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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Giving Thanks

Hope you're Thanksgiving weekend is as wonderful as ours has been!
We've been giving thanks for so many things, but especially our new Grand daughter Lily. The kids have been creating personalized thank you notes for the many many folks who have shared our happy!

We wanted to share how we made these cards with you.
We used picmonkey to create the Thank You banners in orange. We printed out pictures taken by the fantastic Nina from Neen Bean photography. (I'm still not sure how she captured not only one, but three photos with Lily smiling and her eyes open!) We used some foam sticky dots to raise the banner over the photo while assembling.



The kids also couldn't resist using some STAEDTLER Triplus color markers to sketch out some tiny Halloween friends on the inside of each card.

This baby thing is a hoot!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

So Very Blessed!

We are experiencing more joy than I believed possible. 
I'll be soaking up the happy for a bit and away from the blog. But we'll be back very soon with even more exciting news and projects. 

My goodness this is fantastic!



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fimo Professional On My Work Table

GAH!!!! Just got my very first FIMO Professional 85g blocks of clay! Look at that delicious colour! I can't wait to open up these resealable packs of awesome and get creating! 


I spied one of my projects on the FIMO Liquid page of the new STAEDTLER pamphlet. I've been given the go ahead to share the project here with you. So read on and click to see the full instructions for how to create these metal look pieces using FIMO Liquid and FIMO effect clay.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Very Exciting News!

I've been kind of distracted away from the computer lately. I hope you'll all forgive me. I promise to be back soon. But this is happening! 





Our Maggie and her partner Austin are PREGO!!!!



These photos, that are overflowing with HAPPY, were taken by the very talented Nina at Neen Bean Photography. She seems to always be able to catch the happy. We love her to bits! 


Pretty fantastic news, Huh?

Stay tuned for more crafty bits!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Texturey Bits For Inspiration

We snapped a HEAP of photos for future inspiration and I wanted to post them here so I would have a record to pull from later on. Hope you find these inspiring too!

Warning: Photo Heavy!

Growing in the castle garden wall.


Rooftop in Roquefort.


Stone wall and rose bud at the Templar walled village.


Freshly baked bread at the Millau market.


Moss growing on the pool wall.


More pool wall moss and likens.


This looked like a juniper, however the "berries" were almost an inch and a half across. They were growing on a tree in the castle garden. Anyone know what this is?


Cool little wildflower/weed. Looks like it has sleeping fae cuddled up on each petal.



Walls in the Roquefort cheese caves.


Hens and Chickens growing on the garden wall.


Castle courtyard stone walls.



More moss growing out on a field edge near Millau.


Two thousand year old beads in the museum in Millau.


More wall succulents.


A calcified neanderthal skull in the museum in Millau.
Because there are only 57 more days until HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

French Wildflowers

I really did take hundreds of photos of  flowers and textures in France.... It's going to take some sorting out, but I'm feeling super inspired to get creating because of all of them.

I've been putting together some idea boards or themed collages to keep track of all the ideas. Thought you might find them a bit inspiring also...
So here is some of the wildflowers we encountered. 
I'm thinking flattish textured Fimo brooches and pendants....
We'll see.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Samian Ware Pottery

La Graufesenque Site Archeologique Millau  was a dream come true. We knew there were Samian ware archaeological sites near La Cadenede in Millau where we were staying. We also knew that the odds of actually slipping away to explore one of these sights with just a week in the area, were slim. We not only got to the museum in Millau village center, but we also got an amazing tour of the actual dig site!

I'm still overwhelmed with glee!
There are a TON of pictures so brace yourself.

Here's a gorgeous piece of Samian ware from 100 - 200 AD. Not a reproduction! An actual intact piece from that time. Second to third century AD!!!! It's mind boggling! Our Canadian history is so very short in comparison. 


The wonderful Lady who worked at the site tossed this in our hands and said, "Ce n'est pas un cadeau." Or, This is not a gift. I think she knew I was just on the verge of happy tears the whole visit. I still can't believe she let us hold this beautifully restored piece of history. 

