Posts Tagged ‘frame’

Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls, and interesting people. Forget yourself. – Henry Miller

Here are some pictures from Lily’s second birthday party, on June 7. I think everyone had a pleasant time. We hardly had any food left over, so I will take that as a good sign. Marc made a lot of the food himself – grilled vegetables and shrimp, bruschetta, and chicken wings.

This is Lily and my Mom, enjoying some of my Mom’s fabulous homemade ice cream cake.
Lily and Mom-mom enjoying birthday cake.

Here is Lily opening a present. My niece Gwen is in the background. She turned two in March.
Lily opening presents.

Opening a present with Daddy.
Opening a present with Daddy.

More presents.
More presents.

Remember that frame I was working on? The one that was supposed to be a Christmas gift, then a Valentine’s Day gift? Well, it’s finally done! Yay! I am so very glad to have that project out of the way. It finally decided to be a Father’s Day gift. Here it is:

Embellished frame.

The picture is from last Thanksgiving, which would have been much more appropriate as a Christmas gift, but whatever. I’m pleased with how it turned. The only problem I had was when I glued the picture into the opening. I used Diamond Glaze, because it is very strong, but it’s difficult to control how much is squeezed out, so I ended up using too much and it ran through to the front. Diamond Glaze dries to a clear shine, and you could see shiny spots all around the picture, which I did not like. So I decided to run a line of glitter glue around the front and back of the picture to hide it, and that worked perfectly. I think the glitter glue added just the right final touch. A project is never complete unless there’s glitter glue on it somewhere.

I will have to take a photo of the back. There’s a peg sticking out from the bottom on the back of the frame that makes it difficult to scan that side.

I suddenly realized around 9:00 on Saturday night that I had neglected to buy Marc a Father’s Day card from Lily. I quickly threw this one together.

Father\'s Day card.

Father\'s Day card - inside.

I did it in about 40 minutes, which for me is lightspeed. This sort of thing usually takes me hours, but I knew I had to make it simple to get it done. I think it turned out cute, all things considered.

Keeping in mind that one of my goals for this year is to learn how to solder, I have been compiling a list of the necessary tools and supplies. I find all the different types of solder and flux to be highly confusing. I don’t have a lot of money to spend, so I want to make sure I buy the right types, but I also know from experience that when I branch off into new territory I end up buying things that either I end up not needing or are just the wrong thing, simply from a lack of experience. I’m also planning to start making my own charms and jewelry components by cutting out pieces of sterling silver sheet and stamping them with words. Which of course has its own list of tools and supplies. It will take me a couple months probably to save enough money, but I am absolutely determined that I will learn to solder this year. I wanted to do it last year but of course never got around to it. My first projects will be microscope slide pendants, which seem pretty simple for a beginner.

I finished reading Somerset Workshop 3 and I loved it. I can’t wait to try out some of the techniques and incorporate them into my own work. I especially am eager to try out Rachel Emilie Jackson’s “romantic painting” techniques for making paper look aged. One of her projects was a handmade book from printmaker’s paper, with a ballet theme. I’d like to make that, except with a seashore theme. Here is her book:

Swan Lake, by Rachel Emilie Jackson.

I believe I said in a previous post that this issue of Somerset Workshop contained an article on using beeswax, and I wasn’t particularly interested in beeswax, but you never know. Well I still wasn’t interested…until I got to the part where the author, Olivia Thomas, mentioned that you could add embellishments into the wax while it was still warm. Embellishments like glitter and beads….Needless to say I’ve added the requisite beeswax supplies to my ever-growing never-ending list of art stuff that I want.

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I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. – Isacc Newton

Yesterday I was, for the first time since February, able to actually do some beading. I worked on my green carnelian project, and I was able to add three more cabochons to it. It was a bit difficult at first to get into it, as I usually find when I pick up a project after a long interval. I was a bit despairing at first, not being able to remember where I was going with the beadwork I had already done. Inspiration was slow to come. But I took a deep breath, calmed myself down, picked up a cab, put it on the fabric, and started beading, and eventually it felt as if no time had passed at all. Here’s how it looks so far:

Bead embroidery on satin crepe

The second row at the top left corner is what I did last night. Not bad for 2 & 1/2 hours. The work area is 4″ by 4″, although when I fill in the spaces between the cabs I will stitch beyond those borders, because that’s what I ended up doing with the first side.

The past few mornings my daughter Lily has wanted to go outside to blow bubbles (after the requisite episode of the Doodlebops, of course). She loves to go outside, whether to blow bubbles or to take a walk, or look for birds or kitty cats. Here are a few photos from this morning:

Outside our house, blowing bubbles. May 2008.

Outside our house, blowing bubbles.  May 2008.

Outside our house, blowing bubbles. May 2008.

She will be two on June 2, and is very cute, if I do say so myself. And also very exasperating at times!

