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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it's the last day of 2009? It seems like we just entered the 21st century and now we're already 9 years into it! I wish all of you the very best of everything in the coming year. Is anyone making resolutions? Mine is to try to blog more regularly and to make more personal art, which will be a challenge as it seems I'm always designing new classes and projects for the store. Here's a lovely free winter image for you from http://thevintageworkshop.com/.
I wanted to share the gift I received at my local art group's annual Christmas party this week. (We are all so busy with jobs and families during the holidays that we always plan our party for after Christmas.) We draw names and make something special for that person. This year my good friend Julie had my name and look at the fabulous wire dress form she altered! It is full of bits and pieces of "junque." I love it! It is so apropos as I am the one who introduced her to recycling and saving everything. One of the most meaningful items on this are the tiny charms with pictures of each of my 5 children, as well as a heart charm with 5 "stick" figures. There are also little special items like a Texas license plate (we live in TX) with my name, her high school athletic ticket (she has four very athletic boys), a ribbon from chocolates (I love chocolate), a bit of a tape measure (I sew) and so many more. The best part of this gift is I can keep adding little goodies to it. Every time I look at it I see different things. Thank you Julie for a very special gift.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Home again

We're home after an uneventful and safe 10-hour drive back from Albuquerque. It was a fun trip but it is always good to get back. I mentioned that this holiday was not our traditional one - here is what we were doing on Christmas Eve day - ultimate frisbee in 20 degree weather. At least the sun is usually shining in New Mexico! I pleaded for mercy and was the official photographer, although I probably would have been warmer running around. Even the dog got in on the game.

I didn't get many other good photos all weekend, but here's one of my youngest, Sara, (on left) and eldest, Kim (modeling her new cat-eyes T-shirt).

We drove home Sunday and this is what Boomer looked like most of the trip! We thought he'd sleep most of the way but he was very interested in the scenery. I would love to know what was going through his head! I'm grateful he was a good traveler - in fact, my husband remarked that the trip was easier with him than with any trip with the kids!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful holiday with your loved ones. We are in Albuquerque at our daughter's house where the entire family has come together. This is a real treat - first time ever that one of my children has hosted Christmas dinner and I'm enjoying being a guest! It's cold here and we had a bit of snow the first day. We've seen weather reports that back home in Texas they received six inches of snow yesterday and today for the first white Christmas in 80 years! I can imagine it's beautiful but I'm glad it came on a holiday when everyone didn't have to get somewhere. Hopefully the roads will be cleared when we drive back on Sunday.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What are you making?

Are you making Christmas gifts this year? I've only made a few but I did make three wood and metal embossed frames. The smallest one is shown below - not a good photo due to the flash and the metallic surface, but at least it shows the embossing. This is Ten Seconds Studio black art metal embossed with the Cuttlebug folders and inked with alcohol inks. It's hard to see, but the colors pick up the colors of the flowers in the wedding photo. (Those are my four girls!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shake It!

This is one of the projects I made for a techniques class on shaker cards. (Forgot to scan the other project which was a card.) This is an ornament made with a circular coaster and the new "Shake It" frames from Impression Obsession. Shaker cards/projects are far easier to make with these frames. No more messing with foam tape, getting it perfect so none of the goodies fall out! These frames are self-stick - you make your background, add the loose material for inside and pop the frame on. The hardest part is getting the top layer cut to fit, but using the appropriate size punches make this easy as well. The frames are not too thick and should go through the mail just fine. The little snowman below was first stamped on the blue cardstock and then again on white. The white one was cut out and paper-pieced on the blue one. I added mica flakes and a bit of glitter for the "snow."

Monday, December 14, 2009

2010 Calendar

Here's a cute little calendar project I made at our monthly Scrapstashers' class this past week. It is made to fit into an empty CD case and each page is very simply made with only three cut pieces of paper. The base is approximately 5" square (CD cases vary slightly in size so it is cut to fit.) with a 3" x 5" piece of patterned paper and a 3" x 4" piece of either coordinating cardstock or another patterned paper. The mini calendar printouts were found online. A few ribbons, buttons and embellishments finished it off. This was made entirely from scraps - I love it when I can reuse and recycle! The first photo shows the calendar set up for January with the other 11 months stacked in the case behind. The other three show the finished months' pages, ready for photos. I'm thinking this will make a nice little gift for someone this year...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Too long

Ten days since my last post - so sorry! Geez, where does the time go? Is everyone else busy, busy, busy this time of year?

