Thursday, January 31, 2013

Valentine Inspiration

I just love Pinterest. I used to get bogged down by bookmarking a zillion sites in my browser and then not being able to find what I was looking for.  Now, I used Pinterest to organize all those great ideas I find on the internet.

Are you on Pinterest?  Looking for some non-candy valentine ideas?  I have pinned a bunch on a Valentine Inspiration board:


This year, Noodlebug and I are using CRAP I'VE MADE's A-maze-ing valentine tutorial:

(image source)
I found some heart-shaped mazes at Michael's that will do the trick.

Now, I just need some Valentine inspiration for my girlfriends!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DIY Valentine's Day Garland

I have seen a variety of these garlands on Etsy and Pinterest and thought I'd try making my own rather than spend $14-$18 plus shipping.

Here is one lovely example from Etsy:

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I saw packs of playing cards at Dollar Tree that were selling for two for $1 and thought I'd make my own. Noodlebug picked out three different kinds of Valentine's ribbon and one spool of red ribbon at Michael's and we set to work making our garland.

Here is the finished product:

I used the entire suit of hearts and every bit of the three kinds of ribbon and most of the red ribbon.  This is so easy to do!!! Just punch two holes in each playing card and string them together with the ribbon of your choice.  (we chose red)  Then, we cut lengths of the three Valentine's ribbons and tied them together between each card.  It actually looks cuter in person.

Since I have another set of cards, I may make another one!!! And you can repurpose the other cards for things like mini-canvases (just gesso over the card) or mini-journals. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Project FAIL

Awhile back, I saw some wonderful Subway Art that Meg Duerksen did at one of her craft weekends and discovered that you could get a kit to make one through Poppy Seed Projects.  I have been trying to get my workroom in order and thought this would be the perfect thing to brighten it up.

This is what the project was SUPPOSED to look like:

(image source)

A nice worn/vintage looking piece.

Here are some views of my disaster:

I didn't even bother sanding it down. It just looks terrible.  The vinyl stencil pulled up a lot of the paint and the whole thing is a rotten mess.  I'm not sure what to do at this point. The stencil is ruined as it is a one-time-use sort of thing.  I'm not even sure going over the ruined areas with fresh paint would help. At this point, I'm thinking of gessoing over the whole piece and using it for another art project some other time. Such a disappointment!!! I was really looking forward to having this lovely piece in my workroom.

I guess you win some and you lose some in the arts and crafts world.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Week Four--Life Book

We had a fascinating lesson in light this week from Dion Dior.  It was a very different experience for me. When I first saw this assignment, the first thing that came to my mind was the wonder of lightning bugs. ("Fireflies" to you non-Southerners) I live in a place now where there are no fireflies. I hope my son has the opportunity to experience them someday. In the meantime, I traced his hand and created this virtual experience.

 I used a white Prismacolor pencil and a white Neocolor watersoluble crayon and it didn't work quite as I expected. I really need to invest in a white charcoal pencil for more "smudgeability."  (Is that a word?)  Still, it was a fun exercise and I'd like to try and do more!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

ART IS YOU...Petaluma 2013

ART IS YOU is coming back to Petaluma!!! This will be my third year attending.  The retreat will be from September 25th through 29th and they have some really great workshops already lined up.

I will be taking Sharon Payne Bolton's 2-Day "Between the Pages" class:

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And I will be taking Cathe Holden's "Petaluma Petals" class:

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For all you Cathe Holden fans, (and who ISN'T a Cathe Holden fan?) she is also doing a class on making shelf paper rosettes based on her forthcoming book.

Registration for Petaluma opens in early February.  See a list of workshops here.

If you can't make it to Petaluma, they also have ART IS YOU retreats in Nashville and Stamford.  But who doesn't want to come and make some great art in California wine country?!!!

I'll be volunteering on the days that I am not taking classes.  So, if you come, you'll probably see me at the registration desk.  In addition to all the great classes, there are other fun events and things to do including the ever-popular HALLOWEEN AND VINE show and the ART TRUNK event. 

If you decide to register, please let me know so I can look for you!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Life Book 2013--Week Three

Better late than never.  This one is inspired by Christy Tomlinson:

It is a reminder to myself for 2013 to reflect on Luke 12:27-31. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

DIY Inauguration Day T-Shirt

Happy Inauguration Day!!!

This is not meant to be a political post.  I just wanted my son to get into the spirit of both an Inauguration Day and MLK Day. You can do the same thing with any President. Just change the name and the number.

There are dozens of freezer paper stencil tutorials out there so I won't bore you with how I made this shirt. I'm limited in fonts right now since my computer is still out of commission so I used the font STENCIL.  I used masking tape to mark off the stripes on the sleeves.

It isn't perfect because I am not firing on all cylinders right now. My husband has had the flu for five days and I now have a wretched cold. Still, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

For the Makers--January 2013

I always get so excited when my For the Makers subscription box arrives!!!  This month all the activities have a celestial influence.

This month, we are making two pieces of jewelry (a cuff and necklace), a paperweight and some agate magnets.  I got so excited that I have already made three of the four projects!!!  Here is a glimpse of the cuff:

I might have to redo my contrasting paint and use nailpolish instead. So fun!!!

I love having these curated projects come to my doorstep each month.

