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61  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Inspired by my Great Grandmother, C. 1886 on: December 24, 2015 03:37:39 AM


I recently inherited (actually I plucked it from my father's recycling bin...he is elderly and not thinking straight lately!) an 1886 autograph book dedicated to my Great Grandmother. There were wonderful pieces written in it and my favorite was this, word for word. I knew I wanted to send it to one of my Craftster friends, whose fave color is orange.

I took a frame from my childhood, painted it, and glued beads on to match fabric on which the inner paper is mounted. The paper IS A BLANK ONE FROM MY OWN GG'S BOOK! So it's an oldie but a goodie.



I tried my best to copy old style writing. Oy, I wanna learn how to write 'normally' like this! It is so classy!

thanks for looking.
62  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Christmas birch bark house on: December 21, 2015 07:09:13 AM

I pick up a lot of birch bark from downed trees as I walk the dogs. I decided to make a wee house with it.


In the stitch and botch section is a picture of my kitty drinking from the water where I was soaking the bark to make it pliable. Apparently it tasted more interesting than her regular ol' boring water!
I used both E6000 and Modpodge, depending on the places.

After I put the house on its base, I asked my daughter Acadian Driftwood for ideas for sprucing it up. She told me about dots of nailpolish that would dangle like tiny bulbs if I put it on a thread. What an awesome idea.


I used embroidery floss to create the green swags on the fence. I cut the teeniest tiniest bits to add red color.

The wreath on the door is also floss. I smeared a long strand with glue, then wound it around a skewer so it would come out round.
The evergreen tree is foam, cut two pieces and notched them together....there must be a name for that technique.... It was originally lime green so I painted it to be darker.

it lights up! I put a battery run tealight inside. the thing was pretty tall, and after I cut the door, I realized most of the interior would not show due to the tea light base in the way. Acadian Driftwood suggested I just 'block' the door with a picture. I used pen and ink and watercolor, or was it acrylic? to make a wee old fashioned girl at the door.


the windows have plastic in place of glass. curtains are 'real'. the tiny white deer, like those one often sees in yards at this time of year is bark, honeysuckle twigs, and antlers are wild grape vine.
The birdfeeder was such fun to construct! bark, pole is a porcupine quill, birds are floss. I love how i was able to make a hovering cardinal by attaching him on a bit of plastic thread from one of those typical price tag attatchers.

Snow is Borax. Other tree also a spring of honeysuckle.

Stove pipe is painted wood skewer with a bit of pulled qtip at top.
thanks for looking! And thanks to Acadian Driftwood for the awesome pics she took for me.
this went down to Virginia Beach as a Christmas gift for an employer-turned-friend.


63  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / It's "just a card" on: December 20, 2015 05:15:32 AM


Dont know if this Christmas card will get to my bro in California on time, but I send it tomorrow.
he got a couple of new kittens last month, Scarlett and Rhett. I took the only pic I had of them to feature in this card. His kids (ages 16 and 13) are nuts about cats as well so they will like it, too.
pen and ink, watercolor.
64  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / second christmas gift pet portrait on: December 20, 2015 05:07:01 AM

This one, planned, I might add, because I remembered to add a background, is of my second biggest clients.Two dogs and a kitty.

German Shephard is Mr. Logan, mixed breed is Heismann, and kitty is Squirt.

It was tough to get Squirt's character in the pic. Black cats can come out in artwork like a lump of coal with eyes!


the angle of Heismann is tough. I would have liked to have chosen a better one, but it was hard to get him to be still.
And Squirt was NEVER still, so I had to pic out details from a very blurry shot.
I was generally successful in having the bodies fade away but what a challenge for the dark black of the kitty to fade!

Medium is pen and ink and watercolor. Frame is a bit much but it is all I had in the attic.
thanks for looking. I give it to the owners today before they leave on a trip (during which time I care for Squirt.)
65  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / dotee... think outside the box, inside the bulb! on: December 15, 2015 05:30:34 PM


I have posted dotees before, in the dolls and playthings section, but I felt this belonged in the miscellaneous category.
The November swap theme was color. Some of my partner's favorite colors are periwinkle, dark pink, neon green, and black.


