Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Haunting Halloween...

 Last of the ATCs...well maybe.  I made these two folders for Roni and her Mom.  They hosted an ATC swap and the results of that will be posted next week.  If you have never participated in a swap I highly recommend it.  Lots of fun!
 Inside the ATC folder.  I kept this pretty simple and flat as I think my post office service is not fond of me or my artwork I pay extra to hand cancel and send safely. 
Here are the ATCs I included inside the folder. 
 Here is a piece of artwork I won from Lindsay.  Her work is unique and she has been published so many times I have lost count.  Please go see what Lindsay is up to in the creative realm. 
This is made on a Mahjong tile and I adore it.  Mr. C always says I ride a broom.
 Thank you Lindsay. 
 Here I am wearing my Halloween casual clothes.  Glittered pumpkin socks, a soft orange jacket my dear sister gave me that I get so many compliments each year when I wear it and my new Mahjong Witch pendant.
 Yes, another ATC that is in the mail.  By-the-way this is some of Lindsay's artwork that she got printed by Pinecone Press into 12" x 12" scrapbook papers.  Super cute drawings all over the entire sheet.  I only wish I had purchased many more pages. 
And you asked me to post my costume I wore at the local Chamber of Commerce Saturday as I hosted the Visitor Center.  Here I am in all my Witch glory...complete with Trick or Treat bag I made years ago. While I was at the CofC I had lots of people take a second look.  Several asked if they could take my photo and I said with a smile, "If you must".  :o)  It was a great day and I was definitely channeling my Grandma and Mother.  Grandma's birthday was October 30th and she finally gave in and always dressed up as a witch each year...of course creating her very own costumes and always out-doing herself every year.   So...
In the tradition of Halloween and my lineage I am continuing this Witch costume theme and enjoying it very much. 
Happy Haunting and Safe Trick or Treating to you all...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More ATCs and Lollypops...

 This Halloween Lollypop is made using a sports bar round coaster as the backing which I colored using a lovely purple Distress Stain.  A layer of gold tulle with gold glitter to the edges.  A cardstock pleated center with a fun ribbon bat.  This one is utilizing a drinking straw for the handle.  Off in the mail it went...
 This is a Fall ATC that I made for a friend's mother.  It is off to Texas.
 My friend Joy made me this ATC after I sent her one of mine.  The detail and colors are spectacular in person.  Thank you Joy.  It is truly beautiful.  Can you believe this is her very first ever attempt at an ATC?
 Lunch with some friends and these Lollypops are what I gave along with chocolates inside the cute purchased pumpkin bags.  Ladies can never have too much chocolate!
For the base of these I used a CD and covered it with some Halloween Tissue paper I received as part of a gift.  Again with the cardstock pleated centerpiece.  Finished with a button tied with the same purple yarn I used to tie the bag closed.  The handle this time is one of those plastic stir sticks.  Quick and easy and fun to make.  I think they would be a cute bouquet displaying several in a vase, pumpkin or gourd. 
Hmmm...I am thinking of lots of possibilities with these Lollypops for holidays and birthdays and anniversarys and celebrations of any kind.  They are also lightweight and easy to mail in a bubble pack envelope. 
Getting my costume ready for Saturday.  I will be hosting the local Chamber Visitor Center so it will be simple and easy to still function.  In the past I have been a mime while working as it is work friendly...and if you know me and my love of talking (and I have been told zillions of times that I am too loud!) then you can appreciate my ability to act like a mime and not speak...for an entire day!
Happy Haunting...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Autumn ATCs...

Autumn is that time of year that brings out the warm colors on the color wheel...yellows, browns, oranges, rusts.  The colors that I don't usually prefer.  However when it is Autumn and the leaves on the trees begin to change I find I am really liking these warm colors.  So I made some ATCs.  Silk leaves glittered is focal here.
These are incorporating some local scenes from Gold Country magazine.  I added just a touch of dimension with the rhinestones and silk leaves. 
Some Halloween themed ATCs that were fun to put together. 
 Nothing more than scrapbook papers, fancy smokey tape, ribbon pumpkins and bats and some bling.
Then I packaged each one in an organic waxed baggie and wrapped it with really fun fibers in the Autumn colors.  Now that was a few days spent in my ever so happy studio.  Then the best part was mailing them to some of my faithful followers...just as a thank you for being part of my blogging journey.  Some of you I have no mailing address for so I am carefully collecting those.  You never know when I might want to send you a smile in the mail. 
Happy Haunting and creating...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Autumn Inspirations...

