Monday, May 25, 2009

still keeping calm


Just a few days ago I mentioned where to find the clever rubber stamps invoking the popular British war rally poster. For some time I've been seeing versions of this poster printed in many colors, or printed with a change in wording like "stay calm and eat cupcakes," and of course used on lots of items besides the posters.

Now these collectible charms have arrived in the mail from Stef and Mark, the husband and wife team at Home Studio. The mini poster words and sheet music are hand applied to the front of Scrabble tiles, just two of their wide variety of images. And they are having a Memorial Day special through Monday.

One more variation on the theme comes from Teresa Sheeley's Etsy shop, where she offers her take on delightful motifs like crowns and chandeliers and birds and tea cups. She makes her tea towels by printing her original designs, like this one with a much larger crown over the popular saying.

On Memorial Day, when we pause to pay homage to so many Americans who died in war to preserve our beliefs, this saying still can remind us a little of what we owe.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

more class projects from inspired

Among the two wrist-tasking core classes at the Inspired event was this metal-embossing class taught by Cheryl Darrow, owner of Ten Seconds Studio. Using products from her company, she encouraged us to practice (actually labor hard :) on various embossing plates and to combine designs, either overlapping within a piece or even as consecutive layers.

Cheryl's sample projects were, of course, much more complicated in design. But I had fun with this beginner's piece of metal, which I crumpled, sanded, then smoothed out flat with a tool, then embossed randomly with a small alphabet plate, sanded, and smoothed out again, and then embossed and sanded a third time with a large leaf and flower design. Cheryl, Lolly and I agreed it looked like a decadent jungle piece. Although it's hard with the glare of the camera, can you see how much detail the metal retained in spite of so much handling? I was surprised, aren't you?

Since I've been around military dog tags way too long to wear one myself, I decided to hang my version of our class project on an old mini decanter like a whisky label. Maybe essence of Pam?

More wrist action was needed in Tejae Floyde's clay bead class, where the quality of the rolled and stamped beads we made to surround a watch face for a "Timeless Timepiece" depended on how well we prepped the clay. My wrists are a bit old for this to be my new hobby, but with stamped red clay disks dashed with silver, copper, and aqua paint, I finished the circlet. The real test came when my friend Kitty actually looked at her watch for the time later that day. It works! So it's handily keeping time in a bowl in my studio.

Although I especially enjoy painting, we did not proceed very far in Paulette Insall's portrait class. Our group was the last class of the weekend, and this was a tough act for many. The 6" square canvas was a very manageable size, but so many ladies who were trying this medium for the first time had questions that needed attention. So I sketched and glazed the face Paulette provided as our sample, painted the background and stippled it with bubble wrap (we were all supposed to bring something for texture), and will proceed from there on my own time. Paulette was very generous with tips on her painting style, especially on the use of glazing mediums and watercolor crayons.

Once I start adding my assembled fabric and embellishment squares to Jennifer Stewart's canvas collage, I'll show you an update on that class, too. Still a lot to catch up on.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

keep calm and carry on


Several ladies at Inspired asked where to find these clever stamps I brought along, based on the British war poster "Keep Calm and Carry On", copies of which are lately popping up in lots of venues. The stamps are a new offering from Dani at Rubber Soul and come in both relief and solid background. You can read about the poster's history on their site.  My friend Jeanette added my relief stamp to one of her fabric pages in Susan Edmonson's class, raising more queries about where to find this popular sentiment.  If you live near Seattle, you can shop in the Rubber Soul store in Poulsbo, WA, or you can keep calm but hurry to their online store.

Friday, May 15, 2009

carol wingert's class at inspired


Following Donna's mixed-media approach, some of the Inspired classes involved skills not typically used on scrapbook pages, like manipulating clay, although I overheard several ladies thinking out loud about how to do just that :).

However, Carol Wingert's hand-made album class delighted all the scrapbookers looking for a novel stretch within their medium. Carol instructed us in three compatible pamphlet structures which she combined into one journal, using cardstock, envelopes, and canvas. We personalized our pages using Glimmer Mist sprays and new Glimmer Mist screens and stamps.

The front cover boasted one of Carol's favorite techniques, using something from the hardware store to make a

unique page embellishment. We made our faux metal butterfly by conforming silver foil tape to the butterfly base shape and then distressing it with inks and sandpaper. Following the same procedure, we made a small medallion for the note page inside the album.

Here are a couple more views of my nearly completed journal.

Although there were plenty more Glimmer Mist screens and stamp designs on the table, I was too impatient to wait for the popular swirls and flourishes to become available. So most of my applications seem to be the same compass design. Not only that, but I was too impatient to wait for the Glimmer Mist spray to dry properly on the canvas, thereby losing definition in the design edges. To compensate, I highlighted the numbers and hands with a pen and covered the inadvertent blop (high-end artistic term) with a sewn-on patch. Kinda like the faded effect, but I think I need to try this fun page again.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

susan edmonson's class at inspired

At Donna Downey's Inspired event in Concord, NC, unlike the usual scrapbooking events, our classes expanded to cover a larger mixed-media range than paper crafting. In my Friday morning class, Susan Edmonson eased us into fabric layering, photo transfers, adding trims and writing on fabric pages to make a fabric book instead of a paper one. Sewing machines surrounded us, and some of us actually remembered how to use them. Susan is passionate about quilting and expanding its creative uses, so she was eager to help anyone who asked.

On her very advanced Bernina machine, she demonstrated the fabric collage process and various decorative stitches to edge the pieces.

She also earnestly showed me how to hand-stitch an assortment of finishing stitches to add interest to the collaged pages, as shown here on a sample page from one of her fabric books.

Although I didn't finish even one page, I enjoyed taking my time to play around with ideas. Once I sewed my collaged fabric pieces onto the muslin backing, the 6"x6" page size managed to accommodate several embellishments. First I stamped on another square of muslin, then tore it in half and basted it to make a ruffle, securing it to the page with lace trim. Susan helped me with my small bias strip across the top, using the tiniest of zigzag stitches on her machine (click on photo to see close up). More stamping on the green fabric and a button-layered flower added some focus. Next up will be to sew a curving bias strip for the flower's stem, leaves and fun decorative handstitching.  Then onto page two, after I find my sewing machine.


Monday, May 04, 2009

anna griffin peyton "fabulous" shopping layout


On Wednesday Kitty, Jeanette, Carol and I are driving south to enjoy a girls' weekend creating at Donna Downey's Inspired event in Concord, NC. Tomorrow I'll finally have time to gather my supplies and start packing -- plenty of time, especially since my traveling companions have helped organize me with lists and shopping trips in the past week or so.

And in keeping with the all-girls theme, here's a glimpse at my new layout for the May Anna Griffin class at Scrapbooks Plus.

We'll be heating up the pavement as we create this two-page layout using Anna Griffin Peyton papers and embellishments. Featuring flocked paper, embossed "patent leather" paper, a purse and shop awnings, pleats and lots of fun ribbons, this layout will celebrate a girls' day out or a night out on the town.

Friday, May 01, 2009

birthday wishes


When my friend Amy hosted her Sugarville test class, Hope brought her beautiful art journal. Although I didn't have much time to pore over it as I wanted, I loved what I saw. Hope has such fun playing around with handwritten fonts while she ponders meaningful questions. So I sent her a couple of my handwritten cards, hoping she'll be able to tuck them in her journal somewhere. It took only a couple pen strokes to figure out I could use the soft tip of my new Faber-Castell  PITT artist pen almost like a calligraphy pen.  To foof up the cards just a little, I spritzed them with glimmer mist and glitter.  I wish I could photograph them better, because they glow, just like Hope these days.