Tag Archives: paper

Hearts in a Tree

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I made these hearts for Valentine’s Day and hung them up in the tree in front our apartment to surprise Rem.

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The tree already looked pretty even before I added the hearts, covered in blossoms. It snows down white petals if you give a branch a little shake.

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People driving by smiled and some waved or gave me a thumbs-up.

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Rem thought I was out taking a walk in the neighborhood.

He was amazed when he saw all the hearts.

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Here’s some of my favorite hearts:

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Next January I’ll put up a post on how to make these hearts.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Sweet Little Valentine’s

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Although I didn’t need any new supplies for making my Valentine card this year, I couldn’t resist embellishments.

I’d already decided on a color scheme of pink and turquoise, with brown paper (reused from grocery bags). I think the brown balances out the other two colors and keeps them from being too sticky-sweet. Browsing in Once Around in Mill Valley after Craft Gym I picked up a few rolls of washi tape: gold arrows on pink background, white X’s on turquoise background, and the little skinny white tape with tiny gold printed love and gold hearts.

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I also got these Fancy Frills border stickers by Doodlebug Design.

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My inspiration for the design were these Downton Abbey Vintage Valentine’s on Doodlecraft, which I saw on Pinterest. Natalie Shaw of Doodlecraft used little brown cards embellished with lace and trim where I used strips of paper and washi tape, but with a similar result.

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Since I was using small leftover cards in cream and chocolate brown, and I also had a few sizes of small envelopes, I cut up brown paper grocery bags for the card fronts. It isn’t really sturdy enough for the card itself, but it worked as a layer.

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I used gold foil saved from inside of chocolate wrappers to make little hearts using a heart punch.

The other tip I picked up from Doodlecraft is the great graphics at The Graphics Fairy. This fabulous site has over 5,000 free vintage images and is a great resource. I chose the images I used on my cards and shrank them down to about 1.5 x 2.5 inches, or slightly larger, before printing.

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I used a glue stick to adhere the pages of printed images to card stock, cut them out with a paper trimmer and embellished each little picture with a date stamp, buttons, felt flowers, foil hearts, ink borders, sparkly little dot stickers, washi tape, etc. These are the centerpiece of each card and I stuck them to the card fronts with Zots glue dots.

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For some of the time spent on this project, I’ve been alone at my craft desk, or with the company of Kitty McNiblet who lives across the patio in our apartment building, but visits often. Here she is relaxing in the position I call “kitty loaf.”

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Last weekend I spent a lovely day making Valentine’s, eating a delicious lunch and talking and laughing with friends from grade school. We call our creative gatherings Craft & Flash.

My sister, Kathleen, joined us and brought her young dachshund, Stella. The hostess, Clare, also has a dog, Trip, who was SO nice with Stella, even when she took his chew toy!

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I stamped the inside of the cards with this stamp from Oh, Hello Friend, which I also picked up at Once Around. A few years ago I purchased some printed masking tape from this site and the order came with a tag with the same phrase, which has been on my bulletin board ever since.

YOU ARE

AWESOME

loved

wonderful

BEAUTIFUL

& ADORED

The back of the cards are stamped, signed and dated.

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I will give some of my Valentine’s away in person and some are being mailed, so the small envelopes are tucked into larger ones, big enough for mailing. After breakfast out with a friend yesterday, we stepped into PS Paper in San Anselmo and I came home with this Bird with Love Note stamp from Savvy Stamps.

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Thanks for stopping by.

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Pleated Paper Heart Garland

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I love a simple project that takes little in the way of both supplies and skill. These pleated paper hearts are easy to make and the results are really pretty. I learned how at Once Around in Mill Valley at the wonderful Tuesday evening free Craft Gym and their inspiration was here.  Although that post is in Swedish, she has great photos that show the whole project and it is to follow.

The hearts remind me of shells with their fan-like folds. They work best with lightweight paper (text weight) though I’ve seen them made from heavier card stock too.  You can make them any size and they look great made kind of short and plump, like these, or longer and more narrow.

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I used brown kraft paper, old sheet music and some lightweight scrapbooking paper in pale green and coral pink prints. For the two heart samples I’m using to show the technique, the smaller piece of paper is 3.5 inches by 7 inches and the larger one is 6 inches by 12 inches.

You want a curved end on each short side of the page. Either trace a large circular item, such as a bowl or plate to get a curved line on each end of your paper, or free-hand trim the paper.

Cut along the curved line. I folded my paper in half to make the cutting a little simpler.

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When I cut this out, I actually cut the curve a little deeper on the sides, to better form the heart shape.

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Now unfold the paper and from one long side, fold it accordion style, with folds between 1/4 and 1/2 inch wide.

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I opened it out a bit for the photo.  If you have a bone folder, it is helpful for making crisp, sharp folds.

