Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Art Calendar - All the Pages

Here are the pages of the calendar.

January is a stand of trees with frost on them.

February is an orchid.  I think this one turned out the best.

March is the mountains in Canmore.

April is a swan on a pond.

May is a pink lily.

June is a pink Alberta Rose.  I will have to take another try on this one as it did not turn out as well as I expected.

July is a pelican on a lake.

August is a sunflower which is my favorite flower.

September is the sun setting behind a stand of trees.

October is a pine cone.

November is a decorative bird I took at the garden center a few weeks back.

December is a red poinsettia.

We had some great projects made of our Handmade Christmas Gift Exchange.  There was a quilted table mat, woodworking snowman ornaments, a handmade paper calendar, a bird feeder, gel medium transfer of an old barn that stood in our yard for years, baking, felted wool accessory bag, wood scroll wall decor, a photo frame with 5-6 original photos, a scarf and a few more.

Art Calendar - Handmade Gift

I created this art calendar with some of my photos. As I indicated in this earlier post, I processed each photo in hopes of creating an image that looked more like a painting.  Some I'm really happy with others not as much.  Pretty good for my first time. I printed them at home on matte photo paper so they would be more like paintings.

The calendar pages are 8.5" square with a half inch added to the binding edge. The calendar was printed on the 8.5 x 9 inch sheet of white card stock.  The binding is Zutter.

Then I wanted to create a frame.  I could not find a die in my collection large enough and to the right proportions so I turned to my Cricut. After spending a long time with several cartridges and doing some test cuttings I selected the Elegant Edges cartridge.  I cut the borders to 6.75" wide which filled the 8.5" square pages nicely.  I added a piece of vellum under the photo which helped define the space for the photo as well as align all the pieces. I centered the vellum on the page then added the pieces over top. I cut all the borders from black card stock.  I did have to trim the vellum where it showed through the holes in the borders. That was tedious.  I added one of the die cuts from inside the borders next to the photo to balance the rectangular space.

The cover has the numbers 2015 cut with the Sizzix Go Go Boots Sizzlet Alphabet dies.

Photos into Art

I took some time recently to play with photo editing software to see what I could do with  my photos as far as making them more like paintings.  There a many filters and it takes a lot of time to figure out what pieces play in the process.

The photo, the background and foreground colors, the filter and how many times it is applied as well as the layering of filters all go into the mix to produce a result.

I found that I liked to apply a base filter which seems to breakdown the image into small pieces which then will be affected by any other filter I apply.

Some of my favorite filters were watercolor, palette knife, paint daubs, and dry brush.  The textures were great but I was unhappy with the level of repetition in the pattern which was very visible.

Picking the right photo is challenging as well. Some just did not work at all.

I was working on this to produce a handmade gift for our family gift exchange this year.  Check later for the final project.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

I'm wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

This is the Nativity Set I bought last year for my home. It is black metal and is quite large at nearly 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide.  It allows me to add lights, and other embellishments with magnets if I choose. Here, I chose back lighting with real candles in pillar vases.  I added the electric candle holders in the front as well.  My blown glass birds were added for some dimension and color.  A large pine cone was placed in the center.

I'm sending this card to my on-line friends and those whom I communicate mostly by email.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Photo - Nativity Display

I attended a Nativity Display held by a local church yesterday. These are lent to the church from the congregation and those farther a field.  They were so well displayed with lots of room to have each have it own space.  I so enjoy seeing the variety in materials and design expressed.

The top left is a marquetry piece which is the method of using different colored woods to create a design. Wonderful simple design.  Top right is a corn husk set in a wood stable.  The centre one was quite small and likely made for children. It had 2 navy hearts as the platform and background then fabric and wood for the persons.  Add a glitter star and it's done.  Bottom left is a wonderfully colored resin nativity which was hung on a string.  The bottom right is ceramic in plain white with a matte finish. It is lit from the back.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Community Christmas Concert

I attended the Community Christmas Concert with my friend this evening.  It was a great concert.  I love Christmas music so there were many religious songs, carols and hymns.

My aunt's service group was handing out programs.

It was a great time but it was pretty cold.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Community Sing - Trumpet Angel

I attended a community carol sing in my neighborhood this afternoon.  I brought a friend with me who enjoyed it as well.

