Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and everything else, pocketeers!  I finally finished all my wrapping and all my gift tags for the year.  The tags might be better than the gifts this year.  I went with my library theme, and the "title" on each borrowing card is a slight hint as to what's inside.  Wanna see?  (I promised some people I'd post them, so just go ahead and say "yes.")

For Dad, the first one I finished:
 Yep, there's that deer again.  For his present, even the deer has to do with the present. 

And then my sister-in-law's.
 Lots of Tim techniques here.  The little Facet, the Stickles...
I love that Santa stamp.

This one is for my brother:

 I used Tattered Angels masks on this one, and another of those Inkadinkado stamps.  And my bi-color ticket stamp pad.

Then for Mom, because she loves retro Christmas (being the Christmas of her childhood), I used one of Tim Holtz's holiday stickers on grungeboard as a centerpiece:
With a Sizzix holly die, lots of Distress Ink, and LOTS of Perfect Pearls.

Finally, for Alex, I went back to the snowy blues and silvers, with some new stamps and an old favorite:
Three guesses as to what I was watching while I crafted these.  Here's the hint:
(It's a lamppost.  In the snow.  And this is me we're talking about.)

I used the new Vagabond to cut the swirls and such that I put behind/around each pocket.  Just thought it gave them a more finished look.  And it was an excuse to play with the new machine :)

I hope you all are having beautiful Christmasses with your families and whoever else is close to you.  And if you don't celebrate, I hope you're having a good day anyway.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas in Sepia

First order of business:  I'M DONE WITH SCHOOL!  *happy dance*

Okay now that that's out of the way, on with the catching-up-on-blogland.  It's December, and I've squeaked out some crafting time - not a lot so far - but I've done some tags and I'm really having fun with them this year.  My Christmas color palette seems to be sepia this year.  You know, those antiquey browns that Distress Inks come in, that give such a warm and aged look to everything you use them on.  And I've been going nuts with the inks. 

Also, I seem to be on a psychic wavelength with Tim Holtz.  I'm really not trying to be pretentious by saying that.  But check it out.  Last Sunday, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, before Tim started his 12 Tags of Christmas, I did this tag:

Ok, see the ticket?  That's a Tim stamp.  I wanted just the 25 to be red, so I pulled up last year's tags and used his method for creating a custom ink pad to get the effect I wanted. 

Well, damn if Tim didn't use that stamp and do a custom ink pad for it for his very first tag of Christmas this year!  I know, not much of a stretch, but with all the techniques he uses, what are the odds?  He even did the 25 in red!  Now, I do copy Tim's techniques, but I try not to copy his exact creations.  And now it looks like I have done that.  Oh well.  I kept makin' tags...

Mom got these beautiful Ink-a-Dink-a-Do clear stamp sets for Christmas, and I loved this reindeer:

Isn't he beautiful?   Especially in gold.  And there had to be snow. 

So then I wanted to do a tag inspired by one of my favorite Christmas carols.  So I scrawled the lyrics all over a tag to start, and let them take me from there.

Do you recognize the lyrics?

They're from "The Peace Carol" by John Denver and the Muppets.  On A Christmas Together, which is probably the best Christmas album ever released.  (You may disagree, but that's ok.)

And then I finally had the inspiration for the tag I'm most pleased with.  (I know, I'm so vain about my creations, but really, it turned out just like I wanted.)  I stayed up late on Tuesday to finish it:

And then two days later, Tim's 9th tag was this.  Now, the paper rosette was bound to show up sooner or later, but on a tag that was all sepias with black accent?  Seriously?  Cue Twilight Zone music. 

Okay, so maybe it's not significant, but these little coincidences have been amusing me all week.  I know that Tim's tags are professional quality, and mine not so much.  But I've been having a lot of fun doing tags, and there are lots more techniques that Tim rolled out this year that I want to try.  But I promise, I won't be too much of a copycat.  I'm just using the techniques, honest.

More to come!

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Member

Gotta make room in the pocket for a new crafter. Guess who's makin' stuff now?

It's Mr. Pocket!

He's learning chainmaille:

I don't have pics yet of the two bracelets and the pair of earrings he made me, but I can show you what he's making himself. It started like this:


And it's now this, still in progress:


He's sitting next to me working on it right now. I'm so proud :)

I've got a couple of things to post, but those will have to wait. The man deserves his own post :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thank You

With certain events coming up, I really need to get better about sending thank you notes.  So I started that effort by making a couple for the wonderful women who supervised me in my internship this summer.  They both taught me so much and were so awesome to me that I wanted to make them things.  I went a little overboard perhaps on one of them, but I'm pleased with the way they each turned out.

