Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Altered Playing Cards, Week 27: Embossing and Wrap-up

For this final week with Claudine at Claudine's Art Corner, we were to use embossing powders.  Although I only had about three items Claudine used, I came up with a way to make these cards my own.  I suggest you visit Claudine for the beautiful cards she made, because mine look NOTHING like hers this week.

Before we begin the show and tell portion of this post, I want to let everyone who is interested know that I have nearly finished the sewing, gluing, and adhering part of my friend Kathy's Kings and Queens altered book (AB).  However, I have a TON of pages left over, too many to rip out, so I will need to create a niche, something I said I wouldn't do in this book.    For those of you who took my AB class (those of you new to my blog are free to peruse the lessons that are listed on my right sidebar under the photo of the beautiful Bleubeard), know how I said it was SO MUCH EASIER to create a niche before anything else went in the book.  Since this is the first time I will have created the niche once the book is full, I can assure you, it is already harder than you can possibly imagine once all the other pages are filled.  Even the logistics are different.  Of course, if you don't hear from me for awhile, you know I've glued myself inside that niche and can't get to my computer (grin).

After the niche, I'll be able to decorate and embellish the pages and the covers.   I hope to make and share some of the embellishments beginning April 1, when I start my bEARTHday celebration with 22 days of recycling, reusing, and reducing, leading up to Earth Day.

But I've taken up enough of your time, so let's get to these last two cards.

Here they are, the final two cards in the deck.  All that's left now is the empty container they originally came in.

Claudine told us to use archival ink, but I don't have anything like that.  Instead, I got out an ink pad that has several colors in it.  I also got a dabber I bought several years ago in case I ever used this ink pad with something besides my brayer.  Sad, but true!

Unfortunately, as i was applying the ink, I realized I would have to deal with that wimpy gesso I own.  That's when I

decided to glue on some white printer paper.  Adding paper worked well last week, so why not try it again this week with a different technique.  I never expected the turquoise green to be so dark, and when I tried to remove some of the ink, it didn't help that much.

I chose my embossing powders based on the background colors of the cards, and finally found a pad of VersaMark, which is the only thing I know works with embossing powder.  I'm sure many of you stampers know of other products, but I'm unfamiliar with them.

When I chose the embossing powders, I also grabbed a few rubber stamps I thought I would audition.

I love the messy numbers stamp, first because I LOVE numbers, and second, because you can mis-stamp this one and it still comes out looking good.  I added the last of my red embossing powder that I bought probably eight or so years ago when I was participating in a lot of swaps.

Ironically, I still had lots of the red embossing powder left over to return to the jar.

I decided on a portion of this stamp for my second card, and allowed it to sit on the card while I took a picture.

The nice thing about embossing powder is, once you have added it to the ink, you have plenty of time to apply heat to it.  It's not one of those "gotta be quick as a bunny" events that happen so often when we play with mixed media.  In fact, I put my embossing powder and my stamps away before I heated the powder on these two cards.

I was very happy with these backgrounds.

I'm leaving these two stamps as a surprise, but before you ask where I got them (and I suspect someone would), I got them at a garage sale many years ago for $0.25 (US) for both.  It's also the first time I've ever used them.

I wanted these last two cards to reflect the fact that I found this project to be a challenge from the beginning

to the very end.

The final two cards together: Card on left I added a postage stamp and part of a ticket.  Card on right I added part of the same ticket and three clear acrylic self-stick "bubbles."  I fussy cut both pigs I stamped on colored printer paper.

And now for my wrap-up.  I didn't want to remove these from their "homes," so I decided to show them as they were.

This first set is one side of Weeks One thru Nine.  You can see I tried to show that they are in order from left to right, top to bottom.  I didn't like the white, but couldn't figure out how to remove the writing after I had saved the text.

I decided white was not a good color for showing the week number, so changed it to a color I hoped would be easier to read.  Read these from RIGHT to LEFT, and top to bottom.  They correspond with the same week's card on the reverse side.

Although I named the cards properly when I saved them, I messed up with the numbers when I changed colors.  They should read Week 10, not Week 9.  At least I got Week 18 correct.

I got back on track when I showed the other set of cards for Weeks 10 through 18.  Again, the reverse cards should read right to left, top to bottom.

I got both sides labeled correctly when I scanned and named the last set Weeks 19 through 26.  Read these left to right and top to bottom.

