Monday, July 28, 2014

Tags and Postcards

I spent two glorious days last week with my gelliplate.

Then I used some of them in various projects.

 All these above are post cards except the second one which is a5x7 for a monthly art swap called Happy Art Swap (#haswap)

This one is a tag I made for someone on Instagram. My sweet daughter was feeling generous and ordered a few items from my Etsy favorites, just because. One of the items was the new Dina Wakely scribble birds stamp set. Another was the Tim Holtz layering stencil with splatters. I'm pleased with the projects so far, and I have a pretty hefty pile of prints to create with..

In the printing sessions I used file folders to clean my brayer and stencils and have had fun altering them as well. I am sending one off today in a mail art swap with a variety of little ephemera pieces, and I used three others to organize my mail and swap groups. As time goes by, I plan to add more things to the fronts, but at least I have a place to store my various swaps while in progress.

It feels great to be back making art (besides washi tape postcards)

Those are a tremendous amount of fun to make, and I am making a valiant effort to use up my washi tape samples by the end of summer. Several have already been sent out either naked with stamps on them, or as a little note in another mailing. Don't those fun strips of color just make you happy? :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wunderlist Saturday

I recently added a new app to my tablet and phone called Wunderlist. Ornery also added it and we have really used it a lot for keeping lists of errands, chores, shopping needs, etc.  Because we are both linked to all the various lists, we can both add or mark as complete. There are a few things I wish were different, but overall it has simplified our lives considerably.

Saturday morning during coffee time, we created a new list called Hours of operation. Then we decided what errands we needed to do and did online searches for the opening hours for each place we wanted to go. Then we planned our day accordingly. It was awesome!!

We made returns at Lowe's, had breakfast at Panera, drove out to a suburb to the south to pick up cottonseed hulls for mulch in our new flowerbed. Then we drove back into Tulsa and bought air filters at Locke Supply, and then made a return to Staples. Back to Broken Arrow to the post office and to make an appointment at Clary Sage Salon for a real haircut (as opposed to the weed whacker job I got a few weeks ago at supercuts) and finally to QuikTrip for gas. We had completed everything by 10:30, and were happily ensconced at home before the rest of the city had really started moving around.

We only lack one item on the list; to wash Big Red (the pickup) and we would have done that except for the cottonseed hulls in the back. That would not have been good!

The rest of the day I played with washi tape! I got this in the mail, addressed to me, from me!

I had set a goal to use up my samples by the end of summer and with the arrival of these orphaned samples, I knew I needed to get busy! I taped up a dozen or two envelopes and got a few cards condensed. I think I'm still on target unless another anonymous sender from Oregon sends more! :-) 

I got my hair cut later in the day, and am so far happy with it. Elizabeth and Michael came over to talk geekery with Ornery, and then took my computer home with them for Michael to fix. I sure don't get the motivation behind hackers and virus creators. Hopefully it will be the last issue for awhile. I may need to upgrade my OS as I'm still using Vista. At least my tablet seems to be more secure. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fish Fried

Our aquaponics experiment has been a rather daunting thing. We can't seem to get things to produce, and after a seemingly successful growth spurt, suddenly things droop or drop leaves, or turn brown or don't produce any fruit. Until recently, we had at least been successful in keeping all the fish alive, but even that has changed lately.

A few weeks ago one of the algae eaters decided to take a trip through the drain pipe, and when Ornery discovered him there, he tried to force him out, but ended up having to close the valve to keep him from going further into the works.  The poor thing lost his long tail, but otherwise seems to have escaped unscathed. That evening, one of the larger tilapia was floating on the surface of the tank dead. We have no idea why.

Then, last Tuesday (July 8) I went out to feed the fish and discovered an inch of water all over the floor of the garden room and water splashing over the top of the fish tank onto the floor.  Much work was required to clean up the mess, and Ornery couldn't figure out why the drain was backing up and not allowing the fish tank water to move through the system.  He decided he must need to make a bigger drain pipe, and off to Lowe's he went to gather supplies. 

After he got home, he took the whole thing apart and discovered that another tilapia had gotten adventurous, but he did not get by as easily as the algae eater did.  This one was dead. Nothing like taking out the whole system when you go!  Anyway, he ended up leaving the same drain pipe there, as it had been working fine before a swimmer went wild.  We really have no idea how they are getting in there as there is a cage type affair covering the opening. They must have some sort of super-powers we are unaware of... or something.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stranger than Fiction

I have always heard that true life is stranger than fiction, and I believe it is true!  Last week one day Ornery came home for lunch and when he pulled into the garage, a van pulled up into the drive right behind him. He didn't recognize the vehicle, or the blond woman who hopped out of the van as soon as he was out of his truck.

"Hi! I'm Linda!" from the perky woman as her children begin to pile out of the vehicle.

Ornery was a little dumbfounded, but being his usual sweet self, smiled and said, "Uh, Hi. I'm Dave." 

He had a very perplexed look on his face, but the woman was quite confident when she said, "Your wife is selling an Air Conditioner, and I am here to pick it up."


