Sunday, February 28, 2010

stitch by stitch


So few stitches that I could probably count them, but at least it's a few more than yesterday. Are you also stitching along with Teresa's embroidery ezine?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

amy's stitchalong

Since we are both following Teresa's freestyle embroidery ezine, my sweet friend Amy invited me to join her stitchalong, too. She is proposing to celebrate her birthday all March long by doing at least one creative thing a day -- stitching a tiny 1-inch square of embroidery daily! By the end of the month, everyone who joins her will have a wonderful little sampler of each day's small fanciful idea. You can stitch along, too.

Amy assured me that my travel schedule wouldn't interfere, because it's a very portable project and I could just sew on a fun button when time presses. And I need a little push to be creative right now. Sometimes, without a break, the responsible things just get piled too high!

So last night I tested my new resolve to stitch a little something before bed each night. (We'll see how I do in hotel rooms - there may be a lot of buttons on my March sampler :). It helped, after sweeping almost everything off my nightstand into the drawer, to gather my few stitching supplies right there, in a bit of a jumble still, but handy.

Teresa's ezine sampler begins by stitching the word "bloom". Not wasting any more time, I used the linen straight out of the Michael's package, unpressed folds and all. A very small step, but just the right message to head me out of these winter blahs.

Monday, February 22, 2010

sweet girl

We're having a heat wave here with a couple days reaching all the way up to the low 40s. And although the soaked ground cannot absorb any more, at least we're having rain today instead of more snow. During the class I taught yesterday, we even thought (for a couple minutes) about leaving the classroom door open to savor the sun on our faces.

This sweet little handmade girl brought lots of sunshine when she arrived from Lori's My Faerie Window studio giveaway. Isn't she such a charmer, both coming and going, with Lori's gentle creative touches? Thanks so much, Lori!

There's another bright spot on the horizon! Next weekend I'm fleeing west to Phoenix, where the balmy weather and predictable sunshine will warm my bones during Carol's full-day heirloom book-making class. Acting on a last-minute cancellation, I can't wait to spend a day in Carol's sunny garden with lots of creative friends.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

snowmageddon (enough already)


The snow-in began last Friday, cutting us off from both road and internet access. By Wednesday, after several very quiet days (!) without power, we rejoined the electrical grid, and this morning the front-loader finally showed up to plow out our hilly icy neighborhood. This evening, after nine days without computer access (yes, I was counting), I retrieved my storm-fried laptop from the Apple store (even Apple suffered resupply woes) and am ready to test-drive my new motherboard and cable box. I feel as though I've been cut off from civilization for much longer than a very long week.

While I regain my electronic footing, here's the current scene outside my bathroom window. I heard we've had more snow here than in Anchorage, Alaska.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

anna griffin valentina layout

Another long drive home this afternoon, with snow falling all through rush hour on top of the snow still lingering from this weekend. But the big fat wet flakes begged to be caught and examined closely. Do you still do that, sticking out your tongue for the soft landing? Or using black construction paper to see each separate and distinct crystalline design before it melts? In the early 1800's, William Bentley spent years capturing and photographing snowflakes on his farm in Vermont. Some of those early photographs were recently for sale at the American Antiques Show presented by the American Folk Art Museum in New York. Such glorious natural design.

Are you ready for six more weeks of this winter? Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil thinks we are, although he's been correct less than 40% of the time. But I think it's time to warm things up for Valentine's Day.

So for my Anna Griffin layout class at Scrapbooks Plus this month, I'm happily bringing on the yummy lipstick reds. We'll use her Valentina die cut paper and add our own die cuts to her stitched paper to make a two-page spread remininscent of old-fashioned lacy Valentines. And we'll make lots of pockets for tucking in sweet photos (like these of my older granddaughter) and other tokens of the sweet things in your life right now.

Anna's glittered candy red letters are just right for spelling out our "sweet things" theme. You can call the store to sign up for the class/kit.

