Friday, December 18, 2009

Orange, Orange and more Orange

When a girls favorite color is orange well then you should give them Orange! At least that is what my friend who asked me to make this pillow said and I must admit I agree completely with the sentiment. It is very hard to find completely orange objects and the recipient does not like pink and orange mixed which is very in right now.

Picking out the fabrics was not easy, as I previously stated orange seems to come mixed with pink now. We started with two different sized poka dots but I was worried that it would be to much so we settled for the stripe and the smaller dots. The smaller dot fabric also has some stripes in it.

The next hard part was deciding how to do the Monogram. I couldn't find a good orange ink so I decided to go with an applique which also proved tricky because I needed to make it stand out on the fabric. Ultimately I went with more orange which actually is a perfect match for the darker stripe in the striped fabric. I wish the close up of the applique had turned out better...guess it's time to pull out my camera's instruction manual again.

The next hard part was deciding how I wanted the stripes to go. I started with them looping around like a continuous line but the stripes didn't match up everywhere and that annoyed me so I ended up turning them all the same way.

As with all the pillows I make the backs Velcro shut (making it easy to remove the internal pillow form for washing) with a ribbon to hide the seem. I also always flip the "major" fabric so it becomes the minor fabric on the back. I think the back of this pillow is almost as stunning as the front.

All in all I am pleased with the outcome. Orange is not my favorite color so I had a bit of a hard time making decisions I just hope that the little girl receiving this loves it.

And I had to include a close up of the bow because I think it may be the best one I ever tied.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

This week over at One Powerful Hour I set the challenge of...
Holiday Music

Originally I wanted the challenge to be an interpretation of the Twelve Day's of Christmas song but I couldn't come up with a nice piece so I switched the challenge to any and all Holiday Music.

I selected the song Winter Wonderland and I love the version by Bing Crosby (I'm pretty sure it is the original) which can be listened to HERE. The specific line out of the song that I chose to represent is "walking in a winter wonderland" but instead of people I have what I like to think of as Reindeer.

The Reindeer, which I stamped on transparency film using brown Staz On ink, wrap all the way around the cube which is made from a cube template. The cube has some snowflakes embossed on it (not the white ones you can see but they are subtle glittery ones). Next I cut out some pine branches that I embossed using Tim Holtz distress embossing powder which gave them a fabulous texture.

To finish the cube off I added some red rhinestones, some white snowflake stickers the fibers coming out of the bottom and a cardinal covered in snow.

My camera was a bit cantankerous so I don't have very good pictures and I used the cube in an ornament exchange so I no longer have it to try to correct the photo's but you can get the general impression of the overall piece and the cardinal from this photo.

Stop by and join us at One Powerful Hour...we would love to see your creations.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dragonfly Pillow

Here is yet another pillow but look closely and you will see that I am getting a bit more creative and courageous.

The customer told me that her daughter's favorite colors are pink and purple and that she loves butterflies and dragonflies...

I did not care for any of the butterfly themed fabrics so I decided to make a few appliques to go on the pillow. After spending quite some time in the fabric store I settled on these two pink fabrics, I really like a purple paisley but couldn't find anything to go with it.

It took me forever to get this pillow put together...mainly because other projects kept creeping up on me. And I feel horrible about it...but it is finally done.

The applique that I made is a dragonfly stamp that I love. I stamped it onto the same pink fabric that is in the center of the pillow. The stamped image was not as dark as I wanted it so I outlined it with a dark brown fabric pen and then I colored her in. This was a difficult task for me since the colors did not blend the way I am use to my colored pencils and water colors doing so. But all in all I think the image turned out nicely.

I have not stamped the initial yet because I want to make sure the customer likes what I have created for her. But when I do it will be in a dark brown which is what the dark color on the fabric is.

I learned a lot about making appliques on this project and I plan on making many more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Over at One Powerful Hour the challenge this week is...


The October Paula's Kit Club was leaf themed and in it came the lovely stamp that I used on the front of this slide mailer. I just thought it was the perfect autumn/leaf stamp that I have seen in a long time.