We will go together next year!

Another concert later this week.  I hope I have whittled down my to do list a bit by then.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Letterhead - Digital - Christmas 2

Here are the letterheads I designed this year. These are great  for Christmas letters.  The blue one on the left is a collage I did last year to which I added the caption of O Little Town of Bethlehem.
The brown one is the same image altered with photo editing software to be in warmer tones.  I kept the same caption for this one.

I created one with my office nativity and added Christmas Blessings as the sentiment.

Banner - Merry Christmas

I added a Merry Christmas banner to my office decorating for this year.  I have set up the nativity a couple of years now.

The banner was created by cutting the letters from gold card stock with the Cricut and the CM Tiny Treasures cartridge. Then I layered them onto eggplant card stock which made the letter that color. Once pressed, I then trimmed the purple card stock by hand leaving a small border all the way around.  I punched 1/8" holes in each corner and strung them onto a gold ribbon. I want to add a star but did not get to it yet.

I've submitted to the Anything but a card Challenge at Fantabulous Cricut.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Happy Phrase - Birthday

I made this card for my Dad's birthday. I started with a panel of card leftover from these cards.  I thought with his birthday this close to Christmas red and green would be appropriate.  I cut the plaid card stock with the Sizzix Happy Phrase die.  I cut the dark green at the same time.  I made use I collected the holes for the A PP so I could glue them in place.  I layered the plaid layer onto white then glued the green word into the hole then added the plaid pieces I collected earlier. I glued the white layer to to a red card.  I printed the birthday on white and flagged each end.  I mounted it to the card front with 3D foam tape.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Card Challenge - December - Window

Here's my card for December. I used the Memory Box Grand Madison Window. I selected a recycled Christmas card which was the right proportion for the window with the man and his dog being in the bottom left hand corner pane. I selected deep grey card and cut the window.  I selected a light blue green card which worked with the scene I chose.  I cut the scene and glued it to the back of window.  I added a piece of white to the bottom half of the card to create interest.  I chose a orange red cardstock for the wreath and the back of the greeting which matched the man's coat.  I punched the 1.25" circle then the Stampin Up Scallop Circle to make the wreath.  I added a SU flower in white with a circle punch of silver glitter in it's centre.  I punched the greeting from the original recycled card with the Word Window punch and the red orange with the Modern Label punch.
It's time to start addressing these!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Photo Challenge - November - Day 23-30

I'm participating in Kati's November Photo Challenge.  It's a busy time of year and the weather outside is not conducive to being there.

I'm posting photos for the last week.

Day 23 Path - Winter

This is the sidewalk with footprints.  This photo is from a couple of years ago but we received a pile of snow yesterday so I expect it looks a lot like this now.  It's very cold here and it's just too cold to be venturing out with a camera.

Day 24 Apple - Magnet

This is a magnet I made with a photo I took of the apples on my Mom's trees in her winter garden.  I love the colors and the contrast between red and green.

Day 25 Shine - Star

A star shines! This is an light ornament in the conservatory a couple of years ago.

Day 26 Food - Popcorn Snack

This is herbed popcorn I brought to one of our potlucks at work.  We do it at least 4 times a year. It provides fellowship, allows to get to know each other better, the food is always great and it's a good fun.

Day 27 Thankful - Conservatory

I'm really grateful I can go inside these pyramids and see flowers, fruit, fish and running water when it's so cold outside.  It provides stress release at the end of a silly day at work.  It allows my mind to let go of the day and focus on pretty things.

Day 28 Makes me Smile - Shred Snowman

This snowman was created by a friend at work. We decorate our work spaces every year. She took bags filled with paper shred made with the shredder. She made sure it was white paper to fit the need.  Added a face, a head, and buttons on his belly.  He is really cute!

Day 29 - Home - Mom's Nativity

This is the hand drawn nativity my Mom has put in her dining room window for years.  It makes me think of home.

Day 30 - Scarf - Pink!

This is one of my favorite scarves.  It's handmade by a friend who crocheted it.  Light to dark pink!  Curvy and swirly too!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Card Club - November - Chalkboard Christmas

I started with a black card.  I added a gold metallic layer leaving a small border.  I then glued the Merry Christmas chalkboard layer to a white layer leaving a border.  With a bit of extra space at the top I wrapped a length of thread around 3 times and knotted it.  This layer was then adhered to the metallic layer with 3D foam tape.  I added gold star sequins to the card front held in place with tiny Zots.

