Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year....

To my blogging friends (old and new) all the best for 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tag Tuesday

Fiddlesnips Jo told me about a new challenge going on sponsored by Carolyn called Tag Tuesday. Check it out!

Looking to be back State side on Friday. Today is my parents 55th Wedding Anniversary (which means I am at least you know what this year LOL). Spending time with them both to celebrate.... Cheers Jewels

Thursday, December 22, 2011

See ya later

Well tomorrow morning bright and early I am off to Canada for a week. This will be a different Christmas as I plan to stay with my family the whole time rather than make our annual "after Christmas" run to the cottage. But that's okay - family is a priority at the moment.
Hubby and I wish you all the best. I'll be doing my own 2011 Reflections shortly. HOWEVER, if everything goes as planned I hope to come home to a computer next week. So you may not hear from me while I'm figuring it out LOL. Stay safe and happy holidays. Jewels

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Curtain Call

I don't consider myself a great sewer - maybe a good one. I clearly recall my sewing classes in Home Economics were not that successful at the time (on the other hand, my family suffered many a weekend morning eating "cinnamon toast" that I had learned to make). My Mum sewed - I remember the doll clothes she made (wish I still had) and curtains for our Volkswagon van amongst other things. As I got older (high school) I made a gazillion (or it seemed at the time) felt mice for the Church Fair - another year Turtles (I think that might have been for Girl Guide camp). I made a few clothes for high school and university so I knew how to at least read a pattern and make sense of it. My quilting renaissance was the late 1990's till I recently got hooked on fabric art and collaging...
Bottom line - I can at least sew a straight line (if no wine has been involved before or during) which brings me to this weekend's project. My kitchen window overlooking our woodlot usually has a valance of flowers which really do not fit the Season.
I wanted to make something that could stay up until March without too much guilt (you know, like the folks who leave Christmas lights up AND on).
I thought this material fit the bill (and cheap from JoAnnes).
The right shade of red and white - though hard to tell on this dull day. As you can see we had snow over night...
The picture above my window is by Claudette Castonguay from Quebec City (but of course, how Canadian eh).

It is a combination of painting (background) and paper piecing (the three people) ... the snow flakes are painted on to the glass. Hubby and I went to Quebec City in February one year - LOTS of snow and cold - this picture reminds me how colourful and unique it was...just love it every year when I pull it out for the holidays. Enjoy. Jewels

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hats Off Part 1

So when Fiddlesnips Jo says "want to do a swap, just you an me" HO! I am right there...(those of you who know Jo please don't be jealous - have you seen the number of swaps she does? I'm sure your paths will cross some day)....
My mail art showed up Wednesday...amongst all the Christmas cards so hubby did not even blink as he was sorting the envelopes. I really expected some kind of comment about odd Christmas greetings from English relatives and that strategically placed green leaf  but I think he has gotten used to some of the bizzare things that have showed up this year in the post box (LOL).
The theme we agreed to was "Hats" - I never get more specific than one general idea so totally open to interpretation. I love Jo's card - my Mum was a knitter when we were young so I got my share of handmade items. It was the first thing I thought of...thanks Jo! Yours is in the post and I am keeping my fingers (toes and eyes) crossed it makes it over the big pond in good shape...but I won't post any spoilers until you get it. Cheers. Jewels

Monday, December 12, 2011

And the Winner Is...

While mightly intrigued by not one but TWO bribes, Miss Gwendoline decided to do the right thing and do a blind pull of a name for the ATC give away...

And the winner is (drum roll please)...Leslie S, one of my Mail Art buddies! Leslie I think I know your adress by now *LOL* so will get the Ski Bunnies into the Post shortly. Thanks everyone for leaving comments, they are ALWAYS appreciated. Jewels

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December Collage

There's still time (but not much) to enter Mary's monthly collage challenge. This month she provide a sweet lady, a map of Europe and a calling card....

