Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hello WOYWW -ers

Another Wednesday, with Christmas just 3 more wake-ups away! I've put the finishing touches on the Tim tags/gifts for my 5 nieces and 1 nephew. Thought I would post them for you to see tonight. No, the kids aren't going to peek. Nor will their parents. After all, teenagers don't read blogs by their crafty auntie. 

Hop over to Julia's Stamping Ground and have a look-see at work desks around the world. There are some very talented and ultra wonderful people with really cool things going on. I highly recommend you turn on the Christmas music and grab a cup of cocoa to enjoy as you hop about the world.

First, a very merry Christmas to all. Second, a very happy New Year. May you have health, happiness and enough of what you need.

On with the show and a little bit of tell. Here you see one of the 12 tags of Christmas directed by none other than Tim Holtz. After adapting his tag (faith) I origami-ed some money (butterfly) and glued it on the back. Actually, I didn't glue the cash to the back of the tag, just the pipe cleaner body. 
 Next I used my new Stampotique stamps with Prismacolor pencils, and cut out the image. I distressed inked the edges and mounted it on distress inked and stamped card stock. I love, love, love the holiday background stamp (stampotique, too.) Isn't this dear the cutest thing!

 These are the finished gift packages. Card on top, tag and origami-ed money inside. And to think it took soooooo long to get to this point. For just 6 kids. Nothing for the adults and gasp! nothing, nothing, nothing yet for St. Donald. Yikes, I better do something quickly as we leave Thursday, yes, in just a few short hours, for Indianapolis, IN - Christmas at mom's - age 82 and going strong. I don't know what to get him - he gets what he wants or needs throughout the year and has all the electronics, gadgets, golfballs and golf clubs a man could want. To top it all off, he doesn't believe in gift lists. It couldn't be more maddening! sigh

Past years' gift for him haven't gone so well, at least 4 returned items; the idea of and A-Z Christmas fell flat. I bought him gifts that started with the letters a-z, for example, ABCE were children's Erasers in the shapes of A-B-C clever, right? Wrong. Evidently there were too many packages to open or something. I had fun putting it together, I guess that in itself is a kind of a gift.

As I write this I'm kinda feelin' like this guy...

but then I jest.  I choose to wait for more snow to fall and enjoy the Christmas tree and lights on the houses around town.  Remember....
Be sure to make something fun. ...and to all a good-night!  


Monday, December 20, 2010

Hey there, hi there, ho there!

I'll explain this photo at the end of today's post. But I just had to pique your curiosity. 
 The first of the holiday's guests have come and gone. St. Donald and I are dad and mom to 7 international exchange students. Because they are so far away we are lucky that the youngest of the crew, Ghufran age 20, lives in Toronto now. He is in his 3rd year at Ryerson University and is originally from Afghanistan. 
There is a long version and a longer version of his saga. In short, he came here when he was 16 for a year of high school and then returned to Afghanistan to his family and to start college. Unfortunately, he and his family received threats and G (Ghufran) wanted very much to return to the States to be safe. A resourceful young man and entrepreneur, G managed to get an invitation to be a counselor at an international youth conference that was held in Washington DC. He had done this once prior to leaving the states and found the experience wonderful and enriching, thus he wanted to do it again.
 We made arrangements for him to come "home" to Buffalo to spend a week with us in August before he planned to return to Afghanistan. Just before our visit was up, he skipped the Canadian border to seek political refugee status. Can you imagine any 17 year old that you know who might be willing to give up everything and start over in another culture and country?  So this is where he went to high school and has lived on his own for the last 4 years. For those doing the math, he'll be 21 in April. So that's the short version.  
 He came from Toronto to Ft. Erie, Ontatio, Canada by bus on Friday afternoon. The it is always better for either the St. Don or me to go pick him up and go through U.S. Customs with G than for him to go alone. It's always best to have a sponsor in his situation. 
 So at Customs we do the usual routine, pull up to the booth, turn off the car, hand over our documents and car keys and wait for 2 armed Homeland Security folks to come escort G into the building. A hour and a half and many questions and statements later, we are free to go and on our merry way to Christmas in Orchard Park. Yippee! I'm still in the short version.
  He spent 2 night here in his own bed: friends to see, lunches and dinners with former teachers, bowling, movies and laughter. G left today on the next leg of his journey - off to NYC and then San Diego, California for Christmas, then the reverse again on January 2nd back to Toronto. I promise this is the short form!
 Then straight away off he will go to Prague for a 10 day international youth conference. Remember I said he was an entrepreneur? He found scholarships, donations and matching funds to cover the $3,000 cost of the trip. This and manage a straight A average in his courses.
 Not only am I proud of his accomplishments, I am in awe of his ability to set and reach his goals. More proud momma details in another post.
 This in short is why I haven't done any crafting of late. Now to the explanation of the above photo. Tonight I did manage to do some origami folding of cash-ola, moolah, bucks, dollar bills as gifts for the nieces and nephew. a necktie, a heart and butterflies. I'll tape these to the back of the tags I made a couple weeks back and voilà, gifts will be finished. We don't go in for all the rushing, buying, wrapping and spending. There is already enough to do for the holiday food and guests.
 Tomorrow I'll explain my families silly and simple method of gift exchange...it's inexpensive and fun. Until then, make something fun, If you can't craft, then make a smile! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WOYWW - go see Julia and her friends

