Friday, February 22, 2013

It's National Margarita Day!

And I'm celebrating!...

Are you?
(Hey, it's five o'clock somewhere, right?!)

The simplest recipe I go by?...

I throw the following into a blender:

4 oz. tequila
2 oz. triple sec
1/2 can frozen-concentrate lime-aid/juice
6 oz. water
1 full tray of ice cubes

I crush the ice first...
(a button for that specifically on my blender)
Then I hit "blend" for about 20 to 30 seconds.
Adjust to taste!
Add a wedge of lime..
Rim the edge of the glass with salt, if you like...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Put A Little Love In Your Art

Here are the latest scrappy and crochet projects I've worked on most recently.  As you'll find, Valentine's Day provided much inspiration for most of it!

First, here's a page I did for my life mantras journal.

  The theme was "follow your heart".

"Dare to believe that good things are possible when you follow your heart."
~Bryant McGill

I made the heart following a tutorial found HERE.
I made the heart buttons myself, out of cardboard,
tissue paper, and pearl paint.

I love how the heart unfolds and opens to allow for personal journaling, photos, or any scrappy tidbits I might want to add.

Next scrap layout shows a card Dear Daughter gave me, on the left; and then just a scrappy Valentine page I had fun making to the right of it.

The right side flips open, for personal journaling underneath.

Next is a full layout, not focused on love, but which I loved to put together! The left side page ispired by Chinese New Year...   the images coming from an old Little Golden Book, The Jungle Book, so worn, probably from a yard/church sale.  It was not worth saving as a whole, but I still knew to hold on to some of the pages for any personal scrapping/crafty needs later.

So you see, I just pasted the images of Shere Khan, the bengal tiger, and Kaa, the python, along with my written, off-the-cuff thoughts of the two relating to this occasion. 

Next page, to the right is inspired by an article I read, and by an art prompt over at Art Geeks.  The idea was to paint your own creatures of whatever sort.  While my creature is not overly imaginative or original, necessarily, I thought the pigtails were a cute touch, and I just had fun sketching and coloring her while watching t.v. last night...

The gold heart was cut from a wrapper, from a piece of valentine candy I was snacking on at the time!  (It's a sickness, I tell you.  I can't throw anything out!)

Finally, my next project to share is in crochet.  I LOVED making this pair of hats for my niece's two young children...  a Mickey hat for her son, and a Minnie hat for her daughter!

The pattern, which can be found HERE, at Repeat Crafter Me, suggested using buttons; but considering their ages, I did not feel comfortable adding them to the hats, worrying about the possibility of pulling them off and choking on them.  I also altered the bottom edges of the hats, seeing as I could not fit them to the kids' heads personally.  I had measurements for circumference, and that was it.  I made the cuffs roll-able/unroll-able for as best an all-over fit as I could make.  Best picture I've got so far, but still, aren't the kids adorable wearing their new hats?!!  My niece loved them, and all my thanks to Sarah, for sharing her pattern!

Well, that's it for now.  
I hope everyone had a very Happy Valentine's Day!!..  
And thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Life Mantra #1

Paper Traders Art Blog is hosting an art-journaling event called Life Mantras Word Prompt 2013.  Each month we will be given a new word, or mantra, to create a page in our journals.

What's a mantra, you might ask?  Well, according to my own search for a specific definition, it is a sacred word, sound, or statement repeated frequently in order to focus or concentrate on in prayer or meditation...   Oftentimes, mantras may even be used in psychiatric practices to achieve a hypnotic trance, or just a deep state of relaxation.   In association with specific methods of breathing, you'll often find mantras recited during yoga exercises.  But all in all, mantras are considered to be an aid in transformation, and an instrument of thought, even a vital method of "being"....  In the case of art-journaling, a word, a quote, and, it seems, even the stroke of a paint brush could be considered a mantra!

The first prompt for the year is "Live Simply"; and the technique required is to use a stamped image in your work.

