Sunday, November 30, 2008

art n soul stone necklaces

I mentioned a few days ago that I'd picked up a couple cool stones in Stillwater last weekend. The shop is called Art N Soul... filled with art, jewely, gifts, etc. upstairs. Stones & beads filled the small lower level. I'd had high hopes for wire wrapping the stones, but alas, I don't have the right materials or tools, or knowledge for that matter, to make such treasures (think Deryn Mentock). I found a place near me that teaches silversmithing, wire wrapping, etc. but until I get my bum to classes, I basically just threaded the stones into necklaces. They aren't perfect, but that's not really the point, is it? <smile>

so cool (literally)

We haven't hung exterior holiday lights for several years, but I was in the mood yesterday so we went shopping & later hung lit snowflakes as real snow began to fall. This morning we awoke to a beautiful sight....
















Check out the snow-covered moss between the cobblestones....











These last cobblestones were under the pergola so didn't get snow ~ just drips which cleansed the dirt away in interesting patterns.






I hope your day had a stellar start too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

long life copper bookmark


Since I was gone all last weekend, I didn't have time to play/create. Thus, I'll share something I made a year or two ago. It was a fairly quick project and fun to do. I need to make more! First I embossed the copper, then hammered in "long life" before applying Adirondack alcohol inks. The back is heavy card stock, and simple yarn fibers were fed through the an eyelet.


To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one. ~Chinese Saying

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

back (in black?)

We're back from a fun-filled time in the twin cities. We went to see AC/DC (excellent!) but took in a lot of local stuff too. If you get the chance, I recommend Stillwater, just a short drive northeast of St. Paul. They've got great little shops and feature many local artists. Fab stuff! Among other things, I purchased a couple really cool stones to incorporate into necklaces. I'll post when they're done.

I'd hoped to take lots of pics on the trip, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. I did, however, get a couple of some trees at dusk not too far from home last night. This picture might make a good background for a future piece.

















Don't ya just love trees?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

five years ago....

This will be one of my rare long verbal outpours, so please bare with me...

I think it was around 1996 when I started making cards for family & floral arrangements for around the house. In 2001, I purchased a digital camera and started taking pictures… entering 4 in our 2003 state fair. All 4 got in (one even received honorable mention ~ that was a confidence builder!). It was time to start a little side biz... I’d sell silk flower arrangements, photo d├ęcor & greeting cards & call it "di-did-it, creations by di." After a couple bazaars & a few custom pieces, it was apparent floral arrangements weren’t hot sellers. Most weren’t willing to pay enough to cover costs when they could get something for less money at a chain store. “Unique” didn’t go far.

That next year I again submitted 4 photos to the fair & all were rejected. I felt personally rejected (silly me, I know). I took a break and came back focused on cards. The last couple of years, when life allowed (e.g. took advantage of 2008 water damage to remodel entire lower level & now the area is even better), I’ve tried to branch out. I play with the typical card tools/techniques, but also clay, metal, canvas & acrylics (and yes, still the occasional photo). I’m having a blast. All I have to do is win the lottery (although I’ve heard you have to actually play in order to win) so I can do this full time!

So, what’s with the title? Five years ago today is when I got my sales license and di-did-it became official. That original business plan has gone out the window, but I like how things have evolved and I’ve grown. It will be interesting to see what’s happening in another five years. With any luck, I’ll have garnished enough experience & skill to be selling items that I'd call "art."
If nothing else, I’m making new friends through my blog and the yahoo groups I’m in, and that in itself brings me great joy.

We’re taking a holiday this weekend ~ heading north for some fun/frivolity. I'm hoping to have some pictures to share. TTFN.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

winter tranquility atc


I had scraps from my experimentation with the resist/batik technique so I cut one down & put it to use as a background for an ATC swap I'm participating in. I had soooo much fun making this ATC... melting crayons.... getting glue, ink & fine glitter (it's so fine it the scanner didn't pick it up) all over my fingers..... ah, my inner child was beaming....


I hope you had some fun today/tonight too!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

wrong tools for the job?

