Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Masculine Card

The December Our Daily Bread challenge over at Operation Write Home is for masculine cards, and for some reason I always think of scenes from nature when I think of cards for the guys. The mountains are a stamp by PSX, and the trees are by Art Impressions. I colored the background with Distress Inks.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Just Because

If this photo looks blurry to you, please let me know in the comments. The original photo is in focus, but as I view it here in the Blogger app, it looks blurry. Sorry about that.

This is for my parents. I try to send them a card every couple of weeks. I used the Operation Write Home sketch #201, which I like quite a lot and plan to use again soon, to start building up a stock of cards for OWH. The stamp is by Art Impressions, and the heart-shaped brad was a gift. I sponged dark green ink onto the green and white gingham paper to cut down on the brightness of the white, and used the same ink to stamp the house and the sentiment (Hero Arts).

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Out from Under

I finally have my Christmas cards more or less under control, and was able to take the time to make another card for my pen pal Tom B. (His Christmas card went out last week). This card uses Operation Write Home's sketch #202. The gray plaid is very old Keeping Memories Alive paper, the embossing folder used on the blue paper is by Darice. The yarn was a sample of the always-fabulous Malabrigo sock yarn. The branches are part of a larger tree stamp by Art Impressions, and the birds are clear stickers by an unknown company. I used Distress Inks to ink the circle.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Back again with more cards, this time using OWH's sketch #143. On this first one, I stamped the sentiment too close to the edge and had to make the slants go in the other direction. Oops! I think it came out okay. Old papers, as usual, and the sentiment is from a clear stamp set by Hero Arts. This is for my parents.

These two slant the right way. More old papers (yawn) and -hey! - some fairly new washi tape (navy with yellow stars) that I stuck down on white paper and trimmed. Hero Arts sentiment from the same set mentioned above. One of these became an Any Hero card for OWH, the other went to my pen pal Tom of Wish of a Lifetime. By the way, I got my first letter from Tom today! What a pleasure to get a lovely, handwritten letter from a new friend. It was the highlight of my day.

This one uses some zig zag trims I got in a packet of scrapbooking stuff years ago. This is definitely not the blog to visit when you want to see all the latest papers, inks, techniques and all that. I stamped the clouds (Close to My Heart) in light blue on the blue paper so they would show but not compete with the zig zags. The sun (by Printworks, I think) was stamped onto yellow paper and cut out, then addeed to the card. Sentiment from the same set mentioned above. This one is going to Cards for Hospitalized Kids. I actually made one last card using this sketch, also for CFHK, but I haven't photographed it yet. I used a rainbow idea for that one, using a Posh Impressions border stamp and various colors of Distress Inks on a piece of glossy cardstock. I will try to share that one in my next post.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Big Help

This past week was the second time I used my system of randomly selecting a card sketch (I use the fabulous collection of sketches at Operation Write Home) and then spending the week making cards based on the sketch. As you can see, I was able to get a lot of cards made this week! It was so easy to just dive in, since the design was already decided. And the more cards I made, the more ideas I got. First of all, the random number generator selected 175, so that's the sketch on which I based all of these cards. The first card is for my new pen pal, Tom B., with whom I was matched with the help of the Wish of a Lifetime organization. The patterned paper and stamps are very old Close to My Heart items. The most interesting thing about this card is that I used a trick I found online (probably on Pinterest) of painting plain brads with nail polish. It works great. I just stuck the brads in a dry kitchen sponge while I "painted" them.

This next card will go to Cards for Hospitalized Kids. I used my Cuttlebug (a million thanks to Caroline, the most generous person I know!) to make the dotted background. The snowman and little house are stamps from Darcies, and the sentiment is part of an OWH fundraiser set from Stampers Best.

This will be an Any Hero card for Operation Write Home. It uses more ancient CTMH paper, plus the fabulous set by Stampers Best. You can see I began deviating even further from the sketch when I didn't combine four small squares to make the larger square here.

These two Any Hero cards use very old papers from Keeping Memories Alive. Even after all of the paper purging and scrap wrangling I've done, I still have papers that are over fifteen years old. Crazy. The tree image is by Art Impressions. I sponged the backgrounds behind the trees with Distress inks.

