Thursday, June 26, 2008

As Promised....

This is post #59....and being a 1959 model it seems like a good time to do a blog giveaway. Someone commented earlier about appreciating comments...it's good to know that somebody is reading. So, leave a comment and you'll have a chance to win this 3" x 4" miniature canvas. I'll be away this weekend so it will be sometime next week when I'll pull a name from the hat...

Organizing Photos

I just had to share this picture found among my collection of photos that I desperately need to get organized. This shot has nothing to do with art although I may have to do a scrapbook page using it. It may be something my kids would enjoy seeing someday. The picture was taken after winning a regional contest for 'Job Interview'. The year was 1977....YIKES!....where did the time go.......

So, I have a question. How do you organize your photos? Please leave some suggestions...I'd appreciate it!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bag-A-Thon!

These are the last two bags I designed for Debbie this month. The diecuts are available to purchase at http://thestudioinpreston.blogspot.com/

For the bee bag, I used chalk inks to color the bag using shades of amber clay and yellow ochre. Bubble wrap was pressed into a Staz On ink pad and stamped onto the bag to create the background. The bag was assembled, beeswaxed and set aside. The bee stamp is made by Stamp Francisco and was colored with the same chalk inks and shaded with colored pencils before applying beeswax. The sentiment is by Darcie's and was stamped on a tag available from Debbie's as well. It was also chalked and waxed. The bee and the tag were attached to the bag using the wax.

The diamond bag was created using a stencil and chalk ink. The interior of the box was colored red using chalk ink also. The scroll diecuts were embossed using a Cuddlebug folder. The 'thinking of you' stamp is by Studio G Clear Stamps. The flowers and brads came from my stash. The entire thing was sprayed with glitter spray. I'm not sure that shows up at all but it added a nice touch. As I decorated this one, I imagined how it would be the perfect bag for a great piece of jewelry!

Another Gift Bag

This is another sample that I made for Debbie's Die Cuts. The diecut was painted with watered-down walnut ink and allowed to dry. The swirlpattern is a background stamp by Stampabilities. The brackets and tag are also diecuts offered by Debbie and they were also colored with walnut ink. The 'just because' stamp is by Savvystamps and the 'adore' stamp's maker is unknown. Cranberry ink by Adirondack as well as brown Stazon was used also.

Debbie is offering a gift bag diecut giveaway on her site at http://debbiesdiecuts.blogspot.com/. Check it out!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Butterfly Gift Bag

This little gift bag diecut was fun to decorate. I used one of my oldest and most loved stencils to make the background.... Doesn't it look old and loved?
I used gesso on the diecut and then stenciled clouds using Adirondack and Brillance inks. The inks seemed to blend better on the gesso surface. Once dry, I went back over the clouds with watered-down white acrylic paint just to soften the colors. The diecut is by Debbie's DieCuts, the image is by Artistic Outpost and the butterfly is a Martha Stewart product.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Candle Dress-Up

Where has this week gone? I had a bit of time to play today and this die cut kept getting my attention.
This is actually a page from Debbie's Die Cuts' scalloped book kit but I decided to try something different using it. I sat a small glass candle holder in the center and drew a circle around it . Using a ruler, I divided the diecut into sections as shown above. I cut on the straight lines up to the circle, leaving the circled area uncut.
After cutting the slits, I used a Cuddlebug folder to emboss a design. Using chalks and rub-ons, I colored the diecut in shades of green. Using a hole punch, holes were made around the scallop for running a ribbon through the edge.
A stylus was used to gently go over the circle to make shaping the diecut easier. The cut pieces were folded upward and the tabs were lapped over each other. The ribbon was woven through the holes and tied to complete. This was a pretty easy project and is an easy way to dress up an inexpensive candle holder.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

One for the Scrapbook

Here's a little framed picture from our vacation. The camera doesn't quite show the greens and teals the way they look in person. There's actually more green that blends with the grass in the photo than comes through in this shot.

I ran the white frame through the Wizard using a Fiskars criss-cross pattern mat. I then lightly highlighted the pattern using chalks. Next, I ran the frame through the Wizard again using a Cuddlebug embossing folder. This flattened out the criss-cross pattern leaving a subtle background. I then highlighted the second embossed pattern using chalks and rubons. The two additional diecuts were chalked also. The opening of the frame diecut is a tad over 2" square and is available at http://thestudioinpreston.blogspot.com/ as well as the other diecuts used.

I love the double-embossed technique that I'm sure someone else has already done but it was a total 'happy accident' for me!

Father's Day Card

I'm fortunate enough to still have my daddy and wanted to make a special card for him. I have always treasured this small photo of him and decided to use it on the card. All die cuts used are by Debbie's Die Cuts and can be purchased at http://thestudioinpreston.blogspot.com/ .
I began by painting the frame diecut with flat black acrylic paint. Once the frame was dry, I ran it through my Wizard using a Cuttlebug embossing folder. After allowing it to dry, I sanded the raised design very gently using fine sanding paper.

