Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sewing Challenged

I did it! I finished my pages for the upcoming book swap themed "Sewing". Not such a big deal, right? Considering that sewing is one of those things I just never quite mastered, it is a huge deal. Well, at least it is to me. I sent the pages off on the 18th and will get the return group sometime after the 1st of April. Here's my page-

I actually enjoyed the process and did very little sewing. The background is a patterned yellow cotton that I overstamped with a flourish design with Black Staz On ink. I made a little template for the pattern piece on the left, used a collage sheet for the pattern envelope and stuck some ruled quilting tape on the bottom. Is that tape the coolest thing? I was going to buy enough tape measures to do all 20 cards, but was very stoked when I found this roll of adhesive. I actually DID sew a bit when I attached the vintage buttons (from my Grandma's button jar) and the little silver charm. Each page had a different sewing-related charm and each page was slightly different. I decided I wanted to do some fabric painting, so I bought some muslin and painted up a large batch of it to use on the back of the pages. I used thinned down acrylic paint as the first layer. Then added stampings of a double ring and a spiral in 2 other shades of yellow. The last touch was random dots of white applied with the wooden end of my paintbrush. I don't think the picture really shows all the detail, but the process was fun and I will try more of the muslin painting in the next few days. I used the fusible web to put the 2 sides together and they were done. I need to add to this that I fully intended to use my sewing machine to add a little bit of stitching, but life being life and all, my machine needs a tune up and just would not work well enough to do what I needed to do. So...or is it SEW, it's now in the shop awaiting a proper tune up. I guess I can't be too upset, as this machine was purchased in 1976 and I have never had to do a thing to it. It is a very basic model and weighs approximately 342 lbs., but it would take alot to destroy it, so I will appreciate it for the fine piece of machinery it is. When I get it back.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Paying It Forward

I was perusing some of my favorite blogs the other day and wandered across this wonderfully fun idea. This is the scoop- If you are one of the first three people to leave a comment on this post, sometime in the next few months you will receive, via snail mail, something cool that I handmade JUST FOR YOU! There is no obligation, no worries. The only request is that you include this logo on your own blog and do the same for three people. And on and on it goes. Sound like fun? Then leave your comment below and start watching the mail! Be sure to leave your email addy so that I can contact you for mailing information.

In Order To Create, One Must First SHOP!!!!

I had a wonderful day last Friday when my sweet Daughter-In-Law and I took a morning and hit area yard sales. As I have mentioned before, this is pretty new to me and I have to be in the right mood, but this activity was initiated by Steph, who decided we should do it once a month from here on since it was such fun. Here is a look at the day's purchases:

Can you just picture the fun I will have altering this cool house? I found this at a yard sale with many other cool things. The sale was at the home of a local artist, whom I had never met, named Hilary Gonzales. Turns out Miss Hilary teaches classes in our area in Altered Art! I have lamented so many times at the lack of artsy types where I live. While I am quite sure they exist, I have met so few. I hit it off with this particular artist and I am sure I will see her in one of her future classes. She admitted that this house was one of those "gotta have it" items that just she just never got to. I feel I must do it justice...one of these days.

This same stop produced these little bags of goodness. They were a mere 50 cents each and have bunches of "junque" that will work so well in my altered art. The headers say "Art To Share". What a great idea for all that little stuff you have at a garage sale. I'm not sure this would appeal to just anyone, but not everyone recognizes treasure when they see it-don't you agree? It also started a thought process within me about how many hundreds (thousands) of little bags I could fill with treasure if I ever have that elusive garage sale.

Another stop on our journey led to this little gem. A few months back I took a class at Frenzy Stamper given by a super-fun chick named Rosie. She brings an industrial Badge/Button maker and you spend a couple of hours making mini-collages and whatever you are inclined to make with the end result being a nice pile of fun, fun, fun button pins. I know I wasn't the only one who left that class sincerely coveting the machine to make buttons. But they run a few hundred dollars, so I decided I could just attend Rosie's classes. This is the where you find out just how CHEAP I can be, as I ran onto this little Badge maker marked at $5.00 and almost didn't buy it! It is not on par with the big, industrial machines, but the gal who sold it swears that she used it in her business for years and that it works just swell. I haven't tried it yet, but the box had everything-including all the directions and purchase orders from the company that makes the parts. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out, but for a five spot I think I made the right corporate decision.

