Crafty Wednesday – getting ready for the Christmas post

As you may already know, I married into a huge family and have a lot of friends, which means I have many cards to create, each year, including cards for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc. With Christmas just over a month away, I have to make sure I have prepared enough cards and completed in time to be posted and delivered before Christmas Day.

A while back, I showed you the cards I made during a Creative Gathering event and also the painted silk card elements I have prepared for future cards. To date, I have made 26 cards, including the ones I made last weekend, when I completed 10 that were part of the Close To My Heart Frosted card-making kit.

In the kit, one receives paper & card stock, a stamp set, embellishments, & an instruction booklet.

Frosted instructions&stamps

I love the Close To My Heart kits because the instructions are very detailed, from the best way to cut out all the pieces . . .

Frosted cutting diagrams

. . . to the layout.

Frosted getting started

While I liked the different layouts, I didn’t love them, so I changed things up a bit to better accommodate my personal tastes.

Card 1 demo

Card 1 demo

The first set of 5 cards (above) required the use of a green paper, stamped with the border stamp that came with the enclosed stamp set. I am not very good at stamping over and over, so thought it would be easier to emboss the pieces with my Cuttlebug. I also did not particularly like the green, so switched it up with some dark teal card stock I had on hand. Also, the stamps were supposed to be in an ink colour I did not have, so I used my Versa Mark sticky pad and blue embossing powder, instead.

my version of card 1

my version of card 1

For the next set of cards, I pretty much followed the directions . . . .

Frosted card3demo

. . . but, for some reason, ran out of the brown craft paper, so substituted a different paper for a couple of the cards. Again, I did not have the right ink colour for the background snowflake pattern, so I used a silver ink pad. Here are the two variations:

Frosted card 3

 The last set of 5 cards that I made used wide strips of coloured paper.

card 2 demo

The red bit seemed far too plain for me once it was on the first card, so I decided to emboss it with the medium-sized snowflake stamp that came with the kit, Versa Mark and silver embossing powder. For the next card, I decided to emboss it with the Curly Cuttlebug embossing plate. I found, though, that the card stock had a white core that broke through in places, so I sponged the piece with CTMH‘s White pigment ink pad to disguise the white showing through the paper and make it appear more winter storm-like. The third piece, I thought I would use a red ink on the swirls, which actually brightened up the paper considerably. I then embossed the last two pieces, sponging one with the white, the other with red.
Frosted card 2

Which of the three variations do you prefer?

Crafty Wednesday – Thank-you & sympathy cards

In addition to creating wedding invitations, in the past couple of week, I’ve made 2 complex Thank-you cards & 4 Sympathy cards for my uncle and cousins. My aunt, who has been suffering with dementia for almost 6 years, passed away last week and her funeral service is on Friday. Today’s post will be short, as it is already late in the day. If anyone wants details, I will be happy to supply a more complete list of what you’d need and how to assemble whichever card(s) you might desire at a later date. Simply request instructions for the card(s) that interest you in the comments section.

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you're tweet inside

you're tweet magnet

Let’s start with the Thank-you cards. They were for the hard working Executive Director & Events Coordinator of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. The design for each of them is similar to one I was working on for my nephew’s wedding invitations with a small pocket on one side in which I placed fridge magnets letting them know how much we appreciate what they’ve done since they started working for the Guild earlier this year. The one above is a bird-themed card, while the one below is bee-themed.

honey front

honey inside

honey magnet

Next are two masculine condolence cards, one portrait-oriented, the other is landscape.

Thinking of you portrait

Thinking of you landscape

 

 

Below are two more feminine cards, each with a little bit of bling and paper flowers. The only real differences are the colour & shape of the bling and the colour of the flowers.

 

Sympathy clear sparkles

sympathy gold sparkles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for this week. I hope, by next Wednesday, to have a layout for all the wedding invitation ideas I presented to my nephew and his fiance, as well as the design they chose. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful week! 🙂

Lest We Forget

Last year, on our Canadian Remembrance Day, I talked about my family’s military history and thought I would re-post it, for those of you who might have missed it. As a matter of fact, I was discussing some of the things my Grandfather had done while in the service in WWI, but I couldn’t remember a lot of the details, so this was a bit of a refresher for me, too! Anyway, here is what I wrote last year:

November 11th is the day those of us in Canada, Great Britain and the United States remember the fallen soldiers from wars of the past and present and pay our respects to the veterans who served our countries.

