Thursday, November 20, 2014

World Blog Hop

Hello everyone, as I mentioned in my last post, the very talented Jules of Needle and Pen tagged me in the World Blog Hop that she was participating in.  Thanks so much for the tag Jules and here is my contribution to this fun hop!

Question One: What am I working on?

With the Christmas season just around the corner, Christmas projects have been top of my list for the last month or so.  I've made primitive projects like this Christmas crow door hanger:

and also mixed media ornaments and small Christmas gifts, like this upcycled canning lid Christmas ornament:

Halloween and Christmas are my favourite holidays to create for.

Question Two: How does my work differ from others of it's genre?

I pondered long and hard on this question, what is it that makes my work unique?

I don't know that I have a definitive answer, other than to say that we ALL put our own stamp on every thing that we create.  I make crafting patterns as well as finished products:

and it has always fascinated me that the items folks make from my patterns are all different.  It's the same pattern, the same directions, yet each and every creation is distinctive to it's maker.  So perhaps the answer to that question is that there is a part of me that goes into each item I make, and it is something that no one else can ever duplicate, no matter how hard they try.

Question Three: Why do I create what I do?

I create what I do because I can't NOT create LOL!  Every waking moment (and often in the middle of the night!) my mind is whirling with possibilities and ideas and I feel a compulsion to bring my imaginings into the light.

I've recently discovered the world of mixed media through a wonderful online group called the Mixed Media Studio and the creative possibilities are now truly endless.

Question Four:  How does my creating process work?

My inspirations come from just about everywhere; Mother Nature is one of my favourite muses

and viewing the work of all the amazing and talented artisans on the internet will always get my creative juices flowing.  My process is very unstructured, I will have an idea and immediately start to put pencil to paper to draw up a quick pattern or will simply gather elements and supplies and lay them out (everywhere!) as I start to construct my idea.  If I get stalled, I will often make word lists and try and combine them in unusual and unexpected ways to spark an inspiration.

So that's my contribution to the blog hop, thanks again to Jules for tagging me and letting me share a little about myself.  And this is also the point where I am to tag some fellow creators and direct you on to their blogs,but so far I haven't been able to find anyone who'd like to participate :O(  I'd love to tag YOUR blog, so please, if you are interested in participating in this blog hop, let me know in your comment or send me an email (the link is on the right side bar near the top) and I will be happy to direct folks your way.  Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by today and happy creating!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Little Christmas Bling

Hello everyone, apologies (again!) for not posting lately but to be honest, I haven't had a darn thing to show you!  I've been struggling with my current projects and had to set them aside for a time ... it was either that or chuck them out LOL!   I don't know about you, but when I get frustrated with a project I have to just walk away for awhile and then (hopefully) come back refreshed and ready to tackle it again.  So in the interim I've been working on some mixed media Christmas ornaments.

These first two ornaments were inspired by Nancy Maxwell James' 'Very Vintage Christmas' tutorials that she so generously shared with us last December.  This first ornament I made is a pretty faithful rendition of her 'Silver Holly Bunting Ornament'.

The background typography is courtesy of Magic Moonlight Studio as is the child's image, isn't she lovely?  The holly is from The Graphics Fairy; I changed it into a sepia image and then covered it with Pumice Stone distress glitter and some stick-on 'jewels'.  Nancy had added lovely mother of pearl buttons to her banner but since I didn't have any, I used ordinary white buttons and added some of the 'jewel' stick-ons to them.  A little silver Stickles was added around the child's image and to the edge of the banner and then I used a silver tinsel stem for a hanger.  Tea Stain distress ink was used to age all of the images before combining them, love it!

The second ornament was inspired by Nancy's 'Merry Little Christmas Tag'.

