Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Michael's Disscussion Group and Other Happenings

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted here, so I thought I'd bring everyone up to date on what's happening. (Not a lot.)

I was invited to participate in a discussion group about craft storage at Michael's Corporate Office.  I've done a focus group there before, and since they offer a Michael's gift card for your time, I said, "Heck, yea.  Count me in."  So the discussion group was today at 10am over at one of their buildings in Irving, Texas.  There were nine of us participating at of that nine, five were Michael's employees.  That's not counting the employee running the discussion group and the other three of four who hovered in the background taking notes.  

Anyway, they asked stuff about what we needed in storage, what we'd like to see, if we liked colors (most said no) and how much we would pay for some items they are proposing to sell.  I'm cheap.  I couldn't afford any of their stuff now unless it was half price.

In the course of discussion, we all discovered what each considered our "main" craft and if we had dedicated craft rooms, etc.  Almost all of the gals (and one gentleman) had a dedicated room and most of them must live in fancy houses with all the nice craft furniture from what I could tell.  Lordy, they would be horrified if they was where I work!  

Anyway, I certainly hope I get another invite to a Michael's group in the future.  I went straight to the store and used my gift card and my 40% coupon!

On other fronts, with Easter fast approaching, I've concluded working on Easter crafts.  I was sorely disappointed that two of my three Tweety Candy Boxes didn't sell, but that's OK.  I'll have them for decorations next Easter!

Do you have a pile of craft projects just sitting around staring at you?  I do.  I've got a lot of cool things I've ordered from Retro Cafe Art to make, but haven't done them because I'm afraid of messing them up.  Am I the only one with this problem?  I ordered a couple of Articulated Santos Cage Doll kits and both a medium and a large 3-D Articulated Santos Cage Doll Kit.  I finally got brave enough and dove in and made up one of the "flat" dolls.  


I think she turned out really well, so now I feel brave enough to make another one.  It may take some time before I'm up to tackling the 3-D dolls.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tag! You're it!

Several weeks ago, I went to The Crafty Scrapper in Waxahachie and met my Facebook friend, Melissa Hines.  After browsing in the store and purchasing a "few" things we went off to her house and had a wonderful time in her craft room.  She showed me some techniques and I showed her how to make a paper clay bird.  After hours of fun accompanied by pizza and Coke, she sent me home with a cache of cool stuff we'd embossed, die-cut, etc. 
 
Yesterday I dug into that lovely little basket of goodies and made this tag from some of the wonderful stuff she sent home with me.

This is a manila tag that was embossed with a Tim Holtz embossing folder.  I semi-dry brushed it orange then, using a baby wipe, smoothed brown over that to bring out the detail.  Melissa has the Tim Holtz die to make the rosettes and we had made some of those plus we cut out some leaves from the same paper.  Meanwhile, I purchased her Cuttlebug from her and have bought a Sizzix die of the same type of leaves.  The "create" and "enjoy" word art is from a Scrap Girls digital kit and the rose is a plain white paper rose that I died with a diluted solution of Adirondack "Carmel" Alcohol Ink.

Today I received Happy Mail from Retro Cafe Art.  Included in the box of goodies were 12 of the new Faux Faberge Egg kits.  I will be making a few more Easter eggs within the next few days.

Meanwhile, Happy Crafting, everyone!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Haunted

 I know it's too early for Halloween, but I've got a ghost story for you.

As you may, or may not, know, we live in a nearly 100 year old house.  It's a great house.  Two-story.  The upstairs is a complete 2-3 bedroom apartment with it's own kitchen and bath.  Downstairs, where we live is two bedroom/two bath with really large rooms.  Daniel bought this house with his ex-wife, Vicki, and has owned it for about 18 years.  I moved in in 2002 and ever since I moved in, there has been a ghost.

No one else hears it, feels it or is bothered by it except me.  It's not malicious and seems to be caring and reassuring.  I think I know who it is/was.  It only "appears" in our master bedroom.  The word "appears" is in quotes because I have never actually seen it.  I sense it, I feel motion if it sits on the bed next to me and once I even heard him talking to me.  Yes, the ghost is a man.

