Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Celestial Seasonings

Celestial Seasonings is one of my favorite teas because of their packaging.  Yes, I have to remember that packaging is very important to the buyer...  I decided to cut and glue the bags that hold the three (I believe) little tea bags in the variety pack, because I love them so much.  They are so cute!

I was ill at the beginning of the month, and started drinking more tea than usual.  And it became a (good) habit.  Having all those fun tea packages around, they of course ended up in my calendar!

Even though there are a two days left to go in the month (it is the weekend, and I always work ahead), I pasted the tea containers into the calendar.  Tomorrow will be another below freezing day around here.  Hence the fireplace.  And I cut out a little house for the end of the year.  I’ll be staying home on New Years Eve, I’m sure, even though I get New Year's Day off work. 

Here’s what my art journal calendar looks like.  I just began to sell the grids in my Etsy shop, if you're interested.  Since it's a bit dark out, this image isn't the best - sorry for the glare at the top of the photo.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

AlphabeThursday - F is for Fabric

I've been in love with fabric since I was a young girl.  

I like to decorate my house with textiles.  This wall hanging I bought from a friend of mine, Carol Sinnreich.  She creates pictorial quilts and hangings that are absolutely beautiful.    

Some fabrics I've carried around with me for a long time, but have never found a use for them.  These pieces I believe are of a Japanese origin.  Don't know what they're made of and can't remember now where I bought them.  I believe they are silk, and some are double-sided.  Remarkable!  Maybe you can tell by looking at them and let me know.  

When Mom gave me my new sewing machine earlier in the month, she let me have my pick of leftover fabric too.  I would have taking everything, but didn't want to seem too greedy.  

This leftover fabric I bought at JoAnns to help me start my crazy quilt.  Some are called Fabric Quarters and others are called Fat Quarters.  Not sure if they are one and the same...  A fat quarter is a one-fourth yard cut of fabric that (usually) measures 18" x 22", instead of the typical 9" x 44" quarter-yard cut.       

And here's a new thing, to me.  It's called Jelly Roll fabric, which measures 2.5" x 44".  They are typically 40 strips of fabric, but can vary.  There's a club at the Fat Quarter Shop  in Texas (and online) that delivers a jelly roll every month.  
Check it out!

I know I'll be learning so much more about fabric and sewing in the coming months.  I am, after all, a pre-novice at best...  Stay tune for more posts to come about sewing and my escapades with fabric!

So, what other words have bloggers over at Ms. Jenny's "Off on my Tangent" picked for the Letter F?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Secret Santa package from BBArtisans member Splendid Little Stars

I think I might have been the last person to notify Sharla of receiving my Secret Santa package.  I haven’t been myself lately, and when I opened the front door Friday morning, my mail was there from the night before.  Thank goodness it hadn’t started raining yet!

But I knew what it was, the moment I saw it.  And it was from Margaret Splendid Little Stars, which was a delight!  But what’s this special marking on the outside of my box?  Is there something breakable?

No, just a plethera of items!  I had to unwrap tissue paper to uncover what  some items were, but that was part of the fun of receiving a package like this. 

The first thing, right on top, was this cute card.  Isn’t it sweet?  Margaret made it!
(I want to interject here and say sorry to Judy.  I threw everything into your package, to prepare the labeling at work and forgot about the card inside.)

Margaret had a good idea of what I was wishing for: stamps and washi tape,  ribbons and paper.  I will have fun with all these items and they will show up for a long time in my art journaling. 

And this silk scrunchie I will wear for many years, at the end of my ponytail!  What a blissful year for present exchange!  I hope everybody else is enjoying their gifts as much as I have mine.  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

AlphabeThursday - E is for Etsy

I have decided that my active Etsy life has come to an end.  This has been a long and hard decision to make, because I feel as though I'll be losing a lot of dear friends.

I've been a member of Etsy since February 2008 and have sold only 46 items.  Nothing to write home about.  A lot has to do with my marketing techniques, no doubt.  I plan to keep my Etsy shop open and (of course) continue with my blog, Stroll through Storyland.

What I'll be doing with my artwork and "free" time:

1) For the coming year, I'll be joining Carla Sonheim's online class called "2014 Year of the Fairy Tale: draw, paint and play."  We will be reading and experimenting with art on paper. 

2) I've started sewing with the machine that was a holiday gift from mom.  And I'm looking forward to new creative endeavors, including sewing on paper, making gifts and sale items, and working with helpful objects for myself like curtains and quilts. 

All in all, I'm excited to find more time for activities away from the computer.  Hopefully, I'll have more time to enjoy the outdoors, even playing in my own yard once winter is over.  And I'll be blogging about all my new adventures  {:-D

I hope that if you're reading this and you are a fella BBArtisans team member, you will take the time and click on "Follow By Email" in the upper right hand corner of my blog.  In fact, everyone is welcome to receive links from me!  I still want to visit my friends and see what they're up to, but won't have the team thread as an easy link.  