I forgot to send you over to see Julia Dunnit's Stamping Ground to join in the fun blog hop of WOYWW. Enjoy the ride!

Wake up - it's WOYWW & tags#6, 7, 10 & 12

Phew! I've been tagging like a madwoman to complete Tim's 12 tags of christmas and forgot to post what I've done. Has that ever happened to you? Yeah, I thought so. 

So I slept until noon today (fighting another 2 day migraine) and thought I'd better march on and get these goodies posted to share with you. This is the aftermath of the 12 tags of Christmas! Stuff everywhere on the desk and floor, too There is a little clear space on the craft mat for some new projects tomorrow.

 Here' my next love...some sweet holiday stamps from Stampotique. I've ignored them since they arrived, but now they will be the center of my universe. 
 I'm not very good at doing original things, but I'll consider using some of Tim's techniques as a jumping off point to make a little something extra. 

 Here are my tags #10 and #12. Improv and -ish were the name of the game since I didn't have the snowman die or the corners for the Joy card. I also failed to read and follow directions for the snowman, pretty typical of my impatience to finish something I think is cool. I continue to work on patience as a virtue!
Tags #6 and #7 turned out well. I love the texture fade technique, but that was the easiest part of the poinsettia tag. Pretty labor intensive. But I'd do it again in a heart beat. A little PS here, I've decided not to do #8 since I don't have any  of the materials. I'll try to do an -ish post after the holidays.

Since I was a couple days late and a dollar short I was completing 2 and a half tags per day to catch up. Oh yeah, I had that cold thingy that laid me low for several days.  St. Donald was doing sudoku and watching movies while I played tag. We're compatible like that - each has own interests and we don't mind being alone while being together. 

I shipped off a box of tags to the mother for her Advent card surprises and brought a couple more to Charlie in her new assisted living home. 

Yesterday was another lake effect blizzard here, but being the good Buffalonian that I am, I drove to Canada for the monthly appointment chez la coiffeuse. The hair is now ready for holidays in Indianapolis with the fam. Driving was somewhat dangerous, but then loyalty to one's hairdresser is more important, just drive slowly on the most traveled highways. The Queen Elizabeth Way was closed, so I took the scenic route, what I could see of it. lol  

That's about it for today, I do blather on, but at least it's in large print. rofl  Hope you've had time to make something fun. Warm hugs.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tags for all! and money's nice, too

I've been wondering what to give my teenage nieces and nephew for Christmas that is NOT a plastic gift card. Been there, done that, sooo over it. This is today's Tim tag #9 and I think I've found the answer.  Here's what happened in the atelier today

 Yep, I made a bunch of 'em. Each of the darlin' teens (the kids) will get one of these babies and on the back I'll tape an origami folded moolah: cold, crispy cash to spend as they wish. I chose a different saying for each of them. Mom gets the "Jul" (pronounce yule) tag since she is of Swedish descent (minus $$). There's one for Charlie, and two for me. Naw, just kidding. One for another dear friend, Rachel. I give them to her as I make them, sort of like an irregular advent calendar gift!

I did change up some of Tim's directions because I was doing so many...8 in all with one in the trash. I had to have something of an assembly line going. To make it easier to color the tags I used Wild Honey reinker with the heirloom gold perfect pearls spray on the craft mat instead of tapping the distress ink pad (wild honey and brushed corduroy.) This way I could dip the tag, dry it and move on quickly to the next tag. I had a really good rhythm going, too. And that glue gun was such a handy fellow. He'd been sitting in the drawer for over mumble mumble mumble years without ever being touched!

