Saturday, March 29, 2008

...and the winner is...

...Julie Anne! To come up with the winner, I wrote each person's name down on a sheet of paper, taped each one to the back of a playing card, shuffled them all up, and then asked Liv to pick one at random. That's Liv holding up the winning card.

Thank you so much for all your encouragement to use these playing cards! I finally had the heart to break into one of my favorite sets today. I figured that if I could break into these cards, then the others should be fairly easy...

The cards I used were an old Cadillac brand set with a silhouette of a classy lady. They looked to be circa 1950s to my untrained eye. My sister, expert in all things vintage, could probably give a better estimate. Anyway, the colors of the card were this beautiful muted blue and a brownish burgundy, with white accents. I gathered some papers that coordinated with these colors, and after much fidgeting and fussing and the like, this is what I came up with.

Please excuse the child's toys in the background. The ribbon is a wide chocolate satin tied in a knot to simulate a bow. I also added three small adhesive rhinestones just under the bust to give it a little zing. Oh, and the entire card is slightly raised with some Stampin' Dimensionals (double-sided foam adhesive).

I ended up liking this so much that I made another just like it, which will get listed in my Etsy shop. Yay for cutting cards! And yay for all of your comments - you really helped me break through my OCD block on this! Thanks!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Well, I've gone and done it now...

...I just put in an order for - get this -


I ordered from Uline, a packaging supply store, rather than from a scrapbooking or craft supply store. The difference in price is staggering, as in 4 to 10 times as much if you buy it packaged as art or scrapbooking supplies. Seriously. Of course, you have to buy in bulk in order to get the reduced price, which is why there are 960 sheets coming my way.

I wonder how much room this will take up in my craft room. Maybe I should have thought about that before I ordered, but that's what having a margarita with dinner will do to me...

Go, Idyllhands!!!

Today while I was clicking around on Etsy (cause of I can't go 30 minutes without clicking around on Etsy...) and what did I find on the homepage? A bracelet by Idyllhands! You go, girl!!!

Check out this post on her blog to see the screenshot.

I'm famous by proxy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Shhh... sneak peak at my swaps!

For the last couple of weeks, I've been swamped with school stuff. (That would be why there are, like, three posts on this blog during that time.) Grading, grading, answering emails, more grading. Besides the sparse blog posting and total lack of housework taking place at my house, I also had to put my swaps on the backburner for a few weeks.

Thanks to Spring Break, I've been able to get caught up with most of my schoolwork, some of my housework, and both of my swaps. I'm so excited to be done with these that I thought I'd go ahead and share them out on my blog. I don't think either of the people who are receiving from me actually read my blog, so there's not much chance of spoiling the surprise.

First, the card I made for our ya-ya card swap.

For this month's swap we were giving three Easter egg shaped cut outs and a piece of bright green glittered paper. I used the largest egg cut out as a base for the egg on this card. What you can't see so well on this picture is that the flower shape is punched OUT of the egg, and the lighter pink is layered behind. The bits of green are all the glitter paper.

True to fashion, I didn't get it completed until AFTER Easter had passed. I'm nothing if not consistent.

My other item is for the Recycled, Reused, Repurposed Swap in my AREtsy group. (AREtsy is an Etsy Street Team for Etsy sellers from Arkansas.) When I joined this swap, I thought this was going to be a relatively easy project. After all, it seems that 90% of my "supplies" are cast off, recycled, or ready to be repurposed. But, again true to fashion, I think I made the project more difficult than it needed to be.

My first idea was to make some little stuffed birdies from an old suit skirt and some unused gauze. (I have since found out that the unused gauze was part of some bomb shelter supplies.) However, once I got into that project I realized that it was probably a little too specific in terms of decor. And it took a lot of time. The idea of spending that much time on a project and without knowing whether the recipient would have a place in her house to hang it - well, it just kind of sucked the momentum.

