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. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Hi friends.  If you've read my last couple of posts, you know that I've been making sonobe ornaments.  All of them have been made using recycled paper - some that has been printed on one side and discarded for some reason or other,

and some that was (glossy) magazine or catalog pages. 

I have discovered that the glossy paper isn't very receptive to some of my paint, so I either must use the colors that will cover the print, or first coat the paper with gesso.  Both are great solutions, but the gesso is just an extra step, and drying time prolongs the process.  The computer printer paper works much better for the lighter colors of paint. 

The problem -- I made a lot (and I mean a LOT - well over 100) of the ornaments in glossy before I discovered that little problem. This is a grocery bag about half full.  These are just the unfinished ones.  I have many on my tree and have given away quite a few as well. 

As long as I had a good supply to work with, I decided to try a technique called faux metal figures.  It requires that you completely cover your piece with foil adhesive tape.  Needless to say, this took a long time because of all the pyramids and valleys.  Then you use the point of a pen, stylus, mechanical pencil, etc. to make 'rivets'.  Sadly, these barely show in the finished piece. 

When I came to this point, my ornament was very shiny and bright.  I wanted to tone it down a bit, so I tried white acrylic paint.  Because the tape doesn't absorb any liquid, I had to wait a long time for the paint to dry.  By that time, I knew I didn't like the paint on it.  I attempted to remove the paint, but it was impossible to get it out of the crevices.  Frustrated, I decided to cover it as much as possible, so I used polished stone technique with alcohol inks.  I left much of the tape uncolored. 

Although not entirely happy with the end result, at least I was able to salvage it after all the work of applying the tape.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

a little box

Hi friends.  I can't believe that I didn't post even once the entire month of November!  My bad!  I've been busy making origami sonobe Christmas ornaments and Christmas cards.  I don't even know how many sonobe ornaments I've made, because I've given many of them away.  I know the number is well over 100.  I made a lot of them with glossy pages from old mini catalogs from when I was a demonstrator for Stampin' Up!  

I've been painting them with Lumiere paints, but some of the lighter colors don't cover over the print.  I either have to use the colors that do cover, or start with an undercoat of gesso, which certainly adds to the time required to complete them.  I did find that I can use paper that had been through my printer and had been discarded for some reason.  I just need to fold all the printing to the inside, leaving the outside clean and white. 

I wanted to send one of these ornaments to a friend, so I decided to make a pretty little box to hold it.  I know this friend likes blue, so I'm giving her a blue ornament.  The box is turquoise, navy and white. 

I started with a 9" square of turquoise cardstock and scored at 3" and 6" in both directions using my Scor-Pal.  I trimmed out the four corners, leaving 1/2" tabs for gluing the sides together.  For the top, I used a 5-1/8" square and scored 1" from each side and trimmed the corners the same way as for the box bottom.  Before I glued the sides, I used a die from Spellbinders labels sixteen to make a cutout in the cover.  I attached some clear acetate inside the cover for a window. 

To decorate the box, I cut navy cardstock about 1/4" smaller than the sides and topped that with white labels sixteen, which I embossed with textile embossing folder and sponged with turquoise ink. 

On the sides of the cover, I added navy cardstock.  On the top four corners, I added small photo corners punched from navy cardstock. 

The box is 3"x3"x3" and the ornament fits just a bit loosely inside, so I'll add some tissue paper to make it look pretty and keep it from bouncing around. 

I've hung quite a few of these on my tree.   But I think it's more fun to see someone's face light up when you give them one.  I surprised the mail lady with one yesterday. 

I'm entering this box in the Scor-Pal blog challenge More than one Score #11 - Anything Goes.  Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

fan fold leaf

Hi friends.  Today I have a card that I used in my technique class this month.  The fan fold leaf was highlighted on the Scor-pal blog.  I used a reduced version of the pattern to make my leaf fit on a card.  I'm entering my card in Scor-pal's October challenge - "more than one score - challenge #9 - fall/halloween"

My card base is SU retired close to cocoa, with a layer of black on that.  The ivory cardstock was stamped with Hero Arts leaf & floral background in creamy caramel ink (SU). 

For the leaf, I started with plain paper, which I sprayed with red and yellow homemade paint sprays.  Once the paint was dry, I traced the leaf pattern.  I used my Scor-pal to score every quarter inch, and then I fan folded the paper.  Then I flattened it back out, so I could cut out the leaf and then refold the creases.  I really love the dimension on this leaf. 

I attached a small wire at the center and glued the two sides at the center.  I used vintage photo distress ink to sponge along the edges of the leaf before attaching it to the card. 

The sentiment is from SU teeny tiny wishes.  To finish off the card, I added black punched with the word window punch and cut in half. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Hi friends.  I see that I have been very neglectful of my blog lately.  So I guess I should show you some of the things I have been working on. 

I've done a little bit of crocheting.  Here are some small doilies that I made.  I didn't have a pattern.  I was working from a completed piece, so I made changes as I went along.  I tend to crochet very loosely, so I sometimes need more or fewer stitches as I go, so I simply adjust.  That's why I don't crochet things that have to fit someone.  This first one went in the mail today to a friend that has been going through some rough times. 
I should have placed this last one on a darker background, so it would show up better. 
I've also been making some sonobe ornaments --- a lot of paper folding!  But the end result is pretty cool and actually quite sturdy.  Each one is made from 30 squares of paper.  I've made a few with 3" squares, one with 6" squares from brown grocery bags, and a couple of other sizes.  Mostly I've been using 2-1/2" squares.  The finished size is nice for a Christmas ornament, and the pieces aren't too awkward to work with.  I made one with 2" squares, but that was more difficult to put together.  The bigger ones are the easiest.  This is just one of many that I've made so far. 
I've been making with from glossy pages from some old SU mini catalogs and magazines.  I painted this one gold, but since the paint is translucent, you can still see words and images underneath.  

And, finally, I made my first mug rug.  I started it last night and finished it this morning.  

This one is pretty simple.  I used pieces left over from other projects.  My hand quilting stitches are rather crooked, so don't look too closely.  

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

sizzix challenge

Hi friends.  I decided to participate in this month's challenge on the Sizzix blog.  This is the inspiration for the challenge. 

Take The Sizzix Challenge!
I used the mason jar die to cut jars from white cardstock and clear acetate.  I also cut a partial from some shimmery gray cardstock for the jar cover. 

Using button, button from SU, I stamped a lot of buttons with tuxedo black memento ink and colored them with copic markers.  Some I didn't color.  All the round ones were punched out with various circle punches, but those that weren't round had to be cut out with scissors. 

Then I just started gluing them onto the jar back until the jar was filled with buttons. 

I attached the acetate to the back underneath the cover so the glue wouldn't show. 

Some faux stitching seemed appropriate with the buttons.  The jar is attached with dimensional foam tape. 

The sentiment is from rubbernecker, and is die cut with spellbinders labels seventeen. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

15 things to give up to be happy with your art

Hi friends.  Today I'm giving you this link to an excellent blog post by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer that I think is well worth reading.   Hop on over there and take a look. 

Thanks for stopping by.