May 30, 2011

Recycled Coffee Sleeves

Think "Green" 
(Click on any picture to see the details!)
 Gift Card

With so much time dedicated to getting our Big Mama Computer operational last week, there was not a lot of art time. However, I did manage to do something fun with recycled cardboard coffee sleeves. You know . . . . the little sleeve that fits snugly over a purchased cup of java to protect you from the heat. When decorated and embellished, they make amazing little gift card holders . . . and . . . the price is right.

I began by coating the outside of each sleeve with gesso,  and applied layers of acrylic paints, painted a few polka dots and used Stazon ink to stamp "4 You".

After sewing zig-zag stitches around three sides of each holder, I punched a few holes in the bottom and added some pretty fibers for pizzazz.

And there you have it -- perfect little gift card sleeves created just in time for graduations, birthdays and celebrations. Best of all . . . . they're recycled!

"Big Mama Update"
Thank you, thank you for all of the encouraging and sympathetic comments left on my last post regarding our computer. "Big Mama" is up and running thanks to my son's expertise. It's been a grueling week of trying to get everything back to normal, but we're 90% of the way and finally operational. Thanks to a portable hard drive, a laptop and a thumb drive, I didn't loose my files. Please remember to back up your work. You'll save yourself from a ton of grief and regret.

May your day be filled with creative ideas!
Credit: Thank you to Tumble Fish Studio @ Deviant Scrap for the little heart.

May 25, 2011

Cryin' Time!

This little device
can save
you from having to use
a LOT of these!

A few days ago our beloved 'Mama Computer' was attacked by an extremely malicious virus that caused it to become completely crippled. Even the infamous Geek Squad couldn't help to resolve the problem. Our only recourse was to wipe the hard drive clean and start from scratch. (Sniff, sniff!) Thank goodness for a son who has a touch of Geek somewhere in his DNA. He's trying to put all of the pieces back together as I speak.

If I can help save one person from suffering the heartache of losing everything, then this post will have done it's job. Please, please back-up all of your files regularly and religiously. Getting into the habit of backing up your work takes very little time and can save you a lot of agony and aggrevation- not to mention tissues!

It's going to take many man hours to install all of the old programs and get 'Big Mama' back to operating at the level of where she was before the crash, but I've been backing up my work every few days. Yes, I've lost a few things that would've been nice to have.  But. . . the priceless things like the family pictures, my artwork, collage sheets and documents are safe and sound on a portable hard drive and a flash drive. Just remember . . . it's much better to be safe than oh, so very sorry!

May your day be filled with beautiful surprises!

May 22, 2011

A Journaling Video Tutorial

Creating Journaling Spaces

Roc and I had an opportunity to enjoy the pleasure of each other's company last week, and (as usual) the video camera just happened to pop out. Since we usually feature tutorials favoring creative backgrounds, we thought we'd demonstrate a quick way to add journal entries to your pages. Hope you enjoy this easy method using materials that you already have in your stash.

May your day be filled with the joy of creativity!

May 19, 2011

Going Postal!

 More Mail Art
(Click on a dot to see the entire piece.)

This month seems to be flying by, and there hasn't been a lot of art time. Sometimes life seems to get in the way! But I did have a bit of time to create a legal-sized envelope for an art swap.

The theme was "Artist's Choice", so I rummaged through a box of pre-cut images to find some of my favorites.

I began with a manila folder, covered it was a layer of gesso and added color with my Inktense Pencils. The webbing effect was created with a piece of round plastic needlepoint canvas. After stenciling through it with white paint, I flipped it over (onto it's still wet side) to create the 'spider web' - fast and effective.

May your day be filled with creative adventures!
Credits: Thanks to Tumble Fish Studio @ Deviant.Scrap for the bird's hat, the checkerboard border, vintage mailing label, the brown border, the little hearts and the coupon and ticket. Thanks to Dover Publications for the butterflies and to Moonlight Journey for the yellow roses.

May 15, 2011

Altered Spoons

Altered Spoons
(Click an any picture to see the details.)

One of the things that I like best about belonging to an art group, is that the monthly challenges give me an opportunity to try new things. Normally I'd be the first one at a flea market to pass by a table of unused, mismatched cutlery without giving it a second glance.


