Friday, September 30, 2011

More Travels

One day after classes, I went on a little road trip to a town about a half an hour away from my college. I saw on their Facebook page a small cabinet with shelves which was perfect to hold my seashell collection and the price was absolutely perfect!

Yes, I bought it! I was thrilled that it was still there. For $36, who could say no? A few days after I brought it home, I saw someone post on Facebook wondering if it was still available. Glad I jumped on it! My shell collection looks great on it! Now I need to get the rest of my jars so I can get rid of the Gladware bowls.

Aunt Tique and Uncle Junk in Thomson, GA is definitely a fun place to visit! They are a combination antique shop and second hand shop. Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of time to look around because I had to get to an appointment at the Dodge dealership for some work on my SUV.

I found a few fun things that had to go home with me! Guess what they had? Any guesses? Remember, my postcard nerdiness? Oh yeah, they fed right into it! They had lots and lots and lots of postcards from the White Mountains up in New Hampshire and from various areas of North Carolina. They all came home with me. How could I leave any behind? After all, there are numerous cousins already in my collection.

The first piece of ephemera I found was a bank check for the Bank of Thomson. The bank was founded way back in 1891. I've done some digging around for details about this bank online. I had to know what happened to the bank since it seems like all that we have nowadays are this huge corporate banks that are nothing like the small, hometown banks we once had. From what I have found so far, it looks like it may have been sold several times and is now part of Regions Bank. I have a couple of addresses and next time I'm in Thomson, I am going to look and see what I can find. The check has a drawing of the building on it and the own is very small so it shouldn't be too hard to see if I can find the building in town. This could make for another exciting historic info gathering scrapbook trip! I love those.

Remember, my little thing for all things Coca~Cola? Umm yeah, well Aunt Tique and Uncle Junk certainly did not disappoint! They had an invoice book for the Coca~Cola Bottling Company out of Washington, GA which was about a half an hour outside of Thomson, GA. There are a few sheets with writing, but most of the book is empty.

Can you image getting a case of Coca~Cola for 80 cents? These books kept track of the deposits for the bottles and the cartons. There's even details about the coolers and the sales in them! I so can't wait to add these to my World of Coca~Cola photos! I'm so fascinated by Coca~Cola and all of the pieces they made over the years. The marketing they had was simply amazing. I don't drink any cola sodas and I still have tons of memorabilia in my home. I just can't get enough!

I also picked up a baggie filled with some sort of bus tickets. I didn't really know what they were when I saw them, but the looked cool. I figured I could find something to do with them

Since I was at Aunt Tique & Uncle Junk's, I have done some research and now know what these are. These were weekly trolley tickets for the Capital Transit Co in Washington, DC from 1953 and 1954. I've even found a website that shows what they all looked like for years! The website even has the history of the tickets and transit company listed. Pretty cool!!

Did you know that Washington, DC was a small, Southern town before World War II? And that printing was the major industry? A far cry from what DC is today!

I also picked up a bag of cancelled postage stamps. I can't get enough of these! I really do love seeing the old stamps and the various postmarks. Another art we are losing with all of this fancy schmancy technology.

Until next time *

Have you found a piece of history lately?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Handmade Ephemera

So I don't if it's proper to call these pieces ephemera since they're not old pieces. They are brand new. They are also handcrafted. This artist hand cuts her pieces. She says she does her work all by scissor. That's just crazy! They all look beautiful and I am extremely happy with my purchases from Pacokeco Scribbles. She is an Etsy artist. And I use the word artist because her scissor work is simply amazing!
1 inch circle embellishments

1 inch square embellishments
Vintage Image Kraft Tickets
Moments Word Blocks
Grey French Word Tickets

Time Phrases

Steampunk Scrollwork Journaling Blocks

Black Toile Journaling Blocks

If a Tree Falls In the Forest Tags

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Memorabilia Mania

So I got tired of staring at my boxes of memorabilia and the mess in those boxes. There are at least three boxes of stuff just thrown in there. Some of the mess is from my moving a thousand miles and some of the mess has happened since we moved. I had no idea what to do with everything. I would try to figure something out and just get frustrated so I would walk away leaving it for another time. Finally after months of not figuring a system out, I came up with something completely out of the blue! I wasn't even thinking about those boxes. See walking away does help.