I have in mind a pair of earrings I’d like to try. I have to restring a necklace for a co-worker of mine, and oh yes I worked some more on the frame that I started in December that was supposed to be a Christmas present for a certain someone. Remember? Well now it’s going to be a Father’s Day gift. So at least I’ve got that covered. I have that to finish, the necklace, my mother-in-law asked me to restring a necklace of hers, and I’m still trying to find a way to make the necklace work that I had wanted to make my sister for her birthday. Other than those things I’m going to work on making some earrings for myself, and I have a bracelet project, Irina, that is next on the list too. Busy, busy, busy. But if I don’t keep busy I’ll just fall asleep from exhaustion, and what fun is that?

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In my last entry I forgot to mention the German scrap paper hearts that I purchased for my Top Secret Mission, which I will now refer to simply as “the book”.


Aren’t they pretty? They are approximately 3/4″ high by a little more than 1/2″ wide. I bought these at Joggles too. These will be used sparingly, as I’m not much of a “heart” person, but they fit the project. I might try painting over them, just a bit, to tone down the gold.

I still have not been able to publish the new stuff on my website. I’ve been encountering various error messages when I attempt to publish, and for the past few days my IT guy has been laid out with a bad back, so I feel bad bugging him about it. It’s very frustrating though, since I spent soooo much time making all the changes. oh well, I guess it will be fixed eventually.

By a miraculous confluence of events I had 1 & 1/2 hours to myself Friday night. It was quite wonderful. I got a nice bit of work done on my frame – I cut out the cardstock piece that is going to cover the back; I finished painting the peg-stand and dry-brushed it with gold; and I cut out and glued dots onto some of the areas that were painted with gold. By dots, I mean one of the papers that I am using has these dots on it, and I decided that it would be cool to cut some out and glue them onto the areas that I painted gold. I used a paper punch to cut them out. I’m very happy with how that looks. And one large area that I painted gold I decided to glue the flat-back crystals onto. I tried it out first without the glue, and I really like how it looked. I was happy when I went to bed, and that is not a common thing.

I’ve had this song in my head for days now, The Dolphin Song by Tori Amos. I love love love this song. The music makes me imagine an ocean scene with dolphins leaping in and out of the water. I’m still learning the lyrics, so I’m not entirely sure what the song is about. But there is mention of fishing nets, water spirits, a preacher man, the gospel, and dolphins. And a giant rollerskate.

I was at my Grammom’s on Friday night, after work, along with Julian, Lily, and my Mom. We were sitting in the kitchen, minus Julian of course who was in the living room watching tv. My mom was holding Lily, and Lily started to play with my Mom’s earrings. She shoved my Mom’s face to one side and then was pushing her hair out of the way to try to get to the earring, which she then proceeded to pull out. It was kind of funny, but at the same time I felt terribly guilty and it crystallized my feelings that women are expected to sacrifice too much. Maybe I was just tired after a long day at work, but I thought – my poor tired Mom, being further abused by a 20-month old.

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I worked on my frame some more last Friday. I added more gold paint around the inner part of the frame, put another coat of red paint on the peg-stand, and I planned out each step that remains to be done. If I don’t write down exactly what I still need to do, I’ll forget something. Especially since I am going to apply a layer of matte varnish which will need to be done before the crystals, the vellum, and the ribbon are added. I can see me gluing all this other stuff on and then realizing that I never applied the varnish! I also ordered, and received, the Swarovski flat-back crystals that I wanted.

I finally bought a copy of Bead & Button’s special issue, Vintage Jewelry. I’ve wanted it ever since I saw the first ads announcing it. I love it, and there are several projects I’d like to try. I lent it to my mom for the time being – as soon as I get it back I will post some pictures of my favorite projects.

My Top Secret Mission is coming along – I printed out a bunch of pictures on regular printer paper so I could play around with layouts and decide which scrapbook paper to use as the background for each page of the book. I do have a few more pictures to print out. I bought a pad of K & Company paper to use as my backgrounds.


This collection is called Roam. I love K & Company – they make such beautiful things. I bought this particular pad from Addicted to Rubber Stamps.

Along with the black flat-back crystals I ordered some clear and blue zircon crystals as well for my Top Secret Mission. I ordered the 1.9mm size, and they are super tiny. I wish I had gotten a larger size. oh well. I also got some beautiful ribbons from Joggles.



Aren’t they gorgeous?

Now that I’ve got most of my supplies (I probably will buy some acrylic paints too) – let the fun begin!

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Last Friday I did manage to work some more on my frame. I got all the paper strips glued on and painted the open spots with gold paint. I’m very
pleased with how it looks so far, except the gold paint is very gold, but I
think I am going to glue something else on top of the paint – perhaps some
black flat-back Swarovski crystals – to cover and minimize those areas. It was a challenge to get the paper around the corners – my lack of time makes me impatient so I basically just ripped the paper in such a fashion as to make it fit around the corners without having to fold it or make it look nice. Hence the open areas that I decided to cover with gold paint.

I’m also going to glue the flat-back crystals around the opening, to emphasize it and provide distinction between the busyness of the papers and the picture. I don’t actually have the crystals; I need to order them from Fire Mountain, and then I’ll be set. I’m also thinking of putting black or maybe red ribbon around the inner part of the opening, to help guide the viewer’s attention to the picture. And I also have some vellum on which I printed out a bunch of words that I’d like fit in somewhere also.

