Thursday, December 29, 2011

art deco atc

this artist trading card was inspired by this art deco door i found online.

the background is acrylic paint on textured watercolor paper...with scratch lines, heat-embossed spiral stamps, and metallic embellies.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

the last of the leftovers

i made a ton of this really yummy cranberry jelly from scratch for our holiday dinner, and i've been enjoying it every day since. on toast with breakfast, on sandwiches, or just by the spoonful like a jello fruit salad - very versatile.

so i thought i'd share my recipe, i was pretty much winging it, but there are other similar recipes out there too.

it's really fast and easy to make, and i like the firm texture and golden colors that the mandarin oranges and pineapple add to the mix (don't use fresh or frozen pineapple in gelatin, it won't set). i also love the purplish shade of the blueberries and cranberries combined. i prefer to use canned fruit that's packed in natural juices, and 7-up is all natural flavors now too. using these liquids instead of just more water adds better flavor to the jelly, i think. this recipe makes a pretty large bowl, so you can halve it.

1 12oz bag of fresh cranberries; rinse well
1 cup of organic sugar
1-1/4 cups of water
1 small can mandarin oranges (reserve the liquid)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 regular can pineapple chunks (reserve the liquid)
1/2 can of 7-up soda
2 packets knox unflavored gelatin

soften the gelatin first by mixing it with 1-2 tablespoons of the orange liquid in a small coffee cup. bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium pot. transfer 1/4 cup of the boiling sugar water to the coffee cup to stir and dissolve the gelatin, set aside. add cranberries to the remaining sugar water in the pot and return to boil; simmer a few minutes until the skins pop. stir the gelatin water into the simmering cranberries, then remove from heat. stir in remaining orange/pineapple liquids and 7-up, then mix in all the other fruits. transfer to a decorative bowl or dish, cover with plastic wrap (vent it on one side), and refrigerate overnight to set the gelatin. serve solid by the scoop, or stir it up to serve chunky as shown. enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

the thundershower

one of the christmas gifts i received from my mother was this umbrella featuring a really cool painting (1917-18) from an american artist named h. lyman sayen.

his work was a mix of fauvism and futurism; he was also an inventor and and electrical engineer.

from a press release about a 2002 exhibit that included this painting...
the pulse of modern life animates sayen's dancers in “the thundershower,” which foreshadows the decorative patterns of art deco style. sayen studied with matisse in paris and was among the first to introduce avant-garde styles to america.

i love this prophetic 1914 quote from sayen...
modern art… is all spontaneity and requires an equally spontaneous apprehension. to feel it requires a quickening of the spirit. it has revealed to us men of great power. picasso and matisse will, I believe, exert a powerful influence for a long time on painting and sculpture.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

felt needle case

i've seen so many cute handmade needle cases out there lately, so i decided to make one for myself tonight. it's nice to get them out of my pincushions and into a safe spot where i can see the sizes better and it's easy to pull them in and out.

this was super quick to make with some felt squares, embroidery floss, and a cute little dragonfly appliqué.

i fused some fabric to the inside cover to hide the stitches from the embellishments.

i sewed the edges of the inside pages together first, then sandwiched them between the covers with a few french knots and straight stitches.

Monday, December 19, 2011

felt poinsettia

felt is fun and so easy to work with...i made this 6" poinsettia in about 20 minutes by cutting random leaf shapes from a few different shades of green felt, and some small red circles from red. then i layered the leaves on a 5" circle of green felt with aleene's tacky glue, adhered the red berries in the center, and accented with a golden green color of stickles glitter glue. this will be a sweet alternative to a bow on one of my gifts!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

african bead ornament

a few years ago at my favorite annual quilt show (piqf), i bought these cool beads made in africa from recycled glass. i forgot about them until last week when i was digging into my supply to make earrings.

then today i was cruising around online and i saw a picture of a cute button ornament in the shape of a wreath. such a perfect idea for using these out came a little wire, a little ribbon...and a couple minutes later, cuteness for the top of a gift!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

frosty le deux

here's the finished snowman that i started during my recent demo on the cynchronicity live webcast.

visit my my youtube channel to see my demo clip.

This soft vinyl is often sold in bolts...ask for it at your local craft store or quilt shop to buy by the yard.

now sing it with me...frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul...


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

more holiday beading

just made another batch of earrings tonight - sold quite a few pair to my very kind co-workers, some were designs that i forgot to shoot...shoot! anyway, thanks to everyone who supports handmade this holiday season!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

holiday beading

glass and stone choker
a few of the women at my office asked me to make some jewelry to sell, nothing like holiday shopping from your desk to beat the crowds at the mall! these are the first few beaded baubles i made today, always fun to do. now i need to get some more earring wires...
long and dangly earrings
short and round earrings

Saturday, December 10, 2011

chocolate coma

uni (top) based her atc on the pure imagination song
and cathy made the chocolate lake and waterfall
there was definitely more dunking than there was swapping at our local atc group get-together this past week. with willy wonka as our theme, we thought it was appropriate to enjoy some chocolate fondue. here are the fun artist trading cards that i received from my group.
valerie and i ended up using the same image of wonka's utter exasperation,
and liz trapped a golden ticket under an icy sidewalk  
despite an interesting discovery that the non-dairy version of chocolate chips burn in the microwave, which allowed our host the opportunity to confirm that the smoke alarm works in her new home, we had a terrific time dipping loads of different fruits and snacks into the regular chocolate, as we shared which parts of the "charlie and the chocolate factory" story inspired us to make our cards.
donna made wonka bars and we all got golden tickets

Thursday, December 08, 2011

secret santa

it's secret santa time at my office...our holiday luncheon and gift exchange is tomorrow, always a great day! we each fill out little slips of paper with our names and lots of favorite things. the coworker whose name i drew enjoys scrapbooking, the color teal, and coffee. so i made her this little 5x7 blank board book, with a variety of distressed teal-ish patterned papers inside, that she can put her own pictures in. i placed a starbucks gift card inside. i hope she likes it...and i hope i'm right in assuming she won't read my blog until after the luncheon!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

october atc swap

here's a slideshow of the artist trading cards from last month's swap. there's still time to join us for the november/december swap - the last one for this year! click here for details.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

frosty the snowman

i'm looking forward to demo-ing how to make this little christmas can be used as a tree ornament or a gift tag.

i will be a guest on my friend cynthia's creative edventures webcast next wednesday, 12/14 at 6pm pacific (9pm eastern). i'll show y'all how quick and easy my little snowman is to make with whatever fibers and glitter you have on hand.

click here at showtime next week to join us online for some crafty fun!

Monday, December 05, 2011

willy wonka

my atc group is having a chocolate fondue potluck this week, to go along with our willy wonka theme. i prefer the gene wilder version of the film, so i found this posterized pic of him and printed it on inkjet film. then i layered it the film on top of some backgrounds that I painted/stamped, and secured it with candyish mini-brads. i accented his hatband and bow tie with some glitter and gloss. i really love the expression on his face...a little exasperated, somewhat dazed...i can so relate, lol!