I have memorabilia from our childhoods, trips, vacations, races, furkids, family members, concerts, amusement parks, historical sites, and other pieces of life. I also have a box of brochures from trips. It really adds up. Some of it has been scrapbooked. Some hasn't since I need to scan it to have a hard copy in case anything ever happens.

My brilliant idea came to me over the weekend while watching tv. I was looking through a pile of family photos and found a few pieces of memorabilia. I was so frustrated to find more that wasn't in the boxes. So I started looking around our office to see what I could use to organize these pieces. You'll never believe what caught my eye. Something so simple. I just can't believe I hadn't thought of it before.

Manilla envelopes!

There is a pile of them just sitting on the shelf collecting dust begging to be used. So I grabbed a bunch and sorted out the pieces I found mixed in with the photos. I started thinking about how I could label the envelopes so there would some sort of organization instead of mess.

The envelopes are 9" x 12" so they can hold a full size sheet of paper without having to fold it or bend it in someway. Break out the Sharpies! I wrote on each envelope a name of a town such as Nantucket and Cooperstown or an event like NASCAR races. I haven't gone through the boxes yet, but seeing how well this worked for the pieces I found over the weekend, this is a great start! No more hunting through three boxes to make sure I found everything only to find out six months later oops I missed something. That's so annoying and incredibly frustrating. I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about. Lots of papercrafters have this happen.

So my project for the week is to go through those boxes and sort if all out. I'll finally use it up! I just can't believe I didn't think of this years ago!

Until next time *

Do you know where all of your memorabilia is hiding?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Got Twine?

Another day and more ephemera. Etsy is a dangerous place! Well, my credit thinks so and my mail lady doesn't seem super thrilled with the number of packages I receive. But man oh man, there are soooooooooo many spiffy things on Etsy and I think I have everything on there in my favorites.

There are folks who sell twine on there! I have quite the stock pile of twine. If mysteriously they ever stop producing it, I'm good! Everything But the Kitchen Sink is one of my favorite places for twine purchases.

Blue and White Twine, Red and White Twine

Halloween (Black and Orange) Twine, Licorice (Black) Twine, Christmas (Red and Green) Twine, Airmail (Red, White, and Blue) Twine 
Green and White Twine, Licorice Twine

Lemon Twine, Teal and Blue Twine,  Navy Blue Twine,  Pumpkin Orange Twine,  Pink Lemonade Twine, Cotton Candy Twine, and Lime Green and Green Twine

Until next time *

Support your local crafters!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Small Road Trip

We recently took a little road trip. And I do mean a little road trip....Newberry, SC is about an hour and a half away so for us that's barely a road trip. This was our first time there. We've heard a lot about the town and figured hey we have nothing to do today and it's a Saturday with great weather. So why not?
Newberry Opera House

Turns out this quaint town has a ton of antique shops. There's even a general store that was featured on American Pickers! The gentleman who owns CT Summer, Inc is William Shull and he's a real great talker. He's got a story about everything and has tons of pieces of history in the hardware store which was started in 1928 by his grandfather. He and I were chatting and he had me look at some items in the shop that are his personal items. One of which was an incredibly old safe. He had me open it and inside was a pile of checks from the early 1900's. It was so interesting to look at them and compare them to what checks look like now. They changed a lot fairly quickly over the years. The penmanship people once had was absolutely gorgeous. It's a shame that we've lost that.
Newberry Court House

It was fascinating seeing how much the checks were written for. Rarely was there one over $20 for groceries. There was one for over $90 in groceries for one week. They must have had one heck of a party! The highest one was for over $1,250 which back in the 1920's was an arm, a leg, and probably a few farm animals.

We looked in numerous antique stores. Why? You never know what fascinating things you may find. A lot of the shop owners also love to chat. If they know what you're looking for, often times they can help direct you to where to look in their shop and they will keep an eye out for you for items in their hunting.

