Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cider Journal Update

Hi there!  I have an EXCITING cider journal update for you. (WARNING: long post with lots of fun stuff!)  Before I forget, these pages all meet the theme of today's Ways to Use It Challenge - use a calendar, which is for the 9th anniversary of the challenge that I am hosting today.
I'm too excited for much more of a preamble, so here's the page:

This is the "opening" page of my Cider Journal.  (You can see the cover HERE.)  I will be using this record and rate our own homemade hard cider.  Even more excited am I to tell you that I may be tasting some of that THIS WEEKEND!!!!  You can see how we did it this past weekend in THIS blog post on my husband's NEW blog.  He's not into social media, so this is a GIANT step for him.  Obviously, I will probably be doing most of the posting there.  In any event, back to the FUN things I've been up to in the Cider Journal...
As you recall, I am using a Smash Journal.  The first page of a Smash journal is a little vellum page with "instructions" telling you that there's no wrong way to Smash, etc... Well, I wanted the vellum, because it had some cool flourishes on it, but I didn't want the words.  So I tried to gesso over them.  Word to the wise - Gesso + Vellum = not what you want.  It didn't cover the words, and it made this wrinkly mess.  I still wanted that for my first page, so I grabbed mini file folders from 7 Gypsies and glued one on the front and one on the back of the vellum mess.  That's what those little tabs on the right are - the tabs from the file folders.  Now I have basically FOUR front pages.  I am BEYOND excited! In retrospect, I should've decorate the folders before gluing them in, but eh, they're there!
I took paper from what is going to be my favorite new paper pack - Chalk Studio by My Mind's Eye and covered the front of the folder.  The paper said Happy Day repeated across the bottom, and that couldn't be more true, since this page will be chronically our attempts at making the hard cider ourselves.
Then I took a Calendar Card from Fancy Pants Designs and glued that in.  There are several different cards to choose from, but I picked this one because the letters looked chalkboard-y (my word of the day).
I then sprayed the whole thing with Kraft Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels.  I think I may have an issue with this stuff.  I can't stop using it!  I didn't really let the Glimmer Mist dry.  I patted it with a paper towel, and that gives nice splatter marks.
I then took some script washi tape by Darice, again with the chalkboard theme, and taped down the corners that kept popping up.  This tape is really functionally placed.  Plus, I LOVE washi tape!
I then doodled some on the bottom with a Pitt Pen by Faber-Castell.  I haven't a clue why I did that.
Finally, I added 3 wood veneer chevrons from Studio Calico.  I put them there to replace the banners that I covered up and beg you to turn the page.  Did it work?  Do you want to see the inside of the folder now???
Ok, I'm glad you do, because here it is:

Yup, more stars!  I used a few more stars from the Framelits sets I used for the cover to again be a mask.  I think I'm in love with using these metal dies as masks.  They clean up SO easily, MUCH easier than plastic stencils!  Plus, they are heavy enough that you don't have to tape them or anything if you're looking to use spray ink, which of course I used Kraft Glimmer Mist. :)
I had folded over the "leftovers" from the front cover, since I really liked the piece that showed - one little banner piece and the words Happy Day.  I'm not really sure what is going in here just yet, but more to come there.
But wait that's not all!  I have done 2 more pages in the journal.  The first actual page looks like this:

A friend of mine had sent me that picture, and I thought it was a perfect way to start this fun journal.  This isn't quite what my week is like, but sometimes I feel that way.  I printed it out and used gesso to paste it in.
Once the gesso was dry (I let it sit overnight, because I'm insanely impatient.), I stamped the cup rings from the Stained Textures stamp set by Bo Bunny that I used on the cover all over.  You can actually see one this time in the photo in the bottom right corner.  This is such a FUN stamp set and totally fits right in with the theme of this book.
I then stamped the blue bars.  They are from a photography set by Stamper's Best that I had won a long time ago and used for the first time on this page with Faded Jeans Distress Ink by Ranger.
My photo edges were pulling up a bit, so I added some striped fabric tape on the top and Calendar paper tape on the bottom.  The fabric tape I got from Taylored Expressions so long ago that I haven't a clue who actually makes it.  The calendar tape is by Ranger.
The bottom looked a little naked, so I added a pearl swirl by Zva Creative.  Pearl swirls make everything all better, right?  They are so happy.
Oh, but hold your horses, there is even more!  I have one more page for you:

