Tuesday, January 29, 2013

White Valentine Tags...

These are my White Valentine Tags I made for a swap with ArtJoyStuff.  Kimberly always does the very best swaps and I hate to miss them.  When she announced this theme I was slightly stumped.  No red or pink?  How can I do Valentine with no red or pink?!!

I began with an image and because it had too much color I gave it a whitewash.  I also brushed white gesso over it all.  Toned down and with very little color showing I proceeded.  Then my glitter which looked white turned out to be very pink.  I let it dry and then did the same white layers of paint and gesso which ruined the pink glitter but gave me a new background to shake some fresh white glitter onto.  Success.

Every time I felt the tags were done I sat back and waited.  Added more bling.  Now let me see...

Now I feel good about my White Valentine Tags.  They have been mailed and received.  Now to sit back and wait for my return swap tags.

Here is a sweet little Norman Rockwell image that I made into a little paper pocket.
I am loving all the Valentine creations I am seeing on your blogs.  There is something so happy about hearts.
Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Christmas Bank Club...

In mid January this year I was reading Maximum Embellishment blog.  Sandi suggested we work ahead each month and put some things in the bank towards Christmas.  I remember the little bank books you could get from the bank to save quarters in and I remember when the bank actually had a Christmas Club and you could set aside a few dollars each month towards your Christmas spending fund.  I really liked those clubs.

So I got out my Christmas cards which I always save and reuse for crafting.  Sandi suggested we make twelve (12) tags to put away for December gift giving.  "Well that is certainly easy enough to do" I say.  But then the days kept flying by and my cards were just sitting there with me thinking, "Oh Christmas is so far away I can do that later".  "NOW"!  I heard my word from a couple of years ago.  "NOW"!

With "NOW" ringing in my ears I gathered supplies and got busy.  I was actually having fun.  Using punches and scissors and rotary cutter I managed to stack up an easy 12 tags.

Of course I also don't do well throwing out little scraps so I punched a lot of little hearts.  Hearts are good all year long and I use them for lots of embellishments.  Some of the cards I merely left the fronts whole and will use them on packages that I wrap in tissue and no bows for mailing.

Now for the actual embellishments of the tags.  This one looked like a fancy machine stitch would be just right.  Not everyone I know loves glitter.  Poor Mr. C still sees the glitter that is embedded into the top of our breakfast table.  Not his favorite decorator style.  ;o)
Thank you Sandi for this Christmas Bank Club.  It is the perfect kick-start to being ahead of the hectic rush this coming holiday season.  I even have a place to keep them so I can find them.  In my gift wrapping bin. I have one for general and one for Christmas wrappings.

While looking at my cards this appeared.  My word MAGIC and this depicts exactly how the wonder of it all makes me happy.  I now have this card displayed so I can remember to always see and enjoy the MAGIC of daily life.
Last night the Wolf Moon was glorious and bright and magical.  The clouds were silver lined and appeared to be jewels in the sky.  Then during the night it snowed just enough to cover the ground and tree branches.  Truly a sight to behold.  Today will be a day of rest and enjoying the Rolex race we have recorded.
May you enjoy every moment of your day doing something that fills you with bliss.
Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pink Scarf Completed...

If you follow Vicki's blog you have seen and read about her many philanthropic endeavors.  I saw this last October and knew I would participate.  I thought I would wait until after the holidays so things would be less hectic.  Then my dear friend Sandy came to visit.  She is new to knitting and creates amazing little sweaters for her new granddaughter.  I am not good at knitting.  While visiting our local yarn shop with Sandy I picked up a pair of knitting needles and some display yarn and it felt good in my hands.  Hmmm...I will knit my scarf to donate.

Sandy is also a breast cancer survivor and told me she had some pink yarn she wanted to donate for me to knit.  When she returned home the yarn was mailed to me.  When I opened the package I was blown away. So gorgeous and soft and interesting and beautiful I just couldn't put it down.  Then I saw the price Sandy had paid for this one skein of yarn and it was far more than I could have ever spent.  I felt grateful and blessed to be able to knit a scarf to donate to someone battling breast cancer.  Thank you Sandy...I love you!  Thank you for inspiring me to knit and thank you for donating this lovely yarn.