One of these is a card for Sandy, the founder of OWH, and the other ... Well, it turned out so Spring-like, I thought I'd better save it for, you know, Spring. Card on the left uses more KMA papers, the one on the right uses purple CTMH; I'm not sure about the yellow and white. Sentiment is by Posh Impressions.

This last card is for the postal workers where Sandy takes her dozens upon dozens of OWH boxes to be mailed. I hope they'll get a kick out of the Israeli postage stamps. Patterned paper by Hot Off the Press, sentiment stamp by Posh Impressions.

And there you have it! I am so pleased with the way this system is working for me. I've got a new sketch number and am raring to start on a new week's worth of cards! 

And in case you're wondering...yes I am still knitting. Every day, in fact. I am almost finished with a big - and I do mean BIG - project, which I will share next month after it has been gifted. It has been a pleasure, but after a month and a half of working on only one project, I am more than ready to get some more diversity going.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

On a Sketch and a Plan

I have been trying to come up with a plan that will help me make more cards with less angst and agonizing. I realized that it is easier for me to pick a sketch and build the card around that, rather than pick a stamped image to use and then find a sketch that will work with it. I will be using a random number generator every Friday to help me pick one of the (as of today) 196+ sketches available on the Operation Write Home website.

Last weekend I got sketch #67. In some cases I modified the sketch a bit, but having that layout in mind really made the cards come together for me a lot faster and more easily. The first card is for my father's birthday and uses very old patterned paper from a Hot Off the Press booklet, some ribbon, and a stamp by Fiskars. The card directly above will be going in a packet of cards for Cards For Hospitalized Kids. I used some fun metallic corrugated cardstock and a dimensional sticker I found at my local arts and crafts store, and a ribbon that probably came on a gift. The sentiment is by Close to My Heart.

And this card is going to a friend. Here I used some very old Keeping Memories Alive patterned paper and stamps by Close to My Heart. I actually made a couple of other cards this past week, including the Any Hero card shown in my last post, which also used sketch #67. Now it is the weekend again, and I have a new sketch to follow and am nearly done with my first card of the week! I think this system may just be what I needed to spark my creativity and get me busy making cards...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Any Hero Card

I haven't posted in months, but I wanted to quickly share this Any Hero card I made for Operation Write Home. I used washi tape on a card for the first time! And my new Fiskars star punch (with little gold star stickers in the center of each). Tag was made using an old Close to my Heart template. I used OWH Sketch #67. Big thanks sentiment is by Printworks, small thank you by CTMH.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Washcloth Therapy

In the midst of all the turmoil here (bathroom renovation) and trying to work when your computer is hiding under a shower curtain dropcloth, I decided I needed a simple project that could be finished quickly. I already have plenty of things on the needles, including three different pairs of socks, a blanket and a sweater, but I wanted something very small and mindless. I had just organized my stash of cotton yarn, so I decided to make some washcloths. Anyway, Liat needs new washcloths when she goes off to college, right? I used my go-to pattern, Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth, for three of them,  but tried something new for the fourth - a mitered square. It made for a nice change, but I am not wild about the yarn over increases going through the middle of the cloth, and Liat has advised me not to "mess with success". So it's back to grandmother's house I go.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mobile Blogging

Ever since I got my iPad last summer I have spent a lot of time accessing all of my social networks via applications instead of on my desktop computer. I also use the iPad's camera instead of our regular camera. And let's face it, once you've uploaded photos on Facebook and Instagram, who has the energy to write a blog post? (Well okay, I'm lazier than most).

But today I discovered the Blogger app, and I am hopeful it will make blogging easier and simpler. 

I have been doing a lot of knitting lately, and have quite a few projects on needles: three socks, a blanket, a sweater and a washcloth to be precise. Not to mention all of my projects that are in hibernation.

We are having work done in the house, which means that everything is jumbled and dusty. I have started a major de-acquisition project, but I need to remove some of the books I want to donate in order to make room for reorganizing stuff.

