Thursday, July 31, 2008

miss maude & her sisters come out

Over at Shabby Scraps on Friday, Miss Tiffany is hosting a "Show Me Your Dress Form" party with lots of dressed-up (and probably some come-as-you-are ;) mannequin forms, large and small, vintage and altered . . . well, any way that we can get 'em! Tiffany thought she might gather a little support from us in persuading her husband that the great price she paid for her recently-found Nadia is a good thing!

It isn't hard for us to love these dress-form gals. Shapely, shabby, the old ones full of stories about a careful attitude towards dressmaking, they still appeal to our desire to pretend and play dress up. And what better way to show off our collections of jewels or vintage flowers or even crinolines than to layer them on a willing mannequin?

Would you like to meet my trio of pink ladies? My first was purchased some time ago from Shabbyfufu as a curvy new form carefully fitted in pink brocade. Alas, Miss Maude (center above) did not come at a bargain price, but she has been earning her keep.

In addition to her lovely lace neckband and bodice accented with an array of vintage flowers, she now wears a collection of scarves (and my handy tape measure) to cover her shoulders. One of those scarves is pink-dyed rabbit, smilingly given to me by my youngest son to show his loving support :)! The print scarf with the pompoms came to me from Amy over at Inspire Co, while the long raspberry one is from Paper Dolls, a delightful shop in Omaha.

Luckily for her, Miss Maude now has sisters to keep her company. Although Miss Maude is a little school-teacherish by comparison, Miss Vavoom wears her finest translucent French lace skirts and bodice everywhere she goes. But underneath she scruples to wear a vintage barkcloth covered with roses, and modestly adds a bouquet of charming vintage roses at her neck. Of course, her pink tulle sash does end in a saucy bustle behind her.

The French mob cap is lots of fun to consider as a ladies' dressing habit, but it's not for me. Even my baby photos show me always yanking off my hats which my mother persisted in tying on. The cameo bracelet dangling down to Miss Vavoom's waist sash is a souvenir of a visit to Phoenix last year. Whenever I choose to wear it, Miss Vavoom allows me to borrow it briefly.

But the belle at the ball will be Miss Lulubelle, all foofed up in her swishy gathered pink crinoline prom gown with its pink satin underskirt. Her bodice is also vintage floral barkcloth, backed by another pink brocade. Lots of millinery flowers covering her lace collar are centered over the cameo above the big moire bow. Another charm bracelet dangles from her bow, but as soon as the dancing starts, she'll tuck it carefully under her cap.

Although I'm already out in CA today, my three pink ladies are off to see who else comes to the "Show Me Your Dress Form" party. Won't you join in on the fun?


Thursday, July 24, 2008

anna griffin sierra layout

Although I'm in no rush for the bright days of summer to pass, I guess it's not too early to be planning for fall, since Halloween merchandise is already flooding the stores and Halloween swaps are underway. So for our next Anna Griffin class, we'll be creating a fall-colored layout and project well in advance of the season.

The actual patterns on these "Sierra" Anna Griffin scrapbook papers are not unusual, but I think the color range is much darker and more autumny than is usual for her. The real surprise is finding that the patterns are printed on kraft paper. With the right design, you could use the reverse side of the paper as a neutral color in your layout. Here, however, is a very simple layout using an Anna Griffin felt die cut strip and some epoxy stickers. Oops, I took this photo before I added another epoxy to the front space of the little premade album in the upper right. No surprise that I take much better photographs of brightly colored papers. In the outside version of this photo, the sun simply stole away all that dark color :).

The coordinating project for the August class is a recipe accordion-fold box. The same papers are folded into envelopes and attached together with flaps and accordions to make a sectioned folder. Here the kraft-colored side of the paper becomes the outside of the envelopes, but then is mostly hidden once assembled. (Wouldn't it be fun to make your stationery envelopes inside out like this for a surprise when opened?) Another felt die cut strip and more epoxy stickers add embellishment. This handy-sized recipe holder could be dedicated to those luscious end-of-summer recipes when all the family gathers for the last bounty of the garden.


Monday, July 21, 2008

an alphabet of dots, circles and envelopes

Since it's a bright sunny morning, I thought I'd share one more addition to this month's Design Team display at Scrapbooks Plus. The Flourishes, Dots & Circles Papers chosen this month from The Crafter's Workshop are so young and cheery with their sherbet colors, clean white background, and lots and lots of circles that I knew I wanted to make a mini alphabet album. Since I've been on a paper-folding roll lately, it was only natural to add envelopes and folders to the album as well. And since the sturdy printed papers are one-sided, folding them into envelopes helped keep the white backside under wraps. The accordion-style book with sewn-in signatures provided enough pages front and back to include the entire alphabet.

