Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bloggers are Angels

I say this because it is true. Right before Christmas I was visiting a blog which lead me to Cindy Adkins blog, Whimsical Musings. I had posted a comment on Cindy's blog and she responded back. We had a couple emails back and forth and before I know it Cindy had sent me a little of her ebooks called
which can be purchased on Amazon along with a few of her other titles the latest which I just purchased.

Cindy writes amazing articles which not only makes sense but also makes you see things from a different perspective. I have also been reading FREE on her blog "Blogging 101" for women, why we blog, how to set up your blog for more traffic and many other fine points to consider.
I would like to thank Cindy for sharing her knowledge and wonderful articles to blog land and I truly hope we get to know each other in 2012.
Cindy also does amazing artwork as well as her writing skills and talents.
Happy New Year Cindy and Happy Anniversary to you and hubby.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Alpha Stamp giveaway

check the link and head over to the annual Alpha Stamp daily giveaway. Click for details for a chance to win some exciting altered art/collage items.
Good luck to you all, including me.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Final Christmas preparations..including burnt glue?

Well I finally got the end of my shopping done. For some reason I had to call in a prescript in before the weekend as I knew chances were the stores would be closed and I would be left hanging. So I trek into town yesterday...what a madhouse. I am finished my shopping, groceries included and I am so glad to be done. My car just sits dead in the driveway but the truck has been taking me hither and yon on speedy trips and doing the necessary tasks during this season. Thank goodness for the 2nd vehicle.
Anyways I got the wrapping done today, and I decided to make the neighbours cards as well. We don't exchange gifts but we always give cards to one another. Every year I make them, this year I am running a bit late in that dept but today was a good day to play catch up.
I am really excited to show you a brand new technique that I will be playing with a lot this year in my art.
I found this tutorial on the Michael's website using burnt brown paper bag butterflies. Well butterflies are always somehow incorporated into most of my art except Christmas but I tried these first then expanded. I did a few things differently and I will explain as I show you what I first made then progress to my greeting cards.
Here is the video in case you have never burned glue before.
Of course the preferred product for the video is Aleene's tacky glue. I did do that in the beginning and I didn't use brown paper bag, I used brown craft card stock paper, since it had a good durability to it. I cut 2 die cut butterflies for each and applied the wire as shown in video. I did everything else as instructed. When it was cooled I took the black soot off then I applied shimmery chalks to the butterflies. I liked it but it really wasn't exactly what I wanted to achieve. Although I liked the texture of the burnt glue but I really wanted a more vibrant colour.

So the next time I tried it I did the same without the wire and I tried just plain white glue to see what the difference is....well not much but after the butterflies cooled and wiped, I applied Twinkling H2O's with a bit of water and rubbed the colours here and there with my fingers and blended the colours. Wow that is what I was looking for. This technique really does give the illusion of faux metal. Even the paper feels very sturdy. As you can see I burnt a few antennae but that is because I probably didn't have enough glue on them. You need to cover the paper and not glob it on but a good smooth coat. The more glue you use the longer it takes and it does bubble up and I basically put the paper right into the flame. I know it says you don't need to but I did and no flames appeared. The glue is not flammable. Even the cheaper white glue. If you do get a flame, be quick and blow it out, you didn't have enough glue in that spot.
So here are the butterflies with the Twinkling H20's.

So then I wanted to make a few ornaments to put on gifts and I thought well I want to try my Spellbinders snowflake. I again cut two, this time out of recycled cereal box, glued the 2 pieces together. then I applied glue to the brown side, glue the advertising so just the brown is on the outside of the flakes. Do the technique, wipe soot with Kleenex. I do not recommend a baby wipe, it makes it too wet!!! been there tried that, don't do it.
If you click on the image you can get a good close up of the surface of the huh? looks like real metal. I believe on this snowflake I rubbed the metallic chalks in a bronze and green to give a patina look. I then edited an image, this one is from Gecko Gals collage sheet I won. Cut some bronze German Scrap from Artchix and placed around the image before I glued it to the center. Added bronze glitter, at the time I thought it was gold but the lighting was throwing me off. Then I added a little banner and glued it on. Couldn't find any bronze ribbon so I just used a piece of jewelry hemp. That was it.

