Saturday, October 14, 2017

Calendar Journal and Sewing

My September calendar journal is complete.  You will see we were moving back home and I’ve been swamped with busy ever since.


I do still get some reading in while having lunch and before going to sleep sometimes.

October has been ready and I’ve managed to keep notes until I could fill in the blocks.



While having coffee and looking through Pinterest, I saw that my cousin-in-law pinned soup bowl cozys to her sewing board.  I’ve seen them many times and never felt a need for them.  Don’t eat much soup.  But while I was eating my morning mush for breakfast, I suddenly HAD to have a bowl cozy...more as a bowl potholder than to actually cook with it in the microwave.  (A person must sew with 100% cotton thread for the cozy to be microwave proof).  I didn’t have any of that thread for my first couple of cozy’s.  I have since purchased some for those who might want to use their cozy in the mic.



These cozys are so quick and easy.  An internet search will bring up a variety of ways to make them.  Mush is much more fun to eat now!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Scrappy Sewing

As packing to move narrowed down to getting the fabric scrap drawers and sewing machine ready, I had to to stop playing.  But just before that had to happen, I made a few new potholders.


This one came from the green scraps drawer.


This one from the pink scraps drawer.


And this fun set came from the scraps from a couple of quilts.  


Of course they had to have the black and white striped bindings for added fun.  


And now everything is packed and ready to go.  So this is it from me until I get "home".

Now I'll be reading and watching your creativity and collecting inspiration.  These things are already happening and it's driving me crazy that I can't play!

oxoxo


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

August / September Calendar Journal

August 2017 went along like so...  


I've painted some watercolor around the edges of the pages.  I like how it looks and that it adds fun to the page.  There's not a lot of room to design on a single sheet calendar.  Sometimes I like the challenge and sometimes not.  August was difficult.  But September was fun.


This particular September is pretty exciting for me.  I'm looking forward to filling in the days with my doings.

XOXOXO

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Scrappy Sewing Fun

Two little fabric boxes and one nail polishing mat have not satisfied my desire to sew ... right now!

BUT!

I'm in the middle of packing to move back to my home in Wisconsin!  My fabric is already packed!  Scraps are all that is available to play with.  

Of course a postcard always comes to mind first.  My sweet cousin-in-law is figuring out a way to carve out a dedicated sewing space in her home with red and teal as her color theme.  And I want to be virtually in that space with her.

So I mailed her a small bit of me to display in her new space-to-be.


I also wanted to share with her some of my vintage wooden thread spools for Decor.  They needed a little padding in their box so that they didn't rattle so much.  A quick potholder would do the trick.  Who can't use a new potholder?  I hadn't yet packed my printed Miracle Fabric pieces.  How perfect this piece of collaged recipes is.  She likes neutral colors too.


So I've managed to fractionally satisfy this desire to sew things.  But far from completely.  I've dug out more scraps.  I've been watching my sewing friends share scrappy projects on their blogs and I have the desire to make scrappy fabric too.  I need a soft cover for my sewing machine.  It would look so much nicer than the dish towel I throw over it.

I have chosen neutrals and low volume color scraps for this project.  I don't really have a lot of patience for improv sewing with scraps, but as this piece has grown, I've enjoyed working on it more.


Here is where I have paused this project.  I now needed something smaller and quicker.  You know...more instant gratification. 


So, back to sneaking in a little more sewing play time in between the packing of boxes.  It is so hard to put "everything" away then wait until it can all come back out again.   

XOXOXO

Friday, August 25, 2017

Nail Polishing Mat

I have done a small bit of very simple basic sewing!  

My cousin-in-law and I got together and had a few hours of a private mini sewing retreat.  We made fabric boxes.  But that was all it took to get me into the sewing mood again.

My daughter has a fetish for nail art.  Her nail polish collection can rival any store display.  It really is fun.  She normally puts down an old towel or just paper towels to protect her table surface from any mishaps with those oh-so-pretty little bottles of color.  When I saw this fabric, I could not resist making her a fun surface to work on.


