Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Wallet

Here's a fun folded paper wallet to make, in case you need a secret place to stash your Christmas money, Christmas list, or coupons.  It also holds credit cards or would make a nice holder for a gift card you are giving someone (put the card in one side and a note in the other side).

I first saw this several months ago, but looked up the instructions again to try it with gift wrap paper.  The two below are wrapping paper.  That paper is a little too thin and probably would not last too long under heavy use.  The directions call for a 12 x 12 inch piece of paper, and scrapbook paper is a good weight to use.
The ones below were made quite some time ago.  The one on the left is scrapbook paper (single sided), and it is always in my purse, unfolded, with that week's coupons that I cut out of the sale papers.  The folded one on the right is made with Arches text wove art paper which had been the victim of a previous stencil spray/walnut ink paint session.  It was very hard to fold such thick paper into the wallet, but it is definitely sturdy.  I think Tyvek would be a great paper to use, but I haven't tried it. None of these have embellishments or closures, but those would be fun to add too. 
There are probably several places with the instructions, but the one I used is from Paper Source.  (Click here for instructions.)  When trying the find the link again, I discovered a lot of projects on their blog and web page how-to links.  So many projects, so little time....

Happy wallet-making!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The skies are safe

Rest assured, traveling public.  Your security agents are working to keep you safe and they do mean business.

In case you did not see this in the news, they recently disarmed a flying passenger.  It could have been a tragedy had they not acted swiftly. 

Here, read it for yourself, as per an article by Andrew Johnson... Dateline: St. Louis, Missouri.

TSA agents in St. Louis, Missouri, disarmed Rooster Monkburn, a cowboy sock monkey, of his two-inch toy gun after a woman brought the stuffed monkey through security. Agents said that it posed a threat because it could be confused for a real gun.... Phyllis May, who was flying back to her home in Washington state, has a small business selling sock monkeys.  She was also questioned for bringing the sewing supplies she uses to make the stuffed animals in her carry-on bag.  TSA agents told her they would have to confiscate the miniature firearm and call the police [although local TV reported they never actually called the police]. May's sewing supplies were ultimately returned to her. "Rooser Monkburn has been disarmed so I'm sure everyone on the plane was safe," May quipped.  "I understand [the TSA agent] was doing her job, but at some point doesn't common sense prevail?" May had named the disarmed monkey Rooster Monkburn after Rooster Cogburn, John Wayne's character in the film True Grit.

If you see this character, beware. I know I'm going to be careful about wearing my sock monkey slippers from now on.  That is all.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Deep Freeze

It's hard to believe, but a couple of days ago, my lilac bush thought it was spring because it was so warm.  It was trying its best to put forth some buds.  Today, totally different story.  Said buds are encased in ice.
As is just about everything else.

It's not as bad here as it is some places.  Only a couple of inches of snow, but with a quarter inch of ice underneath and possibly more to come tomorrow.  It's a good time to stay indoors, get out the telephoto lens, and annoy the birds.

The blue jays usually fly away when they see me at the window, but I guess when it's this cold and you fought off all your blue jay friends for the prime spot on the suet feeder, nothing else matters.

Stay warm and safe everyone!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's in the Details

I have a lot of rubber stamps that may look pretty shabby to some people.  But they are stamps from my early days of stamping, when I would mount rubber images on anything that was even half-way workable.  These pictured are my favorite Merry Christmas and Happy New Year stamps, from a company called Leavenworth Jackson (remember her?).  The script is beautifully done, and I have used them over and over.  I could re-mount them on a nicer piece of wood (after all, I did eventually purchase a band saw and sander just for cutting wood for stamps).  Or I could put them on some of the modern cling mount cushion and use them with an acrylic mount.  But to tell the truth, these stamps are so nostalgic for me, just the way they are.  I could find them in the drawer with my eyes closed, because I know one is on a round cork, and one is on a round piece of scrap wood. 
These days, I buy a mix of stamps - unmounted rubber if its available, mounted stamps if I like it and it's right there in front of me, and cling mount if that's all it comes in.

Recently, I ordered a stamp from a company that is an oldie but a goodie - Meer Image.  It's one of those small stamp companies that has been around forever,  plodding away, doing what they do.  The recent email introduced a new compass design.  There was a discount to pre-order it.  I love compasses, and this one was really nice.  So I ordered it.  In the past, most of what I have bought from Meer Image has been unmounted.  I had forgotten what it's like to hold quality in my hand. 

And this is quality you just don't see anymore.  The image is a great design.  The wood is nicely finished.  Steven's initials are on the stamp.  The company name is burned (?) into the wood. (I assume it is burned, as it reminds me of watching them burn the logo into the Louisville Slugger baseball bats at the local museum and factory.) The red rubber is finely detailed and stamps perfectly.  Quality all the way.  Even the paper it was packed in was a piece of drawing paper from one of Steven's figure drawing sessions.  It made me feel special just opening the package!  
There are still some businesses and companies that produce a quality product, but it's sad that something like this stands out to me, rather than being the norm.
At any rate, I will really enjoy using this compass.  I won't lose my way with this one!!