Thursday, March 19, 2015

Round Top Treasures and finding Treasures for daily living

Fields in Round Top

In just 10 days, my daughter and I embark on our Spring Treasure hunting Trip to Round Top, Texas and the surrounding small towns (actually Round Top is the smallest town which boasts a population of 90).  Thousands descend on these small towns in search of antiques, treasures, pieces of their past or perhaps the newest trends in decorating home and life.  It lasts for 2 weeks in the various cities.  I began going in the 2000 when my 2 oldest children were able to be without momma for a few days and my youngest was a surprise blessing waiting to happen.  I took my mom for what was the beginning of great weekends that have now turned into 5 days of treasure hunting.  Over the years, my mom, my oldest daughter, who is in college now (for some reason I'm not able to write a note saying that she'll miss her classes for 5 days...what's up with that?), my sister and friends have joined for either the Spring or the Fall trip (did I mention we go twice a year?).

We begin with stopping all along the way to various antique malls and old town squares, eating at Rudy's (an incredible BBQ that's in a TEXACO- a Texas Thang) beginning our hunting as soon as possible.  What would be a 4 hour trip takes us about 7 hours... Over these past 15 years, we have found incredible flea finds, vintage and new, relics of the past and trinkets of today. To name a few-- Old paper, ribbons, fabric, photographs, bits of this and that, antique brooches for a wedding bouquet (we still have to find the groom) and pieces of furniture that grace our home. Some finds for projects yet to be finished or yet to be discovered.  Some say it would be hard to pick the best treasure find out of all the years in going and yet for me that would be the easiest... The treasure of memories, the good times, the laughter , the beauty in my girls as they grow into young ladies, the stories from my mother about her past and remembering my grandmothers and their love of so many things.  It's the time in the hotel room at the end of day -spreading our packages on the bed and embracing our individual style.  It's all about building a treasure chest of memories, to have and to leave for others.  This brings our past into the future and keeps us all connected.  I am ever grateful for these special times.

So the next time you go antique treasure hunting, while your sifting through old photos or digging through boxes of rusted hardware, don't forget to hunt for the greatest treasure -bonding with family and friends and sharing the love and laughter that will last longer than anything you might find on your journey.

Traci, a good friend who we met at her booth in Warrenton
Capturing a moment from last Fall with my sister

Mom and Presleigh -looking off in the distance 

A cute (almost empty) town square

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blessings and Kindness - Creating tags and pockets with Leather craft paper, Sizzix dies and ICE Resin®

Today is a great day to share thoughts of blessings and kindness.  When I  create, it seems that little pieces of my heart seem to make their way to  whatever it is that I am working on. Art is like that, Studying God's word is like that, sharing with friends is like that - reflection, refreshing, renewing and finding the words that are on my heart and in my mind.    These two projects showcase treasures and sentiments along with my love of stitching, tags, die cuts, paper, buttons, ICE Resined paper and even an ICED enameled heart (find all ICE Resin® products here).  

With these two projects, I began with Kraft tex leather paper  (you can find it here).   It is incredible!! You can cut, sew, stamp, paint, emboss and more  - the pliability of paper but the strength of a soft leather.  For the first project, I chose to make a wallet using the SIZZIX wallet die and the canvas paper scrollwork using the SIZZIX curly gate die for the front.  It's really the size of a gift/credit card or even for ATC cards.  I am hoping to put handmade scripture cards that remind me of the blessings I receive through my prayer life.  You could use the wallet for so many things- this would be a great gift card presentation...two presents in one.  

The second project showcases my love of tags.  I place sentiment tags all through out my house in vignettes, where we can use a quick word of encouragement or reminders of hope and love.  Using the 2 sizes of SIZZIX scallop tags, one with the kraft tex and the smaller with canvas paper, I was able to embroider the heart of kindness with the backstitch, french knots and a handmade ribbon rose.  I also added ICE Resined paper birds along with an ICED Enameled heart resembling a flood soldering technique.  Using my sewing machine for both of these projects helped secure all the elements and gave it a very finished look.  I love working with so many elements from different areas of my art life to share with you part of my heart life.   If you would like to make these or put your own heart in to your projects, I have included general techniques and directions for the projects along with how to make the ICED Enamel heart and the ICE Resined paper.    Enjoy! 

