Welcome! I started this blog because I love to craft. I dabble with scrap booking, and card making. I love bending, folding and tweaking paper. I try other crafts, too. I hope to share some projects with you.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

   I have been in a couple Halloween swaps but I won't get them up in time. I have injured my shoulder and it makes typing hard. So I thought in the spirit of Halloween I would share some pictures with all of you.



The Children Together
 



Skeeter As "Puff The Magic Dragon"




Cindy As Herself (An Angel)



   Don't give up on me. Check back in a few days as I am working on the Halloween ATC swap right now, and hope to soon get them up.

Take Care
Kathy

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My First Face Drawing

   I've painted a few watercolor paintings. I always end up being satisfied with my paintings but I can't begin to say how hard they are for me to do. I see what I want in my head, getting it down on paper is quite another thing. I feel like I'm counterfeiting. It is really quite the struggle. Knowing that, I told myself I would never try to draw a face. Never! Well never is a long time and things change. For the last week I haven't been able to get downstairs to my studio. Boredom and frustration overtook me. I grabbed a regular pencil and a pad of paper and just started drawing a face. I was sure that it would be quite the laugh for my husband and me when he got home from work that night. It didn't turn out that way. I picked up the pencil and the face just started pouring out of it and onto the paper. I'm keeping that pencil. I'm sure that it's magic, for I have no clue where that face came from...it had to be in that pencil.


MY FIRST FACE


    This is a scan of my face. It is not nearly that dark in person. I never dreamed that it would be so hard to get a good scan of a pencil sketch. I even tried taking a picture of it with my camera. I never could photograph or scan any of my paintings. I guess that I shouldn't be surprised. I guess all things said I should just be happy that the scan came out at all.

Take Care
Kathy

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Another Kind Of Art

   Long before I started making ATC's I enjoyed doing what is called digital art. Since they really aren't considered suitable for ATC's, unless there is a swap themed especially for them, I decided to share a few of mine.

RAINBOW BRIDGE
 

   I made this for a friend when her beloved Westie passed away. I pulled him from a photo that I had of him walking down a sidewalk. Then I found a picture of this wooden bridge that was taken in a national park and published on their website. I added the rainbow colored glow to the bridge picture. Then I put Bodie in front of the rainbow bridge picture that I had made. I then wrote the poem and placed in the right corner. Needless to say it made her cry, but she thanked me for memorial keepsake of her precious boy.


CYNTHIA MARIE'S AKC ACCEPTANCE
 

   Most of you don't know that my little princess is a rescue dog. Yup, I rescued her from Col. Potter Cairn Rescue. It was just before Christmas. It was the first day of my little blonde girls life, and one of happiest days of mine. Col. Potter never gives AKC papers to the new owner. These kids are given a new name and identity...kind of like a government protection plan. So I applied to the AKC for Independent Listing Privileges which means that she can't be shown but she can do other events, like agility. This was a special day in her life so I made her a formal for the event. I then made Skeeter my little prince formal attire. I pulled the Cinderella background in this picture from a VHS tape of the musical of "Cinderella". I must have made several hundred screenshots of this before I captured one suitable to use. It took hours and hours. Then I took about a hundred photos of the two of them together before I had one that I liked. I removed their background and placed them in front of the ballroom picture. Skeeter didn't have a crown so I took a picture of my ceiling fan light and removed it from that picture and turned it upside down on his head in this picture. Putting this all together must have taken at least a hundred hours. It has never taken that long to make any other art project.


CINDY IN OZ


   This picture was made the same way as the Cinderella picture. The background was pulled from a very old and worn "Wizard of Oz" VHS tape. I love "Oz" and have worn that tape right out. A couple hundred screen captures sure didn't help any either.


SKEETER IN OZ
 

    I couldn't help myself. I had to put Skeeter in Oz, too. I made a shirt out of this. Sadly those iron on t-shirt transfers don't last very long.

A MEMORIAL FOR CHASTITY 


   This little girl started her new life at a rescue intake center that my husband and I built and ran. Her adoptive family named her Skye. Shortly after she was adopted she ran away. Many people spent many weeks searching for her. She was eventually found dead. My husband and I gathered the rocks from all over the property and built a rock cairn for her as a memorial. We placed a solar candle on top. I took pictures of the rock cairn and then I found a picture of Chastity and pulled her from that picture and placed her in front of her memorial. I then wrote the poem and laid it over the the rock cairn.

