Monday, December 19, 2011

Gone but not forgotten

I know I haven't been here in quite some time. But I haven't forgotten my blog, just was so busy trying to get Christmas presents completed that I had to move something to the back burner. Unfortunately, it was the blog.

BUT that means, now that I am back, I have TONS of pics for you to see!!! :-)

It is a sock monkey Christmas! It is still amazes me how someone could look at a pair of men's work socks and think....hmm, monkey! LOL

If you want to make your own sock monkey, the original sock company is still making the socks and includes the pattern with every pair!

I am still needle felting for myself between gift projects.

I made this little guy for myself. He is only about 1.5" tall. No matter how many pics I took, the camera would only focus on his surroundings and not him (I didn't know penguins were so good at camouflage!) This pic is from my phone and although not great, it is the best one I have.

I made some ornaments as gifts this year. Who wouldn't love a leaping lamb on their tree? I know I would be thrilled with one (and maybe, if time allows, I might get to make one for me lol)

I made a chickadee ornament for our tree. I seem to have issues with proportions on birds! (remember the finch incident documented early this year) But at least this one is recognizable as a bird though maybe not a chickadee lol

And finally, what took most of my time, a needle felted nativity for my mom. (and no one from my family ever reads my blog so I don't have to worry about her finding out)

My mom never asks me to make her anything. I make her stuff all the time but she never requests anything from me. So, when she called this fall and said, "um, if you have the chance, and I don't expect it anytime soon....maybe by Easter but if you don't have time, you can take a couple years or 10...just whenever you find time.....I want a cow, 2 sheep, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus". Well, I felt (no pun intended lol) that I better get on the ball and see what I could do!

Below is the finish project. I had hubby build the stable (he did a great job!)

You see Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, a cow, 2 sheep AND a donkey. Now, Mom did not request a donkey and I totally love how he turned out...he is way more adorable in person! I debated for a couple days whether Mom really needed a donkey lol But, he didn't want to stay behind when all his barnyard friends were going so he jumped into the box too. :-)

Here is a bit closer view of the Holy Family.

A close up of Mary and the cow.

Here is the donkey. He is the only member made from alpaca. He is incredibly soft.

Another view of Mary's face with baby Jesus. You can sort of see Jesus' features in this one. And no, the lamb is not licking his head lol

This set was really a challenge for me but I am very happy with how it turned out. I am thinking I need a set for me but since I tend to only do 1 of something (other than sheep lol) I have a feeling I won't get one for me. :-)

Since I doubt I will be back on here before the 25th (unless I complete some really awesome project in the next few days), I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Lots of Joy, Love and Art!


Saturday, October 08, 2011

The fun just never stops!

I am having so much needle felting! I just can't stop!!!

Hubby requested a jack o'lantern and a Frankenstein. I thought I had some pics of the jack o'lantern but I can't find them so I will have to show him at a later date.

Here is Frankenstein. I used pipe cleaners in his legs for stability and he can stand on his own. He is about 6 inches tall and has a very Elvis quality about him lol.
I then I got hooked on sheep. My college roommate, Helen, says they are so adorable that she demanded I sell her one. She says....poofiness creates a major cute factor lol

So, I made one for her....but the poor guy missed the photo shoot. He is carefully packed in his box and waiting to be shipped to his new home.

These guys are 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 inches tall.
I got the idea that I wanted to create a koi....bad idea! He is so bad that it really had me wondering if it was just a fluke that I had made anything worth looking at before.

I had to really force myself to sit and concentrate today....this was the result. :-)

He stands about 3 1/2 inches to the tip of his ears. I was so thrilled because every part of him turned out just like I wanted (a first in felting for me).

I think he is my favorite so far. :-)

I have no idea what is coming next, I do know that there is a Santa on the horizon...he has been showing glimpses to my brain so he may be making an appearance soon. lol

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Little Bandit strikes again!

I woke up this morning and just felt (heehee) the urge to create a raccoon. They are just so stinkin cute!

This little guy was caught in the act of stealing a goldfish! Shame on him!!!

