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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Paris Book Project

This book was the main project for our retreat weekend. I love all things French, and Paris in particular - I was a French major in college and spent my junior year abroad living and studying in Paris. So, I was ecstatic that our theme for this year was Paris.

We made the entire book from "scratch." The front and back covers are black matboard, approximately 8 x 10." We each decorated the covers as we wished - I added alot of the goodies we received all weekend to mine. The focal point is a tag that I made from a "kit" given by one of the members. The flower corsage was made by another member from an old wool coat and gold bullion embroidery trim. The Eiffel Tower was made by a member who couldn't attend this year and is polymer clay stamped with a texture and has a silvery metallic sheen to it. I didn't have, nor could I find, gold brass corners so I cut a rectangular frame to make corners.

Here is the first spread made by Cher. Her attention to detail is amazing. These pages were to represent the trip, complete with a passport, a trunk spilling with maps, and even bits of clothing (lace). The box in the foreground opens to reveal tickets and more. There was alot of cutting to be done for this!

The second spread represents French haute couture. These were my pages which I've posted previously.

Next we have a spread from Autumn representing the sights of Paris. We even made a coiled wire card holder for extra monument images.

Gloria's spread below represents the cafes and dining in Paris. There's even a little menu!

The last two pages were designed by Jeri - "Postcards from Paris" - with lots of vintage postcards and a ribbon-tied pack of letters home.

On the back cover I added an image made by Jean for each of us, printed on muslin. It's a great reminder of the retreat, including the date.

We hand-bound the books using a version of the Coptic Stitch binding. We made five "signatures" from heavy paper reinforced by gaffer's tape, punching four holes along the length of each and then lacing them together with ribbon. I still intend to add something decorative to the ribbons, possibly beads. It was a fun binding technique.

Everyone finished their books and we have very special mementos of a very special weekend.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Artful Gathering Retreat

This year was our online group's fifth annual retreat with 18 of our 40 members attending. The theme was "Postcards from Paris" and here's a little corner vignette decorated by our "list mom" and organizer, Jeri, who somehow manages to make each year even better than the last.

We take over the hotel's conference room and this photo shows how the room looks all four days. We've been coming to the same hotel each year so they are now used to our creative mess and have given up cleaning each night - they just wait til the end!

Many of the attendees bring "make-n-take" projects for us to do. This was one of my favorites: the chipboard corset was covered with patterned paper and then holes were punched along the bottom edge. Varying lengths of various ribbons, lace and fibers were threaded through the holes and knotted at the top front. (This is a great project for using up scraps of leftover ribbons and those fibers that were popular several years ago and remain in our stash!) Eyelets were added to the front and threaded with ribbon. The dress was tied to a handmade wire hanger using strips of organza. One gal made hers pink and used only pink tulle and pink ribbons - it was the most darling ballerina.


This little French angel was a wooden piece from http://www.howdoyouglue.com/. We painted it a champagne metallic, then stamped the flourish background on the body, tied ribbons to the waist and added two layers of wings made from vellum and patterned paper. The little nest on the top has three large pearls inside for eggs.

This is a little hanging approximately 6" x 8" made from heavy watercolor paper. We stamped and inked the background, added the Marie Antoinette image, lace, ribbon rose and paper banner, and embossed and inked the Paris medallion. The hanger is tulle, ribbon and some crystal beads.

We were also given two paper fan pieces imprinted with "Artful Gathering, Grapevine, TX, July, 2010" and had to decorate it with whatever we had brought to the retreat and assemble into a fan. I mostly stamped mine and added some tulle around the handle.

We always have one swap with the retreat theme. This year we made "Postcards from Paris" - 4x6" postcards decorated however we wanted. This was supposed to be bound into a little book with the Bind-It-All, but several of us just used a ring in the upper left corner to make a little ring book. Here's mine with all 18 postcards assembled.

Here's a sampling of some of the cards. Linda's card (above) was so pretty that it's my cover! Below is one done by Liane.

Moulin Rouge was made by Dawn. The Eiffel Tower is embossed with glittery embossing powder which doesn't show in this picture.

This collage was created by Sue who is new to our group. Love the Parisi-Orly tickets and the suitcases.

