Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Under the Sea Dream Wedding

My Aunt and Uncle were married on the beach in Hawaii.
My Aunt had a hard bound book of their wedding photos created 
online from Walmart. While she was happily showing around her wedding book
it began to fall apart. She had only had it a few weeks. This made me sad.
So I immediately went on her face book page and started downloading
her wedding pictures. I ordered prints online from Costco, and am now
ready to begin creating their new wedding album. 

Now it just so happens to be the start of a new challenge at Aurora Wings,
and the theme is: Dream Wedding.
I'm pretty sure that a wedding on the beach in Hawaii is a dream wedding.
I'd like to have a vow renewal (next year is 20 years) on the beach somewhere.
Just me and my husband, and the officiant. No one else. No shoes either.
A girl can dream...   

I decided to use this adorable Aurora Wings image called,
"The Gift". Seems perfect for the very first page of the
wedding album. I colored the cute Mer-couple using Copics.
I went with vivid hues since I love using bright colors on
fantasy images. No rules. I love it. 

I've been collecting beach themed dies and embellishments for this project.
I used some TH distress inks and paint to color the TH sand dollar
and seahorse die cuts. I used Frantage on the "love" die cut to make 
it fancy, and stand out against the sand dollar. Added the starfish brad 
and the gold dew drops for more interest. And cheesecloth. Ya gotta have cheesecloth
for many uses, but especially for an ocean netting embellishment.    

I popped a teeny half pearl in the clam shell. It fit perfectly.
I also Stickled bubbles using crystal Stickles, along with punched circles of glittered
and pearlized papers to represent bubbles, too.
I think I got my point across. Gotta have lots of bubbles.
And here it is! I am liking where this is going. 
Mitzi has a bunch of other ocean/sea inspired images that will be just
perfect for the rest of this album. I'll be sure to share my progress.
I hope to have this done by their anniversary in September.

Thanks for dropping by. Be sure to check out all the other
wonderful inspiration samples on the Aurora Wings challenge blog.

I'd like to enter this in the following challenges:

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Quick Haunted Word

So I survived Mother's Day, and true to form,
I didn't do what my Dad told me to do. 
I still plan to write a letter to my Mom, 
but I just couldn't bring myself to do it on Mother's Day. 
I was already having a really hard time, and opted not to 
dive into the most painful part of my life. My fear was that
I may not come back. Ever been afraid to really feel the pain?
I am terrified, but know it will help me heal. All in good time.

I do have a really cool project to share with you today.
Been keeping busy creatively. Idle hands and all that... 

First up is the second half of the Haunted Design House challenge:
Can I Have a Quick Word?
I chose one of my favorite words that doesn't begin with an "F",
and used WEIRD.
 Weird on Google search comes up with a definition of:
suggesting something supernatural; uncanny.
Funny that some of the synonyms for weird are 
odd, bizarre, awful, creepy, spooky, ghastly, freaky, strange,
magical , haunting, grotesque, kooky, etc...
More of my favorite words.

I began with a box frame I have had for months (years?).
I knew it would be perfect for a cool shadowbox display, and as it
turns out, I was right!
I distressed the box with a cool TH hammer with various tips
to give cool textures for aging and distressing. 
 I painted the box red and then black, all the while distressing
as I went along to each layer. I painted some wooden feet
and then gave them a coat of Rock Candy crackle paint. 

I have had this clear embossing paste from Dreamweaver Stencils for a while,
 and was inspired to use it on all sides of this box as soon as my new 
Dyan Reaveley  skull stencil arrived. It goes on very well, and I was worried it
was going to remain kinda rubbery, but once it cured completely ( a couple of days)
it was fine. I am loving the new stencil, too. It comes in a larger size, but this
one will do for now...

One can never have too many doll heads...
I salvaged this one from my kid and chopped the back of
her head off to fit in the frame/box better. I painted her with black gesso
to give me a good base to work with. I used a crackle technique on her
to give a cracked porcelain doll feel.    

As I was waiting for the head to dry onto the frame backing,
I used some TH wood letters and some Scrabble tiles to spell, weird
I used the TH hammer to distress the "W" and added some black acrylic wash and 
lime green Inka Gold metallic rub. I used distress paint daubers on the "E',
and white distress paint on the "I" to make it stand out. The "R" got a
smattering of Diamond Dust, and the "D" got a coat of  
green antiquing cream from DecoArt's Media line. 
I really LOVE how the "D" turned out. That is a great product!  

Once I arranged everything the way I wanted, I glued everything
down using Glossy Accents. I usually never use GA as a glue,
but I wanted to make sure this thing wasn't going to fall apart
any time soon.

I used some Pork Chop Show wooden pieces, along with various TH bits
and bobs. I used some mirrors, too.

One of my favorite parts is the eyeball on the top. I used a plastic doll
eye I bought on ebay, and glued it onto one of those TH specimen pins.  

