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.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

An organizational tip for Friday Smiles # 94

Today I'm joining Annie at A Stitch in Time and the gang at Friday Smiles with an organization tip.
Do you remember this photo where I showed tubing I planned to use to curb my rambling bobbins?

This tip will keep your bobbin thread from coming unraveled in your thread drawer.   I saw this tip years ago on Quilting Arts, a PBS TV series.  This show may not be available in areas other than the US, but I'm sure you can probably find a similar tutorial or video by doing an internet search.

I bought one foot (12", or 30,48 cm) length of both 1/2" and 5/8" diameter tubing at my home improvement store (see first photo above).  The 5/8" diameter tubing was too large for the bobbins, but the 1/2" diameter was perfect.  I cut circles that were the approximate width (thickness) of the thread between the two plastic (yours might be metal) bobbin ends.  Then I cut a slit down the middle so I could wrap the tubing around the thread on the bobbin.  You can see I've already cut the circles to size and slit them down the center.

Next, I slid the tubing circles around the outside of the bobbin threads.  It doesn't matter how much or how little thread there is, the tubing is self adjusting.  I have one piece of tubing left, because I counted the bobbin that is in my sewing machine at the moment.  But look how well behaved the bobbin thread is, now.   And yes, that's my arm, camera, and curly hair on the top of my head that you see in the reflection of the tray.  I had to laugh when I saw my "selfie."  I hope this tip (and maybe even my selfie) puts a smile on your face, because I was definitely smiling when I finally got these bobbins organized.

One thing I might add (and you might need to consider) is, I don't (repeat DO NOT) want my top thread and my bobbin thread to match.  I sew paper to paper, and the back side of the scrappy journal page is as important to me color-wise as the front side.  By mixing top thread and bobbin thread, I am able to get two different "looks."   However, if you are a seamstress and not a wanna-be sewer like me, you might want to keep your bobbin thread with your top thread.  I believe my friend OHHH Snap found a way by using a golf tee.  Apparently, you place a golf tee in the hole of the bobbin, then run the tee through the hole in the thread.

I hope this tip works for your bobbin thread, too.

For Day 21 of AEDM, I shared an organization tip with Annie at A Stitch in Time for Friday Smiles.  Now please join Annie for even more Friday Smiles.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Heading for Bariloche

Today we are heading to San Carlos de Bariloche, or Bariloche for short.  This is a two page spread in my 7 Continents altered book (AB).  Not sure why I had to pick such a cold region of Argentina, but it may be because we finally got above freezing for the first time in over a week.
Bariloche is located in the Argentinian portion of Patagonia, in the Province of Rio Negro. It is on the south end of Lake Nahuel Huapi, inside the Nahuel Huapi National Park. 

Not only a southern part of Argentina, Bariloche also sits near the border of Argentina and Chile.

Taken from an old geography book, this photo shows the Christ of the Andes statue.  After a conflict between Chile and Argentina that threatened war, a peaceful negotiation was achieved and this statue was created to symbolize that lasting peace.   The statue, dedicated in 1904, has a compelling back story.  The Christ was moved in pieces, first by train, then raised up the mountains by mule through the Uspallata Pass that is only accessible in summer. Once completed, it was erected with the figure facing the border between the two countries.  The imposing statue of Christ is standing on a globe in which South America shows prominently at the bottom of his robes.  The Christ's left hand holds a cross and his right is raised in, what looks to me like a welcoming gesture.

I couldn't believe how fortunate I was to find two different pictures in two tourist magazines of Hotel Llao-Llao from different views.   With my curiosity piqued, I learned the original hotel was built in 1939, but was soon destroyed by fire.  Rebuilt from concrete and stone, it closed due to financial problems in 1976, where it fell into disrepair through neglect and vandalism.  Although bought and sold several times over the next few years, a consortium purchased, renovated, and reopened it in 1993.  Since then it has won several awards of excellence.

These pictures show the famous hotel at the foothills of the Andes on a hill between the Moreno Lake and Nahuel Huapi, 

the lake shown on side two of my Bariloche AB page.

Known as "Switzerland of South America," Bariloche is famous for its architecture, tea houses, mountain backgrounds, and stunning lakes, including Nahuel Huapi Lakes.   These all sit inside Nahuel Huapi National Park

also known as the Lake District.

