Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Jingle Belles Bling on the Holidays

Blinging it up for this Jingle Belles challenge.  I have glitter paper, metallic paper, rhinestone stickers, metallic ribbon and more.  I decided, going through my papers, to stick with silver and white, with a touch of blue for my color pallet.  The hardest part about this was the picture taking. It's pretty hard to see all the sparkle, but it's there.

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You can barely see the light blue stones in the top-most ornament.  I took some of the extra stones from the sentiment which originally said "joy to you" and added the darker blue stones to the snowflake.  Thank heavens for tweezers!  The large ornament paper came with the glitter swirls already on it.  And the bottom ornament is silver textured metallic paper.  

This card is a little larger than I normally do so I could fit all those ornaments on.  It's 5 x 7, which is still a standard size though.  I like larger cards, I just don't have a large selection of envelopes to go along with larger sizes.  

So, all you card makers out there - tell me what you do when you accidentally get something stuck to the back of your card and try pulling it off but manage to pull off a layer of paper too?  I think this card front is going to need a new backing!  

I've got to go check out the Jingle Belles gallery now - join me by clicking here.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Our Beautiful World - Bird is the Word

Looking at my first couple of photos one might think that we suddenly sprung ahead to mid-spring, but that is not the case.  The word of the week for Our Beautiful World is BIRD and I have a plethora of bird pictures to choose from, but I will keep it to only a few of my favorites.

I just loved being able to get close enough to get a picture of one of our bluebird visitors at the nest box while the clematis was blooming.  Sadly, the plant died and this past summer the blues bypassed our yard, but I still hold out hope that they will return again this summer.  We think this might have something to do with the multitude of nest boxes that our neighbor installed on their property last spring and the fact that we were not able to prepare the garden appropriately enough for our visitors to be comfortable there.  The bluebirds like to nest in open areas and unfortunately, because of my back issues and HWNSNBP's busy schedule, the garden got away from us this year and looked more like a field of waist-high weeds. 

We hope that with some concerted effort we might be able to clear out the offending area and be lucky enough to get more pictures like the one below.  Those open mouths remind me of spring crocuses.

I promised only a couple of bird photos so I am just going to add this photo that I took last week (and posted last week already) as it inspired me to do the little watercolor below it this week.

I'm kind of bummed today because we had to have one of our beautiful maple trees from the backyard removed today.  We noticed that the tree was wet last weekend during a dry, warm day meaning that the trunk probably had been damaged/cracked.  Being only about 15' from the house, there was too much of a risk of it cracking further and damaging the house or harming someone so we opted to have it removed.  It was one of the trees that we hung our bird feeders in so now we will have to find new hang-outs for the feeders.  Hopefully, not too far from the house so we can still enjoy looking at the birds that have become accustomed to their 3-squares here.  

The tree not only provided a place for the birds to eat, but it provided shade for our kitchen area and back of the house - that will be missed dearly in the summer.  I shall have to get used to the new landscape.  

Please take a look at all the other bird photos from around the world that have been posted at Our Beautiful World this week.  

Oh, and if you would like to see more of my bird pictures, please click on the Bird, or Bluebird links on my sidebar.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January Tangles

I'm starting my Tangle calendar again for 2016.  Here are the tangles that I worked on this month. Listed by date, name of tangle, and name of the tangles originator.

Jan. 1 - Win-Zetta/Lorreta West
Jan. 2 - Gotcha/Karin Godyns
Jan. 3 - Layse - Sandra Strait

Jan. 4 - Contacted/Allyn Mae Johnston
Jan. 5 - Marnie/Chrissie Frampton
Jan. 6 - Hua/Damy(Mei Hua Teng)

Jan. 7 - Oybay/Antonine Koval
Jan. 8 - Puchong/Michelle Linn
Jan. 9 - Plop/Beth Snoderly
Jan. 10 - BALA/Damy Teng

Jan. 11 - Autumnal/Daniel Lamothe
Jan. 12 - 2-S/Mina Hsiao(Ping-Min Hsiao)
Jan. 13 - Calix/Judy Murphy

Jan. 14 - Fe-Ba/Lisa Chang
Jan. 15 - Sand/Adele Bruno
Jan. 16 - Wedge/Rosemary Turpin
Jan. 17 - Jasmin/Simone Bishoff

Jan. 18 - Organic/Sayantika Ray
Jan. 19 - Damya/Hsin-Ya Hsu
Jan. 20 - Subline/Diane Tai

Jan. 21 - Caught/Christine Reyes
Jan. 22 - Pineple/Mei Hua Teng
Jan. 23 - O'Brien/ME - Inspired by Sabrina's Photo
Jan. 24 - Unnamed/ME - Inspired by a stitched card I saw on Pinterest, lost link

Jan. 25 - Croissant/Yu Ru Chen
Jan. 26 - 2SS2/Mina Hsiao
Jan. 27 - Planateen/Sandra Strait

Jan. 28 - 25 Castle Street/Neil Burley
Jan. 29 - Snowflower/Cynthia Gannon
Jan. 30 - Drifts/Chris Gerstner
Jan. 31 - Tamisolo/Hanny Nura

I'll post some of the tiles I worked on at a later date.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Photo Finish

HWNSNBP asked me what I was doing as he watched me trying to take a selfie.  I really don't like pictures of myself but the final prompt for this month is SELF.  It has been a fun month of prompts in Clare's Photo Challenge and a good way to start off the year creatively.  

