Saturday, January 30, 2010

More stuff from Laura Jean's studio

Oh....Laura Jean is my mom!

So recently my mom has been expanding on her creativity in her studio and I have been lucky enough to be on the receiving end for some of her designs!

The first item up is this amazing black & white scarf! My mom has knitted me scarves in the past, but since she really is a quilter at heart, she turned out this beautiful reversible scarf for me!Please click on the picture for a more detailed view.

Below is a photo that shows the other side of the scarf. It's a combo of roller coaster fabric and flower print! How fun is that?!

The next amazing Quilted wonder is a mug caddy. Once again, I'm sorry that blogger is being evil by showing this picture on it's side. Now it doesn't look like much when it's laid out (aside from the amazing fabric...

But when you put it inside a mug (or in my case, a cup) it adds extra organization and flare!

For the Grand Finale, I present you with this gorgeous gemstone bracelet.

Now, for those with a keen eye, you'll notice that all the stones here are real and not plastic/faux reproductions. The reason for this amazing creation was a special request from me to my mom. You see, stones have wonderful metaphysical properties and when you combine certain stones with others, it can amplify those properties. You might be skeptical, but they really do give you a boost if you allow them too. If you still have doubts, you can think of it like a placebo where it will only work if you believe it will.

So the main reason for this compilation was the want for more love, romance and friendships in my life. The last time I wore a bracelet with rose quartz beads on it, I ended up meeting and dating a great guy for 3 months. Since that bracelet bit the dust a long time ago I thought it would be nice to get a better one.

Enter my mom. Mom has been turning out beautiful beaded jewelery lately and knowing her (and her massive supply of stones) I knew I could turn to her for beautiful piece of jewelry with some love & friend boosting properties. I told her I wanted Amethyst and rose quartz to enhance romance and friendships, but that she could add to it and design it. Below, I have outlined what each stone is and what their properties are.

1. Turquoise - healing stone. Attracts friendships, luck, and happiness. Keeps you truthful to yourself. (it happens to be one of my favorites and will help boost finding new people and add luck to my romantic search).

2. Amethyst - calmness, clarity, intuition, protection. (when combined with rose quartz, it boosts loving properties).

3. Labradorite - strengthens the will and inner strength and convictions. It reveals your true path. (this will boost my chances by keeping me going in the right direction)

4. Turquoise - (see #1)

5. Moonstone - Opens the spirit to the feminine aspect. Draws love and helps in interpersonal relationships. Acts as protection for women. (these are strategically placed next to stones to boost their qualities. The best stone is in the center).

6. Amethyst - (see #2)

7. Jade - wisdom, mercy, humility, generosity, peace, and harmony. Protective and lucky when worn as jewelry. (this is an extra boost to keep myself open minded and aid in luck)

8. Fresh water pearl - beauty, faithfulness, humility, innocence, integrity, modesty, purity, refinement, wisdom, and wealth. (another enhancement stone to keep me true to myself).

9. amethyst - (see #2)

10. Quartz - the greatest of all healing stones. Acts as an amplifier for psychic energy and aids meditation and visualization. (this will help amplify the rose quartz)

11. Moonstone - (see #5)

12. Rose Quartz - great for attracting love by opening the heart. Promotes self-loving and heals emotional wounds as well as promoting peace, forgiveness, and nurturing. (this is in the center to really push the romance)

I know each of these stones has multiple meanings and properties, but those were the highlights. Each of these peieces were carefully picked out by my
mom for their properties and placed next to stones to help enhance the energy. The rose quartz has a hidden rainbow when shown in sunlight, the amethyst is a rich purple (the darker the color, the more complex and powerful the stone), pure fresh water pearls that aren't dingy, a big hunk of rose quartz to boost my romance, a brilliant cut of moonstone.....I mean, she put so much heart into this bracelet.

When I wear it, I feel a new sense of confiden
ce. It has already boosted the slump I was in and has prompted me to get out there! Thanks again mom, I can't wait to see what new people it brings into my life! (Again, sorry for the side ways photo)!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine's Day Swap!