For L:


And for V:

My high-volume thank you notes will not be handmade unless they originate with Etsy, but trust me, they'll be just as heartfelt.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Je rêvais enfant de vivre libre...

No, I don't actually speak French.

But after the insanity that was my summer, I have definitely been dreaming of freedom.  Or maybe just free time.  And once I had some, I squandered what I had.  But no more!  Even as the semester begins again, I'm afire with artistic desire.  And inspired by some pretty awesome artists.

See, thanks to my gentleman, I've gotten hooked on the musical Notre Dame de Paris, and thanks to that I've gotten hooked on Garou, the Canadian singer who starred as Quasimodo.  And thus I was inspired, quite insistently, by this song:

(Decent translation here.  I think.  You should watch this one, too, if you have the time:  Au plaisir de ton corps It's more upbeat and... ok I'll stop, this post is not about Garou....)

I've always loved the idea of gypsies, mostly the sort of bohemian style we associate with them.  So this song "Gitan" kept poking at me.  "Poke, poke, HEY when are you going to do some ART about me?" Okay, okay.  I gave in.  I started (appropriately) with a stripey 7 Gypsies paper, and inked some blue onto it a la Tim Holtz.  Over that, I stamped and embossed a couple of my favorite Michelle Ward stamps with clear ink and powder.  Shiny:

From there I added a layer of orange ink, which of course the clear embossing resisted:

(Working with this color combination was a leap of faith for me...)

So the background was done. Now to build it up, right? First thing I reached for was the new tape from Tim Holtz.
(Oops, that one came out blurry. Sorry.)

So then, to go with the urban gypsy theme, I needed something to indicate freedom. This is the "vivre libre" after all. Wings! Wings indicate freedom. I'll do wings. I'll do wings on grungeboard and affix them to the thingie so it'll have some depth. Oops, grungeboard fail. Oh well, maybe I'll just emboss them. I think I'm destined to work in two dimensions. Here we go, embossing wingalings:

Oops. Embossing semi-fail.
Does anybody have any idea WHY on the black stripes the embossing powder stuck to the ink, but not anywhere else? WTF? Oh well, just looks grungier, right...?

Well now it needs a rockstar touch. Rockstar. Stars! I've got stars.

It was at this point that I started spending way too much time fiddling around trying to figure out what else to stick on this thing. It rejected many of my ideas. What I ended up with was this:

I still wasn't sure whether it was finished, but I asked for some expert advice and was assured that this is the finished piece (you know who you are - thank you for your help!):

All it needs now is a home. I haven't decided yet what to do with it, whether to mount it on something or to frame it or what. But for now I'm just going to enjoy it.

P.S. You might notice I fiddled with the blog appearance.  It was time for an update... What do you think?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Fever

Something is wrong with me. 

I haven't been using my usual colors or motifs.

My aesthetic has been drifting.

The colors I've been using have been bright, and feminine, and, well... Springy.  I've been using flowers and green things.  I know I'm not really as rock and roll as I like to pretend, but this stuff is just so not me.  And yet, I love it.  After this past Winter, I'm finding it hard to deal with dark colors.  I want bright and more bright.  Sunlight and growing things and warmth.  It's Spring Fever.  So I've cranked out these:

(I tried a couple of Tim Holtz techniques that I hadn't tried before on this one.)

(The rays at the top are one of Michelle's stamps from her Stairway to Heaven set, and it was just what this tag needed.)

(This is where I realized I'd gone outside my normal pallete and style...)

And something a little different. I got a cheap frame at Target, and put something together just for that:

The flowers are Prima flowers with a Tim Holtz Foliage flower. The background is a paper from a Rock n Roll themed pack I have, embossed with a flourish and then whitewashed and wiped so the embossing acted as a resist (it's a Tim technique). I added a ticket in an Ornate Frame and metal corners to give it a bit more something.

I've got lots to show, but for now I'll just stick with the Spring stuff. Soon, though, I hope to have enough to show of a series I'm working on. Let's just say that HIM was awesome in Baltimore, and after the concert I was really really inspired.

