Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Art Share ~ Garden Fairy Book Alpha Stamps Swap returns

Today I received a wonderful collection of Fairy Book pages in the mail!

These are the returns from the Alpha Stamps Yahoo Group swap with the theme, Fairy Garden. I am thrilled with what I received. You can see all the pages HERE at the Alpha Stamps Gallery.

The first piece I am sharing with you is from Nicole of The Pisces Princess.

There are so many fun additions to this page. I'll start with the little butterfly, it's behind a clear acrylic tag that adds a great effect. The fairy has been dabbed with alcohol inks and so has the wand which make them fit into the overall piece better, not so blaring gold. The wand also has glitter on it! I am not sure what she cut the butterfly out of but it has a fabulous texture, crinkled but not. The Collage image is mounted on pretty background paper and I think she used some tissue paper sticker as the books binding.

The real surprise is inside! Yep, the book opens. The edges of the book have been roughed up so you get the impression that this really was taken into the field. She included three pages inside, all strapped in with a piece of German scrap that has been rubbed with Alcohol inks. The first page is the image of a butterfly, then there is a book page with butterflies stamped all over it and finally a sheet that looks like paper with Field Notes stamped on the top.

I love the pink fabric she used behind the book, she cut it into think strips. It is a wonderful addition.

The second page I received is from Teri Steele.

It is a fabulous paper collage that every time I look at I see something different/new. I believe she stamped on a decorate background paper and then added a bit of color in a few places. There are a bunch of 3D stickers all over the place. And the collage images are 3Ded also with added glitter to their wings. A lovely paper flower and some vine ribbon complete the front of her page.

She took the time to do an intricate collage on the back as well, which I love. Again she used a lovely background paper and added a cupid complete with a bit of string for the bow, pearls surrounding one of the images and lots and lots of glitter. The bumble bee is silver metal and he almost blends in perfectly.

The third page I received is from Diana Kelly.

I am in awe with this one. She started off with a lovely background paper, added a collage image that of course got a bit of glitter. Then surrounded the image with vine fiber that she added a touch of glitter to. In the lower right she added a gorgeous 3D flower sticker complete with glitter and rhinestone centers for a few of the flowers.

At the top she placed a gorgeous paper flower and a metal butterfly, both of which again got glittered. Her finishing touches are some metal dragonflies placed randomly with, you guessed it a bit of glitter.

The fourth page, and alas the last, is by Nancy Elkin.

She used one of my favorite, and one of the collage images I used, collage images as the background of her page. Adding glittery fibers where the poles were and paper flowers all up and down them. She created a fence, at least that's what it looks like to me, using green bits of fiber and some more ribbon. It is quite nice. As a finishing touch she added a brass dragonfly.

I am so excited to have these pages, I've started work on the cover but might have to re-think how I was going to bind them. All together (I made doubles of my pages) it is quite thick.

The cover page for this book will most likely be the last project my current studio seas. We are going to be making a big move! I just hope I can finish this book up before then.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Children shouldn't run with Scissors

Sandi is the hostess for the Circle of Friends sway this month and she has selected the theme, Children. She asked us to include a phrase, or word somewhere on the piece and that it be 4x6, she plans on binding them somehow.

I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do but life crept up on me and I needed to pound these suckers out fast! So I scaled back, WAY back on my original design and this is what I came up with. For those of you that know me you can see how much I struggled to not go dark with this one. One day I hope to get to re-do it in all its potential creepiness!

I'm still playing with a lot of the techniques in Lisa M. Pace's book Delight in the Details. For this piece I decided to focus on her tips on paper sewing and mix and matching decorative papers. I've already mastered crepe paper but used it a bit differently here. Other things that she frequently does is to use the mini pearls and she has a great section on eyelet boarders. All these concepts she uses on different projects but I decided to toss them all on this one.

