Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pencil Sketches = Relaxation

I love to cover every piece of paper with a little drawing on it.  If I sit down I've got a pen and paper in my hand, well, pencil and paper - I can be in a meeting, church, in front of the TV and I begin to draw.  Now these aren't drawing that will ever make me rich, but they shut down my thoughts!  I can listen better, I hear things differently because I'm just moving my pencil around in the most relaxing manner and my brain can relax.  My mom and daughter knit!  Other friends sew and I guess that's really more productive, but it's not for me.  I don't end the time with something to frame or even give as a gift, but I have a collection of some pretty interesting little drawings.

Sitting in church last week I drew a small picture of most of the sermon - a fish, a net (not a very good net, looked more like a serpent) a palm tree, Jesus feet, some little stick people holding hands and a phone.  Bill didn't go to church last week (sick) and when I got home I could tell him the entire sermon by looking at my little drawings.  Now without my interpretation he probably would have been lost, but for me it brought it back to life. Most of the time it's a flower and they probably all look a lot alike, but I enjoy each one.

And, oh, the phone - it represented hearing Jesus call on my life!  Don't worry, Bill was surprised by that one too. The main message, Jesus called the fisherman, they dropped their nets (immediately), left their boat behind and followed him!  They joined in community and began to spread the word!  How many times have we said,  "I'll just hold on to my net", rather than listen to His call?

Now back to drawing, it's my happy place and I encourage everyone to find that place.  That place where the business of life can just shut down and you can be still and maybe even here His voice.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Looking Forward and Preserving Memories

I have so many treasures!  My mom was 36 when I was adopted and she had wanted a baby girl for a long time and so everything was a special treasure for her.  She was dedicated to writing everything down in my baby book including what I got for Christmas, at least through the first six years!  She also saved my toys and clothes, especial my dolls and doll clothes and now I'm the one with these things in my home.  I love these things and the memories they hold, but it's time to think about the future.

This adorable little vintage circus themed table was under the tree on my second Christmas.  Just looking at it I'm filled with memories of tea parties and coloring books and for 60+ years, it's in pretty good shape.  I'm like my mom and I don't like to let go of things (surprise to those of you who know me) but it's time. So I've decided to make a memory book.  I've got my mom's award winning quilts, my toys, my dolls and their clothes, my first day of school (Kindergarten and First Grade) dresses and so much more, including a baby bed and kitchen cabinet that my Dad made and I want to be the one to see them go to other homes, so I will take pictures and write notes and make a wonderful book and my treasures will move on to other loving homes.
Bev Ann's Mixed Bag - K-T Antique Mall

So soon this little table and chairs will be the first of my childhood things to move to my store in Katy and or Etsy shop

I will post more fun memories here as I move them into the book and out of the house!  If you have any questions about the items I post, please leave me a comment or email me directly.  I would love to visit about their history and, of course, they can always become your treasures before they even go to my shop.

I would love to hear about your special memories, so be sure to comment or email me - I know you have great things to share!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Watercolor Flowers and Lavender Scented Paper

Good Morning!  I love Fridays - I thought I might need to take my car in for service today, but no appointment available until Monday morning, so I get to play! I want to share some of my newest cards and or card fronts. I used to stamp all of my cards and I still do occasionally, but mostly I now draw and watercolor them.

 I've recently become the worst card sender ever and I really must change back to the sender extraordinaire. With this in mind I've begun to watercolor some card fronts so I will have them ready to go when Facebook or my calendar suddenly remind me of a birthday!  For those of you who didn't get a card recently, I'm sorry!  Hopefully, next year you'll be at the top of my list!

Just this week I've completed several and mailed them and I'm going to share them today before I go up and start to play. 

The one on the right is my go to hibiscus.  I've painted a lot of other flowers, but always seem to go back to my comfort zone!  I did two different ones this week and forgot to take a picture of one so only the recipient gets to see it.  I'm really good about snapping pix, but occasionally one gets away from me.  That's ok - after all, I'm painting to share, not to keep.  And that's the problem with my stamped cards.  I have boxes of cards I stamped and never sent.  I must do something with them, any ideas?

This card on the left I made for a new friend in Minnesota.  I met Sue online in one of my stamping groups.  She was looking for a stamp set and I happened to have it and now it's hers.  I included this card in her package along with a couple of my bookmarks.

I have been explaining to her that my direction in cards has changed and that's why I'm selling so many of my stamp sets, so thought I should give her a real example.

And this leads to my last two pictures.  The one on the left is the front made out of my own freshly made paper and die cut with the Top Note die from Stampin' Up! using the Sizzix BigShot.  The picture on the right includes still another handmade paper.  The lavender colored paper backing the picture actually includes lavender buds in it and has such a nice scent.  Sure wish you could scratch and sniff! This card is for a very special cousin who shares my love for creating.  I started my paper making while she was visiting and we talked about making paper with lavender buds, so only right that she should receive the first card using this paper.  I was really pleased with how easy it was to use this paper for drawing.  It's a different texture from my usual watercolor paper, but worked like a dream and making lavender scented paper is so easy!  I hope she enjoys the fruit of my labor.

