29 November 2012

Mug Rugs, A Monster and some Sea Critters

Hello Readers!
Yeah, I know, it's been a few days since I was here. Eleven of them, if we're going to get technical. I was kidnapped by the eldest son for that time and had no way to make a blog post. I couldn't take pictures either cause I left the camera at home. The boy and I were about 5 miles into our trip when I remembered it. He said he'd go back to get it, but I said it wasn't necessary. I now wish we would have turned around and retrieved it. It was necessary cause I didn't get one picture of the grandies or their parents! 
There were many missed pictorial events while I was off on my kidnapping. Fred dog was kidnapped too so I wasn't in it alone. Lil A loves that dog something fierce and she gave him many hugs and kisses and pats and talkings to while we were away. She also gave him a tongue lashing I won't soon forget. He popped her favorite play ball less than an hour after we arrived and she was not a happy camper about it! She soon forgave the dog though. Thankfully 3yr olds don't hold grudges for very long!  
It would have been nice to have gotten a few photos of Bub as well. Ten year old boy and two cats that were inseparable....I brought those two cats home with me. Bub came to accept that fact but he really wanted them to stay at his house with the other five cats they have.
Shortly after Fred popped Lil A's ball she demanded I make her a kitty. Three year olds are quite demanding sometimes even if they aren't meaning to be. I didn't get a picture of the little green fleece cat I made for her the first night there.

I got back home yesterday and took pictures of all the projects accomplished in the 9 days I was gone. I meant to do that last night but got lost in cyber space. I REALLY needed a good fix of the internet when I got home. There is limited, very limited time on the computer at son's house. I got online for a grand total of about an hour and 10 minutes in 9 days. Like a dope junkie, I needed a fix!
Pictures were taken this afternoon. I didn't get out of bed till almost noon! Those two cats I brought home with me were not welcomed with warmth from Lola cat. She was one pissed off kitty that I had the audacity to bring home, not one, but two more cats to invade HER territory! It was a noisy night what with Fred putting in his two cents every time Lola took a notion to hiss, growl, yowl and make a general nuisance of herself throughout the night time hours. It is hard to sleep when there's a cat war raging in your house! Thankfully Lola has settled down during the day. There's been no more fur flying, though the hissing and growling have happened when the new girls decided to eat out of the cat food bowl in the kitchen. Lola's guarding her food bowl. I gave them a bowl of their own in the bathroom up on the counter where the dog can't get to it.
I believe in due time....I'll give it a week at most...and peace will reign with the new girls and Miss Lola. Lucky Tigger Murray and Tippy will fit in nicely with the critter population here at Casa Donna!

I was a busy girl while away. I never leave home without somekind of art or craft project that travels. I took my big bag of fabric scraps and the needles and thread. I took the unfinished pink monster and bag of fiberfil. I took a book to cut up into collage fodder, a magazine that didn't get the same fate (though that was the reason for bringing it). I took the seed beads thinking I could make some fabric beaded fishes. (I did just that!)  I took the oil pastels which didn't get taken from their box because the 3 yr old took too great an interest in Grandma's crayons. What a mess that could of been! Can you imagine? A three year old with oil pastels? Grandma colored with Lil A's crayons instead. There are no pictures of crayon drawings either. I drew on the garage floor with egg shaped chalk with Lil A the last two days I was there. Bub was in on the chalk drawings as well. 
I was a busy girl! 

I'll quit rambling and show you all what was accomplished!

Black Ellie Mug Rug
This one is a bit bigger than any other mug rug I've ever made. It isn't big enough to be a hot pot holder though. About 5.5 inches square, made out of felt, an old wool sweater and regular sewing thread. I started this one the last time the boy kidnapped me and didn't bring me home for almost 6 weeks!

Blue Velvet Ellie Mug Rug
I started this one during the last kidnapping also. The ellie was sewn to the purple fleece (which looks blue on my monitor. It looked that way on the camera as well. It's really a royal purple color though, not royal blue!) It has a light blue felt backside. I braided the ellies tail with embroidery thread. I used the braiding disk  
to do that. It's sewn with regular sewing thread and embroidery thread.

Hearts on Gray Mug Rug
This one is about 4x5 inches. It's sewn with three strands of embroidery thread and regular sewing thread. The red and yellow fleece hearts are atop black fleece, the gray heart and the backing are felt. 