Steph found several frames, old and new, which she intends to use in her home decor projects, If I can twist her arm, I'll show you what she comes up with. She has developed a new passion for refinishing (altering???) and I am so looking forward to seeing what she does. She is an artist in the making and she will be awesome once she lets go and gets it going. After our outdoor adventures, I turned her on to a wonderful antique store in none other than Camp Verde, AZ.. Sweet Peas Antiques is one of those places I had passed by a hundred times and never stopped. Once I did I was completely hooked and I have found some cool things here. Some of the lovelies I found for my Valentine's Day swap came from this venue. It's one of those places where various vendors rent space and all the spaces create a HUGE store. There is also a space set up with stamping and scrapbooking items, which makes it a double whammy. This trip's haul started with these 2 magazines from 1931-

Woman's World & The American Home. The ads are to-die-for in both magazines. I originally intended to buy just the Woman's World and then I saw this beautiful ad on the back of the Home mag-

Though I would much prefer it be an ad for lipstick or face powder, its beauty cannot be denied. And after all, this was from an era when a woman only showed more sophistication and worldliness if she had a cigarette delicately perched between her fingers. Fortunately times have changed, eh girls?

One more delightful find from Sweet Pea-this delicate baby bib from France. It is 2 layers with the first being a soft blue cotton and the overlay a cream tulle-type lace with white embroidery. As much as I appreciate the bib, the tag was the extra bonus. Can you believe that when I was going through the checkout process, the cashier came thisclose to cutting the gorgeous tag off? I nearly shrieked...but I caught her just in time! HA! I'm not sure what I will do with this, as I could never imagine it actually being worn by a baby. Maybe babies don't spit up in France?!? I do think it might look great on just the right vintage teddy bear. Hmmmm....a project for a future Grandchild perhaps? Sorry, kids!

I agree with Steph and think we should do this once a month. Not only did we score some major finds, but I always have fun when I get to spend time with her. We laughed, shopped and ate. What more could a girl want?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Weeeee're OFF To See the Wizard.....

...and all I can say is WOW!!! I am posting pictures from the book swap I just participated in with the theme "The Wizard Of Oz". This group is by invitation only and is run by a couple of extremely wonderful and talented ladies Jane and Penney. The book was greatly anticipated by those of us involved in it and it did not disappoint. I can truly say that there was not one page in this book that wasn't just exceptional. I have looked at it many, many times over the past week and I am just tickled every time I do. Here are some of the pages:

This is the front cover, by Penney. One of her

elementary students drew the characters and

Penney made the transparency from her


The cool execution of this page by April is

one of the greatest things about these swaps.

Her character was Dorothy.

If you look closely at these two pictures, you will see that they are different only slightly-when you turn the wheel hidden behind the horse, he changes colors. Hence, "A horse of a different color" How creative!!! This page was done by Sherry.

Is there a girl out there who didn't dream of wearing the costume of Glinda, the Good Witch? I still get shivers when I see her in all her glittery glory. I think Miss Stephanie Wright did an amazing job of showing her off.

"Follow the Yellow Brick Road" by Marissa. All in one dimension, she managed to make it look as though you could actually get on the road and head to Oz.

Jane, one of the group leaders, did this adorable page using a photograph of her sweet Granddaughter in her ruby slippers. Clever!

I love anything Dawn does and she succeeded again with her "Lollipop Guild" page. These are the pages she worked on the day I crafted at her home. Worth the wait, no?

I actually did 2 pages this time around. My first is "Wicked Witch of the West". It fits me, what can I say? She holds a "To Do" list which reads: TO DO: Buy Monkey Chow, Order Foundation-L'Ancome Gully Green, Get Broom Tuned Up, Get that Kid and her Dog!

Our group requires that you do something with the back of the page-no glaring white pages here. This is the back of the Witch page, just to give you an idea of what you can do.

My second page was "Somewhere over the rainbow". I did a foldover page that went from a bleak-looking sepia page to a brightly colored rainbow to Oz. It's hard to photograph, but you get the idea.

And the back of the page. This fabric looked enough like Poppies, in my mind, to pass for them on the back of my page.This last page was done by a very talented lady in our group whose name I cannot find. If by chance you see this, please let me know and I will give you due credit.

What a book! I am on to my next project-a swap book with the theme of "Sewing". I am so NOT a seamstress, so wish me luck!