Monday, February 7, 2011

Sneak peeks and gifts

Thursday, as the men working in my basement ascended the stairs for the final time that day, I checked my mail. In it were two well wrapped packages from my dear friend Annette of Voodoo Vixen fame. Now if you have never been to Annette's blog, you are in for a treat, especially if you are a scrapbooker. Annette always has the latest gadgets, tools, and supplies. Then she makes the most of them.

I first "met" Annette while blog hopping on WOYWW. At that time, she was packing to move from Saudi Arabia to Canada. Before that, she had lived in South Africa, where her penchant for masks began to grow into a collection. If you don't know what I mean, just visit her blog and be amazed!

Annette and I agreed to private swaps this year. She picked the first theme, which is to alter the jig saw puzzle she bought at Dollar Tree in Canada. Along with the puzzle she sent me, she also sent some lovely folders she made and altered, along with a book in Japanese, lots of scrapbook papers and ephemera, stickers, and tags. Included was also a box of wonderful things you would add to a scrapbook page, or an altered art piece, including ribbons, old lace, baubles, and beads. Her generous heart is larger than that wall and shelf that holds her masks! I was simply overwhelmed by her generosity. I promised I would take time to visit Dollar Tree to pick out something for our next swap item.

Now those who don't know what Dollar Tree is, their motto is "Everything's a Dollar." Finding something that would interest both of us would be hard, since I think Annette picked out the best thing in the place: the jigsaw puzzle.

After spending an inordinate amount of time walking every aisle late Friday afternoon, and a couple more than once, as darkness set in, I finally decided on the above. First, Annette will receive half the package of bobby pins. She will also receive one set of stencils. There are four stencils in each package, and the packages are identical. She will also receive one of the "baby" doll outfits that she can alter using any medium or media she choses. These are also identical. I am showing the back of the outfit on the left.

Put together, this will be an interesting swap. I will return the puzzle to her, and she will return the dress to me. It will all make sense once we swap. Right now, it looks like I get all the goodies, but that is not the case. The outfit I send her will eventually be returned to me, and the one I alter, will go to her. It should be a fun swap, so that's all I'm going to show until both puzzles are finished and returned to their rightful owners.

(Click to enlarge)
Our 6 X 6 swap had me in India last month, and this month is supposed to be Mexico, and specifically Mexican folk art. While staying at Scott's parents home over Christmas, I realized how MUCH I rely on the internet. Without that connection to the virtual world, I was totally bored after everyone was asleep and before everyone woke in the morning. Yes, I don't sleep much. So, I felt compelled to experiment with ideas for my pages on Mexico. Luckily, I brought some new pens with me, along with some 9" X 12" watercolor paper that is too large for the scanner bed.

Even bored and definitely in need of an artistic diversion, I realized how MUCH I HATE journaling. It is simply not something I enjoy doing. My hands cramp, I can't read my own writing, and I can't draw even the most rudimentary shape. Like zentangles, journaling is for those who enjoy writing and drawing. I don't. It's also for people who can easily grip a pen or pencil. I can't. That's why I have a blog. Typing is fine, writing isn't. But, I tried, and you don't really know how much you love or hate something until you try it for awhile. Just like I never realized how much I LOVE sewing journal pages, just not writing in them, until I started making them.

My final sneak peek is for an envelope swap that Amy is hosting on ABC. These are all basically the same. I used a single decorative napkin, loads of gold and pink pigment ink on the front, and gold and bronze liquid fluid acrylics on the small circles and crowns. I added that gold that begins with a quin that I can't even pronounce, much less spell, to the large circle and some of the birds. (Click to enlarge) I hope my fellow swappers like them, because I plan to make another set, except I cut some hearts from a napkin, then set them down on my work table and now they are GONE. Talk about spacey! It hasn't been my year. But at least now you're caught up in my world.

12 thoughtful remarks:

Tess said...

I love decorating the outside of envelopes. I like to imagine I have brightened the postal carriers day.

Dianne said...

I was so hoping to see more of your 'writing' but I understand pain... you did try! loved that pink and have to say your scrappy journals are inspired so your contribution to art journals is quite wonderful. your envelopes turned out lovely too --sure to be a hit. hope you're keeping warm and the basement is coming along!

La Dolce Vita said...

great doodles and the envelope is wonderful too!! xo

voodoo vixen said...

Ooooh those altered evnies are beeeeyooootiful Elizabeth!! LOL at your journalling page, I think this is why I type instead of writing, arthritis in the hands is a big fat pain in the derriere (well, actually it's not, it's a big fat pain in the hands) and the cold makes it worse and I have to venture out into a virtual blizzard and clear the path and driveway this morning.... poop!
Loving the look of the little outfit, so cute! My mind is whirring as to which way to go with it but I won't spoil the surprise!
Hope you find your hearts.... does Bleubeard take a liking to stuff? Pandora does... left alone in the scraproom she often steals things from desk... mostly little crackly packets of bling!!

Julia Dunnit said...

Love the envelopes...can't figure out the 'quin' thing at all! Am looking forward to seeing what you and Annette come up with - your two lots of choices are intriguing! I'm sorta with you on the journal thing - mostly for other reasons though - I don't know what to wrtie, it always feels contrived and I end up in the third person which is veeeerrrrrry weird. Blogging takes care of my needs. Well, most of them!!

Doone said...

ooh i love seeing what different people do with the same stuff..


Amy said...

hahaha, I am still laughing at Julia's remark. I so want to make her a third person diary now.
Oh, I love the envelopes!
It makes me want to hog the good ones. I won't hog the good ones, but I WANT to.

priti.lisa said...

Just fascinating...I love the whole idea. I will have to look into joining something like this.

Diane said...

How fun this will be--to see each other's take on the same items--I need to get to the Dollar Tree--I live about a minute away from one, and I haven't been there in years.

see you there! said...

Once again I'm impressed with how many swaps you join and keep up with, each one different but great it its own way. I'm inspired to creat some "mail art" now.


Gez said...

Great swaps Elizabeth. Love the colour of your journal page. :)

Carola Bartz said...

I love the swap between you and Annette - I wonder what the two of you will come up with and I hope that we can see it on both of your blogs!