Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween and Fall Tag Swap

It's Halloween and the countdown begins at my house for "is it dark enough to trick-or-treat yet?"  The weather where I am is gorgeous-no wind and not too cold.  It's a good opportunity to remind my kids how fortunate they are today knowing trick-or-treating had to be cancelled in some areas.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Sandy and with hope for a quick return to the normalcy we often take for granted.

I was late this year getting decorations out but managed to get even my latest project finished, a Fall Tag Swap hosted by Dawn.  We each made 10 tags and got 10 lovely tags in return.

My contribution was made by decoupaging old dictionary pages to manila tags.  I then aged them using thinned out acrylic paint.  The "Merry Halloween" image was stitched on, and I added a ruffled bit of streamer to the bottom.

The funnest part of being in a swap is the day your package arrives!  The cards were delightful!

I used a jute string to hang the tags using small clothespins over the window .  About half the tags are Halloween themed and the others are more fall-themed.  Tomorrow I can take down the Halloween tags and leave the others until after Thanksgiving.  I just love having these lovely pieces of work from other artists hanging right in my craft room!

I'll do another post showing each card and links to the ladies that participated.  The tags are too fabulous not to share each one!  Have a safe and Merry Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Handmade U Swaps


Time for more photos from Handmade U Fall 2012!  The last workshop I attended was Silver Bella in 2009.  I was so new to the whole thing, I didn't participate in any swaps.  As I watched people doing their swap exchanges, I was very envious and sad to miss out on all the fun.  So this time I participated in all three swaps at Handmade U.

Small Ephemera Bundle Swap

We had a Small Ephemera bundle swap hosted by Michelle Gellar of Hold Dear. It was a bit of a challenge for me since I have a small collection of ephemera but not enough for 16 bundles.  Etsy certainly helped with that-I hope that's not cheating!  I forgot to photograph my bundles, but I used vellum sheets to stitch envelopes and filled them with just about everything I had.  It was worth it though.  Look at what I got in return!!

All my loot!

Sandie Jensen and Me

One of the first people I saw when I arrived at Handmade U, was Sandie.  I started following her blog about a year ago through Where Bloggers Create.  We had exchanged some messages, and it was so nice to meet her in person!  Sandie hosted an ATC swap-another first for me! Sadly, I somehow missed the final count on cards and only made six. They still let me trade, and I got some beautiful cards in return.

The cards I received

My ATC's made with pattern paper, ribbon, buttons and of course, some stitching!


Our final swap I've saved for last on purpose.  It was an Ephemera Box swap hosted by Mollie.  Each person was to choose a favorite color or color scheme and then was given a swap partner.  Here are all the boxes lined up on the table before swapping time:

There was one box that particularly caught my eye.  It had the look of an old brown leather suitcase with a leather handle.  I thought someone would be very lucky to get it--runs out that lucky someone was me! Lisa gave me this fabulous case.

I just love how worn it looks.  At this point I have no idea what I will do with the box, but I would like to leave the outside as is and maybe do something to the inside using old lace and ribbons....
The box was filled with lots of lovely ephemera in pastel colors and a very pretty pink handkerchief.  Pink is probably my favorite color if I'm forced to choose just one. :)

I gave Lisa a cigar box filled with her chosen colors, blue and pink.  That was a fun color combination to collect!  The cigar box is only about 15 years old, but it has a Romeo and Juliet scene that seemed to go well with the color scheme.

The inside of the box I gave to Lisa-I love these colors!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Handmade U Workshop

The very cute decorations in our classroom
It's about time I start sharing my photos from Handmade U last month!  If you aren't familiar with Handmade U, it's hosted by Rachel of Rach-ology.  There have been three Handmade U semesters hosted in the Omaha, Nebraska area.

The fun started on a Thursday evening with dinner, Make and Takes, and swaps. 

Michelle Gellar of Hold Dear taught us how to make a very cute little accordion-fold album.  Shelley of Honey Lamb and I taught us to make "hexies" using a fusible applique method.  We made little flowers, and I fused mine to wool felt that I plan to use as a pin. 
My name tag and "Pixie Dust"
Friday morning we arrived to our classroom decorated with paper streamers and large letters spelling out Handmade U.  Each student had her own table with a name tag made from a vintage spool and a mini salt shaker filled with glitter courtesy of Covered in Glitter.  It's so cute!

Our first class, a Parlour Journal of Thoughts and Musings was taught by the fabulous Hope Kearney Wallace of Besottment.  We were given these lovely packets sewn from vintage wallpaper that contained all the materials needed to complete our journals.  Once I finished getting my journal assembled, it fit perfectly back in the packet.  It's probably where I will store it for safe keeping.

My very messy workspace!

I learned some great  new techniques with this journal project.  I also loved the journal prompts Hope gave us.  I had trouble at first getting into it, but once I got the ideas flowing, it really opened up some new self-discoveries.

One of my inside pages
Here is the cover which is still a work in progress.  Hope's blog has photos of the work other participants did--great inspiration!

Almost finished!  My lady's skirt opens to reveal another page element.
Saturday's class was taught by another fun teacher Liesel Lund.  The class was called Enchanted Hours: Celebrating the Magic of Children's Books.  We were to bring two vintage children's books which we then- gasp -deconstructed!  I love books and have a little trouble pulling them apart, but it does give new life to books that are maybe beginning to fall apart.  It also made for an amazingly fun project! 
A very grainy Instagram pic of Liesel Lund
Using exacto knives, we cut the front and back covers off then pulled the pages apart.  We then rebuilt the books using pages from each book and adding vintage music sheets, newspaper, colored scrapbook papers, and even envelopes.  I still have lots of work to do on mine, but here are few photos of what I did during the workshop.
Inside front cover

The back page showing a page from a second deconstructed book
I loved seeing what the other ladies used for their books. We had everything from cute children's books to Christmas books to children's chapter books. It gave me great ideas for so many new projects!  Liesel has a great post featuring work from other participants on her blog Adventures in Pretty

Completed Cover...or maybe it needs more glitter...

Handmade U was such a fun workshop! Rachel and Michelle went above and beyond in having extra supplies to borrow or use. The teachers were fabulous, and it was so good to reconnect with ladies I had previously met and to meet new art friends. 
Going through the pictures again for this post has me a little sad and wishing for another workshop.  So maybe it's a good thing I still have work to do in my journals.  I can keep the fun extended! 
Our amazing teachers!!  Shellie, Michelle, Hope, Rachel, and Liesel