Posts Tagged ‘paper arts’

Oh! Do not attack me with your watch! A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch. – Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

I’ve come to the realization that when I am making a project that has to be done by a certain date, as for a birthday or anniversary present, or a magazine submission, I won’t finish the project until the day before or the day that it needs to be done. This has been true 90% of the time. And it doesn’t seem to matter how far in advance I start. I started the book for my in-laws anniversary in the middle of February, and still did not finish until 1 o’clock in the morning the day of the party. I started the Mother’s Day bookmarks on the Wednesday before and I finished the last one on Mother’s Day. Same goes for the Mother’s Day cards I made. Apparently, unless I start a project six months before it needs to be done, (and I certainly am not organized enough to think that far into the future!) I think this is the way it will have to be. Everything always takes much longer than I think it will, even when I specifically allot more time for that very reason.

My mom’s 60th birthday is this year, in October. Of course I am going to make her a special gift – I have a vague idea of a necklace in mind. I am going to start it in June. Other than having decided that I am going to use some beautiful lampwork beads (which I have yet to purchase) I don’t know exactly how I’m going to make the necklace. I will however try to design something that can actually be finished in the allotted time without my having to stay up past midnight for two weeks before the party to get it done in time. So we’ll see how that goes.

Here is the Mother’s Day bookmark I made for myself. I kind of messed up with cutting the bookmarks out and I didn’t leave quite enough room for this one to be the proper width. The background words are supposed to go all the way to the edge. When I realized I had messed up my first thought was to not bother making it. But I rarely make anything for myself these days, so I decided to just do it anyway.

Mother\'s Day Bookmark

The ribbons are from Joggles. They are simply divine! I have to buy some more. I think these were from the Special Effects collections.

And here is one of the finished invitations for Lily’s birthday party.

Birthday Invitation

Birthday Party Invitation

I think they turned out cute.

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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.


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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.


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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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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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Let’s review the weekend, shall we? There were many ups and downs, but I did manage to do a few artsy things.



I finished one more large gift bag. I have now completed four large bags and three small ones. Here are the large ones (large being approximately 8″ by 10″), starting with the one I completed on Friday –






I made these using scrapbook papers, rubber stamps, inks, stickers, and of course my indispensable glitter glue.

I didn’t have much time on Friday to work, between having to prepare Lily’s lunch for the next day and Project Runway. Friday is, besides my paper arts night, the night when I watch a favorite tv show and enjoy a bowl of popcorn. I rarely just sit and veg in front of the tv – I’m the type of person who always has to be doing something.

Now I’ve been watching Project Runway. It’s on Wednesdays, but I record it and save it for Friday. I thought this week’s challenge was really cool. I was sorry to see Chris go – I liked him a lot. Victorya came across as a bit of a control freak who wanted to be the leader but didn’t want to have to accept the responsibility that comes with it. However, Ricky needed to be a much stronger leader.  And am I the only one who is waiting for Jillian to go psycho? There is something very strange about her. 

Anyway, on to…


So I have my special Saturday night project, which is generally a long, involved beadwork project that takes a couple of years to finish. Saturday night is a night when I have a good chunk of time to bead, which is why I choose that night to work on my long-term projects, although since Lily was born that chunk of time has decreased from 7 hours to 2 hours.

This Saturday I was lucky and got to bead for three hours. I’m currently working on a bead-embroidered handbag, and I’m almost done the panel for one side of the bag. I just need one more night to finish it. I figure it will take about two more years (at my current rate of beading) to finish the project. I started it in September 2006!  And I work on it diligently, almost every single Saturday night. I will post a picture of it soon. It’s pretty cool-looking, if I do say so myself.

And finally…


My Mom and I went to the Bead Fest show at Del Val College in Doylestown, PA. It’s a small show, but there is still plenty to drool over. Unfortunately I’m on a very tight beading budget, but I did buy two lovely beads from Kate’s Treasure.



I bought them with my future mixed-media, vintage-inspired jewelry line in mind. I thought the business card was lovely, too.

I had mixed emotions at the show. On the one hand, I found myself feeling frustrated – all these absolutely gorgeous beads, and I have hardly a minute to bead anymore. Sometimes I feel that the beading world and the art world are passing me by, while I squander my time and achieve virtually nothing.

On the other hand, I tried to look at everything as a source of inspiration and encouragement. The beads certainly aren’t going anywhere. If other people can be successful, then so can I. I just need patience, perserverance, and faith.

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