Thanks again for your continued support and kind comments during AEDM. This is Day 20, and I shared a two page spread featuring Argentina in my 7 Continents AB.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Altered Playing Card (APC) Week 11: Winter

This is Week 11 of Claudine's altered playing card (APC) challenge, and we are in full winter mode.  Not just because the APCs are inspired by winter, but because winter has hit my front door with lots of snow, below freezing temperatures, a few record lows, and high, blustery winds.  And mine isn't the only place.  It seems every state in the US, except Hawaii, and much of Canada, had freezing temperatures Monday night.

So, yes, my APCs have a definite winter feel to them this week.

As usual, I had practically none of the supplies Claudine asked for.  In fact, I was thrilled when I found this partial piece of dyed paper towel, all that was left after I used most of it earlier this year  (As an aside, if you want to see how I dyed it, please go here or here, and how I used the dyed paper towels here).

Supplies, from back left clockwise:

Dark blue acrylic paint
White glue, although I ended up using a glue stick instead
White pigment ink
Paint brush
Foam snowflake stamp
Dyed paper towel using printer ink
Computer generated cup, which I fussy cut
Two gessoed playing cards

So why, you ask, did I simply show the supplies and not take any more step out photos?  Because it's so cold in my craft room and my hands (and entire body) were shaking so hard when I tried to take a photo, I decided to simply explain what I did and save photos for when my craft room warms a bit.

For the first playing card, I made something similar to Claudine's card that used a dyed paper towel.  However, Claudine's paper towel had been dyed with spray mists, which will bleed when wet, while mine was made using printer ink, which did not bleed.   I colored the cup and found a small piece of scrap paper I'd dyed with some of my shimmering mists and wrote the sentiment by hand.  It reads "Make mine cocoa please."

For my second card, I knew the paper towel wouldn't bleed like Claudine showed us.  So I opted to paint my playing card with dark blue paint, then add pigment ink snowflakes after the paint had dried.  Once the snowflakes were dried, I once again found a scrap piece of paper and wrote the sentiment: "Snowflakes are winter's flowers."  I used a black Micron 25mm pen for both sentiments.

I realize these are rather simple altered cards this week, but by the time I had finished these two, I was definitely ready to warm my numb hands and get to my less cold office to document the process.

For Day 19 of AEDM,
I created two APCs.

Monday, November 17, 2014

T Stands For ArgenTEAna

Welcome to T Stands For Tuesday.  Today I've recycled some old tea bags for this latest entry in my 7 Continents altered book (AB).  For those who are new to my blog, I call it the oldest UFO (project) I own.  Although it started with a tip-in swap in 2004, I've been working on adding pages since early in 2005, and it may never be finished.

I dried tea bags on 90 lb. watercolor paper,
then pasted

and sewed images from several travel brochures together with the now dry tea stained watercolor paper.  Note the reference to England in my computer generated text, which fits nicely with the tea bag holder gifted me by Voodoo Vixen (Annette) I chose for this photo shoot.

After the photo shoot, I also added the image from Patagonian Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, or Tierra del Fuego.  The picture is from Ushuaia, the southermost city of the world, which is also Tierra del Fuego’s capital city in Argentina.  Argentina shares Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia with Chile.  Argentina's share is quite small, while nearly 2/3 of Tierra del Fuego is in Chile.  The Andes mountains are in the background of both pictures.

Also note that when I write or print text on an AB page, I am much more formal than I am when I write on my blog.  I use the blog for notes and techniques I share with my friends and followers, while the AB pages are geared to a more formal audience.  Not sure why I do that, but I often do.

While researching Argentina, I learned a great deal about Argentina's number one drink,

including where it was grown.

This voyage took me

from the cacti dotted valleys

in the north, all the way to ice covered Patagonia in the south.  I hope you saw yet another side of Argentina or ArgenTEAna as I interpreted it today.  To see other altered book posts on Argentina, please go here, here, here, and here

What are you working on for T this Tuesday?  Is it sewing, digital art, a shelfie, a favorite mug, or maybe an art journal page?  Or are you just kicking your feet up, enjoying that first cuppa'?  Regardless, please link below.  The only request is, it should in some way, reference a drink of some kind, a way to make a drink, a place where you can make or enjoy a drink, or a place you've been where drinks were served.  Bleubeard would also like to remind you that photos need not be taken on Tuesday, but any time.