Kindness matters with handmade ribbon rose 

Kraft tex paper
Canvas paper ( Hobby Lobby)
Sizzix dies  (as mentioned above)
Sewing machine, matching thread
Small scissors, embroidery thread, needles
Buttons, charms, ribbons and lace
Word sentiments (printed or stamped)
Small piece of muslin
Stazon ink, letter stamps
Vintage paper or paper of your choice for birds, butterflies
Punches for Resined paper
ICE Resin® and supplies  *available here 
ICED Enamel medium*
ICED Enamel - german silver*
Heart bezel*
Heat gun 
plastic trash bag/craft mat
fabric fusion (adhesive)


1.  Using kraft tex, cut out wallet and the large tag.

2.  Using the canvas paper, cut out the curly gate for the wallet and the smaller scallop tag.

 For the wallet-

1.  Using the sewing machine, sew the scrollwork to the top (front side ) of the wallet.  I sewed with the machine my word sentiments.  Do all machine sewing before you sew the side seams.  

2. Fold the wallet on the scored lines and sew side seams with the machine.

3.  Add buttons and charms as desired. 

4.  To add the ICE Resined paper butterflies, you can sew them  or adhere with a little bit of adhesive.

close up of the wallet
The wallet resting on a Limoge tea cup.
For the Kindness tags-

1.  Cut freehand or using a die, cut out one heart.  
2.  Using pins, pin and place lace under the heart on top of the smaller scalloped tag.  
3.  Stitch to secure the heart and lace.  
4.  Add word sentiment with french knots. 
5.  Create a ribbon rose and secure with french knots also. 
6.   Hand stamp the word "matters" onto a small scrap of muslin 
7.   Using the sewing machine, sew the small sentiment onto the canvas tag.
8.   Layer the smaller tag onto the Kraft tex; using the sewing machine stitch around the smaller tag. 
9.   Add the ICE Resined birds using a little adhesive or sew to attach. 
10.  Add ribbon, lace and the ICED Enamel heart bezel through the opening of the tag.  

close up of Kindness Matters
The ICED Enamel heart bezel - LOVE IT!!

How to make the ICED Enamel Heart Bezel

1.  With disposable brush, brush ICED Enamel medium inside the heart bezel.  
2.  Pour ICED Enamel powder in German Silver into the bezel. 
3.  Using a heat gun, heat until melted and the look is smooth. Let cool.
4.  Mix equal parts of Part A and Part B of ICE Resin® for 2 minutes.  Let sit for 5 minutes. 
5.  Then fill the bezel with the ICE Resin®.  Allow to dry 12 hours. 

How to make ICE Resin® paper

1.  Using the ICE Resin® from step 4, sponge the Resin onto the pieces of vintage paper, coating both sides. begin with the back of the paper and place onto the bag, then continue coating the front of the paper.  
2.  Lay it on a plastic trash bag or a craft mat and allow to dry for 12 hours.
3.  Once dry, using your punches, dies - cut desired shape for your tag or wallet.

Now with the supplies and the how to's - you are ready to put your whole heart into your next project.  Enjoy reflecting and creating a little work of your heart. 

Until next time, 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blooms In Winter: Hope Springs Eternal" The look of soldering on China with ICED Enamels

My Blooms in Winter necklace for 2015 ICE RESIN Design Team 
I am so happy to share with you my 2nd project for the 2015 ICE RESIN Design Team.  Our theme was "A Winter's Tale."  My first thoughts drifted to beautiful snow and warm fire places, hot cocoa and  handmade scarves.  At that moment, I realized that more of my fb friends had had it with the cold and were ready to LET IT my thoughts turned to what everyone wishes for in the dead of winter- SPRING!

I hope this project brings not only technique and inspiration but that it puts a little Spring in your step and flowers around your neck.

If you would like to view the full article click here and  there is even my 2nd video showing how to create the look of soldering with a soldering gun!

I'll leave you with a few more pictures of the necklace and the process to get it finished.  No matter where you are today, I am sending Blooms in Winter to you....Spring is almost here!!
close up of the dangles

some of the supplies

adding ICED Enamels Medium 

applying the German Silver ICED Enamel powder

Heating with the heat gun...creating the look of solder

Medallion options to add to the piece of China

Here it is ...completed.  (Background is a China Plate)