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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm back

I think I'm back in the land of the living (ie. my printer is fixed and up and running again!). I was in the midst of printing 120 wedding invitations and 120 response cards when it decided to take a break... Finished those today and am now awaiting the final information for the other enclosures.

The other day I received this wonderful 4" x 4" piece from an online swap of patriotic 4x4s I joined. This is the first to arrive and is from Gloria. I love the vintage colors, the old photo of a soldier (not sure if it's a relative of hers) and the vintage postage stamp. It all goes together so well! Can't wait to see the others.

I also received this a few days ago from the inspiration mingle. The inspiration photo was a straw purse with vivid reds, oranges, yellows, blues and greens. This is a beautiful soldered slide ornament from Brenda. The photo's a bit out of focus but you can see the really vivid colors in it. Love it!

Did you notice I changed the blog background? I love this birdie background from Aqua Poppy Designs.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Sorry for these past few days with no posts. I had two very busy all-day teaching days on Thursday and Saturday and did absolutely nothing on Friday except rest. This past week we've had triple digit temps too and that always wipes me out! They are forecasting a "cold front" early this week - down to the high 90's! Geesh...

I was working on printing wedding invitations and response cards this past week and broke my printer! I had no idea how much I relied on that thing. And, I had just bought and installed all-new ink cartridges! Luckily, it will be an easy and inexpensive fix and I will have it back on Monday.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend and staying cool! I'll be back to regular posting in a day or two...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Your off-topic laugh for the day!

Remember my post awhile ago about making underwear from an old t-shirt? Well, this one beats that! A friend forwarded this picture to me - it's a young woman at a flea market in Alabama. Now look very closely. Yes, her tank top is a pair of men's underwear! It sure is cost effective, considering you can get a package of 3 for around $6, or the ultimate green recycling idea if using old underwear! Yuck - at least the crotch is cut out. No sewing skills needed... Oh my, what will they think of next!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Misc art projects

Remember the altered rolodex cards I received a few weeks ago? Well one last straggler arrived the other day. This one is from Amy and is so bright and cheerful!

Here is a sample memory capsule project I made for a pendant class we held awhile ago. It was so popular that we will be having the class again next week. These are made from the memory frames from Ranger that come in many different sizes. They have been around awhile, but just recently Ranger introduced the memory capsule plastic inserts for the fronts. They are similar to a shaker frame or shadow box in that they have a "popped out" frame that allows for dimensional items. In this rectangular frame, the little black bird, moss nest and tiny egg were inserted behind the plastic memory capsule before assembling the frame.

Below is this month's inspiration photo for the inspiration challenge on my online group, AAWA. We are to use the photo as inspiration for a project that we send to our mingle partner.
I used the bright, summery colors of the purse as my inspiration for this small piece. It's approximately 3 1/2" by 4" and is watercolor paper layered onto gold cardstock to cover a recycled "save-the-date" magnet we received in the mail some time ago. I used watercolor crayons to make the background as well as color in the stamped house (from Invoke Arts). The boy's face is an image from Lisa's Altered Arts and the border is a stamp from a Paper Artsy set. I also added an orange jewel and orange Stickles. It's much brighter in real life - the flash washed out the photo.

I'm trying to stay cool here in Texas. Summer has hit us with vengeance - it was 104 today and they are saying it will be in 3 digits all week!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Today we celebrate the fathers, grandfathers and fathers-to-be in our lives. Thank you for all your support and love. In honor of this special day, I am posting some vintage photos for you to use in your art. I would love to see what you make!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Scrapstashers Project

Today was the monthly Scrapstashers Class. I love these as I don't have to design a project and can just go and have fun! This month we brought outlet and switch coverplates and made a hanging for photos. I finished mine this evening but haven't put in any photos. Once I do that I will cut cardstock to fit the backs to finish it off nicely. This could also be made into an accordian book or horizontal folding frame. I used two coordinating pink patterned papers for the middle and end switchplates. They were cut to fit and Mod Podged onto the plastic covers. The other two were covered with white crumpled tissue paper and Mod Podge. Once they were dry they were inked. The ribbon is attached to the backs of every other plate and along the tops of the others. Just a few embellishments were needed - buttons and a few flowers. This is a cute, quick and easy project.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Altered Rolodex Card Swap

I recently participated in an altered rolodex card swap with my online group. 32 members participated so we each made 32 rolodex cards to swap. These were supposed to reflect our taste and interests as well as having pertinent information on the backs. I received the bulk of the cards at the retreat last week, but I think there are still a few to come in. Here are all the cards I received. (Note that I placed paper over some areas to hide personal information.) Each card is wonderful and as unique as the creator. I love that I will have this reminder of my art friends - some of whom I've met in person and some of whom I know only online -sitting on my desk as I work. Now I need to get a rolodex file to put them in!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Still more (and Great American Scrapbook Convention)

As I continue unpacking all the goodies from the retreat, I am still finding stuff! These are the beautiful earrings that Diann made for all of us. Everyone received different colors, and I love how dainty and sweet these are. They were difficult to photograph and this was the only one that was in focus.

We each received a Tim Holtz large ticket to alter. We surrendered these at the door when we arrived at the pajama party. They were placed in a box and as we left for the night, we blindly chose one of the tickets to keep. I received this precious one from Teresa. It's amazing how unique each one turned out.

