Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Etsy Shop: Faerie Acres Now Open For Business

Well, I finally took the plunge and opened my very own Etsy Shop! I am working on de-stashing and have created card kits for sale. I am working on scrapbook kits and also kicking around the idea of custom orders for fabric books. I'll try to keep you posted!
If you go to April's blog, she posts card sketches from Unscripted Sketches that would be a great way to use the items in the card kits!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pics from Virginia

Today I was able to upload some pics from my summer in Virginia; unlike here in AZ in so many ways: rain, green foliage, wild animals, cool weather, open windows at night, etc. After prepping the house Wednesday, we left in this weather:

The view from our front door.....this is why it's called the Blue Ridge! It actually rained for most of the first two days on the road until we hit Texas and New Mexico.
Here are some of our neighbors:

This Eastern Hognose showed up one of the last days we were at the house. It was about 4 feet long, harmless but interesting.
There is a farm at the back of our property through the woods where there are goats, donkeys, horses, cows, and a mule. We could hear the donkeys braying through the night and quite often the goats chimed in! I love this picture of the goat peeking around the building as if saying: "What's up?"

On one of the larger roads into the next town there was a mare and her colt. This is one of the earliest pictures where the colt is actually standing! Many times we would drive by and she/he would be laying down (looking dead!) resting from whatever it is that tires little horsies out!

Needless to say there were quite a few white-tailed deer roaming around. It took many shots to get some good pictures of them.......... I missed it the one morning there were six including a buck with a rack, that's what I get for sleeping late! This doe and her fawn walked right under the elevated porch while Dave was standing there the afternoon before we left.

Tomorrow I will post some of the things I made during the summer!

Call Me "Crazy"

I was looking through some "stuff" in one of my art rooms and found a Crazy Quilt Lesson from here and sat for a while just looking at Annie's crazy quilts, samplers, and stitches. This is one thing I want to learn to do in the next year. My mother made a crazy quilt for my sister and I love looking at it when I visit. Jane made some mini crazy quilt pages for a swap and I would love to practice embroidery stitches and learn some new ones!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Back in the Heat.... Boo! Blah! Yuck!

Well......okay........I can't seem to get my photos uploaded, so will post some later. We arrived back in the heat this morning so I can start my 8th grade language arts position in the next week. I am excited to be back with the kids, but not here in the desert and heat. I miss Virginia already. I got used to sitting on the porch and listening to nature (not neighbors, trains, traffic, and F-16s) and watching the deer wander around eating grass. It was so nice there that I didn't use either heat or air conditioning and slept with the window open almost every night, even when it rained! I forgot how much I hate being cooped up with artificial air for most of the year.
I got to travel to NY state and visit with my sister, her family and my mother for almost a week. Had a great time (even despite the water incident!) and can't wait until we are back East permanently next year and spend more quality time with the family!
I got pretty busy with Facebook and hope to use it more now that I have DSL rather than dial-up so look for me there and ask me to be your friend!
Bad news today, I found 0ut that Art Fiber Fest (which I LOVED) will be no longer. I am SO glad that Jane and I got to experience it at least once. Thank you, Teesha!
Pizza and wings at April's house in a little bit..... yum!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Art Fiber Fest

ONLY FOUR MORE DAYS UNTIL ART FIBER FEST! Wahoo! Flying to Portland, OR this Wednesday to attend AFF. I am taking classes with Ruth Rae and Alisa Burke. Right now I am finishing up a tote bag to take on the plane with me, still trying to figure the best way to take my sewing machine, buying some "more packable" clothes that don't have stains (I did not bring any decent clothes with me to the woods!), and generally getting excited about my first time at AFF!
My dial up isn't too bad at uploading pics, so I have a sneak peek at a "secret project" I worked on and will be taking with me to Portland. On the velvet ribbon is my first attempt at herringbone stitch (with perle cotton):

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


My posts will be VERY sparse for the next couple of months and definitely no pictures.... I am in VA for the summer and we only have dial-up here. I have been making lots of good stuff and taking lots of walks. I have many pictures of flowers, trees, mules, etc., but won't be able to post them until I have DSL again....
Ah, the cool weather and green trees! And... April... I saw bluejays and today a cardinal!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Kelly Kilmer -- Fairy book

I attended Kelly's "Reclaimed: An Altered Artist's Journal" class yesterday at Frenzy Stamper here in Scottsdale. We spent most of the morning painting pages to go in our gutted books. I took a copy of "The Queen's Physician" which I only bought at the thrift store because it had queen in the title, thinking I would play off the queen theme. Even saved the spine to use in the book, which didn't happen. I was looking through some of April's collage materials when I saw the fairy picture which happened to be the same color scheme as my book and painted canvas spine. I got two signatures sewn in and a little bit of decoration on a few pages before we had to leave, but I really wanted to do some more to the book so I could take it to school and show the kids, they LOVE to look at my stuff! It gives me incentive to keep plugging away on my projects. So I added a dragonfly charm to the front along with some wool felted beads, the front is not finished, but getting there.