I combined 3 different decorative papers (if you count the one with my scissors phrase) sewing them all together. Before sewing the phrase decorative paper on I stamped the tree, which was a little on the dark/creepy side which is why the decorative paper ended up covering most of it up (originally I was going to put it in the lower right hand corner). To make up for that I used a punch to add interest to the bottom. The ribbon running along the crepe paper I hand crinkled and died.

All and all I'm pleased with the way this turned out but like I said I really want to goo full force on the creepy factor, alas that wasn't the theme this month.

I hope the member's of Cirle of Friends enjoy this and I can't wait to get the completed book back!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Art Share ~ Boite D'Allumettes Swap Return

It's here it's here, it's here! The box Wanda made me for the Boite D'Allumettes swap with MAMA. The mailman even brought it to my door, said she couldn't leave such a pretty box in the mailbox!

She wrapped the matchbox with a wonderful selection of yellow, blue and lace fabrics/ribbons. So what you see under the Marie image is fabric and it is luscious! I think she hand cut and made all the flowers on the top, sewing seed beads to each center. And the yellow and blue sprigs of gems are marvelous! The image of Marie is slightly elevated off the box.

For the sides she once again used a lovely yellow fabric this one satin, folding it and sewing on the pearls and seed beads. Did I mention yellow is my favorite color!

Inside is chocked full of goodies! The daintiest handkerchief ever, hand stamped fabric bits, doilies, handmade flowers, ribbons/lace, collage images, one of her fabulous handmade strawberries (wish I had taken a separate picture of this), a miniature matchbox that she decorated (another item I wish I had a separate picture of) and filled with scrumptious vintage buttons and a fabulous crystal. She painted the box yellow and lined the inside with sheet music.

But this was the last of my goodies, the real fun started when I opened the box, which she had packed to the brim with goodies. Goodies, goodies everywhere! More ribbons, more collage images, fabulous Paris themed die cuts, a rhinestone vintage charm, french script pages and a handmade paper shoe that you can see on the top (a third item I wish I had a separate picture of...drat I was just so excited I didn't take the time to really get good pictures).

And below is the shipping box, she painted and stamped the top and decoupaged the sides with a fabulous yellow paper and bright yellow flowers. It is a lovely box and everything inside was even more fantastic!

This was a wonderful swap and I am so thrilled that I got to swap with Wanda.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Boite D'Allumettes Swap

A few days ago I posted about mailing out my Boite D'Allumettes Swap to my MAMA partner. Well, she received the box so now I can share it with all of you. To see the shipping box that went along with this swap go HERE.

This is my first ever large matchbox and I had a wonderful time creating this piece.

The idea hit me right away, I think it is because I've been cruising some really lovely Shabby Chic blogs recently and I wanted to stick with that color pallet.

When I checked out my partners blog, Roses in Water, she used a lot of blues, pink, and purples so to make up for the lack of color I filled the box with goodies that fit into her color pallet that I hope she can use.

I used a lot of techniques that I have learned from Laura at Artfully Musing on this box. The frame on the top of the box is one of those, I made a mold, then created a paper clay frame, sanded it down, painted it white then brushed it with various brown toned inks. To add some bling I dusted it lightly with a white shimmery pearl ex powder and sealed the frame with a high gloss sealant. I made some extras and hope to have them in my etsy store soon.

Like I mentioned the idea hit my right off and once I get an idea in my mind I have a hard time adjusting it. The carriages were key and of course an element I didn't have so I had to go hunting. I started by checking out what The Graphic Fairy had to offer, she has some lovely carriages but they weren't what I envisioned. So off to Etsy I went where I discovered a new store that I lurve! Graphique. Their images are gorgeous and the information packet they send out is very detailed, great for beginners or a seasoned image alterer. The image I purchased from them is called the Cinderella coach but I think it works for Marie also.

I shrunk the carriage down, altered the color to sepia and printed it out. Next I added the glitter, some of the carriage I left in a strip and over stamped the french words, affixing this to the side of the matchbox. On top of those I 3Ded a set of carriage.

