Friday, October 16, 2009

Have been getting ready for a local craft show!

Hello and sorry to not have written sooner. I've been working on some older and newer things for a craft show at the Matthews Mercantile, a beautiful store in a small town near here...Matthews, Indiana. The ladies that own it are sisters. One has been the nurse in my doctor's office forever. She's Beth. The other is her sister, Debbie. They like to scout around the country, mainly in the east, for really great pieces of early American furniture and trappings, but also for works done by arts who do reproduction pieces, too. They also do like to invite local artists in for a Winter show and have them/us setup a table in their shop and sell our "wares". I plan to take mini-journaling books, blank notecards, and glass hangings. The notecards I'm taking and the glass hangings are newer. I found that doing Scherenschnitte cuttings in the traditional black color seem to be more dramatic than those I previously have been creating. I also have "tuned into" the early American theme with new subject matter for those coming who are expecting things from that time period as well. So I will have mix. I just finished 5 mini journaling books in different plaids and then glued to them, a Scherenschenitte cutout. Looks very dramatic that way. The colors of plaids I have used are greens, reds, and rust/black. I don't have pics of them as of yet, but will put them in a followup posting. I did do some new cards in a different way by printing the scanned images that are art nouveau and then cutting them out, inserting them in cards, and then putting an inner blank page in the card for writing. Those turned out very well. Along with them, I have created glass hangings that are the same transparencies sandwiched between two pieces of clear glass. Most I see on Etsty. com are done with vellum paper, but these are even brighter with the use of transparencies. I've included pics of the early American cards, cards of art nouveau illustrations, and also wall hangings. The hangings are around the same size as those in the cards, being about 4" x 5". I also got the idea to sandwich between the clear glass pieces, some of the black Scherenschnitte cutouts I've done. I think they look very striking. Wish I would hear from you all who have started following me. I'd love to hear your thoughts about my work.

Take care and I will post the plaid books soon. They will also be posted in my Etsy store.

Guess my early American Scherenschnitte cutouts are on the other computer...I'll post those when I post the plaid books.
Happy Crafting and let me know your thoughts! Don't hesitate to visit my store on Etsy at:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Created a NEW Altered Book just Recently


Well, I've been busy. My sister-in-law was interested in having me make a special journal in an altered book for her best friend's birthday. So after emailing her and asking many questions to help me formulate a custom book for her friend...I got busy. The book is about 7 x 9 inches. I glued a set of the last pages in the book together (about 1/4" thick) so that I might carve out a rectangular area to house a box shape I had previously created that could be used to save memories. It has flaps that help keep the contents in and the whole thing is glued to the back of the book. I learned from the previous altered book to finish the back cover before gluing the "box pages" to it. It makes for a cleaner look.

So after carving out a rectangular space, I did cover the back of the book. I chose a blue paper with light blue glittered areas that also had butterflies and a floral designed pattern. I also put the same pattern on the front. For the spine, I chose a deep red crinkle paper that I wrapped around the spine and over-lapped the blue paper about and inch and a fourth. On the spine edge, I stamped "Cerise's Journal" in gold ink.

Then, I tried a different binding this time for the blank pages I wanted to insert in the front for journaling. I chose to use "drumleaf binding" meaning, I clamped the edge of the pages together and then applied several layers of glue to keep them together. I had help with that idea from a new book I purchased called, Art and Books by Dorothy Simpson Krause. After the binding was dry, I glued them into the space left in the altered book where I had cutout the original pages.

Once that was completed, I finished the endpapers on the inside of the front cover with music paper, knowing that the receipient loves music. I also found out that she likes coffee and so I glued a navy ribbon in the top of the spine and at the other end used an eyelet to attach an old coffee key to it. Because I was working with things gold, I also gilted the key with a special marker before attaching it.

Finally, I decided on what to do with the front cover. It was nice as is, but I wanted it to be more personable. So I used a decorative C and then smaller regular letters to spell out Cerise's name in red ink. I also made a cutout area in the upper right corner of the cover to house a butterfly replica. The backing was a shiney gold and the cover was clear plastic. To finish off the area around the butterfly that was with red wings to match the red spine, I used the same red from the spine to create a small border about 1/8 inch wide. Above are a couple of pictures of my final altered journal. Two other inspirational books I recently purchased were: Teach Yourself Visually by Roni Johnson, which is a great book for knowing what's out there to use in your art and also many ways to do it, the other book, Vintage Collage-Works-Artful Ideas with Antique Ephemera by MaryJo & Sunny Koch is just great for inspiration and very beautifully done. Would love to have comments about my own works.
Happy Crafting!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Just Finished an Altered Journal for Family Member

