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Monday, December 30, 2013

Dare # 85

    I really love Bright Owl's template this week.  It is awesome.  Being out of school for another wonderful week, I was able to get in all three again.  Yahoo! 
     I love the woven look of W2.  I struggle with it.  It is one of the hardest for me to do.  But it is after all a "dare", so I figured go for it.  I wish I hadn't added the little bits of fringe on the ends, but it was too late to stop.  I liked it better before that.
      I wanted something more organic for number two.  I started out with pokeleaf.  Then my brain went "aha", it needs a fence.  Then of course it started to rain (msst).  I was pretty sure I was finished.  Until the brain thing happened again and suggested houses.  I keep wondering if I should add some color to the houses only - what do you think?  I see bright red roofs with yellow houses.  Can't decide.  I do know that I really like this tile.  It appeals to me.
       Rather simple tile for number three, but I love chard and cadent and will use them without any hesitation.  They are just mindless fun to me, especially cadent. 
      I wish you all a wonderful new year.   I hope it is filled with joy and good health!  Thank you for dropping by - not only this time but the many times you have brightened my day with your comments over the past year. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Every Inchie Monday - Time

     The last inchie of the year!  Wow.  I actually accomplished all 52 inchies, more or less on time.  In addition to increasing my vocabulary, stretching (or shrinking, perhaps) my creativity, I have made a whole new circle of friends. It is so wonderful to be a part of such a talented group of artists.  From fibers to shrink plastic to beads to just pure "magic" their talents are much admired.
    This week's word was "time".  I found some really pretty paper and thought it sort of fit the title, time, space, infinity, all that stuff. 
     When I first found this site and started looking at others' inchies I saw a really good idea for storing the year's inchies.  I wish I knew who inspired me, but I don't remember.  So if it was you - thanks a ton!  I loved the idea and made a chart of my own.  It is interesting to see an entire year of inchies laid out.  Which do I really love?  Which could be better?  I love this idea!  So I have already made the grid for 2014.  Ready and waiting.
      Thanks for dropping by and leaving me some sunshine!  Have a great week!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dare # 84 and Every Inchie Monday

   Can you tell I am out of school for a while?  I actually got to do all three sizes of templates from Bright Owl.  Yahoo!


    I also worked a bit on my inchie for Every Inchie Monday.  The word this week was "food".  I should have waited and taken a picture of the Christmas spread coming later this week.  Instead I just chose a picture of something yummy, then "took" a bite out of it.

   The following is an ATC for the monthly swap over at Blue Twig Studio.  The theme for December was "wings".  I tangled the background card, glued some elements on and added a blue gem for the fairy to hold.  For this swap, you enter a card and then the "winner" (randomly drawn) gets all the entries.  Keep your fingers crossed.
   
   Hope your week is going okay.  I am enjoying craft and creativity time.  Of course I am not arguing with sleeping late either!   Lakota and I want to wish you all a happy holiday season!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Master Caster Product Reviews

     Thank you for checking out my blog and reading my first product reviews.  Let me know if you have used any of these products and what you think.  I do not work for this company so the opinions are my own.

Microfiber Gloves

   Honestly I had never given much thought about whether gloves worked on a touchscreen device.  It never occurred to me to think about it.  Then one extremely cold morning on car duty at our school, I pulled out my phone to check the time (when can I get inside and get warm?).  I turned my phone on and swiped.  And swiped.  No luck.  That was when I had an aha moment.  Gloves don't work on touchscreens.  So I pulled off my gloves and used the phone.  Along came a request for a review from Master Caster about their smarter gloves.  Would they work as promised?
   The package said that the soft microfibers would gently clean touchscreens without causing any scratches.  I used the palm of the glove to wipe down my touch tablet.  All smudges gone and no fibers or marks left behind.  I also took a few minutes to turn on the touchscreen of my phone and tablet.  They allowed me to manipulate around the touchscreen without any problems.
   But a glove's main purpose is to keep your hands warm.  The other elements are great but warmth on a cold morning is more important than operating my phone.  Did they work to keep my fingers toasty?  I am happy to report - definitely.  I love these gloves.  They are soft to the touch (92% polyester yarn and 8% stainless steel yarn).  They work on touchscreens.  The only problem?  They fit my brother and I may not get them back.  I see another pair in my future.
    If you decide to buy a pair - and you should think about it - they are washer safe, but do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets.  My guess is that might interfere with the anti static quality of the gloves.  The company guarantees the gloves for one year after purchase date and promises to replace any defective gloves at no charge.

