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February 2010
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April 2010

I'm hopelessly addicted.

First, let me just say "thank you!" to everyone for the lovely comments about the PageMaps sketch contest.  I'm still buzzed.

As for what I'm currently addicted to, three guesses (if it starts with a "j" and ends with an "ewelry," you nailed it!)

Here's what I did while I watched the Avs blow another game tonight... (I'm looking at it this way.  If they don't make the playoffs, I have more time to spend on homework and hobbies and such instead of watching more playoff games.)

Seahorse Necklace 1

This is a result of my absolute love of aquariums and my total fascination with sea horses.  I'm totally going to wear this (I'm wearing it now, in fact.)  In case you haven't guessed, my taste in jewelry isn't all that subtle.  lol.  Here's another view:

Seahorse Necklace 2

Look Mom!  It's monochromatic!  (heehee... I couldn't resist.)  

I mixed some store bought (sales and coupons, of course!) with bargain bin and found objects.  I had a bag of old metallic necklace strands and this one with the plastic silver balls was the perfect length and compliment for the other strands.  I had to do some creative wire wrapping to attach it, but I'm pleased.  I just wish I had mixed in some rust colored beads to set off the focal pendant more.  Oh well!  It still looks good and I'll remember to think of that kind of thing for next time.

I also did a quick page in my art journal... this is an idea I've had for a while based on some cool fortunes I've gotten in fortune cookies.  I pasted my two favorites onto the page, including the one that predicted Steph's wedding back in May of 2009 (I'm so not kidding!  I marked the date and saved it... I had a feeling as soon as I got it that it would be Steph, and just a few months later she announced her engagement.  True story!)

Art Journal - Fortune Cookie Wisdom

I used all kinds of goodies from China... the rice paper calendar pages are awesome when you decoupage them onto a gesso covered surface... I also added some little embellishments that were actually from the charm swap our tour group did.

That's it!  I'm just hoping that the snow is gone in the morning (it's our annual April Fool's storm).  I'm so tired of Winter!  It's time for Spring. Seriously.


Holy Awesomeness, Batman!

So remember this post with a layout of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh?  I actually did it as an entry for the PageMaps sketch contest and I WON!!!  I'm soooooo excited!  The prize is a Cricut, which I don't have (believe it or not), but which I've always wanted - there are some fantastic cartridges coming out right now that have had me itching to get one of these, so I'm thrilled.  Check out the post on PageMaps here.  And, of course, a HUMONGOUS THANK YOU!!! to A Cherry on Top who sponsored the contest.  I'm sure I'll be visiting them in the near future to check out cartridges for my new toy :)

A lesson in throwing a tantrum.

Last week when I called home (or was it the week before?  whatever...) Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh was throwing a bit of a tantrum because no one would take her outside for a walk and my mom was giving me the play-by-play over the phone.  Erin grabbed the camera and posted pictures, and I couldn't resist turning them into a layout to go with the story.  This little one is a Drama Queen.

Making of a Tantrum

I'm sure my enjoyment of this story had a lot to do with being 2,000 miles away from the kicking and howling.  lol.

I was also, FINALLY, able to get back to my art journal this weekend... I've really been wanting to do some journaling and this page is totally symbolic of all the ideas I've got brewing that I have no time to explore.  I'm doing a little here and there, but what I've been getting done is a drop in the bucket compared to what's going on in my head.  I find it rather ironic that all the inspiration is coming when I'm so busy I can't indulge... but maybe the busy is causing the inspiration.  lol.  Food for thought, I guess!

Here's the page... symbolically, this is a self-portrait, but it doesn't look anything like me and I never intended it to... lol.  It's a conceptual likeness (*wink*).

Art Journal - Head of Ideas

The pages of my journal are black, so I put down a light coat of gesso and then outlined the head and shoulders and filled them in with decoupaged phone book pages (of course!)  I used Pan Pastels and Caran d'Ache crayons to do the coloring and a Copic Multiliner to draw the face.  Then I just started adding stuff.