After reading some of Diane Dickson‘s war stories, it got me thinking about my Grandfather who served in World War I and my dad, who completed his cadet training at the military base at Shilo, Manitoba. Here he is in his uniform, just before his 18th birthday, about the time WWII ended, so he was never deployed.

I started digging through some old photos looking for pictures of Grandpa’s military days stationed at Camp Hughes in 1916. Camp Hughes was a training camp in southwestern Manitoba, near the town of Carberry. Many of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces who trained there were later involved in the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917. While my grandfather was not among those sent overseas, I am still proud that he served in the best way he knew how.

Here’s a picture of him outside his home before heading out to Camp Hughes. I apologize for the quality of the pictures. They were scanned from very old faded photos.

In front of home on Furby Street

Grandpa at Camp Hughes 1916

This is his unit at Camp Hughes. Grandpa had the photo turned into a postcard but it was never sent.

Here is a postcard that Gramps sent home to his Dad from Camp Hughes dated August 13, 1916. The ‘X’ marks his ‘O.C.’ (Last year, I questioned what the initials stood for but was told they refer to the Officer in Command, which makes sense when you think about it!)

Postcard commemorating the Presentation of Colours to 100th Battalion C.E.F, Camp Hughes, Sept.9th, 1916

New Year’s Greetings from the A.D.D.S. and Officers of Canadian Army Dental Corps M.D. No.10

In case the writing is too faint to read, the above greeting states: “May the New Year Bring a Righteous Victory and a Lasting Peace.” It was dated Winnipeg, 1916-17. Too bad the peace did not last as long as they’d hoped. 😦

While Grandpa was at Camp Hughes, there was a sandstorm that knocked down the tents. Here are a couple of rather faded photos of that event, but you get the idea:

The Sergeant’s Mess Tent, August 28, 1916
(Gramps is on the right below the ‘x’)

Holding up Lab Tent

Grandpa (left) with QMS T. R. Lowres
at C.A.D.C. M.D10 Osborne Barracks, Winnipeg, 1919

He later became the Quartermaster at the Osborne Barracks in Winnipeg, as you can see from the picture above.

Well, there you have it – a little personal history, lest we forget.

In addition to this post from last year, I wanted to mention that we currently have two nephews, who are serving in the Reserves, not to mention those in my husband’s family who have served and are serving. I only hope they never have to see combat in their lifetimes.

What about you? Do you have stories about your military loved ones you’d like to share?

Crafty Wednesday

Sorry!

I was too busy, today,

designing

wedding invitations

for my nephew & his fiance

to create a

Crafty Wednesday

post!

(I’ll post pictures after they’ve had a

chance to pick their favourite.)

Hope you all had a great day!

🙂

Having fun with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild

I’ve had a few exciting times related to the Guild over the past few weeks. First, we had our Annual General Meeting where they officially announced my position as one of the VPs and new head of the Resource Development Committee. Apart from the business side of the meeting, we had a lovely luncheon and got to watch the movie In the Wake of the Flood, chronicling Margaret Atwood’s book tour following the launch of Year of the Flood.

Last Friday, two fellow Guild members and I manned a table at the annual SAGE conference for teachers, EAs and library technicians. We got to talk to a lot of people about our writing programs and showed them a small array of books written by local YA authors. It was amazing how few people were aware how many Manitoba writers there really are – and these are teachers and librarians! I have a long list of email addresses where I will send my long list of local YA authors and their books, as well as the local publishers who produce Young Adult fiction. I even sold 5 of my books at the event. Bonus! 🙂

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Yesterday, I manned another table for the Writer’s Guild at C4 (Central Canada Comic Con). I had a blast! I loved working with fellow Guild member and poet, Kyla. She was so ‘into’ Dr. Who, so we had lots to chat about when we weren’t talking to writers looking for info about our programming. We also spelled each other off so we could go check out the other vendors. I headed upstairs to Artist Alley where I ran into Samantha Beiko selling her book The Lake and the Library. I missed seeing Chadwick Ginther, author of Thunder Road and his recently launched sequel, Tombstone Blues, which I will be reading and reviewing soon. Walking a little further, up against the far wall, was a huge lineup of stars. Beginning in the order of how they are listed on the website, there was:

