I have been horrible about creating things lately. I have something else, but it's for a swap, so I won't show it until I'm sure my partner has received it.
This is about as creative as I've gotten:
I stamped some Christmas wrapping paper. I had a swap where I had to wrap all the gifts in it. I also shopped at Hobby Lobby and they wrap your items in this plain paper, so I figured instead of throwing it away, I'd just reuse it. Here's some close-ups:
And now I'm stuck. The background is a wooden oval painted black, I covered it with dictionary pages, and put the vintage photo in the middle. I think there's too much space between the dictionary and the lady.
So, here's my latest swap: A Halloween 6x6. I'm pretty sure the person it's going to doesn't read my blog.
I had the hardest time figuring out what to make. I'm not big on Halloween crafts, which is part of the reason I signed up, to stretch my imagination.
I finally decided to start out by covering the background with dictionary paper, as I've decided that's what I do with everything. Then I colored it with alcohol inks, and it's hard to tell, but there's a definition of Halloween in the lower left corner. And then I was stuck again, because I don't do a lot of crafting at Halloween, I don't have a lot of supplies for it. I finally found the bats, which were a ribbon, and cut them apart. The leaf is from some fall thing, I glued that down and decided the skeleton needed to be on top. I had this skeleton which is about 6" tall, only thing was, he was bright green plastic. I painted him white, which was a challenge in itself, the paint would not stick. After gluing him down, I applied som Mod Podge, which tried to take the paint off again. I decided he needed googly eyes instead of holes. The rat, is rubbery, I got him a few years ago when I bought a bag for my collage group, he doesn't glue very well. I finally had to cover his feet and tail, if you try, you can still take him out.
I love how this turned out.
I really miss swapping, and there seem to be less and less out there. My normal sites/blogs that do swaps aren't hosting any as of late. Does anyone know of any I can join, or would like to do some kind of swap with me?
I'm looking for hope. I've been depressed lately. I
was dealt a huge blow a couple of weeks ago and I don't seem to be getting as
excited about things as I have in the past. I'm not finding things as fun as I
used to. Anyone wanna send me some hope, or at least something to cheer me
So I'm sitting here feeling bummed about Okoboji and decide I need to take my mind off of it. I see a cute piece of trim and decide I should make a tag with it, which leads me to my craft closet, then I get distracted by my butterfly piece and decide I need to use some gel pens to highlight the butterflies. I finish that and see a piece of paper that would work for this tag. I don't get very far with that but see a vintage photo I've been saving for something else, I notice it's tearing more so I figure I should get started on that piece, but decide she would look better on book pages. So, I cover the background with dictionary paper, add her, but she won't lay flat. I figure a piece of tinfoil and a book will fix that, as I'm washing the Mod Podge off my brushes, I look down and realize my foot's bleeding. Just another typical day for me. At least i found my muse.
Does that ever happen to anyone else. You sit down to do something and you get distracted by three other things laying around?
I've been horribly uninspired lately, but I did buy something pretty cool.
One of the blogs I read, Artjoystuff, was having a Christmas in July sale in her Etsy store, so I decided to buy something. When I opened the package, I also got this cute little picture with it:
And here's what I bought, a little collage picture.
It is now with all the other artwork I have acquired whether through purchase or swaps. I'm trying to collect more of other people's work, so someday when I have a house, I can have a dedicated place to display it. Plus, if I buy someone else's work, maybe someone will buy mine. Of course, then I'd have to make some and put it in my shop.
So, my birthday's next week. I'm having a dinner party with friends and I decided to make goodie bags. I had all the stuff to put inside, but hadn't done the actual bags yet. Yesterday, I finally sat down to decorate them. Here are six of them:
Starting at the top left: it's covered in a dark blue paper, there's a wavy sticker at the bottom. I added green glittery plants to it, and underwater stickers. The middle one I covered with a green patterned paper, on top of that is a German book page and then an old photo. There's also a pink butterfly in the corner. The one on the right I covered with stickers of bugs, I put glittery grass at the bottom.
