Friday, September 28, 2012


The  post on interviewing people corresponded with a blog post from Create Mixed Media from Seth Apter's book, The Pulse of Mixed Media, which I won from him.

Seth has interviewed artists and has published their answers.

I'm not doing an interview but  I'm linking to the post which has some responses on how to boost creativity and the influence of current trends.  It is about TIME and TRENDS.  I think there is a connection between them.  I copy trends and that takes time away from what I should be working on.  Not a waste but kind of a frittering away of...

We are entering a new season.  For me it is the winding down from the busyness of summer and all the various extras that summer brings.  I'm looking forward to some real creative time in my studio/playroom.  I have lots of things I want to accomplish in my art and also in some creative projects for my home.   I don't want to waste time getting caught up in current trends that maybe are fun but not me.  I'm back to Focus, my first blog word.  I'm intent on Finding the right way/style for me.  I'm gonna try to Finish the rest of the year in a strong manner.

I was at a Bernina session and Nina has so much potential and is just busting a bobbin on my newly positioned workspace because she wants to show me what I can do with all the stuff  I have in her stash.  Besides which I really need some fall/winter clothes.  5' 2" and a spongy hour glass shape that makes fitting the waist band and the short legs challenging means I should figure out fitting a basic pattern and then change it with all her tricks!.

The Rooster is so focused.  It takes him sometimes a day but he catches on when I try to side track him.  So instead of fighting and fooling him, I think I should turn over my whole house plan and say, what do you recommend!  Seriously.  He is always telling me my forays into the accessory department would be better served by saving for a big ticket item.  :0   And then maybe I wouldn't be spending the paint money on the art supplies! LOL  And then maybe my list would look as crossed off as his!  And he won't let me buy colour coded folders, tags, and pens.  Just scribble it down on the back of the bills and do it!  

Influences!  They can be good or they can be a waste of our time.  What influences you?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dried Flowers

My good friend Irmgard invited Jenn and I over for card making.

I had been invited along on a flower gathering walk  before but I had never actually made a card.  The flowers and leaves are pressed and somewhat organized in a number of old telephone books.

The arrangement is worked face down on paper.  These are fantasy arrangements as bits and pieces of all kinds of leaves and curlicues are used. Then a clear piece of mac tac is carefully laid down.  The plastic with the flowers adhered on it is then placed on the background.  It could be in a picture frame.   We made cards and I was impressed by how lovely they turned out.  It only took about 45 minutes!

oh dear, another hobby???

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Intentional Blogging 11: Interviewing Experts

It all boils down to relationships.  Interviews are about asking permission to share the the things that influence the artist and the art.  They can start with a tentative invite and develop into an exciting relationship.  We all influence one another in various and subtle ways.  It never hurts to ask.

Jeff maintains, " If you consistently and quietly show up in a person’s life, you will win a friend."
"Over time, some relationships with influencers will go from interviewee to friend to advocate. And that third level of relationship is a beautiful thing."

  • Interviews are a foot in the door. Like flashing a “press badge,” when you tell someone (or their assistant) that you have a blog and want to interview them, you’re much more likely to get some of their time.
  • Interviews build relationships. The point of doing an interview really isn’t about the content. It’s about building a relationship with the influencer.
  • Interviews legitimize your influence. If you can land an interview with Stephen King or Julia Roberts, you’ve made it. You’re legit. And people recognize that. 

"Now, please don’t take that and misapply it. You need to pay your dues. You need to do the interviews and share the content. This is how the relationship is built."

"The payoff for you is a relationship between you and the interviewee. Not everyone will reciprocate, but if you do this often, I’ve found, you do make some new relationships."

This sounds very much to me like introducing acquaintances at a social event to one another.  Some are casual acquaintances and some are dear friends but in giving opportunity for one to meet another,  new friendships develop and the circle of influence increases.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A long way to go!

We are putting stringers on for those who are at all interested in the intricacies of fencing. We had a couple of posts to reposition and now we need to pound those two in by sledge hammer.  We being;  I hold it and the Rooster stands on something and smacks away! lol  Next we bolt them on as nails are not enough if we don't want to be fixing.  Then the boards go on which only need screws. I hope the weather holds as the Rooster has time lines and deadlines.