Teresa made this Eiffel Tower postcard. Isn't it amazing how different the Tower can look?

Another Eiffel Tower by Nancy:

And one made with a diecut and a gold leaf moon by Ellen. Love the French poodle!

Whew, are you still with me? Tomorrow I will share photos of the amazing Paris book we created.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm Back

The retreat this weekend was awesome. Our theme was Paris and we had a wonderful time in gay Paree! Every year we do a swap of some kind using the weekend's theme so this year it was 4x6" "Postcards from Paris." Below is my card for everyone. I used a digital paper for the background, an old SU stamp for the main image, an Eiffel Tower stamped image on torn vellum, several French postage stamps, a copper embossed "remember" tag and an open weave brown ribbon which I adhered with a strip of tacky tape and added glitter over the exposed tape. Of course, I reeived 17 other postcards back - all very unique and different. I will post them in a few days once I get reorganized from the weekend.

Every year we also do an involved book project. Our group coordinator usually designs the entire book, but this year she divided it into five two-page spreads and five members designed one. We all used the same black and cream mat stack collection (can't remember the name right now) and we each had a different theme. The theme of my spread was "haute couture". I made a tag for one of the pages to fit into a vellum, embossed pocket. The stamped woman is embossed; the gold pieces are actually candy wrappers; the ribbon embellishment is printed silk ribbon; gold braid is adhered to the bottom edge and black lace seam binding is tied through the reinforced hole.

This is the right page of the spread, without the tag. Upholstery fabric strips and harlequin ribbon are stitched along the top of the page; black velvet ribbon separates the two patterned papers; and the flower was die cut from several layers of sewing pattern paper with the Tim Holtz Sizzix flower die. The vellum pocket was embossed with the fleur-de-lys Cuttlebug folder and machine-stitched to the page. Do you see the garter holding the dress image?

This is the left page. I stamped the background with a French script background stamp and cut a frame out of black polkadotted paper to hold the printed images. The dress form is an Oxford Impressions stamp which I black embossed, then cut out and popped up, wrapping the string of pearls around. The patterned paper across the bottom of the page is from the same paper collection and is flocked, adding great texture. It's sewn on top of a wide piece of black lace.

Here's a shot showing the overall view of both pages together.

Once I finish adding a few more details, I will share the remainder of the book here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Misc cards

I'm getting ready to leave tomorrow morning for a weekend retreat with an online group. Twenty women are coming from all over the country - I'm so lucky that it's just 20 minutes down the highway from me! We'll be arting away all weekend and enjoying the company of like-minded souls!

I'm posting a few random card projects I've done this week. The first is a birthday card for my sister-in-law who turns 60 on Sat. I love this stamp from Rubber Romance - reminds me of Audrey Hepburn and her classic elegance. This was a fast and easy card - the stamp is embossed with black embossing powder and layered over a piece of black mesh paper with a gingham ribbon on the side. I added rhinestones to add a bit of bling.

The card below is a little "just because" giftie for my Mom who loves to send little notes to friends. I made some of these for her for Christmas last year and she loved them, so when I saw some more cute little Laura Ashley notecards in the $1 bin at Michael's I bought them. These were super simple - I used a Just Rite monogram stamp to stamp her initials on an ivory punched circle and adhered it to the center of the card over a thin strip of brown cardstock. The set of 10 took maybe 10 minutes to whip up and used half a piece of brown cardstock and scraps of ivory, plus the $1 cards!

And at the last moment, the organizer of the retreat asked me to present a technique "make-n-take" so I came up with this card tonight. It's a 5x7" ivory card base (because I had them!). I used Tim Holtz's Shabby Chic resist technique on the navy cardstock layer. The flourishes were stamped and embossed with clear embossing powder, then ivory paint was sparingly brushed over the entire layer. Before the paint was completely dry, I wiped with a damp paper towel, concentrating on the embossed areas to expose the design. I hope everyone will enjoy learning this and making their own card.