James and I are very big fans of Sir Tony Robinson's 
We've been dreaming about seeing an actual dig for years.

This is the dig site. It was excavated in the 1970's and has been maintained as a teaching site.
This is what we saw as we came out of the back of the old monastery where the site is located.


This section was an alter.


This long narrow channel brought water to the potters.


This was the kiln.


Here is a reproduction (with actual Samian ware) kiln. It was in the Museum at village center Millau.


This is why I LOVE Samian ware soooo much! These are stamps that were used to create consistent designs in the molds (next picture) they made to create the pots.


This is the inside of one of the molds made using stamps like the ones pictured above. I am seriously going to try to reproduce this technique in the very near future. 
How COOL is THIS?


This method of stamping and mold making, made it possible for them to reproduce unthinkable amounts of pots all with exquisite detail! These things can be found all over Europe.


Here is a batch they found in a midden or refuse ditch. They fused together in the kiln. It gives you an idea of just how many pots they were producing. 


This is a shot of the refuse pile. Billions of shards.


Even walking the paths entering the site had shards of pot mixed into the gravel. 


So much to take in!
This little guy helped explain things, along with Leslie and Patrick who we will be forever grateful to for taking us and translating for us. This was a bucket list event. I will never forget it.
Thanks for letting me share it with you.

Adieu!



September/October PolymerCafe Cover!

We've been honored with another PolymerCafe cover!
This tutorial was a heap of fun. I included three separate techniques to create a traditional scrimshaw look pendant. You choose the technique that fits with the tools you have in your craft stash.
There are also some other shapes included. I just couldn't stop!

Grab your copy while it's hot by clicking 

I used STAEDTLER Fimo Effect and Soft clays to create the base for these pieces. The exact colours and layering techniques are listed in great detail in this September/October issue of PolymerCafe.


I had a bunch of fun photographing these guys.Thought it might be interesting to some of you to see how many different stagings I used. These are not all of the examples, just my favorite ones.

With a mariners poem.


In a mirror on a beach.
(The "beach" was really a tray of sand and some drift wood in front of a P.E.I. vacation photo on my front porch)


With a poetry book and mirror.


On an old leather trunk.


More driftwood.

I'm so grateful for digital photography and editing programs.I grew up in a world of very expensive film developing. We took very few pictures because each one had to count. I always feel very extravagant when I use my digital camera. I tend to take hundreds of photographs for every project I post. It's amazing to me just how fast technology has advanced. We're amazingly lucky to be around to witness all this amazing change.

Speaking of a heap of photographs......
I'll be back with more France soon!



Monday, August 25, 2014

Castle Rocks

When we get to go traveling I like to take home a pebble or two as a keepsake. I brought home less than a handful this time and each one is precious to me. I wanted to make something wonderful from them. This is what I came up with.

I used silver (no lead) solder to work these stones up into pendants. It was pretty simple and I really love the results. Here's how I did it.


First I cleaned the stones with dish soap and warm water to remove any sand or dust. Then I let them dry well. I wrapped each pebble tightly with a length of adhesive backed copper tape. I used a bone folder to burnish the tape to the surface of the stone. I coated the tape well with some flux. Flux is an acid that helps the solder adhere to solder-able surfaces. It cleans off any oils that may stop the solder from sticking.


I plugged in my soldering iron and  unwound a length of silver (non lead) solder. I began to melt the solder onto the copper tape until it was completely coated. I use a set of old pliers to hold the stones while I'm working.


I dipped a jump ring into the flux and melted some solder to the jump ring. Then I used the iron to attach the ring to the soldered copper tape.


All that's left is to clean them up with more soapy warm water. I'll gently file off any rough spots later on.


I really like the organic look I got using the silver solder. These will make great keepsake pieces. 
Do you collect pebbles from your travels? Or do you prefer to take only pictures? It seems to be a controversial subject. I'd love to hear your views.