Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A cluttered mind

I have so much I want to do, I have a little list in my phone and I keep adding to it fast than I am checking things off of it. 
We (me and Linus) picked the giant sunflower for M-R's class room, the little kids get to pull it apart and check it out. But first Linus inspected it. (I don't know why, but in the preview this photo is left justified and I can't seem to fix it.)
I feel like I spend more time organizing in my space and less time crafting. That wall isn't working for me.
So, thanks to a local Facebook scrapbookers' buy and sell page, I bought the unit on the right.
This meant I could move all my albums, books and magazines to a more manageable shelf. Ha Ha.
It took me the better part of two days. I stood around stunned for most of the time. Kerry even came in and told me to leave at one point. I really have too much stuff that I don't use.
Now that it's all tidy, I can't wait to mess it up again!
My desk is the only clutter right now, and I'm slowly working on it.
I've also been working on my Art of Goodness class. I should be working on classes for Christmas cards and tags, but I can't seem to get into it. (I'm listening to Christmas music while I blog, hoping that it gets me in the mood.)
I'm really enjoying the class, but I have to admit, painting with my fingers, and the 'messy' stuff don't come easy to me.
I've also been playing with some techniques in my art journal, I made this one and the one above from scratch.
I don't know if you can tell, but the clock faces are textured, it's stucco patch that I found in the spare room. I also used a pile of old rub-ons, that I found while 'organizing'.

One of the class assignments was 'gates' and I really wanted to paint a watercolour of Sharon's portrait from the Hometown Workshop.
Right now, I have this cheap, basic palette of water colours, and my Stampin' Up ones. I've never really used either, so this is a good time to try them out and see if I even like watercolour painting.
I better check Pinterest, maybe there's some Christmas inspiration there, or maybe I'll find something nifty to do with my recycling!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Stay classy!

Soooo..... I'm still feeling super creative. 
I don't know if it's kismet, fate, or just a coincidence. I stopped at Michaels, ran into Heather, who bought me a magazine for my belated birthday present, Somerset Workshop. Never had bought one before, probably never even looked at one. (Thanks, Heather!) I came home, flipped through it, and fell in love with Junelle Jacobsen's work. I quickly checked out her blog...Yes and Amen, and decided I need a lamb. But then I saw Christy Tomlinson was offering a class by Junelle and without hesitating, I signed up.  I don't paint anymore, I even let some kids use my brushes for painting all kinds of anime costume things. I could hold all the paint I own in one hand, where as 8 years ago, I had a rack to rival most stores. I will try my hand at sketching, water colour painting, and some fibre art.
Off to Opus and Michaels I went. But first, I offered to buy Opus and Michaels gift cards off the kid! 

The supply list is a page long. Most of the items I have, well, maybe half. I've been wanting to make some art journals to add to my "Special Journal Pile", you know, the one that has a few dozen journals that no one is allowed to write in. I found this Letter Love journal from a class I took last year, and it's got lots of room in it still so I re-named it, Letter Loving and Sketch.
Then I made a water colour book, but the paper I have is cold pressed and quite rough. The nice lady at Opus told me I would not regret the lovely hot pressed 140 lb. vellum finished water colour/mixed media paper, so I bought it and made a book of that too.

And because this well of creative juices runs deep, or maybe because I'm worried that if I stop, I won't start again, I made a Donna Downey inspired art journal. Now the OCD in me says that sucker is fat! That sucker won't lay flat, that sucker sucks. Or as my friend Amy would rather hear me say "That sucker vacuums!" She doesn't like her students saying "sucks".
I haven't even painted in it, and it won't stay closed. I know that Donna's aren't closed, they are very fat, filled with all kinds of arsty goodness. Maybe when mine has something in it and it won't close, I'll love it a bit more. The fabric and patterned paper choices were not planned, that fabric was one of the only pieces in my stash that I could find that was 12 inches wide.
I didn't edit the photos, I took them with my 50mm. I have been loving it lately. It's so much lighter than my other lens and I'm saving all my energy for craft related projects. And what is not to love about that vignetting, or at least today I love it.

To keep with the "classy" theme, I should also point out that I signed up for Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry 102 class. That man is amazing. I haven't started making anything, Marg and I are watching all the videos first and there's a lot of them.  I watch, I oohhh and aaahhh, and my wish list gets longer and longer!

Let's just say I'm going to need a larger crafting room.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

All systems go...

A few weeks ago, I was explaining to Kerry how my brain feels when I get to spend time crafting. 
"It's like spark plugs, or pistons, I don't know," I used car references because he likes cars, even though I don't really know what I'm talking about, "and they are all firing like 'pew pew pew pew' and it feels so good!" I may have also said this really fast, and really loud! 

I also find fall to really get me motivated, it might be from years of preparing for craft sales and October was always crunch time. I remember crafting while making dinner, Krazy Gluing cheese sauce to my tongue, painting in between the door bell ringing as kids trick or treated. And while I don't miss the craft sales and the chaos, I do miss the creativity.

 And so when I decided this large canvas wasn't working for me, I painted it black.
 And that was gross, that black paint is like liquid rubber.
So I got some new gesso, because my old one was too old. After 2 coats, and the black rubber goop, you can see the Tim Holtz ink leaching through the gesso! Tim is so amazing, even his ink can't be suppressed!
I decided to tear out pages from the vintage dictionary I had been hoarding and podge them to the canvas.
And in a moment of utter brilliance, I used a few of those million Basic Grey alphabet stickers I have kicking around.
 Another coat of podge, some watered down paint, and it's looking pretty good.