If I have a chance, I will try to post over the weekend. If not, I'll be back Sunday night with lots to share!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Another Accucut Shadowbox

I just finished another Accucut "Mother" shadowbox, this time for my SIL's birthday next week. The photo is of my MIL when she was about 6 or 7 years old. This version uses glitter papers from My Mind's Eye Laundry Line, paint, stamps, ribbon, quotes, pearls and a satin ribbon flower.

This shows the Accucut die which my friend, Vicki Chrisman, designed. There are both portrait and landscape versions. It is very versatile as you can cut it from chipboard to make the trifold standing shadowbox frame as I have done, or you can cut it from cardstock and fold it into a card. The smaller pieces can be used as embellishments, frames or even closures.
If your LSS doesn't have this die, you can purchase packages of pre-cut shapes from Crafty Secrets online. Vicki also has a great video HERE on her blog showing the assembly. This is a fun project to create!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Bastille Day

July 14th is France's National Day commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution when the people stormed the Bastille in 1789.

I found this darling recipe of an Eiffel Tower cookie sundae. Isn't it cute? You can find the recipe HERE. Have great day.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Father's Day Cards

Here's more samples from a "retired" class. These were "cards for him" or Father's Day cards. I think these are the hardest designs for most people to make - it's difficult to refrain from using flowers and ribbons and bling!

The first card uses lots of non-scrapbooking/cardmaking supplies: duct tape embossed with the Cuttlebug; electrical tape; a cork diecut letter; nuts; label tape; and twine.

This card is embellished with plain drywall tape from the hardware store. An added plus is it is self-adhesive. I embossed the white cardstock with an argyle pattern to coordinate with the argyle paper pattern. Instead of inking the cardstock after embossing, I inked the embossing folder itself before running the cardstock through the machine - easy inking! Just try to not use a permanent ink or the folder will be stained. A dye ink works well as it is easily washed off. The tag is unfinished balsa wood which stained well with the same dye ink.

The last card is a matchbook-fold card - the bottom fold holds the front of the card in place. I used an old-fashioned prong paper fastener from the office supply store to secure it. The wood planks were made on a regular brown paper bag, swiping with several Distress Inks and then cut into one-inch strips. The strips were cut into varying lengths and then mixed up and laid on a base piece, side by side. The "nails" were drawn in with black marker. The stamped sign hangs from a brad.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Spring/Summer Banner

We just returned from a quick and impromptu trip to Chicago for the holiday weekend to see our two girls who live there. Our son, who was returning from a business trip in China, was able to make a stopover there for the weekend too, so we were able to spend some time with him as well. Since our children are far-flung all over the US, it's good when we can get to see them. It helps, too, to have non-rev privileges on Southwest!

Today I'm sharing a project I made this spring, but it could also be used all summer. This banner is made with canvas pennants collaged with various papers and Moda fabrics. Gathered crepe paper ruffles adorn the top edges of each piece and accordian-folded paper rosettes grace the spaces between. The banner is embellished with buttons, ribbons, paper roses, glimmer mist and glittered letters. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

More catching up

This is a spring/Easter project I created which I hadn't posted yet. Geez, am I way behind!

It's a little basket covered with Melissa Frances paper, a gathered tulle edging and crepe paper rosettes at the handle. I love the large rickrack on the handle.

Inside I added shredded book pages (clean out your regular paper shredder and shred the pages - easy!). I also covered a large plastic egg with torn old music pages and added a silk ribbon bow, tulle and a tiny paper flower. And there's a small five-page tag book nestled inside.

The front cover of the book has a chipboard bunny covered with embossed pearl art metal (Ten Seconds Studio). All pages are edged with silver Krylon pen.

I can't remember the line of papers I used but it was super cute. Check out those darling little chicks-in-eggs on the first page. The tulip on the second page is embroidered right on the paper.

Torn paper flowers on these pages.

The top page below has another art metal accent - this time it's a flower punched from pink metal and just doodled on with a stylus. The basket is a large stamp which was embossed on the brown cardstock with clear embossing powder and then adhered to the page like a pocket for the little tag insert. Can you see the little green strip (grass) below the basket? It's painted dryer sheet (used)!

The bunny paper on the last page was just too darn cute to cover up, so I added very little to this page.

Wish I had a grandbaby to add cute little Easter photos to this!