 Our Autumn weather has been glorious.  Several weeks ago we had the cold snap that is required for trees to miraculously change their colors from greens to vibrant yellows, golds, oranges, burgundy and crimson.   Now it is sunny and warm with just the cooler temps at night.  This is a table I decorated with my favorite Fall pieces.  Pumpkins and gourds and silk leaves.  Nothing real or organic inside the house as my furchild will eat it and then give it back to me so generously. 
 See the little felt heart with pumpkins blanket stitched on?  This is very simple to make as it is felt.  Great project to make and give as little gifts.  Do you see the seed pit encrusted pumpkin?  Hmmm...
 Here you can see my decor incorporates my love of mice which I collect.  The large pumpkin gourd was created by a local artisan and gifted to my by my bestest friend.  See the little mouse peeking out the side faux hole?  So precious...the mouse pumpkin and my friend.
 The fabric pumpkin in the background I purchased at a local bazaar.  I always try to support fellow crafters.
Here are some pieces I bought at the local elementary school boutique to help the kids earn money for their school activities.  The little happy gourd, clay leaf tray and the framed dried leaves.  Nothing was more than $5 a piece and it really helps the kids.
So with lots of Autumn inspiration indoors and outdoors I shall fix a cup of tea and relax reflecting on how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy such amazing beauty.
If this is Monday I will be doing laundry...washing, drying and ironing...all of which I enjoy doing. 
Do each of you have your Halloween costumes ready?  This is the final week before all the parties and Trick or Treating.  I shall be getting my costume ready for certain.  Each year I end up hosting the Chamber Visitor Center on Saturday just before Halloween so I always wear a costume and greet visitors and locals with a basket of Treats.  It is fun to see their reactions. You do know by now that I am merely a grown up child!  I love to have fun and be in the spirit.
Wonderful week to all...

Friday, October 21, 2011

LOG 31 Las Vegas or Bust...

 Mr. C and I have just returned from a road trip.  I was without computer access the entire trip and I missed my blogging friends very much.  Here are some photos of the trip highlights.  We actually never went into Las Vegas as the conference was in Summerlin at the Red Rock Resort which was very nice.  LOG 31 stands for Lotus Owners Group and this is the 31st annual gathering.  This is the closest West Coast venue and that is why we attended.  Mr. C can now check this off his list.  :o)  The top photo is of his beloved Lotus.  I think it is the prettiest Lotus ever built.  Mr. C loves it for the technical supercar that it is.  He is an engineer and extremely hands on!  He has made improvements to this car that no one can believe he did so amazingly well and efficiently.
 Here we are all packed and ready for the +/-600 mile drive to LV.  As you can see I have tons of room.  My family and friends tease me that I have to wear lots of layers in order to have any change of clothes for the trip.  There really was plenty of room this time in the trunk for some clothes.  As for shoes I pack them carefully in the tiny side windows next to the engine which is right behind our heads. 
 I got a tickle out of this little sign one of the cars had displayed.  Cars and owners came from all over the United States and some people came from Europe but without their cars.  Lotus is British afterall.
An overview photo.  There were approximately 200 cars in attendance and that is a lot!  All colors and models and years.  It really was awesome to see so many in one place. 
 Mr. C looking very dapper and ready for the awards banquet. 
 This was the dessert and it was not only clever but very delicious.  My photo is blurry but the cheesecake on shortbread cookie with the glazed fruit complete with real gold on the tip of the strawberry was quite yummy.  I wanted to save the clever little white chocolate welcome sign but knew it wouldn't make the trip home so I ate it!
 This is us and another Lotus on our way home.  We stopped near Mammoth in the high country and the view was gorgeous.  The weather was crisp as we were over 8000 ft elevation here.  The Fall colors along Highway 395 were gorgeous.  We met this couple and ran in tandem to and from the conference.  Very charming husband and wife that I feel certain we will see again and again as we truly enjoyed their company.  For me that was the best part of this trip...meeting some wonderful people and exchanging contact info so we can stay in touch.  We really did have fun and lots of great stories and laughter were shared.
An overnight stay in Bridgeport before completing the trip home.  We always stay and eat at the Bridgeport Inn as it is charming and historic.  As you can see the car is covered in ice and this was later in the morning about 9 AM.  Brrrrrr...  I had flip flops on and told Mr. C that if he found any toes please gather them so they could be reattached.  LOL  It was COLD!!!  Thank goodness the car has a great heater and warmed us up.  On to Reno and them home.  It is always so good to get home after being gone.
Now for completing my household and pet chores, errands, grocery shopping, bill paying and what nots. I am looking forward to catching up on emails and blogging.  I hated missing so many days being offline.  Addicted?  Yes and proud of it.  Where else can you be part of such a wonderful community of caring and cleverly talented people? 
I do hear my studio calling me however it will have to wait...if I go in there I may never come out and take care of my responsibilities...hmmm...
Our Fall weather is just right and the colors are spectacular.  It is time for Mr. C and I to take our annual tour around town and just enjoy it all.  Maybe in the next few days.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Discovery & Autumn Decor...

