Saturday, March 29, 2008

Scrappy Beads for my shop! (Shameless Self Promotion)

Well, I have taken the plunge! After many comments from strangers on the street and encouragment from friends , I have put groups of my Scrappy beads up for sale on my Etsy Shop, Elizajean. I am selling the beads in groups of 5 and I have posted three seperate groups.
I was wearing my own personal necklace that I created from my beads, when I went to a Church Rummage Sale this morning. Several very cute elderly little ladies stopped me dead in my tracks to look at my beads. They would not let me move till I had given them each one of my business cards!! (Fortunately I had refilled my card holder before leaving the house this morning- I am not usually not so well prepared!!) Bertha, one of the sweethearts, insisted that she would be calling me this week!!! I figure that if strangers stop me on the street, there might be others who might be interested, so I have taken the time to post the beads to my shop.

Here are some pictures to tickle your fancies!!

These beads are available as Group 1 and both pictures show different sides of the same round beads. (I know, circles don't have sides but I could not come up with the right geometric term!!!)

These pictures show Group 2.

These pictures show Group 3.

I have used these beads to make necklaces and to hang as danglies from my Bird hangings (as you saw in an earlier post) and I have also hung them from fibers that have been attatched to an altered book. They make extra special embellishments for any special project!!

For further details click here!

I promise that I won't be engaging in lots of shameless self-promotion on this blog but several of you have been asking about my beads, so I thought that I would let you all know!!

I can't begin to tell you how much I apprecaite and treasure all of the wonderful support that you give me. Thank you all so much for all of the lovely comments that you leave for me! iIhad no idea how having a blog would enhance my creative life, it has truely been an amazingly wonderful experience. You have truely been the wind beneath my ever stronger growing wings!!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Pay It Forward Treasure

You may recall that I participated in a Pay It Forward Challenge several months ago. The idea was to post the concept of Pay It Forward on your blog and entice the first three responders who were willing to play and post to their blogs, with a reward or gift from the originator. I learned about this on my good friend Patty's blog, Magpie's Nest. I was one of the three that signed up with her. Then I posted to my blog and quickly got three gals who wanted to join in. Well, i recieved Patty's glorious personal creation via specail carrier, our mutual friend Trina. You can see Trina's wonderful trove of treasures,for altered arts and all vintage, for sale at unbelievable prices, here.

I just love my Altered Silverware dragonfly!!! Isn't she amazing??? Patty and I share a passion for gardening and Patty is so clever at adding such wonderful details to her work. I am thrilled to have a lovely piece of Patty's wonderful work to add to my collection. Lucky me!!!!

If you have a moment and want to see mor of Patty's wonderful creations, click on the Magpie's Nest link that is highlighted above. I know that you will thoroughly enjoy your visit!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Paper Quilt

Recently I created a paper quilt for a Challenge through Cloth Paper Scissors. I could not post about it till now as I was not sure of the results. Unfortunatly mine did not make the cut. This time!! I will continue to submit artwork for challenges.
Anyway, we were to create a 12 inch by 12 inch quilt made using paper, fabric backed paper and stitching of some sort. The quilt was to have a hanging pocket on the back.
I used my favorite technique of paint scrapped collage for the blue background and for the leaves. I tore leaf shapes out of the green and then stitched the leaves on by hand using embroidery floss. For the tree trunk I painted browns over collages security enbvelope interior designs and stitched the trunk down using my sewing machine. The bird was done using a gesso wash over collaged sheet music and adding oil pastel highlights. The bird was also machine stitched.
Here is a close up.
I folded the leaf shapes to give the quit even more dimension.
I backed the piece with a purchased batik fabric. I hang the quilt from a piece of driftwood that I picked up on the Cape last summer. I have picked out a spot to hang my bird so we can all enjoy it!

Friday, March 21, 2008

This and That!

It has been a very busy week! The garden is really begining to becon me. I can't resist going out to check on my perrenials to see what survived the winter and what needs to be divided. When I am outside digging the raking leaves I am not inside with my artwork. I do have some new projects and some finished up older projects to share, however.

