Friday, November 30, 2012


It has been a quick week.  Feathers were flying!

I was definitely motivated on Monday.  I got all the extra stuff out of the guest room and I rounded up all the grand kiddies stuff and except for moving the bunk beds, I have a plan!  I got the dresser into the closet to hold clothes and toys.  I have toys to finish sorting and books to edit.  The wall paper border has been saved long enough and I even have enough to replace it when we paint.  The Rooster says we will move the bunk beds Saturday so I should have some photos next week.  Gee!  Either I'm seriously underestimating things or I'm getting slower.  There was a time I'd have had it all done in a day!    Truth be told, I did end up purging in my own closet as I had to do both closets at the same time to switch and arrange some stuff.  But...  another bag of clothes for the thrift shop.  :)

This kinda makes  a bit of a mess as I push extra stuff ahead of me in my whole house purge but it also makes me mad that I have so much stuff and helps me eliminate stuff that I might save if I could hide it right away.  Thank goodness for blog commitments because I just 'had' to post empty file drawers today and, pant, pant; they are empty.  I do have some files to further reduce and find a home for.  vbsigh  I slammed the drawers closed after the photo and phoned DD#2 to see if she wants it, the empty hanging files and all.   YES! It'll go on the truck with the other stuff we are taking that way tomorrow.  Phew!

Tuesday I did some final tweaking on the Altered Book.  I had been looking and looking for some skeleton leaves and found them just in time for the final pictures.  I also came up with some writing for all that blankness.  I will look forward to some handwriting lessons.  lol

The card making went even better than I had hoped.

I am still trying new things and learning how to stencil properly.  Julie over at Balzer Designs offers a free stencil class  that is showing me all kinds of things I didn't know. I've been working a bit on her art journal every day plan.  I think this is about the fourth day of doing something in ten minutes. I took the stencil class after I had tried the chevron on this set of pages.  Improvement will be coming!  Nothing like learning how to use the stuff you zealously bought 'for such a time as this'!  ;^)

Time in the city is frustrating.  I was moving right along on the housework front.  Then I had to change gears and try to stay in step with the urbanites.  I did get some canvas, some thread and a couple of inspiring magazines.  I was in Chapters sipping my coffee before sewing class and bopping along to some late 60's music.  "Don't tell me what to do and don't tell me what to say..."  Then this young woman in pack boots, leotards and a sweater sat down near by.  I watched her put heavy duty ear phones on, plug into her ipad, catch up on her texts,  and open up her lap top to surf.  Multi tasking at its most modern.  I did feel a jolt as marriage, among other things,  has made that old song a bit unrealistic and I am very deficient at any sort of cyber multitasking.  I think I might be in some kind of limbo.  Oh well, under all my dust from my whirlwind of activity I think it is good to get a few jolts.  Keeps me alert and making better lists for next Friday's post which I hope will include the shortbread I never got to make!

Blessed weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wow my worktable is orange colored

The wow today is more about what is NOT on my worktable any more.  I am finished the Altered Book, Leaves and I can now concentrate on some other things.

Creativity 101 with Jenn has us trying our hand at making some cards.

I also have spread out my new fabric choices and I am super excited about a package of Bali's I impulsively snatched up in my search for some FQ's of orange.  You must admit that there are a few oranges in the mix!  lol   It is called Tonga Treats and is from Timeless Treasures and has 40 10" x10" pieces.

I also shopped my stash of stuff and found a duvet cover that I got from the thrift shop and I'm considering it for curtains in the new sunshine room.

hmm, oranges are a Christmas treat.  I wonder if anyone has done an orange themed Christmas!  :)

I'm linking to The Needle & Thread Network.  I bet they are busy on seasonal stuff!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Altered Book Recap!


Bleubeard will guide you to each Altered Book Lesson as it appears 
Bleubeard and Elizabeth at Altered Book Lovers hosted a tutorial on altering books in February, 2012.

I had no idea the time commitment that was involved.  I did almost all the lessons except for one or two that didn't really interest me but I may go back and revisit them after seeing how others interpreted them.  I have enjoyed it immensely and learned lots from Elizabeth and also from seeing what everyone else has done.  Her side bar has the links to all her lessons and she is a generous teacher who posts what works for her and also what doesn't.

