"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Inspiration Mingle

I couldn't get online most of yesterday and talk about withdrawals! I kept coming to the computer hoping it would connect to the Internet - geez I had to find other things to do!
I completed a coaster for this month's inspiration mingle. (Don't peek, Jeri, if you want to be surprised!) Here is the original inspiration piece - a fall plate from Williams Sonoma.

And here is the tumbled tile coaster I made for Jeri's art room. I stamped a script stamp on the background with Staz On and then stamped the leaves with Versamark and heat embossed with various embossing powders. The little blue berries were painted with acrylic paint and the tip of a paintbrush. I also edged the coaster with Archival ink to add some dimension.I'm off to shop and cook for Thanksgiving dinner. Hope everyone enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving day with loved ones!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tiffany's Chandelier

Check out this amazing paper chandelier that is part of Tiffany's window display on 5th Avenue in NYC this holiday season. Made by Jeffery Rudell, this work of art is comprised of 765 pieces of paper, 10 feet of dental floss, 15 glue sticks and 6 oz. of white glue! Read about his design process here: http://www.craftstylish.com/item/26379/extreme-paper-the-long-dark-road-to-a-bright-idea. Very interesting. And, if you live near New York City, you can see it in Tiffany's windows!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cabinet Cards Received

Remember the altered cabinet card swap I recently finished? I have received my six cards back from other artists, along with a beautiful container to keep them in.

These two were from Veronica (on left) and Nancy (on right). Love all the details on both of these.

These two were from Gloria. I especially like the little witch. The broom is real.

The card on the left is from Renee and the one on the right is from Kate. Love the expression on that left musician!

Here is the great container that Cher sent. The cards fit perfectly!

Thank you all for a great swap. Take a look at these gals' blogs to see more fantastic work.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The 25 Days of Christmas Countdown Calendar

Tuesday's "Scrapstashers Anon" class was a countdown to Christmas calendar done on a metal cookie sheet. I put the finishing touches on it today - yay, another project completed! This was so much fun to do. I didn't buy anything except the cookie sheet and magnets. I used three coordinating papers from Basic Grey's Figgy Pudding collection - two for the background and a third polka-dotted one for the individual squares. I just rummaged through all the Christmas goodies and embellishments I have been saving and found more than I could use. I think the most challenging and fun was finding different ways to add the numbers for each day. Did you notice the four spot domino for Day 4? Most of the numbers were either stickers, rubons or stamped.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bad blogger!

I'm feeling very guilty for being MIA for a week. How time flies! It's been very busy. We went to Albquerque again last weekend for an engagement party for our daughter, Dana, and her fiance, John. Here's the happy couple. Sorry for the out-of-focus one of the official toast.

This week I spent two days finishing up class projects and preparing for our Holiday Open House on Tuesday night showcasing the upcoming classes. I will post pictures of my projects once they are "live" on the class website.

Also finishing up a stocking swap. Each of the 26 participants made 26 stockings approximately 6 inches tall and 2-3 inches wide. We could use any shape we desired. I've finally completed mine - they started out fairly simple and became far more complicated as I progressed. Here are my two color variations.

The diamond background was silver embossed on watercolor paper and then I painted over the entire stocking with Twinkling H20s. The cuffs are metal embossed in the Cuttlebug. I cut apart Diet Coke cans and used the unprinted side. I was able to get two cuffs from each can!
Since the stockings curled quite a bit from the embossing and watercoloring, I adhered patterned paper to the backs to flatten them. They are edged with Krylon silver pen and I embellished each toe with a silver jingle bell attached with wire.

I'm relieved to be getting these in the mail just before the Sunday deadline. Here's what 26 stockings look like - whew! I can't wait to get the swapped stockings back. They will be assembled into a little "fat" book.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A dress, a storm and jury duty

This is not art-related, but it's what's happening in my life at the moment so thought I'd share, especially since there's been no art the last few days.

The dress: At the last minute, I decided to fly to Albuquerque on Monday, just for the day. (You can do that when you fly non-rev!) My oldest daughter from NY was visiting her younger sister there for the weekend and they decided to go shopping for the wedding gown. I flew in early in the morning, they picked me up and we went to brunch.

Then we did a marathon day of three bridal shops and Dana tried on at least 30 gowns! The styles have changed so much since I got married 36 years ago. And when I bought my dress, I was on a time crunch and had to purchase a sample dress that was then altered considerably. Dana plans on a September wedding so she has the luxury of ordering her dress, which added unlimited options to the choice. It was a fun day and productive - she found The Dress just before they had to deliver me back to the airport for my return trip! It is gorgeous - of course, it helps to have a tiny, cute little figure to fit too. Here's a peek:

Isn't she pretty? And this is without makeup! It's hard to see the details in the photo, but the dress is ivory and is all lace. The train is small which will be better for an outside wedding. The front diagonal detailing is silk taffeta for contrast. I got a bit misty-eyed at this particular moment.

The storm: I was supposed to leave on the 6:30 pm flight back to Dallas, but a huge thunderstorm hovered over Dallas for several hours. My flight didn't leave until three hours later and I got home at 1 am. I don't even remember the last time it rained here, so this was quite an unfortunate fluke! Ruined an otherwise perfect day.

