Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quietfire and Wizards

Yesterday Gladys and I gave each other our Christmas present ~ we got ourselves a Spellbinders Wizard to share.  I currently have custody of it because Gladys has some projects that she has to finish for Christmas.  I on the other hand have nothing but time to take this puppy out for a test drive.  That's not entirely true, there are a million things I should be doing...    So I've cut and embossed and cuttlebugged and so many more things... once again I have no idea what I am doing but am having a great time anyway. 

This all started with an innocent enough visit to see Suzanne at Quietfire Designs yesterday afternoon.   We were looking for some sentiment stamps specifically for Christmas cards and she has some of the most beautiful ones I've seen.  Check out her website (and Blog)

So we were wandering around her remarkable space, full to the brim of every Art supply known to woman (and many I have never heard of) and one thing led to another and before you know it we were cutting and embossing with her Wizard.  The coolest stuff!

So today this is what I have done.  Note,  not one card was assembled in the makings of this day!

I cut the star and forgot to emboss it before I removed it from the star "nestability" so I decided to emboss it with the poinsettia Dreamweaver stencil.  It's very pretty :-)

Here's another Dreamweaver stencil that Gladys already owned.  Yes, we do love trees.

I messed up the cutting on the vellum stars but it was a happy accident because they fold out 3D so nicely!  And yes, that is black paper... destined for a Christmas card.  I have been hanging out with Gladys a long time now!

I don't know what I will do with this one but its the left over ink from tree stencil that I brayered onto a piece of scrap paper.   Maybe it should go in a journal page, that is, if I ever start one.

These are some of the stamps Suzanne made, her caligraphy is brilliant.

I did decide to "muck" with my oh so simple cards after all.  They just needed a little bling.  So I added some stitches and dots with a jelly roll pen called clear star.  It really did perk these up.  Suzanne had the perfect stamp for these cards.  I think that "All hearts come home for Christmas" really does belong inside a card  for Peace.

This little lantern I made following directions in a book Gladys got from her book club.  It has an LED tea light in it so it's very safe, and quite cute I think. I'm toying with the idea of making some miniature ones for my Christmas tree.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Would this be considered WEATHER?

This is what happened in Courtenay over the last couple of days... due to weather.   The river completely overran it's boundaries.  Quite a site!

Normally it's quite a well behaved river, almost idyllic you could say.  But since it has rained every day this month it's not all that surprising.  I am really starting to hate rain!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Choices! so many Choices

It's yet another wet cold November day.  So here I sit, lazy again, sorting through digital pictures that somehow I saved to my laptop hard drive instead of the sainted Cool Max.  Of course the inevitable happens and I get lured into the photos and just have to tweek a little bit. This is why my picture sorting will never ever be finished.
I've been playing with the filtered black and white option in Picasa and have really enjoyed the results. It's a very different result from the regular black and white.  Here's an example of what I mean.

Here is the original picture - just cropped with no other manipulations

And after the black and white option

Here the picture is filtered black and white (blue) - notice how the trees are so much more defined.

Here the picture is filtered black and white (red) - this option makes everything look quite frosty.

What a difference these choices make.  I will definitely have to explore this some more.

The other thing that fascinated me was the fact that by cropping a picture you can almost make it unrecognizable. I love this close up of tree bark, it made me think of marbled speckled paper. I wonder if you would know what it was if you couldn’t see the tree trunk?

 I will finish with this... if you look hard enough can you see faces in anything?  It seems I see faces in rocks A LOT.  Some people stare up at the clouds and while I have done this I far rather look into the crags and crevices of rocks to find some sign of human kind. 

Monday, November 9, 2009

YouTube and Zendoodle

After my little foray into Christmas card world I decided I would check out online sources for Art paper tools (notice I didn’t use the term “scrapbooking” ~ I haven’t admitted to doing that yet) Specifically I was looking for a punch of some kind. While making cards I found that the end of my exacto knife just wasn’t cutting it (pun intended). So, there I was on YouTube watching a demo of Cropadile, the coolest ever hole punch, brad setter, dry paper embosser... hey, it does a lot of stuff and I do love gadgets. From there I watched a couple of demo’s on using gesso on journal pages, then I went on to see how gesso can alter photo’s.. Anyway to cut a long story short I eventually ended up viewing Milliande’s Channel, aka ArtPlay with Milliande. If you like/love/can’t help yourself but doodle...follow this link to doodle nirvana.

A couple of hours and many hand cramps and dead fingers later... I really must do something about that carpel tunnel syndrome ...some day...

So here are my valiant efforts at Zendoodling. I had to make myself quit after a couple of hours and go for a walk as my butt was NUMB. I know what I will be doing at work (only when there’s no work to do!)


I was recharging my camera battery after uploading these photo's when I saw that I had a couple of visitors in my backyard.  I quickly popped the battery back in praying that it had enough juice to capture a couple of quick shots. These two lovelies have been camping out here a lot lately. While both are very beautiful they really can be pests. Last winter the deer ate my fatsia’s down to a stub!! They had never touched them before so I guess you can’t rely on past behaviour to be an indication of what not to plant if you are trying to be deer proof.   She stood there for a long time, staring right back at me so I got my shots then I shooed her right away!  

