Friday, June 29, 2012

I love summer!!!!

Great gift idea:   Magnet Board

I am a camp leader for 12-15 year olds for part of the summer!! Here is a fun project we are doing at camp.  These make handy gifts for friends and a great activity for you or your teens to create!

 You will need: 
  • 20 guage sheet metal cut to size. Mine is 9x12. I had a metal company cut mine.( I needed 100 boards all the same size so they started with sheets of 4'x12'. )You can find it already cut in many different sizes at Lowes. 
  • To drill holes you need a drill press and a drill bit (I had a friend do it the size of a regular hole punch)
  • Gel or Modge Podge and brush
  • Your favorite ephemera or scrapbook paper  (I used a 12x12 cut to size)
  • a favorite piece of ribbon or tulle
  •  Breyer

Let's get started!!!

Wash the piece of metal with some vinegar to get any rust or grime off.  Dry thorougly.

Cut your paper to fit the size of the metal.

Spread a thin layer of gel on the metal.  Not too thick.

Match up the paper to the corners. Smooth it with hand and use your breyer, start from the middle and roll away from the center.

 I like to have a damp washcloth here to pick up any excess so my breyer and paper stay clean. Roll and press for a couple of minutes

 Let dry. (10-15 min)  Then push a sharp pencil through your metal holes so the paper gets a hole.  Brush an even layer of gel over the paper to give it some protection.  Let that dry for an hour or so.

Next get your ribbon put through the holes to hang it.  Add some cute magnets and insirational mementos and.... VOILA!
You have a magnet board!   ENJOY!

Happy Summer!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Happy Summertime to All of You Lovely Art Ladies!  

Vintage Embroidered Doily Apron, Part 2

O.K.  Let's start sewing!

Just to give you an idea, here is a picture of the approximate layout of the pieces before cutting and sewing them to show you the different types of doilies and  pillow case pieces. You will want to make sure to read the directions before proceeding.  (I took this picture of un-ironed doilies just for reference, but you will need to iron yours first.)

Here is a look at a possible cutting layout.

Again, I don't want to hear any whining from anyone if you mess up your apron, ha, ha:  Please read all of the directions before cutting and sewing since this is a "design and sew as you go" type of pattern.  You will have to make adjustments to work with your individual doilies!


1. Launder and iron all of your doilies. Tip: This will make it easier to cut them and sew them!  If some of the doilies have never been laundered and you sew them together with those that have been previously laundered, and then you wash the finished apron, there could be uneven shrinkage making your apron look wonky.  Most of my sewing is done with my favorite sewing tool, the iron.  What I mean by that is if you have to turn a seam under it is much easier to turn it under by pressing it in place before you sew it!

2. Lay out your pieces in the manner that you will put them together for the apron so that you can measure how large or small to cut them so that they will fit together.  

3. Cut out the pieces making sure that you add enough for your seam allowances if you have to alter. (Tip: Measure twice, cut once. That way you will make sure that your measurements are correct.) 

3. Note: Seam allowances are one-half inch. Sew the skirt center and sides together by placing the raw edge of left and right panels about a half of an inch underneath the center   panel. Topstitch down the finished edges of the fabric of the center panel and then another topstitching on the lace edging of the center panel just to secure the side panels and to finish their raw edges underneath.  

4. Finish the top raw edges of the pockets whichever way you choose by making a cuff, sewing on seam binding, or turning under and finishing with lace, etc.

5. Place the pockets on the apron skirt in the areas of your choice and topstitch in place.

6. Mark the center of the skirt.  Sew two gathering stitch lines on the top raw edge of the skirt. Pull to gather so that the skirt is the same length of the waistband (not including the lace) while distributing gathers evenly. Or, if you don't have a lacy finished edge on your waistband, gather it one inch smaller than the length of unfinished band.

7. If you have a waistband with a lace edging, turn the long raw edge under one-half inch and press with an iron. Then fold in half lengthwise matching the turned-under edge to the opposite finished fabric edge with the right sides of the fabric out and press. Mark the center front of the waistband.  Or, if you have a waistband with two raw long edges, turn the long raw edges under one-half inch and press in place. Then turn the short raw edges under one-half inch and press in place.  Then fold in half lengthwise with the right side out and press.  Mark the center front of the waistband.

8. Place the wrong side of the finished lace edge of the waistband on the top of the right side of the skirt gathers matching centers, evenly distribute the gathers, pin in place, baste, and topstitch at the edge of the fabric.  Or, if you have a waistband with all raw edges, then place one folded edge of the waistband on top of the right side of the skirt gathers matching centers, evenly distribute the gathers, pin in place, baste, and topstitch on right side at the edge of the fold making sure that the short side raw edges are folded under at the pressed turn of the raw edge.

9. Fold waist ties lengthwise, right sides together, and make a seam along the long raw edge and one short raw edge. Turn out and press.  If you are going to sew lace on top of your ties, do it now.