Art Journal - Head of Ideas 2

Art Journal - Head of Ideas 3

Okay, that's it for now.  As usually happens when I get working in my journal, it's now way too late at night... I should have been in bed at least two hours ago.  Great way to start the week, huh?  Oh well!  At least I had fun and was able to get some of my ideas out of my head and on to paper :)

P.S.  What's up with the Avs?  I mean, it's like they're afraid they're going to miss April tee times so they're deliberately tanking so they don't make the playoffs.  Or they're playing Andy too much in goal.  Or both.  Whatever, this is insane after the great year they've had.  Shaking my head.  Hopefully they pull it together.

Happy Saturday!

It's a beautiful day here today... I've enjoyed working up in my attic with the window open - some sunlight and a nice breeze really make it lovely.  I'm running (as always!) to get ready to head up to Ogden for Steph and Mike's housewarming, but I thought I'd post a few things first...

More wedding layouts for Steph (I wanted to get the album done tonight, but even without the other projects I did this week I still wouldn't have had time... too much still to go!)

Steph Wedding pg 8

Steph Wedding 9

I hate scanning lumpy layouts... it made that second one look all crooked and it isn't.  Oh well... I could take pictures, but I wanted to do them all the same way so I can burn them onto a CD.  I may rethink that... lol.

And I did another necklace this weekend - I'm actually hoping to wear it tonight so I hope all the glue dries while I'm getting ready.  I had a lot of fun with this one - inspired by one I saw on Etsy, but I added a lot of my own touches so it's pretty *me*.  The flower in the center is polymer clay with some brass leaves tucked in for fun and some watch parts and glass seed beads to finish it off.  I even made earrings! 

Flower - Butterfly Necklace 

Flower - Butterfly Necklace Close-up 1

Flower - Butterfly Necklace Close-up 2

I have ideas for two more necklaces, but I'm not sure how much time I'll have tomorrow... we've already gotten our homework assignments for next week's new classes.  Sigh.  I also have to help teach Gospel Doctrine tomorrow so I need to get work on that (which I found out about like 2 hours ago... thanks for the notice!)  I'm a gospel doctrine teacher again at church, so I guess it's time to get back into that study habit anyway. 

Okay, now I'm running late... off to see Steph and Mike's new place!

A little birthday post

(Warning!  Long post!  For such a busy week I'm really surprised at how much I have to share... of course I've been working on bits and pieces for a while and I guess it's just all coming out at once.)

Happy (Belated) Birthday Melody!  I hope you got your package... otherwise, don't look!  Okay, I guess you can look, it's just the card :) 

Mel - BDay Card Outside

And a peek at the inside before I wrote in it...

Mel - BDay Card Inside

I also love throwing in little goodies for my favorite 9-year old, Angelina... I made her a little mini album kit to do her own scrapbooking.  I thought it would be fun to wrap it up cute, so I took a plain brown paper bag and stamped on it (I adore these Dear Lizzy stamps!)  Added her name and filled it with goodies.

Angelina Mini Album Kit Bag

And... another necklace with matching earrings.  I just couldn't wait to use this fun pendant that I scored for cheap on Etsy.  I found these awesome beads that don't really match and yet they go perfectly.

Necklace 2 - bronze studded pendant

Necklace 2 - bronze pendant close-up

I don't know why it took me so long to start making my own jewelry... this is fun!  

And then my last project for today... I mentioned in my last post that I had been painting eggs while scrapbooking.  I decided to do a fancy little Easter basket for myself this year.  I got the papier mache eggs at Michael's for $2 and then found this super cute basket for cheap + 40% coupon (nice!)  All of the decorating was done with stuff I had on hand (granted, I have a LOT on hand.)  I only made 6, but maybe they'll grow each year or something.  Here's the basket of eggs:

Fancy Easter Basket

I would be totally remiss here if I didn't give credit to my source of inspiration... I adore these fancy decorated ostrich eggs.  I would LOVE to get some this size!

