A Very Merry Christmas to All

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Time Management

That what I could use a lesson in. Some people think I get a lot accomplished in a day...I don't :-(
I am soooo looking forward to this House for Sale drama to be over. Although considering the past, something else will just come along to take it's place LOL
I had this Large Button  Pendant swap. Wasn't sure if that meant to make a large pendant with a button or to use a large button and make a pendant. Heaven forbid I should ask. So this is what I did.
First I cut around the label of a R-CD (big circle and small circle) Then I put a layer of black clay, about 1/8" thick over the label and kept rubbing it with my fingers to make sure it formed a really good bond. (lightly lifting the clay now and then tells you if the label has let go)
you end up with really cool , silvery looking clay (see right side). I covered some sample tags with black clay, then cut stems and leaves from the silver and pushed it into the black pendant. Then baked it in the over 275 degrees for 15 min.
After they cooled I added big buttons as "flowers" with Austrian crystals in the center for some sparkle.
The flat black looked a bit drab
so I coated them with purple glitter nail polish for some shine , as a sealer and to add sparkle.
Pictures never tell the whole story. They are prettier in person.
In Mixedmediastudio we are having a fan blade swap. Each person will make a fan blade and then swap each month with a different partner until they have a beautiful Friendship Fan. I usually lean toward a Steam Punk theme, but this blade just seemed to want to go Victorian/Shabby Chic.
It will be off to my partner on Monday. Still working on my Mystery Challenge (I'm sure some of them have gone ahead and that's okay...I love to see the difference in a project that starts out looking the same. That's all for today folks, stop by again real soon.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Like the sands of time.....

These are the days of our lives....Yesterday while checking something in the plow truck, something got stuck and away Rich flew..taking off a chunk of the barn and plowing through the electric fence, finally coming to rest  in the middle of the pasture.
The angels were with the goats (as well as with Rich and my son) because where he took down the fence is where the goats usually lay in the sun. (which is about where your sitting right now to view this picture). So now I have to wait until Wed. before the goats can go out and play :-(

Raeven has this swap going on. Last year she created a village with houses for each person in the swap. This year she is creating a little village of stores. Sounded cute. Originally I was going to make 6 different stores, but I decided to go with "SAME" simple because my mind is shot and simple is better for me right now.
I thought they turned out kind of cute. You know my rule of thumb.Send only those swaps that you'd like to get if you were on the receiving end.
I don't think pictures ever do things justice and this is no exception. The snow sparkles (you can't see that) The sign , the wreath and shopping cart all pop out at you (can't see that) and the wreath is all glittery and the tree has  3D ornaments (None of which you can see) The shop I had to create was a Christmas Tree Shop and that's what I did. I cut out the windows, then found some  pictures I thought would work. The trees with tags were perfect for a retail shop and the single tree was perfect for decorating. Then that little shopping cart full of gifts seemed to go with the theme. I put the pic's in the windows and then backed it with card stock for extra support.The wreath was the final little touch to make it Christmas.
Next on the list is finishing up my fan (for a friendship fan swap) and my zipper thingy for this months "I DARE YOU" So thanks for stopping by and come back real soon.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The best and worst time of year

I love  FALL. It has always been my favorite. I love the smells of Fall, the pumpkins in the fields, winter squash, the quilt of many colors that Mother Nature spread over the mountains, I just love it.

What I don't love is the sounds of gunshots . This time of year brings the week-end hunters. Those with no respect for boundaries. The trophy hunters. I make that distinction because the people who live here feed their families with what nature provides. They hunt for a reason and with respect for the animal that provides them with food. Because we do not hunt our land is somewhat of a sanctuary for the animals that call the Catskills their home.
Each year our resident doe provides us with twins. We call her Nellie, two years ago she had buck babies. It is rare you will see two bucks together, but the twins have lived here for so long they don't seem to want to leave here or each other.
Jesse is in the foreground and Jordyn in the background. My fear now, because they stay so close to each other is that they will be shot together. Aren't they beautiful?
Daisy, another resident who seldom leaves and has been here for 8 years, has decided that this year, tomatoes are her favorite food.
I was wondering where my tomatoes were going. That black you see is the grill on my deck, that's how close she is.
Did she actually stick her tongue out at me??
Sorry , no crafts today. I was too busy making videos and watching deer. Perhaps tomorrow...
Thank you all for the Congrats on my win. I'm so excited. Joanna I will write soon.
Visit again soon.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I WON!!! I WON!!!

