Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ice Queen Art Shoe

The latest shoe is finally done, as usual I started out with one idea (all white) and it morphed into something else, but I am pretty pleased with the result. The curved shapes were made by tracing portions of a french curve, lots of detail work involved with gluing on the silver trim. Plaid's new product, Extreme Glitter and then some Stickles gave the white accents and the blue body that extra sparkle I wanted. Rebuilding the heel's once they are cut off takes some time, you have to balance the shoe just right upside down and they glue on a few elements at a time, let them dry and then do some more. E-6000 is the best glue for non-porous items, once it's dry it's very sturdy. This one will be added to the items for sale on Etsy.

Christmas Eve is tomorrow, my best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season, whatever your faith happens to be. Our holly tree is in full glory right now, it's the only tree we have in the back yard and during the summer I mostly curse it. You really can't get anything to grow underneath it and trying to clean up or garden around it means risking getting lots of sharp holly leaves jammed into your person, but it completely redeems itself this time of year.

I made a quick trip to Jo-Ann's today to get some fabric and check out all the Christmas stuff that is always on sale and came across this great little addition to my holiday village for next year.....and it was 70% off! Now all I need is a Michael's one and I will have the beginnings of a Craft Store Village.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Surface Explorations Class now open!

The Surface Explorations Class at the Sparrow's Nest is now scheduled for January 22, 2011, Saturday, 10:00 to 4:00, a great way to get your creative juices going for the New Year.

Call Sherri Angie at 360-733-9031 or email her at to sign up. Class fee is $50.00 plus a $5.00 supply fee.

There has been quite a hiatus since my last post, as most of my friends know my father passed away on November 9. When I am ready I will be doing a blog post all about Dad, there are some great pictures I would like to share.

I did attend the Christmas Party for my calligraphy guild on Saturday, thank you Pam for once again being an awesome hostess! For the gift exchange we make a handmade or calligraphic letter of the alphabet, mine was made from craft metal, I embossed the letter "R", colored the metal with Pinata inks, painted the letter with some Extreme Glitter, added a couple of buttons and matted it.

I am working on a winter art shoe, all I can say is there will be much glitter. There will be no handmade Christmas cards this year, time did not allow but maybe a New Year Art Shoe postcard to my friends and family?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Surface Explorations Class

Still time to sign up for the Surface Explorations class on November 13 from 10:00am to 4:00p,. You will learn 15 techniques to enhance your jounalling, mixed media, scrapbook and paper crafts. You get a full day of hands on play with paint, molding paste, stencils, gesso, texture mediums & sprays just to name a few. Here are just a few samples....

Class fee is $50.00 with a $5.00 supply fee. Email or to sign up. Class will be held in Bellingham at the Sparrow's Nest Studio.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cariboo and Buffalo

We have returned from our trip to see my folks in Dease Lake, B.C., which is about a 100 miles south of the B.C. and Yukon border. We normally take Highway 37 north but this time Gerry wanted a change of scenery so we took the Alaska Highway from Fort St. John to Watson Lake and then cut off onto Highway 37. It was a long drive, took us 2 1/2 days to get there but we did get to see some wildlife along the way, through Summit Pass we were so high we were above the clouds and there were Caribou (or Cariboo as the Canucks spell it) on the road, had to honk at them a couple of times to get them to move. Saw some Stone Sheep and 4 small herds of Buffalo, I guess someone brought some up back in the day and now they wander on their own. Gerry took a dip in the Liard Hot Springs, I don't do enclosed public bathing areas of ANY sort so I just took in the scenery, dousing myself in "people soup" is not my thing...yes, as a matter of fact I am a Princess, but I'm OK with that.

The Alaska Highway itself was not in the greatest shape, there was a fair amount of construction going on & lots of natural gas and oil drilling camps along the way. We had the camper with us, the RV parks were all closed so the stayed in Walmart parking lots there and back, I guess we can consider that training for our senior years when we have a big diesel pusher and do our "Tour of America, Courtesy of Walmart".

The cats fared very well, thanks to the excellent care they received from their Uncle Mike McMullen, I do owe him hugely for the messes I know he had to take care of. They are happy to have the regular wait staff/servants back and have been very clingy.

Spent the day in the studio today, getting more of my CD collection into iTunes, we listened to the entire contents of my iPod on the trip, 2500 miles and 1000 songs, need some fresh tunes. I don't mind country music (Gerry likes it), but I need to listen to something now where the wife comes back and dog doesn't die. Also played around with some new stencils and spray inks I had purchased before we left.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Attention Cat and Dog People!

Check out this amazing site, just answer a trivia question (right or wrong) and these folks will donate free kibble to animal shelters.

I put their badge on my blog, if you have a site or blog please help these shelter animals by adding the badge to your page.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Encaustic Collage

The Sparrow's Nest retreat was great fun, many wonderful pieces of art were created and some who thought they were not artist's realized that they actually were. Huge kudo's to Sherri and Tracy, who worked incredibly hard to make that event the success that it was. My teaching portion was making encaustic collage pieces, I had so much fun with them that I came home and made some more! The technique is simple, you collage onto a hard surface, in this case I used panel board. Fortunately Gerry had been covering the inside of his shop walls with panel board and there were lots of end pieces left, he and our good friend Mike were kind enough to cut them into my desired sizes and now I have a huge stack for future encaustic projects.

