Sunday, March 20, 2011

Some Help on Blogging

I recently found out about an E-Book that is entitled "Building Better Blogs", A Beginner's Guide to Blogger by Karen Valentine.  

I was very intriqued as it sounded just like something I needed as I don't have a clue about all of this blogging stuff.   So I ordered it.    Wow, it contains a wealth of information.      I have already learned a lot and it is going to continue to help me out a lot as it explains everything in detail and with pictures.    It has a great Table of Contents so you can just go right to whatever you have a question on.   I highly recommend it.

To find out more about it, just click on the above highlighted area or the picture of it on my sidebar.  

What A Day Yesterday

The day started off by my waking up at 3:30 am.  What's with that?    So finally I just got up and went about having a cup of coffee in my relatively new Keurig (love love that machine),  and read some email, facebook, blogs, etc.     Then I decided to do some cleaning, dusting, etc. since I knew I was going to be gone most of the day...that way I would feel better about goofing off all day.  LOL  

I can't even remember when I last attended a rubber stamp convention.........probably in 2006 or 2007 when I attended one in Phoenix.   There was a small one here in town this weekend so I decided to go as I knew a lot of my old friends would be there whom I had not seen for years.   I really only intended on staying a couple hours but ended up there all day because I just kept running into friends.   What was really interesting, I ran into people from our classic car clubs and people who I had worked with, someone from a Yahoo group I belong to and a person who I had cruised with a couple of years ago.  

I have a special friend, Sally, who lives here in the winter and on the Oregon Coast during the summer.   She was there with some of her friends who I also know so I spent some time with them and had lunch with them.   I don't see her a lot as she is so busy at her RV Park so this was a real treat.  

I started out as a rubber stamper but don't do a lot of that anymore but I am so thankful for all the friends I have met through that media.  I do a lot of mixed media and altered art work now so did not buy any rubber stamps at all.   In fact I did not buy much at all except this one booth had these incredible silver bottle caps with jump rings soldered to them.   I have never seen them available like this before.   I think they are silver plated but don't quote me on that one.    They had a bunch of other nice bezels with jump rings but my eyes focused on the bottle caps.   Well, of course I bought them all which weren't that many but hopefully they can get some more for me.   And the quality of the jump rings and how well they were soldered is incredible.   I have soldered jump rings before and what a "pain in the toot" that was.   I had to do several before I was comfortable with it and just not something that I love doing.   The picture is showing that they are dark in the center but they really aren't.....I don't have the best of cameras and not a good photographer at all so bear with me in this area.

And I found these cute little things.........they were at booth where they were selling rubber stamps that made into shirts and sweaters.   Way too cute but not really my thing but very unique.   They also sold tiny zippers (which I kick myself now for not buying) and the tiniest buttons ever to use on the shirts and sweaters.   Way too clever.  I still can't figure out why I didn't get some of the zippers and buttons but "oh well" I think I will live.   I am going to use these hangers in Letterpress printer trays for wall art or Tim Holtz' configuration boxes.  

And the only other items I bought which I did not take a picture of were some Tim Holtz embossing folders (three different sets) and two large Cuttlebug embossing folders of gears and numbers as the prices were incredibly reasonable and you know me, I am all about a bargain.   Can't wait to try them out on the Vagabond die cutting machine which I love.

Well, that is enough for now.   I hope you all have a great day.   It is yet another very warm day here in the Southwest.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Little Something Made Just For Me

I have been following Ginny Carter Smallenburg for quite sometime.   She was the original owner of Stampers Anonymous Stamps; however, has sold that company some time ago.   She also ran a wonderful art retreat called Art Continuum in Cleveland, Ohio. And if that wasn't enough, she is a great artist and so is her husband, John.    I have enjoyed following her life at rubber stamp conventions and on her blog, Small Studio for many years now.   While reading one day on her blog,  she announced that she had put a lot of items in her Etsy Store.   So I popped over there and, of course, found several items I liked.   I usually only buy supplies, etc. but something caught my eye that John had made.   It was a necklace done on a black domino with the letter O on it.   So I sent them a message and asked if he would make one with the letter N on it.  He did and I love it so much that I wanted to post it here so you could see it and to thank John.  

Thanks John so much for making this for me.   And I have seen some of his other work on Ginny's blog and it is awesome.....some bigger pieces of art.  

I hope everyone has had a super day......    Oh my Gosh, it is still so warm the 80's.   And trust me, I am not complaining.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Washers, Nuts and Bolts, Door Plates and Door Knobs

I found this sack of miscellaneous nuts, bolts, washers, gear-like items in a sack at the thrift store.....way too cool.   So I put them in one of my cigar boxes and intend to add to it as I collect that kind of stuff.   Some of these items will go on necklaces with other stuff I have found.