Hooray for themed swaps! Today I posted a wonderful Valentine package for my Irish friend Claire. I'm super excited about this swap because I found all sorts of lovely things that I think she'll love! Since Claire is hosting, she outlined that instead of just a "Valentine" swap, we should fill a small shoebox full of things we love and things we thing each other would love! In addition, we would prepare a scrapbook kit using things we already had. Lastly, (for the sake of Valentine's day) we would also put in heart things.

It was easy to find things for Claire, but sadly, hearts aren't my favorite shape (I like circles and squares in case you were wondering) so I didn't have many in my crazy craft cache. So, I decided that I would alter the "heart" part a bit and go for red things with a few heart things sprinkled in! That way it would still feel Valentine-ish.

For packaging, I found a shoebox that fit the profile, but it seemed a little lacking. Then I remembered I had pretty red/white reversible paper! Seriously, this is the cutest paper ever. I covered the outside of the box with the floral print and the inside with the striped pattern. To top it off, I lined it with red and white tissue paper and then crammed roughly 40 items into it!

I would love to show you the inside, but you'll have to wait until Claire receives it so I don't spoil the surprise!!

No peeking!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Valentine Glass Pendants!

Well folks....I tried. I tried making beautiful pendants, book marks and ornaments by soldering microscope slides, but it's not my thing. I know I probably didn't have a hot enough soldering iron, the patience or time....but I just didn't latch on. The sad thing was that I really liked the look....

Flash forward to The Scrapbook Expo a few weekend back. The very first booth I popped into was Craft Fantastic. While the website isn't the greatest, their products are! They had an inexpensive make-n-take pendant and I fell in love with it! The procedure is pretty simple: take an image and pattern paper and glue back to back the with the lacquer. Put 5 dots of lacquer on a glass square and place directly on top of the image. Paint a clear coat of lacquer on the back and dry. If needed, trim the image. Finally put a dab of super adhesive on the bale and glue to the back. The whole process takes about 5 minutes! The only down side is that you have to wait about a day before you can wear it.

After making a cute pendant I was hooked! I bought this basic kit which came with 20 square glass pendants, lacquer, heavy duty super glue and 20 bales. In addition, I also bought a set of 1x2 glass rectangles.

The best part is that making these pendants are so quick, it leaves more time to design the actual piece! Since Valentine's Day is around the corner, I thought I would play around with some ideas. I busted out the watercolors and doodled with artsy-hearts, but nothing really jumped out at me.

Then, I thought of my upcoming Valentine's swap with my friend Claire. She has such a unique style about her that I started thinking in a different way. That was when something new jumped on the paper....I cute little love-bot! Then I remembered all the beautiful images Bryanna sent me and picked out a few as well. The more I played around, the more ideas I came up with!

I have to say that I am very happy with the end result of my little Valentine Pendents. Here are the fronts of the pendants. The abstract one in the upper right corner was created using alcohol inks (my new favorite medium) and Dust-off (air in the can).

These are the backs....oh for whatever reason, in this picture the upper and lower right pendants got swapped from the picture above.

Hooray for Glass pendants!!

Friday, January 15, 2010


So at work, this was my Pic-o-the-day from my Rube's Zoo daily calendar....

For some unknown reason it tickled my muse and I ended up busting out a poem on some scratch paper at work. The whole thing took me a whopping 5 minutes to compose. It's not long, funny, lovely or "poetic" by any means, but it's interesting. I'm always surprised by what my random psyche creates. Seriously, stuff like this just happens. I'll see something and it will spawn some creative reaction. I don't really choose what tickles my inner imagination, they just pop out at random. That's why it's sometimes hard for me to "be creative" on the spot. So without further ado...."Buzzards"

Buzzards flying in the sky
circling round, very high.
waiting for their prey to die
in the sand, so dusty dry.

Seeing death upon the hill,
they swoop down, to eat their kill;
tearing flesh with mindless skill,
eating 'til they've had their fill.

