Sunday, October 31, 2010

WIP Sunday: Halloween Edition! (oooo spooky!)

Life has been zooming around here lately. My kitchen still isn't done, I'm working my new job, painting sets for the high schools musical performance, making Christmas gifts, taking part in the online art course on ning, and trying to be the best wife I can be! Whew! That is all a work in progress!
Christmas gift progress has been ultra slow moving. I have to get moving! I plan on finishing up the stocking I'm making hopefully today. Sounds like a great Halloween day craft, right? LOL
Here is a pic of it in progress.
Stocking Progress
I also wanted to share something fun a large group of my family and friends did last night, we carved pumpkins together. Kids and adults had a blast. It was a great way to celebrate my hubby's birthday.
Happy Halloween!

From left to right: The giant one in the back is my little sister's. Grandma grew that pumpkin for her. A goofy Frankenstein. Next is a friend's daughter's pumpkin. She did a black lab with the name Mollie (her dog). Mine is next in line. A goofy skeleton guy. A friend did the free form spooky cat type face. Next is a cocker spaniel from my Aunt in honor of her new puppy. The raised up pumpkin is my Uncle's. He did a tattoo inspired skull. Last but not least is my Hubby's free form creepy face. We already have plans to make it an event again next year since we had so much fun doing it this go around.
I hope everyone's Halloween is filled with remembrance, blessings, lots of candy, and plenty of trick or treaters! Have a great spooky filled night!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Man!

It is my Husbands Birthday today! He has finally caught me in age again. LOL I'm not that much older than him ;) He was almost a trick or treat to his Mom and Dad!
It is on days like this that I thank my lucky stars that you were born and brought into my life. I get to share every trick or treat with you. I love you bunches! Happy Birthday!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Healing Process

I just finished the first part of the second week of assignments for the Art, Heart, and Healing class. It was a healing piece of art to do for sure. I cried a bit and smiled as well. I tried to think of it a bit more technically so I didn't turn in to a blubbery mess of tears and emotions, but I let the tears fall that needed to. I wasn't totally happy with it, until a good friend said, "this is more of a healing piece than an art piece." Changed my mindset on it and so I wanted to share.
It is wishes for the little me. I may or may not have had all of these wishes, but I think they are good things to wish for any person.
Altered Board Book Page 1
That is my hospital picture that I used gel medium to transfer on. My transfer didn't work well the 1st go around so this is the 2nd try. Still not the best, but I went with it. Also my first time playing with my very new set of Caran D'Ache water color crayons. I'm in love!
Here is a bigger photo of my wishes.
Altered Board Book Page 1
Now on to working on a more artistic piece for the 2nd spread in my new altered board book of me!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wee Elfin Stocking

I made my final ornament for the Trim the Tree Swap on flickr. They are all for secret partners so I can't say who it is for, but they will all be in the mail sometime this week!
I decided to make a wee elfin stocking. It is approximately 4 inches tall. You can put stuff in it to your hearts content. Maybe only elf sized things though. Elf Stocking
I rusted the jingle bell myself! I found a trick awhile back on a prim site about rusting stuff. I've rusted lots of safety pins, bells, springs, and bottle caps. I use an old glass jar with a screw on lid. I eyeball all amounts so I don't have an exact recipe, but I pour in some bleach, vinegar, and salt. I add my metal stuff that I lightly sand so the rust has something to adhere to and let it sit in the sun for a few days. I occasionally go out and shake it if I remember. Then I drain the liquid out and carefully put the newly rusted stuff on a paper towel to dry. If it is nice outside I'll leave it in the sun to dry. Don't handle it a bunch because the rust will fall off when it is still wet! (Learned from experience.)
Now that I've done a few Christmas crafts it is time to go back to Halloween for the day! I'm going to go make the example for the chipboard haunted house class I'll be teaching tomorrow at the art center.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