On the bottom row, the one in the right corner is covered with a Celtic-y print paper. There is a green ribbon the side and a picture of a rhino in the middle. The middle one has brown stripes as a background with another striped paper on top. There's an image of children on a bicycle and a button sticker as well. The one on the right is covered in yellow paper, you can't see it, but there's a green leafy rub on on the left side. There's a cowboy image mounted on green paper on the bottom (this one I decorated with one of my guests in mind).
Here are the other four and a piece I've been working on for awhile. Apparently my kitchen has better lighting, so this picture is a little washed out.
The top left one I covered in strips of tissue tape, I have no idea how to finish it, everything I put on it looks wrong. The second one on the top is covered in music patterend paper, with a light blue paper on top and an image of ruins. The bottom left one is covered in a bluish regal pattern. There's another regal pattern paper on top of that and an oval, again I'm not sure how to finish it. The bottom right one is covered with a piece of patterned cardstock that I added clock images to and enhanced the patterns on it with glitter.
The butterfly piece, I have been working on since last February. Liz, sent me an envelope of hearts leftover from this project. I glued them on, rubbed alcohol ink on it and then got stuck. Then I started adding butterflies, most of them are from napkins, there's also a few stickers on there. I'm not sure if it's done or not.
Here's what my bags look like closed:
The pin wheels were originally supposed to go in the bags, but they're a little tall. I figure I'll have them on the table in a vase and have everyone take one as they leave. The roses are made of wood, and have wire stems, so I threaded them through holes in the bags.
The last four (or two), are drying, I plan to put them together tonight or tomorrow morning.
I'm really sick of planning my party. My menu is pork tips with noodles and a veggie and ice cream cake for dessert. I invited 10 people and am still waiting on a few to get back to me. Because of that, I can't have all the food purchased yet.
One of my supervisors said I get a whole week to celebrate. I don't think that will happen. I don't get a lot of mail, even for my birthday. Normally, I only get presents from my immediate family, since I'm having a party this year, I'll get some more, but nothing will stretch for a week.
So, my birthday's coming up. Three weeks from tomorrow actually, I'll be turning 30. I'm freaking out a little. I don't have a salaried/benefitted job, or a permanent place to live. I'm trying to save money because my health insurance is way too expensive. I'm working as many hours at my job as I can, which is part of the reason I haven't been creative. I just don't want to do much when I get home.
I wish people would send me cool stuff for my birthday, but I probably won't get
much. My mother says she'll resize a ring so I can wear it again. I know I won't
get anything really cool. But, if people want to send me something, let me know.
I would totally repay you on your birthday.
I keep thinking I'll get creative, I started a glue book, and then got distracted, so all my art stuff is spread out in my hallway. I need to shove it all back in the closet.
I'm planning a dinner party on my porch for my birthday, but my friends might want to see my apartment, which is messy as usual, so I really should clean it.
Remember when I showed you my fabric book the other day. I only had the fronts done then. I now have the whole thing done. I laid out the pictures as they appear in the book. I can tell you where some of the pieces came from, but most of them I don't know and just found in my stash.
I love this piece, I don't know where it came from, but it's so cool. The heart trim I got in a swap.
On the back of the first page, I have a sheer green piece and then a piece I bought at a garage sale. You'll see that only the fronts have trim hanging down. The second page, the background piece is from a store I used to work at, the three smaller pieces went together very well. I still feel this is missing something, but I couldn't find the right piece to add. The trim on the bottom is from a dresser scarf.
The back of the second page is a piece of fabric I've wanted to use on something for awhile, it's very bright, the girl is from a dish towel. The third page, the creamer and teapot are from another dish towel, the background came from a fabric packet with the piece in the background of the second page.
