Friday, October 31, 2008

Have a Happy & Safe Halloween!

Some sweet Halloween postcards as my eye candy for you for Halloween. Several of these are from my favorite postcard artist Ellen Clapsaddle. All her images are so sweet. Enjoy. They are all copyright free from about 1908 to 1911.

PopCorn Balls

At some point in time everyone has to make these. I love these little popcorn balls and they are nice for children's parties. Unfortunately, it is not something you can hand out on Halloween night. However, the "holiday party" at school is a place to hand them out.....

1 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 quarts popped popcorn

Cook the molasses and sugar until it becomes brittle when dropped in cold water. Remove from stove and stir in salt and soda. While still hot, pour syrup over popcorn, stirring to mix well. Dip your well washed hands in cold water, shake off cold water, then press popcorn into the desired size balls. You will need to work fast. I then wrap them in plastic wrap with a pretty orange or black bow.

Two Book Reviews

I have been reading a lot lately and these two books are ones I find myself picking up and reading over and over. They are my two latest inspirations. I hope you will think about them for your Holiday wish list perhaps.

I ran across this book on the author's blog one day. She was all excited about it coming out and I decided to preorder it from Amazon. It was edited and put out my the same people who did Sally Jean's Pretty Little Things. The author's name is Julie Collings. I had a feeling it would be pretty good. Plus I have been getting into felt in a fairly serious way, seemed like there were not many good books out there. Well....let's just say there are now.

After breaking my foot I have had some time to devote to reading while propping my foot up or waiting at the doctor's office, etc... I have read this book cover to cover several times. There are some great projects, the projects are detailed and well photographed, the instructions are great, and everything is beautifully done.

One of the things I like about this book is that a beginner sewer will be inspired as will a more experienced sewer. There are projects you could do with a daughter or granddaughter, young or teen. There are several really nice gift projects also. If you like felt you will love this book. That is pretty much all I can say about it. Except I am working on one of the little felt book projects....

This is an incredible book. Rayna Gillman goes through every thing you need to know - from start to finish, tools and supplies, the whole scha- scham. I have read the book at least three times and I cannot find anything that she left out. It is well written, beautifully illustrated, and full of money saving tips. This book is for the novice and the experienced.

Since I have been sewing a lot the past two years - finally have a designated space - the idea of painting and dying my own fabric is something I want to become a reality. This book has shown me I can do it, and cheaper than I thought. I might not ever be an expert or do it to the extent that the author does, but it is something that I will spend some time at. I am recommending this book to anybody who paints or dyes fabric to use in their art work. You can also see Rayna Gillman's studio in the new Paper Cloth and Scissors Studio magazine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I have been tagged....

I was tagged twice last week and am just now getting around to posting about this. This means I am to post seven random facts about myself, give you a link to their blogs, then tag seven people and let them know so they can tag seven people. It is a gift that keeps on giving.
Sandee and Jennifer tagged me just days apart. Let me tell you a little about them. First of all Sandee is from the East coast and Jennifer from the West . Both are very talented, both I share yahoo groups with, and I hope you will take a few moments and check out their blogs and their art work. You will not be disappointed! As I have given you all a glimpse of seven random things about two weeks ago, I really can't think of anything that would interest you now. I feel sort of boring today. I will work on the seven people, though.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Few Skinnies - 3 by 5

Two new skinnies. The backgrounds are watercolor paper that I put a thin wash of watercolor on then covered with Saran Wrap all crinkled up and let dry. I really didn't like the way they turned out, all pale. The purple was a mistake that was impossible to cover with watercolors. I just set that sheet aside and went on to some others.

Today I came back to the sheet of watercolor paper and just tore it in half. It had possibilities once it was not so large. I decided to make some skinnies and some moo's. I stamped the backgrounds with dye ink and just let everything flow from there. Sometimes mistakes can be salvaged. There is always the other side of the paper.

Some Moo's

These are some Moo cards I made out of the same sheet of watercolor paper as the skinnies. I have been slowly working on some new designs for some cards. Cutting out small images and things that catch my eye is something I can do with my foot elevated.

Definition of a Moo card - a moo is a smaller version of a business card. They are 1 1/8" by 2 3/4". An artist, writer, poet, photographer, fisherman, Indian chief, so on and so on can display some of their art on their card. The back side is reserved for the artists data, etc... These cards are traded, given out,etc..

