29 August 2013

As Usual....My Muse Has Been Busy

Hello Readers!
My page counts say there are not a lot of you, but readers do come and I thank you so much for giving my ramblings a read! 

It has been 19 days since I was here last.  I probably slept at least one, maybe two of those days away but the muse won't be quieted so in the waking hours I make things. 
I'm rather thankful my muse likes variety. I couldn't imagine making the same old thing all the time. 
Ma gave me a set of stained glass paints about six days ago or so. She found it in her closet while cleaning her extra room. In the red box were four new paint brushes, 7 bottles of the necessary paints to do the stained glass technique, 2 bottles of cheap craft paint (one of which was hard as a rock! That tells you it's been some years since the kit was originally sold), a little tiny black plastic spoon, a metal embossing tool, an instruction book and a bunch of stencils (vines, foilage, that type of stuff). 
I made a book cover from a piece of acrylic I had laying around.
There's another piece of that acrylic, the exact same size that will become the back cover of the book, sans any decoration. My concerns with using a plastic stained glass cover are very small, actually. That glass paint stuck tight to the acrylic! It has a lot of texture and is fun to touch. I'm not sure what kind of paper will go inside of it as the paper will show through the covers when the book is closed. You all will see this again when it becomes a book.

I was watching an episode of Wooster and Jeeves last week when an idea became apparent. Wooster and Jeeves both, at different times had gone in the pantry to put gin in a pitcher of orange juice to get Gussie drunk so he'd propose to I forget her name. Anyway, on top the orange juice pitcher was this pretty little cover. White cotton with a lace edging with bright blue glass beads sewn all around the perimeter. It was beautiful and just what I needed!  
So I made my own version! 
Just a round of fleece, about the size of a dinner plate. I didn't even make a pattern. I just eyeballed as I cut a circle the size I wanted. Then I sewed light blue stone beads all around the edge to give it some weight.

I flopped it over the pitcher and voila! Mine's not near so pretty as one you'd find in a 1920s pantry, but it functions nicely! I had a dishcloth over this pitcher of tea that sits out on the counter, to keep the flies out of it. 

I can't remember if you all heard about the leather skirt I paid a buck and a quarter for at the thrift store a couple Friday's ago. I cut it apart to use the leather for some book covers and other projects not yet determined.
I got to look at all my pretty buttons too! I do love me some buttons! 

This one is about 4x5 inches. The button is an antique glass one with gold gilding on it. The button is much prettier than the photo shows. It has a soft gray colored heavy paper from a medical book published in a three ring binder. I call this a watercolor journal. The paper strongly reminds me of a lightweight watercolor paper. I've painted on it and it takes acrylics and watercolor nicely. It has 7 signatures with 6 pages each, giving it 42 surfaces to do what you wish on.

There is still much leather left with which to make many more books. I wanted to use up the rest of the paper I used in the larger leather bound book. The leftovers were nowhere near large enough for a large book. The three here was the end of books made with that paper. It's all gone...no more to be had.
The button on this one is silver with a patina (in color only). It has little nubbies on it. I believe it came off a cashmere sweater I destroyed in a quest for monsters. There were more in the button jar than just this one.

The books are 2.5 x 3 inches. The one with the nubby button above and this one with the pink button have 4 signatures with 6 pages giving you 24 sufaces.
I had about 300 of those pink buttons at one time...I've given a good many of them away, a few at a time. I have a boatload of white ones that look just like the pink one. I'm figuring they're from the 1940s, or there abouts. I got them in two big plastic bags from somewhere years ago. There where a lot more pink ones than white ones though. 

I sewed them together with gray embroidery thread in the pamphlet stitch so each signature is sewn in individually.  The button on this one is a plastic button, nothing really special about it other than it's a nice button. This one has 5 signatures with 6 pages each giving it 30 pages total.

As I was cutting the remainder of the paper for the leather bound books, I kept the end pieces from them to make a basket or two.
I ended up with only one basket. I'm thinking it needs a paint job. A paint job would make it a VERY TOUGH little basket!  It's pretty tough without a coat of anything. I put the writing on the inside. This paper was the dividers between the chapters in the medical book.
This is the bottom of the basket. It's just a simple even weave basket. It's about 3 inches square and an inch tall. I could have gone much taller. I need a new pencil cup on this desk...... I still have enough to make a taller basket from this paper so we shall see if the muse is on board.