I am trying to find my style and this was an attempt at finding it. I believe I have a ways to go!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Head over heels in creativity

I am invited to a special Bernina presentation called Head over Heels and we are invited to wear fancy shoes.  So...  These 'dancing' pumps look wonderful but for staying on my feet, they are not so great.  I think I need a bit more support so I was happy to give paint pens a whirl.  The perfect stripes leaked under the tape. Free hand has its issues as well. And just when you feel you have dots licked the paint makes a blob and makes its own dance trail!  But they shall make their debut and then be retired to the dress up trunk.  No I haven't got one but this could be the start!  lol

I have the grand kiddies. This new art supply isn't exactly in the same category as Peerless water colours but I was impressed.  Not much mess.

We gave polymer clay another try with a sampling of the cookie cutters I got at the thrift store.  They had a huge selection and 10 cents a piece!  My namesake didn't make it all the way through this session.  Attitude issues!  That reminds me, I need to find where her clay ball rolled off to!  edit:  she took it to bed with her!  LOL

And she totally missed the new washable stamp pads!  I think I'll put a lock on my archival permanent blacks! Looks like Josh needs a bit more muscle for my tag punch!

By golly, I may have to get some more polymer clay. This is much less fattening than cookies!  We are head over heels in luv with creativity!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wow, more polymer clay

On Monday I rolled out the polymer clay for my Altered Book tutorial.  I was happy with my leaves but knew I needed to do some more.

Jenn joins me Wednesdays for Creativity 101 and we did some scrapbooking and magazine journal prep. We could use some embellishments for our projects.  Jenn is all about hearts and I figured we could freehand these as we had no cookie cutters.  The polymer clay hearts will go on the blue, red, pink painted page.  We didn't have the pink so we did a lot of kneading to get the red and white to turn pink.  I liked the striped effect but Jenn wanted pure pink.

One commenter from Monday suggested the clay was too soft so I throttled back and it was easier to work with and not so sticky.

We dusted them with some Perfect Pearls powder and it does add a nice shine when baked.  It also covered my  heart's candy cane effect. :0  The rosy powder did add a nice blush to the blue heart which will help it blend into the page.  Quality control is still wanting.  Finger prints and less than smooth edges are only enhanced by baking!  :(

I baked these in the bigger oven at 265 degrees F and the thermometer read 10 degrees lower so I bumped it up and then cooked them in the covered tin for 20 minutes.  They seem fine!  I was surprised at how light these hearts were after baking.  This was a concern for adhering them to the page but I'm not worried at all now although E-6000 is still recommended.

We had a busy fun day and no pressure creativity is what was on my worktable this Wednesday.

I'm linking to my fellow Needle and Thread Networkers.  Check it out for cross country creativity!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Intentional Blogging 10 Guest Blogging

Why Guest Post?

Here are three reasons:

1. Guest posting builds relationships with other bloggers.
2. Guest posting is great for search engines.
3. Guest posting introduces you to new communities.

There is a right way and a right time to ask.  Be in relationship with the one you invite and it should be mutually beneficial.   Jeff's post today is Doesn't hurt to ask.

I must admit that this series is indeed very  intentional and perhaps more intentional than myself and perhaps some others want for their blog.  I have learned a thing or three so I'm happy for that.  There are 2 more lessons left and I intend to finish and not have 'another' ufo in my life.  LOL    But I want to make known that I primarily want my blog to be a small b blog.  Worthwhile would be nice as well though. Who wants to waste their time???   My blog foremost has value to me. Heck, sometimes I think I may be guest posting on my own blog because I find I am doing things I didn't know I could do.   But to ask someone to guest post at this point seems like I'm asking someone else to write in my diary!   I am just getting comfortable with adding links!  ;^)  I am learning never to say never but  if you are following along on these weekly lessons please just take what is pertinent  (valuable) for you and your blog and the rest can just pass right on by down the line to someone who needs to really know about guest blogging, increasing stats and general growth and development!  