On the back of the third page, I used a sheer pink scarf, overlaid with another sheer piece that's shimmery, and then added a felt cupcake pin I bought here. You can also see some trim, it's hard to see, but there are peach pearls added to the middle of it. The fourth page, the top is a scarf, part I used in this project, the bottom is a knit shiny purple piece. The middle is part of a larger piece I bought at a garage sale.
On the back of the fourth page, is another piece from the fabric packet used on pages 2 and 3, I added a leafy piece, and a fabric leaf, I might have to go in and glue on a plaster acorn. The fifth page, the background is a piece I got in a swap, the leaf is from a dresser scarf that was edged with the trim used on page two, the trim is from Hobby Lobby.
On the back of the fifth page, the background is from a store I used to work at, then I just added some ribbon/trim pieces. The bottom piece isn't quite ribbon, it felt more papery, I was afraid it would fall apart when I sewed it on. The sixth page has strips of material, the turquoise is wove with black thread, the green is a piece I used in this project and this project, the brown is a shiny soft material. The hearts are something my mother gave me.
On the back of the sixth page, I have a flowery piece and some lace. The seventh page is a knit sparkly piece, with a doily.
On the back of the seventh piece, I used a vintage flowery pattern, some felt and a motif from a hot pad. The eighth page is a burgundy shiny piece and a vintage doily. The piece next to it was on the back, it reads: "Doilie from box of Linens - Ives - Late 1800's To 1910 Probably older". I got the trim in a swap.
The back of the eighth page is strips of suede, and a piece of sheer snowflake fabric. The ninth page is two purply pieces, the bottom is velvet. I used some shiny pieces for the top and bottom, a doily for the middle and some big flower trim for the bottom.
The back of the ninth page is a sheer piece of burgundy fabric, I added some metallic pieces to. The top piece is a gold sheerish fabric with embroidery. The tenth page is very shiny, I wish you could see it in the picture, it's also very soft. The bottom is a piece of fabric that I trimmed the flowers out of.
The back of the tenth piece was very hard to sew. It is a green ribbon that's extremely soft, but frays very easily. The circle piece I got at a sale. The eleventh piece is backed with very bright pink shiny piece, the "Love" piece I got at my grandma's, I added the trim since I posted before.
The back of the eleventh page is a olive green scarf with a piece cut from a hanky. The twelfth page is a thick piece with a doily and a felt alien from Hobby Lobby, I also added the trim, gotten from a swap, after taking the other scan.
The back of the twelfth page is a blue fabric with a corner of a hanky.
All the fronts of the pages are backed with quilt batting, when deciding on how to finish the book, I decided to add backs to the existing pages, rather than sewing them together. I also found out that all my pages seem to not be the same size. I added eyelets in the sides of all pages and have tied them together with ribbon, because of this, I can change the order of the pages any time I want to. I thought this layout looked pretty good together, but I may change my mind.
As I've mentioned above, some of the colors don't come out well in the scans, but I also wish you all could feel the book, it's a great mixture of textures.
I hostess this group on yahoo that makes ATCs. I've been doing this for a number of years, we used to have 10 or so people participating each month. At the moment I have three, including myself. I send out a package of items that fit a theme, people make ATCs with at least one of these items on their cards and send them back. The number of people has been falling a lot. Last year, we didn't swap until October. I sent everyone an ATC and asked if they would be interested in starting up again, I had 3 people say yes, and then 2, and then we got a new player in the group. Last month, I lost one of my long-time players. So, I only have 3 people playing. I sent out an email asking if people wanted to continue playing and got 2 replies, from the 2 people that are participating. I sent a reply saying I'm not doing this month because I'm not inspired. Today I got a response from one of my participants saying that when I take time off its psychologically disruptive to the players. That pissed me off. This is from one of my regular participants, who I love, and I love her work, but why can't I take time for me?
