Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome to my belated Practical Magic Blog Party

We take any party seriously at my house, and especially so when it's in celebration of a wonderful event such as this weekends' Practical Magic Blog hop!

You're surely not surprised then that this post had to wait for our blender to stop spinning and the afterglow to subside.

Please, whenever you have a few moments to sit comfortably with a cup of tea or a cocktail take a look at what our fellow bloggers came up with for this years' celebration. It has been, well, magical.

My own Practical Magic Blog party became a real party, albeit a small one, with margaritas, planting of terrariums and the lighting of a candles.

As each candle was lit we made a heartfelt wish for you and for our Practical Magic friends and for ourselves. Those wishes were: Health, wealth, happiness, joy, laughter, creativity, clarity, peace, honesty, fairness, friendship, insight, nourishment and beauty.

Inspired by the kitchen and apothecary scenes from Practical Magic we planted two glass jar terrariums with a fern and a ficus and we found an enamelware chamber pot in which now lives some more creeping plant friends and three wee begonias (which might not survive the winter, even indoors, but we'll see).

Finally, we found at a thrift store the perfect glass jar to house a bushel of limes: Not only pretty and green and reminiscent of the Practical Magic movie ... but damn convenient for our bar, too!

Thanks to everyone who participated, and I'll be 'round to comment soon: I hope each of you finds yourself filled with an abundance of magical inspiration!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Get well/thinking of you: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

Hi again Drunken Stamping friends!

The newest challenge at Drunken Stampers is all about those people who could use a little attention from you! A wish to get well, or a reminder that he or she is in your thoughts: Create something that is for that person.

My piece is for someone special who has lately been feeling stressed and disjointed and not at all confident.

The project began because this friend of mine ogled a lovely, vintage-look French chic over-the-door hanger at World Market.

So, I made my own version for my friend: The flowers are Tim Holtz' Tattered Florals in aluminum and grunge paper, each layer coated in inks and embossing powders then bent and beat into obviously organic garden shapes before being attached to the rusted steel hanger.

I added a crystal curtain rod end found at a garage sale and hung a sign "Live well" made using the faux crazed porcelain technique found at The Inspiration Journal (owned by the Inspiration Emporium).

Don't go there yet, by the way, or you'll never get back here: Believe me, The Inspiration Journal is very, very aptly named.

Though my own crazed porcelain plaque isn't as good as the one found at the technique link above, it's certainly a good start and can be easily improved as I make more items like this one. You absolutely must try this technique, too!

The final news of the day is that this is my last post as a Drunken Stampers design team member. Later this month I'll share news of what you can expect to see on this blog in the future.

In the meantime you should drop in at the DS blog to check out what they're doing and join in the fun: Challenge blog owners Peggy and Spike are an incredible, creative pair worthy of your participation!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Guest designer project for The Altered Alice Chapter 7 Week 2: Text as nonsense

My guest designer piece is after The Altered Alice challenge information!
Alice didn't dare to argue the point, but went on: `-- and I thought I'd try and find my way to the top of that hill -- ' `When you say "hill,"' the Queen interrupted, `I could show you hills, in comparison with which you'd call that a valley.' `No, I shouldn't,' said Alice, surprised into contradicting her at last: `a hill can't be a valley, you know. That would be nonsense -- ' The Red Queen shook her head, `You may call it "nonsense" if you like,' she said, ` but I've heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!' -- Chapter 2, Through The Looking Glass and What Alice Found There

Using text as pattern is a trend right now that I really love. Your challenge is to use text as nonsense - not to read but as pattern on your project! Of course you can still have words or sentiments, but we also need to see text used in a non-reading way. I have a stack of old books and dictionaries that I use for this purpose.

Our sponsor is Stamp Attack, a British company that is well known (among other things) for their fantastic Alice stamp plates which have sold to customers all over the world. In fact, Helena Bonham Carter, the actress who played the Red Queen in the Tim Burton Alice movie, purchased sets of Alice stamps from Stamp Attack, which were then delivered to the studio!  Enabler alert: Stamp Attack offers speedy worldwide shipping for only £1 on unmounted stamp orders, so go on and check out their beautiful stamps!

The winner will receive a Stamp Attack gift certificate for £13.50, which is equivalent to one of the stamp plates that the design team will be using!

You have until Friday, September 23 to enter your creation at The Altered Alice and the winner and honorable mentions will be announced on the last Sunday of the month, September 25.  All kinds of projects are welcome, they do not have to be "altered art" and as always, entries that feature some aspect of Wonderland are given two chances instead of one in the random prize drawing. You may enter multiple times as long as each project is on a separate post.

We are also saying goodbye to our current crop of guest designers, so please leave them some special love this month as their projects have been FABULOUS! Thanks so much ladies, you have added so much to The Altered Alice! And stay tuned, there will be some special design team announcements next month too!

Hi again folks, thanks for dropping by to visit me, CuddlyBunny, especially today as I post my final guest designer piece for The Altered Alice!
Wow! What a fun group of wonderfully inspiring artists! Should you ever be asked to join the designer, as a guest or full-time member, say YES!

So, my piece with beautiful stamps from sponsor Stamp Attack is a triangle easel flip-top book.

Each page features different techniques and colors, so to keep things realistically short here ... let's see the photos and you can drop a question if you want to know how something was done!

OK? Okay!

Have a wonderful day everyone, hug the people you love!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Quote: The Octopode Factory Friday challenge

Whew boy do I love the Octopodes!

And you all know how I also love quotes: Found and made up ... I'm a fan of inspirational, comical, memorable words strung together and repeated for all eternity.

So, this week's The Octopode Factory Friday challenge of the week, Quotes, is ideal for me.

