...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Monday, April 27, 2009

Framed in metal

I just can't get enough of Ten Seconds Studio metal, embossing plates and tools. This past weekend, I finally managed to eek out a bit of time to create a frame covered in a sheet of metal. The biggest decision was which color of metal to use. I chose the brown because it blends in with most surroundings and since I didn't have a picture in mind, I played it safe.

A few tips:
  • Use a temporary spray adhesive on the back of the sheet metal before you place it on the embossing plate. This keeps it from slipping during the embossing process.
  • Trace out the frame and the picture opening before you begin.
  • Place the metal colored side up on the embossing plate.
  • Sand while the metal is still in place on the embossing plate.
  • Paint the wooden craft frame first and let dry.
  • Use the orange double sided sticky tape to adhere the metal to the frame.
  • Don't cut the metal to the exact size of the top. Leave about 1/8" extra to bend to the sides of the frame for a neater finish.
  • Leave enough metal in the picture opening to fold the metal back creating a nicely finished edge next to the picture.
Be Creative!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

a bit of a surprise...

I got a bit of a surprise today that I will share with you. I was checking out some blogs today and checked in on the Berninausa blog (www.berninausablog.com). Had to enlarge the picture. Couldn't see to clearly, but things looked familiar.

This past weekend was the International Quilt Festival in Rosemont. Rosemont is situated right by Chicago's O'Hare airport. Bernina educators and staff have been posting a few pictures all week.

Yesterday's picture held some very familiar items. On the far left background of the booth is a picture of a quilt I created in 2002. Bernina used it in advertising all over the world to introduce the world's first sewing machine that was run on a Microsoft platform and had internet connection to the Bernina portal on the world wide web. I can remember how awesome that was! Seeing them still using a picture of the quilt warmed my heart. I keep meaning to have this piece framed, but it so doesn't fit into my house!

And then I saw another poster hanging on the left side of the picture. It was Raleigh. I created him for an advertising piece in 2006. This one was a bit trickier to produce, it needed to highlight features of a new machine that had an attachment that would keep the user's stitches even and regular while they were free-motion quilting. The attachment was called a BSR (Bernina stitch regulator). However as with all Bernina adds, they have to show other stitching, buttonholes and embroidery. And this one had to be a peacock! I actually had a lot of fun creating this piece.

So I leave you with a couple of other pieces with which you might be familiar, or have seen along your travels... Those 10 years were an experience of a lifetime. Sewing on the best is something that I'll never forget.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

May Calendar - early!!

I know, it's not even the last week yet.. but it is the last weekend in April. So I thought I'd post the May CD calendar insert.

Supplies: Paper edger punch, tag punch, Creamy Brown Chalk Ink by ColorBox, Lemon Yellow Liquid Pearls by Ranger, Branch spray embossing folder by CuttleBug, white silk ribbon, yellow silk flowers, a bit of tatting, a stray embellishment by ???, a large flower grommet, and QuicKutz kite and envelope dies.

This month's quote:
The world's favorite season
Is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.
Edith Way Teale

I embossed the right side of the background piece with the CuttleBug embossing folder. Once embossed, gently rub the ink pad over the raised area to highlight the embossing. Then dot Liquid Pearls on all the little raised buds. I also used the Liquid Pearls on two corners, the small tag and the flower grommet.

The big flower grommet serves as a picture frame for a tiny picture of a snow drop. I tied heavier thread to the die cut kite and then tied snippets of white silk ribbon to the thread, weaving the thread down and around the piece.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I came home from work today and as I was walking around, feeding the wild birds, filling the birdbath, and watering plants, I realized how extremely blessed I am. Even when some things are just not good, I really know I'm blessed. So I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things. Things that when I look at them make me smile or make me feel really good inside. Although things cannot replace people, they are from people or because of people or just there because in the eyes of the beholder, they bring happiness. Or reminders of how blessed we really are.

I love to feed the birds. I do it everyday when I get home from work. I sit and watch them feed, a pair of bluejays, several robins, sparrows, dove, a cardinal and the usual crackles and crows. They really seem to not be too greedy and share.