With my little "Knitting for Dummies" book, some new fabulous handmade wooden needles (they are heaven in my hands) and the gorgeous skein of pink yarns I began my journey.

I love this photo as it resembles the zen quality that knitting is for so many.  My Grandma loved to knit.  She tried to teach me but I just got too frustrated.  Now I wish I had paid more attention and learned from her.

My knitting skills are not up to the complexity of this yarn and all the different bits and pieces but I stayed the course and focused on my task at hand.  After all I made a double promise...myself to Vicki's project and to Sandy to knit this yarn into a scarf.

I am proud to say the scarf is completed and there is no yarn left over.  I barely had enough to finish off my binding row (thank you little "Knitting for Dummies" book for showing me how to bind off).  This scarf is very artsy and I love it.  The edges are not equal as the yarns are thick and thin and in between.  The little knots that tied the bits together actually add to the artful look and feel.  They are too short to weave in so I left them to add dimension.
I will be wrapping this along with a note from Sandy and myself to send to Vicki.  I can truly say this scarf was created with love and healing hugs and hope for the recipient.
I pray that so many of you stay warm in spite of your freezing temperatures.  In the news today I saw an amazing view of a burning building that firefighters were dousing with water that froze immediately creating a beautiful but very sad ice sculpture.  It is raining lightly here.  Mr. C and I have spent two days raking and picking up leaves and pine needles which we delivered to the local yard waste dump today.  It feels good to get some yard clean up done.  There is always plenty more for us as the seasons come and go.  We do live in the forest and are surrounded by hundreds of trees.  We are also beginning pollen season and the symptoms have begun...Ah-Chooo!
Valentine's is in full creative swing and I am enjoying seeing what you are making.
I also really enjoyed all of your comments on my last post of clutter.  It seems we have lots in common while being creative.  Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Clutter Clutter Clutter...

I do realize how fortunate I am to have my very own dedicated studio.  I think studio sounds so much better than craft room and since it is my room I shall call it studio. However, I seem to be a pack rat...forever!  Not a hoarder but there are things I just hate to part with.

Every time I save cardboard boxes, egg cartons, and such silliness I wonder when, if ever, am I going to use them.  So after a while even I get tired of seeing such a clutter mess and throw it all away.  Then I miss something and need it and you know how it goes.  Of course the today cardboard is never the same as the older cardboard...thinner and flimsy.

Clutter just seems to pile up around me.  I try to keep it neatly stacked but then the piles fall all over the floor and I am picking them up and wondering why I save stuff!

My island worktop gets the same clutter disease.  This is right after the Christmas holidays and the collision that happens when you are still gathering and wrapping gifts and at the same time putting away from receiving the early swaps and gifts.

Oh yes the clutter.  I think I actually enjoy it most of the time.  I always have a little treasure hunt to find things and then I have a trip done memory lane when putting things away.  How could anyone ever get bored if they have a hobby...or several hobbies?!!
I really enjoyed reading all the comments I got on my last post.  I queried about having a plan or just feeling the creativity flow  and your response was pretty much down the middle.  Some begin with a plan and then let the creativity take its course.  I think that is how I roll.
Sunshine is still with us and yesterday was quite nice.  The last of our snow and ice is finally melted and gone.  It is still very cold but at least the days are getting just a hint of longer daylight time and that is what I love.
May your creativity flow as you enjoy whatever you are making or doing.  Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cars, Cards, Creating...

Two years ago this same month of January Mr. C and I drove to Barrett Jackson Auto Auctions in Scottsdale Arizona.  It is considered to be the mecca of auto auctions and Mr. C had it on his bucket list.  I sort of wish we were there this week as the auctions are running again.  Red is not my color but I just had to try on this little Smart Car.

Once again red is not my color but this sweet '67 Nova is my heartthrob.  One of my favorite first cars was a '66 Nova in baby blue and I would love to have it back.  Now they are way too pricey for my budget.

Here you can get a sense of the thousands of people who attend the mecca of Barrett Jackson Scottsdale.

I joined Jillayne of A Fine Seam and her offer to make a few Christmas cards and in return she will make little books for them and share with the participants.   Who could resist anything that Jillayne puts her hands to.  So here is a peek of my cardstock I selected.  Actually a peek is all we get because I forgot to get a photo of the finished cards.

