Monday, January 28, 2013

freebie almanac pages

Somewhere along the way I acquired a 1946 Farmer's Almanac. That year it cost 15 cents and was in its 154th year of continuous publication. Wow, on both counts.

I'll be scanning and posting a whole lot of pages from it because they're amusing, informative of the time, and great for collages - both digital and paper. 

If you do paper-n-glue, try printing them on cream vellum. They come out looking quite vintage.  

I'd love to see anything you use them in, and as always, please don't sell them altho you can sell work made with them.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

my birthday cake

It was both my and my husband's birthdays last weekend and a friend asked what kind of cake I got.

Well, at that point I hadn't got any kind of cake at all because we don't do much for birthdays around here.

However, I *like* cake a lot, so decided to make myself one. I had a couple Granny Smith apples that weren't getting any younger, plus a few Pink Ladys, so I thought something with apples sounded good but didn't want to bother making a pie.  I got out my well-used copy of Favorite Recipes From Quilters and thumbed thru the apple cake recipes.

Maybe you're thinking how many apple cake recipes can one cookbook have? Or need?  Well, this one has seven, and they're each different enough that they all seem to be needed.

Anyway, I chose one that had a high apple-to-flour ratio because I was going for a thick dense cake, reminiscent of carrot cake, only not as vegetable-y.

china check - Fiestaware
flatware - my husband's grandma's vintage Community,
don't know the pattern name
(note: This is one of my most-used cookbooks. Every single recipe I've tried tasted good, came out right, etc. I highly recommend it and you can get used copies for only $2.02, plus shipping, at the link on the book name above. Since I paid the entire $14.95 for mine in July of 1995, I think that's a great deal.)

It smelled marvelous while baking and had a nice crust on top from all the sugar. The edges were crispy too, and I ate my way around about a third of the cake before it had been out of the oven five minutes.

Hey - it's my birthday cake, ok? You can eat yours any way you like and I won't say a word.

When it was cool, I frosted it with cream cheese frosting which I've never made from scratch before. It seemed a bit thick and maybe too cheesy to me, so I sifted in about another half cup of 10x sugar and added a splash of milk.

This cake is really good all by itself. When you slather it in cream cheese frosting, it goes up another hundred points on the OMG-o-meter. This cake has earned a spot in the baking rotation at our house, altho I'll prolly leave off the frosting entirely most of the time, or maybe try it with low fat cream cheese.

Raw Apple Cake
combine all and mix well:
2 eggs
4 c diced apples (I did not peel mine)
1/2 c cooking oil
2 c sugar (next time I'll use 1 1/2 c and see how it goes)
1/2 t salt
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
2 t vanilla
2 c flour
2 c nuts (I omitted these)

Bake in 350F oven until toothpick stuck in center comes out clean.

cream together:
4 T butter
8 oz cream cheese
then stir in:
2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c sifted powdered sugar
spread on cooled cake

Saturday, January 26, 2013

travel journal, gelli style

In preparation for my annual trek to San Diego to visit my friend Julie, I made a little travel journal, like I do each year. 

Since I was already playing with the gelli plate last weekend, I chose some card stock weight scrapbook papers I liked, then printed on the plain backs of them. 

The gelli plate is 8x10, smaller than the 12x12 papers and the plate doesn't have exact right angle corners, so I found the smallest of the prints, then squared the other papers up to that size. 

Folded them in half, organized them in a way I liked, then did an awful job of Coptic stitching them all together. 

Really awful.

So awful, in fact, that I couldn't stand to look at it and proceeded to cover it up with some of that blasted washi tape I've been hoarding. 

I discovered it's way more fun when you actually *use* it lol.

Also used some tapes to cover the open seams between signatures.

I'm still on my turquoise binge and it's beginning to feel vaguely permanent. As in a whole lot of what I do for the next long while is going to have some aqua in it somewhere. 

I quite like the combination (and juxtaposition) of the vintage-y papers with the more modern abstract turquoise gelli prints.

The first image is the front cover, most of the inside pages are next, then the back cover is the last pic. 

