Monday, September 26, 2011

Fabric Wristband

I've seen so many cute DIY fabric wristbands out in the blogosphere! I've been meaning to give it a try, so I pulled out some materials and got busy. I decided I wanted to use unbleached muslin with the end result being a white on white band. I cut three strips of muslin plenty long enough to go around my wrist.

I had a pile of random skinny strips and threads left from tearing muslin for another project. The shape reminded me of a rose, so I thought I'd make that the base of a flower.

Then it was off to the sewing machine, where I stitched the three strips together along the sides, leaving the frayed edges as they were. I stitched "channels" down the length of the band. Next I roughly stitched the tangles to one end of the band. Under the "flower" I tucked a strip of twill tape to act as a loop closure.

Next I added some ribbon and rickrack to the flower to make it more interesting. The flower center is made from twine glued to a cardstock circle. I chose a white button in the shape of a rose and stitched that in place.

Here is the final result - I'd show you the photo I took of my arm modelling it, but I was appalled at how wrinkled my arm looked in a closeup shot! You'll just have to imagine it and think kind thoughts about my elderly arms. ;)

Fun and easy-peasy!

Till next time...

Friday, September 23, 2011

A House Full of Memories

 I've had these photos for a while, waiting to decide how to use them. Normally, I don't write much for my scrapbook pages. I find that the photos themselves are enough to bring back the memories. In this case, so many things started popping into my mind that I decided to get them down on paper. Here is the journaling:

The last time I saw this house, Mike and I drove out there with Daddy Clyde. He stayed in the car while we took a look around outside and peered into the windows. When we returned to the car, Daddy Clyde commented that I’d never been turned away from that door before. That remark really hit home and I’ve thought about it many times since; I’m not likely to enter that house ever again.

I have so many memories that were made in this house. Memories of holidays and family visits. A broken chair and a twice-broken window. Delicious meals. Lizzie’s placemats under Nanny’s everyday plates and Fostoria glasses. Jelly served in glass bowls. The board games in the hall closet. The patio that became the “garden room”. The mesquite and pecan trees. Nanny’s rose garden. The metal and stone fence. Fossilized wood and driftwood. The big round coffee table with the fancy flower arrangement and candy dishes. The painted rock that sat by the front door. Artwork collected from around the globe. The pantry in the kitchen with the sliding door and the pencil sharpener inside (what a fun, cozy place!).  The boat that sat in the garage. Scorpions in the light fixtures – ewww! Fabric covered walls. Nanny’s heater in the back room and stacks of books for her to read. The two blue chairs.

I’m going to miss it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Instant Rust

Generally, I tend to think of rust as something negative, caused by neglect or carelessness. In spite of that, I have a fondness for the look of a rusty patina - I just don't want to have to deal with nasty flaking metal or unsightly stains.

Enter instant rust! I saw an idea I wanted to try here. The blogger, Carolyn, cited this website as a source for the images she used. Although I had come across that site before, I'd never done more than a little browsing.  (All the images are available for free download). I decided to give her project a try, and downloaded this image. I printed it on our color printer and cut it to the size I needed for my can. Before doing any gluing, I dabbed some Adirondack Alcohol Ink in ginger to the top and bottom rims so the shiny silver metal wouldn't detract from the rusty paper.

I'm not a big fan of Mod Podge, which was recommended to glue the paper down. Instead I used Perfect Paper Adhesive which worked very well. Following the instructions on the blog, I brushed glue on the can in small sections, securing the paper as I went. I found that running my nails lightly along the can's grooves did the trick to get the paper down into those ridges. I overlapped the paper a little at the end, and brushed a small amount of the glue over the join to make it more secure.

Just for fun, I tied some rough twine around the finished can, and topped it with a flower I made. The outer part of the flower is made from a torn strip of unbleached muslin gathered with a rough running stitch. For the center, I punched a circle from a piece of cardstock. Next, again using the PPA and starting from the center of the circle, I glued the twine down, bringing the tail around to the back. I secured the center to the muslin with Diamond Glaze, a very strong adhesive. I also used the DG to attach the flower to the can. All done! Now I only have to decide whether I want to use it for pens and pencils or perhaps some artificial flowers.

Till next time!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Living and Active

You may remember a while back that I posted a preliminary sketch for a piece I planned to submit to Somerset Studio magazine. I did mail it in, but I haven't heard anything yet. I hope that means that it will be used in some way, but it may just be that they're still going to return it with a polite rejection letter.

