Friday, August 5, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - Pendrills

This week's zentangle challenge involved using the new tangle, called Pendrills, which Rick and Maria just unveiled in their newsletter. You can read all about here.
I just love this tangle. It so organic and flows so easily. I love the feel of the grapevines from which it was inspired but it also remind me of netting. I think we will all have a lot of fun with this one. I know I did.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - Fairyland

Once upon a time I was an avid reader of fairy tales. I would wander the library in search of all things magical and extraordinary. I read fairy tale stories of every color. The Blue Fairy Book, the Red Fairy Book etc. Do you know you can download the whole spectrum (all 12) as e-books for virtually free. They are classics. As are their themes. Good vs. evil. It never gets old and it is never not true.

In fairyland good always triumphs over evil. Not always so here in the real world. But the lessons we learned in those stores apply here as well. Hereos never give up and tomorrow is another day. Giants are meant to be faced down and overcome. A handful of fast friends and family will see us through the journey. There is a higher power watching over us. Beauty is all around us and yes, there really is a happily ever after.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - Initialize

This weeks challenge at the Diva blog was a guest challenge by Christina Vandervlist. She is expanding on the string theory by asking us to use our initials as a string. This challenge was a lot of fun. I had a little trouble getting a D and a T to work well together. One is so fat, and the other so thin but I finally came up with something with which I was happy.
I think the idea of initials or monograms could make nice personalized cards or t-shirts. Here is one I had made previously based on the letters of our high school here in Benson. BHS - Benson High School.
Happy Tangling!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - Creative Genesis

Guest challenger Sue Jacobs, CZT has expanded once again on the string theory challenge. And rightly so since drawing a fresh, new string for each tangle can be a challenge in itself. I read that the inspiration for the "string" in drawing a Zentangle is just that. If you held a string in your hand and dropped it on your tile and drew the lines in with pencil you would have a design to start your tangle off. And so Sue's challenge is to tie a weight to a string, drop the string onto your tile and trace the resulting lines onto the tile. Surprisingly this seems to generate a lot of "strings" which look like the ones I draw for myself. Very loopy. However, the challenge has a nice randomness about it and was fun to do.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rain, Rain, Gone Away

This picture pretty much sums up how I feel now that the sun is out and the rain has stopped. Here's hoping it will be a long running weather trend, like for the rest of what is left of summer!
However, rainy days serve their purpose, and when it poured this past weekend I took the opportunity to clean house and sew, neither of which I confess I am inclined to do too often. However, these little fabric postcards were such fun I may be at my sewing machine awhile yet.
Three events facilitated the making of these little art cards. First, a good friend had recently donated a couple of boxes of upholstery samples to me and I have been looking for a way to use them since. Second, I received the new issue of Cloth, Paper and Scissors, a mixed media magazine full of fun and inpiration. It was all about fabric and sewing, with a couple of cool projects I want to try. And thirdly, a discussion arose with another friend on printing photos onto fabric. I have been wanting to try a few products and methods for this because I was always dissatisfied with the iron on transfers of old.
Put all this together and you have a recipe for fabric postcards.
Fabric postcards were begun by quilters as small mini-quilt projects. They are fun to make and, yes, they are mailable. You can find detailed directions and techniques here. The minimum card and letter size for US Postal Service mailings is 3-1/2" x 5". Most fabric postcards made measure 4" x 6" and can be mailed using one self-adhesive first class stamp. Keep fabric postcards 1/8" or less thick to stay within weight limits; cards over 1/4" thick require an extra fee for their depth and will weigh more. You can make cards that are larger and heavier, but postage will be higher.
Depending on the fabric and the backing used you may need a filler layer for sturdiness. One of the reasons I love using the upholstery samples is that they are thick and sturdy in and of themselves. I cut them out as 4"x6" rectangles, sew on collaged layers of fabrics and ribbons, sew on a picture printed or stamped on fabric, and tightly zig zag the whole piece to a Tyvek backing. Tyvek is strong, can be altered by painting or drawing, is easily written or printed onto, and is sewable.You can find templates for postcard backs or real vintage postcard back images free on the internet.
You are only limited in your creativity by your craft stash and your imagination!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - Zendala

