Thursday, June 28, 2012

Down A Vintage Path

Hello hello! I gave myself an hour today to wander around a local antiques "mall". I went in specifically for vintage clear glass bead necklaces that I could take apart and reuse in a new vintage jewelry line. When I told my husband I was giving myself an hour, he laughed.

I also said I could focus on vintage glass beads and ONLY vintage glass beads, therefore allowing me to make it through in an hour. He said "Uh huh". I chose to ignore that he was humoring me.

An hour and a half later I walked out with this:


(Hey, at least I found the clear beads!)

I'm a sucker for crochet, tatting, lace. The large piece in the back is a collar. It's beautiful and was *only* $3.50. Can you believe it? The vintage photos are great for altered pieces. Look at that lineup - there's something odd about those children... and plenty of room for hats!



The necklace is exactly what I need and the glass spacers are an added bonus. Once I pull it apart I can get that gunk cleaned up in the tumbler.

All in all, a good little shopping trip in the middle of an otherwise uneventful day. I hope you found unexpected pleasure in your day, too.

Cheers,
Susan

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #160

Woot woot! It's bare-it-all Wednesday once again. Hiya folks! Yesterday I made a bracelet and true to myself, haven't cleaned up yet.


I got distracted by the bead swap containers from a while ago (still on the desk) and rummaged through. I found this red glass heart and immediately thought "stick pin". I might save it for something else, like a mixed media project...

The blue book is going to be my London journal. It's got fantastic thick pages that will hold up to inking (hopefully!). I really admire the art journals I've seen so my goal is to combine "art journaling" with an album of sorts and trip chronicle.We have some definite things on our "to do" list, like visit Greenwich and a clockmaker's museum in London, so I can pre-make some time themed pages. I also want to make a calendar for the week in the spirit of The Katheryn Wheel calendar challenge. Eh, still fleshing it out in my head before I mess up the book... :)


Here's my companion this morning. See the left eye open? He's not too keen that I woke him up. Now he's snoring away, though.

If you're keen to check out other workspaces, visit Julia at The Stamping Ground. She's got the master list! To my WOYWW sisters - I apologize from the depths of my heart for not visiting anyone last week. I will do better this week.

Thanks for visiting today!

Cheers,
Susan

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

{WIP} Peachy Vintage Glass & Pearl Bracelet

Hiya! When I let the dog out at 7:30 this morning it was 62 gorgeous degrees outside. Now I have all the windows open and am looking forward to a glorious day. I'll be in the studio designing new silver jewelry, but the windows are open and the birds are chirping. Ahhh....

I've been collecting vintage glass and crystal beads lately. Originally I wanted to combine them with gorgeous chainmaille weaves, but I'm also enchanted with other non-chainmaille designs. I have a "fine jewelry" Etsy shop that has been *ahem* stagnating for a very long time while I ooh and ahh at the pretty silver wire and assorted vintage bead bins in the studio.

"You can look, but you cannot touch", they seemed to say to me.

Well, I'm touching now! *laugh*

Freshwater pearls wrapped on silver pins

I started working on the dangles the other day and here's a prototype of the bracelet. It's a new design for me so I'm using a base metal wire though the large peach vintage beads for now, and will replace with silver once I'm happy with it. I love the melon facets of the vintage beads!

Vintage glass beads with freshwater pearls and Czech crystals

So that's what I'm up - what about you?

Cheers,
Susan

{WIP} is 'work in progress', and this post is the first of a new series showing the process of moving what's in my head onto my work surface. :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sweet Scent of Rosemary

Hiya! Happy Saturday to you. I wanted to share something non-craftsy with you, mostly because I'm amazed at it.

Last month I visited my sister in southern Virginia for a "girls weekend". She has huge rosemary bushes (among other garden delights) and I cut a large sprig before I left. This is how it looks today, 7 weeks later:



It's been in my 38-degree refrigerator the whole time. Can you believe it? This baby is just as fragrant and flavorful as the first time I plucked a bit off right after coming home. 7 weeks! It makes me wonder how old the grocery store herbs (and other "fresh" foods) are when they turn brown after only a week in the same 'fridge.

Come to think of it, I also brought home farmer's market carrots, leeks and baby garlic still on the stalk. It took me well over 2 weeks to go through all of it, and I'm pretty sure I was still using the leeks 3 weeks later. If that's not a reason to buy fresh from my local farmer's market, I don't know what is...

