31 December 2013

Throw Out 50 Things

I recently read a book called "Throw out 50 things" by Gail Blanke.  I liked this book because she told you how to do the purge.  She purges with you and gives you a list of what she depleted from her collection and leaves a space for you to write in what you got out of your home. 

 I have been trying to do this for some time, ever since we had to clean out 40 years of junk from my mother-in-law's house.  I have failed since I had no guide and no one to be competitive with......it just wasn't working for me.  After reading this book, I had a plan to "make it so" (borrowing a line from a great Starfleet Captain).  I started when we got home from vacation.  I proceeded to tackle the project while putting away the items from the trip.  I have been working for 2 days now and I feel I have accomplished a bunch.

I have gotten rid of (either by donating, trashing, gifting to someone in need or recycling):

  1. Broken tape dispenser I was never going to fix
  2. Broken hole punch
  3. Out of date cd roms
  4. Magazines
  5. Quilts (tiny quilts we have worn out and I won't ever fix)
  6. Bath mats (no longer the colors we use)
  7. Gooey hair gel
  8. Partially used coloring books
  9. Toddler sized hats/gloves
  10. Unused scarves
  11. Picture frames
  12. Too young for our kid's games
  13. A swivel chair
  14. Yucky make-up
  15. Broken shells
  16. Seen better days Christmas decor
  17. Too small or worn clothes
  18. See better days toys
  19. Out of date coupons
  20. Ink cartridges
  21. Wire Hangers (this house follows Joan Crawford wire hanger policy)
  22. Gently used craft items
  23. Cleaned out drawers in the kitchen (I never had a junk drawer but I had junk in each drawer)
  24. Books
  25. Ink pens
  26. Paper pads
  27. Some of the 10 rulers I have collected (I kept 2)
  28. Address labels featuring my father-in-law's name (for the shred pile)
  29. Cross stitch fabric too small to use (why would I keep that???)
  30. Mostly burned candles
  31. Cardboard boxes that for some reason I feel I need
  32. Old papers no longer needed (meant for the shred bin)
  33. Broken suitcase that will NOT be good for anything no matter how much I think it will
  34. Craft projects attempted but the product is a failure
  35. Resumes from John's college days (why have I kept this?) 
  36. Old chipped along the edges plates/bowls
That is where I am as of today.  I hope to achieve this 50 things goal by Spring Break 2014 (first week in April) and have added the goal to not bring back the junk.  I still have lots of stuff to go through from my mothers-in-law home and I hope that will be what puts me over the top. I also have a rainbow vacuum in my attic that it is time to get rid of...I have held onto it thinking I could fix it.  I can't!  Never will I just have to face facts?  My other new goal is if you can't fix it right now, you pay someone to do it or get rid of it, RIGHT NOW!!!  Don't bring your junk in my house.

20 October 2013

Trace Creek Crop

This year DiAnna and I went to the crop together.  Our ambition is always larger than our time frame.  Meaning we always plan to make things and get a bit sidetracked.  However, we have developed a philosophy.  Get done what you can, but make sure you have a fun relaxing day.  This year was no exception to that rule.  It was nice to be off work, no one bothering you for meals or fights with siblings...just relaxation, friendship, shopping, eating, and a little Jesus.

DiAnna and I decided before the crop to made matching aprons.  My apron was pretty crappy so this was brilliant idea.  We both took a denim apron and trimmed it with pink trim.  She used an eyelet trim and I used tulle (because I wanted a tutu).  

Here is a photo of my work station.  I was going to work on a Marilyn Monroe drawing that I made.  It was inspired by a pose she did in a publicity still for Niagara.  She was pretty wicked in that movie and I recommend you see it if you have not.

These steampunk inspired items were featured in the Mia's Madness booth. I simply love everything they sell.  It's junk to most by an absolute treasure to me.  I chose some items from the junk bin.  A triangle pendant, a washer, and a few other metals.  Stay tuned to see what I made from .50 of stuff. www.miasmadness.com

This is a photo from the yard sale.  This is where you sell items you no longer need/want were gifted.  I sold a bunch of stuff this year and I did not spend one dime of money shopping it. Now I did get things but everything I bought was with money I made in the yard sale. 

