Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Making Cards

Happy New Year

Now that traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas are past, I am free to make Annie-style cards to send to my daughter and my friends.  The people who don't look at these cards as if I were out of my mind.   

So I had a play with postage people.  It's been a while.  Adolph S. Ochs has been patiently waiting in my stash for a body.  The man's body is a Tim Holtz Found Relative card.  Adolph went on a trip to Connecticut.

Butterfly lady is still traveling.  She came about from a long awaited play time to create in my own style.

Quiet Winter also is still traveling.  This card emerged from trying a technique I found on Pinterest.
And then lastly, I needed a Thank You note.
And now for a new year to start fresh again.  May 2016 be your best new year ever!


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Postcard Exchange

Last November I joined in a Christmas Postcard Exchange with other like-minded bloggers, hosted by Sheila at Sheila's Quilt World. I mailed my postcard to Lin in Paris. 

This card seems to have taken the scenic route, as it took a bit long in arriving. But finally arrived, it did.  just as I was about to start on a replacement postcard. Sometimes all we need to do is threaten our original mail art with replacement mail art. 

I did not have the long wait that Lin had. Her beautiful postcard arrived well before Christmas for my holiday enjoyment.

I love all these perfectly made hexies stitched together with such perfect and incredibly tiny, barely visible stitches. And something I've not seen before, teeny tiny beads stitched at each inside point. All finished off with a metallic thread satin stitched edge. Thank you so much Lin for this beautiful postcard. 

This day after Christmas is a great time to look back on Christmas Day and all the days leading up to it and reminisce on the beauty of this season with a smile. I hope everyone has happy hearts. 


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Greetings and Gift Wrapping

It always seems that at this time of year people are friendlier and more giving.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were all like that all year long?  We all have our limits to being walked on, but other than that, it's not so hard to be kinder than we think we can be.

Wishing all my blogging friends and followers a very
Merry Christmas

I made a handful of special Christmas postcards for a handful of special people in my life.  I have said before I am hopeless with mass production.  (Two of anything is mass production!)  I made seven of these postcards.  I was already whining when I had six more to go.  But I'm glad I made them.

For the rest of my dear family and friends, I altered a commercially produced card.  I chose this Christmas collage surprise there, eh.

And I added three glittery snowflakes.  The largest on a pop dot for a 3-D appearance.  

This too was mass production except that it was in such a simple form that I managed a whole stack without whining.....too much.

I mostly had small gifts and money to wrap.  And I love the "brown paper packages tied up with string" Pinterest photos.  So I took my lead from inspiration in those photos.

I hope the world has a joyous Christmas!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Blitzen Snowman

Don't faint... I've been sewing again.
And now I am enjoying this wonderful Winter guy this year.  

I found him at the Madison, WI Quilt Expo this last September.  I NEVER buy quilt kits.  NEVER.  But I loved the fabrics he was made up with.  I immediately asked if they had him in a kit.  YES!  And of course it was the last one.  They didn't need that sales pitch because I was going to buy it no matter what.  LoL

I thought he was wearing a ball cap until I gave the pattern a good look.  This is when I discovered he is a basket.  

I don't much care for the basket idea so I changed him up giving him his top hat.  I adore him!  I love that he's festive enough for Christmas and not-so-much Christmasy that he can remain hanging all through Winter.

The fabric collection is blitzen by basicgrey for Moda
The pattern is Sue's Snowman Basket by Jan Patek Quilts Inc.

He's out of storage now and all made up.  That fits right into my plan to get stuff out of storage and all made up.  

Happy Winter!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

November 2015 and Where I Play

November 2015 is behind us now.  

Here's how it went for me.  

I cleaned up my play space just before Thanksgiving.  I don't do it often and I seem to always be playing in a mess.  Play time is too minimal to waste it cleaning up.  So here's a peek into my "tidy" happy place.

