Saturday, December 31, 2011

Alice Ogden - Christmas Ornament 2011

I almost forgot to post about my 2011 Christmas ornament basket from Alice Ogden. I actually almost forgot to order mine this year too. I normally contact Alice right around Thanksgiving, but with the way the time flew by this year I didn't get my check in the mail until right before Christmas. Of course I wasn't too worried since I have my basket tree up in my work room all year round.

This year's basket is so cute. I don't think my photograph really shows how small and delicate the basket really is. At 2.5" in diameter by a bit over 1.5" tall with a hand carved heart shaped handle it is a real beauty.


Just playing with Mom's new camera Dad got her for Christmas. It is a Nikon digital SLR with a really great telephoto lens. I was sitting inside looking out the family room window when I captured these two gold finches at the bird bath. I really want that camera! I will have to start saving up my pennies.

Friday, December 23, 2011

My collections

Well I tried to take photos of my whole collection and couldn't. I think that may mean I have too many, but I love Santas and snowmen. I like a variety of styles, but especially like hand-made ones, either that I have made myself or have bought at craft fairs. 

Here are some of my snowmen lining the top of my entertainment center. The resin snowmen on the left I painted myself. The large snowman on the left is a counted cross-stitch 3D figure that I made ages ago (I only did the cross-stitch, I had someone do the 3D construction).

The snowman on the left, with the kookie tie is a wood cutout that I made at one point when I was into folk art painting. I made a bunch of different ornaments and figurines, but sold most of them. Of course I never made anymore, so I think only have two left.

All of the pencil Santas I painted myself, back in the day when you could buy unpainted resin figurines. I used to add a few every year to my collection, but probably haven't painted a new one in 10 years. I had my dad make me the ledge to display them on and it is full now, so I guess it is good I haven't made any more.

The Santa faces painted on the cones and eggs I bought over a number of years from a women who had a booth at a pumpkin fest in a tiny town near my home town. My mom has a bunch of them too, as well as some plates and other items she had painted on. A couple years ago we weren't able to go and the women was so worried that something had happened to us that she emailed my mom to make sure we were OK. I guess we were good customers.

I should try to take a photo of my mom's collection. She makes me look like an amateur.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Some photos of my living room mantle. My dad bought me a box of vintage houses that I just love. I am always looking for more, though I never seem to run across them. I keep threatening to make some myself and I found patterns for some from Martha Stewart, but have yet to try them. I also love bottle brush trees. I have collected quite a few of those now, both new and vintage. These I seem to run across here and there and I will pick them up if they aren't too expensive. I have just been playing with bleaching some of my new ones and adding glitter. I want to try dying some of them too and adding some mercury glass balls or little fruit (I love the tree in the second photo with all the fruit and glitter).

I like a display like this since it is and it isn't Christmas. Since it is "wintery" I don't mind leaving it up after the holidays are over for awhile. Also it is such a pain to put them all away I am never too excited to get started.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and gets to spend some time with their family and friends.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My 2011 Christmas Cards

Every year I say that I am not going to do a complicated card and every year they seem to get more involved. This year's card was a lot of work, but I was very happy with the way it turned out. I tried a bunch of new techniques and used some new materials so even though they were time consuming, it was fun creative time. I decided to do a tag this year instead of a traditional fold-over card and my hope is that the recipients will keep them to use as decorations to hang on the tree. I know, I have my extra card hanging on mine.

One of the new materials I used on these was Perfect Pearls Mist. It adds a nice ice shine to the paper and even to the seam binding ribbon tied to the top of the tag. Another new discovery was butcher's twin, you know, the stuff you tie up a piece of meat with or sew up a turkey with. It is so inexpensive (when you buy it from a cooking store) and yet it adds a nice holiday touch in red and white.

So let's see, the techniques I used on this card include: direct to paper inking; stamping; embossing; and edging with ink blending tool. The materials I used include: manilla shipping tag; card stock, Distress Ink pads; clear embossing powder; butcher's twine; seam binding tape; tiny attacher staples (dyed with alcohol ink); ATG tape gun; shape punch; and "vintage" tinsel garland.

Wow, I am tired just listing all the stuff I used to make these. Next year they will be less complicate, really, they will...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Work Gifts

I usually make my work gifts and this year I decided to make some stamped card sets. These were copied from a Tim Holtz project, so I can't take credit for the idea. They were fun to make and relatively quick too, even with the stamping, embossing and edging. Tying the silly butcher's twine was the most tedious step in the process. A friend and I assembly-line made dozen's of these in one evening. We decided that sets of eight would be good and I had some plastic boxes that I had bought one time on sale cubbied away so used those and tied them up with butcher's twine.

Grayson is always ready to lend a helping hand, or paw as the case may be. The twine was just too much for him to resist. Fortunately I got everything boxed up before he slobbered all over the cards.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Cards 2011

About to get my Christmas cards completed for this year. Of course I am behind schedule, but when isn't that the case. I think I have all the parts stamped. Now it is time to start assembling. This year I went with a "tag" design instead of a traditional folded card. I am using a bunch of new techniques, so they have been fun to work on. So far I am pleased with how they are turning out. Of course I always say this year will be the year I make a less complicated card, but so far they seem to only get more involved.

Now to just finish them up, get them signed, addressed and into the mail. I'll post a finished card after they get mailed out, don't want to spoil all the surprise!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Vault Gallery Exhibit

I was honored when my childhood hometown Chamber of Commerce asked me to display my baskets for the month of December. The Chamber is now housed in an old bank in the town square and they turned the old vault into an exhibit space. While small, it actually makes for a nice exhibit space. Mirrors on both ends makes the room seem larger than it really is and the old lock boxes add an interesting backdrop. If on some odd chance you happen to be in Mexico, MO during the week this December be sure to stop by for a look. If you can't make it, here are some photos of the display.