Thursday, January 28, 2010

Little Pixies

The new furnace is in and the house is warm...yippee! Being stuck in the house while it was installed did have some benefits today...the family got homemade spaghetti sauce for dinner and I got to play.

Made these pieces inspired by Stephanie Rubiano in The Art of Polymer Clay.

They are not perfect, the poor little girl lost her shoe when I was sanding. Also the wings are not stiff enough in my opinion, I think I would need to use sheet metal or maybe recycle an old tin container to cut the wings out of.
I've been reading a lot lately about the use of cold connection..screws, rivets or eyelets. I tried micro screws are they small and hard to hold.
These little ones measure about 2 inches tall, a nice size for a brooch if I added a pin to the back.
For now they will keep me company in my room while I work on other projects.

MIA post and a sweet goodbye

Please feel free to use this image

Not a goodbye to y'all ( I can say y'all because I live in Kentucky) but to my dear friend's shop The Creative Stamper. I know Barb comes to check on my blog and since I haven't been able to stop out and see her in the last days I wanted to say it here. I will miss your shop, I will miss the pop-ins to chat but I know we will stay close and make time to play. Just wanted to tell you that I'm thinking about you today and I know (as you do) that this is just a new beginning.

I may be MIA a bit longer. The house is in flux, a new furnace and AC go in today. I get overwhelmed with such big expenses but I will listen to Marie's advice and decide to be happy. Happiness will be easier then these installers are gone, the pain of writing that check has passed and I am sitting on top of my heat register basking in the warmth gas heat once again.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

DIY-crushed velvet ribbon

I'm working on some Valentines today, I have a vintage image all picked out and was on the hunt for embellishments. I picked up this velvet ribbon a few times but kept putting it back because it looked too new. I didn't have any crushed velvet ribbon in pink but then wondered if I could make my own. Along with the ribbon I grabbed a water mister and a pink distress ink pad then headed off to the ironing board.

I tied knots in the velvet ribbon then misted and ironed over all the knots.
I liked the look but wanted to get more texture.
I knotted again (in between the previous knots) dabbed with the distress ink, misted and pressed again with the iron.
The ink added some color and a more aged look.

It still doesn't match exactly what I had in my head ....if anyone has better directions for creating crushed velvet ribbon can you share? I'd love to try it.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

My kind of Inspiration

Have I mentioned how much I love our local library? They have the best collection of arts and crafts books. Today I found The Art of Jewelry-Polymer Clay on the sorting shelves. I don't do a lot in the way of polymer clay techniques, though I do find a lot it beautiful..skinner blends, texturizing, caning, mica shift... there are so many to choose from. As pretty as it is I guess I don't have enough interest to play and becomes skilled at it all.

These pieces from Stephanie Jones Rubiano really got my creative juices flowing, it falls right into my comfort zone...image transfers, vintage photos and collage.

Ideas are bouncing around in my head, I really should jot some of this down.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beautiful blog find

Forecast for northern Kentucky...cold rain, no hint of sun or warmth. To take my mind off the dreary weather and to try to preserve some sense of bliss I head out into blog land. Sometimes I inadvertently blog hop, in other words I first stop at my bookmarked sites and then stray off into someone else's list of favorite reads, then another and then another until I have little sense of where I am or how I got there.

Now I have to admit I am rarely on the hip side of anything, after seeing her work and reading her posts I come realize I have seen her jewelry before. So forgive me if this is not new to anyone else but me... I want to tell you about Nina Bagley and her blog Ornamental.

Nina is incredibly open in her posts, it seems as if she shares all the thoughts in her head. I spent an unbelievable 2 hours reading her blog today, it is just touching how much she puts out there for the world to see in the way of words and photographs. You can read though her triumphs, hardships, creative struggles, and so many other personal issues that I think a lot of us deal with but wouldn't have the courage to share (at least that is the case for me).


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fairy Wings

I wish I could share the directions on how to make these lovely fairy wings, but I'm worried that would violate some kind of copyright law. You can find the tutorial the book Enchanted Adornments by Cynthia Thornton. I have a picture of her fairy wings here in this post.
My first attempt was the silver wing on the left but the shape didn't come out quite right. Next one I did was with copper wire and for the last one I used annealed steel wire that was know ... just to see what it would look like.