One of my online groups has a tradition of sending holiday 4x4s instead of actual Christmas cards. Some of us bind them into little "fatbooks." Here are the first two I've received this year - the first is from Autumn in SC showcasing one of Tim Holtz' mini holiday collage stamps - I'm just going to have to get that stamp, love it!

The second is from Linda in Temple, TX - the beautiful, shimmery embossing does not show well in the scan but is gorgeous in person! She uses that swirl stamp often and I love it, too.
Guess what? I doubt seriously that I will get to making any 4x4s this year. I'll have to start early next year or maybe I'll do some Valentines?!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Countdown to Christmas

I've been busily prepping for several full days of classes this week so I have no new art projects to share, but thought I'd let you know about several ongoing "countdown" offerings I've found.

Lisa Vollrath is offering her 25-day countdown to Christmas at http://countdown.tentwostudios.com/

Tim Holtz is doing another "12 Tags of Christmas" on his blog: http://timholtz.typepad.com/

Roni at http://inkstainswithroni.blogspot.com/ has 25 days of Christmas ornaments.

And you can find 12 days of Fast Holiday Ideas at http://colormedaisy.com/messageboard (Scroll down to find the thread with the holiday ideas.)

I think these sites may keep you busy for awhile and give you some great ideas for holiday projects!

Monday, November 30, 2009

What have you inked today?

With alcohol ink, that is. The usual applications of this versatile ink is for non-porous surfaces such as glossy paper, glass, metal, acetate or acrylic. However, here is a unique use for alcohol ink - changing the color of tiles in a bathroom!

I have been meaning to post a picture of this for ages, but who takes a camera with them into the bathroom? So, while prepping for classes after hours last night, I finally remembered to take this photo.

This is one of the bathrooms at Anthologies where I work. Nita hated the tiles in the bathroom but there were more pressing matters to deal with to get the store opened, so she decided to retile later. But those pink and gray tiles bugged us. So, I used alcohol inks on the two rows of pink tiles to tone it all down. This room is approximately 6' x 8' and I think there was about 16 linear feet of tiles. I combined Stream and Lettuce with a bit of blending solution and, amazingly, I still had ink left in the original two bottles when I finished! If you look closely on the left of the picture, you can see just a bit of the pink peeking through.

This worked really well, though I wouldn't suggest it for a permanent decorating job unless you seal it well. It was also difficult to keep the grout lines free of ink - if I ever do this again, I will definitely use something to mask the grout (maybe a liquid frisket mask?). Anyway, it makes for a fun story and whenever anyone wants to know about alcohol inks, we send them into the bathroom! You should see the looks we get when we tell them to check it out.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's beginning to look like Christmas!

Well, not at my house yet, but check out this gorgeous Christmas cake at iambaker. She shares more beautiful pictures as well as the easy recipe. It reminds me of the rainbow cakes popular in the 50's and 60's (yes, I'm old enough to remember). Yummy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving Day filled with good food, great company and relaxation. Enjoy the free vintage printable above from this site, where you can also find many others.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving prep?

How many of you are elbow-deep in Thanksgiving baking? Not me! I think (?) we'll be going to NYC to visit one of our daughters for a few days. (The ? is that it depends on flights as we travel standby on Southwest, and this is the busiest weekend of the year! Wish us luck.)

I just couldn't resist posting this darling no-bake idea. How cute is this and the kiddos can even help make them! Check out the how-tos on this blog.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Way too long

It's been too long since I blogged, but things have been crazy getting ready for holiday open house and having all the holiday class projects completed. Though I still can't reveal most of the projects, here are a few sneak peeks of what I'll be teaching in December.

The first is a recipe box from Kaiser Craft. It's a large wooden box with cut-out windows and wooden dividers inside. I used the new Basic Grey paper line, Nook and Pantry, which has a retro feel to it. Do you like the "handle" I added?