Fold the pleated paper in half to form a heart. Carefully glue the two halves together. I like to use Tombow mono adhesive, but a good glue stick will work as well. Just pinch it together and hold it for a bit and don’t pull on the pleats until the glue has dried.

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The finished heart is about 3.75 inches wide by 3.25 inches tall.

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The larger heart is about 5.5 wide by 5.25 tall.

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To thread baker’s twine or string to hang the pleated hearts, use a big needle or a small hole punch, and sting them along the twine.

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When I looked at the Swedish blog I saw she hung her garland from higher on the lobes of the heart – either way will work.

Here’s the finished garland.

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Here you can also see the Heart Strings that I keep up all the time.  I put up two other garlands: Needle Felted Hearts, and Punched Paper Heart Garland.

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More Heart Strings are in the corner by the windows.  On the front door is another Craft Gym creation: my Coat Hanger Heart.

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The apartment is decorated for Valentine’s Day. I’ll show  you some Valentine’s in my next post. You can use the search bar for other Valentine projects  – put in “Valentine” and “card” and you will pull up more than a dozen posts.

Thank you for the visit.

 

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Past Projects: Cards and Little Foil Tape Houses

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Just after Christmas, Rem and I went up to Sea Ranch with my mom. Although I planned a marathon of crafting and bought a bunch of supplies, the actual crafting that took place was more modest in scope. Sitting and gazing out the window interrupted by the occasional nap seemed to be the best use of my time.

I did manage to create a batch of cards, making sets of similar cards with variations in the paper and stamps.

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I make cards for my mom that she can use whenever the occasion calls for it. I try to give her some cards that will work for guys – with a color scheme or designs that aren’t too frilly or feminine.

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Several of the cards had illustrations from a vintage style alphabet poster, printed on scrapbook paper. The picture below was for “W – wave.”

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This “Wish” card is one of my favorites.

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I made these cards before the end of last year and it has taken me a month to post them! Since I’m catching up, here’s another project from last year.

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These little houses were primarily made as Christmas ornaments, but with a pin-back glued on the back, they were also very cute on a lapel. Made from thin cardboard recycled from cereal and cookie boxes, they’re covered with aluminum foil duct tape and copper tape (used to repel snails in the garden) – two great craft supplies from the hardware store.

These ones were made at a holiday party on the campus where I work, that included a few craft tables. I brought the supplies and gave a hand if needed.  A little something layered under the foil tape, or covered with the copper tape and glued to the front of the houses adds interest.  I also like to press tape over corrugated cardboard for the roof.  The tip of your finger is a great tool to start, but for getting all the details, I used a bone folder.

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You can find directions here at Mich L. in L.A.

They are also quite similar to these projects: Pumpkins, Charms, and Leaves.

Thank you for your visit.

 

 

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BONUS Day 31: 30 Day Journal

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“Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness.”   ~ Lao Tzu

Today, for some reason, when I thought of this #30DayJournal and the theme of FLOW, I didn’t think of water or a river. I thought of honey flowing.

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After that, the phrase “Life is Sweet” popped into my head and although our prompts steered us in the direction of letting go of hardness or letting in softness and gentleness, I was focused on life’s sweetness.

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Imagine if this was honey dripping on the page and you could just swipe a finger through it and taste the sweetness.

Tomorrow, my nephew Jake and his fiancee, Chelsea, are getting married. He is the first of my parents’ grandchildren to get married and I know in the midst of this celebration, there will be an ache of sadness that Papa isn’t here to witness it.

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But, even with this, I believe there will be enough joy and love flowing to ease that ache.

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My mom just had her 80th birthday and we’ll be celebrating that event in a few weeks. Lest you get the wrong mental image of this grandmother-of-six let me share a few details: she is active, well read and she does yoga weekly and stretches daily, she walks her dog Molly six days a week, will be retiring for the third (and final) time in about a month, and will be wearing red patent leather pumps with her chic sheath dress at her grandsons wedding tomorrow.

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There is so much to celebrate, including the completion of this project!

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I will be returning to my craft desk tomorrow to create a wedding card, but I’m going to catch my breath and catch up on a few other things in my life, including getting enough sleep!

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Thank you.

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Day 16: 30 Day Journal Project

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“Where are your combing seas, your blue water, your rollers, your breakers, your whales, or your waterspouts, and your endless motion, in this bit of a forest, child?”  ~ Walt Whitman

What replenishes your creative well? What inspires you?  I’d love to hear in the comments section.

Day 16 of my #30DayJournal was a great page to work on. I am inspired by things around me, by the work of other artists, by the juxtaposition of colors that I might see in nature or on a building or a sign.

