Friday, February 9, 2018

I'm moving!

I've enjoyed this blog so much. It has brought me much happiness and I've made great friends. This blog has taken me far and could continue to do so. Somehow it seemed time for me to commit to my own website. And so I have. I hope you will join me there. My posts have been migrated to the new site, so you won't have to go far to find any post you may have enjoyed. 

I'll be posting to the blog and creating new things. I will have some exciting news in the weeks to come. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Friendship Book

This friendship book is something that I have needed for a long time but didn't know it. It will be a place that will keep the many treasured tags, ATCs, notes, index cards, words of encouragement collected from, you guessed it, friends. Like an autograph book for the internet age. 

This project has come together by accident. Can't deny it. So I'll let you in on how it came to be. 

It started with this idea that I would make some Moravian Stars from stenciled paper for my post in December. ( I used the Decorative 6-petal screen stencil.) Sounded good to me, but I hit some technical difficulties - The paper I stenciled upon was not the right weight and consistency for paper fact, it ripped quite often. Meanwhile another idea was brewing. The idea was released.

Still, I had all of these lovely strips of paper covered with stenciling. A good housekeeper would have thrown them out. Perhaps I should have. Just to keep those hoarding tendencies at bay. But I didn't. 

I played with them. They sat on my desk for a few weeks. I curled some with the blade of a pair of scissors. That was fun (and I did eventually discard those pieces). I wove them. Well, that was mega fun. Trying to decide which strips should go next to each other was just the sort of thing I love. 

But that wasn't enough. There was this translucent paper stenciled with the Ornamental Petals Screen Stencil. After tucking the ends under and feeding them through loops in the back, the translucent paper went over the top. 

This Dresden Trim Medallion from Gwen's Small Medallions matched the pattern so well. It was cut into elements that were affixed to the middle and the four corners. 

Glass beads were sewn around the edge to secure all the papers and then along the edge of the stenciled area to enhance the design. 

I loved the piece. It stayed on the bulletin board waiting for an opportunity. 

Meanwhile, the Artist Tribe sisters were all talking about embossing powder. I had never used it. By chance, I inherited a selection of said items from my sister for Christmas. An old gelli plate print from several years ago was the substrate for my first foray in embossing. Wow! That stuff is amazing. (I used Gwen's Decorative Folk Flower Stencil 4 X 4). So that hung on the bulletin board next to the woven piece. 

Christmas also brought cheer in the form of a gift of a handmade book made by Gwen. It is absolutely beautiful. The cover was plain brown board, which it must be said looked amazing as is. However, it was also an invitation for embellishment. And embellishment it got. 

For the front cover:

1. A piece of sari fabric scrap from the Irresistible India - Embellished Sari Scraps was perfect for the cover. Cut a little larger than the cover, it adhered with gel medium, the edges flipped over and smoothed on the inside. 

2. The Mirrored Gold Embellished Trim adhered to the left side. The woven paper piece was attached to the middle. 
3. Flipping it to the inside, the fabric edges were cleaned up and covered with two types of Dresden Trim

Back cover:

1. The remaining scrap was not large enough to simply paste and go. It was cut into strips and adhered to the edges.

2.  The gelli print embossed with Decorative Folk Flower Stencil 4 X 4 paper was added. 
3. The Mirrored Gold Embellished Trim adhered to the right side with gel medium.
4. A piece of Dresden Small Medallions was chosen for the way it reflected the stencil design. 
5. Gold Liquid Pearls (Ranger) were used to embellish both the Dresden and around the paper. 
6. Silver glitter letters were added to read "Friendship Book." 
7. A piece of washi tape was added to the left side for interest.
8. Inside the cover, the washi tape and two types of Dresden trim to finish the edges. 


A piece of Sari Yarn (Twisted Sister variety) was added to the spine. The color was chosen to complement the colors in the weaving. 

The jury is out on whether there will be more dangling elements hanging from the spine.  

Now that I have made the Friendship Book, the fun begins! Here's to filling up those pages. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Wheel of Karma Drop Spindle

Many of my projects start as ideas for one project and end up an entirely different object in the end. This project has flown far from the concept. 

It all started because I was cleaning, well clearing, at the end of the year. I came upon a great stash of CDs that had really served their purpose. Many of them held the projects I did when I was earning my Master of Library Science more than 10 years ago. In looking for something in another room I found the printable CD stickers in their original box. Thus came the original idea - I would print on them and then crochet them into a bag. The first part went well, but the crotchet obscured the design, so I abandoned that project. At least for now. 

So what can you do with beautiful, boho CDs? Let me tell you, I have had plenty of ideas. The Wheel of Karma Drop Spindle just wouldn't leave my mind so here you have it. The spindle spins like that wheel of karma, swinging one way and then the other. Using this spindle is a great reminder of what goes around, comes around. 

What, you say? I don't spin. You can use this as a decoration to spin in the breeze in front of your window or on the porch. Really the choice is yours. 

