Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Bunch of Bows

This blog post was originally supposed to be posted this past Wednesday morning, May 26th, when Eileen Hull's Blog Hop went live.  If you read my previous post, you will know the reason I was unable to get my link added to the hop up and running.  I still want to share my ideas with everyone.  My contribution shows the versatility of materials that can be used with these wonderful dies.

Well it's been fun working with all these wonderful designs in this selection of Sizzix dies.  I'm thankful to Eileen for giving me the chance to participate in her blog hop featuring her Scoreboard designs.  So today is the final installment of "Sizzix Scoreboard Blog Hop" using the Create-a-bow die.

Eileen sent us the cut paper pieces to create a bow.  I had previously sent Eileen a variety of materials and asked her to use the materials to cut whatever she could with her Scoreboard dies.  I'm working on completing all the pieces.  Once I have them all finished I will be showing them in a blog post.  Of the materials I sent, Eileen was able to cut pieces using the bow die from three of the materials.

Again I tried to look beyond the obvious and see what I could create.  I used a variety of coloring techniques.  It was also fun to try to find a different way to form the bow.  So here I have four various looks using the  Sizzix Bigz "create-a-bow" die.
The pieces for this bow were cut using Lutradur.  I painted the pieces with Adirondack Acrylic Paint Daubers.  The edges were cut with scallop scissors.  Punched holes into the pieces and wove ribbon through the holes.  Constructed the bow and added a Lutradur rose in the center of the bow.
This bow was cut from quilers vinyl.  I sponged on a small amount of Lumiere Gold paint and immediately sponged on Lumiere Crimson paint to one side of the pieces.  Constructed the bow slightly different by reversing the second layer of the loops and adding a button to the center.
This version was also made using quilters vinyl.  This time Ranger Alcohol Inks were used to color the vinyl.  Leaves were cut from vinyl with another Sizzix die, Leaves.  The strips formed the flower.  Leaves are added for a finishing touch.  This could be used as a pin or embellishment for a purse, bag, hairband or lapel.
This last design was cut using Taracloth.  One side (smooth) was painted using Adirondack Paint Dauber in two shades of yellow.  The other side (fabric) was brushed with Adirondack Butterscotch Acrylic Paint.  I only used two sizes of the strips.  I cut slits into the strips, twisted the strips to form the flower and added fabric leaves, again cut with another Sizzix die.

To see the other creative ideas, check out Eileen's blog at: Eileen Hull
I will share the paper bow that Eileen sent us in another blog post.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sometime Things Just Don't Go As Planned

A short explanation of why there hasn't been any recent blog posts and why I missed the last chance to be a part of  Eileen Hull's Scoreboard Blog Hop.  I had been working with the die-cut bow shapes that Eileen sent out to participants.  Some time back, I sent a packet of materials to Eileen, and ask if she would use her dies to cut whatever she could from the materials sent.  Using the bow die, she was able to cut Lutradur, Taracloth and quilter's vinyl.

By Sunday evening I had four bows ready to be formed.  I began to write the blog post and added the links that were available.  By Monday evening I was working on the paper bow and would just need to take photos on Tuesday and tweak a few things to be ready for Wednesday morning.

Tuesday brought an unexpected trip to the hospital emergency room with my husband.  Without going into details, we found ourselves at the ER, with the possibility that he had suffered a stroke.  We were hit with the news that he was going to be admitted for more testing because a small tumor was found on his brain and lungs and adrenal gland.  Needless to say our lives were turned upside down, never thinking that would be the news.

We are home now ... waiting for results from a biopsy, then consultation with several doctors on how and the best way to proceed.

I will keep myself busy with crafts to help get me through this.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Planting Time

It's that time of the year again. Before "down sizing", we always had a large vegetable garden, rose beds, perennial gardens and several container planters to prepare every Spring.  Even with less space to plant, we couldn't go a summer season without flowers to enjoy.  The weather here is finally cooperating.  Today we got the last plants in the ground and containers.

Two of my favorite flowers to plant in containers for the past few years have been Osteospermum.  It looks similar to a daisy.  Each new year seems to bring a new color.  They will fill these wash tubs in a short time and be very showy on this old wash stand.   This is the wash stand we found in our trip to Ridgefield, several weeks back.   Not sure the age of this piece, but it had some interesting markings on it.  I think I'll have to "google" this old washstand company and see what I can find out.