Anyway, one morning Daniel got up around 7am and I was still sleepy and not ready to get out of bed.  It was hot in the bedroom and he asked if I wanted him to turn the ceiling fan on.  I mumbled "no" and groggily rolled over.  About 3 to 5 minutes later, the ceiling fan came on.  It was running on high speed which we never use.  I looked up and around and didn't see or hear Daniel, so I got up and found him in the dining room.  I asked him how come he turned the fan on and he said he didn't.  I just looked at him and told him that it was on and running on high too.  He came in the bedroom and checked for himself, and sure enough - fan on and running.  

Daniel knew about all the ghostly encounters I'd had so we discussed what we should do.  We came to the conclusion that I should have a talk with the ghost.  So I turned off the fan, sat on my side of the bed and told the ghost I understood he was just trying to be helpful and that he cared for me.  I recognized his concern and appreciated it, but truthfully, I weirded me out some.

After that "talk" the ghost went away for quite a while.  No more sitting on the bed next to me while I was sleeping.  No more talking to me in the wee hours of the morning.  No more ceiling fan turning on.

Just recently, a ghost is back.  I don't think it's the same one.  I can tell by the movements and sounds it's a different ghost.  It's not scary - well not a lot.  Last night Daniel and I went to bed.  I read for about an hour then turned the bedside light off.  I was reading a paperback, but my Nook is on the nightstand, plugged in and these is a little green light that glows from the plug.  Even if I'm so tired the book falls on my face, once I put it down I still have a hard time getting comfortable enough to fall asleep.  I turned toward Daniel, then I turned back the other way, facing my night stand and as I did, I saw a shadow come between me and the light from the Nook charger.  I was spooked some, but I thought, well the doors were open the other day, maybe a moth got in and was attracted to the light.  Yeah, right, really big moth.  I watched for a while, huddled under the covers, but didn't see anything else.  Daniel was snoring and sleeping soundly and I didn't want to wake him up.  Eventually, I drifted off to sleep.

At 4:15 this morning something caused me to wake up.  I could hear a strange sound, almost like running water.  I lifted up on one elbow to hear more clearly and as I did, I felt Daniel get up from the bed.  I said, "I hear a weird noise".  He walked through the bedroom door into the next room and I could hear him walk down the hall.  Of course it was dark and what I saw was a shadow of him walking out of the bedroom.  I was tense, waiting for him to come back and report.  Sheba and Shortie sleep between us every night and I could feel them next to my back under their blankets.  Sheba was making little snuffly sounds and I turned around to pat her and there was Daniel.  Fast asleep, in bed.  He was making the snuffly sounds.  I almost woke him up then, but he works so hard and he does have a hard time sleeping sometimes I just didn't want to wake him.  I just laid back down with the covers up to my chin looking, watching, straining my ears for anymore noises.  Nothing happened.  Eventually, I went back to sleep.

When we both got up later this morning, I told him about what had happened.  He got up earlier than I did this morning and he told me that when he walked past the kitchen he heard two distinct thumps like someone setting something heavy on the counter-top.  He looked in the kitchen and didn't see anything, so just put it out of his thoughts until I told him my ghost story.

So there you have it.  Our house, or maybe just me, is hainted!  Am I scared?  Not really, sometimes freaked out a bit, but it seems like a friendly ghost, at least a protective one, so I won't call an exorcist yet!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

OK, a bit trite, but so true.  I can't believe it's been nearly 11 months since my last post.  You wouldn't believe the stuff I've created over that time.  Our summer was fairly mild for a Texas summer, but winter has been long and very cold for a Texas winter.  I think the worst is behind us, but I never say never until after April because I've seen snow here in the D/FW area in April twice that I remember.

Anyway, I'm going to attach some pictures of some of the things I've been making, especially new Easter creations.








So there you go.  I've been experimenting with paperclay and I think my little folk art birds turned out really cute.  The bunny turned out well too.  The Bun-Bun candy box and the green Tweety Bird box are gone as is the Easter Egg on the spool.  Everything else is here sitting on a silver tray sparkling away.  If you would like to buy any of these little goodies please let me know.

A couple of my creations have inspired Kristen Hubick of Retro Cafe Art-  www.retrocafeart.com  -to make some cool kits for sale in her online store.  The first item was my Bunny Theatre from last year.  Kristen was inspired to create Angel and Fairy Shrine kits.
 The above inspired the below
And Kristen has also created a kit to make Faux Faberge Eggs which was inspired by this egg that I made as a gift for her.
 
