25 February 2013

Cat Tunnel

The January/February 2013 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors had an interesting article about creating a tunnel book. I have never made any sort of book before, although I have to admit that I have been tempted to try it in the past. 

I was in the middle of making some ATC's for a trade when this particular article caught my attention. I  wasn't very happy with the design of my ATC's, so my attention was easily distracted.  I took five pieces of Bristol paper and happily cut away parts of them, leaving the back a solid color for a backdrop. I knew that I wanted a stone like look to the backgrounds, so I lightly painted the papers in varying colors and then, after they had dried, I painted over them with the same color - using a thicker amount of paint and an Artist Cellar stencil to give paint some dimension.

top vie of the 5 pieces of bristol paper
The most difficult thing, due to the relatively small size that I was working in, was making the accordion side pieces. Getting the artist paper that I was using to fold evenly and straightly in quarter inch folds was a challenge. I'll look for something thinner to use in the future. I used Memory Box (they are some of my favorites) dies cuts for the cats and the fence.

This first attempt obviously needs some refinement, but I had a great time playing. My ATC's are still not done and I plan to go back to the proverbial drawing board, but at least I was distracted in a good way and I will definitely make some more tunnel books!
side view of the accordion pleated artist paper - it's too thick to get really straight quarter inch folds!

24 February 2013

Help Me Decide How To Spend $50.00!

This past week I was notified that I had won a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate thanks to one of my favorite authors, MJ Rose, Facebook face. Ms. Rose's books never fail to provide me with hours of enchantment and reading pleasure, and I have reviewed some of her books on my book blog. She has a new book coming out called "Seduction" that is another winner and my review of that book will be posted on my book blog soon as part of a blog tour hosted by Amy Bruno's Historical Fiction blog tours. That's probably interesting news for those of you who read my book blog though, but it leads to my present dilemma.

Regular readers will know that I generally have no problem what-so-ever spending money to feed my creative passions. I seldom win anything though and when I do I like to make the most of it. I want to use this unexpected windfall to buy something that I will use and something that will remind me of my good luck when I use it. The question is what should I get? Books, yarn, paint, brushes? What!

If you were handed fifty dollars what you buy? 

11 February 2013

Little Iris Shawlette by Anne Hanson

The full shawl 
This is my latest knit project. It is called "Little Iris". Designed by Anne Hanson for Kollage Yarns. The pattern also provides instructions for knitting a doll sized shawl - I think that is cute!  It is 42" from 'wing' tip to 'wing' tip & 20.5" from the top to bottom at the widest point. For such a small shawl, it seemed to take a long time to knit  - several weeks of evening knitting hours.  I used my favorite Malabrigo Sock yarn in "Abril"  (shown fifth row down and third from the right in the provided link) color way. I have really become a Malabrigo junkie - it's such lovely yarn and even with very 'wool sensitive' skin I can wear it as a scarf. I would love to see more solid colors in Malabrigo sock yarn since I am thinking that I need to work with some solid colors for a change. I've looked at Cascade Pediboo yarn which is totally awesome, but the available colors are not calling to me at all.
A side section
My next project is a cowl knit with worsted weight yarn on a size 9 needle. I am not used to using such large yarn and needles! I hope that I can get through it- it makes my hands hurt! ! I've come to the conclusion that I like to make accessories rather than things like sweaters and that I am most comfortable using US size 2-7 needles with fingering or sport weight yarns. 
The bottom section
Yesterday I made a batch of "Buttered Roses"soap. The butter part of the name comes from the cocoa butter this a small part of the recipe. It's lightly scented with Rose and Cardamom essential oils soap that smells heavenly. It's setting up now and later today I will slice it for curing later today.

Yesterday I also completed a small project for C&T made using a new product that they are testing. It's a "for the birds" project that I made just for fun; for a change it's nothing functional really, although it could be I presume. More on this in another post.

What have you done just for fun lately?!

10 February 2013

Post Card Exchanges

Dream and Take a Chance
Once again my postings seem to have lagged. It took me longer than I had anticipated to get over this last bout of pneumonia and I still need to be diligent in using the inhalers.

I was finally able to catch up on a couple of Post Card and ATC exchanges that I was perilously close to being very late with!

These first two images are of post cards. I gray scaled mixed media pieces that I have made, printed them on cotton and then painted over them with watercolors, inktence water color pencils and black ink. If you are a bog reader you may recognize the top image - I began it during a class with Anne Bagby and Lynn Perella last Fall.
The image below is an ATC. The theme was "Verdigris". Of course, I took a more literal interpretation and used the verdigris color on the gate. The finished product has a much paler white in the "petals" on the upper left corner as I thought that the stark white in this photo was too overpowering. I didn't manage to get another photo taken before I mailed them off though!