The kit included a gold metallic and red metallic where the stars matched that layer.

Card Club - November - Silver Poinsettia

This was a simple card with 2 silk silver poinsettias.  One is opaque metallic and the other is nearly transparent with glitter.  I found some metallic ribbon to match the bling level of the flower. The bottom half of the card was embossed with the Sizzix Tropical Paisley folder.  Then, I brought the ribbon across the card front and taped the ends to the inside. I aligned the metallic poinsettia then made the hole in the card front with a push pin .  I then put the thin flower over the metallic one and pushed the clear crystal brad through the hole I just made and spread the prongs on the inside of the card.  This kit included navy and green cards.

Card Club - November - Christmas Foliage

This card is designed around some die cuts I purchased last year.  There were pine cones, poinsettias, camelias, and others.  I had bought several sets so with combining I had enough elements for the kits for this double class.  This year I saw the card stock that matched the elements so I purchased a pack. There was this ginger pattern and a red damask type patterned paper in the pack.  There was some grey pearl card stock as well.  I matched up the papers and cut both to 4.00 x 5.25 inches then cut them at 3" at the same time then just swapped the pieces.  Once paired they were taped together and then adhered to the card front as one piece.  I added the ribbon over the join and taped the ends to the inside of the card.  The element was then adhered to the card front with 3D foam tape.

Card Club - November - Christmas Penguin

We made Christmas cards tonight.
I selected my colors based on the central image of the penguin.  The card is black and I cut the red layer to leave just a small border and glued it to the card front. I cut the white layer with the Spellbinder Nestabilities Labels 22. The yellow oval was cut with SB Nestabilities Ovals. These were added to the top half of the card.  The penguin is a sticker and was set in the center of the oval.  The greeting was cut with the Stampin Up Bitty Banners Framelits.  I cut another banner of the same size from card stock matching the card to create the shadow. The shadow banner is cut crosswise then glued offset to either end.  The banner was there added to the card front with 3D foam tape.  I added the dots around the oval with a black marker to create a frame.  The alternative was a red card with a black background layer.

Card - SU Thanks

I made this card for a friend who lent me a stamp stamp for a couple of weeks.

The card is Very Vanilla and the designer paper is from Everyday Enchantment pack.   I printed the greeting from the So Happy for You Stamp set on to VV card stock and trimmed it.  I added stitching with Red Riding Hood marker. I dyed the string with the same marker.  I added a length of 3/8"taffeta same colored ribbon around the designer paper then adhered it to the card front.  I tied the tag to the the ribbon with a small string.  I held the tag in place with a piece of 3D foam tape.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Photo Challenge - November - Day 16 - 22

I'm participating in Kati's daily photo challenge for November.  It's great fun to take pictures and apply my interpretation of the prompts provided by Kati.  Christmas is starting to creep into my photos as I think and contemplate on this beautiful season.  I love Christmas

Here are my pics for this week.

Day 16 Red - Poinsettia

I took this photo a long time ago, several camera ago but it's still one of my favorites.  It was a gorgeous large poinsettia that arrived at the office during the Christmas season.  I could not resist taking the camera at lunch time and seeing what I could get.  It's an image I go back to often

Day 17 Hot Drink - Rooibos Chai

Another of the china cups I purchased at the sale a few weeks back. It's a simple and elegant pattern of blue brush marks with gold dots.  It is Radfords Crown China made in England.  A very modern design.
The tea is Rooibos Chai which is caffeine free and very flavorful.  It's my favorite year round tea. Starbucks JOY tea which only comes out at this time of year is a seasonal favorite. That reminds me that I should drop by and find a few boxes.

Day 18 Hands/Feet - Boots and Gloves

This is what my hands and feet are covered with when I go outside this time of year.  It cold outside and there is snow on the ground. These are my trusty Columbia winter boots which needed new laces this year. A pair of one size fits all stretchy blue gloves.  

Day 19 Family - Alphabet Photos

I put together a collage of Alphabet photos from my collection to make up the word - FAMILY.

