Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Birds. One Card.

Recently, a good friend of mine, Christina, asked me to take part in an event her organization is hosting. She and her husband, Nehme, own Chadra Mezza & Grill in Fort Worth, Texas. If you are ever in the area, you must stop by. Just tell Nehme "Drunk Girl" sent you. Long story.

As if owning a restaurant wasn't enough, Christina is also the president of the Fort Worth Chapter of the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas. Every year they host the HWNT Latina Art Show as a fundraiser that goes toward college scholarships for Latina students. This year, Christina asked me to make some birthday cards for the event. I, of course, accepted but was hesitant because what on earth would I make??

That brings to me Mr. Bean's cousin. She and her two sisters are the only girl cousins Mr. Bean has on that side of his family. She just finished her undergrad and is on her way to get her masters with the PPA program at her university. She's sweet, stylish, beautiful and extremely talented (there is one painting she did that I am tempted to carry out with me every time I go to her house) and she loves crafts. My sister and I always lived far away from our girl cousins until we were much older. But, I don't actually have too many girl cousins to begin with, so the fact that Mr. Bean's only girl cousins have welcomed me with open arms means more to me than they'll ever realize. So, I wanted to make something special for her.

I have a bookmark of Stonehenge that I brought back from our India/London trip in January. I have it at work on my cork board, so everyday I see it and wish I could be anywhere else than at work. While daydreaming, I've been sort of inspired by the shapes of Stonehenge and how, even though each piece is unique, they all fit together to form a cohesive pattern.

This isn't the bookmark. It is a pic I took while we were there, but you get the idea. I used this as inspiration for Mr. Bean's cousin's graduation card.

I basically randomly cut out the shapes I wanted and put them back together so the wood grain pattern was pieced back together.

Here's a close up. I added the butterfly for some more dimension and color.

The "congratulations" is written on the inside of the card, so I cut out the dark brown metallic cardstock and the front side of the kraft cardstock so it would peer out. I love looking at demolition drawings at work with all the dashed lines, so I added a faux stitch so it looked like that one piece of patterned paper had been demo'd.

This shows the layers. I used foam pop up dots for each layer. The kraft cardstock is Bazzill. The brown metallic cardstock is similar to one sold at Paper Source. The patterned paper is Hambly.

I ended up liking the results so much that I am also going to make it again and use it as one of the birthday cards I am submitting for the Latina Art Show. I have one more card to make for the art show, which I am still trying to work out in my head, but I will post that as soon as I get it done. Until then!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Even though I didn't do any of the real work on this next project, I did offer tons of moral support so I figured I had rights to post about it. That, and it kind of fulfilled one of my life long dreams. Silk screening.

My book club is having it's 5 year anniversary next weekend. All the members of the book club are buying shirts with the quote, "The first rule of Book Club is: you do not talk about Book Club." It's a play on the number one rule in Fight Club. We are going to all wear the shirts to our August meeting, go see Eat, Pray, Love, and then go out for dinner and drinks to celebrate. We will be having a book exchange where everyone has to bring a new book with the number 5, or the word "fifth" in the title or somewhere on the book. Should be good times.

My crafty friends and I wanted to do something special for everyone and, well, it was a good excuse to have what my friend calls a craft-ernoon. So we decided to make some totes for the group. I did a little research and had suggested trying out a stencil using freezer paper, but my friend scoffed at me and busted out all her silk screening supplies. I still haven't seen her craft room, but I imagine it looking like an art supply store with aisles and aisles of crafty goodness.

Anyway, she basically did all the leg work, so I can't get too detailed here. Inspired by the t-shirts, she created a logo for us and put the image on the screen. I am not sure about the process, but I am pretty sure it involves some magic. We all got together and help silk screen the image on the totes. Here's some (iPhone) pics of the day's events.

