"Sometimes adventure calls and we ignore it. We miss the opportunity for a lifetime of memories. Go ahead, be adventurous" ~Maria Villanueva

March 23, 2011

Tablescape Thursday

Spring Is Here!
Flowers and birds and the sweet smell of apple pie.  I love this time of year, it's so cheerful and bright.  After a short episode of summer weather, we are finally getting some rain.  But speaking of flowers and birds, I had the most awesome welcome home the other day from a swarm of birds flying above me.  They formed the shape of a giant heart and held it for a good two seconds for me to see.  I thought that was the most amazing thing and, of course, wished I had my camera with me.

I have my table for Spring ready for a delicious meal.  We were too busy to celebrate the first day of Spring last Sunday so we postponed our celebration a few days.  I don't know what the menu will be just yet but my family is definitely making suggestions.  Everything from carne asada to meatloaf to fish.  We are having apple pie for dessert, just like every first day of Spring.....mmmm! I can already smell the cinammon.
These are my favorite plates, well, then again, I say that about all my dishes.  This is the bread plate and dipping dish
This is the salad plate, I just love the little bugs
I'm using the silverware I received, courtesy of CSN Stores gift certificate.
I hung these beads from the light fixture, I got them at a little shop downtown, the beads are strung on wire

I'm sharing this at Susan's Between Naps On The Porch linky party.  If you love to look at tablescapes, go check out her linky.  You'll find almost anything you can think of. 
One of my most favorite tablescape blogs to visit, besides the lovely Ms. Susan, is Bill of Affordable Accoutrements, go visit him and you'll see why, just click on his link.

March 22, 2011

Donations for Austin

My bloggie friend, Amie of Kitty Cats and Airplanes, is asking all blogger for our help for a little boy who is fighting for his life.  She has asked that we spread the word on his family's behalf.

Meet Austin

Last summer Austin contracted a deadly stain of E. Coli that caused his kidneys to shut down. Though he escaped with his life, his kidneys took a huge hit.
As you can imagine, the cost of a transplant is high, even with insurance.  They are hoping to raise $50,000 (of the $500,000) for the transplant and anti-rejection medicine.  There are several fundraisers being worked by family and friends.
Crystal of Crystal's Craft Spot  and a personal friend of the family is setting up up an online donation/giveaway. There will be several prize packages to be won and a $2 donation to the family will buy you an entry for any of the prize packages. You can enter as many times as you would like. You can go to the donation website by clicking here. I know that times are tough and not everyone can donate.  If it's not in your budget right now, consider spreading the word about Austin. Blog,tweet , facebook, spread the word in any way you can.
Thank you and God bless little Austin

March 20, 2011

Seeded Paper Tutorial

Last week I met with a group of ladies to trade our hand made cards.  Our theme was Easter/Spring and our technique was watercolor.  For this trade, I decided to tackle the seeded paper technique.  I envisioned making fifteen cards made out of seeded paper, even though I've never made it before.  It was a very ambitious goal that took me three tries until I finally got it right.  In fact, it took me about three hours to finally get it right!.  I finished it at around seven in the evening on Tuesday night.  Talk about motivation, determination and stamina.  I wish I could include that experience in my resume, haha. 

My son came outside to see what it was that I was doing.  Once he learned what I was up to he said, "mom, I don't know about politics but I don't think I could find another lady in this City, that has your day job, making seeded paper at seven o'clock at night," the boy sure is funny.

Well, hopefully with my tutorial you won't have to spend hours making seeded paper yourself, if you decide you want to try it.
Here's what you'll need:
paper, water, window screen, three towels, blender, small seeds, drinking glass and maybe a glass of wine too, why not.
You will need some shredded paper or cut into pieces and leave in water for a few minutes to soak.  I used a few brown grocery bags:
To make the pulp, place the paper in blender in small amounts at a time and blend with plenty of water:
If you use white scrap paper, you can add color by using this product I found a Michael's Arts and Crafts Store.  You would just add the sheet of paper with the color you want to the blender:

I decided to keep mine brown as it looked earthy.
Once you have finished, it will look like this:
Add your seeds in at this time to the pulp and mix in with your hands.

