MyStoryART is a delightful, eclectic blog that passionately shares with readers and listeners, wisdom tales and art adventures in mixed media, digital collage, polymer clay, assemblages, jewelry, tutorials, thrifty art tips and techniques. Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

This Month's Story: The True Meaning of Crumbfest

This month's story is one of my absolute favourite Christmas stories: The True Meaning of Crumbfest by David Weale.

The True Meaning of Crumbfest is the story of a curious little mouse named Eckhart, who sets off to discover the truth about that most abundant time of year called "Crumbfest," when bounteous crumbs miraculously appear in the old Prince Edward Island farmhouse in which he lives. This wonderful story for the young and the young at heart is a heartwarming tale of the magic that happens when the "Outside" and the "Inside" come together.

Dr. Weale is a retired professor of Canadian and Prince Edward Island history at the University of Prince Edward Island. He has written a number of books including works of history such as A Stream Out of Lebanon (Institute of Island Studies, 1988) but is best known for capturing Prince Edward Island folk history and tradition in popular books and stage shows. I wish to extend my most sincere thanks to Dr. Weale for his most gracious and kind permission to tell this most wonderful story.

If you wish to read or purchase this book, look in your local library for a copy. To own your own copy or for gift giving here are the particulars for your local bookseller:

Publisher: Acorn Press
ISBN 978-0-9698606-4-8
8 x 8
Number of Pages: 28
Price: $7.95 CDN

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sharon

What's On the Christmas Tree?

This week I'll share with you some of the clay ornaments I sculpted for the craft fair, for ornament swaps I have participated in this season and for gift giving to some of my favourite people! I was pleasantly surprised to see how well they sold at the craft fair I mentioned last week. I was surprised at the interest in the steampunk ornaments... even though they are not every one's "cup of tea".

There's a little bit of eye candy for everyone today... from a snowman on skis to a bare naked (well, just about LOL) Santa in three different versions. I figured that if we could have a Canadian singing group called "The Barenaked Ladies", we could have Barenaked Santas!

Let's start with the tame ornies...

This cute "Frosty the Snowman" comes in a number of different versions. I just happened to choose this one... on skis... to photograph. They look really sweet hanging on the tree.

This little teapot was a real hit at the craft fair! The "body" of the teapot is a small, glass ball ornament. I was surprised at how long it took to make the rest of the components for the teapot! I thought it would go quickly... wrong... working with little pieces of clay can be tricky and time consuming!




I love the look of surprise on Mrs. Santa's face in this next ornament! This is a photo embedded in clay! I didn't think one could do that but it turns out you can. So far it has held up...even with the glaze on top. Most of my ornaments were glazed with Triple Thick... love that stuff... it's so easy to work with and a lot less expensive that some of the other glazes out there. A jar has 8 ounces in it. It is a diamond, none yellowing clear glaze and available at Michaels.


Here are some the steampunk Christmas bells I made. I textured the black clay, cut them out with a cookie cutter, rubbed on silver pearl ex and then embellished them with "gems".



Here's a closeup so that you can see more detail...


Here are some steampunk birds! I love these. Once again, I rolled out the black clay, cut them out with a bird cookie cutter (I cut the wing out with a teardrop cutter), dusted on silver pearl ex and added the embellishments... watch parts and "gems".



Here's a closeup... sorry it's a bit blurry but I didn't think you'd mind! This one has a small Swarovski crystal for the eye.




And now... the moment you have been waiting for LOL... the original version of the bare naked Santa! There is glitter on his beard and hat... although it doesn't show up too well in the photograph. He is tripled glazed so he "twinkles" on the Christmas tree.

I made a bunch of them and I do have a few left if you are interested in purchasing one. Just send me an email (email link is on the top of the blog, on the right). A fun "stocking stuffer" for the man in your life!

I was showing one of these to a female friend while we were both visiting with some friends. Her husband, who is an avid curler, addicted to that great Canadian sport of Curling, had a good laugh and said: "Can you make one with a curling rock?" "Sure", I said. "Well, if you can, here's my order..." said he. Oh Yippee....


When hubby, who is also an avid curler, saw it, he said: "Well don't I get one too?" Ah, poor baby he thought he was going to be left out! LOL

"What about one with a Scottish horsehair sporn?" said Ray.

What you need to know is that he plays the bagpipes in the same military pipe and drum band as hubby. What's a sporn you say... oh that little purse they wear in front of their uniforms. "Well, I can take a crack at it", said I. " Here he is...



Now hubby, who is the lead tenor drummer in the band, is sending broad hints to make one with a drum! At this rate, I'll be making Santas on Dec. 24th! They certainly are a big hit with the guys! BUT the gals seem to be getting in on the game too judging by the orders I have received and those who purchased some at the craft fair!

A quick sidenote...

Last weekend I went to Vancouver for the Vancouver Polymer Clay Guild's Christmas party. They always have an ornament swap. Well I couldn't help myself. My quirky sense of humour said "Give one of your Santas". It certainly did engender some good laughs and even got a mention on Cindy Leitz's wonderful blog, The Polymer Clay Tutor. (Dec. 7). If you are interested in polymer clay and learning how, visit her site filled with tutorials!

Next week, I'll share with you the ornament I received at the party from Deb Groom! It is absolutely stunning. I was just thrilled to bits. Deb is a very talented multi media artist. Her pine needle baskets are beautiful. Her doll figures are just plain fun, Her hooked rugs are splendid, playful works of art. Drop by her site and take a look at her slideshows. I promise you, you'll drool!

I had such a good time at the party. It was wonderful to meet all the folks who belong to this guild... what a talented group of people and so helpful with their advice! I just drool at what they can make from a hunk of clay. Maybe, one day, if I keep at it, I'll nudge closer to being as good as they are.

So there you have it for this week! Next week, I'll show you all the "jewelry" bits and pieces that you can assemble to wear or use in four different ways. Find out what those four ways are in next week's "show and tell".

Enjoy your week...

Ho! Ho! Ho! to one and all,
Sharon

What's Under the Christmas Tree?

A QUICK UPDATE...

Sorry that it has been awhile since I posted. Unfortunately my darn leg and the sciatica has been giving me LOTS OF grief. I had two spinal injections two weeks ago and it helped but at the end of last week, it was all back again! I was not amused! But last night I had a funny thing happen in the middle of the night....

I was sound asleep and the sound of a large crack in my knee as I rolled over woke me up! This morning when I got up, the horrible pain I have been experiencing since last week was GONE! The message couldn't have been clearer. Something in my knee was pinching the sciatic nerve. So, I have a call into the pain specialist and we'll see what he has to say about THAT!

Enough ... on to a FUN SUBJECT!