Here is the same flower in a new color that I would call "cranberry".
Another annual that I find works well in any container is Calibrachoa or "Superbells".  I have them in metal buckets, old enamel pots, hanging baskets and patio tubs.  They also come in an array of beautiful bright colors that just scream "SUMMER IS HERE"!

Visiting the garden centers in the area and seeing all the wonderful things available, sometimes makes me wish there was more room for plants.   It doesn't take long till I'm happy to have just what we have!
The best part is that less gardening makes for more time to enjoy summer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Favorite Ingredients - Stars & Stripes

So Eileen suggested "favorites" for this blog hop.  With that being said, I gathered several of my favorite things to create this latest project using another of Eileen Hull's ScoreBoard dies by Sizzix.
     *Vintage Rick-Rack
     *Odds & ends and Buttons
     *Favorite Color Combination: Blue, Red & White
     *Sizzix Flower Die
     * Eileen's ScoreBoard Cake Die
With the summer season approaching and three holidays (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day), were we celebrate the "Red, White & Blue", my color choice was easy.  Next decision was, should I do the obvious and "make a cake" or turn out something else?  My search began for materials to use.  Once the colors were decided on, the first step was  to go find fabric in my stash.  Then I rummaged through my drawer of lace, ribbons and trims for more ideas.  Dumped out the jars of buttons to find the right ones for embellishments.  Pulled out some remnants of felt to use where I could.  So I gathered several of my favorite things.  With everything sitting on my work table, ideas for the little jewelry box began to develop.
I cut three extra circles from heavy cardstock, the same size of the base, to use on the cover and the bottom.  Each circle was covered with fabric and glued to the top cover and inside, as well as the bottom. Fabric covered the outside of the cake.  White felt lined the inside, with a circle of blue felt at the bottom.  Red ribbon strips, as well as tiny vintage rick-rack was added for trim.  Red heart buttons, pearl trim and a flower, die-cut from red felt, is layered on the top.  Wooden drawer pulls and a star shape were stained and added as feet on the bottom and a knob on top.

So I hope you are "hungry for more"!  Take some time to enjoy all the "delicious concoctions" we have created for you.  Please leave us a comment so we know you enjoyed what we made.  If you leave a comment on Eileen's blog, you may be chosen to receive this Sizzix ScoreBoard die from her, so you can create your own recipe of fun!   Start hopping:
Eileen Hull
Ann Butler
Bonnie Bruns
Candice Windham
Craftside-A behind the scenes peek at a crafty world
Debra Quartermain
Einat Kessler
Jen Goode
Karen Burnston
Laura Bray
Life in the Craft Lane
Lisa Rojas, Stampin' Queen Creations
Michelle Cummings
Modern Surrealist - Marisa Pawelko
Niki Meiners
Roann Mathias Calligraphy
Sandy Laipply
Veronica Goff

5 Comments posted previously:
Lolly Chops said ....  I love this!!!!!   5/12/10  9:53 am

Peg said .... What a great idea!  Love the heart buttons   5/12/10  10:35 am

Eileen Hull said .... Madeline, these are some of my favorite colors too being from a military family.
Great idea to make a jewelry box.   Love the cool knob on top and flowers under it.  You always do
such thoughtful and beautiful work.  thanks!    5/12/10  11:13 am

KarenB said .... Fabulous!  I love the feet!  And the colors! And everything!  5/12/10  12:12 pm

JGoode said .... Fantastic job - I love the patriotic theme.. and the lid is absolutely wonderful idea.
Love all the textures!    5/12/10   12:36 pm

Monday, May 10, 2010

What's This?

So what do you think this will become?  I'm still trying to decide what it should be made into.  It looks like it could be a cake.  Come back on Wednesday and see ...  Another Sizzix Scoreboard Blog Hop coming to a blog near you!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

"The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children."  - Elaine Heffner

The one thing that we all have in common is that each of us has a mother to think of on Mother's Day.  Unfortunately my mother is no longer with us physically but she will remain with me in my memory and in my thoughts.  She is the one that encouraged my creativity.  I realized as I grew older, with a family of my own, how many things she taught me in her own quiet way.
  (An altered book honoring my mother at each stage of her life.)
           (An altered "collage" frame for mom.)
I will be sharing this day with many other mother's as the family gathers together.  There will be mothers-in-laws, sisters-in-law, daughters, daughters-in-law, and nieces, who will all celebrating this day of being mother's.  You are all "special ladies".