I don't usually buy fabric to make these mug rugs or any thing else I make out of fabric. I found some fleece remnants at Wally World while I was in Hutchinson with the boy and couldn't resist them. I paid about $4 dollars for a big chunk of the gray felt, a big chunk of black fleece and yellow, orange, lime green, purple, green tinkerbell and red and yellow wuzzy fleece. Wuzzy is some kind of cartoon character. The three year identified it as such. The remnant was about 3 inches wide and maybe 40 inches long. Fleece is lovely material to work with as is felt!

Hearts on Burlap Mug Rug
I really like the effect the burlap gives but it makes the mug rug less washable. That burlap ain't never gonna look new after its first washing! This one is about 4 inches square. The hearts are felt and fleece, white is felt and black backing is fleece. It's sewn with embroidery thread and regular sewing thread.

Orange Starfish Mug Rug
Starfish is cotton material sewn around the edge with red and blue regular sewing thread. The yellow french knots on the starfish are crewel embroidery thread. Under starfish and on top of white felt is two layers of blue netting sewn on with metallic blue emboidery thread and around the edge onto the gray felt backing with embroidery thread.  It's about four inches square.

Purple Starfish Mug Rug
Not sure why that purple fleece didn't show it's true colors when the tinkerbell green fleece under is the true color. It's backed by gray felt, sewn with embroidery thread and crewel embroidery thread. It's about 4 inches square.

Purple Starfish on Yellow Mug Rug
That purple fleece again. The yellow is fleece and the back is gray felt. Starfish is fleece sewn with regular sewing thread, embroidery thread and crewel thread. This one is about 4 inches square.

These two starfish mug rugs came about after the starfish ornaments you're about to see. 

This one is about 4 inches square. White backing is felt. Green tinkerbell fleece. Purple fleece. burlap and yellow fleece. Sewn with embroidery thread and regular sewing thread. This one is my least favorite of all the mug rugs shown in this post.

Blue Starfish Ornament
Blue felt sewn with regular sewing thread, beaded with fake pearls and glass seed beads. It's about 3 inches across, has a loop of strong thread for a hanger. 

Green Starfish Ornament
Green felt, glass seed beads. Sewn with regular sewing thread. It's about 3 inches across and has a thread loop for hanging.

Orange and Gray Starfish Ornament
The back of this one is gray felt. Orange is also felt. Sewn with regular sewing thread, beaded with green, gold and white beads. It's about 3 inches across and has a thread loop for hanging.

RWY Starfish Ornament
Wuzzy fleece sewn with regular sewing thread, beaded with pink, red, white, yellow and gold beads. This one is about 2.5 inches across and has a thread loop for hanging.

Green Tinkerbell Starfish Ornament
Tinkerbell fleece sewn with regular sewing thread, beaded with blue and brown seed beads and gold bugle beads. It's about 3 inches across and has a thread loop for hanging.

Red Starfish Ornament
Wuzzy fleece sewn with regular sewing thread, beaded with a mixture of tiny beads. It's about 2.5 inches across and has a thread loop for hanging.

I ran across the idea of these fishes a couple of days before I was kidnapped for Thanksgiving and knew I was going to make them! I didn't know for sure that I was being kidnapped at the time. It worked out well though cause these fishes wouldn't be this far along if I hadn't gone to my son's house for Thanksgiving! I made an even half dozen of them but a blue one went missing before it got beaded. I've no clue where it might be...I'm putting odds on the toy closet though! :) That 3 yr old took a great liking to my fishes! 

They aren't done yet. I still need to glue the top fin and tails together and give them all some eyes and a hanger of some sort. Then I can call them done!
I have so many works in progress it isn't even funny. Some day I may catch them all up! These fishes will be done SOON! They're part of my ornament endeavor for the year.
If one had the inclination and the good eyesight to take these fish a step farther in their development, they'd be some mighty fine looking fish! I can imagine them totally beaded. I don't have the eyesight for it though...I'm also not that skilled at beading! I had a pattern for all of them but the green one. I just winged that one. What you do is cut out a fish shape...leave its tail and fins just the general shape so after you've sewn the body and stuffed it with fiberfil you can cut the tail and fins to match the fish. It's easier to line them up properly if all you do is cut them after the stuffing of the fish. They go fairly fast! If one got along with a sewing machine they could whip these beasts out by the hundreds, sans the beads. I can see them being made in any different kinds and colors and patterns of fabric. They'd make a great cat toy without the beads...or elements for a mobile...lots of possibilities with these little beasts~! I must hand sew mine though as I do not get along with sewing machines. 