After-class edit: If you would like more details on making my two-page layout, read on. :)

Right page instructions:

1. Use AG1459 Red Scroll on Cream as the right page background.

2. Make a pocket and matching border: From AG1471 Red Stitched "love" paper, measure 5 inches up from the bottom edge of the paper and cut off a 12" x 5" horizontal strip.
Using Martha Stewart's Deep Edge Daisy Fan Punch, cut 5 connecting fans along the cut upper edge of the 12" x 5"pocket piece (not the stitched bottom edge). Tip: To appropriately position the first punch, align the side edge of the paper with the leading edge of the fan design illustrated on the punch base. Practice on scrap paper first. Note: Save the "quotation marks" punched from the fans to use on the left page.
Repeat, cutting the same 5 fans along the cut edge (not the stitched edge) of the remaining 12" x 7" paper piece. Trim off the bulk of the unpunched paper, leaving only a 1/4" border to connect the fans (see photo).
Attach the fan pocket on 3 sides (leaving the top fan edge open) to the bottom of the page. Attach the fan border along the top of the page with fans pointing down.

3. Make the page title: Remove the pink patterned cardstock liner from the AG alphabet sticker package and, using a 1+1/2" scalloped circle punch, cut 12 circles of pink, i.e., one for each sticker letter of your title. Select your alphabet letters and adhere to the pink scalloped circles.
• Also punch one 1+1/4" plain circle from the pink liner as the base for your rolled flower and one 1+1/2" scalloped circle from the leftover red paper.

4. Make a rolled flower: Cut a 12" x 1" strip from second AG1459 Red Scroll on Cream paper. Fold paper lengthwise into thirds. Glue and staple one end of
folded strip to center of 1+1/4" pink circle, with strip extending out from circle and "seam" down. Start rolling strip around the center, shaping loosely into flower, adhering to glue on pink circle. Tuck under end of strip and adhere. Adhere pink flower base to red scalloped circle, and center below upper border on page.

5. Position title letters across top of page just under red fan border and adhere. Position and adhere letter "i" on pocket below.

6. Cut off about 2" from an AG journal tag (I used pink with red scroll). Save remainder of tag for use on other page. Center the tag on the page just below the title with cut edge down. Center the red stitched heart (cut from AG1471) on the journal tag; adhere with pop dots.

7. Add photos and extra journaling tags in the large pocket.

Left page instructions:

1. Use AG1462 Red Hearts on Red as left page background. Center and adhere AG1473 Cream Lace Die Cut paper on top. Position and adhere remaining prepared title letters across top of die cut square.

2. Make pockets from journaling tags: Choose 4 AG journaling tags (see photos for my choices). Score across each tag at 2" from bottom curves, then cut off flap at 2+1/4" from bottom. Fold over the 1/4" at the score line, folding either inside or outside the pocket, to reinforce the pocket edge. If you choose to fold to the outside, you can scallop the edge. Glue down the fold.

3. Position and adhere journal pockets to page, leaving room for tucking small photos or tags into pockets. Position upper edge of top pockets 5" down from top of page. Position top edge of lower pockets up 3+3/4" from bottom of page. Position outside edge of pockets 2+1/4" in from edge of page.

4. In addition to journaling on the pocket fronts, you can embellish the pockets, choosing any of the following suggestions:

• Use the leftover flaps cut from journaling pockets to add a second curvy flounce to the top of pockets. Mix and match the pocket colors.

• Punch a 1+1/2" scalloped circle from AG1459 scroll paper, and add a glittery heart from an extra "J" in the alphabet package.

• Punch tags from remaining AG1471 stitched paper, including stitching as accents if desired. Journal (in white pen) on tags and tuck in pockets.

• Add a small 7Gypsies red paper clip to the pocket edge.

• Use leftover fan punch "quotation marks" to highlight a word or phrase on the front of a pocket.

5. Add small photos and other memorabilia in the pockets.