Friday, December 21, 2012

Birds on a Wire

Every year, I make an ornament for each member of our family.

 This year, cardinals made from 10 fabric yo-yos, some felt and beads.

I love how each has a distinct personality,

just as each of us has a distinct personality.

And mine?

Has a heart, of course.

These ornaments are made using Mary Maxim's kit #17055
Yo Yo Cardinals


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Jingle Bulbs

Is it a family of ornaments - or ornaments for the family?

For this holiday challenge, I dressed up some plain ol' plastic bulb ornaments using puff paint.
This project was so fun that I made one for each of us!

Of course I did polka dots for mine! I didn't have any red puff paint, so I used yellow instead.
I like how the polka dots are tight together on the top and bottom and stretch out toward this middle.

I did a holiday twist on Julie's nature theme by decorating her ornament with a Christmas tree --
complete with shiny lights and a star on top.

Since the ornaments started out silver, I chose blue and black to represent Jeanne's shades. The ornament reminded me of the night sky, which I know Jeanne loves very much, so I added in some constellations.

And Mom's ornament has some very happy cascading hearts!

I'll be sending Mom, Jeanne, and Julie their ornaments very soon. I'm excited to see how they look on their tree!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

'Tis The Season

Christmas Time!

And you know what that means? Another AuralArtists project!

I found this awesome webpage on cute and quirky Christmas ornament ideas and passed it along to the other Artists. They all loved the idea so much, we decided to make it our next project!

(This was our favorite on the page, not necessarily what we're making ;) )

This challenge is going to be a little different than the others, however. We are not limiting ourselves to our usual themes. Our mom has been making ornaments for everyone for Christmas for years, and is going to go with what she already had planned. So is Julie. Jodie and I will be sticking to our AuralArtists themes.

We're going to make one for at least each of the others, although we're all probably going to end up with many more, and hand them out to other friends and family for the holidays.

Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bearly a Puppet

I have been so busy and filled with procrastination on something that should be fun that this is months and months behind my family's puppets. Also, I'd like to acknowledge right now that it has nothing to do with leaves or green or anything close to my theme. It does, however, relate ever so vaguely to being a librarian, so perhaps I'll be forgiven anyway.

I'd been planning on finishing some really amazingly cool wooden spoon puppets for this challenge, but clearly there is something about the final steps of those puppets that's just holding me up. I finally decided to make a puppet with some of the first supplies a child ever uses for puppets: brown paper bag and crayons.

Originally I wanted to make a frog, but when I cut what later became ears, I realized they were far too small and too spread apart to actually qualify as bulbous eyes. I'd already had my heart set on that crazy hair, so I just went along with that impulse and cut it out. I realized that even though the popping out bits are a bit too small for eyes, they'd work for ears for a few types of mammals. Long story short, they ended up being bear ears.

I really wanted to use green all over this guy, even after deciding he was a bear, but I resisted the urge to make a fantasy bear and went with something typical. In Idaho, we have many kinds of bears, but mostly grizzly bears and black bears. Black bears are much more common, but grizzly bears are found in the lower parts of the Rocky Mountains.

I've never seen a bear in the wild. Washington State University, just 8 miles from where I live, have bears though. And they're grizzly bears. As far as I remember, black bears are actually somewhat less dangerous, but I've visited the WSU bears a couple times. Tell me there's not something just super adorable about this face:

So I decided to make my bear a grizzly. Yes, he's cartoony, but as a children's librarian, I think that's okay. How many times as a child did I have some kind of bear-themed lesson either at the library or school? I honestly don't remember. So I thought if I made a bear puppet, I may be able to use him in the future.

Honestly, it was a simple puppet. The most creative part (aside from playing with half the brown crayons in my box of 120 crayons) was cutting part of the back of the bag to create parts that stuck up (ears and hair).

I know I'm late and this isn't the most creative puppet ever. I wish I could impress everyone by being the last person to do a puppet but the puppet would be super amazingly cool, but alas, that's not the case. As compensation, let me be librarian-like and link you to the coolest puppets I've ever seen. They're FolkManis puppets. Yes, they're very spendy, especially for poor public libraries. I've gotten to mess around with a few of them and they're gorgeous and fun. They often have moving parts separate from a mouth or arms. Maybe one day I'll own one. I suppose I'd have to decide on which to buy though.

Can we pretend my puppet is leafy because bears live outside and grizzly bears live in the high mountains which are wooded and therefore have leaves or needles of some variety? It's a leap, but hopefully you'll all forgive me and go along with me anyway.

If you still don't forgive me, let me distract you with a bear hunt.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Pumpkin Love

I was playing with my macro lens yesterday. 

It's from this Thanksgiving piece 
I stitched a few years ago.

I love how clear the individual stitches are.



Saturday, November 17, 2012

When You Can't Get to Paris

Part of the fun of walking around Las Vegas and taking pictures was going by all the high-end designer shops in the casinos. That's where I came across this stylized heart.