We stopped in a book store. They carry used and new books. They have a section in the back of the store with postcards. You guessed it, I'm a postcard nerd. And hidden in between postcard bins I found these red cotton tags. There's lots of cotton still grown all over South Carolina so I know I can use these in my scrapbooks!

One of the antique shops we visited, had a small basket filled with wine and alcohol labels. I just had to go through that basket. I found that I had to have!

Whiskey makers aren't super common up North where I'm originally from so they caught my eye. The one on the left is a label for Red Rock Straight Rye Whiskey from Boston, MA. I've had many trips to Boston and am sure I can find a use for this one!

The the label on the right is a Mohawk Valley Bourbon Whiskey also from Boston. Besides it being a Boston label, it says Mohawk Valley which is significant in my life because I lived many years near the Mohawk Valley in New York. I've got hundreds if not thousands of photos from the Mohawk Valley. It will be tough to choose which photos need this label!

Until next time *

 Check out some penmanship from way back. Back when things had a lot of flow and scrolls.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Good Evening at Good Will

We had a mountain of items to donate to Good Will, but we had been waiting to drop them off. Our local Good Will just finished construction on a huge new facility. They will have employment training and job search assistance now in addition to the second hand store. This is certainly needed in tough economic times like we as a country are going through now.

We stopped by the day after they opened. There was a huge line the day the opened with over 100 people in line waiting for the store to open. The drop area is so organized. It runs like a very well oiled machine.

I found some good things for my crazy craftiness in the store! I got a composition notebook that I will alter. An old deck of playing cards called my name after seeing a recent Tim Holtz post using them. This is that post.

The coolest thing we found was a Bingo game! I looked at the cards and they looked like fun for my ephemera stash. It came with a metal ball cage that spins and drops out a ball with a Bingo number on it. I think it looks pretty cool and decided it needed to be in my studio. I need more decorative things that I didn't make. A girl needs to jazz up her studio space whenever possible.

Until next time *

Donations don't have to come in the form of money.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cropping Goals

Whenever I go to a crop, I have goals of what I need to accomplish at that crop. Some are weekend crops and I have big plans. Others are Friday night crops where I won't get anywhere near the same amount accomplished, but I do always have a goal and a plan.

The very first crop I attended was an all night crop at a store called Memory Lane in Clifton Park, NY. Sadly, since then the store has closed. I had no idea what to bring or how long anything would take me. At that time, my sister-in-law was pregnant with her first child and I was making the invitations for the baby shower. I had to make 70 invitations. Surely, I thought this would take me longer than 12 hours.

I cut everything assembly line style so I would have a pile of papers for each cut I needed. Henry Ford would have been proud! (He's the man the production assembly line is credited to.) So about four hours later I was done. Yes, in four short hours I had completed 70 invitations! What was I going to do for the next eight hours? I had nothing planned! I started wandering around the store aimlessly looking for something I could do. I purchased a few chipboard books and made them.

This crop taught me a very valuable lesson. I needed to seriously think about how long I would be at a crop and what I wanted to accomplish. Then I began to over plan and pack enough to keep me busy until the cows come home. I've never had any cows so I'm thinking I would have been very busy for far too long.

With over thinking things and packing like I was moving, I was killing myself. I had to spend so much time and effort in packing that it became a chore. It wasn't fun. It was a ton of work. And I swear my crop bags weighed a few ton each. The end of the night when it came time to pack up my car, I dreaded and needed Advil when I got home. Not a good thing!

So I had to come up with a new way of doing things. A way that cropping could be fun again. That's when I started leaving the embellishments at home and finishing layouts at home. I have a whole room that's just my paper studio so why shouldn't I use it? Seems silly to have it for decoration purposes only.

Just by leaving my embellishments, stamps, inks, and Cricut home I was freeing up tons of space in my car and my stress level dropped like a rock. I didn't have to spend hours thinking and planning on what to bring. I literally would spend a few days packing everything up. It was like I was moving every time I went to a crop.

Now with my less is more approach, I get a ton done. I don't have headaches, backaches, or stress. I have a good time. I don't spend a few days packing for every crop I go to. As you can see from my Crop Count, I'd do nothing but packing if I was cropping my old way with the schedule I have coming up!