Once I was satisfied with the amount of white peeking through, I began adding color using Distress inks (mustard seed, tea dye) and metallic rubons in various shades of gold, bronze and copper. Both accent diecuts were colored with the tea dye Distress ink and additional color was added with the rubons. The photo has a lot of yellow tones in it and I tried to tone it down just a bit by sponging a bit of tea dye onto it.

I computer generated "Happy Father's Day" and went over it with distress ink as well. The framed piece was mounted onto a copper color linen card. The diecuts took on a leathery appearance which is perfect for this card.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's a Wrap...

Tuesday was our last day in Chicago before making the drive back home to Tennessee. Our goals for the day were to find Stamp On It (for me), eat at a restaurant recommended by a friend (for hubby) and to attend a Cubs and Braves game (for Clarissa). Two out of three's not bad.

I decided to do a little research on the internet about the parking situation at Wrigley Field and we became concerned with the info. There was a number to call to secure parking in a garage but the operator said she had nothing available. Armed with that new information, we left the room early in hopes of finding a good parking place. Parking turned out to be a non-issue. With a parking space secured, we set out to visit Stamp On It. From where we parked, it turned out to be around twelve blocks away. Clarissa and I had our first experience riding a city bus. I'm not sure but I think DH has ridden one before. Had it not been for the bodies surrounding ours, I just know we'd have gone through the windshield. The driver really should have been a pilot because he has the take-off and the landing down pat. It was so much better than walking though so it was a good thing!
















Stamp On It is a nice store and the owner was very friendly. His merchandise is up to date complete with Tim Holtz grungeboard which I hadn't actually seen yet but had been reading about. Sadly, the two stamp stores that were once here in Middle Tennessee are no longer around. I picked up the grungeboard along with a few other things that I can't remember at the moment.
After leaving the store, we realized that we would be eating at the ballpark. That was fine with me! I had pizza and didn't get insulted in the process. We got settled in our seats in plenty of time to watch the Braves warm up. They came out mightily in the first inning, scoring three runs but fizzled afterwards. We were surrounded by Cubs fans so Clarissa and I did our dainty clap when the Braves scored. Even though the Braves lost, we were happy to be there and enjoy the game.

This is the one shot of the three of us together during the entire trip. Yes, I'm the one in the middle and you can tell it's day eleven of the trip. Actually, I think I blinked right when the kind stranger took the shot.

Our trip home was a pretty uneventful ten hours. At one point, I did notice white feathers floating by regularly and the thought of embellishments went through my mind. But then I saw this truckload of chickens probably on their way to a processing plant and I was amazed and a bit sad at how they were packed in the cages and being transported.
You know the feeling....that first hint that you're getting close to home. We'll this was ours even though we were still probably two hours from actually arriving at our house. You know what they say...Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. Clarissa remarked that her favorite part of the trip was seeing the Tennessee sign. Had I known that, we could have saved a lot of money and just taken her to the state line and back! She was one happy camper to be home...

I came home to a very full envelope of goodies from Debbie's Die Cuts so I'll be working on some samples this week and hope to do some posting soon. Later...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Milestone Numbers

This is my 50th post since I started blogging. I've been seeing lots of blog giveaways and even plan to do one in the future. As post #50 has approached, I wondered what it would be. Maybe just a regular old post without fanfare or mention of it being #50.


I want to ask for something instead of doing a giveaway...how about that?

I received a request from a dear friend asking for cards to be sent to a sweet lady that will celebrate her 100th birthday on Friday. Yes, it is already Tuesday but not too late. If you'd like to send a birthday card, it can be mailed to:

Nettie Dooley
NHC Healthcare
374 Brink Street
Lawrenceburg, TN 38464

If I'm lucky enough to reach 100 years on God's earth, I hope someone will send me a card...handmade or store-bought. I won't be picky.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Making Memories in Chicago


We are working our way homeward and decided to explore Chicago and catch a game on Tuesday night. Clarissa inherited a love of baseball from her paternal grandmother (and great-grandmother, I'm told). Grandma Adams used to sit by the radio on baseball night and crochet and yell at the radio during the games; she was a true Cincinnati Reds fan.
So here we are. I have never been to Chicago but always thought it would be a good place to visit. DH worked here many years ago and I've heard a few stories over the years. Within the first hour of arriving, we were evacuated from our room due to a tornado. It was a scary experience but it turned out OK where we are. Unfortunately, I understand that a tornado did touch down somewhere in the area. The skies have remained overcast but so far it's only been rainy.
Today's plans were to visit The Art Institute of Chicago and The Paper Source. I've gotten the Paper Source's emails for some time now and it occurred to me this morning that they have a location here. We were able to visit both places. (I actually showed up at Paper Source's corporate headquarters..oops!....and they gave me the address for the retail store).
At The Art Institute, my favorite thing was seeing two of Joseph Cornell's boxes. I read his biography not too long ago so it was a treat to see some of his work. I made pictures of the boxes but they didn't turn out very well. Here's a shot of another favorite. This is "Still Life: Corner of a Table" by Henri Fantin-Latour. If you ever get the chance to visit the Paper Source, I'd say go for it. They have a selection of rubberstamps and the paper selection was wonderful. Bookbinding supplies, paper mache items, ...the list is long. That was my favorite stop of the day. Did I mention they have three floors?
Afterwards, the day got a bit 'bumpy'. We had wanted pizza and dh had asked for a couple of recommendations at a store. Somehow he and I didn't quite communicate what those restaurant names were and we ended up at a place that I thought was recommended but wasn't. He stopped because he thought I wanted to stop but I didn't want to stop...major communication breakdown! We pulled into the parking lot and had to pay $8 to park at the restaurant. We're not talking anything special here...just parking at the restaurant. When I go into a restaurant, I've become accustomed to the management appreciating my business and being pleasant. Now, here's the funny part. This restaurant's motto is to be rude. It's part of their gimmick. I was tooootally clueless to this fact. So when the guy at the desk insults me and then tells me to go away and wait, my southern blood boiled and I found myself telling this guy that he should be more polite. Of course, I was quite polite in doing so!! DH was amused and Clarissa was too shocked to move. Her eyes said it all. Once I realized the insults were part of the gimmick, it really didn't help. It just made me miss home. I also thought this young guy was enjoying his job way too much. In fact, he went on to insult me more as he took us to our table. OK, so it's supposed to be funny. It certainly was a new experience and one I'll remember for a long time. On top of everything else, they didn't serve pizza. Bummer supper. But as someone I used to know would always say..."Now, I ain't one to complain..." So, I'm not complaining but just reporting the facts.LOL.