Wouldn't it be fun to create this album with your child, picking favorite photos to match each alphabet letter? You could place photos on the pages and add a bit of journaling or found objects in the enclosures to come back and find again later.

It's not that difficult to make the envelopes and folders, which spread across the accordion fold. And it's just the standard pamphlet stitch to sew in the signatures that pop open when you untie the front or the back of the book.

I hope you'll come in to the store and see the whole display, but especially my little mini alphabet album! It's just so much fun to hold and explore :).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

new crafter's workshop design team papers


Tonight all the new Design Team entries went up on the display board at Scrapbooks Plus. This month's kit included the swirly sherbet colors of Crafter's Workshop Flourishes, Dots & Circles line. After all the hopping up and down on the chair (too lazy to go get the ladder) to arrange the displays on the board, I think I have just enough energy left to show you a couple of my samples. Hope you can come visit me at the store and see all the great ideas from the rest of the Design Team.



Sunday, July 06, 2008

ledger alterations

In less than a month, I'll be heading west to Oregon for classes at Art in Ashland with the illustrious Anahata Katkin, Pam Garrison, and Amy Hanna. This is stressing me out a little because I'm not very good at collecting the "stash" of supplies needed for these classes. I'm less worried about the art side. Although my fine arts training was rather formal and requires a little unbending (!) to become more crafty, I'm happy about learning to do that. One outlet has been teaching scrapbooking classes and coordinating the scrapbook design team at Scrapbooks Plus.

But when I try to collect together the "stash" everyone refers to, I'm woefully under-equipped to recognize the potential of buried treasure, of faded bits and bobs, of castaway books and the like. Whenever I go "junking," I need a friendly guide to suggest that this scraped old thing is really a silver-lined memory needing a new home. For example, every time I hunted for a ledger to alter for Pam Garrison's class, all I found were leather-bound lovelies priced at $80 (I bought that one) or higher -- and I can't find my way to ripping out their innards to replace them with my handsewn signatures.

So it's a good thing I have friends who know better. A couple weeks ago I made a generous new friend who is expert at collecting lost treasures. Dana is so good at this that overnight she presented me with a readymade "stash" tailored from her magic cupboard to fit my Ashland classes. Among all the goodies were two ledgers, one with gently aged pages and tied with vintage seam binding and bundled up with even larger wonderful old ledger pages. I can't wait until Dana, who loves red as much as I do, and I can find a day to go treasure hunting where she lives south of me. Then my good friend and master alterer Carol found a ledger in the back of her closet and whisked it off to me. All of a sudden I had choices!

Somehow karma had its sights on me, because a few days later I won the Bella Teresa McFayden's write place ezine giveaway, and guess what!? The prize was an old blue storybook already transformed into a blank book with handsewn signatures. Since the book's title was "To Have & To Hold," it seemed appropriate to turn it into a collection of quotes. Today a song kept going through my head, with a refrain that insisted it be entered into my new quote book. So I thought I'd share it with you.

Do you recognize the song? It's TobyMac's Lose My Soul, coupled here with a vintage reproduction of a lady that by happenstance was on my desk. She looks a little like the younger me, I think -- from the neck up, of course :). The pages are colored with Tattered Rose Distress Ink which, unfortunately, was a bit wet and raised the grain on the paper, making it difficult to get smooth lettering. Since the page was shedding anyway, I erased a couple sections to highlight the words.

Hope this week finds good karma heading your way, too!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

jenni bowlin banner day


After teaching my four-hour mini-album class at Scrapbooks Plus, followed by a two-hour drive through rush hour traffic to Savage Mill just south of Baltimore, my reward was to be a student in Jenni Bowlin's evening class at Queen's Ink. Although I was a little late arriving, the ladies had graciously saved my seat and charming Jenni was quick to catch me up. We made a collaged banner using Jenni's line of papers and chipboard pieces, accented with bling and found items like bottle caps, number cards and old keys. I've already hung my new banner with another one in the window at my desk.

Next we started a small collaged booklet using her journaling cards, embellished with Dresden trim, lace and tickets. When I finish this little booklet, a beaded chain will loop it around an old bottle from Jenni's collection.

I'll be looking forward to seeing Jenni again at Creative Escape in September and Silver Bella in November. Will I see you there, too?