When we moved in to this house, I'd placed the birdbath out front. Now the front is empty but the show that the birdbath provides in the backyard makes up for the lack of beauty out front. That is a project for another day. I feel as if this is the community watering hole. To date the birds come and take their drinks with the robins putting on the best bath time show ever. Each bird species letting others in, even to the tiny sparrows. But birds are not the only partakers of the water provided. The squirrels come by and quench their thirst, but the biggest surprise was the Siamese cat that jumps up and gets her belly full too. This is the same cat that will lie at the base of the bird feeder and not even look at the birds!

I love cooking in my copper pots. Not only do they cook extremely well, but they are just pretty. And no I am not a fanatic about keeping them clean. Oh, and I love roosters and chickens too....

Okay, I'm embarrassed by the dirty windows. Didn't quite have time since the torrential rainstorm last Thursday to do anything about it. Next weekend...maybe.
I love red geraniums in tall pots in my kitchen window. How can I be sad looking at these beauties? They make me smile.

There is nothing I don't like about this. Pins given to me by friends, my husband and my mother. Aren't they so much prettier out in the open than tucked away in a drawer? Most buttons on here came from my grandmother or my mother. I used to love to sit and play in each of their button boxes. I would marvel at the textures and shapes and sort them and count them and think about from where they came. Now they grace this framed piece of embroidered silk, that came from one of my favorite places in the world... Alabama. Look at the beautiful angel. Handmade for me by my most beautiful, kindest friend Charlotte. She holds a dried rose given to me by my youngest son at least a decade ago. But isn't she beautiful? Made with serger thread, ribbon, lace and crystals. I treasure her beyond words. Charlotte also made me another one, but I'll save that beautiful creature for another day.

Sammeltassen. That a German word. These are German collector's sets. In Germany, giving a set that consists of a desert plate, cup and saucer is a pretty special event. I inherited these from my grandmother. Or most of them. I couldn't stand not having any of my own so I started my own set thanks to Ebay. But kept to German manufacturers. So then I got my Oma's mix of dishes. I can remember her setting the afternoon Kaffee Tisch (about 4pm in the afternoon was time for coffee, tea and handmade cake!) and she would always let me pick the set I wanted to use. Before my mother died, we went through them one by one and told stories about them. What pleasant memories!

This is the prized set. Real gold overlay and a gift from my grandfather to my grandmother. At a time when they could least afford it. I don't think anyone has ever been special enough to use this one. So I am keeping up the tradition of not using it. Why? Who knows. And I know better. But I get to see it everyday. Will I ever brave using this piece? Would you?

Something else that makes me smile. This little scissor case is made by a beautiful lady from New Zealand. Beverly Sheldrick. We spent many lovely afternoons getting our projects ready for our 15 minutes of fame on PBS TV. She handmakes these, I so wish you could appreciate her beautiful stitching.
Bernina scissors are adorned with a scissor fob brought back from the Orient by a very talented Rami Kim. She has beautiful Kimono fabrics, inspiring patterns and so much charm she could melt ice!

This little prize I am certainly not going to remove any time soon. My dear little granddaughter Zoe left me these cherished reminders of her on Valentine's day. And I've left them up on the door since then. I will probably only remove them when the door gets really, really bad. Aren't they adorable? Wouldn't they make you smile too?

He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Deuteronomy 10:20-22

Be Creative!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

QuicKutz Club update

As promised, here is the complete cover. The insert started out 8" x 12". Fold this so that you have a 5 1/2" x 8" front and a slightly larger back piece.

I've purposed this insert to celebrate the 2nd birthday of our youngest granddaughter Zoe. Temperametally she is the splitting image of her daddy, calm, unpretentious and charming. She's the perfect compliment to her older sister Allie. They fit together like apple pie and ice cream. The letters for her name were die cut using the QuicKutz Fiesta font. I used Ranger's Distress Crackle Paint in Peeled Paint to paint the letters. This product looks best if you paint on thick and thin areas. The thick areas will crack deeper and less finely than the thinly applied areas. Once dried, I lightly brushed with a gold ink pad. "is" was die cut using the QuicKutz Jolly font. The number 2 is the larger QuicKutz Diesel font, die cut from both DP and a thin chipboard. Once the edges have been inked, I covered the piece with Ranger's Glossy Accents and let it dry thoroughly before any further handling of the piece.