Close-ups of the ones I did:

Fancy Easter Egg 1 

Fancy Easter Eggs 2-3

Fancy Easter Egg 4

Fancy Easter Egg 5

Fancy Easter Egg 6

Okay, I'm done now.  Really... I had a busy day at work and then went to class and took my Managerial Accounting final so now I'm bushed!  So glad tomorrow is Friday!!! I'm ready for the weekend.

Quick layout...

I managed to squeeze in another layout today, while working on a completely separate project, of course.  I decided to start yet another new one... this time a holiday decor project for Easter.  I was going back and forth between the layout and painting my papier mache eggs... all on the same table.  I was probably really lucky that I didn't end up spilling paint or gel medium all over the layout... lol.  I think I need to start referring to myself as the ADD crafter :D

Here's the layout:

Steph Wedding Pg 6-7 combined

It drives me nuts when the scans come out slightly different colors - one side was lumpier than the other so it's a little off.  Oh well!

I also finished two eggs, but I'm going to wait to take pictures and post until I've finished them and found a little basket.  In the meantime, I'm done for the night.  I ended up getting a fairly nasty piece of malware on my computer today after visiting a music website I've been to many times in the past (never again!) and it took me forever to get the right software downloaded and setup so I could get rid of it.  At least I recognized it... it was one of those that masquerades as an anti-virus program.  Of course, the fact that I have a subscription to different program was a bit of a tip-off :)  Anyway, it's gone and no harm done other than a few hours of productivity lost. 

Crazy week coming up... here's hoping I manage to get some sleep!


Okay, before I explain the title, I have to share.  This was waiting for me in the mailbox today.  I felt like a kid on Christmas when I saw it.  Seriously.

Journalfest Registration Packet

My registration for Journalfest is official!  And I got my first choice classes!  And I absolutely LOVE the handmade folders that Teesha made for us.  I've already started collecting bits and pieces for my classes and for my travel art journal kit when I go.  And how serendipitous that I've been working on that Venetian themed piece?  The Journalfest theme is Masquerade (because it takes place over Halloween, of course) and we're encouraged to bring a handmade mask for the festivities.  I think I need to find a papier mache mask blank so I can go to town!  I can't wait!

So for the rest, I really had a lot of fun today... I've never done anything with polymer clay and I've never really made any jewelry (I was a total failure at making friendship bracelets from embroidery thread... totally dating myself with that one, but anyways, I'm not sure that counts.)  I absolutely love big, chunky, eclectic costume jewelry, though, and I have tons of it and wear it all the time.  I also really like steampunk, assemblage and vintage - especially if it's a mix of any of the three!  So when I was surfing Amazon while I was trying to stay awake in class one night, I came across this book.

I immediately fell in love with the elephant on the back cover and ordered it.  I then proceeded to carry it around with me and pour over it, wondering if I could actually do any of it.  I've actually already had to tape some of the pages back in I've gone through it so much! (And I'm thinking of taking one of Christi's online classes too).  So I thought I'd give it a try... I went to Michael's with my coupon and did some browsing... I found this silver branch pendant on clearance (although it's still full price at the one in Draper!  Go figure).

Silver Branch Pendant 

I immediately had ideas for how I could use it, so I grabbed it and used that as the base of my project.  And this is what said project looked like at about 5pm today.

Blog - First Necklace in Progress

(Note my copy of Steampunkery in the background.  lol)  I finally got the main piece done and went down and baked it for an hour while I ate dinner and watched Harry Potter on ABC Family (switching occasionally to watch BYU get their butts whooped by Kansas State in March Madness.)

After dinner I came up and started working on the chain.  I had no idea what I was doing.  It was a total revelation to me that one package of findings that included head pins, jump rings and clasps could easily get used up in just one project.  (Note to self... get more silver headpins with the loops on top).

But.  Finally.  I had a finished product... well, finished as soon as the E-6000 finishes drying.  But it was enough to take pictures.  Considering that I've never worked with polymer clay or made jewelry, let alone combined them, I think I did a pretty good job!

Blog - First Necklace

And a close-up of the pendant...

