Friday, November 28, 2014

Journal 52, Week 48: Build a Snowman

I'm once again joining Chelle at Journal 52, for week 48's prompt, "build a snowman."  I've often said I can't even draw a snowman (I'm sure many of you remember I've written it more than once) and here Chelle is wanting me to do just that.

So here is my interpretation of Chelle's prompt.  Please visit her blog to see how she built her snowman.  At least I don't feel TOO bad.

For my first detail shot, I added a hat taken from a dictionary page that highlights the words snow and snowman.  And of course, I had to add a small bird that the snowman would have attracted.

My second detail shot shows I turned the buttons on the snowman's snow suit into the week number.

One final look, and remember, you no longer need to be a member of Facebook or Flickr to show your weekly entry.  Chelle has added a place where you can enter your direct link each week, and for that I am extremely grateful.

This is Day 29
of AEDM, and I built a snowman for Journal 52.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Scrappy Journal to laugh at during Friday Smiles

Today I'm joining Annie at A Stitch in Time for Friday Smiles.  Now those of you who don't know, Annie, our hostess, is a seamstress, and her blog proves it.  Annie's much slightly older sister Jo is also a seamstress.  I am NOT a seamstress.  I sew.  That makes me a sewer.  So if you came to see lovely sewing today, perfect stitches, detailed cutting, straight seams, linings that fit flawlessly, and everything matching, you might as well forget it and move on.  All you will get here is a good belly laugh.  This post could easily be called "how NOT to make a journal cover."  That's why it's perfect for Friday Smiles, but not so perfect if you are a sewing perfectionist.

Your first indication should be the fabric I chose for this project.  My dear friend Sally gave this to me, and I debated what to use it for.  I can assure you, it would NOT fit me.  Actually, it would fit me about three times around.

One of the benefits was, it was white on one side and striped on the other.  At least I had a color choice.  After all, I'm driven by color.  You can see I've already started to tear it to "size."  Size is a term I use quite loosely.  I'm driven by color, not actual, or even realistic, fabric dimensions.

I missed photographing a few steps here.  I tore the outside fabric, which I will show in a moment, then I tore the inside fabric, which I show here.  I also tore some old jeans fabric and sewed two pockets: one to hold pens or pencils, the other to hold notes, tags, and/or ephemera that can be added to the journal.  You can see the inside does NOT line up with the outside.  Note also how I had to lap the inside over after I had sewn the two pieces together (SAD, but remember, color is my only strong suit)!!!  One thing I did remember was to add the closure, which was a purple ponytail holder.

Note how dark it is outside when I started this project.  The outside has a painted and stamped fabric piece I made quite some time ago.  I got tired of looking at it, and decided to use it on the cover.  I'm not sure you can tell, but the inside fabric STILL does NOT line up with the outside fabric seen on the right side of this photo, even after I "reworked" it by folding it over. 

Here it's even more obvious, and you can see my wonky stitches that hold the two sides together.  Nothing precise in my sewing world, because I'm driven by color.

After I assembled the papers that would go in the scrappy journal, I successfully sewed one signature into the book.  (For those of you not sure what a signature it, it is a set of pages, also known as a section, or specific number of pages that are bound together in the middle.)  But as I was sewing the second signature to the cover, I broke my needle.  That put a real smile on my face (NOT).  Note how it's now nearly mid-day.

I finally got another needle (these needles are about $2.00 USD each), and attached the second set of pages.  I was really pleased with myself, until

I turned the book over and realized I had created this mess when I sewed the second signature.  All I could do was laugh and rip the stitches out.  Why is there always time for rework, but never time to do it right the first time?

I was ready to try again, and this time, I got it right.  Or at least as "right" as this color driven sewer could.  Although you can't tell, it's started to turn dark again and I haven't added a single embellishment, either.

Feeling incredibly pleased with my accomplishment, and rather than spending time embellishing the first journal, I set out to create my second cover.  However, after I "sized" and sewed the front cover to the focal piece,

and finished the inside cover, it was time to put everything away, because I was expecting company in less than an hour.  Sad, but true, I spent over nine hours putting these two covers (and two signatures) together.

I hope you laughed at this tale of sewing domesticity.  I'm sure I'll laugh at this post in about 10 to 20 years, too.

We're celebrating Day 28
of AEDM, joining Annie for Friday Smiles, and laughing at my attempts to make two Scrappy Journal covers and one completed Scrappy Journal.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from Bleubeard and Elizabeth

For all of my internet friends, followers, and readers who live in the US,

Bleubeard and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  For all my internet friends, followers, and readers who live in other parts of the world, Bleubeard and I wish you a day filled with joy, gratitude, and happiness.

Materials used for this two page spread include copper paint, three paint chips, four silk leaves, and a recycled card.

This is Day 27
of AEDM, and I created a spread in my Altered-an AB to wish each and every one of you who live in the US, a safe, joyous, thankful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Altered Playing Cards, Week 12: Let's get personal

Today I'm sharing my two Week 12 APCs with Claudine at Claudine's Art Corner.  I encourage you to check out her latest blog post to see how she created her APCs this week, because, after imitating her cards, I didn't see a need to provide any step-out photos of mine.

Claudine started with scrapbook paper, but those of you who have been to my blog before know the only scrapbook paper I have are the pieces Claudine sent me, which I thought were too busy for this project.  And yes, my backgrounds are usually all handmade rather than of the lovely scrapbook paper type.

