Sunday, February 15, 2015

Grow Your Blog post to remain on top until February 15, 2015

 Looking for my "Grow Your Blog" post and giveaway?  Then please click here.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January complete and February ready in my never ending calendar

January has come and gone, and we are now into the first of February.  For the past four years I've followed Kate at The Kathryn Wheel (see link on my right sidebar), but since she has now gotten rid of the links on her blog, and since I'm not on Facebook or Flickr, this is the only place you will see my calendars.  They are not that good anyway, so I'm not going to stress if they don't go out to the world, but stay among my friends, blog buddies, and followers.

As I showed, the temperatures raised and fell faster than night followed day.  I even used that as my decoration for the month.  We had record highs four times, and several near record lows during January.  We went from bitterly cold to spring weather in a matter of days, twice, in fact, then back to snow and blowing just in time for the Super Bowl.

Speaking of Super Bowl, I usually have a party, invite a few friends over, and watch the commercials, eat till I waddle, and play the silly "the score at the end of each quarter" game.  But I am simply not feeling well enough to feed myself, much less host a bunch of rowdy friends.  So they will have to go elsewhere this year, because I've had to cancel on them.

It's also evident I'm sick, or my brain got ahead of my hand when I wrote the word "January."  Pretty poor start,

so I hope to do better during February.  As always, I will decorate this page as the month progresses.  And in case you didn't notice, I've also simplified my calendar this year, too.  No more individual dates.  I just cut a calendar page and glued it to my substrate which is the really sad, albeit expensive, journal I bought last year.

Thanks for visiting, since for the first time in four years, this is the ONLY place you will see my never ending calendar pages.  Enjoy the Super Bowl today if it's your "thing."  You'll find me sleeping with two cats most of the day (and night).

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Journal 52, Week 5: Television

For Week 5 at Journal 52, our prompt was Television.  Most of you who have been around my blog a long time know I'm still old school when it comes to that technology.  I still only watch TV after I've taped it.  YES, taped, as in VCR.

So, today I give you my take on Television.

I'm old school!

OK, maybe not THAT old school, but at least the gal has a remote control in her hand!  And look at that tea pot just waiting for tea time.  Did people really live like that in the 60s?  I ask because I got this image from a 1967 National Geographic.

Were the decorations cutting edge, or soon forgotten?  And how does that relate to TV, since I don't watch the home improvement shows?

We were told that television was the prompt for week 5, so I showed a bit of old school.  As for genres I like?  Mysteries, mysteries, mysteries, drama, action, sci-fi, history, PBS, and did I mention mysteries?

No chick flicks, no reality TV, no comedies with those horrible laugh tracks. And no commercials, if possible.  Materials used to make this retro inspired journal page were an image from a 1967 National Geographic, image from a fashion magazine, large red doily, handmade shimmering mist, gold pen, black pen, and of course, a used file folder.

Thanks for taking time to visit and laugh at my Old School take on television.  I appreciate your comments and apologize that I've gotten another bug/virus that has settled in and refuses to leave my already weakened immune system.  Forgive me if I haven't visited, but making the required challenge art is about all I have the strength for right now.  I'll be by to catch up soon.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Altered Playing Cards, Week 20: Hearts and Love

For Week 20 at Claudine's Art Corner the challenge was to alter two playing cards with the theme Hearts/Love in honor of Valentine's Day.

Before we get to the playing cards, I simply had to show all my east coast friends who are up to their eyeballs in snow

that we have set record highs in this area for the past three days.

So, on my way out to retrieve my now empty trash container this afternoon,

I thought a few windswept photos might be worth seeing.

And although this ground is very dry, but fertile after mulching the leaves last autumn, there are still signs of green which means spring may be on the way.  Of course, we are supposed to get snow on Saturday and Sunday, just in time for the famed Superbowl.

But I've taken enough of your time, so let's get back to these APCs.  Once again, I didn't have many hardly any of the same supplies Claudine had, but I have hearts and I have lots of love, so I'm sure I can make things work.  I'm no longer stressing over having the right tools and products, because I've finally decided that for me, the challenge is not to make things exactly as Claudine did, but to use her theme and art as inspiration. 

I chose these supplies for my two cards: on the left, two of my handmade shimmering mists and on the right two colors of acrylic paint.

I'm not sure about commercially made mists, but my shimmering spray mists have a tendency to actually remove the gesso.

After four tries of spraying, then drying, then spraying, etc., I finally got something I liked for the background.  However, when I did, I lost the two distinct colors I had used for this first card.  Not wanting to waste any of my shimmering mists, I sprayed the card on a used file folder.  I'm sure you'll see it at some point in my other weekly challenge (Journal 52).

