December 6, 2022

ORNAMENT TUTORIAL

I have some of my work -- prints, bookmarks, and now, for Christmas, ornaments -- for sale at a wonderful little local boutique. All of the ornaments I share with you in this post are in this shop. 

For someone with arthritis in her hands, these ornaments are a little difficult for me to make, but the end results make the struggle so worth it. 

If you have a couple open ornament dies, you could easily make ornaments like these. After you've looked through a handful of my ornaments, I will give you a photo-full tutorial on how to make the ornaments on your own. 






There! Now that you've had a little sneak peek of what we'll be making, I will commence with the tutorial, which will demonstrate how to make the second ornament that I've shown you above.

Choose your die and cut six of the shapes. If, like this ornament, it has a design that needs to be all the same direction, pay close attention to this. Hearts are most desirable when they are all facing the same upright way. So, when you are cutting the ornament pieces, be very aware of this direction when laying out your dies on the paper.


Fold all six pieces in half, from top to bottom,. If you don't do a good job of matching the edges exactly at this stage, you will run into problems. Use a bone folder to crease each one well.



Put glue on one side of one of the folded pieces and match it to the same side of the next piece. Continue in this way until they are all attached together, EXCEPT FOR JOINING THEM COMPLETELY TOGETHER.


This photo shows all of the initial gluing finished, waiting for the next step.


Turn it so the joined folds are facing up. Run liquid glue up this area.


After cutting a piece of metallic twine to about 6" or so, fold it in half and rest the two ends together along this glue line, making sure it stays in place.


Add a bit of tape of the top part of it, pressing the tape into the groove, just as extra reinforcement so the metallic hanger doesn't pull out of place.

This next step, to me, is the most challenging, with my hands and lack of strength. Put glue on one of the remaining pieces, and lining the two sections up together as perfectly as you can, close up your ornament. I make sure I hold it a few beats so the glue catches really well. I even lay the ornament down and burnish the edges with the bone folder. You don't want all your work to fall apart!


Certain papers, when put together in this fashion, show a white edge. If that happens with your ornament, and it bothers you, grab an ink color that matches the main color of your ornament as well as possible.

Using a stampin' sponge, carefully sponge the ink along the edges to cover up the white.


Yay! Your ornament is ready to find a place on your tree!


And, now, I'll share the rest of the ornaments with you. You can see that most of the time the papers I used weren't even Holiday flavored. They look beautiful and festive anyway! So, if you have fairly stiff designed paper, almost anything will work. Just have fun with this!









The ornament below almost killed my hands. It was especially thick and the designs were even thicker, almost an embossed feel. I was glad when this one was finished. If you have hand strength problems, be aware of this!



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We are the hero of our own story.
- Mary McCarthy -


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Ornamental
Smiles.



















































December 3, 2022

#dailycreating OCTOBER 2022

I really hope that you like birds! Because I have a whole flock for you today!

I'm sure you know by now that I love to draw birds, usually their faces, and usually in profile.

About two  months ago, after I'd posted another of my birds onto Terry Runyan's  #dailycreating group, a fellow artist in the group asked me if I was going to be participating in #birdtober2022. Not knowing anything about it, I quickly checked it out and . . . I WAS IN! Unfortunately, it was October 3, so I'd already missed the first two prompts, but I jumped in anyway, fully planning on finishing the two birds I'd missed at the end.

And that is what I did!

In this post I am sharing 20 of my OK birds from #birdtober2022 with you. As always, I will note above each drawing what the day's prompt was, as well as any other pertinent information I'd learned about the bird.

macaroni penguin
subantarcttic islands

hummingbird


swan

zebra finch
australia

secretary bird
africa

sun conure
northeastern south america

saffron finch
south america

black drongo
tropical southern asia

turtle dove
europe

philippine eagle
four philippine islands

masked lapwing
australia

spix's macaw
brazil
this bird came back from extinction!

snow bunting
arctic tundra

cerulean warbler
north america

kakapo
new zealand

eurasian jay
europe/asia/africa

bullfinch
europe/asia

yellow-crowned night heron
central US to north of south america

white-browed tit-warbler
asia/russia/the himalayas

barn owl
everywhere except antcartica

And, that's it for #birdtober2022. 