10. Place the raw edges of waist ties into the waistband matching the top folds of the ties to the top fold of the waistband. Fold the back part waistband over at the center fold and encase the raw edges of the shirt gathers and waist ties, pin, and baste.  Topstitch on the right side along the short edges and the bottom long edge of the waistband making sure to catch the inside waistband all along the edges (that is why I suggest that you baste, old-fashioned, I know, but it works well and saves time in the long run!).  Tip:  If you don't want a bib top on your apron you can stop here and you will have a finished apron!

Detail of the wrong side of the apron.

11. Fold the neck ties lengthwise, right sides together, and sew along long raw edge and one short raw edge. Turn out and press.  If you are going to sew lace on top of your neck ties, do it now.  Finish the raw edges of the short ends with a zig-zag or appropriate finishing treatment.

12. Sew the round doily bib layer to the top of the oval doily bottom layer of bib.  Finish the bottom raw edge of bib with a zig-zag stitch or other appropriate finishing treatment.  Center the bib bottom edge under the top folded edge of the waistband, pin and baste.  Secure by topstitching all along the top folded edge of the waistband and add another topstitch one quarter-inch in from the fold.

13. Place the neck ties on the underside of bib and secure with topstitching.

14. Now, tie your apron on, admire your work, and go make some French macarons for your tea party!   

Happy Sewing and Happy Apron-Wearing! 

Loves and Hugs, 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's a clip-art give-a-way!!!

 In keeping with our tool and supply spotlights, today is clip-art wednesday!
I'll be showing you some ways I like to use clip-art in my mixed media pieces.

The best part about clip-art is that you can enlarge or reduce the images to fit your needs, and use the same image multiple times!  I have books from which I simply copy & print with my scanner/copier, and also books that come with a printable CD, which is super easy and very convenient.

I not only use clip-art for backgrounds, but also for the focal image as well, such as in the piece below. I paint, draw, and layer other paper images over the clip-art for depth and interest.

Clip-art in the form of line drawings, and especially the old engraved type clip-art from the turn of last century, are my favorites.  I love the look! The black lines don't take away from the other elements in my artwork.  I like my clip-art to fade into the background just a little bit.

Adding a wash of paint helps to blend the clip-art into the other background elements.

Try copying the clip-art images onto a nice beige-colored sheet of newsprint sketchbook paper.  It matches the vintage book papers (also another favorite of mine) perfectly.

 I have a packet of some of my favorite clip-art images for one lucky winner. 
Leave a comment and tell us how you use clip-art! 
I'll be picking a winner at random next Friday, July 6th!  

Warmest wishes!

Friday, June 22, 2012

iPhoneography (My Favorite Apps)

I am in love with iPhoneography.  Head over heals in love!   
What is iPhoneography...
I am so happy you asked!  
According to Foto Rhetoric, iPhoneography
" is the capturing, editing, and processing of photographic images with Apple iPhone devices (including iPad and iPod Touch) and within the App Ecology developed by and for those devices. It is a photographic practice with a defined technographic medium (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) that imposes its own set of boundaries that we can explore creatively, artistically, and culturally."

The art and technology of iPhone photography is truly amazing.
I love the simplicity with the results of beautiful photography.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my Cannon 7D but  the reality of me carrying the heavy load of a camera and several lenses is not always convenient. The small size of the iPhone and the ability to edit your photographs with one tool makes it all so wonderful.  Did I tell you I was in love with iPhoneograpy!  
Most of us carry our phones with us wherever we go.  The camera on the phone is such a wonderful bonus allowing us to capture sweet moments throughout the day.  It's also a useful tool in allowing us to photograph our art giving us a different perspective of our work.   iPhoneography is a beautiful & useful form of art and expression.  With that said, I share with you a few of my favorite iPhone photography apps.
Be prepared to fall in love!

Scratch Cam
Wonderful textures and scratches to add to your images!

Magic Hour
Magic Hour is an app that can change your ordinary photographs to extraordinary ones!

Retro Camera
This is such a fun app and very simple to use.

Doublexposure allows you to combine two images.  So simple and fun.  I created a background of text behind my painting!

Like Doublexposure, Duomatic allows you to combine two images.  Another painting I added book text to. 

With over 100 effects, textures and frames Picfx is your go to square format photography app <3

And for the love of sharing...Instagram.  Over 15 million people use Instagram!  Amazing.

There are so many, many different photography apps to choose from and many of them are FREE!  If you have an iPhone try one out.  You might just fall in love. Check out this LINK for 30 more iPhone apps.  
For my next post- what to do with those sweet pics you take!!!

xo Lorraine
(me and my sweetie)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Book

I really enjoy Altering books and using them as Art Journals.  I always thought it would be great to use an altered book as a guest sign in book for a wedding.  So when my daughter became engaged I had the perfect opportunity to make one.  For weeks I procrastinated and searched for ideas.  Sometimes the hardest part of a project is taking the first step and just getting started.  So finally after weeks of trying to come up with the perfect idea I just had to get started.

