Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Faux Beeswax Pages...

In continuing with my Discovery Journal I am making at the expert guidance of Roni...Ink Stains fame this is my faux beeswax attempt.  I used a manila folder and tore it down the middle giving me two pages to work on.  In the future...yes I will be doing this technique again...I will select a sturdier base to work on.  I think I would like this effect on a paper mache store purchased container like a hatbox.  My pages warped and turned out a bit stiff and therefore do not turn easily in my 3-ring binder. This first photo is sort of my layout.  I am using tissue, paper lacy doily and lots of chipboard pieces.   
 On this page I am using the same materials and adding a torn magazine photo.  This photo shows the glue process.  I used a white Elmers glue and it takes quite a while to dry as I really gave everything a good coating to be certain they were adhered.  As my pages warped I would press down the items and apply more glue. 
 Now I have added and glued a layer of dressmaking pattern paper to the page.  This also helps hold down the chipboard objects.  I did also use a foil top off a wine bottle you can barely see in the bottom right corner.  Everything appears cloudy now because the white glue has not dried but will eventually be clear. 
Here is a page all dry and stuck down.  I think the dressmaker pattern tissue gives the pages just the right tone that resembles warm beeswax.  The page is slightly warped but that is not a problem for this piece.  Please remember I am practicing a new technique Roni is teaching us.  I do not expect perfection from myself in this journal as that is what normally keeps me from attempting to make things. 
On this dried page I have added the crowning touch of Perfect Pearls and hand rubbed it in.  I did not have the same color as Roni so I used what I had.  That is part of the fun of this Discovery Journal techniques class.  We are using what we have so we don't have to rush out and pay big bucks on new supplies we might never use again.  I truly appreciate that about Roni and her style.  My art budget is very tight these years and I am thrilled to be able to make art with what I have in my cupboards. 
Thank you once again Roni.  I really like this faux beeswax and can see it used again in my gift giving. 
Now I can begin on the next Discovery technique.  Please stay tuned...
Are you following Roni and making your own Discovery Journal?  I am super glad I am doing this.  It is expanding my skills.
Terrific rest of the week...
September surrenders to Autumn. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Memories of Grandma...

This is my maternal Grandmother.  Her name was Dorothy but she liked to be called Dot by her friends. I have shared many times in my posts about how I learned so much from my wonderful talented Grandma. 
My Grandma was more talented than Martha Stewart or anyone else who has so successfully merchandised themselves.  Dot was clever because she had to be.  She was an excellent cook because that is what women did long ago. She sewed.  She ironed.  She washed walls and windows and scrubbed the floors.  I remember a time when I was at her home and I did the dishes.  I was always helping in the kitchen and thought I had done such a good job.  When Grandma went into the kitchen a little later on she called me in and told me I wasn't done.  What?  When I had washed the dishes (and dried them) I hadn't rinsed out the sink when I drained the dishwater.  There was food debris and soap scum and sure enough the sink wasn't clean and shiny until after I cleaned it out.  Thank you Grandmother for teaching me even the tiniest things that really make a difference.   
 Yes, you remember these.  The 1980's (could it have been the 1970's?) fabric and lace photo albums with the "magnetic adhesive" pages.  The ones we now know destroy all photos and papers placed on them.  I made this album for Grandma in her favorite colors.  A few years ago I decided to take the old nasty pages out and replace them with new acid free page protectors that hold a sheet of paper that I can attach photos and papers to.  Now I see that I never finished my job.  I got a good beginning but somewhere along the way I got distracted and never finished. 
 I think this shall become a winter project that I shall finish.  There are bulging envelopes and notes and ephemera just crammed into the album.  I see why the ribbon ties are holding this album closed.  It is truly amazing that this album is still holding together and looks pretty good.
This is the very first page in the album.  I was able to save a note in my Grandma's handwriting...she was left handed...and this is a photo of me with her.  The bags we are holding she made using plastic canvas and yarn.  Mine has my initials and is in my favorite blue colors.  Hers in her favorite fall colors.  I still have my bag and treasure it!  My oh my how young and thin I was so long ago. 
During my daily activities I am reminded of my wonderful Grandma when I see my hands and fingers.  They are just like hers were.  Mine are not as talented but they are very good at so many things thanks to the patience and love my Grandma showed me as she taught me so much.  I always miss her so much. 
Thank you for letting me share a little of my Grandma with you.  There will be lots more sharing as the posts pass along. 
Thank you to Donna of Brynwood Needleworks for hosting Memory Lane Monday.
With my tears of joy I have now I shall go and sip a cup of tea and reflect on how fortunate I am.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Studio Activity...