Look quick, it won't last long.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

It's about to get pretty busy around here.  I'm wishing all my awesome blogging followers, quiet and boisterous alike, a very Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my Thanksgiving card I created and mailed off to family and friends.

Safe holiday everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rediscovering Sealing Wax

I am rediscovering the the fun of sealing wax and wax stampers.  I used it when I was in my early teens and wrote letters quite often.  I thought it was a fun way to spruce up an envelope.  Boy, if I knew then what I know now about sprucing up an envelope, my life might have turned out to be a different story.  LoL

BUT!...I do remember it being a bit challenging.  This may have been because of my young inexperienced age, but I see it as just as challenging today.  So I instructed Amazon to send me some new wax and a stamper and set about to find an easier way to get better results than just "do I feel lucky today".  And here's my technique to get a wax seal that I like every single time.

The whole secret is to make them separately and glue them to my envelopes or projects.

Yeah, it's cheating, but I'm never disappointed sending off my mail.  The secret ingredient is parchment paper.  The wax does not stick to it.

I like the sticks that don't have a wick.  I light a tea light candle to melt the wax in a long handled tea spoon.  Then push it off the spoon onto the parchment paper, use the wax stick to spread the puddle to fit the stamper.  Let it settle for a few seconds, then push the stamper into the wax puddle.

I clean off my spoon with Flushable Wipes while the stamper and wax are doing their thing.  Then I life the stamper and the wax is still stuck to it.

But they separate so easily and perfectly.

The stringys just snap off or you can cut them off.  I love how imperfect my puddle sizes sometimes are.  I've been using these as a signature on the back of cards I've made, so in that case, I don't want globby edges.

Those globby edges trim off so nicely with scissors.

And the extra was will be kept to be remelted for another seal.  It's now ready to be glued to the back of my card.  Or glued as a faux seal on my envelope.  I'm loving this centruries old craft.

There aren't many colors available in the wick-free wax sticks.  So I experimented with a stick with a wick with the spoon melting technique.  (Normally you would light the wick like a candle then wait for enough wax to melt and drip into a puddle).  It works just as well.  I keep the wick trimmed down to the wax vbetween uses.  The wax takes a bit longer to melt enough for a puddle and is thinner and takes a tad bit longer to set.  But I'm glad to know I am not limited by wick or no wick.  And colors will only be limited by the companies making the wax sticks.

So many things from my youth are coming back into style again.  YIKES!

Having fun with the old being new again.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Take Flight Tags

There's a new challenge in town!  Hooray!...I say.  And it's the best one of all.  Why?  Because an artist does not need to use a specific brand or company's own products.  I can use MY collection of supplies... no matter who or where they came from.  There's more.  No specific type of item either.  I can make a tag, a postcard, a greeting card, a canvas, something sewn, something inked, stamped, quilted, painted, 3-D, ... gloriously, it can be whatever I want it to be!  AND, I have all month to play with the current idea/theme.  Here is the link and it's called A Monthly Challenge.

My tag challenge blog has quit.  But we were only half way through the challenge numbers.  So I'm using the new Monthly Challenge to complete a couple more of the numbers.  This month's theme at A Monthly Challenge is "Take Flight".  

I'm using my winged friends for tag #1 and tag #8.


If you love a challenge and one that is open to all medias with freedom and time to create, A Monthly Challenge is perfect.

                             Have a wonderful flight!

Just a little Annie rant here:  I think finding a new blogging host is in order.  Blogger is not pulling its weight nowadays.  There, now don't I feel better.

Monday, November 2, 2015

October Calendar Journal

Not a lot happened in October, but what did happen was fun.  And the boring days were made fun just deorating the day blocks.

October is such a fun month for lots of fun creepyness.  I hated turning the page.  But off to November I go...where being grateful is the season.  

One more creepy Halloween mail art because Ms. Skellie is such fun.

Welcome November

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Halloween Greetings

Halloween art is the most fun for me whether it's with fabric or paper.  I love them equally.  But I've been obsessed with paper crafts lately.  Halloween greetings mostly.  My daughter has inspired me to make more cards.

