Monday, December 30, 2013

Oh, the possibilities!

We are all familiar with ATC's, or Artist Trading Cards, but what about ATB's? Artist Trading Blocks are a new one for me and I'm excited about the endless ways to use them.



























These blocks were cut from an old piece of scrap wood my husband had in his bits and pieces box of wood he saves from old projects. I love that box of leftovers! It's fun to go poking around his shop and find a treasure or two to take back to my studio and play around with.
As with ATC's, these were cut to 2.5 x 3.5 and the thickness is a pretty standard 1.5 inches, which is the thickness of a 2x4. And the beauty of making ATB's is that scrap lumber is perfect!
2x4's are great because you only need to cut once.
I'm participating in a swap over at craftster where we are all creating ATB's for a partner.
It's going to be fun to see what everyone comes up with!




























What will be most difficult for me is deciding what idea to settle on. Good thing I have
more than one block.........

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Not a creature was stirring.......

I wish all the best for you and your families this holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's comin' on Christmas.......

My tree is up, the mantle is decorated with garland and lights. All red, white and silver this year.





































The whole house has that wonderful Christmas smell..........
Gingerbread!




























I hope you are enjoying your Christmas preparation this year!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Magnificent

The big eighty year old maple tree in my back yard was in it's glory this November. The loveliness of this autumn in my garden was the best I've seen. Everywhere you looked, there was color and texture. My favorite autumn ritual this year was to sit on the steps of my front porch in the morning, sip my coffee and gaze at this magnificent tree.
There are many things to be thankful for. Beauty in any form is surely one.






































Saturday, November 23, 2013

A few pretty little baubles

My love affair with precious metal clay looks like it's turning into a permanent thing.
It's fun, easy to work with and extremely satisfying. Here are a few things that are on their way to being finished for the Christmas market here on December 7th.

Large Birdhouse Pendant (2"x1 1/4")





























Sunflower earrings and pendant (1 1/4 " wide)





































Leaf necklace (1 1/4" long x 3/4" wide)



























These are silver coins ready for a necklace. (approx. 1' wide)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween Banner!

I love Halloween!
Here's a little banner I made using stuff from Alpha Stamps. I really like how it turned out!


























And a couple of detail shots......







































































If you want to see what the rest of the design team banners look like and/or want to get the kit, you
can go Here.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Little Birdie

More PMC3 fun! I made this little birdhouse pendant along with four other pieces as my entry to be juried into the Heartwood Gallery, part of  'Round the Mountain.

'Round the Mountain, ( in Abingdon, VA) serves as the hub for a network of more than 400 Southwest Virginia artisans and craftspeople. They have very high standards and the gallery is beautiful and impressive.
I have to admit I felt a little overwhelmed, seeing the creativity and craftsmanship in each and every piece.
The Heartwood has jurying twice a year, so if I don't make it in this time, there is always next spring!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Gargoyle Tags

I made these for Alpha Stamps' Gargoyle Tag swap. The die-cut was a fun shape to work with and a good opportunity to play with both new bits and pieces and stuff that hangs around in my scrap box waiting for the perfect spot.







































Here's the link to the Gargoyle tag kit and information on the swap, if you're interested in joining the fun!



































































































Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What a little devil!

Yes, I know it's still August and Halloween is sixty two days away. But it's not stopping me from getting into the holiday spirit. And honestly, I've been ready for Halloween since last March.
I love me some Halloween......







































Here's a naughty guy and his chubby little demon buddy out looking to cause some trouble.
Maybe they will inspire you to make some early Halloween art. Maybe whilst sipping a glass of champagne. Or a dirty martini. Hic.
The ATC Hutch Kit-Halloween came from Alpha Stamps as did just about all of the supplies used including the devil image which was carefully cut out of the Black and White Halloween Borders
as well as all of the Black Dresden Trims I used. (three different kinds)






































And I swear, it was my intention to make that little bead look like a pumpkin, not.......
well, what some people think it looks like. Ahem.






































Thanks for stopping by and Happy (early)  Halloween!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mr. Beed attends the Shenanigans



































Poor Mr. Beed. He's such a buzzkill at the Halloween party. Time seems to drag by for the revelers waiting for him to take his leave, so the real shenanigans can begin.
Too bad he's waiting for Mrs. Beed, who likes to linger and look disapprovingly at all the carrying on.


































