Monday, March 26, 2012

A New Home!

I am pleased to announce that I've got a new home for my artistic blog posts. I won't be updating this site - so please come and visit me over at my "Victorian Studio" for all my new updates!

I'd love to see you there!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March ATCs

Here are some of my first ATCs. If you don't know, ATC stands for Artist Trading Cards. (Instead of going into the whole history of ATCs here, you'll find a lot of information online, including YouTube videos). The first time I ever tried my hand at these was last fall when I entered a Christmas ATC swap and made 26 of the same reindeer card.

Recently, I joined an online ATC swap where you are asked to make three ATCs and send them to the same person. Each month the person you send to changes, for six months total. Of course, you receive 18 ATCs in return after the six months are up.

I made these three for March: two of each design: one set I kept and one set was sent in the mail.

On  the first one I did a white embossed bird cage stamp, then I rubbed some Tim Holtz distressed inks for the background. I added another stamp of the bird on top. The text is a clear sticker. The feather is real and I added a ribbon layered with glittered ScorTape to hold it in place.

The second card started out with two scans; I scanned and printed a dictionary page then tore and inked it to make it look old. Then I scanned my antique watch faces and cut one out, using my Cropadile to punch out the center and added a grommet. The sentiment is done with a set of Making Memories letter stamps, held onto the card using a small paper clip. A small length of lace was also added.

The third card is a paper napkin! I love this image so I tore it apart and watered down some white glue to seal it on the card. I added a "happiness" stamp on the left side and a bit of bling with a self-adhesive jewel on the bottom.

These cards are great fun to make; now I need to get started on what I am going to do for April!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Antique Show

Finally the day had come... I've been waiting for the first big antique show of the year with great anticipation and of course, a Wish List for my craft room.

It's been 15 years since daughter and I have attended these shows together. Back then, we hunted down toys for my Star Wars collection. Now I'm looking for antique treasures!

And treasures were found.

In fact, within the first hour of the doors opening, I had all but drained my pocket of the amount I budgeted myself to spend. Of course daughter was given her own money to search for vintage jewellery that she likes to find. And I had no trouble at all -- as you can see:

Some of the goodies I found include a silver framed photo album, three sets of salt and pepper shakers (for a display I will soon unveil), a primitive kitchen grater, oil tin, sifter and sad iron. I was thrilled to find a mini version of my old Wizard lantern and something off my Wish List: some antique glassheaded pins. Other smalls found were an old metal tape measure, an English brass and wood caliper, ceramic deer mug and more watch parts. Always looking under the tables instead of just ON them, I discovered a wonderful old wire oil can caddy and a vintage Coca Cola box with dividers. One of the weirdest items I brought home were four rusty railroad spikes. I have a picture of an 1880 locomotive I used to work on, so I am thinking of adding these spikes to some kind of railroad display... methinks I need to find my old railroad cap!

The best find was the very last. As we were preparing to head out for a nice breakfast we found an sweet old chap with a table full of war mementos from HIS father; uniforms, caps and the like. Now I don't collect those, but when I spied the Union Jack sitting beside them... I fell in love.He made me a really good deal on the 75 year old flag.

I couldn't wait to hang it in my craft room.

Yep, it was a GREAT day alright.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tour of My Craftroom - Part 3

Today I am going to feature the right side of my craft room: my sewing / stamping area. As usual, click on the images for larger versions.

I got this desk from my aunt when she moved into a senior home a few years ago. I love the single large drawer with antique pulls. It's great to have the extra space to stamp or sew. I used to keep my sewing machine on it all the time, but recently placed the machine on the floor underneath until I need to use it.

The small table lamp was also my aunt's. For years my daughter had it in her bedroom, so we bought a new shade for it back then. Yesterday I used some of the lace I found at the thrift store and added it to the shade... I love the way it softened the look!

The two drawer cabinet is a recent eBay find... I was the only bidder and got it so cheap! I was amazed. It matches my watchmaker's cabinet on the main desk; with those white porcelain pulls - and holds my small inkpads perfectly!

