Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LOL Cats

I have added a picture and a link to what I think is the FUNNIEST place ever! I love the LOL Cats web site, I laugh out loud like a little kid every time I look at these pics. There is a companion site for dogs which can be found at the Cats site. Look at the bottom of my blog for the pic and link...........
Enjoy! I do!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Playing at Jane's: Canvas Book

Yesterday was a pretty busy day! First thing in the morning Jane, Jeanne, and I traveled to Frenzy Stamper to pick up our Halloween inchies (I love all of them!) and then Jane and I headed back to her "studio" to play with canvas and paint. We referred to Alisa Burke's Canvas Remix book for inspiration and even though we both had the same supplies in front of us our canvas pieces, the results were amazingly different. Our intent was to just let go with the different paint media Jane had on hand and experiment with different methods....... "what if?" being the driving question. After our pieces dried we gather photos, random pieces of leftover fabric to "funk" up our books. We ripped the canvas in half and swapped so our books became a true collaboration of art, hit the sewing machines and started stitching away. I had brought copies of my NY trip so I used an image of the river at Chittenango Falls for the back cover and then used the small pieces left over elsewhere. I loved the way my paint soaked yarn left a trail, knot and all and made sure it was on my cover. I still need to embellish, but am leaning toward writing on the cover rather than covering up the paint.....

A close-up of the glaze stamped with a pill bottle lid:

An inside page with decorative stitching on unpainted canvas showing Jane's work beneath. I think I would like to get a sewing machine with more decorative stitches for Christmas, I love playing with thread and those stitches!

More stitches and a transparency:

The back cover:

I really, really love the way this book is turning out and cannot wait to get time to work on it some more! Thanks, Jane!!!!

Autumn Decos

Two more decos done and ready to be sent on their way...... first is an Autumn Fairy Envelope Deco. Not sure what an envelope deco should be so I made up my own. I used an envelope stencil from Paper Bouquet and traced it on double-sided Paper Salon cardstock that I've had since last year (purchased all Recollections had in their clearance section!). Inside I ripped cream colored cardstock for the "pages." for the cover I traced a Dover sample with sharpies onto a transparency and layered it over vellum. I first just laid the transparency over the cover and the fairy image got lost, so I tried vellum and achieved exactly what I imagined, I like the pattern of the paper showing through.
The front cover:

The inside envelopes:

Right now the book is temporarily bound with a piece of leather cord, when it gets sent back I will bind it permanently with my Bind-It-All.
For the Autumn Deco I found a card I had made previously for a swap, ripped the front from the card and glued it onto cardstock, bound it with some leaf ribbon and it was finished in less than ten minutes! Easy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

More Busy Stuff

Whew! Been very busy today on swaps that are due within the next month. I haven't worked since I got back from NY so I have made a concentrated effort to get ahead on what's due since I anticipate working next week and then leaving for VA for two weeks followed by a long term sub job for my dear friend Alyssa who's baby is due within the next two weeks!
First up I completed 30 technique pages for an Art Unraveled swap. We were to duplicate a technique learned in one of the classes and I chose Katie Kendrick's Cardboard Visual Journal made from corrugated cardboard. The top layer is peeled off, gessoed, painted, 3-D matte medium over painted with Lumiere, stamped, and edged in dyed cheesecloth. I used primary colors to made secondary colors for paint.

18 Halloween inchies for swap over at Frenzy Stamper. This was my second attempt, the first inchies made from Shrinky Dink didn't come out the way I wanted, the glue never dried in between the plastic and the backing. Yuck! These are much better:

Finally, Holiday inchies for a Yahoo group swap. This time the Shrinky Dink came out okay. I made tags from it and attached to foam taped presents:

Yet more decos and Goodwill score

It's near the end of the month and time to get some decos out in the mail! Yikes! Catch up time.... two Marine decos..... Coastline of My country heading for the UK with faux weathered 7 Gypsies paper, Rusty Pickle tag, and rub ons:

Sea mammals also headed to UK...... painted background paper, ocean fabric from Joann's, lampwork beads and image from National Geographic (I chose a Humpback whale for the cover because I saw several off the coast of the big island of Hawaii):

On a trip to Goodwill ( I have decided this is one of the very few things I will miss about AZ when we settle in VA for good!) I scored some heart doilies, embroidered hankies, and (not pictured) a plastic tablecloth cover: these will be shared with April......

