Sunday, December 16, 2007

Merry Christmas

I just want to wish everyone a very happy Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful year coming up. I hope you enjoy family, friends and pets and find yourself blessed through them. I know I have been blessed by all of these this past year and I am looking forward to next year.


This card is made by collaging a sheet of cardstock with old tissue paper and old gift wrap. I sponged a little gold glaze over the whole thing and then stamped stars on it with gold paint. It was then cut into card-sized pieces and glued to blank cards. I spray painted a sheet of corrugated cardboard with gold spray paint and then stamped it with black ink and images from Stampfrancisco.com. I took fibers from On the Surface that I got several years ago and strung seed beads on them. Then I cut them into segments leaving a bead on each segment which I glued with a touch of Elmer's glue.

You'll see I goofed on the font size. When you change fonts, don't just glance at it to see if it's still okay. READ it. I didn't and I left off the very last word but everyone knows what the word is. I didn't notice till all the pages were glued into the decorated cards!

I hope you enjoyed the card and I thank you for visiting.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Friday, December 7, 2007

October in December!


Well here it is - October is done!
This is a picture of the big old bean pot my mother had. It was never used for baking beans. Instead it was brought out on Halloween for us kids to put the candy we collected into. Then we would all share the candy. It was a big pot but with eight people in our family it seemed the candy didn't go far enough.
Halloween has changed a bit through the years. My mother remembered moving outhouses in her day. (I bet people were not too happy about that). In my day, one of my older sisters (no names will be mentioned) showed us how to soap the windows of people who weren't home. Hey, this was a mild trick for no treat! Now, the kids go around with their parents if they go trick or treating at all.
I used a picture of the bean pot my sister Kathy sent me. I beaded right over the picture and then removed the picture by bits with a needle nose tweezer. It was great to work over the picture but not fun to remove later. Still, I would use this method again if I want a more realistic picture when I am done. I didn't have any disc shaped beads for the suckers so I made some of the candy out of Sculpey polymer clay. I am quite happy with the way this page turned out.
Now, on to November and December!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Midnight!

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Yahoo! I'm Done!

Now I have September done. Doesn't it look like September and
back-to-school days? Mind you, that was when school started in September for everyone; we didn't have year-round school and kids didn't start in August before Labor Day.

When I was out of kindergaarten and ready for "real" school my mother bought me my own lunch box. In those days this brown and whitish weave metal box with a Thermos was the best thing going. We didn't have cartoon characters or Disney movie themes on our boxes. We were very happy not to be carrying a brown bag! (At least in those very early grades- later a brown bag was more "cool"). So my first special memory here is first grade.

My second memory depicted here is a saddle oxford shoe. Most of you will recognize them but perhaps never have had them. When I was going into the sixth grade I asked for these shoes. I guess it's time to confess I was a bit nerdish or at least a bit different- my family says I live in a different world than most people (okay, than everyone). Most kids wouldn't have been caught dead in these shoes in sixth grade. Some of the girls were moving to flats and no socks but not me! No way! I wanted black and white oxfords. We didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up so we got only one pair of shoes for school, perhaps a winter dress pair at Christmas and a spring dress pair at Easter. That's it. So picking shoes for school was a big deal and I would have to wear whatever I got. My parents gave in and I got the saddle oxfords. I tell you, I wore them happily for the whole year. Maybe I was just a bit different and not too strange as no one ever laughed at me; I was accepted well enough, just not the popular one.

I liked my lunch box and shoes so much that when my kids were in school they got their own fancier lunch boxes and my daughter got a pair of saddle oxfords. She hated them! She still reminds me to this day how much she hated them!! Every child it seems, comes with their own likes and dislikes-it's not all taught.

Now, on to October! I know we are in November already. I am trying to catch up but time isn't cooperating. It keeps moving forward no matter how hard I try to stop it for a bit!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

August Page Finished!!

My August page is finally, finally finished! It took a lot more time than I expected but I like how it turned.

Of course there is a story here. It's simple and short but a good memory just the same.

