Beachy Book Pages

I had some fun this weekend at the beach, playing with my book pages, paints and pencils.  I had a vague idea of what I might want to work on, and since I only had a few days, I thought it would be perfect to start some drawing and maybe even color some in with paint.

 

Good thing I had my stuff, the weather ran quite the gamut over the weekend.  First it rained (totally expected, as it is Oregon)  then on Saturday the blessed sun came out, this pushed me outside to absorb the warmth and color! (the whole beach lights up with color when the sun comes out)  Then on Sunday it snowed!   I was greatly amused by the changes in the weather as they were so extreme.  It fit me perfectly, as I never do anything in a logical to others order.   You would think the weather would go in order of sun, rain, snow, not rain sun snow… oh well, chalk it up to the wonders of the world…

Before I left I had finished a drawing and painted it and applied it to my notebook. I used a page from an old book to draw and paint on and then applied it to my notebook using Golden Matte Medium. 

While I was there I drew and painted one for the other side.  This page is also an old book page but you really cannot tell due to the amount of paint used.

I am seemingly obsessed with my little chickens and they seem to come out of the woodwork no matter where I go.  Yes, I even draw in restaurants.  On napkins, you question?  Nope, I carry a tiny wallet type purse, and I have managed to always keep a set of white index cards and a pen in there.   Very handy for when the order takes a while and your companion (read husband) runs out of conversation.

C’est la vie

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Die Cut Fabric easy

Are you a scrapbooker that has invested in one of the die cutting systems like Sizzix or one of the others?   Are you looking to stretch how you use this equipment?   Wow, I am starting to sound like a company rep!

Ok, I have a couple of these die cut pieces of equipment and I love them.   I found out recently that the quilting world has one as well for cutting fabric.   This made me wonder if the one I have for paper would cut fabric.   It does.   It opened a whole new world for me, it made me think about how I could use fabric instead of paper for projects.

Now here is the disclaimer, that I do this at my own risk to damage to my dies.  If you choose to do this and it results in damage to your dies etc, I am not liable.  It is your choice to do so.

First iron a sewable fusible on the back of your fabric.   Cut the fabric into pieces the size of your die.   Run it through your machine.   VIOLA! you now have a pre-cut fusible that you can iron onto any other fabric.

I used sewable fusible because I wanted to be able to sew through the applique after it was applied, without gumming up my machine needle.

With some of the letter embroidery sewing machines out there, you could embroider the fabric, apply the fusible, then die cut out any shape you have on hand.

Too much fun!!!

Upcycle? Recycle? Reuse? Repurpose?

What does this all mean when you’re a creative person?  Well, for most it means instead of throwing something away, either find another way to use it or put it in the recycle bin.   That is if your community will recycle it.   In some areas of the country there are community reuse places that you can take your, still useful items in hopes that someone else will find your trash to be a treasure.

Near where I am we have a place called Scrap (School Community reuse action program) it is not all that near to me, but I will make a special trip to get there.   Most of the time though I am a shopper there, but thankfully, there are many that make donations to them.   For example they have lots of fabric, upholstery and wallpaper sample books, yarn, tiles, paper, envelopes etc.   All of which are very reusable to make useful and decorative items.   I have picked up many a large fabric sample to make pillow or handbags.   For the longest time they had a barrel full of corks.  I could never figure out what I could make from a cork, but others did because they dwindled down to nothing eventually.

Perhaps one of my favorite spots is the book and magazine corner, where you can find books and magazines for pennies.   Or the paper corner where you buy office paper for 25 cents an inch.   (measured by the height of your stack)  Sometimes you can find envelopes with no return address, those are great!   But they also have some with a return address which are easily upcycled by sticking your address sticker over theirs.   Scrap keeps so much stuff out of landfills each year just by redistributing it, that they deserve a recycle award!   Besides I have no idea where I would find a barrel of corks or belt blanks to be re-purposed. Would you?

Just recently I incorporated some glossy cardstock from Scrap into my gift tags.  The original sheets were 8 1/2 x 22, so required some cutting down before I could punch them.   It took longer to punch them as they are pretty sturdy, but it was worth it.  The paper is wonderful with my tags.   It embossed beautifully and I am very happy with it.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tree Ornament Gift tag

 

I encourage everyone to donate to their local reuse program and to shop there.   You just never know what you will find…

P.S. I found one in San Francisco too..  Scrap (Scrounger’s Center for Reusable Art Parts)  Love it!!

To see more please visit my shop on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/SharonOrella

Have a great day!

Confessions of a Magazine addict….

Yes, it is hard to say, but I am a magazine addict.  I think I come by it honestly, genetically, from my mother’s side of the family.   I wasn’t always one, there was a time when I only bought the occasional holiday Magazine to make a cookie recipe or for a decorative technique to spruce  up the holidays.   Mostly, I think that was because there was no money for magazines and the choice was limited.   I remember visiting my aunts in my early twenties, one had magazines in every possible cupboard (even in the bathroom, yes no towels in the linen closet, just magazines).  My other Aunt had a special VERY  long cabinet (like 15 feet long) that the entire bottom had her collection of magazines.   I could not fathom, why they would have SO many, at the time.