 Then I made Christmas cards except I put Twinklings on the snowflakes in a really thick consistency and just dabbed it on with my fingers. I had lovely bright pinks and blues and gold on my fingers, so lovely getting my hands right in there. I believe I got the image from Magic Moonlight images. I just love this child and the snowflakes that show up in the image.
Well I know everyone is busy with company, last minute baking, wrapping and cleaning before the big day.
I thank everyone who has been kind enough to visit, those who do so regularly and my new friends. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year.
With much Joy and Blessings to you all.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mail art makes me Happy

Well with ongoing car issues I will not get into but the problem is too stressful to comment, mail came and made me smile when I really needed it.
I was in an ornament swap over in our FlickR group and I was matched up with Jenxo and Jenny. Jenny was a little late signing up so I swapped with her as well. Both live in Australia and I got Jenxo's a few days ago and Jenny's arrived today.
I can't wait to show the ornament swap you had to use paper on your ornie. So of course this could mean a lot of things as long as it is an ornament and has paper on it, made of paper or whatever.
Lookey at these.....yummy..
This is what Jenxo sent me. There is a little book that she sanded some outside of a cardboard box, looks like it had olives and greenery on it then sewed the little pages in, did some binding and there is elastic that wraps around the book to close it. Below it is a doily that has been sewn onto sewing tissue then some string tied in a bow at the top to hang it. A beautiful stack of presents made out of different papers... How cute.
A little ATC pouch she made and it was stapled at the top. I heard something rattling but I thought it was supposed to rattle then I realized it felt like something solid in there. To my surprise I found a bamboo tile necklace with a beautiful paper bead and pearl drop on the bottom. I have already worn it Jenxo and compliments galore.
And this beautiful Angelic tag she made.Beads and lace and ribbon roses. It is hanging on  a corner cabinet  knob in my LR.
Next up is Jenny's
Jenny made me these arches. The Silent Night is gorgeous music paper with gold either ink or some rub on with some other lovely colours blended softly and the Merry Christmas arch is Jenny's whimsical girl she painted. She sure made me smile .
 Jenny also sent me some lovely napkins and this gorgeous card with a lovely message inside.
Thanks so much Jenxo and Jenny and I wish you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy 2012.
Your ornies are hanging around with other friends ornies I have collected over the years.
I am so grateful for all your friendships.
Til next time....stay creative and live a stress free life....hah

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Domino Book Giveaway over at JoAnne's

Joanne is having a beautiful domino book. Click on the side image or click here to go directly to the blog post for details. If you post, become a follower and post her button on your blog that makes 3 chances to win. You will not be disappointed with Joanne's work. I must say I think Joanne has an obsession with dominoes, her books are stunning and so detailed.
Take a peek and sign up.
I already beat you to it......

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas tags and tea bag luminaries

Well with no car, baking pretty much done, even wrapping, and a bit of time on my hands while hubs worked the last 2 days, I tried to clean up my work table so we may eat on it during the holidays...yeah right.
I was doing some blog hopping the other night and I was on Karen's site, The Graphics Fairy and found some wonderful vintage Santa's. I knew immediately what I wanted to make.
I got out some shipping tags and distressed them in Vintage Photo, Frayed Burlap and Tea Dye. I really wanted a vintage feel to them so I darkened them up pretty good. I even wet some of the tags first, crumpled them then distressed. Dried all in the oven, ironed the crinkled ones smooth and then went about decorating them. I have seen those beautiful accordian rosettes out on the web and thought I would finally get around to making some, I don't have the fancy Tim Holtz die but hey you do with what you have, a little more work but I managed quite well without it besides you can at least say they were made with a little more hands on.
I also managed to make some more of my tissue tape and I was gaffawed at the results. I don't know if gaffaw is actually a word but just the same it sounds good and the results I thought were just what I had imagined even better. I added some extra colour to the tissue tape by just using a blending tool and lightly coloring the already brownish tissue sent to me by my friend Jenxo. I then used various stamps and colours depending on the Santa in the image. I used papers from my holiday stash, My Mind's Eye, Basic Grey and whatever was hanging about. I even added some sparkly snowflake stickers courtesy of the dollar store. A few I added some clear sticker words, or typed some on the puter for the little banners. Just love  those banners too, seeing a lot of those around.
These will be attached to some gift bags or gifts and can be used to hang on a tree later or maybe on a door knob etc. At any rate, I love them. Might have to make a few for myself if time permits.

Next up are luminaries made of tea bags. Jenxo posted last week that she knew another blogger, Kim, who made these so I jumped over to take a peek. I am always intrigued with new ideas.
Having a cat makes one take another think about lighting candles and setting them on tables the Princess might jump up on. We surely don't need the princess running madly with a tail lit on fire. Who needs that, so avoid it before it even happens.
I had some rather older teas in the cupboard that I didn't fancy too much, they are the type of tea bag that are folded in half and then stapled. I removed the staples and then emptied the tea out.
I carefully slit the one side where the seam was ,then opened them up. As you can see here they are quite large. You need 2 tea bags per side a total of 4 tea bags, sew up each short side to make this complete. But, before you do all that, I took a napkin that had these beautiful roses and a rose bug and took away all that white tissue that is attached to the napkin leaving the printed part. I carefully cut away the images, sandwhiched it between the 2 tea bags. For more interest I stamped the top tea bag only with a french script. When the battery operated light flickers, you can see the rose through the script and the soft glow of the light. It doesn't show very well here but in the dimmer light, they are quite attractive. I did some sewing around the top and bottom like a border before sewing the sides together but I actually prefer no sewing of the border. I think it looks better without but that is my preference.
I then used Modge Podge to seal the bags together, I put some wax paper underneath so I could peel the tea bags away when dry.