Rolling Wrist Rest

     The next product I looked at was a rolling device that is to be used to help reduce joint stress for computer mouse users.  It is a solid piece of plastic with a soft cushion where your wrist will rest.  It measures 5"w x 2 1/4"d x 5/8" h, a very comfortable fit for most desks.   It is designed to allow easy movement between the mouse and keyboard.  On the bottom there are 4 wheel mechanisms that have 360 degree rotation independent of each other. 
     I opened the package and read the back.  I could see where this would be a very comfortable item to have for my wrists when I am at the computer for long periods of time.  I frequently suffer with very tired hands after time gaming or working.  Then I took a second look.  I know where this will work for me even better!  I am a tangler (an artist who spends lots of time drawing).  Would this work to lighten the tension for my hands there?  Oh yes.  It rolls along smoothly and doesn't get in the way.  It is comfortable and allows me to draw with less tension.  So while there are computer pictures all over the package and that is its primary design, if you are into drawing you might want to look into this little gadget to give your hand the rest it needs.

Furniture Touch Up Kit

     This furniture restoring kit comes with 5 touch up markers and 3 filler sticks.  The package says it can be used on walnut, dark mahogany, cherry, red mahogany, mahogany, dark oak, light oak, and natural finished woods.  It also can be used on wood and wood laminates.
     The back of the package outlines the easy steps - apply the marker color to minor scratches, worn edges, blemishes, and imperfections.  Repeat as you need to.  If the scratch is deep or is a nail hole or crack, use the filler stick.  The marker will then be used over top of the filler.  Quickly wipe off the marker or filler with a clean, lint free cloth.
     Now to find something to try this out on.  I decided on my great grandmother's doll case.  It has several marks as a result of "aging".  After wiping off the area, I chose a marker that seemed close to the right color.  I had to color over it several times before I saw any color.  From a distance the mark seemed to disappear, but close up the marks are still apparent.
     I do some framing of the art work I do and I could see this coming in handy to touch up a scratch on a frame.  I wouldn't say it makes those imperfections "disappear", but then again they are a lot less noticeable.  

    Check out these products at Shoplet.com.   

Friday, December 20, 2013

J.O.Y.

     It is Every Inchie Monday not every inchie "whenever".  I know this.  But I have worked so hard to complete all the Christmas gifts for people at school and then when I wasn't working, I was being very sick with a stomach virus.  Anyway now that the holiday is over, maybe I will have a moment to relax and get back in the challenge swing.  I hope.  The word this week was "Joy".  There were so many ideas I had - which to choose?  I decided on one of my favorite thoughts with the word joy.  It is a rather simple inchie, but I am very fond of it.

     Dare #83 was to do something "wintery".  Our weather around here has been so back and forth - warm, cold, cool, who knows?  How parents can dress their little ones for school is amazing to me since it changes not only daily, but hourly.  I wanted to make my tile look cold so I tried using the tangle, "frosty".  I think when I have time I may go back and add some color.  Maybe.
Winter Sky

     Here are the two Christmas presents I have been talking about.  My assistant principal loves zebras and so I chose to do one for her office.  The peace sign is for the school secretary.  The moment I saw this idea on pinterest, I knew I had to come up with a design for her - it practically screamed her name!
     Now off to do something else!  What?  I am not sure.  Maybe just sit and stare at my sketch pad for a few minutes.  Hope your week is awesome and you have a very Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Late again