And here is my entry. I actually flipped the image of the woman, changed her from b&w to sepia and chalked colour in to give her some pop. The whole piece is the size of a postcard. I cut up the calling card to use the flowers. The background is scrapbook paper I stamped and "aged". Anyway, run on over to Mary's site to see more entries including my pal Beth - it always amazes me what different folks do!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Winter Give Away

OMG - arty friends there is hope! While working on this ATC hubbie, who was walking by, actually came and asked "What'cha workin on?" followed by "Something Christmasy". I just about fainted. I explained that I was celebrating  >18,000 hits on my blog (which we agreed I probably accounted for half that number LOL).
Anywho, made my day. I found this image in a travel book which just felt right for the time of year. I think it was actually taken at Lake Tahoe. Love the girls "nordic" sweaters. Can just see the two of them going for hot chocolate (maybe spiked with a little brandy) at the Ski Lodge afterwards. It's "holiday" neutral so you can display till all the snow melts if you like! If your interested just leave a comment on this post (be sure I can get to your email address) and I'll let Miss Gwendoline randomly pull a name next weekend. Enjoy. Jewels

Saturday, December 3, 2011

On Display

I have literally binders of Artist Trading Cards...I started creating them back in 2006 (has it been that long!).
At first most of my ATCs were made using fabric and I had the very fortunate opportunity to swap with three other ladies in my Guild for a few years. This has always been one of my favorites which I show off on a little stand.
When I "discovered" working with vintage images I started making more ATCs with paper ephemera. "Busy Bea" was done for one of Mary Green's classes. I liked how she turned out and framed her.
Recently I've been getting into retro and many of my current ATCs are from the 40's/50's. I wanted to be able to see them so I could stay "inspired". Kimberly over at ArtJoyStuff had posted this great stand filled with some of her ATCs. She got her's at Michaels but I ended up tracking one done through Amazon. You can always hint to loved ones about an addition to your Christmas gift list (LOL)....
These are going to my new office at work to remind me at the end of the day I WILL get creative time back home. How do you display your ATCs - would love to know.... By the way - I am closing in on 18,000 blog hits (really!) so I think I will just have to do an ATC giveaway to celebrate - stay tuned....Enjoy, Jewels

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First Snow

Well it finally happened...

...after an unusually warm weekend Maple Hill got its first snow...Miss Gwendoline was definetly not sure about going outside!
2 hour delay for school openings this morning - which meant hubby had a little extra time to get to work
and lovely photo opportunities around the wood lot
I love watching the birds against the white - this morning everyone showed up for a good feed (mourning doves, chickadees, woodpeckers, nut hatch and squirrels....)
Despite the amount of snow covering up their source

The day is sunny so all that snow is going to melt away
Which will make my snowmen look sorry...
They were enjoying the view!
Enjoy, Jewels

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gluebook and Travels

You may recall not too long ago I started Mary's Christmas Gluebook class (which by the way you can still sign up for). Being the over achiever I am I decided to make a Vintage and a Retro version. Well I've managed to get the pages done for the first, though I still need to "bind". Let me know what you think - I tried to use as much "original" material as I could (primarily my stash of old Christmas postcards)...
This is the Back and Front cover...
Pages 2 and 3 - I have the original photo of the lovely lady on the right - this is a scan I made of her.
My centerfold - pages 4 and 5. The Christmas definitions came from an old Universal Encyclopedia.
I like how pages 6 and 7 turned out - splitting the graphic and framing each piece seemed to work really well! All in all I am pretty happy how it turned out (despite all the glue on fingers, in my hair and on my countertop...)
Hubby and I are off to Canada for American Thanksgiving (yep, we celebrate both) so I'll be offline a little bit. Not many more artsy things planned for the rest of the year - but plenty of ideas (and things I do need to get done) starting in January! Safe travels to those of you on the road this holiday. Cheers, Jewels

Saturday, November 19, 2011

All I want for Christmas.... a new frackin computer!!!! When hubby noted ours was 7 (yes SEVEN) years old it explained a lot - and the versions of different software are about the same (argh). Just think Lenna, I could be following you on your super duper version of your blog :)...

It's slowly been having a melt down the last few weeks so we've started looking - any suggestions? I need to replace soon before it goes kaput. The "all in one" are intriging but not mature enough for me to trust them. I could get a laptop but I would still need a decent keyboard and monitor for the artsy stuff...

So would love to hear what you like/dislike about your current technology - let me know. Thanks! Jewels

Friday, November 11, 2011

Turkey Wrap

November's Mail Art theme is "Turkey Wrap" - the only rule is to have turkey (dead, alive or cooked) in your art. What a hoot. I really enjoyed this one. My Peeps have received mine so I know I can share with you.

