Friday, August 29, 2014

And The Swaps Continue

Hello everyone, where in the heck has this week disappeared to?  Friday already and the last long weekend of the summer is about to begin.  In typical fashion, it is raining and cold here .. how is it that the weather always seems to go south whenever a long weekend is about to begin?!

I received more swap goodies in the mail this week and wanted to share them with you.  The first was another TP roll album page for the photo album we are putting together, this one is from Karen.

It doesn't show up very well in the photo's but she has added so many lovely little bits of bling everywhere, the page just sparkles!  I love it Karen, thank you so much.

And I also received my altered initial this week, I don't know if you remember this swap or not but the initial I made for my swap partner can be seen in this post here.  And here is the altered initial that my swap partner, Debbie, sent to me:

It is truly beautiful and believe it or not, it is also a music box that plays 'Lara's Theme' from the movie 'Dr. Zhivago'!  The details are astounding, the more I look at it, the more I see.  Thank you so much Debbie, it is a very special piece and I will always treasure it.

I've been working away on my mystery challenge piece and it's now clear where we are going with it, it is going to be a spooky Hallowe'en castle bwa-ha-ha-ha!

The tower is made from a Pringles can and the portcullis is a bread crumb container.  I have to admit that I got carried away and covered the outside of the castle, added my windows and my door frame before I was supposed to, so I'm hoping that there will not be an intermediate step that I have now totally mucked up!  I can see that I am going to have some difficulty joining the portcullis to the tower since I've already covered both surfaces with my rock wall paper, so I'm thinking I will have to add a couple of smaller towers on each side of the portcullis to disguise where it joins the main tower.  But I got cutting and gluing and what's done is done and I'll deal with any future difficulties as they arise.  I don't think that I will get it completed before we leave on holidays so you are going to have to wait to see the finished creation until after we get back.  Sorry for the tease!

And speaking of holidays, we've got the motorhome up and running and are about to start stocking her up for our annual camping trip.  My DH's holidays don't start for a while yet but the time will fly by so it's time to get a move on.  We're heading back to one of our favourite lakes to fish and relax and are praying to the Weather Gods that we get a lot more summer before fall decides to set in.  It's not looking good right now so hopefully our pleas will be heard soon!  I'll be back to say 'bye for now' before we go and until then, happy creating my friends!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Steampunk Dirigible Bird Finish

Hello, hope you are all well.  We've been busy canning the bounty from my FIL's garden this week; dill pickles, stewed tomatoes, bread and butter pickles, salsa ... it is going to be a very tasty winter around here!  We are about to start on our last batch of salsa so thought I'd make a quick post before we get to chopping.

I finally finished up my altered bird for one of the challenges at the Mixed Media Studio.  I had shown you the dirigible I'd made in this post here, but the project came to a grinding halt after that.  I'm not sure why that happens, sometimes I just get stuck and either can't (or don't want to!) carry on with a project.  In the end I think it comes down to a fear of failure, I have a vision in my mind of what I want to create and am afraid I won't be able to make it come to life.  But in the end, you'll never know if you can do it unless you try so I finally gave myself the proverbial 'kick in the pants' and got to finishing it!

Since I had the industrial steam punk feeling going on with the dirigible, I decided to make my bird in the same theme.  He is constructed of muslin painted with gesso and acrylic paints and I used some brown florists tape to make the straps for his goggles and his 'harness'.

I added some vintage 'Par Avion' stickers to the dirigible since he is indeed 'going by air'!

And I also finished the spooky tree for our Mystery Challenge, as Lisa said in a comment on a previous post, this mystery challenge is mysteriously mysterious LOL!

It's made from a wire armature coated with Sculpty clay which I then painted with acrylic paint.  The next stage of the Mystery Challenge is going to be released today sometime so I'll post pics as the project progresses.  Still not sure what the final construct will be but it's fun building the bits and bobs and imagining how they are all going to go together.