Day 20 Wood - Angel

This is a wooden angel figurine.  Her skirt has swirls carved into it. She is playing the violin and has iron work wings.  I believe the trim at the bottom of her skirt is metal as well.  Amazing Grace a wonderful song. 

Day 21 Candlelight - Bird Tealight

This glass bird tea light holder was another gift. It is a Christmas Dove Tealight Holder. It is one of a pair. Shimmering blown glass love birds with antiqued metallic finish reflects the light of a tealight.

Day 22 Orange - Mandarins

Orange was a bit of challenge till I opened the fridge and there they were. Mandarin oranges!!! They are in the stores now.  They are delicious and a nice Christmas tradition.  This one is not a orange as the ones on the box but it tastes good. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tea Cup Boxes

Here's a few more tea cup boxes ready to fill with gifts for Christmas.  They are very pretty.  They would hold tea bags, loose tea, a tea gift card.  Of course, they can hold anything else as well.

I made some with masculine colored paper with a star embellishment instead of a flower.  I hope a sell a few.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Photo Challenge - Day 9 - 15

This is my posting for Kati's November Photo Challenge.

Check out my photo then follow the link and see what came to mind for others.  It's a great creative challenge to interpret the prompt and take a picture.

Day 9 Song - O Canada

I chose O Canada since Remembrance Day here was this week.  I took the picture a couple of years ago in the summer.  I had lots of blue sky and Canada Flag pictures but I thought based on the occasion the photo should be more somber. I added the words onto of the photo with software. Thank you to all who serve to keep us free.

Day 10  Yellow - Letter N

I took this photo during a Scott Kelby Photo Walk.  It was a letter on the side of a building.  It was yellow which is one of my favorite colors so I snapped a photo.  I am always on the look out for letters for my collection of alphabet photos but I usually try for a more artistic interpretation rather than a literal one but if the shoe fits.

Day 11 Outside my Window - Work

This is the view looking out the window at my work. Yes, I face the river valley with the Muttart Conservatory in plain view.  This was taken at sunrise late in the year. The sky is so gorgeous.  I'm looking forward to retirement when I can go out when the sun is the best and not worry where else I have to be.

Day 12 Small - Snowflake

This is a small snowflake in sea of glass marbles. It has some empty space all the way around. It was created on a sewing/embroidery machine. From what I understand the operator selects the image from the digital selections, places a substrate in the machine and presses go. The operator comes back a while later to see the creation. It stitches onto the material which is later dissolved in water which leaves only the thread.  Pretty cool!
This one is even and measured precisely.  This photo was converted to black and white to provide the contrast I wanted.

Day 13 Large - Snowflake

This is a large snowflake in the same sea of glass marbles. This one takes up all the space.  This one was made by hand. It is crocheted by one who spent time with the thread.   It has it own character with incorporated by the maker during the stiffening process. This photo was converted to black and white to provide the contrast I wanted.

Day 14 Swirl - Glass Beads

When the object does not present itself, I choose to create it myself.  I placed the frosted glass beads in a swirl this morning on a large clear glass plate.   I chose to apply a color variation to it in PSE to make it more appealing.  The blue looks great!

Day 15 Animal - Bison Sculpture

I took this picture in a different Scott Kelby Photo Walk.  This bison metal sculpture is on display at the conference center downtown.  I love the contrast of the black against the clear blue sky.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rejoice - Watercolor

Here's another card that was included in the box.  This a design I put together quite a few years ago and it still works well.  I did the watercolor background and scanned it.  Place it on my card digitally then added the sentiment.  This was color printed then the splatter of silver acrylic paint was added with a toothbrush.  Once dry I added the star die cut from silver decorative paper.  The diecut is one of from the Sizzix Stars die.

Card - Season of Light

I made this card to be included in a box of Christmas cards for a girl at work.  She wanted religious cards so this is one of the 5 designs I included.  The background turned out just the way I wanted.  I wanted a gradient background from red to yellow so I could put the flame at the top. I created the background then applied a stained glass texture to it.  Love the way it turned out.  I printed it on white card then added the Sentiment Candle by Hampton Arts gold thermal embossed on vellum.  I cut the vellum with the Stampin Up Apothecary Framelit and adhered it to the card front with 2 tiny gold star brads.