It is actually paying homage to our poor goldfish....a few years ago, hubby got the idea that our backyard fountain needed some goldfish. So, he bought 2. Little tiny things, they happily played under the planted he so kindly bought for them. Such a peaceful existence for about 3 weeks...and then the neighborhood thief came to call! We have a huge raccoon that wanders into the yard on occasion...he is the biggest one I have ever seen! And our other neighbors, who have caught glimpses, agree! This guy is humongous! So, he ate one of our little fishies the first night and then had the other for dessert the next. Poor hubby was devastated! I am sure the fish were none too thrilled either!

Even to this day, every couple weeks or so, we see evidence that the thief has returned, he shoves things around in the fountain. I am sure he is looking for another snack.
My little friend stands about 2 inches tall and other than stealing this little felted fish, I think he is pretty harmless. :-)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I think I am addicted!

I am totally hooked on needle felting!!! I find I can be creative while sitting in my recliner catching up on my favorite shows! :-)

And, I completely lose track of time.....for someone with stress issues and chronic back pain, this is amazing!

I tried my hand at using a pattern today. I want to make some birds so I tried out the goldfinch pattern in the book Wool Pets. If you want some cute ideas with good instructions and tons of photos, you should check out this book.

Maybe because I was trying to match up the dimensions and such so closely...or maybe I just can't follow directions....but my proportions are bit off. But she is still cute (and only 2 inches long).
I love teddy bears! I have been making them and collecting them for most of my life. So, I am not sure why a teddy wasn't the first thing I tried to make lol

This little guy has a tiny pot belly and seed bead eyes. AND he is made from alpaca. Boy it that stuff slick and slippery!!! Way more difficult to work with than the merino I have been using. But I love the color! He is much darker than in the photo, almost like a burnt umber with blond and gray strands. He only sits (no more standing guys until I figure out what to put in their legs for support). He is 2 inches tall.

I think he may have to come sit on my work desk and keep me company all day. :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I always keep my promises

I made plaid soap! I struggled but managed to turn out some cute soaps that smell nice so it is all good. :-)

Here are my strips layered in my pan. The pan is red, my strips are yellow and orange...makes for a difficult picture. I used a 9" silicon pan.
I then added the last layer of white, let the whole thing cool, then cut out soaps with cookie cutters. I have pumpkins and crinkly circles. They smell wonderful! Pumpkin Pie!

And while waiting on soap to harden...which is not as exciting as you might think....I felted this little lady. I had purchased the green wool just because I knew it was perfect witch's skin color lol

She stands about 5 inches tall. And, because someone asked me, I know for a fact that she weighs a whopping .2 ounces!

Here is a close-up of her lovely complexion....and beautiful hooked nose. :-)

And of course, how can it be fall and I NOT make a scarecrow????

This little guy stands 5.5 inches tall! And has his little crow buddy on his arm. I am definitely in 'learn as you go' mode and just exploring and playing. Next time I think I will add some sort of support in his legs before felting them. For this guy, I think I am going to have to try to insert some sort of stabilizer if I want to make him stand up.

Here he is close-up with his best friend.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Always Learning Something New

I have wanted to learn how to make soap for about 20 years but the thought of having to deal with lye and rendering down animal fat left me, well, a bit queasy.

But alas, just a few weeks ago, I heard about Melt and Pour soap making. Holy Cow! Why didn't someone tell me about this before????

I get to melt down and mold my own soaps with my choice of color and fragrance....right in my own kitchen! Using just my microwave!!!!! I am a very happy girl!

Below are the soaps I made in just my first few days.
The large round was molded in a 3" PVC pipe. The small rounds were done in a silicone muffin pan and the leaf was from an autumn silicone pan that has leaves and pumpkins (the leaves are scented with "AppleJack and Peel" Yum!)
Here are some more using the silicone muffin pan. I used mica colorant....isn't it the coolest thing? You can look into the depths of the color! And I scented them with "Orange Spice". They smell good enough to eat! lol

I just got my package of new colorants so this weekend I am hoping to make some plaid soap! Yes, PLAID! You will definitely see pics....even if I mess them up! lol

I bought all my supplies at BrambleBerry. They have a huge selection and really awesome tutorials on youtube. Just look for Soap Queen.

I think I must have artistic ADD....I can't seem to learn enough different things! Usually I leave some space between new projects but not this time lol We were over at the coast last weekend and stopped in a sweet little wool shop in Langlois (Oregon), Wild Rivers Wool Factory. They are currently totally hooked on felting (another art form I have been dying to try). I loaded up the car with all kinds of felting supplies (actually, just one shopping bag - and wool is very light so it weighed next to nothing lol)

I ordered a couple books from Amazon.....hurry up and get here please!!!!! But I couldn't just let those wonderful new supplies just sit so I began playing around.