So that's it for now, time to get peeling and seeding tomatoes and cutting up veggies for our salsa.  Have a great weekend everyone and happy creating (or canning as the case may be!).


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Swapping Happy Mail

Good evening everyone, hope you had a lovely day.  It was a beautiful sunny day here in B.C. after a night of incredible thunder and lightening storms, what a light show!  We got a little rain and lots of wind but nothing too serious.  I love me a good thunderstorm and when they occur at night it's even more spectacular than usual.  Unfortunately The Queen is deathly afraid of thunder so she had a rough night but is back to her usual royal self today :O)

I got some wonderful happy mail today from a couple of my swap partners at the Mixed Media Studio, yipee!  I received the first of the toilet paper roll album pages that will be going into an album we are going to construct, using these swapped pages.  If you missed the toilet paper roll pages I made to send to the others in the swap, you can find them here, here and here.  The page I received today was from Jan.

It is so pretty!  Love the rolled fabric rose and all the beautiful butterfly embellishments and papers :O)  I can't wait to receive the others; there will be 8 pages in total, including one I made for myself.  Thanks so much Jan!

And the second happy mail parcel was for the cuff bracelet swap, you can see the one I made for the swap here.  My partner was Ceil and she made the most wonderful cuff for me!

Just take a look at the intricate braiding and embellishing that she did:

I adore it Ceil, thank you so much!

After I opened my lovely packages, I went back to work on the two remaining challenges that I have to complete for this quarter.  I got my altered bird base coated, so with any luck I will be able to get him painted and put together with the other elements I am using in the next couple of days.  I also finished my spooky tree for our ongoing Mystery challenge; it is constructed of Sculpty clay on a wire armature.  I tried to take a picture but the light was not cooperating this evening so I'll try again tomorrow, it is very spooky looking bwa-ha-ha-ha!  I also made a teeny tiny witches hat and a scary crow for the project ... we are waiting for the release of the next component instructions to see how this is all going to come together, it is very mysterious indeed!  I'll post pictures as it progresses, it's fun trying to figure out what the final piece is going to be!

Hope that you all have a great evening and I'll be back shortly with some more pictures as my projects progress.  Happy creating everyone!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hand Lettered ATC's

Hello, hope you are all having a lovely Sunday.  The weather has smartened up here a bit and it is warm and mostly sunny today, yay!

I finished my ATC's for this months swap at our Mixed Media Studio, the theme this month was 'Hand Lettering'.  We could use any words or phrases that we wanted but they had to be hand lettered by ourselves.  The first ATC I did was one showcasing the name of our Mixed Media Studio group, which is 'K & C and the Sunshine Girls'. The 'K & C' are for the owners of the group, Kathie and Cherie, and the rest of us are the 'Sunshine Girls' :O)

Initially I was going to use my felt pens or distress markers to colour the ATC but  then decided to paint it using Distress Ink and the Tim Holtz water brush.  I'd not tried that technique before but now I am in LOVE!  The colouring, shading and gradation you can get is amazing and it is super easy.  Just dab some Distress Ink onto your craft sheet, load your water brush with some ink and start painting.

For the second ATC I decided to hand letter the inspirational phrase 'Do what you love'.  It is my mantra these days as I am blessed to be able to make art each and every day, which is definitely what I love to do :O)

I used the same watercolour technique with Distress Ink for this one too, you can see the amazing gradation you can get with one brush load of DI in the tiny hearts on the bottom.  The top heart is the first application and then they gradually fade to a paler colour as the DI gets diluted with more water from the water brush.  Magic!!  (And makes you look like you know what you are doing with no effort at all ;O)

My hand lettering was inspired by several talented folks, I watched a video by MadeByMarzipan:

and by Joanne Fink:

And then also used some of the techniques that I learned while taking Stephanie Ackerman's 'A Whole New Doodle' Ecourse.

Give hand lettering a try, it seems very daunting at first but it's fun once you get going.  And definitely give the Distress Ink watercolouring a go, so fun!  Have a great Sunday everyone and happy creating!