Saturday, 25 February 2012

Today's Art for Craft Sale

I have been working on various things today for the craft sale I am participating in on March 24th.

It is a spring craft sale, so I figured I should make some spring art.

1st Spring canvas

2nd Spring canvas

1st altered wooden box - crackle painted then decorated

2nd altered wooden box - crackle painted then decorated

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Book Review - Words Spoken True by Ann H Gabhart

Publisher's blurb:
One woman stands ready to defend her newspaper . . . even if it means losing out on love
Adriane Darcy was practically raised in her father's newspaper offices. With ink in her veins, she can't imagine life without the clatter of the press and the push to be first to write the news that matters. Their Tribune is the leading paper in Louisville in 1855.
When Blake Garrett, a brash young editor from the North with a controversial new style of reporting, takes over a competing newspaper, the battle for readers gets fierce. After Adriane and Blake meet at a benefit, their surprising mutual attraction is hard to ignore. Still, Blake is the enemy, and Adriane is engaged to the son of a powerful businessman who holds the keys to the Tribune's future. Blake will stop at almost nothing to get the story--and the girl.
Set against the volatile backdrop of political and civil unrest in 1850s Louisville, this exciting story of love and loyalty will hold you in its grip until the very last page.

My Review: As I started this book, I started to dislike it because of the way woman were treated in the time, I know it is a fact, but it continues to annoy me. As I got further into the book I began to like it more and more. The characters are lively and engaging. The storyline, which is based on fact, is interesting and I for one am glad to have not lived in such an era. The sheer prejudice and ignorance of the time is staggering. I would recommend this book to others.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Book Review - Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey

Publisher's blurb:

One enigmatic smile. Two passionate protectors. And a relentlessly ticking clock.
August 1944. Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country and steal countless pieces of irreplaceable art. In fact, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all—the Mona Lisa—as a postwar bargaining chip.
But the woman with the mysterious smile has some very determined protectors. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece before it falls into German hands?
With nonstop action and intrigue, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as you join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh Swiss chateau, the race is on--and the runners are playing for keeps.

My review:  Until I started writing this post, I didn't realize that this book had two authors. That actually explains a lot. There are two very distinct storylines in this novel. This is not the type of book that you breeze through. It is quite detailed and complex at points. The stories were interesting enough, but I did not connect with the characters. They were very one dimensional I found. I was also disappointed that there was no obvious conclusion to the betrayal between one set of characters. I really don't think I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Botanical Prints on Old Dictionary Pages

More recent artwork

I printed some botanical prints right to 2 dictionary pages that I had glued to some paper.

Then I coloured them in with markers & pencil crayons.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Lace Victorian Journal

This is what I have been working on the past little while.

My Mother in-law had given me a lot of lace she had left over from when she used to sew wedding gowns and such. I also already had a lot of lace ribbons etc that I wanted to use.

So this is what i came up with. I had previously made a journal from scratch, here.

I started by cutting the pages to size, since I was using canvas boards as the front & back covers. I then dyed the pages with tea - this probably took the greatest amount of time. I've shown some here so you can see the variations in the pages.

Click any image to enlarge.

I covered the canvas boards and spine in a cream coloured fabric I had. (Sorry forgot to take a pic of this step)

I did my best to reflatten the pages under a huge pile of books over night. They didn't get perfectly flat, but I think this gives them character.

I then created a hole template, punched holes, stitched the signatures (groups of pages) together, glued spine & added binding fabric using the technique in this video.

I glued a ruffled lace ribbon around the front cover edge. I also covered the spine & back cover in a pc of lace.

In between all these steps, I cut out a pc of muslin the same size as the front cover and started designing the cover.

I glued a pc of muslin to a pc of paper and printed the image of the young girl right to the muslin. I then gathered bits and pcs of lace and ribbon I wanted to use on the cover. I posted a pic on twitter asking for advice and/or suggestions, all thought it looked good as is, so I then started gluing down my design.

I then glued the binding fabrics to the inside covers of the journal.

I then realized I had forgotten a closure for the journal and glued down 2 ribbons as closure ties. And the final step was to add end pages to the front & back covers.

The final product. I used 10 different laces, 3 ribbons, 2 appliques and a pearl :)

I am thinking to sell this on my Etsy shop (not yet open) but have no clue how much to price it for. It is 5x7 inches in size. Can any of my readers with Etsy shops give me a clue? What would you pay for it?

Although I thoroughly enjoyed making this, it is long and tedious. I am thinking instead to just make fabric & lace covers for hard-bound store bought journals, that way the person can reuse the covers once the journal is full. Thoughts?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Book Review - In Too Deep by Mary Connealy

Publisher's blurb:
He casually agrees to a marriage of convenience... never expecting to fall in love with his bride.
Ethan Kincaid proposes marriage with the same detachment he gives every decision. Audra Gilliland accepts his proposal so she can stop being a burden to her newly married stepdaughter.
But Ethan never expected Audra to affect him so profoundly, and it terrifies him. Someone he loved was once seriously injured on his watch, and he won't let that happen again. If Audra will just do as he says, he can keep her safe from the dangers that lurk on the ranch.
Audra has been cared for all her life by one man or another--and they've done a poor job of it. Now she's planning to stand up for herself. And her new husband had better agree or get out of her way!
Can two fearful hearts--wary of getting in too deep--become two trusting hearts, willing to let go and fall in love?

