Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Don't Look Now

Pssst... don't look now but it's almost September.  Apparently the month of August was only five days long this year, or so it seemed.

I've learned a few things this month.  I already mentioned that I learned of the existence of embossed felt.  I also learned that Velcro now comes in clear dots, and they are thin, too.  I've used black and white Velcro dots for book closures, but they seemed to stand out like a sore thumb.  So I'm happy to see thin clear ones. (Gaye used them in one of her classes, so naturally I had to find some too.)

 I learned that you can buy a black and pink Hello Kitty bra.  It was mentioned in this post here about the flea market in Budapest.  I thought Mary Ann was making that up, but a Google search proved the Hello Kitty bra does exist.  Who knew?

I've learned that if I leave something in the Get-Rid-Of  box too long, I'll change my mind and take it out.
I've learned that I never get tired of making color charts.
I've learned that if you buy spiffy new shoelaces to put on you old comfy shoes, it makes your feet smile.

I just can't wait to see what I'll learn in September!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mystery Object

In my last post, I swallowed my pride and showed you this Mystery Object.

Basically it's a plastic bag, a piece of folded cardboard, and some suede paper.  But I call it my camera pocket.  I know, I know... you can buy a perfectly nice camera Bag at any number of stores.  But when I first started carrying a camera with me everywhere, I learned quickly that a camera bag didn't work for me.  I wanted something that was easy in-easy out when I wanted to grab my camera with one hand.  I needed a pocket of some kind, one that I could put in my purse.  So I made one.  I folded cardboard into a U-shape to fit the size of my camera.  I used a sturdy cardboard because I sometimes forget I have a camera in my purse when I toss my purse onto the car seat or the kitchen counter.  I then cut a piece of suede paper to fit inside the U-shape - this is to protect the screen on the back of the camera from getting scratched.  The only purpose of the plastic bag was to hold everything in place, since the U-shape was open at the ends and would not hold its shape unless it was in the bag.  (I don't remember why I didn't just add some sides to hold it... maybe that would have made it too tight around the camera.)

Anyway, that contraption has been the home of my first camera, and also the second camera I now alternately use at times.  It's getting kinda ratty-looking and I decided to upgrade it.  I found the cutest little cases on Etsy made by a crafty person in Singapore, but they are for holding an iPhone and are not the "pocket" shape I like to use.  But I did make something similar, using felt to make the front of it mimic the front of a camera.

When I went to buy some felt, I discovered some embossed felt.  How long has that been around???  I had no idea!

This is what I ended up with. 

You can see the U-shape I'm talking about.  I was not going to add the suede inside, but the embossed felt was a little bit scratchy.  And I'll still have to put this into a plastic bag to hold it in place.  The funny thing is that after all this work, it will go into the darkness of my purse, and won't see the light of day for a long, long time...

To see the cute iPhone cases on Etsy that inspired this idea, go here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finding Things That Aren't Lost

I was rummaging around in the warehouse (a.k.a., area of unkown and forgotten things in my art room), and I found two more little watercolor sets. 

 My goal is to weed out and thin out the things I don't use.  It's a slow process (probably because I don't work on that project very much).  So, before I put these in the Out box, of course I had to try them out to see if they were worthy of keeping. 

And of course, by the time I did that, I totally forgot what I was rummaging for in the first place.  But that's my life, and I'm happy in it. 

I'm embarassed to tell you what this mystery object is.  More about that later...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Yum.. Color...

One of my purchases at Stampaway was a set of Peerless Watercolors.  I've thought about buying this for years, and finally did since I seem to be more into watercolors lately.  And of course, one of the first things I did was to make a chart and paint in all the colors to see what they look like.  Yes, I am smitten with color charts (doesn't "smitten" sound a lot better than "obsessed"?!)  A future project will be to make a travel kit and cut off a square of each page of color in the Peerless set.

 I bought 4 new stamp pads, and since I had a blank space at the bottom of the page below the color chart, I used a pencil eraser to stamp dots with the new colors.  You'd think I bought them to match the watercolors, but it is just a coincidence that they match that well.  I seem to be drawn to brighter colors more than ever.

I really didn't buy much else.  Just 4 or 5 stamps, and some cool tissue paper and new tapes.  Can never have enough tapes.  We even stopped at a JoAnn's when we had some extra time and ran into great bargains on notepads and journal tags.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend Adventure

My last post was posted automatically while I was traveling.  Gaye and I hit the road north to Cincinnati on Thursday for the 19th annual Stampaway convention.  Hard to believe it has been 19 years, but it has.  These are samples from one of the classes Gaye taught (Cache Lavaliere) - even though I have seen these samples many times before, I am still amazed by them every time I see them spread out on the demo table.  And these don't even show the hidden structure inside the necklace.
And speaking of Gaye, a smart teacher always has her fan/necklace for those hot classrooms (or were those just hot flashes?).  FYI, Southern women don't sweat, they glisten.  Or so I've been told.
There were a lot of activities on this trip.  I explored hotel texture while waiting around in the parking lot...