 Continuing in my Discovery Journal with Roni of Ink Stains I am pleased with these two pages.  This time I did not concentrate on some new undiscovered technique.  I merely selected two pieces of cardstock.  This top photo is really poor as it does not show the cloud themed blues in the paper. 
 This blue cardstock is just a great shade of true blue.  I added some direct inking from the stamp pad.  Both of these pages really take me more into the "discovery" angle of this journal.  I discovered it is very difficult for me to focus.  I am always doing too many things at once and these pages really brought that forth.  I "discovered" some old stamps I forgot I owned so I used them and that was fun...mouse and butterfly and dragonfly.  I used a playing card to represent my favorite number...5.  Mostly this exercise got me to thinking and I do believe that is a huge part of my "Discovery Journal" that I am making.  As the days fly past so quickly what is it that truly makes me happy and what is it that I still wish to do?  Ahhh...discovery...
 I am not one for decorating my home even though I love how others go all out.  Mr. C is a year round Bah Humbug and does not enjoy any holidays so I keep it to a minimum.  Many years I don't put out anything.  This year I wanted to visit with my little treasures I keep in a box.  So many of my things have a very sentimental value to me and I treasure them.  The black with orange cat is something my Grandma crocheted and made decades ago and I just keep it because she made it.  There is a skull ring that Mr. C found in the desert many years ago when he took me for a dirt bike ride to an old abandoned talc mine.  We both laugh every time we see this ring.  It brings back memories of a great weekend together...and he almost bounced me off that darned motorcyle (I was much younger and lighter back in the day).  :o)
Here are my Halloween treasures...some old some not.  Many of these are just small momentos of years past but I like them and they each have a wonderful memory for me.  When I keep my treasures small and in one area it isn't so bad for Mr. C and that way I can still enjoy them too. 
I think this is why I truly love to see and enjoy all the fabulous decorating so many of you do and then share through blogging.  I never really cared much for Halloween as it was SCARY to me.  Now I see that it is so many more things...glamorous, funny, glittery, themed i.e. fairies or wonderful witches.  I am entranced just looking at all the amazing things you each make and decorate with.  Thank you for sharing such wonder.
Our weather is gorgeous...some sunshine, some cooler temperatures, some refreshing rain, some glorious colors emerging on shrubs, vines and trees...all giving infinite inspiration and I am truly grateful.
May you each enjoy much creativity in this the Autumn of the year...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Foreign Books...

 I love to go to our local Friends of the Library monthly book sales.  Even Mr. C attends with me and usually finds a few hard cover books he enjoys reading.  Then each time he returns the books so they can be sold again to help the library fund.  I find lots of books and buy them but I am not so generous as to give them back.  Usually I buy mine for crafting and taking apart.  This month I thought I should expand my horizons and look into some foreign books.  I inquired and the nicest lady showed me right where she had staged them.  In a tiny little nook...smaller than a guest coat closet space...with at least 3 students and one woman camped out blocking the space.  I waited my turn but they never budged.  I finally excused myself and the students did move for me.  The woman however was planted on a small step stool and she wouldn't move or look up or anything.  I squeezed over and selected one of the books off a high shelf...all the while praying I wouldn't drop the lot on top of her.  Do you recognize this language in the photo above?
 Here is another book I was able to reach and it has some great graphic pictures.  Language?
This little book happens to be a recipe book.  In yet another language.  I don't read or speak or understand any of these languages but I just had to buy the books.  Mr. C could not understand why I wanted to buy these if I couldn't even read them.  I at least knew which language each one was. 
Russian, German and French.  So far so good and Mr. C and I are in line to pay.  All is going well until one of the volunteer men says, "You know this book is in Russian?  Do you read Russian?"  I politely say no I do not however I have traveled in Russia.  Now some others are all interested and going on and on about a book in Russian.  I merely want to get out of there and enjoy my books. 
I just couldn't confess that I am buying books to take apart for mixed media art projects.  The library squad would have hung me from my toes or worse. 
Now I am thinking I better not destroy these books as they truly are nice.  Maybe I shall go back another time and look for books in worse condition. 
I hope each of you understands the need for foreign text at times...You do understand don't you?
I am enjoying the beautiful weather and the Autumn colors that are emerging and giving infinite inspiration...
Joyful Creative Week Ahead...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Back to Beads...