But thanks for hanging in with me.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Polymer leaves

This Monday's Internet assignment Lesson 17 was for my Altered Book class with Bleubeard and Elizabeth over at Altered Book Lover.  She added a bit more on a later post.  I've appreciated how much effort she has put into all of this.

I have made beads from the polymer clay and rather liked that but for my Leaves altered book I wanted to do- leaves.  I found some cool leaf shapes in the cake section at Michael's.  They were fondant leaves.  My favourite leaf shape!

Now beads are a whole lot easier.  Roll, poke and position on the edge of a pan. I did think rolling the bead on a stamp for added texture was a great idea. Adding Pearl-Ex or other mica powders was another good idea.  The stamps work but trimming and knowing where to trim is tricky!

Then cutting the leaves from the polymer clay needs a different skill.  They don't exactly shake out and pushing makes a mark. I decided no big deal, the other side works and I even added a nice mark for a vein.

But I also got some letters and numbers and they need to be right side up!  :~

I did try a mold, at least the closest I had to a mold.  That is easier I think.

Baking them in a closed tin is brilliant because the fumes are all inside.  Of course, taking the lid off too soon is, cough, cough, hazardous!  ;^)

But good thing I did as they were kinda soft so I got the Rooster's handy dandy oven thermometer and there is a good reason why there is a new element waiting to be installed. hmmm?  So I diddled around some and then it got too hot and so I just turned things off to await the outcome. ???

Brushing the stamp with a dusting of Pearl Ex powder gave a nice effect.  I can shine them up with some Mod Poge also.

I think I will use some on the cover for sure.  I'm not sure exactly where I'll add the rest.  The book has loose pages and some pages I want to rework.  I'll have them for options when I do the final organizing of everything.

I also think that I'll be revisiting this on Wednesday for Creativity 101.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Falling into place

I have been missing in action but not inactive!

I'd show you the super picture of the Assinaboine Park's new playground for kids but I have to figure how to get them off my phone!  :( Baby  Jolina's appointment about concerns for her hips were nullified.  Now we need to get her mother's sciatic nerve appointments crossed off the list and happy faces added as well!

I did take time to replace the heating tool that my grandson fried because his grandmother wasn't watching what he was doing.  :(  Mind you, I didn't actually know they are to be 6 inches away from any surface!  

I had got some cookie cutters for my polymer clay lesson in Altered Books locally but they are pretty big.  So while the kiddies had a cookie break in the car I flew into Michael's with my coupon.   I couldn't see any molds that appealed and then I saw the fondant cutters!  YES!!!  I never thought I'd find myself in the baking section at Michael's but it does pay to think creatively.  These wee alphabets are perfect for the polymer clay that is rolled out thinly!

A brief stop at the scrapbook store on my way home and I scooped up a few things to add some continuity to my calendar journal.

I was also impressed that they are pretty much the colours I'm choosing for the house decor. I found the large scrap book paper and now I have a good piece of theme colours to drag around the rooms.

Thursday morning I was ready for the window guys!

Poor photo but this window has the white paint on the frame and I like it!

This is the studio window and hadn't opened for a few years so I am absolutely delighted to give opportunity for some of the heat from the sewing machine, lights, and iron  to dissipate  from the sweatshop!  Now to get the bookcase edited, back under the window and a table set up behind Nina.

Thanks for the kind comments on the improvisational project that supports the veranda roof.  A bit of a touch up for the newer bits of 2 x 6's and it'll be perfect. The Rooster blushed when I told him!

And now if he can take these and fit them into the old barn window openings I may just have to get a photo of his chick giving him a peck in public!  LOL

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Intentional Blogging 9 Networking

There is a certain security in the anonymity that blogging offers.

But for blogging to be successful and fulfilling there needs to be some further risk.

That involves developing relationships .

That means reaching out and forming real human interactions.

It means connecting with people.
You need to start networking.

Here's how to begin:
  • Quit hiding behind your work (blog). Schedule some time in your day, week, or month for socializing. This is an investment.
  • Use social media as the means to an end, not the end itself. Reach out to people on Twitter and Facebook and ask to meet them in person.
  • Take a stranger out to lunch or coffee... and pick up the bill.
  • Sign up for meetups, mixers, and conferences.
  • Start doing favors for people without expecting anything in return.
Whether one blogs with a big B or a small b, it is important to make real connections with real people. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

More Rooster work

Monday's are supposed to be for my Internet lessons but the Altered Book supply list has a few deficiencies.  I will make a quick trip to the local bargain store to see if  I can correct that and post later.