   Although this isn't the paper and paint art that I usually feature on my blog I wanted to take the time to honor those that work endless hours working on digital art. It is art, yet sadly most art swaps won't allow it to be used.

Take Care
Kathy
  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

ATC's For A Friend

   I hope that she is still my friend after she sees these. I have a friend that does watercolor painting. Like most paintings they are far too large to use for ATC's. Yesterday I pushed the clutter on my table aside so that I could make a couple of ATC's using her art. I hoped to show her some ways to incorporate her art into ATC's. The featured artist is Bonnie Ray.

SEASCAPE


   I started by making a photocopy of Bonnie's painting. Then I re-sized it making sure to leave a generous border so that my background collage would show. I gathered up scraps of scrapbook paper in shades of blue and one in brown. Then I tore them into strips. I tear the strips so that the white beneath the printed paper shows, it adds interest. Then using a glue stick I glued them into place. Be sloppy with the glue stick because the excess glue is going to hold your embossing powder in place. I picked Sapphire to give it a water splashed look. Then I poured the embossing powder over the collage and poured off the excess. I embossed it using a heat gun. I then mounted the picture on a couple layers of card stock to give it depth. I inked the outside edges with a dark blue ink pad and then glued it in place. I really like the way this turned out. I hope Bonnie does!
 
STILL LIFE



   Once again I started this ATC by photocopying one of Bonnie's paintings. Then I selected two pieces of scrap book paper. The first being the print. It made me think of a tablecloth. Then I picked the border paper. I trimmed the print leaving a small edge of the solid color paper showing, and glued them together. Then I found a ribbon that complimented my papers. I made a bow and then attached it by gluing  the ends behind the two scrap book papers. Then I glued it to card stock hiding the edge of the ribbon between them.Then I trimmed away the white background of the painting, leaving only the peppers. I used a cranberry ink pad on the edges. Then I mounted them using foam squares, to lift them from the card. I hope that it doesn't take Bonnie too long to recover from the shock of someone doing this to her art, and that she still thinks of me as a friend.

Take Care
kathy

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ghost Leaves

   It's that time of year. Fall, beautiful Fall. What makes Fall so beautiful is all the beautiful colored leaves. How can leaves fall and an artist or crafter not get excited? I am sure that as children we all collected colorful leaves and pressed them in the pages of an old book or magazine. After they were dry we then pressed them between two sheets of wax paper using a hot iron. We all know about using leaves this way. I want to share a couple newer ways to use leaves.

GHOST LEAVES


   These are Columbine leaves that I collected from my daughters garden. Some kind of insect had chewed the leaves so bad that all that was left of them were the veins and stems. She was horrified but I saw hidden beauty. I gathered a handful and put them into a plastic bag and brought them home with me. I pressed them between two sheets of wax paper using an iron. I cut two pieces of black card stock to 4x6 inches. I pushed them into a gold ink pad face down, using crumbled plastic wrap to keep my fingers clean. I arranged them onto the black card stock, then I laid the other piece of card stock over the top.Then I ran them through my Wizard die cutting machine using its embossing pad. If you don't have a die cutting machine that is capable of embossing don't worry. Emboss them by laying them onto the card stock with a piece of craft foam beneath and lay a piece of card stock over them. Using a rolling pin roll over the top applying as much pressure as you can. Leaves make the best impression from the back of the leaf. After using a heat gun to dry them, I then sprayed them with a spray sealant. After you are done don't forget to un-crumple the plastic wrap and transfer the ink to another piece of card stock. This is beautiful and can be used on another project. I like to transfer it to green or red and use it for the background of a Christmas card.

FAIRY LEAVES 




   A few years ago while up at our cabin in Northern Michigan, I stumbled into an enchanted place in the forest. I knew that fairies lived there. Sprinkled upon the forest floor were all these tiny Oak and Maple leaves. I was fascinated at their tiny size. I spent a long time gathering as many as I could find that were perfect. It is the first time I have ever seen tiny Oak or Maple leaves. Since I didn't know if I would ever again see any like them. I wanted them to last forever. I preserved these by mixing together 1/3 C. of glycerin and 2/3 C. of water. I poured this mixture into a plastic cake pan that once came with a microwave cake. Then I laid my leaves into the mixture. Then I put another plastic cake pan on top of them and weighted it down to hold the leaves beneath the the surface. It usually takes four to six days for the glycerin to replace the water in the leaves. I left these in for six days because Oak leaves are woody where most other leaves are fleshy. I wanted to make sure they were ready to use. I then took them out and dried them gently with paper towel. This process leaves the leaves soft and flexible making them easy to use. 

