Sunday, December 20, 2015

To Chrystel with Love

In 2013 HR gave me this box of screws.

   with this note    

Two years later, here is my gift. (During this period he also built a screened porch while working full time and doing all the other things on my perpetual to-do list.)

Let’s begin with the area where I do a lot of planning and blog posting.

In the photo below, notice the slat wall, designed by HR himself.

All of the boxes and shelves can be moved and rearranged on a whim as demonstrated my by lovely assistant (and granddaughter,) Camille. Certainly that is a plus for a crafter with serious AADD!

HR did not make the colorful box collection but did put a cleat on the back so it too can be moved. It was the inspiration for my color choices. 
This is where I can get down and dirty with charcoal, paint, glue, you name it. 

A somewhat clean area where I can work with paper.
Another HR exclusive design provides three times the space for my stamps.

Love, love, love it!!!!

Let's move over to where the sewing takes place.
Directly across from the sewing machine is a cutting, laundry folding, and gift wrapping table,
that conveniently folds down when not in use (that rarely happens.)

So there you have it, a Christmas gift that was created with love by a very talented husband. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Ice Resin

who knew this could be so much fun!

Ice Resin is a two-part epoxy that dries clear. It claims to be jewelry grade and will last a life-time. If you have used epoxy you know it is important to get both parts, the resin and the hardener, equal.  I used the 1-oz. kit with a dual plunger, which makes it easy to get the the portions equal. It also has a cap if you don't need the entire amount.

Want more details, click here.

It was great fun using on dominoes!

Top left is a domino with scrapbook paper and a selection from a dictionary; top right is a domino tangled with an Identi pen; the bottom row shows scrapbook paper, computer generated script and a little embedded jewel. 
Works well on polymer clay.

and on wood. The one on the left is a wood blank with scrapbook paper, the one on the right is a stamped wood disk.
My attempt at resin and transparency, obviously I need to work on this. 

So, what an I going to do with all of these baubles? I think they make pretty neat gift tags, of course there is always jewelry and bag embellishments.

Resin in bezels. The ones in the center have little objects embedded, the others are scrapbook paper.
Phone sleeve with a domino covered with fabric and resin.

To resin left over I added a bit of Lumiere paint and poured into molds. 
What will I do with these little beauties? I have no idea, suggestions are welcomed. 

This is what I have been doing in the studio these past few weeks.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Back in the Studio

Yep, I am back and crafting big time! So what am I doing?

Well a bit of sewing; using the free instructions from Sher’s Creative Space, I made a couple of phone sleeves for gifts. 

I made this one to carry to football games, it is a bit too snug for my phone but I did use it. I think I will remake it before next season.

(I have a Christmas one for me cut and ready to sewyou know the one for you, one for me thing.)

I have made a lot of travel tissue covers. They make neat little stocking stuffers and are nice to take to memorial services. I found these instructions over on Two BrownBirds blog.

The tissue cover on the right is actually a silhouette of my granddaughter that I printed. 
So generous of these folks to share the free tutorials!

Last spring I took an Iced Resin workshop at Ephemera Paducah, it was a lot of fun so I bought a 2-part plunger and some bezels. I brought them home and promptly put them on a shelf.  A newsletter from Iced Resin showed up in my email folder offering the plungers at a real good price and free shipping. Hmm, I thought, but first I should probably use what is on the shelf.  So I did.  I can tell you resin is so much fun!!!.  And yes, I did order more! I will have to do a post next week to show off my new baubles. Oh, and today's e-newsletter, I see Ice Resin is hosting workshops in Tucson in February. You know where I will be in February, yes I will be in Arizona and I think I can arrange to be in Tucson! 

Handy Randy has been busy in the shop finishing the shelves for my studio slat wall, which of course I must paint. He thinks the studio redo is completed (and maybe it is.)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Free Inspiration!

As promised, here are a few freebies I have found on the various blogs I follow. And who doesn't like free! 

On her blog, A Colorful Journey, Carolyn Dube is offering a 5 lesson mixed media workshop with each new video lesson coming out every 3 days. It is free and downloadable, so it can be watched at one’s convenience. She uses variety of supplies and encourages folks to use what is on hand. I have watched one of the videos and can't wait to get back to The Underground and give it a try.

Pintangle has link to a free downloadable for Elsie Svennas A HANDBOOK  OF LETTERING FOR STITCHERS.  It has some very pretty stitches and combination of stitches with clear instructions. A used hardcopy sells for $146 on Amazon. I downloaded it to my iPad.

Every Thursday, Cloth Paper Scissors offers a free download of one of their older magazines on their Facebook page. The free emagazine is offered only on Thursday.If you subscribe to their newsletter, you will have an opportunity to download mini lessons on various topics each Saturday. I have downloaded several magazines and lessons to my iPad. 