WIP Sunday: Onwards and Upwards

I'm working at it! Things are going slowly right now, but I'm falling into a new schedule with my new job so I'll know when I can have crafty time.
The place mats are sort of progressing. I need to drive 2 hours to the nearest craft store to buy some more iron on interfacing to finish them up. The tops are almost all sewn together and I have the backing fabric now too.
I haven't gotten to start Auntie's quilt yet ( the strips I shared last Sunday), but I should get to start it really soon. I almost have the binding sewn on my Mom's quilt (also shared last week). That isn't a Christmas gift though, she was supposed to have it in August. Oops. Hubby shirt is also coming along. I'll have to work extra hard if I want to have it done before his Birthday! Yikes!
I'm also just starting working on a stocking for my LAST swap until after the holidays. It is for the modern stocking swap on Flickr. Here are my fabric choices. Some white chenille and 2 coordinating Amy Butler fat quarters. Now I'm just deciding how I want to construct it. Won't take long to whip up I'm sure.
So I'm progressing. It may seem slow, but I'll get there! How is everyone else coming along in the handmade gift crusade?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Art Quilt "Lime and Grape"

I took a wonderful class from some local quilt teachers today. It was a day filled with creative inspirations and lots of sewing! I learned curved piecing, Angelina film, fabric glitter, yarn binding, and so much more!
I created this bright fun art quilt as a Christmas gift for my cousin LeAnn. I call it "Lime and Grape"
Lime and Grape
Here is a close up of one of the Angelina film pieces that I put over a circle. I trapped some sequins in it. This stuff rocks and I must get some now!
Angelina Film
I created a heart from a lime green zipper to add as a focal point. I just glued it on. I love how it looks against the deep grape circle.
Zipper Heart
I made a lime green patch and stamped the word love on it in purple ink. I added a touch of purple glitter and surrounded it in the chenille by the inch. That stuff rocks too. Another must have.
Love Patch
I quilted the thing with squiggly circles around the circles. I wanted it to look scribble like. I'm so happy with how it turned out and can't wait to make another using all of the great techniques I learned.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Art Journal Portrait!

Geesh! It is almost WIP Sunday again and I haven't blogged all week! Things have been very busy. I started my new job as security officer/hall monitor at the school this week. I'm so tired by the end of the day from walking all those miles! I should lose some weight though.
I blogged earlier about the free e course that Tam over at Willowing is offering. You can find it here:
I got the videos for week 1 downloaded and set to work last night. It was great therapy after a long day at school. I'm in love with the new pages. The first weeks assignment is a spread in the art journal. It is all centered around healing. Underneath all of those layers is some writing that is now gone for good. The portrait is supposed to be me. Not look exactly like, but symbolize me. I had a few hiccups along the way. My drawing is rusty. The eyes need work, but I'm happy with her.
Here is the whole spread. The words say "My heart is the key to my art" You can't see all of my layers in the pic, because I was losing daylight when I took it.
Here is a close up of my portrait. I didn't have the water soluble crayons so I made due with what I had and it turned out fine. I'm ordering a set of those crayons tomorrow though!
It was great fun and I can't wait until next weeks lesson!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

WIP Sunday: Recovery Day

Last night I had an all night sewing retreat with 3 of my best friends. We ate junk food, laughed, and quilted until we dropped! I made it through the night with about 3 hours of sleep while others didn't sleep at all! We all got a ton done and had a blast doing it!

I managed to cut binding, sew it on, and start the long tedious process of hand sewing it to the quilt. This is my Mom's quilt that was her Mother's Day/Birthday gift. I'll take a ton more pictures when it is complete, as I'm pretty proud it is my first quilt!
Also with the help of one of my friends Accucut Go cutters I managed to get the strips cut for my Aunt's quilt she will be getting for Christmas! It really was fast compared to the rotary cutter and ruler. Which isn't always the most accurate thing for me to do. Each stripe is a perfect 2 1/2 inches and I can start sewing on it any time now!
We had a blast, but it has taken all day for me to recover from quilters overload! Lots going on and lots to do!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Merlin the Mighty Hunter

I haven't posted any pictures of our beloved fur ball for a while so I thought I 'd share some from yesterday when we went on a great hunting adventure. Now you might be saying, "but Merlin is an awfully small dog to be out hunting", and I'd say to you, "Shhhhhh, don't tell him that!"
He bounds through the tall grass in leaps and enjoys every minute of it! Granted we didn't bag any birds to eat, but he sure had fun out in the country!
I took these pics in the backyard while we were waiting for the Hubby to get ready to go. Merlin was mighty excited once he put on his orange hunting vest!
Mighty Hunter
He also is a ham for the camera and poses at any sign I might take a picture.
After a good 45 minute walk through high grass he was dragging pretty bad and had to be carried half way back to the truck for a big bowl of water! After a bit of rest we went for another walk to scare up birds and weren't successful. It didn't really matter that we didn't come home with supper. Merlin was tired and fell asleep in my lap on the ride home. I'll leave you with a picture of the wonderful wide open plains.
Prairie Sky
Happy Saturday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fish Me Under the Mistletoe