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I’ve been very spontaneous with this project and love how this page evolved. My last name means peacock and I’m a fan of peacocks, as you can see from a Halloween costume a few years ago. Their feathers are so rich and beautiful. I decided to use a feather design for my page today.

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In the morning, I drew the feather on the right and saw how the barbs on the feather would work to contain the journaling, so added the feather on the left. Then I left for work. I did a little bit of the collage portion during my lunch break but as usual, most of it was done after dinner and late at night.

A beautiful mosaic is what I was picturing for the eye of the feather, so I used bits of paper in a collage.

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Two colors of gold foil paper and two colors of glittery trim are incorporated into this part of the page.

Writing about what inspires and replenishes me creatively was easy – I did it first in pencil and went back with a black pen and then colored pens to embellish the letters.

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A few squares of paper on one corner help to anchor the design.

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I drew the quote for today in this corner as well, using a white pen and adding some color to the letter. Using a wash of watercolor over the white-ink quote inspired me to put a wash of color all around the feathers. The journaling portion has a lot of white and this watercolor added more color to the page.

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I appreciate your visit and invite you to come back to see what else I come up with for the rest of this 30 day project.

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Day 7: 30 Day Journal Project

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“Don’t think about making art, just get it done.  Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” ~ Andy Warhol

I found an old, discarded textbook at work today.  I’ve passed it a few times on a table. This time, I was looking for it!

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Thanks for stopping by. Time for some sleep!

I may get behind on posting, but I’ll try and get my pages up every few days.

#30DayJournal

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Day 2: 30 Day Journal Project

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“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ~ Rumi

I started with different river pictures: an aerial photo, a drawing from a calendar of the River Thames, a magazine picture of a bridge over a peaceful river, another picture from a calendar of a section of the Merced River in the Yosemite valley in winter, and a section of map showing the Merced River. I pasted these on my page and added “Day 2” with the date.

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Next I used some white acrylic paint to tone down some of the yellow and pink in these pictures. I layered on some tissue paper as well.

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Then I really got into it and forgot to take any more in-progress photos.

I collaged on some beautiful marbleized paper, rich in blues, teals and purple with black and gold, and started adding paint: first some almost white that I added teal spray ink to bit by bit and made big swooping curves.  Then with a smaller brush and more teal ink I added darker edges to the swoops. Finally, I took a small paintbrush and some watercolor paint in shades of blue and green, I dripped paint on and tipped the book every which way to let the paint roll down the page.

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Gold ink and music washi tape finished the page.  I added some journaling with a paint pen, and the quote with gel pen.

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The lighting isn’t great and it is late, but I’m very pleased with this process and the result.

Edit: Here’s a picture taken in daylight. To my eye, the page is somewhere between the two – the gold shows up a bit more than in the photo below, but not as much as the pictures above.

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About the #30DayJournal project here.  I appreciate your visit and comments.

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Mini Piñata

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At Craft Gym last week we made sweet Mini Piñatas. Today is May the Fourth and it is my sister Kathleen’s birthday.  Happy Birthday! I’m sure the piñatas were to honor Cinco de Mayo but I thought it would be a just the thing to celebrate Kathleen’s birthday and make it an even more festive fiesta.

Unfortunately, the link for the mini piñatas on the Once Around site isn’t working, so I’ll walk you through the steps.

Mini Piñatas

You’ll need:

  • A Template (lots of online options) or draw your own
  • Pencil to trace template
  • Lightweight Cardboard such as cereal box or poster-board
  • Scissors (if you have multi-blade fringing scissors, now is the time to use them!)
  • Masking Tape
  • Colorful Crepe or Tissue Paper
  • Glue Stick or Glue such as Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
  • String (if you want to hang it and/or to attach to trap door)
  • A large needle (to put the string through the cardboard)
  • Optional: Washi Tape to close the trap door for accessing the treats inside
  • Small Candies or other tiny treats to fill the piñata

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I used some hand-cut confetti, sequins, paper hearts, felted balls and a variety of small candies to fill the piñata.

I saw several patterns online that had tabs for putting together the pieces of your piñata but in our Crafty Gym we didn’t cut any tabs, and they worked fine.

Cut two matching shapes of cardboard, (I thought the donkey was really cute, but it was a little tricky putting it together – a big heart would also be cute and much easier!) and one long strip of cardboard, about 1.5 inches wide.

Use masking tape to assemble the piñata. I started at the bottom of one leg and taped the strip to it for a few inches.  I creased the strip whenever I reached a sharp corner, then lined up the matching shape and starting taping it on the other side of the cardboard strip to form a 3-D shape.

If you want to hang the piñata up, use a large needle to poke a hole through the cardboard at the top of your shape and thread the string through the hole. I did this after I’d completely covered the piñata with paper fringe and it was pretty tricky.

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I used super-cute yellow pom-pom cord that came on a birthday gift and I saved for just such an occasion. One piece is for hanging it up, one piece connects to the little trap door underneath.

