Tuesday, June 30, 2009

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...


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

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...


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pick Your Favourite! Win that Card!

I've been on an art card making frenzy this past couple of weeks! There are a couple of summer art shows coming up and I want to be ready this year... none of that 'last minute' rush like most years to make a bunch of cards for the 'art card gift shop' many of them have these days.

But I am in a real tizzy! It seems that every card I make becomes my new favourite! Some cards were my super favourites right from the 'get-go' and I made more of those. But I can't seem to make up my mind about some other ones I really like! I need to make a bunch more and just can't seem to decide which ones to pick!

I had a brain'fart' about 2 a.m. this morning. Bang! I woke up with a start. I was in the middle of a dream... talking to someone (who knows who it was) and I said: "Well, I'll just ask all the lovely ladies (because most visitors to my blog are female) who visit myStoryART if they will help me!" DUH!! Of course!! That would be fun!

So, are you willing to take a few minutes to help me choose which cards to make more of? If yes, then read on...

Below you will see 10 cards all with numbers underneath, Take a look at the cards and pick your favourite top 3. Leave a comment on this post telling me your top three (just put the numbers in, i.e. "my favourites are #3, #8 and #10). Make sure your name is on your entry.

If you like, tell me what it is that you like about your choices the most. It's not necessary but I always find it interesting to hear what it is that attracts people to a particular card and not to others!

As a thank you for participating, on Monday (June 22), I will put all the names of those who leave a comment in a hat and draw a lucky winner. I'll announce the winner's name on the blog next week Tuesday, June 23!

You must claim your prize by sending me an email with your name and mailing address (sharonhouse@mystoryart.com) before Thursday, June 25, so make sure you check in next week to see if you have won. If I don't hear from the first winner by Thursday, I will pick another name.

Your prize: I'll mail you your favourite #1 card on your entry that you can then send to a friend, relative or someone special. Good luck and thanks for helping me out!

P.S. It has come to my attention that there are some folks who have copied images from my blog to use in their art. I do not want to have to start putting watermarks all over my images just to protect them. A gentle reminder: please remember that these images are copyright. Do not copy nor use without written permission from me.

Number #1

Number #2

Number # 3

Number #4

Number #5

Number #6

Number #7

Number #8

Number #9

Number #10

Hope looking through all these cards was fun for you... maybe even gave you some inspiration. I'm really looking forward to the results (which I will post once I have it all "tabulated")!

Thanks for "playing". I appreciate your comments, insights and 'eye' for art a lot!



Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Father's Day Card & Beach photos

Back from vacation and raring to go!

First on my agenda was to finish off my submissions for the upcoming Sooke Art Festival! This time I took pictures (GRIN). I'll be posting them once the art show begins... unfortunately they are not to be shown beforehand. But a little hint... I am in an oriental mood...something quite different than I have done in the past.

Getting Ready for Dad's Day....

Next on the agenda was to make a Father's Day card for hubby. Last year, I found the cutest little tool belt box/card and decided that I wanted to make it for hubby this year. He loves tools and I'll enclose a gift card for him to go wild with at his favourite tool joint! Here's how the card box turned out... complete with some little tools I found in the dollar store some time back, an ad page from the tool "joint" and if you look closely at the photo, you'll see some brads that look like screws...

My sister is a tool junkie too... her idea of a glorious way to spend an afternoon is browsing through the hardware store looking at tools and gadgets! I just might make one of these to put in her Christmas package this year along with the roll of duct tape her and hubby have been exchanging back and forth for years!

Want to make one for your favourite guy? You can find a tutorial and template on Mel's blog

Topsail Beach, North Carolina

Our vacation in the Carolinas was wonderful... in spite of me catching a cold on the plane (the first one I have had in absolute years!). It rather cramped my style for about five days... I was miserable! Having my head covered with a towel and suspended over a hot, steaming pan of Vicks was not quite my idea of vacation fun!

However, being at the beach helped a lot! I love Topsail Beach (just north of Wilmington, N.C.) and hubby and I have spent many a vacation here. When we lived in N.C., we would go to Topsail at least twice a year for a couple of weeks.

Coastal Carolina beaches are much different than the beaches in British Columbia. It's hard to say which I like better... in comparison, the Carolina beaches are "manicured" whereas the beach that is five minutes from my house in Victoria is strewn with old. bleached by the sun logs and is very rustic! They both have their appeal... of course you can swim in the Carolinas... the water is bathtub temperature... you wouldn't dare step into the cold, north Pacific ocean waters that surround Victoria... brrhhh... instant icicles on your toes!
Here are just a few of the photos we took... so far these are my favourites...

We called him Mr. Crabby... he hung around the beach house the whole time we were there and provided much entertainment watching him scurry back and forth to his little crabby home! Isn't he just the cutest little crab you ever did see?

Here's a photo of the sun coming up over Topsail Beach... only a morning person like me would get up at 5:30 a.m. to take a photo like this! Hubby (a night person) thought I was going bonkers from the cold medication to get up at that time of the morning.

But I love getting up early at the beach. There is something magical and lovely about sitting on the deck with a fresh cup of morning coffee, listening to the birds and the pounding waves hit the shore and just enjoying the dawning of a glorious new day. Those night people haven't got a clue about what they are missing out on (BIG GRIN) at the crack of dawn.

Here's a sandpiper pecking away for his lunch in Carolina blue waters! It was a gorgeous day... not too hot... not too cool... and what fun it was gathering shells and watching the pelicans swoop down and dive into the water. The beach was quiet at this time of the year... the shrimp large and fresh... the strawberries plump and juicy... ah just the way I like it.

Here's wishing you a wonderful "arty" week. Tune in next Tuesday to see some of the other art projects I have been working on. I'll also have a little surprise for you...


Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Romantic Tale!

The Storm

They were together in the old house. Just the two of them. It was a cold, dark, stormy night. The storm had come quickly

and ...

each time the thunder boomed he watched her jump. She looked across the room and admired his strong appearance...and wished that he would take her in his arms, comfort her and protect her from the storm.

Suddenly, with a pop, the power went out... She screamed... He raced to the sofa where she was cowering. He didn't hesitate to pull her into his arms. He knew this was a forbidden union and expected her to pull back. He was surprised when she didn't resist but instead clung to him.

The storm raged on...

They knew it was wrong...Their families would never understand... So consumed were they in their FEAR that they heard no opening of doors... just the faint click of a camera......

Ah... romance... (SMILE) Now that you are smiling too... keep smiling... it will make people wonder what you are up to today!

Thanks to my cousin Joni for sending this "smile" along so I could share it with you..

Have a great week....