Wednesday, April 30, 2008

amy's may day hanging vases


In preparation for May Day, my sweet friend Amy Powers held a little workshop for friends Tuesday evening at The Cottage in Leesburg. On a broad white farm table in one cozy room of The Cottage, Amy arranged her delightful flower-filled May Day vases down the center, surrounded by our personal supplies set up as place settings, with empty bottles and cans where the glasses would go. On a weathered side table, she unpacked from her wicker basket piles and piles of old seam bindings, vintage trims from Tinsel Trading in NYC, found bits of ribbon, butterflies whose wings could be bent up in flight, and little tins of tiny flowers and oddments.

Then she taught us how to gather and flounce a gorgeous iridescent wired ribbon to skirt a water bottle. For the fun of it, I added a butterfly flirting up under the flowers and some pom poms on the flounces. With a handle of colorful seam binding, this vase is ready to welcome spring, hanging as a surprise on a friend's front door knob.

Another charming vase began as just a tin can decoratively covered with sheet music, rub ons, and more delicious ribbon trims. I think I will have to make additional May Day vases, because I love these too much to give them away. They look so cheerful hanging at my studio desk. But I know my friends will love them just as much.

Amy may be teaching more workshops at The Cottage in the coming months. Be sure to check her blog for information.

Monday, April 28, 2008

anna griffin carolina layout

After sharing a jam-packed fun weekend with me, including guest-teaching 3 filled classes at Scrapbooks Plus, this afternoon Debby Schuh boarded the plane home to Buffalo just before the heavy rains slowed traffic to a crawl on the beltway. But no rest for the weary. Debby is off again next weekend to teach at By Design in Houston for National Scrapbook Day, while I came home to buckle down and finish preparing for the Anna Griffin class I'm teaching at Scrapbooks Plus this Sunday at noon. I'll be culling from many photos to share some weekend highlights soon. Meanwhile, may the joyful colors of this layout using the Anna Griffin Carolina papers brighten your day!

Monday, April 21, 2008

home from nashville

After spending several full days in Nashville visiting with old and new friends, taking all the Scrap Etc classes and even a couple classes at Scrappuccino, then driving the roundabout way home yesterday from Baltimore to avoid the DC beltway in heavy rain, and finally picking up my son at the other airport at 1 a.m., it felt so good to sleep in this morning. But more deadlines are looming and Debby Schuh is visiting in a couple days, so I'll show-and-tell about the Scrap Etc event as soon as I have time to unpack that special suitcase.

Meanwhile, since it's still raining today, I thought you might enjoy seeing what I saw yesterday despite the blowhard rain. On the "northerly" route home from Baltimore which took me through Brunswick, I stopped by a newly relocated antiques store called Newberry's. Previously Ekster Antiques and Uniques in Leesburg, the relocation allows Caroline Verschoor and her husband much more display space all on one floor in the old J.J. Newberry store.   The old tin ceiling is freshly painted, the creaky wooden floors slope this way and that but allow lots of vignettes, and there is a distinct French flair among the rehabilitated objects. Above the 4,000-square-foot first floor, the emptied upstairs apartment level offers the possibility to create even more vendor space.

The gloomy day diminished the light but did not detract from Newberry's special atmosphere of elegantly shabby chic, with found and refurbished antique chairs, cupboards, tables, and artfully arranged accessories. Lots of old silver and cream ware, too. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

hi, spring!

After planting the last of our new rhododendrons this cold afternoon, I had just enough time to make a card from April's Scrapbooks Plus Design Team kit before assembling dinner. Using three coordinating My Mind's Eye 29th Street Market "Mellow" papers and a card idea I saw on Melissa Phillips's blog Lily Bean Paperie, I arranged the card so I could add my sparkly embellishments. It takes only a few warm days of spring to get me in the mood for scallops (as in petals) and shiny (as in sunshine).  But sheesh, where did the warmth go already?

Besides the sparklies, I used a few found objects on the card. Since I had a blue plastic-covered paper clip handy, I cut it into antenna for a little more pop. The blue seam binding tied across the top of the card came just days ago on a package from Rebecca Sower.

In a couple days I'm on my way to inhale the shared creative energy of Scrap Etc in Nashville. Lots of classes with teachers I'm looking forward to, lots of visiting with friends . . . can't wait! But will it be warm yet?!?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

tinkering ink wall hanging project

Blue is a difficult color for me to use in my design work. Since my earliest art training, when a professor stated flatly that blue exists so rarely in nature that it is largely a manufactured and fugitive color and should be used only carefully, I am always hesitant to employ it. But the fun of the Scrapbooks Plus Design Team is being presented with choices outside your usual and preferred color range. So for this month's navy-based Tinkering Ink kit, I tried to devise an interesting project that would allow me to warm up the cool blues and lavenders, using sunny yellow and even warm black and lots of shiny bling. This 9-section wall hanging plays off both sides of the double-sided patterned paper and used the whole pack of Tinkering Ink felt embellishments.

Each section has its own arrangement, with lots of other fun embellishments to add to the 3-dimensional effect, including the Martha Stewart butterfly punches which fold up their wings. I've added only three small black-and-white photos of my grandchildren, but you could add more photos on other sections of the hanging, allowing some of your embellishments to extend onto the photos.

This lower section of the hanging shows two of the Tinkering Ink felt embellishments. To the left is a large round felt flower medallion with a Sizzix bird die cut, a Marvy scalloped oval punch, and Heidi Swapp bling. To the right is a felt tag, from which I cut the small blue flower medallion to center the My Mind's Eye transparency flower and the large yellow paper flower. Then I used the rest of the white felt tag to cut leaves for the flower stem, adding a butterfly and more Heidi Swapp bling to finish the arrangement.

This month's Scrapbooks Plus Design Team layouts, cards, and projects will remain on display in the crop room frame until the 15th of April, when the new month's designs will take their place.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

carol wingert's feathered nest

The cardinals have flocked again to my forsythia bushes, chirping nonstop about the springtime sun that is drying up the recent rain. I think the softly-colored females currently outnumber the males flashing their red coats, but they are all such happy choir companions while I take a lunch break and share some photos of Carol Wingert's "My Feathered Nest" kit.

A couple days ago, when Carol's March kit arrived at my door, I promised her that I had really honestly finished the February kit -- and would show her! Unlike many online kits that are simply a selection of coordinated product, Carol's monthly kit offerings at creatologie are project-based. This February "feathered nest" notebook album was a delight to put together, filled with its beautiful colors, nest/egg references, plus lots of Carol's quirky touches. Her April kit will be offered at creatologie in about a week. You won't be disappointed with her fresh and creative approach.

Carol included a mirror for the front cover to embellish as we chose, so I cut up a transparency to add some flowering branches in its reflection. To paint the chipboard bird and album edges as Carol suggested, I used a sponge brush and a combination of acrylics, including Folk Art Sky Blue, Patina, and Ivory White (all from Michael's) plus Daisy D's Glitter Glaze Ice to satisfy the magpie's liking for a little bit of bling.  I like the feeling of nesting in a spring sky, with its wisps of clouds and pale blues outlining the tree branches.