On Saturday I finally had a chance to work on my green carnelian. I
finished beading around the round cab and I started working on another one. I think I am going to work on the desert area, with the small cabs, and have that section go down the side of the working area.

I’ve started going through photos for my Top Secret Mission. Once I
choose the photos and format them, I will print them out on regular paper
and start playing around with layouts. I have a 14-page book to fill,
which sounds like a lot, but considering that I already have about 12 photos picked out and a bunch more to look through still, is really not enough.

I’ve been dipping my toe into the world of opera lately. A couple months ago I was sick of everything on the radio so I started listening to our local classical music station, which I have really been enjoying. I think for me the difficulty I have had with classical music is there are no lyrics, and I need the lyrics so I know what the story is. But I’m learning that with classical music, you have to make up your own story. Anyway, the classical station of couse plays opera too and I recently read an interview with Anna Netrebko, who is an up-and-coming opera star. The interview was very good, and piqued my interest in opera. I bought one of Anna’s albums last week (The Russian Album), but I haven’t really been able to give it my full attention yet. I really should like opera, because it’s so dramatic and over-the-top and I love those qualities in music. So I’ll give it a try.

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I do hate Sundays. Sunday is the day when I am most prone to severe mood swings. Not because the next day is Monday and I have to go back to work, but because of all the chores that are necessary to prepare for the coming week. I do my laundry and Lily’s, I have to iron and put away my clothes, I have to prepare all of Lily’s food for Monday, I have to prepare her bag, etc. etc. And all that along with the usual chores – cleaning up the kitchen, doing some cleaning in the bathroom, giving Lily a bath. It’s too much. Plus Sunday is when I try (emphasize try) to work on the business side of my creative endeavors.

I’ve come to realize that I need to make friends with Sunday, because these things need to be done, and that’s all there is to it. There’s no getting out of it. I’m not sure what I need to do – maybe I’ll invite Sunday to tea. Or maybe we should have margueritas.

Anyway, last night we saw my brother-in-law Darren at Puck in Doylestown. He was performing with his band. It was a very good show. It was only his second performance as a solo artist (he has been a drummer for years working with well-known artists in the Philadelphia region) but his spirit and his passion are evident and you can’t help but get caught up in his songs. Plus his band sounds great. You can hear some songs from his latest cd on his website.

I did work more on the frame on Friday. Oh, and I also watched the candy episode of Project Runway (yes, I’m a week behind). Very good, but I kind of think Jillian should have won. Rami’s dress was really cool, but Jillian was the only one to use the candy. I’m starting to like her more, but I still think there’s something a bit off about her. I was sad to see Elise go – I liked her and her Mother Earth approach to fashion. But I’m glad Sweet Pea is still in, because I like her a lot too.

Here’s the frame – I covered it a bit more with the strips of scrapbooking paper. I think this coming Friday I should be able to finish this part. The corners are very tricky – trying to cut the paper so that it fits smoothly is difficult. I think it’s coming along very well, though. I’m happy with it so far.


I’m also very happy that I bought a new crafting table, along with the Iris scrapbooking storage cart. It is beyond the time when my work area has needed some improvement. A few months ago I was at Joann’s, and they had this cool crafting table, with a lid that had storage capabilities, two drawers, and a shelving unit underneath. Absolutely just what I needed to re-organize my work area. As it is now – very cluttered, disorganized, too much stuff with no where to put it. I only have a corner of our back room, with two small folding tables and my mom’s old china cabinet and a scrapbook rolling tote bag. And numerous small plastic bins and plastic shopping bags containing the rest of my treasures. I ran out of room about two years ago. So I’m hoping to revamp my work area into something much more organized and pleasurable to work in.

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This is a picture frame that was intended as a Christmas gift for someone. Due to a lack of foresight and poor time management skills, it was not finished in time. It is still unfinished at this moment.


It started as a plain frame that I purchased at AC Moore. I then covered it with a layer of gesso. (Gesso is very popular right now. All the artists in Somerset Studio use it, so I thought I should buy some. I’m not entirely sure what exactly one is supposed to do with it, but I feel more sophisticated using it.)

So there’s the layer of gesso, and then I put on two coats of Folk Art Alizarin Crimson. Now I’m covering the entire frame with torn pieces of scrapbook paper. Why did I then bother to paint the frame? I might leave spaces bare here and there, so I wanted to make sure the frame was painted.

I also printed out a bunch of phrases on a piece of vellum, which I would like to incorporate somehow. And of course there are the rhinestones, charms, and ribbon that I would like to add. I don’t want to go crazy, though. A few well-placed embellishments, just to add some interest and texture.

Oh yes, there is a picture too. I am designing this frame to go with a certain picture. I have the picture ready; I played with it a bit in Photoshop and printed it onto white cardstock. I might redo it, though – I think the colors might need a bit more oomph in order to hold their own against the frame. But I will wait until I finish the frame to make that decision.

This is the first time I’ve done anything like this, so I think it looks pretty good so far.

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