Tuesday, March 3, 2015

T Stands For Tea in the Afternoon

Hi everyone! I switched things around and had to post my T Stands for Tuesday this afternoon since I was out running some errands this morning before the next batch of weather hits us.  Can you believe this winter? We had another 8" this past Sunday, and this afternoon the next storm of snow, then sleet, then rain, then back to snow again is supposed to start any minute and last until Thursday.  Totals? Glad you asked! Another 4-6"!
We are running out of places to pile this mess!

Anyway it is a good afternoon to sit down with a cup of tea:
All the flavor and none of the calories that are in those wonderful Samoa Girl Scout Cookies.  My DD and I came across this tea while she was home on Saturday and we decided to give it a try. It has good flavor without tasting artificial.

Since I finished my DD's hat and scarf while she was home, I'll be working on my scarf this afternoon.  Some of you might remember that this is the recycled silk yarn that I spoke about in previous posts.
Well, not the exact same yarn.  I was having breakage issues and so wrote the the company, Mango Moon Yarns, for advice. This excerpt from their website explains their mission, " At Mango Moon, we think knitting should be fun, and that we should try to leave the world a little better than we found it. We work with the Nepali Women’s Empowerment Group and a spinners’ co-op in Indonesia to bring you yarns that are colorful and fun, and that help improve the lives of the artisans who spin it."

Apparently, the (expensive) yarn that I had picked up at an Estate sale was at least 15 years old!  The owner, who had actually taken over the company from the original owner made it her mission to make me happy.  She not only contacted me personally, but she replaced my old, sad yarn with this new yarn at no charge! That is great service and the measure of a good company in my opinion! They offer yarn, kits, supplies, and patterns--some of them free.  The yarn is top of the line, and if you are looking for excellent quality and service, you may want to visit their site.
Here is how my drop stitch scarf looks so far!

Disclaimer: Although I did receive free replacement yarn, it was not in any way contingent on a blog post. This was solely my idea and my way of thanking the owner, Laurie Cook, for her kindness and generosity. Too many times we only hear about complaints; I like to give praise where due, too.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like to see what everyone else is up to, visit our host, Altered Book Lover for the links.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Second look on the Second

Time for another second look on the second. This post was titled "The splendor of Switzerland!" and originally posted on 8/27/07.  This was the year our family went on a huge European trip, visiting 10 countries in 24 days.  These are some of my favorite posts and I hope to share a few more of them. Considering we received yet another 6+ inches of snow between yesterday and last night, I enjoyed looking back through these vacations posts. Thank you Bleubeard and Elizabeth for hosting.

Ah, Switzerland, a place that was easy to fall in love with!

Our first stop was a visit to the Lion Monument in Lucerne. It honors fallen Swiss Guard soldiers who were protecting King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and their children from angry mobs trying to storm the palace. Unfortunately, hundreds of soldiers were killed, and the royals had already left the palace. Notice the Swiss Cross on the shield by the lion's head. It is at the same time a beautiful and heart-wrenching tribute.

We also passed near the town which traditionally fills the ranks of the Swiss Guard. Everywhere we turned there was so much to learn. For example, there were several factions of Swiss Guard-bodyguards, mercenary,palace guards, etc., all known for their discipline and fierce loyalty to their employers. Only the Papal Swiss Guard remains today. Later on in the trip, we did see two in their red,gold & blue striped traditional uniforms at the Vatican.

En route to our hotel, we had a quick stop at the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen. If I remember correctly, these are the largest falls in Europe. They are still dwarfed by Niagara Falls in upstate New York!

On to Engleberg, a beautiful ski resort town. It is impossible to express how beautiful it was to walk out onto our terrace at our hotel and have the massive snow covered mountains right there! Actually, they were many miles away, but their size made them appear close. If you looked in one direction, you could see a cog railway going up the mountain. You can just see the red car in the 4th photo. I assume this was to allow people to get to homes in the foothills. Another direction gave stunning views of the mountains and ski lifts--not operating in July, of course! I have to mention that on the way there, we passed through towns where every house had window boxes overflowing with flowers--mostly geraniums which they say repel the mosquitoes that are common in this area.

Thanks for visiting today! It is always fun to reminisce and look back on favorite places and projects.

Friday, February 27, 2015

APC #24

Hi everyone! The theme this week is washi tape!  This was a fun project where I used what I had and didn't really have to fuss too much. We simply covered our cards with strips of washi tape in a pleasing combination:
For the first card, I used a purchased die cut that reminded me of a delivery horse and found some odds and ends in my stash that echoed the theme of travel.
I backed the die cut with black paper to make it stand out more.  Done! I really liked how Claudine did the second card.  Of course, this would have been much easier with a die cutter....but after three tries, here is what I came up with:
I used some black lined paper from a spiral notebook, and this was the best effort out of the three.  I was a little unhappy that it did not come out centered, but since I planned to write this quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne, I thought I could probably make it fit better anyway!

Just three more weeks to go!

Thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate all your comments and encouragement! Have a happy creative weekend everyone!

Monday, February 23, 2015

T Stands For Tuesday

Hi Everyone! I'm posting early this time since I knew I would not be available tomorrow.  All is well--just getting out for some fresh air. I could tell you about the 5-6" snowfall we had over the weekend, but that is getting pretty boring. Sunday brought 40 degree temperatures so much of that new snowfall melted, and you are probably relieved to hear there won't be any more icicle photos as they have all melted, too. Today I'm sharing another page in my Tea Altered Book Journal....I somehow neglected to take a photo of both pages, so here they are one at a time:
I used some tissue paper in gesso to get a little texture on this page--even though much of it turned out to be covered by the images.  Two colors of acrylic paint were used-one for a base and the second to make some wavy lines. "Life is simple"
"Just add water".   I found the quote on Pinterest and lucked out with this image I found in my stash.  The letters of the quote were all individually drawn and cut out of a travel brochure. After I glued them down, I realized there wasn't much contrast, so white pen to the rescue!

As much as I love tea, I think I could use some "paradise" right about now.  Hurry Spring, please!

Happy T Day! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 20, 2015

APC #23

Hi Everyone! Today I am sharing my latest altered playing cards. As always, you can click on the link in my sidebar to see Claudine's examples.  This week we were playing with masks. Here are my cards together:
Since I did not have "real" masks, I tried to use stickers with mixed results as you can see above.  Had I given it more thought, I might have tried contact paper or something stickier.
After painting a light background, the idea was to mask what you wanted to stay that color and then use a darker color to go over everything.  Before removing the stickers, I used a large stamp to make an all over design. Upon removing the stamps, I saw some of the second layer seeped under, but since it wasn't too bad, I continued on, stamping the hot air balloon images.
I went with the same process here, but should have used a darker second layer since you can hardly see (even in person) the masks in the upper left and lower right hand corners.  I completed the card without putting too much effort into it since I was really not all that happy. Oh well, not everything works out perfectly.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a happy creative weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

T Stands For Tuesday

Hi Everyone!  Time to share your favorite beverage and visit with Elizabeth and Bleubeard and the rest of the Tuesday T posters. I am sitting here this morning with one of my favorite breakfast teas, English Breakfast,
as I watch the snow falling down, yet again. This time it is a small snowfall and I think we will make our appointments this afternoon that had been rescheduled from the last time it snowed.

Today I am sharing my finished heart/sunflower box.  If you missed part one, you can see it here.I have decided to leave the box unvarnished mostly because the wood of the heart and the wood of the box are very different and I am not sure they will look the same.

 As you can see, I went with wood burning on the four sides of the box, too.  I previously thought I might add wood hearts, but didn't have enough, and didn't want to buy any more.
The wood of the cigar box was quite a bit softer than the wood of the heart. It was not as easy to burn in the pattern smoothly in terms of depth or intensity of burn color, but I was fairly happy with the front.
I created a paper pattern to transfer for the placement of the hearts and roughly where the sunflowers would go.
For the sides, a trio of hearts seems to fit best.
When the basic shapes were all burned in, I filled them in with different designs. After the outside was finished, I decided the inside cover need some pop,
so I did a dimensional fabric picture similar to the bee box I made. I crocheted a chain with matching colors of craft thread to finish off the edge.

Now I am off to visit everyone and then start beading yet another Hydrangea! Happy T Day everyone and thanks for visiting!

Friday, February 13, 2015

APC #22

Hi Everyone!  What a busy week here between snow just about every other day and we are back to frigid windy weather. We did manage to get out for the day on Wednesday which did a lot for my mood and got my altered playing cards finished, too. Here they are together:
This week, Claudine showed how she used Elmer's glue and stencils to achieve texture. She had a few problems but managed to work through and create her usual beautiful cards.
The first thing I decided to try was to use a thicker bodied glue than Elmer's since my Elmer's looks brownish and watery--does glue go bad? The second thing is that I did not really have an appropriate stencil so decided to make one.  Enter cardboard and crop-a-dile!
I haven't had my crop-a-dile long and am not that skilled at getting holes where I really want them, so I just punched randomly through this thick cardboard,
placed it, filled the holes, and swiped over the top of my homemade stencil with my finger to smooth it out and make sure it was totally filled.  Lifted straight up and got the result above.
These did take awhile to dry and when they did they had little dimples in the top, but I was still happy. After I dabbed on the paint, found my image and word, it looked plain so I did a little doodling.
For my second card, I decided to just zig zag the glue back and forth and let it dry before dabbing on the paint. This worked well also, so I think the key for me was using thicker glue.
It is hard to see, but the glue is raised up. I embossed my word and put a bit of star garland at the top.  I didn't feel like pulling out my sewing machine so I simulated stitching around the edges rather than on the washi tape which really did not show up because of the large image I used.  All in all, I considered these successful!

Have a happy creative weekend everyone! Thanks for stopping by!