This past weekend, I participated in a small craft fair that our community complex puts on every year. Our crowds aren't huge .. we don't sell tons of stuff ...SO it's a great opportunity to visit with my neighbours. I enjoy the social part of the fair a lot!! It was fun catching up with some folks I don't see all that often and getting to know some of the new people who have moved in since last year.
So what's under the Christmas Tree this year? Lots of goodies!!
This week, I'll share with you a sweet project I did not only for the craft fair (I sold a number of them... if you aren't a sewer but are interested I have a few sets left I'd be willing to sell) but also as a gift for the "gals" in our family this Christmas.

Little Dresses with Britches...







Now aren't those just the cutest little dresses and britches you've ever seen???

So where do you hang them? On your oven door handle!

Made out of left over material from my "stash", lace and velour kitchen hand towels I purchased, these double sided dress towels are reversible. When one side is looking grungy, just flip it over and you have a clean towel. Here's a photo of one hanging on my kitchen stove....


But what about those britches? Well they are made out of two dishcloths to match the towels. Here is the poem that is attached to them:

Now don’t get excited. Don’t be misled.
These aren’t for you, but your dishes instead.
Just pull on the bow, take out the stitches,
You’ve gained two dishcloths, but lost your britches.

Isn't that priceless? I love it!!!

Now, you might recognize the material in the last photo as the same material in the dress I made my granddaughter last summer. She calls it the ice cream dress and is absolutely in love with it. Little monkey... she figured out she could wear leggings and a long sleeved blouse with it so she could wear it all winter! Well you can probably guess who gave me the idea of hanging these dress towels in the bathroom.... YEP....Gramma already has one that matches her dress wrapped to go under the tree!


So here's a "little taste" of the next lot of wonderful "stuff" that will be under and on the tree this Christmas season... a lovely little pendant just waiting for a nice chain to dangle from...

Drop by next week to see some of the fun pendants, earrings, charms and Christmas ornaments (including some steampunk pieces) I made from clay...

AND

Have a listen to a wonderful Christmas story I will be loading up to the MP3 player probably next week. You won't want to miss this one!

Have a great week! I'm off to Vancouver this weekend for a Christmas party with my "claying" group there. I am really looking forward to it... should be a fun time! I'm also looking forward to the ferry ride to get there. I love riding the ferry from Vancouver Island to Vancouver. The scenery is spectacular on a sunny day... I never tire of seeing it... and it reminds me of just how lucky we are to have the privilege of living in such a beautiful place in the world.

Thanks for stopping by today for a visit. See you next week.

Sharon

This Month's Audio Story: "The War Mother"

This month's story, "The War Mother" by Nellie McClung, a well known Canadian author was written in 1917. It is just one story in a series that Nellie wrote to express how Canadian women felt during a time of war as they sent their husbands, sons and neighbours off to the war in Europe.

I have wanted to record this story for about three years now. Although it is much longer than most stories I put on the blog, it is in honour of all mothers who have sent their children off to war and in remembrance of all those men and women who have fought and died in wars. I urge you to listen to the story... perhaps while browing my blog or the Internet... I hope it touches your heart as it did mine when I first heard it. I believe you will find that it is 20+ minutes well spent.

On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, we will honor and remember those men and women who have fought for our countries and say a quiet thank you for our freedom.

Lest We Forget...

Sharon

October Audio Story: Two Chilling Halloween Tales

I hope you enjoy the two short tales I have chosen for this month! Goosebumps will shiver down your spine... enjoy!

Have a Happy Halloween,
Sharon

7 Principles of Design

Last week, I promised to give you an explanation of the seven principles of design. Well, upon reflection, I decided that I didn’t need to recreate the wheel when it comes to talking about this vast subject. Instead I am going to refer you to a website that I found helpful which explains these principles in an easy to understand way (with diagrams) and much, much better than I ever could. Here are the 7 Principles of Design…

1. Balance
2. Gradation
3. Repetition
4. Contrast
5. Harmony
6. Dominance
7. Unity

I found visiting John Lovett, a watercolourist and mixed media painter’s website a good use of my time. It helped me gain some insight and knowledge into what was “mystery meat” for me LOL around the design principles of art. If this is something that you have wondered about as well, stop by his site for a visit.

Even though I wasn’t interested in learning how to paint with watercolours, at least not right now , I found reading through some of the “lessons” on his site helped me look at my art and that of others in a much different way. It certainly gave me some food for thought! His explanations and accompanying lessons are simple and straightforward.

You don’t need to know the “jargon” of the “painting world” to benefit from what he has to say. Visit his gallery once you have gone through his “lessons”. I found that studying and looking closer at his paintings and drawings LAST helped to solidify what I learned in his virtual classroom lessons.

Learning about the different elements and principles and how they are applied to art certainly doesn’t qualify as an “art education”. However, I feel I am more knowledgeable than when I first started out on this quest and...

* It has challenged me to do and look at art from a new perspective.
* The biggest payoff has been learning how to be more spontaneous and “play” with the elements in my compositions.
* I have simplified my compositions which makes me feel good.
* I hate clutter and I found the answer to why I skip over cluttered art of any kind. It's hard for me to even look at simply because there is too much "going on". I don't seem to be able to discern the simple "beauty"/story and it frustrates me to no end just looking at a piece with an overabundance of elements.
* In creating art, I seem to have lost the need to keep fiddling with my work in order to get it “right”... that is a good thing...it's made the creation process much more enjoyable.

I’d be interested in hearing about your experiences with your art, even any tips you can pass along or other places to visit on the web that could further my/our “education”. Please don’t be shy. Shoot me an email and let me know what you have found useful for you and has helped you to “move to the next level” in your art. I'd love to get a list together of resources and "what works" in order to to share it with all of myStoryArt readers.

Thanks for stopping by today to say hi and brighten up my life! Being a solar powered “kid”, this is not my favourite time of the year in Victoria. Windy gales, cold, winter rain and short gray days are upon us once again (hey it’s Halloween this week… it’s right on schedule). I am grateful for every bit of *sunshine* that enters my life from the end of October onwards until the soft light of Spring peeks through the windows once again.

Here’s some sunshine that entered my life this morning. This U-tube video made me smile… check it out, you’ll smile too! Might even make you wish you had a set of stairs like this in your house. That's the only clue I am giving you... chuckle, chuckle.

Until we meet again next week…I wish you have a splendid, adventurous week filled with the fun of ghosts, goblins, pumpkins and chocolate.

Happy Halloween,
Sharon

The Elements and Principle of Design

This past year, I have become quite interested in the elements and principle of design. Not having ever attended an art class (other than calligraphy class a gazillion years ago) or even having a clue as to what makes up a good piece of ART (I just know what I like and don’t like), my curiosity about this vast subject began to itch! When the itch didn’t go away, I decided it was high time to do something about it. Information was but a few keystrokes away… I fired up Firefox and began my Internet search.

