Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Something New...

Something New...
Well, I'm not sure where to start, except for I feel change coming this year. I have several intentions. I always have several intentions. I have just never felt this subtle nudging before. Perhaps its because I am getting closer to my Associates degree, which means that proverbial door is opening. (Above is the Valentine's Day card I made for my husband, and instructions for it can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XxT4ugh3C4&feature=relmfu, and I am in no way sponsored or affiliated with this lady, Dawn, but I am inspired by her!)
These two pictures, above and below, are my results for a swap. We were to decorate it in a Valentine's theme, and fill it with artsy goodies and some sweets. Only, I made this way bigger than required, I hope my swap partner doesn't mind! I liked the red, black and gold paint, and the edgy feel it has. I dont know what happened that it ended up with all the broken jewelry and such on the top, but I let my work lead me where it will. I am pleased with the results, and hope she is too. I had to add the candy outside of the box. The only problem with this little box is that the drawer was an insufferable pain in my ass. It would not stay in, and I was constantly picking up what I had put in it. I hope the person receiving it reads the note inside before opening it!!
This last picture was a request for a friend back home. She wanted me to make charms of little girls for her grand-daughters. My mother says that the picture does not do the actual charms any justice. Hmmm... well, I tried. If I have learned anything this year, it is that I need to buff up on my photography skills, keep sticky fingers from my camera lens, and find a better solution for my backdrops...desk and printer paper arent cutting it.
So, it is my intention to blog at a minimum of once a week. Not off to a great start so far, but at least I showed three projects all started and completed since the New Year rang in. I've decided that since it is not always going to be about crafty artsy stuff, maybe I should just talk about life once in a while, so my appologies if it becomes a little bitchy once in a while...its just the way I am.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Finally, its cool!

This weather has been torture! While my husband was home on leave, we searched about a 75 mile radius for a window air conditioner, WITH NO LUCK! Can you believe it? Since I have been doing genealogy lately, I wonder what our ancestors did when it was hot out. Their was no electricity, and no air conditioners. Poor souls. That being said, this picture of Layla reminds me to relax and enjoy the ride. She was dressed in this sweater, had to have it buttoned, stocking hat and a southwestern patterned skirt, oh, and her snow boots. I just shook my head and grabbed the camera. Her brother and I needless to say were wearing as little as we could to stay cool. She definitely marches to her own drums, and I hope she never looses that!
This is supposed to be a votive holder, and I hung it where I have some other plants and jewelry until I could decide what to do with it. I got to thinking that it would be cool if there was some sort of plant in it, and even cooler if it would drape down over the edges and climb the chain. What better a plant than ivy? I thought it turned out very pretty. I don't know how much space it will need for roots, but hopefully it will grow and stay pretty.
And last, the shakers. What do you do when your Aunt collects Salt and Pepper Shakers, you find a little pair at Michael's for a buck, and you have embellishments lying around? Alter the shakers of course! Best part of all, these will be sent for her birthday coming up; what a surprise and totally unique. There probably will never be another set like them EVER!! I tucked some teal ribbon inside the shakers to jazz them up a bit. I hope she likes them, I know I do!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Long Periods of Time

So, "Long Periods of Time" seem to be my thing when it comes to blogging. I always have the best intentions of doing a better job. What can I say, life gets in the way. Below is a picture of some charms I made for a swap. They are mini art journals. Each has an original water color painting done by me on the very last page, with four pages front and back blank for the recipient to embelish, paint, write in, or what ever. They are bound with jumprings, and are oh so cute! They measure 1 and 1/4 inches tall by 1 inch wide.
Spring came with lots of excitement. My husband built a raised flowerbed for me. Currently it houses more vegetables than flowers. You can see it in the background of the next picture. Focused in the picture is the ornamental apple tree. The blossoms are so beautiful when it blooms in the spring. It is one of my two favorite trees in the yard. The fruit it bears is not edible, but they are very tiny dark red apples that are small enough to sit on a dime. The kids pick them off and throw them like rocks. I would rather they don't do this, but...there are worse things to worry about like picking the tomatos when they are not ready.
Finally, the head stone. I have recently taken up tracking down dead people. I know, that is kind of harsh to say about your family. Along with my Aunt, we are making discoveries about our family. It has been such a wonderful journey. On my way home from Nebraska and Iowa, I pass right through a town that my Pearse ancestors settled in. When I discovered that, it absolutely drove me nuts to have to keep driving and not stop to investigate.
This time, I stopped. I had found that the Pearse's had helped found the Methodist Episcopal church in the Hampton/Geneva, Iowa area. It was a long shot, but I drove the fifteen miles offf the interstate and found the current Methodist church in Geneva. Finding the second door locked, I heard a voice behind me say "You won't find anyone there."
As it turns out, I met two wonderful women, a mother and a daughter who did a lot of history and genealogy there. The daughter was in fact a member of the Franklin County Historical Society. I asked her if she could try to help me with some information about my ancestors. Who knew that when I pulled off the road on a long shot, I would bump into the two kindest ladies, that would be able to help me the most. Turns out, the mother, (who by the way invted a strange woman and her two children into her home when she didn't have to), had a map of the cemetery, and the daughter has contacts for me to get in touch with to learn more about my family history! I visited the cemetery on my way out of town, and did not have to look for the head stones. They were exactly where I expected them to be from the description the mother had given me. So wonderful. This was the neatest experience I have had in such a long time. I hope to stay in some kind of contact with them just to know them, aside from their help with my genealogy. Such wonderful ladies, they are so kind and bright spirited. I know that I will stop once in a while to at least give my respects to my ancestors, if nothing else.
This world works in strange ways sometimes, I'm just glad to experience it once in a while.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

