A few weeks ago I was the lucky winner of some blog candy on Carolyn's blog, from Inka Stamps - a beautiful poinsettia image and a set of verses. The stamps arrived on Wednesday of this week, and I've finally had a little free time (in between the laundry and getting the holiday lights set up) to play. I've been fighting a bad winter cold all week, so it took awhile for my creative mojo to resurface. The first card I made is based on the one that Carolyn posted on her blog (forgive the poor scan - my scanner does not do metallic stuff very well): I managed a second card before my first load of laundry was done. Let me tell you, the gold cording on this one was a bugger! I've had that cording for some time, and now I remember why I don't use it very often - it's very tempermental (which, added to my being irritable from the cold, makes for a bad combination). But I persevered, and this card is the result (photographed because my scanner absolutely refuses to do beads): Many thanks to Carolyn and Inka Stamps for their generosity. I'm hoping to have more time to play this afternoon.
Chrysti is doing the 29 days of giving, and I love the whole idea! I know how much a simple gift can matter: case in point, the wonderful blog candy that I won on Seth's blog back in September, that arrived shortly after Hurricane Ike did so much damage here. It was the only thing that came in the mail that day (we were lucky to even get any mail), the mailman brought it to the house instead of leaving it in the box (they were only delivering packages), and I spent a good hour sitting at the kitchen table going through everything piece by piece, relishing the time spent away from yard cleanup and worrying about the roof damage.
So who knows, maybe I'll get my butt in gear over the holidays and follow Chrysti's lead. . .
New books: for my birthday today, my folks got me Altered Paper Jewelry by Jenn Mason. Wonderful book, lots of clever ideas. For my birthday, I picked up Making Connections by Susan Lenart Kazmer. I've taken a class with her - she's a wonderful artist, fabulous teacher, and her book is fabulous.
A book I'm anxiously waiting on - Exhibition 36: Mixed Media Demonstrations + Explorations (on Amazon here). It looks fabulous, and the author Susan Tuttle is having a wonderful giveaway on her blog.
On order - a whole stack of Japanese lovelies from Kinokuniya in Seattle, due to arrive the day after tomorrow. I know what I'll be doing Thursday evening!
Post-Turkeyday, still recovering. Spent most of today surfing, which is always dangerous because it usually leads to shopping! My yesasia shopping cart is already way too full.
iHanna has some wonderful things in her Etsy shop - wonderful collage packs, notebooks, etc. Check out her Etsy shop or her blog for more information.
More wonderful leather journals from MyHandmadeBooks on Etsy (I have 2 of hers already), and I've been sorely tempted by the suede ones from Kreativlink. But the big sale at Chronicle Books is too good to pass up - I'm getting some of the new soft-sided Moleskines.
Hard to believe that it's already almost Thanksgiving - where has the year gone? Things have been so busy between work and school activities that there's hardly been any time for art.
That being said, I did have a blast at quilt festival. I managed to spend a reasonable amount of money, and was fortunate enough to get into one of the Make It University classes. We made a collaged canvas - I further embellished mine when I got home (and I've "censored" it, just in case TPTB at blogger don't like it):
I got my wonderful Cold Charlotte doll from Kristin at Retro Cafe Art the other week - I can't decide what to do with her, because she is just so lovely by herself. Kristin is having another fabulous blog candy giveaway - check it out:
And definitely check out her shop - she has the most wonderful things!
I'll try to get a link to my Quilt Festival pictures on the blog - I'm still learning about this whole blogging thing (and you'd think that, having been in software for over 20 years, it would be easy for me!).
Life after Ike has been hectic, to say the least! We're still trying to get caught up after a week and a half of no school, and over 2 weeks of no work (no power at the office building!) - too much stuff crammed into too few days!
Of course, did I use that 2 weeks of downtime wisely? Not really - I spent some of it sorting (only a fraction of the stuff I should have sorted), some of it catching up on the ever-growing pile of magazines and books (of course, I also shopped for more books, so I don't think I made any real progress there), and napping. No major art projects, except for finishing my pages for a collaborative book project. Okay, so I did accomplish something at least!