Made for the wonderful ladies at Alpha Stamps using the fun (and versatile) ATC Hutch Shrine Kit.
Other supplies available from Alpha Stamps:
The awesome wee pumpkins! Love these! They are actually seed pods that look like teeny tiny pumpkins. I've used these in a number of pieces and they are the perfect size.
Pumpkin Pods
Tiny Dot Border Dresden Trim
Valance Curtain Die-Cut Chipboard
The clocks are actually cut from a 12x12 sheet of G45's Curiosity Shoppe, but a good substitute are these Clock Face Buttons.
They come in two different sizes and I use them a lot.
The little banners are hand made as are the title plaques on the bottom of each hutch.
I used teeny bits of ribbon from the Halloween Fiber Set to trim the hats the Beeds are wearing.
The hats are made from some scrap orange paper and I used a brighter shade of orange Copic marker to give the hats their stripes and polka dots.
I drew balloon shapes on the bit of scrap that had skellies on it, cut them out and attached them with black jute.
The photos are vintage.

And here are the Beeds together....a perfect couple.
Thanks for coming by!





Friday, August 2, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Seaward Pendant

I've been dabbling in PMC for a  year and quite seriously for the past six months.
Everything I've learned has been through trial and error and reading a lot of books!
Here is a pendant I'm pretty happy with.
It's PMC3, the chain I made with fine silver wire (18 gauge jump rings and hammered wire). The stamps I used for the text and the seashell are from a collection I got at Alpha Stamps  called
Under the Sea Cling Stamp Set.
The pendant is about 2.5 inches long including the seashell and the chain is 28 inches.







































I plan on many more pieces! PMC is a lot of fun to work with and you don't have to be an expert to make something thoroughly satisfying.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mermaid Lantern








































Continuing in the beachy mermaid theme I've got going on here is a fun lantern I made for Alpha Stamps. I had so much fun making her! Most everything came from Alpha Stamps with the exception of the tentacle thingy, which I made from polymer clay and the disc that is in back of the mermaid figure-also made from polymer clay.






































I just realized the wee pearl I glued into her hand has gone missing and she's gazing at her palm.
Oops.
Perhaps she's just wishing the artist that made her abode was more on the ball.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tunnel Book Love


Oh, I do love tunnel books! Here are three versions of the same kind of construction. I did these for the fabulous folks at Alpha Stamps with a wee tutorial on how to change the 'scenery' around if you have a hankering to do so!

First off, if you've never made a tunnel book, there is a great tutorial Here at Kira Nichols
awesome site, Oops, I Craft My Pants.
Secondly, what I am going to show you is easy peasy and a fun way to change out what you have in your tunnel book. You can design one to change with the seasons, or make a little beach babes fashion show like the one I've done here.










 



























After I constructed the bones of my book, I cut pieces of card stock into 4x4 squares.
I tried to slide the squares down through the top of my book, but they won't fit, so I trim off the excess and dry fit it again. I've learned that even though I'm measuring to fit, they don't always, so it's best to check. After I get the size right, I trim out most of the paper leaving about 1/4 inch 'frame'.



















I use the first frame I cut as a template for the additional frames. How many you cut is up to you. The more layers you have, the more depth and dimension you get. This book has slots for eight frames.
After all the frames are cut out, it's time to play!
Since I want this to be beachy and tropical with a vintage feel, I'm using these collage sheets from
Alpha Stamps:
Bathing Costumes Collage Sheet
Boardwalk Fashions Collage Sheet
Beach and Shore Backdrops Collage Sheet

I cut out a lot of foliage, ladies in swimsuits and a couple in street clothes and played around until I got things in positions I liked and glued the individual pieces on their frames.
I colored the bottoms of each frame so they blend into the scene.



















After that, it's a matter of playing around with the order they go in and what you want to be in the background, foreground and mid-ground.
I also used one of the frames to change the background from the ship/beach scene to beach parasols.
Here are ladies with the parasol background.


Supplies lists and a couple of shots of the other tunnel books......