The entire matchbox is seated onto a piece of foam core that I cut an inch larger so that I could create a cobble stone road. I used glitter as mortar and added some pearls here and there.

For the short sides of the matchbox I painted it white then dusted it with brown inks and stamped it with a crackle stamp. I used Tim Holtz distressing ink because I love the soft tone it gives once it is fully dry.

The Fleur de leis are also paper clay bits that I created a mold for using Laura's tutorial. They are painted and sealed the same as the frame on the top.

As a finishing touch on the sides I wrapped a silk ribbon that I had died and crinkled all the way around the box. So when you slide the inside out the ribbon decorates the entire thing.

I really wanted some miniature carriage wheels to place the entire piece on but I couldn't find any and I was starting to wonder how I would be able to attach them, because of course I wanted them to work. So I settled for some flat crystal marbles.

For the top I aged some paper flowers and twisted a cream ribbon all down the sides. I also added a few stones and pearls here and there.

The image inside the frame is behind a piece of transparency film that I stamped the same crackle background stamp on that I used for the sides, I wanted the transparency to look like old glass.

You can see some of the goodies I included inside the box. There are a bunch of ribbons and some collage images and a few other items under the flowers and pearls.

Of course I wanted to send her some fabric because it looks like she is a fabulous seamstress from her blog so that is what I used as packaging material.

I hope she enjoys her box because I enjoyed making it for her!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Art Share ~ COF April Open Theme Swp

Guess what showed up in my mailbox yesterday...The Circle of Friends April, Open theme swap. And Wow was that box filled with some really fun pieces.

Now let me share the art. From the bottom center going clockwise, Inspire is by Sandi our fearless leader, Peter Rabbit is by Andrea, Count Your Blessings by Elizabeth of Sassy Stampin' Momma, Watercolor by Kathy, Balloon Monster and thanks a Bunch by Monica of Art Rocks, B is for Bird by Sarette and the center piece A Artis preceptar is by Margie our newest member.

Before I move on I want to say thank you to Sarette for hosting such a wonderful swap!

I picked a few to highlight today, the first one is Andrea's Peter Cottontail. the reason I selected this tag is because when I was a girl about my daughters age my parents bought me the entire set of Peter Cottontail books, a lovely collection that I have handed down to her. The image Andrea used looks just like one of the illustrations from the books I have and I love that she sprayed it with glimmer mist it makes it look old to me.

On the back Andrea included a phrase from the book "Peter's coat and shoes were plainly to be seen upon the scarecrow."

This is the first time I have swapped with Margie and I wanted to highlight her piece because it is one of the stamps that I have always loved but never purchased for myself. I just don't know what I would do with it. Every time I see it used I love it and her card is no exception.

For the background she used alcohol inks, then stamped the image in a bold black. She mounted all this on a gold decorative paper and then onto the blue cardstock. I just love the color combination she selected.

So glad that I got to swap with Margie finally!

These two fabulously fun creations are by Monica who is our newest member to undertake a blog. She started one up a few weeks ago and it has been so much fun to watch her share her first posts. I included a link to her blog up at the top of this post.

I have always loved Monica's simple style and bold colors. Every time I open a swap I know right off which fabulous creation is hers. These cards are miniature and she sent envelopes along with them. No way am I mailing them out though, every time I look at them they make me smile.

When I opened Sarette's piece I was floored, it is the most fabulous and simple idea I have seen in a long time and I am planning on stealing the idea from her (hope you don't mind).

On the surface this looks like a very simple, pretty little fold out card, but inside it holds a post it pad! What a fabulous way to dress up something that i always have sitting around. And if you look below you can see that I have already started to use this piece. I absolutely love art that functions!

Yet another wonderful Circle of Friends swap! If you are interested in becoming a member come check us out over at yahoo The Circle of Friends, we are always open to new members.

