Saturday, October 27, 2007

Projects Galore for Method Playground

Ok- As Promised- Here are some of the projects that I have been working on. I have already gotten razed by 2 people about for taking so long to post anything- so I figured I would put up the first few I have made to stave off the pitchfork and torch bearing crowds. This is a long post- but I have lots to share with my new "method" that I leaned this week. My Ideas went crazy and I made about 5 projects, but I will share 3 with you. I have never posted a scrapbook layout before so I am a bit nervous about putting it all "out there"

Ok- over at Method Playground ( there was a challenge posted from Ali Edwards (one of my fave artists ever- her blog link is at the top on the right side of this bog) and I knew that this would be one that I would have to participate in.

Her challenge was to use Diamond Glaze and glass beads to create art. Well as luck would have it, I already had the Diamond glaze and needed to find Mini-Beads. After 3 stores I settled on Mini Seed beads- not exactly what i was looking for but I would pull a "tim gunn" and "make it work".

The night before I discovered the challenge- I was reading my new copy of "CK" and I saw the article titled "Because NICE matters" and as soon as I read that phrase, John came to mind and I KNEW that I had to do a layout about him using that phrase. And when I discovered the MP Challenge, I knew that is what I wanted to work on with my new Ideas.

Here is the Layout I created.

I really wanted to focus on the "story" and so I created the layout in a very simple manner so that you can really just focus on the story and not a ton of accents (which i usually love to use, but I am REALLY trying somthing new and I hope you all like it).

I used Bazzil Kraft color paper, with a simple black under layer. I used naked Chipboard letters (basic grey), and painted them in a ox blood red, and them covered them in a layer of Diamond Glaze for a "pop" affect.

I used a Rub-on (fancy pants) and then placed a layer of DG over the swirls, and then I tried to "pour" the beads over it. Well that was a disaster- and I ended up having to HAND PLACE all the beads over the swirl- needless to say that took about 1 or 2 hours to get "cleaned up" and looking right- but the effort was worth it- it has a great 3-D Quality that is also delicate looking.
Also- John in the Photo is holding our Baby bird Sprout- who as you can see is falling asleep.

While I wanted to tell the story of "Nice" to me with out distracting from the photos, I decided to write the story and added it to the back of the layout. I also Punched out 2 flowers from cardstock, and then added 3 layers of Diamond Glaze and Beads until it was a nice thick heavy accent for the page. (the large letters are rub-ons from Making Memories)

To read the text- click on the Photo and it will expand.
Here are some Close ups of the accents

Ok- for the other 2 projects. I was So inspired by this idea of beads and glaze that I wanted to see what else I could make besides a layout.

I was at the craft store the other day getting beads when I saw that a 6 pack of Glass Christmas bulbs were only $1.30 and so I grabbed a pack thinking that I would create something cool this year with them.

I removed the holder on top and I took a long paintbrush and used the Diamond glaze to make a puddle on a plate. I then used the glaze INSIDE the Bulb like you would if you were painting inside it. I made swirls, or lines or even spelled out "love" in one of them for some fun. I then gave it a few seconds to start to settle, and then poured in some beads and swirled them around to cover the glaze. I then added more and more beads until no more would stick and then poured the rest out. 1 of them I made 2 tone. I just waited for the first beads to dry and then "painted" a new coat of glaze with a new pattern and then added different colored beads. They look so cute that I think I may make some "year round" bulbs to hang in the craft room as a whimsical decoration.

I also took a 4x4 square of acrylic (left over from my clear acrylic album I made a few weeks ago) (found here )
and I "painted" a pattern on the corners, added green beads, and let it dry. I then added red beads around the edge, and after those dried I added a inner band of green. when it was fully dry, I covered all the beads in 2 thin layers of Diamond Glaze to set them firmly. I now have a festive colored Coaster for my cups.

Well that is my LONG Post, and I hope you all like them. I love that I was so inspired to play with beads in a new way ( meaning not just on jewelery or fabric) and I think that I will use them again in the future. I love the flowers that I made- they turned out great.
Hope you all like :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Comming Soon...

Some new art projects and fun things- stay tuned =)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jumping the Gun

Ok Ok- I KNOW that it is only the middle of October- but it is never too soon to be thinking about Christmas Crafts and Decorations. My new Pottery Barn catalog showed up today and I found some major inspiration.
Here are a few items that I thought were awesome---

I was thinking of buying some Foam balls at the craft store and using some of the overflowing ribbon I have already and making some of these myself. (since these are not really the colors that I like to use, and to top it off they are $10 each-I can make them for about $1 or less)

I also love these-

But I am not sure if I will buy any- but they are cute. It will keep the tree from being too "cute".

I also love the tablescape here- if you tweak it a bit you could use it year round
Anyway- that is a few things that I found today that I loved. :)


Well we are back from Vegas. We had a great time, and the weather was perfect. 80's in the day, and high 60's at night.