A close up of the insert opened. Slivers of paper were used to "sew" the buttons. No knots and no searching for the perfect thread. Sew easy.

The back page. Since club, I raided the "resource center" and added a Prima flower with a metal flower accent as the center. I also added a metal butterfly. Who knows how long those metal pieces have aged in the resource center. But this year is about using stuff up and so far, I've done quite well. As good as this is for me, I'm sure you feel frustrated. Especially if you are trying to replicate projects exactly! I do understand, but understand that it's good to actually use some of the stuff I buy instead of hoarding it... I'm sure none of you ever does this?

What is the oldest craft item you have in your resource center?

Be Creative!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

QuicKutz Club teaser

Here is the QuicKutz club teaser for this Saturday, April 18th, 10am. Yet one more insert for our Year of Ideas album.

It starts out as a 12" page, folded and embellished to give you an insert of 4 pages! As we did last month, we'll delve into a paper pack, so each page will have a different DP. If by chance you aren't into flowers, it will be easy to change the flower out for another embellishment of your choice...

Sorry, but instructions and detailed pictures won't go up until after club.

Techniques you'll be exploring include using Memories Mists, using something other than thread to fill the holes in your buttons and stamping on acrylic.

Supplies needed: Revolution, Flower 4x4 die, Vine border die, your favorite border punch, a dimensional flower punch, sharp scissors, glue dots, adhesive runner, paper trimmer, corner rounder, Antique Linen distress ink pad, Creamy Brown ColorBox cat's eye chalk ink pad, White Stazon ink pad, tiny flower and butterfly stamps, scroll stamps, 4 buttons (1 white and 3 clear), 12" narrow lace, 3" square clear acrylic (could be from QuicKutz packaging!), corner rounder, brown felt tip marker (to edge the die cuts), 2 1/8" square punch and Amaretto Memories Mists.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


We've been quite busy these last few days. Took a few days to revisit Santa Fe. I do so love that town. One lottery win and I'm there to stay! The first night there I could hardly sleep, I'd not had that many stimulating visions and ideas springing forth in forever. It was a fun trip besides fighting the wind all the way there on Thursday. And then leaving Santa Fe on Saturday amidst blizzard like conditions all the way to Santa Rosa... the time in between was wonderful.

A balcony with a long flower box.... fresh and dried mixed.

Seret and Sons, from the street. Great place for home decor items...

And this is Cafe Paris in Burro Alley. A super place for breakfast. Dining is possible inside and outside. I'd recommend outside only in warm weather!

Kristin's is a very innovative place to browse. She's located inside a "mini mall" on a street leaving the Plaza.

A closeup of some of the designer purses in the window. These two have some great lace around the flap.

And these purses have wonderful looped silk ribbon around the purse flaps. The fabric on these purses was wonderful, embroidered silk it appeared.

The Rooftop Cantina is one of our favorite places to hang out. Of course it's a warm weather place... It's part of the Coyote Cafe but sits on the roof top. Great margaritas and wonderful food!

Pasquale's!! So typical Santa Fe. I'd recommend eating at the community table. Large, centrally located and you share it with about 11 other diners. Great way to meet new friends.

A statue at the Capitol building. Yes Santa Fe is the capitol of New Mexico. It's also one of the oldest cities on this continent.

Another view of Seret and Sons... look at all the old pieces. Wow I think I could use lots of these... somewhere, I know I could make some room somewhere.

And so with this we bid farewell to another wonderful trip.
Other places of interest:
Los Mayas for great food,
Guadalupe Stamps for unique crafting supplies,
The Shop for one of a kind Christmas items,
Two home dec places around the square...
Guadalupino's for imported Talavera,
Jackalope for pots, garden decor and just stuff!
The Gilded Page for handmade paper,
The French pastry shop inside La Fonda hotel..mmmm,
the bar at the Hilton on the Plaza,

Be Creative!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Easter metal project

Wooden blocks, craft paint, a vintage wash, and some embossed metal letters are all you need to create this charming display. I really like playing with the metal sheets. This project simply reminds me of a very expensive line of purses, shoes and jewelry.