FINALLY! I didn't think this pink velvet monster was ever going to be finished!
He's just a little fellow, only about 7 inches tall. For being so little he sure took his sweet ol' time coming to fruition! That pink velvet was a donation to my cause from Ma. She gave me a piece of burgundy velvet at the same time. I tried to make his horns out of that burgundy velvet but it frayed when cut and didn't work out so well for horns. I went with Tinkerbell fleece instead. His eyes are felt, everything is sewn with regular sewing thread.

I found these three lost sheep in the bottom of my traveling sewing bag. One of them was made by me, the other two were made by two little girls around 8 and 9 years old.  I believe the one in the middle is mine. They still need some magnets glued to their backsides. They were a fun find! I forgot I had taught those girls how to make these.

When my son kidnaps me I always take along something to do at his house. I don't own a television at home and I do not watch television at their house. I'm a very unsociable person. I'm civil to everyone who comes along, but I am not one who needs company to be content. 
The TV room at my son's house is separate from the livingroom there. I sit in the livingroom, alone (by choice) and do my own thing. I talk to the others in the other room if they ask me something or something is said on television that I have a comment on....Can't help but hear that TV! FIL keeps it loud enough the dead can hear it! The kids come through that room, play in there...it's full of toys! and do my own thing! I'm content with that! I have to bring things along with me though cause the extent of their craft items amounts to kids markers, copy paper and whatever broken crayons seem to be in attendance on any given day. Lil A changes things out on the hour! She's always a busy little girl! I need a few more materials than that for my creative endeavors!
My son always teases me that I've brought everything but the kitchen sink. I am never bored though! Never!

I have a lot of conversations with Lil A while sitting in that over stuffed striped chair in that room. She wants to know, "what you making, Grandma?" "Can I have a string?" "Can I put my things here, Grandma?" "Grandma, will you get me some milk?"   The questions never end! There's always something to show me and something to say and something to ask and something she wants! I gave that little girl a good number of strings during the time I was there. I took a baggie full of crewel embroidery thread in 2 foot lengths with me. Those were her favorite strings! She tied up every toy she could with those strings! 
I gave her a length of that metallic blue embroidery thread I do not like working with but used on the orange starfish mug rug anyway. The next day she gave it back to me saying I could keep that one! Apparently she doesn't like that thread any better than I do! 
I did enjoy my time away from home but like always, am glad to be back to my own abode! 

I have another project started tonight so expect some more finished art and craft in a few days time! Thanks for reading!
Be good to one another!
It matters!

18 November 2012

Birthday Book, Ornaments and Some Other Stuff

Hello Readers!
More art (if you want to call it that) to show you all from the last few days.

There's a birthday party today for my oldest sister. It's supposed to be a card party only but I don't do cards. I mulled the idea of a card over for a few days and nothing came to mind. I woke up this morning at the eleventh hour of this deal still not having a card or anything else to take to this party.
Then it hit me! I'll make my sister a book for her birthday and fill it with ATCs. She always oohs and aahs over my drawings so it will be a perfect gift for her.

I went through the two available ATC notebooks and dragged out all the cat ATCs I had. I needed 12 of them but found only 11 so I had to quick-like make another one.
That would be this one with the white cat sleeping in the blue spotted chair.

Then we needed something for the cover.
I wanted it to say CAT with cats. It didn't quite work out that way but close enough. I am, after all, pressed for time here!
This is markers on tracing paper, cut out and glued to the front of the book.

This is what it looks like inside the little board book. I bound it with pink crewel thread and made the pages from some old flash cards I had. Each page is two thicknesses of the card. The ATCs are not glued to the pages, just the corner tabs are glued down so if Elaine wants to put these elsewhere...she can.
I'm hoping she likes it!
Yes, I know I should have been on this weeks ago, but I work good on deadlines and the closer the deadline, the more motivated I am apparently!

I dragged out the sewing stuff yesterday and made progress.