     I thought last week I would have this blog entry up right away - I knew exactly what I wanted for the inchie challenge and Diva's challenge wasn't hard.  But this week has left me very zapped.  I started getting sick the end of the week and really don't feel any better.  I guess it is a stomach virus, but I can't keep anything down and any sort of movement just sends me dashing to the bathroom.  Being sick any time is a drag, but I really have some fun things planned for this week and just cannot bear the thought of missing a day.  I have invited each one of our classes to come in and listen to some of my favorite Christmas stories.  This gives me a chance to read some of my favorites and the teachers a chance to have a moment without kiddos.  So I have to manage getting through this week.  Somehow.
     Every Inchie Monday's word was "found".  So why is there a peanut on my inchie?  Okay I have to explain, so bear with me.  When we were children we went camping a lot to a state park a few hours from home.  The car would be packed and we would be restless so mom always started these silly songs to keep us from driving her and daddy crazy.  Of course we sang all the verses to "99 bottles of beer on the wall".  Another favorite was "Found a peanut".  It had lots of verses and we would sing it to the top of our lungs and without much musical ability.  But boy it was fun!  So when I saw the word "found", there was no other choice.  Too many memories!
     Diva's challenge was to do something for the holidays.  I had several good ideas, but just went with something simple - really too wasted to think much about it.
       I hope you all have a wonderful week.  I really want to find some small bit of energy to get my tree decorated today.  Ray has it up and ready.  I just don't want to stand that long.  But I want it up.  Drat this bug!  Thanks for dropping by and leaving me some sunshine.  Again have a great week.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

He Who Finishes Last . . . .

. . . . . well, still finishes.  Barely.  The dares, challenges, Christmas presents, etc. keep piling up.  I am getting things done, just not as quickly as I wanted. 
      Every Inchie Monday's word was jacket.  I just did not have a creative thought in my brain.  Which is why it has taken me so long.  I definitely did not want to miss one, so here is my "jacket".  I just am not very happy with it.  Now this coming week, the word is . . . and I have an idea!  You'll see it . . . hopefully on time.
jacket
      Then I needed to do Bright Owl's challenge.  Once I got started, the template sort of disappeared - but it is there, I promise.
Dare #82
    Next stop, casa de Diva.  I really love her new tangle, Boo-Kee.  It is fun.  The first thing I saw was snowmen - on Diva's tile even though she didn't mean to do snowmen.  I sort of thought I would go with that idea until I opened Bloglovin and saw some other gorgeous snowmen.  Maybe on a Christmas card for someone.  But for now I just had some fun playing with the tangle.  This is one that will become a favorite "go-to".
Challenge #147
     I discovered Adele Bruno's string challenge.  I know.  I shouldn't have.  But . . . I had to get involved.  When life slows down over Christmas holidays, I may go back and get caught up on the challenges I have missed.  It doesn't look like I used her string, but it is in there. 
String Challenge #17
     I am caught up now - sort of.  Until the challenges come out this week.  So I think I will take some time and work on one the tiles I am doing for Christmas.  I will post the things I have worked on, but not until after they are given.  One is for my school secretary (an awesome lady) and another is for my assistant principal (another great lady) and they are readers of this blog, so "no, Cindy and Amy, you can't see what I have done!"
     Have a great week and hope the weather is not being too unkind to you where ever you may be.  It is rough in parts of our country.  Not here, not yet.  Thanks for dropping by and leaving me some sunshine!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lovely, lazy days!

     It is sooo sweet to be out of school for this week of Thanksgiving.  I have been drawing like mad and hope to finish a few more Christmas presents before it is back to school for me.  I will post pictures of some of the things I am doing for presents, but not until after I give them away.  A few of them go to some special ladies that support me by reading this "nonsense" and I can't give away my secrets!
      In addition to creating presents, I have been working on ATC cards for a swap.  I almost have them all done and in the mail.  This swap has made getting mail so much fun!  I also love actually "owning" some of the brillant artists's work that I have admired for so long.
      Bright Owl had a great looking template for us to use this week.  But I really had a hard time with it.  My first go turned into an unintentional monotangle.  For the second one, I tried to use color to help out some very simple looking designs.
Peas, please
Dare #81

      Challenge number 145 at Diva's didn't turn out any easier.  This was shaping up to be a week of tough dares and challenges.  We had to do a duo-tangle using peanuckle and well.  I love peanuckle - it was love at first site when this tangle first appeared.  The tangle, well, well I think is just okay.  My tile is very basic, nothing fancy, but I found it very relaxing to do - at least the peanuckle part of it.
Challenge #146

      Every Inchie Monday's word was rope.  Another challenge!  I remember mom getting my brother some Avon soap on a rope,when he was little.  The soaps were all sorts of cartoon characters.  Aha!  An idea!