One day I was rummaging through a lot of junk and found two sacks (only one is showing) of these door plates.   Haven't decided what to do with them but I am sure I will or perhaps trade them for other items.   Who knows.  Time will tell.

So then I found these really cool old door knobs and they are really heavy too.   They have potential, I am sure. 

 I can't believe the kind of weather we have been having the last few days.   It has been in the high 80's.   Wow.   A little early for that I think but we will keep it here in the Southwest.   And the prediction is for a lot more of it too.   Bring it on.   Time for the summer clothes and sandals.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Old Books and Magazines

Several people have asked me where I find my stuff.    One thing is for sure.....I don't shop at the  antique shops.   I find my items at thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets, etc.   I buy for cheap or I don't buy it.   And sometimes, even at the thrift shops, I walk away from some really good old stuff because the price is so high.    I am thinking of one particular thrift shop recently that must have found out that there is a real market out there for these things and are pricing their items really high now.......what a bummer.   LOL 

You know, I am my father's child through and through.   He was such a great shopper of the things he loved at those places I just named above and, trust me, he got it for the lowest price possible.   It is my duty to follow in his footsteps.   Now I know why he enjoyed it so much.    When he passed away, he had twenty of every tool known to man.  

I occasionally shop on Ebay but I don't find real bargains there much anymore.......just occasionally and it is usually for big lots of a particular item.     I recently started checking Etsy out but not really to find bargains but to find unusual items or items I think I need for a particular project.   And I love it when people tell me about a particular seller who is selling neat items. 

Here are some books that really struck my fancy and I found for cheap........   I love the old, yellowed, tattered and torn ones a lot. I definitely won't use the Betsy Ross Flag one but probably the others for ephemera.   And I have some old National Geographic magazines that are great for ephemera or my Remains of the Day journals.   These date from the 30's to the early 60's.  

Now this is one book that is up for debate as far as using it in my artwork.   I about had the "Big One" when I saw it at a thrift store.    It is 770 pages of 1880's Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog goodness.

Here are just a couple pages from it.

Have a great day everyone.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wood Laser Cuts

A couple months ago while looking at Sherry Goodloe's blog, she was showing a wonderful necklace she had made and on it were little playing cards.    I fell in love with the necklace, of course, and wondered where she got those little playing cards she used.   When I asked her about them, she related that she had purchased them on an etsy shop called  PorkChopShow.   So I went there and asked him about the playing cards so he made up some so I could purchase them.   When I got them, I was so thrilled with them that I went to his etsy shop to see what else he had.   He does all kinds of items.   I got some flapper girls, skeleton keys, typewriter keys, wheels, canning jar labels and some Brownie cameras.   He has a lot of other things which I will eventually get but am very happy for right now.   A great way to see what all he does is to look at what he has sold, i.e., his sales category.   I am not affiliated with him at all........just a happy customer and wanted to show some pictures of what I got.     And for those of you who know me, know that I love embellishments of all kinds and always on the lookout for them.   And, of course, you can drill holes in these to use as charms which I am going to do for some of them.  

Here are some pictures of a "Garage Sale Lot" that I purchased to just get a sampling of what he does.   It boils down to what he calls his "seconds" or "rejects" from doing his orders.   They looked pretty good to me and I liked seeing the variety of items.

Here are a some pictures of the other items I ordered in sets.

Well, it was another beautiful day here.   Hope it was a great one for you.   While I was out doing errands, of course, I had to stop at a couple thrift stores.   Found a few items which will come in handy.........always love finding Monopoly and Scrabble games for $1.00.  

As always, wishing you the best that life has to offer.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Anyone Got The Time

Back in the day when I thought  of pocket watches, I thought of my Grandpa wearing one on his overalls on the farm.   If you looked out in the field you would oftentimes see him pull it out and look to see what time it was.  What wonderful memories.   Maybe that is why I love them so.

Nowadays, I think of pocket watches as something to use in my art.   I had been wanting to find some that were old, etc.   Well ask and you shall receive.   I found this bag of pocket watches and they will be perfect to make necklaces out of them.   I want to make more of the one I posted about a few days ago.   I will probably not use Resin on all of them though.....just mini collages or whatever strikes my fancy at the time.

I took a closer up shot of the porcelin watch faces that were included.......all fifteen of them.   Way too cool.

I hope you all have had a great day.   I went thrift store shopping and found a few neat items.   

