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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Peppermint Paddy Snowman

Theresa McFayden had a little tutorial painting a snowman on canvas for Christmas time.  I thought "I can do that" !  I took a few liberties as I didn't have all of the same supplies to use in creating this little guy.  I had two 5"x7" canvas boards on hand and used them.  This is one of them -- the other was already in a box and in the mail when I remembered that I should take a photo.  This one went to my good friend, Sharon, as she loves snowmen.  I covered the canvas with a print out of Joy to the World music and gessoed over it.  I cut circles for the snowman and the tie out of old book paper to insure that I would have the size correct for the size of the canvas,  then painted with acrylic paint.  The hat and feet were freehand, a lot of dry brushing for hi-lighting, then modpodged and sprinkled glitter glass to finish.  The dots around the outside are done with a "seam marker" dipped in black paint.  I think he's kind of "folk-artsy".

Sunday, December 4, 2011

White Christmas full of Buttons

Sometimes, inspiration leads to frustration !! What I expected to be a fairly simple ATC Christmas ornament to construct became an all day affair yesterday !!  I modpodged paper and lace to a card, glued ruffled lace in a triangle for the tree shape, then layed vintage and new white buttons out onto that shape.  After much ado, I was finally happy with the layout and glued them down.  I especially like the vintage button at the top -- it was "one of one" in my collection of white buttons.  The tiny satin bows were also frustrating, even with the bowmaker.  I may redo the NOEL label.  I am happy with the hanger, however.  Fine silver wire wrapped around the handle of a small paint brush to produce the "springy" look proved to be the easiest part of the entire project.  I added a few seed pearls with a touch of glue to keep them in place.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

More Rose Cones

Finished the other three cones that I had cut the circles for -- these went together much quicker than the first one as I had an idea where I was going with them and how I wanted them to look.  All the lace, doilies, ribbon and roses were already coffee stained and the photos and music  had been printed earlier when I first started the project. Had to pick out pieces of jewelry for emellishments - one was from an old pearl necklace that I used latte acohol ink on, one was a junk jewelry earring.  My favorite was the pendant cameo off an Avon necklace  that I dug out of my costume jewelry.   All of the cones are the "same, but, different" !!  Hilery chose the one with cameo.  The other three will be in the mail to three recipients who would have attended the Rose Cousin Reunion, had it come to pass !! I hope everyone will like their gift of "memory" !!

                                                                                     

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rose Cone


  I've never been partial to cones, but wanted to make something for each of the "Rose" cousin families in memory of  "Grandma Mom" and the Rose heritage.  I'm not sure that is going to happen -- this may end up being the only one . I had signed up for an on line class last spring with Nancy Maxwell James at sugarlumpstudios and this was one of the projects -- it looked like just the ticket. It has been a huge "hassle" for me to get this together and make it appealing to my eye.  My seamstress abilities are certainly not what they used to be !!  I can't remember when I last used my sewing machine or threaded a needle for any reason.  This is my largest one and may end up being the only one I make.  I picked up a pair of pale yellow denim jeans at a garage sale and used the fabric from them for the cone itself.  I coffee stained laces, doilies, ribbons and silk roses to use.  The tiny "pearl" strand was colored with alcohol ink.  The photo of CJ and Minnie is their wedding portrait, of course.  The music "Joy to the World"  was printed on ecru card stock, rolled and stapled.  There is a tiny bottle filled with gold and white beads and two gold "wedding rings" tied on with ribbon,  laying on the "bed" of lace.  The embellishment on the front is a sales award pin that I received from Avon several years ago.  The stickpin that was attached with a short chain had engraving in the center that I covered with a watch face and applied glaze over it.  I had cut the circles for four of these, all different sizes, so, I guess I will probably proceed in making them --  they will be the same, but, different !!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day Six - Feartil - The Craft Fair

Most of this day was spent at the studio working on our projects and watching Micheal demonstrate some of his techniques.  It would be nice to have a huge room with lots of work areas to leave things handy to get to !!
Lunch at the little cafe next door is becoming a "dining experience" !!  We were given some hours of free time before dinner -- I couldn't remember if this was the day we went back to Cascais to shop or to the casino to check it out -- either way,  "free time" was always good !!  The casino was nothing like anything in Las Vegas other than there was an ATM machine and lots of slots machines.  The table games were nearly non-existent compared to what I am used to seeing !!  Card games seemed "odd" -there were no craps tables -- roulette wheels had no chairs for players - there was a poker room, however !!  The front entrance was probably the most eye catching of anything -- the red ceiling lights reflected on the black tile floors and made me feel as if I had entered another realm.  The evening was spent at the craft fair near the hotel looking at all the Portuguese arts and crafts, much similar to what I would see at home.   Another open air eating establishment for our evening dining pleasure was located on the grounds.  By the time we finished eating, the stage close by was filled with "Fado" musicians and a crowd had gathered...  The end of another perfect day !!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hilery's Belated Birthday Gift

