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July 12, 2014

So Many Collections - Maybe Too Many Collections

Some might think that I have too many collections, like my husband. But I don't think there is such a thing as too many collections. Granted, I have some morbid collections like my Victorian Mourning Jewelry and casket plaques. But I also have "normal" collections like my Parisian treasures and Rosaries. When I see an old Rosary, it is like pushing a pause button. Everything stops for a moment and I notice the little details and wonder who used it to pray and what their life was like at that time. When you put several Rosaries together, it is like a piece of art work. And I know from experience just how powerful it can be to pray the Rosary.

What are some things that you like to collect?


July 5, 2014

Character Constructions Santos Doll

I love this gal that I received in the mail as a gift from Character Constructions! I was able to decorate my Santos Doll however I wanted and decided to give her a French theme. I know, shocker!!!

Here is a little more detail from Catherine Moore, the amazing lady behind Character Constructions

"Kit: Includes 8.75" x 2.5" Santos Doll, Arms, Doll Stand, Heart, Crown, and brads, constructed of a wood material, natural in color, which can be paintined, stained and collaged". 

Also available separately is a stamp to create the base, and custom dies for cutting out stamped images. "You can make the wood version or a paper version, or combine elements of each". 

If you haven't visited Character Constructions before, I highly suggest you do. Catherine makes the most unique characters that are just beautiful and full of wonderful details. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a fabulously creative day! 


July 1, 2014

Welcome To My Palace

I hope you enjoy your visit to my shadow box palace! Alpha Stamps now carries these wonderful small paper theatre boxes that come flat and then can be easily folded into a box. That way, you can store several without taking up too much space and can create a wonderful palace of your own. You can also purchase clear acetate windows and there are several great collage sheets that are sized just for these boxes.

I love the fact that you can purchase Alpha Stamps Collage Sheets as a digital download. That way you can print up as many as you need to make a 3D look by attaching layers of the same image. I did this in several of the rooms for curtains, chairs, tables and more.

As you can see below, I attached all of the boxes to a trimmed piece of cardboard with glue. Middle boxes were added first with glue placed on back and one side to attach them together. I repeated this with the other boxes and attached all edges that came together to make it one large palace. Because it is joined into one piece, I can attach a ribbon and hang it on a wall.

Thank you for visiting my palace and if you make one of your own, I would love an invitation to visit.
Supplies Used:

Small Nouveau Theatre Collage Sheet
Square Shrine Opera House Collage Sheet
Small Theatre Curtains Collage Sheet
Paper Theatre Opera Houses Collage Sheet
Floral Marie Antoinette Collage Sheet
Go Away, I’m Reading - Madame de Pompadour Collage Sheet
Jeanne Antoinette Poisson Collage Sheet
Paris Postcards - Color Collage Sheet
She Could Be Marie Collage Sheet
Hot Air Balloons Collage Sheet
Circular Dresden Borders - Antique Gold
Flower and Leaves Dresden Borders - Antique Gold
Gold Dresden Myrtle Leaves
Petite Windows Die-Cut Chipboard
Die-Cut Chipboard Chairs Set
1 Inch Fancy Gold Filigree Base
3/4 Inch Gold Star Filigree Base
Large Gold Star Filigree Bead Caps
Mixed Gold Filigrees
Yellow Flower Garland

June 11, 2014

Go ask Alice..... I think she'll know.......

I think a lot of people/artists are obsessed with Alice. What do you think? I was in an Alice tag swap some years ago, but I find her making frequent appearances just like Marie Antoinette. Imagine the tea party they would have together. I have two wonderful stamp sets from Alpha Stamps, (Alice Tea Party & Alice's Adventures) that I thought would be great for a personal project. I did some more stamping on ribbon and added lots of yummy, rich details. For a complete supply list, scroll to the bottom of this blog post.

This was an old, square bottle I have had for some time now. It became the perfect "canvas" to create on.

Yes, that is an old flashbulb for a bottle topper and after wrapping it with some trims and beaded wire, it looks  like it came with the bottle.

The bottle had lots of raised images so I took some plain paper, a good ole pencil, and scribbled to get a pattern of the design. Then I was able to make a stencil and trim my paper to fit each area of the bottle, making it look as if it came that way from long ago. 