(I receive no compensation of any form for these posts and all opinions are my own.)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Blahs and Some Personal Truths

I am feeling a bit under the weather today. Perhaps it is because of the weather itself. It is cold and dreary outside and I would love to be home in front of a fire.  My head is stuffy and achy but I will make it through the day.

On Monday, I will be registering Noodlebug for Kindergarten. This is such a frightening and confusing process.  We are trying to transfer to a school out of our district and I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will get the school of our choice.  In my heart of hearts, I would love to homeschool him. But, as the main breadwinner, I don't have a choice about whether or not I can be a stay-at-home mom.  Sometimes, I will have to settle for "good enough" rather than "best." I just have to trust that I am doing the best I can.

In my mind's eye, I have a clear picture of what I would like my life to be.  There are parts of that dream that may be achievable someday.  There are other parts that I am trying to figure out how to let go of.   Like the fact that I must soon comes to terms with the reality that I will not get that second child I dream of. There is a lot of grief surrounding this realization.  But I am so glad that God allowed me the blessing of having Noodlebug. All is well.

(image source)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Rubber Stamp Art

Here is my latest Life Book 2013 creation:

We were supposed to use our rubber stamps on white paper, cut out the images and then collage.  I forgot that step of the assignment. Still, it was an interesting exercise. This is meant to be a self-portrait.

I am really loving this class. Usually, I get overwhelmed by online classes and never manage to finish them. I love that this class only has one assignment per week.  Much easier to do. And I already seem to have all the materials for the assignments. It's not too long to join the class!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year's Eve Activities

We love a good puppet show.  Last year, a local community center did a whole series of puppet shows and we got season tickets. It was wonderful!!! My son was especially enamored of the shadow puppets.  So, he was excited when Santa brought him a whole set of shadow puppets including a shadow puppet "theater." 

On New Year's Eve, we stayed home as a family and Noodlebug treated us to a shadow puppet performance:

It was so great!!!  I'm thinking I may have to track down more shadow puppets now.  We also played a great new game that my husband got Noodlebug for Christmas.

This game is surprisingly fun and challenging for the whole family. I think Noodlebug's particular skill is going to be in spatial intelligence so this is a great game for him.  I highly recommend it.  

In other news, I am getting a late Christmas/early birthday gift from my mom and I couldn't be more excited. 

I lusted after this Alice + Olivia bike when it came out as part of the Neiman Marcus/Target collaboration but there was no way I could afford the $500 price tag.  Now, the entire collection has been marked down 70% so my mom bought the bike for me.  Now, Noodle and I can go on a bike ride together!!!

What is YOUR favorite holiday gift that you received?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tea Collection for Spring

Over the Christmas Break, my mother took my son and me to see the LION KING in San Francisco.  It was such an amazing production!!! I am a musical theatre fan and I think this may be my favorite musical production ever.  It was so visually amazing. I feel like I need to see it several more times in order to take in all the details.

So, I was thrilled to see that the new Tea Collection for Spring includes inspiration from Africa.  I really want to get Noodlebug this shirt:

Tea Collection Lion Mask Layered Tee - $29.00

Retail Price: $39.00
You Save: $10.00
from: Tea Collection

Blue is his color and I love the graphic lion mask.

If I had a little girl, I would pick this adorable dress:

Tea Collection Rosebank Mini Dress - $35.00

Retail Price: $45.00
You Save: $10.00
from: Tea Collection

Don't you just love the color?

Unfortunately, Tea Collection doesn't make clothing in my size.  (another incentive to lose weight)  If they did, I would choose this bright tunic for myself:

Tea Collection Protea Floral Hi-Lo Tunic

from: Tea Collection

It's so fun to see all the great clothing coming out for Spring!!!  What do you have YOUR eye on?

I am a Tea Collection affiliate.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Taking Off in 2013!

My latest creation in Life Book 2013.  I'm on way towards achieving those goals for the new year!!!

Also, a little treat from my talented friend Shelly Massey. She sent this ADORABLE robot to my son and a lovely journal for the new year for me.  I especially love how she used a bobbin on the robot's head.  I kind of wanted to keep it for myself but it is hanging in a place of honor in my son's room.  I'm trying to convince her to put some in her Etsy shop. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy 2013! (no thanks to YOU, Mayans)

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I was furloughed for two weeks from work which was both a curse and a blessing.  The reduced paycheck was hard but the time with my family was priceless.  I even got a few artsy-craftsy things done!!!

Here is a peek at Noodlebug's castle that I gave him for Christmas:

I will still be adding to the interior but I'm pretty happy with how it came out.  The whole thing (including dollar store knights) was less than $15 to put together. A much better deal that the $50-$100 ones that he really wanted.  He seems completely happy with this homemade edition.

I also finished up three out of four of my December FOR THE MAKERS projects.  Follow this link to the post and see photos here.

I also started Tamara Laporte's LIFE BOOK 2013 class.  Here is a picture I did of my Fairy Artmother. She is almost finished:

I think this is going to be a really good class.  The only problem I have is that my computer is broken so I no longer have a home computer. I can use my husband's laptop sporadicalloy.  I'm trying to save up some money to get my computer fixed and I can only hope that I will be able to salvage the hard drive.  What a way to start the new year!!!

I am contemplating my word for 2013.  I thought about "prosperity" but it sounds too mercenary.  I am torn between "believe" and "happiness" right now.

What is YOUR word for 2013?