Check out this wagon!  It is all mine!  I have been going to TCC for many many years and never won a thing.  I was sitting with my friends in the church and telling them all that I hoped they won something.  And I listened and wait a minute I realized Jill Rogers finally called MY name.  I won one of the grand prizes. I got the third grand prize awarded the first two prizes where $50 cash. I prefer the wagon because it is something I have always wanted but I never would have bought for myself.  It is extraordinary.  I am very grateful that my name was called. 

I made a couple of sketches but this is the only thing that I finished on the TCC relaxation day.  A wood panel of the Marilyn Monroe drawing I made.  The panel was painted a few colors, I didn't like any of them and finally I got to this green and I liked it.  Next I used Barquoe Motifs to stamp some swirls using StazOn! ink.  Then I used some Aleene's tacky glue and painted it onto the board.  I let it get a bit dry then I painted it with white.  What a nice crackle finish it leaves.  I did a die cut of the Tim Holtz viewmaster thingy and place the die cut on the board.  I used wood icing to make some texture for the background.  Once this dried I used some Walnut Stain ink by Tim Holtz for some effect. I cut MM out from the paper she was drawn and painted on and used Mod Podge to put her onto my board.  I think it's fabulous!!

This is the project I made using the stuff reclaimed from the junk bin.  I did not take a before picture...boo.  The top picture is when I first put it all together. I used wire to hold the circle onto the triangle and made the elder wand with wire down the center.  I painted it with gesso to cover the mixed metals. I added glitter because I thought I would keep it black, but no I found my Krylon chrome spray paint.  I layered many layers of paint on here. I think it turned out grand. 

Another TCC comes to a close.  DiAnna we will do it all again in the spring, Lord willing. 

07 September 2013

Mixed media minis

These little miniatures feature a little bit of everything.  Maybe some painting. Maybe some inking.  A little die cutting....who knows. 
The first three are to honor two movie stars I adore...Betty and Marilyn.

This next one I have a bit of how I made it. 
I made a sketch on the mixed media paper and traced it to make a mask.  I put double sided tape on the back of the mask after I cut it out.  I then placed it over the sketch on the mixed media paper.  I inked the background using Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Walnut Stain and Vintage Paper.  Then I sprayed with Perfect Pearls silver misting spray. 

Next, I used my brand new viewmaster styled Tim Holtz Distress Die and made a couple from regular white scrapbook paper.  I inked both of them with distress inks...walnut stain, vintage paper, and tea dye.  Then I sprayed with Michelle's Musings brown ink on one and java ink on the other (I can't remember who made it...I broke the original bottle).  One of the viewmasters was covered in Michelle's Musings modeling paste the other in a heavy gel. On the heavy gel one, I added glass glitter.  Once the two viewmasters were dry I cut them apart and added to the mixed media paper.  Next, I took off my mask and painted the lady.

And the last one is a homage to Audrey Hepburn, Michelle's Musing style.  This one was fun for me. It is a bit of everything...just like me!

Just a few mini paintings

I have been on a painting kick lately.  Here are just a few of the paintings that I have done.  They are all 6x8

Paintings of my co workers

I painted these a few weeks ago because I am very blessed to work with the two ladies I work with.  Both of them have hearts the size of Texas.  Both of them are hard workers.  Both of them are team players.  Both of them want to lift up others instead of themselves.

I must say I am very lucky to work with both of them.  Blessed every day to be part of a team that not only works hard together but genuinely loves each other as well. 

Here are the pictures that I painted for the girls, I hope they know how glad I am to have them in my life.

Creating a Paper Ruffle

I have discovered something new and fun that I simply MUST share.  I have discovered, with the help of the internet how to make a ruffle from paper and it looks like cloth.  It is a beautiful addition to a card or scrapbook page.  The best part....it's EASY!!!

What you need:
a strip of paper (not card stock)
misting bottle full of water
a stylus (not required)
good quality double sided tape.