To prep the slide mailer I painted it all with Vintage crackle paint from the Tim Holtz collection. On the front I added a glittery swirl in autumn splendor glitter from Sparkle N Sprinkle. Then I affixed the stamped image that I had stamped in brown and painted/highlighted with Twinkling H2O's on gold paper.

The inside if the slide mailer is not as glamorous. I have been in love with the image of the woman and just had to use wasn't until after I had her glued in place that I realized she would be really cold in that outfit in the fall enhance and hide the fact that she is not large enough for the opening I added various feathers.

The leaves on the left hand side are stamped on the same gold paper as the front image and highlighted with Twinkling H2O's also. To finish this piece off I added the "Fall" sticker and the small rhinestones in the corner.

I think this took me a little over an hour but I'm not sure. I kept messing with it after I had things all planned out and forgot to watch the clock because I was having so much fun.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hocus Pocus

Over at Zuzu's Petal and Buds Forum it's time to exchange a Halloween themed piece and here is what I have made.

This did not turn out the way I wanted it to at all. I wanted it to be orange in majority but not the orange I ended up getting. Everything went south when I went with a 2 step crackling technique that has never failed me before but either my paint was old or my crackle medium because it did not crackle at fact it was down right ugly what happened. So I tried to save it by wiping the orange paint off but I wasn't pleased with that look either. So after getting all the elements together I decided to try and hide the ugly paint with glitter...I thought I would never say this but I think this piece has too much glitter on it.

The image is from Alpha Stamps and so is the fabulous chip board cut out of the spider web. You can't tell but I wrapped it in an off white fuzzy really is a cool effect.

I'm hoping that the person that receives this likes it and that maybe I don't like it because it wasn't what I envisioned and I can't get over that. All in all I am really disappointed in this piece.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Advent Callender ATC's

This has to be the biggest and most complicated project I have ever worked on but I am so glad that I participated in this swap.

The swap is an Advent Calender made out of ATC's. To have a bit of continuity to the look we decided to use a certain set of Basic Black Papers. Alas I am the only one so far to use the more retro side of the two sided never even occurred to me to use the solid sides LOL.

The idea for my design came about after a search for cookie recipes. I ran across the 25 Days of Christmas Cookies web site and said to myself...well I can't put rejuvenating candy in each ATC but I could put a recipe.

I went back and forth on how to incorporate the I shape the ATC's more like cookies? Do I search for cookie stamps do I print out the pictures of the cookies and attach them...well non of those things ended up happening obviously.

In 2007 Paula's Kit Club for her Christmas kit did a Merry Kitschmas Kit which had all sorts of food themed items in it, she followed that kit up with the In the Kitschen Kit which included the woman stamp that I used. So slowly very slowly everything started to come together.

I decided to print out the recipes and put them inside the ATC but then I didn't have enough to fill the front of the ATC. A few months ago I participated in a charm swap that a friend of mine told me the charms I made would make fabulous magnets so that is what I decided to do. Make magnets that attached to the front filling up the space that can be moved to hold open the recipe on your fridge while you make it.

The magnets took me a lot longer to make than I imagined. First I had to paint them all gold with a Krylon Gold ink pen. Next I punched out collage images from Alpha Stamps glued them down and then added Diamond Glaze to make them shinny and very very permanent. Alpha Stamps also carries this fabulous mini tensile, in red and gold, that I fell in love with and glued to each bottle cap. To finish the magnets off I added the red or green dangling bead. They look fabulous on their own but I think they really add to the overall ATC's.

Inside instead of just printing out the cookie recipes I had to go and print them on transparency so I could add some color to the inside. I used another stamp that I received in a Paula's Kit Club stamping it in either red and green and brushing the edges with gold.

I was originally going to affix the transparency with gold brads but then the ATC's would not close flush and since the magnet sticks out a lot I didn't want any more depth.

