Wednesday, August 31, 2011

snowmen on my table???

Hi all. I have been one busy chick this last couple weeks. Last week I was a bit draggy but this week is whipping by and I am getting lots done. 
You are probably wondering about the title of this post but I assure you you will see why in a moment.
First of all I finished my matchbox for the FlickR Monthly matchbox and this month Gail chose the theme of book or books. So I got Miss Peach as my partner and I messaged her to find out what types of books she liked. I was given a list so I had no reason to get stuck on any ideas. So I found out that Miss Peach loves Beatrix Potter so I searched the internet for illustrations and made a little book for her. I am not showing all the pages but I am giving a little sneak preview in case she comes over to take a peek. I certainly know whenever someone tells me not to peek I do, it's better you tell me it's in the mail and wait or I go a lookin. he he, can't take the kid out of me.
So here is the little book, remember it fits on top of a mini matchbox so there wasn't a lot of room for many pages but I did use stamps to decorate the pages. I hope Miss Peach likes it, and of course I filled it with some goodies and I have some extras that just won't fit so they will be on the way to the US in the next day or so.
 Below is one of the inside pages. I bound my book with embroidery thread and tied it neatly to the side. I had all the pages lined up before I did this and somehow they ended up being a bit wonky. Oh well I never said I was a book binder or whatever you call it. This was fun, I got to use a lot of my miniature stamps for this project.
 And here is what I have been doing, making Christmas ornaments for my fall shows. So far I have 2 that I will be submitting my painted items to and the third show is at the local Sweet Sentiments scrapbook store where the lovely Laura and Krista take good care of me ordering supplies and helping me with stamping and other things that I need help with. So here are the ornies I have had on the go. Mr. B cut them all out for me and then I took it from there. I still have more to do but this is just a small number so far. As you can see they still need to be varnished and little embellishments to add, ribbons, snowflakes, rusty stars and their hangers but when I get this lot all painted I will stop and do that before moving onto the next bunch. I like to get the things painted then do the other boring stuff at one time otherwise I will leave it to the last minute. You might have already noticed I like snowmen, but, I am doing some gingers, cats and a few painted paper ornaments soon to be on the go. Can't wait to do those. I finally found the Diamond Dust with a coupon at Michael's and I have since found it at another craft store out of town. After hunting online for it I found out Michael's sold it so with 40% off that made Lesley a happy painter.

Well that's it for now. Garden is going to be harvested soon. Potatoes will be dug up. Beets are waiting for MIL to pickle them. I did a whack last year so I don't need to do any this year and the tomatoes are divine.
Take care, thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more painting goodies.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Got some catching up to do

Hello my dear friends,
I can't believe how quickly the summer is passing by. The leaves are starting to change colour. I hate to say it but I have even had my flannel PJ's on a few nights when the temps have dipped.
The garden is still producing tomatoes and we still have to harvest potatoes, squash and herbs but there is still lots of time to do that.
I have been getting busy for a couple craft shows and doing a bit of painting and trying to tie loose ends up for a couple of swaps.
Today I am going to show you a few things I have had done and some matchbox swaps and ATC's I have received. Nothing like getting fun mail, it's like Christmas at my house. Sometimes I set the box on the table and stare at it like I am waiting for the clock to turn to the actual correct time, not that any time is more or less correct, sometimes I can't wait to tear the box open, it all depends on how eager I am to rip it open. Most of the time I do just that and I am just dazzled lately at what the generous folks I have traded with have sent me.
Here is a beautiful matchbox from Miss Peach who sent me this in the theme of  " My Favourite Things" over at the FlickR group Monthly Matchbox swap. We were to find out our partner's favourite things then decorate and then fill her box with goodies she could use and like. Miss Peach made me this wonderful Oz Cabinet Card as I truly love the Wizard of Oz. I could watch that movie over and over. I even have the tape here at home to watch whenever I please. Not sure hubs would care for it that often but it is I would say my favourite movie. And I also like butterflies so Miss Peach made this box and inside was this beauty encased. Miss Peach said this was stuck to a grill of a truck or car and it is preserved so perfectly. Now it has travelled all these miles to Canada and I will keep it here safe and sound. And look at all the goodies she sent me as well. Thanks Miss Peach. This next month I have her name so I will be posting a pic of her matchbox but the pic was blurry so I have to retake it .

