Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The "Art-pod"

We bought a 2011 R-pod 182G.  And while it's in the shop getting a thorough inspection, I've been making things to decorate "her" with.  First up is my travel journal for 2018.

r-pod.....artpod....while I just play, Kerry is amazing with his 3D printer and LED lighting.  I can only fathom how he is going to max this 20' travel trailer out.  He's already put together a wifi LAN to connect movies, video, music to both the interior and exterior of the pod!  (This model has an outdoor kitchen in the rear.)   He has 1 terabyte of movies to go.  I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around what 1 terabyte of anything was until he said our home system has 3 terabyte of movies!!!

I'm calling this a scrap-journal as I have the inside of it ready to journal and add photos.  It's 5x7 with mixed media paper inside:

The papers are from PhotoPlay in case you're wondering and I've had them awhile so I'd suggest looking for them on ebay.

And a rather old Jolee's embellishment....that I embellished!

We drove to Gainesville TX last week to pick her up.  Not only a blow-out on the way home, but she completely came off the hitch - fortunately we had stopped at a light and were just pulling out and no damage was done!  But I nearly had a heart attack!  

She will be decorated in denim, of course!  And eventually, all of her seat cushions will be re-upholstered in denim.  

And the Denim Divas will most likely take her to the next Scrapbook Expo in Denver.  Who knows where else she might journey???

And the first wall hanging that will go inside is this one - I made it several months ago as my "vision" board.  I think it's perfect because Kerry made the white palette with his 3D printer and it combines our artistic skills into one place.

I thought about starting a separate travel blog....but I think my life so consumes 3 things - art, travel and genealogy.  And while I do keep a separate blog for my Cotopaxi research,  I think the rest of my life will stay put here!

Speaking of which - I'm giving a presentation about Cotopaxi this Sunday, 1/21, at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 801 Sherman St, Canon City CO 81212.  Would love to see you there if you can make it!  2 pm.  

And then hopefully, we will off art-podding!  (I know, it's going to be sad from here on out!  Pod-sightings.  Spodded.  Podding. Podder.  This is my plog?  Best prepare yourselves!!!)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Custom appliques to match any decor!

I bought some dishes for our new travel trailer.  I wanted to make an apron to "match".  First, I took a photo, resized it and made a couple of copies.

Then  I cut it apart and traced each part on the appropriate color of fabric.  Cut it out and ironed it onto some adhesive backed quilting - about 1/4" thick.

Next I used the satin stitch on the sewing machine to go around all the edges.  The door, window and tire are made from the back side of denim.  

I've never tried this before and for my first effort, I'm pretty happy with the results!

 I really think you could take any image as long as it's not too detailed and do the very same thing to make a custom appliqué.  The iron-on quilt backing certainly helped keep the fabric in place while doing the sating stitches.  I have some old quilt pieces that I might try this with next.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Under the dome....a little "magic"!!!

 What happens when you combine a 3D printer and paper crafts???  A lighted dome!  This little dome is just about 4" tall and maybe 2" across the bottom.

I bought 6 of these at the Scrapbook Expo last September.  Found them in the Melissa Frances booth and they were half off.    They come with a cardboard bottom.

I asked Kerry if he could make a LED lighted base with his 3D printer.  I needed something that had a rechargeable battery in it so that I didn't have to plug it in.  Each of these holes has an LED light shining up through the bottom.

The base is about 3/4" thick so that inside, it can house the lights, the on/off switch and the port for charging.  Amazing how tiny all that can be.

I then die cut a circle of clear acrylic to cover the top of the lights. And that's what I used as a base to hot glue the dies.  You can't see, but everything is cut in white glitter paper.  This is just 1 tree, cut into parts, and then 2 of the 3-piece deer sets.  Rolled the die cuts around a 1/2" diameter dowel to shape them.  Hot glued each piece to the clear acrylic base.  Then put it all up inside the dome and added the base.

Here's closeup of the trees and a deer.  Hope you can get a feel for the glitter paper I used.

When you flip the switch, all that glittered paper just sparkles in the light!

Five more domes, so I asked for 5 more bases!  And because each one will be on a clear acrylic base, I could make multiple designs for each dome!  I'm thinking 2018 is going to be a very good year for creativity!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Denim and Leather

Grandpa Moore was a leather crafter.  I remember running my fingers over the mountains and valleys of a piece that he had tooled.  He made gun holsters and rifle bags, purses and so much more.  He tooled the old fashioned way.....taking hours to make a single piece.  I loved watching him work and asked him a hundred questions each time I went to visit.  Years later, when he died, I purchased all of his leather supplies from his widow.  One of the best investments ever......always buy tools!!!