I fixed my "upside down" pocket accident. The pocket holds my ticket from So You Think You Can Dance show which was on my birthday last year:

I also cut Alice out of my Alice in Wonderland book as an homage to the Jabberwocky poem we worked on in Reader's Theater, added some color and some wings so she can escape the JubJub bird and mome raths:

And cut out some puppies from my puppy book that I passed around at class because I love puppies:

And, Kelly, if you're out there: I licked the brush when I was finished!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thank you Cards

The first week in May was Teacher Appreciation Week and I always have my students write letters to a teacher in appreciation. I received quite a few from them myself so I decided that they would all receive from me an artsy card to thank them for their kind words. I found some embossed pink thank you cards at Goodwill last weekend and had to run back for some more when I counted the letters and realized I needed closer to 40 than the 20 that comes in each box. For the cards themselves I sewed scraps of fabric on the edges:

For the envelopes I blew black ink to decorate them:

I hope the kids like them!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Memo Book and Ink

First I need to say WAHOO to Jane whose journal is featured on the upcoming issue of Sew Somerset. I am so psyched for her! Maybe I'll even get an autographed copy! LOL Go check it out and buy it when it comes out next month!
My sister has been sending me good junk from NY since my trip out in Oct. and here is a memo pad I made to thank her. In the last box she sent there was a Scrabble board with a note attached that hinted she would like it used for a book, so here it is! I sewed some of my handpainted canvas to a piece of cereal box, added a transparency and some hand dyed trim for the front. The pages are recycled odds and ends (some she sent me, like menus, calendars, etc.) including some cardstock with hand dyed fabric sewn on.

The back is simply a piece of the Scrabble board with her name in tiles. I used the Letter Distribution section of the game just because I think it's cool! I just mailed it out today, so she should be receiving it early next week:

I'm too cheap to buy straws so I saved my Starbucks straw from yesterday and played with my inks. I have been itching to blow the ink around like I've seen in several tutorials so I grabbed a piece of canvas paper and used black, turquoise, pink, bright orange, burnt umber, and black. I also used transparent yellow, but it was too light and didn't show up as well as the darker colors. Hmm... maybe on some dark cardstock?
I'm loving the effect and am thinking of using some of it in the journal I am working on:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Journal in Progress

I have been working on a journal/book/whatever on and off when the mood strikes for several months now. I used a paint sample booklet for the cover base and sewed hand painted canvas to the two pieces. I used assorted scrapbook type cardstock/paper, fabric, tablecloth, take out bag, barf bag from the airline for the pages. I sewed on many before adding the signatures to the covers. I dyed (of course!) really wide twill tape, doubled it with interfacing in between for the spine. I sewed large beads also to the spine.
Here is a close up of part of the front cover. You can't see the dragonfly transparency at the top which is sewed on over tulle. I added crown tape, Dick and Jane (Look) word for a tab, a Dog playing card wrapped in black tulle and embellished with brads, fabric, and stitches. I connected chain and charms from the spine to the Dog card:

One of the pages is a piece of tablecloth that I used to have on one of those outdated round tables. To the edge I sewed fabric and then stapled a photo of my sisters, my brother, and I from my trip to NY last October. You can see the back of the star flower I sewed on a previous page:

I just love the photo I took in Hawaii a couple of years ago of a sign forbidding rock piles in the Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island with a pile of rocks underneath. I hand sewed the photo to the page and wrote Irony with a Sharpie poster paint pen:

This page just shows random pieces of scrap fabric sewed to the page:

And finally the back cover with a pilfered goodie from Jane's trash (my favorite place to "shop"), the heart of muslin which is sewn on and decorated with another brad:

Yesterday I took the book in to show my seventh graders and today Kaitlyn started her own book (after rooting through our recycle box!) out of "junk" and "stuff." LOVE IT!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Calling all Alisa Burke fans!

If you check out Alisa's blog you will find a link to here and some fab give aways, including a clutch by Alisa.

Unscripted Sketch #4

This is my version of the Unscripted Sketch #4:

I painted a piece(9X12) of canvas paper, stenciled the black "lace" at the bottom center, painted the rectangles with lumiere, stamped them and then outlined both with black sharpie and decorative stitching. I sewed dyed lace and snaps and then bordered the piece with calico fabric. I added rubons.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Orange you glad?