Those of you who know me personally, know I could sit here and talk for ever, but that doesn't get pictures on paper, so I'm closing and heading up to my studio, pulling out some paint and paper.

Oh, by the way, I've changed my Etsy shop name to BevAnn's Mixed Bag - the link is  I did this for consistency, now my blog, my FB Page, my physical shop in Katy and now my Etsy shop all have the same name! Right now the Etsy shop is mostly stamp sets, but keep it on your list and check back often as I add more vintage items and some of my art cards, bookmarks and maybe even a foot or two!

Now, I'm really gone - later,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rainy Day

Back side yard - trees are about to float!
I love my life!  And that's even when it doesn't go as expected!  My sweet husband had a cold over the weekend and then last night I felt kind of lousy, so thought I would sleep in this morning and nip this possible cold in the bud.  Sleeping in, to me, means, get up fix our breakfast and send him off to work and then my little dog, Jack, and I go back to bed.  Well, that's just what we did this morning - we were back in bed by about 6:30 and then the emergency weather radio went off!  And then it went off again, and again, and well, you know the rest.  I just finally got up and watched it rain.  I can thankfully say that we got lots of rain and our back field and then our front yard were full of water (most of it's gone or at least receded now) but we didn't have the severe wind and no tornadoes, so a little rain just seems fine to me!  But, sleeping in just didn't happen!

As I walked around the house this morning looking out the windows, I paused by a shelf and looked at some of the small stones I've painted.  I don't know about you, but ever since I was a little girl I have loved rocks!  I still love all rocks, large and small, but now I seem to focus on stones that have been tumbled around in a river and are now smooth so I can paint on them.  Most of these are just the right size for a paper weight and have a single flower on them, but now I seem to have a magnet in my eye that spots rocks shaped like feet!

My foot rocks never
come as "feet" rocks, I mean like a somewhat matching pair,  but I see feet (singular) every where!  And I paint toes, and toenails in pretty colors and sometimes add a flip flop and I must admit, some of them look like they just might hurt and I'm glad I don't have to walk on them.  Heehee!  But I love to paint them.  So as I paused and looked at the ones I have done right now and I suddenly was engulfed by just how much I love to paint!  Once again, I'm reminded that I need to concentrate on what I love!   I love to paint!  I love watercolors, and acrylics.  I love painting on stones, on wood, on paper and fabric!  You notice I didn't mention canvas, well, I've done it, but it's just not me!

 For those of you who have followed my Obedience Stones blog you know that I began with a very simple flower on a round stepping stone fresh from my garden.  My flowers are still simple, but they give me such joy.  In my case, it's the journey, not the destination that makes me happy!  I love how many stones tell me what they should be!  For one, it just screamed that it had to be a pear and a pear it became.  Most of them just say paint me!  I actually have a stone somewhere, I'll have to find it, that looked to me exactly like a sheep!  I've never painted it, it looks good just like it is, but maybe someday I'll embellish it too.

One little stone said I'm Mary and baby Jesus and soon it was my interpretation of just that. I love that God has given us so many canvases to fill.  I went down to the rock (stone) yard down the highway from us and ask if I could pick out some to paint.  They looked at me like I was crazy but sent me back into a heavenly area to find my treasures.  I'm so blessed to find joy in such simple things!

And so, I'm going to do just that - I'm going to go do a few watercolors for some card fronts.  Later, I will post some I've made recently and hopefully some I do today.  I also need nome more bookmarks, so that's got to be added to my agenda too.  Oh, my goodness, so much to paint and so little thyme!

Now, you tell me - what do you love to do?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Play Day

What a wonderful Saturday spent mostly in my craft room. I began the day working on a jigsaw puzzle, OK, so that's not really creative, but it was relaxing. And then I headed up to my craft room, I mean studio (sounds so much more grown up) and began to play.

I already posted my first project, a small watercolor in my art journal. My next was another small watercolor, this time for a card front.

I practiced free motion sewing and quickly learned that I need lots of practice if I'm ever going to complete a small quilt project.  I want to make some wall hangings, but believe me it may be next Christmas before I've mastered this and can actually do something I would be willing to show!

And then I decided to make another felt iPad cover. I made one several months ago after my iPad slipped out of my arms and shattered! Real bummer by the way! :-(

This is the beginning, some solid felt and beautiful wool roving and my fabulous needle felting machine. The next picture is of roving and embellishments to add to cover

And now the final pictures and I'm pleased.

Love the butterfly and all of the sparkle.  Unfortunately the sparkle doesn't really show up well in the pictures, but there's lot of it!  I especially like the three crystals for the butterfly body.  These are so much fun to make and easy too!

I can't remember when I've had an entire day that I could spend playing with my crafty stuff.  It was so nice to just do and not feel like I was rushed.  We all need those days and I'm so thankful Saturday was mine.

Here's hoping this inspires you to take a day and enjoy creating!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fuchsia - A One Color Painting

Late last year I got a really cool sketch book. Now I didn't understand how soft or textured the paper was, I just knew I loved the texture of the cover and that the paper wasn't typical. It was handmade with ragged edges and I loved it.
Love this cover - textured paper!