Now I am off to go finish this months swap!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Divas de Mayo ~ A Swapping Fiesta! What I sent

Yesterday I shared the wonderful goodies I received in this months PBS Diva Swap. You can view the fabulous items I got HERE. My swap partner received the box I sent yesterday also so I can now share them with all of you.

Margaret said in her profile that she loves the 60's colors and she is a fabulous cook, alas I don't know this first hand but she made it to the finals of a very tough cooking competition and she is always sharing wonderful recipes with us Diva's.

The twist this month was to include something in our boxes that was "Festive" well, I went a bit overboard. I wanted to send her some outdoor entertaining things to fancy up her dinner parties outside and was cruising one of my regular stores when I saw this apron, inspiration struck and I hit the sewing machine running.

I shoved the apron in my purse and headed to the local fabric store. It took a little looking but I found some nice fabrics that I thought went well, there was nothing that was spot on. I got them cut and was getting ready to check out when I walked by the rick rack display and like a lightning bolt my design just kept getting hotter! So I picked up some rick rack and headed home.

I selected 6 different fabrics, 2 yellows (they were the hardest), 2 greens, and 2 browns.

This is my very first set of napkins where I didn't attach a boarder and it is also my very first set of tea/hand towels. Everything is double sided because lets face it no one wants to look at the back of fabric, it's just not pretty.

The n's are all hand cut applique's that I ironed on using stitch witchery. And I sewed the rick rack as well as glued it (don't want it to frey).

Margaret said that I got the colors perfect to match the rest of her decor. I really hope I did and she's not just being sweet. I love these and had a great time making them. I hope she gets years and years of use out of them.

The other items that I sent were citronella candles to keep those pesky bugs away, some fun outdoor twinkle lights and a holder for wine glasses and a bottle of wine that you steak into the ground. It looked like a ton of fun!

Till next time!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Divas de Mayo ~ A Swapping Fiesta! My Goodies!

This is the latest haul of goodies that my PBS Diva Margaret sent me. The Diva's are a group I am a part of through the PBS site. We all share a love of books and get together to chat about anything and everything and also swap goodies.

Recently we have started to have twists to go with our monthly swaps, this time it was...

FESTIVE! You must send at least one item this month you feel is festive. It can be a color (red is festive) or a flower (think Tulip Festival), candles are festive or anything you think is fun and festive. The choice is yours.

Margaret blew me out of the water with the gift she sent!

First I want to share some of the note that she wrote me...

...I tucked some usable packing material that you might be able to use. The odds & ends of yarn are leftover from projects I've made. I keep them and now hopefully you or someone you know can us them. The lace and ribbons also are left form projects....

The Post Script is the best though...

I hope you don't think of the odds and ends as a stupid gift. Please feel free to toss anything you don't use.

So at this point I am highly curious as to what all the "odds and ends" are, so I pull back the tissue paper and OMG I squeal like a little girl!

Have you ever seen a full ziplock bag crammed with so many scrumptious art goodies??? I just couldn't contain myself, I ripped into it right away, completely consumed with the fabulous odds and ends, totally forgetting about the rest of the box thinking there's no way whatever is buried under all that bubble wrap could top this part of the gift.


Yes that is Sugar, my four legged helper, checking out the fabulous odds and ends. She of course found them all worthy and tried to sneak off with one or two. Needless to say she didn't get very far, it's mine all mine!

There was not one, not two, but four tea cups all lovingly wrapped hidden under the bag of odds and ends.

The picture I have at the top of the post shows all four but I've decided to just feature one today and link it to Tea Cup Tuesday this way I'll have three more fabulous cups to share with you over the next few weeks.

Okay so onto the fabulous cup. I selected this one because today is a rather grey and rainy day and this cup, while grey (a fabulous shade of grey) is also very bright, so I hope the sun comes out soon to join me for tea.

