Monday, December 13, 2010

Finally Posting

Sorry I haven't posted in a long time but I took a brief vacation and visited two hospitals and was not up to doing much. I am pretty much back to normal (whatever that is). I haven't done much new to show but I did make this Christmas card for my sister. I got my inspiration from one of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas. I can't remember which day this was and I didn't have all the products he used. Making the card brought back a lot of memories. The tissue tape I used on the bird (under the red alcohol ink and Rock Candy Distress Stickles), was some I bought when I was on the cruise with Tim Holtz. I got the little drummer boy when we visited a fabulous shop outside of Boston called Almost Everything. The gold medallion came from a trimming shop in New York City. The banner idea was from a tag we did in one of the classes on the cruise and the moss and lace are left from a long ago project when I was doing decorative painting books and used the moss and the lace in a photo shoot.

This is, I think, the third year that there have been the 12 Days of Christmas tags. Every year I look at the samples, watch the tutorials and read all about it. Then I obsessively try to make sure I own everything I need to make the tags. So far in two years I've finished one tag...but I have a lot of stuff and I COULD make more!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Really Did Take Classes

Yes, it was just not a cruise where we shopped and ate our way around for ten days. Here is a picture that proves that my sister and I were sitting in the front row in one of the classes. Thanks to Joy Arevalo for the photo. We had such a great time and Tim is a fabulous teacher and Joy is one of his crew that helps in class (and takes great pictures).

We did shop some and we ate a LOT. I had lobster three times. Wow, and today I had peanut butter toast for lunch.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Cricut Halloween

Just thought I'd show a picture of this cute Halloween treat box. I got the pattern from Cut with my Cricut and added a tiny bit of shading (not enough I realized when I got it together) -- but thought it was pretty cute. Think I will add a stamp or something to the front of the box because it looks sort of plain.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Apron Repair

This apron is the first thing I did to try heat transfer vinyl. I had no clue and was on the phone with my friend Diane. I'm following her instructions and she told me to iron for 15-20 seconds. I held that iron down...picked it up and there was a nice brown iron scorch surrounding my vinyl. I was shocked and then she asked me if I kept moving the iron and I advised her that she did not mention moving the iron. So then I had my apron I'd gotten from Tim Holtz when I'd ordered his new book from him directly completely wrecked. I SO wanted to decorate it for the upcoming cruise.

First I used Walnut ink around the edges and it did not do much to disguise the iron-shaped burn mark. Then I decided to stamp some swirls in the corners but they looked pathetically small. I used Brown Staz-On ink. Luckily my folk art stroke painting experience came through and I used Pigma Micron pens in black and brown to extend the scrollwork around the entire pocket edge. BUT there was still a clear outline above the pocket. I decided to flood the area with paint and some flowers and use the pens to detail the painting. I would have preferred not to have the flowers but it did disguise all the scorch marks. Then I stamped one of Tim's stamps with Black Staz-On on the other pocket, added scrolls and Walnut ink...and with my newly acquired heat transfer vinyl experience (moving the iron lesson) I ironed on a large version of one of Tim's stamps. The large version was made by scanning the stamped image, tracing it in Illustrator and then exporting it to a program called Make-the-Cut which allowed me to cut it with a Cricut Expression.

Now my apron has lots of signatures from new friends I met on the cruise. The only bad thing is that I missed having so many people sign it...but I did collect some signatures!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A New Use for Heat Transfer Vinyl

Yes, these are my suitcases ready to go out the door for the big Tim Holtz cruise. I decided to try and see if the heat transfer vinyl would go on the suitcases and it did. Seemed to bond well. I guess no one will mistakenly pick up my suitcases!!!  Going to spend the night in Springfield to avoid driving there in the middle of the night since my plane leaves at 6 AM. Today shopping in Springfield, tomorrow, shopping in New York City with my sister and then the next day we leave on our 10-day cruise! Can't wait.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Altering Things

I bought a pencil case at the dollar store to take my pens and scissors and miscellaneous stuff in for the Tim Holtz cruise I'm going on. The more I looked at the little plastic case the more I thought it needed some help. I grabbed some scraps of paper and some matte gel medium and started pasting. When the entire thing was covered I let it dry and then rubbed some Ranger Ink on it to antique it and I thought it looked pretty good. I punched the letters for my name from Tim's alphabet dies.