This was a fun and easy project to make and I especially like how the light shines through the bottle, bottle top and the beads. Another successful project where all of the pieces fell into place. I love it when that happens. Thanks for stopping by! 


Supplies Used:
Glass Window Beads - Large Aqua
Glass Window Beads - Small Aqua

May 13, 2014

Springtime in Paris Fabric Book

This months kit theme at Alpha Stamps is Springtime in Paris. So guess who was extremely happy to hear the news? That's right, me!  I knew I was going to be stamping images onto the new satin ribbons that Alpha Stamps would be carrying,  and I got to have a free for all project as well. I was amazed how easy it really was.

Before starting my project, I had to make sure I had a hard surface to do my stamping on and have my rollers as well. It seems the only time I can get a good impression from a stamp is when I use a roller all over the area, vertically and horizontally, several times.

After practicing a few times, I was ready to go. The VersaCraft Chalk Pigment Pad works so well on both satin ribbon and fabric. The image comes out very clean and not chunky. I used this pad in both Real Black and Poppy Red.

When applying the ink to the stamp, I usually coat it back and forth a few good times. I also check for ink lines that sometimes occur when applying. This happens when a line is left in the texture of the ink which is no good if you want a clean print of your image.

A few good rolls, being careful not to move the stamp, and there you have it. The above stamp is the Boho Paisley Clear Stamp. As you can see it is really long so I used an extra large acrylic mount that I had to mount it.

Now to do it again using the Poppy Red ink pad.

Fabulous! Don't stress about getting a perfect image. I like the old worn look. Below I used a smaller stamp from the set Fleur De Lis Bird & Arrow. The VersaCraft Chalk Pigment Pads are so easy to use and the inks consistency gives a nice, smooth image.

One item that I always have handy are diaper wipes. They are perfect for cleaning off stamps, messy fingers, and whatever else might need some cleaning up.

Now I will do the same thing on the new satin ribbons from Alpha Stamps. This ribbon is tan and I am using the same stamp as above.  I love repeating images on ribbon. You can use it in so many projects and also personalize things as well.

Now usually, I would look at the picture below and think, "No way, not trying that" but I was again surprised at how easy it was. After shaking the Lumiere Metallic Acrylic Paint in Metallic Gold, I used a makeup sponge to apply the ink. Place your sponge on top of the open bottle and give it a quick tip over like you would nail polish remover. Then dab it all over your stamp. Do this two or three times to get a good even coat and also to spread the ink out so there are no puddles. Then flip, roll, and Voila! When using the acrylic paint on your fabric, directions do say to let it dry for 24 hours and if you want to set the ink just iron over both sides.

This stamp is called Damask Study and it is another loooooong one.

Once I had my images stamped I was ready to play with them. 

I used a vintage table cloth to create my book which was all lightly glued and sewn by hand. I tore strips off to give it that frayed, shabby look. In between pages I added a layer of an old, pieced quilt to thicken my pages, but you could also use some batting.

This pocket was added using a vintage red ticked tea towel. So french, don't you think?

Now this is a stamp I am extra excited about and is new to Alpha Stamps. It is called French Bees Collage Rubber Stamp and was created using the new French Floral Overlays Collage Sheet. The sheet can be purchased as a digital download or on Cardstock, Transparency or on a Sticker Sheet. I love all of these options that Alpha Stamps now offers. 

Using ripped pieces of fabric, I was able to make a "stamped ribbon" of sorts using the French Bees Collage Rubber Stamp and Lumiere Metallic Acrylic Paint in Old Brass. I love how it turned out! Again, heat-set by ironing both sides 24 hours after stamping.

Here is another sample using both the new French Bees Collage Rubber Stamp and
French Floral Collage Rubber Stamp.

Below are more samples of stamped satin ribbon using the Fleur De Lis Bird & Arrow Clear Stamp Set, Nest Amour Clear Stamp Set, and the Scroll/Leaf Border Rubber Stamp from Alpha Stamps. Be sure to check out all of the new satin ribbons at Alpha Stamps (Ivory, Lt. Pink, Tan, Antique Blue, and Moss..

A sample using the VersaCraft Chalk Pigment Pad in Poppy Red.