I have always loved mandalas. They remind me of kaliedescopes in a way and I have always been fascinated by the ever-changing designs of those magical devices. I had seen the tangled mandalas or "Zendalas" on flickr and other sites but had yet to try one. So this challenge seemed like just the time to try my hand at one and the bonus was I didn't even have to come up with my own zendala string. Yea!
I am posting two versions - one the traditional black and white and another in color. I actually did the color version first, the zendala just seemed to lend itself to color especially well. Back to that love of kaliediscopes I imagine. The tricky thing for me was to not just keep repeating the same things over and over as I moved around the circle. I tried to mix it up a bit as I moved away from the center. I found if I broke the spaces up smaller and smaller then things were more interesting.
Another thing I did not do this challenge is view any other zendalas before I tackled my own. Often I am so excited by a new challenge and the fact that many other tangler's out there post so quickly that I jump right in and look at the "early bird" posts. I resisted this time so that I would be working on my own Zendalas with no outside influence or ideas. So after posting tonight I am off to the Diva's blog to see all the wonderful work by so many other talented tanglers!
Here is the link to the mandala template from Genevieve Crabe, who was the guest tangle challenger this week at the Diva's blog. It was easy to download and I printed it out directly to cardstock which I then drew on right away. I would love to do more of the Zendala's and am open to any suggestions on ways to make the "string." One good idea I have seen is to use an apple corer as a template maker. This kitchen tool has possiblities! Any other good ideas out there?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Mail

Checking our mailbox in America has become a singularly boring and depressing experience. Letters and cards from loved ones have turned into emails and facebook posts, packages have become our own internet purchases and there are virtually no surprises in store. Most of what shows up in my mailbox are bills, junkmail and letters from the school. The United States Post Office is floundering in the wake of electronic communication and online billpay.
There is, however, an answer. Mail art! There is nothing I love more than the expectation of art coming in the mail. Many artists and groups online participate in mail art swaps. Not only do you get a little piece of someone else's art, get to interact with people all over the world, but you can once again look forward to your mail! If you have not joined a swap group online I highly recommend it. It helps me to focus by giving me a specific assignment and goal, keeps me on task through mail deadlines, enables me to try new techniques and projects and gives me a look at others people's creative ideas. It reminds me a lot of  being  back in the classroom without all the stress of grades, criticism, and failures.
You can find many online art groups through Yahoo. There are also online websites dedicated to mail art. Two of my favorites are Red Lead Swap Sisters on Yahoo and The swaps are varied in project and media. I have swapped everything from dottee dolls to artist trading cards (the most popular art swap). People swap craft supplies, cards, paper dolls, art dolls, chuncky pages, inches, twinchies, mini albums, mini zines, altered books, tag art, envies and ATC's. If any of these terms are Greek to you then jump into the wonderful workl of mail ar. So be creative, support your local post office and for goodness sake begin to look forward to your mail again

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - String Theory

It has been dreary and rainy in Minnesota for what seems like "foreeever!" now. Well, if we can't get out we can at least tangle. This week's Diva challenge was for all of us to use the same string for our tangle. I am really looking forward to seeing the results. There have been challenges where we all used the same patterns before but this will ensure we are all coming from the same starting place. Where we go and how we get there after that will be exciting to see!
Even if we all used the same string and patterns in the same places on the tile I'm still willing to bet they would all be unique and different. Each person's individual style would come through I'm sure. Even using the same elements I believe everyone would put there own spin on it. As I am sure we shall see in next week's slideshow. Thanks for a great challenge Laura!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Zentangle Royal Challenge

