Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Red Lead Wintery Goodness Banner

As I am sitting here blogging, I'm looking at snow. Big wet clumps of white fluffiness. I like when the yard is bathed in a blanket of white that seems to create a hush over the trees and buildings. It's like the world has stopped talking so much and is listening, just listening. It's a beautiful thing. We had snow for Christmas, lots of snow. Inches upon inches of snow and it was divine...

I haven't spent much time in my new (still messy) studio. But I did play around with a wintery banner this last week. 'On Skates'.

The image of two children is from Red Lead. I sketched out the skates (by looking at a coloring page online) and painted with watered down acrylics and gesso.

When I was a teenager we lived in New York. Boy oh boy, the winters there were cold and snowy! I had this friend at church whose house I liked to visit. They had their own pond and every year we would get out on it, I would fall a lot, and we would skate. Her father or brother would build a fire in a pit near the pond so we could warm up in between rounds. I'm sure the guys probably played some hockey but I don't remember much of that. I just remember the beauty of the surrounding woods and piled up mounds of snow.
I haven't been skating in years. I have weak ankles so I imagine it wouldn't be a pretty sight.

Mom took the little one skating last year and it seems she is a natural. I can see we need to take her often this year. She loves it.

Have you gone skating lately? Is it snowing where you are?

NOTE: I swear I posted the winner of the ornament giveaway but it was sitting in a blog post draft. No wonder the winner didn't contact me! lol The ornament goes to:
Linda. If you'll email your address to me, I'll mail out this ornament for you! Happy New Year and congrats!

Monday, December 07, 2009

7th Day of Christmas - Altered Pages Winter Blues ATCs

I get all excited around Christmas time. I don't usually have trouble with the winter blues although I know people who do. I tend to hunker down and create. I do know I don't like to get out much. More comfortable at home but that probably has to do with the below freezing temps out here in the midwest...

Being able to just bundle up in my warm house or semi-warm studio and make things makes me happy. I also like to spend time creating with friends more during the winter months as well.

I tend to cook and bake more during the winter as well. (have you been over to my recipe blog? I randomly post things that I'm trying to make.) Soups, breads, anything that can be crock potted is subject to my experimenting with it.

I love these images from Altered Pages. Most of them make me wonder what it was like to live a long time ago as a woman. We have so many freedoms and opportunities now that they didn't have.

Can you imagine having to wear a bustle? And think about all the layering they had to do. Undergarments, pantaloons, slips, hoops sometimes, hose of some sort, corsets, layers of dress and shawls. Ugh. I can't stand to have too many layers on. I would not be able to stand it. I'd be one of those 'inappropriate women' labeled for their inability or unwillingness to conform. Yep, that'd be me. The non-conformist.

I wonder how many women were able to pursue their love of the arts and not have it thought of as their hobby or little dalliance and not an important thing. That would drive me crazy too.

I haven't made ATCs in a long time. Don't know why. I sort of cycle through interests. I'm sure many artists do the same thing. While I go back to things like ATCs and cards, so far I've not returned to my obsession of scrapbooking. Not sure why.

Wow, I've rambled my way through many topics in this post! Just one of those days... I'm wondering, is anyone interested in a one-for-one trade of ATCs? I'm willing to part with a few of these. Tell me your favorite and I'll contact you for address and to trade. Anyone game?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

6th Day of Christmas - Altered Pages New Years Cards

In the back of my head I'm thinking ahead to New Years. Do you have special traditions for this holiday? We have one tradition we stick to every year.

Dh or I will go to the store and buy different 'exotic drinks.' Since we don't drink, and we're home with the kids we want to share in the toasting experience as best we can. The Arizona Co. has those different tea drinks or we'll find SOBE or some new fangled drink on the market to try. Everyone gets a different drink. We'll usually toast the New Year at 11 pm when the ball drops in NYC (they show it in KC at 11 PM) so the little one can go to bed. Then the rest of us will toast the actual bewitching hour when it arrives.

Usually we'll stick our heads out the front door to hear the illegal fireworks being shot off, and duck when we hear things that sound like gunshots. Yes, there are crazies out there that shoot them in the air.