I love the way the plastic TH dolly looks almost like
a negative image in the face after distressing it with black soot
distress paint, and then rubbing some of it off. TH star, and skull and crossbones
made there way onto this, too. I added some Firefly Stickles to the little bottle
to help spread the green color around a bit.

I generously coated the inside walls of the box with
platinum glass glitter. Kinda reminds me of the
genie on Pee Wee's Playhouse, Jambi

Okay that's it for my weird HDH creation. 
I love it. How about you?

I'd like to enter this in the following challenges:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Such an oddball

I have been having a hard time dealing with Mother's Day this year.
I find myself crying at anything that has to do with mothers. Good or bad.
My Dad suggested I write my Mother a letter to tell her all of the things
that I wish I had, before she died. Looks like I'm going to be writing a letter
this Sunday....

To keep myself busy, and to keep my mind off of painful things,
I have been playing around with my new small format Dyan Reaveley  
art journal. I have the larger one, but find myself intimidated to work
in it as of yet. Maybe once I master some cool techniques I'll have the
courage to work bigger. 

I started off by coloring this adorable image from Oddball Art Stamps.
Her name is Sally Sadness. She reminds me of a character from The Oblongs
Man, I love that cartoon.

I colored her up with Copics, and did a bit of customizing on her appendages 
to go along with my sentiment. 
I used some swirly die cuts to give the appearance of tentacle-type arms.
Some may consider that a flaw, others may think it's pure awesomeness.
I fall into the category of the latter.   

The background was created with Dylusion spray inks, a hexagram stencil
with some crackle paste (which I sanded down afterwards to make it less
chunky and obvious), and a new TH crackle stencil with black soot distress ink.
I also worked in some skull and barbed wire die cuts, along with some
Firefly Stickles for that bling factor.

I added the other swirls in to make it cohesive with the other
page and Sally's tentacles.

And there it is. The first completed page in my new art journal.
I still have a ways to go before I feel really adept at this art journal thing,
but it's so fun to just play around and make fun art just for me.

I would like to enter this creation in the following challenges:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'm a Daiso virgin no more!

Yesterday I told you the tale of my experience at 
The Bone Room in Berkeley, CA. It was a wondrous experience.
Before my friends and I made it to the mecca of bones, we 
arrived at the largest scrap booking store in the bay area, 
Scrapbook Territory.
My friends have told me about this store for years, and that I just had to 
check it out. When we planned this trip we were expecting to spend a small fortune,
but the night before we left we found out that ST was closing, and were currently
selling everything at 50% off. We were two weeks late for the start of this
sad sale, but we were hopeful that there was still some inventory to peruse.
Since I had never been to the store I had no idea what I was missing, but my
friends were horribly disappointed. The shelves we nearly bare. Like one sheet
of 12 x 12 paper left of 20 designs, a smattering of May Arts ribbons, and 
random odds and ends. Now if we were in the market for counter tops and storage 
for our craft rooms we would have been in luck. They were selling 8 ft long
by 6 ft tall shelves for 12 x 12 paper for $20, and tons of other displays
for dirt cheap.

I did manage to grab these Leavenworth Jackson stamps for 50% off,
but see now that I was charged for the credit payment I was told didn't go through,
so I paid cash. Still waiting for a call back on that one.  

My friend, MacKenzie's husband is half Japanese, and her sister-in-law was with us
so we were destined to go to Japantown in San Francisco to get special Japanese
goodies. After we stopped at a couple of bakeries, book stores, and had a wonderful 
noodle lunch in the Japantown mall, we went to the Daiso store.   

Daiso is like the Dollar Store, but better. 
Everything is pretty much $1.50, but such a bargain!

Always need those rings and who can pass up glittery polish and
a green eraser frog? 

The critter erasers came three to a pack, the glass bottles are perfect for my
apothecary collection, the paper flowers were really pretty, and I am always on the 
lookout for a good white paint pen. Not bad for $1.50. 

They had a glorious selection of nail polishes. 

And I'm always a sucker for DIY organization. I bought some cool
metal trays that fit perfectly on the side of my Sam's Club carts for 
extra storage. And I scored on some white ramen bowls. I have been wanting
some of those for months now. I eventually want all white dinnerware, so it
looks like another trip to Japantown is imminent. I'll be sure to take more pictures
next time. 
That's it for today. 
Thanks for stopping by.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Bittersweet: The Bone Room

I had the most amazing time with a couple of my very
favorite people on Saturday. We planned a trip to Berkeley, CA
(about 1 1/2 hours away from Sacramento) to check out a scrapbook
store that my friends have been bragging about for years. 
"They carry Stampotique stamps" was pretty much all I needed to hear.
Since we were going to be in the city (San Francisco) it was suggested that
I make a list of places I wanted to check out as well. 
Our tastes tend to differ in places of interest.
I spent quite a bit of time on Yelp and read some rather disparaging
reviews of "Loved to Death", the curiosities shop spotlighted on the
Science channel's Oddities series. I loved the show, and always wanted to check it out,
but after reading that they had gaff taxidermy, mass produced trinkets 
scattered around their store, and shitty attitudes, I decided to skip it. 
But, in reading those reviews I was turned on to a place called,
  "The Bone Room", in Berkeley.

