Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wow, almost done

The goal for this week is to finish up my Altered Book that Elizabeth has been teaching us.  This weeks lesson is on bringing it all together.

 The theme I chose was leaves and the first  two seasons of spring and summer I organized on Tuesday.  They have most of the earlier pages except for the beaded one which really makes the first attempts  rather amateurish.  lol

The challenge has been to reconcile my first attempts with my later improvements!

This is all about windows.  I was also trying to get more sewn pages included.

I did remember to position the window for viewing from both sides but somehow it didn't line up exactly.  :O

This is one of those hard to reconcile spreads.

So...  I actually tried to daub over a wall stencil for ivy.  I'm glad it isn't on my wall, but it is better.

I so carefully tried to keep a few pages for lessons that I now have to think of fillers to fill them.  I did not do a zippered page , nor did I do a pop up. So maybe that is why.  I started looking around for leaf things and these two note pages gave me an idea.

And again, just lots of filler stuff, doodles, stamps, smudges and some tape.

So a 'thought I was done" page ... 

... is in for some tweaking.

And while not a 'work of art' it plays better with all the other pages.

This was a mess and if one doesn't give up...

I thought I was home free and then an easy 'white out' pen to line a swirl stencil fiascoed!   ooh!  I was pressing to get a fatter line and, well!  Another creative solution.  ;^)

Indoor house plants to contrast the white wilderness!  

The last two pages and I fussy cut some vellum leaves and glued them down with gel on top of a barely dried page that I'd gessoed and then added colour on top of.

That leaves, (oye, pardon the unintended pun LOL )  only a wee bit more tweaking, and the inside back cover which may be the place for my polymer leaves.  I want to add a fancy book mark and some dangly stuff.  The beaded edge feels kinda lonesome.   But hopefully I can get to that for Friday although the grand kiddies are waving from afar!  :}  Friday I'll show some of my better pages and not just my fixer uppers.  ;^)

I'm linking to Altered Book Lover, who has links to some of the other books as well as all the lessons posted in her side bar under Bleubeard's handsome picture.  Each lesson has links to the participants. I am also posting  to The Needle and Thread Network who are probably wondering if I'm ever going to get back to my sewing machine.  Oh dear, Nina is blowing kisses!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It is elementary, my dear...

The problem in bringing my altered book all together is that it is my first book.  So I have kindergarten pages that pass through the middle years and on to the high school credits but leave me standing on stage with a graduation diploma in my shaky hand!  

I do have a tendency to start over but I don't want to be always doing that so I need to honour the beginnings while making a cohesive whole.  And just like life, the sequence of my leaves sometimes show fresh spring green, fall drop and then back to summer foliage with a bare winter branch brushing a first colouring of rust. I have also suffered some leaf blight!  LOL  Now that is a challenge!

Another try with the stencil and sprays inside.  I think I should draw a few lines to get that left fern to overlap the holder for the tip in.  The spring pages ended up showcasing a lot of the later lessons and I'll sum up on Friday's finish by showing my favourites.

Sophisticated black and shimmer as the backing for the reinforced bead edge is opposite an original page in the Snoopy and Friends encyclopedia.  :(  But after taking three different pictures I finally got some kind of happier compromise.  Taking pictures for my blog is the best thing for seeing and improving what needs posting.  Lots of bonuses to blogging!  lol  This one and the next couple are not my favourites by I am showing my learning curve.  :}

The book is cartoonish and I tried to do some of that.    Not successfully I'm thinking.  This was a pocket page which I found to be a favourite technique.

Summer- and I thought to use some scrapbook stuff and that isn't easy to make 'your own'.

This spread was a turning point.  I didn't have to do anything to improve or incorporate it into the book's flow.  yippee!

I also liked using magazine images for collage.  Pure serendipity that the four leaf clover search  is next to the time flying montage.  Luv it!

