Saturday, December 17, 2011

Have A Cup of Cheer!

While still working every minute I can these days on cookbook mini albums, I decided to break away from the papers and glues for just a couple of nights recently to bring out my hooks and yarns instead!  I turned on my Christmas tree lights, and popped in a movie, and those couple of nights were the most relaxing, peaceful nights I've had in a while!...   So, here's what I made!

I found the perfect shaped coffee mugs I was looking for at The Christmas Tree Shoppe!  In fact, I'd like to go get more!...  But I think these crocheted coffee mug cozies would be really cute Valentines Day gifts too, with the right goodies tucked inside, ya think so?!!

The pattern I followed, with minor adjustments to fit the particular-sized mugs I bought, was from Micah, at Micah Makes.  This is a great pattern, very easy to follow, and quick to whip up!...   Thank you Micah!  With the exception of ONE, which will be MINE-ALL-MINE...

...the other four cups will be Christmas gifts!!  (I just still have to get the marshmallows!)

Meanwhile, during the past month or so, I participated in a couple of Christmas Tag Swaps!  Now that all the tags have been sent and received, I can finally share them with you here!  For the first round of swaps, via Mini Album Scraps, I received this group of gorgeous tags...

...and honestly, the talent shown in these just amazes me!   

The next round of Christmas Tags came via a swap held by Gloria, at YouTube channel craftergm.

Aren't they beautiful?!!  Photos could never do them justice!  Every little detail just fascinates me, every time I look at each individual work of art!  Every one of all ten tags are hanging on display in my home right now, and I know my visitors will LOVE seeing them all!  

Oh!  I almost forgot to show my own tag!  I made the same tag for both swaps, so here it is.  This is the front...

You see the flower center of the fabric flower I sewed myself?  It almost looks as pretty as cranberry glass, doesn't it?!  Would you believe it was made out of a plastic soda bottle, and a red sharpie pen?...   Well, it WAS!!

*Update:  Look for how to make Pop Bottle Flowers HERE!
...And look for the fabric flower how-to HERE!

Next is the back of the tag, where I pocketed a second tag!  I used the Sizzix die Key & Keyhole. Then, on the back of this tag I added a little poem about leaving the key out for Santa, just in case he needs it!  (The smallest tag you see, the little red-patterned hand, just included my personal info for the recipients in the swaps.)

So, I guess that just about wraps things up today.  As for my "Sally List" so far?..  I may need to run to the bank for some rolls of pennies!!  Ha! Ha!..  Oh, just kidding!!  Hopefully I won't need to use them all!  I am full of the Christmas Spirit today, and plan to do some Christmas cookie baking!!

Thanks so much for stopping by, 
and I hope this finds you and yours 
enjoying the weekend!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Snowman Assembled

...and reporting for Journal Duty, Sir!

Just recently, I saw a really cute little snowman, over at Audrey Pettit's Weblog, and I thought he was so darn cute, I didn't waste a minute, scampering around my house, gathering up my materials to make one for myself!  Originally, I was going to make one to decorate a basket or shelf somewhere, but then as I was making it, I remembered I hadn't yet made a cover for my Winter Junque/Art Journal.  I loved the way Audrey did her scarf with ribbon and a pleated rosette, but I decided I wanted an element of crochet on my snowman, and so I proceed to crochet him a scarf!

The first page of my journal has pockets to store various images, papers, etc, that I think I may want to work with...

and much like my other two journals,  the right side of this layout will be my introductory page of sorts.  Isn't the paper beautiful?  It's from an Elizabeth Brownd, K&Company line of Christmas paper.  I won it in a giveaway, and I am having so much fun with it.  I'm sure I'll have plenty to still use next year too!  (Thank you so much Sue!)

The next two pages, ready for journaling and photos, are inspired by two individual sources.

