Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Very Merry Christmas to All!


A very Merry Christmas to all from sunny California! May we all remember all the reasons we have to celebrate this upcoming year...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Busy, But No Sunshine To Take Pictures!


This is the year of the paper rose ornament. I wish the pictures would show all the twinkles from the glitter sparkling in the sunshine!


This new job of mine takes me away from home from 7:45 - 5pm. That means the sun is only up with I'm at work. It also means that I can only take pictures on the weekends. This weekend is the first I've been home in about a month. Feels great!


I love the pale lilac color of this one. It's quiet and ghostly.


I ran out of pearlized pins so substituted with these ancient ones I got from a relative once upon a time. Probably Bakelite! They weren't quite long enough to hold the roses in place, so I had to use plain pins on the bottom/sides to keep them from falling off.


Last, but not least - a pretty Easter-colored confection.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Look What's In the Shop Now!

It's finished and I'm really pleased with it. The work of months and months and several people in addition to myself have made this possible.



I love the way the shop looks. I hope my mom is proud of me!

 This is the first design you learn. Simple!


 Here is the intermediate design. Easy, too!



And here's what it all leads to...

I hope you will stop by the shop and take a look. It's not hard to learn and I'm always available for questions. Happy Thanksgiving week to you all!

If I drank, I'd have one tonight in celebration!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Guess What Happens Next Week?


One very fancy tutorial will be ready by next Tuesday.

I, for one, will be very thankful.

Monday, November 4, 2013

News

I started a new job at my library today.

Although the work was all stuff I'd done before, I'd never had time to do it uninterrupted. For the past seven years, I've been working at branch libraries where I've been interrupted constantly. I know there are infrequent stretches of time where I've been able to work for maybe a half hour without being asked a question or something, but today was u.n.i.n.t.e.r.r.u.p.t.e.d. time.

And I didn't know what to do with myself. I actually had to concentrate.

Because of this, I am mentally exhausted. So, here. Look at a picture of a paper ball I made a few days ago.


It's very pretty. But way too big to be on my Christmas tree. I must needs make a smaller one. And then about a billion more to give away as presents. :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Circle Paper Ornaments


With the husband being sick all day Sunday, I had the remote and the afternoon to myself. I finished watching A&E's Pride and Prejudice (a venture over time since I could only watch after the hubby went to bed) and got to see You've Got Mail from start to end without someone complaining about "bonnet movies."

And I made these little things. I think they look quite lovely and will let me use up some of my scraps of patterned paper in a most satisfying way.


The husband got better around 8pm so he and I watched Big Bang Theory (season 2) while the offspring was sick. Fortunately, he's better today and at school. We'll see if it lasts all day or not. He ate a small breakfast and told me very animatedly about the fun dream he had last night.When I told him it was time for school, he said he wasn't sure if he was sick or not. Wanting to nip the fakery in the bud, I told him the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. We'll see if he really was crying wolf or not. I'll feel bad if he tosses his cookies at school. The Mom Who Wouldn't Believe isn't a nice story either.


I want to post directions for these, but am not sure when I'll have time. It's a busy week!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Glitterific



La la la! I love glitter!


And a red one with gold-headed pins.


And a surprising picture found on my camera. I never imagined my daughter was such a gifted photographer. I should let her play with the camera more often... 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tiny Star

 

Look what I made out of curling ribbon? It took forever and I need reading glasses to make more of them, but I'm seeing earrings in my future!

Kiff is sick so I have an unexpected gift of time today. Maybe I'll make a few more...


 Cheers to everyone today. It's going to be over 80°F. Happy October?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pretty Flowers All In a Row


I am fortunate enough to have access to an Ellison die cutter at work. Using the spiral punch, I am able to take different books and make spirals out of the paper which I then use to create roses. I love how uniform they look here in my new square cookie tin (which I bought from Costco simply for the tin. I don't like the cookies).

Next on my list o' things to do (besides work on my tutorial) is to glitter these fine ladies and make them into rose ball ornaments for Christmas...

Monday, October 7, 2013

German Stars



This past weekend my family and I watched General Conference.

It was the first time I'd taken notes for nearly every speaker. WOW! What a difference it makes! I can't wait to put the words into practice. It's overwhelming how much I learned about myself and how much I want to improve.

And I figured out how to make these.


 Find instructions here. It took a few tries, but it worked. And I bought my paper strips here. I've even bought a second batch of pink and white strips. Feeling girly...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Out o' Control (Again)

My husband is about to ban me from doing tutorials.

I have given myself a burden (all of the tutorial - done comprehensively and perfectly) and a deadline (yesterday, a month ago, last year) that are both impossible to meet.

When I was in college, I was always overwhelmed with homework. My thought was always I could do so much better on this assignment if I just didn't have a deadline! And ideas? I was FULL of ideas as a student. I just didn't have time. And I was jealous of other people who had time to go out and have fun. (I secretly wondered if that was why I didn't find a spouse in college - too busy doing other things.)