This copper wing is my favorite of the night. I used a cream tissue paper instead of white. One adjustment I did have to make-the directions say to use resin, I don't have that in my studio but I did have Diamond Glaze (Glossy Accents or 3D Lacquer would probably yield the same results).


Monday, January 18, 2010

Oh no... I'm that mom...

Yes it was me screaming at the top of my lungs, they all heard me there is no denying it.
My darling son got his first goal ever in soccer tonight.

Now in my defense, I think I'm allowed to get excited...last year this boy that really struggled when it came to sports. At first we thought it was just a lack of ambition, he just couldn't make it all the way through a game. Then we learned he had allergy induced asthma and his lungs hadn't developed as much as they should have causing shortness of breath. A combination of medicines to help with the allergies, to strengthen his lungs and wow what a difference.

When he wanted to play indoor soccer I flinched, it is really fast and taxing. He had a few scoring opportunities last week but tonight he was in the right place at just the right time and BAM in it went with one minute left to play...the game winning goal...did you hear me scream?

Yup, I'm a soccer mom.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Looking for Images

I really think my PC whines a little bit every time I right click and save yet another image. I am trying to be good and remember to back up my file folders every month or so because starting over from scratch would be heartbreaking.

Here are my favorite sites:


Friday, January 15, 2010

I think they are in love

I wanted to show you what I've been busy working on in between custom orders.

This is my second attempt at beads for Valentines Day. At first I made my usual vintage postcard images, most of them didn't turn out and had to be scrapped. The few I did get finished went to the Bellevue Beadery and I was happy to part ways with them. I mentioned to Joanna, the owner, that I wanted to make something else but different this year...I have been admiring these images so I just ran with it.
They are a bit bigger than my regular work at one and a half inches tall. I think my motivation had a lot to do with the finished result, these all came out on the first scrapped pieces..that is a rarity. I need to remember to trust my instincts more and do what I like not just what sold before. Even if these don't thrill anyone else I'm really happy with them.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Altered Group Project in Progress

This will be a new project for the group... we are altering boxes, mine is a very beat up old cigar box. It will get a new life though I don't have a finished idea in my head yet. I added some old dress patterns and fashion images ranging from 1930's-1960's.

The images are digital, I would love to work with vintage ephemera, but I really don't own any. So I have to resort to using printed images (below I have the images posted and you can save them if you like them). To try and hide that the images are printed I added a layer of crumpled tissue paper, then aged with inks.
This project will most like sit until February when we meet again. In the mean time I will be searching for more found items to add. I will have to remember to focus when I stop by the thrift stores looking for elements that fit my theme.


Lord of the Rings-Kids Version

It has been bitter cold here, like most everywhere else, and we are indoors a lot. Unfortunately this is not good for my mental well being...luckily I have kids that crack me up daily.

They sat down to play a new game, Connect 4x4, but they got a little distracted with the game pieces.
Mr Robert is the Lord of all the Rings, Ms Maria is the Master of Color Order.

I hope you all find a little laughter today.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How To-Packing Tape Transfers

I used a technique called a packing tape transfer to make the fairy wings on this ATC and again for for the goose on my 6th day of Christmas ATC.

Here are a couple pictures to show you how it's done.

You need just a few items...
-clear packing tape (or clear contact paper for larger images),
-color or B/W laser copy- ink jet doesn't work for this.
-background of choice-in this case I have some old book pages.
-bone folder or spoon
-water spritzer

Cut out image you want to transfer and cover with packing tape.
(click on the pictures to see close up)
Burnish with a bone folder or back of a spoon to make good contact between the tape and the image. Flip over so packing tape is facing the table. and spritz back of paper with water. Let sit for a minute or so.
Begin rubbing the back of the paper until it begins to ball up & away from the tape. If at any point while rubbing the paper drys out and stops balling up then mist again and continue until all the paper is removed from your image.
I am always amazed to see the toner stick to the tape and not to the paper. The tape will still be tacky and your image can be adhered to your background right away.

Have fun,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

End of the Christmas Season

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light

The Epiphany
As a child (I guess as an adult too) this was always one of my favorite Biblical stories, just look at this plot line... seriously... it involves mystery, intrigue, deceit, and a daring escape...