 In 2006, I embellished a wood frame like this with my Mom and Dad's wedding day photo.  On the back of it, I placed a copy of a closing from a letter my Dad wrote to my Mom before they were married.  It said "from your daffy-doodled, swan eyed snookums".  The day my brother and I were going through that box of Mom's letters, skimming through bits and pieces, I came across that and burst out laughing -- that was "so much" my Dad !!  He had such "wit" about him !! For Tammy's 50th birthday, I made a similar frame with our wedding day snapshot.  I thought it was time for Hilery to have one with her Mom and Dad's
wedding day. When I was going through the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of buttons I have to find five that I thought looked good together, it took me longer than the entire rest of the project.  Anyway, it is always fun to create something for someone else.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day Five - Day of the Castles

I call this the "Day of the Castles" -- we toured three different ones with a guided tour through the "Mad Man's Castle".  The history and lore made everything about the castle come to life !  We started the day with the carriage ride through the beautiful city of Sintra.  The restored homes were gorgeous -- In my next life, I want to do a restoration of an old home --   The Toy Museum was fascinating -- where, if ever, will one ever see such a huge collection of any and every kind of toy one could imagine ??  I walked the paths of the Moorish Castle with Suze, Lennie, Micheal, Andrea and Tammy -- didn't make it to the top, but, I am enjoying the view through the photos !!  Lunch and off to the guided tour of Mad Man's Castle and Pena Palace.  We had a good laugh about the "crab paws" at the Brazilian Restaurant that evening !!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day Four - Workshop in Full Swing


We're really getting into the swing of things now !  The daylight hours of this day were spent at Margarida's studio watching and listening to Micheal plus getting a good start on our own projects.  Having the cafe next door and a little grocery market just down the street were so convenient.   However, I would like to teach the cooks how to make a good salad !!  I enjoyed the bit of shopping I did in Cacais, but, the park was beautiful and sitting on the park bench - people watching - well, I've always liked doing that !!  I was disappointed the sunset was not more colorful that day, but, then, how many people do we know that can say they have enjoyed a sunset in Portugal ???

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day Three - from Estoril to Lisbon

This day was full of surprises and wonder !!  Neither one of us got a photo of that hillside full of vendors at the flea market !! One of the first things I noticed on our taxi ride from the airport to the hotel when we arrived was the graffiti everywhere -- it seemed to be something that the locals were proud of.  There was no sign of it being painted over on the cement block walls or sides of buildings.  In Las Vegas, a graffiti artist would be arrested if caught painting on the side of a passenger train car (if we had trains !!).  I'm glad we didn't miss the doll hospital -- the inventory of "doll parts", the restored antique dolls, the shelves full of dolls needing repair, the displays -- it was a gift to have a private tour of this destination.  AND, then, that handsome Naval officer and the private tour of the Marine Museum !!  What a  full day we had !!  We must try to make some of those wonderful pastries that were our "afternoon snack" -- a trip to Portugal to purchase more of them is out of the question !!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day Two - The Adventure Begins

Everyday was jam-packed with a flurry of activities - tours, workshop, sight-seeing, workshop, shopping, workshop -- you get the idea ???  Two days of traveling - eight days of seeing the sights of Portugal, enjoying the new friends, learning creative processes from Micheal, watching how other artists approached their creations, and best of all -- getting to spend time with my daughter !!   I was slow to keep up with it all, but, everyone was most considerate in watching over me !!  To pick just ONE memorable thing of each day would be impossible.  Taxis picked us up at the hotel for the first tour of the first day -- the Ceramica De Bicesse tile factory -- awesome, with each tile being individually handled several times by different workers before it would be complete and ready for sale.  The artistry involved in the restoration of 18th century tiles -- another sight to behold.  Then, off to Margarida's art studio to claim our spots and get started on our projects with Micheal.  A short way down the street was Cuca's home, garden and ceramic studio.  This quiet, gentle lady had set up tables in that beautiful garden for our lunch and then gave us a little demonstration in her studio.  Evening meals always seemed to be a celebration of a delightful day - always late in the evening - always somewhere special !!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Portugal Journal - Day One