(If you haven't drank the wine yet, this might be the best time to do so)

Now to the hard part.  Transferring the pulp to your window screen.  I placed three folded towels under my window screen to catch the water underneath.
Take the pulp and gently spread it across your window screen with your hands, try to spread it thinly without handling too much, use plenty of water when you spread it on your screen.  I guess the most important tip I have for this process is to use a LOT of water when transferring the pulp and use little pulp so that your paper will dry thinly, not too thick. 
Next, take a drinking glass and roll it on top of your pulp and press down gently as you roll.  This will squeeze some of the water out and flatten the paper a little.  

Let it dry over night for about twenty four hours.  Cut your paper to the sizes you need:

And here's my finished card:
I made fifteen of these cute cards to give away to the ladies and I received fifteen different ones in return.  Not all of them are in the picture, I had already sent a few to friends and loved ones. 
Happy Spring Everyone!

March 15, 2011

Coffee Anyone?

Are you a coffee drinker? Do you have a friend who loves coffee? well, if the answer is yes, you are going to love this card.

I learned to make this from a craft book, I can't reference which one since I have a gazillion crafty books.  It's very easy to make and has a great effect. 

Before I  get into my card, I want to share a quick story about my son.  He is eight years old and he is as curious about life as any other child his age.  He stayed home from school today due to a little illness and I decided to take him for ice cream.  As we were driving to the ice cream place he asked me, "mom do you want to know what I hate about my life?" as I heard the question, I wondered if he was about to share an interesting philosophical view about life that I may have missed out on when I was his age, so I listened intently, "yep" I said, "tell me".  "It's that I keep seeing trash trucks everywhere, they are everywhere I go! what are they trying to tell me?".  As I pondered on the fact that I didn't miss out on life altering knowledge in my youth I quickly said, "they are trying to tell you that your room is dirty and you need to clean it" to which he replied, "haha mom, that's a good one!"..........BOYS!

On to my card.  This is what it will look like:
 and here's what you'll need:
scrapbook paper, rubber stamps
 ground coffee, double sided tape, scissors
 a craft heat tool (a hair blow dryer will not work)
 a Versa Mark stamping pad and an Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel
 First, cut your paper according to the size you want your card:
 The paper in the middle is going to be a tag, just cut a rectangle and cut the corners, this becomes a tag.
 stamp your rubber stamp images on your paper.  I'm using colored pencils to color in the picture of the stamped image.
 next, mix your coffee with some embossing enamel, about 50/50.
Next, cut out a hole with a hole punch and add some ribbon or cording through the hole

 Take your Versa Mark pad and stamp all over your tag, like so:

 next, add your mixture of embossing enamel and coffee:

Next, use your heat tool to heat up your tag and activate the enamel:

When you are done, it will look like this:
it totally smells like coffee, mmmm!
Next, embellish and place inside your card:

and that's a finished card that smells delicious!

March 07, 2011

Guerrilla Art

It was a beautiful weekend this last weekend here in Los Angeles at 80 Fahreinheit, 27 Celsius. So over the weekend I decided to do another Guerrilla Art. I'm joining my blog friend, Marfi Bradford, of Incipient Wings in her Guerrilla Friday adventures. She creates beautiful hand made gifts and then drops them off at random places in her city. I loved the idea and have joined in on the fun.

I created a cute greeting card that's perfect for someone who may be having a bad day.

I placed it in a white envelope and decided to drop it off at Mark Taper Forum. The building past the columns is the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion (looking west from Mark Taper Forum). The Dorothy Chandler Pavillion is where I see my favorite operas. Mark Taper Forum is to the right of this picture.  This area is called the Los Angeles Music Center and it also houses the Ahmanson Theatre and Walt Disney Concert Hall is a few steps away.  The Music Center is one of the three largest performing arts centers in the nation.  The Music Center entertains over 1.3 million people each year. 

 Here's a good picture of Mark Taper Forum:

See the table there, that's where I left the white envelope with the card inside.

The picture below is looking North, down a row of columns.

Here's a closer look at the table where I left the card:
I really should go back at night and take pictures, this area is AMAZING at night.

I'm joining:

If you would like to give this a try, visit Marfi at Incipient Wings .  It's a great feeling to leave something behind for some random stranger to find.

Thanks for stopping by and may your day be filled with blessings.


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