Now I am out of college - TWO colleges, in fact! I even have a job - TWO jobs, in fact! Both help my family function economically and keep us out of the poorhouse.

You would think I'd finally have time, right? Well, I do, but there is a catch.

I fill that time. With work. And deadlines. And impossible goals.

Fun? What's that? Time to sit and think and wonder and imagine? THERE'S NO TIME FOR THAT, HONEY! I have made myself a taskmaster over myself and I'm not very lenient.

Here's the question -  

Why do I feel it so necessary to fill each and every moment of my time with work?

Half-remembered thoughts bubble to the surface of my mind: You only have a little time here on earth and you have to make the most of it! We only take back to Heaven what we make of ourselves here! Don't waste your time here on earth!

Hmph. If I go to Heaven, I'm sure not going to have a lot of memories of it being fun, am I? Earth life sucked.

And I did it to myself. Why? A few reasons. 1) I'm a goal-setter. I told myself I am going to make this tutorial. Once I get it in my head, it doesn't go away until it is finished. OCD? Maybe. 2) Because I've let my blog get out of control again. I'm talking to other people instead of listening to myself. I'm naturally a people-pleaser, so I REALLY want to make other people happy  (That's another one of the commandments that bubbles up in my remembrance - help others be happy!) and so many people want this information.

Unfortunately, I'm not a robot. I can work on the tutorial for a little while, but then it will suddenly overwhelm me and I want to run away from it for a time - a day? a week? several weeks? I worry about disappointing other people, but it won't get done any faster for the worrying. Probably quite the opposite.

And no one is pushing me to do it - just me. And I'm pretty sure everyone who wants the tutorial would be just fine with me taking the time I need in order to do it right. I'm the only one putting up a fuss. :)

So it will get done. I just need a bit of time to recuperate from the flurry of activity I had with it in the beginning. Perspective, that's what I need.

The nice thing is, the tutorial works. One of my proofreaders, Candie, went ahead and sent me a picture of one of her practice pieces. Here it is, with her permission:


It's going to be all right, eventually.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Second Section Ready for Proofing!


In order to avoid overwhelming my proofreaders, I am sending the tutorial out for review in sections. The first section was a simple shape - the heart I posted about last time. Today I finished up the second section where I teach how to fold a more complex shape.

Next up is the Big Kahuna - the Read book, the mother of all folded books (in my opinion).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sneak Peek of Free Form Shape Tutorial




I will be teaching people how to turn a simple drawing into...


... a simply beautiful folded book.

And that's just the first part. There's more!

My next goal is to get section 2 finished.

Did you know that sitting in a hard chair for two days working on a tutorial can do terrible things to your back? If I didn't have to go to work today, I might consider taking some Vicodin and laying down for a while... :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Alas and a Lack of Tables


I have allowed myself to be talked into having no tables in my house. It is a long sad tale and not very interesting except for the fact that I think I'm a chump. To make up for this lack of flat surfaces, I have become resourceful. My bed acts as a lovely place to put a tabletop when I need both a flat surface and good light.

Anyway, here is a blurry shot of my setup of my workspace where I toiled on the fancy font tutorial all day Saturday. It actually made me a little sick to work on it for so long. I just got going and wasn't a grownup enough to make myself stop. As a consequence, my house didn't get clean and I didn't feel like I'd done anything good when I went to bed. Weird, huh? I guess it's all about balance.

Wish me luck today. My camera is having troubles now, not wanting to focus. I'm going to say that the above picture is "artful" in its blurriness.It has nothing to do with the fact that I let SAND get in the camera when we went to the beach last month. Nope. Not at all...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Up and Running


Growing up as the eldest child, I had a lot of responsibility. My mom probably didn't mean to warp me, but it happened over time that I never felt I could do anything for myself unless all of my chores were finished.

About a month ago, I was invited to a meeting with the new librarian for the college I teach at. She introduced me to a whole new world of librarianship - academic librarianship. It's very different from my profession - public librarianship. As a result of the meeting, I realized that I needed to rewrite a whole bunch of my Information Competency curriculum.

That meant I have had a chore that needed completing before I could do anything for myself, most notably, the free-form font tutorial. Unfortunately, I also needed a large block of time in which to write. It came when I took a week off for Kiff's first week of school. Yay for 1st grade!

I finished rewriting the course materials last Friday and started the free form tutorial that night. I'm moving right along with it! Hurray!

Question for everyone out there - what do I call this tutorial? "Free-form shapes" is rather dull. How do I encompass that this tutorial teaches you to fold shapes and fonts of all kinds? I would love for your suggestions in the comments below...

BTW, some of you may have come to this blog this morning and read a completely different post! I tried to edit it tonight and the whole thing deleted.

The reason for the edit was this: THANK YOU to all who responded to my call for proofreaders of my rough draft of the (for-now-named) free-form shape and font tutorial. I am grateful for such a wonderful response. I think I have enough people for now, but will let you know if I need more.

If someone comes up with a great name for the tutorial, I will send them a free copy of the finished product!