I bought a clear bulb and opened it all up, getting out all the stuff inside. Then I basically built a creature piece by piece inside, sort of like making a ship in a bottle.


I used a chopstick as my tool. I would temp-glue, with ModPodge, a piece on one end. I then used E6000 to do the final glue inside the bulb. When the E6000  was dry, which did not take too long, I simply gave a twist to the chopstick and the ModPodge let go, leaving the permanent piece on the inner creature.


It took about six days of work to finish this.


Most of the parts of the inner and outer creatures are made from bird bones. My daughter Acadian Driftwood and I were walking near her home last year and came upon a nice set of raptor bones by the road. I set them aside, waiting for the perfect use. I bleached and dried them, painted the pieces, then did the gluing up.

other 'ingredients' include twirly grapevine for tiny creature tail, christmas tree ornaments with tops cut off for large creature's eyes, twine for claws, yarn going around the neck of the bulb, and a milk cap to seal it off. "puddle" of color that inner creature stands on is nail polish.

it was a super challenge, but a lot of fun! I was so grateful it arrived without the bulb or delicate bones being busted.

thanks for looking!

66  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / theme... Me as a magical creature on: December 13, 2015 07:54:10 AM


In this month's swap, gallery not up yet, but partner received. did Me as a Magical Creature. I am Siiiker, the flying cat who finds all lost or abandoned kittens.  here I am finding another under a crumbling stone step.
I looooved this theme. Gonna add it to my own list.

67  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / "The Cats!!" dog portrait on: December 11, 2015 08:36:48 AM


I call these two characters The Cats, because they are Catahoula Hounds. I have been taking care of them as my job for over a year now. They are my best paying clients.



I did the pen and ink, watercolor portrait, then could not figure out how to make it pop. I posed the question to Craftsters and they came thru with flying colors.


The white and yellow is Smudge


The darker (in character too! She bites!) is Mazy.

I will be wrapping it up today and leaving it under their owner's tree.

thanks for looking!!
68  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / Need to spruce this up, but HOW??!! on: December 10, 2015 04:12:43 AM


My biggest dogcare client has kept my wallet fatter this year so I did a portrait of his pups that will go to him for Christmas. They look just like Smudge and Mazy but the surrounding area is so blank! I have many ideas of what I could put there (his house, surrounding trees, etc), but the medium is pen and ink and watercolor, so I know I will wreck the whole picture if I put watercolor around them, since it dries so quickly and will leave horrible streaks and lumpy areas due to me not being able to get to every inch of background as it dries.
How can I add CLASSY background to this piece?  Any ideas?

thanks!
69  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Ridiculouly easy way to display a favorite brooch or other loved jewelry on: December 09, 2015 08:08:45 AM


This is my favorite Avon kids (perfume inside) brooch from my childhood. I will not be wearing it again, but do not want it stuck away in some storage box. I came up with this way to enjoy it in my room.
I chose a lovely but not too distracting fabric background and simply applied it within a hoop. With the brooch in the middle, both fabric and piece are enjoyed muchly by me.

So darn easy!!
70  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / Kitty drinking my bark-soak water! on: December 08, 2015 05:09:27 AM


Cats (and all pets, really) can be sooo silly!  I am soaking birch bark in hot water to make it flexible so I can build something cool for Christmas. Along comes The DandiGirl, and drinks my water!
 Plus, last week, I foolishly let my jar lid of black paint sit on the desk while I left the room and when I returned, there was black acrylic paint ALL OVER  the place. In odd little kitty footprint shapes.  Thing was, I was housesitting (thankfully I get to bring my pets with me but the mouse causes no problems cuz mice are angels) so this mess was all over a client's spare bedroom. Oy.
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