All of the felt ornaments are now sewn together. They still need hangers but well on the way to being finished! At least the sewing is done!

Here's an envelope I started weeks ago. Not sure it's done though. I forgot I had done it. It was clipped to the place where I keep all my bull dog clips, hanging there to dry. I noticed it this morning and decided to take its picture. 

I use bull dog clips and clothespins for clamps when something needs to be clamped to stay put while it dries.

I  cut up a road map of Missouri and made some little boxes. I also used another couple pages from one of the French books my other sister gave me last weekend and some tie dyed construction paper to make more boxes. There are nine of them if memory serves me correctly.

Yep, nine of them. They still need their ribbons for hanging and they will be done.
I am not doing an ornament project this year. Not officially anyway! I am making another set of ornaments for a couple friends for Christmas though so there will be more ornaments of various materials before the Holidays are over!

When I was supposed to be figuring out something for my sister for her birthday, I was sewing pickle ornaments! 
These guys are just too dang cute!
I made 2 of them and I think more will be forthcoming!
I need to find some different color of green fabric. These two are made from the only green felt I had. Not sure I even have other green fabric that will work for pickles.

I do have some green silk but it's not really pickle colored. The silk is more blue than green. I'll figure something out! The hats are made from fake fur that was once a full sized santa hat!  They still need a loop added to the top of the hat for hanging. They're all sewn with the exception of the eyes which are glued on.
The next ones made will be a tad smaller than these two as I think they are a bit big for a tree ornament.

That poor pink velvet monster is still a WIP. Progress has been made though!
Maybe next post she will be finished. I've got all her parts cut out and ready for sewing, just need to get busy and get it done!

This is a drawing done in markers on tracing paper that will end up on an envelope in the next few days. Still trying to figure out just what that envelope will entail for it's finish! 
You know, I like doing envelopes but I have a devil of time deciding what to put on them! Mine are juvenile compared to the ones I've received in the mail! I'll just plug on though, cause you don't get anywhere if you just give up!
And I do love getting altered envies out of my mailbox!

Well, that's the extent of my creativity since the last post! 
Thanks for stopping by to see it all!

Be good to one another!
It matters!
Peace, friends!

14 November 2012

French Boxes, A Few Stars and Some Fishes

Hello Readers!
Same old same old going on in my life. More or less at any rate. I'm not complaining by any means! Same old same old works for me at this point!

I've been busy with creating things, like usual.
Those felt ornaments are still waiting to be sewn and that pink monster is still not born. But progress has been made in the creative department! It has indeed!

Enjoy the fruits of my labors!

I tried to make some collage inchie houses.
I got no further than these four before I remembered I don't like doing collage inchies. As you can clearly tell from the picture, I'm not really all that good at it! Yes, I know, it's not for me to make that decision, but sometimes, just sometimes, I am not pleased with my efforts at all!
But there ya go, four inchie houses. 

I thought perhaps I should try twinchie houses instead. 
There was an athon for houses...inchie, twinchie and moo houses, going on over at AFA and I'd never made houses of any size before.
Twinchies didn't turn out any better than the inchies if you're to ask me.
But there ya go...four twinchie houses.

I've been working on some more fishes.

The start out as the exact same template I've always used for fishes. I believe these six put the total count on fishes at 10 now. I did these a bit different though than the last batch of fishes. I didn't make them all the same shape. I redrew around the template lines before cutting them out. This way they all look a tad different from one another.

They were covered with homemade gesso, texture added while the gesso was still wet.

A couple days later I put some pretty colors to all of them and we've got some nice fishes in the making!
They're painted with pan watercolors of the school kid variety.

I put another layer of cardstock on the backsides of these and put them under the book press for about 24 hours to let the glue dry and to keep the fishes flat.

This afternoon I added a coat of gesso to the backsides to give me the same surface as the front side is and to give the fishes a bit more substance.
Once the gesso dries overnight, I'll put some more color on the backsides, add my info and all that. I'm not sure if the backsides will be fish-like as the front sides are, but they'll be more than just stark white.

My sister came to visit over the weekend. She brought me three different books written in French. All three of them better than 50 years old each. I folded a couple of little boxes out of some of the sheets of paper from two of those books. No glue, just paper and ribbon holding them all together.