Jury duty: I had jury duty to report for early this morning in downtown Ft. Worth. I left earlier than needed just to be sure that heavy traffic, or the lingering rain, would make me late. After a few hours I was assigned to a sub-courthouse closer to my house and had to report there in the afternoon. Luckily, the trial I was to serve on was cancelled in mid-afternoon since the parties came to a settlement. So I was able to come home and have finished this round of my civic duty. I'm good now for 2 years. I was relieved as I'm exhausted from the quick trip and getting up so early two days in a row (anyone who knows me knows I'm not a morning person!).

So that's what's been going on here. I'm ready to get back in my routine now!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What a crazy day

It finally turned cool in Texas today! It actually feels like fall and I even had to close a few windows until afternoon when it started warming up. Love it! Having grown up in New England, I surely do miss fall.

My dh has been sick. First, he found out he had a staph infection and is taking antibiotics. A few days ago he started feeling like he had the flu. By today he wasn't any better and had broken out in a rash (Dr. Susan promptly diagnosed hives and sent him back to dr.). It turns out he has a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotics! So now he's on different ones and, hopefully, will start feeling better. Lots of sighing and pacing going on around here.

I have been feverishly trying to finish a large project, which I can't reveal just yet. Here is a sneak peak, though:

I had the "bare bones" finished, but needed to embellish. That took me most of today! But, it's also the most fun...
I'm starting to get interested in making some Christmas projects. It seems Christmas has been thrown at us from all sides since late summer, but there's some beautiful new paper lines coming out. I can't wait to get my hands on the new Basic Gray Wassail papers. Take a look at how beautiful these are.

Our family will be going to Mexico for the Christmas holiday week this year. We've never done this before and I'm so looking forward to it. Because we will be gone - and we won't be exchanging presents either - there will be no Christmas frenzy in our house! Yay! Maybe this year we can focus on the real meaning of the holiday and skip all the hoopla.

Despite that, I know I will not be able to resist making some holiday projects. But at least there won't be any pressure and it will be fun.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I've been tagged

My friend Jeri over at Artful Gathering has tagged me! I am supposed to tell four things about myself and then tag four other blogging friends.

  1. I LOVE chocolate!

  2. I'm a night owl - can stay up half the night but can't get up in the morning!

  3. I'm afraid of heights.

  4. I was born in Vermont.

So now I tag four others (be sure to visit their awesome blogs):

Kris Hankins at Sketchbook

Gloria Hanes at From the Heart of Hanes

Vicki Bell at Passion Flower Scrapper (new blogger)

and Pam Carriker at Bag Lady's Art

Now Kris, Gloria, Vicki and Pam get to tell all...

Other news - I received my order from Scrapbook.com today. Got a few of the new Tim Holtz masks, a Distress Stickles to try, a new autumn CB embossing folder and a Just Rite Monogram Stamper. Can't wait to play with my new toys.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Catching up

First, I hope everyone went to the polls either yesterday or earlier and voted! Whether or not you voted for Obama, I'm sure we can agree we are experiencing an historic moment - I certainly wasn't expecting to see an African American in the White House during my lifetime.

While watching (or, rather, listening) to the election results yesterday and last night, a friend and I worked together catching up on art projects. I finished several Christmas cards, some of which may be a class I will teach.

Last week I finished a small canvas using some grungeboard pieces. When my friend saw it laying on my work table, she asked for one like it. So she went home with the canvas!

The canvas is 4"x4" and gessoed and painted with acrylic paints. Then I stenciled through a paper doily with ivory acrylic paint on the top right portion. An antiqued torn book page was added to the left side, Love stamped with Archival black ink and flourish rubons added. The grungeboard heart was inked with Fired Brick distress ink and Stickles wiped over. The grungeboard wings were crackled using Elmer's glue and ivory acrylic paint since I didn't have any Tim Holtz crackle paint in that color. The grungeboard crown was painted with gold paint and the tiny key added with a brad.

I'm now working on 26 paper Christmas stockings for a swap this month. These are to be between 6"-7" high and 2"-3" wide. Once they are swapped out we will each have a darling Christmas stocking book held together with a ring in the upper left corner. Can't wait to see the different shapes, styles and techniques that are used!

Monday, November 3, 2008

An Award from Jeri

My good friend and blogging buddy, Jeri Aaron, has given me the Million Dollar Friend Award. Check out her lovely artwork and great stories on her blog, Artful Gathering. Thanks Jeri!
Now I am supposed to send this on to four blogging friends and a new(ish) blogging friend. So,
I send this to:
Linda Findley at theartsook
Veronica at ArtbyVeronica
and Gloria Hanes at fromtheheartofhanes,
all of whom are good friends and talented artists. Check out their sites and see for yourself!
My new blogging friend, Judy Bidwell, is under the weather at the moment, but do check out her awesome blog and artwork! While you're there, give her get well wishes.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Art Room ADD? (long)

Is it possible to be ADD but only in certain areas of your life? If so, I think I have art room ADD! Here is a recap of today's typical art room experience. What do you think?

