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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Altered Canvas

We exchanged names at the LBH for Christmas gift-giving this year. The gifts had to be handmade and everything was top secret until our party.

I made an altered tree canvas for Lynette, inspired by Christy Tomlinson's post and video here which, in turn, was inspired by www.undermypolkadotumbrella.blogspot.com.  I loved making this - it's such a freeing and messy and fun project.  I used lots of scraps, old rubons and stickers, paint, 7 Gypsies tissue paper and stamps.  This is an 8"x10" canvas because that's what I had!

And I received this gorgeous interchangeable frame from Miss Tracy.  It is made from a small, old cabinet door, covered with paint and paper and framed with embossed metal.  The bulldog clip is colored with alcohol ink and attached with a magnet. Photos or other items can be displayed and changed at will.  I love it!

NYC recap

We're back from spending Christmas week in New York with our oldest daughter who lives there. Our son from San Francisco and another daughter from Chicago met us there and we had a wonderful time.  We didn't even have any problems traveling non-rev there and back - quite unusual!  It was a relaxing (if you can call being in the big city relaxing) and non-traditional holiday for us.  We played tourists a few days and spent the rest of the time just enjoying the family, though we missed the two daughters who were spending the time with their in-laws.  (Apologies for the photos - they were taken on my i-phone at night.)

Rockefeller Center tree

Ice rink below tree

My son making sure we saw Santa

Three of my kiddos - it was cold!
Empire State Bldg


Macy's tree

Amazing window displays - moving marionettes and lots of white, sparkle and shine

All to display a few necklaces!
Now it's time to get back on schedule! We're already creating new winter and Valentine projects at The Little Blue House - sneak peeks coming soon!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Birthday Countdown

This is one of the Christmas presents I made for my pregnant daughter and her hubby.  At The Little Blue House we have been teaching a similar project, but as a countdown to Christmas.  I decided to change it up and do a countdown to the birth day (March 31).  But, since this would only get used a few times (for pregnancies), I changed it to birthday so it could also be brought out for everyone's birthdays. 

Inside the frame is chalkcloth mounted on chipboard so that the number of days to go can be written in chalk.  I took the photo before adding a cup hook and ribbon tied on a piece of chalk on the right side just above the "y."  The base is a sturdy wooden circle that can be hung on the wall or placed on an easel.  The photo doesn't show up the glitter on the letters and frame.

They were here this past weekend for a pre-Christmas celebration since we won't be together on Christmas and they loved it.  I hope it will become a pregnancy and birthday tradition to count down to the big days! And, as of today, there are only 103 days to wait for our first grandbaby!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another Grandbaby!

As I announced earlier this fall, our very first grandbaby - little Carl William - is due the end of March.  That is exciting enough, but at our family gathering on Thanksgiving, we were surprised by another daughter that she, too, is expecting!  So we will be doubly blessed with little ones next year.  The second - we won't know the sex for a few more months - is due the end of June.  Suffice it to say that we are very, very thrilled and can't wait for these precious babies!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tim Holtz "12 Tags of Christmas"

Have you been following along (with the rest of the crafting world) on Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas blog posts?  (www.timholtz.typepad.com)  Every day he posts a new Christmas tag using lots of techniques and, of course, many of his own products.  If not, you are missing out on a treat.

This is the fifth year for the tags and only one year have I managed to make most of the tags! So tonight I decided to take a little time for me and make Day 7's tag.  It was one that I had all the products for so I made it almost the same as his. I love the vintagey look of this tag.

If you are interested in making your own, The Little Blue House is going to offer a weekly class to create two tags each session - starting after Christmas.  We will also be offering kits.  Watch for more information soon.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Little Blue House Art Group

I've finished the sample for the December project for the LBH Art Group - a technique-laden Christmas canvas.  Each icon incorporates a different technique using Distress Inks, resists, stamping and more.

There are still available seats in both classes: Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 6-9 pm and Friday, Dec. 9 from 10am-1pm.  Call the LBH at 817-431-7930 to reserve a spot.

More details and a list of supplies to bring are listed on the Blue House Art Group tab on the LBH blog: www.thelittlebluehouseblog.blogspot.com.