Tomorrow is ballgame day and I'm planning a visit to Stamp On It which is less than two miles from Wrigley Field! How's that for luck!! We're eating at a restaurant that a friend has recommended so hopefully the host and I won't be trading insults!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Beautiful Morning!


This morning began cool but fairly clear. The 50 percent chance of rain dropped to 40 percent which was promising.
After breakfast, we decided to go back to Market Street where we left off yesterday evening. I had spotted some loose beads in the window of a closed store so I definitely wanted to check that one out. Macinac Lipidary Ltd. turned out to be a great store. Besides jewelry, they have a very good selection of loose beads. I spent a few bucks there but now have some unique beads to add to my stash.

How would you like this guys' job? It looks like a couple of coffee thermoses are hanging from each side of his basket. I can barely walk and talk at the same time...can't imagine balancing luggage and riding a bike.




Although the wind was brisk at times, we decided to stroll out to one end of the island and see Mission Point which was the first place we ever stayed here. I took a few shots along the way. Like the door shot from yesterday, the gate shot will end up in art at some point.

As we walked along, clouds began to darken and thunder could be heard in the distance. Unfortunately, about half-way to our destination we had to make a quick turnaround and head back to town. DH walks a bit slower due to knee surgery and he got a good soakin'.

We've had an enjoyable time here and hopefully will be back someday. I think I left in a comment that a shop owner recommended September as the best month to come. That's definitely something I'd consider the next time. Later...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Venturing Out

The rain stopped and we were able to venture around this afternoon without umbrellas or hoods. We went down Market Street where there's several small shops including Maeve's Arts. Although I didn't make a purchase, I did enjoy her store very much. Her website is http://www.maevecroghan.com/. The art you see high on the wall is the artist's original art. It was a very pleasant stop.

Isn't this a fun name for a shop? This was a nice little gift shop and the owner was very friendly. Actually, everyone here seems very friendly.

The porch of the Market Street Inn looked very inviting. My last shot of the day is this sweet little herb garden in the front yard of someone's house.
Tomorrow's forecast is a high of 72 degrees and only a 50 percent chance of rain. I'm crossing my fingers that our last full day here will be a great weather day.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

The weatherman's prediction for rain was right on target. Today is cold, gloomy and wet. When you do the planning for a vacation in January, you never know how things are going to actually be when vacation time rolls around. Even with the yucky weather, we're happy to be here. The above view is from the back porch of the public library. The back porch is small but lined with white painted rocking chairs.
Bikes and carriages are pretty much at a standstill.
The library was a nice place to spend a bit of time in the dry. You can use their computers for a fee or bring your laptop, read magazines or books or check out their ongoing used book sale. I just enjoyed the atmosphere and quiet time. It is right on the water with two doors opening onto the porch I mentioned. It would have been easy to have curled up in a chair and napped...

I love door and window images and couldn't resist taking this shot of the library door. It is destined to show up in a piece of art.
The bright spot in the day so far is a new bead store. We spent a bit of time in there where Clarissa enjoyed stuffing a bag full of beads for $3. I selected a few beads and plan to make earrings out of them. I'm having a blast but have an overwhelming urge to visit my art room soon! It's been a week since I made anything and I'm beginning to need to put my hands to work. Does that happen to anybody else?







OK, we're almost dried out and ready to brave the elements again. We are staying on Main Street so it makes it easy and convenient to come and go especially with the weather conditions. More later...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Morning Adventures


Because rain is in the forecast for Thursday, we decided to do the carriage tour of the island today. All travel on Mackinac is either by carriage or bicycle with the exception of an ambulance and a couple of fire engines. These shots are of downtown, one of the carriages, and Arch Rock which was one of the stops on the tour. We've taken a little break back to our room to thaw from the 50 something degree weather.