Monday, February 27, 2012

New Studio: And the Pink Goes On!

I know right? The MOTH kind of screamed and then caught himself.

I asked myself...where did this whole "pink" thing come from? Looking back, I think it started with this bottle.
P.S. Here are the new bifold closet doors (not oiled yet). Curt the Wonder Contractor told me not to hang anything heavy from them. Buahahahahahahahahahaaaa. What Curt doesn't know...
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rose Petals, continued

I half-expected there to be a message in this one...



Thank you. :-) These rose petal photos would not have been possible
without the help of my trusty battery-powered Ott light. ;-)
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Heart of the Rose

Apparently, she had never taken apart a rose before...





Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Studio: I found the desk!

I searched high and low, and when I found it, I knew. Yesterday Jenifer helped me bring it home. Just right for making jewelry.

The MOTH, knowing I was bringing it home, gifted me with this little letterpress printer's tray, which he thought would be perfect for beads. I think it's perfect for the back of the middle cubby!

The underneath storage will motivate me to keep the tabletop clean free of clutter.
We can hope. ;-)
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Fairy Bling -- so far, so good


You literally cannot have too many rhinestones!
And now to dig through my other flatbacks for greens, blues and crystal AB...
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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pink Fairy Blessing Her Bling


In honor of my ginger nieces (Hi Allie! Hi Annie!), here's the fairy I made at Art Attack, minus her little flower dish. And here are the pink rhinestones I bought on clearance at Thunderbird. Hmmmmm.....what kind of glue should I use to attach Swarovski's to ceramic glaze?

Tomorrow Curt the Wonder Contractor installs the new bifold doors in the studio closet. So, today my job is to move things out of the way. After that, we'll paint the walls and then I can put the furniture in there. Where is the MOTH? Oh well, guess I'll have to adorn my ginger fairy with Swarovskis...

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nana's Necklace

Starter bits for a recycled necklace. Found jewelry odds and ends
from the MOTH's urban hunting trips. Plus papers collaged inside a vintage
stamping, waiting for resin-ation, hehe. Let's see what happens next...
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Monday, February 13, 2012

World's Easiest Valentine Treat Cones

I didn't get photos of everything all finished but here's what I made this year:


TOOLS: The only tools you need are a stapler and a pair of scissors (unless you want to tear your paper by hand).

SUPPLIES: Here's what I used for the basic cone:
  • A square piece of paper (I used 6" x 6")
  • A slightly larger piece of tissue paper (I used 8" x 8")
  • One chenille stem (pipe cleaner)
  • An 18" to 24" length of ribbon
  • Valentine chocolates (3-4 pieces for each cone)

1. Fold the paper square into a triangle. The folded edge becomes the top of your cone.
2. Fold the chenille stem in half and pinch the fold. This pinched part will be stapled to the back of the cone.
3. Play with the shape of the end of the chenille stem to form a heart, overlapping circles, or other shape. For a sturdier hanging loop, wrap the ends of the wire tightly around the hanging loop. Now, set the shaped chenille stem aside for a minute.
4. Wrap the triangle of paper around itself, to form a cone. Try to get a pointy tip.
5. You'll have two overlapping triangles sticking up from the top. Fold the inside triangle over to the outside, and fold the outside triangle over to the inside. Pinch tightly while you pick up the shaped chenille stem.
6. Lay the chenille stem against the back of the cone, near the top, and using one staple, attach the stem to the outside of the cone. At the same time, your staple will be securing the folded triangles and the shape of the cone.  If you can't manage this with one staple, just use more staples.
7. Tuck the center of the ribbon between the cone and the chenille stem. This will keep the ribbon from sliding down off the cone.
8. Bring the ends of the ribbon around to the front, and tie a bow.
9. Gently push the tissue paper into the cone, being careful not to tear it. It helps to hold up one finger, then wrap the tissue paper around it before sticking it into the cone.
10. Put 2-4 pieces of candy into the tissue paper and serve!

VARIATIONS:
  • Add stickers, tags, stamps, etc. text boxes, to the outside of the cone
  • Instead of tissue, use shredded papers, moss, or fabric inside the cone
  • Instead of ribbon, or in addition to it, use glitter tape, embellished wire, vintage lace, etc.
  • Instead of scrapbooking paper, use old book pages, Sunday Comics, paper bags, etc.
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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Buying Organizers Doesn't Make You Organized

As I embark on probably my third go-around in about five years, trying to squeeze a larger, dysfunctional studio into a smaller, brilliantly functional space (one can dream), I have finally surrendered -- buying more organizers is not going to make me organized.

But hey that didn't stop me from picking up a few of these vertical hanging jewelry organizers from Target. They're about $7.00 and they hold 24 items in clear pockets. Perfect for my inkpads!