And like I thought- we didn't put 1 toe on The Strip. I never really knew what Vegas had to offer off the strip, and so it was nice to see. John-John Lives in a cute gated community, and if you walk out on the street in front of the driveway, you can look down the road and see the stratosphere standing in the not to far distance.

(Here is the 3 of us. From left is John-John, Me and then My John)

The first night we went out to a super tasty Italian place and had a lot of great food and conversation, and back to the house for glasses of port and a walk around the neighborhood to burn off some of the carbs we ate. I love being outside at 10 at night, and it is still warm enough that you don't even need anything other than jeans, a tee shirt and flip flops.

Day 2 was a slower pace day. We had a bagel\Juice\coffee feast for breakfast and decided what to do with the day. John-John and John wanted to take me on a motorcycle ride up to red-rock, and go hiking. Well... one of the motorcycles were not being super co-operative, so they spent about 2+ hours working on it in the drive way, while I sat in the shade in a comfy chair and worked on my crochet in comfort.

They were both having a grand time getting greasy and grimy, but the fun had to end when they fixed the bike (something about Carbs and Floats kept getting mentioned) and they cleaned up and we rode out to find some food. We ended up in a great place that had awesome food, and was a nice place to kick back and talk some more (yes- this weekend ended up being mostly about food, drinks and talking).

After lunch we made the attempt to go out to red rock. After about 15 minutes of riding, the bike decided it was still not happy, so we cut the trip short and went back to the house to hang out. Later that night we headed out to see some "night sights" and headed up a nearby hilltop and came to a place called "La Collina" which was a swanky Italian place with a amazing panorama view of the strip all lit up down below us. We sat at a front window seat and had drinks and dessert. ( The Pear Martini was amazing i must say)

The next morning was a bit sad because we knew it was time to pack up and get going. We finally made ourselves leave about 1pm and made it home safe and sound at 9 something that night.

John and I are already going thru "John-John" withdrawls, and we hope we can see him soon. Next time we think that we will find some cheap Airline tickets (so that 16 hours of the trip is not spent driving) and we will try to get out more often to see him.

Also- I am now exploring the world of Myspace and Facebook. I have been really NOT wanting to use them, but it seems that most people I know use them more than once a day and it would be SO much easier to try and keep in touch that way. So I bit the bullet and actually DID something with my Myspace page (it had been blank for quite awhile) and created a Facebook Profile. You can find the links on the right side of this blog under the title "where you can find me" or something like that.

Anyway- time to get working. Hope your weekend was great!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Vegas Baby!

That's right, John and I are off to Vegas for the weekend. We were supposed to go to a wedding up in Utah this weekend, and we were going to crash at a friends house in Vegas on the way there and back. But this has been such a busy month, (and John will be out of town for a week later this month) so we decided to not go the wedding, and just make a quick road trip over to Vegas to see our Friend (who is also named John, so I call him John-John to keep things easier for us all).

Ok- Vegas is not exactly a "quick trip", it is about 8 or 9 hours to get there, but what is 8 or 9 hours when there is such a friend to be met?? (stealing a line from Pride and Prejudice there- hope Jane doesn't mind).
John-John is one of my favorite people on earth. He is sweet, kind, fun, loving, caring (and single ladies!) and he is the one of the people that I can share my real thoughts, dreams or disappointments with, and he is always there, always understands, and can always make me feel better if something is wrong. I have been distraught and missing him since he moved to Vegas almost 3 years ago. If not for him, I would have probably never met MY John.

John-John had a crush on my roommate\co-worker and asked us to his house for a 4Th of July BBQ, and that is where I got to know MY John, who was living there as well. They were about 5 guys living there together, and they came into Starbucks all the time (where I was working) but I didn't really know them that well. But after the BBQ, my John and I have been together almost ever since, and John-John is a best friend to both of us, and we miss him incredibly.
Seriously Ladies- He is awesome! (hint hint)

Anyway- we leave tomorrow morning, and will spend Friday night through Sunday morning with him. We will see what kinda mischief we get into- we do not gamble, we do not drink "heavy" (aka more than 1 drink) when cars are involved (and he lives way off the strip) and we do not "do" shows. So we will see what is planned. But for me- I would be happy to sit in a coffee shop and just talk with him for 3 days- I have missed all the "coffee talks" we used to have.

Monday, October 8, 2007

**My Really Busy Weekend Part 2**

Also- I came up with my own recipe for Caramel Apple Martinis. I had to tweak it to get it just like I like it, but here is the easiest way to make them.

3 Parts Butterscotch Schnapps
2 Parts Apple Pucker
1 Part Vodka

Garnish glass with ribbons of caramel (ice cream topping works ok)
Shake with ice, and pour in glass (Makes 1 Drink). Drink while very cold for best flavor.
This is not a heavy apple flavor. if you prefer a stronger apple flavor, use equal parts of the Pucker and Schnapps.