Don't forget to come and visit Miss Jenny's blog "Off on my Tangent" and see what other words were chosen for the Letter E.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Glue It Tuesday - Day by Day

I’ve glued my December calendar into my art journal and have been moving along, day by day, through it.  Gluing down paper, writing and painting. 

Sunday (the 15th)  I unwrapped my new rotary cutter that I bought on Saturday.  
It’s been so helpful cutting fabric.  I just love it. 

Here's some door socks - presents for the family.   I used some old sweaters/shirts/kernel corn to stuff the socks with.  How do you like those bright colors!    

That coupon was my chance of winning a beautiful quilt.  
But I didn’t.  All the more reason to make my own now!

See what projects other artisans are using their glue for at Aimee’s blog, Artsyville!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

AlphabeThursday - D is for Door Sock

I was so excited to begin sewing with my new sewing machine I received for Chanukah.  No need to wait until Christmas, as Mom said.  I brought it home and moved my big wooden table into the spare room (which I proceeded to drop on my foot – ouch!)   This is going to be my new sewing room.  And a place to fold clothes, since it’s near the washer/dryer.

My first project: a door sock!  It’s also called a draft sock.  I was able to get everything going without too much difficulty; the sewing machine even has a automatic needle threader – I hated threading needles!

A door sock doesn’t cost much all in all.  What you need: some leftover fabric/sweater/clothes, popcorn, a pair of socks, thread and needle.  For the stuffing, I used a sweater that I was going to give to Goodwill and some cheap popcorn I bought at Target. 

It's so easy!  Measure the length of your door, fold the fabric in half, cut at about 5" from the fold.  Sew two seams into a tube shape, fill it up, sew it close, and cover the tube with the socks. 

I was making this first door sock for my drafty bathroom window, but it ended up being too long.  So I put it in one of the windows of my workshop.  Can you see it resting on the top of the lower window?  It’s actually quite bright in this room in the afternoon.  And the sun finally came out.  Look at all that snow outside?

This is what the finished product looks like.  My sewing table is quite full already.  I’ll have to get some shelving or something to organize all my new fabric I'll be buying!  

Come and visit Ms. Jenny’s “Off on my Tangent” and see what other words were chosen for the Letter D.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Glue It Tuesday - From the Forest

Funny.  After I bought this snowflake punch on sale a few years ago, I decided I didn’t like it.  But I’ve changed my mind again, after the first winter.  It’s come in very handy; I don’t have many punches in the first place.

 I was writing in my art journal about a book I’ve been reading.  Guess I can’t keep from taking notes - otherwise I would forget the points I really wanted to remember.  And I decided “why not” write in my art journal!  Since the book, called “From the Forest: a search for the hidden roots of our fairy tales” is by a woman, Sara Maitland, I might mention it for my Woman’s Book Club.

I found the book in the public library.  Usually I’m already reading books for my book clubs, but we have a little reprieve right now, because of the holidays.  It’s new, published in 2012.  I really love fairy tales (Maitland actually speaks of them as fairy stories.)  And I love the woods, so it was a perfect match for me.  Her chapters take turn, speaking about a forest in England (where she’s from) and telling a fairy story.  It’s quite entertaining, though a little scholarly.    I suggest it for anyone who enjoys the woods and/or fairytales!

 Here’s the full page from my art journal.  Enjoy!  And catch other Glue It Tuesday projects over at Aimee’s blog, Artsyville.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

AlphabeThursday - C is for Calendar

This month I’m beginning  to work with my art calendars again, to keep me active in my workshop everyday. I did spill water on my sheet, as you can see.  

It is a great way of engaging in the arts in a daily fashion.  I decided to design calendars for others to enjoy too, and I'll be putting in my Etsy shop, six months in one sale.  They shall be there by the end of the week, if I don't loose my electrictiy with the dreadful weather coming in.  

Whether you use my art calendars or not, I suggest everyone partake in a daily activity.  These calendars are perfect for drawing with or just writing down a word or two to express how your day went.  It’s a great way of “letting it all out!”  

Now come visit Ms. Jenny’s site, “Off on my Tangent” and see what other words were chosen for the Letter C.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Glue It Tuesday - Stamped Leaves

I really love leaves!
I see them everywhere.
Gathering on my front and back lawn, IN the house, on my "dropsheets" and now in my artwork.

When I created my November BBArtisans Challenge (which was also a Glue It Tuesday post) I stamped maple leaves after everything else on the spread was finished.  This week, I created my page centered around the fallen elm leaves.  First I stenciled a tree and owl.  Then I glued the leaves on the bottom of the page.  To make a landscape, I glued down some extra recycled paper mid-page and made hills.

The last thing was the background - I stamped and watercolored a sky and glass.
And of course I had to write something to remind me of the day!  It's hidden underneath this flap.

I think I must have carved the two leaves last autumn from some Speedy Cut printing blocks I had around the house.  I love the dual purpose of stamped images.  I stamp directly in my artwork, while many end up on dropsheets that I lay on my table.  Before throwing the paper away, I cut out the stamped images.  The elm leaves were easy to cut, not like the maple leaves!

Come visit Aimee's blog at Artsyville and see all the other glue projects. 

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