I had saved a "Laughing Cow" cheese container to do something with and decided to cover it with scraps too so I could put it in my box to carry little clips and things. Did I check to see if it fit? Of course not...I just started pasting. When it was done and I went to put it in the pencil box it didn't fit. A quick search around my shop and I found an Altoid tin and altered it. It fits just fine and is now filled with some clips and pins. What a great way to use up some old paper scraps and make something ordinary a little special. I wasn't sure if the gel medium would stick to the cheap plastic on the pencil box but it did fine.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yes, More Heat Transfer Vinyl

This poppy is ironed on the pocket of a black tshirt. I colored a small piece of white with red and orange Copic markers using the airbrush attachment and then colored another piece with green. I stamped the flower with black StazOn ink on both pieces and then cut them out with scissors and ironed them on. I am very happy with the way it turned out. More possibilities of things to put on tshirts and whatever.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Vinyl on Shirts

Yes, I can't seem to stop playing with the heat transfer vinyl. The first shirt is a design I put together using a design from, I think, a Cricut cartridge. It was just supposed to be the heart with wings but I stupidly did not notice a tiny sliver of vinyl along the top of where I cut out the design and I ironed it onto the shirt. I then spent two hours trying to figure out something to cover up the vinyl because it would NOT come off no matter what I tried. I'm happy enough with it and it is only a $5 t-shirt. The underline at the top covers up the sliver quite nicely.

The second one is my first venture with airbrushing the vinyl using the Copic marker airbrush system. You have to peel the vinyl off of the sticky transfer stuff and lay it upside down and tape it firmly; airbrush the entire piece and then put the vinyl back on the transfer stuff with the color down...then you cut it with your cutter. The ink is permanent and really makes a nice effect compared to the flat vinyl colors. The second image was adapted from a Tim Holtz stamp.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Apron Project

I got all the aprons done and ready to embellish. I did three for a friend to give as gifts. This is one of them with a layered vinyl design on the front. Love playing with the heat transfer vinyl. I have plans for one apron, three are sold and I hope I can sell the others eventually with or without vinyl on them.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Off-Loom Beading

My sister said I should put up a photo of one of the amulet purses I made for her. She is a huge fan of Los Lobos, particularly the lead singer, David Hidalgo. As one of those sort of "out there" ideas I decided that I would do a beading project featuring him. I used some bead chart creating software to chart the design from a photograph I found on the internet. The back of the purse has "Los Lobos" done in a font similar to their logo. For sure this is an amulet purse that no one else will have.

The glare on the beads sort of mutes the image some and it is a lot more defined than the photograph shows. This is in the category of things to try when you are retired and bored.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What is Off-Loom Beading?

I mentioned off-loom beading as one of my interests and several people have asked me what was. Off-loom beading is making a solid beaded object without the use of a beading loom. I'm not sure that is the "official" explanation but that is what I think it is.

Several years ago some friends and I were fortunate enough to take a class from a serious beader and I made some needle cases and then moved on to what are called amulet bags. They are small bags worn as a necklace. I think I ended up making five of them. The one shown in the photograph was for a special friend of mine, Sharry. They are done with Delica beads and are sort of, I guess, tedious to do but fun if you like fussing with little things.

The second photo is one of the needle cases, also worn as a necklace. The beading is done and then fit over a purchased wooden needle case in two pieces (the top and bottom) and then the fringe is applied.

