One of the cards we made at Chris's workshop involved using the Nestabilities Label1 die on three pieces of paper stuck together. It looks better than it sounds.
It says "Be Fabulous" on the little tag. Now, I wanted to recreate this card with my own papers, but I was getting tired of the Reece paper set. I used Tim Holtz's Seasonal Paper Stash instead, with a tag snagged from the Reece packet, Label2 instead of Label1 (I only have Label2), and some faux vellum that Becky reminded me how to make:
I don't know, I think I just lost control of the idea.
This is another card that I assembled according to Chris's directions. This used a vellum pocket to hold the tag, and I don't really ever use vellum, so she gave me a piece of hers.
The first thing I noticed after I glued everything down was that I used the wrong paper. (you can see Chris's version here.) I was supposed to use a very interesting textured background paper, and instead, I used solid colored cardstock. the result was a little plain, so I stuck some bling in the corner. I'm not sure it improved anything.
You can see the stamping on the tag through the window. Anyway, I had to do it in Reese paper too, and was in a quandary about what to use for vellum, when I found an old (7-8 years) sheet of patterned vellum that I had bought and never used - I never know what to do with vellum.
A tree stamp in the background seems to give that little something that keeps the solid background from being bleah. I am loving using these tags!
My friend Chris had a stamping workshop last week, and the theme was to make cards using the TAC Angelique paper packet. The TAC paper sets come with a sheet of tags, and although the tags are all very nice, a lot of people, including myself, have no clue what to do with them. The workshop offered us the chance to make 5 cards right then with the papers in the packet, and also gave printed instructions for 5 more, with photographs.
If you know me, you know I am a pushy person. This comes from years of working as an air traffic controller, then more years married to an even bigger control freak than myself. Anyway, I saw the five cards that we were supposed to be able to make at home after the workshop, and I immediately started grousing - they all required equipment or materials that I did not have at home. Chris pointed out that the five cards to do at home were supposed to inspire us to make similar cards with what we had, and not the exact ones, but I persisted. Chris was very nice, and gave me the stamps to pre-stamp my images, and she let me diecut the shapes I needed to finish the cards, but that was not enough for me. I wanted the special lace and ribbons and fancy paper she used. We had some fierce words, which we never do, but the bottom line is that I paid extra and got the extra trimmings. It was a fair conclusion, in my mind. However, it occurred to me that after making such a stink about getting the extras to make the other five cards, I had better actually do them, or I was never going to hear the end of it, not from Chris or any of the nice ladies who watched me make an ass of myself.
Here is the first of the do-at-home cards that I did:
Chris coughed up the lace and the ribbon. This is pretty much exactly what she designed, except I think my bow is a little large. I did want her to know that I could do a variant, that I wasn't a total idiot incapable of following directions with my own materials, so I also made this one, using the Reese paper set (all the sets have identically sized tags, but in colors to match the set)
As I pointed out to Chris, I didn't have the nice lace, so I punched a lace-like border from a brown paper sack and gathered it. I had gold organdy for a bow, but somehow the bow and lace alone didn't look quite festive enough for a Christmas card, so I pulled a gold star from my stash. I made the star a while back - it is a punched cardstock star covered with a gold foil candy wrapper. After the gold ribbon and the gold star, I grabbed a Stardust pen and glittered up the lace bits and also some of the circles in the paper (too bad glitter doesn't show in a scan).
This was fun! I will have to try it with the other 4 cards waiting to be made.
I've been putting off posting these mostly because I hate getting photos out of the camera. However, I did very well at my county fair this year. For those unfamiliar with the rules, a person can only enter one item in each category. For adults, there is only one first (blue), second (red), and third (white) place awarded in each category, and yes, there are plenty of nice pieces that don't win anything. This year, I placed in every category that I entered. Almost everything here has been featured on my blog before, so I'm not worried about showing them to their best advantage here, I'm just letting you know how they did.
Actually, I did this painting a little over a year ago, but my daughter has been hanging it in her apartment until early this month - she is living in the dorm now and can't have it on her wall. My son wants it for his apartment, but I did want to get it into the fair, so he was willing to wait a couple of weeks for it. There are tons of painting entries at our fair, but 90% of them are dog portraits or landscapes.
Blue ribbons for earrings, jewelry set, and wirework. I knew my wireworked necklace was fab, so I wasn't surprised there, but the other two - the earrings were simple dangles using the fair trade paper beads for Ethiopia. They were not as elaborate or glamourous as the other earring entries, but I might be the same thing as with the painting; the judges were happy to see something different. The jewelry set was not really a set. It was my red rope necklace, and some completely unrelated earrings that I had made with some of the same red beads.