I am so excited. I never win anything. Remember I posted a pic of the "Captured Frida" bottle I made? It was for a challenge over at Gauche Alchemy.
I checked there on the 9th because I thought that's when winner was to be posted. When I didn't find anything I wrote to several of the Alchemist but never got an answer. I wanted to know who to congratulate, since I was sure it wasn't me LOL
One of the lovely women I met through that site notified me this morning by way of Congratulations!! What a happy surprise...
Meanwhile my time has been spent with the worry over selling my house, missing my Rosie and trying to catch up on swaps.
The theme for this was "Winter Blooms" of course Poinsettia's come to mind. I thought about cutting up some old Christmas cards, but then decided to make my own using  book pages and copper ribbon.The red Austrian crystals really sparkle and the copper trim over the paper lace trim really makes it pop. As always pictures really don't show it very well.
Then I have my charm group. I love Halloween so I had to join. We also had to include a Moo card.
I made the skulls from transparent clay and then stained them with walnut to give them that "once buried" look. I set ruby red Austrian crystals in the eyes to give some sparkle. Hey, I have to maintain my status as "Glitter Queen". The back part of the same charm is a spider web I painted and then punched out a wee little spider. (I knew that tiny $1 spider punch would come in handy)
The Moo card is a head under glass I titled "The Dreaming". Hows that for spooky?
I also managed to make a tutorial video for the Mystery challenge.
Now I have to work on 6 Christmas Tree Shoppe Cards for Ravens Christmas village swap. Something made from a zipper for my own "I Dare You Challenge" and finish up my Fan for a friendship fan swap in Mixedmediastudio@yahoogroups.com  . Oh and let us not forget the continuation of the mystery challenge.
I'm thinking I should get busy instead of writing here. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Glow pond strikes again!!

Y'all remember that strange blue glow up at the pond and that weird skeleton? Well we saw the glow again last night and this morning, when I went to meditate, this is what I found.
What the heck? In looking closely this one appears to be more mermaid like then the first one. Certainly prettier. Her skull is almost human and the bones of her flipper fins seem almost hand like, which is what I would imagine they would look like. Poor little thing. I'm wondering, is my pond a place were strange things come to die? Creepy you say? Not at all. I'm sort of amazed by the entire experience. Actually I've seen strange movement in the pond, but they are just so fast ..<sigh>
So back to the swaps. I finished another one. AFTCM is also doing a cuff bracelet. In Mixedmediastudio we had some strict rules and I am happy to say ALL the cuffs were gorgeous and well made. In this swap we were told to make a cuff and to embellish. My idea of a cuff is one that is sewn from fabric or leather. However I have also seen some beautiful braided ones and one's made from metal. I was going to make one a bit different, but decided to stick with what comes to mind when I think cuff.
I've since added more beads and there is a great deal of sparkle that doesn't show in the picture. I like it, I'd wear it and when I tried it on it was comfortable. Every bit is sewn on so I have no problem with it being knocked around.
I made it adjustable so no matter what size the wrist, it will work. At first I was worried that it was too over the top, but folks that have seen it, love the focus element and agree that it looks WAY better in person.
Today I have to make some skulls and a Banner...but I really want to make a video for my Mystery Challenge....Seems there are never enough hours in a day for me...Thanks for stopping .....