I changed it up a bit from Nancy's idea by adding mine onto a chipboard backing covered with an image from the Crafty Secrets 'Vintage Christmas' CD.  I then added the tree tag (courtesy of The Graphics Fairy) that had a piece of aged and stained muslin tied onto it.  The vintage sheet music star, courtesy of Call Me Victorian, was added next and I then layered on a vintage 'Christmas Spices' label made by Lynne Farr.  I distressed the label by tearing the edge and curling up the corners.  The little angel from my image stash was cut out using a Spellbinders 'Nestabilities' Label die and I covered the embossed edge of the image with silver Stickles.  The merry little Christmas ticket, courtesy of Miss Cutie Pie, was added next and then some Tim Holtz Ideaology 'Mirrored Stars' were added for a little more bling.  Everything has been edged with the Tea Stain distress ink again, since I can leave nothing undistressed!

And the final ornament I made came as a result of combing through my image stash.  As I searched for images to make the first two ornaments, I re-discovered images and templates that I had totally forgotten about.  Sad but true!  So here's a little matchbox ornament that I made, I think it is adorable!

I used the same typography image from Magic Moonlight Studio that I used in the first ornament, to make this tiny little matchbox using a template courtesy of Mirkwood Designs.  I then cut out a hole in the cover of the matchbox and mounted this adorable little Christmas fox image (courtesy of Lia Griffith) inside the matchbox.  I mounted the fox on a piece of fun foam to give it some dimension and covered the inside of the matchbox bottom with some vintage sheet music, courtesy of Altered Artifacts.  A tiny little TH Mirrored Star was glued onto the fox and I edged the opening with more silver Stickles.  I am obviously going to have to go through my image stashes more often because I love how this little cutie turned out!  I'm linking these Christmas ornaments with The Mirror Crack'd Challenge #3, Christmas Decorations.

So now I will hopefully be able to get back to my current projects for our Mixed Media Studio group, the 'What Do You See' pattern doll is slowly coming along:

I've stalled when it comes to dressing her though, the shape is making it most difficult!  But she is for a swap so I must get back to work as we've already been granted a week extension on mailing our creations and that new deadline is fast approaching.   Wish me luck!!

I will be back soon with a new post as I've been tagged by the oh so talented Jules of Needle and Pen in a Round The World blog hop.  We are to write of our work and creative process, so after I put my thinking cap on and try to come up with something intelligent, I will be back LOL!  I am to tag another artisan or two in my post, so if you'd be interested in joining this blog hop, please let me know so I can send folks on to your site.  Just leave a comment that you'd like to join in or send me an email (my email link is near the top on the right sidebar) and I'll be glad to tag you next :O)

Have a lovely weekend everyone and happy creating!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Quick Little Project

Happy hump day everyone!  Hope your week is going well.  It's been rainy and cloudy here with the occasional glimpse of the sun but no snow so I am not complaining!

I finished up some mug rugs for our Mixed Media Studio group's 'Christmas Gift A Week' challenge.  We've been challenged to create one quick and simple Christmas gift each week to get us ready for the upcoming holidays.  This week I decided to make some mug rugs using a tutorial that our team leader Kathie had posted on her blog (click here to go and view it).  After watching Kathie whip through constructing her mug rug I thought 'Well that looks easy' so off I went to peruse my fabric stash .... and that's when the trouble started!

I started to pull out fabrics, and then more fabrics, and then MORE fabrics ... if you are a quilter you have a good eye for which colours and patterns coordinate well, I am NOT a quilter!  Over an hour went by before I finally had the fabrics to make five mug rugs.  Then, I had to cut out six 5" squares to make each little mug rug.  Once again, if you are a quilter this would be a piece of cake for you but I am NOT a quilter!  I cut, I ironed, I cut again, I ironed again, I laid out the mug rugs, I realized that they would be reversed when I turned them so I laid them out again, I sewed them, I trimmed them, I turned them and I ironed them again ... by the time all was said and done over six hours had passed and I FINALLY had five mug rugs completed.  I was exhausted!!

