Saturday, February 27, 2010

Life's a Beach...Chair

I am looking forward to a trip to the beach in a couple weeks with seven of my most creative friends, all artists. This is a photo of our beach house. Love the colors, right?

I shrunk the photo to 2" x 3".

I cut a piece of the photo to fit into the 3/4" bezel cup.

It is glued into the bezel cup with Paper Mod Podge.

Since there is no way to hang the bezel cup, I punched a hole.

This is called the Screw Down Punch, but that is wrong. It should be called the Helicopter Punch. It is one of my favorite tools. It punches 2 sizes of holes like butta.

I filled the cup with Dimensional Magic. You can use any kind of clear lacquer or epoxy, there are several.

Dry and ready to add to a project!

Normal Girl

Friday, February 26, 2010

Russian Tea Time

While in college and living like a bohemian with no money, all of my arty friends and I used to hang out at a little restaurant/tea room in Kalamazoo called The Troubador. It was on a small street behind the East campus of Western Michigan University and I think only neighborhood people knew about it. For a year or so, I lived a block away. We could have Russian Tea for super cheap. Dinner there was a treat, if we could afford it. Believe it or not, the pic above is the actual room the tea room was in. It was decorated like I imagined gypsies would have done it, dark with lamps and scarves. It is now a different restaurant.

Since then, I have made a batch of Russian Tea every winter. I am not sure if I really love it or just really love the memories it evokes. It will put you in a sugar coma if you drink much of it.

I start with:
2C instant tea
2C Tang (yeah, hysterical)
2C sugar
2 pkg lemonade mix
add a couple teaspoons each of ground cloves and cinnamon

I usually add more tea, and add extra of whatever seems to make it taste right.

Drinking it pulls me right back to the upstairs of that building on Vine Street...and makes me feel like an astronaut.

If you don't understand that, you are too young,
Normal Girl

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Recovery Story

This is a story that tells how to cover a book by decoupaging fabric to it. I am posting it because it is very easy and several people have asked how to do it. It will work on any book, hard or soft cover. It just happens that the book I covered today is my Bible. I saw this fabric at a craft show last fall, made into kid's clothes. I looked all over the place for some. I finally found one yard of it online and it made me happy.

This will be the second covering of my Bible. You can see that the decoupage medium works like a champ. I could not remove the first fabric cover or the pieces I added to the surface. I was only able to peel the top layer off the papers I glued down.

First: lay the book open and cut a piece of fabric that is a little bigger on all sides.

Brush a not stingy coat of Mod Podge all over the cover of the book. Wrap the fabric around the book, sticking it to the wet Mod Podge. Brush a coat of Mod Podge over top of the fabric.

You can see that I used Mod Podge Gloss. It also comes in a non shiny matte finish. Let the first coat dry. Brush a second coat over everything, going over the edges. The fabric past the edges of the book should be wet. Let dry completely.

With scissors, trim the fabric at the edges of the book.

Decorate at will. To those of you who think God does not like beads, glitter and rhinestones, you are wrong. Just ask Him.

This is a fun and easy way to cover a journal or even your phone book. Come on, covers of phone books are horrible.

It works especially well for procrastinating your homework or other duties you are not quite up for,
Normal Girl

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How Long Does Loyalty Last?

I worked for a large manufacturer of craft paint for 20 years. Today, I sent my resume to one of their competitors. I had to also send a mini portfolio. I have never considered myself to be a painter and had a mini freakout thinking about what I possibly could include in it.

Finding way more painted things around the house than I thought to find, I happily show a few of them to you. This is a cigar box purse. Notice anything odd about it? It is upside down. Please don't tell anyone. Remember that thing I have with old eyeglasses????

I did this canvas after a bible study. I traced my hand and my arm. Kind of like a kindergarden painting.

If you can figure out what this painting means, please comment. (Besides the fact that I am apparently afraid to paint hands)

Once upon a time, Wonder Woman and I and a team of women painted chairs for MONTHS to raise money for a mission trip. This is the chair that started the idea. We raised a lot of money, and people still ask about having chairs painted.

Flower. Standard issue.

This is my kitchen backsplash. I started with all white tiles and painted them. I used the kind of enamel paint that you bake to make it permanent. So, my entire wall has been in my oven!

This is a project in a book that I did with The HumanPinball and The Mag. I have no idea why I put tea things on a pitcher. Iced tea? It is not a tea pot. And who wants fuzzy stuff around what they are drinking? Thinking about cannibalizing the tea time beads for something better.

This is in my kitchen. Dig those lips.

I learned a few things from the experience:
- I paint more than I think I do
- You should buy stock in turquoise paint, apparently I use it on everything
- Even 4 years later, I feel weird talking to my old employer's competition
- On the other hand, it made me feel sort of giddy inside thinking I could possible do some work for the competition of the people who thought I was no longer valuable

Maybe I should paint a turquoise painting about those feelings,
Normal Girl

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Color of the Year

Pantone are the folks who formulate the colors that everyone uses. Designers and manufacturers use Pantone numbers when designing and designating colors for products.

