Monday, August 30, 2010

0 for 3

So nothing on my August list has been done! Canning 'maters was out, the little man and I had a cold for most of the week and used the weekend to recover... ditto for Pepper Jelly! Don't get me started on the scrapbook stuff.

What I *did* actually get around to doing was making myself a new keychain. I like to quickly find mine amongst the melee of the other housekeys and "stuff", and it's easier to find in the key basket at the gym! My old one had gotten quite grotty, so I whipped out a new one last week. Not too shabby, and I think I might make some for Christmas gifts this year... (shh!)

The paper is from a K and Company Amy Butler scrapbook pad I bought a few years ago... in fact, the prior keychain used the same paper, I just didn't seal it as well as I should have. Unsealed, well-used Mod Podge gets a little icky after too long! The paper is decoupaged onto a little block of wood approx 1in by 2in by 1/4 in thick. Sides are left natural, but the whole thing was sealed with polyurethane. My trusty Dremel drilled a little hole in the top, and the whole thing is attached with a knotted piece of sturdy, shoelace-like string. Done and done!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Water ATCs

My latest ATC swap is actually due TODAY! So I am a little late in getting them in the mail. We are at the end of our "Elements" themed swap. We have covered (you guessed it) Earth, Wind, and Fire. I hope to make a special display for just these Elements. I myself tend to enjoy the more abstract interpretations. 

These water ATCs are a series of layers. I made a wonky patchwork background of blues. Then I added strips of organza and mesh in white to illustrate the whitecaps of the ocean. (There are some Teal Angelina Fibers thrown in to - because really what is an art quilt project without Angelina Fibers :) I tried to quilt with motions to indicate creating waves, but I'm not sure it translated well.  I decided to add some bead embellishing to give it a bite more sparkle and dimension.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Artist Trading Cards (ATCs)

I came across the concept of Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) in an article in Quilting Arts magazine over 5 years ago.  ATCs are baseball trading card size (2 1/2 x 3/12) and as the name implies are meant for trading with others. I am currently in an online group that trades 10 cards per swap on a variety of different themes.

What I love about ATCs and making as well as trading them is how freeing they can be. I can try out a new technique without the time commitment of a huge quilt. I can actually make a batch fairly quickly, and finishing a project is almost as good as starting a new one :) 

However, I struggle with how to display these properly.  At home I have one of those nice glass memory cases where the front of the frame is on a hinge and I can rearrange them at any time, but it only displays about 6 cards at a time. I finally decided on using 12x12 cork tiles (using command adhesive instead of the default foam tape that comes with the tiles). I placed 7 of them across one wall of my office and I have to say - I love the effect. I used plain old straight pins so that I would do minimum damage to the cards as well as make the mounting as invisible as possible. I really love the effect of seeing so many of them in one place, as well as brightening my office. Now I just need to trade enough ATCs to fill up all the new space I have to display them!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hello, from Geek #2

Hi, I'm Caryn. I live across the street from my good friend and fellow crafter, Bethany! I'm a working mom who stays sane through crafting. Whereas Bethany is the undisputed Queen of All Things Fabric, I'm more of a paper kind of chick. My passions are decoupaging, gardening, canning, scrapbooking, a little beading / jewelry-making, and all of the stuff that fits into the category of "general crafts" if you go to the Michael's website!
I have an insanely funny and artistic 6-year old boy, who LOVES to go to Michael's with Mommy! He's also my best baking buddy (oh yeah, I also bake), and you'll probably see him featured in many of my posts.

So, for your reading pleasure, here's what I have queued up for what's left of August... stay tuned!
  1. Canning 'maters with Bethany and her friend, Amanda
  2. Canning some pepper jelly for this year's Christmas gifts (shh!) and making very fun labels for the jar lids, using my new 2.5 inch circle punch!
  3. maaaaaybe getting around to working on Christmas gift-related scrapbooking projects that are, let's face it, going to actually get done the week before Christmas!
Hope you enjoy reading. Ta!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Welcome to our new blog!!!

Bethany in front of some of her art journal quilts.
Hi fellow blog readers!  My name is Bethany Smith and I am a Crafty Geek, or a Geek Crafter, or crafter of geek stuff, or however you want to see it - these two ideas do not need to mutually exclusive.  I come by my geekery and crafting honestly - I blame my parents. My mother crafted with the best of them, so I learned to sew, paint, sculpt, and glue at an early age. My father had us listen to "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (BBC Radio Version)" on the way to 4th grade every day - I had no choice. So the fact that I turned into a Crafty Geek is no surprise to anyone.  My top crafts usually surround fabric, have I mentioned I love fabric, whether it is quilting, making a bag or a costume I love creating with all different types of fabric. I also enjoy scrapbooking and paper arts (although I am woefully behind) and I try to pick up new things along the way. I have a huge appreciation for the craft blogs that I read and the tips, tools and inspirations that they have given me, so this is my way of giving back.  I have invited my dear friend and fellow craft geek, Caryn, to join me on this blog, so hopefully you will get a well rounded Crafty Geek Experience. Here is to a new adventure!