Friday, February 24, 2012

My Favorite Supermodel

I am still working my way through the January / February issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. Since today is Friday and I am feeling rather lazy, I decided to play around a bit with the online art-making resources mentioned in Kathleen Day's Getting Technical article, Playtime. My favorite website... This photo altering resource was super easy and quick to use. There are all kinds of fun editing options. To demonstrate some of my favorites, I have asked my favorite in-house model, Peanut, to pose for me.


Color Noise



Pop Art
Have a great weekend. I hope you all get a chance to create!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Whoa, Time

My 5th grade son has started wearing capri pants. They did not start out as such, but suddenly I am noticing the color of his socks. I measured him today. We make marks on the door to the basement. The answer to the capri pant mystery... he has grown a full inch in one month. I am thankful for my healthy boy, but he is a constant reminder of the swiftness of time.

How can it be the end of February already? We are having a weirdly warm winter and the trees are starting to bloom. The bugs and weeds will eat us alive this summer.

Someone press the pause button.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Skittle Brain

Today I told my husband I feel like my brain is filled with skittles. Bright shiny colorful sugar balls clacking around up there.

I am teaching myself how to use Adobe Illustrator. I have a wonderful guidebook and I am working through my lessons like a good student each day. I have almost completed chapter 3. Now I know enough to play around and have some success, but I still don't know enough to be completely competent. A dangerous place. So far I have not thrown anything. But I have to admit... there have been a few tears and several inappropriate grumblings.

My friend Tara, over at DudleyRedhead, is leading an on-line workshop this month. Our first assignment is to choose a color palette, create a pattern, and design a self-portrait incorporating stitches. I am still compiling everything, but I decided to create all my pieces using Illustrator. It probably took me about 25 times longer than if I had drawn everything using a dried-up lipstick on a piece of toilet paper, but I am determined. Here's what I've got going so far.

Even my color choices were very Skittle-like.
I printed this image onto a piece of white fabric. I will add the stitches tonight!
Learning a new program has been challenging. I feel a lot like my hound dog Peanut trying to learn a new trick. Just last month, we taught her how to shake and speak. She is almost 6 years old. If you are counting dog years, she and I are exactly the same age. If she can learn a new trick, this old girl can learn one too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Romance, Making Molds, and Deep Space Pendants

I’m more of a non-fiction or historical fiction fan, but every now and then I get swept away by some cheesy romance. I don’t buy romance novels, but someone I work with does.

During the school year, I work as a secretary at an elementary school and we have a book-sharing shelf in our workroom. While I am standing by the copier, waiting for 700 newsletters to print, I sometimes sneak a peek at a page or two of some juicy smut. I feel a little embarrassed if someone walks in and sees me reading a book with a cover that features a woman’s tongue licking a chocolate-covered spoon. But I quickly get over myself and get back into the story. 

There are a few things I love about cheesy romance novels.
1)      The titles. Lord of Scoundrels. Slow Heat in Heaven.
2)      After reading one page, I pretty much get the gist of the entire book.
3)      I never have to read a sentence twice in order to understand the author’s subtle message.
4)      If I don’t finish the book, I don’t feel guilty.

This reminds me of things I like about cheap wine.
1)      The brands. Flip Flop. Mad Housewife.
2)      After one sip, I pretty much get the gist of the entire bottle.
3)      I never have to take another sip in order to understand the subtle undertones of the wine.
4)      If I don’t finish the bottle, I don’t feel guilty.

Romance is a funny thing. We cringe at it in movies, songs, books, tv shows, and in the relationships of our friends, but we crave it and see it quite differently when it is happening in our own lives. Cheesy romance has its place as a powerful motivator. Life changing decisions have been made based on fleeting moments of mushy gushy. Some were the right decisions, some were clearly disastrous. 

Thank goodness my fleeting moments of mushy gushy led me to marry my guy, clearly a right decision. He didn’t buy me anything for Valentine’s Day, but every morning he wakes me up with a cup of coffee and he never questions my craft supply purchases or hours spent covered in paint and glue. 

Did someone say craft supplies? 

Yesterday I had a blast making molds and casting with Ice Resin. I got the details and inspiration from Jen Cushman’s article in Cloth Paper Scissors (yes, I am still working my way through the January / February issue.) Jen’s article gave fantastic tips and photos. I am excited to report no mishaps. I’ve had the mold-compound and resin supplies for a while, but honestly I was scared to use them. Something about the chemicals made me nervous I might spontaneously combust or burn a ring in my scalp.

Not sure what I will do with my resin casts. The original belt buckles are from the 40’s and 50’s and are plastic. I love them, but have never wanted to use them in a piece because they belonged to my grandmother. I am sure they came from a dress she made or ordered out of the Montgomery Ward catalogue. These buckles are sentimental treasures. Now that I have the molds, I can cast away and keep the originals forever.

Since I had a cup of resin ready to go, I created these pendants with the alcohol ink papers I created over the weekend. I love how they turned out… a real mystical, mood ring, deep space feel. 

Make sure you check out Jen Cushman’s blog. She has obviously been Rampin’ Up Her Crafty for quite some time.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A New Supply to Love

It is cold. 
My son is in bed with a fever. 
My husband had to go to work for a few hours.
A perfect afternoon for me and my girl to play with alcohol inks. 

I bought a few alcohol inks by mistake.
Thought... why not buy more colors along with the recommended tools
and see the error as a delight in disguise?

Bea and I cut some shiny paper into bookmark-sized rectangles 
and proceeded to make a huge mess.
Now we are in love with these inks.  

Not sure what we will do with these, 
but they have a Hubble Telescope Photo kind of allure. 
We can't stop looking at them.

Product Info: These inks are Ranger Adirondack. You can buy them at big craft stores here in the U.S. or you can buy them on These are the colors and supplies I used:
Ink Colors (these came in packs of three):
Purple Twilight
Sunset Orange
Sunshine Yellow
Sail Boat Blue
Metallic Mixatives (came in a pack of two):
Alcohol Blending Solution
Applicator and pads (This is a wooden velcro-covered stamp with a stack of felt rectangles. You apply the ink to the felt and stamp the color onto the surface. Toss the felt and start with a fresh one when you change colors. You can buy more felt rectangles, but I am just going to use craft felt that I have on hand and cut my own.)
Have fun!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


So many important things to do this afternoon.

But why?

Especially when I just downloaded Instagram on my phone.

I've been waiting for the right time to model these wire headpieces I made last summer.

little dreamer

in between

she's got it all figured out

Now, what was I going to do?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cut and Paste

To this pile of trash,

black paper
and glue.

Within minutes, you will be transported to a happy world of color, shape, and movement. The cares of your day will fall away. About an hour later, you'll have some little bits of cheer that cost you nothing to make. Place them lovingly around your home, in your car, at your desk. Look at them to go back.