Thanks for visiting today!

Cheers,
Susan

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #159

Hiya! This is really a a WOYWT/WOYWW since chaos happened yesterday and continues today. Beware, gentle readers, I actually got messy in the making... I know. For those of you who don't, I have a little aversion to splotching and glombing and generally making liquid mess. There isn't a clinical diagnosis for my condition unless you want to call it cleanup aversionitis. *grin*


Despite all that, I decided to whip out the acrylic paints, stamps and that new Ranger Specialty Stamping ATC paper from last week. I'm in the middle of Shelly Hickox's Faux Crazed Porcelain technique here.

Here's a very close-up photo of the finished block a little later on... It's a really cool technique - check out Shelly's post for more info on it.


I have more to say about these cards, but it'll be in a separate post. I have to finish them first... I can tell you that I do not like the Ranger Specialty Stamping paper just like I don't like the Copic X-press paper - too smooth and the distress ink looks icky on it.

Thanks for visiting today. If you're keen on seeing the finished card check back tomorrow. There might be whinging about paper, so consider yourself warned. If you're wondering what all *this* blather was about, check with Julia at The Stamping Ground. She makes us reveal our workspace every Wednesday. :)

Cheers,
Susan

Monday, June 18, 2012

Garden Art Tag

Hiya! I was recently invited to join a small group of like-minded folks for sharing - both tips and art. Our first swap was an Artists Choice Tag, and of course I had to join in!

Since we are a new group I didn't know much about my swap partner except that she is an avid gardener and lives in Wales. I set out to learn a little about Wales and toyed with the idea of building a tag around the extraordinary dragon on the national flag... but it was not to be. My muse wasn't too keen on dragons and hid away (possibly frightened...).

So, off to the garden I went!


The national flower is the leek, at least historically speaking. Nowadays the daffodil is embraced as the flower of choice, but one doesn't grow daffs in a vegetable garden, does one? :) The tag was printed and cut out with a tag die. The green plant is a leek ('poireau' in French) and I made sure to center the die on the vintage image so I could leave the leek visible.  I added Diamond Stickles on the leaves for a little "umph".


The vintage seed packets were internet finds, printed and layered. How about that Butterfly Brand pumpkin seed pack? I was thrilled to find it! All edges were distressed with Gathered Twigs ink and I used a distressing tool to rough up the seed packet edges. Honestly, the seed packet colors are more vibrant than you might be seeing on your screen. I had a battle with PE about greens - it wanted to add more green when I tried to color correct. Ah well...

The best part about this is that I was able to personalize my "Artists Choice" tag for both of us, and that makes me very happy. Thanks for visiting today.

Cheers,
Susan


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #158

Howdy! Hiya! Hello! ...whazzup? *giggle* I never say "howdy" or "whazzup", but they make me laugh this morning, so there you are!

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means, right? Bare it all, baby! Mistress Julia makes it possible for anyone and everyone to throw open the doors and share their workspace. No matter how tidy, messy, boring or chaotic it might seem to YOU, it's probably better than ours so come over to The Stamping Ground and play!

Last night I was doing some assembly-line stuff...


...until this happened:


The lever broke. Gah! See the white parts? They belong inside, not outside. *sigh*

This is the best punch in the world (for me) and gave me 10 good months. Frankly, I expected more than 10 months from a $58 punch, though. As it seems there is only one manufacturer of this kind of punch, I have emailed them to see what can be done. I'll keep you posted on their customer service.

Update: They are sending a new one right away! After I wrote this post I checked email and there was my answer - probably written before their morning coffee. Wow, thanks so much to Dee at Easy Earring Card!

In other news, I had a 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon burning a hole in my pocket the other day. The few things I *needed* were already on sale so I trolled for something else. This is what I found:


Ranger's new Specialty Stamping paper! Of course, it's *only* ATC size, but you get what's available, right? I've wanted to try it and can use the size on cards and tags as well as for ATC's and ACEO's. It's quite smooth! They say you can use alcohol inks on it as well as a host of other mediums. I have to clear off my desk before I can use it, though...

Have *YOU* tried it yet? What is your favorite paper to ink up or stamp on? I'm looking for suggestions!

