Sunday, August 28, 2011

Beach Charm Swap for September

I survived the first week of school. Actually, it went much smoother than I expected; however, I was as tired as I expected and didn't get much done outside of school work this week. Yesterday I played. The day started with breakfast out: Michael and I drove the Miata down A1A to see the waves from Irene on our way to eat in Ormond (yummy apple fritters at Peaches) and then came back through the tunnel of  trees in Tomoka. Anita had to run an errand in Jacksonville so I went along for the ride. We made the round of shops: Small Cleverness (found the new rolled flower punch and picked up the die cuts and journal stamps that I had ordered and a new Zentangle book that I really like); next stop was Country Crossroads for some quilt fabric; lunch at Chilis; then on to the PIT scrapbook store (some Ranger mists and more binder rings). We arrived back home to find that Michael had decided to trade in his pickup for a new Jeep Wrangler. We drove it to St. A for dinner at the Mexican restaurant. I don't find it comfortable to drive, but it's his car. My diet is shot today-eating out three times! This morning I decided to concentrate on finishing my September 1 charm swaps (instead of school work), expecially since the deadline is just around the corner.
Like most "Ocean" themes, I had too many ideas swimming around in my brain and it took me a while to decide how I wanted to interpret this theme. I found the perfect shells last weekend when I took the earring class with Elaine at the Bead Bar in Orlando. I had the shell chain in my stash, made the sample last weekend and spent this morning making loops and dangles. The charms are all done, now the challenge is to figure out how to package them-to look nice and to keep them safe.
As soon as I receive the rest of the swaps I will post a picture on my new Charm Swap page.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

ATC trades

 Michael was gone all day at a gun show so I had the time to play; I finished my fall trades. I know how busy I am going to be with the start of school and getting ready for the Tim Holtz trip so I worked ahead. September is "Asian," October is "Kings and Queens"  and November is "Tag Art" (I made extra of my cruise tag swaps).

Cards, Swaps and a Tour

I have been a bit slower posting because it's back to school time. I have some cards and the packaging of my cruise swaps and even a tour of my craft room (while it's mostly clean). For the last week I have been in my classroom cleaning and organizing there; maybe I will inlcude a tour of it one day.  On my last day of freedom, I accomplished one of my summer goals: I finished the monster quilt top and backing. It's off to the shop for quilting because it's too big for me to enjoy doing on my home machine--it's 110 in square. I can't show you yet; it's a Christmas present. 

These are two of the cards I made using the blended background stamping. Directions are on the Stamping page. I like this style card. The base of the card is the underneath and the flap is only the area of the background/message with an additional paper inside for the message.

Next I have my last ATC design for the cruise swap. I rubbed and spritzed straw, lipstick and concord on a craft sheet and dragged the tag and string through to blend the colors. A key charm from my stash (and Jan's) was tied to the string. The stamped images are mostly from Tim's designs. I accented the heart with stickles for a bit of bling and the crown is a Tim die cut design cut from grunge board that I "rusted." To do this you apply embossing ink to the grunge and emboss with distress powder (vintage photo). After rubbing off the discharge crystals apply distress ink. I think I used rust (or maybe vintage photo).  
 I used a Holtz stamp design for the labels on the back of all my ATCs; computer generated the info, stamped complimentary images from my collection and blended the edges with distress ink.

 I packaged the charms in a little matchbook style box. (I am concerned that the flip-flop beads will break in transit.) Basically this is made from the directions for the nugget box from splitcoaststampers and edited for size. I attached the charms to tags that I made from paint chips. I used the slit punch and a small circle to hang the lobster claw. I stamped palm trees on clear acetate with stazon for the wrap around.

Next is the tour of my mostly cleaned craft room-minus members of the "Stampin Cult" that are often present.
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Our next 'cult' project is designing group tee-shirts using a technique that Anita learned from a class several years ago. I loved my first shirt and was sad when it didn't fit anymore (but not sad about loosing all the weight)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cruise Charm Swap is done!

I am so pleased with this swap; it is definitely one I would like to receive. I used the image from the event's logo and printed it on shrink plastic (shared from Anita). I had the glass flip-flop beads (from Oriental Trading I believe) that were in my stash. (which I discovered when I cleaned out and organized my beads last week). I used up these beads and did a few with the pearl/shell dangle. The lobster claws (12x7) are the ones that Anita and I ordered from Fire Mountain.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cleaning and Organizing and Finishing Projects

This has been a clean up week; the end of vacation is near and I still have some summer goals to meet. I worked on the "Big Quilt." The top is pieced and I need to make decisions about borders. I will post it on the quilt page as soon as I really finish.

It's time to start thinking about school so I spent about 8 hours organizing files on my school laptop; not fun, but necessary for a less stressful school year. It's two years of not always putting stuff away-and just needing to throw old ideas away-because my computer was stolen from a workshop last summer and I didn't get to reload my back up until school resumed. (Thank goodness I had backed up files before I left school instead of waiting until after organizing the files-psychic, I think).

I finished cleaning up my bead stuff; not sure if I like all the changes, but time will tell. Yes, I found lots of lost treasure. My head is spinning with more project ideas. I finished the repair pile (mostly from Grace), a couple UFOs and actually made new items. (creating is an avoidance technique that I use for cleaning).

  My most wonderful achievement was accomplished with Michael's help: trying to corral my ribbon. We made these nifty holders a couple of years ago, but I constantly knock them over. I have seen this organizational idea on several others posts and it works great. We screwed the gutters into the wall; tried velcro Command strips but they kept separating. As you can see, I need to head back to the hardware store for another row; afterall, I have been collecting for 25 years. (Remember, I did confess to several obsessions.)  I slipped the loose pieces onto binder rings and hung them up too. They were in boxes, hanging from shelves..... My new goal is to use ribbon! I am thinking of a challenge for my St. Augustine stamp group: giving them a piece of ribbon and asking them to use it for a "show and tell" item the next month.