Monday, August 10, 2020

Sylvia's Simple Shots

I have had to remind myself recently to Not Give Up!  I have had challenges with the car, the house, creatively with cards and photography and then there is the pandemic! 

I took a picture of a park bench at a church yard in my neighbourhood. Plastic ends with 5 pieces of painted 2 x4 and lickadee split you have a bench. I was inspired to use it as a quote back drop.   Here it is!

Things are hard and hopefully we are not all down at the same time.  When you feel better be sure to encourage those around you!  You don't know who may need it so just give it when you can.

I have had quite a few flying creatures appear on my balcony recently which is quite unusual.  I have had a couple of sparrows just sit on the rail for a few minutes just where I can see them.  They never stay long enough for me to get the camera but I enjoyed them anyway.

This large dragonfly staying for quite a while and I was able to get the camera. I wondered what it was doing.  Upon checking the photo on the computer you can see a set of wings right next to the corner.  I checked on line for what they eat and they are carnivores!  I expect it was eating a fly.  Wow!  I did not see that coming.  

I think of them as pretty and mild kind of creatures!

I  have been filling my face full of ripe chokecherries on my walks in the last few mornings.  They are always better after a freeze which I hope is not near. 

Canada Red Chokecherry trees are full of them and I can pick the bottom ones and leave the high ones for the birds.

I finished "The Paris Orphan" by Natasha Lester this week.  It was a great read. 

Set in the 1940's during World War II and then in modern times.  The main character Jessica May goes from model to photojournalist covering the war in Italy, France and Germany.  Victorine is the orphan that Dan Hallworth, an American soldier has rescued and "adopted" as she has no one else.  Dan is a good man and a great leader so is being promoted during this conflict.  He is working hard to motivate his men, protect the women (journalists and nurses) and children. There are many twists and turns in the story so keeping it all straight is a challenge.  Great characters which are honorable, trustworthy, prepared to do the hard stuff and love with all their hearts!

After talking with my sister yesterday about the papers I posted here I decided to give it one more try.

I made this one this morning and it comes much closer to what I had in mind.

I used liquid acrylic ink in teal, chrome yellow and silver metallic on this grey patterned designer paper.  I was looking for ink splotches.  I achieved this by knocking my wet paintbrush against another directly above the card stock from about 2 feet.

Really happy with this one.

I have found several window paintings during my walks around town.  These are reflections on windows of building where the glass creates a distorted image of the reflections.  The panes around it are flat and reflect the objects quite realistically but these are different.   I don't know what accounts for one pane being less flat than those near it but it does create nice images!

Flickr Macro Monday's challenge this week was "water". That should be easy!  Again, I don't know if it is my head space or what but it was another challenging week with hundreds of photos taken and not really meeting the concept in my mind.

On the left is a bubble showing off all it's color. You can check my Flicker SMDPics photo stream to see which one I submitted.

I am sharing with Angie who hosts Mosaic Monday #92 and with Mersad who hosts Through my Lens #252.  You can check out my Instagram SMDPics100 for a photo a day!

Friday, August 7, 2020

How To: 12x12 Splattered Decorated Paper

I'm finding it harder to use scrapbooking 12x12 paper for my card making.  I want original and unique paper.  I have so many sheets of designer paper so why wouldn't I use some of that to make something new rather than using plain white card stock to start with?  I went into my stash and chose patterns that I have lots of or that I am not too thrilled about. 

I chose the tools of the trade which are a collection of various paint brushes and tooth brushes.  

Some acrylic paint with a couple of plates to use as palettes.  A spray bottle to thin the acrylic paint.

I chose several sheets of designer paper.  I covered my kitchen area with a blue plastic sheet to prevent splattering the nearby surfaces.   You can see the before and after pictures below.  I just loaded my paint brushes with color and flicked the brushes toward the paper.


To the left are the 4 sheets that I decorated.  I think the light sheets have been very effective.  The orange and yellow ones I am not sure they are as effective. 

This new interface for blogger - I had to make sure that I chose a placement then I could have my text go beside my images.

Resizing is better and more adjustable.

Labels are a nightmare!  It is very slow and eventually it did not find labels which I know are there.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Exchange Cards - June

I am really late on these cards. 

I started with the Dandelion paper I made a while ago which features navy, ultramarine, and turquoise with white pearl as colors on a yellow base.

I ripped the right hand side. 

