Sunday, April 29, 2012


Maggs turned 18 this weekend...........
I can't believe it. Time sure has flown by.

We honored her by making her some brain cake!

Looks pretty good there thinking bout stuff on the birthday table.

It's cherry flavored brain. 
Love you my Maggs!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Planting Begins

 I think it's still pretty early to be planting things unprotected outside yet. Folks around here usually wait until May 24 weekend to avoid frost damage on new sprouts. 

We couldn't help ourselves and we started our seedlings early this year. 

They're doing well with a weeks worth of good growth. Just the radishes are getting a bit leggy.

Here's a cluster of basil seedlings. We'll have to separate some of the bigger guys this weekend and give them more room in another temporary bed. For now they'll live in the dining room in a big sunny window.

Had to show you this image I found on the inside flap of a product case at work. 
It warns us not to stab the parcel vigorously with a sharp dagger like knife........
I thought I was opening those parcels wrong.....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Butterick 6048.... Smurf Jammies

I found a  duvet cover at the thrift shop last May and I thought it was about time I used it. I also used one on my fabulous new to me vintage patterns gifted to me a while back. Here's what I came up with using Butterick 6048 view E and some smurfy goodness.

I made my standard house dress pocket with the elasticated top. Here is a closer look at the basic shape and how I place them if you're interested. I kind of love these pockets more because they have Smufette cooking up a domestic storm and receiving a beautiful flower as a reward. She's such a temptress.

It's a great pattern. Easy to follow and quick to sew.

The front of the jammies are plain but fitted.......a little low cut....... but they're jammies, right? Built for comfort not so much modesty.

The back bodice buttons up nicely. I used some second hand buttons from a button box I inherited from someplace. Now I just need a matching housecoat fabric.......

Nighty Night!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Re-Making a Matchy Stool

This is a pictorial tutorial........ Very little words, mostly pics...... Ask questions in the comments spot if you have any. Hope this helps with any re-stooling projects at your house.



don't ruin the wood prying the staples out


cleaning the groves with a dry paintbrush

painting with an interior semi gloss

laying out fabric squares

quilting the squares together

making sure the colours are matchy

staple the center of each of the four sides

work to each corner and fold them in

 Trim off extra fabric

glue on trim

 Here is the little stool where she will live, under the coffee table in the sitting room.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Watchmen Nail Art

Maggs came and asked me if I could paint little Watchmen happy faces onto her nails. She already base coated them in two coats of happy yellow polish.

I think they turned out pretty cool.

An extension of the comic book nail art topic. 
There may be more.......
Hope you're having a great week.
Don't forget about the STAEDTLER giveaway!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dust Free Clay

Light coloured clay picks up dirt from your hands and dark lint from your clothes. I protect the clay in a bunch of ways while working and thought it was time I shared the tips here. 

I always work on a clean protected surface, usually white card-stock covered with a layer of parchment paper. Parchment doesn't leach the polymers out of the clay the way paper or card will. If you leave the clay directly on a piece of regular paper for extended periods the paper will absorb the polymers out of the clay and leave the clay dry. It will make it harder to get a good cure from the clay and the end product will be brittle.

Be leery of leaving your clay in plastic also. Polymers in the clay will react with some plastics and dilute them leaving a sticky residue...... not pleasant.

I wrap unused pieces of clay up in parchment paper and place them into a resealable container for storage and future use.

 I wash my hands before and after working with the clay and I wear latex gloves to prevent oils from my skin dirtying the clay. 
If I know I'm going to be working on a project for an extended period of time, I'll protect it by covering it with a bell jar or cake stand dome. This way I can see the project under the glass and still keep it dust free. It also keeps the cat from sitting on my projects.

I love working with STAEDTLER Fimo and their air dry clays are quickly becoming a favorite at our house. I hope these tips help you in your sculpting experiments. I'll post more tips as I think of them. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012


The fabulous folks at STAEDTLER have supplied us with another generous product giveaway!

In celebration of Spring and Mother’s Day, 
we have collected an assortment of STAEDTLER product for you.  