Can't wait to get inky and messy with the art gals!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last Day of November

How can that possibly be?  It was just summer!

We are busy, busy at The Little Blue House getting ready for our second annual "Little Somethings" Workshops starting tomorrow. Our theme this year is the "Creative Express" with stops at Jolly Junction, Candy Cane Crossing and Tinsel Town.  We will have five three-hour sessions of workshops making ... little somethings! I can't divulge the specifics but everyone will be creating ten (yes, 10!) little projects that can be duplicated easily for gifting to co-workers, friends, classmates, etc.  We are even including a booklet of instructions and templates. And Santa will be arriving at Santa Station to hand out goodie bags for those who are nice, not naughty.

I'm happy to say that this event is sold out, but here's a sneak peek at one cute project.

I'll have no time to spare until next week but will be back then to report on all the fun we have.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Final 2 Days of "12 Days of Ornaments"

Happy Belated Thanksgiving to everyone. We went out of town for the holiday and I'm just getting around to posting the last two days' ornaments for The Little Blue House.

Day 11
Fa La La Folded Tree Ornament by Tracy Pounds

 Day 12

Angel Tree Topper by Elaine Howell

Be sure to check out the LBH blog (www.thelittlebluehouseblog.blogspot.com) for the details on how to make this ornament and tree topper.  We have had such fun creating and sharing these ornaments. Hope you enjoyed them also!  These tutorials will remain on the blog so even if you don't have time to make them now, you will be able to return to them when you have more time.

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 10!

Only a few more days to go! The last ornament will be revealed on Thanksgiving day.  We hope you are having fun reading along and, hopefully, making at least a few of these pretties for your own tree.

Today's designer is Cheryl McCarson who teaches the "Icing on the Cake" cake decorating classes at LBH (yes, we're a multi-media art studio!).

Visit the blog here to find out how to make these lovely felt rosette ornament balls.  They remind me of "kissing balls" - hang one in your foyer along with a sprig of mistletoe and a ribbon.  Or wouldn't they be pretty hanging from a chandelier! They are also beautiful gracing our LBH tree.

Can you guess how many rosettes are on each ornament?  I'm going to make you read the tutorial to find out.

Be sure to comment while there - you just might win one of the beauties!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 9

Miss Tracy is the designer of today's ornament posted on the LBH blog here.  It's a beautiful paper mache ornament featuring art metal and a fun transfer and embossing technique using music paper and Maya Road mists.

Go visit the blog to see the full step-out photo tutorial and, while there, be sure to leave a comment.  Tell us how many trees you put up for the holidays and you may be the lucky winner of this pretty ornament!

If you are local, stop by The Little Blue House to see all the ornaments displayed on our tree. It's getting really full and looks awesome!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 8

My tutorial for a pretty cardinal ornament is posted today on the LBH blog. Check it out here: www.thelittlebluehouseblog.blogspot.com and be sure to leave us a comment telling us your favorite Christmas cookie. You just may win one of my ornaments!

I used a fun technique for today's ornament with paper napkins, Ultra Light Paper Clay and a bit of Mod Podge.  The full instructions are on the blog but the short version is you use the clay to mold and form part of the design (in this case the bird) and this is encased in two layers of napkin.  It gives some dimension to the design which is hard to see in my photos.

I hope you're enjoying this series of ornaments and tutorials. There are only four more days!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 7 of 12 Days of Ornaments

Kristyn's Glitzy Glamour Ornaments are posted on the LBH blog today.  Check out her fantastic tutorial for making your very own glitter and glam goodies.  And if you leave a comment you just might win one of these for your very own tree!

Tomorrow I will be posting a fun ornament using Ultra Light Paper Clay and cocktail napkins!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 6

Today Rhonda posted a "snow" pretty snowflake ornament for the sixth day of the LBH 12 Days of Ornaments.

She used some wooden snowflakes from Maya Road, Sugar Dust and a Viva Decor Pearl pen to create this beautiful addition for your tree.

Visit the LBH blog for the tutorial on how to make this and be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win the ornament.

Congratulations to Sarah for winning my ornament yesterday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 5 - Me!

