Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Theme: A Farewell to Acorns

Okay, one last acorn post, and then I'll move on to something else for next month.  I promise.  And I don't have much to show this week, unfortunately.  It's been a busy two weeks. 

Remember this tag? 

I did two more like it.  But... I didn't take pictures.  Sorry.  I used them as gift tags on hostess gifts for Thanksgiving.  (Yes, two, and "gifts" plural.  We do two Thanksgiving dinners, one with Mr. Pocket's family and one with mine.  Both on the same day!)  So, imagine that tag, but with a red acorn at the bottom instead of a green one.  That's the difference.

The only other tag I've managed to do since then is this one.  Somewhat inspired by the one above, but also coming out of a desire to try a new technique and to use the Authentique stickers.

The background was done with a Tim Holtz technique of embossing a design, then inking over/around it, then melting the embossing powder off.  Super cool.

This feather came from our wedding centerpieces!

I had fun with it, but the embossing powder technique was tricky.  I'm not sure I really successfully melted all of it back off.  But whatever, I like the way the tag turned out.

Lest you think I haven't been artsy at all in the past two weeks, I did get myself set up for Christmas tags.  They just don't go with the acorn theme.  But stay tuned for watercolor paper, heavy body acrylics, and gratuitous use of stencils...

Anyway, back to acorns, I thought I'd share with you my favorite earrings which I just replaced.  See, I had lost one of my favorite earrings, and had to get a friend to pick up a pair for me at the Renaissance Festival before it closed.  What are these amazing earrings, you ask?  Well, they're acorns! 

Silver acorn earrings, by The Crafty Celts.

The Crafty Celts are my favorite vendor at the RenFest.  I have a cuff from them that I wear every day, and you can just barely see in that second pic up there a little bit of the awesome neckring I have from them.  I have several of their pieces, all from when I was living at home and didn't have many bills to pay.  I'd buy something from them each year.  Like I said.  Favorite.  Maybe some Thursday of a particularly unproductive week, their jewelry will have to be my theme.  We'll see ;)

So there you have it.  My November of acorns.  I still have to finish my acorn rosette thingie, but Mom has the jump rings I need.  I'll post it when it's done.  Next month I'll share all the Christmasy and Wintery things I'll be working on.  This year, expect lots of white, lots of metallics, lots of green accents, and probably lots of Narnian motifs.  We'll see how that divides up into themes.  I can't wait!

P.S. Okay one more thing.  Since I brought up jewelry.  I took advantage of a sale at Spiffing Jewelry in order to get a pair of rings that I'd been going back and looking at all year.  Like a lot of Etsy sellers (while they have their own domain they also have an Etsy shop, which is how I found them), they do hand-stamped word jewelry.  Unlike a lot of Etsy word jewelry sellers, they specialize in geekery and pop culture, and my first purchase from them was a pair of cuffs for Alex and me with Star Wars quotations.  But even when I bought those, I had my eyes on these:

Two concepts that are important to me.  Many believe them to be mutually exclusive, but I do not.  And as if to confirm one of them, this pair of ready-made rings in a mostly custom made-to-order shop sat there for months, like they were waiting for me to buy them.  I'm happy to give them a home.  Please check out Spiffing Jewelry and see if you find something waiting for you!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Theme: Acorns pt. 3 - Mixed (media) Nuts

Only one project to show in this week's installment in the continuing theme of acorns.  I spent Monday at Mom's house, working on an idea I had gotten over the weekend.  See, one of our favorite dies for the die cutting machine is the rosette designed by Tim Holtz.  And I like to put things other than the provided circle in the middle of them.  So what did I do? 


I cut an acorn, embellished it with Distress Ink, Distress Embossing Powder, and Glossy Accents.  While that dried (all freaking day), I cut and assembled a rosette from the Authentique Fall papers.  By the time I was done, I really liked the back of it:

There's Tissue Tape on it to keep it from falling apart at the perforations.

