Crafting


The magical month of October! Cooler temps, crimson leaves, brisk breezes… We’re ending the year and beginning the holiday season; our thoughts turning to decorations, gifts, and good food. So, are you in a fall-ish mood? Are you looking to have a bit of fun? Remembrance Wreath Finished by rlc

First Stop, Samhain’s Sirens for their month-long virtual party. Each day with the Siren’s offers music, recipes, giveaways for handmade gifts, and sometimes even a craft! Today I’m sharing instructions for making a Remembrance Wreath—it’s like a family tree in wreath form! And, to get you started, I’m giving away a kit to make your own Remembrance Wreath. Just visit the Siren’s blog to enter. Samhains Sirens

While you’re visiting the Sirens you can pick up a recipe for Farmer’s Market Autumn Stew, or Autumn’s Apple Crunch Muffins—or read about the Legend and Lore of Halloween/Samhain.

Second Stop, Musiddity, my creativity and crafting blog. Come on over to learn about Punkin Sprites and other fall decorations I’ll be sharing this month. Punkin Sprite Decoration by rlc

The year is ending, it’s time to play!

For the practical joker in all of us!

MarthebookcoverI’ve always loved April Fool’s Day and May Day because those were the two day’s of the year when it was socially acceptable to play little jokes designed to make people smile. Author Marthe Jocelyn suggests we put a bit of mirth into our ordinary days with Sneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight. As part of a double prize, I’m offering a copy of Sneaky Art—let me tell you more about this fun and original book!

Sneaky Art projects are small, artistic creations intended to bring a smile to someone’s day. In her book Jocelyn offers twenty-four sneaky art projects to get us started. Most can be created with items already at home. A few of my favorites are:

  • Cork Critters—Small animals or people created with corks and scraps of fabric and paper. Leave them on the shelf in a washroom, by the sugar at the coffee shop, on a friend’s desk.
  • Stick Pixies—Characters taped to the top of straws or stir-sticks making them easy to tuck into pencil cups, books, or condiment dispensers.
  • Clip-On Flock—Paper birds glued onto clothespins. The book shows the birds clipped onto shopping carts; what a fun way to brighten up the next shopper’s experience!

Each craft in Jocelyn’s book includes a list of materials, complete instructions, a picture of the final result, and suggestions on where to leave your sneaky art.

The premise of Sneaky Art is to leave little works of art in public places and as such there are some basic guidelines to follow. Jocelyn offers clear instructions of what Sneaky Art is not (“Sneaky Art is not mean, defacing, ugly, hurtful, messy, or permanent. Sneaky Art is not graffiti or marking up someone’s property”) and what Sneaky Art is (“Sneaky art is funny clever, thoughtful, subversive, playful, and surprising”). She even suggests going back to the scene of our “sneak” and retrieving our art if it is still there.

To this I add my own suggestion that any art placed outdoors be created with good stewardship in mind. We don’t want to create litter, and we don’t want to endanger any wild life. So, any paints should be non-toxic. Do not use thin threads or fishing line as they can wrap around the feet of birds and small animals causing injury. Do not use colored beads or fake berries as birds may ingest them and get sick (or worse).

Sneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight is intended for ages 8-12 but appeals to sneaky artists of all ages. The projects are inexpensive and easily adaptable for large groups, making it a good resource for teachers, but the true beauty of the book lays in the underlying lessons in conceptualization and material re-purposing. Caution: this book may cause regular ransacking of your recycle bin!

Would you like to win a copy of Sneaky Art? Details on how to win today’s special double giveaway are posted below.

About the Book

Sneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight by Marthe Jocelyn

Synopsis:

For young artists, tricksters, and crafters, here is a hip, friendly how-to manual for creating removable and shareable art projects from easily found materials. The sneaky part is in the installation! Each work of art is custom-created for display in public places — a tiny cork-bottomed boat in a public fountain, a plate of tiny paper cupcakes on your teacher’s desk, a penny left on the ground for a stranger, a funny message left on your mother’s bathroom mirror, and more. This utterly unique guide — part craft book, part art-philosophy — offers a stylish and sweet “made-you-look-twice” spirit of fun meant to put a smile on the faces of strangers and loved ones alike.

Connect with the author:

Marthe Jocelyn’s websites:

http://www.marthejocelyn.com/index.htm

http://sneakyart.com

Twitter:

@scissorhouse

#SneakyArt

Double Giveaway MarthebookcoverRainy Day Artpack

As part of the Sneaky Art virtual book tour through Women On Writing, I am offering a double-prize package consisting of my hardcover, review copy of Sneaky Art and a Rainy Day Art Pack by Marthe Jocelyn.