I am happy to announce that the color of the year is Turquoise. I love turquoise. I really love turquoise. Turquoise is my favorite color.

Don't you just love turquoise? Everything is going to be turquoise this year. That leads me to start thinking about gathering all of the turquoise things I would like to acquire. Get while the getting is good, so to speak.

Turquoise Uggs, the knitted ones. Yeah, the very day I find these 90% off, they will be mine.

This turquoise couch would be stunning in my living room.

And don't you think that this texture filled rug has to be next to it?

Turquoise hair? I am still thinking about that one.

Oh yeah, The turquoise chandelier. That thing must weigh 235432 pounds. Wonder how tall it is...

I have had my eye on this car since they made it in 1966.

This is probably the only thing I can afford on my turquoise list. And oh baby, I am drooling over them. Going shopping........

The cowgirl,
Normal Girl

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow Day!

This is Eenie. He lives across the street from me. He is about 4 years old. His Momma let him go out to play today. I guess his outside play repertoire is still limited, maybe he does not know how to play in the snow. You can see, he is riding his scooter.

He had it figured out because he shoveled the sidewalk before he got the scooter out. He was amazingly dextrous with the snow shovel. I could not tell how much snow he really got removed, but riding the scooter only lasted a few minutes. He made it longer than big brother who came out jumped into the snow and then went back in. It took longer to get all his winter clothes on than it took for him to be tired of being outside.

Are you playing outside today? When you were Eenie's age, did your Dad or Mom show you any good snow games? My Dad LOVES the snow. We played outside until forced to come in. Our repertoire included:

- ice skating on the rink Dad made for us every year
- tobogganing down the toboggan run Dad built for us every year (or skied down it)
- sitting in a sled while our dog Laddie pulled us around the yard
- building snowmen and snow forts
- snow angels
- snowball fights
- snow art, spraying food colored water on the snow
- fox and goose, we had a huge yard and we would walk off a giant circle with spokes and play tag on the pathways
- snowmobiling, but not in the back yard

What else did you do on a snow day?
Normal Girl

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Sister is Going to Jail

My sister has been volunteered by her boss to be taken to jail. He thinks it will be good publicity for the business. I have never heard of this, but apparently it has been happening for years. The people from the Muscular Distrophy Assoc. come to work and take you away to jail. They keep you there while you call all of your friends to come bring you bail money. Who thought of this???

There is a new plan now that if you can raise your bail money before they put you in jail, then you only have to stay an hour. That is long enough for them to put you in a striped shirt and take your picture.

So, we had a bead soup party tonight and she invited friends and clients to come and make a bracelet, and donate money to the bail out jar. Friends and clients seemed to have fun. One said she was on her way to Jo-Ann's to buy her own tools and make more! I love being a bead pusher. I create addicts. I should be put in jail.

All night, there was a fun playlist playing on the iPod. I was having flashbacks from the music. Does that happen to you? When you hear a particular piece of music, it takes you back to a different time and place? My favorite one of the evening:

Some joker played this song every day at lunchtime in the cafeteria my senior year.

What song reminds you of senior year?
Normal Girl

Friday, February 19, 2010

You Tell Me

I am putting you to work today. Since I have heard from friends in all parts of the country that it is too cold, let's talk about things that are hot. Tell me about:

  1. What is your favorite blanket like?
  2. What was the last thing you baked?
  3. What television personality gets you most hot and bothered?
  4. When did you last burn yourself?
  5. What are your feelings about hot sauce?
I will be the first to comment to get you started. Please join me! gave this to me to use.

Normal Girl

Artist Trading Cards

In the community of mixed media artists, for some years, artist trading cards have been a fun way to express creativity, meet other artists, and share blogs or websites. ATCs are the size of a business card. An artist decorates the card with whatever media in which she works. Then she trades them with other artists.

It is like collecting business cards, except they are little pieces of art. Usually they are paper or cardstock. I made mine out of layers of fabric with batting between, kind of like mini quilts. They are stitched together, and some dimensional pieces like beads or ribbons or buckles added.

I made these in a hotel room in Dallas one night. I have this visual memory that is very weird. When I pick up these cards, I can picture everything about the hotel room I was in when I made them. Do you have that?

I never traded my cards. I liked them and just kept them. The colors make me happy. Tonight, I added beads. They needed beads.

Still not trading them,
Normal Girl

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Daily Lessons

When you have painted a candle and you want the paint to hurry up and dry, do not put it under a halogen lightbulb.

What were you expecting?
Don't take wooden nickels?
A stitch in time saves nine?

Blech. Thanks Sparkle for being such a big help today,
Normal Girl

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hall of Ministry

I finally got the photos hung on the wall today. It was a pretty easy process. I leveled them and everything looks pretty straight and not too symmetrical.

The photos show every generation that we have, from infant to senior citizen. Our church members are serving in many different ways from infant and kid care, to working at a food bank, to helping people clean up and redecorate....and lots more.

And a pic of the greatest women with whom I shared a mission trip last spring.

We will change out the pics as new missions and ministries happen. I do hope it is inspirational to all who view it!

Normal Girl