So with every crop I do have a plan of what I need - yes need not want - to accomplish. I have thousands upon thousands of photos that need to be put into layouts. Yes, I am one of those who crop every photo I take. I don't do photo albums. They're not my thing. They work for many people though. I'm just not into them.

Every month I get at least 1,000 photos printed. I order them online and have them shipped to me. I have tried several different printers and am hoping I have finally found one I really like. The others I tried weren't bad. I just didn't like the quality of the prints. Other folks have had awesome results. I think it's the style of photos I take. I do mostly outdoor and nature shots so the lightening isn't the same as taking photos of your kids in the house or at a pool party.

When my photos arrive, I sort them all out. I put each event into a photo envelope. I label the envelope with that photos are and the date the photos were taken. Then they go into one of my many photo boxes. I also take those thumbnail sheets and cut them up. I use a grease pencil and write the date and what the photos are of on the sheet. Each one goes with it's corresponding photo envelope. Once I scrap those photos, the thumbnails go into an envelope with each other. I have a nice thumbnail collection that I need to create some cute project for.

The day before a crop, I start to go through my photo envelopes and pick out what I want to work on. It all depends on how many photos there are and how long the crop is. I can usually do about 100 photos at an all day crop. It all depends on if the photos can be cropped or if they need to stay 4" x 6".

I pack the photos I bring to a crop in a photo box from Creative Memories. I won this from a crop a few years ago and it changed how I bring my photos to crops. Before I won this, I would just stuff the photo envelopes in one of my crop bags....EEK!

Once I have chosen my photos, I pick out my paper collections. I put a Post It note on each bag so I know what photos go with which paper. This is especially necessary for weekend crops. I'm absent minded and would forget my name if it wasn't on my license! :) If I'm only working on one set of photos, then I don't bother with the Post Its.

This past weekend, I went to a weekend crop that was three days long. I brought lots of photos with me! Most of the photos were from our Southern States Trip from way back in 2009 when we went to six states and spent two and a half weeks sight seeing. It was an amazing vacation! I hope I can get it all printed and scrapbooked before I'm 50! Here is what I scrapbooked: Bean Station, TN, Archibald Smith Plantation located in Roswell, GA, High Point Museum in High Point, NC, Calhoun Mansion in Charleston, SC  (this mansion was used in the movie The Notebook), Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, shore and dunes which are all on Cape Hatteras, NC, and fireworks in Cobleskill, NY from the 4th of July 2008.

During the weekend, I was tweeting about what I was working on and some of the music I was listening too. Here's where you can follow me on Twitter and see what I am up to. When I'm traveling, I don't have much time for blogging or Facebook. I have mini parties when I accomplish one of my goals. It keeps me going and moves things along. Amazing what a few M&Ms can do.

As you can see, I don't scrapbook in order. I work on whatever I have printed and whatever I feel like working on. Some projects are huge and I procrastinate with them. Like my NASCAR photos. I have hundreds scrapped already and have thousands more that need to be printed (several hundred already are) and then they need scrapping. The joys of going to race shops and six races in one year. That 2006 was a crazy year of racing for me! And then I've gone to races almost every year since 2002 so that's a lot of left hand turns. I haven't worked on those pics in a few years so maybe it's time.

Until next time *

Have you scrapbooked today?

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Little Change

So while I was a cropping fool last weekend, I decided I needed to keep track of how much I got done at crops a little bit. I do have a system in place for the weekend, but once I get home, it all goes out the window.

You will see on the right hand side of my blog a new piece all the way down on the right hand side. It's called Crop Counts. I'm now keeping track of how many layouts and photos I crop at every crop I attend. Before I would just count my layouts when the crop wrapped up. Now, I'm going to have a record of it. I'm also counting how many photos I crop! This part is huge to me.

Some layouts only have two photos since I am not into cutting up every photo I have taken. Many photos just can't be cropped either. I did have several that I was able to crop this past weekend. I was so excited to get five photos on a page!