Ahh...the of my favorite rooms in my home.  Mr. C designed and built this room just for me.  It was once a part of the unfinished back part of the home.  It technically is not a basement as it is on the ground floor of our home.  It was all concrete and unfinished studs and not very pleasant.  He transformed it into a beautiful place to spend time.  This photo is of the biannual refinishing of the french door.  Our weather is harsh here in the mountains and due to the snow, rain, sun and just general aging these doors need refinishing every other year.  We have six exterior french doors and they are a ton of work with mega sanding to be done, priming and hand painting around each and every glass pane.  Mr. C is really good at this however this is definitely NOT his favorite thing to do.  He uses very expensive marine primer and paint to help it last better.  It is all oil based and requires massive clean up.  Thank you so very much Mr. C for keeping our home and this lovely studio so nicely.
Hmmm...what is this photo you ask?  In my waste bin I spotted some wadded up clumps and did not recognize them.  I normally have lots of paper and fabric scraps and even more packaging scraps in the container.  Hmmm???  Cloth?  Painted cloth!  Stained cloth!  Mr. C had thrown his used fabric pieces from the painting of the door and I found them.  Hooray!  Now to figure out the perfect use for them.  The cloth is really quite interesting as it must have been one of the damask sheets I cut up for him long ago for rags in his workshop.  No odor...very good.  Not rough...very good.  Oh to set these aside so as not to let him know I have retrieved them for crafting.  *_*  There are just some things I do that he will never understand. 
I did manage to get this little cover made from wool felt.  I do the three month tracker for my Weight Watchers lifestyle plan and this cover fits the tracker nicely.  Actually our meeting has a Traveling Journal that goes home with someone different each week and this cover is for that tracker.  I made one before and it lasted at least three or more months until it got a little sadly worn looking.  This cover is dark purple and has the heart pocket with a beautiful purple butterfly sticker.  I was thinking of inspiration for those choosing a WW lifestyle plan and a fresh beginning as butterflies represent.
What are you doing this lovely first weekend of Autumn?  Our weather is much cooler and the leaves are falling fast.  There is definitely change in the air.  Autumn is the essence of change. 
Blissful inspiration to each and every one...  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Giving and Receiving...

This blogging community continues to inspire me and overwhelm me with its incredible generosity.  The amount of inspiration that is shared on a daily basis is just so amazing. 
Do you love to read comments left on your blog posts?  I certianly love to read them.  I think they are the one thing that really speak to me about how I am doing as a blogger and as a crafter and as a person.
I do not always respond to every post however once in a while there are those comments that just call out to me. 
 I have said before I have not had any formal giveaways because I like to send surprises to my loyal blog commenters.  A few posts ago I showed a Wizard of Oz ATC.  One of my followers really liked the little ruby slippers and asked where I got them.  Long ago and no longer to be found and not even any manufacturers name is what I had to reply to her.  So instead I offered to send her one of mine. In return completely surprising me she made and sent this beautiful thank u card and beaded charm.  Her name is Ana of Scrappy Pink Corner .  She creates adorable mini albums and I am smitten with them. 
 Along with the beautiful card and charm she included this giant envelope chock full of the most fun elements that I can now use to create wonderful cards and albums and lots of great projects.  To say I was overwhelmed would be a gross understatement.  I gave her so little and yet she gives me so much.  Life is like get what you give.  No, not literally but in the sense that if you are generous and giving then you shall also receive much good in your life and that is exactly what has happened here. 
Mr. C has always told me I am generous to a fault!  Now that I didn't could being generous with others be a fault?  He explained that I do not have money or wealth to share with others as I need what little I have to support me (this was when I was single and struggling).  I also over volunteer my time.  For me it is about the giving to others to help them or share my supplies or talents and that my friends FEEDS MY SOUL AND MAKES ME SO VERY HAPPY!  Money cannot buy that.  Having things cannot buy that. 
So THANK YOU Ana.  Your generosity is so very appreciated and this is what life is about...happiness!
Now for using these fabulous goodies you sent me and creating beautiful pieces of pleasure. 
P.S.  I always ask before I post something I have received so as not to put the giver in a possible uncomfortable position. 
Don't you agree that this blogging community is amazing and generous and kind and creative? 
Do each of you enjoy reading your comments? 
Do you check older posts to see if anyone has gone back and left a comment you may have missed? 
I do!  I really do find it to be wonderful feedback for me.
Now I am off to get crafting... 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Excellent Read...