     Be on the lookout for a review from time to time here.  I have been contacted by Shoplet to be a product reviewer.  The whole thing is very exciting to me - I just hope I do a good job.  Do let me know what you think when one shows up.  Be critical, I can take it!
      Have a wonderful week and for those of you in the the U.S. -  happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Challenge #145

     The new tangle "quib" is lovely!  I love the flowing lines and the feel it gives a piece.  I didn't have a hard time doing the tangle, I just struggled how to make it work on a tile for me.  It is a tangle I will want to use a lot more that this one time.
     I teach an after school art club each week at my school.  I allow 3rd - 5th graders to sign up.  Then I am faced with the hard task of choosing around 18 to participate.  I say hard because I usually have around 80 + to sign up.  Lots of times I will just put the names in a bag and draw them out.  In years past I have done a variety of arts and crafts.  This year, I decided on tangling exclusively.  Overall, I have some very talented and dedicated young tanglers.  I challenged them last week to look around their world at patterns.  Then to find one and come up with the step-out.  I told them if they did and could "teach" me the tangle I would post it here on my blog.  So without further ado - "TA-DA"!
     Zoe was the only one to have a go at my challenge.  She is a 5th grader and a very talented artist.  I am proud of her work, not only here but in all of the pieces she has done for class.  I hope you enjoy Zoe's hard work!
     Ah, we are cruising down on Thanksgiving break!  Yeah!  I am so looking forward to resting, working on Christmas presents and getting the house clean and ready for my Christmas tree.  Have a great week and thanks for dropping by.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Every Inchie Monday - "old"

    This week's word is "old".  I could not find a picture of me that small so I went to some scrapbook paper I had and sort of played around with a background and the border.  Nothing really fancy but I sort of like the way it looks. 
     I also worked this weekend on my ATC for the swap over at Blue Twig Studios.  The theme is "trees".  I tried one, but could not get happy with it when the idea of some birch trees came to me.  This is rather plain but again I am satisfied with it.
Birch Trees
     Last but not least I finally finished my tiger for the facebook group, Ornation Creation.  I have several other templates to do - perhaps over the Thanksgiving break.  Although, I really need to get to work on my Christmas presents then, so we will see. 

     I hope everyone is having a wonderful day and your week is also great.  Thanks for dropping by!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Challenge #144

     Something is buggy with this challenge!  Well, it is supposed to be.  Diva asked us to do our tile and work into it the idea of a bug!  I chose to do this on an ATC sized card, simply because that is what I happened to have handy.  I used colored pencils and some gel pens to add the pizazz.
      Thank you for dropping by and I hope your week is wonderful. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Almost too late!

     I opened up Diva's challenge the moment I got home Monday.  I looked at it.  I pondered it.  I avoided it.  Then I sat out to try it.  Again.  Again.  And again.  This tangle - Cruze - we had to use is so pretty and I seriously love it.  I really didn't have any trouble doing it.  The trouble began when I wanted to use it.  I could not for the life of me figure out how to make it work on a tile.  I tried several approaches, but could not make it "fit".  It gave me a real struggle.  I finally just put it down the middle of an ATC sized card and did a few tangles around it.  Rather lame.  But for the moment all I can figure out.  Now perhaps if I go and look at all the other entries, I will get some inspiration.

     I love the template for Bright Owl's dare.  I always do though.  They challenge you and inspire you.  At first I wanted to turn it into Christmas lights, but just didn't feel like working in color.  Maybe later.

     Every Inchie Monday's word was "mouth".  Here is my entry for this week.   I thought a mouth going after a sweet treat sounded good!

     I am sooooo far behind on the templates for Ornation Creation.  But think of this as a fall pumpkin and not a Halloween one and I am fine.  The thing is I painted the pumpkins about 3 weeks ago when they were posted then put them under some books so they would dry flat.  Yep.  You guessed it.  I found it today when I was moving something else.  So I decided to go to work on it.  Who knows what wonders may lurk on my crafting table?  Perhaps over Thanksgiving break I shall go on a search mission!

       Hope you have a great week and thanks for dropping by.  I would love to hear from you!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dare #79

     Erin asked us this week for our template to think about how thankful we are for zentangle and it's founders.  I sort of stumbled onto zentangle messing around on the internet one evening.  I decided to look up some books on Amazon.  Did a lot more research on the internet and here I am.  I love the confidence it has given me - in my art, certainly, but just as much in other areas of my life.  And confidence is one thing I struggle with daily.  I love the friends I have made through this awesome art.  I feel as though I am truly a part of an artistic community and that thrills my soul to pieces.  I have always been told by people I am an artist, but never really felt it.  Now I can seriously say I am an artist and mean it.
     I decided to take the letters of the word zentangle to find tangles to use on the template.  I have a HUGE green binder with tangles I have found through various resources.  I used some official tangles of Rick and Maria, some come from my Suzanne McNeill books, and others from a few of the many wonderful artists I have "met" on the internet.  I used - Zedbra, Eyeballs, Nzeppel, Tipple, Amaze, Ninepatch, Golven, Laced, Esses.

