"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Alice tags are done & in the mail!

Hi y'all! I wanted to share picture of the tags I sent for Karla's Alice in Wonderland Tag Book Swap. I'm really happy w/ the way mine turned out....I think they represent my style very well. They have a romantic, vintagey vibe going on & that suits me perfectly. Hope it suits all the recipients too! I actually made 8 tags not 6, as Lisa & I want to make sure we each receive one of each other's & I want to make sure I have one of my own.

I used blue parchment paper as my tag, distressing it w/ white paint on the edges; then adding distess ink & a metallic gold ink. None of these details show up in the pics however. :o(

I added a flourish stamp, crepe paper ruffle, chocolate ribbon & a rhinestone border then backed a flat chandelier prism w/ pages from an old book & layered an image of Alice between.

They're really much prettier in person.... you know how hard it is to photograph something under glass! (The prisms aren't actually glass, they're acrylic but the difficulty in photographing them is the same.)

Loved making these tags but you know what really compelled me to sign up for the swap...receiving the cover artwork by Karla. I have lonnnngggg admired her work (you'll see how long in a future blog post) & I will be just thrilled to have it! And to see my work, in a tag book w/ her's, will just tickle me pink!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some Paper Romance projects

I almost forgot to share w/ y'all a few of the projects, I completed from Teresa McFayden's Paper Romance EZine. There are a couple more I want to do from the ezine, that aren't just for Valentine's so they got put on the back burner...one is super cool. Can't wait to share it w/ y'all!

You know what I like best about Teresa's Ezines? (other than the wonderful projects of course!) That they are open all the time....once you sign up, the ezine is open from then on. LOVE that I can work on the projects at my own pace & that I can still participate in any that I missed out on. I had so much fun w/ these projects that I turned right around & signed up for her last year's Valentine eZine, love letters. Lots more fun stuff!

This sampler was designed by Amy Powers, one of the teachers from the ezine. I worked on it while I stayed w/ my daughter in the hospital, after her recent surgery. I pretty much stuck to Amy's design except for the mounting. I mounted mine onto a taffeta (it doesn't look shiny in the picture but it is!) circle & left it in the embroidery hoop. I edged the hoop w/ lace & tied a bow at top.

My embroidery skills are pretty rusty...the french knots are not as neat as I'd like.

This beautiful door banner is designed by Holly Abston...love her work! I kept to her design almost completely...it's perfect as is!

My handwriting is horrible (it's illegible even to myself sometimes!) so I not only copied her design, I copied her handwriting. LOL

This Amour "mobile" ( I made mine one-sided) was designed by Teresa McFayden herself. Many of the ribbons were dyed w/ kool-aid....too fun! But I'm a smart grandma who only buys the clear kool-aid so I had to buy a stash for dyeing. My ribbons are all the cheap polyester stuff though so they didn't take much of the red ...pink was about as good as they got. (By the way, after seeing all the dye on my hands just from squeezing out the kool-aid, I'm VERY glad that I only buy the clear stuff. No telling what all that dye does to your insides!)

I LOVE Ezines....I've already signed up for Casandra's Pretty Spring Things & I haven't even done any of the projects from her Sugar & Spice ezine. LOL But I have that on my agenda for this week-end & will post about it next week.

Tonight, I'm whipping out tags for Karla's Alice in Wonderland tag book swap...I have my design all figured out & I'm ready to put them all together. I know, I know...I make a couple of tags & all of the sudden I think I'm an expert & sign up to play w/ the big dogs. *gulp*

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oh happy day!

Y'all ready for a sweet, heartwarming post? OK, grab ya a tissue, you'll probably need it. ;o) Today is my son, Clifton's 29th birthday & I have a very inspirational tribute post to the finest, strongest, bravest man I have ever known. I cannot tell you how proud I am to be his mother! Most of you know that Clifton was critically burned over 43% of his body in a tragic accident in July of '08. When he was released from the hospital, he was unable to feed, dress or toilet himself. His entire torso, both arms & hands were severely burned (even his face but to a lesser degree).....the burns on his right hand were 4th degree & two fingers had to be amputated. The Drs' prognosis was not good....they told us to expect minimal use out of the right hand & limited use of the left. Their words still ring through my ears, "he will be disfigured & disabled & life as he knew it, prior to his accident, is over." Many of you have prayed w/ me & some have even cried w/ me. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for your prayers & concern!

Before I go on, I want to share w/ you a discussion Clifton & I had, while he was still in the hospital. He was looking @ the photo board we had made him (full of pictures of family & of Clifton fishing & playing football) & his eyes filled w/ tears & he began to cry. I asked him what was wrong & he said, "I'm never going to play football again." (he played minor league football w/ the Ft Worth Rams). We cried together & I sympathized w/ him, reminding him of all he has to be thankful for & telling him that sometimes life sucks (& secretly thinking "it's about time you quit that nonsense anyway!). But that night I laid in bed & I thought about how important it was to Clifton & the next day, I told him that I had been thinking & that if he wanted this bad enough & was willing to work hard enough for it, his dream of playing football again was possible..... for he was ALIVE. He laughed & blew off the idea, saying "If I started playing football again, they'd have to make a movie out of me."