Here is my very first attempt...not great, not horrific. At least you can tell it is a bunny. Or at least I hope you can! haha
He is not firm like I wanted but I'll keep him around. :-)

I read online the best way to learn how to shape the wool and practice with your firmness is to make balls. Ok. But who wants a bunch of little balls rolling around the room? (other than the cats!)

So I made a ball....then made it into a pumpkin. :-) The actual pumpkin is about an inch tall.

More ball practice....this time they morphed into a snowman. But I couldn't just have a couple balls stuck together. He needed personality so I gave him some chubby cheeks and a spiffy hat and scarf. His mouth isn't as 'smiley' as I wanted but for just my third project, I am very happy. (and those cheeks make me smile)

I thought I would share one of my coast trip pics. We went out to the lighthouse at sunset. This is my favorite lighthouse and it just glows in the setting sunlight.

Coquille River Lighthouse, Bandon, Oregon.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cleaning up my Act

If you are like me....and I know a lot of you have more art and craft supplies than you can ever use in this lifetime (and the next one too lol)

So, I am taking the free online course 30 Day Craft Cleanse . We cannot buy any supplies for 30 days AND we organize what we already own! What a great idea!!!!

Along with just getting instructions to clean up our act, we are journaling about our adventure. :-)

Below are my first 2 pages. (ok so I am supposed to be on lesson 7 by now but... lol)

We have to make an 'evidence' page. Something to show we once owned a particular supply (and then we are to use this supply in our art...instead of hording it and never touching it for fear of wasting it or using it all up)
I am thinking I may need a lot more than 1 evidence page but here is my first one....Washi Tape. I bought these about a year ago because everyone kept telling me how great they were. They have literally sat on my art desk for a year and I see them everytime I sit down...but did I use them? Nope. Why? Um....who knows. But they sure are pretty!

So I was working on a sort of old fashioned police evidence file, I even added my finger prints to the page lol

Now an even tougher challenge, put your personal craft demon in the journal. I have to say, I really couldn't make her too ugly, we are much to close of friends! lol

She looks pretty normal at first glance but then you look closer...hmm green skin, vacant eyes...but you have to love all those supplies she has on hand! lol

I then listed possible reasons why I am so addicted to increasing my stash. I was telling my mom about it this evening. She says, when she used to sew, she horded fabric. The colors, the textures, the ideas she got just by looking at them. The same is for me and my supplies, they stimulate my, maybe this is hereditary! lol And maybe my brain is now so over stimulated that I can't get started! haha

We are also supposed to use supplies that we never used before. The yard stick paper is from Tim Holtz, I have had it in my stash since 2005 (the date is on the paper!) I never used it because I didn't want to waste it! But it is so cool! The ledger paper is from a paper pack I bought many years ago. It has 4 styles of paper in it. Again, never used a single sheet, just looked at them and put them back on the shelf.
I am still working on my Creative Doodles class, finishing up the last few days of projects. This was a doodle in which I incorporated leftover paper scraps.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

By The Sea

I love vintage beach images! Those risque bathing costumes! And the wonderful umbrellas!

I decided to combine my love of these images with my love of sea green and turquoise.

Below is the progression of my collage. I began by painting the page with turquoise, brown and white acrylic paints. I then tore up strips of papers in my chosen color family of sea green. I used Mod Podge to glue these down adding in vintage photos among the papers. All of these images came from the LunaGirl panorama CD (I was working on my beach themed ATCs from my last post at the same time lol)

After staring at it for a while, I decided I needed another color, maybe a bit of red. So I added the strip down the center....and while applying the glue to the back, saw this wonderful text filled side (I really should remember to check the backs of my papers more often lol) Not wanting to miss out of this fun side, I took another strip, flipped it over and added the text along the right border.
I wanted the layers to sort of meld into each other so I used a palatte knife and swiped white acrylics all over the page.

Next came rubber stamps! My Fred Mullett 'Menpachi' fish stamp using a rusty red ink. I really do need to go get some more Fred Mullett stamps! I just love this fish! And the seashell stamp with text comes from Stampington and Company (Postal Shell) stamped in brown.