I realized I needed a second color, so grabbed some of my deep yellow shimmering mist.  I forgot to take a picture before I put it away.  I was trying to control the areas this color would go on the card, so dripped it from the mister (onto my hand, too).

While my first card was drying for the fifth time, I squirted out the very last of the red paint.  I was sick.  I love that metallic color and used it a lot in my Asian art.  Now it was gone, and I had more than I could possibly use on 10 of these APCs.  I chose this paint so it would cover the very thin coat of gesso I had applied to this APC,

not realizing how transparent this paint was.  Or how WET it still was when I applied the Butterscotch.  Needless to say, I had a mess on my hands.  Not mud, but blended colors.

Using my heat tool with the paint in this stage of drying caused the bubbles that eventually took over the card.  At least the backgrounds were FINALLY finished.

That's when it was time to pull out my heart stamps.  I have lots and these are only a few.  At first, I considered using the gifted never-before-used purple stamp on acrylic as a border, then found two others that were actually called border stamps!  I also discovered two stamps in a package I had never opened.  I believe I bought these several years ago when Big Lots was still in my neighborhood.  They sold sets like these for $1.00 (USD).  None of the stamps I have purchased for myself have ever cost more than $1.49 (USD), except the reindeer stamp I bought for this challenge a few weeks ago.  I simply don't pay much for stamps, since I'm not much of a stamper.

Speaking of stamping, it was now time to cull through the ones I planned to use and put the rest away.  I was off to stamp and finish these cards.

For "Love Lives Here," I used the heart stamp for the focal image, the heart border stamp around all the borders, added a bit of washi tape, and hand wrote the sentiment.  Note how the butterscotch paint bubbled, something that happens whenever heat is applied to paint that is nearly dry.

For "Love Out Loud," I used the other border stamp and the love out loud stamp. 

Here are both cards together.  Don't forget to visit Claudine to see her beautiful APCs.

And can someone tell me what "embossing paste" is?  I've never heard of it, much less clear embossing paste.  Looks like Claudine will be demoing it next week.

Thanks as always for your generous and kind comments.  They keep me going, even when I make unintended messes!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

An interview with Craftymoose Debbie

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: As promised, I have started my interviewing process with my first interview this year coming in just under the January wire.  Debbie has given me permission to show some of her art on my blog, but PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL and DO NOT PIN these pictures/photos from my blog.  If you are interested in them, please visit Debbie at Craftymoose Crafts and get permission from her to pin her art.

Debbie: Thank you in advance for the opportunity of being interviewed on your blog.  These were very good and thoughtful questions!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: How did you come up with the name Craftymoose?   What is the significance of the name?

Debbie: It is as simple as this....while brainstorming a name for my online presence, blog, shop, etc., I chose "crafty" because I am, and we came up with "moose" because my husband likes moose.  We wrote it as one word, Craftymoose, and our mascot became the 4 1/2 foot tall moose I made my husband for Christmas one year.  It is his photo that is on my avatar.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: I know you have a daughter in graduate school, and that education is  important in your family. Do you have a degree, and if  so, in what?

Debbie: My first love was always art, but back in the mid 1970s when I graduated High School, I was gently convinced that it was not a good way to support myself. That said, I went with my second love of working in the medical world and have a degree in Medical Assisting. I worked for 15 years in a one person office for a Thoracic Surgeon before he retired

and I got married. 

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: I know you work with beads. Are they your main love? How did you get started making the lovely flowers and brooches you are so famous for?

Debbie: At some time in my life I have tried almost every art or craft, but yes, I would have to say beading is my passion. I got started back in the 1960s. Over summer vacations my mother used to take me to the local hobby shop and let me pick out anything I wanted. I picked out a kit to make a beaded flower arrangement, and armed with those instructions, taught myself the art of french beading flowers.

I have always loved color, and the fact that I could take tiny colorful beads
 and turn them into life-like flowers just fascinated me.  I have continued to make beaded flowers on and off since that time and have developed some original designs for flowers,

brooches and plant sticks. 

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: I see from the brooch above, you have combined beading with polymer clay.  When did you first get interested in polymer clay? Is it a hobby, or have you incorporated it into your sales?