I love the honey color, warm & sunny. The kids can have the tag out or hang it up all year instead of being limited to Christmas.

Not having any pretty buttons kinda had me bummed, but got me to wondering what to use instead. D'ya know those old coins you've been saving as souvenirs? Well, I found a use for them. They are very cool and vintage to boot. Old French francs (well, duh yeah, I was a French teacher), Swedish and Norwegian kroner, British pence (one of the nieces was born in Basingstoke), Spanish pesetas, and a Russian ruble that came from out of nowhere! With a coin on the front then a couple of bucks taped on the back folded like butterflies or somethin' easy but eye-popping, that ought to keep the theme going.

I used grungeboard letters 'cuz I don't have the papercore or Tim's alphabet die. Painted 'em black, didn't sand them, just gave 'em a dollop of glossy accents to shine them up. Perfection was NOT in today's crafting vocabulary. It was not a labor intensive tag, which is why I enjoyed it so much. Another zen experience in the studio. ooooohmmmmm

Drop me a comment and let me know how you change some of the steps to simplify your art. You know me, I love to learn and share shortcuts to art! Hope you made something fun today.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WOYWW and Day 7 Tim tag

I must admit to having spent the entire day on the couch with aches, chills and laryngitis. Hence, no tag today. Don't even have energy to deck the tree. No matter, I still managed to find some bins of decorations. So, here are the pics. Top bin is pretend xmas gift boxes for under the tree! lol  Some boxes are so pretty that I can't bear to toss them. When they're under the tree it looks like there are lots of goodies! The middle bin is pine boughs for the banister and in the bottom one are the large ornaments I put in antique wash bowls on the hearth. I'll bring them all up from the basement storage room when I have a burst of energy.

On to WOYWW.  Hop over to Julia's here to see what's on work desks around the world. I've met some of the nicest, most wonderfully talented people from WOYWW! Thank you Julia, for letting us pop by for peeks and making new friends everywhere.

This is my attempt to get some words together for tomorrow when I tackle Tim's tag Day 7. Having time to think about alternative supplies is a good thing. Rummaging about in forgotten corners is fun and does not require great thought, just simple appreciation for what one does have.   
So dear friends, enjoy your trip about the countryside as you visit Julia's faithful followers! Hope you had a chance to make something fun!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Taggin as fast as I can...puff..puff..

Well folks, just when ya think you've caught up, Tim throws you a big curve ball that knocks you right off your chair in the atelier (studio, in french).  Since I did so well yesterday and this morning on Days 4 and 5 plus my banner, I'm calling off work on Day 6 for tonight. I'll just catch you up on my copy-cat tags.

why, you ask, does she make 2 or 3 or even 4 tags per day? Is it so she  a) can pick the best one for herself; b) throw away the worst one; c) practice techniques; or d) have extras to give away. your guess is as good as mine..... naw, it's e) all of the above.  I mentioned a while back that St. Donald and I try to go daily to visit a 90 year old friend in the nursing home. Everyday is not always easy, as some of you may know all too well. But when I can't go, I make an extra tag for Charlie and she adores them! Even posts them on her bulletin board. She is full of life experience that she shares freely. Tomorrow she'll get the blue day 4 Santa.

On to the banner hanging from the mantle. The size and scale work well and it doesn't look all gawdy like a 1960's aluminum xmas tree (I know, I know, they now cost and arm and a leg.)  I'll let you peek for yourself, welcome to the living room. I did finish the holiday banner. Not bad - 13 letters 'Happy Holidays' and it's not too long.
Let me try a different shot. Here's a close up of one panel. Three triangles per panel, one rosette with small circle on one side and large oval on the other, and the glitter paper letter on top! Thanks to Mona (paper queen at BSS) who did all the class prep work: cutting, embossing, punching (this I like to do!), more and more cutting. All I did was glue, tape, glitter me little heart out, wrestle with mini eyelets, tape some more, push ribbons through impossibly small eyelets and tie knots. I'm pretty good at this last one - it was such a relief to get to this point in the project. You're probably tired of my list by now. lol
Okay, it's off to bed for moi. Sleepy time, but no bed bugs for me!  I hope you had time to glue or cut or staple something creatively fun today!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sniff, sniff...No tags today

I spent yesterday at my lss, Buffal Stamps and Stuff, making a "happy holidays" banner. Whew, who knew there were so many steps to it. I'm such a neophyte that I didn't even think about the complexity in advance, just thought of how wonderful the final result would be!