Well someone give me the numbers to the movie studios! Look at my boy!!!! He is living proof that anything is possible if you have the gumption to work for it.

We spent Valentine's day, last Sunday, in bitterly cold weather, snuggled up, covered up, drinking hot chocolate.... watching #55 kick some butt on the football field, just like the old days! The Rams had retired Clifton's # after his accident, in honor of him...vowing noone else would ever wear it. But nobody dreamed that just year & a half later, #55 would be back on the field.

The Rams won! YEAHHHH! This was the team that beat the Rams in the SuperBowl last year....all it took was Clifton to be back on the team & they smoked 'em. LOL

Clifton has always stood head & shoulders above the rest...even in a pack of football players.

Clifton getting a congratulatory "Rahhhhh!" from his coach. Coach Fabian visited Clifton right after he was released from ICU & he knows what condition he was in & how much he has overcome. Clifton is recovering so well that now it's hard for those who didn't witness it, to grasp how severe Clifton's injuries were. He has worked so hard that he has full range of movement, everywhere but his right hand...& it keeps getting better & better. Maybe one day! His scar bands at first, were very thick & rigid but he stretches them out & breaks them open, "teaching" the skin to loosen up & they get less & less over time. (a feat usually only accomplished by release surgeries). Some of Clifton teammates (the newer ones) don't even know that he is "the burned guy."

Look at the smile on his face...it warms a mother's heart, I can tell you that! I guess I'm OK w/ him playing football...it sure makes him happy.

Happy Birthday Son.....I love you! Your Daddy sure raised you right. ;o)

I've had so many comments come to my defense over my "your Daddy sure raised you right" that I felt I had to let y'all in on an inside joke. Right after Clifton's accident, he couldn't tell Stacie & me from his nurses. we were all covered up & he was super drugged up (was supposed to be in a medically induced coma but they were never able to get him to...Drs said it was sooooo strange to have a critically burned patient conscious & responsive). Anyway, we wore the same masks, gowns & hats as the nurses & Clifton would mistake us for them. He was always very, very polite & kind & thanked us for anything we did for him (even if it hurt him!). It prompted me to say to him once, "You sure are a polite, respectful young man...your Mama must have raised you right." To which, Clifton responded "My Daddy raised me right!"

It's been a family joke ever since cause I've always said "Moms get no credit" & this just proves it. ;o)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A few more wintry projects to share

Hi y'all! I guess you've figured out by now that I didn't do Valentine's this year. My daughter had an ovarian tumor removed Jan 28th (benign thank God!) & the grands have been staying w/ us while she recuperates. There was no way I was going to rip apart the house & switch it over for Valentine's so I just skipped decorating this year. I have been crafting for the holiday though (the paper romance ezine was soo much fun!) & will share those projects later this week.

But today I wanted to share a few more winter projects that I made. First, my little top hats.... LOVE them!
I think the parisienne one is my favorite although I wish that I had distressed it up some more. And I wish the coarse glitter I dabbed it with showed up better in the pic. (The rhinestone piece is a vintage shoe clip.)

Sorry about the glare in this picture but teh sun was coming in the window, very strong.

I used a round piece of sheet music for the top of the sheet music hat...it worked out perfectly! Aren't the little crocheted flowers sweet? I recently bought a big bag of them while thrifting & added pearl center. I gave this top hat an all over dusting w/ fine glitter but again, it doesn't show up very well in the pic.

Here's the sheet music round if you want to use it. Irfanview (you can find it on my sidebar under blogging helpers) can resize it to whatever size you need.

And of course I made a wintry altered spoon.

As well as a little winter cottage. I covered the roof in pages from an old french paperback & then covered the whole thing in glitter. I bleached cheap bottle brush trees & then rolled them in white paint. One of my Dept 56 snowbabies calls it home.

The grands have gone back home now (WOO HOO!!!! ;o) ) & my art/craft group has been rescheduled for Friday night. It's gonna be a good week!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Show n Tell Friday...winter altered tags

I'm a little late for today's Show n Tell but I'm playing anyway.... it's hosted as always, by Cindy @ My Romantic Home. Today I am sharing my creations from last month's art group gathering. We are supposed to meet up again tonight but w/ the snow we've been having (a record setting 15"....in DFW!!!!), it'll probably get canceled. :o( The group is so much fun though...to hang out, create & laugh w/ people who get you is just the greatest! I am very fortunate to be part of such a talented group.

Anyway, believe it or not, I haven't made an altered tag before. I've been planning on it but haven't gotten around to it until now. They're lots of fun to create though & I plan on making many more. I incorporated several ideas, I saw a few people do so if they look somewhat familiar, that's why (I didn't copy any designs exactly but I did "steal" a few ideas). One of the ladies I borrowed talent from is Carol @ Queen Be's Altered Needs. I also used her methods of grunging up the tag, prior to embellishing it. She uses coffee, vanilla & cinnamon & at art group, everyone kept saying "who brought cookies?" When I showed them the "aged" tags, they realized the source of the wonderful aroma. LOL I won't go into the how to's here since Carol gives such detailed instructions in her tut...you can find it here.