Ron Perlman (Beauty & the Beast, Blade II, Pacific Rim) – at least his booth was set up, even if he wasn’t actually there, yet.
Jason David Frank (Power Rangers)
Bill Goldberg (World Champion Wrestler)
James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Smallville, Torchwood)
Tony Amendola (Jaffa master Bra’tac in Stargate)
Aaron Ashmore (Warehouse 13, Smallville, Veronica Mars)
Michael Benyaer (Voice of Bob on Reboot, & guest starred in The Mentalist, 24, Castle, NCIS etc)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5, Tron, Scarecrow & Mrs. King)
Avery Brooks (Commander Sisko on Star Trek Deep Space 9)
Malcolm Denare (John Carpenter’s Christine, Godzilla)
Yaya Han (costume designer, model & cosplay entertainer)
Brendan Hunter (mainly a Voice Actor for many games/cartoons)
Walter Koenig (Chekov on Star Trek, Bester on Babylon 5)
Robert Duncan McNeill (Start Trek Voyager)
Dave Prowse (Darth Vader, although James Earl Jones did the voice)
Chris Sarandon (Princess Bride, Child’s Play, Fright Night)
Laura Vandervoot (Supergirl on Smallville, ‘V’ the most recent series)

When I saw one particular actor there, I hurried downstairs to grab my wallet. With heart all aflutter, I stood in line and stammered out a request to get his autograph. Bruce Boxleitner was as personable as I hoped he would be. I hemmed and hawed about which photo I wanted him to autograph but finally chose his Babylon 5 pose. He has aged quite gracefully and his dimpled smile made me blush. I really should have splurged, paid the extra $10, and got my photo taken with him, but what a fangirl moment! 😀

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Another great moment was when one young attendee came up to me when she saw my books displayed. She said she’d read Whithershins and loved it! She even dragged over a friend and told her about it! I was thrilled that she’d read it, liked it and was recommending it to others. 🙂

The folks at the table next to us were flogging their horror film, Dark4Rest, filmed here in Manitoba with local-grown actors, director, etc. so I bought one of their calendars to help them out, even though I’m not really a horror fan. That shouldn’t stop you from checking out their website. They even have a Dark4Rest ‘teaser’.

There was also a local company with a working 3-D printer, which was really cool. Both Kyla and I were escorted over to their table and shown what their company could do. The most fascinating article on the table that was made with the printer was a miniature replica of our tour guide’s head! Apparently, Asset-Works offers tours of their facility every Tuesday. They are a non-profit workshop providing access to fabrication equipment, support and knowledge for entrepreneurs.

At the end of the day, and in keeping with the theme of our day, I bought two pairs of Dr. Who socks from a vender around the corner from our table. The black pair had a T.A.R.D.I.S. on them, the grey pair had red Daleks. They are a little big in the foot part and the stitching of the designs makes them a bit tight in the rise. Oh, well, I will wear them anyway!

C4 is on again tomorrow, for those in town who want to check out all the fun. If you aren’t able to go in person, there are (and probably will be) more pictures of our wonderful Guild volunteers and members on our Facebook page. Click here to see all the shenanigans. 🙂

Friday Review – Life Sucks by Donna Sutherland

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Throughout the ages, mothers and daughters usually hit a period of disagreement during the girl’s teen years. I remember heated arguments with my mother and also with my teenaged daughter. Fortunately, none of them escalated to the point of physical violence. The period passed and, upon becoming a woman, we became friends again. I think that was mainly because we kept the lines of communication open, unlike the characters in Donna Sutherland’s book.

In the story, Life Sucks, a mother (Emma) and her daughter (Lindsay) cannot seem to agree on anything. Lindsay seems bent on punishing her mom, believing she is the source of all her troubles, like her Dad leaving, trouble at school, and her friends deserting her. Emma is hurt and confused by her daughter’s anger, but when push comes to shove, literally, Emma knows they will need outside help to heal their relationship. That help comes, not from the sterile environment of a psychologist’s office, but the friend of Mary, a new worker in Emma’s office. Through Mary, Emma meets Martha, a local medicine woman who assists them in discovering the source of their deep-seated self-loathing and anger. Together, Mother and Daughter learn the Seven Sacred Teachings and begin their journey along the Red Road.