I'm also entering this in AEDM,
as Day 18's entry.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Craft Barn's 23rd Quotes and/or Lyrics:

Craft Barn's two words for this 23 challenge are Journey and Friendship.

For this piece, I chose the word Journey.  I spray painted a blue background, then added splotches of old nail polish, something I haven't used in a long time.  I wasn't thinking properly, possibly because it's past my bedtime, and most of the splotches ended up in the area I covered up with the picture.

I sanded around the focal image I cut in an irregular shape.

I printed this quote by Tim Cahill on my computer, using the Seagull font.  I thought I had it positioned lower, and couldn't read it once I had printed it.  The quote reads:
A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles.

  ~Tim Cahill
You can also see the 23 in the image above that I punched from a book page.  Other elements include my used file folder, an image I've been saving for just the right moment, spray paint, and nail polish.

As I have throughout the year, I visited everyone again this challenge, although I can't leave comments to those on Facebook or Flickr.  I was able, however, to (sort of) leave a comment for Fiona, but only because of my dear internet friend Mo (Twinkle Toes), who generously agreed to forward the message.  For that I am extremely grateful.

Today, Day 17 of AEDM,
I created a page for Craft Barn's Quotes and/or Lyrics challenge.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Autumn in my Altered AB

It's been awhile since I picked up my Altered, an AB (altered book).  I suspect the name sounds redundant, but it's important to me to know the focus of an AB when I start in it.  With that in mind, I created two spreads that celebrate Autumn.

This four page spread has two poems that represent the season.  For that reason, I am linking this to Robyn's Poetry Journal Monthly.

I tried to make the background as autumnal as possible, where I combined three colors of Golden's Fluid Acrylics.

The problem with using images, as well as poems from a book, is they are printed on both sides.  I had to find a way to show both sides of the page, so I sewed a small portion of the page such that the viewer, with very little trouble, could find the slightly hidden poem by Elsie Natalie Brady.

For the second spread, I continued the paint chip theme,

as well as the rest of the poem by Loise Pinkerton Fritz.

The paint chips were quite shiny under the OTT light, so I scanned each page.  I even stamped leaves on the paint chips.  Don't you just love the names of these chips?

You can see where I sewed the back-to-back poems on the right side of the first spread.  For this spread, I also cut up a Reese's cup wrapper and used it to frame the edges.

I used the same paint chips on the second spread, but I reversed them.

The pumpkins are icons of the season, as are falling leaves.  The rest of the poem, started in the first spread, is shown here.  

This is Day 16 of AEDM,
and I created two spreads in my Altered AB.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Journal 52, Week 46: Napkins

I was thrilled when I saw the Week 46 prompt at Journal 52 was napkins.

I decided to start the silly season (aka Christmas) off with this spread.

Napkins are supplies I seldom consider when I'm making my art.  I have no idea why not, since I have a plethora of them.  An entire basket full, no less.

It could be that I have to climb on a chair to get this and all the baskets down.  But I really need to start utilizing these better.

I decided on a Christmas theme, so dug out several of my Christmas holiday inspired napkins.

I make no secret that I'm not a big fan of glue stick.  It doesn't stick unless you use a lot and burnish it down.  Besides that, I'm completely out of my favorite glue stick, so had to dig out some that I got several years ago when school supplies were on sale.

Having said all that, there are two times I use glue sticks.  One is when I adhere my handmade paper, and one is when I adhere napkins.

After I finished my assembly, I added the week number

and wrote the sentiment or, as Chelle would call it, the journal entry.

It's hard to see, but I also wrote the week number on Santa's hat, too.

The other journal entry was NOT written by me.  It was in a Christmas card, and I love this gal's handwriting.

One final look, while I explain I started with a recycled file folder, then added four napkins and some words.  I don't like hodge-podge willy-nilly partial images, so I used a grid pattern to lay the three napkins over the one I used as a background.

And even though these colors are driven by the season and not necessarily my favorites, I'm also linking to Moo-Mania and More for their Favorite Colors challenge.

This is Day 15 of AEDM,
and we are half way through the month of November.  For today, I created a page using a recycled file folder and four napkins.