This is a partial view of the inside of a "Christmas Past" shadowbox I made. I love the glittery vintage look of this piece. I used some new Christmas goodies which I love - Jenny Bowlin's miniature "bingo" cards and a Melissa Frances bottle tree.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Memory Capsule Ornament

Tuesday night was our local art group meeting and I was finally able to attend after having missed the last two meetings. Trisha brought all the supplies for us to make these darling Tim Holtz memory capsule ornaments. They are made from the small square memory frames which are intended as bracelet links as they have jump rings on two sides. We hung bells from the bottom ones and the top ones are hidden beneath the metal corner (roof). They are still functional so this can be hung as a pendant. The small image was cut from the new Graphic 45 Christmas line - one of the papers is filled with small, rectangular postage-stamp vintage images just perfect for using in charms or jewelry. We added ultrafine glitter inside the memory capsule as well as snow glitter on the rooftop. I think I will add a pin to the back of mine and wear it on my apron at work during the holidays.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Not just another stapler

I know this isn't a brand new product, but I finally got around to buying it. It's Tim Holtz's Tiny Attacher - yes, a stapler, but not just any stapler. This tool has the tiniest cutest little staples! They are half the size of regular staples - approx. 1/4" long. And they go through ribbon and even chipboard with ease. The reach is relatively long too. I've been trying to buy it for awhile, but every time we receive a shipment at the store, they sell out quickly. When the last shipment arrived, I squirreled one away for me before they even reached the shelves. I may be putting lots of staples on my projects for awhile in order to play with my new toy!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tumbled Tile Coasters

Today was "Little Something Sunday" at Anthologies. One Sunday a month I teach a "mini class" in the afternoon - a little more than a "make-and-take" but less than a regular class. It's a come-and-go event, no reservations needed. This month's project was stamping and embossing tumbled tile coasters. Everyone had a good time and there were even a few children who stopped by to make some! Four tied up with a pretty ribbon make great gifts for just about anyone on your list.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Christmas (past)

Today I had a full day off and I wanted to do something just for me - no designing or prepping, just some relaxing personal art work. So, I pulled out this project from two years ago which I just haven't had time to finish. This was one of the last classes I taught at Recollections - it was designed by the corporate design staff for all stores to teach. I made the class sample and had hoped to acquire it when we closed, but it "walked" out of the store before we even finished the classes. So I purchased the supplies to make it.

The "Twas the Night Before Christmas" poem is dear to my heart as it was our family tradition for my husband to read it every Christmas eve to our five children as they were growing up. I intend to dig out the pictures of the kids with Santa from every year and add them to this book as a special keepsake to share with my grandchildren when I have them.

So today I finished it! Here are pics of the front and back covers and a few of the inside pages. The poem is printed and cut into strips which are added to each page. I just hope it doesn't take another two years to add the Christmas photos!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Catching up

Oh my gosh, I can hardly believe it's been about ten days since my last post! Life is very crazy right now!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween. We had very few trick-or-treaters at home this year, but we certainly partied at Anthologies. We had a fall backdrop set up outside and took pictures of people, children and pets in their costumes (or not). We also had a make-and-take to create a cute little folder to mount the printed pictures. If you look closely, you will see that it was made from a white paper lunch sack.

Here's the Anthologies gang in our costumes. From left to right: Nita (store owner) and her husband, Tom, as Lucy and Ricky; Cheryl as a Sonic drink (note that costume was made by her husband!); Kristyn as a slumber party girl; Lynn as Raggedy Ann (great makeup); Tracy as Miss Smartypants (Smartee candies glued all over her jeans); Rhonda as a truckstop waitress (perfect dress found at a thrift shop); and Susan (me) as Minnie Mouse. We had a great time.

The week before, one of our customers had a birthday party "crop" at the store. Here is the celebrating crowd with Linda and her cake in the middle. We are all wearing the darling hats Linda made us from molded newspaper and spray paint. You can see that the majority of us were "red hatters." Who says work isn't fun?!

And earlier in the week, my daughter visited from Chicago so we could work on wedding plans. Since she will be married in May on the beach in Mexico, this is what we came up with for the save-the-dates. A similar one from the Martha Stewart wedding website caught her eye, but we changed it up, adding starfish (did you know that you can get real, preserved ones from Hobby Lobby?) and substituting twine for ribbon. The numbers for the date were cut with the Cricut, tied onto the twine and attached to the layered postcard with a knot over a starfish. (The wording says "Save the Date - Kelly and Josh are tying the knot.")

