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!

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.

Crafting a Souvenir

Following our field trip to Graycliff I wanted to make a  souvenir/ gift for DC who initially had suggested the trip. Amongst the photos  taken were a few that included him which could have just been emailed, but I wanted to do something different.

Software was used to make the photos look  faded and vintage  before being  printed  on glossy paper. With inspiration from Youtuber Nik the Booksmith,  I proceeded with the next part of the project. She generously offered a “Polaroid” template to download. I printed several copies on glossy cardstock. The centres of each “Polaroid frame” had to be cut out with an Xacto knife.

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After gluing the frames to the photos they were added  to a small booklet which I had made from cardstock. It included space for DC to write his memories of the day.

Using Kraft cardstock, glue, string, brads, and a paper punch I crafted  a “folio” type folder  to mail the photo booklet to DC.

I happened to have a rubber stamp with a favourite travel quote which I stamped onto the back :

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It wasn’t exactly an apt quote since we had a destination in mind, but we did have a few detours along the road to Graycliff, so I guess one could say we “got lost”, if only for a few moments.

This project turned out to be only the first step on my journey to altered books.

Shabby by Design, or Accident?

The porch off our kitchen has evolved into a shabby enclave. Years ago I gave up fighting the rain, heat or humidity that made exterior painting such an unrewarding, futile exercise and just let the paint crack and peel into its  current shabby appearance.

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I have propped up an assortment of old doors and shutters to create a sense of privacy and protection from chilly north and east breezes. Seating is provided by wicker chairs whose seats are slipcovered with fabric purchased many years ago on one of our road trips. (I loved the pattern and colours so much that I bought the entire 50 metre bolt.)

The buoys on this part of the wall were collected over the years, souvenirs from various trips to the coast. There is a fishing shack by the harbour outside Orleans, Cape Cod that had a wall covered with buoys and  it was the inspiration for this display. porch-3

The bird house was home to a wren family this summer and has been shelter to sparrows during the winter.

This shabby  oasis is my favourite place in the spring,  summer and early autumn for enjoying morning coffee, or afternoon tea, for reading,  watching birds, listening to frogs, crickets and trickling water from a nearby water fountain.

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This Thanksgiving weekend as I rock away on our porch I have made up a list of things that need to be done before winter arrives. Storing the wicker furniture in the cellar, bringing the geraniums into the house, draining water from the fountain and taking it apart, storing the doors and shutters in the barn all need to be done – but just not yet!

Happy Thanksgiving!