It has been a few weeks since I have had time to tangle for the Diva's challenge. Along with the royal wedding in Britain it has been prom week in Benson. My son is a junior this year and the job of the junior parents is to plan and put on an Afterbash for the junior and senior class and their dates. It has become quite a production. The Afterbash takes place in the city armory which is a dauting space to decorate, to say the least. Huge, bare and with very high ceilings it is decked out according to theme (Las Vegas this year) in order to house, for one night, 200 plus teens and their parents.
Then there is the matter of feeding and entertaining the prom goers until 4 in the morning. To this end other dedicated committee members come up with lavish food and drink menus as well as a myriad of games to play. Of course ,where there are games, there must be prizes ,and that committee spends an enormous amount of the money raised by the parents to supply some fabulous gifts and prizes for the teens. Everything from lap tops to cash is up for grabs. All in all, it is quite a group effort on the part of the parents who plan, create, decorate, cook, and work all night long to ensure their children are safe and have fun on prom night. And lets not forget that after a long night, these selfless people are back again for cleanup while their offspring sleep! Ah, the things we do for love.
Lisa Burns has provided a wonderful slideshow of the Afterbash at The login is bensonprom11 and the password is vegas2011. You can upload your own Afterbash shots or have pictures printed of you and your friends. Enjoy - and thanks, Lisa!
So after our own big event in Benson was behind me, I turned to the Diva on Monday to catch up on the slide shows of recent challenges and to see what the new challenge was all about. Laura provided a slideshow of royal inspiration for tangle patterns. Isn't Westminster Abbey awesome! Wow, talk about pomp and circumstance. There are arches, and chair backs, and braiding, and badges. Columns, and cornices, organs and sashes. Lace sleeves and fascinators, eye candy galore. A person just couldn't wish for much more. So I lay on the sofa, kicked back and relaxed, and tangled my way to Great Britain and back!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Easter Sunday has turned out warm and beautiful here in Minnesota after a week of  rainy, damp and chilly weather. Perhaps it is nature's way of illustrating to us just what Passion week is all about. A Saviour dies and the world weeps. Three days later He rises in triumph, overcoming death and sin in the process and paving the way for us to be reconciled to God Almighty. Thank you, Jesus!
Spring... the eternal reminder of rebirth and ressurection. O happy day, when Jesus washed all our sins away, O happy day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

15 Minutes

Fifteen minutes. Not a lot of time. What can you get done in 15 minutes. Surprisingly, a lot!
This week's Diva challenge was to do a tangle in 15 minutes. On the official website,,  Rick and Maria are always talking about how a tangle may be done in no more than 15 minutes. I have always found that it takes me oh so much longer than that! So I wasn't sure how this week was going to go for me.
Years ago a friend of mine subscribed to a website which helped organize your life and helped you tackle the big problems of cleaning your house. The jist of the philosophy was that you spend just 15 minutes a day on a project. That's all and soon your house and your life would be clean and organized. She swore it worked! My problem was that when I started something I always got caught up in the minutia, and a small project stretched into hours. Spend 15 minutes cleaning a closet or cabinet out - impossible!
Zentangles are like that for me. I spend time thinking about patterns, turning the tile round and round until it "speaks" to me. Relaxing - yes! Enjoyable - yes! Quick? No way.
But a  challenge is a challenge and 15 minutes it is! So I worked quickly and stopped when time was up. Period.
And really,  it is amazing what you can accomplish in a short amount of time. Now if I can only apply this philosophy to the rest of my life. Hmmm ... clean house, 15 minutes - check. Exercise,  15 minutes - check, check. Ahh, life is good!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Color My World

I am the recent recipient of a fantastic set of 132 Prismacolor pencils. Count  them - 132. Wow! More color than anyone person could possibly need. (Can that be?) Prismacolors are my favorite colored pencils. They are so soft and blendable, and they layer exceptionally well into complex color variations. Yummy is the best word to describe them. I have had a set of 72 since my college days and needless to say (without reavealing too much) they are considerably shorter now and many of the colors are gone. I was so inspired just by opening this marvelous box of inspiration that I decided to colorize my  Mooka tangles from last week. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - Mooka

Our challenge from the Diva this week was to use the new tangle from Rick and Maria of Zentangle fame. They have posted a video of the new tangle as well as written instructions on their blog and you can visit it here at this link  The tangle was inspired by the art nouveau style of artist Alphonse Mucha and it is absolutely wonderful. It's easy and very fluid, open to a lot of variation and it has been exciting to see the different ways it has been used in this challenge. I played around with it for quite a while last night and have posted my two favorite tiles of the evening. I am sure this tangle will be showing up in many future tangles. It is quite a lot of fun.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vote for Cody and Eleanor

Use the widget to the right to cast a vote! 

I am all for art, and especially kids and art. I love the county fair when I can visit the 4-H buildings and see all the wonderful projects that the children of Swift County have made all year long. One of the most popular contests in the fair is the photography contest. Kids take amazing pictures and with the age of digital what is to stop them from taking as many as they wish. How nice.