Love to make bags or just want to try without investing a lot of money, check out the Bags to Sew website for free patterns. 

On Facebook, Ornation Creation is offering over 100 really cool templates for Zentangling.  It is a closed page and requires a request to join. Once accepted in the group, just download from files, print and tangle!

Documented Faith’s Facebook page is loaded with lots of photos of Bible Journaling.

These are only a few of the free inspirations for crafters on the web. So, how do I get all the free information without cluttering my in-box? I have a separate email address designated for only blogs and newsletters.  

Have some favorite sites for free inspiration? Please share in the comments!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Greetings from the Road

If you remember, in my last post we were almost retired and were making plans to do some extensive travel in our RV. It has happened!  Handy Randy has officially retired and we have been away from home for over 2 months. Although I am enjoying every minute of it, I do miss not being able to run to the studio and try a new technique that I read about on the many blogs I follow. Even so, I have been able to quench my thirst to create.

So, did I actually do the embroidering for which I had planned? Yep, mostly while HR is driving or watching baseball. Here is what I have done so far on the Dropcloth Sampler purchased at Ephemera Paducah in preparation for our trip. (Please don’t look too closely at the stitching.) 

I continue to make entries in my Bible Journal, but not as often as I had imagined. 

Encouraged to keep a travel journal, I have started one but sadly I am pretty far behind.  It is a bit of an effort to get out pencils, pens, gesso and glue to work a little and put it away to make space on the table for food.

I have done a little tangling.

Missing the classes at Paducah School of Art and Design, I am taking an online hand drawing class; in addition to practicing in a sketchbook I did this charcoal drawing and have another one on the easel. (Handy Randy gave me an awesome travel easel for my birthday, such a thoughtful guy!)

Don't you know it, I have added another interest for my every expanding AADD. While visiting relatives in Kansas, I was gifted a 1953 Singer Featherweight sewing machine that once belonged to HR’s grandmother. It is a sweet machine that stills sews beautifully. To be honest, I was not familiar with the Featherweight and was surprised to find it is such a coveted treasure. I have discovered there is a Facebook page Singer Featherweight 221&222 Sewing Machine. Also I found a lot of information on April’s 1930 Featherweight web site. Can’t wait to get home and actually make something with it!

So this catches you up for now. We plan to be home in about 10 days. I am making a list of things I have read about and want to try once I get back to The Underground. Next week I will share some free tutorials and downloads I have come across.

Oh, if you are REALLY curious about where we have been and what we have done these past two months, you can check out our blog for family and friends at

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Catching Up

So, where were we? Oh, yeah, the last post was about prayer flags (has it really been 2 ½ months since my last post!!!)
A lot is happening in and around The Underground; we are in transition. HR will retire in two weeks!
HR's count down board in front of our house. 

We bought a small RV and have plans to travel! So I had to give up my gig at Ephemera PaducahL

I have made a couple things to make our home away from home a bit more comfortable.
Decoupaged box to hold cosmetics.

A sleeve for HR's cell phone.

I have several other ideas just waiting to be hatched.

I need some projects to take on the road, so I got out my embroidery threads and hoops. Since it has been awhile, I am practicing on prayer flags. This one is for my church which is also in transition as our pastor for the past 25 years retired in the spring. My wish is a gentle breeze will bring synergy to the search committee and the congregation.

With one of my soul friends, I have started a Bible Art Journal.  I just started mine a couple of days ago, so there isn’t anything worth showing, but here is a link to hers. I have kept a prayer journal for several years; my plan is to take a theme from my daily prayer, find a Bible verse that addresses it and make an artsy entry in the Bible Journal.

A great deal of my summer has been spent in the garden; while not exactly pristine, it does look presentable. I am finishing my tenure as the Public Relations Officer of our local Master Gardener Association, but have been coerced into keeping the blog updated. We have taken a couple of trips to practice retirement. We had a flash flood a couple of weeks ago, so there was a bit of clean-up in the studio. Nothing was damaged as this is not an unusual occurrence. We know to keep everything either in a plastic container or at least 6-inches off the floor.

I think this catches us up. When on the road I will probably not have much to share about crafting.  I do have a lot of projects in the planning stage for when I am home (HR will be doing the grocery shopping and mowing (Yeah!) so I can spend more time in The Underground!.

Monday, May 4, 2015

New Prayer Flags

This week I added new prayer flags to my garden.

This one is for my daughter-in-law for Mother's Day. It will replace the one I made when she became a widow three years ago. Her daughters are now teenagers. One has her driver's permit and the other one will be entering high school in the fall. I will send her a card with a photo of the flag along with my wishes for courage and wisdom as she prepares the girls to leave the nest. (Hope she doesn't have time to read my blog before Mother's Day!)
The text and photo were printed on muslin with my Epson WF-3520. I like the DurBrite ink for fabric because it is waterproof. The birds are fabric that was ironed to Pellon Wonder-Under and cut with the Silhouette Portrait. After they were cut, they were ironed to the flag.