"I think you must have the wrong address. I am sure my wife is not selling an air conditioner."

"Oh!  They told me to follow the red pick up!"


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Traveling Letter Journal

I have two pen-friends who are both interested in art and pen-pal letters.  We all connected via swap-bot, although I had met Karen on Instagram. Over the last several months, we have done a variety of collaborations, and recently embarked on a new one.  Beth bought a small journal and we are each going to write in it, preferably with doodles and whimsical writing as well.  Here were my first couple of pages.

 This first one is doodles and paint. I used glaze gel pens by Sakura for the doodles, and Twinkling H2O watercolors for the fill-in.
And this is the finished spread.  I did one more page, but it is all writing, so I didn't post it. The journal will travel around to each of us, and we will get to read what the others wrote, then add a message to both of them. We still write regular letters as well, but this is a fun little adventure, especially with all the fancy lettering and doodles. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Playing with Alcohol Inks

A few posts back I mentioned that I needed to add one more page to my friend's art journal.  This is the page I did using alcohol inks and canned air on glossy paper.  I added some gel pen accents.

Here is a closer view in which you can see a bit more detail.  I just love this stuff!  The colors are so vibrant and rich.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Checkbook Covers for Mom

I don't know very many people who still carry a checkbook for everyday business. Ornery's mom is one of them, and she asked if I would make her a new one as the old one was wearing out.  So, here are the two I made for her.

How handy that both her first and last names begin with M. :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mail, Mail and More Mail!

I have been getting more and more creative with my outgoing mail.  I love to write letters, almost as much as I love receiving them!  Below is a photo of a little booklet letter I made.  The cover picture is a color copy of a page from my first art journal back when I started painting with twinkling h2O watercolors.  I folded the booklet so each page is a little inset from the next, and then put washi tape on each edge so it shows all the styles when the booklet is closed.  I sewed the binding with some sparkly DMC floss, and I stamped some flowers on each of the pages with different shades of purple ink.  I glued the recipient's initial on the front cover (which unfortunately I had forgotten until after I had it all sealed inside the envelope!)

The envelopes below are all for the Secret Snail Mail Society I am a part of.  It is a very small group of women who are all interested in sharing mail and mail art. Various members issue challenges and members can participate if they want.  These envelopes are filled with 40 or more little pieces of ephemera from a scavenger hunt challenge.  Much cutting and sorting ensued!

After having two days of NO MAIL this week (I think the postal workers were slacking!) I decided to make a few envies.  This after I realized what a ridiculous amount of scrapbook paper I had sitting on a shelf gathering dust and mites. I think I made 39 envelopes, then I set about using up a bunch of the washi tape samples that seem to be multiplying.  I emptied 14? 17? cards that day.

Here is a sample of one of the envies after I decorated it up. :)

Here are a bunch of them that are ready to go out on Monday.  I am starting to run out of all those stamps I had collected back in the 1990's and early 2000's.  Other than Christmas stamps, I don't have any 37 or 34 cent stamps left.  Still lots of 32 and 33 cents, though.
Hopefully more mail will come in this week than came in last week. It was pretty pitiful!  My count for the year so far of outgoing pieces is 525 counting these that will go tomorrow.  How did that happen??

Once Upon A Time...

I blogged every day!  Do you believe that?  It is true!  My first year of blogging, I ate, talked, dreamed and lived my blog.  I searched all the time for things to take pictures of to make interesting reading.  I even changed a lot of my life around to accommodate my blog and my audience.  Pshaw.  No more of that nonsense!  These days I feel good if I get a post up a week, much less every day.

This is what I have been up to.  Instead of blogging.

This was Monday, I think. That had been the state of my table for weeks!  I would finish one project and before I even cleared everything away, I launched into the next.  It was quite a disaster area!  But, Monday afternoon, I got all caught up with my correspondence (see the next post) and I tackled the mess. 

 I moved the computer desk from the library into this little corner of the studio. Now that my wonderful son-in-law has set up wifi printing capabilities from my computer, I don't have to be right next to the beast in order to print!  I can come and go from the table to the computer, and it is wonderful! :)

 Then I moved the nightstand from the guest room and put it where the little vanity stool was (which is now in our bathroom under the vanity!) and set my sewing machine on it. Actually it is Elizabeth's machine, but she never uses it, and it is stored here... something about possession being 9/10ths of the law. :)

 I organized all sorts of things, except for all the mail in those baskets and bins. :-/  This picture was to show that cool little frame my sister brought to me when she was here in January.  I have had it hung for a few weeks now, but I don't think I ever posted a photo.

 This bookcase was in the corner where the desk is now.  Note the new-to-me typewriter sitting on top! :)  So fun!  I moved all my books and magazines to this shelf unit, and all my art and mail art journals, as well.  The bottom shelf still holds all my printed papers.

This is a view of command-central.  And, a MUCH cleaner table!  Since the photos were taken, I have cluttered things up a bit, but overall, I am keeping it clean. Er. :)