You do the work with very thin needles and a special type of thread. You work from a graph or a chart.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sewing a LOT and a Few ATC's

I would post a picture of the sewing but it is pretty boring. Made ten black aprons that are now done and ready to decorate and I also shortened six T-shirts that are also ready to decorate. Am anxious to do some more playing around with the heat transfer vinyl. Found a video that showed using an airbrush and Copic markers to color the vinyl. I know it is washable as I had colored on some vinyl with the markers and then threw the shirt in the wash and it all stayed just where I'd scribbled. Luckily, I do have an airbrush and Copic markers...what a happy coincidence!! I will be posting my results when I get some time to play with the method.

Did find time, however, between stitching and pressing to make a few ATC's. Here are some samples. Have almost 100 done now so I am getting closer to my goal of 140.

My other goal is to get a decent picture to put on my profile. Several people guessed that I held the camera as far as my short arms would reach and snapped the picture I am using now. Know it is pretty awful but I will be replacing it soon.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Heat Transfer Vinyl Adventures

I am finally getting around to playing with vinyl. I cut my name and my old business name with no plan so stuck them on file cabinets. Today I did a larger version of my business name (Whimsey Unlimited) and put it on the door to my shop.

BUT...the exciting thing was playing with the heat transfer vinyl for fabric. A couple of days ago I did my first effort and decided to iron it right to my new Tim Holtz apron. It worked great but I did not use parchment paper or what I should have while I heat set it. When I lifted up my iron the vinyl was nicely transferred and it was framed with a wonderful brown iron shape where the heat had scorched the apron. It took me several hours of fooling around to disguise the scorch with some artsy stuff.

Today I tackled a T-shirt. I took one of Tim Holtz's stamps and stamped it on paper, scanned it, traced it in Illustrator and exported the file as an SVG file to cut on my Cricut with the Make-the-Cut program. It worked fabulously. The photographs are of the design. The black background is a T-shirt and the design is about 8" wide. The tan background is a pocket on my apron and the design is about 5" wide and has a stamped image to the left of it. I am so excited about the possibilities. I even made a quick trip to Walmart to purchase T-shirts and they are piled in my office awaiting something clever to be done with them. I told my husband he better guard his drawer full of T-shirts or I'd be experimenting on his shirts.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cruise Door Sign

Got the door sign finished for the cruise and it turned out pretty much like I had pictured it. There are six "activities" that the "Artful Sisters" could be engaged in. We can turn the sign to reflect our current activity. I even got the magnets glued on the back so it will stick on our door. it must be time to get back to making more ATC's to trade.

Not sure but think the picture of the two of us was taken around 1957 or 1958. Used lots of Tim stuff on the sign including grunge objects, Distress Stickles and an Ideology flower with Distress Embossing and even an Ideology gear and tag. Just remembered I also used a calendar from one of his paper stacks and, of course, some of his stamps. The lettering was cut out on a die cut machine.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Baby Quilt Finally Done and Ready to Mail

I started this baby quilt before my friend Diane's daughter got married. I knew I wouldn't put this much work into a baby quilt for anyone but her and her baby. Amazingly she has been married a little over a year and is due to have a baby in the next week or so. I worked on the quilt for several months and then it took a long time to get it quilted but it's ready to mail. The applique is all held in place with hand applique blanket stitching. Much brighter than my usual quilt projects but I really liked it.

Now I just have to find a box, some paper, and think of some creative way to wrap it up.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Halloween and a Cricut

Saw this weird pumpkin on the Cricut Holiday Cakes cartridge and knew it was perfect for Halloween cards. I will admit I cut a few before I got the size right and got it cutting well...but I cut them out and made these (very similar) cards using the pumpkin and the shadow for it. I'm working on more Halloween cards along with getting things ready for August card classes. Always fun to play with paper.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Felt Frenzy