Now I am not going to give you the last definitive words around this subject. That would certainly be out of my league. But, because for the most part, artists at all levels of talent visit my blog, I thought it would be interesting for you and them to share with you my learning and experiences so far.

It’s been more of an exciting journey than I ever expected with some surprises for me along the way. I think the one thing that has surprised me the most is how it has helped me be more spontaneous when creating art and answered some questions for me about why I do what I do when I create an art piece.

This week, I will tackle the elements of art and tell you a bit about the process I unexpectedly experienced recently creating the piece you will see in just a bit. Next week, I’ll share with you the seven principles of design.

First some “art” theory…

Elements in art can be thought of as the things that make up an art piece whether it is a drawing, a painting, or a digital piece. All works of art, I discovered, contain at the very least two but generally most of, if not all of the 7 elements.

The 7 Elements of Art

Line – the linear marks made with a pen, brush, etc. or the edge created when two shapes meet.
Shape – a positive shape automatically creates a negative space
Direction – Horizontal “arrangement” suggests calmness, stability, tranquility; Vertical suggests balance, formality, alertness and Diagonal suggests movement and action
Size – the relationship of the area occupied by one shape to another
Texture – self explanatory – texture can be rough, smooth, soft, matte, glossy, etc.
Color – sometimes referred to as hue
Value – lightness or darkness of a color. Also called Tone

Simplicity

Now another thing that has interested me for quite some time is the whole idea of creating simplicity in any piece of art.

For me, simplicity can be complex (sounds like an oxymoron huh?) but first and foremost it makes a statement and, as I have discovered, is often the “crux” of the story that the art piece tells. Uh huh… every piece of art I do, whether it’s a piece of jewelry, a digital collage or mixed media piece has to begin with a story that has somehow formulated itself in my mind!

Art Tells a Story

The “story” can be as simple as a word, quote or saying that pops into my mind. It can be as “complex” as the character in a story I have read or an experience I have had. The point here is that without the story, I don’t seem to be able to do anything… no matter how hard I try (and believe me I have bashed my head against the wall doing THAT… LOL ) Head bashing over “what am I going to create” is a lesson for me in how to get horribly frustrated in one easy lesson!

Another piece of simplicity I figured out was that it depends on the number of different “images” in a piece. As I looked at art pieces I really liked, I discovered that they had at the most five different “images” within it (not including the background). Ah, now THAT was a challenge for me to take on. Andy Warhol and soup cans here I come!

So now, if you are still with me. LOL, let’s take a BIG LEAP and get to the creation part ,,, the “good stuff”.

The "Back Story"

Here’s the story behind how the piece of art you will see below came into being.

Susie Ferguson of Bladerubber Stamps in London England decided to run an art contest (with some fab prizes) on one of her blogs (she has a couple) with the theme “How I Spent my Vacation (Summer)". By the way, let me give her site a plug. If you’ve never visited any of Susie’s sites, do so. She has a wealth of information and tutorials on them as well as some pretty cool art and stamps.

I was pretty busy at the time and didn’t think I had the time to enter her contest. As Susie and I correspond every now and again, I told her I would think about it but deep down I knew the chances were slim given my schedule.

A couple weeks ago, Saturday night came along. Hubby and I had decided to stay put for the evening in our abode. We had plans to go to our community garden plot and then on to the beach the next day and wanted to get an early start. An early bedtime was in order.

He was going to read, maybe watch some British crime shows he likes on T.V. and just generally chill. I decided I would mess around on the computer … maybe go surfing… maybe mess with some graphics… maybe clean up my email inbox which was pretty full (I don’t like to keep anymore than 20 emails in my inbox). I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. What I did know is that I wasn’t interested in television (I rarely am!). I had just finished a book I was reading earlier in the day and didn’t feel like reading.

Clean up always makes me feel good, so I decided to tackle that first. I came across the email from Susie. I started thinking about her prompt she had posted on her blog. Out of nowhere popped a tongue twister I loved challenging myself with as a kid: “Susie sells sea shells by the seashore.” Bet some of you also had fun with that one too!

I had a little chuckle to myself as the English Prof (yep, I was one of those way back when) in me starting thinking about how this English alliteration was also an onomatopoeia. Okay, okay, I know, an explanation of these terms is probably in order LOL:

an alliteration is a literary, rhetorical style that repeats the same consonant sound at the beginning of several words in close succession (in this case “s”)

an onomatopoeia (man just spelling that is a challenge GRIN) is a word that imitates or suggests the source of the sound it describes. Words that follow each other have the same beginning letter also qualify.

For example common animal noises (oink, meow, woof) are onomatopoeia sounds for a pig, cat and dog. Donald Duck, busy as a bee, Marilyn Monroe and the Pittsburgh Penguins are also examples of words with the same beginning letters that follow each other. Bet you didn’t know that huh? BIG FAT JUICY GRIN

In “Susie sells sea shells at the seashore”, the s, sh and z sounds are alliterative but are also evocative of the sounds you hear at the beach… the sh of wind, the “z” of waves… at least that’s how I hear them… and this is what makes the saying an onomatopoeia as well.

End of English lesson!

One thing lead to another and I started thinking about how I had spent my summer. Well, if you have followed my blog with any regularity, you will know that my favourite spot is THE BEACH! In the next instant, this picture (more or less) along with the saying I came up with merged seamlessly into one in my mind.

There is a slight correction. The saying that popped into my mind really was: A sassy seahorse saw Susie sunning at the seashore. I don’t know why I changed it to smiling. All I can tell you is that when I was finished (it took me less than an hour to do this collage, creating it spontaneously without thinking about it very much), the thought that went through my mind was the look of lust the seahorse has plastered all over its face. LOL.

Upon Closer Examination...

After the collage was put together, I looked at what I had done. I have this “thing” lately that I will only include five “elements” (read images) in a piece (excluding the background). I counted them up. Sure enough there were only five.

I automatically started examining the art “elements” (and principles) I talked about earlier. That was a first. Up until now, I had never done this consciously. It was interesting to say the least! Here are just a few discoveries I made…

How I placed the words (diagonally) definitely denoted movement and action… which I wanted.

Plunking the woman on the sand in the bottom third of the collage, told me I had been paying attention to dividing my canvas up. Placing her horizontally on the sand evoked the sense of calmness and tranquility I experience when I am at the beach. Having her toe touch the umbrella pole and the sea horse (with its lusty look) created some excitement in an otherwise “bland” scene of sand and water.

I am not so sure about what the lighthouse is “saying” or how it contributes to the overall collage for the onlooker. But every beach scene for me has to have a lighthouse! Lighthouses have a lot of emotional significance for me. The beach I go to has one… actually it is one of the oldest lighthouses in B.C. having been built in 1860. Every time I look at that lighthouse or see it as I round the corner on the road to the beach, I experience a deep sense of connection and oneness.