I've completed the 2nd ornament for the Trim the Tree Swap I am participating in on flickr. Another ornament for a secret partner. It is so fun to keep people guessing!
This partner expressed a love of the ocean and all things that go with it. I decided a mermaid tail stocking was super appropriate. I had to tie it in to the holidays somehow so I made a wee bit of mistletoe and suspended it from the fin. Hence the name, hey I thought it was clever. LOL
Fish Me Under the Mistletoe!
It is about 4 inches and a fully functioning stocking just like the ruby red slippers. The base is plain white muslin painted green with the sequin scales glued on. It made it wonderfully stiff and holds it open. I think the sequins will make it sparkle nicely on the tree. Tiny Mistletoe
The mistletoe was made with fake flower stamens and green floral tape. I thought it looked perfect! I added a wee red bow made from bias tape too. I'm loving how it turned out!
One more ornament to go. Of course it will be another miniature stocking. I have plans all ready for it. Maybe I'll get to it today while the hubby and father in law set up a few more cupboards!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Art Journal 8/9

I worked on another art journal spread last night while watching TV. I had the background mainly done. I just added a bit and drew up a little girl with wings to shower paint over the next page. I call it my "I am an artist" spread. More often than not we forget when we create anything at all we are artists. We all need a reminder from time to time. I think every art journal should have a spread that has an affirmation to oneself that you are an artist, because you said so. More than just because you say so, also because you created something it is so.
Art Journal 8/9
Lots of media used on this page. I won't bore you with details but the background is around 6 layers! Yay! The little girl was done on water color paper in tons of medias and then cut out and glued on the page. I had so much fun making that paint splatter! Canned air is awesome! Here is a little close up of my girl.
Art Journal 8/9 Close Up
Off to make another Christmas ornie!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Dreams Come True!

Ever since we bought our little house I've wanted a new kitchen. The kitchen cupboards that came with the house were disgusting. Painted white, none of the doors closed correctly, and the hardware was atrocious. I lived with it for 5 years and then my dreams came true! Things just fell into place money wise and time wise and we are getting a new kitchen. Granted we aren't buying new appliances, but they were new or almost new when we bought the house so that I can live with. Work is under way and we've only hit one snag so far. Our large pantry was not built correctly and is too big so another is on order. It will set us back another 3 weeks. Uhg, but I can deal. I'm getting what I wanted!
Kitchen Remodel
This is part of the work done. I'll be repainting kitchen and dinning room (which is behind me in this photo). I love my bright sunny yellow and will be getting that color again. Only 1 wall in the dinning room and 1 wall in the kitchen is yellow the others are white. I will freshen up everything with a nice new coat of paint. We will be getting a new floor as well! This pic is a bit dark as I had to use flash because it is evening here, but you get the idea. I'm on the hunt for some beautiful cupboard knobs and drawer pulls to complete the look. I'll add an updated pic in a few days with the counter tops!
This is why my crafty time is being cut a bit short, but it is so totally worth it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

WIP Sunday: Errrr... Tuesday Edition

Thank you so much for all of the well wishes and get better thoughts. It really means a lot to me. I'm feeling much better now after getting in to see the dentist and having a root canal. Uhg, soft enamel. I'm on my 3rd root canal. What a joy.
On to catching up on WIP Sunday! I decided to share what I have done on my Husbands shirt he requested for our anniversary. Our anniversary was in August, but it took until the week of our anniversary to find just the right shirt to embroider. He had been asking me about embroidering him a shirt for ages. He choose the Thor's Hammer design from Urban Threads. He is of Norwegian decent and has always loved the symbol. I started work on it not that long ago and have been working on it off and on in front of the TV.
Thor's Hammer Shirt
I hope to have it done for him before his Birthday so he can wear it at his party. He is really liking it so far. He also choose the exact red he wanted. Here is a close up of the stitching. I'm just using split stitch in three strands for a nice clean outline.
Thor's Hammer Shirt
Anyway, I'm feeling better and ready to get back to crafting! Yay for dentists!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Uhg! No WIP Sunday