Personally I think if she gets some polish smudges on the mat it will only add character.  


This was only the beginning to more sewing of a few more small pieces that are still being worked on played with.  For me, sewing is play, never work.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Un-Mailed Envelope Art

I've said it before but it's true.  Sometimes I make something that even surprises me that "I" made that!  When that happens, I have to keep the piece around for a time while it sinks in that yes, "I" made that.


In this case it is a couple of altered art envelopes.


I did eventually decide to mail them but could never decide on a recipient.  I just couldn't choose one artist friend over another. 


Both envelopes were created in 2014 and are created with rubber stamps and Distress inks.


I always thought I'd share them after they went traveling to new homes.  I've spent too much time frustrating myself over who I would choose to send them to.  So here I am sharing them finally, but they still live with me.  And I still love seeing them. 


I love my vintage men stamps.  They're my secret boyfriends.

Happy Un-Mail Day!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Watercolor Experiments

I've taken a couple of watercolor experiements and turned them useful.

This one turned into a postcard and went off into the mail.


Even the address side was stamped using watercolor paint.


This one turned out nothing like it was in my mind.  I wasn't sure which way I would use it.


Turned the opposite direction I saw a blue forest across the lake.


I needed a birthday card for my granddaughter who loves skulls at anytime of the year.  And blue is her favorite color.



This is what the blue forest turned into.


I'm glad some of my experiments are being useful.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Twinchie Art

My very first ever Twinchies (2" X 2" art pieces)
I joined in a facebook group Twinchie Swap as I hadn't ever made any and wanted to try my hand at them.  I do have an on-going Inchie project.  A one inch art space is pretty challenging.  Which is why it is still on-going.   A two inch space is much easier.


I started with a Color Burst base cut from my many testing pieces.  I then white embossed a design on each watercolor background.  From there I added punched or die cut pieces also from the Color Burst testing pieces.


This was a really fun project.  It took me a bit to decide how I would mail them.  The Twinchies are placed on this backing card with removeable tape.  My partner can remove them easily, rub her finger over the tape residue and it comes right off.  I love the stuff for temporary positioning.  It leaves no mark behind.  I added a little watercoloring along the edge of the backing card to dress it up some.  I love the effect it created.  So fun when we try out our "what if I do this" ideas and they work!


Of course I had to make an artsy envelope for the Twinchies to travel in.  The harlequin design is done with regular watercolors on a mixed media paper.  The flourish is stamped with Archival Ink and the dots are some black watercolor through a stencil.


I had a blast making this whole swap item!  There are some Twinchie starts set aside here.  I'm toying with an on-going Twinchie project now.  
Like I need another project in progress!

Happy Mail Day! 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Color Burst Butterfly


It seems that if I haven't worked a piece to death, it isn't going to make me happy.  This 4.25" X 5.5" piece began as a card front with a background stamp of lines crisscrossing.  Then I painted over them with a yellow Neocolor crayon.  I liked the start and it sat waiting for what should be next.

The next came when I thought I'd like a Color Burst butterfly stamped on.  I put some Merlot color burst powder on a plastic surface, spritzed with water, then set my butterfly rubber stamp in the puddle, lightly dabbed some water off on a newsprint pad then stamped on my piece.  I liked it well enough until I decided to add some illegible writing.  I stamped that on and immediately was sorry.  It hit the trash right away.  Later I removed it from the trash to try and fix and save it.


I'm not a big fan of gesso, but I thought that might lighten everything and help.  Too light.  I also don't like the way gesso feels and I don't like putting a clear protective finish over it.  I took an emery board and ran it across the whole thing.  Better.  I can live it.  After that I got out the Yellow Ochre color burst and painted what you see now.  That I like very much now.  For some reason I like the sloppy look of it.