Both the lighthouse and the seahorse create “stoppers” for the eye in wandering off the collage into never never land. The frame does it too!

I continued looking at the collage from the perspective of what I have learned over the past months. I was surprised at how interesting it was for me to discover what makes me tick when I create art!

It was a revelation for me that just five elements could evoke such different emotions. I am usually very critical of art that I do. This time I wasn’t (and haven’t been since). That, in itself, was a welcome change. All that really matters now seems to be whether I like the finished product. If I don’t, I just set it aside. Giving it some “breathing space” is often just what it needs to complete itself… on its timetable … when its ready!

Somehow, I am being gently guided by the “art” knowledge that I have acquired over these past months. I no longer seem to have the urge to “beat myself up” or drive myself “nuts” with that critical voice that makes “snap” (but likely unfair) judgments or even entertain the thought if anyone else will like (or let’s be really honest, in some cases, approve of) it.

At least for now, I can say, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” It’s the heart, the contemplation and the story at the core that really counts for me.

A Chuckle A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

I sent the collage to Susie so she would get it first thing in the morning. She has been having some health problems lately (like, don’t we all!) and I thought a good chuckle would be just the thing to cheer her up.

It did the trick. Her return email said she had laughed and got a big kick out of it. Much to my surprise, because I hadn’t been expecting it, she decided to include it in her contest entries.

If you like it, you can vote for it on her Blade Runner blog. It’s called Seahorse in the voting list. The contest closes October 17 (this coming weekend). I checked out her site this morning and there is some very wonderful art entered in the competition. Hmmm might be interesting to look at those pieces through the eyes of elements and principles to see what else I can discover!

So I have rambled enough for one day with these musings! I sincerely hope that you have found it interesting and worthwhile reading material.

Back to re-arranging my art room… a job I have been at for darn near a week but oh my it’s worth it! I like my space much better. I have discovered some wonderful surprises of stuff in my stashes I forgot I had. Now that everything is together and slowly but surely getting sorted, I am amazed at the sheer volume of stuff I have amassed over the past couple of years.

I can literally feel the fresh air being breathed into my creativity with this cleaning up and clearing out. It will be interesting for me to see what I create next!

Sharon

A Halloween "Twinchie Art" Tale

Last week, after making my first twinchies (and thanks to Debbie House, group mom of Inchies 1 x 1 for giving me the "how to" instructions because I didn't have a clue starting out), I woke up in the middle of the night wondering if any of my artist buddies in the group where I hang out the most. The Latest Trends in Mixed Media had ever made twinchies. Well I asked and one thing led to another and the Halloween Twinchie Challenge Lottery was born.

The initial challenge for this lottery was to make 31 Twinchies (either digital or handmade) and mount them on a backing board. On Halloween, one name from all those who sign up and play will be drawn. They will be declared the winner of all 31 Twinchies! Imagine what a cool collage could be made with that many twinchies!

The enthusiasm for this challenge was contagious. Artists started loading up their "twinchies" to the designated photo album before the day was out! Some couldn't stop at just one or two and loaded four, five and even more! They caught the Twinchie bug and now have "Twinchie-itis". Literally overnight, 31 twinchies were uploaded to our group photo album by these Twinchie-ites! LOL More artists wanted to play so it has been decided that now we will go for 62 twinchies and draw two names ... one for each lot of 31 twinchies!

I am absolutely blown away by the fun and creativity they are displaying with this challenge! Never in my wildest dreams had I anticipated such an outpouring of art in such a short period of time. And the art being uploaded... well it is something else indeed! You have to see it to believe it... it is absolutely fantastic. And that's when the idea of writing a short story that tells a small Halloween tale through their art popped into my head in the wee small hours of the morning...

An Artsy Fartsy Hallowe'en Tale
Once upon a time there were two witches. Sisters they were. Twins in fact.

Art by Marilyn Goodman

They lived in an old, eerie mansion called Immortality
with resident ghosts from Hallowe'en Past and spider
webs draped decoratively about in every room


Art by Cindy Powell

The mansion is situated on
the wrong side of the tracks
in a secret hideaway place
in a small town
near YOU!


Now some people say

Art by Linda Gibbons

to spook all the misbehaving children and grownups in town.


Anybody of any importance knows that the sisters Grim have


Art by Peggy Gato

in the basement with the pickles and hiding
behind the secret trap doors in all the closets.


Now, if you should accidently walk by the mansion on dark, rainy October nights, you can hear them rattling their chains when the ghosts come out to wander about the dusty, spider webbed rooms and haunt the dark, foreboding stairwells of the mansion. You will know you have discovered this secret hideaway place because the hair on your neck will stand straight right up and your body will shiver with goosebumps!

Art by Cindy Powell

Listen carefully as you are out for your evening stroll.
Owls hoot eerie warnings should a stranger get
too close to secret hideaways.

Art by Cynthia (Cyn) Stenquist


Everyone knows that those same owls hoot the daily news, events
and happenings to those creatures of the night responsible for planning
frightful acts of wickedness towards those humans who lie, cheat or steal.

Art by Linda Gibbons

Sometimes walking down a dark alley in town,
a ghost will jump out into your path and yell

Art by Gale Heritage

It's just their way of having fun when they
are bored. In September and October they are
probably getting some practice in for Hallowe-en night.

But I can tell you for certain...
many a matrons hair in town has turned
white overnight from the ghastly fright.


This year, the sisters Grim noticed that the Witch industry was having a difficult time hiring properly trained witches with the right witchy credentials. Well, they certainly could not have THAT. It would ruin all witches reputations. They decided this was the perfect time to recruit some new witch trainees and teach them how to be proper witches. To attract new customers, they put this ad in their local paper.

Art by Sharon House


The ad was very successful. Applications poured in by the droves for Witchcraft 101. The sisters Grim picked 10 lucky applicants, who each received a magic flying broom, personalized with their witchy name, on their first day of classes.

Flight training began in earnest a few weeks ago. Each night since, the sisters Grim have a cackle session in their living room. They close all the curtains, light a candle and sitting in a shadowy room, laugh until they piddle in their witchy britches about the hilarious take off and landing attempts of the new trainees in flight training! The sisters Grim have had to make extra batches of "Airhead" salve for the trainees to put on their bruises and scrapes.

Making magical brews, cures and potions and instructions on how to properly stir the cauldron while reciting secret spells began this week. The course, Magic 101, will begin next week. Lessons in brewing poisons to administer to nasty folks who cross their path will begin the week after next. How to boil and season bad little children and misbehaving adults will be covered as well before the annual bewitching day arrives! The Grim sisters are determined that these new witches will be well prepared to deal with anything that crosses their path.