This summer pocket for gathering posies with leaves is opposite this mornings problem solving session.
I like the berries on the branches but it was only about 3 inches wide.  ahh, I just remembered it was for a half page slice tip in! ;^O  Anyway, I felt I hit pay dirt when I could lay it on another half page of scrap book paper.  I needed to change the left page tip in section but possibly went too dark. I can maybe white wash it a bit.  We'll see if it makes another change come Friday.

This is the end of the summer stuff and I need to find a lovely quote about leaves to write out on the left page.  The right page was the colour wheel lesson and the closest I could come for leaves was a fruit and nut magazine ad. Again an early set of pages in which I was just finding my stride.

The lessons were great motivators but not really knowing what I would be doing made things a bit choppy.  I'm glad I decided on leaves because it helped keep things somewhat cohesive.

The book is weighted down at the moment so everything dries flat and I shall pick up the rest of the season after I tend to some of those elementary household chores during my recess.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I am definitely using the green Go on the traffic light!

I spent the morning cleaning and rearranging the front room with design ideas for paint and accessories in mind.  I need to come up with a whole house plan so I am ready for any questions as we proceed with the renovations.  I shall proceed each day with a room and have a recap on Friday.  I think I have finally 'got ' it!  I was supposed to quit and move onto mixed media after lunch but then I had a late lunch!  lol

But my focus for the week is my Altered Book and the cover is shaping up and the weight is on for gluing in the spring tip ins.  Elizabeth has posted lesson 19 which is Bringing It All Together and that is what I am trying to do this week.  I used archival ink with a foam pad to ink the leaves on the gessoed  cover.

Then I sprayed with a couple of different kinds of green spray.  I added the transfer  which was from clear tape.

The last bit of spray was shimmer with Perfect Pearls.

The first section, Spring, were tip ins and the glue is applied and the weight is resting on it as I type. Tip ins are loose pages that need to be glued into 2  pages that have been cut leaving  one inch remaining  for inserting the tip ins.

It is definitely a green day!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I enjoyed a bit of R&R for a change of pace this week.

Reading is definitely my first luv and I just kinda binged a bit this week as I enjoyed being home alone!  Reading is NOT a hobby- it is just a fact of my life.  And every once in a while I need to top up!  LOL

And while I do try for a lovely first impression...

This is more the reality of what my reading station looks like when I'm not sitting in the sitting room!  

Jenn and I joined my friend for a bookmark making session on Wednesday.  We made a big mess and lamented all the things that I should have also brought with me.

We also added another element, sniff, sniff!  to the shop's ambiance as we were shown how to make these super cool edges to paper.  The trick is to cut a wavy edge and then just edge and enhance it with the flame.  I really liked it!

Thursday I had an appointment for new car tires and just moved my reading station to their waiting room.  It was an early time slot and I had to go home for some coffee and a few more chapters before I could finish my errands in town.

I have found a new online source for Canadian art supplies.  So Friday after some deliberation, I hit the pay button after a few sniffs of repeating to myself, "No, you can't really have it all!".  I mean, I can't expect a lottery win when I don't buy tickets, can I???  lol  I did try to stick to the basics.  I can't remember exactly how I found The Art House Studio but I have been following the blog for a few weeks now. I have enjoyed watching the Friday night videos.

Then I had a good afternoon at my Bernina Club.  That is always Sew Inspiring!   The technique was bobbin work on zippered pouches.

I finished off the week with a trip to visit the home renovations  that our DD and her family are all involved in.  The Rooster suggested we go and bring back the wee chicks.  He must have felt the coop was way too quiet this past week!  lol

We returned to a covering of snow although the grand kiddies didn't see it as they were fast asleep.

The weekend will be busy and I'll be ready to get back at it on Monday.

So the mojo wasn't really lost, it was just resting!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Google a tute!

I think the grand kiddies scared off my mojo when they skidded into my studio looking for the first thing they could lay their hands on to play with.  I do believe they will now be back to the regularly scheduled visiting schedule so I need to find out what drawer my motivational maid might have chosen to hide out in.

I do need to do a bit more work on the Altered Book transfers from last week and I seemed to have had only enough energy to hit google- gel medium transfers. I have lots of options h\and decided to see if this would be a  jackpot!