We tried playing around with the color by adding some white in it. We only had acrylic paint on hand, but figured it wouldn't harm it too much since it was just totes and not anything anyone was going to wear. But the pigment in this silk screen paint must be ridiculously potent because after adding nearly two bottles of white acrylic paint, our red paint came out, well, red. So, this is the color we ended up with. Red.

This is the practice run on one of Mr. Bean's old t-shirts to make sure we were going to achieve perfection.

Here my friend is applying the paint on a tote. So exciting. You'll notice our little template we rigged up in the bottom left hand corner of the picture. We did this we could keep the image centered on the tote. It was just scraps of cardstock taped together at the corner to ensure that we got it right every time. And we did. Plus or minus a one or two. Or three. Definitely no more than four.

The final product!!! Perfection!!

Don't they look pretty?!?!! I get giddy just looking at them. TOTALLY doing this again. With my friend's help, of course.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August Obsessions.

August is probably my least favorite month of the year. While most cities are getting their last few weeks of summer before they head into fall, we are still in record heat and humidity with at least 3 months of it ahead of us. People that say they prefer the heat over the cold have never walked from their front door to their car and sweat thru their blouse. Trust me, it's not as cute as being all bundled up in a jacket and scarf.

Anyway, I have a few things to share so that you can obsess with me.

{photo via IKEA}

{photo via Jayson Home & Garden}

African inspired textiles. Apartment Therapy pretty much read my mind when they posted this trend watch on Kuba-style textiles. While it's nothing new, African inspired textiles seem to be popping everywhere right now and I can't get enough. I love the graphic simplicity of the designs. Totally on my wish list for my home.

{photo via Paper Source}

Hero Arts Doily Stamp. I've been eyeing this for quite some time now and it was well worth the wait. Paper Source finally wisened up and built a store here, so my friends and I went to pay our dues last night. I decided I had to have this stamp to commemorate the occasion. Once I picked it up, I swear every woman in the store told me what an awesome stamp it was. I can't wait to use it. On everything.

{photo via Window Farms}

Window Farms. I saw this on Good Morning America and I was amazed. You can basically convert your window into a garden! I LOVE this idea! You don't need soil and it uses recycled water bottles. Amazing. To read more about it, here's the GMA segment on it. It provides more links to get info on kits and official how-to's.

{photo via cnet}

Photoshop Elements. I know I am a little late in the game here, but PSE has always imtimidated me. If I ever needed anything done, my dear, sweet, kind sister would do it for me. I finally decided to just download the free trial and see what it was all about and now I am addicted. My first project was a watermark for my photos (in case you haven't noticed) and I think it was about the most fun I've had since art class in the 6th grade.

Amy Butler's new fashion and travel bags. They are gorgeous!!! Seriously, I want to take a trip just so I could check everybody out that is checking me out for my gorgeous bag. I would post lots of glorious pics but I am afraid I will get arrested for copyright infringement and I just couldn't live with myself if I upset Amy. We will be BFFs one day, you know.

In other news, I've finally gotten up the nerve to post some of my cards on Two Peas in a Bucket. I don't know why, but I've always been very shy about sharing the stuff I work on. Even though it's just paper to some people, it's still very personal to me (hence the reason I never really tell anyone I have a blog). But, a conversation with my Seester helped me realize how fun it is to share your projects with people that 'get it'. That appreciate what you do and understand why you do it. Two Peas is a world of people that get why letterpress makes me misty eyed and why office supplies can turn my frown upside-down. So far it's been really fun. I don't know what I was expecting. I guess I thought people would start mocking me or telling me what I should or shouldn't do (because I know how snarky people can be when they are able to hide anonymously in the shadows of the internet). But, it's been really fun, and, actually, sort of invigorating. I feel like I got my mojo back. :)

That's all for today. Blogger has not been my friend the last couple of days, so I decided I'll ignore him for a while to see if he'll fix his attitude or blame his friend, My Computer. I am working on a couple of things of fun things that I hopefully can finish up by next week. I will share it all soon!