After collaging you brush encaustic medium (refined beeswax already mixed with damar resin) over the collage and fuse the medium to meld the brush marks together. I put a thin layer of gel medium over the collage to prevent the paper from darkening too much. While the wax is still warm but not mushy you can make a toner transfer of an image of your choice. Finishing touches are buttons, rhinestones, glitter and foil tracings.

I have at least 40 more boards stacked up under the desk ready to be worked with so I foresee more of these coming in the future.

The final major home improvement project of the year has been completed, concreting in front of the shop, garage and pad where the camper sits. It was a major project, but looks great, Gerry says he can't wait to wash his cars on his nice new driveway instead of in the gravel and dirt. Behold the awesomeness of Gerry's New Manly Driveway.....

It is very nice not having all that dirt tracked into the garage and then into the house.

Felines are doing good, Dana had to go the V.E.T this morning to have her butt glands expressed, totally NOT fun. I told her the night before she was going in the Magic Box to the Special Kitty Spa for her Treatment, but she's not stupid and she knew darn well she was going in the Evil Kitty Carrier to the Bad Place, where the Not Nice Man with the Rubber Glove messes around with her Patootie. She was super ticked off when she got home, she kept hissing at me, her brother and imaginary things I could not see. There has been liberal application of cat treats to take the edge off.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where's the Ark?

I think we will need to start building one, it may be really small and only have two poorly behaved cats and ourselves as passengers but at least we will be set to survive the downpour that has being going on for three days. Our new gutters are going up none to soon, I am trying not to look at the garden, the poor tomatos are in a very sad state. Gerry was supposed to take Precious to a car show today but she does not go out in the rain....cause she is made of sugar and might melt. This is just a quick post, the True Blood finale is on tonight, I can't wait to see if Eric is able to redeem himself. I am not a Twilight fan, a little too much teen angst for me, but I love Sookie and Company, Gerry thinks I might need an intervention.

Cats are still rotten, Apollo was chastised severely today for licking the butter out of the dish....while I was sitting there at the counter looking right at him. I did the right think and scraped that part off before Gerry buttered his toast in the morning, see what a good wife I am?

I finished off a new CD/DVD book tonite, lots of lovely gold on this one.

This is one of the classes I will be teaching so here is my not so subtle plea to sign up for it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Classes for Fall

I will be teaching at the Sparrow's Nest Studio this fall and winter, there is a new "classes" tab at the top of this blog to click on for details, Layered Shrines, Surface Explorations and CD/DVD Memorabilia Books are the classes on the calender. The Sparrow's Nest also has many other wonderful classes by very talented teachers and a retreat on 9/24, still a couple of spots left!

Surface Exploration's is a new class, student's will come away with a sampler like this of many different techniques.

The wet weather has come, the garden is doing OK but some things are pooping out. Got enough red tomato's to can a bunch of salsa, I was fairly liberal with the Habanero and Serrano peppers so it will have some kick to it. The kitchen still smells like a mexican restaurant when you walk in. Dilly beans will be next, my friends and family love them and those who are real nice to me will get some for Christmas (heh!).

Prescious got 2nd place in her class at the Silver Reef Casino car show Gerry attended, we are so proud!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Layered Shrines and Devious Deer Mice

It's been a long time since the last post, there has been a lot going on, visits to and from family, the house, shop & studio exterior being painted and putting together new classes for the winter and spring. Summer finally came and now it seems to be going again. I will be teaching at the Sparrows Nest Studio in the winter and spring, I will post the blog link soon for the fall retreat information and class schedules, blog, facebook page and restreat details are being worked on as we speak. Mixed Media is my first love and my new classes will be focusing on that. One of the new classes will be Layered Shrines as wells as a class on Texturing, Stenciling, & Resist Techniques. Here are a couple samples of the Layered Shrines.

The garden is doing good, the sun needs to hold on long enough the for beans and tomatoes to mature so the fall canning extravaganza can commence. Catnip will most likely be cut and hung this weekend so the spoiled felines will have their fix this winter. Dahlia's were late but well worth it, I have several dinnerplate varieties and they never fail to impress.

Here is the catnip, about 3 feet tall, it will be dried, stripped and dispensed as needed or when they are bugging me and I want them to go sit in a corner and just get stoned.