The wonderful Mona did all the cutout and organization prep work in advance - an enormous undertaking for which we were all most grateful. Paper selection (Bo Bunny, I think), die cuts, ribbons, stickles, glue, glitter (and LOTS of it), and more supplies than I can remember as my head is still spinning from the fun we had. 

In any case I took some photos of her work so that I would be able to remember the final steps to finish mine We worked for at least 4 hours and I'll need maybe a few more to complete it. Hence, no Tim tags yesterday or today. 

But, you will see some of Mona's detailed and beautiful work. It are the piccies with her permission, but I don't feel comfortable sharing her directions without her okey dokey.  Sorry about the quality of the photos, but you'll get the idea if you make the pics larger.  Here is Mona's finished banner. I think you'll get some of the details if you click on the photo.The glitter on the rosettes behind each letter has a spectacular effect....you'll see.
Here is a close up of the beginning of the saying - Happy Holidays. Notice the eyelets and the effect of the red distressing ink and the red and gold bling on the letters and rosettes? Designing this was a labor of love that Mona enjoyed. Did I already sing her praises on her creativity and organization? Well, if I did, it still isn't enough to express the gratitude that all six of us in the class felt.

For each panel there are seven layers, but here you only see six. See how she used Tim Holtz's tiny attacher to connect the panels. I will need to lay out the panels so they have a slight curve to them before stapling and after that tie the ribbons to hide the staples.
I think it is ingenious and has such a impact. Can't wait to hang it on my beautiful 1889 mantle. The mantle was salvaged from a mansion in NYC that was being demolished, can you imagine! When my banner is done I'll post a photo for you.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share another peek at a corner of my house.  This is in the Yellow Guest Room - a collection of hat boxes and suitcases. Second from the bottom was my dad's briefcase that he carried for over 40 years as a professors at Butler University in Indianapolis. The green suitcase is one I picked up at an Amish barn sale in Shipshewana Indiana. It is a child's case that would accommodate toys and Amish dolls. Fifty cents, eat your hearts out bargain shoppers. rofl
Okay, enough blathering for now, I'm off to make sparkly goodness and then move on to Tim's tags. Hope you have a sunny day and that you make something fun! Hugs from beautiful snowy Buffalo, NY.

PS  Niagara Falls didn't get ANY snow during our storm this week. Such is the fickleness of the winds off Lake Erie! 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dec 4 - Tim tags Days 1 - 2 - 3

Have I ever been busy making tags! Just a quickie post tonight as I have 2 classes in the a.m. at my local stamp store. Each day I've been following along and making Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas. If you check here you'll see what Tim's look like and get the details on how to make your own.  Mine are somewhat different in that I don't have all the same supplies as Mr. Tim, but that's part of the beauty of doing this...creating something with what you already have in your own stash. 

Since a promised a quick note tonight here we go.  Tag #1 (I photographed this on an heirloom tablecloth)

Tag #2 (grandma's blue earring on the left)

 Tag # 3

 One more pic. Our Buffalo weather has been in the national news the past couple of days. Well, we knew the storm was coming, stocked up on food and t.p., and staying off the roads. Here's my favorite tree with snow on it. It's a Harry Lauder's walking stick. Very cool, n'est-ce pas? (you love when I toss in a little français!)
 So long for now. Be back with tag #4  Hope you made something fun today.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dec. 1 Already! WOYWW

Yippee, it's beginning to look a lot like, yep, winter! Today we have snow just as the weatherman predicted, even though he's not always this accurate. Thought you'd like to see what the yard looks like before we get to the WOYWW part. I really like snow, slush, the whole shebang. I wonder how beautiful Niagara Falls looks today? Probably pretty spectacular.
If the snow hasn't scared you off, take a hop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to see what's on other work desks around the world. That's what I love about woyww, you can stay warm at home with a cup of tea (I understand that Europe is having a terrible cold spell) and visit friends everywhere!

Here's what I have done the past few days - don't hate me now - my (store bought) holiday cards are finished and in the mail. Even the ones to Canada, Switzerland, Brazil, Germany and Sweden! The office desk is a wreck. It's where I have the computer, phone and tv. I was up early (9 am is early for me) and anxious to open Sir Tim Holtz's website to see what  tag #1 looked like. So very cool, you have to see it and get the 50 step directions here! 