New Stamps:

Crusade # 18 , "CUT IT OUT," has really got me burnin' some rubber. Time to place a new order!!!!

After looking at other Crusade participant's glorious efforts with stamp carving, I am really struck with how a little bit of encouragement, wonderful mentoring and great inspiration ,- all from Michelle- have led us all to such wonderful discoveries of artistic expression!! Tooo COOOOOOOOLLLLLLL!!! Thank you so very much, Michelle!!!

I did get in some SunDyeing this week before the nasty north winds blew in !! At an Estate Sale to be believed (the gal sold Avon products for years and NEVER threw anything out- imagine boxes and boxes of very old AVON samples in various stages of dried-upedness-- We don't have smell-o-vision on computers yet- lucky for you!!!!!!!) I found aan old plastic doilly. I would not have given even a second look if I had not heard Traci Bautista say that they make great stencils!!! I snagged it and still consider it my " Treasure of the Week"!!! I got out my Setacolor dyes and some old napkins and this was the result!!

Isn't that THE COOLEST????? I love it and I love these dyes! After a good ironing with a very hot iron, the dye is set and then one is off to the sewing machine!! This will become more birds I think!!

Actually I think that this might qualify as Stenciling which is the Crusade for April!! WOOOO HOOOOO !! Hadn't thought of that till just now!!! In this picture you can see the stencil in the background!! Do keep your eyes peeled for this little treasures- they come in different patterns!!!! I must pass this info on to friends who love to go to sales with lists of things that friends are looking for!!

Hydrangea Flower Panels:

I have finished up my flower panels for the upcoming swap and as they looked so nice all laid out together, I thought I would share the picture with you!

I will post about these panels again when I get the swap back. I can't wait to see what my partners have come up with!!

I hope that everyone has a very happy Easter !! If you are reading this from the Midwest, I pray that you are able to keep your homes and your toes dry. If you are in the Northern Midwest- say Chicago , Michigan , Wisconsin and you have more snow- I PROMISE that SPRING is COMING!! For all of you I hope that the Easter Bunny delivers copious quaantities of CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Birds, Birds Everywhere!

Outside we are seeing Robins everywhere, the starlings are flocking in noisy wavesand the Bluebirds are actively scouting for nesting sites, outside. Inside there are bird wings and stuffed bird bodies all over the house!! I am in full Bird Tota mode and I am very pleased with the results. Currently I am participating in two different trades with two groups for Bird Tota's. Yesterday I completed a Three Bird String as a gift for a good friend's birthday. She was thrilled!! YyIIPPEEEEE!!

I created the wings from fabric that I created by fusing paper bits to stmaped muslin using Misty Fuse. I am really loving Misty Fuse! This super shear fusible web is terrific for applying paper to fabric without using any sort of wet media. Misty Fuse can be most easily purchased on line- I know that Joggles has it in all of it's varieties. After I fused the paper down I did some free motion stitching over the top to add texture and to hold down any overlapping or errant edges. To finish off the fabric I coated both side with two coats of matte medium to add durability as I was going to be fan folding the paper/fabric when crafting the wings.

I added three of my Scrappy beads hung from strands of coordinating beads from the last bird, for a colorful finish!

And Now for a Bird of a different color! A BECCA BIRD!! A GATOR BIRD!!!!!


Friday last, marked Becca's last Gator Spirit Day at Becca's Elementary School. Gator Week is a huge deal for this school! There are all kinds of activities each day and the kids go all out with school colors on the last day. People in the neighborhood decorate with the school colors and inflatable gators are seen all over town and onging on the tops of cars and roofs! She was so excited to have her face painted and went off happily to enjoy her day. She left me at home to deal with the fact that next year she will be entering the Middle School. What happened to my chubby cheeked, tiny little dolly??????????????? This Mom stuff can be really hard on the heart sometimes!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I've Joined the Crusades!!

