Monday, January 16, 2017

Separation Anxiety | Texts From My Cats

I just found this blog tonight while perusing Bored Panda.

I will be here for the next week or so reading ...

Separation Anxiety | Texts From My Cats:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 05, 2017

On Books and Reading & possibly a new hobby for 2017

I discovered a new website this week: Literary Hub

I've shared a few articles on facebook the past couple of days, but today, I started reading an article that inspired a post about one of my Grandmothers.

Doing a final edit of the post, I realized it's too long for a facebook post and realized I haven't made a non-crafting entry into this blog for awhile so why not put it here instead?

Inspired by the article "What Romance Fiction Can Accomplish: On the Passion and Pleasure of "Light" Reading"

My Grandmother, Yellow Nana, my Dad's Mom; was an avid consumer of Harlequin Romances.  There was always an ever-changing box of them out at the lake.  With these, plus a box of Reader's Digest, plus a box of my Mom's books, there was always something to read out there.

In grade seven, our English teacher assigned us to read and do a book report, once a month, for the entire school year.  I had mine completed by the second week of September.  I was always looking for something to read.

That January, for some reason, [I didn't know it at the time, but I was already firmly entrenched in my Seasonal Affective Disorder, my January Blues], I set myself the challenge to read one Harlequin Romance a day. By February, I could identify the formulas for the different categories.

Nana wasn't a fan of the supernatural or sci-fi romances but there were generous helpings of the not-traditionally-pretty and scrappy heroine, the independent heroine [as much as there could be in that genre, after all they always did end up with a man], and a sprinkling of the erotic read.  I've never picked up a Harlequin Romance since but, there were the seeds of the independent, yet sensual, career woman I became.

As an adult I graduated to Danielle Steel, amassed a collection, shared them with my Mother and Sister until I learned her formulas and became jaded against "the same ol' story".  In recent years, culling the book shelves to make room for the craft room stuff, Danielle Steel has become the fodder for our Altered Art creations.

Once I was over Danielle, I delved into the likes of Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Tom Clancy, and Anne Rule and thought I left the romance novel behind.

In the mid-'80s on a recruiting trip to the back of beyond, some isolated part of Northwestern Ontario, Northern Manitoba or Saskatchewan, and looking for something to read I happened upon LaVyrle Spencer.  And thus another collection began.

I haven't read one of her books for over a decade but when the great cull happened, I gave up my Stephen King books but couldn't part with my Lavyrle Spencer's.  Her books don't make it into my annual revolving list of series authors but I can't give them up either.  She's in the shelf with my Margaret Atwood and, my smaller, Alice Munro, collections. Maybe it's time to re-read some of them.

I'm wondering if 2017 may be the year of Literary Hub being my "go to" website instead of Bored Panda?  The language is denser, the thoughts more profound and frankly it stretches and hurts my brain reading some of the articles but, today anyway, that feels like a good thing.

It's too easy learning new things by reading the internet.  When you stumble across something you don't know, a quick highlight, right click, "Search Google for ____" answers the question.  Thus, today I learned the meaning of and how to pronounce "Synecdoche".  I also glanced at the incredible list of Literary Devices and got excited about a whole year's worth of learning!

Yesterday I got caught up in and shared on facebook:

There's so many place to go and read:

There is one section Lit Hub Daily, which, as the title suggestions is a Daily list of about a dozen links to literary related places on the 'net.
Every Saturday though, is a "Best of the Week:" compilation, a slightly longer [I'm guessing to appeal to the leisure of the weekend of "normal" people] list of the Daily links. I wonder how that is determined?  "Most Viewed", "Most Shared"?

All in all, a huge, HUGE collection of intellectual, brain stimulating writing on one of my favourite, life-long pleasures. I've been casting around for a "new project" since the demise of my World of Warcraft involvement.

Himself once observed that every two years or so I change focus of my hobby. When we lived in Churchill it was "Cooking for the Freezer", when we first moved to the farm I learned all about Landscape Gardening, then it was Yoga for a few years.

My first move to Thompson was swimming with intellectually and physically challenged kids, the second Thompson move was Air Cadets and the third, taking a three year long night-course on Management and Supervision.

There were a few years of Paint Shop Pro graphics and a couple of learning to CSS code our own farm website, the internet saved my sanity during the first decade of living as a disabled, physically challenged, isolated person.

Yes, I'm thinking that a 2017 year of Literary Hub would be good for me in more ways than one, and pleasureable to boot!

Think I'll start by learning the definition of and how to pronounce:  lucubrations and Why Calvin and Hobbes is Great Literature.