For Tamera :  I added bits of my boarding pass, the tag that came in Margarida's early packet, mini photos of you and I having a bit of lunch after registering at the Amazonia Hotel and before our nap and shower, plus a small photo of Micheal and Andrea at the evening welcome get-to-gether at Margarida's art studio.  Travel ephemera from my stash of stickers and a bit of Portuguese lace are on the inside cover.  Everything looked too bright to suit me, so out came the paint, brushes and a glass of water to add Usghhh to the elements.  There was way more to journal about than there was room for, of course, but having that bit of lunch with you and meeting Micheal and the other artists attending the workshop were the best part of the day for me !! I came to question Margarida's "five-minute walks" from that very first evening !!   It was a long day with the hours of traveling, the mix-up with my flight, going through passports, finding my luggage and finally meeting up with you in Lisbon.  What a kind and patient taxi driver we had in Luis !!  The "adventure" had begun !! Be sure to click on the photos for a larger view of the pages.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Painting and Ironing

 Scans of the Portugal journal show truer colors than camera photos, it seems.  Ironing the pages after the paint dried helped smooth out the curly card stock pages that I had done, so yesterday, I proceeded to paint all of the pages. Today, the iron was plugged in and all pages ironed out. I had fun experimenting with some of the colors on our supply list for the Navigator workshop. I definintely prefer the Usghh combination I used on the inside covers and a few pages, but, went with some different colors throughout the book.  All are just random brush strokes, nothing definite in mind on most of the pages.  Now, what will I put on these pages ?? Time will tell !


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Portugal Journal Cover


Today, I added the typewriter key stickers to the front of my Portugal journal and "usghhhed" the inside cover, first page and first spread.  I'm not happy with the results of the watercolors on the card stock or on the inside cover...  I never thought about using watercolor paper for my pages, so will be experimenting on scrap card stock before I do anymore pages.  The card stock curls with the adding water to the paint to get the effect.  Maybe I will try ironing them to smooth them out after they are dry.  I certainly don't want "curly" pages.  If that is effective, then I will be painting all of the pages before I add elements and journaling.  I am hopeful it will all come together and my issues will be resolved !!  The map I used for the inside cover is glossy, so I should have sanded it a bit before painting it.  I will be doing something more to it before I am happy with it.  Live and learn !!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Preview of Portugal Journal

 Have been thinking ever since returning from Portugal what I would do to preserve some of the memories.  After much "how do I want to do this ?, what kind of medium suits me best ?, etc., etc., this is what I came up with.  I found amongst my books for altering, a 6" x 8" thin one that the cover seemed to be "just the right size" !  I removed the pages and found this "old world" looking paper within my stash.  It wasn't quite large enough to cover the front and back of the book, so improvised.  Of course, that called for getting out the box of trims and it all came together. I still like "pretty" !!  On the inside, I used one of the maps that was in the packet Margarida sent a couple of months before the workshop.  I will be "Deminging"  that, for sure, as it is much to bright !!  There are two signatures of card stock making eleven spreads, plus first and last pages to fill.  I'm sure that won't be a problem as some of those eight days had a LOT going on !!  I used ticker tape to tie them in, then sort of braided two of the pieces down to the bottom.   I'm sure I will be adding some trinkets of some sort to those loose ends.  It's a start -- will see where it goes from here !!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Portuguese Cigar Box Transformed


This is a small 4" x 6" cigar box, purchased from Margarida at her art studio in Portugal.  The box was painted with black acrylic, dried, then a wash of watered down crimson added over the top of the black paint.  The transparency was heated with a cigarette lighter around the edges to make it "bubble up".   Metal embellishments include an old chain necklace, watch parts and bird from Tim Holtz and bits of lace in the corners.  Paper used is from an old Portuguese book "washed" with watered crimson and carbon black mixed.

Made in Portugal




My daughter and I spent 8 days in Portugal for Micheal DeMeng's "Henry the Navigator" workshop with Margarida Alberty hosting at her art studio in Estoril.  The workshop was fabulous with 10 women from around the world attending.  Margarida led us on tours and shopping throughout Estoril and Lisbon. The cuisine at all the various cafes and restaurants was to die for.  The two days of travel to and from were worth every minute of it.  Micheal and Margarida were nothing short of spectacular !!

These photos of my finished "Henry the Navigator" book, do not begin to do justice to the techniques Micheal taught us in the workshop.  Mixing watercolors to make the art piece appear aged and very old was a totally new process for me.

We went to a flea market in Lisbon and picked up unique pieces to use in our creations.

Every time I look at my finished work of art, it will bring most wonderful memories of a trip shared with my daughter, plus, those memories of a great workshop with Micheal.