Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tim Holtz Tags of 2014 - September

It's that time again! Wow, September (and all of 2014 really), has been just flying by! Another month, another tag to attempt.

And when I say "attempt", I mean it.

This month's tag should be titled "Making Lemonade From Lemons". You see, I try to learn the techniques Tim demonstrates each month... that's the purpose of these things, after all. Yet this month, I'll be danged if I could get the background effect he created with his alcohol inks and blending solution. It's not his fault, but mine - I didn't have the exact supplies on hand and left it too late this month to acquire them. So I tried the best I could with what I had on hand. The result? Well, three failed attempts at the proper backgrounds; first in yellow, then red, then green.

But being the cheapskate, er 'thrifty' person I am, instead of chucking my failures, I repurposed them in other ways. Yep. Making lemonade indeed.The red and yellow became the basis for my butterflies and the green my new background.

I stamped the yellow and red glossy papers with Tim's script stamp in archival ink. The green sheets were cut to size and inked on the edge with Walnut Stain.

Since I also didn't have Tim's newest butterfly die, I used his "Butterflight" On The Edge die and cut them out into individual insects.

I decided to ink the edges of them too - I love the difference this little step makes!

As usual, I was making two tags; one for me and one for a display at the Scrapbook Cottage. I used Ranger's Archival ink to stamp the plants at the bottom of each card and glued them to black tags I cut with Tim's Tag die.

After attaching the butterflies with Glossy Accents, I added rub-ons from Tim's Botanical Remnant Rubs - the glossy paper really grabbed these - I had to be careful to position them just so as there was no second chance to fix them if I screwed up.

Actually, I think I love the blurry background with the jet black stamped images...

Come to think of it, I love lemonade too! ;)

Monday, September 22, 2014

As If I Don't Have Enough Hobbies...

Paper crafting, painting, drawing, cross stitch, knitting...

and now, spinning. Yep, spinning my own yarn.

A few weeks ago, daughter and I attended Manitoba's second annual Fiber Festival. For the first three hours of the day, we enrolled in a Turkish Spindle class. It was loads of fun and so informative! I am definitely hooked...

Daughter getting personalized instruction from Sandy our teacher
- there were only 4 of us in class so it was perfect for individual attention!

This was my meager first attempt during class using a beautiful micro-skein (called a "pig tail"!) of "American Diner" Merino fiber:

My new Turkish Spindle and first attempt - scary, no?

After class, we wandered around the Festival Market area to pick up some roving (natch). We received seven small samples of different wool varieties from the class to learn the differences in fiber length, softness, etc. (Teeswater, Romney/Lincoln, Merino, Polypay, Southdown and Alpaca), but we wanted to pick up larger ones to eventually work on and took advantage of having so many vendors in one area - with great prices too!

A view of the market area
(held inside a hockey arena in case the weather turned bad)

Fleece competition - afterward they were for sale!

Angora bunnies for sale too! Sooooo cute.

I picked up one large braid of Merino and a small bag of four 1 oz. Corridale roving in purple, blue, teal and cream colours to practice on. These were the first real attempts I worked with at home; spinning the cream and teal separately and then plying them together in a small skein. It was still pretty lumpy and thick, but it was fun to see the yarn develop!

This past weekend daughter and I went antiquing and I found this primitive carpenter's string level; perfect for displaying over the wool stash area of my Studio, so I wound the teal/cream yarn onto it.

The last two colours of Corridale single ounce roving I worked on this weekend - the blue and purple spun much thinner and more consistent; I was improving!

Here are the single plies before combining again on my spindle:

And the finished two-ply yarn.

To make a proper twisted skein, I needed a "niddy noddy" (yep, it's a whole new vocabulary...). Hubby cut some old wood I found and I glued and nailed it together. It works perfectly and I like that it looks old and fits in with the rest of my vintage tools.

The result today was thirty-six yards of my very own handspun yarn! I think this attempt may be good enough to actually knit with... the others will remain on my shelf as reminders of my journey.

My next attempts will be with this (the braid of Merino from the Festival):

And these two braids of a Merino/Silk blend I bought a few days ago (sooooo soft and squishy!):

Enough to actually make something significant from - I hope!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Once Upon An Eerie Tale

Wow, it's been awhile since I have made a big paper crafting project... hmmm. I guess Father's Day was the last time I got out the card stock, glue and scissors for something other than the odd card. With all this knitting I've been doing, it's fun to switch it up and return to other crafting for a bit.

While I was in The Scrapbook Cottage here in Winnipeg a few weeks ago, they gave me some Graphic 45 supplies to create a display item for the store. The new paper line is for Halloween - which will be here before we know it; heck, even the staff at work have been offering Halloween candy bars already... (now THAT'S what I call scary!). The new set is called "Once Upon An Eerie Tale" and portrays images from various old frightening fairy tales just perfect for the Fall season.

Since the theme was old fairy tales, I thought a book would be a perfect way to present them. I started out using the journal I initially made for my Dad's "Grandpa's Garden" book I made in June (it ended up being too small for the photos I had printed). I had followed Anne's (at Anne's Paper Creations) instructions to make a 30 page journal out of chipboard and card stock.

So I went through the Graphic 45 paper pads and spent a few evenings fussy-cutting images, die cutting tags and preparing the various embellishments.

That's fancy talk for basically "making a mess":

It took a few days, but I finally finished and before handing it over to the store, I took photos and recorded a video to show the features of the book.

The cover was embellished with fussy cuts, chipboard, metals and a spine label.

The green ribbon was from a really old spool (with a 15 cent price tag!) and the other ribbon from my stash.

Here are a few of my favorite pages:

Beauty and the Beast

Little Red Riding Hood

Love these images
I do believe they liked it at the store; and I am glad I got it to them in plenty of time before Halloween, as Fall is quickly approaching!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Told You So...

I think we all knew it was coming...

So it's really no surprise now, is it?

I couldn't stop at one.

So two more bears have been created. A panda in the same design as my Hudson Polar Bear except  for the eye patches and body colourwork that I made more "panda-ish".

But he isn't named yet - any suggestions?

For my third bear, I stuck more closely to Kay's pattern (at the Bakery Bears podcast). I made him standing up so I could also knit his clothes (included in her pattern). I had never done a neck opening before (casting off and casting on again) or pants (casting off one leg and going back later to finish it), so it's not only been great fun making these, but educational too!

The only modifications I made to her pattern was the extra piece in each ear to make an inside colour and the arms - they swivel and I made lighter paws to match his lighter muzzle and inner ears.

I again used coloured beads for his eyes - each bear has a different hue: Hudson's are blue, Panda's are yellow and this guy's are green.

He too needs a name.... what would you call him?

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