My friends, the Habben's have entered a picture of Eleanor and Cody in the West Central Tribune's photo contest. All we have to do is vote for her and to facilitate this action I have posted a widget to the right which takes you right there! How easy is that! No excuses now -- check back often as you can vote as the photos advance throught the rounds. Good luck, Eleanor and all the Habben family.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - I Walk the Line

I can't draw a straight line! The cry of everyone who believes they cannot draw. One of the reasons I am so drawn to Zentangles is their motto "anything is possible... one stroke at a time." Anyone can draw Zentangles, for that matter, I believe anyone can draw. Drawing is a skill and that skill can be learned. In fact, as an artist, I don't believe I really ever draw a completely straight line. Even in this challenge of patterns with straight lines I waver and wobble in a most artistic manner.
I found this challenge difficult, which was a surprise for me. I have always been partial to grids, blocks, boxes, squares, straight lines. I believed that this challenge was going to be a piece of cake. And yet I was strangely at odds with my tangles. Without the ability to insert one curve I struggled to "feel" the tangle. They did not flow and move like I wished. And I tried several. So while I finally settled on one to post for this challenge, I find that I, too, can't seem to draw just a "straight" line.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - Nondominatrix

This week's Diva Zentangle challenge was to use our non-dominant hand. For me that would be the left hand and it was a challenge. You have to relinquish a lot of control when you don't draw with the hand you normally use everyday. And as we all know it is not easy to give up control. My first attempt was frustrating because I wanted to do the tangle well. I decided that I needed to simplify my design and my expectations - hence the title - K.I.S.S.
Then just for fun I decided to do a similar tangle with my right hand and see the differences. I have posted them both. In this exercise as in life I like to have control over my environment. I often forget that I am not in control, that challenges from outside invade my life, and sometimes I need to be flexible. It seems the more I struggle to hold on tightly, the more things become complicated. And while this may yield satisfying results in the long run, I can forget that a simpler approach has it's own rewards. So I remind myself to keep it simple, stupid.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Red Lead Cottage Swap

One of my favorite websites is Red Lead Paperworks. They do a lot of altered art, have a great selection of vintage stamps and papers, and a yahoo group in which different artists participate in swapping their art. Their latest swap was to create a collage art piece using a set of three cute chipboard cottages. (Click on pictures to enlarge). 
In looking through my collection of old photos I noticed how many pictures were taken on front porches. It seemed so appropriate to use them on the litte cottages. I chose one picture of my Dad as a little boy playing happily on his front stoop with a new toy, one picture of family ancestors sitting on their porch with a picket fence in the foreground, and one picture of an old friend playing his banjo in the doorway of an old house. I can remember taking family pictures on our own porch when we lived at the beach, and while I do have a porch on my house here in Minnesota, it is enclosed and does not have the same feel as an open one or serve as a family gathering place. I miss that. So these little cottages are my homage to friendly front porches perfect for pickin', playin' and sittin'.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I sat down this morning to post the picture of the next Make and Take project and realized this would be my 15th post this year. That was the same number of posts I had last year total. So... progress!

Make and Take this month is Monday, March 21st from 6 to 9 p.m. The project for this month is charmed ball-chain necklaces. We will be making a photo charm using either flattened bottled caps (as pictured) or a 1x1 memory frame. Add some beads, metal word tags, and any other found objects such as keys, old hardware, buttons, old earrrings or jewelry parts and you have an eclectic necklace which matches your personality. Use your own photos printed very small, or assorted vintage images from here at the shop. Make additional charms from paper tags (as pictured) or beads. Materials fee: $10. Hope to see you there.

Zentangle Challenge Blues

The Diva challenge this week was to add some blue color to our tangles. Some of my favorite tanglers online use color and I am awed by their techniques. Two who come quickly to mind are LeeAnn aka lendzer and Sandra aka Molossus. While I love those who use color in their zentangles I gravitate to the graphic black and white. But these challenges are about expanding our horizons and with that in mind I'll try not to be too "blue" about Something Blue.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Time to Tangle

Although it was a busy week at Swift Weaver's my motto is "there is always a time to tangle." For instance, on Monday waiting to enter the dentist office for a crown (what fun!) or last thing before bed. This week's Diva challenge was a real challenge for me. I don't usually only use one pattern in a zentangle and I not only had a hard time choosing just one, but a hard time making it work on its own. I have seen other zentangles with only one pattern and they all appear to be much "more" than I can seem to manage. While I don't like to use too many patterns in one piece and I like to repeat a pattern off and on in one drawing, I find I am not too fond of restricting myself to just one. I tried three different times to come up with a satisfying result and felt I fell short each time. I am posting all three looks. You be the judge!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - White Space

