Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Time Book Swap

I haven't heard if my partner received hers yet, but I sent it over a week ago, so I think its safe to share what I made for her here.

My swap partner told me she liked to repurpose. So I did.

I took this expandable file...

And made it into this:

The pretty shell image came from the ever amazing Graphics Fairy, which was perfect because my partner wanted the colors of a sunset over the water, and here I found this perfect image. Below is a close up of the buttons. Some new, some old.

I cut up the folders to create pages. A cut on every other folder so that each page is also a pocket, which is tied shut with ribbon, seam binding, cheese-cloth, fabric strips.

A couple of pages. The goal was to provide space to put in photos, journal, and I also added some goodies into the front pocket to further embellish. This page has one side covered in sheer fabric and a Green Paper image (I think), with a repeat of the shell image. The other side has old ledger paper to write on.

I also sealed the pockets with washi tape. Those are the pink and white stripes you see.

The rose image is another one of the Graphics Fairy's, and that's a sticker in the corner from my stash. I got to use quite a bit of my stash in this project.

Yeah, so I searched "beach" on Graphics Fairy ... this is one photo cut in half with plenty of space to write... and a scrap of space along the side...

Monday, June 28, 2010


Heather of Speckled Egg posted about unfinished projects last week.

It got me to thinking, and I'm fairly certain I don't have the following on this blog yet to pull this off, but -- what if we all picked an unfinished project and, well, finished it? I know you probably have a list of projects partially done, or on your "to do" list. I know I do.

So here's how it will work:
  1. pick an unfinished project, one that's been waiting for you for a while
  2. post a comment here telling me what the project is and about when you first started it.
  3. (optional) post to your blog that you're participating in "Undone" and/or add the little button to your side bar.
  4. on the deadline day, I'll post again -- share a link to a picture of your now-finished project in a comment, and ....
To three random people who complete this challenge I'll give away a copy of my Regency romance from 2005. "Touched By Time". Autographed and personalized if you wish.

I recently brought home a partial set of New Testament commentaries. One person who completes their project will also get a volume. Any NT volume, unless its the missing one :) I mentioned them in an earlier post.

Here's my project:

It's a pillow case with autographs from my fellow classmates all over it. I started this when I was in Year 10 which was a long time ago and have hardly made a dent in it.

What about you?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Faith Fridays

So I thought I would do something called "Faith Fridays".

For the first few, I'm going to use some things that leapt out of my during my devotional readings during my 25 Days of Birthday. (Hmm, I'm sure I could have written that more succinctly.) It's called "Woman of God: Moments of Grace, 25 Devotions" by Diane Graham and Julie Norris.

Psalm 23. "The Lord is my Shepherd...." It's a favorite at funerals. It's a psalm of comfort. So it surprised me when the authors used it to encourage the reader to find peace and quiet despite mountainous to-do lists.

He leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul

-Psalm 23:3
The Benedictines teach balance and so this reminded me (yet again) to take time to rest. That every minute doesn't need to be filled with doing. And the best part? A resting time is a good time to listen.

If you'd like to join in with Faith Fridays (and I'm assuming somebody else hasn't already come up with this idea), just add your link in the comments. Is there a piece of Scripture that resonated with you this week? Why? How was it relevant to your life?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Remember my craft space?

It's now my office space for at least a week, if not more. I'm not sure how I am going to get any crafting done, except I do have needlework and I can journal...

My work office is being remodeled. Not just a new carpet or a paint/patch job, but all the built in cabinets, filing and storage, and my desk is being torn out too. So I brought everything home.

So here is where I'm situated for the time being until the new office furniture arrives.

At least I have fresh flowers to keep me company. (Although they turn out to be dyed flowers as they're turning the water purple).

A set of bookshelves were going too, so we've had to do a bit of a purge and there were books that needed throwing out. Seriously, throw out these?

Yeah, I thought so too!

I've enjoyed looking at them at work, so I got to bring them home. They aren't worth anything. But for an artist.....

So stay tuned until Monday and I'll share plans for at least one of these books. I have to figure out where to put these.... Somewhere where I can again look upon their warm beige and gold covers. This wasn't part of reorganization plan..... help?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Curtains for...

Here for the Where Bloggers Create Party? Scroll down to Friday's post. (Although these are in my creative space.)

