Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Paula and her ceiling tile again...

On Saturday I went to a local tag sale and found this big frame for $20.  Gold and a bit junky, but solid wood... just what I was looking for.
 I took it home, scrubbed it up (okay, I really just sanded it a bit) and painted it one of the colors from the swatches I showed you recently...Avocado Green.  The man at Home Depot asked my husband, "what are you painting this color?" with a very puzzled sympathetic look on his face.
Once the green paint was dry, I sanded the edges to bring back the gold, then gave it the once over with some Burnt Umber glaze I had leftover from some other project.  I wiped off the glaze with a damp rag before it dried to give it an aged appearance.
Here comes the ceiling tile again...cut to fit the frame opening.
Add a layer of batting.  You could use Warm and Natural bating for a thinner layer but this is what I had on hand.  I did not wrap the batting around the ceiling tile because mine fit just right in the frame but you could if you like.
Cut a fabric piece 3" larger (on all sides) than your ceiling tile.  So if my ceiling tile is 20 x 30" I would need a fabric piece that is cut 26 x 36". Add fabric to the top...remember to iron fabric before you add it to your layer sandwich.
Flip the entire board over. 
Staple the corners with a staple gun.  I took this picture when I was testing the fit in the frame.  I did the actual stapling when the tile was still on the table.  Staple top, then bottom, then one side and then the other so the fabric stays centered, not pulling too much in one direction.
Now how to keep the ceiling tile from falling out of the frame?  Well, you know me, I not going to go to the store for something.  I figured cardboard would work as good as anything else so I got a box from the garage and cut it into 4 wide strips with my roller cutter.  Then I stapled the cardboard directly to the wood over each corner of the frame.  Don't try and staple the cardboard to the ceiling tile or the pressure will push the tile right back out of the frame and could possibly break it (can you tell I tried that?).  I also found that if I bent the cardboard right where I wanted to staple, it was easier to get the pressure I needed to make the staple stay in the wood.
Here's the result...a nice big pin board for my work space.  The picture shows it leaning but I will have my husband put 2 heavy picture hangers on each of the tops corners to hang it on the wall.  
I also could have ran ribbon in a criss-cross pattern over the whole fabric portion but I have found that the ribbon is never in the right place to tuck something under it.  So I decided that this ribbon.  
I will pin things freely wherever I please.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Home again

It was a long weekend but worth every minute.
We all kept thinking that our hands may never come clean!  Good thing they had pumice stones in the bathroom so we could try to scrub off the ink 2 or 3 times a day.
 Who knew there were so many colors?

Neither of us had ever used Ranger Color Wash.  We were a little apprehensive when they said, "be careful because if you get the wash on your skin it will stain".  I think we all pictured ourselves going through airport security with blue splatter all over our faces.
We ended up learning some cool techniques and can't wait till I can get my hands on more.
One of my favorite pieces we made... Metal from 10 Seconds Studios with Alcohol Ink...super easy and fun to do. The depth of color in the Alcohol inks is phenomenal...wish you could see it in person.  The metal was run through a machine like a Sizzix Big Shot using Tim Holtz new embossing folders.
Grunge board gears painted and distressed with Metallic paint and Distress ink.

These are all the tags we made with Tim.  Each tag represents a technique (even more tags were made with Caludine Helmuth) we learned this weekend. 
What a great library of ideas. 
I admit not all my techniques tags are great, far from it.  But there are some I loved so much I wanted to keep trying the technique over and over, like Alcohol Ink on glass.
Of course, the real challenge is translating technique to project.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


It's been a busy two day's here at Ranger...well, maybe I should have said, CRAZY busy here in class.  Things move VERY fast so you have to be on your toes at all times, listening, absorbing, and then doing.  Our fingers are so stained with the different inks that it is almost comical.
We feel we have lucked out by having some great ladies at our table...Sue sits in front of me and Megan Darrow from 10 Seconds Studio is on my right...Deb on my left.  Then there's Margie down the table with Carolyn Peeler and many others.  We have laughed a lot which makes every situation better.
Don't have much time tonight (since it's spring forward) but thought I would share some photos of our adventures in paint, UTEE, and distress ink.  Tomorrow is Alcohol Ink and it's supposed to be the most intense day of the 3 days.  Were just hoping to make it to the end :)

Tim Holtz
 Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel
 Debbie using a craft iron to finish a distress ink wrinkle tag.  These were some of the most fun to make.  Simple, easy and fabulous color.  The best part was that everyone's tags looked different...nothing cookie cutter here.

this one was done with a mask and Distress Ink
Megan's tags
Megan showing off her work  
One of my favorite tags of the day
The weather has been horrible here as you may have heard on the news.  Margie's umbrella was not faring well between the wind and heavy rain. 
Bye for now...keep your fingers crossed for us tomorrow!