I think this first one is my favorite. Love the wonderful, wintry image ( I don't remember where I got it...sorry) & even more, I love the quote.

Kindness does beautify everything it covers...spread it around as much as you can. ;o)

I may have taken this one a bit too far over the top. Not sure if the faux pine sprigs I added, are really bringing much to the table.... what do y'all think? Yay or Nay on the pine sprigs?

It's another beautiful quote though....LOVE it!

Thsi one is sweet & w/ all the snow we have now...is a question I keep repeating over & over.

PLEASE don't let Spring be too far behind!

I'm including the images, just in case y'all like them & want to do something w/ them. Wish I could give credit as to where I got them but I don't keep track...sorry!

Hope you all have a wonderful, warm weekend!

Quick Project Thursday...glittered votives

Hello & welcome to a new meme, Quick Project Thursday, hosted by Jana @ Collected Treasures. I'm kind of embarassed to share this as it can hardly be called a "project" but I promised Jana I would have a post ready today & it was the best I could come up with.... for now. I've been working on several projects but none of them are really quick. But, since I had the glitter out, I slapped a bit of modge podge on a pair of votives & sprinkled them w/ MS's white gold glitter (it's my favorite color...silver but w/ enough gold to keep it from being garish). That's it...can't get any quicker than that. ;o)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Whites for White Wednesday

Hello & welcome to another White Wednesday...hosted by Kathleen @ Faded Charm. I use a lot of whites & creams in my winter decor so today I'm sharing snippets of it. Enjoy!

click on any picture to enlarge for details

I blinged out these chicken wire snow peeps last year...LOVE them!

I use a lot of plates in my decorating...for Christmas it's red transferware, for Halloween it's black toile, brown transferware for Fall, roses for Summer, green Bordallo cabbage plates for Spring & for Winter, I bring out my collection of Friendly Village plates.

I made the little top hats & the tag...I'll do a post featuring them soon.

Hope everybody is staying warm...I think the whole country is in a cold snap.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Show n Tell Friday

Hello & welcome to another Show n Tell Friday, hosted by the infamous Cindy @ My Romantic Home. I haven't posted in a few weeks cause I had a trojan & my puter has been in the shop but I have several completed projects that I am eager to share & this one is my favorite.

Would you believe that I created these snowmen heads "on a stick" w/ no tut, no instructions & w/ no experience....I am soo flippin' proud of myself! This picture doesn't do them justice!!!

My inspiration for the project came from these Halloween heads on a stick...remember them? I found them @ Tuesday Morning a couple of years ago & fell in love w/ the whimsy of them. I always knew I would attempt to paper mache one myself but was too intimidated by the project to actually start it. Until one day, when I came across this site w/ this wonderful paper mache clay recipe .

I rolled up a small piece of newspaper & taped it on a styrofoam ball for the "carrot" nose. Next time, I will just use balled & taped up newspaper for the head though as the "clay" didn't want to stick to the styrofoam but would w/ some encouragement. I didn't want a bright, attention-getting orange nose but I wanted it to look like a carrot so I tried out my new watercolor pencils on them. After giving them a wash w/ a wet paintbrush, the orange nose was just the right shade & the color seeped down into the cracks. POIFECT! I used pink chalk on the cheek bones for a subtle, rosy glow.

I first painted the heads cream & then swabbed on Tim Holtz's distress crackle paint in white (they call it swan)....only kissing it in areas. After a quick rub & wipe w/ shoe polish, the cracks look excellent....love them! For this one, I made a top hat out of sheet music, added rhinestone eyes, an embroidery floss smile & a dusting of glitter.

I didn't want them to look the same, so for this one, I added a little character to his face.... making him kinda goofy-looking but that only adds to his appeal, I think. For his hat, I rolled up a cone out of card stock & glued it on before covering the whole head w/clay. He got the same embroidery floss smile (I first carved a smile while the clay was still wet) but I used cream buttons (w/ silver metallic thread "pupils") instead of rhinestone buttons for his eyes. Isn't his expression sweet?

Since these were supposed to be snow heads, I didn't sand them smooth but this paper mache clay recipe can be sanded just like wood.

To add even more dimension to the cone hat, I covered it in MS's glass bead glitter.

I'm loving this paper mache clay recipe & my head is full of ideas to create w/ it. One lady on the site, made a life-size statue & painted it to resemble stone...how cool is that? Jonni is a wonderfully creative & talented artist & is generous in sharing her knowledge w/ us...for FREE! If you're interested in the clay recipe, stop in & thank her for her generosity.

Also, Cindy's apartment was featured in The Old Painted Cottage's cottage of the month for February (what an honor but I don't know of a more deserving cottage), if you haven't done so already, wish her "Congrats".

Hope everyone has a great week-end!