Carving Stamps and Making our Own Tools!!

Michelle Ward's Art Crusades that is!! I have been lurking around Michelle's Green Pepper Street Team for a long time and I have wanted to join in, but just never got up the nerve. What's up with that???? Not sure!! I have so admired Michelle's work ever since I discovered the book True Colors. She has such a wonderful spirit for art, life and people that she is very hard to resist!! Wonderful Monica has been after me for awhile to take the plunge. It just so happened that the last time that I cruised by the GPP site I noticed that the new crusade was all about carving one's own stamps!! i love to carve stamps and I have been trying to put aside some time to make some new ones. Synchronisity or what???? I'd say yes, most definately!!

Here you will see some stamps that I carved about a year ago. Some of them I even went so far as to mount on wood blocks. I don't do that anymore as it makes them harder to clean. I really like to use unmounted stamps as I use alot of paint with my stamps and I plunk them into a bucket of soapy water right after use and that is not good for the wood mounts.

I carved the two Goddess stamps for a specific project and learned the hard way that if you leave a sheet of carving rubber bent in any way, it will Crack and break along the bend, however slight!! Moral of this story:: Do not leave the rubber in any other manner than Flat!!!! Of these stamps the one that I use the most is the swirl (in the center of this picture). This is only a small sample of the stamps that I have carved.
The goodess was made for a Goddess Tip In Swap. For those that might not know what a Tip In is: A tip in is a page of a specific size that can be added to a book (tipped into a book) or put together with other similar sized pages to create a signature.

As many of you know by now, I must have beads and texture in all of my work! I spent quite a bit of time on each spread adding beads (stitched on) and the texture was created by adding layers of painted paper towel to the page before I stamped the Tree Goddess with Staz-On Ink.

This next stamp is the first stamp that my daughter (at age 9), drew and then carved. She has made some wonderful collages using this image as the focal point. I must have her make one for me- she has given all of the others as gifts!!

I just love this little guy!!

I did say taht I had been itching to carve some new stamps when I read about the latest crusade. Well, here they are. I have several more drawn out on the rubber and I intend to carve them as soon as I finish up some swaps that are due!!

I really want to thank Michelle for giving me just the kick that I needed at just the time that I needed it!!!! Michelle you rock!!!

Journal Pages

I have jsut completed two new Journal Pages from the prompts given for this month. The prompts were :Hearts and Fears.
I was going to skip Fears altogether but then I decided that I really should not skate around the topic just because it was going to be a challenge. I actually did this one first!! that shocked me as well!!

I used to intensly dislike being alone. Now, not so much!!!! I think that this all changes once one has children, and you can"t even go to the restroom by yourself!!!!! Now I have a problem with being Isolated from others or left behind, forgotten. that is what this page is about. So I did it!!

Hearts was easy, easy and I had fun with it. There have been several techniques in CPS lately that I have wanted to try and I took this exercise as the perfect opportunity.

First I collaged the papers and then washed over them with periwinkle paint. Before the wash I did put down a coat of Matte Medium so I could wipe up paint in certain areas and move the paint around. then I added the stems and the hearts. I made the hearts after collaging some paper with roses torn from agardening catalog. After stamping over them and then washing with gesso I cut out the heart shapes and then added the gold edge. I will probably use the cut collage technique again- i was able to use up scraps and really focused on the colors in each paper rather than the actual patterns on the paper.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

"Green" Quilt Squares

Blogger has been acting up lately so it has taken me three days to get this post up !! ARGHHHHHHH!!!! But all is working once again! Thank you Blogger!!!

I have just finished my second quilt square for a "Green" challenge. The idea was to use recycled items that were already around the home, to create a quilt square. I made two as I was not happy with the first. It looked too much like a bunch of recyclables plopped down on a sqaure. No mystery, no question. I also concluded that it looked too much like a hurricane warning symbol that one sees on a weather map that appears behind the weather person on tv. Two things working against it and I was not happy.