Wrapped a piece of white seam binding around it on the left hand side and tied a knot.

I added pearly sequins to the center with Bling Zots. 

It's great that the paper can be used tall or wide. 

For this card since it mostly has one flower I added the seam binding to the left hand side to fill in the space.

Pearly sequins for the center of the flower again held in place with Bling Zots repeats the white pearl in the paper.

For both cards I used the navy card base but I had selected a turquoise and medium blue as well.

Quarter sheet inserts work for both of these.

These are off in the mail today.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Sylvia Simple Shots

Cold drinks are an absolute must in these temperatures.   We had 30C yesterday which is way too hot for me. 

Just ice balls with soda water in a double walled glass so it will stay as cold as possible!

I created a low key image to have the yellows stand out!

Staying hydrated in this weather is important and I don't need extra sugar so this works well for me.

I had 4 extra glasses of water yesterday. 

My African Violet is blooming!

I have such poor luck with plants so I am stoked to see blooms. As you can see they are a gorgeous deep purple color and there will be many it seems!

Yeah! Yeah!

The north window is working so well.  Now that it is hanging just above the sewing machine, it is great. I have plants in a couple of places in my home!

I believe this is a thistle bloom.   I love the jagged edges of the petals.

It has not rained in about a week here so I generally always carry my spray bottle to give my photos a bit of something extra when needed.

I love this shot!

I found a Lady Bug Hatchery! There was a lot of them in different stages of development.

The bug on the right is a Lady Bug Larvae becoming and developing it's wings.  Very cool!  It is interesting that the body under the hard wings looks very similar to the larvae but we hardly ever see it because it's flying when the body is exposed!

I worked on making more masks. I tried a fitted one this time.  I like it.  Still hot in these temperatures but less fabric.

The features of this one are a draw string tie so you just pull to tighten.  I had found someone on line recommending putting a kleenex on the nose piece to help with glasses fog.  I decided to put a permanent layer of terry cloth which fills in the spaces around the nose and absorbs the moisture from your breath.  Works quite well.

This one also allows me to put a filter on the inside if I want to.  Never know what options I will need before this is all over.

Flickr Macro Monday challenge this week is Chocolate! Well I love this one!  I bought 5 different kinds because I wanted options for a good photo. Photographing chocolate up close is challenging because some of it is not pretty.  Do we really look at it before we put it into our mouths, I would suggest not!  I have Chocolate Chips here and check out my photostream SMDPics for the image I submitted.

I am sharing with Angie who hosts Mosaic Monday #91
Mersad who hosts Through My Lens #251           Have a safe week!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Birthday Card Mom

A birthday card for my Mom who celebrates in July.   Her favorite color is blue so I have chosen a true blue card base.

I added a layer of designer paper in coordinating colors.  I then added a strip of blue card stock and then a narrower strip of green trimmed to the card edge.

I added flower sequins with Zots and a Stampin Up Decorative Label with a circle greeting.  This accent was chalked then mounted with 3D foam tape.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Sylvia's Simple Shots

I took a visit to the St. Albert Botanic Garden this week.  The dahlias are in full bloom and it was wonderful to be able to photograph a few.  At 6:00 am I was the only one around.  There is a path nearby and there are dog walkers and bicyclists but not a problem.

The is the Pam Howden Dahlia which is quite large.   I love the colors of yellows in the center, magenta on the tips and deep orange in between. 

It was a delight to enjoy the flowers. The very large garden is maintained by volunteers which take much pride in their work.

I finished Latitudes of Melt book this week.  Aurora with here white hair, pale skin looks different than the rest of her family and neighbours in a small outpost in Newfoundland.  With a blue and one brown eye she is viewed as a changeling an being from a different world. She loves the outdoors and walks the barrens, picks flowers and berries and is a free spirit. 

She was  found on an ice pack by a couple of fisherman.  Wrapped in a cradle tied to a wooden chair with a hat, a bit of food and a bottle of water.  The year was 1912 and the sinking of the Titanic was the latest news.  Many speculated that she was a survivor of the disaster.

She grows, goes to school, marries, has 2 children, is very happy and continues to live in the outpost.  When her husband dies she becomes she starts her life over as a caregiver.  She takes care of an elderly neighbour, then a unhappy and arrogant man until she has enough to buy her own house. 