When my sisters (the two who were closest in age to me) and I were in our early teens we got bored with just having the pool in the summer time. We got to go to Mission Beach in San Diego, CA at least a few times during the summer and also to the San Diego Zoo. Usually the whole family would go to the beach while just us sisters would go to the zoo.

Mission Beach is a great swimming beach. Sometimes there was too much kelp and once in a great while some jellyfish but mostly we got to enjoy clean, warm sand and great waves. We'd spend several hours trying to body surf and then we'd walk over to the bay area (Santa Clara Point was our favorite spot) where we'd finish the day with a barbecue. Sometimes we got sunburned but not often except for the one fairhaired sister of the bunch as we'd already be tanned from using our pool. Dad would always tell us how the beach wall was built in his day because one year their was a tsunami which eroded the beach area pretty badly. He'd also tell us how the tsunami left a boat on a tall building. I don't know if his story was true but he would insist we could see a picture of it in the San Diego Union's archive. As far as tall buildings, they don't get too high in that area but hey, a boat on any roof would mean a good sized wave!

My sisters and I would spend a whole day at a time at the zoo. Back then, the zoo was free for anyone 16 years and younger so this worked out great for a summertime break. I don't know how we got there. Both of my parents worked and we only had one car so they were already shuffling back and forth between them just to get to and from work but somehow they managed to get us to and from the zoo also. I wish I could remember how they accomplished this and now I realize how much extra effort this cost them I appreciate that we got to go even more.

The first thing you see when you have entered the zoo is the flamingo pond. On hot summer days that looked so refreshing just as the bird house did when we went through it (I think the bird house is gone now). The bird house was built on the side of a hill and there were waterfalls, a running stream, and huge trees in it with loads of birds. It was as close as we would ever get to anything so "tropical". Sometimes we'd see the seal show and other times we'd see the elephants, giraffes and other animals in the "safari" area. The San Diego Zoo has plenty of flora to go with the fauna making for a pleasurable walk even if you weren't particular about where you were headed. There were plenty of monkeys but their cages back then weren't so nice so we didn't care so much for them and preferred the more natural settings.

August being the hottest of the summer months helped us really enjoy the beach and the lazy strolling through the zoo. I don't get to the beach or the zoo often now but I have great memories of them.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Old Quilt/New Quilt

As you can see in these pictures, my old quilt has had it. It is torn all over and well faded. I have used this quilt for a solid 8 years daily as my bedspread. I have napped on top and my animals have used it daily also so it served me well. It was a scrap quilt made from an article I saw in a Threads magazine. I had fun making it and enjoyed using it although it would never have earned any prizes either for style or quality of workmanship. I used fabrics at hand and stitched it for longevity, not prettiness.



I have looked for a new bedspread locally that I wouldn't have to make since I am busy with the Bead Journal Project and need to get working on Christmas items. But, I have seen quilts, pretty fabrics and manipulated fabrics on many of the blogs I have been reading so these blogger/artists have inspired me to get off my duff and make a new one.

In my new issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine (Sept./Oct. - issue #14) there was an article by Debbie Crane about making an easy quilt by making a "pillowcase", sewing the bottom of it shut and appliqueing squares to the finished layers. I am going to use the idea by making two crazy quilts and putting them together for the "pillowcase". Then I will tie the layers together in places instead of sewing squares through the layers.

So, I have pulled out my boxes of fabrics (yes, I know about the acid content but expediency at the time came before conservation. I'll try to change that). I have set myself up in the living room with a folding table down the center of it, my fabrics on the loveseat, and my sewing machine on my fold-down desk.

I have begun some squares and decided I will put a fan on each one in the colors I have painted the furniture in my bed/craft room and of which I am using as background colors for my BJP pages. This way my whole room will come together at the end.


I will show off some of my squares when I get closer to being done. I will not be doing a lot of handwork as again, this will be an often used item and receive hard wear and lots of washings.













Saturday, September 29, 2007

August Page Update

Truly, I am working on my August page. No, I haven't started
September yet but I am plugging along. I redid parts of the tree as it wasn't quite looking like a tree. It was more difficult than I imagined it would be! The water is looking good; hopefully the waves will turn out well too.