I'd been removing some of my rubber stamps from their blocks for the sake of saving some space. You can use the removed rubber on your acrylic blocks by attaching the rubber with double sided tape. So nothing is lost. And in the long run, you've gained some space. That's how come the blocks are all different sizes. I like that look.

I then painted each block with a different color acrylic craft paint. After that, I used a water and walnut ink crystals wash. Just to antique the blocks a bit. Stamp your favorite stamps on one side with your favorite ink. Spray with a sealer and you are ready for the easiest step!

I used QuicKutz's large Cookie Cutter Diesel font and cut out all letters except the 't', or cross depending on how you look at it, from brown/silver metal craft sheet from Ten Seconds Studio. For the cross, I free handed a shape and cut it out. Then I used the Cuttlebug Floral Fantasy embossing folder (click here) and placed each letter in a different spot within the folder. I embossed one letter at a time. I think it makes each letter look very unique and it's hard to tell they all came from one embossing folder, don't you think? I ran the folder through my machine, I've heard you can also use a rolling pin if these embossing folders don't fit your die cutting machine. After the letter is embossed but still in the folder, sand with a soft sanding block. This removes the color from the raised embossed areas. Use a very sticky double sided tape to adhere the letters to the blocks. The word 'happy' is from a QuicKutz cookie cutter phrases set.

Be Creative!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Metal art...or just more stuff

Not sure what the answer is. Except that playing with metal sheets is so much fun. I can see this translating well into the home dec area of my life.

I took a class last Friday night from a very lovely and talented lady named Christy Gilbreath, who is a sales rep for both Bo Bunny and Ten Seconds Studios. So guess what was in the class kit? Bo Bunny paper and Ten Seconds Studios metals... It was really fun and a great learning experience. I've changed up the class pages a bit and then actually accomplished that which I set out to accomplish... I made a metal covered cross. It's not perfect, but it's done and it's ok.

So let me explain a bit about the metal. You should venture onto Ten Seconds Studio (click here) to see all their beautiful samples and see their product. So as not overwhelm you with details, I'll just give a brief snynopsis of what I did. First off, the brown polka dot flower, the green "mats" and the brown scroll strip are all metal art. The metal comes coated with a color on one side. This can be your front side should you want a predominate color. So you would cut your piece to size and then lay the cut metal on top of an embossing plate. You can use your QuicKutz, Cuttlebug, and Fiskars (did I leave any out?) embossing dies or folders for this too. Then you use a special pointed tool and rub all around the raised elements of that which you are using to emboss. Once the piece is embossed, then you use a soft sanding block to sand off the color on the raised areas. Of course the metal can be "smushed" so it's not meant for heavy wear and tear. If you are using your metal art for an item that will be handled a lot, then Christy recommends you fill the back side with some really runny spackling and let that set. You want to be sure to only keep the spacking in the design so that any overflow doesn't show on the back side of your art piece. For your scrapbooking and card making pieces, use it as is. It's going to be just beautiful.

For the cross, the technique is basically the same, except I had to trace the cross onto the metal first. I purchased my wooden cross at one of the larger craft stores for next to nothing. I decided to use the silver side of the metal sheet so that I could then wash the entire piece with black paint and wipe off the excess to give it that Santa Fe look.

Place the metal wrong side up on a foam mat. Place your cross on top and lightly trace around the cross using a stylus with a rounded end. You don't want anything too sharp so as not to puncture the metal. Then I embossed what was going to be the right side of the metal with very many different embossing mats. I then measured how much metal should be left around the embossed design because I wanted to wrap the metal to the back of the cross. Measure twice, cut once... I used E600 to attach the metal to the cross. Once it was securely adhered, I wiped the piece with some black craft ink on a paper towel. Basically, that's it. But as always, there is a bit of fiddling to make sure everything got covered. I've got some more ideas in mind and will share them with you as I get them finished.

Sorry for the delay in posting, but we had life happening this week. Granddaughter #1 tried out for the mutton busting in the rodeo and placed, then we went to the rodeo, had work stuff, hung curtains, bought groceries and before I new it, another week had spun by.

Be Creative!


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