Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day..................................... lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
Happy Leap Day! Did you do anything special to celebrate the date that only occurs once every four years? I got up earlier than usual to shovel the snow we got yesterday. It was a beautiful sunny morning, with the kind of crisp air winter-lovers (like me) savor. This is the photo I took of Cubby sitting in the front window with the neighbor's picket fence and my mock orange bush reflected back at me. He looks like a ghost cat, doesn't he?

The second photo is the back of my house in all its boxy splendor. It would be nice to know how all the add-ons came about, but it's even nicer to imagine the plan to smooth it all out and add a stairway to the attic.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A card for a friend who likes all things Asian. The stamped flower image was sent to me complete with ribbon and brads. I completed the card with origami papers for the SCS technique challenge to use more than one pattern of designer paper. I stamped the Chinese characters on vellum and embossed them and the edge of the paper with copper embossing powder. The corners are all punched with a Marvy Uchida corner punch.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

No, you're not seeing double. In a rare moment of companionship, that's Jazzy on the left, and Zane. Because of perspective, they look like they're the same size, but Zane was almost twice as big as Jazzy when the photo was taken. She may have gained a bit of weight since then, but Zane truly is a large 'big-boned' cat. A neighbor mistook him for a raccoon once! That was on a day when Zane got into a fight with Harley and I couldn't get them apart...all the neighbor could see was my poor little white kitty being attacked by a blur of striped fur.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Very soon I hope to start posting progress reports of my bungalow redecorating. The wallpaper removal has been delayed by various re-organizing projects and sinus woes.

But for now, let me introduce you to two of my house-mates. That's Cubby on the left, and Jazz. They were left on a co-worker's doorstep almost 3 years ago as tiny kittens. He brought them to work and I adopted them on the spot! I had been thinking of getting Zane another friend because he seemed to be harrassing Harley mercilessly! Although brother and sister, he outweighs her by a few pounds and she is so peace-loving indoors that I began to feel sorry for her (outside is another story - she is a huntress of whatever moves within her leash area, and will fight Zane if he initiates it). Zane does indeed have more friends to play with; unfortunately, they all chase after Harley! But they're also nice to her, washing her head and cuddling up on the bed with her. The kittens will be 3 in June. Zane and Harley will be 10 on April Fool's Day. I'll post pics of them soon.
My oldest cousin and her husband will celebrate another anniversary in a week, so here's the card they'll receive. Again, I combined 2 of the SCS challenges - the sketch and "masking". The masking was done on the image in the scalloped frame. I stamped and embossed the scallop, then stamped it again on a sticky-note. I cut the inside out of the oval stamped on the sticky, stuck it over the embossed oval and stamped the 'American Gothic' image over it. The image of the couple is larger than the oval, but this way it fits just inside like a frame, with no extraneous ink marking up the embossing.
The blue cardstock has been stamped all over with an unknown Stampin' Up stamp I bought at a garage sale. It had '1994' on it, but I have no SU catalog that old to help me identify it. If anyone knows, please leave a comment.
I made it a 'shabby chic' (as they call it) card by sponging and dragging tea dye Distressing Ink over all the layers, and roughing up the edges of all the cardstock with a scissors blade. There are tools designed for this, but the scissors seems to work just fine and helps keep my limited space from filling up with too many tools.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Another SCS multi-challenge card. I used one image that is stamped on 2 different colors of cardstock and embossed with 2 different colors of embossing powder. The images are then split in half and re-matched. The base of the card is designer paper by DCWV. I used a small piece of the same c/s in the center and layered another stamp of the center of the image over that in reversed colors. The outside edges of the blue/orange square and circle were sponged with brown distressing ink. I was lucky enough to have matching snaps for the 4 corners. This may be my first square card, also, although I found out the stamp (by Inkadinkado) was not quite square, so I trimmed a bit off of the top and bottom of the card. My BC, Canada cousin, TR, will be receiving this one. I may be tempted to make a few more in other colors.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The theme of Friday night's After Hours / Preview Party that C and I attended at the Walker Art Center was "Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes". In addition to the food, live music and full-length film, there was the art activity. We were challenged to use aerial maps of suburban communities to make an abstract creation by tracing features of the map on acetate and gluing paper, yarns, screens, etc onto cardstock. This was another 10-minute piece like the one I did at the last party. The map I chose looked like a face to me. I glued mylar where the eyes and mouth would be (that's what's causing the glare). This time I remembered to sign the front and write my name on the back. As for the title, any suggestions? (click on the photo to see some of the materials I used up close).
Edit: Suggestion #1 is "hidden faces".