Well, that's that...the project that took me forever but I am very glad I finished it. As a bit of torture to those taking part here is the list of recipes that you may get depending on which ATC's you get.

Day 1 Chocolate Roll Out Cookies
Day 2 Meringue Stars
Day 3 Trios
Day 4 Pistachio & Cherry Mexican Wedding Cookies
Day 5 Chocolate Hazelnut Crinkle Cookies
Day 6 Five-Spice Gingersnaps
Day 7 Italian Almond Cookies
Day 8 Mini Black-and-White Cookies
Day 9 Raspberry Chocolate French Macaroons
Day 10 Hazelnut Shortbread Sticks
Day 11 Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Day 12 Chock-Full Blondie Squares
Day 13 Fig Swirls
Day 14 Grasshopper Squares
Day 15 Chocolate Peanut Toffee
Day 16 Knot Cookies
Day 17 Chocolate chip and Peppermint Crunch Cookies
Day 18 Seven Layer cookies
Day 19 Triple-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Day 20 Rugalach
Day 21 Coconut-Orange Snowballs
Day 22 Holiday Sugar Cookies
Day 23 Apricot-Orange Shortbread Bars
Day 24 Molasses Crinkles
Day 25 Pecan Sables

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation Bookmark

So tomorrow night I am hosting Book Club for the new book club I am in. I selected one of my all time favorite books, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig. A fun light historical fiction mystery romance that is sort of a continuation of The Scarlett Pimpernel (another of my favorites).

Because I can't just have people over, after all what fun would that be LOL. I decided to make everyone bookmarks. It is not my best work but I had a number of things working against me...the biggest one being time. I just finished the bookmarks and tomorrow is the meeting.

To start I cute the base cardstock a light pink. Then I cut/tore strips of white paper, the edge that I tore I dusted with gold ink. Onto the white cardstock I stamped a French Script (the book partially takes place in France). Stacked the pink and white cardstocks and then stamped the pen nibs from Alpha Stamps along the left hand edge. The flower is from a new company I've discovered Art Neko Rubber Stamps. I used Marvy markers in various shades of pink, purple and green and stamped the carnation directly onto the bookmark. Next I printed out the title of the book onto the same color paper as the base cut the words out glued them down and finally highlighted them with a bit of gold. As a finishing touch I edged the bookmark with gold and attached green, gold and pink fibers.

I hope the women who are coming to the meeting have a great time and enjoy the bookmarks. And I hope I get to keep one...more and more people keep telling me they are coming I'm starting to wonder if I have enough food!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Haunted House Swap

Here is my latest contribution to the fabulous Alpha Stamps Swaps. The swap this time was to create 7 "Halloween themed houses" we had to use the house shapes and various images/stamps from Alpha Stamps.

I really took some time to come up with a plan for this swap. After perusing all the sale items (for yahoo group members only so you should join!) I decided I wanted to take a slightly different approach.

I had fallen in love with the tombstone and tree chip board cut outs and wanted something to "hide" behind them. Heading over to the fabulous array of collage images I found these great Paris Show girls...and well what else would make a perfect witch than a show girl (LOL).

Found a few accent stamps and voila I was off.

To start with I wanted to use a velvet fabric that I would iron on a slight swirl image but I had never done that before and had heard that the fumes were bad, plus I was worried about melting my stamp. I was also under a bit of a time crunch so I checked out what fabrics I had and low and behold I had a perfect black cotton with a dark dark grey intricate swirl pattern (that alas did not show up well in the photo's).

Next I stamped the witch on a broomstick on to yellow fabric that I highlighted with an iridescent red paint (to tone down the yellow) and I sewed that onto the black fabric before covering the house.

On a few of the houses I painted in a bit of the swirl pattern using a pewter shimmery paint. I couldn't decide if I liked it or not do I only did half that way.

Next I hand painted the chip board parts using various shades of either grey (for the tombstones) or brown (for the tree). To get an aged look on the tombstones I stamped them with a cracked background stamp. I wanted the tree's to have a bit more personality so I added some "knots" that I hope look like a scary face but I think just look cheesy...oh well, after all I'm not a painter.

