Thursday, May 31, 2012

bookmark swap

I'm in a swap at Splitcoast - pick-a-theme bookmarks. How pick-a-theme (aka PAT) works: there are five people in a group, each person chooses a theme in which they'd like the other four people to create for them. I chose "dogs at play", so I'll receive four different dog bookmarks. It's fun to see how people interpret the theme in their own way.

Here are the ones I made. Click on the photo to see details better.

Steampunk: I used the Tim Holtz Steampunk stamp set, stamped the men on vellum; used some copper tape and made faux rivets (little blobs of glue under the tape); the embossed gears at the bottom were metal charms that I ran thru my Cuttlebug with a piece of craft metal (my poor Cuttlebug!).

Botanical: I used an older SU stamp set called Botanicals (of course!). Sewed some seam binding ribbon around the edges. You can't see it, but I also clear embossed a weedy stamp (not part of the set) around one section - just gives it a little texture and interest.

Lilacs: I tried a transfer (using an image I found online) onto fabric (where you stick the inkjet image down with gel medium, wait for it to almost dry, then rub off the paper). The lilacs - the most important part of the bookmark - turned out faded looking. I did a quick fix by going over them with a watercolor pencil. The little sticky-out bit of ribbon that says "joy" is actually a baby-theme ribbon I got in a grab bag that says "bundle of joy". Sewed the fabric onto the bookmark.

Shabby & chic: I'm not thrilled with this bookmark. I used an old SU set - I think called See with the Heart. Cut out the bits, sponged a little ink on them, used a shimmery paint on the flowers. Trimmed it up with some lace and pearls. This one is going to haunt me because the person I made it for always does amazing, artsy work.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

letter box

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I'll be teaching a class at Your Stamping Cottage on how to make a box that looks like a stack of envelopes. It's easier than it looks. Just a little time consuming. A while back I had some friends to the house to make this box and we had a great time. Brad had the terrific idea of using it as a gift card holder for a wedding gift - use the wedding colors inside the box, and address the envelope to the couple.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

handsome kid

Mike's band (all the kids who weren't seniors) played Pomp and Circumstance at the high school graduation ceremony over the weekend. He looks so handsome all dressed up. Love the floral tie we found at Goodwill.

I do have a few paper projects I'll post soon. My letter box class is coming up next week, and I've been working on card samples for a "Christmas in July" class at Your Stamping Cottage.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

that's a lotta fur for sure

It's time for the annual shaving of the beast. When we got Addie (from the shelter), she had short, wiry hair. Over the next few years she changed slowly. Her tail started getting fluffier. Then she grew a long patch of hair down her back, like a really long mohawk. Then she had long hair all over. She is very scraggly, and when it gets warm she looks very uncomfortable, so Jim started giving her the clipper treatment once a year. She still has long-ish hair, just more under control.

Here she is running around after her haircut.

Here's Ricky saying, "me too", I want some attention!

Monday, May 14, 2012

mother's day

Yesterday was Mother's Day. We talked to Jim's mom Joan - she's an amazing lady. She's 92, and just recently had to stop driving. Although she's not been in the best of health lately, she still has her sense of humor and warmth. We love her dearly.

My guys took me out to breakfast (before Jim had to go to work). And then I spent the rest of the day working on class samples and relaxing. Mike made me a wonderful gift. He took an old engineering book and turned it into this piece of art. I'm thinking I'll keep it laying down and use it as an ATC display - just tuck them between the pages. But it looks so pretty upright, I might just have to hang it on the wall.

Me, Mike and Addie, hanging out on Mother's Day:

Friday, May 11, 2012

fun with embossing

Playing around with some gifts from friends. Phyllis gave me this absolutely gorgeous stamp set from Artistic Outpost (I kind of won it for a silly comment I made on a photo....). Marian gave me some silver Cloisonne granules from Stampa Rosa - it's a chunkier embossing powder. She showed me a really cool technique - sprinkle some on your project and heat from underneath to create a spray of shiny dots (see close-up pic below). When Marian did it, she had a much more delicate look; on my first try I was more heavy-handed with the granules. I'll get better at it. It appears this particular product is no longer available for sale, but the larger granules reminded me of UTEE, so I tried the same technique with some gold UTEE I have and it worked just fine! (UTEE = Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel; readily available)

For these cards, I stamped the image with black StazOn onto a thick vellum, then added color to the back side - marker for the house and sponged Distress inks around. Then I sprinkled the embossing powder on the front side and heated from underneath (silver on right-hand card, gold on the left). The frames are cut with Nestabilities dies, and the punch is from Stampin' Up.

Monday, May 7, 2012

more music

Mike's jazz band played at a high school jazz festival recently. Awesome day - those kids sounded terrific. They also played at an awards ceremony at school (more on that later). What surprises me is how many kids switch instruments between symphonic band, jazz band and marching band. For example, my kid plays clarinet in the symphonic band, tenor sax in the jazz band, and in a couple of months he'll be in the marching band drum line. But that happens all the time... the bass clarinetist plays jazz flute, the flute player switches to jazz piano, another clarinet player marched tuba last season, and there are many more.... I think it's wonderful they have the opportunity to spread their wings musically in a public school. Yay, Mr. P.!

Mike's also in a clarinet choir at Northern Kentucky University. Beautiful music! And quite a diverse group - they range in age from 14 to 70.

OK, since I'm in mom bragging mode here. Mike has received some end-of-school-year awards. They had a ceremony at school last week. He was on the All-A Honor Roll. He also was awarded Outstanding Student in his Modern History class, and also in his English Honors class.

Also last week (whew, busy week!) was the band banquet. In addition to recognizing the kids for all the honor bands they took part in, or making all-state, etc., the teacher selected the Outstanding Bandsman for each grade. And Mike won for the Freshman class! We (as always) are so proud of him!

Edited to add: On the last day of school Mike came home with another certificate - Outstanding Student in his Honors Science class. There had been a mix-up with the awards, and his name was called with the Juniors.