I do have to admit that by the time I was putting number five together that things were going much more smoothly and that if I ever decide to make more of them (which at this point in time is highly UNlikely :O) that they'd go together quicker.  As is true for every new endeavour that you attempt, there is a steep learning curve.  And to all you quilters out there, I am even more in awe of your talents and patience than I was before!  These little guys are very simple and uncomplicated compared to what you do, I can't even begin to imagine trying to make a full size bed quilt!!

So that was my quick and easy Christmas Gift Of The Week for this week, ha!  Not sure what I'll be doing for next week but I'm pretty darn sure it will not involve any sewing :O)

And speaking of sewing, I received my 'What Do You See' pattern from Norma for another of our Mixed Media Studio groups swaps.  Norma doodles up these amorphous shapes and then we are to make something from the pattern (without altering it) depending upon what we see in the shape.

What do you see?  I've got the pattern sewn and stuffed and have started on my vision, can't show you pics yet since I don't know if my swap partner wants to be surprised or not by what I create, but I'll post pictures when I can :O)

I also have a shoe in mid transformation, take a peek at this blog post here to see what Kathie did with hers.  Wonderful right?!  Mine is still in the early stages but will post a picture of it when I'm done.  Who knew you could alter a shoe?!

Must get off the computer and start to clean up the 500 pieces of fabric I pulled yesterday when making those mug rugs!!  Have a great rest of the week and happy creating!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Falling Back

Hey-ho friends, happy Sunday to you all!  Did you remember to set your clocks back last night?  I always love the 'fall back' time change since we get an extra hour of shut eye, not such a big fan of the 'spring forward' part of that equation :O)  And it seems that the clocks are not the only thing falling back around here, I've been falling back (or perhaps falling down!) in making posts here on the blog.  In my defense, I just spent a wonderful week away, visiting with my Mom and Dad; we had a great visit and I got to see my brother and his family and my Aunt as well which was an added bonus.  So I'll be traveling back in time in this post, getting you caught up on what I was up to before I headed out on my little mini vacay.

While I was away, our Old Farmhouse Gathering team's 'Brrrr! It's Cold' celebration started on Etsy:

I've taken a look at what my team mates have created for the celebration and as always everyone has outdone themselves!  If you want to get a head start on your Christmas shopping, click here to find lots of winter and Christmas items for giving (or getting!) or search BICOFG on Etsy.

As I had already finished the four new items I made for the 'Brrrr! It's Cold' celebration, I had some time before I left to make up a couple of new Christmas ornaments to list in my Etsy shop as well.  The first was a little 'Jingle Angel' ornament:

She has tiny little jingle bells haloing her head, heart buttons and a candy cane in her pocket embellished with glitter.  Her wings are made from heavy weight cardstock that are also accented with glitter.

The second ornament I made was a Santa Claus ornament, I love his frayed muslin beard, hair and mustache!

He has a pinch stitched nose, hand painted features and he's been dusted with a generous coating of real German glass glitter to shine in the lights of the Christmas tree.  Both of them are available in my Etsy shop if you are interested.

I also finished up two ATC's for our Mixed Media Studio group, the theme this month was 'Magazine Clippings' which I found to be rather challenging; a collage artist I am not!  So hopefully these two will fill the bill for our swap.

I am now working on an altered shoe for another one of our group challenges as well as waiting on a pattern so I can get to work on a 'What Do You See' swap.  We are supplied with a pattern for an amorphous shape that we are to make into a doll or ornament for our swap partners and what we send will depend upon what we see in the pattern shape.  The only rule is that we can't alter the pattern ... this should be interesting!  We have other swaps and challenges in the works as well so I will post pictures as I work my way through them.

So that's it for now, think I've managed to catch up with everything I'd let 'fall back' while I was away.  I'm slowing making my way around to your blogs, everyone has been very busy posting away, I had over 200 new blog posts to read on my Bloglovin reading list!  I promise to visit you all soon and will be back here too when I've some new makes to share.  Have a great week everyone and happy creating!