I topped it off with a vintage handkerchief I found at a local antique shop; they had a basket full for $2 each. The Queen Elizabeth II commemorative teacup and saucer hold my collection of watches, watch faces and vintage keys. Come to think of it, the teacup also came from my aunt!

One of my favorite finds on eBay is that little squirrel pincushion. It was an estate find in Colorado; with a copper base and velvet cushion... I just HAD to have it!

The small shelf holding my Tim Holtz inkpads was found just last week for a couple of bucks at the thrift store. The other thriftstore finds on the desk are the candy dish (yes, it used to be on my main desk but I moved it yesterday -- I am always re-arranging things!) and the silver tray with bow. The final item from another aunt is the doily... a nice remembrance of her since she passed over 10 years ago now.

So that is my side desk. Above it are the shelves holding my antique typewriter, baskets of spools and supplies and mason jars with buttons and ribbons. That round brown metal item is an old film canister... a fun item again found at the thrift store (yes, I DO got there a lot to see what I can find!)

The top shelf displays some vintage books (a 1939 edition of Gone With The Wind is my treasure), some antique ink bottles and a pair of old spectacles.

I hope you've enjoyed this update. More will come soon!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tour of My Craftroom - Part 2

As promised last time, here are the rest of the antiques I have on the main desk in my craftroom. As always, click on the images to biggify.

First, here are two thrift store finds - a glass and silver sugar bowl I use for candy (well, it HAS sugar in it, no??). I always have to have some kind of treat while I work....*ahem*.

I recently found this chafing dish, minus the actual dish however... for a couple of bucks, I thought why not use it paired with a glass bowl (another thrifty find) to hold stamps? I love the heavy, ornate design!

Here is a photo I took today of my pen cup, stapler and tape dispenser. I use small mason jars for the brushes, a Shawnee planter (with a cute deer!) for my scissors and other tools. A copper Scout stapler replaced my old plastic one; and I even found the proper staples on eBay, so it still works! The silver tape dispenser is another eBay find as my old black plastic one really didn't fit in ;)

One of the first antique desk accessories I purchased last fall was this Achilles stamp holder. I just LOVE it to hold my old stampers. Many of these I have replaced the rubber mount with a strip of velcro to hold felt pads for inking projects (aka a homemade version of the Tim Holtz blenders).

Here is my antique paper cutter. I had been looking for one of these for awhile, but some were very large and expensive. Then I came across this small 9" model at a very reasonable cost on eBay. This type of tool was used in grocer or butcher shops to hold and tear brown paper wrapping. I use it to hold my paper towels. I added the string spool on top and used the hook on the side to hang a metal ruler.

That scoop behind it I found for $4 tucked away at a local antique shop... right now it is hanging off the side of my other desk. The other item you may note behind the cutter is an 1880s wire letter rack. It holds a few pages torn from an old children's book (which was ruined by a child's scribbles all over it, so I didn't feel bad tearing out the good pages) that I'll probably use to illustrate cards with.

This pencil sharpener we've had for years; call it a "found in our garage" item :)  It's kinda scary to realize something we've used is now considered an antique....

Well, I think that now covers most of the antiques on my main desk... until I find more, that is!

I will close off this segment with something NOT on my desk, but a very recent acquisition: my Valentine's gift from hubby this year:

I found this Drake Whistler decoy at a local antique store and mentioned it to hubby... what a perfect addition to my craftroom! I added the bow and he now adorns a cedar chest I use for a coffee table. Of course, I named him "Drake"!

Well, that's the tour for today. I promise not to keep you waiting nearly a month for Part 3... I'll be posting it in the next few days.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tour of My Craftroom - Part 1

As promised a few weeks ago, I'm starting a series of posts to go into more detail about my newly-decorated (well, to be honest, it's more like CONTINUING-TO-BE-decorated because I still am collecting items for it) craftroom.

When I moved my craft space downstairs, I decided it needed a theme. When perusing the internet for ideas, I fell in love with the many vintage / antique rooms I found. I had already picked up a few antiques, so I began visiting antique shops, thrift stores, and of course, eBay to outfit my space.

Today's post will highlight probably the most important part: my workspace.