I'm so sorry everyone for missing WIP Sunday. I was very ill and dealing with a toothache. It hasn't gotten much better. :( I tried to get in to my normal dentist, but they can't get me in until tomorrow morning. So unless I find something to help before then I won't be blogging. I'll be back and do a WIP post when I'm feeling better!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Art Journal 5/6

Ahhhh, So full of creativity today I couldn't decide what to work on! I decided to spend a good portion of the day on an art journal spread. I had part of the background finished, but I added more layers of paint, chalk pastels, and stamps. Lots of smudging and baby wipes.

Lovely Dead spread
Art Journal 5/6
A close up of my ghostly girl. Inspired by Tam from willowing and a bit of Suzi Blu.
Ghostly Girl
Here is a close up of the quote from the poem. The poem is "A Paean" by Edgar Allen Poe. I recently read this and fell in love with the lines. I knew I had to do some sort of art and incorporate it.
In case you can't read it it says:
"How shall the burial rite be read?
The solemn song be sung?
The requiem for the loveliest dead that ever died so young?"

I'm very pleased with it. Such a wonderful way to spend a large portion of the day!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ruby Red Slippers Stocking

I joined the secret partner trim the tree swap on flickr. You have to make 3 ornaments for different secret partners. This is my first completed one! It is a 4 inch tall functioning stocking. The ruby red slippers on the striped socked legs! I added the cuff and itty holly leaves and berries to make it a bit more festive. Made of muslin and then painted and glittered. I think one of those tiny candy canes would fit in it! I hope it becomes a beloved part of someone's holiday tree.

Today is also kitchen demolition day! Time to say goodbye to my old kitchen and hello to something new and fabulous.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

WIP Sunday: Place Mats

I've been working away at the first gift of many. A set of 8 place mats for my dear Mother in Law. I'm not entirely convinced she is going to like them, but man are they fun! I just can't be a blah boring fabric sort of person, so I may have went a little over board here. I decided to do 4 with polka dots and 4 with stripes. They will be backed in plain black and plain red in case she'd rather have something a bit more *ahem* conservative.
Here is the polka dot place mats. I have my blocks all ready, they just need pressed one more time before sewing together. The strips really are even, my pressing isn't great.

The striped set will look like this. Also in need of pressing.
Tomorrow I'll make a trip to the fabric store for some backing fabric. I thought I had it covered in my stash, but I guess I don't. Not sure if they will be quilted in the ditch or just left as is. They will have interfacing inside to give them just a touch of stability. I thought batting would be too thick. I am making progress!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Wee Book

Remember that fancy package I showed you a post or so ago? Well the wee book has arrived to its' new home so now I can share. I'm going to borrow Kira's pictures as her's are much better than the low light ones I took. Kira made me a super duper cute birds on heads themed book. Visit her blog to see it! If you don't already follow her I suggest it. Her projects always make me smile.
Here is the front cover complete with fiber dangles. I used Coptic binding for the first time ever too.
Kira made a nice little collage of all of the pages. I think it is the best way to share them. I'll go through some of the layouts. Pic 1 is the page with the moving element, when you push up on the gold tab a bird head pops out of the egg! Pic 2 is the first page of the book. I snooped on Kira's blog and found pics of her bird friends to use in the book. That is Peanut, isn't he handsome? Pic 3 has Kira's bird Kitty that passed away earlier this year on the right hand page. I wanted to include her in the book too. Pic 4 is the purple layout, my fave color!
Pic 5 is some blue eggs and a bird that I drew zetti style. Pic 6 is the magenta layout with some stamping. Pic 7 is my fave layout. The ticket is held to the page with a swirly paper clip. Pic 8 is the red layout. The little bird is a new technique using paper bag and burned glue. Pic 9 is the last page and inside cover. You can see all of the little bits that stick out in the last picture. I love adding textures and taggies to the wee books.
I'm so glad Kira likes it. She plans on hanging it on her Christmas tree and also leaving it out year around. My little book is in its' new home in my curiosity cubby! (shadow box)