Monday, April 30, 2012

Hooray for Spring!

This is the first spring I've spent on my own, and I thought it would be great to try to grow a small garden!
Unfortunately, living in an apartment allows very limited space for me to garden.
So I decided to make a little space by adding some tables outside of my door!

 And of course, I had to polka dot them!

There are two tables with blue and teal dots.

My red polka dot mugs, now with flower seeds planted, look right at home!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spirit Sandals

I've been meaning to complete this project for quite a long time!

I got orange sandals in high school hoping to weave in black ribbon to represent my school colors.
Luckily I'm going to a college with the same colors!

The polka dot black and white ribbon makes them really cute!

Heart of the Forest

I took a walk in the woods and tripped over this stone in the path.

Heart of the Woods

[click photo for larger image]

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Group Challenge: Wands

I love my family. They humor me in the best possible ways.

As I stated in my last entry, I'm trained as a children and teen librarian, and I love Harry Potter. So when they were wondering what we should do next and one of them suggested I should pick, I laughed and told me if they asked me to pick, I'd say we should make wands. They all agreed. So, HOORAY! Wands!

The instructions we're using are here:


The wands use paper, hot glue, and paint. Seems simple-ish. Depending on dexterity, it's not too hard to figure out how to do hearts or dots on the finished product. You can paint the heck out of shades. Plus, can't you just see an awesome little leaf or vine on it? Yep, wands are coming up next. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Deathly Hallows

After one failed attempt (how do you have a shirt incapable of bleaching? I don't know, but I have one) and way more time than I'd like, I've finally done my bleach shirt!

Before you start, I know what you're thinking.

"Julie, where's the leaves?"
"Julie, you're the last done and it's only this?"
"Julie, of all the crazy things you could have done, what the heck is this about?"

Regardless of my current circumstances working at the University of Idaho, I'm actually trained to be a children and teen librarian. I regularly answer any library-type questions for family and friends. This morning I woke up to a text from a friend asking what age a child can be read a chapter book. (Answer: whenever they can sit through a chapter. My mom was reading me and my older sister Pippi Longstocking when I was somewhere between the ages of 2 and 4.) Given what I've just told you, I'm sure you're not surprised to hear that I love the Harry Potter series. I was a beta tester on Pottermore (can I get a bit more nerd cred?). 

So when I had to decide on a bleach pen shirt, I thought... why not do the Deathly Hallows symbol? It's decidedly nerdy and entertaining to me. I tried to figure out how to incorporate leaves, but then I remembered I'm just not much of one for drawing. So I did this because it makes me happy.

Fun fact that either wasn't said or I didn't read: shake your bleach pen before you uncap that sucker. I've got a weirdly balanced triangle due to some bleachy liquid squirting out before the actual gel. Yep, that's a shame. So now I know. And you do too. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Love on the Beach

The second night of our anniversary weekend took us to Nelson, British Columbia in Canada. We spent the afternoon at Lake Side Park, enjoying the wind and rain and breakthroughs of sun. We walked a very short section of the Trans Canada Trail, dug a hole in the sand, and met some very nice young folks, learning to walk a tightrope.

Love in the Sand

Dale and I thoroughly loved our time on the shore of the West Arm of Kootenay Lake.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Heart of Stone

Dale and I went to Canada to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. We landed in Castlegar the first night. While exploring the area, we took a walk over a suspension bridge to Zuckerberg Island Heritage Park, a small island in the Columbia River. I found some beautiful birch bark to use in a future craft project.

Heart of Stone

I left behind this Heart of Stone.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dare To Be Gray

For my bleach shirt project, I choose a cute tank top, perfect for the summer weather already prominent in Las Vegas. For my color theme, the shirt is gray, and the bleached design is (fairly) white. 

Inspired by one of the shirts in the original post my mom and sisters found on how to make thsese, I choose a simple floral design from online that I really liked.

There are a few mistakes, but overall, I'll call it a successful first attempt.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Polka Shirt

Bleach Pen T-Shirts proved to be a very fun challenge! I took pictures along the way, so I'll show you how to do this project.

You will need:
  • a t-shirt that you don't mind permanently altering
  • a piece of cardboard
  • a stencil (optional)
  • a bleach pen (make sure you get the one that says "for whites"!)
  • running water

First, make sure your shirt is stable and proofed against leakage. Mom and I found that the easiest way to accomplish this was to put a piece of cardboard in between layers of the t-shirt. That way, you can have an easy drawing surface without bleach soaking through the back.