Well, the craft room window :)

Here are more details of my hanky curtains. With any luck, they'll be completely sewn up by the time the next Where Bloggers Create party comes around.

I like the butterfly detail of this one...

Some of the hankies have scalloped edges, others have crochet on them.

Here's a detail of the fabric that forms the loops and top piece. I have left over loops I need to figure out what to do with.
And that's my craft room curtain!

Where Bloggers Create ... What I Do

Here for the Where Bloggers Create Party? Scroll down to Friday's post. (Although this an addendum to that.)

I didn't read the instructions well enough and while you caught glimpses of my artwork in my craft room, I didn't share what I do.

I'm, um, actually a published romance author, so I know dreams are achievable after a lot of hard work, but that's when "fun" became "work" and so I needed a new "fun".

Enter scrapbooking. I redid my wedding album, worked on a career album and a few other things. Altered books intrigued me but I didn't think I could stand cutting one up.

So I started going 3D ... shadow boxes, bird houses, canvases, ... And after a long, long time of not doing any sewing beyond restoring buttons to their rightful place, I started sewing again (I made cuffs for the gals who joined in the Young Victoria Altered Book Collaborative). I even ventured into jewelry briefly.

So in no particular order or chronology:

I cut apart a book to make my cover for the Young Victoria project:

A peek inside....

A small canvas I made for a friend, using wax to stick everything on....

One of my bird houses. This is the Jane Eyre one.

A bracelet I made for my Nana using milagros...

The first (and only) thing I submitted to Somerset Studio:

A companion piece to the above that I didn't submit anywhere. Playing with wax on canvas again.

I made this for Somerset's "Black and White" challenge and then chickened out in sending it. It shows my love for the Regency period!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shabbyfufu Giveaway

I am finally up to the 's' in the Where Bloggers Create Party (see sidebar for link, see post below for my creative space) and I've come across this really cool giveaway that I thought I would share.
I have to be honest, I've never been inside an Anthropologie store but I understand they are pretty cool (and I think there is one in the mall near me)....

I think I said I was going to be doing some posting today, but I'm holding off for another day while I:
a) get my act together
b) give people a chance to find my space quickly. If it's taken me this long to get to the S's .....

Friday, June 18, 2010

Where Bloggers Create Party II: My Room 2010 (with lots of pictures)

I'm excited to be joining the Where Bloggers Create Party for the first time. I discovered it last year, ages after it happened and I literally spent the day looking through them all! I hope you enjoy my space.

The sign on my door. I made it as a make-and-take a couple of years ago.

Here's an overall view of my room. You can't tell because of the lighting but the walls are not pink. They're pale lavender.

The bookcase I bought from Target a year or two ago. It's "Shabby Chic". The bottom drawer holds my German scrap and the "transparent" stuff.

The bookcase from Target that used to be under the window is now vertical. The addition to the top of pink chest of drawers is a library card file that was gonna be tossed from church until I rescued it. It holds rolls of seam binding and millinery. I might paint it next year....

Next to it is a tiered holder of mostly lace, but some feathers and flowers.

The chest of drawers holds glue, large photos, fabric, ink, glitter, pastels, and other stuff...

Now under the window is the IKEA book case. It's topped with a ivory and gold sari cloth and displays as well as keeping foam brushes handily located.

The tissue paper is hiding the summer book swap in progress.

The jewelry cabinet (with plastic bag holder and trash bins (one for paper, one for, um, trash)) holds pens, charms, brads, etc etc etc. Canvases are stacked next to the bookcase.

My Silver Bella prize ribbons from Teresa's class at last year's Silver Bella. Underneath is a clip-it-up ribbon holder. There are more ribbons stashed elsewhere. On the table I've used an expandable spice rack to hold wet glues, glazes, paints, Glimmer Mists.

The closet. The doors actually close. This is something of an accomplishment. Next year -- I'm gonna tackle this closet once and for all. But for now, I'm gonna celebrate that I can actually close the doors! The cloth bag is from last year's Silver Bella and holds unfinished projects from then.


On the bookshelves: art I have made and a Shabby Chic clock that I never remember to wind up. A tea cup from Goodwill holding feathers and small millinery bits.

A messy shelf! Yeah, that stack on the left is my Young Victoria book not yet put together. I still need to make my signature page. I hope to finish it very soon. The various boxes hold buttons, bling, buttons, plastic doves, beads, watches and watch pieces, and the hanky box my mother-in-law gave me.