On Saturday we had a free day to attend the Great American Scrapbook Convention which was in town at the Arlington Convention Center. This was a huge show and, despite the economy, seemed to be crowded and well-attended. I met up with one of my favorite blogging friends, Vicki Chrisman, who is on the design team and demoes at conventions for Crafty Secrets. Someone took this photo of us as I sat down to do the make-n-take. (It's not the best, but Vicki's didn't turn out at all.)
This was the oh-so-cute card that was the make-n-take, using one of their images and some cute papers. I love the saying on this one - "When I said I do, I didn't mean the laundry!"
This was another make-n-take at the Ten Seconds Studio booth. We used their new molds to first emboss the initial of our choice and then the background. This was sanded and then adhered to the metal dog tag with an adhesive tape sheet. So easy! They have two new yummy colors of metal.

I tried hard to not spend very much as my personal stash is overflowing and I've been trying to use it up before adding to it! I did buy some of Claudine Hellmuth's new paints to try as they are not available locally.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Artful Gathering - Autograph book

Remember the autograph page I made for the swap we were going to have at the retreat? Here it is again. These were 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".

Once we arrived at the retreat, everyone swapped their pages and we made covers with patterned paper, pre-printed labels, embellishments and chipboard. The pages and covers were bound with a Bind-it-All. Then we shared books and everyone wrote a little paragraph and signed the backs of our own pages.
Here are the inside pages, along with the artist's name below.















Now we have super souvenirs of another wonderful retreat - just like the autograph books of old!

Artful Gathering Part 3

The highlight of our annual retreat is making a book project that our list mom, Jeri, designs and shares with us. This year the theme was girlfriends. We started with old gutted Readers' Digests. I was lucky enough to get one that had patterned covers. The spine was wrapped with gaffers tape and then the entire cover was swiped with a few colors of chalk ink. Three signatures were made with watercolor paper and chipboard pages and these were sewn into the spine, adding buttons for a decorative element.

Here's an overall picture showing how fat the book became when it was finished. I still haven't decorated the cover.
Here are the inside pages. We added various images of girlfriends, poems, quotes and lots of embellishments.

This is one of my favorite spreads. I love how the tulle is wrapped around the page and tied, covering some of the page but you can still see through it. See that purse? It's a Target gift card!
The tag at the top on the right side of this spread is actually a martini recipe. And the glittery martini glass was a tag giftie from Joan which I added to the book.

The purple frame on the right side of this spread is a felt coaster from the $1 spot. The center was cut out to make the frame.

This was a fun book to make, especially surrounded by a room full of girlfriends!
Still more tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Artful Gathering Part 2

Here are a few more "gifties" that we received. The first is a business card holder handmade by Sue (who didn't even attend!) - I love how she made the closure with a simple safety pin and beautiful fibers. The second is a tiny little embellishment from Brenda made from a strip of ribbon and a checker altered with a little face (excuse the out-of-focus photo - my camera doesn't do closeups well).

Thursday we spent most of the day doing little projects and playing with some techniques. First Brenda showed us how to make glass slide ornaments. Instead of using copper tape and solder, we used glue lines and vintage glass glitter. These are the two I made.

We also made a floral corsage from large silk flower pieces, lace and lots of ribbons. This is very large and we wore them on our aprons all weekend. Made us feel very feminine and special.

Kris shared the next project with us. This is a small 4"x4" coaster colored with a unique technique using Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist. We sprayed water on a non-stick craft mat, then two or three different glimmer mists. We then scrunched up a paper towel, dampened it slightly and dragged it gently over the craft mat. The coaster was then dropped over the mixture to absorb the colors and turned over to repeat on the other side. This gave a very mottled look - very nice! Then Kris shared her original little butterfly made with four punched hearts and a pen nib wrapped with wire. Clever!

Another project was altering an altoid tin into a mini-first aid kit. These were so simple to make - just covered the tin, inside and out, with coordinating scrap papers and embellishments. Here you can see the cover of mine.

And here's a peek inside. The slide ornament on the left with my name was a giftie from Brenda. This little tin holds an amazing amount of bandaids, gauze and wipes.

Jeri gave each of us a kit to make this "hangie danglie." There was a variety of different images, all bodies with fruits of some kind, and hilarious. I think my favorite was the gal with the cantaloupe boobs! We glued the edge of a piece of matboard and gathered the crepe paper into ruffles around the perimeter. Then the image was attached and holes punched for the ribbon hanger. I added some Stickles to the water, champagne glasses and bottle, and the derrieres, and stamped the quote which seemed perfect. Fun!

On Friday night we had a "slumber party" of sorts. We all gathered in the conference room in our pjs and slippers. There was a contest for the funniest slippers and we had pizza and cokes in glass bottles. Here's the little invitation that Julie made and delivered under everyone's doors the night before.

Instead of the usual slumber party pillow fight, we had a pillow exchange. Everyone had brought either a pillow they had bought or made and we did a "Chinese gift exchange" where the pillows could be "stolen" a few times before they ended up with their final owner. It was great fun and there was lots of stealing! I ended up with this lovely pillow that Liane had made. I love the lace and the large, unique buttons.

Tomorrow I'll share the book projects we created.