So on to another idea... This one came to me as I was showing some of my latest supply acquisitions to Denise. I saw an old IKEA mirror frame that I rescued from the trash pile when my friend Scarlett was moving out of her house. I figured that counts as recycled. And then I saw a deck of cards. Not the pretty vintage ones. One of the decks of "plain" cards that my sister brough to me so I could feel free to experiment before hitting my "pretty" cards. I saw the pretty patterns on the back of the cards, and realized that it was great mosaic fodder. So out came the 3/4" punch, and this was the result:

Monday, March 24, 2008

On hoarding...

I can't be the only crafter out there with a hoarding problem. Please, let there be at least one other person out there who collects beautiful stuff because they could be made into such gorgeous things, only to then not be able to part with it in order to put it into said gorgeous things...

Last week my sister, my dear dear sister who is always bringing over little offerings to my art stash, brought over the most lovely present - a whole box FULL of vintage playing cards. The cards seemed to range from the early 50s to the early 70s, with styles ranging from sweet muted cameo silhouettes to day-glo butterflies on woodgrain background. WOW. See the picture below, but only if you want to weep.

And this was just about a third of them. It was like Christmas morning on a Thursday evening in March.

And what do I do with these? I look at them. I take them out of the boxes and I caress them lovingly. I lay them on top of different colors of cardstock and patterned paper. I even hold punched pieces of paper over them as "stencils" to see what it would look like IF I punched a shape out of them.

But I don't cut them. I don't use them. Why?

A couple of reasons. The first is that my OCD side knows that using just one playing card on an art project will render the deck incomplete. And second, my inner critic -- remember her? Yeah, she's still around, though all your kind words have taken away her megaphone so she can't scream at me any more. Now she just utters a tired little whisper now and then. Anyway, my inner critic tells me that the resulting work may not be so spectacular as to justify breaking up a said deck of cards.

Sooooo..... to make me actually break up one of these sets of cards, I thought it might be fun to have another blog giveaway. Post a comment to this blog by midnight on Friday night and give me some sort of encouragement to use these things, and then I'll choose one commenter at random to receive a blank greeting card made with one of the vintage playing cards. (Blank, meaning unused, as in it's ready for you to write your own message and send it out in the mail to someone else.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Finally, some inspiration for my swap!!

I've been so snowed under (figuratively, not literally) these last few weeks that I've not had time to post to my blog or do much of anything that's crafty... And I've got a ya-ya easter card swap to do and get out in the mail tomorrow morning, and also an ARetsy swap that is for a larger item. Oh, and felt boards to make for the Jennifer project. And during all of this, I'd also gotten behind in my grading for class and was struggling to get current.

I had some really productive time earlier this week and I was able to get all of my grading caught up, and I can now focus on my creative pursuits - for a few days at least.

And so with Liv at school this morning, I curled up on the couch with a cup of coffee and an episode of American Justice I Tivo'd about a month ago. (I don't know why, but I'm strangely drawn to these kinds of shows. Sick, I know...)

And of course I had my tacklebox nearby that houses my felt and beads and sequins... I cut out the birdies for my ARetsy swap and then started playing with things, all while watching about the sociopath nurse who married herself a surgeon and then killed him. I finally ended up with a design that I like - using the gray wool, hot pink felt, and -are you ready- some recycled medeical gauze I got from the estate sale! (Don't worry, the gauze had NOT been used...) And if I stuff him with the cotton I got, well, that's a trifecta isn't it?

I'm excited enough about this little project that I'm going to cut out some extra birds and make another one to list in my Etsy shop. Oh, and the ex-beauty queen killer nurse got life in prison.

Life is good.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bean Art!

One of the crafts for the Jennifer Project is a macaroni stringing kit. Each child will get a baggie with dyed macaroni noodles and some yarn for a little beadstringing fun. Ahhh, brings back gradeschool memories, doesn't it?

