Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Zetti Challenge

I love working in the Zetti style and each month we will be working with a theme in my NING group of 4 X 6 pieces to form into a book.  This month's theme was flowers.  Here is my piece.

She is sort of sexy even though she has that extreme menopausal chin hair! lol

This one was done by Renee' from Mn. entitled Soul Petal.

This last one was done by Marion.  Love that the face was used in the calyx of the flower!

I am surprised that no one has picked up on poinsettia, but we are waiting to see Amy's flower yet, so we shall see what she comes up with.  

 Spring is still a ways off, but I shall think of warmer flowers for a chilly wet day in SE Ohio.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Birthday "Present"

Happy Birthday to me!  I am now officially older than my sister.  It use to bother me that she would catch up and we would be the same age for a week!  That's me on the right, with my sister, Veda. Mom often made us clothes alike and always made an angel food birthday cake with pink icing when we were younger, cause we were such angels.... well not always!

We also have a younger sister, Peggy who is 3 years younger than me.  I am guessing that we are 6, 5 and 3 in this photo. It was fun to look at the old photos with fond memories.  The dresses were in our favorite colors.  Mine a blue, Veda's a lavender and Peggy's a yellow.  My dad was an amateur photographer and would pose us on the sofa with blinding flood lights.
Somewhere I suppose that there are some baby photos of me, but none that we could find.  Maybe when I go home sometime, I will find them stored in a box or a long lost album.

Anyway, in honor of my birthday, my gift to you is that I shall share how to make some delightful art fairies or angels.  Since it is close to Christmas, you may enjoy making them for your family and friends.  This first one was made with one of my photos above.  Hurray, she is queen for the day!

First you will need to gather supplies:
  • Staz On Ink pad
  • Various rubber stamps with small designs
  • Colored pencils, acrylic paint, and markers
  • Glue stick and another glue such as fabric tac or another fast grip glue.
  • Cereal box or other cardboard
  • Card stock (white)
  • Emery board
  • puzzle pieces
  • photographs
  • Versa Magic Ink
  • Diamond Glaze or other finish
  • Bubble domes (Optional)
  • Crystals or other embellishments

Start by working on the body with puzzle pieces.  Use the emery board to remove the finish and then paint the pieces with a coat of white acrylic paint.

With the Versa Magic chalk ink, pounce a few color combinations on the puzzle piece.  Then ink your small rubber stamps and stamp over the top pieces.  With a magic marker, outline each piece.
If you don't have Versa Magic, you can also sponge on other paint layers to cover the puzzle before stamping.  If you water it down a bit, you will get nice transparent layers.

For the head, you can draw some of your own or use photograph that can be sized to fit into a one inch circle.  Or use a circle punch to cut out first before drawing.  On photos sketch in some whimsical hair.  Use markers to color in. Note that I used a double layer of card stock for the head.  Used a glue stick and a bone folder to seal the glue down well.

For faces, I used a flesh colored colored pencil and then used a darker peach to color around the eyes and other areas.  

Outline with a brown for more definition and add coloration for the lips and eyes.

Then use a fine black marker to define all of the features for more             depth.

Now you can glue the face to the puzzle pieces.  They look cool as is and can be hung on the Xmas tree or make them more grand with wings!

To make the wings. Sketch one wing about the size of the body in any style you wish on white card stock paper. Add a tab to join the other wing half way. Try different designs and stamp to fill the wing in with one or more stamps. You can have the other wing mirrored imaged on the copier so that you don't have to make them exact!  Or if you wish, you can make the designs different for an asymmetrical effect.

Then take both wing halves and glue as pairs on to a cereal box weight card board.
Then color in as you wish with markers or colored pencils.
Cut the wing pairs out and glue to the back of the head and body.    Embellish with crystals or other embellishments as you wish.  Add a small eyelet and cord for an ornament (Paint the back black) or use in scrap booking, making a birthday card or other projects.  Enjoy!  Would love to see what you create!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Purrfect Day!

You wouldn't think to look at me that I wasn't just laying around being a pretty boy, but I was told to take a few days off and rest up. Vet's orders ! Can you see me fighting it?  I actually had an abcess on my left paw!  Hurt really bad too!  One nasty kitty took a bite and had a piece of me.  As for me, I am a lover, not a fighter, but no matter, It was worth it for my humans to make such a fuss over me.

I got to lay in bed all day!  It was just Puuuuurrrrrrfect!  Mom gave me treats and Daddy got fed too!  He said it was the best onion soup and bacon and onion tart he ever had!
Bacon and Onion Tart
serves 6-8

6 oz. bacon cut into 1/4" matchsticks
4 tbsp. butter
2 - 3 med. onions sliced length wise
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/4 cups milk
3 eggs lightly beaten

heat back until fat renders and bacon is crisp in a skillet.  Pour bacon fat in a 9X13 baking dish.  Drain bacon on a paper towel.  Return skillet to the stove and heat med. high. add butter and  onions.  Cook until caramelized (about 10 min.)  Set aside.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk flour, mustard, and pepper.  Add milk and eggs and stir until smooth.  Let batter rest for 10 min.  Meanwhile, place the baking dish in oven and let heat for 10 min.  Remove from oven and pour in batter and sprinkle with the bacon and caramelized onions.  Return to oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 30 min.