Her son travels the world and studies ice.  Interesting.  Eventually her granddaughter living in Ireland tracks down Aurora's family who sailed on the Titanic.  Her mother was lost and her father was thought to have been on board but it was discovered that he remained in in Ireland.   This was a very good book and I would recommend it as a good read.

My old CCM bike has a new home.  It has been stored for the last 15 years or so, ever since I took a tumble while riding and decided that I will walk from now on.

I decided to respond to a wanted ad from someone looking for a broken bike he could fix.   I explained that it was not "broken" but it would need tires and a good clean. 

I met the gentleman with the bike and sent it on its way. He is a deaf senior and yes he will be able to fix the bike no problem.  I am so grateful to have it bless another.

I picked roadside daisies on my long walk on Saturday morning.  I wanted flowers to put in my art glass vase for the dining room table which will stay tidy now that sewing has a new place.

I was told that these are not really daisies and are really quite toxic weed. 

They did make me sneeze and so when the photo was taken they headed for the waste bucket.

The vase is by a Canadian glass artist named Robert Held.  He produces art glass in his studio on Vancouver Island. Check out his website.

I have photographed this flower several times this summer.  I just love the watercolor feel to the colors which run from deep purple to teal and turquoise.

I was struggling to figure out what it was. I started with clover but that was not right, then I thought vetch but there was none with this coloring eventually I found out this week that it is Alfalfa!

This one was found on the side of the gravel road.  I guess the seeds are spread by the wind or by farm equipment or other means. 

I was very happy to find the final answer.

Along with flowers are bugs!  These are the ones I found this week.
Left - Red Turnip Beetle who loves canola but no canola fields in the city. Center - Blue Milkweed Beetle with glorious shining colors and then a Ladybug.  This plant had aphids so it was in it's element and had plenty to eat. There were smaller ones around so the family was going to survive.

Flickr Macro Monday challenge this week was "Flame".  I found this quite challenging.  I wanted to photograph it without blown out highlights which was hard.  I tried votive in blue glass, in crystal, and it a vintage cut glass holder. Not really working. I eventually just lit a long fireplace match in front of a vintage mirror and fired off some shots.  I had laid my granite tile for a base to ensure no burn marks in my new photo studio.  You can check out my Flickr Photostream SMDPics to see the one I submitted.

Sharing with Angie who hosts Mosaic Monday #90 and Mersad who hosts Through my Lens #250

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Starry Happy Birthday

I created  a birthday card for my niece's husband.

I started with a dark brown card.

I added a layer of wood grain designer paper in the landscape orientation.

I add a lots of star sequins with Bling Zots. 

I wrapped a length of gold metallic ribbon around the card front and placed the join under the greeting.

A Decorative Label punchie greeting which has been chalked with Chocolate Chip. Adhered with 3D foam tape and added a large star sequin on the corner. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Bernina 830 Sewing Machine & 1st Project

The new to me 1972 Bernina 830 Sewing Machine arrived yesterday thanks to my sister and brother-in-law.   I purchased it in late February through my sister then I started making the space to house it!  Then COVID hit and life changed.  I have continued to clear, de-clutter, and get rid of stuff and last week there was space for it. 

I have placed it in front of the window so that the light will be the best most of the time.   There is enough room on the right for me to access the window to open, clean or get out if I needed to.

You can see the ironing station on the right hand side.   The cutting and pinning station of the craft table is behind the desk and on the left hand side.  That makes a very good working triangle where everything is at hand but there is enough room to work.

The desk has a lifting mechanism which allows it to be stored in the desk, then the machine level to the desk top and then higher still to access the free arm feature of the machine.  It works really well and I will get some lubricant to help it work a little better.
I created Thread Bobbin storage in a Ferraro Chocolate box. I love the clear lid so I can see the contents.  I created the channel organizer with 80lb text paper.  I cut a piece 16 T x 8.25 W inches then scored it every inch.  Then it was a matter of creating the channels to hold the bobbins. I taped the edge on the right to the bottom of the box. As you can see I have expansion room.

I decided to store the sewing machine needles in the space left. 

I used the same boxes for Thread Storage.  They are deep enough to accommodate most spools. I organized the thread by first separating the polyester from the cotton. 

The ones displayed are the polyester which I have the most of.  The spools were organized by color into separate boxes. Reds and pinks, neutrals (black, white and beige), 2 boxes of blues then a box of yellow and greens.

My niece made this Needle storage tag book for my birthday.  It is tag shapes with ribbon sewn to them then protected with a clear one on top. 