We went to the botanical exhibit...

And we did some bird watching...

Actually, the "botanical" people had dressed that way to interpret the "flower power" theme of the Friday night show.  The first one is Greg from Marco's Paper.  He always goes all out.  The second one is the ladies who won the costume contest.  The last guy (from 100 Proof Press) took flower power to another level with his boxing gloves!

Some interpreted flower power to mean groovy clothes from the flower power generation.

Doesn't Chris Meador (right) look great in her retro clothes!??  And there is the "other" Kris with her, who now runs Coffee Break Design.

Gaye and I had a great three days, and both came home with some new things to play with.  We also made a slight detour north to explore the Ohio Valley Antique Mall before heading back south and homeward.

So how did we go from a bright sunny day (see the blue sky in the picture with the giant yellow duck), to (just a mere two hours later) huddling around this camping lantern in a stranger's basement with a nice woman, her two nice children, and their dog? 

As we got closer to Louisville, we were looking at the sky.  It really wasn't ominous looking until we were right under it.  That also happened to be about the time we turned down Gaye's street.  But the street was blocked by a huge tree across it.  We pulled into a driveway to turn around and go a different way.  But the wind was blowing so hard, the car was shaking.  We really didn't feel safe sitting in the car.  Gaye suggested we make a run for the nearest house, and where we parked the family was already looking out the door, having heard the tree fall earlier.  They welcomed us inside, even though Gaye and I got soaked in the 10 seconds it took us to run from the car to the house.  We could literally wring water out of our hair and clothes, the rain was coming down so hard.  Almost immediately, the power went out, and the lady instructed the kids to light the camping lanterns and take us to the basement.  We were given towels to dry off, and we all waited out the storm in the darkness, getting to know each other.  For me, the best part was when I was offerred a cup of coffee.  In spite of the chaotic situation, the first thing I noticed when I dashed through the front door was the smell of freshly brewed vanilla coffee... Since I had another hour to drive before I'd be home, I guess I already had the need for a cup of coffee swirling in my brain.  That hot cup of coffee was the best I have ever had, probably because Gaye and I were chilled to the bone from getting soaked in the rain.

When we finally did get to Gaye's house (and that was no easy task, as there were trees down on almost every street), we were relieved to see her property was fine, other than deck furniture blown over and some limbs down.  Her husband had to override the garage door opener so I could get my car out of their garage, then I was eventually on my way.  I could see why they had no electricity as I drove out of Louisville- there were trees on top of wires almost everywhere you looked. 

We were feeling very lucky overall.  And I saw a rainbow on my way home.  I'm hoping her electricity has been restored by now....

Friday, August 12, 2011

Whilst Travelling....

Several years ago, my friend Gaye made a travel journal.  It was the coolest thing, with dividers of all kinds, with places and instructions on how to get there, exit numbers and road names and distances.  So of course I had to make one too.  Mine never got as full as hers, and in fact a lot of the places are crossed out because they aren't there anymore.  And even though the GPS gadget has almost replaced Gaye's travel journal, the GPS is not nearly as much fun to hold.

This is my journal, made with a segmented binding, using Touche for the cover (a soft, sturdy cardstock).  I need to go more places and add more directions and maps and business cards to my journal I think.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Random Play

I have been taking a few minutes here and a few minutes there... just playing with some techniques from the Art Buffett class before I forget them.  I have to say, I'm liking my little pastepaper play book more every day.

This is a No-Blot Pencil.. When you write with it, it looks like regular pencil marks, but brush with water and it turns blue.  I had forgotten I had one of those pencils, and Teri put the spark in me to try it.

 Then I played with pressing a stamp pad on the page and brushing with water.
 I played.. and played some more.  Before I knew it, I had two pages full of pure play.
 I also decided this book needed a title.
 Playing more on other pages.
 Experimenting with which of my writing pens are waterproof.
This is the definition of Joy.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Art Buffet

I was late to class and I'm trying to play catch-up.  The class is Art Buffet with Teri Martin, and it has been a change of pace from the bookbinding I've been doing to get back to playing with papers.  I have never had much luck with masking fluids, but I did order a Masquepen with a writing tip, and had a lot of fun making marks with that.  This piece should have some more layers of masking and paint, but honestly I like it so much as is, I may not do anything else to it.

 Other play papers:

 Teri demo'd a little pastepaper book/journal that I wanted to try.  I made mine with some papers I already had on hand. I always love seeing other people's journals, and I got lots of ideas from seeing hers.

I really, really need someone to hand me a boatload of money so I can quit my job and play more!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Inspiration Journal

Trying to tie up loose ends and finish some half-started journals.  Maybe "finish" is the wrong word.  I meant finish as in finish the cover and at least the first page inside.  This is the bonus book from the Full Tilt Boogie class.  It will be filled with all those magazine clippings of decorating ideas, color combinations to dream about, furniture to long for, etc, etc.  I kept the pages fairly plain and neutral, so that whatever is added later is not competing so much.  I see fun in my future!