Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 31st... really?

Hi friends.  How time does fly!  I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I was sure that tomorrow was the end of the month.  I guess that means I need to do at least 2 every day on my calendar art for awhile.  I need to catch up!

And just to show you how mixed up I am on my days, I have two from yesterday that I didn't post yet.

The mixability challenge on SCS called for raindrops.  I used a little dorky bird from Judith.  And the free for all challenge called for teeny art.  Natural beauty's little bird to the rescue.  

I made one late last night and another this morning.  The first one was just a quick draw - for sure nothing fancy.  My drawing skills have never been enhanced by any education. 

For the second one, I wanted to use my favorite retired SU stamp set.  The one problem I've always had with this set is that the single flower and butterfly have some sketch lines on them that I don't like, so I typically would cut these images out.

I really didn't want to have to do that on my calendar, so I decided to do some long-needed surgery.  I took my exacto knife and cut off the lines!

I love them now.  I don't know why I didn't do that years ago.

So with a bit of masking, I used both the flower and butterfly, and then colored them with inktense pencils and a water brush.

I also drew in a few leaves.

I'm having so much fun with these tiny little spaces.  It usually doesn't take much time to finish one, so I haven't spent all day on it, but have still managed to get in a little creativity time.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

more calendar art

Hi friends.  I decided I'd better get my calendar art done before the day was over. 

I glued the piece I had done yesterday on the January calendar, so I didn't have to make an extra piece. 

I had pinned a dala horse on my blue Pinterest board, and thought it would work for a tiny piece of art.  I did a google search for images, and printed one in the size I needed.  Then I cut around it and used the negative piece of paper as a stencil to sponge some blue acrylic paint on the date.  Once that was dry, I sponged some cool caribbean ink around the horse.  Then I decorated the horse with a white gel pen. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

calendar art

Hi friends.  My friend, Lydia, recently started an on-going art project called calendar art, where each day you do a little art on the date for that day.  To say the least, I was intrigued. 

Being on a limited budget, I decided to see if I had anything I could work with that didn't require a purchase.  I found this old desk calendar from 2010 (yes, I know the date on the front is 2009, but that's because it has November and December included.

The first thing I needed to do was a test to see if this would work, since it was likely to get wet (gesso, watercolor, etc.).  I was also concerned whether or not the big xpedx would show through.  So I used some post-it notes to block off a square with one of the letters in it, slipped some plastic underneath the page and painted the square with gesso. 

Once the gesso was dry, I stamped some images from an SU set, fast & fabulous, added a couple of leaves on the big flower, and then colored with inktense pencils and a water brush.

When it had dried, I was pleased to note that the paper is still pretty flat, so I think this will be the calendar I work on.  I'm not concerned that the days won't match the current year.

I trimmed the calendar down a bit by removing the months along the bottom, the notes area on the right, and a bit of the top.  I plan to use comb binding to hold it all together, but I want to make some sort of front cover first.  I'm still working on that. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

just playing

Hi friends.  When I was an SU demo, I would make up card kits for my classes and workshops.  I always made more than I expected to need for the class, in case there were extra people in attendance.  That also meant that I often had extras that didn't get used.  I would sometimes put some of them together, but most of the time, I just put them in a box.  I decided it was time to do something with them.  So I've been taking the kits apart.  I now have a lot of cut and folded card bases, so I can save time by using those when I need to make a card.  All the smaller pieces of cardstock just went into a box to be dealt with later.  I also found images that were stamped and colored, as well as die cuts and punched pieces, just waiting to be put on a card. 

My sister needs about 75 cards for a ladies retreat, so I offered some of my stash.  I haven't done much stamping lately, and was in the mood, so I pulled some of those images and pre-cut pieces of cardstock and assembled some cards.  Here are a few of them. 

This first one required cutting out the flower and leaves, trimming the pattern paper and stamping a sentiment. 

The next one only required a butterfly, assembly and a sentiment. 