Buzzards finished with their prey
bellies full, they fly away.
Evening comes to take the day;
shadows left, on bones of grey.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My art journal...first entry!

Here is the very first page in the altered journal that Claire made me! I would love to show a "before" picture, but blogger is being evil. The picture is turned on it's side so I'll try to post is later. Anyways, the first entry was to draw a self portrait. I've always had success sketching other people's likenesses, but self portraits have always been tough for me. So I decided to bust out a nice picture of me from the computer. I took a brown watercolor pencil and sketched out a rough copy of my face and then water colored the rest of it in. I maybe spent about 10 minutes on it, but it was a wonderful and relaxing project for a Sunday morning!

This is shot of my finished project. In case you're wondering, the spice rack next to the window is actually my new "embellishment" rack. My mom got me a spice rack from a garage sale just for this purpose. I dumped out the million year old spices and filled each vile with different things (brads, metal tags, pins, googlie eyes etc.). Oh, and yes that is an open window in the middle of January because here in California it's always a nice 72 degrees!

::sigh:: it's not my best work, but I did have fun making it. Anyways....first entry done!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Altered journal swap!

My Irish friend Claire and I decided to make each other altered journals. The idea started when I was going through her blog. Claire had posted some pics on her blog here from the "wreck this journal" she had recently altered. I loved how it turned out and wanted her to make me a journal with prompts so I could make one too! The one month project ended up being a 3 month project, but I think it was worth the wait! The only requirements we had was to get a blank journal and alter it for each other. Surprisingly, we both had a lot of the same ideas! I guess great minds think alike!

My goal was to fill her journal with creative writing prompts, idea prompts and embellish some of the pages to get her creative juices flowing. The point was to inspire her. I had some really crappy swaps on swap-bot (I'm pretty sure we all have) and wanted to give my all on this project (hence the 3 months!). I know Claire hadn't been feeling well lately and wanted to give her something to boost her spirits!

This is the journal I made for Claire...It has about 46 layouts (2 pages a layout, you do the math), plus an awesome cover. I took a spiral bound sketch book (with thick paper so markers wouldn't bleed through) and altered the hell out of it! Some pages are really elaborate while others are simple....

Here is the front cover. I used K&Company's "Berry Sweet" paper and stitched in Claire's name. I had a lot of fun ribbon to match the paper so I made a pretty arc around her name! I also attached ribbon to the front and back covers so that she can tie her journal closed when not in use. Please click on the pictures for a larger view...

Here are some random page
s...I didn't put all of them on here, but you can get a good idea of all that went into Claire's journal. (BTW Blogger is being evil right now and won't let my pictures post the way I took them so a few of my favorite pages didn't make this blog entry).

I love this page. I had some "fortune cookie paper" that I had been dying to use. I even had a real "fortune" and pasted it in to look like it was coming out of the cookie. I also found a site where you can print and color your own Tarot. I included some cards for Claire as it fit the theme. I figured she would come up with some awesome ideas on how to "alter" them!

I love DCWV "once upon a time" paper. I added a small envie filled with stamped fairy tale images that Claire can color and use for this layout (or not).

Some random 2 page layouts. All inspired by random events (again, click for larger views)

These are pages that prompt an action or teach a skill. The second page (opposite the pages shown) is free space to practice or create her own stuff!

These are just some of the many pages I made for Claire's journal. I can't wait to see what Claire does with her journal!!!! I'm sure by now you're probably wondering about the journal Claire made for me. I have it here, but decided that I would post pics as I work through the journal. I will be taking before and after shots to show how I added to the journal she made me. I'm hoping she will do the same. Here is a direct link to her blog to view some of her other creations as well as more pictures of the journal I made for her! I also must mention that Claire is an AMAZING photographer and she added some of her photos as well as some pen and color pencil drawings into my journal. My favorites though are her collage pages where she uses different mediums to create a wonderful, eye catching spread. More to come soon! I'm hoping to post my first journal entry some time next week! Stay tuned!