I knew pretty quickly what I wanted to do. If your a certain age you remember TV dinners fondly (kinda). I was lucky to find some great ads on the Internet. These are the two I used.

And here is the finished product - like Leslie says, it just feel so Leave it to Beaver. Can't you just hear the one boy saying in a sing song voice "allllll yearrrr longgggg" (snort). And seriously, the other one wants to watch the news! I just laughed when I read this (you should be able to double click and see a larger picture) 

I used this graphic on the back. Don't think the sentiment would be considered politically correct these days...Enjoy! Jewels

Monday, November 7, 2011

Painful as it may be...

...I hate back spasms, I really do. Unfortunately I inherited my Dad's bad back and every now and then it just decides to "go" - some times I can explain it, some times I can't. Needless to say, when it goes it goes and there is not much I can do about it but continually stretch the muscle and work it out. It does make it difficult to go to work as a. I have to literally stand most of the time and b. I would get funny looks regularly hitting the floor either in pain or in an effort to stretch.

Today was one of those days - I did manage to get work done standing at the kitchen counter and regularly taking breaks. The worst thing I think you can do is go to bed (just makes it worse for me). When I finally did finish for the day I decided to take my mind off of things by working on Mary Green's newest class - Christmas Gluebooks. She provides the instructions and graphics but I decided to use as much original material as I could. This first book "cover" includes old sheet music, a vintage stamp and a graphic from an old card - the green background (I confess) is scrapbook paper.

I also have a pile of more retro Christmas cards - 50's and 60's - that I wanted to use. Totally different colour palette to work with. I used the sheet music Mary provided which has a real pink tinge to it. The background paper is old gift wrap. The card has "sparkles" on it (I think most of my old cards do!). Anyway will be interesting to see how different the two books turn out! Enjoy - and you can sign up for Mary's class if your interested....Jewels (p.s. I'm thinking I'll have recovered by tomorrow...fingers crossed)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Going Gothic

Well Halloween has passed us by once again. Living out in the country we don't actually get little visitors at our door (which saves me buying candy every year - what a meanie)...I do like to have pumpkins but the last couple of years our friendly woodland critters have been dining on them! But we are on to Christmas decorations now...(say what! when did that happen...)
Keeping with October, this (past) month's mail art theme was Going Gothic. First up, Beth's lovely rendition of Mona Lisa as a goth girl. How funny - on the back of the postcard she talks about her "research" into goth. Love the make up and the Gargoyle (which apparently Mona hates).
Next up is Leslie's hilarious "gloomy obituaries". Apparently it took her awhile to come up with something for our theme, but then it just all came together. Personally I think she had the most fun writing the obit...another great postcard to add to my Mail Art collection!

Thanks ladies - unfortunately I forgot to get pics of my contribution before I got in the post so hoping one of you will share mine! November's theme is Turkey Wrap (need to incorporate the big bird, dead, alive or cooked - LOL). Enjoy, Jewels.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Poetry Gift Books

I think thrifting a vintage poetry gift book is pretty cool.
But seven at about 50 cents a pop is just brilliant! The American Association of University Women (AAUW) have a book sale twice a year in our local mall to raise funds for scholarships.
I try to go early and look at their "collectibles" table on the off chance I will find a reasonably cheap find that I have no problems "recycling". Also in the hope I beat the book sellers who show up and literally swipe loads of books off into cardboard boxes (hardly seems fair to us casual buyers)...
These gifts books were published by Cupples and Leon, The Holiday Publishing Company, and De Wolfe and Fiske.
They all date around the early 1900s - since 4 of them were in a Ziplock bag (yep) together I am assuming they were all donated at the same time from the same source.
The graphics are just lovely - with lots of "patina".
Some have inscriptions like: Miss Mackie, Best wishes from E.A. Williams, 1905.
Now the struggle is scan and keep or scan and "use". Some of the covers really are sweet and I can incorporate so much into different projects.
Absolutely love this one...
But like I've said before - they won't get seen if they sit in the bottom of a box somewhere - so unless you see one that I can sell and make a killing, they await my art table! Enjoy, Jewels.