So, how's the weather where you live? Here in Oklahoma, we've been covered in ice and the white stuff since last Thursday. School was canceled on Friday and today, so the kids are happy. Since we had plenty of warning the storm was coming, Carter and I stayed home instead of going to Lokomat therapy in OKC for our Thurs-Sat appointments (we'll just tack on a week at the end). If one has to be stranded indoors, there's definitely no place like home. Speaking of home, here's a pic of our abode as the snow fell on Friday afternoon:
One has to be pretty creative to keep an active five-year-old with cabin fever entertained. At one point, I was in desperate need of about an hour of peace and quiet. I made a deal with Carter: if he would sit and watch a particular DVD in its entirety, I would get one of Truman's old Halloween costumes out of the attic for him to wear. (Carter LOVES hats, costumes, masks, and the like. During the Christmas holidays, he wore a Santa hat every day, everywhere. He still wears it around the house, and calls me out on my efforts to hide it away until next year.)
As I read my book (current bookclub selection: People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks), Carter sat quietly and absorbed 'Lilo & Stitch' for the first time. For the rest of the weekend, there was an alien in our midst:
I actually have a couple of things to show you, believe it or not! It's been a long time since anything remotely artistic has appeared on this particular blog. *sigh!* But with today being the first day of the OK legislative session, that may actually change. I find that my best crafting months of the year come between February and May. 'When the cat's away...'
With my home makeover, I've been thinking a lot about I put on my walls. Some of the artwork -- prints, paintings, photos, what have you -- that we've accumulated over the years is still to my liking, but a lot of it, I'm sort of 'eh...' about. One of the benefits of getting older is discovering what you really respond to, and what's just taking up space. Aside from items of sentimental value, I find that the things I'm keeping have the following in common: bright colors, bold graphics, pop art imagery, and patterns. And as a stamper/papercrafter, I also love one-of-a-kind, handmade items. So how to combine all of these? That's been on my mind.
I think I've come up with a few projects I want to make for my home, but first I wanted to create a couple of 'rough drafts.' And what better way to do so than to kill multiple birds with the same stone: I'd get my rough drafts made, and I'd bestow said rough drafts on a couple of dear friends as their Christmas gifts! Friends, guinea pigs -- these terms can be synonymous when done with love...
On November 1, I sent the following email to my oldest friends in 'Green Country' (<-- nickname for NE Oklahoma; we've lived here since September of 1996, and I met Kayla and Joan my first week on my new job, when their boss forced them to take me to lunch):
"Hey Girls --
I've come up with an idea for your Christmas presents, and I want to get started on them. But first, I need to know the color scheme of either your office or your favorite room in your house. And, if the room of your choosing doesn't have a firm color scheme in place, give me a rough idea of your favorite colors and/or color combos, up to five colors. (And don't just say 'green' -- tell me sea glass green, kelly green, forest green, mint green, etc.) Just so you know, your gifts will have a similar concept but will not be identical. Aren't you intrigued?!"
Kayla: hunter green, sage green, oxblood, and cherrywood
Joan: butter, sage green, black, and crimson
I bought the shadowboxes and decided on the images shortly after receiving their replies. You'll be happy to note, however, that I remained true to form and did not complete their gifts until the morning of our gift exchange, December 23rd. Despite the frantic rush as the end, they ended up being my favorite gifts to give, and I was so excited to see the gals open them.
I knew I wanted to keep the images simple and bold, and that I wanted to heat emboss them for added depth, texture, and gloss. And also, just because I love heat embossing -- it's truly the technique that made me fall in love with stamping. It still seems magical to me how that funky powder transforms into whatever you want it to with little more than a hair dryer and watermarking ink.
Because Joan has Buddhist leanings and collects Buddhas, I selected a wonderful image from Inkadinkadoo's Asian Influences set:
Each image was heat embossed, trimmed, and then popped up on Jody's foam boosters. It's hard to tell from this photo, but the images do appear to float (which seem awfully enlightened of them). Here's a close up:
Kayla's image was a little tougher to choose. I wanted to keep with the spiritual theme, and Kayla is Baha'i. (Yes, I do see the irony in having a Christmas gift exchange with a Buddhist and a Baha'i... however, Jesus is the kind of guy who'd extend an open invitation to his birthday party, don't you think?) I don't know a tremendous amount about the Baha'i faith (other than that followers include Rainn Wilson -- Dwight from 'The Office' -- and England Dan and John Ford Coley -- singers of one of the greatest songs of all time, 'I'd Really Love to See You Tonight'), but I know from Kayla that one of their symbolic images is the camel. Well. Good camel images? Very, very had to find.
Instead, I went with tea. Kayla has given me a couple of tea-themed gifts over the years, and we've had many great conversations over pots of Jasmine tea. Further, it's been said that tea soothes the soul. So can you see how I might jump from a camel to a teapot? Of course, it makes perfect sense! Additional bonus was the fact that I had yet to use my PTI Tea for Two set:
They seemed very pleased and touched by their presents, which was great. I'm not sure if they've actually hung them up yet; I hope I'm not that person who gives a gift that's dragged out of the closet and propped up five minutes before she's set to arrive... But no pressure, girlies -- even if they're collecting dust in an attic, I enjoyed making them and did so while thinking happy thoughts of you.
And now I have a better idea of what I want to make for my own house. I'll give you a couple of hints:
1. think BIGGER!
2. think ELVIS!
Supplies used:Shadowboxes from Michael's
Stamps: PTI Tea for Two, Inkadinkadoo Asian Influences
Paper: Neenah Natural White, Neenah Ivory, SU Handsome Hunter, CM butter-y patterned paper from my stash
Accessories: Ranger Super Fine Detail Embossing Powder in Black, Ranger Embossing Antiquities embossing powder in Verdigris, Powder Keg Wine embossing powder, Powder Keg Not So Tarnished Copper embossing powder, Jody's Foam Boosters