Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Adventures

Lots of good times in Canada with my family...
It was lovely to see my two nephews (by the way, I am 5' 8")...
and my niece (she is also on her way to being tall LOL).
There was a significant snow storm that came through southwestern Ontario on Boxing Day. 
Kept the shovels and snow blowers going...
On my last day Dad and I went out for lunch on Sarnia Bay on the St. Clair River which is just south of Lake Huron.
The shipping industry is a big part of my home town. Huge freighters come through the Great Lakes all through the good weather but eventually will stop in winter. 
Some will dock for maintenance.We counted three in the government harbour.
Looking across the bay you can see the Chemical Valley - in its heyday there were several big and supporting companies south of town - the reason why my parents immigrated from the UK. You can see water fowl sitting on the ice in the middles of the bay. It was an unexpected adventure for us on a cold winter day.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Last Mail Art for 2012

Remember my post on classic SciFi Mail Art? 
Well Fiddlesnip Jo's showed up in the mail yesterday - wahoo! She provided a letter explaining how she decided on Mr. Wells and the book "The First Men in the Moon" (I checked, you can download for free from Project Gutenberg if you are so inclined)....
Just love the "steam punk" feel to it as well as HG appropriately wearing his spaceman helmet...the background really does look like a spaceship - waiting to hear how Jo created it on her blog! We've decided on our first exchange for the new year but will save that for later. 
Meanwhile, I am heading to Canada early tomorrow to spend time with my family. I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday for those of you who celebrate this time of year. Enjoy. Jewels

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Winter Solstice Coming!

This year's winter solstice has extra meaning. On Friday I will embark on a 52 week journey with others feeding my creative soul in different ways.
I am really looking forward to it  - the first thing we had to do was write down our personal 20 Soul Care Practices. I decided to capture mine on a tag I made. I crinkled a piece of card stock, smeared inks on it and then sprayed with water to get it to "run"...
..both sides. Others have posted their practices that have reminded me of other things I will add later to my list.
It was also suggested we get a journal to use - I am looking forward to looking backwards (LOL) 52 weeks from Friday and how "plump" I hope my journal will be by then with different things. The background was done using a technique I learned from Mary Green. I photocopied a dictionary page of butterflies onto a page from an old Typewriting class practice book. I did "stiffen" it by brushing on some mod podge before I sewed on the vellum.
So this first page has a pocket for my "Soul Tag" that I can take  out and look at it while working on other parts of my journal.
AND there is still time if you are interested in joining - just click the link to The Creative Underground on my sidebar and it will take you to more information. Enjoy. Jewels

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What did you do this Sunday?

I putzed big time but did manage to get a few things done...
I had thrifted this pretty tin a few weeks back and wanted to use it for some "tall" items I use regularly. I added the trim today as the rim was a bit rough (still have not decided what to do with the pretty lid).
I framed a really cool advertisement from a 1950's Better Homes and Garden for products my company used to sell. Going to hang in my office.
I ironed (ugh that's not really putzin but a necessary evil I'm afraid). Did I mention I dislike ironing - unless its for artsy stuff of course.
I started sorting my large stamp collection. 
Somehow I've managed to gather over 2,000 - some of my peeps have received a few as I can't imagine EVER using them all!
There are some really neat ones...
...and others frankly I don't know what to do with. These will  never show up in any art I do - I put them in context with the rest of the German stamps in my collection that range from the 1930's - 1960's. They all tell a story of a specific time in our history and for that reason I will probably keep them for now. 
I've also been working on my 52 Weeks Journal - I'll save what I've done for another post. However, I wanted to share this. For many of my peeps who use ephemera from old dictionaries - look familiar? I actually picked this up at a card store and kept thinking "I could make that" as I happen to have something very similar in my own collection (dang another "make a million" opportunity I missed). Oh well - I've been reading Gwen Diehn's The Complete Decorated Journal. One comment she made really struck home. "Using real ephemera from daily life can add richness to a journal. But packaged images - which might be called pseudo-ephemera - besides not really being related to our lives have become ubiquitous, and like anything too often repeated, these images have become cliches". hmmm, I appreciate what she is saying. Something to consider for my artsy endeavors in the new year...
As Christmas gets increasingly closer I know many are making their plans and finishing last minute tasks. Be sure to take a breath every now and then -  and remember - Jan. 2nd it will all be over and done with LOL. Jewels. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mail Art - Classic SciFi

Fiddlesnips Jo and I are at it again. Breaking from Christmas stuff, we decided on a theme of Classic SciFi for a Mail Art exchange. Oh the possibilities - Jules Verne, George Orwell, Frank Herbert, Madeleine L'Engle, Ursula K. Le Guin, H.G. Wells.... Just researching I was overwhelmed (Wrinkle in Time was at the top of the list for a long time). And then of all things I was reading a review of the Walking Dead (popular series here in the States) that said the opening scenes of the pilot were inspired by Day of the Triffids - OMG what memories that brought back. Wyndham's 1951 classic was required reading in one of my high school English classes. 
I wanted an image of somewhere in London and found this picture of the gates to Buckingham Palaces (hmmmm Triffids really don't care if your royalty or not).I played around with it in Pic Monkey (love that application).
I then used an image transfer technique that Jo posted here. And voila, the result!
The envelope was fun too - lots of original materials from different sources. I stamped the publication date along the edges.
It arrived safe and sound with Jo so able to share with you. Enjoy. Jewels.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Ornys

A while back one of my Mail Art pals suggested we exchange handmade "ornys" for our December swap. Bring it on Leslie, though I was really not sure how it was all going to turn out with my hand surgery.
Turns out there were no problems at all. My first orny came from Beth. She did something I've been wanting to try for awhile - an altered Altoid tin. Yeah B - isn't beautiful - I've asked her for a tutorial.
In exchange I sent her an embellished vintage Scottie puppy card as I know she would it appreciate it. 
Leslie sent TWO ornys and they are both lovely. You can read more about how she made them over at her blog.
I know she  likes vintage stuff so I pulled out an old original photo, lace and crotchet and other embellishments to create something unique.
Enjoy my friends - looking forward to our 2013 swaps! Your the best. Jewels

Sunday, December 2, 2012

These Boots...