Knowing Jillayne likes gray I sewed a little bag out of some snowflake design fabric to insert the cards for shipping.  Then she can use the little bag for anything she likes.

Here is the little bag complete with cards wrapped in coordinating tissue paper for mailing.  Every detail matters.  They have arrived safely and I can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Remember my little fussy cut Valentine?  Here I am working on toning down the colors because after all the theme is White Valentine.  I usually don't do messy but this time I really got into it and enjoyed the multi layers of blanding.  Do you begin a project with a complete idea or do you have an idea and let the creativity flow as you go?
Our weather continues to be unseasonably cold.  We do have Sunshine which helps but the temps are not matching the warmth of the sun one would expect.
May you enjoy each day to the fullest and realize your creative bliss.  Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Linking, Stitching, Snipping...

I cannot resist this time.  Mary of Primitive Seasons blog posted this link and I had to follow and join in on the FREE pattern offer.  Dee Duncan of Vintage Country Style is debuting her new blog and FaceBook page.  I am hoping that now I have shared with all of you I too shall receive a pattern.  We all like to receive goodies don't we?!

Here is an update on my Hari-Kuyo Needlebook progress.  I cannot believe how slow I am even with my own deadline looming.  I haven't embroidered in decades so my stitching is not very good and I need better glasses and lots more light...however I am happy with this.

I did get better with my French Knots after I did some and took them out to start over.  Some of these stitches are a mere 1/16th of an inch.

Here I am fussy cutting some Valentines.  Have you tried to hold paper and scissors and take a photo all at the same time?  Quite difficult for me but I managed.  Mr. C just wouldn't understand if I asked him to snap the photo.

I have some creative design work to do as NO red is allowed.  I am participating in Kimberly's White Valentine Tag Swap.  I love doing her swaps as I have never been disappointed.  Check out her blog ArtJoyStuff and see all her wonderful creations.

Our weather continues to be downright frigid here.  I realize this is Winter however it could be just a little warmer.  No snow or ice is able to melt at all.  The roads are quite treacherous with ice so I am trying to stay home.  I hope your weather is enjoyable where you live.
We interrupt this blog post to get some much needed laundry washed, dried, folded, ironed and put away.  Maybe I can crawl into the nice warm dryer and unfreeze.  :o)
I saw magic the other night when I looked out my windows.  The sky was dark, cold, clear and had billions and billions and billions (nod to Carl Sagan) of stars that looked like they were lit up and twinkling just for me!  I was so entranced that I got Mr. C out of bed and we both went to every window just to look out and enjoy the stars.  If it wasn't so frigid we would have enjoyed getting the telescope out and really seeing them close up.
Enjoy your creative spaces and projects.  This new year is off to a really great beginning.  Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Paper Tag, Card & Scrapbook...

This is a simple paper tag using scrapbook papers and stickers.  Boy themed which is not my best creative ideas.  I have only ever had girls.

Using a store purchased scrapbook it is now embellished with buttons, ribbons, papers and stickers.  I didn't get a photo but every page inside is decorated with papers and stickers leaving lots of room for personal photos and journaling.

This is the card to go along with the scrapbook.  All was given as a shower gift.
Simple to do.  Easy to personalize.  It is in the details that make it a special and unique gift.
Way too cold to be outdoors.  Our pond is completely frozen over and got a new layer of snow/hail last night.  Thankfully we have a working heater.  It is running constantly just to keep the thermostat at 63 degrees.  I personally prefer 83 degrees but am staying busy which should keep me warmer.
The sun is shining and that makes me happy.  I am seeing the magic in the sparkling frozen white winter frost.  Staying calm is another challenge...
Now I am off to do some purging and list making of items in the pantry.  It always amazes me at how quickly things get beyond their expiration dates.  I was merely saving them to use "some day".  I better take a cue from my word of a few years ago...NOW... and use those items before they expire.  :o)
May you be enjoying your days with everything that makes you happy.  Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fresh Snow & Sewing...

Two days ago our snow and ice from Christmas day finally melted.  Last night we got a new layer of snow.  This photo is after the sun had come out and melted a lot of it off.  This Crepe Myrtle is very lacy and beautiful.