This little guy is riddling the trees full of holes that the bugs just love to infest.  Over time I imagine it's not very healthy for the trees but he sure is gorgeous to look at and it looks like he is here to stay.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

she plays with scissors, and stamps, and pens, and glitter

Today I managed to create total havoc on my kitchen island.   I thought I would take all my new Christmas Art papers and the new snowflake punch out for a test drive! Well, I made quite a mess and after two hours I only had three cards finished and I had used a total of four pieces of my beautiful Art paper.  I guess I have enough for the next 1000 Christmas's.

This is one of my favorites, you can't really tell from the photo but the tree is sitting out from the card stock and casts a little shadow :) and the little light bulbs are covered with diamond glaze so they are super shiny.  I think this is a case of less is more.

I was quite happy with all of them but I think my left brain was in the drivers’ seat. In about hour 2.5 the right brain finally kicked in and I stopped thinking about balance and layout and spatial planning and let creativity dictate. Oddly enough, the results are much more balanced & organized looking! What is that about?

I think these are lovely in their simplicity.  The paper is by British designer Kate Knight.  I think it is called A TOUCH OF PINK.  I picked it up yesterday in Winners, a great place to get scrapbooking supplies at great prices when they have them.    I'm not into mass producing cards but I cut these two papers at the same time to get the fold back just right, so though, what the heck... might as well make mirror images! I added the stitching detail around the edges and on the centers of the daisy's to give the paper more definition.  (truthfully these cards are an ode to Gladys she LOVES black and when I saw the paper I thought of her instantly).    I really love the PEACE and JOY stamps.... these cards could almost be for any occasion.

So all in all it was a successful day. 12 Christmas cards and 4 bookmarks, and yes, still a giant mess in my kitchen. Thank goodness I don’t have to work tomorrow; I can keep on going!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sigh, new sheets and romance novels

Is it wrong to want to go to bed at 9:18 on a Saturday night just because you have new sheets and the latest release (Book 2) in Nora Roberts’ quartet? The sheets are freshly laundered Egyptian Cotton... 800 Thread Count !!! Surely that counts for something!

It was supposed to be a day of Christmas shopping for family and friends, and yes I did accomplish some of the goals I set forth this morning ... I just couldn’t pass up a few deals for myself, namely the new sheets. And some beautiful art paper for Christmas cards, a snowflake punch and two new books. I LOVE new books. I LOVE old books. I just LOVE books. Well, actually, it’s three new books.

The first new book I found was “SAY YOU’RE ONE OF THEM” by Uwem Akpan. A collection of short stories of children in Africa.  I am not certain what to expect. I imagine I will be shocked, heartbroken and enlightened at the same time and very very grateful for my own life.

The second book I bought could not be more different than the first.  Nora Roberts, the undisputed Queen of Romance, has released her second book in the Bride Quartet called “BED of ROSES.

I don’t believe there is a Nora Roberts book published that I haven’t read. I will totally admit to loving romance novels. And serial killer novels, and gruesome forensic anthropology novels, really the only thing I don’t read is science fiction. Never did get a handle on that genre.

My third new book, wait for it.... blogging for Dummies.  Yes, I finally broke down and bought a book about blogging.  I just couldn't help myself.  I need to know more.  And, well.... it's a book!

While I'm on a book tangent I have to mention that Pat Conroy, author extraordinaire has published a new novel.   I was feeling a little greedy today so thought it best to wait to purchase this one.    South of Broad will soon grace my bookshelf, beside two of my most favorite novels: The Prince of Tides and Beach Music

So, what to do?   Kill some more time, pretending that I am doing "something useful" until a respectable hour?  10:30 isn't so lame a bed time?  Is it?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Altered Books... to Poems

You just never know what you are going to find when you google.  I was looking for an addition to my Reflecting on Reflections posting, a poem, a song... something.   Anyway, this is where I was led.  I think they call this a happy accident.  Full credit to Karen who's site this is from.  I have included a link to her website. So... here is my attempt at this process.  I've chosen a novel that I was going to alter as the genre just isn't my cup of tea ...  Richard Bachman, aka, Stephen King.   I am sorry if you are offended.

It's a little dark but you must consider what I had to work with.  The poem turned out much better than the altered book, I will have to work on this a bit more.   I am going to try this with one of my favorite books, The Prince of Tides, for poem material only, no altering that one!

down from the turret
the ruins of
a woman with
cruel, beautful features
pale as a
black and silver
not really there at all
reality was the
utterly blank
I can see it
insubstantial but still threatening
 voice is the only truth
pulled toward it
through the black
but for the moment
ceased to exist

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween, complete with Fire & Moon

Last night sweetie and I were invited to celebrate Halloween with my sister, her family and friends; complete with a bonfire and fireworks. What a great time we had! 

Just yesterday a few of my coworkers were discussing with incredulity the propensity for us BC people to set off fireworks at the drop of the hat. Apparently in Ontario and Newfoundland this is not the way to celebrate... well... almost anything.

How sad for them :)

I took tons of pictures of the kids and their friends... all of which made their way into a Smilebox presentation that I sent them earlier. Here are a few of my favourite pics of the night that don’t expose anyone in particular.

It is so easy to be mesmerized by fire, especially when photographing it! I went deeper and deeper into the flames. I barely made it out.