Second, start drawing! My polka dots were made easy because Mom let me borrow a circle stencil. But she freehanded hers and it looks great!

Third, let your completed design rest until the desired color appears under the bleach gel. I was aiming for a rust color. Make sure you don't leave it too long, or the bleach will eat through your fabric.

Fourth, rinse your design. We found that it was easiest to use a spray attachment on your sink. After rinsing, throw your shirt in the washer and dryer (alone, so your other clothes don't get bleached).

Ta-da! You have your own bleach pen shirt!

Heart Attack!

Spreadin' a little lovin'
Thanks, Soul Pancake!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hearts of Bleach

Jodie and I worked on our bleach pen challenge together when she was visiting over Spring Break. We each had a bleach pen ... but they weren't the same kind. As we worked, Jodie's shirt started changing color right away. Mine? Not so much. That's when we looked closely and saw that her pen said "for whites" on it; mine did not. Once we figured that out, I used Jodie's pen on my shirt and it started bleaching out right away. You can see the change happening on the small heart at the bottom of the shirt.

The instructions we used recommended putting wax paper in the shirt to keep the bleach from bleeding through to the back of the shirt. I've got wax paper in my sleeve here, but it wiggled around a lot. So we ended up getting a big piece of cardboard to put inside the shirt. Besides helping with the bleeding problem, it gave us a good surface on which to draw.

Once I had the right kind of bleach on my shirt, the process went quickly. The black of my shirt bleached into this rusty color.

I've got one heart with a "D" in it for Dale. Another with a "J" for my girls. And of course, a heart on my sleeve. Here's the finished product:

As a bonus, I signed my "work of art" at the bottom.

OK, girls ... you're up!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Group Challenge 3

Our birds are dressed. Our signatures created. Now it's time for Mom's first challenge!

Create a design on a t-shirt using a bleach pen. The pen, usually used for taking stains out of white cotton clothing, can be used to deliberately take dyes out of colored cotton clothing. So grab a t-shirt, pick up a Clorox Bleach Pen for Whites (important, that "for whites" part!), and create a design in less than an hour.

Find directions here:

Bleach Pen Tshirts-STASH

I found that putting a big piece of cardboard inside the shirt before using the bleach pen helped stabilize the shirt and didn't allow the bleach to seep through to the back of the shirt.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Looking After Her Chicks

Mama Quail has joined her chicks. She's constantly looking over her shoulder, making sure they're OK, urging them on, leading the way, laughing at their antics, showing her pride in their new skills.

My birdie is purple, in honor of my mentor, Flylady. Through her example, I've become a much better mother. My head plume is red for I've always wished I had thick red hair like my sister Eleanore. My body is fabric, because my first artistic love was sewing garments. And because another passion is needlework, I'm outlined in embroidery. I wear my Canon camera around my neck, because I enjoy exploring the details of my world through photography. I wear my heart on my sleeve -- er, wing -- because ... well, because I DO ... plus, my theme for this blog is hearts.

The four of us are looking forward to sharing our love of the arts and collaborating together in this digital endeavor. So glad you've decided to follow us on our Adventure.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Little Fun and Messy

I'm a little messy and a little fun, just like my quail. 
My theme is leaves (or plants or growing things), and I'll be working in greens. I'll be painting and cooking and doing some projects digitally. 

I tend to overthink projects, so I may take a while to get mine done. Oops. I'm also working full-time, so I may not be able to get as much done as everyone else. You can bet I'll have fun with whatever I do get up. :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Quail Pox

Does this birdie have Quail Pox, or is she just polka dotted??

I made this birdie for our first Group Challenge.
She represents Jodie - polka dots (my theme), red (my color), a crochet hook (my favorite hobby) and even my school colors, orange and black!

I'm excited to start all of my fun polka dot crafts and share them with you!

Rainbow Around Me

I made a bird! 

This little quail looks like she jumped in a bucket of rainbow paint because my theme for my AuralArtist projects is going to be "Shades of Color". Each project will (hopefully) each be made in a shades of a single color. I'll probably be doing mostly digital artwork and photography, but I'm not limiting myself to a specific medium, style, or content type.