I promised myself that I would never be that bad.  Then I met my husband, who read several different magazines, and convinced me to subscribe to a quilt magazine that I had been picking up at the drugstore.  Now this was before there were tons of these on the shelves like there are now.  It was difficult to find a quilt magazine with block patterns at the time.   So, I subscribed, and I saved every issue, they were like books to me.   It was all I subscribed to for about 4 years.   Then quilt magazines started coming out more and more and I subscribed at one time to about 6 of them.   I kept them all, think I would get to all the lovely patterns inside them.   I did actually sit down and go through them looking for patterns for several years and was greatly inspired by them.   That was my downfall, the inspiration factor.   It wasn’t that I would always make something from the patterns inside them, it was that I would be inspired to make something similar with my own twist, that was the addiction making itself evident.

I stuck with Quilt magazines for about 10 years as I practiced my craft.   It was then that I found the courage to finally toss the first 4 years of Quilt magazines.   I realized I had stopped referencing them and had no space for them, so off they went.  To the garage, where they languished for about a year, before I could let them fully go.   It was also around this time that I started expanding my artistic horizons and was inspired by painting and other hobbies.   I eventually stopped all my quilting subscriptions except for ones that came out only a couple of times a year so that I could keep a hand in the quilt world.

Now, I subscribe to beading and paper and Quilt magazines.   I save most of them, they are inspiring when I feel like creating.   But, I have to be careful, if I feel like working with paper and open a  beading magazine the two will collide and I will begin to try to merge the two.  Sometimes this is ok, and other times a complete disaster.   Like ironing fusible to wrapping paper and then trying to iron it onto paper.   Did you know paper warps badly when heated?  I do….

Have a great week and if you have time check out some of my new tags on etsy… Click here

Here are some pictures of some of my newer tags for the holidays. . .

Paper, Oh beautiful paper…

Being a creative type I am always imagining what I could do with all of the different supplies available these days. As of late I have been really working the paper.   With all of the punches available these days and the beautiful papers, it very hard to resist creating something from paper.   How far we have come, from making fortune tellers and paper cranes as kids to beautiful tags and cards to express our feeling for one another.   It occurred to me that having one of those fortune tellers available (in a more grown up version, well sorta) might not be a bad idea during these times.    But instead of having fortunes like,  Jimmy loves Amanda or You must jump up and down 15 times, we could have more positive affirmations.   Perhaps something like, you future holds great potential for growth, or a loved one will honor you or you are loved.  Or even limerick ones or one word daily aspirations.   I was inspired from the daily aspirations by a basket a co worker has on her desk.  It is full of little strips of paper that each have a positive message and you pick one out and it is yours for the day.   It is a pick you up, mentally, when a day has been stressful as they can sometimes be.   We all need a sense of fun in our day and what better way then to channel that child from long ago that knew how to play simply and have fun.  I challenge you to take a an hour or two, an evening or a day and play.  No expectations, no responsibilities just doing what you want when you want, and how you want.   Enjoy….

Creating, Creating, Creating…. with Paper

I have always loved paper, I love the feel of paper, I love the smell of paper and I truly love the versatility of paper.   Paper can become so many things and mean so much.  I always wonder who and how the first bits of paper were made.  I know that as far back as Egyptian times they were we writing on fibers and making papers.    I have dabbled in making paper several times and enjoyed doing it.   My favorite was when I decided that I was going to make use of all of the junk mail I kept getting.   I began shredding all of my junk mail, envelope and credit card applications and sales flyers etc.  It was not long before I had bags and bags of shredded paper.   I than began throwing it in a blender with some water and unflavored Gelatin.    I had read that the gelatin would hold everything together along with the fibers all interweaving together.   I wound up with some pretty amazing paper pulp (after a LOT of blending).     I made several batches of paper but my fave was the one I added a tiny bit of green food coloring to.   In that batch I threw in some dried flowers, some green food color, and some other twiggy like fibers I had lying around.    All of my  8 x 11 sheets came out a pale green with lots of texture.  I thought they were fabulous!   I little hard to write on, but they went through my inkjet printer rather nicely.   I will have to do that again, perhaps next summer would be good.  I found it best to do this outside, that way I did not worry about spillage or mess.   Memories of my handmade paper are good ones and fit right in with my latest endeavor of paper creations.   I discovered (drum roll puleeze)  embossing!   I have gone a bit overboard in collecting little embossing folders that I put paper in then crank through my little roller machine.   I never get tired of seeing the end product!   I have made tags, lots of tags, many experimental and some that have made it to my Etsy site.    Did I tell you I also love to package these up, and make then pretty so that when people get them I hope they will like them as much as I do.  I only wish I could give as many gifts as I make tags for because then I could gift wrap with paper too.   Ahhh…. so much paper and so little time!

Of course I must share some pictures of my paper creations!