I have to be honest here. I truly enjoyed being enmeshed with birds every single day for a whole month. Thus, I decided to take on a humongous challenge for myself. I haven't been able to find anything like this on the Internet. Perhaps it's out there, but I am not aware of it. Anyway, I have set up a challenge for myself and I have named it #365birds. Yes, you read that correctly. I am going to draw a bird every.single.day for a YEAR!

I spent a few days compiling a list of 365 birds. Once I had my list, I typed them all up, printed out the document,, and cut them into 365 skinny pieces of paper. I put my bird name slips into a nice-looking glass jar. Every morning, I fluff them all up in the jar and select one at random. And that's the bird of the day for me. 

Since November 3, this has been my new place in life -- in love with a year-long challenge. Do you think I will be able to complete this?

Next month, I will share with you a selection from my first month of birds. How thrilling, eh?

Remember that if you would like a priint of any of my drawings, don't print it out or anything like that. This is my original art. I will gladly have a print made for you. Just let me know!

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Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, 
life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
- Langston Hughes -


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Feathered 
Smiles.







































November 29, 2022

LEAFY BIRTHDAY

Recently I was visiting my mom, and she had a card on display made by my sister several years ago. I picked it up to examine it because I'd noticed that she had used vellum on it. To be perfectly honest, the vellum didn't look just too healthy in that the torn edges had all curled quite unattractively. This had happened because the piece of vellum had been attached to the card front with brads, leaving too much freedom for the edges to curl. 

I liked the look of the torn vellum, took a photo of the card, and decided I was going to create a card with the same look, but with the vellum edges covered.


A closeup so you can see the torn edges, not of the vellum, but of the DSP.


After I'd attached the vellum to the two torn pieces of the DSP, 
I cut a strip of white cardstock to add to the back of the vellum. Big mistake.


How I put everything in place:


The finished look. 
At this point, I asked myself why I put the white behind the vellum? 
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. 
Doing it this way, it was nearly impossible to tell 
that the embossed greeting was on VELLUM. 


I decided to change things up a bit and not include white cardstock, 
so the Poppy Parade cardstock showed through, 
making it obvious that the red was showing through vellum.


New and improved:


I really don't know why the photos for this blog post were of the card with the white cardstock, and not with the red showing through. One of life's little mysteries, when living inside my wonky head.


Here's a tutorial. If you make a card like this one, you can do it either way. If you want it to be obvious that you are doing a good trick with vellum,, do it  the new and improved way, and forget the extra piece of white cardstock:

SUPPLIES:
White cardstock
Poppy Parade cardstock
Celebrate Everything Designer Series Paper (page 87, Mini Catalog)
Vellum

Happiness Abounds stamp set (page 109, Annual Catalog)

VersaMark ink

Heat Tool
Black Embossing Powder
Green Gems

INSTRUCTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of white cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

To this, add a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Poppy Parade cardstock.

Cut a piece of vellum to 3 3/4" x 2 1/2". About halfway up and centered, stamp "happy birthday" in VersaMark ink. With black embossing powder, heat emboss this sentiment.

Tear a 3 3/4" x 4 1/2" piece of Designer Series Paper about an inch or so from the bottom.

Adhere the top of the vellum to the back of the bottom of the largest torn piece of DSP.

Adhere the top of the DSP onto the Poppy Parade leaving even borders at the top and sides.

Add adhesive to the back of the smaller piece of DSP. Making sure everything is even on the sides and the bottom border is good, adhere this piece to the card.

Add two glittery embellishments to either side of the sentiment.


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A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.
- Knute Rockne -


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Leafy
Smiles.