First my colors are inspired by an "artful color play" prompt at Whimspirations: Artful Musings By Joanne Sharpe.  Here she suggested making a journal background page using just the colors blue, green, and purple.  Of course, can I follow directions?  Not really thinking, I threw in some WHITE snowflakes, but I'm happy with it still!  My second inspiration for the layout of the two pages comes from Sketchy Thursdays.  The entire layout is done using acrylic paints, chunky stamps, a Crafter's Workshop stencil, dark and light purple colored papers, lace, index cards for journaling or photo placement, and a couple of plastic snowflake embellies.

Next, I want to show a couple of ATC cards...  Little works of art/craft, made for trading, much like trading baseball cards!  I was recently in a swap, hosted by Creations By Tee- The Altered Paper Crafts.  I received a package from my swap partner yesterday, and here's what Kelly, from Dreaming of Vintage, sent me!

Here's the very pretty Christmas ATC she made, 
and then the little pocket she sent it in!

She sent me various other scrappy little goodies along with it, and I loved it all; so thank you again Kelly!

Here's the card I then sent to my swap partner, Mercedes...  I'm hoping she got it by now, having sent it out on the 5th!!

I hope she likes her ATC, along with the goodies I sent with it!  I thought the little girl in the image was so sweet, and I just loved the colors!

Next, I wanted to share why you shouldn't throw away that makeup catalog quite so quickly.  I made myself a Christmas tree with mine!

Then my daughter saw it, and wanted me to make her one too!  Done easily in front of the t.v. some night, all you have to do when you're done is maybe add some glitter, or maybe a star for the top.  I haven't gotten around to that part yet, but I just think it's really cute recycling project that anyone can do!  If you'd like, HERE'S a great source that shows you how to make one!

Finally, you might remember from my previous post that I made some cinnamon ornaments?  Well, I couldn't stop there, could I?!!

Measuring at about 13" across, I made this gingerbread man wreath, and I just LOVE it!  Perfect for decorating my country Christmas kitchen!  Here I have the glue holding the bow onto it still drying; but this was very easy to do, and you can find how to make one yourself RIGHT HERE!

So much to still do, so I'm off and running!  
Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I know I'm a day late, and I should be saying Happy November..  or something like that;  but I had absolutely NO time to post yesterday, so...   well, here I am today!

First, I just want to share a couple of pictures.  

Here's one of our pumpkin!

He's a little more lopsided than I thought, we we first purchased him, but we had lots of fun carving a face for our jack-o-lantern, nonetheless!  When all lit up, he definitely added to the spirit of the holiday!

Next....   Well, every year, I make a bunny cake for Easter, right?..  I thought this year, I'll make a black cat cake for Halloween!!  (You can too, right HERE!)

He's not very scary looking, by any means...  But I think he came out cute!  What do you think?  Should I make this a new tradition, and make another, when next Halloween rolls around?!

Finally, I wanted to share the Halloween TP mini album,
that I made for 2011.  There's just no easier way to 
show it, than by way of video...  so here goes!

We really had a great Halloween, altogther, this year!  The day before, Dear Daughter came over, and we made our traditional Great Pumpkin Cookies, and we watched a Halloween movie together!!  During the actual holiday, on the 31st, we took the dog for a walk, and got to see several trick-or-treaters already out and about, so CUTE, and the weather was perfect!!

That night, Dear Son and I lit up our pumpkin, set out all our own candy and goodies, ready for when Monday Night Football came on!  Perfect!...   Yum-yum-yum-yum-yum!!!  (Calories?.. I'm NOT gonna think about'em!  Nope!  No way!)

Thanks for stopping by today, and hope 
you all had a fun-filled, very Happy Halloween! 


Monday, October 24, 2011

Meet My Cousin It!

Here's a little somethin' I put together 
for a swap I was in at Blissful ATC Swap.  

October's theme was Halloween monsters.  

I had a little difficulty deciding what monster I wanted to go with, at first, but then I thought out of the box, just a little, realizing my monster doesn't have to be scary, right? 

My swap partner, Victoria, has received her card, so now I'd like to post this in conjunction with a new Wednesday event...

