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

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.