The last one has a die cut piece of cereal box, which I colored with my Faber-Castell gel sticks, which are just an inexpensive set of gelatos.  There are only 12 colors in the set.  This is the first time I've used them, and I really liked them.  I used green on the chipboard and red on the flowers, spreading the color with a water brush.  I also added some dots along the stems with a green marker. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

awl snug

Hi friends.  I'm sorry that I've been so neglectful of my blog lately -- no special reason. 

Recently a friend told me that one of the local art supply stores was going out of business, so I thought I should go take a look at what they had.  The one thing I was really hoping to get was a heavy duty awl for bookmaking.  I was happy to find one. 

After taking a look at this thing, both my husband and daughter said that it looked like a weapon.  In truth, I would not want it to accidentally roll off the table and injure someone, although the weight of the handle would probably cause it to fall with the point up.  Anyway, in light of possible injury, I decided to make a box in which to keep it. 

I pulled out some cereal box chipboard and went to work.  I made the box with plenty of room inside, thinking I might want to put some kind of cushion in it.  I covered it with some pretty paper with butterfly stamps all over it. 

At first I made a small platform to fit in the bottom of the box and die cut an oval, so the tool handle would sit in the opening.  I made the opening too large, so I made another piece with a smaller opening and just glued it underneath the first one.  That worked well, but there was still too much space in the box.  One alternative would be to add some height to the platform.  But then I thought, if I make another platform inside the cover, it would hold the tool more securely.  That worked, but I wasn't quite satisfied. 

I decided that a piece of fun foam on top of the platform would give just a bit of cushion and hold the tool better.  I have quite a few sheets of fun foam, but.... they seem to have disappeared... I know not where!  As I was searching, I came across some packing foam that looked promising.  It has different properties than fun foam and is about twice as thick. 

I cut a piece to fit inside the box and marked where the oval should be.  I didn't think I could cut this with the die, so I used a craft knife.  I glued this on top of the cardboard platform. 

I also made another for inside the cover, but glued that one directly to the cover without the cardboard platform. 

I'm really liking this, but I decided to go one step further.  I cut another layer of the foam and shaped it to fit around the point and part of the handle of the tool, holding it nice and secure within the box.  I left some space where I could get my fingers in to pull the tool out of the box. 

I'm really happy with the end result.  The cover fits just tight enough that it isn't going to fall off, so I know the tool is secure inside the box. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

in my happy place

Hi friends.  I'm working on Christmas presents.  I just have a few to finish.  Right now I'm making a few mug rugs -- basically -- mini quilts. 

I dug into my stash and found a box filled with squares sewn from triangles.  I had to press the seams, and then I picked out a bunch that matched and arranged them into blocks. 

I have these sewn, with the binding attached, but I still need to stitch (by hand) the binding down to the back, and then I will hand quilt them.  I don't think that will take very long.  I use the clips to hold the binding in place as I stitch. 

Here they are a bit closer, so you can see some of the detail better.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Monday, December 8, 2014


Hi friends.  I just had to share a couple more sonobe balls.  I'm not really calling these ornaments, because they are just too big for the tree. 

When I first started making these, I was curious as to how well it would work using brown paper bags, not the flimsy flat ones, but the heavy ones from the grocery store. 

I made two different sizes, two with 4" squares and one with 6" squares.  It is definitely easier to put together the larger sizes, but I did find out that because this paper isn't as smooth, that was actually an obstacle when putting the pieces together.  I think it would have been close to impossible to use this paper on a smaller ball. 

The gold one is painted with gold Lumiere paint.  And for the one in the front in this next picture, I stamped each square with a burlap background stamp from Cornish Heritage Farms in coffee archival ink.  After it was all put together, I coated it with matte Mod Podge.  I love how that one turned out. 
And just for comparison, here is the biggest one along side one of the ornaments.  I think I'm going to paint the large one, but I haven't decided on a color yet. 

You can really see the detail of how the pieces are tucked into each other. 

Thanks so much for stopping by.