Sometimes I feel, I'm putting way more into these swaps than I'm getting back. I think up the majority of the themes (all of them right now), I'm the one putting the packets together, and sometimes I'm the one spending money on them. Lately, people have been a little short on having return postage to them, so I'm paying for that, which I can't afford to do all the time. I figure I can send them one free swap, but that's it.
She also said maybe people are dropping out because I'm taking time off. I'm not entirely sure about that. Usually when I suggest stopping for awhile, people agree. I know last year when we didn't swap, I asked that people let me know when they were ready again, but it was me who initiated the next swap and I only got a few players. It's also hard to know what people are thinking when no one replies to emails or snail mail, which leads me to believe they don't want to swap.
I was complaining to my mom a few months ago about swaps and people either not following directions, flaking out, or not getting things to me on time. She suggested I take a little time off from swaps. I really like the swaps I find online, their different and it challenges me in my art, I'm wondering if hostessing this group doesn't challenge me enough, so I find it boring.
But, then I'm told by my group that I shouldn't take time off. Art keeps me sane (that and music), so I have to do some kind of art. But, I don't just have to do ATCs, I do lots of different things, I've found hand sewing has calmed me so well lately.
I also feel I have a lot of things to deal with in life (not a ton, there are people with way more than me), but what I don't need is something else giving me problems.
Here are my fabric book pages, I just looked at a post on Indulge Your Shelf about her current fabric book, and I think her's is better. I didn't know what size to make my pages, so I just took a book I had and traced it onto some quilt batting. I used quilt batting as a backing on all pieces, and tried to incorporate some kind of trim on the bottom of all pages. There are a few pages that don't have any trim, everything I lay on them just doesn't look right.
This fabric, I believe someone donated with some books to the library, the trim I got in a swap.
The background is a knit fabric, the circles are sparkly. The doily was bigger, but it didn't fit, so I trimmed it. I have no idea where I got the trim.
The background is from when I worked at an art store called, The Prairie Fiber Company, the owner sold hand dyed fabric packs. The strip, I think I got from my mom. The teapot/creamer are off of a dish towel. I got the trim at a garage sale.
The green background is from a vintage scarf, I made some pennants awhile ago with the rest of it. The purple is a knit fabric. I bought the middle piece and trim at a garage sale.
The background is part of a dresser scarf I got in a swap, you can't see it, but there are little holes in the shape of flowers. The blue is a scrap I had. The leaf is from a dresser scarf I got in Okoboji a few years ago. The trim I bought at Hobby Lobby.
I bought all the background pieces at a sale, the bottom purple is velvet with flowers on it. The doily was part of a bigger piece. I think I got the trim at a sale.
The background is a thicker piece, maybe upholstery? The doily I got at a sale, and the alien I bought at Hobby Lobby. I really wanted to use my alien, and he looked cute here. As you can see I haven't found the right piece of trim yet. On this one, I originally had a yellow piece in the middle.
The brown background is from the hand dyed pack I bought with the other piece above. The rust and olive colored piece are very sheen in color. The light green piece is a tiny scrap. The trim is from the same piece as the leaf above. I think I still need something else on this page.
The background here was a large scrap I had. The doily was bought at a church sale, the little rectangle was on the back of it, it reads: "Doilie from box of Linens - Ives - Late 1800's To 1910 Probably older" I thought it was a little pricey, but I couldn't walk away from it. I don't know where I got the trim.
You can't see the sheen on the background piece, but it has a silvery thread woven into it. The circle was a scrap I had. The 'trim' is actually from a piece of lace.
Also can't see the color in the turquoise pieces, they have black woven into them. The green I used here on a stocking, and here on a piece a couple Christmases ago. The heart piece, my mother created on her sewing machine. The brown is another shiny knit. Trim is from a sale.
I orginally had the white on the batting itself, but it looked so plain. The pink is very shiny and maybe a little more bright than the picture makes it look. I'm also sewing around the flowers for a little dimension. I haven't found the right trim for this one either.