Art by Lynn Stevens


Art by Bevlea Ross

At the end of their training, just in time for Halloween this year,
each witch will receive this special appointment diploma and
be invited to join "The United Witches Union"

Art by Lynn Stevens

So this October 31


Art by Carolyn Summer

Give generously of candy to all those who come to your doorway on Halloween night. Be kind, generous and giving to all those you meet this month. If you don't, you'll be sorry. The witches, goblins, ghosts, hissing cats, hooting owls, et cetera will be out in force to GET YOU.

Trick or Treat?

Art by Linda Gibbons

You decide.

THE END


Thanks to all the member artists in The Latest Trends in Mixed Media Art group who are participating in this fun lottery. They graciously gave me permission to showcase their "twinchie" art as part of this Halloween story!

Hope you have enjoyed this small sampling of "tasty" Halloween Twinchie Art. Drop by the Latest Trends to see more and/or participate in the lottery by joining the group.

If you are looking for an information rich art group to join, I can highly recommend the Latest Trends. I've been a member since 2007 when it first began and have watched it grow to over 900 members in just two years. And here's why... members enjoy all the free workshops, swaps, monthly art techniques and more offered in a warm, supportive, encouraging and friendly atmosphere. Cindy Powell, our group "mom", author, designer and "artist extraordinaire" does a fantastic job of entertaining us each month with a myriad of wonderful *FREE* workshops and projects (many of which are hosted by our generous fellow members) to strengthen our creative muscles and help us improve our art.

Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Sharon

P.S. Story lovers, I am a bit behind in getting this months' story recorded but a Victorian Ghost story, in keeping with the "season", should be up by the weekend.

This Month's Audio Story: "Johnny Lingo and His 8 Cow Wife" Length 11:17

After receiving a number of requests from blogging friends and visitors to record this story, here it is!

Hope you enjoy this telling of one of my favourite stories. Oh, I know, I say that about every story (BIG FAT GRIN).

Sharon

Inch By Inch

Last weekend I did something I have never done before. I took a stab at making "inchies". When I cut out the one inch square, I gasped. I had never realized just how SMALL a one inch square is. I am not into THAT small. "Hmmm," I said to "self", "there are "twinchies" too... why not try that?" My next background base was two inches square. Yep, that was more my size!

Being a "sewing" fan, I decided to make "vintage sewing" my "theme". I made an extra one... the sunflower with a quote on it ... so I would end up with nine twinchies and balance the photo I would eventually take. (Oh dear, can't have an unbalanced photo you know. LOL) The results of my lazy Sunday afternoon efforts are below... and I apologize in advance for the poor quality of photographs... my camera and I are in "cahoots" right now and not getting along all that well.

I am (no, make that was) tearing my hair out yesterday cursing at my camera because I keep getting underexposed photos no matter what I seem to do to change the settings. Not to worry, I have thick hair so no need to worry about going bald and no I am not into "real" trichotillomania (obsessive hair pulling).

It's pretty obvious I am doing something wrong but I'll be darned if I can figure it out. To make matters worse, I need a magnifying glass to read the camera's instruction book., The print is so small. you'd think Canon was selling these expensive cameras to 20 years old who can still read fine print!

After practically a full day of trying to take photos of my twinchies and some other stuff and having them not turn out properly, I was UBERfrustrated. In retrospect, it was obvious what I needed to do but of course I didn't. No, no, I braved on until I was ready to smash something! To top it all off, I inadvertently closed a file on my computer that I hadn't saved. That did it!! The message finally got through to my thick brain loud and clear: STOP! DO SOMETHING ELSE DUMMY!

I turned off the computer, put my camera away and went upstairs to make myself a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich (always good for what ails ya! and besides I had made 8 bottles of grape jelly yesterday morning for the "winter larder" and wanted to have a "sample"). Lordy, Lordy, when will I ever learn to just quit when I am ahead? LOL And yes, the sandwich was yummy and "comforting"!

That said, here finally are my "twinchies"...



Wondering what the "quote" on the sunflower is? It's a favourite reminder for me from Helen Keller: "Keep your face to the sun and you cannot see the shadows. That's what sunflowers do!"

Making these twinchies was fun! They don't take long to do and they gave me my "art fix" for the day! I'll have to remember that for those days when I want to do some art but I am either "brain dead" (oh yes, I have those days LOL). don't have a lot of time or don't want to get into tackling a larger project just yet. Twinchies are art pieces for "instant gratification"!

If you haven't tried making them yet, DO! They don't take long and could make some rather nice embellishments for a larger piece of art or a scrapbook layout.

Thanks for stopping by today. Thanks for "listening" to my rant! Have a great weekend, inch by inch,

Sharon

Cash for Clunkers

Do you ever feel like you're a clunker? I sure do! My ongoing battle with sciatica that seems to come and go with the weather annoys me to no end. It hurts like the dickens, curtails my activities and tires me right out! I can't sit for more than 15 minutes, I can't stand longer than a half an hour and I can't lie down for more than an hour. Trying to get a good night's sleep or anything done is virtually impossible some days!

Art and storytelling are my saviours... I actually let paint dry now instead of using a hair dryer. I learn stories as I walk up and down the stairs or along the walking path behind our house. Humour also helps to take my mind off the pain. Right in the middle of another nasty "episode" this past week, my dear sister, who is a nurse with a zany sense of humour that is very appealing, sent me the following email:

"Dear Sis... how's the pain in your **** doing? I was thinking about you today and let me tell you what I am considering. It might be something you want to do to.

If my body were a car, this is the time I would be thinking about trading it in for a newer model in the Cash for Clunkers program.

I've got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish, and my paint job is getting a little dull.

But that's not the worst of it.

My headlights are out of focus, and it's especially hard to see things up close.

My traction is not as graceful as it once was. I slip and slide and skid and bump into things even in the best of weather.

My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins.

It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed. My fuel rate burns inefficiently.

But here's the worst of it Almost every time I sneeze, cough or laugh, either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires.

CASH FOR CLUNKERS..........I QUALIFY - How about you?


*****************

P.S. The "Cash for Clunkers" program is an actual program currently offered by the Canadian Feds as a stimulus program for newer vehicles and to get old cars off the road. It is similar to the program for trading in old cars for newer ones in the U.S. but not nearly as generous!

Have you stopped laughing yet? It was just the medicine I needed! Thank you Sis...

See you later on this week...

Sharon

Celebration Gifts from Me to You!

It's time to celebrate... myStoryART's FIRST birthday (somewhat belatedly...) ... nearing the milestone of 25,000 blog visitors (won't be long now).... and the publication of my jewelry in "Jewelry Beyond Time" as a contributing artist (available at Createspace... with a $5.00 (limited time) discount for blog visitors and friends).

Thanks to everyone for their continued support! I enjoy every comment left, every email that you send and it's a ton of fun sharing my art, my stories and "stuff" with you! The past year has gone quickly... but it's been a blast!