Ok, bad puns aside............. the next Rolodex cards I need to work on for Penney-Jane are orange themed. Everyone is using a different color/shade/tint so when we are finished we have a virtual rainbow in our Rolodex! What fun! Last night I started gathering whatever I had in paper and fabric for orange and since it is not my favorite color (I chose it for a challenge), there wasn't much so I threw it on my table. The burst of orange was so bright I wanted to take a picture of it, but then I thought why not add other items to it first? So, here is orange.....

and orange.........

and a closeup of orange.........

I plan on using these photos for backgrounds. Now I want to see if I can come up with some other color photos! Probably better do the Rolodex cards first since the materials are now all over my table!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dragonfly (what else?)

I started this ......... piece........for lack of a better description (no, I don't know what I am going to do with it!?) Saturday afternoon after our foray to SAS and Saver's. I am only focusing on the dragonfly that I made last night, because I have been looking for "me" in my art and I love this dragonfly........I will use it quite often in different sizes from now on. The next item I want to attempt is some sort of mixed media fairy......... speaking of fairies, if you know of a good Michael's here in the Phoenix area that has the full collection of their new dollar stamps, fairy princess series, let me or April know............


I passed the Middle School Language Arts AEPA (Arizona Educator Professional Assessment?) which means that I am officially "highly qualified" according to No Child Left Behind. Man, that test was difficult, I didn't study for it and REALLY did not think I passed............

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Metal Rolodex

I used the same debossing and alcohol ink technique that I used on my green journal to alter May's rolodex cards for Penney-Jane' s yearlong rolodex swaps. I added brads, fibers, and random charms from my collection. Here are Jane's, April's, and my cards:

I spent yesterday shopping with April and Jane, April made us go to, that twisted arm hurts today! Underneath the cards is a napkin I picked up at Saver's thrift store and then dyed.......geesh, she made us go there, too! The things I do for my family! ROFLMAO

Monday, April 20, 2009

Messy Hands

After dinner this evening I showed April how to scrape paint using a technique from Mary Todd Beam's The Creative Edge book. Of course, once we scraped the paint I had to get my hands into the paint left on the spoons, wouldn't want to waste any paint would we? I used my "less messy" hand to corral the camera and take a picture of our hands post-painting:

.... and here are two of the backgrounds we painted:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pencil Shavings and a Zentangle Mandala

I have formed a group of 7th graders at my school to create a Teen Zine. We meet after school Friday and work on art, poetry, photographing stuff, etc. By the end of the school year we will publish our own Wicked Zine. The backgrounds and poetry so far are amazing and I am excited about this project! Our fabulous art teacher, Karen, has been graciously assisting us in this endeavor and last week I introduced her to zentangles. We started a mandala together which she worked on this past week while I was typing poetry into the computer................

Earlier in the day I was sharpening my pink fuzzy pencil, my 2nd favorite pencil next to my mechanical pencil, with my favorite sharpener. I was sharpening it onto a piece of paper on my desk to then throw the shavings into the trash when I realized how colorful and artistic the shavings actually looked! So I saved them and had my Teen Zine crew sharpen the colored pencils onto the paper as we went along and here is just one of the pics I took............

I like this picture because it has the large curly shaving in it. I took many close-ups of different sections of the shavings thinking they would make colorful backgrounds. You never know what will strike you as beautiful!

Yet another kitty

This is another kitty who found our back yard and my lap! She is not quite full grown and I think she is ADHD.............she hung around for quite awhile not quite settling, but roaming. It was difficult actually getting a clear pic of her because she wouldn't hold still in any one spot for long. She obviously has a home because she is clean and well-fed (unlike the orange tabby male who visits us).


This month's chunky book swap over at Penney-Jane Mixed Media Art is Altered Cards and the first swap I am hosting. Not only did I receive Karen's wonderful cabinet cards in the mail Friday, but she sent me the most AMAZING necklace ever! I have secretly longed to possess a wire wrapped bird's nest and now I have is fabuloso and I can't wait to wear it to work Tuesday. Thank you, Karen!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Journal

I collect (ahem.....among many other things) craft/art books. One that I've had for a little while now is Creative Awakenings by Sheri Gaynor. In this book the first project is to deboss aluminum for the cover of a Book of Dreams Journal. Several weeks ago I sent for and received the aluminum and tools I needed. It has taken me this long to figure out the process and finished the journal covers today.
The front cover:

the inside of the covers: some glossy cardstock I scraped with paint on one of my "painting" days:

Monday, April 13, 2009

This and That

I have been working on odds and ends, finishing up some swaps, playing with paint, etc., etc. lately. I got my Penney-Jane Sewing Chunky Book pages back the other day and bound them with book rings. This cover should look familiar and here it is bound with Gina's fabulous hand crocheted lace peeking from the edge of her page.