At our most recent ya-ya day, why little Gracie Newsom experimented creating different shades of macaroni shells, the adult folk reminisced about the quintessential 1970's craft project - BEAN ART!!!

So imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw this item listed on Etsy. Bean art is back again!! I love it!!!!

Hen Art by Details Shop

Check out the map!

If you scroll down a ways, you can see my latest addition to my blog - a map that puts a little pinpoint on every location where I've shipped an item from my Etsy shop. I thought it would be a fun little way to watch Casserole go worldwide. Yaaaaay!!!!

It was a bit of a pain to set up, as it can take a while for the Platial site to search for each location you enter. Granted, I don't have THAT many sales so I was able to do it while during my coffee-drinking-surfing-blogging-drooling morning ritual. Although I do think it did cause my little ritual to take longer than usual. Or maybe that was just my laziness, who knows?

Anyway, check it out and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My blue period?

Whenever I post a new item to Etsy, I send the link to Denise. She always says something nice about the new item which totally boosts my ego.

Last night I sent her a link to my newest item and she asks, "So, are you starting your blue period?" I looked at my most recently listed items and 3 of the last 4 items have light blue as the predominant color.

What's up with that??

Etsy word: Diffident

Well, it looks like once again I'm late with this week's Etsy word. Why oh why do I have a job??? I'd much rather be just hanging out with the little girl and making art.

Anyways, here's the word:

diffident \DIF-uh-dunt; -dent\
1. Lacking self-confidence; distrustful of one's own powers; timid; bashful.
2. Characterized by modest reserve; unassertive.

Have fun!

Remember, if you want to play along just post a comment to this entry with links to Etsy items that you think fit the meaning of this word.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Etsy word: recherche

This week's word was recherche, and we had some fun with it! Idyllands, DeniseFelton, and I all came up with different approaches to this one word. How fun is that?

Idyllhands suggested items focused on uncommon pairings:

Best Friends cat and dog by Hollyvision Art

Thank You Notes - Dog and Cat by bbmowery

I LIKE YOU card by Anna's Aviary

Denise found items that are over the top in some way or another:

Extreme Cowl by Pam's Fiber

Rainbow Animal Print Ski Hat by Fire n Sand Glass Art

Chinese Devil Hair Falls by somethindredful

As for me, my search led me to items that featured exotic or rare animals:

Bathurst Copper Butterfly Wing Ring by Catherine Chandler

Shrewd Dodo Linocut by minouette

American Bald Eagle Family Needlefelt Sculpture by Blackberry Downs Woolery

Friday, March 7, 2008

Something new in my store...

Woohoo!!!! I've been so swamped lately that I haven't had time to photo and list some of my new items. It's been killlin' me - all these cool new little brooches sitting in a little box in my studio and no one seeing them.

Anyway, got a few minutes yesterday and photo'd this little brooch and listed it tonight:

Loading the ATG gun

Anyone who's crafted with me lately has seen my big yellow ATG adhesive gun. I love, love, love it! It's the same kind of gizmo that professional framers use - so I feel real important when I use it.

Okay, but here's my confession. I don't know how to refill the thing. It's the only thing I DON'T love about my big yellow. Whenever I run out of adhesive, I have to go sweet-talk the husband into fixing a new roll for me. Or asking my friend Janna, who's way smarter than I am about these things.

So you can imagine how happy I was today when I saw this post on Craft Critique - a video tutorial on how to load the ATG gun . Or, as Denise calls it, the Big Mama Jama.

I'm SO bookmarking this for future reference!

Maybe once I conquer refilling the big yellow, I'll get brave enough to try the Dremel.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

snow day, pink eye, and a craft project

This morning we awoke to find that it was snowing here in Little Rock! Now, we didn't get as much snow as northwest Arkansas, but we did get enough to start covering the streets. This is such a rare happening here that at the sight of snow falling (instead of freezing rain or sleet, which is usually what happens), I revert back to my childhood. Yay! A Snow Day!!!