I've been to the post office and mailed the xmas cards and now have gathered the necessary stash to commence making tag #1. Here's what my craft desk in the basement looks like (no tv, no computer, no phone, just uninterrupted space! Well, it really is quite messy and full of stash, but whatever, it works for me and I'm sure it works at your place, too.
 Well, dear folks, off you go on your hop to other WOYWW spots. Enjoy and make something fun. Holiday hugs.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WOYWW - I forgot something

Ooops, I forgot to send you over to Julia's at the Stamping Ground to visit other creative souls' studios. Please leave a comment when you visit. They truly appreciate your visit and value feedback. Taa

WOYWW - almost clean

WOYWW - almost clean

Yesterday was spent cleaning the atelier aka, room of stash, aka furnace room. Stash had flown helter skelter about the room from Monday's flurry of activity. Bits and pieces were found in places that only a mouse could fit. lol  My craft sheet now has some empty space around the edges. See for yourself.
Don't get all antsy when you see the holiday cards here. None of them are my own design. They are from classes that I took at Buffalo Stamps and Stuff owned by the kind, generous and funny Sharon. some people think we look alike. We do share the same taste in antiques and clothing. Her patience with people (slow workers like me) is admirable. She plans the most wonderful variety of classes with a highly talented group of ladies, for whom I am most grateful.

Back to the cards - I plan to send one to my mom everyday in December - she gets a kick out of it and I enjoy it too. I'll also make one a day for my 90 year old friend Charlie, it cheers her up as the days pass slowly by in the nursing home. She is a dear and shares many funny and naughty stories. She worked over 60 (yeah 60) years in the same school district and retired on her own terms. My kinda gal. 

 As for my desk, I love the Mary Englebreit poster behind all my scissors. can you ever have too many scissors? I put it on my desk to remind me of the the need to simplify life I'm such a pack rat lol and appreciate all that is around us. 

Which brings me to Thanksgiving. Tomorrow morning is the Turkey Trot in Buffalo, NY. I'll go with my friend Margaret to serve beer at 9 am at the Convention Center. Can you imagine? Beer at that hour? I'll let you know more after the experience. It's going to be a trip with people in costumes, a second coming of Halloween. rofl

This holiday weekend is a huge celebration in town with all the expats returning to their roots for one long party of food, drink and friends. Wednesday night at the bars, Thursday morning Trot followed by beverages, followed by family dinner which includes more imbibing. Friday and Saturday are hockey games Buffalo Sabres and Sunday is Buffalo Bills football. Almost makes me wish I was young and stupid again to partake in the festivities. rofl Glad I'm not, though
St. Donald and I will be joining friends for turkey, good wine and laughter. I'll raise a glass to you all.

Now to brag some more about The Saint. He just finished printing out our Christmas card labels. He is much more techno savvy than I am and spent all of yesterday helping a friend set up her new computer. Maybe I'll get to the store bought cards on Friday. To tell the truth it will take me a couple weeks before they go out, so don't be jealous.

 Okay, I've blathered on long enough, this was supposed to be a short post, but I've got a captive audience if you haven't logged off just yet. Wishing you a good weekend and hope you have time to make something fun.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Not to panic .. CCC #23

Ok, so this is my first official entry to Linda's CC Challenge of Double Distress. Sounds like a panic attack to me. lol  As I made this project there were moments of distressing fun, fun distressing and panic when the distressing didn't work. Confused? So was I, all day. 
As usual I made it more complicated than it had to be, but that's only because I kept going until I got the look just right. And I used a few more techniques to play catch up with some of the other challenges.  Here is the thingy that I made. It's not a tag, it's not a card, it's just a thing. A pretty pinky-red-greeny thing. Are you ready for the pics ... They look totally different when scanned (the top one with black background) and photographed (on the bottom with dark pink paper.) Anyhow, I thought I'd let you see both.
The top third of the card is a separate piece of grungepaper glued to the lower portion. If I had to do it over I'd still make this one first to work out the kinks and make a second one better. Sorta like cooking a good dinner, but since I don't cook, well, it is what it is.

The embossed bingo board is colored with crushed olive and aged mahogany distressed inks. The red in the mahogany turned out great, even if I say so myself. The snow flurries from the On the Edge die cut off the bottom portion of the bingo board. So I covered the snow flakes' DI's with snow cap pigment ink. Instead of the ink pad I used the re-inker on a cut & dry foam pad to keep the "real" ink pad from turning green and red. (hope that makes sense) Finally I used Ranger's Enchanted Gold embossing powder to give the snowflakes a yellowy-sparkley feel. No jokes from the peanut gallery about yellow snow! rofl

Next I made an extra #25 from the bingo embossing folder and inked it with snow cap pigment ink and black soot DI, then topped it off with Tuxedo vintage glass glitter. It looks totally different, a rich, deep black. Try it sometime.