OK, last project, I promise. I was just having too much fun. I made the below card using some of the beautiful supplies from this months "Springtime in France" kit. Click on the link for more info.

I hope you enjoyed your visit and were inspired to create. It is my "me time" and my therapy. If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to contact me. Thanks for visiting!


Supplies Used:

French Bees Collage Rubber Stamp
French Floral Collage Rubber Stamp
Satin 7/8 inch Ribbon - Tan
VersaCraft Chalk Pigment Pad - Poppy Red
VersaCraft Chalk Pigment Pad - Real Black
Lumiere Metallic Acrylic Paint - Metallic Gold
Damask Study Clear Stamp
Boho Paisley Clear Stamp
Fleur De Lis Bird & Arrow Clear Stamp Set
Nest Amour Clear Stamp Set

April 8, 2014

Easter Bonnet Tag Swap

Just because it's a Cirque stamp, doesn't mean it has to have a Cirque theme. Here are the tags I made for the Character Constructions Easter Bonnet Tag Swap. A huge thank you to Cathy for hosting these wonderful swaps and to those who also created beautiful tags. I'm addicted to these swaps!!!
New themes have been listed so if you want to join in you can. Bathing Beauties, Downtown Abbey and Travel Tags. Hurry before sign ups end! You can find more info here Character Constructions on facebook. 

March 31, 2014

Happy 125th Birthday to the Eiffle Tower

As most know, I am obsessed with the Eiffel Tower and all things French. In fact, I love it so much that my next tattoo will be the Eiffel Tower on the back of my neck. Ok, maybe that was TMI. I even have my cute Eeffel Tower mouse cursor. Sadly for me, my husband is currently on a business trip. To where you ask? Like we don't really know the answer. That one place that I so want to go back to....  Paris. I know, his job really sucks having to travel to places like Paris. But he hasn't been and I told him he MUST go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It sways, it's huge and it just had a birthday!!! So in honor of it's big 125th, here are 10 facts that you might not of known about this majestic beauty, courtesy of Christopher Klein at Included within are pictures of my father and I when we visited in 1996.
On the lawn with a timer on my camera.

On March 31, 1889, workers riveted the last of more than 18,000 iron pieces into place to complete construction of the Eiffel Tower. To inaugurate the magnificent metallic structure, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s designer, climbed its 1,710 steps and unfurled a French tricolor flag from its pinnacle. As the Eiffel Tower turns 125 years old, explore 10 surprising facts about the Parisian icon. eiffel tower.

1. The Eiffel Tower was once yellow. In fashionable Paris, even the Eiffel Tower must keep up with style trends. Over the decades, the “Iron Lady” has changed her looks with the application of a spectrum of paint colors. When it opened in 1889, the Eiffel Tower sported a reddish-brown color. A decade later, it was coated in yellow paint. The tower was also yellow-brown and chestnut brown before the adoption of the current, specially mixed “Eiffel Tower Brown” in 1968. Every seven years, painters apply 60 tons of paint to the tower to keep her looking young. The tower is painted in three shades, progressively lighter with elevation, in order to augment the structure’s silhouette against the canvas of the Parisian sky.

2. It was built to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Organizers of the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the fall of the Bastille and the launch of the French Revolution, staged an open competition to design a spectacular centerpiece to their world’s fair. Out of 107 proposals, they selected the design submitted by Eiffel along with architect Stephen Sauvestre and engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier.

Yes, I am a dork and my eyes are closed. We didn't have cameras that you could instantly see your picture on back then. We had to actually develope our film, lol. Under the Eiffel Tower. I had to buy a wind up bird that flew. My parents had gotten one for me there when I was little (and stuck in America) and I found one at the same spot.

3. For four decades it was the world’s tallest structure. At 986 feet, the Eiffel Tower was nearly double the height of the world’s previous tallest structure—the 555-foot Washington Monument—when it opened in 1889. It would not be surpassed until the completion of the 1,046-foot Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. Although the Eiffel Tower eclipsed the Chrysler Building in height with the addition of an antenna in 1957, it still trailed behind another Gotham skyscraper, the Empire State Building. Citroen advertisement on the Eiffel Tower Citroen advertisement on the Eiffel Tower.