They are just about the right width to hang on my bifold closet doors if need be, or here in the closet, there they only take up about 6 inches of space. They seem fairly sturdy, with stitching all around the pockets; and the hanger at the top comes up through heavy, folded canvas-type fabric.


And now I feel terribly clever. I have successfully moved 1/100th of what needs to be reorganized. Only 99/100ths to go!
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to Work with the Valentine Fonts

In my last post, I recommended several Valentine-themed fonts available at dafont.com. If you've never downloaded, installed, and typed with free fonts, here are some quick tips to get you going:
  1. Download the .zip file. At dafont, you download a compressed (.zip) file that usually contains more than one file, such as a Truetype font (.ttf extension) plus other versions, and perhaps additional variations of the same font, such as bold or italics versions.

  2. Uncompress the .zip file. Once you download the .zip file, you have to uncompress it. Here's a link to instructions from Microsoft: How to compress/uncompress a file (Windows)


  3. Install the font. After you uncompress the file, you have to install the font. The steps involved depend on your computer's operating system. Here are the instructions from Windows: How to install/uninstall fonts (Windows).
  4. Select the font in your software program. Now that the font is installed on your system, you can access it from your favorite software programs, wherever you select a font. Once you select the font, start typing!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Type the Ways

Last night I wanted to print some Valentine-ish words to cut out and paste onto treat cones, so naturally I headed over to my trustiest font source, dafont! Check out the Valentine category (in Themes, under Holidays) or type in the keywords "heart" or "valentine." Here are a few of my favorites . . .

Heartland by Harold’s Fonts
Playful as all get-out, Heartland looks perfect for a sweet teen.

Hearts by Font de Material
I am always a sucker for a heart with wings...

Country Hearts by GorillaBlu
Not quite my style, but I have to admit -- this font would
be perfect on a greeting card.

Loverboy (no attribution)
Love me a little grunge! Still readable too, even at a small size.

Words of Love by Pizzadude
I'm kind of partial these days to faux fancy handwriting fonts.

Cupid de Locke by Lauren Thompson
See what I mean? Another handwriting font. Simple, friendly, readable.

Jules Love by Julesart
Might as well make it a trio. I like the way this font has a single height
for upper & lowercase letters. And like Cupid above, it's not overgrown with hearts.

Romantically Yours (no attribution)
Ahhhh, now this is perfect for short phrases. So romantic.
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Black Skull Beads, Dolled Up

Lastest skull additions to my Etsy shop, these are black dyed stone,
similar to my turquoise and bone-colored stone skulls.
Here are a couple of examples of what I like to do to them.

  1. For the skull on the left, I simple squeezed out a small dollop of turquoise acrylic paint into my palm. Then I mushed the skull, eye sockets first, into the paint, dragging the paint deep into the eye sockets. I let the paint set up for a minute, then with a damp paper towel, wiped the paint off the high areas, being carefuly to leave paint in the crevices, such as the teeth.

    This is a great fix when you want your beads to color coordinate with the rest of your piece (e.g., Dia de los Muertos earrings and such).

    VARIATION: Instead of wiping off the excess paint while wet, you can also wait until it dries completely, then lightly sand off the high areas with very fine sandpaper.
  2. For the skull on the right, I simply glued vintage glass rhinestones into the eye sockets. Any color works, but here I used crystal AB chatons (pointy-backs). You could also use small flatbacks, but it's a little trickier to get them to lie just right. I used E6000 but a less toxic alternative would be the Ultimate glue by Crafter's Pick. If the glue shows too shiny when dry, just brush a wee bit of matte gel medium over the wayward glue.
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Friday, February 3, 2012

The Grouting of the Cottonwood Tree

In a saga parallel to the Diary of my New Studio, this is the latest adventure of the cottonwood tree I painted for our bathroom renovation...
Scott lines up the first tiles.

Puts the puzzle together and adds the border with amazing speed!

Here you can see where it sits on the wall.

Hello there! This is a bit more accurate in terms of color.
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Conference of the Birds -- Art Bead Scene Challenge


This month's new art bead challenge has as its theme one of my favorite books, called Conference of the Birds by Attar. First, I love Persian miniature paintings, and I really enjoy the book. I just might be inspired to play with this theme...

Anyway, here's the blog post from Art Bead Scene, containing all the instructions you need to enter the challenge: February Monthly Challenge: The Conference of the Birds.

Here's a link to the Kindle version
(don't know if this one is illustrated...)

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Diary of a New Studio: Did I mention?

Oh yes, they're tiling the hallway too, so they had to move the hall furniture into the studio too. Bluh. Hopefully all will be removed this weekend. Maybe sooner? I can hope...
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