Last year or the year before we watched that guy do the motorcycle jump over the casino or something in Las Vegas. I think the year before they exploded an old casino? I wonder what they'll come with next.

What do you do for New Years?

Note: Cards made with Altered Pages images.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

5th Day of Christmas - Shopping Day!

I'll be the first to tell you, I hate shopping. No really. I loath getting out to go shopping unless its to an art or fabric store. Don't make me shop for Christmas stuff in a mall with thousands of other frantic crazy people. Not happening.

Except... on girls day out. Mom started this new tradition. The sisters-in-law, mom, the teen and I get together at the local mall. We have lunch, and group up and shop for certain things. Usually kids presents. The reason I love this shopping is I'm with family. It doesn't matter that I'm in a stupid store, I'm with family. I'm sure there are others out there who feel as I do.

I prefer to do all my Christmas shopping in a comfy chair with the laptop, online at Ebay, Etsy, Amazon and Half.com. Nothing finer than hearing the click, click, click of things popping in my cart.

(altered gift bags made with Red Lead products)

Speaking of Etsy, I have several things in my Etsy stores (Art and Supplies) that just might help you cross someone off your list. I've restocked with new and repeat items too! (continue to check back as I will list new items daily.)

(Sample of items for sale)

Purchase from now until December 15th,
Buy 1 item - get 10% off
Buy 2 items - 2nd item is 20% off
Buy 3 items - 3rd item is 30% off
Tell a friend about the sale, they purchase too and you get 40% off one item.
(Discounts will be refunded through Paypal when I receive your payment/order and calculate the savings for you.)

So whether you get out and join the throngs of shoppers or you grab your coffee and plop your bunny slippers up on the computer and shop, I hope you have a wonderful Christmasy kind of day. I know I will. I might even sit on Santa's lap!

P.S. I saw today a couple of the kits I'd made for Altered Pages in the last year have gone on sale. If you were wanting a kit but didn't get it before, now is your final chance!
Poetry ATC Mini Book was $14.99, now $9.99
Artified Blocks Kit - was $23.99 - now $16.29

For all the Altered Pages kits on sale, go here.

Friday, December 04, 2009

4th Day of Christmas - Dear Deer are Here...

My parents used to live on the last street in town before a wide open field and then a lake. I always enjoyed visiting them and watching the deer nibbling on hay bales out in the field. It was a natural place for them to play. No one could come there and hunt them so it was a normal occasion to see a mother and her babies eating their fill.


We frequently drive the back way from church to home, through housing that is set in a wooded area. I'm always cautioning the driving teen to make sure to use her high beams because you will often have deer dashing across the road. That would not be fun to crumple the car and hurt a beautiful deer.

Red Lead has the most beautiful Christmas collage sheets, and last time I was at the store I picked up these adorable little plastic deer and teeny bottlebrush trees I've been waiting to play with!

The images used on the front and inside are from the Merry Christmas 37 collage sheet from Red Lead. I love the vintage pictures. The final touch was using the tinsel trim on the edge. It's all ready for packing up in a secret sister package going out this week. Do you think she'll like it?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

3rd Day of Christmas - Royal Bird & Tree Flowers

I have this beautiful wire bird I picked up while in the Red Lead store. I saw it and just knew it was needed to grace my studio. However, she has been unadorned for too too long. The little one thought so too. She added a handmade crown and necklace and we popped the bird onto the studio Christmas tree. I think Calliope the bird looks quite sweet in her queenly crown!

Did you see the leaf ornaments I posted this week? Well, the big circles in this new ornament were supposed to be instead of the leaf (before I thought of using leaves.) It's handpainted paper. Actually its the scrap paper I put on my worktable when I paint ATCs and it gets all the extra paints on it. Anyway, it was the wrong color for the leaf ornaments so it became its own creation.

I went to this sale last year of a company that was moving its headquarters and was selling off all the extras. They had a whole roll (at least 20 yards) of that white netting fabric. For a $1.00. You know I bought it! And its been sitting there waiting to be used. I'm thinking I want to experiment with painting and or dyeing some of it.