The Diva's weekly challenge was to create a Zentangle and not fill in every little space. I must admit that can be a challenge when you are tangling. I often have to consciously make myself leave negative space, but I I seem to like the tangles I create with white space much more. Though you can fill in every space of the tile with pattern and still have white space by carefully choosing which patterns you use. Some of them leave a lot of white within their design and this serves the same purpose compositionally.
At any rate here is my tangle of this challenge:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Visual Journal Class Week 3

Looking back I see it has been almost a month since I worked on my visual journaling page. In week three we were to add additional elements into the collage by stamping with paint using found objects, sponges, paint daubers, stamps. Then some additional shading and color. You can see if you look back to the first week that the collage has changed significantly. There is a lot more depth and layering. I think it has gotten a little dark but it is starting to be cohesive. Onward to week four.  I'll finish up this work in the next couple of days and upload the final result.
A new class is starting this month on It is entitled "Start Where You Are" and might be a great class for beginners in collage art. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spring Fever

Seeing as how we just had around 15 inches of snow or so dumped on us in the last two days you may think I am out of my mind. However, we have had so much new spring merchandise coming into the shop in the last two weeks that I really am having spring fever. There reaches a point in February where I am ready for spring colors to brighten up my mood and my surroundings. Sheila and I have both been getting in new spring stock and the whole store looks full, fresh, and festive.  We have new fashions, handbags, scarves, belts, jewelry and prom purses. Remember, the coffee pot is always on, so stop by for a visit when you can. Until then here is a small preview.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Tangle - Artoo

This week's Diva challenge was to use her new tangle, named for her son Artoo, who is home and doing well. Photos of him are posted on her blog and he is too cute! I thought the tangle pattern was nice and it is very easy to vary. I love organic tangles because I tend to be a bit rigid and locked into a grid quite a bit. It helps me to come out of my comfort zone.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - Hearts for Artoo

This Zentangle is for week 8 of the Diva Zentangle Challenge. The Diva posted the challenge while her little boy was in the hospital. The challenge was to use two previous challenge techniques. I chose the two pencil string combined with the addition a blind string. So these "Two Hearts in One" are for Artoo as well as my prayers for her family.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Zentangle Challenge

Recently I discovered two wonderful blogs by Zentangle enthusiasts. For those who don't know, a Zentangle is a small black and white patterned drawing, a type of "artistic meditation" developed by Rick and Maria Thomas. Zentangle is a registered trademark and you can find out more about them at
I love to tangle but often find myself using the same patterns over and over. It is easy to get into a rut. Then I found two new websites. One is a site entitled and is a compilation of many Zentangle patterns organized and maintained by Linda Farmer. Bless her! The other is a site where a weekly challenge is posted for tanglers who would like some fresh inspiration. It's the Diva's Weekly Challege and a link to the site may be found on the right sidebar.
Last weeks challenge was "Breathe" and here is my tangle:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

ATC's and what to do with them...

ATC's - what to do with them? Artist trading cards are fun to make and swap but what can you do with them beyond storing them in notebooks or framing them for your walls. While you do have to part with most of the artwork created for swaps there are a few methods for preserving a piece for yourself. I always scan or take a picture of the artwork I send off. This week I was finishing up eleven Valentine ATC's for a swap at Before mailing the cards out I scanned a few of them for use in my own Valentine's. I cut out the scanned ATC's and mounted them on brown and purple cardstock to frame them. I attached the framed pieces to the front of 4x6 cards in pink and cream. Then using the metal foil from last week's make and take I framed the ATC's again on the cardstock  after coloring the foil with alcohol inks.
Add a Valentine verse inside and you have your very own Valentine's - just in time for February.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Visual Journal Class Week 2

Last week I published a post on a free Visual Journaling class I am participating in through One nice feature of these classes is that I can work at my own pace. Even though we are already on week 4 of the classes, and I am only on week 2 of the work it's OK. No deadlines, no pressure, no stress. That's the kind of project with which I can live!
On the second week we were to add shading, color and paint to our projects. Using a charcoal pencil we added shading beneath elements in which we wanted to enhance the shadows. Then using 3 or 4 shades of oil pastel we were to color and blend in areas of our collage. Finally, we used a gesso white wash to overpaint the entire piece. Then back again with more shading and color.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dotee Dolls