Postcards are still a favorite mail art and I made a few variations of this one, because this raven stamp is such fun.

A couple of postcards were made similar to this one...made from notepaper I purchased in a gift shop for a Ghost Tour in Door County, Wisconsin.

This creepy Skeleton Lady envelope has been my favorite.  There are real addresses under the paper bits.  Addresses are a fun part of mail art, but privacy is an issue these days.  I like the bits as they add interest to the envelope while protecting the privacy of the innocent.

Wishing you a wickedly wonderful


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Butterfly Art Tag

I don't know what's happened to the Dragons Dream Tag Challenge blog.  But I do hope everyone behind the scenes is fine and just too busy to be challenging right now.  So, having tag art withdrawals, I've created a tag from an unofficial personal challenge.

This tag is another one sent to me by Donna.  She created the tag background with the textured Queen Ann's Lace.  I took over from there with the butterfly embossed with gold and watercolored with NeoColor II.  I gold embossed the alphabet stamp, added the letters for "ART", added the black background writing and added a faux postage stamp sticker that I distressed.  No easy task, this challenge, but I'm happy with the results.

And on the back is...

The tag back had no start.  I think I'm one of few people who design the back of tags along with the front.  Thanks Donna for the great tag start!  The last two tags have me completely baffled, so you may not see them for a very long time.  LoL

Even though it's only Fall at the moment, the butterfly makes me want to skip Winter and move right on to Spring.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

September Calendar Journal

Sharing my September calendar journal.  I realize this journal style is going to look very similar every month.

Now that I am back into my temporary regular life lacking much excitement, I suspect many blocks will be open to creative decorating beginning in October.  This could be fun too.  I shall see.

Have a fun month

Monday, October 12, 2015

#4 Challenge Tag

The new tag challenge at Dragons Dream Tag It On is for the number 4.
I found four of Tim Holt's friends to add to this tag.

And three more of his friends to add to the back.

Hello to "my" friends.  You're welcome .... that I didn't put your faces in the negative slots.  LoL

And now I have a ...

Sometimes websites don't work quite how they are suppose to, so I have purchased two of these alphabet dies.  It is not worth my time to return them, so I will gladly send a set to one of my followers who uses a die cutting machine.

Each letter, when cut out, measures a nice 5/8" high.  I cut out "giveaway" with them to show how they look.  Let me know if you would be interested in finding this alphabet die in your mail.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

#9 Tag Challenge

We are challenged to create with the number 9 this time around at the
DragonsDream Tag It On blog challenge.

I recently purchased a package of Tim Holtz Found Relatives cards.  Aren't they posing such an amazing gymnastic stunt. ????  LoL  Well worth a score of 9..... what?  You don't agree with the judges score?  

I've not finished the back side yet.  It's too close to traveling time and the tools and supplies had to be packed up.

I've had a great time making tags on vacation with old and new supplies and best of all with a fun playmate (daughter).


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bicycle Bag


That's what I triumphantly said to my friend (and everyone else within hearing) after I found and paid for this awesome bicycle canvas bag at the Madison, Wisconsin Sewing Expo.

It's rustic looking and sturdy as all get out.  And I proceeded to go through that show having no problems with filling it up.  You can't even imagine the glee I felt all day playing in the awesome atmosphere of other quilters, shops displaying fabulous fabrics to sell me, every sewing machine you can think of, and a good friend to enjoy it all with.  It's been too many years since I've been to a sewing expo.  I stocked up.

They're all pre-washed and ready to cut into.  I obviously have a Halloween project in the making here that I can't wait to get started on. Actually there's a few new projects waiting in there.  This is most of my new pieces, but not all.  So I had a very good time.  And have I mentioned how I love this bag with a bicycle on it?! huh? huh? have I?  **tickled pink**  I love riding my bicycle.