This is the same box as in the picture above. She also gave me a couple of books written in German. I don't need more books, in any language, but I didn't have any books in French or German so I accepted them happily! 
My next big project, probably after the beginning of the New Year, will be to weed out the bookshelves lining the hallway.  I've run out of storage for books in those shelves. Things must go!  Considering I haven't laid eyes on some of that stuff in a few years time, it's past time to get busy and do something about that!

These are the paper stars I told you about a couple posts back. I finally got around to taking their picture.

This is a piece of silk fabric totally covered with sequins. It used to be a prom dress. I intend to turn it into a monster or two. We'll see how that turns out!

I just loved the way this picture turned out!
Bead Soup.
I've been sitting at the workbench in the cutting room going through beads. So damn many beads, I'm sure I couldn't even count that high! I'm seeing the end of that tunnel, but it's still quite dark in the tunnel. I think another three or four days of going through beads will be in my future. Things are looking good on that front though! 

Beads are being separated into groups by color, type (such as these wooden ones in the mushroom box above), size....I have charms, tree of life beads, seed beads, big beads, little beads (bead soup), and such. 
The wire basket is also in the tote where the remaining beads to be gone through are located. Eventually, they'll all find their place on the shelf in the desk room.

Thanks for stopping by to see what's happening!
Be good to one another!

10 November 2012

Some Drawings

Hello Readers!

I finished up the framed magnets that I talked about yesterday.

Chewing the Cud
markers on cardstock

I didn't put acetate over the drawings as I said I was thinking of doing. I just didn't see the point cause I didn't do any collaging on them.

Dog Love
markers on cardstock

markers on cardstock
This one is my favorite of all the magnets made with these little matboard frames.

Red Bird
markers and white paint pen on cardstock
I need to fix Mr. Bird's eye. I didn't notice it had smeared until I downsizing the file.

I do not have any more of these little frames, that I know of. That means I'll either have to not do anymore like this or make my own little frames. 
We'll see.

Drawing on manila paper. 2x3 inches...or there abouts. I didn't measure it, I just know it's not quite as big as an ATC.  Done in markers.

I've sewed a little more on the pink monster. I've never taken this long to complete a monster. I've always cranked them out in a couple of hours of continuous work on them. Been working on this pink one for four or five days now....Perhaps the next post you'll see the pink monster. Don't hold your breaths....I doubt she'll really be worth such anticipation. I could be wrong though, you just never know.

Thanks for coming along to read what's going on in my creative life. 
The other departments of life are going smoothly so all is quite well in my little world.

Be good to one another!
Be happy!
It matters on both accounts!!!
Peace, friends!

09 November 2012

Paper Stars, A Magnet Makeover and Some Altered Envelopes

Hello Readers!
I've been busy in my cutting room, still putting things away from the overhaul. I can't easily find everything I'm looking for these days but all in all, the overhaul was an excellent plan and it is showing fruition.
Now to get that pile of beads and beading supplies gone through and in some semblance of organized...I keep looking at that pile and finding better things to do than tackle that chore! 
Soon. Soon the beads will be on the empty shelf intended to hold the bead collection. Can't say just when 'soon' will occur, but soon! :)

In the meantime, when I haven't been asleep. I've been sleeping a lot here of late. I've been busy folding little brown sheets of paper into what you see in the picture below.

They start out as a 3.5 inch square of brown kraft paper. Paper bags would work beautifully for this project. That is what she's used in the tute I followed. I just happen to have a stack of heavy brown kraft paper. Not sure where I acquired this paper. I have about 30 sheets of it, quite large they are. 24 inches by 18 inches? I'm guessing there, forming my hypothesis on the size as in comparison to my guillotine cutter. The sheets had to be torn in half to be able to use the cutter on them. The cutter is 16 inches wide...at any rate, I cut the squares on my cutter and put two sheets of that stack of paper to good use. 

Here is the link to the tutorials I used to achieve the end result.  If you want to know how to construct the stars out of any old paper you have hanging around, and not do the painting on them, then just go to the first link. It will show you how to fold the units and assemble them simply into a star without curled ends as mine have. If you want the curled ends and to know how to do the painting, then you'll have to go to the second link to find that info.