Monday, March 7, 2011

Copper Goodness

Well, I have never really done anything with copper strips or bezels before but I took this wonderful class from Jane Salley at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in February.  Pictured below are just a few of the beginnings of some of the bezels.   It was in the evening and I was just tired and already knew about the Ice Resin part of it so I did not finish them then but hopefully will soon.   I picked up a lot of tips about starting with copper strips and making bezels and also using a strip of copper around the bezel to hold the jump ring.   This is just way too cool and not hard to do at all.   The next three pictures below show different views of an opened copper bezel with the strip of copper formed around it to hold a jump ring.   In one of the views you will see that you can decorate it with a design before putting it on the bezel.

In the picture below, I made this oval bezel out of a strip of copper and joined it with a rivet.  Then I layed the bezel on a piece of decorative paper and put a clear glue around the outside of it so it would stay for when I finish it off with the items and the Ice Resin. 

Then one day while I was out shopping at my local thrift stores, I spotted a piece of 1/4 inch copper tubing and it just hit me that perhaps I could cut it into copper beads.  Perhaps this isn't something new to you but I had never seen it done before.   So off I went to Ace Hardware and asked the gentlemen if there was a tool that cut copper tubing.........well of course there was so I bought it and came home and got to work cutting it up.   So you know, I am looking for pieces of copper tubing now.   You, of course, can buy it new but why would I do that for so much more money than the thrift store kind.   Here is a picture of the tool, tubing and beads.

So here are some more projects for me to finish up.   I just need to organize my time better so I can get more done.  

Hope you have a great day.  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Charms/Pendants Using Ice Resin

At the end of January and beginning of February, I took some classes using Ice Resin.   You can see more about this product here.   I had been curious about it for some time and when I read about the classes being held at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show,  I just had to sign up for them.   It is a product created by Susan Lenart-Kazmer.   Susan also has a line of Industrial Chic products that are available at Michaels.  And yes, I have quite a collection of it and hopefully will make some things with it soon.   I love all of it and it just inspires me to create some of my own with all of the found objects I have collected.  I even have some golf cleats that I want to do something with that I found at a garage sale.

I took three classes with Barbe Saint John.   I just loved the classes and got so much out of them.   And what a hoot Barbe was.  She is such a great teacher and person and the classes were so much fun and informative.   Thanks Barbe....for the great time and memories.

Here are a few of the pieces I made in class using a lot of my favorite found objects, game pieces and watch gears, etc.    They had a lot of stuff available to choose from but they had also told us we could bring some of our stuff so I did.   There were some in the class who liked what I brought so, of course, I had to share.

This is one of Susan's Bezels.   It is quite substantial in size and weight.

I brought this pocket watch case from my stash that still had a few parts in it but I added the key and the watch gears.   My intent was to add the resin to the whole thing but I had a happy mistake and some of the resin ran away.  I am sure it would have been great full of resin but I love that only part of it is there.   You really have to see this in person to see what I am talking about.   I absolutely love how it turned out.   And since I love it so much, you know I probably won't be able to duplicate it in a million years.  

This is one of my flattened bottle caps that had been colored with alcohol inks.   I put down some papers inside and then added the gears and resin.   And, in this one, some parts of the gears are actually above the resin which I like a lot.

This was a bezel that was provided to us in class.   I used some of my Tim Holtz papers as backgrounds.   It is one of the Bingo papers and where the real bingo piece is was a picture of a Bingo chip.   The dice is actually sticking out of the resin which looks cool.

I can't tell you how much fun this was and I can't wait to do so much more with what I learned in Barbe's class. 

Have a great day everyone and would you believe it is 80 degrees here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Those Wonderful Old Ledgers From years Gone By

What don't I love about those old Ledgers/Journals that they kept long ago.    I was introduced once again to their existence during an online class I took.     About two months ago, I acquired three large books.  The ones that I have pictured below are from the late 1800's.   Each of them have about 400 pages and all the pages are filled with writing.    It is just fascinating to read through them.    I got them to use in my art but once I got them, the question was whether I could tear them apart to use them.   Well, I got over that and have torn into two of them and having a great time using them and giving away some of the pages to share with friends.    They look great in my Remains of the Day journals,    They also look great as backgrounds for collages and altered art.   I have also been making tags and various die cuts out of them.  In another post I will show you what I have done with them.   So many possibilities, so little time.    Once these books are actually empty, I am going to make journals out of the covers.  

And here are a page from each of the books.   The last picture is one of the books where it is just all writing from taking notes from Lodge meetings.

I find myself more drawn to wanting to use this kind of paper, along with old sheet music pages,  in my artwork than actually buying other kinds of paper.   The paper in these books are actually pretty durable but I know in some of my other ledgers, the paper is much more fragile.   

I hope you all have a great day and thanks for stopping by.