I'm afraid the technique I resorted to felt a little unethical...   totally out of character for me...  I mean, to do something like this to a doll...

You all know how much I love my dolls!  Honest!..  I felt really bad about it, but I needed her hair for my ATC card!

I decided I wanted to make Cousin It for my movie monster.  Surely everyone knows him from the t.v. showmovies, even cartoon, all based on The Addams Family!

Here you see the back of my card, where you find Margaret Alford, played by Dana Ivey, dancing with Cousin It, at a celebration held in honor of Uncle Fester. 

The hand has my "handmade" information on the back, but I thought it was especially fitting for this card also because of the character "Thing" in the movie!  It's made using a Crafter's Workshop "Henna Hands" 6x6 template, designed by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.

So, yeah!....  I'm very happy with how my ATC card turned out.  It was really fun to put together! 

Oh, but my poor doll, right?  It wasn't much fun for her, was it?  Well, don't you worry about her.  I did my best to make amends, and she seems to have forgiven me...

I made her a new funky-punky little Halloween outfit, and I think she looks better now, than when I pulled her out the dollar-store cellophane bag in the first place!

I crocheted her newsboy-styled hat (brim flipped up in 1st photo, and brim positioned back down in second photo)...   AND I crocheted her skirt.  Her top is made of black grosgrain ribbon.  Her shoes were originally royal blue, but I "sharpie-d" them black.  I used black and orange permanent ink pens to make her striped arm warmers, then I just "goth-ed" up her face a bit! (No piercings.. I just couldn't do it to her!)

So-oooo...  What else have I been up to?  
Well, I've been very busy with home-schooling, but Dear Son and I like to take the dog for walks, while we can, while the weather is still kind enough to allow such a privilege.  One night we came across this sweet little find, sitting roadside, abandoned, just tossed atop of a garbage can... (Gasp!)

Apparently the house was for sale, and not opting to hold a garage sale, the family was just cleaning up and throwing out!..  Well, I grabbed it, and heavy as it was, I walked it ALL THE WAY HOME!

Dear Son helped carry the painting, titled "Before The Mirror", for me.  Later I, of course, had to rearrange my entire bedroom to FIT my new-found treasures, but I love them both!

Inside my new Crosley record player was an album, The Best of The Ink Spots, already in place and ready to play!

Oh, and with it also came two collections of Glen Miller.  Yes, our arms were full on the walk home, and yes, Glen's a little before my time, but I have many moods and tastes for music, and I can appreciate Glen Miller, just as much as any of the current stuff there is!  I love ALL kinds of music!...   Just look at these jackets on the two collections!

  Like hardcover books!  You don't see them like this anymore!

Anyways, THAT turned out to be a fun "walk"!!...  One other fun thing we did recently was to go apple picking!  The weather was perfect, like Indian Summer!..   A few days later, Dear Daughter asked me to show her how to make Apple Crisp... we had fun whipping up a couple batches together!  (Actually, these are gone already, and I'm hoping to make MORE!)

Special thanks to Wendy, at Blissful ATC Swap, and to Jenn, at Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge Blog, and to Vanessa, at A Fanciful Twist

for hosting her 2011 Halloween Party (for which I am a little late showing up for, and I hope she'll forgive me)...   Thanks to all for hosting these fun events!  I hope you'll check them all out!..   And then, big thanks and hugs to all my visitors for stopping by to see me!!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Own Cat In A Hat

Just a quick post today, to share "What's On My Easel".  

I've always loved drawing, ever since I was a kid, but life took its course, and somewhere soon after my high school years, I lost confidence, and I lost touch with it.  But since trying my hand at scrapbooking, that in turn lead me to junk-journaling, which then lead to mixed media and art journaling.  So, whether it's a scrapbook layout I'm working on, or a painting I'm feeling inspired to start, it oftentimes starts with a drawing.