-Three wise men follow a star that they considered indicative of the birth of the King of the Jews and had come to Jerusalem to find the child.
- When king Herod hears of their search, he wanted to know more about this possible competitor. His priests and scribes told him that such a king was to be born in Bethlehem
-Herod now sent for the three wise men and told them to go to Bethlehem and report their findings to him.
- The star guides the three men to Bethlehem where they discover the child in the house the star stood over. The men offered the child their gifts: gold, incense and myrrh. That night, God told them in their dreams to ignore Herod's orders. The next day the Magi departed, avoiding Jerusalem on their way home.
-When Herod learned that the wise men had deceived him, he saw no other option than to have all Bethlehem children under the age of three murdered. Jesus and his parents had already escaped to Egypt: Joseph had been warned by an angel, also in a dream.

A letter was sent home today warning school will most likely be closed tomorrow. Snow is supposed to move in by 9 am with heavier snow coming in the afternoon. Looks like I'm at home with the kiddos, which is a good thing, I still have Christmas trees up and they need to come down.

Stay warm and safe,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

12th Day and a soup recipe to share

Well this is it, the last one and it's twelve drummers drumming by Carol McGarva. The whole card just shimmers. It's edged in gold paint, the second layer looks like Bazzill Bling paper and the image has a light dusting of translucent glitter.

I can't take good pictures of food but this stock photo looks good enough to eat.
SO I have this soup recipe to share because it is f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g outside. Now please note this is home style at it's finest...if you are on a diet you don't want this, if you can't eat dairy this is not for if you are an all out Carb-Gal like me then enjoy.

Cheesy Potato Soup
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 onion finely chopped
3 Tablespoons flour
2 cups of milk
1 can chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Roughly 5 large (more or less depending on how chunky you like your soup) Red potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup dairy sour cream
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

1.Saute onions in oil until soft
2. Stir in flour
3. Add milk, broth, potatoes, salt, red pepper and bring to a boil (soup with thicken)
4. Once boiling then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
5. Check to make sure potatoes are tender, add sour cream and cheddar cheese, stir until melted.
6. Feast with bread ( I recommend a French loaf)

In the Spring I add asparagus chopped into 1 inch pieces (yummy). I have also tried it with broccoli but it didn't seem to cook up as well.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter Fairy in a Jar

Can't forget to show you this... it is a variation of Dawn's tutorial at The Feathered Nest.

I read somewhere you could use rub-ons on glass, since I wasn't sure if it would work I tried it on an upcycled Yankee Candle Jar. The rub-ons work really well, so I decided to continue on.
Here she is a winter fairy caught for a short time, then I will have to let her go.

Lords are Leaping, Pipers are Piping and I need to Focus

Well somehow I lost a day. All I accomplished yesterday was work and sleep, though I do think the worst of this cold is behind me.

Day 10 is a digital art piece done by Stephanie Mealor Corder.
Day 11 by Molly is a combination of digital and paper art, ooooh ... glitter...sorry I got distracted.
Which brings me to a do you focus???

You may have noticed I have several interests...there are times when I have so much in my head I'm sure I could be diagnosed with A.D.D. There are so many techniques available to us and I can't seem to stay on one path.

For instance, look at what I found while taking the kiddos to the library today. All I could think is oh, oh I really want to try this.
Now here is the shame I live with...I already have the tools...still in the original packaging. I started collecting them when working for trade at the stamp store. Barbara was so sweet and pulled out her tool kit and gave me a basic lesson in metal embossing. Here it sits...and it gets worse...
I really want to play with this...
and THIS....
I won't even take a picture of the mini crock pot I have for beeswax, and the clear caulk I have to make transfers...

Truthfully I have suffered my whole life with the inability to focus. At the age of 8 I remember being "tested" because I couldn't focus in school (really not as bad as it sounds). There are times in my life when I have been very focused. Usually with a goal in site I progress well, but every few years I slip back into old patterns. This is a strange time for me, I don't have a career but I work a lot, I am a mom but the kids are in school. I love that I have the space to craft and experiment but since my free time comes in bits and pieces I guess I don't even know what the goal is...yet.

So Focus is my one word for 2010.