Saturday, July 19, 2014

Compendium of Curiosities III #7- Painted Industrial

Welcome to another great challenge from A Compendium of Curiosities Volume III. Challenge #7 is "Painted Industrial" and can be found on page 46 of this fantastic book. You can read all about how to enter this challenge and ways you can WIN big prizes at the end of my post. But first, I'd love to share my industrial creation today.

This technique is so incredibly easy yet yields the most impressive results ever! I whipped up this wall plague in just a few hours. And most of that time was waiting for the paint and glue to dry.

I had this 5" x 7" wooden plaque in my stash so I grabbed it and laid down two coats of Tarnished Brass Distress Paint. Didn't need to do the center because I'll be covering it up in a sec.

Oooh... I do love this technique so much. I wish I could share how to do it, but that's YOUR job and why we want you to join in the challenge. Discover new techniques, try new things, make pretty stuff! I added a bit of red shimmer tape to separate my two patterns here. I grunged up the tarnished brass plaque with some Black Soot Distress Paint on my finger, quickly rubbing it around the edges.

I just got received my Layered Bee Alterations die and coordinating Texture Fade (also got the butterfly and dragonfly, just love them all so much), so I knew I had to use it today. The bee has been painted with Tarnished Brass Distress Paint after the same steps in the "technique." I added a bit of Black Soot with my finger in a later step to tone down the brightness of the brass. And as you can see, I added some Idea-ology pieces to embellish.

I screwed in some tiny eye hooks and a bit of chain for hanging.

Here's the finished piece again. It looks so cool hanging in my craft room. I surely hope you give this technique a go. It's foolproof and fun!

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Do you have the fabulous Compendium of Curiosities Vol. III book by Tim Holtz? (the master of all things vintage and distressed.) If not, you can find one at your local craft store, scrapbook store, or you can get a signed copy by Tim himself by going here. 

You can find all the CC3 Challenge details and FAQs here.  The lovely Linda Ledbetter is our hostess of this fun series of challenges, and all you have to do to participate is create your project, and upload to her site. Be sure, though, to read through all the FAQs so you're eligible to win...

We're working our way through this fantastic book of techniques and tips, and challenging you to join in the fun. This round's challenge is sponsored by the great folks at Inspiration Emporium who have a fabulous gift voucher to give away to one lucky random winner. Also, the Curiosity Crew's Choice scores a giant prize pack of goodies straight from Tim and Mario!

Now get your industrial creative juices flowing and have some fun in this challenge!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

London 2014 Day 8

Hello and welcome back to my London vacation recap. Thanks for your patience on this continuation. The house has been turned upside down the past few days with wood flooring installation and now we're preparing for carpet replacement in just a few short days. Crazy!

Only two more days to share of our trip. Day 8 was our last full day in London. We were a bit lazy getting up after our evening out on the town the night before, so we decided to enjoy a simple breakfast in the room. We munched on biscotti, cheese and of course our in-room coffee then headed out for a day of ART.

But first, a light snack. (It's always about food isn't it?) This was just enough to fuel me for several hours in an art gallery.

We headed to Trafalgar Square to visit the National Gallery. Although there are many galleries and museums, we chose the National Gallery for the famous works of da Vinci, Raphael, Rubens, Renoir, Monet, to name just a few. We learned very quickly that no photography was allowed and that meant cell phones as well. So nothing to share here, unfortunately. If you have the time, allot an entire afternoon to this one. We only spent a few hours here but wished we had time for more.

We stopped for lunch at a place we'd been passing by every day during our trip. Basaba Eathai. It was always packed with people and we were curious if it was all it seemed to be. It certainly was! This is my delicious lunch: grilled salmon, coconut rice, and spinach salad. Perfection!

We also became quite fond of the gelato in London. Specifically, Snowflake Luxury Gelato. Omygoodness, this stuff was sinful. I was happy they offered small portions. The selection changed daily but I always seemed to find something with chocolate and coffee. Yum!

We went back to our hotel room to relax and freshen up a bit, then quickly got on the tube to Tate Modern. The entire other end of the art spectrum, Tate Modern hosts 7 levels of very modern art. Now I have to admit, my family and I are definitely not refined enough to appreciate modern art. We just don't get it, quite frankly, and found that we were doing more giggling than appreciating.

With that said, however, there were works that did happen to intrigue me, this being one of them. Almost like an appliquéd quilt, this piece was interesting. And rather than trying to explain what it conveys, I'll just share the description...

I found it interesting.

It felt like a sort of scrapbook to me.

These lithographs were giving me artistic inspiration. 

And while this may look like a huge jellyfish-type of creature from afar...

Upon closure inspection you see the lacing and hand stitching. When I read the description, it was something to do with flesh and sex and boys by a river. So there you go. (giggle)

After our Tate Modern experience we headed back to toward the tube station. We passed this cute little place and I had to snap a photo. It seemed like a happy little place.

By the time we got off the tube, it was almost time for the World Cup to begin. England was about to play Uruguay so we searched for a pub that might be showing the game. We looked in the window of Byron's and noticed a large projection of a soccer game on the wall, so we decided this was our dinner spot. A good ole burger and beer joint.

We quickly realized the soccer game projected on the wall was simply an old soccer game projected on the wall. Not a television projection. So we enjoyed our drinks and eventually our delicious burgers.

This is our cute waiter laughing as I told him how we realized the game we were waiting for on the wall was not coming.