The Crow on the branch is stamped/embossed onto chip board. I just bairly tacked it down so that it sticks out over the moon which I gave a raised effect to by placing batting behind the center of the moon.

Finally everything was ready to go on and it was just a matter of placement. When I got everything on I realized I wanted some more color so I added the pumpkins that I originally got in last months Paula's Kit Club but was ecstatic when I found that Alpha Stamps was carrying them also.

Long story short...these were quite a bit of work but I think it was well worth it. I hope the swappers that receive them like them. I had a great time making them and learned quite a bit.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"R" Cocktail Napkins

Here is my latest set of cocktail napkins. Once again they are for a wedding gift and it seems very popular right now to have black dishes mixed with pewter accents so in an effort to the napkins "match" the couples china here is what I came up with.

The customer requested that I try adding a swirl behind the monogram and that I offset (angle) the letter. So after playing with a few different swirls I settled on the one you see and I did offset the letter. But instead of just putting the swirl behind the letter it goes all the way around the napkins edge.

There are a few things that I would do differently if I had these to re-do but all in all I am pleased with the way they turned out. They are not my taste but they are well put together and amazingly (since I have had a ton of practice recently) almost all exactly the same size!

I am pretty sure if you click on the photo it will enlarge it.
Here is the gift box that the napkins will be sent in. Originally it was a bronzish brown box with a brown ribbon. I loved the floral texture that somewhat emulated the swirl I used on the napkins. The final effect I got was not what I was originally going for but some accidents are good.

The plan was that I would paint the entire box silver let it dry and then go over that with a wash of black and wipe off the "raised" area's leaving them silver and the remainder of the box black. Well, it didn't wipe off as well as I expected but I really love the pewter type finish it gave the box.

The ribbon I had to paint also so it is a little stiff but it still made a nice bow and it is much better than if I had tried to replace it.

Here is a close up of the napkins from the above picture. I tied them together with a black organza ribbon.

Below you can see a larger photo of the close up of the swirls and letter "r". You can also see more of the silver paints that I used on the napkins. This time I used two various shades giving the napkins even more depth.

I really hope the customer and the receiver likes this set.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Alcohol Ink ATC Class

A few weeks ago I took my second ATC class from Lisa at La Femme Papier.

There was no way I was going to miss a chance to play with Alcohol of my favorite things. Lisa really didn't show me anything that I had not learned on my own but it was fun to see how other's used this fabulous product.

The ATC on the right is the one that I made. I used a printed transparency and coated it with a yellowish Alcohol Ink, so you can actually see through my ATC!

The pumpkins are stamped on glossy paper and colored with two shades of orangish alcohol ink. And last but certainly not least I used a green alcohol ink to tone down the gold glitter paper I used around the edges. To add a bit more texture I used the new Tim Holtz Distress sticklers to add some "swirls" coming off the pumpkins.

I am really pleased with the way this ATC turned out and love the one that I received in the exchange which is here to the left.

Thank you Jackie C. for the lovely ATC I love the movement and the colors you used and have a special place for it all set up in my ATC book.

If you haven't taken one of Lisa's ATC classes and you live in the area, you really should :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Andrea's One Powerful Hour Entry

A good friend of mine, and member of The Circle of Friends, has created this piece for this weeks One Powerful Hour Challenge...

Back to School

She however does not have a blog so I decided to post it for her on mine. Please leave your comments for her here and I will make sure she stops by and gives it a look.