**My Really Busy Weekend**

Ok- What a weekend! It was so busy that I never really got a chance to relax in the conventional sense- but it was a great weekend.
There was a TON of stuff that I did, so this is going to be a long post (with lots of pics to keep things interesting).
Ok Friday-
I spent the early afternoon at my old job visiting friends and using a band saw to cut up some acrylic that I bought. After seeing Elsie's post about her clear album, I decided I wanted to make one, but I didn't want to spend a small fortune on clear panels of plastic and shipping (around $40 to get what I needed and not much at that) and so I decided to get creative. And I LOVE finding Scrapbook and Art supplies where you would least expect them.

Like I told my friend Matt, It is not that I am cheep, I just try to have some ingenuity. I ordered some 12x24 Acrylic sheets from McMaster Carr (a place where you can get almost anything that is remotely related to hardware and manufacturing supplies) ( and got decided to cut the panels up the size that I wanted. I cut out a ton of 8x8 sheets, and then made some 4x6 for a smaller albums. I also cut a few 4x4's but that is another project.... (you will see in the next few weeks when I get a chance to make it)

I then went home and drilled out holes and went to work. I made a Album about my siblings and I growing up. Nothing fancy, but I took some old family photos, scanned them, changed the colors to black and white for a better flow, and had them printed in wallet size. I then painted on, used rub-ons, added stickers and paper and made this little guy-

(I just love how you can see thru multiple layers at once)

Ok, then that afternoon I was in a baking mood, and I had found a SUPER *tasty* sounding recipe for Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake. I like cheesecake- I love pumpkin pie, and I adore baking- sounded like a good plan. I had never made a Cheesecake before and so it was a adventure of sorts. By the end of the adventure, I had cream cheese on my shirt, ginger snap crumbs in my shoes, and batter that somehow ended up on the toaster (I think it was the electric mixer that is to blame for that one!), but it was SO pretty and super tasty.

Note- I used half ginger snaps and half gram-crackers, and skipped the Pecans- it keeps the ginger flavor from being overwhelming and keeps the crust smoother.

On Saturday I spent the morning Scrapbooking and finishing the above album. On Saturday afternoon I went over to my parents house for a visit. My sister and her 5(!) kids were visiting from Oregon. I then went over to a nearby Nail Salon to use a Gift Certificate that I received for my birthday 4 months ago. I got the Deluxe Pedicure and a Manicure. It has been AGES since I have had a Pedicure and my toes were very happy (and cute!)

John and I then went to the San Luis Obispo Symphony's Opening night at the PAC in Cal poly. We had the TOP balcony, in the very back in the very center. Before we got there I was nervous that we were too far away, but once I saw our seats, they were perfect. We have been much closer before, and I really liked being so high- you could see all the musicians playing in harmony- it was like watching a ballet. The music was amazing and there were great pieces by Mozart, Shostakovitch and Brahms. It was a nice relaxing way to end the day.

(our seats were center- but I took this after the concert from the side)

Then Sunday Morning John and I got up and went to Church and saw all the fam there.
(Me and my "little" brother, Christopher)
After Church we, along with my Mom, Dad, Brother Older sister and her 5 kids went out for pizza and Salad for lunch. It was a loud but fun event. Here was my nephew Eden, (yes, he is always that happy!) enjoying his pizza.

Sunday afternoon was spent shopping at Costco, and baking another Cheesecake (to share with the masses) and trying to get some rest while reading my book. Sunday night John and I caught up on our taped TV shows and headed to bed totally wiped out from the weekend. It was a busy weekend, a exhausting weekend, but all in all- a great weekend!

I hope yours was great too!

Friday, October 5, 2007

*Busy Weekend*

Well this weekend is going to be a busy one.
Check in on monday or tuesday for a long post :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

New Addtion to the *Flock*

Pickles having a snack

Well- after telling ourselves (about 20 times) that we were NOT going to buy a bird at the Exotic Bird show on Sunday- we walked out with a baby Parrotlet. (taking our total number of birds we own to 6! 4 parakeets and now 2 parrotlets)

We already have a parrotlet (named Sprout) but we could not pass this one up. It is a "He" and he is just over 12 weeks old (hatched on 6*26*07). He is SOOOOO small and new! He was not hand raised like Sprout was, so instead of taking to us in a instant like sprout did, this one will take some time to train. But what a cutie.

We have named him "Pickles" or "Sir Pickles" when we are in the mood to address him as such.

He is a bit small for his age, and is about the size of a travel shampoo (2.5 inches long and about 1.5 inches wise- not counting his little stubby tail) and since he is not used to handling, when we take him out of the cage, he burrows his head into any available space and acts like a ostrich. If he cannot see us, than we are not there. He tucks his head into the space between your thumb and finger and falls asleep =) We have great hopes for him and hope that he grows into a sweet baby like Sprout. =)
Our little "Gherkin" taking a rest

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