Happy WOYWW! This week I will visit more desks. :) Yay!

Oh, and guess what?! We're going to spend 6 glorious September days in  and around London. So very excited! I'll be calling out for flea market/car boot sale suggestions as well as off-the-beaten-track places to visit. :) *squee*

Cheers,
Susan

Monday, June 11, 2012

London Calling

Hiya! You might know I'm an anglophile. I don't know how it happened, or really when it started, but there it is. In honor of all the 2012 festivities across the pond, I've put together these kilt pins. I have a small assortment (no duplicates!) of London-centric ones and will have USA Olympic ones soon.


As I was making these I found I really like the puzzle. I had to find the right balance and resist the urge to over-bead these pins. I didn't want to make them too busy yet I still look at a few of them and want to reach for the pliers and baby beads... :)


There are also a few non-"red, white and blue" pieces.


The disc reads "breathe" on this serene birdie pin.


This pin was hard to photograph. The bronze charm on the right frames a crystal beautifully when it's hanging... not so much lying flat. The clear and clear AB crystals are vintage Coro and the chain spanning the back of the pin is original Coro. The three larger ones are gorgeous and flash like so many vintage rhinestones do. (The amethyst drop is Czech glass, not Coro.) 

I had fun with these baubles and, of course, they're available in my Etsy shop if you're so inclined. :) I'm on the hunt for more vintage pieces. I feel a move toward re-purposing old beads and jewelry into fresh new pieces. It's funny where our art takes us...

Anyway, thanks for visiting today. I think its time for me to work on paper stuffs. Happy crafting, no matter what medium you're using!

Cheers,
Susan

Saturday, June 9, 2012

"Wicked Forest" Altered Matchbox

Hiya! I participated in a "Wicked Forest" themed altered matchbox swap over at Craftster (where else?) and my partner just received her box. I can finally show it!


Oh look, it's an inviting path up to the house... let's go!

The tiny trees are Dusty Attic and the wee little witch's house and cauldron are made from paper clay.

Really really small...

Inside is a peek at her potions cabinet.


Thanks for visiting!

Cheers,
Susan

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Moulin Rouge ATC

Hiya folks!

In the middle of every week is "What's On You Workdesk? Wednesday", and last week was the 3rd anniversary. Can you believe it? Three years is a lot here in blogland, so congratulations to hostess Julia for keeping it going and growing each year. Some of us sent along cards to commemorate this event, and here's mine:


The black base is 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" (standard ATC size). I used alcohol inks on glossy paper and layered 3 stamped images (French script, Moulin Rouge, Paris) on top. Along the bottom edges is a bit of Dresden trim. I love the finished effect!

I sent this to Barb King and received one from Glenda Brooks. You can see the one I received here. It's lovely!

Thanks for visiting today. :)

Cheers,
Susan

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #157

Hello hello! Another Wednesday, another desk reveal. Want to see what everyone else is up to today? Visit Julia's Stamping Ground for loads of links to poke around!

I don't have anything new to show except this wonderful WOYWW 3rd anniversary card *and* ATC sent by lovely Glenda Brooks.

Thanks so much Glenda - they're lovely!

The ATC I sent to Barb King hasn't arrived yet, but when it does I'll be sure to post... It arrived today so I shared it in a new post HERE!

Cheers and happy WOYWW,
Susan

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

G45 Father's Day

Hiya! I received my stash of Graphic 45's new Ladies Diary and Haunted Halloween last week and had to toss it in a corner until other things were finished. *sob* Have you seen these new lines? Oh my goodness Graphic 45 did well with these! Ladies Diary is lovely, and today I want to show you that it's not just about the girls!


If you click the photos to see details you'll be able to see the layering on that gentleman and his car.


The rosette is made from a 1/2" x 12" strip of the green background paper and scored at 1/4" intervals. Easy peasy!

An inside detail - this car was taken from the 8x8 pad and layered. I like the smaller scale to complement the outside.


So, that's it for me! I have more stuff to show you - earrings and an ATC made for swaps - both "firsts" for me. Hopefully my Canadian swap partner will receiver her "Wicked Forest"-themed matchbox soon. I can't wait to show you that tiny little treasure! All these swaps and nothing to show you *sigh*... haha! The drama queen is getting off her throne and back to work.

Thanks for visiting today!

Cheers,
Susan