1) MOST important is picking a book that will stand up to altering and that is generally any book with a sewn binding.  A theme can be inspired by the actual book or can be arbitrary.  Mine was a kid's encyclopedia and I chose 'leaves' which simplified things for practicing the techniques. First post.

2) Pages usually need some kind of prepping and there are various ways to do that.   Then you need to remove pages to allow for the thickness that altered pages bring to the book, at least a third.  I think I would try to remove them as I proceed next time because I never really knew what I was going to be doing in the next few pages which matters if it is a picture book with a theme or if I definitely want a tip in page next. Of course, I could just did one page after another rather than skipping around.  lol  Some pages will need the added strength of gluing two pages together.  Lesson 2

3) The cover was roughly sanded and gessoed.   This photo shows a finished front and a partially finished back cover.  The inside cover and first and last pages benefit from reinforcing.  I liked mulberry paper. Lesson 3

4) Techniques for using glues, adhesives and gesso had me deciding to use an extra book to practice the different mediums in. I also did my niche in another book.  Gesso, gel medium and mod podge were my favourites, although I am noticing that the mod podge stays sticky and therefore sticks!  This page is leafless but I used, gesso to cover the background and glue to make a dimensional tree.   Lesson 4

5) Design principles were surprisingly challenging as we had to learn individual aspects and then show how we used them in our book.  We experimented with harmony, unity, balance, proportion and emphasis. I must admit that some these principles came together better as I went back and tweaked the pages.  Lesson 5

6) The lesson on design principles continued with repetition, rhythm or pattern, movement, dominance and contrast.  This page had very little tweaking after I originally did so I was pleased that I was really 'getting it'!   Lesson 6 and more.

7)  Design elements are a bit different and include line, shape, space, and texture.  This spread took a lot of 'tweaking' to get it to flow with the rest of the book.   Lesson 7

8)  Colour is also an element and had its own lesson which explored the colour wheel and paint.  I did a lot of studying on colour as it is fascinating.  But I needed to apply it to the tutorial for altered books and focus on my book in particular.   I decided to use a health food ad for fruit and nuts!  Lesson 8

9)  Backgrounds are where the pages get their beginning and there was lots of experimenting with all the various techniques showcased.  Some are more successful than others and a lot depends on practice and personal preference.  This was a page that was stenciled with a permanent ink and then sprayed with some coloured inks. I also used this technique on the gessoed cover.   Lesson 9

10) Magazine images (collage) was a favourite and frames were surprisingly challenging.  Adding the shiny leaf bumped this collage up a notch. Lesson 10

11) Pockets I luved!  Lesson 11

12)  Folded pages not as much.  I think there is only so much in these little books so I did it in another book and perhaps a folded paper doily that became another pocket could possibly qualify.  lol

13)  Windows and doors take some preplanning.   Lesson 13

14)  Zippers did not really interest me but there some amazing examples that have me rethinking my prejudices.  ;^)  The above page was tipped into waiting edges and I added some sequins later for snow.

15) Decorative edges was pure fun.  Who knew?   Lesson 15

16)  Fabric should be top of my list and I need to incorporate it more.  I want to add some fabric beads but perhaps that'll wait for another book for I shall indeed be doing this again..  Lesson 16

17)  Polymer clay was again fun and surprisingly light weight. Lesson 17  I didn't actually add too many but I did include a medallion and a large bead on my bookmark..

18)  Transfers were tricky and I need more practice. I only used a few small ones on an early page. Again I thought pop ups were not something I cared for but student samples have changed my mind so they are on the to-do list now.  Lesson 18

19)  Bringing it all together is a bit challenging as techniques have had precedent over planned theme but it is possible.  Lesson 19

 I added some shiny leaves and some punchinella effects.

 A very last minute find was my skeleton leaves which completed this dark page.