Next is a matchbox I got from JoScraps over at the Vintage Dragonfly's Grandma's Attic swap. We were to make a vintage type of matchbox and use mostly vintage items. Jo certainly filled this box and then some. Take a look at the flowers, the card and all the goodies inside. Even the string is vintage. And I just love that beautiful antique image in the frame. Thanks so much Jo. I hope you feel better soon, sounds like you had a rough summer.
Next are a couple Teacup themed ATC's I did a trade with Wendy from BlissAngels. We started this trade before the Canadian Postal strike so that delayed us sending back and forth. I did finally get these ATC's.
Well after the postal strike and they seemed to have sat at the Customs Office for over a month. Now they are here for me to enjoy with Wendy's cute little fairy children sitting in their teacups. Thanks Wendy, they are wonderful.

And finally here are my bird canvases I had mentioned a couple posts ago and a fairy canvas I just made for someone special.
I used the TH birdcage die and embossed and painted to make them look old and worn.
I have used a canvas on the back with layers of cheesecloth and lace. I painted them with burnt umber, black and metallic bronze paint slip slapped all over.
I used corrugated cardboard with the top layer ripped off and then painted with antique white slip slapped for a worn look as well. The more rustic the better and I wanted to keep a nature theme going. I also used some burlap at the bottom corners underneath the words. I had the birds from a card or something in my stash so I could finally use them. I think these would look nice in a sun room on the wall or even a bathroom if you have a nature theme going on.

And here is the most recent canvas I created using another die cut birdcage but I cut it to make an arbor for this little fairy. The top piece on the canvas is chipboard painted with cheesecloth and antique white paint then I took a touch of Timberline green on the corner and just brushed it here and there around the edges just to add a bit of colour and going with a theme of nature again, green brown. the top of the arbor is a brad that I found in my stash with the prongs removed or just gone so it fit nicely there.
I used some fungi images I believe are from the Graphics Fairy, some butterflies, roses I made and a rolled canvas flower I added some distress stickles to. All in all this turned out better than I expected and I hope that I will surprise one of my recent swap partners.
Well that is it. I hope you haven't fallen asleep. I will try to post a bit more regular now.
I won't be doing much swapping or paper crafts as I need to concentrate my efforts on painting for my craft shows.
And....I am looking for glass glitter, clear so that I can use it on some paper painted ornaments for Christmas. If you have a resource you can share with me that is economical could you please comment or email me. I am looking for some but I know a lot of you peeps may have better resources than I do or can find.
Thanks for dropping by.
Always love hearing from you.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

MIA not really

Hi everyone, just popping in to say I am around but been kind of busy. As I look at the calendar I am realizing that fall is approaching faster than I want, which only means winter, so I have been busy pulling out paint books and magazines for ornament ideas for my craft shows. I will also be doing some key chains and scrabble tiles and maybe a few domino pendants if time permits. Hubs has been busy the last couple days cutting out for me and I have been prepping the wood ready to paint and also some gourds.
So in case you are wondering what I have been up to I am around just not blogging much.
I will be showing my bird canvases and some mail art I recently received from a couple swaps but that may be done over the weekend. Also been playing with images in Gimp and learning all about image manipulation etc. So much fun.
Weather is still hot hot hot during the day but cools right off at night. Today while driving to town I noticed some leaves are starting to change colour, this means fall. Where did the summer go?
Take care, no pics today but I will post again soon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dress Form Tutorial

I have played with Air Dry Clay a bit and I decided to try making a dress form for an altered canvas. As you will see, it is simple, quick and very alterable. You can make them any size if you have an editing program on your computer and you will have the ability to make your own instead of searching forever online on how to make them. I have found tutorials that you can pay for the instructions but if you are frugal like me, you could spend the money on something else.
So after doing a few of my own I am going to show you how to make a dress form, here is what you do.....
First of all go to Mirkwood Designs and get your free template, look for the dress form, you may have to scroll down the page a bit.
Edit in a program to the desired size you want to make...then print it off and cut it out. You only need one, but, if you want to make a few sizes then print and cut out.

Gather these supplies: rolling pin or brayer, wax paper, cutting board, air dry clay ( I got mine at the dollar store and I recommend using white), sharp craft knife and pattern, see link above.