The label at the top allows me to remember what I have stored there.  Sometimes you have to switch out needles but you don't want to return it to the new ones.  This system allows me to store it here until I need it again.

These small wooden boxes were made by my brother-in-law when we needed boxes for selling cards at craft sales.  I have not used them for a couple of years because I bought a large card display.  They fix perfectly in this drawer and makes use of all the space.

Small cutting tools, my rotary cutter and blades, measuring tapes, pins straight and safety.

This is the extra hook on the pole where my African Violet lives.

The light on the right hangs over the craft table.

I refurbished it's lace cover today.  I cut the lace in half so that I will have the same fabric for the other light.
I hemmed the top edge then added a white grosgrain ribbon along top of the wide hem on the bottom.  It is a single layer which allows more light to get through.

I will be getting another hanging light for the extra hook which will give me lighting on the left hand side of the sewing desk which likely will be needed when sewing at night. 

It is very exciting to have a dedicated sewing space where everything will be close at hand.  Keep an eye out for quilts in the near future.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Sylvia's Simple Shots

I took a visit to the St. Albert Botanic Park this week.  The flowers are all looking good. 

This is a White Geranium.  It may get overlooked with the dahlias, roses, and other garden flowers.

I think this one turned out really wonderful.

The light purple veins with a subtle green center and the light play on it was really good.

This shell chime is one that my sister made for me many years ago.  It hangs in the corner of the bedroom by the window.  It lets me know if the wind is picking up outside when the window is open in the summer.

It clinks away quietly when there is a small breeze and I really enjoy it as I lay in bed in the morning before I get up. 

Filling my gratitude journal today.

This shot reminds me that the large light in my kitchen is working again.  It was not cooperating for several days this week and with no window it was dark in there.  I have the light under the stove fan but it was not the same as the large light.

I put new daylight fluorescent tubes in the fixture and it is bright again. Yeah!

I last replaced those in October 2009 so I think that excellent value for the $10 it cost me.

I take things for granted so much.  That when I flip the switch light will appear.  Again, grateful.

A new deadbolt in the door. 

Yes, I replaced it in January and the locksmith drilled it out yesterday to get me back into my place.   They have you over a barrel and instead of picking it drilling means they will sell you a new deadbolt as well.  It is what it is.

I had purchased the door knob in the satin nickel on Saturday to match the deadbolt. This type of handle matches the ones I put on the inside doors about 10 years ago. I was intending to put it in myself but the young locksmith offered to do for me.  It was a quick and easy job for him as he chose the pieces he needed from the package.

Again, I am so grateful for the good people in the world who extend themselves to help others.

My mosaic this week is downtown buildings.

I took a long walk downtown this week as well.  I captured some of the architecture of the buildings.  On the left is our Art Gallery.  Randall Stout, the architect chosen to design the Art Gallery of Alberta building, took inspiration from the city’s unique northern environment and urban grid. Stout juxtaposed angular windows against a winding 190-metre steel ribbon that references the forms of the North Saskatchewan River and Aurora Borealis.
In the center is the Gibson Block Building built in 1913. The Gibson Block Building, also known as the Flatiron Building, is a large wedge-shaped four-storey brick building constructed for commercial use on four city lots at the eastern edge of Edmonton's pre-World War One commercial core.
On the right is the Double Tree by Hilton hotel in the Quarters area of downtown.  I love the glass facade which captures reflections beautifully. 

The Flickr Macro Monday challenge this week was Numbers. The acceptable ones were Roman or Arabic.  On the left, I have chosen Rummikub tiles in three colors. 

Check out my Flickr Photostream SMDPics to see the one I submitted.

 I am sharing with Angie who hosts Mosaic Monday #89  and Mersad who hosts Through my Lens #249   

Have a safe and healthy week.

Thank You for Rescue

I made thank you cards for the friends and neighbours who helped me yesterday.  I ended up locked out of my place through my own inattention and needed rescuing.  Thanks for being willing to help, calling a locksmith and checking in on me while I waited. Expensive day.

This card is for the neighbor who stepped into action despite no knowing me and being new to the building.

Navy card, a wavy black remnant and some hexagon die cuts.

A Stampin Up Modern Label greeting adhered with 3D foam tape.

This card is for the friend who helped me unwind after my adventure.

A bright green card with yellow polka dot designer paper.