This was made for a young lady as she was recently Confirmed. She was a delight in my 4 & 5 year old Sunday School class several years ago. The text is from her Faith Statement. I sent her a card with a photo of the flag and a personal note.

The photo is one I took years ago. It was printed on Muslin. The text was printed on Transfer Artist Paper; I had to do the text twice as I forgot to flip the image before printing!

This was made for a former Sunday School student for his recent Confirmation. He is an avid outdoors man. The text is from his Faith Statement. A card with the photo and a personal note was sent to let the young man know a prayer flag is hanging in my garden.

If you are interested, you can learn about the Prayer Flag Project by visiting the web site You can see more of the prayer flags hanging in my garden by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Exciting Times in Paducah!

So much going on, but had to take a minute to share the excitement.

Last weekend, mixed media superstars, Pam Carriker and MaryBeth Shaw were in Paducah. 
Yes in our little town! The studio at Ephemera Paducah was full of energy as they presented Art Journal Road Show, a full 2 day workshop of painting, gluing, stenciling, stamping, talking, laughing, eating, and more.
I was not able to be in the thick of it as I was manning the storefront, where I had my own little swarm of activity. I have no idea how many stencils passed through my hands, but it was a lot!
Now we are surrounded by quilters and oh, how we love it! The 31st Annual AQS Show is happening right now in our little town! Over 30,000 lovely ladies (and a few hundred gentlemen) are here to see the wonderful art quilts, attend workshops and shop. Our own RoseHughes is signing books and doing demos at Ephemera Paducah.

That’s all for now, got to get downtown and be part of the activity! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

What’s going on in The Underground?

Actually not a whole lot. HR has made some more shelves for the studio slatwall. Rain is forecast for Saturday which will keep him off the bike and maybe in his shop hopefully completing the project.

I am spending a lot of time at Ephemera Paducah, helping Kristin prepare for an exciting workshop with Pam Carriker and Mary Beth Shaw. They will be presenting the The Pam &Mary Beth Art Journal Road Show at Ephemera this weekend. Needless to say I am so excited to be part of this!
Next week is Quilt Week in Paducah. Over 30,000 quilters from every continent in the world will visit our little city for the 31st Annual AQS. 

As part of quilt week, I was looking forward to a Lesley Riley workshop at Ephemera Paducah, but it was cancelled. Using her book, Create with Transfer Artist Paper, Kristin and I have been experimenting so we can have demonstrations for the quilters.

I did find time this week to make a cell phone sleeve. This was kind of a necessity as HR gets annoyed when I don’t have my phone with me when he calls. And we know it is important to keep HR happy, at least until I have enough shelves for my slatwall! 

If you are in Paducah for the Quilt Show, I hope you will stop by Ephemera Paducah and say hello!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Is the Easter Bunny a Thief?

A couple of years ago I planted what I thought was a variety of small gourds, intending to use them in craft projects. I didn’t get the variety I had hoped for but harvested hundreds of small egg shaped gourds. I shared some with my neighbor, gave some to an artist friend and put the rest on a drying screen over my potting bench.  Last year more plants sprouted from the previous year and I added maybe 50 more to the stash on the drying screen. I used some for ornaments at Christmas, but there were still about 100 left. Last week I took them down from the screen, placing them in a basket which I left on the potting bench. To my surprise when I went to retrieve them, the basket was empty! No gourds in sight. I did see some fragments around the garden. I can only surmise, a critter made off with my gourd stash!

I did have a few in the studio from which I could try a couple of Easter egg techniques.

Inspired by a Pinterest post, I decoupaged one little 
gourd with strips from an old French dictionary using gel medium. After it dried I added butterflies and foliage from the top layer of a napkin and sealed it with another layer of gel medium.

I tore strips of a lovely orange and gold wrinkled paper which I adhered it to this little gourd egg, using gel medium. After it dried, I added a coat of gel medium. Borrowing a technique from Miriam Joy, I softened a gold metallic crayon with a heat gun and rubbed it across the paper ridges.  To keep the crayon from rubbing off, I added a top coat of gel medium.

These are not gourd eggs, but cheap, plastic eggs from the Dollar Store. When I saw Tim Holtz demonstrate this technique on YouTube, I had to try it! Using alcohol ink with the ink applicator tool, I just dabbed the colors on the plastic egg. You should watch the video to see just how easy this is. 

I hope everyone has a bright and happy Easter. If my neighbors find my gourd eggs hidden in their yard, can we assume the critter was the Easter Bunny?