Wrapping up with a couple of other projects that I finished this past week......

This sliver of wood was part of a shim that the construction works discarded when they were building our garage this fall.  I picked it up on a whim thinking a lighthouse would look good on it, but it took me a while to actually sit down and do it.  I sketched the Barnegat Lighthouse in pencil and then used watercolors to paint it.  Not sure that was the best medium to use, but it was just a whim.  I think I'll tack it up in the garage somewhere.

And attempting to straighten up my work table I came across some pieces of projects that never came to pass.  This label swing card needed some work.  I had the white label ready and found some flowers that had been stamped in the matching color.  Then I took a new embossing folder and embossed the leaves on the right panel.  I used a stamp from Summer Silhouettes to add the leaves on the left panel.  

The variegated effect was quite accidental.  The stamp didn't quite make a full impression so I took a marker of the same color to fill in the leaves that needed it.  It was the spray just above my finger in the photo above that needed it.  But I liked the way that the leaves took on different intensities with the addition of the color, so I colored over some of the other leaves randomly on the panel.  How do you think it came out?  

I need a couple of birthday cards for the beginning of February so I've got a bit of a start with this one.  I've also got a bigger project going for my daughter-in-law's baby shower which I'll share later on.  And then there's Valentine's Day too.  February looks to be a busy month!

Thanks to Clare for her wonderful January photo prompts and the jump-start to 2016!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Photo Challenge/INSPIRATION

Sometimes I think that I have too much inspiration around me which becomes overwhelming.  But I do get inspiration from many sources.  This picture shows a color inspiration.  Red and white items I've either bought or saved/salvaged from the trash.  It's not that I'm cheap because I can be inspired to start a project knowing that I'm going to need to buy some kind of special tool, or invest in more of something than I'll actually need if I really want to do it.  But I have to admit that I do get a lot of inspiration from the dollar store, the Dollar Spot at Target, and the now $1.50 bins at Michael's. Somehow I don't mind if I've plunked down a couple of bucks at those places if I don't actually let the inspiration evolve to fruition.  

These things pictured are a prime example.  The chevron paper bag, the gingham fabric bag, and the spool of red and white striped grosgrain ribbon are all from the Target Dollar Spot.  The bag of white paper shreds, the white and red ribbon bow, and the red snowflake ribbon are salvaged from Christmas gift packaging.  The most expensive thing you see here is the spool of red and white baker's twine that was still a bargain at 60% off at the Crate and Barrel after-Christmas clearance.

Using red and white as my inspiration I can turn these items into, maybe, a birthday, Valentine's Day, or Christmas project.  They could be the basis for a red and white themed card challenge.  I might add some buttons or sequins, or even pick one thing of another color to showcase with these colors as the background.  

Color and pictures, sounds and words, smells and tastes, and textures are representative of our five senses and all very inspiring.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Photo Challenge/NEON

Every time I see a box of highlighters and their NEON colors I am taken back to the 60's, and then again to the 80's. 
In the 60's, when I was very young, neon colors and black lights were all the rage.  One of the special effects that we had at our dance recitals were costumes with neon colors that glowed in the dark when they turned the stage lights down and the black lights on.  It was very "psychedelic". 
My uncle, who was more like an older brother to my siblings and I being only 9 years older than me, got married in the late 60's and the dresses that the girls in the wedding party wore were long, neon green with 1" white polka dots, short-sleeved, button down the front, and white Peter Pan collars.  With white babies breath crowns for our hair. Fashionable for the time.
Then in the 80's, when my daughter was slightly younger than I was during the 60's there was a resurgence of these colors in the fashion world. 
They say that history repeats itself.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Jingle Belles - Oh Christmas Tree Again/Photo Challenge - Trees

Talk about squeaking it in!  I ran home from work (well, not really, I drove) and I quickly ran upstairs (well, not really, I had a little snack first), and then I got busy putting this together from the pieces that I had pulled out last night.  The colorburst background was a failed experiment for Rachel's birthday card last week, but luckily, I seldom throw anything away (much to my family's chagrin most of the time, though we're not buried in paper yet!).  

The trees are a Kottage Kutz die and the swirly snow is from Memory Box.  The thing that took so long was tracing around the glitter-paper swirls and then fussy-cutting to have the white snow beneath the curls.  

Yes, it does look warped in the picture from the background paper not being flattened out enough, but I'll put it between some book pages and it should settle down enough by next December to look perfect.

I took a close-up of the trees and snow hoping to show the sparkle, but not sure I achieved that.  

Oh, and I added some white pearl paint (can't think of the darn name of it at the moment, so if you really want to know, leave me a comment and I'll back to you on that), to the tops of the branches of the trees.  

The one thing that I did not do after our epic snow storm this weekend was take pictures of the trees full of snow, however, I think that most of it blew off before daylight anyway because it was pretty darn windy.  At least that's what I'm telling myself right now for a missed opportunity for today's photo challenge prompt of TREES.  

Okay, check out the rest of the "Christmas Tree Forest" at the Jingle Belles blog, why dontcha!