We did have a busy weekend.  Things are falling into place as we move into this next season.

I brought my namesake home with me on Friday.

We did take a few hours out for the local rodeo but most of our spare time was on getting the veranda to a place where we could call it done.

The Rooster is getting it!  LOL  He choose posts that had a rustic/antique look.  I had to say no to the creative shelving and told him to stick with the open wall stud look.  KISS    A bit of paint and I can live with this.

The one who can't seem to live with the changes is the big dog, Manny. He has made a home for himself under the veranda because it was open and cool.  He has dug serious holes under there.  We have closed it back up and he is less than impressed.  Met me this morning on the step with vocal protestations!  ;^)

We will also be adding more big rocks to the bed around the house because he has been excavating in it as well.  Darn dog!

Next improvement will be to replace the wooden shakes with vinyl ones as the leaf cutter bees burrow into them and then the woodpeckers dig them out! They are pretty old and paint isn't sticking any more.  But in the mean time we are getting things ready for winter and there is definitely a chill in the air.  The Rooster is happiest crossing off things on his list!  :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rooster Work, Summer 2012

That's my dearie!  Working much too hard but then he does love his ol' biddy!  lol

I got all the pavers lined up in a row. We got the neighbour in with his handy dandy machine and things happened.  He is right!  I always under estimate how long it takes to do things.

But the walk is done.  We have to include a drainage trench and we have moved it just inside the new fence line.  This area will be the entrance.  We'll add 2 posts for the double gate.  It needs to be wider as I wedged the lawn mower in the gate once.  ooops!

Hubby is just amazed at how long that walk is!  We went out and bought a wagon to haul groceries to the house and then we designed a step in it! :(  LOL

Replacing the old fence is next.

The wall of fence left people confused as to where the gate was so I decided an inset gate was the way to go.  We have had more arguments discussions on how that should look that I'm at the place of just do it already.  It needs to be squared with the house. Me!   But the fence curves. He!  It needs to be parallel to the main road. She!  But the barn is slightly twisted in relation to the road so it doesn't exactly line up to the house.He!    eeek!  But he concedes that the pavers have added something to the big opening to make it seem smaller.  And I have conceded that his detailed measuring doesn't lie.   We'll get er done, yet!

How great that a fence pounder is available for rent only 3 miles away!!! Phew! Also great that the fence posts are leaving my area of the barn!  We used every spare post on yard and a couple from the reject pile.

How great that the Rooster has an assistant!  I can hardly wait to be replaced. lol

The veranda needs to be closed in and then we need to think about the gravel walk around the entrance as I luv the sound of walking on it but the gravel is always jumping into the flower bed not to mention the grass!

This veranda is a PROBLEM.  I luv it and it is our main entrance but it has always moved as frosts heave it around.  Last year we put down some kind of in-ground posts and better beams. So far, so good!   Next we need to be creative to disguise the one post and beam by the steps.  Now the roof is sagging. :(  That needs another creative solution before the window guys get up on it.  Rooster to the rescue!  lol

The old windows have square glass sections that are going to be put in the big barn along the sides.  The original barn windows were removed and boarded up so we will be 'letting in the light' on my future workroom. I'm hoping to find 2 longer windows that open for the front of the barn.  These boards are for the fence but I had a 'good idea'!  I need two walls put up and I want white but rustic.  Boards would be good!   The next job for my Rooster. ;^)  Far behind that wheel barrow is the raised bed garden area. That is definitely his work as he is the 'real' gardener.  He finds weeding to be very relaxing.  Probably because I'm not around to add to his Rooster list!  lol  It's a good thing he likes eggs because as a chick, I'm not much of a pie maker!

The summer is drawing to a close.  Fall is fast approaching.  Time to start stroking off the completed projects.  I don't want to count those chicks before they are hatched but things are looking like they just might be worth crowing about!