I used to belong to a wonderful group of gals who got together for a monthly Stampin Up party. Now we all know I didn't need a new thing every month. I mainly went to be with friends. However, I did pick up these adorable corduroy covered buttons and brads. I thought they would be the perfect finishing touch for these flowers I'm adding to my studio tree.

The little one has been visiting my studio quite a bit now that its getting fixed up. She loves making ornaments as well. Aren't they cute?! The right one is made with washes of fluid acrylics.

What are you making today?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

2nd Day of Christmas - Altered Pages Ornaments

Can you believe I almost threw these leaves away? I have a whole box and while organizing I thought 'I have never used these, nor will I ever. I should just get rid of them.' Actually I was going to throw them in my giveaway box my friends dig through when they come to visit my art room.

I used pictures from Altered Pages. They have several sheets with mini images. I feel guilty cutting up a big image for a small part of it. I have been known to cut people out for their torso/head and then save the legs. I'm sure I'm going to come up with a project just for those darn legs! ha

Slide mounts (you know, those old fangled things that negatives came in that you put in a slide projector to show off the 2000 vacation pictures you had...) They're another thing I never use. But I have a box STUFFED with them. I love having an organized art room. I can now find things like these. I brayered them with alcohol inks in cranberry, lettuce and gold and ink'd the edges with brown stazon ink.

The ornaments are finished off with string for hanging, glitter glue, ric rak and a jewel. They bring a little brightness to any tree. My studio tree is sure enjoying them!

GIVEAWAY: Don't forget about yesterday's giveaway (ending Dec. 7th). I would hope someone would want to take home a free ornament. I had fun making them.

I've been thinking of Christmas and all the traditions people practice. I'd like for my family to have more than we do now. We have this advent calendar, Littlest Pet Shop I think, that I bought last year after Christmas. We've been waiting all year to open it. I told dd yesterday it was the 1st and she could open the first window (she has the calendar in her room.) She told me 'nah, I'll just wait until the 24th and open them all then.' I was shocked! We've been waiting forever. Come to find out today, that she couldn't handle it and had already opened every window one day in November. She didn't take anything out, just peeked. Darn child! lol

Some of my favorite traditions:
Christmas Carols Candlelight Service at church, decorating the Christmas tree, driving around to see neighborhood Christmas lights displays, baking yummy gingerbread cookies (or my dd's gingersnap recipe.)

Do you have favorite traditions? I'd like to hear yours.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

1st Day of Christmas Giveaway - Red Lead Ornaments

Quick update. The studio overhaul is almost done (it even has its own Christmas Tree!) Pictures will follow soon although they won't be real pretty since its an unfinished basement with glaringly ugly concrete floors. But you'll get the idea of where it was and where it is now.

In the midst of the organizing, my fingers can't seem to keep off the newly accessible supplies! I've created several new things I'll be sharing in the coming days.

These ornaments are made with Red Lead images. I love images of people that have legs. I know that may seem weird but I like people to be 'fully there' when I'm using them in my art. You can add wings to them, shoes if you feel like it. You know what I mean. So these Red lead angels were perfect!

For the background I used the inside of plain ole' cardboard and painted with acrrylics and alcohol inks. (I was reminded about the inks this week when visiting Tim Holtz' blog to see his 12 Tags of Christmas posts. Every time I'm on his blog I remember I have alcohol inks languishing somewhere needing to be used.

I can now find things like floral wire (already wrapped in green), plastic lightbulbs, beads and crepe paper; all that I used on this project! Oh, can't forget the glitter glue of course!

GIVEAWAY: Just for fun and since it's the first of December, my favorite month, I'm going to give away one of the ornaments to a lucky respondent. Please post with a link to an Ornament making or Christmas gift project that you particularly enjoy, just found or have made (whether your design or someone elses)! I'll give you an additional entry for posting to your blog about this giveaway (please come back and tell me so I know.) Make sure you leave your email address if your post doesn't link to your blog. Good luck! I'll close this next Monday the 7th. (check back I might be inclined to give away more things for Christmas!)

Here's a couple of my favorite projects I've found: Ornaments, Topper, Garland, Tree Skirt.