Blog - First Necklace close-up

(I really need to take photos in daylight.  lol).  Kind of funky, steampunkish with a touch of vintage (one of the gears even turns!  As long as I don't break it, anyway :).  Now I just have to figure out what outfit I can wear to church tomorrow that will go with this.  And then I can start plotting my next project.  I've been feeling inspired for so many different projects that I feel like I need to start making my own creativity backlog!  We'll see how much I get to this week... I have a final paper in Global Negotiations due on Tuesday and my final exam in Managerial Accounting on Thursday... I probably should have been studying today, but it was totally impossible.  lol.  Maybe tomorrow ;)

A few quick layouts

I got in the mood to do a little scrapbooking tonight, so I did a few more layouts from Stephanie's wedding album.  A few layouts of candid friends and family shots - these go next to each other in the album.

Steph Wedding Pg 4 

Steph Wedding Pg 5

And just a quick little peek at my studio tonight... I'm loving my Chinese lanterns... I got them super cheap at Hobby Lobby - I might have to go back for another color.  I'm also really loving the fact that I managed to pick up and my desk is clean!

Peek at my studio

The only thing about my little attic is that it's so small that even when I'm clean and organized, it still looks cluttered!  Oh well... the good part is that it limits how much I can bring into the room.

I have a fun project in mind for this weekend... trying something totally new.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it work, but I'm going to give it a shot!  Can't wait :)

Overheard at the office...

We're sitting at work for our weekly Who Do You Think You Are viewing "party" and the funniest conversation just came up... (keeping in mind that tonight is the big New Moon release night... not that I've pre-ordered from Amazon or anything).

Picture a circle of manly-man software developers sitting in easy chairs watching March Madness and sipping Mountain Dew when out of the blue I hear this conversation:

Lead Developer:  So let's take a quick poll.  Jacob or Edward?  Matt?

Matt:  Uh... Billy?

Lead Developer: Uh, okay.  Preston?

Preston:  uh... Jacob I guess?

Jim:  Are we talking about Lost?

Some moments really make working until 10pm on Fridays worth while.  lol.

Work in progress

I feel like I always start my posts off the same way lately... I've been busy.  lol.  But it's true!  Anyway, I've got a few projects in the works that I finally took some pictures of to share.  No scrapbooking since the last layout posted, but I've been working on my new mixed media piece as well as my online class project.

First, the class.  We're on week 2 and I realized I hadn't posted anything, but I did take pictures before I started this week's phase.  So, this is the class I'm taking.  I'm excited to get to learn a little about making art dolls.  The first week, we assembled and painted our wagons.  I ended up using flocked paper instead of patterned and added some Glimmer Mist to give it the color I wanted.

Heart-Soul Week 1 - Front 

and a view of the back...

Heart-Soul Week 1 - Back
Week two is all about embellishing the wagon to get it ready for our doll.  I used the instructions as a general guideline, but deviated here and there to really make it *me* (which is what it's all about, right?)

Heart-Soul Week 2 - Front

And another view with the side as well:

Heart-Soul Week 2 - Front-Side

I didn't take a picture of the back... it still looks the same as above except for the wheels.  They match the front only without the glittered chipboard pieces.  Here's a close-up of the wheels:

Heart-Soul Week 2 - Wheels

I stamped and embossed a doily image onto the wheels and then added some small rhinestones.  I made the book flowers from an old dictionary and sprayed with LuminArte Radiant Rain (I LOVE that stuff!) and added the glittered chipboard to the front.  I also happened to have that mini lion's head door knocker tucked away in my stash and I thought I'd use that as my handle for what's essentially supposed to look like the door of the wagon.

For the top panel, instead of patterned paper, I used alcohol inks with a blending solution and a gold Krylon pen for a marbled effect and then used the pen to paint some wood accents I found cheap at Hobby Lobby.  I layered on an old gold jewelry piece with a turquoise metal flower and the red jewel thingy... I couldn't get a good picture of that.  Maybe next time I'll photograph in daylight. :)  So next week we start on the doll.  Should be fun!