The reverse side with labels showing right to left and top to bottom.  Technically, we gessoed all our cards the first week, but somehow, I didn't bother to count that week.

I guess you can tell I'm keeping these cards in baseball card holders.  These holders also hold ATCs, which is approximately the same size as the playing cards I used.

Thanks to everyone who stuck with me through this journey.  Needless to say, I'm glad I participated, but would have liked to have had a few more of the products Claudine had/used, or else had the prompts be a bit more general.  However, I am grateful you visited and joined me on this very, very difficult (for me) APC challenge.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Claudine for all she has done to guide us through these cards, too.  I greatly appreciate her visits and her upbeat posts.   

Thanks for doing this, Claudine.  You put a lot into this project and it shows.  Although it may not have sounded like it at times, I was very glad I participated, because it certainly made me think outside the box, and for that, I'm grateful to you.

Monday, March 23, 2015

T Stands for Side Pockets (and a bit of Wichita State pride)

Recently Sally and I visited Side Pockets, another restaurant and sports bar.  This one is in a strip mall and features pool and billiards. 

Somehow I knew it was a sports bar

without even seeing the sign.

This photo is deceiving (and Sally is out of focus) because it was very, very dark in the place.  Sally wanted to sit at one of the tables with the high chairs, but I don't like height, and went looking for a better spot.

I picked the tables with the cozy chairs, but they were hard to move once you sat in them.

We ended up sitting in the chairs and pulling the table toward us after we had sat down.  The table was much lighter than the chairs!

Although this place was nearly empty the day we visited, I bet it was jumping Sunday afternoon when the Wichita State Shockers (WSU WuShocks) played Kansas University (KU Jayhawks) in an NCAA match that was not even close.  WSU was in the spotlight when they played KU in a game televised on CBS Sunday afternoon.  Seventh ranked WSU won over number two ranked KU 78-65.  For those of you who are NOT basketball fans, it was the first time these two Kansas teams have played in the playoffs since 1982.   For those of you who live in countries other than the US, I apologize, but my (final) alma mater pride is definitely showing.  Although I don't normally watch college basketball, this game made me extremely happy to be a Wichita State alumnus.

But now it's time to get back to T.

You don't need to ask, because our drink of choice was water.  Sally even gave me her lemon, so I had a double lemon water (grin).

I looked far and wide, and if I wanted to only get a basket of french fries, that was about the ONLY vegetarian offering on the menu, except a few appetizers.  

Sally got a hamburger and fries of some kind, and I got the chicken fried chicken.  It was either that, or go hungry.

While we waited, I showed Sally that we were entitled to a free game of pool with our lunch, but she was not interested in playing a game of pool while we waited on our food.

Instead, we waited and talked for what seemed like forever for our food to arrive.  Needless to say, she was far happier with her meal than I was with mine.  In fact, I brought most of mine home (minus the mashed potatoes, veggies, and toast, where the chicken fried chicken languished in the fridge for several days.  Sad, but true.

Now it's time to tell your tale for this T on Tuesday.  Were you out and about, or did you stay in and enjoy something hot (in the northern hemisphere) or cold (in the southern hemisphere)?  Maybe you chose to share some drink related art, or photos.  Maybe you created a scrapbook page, or worked in a journal or altered book, and are sharing either a traditional, hybrid, or digital piece with us.  Maybe you just grabbed a cup of water and shared your day with us, or found a video that involved tea or coffee or some other drink of choice.  Whatever the case, please link below, so we can visit.  Bleubeard wants to remind you that photos do not have to be taken on Tuesday, or even this month, if you choose.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

An interview with Annette, aka Voodoo Vixen

Today I'm interviewing my good internet friend Annette (aka Voodoo Vixen) who can be found on the internet at Scrap Happens Here. Please do NOT pin any of these photos from my blog.  I'm sure Annette will allow you to pin from her blog.

Thank you for agreeing to this interview. I greatly appreciate you taking time to answer these questions.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: I guess the first thing that comes to mind when I think of you and your blog Scrap Happens Here, is how much you have traveled in just the past few years since I first "met" you as you were leaving Saudi Arabia. I also see you have lived other places before I met you. Please tell us a bit about where you’ve lived in the past, even back to your childhood.