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I managed to make 8 more of the 11-layer card pictured below and mailed all the cards just minutes before last pick-up! So, if you usually receive a card from me, it should be there on time. Reminds me of Christmas when I went to the airport post office to mail my cards on time. That office is open 24/7, but it is hard to find by address alone. The road that took me there wound back all the way to the terminal, but could not be reached from the terminal...sort of a 'you can't get there from here' place. But, I'm glad I know where it is for future occasions.

This card is one I made in 1966, so I was 12. Thanks, Mom, for saving all my arts and crafts and giving them back to me! It means I have a portfolio that represents almost every period of my life! The body is 2 heart-shapes cut from red construction paper with a white doily cut up and glued on. The face is a heart of white construction paper. I don't believe this was my original idea - just something that was popular at the time. I think there was a 'man' Valentine, too - if I find it, I'll post it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Valentines have to be in the mail tomorrow and I'm not half done, but I broke with tradition and designed several individual cards instead of the usual one-for-all. I may have to do the rest in one style. This card was made for three different challenges at SCS - the sketch, 'faux postage' (a technique), and making a Valentine with NO red or pink or hearts or flowers! I guess that last one wasn't too hard since I'd been waiting to use these typewriter letters for a certain writer in the family. It would have been for her birthday, but I think she'll like this version. The faux postage uses a template with just the postage amount printed on cardstock. Then a clear plastic or acrylic sheet is cut with windows and used to mask an area to be stamped. My rubber stamps were already postage-style, so they were perfect, but any stamp will work when you think of all the themes the Post Office has issued. The type was punched out of a gift bag I bought at Hallmark. For some reason I couldn't find a 'V' in the stack, so I printed that letter on my PC and stuck it over another letter, but the rest all came that way - black & white with silver embossed edges. I sponged all the paper edges with a brown distress ink and cut the postage out with decorative scissors. You can see by the shadow that it's raised up on foam tape. Think she'll like it?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The new parents of twin boys will be receiving this card shortly. It is a gatefold card using designer paper by DCWV (Die Cuts With A View). I stamped "Welcome Baby" all over the 2 sides and added real and faux ribbon to the edges and tabs. The faux ribbon is my own invention. It's what happens when you put a piece of tape on paper and then try to take it off. The top layer of the paper comes off with it, leaving just a bit of pattern under the tape. After folding in the edges of the tape to form a narrow band, it's not hard to tie the tape like ribbon - and you've got a perfectly coordinated accessory. In the photo, the green is the faux ribbon. It's not going to fool anyone, but it's got its own charm I think - something like old-fashioned oilcloth.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Two of the challenges at SCS this week were this sketch (or layout) and using lots of dots. The challenges can be done individually, but sometimes it's fun to combine them. That's what I did with this card. I used dots in the paper, 2 punches, the brads and the stamped letters. Even the tiny hearts may count as dots - you decide. The other note that I posted with this card in my SCS gallery is that it has 11 layers! I've seen cards that had too many layers to count, but have never done one myself. Simple is usually more my style, but all the mats of different colors really adds up. Some lucky family member will be receiving this next week.
Edit: As it turned out, I made and sent 9 of these. The other 8 were slightly different from the original, but still had 11 layers!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

For a cousin whose birthday was 2/5, I made this 'relic' card using the faux-leather label from an old handbag of mine. This is similar to an earlier card using strips of cardstock with the stitching already printed on it. The rest of the stitch lines - on the yellow, the red and the vellum - are hand drawn with a straight edge. I hope he doesn't think I'm calling him a relic - the description on the label includes the words "timeless design", and that is certainly complimentary, isn't it? Coincidentally, twin boys were born yesterday to another cousin (I'm not naming names unless I have permission), so my February card-making list has grown bigger!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Here's a closer look at the ribbon storage. I tacked clear fishing line across each level so the ribbon wouldn't roll out.
I now have the storage wall of my dreams - isn't it pretty? This is the north wall of my studio/office. With 15 cubes and 31 drawers of different sizes, it was a lot of work to screw everything together by hand, but a lot of fun too! Each of the drawers has a metal label-pull that also needed to be attached. Then, I had to decide what would be stored in each drawer before I could print the colored labels (a few drawers still need labels). My collection of mini baskets, a few salt & pepper shakers, and other bright objects are on top of the cubes. On the wall above are three re-purposed racks. Two thread racks are used for paper punches and decorative scissors. My old CD storage box is now holding spools of ribbon. I just love finding new uses for old organizers.