Stylized Heart

What's it from?

Hermez Paris Plate


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Arranged Heart

This was an enormous flower arrangement
near the registration desk of the casino.

Heart of the Bellagio


Friday, November 9, 2012

I Love Snow

Well, at least the first snow of the season

It's Snow Lovely

"What is this?" you ask.

Playground Equipment


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Las Vegas Love

A couple weeks ago my husband and I took an extended car trip. He had two conferences he needed to attend for work and I got to tag along. The first was held at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. 

While he was at his meetings, I got to poke around town with my camera. It seems that there are pieces of art poked into every nook and cranny at the Cosmo. This sculpture was sitting on a table in the elevator lobby.

Heart of Hearts

I like that this heart is made up of smaller hearts.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Hand Puppets ... Literally

This puppet group challenge has gone on long enough without my input. I have a GREAT idea for a puppet. It's even 1/3 of the way created. But it's sort of complicated ... and I got stuck. So instead, I present to you ... 
[trumpet fanfare here]



Take a bow, buddies.

My Handy Puppets

I still hope to complete the other puppet and post it here ... it's designed to make Julie giggle.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Artist Trading Cards

Over that last year or two I've toyed with making Artist Trading Cards. Last week I got inspired to make a new series from this purple and blue cardboard background - an empty tissue box! In addition to the cardboard, I gathered scrapbook papers, glitter, colored pencils, lace, brads, my sewing machine, a heart punch, a mini hole punch, scallop-edged scissors, some lilac parchment card stock, and three different adhesives.

I was inspired to make an ATC with a dragonfly theme because during this last summer, we saw more dragonflies in our yard than ever before. They really are amazing animals. I started my ATC by stacking two scrapbook papers and sewing them onto the cardboard.

I scanned one of the dragonflies from the scrapbook paper and enlarged it to use for the main dragonfly feature, then carefully cut them out. Using a colored pencil, I filled in the white background around the antennae and tail. I chose to add some dimension by gluing one dragonfly to the cardboard, then I glued glitter to the wings of an identical dragonfly and tacked it on top, curling the wings a little.

I cut individual flowers from a piece of lace and attached it to the card with spray adhesive. The little hearts were made with a punch and attached to the card with a colorful mini brad. Then I trimmed the edge of the card with scallop-edged scissors. The last step was to attached the decorated card to the violet card stock with double-sided tape.

Dragonfly Summer

I made a series of six of this ATC design. The back of the card is signed, dated, numbered, and named: "Dragonfly Summer."

The first four of these Artist Trading Cards have been spoken for, but I'd love to trade the last two cards. If you'd like to create an ATC and trade with me, please leave a comment and we'll work out a trade!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blue Buddies

I've known what I've wanted to do for this puppet challenge for a while. I'd found a pair of gloves in my closet that were a little too small for me, and immediately thought, "puppets!"

I've actually had all the materials I wanted for a few weeks now. I've just been hesitant to start because I had to get out my hot glue gun, and I wasn't quite sure what I wanted them to look like, and that intimidated me for some reason.

However! I finally just grabbed everything and went for it!

On the left hand, you have the girls.

(If you notice, I made one small deviation from my all-blue theme. The little girl on the pinky has a purple flower. I just had to use the flower, and there were no blue ones! We'll call it fair, though, since kids sometimes have trouble figuring out which color is which ;) )

And on the right, the boys.


I didn't do anything for the thumbs because I didn't want there to be two little people hanging out on the sides, lonely. :(

I got a couple hot glue burns along the way (nothing serious) , but they were fun to make!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Paper Heart Wreath

I saw this wreath made of paper hearts over on Pinterest and was inspired to make my own.

Though I looked, I could not find any paper printed back to back with two designs I liked. So I started by buying some 12" x 12" scrapbook paper. I picked 4 different designs in a single colorway. Then I glued them together with spray adhesive. Next, I cut the papers into 2" strips.

I folded the strips in half to make the point of the hearts, bent the strips into a heart shape, and then just stapled the ends together (rather than gluing like the original). I then stapled the hearts together on the sides (again, instead of gluing), added a hanger, and voila! A quick, simple heart-shaped wreath.

 After hanging by my front door overnight ... :: sigh :: ... it stretched out into an oval shape with misshapen hearts.

So I grabbed my hot glue gun, the wreath form I used for the cupcake paper wreath, some floral ribbon, some floral pins and floral wire and went to work.

First I wrapped the wreath with the ribbon, pinning it in place with floral pins.
Then I hot glued the hearts onto the covered floral foam.

Finally, I fashioned a hanger from floral wire and pinned it in place with floral pins.

Ta Da! For now, my heart wreath hangs on the front porch near our cafe' table. I think it makes for a cute vignette. Soon, I'll replace it with my fall wreath and move the heart wreath into our guest room.