But the actual trying was a bit disappointing.

I tried a gel medium on plain sketchbook paper and there is a hole in the background.  I tried the modpodge and it did pretty good but I suspect the paper will still tear if I rub too much.

This was fast but now to clean it up without tearing the base page???

I tried a magazine page placed face down onto gel medium that was spread on deli paper.  I let it dry. Then attempted to remove the paper.   Not great.  I shall be looking for a better way to do this along with a continued search for the mojo!   lol

BTW, this kinda makes me guugle and gaa gaa!   ;^)

So far the packing tape is appealing and I am trying to find larger clear mac tac.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pork, anyone?

It is looking like I am losing my babysitter job as the renovations are moving along at the grand kiddies house.  It is fun looking after them but I do have some fall jobs that I need to get done.

The rain has quit and a good hard frost this morning will dry things up quite a bit.  I could go back and get the flowerbeds ready for winter.

I now have help to do them!  Two pigs got out and in my attempt to get them back in I let the other two out! :(   I just may lose my babysitting job as far as they are concerned!  lol   Sweet Pea delights in rounding up and moving sheep.  She positively goes after the chickens with a wicked glee.  But she seems content to just follow me as we try to get big pigs to come together and move in a designated direction. argghhh!  I gave up in disgust only to have three follow me to the front yard where they were delighted to find a whole new assortment of greenery.  :(

I seriously doubt I'll have any of the self sewn varieties of flowers show up next year .

Their happy grunts enticed the lost member of the herd to join them and no amount of yelling, shoving, threatening had any effect on dissuading them from leaving until they felt the bed was thoroughly reworked.  They did meander over to the north bush for awhile but returned for a few more saunters over the front yard.  I'm sure the Rooster will know the right sort of crowing to get them to follow him back to their home pen.  He is a good detective and will find the point of break out.

I am not making a lot of headway on my favourite projects though.  The best laid plans of mice, men and ...pigs!  lol

Addendum~   The darn things were snoozing in their pen when the Rooster got home.  Darn pigs!  BTW  Pigs are incredibly smart critters.  My farmer says you don't keep pigs in, you prepare to keep pigs out!  Wonderful!  Let's get the house fence finished.  And in spite of his admiration over the fine job they made of weeding the flower bed, I won't be looking to hire them!  In fact I think he should find them another babysitter!  

Friday, October 19, 2012


I had hoped to get some of my own home renovation planning done but the grand kiddies arrived midweek to 'play' with me.  Their house is still awaiting power and water.

We started off with a quiet and orderly visit to the library and things got more 'funner' as the week progressed! lol

I didn't fancy rescuing the the fearless female from the upper regions of McPlayland so I discouraged her from trying for the helicopter and got her to concentrate on following the 'pilot' with her eyes.  I ate most of the french fries, BTW!

So far we have kept our coins in our pocket and they have been happy to just sit on the various play options but a generous young man paid the money and now a whole new world has opened up in the mall!  lol  I was looking for some more shelving for organizing my mixed media paraphernalia.  The dollar store had nothing so I carried  and dragged them to the end of the mall only to find our Zellers is closing and again no luck. :(  I dared anyone to challenge my right to the cart for the return journey. lol  Good old Canadian Tire had the items.  I can't believe how many times I have buckled and unbuckled seat belts in the last few rainy days.

I figured a stay at home day would get me knee deep in changing stuff into the new containers but it only took them 15 minutes to come and find and 'help' me.  vbsigh  I had bought a fan deck for paint samples rather than go back and forth for various paint chips and I had selected my favourites only to find that didn't work either because it makes wonderful rays of suns and flower petals.  :0

So a lot of fun, but very little done.  I'm in bed shortly after they are!  lol

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Toots

There are two more lessons according to my reckoning for the Altered Book Tutorial over at The Altered Book Lover's blog.  Elizabeth has been very generous with her time, her techniques and her tutorials. Lesson  18 has been on student's choice and I want to do the gel transfer to add to my transfer repetoire.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday's Motivation

In keeping up with the momentum from a productive weekend yard wise; I am home alone and hard at it.