The Rainy Day Art Pack comes with a body template and a selection of scraps for crafting (decorative paper, pompoms, feathers, yarn, buttons, etc…) Just add glue and scissors! More fun than paper dolls (remember them?) Where will this little character end up? He/she might become part of a collage…or even take part in a Sneaky Art caper!

To Enter The Giveaway:

Leave a Comment: Let us know why this book appeals to you OR share your idea of a good place to leave a sneaky art project. Make sure your email address is either in your profile or included in your comment so I can get in touch with you!

For additional Entries:

Tweet about this giveaway. Come back and leave the url to your tweet. Be sure to use the hashtag #SneakyArt in your tweet! (Each tweet gains an additional entry!)

Follow @scissorhouse on Twitter

Follow @RCchrps (that’s me) on Twitter

Visit this past Friday’s post at Museiddity.com for more chances to win this Double Giveaway!

Contest runs December 13, 2013 through December 21, 2013. One random winner will be chosen from all entries gathered on Museiddity and A Ponderance of Things. One winner will win the prize package consisting of one hardcover copy of the book, Sneaky Art, and one Rainy Day Art Pack. Items to be mailed separately. Winner to be notified by email and the name posted in a blog update.

Good Luck!

Update: Congratulations to Pillows-a-la-mode for winning our Sneaky Art double giveaway. She has been contacted via email.

I’ve been busy over at Museiddity! The new site focuses on arts, crafts, and creativity. With the holiday season approaching, I wanted to make sure we had some momentum going.  Highlights from the first few months include an interview with Arizona glass bead artist Haley Smith, a burlap wreath tutorial, and The Bead Hoarders Blog Hop which was organized by Lori Anderson at Pretty Things.

Serengeti Necklace by rlcFor the hop I created this Serengeti Necklace; the pendant consists of an elephant bead wired to a piece of bark from the Paulownia tree, also known as the Empress Tree. I enjoy crafting with unusual and reusable objects; this is a theme we will be revisiting at Museiddity in the months to come.

With the other site up and running, I feel I can relax back into a routine and resume my postings here. Thank you for sticking around! As a treat, please enjoy this photo taken by Penkdix Palme.

frog-under-umbrella

Earth Cake by rlc

 

Whether you call them Earth Cakes or Garden Cakes, these make fun gifts to give for Earth Day–and the kids will love making them with you!

 

Supplies:

  • Bucket for mixing up soil
  • Flat working surface
  • Cardboard discs, plastic lids, or other recyclable/reusable “cake plate”
  • Can that is slightly smaller in diameter than your “cake plate”
  • Wax paper
  • Potting soil/garden dirt
  • Water
  • Flower seeds
  • Small flowers or leaves (optional)

Directions:

In your bucket combine potting soil, water, and garden dirt if needed. You want the mixture to be “packable” and able to keep its shape.

Place some wax paper on your work surface.

Pack a small ball of your soil mixture. Place it on your wax paper and gently press into a flat disc or “cake layer.”  Use your can as a cookie cutter to create uniform layers. Make two per cake.

Sprinkle a small amount of flower seeds over each layer. Gently pat the seeds into the cake. (I used a wildflower seed mixture for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds). Let your cake layers dry for a few minutes.

While waiting for your cake layers to dry, prepare your cake plate by arranging a layer of leaves, flower petals, or other “doily.”

By now your cake layers should be dry enough to handle without breaking. Gently peal them off the wax paper and position them on your cake plate seed side up.

Decorate the top of your cake with a small sprig of flowers or a few small leaves.

To Plant:

Lay each layer in a pot or in the garden and cover with a small amount of soil. Refer to the direction on your seed packet for planting depth and watering instructions.

(Alternatively, the cake layers can be crumbled into your garden)

Are you a creative person? Do you enjoy crafts, art, writing, music, gardening, and other creative activities? Join us at Museiddity.com!

How do you celebrate Earth Day? Shout it out here in the comments section!

St. Paddy's Jewelry Board 2013 by rcHappy St. Paddy’s Day!

I love “green”–plants, money, eco-friendly stuff, …limeade,… I was in the middle of creating some green-for-the-wearin’ to give away at a local function and decided to take advantage of the opportunity to announce a new website I’ve been planning. That, of course, meant I had to create the website…

Museiddity: Celebrating the Creative Spirit (museiddity.com). The actual website is still under creation but in the meantime I’ve set up a blog site for updates and announcements. As a Ponderance reader, I wanted you to be the first to know about this new community.

At Museiddity we will explore all things creative through interviews with artists, authors, crafters, musicians, and innovators. There will be craft projects, inspirational essays, guest posts, and much more! I’m hoping to have a BIG launch party when we’re all ready and I’d love for you to join us. I’ll be posting updates on A Ponderance of Things, but if you would like to get the inside scoop on things and an official launch party invitation please visit Museiddity and sign up for the mailing list.

