Sunday, January 26, 2014

First Tim Holtz Tag for 2014

I participated in the Tim Holtz Tag Challenge last year and really enjoyed learning and trying the different techniques Tim demonstrated each month.  I had hoped to complete all 12 but didn't get the last two done.  At some point, I want to go back and try the techniques for those two months since they looked very interesting.  Meanwhile, though, it is time to jump into this year's tags.  You can see Tim's tag and tutorial here.

I didn't have the watch die but I do have the Clock die and the Steampunk embossing folder, so I used those.  I liked the idea this rubber stamp conveyed:  "Learn to pause...or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you."  Lately I have been taking the time to do the things I enjoy, spend time with friends and family and, generally, just finding the joy in my everyday life.  For this reason, I 'shattered' the clock, leaving some of the pieces laying below it.  I replaced the missing gears with a picture I took of the sunrise a few years back.  If I hadn't taken time to pause that day, I would have missed the beauty all around me.  I took many beautiful photos that morning from the road along our place and in our back yard, with the sun glowing through the lilac bushes.

I stamped the saying (Tim Holtz stamp) on a tag that I had created and rejected for a previous project; then cut it out by hand.

I used a #10 tag for the project since the clock is rather large.  The background is stained using Broken China and Pumice Stone Distress Stains.  I then added some stenciling with a TH layering stencil and a little more color around the edges with Vintage Photo DS.  After the inking was done, I spritzed the whole thing with a little water to age and distress.  The rub-ons are a 7 Gypsies product that I had on hand and felt worked nicely with the theme.  The little word banners along the side are TH Chit Chat stickers stained on the edges with Vintage Photo.  I basically followed Tim's instructions for covering the clock with foil tape, cutting and aging with Black Soot paint.

The frayed ribbon and charm are also TH products.  I was able to make the whole tag with things I had on hand.  This does not mean that I was particularly ingenious at putting together things that worked - it means I have collected a lot of Tim Holtz product.  But I have to admit, it was kind of fun to be able to just grab what I needed and run with it.  I didn't think I had the foil tape so took some aluminum foil down to my studio (I think this would work just fine for the technique) but discovered the tape in my box of tricks.

I'm happy with the way it all came together!
As always, thanks for stopping.  Leave me a comment and I will make sure I stop by and check out your January Tag.  I love seeing all of the different interpretations!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I 'Heart' You

In anticipation of my granddaughter coming for sewing lessons, I put together a little box of tools chosen specially for her.  I also wanted to make a pincushion for her toolbox that would remind her of our time together.  I am glad I took the time to do this because she loved every item in her little box and wanted me to show her how each thing was used.  She is such an avid learner that she was a delight to spend the day with, sewing and learning.  Even though she is only seven, she never lost interest or patience and recounted every word back to her parents and sister.  It was cute to
hear her repeatedly say "I love sewing!".  Kind of renewed my own enthusiasm.  How nice in this age of electronics and video games to have a young mind so interested in the simple art of creating with your hands.  I did chuckle when she told me to make her practice pieces hard because she wanted to "make it to the next level".

I had so much fun making the wool pincushions that I made a few more.  Thought they would be nice to have on hand when I need a little gift.  I also thought I would share the pattern so you can make some for yourself, if sew inclined.  :)

I used felted wool for the pincushions.  If you would like to put a signature label on the back, use the small heart pattern and just write your name on it with a disappearing marker.  Back-stitch the writing with some embroidery floss and blanket stitch it to the back heart.  I also used embroidery floss to add some running stitch veins to the leaves.  You could also do this with your sewing machine, but it really doesn't take too long to do it by hand.

Stitch the two hearts together, insides out, using a 1/8 seam allowance and leaving a small opening for turning and stuffing.  Trim the inside and outside corners close to the stitching.  (You may want to reinforce the stitching at the corners before trimming.  Do this by just stitching over your original stitching a second time.)

Turn the heart right-side out and stuff with some polyester filling.  Hand stitch the opening shut.  Position your leaves and hand-stitch or glue in place.  Stack the flower petals and button and sew together.  Attach to the heart with stitching or glue.  Some of the flowers I cut with the Tim Holtz Tattered Floral die, others I hand cut and included with the pattern.
Click on image and make sure it is 8.5 x 11 before printing.
Hope you have as much fun making these as I did.

As always, thanks for stopping!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Creative Energy

Hi - I'm back!  My apologies for taking such a long hiatus from posting.  It isn't because I haven't been busy creating - quite the opposite.  I can't seem to stop my creativity long enough to sit and write about it.

For a while after my hip surgery I wasn't able to sit comfortably in an upright chair.  That got me looking for things I could do in a recliner.  I pulled out my crochet hooks and yarn but the ball of yarn kept getting away from me and tangling in my walker.  (Not a dilemma I expected to have before I reached the 'home'.)  Anyway, that led me to dig out cross-stitch projects that I hadn't touched in years.  I finished four - so far.  I find I am really enjoying stitching in the wee hours of the morning while sipping my breakfast smoothy and listening to a book that I've downloaded from the library.

Stop by tomorrow for instructions and pattern.
Then with all of the extreme cold and ice we have had here in Iowa, I was a little afraid to step out the front door.  (Especially after seeing the bill for that new hip and viewing the x-rays.)  My studio is a bit of a trek down toward the barn, so instead, I decided to stay in and visit my sewing room.  There were many unfinished projects in there, too, so I got to work.  I have made pillows, pieced together quilt tops, made pincushions, organized my 'stash' and started giving my granddaughter sewing lessons.  My sewing machine broke a few years back and I replaced it with a new Janome that I hadn't really taken the time to get fully acquainted with.  So I have read the manual, tried out the various settings and attachments and generally fallen in love with sewing again.  When I bought the new machine they had a promotion where you got a second, smaller machine free.  So I set it up, too, and am humming along with both machines.  We are having the coldest winter Iowa has seen in 100 years but most days I really don't mind.  I just keep on stitching.

And on warmer days when the ice melts a bit, I venture down to my studio and create with inks, paper and paint.  Some days I even work - but only if I have to.

I went for a routine doctor's visit on Monday and the nurse, in the course of asking the usual questions, asked me if I had experienced any loss of interest in my normal activities and hobbies.  I told her "No, quite the opposite - I seem to be interested in everything!  Do you have a pill for that?"  :)

As always, thanks for stopping.