I found the perfect book at a used book store near me. the color, size, and title, In Our Image, worked well.  For the cover I used scrapbook paper, piano music, ledger paper and old book pages.  I used a photo of the bride and groom and framed it with buttons.  On the inside of the cover and the back I attached some ribbon so the book could be tied shut.

On the inside of the book I glued two pages together with gel medium then covered them with masking tape and then painted them with gesso. So the book wouldn't be too thick I cut out about two thirds of all the pages.  To cover the inside pages I used alot of paint, fabric, trims, papers and photos of the bride and groom.  There was plenty of room for people to sign.

I was happy how the book turned out.  I wish I hadn't procrastinated making it, because I was finishing it the night before the wedding and just didn't have the time to do all the things I wanted. 

I hope you enjoy.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Get ready, get set, get organized!

I have recently been building a craft studio. For awhile I have been collecting unusual containers that  have a vintage/not plastic look, to store some of my favorite items in .

 here are some great "mini" print trays for storing small findings, bits of chain and bling.

Here is a small shadowbox used to hold my vintage doll parts.

I decided if I was going to get started on any projects, I had better find a way to keep my tools handy, decorative, and organized.  So with the help of my darling husband, I built a container for my tools.  

Containers and spindles

assembled together and.....
Just add tools and ta-da! A dandy way to keep your tools tidy and handy!

What creative ideas have you used to organize your art stuff ?  Leave a comment and let us know!

 XOXO, Shannon
 My darling husband with my sweet aunt Maretta.

Friday, June 15, 2012


As a young girl I made myself a promise that I would write in my journal daily. It did not matter how long or the content as long as I wrote a little something about each day. Through the years I have kept several journals making note of my life, but honestly, they seemed a little boring. 

That was until I discovered that there was such a thing as "art journaling." I was thrilled to learn that I could incorporate paper, paint, glue, and ink all on one page creating something that was interesting to see and very fun to do.

Thank goodness for the internet and blogging. I was able to follow several artists and learn of classes that were being taught. One of my favorite artists is Pam Garrison. Her art speaks to me. I was beyond ecstatic when I was able to take a 2 day art journaling class with her in Malibu, California.

Here is a picture of me.............I know you think that looks like my beautiful friend Lorraine Lewis - and of course, it is...........but if you look REALLY close to the left you will see my nose and my hands - thats me! Can I tell you how excited I was to see me on Pam Garrisons Blog! It made my day!!! And especially that I was with Lorraine! 

Pam had several of her personal journals there for us to look through. I felt so inspired just holding her books. The wheels in my head were spinning and I couldn't wait to get busy making my own art journal. 

(picture from Pam Garrison Blog)

I started with a piece of canvas, some gel medium and a paintbrush. 

I gathered from some of my favorite papers, images and sayings from my drawer of collected papers.

I simply collaged them onto the piece of canvas.

After the glue had completely dried, I sewed a piece of fabric on the backside of the collaged canvas, for the inside cover to my journal.

I used some silk ribbon to tie my journal pages into the cover so I can easily add more as I go.

It was so much fun to make and very relaxing. I am absolutely in love with “art journaling.” It is a perfect way for me to write my thoughts - and not be bored :)

Me with my son Maxwell
Diana Camomile Peck -

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

Remember that? That old children’s game could provide endless hours of giggles.

I love buttons. Maybe that’s because I was raised by a dressmaker, who was raised by a dressmaker... Some of my earliest memories are playing in my Mom’s button jar. 

I fondly remember sitting Indian-style on our harvest gold shag rug (it was the 70's after all)! If I was being really good, Mom would let me spill a big jar full of buttons on the floor of her sewing room and I would spend hours carefully choosing my favorite ones. Putting them in lovely shimmering piles of all shapes, colors, and sizes could entertain me for an entire afternoon. 

When I got a little older, I used buttons for eyes in puppets, the center of daisies, and decorated frames and Christmas ornaments. When I had a craft project that needed a little more pizzazz, I would excitedly reach for Mom's button jar! 

Not much has changed today, as I still find myself reaching into Mom's button jar to add a little flair to my art projects.  

If I close my eyes long enough, I can almost hear the crescendo and decrescendo of Mom's sewing machine and the music playing in the background on her black weathered transistor radio as she softly hummed along. In an instant I am transported to simpler times. For sure.

Will you indulge me for just a moment with some button eye-candy!?

 Love this precious little button dress. I call it The Dressmaker's Daughter.

Sweet button bouquet.

I'm always a sucker for letter graphics. Throw in some buttons and the result is oh so cute!

The uses in jewelry making are limitless!

Who can resist holiday crafting with buttons?! Not I.  

Next month marks the 9th anniversary of the passing of my sweet momma. After she passed away, the thing I treasured most were not her jewels, nor the prized and rare pieces of Lladro, and not the "valuable" antiques. The thing I still look at every day is her vast collection of buttons. Not valuable to anyone else but me. 

This post was written to honor my lovely, little (4 foot 9 inches) dressmaker momma. She still inspires me.
Every. Single. Day. 

Button, button, who's got the button? Thankfully, I do.  

Happy Day! xoxo Rena