The other project I've been working on is my Venetian themed mixed media piece.  I've been working on the canvas a bit - it's still far from done... don't judge.  lol.  I started laying things out just to see how it was pulling together and snapped a quick photo:

Venice Collage - WIP
I'm not much of a painter, so we'll see how this comes together in the end.  I'm actually pretty pleased with the perspective I got when I was sketching the gondola and the boats, so maybe it won't be half bad.  Still definitely working on the paint, though... hopefully it comes out somewhat similar to what's in my head.  Sadly, most things don't.  lol.  Oh well!  At least I'm having fun, right?

I'm going to Journalfest!

Yup, I decided that I really wanted to do it and my budget would allow it, so I dropped my registration form and deposit check for Journalfest in the mail this morning.  There were lots of fabulous workshops to choose from, but I'm REALLY hoping that I get all my first choices... the ones I picked really seem absolutely perfect for me.  I'm hoping that I sent my stuff in early enough that it will work out, but we'll see.  I'm super excited!  October can't come soon enough :)

After class tonight, I managed to pull together another layout for Steph's wedding album...

Steph Wedding - Pg 3 

I had hoped to knock out two tonight, but I was struggling to come up with ideas for this page.  In the end I'm sure I'll be glad I went with the 9x9 album... I think Steph will like the smaller size better, but I still miss having the space of a 12x12 page to play around with!  I do like how this one turned out, though, even though it took longer than planned.  Hopefully I'll get used to this size and the rest of the pages will come easier.

Finally, I'm planning to start on the online workshop I enrolled in tomorrow night... it started today but I needed to pick up a few things to get started so I'll jump in tomorrow after I pick them up.  It should be a fun project so I can't wait to start... I'll post pictures as I go.  


Being sick stinks.

I hate colds... I woke up with one on Thursday morning and it's steadily gotten worse.  I'm sure it's because I don't get enough sleep and so I brought it on myself, but I'm still annoyed.  I can't get the taste of cough syrup out of my mouth.  Yuck!  But right now I can breathe, which is a huge improvement over recent days.  But enough of that.

I didn't get to play in my studio as much as I wanted to this weekend (a side effect of that "sick" crap), but since I slept all day Sunday I ended up not being able to sleep very long tonight (last night?) and so I got up early to work on some things.  First, a layout of a totally sweet picture of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh.  This is based on a great sketch from PageMaps that inspired me to scrap this picture.

Sweet Quiet Moments

And the journaling... "2/28/10 - Seeing this photo of Eraleigh made me think of a lot of things that I really appreciate... having such a sweet, beautiful niece to love and spoil... her fun and spunky personality (spunky is a euphamism for diva, of course) and appreciation for digital cameras, the internet and blogs so that I can share these sweet moments from 2,000 miles away.  Although I’m sure Rick & Erin appreciate something entirely different about moments like these... a little peace and quiet!"

Also a few close-ups (of course!) of the non-photo fun parts...

Sweet Quiet Moments Close-up 1

Sweet Quiet Moments Close-up 2 

I love having all these cute, girly photos so I can cover them with flowers and butterflies... so fun!

And on my mixed media project front, I made a little more progress this weekend... if you remember those masks I posted the other day, here's an update of where they are now:

Blog - Mask Project Peek 2

The big one is intended to be a different take on Venetian masks... there are a lot of similarities, but I decided to use paper clay to take it in a slightly different direction and I'm pretty pleased so far.  I just wish I had done the base out of papier mache to begin with, but since I had started it with clay (which didn't work too well), I decided to just use paper clay to fix it so it would be usable and it didn't turn out too badly!  The other part of this project has been to start re-working this canvas that I did a few years ago (and which I never really liked... I've been dying to paint over it for a long time now!) I've got the first coat of gesso down over the old painting and it felt great to do it!  Once it's dry I'll need at least one more coat before I can start the base for my new piece.  Guess what the theme is (still!) going to be?  lol.