The first sketch I used markers and the paper was just too soft and allowed very intense colors (no picture). I used a few more pages with watercolors and they were better. I added a couple of drawings I'd done on other medium with brads and then today as I wondered what to do I picked up the book, flipped to a new page and with my Pitt artist pen I sketched a flower. I then picked out my Derwent Inktense Fuchsia (0700) pencil and decided to see if I could do the entire painting with just one pencil. Here is my finished page!

love how the heavy texture of the paper helped give dimension to the flower and shading with the one color and some white space worked.

Hope you enjoy my experiment in color.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Paper Kind of Day

I just love this paper making thing I'm into right now. I love using scraps and almost never knowing for sure what the finished paper will look like.

Would be kind of hard to make a set of matching papers, but who wants matching papers?  Not me! However, I made a solid yellow (see right) and I know how I made it, so I guess if if I ever wanted more than one sheet of yellow, that one I can do!  :) but mostly I just love throwing some scraps in the blender and being surprised.

So today I started with a white base, but, being the "imperfectionst" (my word) that I am, I didn't bother to rinse out the blender and there was some red pulp residue in it, so I quickly had pink. I poured it into the mold and then swirled some blue and green pulp around in the pink pulp and water and pulled it out to drain.

This is one side and this is the other and both of these pictures are when the paper is wet!

So another surprise when it dried. Can you believe how they change?  The color becomes so much lighter and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't.

With this one I prefer the lighter color and I love how different the sides are, but yesterday trying to make a dark red, lighter wasn't the look I wanted. Oh, well a pretty pink was born.

Quickly changing gears I did a quick watercolor for the front of a card for a friend.  I have so many friends going through major trials right now, that I really need to do about four more, but that will have  to come later tonight.

So with this I will close my post, make the card and get it ready to mail and get back to paper making and flower  painting after dinner.  My sweet husband is having dinner out and so that means a quick something for me and back to fun!

See you soon with more surprises.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Moose You So Much

Moose You So Much - available now

What a couple of days!  I'm learning that working in a store is hard work whether it's physical or virtual!  I've been filling up my little booth in KT Antiques in Katy, TX and my Etsy store.  One is filled with collectibles and the other has one collectible (Charlie Tuna) and rubber stamp sets.  I have plans for much more, but right now I'm concentrating on the rubber stamps.

As I try to make some much needed space in my craft room, I'm sorting through my Stampin' Up! stamp sets and placing them for sale in my Etsy Store.  I listed the first of the sets on Friday and sold one on Saturday - very exciting!  Now just about another 100 and I'll have some room.  :)

If you would like to check out my Etsy Store - my shop name is Bev Ann's Attic, of course, when you see it there, it's all together, so here's the link, BevAnnsAttic.

I just have about 12 items listed right now, but will be adding more each day, just as I also fill up my store in Katy.  

And during all of this, I'm also trying to make some paper, sew a stitch or two and paint on fabric and garden stones. Hopefully, I'll have some fun things to post soon.  Hope you're just as busy, but with more time to craft.  Check back soon to see what I'm up to next and encourage me by commenting below and telling me what you're up to.  What's going on with you in this new year?


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Handmade Paper

Handmade paper - so much fun and so many possibilities!  I have wanted to make paper forever.  I have saved scraps from my cards and have lots of other scrap paper - how cool is it that this can be used to make all sorts of new paper.

On Facebook I follow such a fun young woman. You can check out her blog by clicking here. Mel specializes in mixed media ATC's, but the other day she posted a picture of a sheet of handmade paper that she made from Christmas gift wrap.  I had to know how!  I commented on her post and she quickly forwarded me a link for a kit for making paper.  I ordered it that very day and began my paper making.

I love anything that allows you to succeed on your first try and making paper is just that easy.  Don't misunderstand me, there's much to learn to make different papers and to make them well, but I do promise that you can make a piece of paper on your first try!

My first piece is a little thick.  You know the philosophy, if one is good then three or four is better.  Well, never mind the directions, I used as much paper as I wanted to make my pulp and I learned a lesson.  Yes, I made a new sheet of paper, but it's not what I want to make all of the time. Success with room to improve.  But, don't think for a minute that I learned that lesson on the first piece, no I have three or four very thick pieces.  I will use them for something,  (great for die cut machine) but finally I have reduced the amount of pulp and am liking my paper even more. I guess all thicknesses have a place.

I have made colored pulp to add to my white or light colored pulp and have it ready to go.  I've learned that you can add a minor ingredient and make acid free paper, perfect for scrapbooking.  I'm planning to add some lavender buds to some paper, they say it retains it's scent and I'll let you know if that's true, probably as soon as tomorrow.

In the first couple of days I experimented with flower petals and leaves, see example on left.  Today, it was just seeing the subtle change in color by using white or cream color base pulp.  I want to learn recipes so that I can make multiple sheets of the same (close to the same) color to use for invitations, table decorations etc. All I know right now is that it's just way too much fun and the cost is negligible!  After all, who doesn't have scrap paper - no more shredding, no more landfill, just a very green hobby.

Come see what I make tomorrow!
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