"Shipwreck"












































"Waterbabies"


 


Supplies for 'Shipwreck'
Ships and Waves Backdrops Collage Sheet
Mermaids #3 Collage Sheet
4x4 Die-Cut Chipboard Frame Set
Travel Sea Shells Grand Adhesions




Supplies for 'Waterbabies'
4x4 Die-Cut Chipboard Frame Set
Mermaids #3 Collage Sheet
Ships and Waves Backdrop Collage Sheet
Children at the Beach Collage Sheet
Dimensional Mini Seashells
Sand Dollar Ledger Scrapbook Paper

The parasols in the Beach Babes are from Graphic 45 's Birdsong Collection, 'Endless Spring'.
The paper used for the front of Beach Babes is Fresh.

Additional Supplies
Vintage Plastic Beads
Copic Markers




Sunday, May 26, 2013

More Buggy Things

These are a few more of the Bug Plaques I've made. I think over time I've probably made at least a couple of dozen......bugs are fun!























































Most of the bug plaques start out with a wooden base of some kind, then I make the polymer clay tiles and texture them to my liking.

























































I've been playing around with nail polish as enameling for a while now and really like the way it looks with the brass glowing through the color.

























































I like to use brads and stuff like old nails to add more texture to the plaques. Plus, it's a great reason to muck around in old junk shops!
Thanks for stopping by and having a look!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Year of the Cicada and other buggy things


This is the year the cicadas come out of their seventeen year sleep, rise from the ground and cause havoc...they eat, work hard at making little baby cicadas and lay their eggs in the smaller branches of hardwood trees.
Aside from the yuck factor I feel when I think about a plague of cicadas, they are also pretty fascinating creatures as are most insects......if you happen to like buggy things as I do.






































Inspired by the seventeen year locust, this is a plaque made from wood polymer clay and brass findings. The beautifully made cicada is a raw brass stamping I found online at Vintage Jewelry Supplies. I enameled him with nail polish applied with fine brushes. Nail polish remover will clean the brushes okay, but best to have a couple for dedicated use and don't spend a lot of dollars on them as they don't last long!
The clay tiles were cut out with cookie cutters and textured
with various stamps and tools with interesting patterns.
The color is painted on with acrylics.
The leaves are also brass stampings enameled with nail polish.
The wooden plaque everything rests on was primered, then painted with gold acrylic paint and then a layer of Quinacridone Gold was washed over the top to give it a richer look.







































Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What the Bee Knows 2

Altered Matchbox Triptych inspired by P.L. Travers, the author of the 'Mary Poppins' books and a wonderful collection of her articles from 'Parabola' magazine called 'What the Bee Knows'.
A very interesting and long-lived woman, she met many other famous writers, artists and poets in her time, including Peter Llewelyn Davies, (J. M. Barrie's son and her publisher) and W. B. Yeats.























































The lavender came from my garden as well as the wee twigs.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Accordion Pocket Book for ATC's!




































The fabulous Alpha Stamps has some wonderful themes this spring, one of which is "Pocket Books".
Here is one I made that will hold some favorite ATC's or maybe lovely small postcards.

I started out with the Square Accordion Chipboard Book. I cut off a couple pages because I wanted a slightly shorter book, but you can make yours any length you choose.
I chose my papers according to what combinations pleased me to look at when the book is fully opened and cut them to size. I glued all the papers in front and back and set the book aside to dry.
Note: All the papers used were from the  Graphic45 French Country Paper 12x12 individual sheets.





















While the book was drying, I cut out the basic pockets making sure to cut slightly large to accommodate a glue line and an ATC and matched them to the papers I thought they looked best on. I carefully glued them (edges only....remember you have to leave enough space for an ATC to fit in the pocket!) on and whilst they were drying I cut out lots of individual flowers from the Sunflower Scrapbook Page and glued them in sort of random pleasing spots around the book, keeping in mind a general balance in the overall look of the book fully opened.

I trimmed a few of the pockets with the Black Zig Zag Dresden Border and the Thin Dresden Border.
I also sprinkled a few lovely bits of the French Country Die-Cut Banner pieces on the pockets and the back and front cover of the book. To attach the ribbons, I glued them to a couple of the banner pieces, let them dry and then glued those to the book, front and back.


And of course, I had to put something in the pockets.......
I cut out some of the images on the A La Carte Scrapbook Paper page.
They're so pretty, I might just leave them in there and make another book for ATC's!
























































Thanks for stopping by!