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