This “Spring Sampler Set” contains the following: 
2 Karat soft pastel chalk sticks, 
2 Marsgraphic Duo brush markers, 
3 Karat watercolor pencils, 
2 triplus fineliners, 
1 triplus color marker, 
1 pigment liner sketch pen, 
1 double-ended calligraphy marker, 
1 watercolor pad, 
1 sketch pad and a creative brochure (Note: product colors may vary). 
The retail value is $28 and there will be 

2 chances to win!

To enter all you have to do is 

1 - join this site using the tab at the bottom of the page (or this link),

2 - leave a comment on this post telling us how you would use these remarkable products.

Drawing is on on Mother’s Day (May 13, 2012)


Please check out the other Design Team members blogs here: 
April Derrick * Linda Abadie *Lisa Somerville * Dana Colbourne 
 Good Luck and Happy Easter and Mothers Day!!!!

The Never Ending Saga of Blue Haired Mom

Some of you had questions about this painting and the enlargement / reproduction process, so I thought I'd go over it in detail. It's a great way to create copies of your work for alteration or enlargement. Although Lazertran is a bit hard to get a hold of, (and even harder to get someone to put through a professional copier) but I'm sure there are other water-slide decal papers out there. 
I am going to gush a bit about 
It's a pretty cool product and creates an amazing impact with a teeny bit of work. Love this stuff.

This is how I made my piece.

This is a scan of the original painting. It is 20cm X 20cm square and I used Genesis heat set oils on canvas to create it. It's a self portrait. Me as an anime type character. 

I copied the original image onto four sheets of Lazertran water-slide decal paper and followed the instruction for application onto a canvas surface. I used Golden artist mediums and varnishes to keep things as archival as possible. This reproduced piece has been enlarged to 61cm X 61cm, more than three times the size of the original piece.

I took this shot so you can see the deep brush strokes I made using Golden clear gels. I used the gels to seal the piece and create some texture and interest on the surface. It also is super great for adhering rhinestones. I do like me some bling. Some torn photocopies of the enlarged original were decoupaged over the piece to give it a Frankenstienian feel. I used the Golden artist mediums right through.

I also choose the super cool STAEDTLER  leafing in multi colour flakes. I applied their gold leaf size in broad swirly brush strokes and followed the instructions on the package to stick on the multi colour metal leaf flakes. It creates interesting depth. Looks like I've distressed the leafing with chemicals and oxidized it, but it really is just one easy step. These techniques can be easily transferred to many different applications like altered art cards, greeting cards, furniture refinishing like table top decoupage, book cover art or memory book pages...... the list is endless. I'm even thinking of trying something like this on a pair of pumps.

This is the same altered image after extensive computer editing. Seems I just can't leave well enough alone. 

Always gilding the lily..............

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Painting Bug

I love to paint, but haven't made time to for ages. Somehow setting aside time to paint feels selfish. Don't get me wrong, I'm equally smitten with sculpting, sewing, building, cooking, sketching and anything else that involves making something...... but I think painting is the root of it all. I miss it. Mom has been going through some old negatives and cleaning out computer files and these images of paintings past were found....... Thought I'd share... and maybe adding it here will help motivate me to get some colour down on something. I'll keep you posted......

An eye study in Genesis heat set oils. I love this medium. This was a study for a class I was teaching.

I had forgotten all about this. It's a detail from a house sign I made as a commission forever ago. This part was just a small piece of the whole plaque. Who doesn't love aliens?

This is a self portrait. The original was Genesis heat set oils. Then it was transfered via Lazertran and enlarged to another canvas and doctored up with STAEDTLER gold leaf and Japanese papers. (I used to wear blue contacts and dye the tips of my hair blue.)

This is a floor mat I created to teach trompe l'oeil. I used Golden artist acrylics and featured their beautiful mica flake line.

Mock abalone with Golden artist acrylic again. This time featuring their interference colour. I still use these paints often when I create dolls. I use Genesis because it can be manipulated on STAEDTLER's Fimo and heat cured right along with the clay, and Golden when I make my eyes to create a realistic sparkle.

Just need two minutes to rub together and a topic to focus on......

Any ideas?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lemon Aid Nail Art Youtube Video Tutorial.

This weekend I worked on getting a video tutorial up for these summery lemon aid nails.

Go to the Makeitwithme youtube page for a full video tutorial of how I applied these nails and others.
Do you think I should add 3D flowers?