Here are all 20 pages in their chunkiness from the top:

I wouldn't have enough room to show all of my favorite pages so I just chose Jane's to showcase here.

I've been trying to doodle more and chose some heavier fashion pages from an old magazine. I first painted over all but the face and doodled over the paint, but it kept gumming up my Sharpies so I tried swiping gel medium over the paint and Voila! Much better! This is one of the three that I actually liked:

I also watched a short video on Traci Bautista's blog which showed painting with just one color and it inspired me to create these two background pages (for what? I don't know, I just like them!):

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Altered Index Cards

I finally finished my altered index dividers for the Altered Card swap over at Penney-Jane. I am hostessing this swap which is due in the next couple of weeks. The index dividers were an ugly faded orange so I swiped paint over them as a base layer, then painted white through sequin waste, stenciled green, added odd rub-ons, glued on a piece of resin paper from either Charlie and the Chocolate Factory pages or Lemony Snicket pages, then stamped text over the entire card. I layered white and black duck tape and silver tape over the back. The three shown are the ones made for me (7), Jane (23), and April (14).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Play Date with Miranda

Yesterday I kidnapped Miranda to spend the afternoon with me sans her boys. We ate at Castillo's, a hole-in-the-wall Mexican food place around the corner. Then we shopped at the thrift store. I found tons of lace to dye and some wooden thread spools, Miranda found some VHS movies for her kiddos. Then I forced her to take my clothes, games, cards, etc. from my house! Ha ha! I am trying to lighten our load so that we don't take stuff we don't need in Virginia. Man, twisting her arm was hard work....... anyway, she raided my "stuff" to make a book in which she can write down the wacky and silly things her sons, Edan and Troy, say so she doesn't forget and then made another book for her student teacher.

and the finished product for her boys:

Both books turned out great! While Miranda was playing on the floor I worked on my Altered index dividers for the next Penney-Jane swap. I swiped paint yesterday and today colored the back with duck tape. Not quite finished, but getting there.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sewing book cover and my sister's hat

I have been busy working on swaps and don't seem to remember to take pics before I send them off to the hostess! Duh! Anyway, here are a couple of projects using my dyed muslin as a base. Over at Penney-Jane Mixed Media our second swap is a Sewing Chunky Book. I made the covers and a page (60 items in all!). Took a picture of the cover, but failed to document the pages I made. I think I just get so tired of looking at 20 of the same thing that I ship them off without another thought. I probably should get better at taking those darned pics! I love, love, love sewing the "star flower" and try to put it on whatever I sew..........
the sewing book cover on tan fabric:

the back of a memo book I made for my sister who sends me really cool "stuff" she finds in odd places:

and here is my star flower again on the cover of her memo book:

in return for the good "stuff" she sends I sent my sister some royal blue dyed muslin to make an OR hat for work:

lookin' good! So, in answer to the age old question I hear a lot: "What are you going to do with IT?" I a flower on it or send it to my sister! Ha!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Canvas Fun

Since I have this week off I have been working on several projects. Finishing up a swap due this week and working on the covers for another. But..........this is just for me! I dyed some canvas pink and then painted, stenciled, and generally doodled all over. The end product......well....I'm keeping that one close to my vest until it's finished.

Extreme Sale!

Over at Lowe's they have been clearancing their wallpaper. The last time I was there the large rolls were $3 and the small borders were $1 which is a good deal so I bought one of each and used the large roll for my Gold Swap pages. Our "upgraded" cabinets in the house decided to "downgrade" themselves to crap and the silverware drawer busted apart so off to Lowe's to get wood to fix it. NOW the wallpaper rolls are 25 cents each! Yes, only a I grabbed 5......yes, April I will share............the one on the left has dragonflies on it! Wahoo!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Charm Swap

I finally finished the many charms for a swap due by the middle of the month. I had a difficult time getting started over at Jane's this past Saturday, but finally got into the swing of things Sunday in between lesson plans and laundry. Top left charm is strictly beads with a Swarovski charm on top and a Swarovski flower near the bottom. Middle round charm is Monopoly money circle on a checker piece and beads. Top left is a paper bead with other beads woven around it. Lower left is a game piece with lampwork beads on top and bottom. Lower middle is a washer painted with alcohol ink and colored wire wrapped around. Lower right is a fabric bead with other beads and fibers sewn on (thanks for the inspiration Alma!).

Bunny Bread

Ok, so this post is TOTALLY RANDOM! I was making my umpteenth peanut butter and butter sandwich and after slicing my bread I noticed a bunny hiding in it! With an eye and everything!