Who are your favourite authors?  Do you have a list of annual or occasional "re-reads"?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Using strips of scrap paper

Hello, yet again. I am never on the computer to work and then three blog posts in two days. Zoo will fall off her chair! It is a very grey weekend here and my life is in a weird holding pattern and for some reason doing these posts is a nice break, so here goes another one.

Zoo sent me a link to use up some paper scraps, knowing that I don’t throw anything away and was running out of room in my scrap paper box.
The link was    and showed how to glue/tape thin scraps of paper onto printer paper and then die cutting out an image or saying to make cards. My scrap paper box was full, so I gave it a try.

I first used up just a few pieces of paper out of my pink scrap box and here is the result. I didn’t measure the width of the strips I cut, but just winged it with my cutter. I liked the slight variances in the widths of the strips. I don’t have a huge selection of dies that cut out sayings and shapes that are not for tags, so I chose my Fredward Bear Die Cut  - by Memory Box Inc.

 It was a little blah with just the bear cut out, so dug out my punch-anywhere flower punch by EK Success Brands and punched out the background. I saved the little flowers, etc., that came from the punch in case I wanted to use them. Much better!!

The two finished cards turned out so cute that I spent an hour or two cutting strips out of more scrap paper and making more blanks to use. Believe me though… a little paper goes a long way! 

 I had an idea to use different edging patterns to cut out waves, etc., from the striped paper. It produced a neat effect without too much difficulty. By tracing the pattern onto the back of the striped paper, it was just a matter of cutting along the lines and placing them in order to be glued onto a plain coloured background paper. I chose black card stock as my background to show off the stripes. I then used my Big Shot to cut out shapes. Like usual, the negative part cut out can be used on the inside of the card or for another card.

I also free-handed a dinosaur to cut out.

This was a fun use of scrap paper. I have started saving thin strips of scrap paper in an envelope to make it easier next time.

Take care! Red Bear : )

Metal Blog page for real

After practicing with the metal tape, Zoo and I were to do a page in our AAJ2 using this technique. I once again pulled out a variety of things from my collection and went to town. I wanted to use drywall tape, fun foam embossed to look like waves on the water, my tree punch and left over twig punches from Zoo’s punch. These things all reminded me of nature and the great outdoors so I figured I would do a camping theme. Growing up we did a lot of camping and fishing in remote areas and to this day, I love exploring in the woods, hiking, scrambling up and over hills and mountains (I dislike bugs a little more now though).

I started with the drywall tape diagonal across both pages, as the walking path. Then I added the road using my 1999 Lyuell Harlow LG611 Stone Wall brass embossing plate. This I experimented with in my Big Shot. I put the metal tape on strips of card stock, ran it through the Big Shot, and then applied it to the page using more metal tape. Being a very thin brass plate it and then layers of tape on top, it didn’t show a deep embossed effect but doable for this. I thought I needed a defining line between the path and the road so I used the beaded string to make the road edges. 

                  Next, I started on the lake. I used the fun foam with waves embossed in it (purchased at the Dollarama). I cut it to fit up in the corner and wanted to find something in my stash to act as a rocky shore. I had purchased, from the fabric store, a set of two 80’s patches with antique brass half domes sewn on them. They were 99 cents and so I bought one for myself and one for Zoo. They reminded me of the shoulder patches in the Michael Jackson era and made my day at the time. Zoo, of course, didn’t have a clue why I had bought them or what the heck to do with them when she received hers : )        They did work perfect for a rocky beach, though, so this page was making me smile all the way during the process so far!

 For the grass, I used a million twig punches. Zoo needed a twig punch for some Christmas cards we were working on a year or two ago and I found one at Walmart here and sent it out to her. Before I send it, however, I killed my hands by punching out a million of them for my use. Well, I used up almost my entire stash in this project. The grass is made up of many, many layers of the twig punches glued on and then taped over. I found that my double-ended embossing tool worked the best to bring out the desired texture. I love the grass. I guess I am a little bit of a tactile person and running my hands over the grass and other areas on this page feels cool.

The tree in the upper left corner is made with my Fiskars tree punch. It was too small so I cut out more of them and trimmed the branches off and added them to expand the branch system. It turned out cute. The page needed a little something so I added a van cut out of card stock and taped over. I attached it using foam dimensionals on the top and glue and the two metal brads (bought from Dollarama years ago – yes… I love the dollar store!!!). 


I painted it with the black paint a couple of times until it had the effect I wanted.

I must say, that I do love this page. I had my book standing up on my table with this page open for weeks. Playing with metal tape is fun and inexpensive. Zoo and I will have to do more with it in the future.

