Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sunrise Series - Week 8

February 23, 2013 

The night wrapped them; nothing broke their sleep, until, the birds beginning and the dawn weaving their thin voices in to its whiteness” ~Virginia Woolf 

The birds here are cold this morning and waiting for the warmth of the sun to help them get their songs started.

Truthfully? I wasn't sure there was going to BE a decent sunrise photograph this week. I'm ashamed to say that I had no faith - I should have known better. God is in control of the sunrises and he WILL be glorified, when and where HE chooses. Hello, sunrise. Good morning, God.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Art Journal ? - Swirlydoos Round 5 Project

Our assignment this past week was to create an art journal.

I'm not an artist. I don't draw, and I don't see art in my head.  I love to scrapbook because it allows me to create a beautiful art project with limited artistic skill.  

I had a good go at it, and more importantly, I had LOADS of fun.  My whole journal, however, ended up looking like a 6th grade art project.  I kept hearing, "it's YOUR art..." and, well, I DO teach 6th grade...

I'm pretty sure I'll get kicked this week.  I'm not kidding when I tell you that I really, REALLY did not have clue ONE about what I was doing.  And the other projects were SO incredible, it's fair I should go... 

I have to say, though, that this will probably be something I'll continue to play with because it really IS a lot of fun, and since I'm not a card maker, I might as well be an art journalist.  

This was one of three page spreads I did. It was my favorite of the week, so I figured I'd load it and share it here.  

I mean - it's ART, right? 

The sand is bead gel with paint. The bricks are modeling paste with metallic paint. The wind - that's just a doodle around a mask with some stickles to bling it up a bit. The water is done with a scallop punch and layers of paper.   The sailboat is some paper piecework.  I used a clip art shape as a model and some old canvas paper for the sails.  The wave is a chippie, colored with some Lindy's Mist.  I do love Lindy and her mists!  The clouds are gesso.  And yes, that's a toothpick you see on the bow of that boat.    

If you want to see what a REAL art journal looks like, go take a peek in the Week 5 Contest Gallery at Swirlydoos.  There are some AMAZING projects over there.  

Swirlydoos Ultimate Design Challenge - Week 5 Gallery

Heaven Whispers

This is my DT reveal for this week's Nuts About Sketches. Awesome sketch - perfect to play with that sunset image and these wonderful old papers from BoBunny's Forever Fall line. 

It's also week 4 of my Project 52 for 2013. Yeah, I know. I'm behind. A lot. But with sunsets like this one on my doorstep, who can blame me?

I'm also going to submit this to the Hoarders Challenge on Scrapbook Dot Com.  The papers are from BoBunny - Forever Fall line. I bought them to do up a Blessing Book for 2011. I ended up using something else, so these papers have just been sitting in my stash.I've also been hoarding the text rub-on for well over a year, possibly longer. I've had it so long I've forgotten just when and where I found it. I've been waiting for the perfect photo to use it with. This one was it.The dragonfly bling - that was a left over piece of an old bling flourish - I couldn't bear to toss it out. I thought, "you know, I bet I can use that one of these days..." I've had it a LONG time. The last layout I used black bling flourishes was on a couple of layouts in June 2010 (My Girls and Beautiful). So this piece is at LEAST that old.

Thanks for sharing my porch view with me!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sunrise Series - Week 7

February 11

"Morning Glory is the best name.  It always refreshes me to see it."
-Henry David Thoreau

Someone asked me once if I Photoshop my Sunrise Photos.  My answer, "Why would I try to improve on what God has already done?"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Paper Mixing Bowl - Red Velvet Cake

It's reveal day at the Paper Mixing Bowl.   

Wow, what a great sketch and recipe card this month!  It's a Red Velvet Cake with oodles of gooey frosting, spills, and stains.  I had a great time playing with the sketch.  I knew as soon as I saw it exactly how I wanted my project to turn out.  I'm so excited to show you my February "Valentine," even though the photographs are from last Christmas.  

Here's the recipe card.