This background paper was made using silver and blue glazes on heavy white cardstock.  I added the flower and butterfly left over from a time I visited my friend Kathy and used her dies.  The "I" is a sticker, and the words were written with a Zig pen.

The second card started as watercolor paper, over which I applied Twinkling H2Os.  I started once again with a sticker, then used my green Zig pen, which quit working about half way through the wording.  I had to finish everything, including the lines, with my Micron pen.

Since we have no APCs to make next week, I have a week to finish these cards.  Thanks for looking, because I already know how I'm going to fill the lines on both of these cards: with brutal honesty!

Today is the 26th day
of AEDM, and I altered two playing cards.

Monday, November 24, 2014

T Stands for Tea Tributes (a series)

I've finally got an idea for a few Christmas gifts.  It's hard to make gifts for people, because I have to come up with something new each year that is handmade.  And it has to be something I haven't given in the past.  To make matters worse, I have to scrounge through my supplies to find something, because I'm not about to buy anything new to make Christmas gifts.  Somehow that would, in my opinion, defeat the spirit of giving.

I began by sewing several layers of fabric and a tea bag holder together.  This is just the first of several steps I have in mind for what I'm calling (for obvious lack of a better name) Tea Tributes.

For this stage, I used some of my rusty fabric, my hand painted fabric, and my dyed fabric.  I even added a commercial fabric that I had painted on.

When those were sewn together, I made a few tape transfers.  You can see I've started the process here.

These tape transfers came out SUPER.  I'm really pleased

that you can see the tea bag holder beneath the birds.

I had hoped to have an assemblage finished, but this was as far as I got.

Unfortunately, they take a long time to make.  I decided to add the tape transfer to the tea bag holder before I assembled and sewed the rest of them  this one.   I'm hoping that may save a bit of time.  After thinking about it, I realized the thread would cut through and look bad on the tape transfer.  When I have one completed, I will share it during T.  But for now, all you see are the beginnings of this project.  BTW, these tea bag holders were saved from my National Night Out Safe Communities event.

What are you working on this week?  Have you started your Christmas list, or are you still in the thinking stage?  Do you plan to make your gifts, or buy them?  Regardless, show us your T inspired post today, whether it's art, sewing, painting, digital wizardry, a trip out and about, or simply sitting back with your favorite cup or mug.  I can't forget that Bleubeard wants you to know your photos don't have to be taken on Tuesday to qualify.

This is Day 25
of AEDM, and I started making Christmas Tea Tributes.  And starting tomorrow, I'll be drinking a cup of tea a day for seven days, in hopes of building up my tea bag and tea bag holder arsenal.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Eye Candy Tannenbaum

I've been thinking about this spread for weeks.  Since Halloween, in fact.

However, when I saw the latest challenge at Moo-Mania and More was Trees, I knew I had to create this spread.  Please note the last line of this song.  Yep, I put my own spin on things.

I started by adding two colors of acrylic paint to my altered book

that I spread around with a faux credit card.

When the paint was dry, I added the Eye Candy Christmas Tree (Tannenbaum).  I hope you get as big a laugh out of my Eye Candy tree as I did.  Thanks Moo-Mania for having trees as the challenge this fortnight.

This is also Day 24 of AEDM, and I created a two page spread in my altered book for Moo-Mania's latest challenge.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Second Rust Experiment Reveal

Several days ago I tried rusting more fabric, this time a strip of a light blue bed sheet.  Since the weather had warmed just enough that I was able to be outside without freezing my hands off, I took the opportunity to deal with my rusted fabric.
As soon as I opened the bag and saw the rusty fabric, I got excited.

Wearing protective disposable gloves on the warmest day we've had in over a week, I opened the fabric even further.  You can see the dancing people I used and the rusty Christmas tree, too.   I apologize for the photo, but those shadows are from one of my wind chimes that hang around the entire front of my porch.

I suspect you think I forgot to rotate the photo, but I thought this was a better way to show the dancers.   And yes, that's my curly head I was unable to remove from the photo, no matter how many I took.  This photo is after the fabric had been through two baking soda and water baths, then a mild soap and water bath.

After the fabric was dry, the wind made it difficult for me to get a decent photo before the fabric wrapped back onto itself.  However, I like this length of fabric, which you might be able to tell is doubled in this photo, much better than my first rust dye experiment I started on Day 2 of AEDM.  One nice thing about this fabric is, it looks lovely from both the back and the front.

This is Day 23 and I revealed the second rusting attempt for AEDM. 
I would call this second attempt a marginal definite success, and just in time for a Christmas quiltlet or two.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Journal 52, Week 47: Wise Words

For Week 47 of Journal 52, Chelle's prompt was Wise Words.

I immediately went to the internet to find a few good quotes.  As I was collecting them, I realized many of the ones I picked had a garden or flower theme.

I don't own any of those fancy dies that cut realistic flowers, so I had to make my own. 

I was able to use my 3" punch on some of the quotes (note the bird punch contains the week number)

but others didn't work out quite so well.  The "tulip" I free hand cut was originally going to be a poppy, but I messed it up, so had to turn it into a sad tulip.

I used both my new white Gelli pen

and a black Micron pen to doodle around the circles.  I added the flowery washi tape to signify flower stems. My usual substrate is a used file folder that I painted a rather dark gray.

Thanks as always for your positive feedback on my J52 entries.  They are always appreciated.  I hope you found a few of these words of wisdom were uplifting and you plant them in your own garden of happiness, too.

For Day 22 of AEDM,
I shared my latest entry for Journal 52.