Most directions suggested cutting a flap or trap door for candy removal after you’re finished assembling the piñata but I cut the trap door on the inside of one leg before I’d started adding fringe.

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(Above) here is the candy door open, it is on the inside of the leg to the right) and you can just see two yellow pom poms attached to the door.

Cut tissue or crepe paper into strips about 1.5 inches wide and fold several strips together, folding in half and then in quarters, keeping the paper aligned.

Cut the tissue or crepe paper into a fringe, then unfold.

Using glue stick or tacky glue, glue two rows of each color of fringe to the piñata, starting from the bottom and working upwards.

Once you’ve completely covered your piñata, you might want to trim the fringe  so as to keep the shape of the piñata from become obscured.

Let glue dry.  Fluff the fringe a bit to give it more texture.

Fill your piñata with treats, tipping and tilting to fill every little corner.  Attach cord to trap door.

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I added a small “happy birthday” tag on the cord for pulling open the candy door.

Close door and use some washi tape, if desired, to keep it closed.

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Two strips of polka dot washi tape are keeping the treats inside until the recipient opens the piñata.  You might want to provide a plastic bag when you give your piñata so they don’t lose any goodies.

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Thanks for stopping by.

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Art Journal: Backlog

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I’ve gotten behind on posting photos of Art Journal pages I’ve made.  I try to share them as I make them, but don’t always manage to do that. Let’s catch up, shall we?

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This was inspired by a picture on Pinterest and when I followed the link, I found My Flower Journal, Tammy Northrup’s blog with beautiful splattered painting art.

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Tiny flowers are punched from textbook pages, painted different colors and glued onto a gesso and acrylic painted page. The meadow is made almost entirely from splattered paint dots.

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I used black and white pen to add details to the flower stems and leaves.

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Leap of Faith, Date Unknown (early 2014)

I don’t remember where I found this wonderful quote, but I love it!

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I’ve had this picture, torn out of magazine, for ages. It works well with the quote, don’t you think?

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A man in a flying machine along with some definitions torn from the dictionary and I had a page.

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Bendy Bodies, Date Unknown (early 2014)

Mostly from Athleta ads torn from magazines.  I have a very inflexible body but I’m fascinated by the strength and flexibility shown in these pictures.

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Collaged Hills and Mountains, Date Unknown (early 2014)

I probably didn’t share this before because I’m a little ambivalent about it. This was the inspiration.  I don’t think mine was as effective.  White space at the top would probably have helped, and sharper images with greater contrast.

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Leaf Forms, August 4, 2014

Sometimes I look through my collection of ephemera (housed in a variety of plastic zippered sleeves, a tin box, a large basket and a shoebox) and find items that go together.  Maybe I’ve had one piece for a long time and I see something else and remember that first one and know they will work well together.  Other times I just start working on a page without really knowing where I’m headed.

The end result may be what I set out to create or something that I worked on layer by layer and bit by bit until it seems finished. For this page I wanted to use the large leaf skeleton on the right, so I looked for things that would go with it. But don’t ask about that #13, because I really don’t know how it ended up here, but it did, and I like it.

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Our Lady of the Roses, October 10, 2014

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I’ve had this picture of a stained statue for a long time.  When I embroidered a feather to use on a page the month before, I started looking for other images that would work with embroidered embellishment.  I needed to add a fold down flap to the page to have enough space to fit this in my journal.

The title has faux stitching made with dots of black ink joined by slightly curved lines made with a teal marker.

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I added a halo with embroidery floss.

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Dia di los Muertos, October  11, 2014

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I saw a project to do with kids using copied photos of their own faces (copy photos on copier, increase to approximately life-sized if photo is smaller), painted into a Dia di los Muertos mask.  I just pulled a picture from an ad in a magazine and created my own. I liked how the glamorous model became anonymous under the layer of paint.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

At Sea Ranch I sit and watch the ocean and sky out the window.  This is an attempt to capture what I love to look at.

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Blue Décollage, March 4, 2015

This page is from an exercise in The Collage Workbook, How to Get Started and Stay Inspired by Randel Plowman.

The exercise is to create a collage by layering pieces of paper on top of each other and the before the glue sets, tearing off the top layers to reveal what is underneath. As is typical, I reread the directions and examined the photos in the book more carefully after trying out the method.  I realized I started with too many small pieces, but it was an interesting process and I may try it again.

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Font, March 4, 2015

Another exercise from Mr. Plowman’s wonderful book on collage; he calls this one Typography and directs you to construct a collage using type from magazines or newspapers.

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Disconnected, March 8, 2015

Another page of typography.  In this one I tried to create new patterns and shapes from the pieces of letters I cut apart.

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Thank you for visiting.

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