I cut my strip about 2x12. I am a poor measurer so who knows.  I laid it flat unto my craft sheet.  The paper I used was a thinnish paper that is usually .59 per sheet at Micheal's.  Spray the strip with the misting bottle, you want it wet but not too wet.  You may need to experiment.  It was wet enough to mold, but not enough to tear. Start with a couple of pumps and run your finger along the strip to spread out the water.  If the paper doesn't appear damp add more.  Each time run your finger along the strip to spread out the water.

Next pick up the strip and begin to "gather" it in your hands. I gathered between my thumb and forefinger. It's a bit hard to hold near the end but it will be worth it if you can.  I ended up gathering the 12 inch strip into about 4 inches.  I "fluffed" out the ruffles with my finger.  The internet said to use a stylus, but I like the look of your finger better.

Next set aside to dry or use a heat tool. I just sat it aside for a while.  The ruffle with harden as it dries and once it is finished you will have your paper ruffle.  You will need good quality double sided tape to stick it to your card.

I told you this was EASY!

Let them eat cake

I had this very large 16x20 canvas I wanted to do something EPIC with it.  I also just bought this book by Suzi Blu.  In this book, she created a Marie Antoinette. I did not want to copy her painting, but I did want to be heavily influenced by Suzi. If you have not checked out Suzi's work I highly recommend it.  Her work is exquisite. 

The first step was to make my sketch. It did not post that picture because I did it very lightly.  Suzi's work featured a castle, I wanted Versailles.  I also wanted cake, even though Marie never said the famous "quote" I HAD to have it on my canvas.

After I had my layout like I wanted it I had to insert Marie. I drew her on a vellum paper because I intended on blending her skin tone.  I drew how big I wanted her to be on the vellum paper. I used colored pencils by Prismacolor to create my tones.  I drew a face, a neck with a low cut dress line, and two arms.  I then cut those out and put them onto the canvas (do not adhere). I then drew the body around the completed body parts. 
I took the body parts off and painted the background.  I wanted a red toned background.  To me, this represented the French Revolution which is really what this is all about. I used a red-brown mixture for the ground so that it looked a tad different from the sky.  Versailles is created with gold, green and diamond color. It sparkles.

Once the basic background was done I added Marie's body (using mod podge) and began her clothing. I used fabric for her bodice and skirt.  Her sleeves are made by using color pencils and blending as much as I could for definition.  Then I took UTEE (one of my faves) and layered a good layer over the pencil work.  It made for a slick, shiny almost satiny finish.  I then sprayed her skirt with Perfect Pearls in silver for some shimmer. 

Her hair is made using modeling paste and heavy gel. I just kept layering until it was as thick and fluffy as I wanted it to be with a palette knife.  I added some tendrils by simply placing my palette knife as Bob Ross would have with a tree.  Like Suzi, I added fibers into the hair, but one step above, I added some glass glitter for more shimmer (it's all about the shine!).

Next, it was time for details. I had to add details to Versailles, which for the most part was done with paint.  I did put a stamped clock unto the castle front and embossing with Midnight black powder.  I added some transparency garland to the front and some quotes from one of my favorite books.  It was set in Paris.  I outlined the words "castle", "court" and "passionate" on each book page.

The Eiffel Tower graces the top of the castle just for fun.  Scrabble tiles spell out her name, chipboard flowers grace a stenciled design that was made with my homemade modeling paste.  In the yard, I added a doily that was distressed with Distress Ink.  I embossed a chipboard table with silver embossing powder.  The cake is made from Paris themed scrapbook paper scraps.  I think it is by My Mind's Eye.  I added the famous "quote" but decided to layer it in UTEE as well. I just love that stuff.

A ribbon and some fun pennants finish out the corner.  I thought she needed some jewelry so I added a barrette I found on the floor at the last LOHS prom to her hair, pearls for a necklace and a Tim Holtz bobble for more bling.  I hope you enjoy, because I LOVE her and I am craving cake.

Who's dressing your form

It's been some time since I have been here. I apologize.  I have had many many things to do.  I have been creating just not sharing.  Don't worry, I will make up for the delay.