Utensils I used
*Layers - I think there are twelve layers in this project, counting the layer of paint from the Martha Stewart doily silk screen and the title font letters.  
*Frosting - I used a gloss gel medium to get enough sticky for those glass beads to want to stay on my page.  I kind of globbed and smeared it like frosting along the top to look like drips.
*Pairs - Two pairs of photos:one pair looks left, one pair looks right.  Two pairs of small roses in each cluster.  One pair of white tulle in each flower cluster.  A pair of spilled beads, one spill on the top, one on the bottom.  A pair of doilies.  A pair of glitter heart brads. 
*Postage Items - I used a Post Card stamp.  It's stamped in brown and embossed in clear.  
*Spills - I misted my photo mat paper really heavily and then stood it on end so that it would run down the paper and look like a spill.  I spilled mist onto my craft mat and used it to wet my paper so that I could crinkle it up and then dry it out flat to create all those beautiful creases.  I spilled the glass beads all into the gloss gel.  And I tried hard to create a look of spilled frosting along the top margin of the paper.  
*Hearts and Flowers - Large and small roses, metal and glitter heart brads.  
*Multi-Photo - My muse is my beautiful older daughter, being herself, last Christmas.  

I went with the journaling prompts of "love letter" and "poem."  The mat and post card papers are word prints.  And the poem -- well, it's kind of a subjective interpretation, but I kept hearing the theme song from Lady In Red with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts...It inspired my title and that swinging red dress charm.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Canvas Art - Swirlydoos Round 4 Project

So, as promised, here's my canvas project from last week's Swirlydoos Ultimate Designer Challenge.  

I've never even attempted such a project before, but Lisa is an awesome teacher and the video tutorials that she put up were AMAZINGly helpful for a total novice like me. It's a credit to HER that I was able to create this piece of pretty.  Thanks so much Lisa, for helping me get this project out of my head onto the canvas. 

Before I explain HOW I did it, let me tell you what it is and WHY I did it...

This canvas is a gift for my mother.

I am one of five children, four living. My parents lost a baby to SIDS at nine days old. Her name was Amy Susan and she died the day before my fifth birthday. She would be 52 this year. My younger daughter is named after her.

She was here such a brief time and it was so long ago that it's almost like she was never here at all. We never mention her, and yet her small but short life made a major impact on my parents.

My mother was 23 years old, my dad 31. Daddy was a US Marine, a fighter pilot, in charge of a squadron of other pilots, competent and sure of everything. Mom was busy keeping house and raising children, teaching Sunday School, hosting teas for other officer's wives.

Before Amy, my parents had a very clear idea how things were supposed to be. They expected life to follow certain rules and order. They had plans for the future - both theirs and their children's. After Amy, they both realized that sometimes children don't live to grow up. Their perspective about the future changed, and they both became better parents. My 'father' became my 'daddy,' and my mother found time to sit and play and hug us every opportunity she had.

As my mom has gotten older, she has begun talking about Amy, about how this little angel changed her life - how in one second, everything she knew for sure became nothing for sure at all. How the few short days she was with us changed ALL of us for the better, in spite of the incredible pain of loss.

There are no photographs of my second sister. The only mementos of her life are a photo of her grave and a small piece of ribbon, left over from the dress my mother buried her in.  A few years ago, I asked my mother for the ribbon from that dress. 

I had this idea in my head - just an idea really, nothing solid or formed - but some way to create a small memory of a short life that was part of my life, just for a few days, but made everything about the way I grew up different than it might have been if she had lived.

So to start, I chose a small canvas (8x8) to create my project - as a symbol of a small life, gone much too soon, before it even had a chance to BE a life really.  The ribbon on the bottom is the ribbon from her dress. And on the back, just for my mom to read, are these words...

What kind of place would heaven be with all its streets of gold,
if all the souls, that dwell up there like yours and mine were old?

How strange would heaven’s music sound when harps begin to ring,

if children were not gathered round to help the angels sing.

The children that God sends to us are only just a loan,

He knows we need their sunshine to make the house a home.

We need the inspiration of a baby’s blessed smile,

He doesn’t say they’ve come to stay, just lends them for awhile.

Sometimes it takes them years to do the work for which they come.

Sometimes in just a day or two our Father calls them home.

I like to think some souls up there bear not one sinful scar.

I like to think of heaven as a place where babies are.


Now, here's how I did it. 

I prepped the canvas with glimmer mist in Snow Angel, Sunkissed Peach, Frost, and Patina. I was going for an "earth to heaven" color blend. 

I used molding paste for the wings, created with a stencil. The stuff on the bottom is called glass bead gel, bought at Michaels in the art and paint section. It's my NEW favorite goop!