There is no stamp on the bottom of the cup but there is a number. I'm pretty sure it is from occupied Japan.

Check out all that gold brushed down the sides, I love that it looks like random brush strokes. And isn't the foot fabulous!

But just wait, the cup is exquisite on the inside, it has a kind of opalescent coating inside that reflects pinks, purples and yellows to match the lovely painted bouquet on the inside. It is going to be so much fun to drink tea out of this and watch the pearly sides and bouquet appear as my tea disappears.

Now onto the saucer, the flowers from the inside of the cup are mimicked here as is the random brush strokes and a bit of the pearlescent shimmer but wow those cut outs! Each cut out is highlighted with gold.

The final detail that I want to showcase is the delicate and lovely handle. I love the mix of swirls with a touch of what I think looks like leaves. And like the rest of the cup it has wonderful gold highlights.

I will cherish this cup and the other three which I'll be showcasing over the next few weeks. This is the first cup I have received from a PBS Diva and I know every time I look at it or use it I'll think of Margaret.

Thank you beyond words!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Boite D'Allumettes Swap Goes Postal

Just got back from mailing out the most recent swap I am taking part in with the Marie Antoinette Mail Art group. The swap is titled, Boite D'Allumettes and participants were to decorate a matchbox in the Marie style and fill it with goodies for our partner.

I was paired up with Wanda from Roses In Water and got right to work. But I'm not going to show anyone what I did until Wanda gets it...I know I'm so bad, but I thought I would give you a taste of what she will be receiving. This is the box I shipped Wanda's swap in.

I painted the box a soft linen shade and then stamped the cracked stamp all over in a medium shade of brown ink. If you use a Tim Holtz distress ink they do something really cool, they kind of seep into the paint/box and take on a very soft look that I love, it is great for backgrounds.

Next I stamped the Eiffel lower all over but my stamp was too tall for the box so I angled it, so the Eiffel tower kinda meats the Leaning Tower of Pisa on this box. As a finishing touch I cut, glittered and glued the fabulous carriage images on. I just love this image, purchased it from Graphique on Etsy, please check out their images they are wonderful!

I had a great time on this swap, even though I think I am more nervous about this one than I was the Tea Cup Swap. Keep your eye's out for the post on what I put into this shipping should be long I mailed it priority!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fairies through the Glass

This is the last of my four Fairy book pages for the Alpha Stamps Fairy Garden Book Swap. My other pages are Grant Me Wings, Behind the Fence, and Come Not Near our Fairy Queen. I can't wait to get the returns, you can view all of the participants entries HERE at the Alpha Stamps Gallery.

Real quick review of the requirements. Participants were asked to feature a fairy, use a 3D item and build it on the chipboard book.

If you've been following me lately you might have noticed a new trend. I have been using a lot of natural, or found in nature items in my art. This piece is no exception, I used moss to fill in the space around the image.

The inspiration for this piece was mainly the image but it was also a scene from the movie The Secret of NIMH at a point the camera (or drawings) pan into or out of the boys bedroom window which is a large/thick coke bottle bottom. I wanted to make It look like my fairies were inside a room in the woods. I used a sheet of transparency film that I sewed on, before closing it all the way I added a few seed beads, so they move around when you pick up the piece.

The sewing showed so I added a green fiber which I wish I hadn't, it didn't go on an nicely as I wanted so it makes the roundness I was going for a bit scewed. Then I added the moss, there are places you can see through it but that's okay because I built the entire thing on a decorative paper.

There are lots of hidden details in the moss, mostly these little butterflies, but also the decorative paper behind the moss has a lot of interesting things on it.

The finishing touches on this page include some paper flowers and the gold Dresden, which was not easy to put on since the shape is not square. When it was all put together I trimmed the moss so it doesn't stick out beyond the edges of the page, but it does curl up onto the image of the Fairies.

I had a great time making these pages and I learned a lot and used a lot of new techniques. I can't wait to get my returns!