My Review: I liked this book. It is the 2nd in a series. I read & enjoyed the first as well. You can see my review of it here. This book like the first, is an easy enjoyable read. The book however, would be confusing to anyone who hasn't read the first book. It stills leaves a few loose ends to be tied up in the 3rd book. Can't wait.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Book Review - Sixty Acres & A Bride by Regina Jennings

Publisher's blurb:
She's Finally Found a Place to Call Home... How Far Will She Go to Save It?
With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to their Texas family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have just three months to pay.
Though facing eviction, Rosa falls in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. They welcome her vivacious spirit and try to help her navigate puzzling American customs. She can't help but stand out, though, and her beauty captures attention. Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, Rosa must decide to what lengths she will go to save her future.

My Review: I liked this book - it had an interesting storyline, several mini plots and likable, believable characters. This was one of those quick moving, can't put it down type books. I would recommend this book to my friends.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Book Review - Blue Moon Bay By Lisa Wingate

Publisher's blurb:

Every Once in a Blue Moon Your Heart Waits at a Crossroads
For Seattle architect Heather Hampton, a trip back to tiny Moses Lake, Texas, is hardly in the plan. Yet because a promotion hinges on the sale of the family farmland, Heather heads to the last place she ever wanted to go. She's determined to return home, signed contract in hand, the next day.
But the currents of Moses Lake take visitors on unexpected journeys. As Heather's stay lengthens, she discovers a family steeped in secrets and an unexpected connection to local banker Blaine Underhill, despite his opposition to Heather's project. With each new revelation and question, Heather can't help but wonder if the handsome banker--and the family she has come to know again--are crooks or crusaders. Somehow she must find out the truth before she loses everything she has worked for and everything she's found on the shores of Moses Lake.

My Review: It has been a very long time since I have disliked a book more than this one. This book was VERY slow going - I was on page 100 and still nothing of any importance had happened. The main character's every thought ended up a trip down memory lane - they was no continuity of thought. The scenarios were ridiculous; the dog buried your cell phone?! Seriously?! The main character rushes home to get answers, but then never comes right out and asks a direct question - a week goes by before she gets any answers, do people no longer talk to each other? The climax of the story is so outlandish, I would have been less surprised if the family had admitted to all being super-heros. I would not recommend this book to others.

Note: I just realized I had previously reviewed another book by this author, I didn't like that one either.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Book Review - When the smoke clears by Lynette Eason

Publisher's blurb:
After a brush with death due to equipment failure, smokejumper Alexia Allen is ordered to take time off while the incident is under investigation. She makes a last-minute decision to recuperate at her mother's home and attend her high school reunion. Yet trouble seems to be following her, and within hours of arriving home she is confronted with murder, arson--and a handsome detective.
But the conflicts ahead are nothing compared to the ghosts of her past. As she struggles to accept and forgive her family's past, she must also decide if the secret she's been guarding for the last ten years must finally come to light.
Chock-full of the suspense and romantic tension you've come to expect from Lynette Eason, When the Smoke Clears is the explosive first book in the Deadly Reunions series.

My review: I really enjoyed this book. The story was fast-paced, exciting and likely. The charachers were well developed and believeble. It is the first in a series so some issues were left unresolved. I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

New hair do

I recently purchased a deal where I got a wash, cut, style, full colour & 20 foil highlights for $55.

Without the deal, this all would have cost me $190. I did have to pay tip and taxes ($7.15)

So I went yesterday to get my hair done - the last time I had it cut was last March, with a different WagJag deal :)

I was really due for a cut though and I hadn't coloured it in awhile either, so I had various shades of blonde & brown & grey happening.

Here is me before heading out yesterday morning.

Showing you the lovely grey

And here is me after - I am happy with the colour but I think the layers could have been cut a tad shorter - they keep swinging into my face.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Craft Space Clean Up

Well the clutter in my craft/art area got so bad that I barely had any room to art - see for yourself.

So after a few hours of sorting, tossing and rearranging, this is what I have ended up with.

 I hope to get a lot of arting done this coming week :)

Friday, 3 February 2012

From the depths of my craft room closet

So today I was looking for something in my craft/sewingroom/office closet.
I unearthed a box I haven't looked in since I moved into this house over 4 yrs ago - I proceeded to waste the entire rest of the day going through all the nostalgia I found :)

Old school photos, old diaries, old love letters from boyfriends I haven't heard from in 30 years, and art - art I did many many moons ago. Most I had either forgotten about or thought I had lost.

For your viewing pleasure...(click any photo to enlarge)

A pencil sketch from a magazine 1990
 A sketch of my roommate Mary-Lou around 1991

Watercolour of a bouquet of flowers I had - don't recall the year

Painting from a book cover - year unknown

 Watercolour of Frodo I did for an art class - around 1986

 Pen & ink rose 1989

 Look I was doing zentangles before it even had a name!

 Something for art class

 Pencil sketch of a tree (no it is not broccoli) for art class
 Watercolour of a silk bouquet I had

 Watercolour of a potted plant

 Watercolur of Indian corn

Pen & ink chairs for art class

 Watercolour sketch for art class