Hi! I just finished a great blank journal for my brother-in-law! He loves the out-of-doors, camping, and taught biology. So adding elements of plants, etc. is what the book includes. I started with an

old receipe book that I covered with papers representing stones in water, burlap, and also torn pieces of wallpaper samples with plants. Before covering the book, I created a peek-through so that I could add a saying in the window on the front endpaper on the right. After covering the book, I used a square of black plastic screen to make the view more interesting through the square I cutout. I also added pockets inside to hold memorabilia. On those pages I used a brown ink to give it a weathered look and added rubber stamping of plants and flowers. I also did hole-punching at the top and bottom of the pockets which were then laced with a white cording. I noticed that the book had sections of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter receipes and so I used the title pages as dividers for the book for journaling, separating the sections with a tag that extents beyond the book page as a tab for each section. I cut out pages in each section about an inch from the binding and then added blank linen paper pages for journaling by glueing each linen page between two cut pages.

In the back of the book, I added another set of pockets in a vertical formation across two pages with eyelets to secure them in place. This adds another area for keeping memorabilia. Because of the option to keep memorabilia in certain pages I decided to use a length of jute threaded through an eyelet on the edge of the front and back covers that allows the user to tie the jute in a bow to secure those pieces in the book that might be placed in the pockets. Above on the right is an open section of the book showing the pockets and the tabs. What do you think?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Back from Vegas with $$$$$$

Well, I have more money for craft supplies..yeah! I came back with my original money plus! So, I am energized to create again and plan on some altered books that could be unique to the buyer. I would design the pages, but the buyer could add pictures and text to make it unique to them. What do you think?

Thanks for those who are following. Would love to have more followers and have some interaction with you all. Let me know your thoughts!

Happy Crafting,

Monday, August 3, 2009

August 2, 2009-@Mandalay Bay in Vegas

Well, we arrive yesterday around 9 a.m, but our suite wasn't ready. So we stored our bags and then went out site-seeing. It was very hot at even that time of day. I think before they called us that our suite was ready, we had gone to the Luxor, Excalibur, and some of Mandalay Bay. One colleague traveling with us had not been here for 20 years and so she was like a "kid at the fair", wanting to see and do everything. I did win over $300 yesterday on the slots. I guess I have the knack for it.
As we went through stores, etc., I always look to see what's selling and get inspiration from other arts who have created "crafty" things. I found many things that I might incorporate in my own art. Even in the bathroom of a restaurant in Mandalay Bay, I found wall stamped with sponge stamps that gave I ideas for future things to create. My mind does not rest when it comes to finding creative ways to present art. Maybe crazy, but I am "built" that way.

Well, I' up early on this Monday, just as I always am every morning, because of my lumbar problem. Wish I could sleep in, but did go to bed about 7:30 p.m. Vegas I had really been up many hours longer than I would have been at home. Still, it's a great time with me being up by myself to think about art and all my pursuits. I did bring one of my crafting book treasures with me called, Paper Crafts & Stamp It! : Treasury of Tips & Tricks by the same people who do the magazine. So it is a collaboration of ideas from many people. Great book! It covers cards, altered books, tags, and more. It's a good one to have in your crafting library.

Back to the things I see here: Even the carpets in the room and halls have been done with designs that could be transferred to other craft techniques. The halls have carpets with a ginko pattern and the carpets in the suite have a coral pattern. The art on the walls are a combination of photography and those with a painterly approach (as in the foyer paintings) So there is plenty to look at for inspiration as is wherever I go. It's crazy, but I can look at a non-descript pattern on a wall and see objects, people, etc. within the design. That may not make sense to some, but I've always done that since very young.

Well, I will keep you posted. I did find a box shape here (that the soap came in) that I plan to copy and develop into a shape I can use for some of my art. My cutout cards have now a special box that they come in. I need to post that on my site along with the card cutouts for people to see. It just gives the cards a nice home for housing them and could also be used after the cards are gone for some other purpose.

Take care and craft away!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009-Pack'in for Vegas!

Well, today I leave with friends to fly out to Vegas for some "time away". Maybe, I'll win big--ha! Actually, I enjoy all the landscaping in and around the strip, which gives me ideas for my paper flowers and any other art I might produce. I'm working on some altered books at this point in time that go beyond those I've already created. It's exciting to create! Love it.

