits are vintage style and it is my most favourite shop :) And I pretty much ONLY wear dresses.

Mitzi: (Called it, didn't I?)  I knew it!! LOL  These dresses are adorable!   Now, When you're not coloring and crafting, what do you enjoy doing? 

I love reading... but not vintage or feminine books...I love fantasy :) And I have a gorgeous gorgeous Persian cat called Lila. I love to play with her but she thinks I'm a bully hehe.

Mitzi:  A lacy, frilly girl playing with a fluffy kitty ... I totally get the picture!  Hehe.  I am so not surprised to hear that your kitty is a Persian.  Your taste in things is consistent.   Next question for you.  All of your cards are so carefully colored and elaborately decorated. On average, how long do you spend on a single project? 

Beautifully unique coloring with delightful dimension with "Peace Rose"
Alyce: Depending on the complexity of the image, it can take me between 1-2 hours to colour, and about 1-2 hours to make my card. I prefer colouring to making... but I have an amazing craft room where I sit downstairs and watch Buffy while making all of my cards in a row. I colour upstairs during the week so I can be with Jon and Lila :)

Mitzi: Nice!  Gosh, I seem to be the only one here who is completely anti-social while doing artwork...  Everything and everyone gets pretty much ignored when I'm absorbed in work.  A random question for you, Alyce.   Who is/are your favorite musical artist(s)?

Alyce: I love 80s and 90s music. I wish I was a Spice Girl...(Crafty Spice anyone?).

Mitzi: Haha, me, too, about 80s and 90s music! XD  I find myself listening to a lot of that while working.  Hehe, you would have been a cute addition to the Spice Girls.  I already know your answer, but I must ask.  
 I saw on your FB profile that you like the movie, "Milo and Otis" (I love that movie, too!!). Are you a dog person or a cat person? 

Alyce: I love Milo and Otis! Well, I must admit I am a cat person... but I love dogs because you can take them around. Lila is a pug nosed cat so I kind of mixed both Milo and Otis together to get her. ;) One day I would love a Pekingese's just like Lila but a dog, hehe!

"The Adventures of Milo and Otis", highly recommended by Alyce and Mitzi, is a 1986 Japanese film, originally titled "Koneko Monogatari" (A Kitten's Story).  US release version was narrated by the delightful Dudley Moore.
Mitzi: There's something irresistible about that face, isn't there?  Just so lovable!  The next question is going to be obvious, but I ask all my designers this question, so here we go.  What is your favorite art tool and why? 

Alyce: they count? :) I'm not very good at other mediums...sometimes I practice but get frustrated so go back to copics!

Mitzi: Absolutely!!  Well, you work so well with them I can understand why you'd stick with them.  I have yet to try Copics, but I'm big on experimenting (read "playing and goofing around"), so you'll probably see me start using them at some point in the future.  OK, the next question is one of my favorite interview questions.  W
hen you were little, what did you want to be when you grow up? 

Alyce: I think we covered this in question 5...Crafty Spice ;)

Mitzi: Haha, of course!  My bad!  Last question. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you like to go visit? 

I would love to visit either Europe or the US. I have been to LA and Colorado twice now... but not since crafting. I would love to go over and meet some of my crafty friends/teach some classes... oh, and visit Disneyland!! (Again!) 

Mitzi: One is never too old for Disneyland! :D  Now, I'd like to show you some of Alyce's colored pieces.  Thank you for joining today for this interview with Alyce!  I had so much fun.  I hope you did,  too.  For tips and technique on Alyce's unique style of coloring, be sure to check out her site.  Links are found in the caption of the photos below. ;)

Next Monday will be our sixth and the final presentation of Designer Interview series.  I will be interviewing Donna Mundinger.  Hope you can join us!  Till then, happy coloring!!

Lovely ocean themed card with "Mermaid's Wish"

You can take a coloring course on hair from Alyce's online course, using "Snow Queen".
You can watch Alyce's color-along video of "Elven Princess", too.