I had to scale back on running awhile ago so I find myself doing a lot of walking. I decided to splurge yesterday and get myself some fancy schmancy hiking boots.
And today I decided to break them in - aren't they serious looking! It was 53 F (11 C) here today so perfect for getting out.
However, it was very overcast. We had rain last night and will again tonight. So everything is rather "brown".
You have to really look for interesting the gentle slope into the valley.
The rush of the stream (rather brown water I would say) from the storms.
The splash of green moss everywhere.
As well as fungi which I always like to see.
So after a couple of miles I decided to head home for a "cuppa and bikkies to dunk"....looks like I was in a rush LOL. Met some lovely puppies out with their humans and got to do some ear scratching...
Hope you had a lovely Sunday to. enjoy. Jewels

Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Give Away UPDATE

UPDATE: And the winner is (drum roll) SUSAN! Thanks everyone for leaving comments....

I've been sorting through stuff and realize I have lots and lots of tags! Thought I would part with one just in time for Christmas....this tag was created using fabric, paper and plenty of embellishments (including lace from an old wedding dress I thrifted!) for an exchange with my pal Carol (who just became a great grandma a second time - go say hello and congratulate her!)

If you would like this lovely tag (3 x 6 and a bit) just leave a comment. We will do the draw on December 1st....Off to Canada for a couple of days to be with family...Enjoy. Jewels

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tag Tuesday - He Wrote Me A Letter

Been a couple of weeks since I could participate in the weekly challenge over at Tag Tuesday - but I could not miss the Sepia theme!
Found this wonderful image at Vintage Ladies and Mike who owns this wonderful collection allowed me to use. I did some changes using PicMonkey (love that application). Added lots of embellishments. Go on over and see the rest of the art! Enjoy. Jewels

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Monthly ATC ...Times Three

Well I really have fallen behind creating my monthly ATC’s. So I had a chance this weekend to catch up.
 First up is September. Though it is really not a garden theme, I like the idea of going back to school. The background for this ATC is an advert for wallpaper. The children are from an old school textbook and I thought adding the stamp in the corner was a good embellishment.
 For October, I found an old garden catalog with an advertisement that matched the text for the month. The background is actually from an old phone book.
 Finally, I am now caught up with November. The background to the right is one of those transfers that I have done before from old Vogart patterns. While I’m not fully functional yet, it is nice to be able to do some artsy things. Including scanning LOL. Enjoy. Jewels

Friday, November 2, 2012


I've been, not surprisingly, pretty quiet of late. I have to say, two weeks out from my surgery, that has been not too bad. My stitches were out yesterday (good news) but now for the hard part - Physical Therapy. I still have to wear my special "splint" that looks like some thing from a cyborg movie for another 4 weeks, but I am certainly not as restricted as the first time I had this surgery...which means this weekend I can try some artsy things (yeah). BUT.... has not been on my side. Still using my IPhone to take pics until I can get my battery charger laptop has been a nightmare though I have it back now and trying to get it back to normal. My latest challenge - my damn printer! I can't find the disks for it to reload the program so I can print ARGHHH I have been frustrated. My only consolation is that I have a backup copy of the program but I cannot for the life of me figure out where the startup file is (no .exe to be found anywhere). Which means no scanning, no trying new printing or image transfer techniques. Seriously I am one sad puppy at the moment.
I know I will eventually get it all corrected - but what a pain in the patootie!!!
Thanks for reading my rant. :(  Jewels

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's All About Balance

A while back Leslie posted some glue book pages she created - she said she would like to do a swap with some of them.
This is the one she sent me. Just lovely. I of course dragged my butt getting mine done - finally sent out a week before surgery.
I LOVE this image - I scanned because I am sure I will use again. The background includes an old map, dictionary page, vintage stamp, the cover from an old British travel brochure, and some pretty tape. Some ink for shading and some paint. It's all about balance! Another "I hate to let you go" but I know went to a good home! Enjoy Jewels

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Back Online!

My computer finally came back! Unfortunately I've had to redo all the settings (argh). Only a few things lost but taking forever to do with one hand. I did these 2 ATCs before my surgery (will be awhile before I can do this kind of fussy cutting again!).
I came into a HUGE  stash of old stamps recently from all over the world - some really cool ones like this. I call it Stamp Gothic - from somewhere in Europe. The background is from a roll of old Wallpaper that I thrifted (that rarely happens and for 60 cents for the whole roll I could not pass it up!)
I love the "mysterious" story that goes with this one - Lie to her Supposed Poverty. The couple are from an old advertisement. The door is a small gift card. Seriously I just happened to drop them both on top of the book page and thought, wow! Do you think he ever will, lol? Enjoy. Jewels