Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lori's Altered Butterfly Swap

I got inspired the other night to start decorating the chipboard butterfly that Lori gave me for her swap. I finished the other side today and here you have it. I did a little more layering than normal for me. I used patterned paper from Prima, then decoupaged my images on including circles punched from vintage sheet music I got from a used book store. After that I decoupaged a piece of sheer orange mulberry paper over it all, then stamped the black swirls with Staz-On ink and added embellishments. It was alot of fun to work outside of the "box" and in a butterfly shape. I hope whoever receives it in the swap enjoys it, until now it's gracing my bulletin board.

Sophia's Birthday Card

Jeff's little cousin Sophia's birthday card (using CTMH paper & stamps)

Jeff's cousin Sophia is celebrating her second birthday today, but Jeff is working, and I'm trying to recover from my work week so I will be giving her the card tomorrow at her little sister Sadie's baptism. I took photos of the card and was ready to post them, and I got inspired at the last minute to add the googly eyes to the pigs. I just had to rephotograph them because it totally made the card! I hope that it makes her giggle!

Happy Birthday Donna!

Donna's Birthday Card

Donna's Birthday LFB Front

Donna's Birthday LFB Back
I made this card and little fat book page for Donna for her birthday. She is a member of my yahoo group's Birthday Club. I will be getting it to her tomorrow hopefully, so if I'm lucky she won't see this post before then. The Little Fat Book page is one that I started at Stampassion the first time I went last month. I finished it up and added the "put on your party hat" quote just for her.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Matt's Birthday and Sadie's Baptism Cards

For Jeff's cousin's baptism

For Jeff's sister's boyfriend, Matt
How lucky is Jeff that his girlfriend loves to make greeting cards? I absolutely forbid him to buy cards when I can make them and personalize them. His sister Lindsey is dating a golf-lover so I used the Tee Time stamp set from Close To My Heart, and cut Prima flowers in half for grass.
For his little cousin Sadie's Baptism I used the same line of products that I did for Mrs. O's retirement card and reused the design layout because I thought it made for an elegant and sweet card. I used mulberry paper, Prima Flowers and paper and Recollections pearl stickers from Micheals.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Congrats on your retirement Mrs. Oberdieck!

Mrs.O & I at her retirement party

Here is that retirement card I wrote about making for Mrs.Oberdieck, the social worker/SADD advisor/Jack-of-all-trades/nicest person ever at my high school. I didn't really know how to go about making a retirement card because I've never made one...I was going to use the school logo, a Spartan head, and the school colors, maroon and white. When I told my mom, she made a face at me so I decided to go with something floral and elegant instead. I had to work all day and I got called in to get up and work in the morning, so I had to rush this more than I would have liked because I don't have the time to make it tomorrow before the party like I initially thought I would. Whew! And I think that was a run on sentence. I better get to bed so I can even function tomorrow--and I still have to write in the card!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day! (and Happy Birthday too!)

Good 'ol cotton balls for clouds technique

Hand-stamped with all CTMH sets & inks

Me & my Dad
I went over to my parents' house today to celebrate my dad's birthday and father's day with them and my sisters. Elise grilled steaks and chicken, we had baked potatoes, salad, and cresent rolls--with ice cream sundaes for dessert--YUM! I always feel like my dad gets a little jipped because his birthday is the 24th, and father's day is the 21st so we lump the two events together every year (so I made sure to buy him a few presents). He loves r/c airplanes, and though I don't know much about them I bought him one to play with anyway. I also bought him a new watch and some candy. He's such a big kid at heart, I love to see him smiling. I gave him his father's day card with the plane on it to go with his gifts today, and I'm going to mail his birthday card Monday, so even though I won't be with him on his birthday he will have something fun to open in the mail.

Cards, Cards, Cards!

For Jeff's brother, Mike

For Jeff's step-dad, Andy

For my sister, Aly
It seems like I can't make cards fast enough this many birthdays and I even have to make a retirement card for the social worker at my high school who I became great friends with because she was the advisor of my SADD chapter (and I was club president). These are only a few of what I've been pumping out lately. I made the thank you for my sister because she's been working on my hair for me for free. She is currently a stylist at Allure Salon on Rt.9 in Clifton Park, NY. If you are local, you should look her up and tell her I sent you. I'm so proud of how much she's learned and how confident she's become in the last few years. I figured I would send her this thank you card in the mail so she gets a fun surprise to open instead of bills! :o)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Favorite Place Chipboard House Swap

"My Favorite Place" Chipboard House Outside

"My Favorite Place" Chipboard House Inside

This is what I created for "Our Little Neighborhood" project, Chipboard house #2. The theme of this house was "My Favorite Place," which is hands down my grandma's camp on Lake Algonquin. I go there every summer, and its such a nice retreat from the hustle and bustle of the everyday. I wanted to capture the essence of the comfort and simplicity of this place...wood-sy buttons and photos of the deer my grandfather hunted and mounted spell out the "adirondack camp" vibe.