Then I turned my attention span (sometimes very short. lol) to the holiday greetings with, let's say it together, more snow cap pigment ink. Love that stuff! Used the blending tool with more aged mahogany, topped it with perfect medium & perfect pearls interference red, a quick spritz of water and...the DI ran! Panic again. forgot to heat set it. Wash it off, start again, turn off the water works, chin up and keep moving. By some magical happenstance the second time gave the effect I wanted - deep rose pearl shimmer.

Finally I used alcohol ink to color the bird, crown (lemonade) and heart (cranberry). I just love the alcohol ink pens, they make it so much easier to control the placement of the ink. The leaves and mini fleur are chipped enamel with the Enchanted Gold EP, but that didn't turn out right the first time around. Panic. Success on the second try. Phew. 

This is all a very long-winded explanation. I probably should have just listed the supplies and said, Here it is. Go at it. But I didn't, now I will ...DI aged mahogany, crushed olive, black soot; snow cap pigment ink; blending tool and cut & dry foam pads; embossing powder, glass glitter; perfect pearls & perfect medium; grungepaper; on the edge die; bingo embossing folder; and alcohol ink. 

Hope there is something in this post for you that will take the fear out of a mistake in technique. I used to tell my students that we should allow ourselves 25 mistakes per day (for teenagers this makes lots of sense) so we can learn from them and move forward. For me today's panicked moments are finished. Later I'll go make another something fun. Hope you do, too.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I wish, I wish ...

Some of you have asked if this background is my home. Don't I wish! It was one of the choices from blogspot(Travel) when I set up this blog. So, I thought I'd try to tease you with some pics of my guest bedrooms (anyone going to be in the area to visit Niagara Falls or Toronto? lol)
This is the French boudoir. I had to have red walls with the slanted ceilings for a cozy feel. The dresser was mine when I was a kid. East Lake style with oak leaf and acorn carvings for the handles. Believe it or not, the mirror and its little drawer are a separate piece of furniture. They go together rather well, I think. The ceiling isn't tall enough for the mirror so you can glimpse the iron bed in the reflection.
The two chairs are also East Lake, but I bought them at an auction in Shipshewanna (an Amish community in north central Indiana) about 5 years ago. They were in horrible shape, torn covering, horsehair stuffing falling out, etc. My mom (and St. Donald) thought I was stark raving mad about the purchase. Well, of course I knew what they could be -gorgeous! They are comfy and nicely stuffed so one doesn't have to have a concave derrière to sit upon them. lol  Oh, yes, the little alabaster night lamp on the left side of the dresser is also from Shipshe. It originated in a Cleveland, OH estate. Got it dirt cheap at the auction. Ya gotta love it! (auctions, bargoons et al.)
This walnut cabinet is from my great-grandma Campisi. She had it in Chicago, then gave it to my grandma. It, too, was in awful condition and I had it redone by my magical antique refinisher. It contains all my little French collectibles-dominoes from the 18th century, faience (painted pottery) from the 19th c., and the Little Prince stuff from the 20th c.. Can you believe we are living the 21st century?? All in all, I am a collector of stuff. Stuff that strikes my fancy and makes me smile or chuckle, okay, it can also make me laugh out loud, too. Tell the truth and shame the devil. (I can't recall where this expression comes from, but it has always stuck with me.)
This lamp is a garage sale trophy-hand-painted Italian, and the goose with the removable neck & head is from a trip to Massachusetts in 1992. The table is made of sewing machine drawers. Yikes, it's true.I like to be surrounds by old, funky stuff that would tell stories if only they could. There now. You have a peak at one of the corners of my world.

Just want you to know that I am very thankful for you and send you all hugs of Thanksgiving. Until next time, go make something fun.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It it's not one thing ...

"Well y'know, it's always something, if it's not one thin' then it's another." I quote from the character of Roseann Roseannadanna done by Gilda Radner of Saturday Night Live fame (late 70's, early 80's.) Gosh, she was one funny lady. But she's right.
Here I've been griping to myself (since there's nobody else around who cares) that I'd better get moving on several big projects and my creativity has been overpowered by gravity, as in laying around and watching tv. I'm not a tv addict, I swear (yes I am), but I do mark my programs in the tv guide in pink pen when the Sunday paper shows up. rofl. What a dork.rofl again. (can you say gravity) Anyhow, that's the "it's always something part."