What a nugget of awesomeness. 

That is a skinned rooster on the top left, inside of the massive oyster shell.
They have such a varied array of natural history and science, from prosthetic eyes
to fetal pig specimens. Their wet specimens were on sale, but that is just not my
cuppa tea. Maybe because they all look so, dead. Makes me sad.
I was so busy shopping that I didn't take any more photos except for the ones of the
stuff I bought. Wanna see what I got?

I went on their site online the night before and did some pricing and window shopping
so I had an idea of what I wanted before I got there and became overwhelmed.
I'm glad I did that. There was so much awesomeness I could have spent
the entire day there. No joke.

Spider Webs Under Glass - These are real spider webs sprayed 
with a fine metallic coating, mounted on a black background, 
and protected by beveled glass. Each web includes a tag providing 
the genus and species of its maker, along with collection information 
and a picture of the species. Only the webs were collected 
for these works of art, the spiders themselves go on to build more webs. 

Cool, right? Mine was made by a Feather Foot spider.
It's about 3" round. 

This is a mouse skull pendant, complete with mandibles.
These are made exclusively by The Bone Room.
I originally wanted a bat skull pendant, but fell in love 
with this truly unique piece as soon as I saw it.

Got Bobcat claws? I do.

This little acrylic encased baby is my bat specimen.
I named him Bartok. 

Got some bad ass African porcupine quills.

And the quills look pretty cool in this little jar I picked
up at the Daiso store in Japantown, but that's another post.

Imagine my surprise when I happened upon these tiny,
headless porcelain dolls. I didn't expect to see jars of heads
and limbs either. What a find!

Also on my shopping list was a rattlesnake rattle, but when we
opened the case containing not only rattles, but striking heads too,
it smelled something awful! So awful in fact, that I opted to leave
without my rattle. Once I got home and recounted my trip to my husband,
and told him about the rattle snake stink, he went out in the garage and came
back with a rattlesnake rattle. Oh, how I love that man!

While we were waiting for The Bone Room to open, we popped
into a shop next door called, Therapy
I have been coveting this book for a while now, so I snagged it. 

At first, the book had me in stitches. The sheer ridiculousness of it all.

But then it just kinda got sad thinking of how disrespectful this type of 
crappy work is to the animal's spirit.

Yes, that is a Mallard head coming out of a lamb's ass.
I'm all for Rogue Taxidermy and gaff taxidermy, if done well.
The lamb is done well, despite the craziness of it, but that poor lion
and hyena... Pretty sad. I do like the book, though. Just didn't expect to feel
that way about it. 

Okay, now for the bittersweet part of my post. 
It seems that the owner of The Bone Room passed away very unexpectedly,
very recently. As of May 1st, they are closing this store front and going to
be selling online. At least their incredible treasures will still be available,
but it won't be the same as walking into that store and seeing everything
all at once. The staff were super sweet and helpful, too.
See? Bittersweet.  

Thanks for stopping by today.
I'll be back tomorrow with my Daiso haul, and my story about the
scrapbook shop that started our entire trip.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A real oddball spring

It's the middle of April and it's 90 degrees out today.
Very odd. And pretty scary considering we're in the fourth
year of a drought here in California. Fire season is gonna suck.
And it's already begun two months early. Yikes.

Since odd seems to be the word of the day, I thought 
I'd color up this pretty little Oddball Art Stamps fairy
and play along with the current challenge at Oddball Art Stamp Co.,

I get tired of making cards all of the time, and since I have
quite a collection of tags I use to mop up my leftover distress inks,
I thought a tag was a good idea.

This is 'Sweet Sai'. Isn't she a cutie?
And, as is my usual M.O. I have colored her with
unconventional skin tones and hair color. Fairies are 
magical creatures, and should be colored accordingly. 

I sprayed a small clothespin with Dylusions spray in Cherry Pie to match
my project. The clothespin already had the hole in it, so it was super
simple to add that dragonfly charm. I stamped out a fairy sentiment 
from Kraftin' Kimmie. I am a big fan of the Kraftin Kimmie sentiments.

When I hear the word spring, I think of flowers.
And I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I have a shit ton of old
flowers in my stash. I layered up five flowers of varying oldness
and even added an equally dated leaf. I like how it turned out,
and am glad to have used a few of my ancient fleurs.  

I used a diamond patterned stencil and some crackle paste to
add some texture and interest to the tag. I think my crackle is old
as it didn't real crackle much. I ended up rubbing some of it off with my
fingers to give it an aged appearance. I also dusted the diamonds with 
Stickles for a nice sparkle. I dug even deeper into my stash and found some
chipboard glittered flourishes and dew drops. Nice touches.

  I had fun making this tag. Gave me a chance to use
up some stash and make something pretty with it.

I'd like to enter this tag in the following challenges:
Left of Center - Tag or ATC (mine's a tag)