Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Thoughts

"It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else satisfies you."
-- St. Pope John Paul II

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Books for Later

Here are some books I recently checked out.  Each has one or two techniques I liked.  I don’t have time to try them now, so I want to note them here.

Colored Pencil Collage: Nature Drawing and Painting for Mixed Media
By Kelly Hoerning
Beautiful color schemes, layering, and use of doilies.

Collage Couture: Techniques for Creating Fashionable Art
By Julie Nutting
One of my favorites!  It’s sort of fashion-meets-paper-dolls-meets-collage.  There’s also a great tutorial on drawing figures and faces.

Collage Discovery Workshop
Claudine Hellmuth
Making no-measure, simple bow frames from lath, plus inspiring pictures.

Pretty Little Things: Collage, Jewelry, Trinkets, Keepsakes
By Sally Jean Alexander
Lots of use of a soldering iron, except for one project.  Also, lots of use of glass.  I did like the “grab a slip of paper” collage project, wherein the papers said things like paint, smudge, magazine, photos, draw, etc.

Playing with Paper: Illuminating, Engineering, and Reimagining Paper Art
By Helen Hiebert
Lots of fun!  Someday I’d love to try the cardstock castle, the piano-hinge book and the pocket-book cover for holding a signature (out of fabric, I think).

Make Your Mark: Creative Ideas Using Markers, Paint Pens, Beach Pens, and More
By Lark Books
I liked the info on bleach pens, plus the tie-die markers-on-fabric projects.

Pintrest Perfect!
Flora Chang et al.

Love the one where you use a technique similar to making paper snowflakes for making paper flowers, plus some fun stuff under doodling, mixed media, and painted greeting cards.

College Discovery Workshop: Beyond the Unexpected
by Claudine Hellmuth
I would like to try some of her background techniques using dishwasher rinse aid, saran wrap, tape, tissue paper, and contact paper. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Word Yahtzee

This was so much fun!

I want one, and I don't know if this game is made any more.

Thanks, Marcia for introducing me to Word Yahtzee!

Now can anyone find a way to make a 7-letter word out of the following?  (The diamond is equivalent to a blank in Scrabble.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Christmas Cactus

Apparently, it is actually a Thanksgiving Cactus.  No joke.  You can tell by the leaves, and it did, in fact, bloom much closer to Thanksgiving than to Christmas.

I give it to you, my readers, as a lovely bit of bloom amid all the snows of winter....

Monday, January 18, 2016

Book of Note: Bibliocraft

This book was written by a librarian at the New York Metropolitan Library.  She collaborated with artists on projects wherein she would find books on whatever they were interested in -- 19th century children's book, typography, maps, bookplate, decorative bindings, etc.--and they would create projects inspired by the books.

The reason this book is cool is because she lists the Library of Congress subject headings for each topic, plus she provides the names of specialized digital collections.

BiblioCraft: The Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects
by Jessica Pigza

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but some of my friends have unbelievably cute kids!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Weekly Round-Up

Lots of fun things this week!

….. hanging out with the girls at Gianna’s Java & Gelato

…. spending time with our God-daughter and her parents

…. playing Star Trek Catan Board Game with Stacy and Terri.  (Terri won.)  It's not that different from regular Catan, which meant it was easy to learn, except that there are support cards, which enable you to temporarily be various characters.  Each of those characters has particular abilities which definitely add to the game.  I don't know that I'd spend $50 for it, but I liked it.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Baby Book Done!

My latest creation!  It is for little Miriam; fortunately I finished it before she's all grown up!

I posted a tutorial here, but there are a few things I did differently, which I'll try to note as I put up the photos.

Most of the pieces I backed with other fabric so I didn't have to spend so much thread tacking them down to the page.  

 Here you can see both ways of attaching the embellishments.
 My niece Arwen helped me decorate the balloons.  We'd intended them for my scarf, but I think they work better here.
 I sewed the topping on first, then the rest of the ice cream cone.

 This decorative stitching closes up the gap used to turn the pages right side out.

Too thick to pin...

 Ta da!  Here is the finished book, cover to cover:

 The fabric on the left was a gift from Mom.  It's all about little girls playing dress-up, and it's probably at least considered vintage by now.

 The embroidery on the right is from a women's cotton blouse.

It was a lot of work, but it was fun.  Happy creating!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Latest Toy - Perval Sprayer

I'm still learning how to use my Christmas gift from my husband.

Basically, it turns regular paint, like acrylics, into spray paint.  You can supposedly use latex, varnish, and all kinds of other stuff.

You must thin the paint first.  Too thin, it drips everywhere.  Too thick, the spray clogs.  It's an art I haven't yet mastered.

I'm finding it rather unpredictable, but fun.

Here I've started making a calendar.

Here is a close-up with multiple colors. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Barn Dance in Bee ~ December 12. 2015

"This is so darn wholesome I can hardly stand it," I told our host, Fr. Kelly.

And so it was.  Families had gathering from the surrounding farms and small towns for the annual dance in support of the local volunteer fire department.  Little kids ran everywhere, dodging pillars and grown-ups.  Couples waltzed or polka-ed, from the grandparents, to the parents, all the way down to the little kids.  The old-fashioned big band played the chicken dance.  An exuberant young man came up with his girl, excited to tell the news that they'd gotten engaged on the recent Marian feast day.  Teenagers danced the same dances their parents had taught them.  There was a raffle.  

Toward the end of the evening, the drawing was held for the live turkeys and ducks, plus the horse collars that earned you free tickets for next year if you brought them back.  They'd been in circulation for 30 years now.

The hall was one of the architectural wonders of Bee.  It was one of the last depression-era work projects, and was built mostly with concrete since the architect wanted to use up the concrete left over from other projects.  It's unique for its unusual round shape and because many famous polka and 'big band' acts played there.  

The church is another oddly-shaped affair.  Happily it has been recently renovated, although there wasn't much that could be done with the zig-zagging walls.  Fr. Kelly describes it as a shoe box that was scrunched in both directions, rather like an accordion. 

Fr. Kelly got a spare duck from a family who'd driven two hours and didn't want to take it back with them.  As we walked back to the rectory in the rain, I thought that this was what all governments, politics, and armies were for.  This is what we should all defend.  Families, community, tradition.  Ordinary and sacred.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

What I've Been Up To Lately.....

Craft fair..... (in November, actually)

.... worked on my romance novel.  I need a way for my hero to propose that melds quirky and romantic AND is completely original.

..... hung out with our dear friends Gen and Doug, and their lovely daughters.
Proud papa and Aurelia

... went to the annual Christmas concert.  Thanks, Mom!

... my gift to my dad who has everything?  Making date cookies!  (And my favorite chocolate-covered pretzels!)

Hope you are all staying warm!