Sugared Tart Tin Tree
Designed by Susan Tidwell

Here's today's ornament over on the LBH blog designed by yours truly, me!  I used a package of Jenni  Bowlin tart tins and turned them upside down to create a little tree.  Check out the complete tutorial on the blog here and comment for a chance to win this ornament!

There's still seven more days of ornaments, so check back every day for the tutorials.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 4

Are all these beautiful ornaments getting you in the mood for the holidays? I am, despite the summer-like temps we still have in TX!  Rhonda's darling Christmas Santa ornament is up next on the blog (www.thelittlebluehouseblog.blogspot.com).

Please visit the blog for the full tutorial. She uses some new products including Viva's Inka Gold paints and Ranger Rock Candy Distress Crackle paint.  Leave a comment for a chance to win this ornament!  And be sure to come back tomorrow for my ornament!

Congratulations to Debra White for winning yesterday's "blooming" flower ornament.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 3

Check out Elaine's beautiful origami flower ornaments on the LBH blog today at www.thelittlebluehouseblog.blogspot.com .  And find out how to make your very own pearl garland with Viva Pearl Pens - an awesome technique!

Leave a comment telling us your favorite holiday drink and you might just win one of these beauties!

Congrats to Karen G. for winning the ribbon tree ornament yesterday!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 2

Our second ornament has been posted. This one was created by Kristyn. It's a beautiful ruffled Christmas tree!

Go to the Little Blue House blog to see the full tutorial and be sure to comment for a chance to win this darling ornament. 

Congratulations to Donna T for winning yesterday's LBH ornament!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day One

Our first ornament is, fittingly, a little blue house ornament designed by Miss Tracy!

A complete photo tutorial on how to make this adorable little house is on The Little Blue House blog today.  Be sure to comment on the post for a chance to win your very own ornament and, if you'd like to make one, kits are available too.  This is a custom house created exclusively for the LBH by Heart of Texas - you won't find it anywhere else!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Twelve Days of Ornaments

We had such a great time creating ornaments last year that
the Little Blue House is doing it again.

Each day one of the LBH Gals will post, on the LBH blog, a full tutorial with pictures 

on how to make an ornament.  The fun starts tomorrow (November 13) 
and one ornament will be featured each day until the  
last ornament is revealed on November 24, Thanksgiving Day.

Each day a lucky commenter will have a chance to win the ornament
revealed on that given day. So don't miss out, become a follower on the 
Little Blue House blog to see all of the fantastic things we do there and be sure to leave comments!
You may be a lucky winner!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Blue House Art Group

Wednesday and today I taught all about alcohol inks at my Blue House Art Group classes. We had alot of fun playing with many techniques.  One was a resist technique using Archival black ink (for whatever reason this seems to only work with that ink).  In a nutshell, you apply one or several colors of alcohol ink to acetate or any clear, non-porous surface.  Once this is dry you stamp an image with Archival ink. Let the ink set on the surface for a minute but do not let it completely dry and then wipe the ink off.  The ink will remove the alcohol ink below the stamped image.  This is one of my favorite techniques and it's fun watching the clear image appear.

Once the class practiced this a few times, we made little charms/pendants with Ranger acrylic fragments.  This was my sample:

We also had a fall-themed ATC swap.  I used alcohol inks on a larger piece of glossy paper and then stamped the pumpkins with black Staz On.  I cut these out and popped them on a fall-colored plaid paper over a small piece of frayed burlap.  The stamp is an old Hero Arts stamp embossed with a "Chile Red Pepper" powder.  I punched the tiny maple leaf in the upper right corner and edged the card with Krylon gold leaf pen.

These are the other ATCs that were swapped. I love how everyone interpreted "fall" differently.

Next month we will be creating a 10"x10" Christmas canvas. Can't wait to teach all the techniques I'll be using on that project.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's a Boy!

My husband and I are expecting our very first grandchild and we just found out this morning that it will be a boy! We are so very excited and can't wait for the March 31 due date!  I'll keep you posted on any news during the next several months.

