Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sneeky Peeks

Here's a little peek at what I've been working on this week. Shhhh! It's a secret so, I can't say anymore! The house is a mess with art supplies all over the place. My art room, kitchen counter and dining room table look like disaster areas!. Thank goodness my DH is patient and understanding. But I 'm having so much fun and getting a lot accomplished. It's a beautiful day here today in the upper 70's - a refreshing change from the humidity and 90+ temperatures we've been having around here lately. I hope it will stay like this for a few least. There is a pleasant breeze in the air and it's so nice to have the doors and windows open to take advantage of it. Well, I'm off to tidy up a bit, so.ta-ta for now!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tricks or Treats?

I've been busy adding some new things to the shop today. I was trying to hold off until the first of September because it seems like the stores put their holiday merchandise out earlier and earlier each year. I used to manage a retail stop and usually Christmas shipments start arriving at the stores in July - can you believe that? I've noticed that lots of people are posting about Halloween things already, so I figure if you can't beat 'em - you might as well join 'em. Better get on over here before all the goblins snatch everything up! Don't worry though - I'll be adding more things this week or next.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tutorial - Pleated Paper Rosettes

The other day I got an email from Becky over at Heart in my Hand asking me how I make the Pleated Paper Rosettes that I used on my Bits & Pieces Collage. These are such popular embellishments lately that I thought I would put together a little tutorial on how to make them.

~ Pleated Paper Rosettes ~

Basic Supplies:

  • One 12"x1" strip of heavy weight decorative paper
  • Two 1-inch circles cut from heavy weight decorative paper
  • One cardstock or chipboard star covered with glitter
  • Glue gun
  • White craft glue (not pictured)
    STEP #1 - Accordian-fold the 12" x 1" strip of decorative paper every 2/8" - 3/8" until the entire strip is pleated like pictured above. Yes, this is the same pleat folding that we used to make those paper fans when we were kids!

STEP #2: Apply some hot glue to one end of the pleated paper. (Hot glue works best for this because it is strong and dries fast.)

STEP #3 - Gently bring both ends together until they meet forming the rosette. This is the trickiest part of the whole process because the rosette will want to keep popping up until you complete the next step. (Through trial and error I have found it is best to keep your finger on the center while you form the rosette shape.)

STEP #4 - Apply a little hot glue to the center of the rosette while gently pressing the sides in so that the pleat folds meet in the center as pictured above. Hold this position for a few seconds until the glue has completely dried. STEP #5 - Next, add a little more hot glue and apply one of the 1-inch paper circles to the center of the rosette. (I used paper from an old book, but you can use a coordinating decorative paper for this as well.) STEP #6 - Now turn the rosette upside down and glue the second 1-inch paper circle to the middle of the rosette back, just like in Step #6. Doing this helps to stablize the rosette and keep it from popping up.

STEP #7 - Turn rosette back to the front side and apply a little white craft glue to the center of the 1-inch circle and . . .STEP #8 - Press the glittered star into the glue and voila - you have just completed your pleated paper rosette! Ta-da!!!

VARIATIONS - You can use other things to embellish the center of the rosette such as buttons, rhinestones, round epoxy stickers, paper flowers, etc. You can also skip the 1-inch circle and just hot glue a larger glittered chipboard star like I did on my Bits & Pieces Collage, shown below. Notice also that I cut one edge of the 12" x 1" decorative paper with picking shears to create a decorative outer edge on the rosette.

If you decide to make some of these rosettes, be sure to leave a link to your photo in the comments section of this post 'cause I'd love to see what you create. . .Have fun!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

ArtErratica Swap

I just received these beauties in the mail this past week. (click on photo to enlarge.) They are the fabric green inchies from the ArtErratica swap I took part in. I can't believe how talented and creative these gal are even on eensy-weensy pieces of cloth. I mounted them on a 6x6 inch painted canvas and framed it with a simple lattice wood frame.

We had a boat-load of rain here on Thursday night and fortunately we didn't have much damage or flooding ourselves, but many of our friends did. Some are still without any power. It's sad to drive around town to see all the wet rolled up carpeting, furniture and other belongings sitting out at the curb for the garbage trucks to pick up. We were even propping up wicker furniture, etc. out in our potting shed Thursday as we watched the water's edge in the neighbor's flooded backyard creeping closer and closer. Fortunately the rain let up just inches from flooding the shed.