20)  Cover is last and because I misread the instructions I did it in lesson 19.  :(  I just started at the front and worked my way through. Lesson 20

And so I have come to the end of a great tutorial. I've lost track of which pages have been posted.  Some are great and some are not so great but I do like my book.  I think the key to actually committing and finishing is due to Elizabeth for how could I let such a great blogging friend down.  Thanks, Elizabeth.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I'm breathing deeply here as the winter rhythm has kicked in.  The frost is on the front door to the veranda but no heavy patterning yet! Freezing cold though.  Bright blue sky. The stove is featuring flickering flames as the Rooster and I take turns leaning into its heat!   I will be handing him some of his handy dandy bale wire to keep my snowman upright at the veranda door as apparently he has attacked my man a couple of times as he's made his pre dawn run in the mornings!  ;^(

Slow and steady has been the big purge.  I've been frowning at that big file cabinet.  I believe this is the week!  I'm maintaining my 'just get rid of stuff already' mood.  grrr!  lol

As I work through the plans for individual rooms I am focusing on the guest room this week.  I am in the closet and editing the amount of table cloths, doilies, and mismatched bedding. This room will become the grand kiddies sleep over room!  It'll store their extra clothes, toys and bedding.

I also want my design wall back up.  It is a large white flannel sheet on a six feet long wooden dowel.  I'd thought to suspend it from two hooks from the ceiling in my playroom but I'm questioning the wisdom of that. It will be a pain to roll up every time I want my work counter and it will block light if I angle it to the side.  Most importantly it will be in jeopardy every time I spray something for the mixed media play times.  :(

Mixed media is pretty much instant gratification as far as making art goes for me.  The fibre art and quilt aspect is a slower process.  But I need to get that momentum built into my schedule as I believe there is a place for both my luvs- fibre and paper.

The altered book is wrapping up this week so I am looking forward to my next on line class.

I had indulged in a few supply sprees this month so I had to sit on the side lines for all the sales this past weekend.  Next year I will have to remember Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  :O

I am also getting a hankering for some shortbread!  I might just get motivated to bake!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friends day

Company arriving so this needs to be brief.  We have some snow coming and what with our winds I need to get the Rooster to tie this guy as it isn't very welcoming when he is on his carrot!  lol

I did more on the calendar pages.  I haven't found the missing calendar but it is only the last week of October that I'm missing.  We are starting to transition into December which will leave red behind and embrace greys, golds and blues.  I am most impressed with our little local scrapbooking store.  Jenn and I gathered some supplies to make cards.  See the blue scrapbooking sheet!

I did look for the missing calendar page as I cleared away the top of the metal filing cabinet and the top of the old wooden filing cabinet.  I have learned that there are filers and there are pilers!  lol  I figure I must be a piler and I'm seriously thinking of reducing surface area that is a tempting spot to pile things.  :(  Now I am wondering if this could be my new pile/file system.  Of course the question is- can I get two fling cabinet drawers reduced to 4 drawers and a miscellaneous catch all on top???  This thrift shop find looks good but I really don't use it as I thought I would. But that is a challenge for next week.
I did find a few oranges for the new project.  I'm not so sure about the binding for the old project.  They are on top of the file pile!

I got some specific paint chips for the hall and I'm trying them. Halls are difficult because they relate to so many other rooms and the whole stairwell.

I did a little work on my whimsical tree and I think I got too dark with the pomegranate silks.  :( Photographing it in front of a light helps!  

I also needed 3 canvases for a spot in the guest room.  These were a quick fix and Iwill be taking them up to another level.  And that will be to stop working dark and get back to some stuff with a lighter hand!  ???
But first I have to persuade the dust bunnies to vacate so my friends can have a good night's sleep on this Friday night.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

wow, I still have to shop.

I haven't quite got Nina humming.

The orange top needs some more orange fabric options which will happen tomorrow.

I did find in my cleaning and organizing another wip.  Two in fact.

 A table cloth, about 42 inches square

 and a table runner,  10 inches by 30 inches.  Who knows when I did them but they are ready for layering.

I did find some backing options and one WILL definitely be the backing.

I am leaning to the middle fabric. The fabrics in the upper right are too small.  :(   The grey/brown on the left has to be from the first year I was quilting.  oye!

But I need a dark brown (?) for a binding so my shopping list is growing.

 This was in my crazy patch days.  Not where I am at now but definitely worth finishing.  I have one of those small round tables with the long floor length table cloth in the dining room and the toppers add to their appeal.

I'm not at all sure how I will quilt it.  ???

Perhaps some of  participants in The Needle & Thread Network will have some great ideas!