I set it aside for the night to dry.

When everything was dry, I dry brushed the wings and the Bead Gel with some Metallic Pearl White paint by Folk Art. I also used some Baby Pink Metallic by Martha Stewart as well.

I stamped the clocks and embossed them with a soft peach embossing enamel. The cherub is a transparency print. I knew it would bleed a bit when I sealed the canvas, but I think that I like the way it ended up, soft at the bottom and clear at the top.

I sealed with Martha Stewart's glitter finish, another really COOL goopy item!

And another drying wait.

Then I top dressed the wings again with the Metallic White and finally used a white gelato stick on both the wings and the bead gel.

The chipboard is prepped with DecoArt Metallic Festive Green paint, run through my dotted swiss embossing folder.  Then I sanded the tops down, used some Peeled Paint ink and then some Metallic Chalk Rub to finish.

The fiber is a medical gauze roll. I pulled the fibers apart to make it more wispy and then treated it with a Baby Pink metallic paint wash. I tied the little dress ribbon in a bow, then tacked down the ends, kind of bunching and gluing as I went.

The little crochet butterflies started life white, but I gave them a bit of a dressing with some Picked Raspberry ink. The pearl bling finished everything up and I was done.

I am so pleased with how this turned out. I cannot wait to give it to my mom.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Swirlydoos Ultimate Design Challenge Week 4

Stay tuned.  It's a gift for mom and I want to keep it a surprise.  As soon as I give it to her this coming Wednesday, I'll show the rest of my world.  

If you are REALLY anxious to see it, you can check out my facebook page or go check out my gallery at Swirlydoos or  Those are sort of secret since my mom doesn't Facebook or watch my gallery posts.

Meantime, here's a look at the chaos that used to be my scrap desk.  I'm pretty sure my desk is still under there somewhere.  I'll have to get it cleaned up pretty quickly.  My Paper Mixing Bowl project is due early next week! 

Sunrise Series - Week 6

February 3

"...Day and night meet fleetingly at twilight and dawn...And their merging sometimes affords the beholder the most enchanted moments of all the twenty four hours. A sunrise or sunset can be ablaze with brilliance and arouse all the passion, all the yearning, in the soul of the beholder.” ~Mary Balogh

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sunrise Series - Week 5

January 28

But tomorrow, dawn will come the way I picture her, 
barefoot and disheveled, standing outside my window
in one of the fragile cotton dresses of the poor.
She will look at me with her thin arms extended, 
offering a handful of birdsong and a small cup of light. 
~William Collins

Swirlydoos Ultimate Design Challenge Week 3

Want to see what's been keeping me busy this week?  I mean besides substitute teaching and feeding everything with a mouth around here?

I made the Round 3 cut for the Swirlydoos Ultimate Design Challenge and got to play for another week.  This week's project was courtesy of Miranda - who expected us to ::GASP:: work with METAL!  Oh dear.  Does she not know about my long standing feud with all things steam punky and industrial?  In fact, I have such a hard time with this particular genre' that I've invented my own signature style and named it "Country Punk" just in desperation to prevent being laughed out of next county. 

No matter.  Metal foil tape, embossing, and altered items.  That was the assignment, so up with the rolling of the sleeves, and down with the lump in my throat, and into the mucky mess with my fingers, and out came ....

this.  Which is not so bad, if I say so myself.  Turns out - it really was super fun.  But once again, steam punk and I have agreed to part ways in favor of a more "country" flair.  My signature "Country Punk" strikes again!  

It's a metal coated mini album covered with bits and pieces of things I love and things that I mostly wanted to get out of my bottomless stash of bits and pieces of things.  

The little wood fence lifts up.  Under, there is a little red glittered heart and some ribbon grass.  Eventually, this will have a picture of Cowboy as well. 

The little flower in the heart is one of Amy's earrings.  I found it in the bathroom drawer after she moved out.  There was only one, not a pair, and I could not bear to throw it out.  I knew I'd find a use for it.   Turns out...

The little metal butterfly is tethered to the family word.  I think that's kind of symbolic.  Everyone needs to find their wings, but our family keeps us stable and secure and grounded when the wind gets too strong and we need a safe resting place. 

The feathers are courtesy of my chickens and the bluebirds that live here in the summer.  The bingo numbers - lucked out with those.  They're our house number!