Here is a view of my backyard.  This snow will last a lot longer here as there is a lot of shade.  My steep driveway was clear but very icy as were all the roads.  I had some errands to run and waited until midday.

Here is a pocket tissue holder I made many years ago.  Through the years they have been excellent gifts to give...any age and any gender depending on the fabrics used.

Recently along came Judy of jfabrications with a new improved method of making these little gems.  Easier!  Faster! Less time and materials is such a good thing I just had to try.  So I viewed the video Judy linked. Two pieces of fabric and no bias tape.  Here are the results in the photos above and below.  Easier!  Faster!

I have already made quite a few.  The first dozen have already been given or mailed out to friends.  These are the latest batch.  Thank you Judy Dear for sharing this great little gift idea.  I am thinking of making a lot of these in both male and female fabrics to donate to the local Hospitality House to snuff out the sniffles from all this cold weather.
I have already begun my 2013 Christmas shopping.  To keep it organized and to know right where I put it I keep a cupboard and a dresser just for gifts all year long.  I am bagging and marking each item before I put it  away.  I also shop all year for birthday gifts and do the same with them until needed.  This method really helps me stay in budget and lessen stress during hectic busy times.
I feel so blessed to share blogging with each of you.  There are so many generous tips and tricks and projects that are shared and I am very grateful.  I am also extremely thankful for the comments you each leave.  They show me you care and also help me with my confidence to be able to create.
Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Why Do I Hesitate???

Some time ago a lovely lady named Susan Elliott who Plays With Needles and is a Master Stitchery Artist had an online course for making a Hari-Kuyo Needlebook.  If you do not follow her blog just click the link on her name and do go see what amazing creations she masters.  I missed her first e-course so when she offered the second edition I absolutely knew I wanted to participate.  So I signed up...paid my money and promptly got my supplies from Susan.  The kit is exquisite and of the finest quality.  Thank you Susan.  That is where I got stalled.  I wanted to say I didn't begin because of the holidays.  Or because I was injured with my broken rib.  Or anything else I could think of not to begin making this little needlebook I loved so much.
But nagging at me was the voice, "Don't let Susan down."  "You spent good money on this e-course."  "You want this needlebook."  "You know you can do it."  So it sat.  I do know why I hesitated.  It is a life-long issue with me.  I don't want to do anything "less than perfect!".  We all know there is no perfect.  So...with the new year I decided to begin.
First I read all the instructions.  Matched up the kit pieces with the appropriate directions.  Then I pressed everything just as needed.  So far so good...

Here I am using my light box to trace a copy of the front cover flower.  "I know how to do this!"

Here I am preparing my copy for tracing onto the beautiful Japanese fabric for the cover. "I know how to do this!"  My newest tool in the studio helped me.  A Japanese screw punch with exchangeable tips.

Here is my flower pattern shown against a yellow background for definition.  "I know how to do this!"

I thought I had no chalk pencil so I could go no further.  Yet another excuse trying to derail myself.  Then realized I could use a white watercolor pencil and it worked perfectly.  "I know how to do this!"

UhOh!  Ribbon embroidery?  I have always admired this type of stitchery and thought some day I would try it.  Now?  Um...okay.  With our modern internet and videos there isn't even a need to go dig out my library of books on this subject.  A few minutes of viewing and I am actually creating my ribbon embroidery flower.
 "I know how to do this!"

Here I am stitching the stem stitch.  Once again,  "I know how to do this!"   After all I did spend a lot of the 60's and 70's doing the Hippy embroidery on everything from denim jeans and shirts to mens hankies and other assorted items that would hold still long enough to put needle and DMC embroidery floss to.  In fact when I went to look for my flosses I still have many from that era.

Here is my finished flower.  I can honestly say the two days I spent creating this were such a joy.  French knots are still not my best but I shall practice and become better now that I am older and wiser (or supposed to be :o) so I am told).
Susan thank you sew very much for offering this wonderful e-course and for allowing a very long open time for those of us that drag ourselves slowly to the party.  Your kit of supplies is exquisite.  I am looking forward to finishing this Hari-Kuyo Needlebook in time for the annual festival held February 8th.
Why do I hesitate?     "I know how to do this!"
Lots of new beginnings and creative artworks are being shared and I am enjoying reading your blogs.  I am grateful for this sharing of ideas.
Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...