Debbie: My interest in clay in general was also sparked in my childhood.  Since both of my parents worked, my mom looked for ways to keep me occupied over the summer vacations.  One year she enrolled me in an art camp where I worked with hand building and wheel throwing clay. Years later, we attended Ceramics classes together.  Although I did not pursue these techniques further, when I discovered polymer clay about 20 years ago,

I was thrilled that I could create in clay and "fire" it myself.  I have sold some of my pieces, but mostly create for our home.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: You attend several craft shows a year. How do you keep things fresh and new?

Debbie: That is always a challenge!  There are always some things that fly off my table that surprise me and others that I think are awesome that just sit there. I try to keep a display of many different items, rather than selling only Christmas ornaments for example, and I think that helps.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: I know you have just started making mixed media. Is it something you hope to pursue in the future, or just something to play around with to take your mind off, or supplement your other art?

Debbie: Mixed media appeals to me because I have always enjoyed constructing things.  I enjoy painting,

but there is something about the layers, textures, and the use of objects that brings it to the next level for me.

For that reason, assemblage also interests me.  They are a good diversion from beading because years of gripping and twisting wire begin to take their toll, so breaks are needed.

 Bleubeard and Elizabeth: What are you working on at the moment?

Debbie: At the moment, I am working on a custom order for 3 huge Hydrangea flowers. I am also sewing an appliance cover for my crock pot, working in an altered book, knitting a scarf, and planning out some other beaded flower projects. I'm sure there are a few unfinished projects around my art room, too.

I keep a lot of projects going so I am not always doing the same stressing hand motions, so I don't get bored, and because I am happiest when I am creating art. 

 Bleubeard and Elizabeth: Since we now know a bit about your art, please tell us a bit about  yourself.

Debbie: I also love to read, cook, and travel.  My husband, Dennis, and I have been married for 23 years and as you already know, have one beautiful daughter, Christie.

We are a close family and without their support and encouragement, I might never have put my art out there to be seen.  It gives me the greatest pleasure to think in how many homes my art is being enjoyed--all around the world.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: Is there anything I haven't covered that you would like to add?

Debbie: E, I can't think of anything else at the moment other than to thank you again for the feature.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth:  Actually, it is I who thanks you.  I appreciate that you took the time to thoughtfully answer my questions, and share your art with us for this interview.  I hope you are safe, warm, and have electricity while this storm rages around you.

Here's where you can find Craftymoose and her gorgeous art: 

her blog:

her website:

her Etsy store:

Monday, January 26, 2015

T Stands for Tea with WOYWWendy

Today I'm sharing a pot of tea with WOYWWendy, my Wednesday pal.

This is definitely Wendy sized tea services.  I'm not sure the cups will hold enough tea for me.

But Wendy is ready for a tea party, and I don't want to let her down, especially since an unexpected commitment keeps me from playing in WOYWW this week, something Wendy always looks forward to.  BTW, that's gold glitter on the table I can't seem to get rid of, no matter how many dust rags I use.

Of course, Wendy wanted me to show that every piece from both sets has the "Made In Japan" stamp on it.

Perhaps you saw I have now added a watermark to my blog photos.   Dear sweet, code happy Halle talked me through it last week.   I still can't figure out how to change colors or size, but I'm sure she'll walk me through it the next time she calls.  Don't expect this all the time, because my posts are usually very photo heavy and this added step takes lots of time.

Did you notice that Halle also coded the Second on the 2nd button?  She's a whiz at that.  She even did all the lettering on the button, too.  She's amazing and I can't begin to thank her enough for all the time she spent doing this for me.  I am grateful beyond belief.  So, show her your gratitude, then tell everyone about this event and be sure to find your own second post for the 2nd of February.  There'll be a link, too.

But now it's time to link your T post.  Share your art, mixed media, digital goodies, or perhaps a real cup of tea, coffee, or even milk.  We'll be by to join you.  After all, it's a reciprocity thing.

And to tease you a bit, I have an interview that you will want to see on Wednesday.  It's even with a member of our T group.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog, a blog hop event

I just learned a few days ago about a blog hop that will affect many bloggers.

It is called "Grow Your Blog" and is hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full.

I'd like to begin by introducing myself.  We are Bleubeard and Elizabeth.  There are many, many Elizabeth's on the internet, and several are big name mixed media artists and bloggers, too.  But there is only ONE Bleubeard.  That's why that gorgeous guy, waiting for you to arrive, is the face of our blog.

Before we begin, we need to get a few housekeeping notes out of the way.

Vicki suggests we get rid of the "No reply blogger," but I've been told on more than one occasion that my e-mail spits out spam and viruses.  Although I've had a computer guru try to get rid of the problem, I have to keep the e-mail address because it's tied to several accounts I own.  I don't want anyone catching either a virus or be flooded with spam, so if you have a question, please leave it in the comments.  I will be glad to answer on YOUR blog, because you don't have time to return to mine to see my answer.