I’m sure that every mother or daughter who reads Life Sucks will appreciate the anguish in this broken family and will learn some valuable lessons about how to treat other people and how to heal themselves, just like Emma and Lindsay did. The story provides insight into the Native teachings that I think every person can take to heart. They are simple, common sense tools to help a body and mind work in harmony to become the best person one can be. 

Book Blurb:

Lindsay McKay is a 14-year-old girl on the cusp of womanhood struggling to understand life and her place in it. Her struggle with identity – what she sees on the outside is not in sync with the spirit within. She journeys with her mother, Emma, through conflict and challenge to truth and love. Together they find answers to their questions through the grace and wisdom of Martha, a powerful Cree Medicine Woman who introduces them to the Seven Sacred Teachings of the ancient Cree.

About the Author:

Donna Gail Sutherland was born in Selkirk, Manitoba to an Irish-English-Danish mother and a Scottish-Cree father. She is the author of three historical works – Peguis: A Noble Friend, Nahoway: A Distant Voice, and Concealment of Childbirth, and a soon-to-be released children’s picture book. Little Chip. She lives north of Winnipeg, Manitoba in the lovely woods of Clandeboye, a charming village with an Irish name.

To learn more about Donna and her books, click on the book cover above. It will link you to her website.

I was fortunate enough to meet Donna when she invited me to speak at the Public Library in Selkirk, a few weeks ago. I read from Withershins and talked about the historical setting of my books. Afterwards, Donna and I had a lovely chat over coffee. She is a truly remarkable woman, who is very connected to her ancestors and has a lot to teach us. Learning about our past is one way of learning the truth about ourselves. Knowing the truth about ourselves gives us strength and helps us move forward with our lives. It also helps in our relationships with others, treating them with respect and compassion. 

Happy Halloween!

It’s Trick or Treat Day!

I promise, no tricks, but I do have a treat for you, today! I wrote a saucy little ghost story for a contest, but missed the deadline, so thought I’d share it with you all, today. The contest rules stated that stories must be between 1,200 and 1,500 words and, to make it just a bit more challenging, it had to include the following 10 words:  Shadow, Children, Fog, Mirror, Revenge, Black, Hidden, Sleep, Eye, Never.

I think you’ll agree, I’ve met the challenge. 🙂

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Hungry Spirits 

The high-pitched squeal of the food trolley’s wheels ground on Nadine’s nerves.

            “Enough to wake the dead,” she thought. “Maybe it’ll wake George and he can figure out a way to make ends meet, so I don’t have to work here.”

            She smirked to herself, knowing that was just wishful thinking. The dead did not rise once laid to rest.

            After twenty-five years of marriage, Nadine was a widow, forced into a menial job to pay the bills. She reflected on the past year, spent rambling around an empty house in the heart of the city, alone and unhappy. Her three girls were all out on their own and her friends, in an effort to be helpful, kept dragging her out to bars and yoga class. Nadine shook her head to eliminate the depressing memories and returned her focus to her job.

            The hotel hallway was shadowed and deserted at that time of night.

            “Who eats ham and eggs at three in the morning?” she wondered.

            With a sigh, she shrugged. It wasn’t up to her to question the appetites of their guests.

            Nadine had heard stories about this place, long before she started work last week, but they didn’t scare her. In her opinion, they were just tales by people with overactive imaginations. The hotel was old, built over a hundred years ago. Of course there would have been guests who passed away in these rooms, but she did not believe their spirits still roamed the halls.

            In one story, two children had drowned when their mother left them alone in the tub. In another, a man caught his wife with another man and got his revenge by stabbing the adulteress seven times. A different tale was about a burglar, who was caught, red-handed, looking for hidden treasures and was shot for his effort.