I have enjoyed taking some time to get back to the blogs to see what everyone else has been doing. There are some pretty nice pages out there. Now, to get back to my beadwork....

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Kid's Bathroom

Okay, on we go to the kid's bathroom. Since there is a boy and
three girls the room couldn't be too feminine or too masculine. The kids decided dolphins would be good for all of them. My daughter found pictures in an animal encyclopedia and looking at a two to three inch picture, took chalk and drew the dolphins on the wall. She didn't use a grid or any other means to help her enlarge the pictures. Then she painted them with regular household paints and a few craft paints.

For the ocean she painted the walls turquoise and added a wave shape at the top which my great photo taking skills didn't catch. Oh, yes they did. Look at the last picture. You can see the wave shape over the dolphin leaping out of the water over the toilet.

I think she did another really great job again. Don't you?











Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Hallway Gallery

My daughter has turned her hallway into a changing gallery of her
children's artwork. Some of the art is from school and some is made at home.

At the bottom of the stairs she painted and stenciled her sign directing "visitors" to the stairway gallery. Then she hung their artwork. Simple but a great way to show lots of art (the fridge just isn't big enough).

I've placed here the main gallery and some close-ups so you can see what they all do. She definitely is creating a home to
encourage them to make art.


Next post on this subject will be the kid's bathroom. I neglected to take pictures of my daughter's bathroom which is also painted, stenciled and decorated. Oh, well, I can always do it next visit.
























Friday, September 14, 2007

Do you see my new cursor? I don't know if the cursor and the ad showed up or just the ad (which I didn't realize was going to show but oh, well).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

One Room of My Daughter's House

These are pictures of the room my daughter painted for her two youngest girls. I'll let the pictures tell the story mostly but ask you to check out the cloud window valance she made of quilt batting she cut, separated into two plies at the top and slipped a rod through. The clouds were shaped into regular and special cloud shapes so the girls could "see" things in the "clouds" as we all like to do when we are out in a cloudy day. Don't you like the way she made the door a door of a little cottage?



The dressers in the room are old ones my older sisters had when they were young (too many years ago to go into here) my daughter freshened up with new paint and decals.


The cottage and castle on the walls were done by photocopying pictures my daughter liked in the books she reads to the girls every night. She enlarged the pictures and then cut them out and
decoupaged them to the wall.


Aren't these girls lucky? I would have loved a room like this as a child.


Since this room had the most pictures taken of it and my computer is having a lot of trouble uploading pictures right now, I will
share the other rooms when I can upload a little better. Something for
you all to look forward too!!
































Sunday, September 2, 2007

Started at Last!


Well, I finally got started. I actually began on August 31st; still in the month of August for my August page. It's been an extremely busy month so I won't sweat it too much. I'll be back home next week and can work on getting caught up then.


I took pictures of my daughter's house I want to share with everyone. She has made a home a lot of kids would love to live in but I'll get to that next week. Check back; you'll be glad you did.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New Doggy

I got a new dog the a couple of days ago. We went to the pound to
look for my granddaughter's lost cat. I knew it was a dangerous place for me to go and it proved to be so. I now have my fourth dog! I changed her name from Chiquita to Brandy. Chiquita wasn't bad except everyone seemed to think or add "banana" so after many names to consider I settled on Brandy.

She was supposed to be a scared and mean dog but one look into her eyes and I didn't care! This mean little dog is now happy and playing with my grandchildren! She is also getting along pretty
well with my other dogs already. My Sambo, the black dog, is actually the most moody (mean?) dog of the bunch.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Crafting Space

I like color and more color. I painted my craft room to reflect
some of this. Then I covered everything with projects, ideas and bits of projects. I am still trying to find space to leave my sewing machine set up. Except for wanting more room, and who doesn't wish for that, I feel very happy working away in here.




Spirit Doll

Hi everyone! I have been busy with everything but my BJP page.
I am out in California right now visiting with my children and
grandchildren. I went to a memorial service for my brother-in-law and am making this doll for my sister.

