May 29, 2007

one craft project

I finally tried a project I've been wanting to do for a long time; making a candle shade from vellum, to use with a wine glass candleholder.
It's pretty simple, actually- I found a template for the shade shape on the internet and cut it out. I then stamped the design onto the vellum with VersaMark ink and sprinkled white embossing powder on it. (I did have to scrape off some extra sprinkles of powder here and there). Once I did that, I heated the powder with my heat gun to melt it, then glued the two sides of the shade together. Add a votive candle to a wineglass, pop the shade on, and voila! a candleholder. This one doesn't look too bad for a first attempt, but I over-heated the vellum in a few spots. It's actually very pretty when lit, too!

it's official!!!

We are now "officially" the Phoenix Craft Mafia! Our group, and its website, have been approved by the first Craft Mafia, which started in Austin, TX. Click here to go to our website; there are links to Bios for all members, a shopping page showing some of our items (each takes you to our respective Etsy shops), and info on upcoming events. We already have three shows planned, thanks to PR work done by our President... we will be having monthly Trunk shows (titled "In the Trunk" to play off the Mafia image...) starting in August, at a cafe near the ASU campus. Now, I just have to start crafting!! I have lots of ideas, as always; just need to get to work and get them done! Small gift albums, magnet and thumbtack pin sets (college kids need organizing stuff, right?), photo frames, cards and envelopes... I need to go get to work!

May 28, 2007

buttons and what you can do with them

I started going thru my button collection to do some de-stashing, and also made some mini cards with a few of them... I found some of the buttons just sort of "spoke" to me, and said they wanted to "be" something else... so, I sewed them to cardstock and made them into cherries, an apple, a purple balloon, and a cute 2-scoop ice cream cone. I also handmade some envelopes for them... they are now for sale in my shop.
I also sorted out some of the buttons into matching sets, arranged, and sewed them onto cards for sale. I have way more buttons than I would ever know what to do with, so if someone else has a use for them, they are certainly welcome to them. This set is about half mother of pearl buttons- I think they used to dye it different colors- some of these are dark blue, and there are some beautiful light blue ones also. There are also some interesting shaped plastic buttons (the light green), and three red buttons that I think may be Bakelite (but I'm not going to poke them with a hot needle to find out...) This set is all plastic buttons, mostly matching sets of various numbers and colors. Pink and beige sets, and some unique shaped black and white plastic. I really like the large dark brown buttons, but just don't have anything in my head to use them for.

May 18, 2007

a little (2.5 x 3.5 inches) more craftiness

That title is a just a little trading card humor... (little, get it?? okay, maybe not so humorous). I made a couple more ACEOs (stands for Art Cards, Editions, and Originals- the saleable version of Artist Trading Cards) a couple days ago. The first is pretty simple materials, actually- chalk and paper. The hard part was tearing the paper "just so" to get the mountains right, without ripping up an entire piece of paper!
I think I did a pretty good job, actually. This card is my attempt to capture the wispy colors of the Arizona sunrise over the mountains; now that it's getting light earlier in the morning, I see this when I drive to work. Of course, I do try to keep my eyes on the road, but seeing this landscape makes going to work a little easier!

This is the back of the desert sunrise card... I'm certainly no poet, but I wrote a haiku for the desert sunrise theme... poetry in only 17 syllables, and it doesn't have to rhyme, either!

This is the second card I made, also with a southwest theme... This one was made with a brass dry-embossing template of a goat petroglyph- petroglyphs are ancient images carved into the rocks... there are a number of sites in AZ where you can see these, although we haven't seen any yet. Instead of using the embossed side, I used the "de-bossed" side to represent "carving" into the rock. I added very tiny (1/8 invh, maybe??) swirls punched from turquoise paper, and the piece de resistance ( I think, anyway) is the feather and beaded accent tied onto the corner.

They are now for sale in my shop; hopefully somebody else will think they turned out as nice as I think they did!

In other news, the Buzz and Bloom ACEO from the previous post was purchased (YAY!!) by a woman who is putting together a collection of ACEOs from artists in all 50 states- my ACEO covers Arizona. That is a really neat idea, and I could totally get into something like that, although I think if I started to buy ACEOs it could really get out of hand- there's a lot of interesting artwork out there!

May 13, 2007

more craftiness

My latest ACEO, another wool felt creation titled Buzz and Bloom.
This one has tiny vintage mother of pearl buttons, for the flower centers.
A closeup of the bee and the flowers. They're a lot smaller than this in real life, since the entire thing is only 2.5 x 3.5 inches. That bee took some work- lazy daisy stitches are a pain sometimes! It's the newest addition to my Etsy shop.

May 12, 2007

back to crafting!

So, since I cleaned up my craft room (surface clean, really, but it's something, anyway...) I was finally inspired to do some crafting again! The first 2 pics are of an ACEO (for-sale version of an Artist Trading Card, 2.5 x 3.5 inches), and the second 2 are a set of hand-stamped tags. Both are currently for sale in my Etsy shop.
wonderful colors of wool felt, along with some fabric from my stash (thanks, Mom, for sending some of it back to me after I gave it all to you when we moved!), lace trim, and hand-sewing for the details. It took me about three times of starting, ripping it out, and re-sewing to get the pink details on the flower the way I wanted them. It's heck, sometimes, being a (semi) perfectionist! I found these tags in an envelope somewhere, and thought they'd make cute gift tags... the flower is from a new set of stamps I got a while ago from a store that was going out of business; the watering can was from a patio-sale at the same store. In other news, it's HOT! here. Highs have been in the low 100s; last night when we went to bed around 10:30 it was still above 80 F. It's higher than normalfor this time of year, and it still sounds odd to me that our nighttime lows in the summer are the daytime high temps back in Illinois! We're going to an East-valley swap meet tomorrow, to look for house stuff... a southwest design key rack, some bedside lamps that match each other (what a concept!), maybe a basket or some pottery to display in the kitchen.
This evening I am attending the first meeting of the newly-forming Phoenix "Craft Mafia" which might sound dangerous, but it isn't! There are Craft Mafias all over the country- groups of crafters who use their collective power for advertising, learning, etc. The first one was formed in Austin, TX and it took off from there. There should be quite a few Phoenix-area Etsy-sellers there; I'm looking forward to it!

May 06, 2007

new photo updates

have been posted on my flickr site... there are pics Tom took today of the house, and some recent pics of Sedona after her 2nd birthday trip to the beauty parlor! Look for them in the "House" and "Pets" folders.

sorry updates have been so haphazard lately- it's amazing how quickly the time seems to fly by!

Tom has been in town the past week or so; he switched his work hours to better cope with the excessive traffic. 8 - 5 hours were murder in terms of the traffic; his new hours are 6 - 3, which helps a LOT. Plus, since my work hours are 6 - 2:30, we have more time to spend together in the evenings. (Now, if he could just get out of the office on time!) He will be heading out for an entire week soon (to the Chicago area, and the Minneapolis suburbs) with Warren, his most recently hired installer.

We had friends over yesterday, so we did a thorough housecleaning (thus, the pics of the house). I even found my desk, and the floor, in my crafting room! Maybe I'll even do some stamping, now! I haven't really been in the mood for it lately, and I think the chaos in there had a lot to do with the lack of creative spark.