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Showing posts from February, 2011

A Week Full of 'Goodness'

Here on our small Island we have been relatively lucky this Winter in terms of snow and treacherous road conditions - compared to the rest of the country I think we've had a cake walk. That came to a screeching halt last Wednesday though. The photo above is of my drive to work on Wednesday morning. Much of the time I wish I had a small car. I long for a Prius. or a lime green VW Bug. This week, however, I was very glad to be driving my trusty 1995 Ford Explorer with 4WD. I would not have driven without it. Many folks did not get out of their driveways and the roads were sparsely driven - although schools didn't close until Thursday - or maybe it Friday... I got new bird food and added some suet to the feeder at work. This little guy spent a lot of time hiding in the food dish protected form the wind and snow!  The crows were wishing they could join in at the feeder I think! The sun came out towards the end of the day n Wednesday for just a bit - as the wind kicked up and the temp…

Weekend ATC Marathon

As always seems to happen to me in February I was just a tad behind. As a friend mentioned - February is only two days shorter than a regular month - but it always seems to catch me by surprise anyway! I had two groups that I needed to get ATC's made for this weekend. I just finished the largest batch - made for Arts In The Cards.
The theme was "reuse and recycle". Last Friday I grabbed some paper from the wastebasket and set it in a bowl of hot water and soap to macerate for a day or two and then I made some rough molds of faces. It was not a totally successful experiment but several of the faces were fun - and they appear on some of the cards. The other faces are made form polymer clay - they had been rejects from an earlier project. The cards themselves were all made from papers that I had created and previously rejected. With a little reworking and embellishment they became useful again! My personal theme for this batch of cards is "Listen" and "Hear&quo…

Stylish 'Coats' for Ipod and My New IPhone

Being as Apple Computer addicted as I am I'd waited, with bated breath, for Verizon to release it's IPhone. In fact I hadn't renewed my contract for over a year hoping that the IPhone would, finally come to Verizon. It has arrived! I'm not on the phone a lot and I really had to consider whether or not "I deserved to get an IPhone. Thankfully, I had a contract renewal discount so, ultimately, of course(!),  I was one of the first to order one. My next consideration was to get a cover to protect it. I  spent a good deal of time searching and looking at cover options. Many of the best protective covers were bulky -although I can see where they would, indeed, provide good shock protection. The better cases were quite expensive (designer and full grain leather) with the alternative being a simple protective skin that protects the finish and screen - offering no shock protection at. My answer to my problem was to get a polycarbonate rear cover that is a the best "po…

Saint Valentine's Day

My passion for history generally compels me to look into the history of people, places and events. History.com is a great resource for information and today History.com was kind enough to answer my question about St. Valentine's Day even before I thought about it. The history of this special day was waiting for me in my email "postbox" this morning. I thought I would share the information with you!
the date: February 14: the year 278 : the event: St. Valentine beheaded

On February 14 around the year 278 A.D., Valentine, a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed. Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.
To get rid of the problem, Claudius bann…

Experiments With Watercolors

This is not a piece I am very proud of but I did learn a lot from it. I've not ever really used watercolors, except for a dribble here or a dab there, but they have been calling to me a lot recently. I decided it was time to spend some time investigating the potential. I expect to experiment with them for some now as they have managed to enchant me.
What did I learn from this experiment? don't OVER WORK a piece - leave when you first think it's done apply washes in LIGHT layersTHINK AHEAD - plan for anything you want to add later on. If you wait you'll get a piece that is over worked and will take more time to try to save! Saves on frustration.ENJOY the feel of the paint on the paper. There's nothing quite like it. I did the lettering first in several complimentary colors using fine tipped pens. It made the piece WAY too busy and distracting. I almost threw it away at that point but I went to bed instead. This morning I decided to darken the letters and make all of t…

My Day In Frame

A couple of friends wrote about my post yesterday. They said that it would be helpful to see the shawl wrapped. Now, mind you, there's a reason that there are not many photographs of me out there and a reason why I am, generally speaking, the photographer and not the "photographee". I dislike the way I look ! Stacey suggested I take my own picture in the mirror. Well okay - here 'tis! The shawl does reach past way past my waist even when worn this way. I like this shawl! When I put my camera down yesterday I looked at the screen and it had, magically, positioned itself on a word I had just written. The whole effect really fit the way I was feeling - serendipity! Tizzy Tillie was being especially sweet - exploring the shawl as it was drying. Then she snuggled up on a quilt and under a pillow that was on my chair. I couldn't resist snapping a few photos of her! Last night I had nightmare about a shooting in a night club - seemed like it was during the 1930's or s…

Berroco Blackstone Tweed Camus Shawl Finally Finished!

Yeah! Finally finished! I began working on this shawl last October and took the blocking ins out yesterday! I've become fixated on shawls. I love them and wearing them in our capricious climate makes them a perfect accessory.  This pattern is from Berroco and is called the Camus Shawl. It's a large, cuddly sized shawl, that I made even larger. I love the faux woven effect that the pattern makes.  
The yarn is from Berroco's Blackstone Tweed™line. It's a worsted weight yarn with 50 grams yielding 130 yards. Gauge = 18 stitches to 4 inches on a US size 7 needle. Fiber content = 65% wool , 25% mohair, 10% angora rabbit. It's lovely soft yarn that softened even more after being washed and blocked. The only caution I would offer is that when I was adding the "woven" effect - basically running  four pieces of 100 inch strands of yarn through the length of the shawl- the yarn frayed and split quite badly. One entire ball of yarn was almost a total waste. I had to…

Kandi Corp's New Encautic Hot Wax Art Supplies

I have always been intrigued by encaustic art but have never tried it before the great people at Kandi Corp surprised me by sending me samples of their newest line of Encaustic Hot Wax Art supplies. I was eager to dig in and see what these encaustic wax tools were all about! 
In case you are not aware of it - Kandi Corp is the company that, I think, most popularized hot fix Swarovski crystals, rhinestones and metal embellishments. They are also the company the makes the DeColourant supplies that I previously reviewed.  Not only are their products kind of cool but the people who work there are genuinely good, helpful folks. If you have a look at their website you will find a variety of projects suited to the use of their array of great products. The Hot Wax Art Stylus is very versatile tool and comes complete with five unique tips. They allow you to produce a wide variety of lines and marks. You can cover a larger area with the large 'paddle' tools or achieve precise, fine line, …