One day I got an email telling me I had won this book.  Very exciting and I was very pleased.  Then I forgot about this until months later when I received a package in the mail from the publisher.  Wow!  Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage is the lovely lady who gifted this to me.  Now more time passes by while this lovely book sits waiting for me.  I had previous books to finish before I allowed myself to begin this one.  Last week the time came.
"The Kitchen Daughter" by Jael McHenry is riveting.  I could not put this book down without reading the entire thing from front to back cover. 
I never read much as a child or young adult.  My sister Marie is the reader.  She goes to the library regularly and checks out approximately two dozen books and finishes every one of them before they are due back.  She has always read voraciously.  It is a well known fact that if you want to spend time with her, do not go into a book store as she just goes into another world of reading.  Now that I don't work and am not consumed with other peoples companies I find I am enjoying reading a lot more than ever before.  Now I love to read.  I don't really have a favorite author or style of writing.  I am not especially fast at reading but I am getting more adept at it. 
If you like reading then I think you just might like "The Kitchen Daughter".  As a bonus for those of us who like food or to cook it does involve some recipes too.  I hope you enjoy this book if you decide to read it.
Thank you very much Claudia.  Yes, I will be sharing this with Marie as I am certain she will like it too. 
Cooler days of Autumn are here.  The light is fading sooner each evening and it is a great time to sit and read in a nice cozy chair after spending a wonderful day creating art. 
September surrenders to Fall...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fabrics, Laces, Inspirations...

I was browsing through my photo archives and found this folder of three photos.  These were taken one year ago.   My how time flies.  I had almost forgotten these fabulous purchases because they sit in a "Project" drawer.  Most of these pieces of fabric are small 1/8th yard of silks that I thought I would make some flower brooches with.  The gray rolled bit is elastic that is very sturdy and I did use some of it when I made some cuff bracelets.  This Autumn which is here already would be a really good time for me to dig out that "Project" drawer and get busy.  It is a shame that the money represented here isn't gaining any "interest" as it sits hidden away untouched. 
 Now this little pile is of delicious ribbons.  Very special ribbons that I just could not resist.  I was in Portland Oregon and absolutely had to visit a shoppe I had always heard about named "The Ribbonry".  Immediately upon entering the door I was on complete ribbon, lace and button overload.  The magic in that room was beyond what I could comprehend.  I just wanted to buy everything I saw in every direction I turned.  However this tiny bit of fluff I could not leave behind did come home with me.  After all it is my investment in my future happiness.  I have used a bit of this however it is definitely time to open the ribbon box and put some of this to good use.  I see some Autumn colors in here that I should definitely be enjoying. 
Then around the corner was a wonderful fabric shop.  Neat clean and ever so expensive.  I purchased these two pieces without having anything in mind.  Due to the outrageous prices of the fabrics I didn't buy very much and so I am struggling with what to make that will be timeless and fit me and not need much material.  The floral fabric has the softest touch and is in my favorite colors which remind me of a peacock. 
Well, this has been a trip down memory lane for me as I found these photos of a road trip we took and enjoyed very much just last Autumn.  Now I am inspired to actually so something with the beautiful fabrics and laces I have. 
Why is it so difficult for me to "Use the Good Stuff"?  I am always saving everything and then someone else gets to enjoy it instead of me.  This is something I shall work on changing. 
I am thinking of my 2011 word...NOW.  Now is a great time to use my beautiful fabrics and laces. 
Blissful inspirations to each of you...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Art Journal Class...

