Sunday, November 30, 2014

End of November and Two Inches of Art a Day

We get so much junk mail at work and some of it has really cool graphics.  I decided to cut out some of that art in the shape and size of the boxes on my desk calendar and glued them over each day as it passed.  It went a lot faster than I expected and became a lot easier when I took a scrap of transparency film and cut that out to the size to use as a lay-over pattern when deciding what graphics to use.  I found this size calendar at the Dollar Tree last December and it was the perfect size for the corner of my desk but they don't have the same one for next year, or at least not yet.  I'm hoping I'll still be able to find one this size again.

Now to finish up the Two Inches of Art a Day

Nov. 16 - Inspiration:  Squares.
(Markers and Gel Pen)

Nov. 17 - Inspiration:  Dotted Swirls.
(Metallic Sharpies and Micron Marker)

Nov. 18 - Inspiration:  Silver and Neon.
(Metallic Sharpie and Markers)

Nov. 19 - Inspiration:  Snowflake.
(Scribbled Pencil)

Nov. 20 - Inspiration:  Last of the Leaves.
(Melted Crayon Shavings)

Nov. 21 - Inspiration:  Bluebirds.

Nov. 22 - Inspiration:  Bluebirds.

Nov. 23 - Inspiration:  Last of the Mums.

Nov. 24 - Inspiration:  String of Squares.
(Micron Pens)

Nov. 25 - Inspiration:  String of circles.
(Micron Markers)

Nov. 26 - Inspiration:  It's a Maze Thing.
(Micron Marker)

Nov. 27 - Inspiration:  Peppermint Candy.
(Micron Markers)

Nov. 28 - Inspiration:  Holiday Flannel Pajamas.
(Micron Markers)

Nov. 29 - Inspiration:  Time to Tangle.
(Micron Marker, Pencil)

Nov. 30 - Inspiration:  Message of the Month.
(Watercolors and Micron Marker) 

And here is the whole month at once.

I hope you enjoyed viewing this challenge.  I certainly did enjoy keeping up with it.  Thanks again Michelle for the idea. 

Now........on to December. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November Card Catch Up

This card above and below was made for a friend of ours who celebrated his 60th birthday this month.  Part of our Table 7 crew and the last of the men to reach 60.  That means the ladies are next starting in March.  It will be another year to celebrate 60 years.  

I used the retiform technique to be able to use different themes that depicted his interests.  And it was bigger than normal to accommodate all that - 8" x 8".  

And sadly I had to make a sympathy card this month for some friends whose adult children had a car accident and one of them didn't make it.  How my heart is aching for them.  They are friends of my daughter and we've known them for a long time and they're still kids to me.  I can't even begin to imagine what their family is going through and I really didn't have the words.

A blogging friend recently had double knee replacement surgery and since she always makes me smile with her humorous and poignant posts, I sent her a box of sunshine. (I hope you're seeing a honey colored card and not the intense greenish gold that I am seeing.  Don't know if it's the camera or my computer?)

Okay, it's time to count the Christmas cards in my box and see how many more I need to create.  Luckily, thanks to the Jingle Belles challenges I am way ahead of where I would be if I hadn't taken part this year.  One more challenge this week and we'll be done until January.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Wishes and Treats

And I do hope your Thanksgiving was stuffed with Happiness!

This little box was stuffed with some holiday sweets.  I made my spice cookies a little smaller than normal in order to fit it.  Stacked and wrapped four cookies and then threw in a few Hershey Kisses.

I stamped the flower on three of the sides and the sentiment you see on the front.  I tied some raffia on the handle and these were sent to the secretaries in our school district.  

Last night I came across a recipe for pumpkin cranberry butter on Pinterest that originated at Athletic Avocado.  Last year I had picked up some delicious cranberry butter at Trader Joe's but I couldn't find it this year.  And being that I had just opened a large can of pumpkin and only used a portion of it for my pumpkin roll dessert, had a bag of cranberries in the fridge, and it looked quick and easy I decided to make this this morning.  (I do admit that I did not have any honey in the house, but HWNSNBP was going out to the store for our fresh vegetable so he was also able to pick up a jar of honey.)

Cranberries are so pretty aren't they?

The recipe calls for:  
1 cup of frozen cranberries (mine were not frozen)
3 tbsp. of honey
1/3 cup of pumpkin puree
1/2 tbsp. of cinnamon (I used way less than this because I was looking for tartness)

Put the cranberries and honey in a sauce pan and heat them for 7-10 mins. until they are saucy.

Yes, saucy.

Add the butter and cinnamon and continue to heat for 5 more minutes whilst stirring.

When cooled put it in a container and refrigerate.

We had biscuits with dinner and I tried the butter on one but found the biscuits a little too salty to go along with the tartness.  I think that it will be great on scones though and can't wait to give that a try this weekend.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Two Inches of Art a Day - Continued

On a whim I decided to use the same color palette for these next six creations.  I wondered while doing this if this would be how someone would design their own scrapbook paper.  In each case I used two little ink pads that came in my Paper Pumpkin kits.  Additionally I used some markers in the same color family, a black marker, and also a gold gel pen on one of them.