Thank you Andrea for taking part in this weeks One Powerful hour...

and for those of you that are regulars look for more of Andrea's work in the future, she is going to be one of the Guest Designers coming up!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Frankensteined Gothic Arches, Medieval theme

Well...working up to the last minute on this project. Today is the mailing deadline for the COF Gothic Arches with Medieval as the theme. I just finished the last touches and will be mailing them off this afternoon. This was a bit of a Frankenstein project. Originally there were going to be 4 different castle images (transparencies) but the 4th was too short so I had to order another transparency sheet (Alpha Stamps) and only used three of the images...all very lovely. Also, the butterfly wingers were always going to be different but I didn't know that I would be coloring the women differently. Nor did I know that I would be using different trims. The Felt trim has a long story. I ordered the burgundy felt sticker leaves from Alpha stamps thinking they were brown. When they arrived I only got one set and I was sure I ordered 2....well, I did but they were out of stock. So instead of trying to find something at a local craft store I decided to use what I had. I got through 5 leaving me 3 to find alternate trims. you can see I ended up using 2 different green felt trims...neither of which I am a huge fan of. I do hope the group enjoys these more than I enjoyed piecing them together. For some reason the mental picture in my mind did not make it to the paper at all this time...guess this one I'll try again later...see where I went wrong. Click on the image to enlarge. thanks for looking

Thursday, August 20, 2009

ATC Alphabet Journal

I promised the COF that I would not open my Journal until I finished all their entries. Well I finished the last Journal today (see post below) and ripped into my Journal. If I had known what was awaiting me I would not have been able to keep my promise.

Okay so for my Journal I went with an ATC format but got very specific. I had two lists of words (alphabet style) and each member was assigned to one of the lists. That had to select a minimum of 3 words and display them on the ATC Without using the words on the ATC.

The above 3 images are the ATC from List A which was Architecture, Birds, Coffee, Door, Eye(s), Feather(s), Garden, Hat(s), Ice, Jasmine, kid(s), Love, Man/Men, Night, Opera, Paris, Quills, Reading, Star(s), Tea, Umbrella, Velvet, Winter, Xanadu, Yarn, ZigZag

The above three images all used words from List B Which was Art, Boy(s), Clock(s), Dog(s), Elegance, Flower(s), Girl(s), Hollywood, Insect(s), Japan,Key(s), Leaf(s), Mermaid(s), Number(s), Ocean, Postage, Queen, Rhinestone(s), Shoe(s), Tree(s), Undergarment(s), Vase, Wing(s), Xebec, Year(s), Zodiac

Not all the words were used and I found it very interesting which ones were not. I am thrilled with all the ATC's and can't wait to put the journal together.

Thanks to all the COF members for making this such a fun Journal!

Last of the COF Journal's for 2009

I finally finished the last of the Circle of Friends journal's for this year. I've had this one sitting around the house for way too long and feel bad about it. I'm very grateful for the patience of the member who has had to wait on it for WAY TO LONG. I hope she thinks the wait was worth it.

The instructions for this particular journal were "It was a dark and stormy night...Actually it's about 90 degrees and humid, but that doesn't sound nearly as dramatic. This journal is a mystery; or really it's about mysteries. Most of us read Nancy Drew, played clue or seen Hitchcock. So please do some mysterious pages for my journal..."

Being the last person to get this journal and not one that is into pure mysteries this was a hard one for me. I vaguely recalled a movie from my childhood "Arsenic and Old Lace" so I rented it from netFlix (shameless promotion) and sat down to enjoy what I thought was a mystery but turned out more to be a twisted comedy with a brutal plot...being at a bit of a loss I decided to use it anyway.

Page 1 (above) I used a fabulous textured background paper...the dark swirls are felt. The passages are from the start of the movie which takes place in Brooklyn, hence the skyline at the bottom.

The main spread is a combination of the setting of the movie and things that occurred in it. It starts off with a marriage where the couple lives across the graveyard from one another and then the movie moves into the murder aspect with a heavy salting of funny characters and odd twists that I wasn't able to portray well.

And lastly "The End" not just the end of the movie but the end of this members Journal since I'm the last to work on it. so sad...I wrote out the producer and the stars and when it was made, stamped a few random bats and used a Tim Holtz stencil to give the page some punch.

The COF have decided to take a break until next year at least as far as the journal rotations go. So be watching out for the newest journals starting January of 2010.