We finished our burgers and headed back to the hotel to watch the actual game, in which England (sadly) lost. We enjoyed watching, nonetheless, then packed most of our things for our departure tomorrow afternoon. I was feeling torn. I could have happily stayed in London longer, but I was feeling ready to get back home too. 

Day 9 and 10 to come in my next and final London recap post. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Good Ol' Sport Display Tray

Hello and happy Thursday all. Today I interrupt my London recap posts for a great project for the guys out there. It's a display tray from the craft store filled with wonderful Graphic 45 Good Ol' Sport papers and embellishments; ready to fill with your favorite sports photos of your family athlete.

I'm featured over on the Graphic 45 blog with this project today, along with a YouTube video filled with tips and hints throughout. Take a look at my project here, then jump over there and check it all out, along with more projects from fellow Design Team members Lori Williams and Nadya Lifa. And be sure to leave a comment on the G45 blog or Facebook page so you get a chance to win their give-away prize pack. Who wouldn't want to win that?!

And speaking of Good Ol' Sport, be sure to read to the end of my post here to see my four-card workshop/kit offering!

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If you're in the local Central Florida area, 
I invite you to join me in a fun card making workshop with 
Graphic 45's masculine Good Ol' Sport collection. 

Sunday, July 20th, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Cost: $25

Two 5 x 7 cards, one easel card, and one pop-up card. Envelopes included.

(pop-up card, inside)

If you can't attend but would like a pre-stamped take-home kit, please e-mail me at with your contact info. Shipping costs will apply. PayPal invoice will be sent to you. Kits will ship July 21.

Thanks for stopping in today. I hope you have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

London 2014 Day 7

Yes, the London recap continues. Thank you all for such nice comments along the way. I'm glad "most" of you are enjoying it. The trip ends in just a few days for us, and we're starting to make sure we don't miss out on the main things we planned to see. Day 7 was another great one.

I'm telling you, if you go to the Soho area of London and you don't stop at L'Eto Caffe for breakfast as least once, I will never forgive you. We had yet another fabulous breakfast here on Day 7.

Today's choice from the menu. Delicious once again. I just love how they serve the feta in a little disk in a tiny bowl with olive oil drizzled over it and a rosemary sprig perched on top. And why have I never thought to serve avocado on toast with my eggs? 

Soft boiled eggs with milk bread, avocado salsa and butter £7.9
Egg White omelette with spinach and tomatoes, sourdough toast, Feta cheese £8.9
Fried eggs with avocado tartines, fresh tomato, Feta cheese £9.9
Poached eggs on toasted milk bread with avocado, fresh tomato, Feta cheese £9.9
Scrambled eggs with avocado tartines, fresh tomato, Feta cheese £9.9
Eggs benedict on sourdough toast, fresh tomato, avocado £10.5
Eggs royale with lightly salted herb salmon on sourdough toast, £12.5 fresh tomato & avocado
Eggs Florentine, Feta cheese & spinach seasoned with cumin & chili flakes £10.5 

We made our way to the Tower of London today. The London Pass actually came in handy for our free, no-waiting entry. 

So much to see and explore here. We spent half the day, although it easily could take an entire day to enjoy if you had the time.

We started off exploring on our own and enjoyed reading about the history of this great landmark, but soon found that it would be better to join in one of the guided tours. If you have the time, I highly recommend this.

We jumped in on this guided tour already in progress and were thoroughly entertained by our humorous guide. Talk about a guy who loves his job. This fella was hilarious and seemed to be having a great time with us.

A great view of the Tower Bridge in the distance.

We weren't allowed to take photos inside here, so I snapped this one to prove that we checked out the Crown Jewels. Pretty amazing stuff!

In this museum area, this dragon sculpture caught our attention.

Upon closer inspection, we discovered he was made from all sorts of weaponry and armor. Very cool.

We continued through the Tower of London for another few hours and then hunger started to set in badly, so we decided we were done with the tour and looked for the closest place to eat and found a great row of restaurants nearby. Inside this pub, we relaxed and had a rare treat of deep-fried samplings of mushrooms, potatoes, onions, and chicken. It was certainly tasty.

After the fried food, we decided to walk back to the hotel rather than the tube for a short rest, then we headed back out for some shopping. Jamie and I got a few clothing items as Paul walked the streets enjoying a cigar.

We'd passed by this fast-food Italian place many times throughout our walks through the streets and I kept saying we've got to eat there before we leave, so tonight we finally did. It was called &Pasta. And we were glad we did. Like the sign said, "Fast-Good Italiano." 

We had yet to really walk around much in the later part of the evening, so on this night we decided to.   Picadilly Circus was bustling with people and all lit up.

I couldn't get over how long it stayed daylight there. It was past 10 p.m. and felt more like 5 p.m. in the States.

Big Ben was even more majestic at night with it's dramatic lighting.

The River Thames was a gorgeous site. Across the water is the London Eye, of course, and the Aquarium we visited the other day. The lights changed different colors on the building as we walked by.

This is the only time this kid has had a halo around her head. (said with a wink and a smile)

Paul and Ben.

Jamie snuck this photo with her iPod Touch when we were strolling along the river hand in hand. I just loved all the lights, and am so glad we decided to go out in the evening like this, although I caught a glimpse of something small scurrying along the walkway and then saw more of them and eventually discovered they were little mice! Eek!

Tomorrow I'll share Day 8, our last full day in London as we visit the National Gallery and Tate Modern. Thanks for checking in. See you then!