Monday, October 31, 2011

A Rainy Monday - Halloween!

Had a very busy weekend - making Halloween costumes! It's been a tradition since my first born to make costumes every Halloween. Some years the kids forgo it for a store bought one, others they ask for something really elaborate. Either way, whatever makes them happy. I enjoy doing it. If you remember two years ago, I pulled my first all-nighter in many years whipping up two costumes - one for my oldest and one for her bestie.

Well this year, she turned 14 and I figured it's time for her to stop trick or treating and she insisted she will trick or treat until she dies of old age. I told her if she planned on going she needed a full costume and it's a fact the older you get, and the less costume you wear, the less people want to give you candy. She insisted she had it under control.

So that's why yesterday I ended up making two "costumes" one for her and one for her best friend. They wanted something cute, but not trampy (which it seems is the only thing the local Halloween store carries for teens). They wanted something that was a costume but not really a costume. See, I said - another sign you are getting too old!

In any event, they decided on Tom and Jerry so I searched through my stash (I practically have a craft store in my front closet so it wasn't hard). I found some felt, found two headbands, made a pattern, and came up with these.

They were delighted. And I had fun making them.

My son, now 10, has left behind Spiderman in lieu of more "serious" Halloween wear. Last year he went as a *really* creepy guy from a video game he isn't even allowed to play. This year he asked to go as "Ghost" from Modern Warfare 2. Given it was too late to find a balaclava anywhere locally, I whipped up this little number with a dollar's worth of black stretch fabric and some white acrylic paint.

He was utterly amazed and I was really happy with how it came out.

Finally, my youngest, wanted the full blown deal - Mermaid. I purchased a pattern on sale for $1 and $12 worth of fabric and two days later had this.

Worth every last minute for that smile!

Hope you all have a safe and


Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday morning after Death by Chocolate

Had a great weekend. It was my mom's birthday and I decided to make her a photo clock. There is a great tutorial over at Rosy Red Buttons. This was an easy, inexpensive project that is sure to please! I bought the clock workings at Michael's for $6.99 plus a 40% off coupon. The board was $1.99. I already had the Mod Podge.

I put the whole thing together in a couple of hours. I like it so much I'm going to make myself one with a different photo. I did the title in calligraphy (or at least part of it). This isn't a great photo as the glare was bad but you get the gist. This is a really fun way to display a favorite photo. My mom already has lots of framed photographs so I wanted something different. This is a really special photo to her as it is her grandchildren and her altogether for the first time ever.

I also made Death by Chocolate Mum Cupcakes from one my all time favorite blogs, Bakingdom. Mine didn't come out nearly as nice looking as hers but I gave it a shot. They tasted great though! I made the cupcake wrappers from a template by gabbycakes. I had to size mine down by about an inch on the side and cut them about half height wise.

Busy weekend but lots of fun trying new things. Hope yours was good, too!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday after Mike (Kecseg) - Beyond Copperplate

Just returned from another fabulous workshop with the Scribes of Central Florida. What a nice group they are! And wow - such amazing pointed pen talent in that guild!

After many, many years of admiring his work, I finally met and took a class with Mike Kecseg. The class, Copperplate: Beyond the Basics, was a great fundamentals class. More of an opportunity to practice and advance copperplate skills rather than produce a finished piece, we spent two days learning Mike's tips for taking copperplate to the next level.

Mike is a very generous and down to earth teacher. Gracious with both his lettering and his sharing of knowledge, his class is a "must do" for any calligraphy enthusiast. His instruction is well thought out, well paced, easy to follow, and the handouts are DeLiCiOuS! Although I've been doing pointed pen for over 18 years now (what?!), I still learned some great skills which I'm sure will further develop my style.

Below are two of my practice sheets from the workshop. After reviewing the basics of copperplate, we learned how to vary a number of elements, such as X-height, slant, spacing, pen pressure, ascenders, and descenders.

If you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend taking a class with Mike.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Monogram Monday ... er Tuesday - wait make it Thursday!

I was digging through old photographs (well, OK, I was whizzing through old photograph files but that sounds way less nostalgic) and found some old monograms I did. This was during the time my son had autism and life was a complete blur. No offense to any of the brides, but I don't remember doing most of these!

We were sleeping about 2 hours per night, I was trying to run my social stationery business, take care of two kids, and cure my son of autism. Sleep was low on the totem pole of priority. There were literally some nights I was falling asleep at my drafting table with a dip pen in my hand! (Don't try this at home - it does nothing for the nibs!)

Anyway, I was surpised at what I had accomplished in my sleep deprived state. I miss doing monograms. Maybe I should start doing them again... :-)

Think I went a little flourish crazy here:

Like this one. I'm sorry to say I have no idea who it was for or when I did it.

A calligrapher's dream when the initials are M and W! :-) I did another version I liked even better that was just the M & W ... can't find it!
Poor Linda ... run for the hills - take cover from all that flourish!
For my own personal monogram ... still haven't decided which one.
E, how do I love thee...let me count the ways!
Last one ... I so hope she went with the less flourished one.

Hope you enjoyed seeing them for the first time. I feel like I did as well! It's all a blur! Kiss your babies before tomorrow is yesterday and you can't remember what happened!