I need to clean up and organize the art room. First, I will check e-mails. An hour later, after following numerous web links and blog hopping, I remind myself to check into relocating the computer to another room!

So I'll start with scrap papers on the floor. I file these roughly by color in an accordion file. Find a few coordinating Christmas papers - they'll be good for a card. Start making the card at my desk.

A stamped image would be nice. Look through my stamp log for a good image and decide to log the several new stamps I bought recently. Find the new stamps on the desk and stamp them in log. Clean stamps and put in appropriate drawer. Find the Christmas stamp I wanted and rearrange that drawer. Ink pad dry; reink and, while reinkers are out, check several other pads to see if they need reinking. Reink pads and reorganize reinkers.

The acrylic block I need is sticky and dirty - go to bathroom to clean. Clean sink and counter while I'm in there.

Stamp image and decide to stamp others for future cards. Look through cardstock scraps for other papers. Resort cardstock scraps.

That green metal I just bought might be a great touch. Look through a few shopping bags to find metal. One bag has the new plastic storage box I got for my Cat's Eyes ink pads. Pull out all small ink pads and arrange in box. Rearrange drawer where ink pads were previously since there is now more room. Don't know where to put new storage box, so leave it on floor.

Maybe I'll cuttlebug (is that a verb now?) the metal so pull out the CB and embossing folders. The one I want is buried on my desk, underneath a paper mache ornament I wanted to decorate for Halloween. Hmmm, I'd better paint that so I can finish it before it's too many days past Halloween! Get black paint out and paint ornament. Clean paintbrush in bathroom sink and then clean up black ring-around-the-sink again.

Back to card - emboss the metal and it looks great! Don't think I'll use those patterned paper scraps as they'll detract from the metal. But they'll look good on the banner I want to make. Find my pattern for the banner pieces and cut seven chipboard shapes. They need to be gessoed, so get the gesso out and paint both sides. Can't throw out the remaining gesso on the plate, so paint old book pages for future backgrounds (I use these alot). Clean paintbrush and sink once again!

While those dry, look for the perfect ribbon for the card, which happens to be a new roll. Look for tiny pins to secure the end when I'm finished. Spill pins and pick up from floor among tiny bits of paper scraps. Decide to hand-vacuum this area of carpet. Before putting vacuum back in bathroom closet, vacuum bathroom floor.

Decide to edge layers of card with silver. Find silver pen and it's dried up. Look through all pens/markers for the duplicate one I know I have. Check all pens and throw out ones that don't work. Rearrange marker drawer.

Get out Crop-a-dile to add eyelets to card layers and then put back in case where it belongs. (Good for you Susan!)

Assemble card and run out of double-sided tape. Find refill in one of shopping bags and insert in tape dispenser. Card finished! Now scan card (I scan all my work immediately so I have a record of what I've accomplished) and then post on my blog.

So there you have it: several hours later my art room is still a shambles and, in fact, there are now additional items out - stamp log, tape gun, ribbon spool, Cuttlebug machine and folders, reinked ink pads, metallic paper drawer, the new Cat's Eyes storage box. A half-finished Halloween ornament, seven gessoed pennants, several gessoed book pages and more paper scraps are now on the top of the pile littering my desk. I have managed to finish one card; log and put away 3 new stamps; reink a few ink pads; reorganize my Christmas stamps, reinkers, markers, and a few paper scraps; clean one acrylic block; and clean a bathroom!

Ah, the circle of life: I still have the original patterned paper scraps to use on the next project...
and I'm back at the computer checking e-mails and posting on my blog! I'll clean the art room tomorrow...

And here's the card that took most of the day to make!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Don't forget!

Tonight is the night to FALL BACK! Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour before bed. Yippee! That means one more hour to sleep!

I went to "Dusty Stampers" Thursday night - this is a monthly "class" where we bring stamps and supplies we already have on hand and make a mystery project. This month it was Christmas cards made from CD envelopes, like the Halloween card I posted yesterday. The first one was the easy one: we started with a white CD envelope and stamped it with a SU holly wheel. A red square of cardstock was stamped with the greeting and inserted inside the envelope; a ribbon was then knotted around this and layered on a square red card.

The "intermediate" card used Perfect Pearls pigment powder. The small holly images were stamped on the red CD envelope with Versamark and then brushed with gold Perfect Pearls for a pretty, subtle background. The circular greeting was done the same way on a green square of cardstock. The poinsettia is an embellishment I found at Michael's which fit perfectly in the center. The envelope was then layered onto the green square card and edged with gold Krylon pen.

The more advanced card was a shaker card. The black CD envelope was again stamped with Versamark and brushed with interference Perfect Pearls and outlined with gold pen. The snowman was stamped on a white square and colored with watercolor pencils. It was then inserted into the CD envelope with irridescent confetti added. The key to this easy shaker card is adding a dimensional sticky strip the entire width of the envelope at the bottom (the flap must be at the bottom). This gives a little bit more room inside the envelope for the contents to move about. The flap is then glued shut and the envelope layered onto the green square card.

These envelopes make super easy and cute cards. I had no idea that they came in colors other than white! And, they are super cheap, especially if you get the kind with no adhesive on the envelope flaps.