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Monday, February 22, 2016

This That And That Other

Hello all, hope this finds you well.  I've been trying to work on a few things for our Mixed Media Studio group even though my muse has gone on a walk-about, swaps need to be sent out on time even when your creative mojo has disappeared into a deep black hole.

The first project is for a meandering book.  I'd never heard of such a beastie before this swap was proposed but it is a very cool concept!  I do believe that the original idea was conceived of by Susie Lafond.  The meandering book is composed of fabric pages, sewn together in a somewhat random and meandering pattern that then folds up accordion style into a little book.  We are sending our books out blank and then everyone who receives it over the next few months is going to decorate a page and send it on to the next person.  I have chosen the theme of Woodlands/Nature for my book and did a little embellishing on the 'cover' of my book to get things started.

I will add much more to the cover when I get it back but didn't want to add any dimensional embellishments quite yet as this book will be traveling all over the U.S. for the next 7 months!  I decided to paint a 'frame' around each of my pages with acrylic paint (mostly to keep the muslin from fraying any further) and also used Distress Ink dyed seam binding to sew my pages together.  The pattern instructions said to use a zig-zag stitch to join the pages but my sewing machine's zig-zag capabilities have bit the dust so I had to improvise.  Here's a peek at the inside pages (they are unadorned right now but will be filled with lovely art when I get it back!)

This is just a portion of the book, there are 8 pages all together but I ran out of room to open it up more!  I can't wait to see it when it returns, there are 7 of us involved in the swap, so it will not return till September as we are sending the books we receive on their merry way at the beginning of each month.  I'll be sure to show it to you once I get it back.

And the second swap was a 'Mystery Swap' proposed by one of our group's founders Kathie.  We had to sign up sight unseen, not knowing what the swap was going to entail which made for a bit of fun!  Kathie then sent all who signed up pieces of laminate counter top samples (like you get at the hardware store) and challenged us to alter them into book covers which we would then send to a swap partner.  Once we get the covers from our swap partners, we are then going to make a book with them, the binding and contents of said book being totally up to us.

I did struggle with this as my muse is nowhere to be found but after putzing about with bits of this and that finally came up with something I quite like (and hopefully my swap partner will too!).  I covered the samples with some of Tim Holtz's Melange tissue wrap, scrunching it up here and there, and then added some dried flower petals and gave the whole thing a wash with Buttermilk acrylic paint followed by a wash of Ground Espresso Distress paint.  I added some micro beads in amongst the dried petals and then scattered some gold star confetti about.  A paper flower from my stash was added next along with some flat pearls and finally I added a Tim Holtz Fragment, aged with alcohol inks around the edges, that had a Graphic45 Botanical Tea bird stamp adhered behind it.

I did two covers very similarly, so my swap partner can decide which they'd like to place on the front of their book.

The backs of the tiles are covered with some papers from Graphic 45's Botanical Tea collection and the tiles are edged with Archival ink.

So that is it for now, I have several first of the month projects that I need to get cracking on but it is a struggle right now to do anything creative.  We have just had to make the very painful and sad decision to have our dear Sass put to sleep, she has been dealing with liver failure for nearly a year now and a week ago her poor body just couldn't do it anymore.  It has been doubly hard to deal with her passing as we lost her beautiful big brother Boston in November of last year and we were still grieving his loss.

They were the lights of our lives, our kids and my heart is shattered into a million pieces.  We still have our sweet Haley who has been an amazing comfort to us, she is so empathetic and runs to sit with my hubby and myself when our grief overcomes us.  Rest in peace my sweet pups, I will remember and love you forever.

Deb xo


  1. Oh Deb, I am so sorry about the loss of your beloved pets.To lose two dogs in such a short time. I love my cat, but I think the bond with a dog is even stronger. Thinking of you.
    Love the idea of the meandering book,m and your swap pal will love that cover.
    Judy x

  2. So sorry to hear of the loss of Sass. Our two dogs of 16 years, both rescues, died within minutes of each other. Gracie watched over Twinkie until Twinkie breathed her last, then she tried to "shake hands" and she, too, left us. Companion animals are so precious. Our Sophie is the light of our lives, and our little cats too. I know Boston and Sass were in good hands and loving hands with you.

  3. I'm sorry too. You've had a rough winter. Hang in there! Your projects are great! I'd hate to wait until Sept for the book to return. Hope you show it then.