I have never been very artsy with the traditional painting themed supplies.  I don't draw.  I don't paint.  I don't consider myself an artist in the truest sense of the word.  I do however love to try all mediums and I always hope something miraculous will come from my hands. 
Along comes Miss Roni of Ink Stains.  I have blogged about her before but this time she is my teacher.   Roni is actually giving tons of lessons for making an art journal.  We have no idea what we will be doing or what supplies we will be using.  This is part of the fun for me.  I have lots of supplies, especially since I won Roni's grand giveaway.  This will be the perfect opportunity for me to use these art mediums I own.  I have always thought that if I purchase and own something I will automatically become adept/ the time I bought a brand new piano and paid for it for years.  Did I ever really learn to play that piano?  No.  Same for lots of other things through the years.  Osmosis just does not work with me.  :o)
Usually I save everything.  Never opening or using just in case I need it later.  Well...I opened and inked and brushed and spread and used my supplies.  I followed Roni's technique and had a great time.  This photo above is my initial template but I had so much fun that I ended up inking it and trying different looks. 
I haven't journaled on my pages yet but this one is my how to sampler.  The embossing, the white rubbing and the inking that results in "faux rubbing".  This is really super fun and even I didn't mind making a bit of a mess...not too much mind you as I am known as Miss Prissy my entire life.  Get my hands dirty?  Ewww!
This page will be my art journal cover.  I absolutely love how it turned out.  I may add something more however not so far.  It has an ethereal look and feel and yet it was so easy to make. 
Thank you Roni for offering your expertise and sharing with us.  I am looking forward to our next lesson. 
I will be using individual sheets of papers so that I may put them into a 3-ring binder.  That will allow me to utilize lots of sizes and thicknesses and not be limited by any one type of pre-purchased journal.   I have been collecting (all my life I have been collecting!) some pertinent ephemera for this journal too as I want it to reflect me and my likes and dislikes. 
After all this is MY ART JOURNAL...

Snail Mail...

 A short while ago one of the blogging community favorites posted about snail mail.  I adore Lori Anderson and her blog so I got busy.  I had been brewing an idea in my head but this was finally time to act.  I got out the canvas and cut out a snail.  Then I got some lace and began my design.  I sewed the lace into a gather and then handstitched it to the canvas snail base.  Got out my Derwent Inktense colored pencils and put some facial features and color to the body. 
 I signed the back and off my little snail went in the mail.  All the way to Lori.  She was very pleased.
I actually made three of my little snails.  I just find them super cute.  Two of them are still home with me.  They haven't decided where to travel.  You know it takes them a while to get anywhere.  Slow and steady.  That is also how my brain works...slow and steady.  Yes, I have been told I am too literal but hey, snail mail in this case really did fit. 
I hope you are filled with lots of inspiration and time to create your art. 
September is surrendering to Fall and the days are less light and the temps are cooling down and the leaves are truly falling...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunflowers Make Me Happy...

I think Sunflowers are a very happy flower and they totally make me smile. 
This little photo is actually cut off the postcard flyer sent out by our local Farmers Market.  I just couldn't resist saving this for future crafting. 
I would love to have them growing in my yard however I don't have enough sunshine for them.  All those lovely tall pine, cedar and oak trees block all sunlight that these gorgeous flowers require. 
Do you prefer the yellow versions or the orange versions or the deep red/maroon sunflowers? 
September surrenders to the coming of Autumn and the leaves are falling.  I have been picking up the very large oak leaves already.  We also have huge Crimson King Maple trees and those leaves are falling too. 
The weather is turning cooler at nights.  Thunderheads form over the mountains but we have had zero rain all summer.  I would welcome a refreshing rainstorm...hold the lightening please as it is so dangerous for creating fires and we are much to dry and wooded for any of those. 
The deer are getting bolder as they need to forage for food.  We have a mother and her twin fawns who have been coming everyday to feed and the littles actually swim in our pond.  I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.  Yesterday I had to shoo off the father and son who were dining on my poor mock oranges that they strip bare every year.  I do enjoy seeing the deer however they are so voracious and their saliva actually kills many of our plants we have worked so hard to grow.  It is a constant struggle for me...the deer were here first yet our home has been here for at least the 14 years we have lived here.  We have now had many generations of deer who just love our landscaping.  Hmmm...
Maybe I should try growing sunflowers after all and get more birds attracted than deer.  Do you think that would work? 
Happy Sunflower week to all...lots of smiles and happiness...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Peace on this day and forward...

May our world find peace today and everyday. 
My heart aches for all those who endure the tragic events of 9/11. 
Nothing else needs to be said.  Safety to all.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Creative Blogger Gift...