I hope that everyone has enjoyed my journal entries as much as I have enjoyed working on them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wedding Napkins

My little sister's good friend is getting married this weekend out here in CA and she asked me if I would make a set of cocktail napkins as part of the gift.

Of course I'll make a set of napkins...always looking for an excuse.

She wanted an elegant set that was very simple. After going back and forth on the colors we finally decided on a two toned grey napkin with silver highlights.

The main portion of the napkin is a light heather grey. I was very worried about this at first since I do not like purple at all but after putting the pewter trim on the purple kinda went away...phew...

Both the center of the napkin and the trim have the silver accents it is just easier to see in these pictures on the darker fabric.

From the very beginning they were always going to have the initial on them.

I wanted to add a tight zig zag of silver thread all along the trim and center part but for some reason my sewing machine would not cooperate at all. I wish that it had because I think it would have made this set of napkins a bit fancier. But then again it could have taken them over the edge since we wanted to keep them very simple and clean.

I hope they make a big hit in their new home...My husband said that no one gets excited over wedding gifts but if I had gotten hand made napkins I think I might have been excited...let's hope she is.

I made extras just in case something went wrong but amazingly nothing did and I am going to be selling the other set (not stamped yet) in my etsy store.

Now onto the next billion of cocktail napkin designs I have floating around in my head.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Flower Themed Charm Swap

Alpha Stamps has done it again...come up with a great theme for a swap. This time it was a Flower Themed Charm Swap where we made 6 similar charms to swap.

This was my first ever go at charms...almost every time I join an Alpha Stamp swap it is my first ever go at it and that is why I enjoy them so much.

Because of the size restrictions, 1" max, I knew that I was going to have a bit of trouble. After all inchies and I do not get along. So I decided to go with the max and selected the bottle cap to work with.

The images I used are from a Tarot Card Collection that I just love and seem to be running out of rapidly. When I looked to replace them I couldn't find them, hopefully they are just out of stock. However if not some of the images are available on the Court of Flora collage sheet.

I glued the images down with a good fast drying craft glue and then covered them with diamond glaze. While the diamond glaze was still wet I added a touch of sticklers glitter. This made them a little lumpy and I am disappointed in that but hopefully I'll be the only one that notices.

The green on two of the bottle caps is also glitter, it is the new distress glitter by Tim Holtz...not so sure how I feel about this product yet. Maybe this was not the project to try it out on.

Lastly I added the pink rose and two leaves, which were originally silver but I stained them with alcohol ink so they have a green hue. And added the green drop.

My number one mistake was thinking that my tools would work. My needle nosed pliers were to large for this delicate work and I couldn't get the loops as tight as I wanted them. So if this is something you are interested in I suggest trying it out with what you have and then investing in a good set of jewelry sized pliers.

I hope the recipients of my charms like them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lutradur ATC class

This past weekend I took an ATC class from Lisa at La Femme Papier

We worked with lutradur, inks and paints. The challenge was to make cards using only solid color papers...allowing the lutradur, ink or paint to add the texture. For those of you that follow my art you know that part wasn't really a challenge for if she had asked me to choose 3 coordinating decorative papers I would have been in trouble.

There were a few things that she showed us we could do with the Lutradur. Burn it, stain it with ink, or use it hole. Any of these three options could be combined.

I decided to burn and stain mine and then I tried to rip it...well the stuff doesn't really rip but I did manage.

I dry brushed a bit of iridescent white Luminere (sp?) paint onto my ATC and used the other inks to stain the word "change". I had a lot of fun making this ATC and I learned a lot. And the best part was we got to exchange our ATC's.

This is the exchanged ATC that I got. Lisa, the artist, used the same procedure I did, staining and dying the Lutradur. But she used it to cover the entire ATC. She has a shimmery gold paper behind the Lutradur and it really gives it great dimension.

I grabbed a few more sheets because I think it will make great spider webs for Halloween pieces, which one of these day's I'll get around to making.

If you live in the Concord CA area you really should check out these classes. Lisa plans on holding one a month.