A bit of that weird stuff left over from the making of sequins, I can't remember what it's called, and a giant heart, almost finished.
I added some tags that I stamped and hand painted (after I dumped half a bottle of ink), with my expensive, bent paint brush that someone didn't store properly. A few more coats of podge, and some ink around the edges. It's lumpy, and messy, and big, and I love it!
Now, to paint the walls so I can hang this and the 4 canvases I covered in fabric earlier today.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A review on some cute bags!

I was asked by Linda from a Pound of Glue Blog to review her reusable shopping bags. At first, I said "Haha, no one reads my blog!" but really it's more like "Wahwah, no one comments on my blog!" I can tell by the little counter that a few someones do indeed visit my blog. So I agreed to review them. I only hope it helps!

Firstly, the shipping. They come from California. My favourite state. The home of Disneyland. I believe the bags took less than 2 weeks, despite Linda's guesstimate on one month.
When I opened the package, I was pleasantly surprised to see "No soup for you!" This is iconic. Kismet. Did Linda know I watch a lot of Seinfeld? We went to see him this year. A crazy fan kept yelling "Jeeerrrrryyyyy!!!!" in a high pitched voice beside me! The only thing stopping me from punching her was the fact I knew her. Oh, wait, maybe I did punch her. Anyways, back to the bags...
"No soup for you!" and "When I eat, it is the food that is scared!"
They are light weight. They will fit in your purse, which is great because I'm getting tired of saying "oh, my bags are in the car!" and then I have to put all my vegetables in my purse because I don't want another plastic bag. 

They have a draw string, so no more twist ties! I don't have to stand by the recycling and question "are twist ties recyclable?"
I haven't had to wash them yet, but they are washable. I would probably hang them to dry because that's how I do it. Maybe I'd even iron them so they look this nice again. But my iron has become a craft iron and might dirty the bags.
 Linda encourages you to use them for bulk foods. Sadly, we can't do that here. There is a sign at the store that says "NO outside bags or containers." I get that, you could have cooties, bugs, etc, and bring them in. I thought of putting the food in the thin plastic bags, then transferring the food to my cool bags, but that still uses the plastic bag, and puts it in the landfill or in recycling. 
I can take the bag to the store for veggies, but the veggies get weighed outside the bag, then I put them inside. Just means they roll around my basket for a bit before they get weighed.
Now, just because she markets them for food, this doesn't mean you can't use them at other stores, Fabricland charges for bags and these bags would be great to haul your sewing notions home in. They would keep those spools of thread from getting lost in your purse.

I'm going to ask Shaun about bread. Cobbs puts the warm bread in a paper bag and gives you a plastic one for later. That's 2 bags! Could I put a warm bread in the cloth bag? (Let me add that the smell of warm sour dough almost made me eat gluten this week, but I held strong and over came the urge grab that loaf while driving home and rip the top off with my teeth.  I ate Gf Bretton crackers while my wheat eaters ate the bread and I didn't kill anyone. A review inside a review...Gf Bretton crackers are really good! You can't tell they are gluten free.)

I think taking them to the farmer's market would be a great idea, the venders would welcome a reusable bag! If only I could remember to go to the market.

I do see other uses for them. Shoes (size 6 or lower), cameras, lunches, gifts!

So please, head over to Linda's Etsy Shop and check the bags out.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

September Ends

What wonderful things happened in September? I can hardly remember because it went so fast!
I took about 2 dozen photos in September. 
First, we tried out some side lighting.

Then a straight on head shot, it's hard to get the eyes and the nose of a dog in focus, maybe a flat faced dog has it's benefits. But it wouldn't be as good looking.
 I got a few shots of the kid, the second week of school. Because that's when the hair got cut.
 For some reason, most of our yard photos include this bush. The lovely black lace elderberry.
 My sunflowers are huge this year. We figured over 8 feet for sure. This is my view from below. I have 3 different kinds of plants too. They are all volunteer, not one was planted. I'm saving the largest for M-R's preschool kids to dissect.
 A few months back, I went for dinner at Kelly O's before R's dance recital and someone put crayons and some drawings in my purse when I went to the bathroom. I didn't find the for a few days, but when I did, I mailed them back to the suspect. In September, I was super excited to find a package in the mail. Then I was super annoyed to find the crayons had made it back to me, only someone had melted the crap out of them.
So I did what any crafty, sane person would do. I spent the afternoon melting the crayons down and I made a very ugly candle.

 Then I smuggled it into her house while she is away! Bwhahahahahaha!
I made gluten free pumpkin cookies that look nothing like their Pinterest photo. But they tasted pretty good, mostly because of the caramel cream cheese frosting I smothered them with. The photo above was taken before using my Expodisc.

 This photo is more like what they really looked like.
I have needed a new wallet for a while but couldn't decide on one. I knew I didn't want a cheap, expensive one like I had, bonded leather is crap. So I went to Danier and found a not cute, but functional wallet.
Sadly, I now feel like George Costanza. Even sadder, there's no money in it yet!
Stop by Amelia's blog to see how she spent her September!