My idea for one of my books is of an old album from the late 1800's found by one of my brothers that had been left in an apartment. There was no way to contact anyone, because the renters left no info, etc. So my brother thought I'd appreciate the album. It was filled with pressed flowers, pictures through the years in the form of those cabinet cards, mainly. I plan to use most of them in the original album, but give it some "sparkle" and arrange pictures in different ways with pockets and other forms to present them. I'm thinking of calling it, "Lost Faces"...since it is a collection of a family from the past with many pictures not having any labels on the back.

I may post it on my store for sale after finishing. Also thought of possibly creating an album such that the buyer could put their own pictures in from the past in and around the art I would have on the page. Ideas, ideas ideas...right?

Well, thanks for those who have become followers. Spread the word if you feel it, for more to join in. Let me know, too, your thoughts about my blog. I'd love to interact.

Take care...and see you after the 7th when I return from Vegas..


Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend in Ft. Wayne & Altered Books Find!

I enjoy getting away at times and Ft. Wayne is close. I love the Jefferson Pointe area for at least a couple of reasons. One reason is that there is a great Barnes & Noble bookstore there and with many choices of books about crafting. The other reason is that there is also a Michaels store there also. That is my wonderland...ha. Well, at the B & N store, I found a couple of books on altered books I really loved and purchased. One is called Altered Books Workshop by Bev Brazelton. That one is a step by step (with many examples) of how to create in many creative ways an altered book using popups, pockets, drawers, cover designing, and much more. Wonderful pictures that really inspire.

The other book is called Collaborative Art Journals & Shared Visions in Mixed Media by L.K. Ludwig. It also has inspirational work done in collaborative ways Many techniques are included in this one as well. Needless to say, I was "chomping at the bit" to get back home and try out many of the ideas.

On an earlier excursion up to Ft. Wayne, I purchased another book that compliments both of the above called The Decorated Page-Journals, Scrapbooks, & Albums Made Simply Beautiful by Gwen Diehn. The book is very descriptive and as with the others has many beautiful full-color examples of journal pages. So there you go...if you like altered books and haven't seen these yet, check them out.

I'm also contemplating taking my paper flowers ideas and transferring them to hats as in the Victorian era, where women wore those great hats with paper flowers. Anyone out there like that idea and think they might be interested in such a hat?

Well, I need to get busy..lots to do today. Have a good one and again, don't forget to checkout my store on Etsy!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009-Showcase is Under Way

I have two showcases today; one being a vintage showcase and the other is for my mini-journaling books. I've added a slideshow of the types of art I do so viewers can get a better idea of my work. I love making shadowboxes and the one here in a black box is of my aunt Freda who was one of my favorite aunts. She passed on in June and so I was compelled to do two boxes of the same for her two boys, my cousins. They were thrilled to receive them. I can do the same for anyone who might want a memory type box or for someone living to honor them. If you go to my Etsy site at you will find the memory box category to see what I have stated there.

I also have done memory "altered" box as here with the picture of a friend on the cover and many memories from the past. I did this one for her birthday. She loved it!

The cutouts are of the type done first in Germany, I believe, called Scherenschnitte, which means "scissor cuts". I have a way of creating the design and then transferring it to my Cricut Expressions machine. Otherwise, it would take too long to produce. But at least I am creating the design.

My other passion because I like flowers so much, I have learned to create paper flowers that do look fairly realistic. I was inspired by a segment on Martha Stewart's show where she was using her punches to create the flowers. It is detailed, but I love the final product.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I am now registered with Technorati- ndbv7fj8gm.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thought I'd share a sample of one of my mini-journaling books with you. I start with recycled cardboard for the covers. Then choose a great textured paper for the cover. As I create the book cover, I embed ties and a place marker ribbon so that the book can be closed and also mark the place where stopping from journaling.

Then I copy pages that have the words, "My Journal" and the date with lines for writing. Those pages get cut in half and so become 4 x 5 1/2 inches per page. The pages are folded and sewn together in 4 sets or signatures. Then the signatures are glued together and finally are glued into the covers of the book. It is a wonderful thing to see the book take shape. I have many versions in my Etsy store under the title of "Greggs Goodies". Check them out.

Hello All! My First Etsy Blog!

I hope to make many new friends through blogging. And I also plan to keep you updated on what I'm doing with my art. I now have mini-journaling books, cutout cards, matted cutouts, and paper flowers in my bag of "goodies".

Many thanks to Northern Mama for providing the contest for giving away one of each of my art types. Hope to have another contest soon.

Right now I am perfecting a "summer bouquet" to put in my etsy store:

Hope you'll all come and visit. I do have some vintage items I plan to offer, too. Among those being a black flapper dress with jet beads, "paste" jewelry, and pages from an album from the late 1800's suitable for displaying your own photos. So look for some new things coming soon.