Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Valentine Inchies

These are the inchies that I created for Fran's In My Vintage Room Yahoo Group Valentine Swap. I used K & Co stickers, stickles, gelly roll pens, little gems, and images cut from past Cynthia Hart Victorian calendars. They were fun to make, and addictive. The swap only called for 6 to exchange...so I get to pick a few of my favorites to keep for myself and include a hostess inchie for Fran. She will be swapping these back and we will use them to create another 4x4. I can't wait!

Altered Chipboard Mitten

front view
back view
detail shot of front
detail shot of front
This is the altered chipboard mitten that I created for my In My Vintage Room Exchange that will take place at our next gathering. This is one of my favorite pieces that I've created in awhile. I love the rhinestones and the stickles mimicking the look of sparkly snow. The blue bow and the irredescent snowflake were repurposed from a card that my grandmother gave me, and the girl and floral images were cut from a Cythia Hart Victorian calendar she passed on to me to use in my art work. The images are so adorable.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Cards 2009

Here are the Christmas cards that I made this year for family, friends, and co-workers. I duplicated most design and did 2-4 of each card for a total of about 45 hand-made cards this season including the ones I made for my yahoo group members. Whew!

In My Vintage Room Christmas Cards

These are the Christmas cards that I created for the most active members of In My Vintage Room Yahoo group. I made four of each design. I printed the vintage images off of a Luna Girl clip art CD onto matte presentation paper. I embellished the images with small stick-on gems, various colors of Stickles, as well as a clear stardust Gelly Roll pen. Each image was cut out and matted onto red shimmer paper which I then cut with scallop decorative edge scissors before I adhered it to a card base. I'm pleased with how elegant and festive they turned out to be and I know the girls will appreciate them. (In return I received more hand-made cards this Christmas than I have ever gotten before and they are lovely. I am so lucky to have such wonderful and talented friends!)

Altered Bookmark

I made this bookmark back in November for Fran's In My Vintage Room Yahoo Group Bookmark Exchange. When she proposed this project I went right to the web for inspiration and stumbled across this awesome website which has the history of bookmarks as well as bookmarks through the ages and across the world. My vintage lady peeks at you from over the pages. The rest of the bookmark ended up being too plain; with more time I would have liked to fashion the "body" of the bookmark to look like her body with a pretty dress.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Creative Non-Fiction Piece Chapter 3

Raggedy Ann

She was raggedy by the time my mother handed her down to me. Her mustard dress, which could easily have been made from remnants of my southern granny’s curtains, was peppered with little black daisy flowers. Her loops of red yarn hair were littered with pearls of fuzz, and the white muslin her face had been embroidered onto had become a dingy gray. I wish I could hold her now and gingerly run my fingers over the rickrack on her dress.

She didn’t have muffled cries reverberate from within a plastic frame when I squeezed her hand, and she didn’t wet herself. She didn’t sprout hair from holes in her head as I moved her arm up and down like a ratchet from my dad’s tool chest. She couldn’t play in the bathtub with me, while my sisters and I used Avon roll-on soap to draw red and blue smiley faces on our bellies. Her large stitched round eyes stayed open in permanent surprise; they didn’t open and close when I tipped her back and forth on the swing set. I couldn’t even change her shoes; they were permanently sewn to her feet over her red and white striped stockings.

There wasn’t a string you could pull out from her back to make her talk or a place to insert batteries so that she could walk, but she was portable and soft. She came from a time where make-believe and magic wasn’t bought, it was made.

I would include her in ring-around-the-Rosie, my hand holding one of her little padded hands, and my sister holding the other, and when we all fell down, we would exhale with a giggle and look up at the sky and squint against the sun and smile.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Creative Non-Fiction Piece Chapter 2

No, I cannot wiggle my nose.

Her shiny dark hair was plaited neatly into dozens of tiny braids sticking out from under her red and yellow visor. She absentmindedly asked me for my order while refilling condiment containers.

My gaze traveled back down from the lighted menu overhead as I opened my mouth to ask for a cheeseburger Happy Meal with root beer and no onion, but I caught sight of “Tabitha” on her name badge and I stopped mid-sentence.

Hey, I have the same name as you! I blurted this out, bubbling with the naïve excitement of a seven-year-old.

She looked at me for the first time. Really? I’ve only met a few other people with my name, that’s cool. Do people always ask you if you can wiggle your nose?

Yea and they ask me if I can play the piano like the little girl from Bewitched, but I can’t do that either. My mom laughed from behind me at the sheer disappointment in my voice.

Oh. I was named after a girl in a soap opera. What was it called? Oh yea, Passions. Anyway, what would you like to order?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Creative Non-Fiction Piece Chapter 1

Guy Charlton

She told me to put my middle name and street name together and it would be my stripper name. Guy Charlton didn’t sound that sexy or exotic to me, but that’s the kind of thing we’d giggle over, along with articles in Cosmopolitan magazine, during sleepovers.