Friday, March 12, 2010

On the Road

We're out and about again...but this time for a different reason.  Instead of being the teacher, we're the students.  That's a change!
Deb and I flew out of our repsective airports early yesterday morning to meet up at Ranger U in Tinton Falls, New Jersey.  We are here, along with 22 other women for 3 days of classes with Tim Holtz, Claudine Helmuth, and Suze Weinberg. Were going to be learning/testing all the products Ranger makes.
Last night we met up with Ellen Hutson from Ellen Hutson LLC, an online retail store out of Seattle and Megan Darrow from 10 Second Studios for the van pool ride from the airport and  dinner.  What a great time we had.

We will keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I think I have always been a collector, a gatherer.
Something about the look of a group together is always more enticing to me than just one.
Over the years the collecting has scaled back...maybe I should say I have become more focused as I have aged.  I have a few collections I still add to these days, but they each have very specific criteria:

1.  Red tomato pin cushions
Small or large, it doesn't matter.  The only thing that does?  they have to be used and loved by someone (translation: must have the pins still in them).  Here are 3 of about 25 I have collected.

 my mom's pin cushion, the one that started the collection is on the left.
I love this spot where where she stitched up a hole so the sand wouldn't come out.

2.  Globes
This one started for my husband who is a History teacher (although I am not sure who likes them more?).  The globes have to have great color and be made before 1948 (my husbands rule).  You might think this is enough globes...but trust me, there are more.  I just ran out of room on top of the entertainment center.

3. Beach sand
Okay, this one may seem strange but we have a tradition to gather a small amount before we leave any vacation near the beach.  This is just a few of the jars in my kitchen window (man, I need to clean the window!).   I love this ongoing collection because it brings back good memories of each trip.

Recently, my friend Carol, who travels to Europe frequently brought me home a little gift...and then recently another.  Maybe it's the start of a new collection...
and this one shaped like a little acorn
what kind of collection do you have?
send us a picture, we want to see what you are collecting and if there is a reason behind it.  We hope to post some later in the month.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lucky Day No 125

So we loaded her into Debbie's car and drove her back to Deb's house where we boxed her up and sent her to her new home in California.
now she becomes part of the new work space
You would have bought her too, wouldn't you?  
I guess I was channeling my inner Sande Krieger who would have never passed her up at that price.  It really was my lucky day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

52 Weeks of Sarcasm

Since my workspace is yet to be found I thought I might show you a project I made last fall for my good friend's birthday.  This is the same basic pattern as the Christmas Countdown Calendar but instead of having pre-printed pages, these were solid cardstock cut 6 x 7" ( 1/2" bigger than the CCC).  I used these as a foundation for each page and added the patterned paper and a quote on both sides of each page.  By adding the paper on each side it makes the page thick and sturdy which is good since it's a flip book that could possibly be up all year, not just for one month at Christmas. If you made the Christmas Countdown Calendar and bought the 7gypsies stand you could always slip it off the stand once Christmas was over and put a new book on it for the rest of the year.  Why pack it away?
The numbers are old house numbers I got at a store in Phoenix, AZ called Sage.  The letters are an old Heidi Swapp product. The paper tape is 7Gypsies with the exception of the small blue stripe which is from Happy Tape (where I spent every penny of the Christmas money I got this past year!)
This flip book has 26 pages so she could have a new saying every week for the entire year (once you get to the end of the 26 pages you have to slide the book off the stand and turn it around to read the 2nd half).  You might ask where did you get so many sayings?  I signed up for an automatic daily feed from Story People which are little quotes or snippets of thoughts from Brian Andreas.  Everyday I get an email with the quote, if I can use it in my work I drag it to a file.  If it's not something I think will work for me or it doesn't really "speak to me" I delete it.  Story People is quirky and funny...right up my alley, but you could sign up for any number of services from spiritual quotes to positive messages and do this same thing.  I had been saving (and using) the quotes long before I thought up this gift.  Since I made this stand for an entire year so I needed 52 quotes to complete it!  That's a lot!
Some of the smaller quotes looked too small for the 6 x 7" pages so I cut smaller pieces of colored cardstock and added them in over the larger pages as you can see here...I just made sure the cardstock could still be punched in the Binderie Punch (5 x 6").
12 x 12 creme cardstock- you can get 2 pages 6 x 7" from each sheet
Colored cardstock for smaller pages (I ended up using these about every other page)
UHU glue stick
7gypsies Binderie punch (I would have done this project without it!)
Rubbings are from a few different sets in my stash
I used paper from 2 of my favorite that you can cut up the stripes so that it looks like bands of ribbon.  Rolling Pins and Cookbook were the 2 main papers I used with the other as backup.
Nook and Pantry by Basic Grey 
 Lemon Meringue Pie

Rolling Pin

Flour Sack
Girl Friday by Cosmo Cricket