This and That

Since April is much better at getting lots of photos on a blog, please visit here to see the pics of our weeklong trip to upstate NY. Many pics of the leaves, family, sites we visited....... good stuff.
I've been LMAO at this hilarious site recommended by one of my Yahoo group sisters:
LOLcats, there is also a book which brings me to my next thought:
Visiting my sister in Binghamton, NY on my trip I noticed that she had some books ready to mail so I asked her what was up. She showed me a really great site on which you can send used paperbacks to people who want to read them and get ones you want in exchange, just for the postage (which has only been two dollars and change for each!). This is great for someone like me who chews through books like nothing! So far I have had 8 people request books from me and I should have the fourth Psychic Eye book by Victoria Laurie coming to me soon. For those crafty people, I have placed several journaling books on my wish list and am waiting to see if I can get any of them through this site. Speaking of journaling: if you have not seen any of Keri Smith's books you should! Last year in my fifth grade class I purchased several copies of "Wreck This Journal" and the kids LOVED them! I just bought "How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum and can't wait to dig in. Go to amazon and check them out. While you are there check out the Psychic Eye series. Here is the link for the paperback trading site:
Paperback Swap
Leave me a comment if you like any of these recommended sites or books! Thank you, now GO ENJOY LIFE TODAY!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Back to the heat of AZ

April and I returned from our upstate NY trip Monday evening. It was absolutely gorgeous there! Everyone we met agreed that the trees were the most colorful they had been in a long time. Talk about timing! April took four times as many pics as I did so keep checking her blog for more. We did some sightseeing, shopping, sewing, visiting, lots of eating, and walking through the leaves on the sidewalks. Madison, NY boasts a population of around 300+ so you can imagine that everyone knows everyone there. Yes, I am one of the Edwards girls! Sunday we had a family reunion at my mother's house which was great as it has been 13 years since my last visit. Below are my brother, Skip and my two sisters, Cindy and Merry.

Friday we drove to Cindy's house in Binghamton and after a couple of wrong turns (Oh, THAT Sunoco station!). We spent time at a local library book sale, thrift store, and an alpaca farm.

Wednesday afternoon April and I drove to Cooperstown. We didn't visit the Baseball Hall of Fame, just wandered around to buy souvenirs and eat. We drove west to Cazenovia where April purchased some unique Wizard of Oz fabric that her grandmother will quilt for her. Further north we stopped in the birthplace of L. Frank Baum, Chittenango. There is actually a yellow brick road in the center of the sidewalk there! Heading back we stopped at Chittenango Falls and took some pics:

This is a building in the "center" of town where Rte. 20 intersects North and South streets. We thought the foliage on the bricks was unique and colorful.

And here is one of the spectacular trees in the town:

Needless to say the weather there was a lot cooler than the 90 degree temps here in AZ. It ranged from 40 to around 70 degrees and rained on Thursday. It felt good to take a walk at the end of the day and come home with tingly cheeks! Can't wait to see what the weather is like in VA in 10 days!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Busy making Journals and books

The day after we return from our NY trip is my mother's birthday so I made her a journal/book with a fabric/sewing theme. Before "retiring" my mother was a seamstress and now enjoys quilting when she can. I found an inexpensive table runner at a thrift store awhile back which was perfect for the cover. The inside of the cover is some really cool quilted white fabric. I sewed buttons, lace trim, placed some fancy pins and an alcohol colored spoon on the spine. My mother also collected spoons so I was having fun finding a way to incorporate one!

Below are several of the types of pages I included: to the left a color wash on bristol board, the right is bristol board with two types of lace sewn on the edge:

The smaller page in the foreground is a collage piece with Golden paints, a McCall's pattern, a piece of fabric, and zipper tape; the page in the background is several magazine pages sewn together and then painted with black, orange, and yellow paint. On the bottom you can just make out the tape measure tape

The right page is the back of the orange/yellow page. I used black only framing the girl on the ad near the center, at the top of the page is a plastic tape measure that are free at Ikea.

I made a hard bound journal to take with me as well as a paper book. I purchased two funky Zetti stamps this weekend at Frenzy Stamper and stamped those along with many other stamps in the books to color on the plane and during down time on the trip. We both left plenty of room in our suitcases to bring goodies back!
Have a good week!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Off to New York

No, not the Big Apple, more like the small cow pattie............. April and I are flying to upstate NY this Monday to stay the week with my mother in the teeny tiny town on Route 20 of Madison (population 325) where I grew up. I am hoping that we get to see the fall colors and that it's not too late, it's been so long since I was there in Autumn that I don't remember when the leaves change. My mother emailed me today to remind me to bring a sweater......... the weather is in the 70s which will be perfect! We plan on visiting the Oz museum nearby, an alpaca farm near my sister's house in Binghamton, maybe Cooperstown, and visiting with relativews on and off during the week. It will be relaxing to just walk around town, drive in the country, and work on some basic journal/collage work without distractions. Will be picking up some nature items for Karen's art and hopefully lots of pictures.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hearts and Decos

These three hearts are for the Puffy heart swap over at Bad Baby Art. The swap was patterned after an article in the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. My favorite is the denim heart made from a too-short-for-work jumper I got from someone sometime. I used the label for decoration.