I'm spending this weekend in my studio working on artsy commitments. I promised myself I wouldn't leave the house until I finish these up. I have to crack my own whip around here!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Look What Came

What a wonderful surprise I had yesterday when Mr. Postman delivered this package from my lovely friend Lilli over at Make Mine Blissful. Don't you just love the wrapping? And all the little goodies she included - what a sweetheart!
This is the bag that Lilli custom made for me. Isn't it gorgeous? These pics were taken as soon as I unwrapped it, so please ignore the fold lines. Lilli's photography of the bag is much better than mine and you can see her beautiful pics here.
This is a close-up of what really drew me to this particular set of fabrics Lilli had chosen. . .Mr. Birdie. Isn't he sweet? Love the colors of the bag and the Amy Butler fabrics.
Besides loving the bag, what is so neat about having Lilli make a bag for you is the amount of love she puts into each one. She writes about the process, how she makes it and her thoughts as she is putting it all together on her blog. I think this is such a special touch which makes the everything so much more personal.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Catch-Up

We're back from a weekend at the cottage feeling rested and invigorated. I had heard that getting away can work wonders on your mindset and perspective of things, but have never actually experienced it as much as I have since we built this cottage. I guess I've become a believer!

I had hoped to go to some of the antique malls while we were there, but didn't make it to any of! But I did get a new Vera Bradley purse in this pattern to replace my old favorite one in this pattern.

I was able to find time to work on some more inchies (#65 thru #96) as you can see. I brought along my inchie-on-the go kit that I heard about from Lia. In addition to the ones pictured here, I am also working on a set of red-themed inchies that I am almost finished with. And I heard that the fabric green inchie swaps from ArtErratica have been mailed out and I already know how I am going to display them.

It has been raining so much here that I am thinking of building an Ark soon. I don't like this kind of weather because it gets so gloomy looking in the house and kind of depressing. We have lots of windows and the house is usually always filled with bright sunlight. Dreary days like these are not good for the mind or body. But life is good as I signed up for some new round-robins last week, so I know where I will be spending a lot of my time in the next few weeks (or months!) regardless of the weather. Have a happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hot Flea-Marketing

I finally made it to the flea market last weekend and boy was it ever HOT! I really had to drink tons of water to keep myself hydrated. I think I was sweating as much as I was drinking!!! Probably wasn't the best weekend to go, but I've been yearning to go all summer and this was the first opportunity I had, so I really didn't want to pass it up.

This particular flea market is especially nice because it isn't very big. In fact, it is quite manageable and I can get through all the booths in just a couple of hours. We have another flea market that is very popular in my area but it is just way too big in my opinion. I used to like going there when I frist discovered it, thinking I was getting my $5.00 admission's worth because there was so many more goodies to see. But the funny thing was I never was able to get to all the booths by the end of an entire day! So then I felt like I was missing some thing. . .some great vintage piece that I might really "need." So this smaller one is more to my liking.

I got a bunch of these vintage McCall's and Ladies Home Journal Magazine's at the very first booth I stopped at. I like old magazines for the vintage advertisements and photographs, as well as the nostalgia they represent. And sometimes the articles are rather interesting too!

Then I found these vintage trims, buttons cards and this children's sewing instruction book at a booth that had lots of things the vendor had acquired from a lady who used to run a sewing business. The images on the button cards are just so sweet!

I can never pass up a pretty vintage greeting card or postcard. These two especially caught my eye because of their soft pastel colors. I also picked up a couple of old postcards of the area where our cottage is at and also lots of vintage photographs that I got for a song! Of course I am always a sucker for rhinestone jewelry. . .love anything that glitters. Do I see another set of rhinestone angel wings in the works here with those earrings??? The rhinestone frame is actually a pin and those little wedgewood-like earrings have a tiny bird sitting on a branch on each of them. . .can't say no to birdies, right?
This hand embroidered tablecloth and napkin set I bought at an estate sale the day before. I stopped there on a whim and there wasn't much of anything left except for this. Lucky for me because those colors are so perfect!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's On It's Way!

Isn't this bag BEAUTIFUL???
And guess who this bag is for???
ME, that's who!!!
My friend Lilli, from Make Mine Blissful, created this sweet bag for me (don't you just love the little birdie?) and she can design one for you too by going to her etsy shop here.
If you want to see how she made it, you can click here for an amazing step-by-step peek into her thought process. And then to see more pictures of the finished bag click here.
Don't you just love it? I SURE DO!!!!!
And it's on it's way to my house right now. . .I cannot wait till Mr. Postman delivers it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Artful Blogging Party

As you all know, the very creative Kari (otherwise known as Artsymama) is hosting an Artful Blogging Party online today in honor of the new publication of Artful Blogging Magazine, which debuted on August 1st. She asked everyone to post some sort of tutorial so we can all travel from blog to blog and learn something new and wonderful at each stop.