My sis and I have been playing with leather this week.  Imagine combining sewing (yesterday's project), scrapbooking and everything you need to do leather crafting?  Oh!  What a MESS!!!

I decided I wanted to create a denim and leather journal.  So I started by cutting, then stitching a frame in the denim.

 Next I hemmed a piece of denim to cover the back of the journal - it's a 5x7 "visual" journal from Hobby Lobby.  This one has watercolor paper inside but you can also get the mixed media version.

Then I decided to experiment embossing leather using embossing folders.  I just didn't feel like taking the time to tool leather today.  I've been having some trouble with my right hand and it decided to flare up again today.  Sigh.

Then I did a little experimenting with waterstain (a fairly new product at Tandy Leather) and sand paper.  I sort of like the effects.  It goes on more distressed that the old dyes.

Embossed another piece and this time I experimented with distress inks.  Watered them down and painted them on.  Sort of like this as well.  I think the fun for me is really in experimenting and playing with products.

Next I tried out copic markers.  OK, I really like how this turned out.  But it just didn't look so great next to the denim...and it wasn't the look I was going for.

I cut, stained and sanded a piece for the spine and this is the base of the journal that I came up with.  But of course....one has to embellish...can't leave it this plain....although I do love this look!

This is the journal finished and I simply LOVE how it came out.  It says so much about the things I love.  Denim.   Leather.  Living in Colorado with our pine trees in the mountains around us.  

There's an Indian Head nickel concho on the top corner holding the ribbons and leather together.

Sliced antlers from my dear friend, Shelly, who lives over in Nebraska and I don't get to see her nearly enough these days......

And silk beads with swarovski beads on silk ribbons.  

A couple of days ago, I added a new shelf in my bedroom - just to keep all the journals I've been making.  

Tandy Leather in Colorado Springs is offering a beginning leather class on 1/13 at 10 am.  2 hours.  $20.  You don't have to take a thing.  Call the store if you want to take it.  I'll be there with 3 others.  No, I'm not a beginner....but I thought it might be fun to take this class and see what's changed since I took my first class back in 1983. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

A denim paint bucket for painting class!

Do you ever have one of those moments when you look at something that's been sitting around forever....and the lights go off in your head?  This was originally a green and black 1 gallon bucket cover....used for gardening.  And in my head - I saw it in denim!  Sorry that I didn't take a photo of the original....I took it apart and used it as the pattern for this one.

When you have something that you can use as a pattern, it's pretty quick and easy to re-make it.  And I already had the denim edging which helped.  Can you see the pockets down inside?  It's a sleeve that slips around the bucket and folds down inside.  So it will come off and can be tossed into the washer and dryer when it gets dirty.

And the bucket just happens to have a lazy suzan on the bottom so it will spin around for easy access to every side/pocket.   I've filled this up with paint supplies as I have a new watercolor class starting in a few weeks.  A paint bucket for painting!!  LOL!!   I'm always looking for lighter weight, smaller ways to transport stuff to class.  And I won't have to unpack a thing when I want to use this at home.

I'm almost afraid to look at anything else around here as it might just get turned into denim.  LOL!!!  I could recover the kitchen chairs, the keyboard bench, the patio furniture out back?  I do need a new sewing machine cover!  I'm pondering a design for a leather and denim journal cover as my sis and I have been working with leather the last couple of days.  

What would you re-make in denim???

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Enjoy the little things.....like cheesecake!

This journal is 4" thick and only 4 pages.  It was so much fun to make.  All Graphic 45 paper.  It's a gift for a very dear friend who happens to own Creative Impressions.  See if you can find her product!

I'll help you get started....on the cover I've used her buttons, flowers, ribbon and twine.  A total of 10 items....can you find all of them??  The ribbons were "dyed" to match the project.  

Here's a view of it standing up.  Loads of pockets, tags, flip-outs.  You could spend an hour or so exploring this!  My kind of journal!

 And this is what it looks like opened up.  Yep, lots of blank pages.  I'll let her decide what goes where!

Here's the first page with the flap folded in.  As you can see, she could add photos, recipes, or just write about what she's baking today!  Be sure to click on each photo if you want to see a larger view!