I received some excess decos from one of my Yahoo groups (can't remember now which one!?) including this Faithful Friends deco. I had fabric, but had given my dog embellishments to April and borrowed them back.

A Fantasy Art Deco: Underwater Fantasy -- I wove the "seaweed" from shimmery voile-type fabric, watercolored my favorite mermaid stamp (Judikins), embellished with rhinestones and trim from a trip to a bargain fabric store here in town and all on a handpainted background (my new favorite technique!).

Lastly, another Fantasy Art Deco: Winged Beings -- stamped my favorite fairy stamp (All Night Media) with Stazon and watercolored with regular watercolor paints and some Twinkling H2Os. for the background I used a wet brush to pick up color from watercolor pencils and blended blue and purple then off stamped swirls in Iris Stazon using a stamp from the Studio G line at Michael's. The word Believe (Technique Tuesday) is stamped in Cactus Green Stazon. And again the backing is handpainted Bristol board.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Baby Book, Mega Swap, & Class Project

Last Sunday was Alyssa's baby shower and here is the cover of a baby photo album I made for her........

WHEW!! I finished gluing the 120th back to my technique pages for the Arttechniques swap due October 15. It has been a loooong process, but I am finished ahead of schedule which is unusual for me. But, this is NOT the type of project that can be done at the last minute. Some of the members' pages have been posted and it will be exciting to try the techniques. This is what 120 woven quilted background pages looks like:

Kelly Kilmer's Funky Chunky Book class last night at Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale did not disappoint. The book is similar to the Avant Garde journal Karen and I made at Art Unraveled. The covers are papered rather than painted and the pages are painted rather than papers! If that makes any sense? I am always happy painting so it was fun. My front cover (with one of my new favorite stamps!)

The painted signatures:

I always seem to want this Rorschach image in my book somewhere. So I stamped it onto one of my favorite pages. I took my Golden Acrylic interference paints to add shimmer:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kelly Kilmer class & World Card Making Day

Tonight April, Karen, and I will be taking Kelly Kilmer's Funky Chunky Book class over at Frenzy Stamper. Should be fun! Karen and I took a class from Kelly at AU this past August and had a blast. I think that was where I fell in love with painting background papers, which has now bordered on an obsession. On that note, I have joined a couple of background swaps and have used Jacqueline Sullivan's gesso resist technique with wonderful results. When I am finished with all the pages, I will post pictures. I absolutely love Golden's Heavy Body Acrylic paints, especially the interference colors which give any paint a je ne ce quois...............

If you are a cardmaker, today is World Card Making Day and April will be hosting some challenges for you....... join her if you can............

More Swaps!

I joined quite a few swaps and deco round robins that were due this past week, so I have been busy finishing them as well as working nine out the past ten school days! First up was completing a recipe swap for Milliande's Creativity Club. Since I live in the Southwest I felt a salsa recipe was appropriate for this international group. I am looking forward to receiving an interesting set of recipes! If you cannot read the recipe and are interested, email me and I would be delighted to share! penney.klaproth@cox.net

Several decos were due to be mailed by the beginning of this month for Marine Decos. I participated in the Seahorse, Whale, and Mermaid swaps. Since leaving teaching full time and a severe drop in income I have been challenging myself to use as many supplies as I can find in my mini-Michael's store at my house. LOL I purchased very few items for making these decos and found it satisfying to create on a budget. The seahorse deco was made with stickers (no seahorse stamp:(), rick rack, a beautiful ceramic tile purchased at Art Unraveled (from Sacred Heart Art), rhinestones, a page from National Geographic, and hand painted seaweed.

I love the way my whale deco turned out! After scouring Joann's for stamp, stickers, etc. of whales I found this absolutely perfect fabric of ocean waves. I had black and white fabric left from my huge background swap so I enlarged and traced an orca whale pic from the internet then appliqued the pieces to the ocean background.

This is a fun (and weird!) collage done for a Masterpieces Unmasked round robin book for Pam over at Bad Baby Art group. I have always loved playing games and as a youngster Masterpiece was a favorite, although you needed 3 to play (just like Clue which is another favorite) so I didn't play as often as I liked. Pam has taken the art cards from the game and we were to "unmask" the artist. I chose "American Gothic" by Grant Wood. I took his serious painting and added antlers, monkey face, etc. to make it look bizarre. I then collaged synonyms for "american" and "gothic" to the top. It makes me giggle when I look at how the farmer and his wife are so crazy looking!

My final Marine Deco: mermaid. It's difficult to get the full effect of the Twinkling H2Os I used to paint the mermaid stamp (Judikins), but her "skin" is painted in Golden's acrylic Interference Green to give her just a hint of "fishy" skin. Again I used the Nat Geo pics and rhinestones for bubbles. The background is one of my favorite painting techniques using Golden Heavy Body Acrylics.