I didn’t really like living on Charlton Road at first. There was no one to play with except my little sisters. The houses were so far apart that the only time we went to the neighbors was for trick-or-treating. Our house was closer to the road than the others around us, and we couldn’t pay landscapers to mow the acre or two of uneven lawn.

I didn’t have to share my bedroom though, and I even got the biggest one, over my sisters’ protests, because I’m the oldest. None of us had to share rooms here, which is lucky because we almost killed each other over who go to use the computer after school. We were fortunate to at least finally have one; I thought I had complained enough about having to go to my friends’ houses to type up reports, but really my parents had gone without in order to be able to afford it.

I could appreciate home more when I had to make one of my own with my boyfriend and our two kittens. It didn’t really feel strange until my first Christmas that didn’t involve opening stockings with my sisters at 6 am, and breakfast of Belgian waffles while watching the TBS marathon of “A Christmas Story.”

The bush isn’t hiding the missing siding, or hanging over the crumbling cement walkway anymore. My dad took it down, and never got to the second one. I liked those bushes lit up at Christmas; they looked just like giant candy gumdrops flanking the front door.

Sometimes I visit and stay the night if I have to work really early the next morning because their house is closer than mine to the store by an hour. I breathe cigarette smoke lingering on the couch pillows, and count the click click clicks of the clock hands in the adjoining room. In the morning, the water pressure in the shower makes washing the conditioner out feel like a marathon race I might never win before the cold sets in.

Dad started to take apart the bathroom and even had a whirl-pool tub out on the back porch, but he’ll never get to install it. My parents had big plans for a master suite. A few times I’ve been allowed to go to Dad’s job sites and I’ve seen the caliber of work my dad has done in other people’s houses, but ours always came last. He used the rich people’s castaways, or else stowed them in the garage with the intent to.

They have bankruptcy court tomorrow. Over the last few months, my mom has pruned their belongings down to a room full of cardboard boxes stacked like soldiers waiting to board the moving van. They knew it was coming; dad’s self-employed in a recession and they haven’t made the mortgage in longer than they’d care to admit.

In the coming weeks our family’s house, my childhood home, on Charlton Road will be on some bank’s foreclosure list. I will have to assume a new last name for my stripper identity. Somehow, Fifth Ave doesn’t work either. I never thought I'd be cut out for that profession anyway.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Helen's Birthday!

Birthday Card for Helen (click on the image to see the crackle effect better)

Birthday ATC

Hopefully Helen will not check my blog before Saturday when I can give her these birthday creations. I played with Stickles and double sided tape to make the ATC dimensional. The birthday card features an image that I coated with my new Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint in "Rock Candy." Boy does this stuff crackle! I was having pieces of the image start to flake off so I used the Rock Candy Distress Stickles over it in places to hold the image together. It really does its job distressing and it was such a neat effect for the vintage girl.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thankful LFB

Here is the LFB that I made last night for Ginger's "Thankful" swap. I used my new Martha Stewart scallop punch for the border along the bottom and then enhanced it with a squeezed line of pearls made from "Liquid Pearls." I used CTMH stamps for the sentiment and cornucopia and colored in the stamp with markers and Stickles. I added the chipboard title and felt leaves and voila! Instant fall! I am thankful that I get to spend Thanksgiving with my family before they move to NC in December. I will miss them terribly at Christmastime.

Jackson Pollack Inspired LFB

It's that time of the month again!!! Elise's Artist of the Month for November's LFB is Jackson Pollack. I had fun swirling around my favorite colors of paint, spraying on some black with a blow pen, and adhering a quote from Pollack himself!

Go B-P Boys Soccer!

I have the privilege of student teaching in the Broadablin-Perth school district this semester and I am currently placed in the high school. My cooperating teacher is the JV soccer coach, and the Varsity team has made it to States. I was able to attend last week's Veteran's day sectional game against Potsdam at Colonie High School. They won 2-0 and it was a ton of fun to see the students I have in class grinning from ear to ear after every goal and capturing some moments for them on camera.
I had Jeff drive me out there and help me cheer them on in the cold. At least it was a sunny day, and it was a perfect excuse for me to play with my camera's zoom lens. I think its the first time I have really gotten to use it, and it amazed me how clear and close up the pictures looked even though I was sitting at almost the top of the bleachers and they were yards and yards away! These were two of my favorite shots. I wish the boys the best of luck this weekend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Family Halloween Dinner 2009

my favorite thing about Halloween: caramel apples

the geek and little red riding hood make a cute couple

the R/C plane pilot

Spooky dead bride

a snack spread to die for

some ghoulish girls

the night of the living dead

no bones about it, this was a cool table setting

I couldn't tell you why exactly but Halloween is my family's favorite holiday. For as long as I can remember costumes and decorations have been a big deal for my mom. In grade school my sisters and I won one firehouse costume contest after another, and we decked out our basement as a haunted house every year of high school, and each year the guest list got longer and longer.