Crazy times around here. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Knitting Update

It has been awhile since I brought you up to date on all of the knitting I've been doing, so here we go. Above is a little set I made for a young man born on February 22. I suspect these items will be too big for him for a while yet.
This is another pair of size 18 men's socks for our dear friend. As you might imagine, it can be tricky finding socks that fit comfortably when you wear this size. I am planning to make several more pairs in the coming months. This is what was left of the grey yarn I used for the last pair I made for him. to avoid confusion between the two pairs, I added a single round of blue at the toe here.
Now that Liat has finished the army (after two years and 102 days), she is ready to have some fun! She and Avi will be going to Barcelona next week to see a Champions' League soccer game. Avi asked if I would make a hat for him, in case it is cold outside during the game.

I am currently working on another baby sweater and also trying to finish up the pair of socks I started for Meital months ago (in the hopes of giving them to her for Chanukah). I am nearly done with the second sock, and will be very glad to finally be able to give them to her.

Of course, I have plenty of other projects waiting in the wings! Including knitting up another scrap swatch to use as texture for my mono printing. What are you working on?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gelli Plate Fun

At long last my Gelli Arts Gelli Plate has arrived! I got the smallest (6" x 6") size and while I love it, after only using it twice I am sure I want the medium (8" x 10") size. Maybe this summer I'll pick one up while we're in the States, along with some of the cool stencils I've seen online. All of the raves I've read online and heard on YouTube are true! This thing is so amazingly fun and addictive. I have only just barely gotten started using it and I can't wait to play some more. One of the things I was itching to try while I waited for the Gelli Plate to arrive was to use knitting as a texture...I knit up a 7" x 7" piece of 1 x 1 ribbing using up scrap yarn and as you can see in the above photo, the background on the right uses the knitting as a texture. How fun! Now of course I'm dying to knit up all kind of other patterns to try them out on the Gelli Plate. I love the idea of combining two of my favorite hobbies into one project.
One of the other textures I tried and loved was some of that rubber shelf liner. I happened to spot some on a trip to the hardware store with Avi (who of course couldn't figure out why I wanted it, lol).  Part of the challenge is going to be figuring out ways to use these backgrounds...some might get made into cards, others will become backgrounds in my art journal. I have seen people cut up their backgrounds and make them into mosaics, which also looks really cool.

Off to do more mono post I will catch you up on some of the knitting I've done lately.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sidney Seligson 1895 - 1976

Today is the start of the Family History Writing Challenge. I decided to write about my paternal grandfather, Sidney Seligson 24 June 1895 - 24 March 1976.

Sidney was born to Kalman and Sutcha Seligson in or near Montreal, Canada on 24 June 1895. He was their third child and the first son. His older sisters were named Hannah and Marion. His family had emigrated to Canada sometime after 1890, but they didn't stay there long. By 1900  the family had moved to New York City. A second son, Philip, was born in New York. The third son and last child, Harold, was born in 1901.

The 1900 US Census shows Sidney, age 4, living with his parents, sisters and brother at 1326 5th Avenue near W. 111th Street. Kalman's occupation is listed as foreman in a factory. The census indicates that Kalman and Sutcha had been married for ten years, which matches with other findings. Also noted on the census is that the family arrived in the United States in 1896. I don't have positive confirmation of that yet.

I know all of this is very dry; unfortunately I don't have a lot of details for this far back in time. I am hoping that this project will motivate me to learn more, dig deeper, and fill in these gaps. The thing about genealogy, for me anyway, has been that I tend to think, "Oh, yeah I knew my grandparents, let's see how much farther back in time I can go." Now I realize that I need to take the time and learn as much as I can about the people who lived closer in time to me, especially since I am lucky enough to still be able to ask my father, and his brother, questions.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Care Package

 This week I sent off a package to a cousin in the U.S. It should have gone out weeks ago, but...well, I wasn't as efficient with my knitting as I should have been. This is more of a lap blanket; it is only about 42" long, but it should do the job. Yarn is Plymouth Encore Bulky, and the pattern is just a simple Harris Tweed stitch (for those who are interested, there are more details on my Ravelry project page).
And this is the card that went with the blanket. My cousin is a big UCLA fan, so I tried to use the school colors. The yellow plaid paper is from Keeping Memories Alive (circa 1999?) and the stamp is a long-retired Close to My Heart stamp.

Right now I am busy working on socks and more socks, plus some fun baby items. I've got two sets of young friends expecting their first baby, so there will be lots of cute little projects on my needles for the next while. I am itching to make some cards, so I will need to carve out some time for that, too. I hope everyone has a great weekend!