For me, the years spent raising three children, have been filled with so many moments that have made me not only a teacher, provider or care-taker, but also counselor, listener, and a constant student of motherhood.  Now after all these years I can say it was an on going learning experience.  I would admit that it is not an easy job all the time, but it was a very worthy one.

Now I can watch my three grown children create their own place in this world.  They have each proven to be good, decent, unique and hard working people.  I love you Kevin, Amy and Matthew.  I am happy to be your mom!

"There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one."
  - Jill Churchill

Friday, May 7, 2010

Making Simple Invitations

Sharing with you some creativity while planning a bridal shower for a family member in this post.  My first thought was to use one of the digital "evite" sites for getting out invitations.  With the shower being on a small scale, plus having a great collection of wonderful craft tools, I decide to go with "handmade".  

I was off to Michael's for paper.  Unfortunately with all the paper I have on hand, there was nothing in the correct color palette I needed.  Found two shades of textured, purples (Puppy Love & Flirty) by Bazzill Bling Papers to use.

One 12 x 12 square of paper made two invitations.  I used the Sizzix® Bigz XL Accordian Album #2 die to cut the paper along with my Big Shot.  With the shapes cut, I embossed one half of the invite with Sizzix textured impression folder.  From cut off scraps, I used a Sizzilit Decorative Strip die to make decorative stripes for an added embellishment for the invitations.  

With the use of my computer and some decorative fonts, I created the wording for the invite.  The message was printed on a white linen-like paper in a shade of purple.  They were cut to fit one half of the card.  I used a Fiskars embossing corner punch on the corners of the inserts.  Then they were put in place using Zots™ clear adhesive dots by Therm O Web.  I also used one Zot™ on the flap of the card for sealing.  

The strips that were cut were placed around each invitation, meeting at the center front with a touch of paper glue.  Leaves were punched from two shades of green paper and flowers punched from a patterned paper.  The flowers were dabbed with Dusty Concord Distress Ink™and brushed slightly with Perfect Pearls™ Forever Violet powder.  

Three flower punches were glued together to form a flower embellishment.  The two sets of green leaves were glued together at the stem.  The set of leaves were glued at the center of the decorative strip and ending with the flower centered on the leaves.  

Most of the invitations will be hand delivered on Sunday at a Mother's Day brunch.  Two will need to be mailed.  For a mailing envelope I will be placing the complete invitation in a cellophane bag, sealed with a decorative sticker and a printed mailing label and stamp.

The next item to create will be shower favors.  Will be happy to share those with you soon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lady Lutradur

Recently I took part in another creative challenge.  Another company that I have created projects for from time to time, is C & T Publishing.   The call went out to use a new product that they will be selling.  Besides the wonderful books, the collection of board books and paper crafting supplies, they also have some materials for fabric artists as well as quilters.

One of the products they have is something called "Lutradur" Mixed Media Sheets.  It is a paper like fabric that can be painted, dyed, printed on, sewn, distorted, die-cut, embossed and manipulated in a variety of ways.  Soon they will be carrying Ultra-lite Lutradur.  I was sent a sample to experiment with.  My end result was my creation of "Lady Lutradur".

The body of the doll is made using the original Lutradur.  The pattern for the body was taken from a large doll body rubber stamp.  The body parts were stitched with a narrow zig-zag stitch, stuffed with stuffing.  The parts were painted a flesh color.  Once dry, arms and legs were attached to the main body with paper brads.  I created patterns for clothes to dress the doll.  All the clothing was made using the new ultra-lite Lutradur.  I used paint, fabric dyes, stamping inks and mica powders for coloring  the material.  The vest on the doll was sewn and then felted with wool rovings of assorted colors.

As a background, I used one of C&T board books.  Several pages were glued together.  The surface was painted with two colors.  An image from the company catalog was glued to the cover and a company postcard was glued to the inside and verses stamped onto the book.