Annette: I have spent the last 15 years as an expat wife but I was an expat brat as a child so it is a life that I have known for many years and probably meant that 

I adapted to the lifestyle a little more easily than some who came to it without previous experience. I grew up in Libya and went to an American Elementary Oil School there. 

When I married Chris and started doing overseas assignments 

it was a lot easier than when I was a child… we now have the interwebs and Skype and social media and email to keep in touch with family back home…. You still miss your family but you can stay in touch and be part of their lives far more easily now.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: What is your favorite art genre? (Scrapbooking, bound books, etc?)

Annette: I love making 

mini books but am making an effort this year to return to 

12 x 12 layout scrapbooking as they have been neglected somewhat in recent years.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: How did you get into scrapbooking?

Annette: On our first assignment to South Africa I found that after decades of working full time that I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands and there was a scrapbooking shop in the local strip mall and 

I took some photos in and asked about matching papers….. and was lost from that point!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: How did you transition into altered art?

Annette: I always saw the 

arty farty stuff and loved it but not having any art background I wasn’t sure if I could do it. 

I joined a couple of swaps on UK Scrappers website and had so much fun with it that I didn’t care if I was any good or not!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: I see you were on the Bind-It-All design team for a while. What were the perks of being a Bind-It-All design team member?

Annette: I was on the original Bind It All design team, it was unusual because they actively sought team members from an international base instead of keeping it to the USA, which is the norm. What a brilliant group of people and such different styles were brought to the table. 

Zutters were extremely generous with product for us to create with and I really enjoyed being part of the design team and still enjoy the title of being one of the original Zutter Zisters.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: Please tell us the pros and cons of being on ANY design team for those of us who might wish to apply to one in the future.

Annette:Pros would be part of a group of like-minded, extremely talented people that encourage each other to try new ideas, having a deadline to work to, which can be a double edged sword depending on your personality type… I am the type of person who would hate to let someone down so having a deadline makes me sit and think and try out new things and 

produce the required number of projects per month. 

Cons… you have to do the projects required, 

you have to spend the time on the blogs and forums answering questions etc, 

you have to use the product you are given to promote and you lose the freedom to spend your time on other things that aren’t anything to do with the Company you are designing for. 

Bleubeard and ElizabethI have personally called you the best paper engineer I have ever known. When did you expand into paper engineering, or is this something that simply comes natural to you?

Annette: I love creating different things and making projects from chipboard and paper and it is all trial and error as I never know if something is going to work until I have given it a go. 
I wanted to push the boundaries to see new ways of doing things and boxes and 

handbags just started to appear on my desk.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: I see you feature your family (husband, son, mother) in your art and travels. Please tell us some of your favorite shared moments with them.

Annette: I have been so lucky to have been able to live in some wonderful countries and cities and enjoyed the experiences shared with 



my son, Christopher 

and my Mum. 

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: Bleubeard and Squiggles would be offended if I didn’t ask you a bit about Pandora (Pandy) and Tom-Tom. 

Annette: Pandy and Tom-Tom are my two little Saudi cats that I rescued and who made their home with me in Jubail, Saudi Arabia 

and then traveled to Canada and lived there for a couple of years, 

back home to Scotland and off to Australia for a couple of years more. They are now adapting to life back here at home in Scotland and 

enjoying a settled lifestyle. 

Bleubeard and ElizabethWhat are you working on at the moment?

AnnetteMy home… we have been out of the country for most of the last 15 years and the house has missed out on a lot of TLC and updating… so now I am busy getting all the maintenance and upgrades done so that it is comfortable for out retirement. 

I am looking forward to summer when the projects are all finished and I can start playing in the scraproom without guilt and demands on my time for other stuff.

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

Annette: I keep telling people I am in my 50s because it will be the last year that I can honestly use the phrase
… I have one son and 3 stepchildren and 3 stepGrandkids so there are always plenty of things to record for the benefit of future generations.

Bleubeard and ElizabethIs there anything I haven’t covered that you would like to add?

Annette: No LOL ;)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: Where can we find you on the internet?

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: Thank you again for allowing me to interview you this month, dear friend, and for 

all the lovely art and 

gifts you have bestowed upon me over the years.   

If you enjoyed Annette's (Voodoo Vixen) art, be sure to head to her blog.  If you are inspired by her art, please pin from HER blog, not mine.