A few days ago I came across a bowl on the internet, I forget just where....sorry. It was made from 1 inch rounds of scrapbooking papers. Lots of different colors of it! It was cute as the dickens and I wanted something similar. The rounds were just glued together haphazardly so there were holes between some of them. I don't think this cute little bowl would have been very sturdy though.  I continued on my search through paper bowls on Google Images....I came across a tutorial on how to make your own paper bowl from newspaper using another bowl as a mold. 
The wheels started turning! I went to the kitchen and got the little glass bowl I had used as a mold for the shredded paper money bowl I showed you all awhile back on the blog. I covered it with cling wrap (clear plastic film) and got out the fusible interfacing that has been hanging on the closet wall for five years, maybe longer.

I knew it would come in handy eventually! 
I made a bowl! This isn't a good bowl, however. I cut the interfacing in a round that would cover my mold. It did not lay flat like I had expected it to do. I went ahead and tried out that concept with the scrapbooking paper rounds but used little stars instead. 
I wasn't happy with that result so I went a different direction somewhat.
I cut the interfacing into strips about an inch wide and three inches long. I wasn't neat about this. Neatness will not count in this step! Just eyeball it. 
Glue the interfacing to your mold. I used a plastic sheet under mine so it won't stick to what you're working on. Cover the mold completely with the interfacing using plain old white glue. You could water your glue down a tad if you like, but I did not.
The layer of interfacing can be covered with whatever suits your fancy as you'll see in the examples I'll show you in a bit. You can let it dry if you like or you can just jump right on in with the next layer.
Unfortunately I don't have pictures of each layer of the process. The more layers you use, the stiffer your bowl will be. The only layers that are going to show are the inside and the outside of the finished bowl so use whatever other layers of paper you want to use.
Once you've covered the mold to your liking, making sure you get all the way to the edge of the mold with the gluing, let it dry overnight, at least 8 hours. then cut the excess off the rim. I just used a pair of scissors on all the bowls I made.
The first bowl I made using the strips, I am pleased with.
Oh, Look! There's Fred! 
The stars look really cool all over the bowl. I used up some little scraps of paper to make the stars. There's some book pages, maps and construction paper stars in with the scrapbooking paper stars. 

I covered the inside and the outside with stars. You can still see through the bowl in places if you hold it up to the light. It's a nice little bowl but not extremely stiff. It is strong, what with that interfacing but it's easily squished. 

I like how it turned out though so I made a couple more bowls over the next few days.
I kept with the star theme on this bowl. It's made in the same mold as the star bowl, 4.5 inches across. The stars were punched from book pages written in German. I did the same thing with this bowl as the bowl above. Covered it with a layer of interfacing and one layer on stars inside and out. Then I painted the inside with the gold color stained glass paint from the kit I told you about a bit ago. The outside of the bowl is painted with the same red as the bird is above.
This bowl is flimsy but it's very strong! If you put a couple oranges in it, they'd distort the bowl but wouldn't hurt it any. 

This is the best picture out of four of the outside of the next bowl. I don't know why my camera wouldn't focus on the outside of the bowl. It's made in the same way as the star bowls except it has two layers of orchard paper on the inside and one layer of shredded money on the outside. We all know how tough paper money is! This little bowl is STOUT!

It took me a couple hours to put those strips of money on the outside of this bowl. There's a LOT of glue on this bowl holding that money on. This will be a one of a  kind. I ain't doing that again! My eyeballs were going buggy! The outcome is pretty cool though. This bowl isn't flimsy. It's a stout little bowl that will last for years to come so long as it doesn't get wet.

I wasn't quite done with making bowls yet but I was tired of the same size bowl time after time so I went and got one of my favorite bowls out of the cupboard in the kitchen and used it for the next bowl.
I totally eliminated the layer of interfacing from this bowl. I covered the bowl with a layer of tinfoil. Tinfoil works as well as plastic wrap, better in my opinion. I covered the foil with three layers of magazine paper torn into squares about an inch and half or so. No need for neatness here, you're gonna cover it up anyway. I let the layers of magazine paper dry enough that I wasn't sticking to it and then took the bowl off the mold and covered the inside of it with three layers of register tape paper. Register tape paper is about the same weight as copy paper. Use whatever paper you want to. It all works! I just happen to have about 36 rolls of register tape paper that I need to use up somehow! The outside of the bowl is covered with orchard paper that I painted with the gold from the stained glass kit.

I cut up a bunch of the strips of shredded money and sprinkled it all over the glued bottom of the bowl and then covered it with two layers of white tissue paper so the shredded money would lay flat. It has a coat of gloss varnish also. This bowl is 8 inches across. This bowl is very stiff. I think that's because of all the layers of paper it has. Interfacing would have made it that much stronger!

I have another bowl in the works right now so there may be a few more bowls to show in the next post.