But when this month's challenge - Alter A Spoon - was posted, I couldn't resist giving it a try. I dug through my stash to find my little used Adirondack Inks, bits of fibers, beads, charms and ribbons, and spent an afternoon playing.

Who knew that altering old cutlery could be so addictive!?!

Finished Pieces

May your day be filled with unexpected pleasures!
 PS Let's all keep our collective fingers crossed this week so that 'Blogger' behaves!
Credits: Thanks to Land of Nod - Etsy for the little dog, and the Moonlight Journey for the yellow roses. Pink roses and butterfly from Dover Publications.

May 12, 2011

I Spy!

May Journal Prompt
(Click on a sticker to see the details!)

When this month's journal prompt was announced in my art group: "Name something you would do if you weren't afraid to do it.", I knew immediately what I wanted to journal. Believe it or not, I've always been fascinated with the CIA, FBI and Scotland Yard. Old black and white movies about spies, as well as good novels, never cease to intrigue and fascinate me.

Everyone in my circle of family and friends knows that I'd make a terrible spy. It's just a shame that I don't have nerves of steel, a mind that doesn't freeze under pressure and a poker face that wouldn't give me away!

May your day be filled with laughter!

Credits: Thanks to our beloved Suzee-Que Flickr for the spy and to Hammondszegg Flickr for the travel labels.

May 8, 2011

Mail Art

 Art Envies
(Click on any picture to see the details.)

A smile comes to my face whenever I open my mailbox and find a piece of mail art. It's much more fun than finding invoices and credit card bills. I'm always surprised and delighted by the sending artist's generosity.

Needless to say, I also love surprising friends and family with unexpected art, and always hope it brings a bit of happiness into their day.

Since I like my envies to be sturdy, I generally use a manila folder as a substrate. Sometimes I'll use acrylic paint or watercolors for the backgrounds; and, after gluing my images in  place, I like to doodle and add a bit of sewing for added interest.

If you do decide to use your sewing machine for paper, be sure to designate the needle you used to sew your envie "for paper use only". You'll want to make sure that you've installed a fresh, sharp needle when you're ready to sew fabrics. Other than that caveat, there are no rules for art mail!

May your day be filled with delightful surprises!

Credits: Thanks to Tumble Fish Studio-Etsy for the eyeglasses and the girl's face, wings and crowns; to Ceremony-Etsy for the little heart; to Flickr's Crowabout Group for the word, Beautiful; to Moonlight Journey for the roses, to Dover Publications for the butterfly, bird and unaltered cat and to Lisa's Altered Art for the girl. Remaining elements in the public domain.

May 5, 2011

The Merry Month of May!

May 2011
(Click on each image to see the details!)

Since May is a month filled with flowers and new life, I couldn't resist adding fantasy touches of nature to surround my Zetti "May Queen". I've given this spread a "softer" look with a subtle color palette for a nice change of pace.

I recently purchased my first set of Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils, and couldn't wait to give them a try. This background began with a light coat of gesso, followed by applications of the Inktense pencils, water, spritzes of ink and fluid acrylic. I think I've fallen in love, and I can't wait to add more colors to my Inktense collection!

May your day be bright, beautiful and colorful!

Credits: Thanks to Ceremony-Etsy for the May Queen's head and the bunny's hat, to a Flickr sharing group for the body and crown, and to Tumble Fish Studio-Etsy for the label. Butterflies are from Dover Publications and the yellow roses are from Moonlight Journey. The Zetti's eyes were created with a snippet of an image from Land of Nod-Etsy. Remaining elements, to the best of my knowledge, are in the public domain or were created by Pringle Hill Studio.

May 2, 2011

April Calendar - Finished!

 April 2011 Completed
(Click on a butterfly to see the details!)
And . . . . .

April Before

It's amazing how spending just a few minutes filling in my little calendar "inchies" can be so satisfying. Although I never thought we'd make it to warm weather (after all of the snow we experienced during the first few months of the year), the first quarter of 2011 has flown by. I'll be posting my May calendar later this week.

May your day be blessed sunshine!