This was the first of the stars completed. They are just under 4 inches across. I didn't know how easy it was going to be to fold the units as I've never made this origami project before. I discovered it was a cinch to make! Time consuming, but really easy.
You do have to keep your squares as square as is possible when you cut them as that makes it easier to fold the individual units needed. 
My painting could have been a little neater, which it isn't on the last four either, but it could have been neater! 
I used pan watercolors to paint them. Just plain old school watercolors like the kids use in grade school, nothing fancy or expensive. You could essentially make these out of things you have laying around! I think they'd look exceptional with fingernail polish instead of watercolors! 
Wish I'd thought of that before now! I have a box of better than 100 bottles of nail polish in more colors than you can shake a stick at!

You don't have to use glue on them. They will stay together without it, but I glued mine together so they can have a hanger put on them to hang somewhere. I'm leaning towards fishing line for the hanger.

I'm not sure why the one at 8oclock in the picture is bigger in the center than the others. Might be the paint? I used two different sets of paint on them. Didn't really notice that difference till now when I've been sitting here looking at the picture!
The reason that first one is so much thicker, thus larger in the center than the others is because I did as was suggested in the second tutorial where she shows you how to paint the things. I crumpled my brown paper and then ironed it out flat before cutting it into squares. I did not crumple the paper on the others.
Give making them a shot. I made three others that I forgot to take a picture of that have flat points and are made from scrapbook paper and magazine paper. 
The scrapbook papers hold together quite tightly with a bit of depth to the finished star. The magazine paper is quite flat in comparison to the scrapbook paper. The brown paper gives the most impressive dimension to the finished star of all the papers I have used to make them. Any paper will work though.
I believe this would be a fun project to do with kids. It does take a little while, and a bit of practice to get the units folded, but you only need 14 of them to make a star. I used all of the units I made, even that first one. The more I made, the easier it got to fold them. 

My muse is fidgeting when it comes to ATCs. She seems to want other sizes to tackle. I always keep the scraps from cutting blanks and book pages. I have lots of little pieces of paper that are not big enough for an ATC, but still big enough for SOMETHING. Least that is what the muse says and I have to follow where she takes me. Keeps me sane! :)

Going through things in cutting room, I ran across five little matboard magnets with folk drawings on them. Outdated, mass produced. They begged to have a makeover!  And I didn't have to cut the paper to fit in them.

This is the only one done thus far, but the others are laying here waiting for a new drawing to grace the opening in the mat. I did the drawing on cardstock in markers and white paint pen.

The frame is 2 3/4 x 3 1/8 inches. The inside of the frame measures 1 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches. I don't know the size of the paper the drawing is on. It fit in the space allotted perfectly so I went with it. 
Before doing the drawing I traced around the inside of the frame lightly on the cardstock with pencil and only colored just passed those lines. The pencil were erased after the drawing was done. I then glued the backing to the frame and put the magnet back on with fresh glue.

The remaining four of these will have a piece of acetate covering the opening in the mat. I always think of the good stuff after the fact!  With the acetate covering them, I can do collage if I feel the urge for a challenge.
Next post you'll see the rest of these magnets.

I did a couple of altered envelopes day before yesterday. 
This one flew off to Argentina.
I didn't get the back side of this one even started. It is plain white like the front started out being. Mail run day came before it was done.

My young friend, Daniel will be getting this colorful envelope any day now. I made a three for three ATC trade with him. His first trade of any kind in the mail art world. I'm hoping it becomes an addiction for him!
I've known Daniel since he was about 14 years old. He and my youngest are very good friends. We've discovered, just recently, how much we have in common though our art. 

My zentagles aren't usually quite this colorful...I used dang near every color of marker I own with the exception of the browns and greys! I decided to send Daniel an altered envelope in the hopes that getting a really cool envelope in the mail, that contained other cool things, would truly entice him to delve deep into the universe of mailart! 

I watched a few documentaries on various subjects while completing these two envelopes. I learned a few things while doing so. 

I'll be back another day with more things to show.
I'm still working on the felt ornaments. No progress has been made on those at the present moment. I'm also still working on the pink velvet monster. Progress has been made on it. Not much progress though and none to speak of really. So, that being said, we'll see if I can deliver on those with the next post beings I totally missed it for this one like I had mentioned!
Someone had to do the laundry though!

Be good to one another!
Thanks for stopping by!
Peace, my friends!