Blogger has chosen to throw obstacles in our faces, even though many of us have never used word verification.  So, IF you are coming from Blogger/Google, please ignore the "I'm not a robot." Simply leave a comment, then hit publish.  Your comment will magically appear.  I promise.  No hoops to jump through, no second guessing those crazy words and numbers.

Speaking of Google, if you are a member of G+, there's a good chance I won't be able to reply to your comment.  It's all in the way you set up your comments, because I refuse to join G+ just to leave you one.

I'm sure many of you have guessed that I make altered books.  At least, that's how I started my relatively new art journey.  If you are interested, please come back when you have time and peruse the altered book classes I held in 2012 that I offered free of charge.  You will find all the lessons on my right sidebar.  Of course, after expanding my horizons, I now consider myself a mixed media artist. 

BTW, that's one of my over 450 rocking horses on the left side of the table.  I have them in all shapes, sizes, mediums, and genres.  They are the only thing I collect and you will find them everywhere in my home.

Although it's far more challenging, I also have made a few ATC sized (2.5" X 3.5", ATCs are never converted to metric) books, too.

Another of my passions is mixed media, where I combine my love of collage with sewing.

Speaking of sewing, I also dye much of my own fabric, using non-conventional techniques.  Of course, I also love to make mixed media quiltlets, too.   This one is called "Not Your Grandmother's Quilt."  It incorporated many of my hand dyed fabrics and three of my tyvek flowers.

Since I brought up the subject of dyeing, my latest dye project I've taken on is eco-dyeing, a process that requires leaves, flowers, and other natural items, along with a bit of rust.

Here are three pieces I made last November.  I unveiled them at the end of the month.  They need time to cure, so I left them for about 20 days wrapped in plastic.  They are finished, except for the final drying, in this picture above. Aren't they stunning?  Much of this gorgeous fabric has already been used in art quilts I made friends for Christmas.

Mixed media plays a big roll in my quiltlets, too.

My mixed media pieces can take many forms, including this angel I created for a swap many years ago,

or this bird using recycled materials.

I've recently started making a few mixed media assemblages,

like this one made using a block of wood as my "canvas" that I named "Mother and Child Reunion."

I'm proud to be a part of many challenges, too.  You'll find current ones I participate in on my right sidebar.  If you want to see my previous collaborations, please go here. Don't worry.  All my links open in a new window, so you won't lose your place.

I also host two link-up parties, one of which is T Stands For Tuesday.

Even though we share T(ea) or any other drink you choose every Tuesday, I put together a retrospective mosaic which represented each month from 2014.  I hope you can tell how diverse these T posts can be.  You are always welcome to join, too.

This year I started a new link up party called "Second on the 2nd."  The idea is to look back through your previous posts and find one that you are either particularly proud of, or you posted before anyone knew your blog existed.  That post goes live at 12:00 am US Central time the 2nd of every month.  I would love for you to join us, too.  Any post is acceptable, regardless of content.
Gardening is a big part of my life, too.  Although I took these photos during a heavy rainstorm last spring, they show both my front "Flower Bed" and my side yard herb garden.

I'd love to show you a few more art pieces I've made, but I know your time is limited.  So, Bleubeard and I will bid you a fond adieu and welcome you back when you can stay a bit longer.

Since I've been so fortunate over the years to receive gifts from art friends, I want to extend that same courtesy to you.  I will be sending one of my quiltlets to one lucky winner, and one of my mixed media pieces to one lucky winner.

Here are the rules.  Sorry!  There MUST be rules.

1. Please leave one comment only on this blog post.  You may look around, comment on other posts, and enjoy my art, but THIS POST is the only one that counts when it comes to qualifying for the prizes.

2.  I have never asked anyone to ever jump through hoops.  You DO NOT have to be a follower, you do not have to follow me in any of the other ways I show on my left sidebar.  I would never try to pad my stats by forcing you to join a blog you may not want to ever visit again.

3.  Once I have drawn the names of the winners on February 15, there is no need for you to return to see if you have won.  I will come to YOUR blog and let you know.  However, if you don't respond in one week (7 days), I will draw an alternate name. 

4.  You do NOT have to be part of this blog hop to qualify for a prize.

5.  I will send your prize anywhere in this world.  However, I cannot send it to Mars or Uranus.

Thank you for visiting. It means a lot.  Bleubeard and I are so grateful you chose to stop by today.