 
I feel lucky to have been able to inspire kits that so many others can enjoy "playing" with!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

May is coming!

May is a very busy month for my family.  First, Maria's(oldest Daughter) birthday on May 1st then on May 2nd, it's grand-daughter Bella's birthday.  Next event is Mother's Day.  After that we have Rachel's (#2 Daughter) birthday on the 21st, then mine on the 24th.  After that it's Memorial Day weekend.  Whew! 

If that flurry of family events wasn't enough, I have 4 swaps I have joined and they are all due in May!  First is Kristin's Retro Cafe Art Mini House Shrine swap http://www.retrocafeart.com/pages/HouseSwap.htm, then I have a Paper Doll swap, an ATC swap and a Tag swap!  I've done the 4 mini house shrines for Kristin's swap, 5 of the 6 ATCs for the ATC swap, 1 out of 2 dolls for the paper doll swap and absolutely zero for the 3 tags I need to make for the tag swap.  These three last swaps are with Roses on My Table art groups.  http://rosesonmytable.ning.com/

Two of the Mini House Shrines for the Swap
 
 

Nature's Music ATC
 
 
I don't have any pictures of the paper doll yet, or the other two Mini House Shrines.  Hopefully I'll get a chance to photograph them before I've got to get them in the mail.
 
Right now, it's been taking me almost a whole day to find the inspiration and then create an ATC so I'm quickly running out of time to complete all these projects.  Sometimes creativity is hard to come by, other times it's so easy.  I just wonder why that is.  I have quite a few other projects that I could work on that I've got great ideas for, but if I'm to get all of these done in time, I can't take the time to work on the ones I have ideas for.  Guess that's what happens when the time crunch comes!
 

 
 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bunnys, Owls and Lambs, oh, my!

Making Mlle. Lapin de Paques started a trend here.  I became obsessed with making more Bunny Ladies.  They turn out so cute!  Below is a digital composition I created with three of my Bunny Ladies.
Aren't they ever so elegant?

After these tree lovelies, I created a couple.  Just had to when I discovered I had a rabbit head in a top hat at my disposal.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. E.B. Hare, Newlyweds.

So, for the moment, I've gotten bunnies out of my bonnet and I decided to make another Owl Queen.  Many thanks to Marsha and Tumblefish Studios for the body, crown and inspiration.  The Queen's head is a finding of my own as well as the eyes.

Lastly, but certainly not the last, is another Easter project.  I made an Easter Parade wagon being pulled by twin lambs.  The wagon is made from a 2 inch by 3 inch chipboard box and the wheels are 1 inch vintage mother of pearl buttons.


And here is the wagon with Mlle. Lapin de Paques.

I'm sure more little critters are coming your way.  They seem to be springing from my brain lately!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring is trying to...Spring!


Well, I've done it again.  I've let almost 2 months go by this time.  So here's a belated Valentine for you from Owl Boy!

I've been experimenting with different things.  I tried journaling.  That was a bust.  So obviously not my thing.  So I tried Art Dolls.  Denise Phillips and Mary Jane Chadbourne make such lovely art dolls that I wanted to see what I could do.  My first challenge was that I didn't have any wood, or foam core to work with, so I decided I would make a Paper Art Doll.  Hence, Leticia was born.
I personally think she turned out just lovely. 

After Leticia, I just had to make another.  Here's Kathleen, the Kitchen Queen.

Kathleen look genuinely perplexed as she tries to figure out what to cook for dinner.
So, I got the Art Dolls out of my system for a bit. 

Another one of my Facebook friends/artists, Nancy Gene Armstrong inspired me with her Miss Bunny projects.  I decided I needed to have a Miss Bunny too.  So, using Retro Cafe Art's medium theatre shrine, I invented Mlle. Lapin de Paques.


I really love her, and she may result in a spin off of Owl Boy with Fille Lapin.  Lovely rabbit girls.  We'll see.

Lastly, for today, here is my Irish Owl Boy, Owl O'Boyo.


Well, back to creating more weird and wonderful stuff.  Hope you enjoy.