Speaking of the resident felines for those who do not get my facebook feed I will pass along the story of Donald the Deer Mouse. The story must first be prefaced with the statement that neither Dana nor Apollo are hunters of anything larger than a Pounce treat or a small insect, unlike their dear late brother, Wolf, who successfully brought down humans and non-humans alike in his illustrious 16 years.
Anyhoo, I was awoken at 1:00 am a few days ago by frantic scrabbling and squeaking in the vicinity of the foot of the bed, after leaping out of bed, turning on the light (I am now blinded and do not have my glasses on) I vaguely see a rodent of some sort racing across the floor and disappear behind the dresser. Neither useless feline, I mean beloved companion animal, was quick enough to catch it before it went into deep hiding and they promptly went back to sleep, sensing the immediate fun and games were over. It appears one of them had actually caught something that was capable of moving under its own power, brought it in and left if for Mommy to deal with in the wee hours of the mornin'. Am I not the luckiest cat Mom EVER!?
Not really wanting to disassemble the bedroom at this un-godly hour I sort of go back to sleep, had strange dreams of herds of mice running, lemming fashion, across my prone body. Next day the great mouse hunt begins, furniture is moved, flashlight shone into every crevice and cranny, found enough dust bunnies to make Martha Stewart break down into a fit of hysteria, but no mouse. So now he's in the house, the cats have clearly lost interest and are of no help. So why not just put out a trap....because I have a soft spot for little critters and its was not his (or her) fault one of my defective cats dragged the poor little guy in. Hoping it would find a way out on its own or the smell of mummified mouse would eventually alert us to its location we went on with our lives. But...lo and behold 3 days later I am sitting in the recliner catching up on Mad Men when I see it scamper across the floor and disappear under the couch, both cats are still completely oblivious, their nap/butt-grooming/cat snack obviously of much higher importance. Great, I think, now I have to put Don Draper on hold to try and corner it, trap it,  and get it out of my house. That little sucker was quick, I mean, blink of an eye quick, and he's big, like bigger than an ordinary mouse and he's got a really long tail and big hind legs, so I figure he's a deer mouse and now we appeared to be involved in a relationship of sorts, so he needs a Donald (Draper). He scoots into the laundry room and hides under the washer, I open the back door, wave my arms in a grand gesture and point to the beautiful, great outdoors, he runs by the back door, ignoring the beautiful, great outdoors, sees me and runs back under the washing machine. I construct an elaborate deer mouse tunnel from the laundry room to the beautiful, great outdoors from small pieces of furniture and boxes. He comes out, munching on a piece of kitty kibble he found under the washer (Martha is sooo dissapointed with my housekeeping skills), leisurely makes his way through the Funnel of Freedom, wanders out the back door and into the beautiful, great outdoors....I do the happy dance, I am smarter than a deer mouse.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lizard Shrine

Finally finished my Lizard Shrine today, inspired by the Michael DeMeng class "Cave of Pages" that I took at ArtFest this year, including Michaels custom paint color concoction of Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold and Quinacridone Crimson, aptly named "Serial Killer Red", although I keep wanting to call it "Dexter Red". Used the DAP Tub and Tile caulk to make the texture on a couple of the layers and painted the red with some black sponging on some gothic text for the top layer. Fibers, metal washer, charms, beads and metal corners finished it off. The lizard is just one of those plastic toy lizards you get in the kids section of any craft store. I like him and will find some spot in the studio to hang him on the wall.

Mr. Lizard has a stylish collar made from a jump ring, feather charms and some beads,

We finally get hot, hot, hot summer weather after the worst spring in memory, now its in the high 80's and 90's, everybody is melting, although we are definately not as bad off as the poor folks in the east coast, yowzers! The garden is happy though, there are now baby green tomatoes on the vine and beans are over their snit and growing fast. Here are some garden pics, including some macro. Just so you don't think I'm making it all up here is a shot of the thermometer taken about 6:00pm tonite.

I didn't even have to plant these yellow beauties, they came from seeds dropped last year, free flowers, can't beat that!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Art Metal Jewelry, Photo Book & Upcoming Classes

After altering my template for the CD/Memorabilia Book I came up with a Photo/Memorabilia Book, same binding but the pockets hold 4 X 6 photos and another photo is attached to the front of each pocket/page. The photo corners allow this one to be changed at your whim. I made this one for moi to hold my pics from a trip to the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island, BC last year.

Have also been messing around with some art metal, basically sheets of brass, aluminum or colored aluminum that can be texturized, colored and made into all sorts of fun stuff. This pendant was made from two layers of medium thickness aluminum, textured and colored with Pinata Inks, eyelets were set in to hang the chain and embellishment at the bottom.

In other good news the Paper Zone has put me on the schedule for more Shrink Plastic Charms and Sticky Note & Memo Pad Booklet classes, the dates are as follows:

Shrink Plastic Charms: July 10 and 24

Sticky Note & Memo Pad/Booklets: July 17 and August 7

And now a plea to any weather deities that may be listening, PLEASE STOP RAINING ON BELLINGHAM, its getting old, the slug army of darkness is getting ready for a total takeover, and the lawn is now a lovely shade of moss, with just a hint of grass.

Its has been a while since a crazy cat lady picture so before anybody goes into withdrawal here is Apollo practicing his Certified HP Printer Technician skills. Nothing voids your warranty faster than a big, furry cat paw stuck up into the innards of your printer.