 PAINTED LEAVES

    

   To make these leaves you first gather fallen leaves that haven't began to dry out yet. Lay them on a piece of  parchment paper, then lay another piece of parchment paper over the top of them. Make sure that you use parchment paper and not wax paper, as you can't paint waxed leaves. Iron them for a few seconds on one side and then flip them over and iron the other side. Do this a couple of times until they are dry. Leave them set a few days to make sure they really are dry. When you are sure they are dry, spray them with a clear acrylic paint. Remember to spray both sides of the leaves. After the clear acrylic paint is dry I then paint them with metallic acrylic paint. I only use this way of preserving leaves if I love the shape but the color is disappointing. They make beautiful additions to cards and scrapbook pages.

   There were so many Fall themed swaps this year that these beautiful leaves would have been perfect for. Unfortunately I just didn't have the time to jump into them. Alas, there is always next year. I hope that even though I didn't get the chance to use them that you might.

Take Care
Kathy





Friday, October 4, 2013

Homemade Silicone Molds

   About ten days ago I decided it was time to re-caulk my bathtubs. So I brought some silicone caulk and got to work. I've done a lot of caulking in my time...and cleaning up after. When I was a kid I made little balls out of caulk and tossed them around. Now I'm older I play a little differently. I started thinking about trying to make silicone molds out of the caulk. I love charms, but hate to use them. Once they're gone, they're gone. So after I finished the one bathtub, I started experimenting with the caulk that I got for the bathtubs. The other bathtub could wait. It took a little time to get it right. I knew I needed to add something to the caulk to make it less sticky and to help dry it out after I made my image. I tried salt...trust me it didn't work. I needed something less course and grainy. So I thought about other things like flour and thought that it might over time spoil. I decided on baking powder. I was just perfect!

   I powdered a non-stick craft sheet with baking powder and squeezed out some silicone caulk onto it.

   Then using a couple of scrapers I started blending the two together. One to blend the mixture and one to clean off the other. 



    When It got to the texture of Silly Putty or molding clay, I put Vaseline on my hands and rolled it into a ball. Then I flattened it with a rolling pin.


   Then I took a button and gave it a coat of Vaseline and pressed it into it. I told you that I don't have many charms. 



     Make sure that you press it in deep enough to make a deep impression to fill. 


   Don't worry about it getting stuck. In four or five minutes it will be dry enough to gently lift and flex the mold popping it out.



The silicone molds that I made.


    This was fun so I made a few more molds. This is great, I can make as many molds as I want without breaking the bank. The caulk was $4.00 and the baking powder $1.69. This turned out some really nice flexible molds. After letting them sit overnight. I got out my melting pot and melted UTEE and started making embellishments. These can be painted any way I like. I won't paint them until I decide to use them. That way I can paint them to match what I'm using them on. 
   My homemade silicone molds have been sitting out on my table for several days and still remain flexible. Although they show no signs of drying out I have decided to store them in a plastic bag. Well, I made a few mistakes. It was a learning experience. Now, I'm not sure that I have enough caulk left to finish caulking the other bathtub...but you know what they say about all work and no play!

Take Care
 Kathy





Tuesday, October 1, 2013

And The Winner Is...

   Well it wasn't hard to pick a winner. I really didn't need Random.org. With the help of my husband we had a scientific drawing. I wrote the number of each blog entry on a slip of paper. Then I put them in a bowl. DH pulled the slip from the bowl.
      And The Number Is...
   The first winner is me. I received a beautiful ATC in the mail for no reason than from the goodness of someone's heart. A while back I entered an ATC swap called "Sealife". I never received my returns. This person read this on my blog and made a "Sealife" ATC just for me. It is absolutely beautiful!


 Kristi Johnson

  She made the background using Encaustic crayons. Thank you so much. I really was thrilled to receive this. This is not part of the give-away. This is my treasure.

   And now back to "My First Blog Give-Away". The number was 3, so Mary Blake if you send me your address I'll get it out to you.
   I want to thank everyone that left a comment. They really were uplifting to me.

Take Care
Kathy