Friday, September 5, 2014

Three Swaps Ready To Travel

Oh I love it when things get finished on time. Hopefully tomorrow they will be out the door.
For my ATC group we had Tea Bag folds.
I love the silver  tape and the bling. I think it gives them some life.
In my Art For the Creative Mind we had a stained glass 4X4. Unfortunately  I am a stained glass artist and every technique I saw, didn't excite me. Stained glass has a certain look. Just couldn't climb out of the box on this one. So I finished the one you saw with some copper trim and I like it. Hopefully my partner will.
Then for my own group. One of the swaps is a Fairy Door. As you saw, I painted it red and then washed it in black. I secured the hinge and lock I found. For the trim around the door I used thin slices of slate (native to here) and thing sliced Paua shell native to NZ and very "fairy"...Gave it a crystal vine on each side and I think I will change the ribbon from purple to iridescent white. I wanted it to open like a  card so it could be displayed that way. When you open the door, you walk over the bridge to the castle in the sky. Of course it will help if you are a fairy.

Wouldn't you just love to be a fairy? I sure would.
So now it is one to completing the Mystery Challenge. This months I Dare You item is a zipper.
I also have to finish my cuff bracelet for AFTCM I'm not fond of hand sewing, but I refuse to glue anything someone will wear...Just too much stress on a bracelet for glue. So check back for more finished projects. Hope you like these.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The wheels of progress

Turn ever so slowly. Especially when you are packing and trying to do a million things at once. My art projects always help to distract me a bit. This week is sad enough and now I have to go to Long Island to see what my tenants left behind and get  my house sold. <sigh> I really love that old house. She has lots of personality and charm, but I will never move back there so why put up with the kind of people I have been getting for tenants.
I did manage to find some little hinges I'm sizing up for the fairy door and a lock. It will have to wait until I get back for it's very fairy frame and some flowers and trim. IN my mind it's lovely, hope it looks the same when done LOL
The hinges aren't  on yet, but you get the idea. I'm thinking paua shells instead of stone for the frame...Only because they are so colorful and fairy  like. I think if I were a fairy I would use them to highlight my door and make it special. I'll lay them out and see how they look. I always have stones for option 2.
The mystery challenge came to a stand still, but will continue when I get home. Some times life just goes that way. meanwhile I've gotten a lot of nice things said about my Frida  challenge. I've changed my profile so if you have had a problem posting, please try now.
See you soon.....

Monday, September 1, 2014

Another swap

I think my friends are correct. If I spent as much time making stuff to sell as I do making stuff to swap, I'd be rich.
But swapping brings a different kind of richness. Granted when you swap as much as I do your bound to get a rotten apple now and then, but even they have some merit. Poor made swaps remind me to try my very best...always. The fact that we all find beauty in different thing and in different forms of art is a wonderful thing. I'm sure there are those who would find my rotten apples worthy, while my swaps fall short. It's true when they say, you can please some of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time. So I will continue to do the very best I can and hope "some of the people" are pleased.
If you are looking for my Frida challenge, keep scrolling.
The swap I just finished was a 4x4 , theme "Stained Glass". I make real stained glass so this theme was difficult. I researched it, only to find a bunch of different techniques, none of which I felt comfortable with.I could see them used on a bigger piece, but not on a 4x4. I decided to just do my thing..I love Iris flowers, so I drew one the way I would if I was making a pattern for stained glass. I colored it with Copic markers, trying to give each piece the look of stained glass (which is not always consistent color. Gave it 4 layers of Utee and the leaded it with Gun metal  Stickles..I'm thinking about some copper trim to finish it off, not sure.
I wasn't happy with my first piece (a fish). When I asked myself my swap question " If you received this, would you like it?", my answer was  "Maybe", it just didn't say what I wanted it to say. It didn't make me feel good. When I finished this one and asked the same question. I was able to say yes, I'd love it and I'd display it..of course I think it needs trim LOL but I'm still not sure.

Now onto the Fairy Door adventure. Mine started out as the top of a cigar box. I sketched out what I hoped for and then cut it out on the band saw. The wood was flat so I used my dremel to put some score lines in (wood planks)
You'll have to wait to see  how it ends up, but I'm liking it so far...Haven't decided if I should put a Fairy behind the door, a scene or just leave it.
Thanks for stopping by.