Kim wrote an article for a magazine but I wasn't able to find it this time of year. I had to sort of figure it out.
Jenxo made some illuminaries just using napkins for her Market show.
I think they are just lovely.
What a great simple gift to make and very kitty friendly.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you are getting ready for Christmas.
We have no snow, just rain and very mild temperatures.
Sure doesn't feel like Christmas is only a little over a week away.
Til next time friends

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's starting to smell a lot like Christmas

Hi Everyone,
bet you thought I dropped off the face of the earth??? Well no not really, I have been busy getting things done for the holidays, it's been a real struggle for me this year to get into the mood. I went shopping the other day and I was having a hard time finding the one thing I wanted for hubs, 3 stores later and still nothing. Might have to go to the mall, not sure how long it has been since I have been there maybe last Christmas. No kidding. 
My car being in the shop still probably is a major factor why I am not in the mood, worrying about it, not having my own wheels to get out and do what I need to do. Hubs gets called into work and I am either stranded or we have to juggle things around. Hope I get it back this week. I am running on nerves now
worrying about the cost. Last time Bill didn't charge me anything but I am sure something major is going on.

Anyways today I dug in and got some baking done. Hubs went to town to run errands and do some shopping of his own and I decided to start some baking. I want to make a few gifty items and decided the home baked kind might be a better and more economical plan for me. I like baking, I can't eat any of it but I enjoy making things from scratch. I generally have to have hubs taste things since that dept is out for me.
Today I made Johnny cake, lemon snow bars, butter tarts and shortbread.

I will tantalize you with pictures and hope I get you drooling.
 Hubs used to deliver home oxygen years ago to people who needed it and one of his clients used to be a Home Economics teacher and actually gave him a cookbook she had published. It isn't a fancy book but boy Mary sure had that special touch according to JB.
I have used her no fail recipes for years and I never have a problem with any of the recipes. The book is now tattered, has spills on it and well you get the idea. If it is a good cookbook you can always tell by it's condition.
I also made some tea bag luminaries over the weekend but I was too close to the one and the picture ended up being very blurry so will attempt for my next post. You will want to make a few once you see them. Very cool and with a battery operated tea light they are safe to burn with fur babies around. =^..^=
Anyways hope you are all getting ready for your  holidays, time to spend with family and friends and to enjoy time off.
Take care and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Inspired by Nancy Maxwell James

Hi dear friends, well the continuing saga of my car and it died while I was in town shopping late this week. Thank goodness for cell phones, I had to call hubby who came to boost me then we went directly to the garage. I have even the mechanic stumped and he has been in business for over 30 years. Just when you think they have seen it all and nope, my car has to be the one that is the odd one.

Anyways I can't keep harping about it, it doesn't help the matter nor does it help my state of that shows are over I can get back to doing a few things I love to do. Play with paper and make some small ornaments for gift giving. If you get a chance check out Paper Whimsey's blog, they are having the 12 days of Whimsy and you can click on the button on my side bar to take you directly to the site. Right now Nancy Maxwell James( I visit her blog SugarLump Studios) has inspired me. This ornament I made is not part of the 12 days but was posted over a week or so now and I just had to make some. I did a few things differently, I printed my images on T shirt transfer paper and ironed the images on. The fabric I used my dear MIL found at Walmart, it is flour sack rags, 3 or 4 to a pack and the material is lint free and so soft. I just loved how these turned out and although the images look a bit grainy here they are really quite nice. Some are heading out in the mail this week I sure hope the recipients like them. Mum gave me a load of lace last year and I have been putting it to good use. I even cut some of the patterns of lace out from the main part of the fabric to embellish these. I made the coat hangers and I had these cute mini clothespins in my stash.dabbed a bit of white paint and they are ready to be hung on a tree or even a drawer pull. I never knew what to do with the clothespins til I saw Nancy's idea. Aren't they the cutest?

I made a couple special ones for gifts so I can;t show them because I know YOU will be peeking. tee hee
And the one show I did and made a new friend Sara (you saw her table in my last post) had these cute little TicTac holders. So I routed around the Internet and found a tutorial for them. There are several versions but this one is easy and I wanted a tutorial for the smaller container of TicTacs. You can find it here.

Well that is it for now. I have a few other things going on, I do need to get more motivated to get my painting orders complete. I did some painting today but it was a real struggle. I think I am burned out, I have been painting since the end of July so once I get these few things done I need to take a break from it.
Til next time, thanks for dropping by and always love your comments.
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