February 29th and Another Card

February 29th is a special day for one per cent of the population who only get to celebrate their birthday every four years. I was commissioned to make a birthday card for a lady (B) who is celebrating her birthday for only the twenty-first time in eighty-four years. Her friend asked for a card that emphasized the fact that B. can now legally have an alcoholic drink, (based on a legal age of twenty-one).

Rooting through my stash of supplies I pulled out watercolour cardstock and Distress Oxide ink pads to create a card base.

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The colours were applied to the cardstock with a sponge, misting each colour with water and heat dried in between. Next, I chose a Tim Holtz stencil that I love but rarely use, to create a bit of texture.

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The ink was smeared through the stencil and misted lightly with water before lifting the stencil.

I chose a figure from one of the Tim Holtz paper doll collection that I thought might reflect the era when B. was a younger woman.A small calendar from one of the Tim Holtz ephemera packs seemed appropriate too. I  used a gel pen to draw a circle around the day and month. Next I typed out the words for the card front. All the components were glued to the card base with Alene’s Tacky Glue.

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Have a happy day!

Valentine Note Cards

Oh my, it’s been a long time since my last post. Life got in the way, as sometimes happens. However, I was  encouraged by a note attached to a Christmas card  from my DC to continue blogging.

Valentines Day was one of those “special days” that I looked forward to as a child because our teachers always let us have a party in the afternoon. It was filled with sweet treats and card exchanges. Some years we deposited our cards in a huge decorated box and other years we had made individual “mailbags” to receive cards.

One year, my mother sat me at the kitchen table to make cards for my friends. Construction paper, scissors, glue, crayons and paper doilies – it was a smorgasbord of craft supplies. I loved seeing my ideas come to life.  No matter the time and creativity that went into these cards, I don’t remember my classmates really liking them. They preferred the store bought cards with the cute sayings.

One morning last week I was exploring techniques with a Gelli Arts gel printing plate and acrylic paints. It was tremendous fun and I ended up with a pile of colourful abstract sheets of photocopy paper. I selected a few to cut apart and use as background for mixed media Valentines note cards. I  ran another sheet  through my Vagabond machine to cut out hearts. (A lot easier than using scissors! 🙂 )

These are for you:

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Have a Happy Day!

A Tale of Two Journeys

It had for many years been the dream of a DF to visit the country of her ancestors, the Ukraine. The opportunity arose this year when she was invited to join her Ukrainian immigrant friends on a visit to their homeland. Flights were booked, accommodations arranged and their three week journey began early in June.

My excitement for DF couldn’t have been greater and I am looking forward to hearing all about her adventures. Hopefully, she has taken hundreds of photos and kept a travel journal. Since I had just embarked on a journey of my own (making books), I thought she might like a “traveller’s notebook” style journal to encourage and help her along. There are dozens of ideas and tutorials available on Youtube about making travel journals, so after watching a few, I came up with the following.

The folio-style journal cover was made from an old hanging file folder covered with Tim Holtz’ “Eclectic Elements” fabric, chosen because of the map print.

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I added a Sizzix die cut to the inside cover for holding ticket stubs, stamps and other such snippets.

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Using cardstock and tea-dyed papers, I made three insert booklets. These were held in journal cover using elastic binding in a Midori style. I couldn’t stop  myself from inserting travel related quotes on several pages.

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Finally, I included a tag or two which DF could write on or use as book marks.Travel_journal-6

To my fellow Canadians: Happy Canada Day!

The Weekend We Had a Break From the Rain

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Following a string of rainy spring weekends, the sun finally broke through and the temperatures warmed to more seasonal levels. It was a fortunate change for the one hundred fifty artisans who had committed to an outdoor show. There had been so much rainfall the day before, the event closed two hours earlier than advertised.

The craft market had been set up on the grounds of a local winery. To reach the allocated parking areas, one had to drive over some muddy tracks and then walk back over them  to join the line of people at the entrance.

Wandering from booth to booth, I noticed  a strong trend amongst the crafters towards upcycled, repurposed and eco-friendly craft.

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Notably from past shows fewer crafters were selling jewellery, woodcrafts and hand painted signs. However, there was one who did offer hand painted signs which really caught my attention because the merchandise was being offered inside a reclaimed vintage travel trailer. What a lovely idea!

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But they weren’t alone at this show with such an ingenious use of an old trailer. The second trailer offered vintage -look clothing for women and children. I took a few moments to speak with the lovely couple who owned this trailer. The woman who sewed all the items told me that she scoured thrift shops and flea markets to find the fabric used to make her “housewife dresses” and other wares. Such a clever use of discarded tablecloths and sheets.

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I was sorely tempted to purchase one of the housewife dresses but the one in fabric I liked was too small and would have taken most of the cash I had brought with me.

There were quite a number of booths offering hand made clothing sewn with natural fibre, particularly linen which is my favourite to wear in summer.

Two very popular booths at this show sold glasses of wine. I suppose that wasn’t surprising, since this show was being held at a winery.

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Tips: Bring  enough cash with you when visiting a craft show. Although ATM’s are available extra fees are charged for the service.

Also wear comfortable, weatherproof footwear.

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Everyone seemed happy to enjoy the sunshine.

Difficult Words

Beginning last weekend when I had every intention to post a blog entry, our lives were upset. Our beloved Bella began to show signs of distress caused by a heart murmur. This had  been diagnosed a year ago and  she was receiving medications twice a day. We changed our plans to ensure that we made each remaining moment for her as lovely as possible, including a car ride to a nearby ice-cream stand, and lots and lots of cuddle times.

Bella became a member of our family eleven years ago when I found her for sale on kijiji. I was immediately drawn to her beautiful eyes and said to MDH that we had to rescue her.

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After five days of ups and downs we knew it was time to do the humane thing and take her for that last, dreaded car ride to the veterinarian. Unfortunately this task was left to MDH because I had to be at work. He assured me that Bella behaved more bravely than he did.

At this time I will share two significant quotes:

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from my collection:

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Dedicated to Bella -forever in our hearts.