I got the background for this ATC with a trade. I do wish I could remember which envelope I took it out of so I could give credit where credit is due. Only the line drawing is mine. The background is paint of some sort. Maybe a Gelli Plate print? 
The Vacation Beach
black marker on painted background

I've been itching to drag out the sewing again, maybe finish up that crocheted basket too. We'll see what the muse has in store in the next few days or so.
Thanks for coming round!
be good to one another!
It matters!

20 August 2013

Baskets, A shampoo bottle, a glimpse into the fair and an ATC

Hello Readers!

I forgot to look at the date of the last post. Been a week or more though, I'm sure. 
You might get a cuppa somethin' tasty and settle in cause it's gonna be a post of length I'm fixing to write here. 

Mr. Kitty and fp7 both took a ribbon at the Rooks County Free Fair.
My fish picture was the only mixed media piece entered in my class so this was lumped into another division and took a red ribbon, giving it second place. With a red ribbon comes a whopping premium of $2.00.

Mr. Kitty was the only paper mache entry in my class so Mr. Kitty was judged against some ceramics (as far as I tell). He took a blue ribbon, giving him a first place rating. What confused me is that ceramics in another class had blue ribbons also. And the grand champion, which I think Mr. Kitty was judged along with, had only its grand champion ribbon attached to it. I'm not sure if the grand champion has to take a blue ribbon to qualify as grand champion. The judging rules confuse me! I'm happy with my blue ribbon though! VERY HAPPY with it.
The premium for a blue ribbon is $3.00. 

There were many remarks around town from folks about my kitty. I went to the phone office and the girl behind the counter asked me about Mr. Kitty cause her three year old daughter fell in LOVE with Mr. Kitty! Then there was the girl who works at JMart who asked about him. On his trip to be entered, Ma carried him inside. As we walked the length of the building to get to the far end, there were remarks from those in our path favorably of Mr. Kitty. One elderly lady stopped Ma with her hand reaching out toward Mr. Kitty's whiskers, proclaiming, "Oh, Look! He's even got whiskers!" Mr. Kitty produced a good many smiles during his visit to the fair. 

I covet the ribbons much more than the premiums. I enter only to see if I can get a ribbon and to show off what I sit around doing each and every day.

I got to see the bunnies, chickens, ducks, turkeys and their kind twice this year. 
Ma and I went on the 13th and then Terah and I went again on the 15th.
Terah brought Annie up to Stockton so she could go to the fair. She told us she had never seen a bunny before. Terah confirmed that it could very well be true she has not seen a bunny that she remembers seeing. She LIKED the bunnies!

This one has a funny hairdo.

This bunny had air conditioning. It wasn't overly hot the day I took this picture but a bottle of ice is a great idea for the animals in the bird barn. I know, those are bunnies but for some reason bunnies and birds go together.

A not so good picture of calves in one of the cow barns. I love these old barns on the fairgrounds! They were built by the WPA back in the thirties. The stone was quarried close to home. They will stand almost forever. It quite cool in the stone barns as well.

A fat red hen.

All of the chicken pictures will get MUCH larger if you click on them. 
This hen is beautiful!

This rooster posed nicely for his portrait.

Rooster. No clue what breed any of these chickens are.

There were a few ducks in competition as well. Many more than just these two.

Turkeys. The only turkeys at the fair. Not the best looking turkeys I've ever seen though. I don't think they liked being cooped up for six days. These birds more than likely are free range at home.

Pretty black and white hen.

Some fancy black chickens with white cheek patches. 

I took many more pictures in the cow barn and in the bird barn but I'm not showing them all to you cause you would get sick of seeing chicken after chicken after chicken! I do love me some chicken, whether on the foot or in my belly! Lovely to look at, character to spare and oh so tasty! If the good lord did not want me to eat chickens, I do believe he would not of ever given them to us.
That being said, I'm totally against industrial farming where chickens are not allowed to be chickens.

I used to have an insect collection. A very nice collection with upwards of 200 specimens. My husband gave it away to a little boy at a yard sale we held back in 1983. It wasn't even for sale, let alone to give away. I went to the store to pick something up and came home to find my prized possession was no longer in my possession. The man knew how much it meant to me. He did. And he gave it away because he hated it. The thought of insects in the house, even dead ones, he just couldn't handle it anymore. The opportunity arose and he thought of only himself. I wanted to kill him! I had spent two years of my life putting that collection together. My hope is that that child grew a passion for insects from the generosity of a stranger. I got over the loss of my insect collection but I never pass up the chance to study one when I come across it.

The tag to the left says this is a 10yr old's insect collection. In the vials are bugs too tiny to pin. 