Close up of the tiered wire holder.

I tea-dyed the crysanthemum -- and yes, I have plans for it. To the left is a silk peony.

Close up of my library file. I think I'll paint it next year ... and add some more cute magnets to it. The lace cloth is the shattered piece I picked up during the antique shopping last month.

Now that I've made a curtain, I can leave the shutters opened. The previous owners painted the shutters without taking into account that someone might want to change the direction of the louvers. So I've turned them into my inspiration board. This is just the very beginning. So lots of space to fill.

A shelf holding mini scrapbooks, journals, photo album, and I'm displaying the old photo in its gilt frame here, out of the nasty direct Southern California sunlight...

There's my 25 Days of Birthday calendar. My hubby doesn't yet know that the crystal salt and pepper shakers are filled with glitter instead of salt-and-pepper. I have more glitter that needs to find similar shakers. And the gold Mary statue is to make it a set of "three". I picked it up at an antique store in Santa Barbara.

I still need to figure out how to clean the salt and pepper shaker set on the right. It's handpainted, made in Japan and I'm a bit terrified of cleaning off the paint.

I bought peonies. I've never really known or thought about them until they started appearing on blogs (particularly Mockingbird Hill Cottage) and I found them at my local grocery store! Not cheap, however, but oh my, they smell heavenly. Like roses but sweeter (and kind of not). So my room smells yummy now, especially right after opening the door. (I keep it closed since the dog ate a spool of thread incident.)

I tucked little pink roses underneath....

The sari cloth does a little bit of concealing. Baskets, MOO cards, paper flowers, binders that hold online class information. I need to make pretty labels for the binders. The purple pails hold my Ranger Inks. I don't use them as much as I used to, so I moved them off my table.

The bottom shelves have magazines, books, "flower fluff", Lumiere paints. The shelf on the right holds all the books that get pulled apart.

Top left, cigar boxes to be altered and more books to tear apart or alter are hidden behind another small purple pail of paint, my tool-kit and a white wicker basket that holds my Pitt pens and a few other things. The white basket is in reach of my desk and with a few small additions (scissors, double-sided tape) I can pick it up along with the journal and go somewhere else.

Top right is my sewing box and a basket that holds my new obsession (washi tape) and some ruffled crepe paper.

My Somerset Studio magazines. With room for a little more.

Here's my big project for this party: Making a curtain to cut that nasty Southern California sunshine that bleaches everything. These hankies are all mine, except I think two that belonged to my grandmother or great-grandmother. Every year on my birthday and at Christmas my Nana would give me a nice linen hankie with embroidery in a corner. I never used them, so now I am! I'm gonna post more details of this on Monday.

I have to be honest. It's not quite finished. I have to stitch down the vertical seams. The loops and the top part came out of a fabric remnant stash. Someone had cut up a sheet set and left the hems behind. So I used the pillow case to create loops already sewn together, and used the sheet hem to hang everything off of.

Detail of the top of the jewelry cabinet that doesn't hold jewelry. The silver plate thingy is a Goodwill find. The hydrangea box holds more millinery... Someone lost that blue shoe. It's destined for an assemblage...

Here's the other project. I learned from my 25 Days of Birthday that I like assigning myself projects: it helps me get stuff done. You'll note on this calendar that its not filled out. I'm waiting to find out whether or not I serve on a jury. This was a chrome lined calendar. A bit of lace and some chipboard pieces later.....

A close up of my glittered ART header... The letters are from Basic Grey, I think. And I glittered them in fine glitter and then silver German glass glitter. The chipboard are from Glimmer Mist and so of course I Glimmer Misted them.

Just a detail of a wicker basket in my shelves....

One of my friends from church gave me a May Day basket. The flowers have since died (except the purple ones which became dried flowers) and so I replaced them and am hanging it off the shutter knob.

One last purchase. Piles tend to occur when I work. This tray that I purchased off Etsy keeps a journal project and the various pieces corralled.

Remember the ugly light fixture from two days ago? This is what I used to replace it. Picked it up from Home Depot, as I recall.

And that's it! I hope you enjoyed my little tour. I'm really looking forward to what everyone else's space look like!

Edited to add: My "artist statement" if you will is in a separate post -- which you probably have come across already if you made it to here!