Friday, January 30, 2015

Self Portrait Week 4

Contemplating the state of the kingdom with the frog prince.

(In honor of last week's State of the Union address)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Year of Self-Portraits

This year I've given myself a photography assignment: a self-portrait each week. I'm hoping to learn more about my equipment. I'm going to experiment with lighting. I'm expecting to capture different parts of my personality. I plan to play dress-up and to be a little daring. Sometimes these portraits will be simple selfies taken with my phone's camera. Other times I'll work with my big camera, tripod, and lighting tools.

We're into the 3rd week of the year. Here are my first three self-portraits.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Gifts for My Girls - Part 9

My eldest daughter, Jeanne, has long kept a journal. I was just like her at that age. I know how nice it is to have a special journal in which to write. She is also a lover of cats. I decided to combine her two passions into one gift.

I found this simple chart of a cat silhouette on Pinterest. I stitched it on 14 count Fiddler's cloth which is sort of a tweedy brown and beige cross-stitch fabric. I sewed it onto a coordinating cotton print, then used it to cover a simple spiral notebook.

I lined the inside of the front cover with an interesting scrapbook paper.

Next, I collected images of cats from magazines, catalogs, and other print media. I glued them to the corners of pages throughout the journal.

It makes for a whimsical piece that is useful and practical. I like that it's another way to let Jeanne know she has my emotional support.

(Thanks to Jeanne for the photos)


The chart was inspired by this publication:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Gifts for My Girls (& a Friend!) - Part 8

Here's another little craft I saw on Pinterest that caught my eye. A cute and easy (and fast!) Santa gift card holder. I made two of these for Christmas gifts in 2014. One was the size to hold a gift card. Then I made a smaller one that was just big enough for a key.

Start with these pieces:

  • 11" x 6" red card stock for suit
  • 11" x 2.5" black card stock for belt
  • 3" x 3" white (or silver) card stock for buckle
  • 2" x 2" black card stock for middle of buckle
  • 3/4" diameter black card stock circles for buttons
  • 4-1/2" x 2-1/2" red card stock for inside pocket *or* glue dots

For the smaller gift holder I just downsized the pieces proportionally.

Fold the suit and belt as shown. Use double-sticky tape or glue to attach belt, buttons, and buckle.

On the inside you can use double-sticky tape to attach the pocket into which you slip the gift card. Since my gift card was sort of big, I attached it with glue dots. On the smaller gift card holder I also chose to attach the key with a glue dot.

So cute!

Daughter Jeanne got a kick out of her gift.  :)

Thanks to daughter Jodie for help with these photos.


Gift card holder inspired by Stamp With Heather:

Friday, January 9, 2015

Gifts for My Girls - Part 7

Middle daughter, Julie, has a new kitten named Fawkes. He's quite a busy, dapper fellow who likes to dress up in sweaters, hats, and ties. So I decided to give my grandkitty a little gift of a bow tie using some inspiration I found on Pinterest.

I found a nice tie at a thrift shop in colors that I thought would show off well against Fawkes' fur. So I carefully removed all the stitching and interfacing from the tie, pressed it, and used the fabric. You can check out the link at the bottom of the page to get the dimensions. But even after making the tie, I still had this much fabric left!

It was a press, fold, pin, pinch, wrap, sew kind of project. Then I added a ribbon to tie around his neck.

My childhood doggie modeled it for me before I sent off the package.

Ready for a close up?

Here's Fawkes lookin' all snappy in his new duds.

(Thanks to Julie and Jodie for the photographs!)


Inspired by a pattern I saw on Chic Sprinkles

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Jodie's Christmas Cards

While Jodie was home over Thanksgiving break, she was feeling pretty stressed out. It was right before finals and she was completing the first edition of the new student magazine for which she is the editor. So she asked me to help her de-stress by crafting with her.

She found a cute idea for a Christmas card on Pinterest. She had brought along her chalks and a silver Sharpie. I supplied the black construction paper. We sat in my Studio on night after dinner and went to town.

It took a few tries to figure out the proper shape for the light bulbs. Then it took more than a few more attempts to come up with a good technique to make the bulbs look like they are glowing. I was inspired to grab some cotton swabs to smear the chalk line instead of using our fingers. It worked really well.

We got into a rhythm of outlining with chalk, smearing,

adding the bulb caps,

then drawing on the wire.

We talked and laughed and de-stressed in general. As each card was finished, we used double-sided tape to adhere a 4 x 6 index card to the back on which she wrote her personal messages. We separated the stacked cards with pieces of scrap paper to keep the chalk from getting where we didn't want it to go.

The process ended up taking much more time than we'd anticipated. I finally had to call it quits when my eyes wouldn't stay open any more. Jodie finished the cards up when she got back to Corvallis. I received this one in the mail.


We were inspired by artwork from Buggy and Buddy:

Monday, January 5, 2015

Kaylee's Bib

When my niece Tonya had her baby in October, I was lucky enough to get to visit with her and hold baby Kaylee. I stitched this little bib and took it along as a Welcome to the World gift.

Cute little faces, yes?