P.S. Links to Michelle and Tim's blogs are in the sidebar.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Snow days make for a productive time here in the Pocket.  Not getting useful stuff done, necessarily (like cleaning, organizing, homework...) but getting fun stuff done.  Like knitting, and sewing, and baking.  You've seen my Valentines from the first blizzard of the week.  Between then and now, I've finished a scarf, an applique, and a batch of cupcakes.  Woohoo!

Pics of the scarf in its completely finished state are forthcoming after it's blocked, but here's a general idea:

Imagine that with a crocheted lace border, and you have a preview of the finished finished object.

Today I had time to do a bit of a fix that I'd been planning on. See, I found this adorable t-shirt at Target:

Now, I'm definitely not that cynical about romance. In fact, quite the opposite. But how could I pass up that squirrel? So with the help of FusiKnit, Misty Fuse, a black long-sleeved t-shirt, and some perle cotton, I ended up with this:

And, of course, because I can't let an opportunity for cupcakes go by, I made amazing cupcakes of Win.

Want a closeup?

Mmmmm nom nom nom...

It's the first time I've tried 7-minute Frosting. I'm totally sold. And anyone with a snowmobile or snowshoes or a dogsled is welcome to come over and help me eat these, because I don't know how my parents and I are going to manage to eat all 24 of them ourselves before they go stale...

What have you done with your snow day?

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Yeah, we've got a lot of snow out there.  But I'm one of the lucky ones.  We've got electricity (knock on wood) and no need to go anywhere.  So this has been a great opportunity to play along with Michelle Ward, which I haven't done in months! 

This month's GPP Street Team Crusade encourages using letters.  Preferably those particularly affectionate ones, X and O.  Well, I needed to make Valentines.  And I happen to be snowed in.  Soooo, perfect timing, right?  Pooling my inspirations from Michelle, Tim Holtz, the Scarlet Pimpernel, and, well, my own pure brain, I came up with a couple of well-lettered tags.

This one, I can only show part of, lest its recipient happen to check my blog this week...

I made my own shimmer mist (End of Time pt 1, anybody?  warning, spoilers...) with Perfect Pearls and reinker ink, diluted with water.  Got a little heavy handed on that first tag...
I've been rereading the Scarlet Pimpernel books.  I honestly don't think there's a more romantic story, anywhere.  And Tim's flourish stamp strikes me as somewhat 18th Century, somewhat romantic, definitely cool.  Aside from an initial wash of a neutral ink, I did every layer of this in the same Fired Brick Distress Ink.  No, I am not shilling for Ranger.

These next two were originally one tag, but then I decided the two elements didn't go together physically or stylistically, so I cut them into two tags.  One hang tag and one little rectangular one.  The Dymo label on the top one came after the cut.


Michelle did say to do letters any way we wanted, and when I sat down at the work counter and saw my Dymo labeler, I knew it just needed to be involved.

Sometime I'll have to catch up and post stuff that I've started and finished since the last time I posted.  But for now this post is just dedicated to the Crusade.  Tune in later for yarny goodness.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Merry Christmas! Oh, wait...

I missed it!  Well, in real life I didn't, but in blogland I completely missed blogging about Christmas and all the stuff I made.  I guess that shows how much fun I was having :)  But tomorrow I go back to school, one "real" class and one practicum, so who knows how much time I'll have to make stuff to post here.  I'd better post now while I've got the time...  Picture heavy.  Very.  You have been warned.

My Christmas inspiration came mainly from Tim Holtz this year (link in the side bar).  I got a little bit addicted to his 12 Tags of Christmas.  And all his fun products.  He and Michelle Ward are like art crack.  I just can't stay away from their blogs.  (And let me tell you, as soon as Michelle's new rubber is out, I'm gonna be stamping everything in sight... also, her link is in the sidebar)  Anyway, Tim's techniques are easy for me to do in my tiny little workspace, so I went ahead and made gift tags for everybody this year:


My faves, close up:
teh Man



Big Brother

And of course, I had to do a big Narnia one. I mean, it's me. It's wintertime. What do you expect?

"Carrie, where did you get that fantastic rooted lamppost stamp?"
"Why, I cut it myself, thank you for asking!" :) 


Present-wise, this year saw the march of the Triangle Shawls.

One for my sister-in-law:
Manos Silk Blend. Yum.

And one for Zingala (once again, sidebar):
Rowan Summer Tweed. If yarn were peanut butter, this would be crunchy. And delicious.

I think winter is messing with my brain.  Hopefully I'll be able to crochet and knit enough to warm it up and thaw it out.  Cross your fingers for me!