We also spent a day shopping for wedding dresses. I don't think she expected to actually find one the first time out, but she did! After trying on about 15-20 dresses, she decided on this one. It fit her beautifully and is a beautiful silk satin. Even without her hair done and little makeup, I think she's gorgeous.

So that's what I've been up to, along with teaching and prepping for classes. I promise to try to post more often.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Candy Corn Fudge

I can't attest to the taste of this Halloween-themed fudge, but doesn't it look delicious? I found this over at about.com and thought it unique enough to share. I'd love to hear if anyone makes it and how it turns out! Check it out at:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Personal art time

I finally had a bit of time to catch up on a personal art commitment. My local art group had a "Fall/Winter Holiday Sketch Challenge" - we needed to make 11 cards using the provided sketch (see below). Even though I didn't make the Tuesday deadline, I finished up my cards today. I used gold and pumpkin colored Coredinations papers, Cuttlebugged with the new Victoria flourish folder, sanded and cut into inch squares. Since the longer side of the card wouldn't accomodate exact inches, I used 1 1/2" rectangles for the center of those sides. The sentiment is stamped and gold embossed on patterned paper and edged with gold Krylon pen (which is my substitute for one of the layers). This is layered on a cream cardstock with a printed orange fall ribbon. The base card is dark brown.

It certainly felt good to sit down and create!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween Cupcakes

I've got a short break between morning and evening classes today, so thought I'd do a quick post. Don't these cupcakes look yummy? They're from Country Living (you can find the complete recipe online at countryliving.com) and the web decorations are so easy. Just melt white chocolate chips in a ziploc bag, cut off one corner and use the bag to pipe the melted chocolate onto a template (given on the website) covered with waxed paper. Once they are cool, lift them off the waxed paper and press them into the cupcake icing.

Seeing these reminded me of a similar project I did years ago when my oldest child was very young. I made snowflakes with icing that hardens using this same technique. I then strung them with ribbon and hung them on our Christmas tree. The next morning Kimberly got up before us and by the time we came out, all the snowflakes that she could reach were missing from the tree! And, if I remember correctly, she had a bit of a tummyache that day!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween's a coming

Has it really been almost a week since I posted? How can time fly so quickly? We've been super busy with the new store - today was my first day off in two weeks and I just relaxed and puttered all day long.

Since I have no new art to share, I will share these cute Halloween images from my files. Maybe you will be able to make some Halloween art!

I hope to do better this coming week and post more often!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Spooky Pendants

Yesterday afternoon I taught a "Spooky Pendant" class using the Memory Frames from Ranger. Students chose from an assortment of papers, stamps and "doodads" to create their own two-sided collages for the frame of their choice. These were the two samples I provided.
Warning: the photos are not the best - these were hard to photograph without a glare.

For the rectangle pendant I stamped Stamping Bella's "Witchy Bella" and colored her with Copic markers. She was then cut out and layered over a Halloween paper. The reverse side was stamped with an Impression Obsession "eyeballs" border and the words were also stamped with an IO border and then cut out.

In the square frame I stamped a harlequin background (also from Impression Obsession) on orange cardstock and layered a patterned paper before stamping, embossing and coloring the spider. It's hard to see but I also stamped "eeek!".

The reverse side has layers of Halloween patterned papers and a jack-o-lantern I stamped on orange, cut out and glued on. The word was also cut out from the stamped border.

These were fun to make and are really cute hanging on a black cord with a ribbon bow.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Halloween Technique Tags

I will also be teaching a "Baker's Dozen" set of Halloween tags using many different techniques. I made six samples and students will be able to duplicate these or use the techniques to make their own unique tags. Some of the techniques and products used include glimmer mist, glimmer screens, alcohol inks, heat embossing, Distress inks, art metal, paints, grungepaper and, of course, lots of stamping!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Halloween Card Class

One of the first classes I'll be teaching at the new store, Anthologies, will be a Halloween cards class. These are the four cards for the class.

The first card uses Copic markers and Perfect Pearls. (Just realized I'd taken the photo before finishing coloring the witch - she is dressed in purple!)
This card uses the new Black Magic Coredinations cardstock and a Cuttlebug folder.

It's hard to make out in the photo above, but this card is a clear card, layering papers so as to hide the adhesive.

And the last one uses the Iris Folding Technique with lots of gorgeous new Halloween and fall papers.