This is the finished work and I'm pretty pleased with the result. I ended up cutting out the sketch rather than drawing a new one. I painted the "vine" with layers of color and set it aside. The background paper is a nice watercolor paper that stood up to lots of splashing and spraying. Once the vine was glued in place, I added the text from Hebrews that originally inspired me. That was printed on the computer and cut apart.

Next I selected portions from the prologue of John's gospel. I hand-wrote those around the edges of the vine. The Roman numerals along the edges represent the Ten Commandments.

The bottom layer is a canvas panel, painted a darker green and splashed about. The blue "ruffle" is plain old tissue paper that I painted with a wonderful acrylic paint made by Lumiere. Their paint is beautiful and remained flexible when dried. This allowed me to fold it into rough pleats and stitch it to the watercolor paper with my machine.

Apart from the pressure of making something I thought was worth submitting, this project was completely pleasurable. Of all the artsy or crafty things I've tried, messy painting is the most fun for me. I'll let you know what happens as soon as I hear anything.

Till next time!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


For a long time, I've wanted to use this photo in a layout. I get tickled every time I look at it. I love her plump little arms, and her precious bald head. From the expression on her face, it appears that Norah has been "caught" doing something she shouldn't, but she was just idly opening and closing the cabinet door. She didn't even try to get anything inside - what a good girl!

This was one of those occasions when the whole family was together. There was no shortage of people willing to play with and hold the grandkids, and lots of game time and visiting for the grownups.

This page was incredibly easy to do. I found this beautiful paper with the black trim and stitched flourishes, so all I had to do was add the photo, the heart embellishment, and a title. It doesn't get much easier than that!

Till next time :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

We Miss You

This page is from the challenge Sketch of the Week. I have enjoyed picking mostly random photos to use as I've worked my way through the challenges. I like the look of paper layers, although I have a hard time making it work. I decided to use mostly black, which I don't do very often. I like black a lot as a thin, secondary layer behind other papers, but it was something new for me to use quite so much of it.

There's a lot for me to like about this photo! Jenna enjoys experimenting with photography, and this is such a cute idea. I really like the happy, excited expressions on everyone's faces. Aidan has a marker in his hand, as if he's just finished putting the final touches on the message. Norah's arm is draped across the top of the board in a pose that is completely natural and relaxed. Jenna's sunny personality comes through so clearly. I really appreciate that she took the time to set this up - thanks, Jenna!

Scrapbooking is a great way for me to experience emotions again and again. I love this hobby!!

Till next time...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blast From the Past

This is my take on the Go Retro Challenge. I recently got these photos when one of my sisters came for a visit, and it was really nice to have an opportunity to use a couple of them right away. These were taken on a family trip to Oklahoma.

We've got it all going on here. Masculine derring-do, and feminine relationships! The photo on the left is a three generation photo. I always think it's special to see families represented this way. The photo on the right shows my son being his typical boy self - love that!

Now that I'm looking at this again, I'm not sure about those green half circles. A little too Mickey Mouse, maybe? I'd have to hate it a lot, though, to go  back and change anything. Most of the time, I accept what I get  and go on.
Here's to enjoying all those great family photos!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Gift of Art

I originally wrote about this piece of art here. I've had this on my desk at work since then. This morning, we were registering students for our ESL (English as a Second Language) program. A young Asian woman was there, helping her mother go through the process. After her mother had finished the reading test, she and her daughter were at my desk. I matched up the mother's test score with the proper class, filled out the paperwork, and explained everything to them.

When I was finished, the young woman pointed to the canvas, asking me if I had made it. I told her I had, and she asked me about the frame. I picked it up to show her that actually there was no frame, only a canvas. She admired it so much, that I was moved to offer it to her as a gift. She was taken aback, but when she saw that I was sincere in the offer, she smilingly accepted it and thanked me profusely.

It was so gratifying to know that this thing I had created would make someone else happy. Her spontaneous admiration and pleasure assured me that she would enjoy the gift. For me, giving art can be stressful (self-induced, of course!!). In this case, though, the giving was untainted by any sense of the recipient feeling obliged to "like" the gift. She so obviously liked it, and I'm so glad I followed my impulse to give it away. It's nice to think that it has a new home!

Till next time!