And just when I think things are finally settling down, I realize that next week is Halloween and I haven't decorated at all, and more importantly Quilt Festival is next week, and I haven't planned out my shopping yet . . .
Speaking of shopping, if you're in the market for cool stuff, check out Retro Cafe Art Gallery. Wonderful service and fabulous stuff, including new frozen Charlotte dolls. And she's having a great giveaway on her blog, here:
well, we survived ike - sort of. it's hard to believe that it all happened a week ago.
we lost power sometime early saturday morning on the 13th, before the worst of the storm hit. needless to say, we didn't get much sleep - every time something hit the roof (which was pretty frequently), we jumped up and tried to see what we could out the windows with flashlights. around 4:30 or 5:00 we heard something quite loud - all we could see from the windows was a very large branch from our biggest pine tree lying in the middle of the backyard, and part of a tree on our roof. the storm blew through by about 9:00 or so in the morning, giving us our first chance to survey the damage. wow ...
turns out the tree on the roof wasn't part of our tree - it was the top of one of our neighbors giant pine trees, which also took out part of our fence. another of their trees took out a different section of the fence.
on the other side of the house: one of our trees broke in two during the first part of the storm, and was originally resting on our neighbor's two-story roof. that turned out to be a good thing, because during the second half of the storm one of their trees uprooted, and the only thing keeping it from crashing down onto both of our houses was the fact that it was wedged against the broken part of our tree.
our neighbor had a group from his church come by first thing saturday morning to remove his tree from our garage and clean up the big debris (that was truly a blessing!). the damage to the garage roof was minimal, and neither of the cars were hit. we spent 3 days cleaning up the rest of the mess, and wound up with a pile of debris in the front yard that's taller than the boy. i can't believe how many pine cones we picked up (and we still haven't finished the backyard).
we did't get power back until tuesday evening. fortunately, we had running water the entire time, and the weather was unseasonably cool for this time of year, so it was tolerable in the house with no a/c and the windows open. most of the immediate area is still without power, although it's coming back slowly. school has been out since last friday, and right now is tentatively scheduled to open again next wednesday (although the boy's school currently doesn't have power, and isn't on the list to open).
overall, we were very fortunate - i feel for the people down along the coast (and in other areas) who lost everything. so many can't even get back to their homes to see how much damage there is, or if there's anything left to salvage.
thoughts and prayers for the areas hit by ike would be most appreciated...
well, i guess i'm not too surprised - there is definitely a shelf life for the leather part of the fabu-leather. my poor little journal didn't survive too many days of being toted around in my purse.
so i snuck out of work long enough to hit the local craft store last week, and bought a 12x12 piece of suede. cut the threads from the old journal, trimmed the suede down, and viola! - a new journal cover. a smidge less coverage on the wrap than the first one, but with the added benefit of that yummy suede smell. and i managed to re-bind the whole thing without tearing any of the pages! here are a few shots of the new and vastly improved cover:
should have just done the "suede from the craft store" thing from the start . . . ;-)
eeep - i made a journal! i've bound pages before, for journal inserts (into commercially made leather covers), but this is the first time i've done longstitch into a cover i made. i didn't have any leather (and wasn't patient enough to wait until i could buy some), so i used an old piece of fabu-leather that i bought many many years ago for a purse to make a faux leather cover.
note to self: fabu-leather has a shelf-life! i couldn't make the closure/wrap band out of it because the fake leather part disintegrated when i stretched it (i hate to think what a skirt made out of this stuff several years ago must look like now - yeeks!).
but i'm pretty proud of how this one turned out - i used a variety of papers for the pages, and added a braided waxed linen wrap (with a cool stamped wooden coin i got in a swap many years ago - my apologies to the artist because i don't remember who it's from). i just hope the damn cover lasts long enough!
well, here it is, my foray into blog-dom. we'll see how long i keep it up . . .
looking forward to the upcoming weekend, planning a visit to my friend at the hospital, hoping to get some artwork done as well. i was able to complete some items last weekend for the snagging stampers "handmade hoopla" contest - hopefully i'll find some nice things to snag.
this blog needs a lot of work - graphics, artwork, a nicer layout . . . but at least it's a start!