It feels good to draw again, when I find the time to.  Most often, this is sometime later in the evening, after dinner....   maybe while watching some t.v...   Being an ex-smoker, I really appreciate having something to do with my hands.  Even though I may already feel relaxed just kicking my feet up for the night, I still need something to do with my hands...  Anyways, I think I like my drawing better than the painting, but hey...  I'm just learning here!

(The brick background comes from using a 
Crafter's Workshop "brick" template.)

I'm just getting a feel for acrylic paints..  how to mix and blend them, how much to load my brush and not load my brush, and remembering how fast acrylic paints dry as you blend and shade, TRYING to create a the tiniest spec of dimension! Oh, and remember, there's no erasing here.  You can try to paint over a mistake, but you can't erase it...  A little scary, but I want to learn!  I like to think, at least I've got style, and at least I'm having fun with it!

So, what do you think?  Should I pursue this interest, or stick to drawing?..  Maybe go back to crocheting?  Ha! Ha!...   Well, you KNOW I like to do it all!  But how about YOU?  Do you think it's something you'd like to try?  It never has to be anything fancy; and it's YOUR art, which means it can be as simple or as elaborate as YOU want it to be.  You can keep it to yourself, as private as you want, or be dumb brave, like me, and share it with EVERYBODY!  The important thing is just to enjoy it!  Have fun with it! 

Each week, The Artistic Biker shares his ideas, paintings, journals, and even music, as he travels his own artistic journey.  You can find him on his YouTube channel, or at his blog, The Artistic Biker.

Thanks to all for visiting today!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tags, Pins and Pie, Oh My!

I don't know why or how, but I've been seriously sidetracked from one of my favorite Blogland events lately...  that being Tag Tuesday...

 ...hosted by Rebecca, at Blog Challenge GardenThis week's theme is a flower pot!  Well, as I am just beginning my Fall Junque Journal, I thought a Fall-looking flower would be best, so here's what I came up with.

I love making flowers by recycling dryer sheets!  After my laundry is washed and dried, and as I begin my ironing, I save all the dryer sheets I've used, and then I use them AGAIN!  One sheet makes two flowers for me.  I color them in various ways, depending upon what color I want.  Sometimes I die them in tea overnight.  Sometimes I use ink/glimmer sprays of whatever sort or brand.  In this case I colored my flower in Candy Apple Red glimmer mist, then coated it with Red Distress Stickles.  I played with various buttons, but for a Fall look, the two-toned brown button looked best to me.  I cut out the pot myself, by hand.

I thought this tag would look cute in a window kind of setting, so here it is, as I set up my next junque journal page.  Each window pane will be a spot for journaling what's happening 'round our house for the week.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive some "Happy Mail" today!  Diana, a friend from YouTube, sent me a set of stick pins, after I won a giveaway she was hosting!  As my morning did not start out as well as I would have liked, this package...  all the way from Australia...

 ..along with some of my own homemade coffee cake...

 ...both certainly made up for what ailed me at the time! 

Inside was this little pouch Diana made herself...   And inside the pouch were these three very beautiful stick pins, which she also made herself!

I was so happy to receive this!  It really made my day!  You should check out her YouTube channel, dianadiana1262, if you're interested in learning how to make various hand-crafted items like what you see here!  Thank you so much, Diana!

Well, our session of home-schooling is done for the day.

It's not easy readjusting from those lazy days of Summer, back to a full routine of daily lessons, but both Dear Son and I are off to a very good start!

I'm so happy to be firing up the oven again too, now that the weather is cooling down.  I'm looking forward to apple picking, making homemade apple pies, and baking all kinds of homemade goodies again!  Dear Daughter wants me to show her how to make homemade apple crisp sometime soon!  But my first pie, for the season, was the chicken pot pie I made for dinner last night!  Delicious!  We'll be polishing off this plate tonight, I'm sure!  Mmmmm..  I think I'll start making some biscuits to go with it!

Thanks so much to Rebecca for hosting Tag Tuesday
and thanks to everybody for visiting with me today!