Yeah, buddy!  This was Sangria Trio night at Outback Steakhouse.  For this one, I took 3 colors of Stained Glass by Tattered Angels and washed the page.  There are only 3 colors I used, but where they overlap, they make fabulous new colors.  I added metallic stripes with a platinum metallic paint by Tattered Angels.
I used paper tape to mark my favorite of the 3 sangrias, which was the New South Wales variety.  The Stained Glass took a while to dry, and I tried to write on it before it was completely dry, which let to the little mess you see in the bottom right corner with Steakhouse.  I used a Sharpie to finally get that written.  The Smash pen actually does pretty well on the wet surface, so I'll have to remember that for next time.  That's what I wrote the variety names in.  I used a silver paint pen for the arrows.
I thought this page of the Smash book was perfect to do something a little different than cider, because the page said "and enjoy these moments every now and then".  Seriously, this book reads my mind!
I leave you with the page 1 with the date of the first cider brew filled in.  Have a great day, and I hope you'll play along with the WTUI challenge!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wine & Canvas Part 2

Yesterday, I got to do another Wine & Canvas event at Village Vintner & Brewery.  Again, there was a sample that mine doesn't really look like:

This time, I got my wine, and I was ready to go!

This painting was a lot harder than it looked.  We had to do several straight lines, which is not that easy, but the artist gave us some tricks to make it simpler.  We had to sketch out that "shelf" then color it with red, black, and white.

Then, we colored black, and white mixed with everything while still trying to look "white" to mimic a woodgrain look.  That part was pretty fun, especially because I will still filling my glass with the bottle of wine sitting next to me:

Next, we had to draw the wine bottle.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize that had a huge glare on my wet paint when I took my intermediate photos, so they are just bright white splotches.  Trying to make the wine bottle symmetrical was pretty tough!  After we got our wine bottle "good enough", which is where mine is, we added highlights to the bottle.  Then, the super FUN part - mixing up a cool turquoise color, which we used for the upper left rectangle and the label on the bottle.  The color is actually the same for both, but the lighting and dryness are making them look completely different.  Yes, dryness is a word (today)! After that, we had to do more drawing - the wine glass, which was pretty fun.  Here is what my canvas looked like at that time:

Brittany even got into the turquoise fun with an arm heart tattoo.

Finally, we added words and such.  I added one word and a heart to my painting.  I'm thinking I need something in the white, but not sure yet.  I'm not a fan of the live, laugh, love saying, so I'm not sure what I should say.  It seem appropriate to say live, love, drink on this painting.  In any event, here's my semi-final project:

Once I figure out what the final looks like, I'll post that.  In the meantime, you can see how the 30+ other folks did their projects.  One lady even made it a poison potion bottle, because she doesn't drink wine.  You can see a few photos that Janet took at Village HERE.  Can't you tell we are having a blast?!  Keep a look on Wine & Canvas' Facebook Page for their photos.  I am already signed up for Red Tree at Village on March 16th.  There are a few seats left, so come on and join the fun!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Winter Tree

Wednesday, I experienced my first Wine & Canvas event.  There are locations all across the country, so I highly recommend you check them out; I had a BLAST!  I dragged a co-worker with me, and she was SO glad I did.  There are 5 of us from work already going to one next month; that's how much fun we had and how much we raved about it.
Of course, I took lots of pictures to share my adventure with you, so here goes...
To put your mind in the proper perspective, according to the website, here is what I was supposed to be creating for the night:

First of all, everything is provided for you to complete your canvas.  Here is the setup that greets you when you come in:

There's an artist there who guides you through the painting step by step.  First, you get the words, then she shows you on a new canvas.  Our first step was to paint the canvas blue.  Ok, I can do this!

Blue - check!  We didn't have to go all the way to the bottom because there was going to be a snow hill there later.  So far, so good.  Now, she says to paint white swirly circles.  Um, ok, here goes...