     Thank you for dropping by and I hope you have a wonderful week filled with smiles!

My Inchie Has Encountered An Error

   I know this entry looks lame.  I really don't mean it to be.  Actually I did put a lot of thought into it.  The idea behind the inchie this week was "danger notice".  I thought of the computer throwing us a "blue screen of death" when something went wrong.  It used to be so aggravating to get that ornery screen with the word error on it.  So here it is my danger notice!  My computer blue screen!  Have a great week and hope you find some smiles in your day!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Challenge #142 - Danger Zone

   For this Monday's challenge, we were asked to step outside of our comfort zone and try something we don't or at least rarely do.  I have two types of tangles I don't utilize very much.  That is not to say I don't like them.  I do.  When done by someone else.  I love the woven look of many tangles - huggins being one of them.  But it is not relaxing for me.  I spend the entire time saying the mantra "over / under" over and over.  Then going back over each line just certain I have put it in the wrong place.  Good grief!  So that had to be a part of my tile.  Had to.  The other tangle type has that curvy look.  I can't keep them even and that (since I am a horrible perfectionist) drives me up a wall.  I chose the tangle "groovy".  It is a beautiful tangle.  But my pieces look all "wonky".

    So there you go.  My tile is a duo tangle.  The two tangle types that do not inspire confidence.  At all.  I will use them again.  I will try them when I am feeling brave.  It just won't happen often.  And when I do, I will make sure to plan a long nap for afterward.
     Have a great week and may it be filled with blessings. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dare # 78 and Every Inchie Monday

   I had a plan when I saw Bright Owl's template.  Spider webs and a big black spider in the center.  But then my pen did something without consulting me, or so it would seem.  I now have a basket of oranges.  Ah well. 
Every Inchie Monday's word was thunderstorm.  The name of the tangle I used was lightning bolt.  Guess they go together pretty well.
     Thank you for dropping by.  Have a great week!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Time for Relaxing!

     This has been one of those weeks.  You know the kind.  If it can go wrong, it will.  Around every corner, there is something stressful.  You begin to wonder, what next?  However through it all there has been some very nice blessings.  We had a major computer failure - power supply - but we now have a better one.  And the installation wasn't too bad (at least for me, don't ask my brother).  I received a really nice "thank you" note from someone at school for something I did - made my day.  I had a group of kiddos that were being more than difficult and my principal came up with a solution that will work for everyone involved.  Lots of blessings, lots of need to tangle.
     I finished my Dare for last week of the Bright Owl.  Yep, I said last week.  I didn't make it to posting it on the Facebook link.  We were supposed to make a tile and then put it somewhere for another person to find - Random Act of Zentangling.  My tile is done (and it is hard to part with it) and it is ready to go inside my library book when I return it.  I will take a picture of it inside the book, but I am not ready to go to the library yet.
     I also finished my project for Diva's challenge #141.  We did a duo tangle using the two tangles, "fengle" and "quandry".  Neither one of those are were my favorites.  I still am not too excited by quandry, but I had so much fun with fengle that I used it for  Diva's challenge, one of my ATC swap cards, and also used it all over my calendar page!  What unexpected fun!  The only problem with this card was when I got ready to watercolor the edges there was a tiny bit of yellow on my brush.  I just couldn't bear to throw it out.
     I finished 4 cards for the black with accent ATC swap which starts November 1st.  The last count was 47 cards needed.  I think I have around 40.  But I have a few months to mail them all.  We can do part of the group or the entire 47.  I plan on doing all of them because I want to get 47 cards!  This is so much fun!  I am going this week to buy a notebook to put all my ATCs in. 
     I have several things I need to get done - this week's Bright Owl dare, my inchie, some more ATCs, and lots of Christmas presents to tangle.  So for me, it is off to tangle - land for a bit!  Have a great week and thank you so much for dropping by.