French Onion Soup
Serves 5-6

6-8 onions sliced thin or chopped in small chunks
3 Tbs. butter
4 cups of chicken broth
1 3/4 cups of beef broth (can substitute and add 4 bullion cubes to water)
1/4 cup dry red wine (I used Merlot)
1 bay leaf
sprig of fresh thyme
Provolone cheese
seasoned croutons 

Cook onions and butter until caramelized.  Put in a sauce pan and add all ingredients except for the red wine.  Bring to a boil, add wine, turn down and simmer for 20 min.  Remove herbs.  Place soup in a mug on a foil lined tray.  Add hot soup, seasoned croutons and a thick slice of provolone cheese. (Note fill mug full so cheese does not collapse but will melt over the edge) Place under a broiler and let the cheese melt and slightly brown.  Serve with additional glass of chilled Merlot!  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Full Steam and Down Hill

I received a package from my friend Norma Soulet the other day. I got a kitty key chain, a glass chicken and a piece she made that was so awesome that I had to share!  She is so sweet to remember my up coming birthday and made this darling steam punk fish!  Isn't it adorable!  The eyes in the bottle cap are the bomb! lol 
The top is a crown royal cap with a wing nut.  She really looks like she can really run like a sub with all of those mechanical gears!   I had to give her a steam punk name, of course! It's Miss Prudence Pickergill!  Sounds like an old spinster teacher name and perhaps she is, she looks like she could  be the head mistress of a school of fish, of her very own! 

 The pattern is by Frowning Francis.  I looked up the other dolls she has made.  Such  a wonderful  world of fantasy.

I must say that I feel quite old already!  I had a dental appointment on friday for a cleaning and I had to have the cat to the vet to have a couple of teeth pulled.  Anyway, the appointments were an hour drive from each other.  I knew I couldn't make it without filling up with gas.  Anymore, you have to prepay before you can pump the gas.  Anyway, I had to pick up the cat, had to stop at the grocery for a couple of items, and had company coming later that day.  I had figured I had a little time before I picked up the cat so thought I would stop home first.  I was just about 5 miles to home when I happened to look down at the gas gauge and it said 11 miles to empty!  Here I had paid for my gas that I hadn't pumped!!!   lol  Talk about a senior moment!  For that, I should have gotten a discount! Luckily I finally did make it to a gas station and the fact that $50 was credited back from the other gas station.  It will take awhile to catch on to this prepaying senior!  As it turns out, one of the attendants says that it happens quite a lot!  So, perhaps I am the norm!  Now I am curious, What is the dumbest thing that everyone has done? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When life gives you scraps...

Make quilts!
I had a bag of scraps arrive in the mail that were from The Art Gallery.  Pat Bravo was sending out scraps to make charity quilts with.  

I love string quilts and had fun stripping an eclectic medley of 8 inch blocks.  I then set them on point and added a chartreuse solid
to frame out the blocks....

and formed a Bohemian style baby quilt!  I had it pieced on day 1 and on day 2 quilted it and added the binding .

This baby quilt will go to Project Linus and hopefully will be well used and loved.

I am glad I got the chance to try out The Art Gallery Fabrics!  They are so smooth and silky! I even see that they sell them at fabric.com! If you would like to have a chance to sew some quilts for charity, contact Pat Bravo.  You will be surprised at how wonderful the fabrics really are!  You might also try your hand at winning more of The Art Gallery Fabrics at the bunny hop!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Cat's Out Of The Bag!

I won on Pat Sloan's site for a featured class from Two Peas in a Pod!  I was thrilled and felt very lucky!  Trish Preston is an awesome online teacher and I actually learned a thing or two as my bags are constructed a bit differently.  I was looking for some fabric and our 15 cats actually voted on this one! l5 paws up!  on the lining too! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trading Up

I'm back to working on some trades and the theme was steam punk in the Fiber Art Trader's group.  We could use metal and whites with some felting, but no other colors.  These are to be pins to be worn.  I used a bug theme for this one.  I added watch parts and some vintage jewelry.  The bug was made from metallic polymer clays.
In my NING group, The Artist's Nest, we were to alter puzzle pieces.  

I colored, stamped and used faces to make some unique puzzle people.  I love their unusually large heads compared to their bodies.  I used a clear dome over their faces to enhance it even more as if it were under a magnifying glass.  They are addicting! 

And lastly, my Art Is In The Cards group chose the theme of Grateful/ Thankful/ Gratitude.  Somehow I had drawn this blank at first as all I could think of was the obvious, of being thankful for friends, family, shelter, food, etc., but I chose to pick up the not so obvious and other important things in life, thinking outside the box with a bit of humor.  For a woman, things that would be important are spandex, botox, hair coloring, etc.  Even an Ex husband, for if I hadn't had him, I wouldn't have been able to trade up! LOL  I'm even grateful for Hippopotamus cause they don't make me look fat!  I printed my list on a swirl printed vellum and over laid it on a silhouette to show through.
  This was on the back side of my atc.

I also finished machine quilting a few quilts this past week.
This lovely baby quilt is so cozy and made with flannel!

What can I say, I love feathers and more feathers!

This weekend is suppose to be beautiful, so I may take a break from trading to enjoy the last of the wonderful fall air.  I will be back with a tutorial for the upcoming holidays.