Monday, February 25, 2013

Sometimes my Job has its Perks

I won't say that my job is without its stresses. Last week, I was one of several hundreds of people who had to stay downtown for Storm Q. But this week I am in Tampa for a meeting.

So I thought I would send you pictures of some of the flowers that are all around here. Just remember that it may still be winter, Spring is on the way.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Using the Dollar Store to Feed my Inner Martha

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. I visit it just about everyday. I love the all the ideas and photos. It also appeals to my desire to take everyday objects or stuff I already own and turn them into other things. Backs of legal pads, packing paper, ribbons from gift bags, and random bits of paper have all made it into my art.

I saw a pin from another blog, about cutting out letters from cereal boxes and keeping them for kids to play with. I go through a lot of chipboard letters in my Etsy store so I decided to use the boxes in my Sizzix Bigz. I took the boxes and cut them down to fit onthe die and left the printed side up. This way, I could use the letters and paint them any color I chose.

But then there is this pesky thing of lots and lots of little bits of cardboard. Usually I would put them in a single bin but then when I needed a few letters, I would spend a lot of time looking for the right ones. So inefficient.

So I trucked off to the Dollar Store. Once there, in the kitchen utensil section, I found the perfect answer. Ten little cups with white lids. I grabbed them and ran back to my shop and started sorting. I put three letters to a cup and marked the lid with a Sharpie.

It was an investment of time, but there is little a great satisfaction in organizing, saving money, and reusing things.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Creating Order in the Universe

The last week had a lot packed into it. Work. Dinners with friends. Work. Setting up for a church service. Work. Getting ready for a craft show. Did I say work?

I loved getting ready for the craft show and having people stop by to look at my art and decor pieces. Even if they don't buy anything, it is interesting to watch them look everything over.

But, come Sunday I was done. I was tired and felt out of sorts. Things seemed a little out of control. All that rushing around, my environment in disarray, and no alone time had all taken their toll. So I needed a day to recharge. Here are some of the things that I did:

  • Got a coffee
  • Shopped for life's little necessaties
  • Went to Barnes and Noble and looked at magazines for inspriration
  • Wandered around Michaels and Archivers, stopping periodically to dream a little
  • Stood outside on a warm winter day with a cold wind that had a hint of Spring with it
  • Cleaned (or as I like to call it, created order in the universe)
  • Caught up on my Haleighanna's Hands books
  • Looked at my work table and found that this universe would have to remain in chaos
  • Punched out some flowers from an old book

By the end of the day, I saw the wisdom of keeping a sabbath day. Recharging is important. Inspiration runs dry. Things become routine and tired. Sometimes you just need not to do everything, but do those little things that put things in their place. Yes there was a lot of "doing" but it was the doing that helps quiet the fatiqued and restless mind and let's other parts do the heavy lifting for a while.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Spring Pomender Tutorial

For the first time in a long time, I find that I am tired of the colors of winter. Usually, I love the stillness of winter, but this year, I am anxious for Spring. Maybe it is updating the Etsy store with Spring and Valentine's products, but I need something some color besides browns and grays. So I decided to share with you a new tutorial so that you can bring a little spring into your winter.

What you'll need:

Small styrofoam balls (I bought a package of 6)
Glue gun
Small unfinished candlestick base (Again, I bought a package of 6)
Foam brush
Acrylic paint
Glass head straight pins
Cardstock (patterned or plain)
Flower punch (I used a Fiskars flower punch)

Step 1

Sand and paint the base. Paint the sytrofoam ball. Paint the cardstock, using a dry brush method, if you want the flowers to match exactly.

Step 2

While all that is drying, start punching out flowers. To give the flowers more texture, I put each one in the palm of my hand and push my index finger into the flower. This turns it into a cup shape. Of course you can buy pre-made flowers instead of punching them. I would just keep them small so that the don't overwhelm the scale of the whole piece.

Step 3

Using your glue gun out and but a bead of glue on the top of the candlestick base and glue the painted styrofoam ball onto it.

Step 4

Take the glass head pins and use them to to stick the flowers to the styrofoam ball. Start where the ball is glued to the base. Then put them flowers in a random pattern around the ball until it is covered. Make sure that some of the petals overlap with some of them on top of flowers and under other flowers. The piece should not look "perfect."

Step 5

Embellish the base with ribbon or jute or just leave it as is.

There are lots of variations to this so use your imagination and enjoy.