Behind the Garden Gate

"Garden Gate" LFB Front

"Garden Gate" LFB Detail Front

"Garden Gate" LFB Back
Here is the little fat book page that I made for my June swap. I have been stumbling over where to start with this one for weeks. I bought Cartwright and Fishburn's In This Garden a few months ago and I was so inspired. I thought it would make a great theme to do garden pages and try some things I saw in the book. I had to many products and techniques and started pieces going that I've been overwhelmed. I had a partial vision in my head of how I wanted this to turn out but not the patience or energy to realize it. Sometimes it's hard to work in a 4x4 space when I have too many ideas to fit within it. Overall, I'm happy with the result. I like that I folded the paper back to make the gate open and put the couple inside. I also used wired paper flowers and a paper piercer to poke holes in the gate to wind the flowers through. The other accents are buttons with the shanks cut off. The image on the back I've used before in a Sleeping Beauty ATC swap, but I was stumped at to how I wanted the back to go, so I used it because it resembled the people from the front. The gate photo is the one I told you about in a previous blog when I took photos around the neighborhood. I think it turned out pretty cute.

Aly's Altered Book

Aly's Altered Book Front & Back

Aly's Altered Book Inside

So I finally got my youngest sister Aly involved in my art group's projects. She came over with Elise on Saturday night and we worked on their altered books. Aly was at Donna's and saw what it was about and decided that for the theme "school days" she could use her experience in cosmetology school as her inspiration. With a little help from me with embossing the title and covering the book, this is what she came up with. I'm so proud! :o) I even let her glue my rat tail comb into the binding and we covered it in glitter glue. I feel slightly guilty that we took a book that was over hundred years old and turned it into this...but hopefully whoever gets it in the swap will enjoy it as "art." I guess all that matters is we had fun together. I get excited when she shows an interest in stuff like this.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Donna's "School Days" Altered Book Cover Swap

Original Book Cover (1960)

Altered Book Cover (2009)

Original Inside

Altered Inside
Donna, a member of the In My Vintage Room Yahoo group proposed an Altered Book Cover swap with the theme of "School Days." I think many of us were hesitant at first (as an English major and book lover, how could I take a gorgeous vintage book and cut out the pages and glue all over it?!) but it ended up being a ton of fun. My sister and I searched the shelves of a used book store in Wells, NY yesterday and I found this book from 1960...I was even able to tear out pages with illustrations and use them for images on my finished piece. I also used the "Notebook" paper pack from Close to My Heart, some acrylic stamps, silk flowers, and metal letters, along with paint, ink, and decoupage glue. I hope many of our other group members will participate, both of my sisters plan to try creating one too. I was supposed to wait to make one with them and Ginger, and Lori talked about working on it together too...but I just couldn't wait I was so inspired by this book. I might try my hand at another one!

Frida Kahlo Inspired LFB

Frida Kahlo's Person +
Frida Kahlo's Watermelons +

A Magazine Ad to overpaint =

"Check Out My Melons" Frida Inspired LFB

Well, you can tell that painting is not quite my forte, but my sister Elise's first love is Fine Art, and she wanted to bring some new concepts to In My Vintage Room with an Artist of the Month inspired LFB swaps. This will be the first one she hosts and I hope she gets a good response. All I really know about Frida is uni-brows and bizarre expressions of this was quite a challenge for me, and I'm not "thrilled" with my results, but it broke me out of the vintage box and I think that next time will go smoother.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Walk Around Lake Algonquin