Now for doodling! I used black Prismacolor, Sacura Micron and Sharpie pens (why all different brands? Because I have different size tips in each lol) And I used a white Marvy gel pen and Wite-Out pen.

Here are a couple close ups. I outlined this girl with the white pens.

Here I colored the center girl and her umbrella with Prismacolor pencils. I wrote my text by hand (obviously) which I hate to do because my handwriting is so horrible lol But, unless I want to paint or collage over it, there is stays lol

I am still not sure if this is done. I keep thinking it needs something. Maybe some pearlized old buttons... we shall see.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gardening, Doodling and ATCs, Oh My!

Am I the only one that finds it facinating the way peas with grap hold of something to balance themselves?

Below are some macro photos of my sugar snap peas.

A recent lesson in my Creative Doodles class had us finding our signature character doodle.

I am still doodling Mignonette (Minnie) Here she is using Prismacolor pencils on black paper.

I call this Urban Minnie. lol

And ATCs!

I am still in the monthly ATC swap at BadBabies. This month we have a challenge. Use the postcard below in your ATC(s). This card is a hotel at Cannon Beach, OR. I cut it down and made 2 cards.

I sanded the postcard to get rid of the slick finish and then rubbed Distress Ink all over. The 'bathing beauties' are from the LunaGirl panorama images CD.
Same treatment of the postcard. Here I stamped the girl with umbrella (Tin Can Mail) on white cardstock then cut her out and glued her to the card.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gardens and Doodles

I told you I would share my garden with you. Here is my AeroGarden. I started my tomatoes, basil, petunias and impatiens in it. I managed to get the tomatoes out into the garden about a month ago but then it got cold again and everything else had to wait.

As you can see, it became very jungle-like lol I have to say though, it was nice having petunias blooming in the diningroom. :-)
Here are some of the tomato plants (they have grown at least another 8 inches since I took this last weekend. And we have garlic that is about ready to pick! Yippee!

I planted these sugar snap peas way back in March per instructions from the co-op. They didn't even come up until May! But now are growing about 6 inches a day. I just hope we get peas before the weather gets too hot and kills them off.

And I managed to get a bit of doodling done over the weekend as well. Our class assignment was to find our signature doodle. Something that we enjoy and can sort of get lost in...something we can doodle at anytime and just enjoy.

I used to use Tucker a my subject in lots of art projects. His distinctive markings made him fun to draw. Now we have Minnie. Being a tuxedo cat, black and white, although quite striking to view, can be a bit boring to draw at times. So, I instead am being inspired by her personality. She is such a diva! And I have never seen a more happy go lucky being on the face of the earth. She is just always happy and loves everyone and everything.

So Minnie is now my doodle inspiration (with bits of Tucker thrown in)

Minnie's full name is Mignonette so that is what I am calling these doodles. Here she is enjoying the flowers.

And my little diva just loves getting new toys (or in this case, a new hat).

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Wishing for less work and more art!

I am still working on my Creative Doodles class....just not as often as I would like. I am averaging about 2 sessions a week. :-( But this is better than none....right? :-)

Here is a progressive photo of a collage and doodle piece. (I spared you the boredom of seeing each layer of paint and paper lol) We were supposed to be if I am normally balanced! haha

The black swirls and 'leaves' were done in acrylic paint. Then I doodled all over with black pens and finally white gel pen.
Here we were supposed to draw with a eye, I bought one to use for this class but darned if I can find it! So, for now I just used Chinese ink and a paint brush. Gotta find that dropper this weekend! I then added some watercolors and finally doodles with pens.

And in case you thought I had totally abandoned it, I did a page for my journal....using a papers and painted collage background. The woman is from the Stage Beauties image cd from Enchanted Mercantile. Lastly, I doodled the butterfly and added the text "On the wings of a Butterfly, My Dreams take flight".
It has been a very dreary, rainy spring here in the Pacific Northwest. So much so that our gardens are pretty much non-existant! My tomato plants are just teeny things! And my flowers are still in the seed pods inside the house and spilling out all over in hopes that it will warm up and dry out just enough that I can transplant them outside....and hope that summer actually arrives. I should take a picture of my poor flowers before I transplant Aerogrow looks like a jungle! lol