Saturday, April 27, 2013

Keeping Myself Grounded

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 photo teapottip2.jpgAnyone who has known me for more than five minutes knows I love my garden. Getting down and dirty with my plants is my favorite form of meditation. During the cold months I find myself poring through seed catalogs, gardening magazines and Pinterest for all manner of garden inspiration. As it turns out, Pinterest was the inspiration for today's garden project -- a tipsy tower of plant pots. Here is the original image that inspired me on the left. My rendition of it is on the right. Looking at them side by side I notice that mine looks short, stumpy and less elegant by comparison and yet I like it all the same. Next time I'll use taller, more elegant pots but for now I'll content myself with my happy jumble of petunias and violas.

Next on my agenda of garden projects is my raised garden bed. I procured the PVC lumber and had it cut, screwed it together and placed it in my front yard where it will serve as the new home for my vegetable garden. I have bought the landscape cloth, soil and amendments I need to fill the bed and have plants ready and waiting in the wings. I've been longing for a raised bed for so many years. Now I've finally gotten off my duff and done it. More on that project in the near future. Stay tuned.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Monday, April 22, 2013

Getting Into a Small Creative Groove

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I've been pretty busy lately doing a whole lot of creative things that have nothing to do with my crafting. This is the time of year that consumes me with preparing my vegetable and flower gardens...gardens that are not confined by the limited plot of dirt I have to cultivate but that spill over into every conceivable pot and receptacle I have. Then there is the business of spring cleaning which, when you have a dog that constantly sheds, never ends. And then there is my baking, something my family and I have been enjoying immensely for the past several months. There is never a lack of bread or cookies in this house. As satisfying as these endeavors may be, they can not substitute for the singular enjoyment I experience when I sit at my crafts table with paper, rubber stamps, ink and imagination. This week I carved out a few slivers of time and played for the first time in many months.

The pieces you see here are smaller than my usual creations. The card top left is only 3.5' x 5", smaller than my preferred A2 size of 4.25" x 5.5". The central motif was created on a 1.75" x 2.75" card by masking out the moon and brayering different colors of ink to create the background. The mask is removed, the bonsai branches are stamped in black and the edges are sponged with black ink. This layer is adhered to black cardstock just a scant 1/16" larger all around, creating a thin black frame. The turquoise layer is stamped with an Asian text rubber stamp using a glue pad. Ultrafine black glitter is sprinkled over the glue and set with an artist's fixative. This is also layered onto a thin black frame which is  gilded along the edges with a paint pen. Gold bamboo motif outline stickers and tiny hot glue rhinestones asymmetrically frame the central motif which is centered on a black card.

To the right you will see the results of a random moment of inspiration. This is an ATC tri-shutter card. Although I have made tri-shutters before (see here and here for my previous examples), they were always in the standard A2 size. This tri-shutter, when closed (as in the top photo), is no bigger than an ATC, measuring 2.5" x 3.5". I placed a quarter next to the closed card to show the scale of the completed work. It took a little imagination and a good measure of fractional math in order to adapt the full size template of this layout down to this size but I think the result is quite pleasing. No extraordinary efforts here...just basic black stamping on card stock with a little die cut butterfly, some white gel pen accents and some tiny rhinestones.

It feels good to manipulate the paper again. Now to find the time to do so on a more regular basis.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva