Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Here's to a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas this year.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Santa 2013

This year's Santa(s) were made using a pattern by "On the Edge Designs," copyright 1996. I'm not sure if it's still in print. Kriss Kringle is 19 - 19 1/2 inches tall.
This guy was auctioned off at our ER Christmas Party.
This one was made for friends. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Whoo Hoo!

A couple months ago, artist Tamara Laporte asked for Life Book love stories, so I submitted one. There was a chance it would be published on her website. Tam wrote today that my submission is currently featured! The exposure is great, of course, but I'm really happy to be able to write about my first art journaling experience. 

Life Book 2014 is almost here. I'm still finishing up some of the most recent lessons, while binding my big book as well.

But for now I'm adding some finishing touches to my annual Santa doll for the ER Christmas Party/Auction, which is TOMORROW!  I'll be able to post photos of Santa after the party.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Felt Ornies

I've been slow to post a photo of some felt ornaments made during a November evening of crafting, food & wine. It's been fun collecting ideas, and the folder is getting mighty thick!

I made the snowman, but still haven't finished the red and orange heart yet. Friend Julie made the little deer (her dog ate the one she painstakingly made a couple years ago).
Danielle made the Mickey ornament.

Gretchen worked on an owl, but left before I could get it photographed.
Julie had her eyes closed in the one photo I took of her and she'd probably kill me if I posted it here, so I won't.
I'm looking forward to next year, and have collected even more ideas and examples of felt ornies. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Fast & Friendly Quilted Potholder Tutorial

I've been keeping an eye out for some fast and easy gift ideas for Christmas. There's a blog post on Craftsy - a tutorial to make quilted potholders, which would be a great way to use scraps of fabric (Lord know I've got plenty of those!)  A lot of mine are pretty ratty looking, so I could always make some for myself, too.
Quilted Potholder - Pattern on Craftsy
But first, I need to finish a couple Santa dolls. So... I'm going to go work on them now while I have a moment.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Life Book 2013 December Lessons

Oh, my. We're getting down to the end of Life Book. The binding lesson has just been released, and I'm five lessons behind (nearly done with one of them). This amazing year of art journaling is coming to a close.
This lesson is all about binding our Life Books. I haven't yet checked out the lesson, but I understand two methods of binding will be reviewed - a Coptic method, and a three-ring method. I'm not sure  I'm going with, but either way it's going to be a really thick book.
Tam requests that we film a flip-through of our books when were done, so I'll probably do that and add it here or in a separate post.

This wintery lesson was by Jeanette Maisy House. It took me some time to get started, but I finally finished it in January 2014. I still need to do a little journaling in the music balloons, but want to put some thought into it.

This last lesson of the year was taught by Dina Wakley. I just finished it today (January 26, 2014). I can't say I'm really happy with it, but it may grow on me.
More Art Journaling Explorations HERE

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tooth Pillow (for grandson Ivan)

Ivan lost another tooth today - his third. So I decided to sew some sort of pillow with a pocket to make it easier for the Tooth Fairy to find that tooth. I wanted to make it from wool felt and wanted it to be big enough - but not too big. This is my first attempt, and it's about 4x4 inches in size. I think it will work just fine.
The little pocket was sewn to the tooth back by machine, as was the ribbon. The pink wool cheeks were sewn by hand. The front was sewn to the back by hand.
Naturally I'll be making one for Fiona in a couple years - maybe one with blue eyes.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday & Stuff

I have absolutely no intention of doing any shopping today. I tried it once (in-store shopping) on Black Friday, and swore I'd never do it again. It was an awful experience.

I have, however, absolutely no problem shopping online! I have to work on Cyber Monday, but as I don't have any clue what the family wants for Christmas I wouldn't even know where to start.

My intentions today were to pick up my grandson from Great Grandma's house (she and Grandpa were called upon to babysit over the holiday), then hunker down at home and try to do something crafty. I have sewing to do, journal pages, and many unfinished projects.

Sadly, we lost my dear Uncle Rick this week, so I'll be traveling today and staying over to attend a family gathering tomorrow to say goodbye. It'll be good to see family again. And maybe I can get some gift ideas, too.

Frankly, there's no way I could work effectively in my studio right now, as it's a complete disaster. You'd think I was a hoarder by the looks of it. I've got supplies and projects-in-progress everywhere. I could spend an entire day getting it straightened up. I'm too embarrassed to post a photo, so you'll just have to use your imagination.

I've been taking an online course from Jane Davenport these past few weeks, called "Print & Scan." And for that class I bought myself a nice new fancy printer (which is also occupying space in my very crowded studio). My hope is to potentially make prints of some of my journal pages and sell them on Etsy or something. I've already learned TONS of stuff, including some things that can be done in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

You won't see this at our house this year, as hubby and I are both working. The hospital usually has decent food for those of us stuck working the holidays. Hopefully, everyone will behave themselves.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Turkey Project

I've been trying to come up with some sort of easy, unique, inexpensive Thanksgiving project to do with my grandson (he's 5). I didn't want to buy anything, but use what I had on hand. This is what I came up with. He had a great time cutting and gluing. I cut the felt pieces, just because my sewing scissors are very sharp and the pieces are small. I also cut the body, and the layers were pretty thick (cereal box and corrugated paper). He cut the feathers on the turkey on the left (I drew the shape, he cut along the lines.)

These turkeys are actually a little bit more 3-D that they appear in the first photo. Magnet strips on the back allow these birds to be affixed to the refrigerator.

I'm trying to decide if we need to add wings of some sort.
And here he is on the refrigerator:
Cereal box cardboard
Plastic spoon
Felt (for eyes, beak, waddle, legs)
Construction paper
Corrugated paper
Elmer's glue
Magnet strips
Tan acrylic craft paint

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New Fabric (I couldn't help myself)

Well, I did it. I bought more fabric when I promised myself I wouldn't. I could tell you it's because these charm packs were on sale at Green Fairy Quilts, and that may have played a small part. Mostly, it was because I thought these collections were bright and cheerful. I've had them for about a week, and I think they'll make up really cute simple lap or twin size quilts.

Then today while checking my email, I saw that Craftsy was offering another free quilting class. Of course I signed up for it. I learn new things with each class I take, and the teachers are all really good. This mini class is called Piece, Patch, Quilt: Basic Quiltmaking Skills with Gail Kessler. I doubt I can get something done before Christmas (too many other projects), but that's sort of what I had in mind.

This charm pack had me thinking of my sister, so she may get something in the distant future:
Moda Charm Pack - Bobbins & Bits by Pat Sloan
Moda Charm Pack - Bobbins & Bits by Pat Sloan
And this one appealed to me.
The color schemes of both are pretty similar, huh?
Moda MINI Charm - Pot Luck by American Jane
Moda MINI Charm - Pot Luck by American Jane
Incidentally, Craftsy is offering another free class called Professional Family Portraits, and as I just purchased a REALLY NICE camera, I signed up for this one as well. My new camera is a Canon EOS 7D, and I'm just starting to find my way around all the cool features. Even in the basic Auto mode, the photos are fantastic. I got the "For Dummies" book for this specific camera and I've got a DVD tutorial coming soon.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Getting Ready for the Season?

I posted a link to my free pattern about this time last year, and thought I'd repost so others could find it easily. The pattern is on my website, copyrighted in 1997. That was the year I made one for all my coworkers. It was a daunting task, and I tried to make each Snow Person unique and representative of each person's interests or attributes. 
So if you're looking for a fast and easy project for the season, how about some Snow People made from Warm & Natural cotton batting? Click HERE for the pattern and instructions. There's also a link to photos of ALL the Snow People I made that year. Back when I had TIME, apparently.
snowman_janis.jpg (143124 bytes)snowman_elaine.jpg (106590 bytes)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Life Book 2013 November Lessons

I'm still a few lessons behind, catching up with a few of the October lessons. Stay tuned! I managed to finish this one (before some of the others) but had trouble adjusting the contrast to look like the original. Happy with the feather, less satisfied with the background.

Finally finished this lesson, taught by Jane Davies.

Finally got this one done, January 2014! Though now that I look at it, I see I want to add a couple more details. Oh, well.
I've been a fan of Melody Ross and Brave Girls Club for a long time!

More Art Journaling Explorations HERE

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Stay safe and use common sense please!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Another BLOG SPECIAL - The Candy Keeper now an E-PATTERN

I spent HOURS today converting my versatile "Candy Keeper" pattern into an e-pattern, and in order to promote this pattern I'm offering it at the discounted price of $7 from now until the end of December. Come January, the cost will revert to $10 (that's how it's listed on my website and Etsy right now).

The entire document is 24 pages long, which includes a cover sheet, supply list, instructions and pattern pages to make these five variations. The container portion of the doll upcycles plastic gallon milk jugs.

candy_girl.jpg (87345 bytes)
candy_annie.jpg (88807 bytes)
candy_scare.jpg (94905 bytes)
candy_witch.jpg (76959 bytes)
candy_santa.jpg (72800 bytes)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hazel the Witch ~ now an E-PATTERN

Today I spent some time converting my Hazel the Witch pattern to an e-pattern. Unfortunately the process took quite a bit longer this time around as my new computer has a different operating system than my last, so I had to relearn some things.
Hazel is a pin doll or ornie, about 6 inches tall. Her arms and legs are jointed; her clothing is not removable.
And because it's the season, I'll be selling both the e-pattern and the original paper pattern at the discounted price of $3 for the rest of October and the whole month of November. The paper pattern, of course, will be slightly more to allow for postage. I hate the way the spacing below is but if I mess with it, the PayPal buttons don't work. If you find they don't work for you, just drop me an email at blueheron61@charter.net or blueherondolls@hotmail.com ~ Thanks!!
12/1/13 - this blog special has expired.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Life Book 2013 October Lessons

Tam Laporte taught this first lesson of October. I started with the background (monoprinting with a gelli plate) while waiting for some stamp carving tools to arrive. 
One of the other students included a link to this video, a tutorial by Linda Germain on how to make your own gelli plate.

Aimee Myers Dolich taught this lesson. Not a favorite, but I did it anyway.

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer taught this lesson. I was unable to achieve the loose, abstract look I was going for. Just way too uptight, I guess!

Now this one was really fun!

More Art Journaling Explorations HERE