School, the Fair, and the Sketchbook

First off, as promised, I am posting a picture of an upcycled dress into a clothes pin bag. I loved this dress when it fit Layla, and thought it would be perfect for its new purpose. The background is obviously my back yard, and looks west. Lots of pretty trees in the neighborhood! With the post of the laundry, I wanted to post a link for making your own laundry soap. This is to a blog called The Simple Dollar. I can honestly tell you, I will NEVER buy commercial or traditional laundry soap again. Not only is it cost effective, but it works, and works well. It smells as good as the soap you normally buy, maybe better, depending. I do not use any softener now either. Once in a while a dryer sheet, if I am using the dryer and remember, but usually not. I am so impressed with this DIY detergent, that I am considering making batches for Christmas gifts and making special tags for the soap. You should try it. Really read all comments that are attached to the post, there are the normal responses, good, bad, and indifferent. But me, I am an advocate of stretching my dollar, and do believe this is better for the environment. Plus, my clothes have never felt better in my hands, or on my body! Now the link, (finally, I know).

Above is a page in the Sketchbook. The seahorse is cut from a page out of a color book that my mom bought for the kids. The background is a bunch of bill envelopes torn up and then collaged on to the double page spread. Then I used my new stencil and did the shell patterns with an ink pad. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Black Soot to be exact. Then I put a layer of elmers glue (I know, all the acid will eat it...but seriously, I have stuff from grade school that I know we used elmers on, and it is still fine, and it is going on vintage age). The glue made a great surface to accept my home made alcohol ink on. Still not ready to dive into talking about that process. So next was the blue and green alcohol ink, and when that was dry, I added the distressed seahorse. I like it, I think it turned out pretty. I guess something good can come out of bills...hmmm.

Next is Alice in Winterland...The only reason I used Alice was because her dress was blue and seemed to fit the page. It is a mix of wintry greys and blues with a snowflake shaped brad used to make the design on the page. The blue and grey paints are mixed with a pearlescent medium to make it look icy, but that never comes through on a scan. Maybe I should start taking pictures instead of scanning.
School started and I am back in the swing I guess. I should be writing this weeks papers instead of blogging, but I am tired and need a break and don't care to be washing dishes at the moment. I have two big papers due at the end of the quarter. One for psychology and one for anatomy. I am excited to do both. I like the effort and challenge that both will present to me.
Yesterday, I spent ten hours sitting at the Morrison County Fair, attending my Scentsy booth. The day started off with some nasty weather. I am afraid of storms, so I was quite anxious during the early afternoon hours. By night time, the American Legion Bingo was underway. I had to laugh because one gentleman of "younger" years didn't get heard when he said bingo, so he stood up and yelled "HEY" in a gravely voice. I thought "Give 'em hell, buddy!" Still chuckling. Interestingly enough one of the vendors across from me was a guy running for senate. I must say, he will not get my vote. Surprisingly enough, not for political reasons either. He spoke with my husband and the other three vendors in the building, but really not to me. When it was time to go, I was the last one there, and he did not offer one bit of help, or to walk me to get my car or nothing. Very disappointed. I feel that if you are going to highlight bringing back America to what it was, and all of that, the first thing you should do is support your neighbor and ensure their safety. The last thing that he said to me was that he forgot his cooler and he was not a night person, and walked out the door. I hated to say it, but before I could keep my mouth shut, I muttered that that was a politician for you. I have lots of controversial things I would like to ask him about. And, not just this guy, but there was a Congressman that came in the building I was in and talked to each of the four vendors but me. I don't know if I have a growth coming out of my head or what, but when I find out his name, I will not vote for him based on the fact that he did not stop at my booth and he did at all the other four. Maybe this is a bit snooty on my part, but I feel that if you are trying to make a better society, then you need to involve all of the society, not just the ones without something growing out of their heads. Enough politics. This is why I don't like to discuss them. I think though I may discuss this with my communications instructor, because he is political and likes a debate. Not sure when I will be posting again, but until then, please, take care.