Engaging with others in mail art swaps is one of my favorite pastimes. I usually pick one or two a month to participate in on a site called The swaps are varied, the art well done, and the people nice. Another advantage of  the Art 42 group is that I am not required to purchase any special products to participate in the swaps. Everyone works pretty much with the products they have on hand already. I like this because it often allows me to use new techniques or products I have been wanting to try out. Most of the swaps I engage in are collaged or painted ATC's, chunky pages, or things of that nature.
However, one different sort of a swap caught my attention -Dotee dolls. Now what in the world are Dotee dolls?, I thought. Well, as it turns out, Dotee Dolls are an altered art doll created by Dot of Since then they have become a swap sensation and they are as varied and different as they are fun. The pair I made for the swap were to be a Winter Dotee doll and a Spring Dotee doll. Here they are - the Snow Angel and the Spring Sprout. I must admit I had a hard time parting with them but send them off I did and these pics are all I have left.

Many sites and blogs post detailed instructions for making a dottee doll but here are the basics.
1. Find some fabric you love for the body. Cut it out in any shape of your choosing. I have seen pear shapes, rectangles, triangles. Find a ribbon to use for hanging the dottee doll. The ribbon is folded in half  with the loop sticking out the top of the doll and the tail hanging out the bottom of the doll.  Attach the ribbon to the front inside of the body. The doll will be anywhere from about 3-5 inches long.
2. Using felt of any color cut out a face shape. Draw, paint, sew or bead on the facial features, then sew the face to the front side of the front of the body.
3. Stitch the two body parts together. Hand stitching is easy to do on these dolls. They can be sewn right sides together and turned inside out so the stitching does not show, or sewn wrong sides together with the seams to the outside. Again it depends on your preference.
4. Embellish the doll as you choose. You may add clothing, beads, hair. The sky's the limit! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Free Classes in Visual Journaling

Last year one of my goals as an artist was to try to advance my own creativity in the areas of drawing, collage, and mixed media. I  joined swap groups and created collaged ATC's, Chunky Book Pages, and Tip-In pages. Still trying to find my own voice I am venturing into the area of visual journaling. I think keeping an visual journal can make your art more personal, helping you to develop your own style. It can document your life, your travels, your artistic growth. As with any journal or diary it can be a daunting process as well.  Somehow staring down a white page has never been a very comfortable experience for me. Many artist begin with "toning" or adding a wash of color onto the page before beginning, or choosing paper which already has a tone of color on it. It can still be a very large, blank page and while I have found working on a very small scale can be less intimidating it is also somewhat confining. So when I saw that Strathmore was offering free classes online in Visual Journaling I was excited! I signed up and began a type of "pages in stages" workshop using copies of my own previous artwork and a few other simple techniques. At any rate it is all about having fun and being free. So jump in at Here is my page after Week 1:

Thursday, January 20, 2011


January may have come in warm and snowy but it is going out cold and blowy! Subzero temperatures have finally come home this week. A great time to stay inside and make those February valentines. Reflecting back to when my boys were young I thought of how we would always make Valentine's to give others. Usually flat, about the size of baseball card, we would paint and color them one Saturday afternoon. After they had signed each one (a laborious process), we would staple a bag of candy or a lollipop onto each card. For some reason over the years an extra treat had become a part of the giveaway. When I was growing up we were happy to get the little cartoon based cards from all of our class- mates. Nowadays specially packaged candy is the Valentine!  Some marketing genious, I suppose. But I must admit I am still a sucker for the homemade with love variety.

And so... I have been playing around with Tim Holz's alcohol inks again for a valentine swap on Alchol inks are solvent inks which adhere to any non-porous surface.  They can be used to color metal, dominos, glossy card stock, glass, etc. I am always discovering a new use for them. They are just so versatile and colorful, as well as quick and easy. Inspired by an article in the December issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors I thought these little ATC's would look perfect mounted upon a card. They can be removed and hung up on their own as an ornament or picture frame. I love the look of the alcohol inks on the metallic foil tape on the sides of the card.

So with Make and Take coming up on January 24th at Swift Weaver's I decided a Valentine's project was just what the weather ordered. At left is a card designed by Swift Weavers' intern Diedre Ranney. We hope to see how you can inspire us with your own designs and ideas. We'll be here Monday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m or email us your own valentine creations at