After being stuffed in the elevator like sardeins, we made it to the very top of the Eiffle Tower. It was beuatiful, seeing Paris all lit up at night. I didn't like the way it swayed though. Was very unsettleing.

4. The Eiffel Tower was once the world’s largest billboard. When dusk fell across Paris between 1925 and 1936, a quarter-million colored bulbs attached to three sides of the tower’s steeple illuminated to spell the 100-foot vertical letters of the French automobile company Citroën. The advertisement blazed so brightly that it was visible from nearly 20 miles away, and Charles Lindbergh used it as a beacon when he landed in Paris on his 1927 solo trans-Atlantic flight.

5. Eiffel designed part of another famous landmark. When the initial designer of the Statue of Liberty’s interior elements died suddenly in 1879, French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi hired Eiffel as his replacement. Already renowned as a structural engineer and railway bridge designer, Eiffel designed the skeletal support system to which the statue’s copper skin is affixed. (Today, a scale model of the Statue of Liberty stands on an island in the River Seine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

6. Parisian artists petitioned against the “monstrous” structure. Although now a worldwide symbol of romance, the radical design of the Eiffel Tower inspired anything but love in the hearts of 300 prominent Parisian artists and intellectuals who signed the following manifesto that ran in the Le Temps newspaper on Valentine’s Day in 1887: “We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects, passionate lovers of the beauty, until now intact, of Paris, hereby protest with all our might, with all our indignation, in the name of French taste gone unrecognized, in the name of French art and history under threat, against the construction, in the very heart of our capital, of the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower.” The screed even said that the “gigantic black factory chimney” was so loathed that “even commercial-minded America does not want” it.

My father and I always find a spot to draw. We have so many sketches of the same spot, but with our own perspective. Problem is, my father is an engineer and VERY specific. It took him FOREVER to finish every perfect line of his Eiffel Tower. So when we went to draw the Arch de Triumph, I told him he had 30 minutes and then we were done.

7. Radio saved the Eiffel Tower from destruction. Since Eiffel footed 80 percent of the tower’s construction costs, he was permitted to have the structure stand for 20 years in order to recoup his investment before it passed into the hands of the Parisian government, which planned to disassemble it for scrap metal. Seeking a way to prove the structure’s strategic utility in a bid to save it, Eiffel erected an antenna atop the tower and financed experiments with wireless telegraphy that began in 1898. The value of the tower in sending and receiving wireless messages, particularly for the French military, caused the city to renew Eiffel’s concession when it expired in 1909. Today, more than 100 antennae on the tower beam radio and television broadcasts around the world. An early sketch of the Eiffel Tower An early sketch of the Eiffel Tower.

8. The Eiffel Tower contributed to the capture of Mata Hari. During World War I, the French military used the tower’s wireless station to intercept enemy messages from Berlin. In 1914, the French were able to organize a counter-attack during the Battle of the Marne after secretly learning that the German Army was halting its advance. Three years later, the station atop the Eiffel Tower intercepted a coded message between Germany and Spain that offered details about “Operative H-21.” Based in part on this message, the French arrested, convicted and executed Mata Hari for spying on behalf of Germany.

9. The tower housed a scientific laboratory. Eiffel engraved the names of 72 of the country’s scientists in the tower’s first-level gallery, and atop the structure he installed a laboratory that was used by himself and French scientists to study astronomy, meteorology, aerodynamics and physiology and test experiments such as Foucault’s Pendulum. In 1909 Eiffel installed an aerodynamic wind tunnel at the base of the tower that carried out thousands of tests, including those on Wright Brothers airplanes and Porsche automobiles.

10. Daredevils have died attempting aerial feats at the tower. Using everything from parachutes to bungee cords, adventurers for decades have used the tower to stage daring stunts. Not all the thrill-seekers have defied death, however. In 1912, French tailor Franz Reichelt attempted to fly from the tower’s first floor with a spring-loaded parachute suit but crashed 187 feet to the ground instead. Fourteen years later, aviator Leon Collot was killed attempting to fly his plane beneath the span of the tower when it became entangled in the aerial from the wireless station and crashed in a ball of  flame.

Hope to see you soon Eiffel Tower!