On to the making:

First I prepared the sticker sheets. You could lay down a background color and add stencil over stencil, but I opted to use my gelli plate. Roll out the color on the gelli plate, press the stencil onto it and lift off. Then lay the sticker sheet on top. By rotating printing on 4 or 5 sheets repeatedly they came out with a lot of variation, but plenty to pull them together. I used two of Gwen's stencils on the whole - The Decorative Medalion StencilDecorative Folk Flower Stencil

Here you can see what the sheet looks like having removed the part for the CD. 

This is what a stack of CDs with the printed labels looks. Gorgeous with Gwen's stencils! 

I knew I was going to use some of that Tibet Jewels Sari Yarn I got from Gwen's shop. You can see how well it goes together. 

I had never made a drop spindle from CDs, but knew the convention was to use a dowel and a rubber grommet. Unfortunately, what with weather and life, I couldn't get to the hardware store. I started to think about one of the other projects, but that Wheel of Karma wouldn't leave my mind. 

You may have noticed that I like to use what I have. Viola, my daughter was cleaning room (see a pattern? It is a new year after all.) and found a stash of Rainbow Loom bracelets I had overzealously made for her some years ago. I rejected the idea of passing them along because I knew we could make use of them. 

Then I spied it! No dowel in sight, but there was one of those cursed wire hangers! It had a hook and could be bent to my pleasure. 

I cut the hook a bit shorter and used needlenosed pliers to bend the hook into a smaller version. The rest of the hook was made straight and I wrapped the new shape with duct tape down to the loops on the end, which I left about 1 inch exposed. 

Here beads are auditioned on the CD.

The CDs were glued together with hot glue, placed on the shaft and affixed with two Rainbow Loom bracelets - one on the top, one on the bottom. These were then secured with more hot glue. (Don't have Rainbow Loom Bracelets? Rubber bands or hair bands will work.) Randomly colored beads were hot glued around the bands. 

View from the bottom

View from the top

Next I attached Darn Good Yarn's Sari Yarn from Gwen's shop through the loops in the bottom. I used Tibet Jewels and Twisted Sister varieties. I tied the top together with another small piece of the sari yarn. 

View from the top with wool roving

The most fun was attaching Going Global Turmen Jewelry Parts and Kuchi Coin Pendants - No Stone to the ends of the sari yarn. I then sewed strings of beads along with them. I wanted the ribbons to jingle as I spin. So the more I attach, the more beautiful it will sound.

Here's a link to Gwen's shop where you can find these luscious elements. 

If you haven't seen my spinning adventures, I've been having lots of fun taking those little bits and pieces left over from projects, carding them with wool and making art yarn. 

Bits and pieces. Silk scraps, embroidery thread, pieces of paper. 

Some art yarn wrapped on ATC sized cards ready for the recipients to finish. 

My new line of art yarn - A Novel Yarn. This is the Pride and Prejudiced Edition. 

From fleece, to spindle to ball of yarn. You can see my old, trusty spindle. 

What do you think? Would you use it as a drop spindle or a wind chime? 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Bohemian Paper Vase

I've been taken with the beautiful paper vases that grace the origami scene for quite some time. While I admire that stark esthetic of rice paper and black or indigo ink, anyone who has been visiting this blog won't be surprised to know that I just couldn't follow the trend. Mine vase was going to be bright, bold and more than a little bit colorful. In fact, the vase would be used to hold some peacock feathers my friend gave me from her friend's peacocks. How could it be anything but bright?

Using Gwen's Decorative Medalion Stencil and a piece of patterned 12" X 12" scrapbook paper, stencil the image four times lining the stencil up with the edges.

Using another color, apply the stencil again in the middle. Add more pattern with an additional color by stenciling just the middle element in empty areas.

Once the paper is dry, fold it into the box shape of your choice. I used directions from a book I purchased in 1996 Kurashi ni Ikasu Kantan Origami 100 - Part 2. Yes, it is in Japanese. Directions for vases are plentiful in other books and on the internet. A quick google search just made my eyes go wide with the variety of options out there. 

Once folded, I chose four medallions from the Dresden Trim - small medallions  to adhere to each side. These medallions are beautiful and come in a variety of shapes. I chose four that had prominent points to keep it looking unified, though unique. The medallions were adhered with hot glue to each side making sure that the hangers were facing downwards. 

(Hint: Cutting the medallions apart and storing them in a small container, like the hard candy tin you can see in the background, makes it easy to use them.)

Some of Dresden borders were applied to the edge of two opposing sides. Liquid Pearls by Ranger were applied to the other two sides and around the medallions for accent. 

To each medallion beads of various colors were attached. The colors were selected from colors to match not only the vessel, but also the peacock feathers which would be arranged within. 

The paper vase is lightweight and easy to tip over, so filling it with some plastic beads gave it more stability. If you wish to add fresh flowers place a cup inside to hold the water. The peacock feathers were added, a bit of raffia tucked into the top and a bow was added. Let me just mention that this ribbon is one that Gwen wraps her packages in. Naturally, I save it to use and it perfectly suited my purpose here. 

Do you love that Dresden trim as much as I do? Gwen is having a sale, but hurry it's only until the end of the month. Here's a coupon code for you to use.