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11  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Textured mixed media canvases... on: December 27, 2015 05:24:52 AM
I made this for bunny1kenobi for the mini 12 days of Christmas swap which is wrapping up (hahaha) right now.  It is a mixed media canvas I made inspired by a pin she had.  I loved the phrase, and connected to it also.

I made a more narrow, tall canvas initially for B1K - I loved this size and will have to get another one for another project - I think it was something like a 6x10 or something like that.

I used a homemade texture paste, the same one I used for the altered journal/sketchbook.  It is great for stamping texture into and so colourful.  I posted a tutorial for how I did it in the blog post too, if anyone is interested..  I collaged die cut letters to do the lettering.  I used sheet music I coloured with a dark wash, because I liked the texture that added too.

Then I kind of fell in love  with the canvas and had a selfish moment where I wanted to keep it... so I decided to make another version for myself...
 I used a larger dollar store canvas for it, and while I am happy how it turned out, I really like the unusual size of the one I made bunny1kenobi.  Also, I did this one with a slightly lighter wash of colour.  Right now, mine is sitting on the shelves going up the bedroom stairs... ironic as I am not allowed to use those shelves for books...

12  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Altered journal/sketchbook covers... on: December 25, 2015 06:59:13 AM

I made a couple of these journals/sketchbooks lately.  One is for Bunny1kenobi for the 12 days of Christmas swap, and one for me, because I wanted to keep the one I made her, but could not bring myself to be that selfish!

This first one is in browns and bronze and the one I gave away.  I went with a bit more of a Steampunkish look for it.

This one I kept for myself, and just went with a more black/gray, and kept it a bit simpler.

I really like how the texturing turned out and how it feels like a nice plaster to the touch.

I did a set of tutorials of the different stages.  There are a ton more pictures and details about how I did it at the various blog links, if anyone else is interested in trying it out.

Part 1 - texturing the covers...

Part 2 - initial layering of colour

Part 3 shows some highlighting details...

and the final embellishment

13  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Sleigh Ride Frame ornaments.... on: December 23, 2015 04:45:41 AM

These were some ornaments I made earlier this month.  Too late for me to make as this years ornament, but I like how they turned out, so maybe for next year.

I had the idea in my head and made this one first, but came upon some issues with the first iteration and my technique, so I tried a different take, leading to the making of this one...

I took pictures of the process to make a tutorial, as a reminder to myself on how it is made, if I end up making this for next year.  But I do  like how the glittered frames turn out.  I may give it another go with thicker inner frames and better gluing, to see if I can turn them into shaker ornaments and put some glitter or sequins in them for moving snow.

But they are also a great way to use reuse flat clear packaging and reuse cardboard boxes, as that is what I used.

You can click on the pictures to my blog posts if you are interested in more pictures.  The first one is a link to the tutorial I made after the second one, if anyone else is interested in giving it a go.
14  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Lumps of coal for the naughty... on: December 05, 2015 08:41:58 AM
This was a last minute gift I came up with yesterday.  We are having our annual potluck tonight, and this was what I made up as a surprise treat for everyone coming...

Well, sort of a gift - everyone has been a bit naughty and cheeky this year in some way shape or form, so everyone is getting lumps of coal...

This was a great way to get rid of patterns of seasonal paper I really did not love.  The treat box die I used is the perfect size for the lumps of coal, and I added a little ornament or jingle bell to the ties when I wrapped them up too.

... and in case you were wondering what the lumps of coal are, they are these...

Two different types of peanut butter melty cups.  Jim is now saying to me that he has no motivation to be good if these are the lumps of coal he is being punished with!

More pics and the recipe on my blog if anyone is interested.
15  COOKING / Dessert / Nutella Meringue Mousse cake - gluten free too! on: November 28, 2015 05:08:35 PM
I made this the other day for a dinner we were having.  Our friend just had his birthday this week and I also wanted to make a cake dessert that Jim could have, that we could all share, since Jim is Celiacs.

I had an idea of making something with meringue layers, like I had done with a frozen lemon meringue torte, which is a well loved summer dessert, a chocolate mousse, and a brownie base, and this is what I came up with!

It has a flourless brownie base, and two layers of chocolate meringue, between thin layers of Nutella mousse, with a bit of meringue crumbled on top.   I may have to tweak it a bit, but we were all pretty happy with it, and it goes GREAT with coffee.  I found it a bit sweet, but the other three said they loved it as it... but then again, they could have been just trying to make me feel good...

I posted the recipe on my blog.  Again, I may tweak it a bit.  I think I would like to try a mocha version of it next time. 
16  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / A wee little art journal... on: November 19, 2015 07:12:32 AM

This is a little journal I made recently, a little mini-journal.  The covers are made with etched brass, riveted to a leather spine.

It is a small little thing, about 1.5" roughly, so it can worn as a pendent.

It has several inked pages within.  Many are blank for future random thoughts and whimsies...

and some are already decorated with some creative encouragements, and statements...

More pics on my blog if anyone else is interested...  I think I will be making more in this style.  I like the inked pages especially.
17  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Nourishing Nature - Bird Feeders gifts for family and friends on: November 13, 2015 11:26:35 AM

This is another project that Jim and I did together this year.  I am so happy when we actually plan on and work on projects together. 

Anyways, I was inspired when I saw the project posted by CarlieJoe a few months ago.  Jim made it from scrap wood in his shop and we had a number of bottles in stock, as his uncle had a wine making shop, so we often get gifted wine, and keep bottles to return to him.

Jim made the frames.  I cleaned and etched the bottles.  We did clear ones too, but they did not turn out as nice, so we did them all with the green bottles - the etching turned up much nicer on them.  Then, when Jim as done putting the frames together, I wood burned the leaf motifs onto the backer.

So far, we have nine made - hopefully that is all we need.  They are not quite finished yet - Jim is putting on the last coat of varnish on them now.  Then I just have to fill the bottles with seed and cork them for gifting.

There is more pictures (waaaaaaaaaay more; too many!) and more about the project on my blog if anyone is interested.
18  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / This note's for you.... on: November 12, 2015 11:18:22 AM
I made these pendents recently, from bamboo tiles.  They are paper, ink, paint, decoupage medium, and resin. 

After altering the bamboo tiles, I sealed them with a thin layer of glossy, jewelry grade resin, and when that cured, I used 24 gauge wire to wire the dangles.  Some are Swarovski Elements that I had picked up over the years at different workshops.  They add a bit of bling and movement. 

This is one of my favourites.

More pics of the other pendents and some more details on my blog if you are interested in reading further.
19  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Stars and snow... on: November 12, 2015 11:06:53 AM

I made a small batch of these recently, decoupaged star ornaments.  I quite like how they looked, but they looked too barren to me as just stars.  Then, as I was making a bunch of cards/tags for the holiday tag and card swap, I got the idea of combining them with die cut, painted, and glittered snowflakes.  I love how they turned out.

More about it on my blog if anyone is interested, with some more pics.
20  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Repainting action figures - what paint to use? on: November 03, 2015 09:18:04 AM
I want to repurpose a doll/action figure - could I just go with sanding it to rough up the surface a bit, applying gesso, and then acrylic, or is there a better option.  It will not be for a child to play with.  It will likely be more for display - a gag gift for an adult (well, in physical age anyways) for Christmas...
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