This one belongs to a 10 yr old too. Not the same ten yr old as the first one. The two bugs that are circled are cicadas. Right now the cicadas are mating and dying and singing at the top of their lungs till their last second! The cats love the cicadas. Annie hates them! I've had a lot of entertainment with the thousands of cicadas singing in my trees this year. Tippy delights in catching the cicadas and bringing them in the house, only to let them loose so she can chase them some more!
One came in with Tippy the night Terah and Annie were here and Annie freaked out! She jumped up in her mama's lap and wouldn't budge till that thing was out of sight! It landed in the spider plant in front of the livingroom window. I got it out of the plant half an hour later and she freaked again! She found a dead cicada under the sofa and freaked out about it too! Did you know if you give a cicada a gentle squeeze, it will make all kinds of noise! And a cat WILL come running!

A nice start to a collection by a 7 yr old.

Terah called me in the afternoon of the 15th to see if I wanted some company. Of course, I wanted company! She and Annie showed up around 8:30 in the evening and we headed to the fair to see the critters, buy a blooming onion, a funnel cake and a lemonade.
The blooming onion was tasty, but a bit greasy. The funnel cake was a funnel cake. I like funnel cake, it's just not as special as a blooming onion. And the lemonade was a waste of money! It was far too weak. The turkey leg I had on the 13th was excellent as was the bbq pork sandwich I ate after we came home from the fair on the 15th. I carried that pork sandwich around in my purse for an hour before I ate it. It was still tasty! Though I really should have told them to keep the bbq sauce cause I couldn't eat the bun it was on. It was way too soggy! Fred enjoyed it though.

Annie really liked the goats and sheep.

These two goats were tired apparently. They let Annie pet and pet them. 

She wanted to know why the goats had horns. Terah nor I had a good answer to that question that a four year old would understand. Terah told her, 'That's just how God made them." Annie was cool with that answer. This brown and white goat tried to eat my shirt and Annie laughed and laughed about it!
Guess I didn't get any sheep pictures cause I didn't find any when I went looking for these pictures.

Annie and a pig. The piggies are my favorite part of the fair every year! LOVE the piggies! That's my cane in the far right of the picture. I petted this pig's nose and had to talk Annie into doing the same. She giggled a lot with the pigs.

This is the only recognizable picture I took of Annie and Terah while Annie rode the carousal. Annie enjoyed her ride on the carousal. 
You look straight down the midway to that tower in the background, which is a ride of some sort....I used to live half a block down that street. It was noisy in that neighborhood during the fair. 

I made some baskets.

There's the whole lot of them made since the last post. I get stuck on one thing and sometimes I can't be stopped! These baskets take so little effort to make! 

This is the very first one I made. I wondered if beings you could make it with a square base, what would happen if you used a hexagon or an octagon? 

I have enough magazine sticks left to make a small hexagon basket. I got sick of rolling sticks so there probably won't be any more of these basket for awhile, if ever. I do want to try another basket made with sticks like this but made from newspaper so they're longer. I'd like to make a square basket with a totally different weave.

You end up with a round basket if you use an octagon base. All my bases except for the first basket are cereal box chipboard. The first basket has a floppy disk and a piece of chipboard for a base. 
The place circled in the picture is a stray end sticking out. I should have glued that down. The only glue used in this basket is the glue holding the starting sticks in between the bases and the glue holding the ending sticks to the spiral braid at the top of the basket.

I'm not sure why this one is smaller at the top than at the bottom. I suppose it has to do with the tension on the braiding. None of the other octagon shapes are like this. They all have straight sides, more or less. Maybe it shows up cause this one is spray painted silver? Not sure.

A circle base did not work out so well. I tried to trim the base and you can see what happened to that!

And the circle base basket is all wonky too.

I was tired of weaving the same old basket and the base of that last one hadn't been glued together (still hasn't been) so I tried a different weaving technique and ended up with this tiny little basket that is just as cute as it can be!

I drew an ATC on the 15th of August. 
Haven't picked up the pens since.

Ma gave me a shampoo bottle (at my request) and I turned it into a few different things. This is a container that will be embellished in some way and a magnet attached to the backside to hold pens on the refrigerator.

From the sides and front I made two scoops and a stencil. That other thing up there is a stamp made from the top of the bottle.

I took duct tape and covered up the hole made by cutting the top off the bottle. Out of wire I fashioned the abstract flower and covered it with foil tape. I squished all the foil tape down around the wire. It needs a little work to actually make that image when you stamp it, but it does make marks and that was my goal, sorta. Not a success, but by no means a failure! 

The next shampoo bottle I get I'll made another stamp with something other than wire and foil tape. 

That's what I've been up to!
Thanks for coming by!
Be good to one another!
It matters!