Today's adventure turned into today's frustration but along with it ~ lots of lessons learned.
1. Hubby has always said you need the right tool for the job. When we were first together, I thought this was his way of getting a new tool whenever possible, but once again he's proven right. Lydia's tutorial specified Cuttle bug embossing folder. I used my Wizard by Spellbinders (which I love, by the way) and a Fiskar's embossing plate. She also specified Whisper White paper. I don't own this, so I used regular white card stock from an office supply store. Lastly, she used So Safron ink from Stamping Up. I don't own any Stamping Up ink pads (yet) so used what I have, which are all smaller pads which make inking the brayer a bit challenging.
2. Wax paper is fragile in a Wizard. If you use too much pressure it will fall to pieces.
3. While my Wizard works great on papers, it only embossed the center area of my wax paper (possibly operator error). I ended up using my embossing tool to manually complete the job.
4. I need to practice my brayer technique! Most of the ink unloads the first spin of the roller leaving a definite mark when the next turn begins, along with a lot less ink coming off on the paper. I ended up sponging ink on in places, using various colors, to cover this "oops" up.
The results are not nearly as stunning as Lydia's were. But I said I'd make something and share it and here it is. The background was a snowflake embossing plate but showed up so negligibly that I ended up not needing to go with a Winter theme. Note the tear drops are shiny aqua/teal but they don't show up that way from the scan.


today's adventure: resist/batik technique

One of the primary reasons I created a blog was to push myself to procrastinate less and create more. What to create and what I hope to someday call my true passion I have yet to discover, which is why I dabble in so many things. As anxious as I am to discover where my heart really sings, I focus on enjoying the discovery process itself. Try this ~ try that ~ hmm, I wonder what would happen if I do this....oh, that's cool....ummm, that didn't work. You get the picture. All this experimenting takes time, and I like to go slow to take it all in ~ savor the experience. Anyway, today I'm posting a "before" in order to force myself to deliver an "after."

Last night I found Lydia Fiedler's blog by way of Michelle Zindorf's blog. I was intrigued by the resist/batik tutorial and plan to give it a try today. Check it out:
http://understandblue.blogspot.com/2008/11/worst-invention-since-pinto-tutorial.html We're going to the symphony this afternoon (the kid in me can't wait ~ it's Bugs Bunny on Broadway), so I'll try the technique before we leave and make something with it afterwards. I'll post results tonight.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Michelle Zindorf

A couple months ago, a friend of mine sent a link to me that immediately became one of my favorites. It's Michelle Zindorf's site and if you've never heard of her, it's worth the time to check it out. http://zindorf.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/ Her greeting cards are true works of art. Not only does she share the outcome of her efforts with us, she shares the entire process from start to finish. Talk about generous...

Here are my first two attempts at following Michelle's tutorials. The instructions couldn't have been simpler to follow ~ I just need to practice the techniques.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Metro Arts Two Rivers Expo

We enjoyed our annual visit to the Metro Arts Two Rivers Expo Sunday.
http://metroarts.org/aspx/news/newsdetails.aspx?nid=47
Heavens, were there talented people there! We spent hours soaking it all in. Loved it! We wanted to buy work from several artists, but limited ourselves to two. Here are their sites, for your viewing pleasure:

http://www.bethrturner.com/

http://shawnwolter.com/

Sunday, November 9, 2008

play





















copyright 11/2008 di-did-it
8 x 8 canvas

I completed "play" this evening. This one was fun to make ~ I love taking my propane torch to copper. To modify the grommets, I used a dremmel to scuff them up and an engraver to write words on them.




Friday, November 7, 2008

Fairy self

If you love fairies, or art, or both, I encourage you to check out Marsha Jorgensen's blog http://tumblefishstudio.blogspot.com/. Earlier this week, she offered a free fairy collage to the first five people to send their image to her. Check out how she created this fabulous fairy collage from my picture:

copyright 11/5/08 by Marsha Jorgensen


Aren't the colors awesome? Marsha's got oodles of talent and I'm tickled our paths crossed. Check out her blog and soak in the images. Her ETSY shop will be open in a couple of weeks and I can't wait! http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6133849

Sunday, November 2, 2008

enjoying















Today was just too beautiful to spend inside so after doing some garden prep for winter, I grabbed my camera & played. I love the moss that's grown in the cobblestone we installed a couple years ago. It adds so much charm to the area. When you get up close, it's like you're looking at a another world.

















And of course, I couldn't resist the lines in this shot.


emerging

Hello & welcome to my blog! I’ve savored & devoured other people’s blogs for a couple years, following their creative journeys, learning from them and cheering them on (albeit mostly silently…shame on me). It's time I get out there too, connect with others who have similar interests and share my journey. If you like something here, please drop me a line.