The Last of Summer's Flowers


"Happiness is a warm puppy."
Charles M. Schulz

Man's Best Friend

Looking through some old books last night, I ran across a bunch of dog images. These date from 1849 to 1884. I just found them to be charming. Then, I went to read the paper and read some article about how single men are now living with cats as their preferred house mate. Apparently lifestyle changes are such that cats are easier than dogs. How sad is that? I love both cats and dogs. I hope you will enjoy these images.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Altered Puzzle Pieces

This is my altered puzzle pieces for a local group I am in. We meet once a month to share ideas, encouragement, show our latest, and work on projects. We just completed a six month project where we each worked in each other's altered book - I will post some of those pictures this week. We had so much fun we all decided to do an altered puzzle.

Each one of us - there are eight of us doing the puzzle - got identical puzzles, numbered, initialed, and gessoed them, and picked a theme. We each alter three puzzle pieces from each puzzle. My theme is "The Raven". I can't wait to see what they do with that. I worked on Janet's last month and her theme is Time. I used old watch gears and a watch crystal on hers. I like the Steampunk vibe from it. I hope she does. It is nice having a different theme each month.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fruit Images

Some antique images of fruit for you to use in your art work. I am thinking about a crisp fruit salad, or a baked cinnamon apple.... I love the fall with all the fresh food.

Apple Salad

This is a very refreshing and fast salad to make. Fall always makes me think of apples. We have lots of apples in the mountains of North Carolina. If you can find fresh apples or local apples it will taste even better.

1 red delicious apple
1 yellow delicious apple
1/2 tsp Fruit Fresh or spritz apples with lemon juice
2/3 cup coconut
1 can - 8 oz.- pineapple drained - or one cup fresh pineapple
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup miniature marshmellows
1/4 cup lite mayonnaise

Core and dice the apples and then add Fruit Fresh or lemon juice. Mix remaining ingredients in medium size container. Chill about 1 hour before serving. Makes about six servings. I store in a glass container. Sometimes I substitute mandarin oranges for the coconut.

Weekly Canvas Panels

King Crow
Mrs. Bird
Party Bird

These are my weekly canvas panels that I have been working on. Since my outside time is limited I am trying to bring the outside in. I did these with oil pastels, a pencil, and my heat gun.

The Trip Downtown

This is one of the views on the short jog to down town. I love these beautiful cosmos flowers. The heavy rains have brought us a bumper crop of them. Thank you "Ladybird Johnson" for the Highway Beautification Act.

Lady Bird Johnson

I have thought a lot about this woman this summer. As I travel up and down the highway visiting various friends and family. One of the things I always enjoy are the bright beautiful patches of flowers. I am always amazed that one women could bring such a change to the highways all over America.

I actually have a childhood memory of this woman and her husband. I remember her smelling of Tabu, having incredible warm eyes that looked as if she knew a secret no one else knew, being a small woman, yet her presence was felt. She was kind to children, maybe because she lost her mother at such an early age.

You see my dad worked in the senate for one of the Senator's from Florida. If he had to go in to work on the weekends or even sometimes in the evening when a bill was on the floor I got to go in, too. Lyndon Johnson's office was on the same hall and I would use the inside hall to go into the Senator's private offices and play. I loved Senator Johnson's because he collected little dog figurines - beagles. He had one of Pluto that moved from Walt Disney himself. He would get all cranky if he found me playing with it. I was under six so these are childhood impression's.

As I grew up and I began to realize that Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson was actually a very remarkable woman. She paid for her husband's first couple of campaigns. $10,000 for his first office. She took her own inheritance and invested $41,000 into radio and television stations and turned that money into $150 million dollars in 30 years. She is the only woman to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Don't think that LBJ had a whole lot to do with that. He was dead within four years of leaving office. Ladybird was the smoother in the relationship. He would offend, she would smooth it out. I have a feeling she did most of the raising of their daughters herself. I think she was a woman with a lot of class. So, next time you go on a little road trip and see those bright patches of flowers, think of Ladybird.


"Where flowers bloom so does hope....."
Lady Bird Johnson

Blue Quiltie Square

This is my "Blue" quilt square for the monthly exchange I am in. I was about two weeks late getting this out the door. I discovered that ironing on one foot is very hard. I did not envision my square looking like this when I thought about it. After I broke my foot, I had to put my ideas aside and do what I felt I could do. I made the yo yo's and did the beading with my foot elevated. Sitting at the sewing machine was not an option till this week. I will probably make another "blue" square when my mobility is better. This month's color is black..... I am thinking something Gothic...