Was thinking the other day that I would need a jacket for the upcoming cruise and thought about making one. I pulled out all my quilted jacket patterns but nothing really seemed like something I wanted to make. Then I remembered the absolutely plain black quilted jacket I made when I went to Europe with my friends about six years ago. I found it buried in a closet and decided to spruce it up with felt flowers all around the bottom edge. All of the flowers were cut with Sizzix dies and the leaves and stems were cut by hand. I pinned everything in place and then had a marathon three days of doing blanket stitch and then selecting buttons from my huge stash to put in the centers. I'm now thinking I wish it looked a little more "grungy" or something...but it's done and that counts for something. This photo is of the bottom front but the flowers go all the way around the back too. I also added a small flower on one side of the collar. Felt flowers seem to be a hot new embellishment for cards and scrapbook pages. The Sizzix dies cut it beautifully and I think I'll be making more flowers to put on cards.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

ATC Frenzy

Back to making ATC's to trade on the cruise in October. Before this I had never made an ATC...seen lots of them and just hadn't tried it. I am SO glad this opportunity came along. Just loving making them and playing with all the little odds and ends I've collected over my crafting life. It has been an incredible thing for me and I am going to hate it when I have them all done. Nothing like grabbing some oddball item or special paper or a diecut and seeing what you can do with it. The great thing is that the space is so small (2-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches) that it does not take much stuff or much time to put one together. If you're bored...try it. It is also a great way to try new techniques on a small scale and you haven't spent tons of time or wasted lots of material. It is also an excuse to use some of the things you bought five years ago and never even opened the package.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It was a VERY happy birthday!

I want to share my fabulous birthday gifts. I got a lot of Tim Holtz stuff...salvage stickers, dies, tissue tape, film strip ribbon, antique buttons and a great stamp set and some of the new embossing folders. I also got new Cricut mats, some Class A Peels (metallic embellishment stickers), another stamp set, a Cricut cartridge (the new Mini Monsters), a Spellbinders Steel Impressability, a great corner punch absolutely wonderful card class people gave me money to spend on my cruise. I can hardly wait to play with all the new stuff. I am so incredibly lucky to have the best sister in the world, the best of "best friends" and so many other great friends. I even had a special birthday party lunch and several lunch dates. It was almost worth getting this old! Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so very special.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stickles All In Place

Wanted to share the great Stickles storage thing my husband made for me. It was originally only three steps high but there was a problem with it and it had to be remade. By then I figured out I could put my Perfect Pearls in it too and knew there were new colors of Distress Stickles coming the plan was revised to make it five steps high. Now my Stickles are stored upside-down the way they should be and are not jumbled in a drawer where it was hard to find the color you were looking for. This was made from White Oak wood that Jack got by chopping down the tree, milling with his portable sawmill and then drying the wood, planing it and cutting it up. Once in a while it is very handy to live in the middle of nowhere in the woods.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Speaking of ATC's

Here are a few of the ATC's I made recently for the big swap on the cruise. I am using a lot of Tim Holtz stuff but not all of them have Tim stuff on the cards. I am really enjoying just grabbing a stamp or an embellishment and then making myself design a card around the item. I hear that some people make all their swap cards the same but for me it is an adventure to make them all different.

I am going through Tim Holtz's book "A Compendium of Curiousities" and doing some of the cards in each of the techniques that he shows in the book.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Card Class Stuff

Hi...thought I would share a great card that we did in classes this month. I also have to confess it is not an original idea and was completely CASE'd from the Just thought the design and colors were so great I couldn't resist copying it and sharing it. This is a new Stampin' Up set called Sweet Scoops and the colors are Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie and So Saffron. Classes going great this month and I have one more on Monday and then it's back to working on my ATC's for the Tim Holtz cruise that my sister and I are going on in late September. Can't wait.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm trying putting a picture on the blog.

This is one of my husband's (Jack) pet birds showing off. We have peacocks and chickens and they are serious pets and we might eat chicken...but never one of our chickens.

Takes a Long Time

You can see I started this blog in December of 2009...then I got sick. Then I decided I didn't want a blog but I wanted a website. I used to make websites but with software from a number of years ago. The new software is overwhelming and I am still "learning it. I saw my friend Emily had a blog and I was thinking I should have stayed with the whole idea. So I am back to doing a blog. Not sure what I'm going to do with it but you can always check and see. I might post again before another six months goes by.