Of course, today no schools were let out and it all began melting off just an hour or two later. It was fun while it lasted, right???

In addition to the snow, we also awoke to find that Liv had pink eye, which meant no school for her anyway. Not yay. I had plenty of school work to get caught up on, and I was really looking forward to having her at school so I could do it. Ah well, such is life... Liv did have fun playing around in the snow for a few minutes this morning, and I took the obligatory kid-out-in-the-snow photo:

And, finally, for the craft project mentioned in the title to this entry. My grandfather is in the hospital right now due to congestive heart failure. They've been pumping fluid out of him for several days now and he's actually on the mend. Anyway, Liv suggested that we make some paper flowers for him, like we did for my grandmother when it was her turn to be in the hospital. So out came my trusty Sizzix machine and some patterned paper, and this is what we came up with:

It's actually a very simple craft project. Just glue together layers of circles and flower shapes to make the flowers. Then, punch a 1/8 inch hole in the center of each and thread a pipe cleaner through. Bend over the top to make the little flower centers, and then make a little z-fold in the pipe cleaner on the bottom side of the flower to keep it from sliding all the way down. To make the little leaves, I just pinched out some of the pipe cleaner and twisted. Yay for easy craft projects!!!

It's actually a simple enough project that I'm trying to figure out if we can include these in our Jennifer Project. (The Jennifer Project will bring goodie bags to cystic fibrosis patients at Arkasnas Children's Hospital.) The only gotcha is that the kids won't have a hole punch to punch out the centers of the flowers. I'll have to ponder on that one. I'll either need to figure a way to assemble the flowers without a hole punch, OR a way to get the holes pre-punched while still allowing for creativity in assembling the layers of each bloom. Hmmm... Any ideas???

Monday, March 3, 2008

Etsy word is back: recherche!

The Etsy word is back this week, and it's a good one! Our word for the week is... (drumroll please)....

recherche \ruh-sher-SHAY\,
1. Uncommon; exotic; rare.
2. Exquisite; choice.
3. Excessively refined; affected.
4. Pretentious; overblown.

Go forth, and find ye some Etsy listings that fit this word! If you find something good, just post the link in a comment to this entry. I'll compile them, along with my own finds, next week.

Have fun!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I've been tagged!!!

This is a fun one, y'all...

Denise (DeniseFelton on Etsy) tagged me from her blog, and now it's my turn. Here's how it goes:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five other people.

Can I just say that the technical writer in me LOVE, LOVE, LOVES the numbered steps?? Anyway, technically the nearest book to me is my Stampin Up catalog, but on page 123 there are pictures of stamp sets but no sentences. In fact, the only text is the names of the sets pictured - Seeing Spots and the Spot On jumbo wheel, if you're curious.

So the next book down is the textbook from my writing class. Technical Communication by Mike Markel. If you turn to page 123 in that book, you get the exercises for Chapter 6. The sixth, seventh, and eighth sentences are actually questions: "a. What are the three largest or most important professional organizations in your field? For example, if you are a construction-management major, your field is construction management, civil engineering, or industrial engineering. b. What are three important journals read by people in your field?"

Lame, lame, lame. I need to get a life. So if you don't count a SU catalog or a textbook, the nearest book to me is actually The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy, which is in a stack of books that are currently looking for a new home. (In case there's any wondering, this means that I AM NOT PREGNANT, NOR AM I PLANNING TO BE ANY TIME SOON. Had to get that outta the way...) The sentences from that book are: "However, you can be sure that they are talking about it behind your back. This is when you will be tempted to buy a T-shirt with the motto, 'I'm Not Fat, I'm Just Pregnant,' but don't. Let's agree on one thing right now: A pregnant belly is not like the side of a city bus and is never a good place for slogans or advertisements like, 'Baby on Board.'"

So now it's my turn to tag some people: DiamondMeenah, Dyzart, and Debbie. (I know that's not five, but most other people I can think of have already been tagged...)