    1. P.S. Forgot to mention I like your new banner. Neat!

  4. So sad for the passing of your pups. It was a long time before I could get past the passing of my sweet cat...who acted more like a dog.

    I love your meandering book! It looks amazing and the whole idea of it sounds wonderful! The counter top book covers are also quite an interesting project idea. Even without much muse, the covers look great.

  5. Your book is beautiful Debs and it looks like you put a lot of work into it. I find I'm very distracted though, by the devastating news about Sass!! I can't even imagine the pain you must be going through right now, I'm just so sorry to hear about this! I'm sending big healing hugs to you my friend :)

  6. Sorry to here about Sass. It's always a difficult decision.

  7. Wonderful creations. So sorry to hear of your loss - it's always a difficult decision to make. xx

  8. I'm with you, Deb on the lack of muse. Hang in there and keep busy! Your projects are fantastic! So very sorry to hear about your sweet doggies. So sad. My heart is with you. <3

  9. The book is wonderful...great design and layers!

  10. First Deb - I am SO sorry for the loss of your wonderful comanions - we have 2 sister cats right now - but I always used to have dogs - and it is always a terrible loss when one leaves your family - but that certainly means they were well loved and loved back! Your books are so cool - I love the cloth one and how it opens and your covers are beautiful on the tiles - what a fun and interesting swap - especially because you will get someone elses art back along with yours! I'd say you broke through your loss of mojo with these creative projects! Julia xx

  11. So sorry about your loss Deb. I feel the same way about my sweet Peke Annie. She passed from kidney failure almost 2 years ago and I'm still grieving. I think about her everyday. Your projects are beautiful BTW.

  12. Oh I am so sorry for your loss. Dogs are more than just pets, they are faithful friends and family members and their passing is always heartbreaking.

    Love both of your projects. That book is really cool I like the idea of several different people adding their work to it.

  13. So sorry to hear about the loss of Sass, especially after Boston. I know there are no words of comfort that I can give you but your Haley clearly understands, I really hope she provides you with some comfort.

    I don't think your mojo has gone very far, your book covers are all beautiful, I especially love the cloth book, the Birch trees look amazing! Take care my friend. Hugs, Anne xx

  14. Oh, Deb - my heart goes out to you and your family over the loss of beloved pets.... I am dreading the same thing this year, but know time does go on and new relationships are built. I am glad Haley and your family can comfort each other, as I am sure she is also at a loss. Wish I could hug you all!

    I've not heard of this type of project - very intriguing, and I love what you've done! How fun to see what everyone ends up doing as well.... and I love your swap covers - again, what a fun project. You've covered your mojo's absence brilliantly, I'd say!!

    And thanks for the tip on the distress pen nibs - I would have never figured that out, lol!

    xxx Lynn

  15. I'm so so sad and sorry to hear you've had to say goodbye to your second beloved dog. So hard for you and for Haley too - but I'm glad that you have each other.

    I love the fabric meandering book (never heard of those either!) - and the flower covers are simply enchanting.

    Having lots of trouble getting and staying online - but hope to have a few minutes this time...
    Alison x

  16. It's so heartbreaking when we say to goodbye to one of our darling fur kids, my thoughts are with you at this sad time and sending hugs your way.
    Your fabric book and covers, wow....what a super idea and so beautifully made as always.
    Julie x

  17. Loving your projects and especially the little book but was sad to read of your loss. I know how much Sass and Boston must have meant to you and you need to remember all the good things that you did together and then maybe a new friend will come into your life though of course they can never take the place of those you've lost. Angela xXx

  18. Your swap partners are going to be thrilled with these wonderful creations Deb. Such creative designs and not an easy task at all when you are grieving the loss of your baby. Sass and Boston will both be greatly missed.

    I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
    I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.
    I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
    "It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

    I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
    You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
    I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.
    I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

    I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
    I want to re-assure you, that I'm not lying there.
    I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
    I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said " it's me."

    You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
    I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
    It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
    To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
    You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew...
    In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

    The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning
    and say "good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
    And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
    I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
    I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

    Be patient, live your journey out...then come home to be with me.

    Author ~ Sammie Klaehn

    Deb, I know how much it means to lose your fur baby. May my fur baby "Raj" meet your fur babies at the Rainbow Bridge and help them across. They will be forever remembered. Huge hugs and hugs to you. ~Niki

  19. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet pups. I am sending you a big hug ~


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