I never thought I would enjoy blogging as much as I do. It's been a very enjoyable year. I just love the interactivity of blogs. It's the one thing I always wished had been there when I was running about four websites some years ago. It took awhile but I finally got my wish with the introduction of blogs!

So all that said... what a better way to celebrate these milestones than to share some of my stuff with you! Here's some goodies I hope you enjoy... a little bit of something for everyone!

1. A new month... a new story! Many of my blogging friends and visitors who enjoy this feature on my blog have written asking me to record the story of Johnny Lingo and the 8 Cow Wife... I love this story and never tire of hearing or telling it. If you've never heard the story told, it is a much different experience hearing it as opposed to reading the story.

Storytellers need story listeners so I hope you take a few minutes to check it out either today or sometime during September. You have a whole month to have a listen. The recorded stories change at the beginning of each month and they are NOT archived. Just click on the MP3 player under the "header" at the top of the blog posts to begin your listening adventure. Enjoy!

2. Sometimes when I want a change of ART pace, I fire up my graphics program and have some fun creating digital paper backgrounds to use in my digital work. I like pretty paper! As I found out (once again) last week when I was putting together a vintage piece, a lot of my background paper can be printed and used for non-digital projects too.

Just a hint... when you are printing out paper or graphics, increase the saturation somewhat in your graphics software program before you print. It will then come out pretty much as it looks on a computer screen. Most monitor screens are not calibrated and that's why you often have a printed image that looks much paler and less vibrant printed than what you see on the monitor.

I played around this past weekend and here's a background package that I came up with to share with you. Please be patient when downloading it... it's a big file!


3. I love old images... as I know many of you do too... so I went through my "public domain image file" on my computer to pick out three I'd like to share with you. As far as I know, these images are all in the public domain so you can use them in any way you like. The usual disclaimer... (sigh) Use at your own risk! I usually make a note of where I find pd images originally but I guess I forgot to do so with these. If you know, let me know!

Right click to save the images to your computer.




I'd love to see what you do with them. Send me a link to your creation(s) so I can have a peek!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit. Have a great week making ART!

Sharon

Attention StoryLovers!

The new audio MP3 story for August, "The Stepmother Has Her Say" has been loaded up to the player on the blog. Take some "kick back" time to listen to the point of view espoused by Cinderalla's stepmother as she tells "her side of the story"! Get ready for a few laughs and chuckles!

Cheers,
Sharon

An Exciting Secret Revealed...

I have been keeping a secret for over a year! WHEW ... how tough is that... especially when it is exciting news that you just want to share with the whole wide world. Well I am about to let the cat out of the bag and tell you...

This week, the book "Jewelry Beyond Time" by Cynthia Powell, Stephanie Chavez and Sherre Hulbert, filled with "eye candy" jewelry and how to instructions was published. Two of the jewelry pieces I designed and submitted (with fingers crossed that they would be accepted) to be included are in it! WOW! Now isn't that exciting news? I am just thrilled to bits.

If you love making jewelry (or even just enjoy looking at it)... this is a book you absolutely must have on your bookshelf. It is crammed full of exciting projects by the authors and nine (including me) contributing designers. Just take a look at the book cover to get a glimpse of some of the trendiest jewelry around that you could make for yourself and as Christmas gifts for your nearest and dearest female relatives and friends...

And it gets even better...

Available at Amazon (and eligible for free shipping) and Createspace.com, the authors want to celebrate the publication of the book by giving you a $5.00 discount if you order it through Createspace.com. Just enter the code 95PJX7CX at checkout to receive the discount. This is a limited time offer, so act quickly.

And here's a bonus! I checked with the authors about posting some photos I took when I submitted both pieces to see if it was okay to go ahead and show you my projects that are in the book They said, "Sure. Go ahead". So here they are:

This first piece is a very contemporary necklace that I designed in my favourite colours. It looks absolutely fabulous on. Those little "side" charms lay wonderfully when it's around your neck and really gives this piece of jewelry a very different and trendy look. The large "focal" piece is an antiqued silver piece I have had for well over 30 years that was just waiting for a project... some day! Don't have something like this kicking around in your stash? Don't worry... it could be easily copied using metal clay or something similar! You could also recycle something that currently doesn't float your boat or come up with something entirely new and unique!

This next piece was a lot of fun! If you like oriental type jewelry, this is for you!

I love geishas and always wanted an "oriental type" necklace that incorporated a geisha in the design. This design and how to do it came to me one morning when I was doing water aerobics.

Now people chuckle when they hear me say that I get my best ideas in the pool! But the fact is, when you've been doing water aerobics for as long as I have, you know the drill and quite honestly, it's downright boring! So instead of focusing on the fact that I am bored to tears for an hour, I think about art and dream up projects while I am going through the motions. It's amazing how quickly the hour goes by and very often I can hardly wait to get home to start on something I have just dreamed up!

As many of you know, I love to sew and this summer I finally found the perfect material (with kanji lettering on it) for an outfit I have designed and want to make once summer is over (I only sew in the fall, winter and spring... I like being outside as much as I can be in the summer.) This necklace will look absolutely smashing with it! Oh gosh, so many projects dancing around in my head, so little time to get them all done! I'm sure some of you can relate (GRIN).

This necklace incorporates a faux scrimshaw technique that I came up with for dominoes (yep, in the pool and the how to instructions are in the book) and includes beads that I made and dipped in UTEE. The beads actually come out looking like old, antiqued glass beads when you're done. You can use reinforced washi paper with kanji characters to make them or do what I did... make your own paper (you can find out how in the book)!



So, I hope you enjoyed this little "show and tell" and that it has inspired you to order the book today and see all of the other wonderful projects you can get started on before the end of the month. The hardest part will probably be deciding which one to do first!

See you next week. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my exciting news!

Sharon

A Challenge to Blog Visitors!

I don't believe it... I actually missed "MyStoryART's" first birthday! For some reason I thought I had started blogging in August 2008. Wrong. It was in July. The 11th to be exact. I was busy with the Storytellers Conference this year on that day and it slipped right by me. Me BAD! I'm sorry. Here's wishing a happy belated birthday to MyStoryART! I promise I'll make it up to you...

I don't know where the time has gone. It seems like yesterday that I wrote my first post. It certainly has been a lot of fun doing it over the past year. Some days I wondered what I would even say. I needn't have worried... something always came to me just before the post was due. Looking back over the previous posts this morning, I realized that I still have a ton of stuff I can post that didn't get written or photographed in the past year!

Thanks a Million

I want to thank all of you for your support and the many kind words that you have either left in the comment box on posts or sent to me privately in emails over the past year.