I thought I'd stamp words of somekind on it for a card, but I can't seem to decide what kind of card.  Then I decided I really love it and want to keep it.  Maybe I should start an art journal for these small pieces that surprise me.

But here's the thing.  I only am pretending to be an artist.  So I can't decide whether it is finished or not.  Whether it needs something more or not.  I'm also afraid to mess it up again.  What do you think?  Any advice?


When I look at these photos, I don't see anything special.  But when I look at the real piece, I still love it.  That is confusing.   

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Organizing


I've done a long overdue bit of organizing with these small file folders made from scrapbook papers.


I have this "broken latch" plastic box where I store my stamp placement templates.  A Misti doesn't work with wood block stamps.  I've created quite the collection of these templates.


It takes precious playtime to sift through them looking for the right one for the job.  


So it was time to organize them.  These beautiful scrapbook papers are mostly too busy for my taste for a scrapbook page.  But they are working fine for mini file folders.


I made them with my 1-2-3 Punch Board.  Directions are included in the booklet that comes with the board.  They can be made to any size you want. 


They're so cute, don't you think?


Here they are all labeled and doing their job.  They measure just 5.5" wide, 5" high.


It is so easy now to find a template without so much time wasted sifting through them all.


I put this little chore off just long enough to think of using these little file folders made with the punch board.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Color Burst+ Card

This is one of those art pieces that I look at and say to myself...I made this?

Yes I did, but I sure worked it to death to arrive here with this water paints background.


I started with the Color Burst Powders.  This time I put some powder on my little pallet adding water as desired.  That's funny because I sure don't know what I desire.  Then went on to fix areas that seemed to need something more.


Like that bottom section there.  I wasn't getting anywhere with more color burst. I learned later that you can't keep working a piece in a continually wet stage.  Watercolors don't work that way. 


Then I tried adding some fix with my Tombow markers.  Anyway, it seemed to reach an acceptable point, so I convinced myself to stop...while I was still ahead.  I ended up with that blotchy section.  I decided I could work with that by covering part of it with the butterfly I planned to add.


I embossed the illegible writing with white embossing powder.  Yes, I actually do use my black pigment ink when I want white embossing.  I love how sometimes a hint of black shows here and there under the white embossing.


Then came the butterfly painted with Color Bursts and body painted with the Tombow.


Carefully cut out.  I have yet to find a better pair of detail cutting scissors than these 4" ginghers. 


I have previously struggled to get my design piece centered on my base card.  I finally figured out a sure-fire way to solve that little detail problem.  I add the Scor-Tape to the back of my design. 


Then clamp the design to one end centered on my card base.


I remove the paper backing from the tape at the bottom of the design and also peel back some tape paper on either side leaving the started ends sticking out. 


Stick that bottom down to the card base.  That now will hold the design in place while I remove the clamps and tape paper from the remaining three sides and stick the remainder of the design to the card base. 



"Hello" is cut using a die.


The word and the butterfly are then glued atop the watercolor design.  That butterfly covering a portion of that blotch has made that blotch blend happily.


I only glued down the center of the butterfly so that his wings could flutter.

It was quite difficult to let this one-hit-wonder watercolor go off out of my sight.  But it now resides with a very worthy artist friend whom I knew would appreciate my struggles with it.  And I have my photos to look at.


A matching envelope was really beyond my capabilities.  But I needed something a bit more than the address scribbled to the envelope.  What fun would that be.  It, of course, didn't work so well as it was only a laser quality copy paper.  I used Neocolors for the color puddles.  I still think it turned out fun. So now I've invested in some Mixed Media paper large enough to make envelopes with.  For future watercolor use.


I might have been somewhat frustrated with this, but it was actually more enjoyable than not.  I always seem to wait for the other shoe to drop at the end and mess everything up.  I'm happy that other shoe did not drop with this card.  Sheila, it's more than rewarding that you love it.  Thank you!