For whatever reasons, gingham came to mind for me, as one symbol of simplicity.  It is such a simple pattern, mostly found on cotton fabrics...  even said to be considered cheap by some standards.  It is often used as a test fabric in the world of fashion design, an inexpensive tool in fitting a garment before creating it in a more expensive designer fabric.  It almost sounds mean, doesn't it?  Why might just a simple, less expensive weave be so unappreciated for what it is?...   Well, not here at my house!

You can find gingham scattered here or there, in any room of my house, but most predominantly in my kitchen!  I find it to be absolutely beautiful!  These simple little-checked patterns, in blues and reds, seemingly whisk me away from city life, such as it is, and bring me to a quieter, perhaps rural/farm-like place, complete with cows, chickens, roosters, ducks, and wild flowers...  A place where I can walk out the door, into the evening, onto a small wooden porch, watching the sun set, and  listening to the crickets chirp...

and where, back inside, on any given day, I find myself, wearing my apron, baking homemade cookies, muffins, cakes, and pies for my family...   Tim McGraw, Jake Owen, Taylor Swift, or Montgomery Gentry music playing on the radio...  (sigh...  Isn't it wonderful?  Yes, my little country kitchen feels kinda like my own little "my town".)

Anyways... for the first entry in my 12-Life Mantras journal, I started with an old styrofoam meat tray to use as my palette.  I then cut up old packaging styrofoam into squares, to use as stamps.

I needed three shades of blue acrylic paints, light, medium, and dark, to make a gingham background for my page.  I titled my page, "Simplicity", and added a quote beneath it...

"Simplicity is 
making the journey of this life 
with just baggage enough."

~Charles Dudley Warner
From the words of this quote, inspired by this whole project, and to focus on my own personal journey, I then made a suitcase out of a light-weight cardboard.

I made the suitcase to open and close, with hidden magnets, so that I could include journaling inside.  The stamped-monogrammed "S" is from Close To My Heart.

Underneath the suitcase, a paper doily, to represent my love for simple-but-pretty things.  I added a spool of thread, made from thin cereal box scraps and embroidery thread, to represent how simply a quiet night at home, in front of the t.v., with maybe a candle lit...  creating whatever I might be at the time, by crocheting, painting, journaling, scrapbooking...  or simply just reading...  This period of time, at the end of a day, is a wonderfully peaceful and relaxing retreat from the rush, responsibility, and stress that seem inevitable in day-to-day life.  Finally, my stamped image is of a bird, from Stampers Best.  I love watching and feeding the birds.  It is a simple, and perhaps even boring pastime by some people's standards, I suppose; and being in the city, I don't get to see, nor feed the birds like I used to, but I still love it, whenever I get the chance...

So here it is, and my thanks to Cathy, and Paper Traders Art Blog, for hosting this event; and for including those of us who may not (yet) be official members.  If anyone else is interested in joining in, it's not too late!

Thanks for stopping by today,
and remember; "Live Simply"!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Home Is Where... can hang ALL your hearts!

I first saw these hearts at Pammy Sue's blogScotty's Place, and was immediately inspired to get out my yarn and hooks to make some of my own!

I crocheted a total of ten of them...  at least so far; and basically following the patterns found HERE. My own variation was to whipstitch the hearts together, rather than single-crochet around the heart.  Then I decided to add lace, ribbon, and pearl strands, to give just a bit more of a Victorian look about them. I gifted one of them to a friend this past weekend, and Dear Daughter will pick whatever she wants from the bunch, later today.  From there I'll share the rest of them with others for Valentines Day!

In what little free time I've had, when not crocheting, I did a couple of quick junque/art journal pages.  This first one is a paper doll of sorts.  I did not sketch it...  Nor did I paint it.  I felt like paper-piecing this little rag doll together one night...  Just cutting and gluing, and a little magic-markering!  So simple, but she definitely makes me smile!

Then, another night, I played with  Martha Stewart's new circle edge punch!  I have to admit, I messed up the first circle, not following directions properly.  But the second one, which looked much like the sun to me, came out perfect...

I really LOVE this new punch set, because now I can make all my own paper doilies, myself, instead of having to buy them every time I run out!  "It's a good thing!"

Thanks so much for stopping by today!