But I do have interruptions in my schedule that I really like. Ya see, St Donald and I go to the nursing home every day to see a ninety year old friend who has no family. It's cool that she tells us stories of her life, like growing up without running water or electricity, and and outhouse out back. She cracks me up with her candor and expressions. The "fairies" as she calls the staff, have now started to call her Charlie, so that's what I use here. More about her another time.

Three big projects and a pant-load of gravity, just not in the stash and trash room. Okay, so I wanted to do something for the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge as chosen by the lovely Linda, alchohol ink splatter. Go check it out on her blog Studio L3 if you haven't already. And  look in your copy of Tim Holtz's book for the directions as I can't divulge the details according to the rules of the game. Here are my attempts, the befores (the one on the left reminds me of a blue dinosaur).....
See wha'd I tell ya? Kind cool how I had Tim Holtz's elephant stamp ;-) Almost looks like the dino is getting ready to eat his descendant! The second splats gave me fits about what to do with it. It just didn't speak to me (well duh.) It's always somethin'. Tada (add music here.) A potted flower in the purple sun.
Okay so now this last splat (I'm such an over achiever, 3 tags really? three???) I fell in love with the rivers and tributaries of ink. Again I didn't know what to do, but I was overjoyed (heh heh) at the effect of the ink.Whad'ya think? I've been dying to use the new Tim toys to make the ornament, too.
Okay, so now another thing...Today I will go to my LSS (local...well 21 miles is local) and meet with our 'card' club. There are officially 8 of us, me being the newbie. The others are highly experienced and have more patience for detail. So this fall we decided to do 4 techniques per month from Tim's Compendium of Curiosities, and for November we could choose a personal theme. Check your CC on pages 37-40 for the techs. Do ya know how hard it is to come up with a theme with 4 totally different approaches? Here is my attempt for the holidays with.inking grunge and double distress with Adirondack snowcap pigment ink.

And my third huge project...Thanksgiving cards for the fam in Indiana. I'll probably get to those on Saturday. So there you have it, an not in a nutshell. If it''s not one thin', it's another. But then again, it's always something. Until next time, make something fun even if it's a little somethin' for yourself!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Things have been busy around here and it's not even the holidays yet.  I work very slowly on my tags and projects and am very messy so I thought I would shame the devil and tell the truth. lol  Here's a peek at my stash space. It looks organized until you get a view from a distance ... here.  (note the sign on the far right "I'm not ready" rofl)

I took the pic this morning before I went to a class at my LSS to make a Christmas Configurations box. Boy is it cute! It took me lots longer than everyone else, so what else is new, art takes time and careful thought.  Here's my creation. (Notice the HO3 on the right side? Hope you can guess what it means, and no, it is not a chemical formula. teehee)

I love the little bird that Sharon, owner of the LSS (Buffalo Stamps and Stuff, Amherst NY) and today's instructor, found at Pottery Barn. (Did I say the name of the store out loud, for crying out loud?)
The bird goes so well with that darling little cage that gave me conniptions. No matter how hard I tried to attach the jump ring between the hook and the cage I couldn't do it. Fat fingers and bad nails. Thanks to Sharon's skill with tools and patience with teeny tiny little metal findings, the cage now hangs in it's proper place.
Here are the other gals who were in the class today... lovely Linda

sweet Alison

and the very happy Pam playing with the mica flakes.

While we worked we hummed along with the radio and played name that tune, munched on chocolate treats (but, of course) and got covered with glittering mica and other such sparkly goodness. Can you imagine 90 people doing this project at the same time with Tim at Absolutely Everything a few weeks back?! That's where Sharon made hers - and it is spectacular - in just 4 hours. I am awed by this feat.

Well, we enjoyed the creative process and the inspiration we got from sharing with one another. Personally, every time I read a blog I find inspiration and delight in the creations of others. Thanks to all who share and read this blog, and a big thanks to Sharon for her wonderful class. Until next time, enjoy the experience!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Busy Weekend

Okay, okay, so I didn't blog for 3 days and I have no really good reason other than fun and fatigue.  Friday I went to the local high school and substituted in a Spanish class. It reminded me that 1) I still love teaching, 2) I miss my colleagues and 3) it is good to be retired, lol. After a day of subbing I was wiped out since I'm not used to getting up at the ungodly hour of 5:45 a.m.. Of course getting out at 2 pm is nice, but didn't leave any energy for much other than lying about like Cleopatra on the couch!