Nov. 10 - Inspiration:  Empty lemon bag. 
(plastic mesh bag, mini ink pads, colored markers, black marker) 

Nov. 11 - Inspiration:  Gold Gel Pen.
(mini ink pads direct to paper and gel pen)

Nov. 12 - Inspiration:  Circles.  I used anything on the table that could produce a ring.
(mini ink pads and markers)

Nov. 13 - Inspiration:  Stamp pads as block stamps.
(mini stamp pads and marker)

Nov. 14 - Inspiration: Swipe.
(mini ink pads and coordinating markers)

Nov. 15 - Inspiration:  On the Edge.  I turned the ink pads on their sides to swipe them down.
(mini ink pads and markers)

I like almost all of them.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Birthday Card and Surprise Cake

Yikes!  What do you do when you forget a good friend's birthday!  Seriously, I really botched up.   This friend was soooooooooooo helpful to me this summer at work doing things for me when I wasn't there and I went and forgot it was her birthday last weekend.  Oh my!  Well I made her a card and a chocolate cake.  Not your everyday chocolate cake, but a chocolate candy cake out of Hershey's nuggets.  I found the directions here for a cake made with Hershey's miniature chocolates and adjusted the size of the TP tube to the size of the double layers of nuggets.  Since the nuggets are thicker, the cake went further to the edge of the base, but it still looked okay to me.

The center of this cake is a cardboard tube (TP or paper towel cut down) and you can certainly fill the empty space with some little treat also.  I chose to add a battery-operated tea light to the cap on the cake top.  When I sent it to her I slid in a little handwritten note to pull the top off and light the candle.  The candle fit perfectly inside the cardboard tube and the scalloped "icing" top kept it in place.  

She loved it.  But what made my day was that HWNSNBP was impressed.  He's always positive about what I make but this time he practically gushed.  This is a project that I will definitely do again... and definitely before the birthday and not after!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Two Inches of Art a Day

My blogging friend Michelle started a personal challenge at the beginning of this month.  She has challenged herself to make a 2" collage every day for 30 days.  I hope you click over to her blog and see what she is creating because they are wonderful.

I've done two art challenges this summer going from a 3x5 index card to a 4x6 index card and not only had fun doing them both, but I got a sense of accomplishment that I was being creative everyday even if it wasn't in an area that I was particularly comfortable.  It challenged me to stretch myself and try new techniques and use new materials.  But more than that, it challenged me to not be so self-critical.

So I decided to take Michelle's challenge and change it up just a little bit.  I cut 2" squares from watercolor paper and it is my goal to fill those squares, one a day, with little bits of art using whatever medium I have readily at hand.  My prompts will come from my activities of the day or from my surroundings.  I hope you don't get bored with the art show and I hope that I can meet my goal of "Two Inches of Art a Day"!

Nov. 1 - Inspiration:  Dinner with Table 7
(Watercolors and Micron Pen)

Nov. 2 - Inspiration:  The colors of the leaves driving home.
(Watercolors and Micron Pen)

Nov. 3 - Inspiration:  What's on Hand?  Metallic Sharpies.
(Metallic Sharpies, Black Sharpie, Micron Pen)

Nov. 4 - Inspiration:  Inside Envelope Pattern
(Strip of Envelope, Micron Pen, Markers)

Nov. 5 - Inspiration:  A donated set of brightly colored markers and some doodling.
(Micron Pen, Marker)

Nov. 6 - Inspiration:  Logo on the outside of the MRI machine staring back at me.

Nov. 7 - Inspiration:  Diagnosis - Left Foot Stress Fracture.
(Micron Pen, Prismacolor Pencils)

Nov. 8 - Inspiration:  Botanical placemat in Zentangle form.
(Micron Pen, Prismacolor Pencils)

Nov. 9 - Inspiration:  Target $ Spot Stocking Stuffer Gel Pens.
(Gel Pens)

Sometimes it takes a short amount of time to fill the 2" and sometimes I can sit there for quite a while adding more details or layers.  But all in all, like any good exercise, it gets me to stretch!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Jingle Belles - The Great Outdoors and a Little Critter

The Jingle Belles challenged us to make an outdoor scene this time.  As it happened to be, I had been working on this little scene that started with an empty paper cheese box.  I wanted to make a box card ornament.

Here is the outside of the box decorated very simply using neutral colors and a touch of gold.  

The back also has a circle of plain Crumb Cake cs so we can write a message and sign it.

Then you open it up and find the serene little Christmas scene inside.  

I used my chopped paper technique for the snow and added some glitter gel pen to the torn white edges to give it some sparkle.

I have a little stash of these boxes and plan to do some more experimenting with them as ornament cards.  Maybe I see a little village of them in the future.

I missed the deadline for the last Jingle Belles Challenge to make a card with a critter on it.  I certainly have enough Christmas critters to choose from, but I decided to go with this little owl from Purple Onion Designs.  I colored him with my Blendabilities and used my Snowflake Card Die in Coastal Cabana and Real Red.  

The Snowflake swings out when you open the card.

And on the back I added the sentiment.

This die set comes with words too.  What would you think this was looking at hit backwards and upside-down?  In my mind it looked like "ho" with an exclamation mark...........but........

it really was "joy".  Still I thought I could make "ho" out of it.

So if you look closely at the picture below you will see the marks where I took an Exacto knife and made the adjustments both on the "joy" to "ho" and I also trimmed away what I didn't like from the word snow to make the "o's" in both words look more alike.

The curl of the "j" was where I got the commas.  

On another note, this run of bad luck hasn't yet passed me by.  I now have a stress fracture in my left foot from........... wait for it................ walking!  I was walking at lunch time the week of Halloween and felt a sharp pain in the side of my foot which caused me to head back to work.  I was seeing my surgeon later that afternoon for a recheck and mentioned it to him.  He told me to stay off it as much as I could and give it a few days to make sure it got better.  Well, it didn't get better and we had to do some further investigating with an mri and a couple more visits to his office.  

Last Friday I got the bad news and tomorrow I get to see yet another doctor to find out the course of treatment for this.  Will I have a lovely new foot covering?  Crutches?  A cane?  We shall see.  

Anyhoo, it's time to go and check out the rest of the Jingle Belle creations for this week.  You can too.  Just click here.