I've decided to show you how to make the necklace below using Alcohol Inks. (Please excuse the lousy photography...I am having major issues with my camera and so I hope you all don't go blind looking at these rather fuzzy photos!)

Oh and don't forget to say hello in the comments section below before you leave!!
The necklace above was made from Rummikub Game Tiles. I actually bought these tiles from Kari's etsy shop a little while back. I had been looking for the older tiles because the new game pieces have the game's logo embossed into both sides and so it isn't as easy to work with as the older ones with the flat backs. However this technique can be used on other non-porous surfaces as well, if you don't have access to the game tiles.
We will be using alcohol inks to color the tiles. These inks (from Ranger) come in a wide variety of colors.
You will also need an alcohol ink applicator and some felt squares, also available from Ranger Products. The applicator has hook-and-loop tape on the bottom of it and the felt just sticks to it. I would think you could also use plain craft felt with the same results.
Apply the alcohol ink to the felt pad on the applicator by squeezing out a small amount. I usually use three different colors applied in a row (not over-lapping).
Turn the applicator over and pounce it up and down on the game tile (flat side only), turning the applicator with each pounce, covering the entire tile.
After inking the tile, pour some ordinary rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle.
Spray the inked tile with a fine mist of rubbing alcohol. Give it one or two sprays and then watch the ink move and flow into the other colors. It is quite fascinating to watch this step. When you are satisfied with how the inked tile looks, then set aside to dry. It doesn't take very long to dry.
The coloring of the tiles will appear stone-like. Again, I apologize for the quality of this photo.
You can leave your tile as is or you may want to add an image using a rubber stamp. If so, you will need to use a permanent ink pad, such as Staz-On pads. I used the white opaque pad, but if you are using lighter colored alcohol inks then the black would work also.

Ink up a rubber stamp that does not have a lot of detail to it and then stamp it onto the alcohol inked game tile.

At this point if you don't like the results or want to start over, you can! Simply spray the tile with rubbing alcohol and wipe clean with a paper towel and you can start the entire process over. If you are satisfied with your creation then you need to coat the game tile (front only) with Diamond Glaze. Set aside and let dry completely.

Once the Diamond Glaze is completely dry, I like to finish off the edges with a gold or silver Krylon leafing pen.

I cover the entire back of the tile as well using the leafing pen.

If you are making the tile into a necklace, then you will need to add a charm to the top of the tile using Krazy Glue. Any type of jewelry finding can be used, as long as it has a hole at the top so you can attach a jump ring to it. When the Krazy Glue has dried, then you can add a necklace chain and it is ready to wear!

You can also use these tiles as embellishments in your artwork. I collaged and added one of these tiles to the front of this altered board book as a design element. You can also use this same technique on acrylic sheets or transparencies for another type of embellishment. The ideas are endless.

OK, now I am off to see what everyone else is doing on their blogs. Many thanks to Kari for arranging such a special event!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tussie Mussie Unveiling

I can finally post the full sized pictures of the Tussie Mussie I made for Dolly as she received it in the mail today. I get so worried when I send these kind of things out because the postal service leaves a lot to be desired lately. ...especially in my neighborhood. Our mailman likes to mix things up a little as we are always receiving other people's mail in our box. One time I received nine different neighbors mail - now that's just crazy! And I can only imagine how many pieces of our own mail get delivered to someone else. These days I am practically on a first name basis with the subscription departments at Country Living Magazine and Somerset Studios. They are probably getting suspicous with the number of times I have had to call regarding missed issues. Well, enough of that . . .here are some close-up pics of the tussie mussie.

This tag attached to the pink ribbon handle of the tussie mussie. I decorated both sides of the tag (I usually do that) so when it flips around it will look good either way.
Below are some of the goodies I tucked in the tussie mussie. Dolly told me she likes tea sets, roses, vintage jewelry and pearls. I had so much fun scouting the local antique shops for items for the swap. I was so excited when I found the vintage rhinestone earrings because they reminded me of angel wings. They are clip-ons, my favorite type for to use for embellishments. I collages the little angel card to attach them to. The pearl necklace was another great find and they were even in a vintage jewelry gift box.
Don't forget to check out Kari's blog on Wednesday for her Artful Blogger virtual party she is having. That girl comes up with the most creative and fun ideas.
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