 Enjoy! Red Bear : )

Friday, October 28, 2016

Metal Tape Practice

Hello again. Long time no see! Life… you know : )

Zoo found something on line about making boxes, frames and tags with metal tape. Ironically, this was at the same time that my husband and I were doing renovations and were using this product. Needless to say, I was intrigued to find a use for the tape that didn’t involve long days of ripping a building apart and months of rebuilding it.

The links she originally sent were as follows:

We decided to experiment during one of our Skype craft sessions and began by rummaging through our supplies to see what variety of things we could try under the tape.  I found: metal and paper die cuts; sequence shapes; punches; chip board buttons; a button; a pink felt heart; bead string; raised red stars; and a wooden oval with the letter T cut out of it. I tried different numbers of layers to see how the tape would cover each thickness (I wrote the number of layers beside the objects glued to the page).

 I then covered the entire page with metal tape. Not knowing what I was doing, I put the tape on in nice even rows so only the objects show through.  This looked very blah when finished, so I added more layers and shapes of tape on top to give it some character. Finding things to push the tape into and around the objects was a challenge. I ended up using the lid to a gel pen and my fingers for the most part. Using my double ended embossing tool, I added details like a spider web, grass, etc.

When it came time to paint over the tape I used Crafters Acrylic paints purchased at Dollarama. I tried three colours per page and discovered that I prefer just plain boring black. The other colours I found just looked odd. 

Lessons I learned in this experiment were that: different size and shape pieces of tape gives the paint more places to sit to show off the object; tears in the tape going over the beads and wood objects can be hidden when painted; even one layer of paper shows up through the tape, so it is not always necessary to layer objects to be seen; and adding details with pens or other tools is fun and adds personal touches.

Have fun! Red Bear : )

Thursday, September 01, 2016

High hopes for mandatory Indigenous courses set to start at U of W - Aboriginal - CBC

A good start.  I think it should begin in High School myself.

High hopes for mandatory Indigenous courses set to start at U of W - Aboriginal - CBC:

"According to a 2011 Statistics Canada report, nearly 17 per cent of Manitoba's population identified as aboriginal — four times the Canadian average."

'via Blog this'


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chalk Card - and - Paper Bow

Chalk Card

Chalk Embossed Card

Pick a contrasting, in my case, a dark olive green, card base.

Cut a piece of contrasting, in my case, white, cardstock to fit the top of the card. If I were to do this again, I'd cut the white about one quarter of an inch smaller so as to show a larger frame of the dark colour border.

Emboss top of card.

Brush chalk on raised embossing.  Use one or three colours. In this case I used a yellow-green chalk and an darker olive green chalk.

You can use:

[I just did a Google Search for each of the product links I used.  I get my supplies from a local art supply store.]

Then use a nesting set of dies to cut a frame from the center of the white embossed card stock.  The set I used was Framelits - Labels Collection 125598, from my Stampin' Up dealer. Save the remaining frame for use on the inside if you like, or for another project.

Add a bit of bling a sentiment, and anything else you like on the inside and you're done!
Sentiment, Owl and Feather stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa ME-800
Edited to add: Red Bear taught me how to make this card, it certainly wasn't my great idea, it was hers!

DIY Embellishments - Paper Bows

Edited to add: click on the title above, it's a link to the video^^

I just discovered this video today and was impelled to try it as she said she was going to go over it again quickly!

I had some scrap tissue paper laying around and cut a 6 by 6 inch square and followed along.  Too easy!  If I can do it, you can do it!
Crafting NOT at my crafting table!

The smaller you cut your initial square, the smaller the bow.  No more extra postage for mailing a card just because you wanted a bow for it!
Ta Da!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Good Morning.

It has been a long while since I have done a blog post and upon looking though my pictures, I found some more texture paste cards I have made. I thought I would include those in an easy continuation of using up the paper I have made theme and the texture paste creations theme.

These two are from my original experiments with texture paste and
I didn't know what to do with them. I don't do Halloween cards or
 decorations with the kids all moved out on their own, but turning them
 into 'shocking' birthday cards turned out cute and usable.

 I used up the remains of my last batch of paste that was starting to dry up by adding some kids glitter glue to it. I used three or four different stencils and covered a whole piece of canvas with it. I love it but have been mulling over what to do with it for months now. I don't want to ruin it so will keep mulling it over until I figure out what will look good or loose patience and just experiment (the more likely of the two).

I hope everyone is enjoying their Victoria Day long weekend. Our weather here is gorgeous and we hear lawn mowers and motorbikes galore. Happy Spring!!

Red Bear : )