Finally, I'm about 90% sure that I'm going to sign up for Teesha Moore's Journalfest in October.  Since my trip to Peru was postponed, I've been looking for something small, fun and affordable to do this year to kind of make up for it.  This takes place over my birthday weekend in Port Townsend (where I've been for a family reunion and it's fabulous), and has a ton of classes that look like a lot of fun as well as a way to get inspired and broaden my horizons.  It seems like the perfect choice!  I'm still thinking about it, but there's a pretty good chance I'll be sending in my registration form this week :)

On my desk today...

Aside from homework, that is.  I'm sure I sound like a broken record but this accounting class is only 6 weeks and I think the professor is trying to make up for that!  I have a few last minute things to do with the case study questions, but the rest is done!  Until next week.  lol.

But!  I was still able to play a bit after I finished while listening to the Avs game online.  I did some more work on Steph's wedding album... I started these little figures for the album cover the other day and they're finally dry so tonight I adhered them.

Album Cover 1 

I got a Maya Road chipboard album made up of these people and took it apart.  I put handmade paper on top, cut / sanded and then covered them with diamond glaze for some shiny dimension.  I stuck the paper roses into the diamond glaze while it was wet and now they're nice and stuck on.  I also sprayed the dude figure with red Luminarte Radiant Rain before I covered it so that it would show through the holes in the flowers in the paper.  It turned out so cool!  It's sweet in person... I almost decided not to put them on the album so I could keep them! You can kind of see it here:

Album Cover 2

The girl has a subtle embossed flower pattern that you can almost see here.  I also sprayed her with Marshmallow Glimmer Mist before putting on the diamond glaze so there's a cool sheen to it.

I also got a page done for the album...

Steph Wedding Pg 2

I'm keeping the album pretty simple so it will focus on the photos.  I can't wait until it's finished and I can give it to Steph and Mike!

Finally, a little peek at another art / collage / mixed media thingy that I've started working on.  I have so many ideas for projects right now, but this is the one that I was most excited to start.

Blog - Mask Project Peek

I wanted to use pre-made papier mache bases, but I couldn't find any small ones out there so I just made my own.  I molded the masks from paper clay last night and let them dry; tonight I painted them.  The gold is Solar Gold Luminarte pigment mixed with matte Modge Podge and the white is Tim Holtz Picket Fence crackle paint... it's going to have a little more added to the base before I start decorating :)  I also re-molded a larger mask that I made before these - I'd used a different kind of clay that just didn't work out so the redo is drying right now.  In the meantime, I found a site where I could get 20 yard spools of bead and gimp trim for $4 or less, so I ordered a few spools and I can't wait to get it to add to this project.

So now I'm just finishing up a few last things before I call it a night. :)

Coming up fast...

I was excited to see a commercial for Who Do You Think You Are during the men's gold medal hockey game this weekend... the show starts Friday night!  Even though I didn't work on the show itself (since I don't work for NBC and I'm not a genealogy, I'm still really excited to see it.  For everyone that's worked on this from my office, we're all going to stay late at work on Friday and have dinner brought in to watch the show together.  Should be fun!  Here's a clip from this week's episode:

Mark your calendars and set your DVRs... it looks like it's going to be really cool!

Have you ever noticed...

... how no one ever says, "I can't believe it's already Tuesday?"  lol. I honestly have no idea where that thought came from.  I think it was me thinking... great.  Monday's over!  But I still have the rest of the week.  heh. 

Anyway, I thought I'd get started on Steph and Mike's wedding album.  I saw this site where you can make photo collages in a shape on another blog and I thought it would be perfect to do something fun for the title page of the album.  I linked up a bunch of photos from the album on my blog and then created the collage, printed it and cut it out.  Not super high res (probably because Typepad reduces the quality of my uploaded images so they don't hog too much memory), and I uploaded these before I edited them, but they're still good enough for a fun opening page.

Steph Wedding - 1

Since they got married on Valentine's weekend, everything was red, pink and black... no offense to Erin and Nicole, but I'm REALLY excited to scrap a wedding that isn't purple!  Besides... I have tons of fun Valentiney supplies that I never really get to use, so now I can bust them all out! 

Anyway, I spent too much time messing around before I got to work on this page so now it's late and I have a meeting with our new analyst first thing in the morning.  Time to hit the sack!