I placed my six foot table on the long wall opposite the door to the room. Over it I attached two vintage printers drawers that store my rubber wooden stamps. As in my old room, I ran a long curtain rod above those to keep my ribbon in view and at hand.

On the table are my pens, pencils and Copic markers as well as some other antiques. But I'll begin today with my favorite piece: that wooden watchmaker's cabinet in the center. I used to have a plastic and metal hardware box to hold my small embellishments; but in order to have a truly antique look, the plastic had to go. I waited, watched and finally bid on a piece that was within my budget. These cabinets can go for many hundreds of dollars; luckily I won this one on eBay for a reasonable price as it is missing a drawer; but not a problem for me, as I needed a cubby to hold some Copic pens... this fit the bill PERFECTLY! Here's a closer look:

On top of the cabinet sits an antique glass pen and ink holder, an old tin tart tray (to hold shavings when sharpening pencils), a great heavy lion head - a recent find that I think may have been a furniture decoration.

The other three antique pieces above the cabinet are two Victorian items: a cast iron metal clip and a cast iron note hook.

The small card on the clip is from 1905; a Player's cigarette card from the UK all about "The Dominion of Canada" (depicting the Canadian crest and flag at the time). The chalkboard is a child's item from a local antique shop; they are very hard to find with real slate.

As always, click on the images for larger views. The next post will feature the other vintage items on my desk.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cards For Work Birthdays

This card features a dragonfly stamp from Michael Strong... I have a few of his beautiful "cloisonné" designs. This one is stamped with Tim Holtz' Embossing pad and Tsukineko black embossing powder. I then coloured it in with Copics B14, RV10, V12 and YG11 and popped it up on foam dimensionals. The patterned paper is by "Me & My Big Ideas". I used some Spellbinders dies for the circular sentiment and coloured border of the top layer with Copic V12.

The same papers were used for the second card. The sentiment stamp is from my stash; and it's not marked... The ribbon is also from my stash. I find it's faster to do a couple of cards at the same time - they may have some of the same supplies, but I make sure they have different designs.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Card Swap

Recently I joined a small group of ladies online who swap cards. I've never done this before, so it's a good thing I have a great friend (who created the group) to hand-hold me for my first offerings:

The stipulation for this one was that it had to include a snowman. I created this guy from scratch - I used my Spellbinders dies and Cuttlebug to create three round shapes. I glued them together, added eyes and mouth "coal" using some black "Smooch" paint. The nose was painted with both yellow and red Smooch paint since I didn't have orange for the "carrot" nose. "Star Dust" Stickles were added to the snowman's body, and the stick arms were created using the Martha Stewart Pine Branch punch, cut down to size and shape. Some satin rope I saved from a shopping bag (I throw nothing out I think I can repurpose) was used as his scarf. The sentiment was cut on my Cricut using the Simply Charmed cartridge. A few clear gems added more bling over top the patterned paper from my stash, which was sewed onto cardstock.

This card was created to meet the criteria of "use something new"; I got a gift certificate for a new local scrapbook store for Christmas - so I purchased (among other things) a new Martha Stewart Pine Needles Trim punch and two new Spellbinders die sets. Happy Spring Tilda was coloured with Copics E000, E01, C0, C3, YG11, YG13, YG17, E55, E57 and E59 and popped up using foam dimensionals. The background paper is DCWV Glitter Stack.

The card above was made for a "use two green and one blue" challenge. The background paper is from a 8" x 8" pad of "Me and My Big Ideas" paper. The blue shapes were cut using the Spellbinders Shapeabilities Blossum Tags and Accents dies on my Cuttlebug. A Wild Orchid Cherry Blossom was added along with Martha Stewart Pine Branches. The ribbon is from my stash as was the sentiment stamp.

The last card I created for this swap is a Thank You card. I started out with the background paper; Bo Bunny's "Calypso Dream". I used my new Spellbinder's Shapeabilities on this one too, creating the backing to the sentiment in red cardstock. Tilda With Hawaii Flower was coloured with the following Copics:  E0000, E02, E11, E13, E21, E25, E27, E29, C3, C6, N1, N4, N9, R46, R89, Y17, Y21, G21, G28.

