Monday, September 27, 2010

Froggy, froggy, froggy




A week or so ago, I was watering the plants in pots on the back deck.  I started to pour the water into this pot and this little frog jumped straight up and out of the pot, catching hold of the side of the plant stand.  I was so startled!  Then, like I do, I sprang into action and raced for the camera so that I might share these photos with you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A job with class

If you are a regular reader, you know that I work full-time at the university and then I have a part-time job at Papertrix in Nashville, IN.  I love working at Paptertrix.  The truth of the matter is, it isn't work at all.  Nashville, IN is an artist's colony with many shops.  Especially in the fall, we have a lot of tourists staying in the hotels and cabins.  Many of them come back year after year.  As one woman put it yesterday, "we're home."  Yesterday, Cindy had Emma Lou Beechy, owner and designer of Heartfelt Creations come in to teach classes.  She taught three classes and there was one open spot in the second class and Cindy had me fill that spot.  The name of the class was "Classic Card."Emma Lou is knowledgeable, sweet and very well spoken.  I like classes because you learn new technique.  Sometimes, you learn a different way of doing something that you already knew how to do.  On the card we made in class, we used markers and blended.  We also used glue with a metal tip,  (seen in foreground of this picture) which gave you not only a lot of control, but the tip made for a very fine line of glue. 
 We were in the basement of the Artist's Colony Inn which is a warm and cozy classroom.  Look at all of Emma Lou's storyboards.  She is all about details and bling and lots of layers!  Go to her website and take a peek!
 Here is the card I made in class.  Wayne, Cindy's husband, was so excited that he kept showing everyone in the store my card when I returned.  This isn't normally my style of card, so the class caused me to step outside of my "normal,"  which is good.  This photograph does not do it justice.  We first used markers and blended.  Then we cut the picture in thirds (which isn't something I would think about doing) and mounted on gold and then mounted on a forest green card.  We double-layered the cardinal and used a couple of mounting squares to give him a fat tummy. Then we glittered.  We had glitter everywhere.  Pat, beside me, patted her face with her hands to give herself some extra sparkle.  I had glitter on my hiking boots!  Thems some pretty hiking boots!
 I picked up these mums on Friday and it occurred to me to share them with Cindy, owner of Papertrix.  Cindy is always doing nice things for everyone.  (Like putting me into the class.)  The mums pictured here are mine, but the ones I took to her I put into a vase and tied up with a two different cloth ribbons and made a tag.  When I gave them to her I said "welcome to our busy season."  I think she liked them.
Cindy is encouraging and I have seen her (on more than one occasion) JUMP up and down in excitement and enthusiasm.  She is one crazy lady.  She has a heart of gold and I won't give all of the details, (some acts of kindness should be kept private, and it was kind of personal for the customer) but towards the end of the day yesterday, I witnessed an act of kindness involving a customer that moved the customer to tears.  So, I think Cindy is the sort of person who deserves some fresh flowers, don't you? 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dress it up!

Image courtesy of Maya Road

Do you love chipboard altered books?  I do!  The latest book I've done is this dress form from Maya Road.  
Eight pages held together with a chain. 

 Front page.
  I used Tim Holtz Distress crackle paint in tarnished brass for the base of the stand and the neck of the stand.  I painted all of them at once and had them standing, like soldiers to dry.  This altered book was designed to be a store sample for Papertrix.  Cindy gave me black and red netting, black embellished ribbon trim and tons of fun papers printed with high heels, purses and the Eiffel Tower. 
 See the purse prints?  I loved how some of the papers had coordinating trims. 
 I used rhinestones and pearls to create necklaces.
Back page.

There is so much you could do with this dress form book.  I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed cutting out the dresses!  Took me back to my child-hood paper doll days.  This would be a fun project for mothers and daughters or a Girl Scout group.  Or a bunch of grown women who would laugh and design and embellish.
I distressed with black ink and edged all of the pages in black.  I loved the fun, girly papers that Cindy has at the store.  Go see her and buy one or two or...
I designed this one for the store and now I have another one to make for myself! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blue on blue

From this angle, he looks somewhat brown, but this is a beautiful blue butterfly.  I was hanging out laundry and turned around, and there he was.  I ran down the hill in the back yard, across the deck, through the dining room, through the kitchen, through the entry way, through the car port and to my car, opening the trunk, retrieving my Nikon, running back through the car port, into the house, through the entry way, through the kitchen, through the dining room, across the deck, back up the hill and...SHEW!  He was still there!  So I took about a bajillion pictures of him and chose this one to share with you. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

MUMS the word

Look at this beautiful mum that Doug brought home to me!
  He found it at the farmer's market here in Bloomington.  He called and said "I got you a present."  We are still working to finish the kitchen and I knew he had gone to Menard's, so I thought he was bringing home some subway tile or flooring. 
Imagine my surprise when I saw this monster mum sitting on the kitchen table!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Conservatory Shadow Box

I've mentioned in the past that I work as a designer for a shop in Nashville (Indiana) named
Papertrix.  A recent assignments was to design a shadow box using Seven Gypsies Conservatory papers.  I started with the black photo tray.  I also used chipboard letters from the Seven Gypsies Venice line and rubbings from the Natural History collection.  I also used a package of 7 Gypsies Vintage hardware which included a spoon, a clock face, a label holder, a sprocket and a key. Ephemera that I had at home included a coffee stained piece of doily, metal numbers, a real twig from a tree, some real butterfly wings (including a whole monarch), real moss, real dried leaves from my yard.
Here I am in the shop.  If you look closely, you'll see Wayne and Cindy behind me.
Doesn't the shop look fascinating?  It is!  
I also used a brass bug that I had, watch parts that I bought from Wayne and Cindy, ribbons and word sayings cut from a sheet (Artchix Studio).  I also used a new stamp that I had just bought (Memory Box vintage scroll) with a new Versa Magic Dew Drop (oasis green).  I LOVE that ink and will buy more!
I get a little bolder with each piece I create.  With this piece, I was using two different adhesives and one of them dried white rather than clear.  I just ripped off everything I had used the white adhesive on and started over.  There are no mistakes in art, just character.  I also distressed the black frame a bit using picket fence Tim Holtz distress crackle paint.  Cindy has it all in the shop!
I spent hours on this piece and really loved it.  When I took it in to Cindy, she told me that she loved it so much it about made her cry!  Do you know how good that made me feel?  It is such an amazing experience to work for someone who empowers me in my artistic adventure.  Wayne and Cindy both feel that there is no "less is more," but rather, "more is more," which is exactly how I feel. 
If you live nearby, come in and see this shadow box in person.  I know Cindy can fix you up with all that you need to make one for your own home.  And if you aren't local, call her!  She will send it to you.  Pretty soon, I'll start working in the store on weekends from Fall through Christmas.  Come down and see me!  Wayne and Cindy are enthusiastic and friendly and FULL of good ideas.  Every time I go into the store, Cindy has lots of new things.  So, if you have been in, go back again and again.  You'll find new and fun items to create with every time!

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