 In a recent post I lamented about inspiration and beading.  I also inquired how others sort and store their beads.  I got some wonderful responses.  I am so appreciative when bloggers leave comments that are relative and meaningful.  Thank you sincerely.  These photos will show you my current bead storage.  These bins are sorted by bead types...gemstones, seed beads, pearls, etcetera.  Within each bin are little baggies of type or color relating to the category.  This works pretty well for me. 
 Here are more examples of my storage organization.  The little clear paint cans on the top left are costume jewelry bits sorted by category...pins, earrings, bracelets, etcetera.  Eye candy for certain.  When I can see what I have it is that much easier for me to be inspired and to use what I have.  The mason and jelly jars contain buttons of which I never have too many.  These are sorted by colors and some by  All of the clear boxes are actually tackle boxes for fishing.  They contain dividers that are movable so as to size the compartments to fit the contents...wooden beads, charms, pony beads, get the idea. 
 This shelf is a bit more industrial.  The tool box is what it  I love my tools and once I sorted them into this little tool box now I know exactly where to find that screwdriver or pliers or whatever.  The plastic bins contain more jewelry supplies. I'll post the contents in the blue lidded box soon.
Here is another tackle box/briefcase style container.  The dividers in this are not changable.  I put beads in here that I was working with.  Key word...was!  I really need to empty this case and reorganize it completely.  I really have no need for it to be portable as I am not traveling with it any further than from the shelf to the table.  :o) 
 Here is a photo of one of the tackle boxes with the movable dividers.  This one is containing gemstone chips.
Then I have this large clear glass container holding lots of my lovely costume bead necklaces sitting on a shelf in plain view just waiting for the perfect project.  I find when I can see my stash then I am much more inclined to use what I have. 
Can you tell I love beads?  It is true.  I love beads!  I always have since I was little.  My Grandma did lots of beading.  She would sew a dress and then sew little tiny beads all over the neckline or down the front just to make it extra special.  Oh how I do love beads. 
Thank you for inspiring my bead storage and helping me to really see what I have. 
Now I am getting inspired to do some beading.  Yay!
Our weather has turned very cold!  We are having rain!  Over two inches just during the night.  It is so cold that there is considerable snow falling just above us closer to Lake Tahoe.  The snowboarders and skiers are getting a very early start to their winter of activities and fun.  I really like the snow...if it is at least 50 miles from me!  Did I say how cold it is?  I can hardly type with my frozen fingers.  We have turned on the heater and it is working overtime.  Summer was far too short for my likes.  Autumn was beginning to happen and hopefully will come back once we are past this extreme cold spell and rain.  Yes, the cold is necessary as it is what allows the leaves to turn the intense colors of Fall. 
Wonderful days of Autumn...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Black Magic Journal Pages...

 Working on my Discovery Journal with Roni of Ink Stains here are some photos of the "Black Magic" technique.  This post is photo heavy as I needed to show different stages.  These are my acrylic blocks for use with clear stamps.  I only own a 1" square and two 1" x 3" pieces.  However my stamp for this technique is larger than these.  Maybe 4" x 6" and I went shopping only to discover I cannot afford an acrylic block to fit.  Our little town does not offer 40% off coupons and I will not be "down the hill" any time soon.
This is a clear stamp set I won from Roni several months ago.  I just knew I wanted to use these in my page.  Hmmm...what could I use to hold the stamp? Part of the allure of Roni's class is the idea of using what we have and not rushing out to buy the latest and greatest whatever.
Aha!  I have an old 5" x 7" acrylic table frame and thought it might work as it even has a handle to hold while postitioning the stamp.  Lets see...
 Here is my clear stamp stuck to the frame.  I have also inked it with white acrylic paint for this technique.
 Positioned on the black paper. Pressed it down and...
Perfect stamped image.  I love the white acrylic stamped on the black paper.  This looks like damask fabric.
 Now to use my colored pencils.  I love colored pencils and have lots of them.  These are just my basic ones.
Here is the fun of the stamped image.  By using white acrylic paint you can now color over it with pencils or lots of other mediums which you will read about over at Roni's blog.
 Here is the one I colored.
Here is the stamped image without the coloring. 
My pages are not done.  I didn't have full size black paper as mine were all cut into half sheets.  Hmmm???  Use what I have.  I still have to mount these and include my two lists...(l) What I am good at, (2) What I'd like to learn.  This was an interesting challenge to write out the lists. 
I love the Black Magic technique and definitely will be doing this again.  I can see cards made with this technique. 
Once again thank you Roni for helping me to explore and learn new art techniques.  My colored pencils are so very happy to get used and not just sit there looking pretty. 
Are you working on your very own Discovery Journal? 
Our weather has changed and we are expecting rain.  The clouds are moving in and I for one am looking forward to rain.  We haven't had any in many months and it would be so nice for some refreshing moisture.  Our Fall colors are really beginning to show their early stages. 
Wonderful Week to all...