Thursday, December 30, 2010

Silver Bella Vintage Trim Swap

I just realized I never posted about my third swap - the Vintage Trim Swap hosted by Heather Buhaj.  I didn't meet Heather until I arrived in Omaha, but I just love her.  She's bubbly and sweet and lots of fun.  I was amazed at everything I received from the swap.  Everyone was so creative with their packaging and obviously shared some of their very best treasures.  You can see what I contributed here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Silver Bella Projects

Silver Bella is over a month in the past and I'm still working on class projects but wanted to share a few that I've completed.

The two classes I took with Lisa Kaus were basically my first experience using water soluble crayons. We colored on wood as a base for collage.  You can read about Lisa's work and the class info here. I really enjoyed both classes.  For the first, Joy Within, I chose to make something for my parents who have always been supportive no matter what I did - or didn't - do.  This was meant as a simple thank you and was given to them on Thanksgiving Day.  My mom probably appreciated the finished product more than my dad, but hopefully the message was meaningful for both. 
The second class was The Secret Inside the Bottle.  I felt a little more comfortable using the crayons in this class and was pretty pleased with my finished project, which now hangs at the entrance to our studio/office.
My third completed project was from the Oh Tannenbaum class taught by Kerry Lynn Yeary.  Using jello molds, old wooden bobbins and silver pipe cleaners, we created a tinsel tree and decorated it with ribbon, buttons, yo-yos and more.  There were as many different trees as there were participants - each one charming.  This was probably my most relaxing class at Silver Bella as everyone was just having fun and not concentrating quite as much as some classes required.  I decided on a turquoise and red theme for my little tree.
Only three more projects to finish!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Silver Bella Junque Journal Swap

I posted earlier about what I contributed for the Junque Journal swap at Silver Bella.  Now you get to see what I received!  I was blown away by all the creative ideas and fun papers and embellishments.  First up, swap hostess Sheila made a journal cover for each participant.  Here's my cover with all the papers and goodies she included:
Gretchen made beautiful tote bags for each of us - uniquely decorated on each side - and filled them up with so many things to add to our journals!
Denise added the lovely items below.  I'm crazy for that floral wallpaper!
Robin, another Okie Bella, made sweet muslin pockets trimmed with ribbon and one of her famous knitted flowers.  Check out the spoon in one of the pockets.  Love, love, love.
Okie Bella Sheryl made a little art piece on corrugated cardboard.  That will be going on my wall.
Okie Bella Teresa created art on old LP covers and stashed the goodies inside. This, too, will be going on the wall.

Jennifer used vintage pillowcases to deliver her papers and embellishments.  So cute!
Lisa O. included lots of fun items, including a small porcelain leg and some beautiful papers.
And last but certainly not least, Lisa P. provided all these wonderful treasures.
I feel so privileged to have been a part of this swap with all these amazing ladies, and hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.  I'll be using all these items for years to come. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More Bella

As I'm slowly going through all my goodies in an effort to get them off the dining room table, I'll be sharing a few things here and there.  Right now it's all my Bella Bling. 
Just before leaving for Silver Bella, I made my first soldered charm.  It's not perfect, but I'm a little bit proud of how it turned out.  One side is "believe" with a small flower, and the other side is "create."  The bracelet was a gift from my roomie Kerry (no blog, but she should have one!).  Love it, love it!  The crown charm in the box was a sponsor gift from the lovely Hope Ellington, and the pink heart charm with crown was one I received from Suz Reaney (so sweet!).  These will both be going onto the Bella Bling bracelet I plan to make.  The "create a handmade life" necklace was from the Creative Connection event and a gift from my Bella Big Sis Heather Ales, along with a very cute bag full of supplies and emergency rations.
From the sisters, Teresa and Sheryl, I received a cute tote filled with supplies and chocolate - something every Bella is encouraged to pack as part of her basic supplies!  Isn't this darling???

Friday, November 19, 2010

Silver Bella part deux

I have a feeling there are going to be LOTS of Silver Bella posts. There's just no way to condense so much fun activity into a few paragraphs. 

My roommate was Kerry Berrick, who is one of the most talented, interesting and fun people I know. We stayed up late every night going over all the activities of each day and preparing for the following day, then overslept on Sunday and had to fly home with funky hair! Thank you, Kerry, for being my roomie and for being so helpful and sharing your creative input any time I asked. My projects were better for your suggestions! Here's Kerry showing her fun side in a Viking cap (could have used those for the trip home.)

Our other traveling companions were Sheryl and Teresa, the "sisters" from Duncan.  Everyone thinks they're sisters so they just go with it.  They're truly a blast and everyone loves them.  They're also extremely talented, and kept everything lively.  I just met them this year, but I wish we all lived closer so we could get together more often.  Here they are with Kerry.
Chris Mack rounded out our little group.  She traveled to Omaha by car with her husband, John.  They were our heroes, hauling so many of our things there and back.  John even went to UHaul and got us huge boxes to pack everything in for the return trip!  Chris, who bills herself as a "beginning mixed media artist," proved that she has real talent.  Everything she made was just beautiful.  Here we are at the opening dinner.
After dinner we had our first project, led by Silver Bella organizer Teresa McFayden.  None of us finished but it's going to be a wonderful reminder of SB and the joy of spending time with people who love doing the same things you do.  The centerpieces for the evening were tophats perched atop a stack of white boxes wrapped in tulle.  The boxes contained our craft kits - very handy! This photo is from Sheila Rumney, who hosted two of the swaps I was in. More about that later.
My camera is the worst, so I'll be borrowing most of my pics from other Bellas. Thanks, ladies!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ciao, Bella!