Monday, July 5, 2010

"I know it's a rock!"

Good day! Lots to do today. So before I get that started, I am going to get these posted. The first two pics are from the sketchbook. The sea turtle is so dull in in the picture. Really dissapointed in that. There is a lot of depth of color and texture to the background and the green on top. Also, the border of the page where the quote is written is a light green. So, sorry for such a let down. The green is supposed to be seaweed, and to get this accomplished, I clipped a leaf from one of my cosmos plants and dipped it in the paint.
On the left side of this layout is a piece of glossy photo paper and some of my first experiments with my alcohol ink. The black is permanent marker on top. Again, the photo just sucks compared to how it looks in person. Isn't that always the way.
And below, are some rocks. I am so dissapointed that nothing is coming through the way I want it to. The one just below the quarter is super thin and flat on one side. I am going to try some image transferring on it...probably won't be for a while, but someday. The very top one is actually a big chunk of mica. This is used alot in products like pearl ex. If you dig a few inches down out at the dam, the clay looks like silver because of all the mica. The reddish rock on the top right and below the mica is so cool to look at. There is a band of red and black dots running through it. Zendoodles in nature, yay! The rest of the rocks, are my beloved cross rocks. Some are just fragments where the cross has just started to form, and well, you can see the rest. These are slightly damp to show the detail better in the scan. And, I am wondering, if these are a luck talisman, does that mean good things for me?
My next quarter of school starts tomorrow, so I am sure I won't be frequently posting again. I have several projects coming up along with school. Those involve a Halloween Tag swap, my Junk Journal swap, the sketchbook, among others. I will continue to post the sketchbook as time permits.
Take care!
P.S. The title is a quote from Disney/Pixar's movie Bugs...lol...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July!!!!
I want to start off by thanking all of the people who have given so much so that I may continue to celebrate my freedom. I love my country and my freedom! My deepest gratitude to our soldiers past, present, and future.So, I posted not to long ago, about my day. I wanted to share these photos of a dress I made for Layla from an old tshirt of her grandfather's. It is equally special in that it was grampa's shirt, but I was also with grampa when he bought it. It was the day that my husband graduated from basic training. Such proud memories. The day before the graduation I had the honor of attatching the blue infantry cord to my husband's Class A dress uniform. So special. It was then that Logan became a twinkle in my eye. And just to note, he was about the tenth twinkle in an eye of my husband's graduating class. I thought that it was a little too long, but she swishes and sways and whirls and twirls in the dress the way it is. I didn't have the heart to take that away. Sometimes, watching a child find simple joy just makes me speechless.

Busy Day...

Well, I started this day off with a solo trip to Craft's Direct. I am not sure if this is a chain store, or just local store. I L-O-V-E this store. They have a clearance outlet store next door. I went there first looking for a great bargain, and found several. I have no idea really what exactly I got, except for stamps and paper and a stencil. I love goodies for cheap! AND ~ the first thing the cashier says is that everything is an additional 20% off!!! {JACKPOT} Then I proceeded to the regular retail store, and got some mini squeeze bottles for my alcohol ink making experiment...you probably dont want to know about that just yet. Still in trial stages. I also got two ink pads, and some jewelry findings. Not so glorious as 20 percent off, but hey, some things are neccessary.
So, then I came home, and was informed that a good friend was coming and arrived about ten minutes after I did, so I haven't had time to play with my new stash...bummer. But, we did make a trip to the store so I could get food for supper, before we headed out to the dam.
If you look back to last summer's posts, you will see something about the Blanchard Dam, and what makes it special besides its scenery. That special something is called cross rocks, or fairy rocks. They are so awesome. I found some great specimens today, and when the weekend settles down, I will scan or photograph some and post. I even got to sound like I know what I was talking about to some other people as we were leaving. They wanted my advice on how to find the good ones...like I know...lol. So, I passed on the info that someone last year had passed on to me. Karma, right. So, one lady claimed dibs on my spot where I was scavenging. I hope she had some luck.
So, we came home, the five of us. Our guest is our ex-roommate that lived with my husband and I before we were married and I had Logan. He is like family, and was there for both the births of Logan and Layla, as my husband was deployed for both...grrr....thank God for good friends.
I made supper which consisted of steak, grilled corn on the cob, ranch style potato salad, and baked beans. Then for dessert, I made strawberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream. Am I sounding a little Martha-ish? Blech...
Now, we are suffering through sweltering heat, with no a/c. This sucks. A lot. If it would just storm, it would cool down a bit.
Anywho..........shown through out the post are four more pages from the sketchbook. I am excited to get the new ones scanned and posted. Some neat things and new techniques! Yay!