Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Techniques

I pulled out Claudine Hellmuth's book ..Collage Discovery Workshop, I'd been wanting to try out the techniques described in her book. Today was my first attempt at creating glazed backgrounds. I needed a surface to start from but didn't have any canvas or mat board around,
I did remember the scrap wood from a renovation project a few years back. Using the 2x4 scrap pieces I covered them book pages and matte gel, then applied Liquitex acrylic paints. At this point they are ready for some collage work.
This is a project I took on last night. ..using my ever growing baggie of polymer clay scrap...
...and turned them into these.
Roll polymer clay around wire then impress images with rubber stamps. After baking, fill in the stamped areas with paint and wipe away the excess. When the paint is dry apply Distress Inks and heat set.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ribbon Roses

I started playing around with the sari ribbon last night. While I have other ideas on how to incorporate this ribbon into my jewelry, I got caught up in a show and mindlessly started making some roses.

With the variations in the dye and the frayed edges the end result looks more like a grungy peony than a rose, but I like it.
With a silk or organza ribbon the result would be more probably be more elegant.

If you don't know how to make these I found this online reference page with instructions. The tutorial shows making the rose with 5 stitches, but I used 7 , I guess as long as you use an odd number then the weaving will always work out.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Break time is over...

Perhaps it would have been nice if I'd mentioned I was taking a break. Truthfully, life ran me over... between work and family obligations I was swallowed up, but in the last few days I have found more time to pursue my interests.

I may have finished my altered box.

I was gifted this very cool piece of hardware over the weekend. I believe it is the front of an old camera, the age of it is completely unknown to me.
Spent quality time with my friend and a dress form over the weekend. I added strips of antiqued book pages and feathers to the bodice. (Thanks for the inspiration Carla)

Then I made some new polymer clay pieces last night. The next step is to get them made into pendants and on Etsy, that's if all the planets align.

Made these too, I guess they could be considered beads or perhaps links. They're made from seam binding and 20 gauge copper wire. I'm looking forward to making others in different colors but I need to seek out a good supply of seam binding first.

Lastly, this arrived in my mailbox today. An order from Design Talented One containing a bundle of sari dyed ribbon. It is 25 yards of beautiful color that I can't wait to play with it.
Well that's it for me at the moment...perhaps it's a lot but I think I've been out of touch for the last 10 days. Now that I am back in the world of blog I'm headed out to check on my fav's.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Some inspiration and images for you

The purpose of life is to to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.

There is some place where your specialties can shine. Somewhere that difference can be expressed. It's up to you to find it, and you can.

The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.

~all quotes from David Viscott

Monday, February 15, 2010

More snow, no school and snow soccer.

Well hello again from the frigid Midwest. Seriously... this is the most amazing winter that I can remember. 7 inches of the white stuff fell today, another 3 inches coming between midnight and 3am. They already called off school for tomorrow, needless to say the kids are happy about that. This snow storm is completely different than the one last week, I think the temperatures must have something to do with it. This week it is in the low 20's and the snow is more like powder that doesn't stick.
Since snowman building was off the list for today's outdoor activities the kids went with an unusual winter activity...snow soccer. Perhaps a future Winter Olympic sport??

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Secret Valentine Swap

Christine at A Work In Progress offered up a secret Valentine's Day swap, participants would make a valentine and send it out while receiving a valentine from someone else.

Look that this amazing package I received in the mail...
Full of goodies to be opened. The kids rushed into help me decided what order we should open my treasures...
The box lid contained a 'Valentine' from my secret sender... ingeniously using part of a clear stamp set to decorate the front...

A little cloth sack filled with daily inspirations (why is blogger doing that?!?)

Glitter..I love glitter...
Cinnamon sweets...
A lovely hanging felt heart with "Hope" attached and the rest of the clear stamp set...
A wonderful board book filed with saying and affirmations from one great sister to another.
Thank you , thank you, thank you to my secret Valentine sender. I love it all.

I still have to jump over to Christine's blog to see who sent me my secret Valentines. I'm embarrassed to say I can't do this until this evening...we have soccer in 30 minutes and I have a husband breathing down my neck...not in a loving way either...LOL.

I will be back later!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Boredom Buster-Edible Checkers

Just after lunch I overhear Bob and Maria deciding on what board game to play. Maria picks checkers..all good so far...then Bob asks do you want to play with chocolate chips??? Mom radar goes off...whip my head around to see a very exuberant husband looking for the last of the Ghirardelli chips and Miss Maria hunting for the mini semi sweet chips. This mom shrugs her shoulders and grabs a camera.

Bob decided this game is a great idea not only because you get to eat the chocolate as you play but also there are no pieces to put away when you are finished. I love his go raid your cupboards and seek out the left over Christmas candy, Bob would be thrilled if he finds his game takes off.

It has been a big day so far, I think there are about 10 inches of snow outside. The powers that be closed the schools and the university so we are all home. We took the kids tubing at the park before lunch and I'm sure snowman building will commence before dinner.

I hope you are all staying safe and warm through this winter white out.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fooling with metal

Finding myself drawn more and more to metal at the moment. I found brass sheets at Hobby Lobby the other day so I took a gamble and picked some up (a 40% coupon is always a nice incentive to try something new). They also had copper sheets for sale but brass seemed like the best choice since it's a little bit cheaper and I have no idea what I'm doing.

While the kids worked on homework today I used the time to whip this up. It was funny how they would run in and hover whenever I started banging on the bench block.
It's definitely a starter piece ...silly to admit I have to get my nerves up to try with something new. Now I'm going to spend the rest of the week getting comfortable with the cutting, sanding, and creating texture.

This is all leading up to a day of experimentation, next week Carla and I are going to give etching metal a try. I love to play mad scientist.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Some Valentines's Day images for you

It's February 1st and I just spent the last few hours filling the shelves with Valentine's Day cards. I really prefer the old vintage images from Valentines long ago...please feel free to use these in your projects.


Injury, illness, and too much winter

Yes I know been away again, Miss Maria injured her hand pretty badly on Friday and we have been tending to her. Then last night my husband's 96 year old grandmother required a trip to the ER and an subsequent stay in the hospital.

Maria will have two fingers on her left hand bandaged for a few more days, the result of having her hand in the way of a closing door. The damage was pretty gross, she needs a special gauze on her fingers until they heal. She behaves like the injury doesn't bother her and given the condition of her bandages after 24 hours she not too worried about germs either, but then again what 7 year old is?

Alice, Bob's grandmother and the matriarch of the family, has a kidney infection. She will be in the hospital for a few days while they make sure she gets her antibiotics. Amazingly she still lives in her own home (with family assistance) and her mind is sharp. God Bless her... she is a dry witted lady and a joy to spend time with. I really wish that if I live as long as her I can have that same attitude and clarity of mind.

Since it was an out-of-routine-day I will have to venture out tonight to work, no time to play. In a way that's OK with me I'm in a bit of a rut anyway. I know there are pieces I could be making and selling but I am just not motivated to do so. I keep looking through my magazines for something to spark my creativity but no such luck so far. I'm sure it's just the winter blahs, it is cold and dreary. A nice long stay in bed is more appealing at the moment then sitting in my workspace. Perhaps that's just the way it's meant to be at the moment..a pause or a break of sorts.

Do you ever feel like you are operating at the bare minimum that you could be?

What do you do to shake it?