As we have gotten older, we have reserved our celebrations to more intimate family affairs. Our haunted dinners are an excuse to still dress up and eat weirdly delicious foods and decorate from floor to ceiling with cobwebs, streamers, bones and spiders galore. This year was no exception. Although Jeff and I wished to wear out pjs to the dinner party and just collapse on the couch after the meal, we should've known we wouldn't get off that easily. Upon arrival to my parents' house in "street clothes" we were soon cooerced upstairs to the costume closet to change. I'm secretly glad they got me motivated despite how tired I was at week's end because Halloween wouldn't be the same without a costume: no matter how pathetic and impromptu it may have been.

Mom made "bat wings and mummy toes" for dinner (chicken wings and pigs in a blanket) along with coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread. For dessert we had chocolate covered pretzel rods and my favorite caramel apples. I love the ambiance and the comraderie of the occassion and I will miss it next year after they move to NC next month. Halloween will never quite be the same, so I had to be sure to document the tradition this year.

Holiday Inchie LFB

Detail shot of front with shaker pouch of Diamond Dust
Back of LFB featuring Ginger's December Inchie

Front of LFB featuring Helen and Elaine's Inchies
This little fat book page was created for Fran's In My Vintage Room Yahoo Group swap. Earlier last month she had us each create 6 Holiday inchies to be swapped back and we were to choose 3 of our returns to create a Winter/Holiday LFB. This was a challenging but awesome idea! At first I thought it would be hard to pick which three to use, but after I saw which would work together best to tell a little story on the page it worked out. I used Elaine's sledding inchie with Helen's snowman to create a fun "Snow Day" scene. I found a fun use for the diamond dust and shaker pouches I just purchased from Stampassion too! Shake my LFB and it snows on the snowman! Yay! I added Making Memories Wordfetti stickers, Close To My Heart snowflake stamps, and some rhinestones to complete the page. Ginger's December Inchie matched my color scheme and made a great addition to the back of my page where I could put my info and carry over the snowflake theme.

Beeswax LFB, Black & White Theme

After Marilyn's Beeswax Collage Workshop at Lori's I went out and purchased all the supplies to show my sister Elise, and my friend Ginger how to do it (because they couldn't make it to the workshop) and I had so much fun. I was finally able to sit down with the two of them this past Saturday and unpackage my new tools and play. I decided to apply the technique to the 4x4 I have due for an upcoming Stampassion Swap themed "Black & White." It worked wonderfully and was a lot of fun. I thought "Pure Joy" was an ironic sentiment for this sour pussed woman who seems to not at all like the man she's sitting with on the bench.
My sister is so inspired by the endless realm of possiblities beeswax will open into her fine art. Ginger seemed to have fun too, even though she kept having to do all the supply finding when we demanded buttons or ribbon or phrase stamps since we were at her house. It was a great afternoon!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Secret German Scrap ATC Swap

I almost forgot to post a picture of this ATC that I created for a secret swap I hosted. I included the German scrap of the Victorian girl and gold trim, and the little blue English Cameo as a "thank you" for participating in my Fashion ATC or Altered House Swap in August and participants could choose to keep the gift for a later project of their own, or to create an ATC for the swap. Only a few ladies remembered to do it, but it was fun. Lori and I found the German scrap at an antique show over the summer and it was nice to see some of it put to good use.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Halloween LFB

I stopped my lesson planning for the night and took a break to create a Halloween LFB page for Tuesday's swap at Stampassion. I want to try to go with Lori because I haven't been in a few months, and even though I'm busy with school, I miss her and the other girls. It will be nice to just take a night off from reading and planning to visit and create. I hope we will be learning a new technique and playing with some fun products.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Christmas Inchie Swap

These are inchies I created for Fran's XMAS Inchie swap in the In My Vintage Room Yahoo Group. She's so clever to have us create 6 inchies and she's swapping them back and having us use three on an LFB for a swap. I'm so excited about this new twist, and my first substantial attempt at inchies. It was a ton of fun!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloween ATCs

These are ATCs that I made for Miriam's Halloween ATC swap for the In My Vintage Room Yahoo Group. It's outside the realm of vintage and antique-y but I think the cutesy mummy worked nicely on a little card. I pop-dotted just his hands so it would look like he's sleep walking off the paper. The bat brads and various halloween buttons accent the focal point of the mummy. This was a much needed creative break from lesson planning and research.