Since I started keeping track in August of last year, nearly 24,000 hits have been logged for the MyStoryArt blog. WOW! That amazes and thrills me to bits. It means that people are actually reading my posts! I just love reading the comments that people take the time to leave. It encourages me to keep on blogging. It tells me that I am not just posting into "never never land" or talking to myself (WHEW! That's even better news!)

I know that becoming a blogger myself made me realize just how important it is to leave a comment, however brief it may be, on blogs that I visit. It's my way of saying thank you for taking the time to write your post and share a part of you, whether it is your art, your ideas, your knowledge or your thoughts with me. That's pretty special in my books.

I feel that people deserve to be acknowledged and not taken for granted for giving something of themselves. I don't know about you but I know I sure hate it when what I do is taken for granted by anyone. Personally I believe that our world would be a kinder, gentler, more loving place if there was less "taking for granted" and more acknowledgement of others PERIOD.

Why Giving Acknowledgement and Feedback Is So Important

I recently visited a blog I really liked that announced that it was closing down. I was curious. Why would they be closing such an interesting (at least for me) blog? So I wrote the blog owner an email expressing my regret at the news but also to let this person know just how much I had enjoyed visiting. I was surprised by her candid reply.

She thanked me for visiting her blog and leaving comments in the past. She said she was closing it down because she put a lot of effort into the blog but didn't get very much feedback and without that she had concluded that it wasn't of value to very many visitors and wouldn't really be missed. Oh, how sad! My heart went out to her.

Getting It!

But AH! I could relate. I knew exactly how she felt. I immediately understood how much a "lack of feedback" in a previous "web" experience had played a part in why I had resisted and hesitated starting my own blog for such a long period of time. I had wondered about it. I finally got it when I read her email.

A number of years ago, I used to spend a lot of time researching and writing a mini "feel good" journaling prompt newsletter for a yahoo group I had started. I kept it up for nearly three years and had hundreds of subscribers. I enjoyed doing it but after some length of time I wondered if anyone even read it let alone did anything with it.

Although I asked people to share their thoughts or send me feedback I rarely ever received an email from a subscriber. I began to feel it was a waste of my time to write the newsletter. I decided to close the group.

When the announcement went out, I was deluged with emails from subscribers asking me not to! Go figure. Even though that SHOULD have made me feel better about it, it had just the opposite effect. I was really upset! It had taken an announcement of a "take away" to find out that indeed it was of value to many folks on that list after all. A giver by nature, I'd been doing a lot of giving and they'd been doing a lot of taking! It was rather ironic that a newsletter that encouraged folks to create "balance" in their lives was thrown "out of balance" itself by the lack of feedback from the very folks it was intended to help.

I thought it over carefully. I decided I would let it run for one more month before I closed it down for good. It had been taken for granted. The acknowledgement of its worth and value had come too infrequently... too little... too late. It was time to move on to a more rewarding use of my time and energy.

It Only Takes a Moment

Many bloggers put a lot of energy, time and caring into their blogs. Many moderators of the thousands of free groups we can all join do the same. They deserve to be acknowledged and thanked for it... loudly and often!

The challenge, as a blog visitor or group member is to remember to say thanks, in some way, to those folks who give us the gift of their time, knowledge or expertise on a consistent basis. A few minutes of your time is all that it takes to leave a comment or send an email to the blog or group owner.

My Challenge to You

The challenge I would like to throw out to you is to leave a comment on every blog you visit this week. Send a thank you email to the moderators of all the groups you belong to... whether or not you are an active participant or a just a part time "lurker" in the group. Let those folks know how much they are valued and appreciated... they deserve it!

Have a great week,

Cheers,
Sharon

Playing Catch UP

I can hardly believe that is has been nearly a month since I last posted! My how time flies when one is involved in STUFF!

So what have I been up to you ask. Well, here's a brief rundown...

* The Storytellers of Canada Conference
* Lounging on my favourite beach, catching up on some books I have been meaning to read for absolute ages.
* Raiding the library of Polymer Clay books and getting excited about the possibilities for some nifty jewelry and art projects.
* Making an unholy mess in my art room
* Getting sand between my toes at the beach with hubby and friends
* Doing some metal effects art
* Finishing off some project submissions for the Sidney Fine Arts Show
* Making a ton of art cards
* Hanging out with the acupunturist in the hopes of relieving some of the sciatic pain I've been experiencing
* Taking an afternoon snooze at the beach... lulled to sleep by the sound of waves...
* Doing some preliminary set up for recording next month's blog story...

And that's just for starters! I won't bore you with all the nitty gritty details but here's an overview (and photos) of some of them...

Storytellers of Canada Conference

I'm tickled to report that the Storytellers of Canada Conference here in Victoria at the beginning of July was a roaring success! We were thrilled with the press coverage we got... I had a number of interviews with the press and the articles the reporters wrote were spot on... heck I even got my photo in the Times Colonist... our main daily rag!

The turnout for the conference was the biggest ever in their 17 year history. The two storytelling performances were magical... we sold out the Island Tellers performance and the attendance at the National Tellers performance was fantastic. It was great re-connecting with storytelling friends from across Canada and the U.S. In the halls of the university, the back chatter from many of the conference attendees was that this was the best conference they had ever been to! But... sigh... it went by in a blur and *boo hoo* even though I purchased a ton of tickets... I didn't win this year's Story Save art quilt! Sorry I don't have a photo to show you... but I can tell you that it was gorgeous and I absolutely lusted after it!

Playing with Clay

I have decided to play with clay for the next couple of months and oh my is there a lot to learn! I dabbled in it a few years ago... making some minatures for a project I was working on... but never really got into it. Of course, I would pick one of the hottest weeks of the summer to start this adventure. Clay does not like it when it's warm I quickly found out! Good thing I have a little fridge in my art room to cool it down. After my first few tentative forays into this type of art, I have come to appreciate just how much is really involved in creating with polymer clay.

My art room looks like a bomb hit it right now... I raided the local library for "clay" books and they are scattered all over the place. Gosh, I have come across some wonderful projects that would keep me busy for the next five years! It's hard to know where to start first... I'd like to do them all and right now, thank you very much!

As a first experiment, I tried making a cane. Well I was doing okay until I screwed it up. Reducing a cane means rolling it in your hands Sharon to make it smaller not rolling it out like a pancake to make it larger! I don't know what I was thinking but I recognized my mistake right away but too late! I could have kicked myself in the butt right then and there. Here I was with this pile of (screwed up) clay and I didn't know what the heck to do with it. The project I had planned to do was thrown out the window.... I was not amused.

Frustrated, I finally decided to roll some of it through the pasta machine. Hey I had nothing to lose at this point. I was rather surprised when I got this very modern, abstract pattern that I could perhaps do something with. I sighed. Perhaps all was not lost after all. I messed around with it, looked at it from all angles and decided what I'd do with it. Here's a photo of what I came up with...