When I get home after my trip (mid Feb), I'll post pics of the filled journal cause I know I always enjoy seeing befores and afters of journal pages. It's fun to see what that blank space becomes.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

ROC journal for 2013

front cover
When I began doing paper arts, it didn't take me long to realize that I work better with a prompt, a theme, a deadline - a breeze of some sort to fill me creative sails, as it were. 

Somehow I found this flickr group and played along with Roc's prompts in 2011. I think I started in May or June, but gradually went back and did the previous months until I had a whole year. 

back cover
Did them last year also, and I'm happy to say, she's doing them again this year so I am too.

I'm not sure why I like hers as opposed to the myriad other prompt blogs/sites/groups, but I do. The first year, I did them in a makeshift journal, interspersed with misc other pages.

In 2012, I made a dedicated journal which I liked much better (when I could find the darn thing! must tidy studio more often...). 

Coptic binding
This year I made a slightly larger one with a real cover and a Coptic binding so that it lays flat to work in. The binding didn't come out too badly as long as you don't look too closely. As we used to say in my Saturday quilt group, "If you can't see it at twenty paces from the back of a galloping horse..."

Coptic is a cool stitch and simply requires a bit of paying attention which I was mostly doing lol. 

The covers are heavy commercial wallpaper that I liberated from work. There's a roll of it upstairs that's probably six feet tall by many, many yards. 

inside front cover
In the Ticket To Venice class, they'd been chatting about using painted or collaged canvas as a cover and when I saw the wallpaper, I figured it might work. 

I covered one side in gel medium and torn up book pages, then did some stitching. The back cover is just random doodle stitching in tan thread.

inside back cover
The front is random zig-zag on one side and a freehand crow on the other. Then I folded each piece in half and stitched around the edges so they'd be pretty durable.

I put grommets in the cover holes since I was a bit concerned about the holes getting loose over time.

The pages are Arches cream watercolor paper of some unknown type and weight given to me by a friend, but they're quite heavy so maybe 140lb. 

I'm quite pleased with the final product.

digital collage Time is a Circle

Inspired by all those gelli prints, I used two of them - the aqua with squares and the rustiest of the white-ish ones - as the background for this digital collage.    

The angel is a photo I took at our local cemetery.

The two brownish elements along the left side are ephemera from the CRenee Authentic Artistry II collection.

The black stamps (the overlay type things like the circles of music and the upper right corner design) are from the CRenee Collective Memories Stamps.  You can search for both those collections here in Christina Renee's section of 

I did a fair amount of duplicate layers with various blending modes until I liked the look. The word 'time' was a prompt from week two of the Art Journal Caravan 2013. I'm just finally getting around to using it.

I'm not at all religious but I like the stone angel, and the overall feel of this is sort of cosmic to me. Maybe the circles remind me of the paths of the planets or something. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

freebie gelli prints to download

It occurred to me that these would make really fun backgrounds or torn up in collages, so I'm sticking a bunch of them up here that you're welcome to download and use in your own art. 

They were scanned at 300dpi so they should print out nice and crisp at 8.5x11. Or print them out smaller to condense the designs for use on ATCs or smaller items.

Double click on the image to bring it up large. Then right click and save to your computer.

If you make something with them - digital or paper/glue - I'd love to see it. 

I'm going to use a few in a digital collage if I have time this evening.

Please don't sell them alone or as part of any bundle, altho you may sell artwork you make using them.

Monday, January 21, 2013

digital collage 'capable appearance'

I'm slowly getting the hang of Adobe Elements 11, which is the latest release of the non-professional version of Photoshop. So many cool functions, but like most complex programs, I use about 20% of it. One of my 2013 goals is to learn a whole lot more than that 20%.

However, in this collage, I only put the 20% I know to use since I worked on it in bits and pieces during a day at work. It was a really stressful day with (BIG) water leaks, flooded offices, too many customers at once (why can't they show up evenly spaced during the day instead of all at the same time??), lots of my work, lots of phone answering cause the normal phone answerer was out sick.