 Take out some clay and place it on your wax paper. Air dry clay is very moist when you first take it out so you can do one of two things, if you have time you can leave it out for a bit, maybe half hour or so and let the air get at it, it won't dry out immediately or you can use it right away, just remember if you do that, then it sticks to itself  and won't give you much play if you want to lift it at any stage. Also you can dust it with a bit of cornstarch or talcum powder before applying the paper pattern, only do this if you use it straight out of the bag. Ok now onto the next step.
 Fold the wax paper over  the clay and roll it out. I did this because I don't have a craft only rolling pin and I have no idea what the air dry clay may contain and I didn't want to contaminate food with any foreign chemicals. Roll out the clay to about 1/8 thickness, you could do this with your hands if you want, it really doesn't have to be rolled out but if you want to make more than one torso then more is better and even thickness.
 Remove the top layer of wax paper and now place your pattern with talc or cornstarch on it over a section of the clay. Start cutting around the pattern and pulling the clay away as you cut. Remember if it is really sticky it doesn't co operate and if you pull it too much you may distort the shape of your torso, be patient. you may end up balling it up a few times and starting over. It really is worth it in the end, you will see.
 Ok you have one cut ,now cut a second torso, and, remember to have the pattern right side up as you did for the first torso, you want them to match when you place one on top of the other.
 Now roll 2 small balls of clay and remember if you place them on fresh clay on the bottom piece they will stick so if you need to make any placement to see the size of the bust then place it on your paper template. I tell you all this because I learned as I went along and I don't want to cause you frustration. You will be happy I told you things so you know it could happen. If the bust looks too large then just take a bit off one ball and see if you are happy then size the other one to match.
If you are happy with the bust line now you can place the 2 rolled balls of clay in the area I have shown in the picture below.
 Now take your second piece of clay and carefully place it over top of the bottom torso and the bust. You may have to stretch the top piece to fit but with practise it will work. You can see below that there are some uneven edges but you can do one of two things, trim it now while the clay is still damp and then mold with your fingers or you can wait and cut it with either a craft knife or scissors after the torso has completely dried out.
 I have done both below, trimmed and molded with my finger to smooth edges. You don' t have to be perfect. If you are done and happy, make more and let them sit out to dry. I usually leave mine out to dry on wax paper over night. It doesn't take that long but I tend to have more than one thing on the go.

And here is what I created with my air dry torso. You can paint air dry clay, you can modge it or use gel medium. I used a tan with white mix and just slip slapped the paint on the torso then modged some fabric I had. Click on the canvas to view a larger image. I just love how this turned out. The one thing about air dry clay I like is it is very light.
 Here is a close up of just the torso.
 And below a shabby flower I recently made using Tim's Tattered Florals die.

I hope you give this a try. Let me know how you did. Did you like this? Was I helpful?
Please if you make a torso and blog about it direct people to my blog for the tutorial. I am not charging any money for this, all I ask that you give me credit for it.
Thanks for dropping by and I can't wait to show you some birds of note.
TTFN, Lesley ♥

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Summer of Colour ends.....

It has been an incredibly fun and challenging time over at Kristin's blog. Kristin has challenged many of us to use colours in our artwork that we enjoy, find challenging, and, make us think outside the box at times.
I am not that computer savvy to figure out how to embed a slide show into my post, so here is a view of the the projects I completed for this challenge.
May I thank Kristin, blogger friends old and new for visiting me, encouraging me, and, leaving lovely comments even if I felt it wasn't my best orange. LOL

(These are not in the order of the weeks that were chosen, )
Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer of Colour-Orange

This is the final colour for the challenge Summer of Colour. Most weeks have been relatively easy but I found Orange was my most challenging.
Since I started off making cards then veered off and made a few other things, I decided I would end with a card. This card is not exactly what I would call my best but I decided after many attempts with orange this was going to be it.
Kristin has hosted a wonderful challenge for us and I am so grateful for new blog friends and not so new who have visited me and left lovely comments. I could not visit everyone's blog every week but I did attempt to visit new ones each week.
So here is my orange entry, again, it is not one of my better but I did attempt a face. I have been practising  faces on and off all summer as a new venture in my muse.
Thanks for dropping by and hope you had a wonderful challenge as I have had.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I have been given the honor of...

Bella of the Week over at Bella Creations.
I am a participant in the group called D├ębut des Techniques Graphique, hosted by Heather Hudson who has introduced us to the Gimp program. If you recall my post with the ballerina on a canvas which was a challenge piece to use the ballerina on a piece of artwork. The original picture had a different background and I made a music background and touched up the ballerina in Gimp then did the rest of the artwork.
To say the least I was very surprised to find that I won the title of Bella of the week.
Thanks so much, I am so surprised.
There are so many very talented women over there, click on the link here if you are interested in joining. I encourage you to do so. A great place to learn, share and be inspired.
Still working on Summer of Colour-Orange and having fun with it.
Til next time, thanks for dropping by.
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