I apologize for my absence here this past week. I've been inundated with work at The Little Blue House - teaching current classes, prepping for future ones, and creating many new class projects that were revealed at today's "Home for the Holidays" Open House.  Open House will continue through tomorrow and then I should be back to a "normal" routine next week and will get back to blogging more regularly.  "Til then...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cards from Classes

I had another class with Stacy of Stacy Stamps.  She has really nice cling-mounted rubber stamps in a variety of styles.  We made these four very simple Christmas cards which are easily reproduced in quantity and wouldn't require extra packaging or postage.

This guy is my favorite. I like the wood-grain embossed background and the addition of the little twig.  Stamping the cardinal on red cardstock with black ink is a great alternative to stamping it on white or ivory and then coloring it.

This was a quick and easy make-and-take card from Doodlebug. Just love those little monsters!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Collins Group Trade Show

I think I've finally rested (?) from our whirlwind long weekend at the Collins Group show in Houston.  We drove to Houston on Thursday afternoon and started classes bright and early on Friday morning (8 am).  Anyone who knows me knows I'm a nightowl, not a morning person, so this was difficult for me!  Classes ran 1.5 hours with about 10-15 minutes between - just enough to find the next classroom and possibly take a potty break.  We had two classes in the morning, three in the afternoon and one at night with a 1.5 hour break for dinner.  Then we repeated this schedule on Saturday, except in the evening when we had a marathon three-hour make-and-take event.  There were 30 vendors attending and each had a make-and-take for us to do.  As soon as the doors opened we made a beeline for the Tim Holtz table where there were four available spaces. By the time I got over there, I was #4 in line! So I spent the first hour waiting and then making the great Halloween tag shown in the last post.  In all, I think I only made about 6 projects, but they were fun.  I have no idea how you could possibly do them all. Sunday was an all-day trade show much like CHA (but much smaller!) where you could talk to vendors, see their products up close and order if you wanted.  The keynote speaker, Bob Negen, was scheduled for 8 am (early again!) but was worth getting up for. He was an awesome speaker and was full of tips and information for retailers.  The Little Blue House even won a door prize - a free, 30-minute private consultation with him!  And the fun continued on Monday with an all-day class with Tim Holtz called "Winter Wonderland" in which we made three gorgeous Christmas projects.  

One of my favorite classes was with Hero Arts with instructors Jennifer McGuire and Shari Carroll.  They were very organized and knowledgeable.  We made these four technique-filled cards using lots of distress inks and stains.

The last one above uses a new Hero Arts cling stamp and matching embossing folder.  So many possibilities with this.  And Hero Arts also just debuted matching dies for some of their stamps - fun, fun!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tim Holtz Halloween Tag

This is the make-and-take tag I made with Tim Holtz at the trade show last weekend. We used his Halloween kraft resist paper, kraft glassine paper, distress stains and Perfect Pearls mists and some Ideology trinkets. I love the vintage tinsel on the bottom of the tag.  We also added a grungeboard diecut easel on the back so it will stand on its own.

Tim graciously posted the instructions for this tag on his blog. You can make one too - scroll down to the "Bewitching Tag" post.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back from The Collins Group Trade Show

We returned from Houston last night and I'm recuperating! The show was amazing - loads of inspiration, education, fun classes and projects, and lots of new products!  I have lots to share, but need to deal with real life for a few days. Here's a photo of some of the goodies I came back with - and this doesn't include all the catalogs from vendors or my finished projects!   (Edit - this loot completely covers my queen guest bed!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Road Trip Tomorrow

Tomorrow I'll be going to Houston for a regional retailers' trade show with Tracy and Elaine, my LBH "co-instructors."  Vendors will be showing us their newest and greatest products and we will be taking many classes. Looking forward to being the student for a change!  The highlight of the weekend will be a day-long class on Monday with none other than Tim Holtz.  Can't wait!  I'll update you when I return.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a few Halloween ideas from Pinterest, my latest addiction.

painted acorns - familyfun.go.com

dollar store pumpkins cut in half - bing.com

feathers and fabrics - familyfun.go.com

fabric pumpkins - gingercakes.typepad.com

super cute treat cauldron - eighteen25.blogspot.com