            The most interesting deaths she’d heard about, though, was the report of the obese man who overindulged one night. After his fifth room service order, the server arrived at his door and found him on the bed, so round he was unable to move. He motioned her closer, clutching his chest. She hurried to the bed to call for assistance. She reached for the phone but, as the man took his last breath, he grabbed her arm. She screamed and tried to pull away but his death grip was too tight. She was so frightened by the experience that she, too, died of a heart attack.

            Nadine shivered. She never wanted to come upon a situation like that! Sometimes she wished people would just keep their horrible stories to themselves.

            She passed an ornate mirror with a gilded frame. Movement caught her eye – a shadow of . . . something black and shapeless. A moment later, the shadow was gone, making her wonder if she’d seen it at all. Maybe there was something to those stories, after all, she thought.

            When she reached room 536, she paused and listened for signs that the room’s occupant was still awake. She heard moaning, as though the occupant was in the thralls of ecstasy, but that was soon shattered by a blood-curdling scream.

            Nadine’s hand trembled as she raised a fist to knock at the door. All sounds from the room ceased.

            “H-h-hello?” she began. “This is room service.”

            When she received no response, she knocked louder.

            “Room service!” she repeated.

            She heard a deep voice grumbling from inside and caught a few expletives, as well, making her cringe. She hated the ‘F’ word. Heavy footsteps thumped their way to the door, which swung open with an audible swoosh. A man stood before her, wearing only boxers. His curly brown hair was mussed and his eyes were bleary as if he had just awakened from a deep sleep. Despite being in her mid-forties, Nadine’s heart skipped a beat as she drank in the definition on his well-muscled chest.

            “I didn’t order room service,” he said, drawing her attention to his face.

            The dark shadow of stubble lined his dimpled chin and upper lip. His eyes were azure, a color she’d always found very attractive. She took a deep breath, calming the heat that was rising to her cheeks. In an effort to mask her naughty thoughts, Nadine double-checked the food order receipt to make sure she had the correct room number. She glanced at the gold numbers on the door and nodded. Then, she held it up for him to see.

            “The order came from this room,” she said. “Are you sure your roommate didn’t order something?”

            “There’s no one else in here,” he replied, his brow furrowing.

            A slow flirty smile curled her lips at the thought that he was alone. Could he ever be interested in an older woman? She’d read stories in smutty magazines when she was younger about the passion that sometimes flared between guests and hotel staff. Were any of them based on true experiences?

            Suddenly she realized that an awkward pause had grown between them. He tilted his head, studying her, while her mind was running off on an adventure. Nadine cleared her throat in embarrassment.

            “Uh . . . could someone be playing a joke on you, sir?”

            “Highly unlikely. I don’t know anyone in the city. I’m here on vacation. Alone,” he stressed.

            “It will be charged to your room anyway,” Nadine said, wondering if she should offer herself as a tour guide. “You might as well eat it.”

            She made a move to push the trolley into his room, but he put his hands out to stop it from passing the threshold.

            “I was fast asleep,” the man said. “I’m not hungry.”

            “I-I heard noises,” Nadine said. “Coming from your room. If you were sleeping . . . what I heard, didn’t sound like you were sleeping. There . . . was a . . . scream. Was the TV on?”

            “No,” the man said, looking at her as if she’d lost her mind.

            Nadine felt rather foolish, standing there in the hall talking to an almost-naked man, arguing about sounds she was sure she’d heard coming from his room. She frowned, then put on a cheery face. Confident that she was still in the prime of her life and had maintained herself fairly well, Nadine opened her mouth to say something saucy, but shut it quickly.

            A chill ran down her spine as a thick fog rose up behind the man.

            It swirled out around them, surrounding the food cart, then coalesced into an indistinct form, bulbous at the top and rounder in the middle, like a huge translucent snowman. A slithering froth reached towards the tray, rattling the silver cover, which then jumped off the plate. Bit by bit, the food began to disappear, beginning with the bacon. They heard loud crunches as each piece was decimated, but saw no definite form of the being that was eating it. Each of the three over-easy eggs was slurped into a void in the mist – first the soft white, then the gooey yolk. Chunks disappeared from the buttered toast. The coffee carafe tilted, pouring hot java into a cup, which rose to the void and was sucked into nothingness. The process was repeated until the carafe was empty and plunked down on the trolley.