White swirly circles - check!  I have to say my circle was pretty darn close to an actual circle.  Next, we are adding red swirly circles to our white swirly circles.  Uh, this red is VERY red, but ok, if you say so...

All I could think of when looking at this was - USA! USA! USA!  It is Olympic time after all... I, of course, raised my hand, and said - uh, I don't like this.  She told me to tone it down with water, so I did a little, while still chanting USA! in my head.  Next, we were to add yellow.  Here's where I went a little off the reservation, because I wanted green, so I mixed a little blue with my yellow as I was putting it on.

I'm seeing supernova at this point, and I'm good with it.  Next it's time for the snow hill.  This woman wanted me to approximate a measurement.  Have you MET me?!?! Are you totally serious - "about 3 fingers"?!?!?!  I tried to order a drink, but the server never came back after I asked for a martini menu, so I had to suffer through approximating 3 fingers.  I took several deep breaths, and here is what I ended up with...

My white kept blending with my blue, and I'm looking outside right now, and that snow is not blue.  I had to cake on the white to get it closer to white.  Then it was break time, which was good, because my snow needed to dry.
I had turned my painting upside down, and again tried to order a drink.  HELLO - this is WINE and canvas.  My co-worker said - she must know you have to drive home.  I promptly responded - it's ok, I have an electric car.  It took her a good 5 minutes to try to figure out what I meant by that; she finally asked - how is that going to help you drinking and driving?  I said - well, it's as dumb a reason as any other to drink and drive.  I will never drive if I've had more than a couple of drinks, so of course, I was completely joking.  I was just in one of those moods, because that woman told me to estimate 3 fingers!
After break, it was time for the tree.  The painting was called Winter Tree, so we sorta needed the tree.  My snow was still not dry, so I left my painting upside down as we started the tree.  It's much easier to paint downward brush strokes than upward, and I thought I would need all the help gravity could provide with the tree.  This completely tripped out my co-worker, because I was painting my tree upside down.

Perhaps my brain just works better upside down, because I'm pretty darn proud of the tree I made:

Sorry there are no photos between tree trunk and almost-complete tree... I was on a roll!  I was upside down, after all, so I was in my zone.
And here is the final product completely dry the next morning:

If there is a Wine & Canvas in your area, I HIGHLY recommend you check it out - it is a BLAST!  There are some photos of the event on Wine & Canvas Facebook page.
I will be going again on Sunday to my favorite wine place - Village Vintner & Brewery.  This time I KNOW I will get my wine when I need it.  We will be making this:

I can't wait!  Have a great weekend!!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Using Stars for Cider Journal

For this week's WTUI Challenge, Sabrina is challenging us to use stars.  I took the opportunity to get a start on this sort-of joke of a book.  My neighbor and husband keep telling me that I need to keep a log of all the different hard ciders I'm trying.  I'm so excited to say that there are a TON of new companies bottling hard cider.  My husband is even going to make me some this summer!  So, I began my journal!
I chose a 5" Smash book and decided not to gesso it.  Not really sure why, just wasn't feeling the gesso.  I used two colors of Silkz by Splash of Color and Traditional Tan by Ranger, and blended them all with some water.  It ended up like this:

Next, I took 3 colors of Gelatos by Faber-Castell, colored on this OLD Unity stamp, and spritzed it with water.  I stamped multiple times with this Tattered Stars stamp, and it looked like this:

I sprayed the whole thing with Kraft Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels, because it's my favorite crutch on the planet! Since Sabrina's challenge was about stars, and you couldn't really tell those were stars that I stamped, I had to pull out my trusty washi tape!  I also added some Tim Holtz paper tape with calendars, because this journal is chronically time.  The final product looked like this:

I'm debating writing "Cider Journal" on the cover, but I'm scared about messing up my pretty work!  In any event, I hope you come play along!  I just went to Binny's and filled a 6-pack with different ciders, so the journal will be getting some use coming up.  I found an article to remove the labels from the bottles, so I can put them in my journal.
So I did it... I added a title to the front, and I did AWFUL!

This is why I don't title.  But, never fear, gesso to the rescue!  I gesso'd over the horrible attempt at a title, and played some more with even more stuff...