So... to keep my sanity, I opened PSE11 and began to tinker. By the end of the day, I had this.

I kept the colors somewhat muted and monochromatic on purpose, going for a vintagey, grungy look.

The words are one of the prompts for week 3 of the Art Journal Caravan 2013.

They have nothing at all to do with the background...

If you're at all into digital, AJC 13 is a blast. Tons of prompts, tutorial vids, other people's work to study. This year's theme is a trip around the world. Our first port of call with the United Kingdom.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

gelli madness

several layers on old sheet music
I've caught the gelli virus big time. My art friend Rhonda came over two Sundays ago with hers and I jumped online and ordered one before she even got back home with hers.

It arrived yesterday. Today is my birthday, so I stopped at Starbucks for my free birthday drink, then headed for Michaels to stock up on more colors of cheapo craft paints.

Then I met DH for lunch (salmon burritos at Rubios), then came home to plate with the gelli and watch the San Francisco 49ers win their divisional playoff game. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better day. And it isn't over yet...

two layers on card stock
So, here's a look at the best of the papers I made today. Mostly on deli paper so that I could tear them up and collage with them, but also on an old dictionary page, a sheet of vintage music, a kleenex, a few heavy card stock papers, and the backs of some scrapbook papers that I'm making a small travel journal with for my Feb trip to visit Julie in San Diego.

This batch is more interesting than the ones I did that Sunday with Rhonda because I knew a bit more about what I was doing and used only colors I liked, plus I used more mark making items than the first time. I really like the large dots left by the plastic base that some markers came in.

The swirly marks are some grunge board cut-outs that I stenciled over and them picked up before putting the paper down.

When I say 'layers' in the captions, I mean that I made a print, let it dry while I did other ones, then used that same paper for another batch of paint. I mostly did that on ones that were boring, and I definitely like the look that multiple passes gives you.

close up of the one above
Also, using something other than blank paper was fun. I like the one on the sheet music and I've already used some of the dictionary page.

((God, I hate blogger. These pictures are going to be all over the place but hopefully you can figure it out from the captions. Oy.))

The most fun thing about the gelli plate - for me - is not knowing what it's going to look like until you pull the paper up. Surprise!

So... are you thinking about getting one yet? Huh??

Blick has them on sale and there's a  bunch of inspirational and instructive vids on YouTube.

Just sayin'...

two layers on deli paper
brayered paint on, laid down the stencil,
brayered over it, then picked it up and put the paper down

put another sheet of paper down right away and
got this secondary shadow print

a couple layers on part of an old dictionary page

this one looks cooler in person,
turquoisey dots in the yellow

kind of the reverse of the one above

love this one, it looks sort of rusty

I really like the aqua and orange combo

more dots made with the plastic base that some markers came in

put some cream colored paint down after the above print and got this

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Grow Your Blog Party Giveaway!!

Well, today is the kick-off of the Grow Your Blog Party, hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full.

The idea is to go to that link and cruise thru as many of the blogs listed in the comments as you can manage between now and Feb 1. Consider signing up to follow the ones that blow your skirt up, since that's what this party is all about. Many of us are having a giveaway of some kind. Leaving a comment on those blogs should enter you into their drawing. Or maybe you'll have to become a follower, not sure so check as you go.

Here at One Woman's Hands you need only leave a comment in this post. We'll all draw our winners on February first and announce them on our blogs, so you have a chance to win at more than one blog.

 I sewed a bunch of old lace to one of those dollar postcards from the other day to make a little hanging piece. All the laces are older (some are very old), and the hanger is very fine gauge vintage tatting. Looks like 80 weight crochet thread maybe. Real skinny.

I put a lot of pictures of it here so that you'd be real tempted to leave a comment!

I considered covering the back of the card to conceal the stitching, but decided I liked being able to see the old graphics and left it except for a label with my info.

Thanks for visiting and good luck in the drawing!

Happy blog hopping, Leslie

Here it is hanging amongst other goodies in my studio.
I love the pop of red from the flowers.