Saturday morning I went to my LSS for a class with the very talented Debby who taught us to use prismacolor pencils and Copic markers together. There is so much to learn. I am very good at coloring inside the lines, but I need to learn how to shade using both types of markers. After two and a half hours I was wiped out again, but this time out of sheer frustration. We were supposed to complete 3 cards and I only managed to finish 2. The third one will have to wait for another day. I don't know the maker of this stamp but wanted to share the results of my first attempt at these techniques. This little girl is a sweetie.

That afternoon I went to a gallery showing of this season's jewelry by Sheila Petrocy Green in East Aurora, NY. Her style is funky and chunky necklaces. Though I didn't buy anything this year (all my cash is invested in stash) I wanted to share a great piece that I bought last year. The large piece is a 2 inch bauble of carved coral. Each side is a slightly different shade, but I like this one the best. I wore it to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Pops concert on Saturday evening and kept checking it to make sure this side was showing! When you select one of her creations you have to flaunt it or the fashion statement just won't work. As with everything else, I try to go with the flow.
Sunday the Buffalo Bills football game was blacked out here. Not surprising since the team was 0 and 8. Who wants to see the hometown team lose again? The stadium is less than 5 miles from our house. Not a traffic problem to speak of. We decided to watch any football game on tv with friends and eat some comfort food of sloppy joes, carrot & celery sticks and a delicious apple pie made by my dear friend Sue. It was an early evening since I was still tired from Friday and Saturday. This is for the birds! I'm supposed to have more energy than this!

Today is sunny so I'll get outside for some vitamin D and a bit of garden cleanup. The s-word is in the forecast for later this week, but that can easily change with the winds of Lake Erie. After time in the garden I'm headed to the atelier (French for stash room) to make a little something fun. Hope you do the same today. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

CCC #21 - Country roads, yeehaw!

This week's Challenge technique #21 from Tim Holtz's Compendium of Curiosities has been fun. Check out the details at Studio L3, the lovely Linda will fill you in on the details. Also, go check out what Lori did with her tags, they are fabulous, totally awesome in every sense of the word!  Since this is my first attempt at the CCC it took me a few tries before I could get the result that I liked. It took me a while to get the hang of it

The background is inked with weathered wood distress ink. The farm and pick up truck stamps are from Artistic Outpost. I thought they were kind cool to use for fall. They were inked in my favorite DI aged mahogany. The small flowers are from Wendy Vecchi's Botanical Art and stamped in pine needle. Isn't this shimmer cool? It reallly turned out better than I could've hoped. The technique adds so much to the stamping. Next time I try this I'll add some embellishments, like maybe a cornstalk or a bale of hay! lol!

Thanks for stopping by today. Feel free to let me know what you think and what I could add to give it more dimension. Until later, go make something fun!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The plunge

Well, this is it. After holding my breath long enough, I've taken the plunge and started this blog. The idea has been percolating for little while now and after having followed other blogs over the past year I decided that I needed a place to share random thoughts and pictures of my *art* (read crafting)

The title pretty much reflects that I have a little inkling about lots of things - gardening, travel, my former career (30 years of teaching HS French - more than just an inkling!), and my hobby of paper crafting. This pastime came about after I broke my ankle over a year ago and couldn't get out of the house for weeks. I needed to occupy myself with more than tv, books and magazines...so off I went to the computer and found some nifty blogs to follow. My favorites were Tim Holtz, Wendy Vecchi and I've been thinkin' 'bout inkin'. When I could finally get out first in a wheelchair and then on crutches to go to my LSS (Buffalo Stamps and Stuff) I happened upon Ranger's line of Tim's products. Little by little I started accumulating stash. The rest, as any rubber stamper/paper-holic knows all too well, is a commonly known truth: art. I swore I would never make this or that, but now I'm learning never to say never. Learning is the key word here since I'm stubborn and as life unfolds, I usually find out that I should never have said never!  When it comes to starting a blog I can honestly say Well, I never! as in i never thought I'd be doing this ;-)  

I know this sound hokey. So be it. I look forward to rambling on about stuff, to sharing what I do in my life and to showing off my latest attempt at art. A big thanks to those who have inspired me to blog - you don't know how much your examples means to me. I'll drop you a note and let you know who you are.

Thanks for stopping by my inaugural post! Enjoy the day,