Saturday, July 27, 2013

Francksly Speaking


I've been doing good things in my long blog absence!

It's just too hot to be in the mood to do much, but after a couple of weeks vainly attempting to write the Free Form Folds tutorial, I decided to take a mental break and work on a book my sister asked me to make for a friend of hers.

It's made using Segoe Script - a free font. It's easily readable and so pretty!

In other news, I've been busier in the evenings now that I've taken up a martial art. Yeah, me. Girly-girl Heather is doing Kung Fu. My husband, Brian, is a Kung Fu Master (yesI'mPROUD) and I'm finally ready to be taught by him. I've been taking lessons now for a little more than a month and am getting more fit and more confident in my ability to defend myself. :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Oh, the Pain!



*snark alert: This would have been worse if they were able to spell! All the same, I AM bummed! I thought this would have been the perfect venue for my book art.

I can't help but think about the Sound of Music and the words in the song about when a door closes, another window opens. I wonder if that will be the case here...

In other news, I'm working on my Free Form Folds tutorial... The introduction is done as well as a few other pages. I'm struggling with words right now! I can show people how to do things, but writing the instructions? YIKES!

Prayers for the loosening of my tongue would be much appreciated! :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wedding Bouquet


After weeks - yes, WEEKS of agonizing over this, I've finally finished my friend's wedding bouquet. Gina is a librarian who used to work in my library system. I visited her branch in Fresno one day while I attended a professional meeting. There was a beautiful display of a book turning into a butterfly (the pages were ripped out and, one by one, looked more and more butterfly-like). I called the library later to find out who'd done the artwork and was given Gina's email address. From there, we've shared book art, funny library stories and I've followed her blog and some of her life. She's since moved on to greater library systems and is now getting hitched to a great guy. 

We've never met in person.


When she asked me to do this, I accepted without thinking. And then, I thought about it and HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. Text pages, map pages and purple. Oh, and gold. I made lots of little flowers to figure out what to make and decided on the simple spiral rose flower that looks so elegant.

She specifically asked for a handle on the bouquet that was wrapped in ribbons. How all this was going to work was what I worried about the longest. Finally I decided to use a Styrofoam ball (cut in half) so that I could put both the flowers on securely with pins and add a handle of wooden floral picks. Then I got an idea. A wonderful idea...

In the handle, I put a test tube with a cork. The test tube slides in and out, but provides stability while holding it. And you can hide secrets in there. I wanted Gina to have a place to put something special from her wedding day that she can open up on an anniversary or a rainy day, tip out onto the table and remember the best day of her life.
 

I'll show everyone how I made these later... :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

This is What Happens When...


... you sit at the computer more than you sit at your art table...


She thinks it's her own private sleeping place...


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Wedding Flowers


A librarian friend asked me to make her wedding bouquet. I've never done this before so I'm a bit nervous. She wants purple and maps. I'm going to make most of the flowers out of text with accents of map flowers and bursts of purple. It's nighttime now so the picture isn't prof quality.



I made postcards for my visiting teachers this month out of more stamps. I'd love to get something like this in the mail!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jacob's Dream

Before I added the words.
 I've been worrying this drawing for a few days now. When I first read the story of Jacob's dream (Genesis 28), I couldn't figure out what to do - ladders, wrestling with angels, etc. The part that talks about a house is after Jacob wakes up and says that the place he is in is God's place.

After I added the words. I wish I could redo the words to a lighter color.

 So I decided to paint a desert (because that's where I *imagine* Jacob to have been (with stones for his pillows) and use the words of the scripture to draw a house. If you think about it, God is everywhere and we just need to remember that.


Today was Kenneth's last day of Kindergarten. I took a picture of him in the same clothes and show the first and last day's pictures side by side. He's grown!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again


I'm trying something different with my scripture study. It's gotten a bit boring reading the same things over and over (don't judge!), so I'm looking up the word 'house' in the index and looking at the associated scripture(s), seeing if I can make a picture/painting out of them.

This is the first one:

  • Genesis 7:1

    1 And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.



It's kinda sweet, isn't it? It looks like an illustration for  nursery decor or a card. :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Watercolors in Very Bright Light


A VERY busy weekend - going to the temple for the first time in MONTHS. Anyway, dibs and dabs of time to paint. I tried painting very early in the morning, but the sun casts harsh shadows and I found that I couldn't do anything! My hand kept blocking my painting as I tried to work.

In a nutshell, this week's work has focused on getting back to a plainer, clearer form of painting, like I used to do with only clear watercolors.


 Fewer layers. This one actually had a lot of white in it, so it didn't *really* follow the rule. I tried using yellow and alizirin crimson in the sky.


The sky's a bit muddy, but I think it's okay...


Another thing I never did with my original watercolors was experiment/use so many blooms. I see now how much I like them. It busies it up a lot - hmmm....


This started out to be a book painting. Then it turned into trees. I'm not sure - it looks a bit contrived.

I need to work on folded books again! I'm getting lopsided with my art doing.