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Archive for April, 2008

Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way. – Emma, by Jane Austen.

Sunday’s lunch was postponed because my niece Gwen was sick. And the jewelry I wanted to make for Julie – a necklace – is not working out so far. Last year I bought a whole bunch of antiqued brass charms, beads, and findings from Fire Mountain Gems. I was going to pair those with blue Czech fire-polished beads, attach all to handmade neckchains, and make necklaces for my sister and myself. So I bought some brass wire and spent all last week making jump rings and s-hooks for the neckchain. On Saturday I put one of the jump rings in a liver-of-sulfur solution as a test to see how it looked once it was tarnished…but it wouldn’t tarnish! The catalog I purchased the wire from does not say that the wire is non-tarnish. I can’t mix antiqued-brass charms with bright brass wire – it just won’t look right. As the Super Sleuths would say, I’m going to have to “think, think, think” and figure out something.

So I ended up making this pair of earrings for Julie instead. They’ll do for now.

Earrings for Julie, with antiqued brass findings and Czech fire-polished beads.

The antiqued brass finding I bought from Fire Mountain. I tried adding a bead to the center loop, but it was too long and made the earring look too crowded. I like the open, lacy look of the findings, and decided not to clutter it. I made the earwires from sterling silver 22-gauge hard wire which I tarnished with liver-of-sulfur (at least that worked!). I really was not too happy or enthusiastic when I first started making these earrings because they were not what I wanted to make originally, but I think they turned out nicely, and I wouldn’t mind working up a pair for myself.

In the beginning of March I took an online class at Artella on altered digital books. I was not particulary interested in making said books, but I had previously taken another Artella online class which I enjoyed very much. So I decided to take the digital book class, which ended up being a little too simplistic for me. It mostly dealt with what an altered digital book is, how to download them (Artella sells a bunch and I really need to get some!), how to download the digital ephmera packs, and how to stick stuff from the ephemera packs onto the books.

Marnie (instructor and owner of Artella) was going to have a second, more advanced class a couple weeks ago, but she was having problems with her pregnancy and had to postpone it. I had signed up for that class as well, so hopefully she will be able to reschedule it sometime later this year. In the meantime I decided to check out the entries from Artella’s altered digital book contest to see what exactly people did with them. All I can say is I have a whole new appreciation for this burgeoning art form. The entries that won first and second place, Butterfly Mania and Alice For Short respectively, are wonderful and so clever! I wish I could think of things like that.

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Creativity is a drug I cannot live without. – Cecil B. DeMille

Right now I’m working on a birthday gift for my sister. Her birthday was in
March (I’m just a little behind!) but we’re only just going out
to celebrate tomorrow anyway, so I guess it’s ok. Unfortunately I don’t
think I will have it done in time, unless I work on it tonight. I really
wanted to work on my green carnelian project, but I may have to put that
aside. It’s just frustrating, because I haven’t had a chance to work on
it since February.

I’ve also started making the invitations for Lily’s birthday party in
June. Her dress is black and white, so I decided to go with black, white,
and pink for the invitations. I also bought this really cute birthday
party rubber stamp set a month or so ago, so I’m going to use some of
those stamps. Here is a sample that I worked up last week.

Sample birthday invitation

This is one side…this is the other.

Other side of sample birthday invitation

This side is a bit messy, but I just wanted to work out the design and layout. I’m going to embellish both sides with pink glitter glue and pink stars.

For Mother’s Day I am making everyone bookmarks. I’ve had this one particular idea in my mind for bookmarks for a while. They are going to be based on a Tori Amos song called “Mother Revolution” (perfect for Mother’s Day). I love this song, and the image I get of mothers (and potential mothers) gathering together to have a cup of tea while planning a coup d’etat appeals to the revolutionary in me. The background of the bookmarks will have the lyrics, and I will attach a vintage-looking picture of a mother and child, add the words “mother revolution”, tie on some pretty ribbons and beads, and voila! Bookmarks with an undertone of insubordination.

I would like to make cards, too. If I have time. I think I do, but we’ll see. Nothing crazy, just elegant simplicity.

Cheers!

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Two Little Girls on All Hallow\'s Eve

I sent this off to Somerset Studio on Monday, to be considered for their
2008 Vintage Halloween issue. It’s called “Two Little Girls on All Hallow’s Eve” (I tried to think of something clever for the title, but I’m not very good at that, so I went for the obvious.) Earlier this year I had considered making something for their annual Halloween issue, but as the deadline was April 15th I decided I didn’t have time. Then I came across this photo in a box of old family photos that I borrowed from my mom (so I could scan the ones I like and use them in my art. A purely selfish motive!) I find this photo fascinating, and it’s so adorable. Unfortunately there is no indication of who the two little girls are. I love the way the girl dressed as a bride has her arm around the other girl, as if to say, “don’t worry, I’ll show you how to trick-or-treat.”

Anyway, as soon as I saw this photo I knew I had to make something with it, but I had to wait until I had the book for my in-laws done (which of course was the night before the party, but that’s another story). You’d think with two weeks that would have been plenty of time, but whenever I have a deadline there’s never plenty of time, and I’m just lucky I didn’t have to stay up until two in the morning this time. I did end up paying $16 to mail it overnight so that it would get to Somerset Studio in time, but I think it was worth it – I’m happy with the piece, it looks lovely, and I hope they like it and choose it for publication.

To make it I used a small canvas as the foundation and painted several layers with black, ivory, and orange acrylic paints. I scanned and formatted the photo and printed it onto cardstock, and I also printed the words onto cardstock. I used two different types of scrapbook papers and tore strips to which I sewed ivory seed beads. I inked the edges of all the papers and cardstocks with brown ink. I also sewed orange beads around the picture. I strung Czech fire-polished beads on three separate strands of thread and glued them on for the bottom fringe. I glued the scrapbook papers on, and then the photo and the words. I glued another piece of scrapbook paper on the back, to make it nice looking, and I glued ribbon to the top to form a loop for hanging (you can’t see this in the picture).

With this piece, I have accomplished one of my goals for this year, which was to submit something to Somerset Studio.

I still have to scan the book I made for my in-laws so that I can post the pictures here and on my website. I plan to do that this weekend. I’m so behind in everything since doing that project! It took about 50 hours, and I pretty much worked on it every spare minute I had for the entire month of March.

Toodles!

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