This is the same page, but with the flap opened out.

Page 2....each page has a flip-out, but each one is slightly different.  I do love this paper filled with cupcakes, donuts, roses and forget-me-nots.  And I happen to love the peach and turquoise colors.

On this flip-out, I used a glassine envelope - you can almost see through it.

Page 3 - the left square with writing - that will also flip out to the left, so a double flip-out page!

Here it is with the right flip opened out.  Another pocket for a recipe.  Yum!

Page 4 - I like the idea of a 4-cube page so you could add 4 recipes, 4 notes, 4 photos.

This flip out has a recipe holder on both the front and the back.

And the back page....2 flip-up recipe card holders on the left and a large pocket on the right with tags as inserts.

A quick view of all the tags.

This didn't get created overnight, but it's definitely been a fun project to work on.  I dearly love the papers, the colors,  the flips, folds, and the fun!  And I just decided that I need to include mom's cheesecake recipe so must run jot that down!  This gets delivered tomorrow!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Best Pizzelle Recipe! How to make them perfect....

Growing up on a farm in Indiana, I never heard the word "pizzelle" and I imagine if you had tried to give me one, I would have turned up my nose and walked away!  I just didn't eat "foreign" food!!!

Then in 1974 I moved to Colorado, to this small village in a valley that backs up to the foothills and the entrance to the Royal Gorge - once dubbed the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas Valley.  Here, I ate my first pizzelle and I was hooked in a heartbeat!  I HAD to learn how to make them and I bought my first pizzelle iron.  All I remember is that it cost a fortune ($70!) and I had to get the recipe right!

That was over 40 years ago!  My 3rd pizzelle iron died a couple of years ago and I stopped making them.  I would buy the store bought ones....but never the same!  So this year, I bought a new iron.  And to tell you the truth...it cost less than that first one 40-some years ago!!!

After all my experience, I knew that I did not want a non-stick iron.  Don't ask me why.  Maybe just a gut instinct?  We have a little store here in town called DiNardos.  They've been in business since the 70s.  And they sell Pizzelle IRONS.  I like that they refuse to call them "bakers" or "makers" like so many others do!  And this week, they happen to have this one marked $10 off!  I'll bet they would ship if you want one!  $49.99.

I gave it a try this morning.  Best Pizzelle Iron I've had to date!  I went for the 5" size because you can always use less dough and make smaller pizzelles.  But if you buy the new 4" iron - you simply can't make them larger.

As you can imagine, I've tried out a number of recipes over the years.  This is my favorite and it's quick and easy:

6 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
mix together in large bowl

add in:
1 c butter melted (yes real butter)
2 T vanilla
mix together

then add in:
3 1/2 C flour
4 t baking powder
mix together.

This will make about 6 dozen pizzelles.....depends on how many you eat while making them!  LOL!!!

(note the baker's rack - essential for cooling hot pizzelles and only $3.98 each at Walmart!  I use 2 of them.)

I live at about 5400', so I usually add another 1/4 to 1/3 C of flour to make the batter a little thicker.

Drop 1T sized balls into the center of the hot pizzelle iron.  I suggest a light squirt of Pam spray on the iron as it heats up....but not too much - it will drain out the back of the iron and all over your counter tops.  I use a teaspoon and just heap the dough on that.  You'll figure it out with a little experimenting.

Press the handle down and listen to the fizz.  Or count to 10.  Pull the handle up.  If the dough sticks to the top part, it's not done and you need to leave the handle down longer.  I do squeeze it shut, but not completely tight shut.  You will get a feel for this as time goes on.

The longer you leave the handle down, the crispier the pizzelles will be.  I prefer mine on the lighter side, thus the 10-count hold.

Then the icing!  Just a slab of almond bark - white or chocolate.  Nuke in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Take a small spatula (1/2 the width of a regular spatula) and spread the icing on half the pizzelle.  OK, you could do the entire thing, but it's just too sweet.  And I will confess that this pizzelle recipe is not sweet at all so if you don't ice them, they are a bit bland.  Which I love after too many pies, cakes and cookies at a holiday meal!

Finally, make sure the pizzelle iron is completely clean before you put it away.  Check for even the tiniest crumbs and wipe them away!

I'm off to dip the next 2 dozen into milk chocolate!  Then to wrap up these goodies and make a few deliveries.  Don't worry....I'll be delivering some to my kitchen table as well!!!