The background is painted drier sheet and the rest is mesh net veggie bages, a milk jug cap and a soda bottle cap. The shiney gold bits are candy foil wrappers held down by beads. Boring!! Sometimes I just don't like it- Do Over!!! I feel that I have just gone thru the motions but I am definately not excited about the result.
I have finally learned to walk away from a project for abit and let the dust settle. I am very task oriented , so this was difficult to do, at first. So I let the whole thing sit for several days and came back with a fresh approach.
Here is the result- much better. Not sure what everything is made from, there are questions, a touch of mystery!! The background is painted paper towel from a project clean up. The leaves are made from veggie netting but all scrunched up so it is not obvious-love the texture that gave me! The flowers and buds are painted drier sheets and the stamens are old yellow kitchen scrubby and orange mesh bag. I backed the piece with a used drier sheet that I had painted purple. Much better!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Birds and Tassels

I have been home today with a sick child. The bad part (besides the fact that my sweet girl is sick) is that I was supposed to meet my pals for lunch and some Thrift store hopping. We haven't been able to get together since Christams because of one thing or another , today being no exception. On a much more positive note, I am able to be at home when my kids are sick, which is not often AND, I was home all day so I could get some more projects finished!! Yah!!! Love it when that happens!!

On my Surface Design Roup and on a group that I moderate we are creating Bird Tota's. Bird Tota's are strings of stuffed birds that one often sees in import stores. They are like soft sculpture Totem poles, if you will. We are each making stuffed birds for the other players and in the end we will each have our own string of birds. These strings of Birds or other animals usually have a bell or bells hanging from the bottom.

I made these girls using some of my hand dyed fabric and then I created their wings from scraps fused to a green batik fabric. After stitching all over the piece with gold rayon thread I cut out a parallelogram shape and folded fans from each piece. As you can see each bird has a loop on it's back and one on it's belly, for hanging.

This bird is for a friend who is very partial to green. I finished off this One Bird Tota with a hand made tassel. Once I created this tassel, ( In about three minutes, start to finish!) I went on to make several more!

It is difficult to see in the pictures, but I have added beads in amoung the fibers and in future ones I will probbably add charms and buttons and found objjects, depending on the project! A key would be cool tucked in there or a heart charm or a bird charm or whatever strikes your fancy!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Using the Green Background

I was so pleased to have lots of nice comeents about my hand dyed damask dinner napkin. You can see it in a previous post, but I dyed the cotton with various green Setacolor dyes and then threw on a bunch of rock salt. I love these dyes as you can mix your own colors and they alll bleed together so beautifully. Several of you who left comments did not want me to cut the piece up!!! Thank you, those were lovely comments , but I HAD PLANS for this piece of fabric!!! My plan was to use the fabric for a project that involves creating Quilted Flower Panels for a swap. The size of each panel is to be 6.25x6.25 with a finished size of 6x6. After having such fun creating the Lace Cap card for the Cyber Fiber Exhibit, I decided to enhance that technique for this swap. We had been asked to assign ourselves the flower that we would be created on our panel , and I had chosen the Hydrangea.
Here is one of the finished panels.
The panels are all due to the hostess by March 31 and I am planning on sending these out by the end of the week!!! I am so excited to be so far ahead of the game! I am planning to finish them up while I watch the Primary Vote Returns tomorrow night. If all goes well it will be a very early night for we OBama supporters!!!
I used the flash for this next photo so you can see some of the stamping details on the fabric. It was great fun to use all of my own hand dyed and stamped fabrics and to use the Twinkling H2O's on white silk flowers.

The green background fabric was perfect for this project. I also like the way that the lime green and teal green beads mimic the patterning left by the rock salt. Now I can't wait to see what the other artists participating in this swap produce.!! We will each end up with six different panels and I am thinking that I will be hanging them in a row from a wonderful peice of driftwood. The column of flowers will be a glorious addition to either our family room or the diningroom. I am sure that I will want to show it off!!


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