If you love sparklies you’ll love today’s blog hop hosted by Sarah at Saturday Sequins. Sarah has gathered together thirty eight blogger friends to show off their handmade treasures. The only requirement was to include sequins. Go ahead! Grab a cuppa and treat your inner dragon to a virtual treasure tour!

My entry: Stillness
Sequins between glass

True to my usual nature I jumped right into working with mediums I had not yet tried. Stillness was an experiment; my first experience with both sequins and glass paint. Using two panes of glass, I painted on both inner surfaces. The sequins are glued to the back pane. Since the sequins were not completely flat the panes could not be glued together so I used a type of caulking.

Okay, so up close it doesn’t look like much; it looks much better from a distance, especially in dim light when the sequins shimmer 🙂

 

You might be wondering why I would post an experimental piece as part of a blog hop where all the other bloggers will be showing beautiful jewelry and other items of perfection. The answer is, to encourage others to jump right in and try something. Too many people hold themselves back from creative play. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect or if you don’t know “how” to do something. The point is to play, to explore, and to interact with other creative people.

Below is the listing of other Sequintastic participants; please enjoy your tour. Oh, and be sure to visit Sarah at Saturday Sequins. I heard she will be hosting another blog hop soon; perhaps you will join in the fun!

Participants!!!!

Host: Sarah… http://saturdaysequins.com

Dita… http://alankarshilpa.blogspot.com

Ambra… http://chicandfrog.wordpress.com

Audrey… http://hotpinkquilts.blogspot.com

Stacy… http://iridalsattic.blogspot.co.uk

Karen W…  http://baublicious.blogspot.com

Lori…  http://www.prettythingsblog.com

Lisa… http://lisabinkley.typepad.com

Carmi… http://resincrafts.blogspot.com

Dawn Marie…  http://designsbydawnmarie.blogspot.com

Jeannie… http://site.jkdjewelry.com/blog

Shirlee… http://www.shirleestuff.blogspot.com

Linda… http://www.lilysofthevalleyjewerly.blogspot.com

Corrine… http://www.sparkledaysstudio.com

Gutukas… http://atradimutakeliais.blogspot.com

Shannon… http://uptwnsh-fallingintothesky.blogspot.com

Mallory… http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com

Cyndi… http://www.beading-arts.com

Maneki… http://wildrosesandblackberries.blogspot.com

Maryanne… http://zingalasworkshop.blogspot.com

Ine… http://jewelsbyine.blogspot.com

Karen… http://www.overthemoon-design.com

Kepi… http://kepirasmussen.blogspot.com

Jennifer… http://jenniferstumpf.blogspot.com

Misty…  http://thejollyfatelf.blogspot.com

Dot… http://speediebeadie.blogspot.com

Hope… http://craftyhope.blogspot.com

Cynthia… http://antiquitytravelers.blogspot.com

Micheladas… http://www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com

Shirley…  http://www.beadsandbread.blogspot.com

Karla… http://texaspepperjams.blogspot.com

Eleanor… http://eleanorpigman.blogspot.com

Therese… http://theresestreasures59.blogspot.com

Rita… http://www.toltecjewels.blogspot.com

Stepha… http://skwds.blogspot.com

Sue… http://suebeads.blogspot.com

Cate… http://fulgorine.wordpress.com

Amy… http://loraamyjames.com/

Destiny Allison was living an all-too-common existence as a wife and mother who had lost her sense of self, and yet, she felt a stirring underneath. One frustrating evening she took up a handful of hobby clay and molded a figure. In this figure she recognized the chasm between the lives we bear and the lives we desire.

What lies beneath the personae we don each day? How do we uncover our masked face? Where can we find a reflection of our true self and the courage to exchange living for existence? Destiny Allison found her answers at the intersection of art and life.

Shaping Destiny: A Quest for Meaning in Art and Life isn’t just a book on transformation; it includes studies in form, structure, and vision. It isn’t just a book about art; in it the author candidly shares personal philosophies and life changes. This is a book with a holistic view of the mergence of art and life.

Destiny begins each chapter with an art lesson followed by her autobiographical narrative bringing us along as she discovers her passion for art, uncovers her abilities, and sculpts a new life. I found the author’s writing to be intelligent and candid; she drew me in immediately and kept my attention throughout the book.

If you are a creative or artistic person, if you enjoy memoirs, or if you are at a crossroads and need a bit of encouragement I highly recommend Shaping Destiny: A Quest for Meaning in Art and Life by Destiny Allison. This book made my Top 5 list!

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