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My name's Jen. This is the place where I share my love of art with the world. Please stay a while, and leave a comment if you wish :)

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Guess What I Got for Christmas??

I have the greatest husband in the world! We've been mostly happily married (nobody's perfect) for almost 24 years, even though he's not much of a crafter and thinks art is the guy who ploughs our driveway in the winter, life is good.
I am sort of a chatterbox at home, well everywhere, but that's where I talk to him the most and sometimes I think he really doesn't listen. Well, apparently, I am 'wrong'. There dear, it's in print for the whole world to see - just be aware this is a one time deal!
I am a HUGE Suzi Blu fan and I have been talking about about wanting to buy her new book," Mixed Media Girls", which by the way is an amazing book, for the past several weeks. Well, what do you think I found under the tree on Christmas morning? Not only was he listening and bought the right book, but he managed to keep it a secret and wrapped it all by himself! Way to go dear, you knocked it out of the park this time!
Mixed media is something I really enjoy and if you are interested in it as well, I highly recomment this book. Clear instructions, tons of colour pictures, lots of tips that are totally new to me and it comes with a DVD featuring Suzi Blu demonstrating her techniques. F.Y.I. - Suzi Blu has just launched a line of rubber stamps featuring her 'girls', you can check them out at www.bluemoonscrapbooking.com.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Fishing Creel for Kyle

Kyle, my oldest daughter's boyfriend, has been a part of our family for the past 4 years and knows how much I love basket weaving. He asked me a few months ago to make a fishing creel for his father for Christmas. I was delighted to make it, and here it is!
I shaped it so that it is flat at the back and has a rounded 'belly', it looks like a capital 'D' with the lid open. I used chocolate brown twill tape for the strapping and all the findings, clips etc., are an antique brass finish. I turned the basket upside down and traced it to make a pattern to cut the lid. My friend Jeff Sylvester, who is a local cabinet maker, cut the lid out for me. He did an outstanding job! Thanks Jeff!
The front closure is made from a piece of willow that I carved and fastened with jute through a hole I drilled in the lid. The hinges are brass, and the whole basket, lid included, is stained with Minwax, Provincial colour.

The Cat's Meow

The Shaker Cat Head Basket is one of my all time favourite baskets to make. This is a fairly large Cat Head, measuring about 10" across the base, and is woven from 1/2" and 1/4" flat Rattan Reed. I have been experimenting with dying reed lately, and although the picture doesn't do it justice, the weavers of this basket are dyed a rich chocolate brown, achieved using Cocoa Brown Rit Dye powder. I have tried the liquid and have not been happy with the results, the colours are not as vibrant as the powder, and I don't recommend it. Not sure yet if I want to stain this basket, I'll have to live with it for a while.
The handle is a commercial push-in swing handle, available at most basketry supply companies, in a variety of sizes, this one is a 10" handle. They are easy to install, and after a light sanding accept stain beautifully.
I am currently working on compiling my basket patterns into a book about basketry. I hope to have all the patterns ready this summer. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Four Snowmen, One Stamp!


"Do you guys smell carrots too?" Sorry, just had to do it! Each Christmas, like most card makers, I add to my collection of card designs. This is one of this year's creations.
I originally saw the idea for this card on Youtube in a video by Fran, from Stampendous. The awesome snowman stamp is called, "Stretchy Snowmen", #SSC1057 by Stampendous. When you apply the stamp to your stamping tool you can stretch it to make a tall skinny snowman or 'squish' it to make it short and chubby.
To make this card use an"M" or "W" shaped card base and stamp the snowman progressively taller and you move to the back of the card. The last snowman is stamped on a separate piece of cardstock then cut out and applied to the card. Cut out the first 3 snowmen about halfway down their bodies to reveal the snowman nesting behind it! I own several 'stretchy' stamps from Stampendous and I would give them a 'thumbs up'! and recommend them! Happy Holidays y'all!!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Whas' Up Gnomies??

Whas' Up Gang?? I am back!! I have enjoyed my 5 month break, but it's time to get the lead out and get back to work!
I thought this pop-up/pull-out card would be appropriate for the occassion.
There are a few card makers whose blogs I follow, and one of them is www.paperpunchaddiction.com. That's where I found this awesome little dude! This gnome is part of a paper punching 'package' that is available for purchase on  the site. It's called "In the Garden", and comes with instructions to make several punch art garden themed characters, this little gnome being one of them. The whole package costs $6.00, and is sent to you by email. *You do have to own several Stampin' Up! paper punches to complete the projects. I didn't have them all, so I ended up drawing the beard and hat freehand, using the picture as a guide.
The instructions for the mechanical portion of this card can be found in the resource section of www.splitcoaststampers.com. If you are new to card making, this site is the BOMB!! Loaded with ideas, samples and other yummy card making stuff!! Check it out!