 This may sound silly however I am drawn to people with the same name as mine especially when it is spelled exactly the same.  So when I "met" Sherry on a blog one day I was intrigued.  It turns out she is extremely creative and talented and a wonderfully generous soul.  We have been blog friends for a very long while now. She surprised me with a lovely package in the mail for my August birthday.  See the packaging and details?  I said she is creative.
 This is the back of my gift which I did crop so as not to show her email address.  She also hand wrote a special Happy Birthday note to me which was super sweet.  Please visit Sherry's blog and I know you will be smitten if you don't already follow her. 
Here it is.  So precious and I adore this little birdy.  She used some very clever techniques with this piece and you can read about it on a previous post she wrote.  The little metal tags that spell fly.  The 3D bird cage.  The beading. This precious bird with texture. 
There is a Zumba routine where we "fly" and it has to be my very favorite of all.  So I can relate to this wonderful message. 
Thank you so very much Sherry.  I feel very special.  This came to me all the way from Romford, Greater London, United Kingdom so that was a very long flight.  Whew! 
May each and every one of you wonderful bloggers find your creative passion and fly with infinite inspiration...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bottle Cap Necklaces...

 I have been having fun with some bottle caps.  These are not the purchased ones but they are real ones that my friends have popped off the top of their favorite bottle drinks.  Therefore the shapes are not perfect and the backs are original to the advertising or logo of the drink. I love the colors of them too. 
I purchased a sheet of bottle cap circle art...I apologize that I cannot give credit of manufacture name but with me "volume out" is the packaging and it goes first to make more room for art supplies.  I was hand cutting each little circle until I had a 40% off coupon and bought one of my favorite Fiskars easy ergonomic punches that cuts out the 1" circle perfect every time.  Some Ranger Glossy Accents and a little glitter and voila.  This one is particularly appropriate as September is following each of the months of this year as they really do fly past so fast.  I have used organza ribbon in place of the ball chain as I like this look and feel much better. 
This is such a fast and easy make.  Keychains would be this easy as well with just a short ball chain or a keyring loop.  Great gifts for all ages and genders.
Our weather has turned warm however still so perfect.  I am praying for all who are experiencing such horrific wildfires, no rain or too much rain, flooding, tornados and hurricanes.  This year has certainly been extreme for so many.
May creativity Fall into your minds and hands...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fabic Pouch Obsession...

 These are the same Origami Pouches I have been making and sharing but with new fabrics.  This time in some gorgeous Christmas fabric.  This fabric has some gold sparkles in the threads and the colors are vibrant and elegant. 
I have used buttons in place of the charms on these and really like the look.  I also turned the flap up a bit to show the lining fabric and make it just a wee bit more fun. 
 Here are two of my favorite blue fabrics.  Each bag uses the exact two fabrics...Fairy Frost and a floral fabric my friend Margaret gave me after she finished her project.  It was merely a matter while making these which side I chose to be the feature leaving the other fabric to become the lining.  The floral pouch has beaded dangles while the blue one has buttons for trim. 
This is probably the most fun pouch I have made so far.  It all started with seeing the chocolate covered strawberry fabric at my local Ben Franklin.  I didn't buy it but my girlfriend did.  Then a few days later I was looking for a special bead and came across these glass strawberry "earrings" that my girlfriend had purchased but not done anything with.  Yes, I do have her bead box here in my studio as we almost always bead together and we share and divide most of our beads.  Well...I was obsessed with getting some of the strawberry fabric I had seen and making her this little pouch. could I do that without asking her permission to use her "earring" beads?  So I shared my idea with her and she agreed the two had to go together.  Back to Ben's I went and lucky day they had just enough fabric left on the bolt.  I lined this one with a very sweet black with red polka dots fabric.  The gathering ties are just right with the red and white polka dot ribbon.  An entire theme and I super love how it turned out.  So did Saucy Chick Lorraine when I gave it to her. 
I am having so much fun making these.  With my obesssion in fabrics I think I can make them until the world runs out of thread.  :o)
Enjoying my end of summer holiday weekend.  Staying home, visiting with friends, doing some much needed Fall cleaning (I probably missed my Spring cleaning since we never had Spring for all the seven months of winter), weeding which never seems to end and overall enjoying every moment of every day.  I even spent time organizing and putting away tons of stuff in the studio.  Amazing how my 4' x 8' work table can get so cluttered and I find myself working in a space of only inches. 
May you each have a safe and wonderful end of summer weekend and celebrate our Labor Holiday if in the USA. 
I am seeing lots of Halloween goodies...what are you working on these days?