Some time ago I bought this paper mache' dress form at Michael's, why?  Because I am in LOVE with dress forms!  I have been looking for the die for my sizzix machine for some time, but that story is for another day.  Today all that matters is I bought this dress form.  The form was just that, a form.  It had no stand so I just sat it up on my paint shelf and stared at it.  Two weeks ago, I decided to get brave and make my own stand.  I found a sucker stick (it was an unused one like the ones you use for the melting chocolate) and some wire.  I fashioned the wire around the end of the stick to resemble the four little feet that support a dress form.

Once I shaped the wire like I wanted I had to paper mache' over my creation. I may have done this a little differently than most would, but I like mod podge so I used strips of newspaper and mod podge to build my stand.  Each strand of paper would get drenched in mod podge then wrapped around the stick/wire. I made a base at the top of the stand by layering many layers of paper strips.  My dress form will rest on this little knob.  Once the stand dried, I drilled a small hole with scissors into the bottom of the dress form.  I inserted it onto the stand which I had coated in Aleene's tacky glue.  I then added more drenched strips around the bottom of the form and the stand, just for more security.

I let it sit for a few days then I added coloring (with Distress inks and paint) to the body and trim that my mother-in-law made in the '60s.  After that dried, I painted the stand black. I was on the fence. I thought of embossing the stand with silver embossing powder, I may do that to the other dress form I have because I am CERTAIN I will be making a stand for that soon.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it next and I made a gown for the form.  I did not like it so I ripped it off and decided to go with a tulle tutu.  I took a Tim Holtz pearl, a glass bead, and a rhinestone.  I wired them all together in a belt for the skirt.  I thought the rhinestone needed something else so I took it off and colored it with cranberry alcohol ink.  MUCH BETTER! A pearl necklace provided the finishing touch to the body.  I wish I could fashion some stilettos from newspaper and mod podge to go with this beauty.  

06 July 2013

Homemade stamp cleaner

I did not make up this recipe, but I have been using it for years and love it.  I wish I could credit the person that gave me the recipe. I met her at a CKC convention and I did not get her name :(   We were taking a class together and she shared it with me during the class.

I can tell you that I have tried it with Stazon inks, pigment inks, dye inks and I have had success with each one. I have not noticed anything amiss with my stamps either.

I make the recipe and pour some in a misting bottle to use during each stamp session.  I make up enough to also fill a glass Voss water bottle.  That way I never run out during a creative session.

2 Tablespoons of liquid glycerin (I found this in the cake aisle at Michael's)

1 Tablespoon of baby shampoo (I use a cheap version...this time I have a 2 in 1 shampoo)

8 oz Distilled water

If you have ever used a homemade cleaner I would LOVE to hear your results.

Update 2020:

I am still using this exclusively to clean my stamps.  I have never had any issues and still love the way it performs.  I have not bought stamp cleaner once since I met the lady at the CKC convention in 2011.  

23 June 2013

Homemade modeling paste

One of my favorite YouTube channels is Luvlee scrappin.  She has all kinds of homemade tricks and many tutorials on art items.  I like so many of her tutorials I can't even pick my favorite.

I did stumble across this one some time ago.  This one teaches you how to make your own modeling paste.  I put it in my favorites on YouTube because at the time I had modeling paste.  Yesterday I ran out and decided it was time to try Leeanne's recipes and make up a couple of batches.

You really should watch Luvleescrappin's tutorial.  It is detailed and she is entertaining.  Here is the link.......here.

Now that you have watched Leeanne do her magic, I will tell you that I followed her small batch recipes.  I made one with baby powder and one with baking soda.

I encourage you to make some and see which you like better.  So far I like the baking soda one the best, but I am going to keep trying them both until I am out of what I made up.  From there I intend to only make the favorite one.

Thanks Luvleescrappin! 

16 June 2013

Cards made this week

I have depleted my stash of cards, so this weekend was devoted to replenishing my stockpile.  I started with some photos of movie stars.  I called the first set "The Old Hollywood Collection".  They will be used to send to my movie buff friends.

I then made many generic type cards that could be sympathy, birthday, thank you or just because cards.

You can make cards without making a birthday card...

Last were a set of coffee cards for fun.