You can still see where I gesso'd over the title, but I'm going with it.  I even added another Star using a Sizzix die for a stencil and Distress Paint by Ranger for the WTUI challenge.  I put a bunch more Glimmer Mist on it, so it was tough to get a good photo.  To get the little blue drops, I used a paint brush with the Glimmer Mist instead of the spray nozzle (because it wasn't working properly, and I was impatient :) ).    Here it is from the side...

I couldn't get a good photo, but I used Distress Ink to stamp the glass rings image by Bo Bunny (shown in front of my water cup below) in the bottom right and upper right corners.
And my final product:

I told you I used a bunch more stuff!  I sealed the journal this morning, so no more chance of messing up!
Stay tuned for more...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Greetings from Our Winter Wonderland

Greetings from our winter wonderland!

We do like playing in the snow for short periods of time. 

Latte had enough of the outside. She's ready to come in!
Here are some photos from yesterday afternoon. 

There is a very large brick building that you can't see through all the snow. 
Here's a view out the front:

There's a road down there that you can't see from this angle because of the mounded up snow. 

Not sure if Latte is burrowing her head in the sand or just napping. Either way she seems pretty content where she is.
~ Michelle 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Gandy says hi!

Gandy is giving Latte a run for her money on cuteness. 
He's so glad that Momma is home today with him. He loves his Momma!

Couple photos for today

I have a couple of photos to share with you today. One is from a major class art, who I'm proud to say is representing my beloved nation in Russia. 
Heritage is credited with this greatness! 
And here is my adorable butterball of a pug. 
She was trying not to fall asleep on the couch, but she was losing badly! 
And lastly, here's a fun shirt I found on my shopping trip yesterday:
This thing is SO soft, and the color just screamed spring. And the long sleeves mean I can wear it today! It looks weird on the hanger, but it lays very nicely on. I'm happy to say that I had to buy new clothes yesterday, because my old ones were too big! I'm excited to go to work Tuesday with my new digs. I'm even more excited to be off tomorrow, though. :)
My husband said I needed to keep track of my hard cider explorations, so I started  making an art journal for it. He came up to the stamp room and asked me what I was doing. I said I'm working on my cider journal. He said he meant like a spreadsheet. I scoffed at him. In any event, here's a peak at it in progress:
Well, I think another episode of House of Cards is calling my name...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Nails day

People at work say my nails are crazy and fun, so I've decided to share them. 
Here is my latest design. It was supposed to be for the Olympics, but the red looked weird, so I scrapped it. I figure I'll get a paper cut in the next couple of days and add the red naturally. *sigh* 
I only get fancy on my ring fingers, as is the style right now. The other fingers are just pink with a colored tip like the other nail in the photo above. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

More From Wausau

I just have to say that the ability to blog from my phone is just about the coolest thing ever!  The post I put up on Sunday was done while sitting in Starbucks.  Here are some other photos I captured in my Wausau adventure.  These were taken with my nice camera, and I wish I could upload them in the full version, because the details is just amazing!
Here are my fabulous vehicles for my adventure:

This was the little path that I meandered through:

It was so hard to capture just how spectacular the image was of the sun shining through the trees, but I think this one can grab your imagination:

My snowshoeing escapade was fun, but I sort-of injured myself.  I hadn't realized that my boots had come untied, so I basically ripped all the skin off my heels.  That meant no snowshoeing on Sunday.  Instead, I drove around the mountain taking photos.
Here are the gorgeous snow-covered trees with the sun peaking out:

Here is the breath-taking view off the mountain from a black diamond slope:

No, I didn't ski that.  I drove up and walked out to as close to the edge as I dared.  You'll notice that wasn't all that far. :)  I can't believe how the plants still have a red color and look to be alive in the mounds of snow!
The sun got crazy intense and made crazy sparkles and shadows on the snow piles.  It was very difficult to photograph, but I think you get the idea from this one:

And finally, this is my favorite picture from the weekend:

And no, I was NOT about to go walking on that bridge, either.  Well, if you ever get the notion to go skiing or snowshoeing, check out Wausau, Wisconsin.  It's a great little place!


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