These are a few of the sights from the walk I took today around Lake Algonquin in Wells, NY with my sister Elise and puppy Brinkley. Elise and I, and our other sister Aly, who couldn't be with us today, have so many wonderful memories of this place but it has become sort of a sad quiet little hamlet in the last decade or so. I remember the hustle and bustle on the bay outside of my grandma's camp when I was younger...jet skis and fishing boats, and tubers and water skiers. And the first weekend of August, there is a town-wide celebration complete with a parade, craft fair, rides, games and food vendors. It was what we looked forward to all summer...but every year the offerings and the attendance dwindle to less and less.
I guess its not the cool hip place to vacation anymore. For me it will always have a special place in my heart; the place where we visited grandma, roasted smores in the patio fireplace, canoed to the island in the center of the bay, visited out-of-state relatives on Fourth of July, played flashlight tag and told scary stories with the neighbor's kids, and dared each other to jump off the dock or the rope swing into the cold lake water first. It's always been a place where my sisters and I got along. No matter how much we fought over silly things growing up, at camp we were three peas in a pod.
It's nice now that we are all getting older that we can come back here and appreciate those times and look to times ahead. Elise and I were able to walk the few miles around the lake and reflect on childhood memories and life in general. Those times are rare and precious; those moments when you can escape the monotany of daily routine and obligations, and just enjoy nature and friendship...and the companionship and curiosity of my adorable puppy dog too! I'm glad I got to take some time out today for that, I sure needed to. I hope that you enjoy the photos and it puts you in a happy state of sunshine and reminds you to take a moment to stop and smell the sweet mountain air and smile.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Neighborhood Nature Walk

I asked Jeff to go with me to take Brinkley for a walk around the neighborhood before I had to leave for work today because I was inspired by Peggy's garden photos and I don't have a garden. I've noticed that many of our neighbors have some lovely flowers, so I "adopted" them for all intensive photography purposes. I tried my hand earlier this spring planting tulip bulbs along my front sidewalk, but I will have to wait till next year to see if anything will come of them. At least the walk got me outdoors and doing something active, and it was fun to take some pictures, even if I did feel a little funny crouching in people's front lawns to get close-ups of their flora and fauna. The best part was, I was able to take a gorgeous shot of someone's garden gate and trellis for my "Garden" LFB. I won't post that picture yet, you will have to wait and see what I make out of it for the June Swap. :o)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Pet ATCs

In My Vintage Room Yahoo Group "Pets" ATC Swap

"Cozy Kitty" (My Casper)

"Sugar & Spice" (Miss Gracie)

"Only Cute Sleeping" (Brinkley)
These are a tribute to the best pets in the world for my June swap. Jeff and I adopted Gracie and Casper from the APF on Maple Ave in Schenectady two years ago and they are my best friends. They are brother and sister cats (the last two there from their litter). They were such perfect animals, but lately Gracie has taken to peeing on Brinkley's dog bed (we brought him home last summer from a Times Union ad). I'm not sure what's gotten into her, and we've taken her to the vet twice already. I feel like we've ruled out urinary tract infection and crystals...and concluded its behavioral (stress). Although my house is small and I'm not thrilled about putting a litter box in our only bathroom...she got her way and won't have to go down to the basement now to use the litter box (now she has two to pick from on two different floors of the house, so she better stop going on the dog's bed!) Other than this, I have no complaints, and I've fallen in love with the dog as well. With Jeff's crazy work schedule, I can never whine about being totally lonely because their antics constantly entertain and their love and adoration is endless. I've very lucky to have such wonderful companions!

KISS Layout: Revised

The white space in the top left corner was getting to needed something. I came back to this layout today and added "Shannon & Chris." I googled "ampersand" in image search to find some fancy oversized script and put it in a word doc as an image so I could change it to greyscale and put the "Shannon/Chris" text over it in brown. Then I inserted a box, changed the line type and color, and printed it on white cardstock. Then I sponged dye ink in a few different shades of blue to try to match the background paper and inked the edges brown. I'm pretty happy with how it finished up. NOW it's done!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hawaiian Love Birds & KISS

Engagement gift for Shannon (framed "Kiss" layout)

Engagement gift for Toni (framed "Hawaiian Love Birds" layout)

I'm lucky to work with a great group of people at CVS. Within the past few months, both Toni and Shannon have gotten engaged. Toni, while she was in Hawaii on a spring vacation. I'm having them, along with a few other women we work with to a BBQ at my house on Saturday to celebrate. (Hopefully neither of them check this blog before then, but I don't think they do--so I should be safe!) I have some neat bachelorette/wedding shower games planned along with some yummy food. As long as the weather holds out it should be a great time!

Toni's layout took me the longest. I couldn't figure out how I wanted all the pattern to work together, but I knew I wanted it to be colorful and tropical and a nice reminder of her trip and the time he proposed. I played around with the title lettering alot before I settled on this and printed a hibiscus flower for an accent.
Shannon's layout came together much quicker. I wanted to try an "embellishment grouping" like I've been seeing in some of my scrapbook magazines and break out of the linear a little bit. The upper left corner is still bugging me, I can't often leave white space. I'm toying with the idea of adding "Shannon & Chris" in script or something, but I don't want to ruin it or clutter it too much. Any ideas? I have till Saturday to alter it...