Silver Bella was simply amazing.  I met many of the wonderfully talented people I've been blog-stalking for the past few months (or years, in some cases), and learned so many things that will give me more confidence in what I create.  It was interesting to observe each artist's take on the projects.  Everyone put their own unique spin on their work, and all were so willing and happy to share ideas and techniques. 

There's a huge box to unpack and a few pieces that still need finishing touches.  I'll be posting swaps and projects over the next few weeks, but here's one to get things started.  
Sheila Rumney's Trading Trims Vintage Trim Swap
was packaged in an egg carton - so cute!

A big thank you to everyone who participated in this swap.  It was so enjoyable to find the trims I shared, and to get so many new ones back in return!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's Time!

The time has finally come.  I'm off to Silver Bella, and am so very excited! The DH is staying home with the fur babies and I'm sure will enjoy some peace and quiet after hearing me go on and on about everything SB for the past six months.  But it may be even worse when I get home and he has to hear every tiny detail.  Ha! He's the best!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I Love Autumn!

It's a beautiful autumn day in Oklahoma!  Some of the trees haven't turned yet, but I'm loving our yard.

Silver Bella Swaps

Spoiler alert - For the one or two readers participating in the vintage trim or Junque Journal swaps at Silver Bella next week, don't read this post if you don't want to see what you'll be getting from me!

Silver Bella starts on Thursday in Omaha.  All summer it seemed like it would never get here, but the time has flown by the last month or two.  I had no idea when I signed up just what would be involved, other than taking classes with fabulous artists including Lisa Kaus, Sally Jean AlexanderKaari Meng and Kerry Lynn Yeary.  And of course the amazing Teresa McFayden who developed Silver Bella five years ago, and a closing luncheon with the inspiring Jenny Doh.  SB has actually turned out to be much more involved than signing up and showing up.

I now know that you have to gather lots of your best vintage bling and supplies to bring. You also get to meet new friends and have a great time just preparing for the trip.  You get to participate in on-line chats that will make you laugh until you almost wet your pants.  I know that SB will involve not much sleep, the opportunity to shop in Omaha's Old Market district, and consumption of cupcakes and frosting shots (another new thing for me but I can't wait!), and much, much more.

I also now know that attending SB involves something called swaps, which I had no clue about before.  SB participants had the opportunity to sign up to swap various hand crafted items including crowns, charm bracelets made from vintage bling, journal pages, banners and more.  Swap size was limited so participants were determined by drawing, and I was fortunate enough to get into two vintage trim swaps and a journal paper swap. 

The first trim swap, hostessed by Sheila Rumney, involved gathering 21 pieces of vintage trim and sending it off to Sheila who is putting it all together in some amazing way for the 21 participants.  I wrapped each piece I sent with a paper band and tied it with seam binding and a tiny bunch of flowers.  I have a fairly large collection of vintage trim, but had to find lots more in order to fulfill my two swaps.
I also learned that it's customary to send a little something extra to the swap hostess, so I put together this little tin tray with vintage ribbon, lace, a hanky, etc. for Sheila.
My second vintage trim swap is hostessed by Heather Buhaj and requires that participants collect three one-yard pieces of vintage trim and two vintage embellishments for each of ten participants, package these creatively, and bring them to Silver Bella.  For this one I made drawstring bags from striped silk with
matching "flower" pins, and decorated a tag to hold two of the trims.  The third trim is vintage camisole lace I found several years ago on its original card.  I had about 18 yards, so it was perfect for this swap.  I tied each piece with seam binding and added an earring or pin.  I also included a vintage napkin or hanky tied with an old button and some white seam binding.  I found an ad for crocheted edging in a 1946 McCall's Needlework magazine that made the perfect tag. 

My third swap is the Scraps from the Past Junque Journal Swap, also hostessed by Sheila Rumney.  This one requires ten sheets of vintage or vintage-inspired paper, ten vintage embellishments, and one large embellishment for each of ten participants.  We'll each receive an abundance of materials to create our own journal.  Sheila is making a journal cover for each participant from an old album page.  Some of my favorite finds for this swap were a 1915 Tulsa yearbook, magazines from the early 30s and large embroidered butterflys.  My contributions fit into standard file folders so I made embellished fabric envelopes to hold the folders.  The tag for these was inspired by a photo from one of the 1930s magazines.

Now I'm off to finish up some final details and pack!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Happiness

I really love Halloween decorations.  I've never been a big fan of trick or treat and we have no kids, but I decorate anyway.  Several friends and I had planned to have a Halloween craft day so I accumulated a ton of vintage and new papers and other items, only to have to cancel.  I've made quite a few things on my own, but we'll still have lots to work with next year.

When I retired in February my friend and co-worker Kathy made me this gorgeous bracelet.  Isn't it amazing?
I told her I'd make her something, too, and she suggested something for Halloween.  Well, the time has arrived.  Last week we met for lunch and I gave her these:

The starfish is a painted and glittered earring

She's from Florida and loves flamingos. There's a little tag on one of the wreath ribbons showing Alice holding a flamingo - perfect! Hope she's enjoying them! 

I got the wreath idea from the Tattered Angels web site here