A ripped strip of blue with a floral accent.

A 2 inch oval greeting in the bottom right hand corner adhered with 3D foam tape that coordinates with the blue strip.

This card is for the neighbour who hung out while I waited for the locksmith.

Turquoise card with watercolor designer paper.

A large diecut flower accent held in place with 3D foam tape.

A Stampin Up Modern Label and Word Window greeting in the bottom right hand corner.

Thanks to the young locksmith K who came on a Sunday night.   There is still good in the world.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Happy Birthday - Dandelions

Birthday card for my sister.

I used the Toilet Paper Roll Dandelion paper I made recently.

Mounted it to a turquoise card.

Added flower sequins in the center to coordinate with the pearl white paint on the paper.  Adhered with Zots Bling.

Added a Stampin Up Modern Label punchie with a Word Window greeting.  Adhered with 3D foam tape squares.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Toilet Paper Roll Dandelions

I am wanting to do something different for cards so I researched Toilet Paper Roll Dandelions and watched a few video tutorials.

I cut the toilet paper roll less deep than most of the videos and got flowers over 4" wide.  That is pretty large for cards.  I have decided to just decorate a 12x12 sheet of designer paper then just cut it up into 6 pieces and just go with what I get.

I chose dark, medium and light blue acrylic paint.  I used QTips to make the centers.  Then I spattered the whole sheet with pearl white acrylic paint. 

The toilet paper roll gets soggy very quickly so you need a few ready ahead of time.   Maybe a couple for each color.  I guess you could cut both ends which would make them last a bit longer.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Sylvia's Simple Shots

I took a drive out of the city on Saturday morning.  I needed to take pictures of something different!  I needed to get away from people and be able to relax a bit.

I found several country roads with interesting things along their ditches.

There is water everywhere as it has rained a lot this summer. These are bulrushes were in overland flooding water in a farmers field.  The area I expect has a few but now there were lots of them.

The wind picked up a little and distorted the reflections in the water.

It was a great morning.

It's almost time to pick raspberries.

I will have to find a new place to pick them this year. 

I better get onto my research.

I have moved the cabinet in the bedroom which holds my die cutting dies.  It is now tucked away in an alcove in the corner by the window.  I took off the shelf that Dad had built onto it so I can access the contents more easily. I have put up some plastic drop sheets to keep the dust out.  I put the hinge back and have used some rare earth magnets to keep it in place.

The space for the new to me sewing machine is ready!

It will sit right under the window where there will be a lot of light.  There are electric outlets on the left and right so I can always add a light for night time.  It will align with the window frame on the left.  That will leave me enough room (18inches) to access the window.

The African Violet has been moved to the corner but it  may not stay there!  It was right in front of the window before.  I will have to see how that works with the sewing machine desk there.

There is still room for the photo frame containers on the left which may be used for extra shelving to manage quilts.

I have a lot to go through with frames and get rid of a stack of them.

This is my new photo studio!  I had a shelf at the end of my bed which just accumulated stuff so I decided to have it be my work space for photography which I like out all the time anyway.   I used the pine shelf I removed from the cabinet in this space which gives me at least 1/3rd more space for photography. 

I am working on having my photography lights, tripod and other gear near at hand but with a place to live so that it will easily be put away.

I love the extra space for set up.  I think it will be great!

I went to the St. Albert Botanic Garden on Saturday morning.  Of course, there are a ton of flowers to photograph!  6:00 am and my car was the only one in the parking lot. Yeah!  There is a walking path nearby but there is a lot of space.  It had rained the night before so I had soaked feet in no time.

I picked 4 of the yellow bloom varieties for my mosaic today.  I have the Chinese Globe Flower in my area as well, makes me think of Buttercups.  Check out the bee in full flight ready ready to land on the Cotswold Queen, beautiful yellow flower clusters with purple centers. The Martagon Lilies were gorgeous in several varieties.  This is the Nepera, lovely golden yellow petals with dots.  The other is a Tiger Lily.

The roses were in bloom, peonies were still in bloom, Jacob's Ladder, daisies, and a lot more to show off another time.

The Flickr Macro Monday challenge this week was Spiral. This is one of the shots from the hundreds I took this week. 

Check out my Flickr Photostream SMDPics to see the shot I submitted.

I am sharing with Angie who hosts Mosaic Monday #88   and Mersad who hosts Through My Lens #248 

Have a good week and be safe!