            Nadine huddled closer to the man who stood, frozen in place, slack-jawed.

            When every crumb and drop of coffee had been devoured, the cover slammed back onto the tray, the mist retreated back into the room and a loud sigh of contentment emanated from inside.

            After several minutes of dead silence, the man said, “I think I’m going to want another room.”

            Nadine was first to recover from the shock of seeing a spirit, her libido over-riding her fear. Fluttering her eyelashes and, in her most seductive voice, she said, “I have a spare room.”

 Have fun, this Halloween, and stay safe!

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Crafty Wednesday – last of the Sketch Challenges

Hi, Everyone!

I thought I’d finish off the month with the last of the sketch challenge cards I made back in September for my Creative Gathering. It will be a quick and simple post. If anyone wants me to go into more detail about sizes and brand names, etc, let me know. I can always email you the details.

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Let’s start with this sketch with the flags. Cards like these are great for using up all those little scraps of paper you have tucked away with the idea of using them in just such a project. On the right is the example card that uses the flag elements. You’ll notice, there is a ribbon on the left side of this portrait-oriented card with a circular element, a button, and a sentiment.

 

 

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Above is the card I made for this challenge. I left the background red and just added the strips of Christmas-themed paper, cutting the ends into a ‘V’ to resemble a flag or banner. I added the ribbon, flower, & button elements as well as the stamp/embossed sentiment, carefully cutting around the letters before adding it to the card.

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The next, and last challenge, consisted of a block of patterned paper over the base card, a label-type element and four rectangles, along with flowers, a sentiment, and a little bling.

 

 

 

Peace & Joy1

My interpretation of the challenge involved a few snowflakes as well as flowers. To be honest, I think there’s too much going on with this card. I find it much too busy. I may try another one like this to see what I can do to tone down the many different patterns. I think that’s why I made the label white, so the rectangular bits would show up better.

What do YOU think?

Sharing friends with my friends

I thought, today, instead of an author interview, I would share the sites of some of my blogging friends:

For all of you who might be thinking of taking the challenge of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), wantoncreation has some advice for you.

If you prefer a site where you can read an interesting story, Diane Dickson has written many short stories and serials, so pop over here. Soon she will be offering one of her novels for free, too!

C.B. Wentworth has a lovely variety of posts; lovely poetry, gorgeous photography, fantastic travel tales, and her beautiful knitted creations. You can find her latest poetry and photo of a Roman bridge here.

On the site, Speculating Canada, Derek Newman-Stille discusses Canadian speculative fiction, interviews writers of the genre and writes reviews. Considering the month, I recommend you head over there and read his list of ‘Canadian Must-reads-For-Halloween‘.

I enjoy reading what Elizabeth Creith has to say on her website. She discusses her writing and gives pointers to upcoming authors. For example, in her latest post, she discusses writing style.

If you want to read a charming Halloween-themed story, pop over to roughwighting and immerse yourself in ‘Witchy Woman’.

Jenny Keller Ford is a lovely woman who is working hard to get her first YA novel published. In the meantime, she has had several short stories published in anthologies put out by J. Taylor Publishers. She interviews other writers, like Terri Rochenski in her latest guest post ‘Balancing Family With Writing, and she reviews books as well as giving tips on writing.

Another writerly blogger is Jennifer M. Eaton. She’s been advising her readers with ‘… Simple Rules To Writing The Best Novel Ever‘, based on the article, ‘Hunting Down the Pleonasm’ by Allen Guthrie. She also has been providing us with book reviews and author interviews. She began the multi-author story ‘Write A Story With Me’, which has a new episode each Monday.

I think that’s enough sharing, for today, although there are many more exciting bloggers out there, writing wonderful blog posts, which I hope to share another time. I hope you will take the time, on this leisurely Sunday, to peruse the links provided.

Happy Sunday, Everyone! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday – Something new

Hi, Everyone!

I’m very excited to tell you all about last Sunday when a friend and I took a class in silk painting, specifically for turning into cards. Our instructor was Wendy Lee. She is an expert in the art of silk painting. Her website is here, if you’d like to check out some of her beautiful designs.