Nothing motivates me like a good noisy vacuum and some general cleaning.  I'm not talking about the boring scrub and clean kind of work.  But general dusting and pick up that lets me consider creative options for arranging various vignettes.  I luv finding stuff I had put away and reintroducing them back into the new scheme of things.  Nothing ever stays static in this house. The 2 chairs flanking the hutch were a spur of the moment find.  There were 8 available and we had to spend half of Saturday going to get them but I am thrilled with them.  $200 for all 8 and the condition is good.  The grand daughter enjoyed being up high in the front seat of the big truck and seeing the country.

The Rooster has agreed to helping with a time line for getting all the household projects scheduled and prioritized.  He had gone back to work after the initial retirement and wants to try it again without the farming option!  ;^)  But he does say that this needs to be a once and for all project so we need to get it right and I'm considering all my options as I vacuum.  We plan to stay in this house so we need to add the second bath upstairs near the bedrooms and get the laundry up out of the basement.  It won't happen unless we make it happen and get a plan down on paper. That is very motivating.

I am getting a bit desperate to be creating in my playroom/studio. The grand kiddies do like to create but I do have other things I need to do so the door has been locked a lot lately as little ones roam about looking for paper and scissors and stamp pads!  lol

The journal pages are continuing to be finished.  I am ready to get October up to date now.  I'm hoping to stay motivated for the rest of the week.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday's Frown


Have a cookie.  I must warn you that there is a slight danger of a sugar high!  lol

We did this in the kitchen but I must admit that flour made it to the upper levels! :(

We used our colour theory to custom mix purple icing.

I think little Jolina is rather glad she didn't actually have to have any!  lol

I have house guests due to home renovations that are not quite on schedule.  So my schedule is slightly altered!  :)

Friday's weekly report is a bit incomplete but I was very glad to get my tutorial in on Tuesday.

The frown is because of blogging issues.  I use Google chrome and I view my blog roll through google.  I have had nothing but good luck and have not used the verification function.

But since doing the Intentional Blogging series I have gotten some spam which is caught by Blogger but it does come with  the comments when they are sent to my home inbox.  I just delete them.  I think the titles have got me up on a radar somewhere that I hope dies down soon.  There isn't a lot but it is annoying.

I have been noticing some changes to other blogs that I wondered about.  My friend Margaret at Scrap Wisdom Collage had her blog hijacked.   It ended happily.  Then today I read on Sew Many Ways about Blog Scrapers!  Karen shared a link  or you can read her original post.  Karen has just posted a how to truncate your posts to stop this.  I don't know if this is something I need to worry about but I am sharing the information and I'll be filing it away for future review.  It really is too bad that a few can spoil things for so many.

Okay, time to pass some of those sugar cookies around to counteract any lowness and downward curve to the lips!  TGIF!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Packing Tape Images

Okay, it is a go for Tuesday Tutorials and I'm working on the next Altered Book technique.

I've not done any transfers before and these seem relatively easy although I am wondering why one wouldn't just cut out the image and adhere it with a gel medium to the page.  White backgrounds would give a transparent look and that would certainly be worthwhile.  Bulk might also be an issue.  The shine could be dulled with some matt gel medium.

The images are limited to the clear packing tape width but apparently old clear contact sheets work. They are placed right sides down and then burnished.  I must admit that keeping strips of the tape free and not attached to itself, obects and even other images is a bit challenging.  

I burnished away in all directions.

These are all the images burnished and facing upwards.  I burnished them on the front just for good measure as well as the back.

I dropped them into warm water.  They curled right away. and I began to rub the paper off the tape which was pretty easy.

Here they all are drying on a paper towel. I shall be finding places for them in my Leaves Altered book and my calendar journal.  But not today.

That is all I got done today as I have small and busy house guests!  I also have my DD suggesting searches for glass door knobs. I think we need to get the Rooster searching Kijiji now that he has finally found his truck and doesn't know what to do with his computer time!!!  LOL  I wonder if he needs a tutorial? ;^)