The pin in the middle on the top looks like a bunch of hurricanes having a tequilla party out in the gulf of Mexico but the more I look at it, the more I rather like it.

On the left and right of the pin are two pieces that started out being earrings but ended up being pendants because they are too heavy! I cut on hole in the middle of the bottom piece and put a bead in each of them that actually spins. That was a fun bit of whimsy!!!

Those squiggly things at the bottom are earrings. I just twisted the clay at the bottom... they look quite nifty when you see them in person... the photo doesn't do them justice.

Last night it came to me that this clay pattern would make some cool looking buttons... so of course I had to make some! I tried taking some photos of my creations but not having my photo light box set up right now, the photos ended up looking pretty crappy. I'll post a photo once I set up my box again but I can tell you that they look really interesting and these one of a kind buttons would look splendid sewn on a black and white quilt, a black dress or jacket!

Messing with Metal

Earlier this year, I got very turned on working with metal. I finally got all the tools from Ten Seconds Studio and some metal to play with. Both of the pieces below are quite large but I sure had fun doing them. The roosters piece is large enough to put in the bottom of a tray under glass and I will probably end up doing that. The "flower" piece would fit nicely on top of a box. They certainly soak up lots of time doing them... easy to get hooked on doing this type of art... it's fun watching the pattern evolve. I am pretty pleased with the way they turned out... it's just difficult taking photos of them because they are so shiny!

The Beach

Ah my favourite spot to hang out... and the weather has been just glorious.

Right now we are in the middle of a "heat wave" ... something we don't get too often in Victoria... and with no air conditioning in our house (we don't need it most of the year... it cools off beautifully at night here), the sensible thing to do is just pack your sunscreen, a hat, a quilt, some good books, nibbles and lots of water and head to the beach! The air conditioning down there is cheap... that nice breeze that blows in from the ocean feels soooo GOOD.

Today it is supposed to go up to the high 80's (that's hot in Victoria) and we will actually have some humidity (but not the stifling kind one experiences down east or in the south) that will likely raise the temperature about 5 degrees on top of that. I've already got my bag packed... just have to get my water and nibbles together and I'm outa here....

Have a great week... and stay cool!

Sharon

An Altered Book Page plus a Daguerrotype Case

August 6, 2009 marks the 10th birthday of the Altered Books yahoo group. To celebrate, Corrine Stubson, one of altered books "mamas" for the past six years and a passionate bookbinder (among her many, many talents as an altered book artist) came up with a tremedous idea: alter a page, send the original to Corrine, she will bind a 4" x 6" book with your original page plus colour copies of all the other pages of participants in the "swap" and send it to you as a gift!

With over 7,000 members in the group, this could get interesting! Within a few days, nearly 100 people had signed up (me included). WOW... that's going to be quite the book when she's done and she will be binding, binding, binding... night and day... day and night!

She is one brave woman to take on a project of this magnitude! You'll never catch me doing something like this(GRIN)! I have enough projects that I would like to do to keep me going full tilt boogy for at least twenty years...

Personally I think this is one project that could be submitted to one of the magazines. It's going to be pretty awesome and worthy of a magazine article when she's finished!

With a couple of very busy weeks coming up for me, I decided I had better get my rear in gear and get my page done early... they are due July 20! So here's a sneak peak of the page I will be submitting... don't ya just love the quote?

Daguerrotype Case

Here's another project I did a couple of weeks ago that was fun (and frustrating at moments) to do! The frustrating part came in when I could have used smaller fingers in the construction of the boxes. You'll understand why when you discover how big it is!

I really like the old daguerrotype cases that our ancestors used to carry with them that had a picture of a loved one in it. Well one day when I was doing some metal embossing, I got to thinking about them and wondered if I couldn't figure out a way to make one. I had done some research on them and discovered that most of them (certainly those that were to be carried in pockets) were quite small.

I thought at first of using a small matchbox to make it but it just wasn't the right size. So I made two little cardboard boxes myself and covered them with some faux leather paper that I had made for another project kicking around my art table. I wanted to be able to open and close the case when it was done. A piece of paper glued to the middle of the boxes to hold them together did the trick. Some copper foil around the edges and the main boxes were done. I roughed the finished boxes up some to give it a grungy look!

Next, I embossed some metal for a frame, grunged it up some, re-sized an image to fit the frame opening and cut out a piece of clear plastic to protect it. I sandwiched all of these together and glued them into one side of the box.

For the box on the other side, I cut out a piece of light cardboard, padded it with some fibre fill, covered it with a piece of green velvet, glued it into the other box, then glued on an antique metal button from my stash.

Voila, my prototype of a very grungy, battered and old looking daguerrotype case.

Now that I have figured out how to do this, I'll be making some "refinement" changes next time round. That said, I was rather pleased with myself that it worked out just about the way I had envisioned it. You may be wondering how big it is. Well how's 2 x 2-1/2 inches!!

Have an arty week...

Sharon

The Card Winner & Little Dresses

Thanks to all of you who "played" and entered the card contest last week! It was very helpful for me and I thank you. Here are the results:

1st Place #1 Asian Blossom

Both #10 (Tea Party) and #4 (Poppies) were also quite popular as #1 pick!

2nd Place - Swan on the Lagoon

3rd Place - The Tea Party



And the winner of their favourite card is GALE! She choose #10, The Tea Party as her favourite. Please get in touch with me Gale with your mailing address so I can get your card off to you!


Little Dresses for a Sweet Granddaughter



I had a busy weekend. When I was in Toronto last month visiting with our daughter and granddaughter, my granddaughter asked me if I would make her a yellow dress. Well what gramma who loves to sew could say no to that kind of request?

When she was a baby and a toddler I made a gazillion dresses for her. She was the best dressed kid on the block. Well now that she is "four and five fourths" (her words... she will be 5 in September) I thought she wasn't too interested in having gramma make her dresses. Well, I was wrong... she sure set me straight (chuckle) in no short order.

So gramma went shopping for material last week and had a sewing marathon over the weekend. From the chaos of material, thread, buttons and zippers in my sewing room, four dresses for our sweet pumpkin emerged. They are simple, but cute and will keep her cool over the warm summer days yet to come!



Yellow pinstripe and yellow floral bottom

Pale green, blue and yellow dots cotton

She'll love this one ... it has turtles, hearts, butterflies, the sun, flowers and a hummingbird in the pattern!


Ice cream cones, ice cream cones and more ice cream cones. This might be her favourite! I wish I was four and could make one of these for me! (GRIN)

She loves getting parcels in the mail. Grandpa mailed all her new little dresses off to her today along with a couple goodies for mommy! I can hardly wait to get the phone call... she gets so excited when she gets a parcel... she'll be tripping over her tongue!

Have a great week everyone...

Sharon