As a courtesy to me and the universe, please speak to me before you copy or transcribe anything from this blog for profit- my work may be unpublished but it is of value to me, and if you are using my ideas to profit, hey, I want my cut of it!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Swaps

So, after much struggle, I finished the swaps I had signed up for. Because I didn't have a clue what the end result was going to be, I muddled along. But the end result was worth it and I love my creation. I started with vanilla cardstock. Because I had spent and arm and a leg to buy Tim Holtz's craft sheet (basically, a silicone sheet that is 15 x 18 inches) I was determined to use it. I randomly inked my fired brick distress ink pad on the sheet along with one of the browns (not sure which). Then I spritzed with water and gently laid the cardstock in the puddles. I was really surprised with the softness of the brick red as it looks more like the colour worn lipstick. The dappling efect of the colours are so gorgeous- am definitley going to be making lots more backgrounds like these.

I had also purchased a retired set-Botanical and was anxious to use it. I overstamped in vintage photo (or was that tea ink?) the french script fromt that set and then spritzed it to get a softer look. The red poppy was stamped in Timber brown stazon (my new favourite ink, now that I've gotten over the smell of the pad) and coloured in with some cheapo coloured pencils. I also used Stampin' Up!'s marker olive, to colour the leaves.
I had gotten a Paper Artsy stamp set ( Buttons, Plate 4) and wanted to incorporate what I thought were theBronte sisters stamp in my ATC so I stamped it on a transparency and cut them out to overlay it on the main ATC.

The "pin" part of the ATC was also fun to make. Dollar store embellishments were used- they are "mini frames with brads". I learned this from my friend Robin at our last stamping get together (thanks, Robin for sharing with us this idea). I used crystal effects to hold together a "scene" I created with mini mulberry flowers. The original plan was to tat little butterflies and use them in the frame but I've misplaced my tatting shuttle and threads so I used the image from the sisters instead- colouring them in with chalks.

I backed my ATC with cereal box cardboard and I also edged them with my Zig gold pen.
So now, I was also in some inchie swaps as well and so I had leftover "sisters" from the transparencies and I cut them out carefully and layered them on my inchies. I like how it turned out.

Here are some other things I had worked on in the last little while (before my dry spell).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Garden tales

Artwise, I have been at a standstill. My muse has packed up and wandered away as I struggle to create for a couple of swaps coming up. ACK!! Summer seems here to stay and I am constantly fighting with the dandelions and other greens that are taking over my garden.
My raspberries are out and am swimming in fruit. I already made a batch of jam out of desperation. I may need to freeze some of these berries and I know I still have berries from last year-help!! If you live within driving distance, do consider coming out and helping me with my dilemma as I can't keep up with the harvesting of the raspberries. Last year, I made raspberry syrup, some raspberry vodka cordial and raspberry jelly.

I have been trying to line up friends to come out and harvest these lovely beauties. There are only so many raspberries one can eat :)

Here's another picture to tempt you.... These red, luscious, organic raspberries truly are gems of nature. I seem to have a little visitor in my garden. My neighbours, who are bird freaks, tell me that we have some blue jays visiting and staying. They've gotten them trained so that my neighbours show up with peanuts and other nuts for the birds when they come out into the garden. When I was out picking the lovely raspberries you see in the pictures, I heard this loud squawking from the bushes in front of me. It was so loud, I thought it was a magpie, but it was only one of the bluejays, protesting at my presence in his patch of berries! I shooed him away, of course, he'd better learn to share :)

I've yet to attack the grass with the dandelion stick because I really want my lawn to remain organic. Especially since I found a patch of edible looking mushrooms under the golden crabapple tree. They were so edible looking, I found myself taking a bite out of the stem.I took it inside, washed it off and ate it. It was really, really good! It tasted very umami- savoury and meaty- surely something like this cannot be poisonous? So I decided to look it up and apparently, you're supposed to identify the mushroom *before* you eat it. So, I did a spore print and it had some lovely brown and salmon coloured spores, and the mushroom is white and has unattached gills and a ring on the stipe too. From some pictures, and the identification key I followed, I think it is a Trichoroma pardixx but since I am not 100% sure, I am going to wait till I take a course on mushroom identification before I proceed. Too bad, though, since that would have been a lovely meal. And they continure to taunt me as I can see their lovely white caps in the grass out the window from where my computer is located. ETA: I have to revise my identification since I've done more poking and it turns out my mushroom is Agaricus oseanus, as it also bruises yellow when damaged and I do remember the flesh turning yellow from me holding it. I'ts listed as cautionary edible, meaning that some people have had allergic reactions to it. Apparently, it has also been mistaken for the Amanita species (and likelwise) of which all species are poisonous. So perhaps I was wise to not consume it all. Just so people don't think I do very cavalier things all the time (okay so those of you who know me will realise I do anyways because of my risktaking behaviour, but that is another story for another time) I have taken several undergraduate courses in fungal physiology so I am not doing this blindly.

So, I don't think I posted a picture of what I did with my most favouritest inchies. I framed them. They are on the wall beside the computer so I get to gaze at them everyday an I love this idea so much, I am going to frame more inchies and surround this picture with more framed inchies. Those inchies are too beautiful to leave hidden in the box and sticking them in an album is just too geeky for me. The tactile inchies like my shaker ones will still be in the box, though because some of them inchies need to be fondled. It has gotten so that I can identify each and every inchie in the frame. Everyone's style is unique to them and that's what makes each inchie special.

I sure hope my muse returns soon.I need to get my stuff complete and out the door tomorrow. I also need to find my tatting shuttle and threads ... sigh..... wish me luck!