Foot Update - the boot

This is my fall fashion statement - the boot. Very space aged and extremely heavy and at times uncomfortable. The good part is that I can take it off to shower or bathe. I also can take it off when I have my foot elevated and plan not to move around at all. It has four air chambers that I blow up with this mini hand pump. This way I am not moving around inside the boot and my foot is stabilized. At first I thought I won't need the pump, then as time went by and my poor leg started to lose muscle tone, I realized why I might need to pump my boot up. The rest of me is developing muscles, though especially my upper body. It has been almost a month now so I am hoping for some bone growth when I see the doctor next week. Keep your fingers crossed.

Bone and Skull Images

Now that I am thinking about bones, and in honor of my foot, I will offer you some bone images for those last minute Halloween projects you might be working on.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Columbus Day!

Wishing all a Happy Columbus Day! I hope you are all relaxing, eating, creating, or shopping. To all in Canada A Happy Thanksgiving! Eat a lot of turkey and veggies for me.

A Couple of Needle Felted Birds

blue bird
Mr Crow
I really miss being outside. One of the things I miss the most are my birds. There are so many different types of birds here. The migration has probably started. So, these little felted birds are my way of being close to them.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Antique Insect Images

This week I decided to go with some winged things and threw in a few spiders at the end for your Halloween art. I am working on some nature pages for a friends tip in. I have been perusing all my prints. I found these and thought I would share. Some new wings for some fairies.

Needle Felted Landscapes

This darn broken foot is so limiting. If I sit with my foot down for too long, I end up with sausages for toes and a lot of fluid in my foot. They tell me this will go away in the next week or so. I hope they are right. I ventured into the sewing room this weekend. I have two quilt blocks I need to sew and get off in the mail. I have discovered that ironing on one leg is hard, using a rotary cutter on one leg can be dangerous, and do things in small amounts.

Lucky for me I have a big comfy chair and ottoman in my sewing room so in between tasks I can sit and have my foot up. During these moments I have decided to felt and hand sew. I am not very skilled in either, but practice does help a lot I am told.

I have really gotten into anything to do with felt. I have been all of the internet and yahoo looking up supplies, techniques, and different felting blogs. All I can say is thank goodness for the internet. Here are a couple of landscapes I made while resting my foot. I tried to use different techniques with each of them to see what I liked and what I didn't. I enjoyed adding the bird to the over all piece, beads alway highlight something, and machine sewing is good to define areas. I need to finish the edges and sort of fine tune them, but you get the general idea.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I have been tagged....

Alas, I have been tagged by Belinda at Altered Belly Blogspot and Mixed Media Martyr. I am to tell six unknown things about myself and them tag six other people. Hmmmm. Can I ask that each person who reads this to share an unknown thing about themself on the comment form. You can use the anonymous form if you don't have a blog. I am planning on sharing some new fab blogs with ya'll with in the next day or two so I will include them in the tagging.
Before I start listing the six things let me start with I find the world and the people in it always surprising and full of the unknown.

1. I really enjoy listening to other people's life stories and the times they grew up in. Every person has something remarkable about them and I want to find it.
2. If I had to be anything that wasn't human I would be a bird of prey. A hawk .
3. I rarely sleep more than 3 or 4 hours straight at a time, but I am totally unconscious when I am asleep.
4. I can write and draw with both hands - so can two of my children.
5. Blue is my favorite color.
6. I like to drive very fast, with the music on loud, late at night to clear my head, but I don't have any tickets. {I only do this on the freeway} and an extra unknown thing....
7. I often use my very blondness to get away with things that most people could not.

Belinda included six unknown art facts about herself. I really liked that so I am going to add that. Here are six unknown art facts about myself.

1. My first art lesson was in pastels from a friends mother who was an artist. I was seven or eight.
2. My art lessons were my favorite part of the week.
3. I have never painted in oils because of the smell. Now they have odorless so who knows.
4. I didn't know till I was in high school that paint came in colors other than red, yellow, blue, white and black. We always mixed our own colors.
5. I taught myself to sew. Then, I took a tailoring class and made a skirt and jacket. I figured every thing I would need to know would be in that one class.
6. I would like to learn how to crochet and make a wild colored throw.