In the holiday spirit I also made a set of alcohol ink glass ornaments to share for the holidays. Check out the video now on my YouTube channel to see how they were done!
Hello! and Happy December.
This month my posts will revolve around some DIY gift making because it’s that season again. At the start of the month, I had my ovarian cancer support group luncheon. We meet once a month for to share our stories and catch up on each other’s lives. For December it was our holiday luncheon and voluntary gift swap. When I think of these amazing ladies, I think of their presence and stories, and I knew I wanted to make something extra special to give them.
One evening while watching some Mike Deakin videos on YouTube I saw the Dina Wakley “Gal Quotes” stamps used in one of his videos and a light bulb went on. I knew I had to use them for some holiday ornaments.
To start I bought some 4″ round wood ornaments on Amazon. Then I painted them teal (the ovarian cancer color) and using embossing ink and black glitter embossing powder on them. I stamped the lady faces and quotes and then used my heat gun. Within a few hours I had the ornaments ready to go.
These stamps are great for cards, journaling and from the photos below, ornaments! So just a fun idea if you have an office holiday swap coming up maybe you work with some fabulous ladies that can use a sassy ornament.
With fall in the air, I decided I needed some fall leaves just in case, a stash for my art journaling. Now I could have gone to the store and bought some already made cutouts but as any good artist/crafter knows why do it the easy way when we can make a big mess and do it the crafty way!!!
Thanks to my wonderful husband I have a Cricut machine, so I thought okay, I can do this, I’ll just use the Cricut to cut out some leaves for me, but first I needed the right colored papers. Now did I go and just buy some scrap paper? Well of course not that again would have been easy. I instead set about to make my own fall colored background.
To do this, I grabbed my pad of 9 x 12 Canson watercolor 140lb cold press paper, my brand new distress oxides in “Wild Honey” “Frayed Burlap” and “Candied Apple” and set about making a fall inspired background on the watercolor paper. I used a dabber and just kept blending, adding some water, drying and then blending some more and below was the results of that labor.
Then I set the paper on one of my heavy duty Cricut mats and found some free leaf layouts in the Cricut Canvas program, and set about to cut them out. Now, this is where I developed a momentary love/hate relationship with my Cricut because my paper looked so great and the machine took the first pass and in the end didn’t cut all the way thru the paper, so I thought OH NO it’s ruined and made another sheet and tried again. Again I had the same issue, the blade didn’t cut all the way thru. This was a learning experience for me for next time to be patient and do a trial run on blank paper to get the settings, but you know how we artist crafters get when we are excited.
So there I sat with two sheets of half cut leaves, and I thought okay nothing is every ruined I got this, I took out some small scissors and trimmed out the leaves, and success I had my leaves. At this point, I felt they needed a little something extra, so I got out one of my brown archival inks and went around the edges of all the leaves, and voila! I had fall leaves I love that will now go into my journals and happy mail for fellow artists.
I’ll list the links to some of my materials below in case you want to give these a shot on your own! You can even print and trace your own leaf shapes if you don’t have a Cricut or Silhouette machine.
Fall is a busy time of year here in Florida. Most of the year it is hot & humid, so we stick to our air-conditioned interiors and then a magical time of year happens. Florida Fall! Those few days in November/December we get cooler weather, and we all emerge from our homes to weekends full of art shows, craft fairs and vintage markets surrounded by holiday cheer. I love this time of year because it’s where I get a lot of inspiration.
This weekend my husband, mother-in-law and I went to the quaint town of New Smyrna Beach to the Antique and Vintage Market. It was a smaller show, but that made it nice an relaxing to walk thru. There were lots of small shops along the way too to duck into, and my brain was just on overload with patterns, colors and gift ideas for the coming holidays. Below are a few photos of the market area, and a cute picture of a mini Volkswagon van turned into a cooler, which is one of my favorite vehicles. I dream of a Volkswagon van a traveling art caravan!
After walking around for a bit, we did what any good shoppers do. We ate and refueled at a local treasure the Cork Screw restaurant and again inside my brain went into overdrive with the creative wine bottle chandeliers, murals, exposed brick walls and funky Florida atmosphere.
After we had full bellies, we hit the streets again where I found my ephemera treasures for this trip.
My first find where these two vintage photos. Typically I shy away from things like this but these two girls just something about their images called to me, and I thought they would make perfect scans for art journaling. Then I became fascinated by what could the history of the images be. I did some research and thanks to Wikipedia learned that these images were what was called “cabinet card portraits” and after some sleuthing, I figured they date to the 1860s-1880s. So now I sit and wonder, who were these woman, how old were they, what must their lives have been like? What story do they have to tell and that, right there is where inspiration comes from for me.
Now after those treasures I thought okay I’m doing pretty good today and then I stumbled on some tables with books. In one pile I saw this pitiful small brown book the cover was beaten, missing the back cover, pages browned, and I thought aww it needs a good home. It is an old Nursery Rhyme book. Again what is the history, where did it come from. There is no publish date, faded names on the inside cover are all but vanished, but I did find a publisher name. New York, Leavitt & Allen. So to the Wiki I went again and found there was a company in NY Called Leavitt & Allen and it existed about 1856, so again here is this treasure from the 1800s, what story does it have to tell and so my inspiration grows there.
The real story behind this weeks post is when you feel uninspired, and you don’t know what you want to do, get out of the house or studio, go for a walk, see some nature, walk a museum or market and let the world speak to you.
My husband and I just celebrated our one year wedding anniversary last weekend, and although we dreamed of going on an eating tour of Italy that is a long-term goal. Instead, we took advantage of the fact that we live in Florida and decided to travel the world in another way. We went to Epcot and explored all the countries during their Food and Wine festival. It was amazing to see the art in the setup of all these countries. The architecture was beautiful, and the food was amazing. We had lunch in Italy, and dinner in France! Can’t get much better than that. Some of my favorite countries were Mexico, Italy, and France. Below will give you a peek into all that inspired me on this little getaway so close to home:
Adventures in “THE LAND”- Beautiful Mural and inside vibrant colored Air Ballons
Then a trip to ITALY for lunch
After Lunch more exploring :
(The ball was perfectly framed in Italy by the arch)
Beautiful tile work, then off to Germany
Then a stop in Norway where I made a new friend and was awed by the beautiful wood working.
Then a final stop in Mexico:
And after ALL that walking we had our Dinner in France:
Thanks for stopping in and going on this journey with me. I hope that some of these photos will inspire you like they did me!