I chose some fabric I liked and a pattern from Kivett Studio's site. I liked the idea of a butterfly being the emergence of new life. I painted the face directly on the doll with orange and pearlescent white acrylic craft paints mixed together. I drew the face with a marker pen and dabbed varnish over it to make it
permanent.

Then I started beading. First I went around the face. I used a magenta metallic bead at first but the finish rubbed off right away (disgusting how it did that) so I changed those beads out with a bright pink. Then I went Robin's route and just started adding beads. I sewed on the sequins but later removed them since beading around them didn't work too well and I thought they would look better on top of the beading instead of surrounded by it. I am getting close to being done with the doll and will add a beaded hanging cord of some sort to the head and fringe to the bottom of the doll.


I outlined the wings with a colorful silverlined bright mix of beads. I tend to want to fill in the wings with the mix but everyone who has seen the doll so far says they like it with the edge finished but the fabric showing. Should I go with what I feel or am I adding too much beading? What do other beaders think? Most of the people who have seen it tend to like less beads than more so I am not sure. Any suggestions here are quite welcome.

My cat has enjoyed the process as you can see. She loves sitting in small containers and playing with my beads. She doesn't know a diet of beads isn't good for her!







Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Another Birthday Card

My sister's birthday was in July. I decided to give her a birthday
card and of course, it had to be homemade. She has recently lost
her husband and is going through a tumultuous time. Thinking of
her while I was making some of those ATC's I made one just for
her and decided to give it to her as part of her birthday card.

I didn't want to attach the ATC permanently to her card so I made some photo corners by cutting small strips of colored paper
which I folded into corners (see picture) and glued onto a background rectangle. I glued the rectangle to a piece of cardstock I cut and folded for the card.

Next I glued two pieces of leftover strips of decorated cardboard leftover from my journal project on both sides after first wrapping them with thin (28 gauge) copper wire on which beads had been strung.

On the back I stamped the card with a stamp I had made for me with a design I came up with about 7 or 8 years ago. I have used this a lot on the backs of cards and boxes I have made or decorated over the years. I didn't get such a good picture of the stamping so I took a picture stamped on plain paper so you can see it better.

I haven't given the card to her yet as I will be seeing her shortly.
I sure hope she likes it. She isn't quite into abstract or mixed media as I am but she does a fair amount of quilting, folk painting and other paintings (just how would I label an ocean painting, a wolf in the woods painting and a rustic cabin painting when
putting them in context with the quilting and folk painting??, anyone??) but she appreciates what I do usually.












Saturday, August 4, 2007

Birthday Card


My son's birthday was August 2. I always make him a birthday card. I like to make something special. He loves his fruits (in fact, that's his main diet) and had told me recently how he climbed to the top of the plum tree in the yard of the house he lives in to pick the last of the years plums.

I recounted to him the story of when he was just over a year old he ate a large bowlful of plums. I had set the bowl of plums I had just picked from my father's tree near my son who was munching on a teething biscuit while sitting in his highchair. I went away for a few minutes and when I returned the bowl was empty. I didn't even find many of the pits! Well,
everything turned out okay and he's never lost his love for fruit.

So, I decided to make him a picture of plums. I bought three plums in varying shades of purple and took pictures of them in different containers and configurations. Then I sat down and drew them with NuPastels. I think the picture came out pretty well! The only trouble was that I
remembered he now takes pictures of the cards I make and then throws them away; heaven forbid he should keep dust catchers around! So, skip the picture, I'd do something else.

I decided to make an enlargement of one of the pictures I took,
the plums stuck in an old mayonaise jar. I printed it out, folded

it in half and cut out the jar shape. That made the card! I took

the grocery store fruit and veggie advertisement page to make
the envelope. This way, he had a handmade card he'd enjoy and I didn't mind him destroying. I'll frame the picture I drew for him; he doesn't count "art" (on the wall, I take it) as dust collectors.
He liked the card when he saw it and is happy I will give him the framed picture of the plums.