So I decided that this would not be something I glued down onto something else.  I'd have to hang it from something so I could see both sides.  So I made two more, in the smaller sizes:

The tiny one is so cute.

Fortunately, I had two cut out acorns that hadn't turned out so good (embossing powder fail) which I still have to do the Glossy Accents on, but which are now stuck onto the fronts of the rosettes.  So here's how they look from the front:

The tiny one is a little wonky because I had to trim it down from the full-sized acorn cutout.

The plan is to hang the medium one from the large one, and the small on from the medium one.  I just haven't decided how.  I think I want to use either white and brown baker's twine or the acorn charms Mom gave me:

What do you think?  Would the rosettes look better connected by baker's twine or by metal acorns?  Leaf me a comment and let me know what you think would look better (see what I did there?).

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Theme: Acorns pt. 2 - Nibbling Away

This may turn into Acorn Month, Pocketeers.  I put some things together but there's so much more I could do with all my wonderful acorns.  Here's what I've done so far...

First, I put together my Paper Source garland, and I'm really pleased with the result.  I was afraid my Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous flourish stamp would be too fancy for the cute style acorns, but I think it works, though I just got a new flourish stamp that probably would've worked better.  Oh well.  At any rate, I stamped half of the kraft paper acorns with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink so that it's just a subtle detail and shows up almost randomly.  I'll let you decide what you think of it:

Hanging over the fireplace where at some point we intend to put up a mantel but for now I like garlands there.

Closeup shot - a slightly better view of the wood vs. the kraft paper.

I tried doing some tags with details from the Vagabond machine at Mom's the other day, but they weren't really coming together the way I had envisioned, so nothing is even assembled.  But last night I decided to experiment with my new flourish stamp (it's by Hero Arts) and my little Paper Source acorn stamp in a much more minimalist style.  I used Antique Linen Distress Ink, Sepia Archival Ink, and Peerless watercolors with a tiny bit of Forest Moss Distress Ink for shading.

This was actually a lot of fun and even a little tricky.

Playing with the Peerless watercolors made me want to take a watercolor class.  I've always liked watercolors and have experimented with them in the past, but I've never really known what I'm doing with them.  I usually end up laying the color on too darkly and then have to wet my brush more and just sort of push the color around on the paper and usually end up with it too wet.  Not exactly a smooth practice. 

Anyway, maybe next week I'll get something done with some of the dimensional stuff I've got.  Or maybe I'll knock out some ATCs or a few more tags.  We'll see what I'm in the mood for.  There will be more acorns though!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday Theme: Acorns pt. 1 - Gathering Nuts

Like any good series, Thursday Themes may require a few two-parters.  Here is the first.  To be honest, between feeling low and having my routine disrupted by our uninvited guest Hurricane Sandy, I don't have anything new to post.  But I have been, as the title says, gathering nuts.  All supplies that are acorns or acorn-related.  Because I am a squirrel in disguise.  Now you know my secret.  So here's my stash, starting with paper...

The three papers in the foreground were a gift from RunningWave, the one in back is from Authentique's Fall line.

I've got stamps, too.  There's one I can't find, must be buried but not in the ground, more like in the mess that is my stuff.  But there's one from Paper Source and one from the Tim Holtz collection that are new and I can't wait to use:

Now, because Mom kind of spoils me sometimes ;), she found me all kinds of cool acorny things at Michael's.  Don't know what I'm going to do with them yet, but I'll think of something...  Check it out:

That's a lot of glitter but I'll manage.

How cool are these links?

Lastly, there's one kit from Paper Source that I just had to have.  I had seen it last year and passed it up, but now I'm glad they brought it back this year.  I'm gonna hang it over the fireplace once I get it put together.  And of course there are going to be some alterations made to the original, because why leave it plain and looking just like everybody else's that bought the kit?

Ta-daa!  Ohyeah.  Kraft paper and wood veneer.

So the goal is to have made something with at least some of these things by next week, so that next week I can post part 2.  I don't have anything planned for Sunday so in theory, I can at least do something then.  We'll see what I come up with.