I knew my ATC should win, because it was probably the best ATC I have ever made. I keep forgetting that the winning card is always a fancy fold card. I should be glad I got second place for my basic Tim Holtz style card. Some of you may recognize the the card with the deer and the tree, and know that I didn't design it. I made it at a shoebox swap. However, the card category was "card made from a kit" and I think it qualified. It was a cute card. I feel a little guilty about the Maccabee basket - certain family members were quick to remind me that my sister did the coloring, and my son thought up the basket shape, so really, I guess they were the real winners.
So, that was how I did at the county fair. One of these days I'm going to enter the state fair.
I love the look and feel of chain maille, but the few times I have tried it, I was really put off by the opening and closing of the individual rings - it felt very unsatisfying. As I got better, it seemed that I only needed to manipulate half the rings, and leave the other half alone, but it was still boring and time-consuming.
I had read about bead maille, which is basically chain maille using rings of beads for some of the rings. I didn't know if I would like it, but then but then I saw there was a free pattern at Lark Crafts, and it looked very nice in the picture, so I studied it to see how to make it. In the pattern, the beaded rings are made first, then the over 200 jump rings are added. Ugh!!!! I looked closer and asked myself if the same pattern could be executed by adding the jump rings as I went along, before the beaded rings were woven shut, and yes, they can!
I made this bracelet without opening a single jump ring! I bet it was a gazillion times faster than the original pattern instructions, too! he especially liked the button closure, as it was very easy for him to put on.
I also have to mention that as soon as my 23yo son saw it, he tried it on, and claimed ownership of it. It is a thrill to make a piece of jewelry for one of my boys! My daughter claims more than her share, it is nice to make something a man would like.
There is a book, Everyday Matters, which has inspired a yahoogroup, and encourages people to stop thinking about learning to do art someday and to start doing it right now. The yahoogroup gives out challenges weekly, and has a backlist of over 300. I thought it would be good for me to write down the list in my doodle book, one to a page, and then whenever I felt like picking up a pen, I could just open the book and see what I am supposed to draw. The first one is a shoe.
It's not special. It's just my first challenge. I included the spine of the book in the scan to make a point to a friend of mine in the EDM group - it is better to chop off part of the image than to deliberately distort the shape of the thing you are drawing to make it fit.
Anyway, there is a bit of a story behind this particular pair of sandals. Four years ago, I noticed a frined of mine had these great sandals, and I told her how much I admired them every time I saw her wear them, which was every warm day that I saw her, because she wore them a LOT. She took a hint and when she went back to the store where she bought them (a boutique near her favorite vacation spot) the next year, she bought me a pair. These were the best sandals ever - the beads on the top were colors that went with all my outfits, and the molded sole was so comfortable! I wore the things every warm day (I wear Skechers Shape-ups on cold days), but last Monday, one of the straps broke. I knew my friend had already been on vacation this year and wouldn't be able to pick me up another pair, so I called the boutique myself to see if they would ship me a pair.
The nice young woman on the phone said that they didn't carry that style any more, but that the sandals they sold were not made by them, and I might do better to found out who makes them in order to get them. I googled a bit and discovered that they were actually GrandCo sandals (I wanted the white ones on the top left of the page). Unfortunately, the site only does wholesale - I needed to find a retailer. more googling, and I found a shop that sold the black one, but not the white. This should tell you how desperate I was: I called them to see if they could special order me a pair. The nice lady on the phone said that they used to sell them, but no one was buying the white ones, so she took them off the website, but she had a few in the back room - what size did I wear? It turns out she had exactly one pair, and sold it to me for half price - how cool is that?
Relieved that my sandals were on their way, I went out the next day with my family in the Skechers, because I need comfortable shoes, and we were at this mall in Rockville, MD, when my daughter comes up to me and says she saw sandals like mine at the Hallmark store. Of course, I had to go look, and although they were not exactly the ones I bought online, they were GrandCo sandals, and I had to buy a pair, because I couldn't wait for the mail. These are the ones that I drew. Although theya re not as pretty as the others (which came in the mail Saturday), the three straps hold them very close to my feet, and they are even more comfortable, no flopping at all. I wear them in the house all day - better than barefoot. I love GrandCo sandals!
I love to make little things like cards and jewelry, because I love to share them. I love blogging about them because I can share them with even more people. If you see something you really like, send me an
- if it isn't already promised to someone else, I will probably mail it to you.