I hope all the recipients like my cards!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

Some people may think Friday the Thirteenth is unlucky.

Not me.

My mom was born on a Friday the 13th! And her latest birthday also fell on that superstitious day too. So of course I had to make her a special card to celebrate:

This is what is called a "Z fold" card. A single piece of 5.5" X 12" cardstock, scored four times makes the base. I chose some really pretty TPC Studios Ancestral Bird Brocade paper for the front mats.

A new Kaisercraft Bird Cage stamp was added to the front left flap, and then using my new Spellbinders Shapeabilities die, cut the front sentiment overtop. I used the "negative" or left over paper to decorate the inside of the card. Both the sentiment and the small bird were created with Inkadinkado stamps.

The right flap had Recollections Floral Embellishments added. A few of the same roses were added to the front sentiment, along with a some Martha Stewart pine branch punch outs. Tim Holtz and Memento inks were used on the edges of he papers.

She loved it, and I loved the way this turned out. Must make more of these easy, but impressive folded cards!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Craft Room 2012

For the past few months, I've been redecorating my craft room in the basement. Ever since I moved all my stuff down here, I've been really enjoying the ability to create in a larger space with a TV all my own! While researching craft rooms online for organizational ideas, I fell in love with the many vintage / antique styled rooms. So, here finally are some images of how mine looks so far with the pieces I've acquired since the Fall.

I'll be doing separate posts to detail some of the more interesting items, but for now, here's a slideshow for an overall visit:

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Whew! Now that the stress fun of the holidays is over, I finally have time to post again! Since my last post (yeah, I know, MONTHS back), I have made a few cards I wanted to share.

First, cards I created for the gals at work celebrating birthdays (click to biggify):

This card features Magnolia's Tilda with Gifts over some patterned paper from my stash. The flower is from Michael's, and some silver Stickles were added to the presents. Copics used on Tilda were: E0000, E01, E55, D57, E59, V91, V93, V95, C0, C3, Y32, Y35, Y28, B91, B93, B95, RV91, RV93 and RV95.

Happy Spring Tilda adorns this card on top of some Bo Bunny "Unforgettable" paper. The sentiment was cut using my Cricut and the "Simply Charmed" cartridge. Copics used on Tilda were: E0000, E01, B0000, B32, B34, Y21, Y28, C0 and C3. The flower is from my stash... I cut a circular shape, coloured it in and glued it over Tilda's hand to make it look like she is holding the flower stem.

Obvioulsy my favorite paper is the Bo Bunny line... here it is again. I used "Sophie Bouquet" on this card. A few flowers from Michaels tied with a sheer ribbon were added along with a simple stamped sentiment.

This card began with Fancy Pants' "Little Sprout" paper, # 310 "Baby's Breath". I used some Sheer Elegance hunter green ribbon, the Martha Stewart Leaves punch, a Provo Craft corner die cut on my Cuttlebug, some flowers from my stash with a brad coloured with Copic's G99 pen and some Tim Holtz "Peeled Paint" ink.

Then I needed to create something for hubby's birthday (on Christmas Eve!):

Cards for guys are always harder to do it seems. I decided to go black and white; and featured a tiger stamp a good friend gave me! The ribbon is from my stash and the stamped image and sentiment are cut using my Spellbinders dies on my Cuttlebug.

Oh yeah, I did a few Christmas cards too:

Good thing I have a Cricut... I made the snowflakes on it using my "Tie The Knot" cartridge (now, what a snowflake has do with weddings is beyond me....). Both cardstock and vellum were cut, and stickles were added to the edges of the flakes. A clear gem was glued to the center of the flakes and snowflake brads attached the sentiment to the ribbon. The paper and ribbon were from my stash, and I cut out the sentiment using my Cuttlebug.

Whew! Here's hoping I get more time to both craft AND post about it in 2012.

Just as a teaser though... there will be an upcoming post about my craftroom soon... since moving downstairs to a larger room, I have been decorating it and I am very eager to share some photos of the results!

My Magnolia Cards