Then we've got the toys that I collect, new and vintage, and roughly ten seconds passed before I decided to combine a vintage sewing thread ad from Graphics Fairy, the Octopode teddy bear and a phrase that is courtesy an antique embroidery my sister has hanging at her house.

"My teddy bear has a rip and a tear love pours from him everywhere."

You can use it, too: You're welcome.

But not for this exact challenge, please. Though you absolutely must join in at The Octopode Factory Friday challenge.

We'll be sad without you.

What did you do this summer: A Drunken Stampers challenge

Welcome back to another Drunken Stampers post!

We took a few weeks off to catch our breath and let our livers dry out, but we're back now and with a couple of surprises!

First, it's important that everyone have plenty of time to create and then to recover from that hard work before a new challenge, so we'll now only have Drunken Stampers challenges on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month.

Next, and read this one carefully: That strange itch in your ears has been the Drunken Stampers Design Team call echoing in your art space! Go to the link to find out what the very, very loose requirements are and throw your hat into the ring! We'd love to see you 'belly up to the craft bar.

Finally, we've got the first new challenge since the Spring: What did you do this summer?

We bought a hillbilly pool (an above-ground, inflated sides pool) early in the summer and have been happily splashing about, but there's been some much bigger events during the season as well.

I celebrated a birthday and received dozens of wonderful game pieces that my parents found for me at thrift stores! Awesome! Then there was the camping trip to Antelope Lake where we found itty bitty seashells perfect for a little altered art embellishment.

Despite loving paints, from the aroma to the endless technical possibilities, it wasn't until this summer that I returned to creating with dry brushing and globs of color mixed for custom shades and gesso and gorgeous technicolor pallets.

We remembered to get ourselves to some garage sales, too, and the Habitat for Humanity resell store where we found bits and bobs for hanging and dangling and creating.

There was even a class this summer! Although not well-attended by yours truly who could not find the time to watch inspiration videos and read instruction sheets and create, I have since been back-tracking and find learning at my own pace, while not the original plan, is still motivating and rewarding.

All of this, I'm sure, is some part in the most important discovery I made this summer, which I prefer not to discuss at length here, but will say this: Occasionally reassess your life, your self, your world.

Because sometimes we get off track and, if we're not careful, discover that everything that makes us unique and amazing is buried under a blanket of worry and stress and things we can not possibly control.

Ah so, breathe deeply my friends. Life is good!

And we need you at Drunken Stampers!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

PMS: Haunted Design House

Normally I wouldn't talk in very pleasant terms about PMS, but this week I absolutely must!

Just take a look at what they've got to challenge us with at Haunted Design House Macabre Monday! It's PMS or Psychotic Miss Silver!

See? You knew you could trust me, didn't you? Trust that all of the design team work is worth your clicking over the HDH blog, too!

My own piece features Femdom's Dominatrix from Smeared Ink, a great place to find fantastically fun and dark-ish images!

Our Dominatrix is printed on white stock and colored with Sharpies and colored pencils, and has inked edges courtesy distress ink in broken china.

She's mounted on two layers of different-colored blue stock edge-inked in black and more broken china. Two silver chains accent the entire card and finally we've got a silver-embossed sentiment "Surprise Party" from Making Memories' magnetic sets.

I think our Magnificent Mercedes (yes, I named her) manages to fall nicely into place just between slightly inappropriate and giggly cute, which of course also makes her just like all of us: Slightly psychotic at least once a month.

So, where do thought of PMS lead you? Surely you'd like to share, wouldn't you, with the kind folks at Haunted Design House?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stripes: The Octopode Factory Friday Challenge

This way and that, up and down, crossways and straightways, stripes lead here and there and nowhere.

Reaching behind and above and around the Octopode Factory's Andy Warhol.

Coming together just in time to be a part of The Octopode Factory Friday Challenge gathering!

Are you enjoying my more simply-designed cards and creations? They're fun and speedy to create, but I can't help feeling that they are awfully plain ...even with dear Mr. Warholpode's blue skin and yellow hair.

I appreciate his pink sunglasses, though. Maybe I could find a pair for myself ...

Recreate a scene: The Burtonesque Dolls challenge

Here's my second version of this post, which I'm forced to write because Blogger boogered up just as I was trying to add a photo and click "publish."

Color me freakin' happy.

Anyhow, I'd mentioned in my prior now non-existent post that this holiday is doing me a huge favor as I would otherwise have missed the chance to create a piece for the current Burtonesque Dolls challenge: Recreate a scene.

My brain just wasn't wrapping around the idea that while September 5 seemed a long way off more than a week ago: It wasn't exactly never coming.

Lost track of things as usual and here I am at the last moment to tell you that I used the Bugaboo Stamp Sassy Gal Devil and computer-generated text placed on a background inked with three colors of Distress Ink.

The border is courtesy a Martha Stewart Around the Page punch "Iron Gate."

Hopefully you enjoy this Beetle Juice scene as much I do: How could you not love it when our friend Beetle Juice is enticed by the luscious ladies of Dante's Inferno to get a little action.

One day I'll figure a way to recreate the dining room carnival scene from Beetle Juice, another favorite of mine.

Until then I'm off to try to add a photo and then link up with Burtonesque Dolls.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Framed: Haunted Design House

Take one vintage middle school photo, a wood-cut style bat from Graphics Fairy and a tiny wedding favor frame and you've got the perfect set up for this weeks' Haunted Design House Macabre Monday challenge: Framed!

Of course the challenge is nearly finished so what you have very, very little of is time.

Even less than I had when I started this project that took much longer than it should have for such a ho-hum creation.

Still, this little bit of art is funny and I'm looking forward to displaying it on Halloween.

Have a great day everyone, and don't forget to drop by Haunted Design House to see what the amazing design team put together!