The materials needed for a project like this:

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– Sheer silk material (05 or 10 gauge)
– an embroidery hoop or frame to keep the silk taut

DCIM100SPORT– a pencil or marker like the one above that will completely disappear after 24 hours or so
– cheap brushes for watercolors with rounded tips, not flat
Dye-Na-Flow silk watercolor dyes

DCIM100SPORT– Water-based Resist (I used one by Jacquard. They come in a variety of colors including clear)
– small squeeze bottle with fine-tipped nozzle
– a card base with a window approximately 3-4″ (I used my Cuttlebug & die-cutters to create the windows)
– a container of clean water for rinsing your paintbrushes
– coarse salt (like for pickling)
– a glue runner for attaching your silk picture to the card
– card stock cut 1/8″ smaller than the front of your card to cover the back of your silk painting and provide stiffness.
– a palette, ice cube tray or small containers to hold a small amount of dye and for mixing colors
– a simple sketch that will fit the card’s window
– whatever you’d like to use for embellishing the card, if desired, such as stamps, contrasting paper or card stock, stickers, etc.

Let’s get started.

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1. Trace your sketch onto the silk using either a pencil or the disappearing-ink pen

 

 
2. Place your silk in the embroidery hoop or attach to a frame so that it is held taut.

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3. Using the squirt bottle with fine nozzle, trace the design with the Resist. This will be the outline for your design, as the dyes will not seep past it. Let it dry completely. Either let it air-dry or use a hair dryer on a low speed so that it will not push the resist where you don’t want it to go. The resist is dry when the glossy appearance is dulled and it is no longer sticky to the touch.

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4. Paint as desired. If you want a more crisp and precise outline, you may use a permanent marker on the resist lines once it’s dry.

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5. While dye is still wet on your silk, sprinkle a little salt and it will create an intricate pattern, similar to the Northern Lights. The salt draws the color to it and creates a streaky appearance. You can see it more clearly in the other projects I did on Sunday:

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6. Allow the dyes to dry completely, usually within a couple hours or you can leave it to dry overnight, just to be sure.

7. Once dry, brush off the salt crystals. Do not re-use as they will absorb the color they were on and transfer it to a new project with, perhaps, unacceptable results.

8. In order to permanently set the color, iron it (without the steam option) for several minutes. You might want to place a clean scrap of material over the painting so the resist does not melt onto your iron.

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Completing the card

While my penguin family dries, I thought I would finish off my penguin couple to show you how to attach the silk to the card.

1. Trim the excess silk, so it will not overhang the edges of your card.

2. Run your glue runner (It doesn’t have to be a huge one, like I’m using. Cheap ones can be found at any Dollare Store) around the back edges of your window.

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3. Place your painting so that it is positioned the way you want it to be within the window. Once it is in the desired position and taut, run the glue runner along the outer edges of the silk so they will attach to the card, holding the painting securely.

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4. Attach the extra card stock with your glue runner, so the silk is completely covered, adding a finished look to the inside of your card.

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Embellishing

I decided to add some color and texture to the front of the card, so I cut a piece of pale blue card stock that was a bit smaller than the card front. I used the Cuttlebug to cut out the same sized scalloped oval. It took a bit of fiddling, once the oval was cut out, to make sure the outer edges of the card stock were evenly spaced and that the oval scallops lined up perfectly. It probably would have worked better if I had cut out both the card and the blue card stock at the same time but, unfortunately, I didn’t think that far ahead! I then placed the blue card stock into my Dots embossing folder and ran it through the Cuttlebug.

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In order to give some contrast, I used a sponge dauber and Close To My Heart‘s Pacifica ink to sponge around the edges of both the base card and the blue card stock. 

In order to secure the blue onto the card, I only used the glue runner along the top half of the oval and the top back edges of the blue card stock. Carefully lining up the unglued portions I pressed the tops together. Then I glued the bottom parts and pressed firmly.

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I stamped the images (CTMH‘s Frosted) of a snowflake and a sentiment using Versa Mark. I sprinkled on black embossing powder and set it with my heat tool. 

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I carefully cut around the images and attached them to the card using 3-D sticky squares.

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Here’s the final result (sorry it’s a bit blurry):

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It’s always fun to learn something new. What is something new that YOU learned lately?