I know I'm kind of.....ok ok no kind of about it.....I am totally nerdy about keeping track of what I accomplish at crops. I know lots of people go for the social aspect. Some even for the for food. Others it's time away from their families for a mini vacation. But for me, it's all about getting my work done. I go into each crop with goals. Yup, remember how I said I was nerdy? :)

Until next time *

Have you cropped lately?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Paints and Metal

Paints and Metal. Surely not something you read about every day, right? Hobby Lobby was a dangerous place for me last week. I got two more metal drawer sets. These weren't just unfinished, scuffed up metal. These were spray painted in a paint room somewhere in China.

Originally one was bright white and the other was bright blue. The colors were yucko in my studio. I needed to distress these bad boys! Remember, Tim Holtz and Anna Griffin are my crafty idols. So you've got the vintage, old, worn, tattered, dragged through a hurricane look going on. A great look, right? :)

I started by sanding the finish to roughen it up a bit and remove any shiny coatings they may have had. If you don't rough up the surface a bit, it won't want to take paint or ink. This project is all about the acrylic paint stash. It was so lovely digging them out of the dust.

There are artist acrylic paints. You can purchase some of these in the chain craft stores. Others, you can only get from art supply shops. These are not the acrylic paints you get in bottles on sale at AC Moore for 2 for $1. Just want to clarify. The color names are all from the pigments they are made from.

Here are the paints I used on the white set of drawers:

Liquitex Basics:
Red Oxide
Burnt Siena
Cadmium Red Medium Hue
Raw Siena
Burnt Umber

Martin/F Weber Co - Prima:
Alizarin Crimson

Jo Sonja's:
Indian Red Oxide
Brown Earth

Windsor & Newton - Galleria:
Mars Black

Copper (MIT)

These are the paints I used on the blue set of drawers:
M Graham & Co:
Quinaoridone Violet

Windsor & Newton - Galleria:
Permanent Magenta
Winsor Blue

Deep Violet

Liquitex - Professional Grade High Viscosity:
Dioxazine Purple
Prussian Blue

Martin/F Weber Co - Prima:
Iridescent White

Liquitex - Basics:
Iridescent Silver
Acra Magenta

Jo Sonja's:
Red Violet
Carbon Black
Storm Blue
Colony Blue

There are multiple layers of different paints. I wiped off some paint here and there. I sanded some wherever it looked like it needed it. Mostly, I just dry brushed the different paints on. Each piece doesn't have all the same colors.

I didn't want these to look brand new. The bright colors just aren't my thing. I like old, worn stuff. Dark colors are also my thing....Maybe it's from all of my time in the Adirondack Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains. No hot pink there!

Now if bright colors are your thing, you can still do this! Just use brightly colored paints. Same techniques. No biggie. Anyone can do this!

Oh and a paint clean up tip! I put all of my paints on a styrofoam plate. They hold a lot of colors! And when you're all done, you just throw it away. No clean up! Just make sure you put it in a trash can that is lined with a plastic bag since the paints do stay wet for quite some time.
This week's Inky Hot Mess projects!

Until next time *

Paints and metal can be fun! Try it out.

Friday, September 2, 2011

What an Inky Hot Mess!

So I bought this really cool set of metal drawers at Hobby Lobby last week. They retail for $79.99, but HL had a 50% off sale. Love those! I wanted some place a little unique to hold all of my ephemera. Hobby Lobby has had some great small storage pieces in the past so I went looking there. Success!

I should have taken a photo before I got started. Silly me didn't. The piece was just metal like the top and sides are now. I don't ink them up at all. The fronts of the drawers however had a little makeover.

How did I do this? Alcohol Inks from Tim Holtz (Ranger) of course! Oh and a few of Tim's Mixatives and Alcohol Blending Solution helped out a bit. These are the Alcohol Inks I used: Pesto, Currant, Clover, Sunset Orange, Meadow, Hazelnut, Raspberry, Raisin, Sail Boat Blue, Denim, Mushroom, Pool, Oregano, Pitch Black, Slate, Pebble, and Citrus. These are the Mixatives I used: Copper, Silver, and Pearl.

I also used a few sponges I have cut into quarters and my heat gun. My table always has clear vinyl covering it. This keeps the actual table looking good. The clear vinyl I purchased from Wal-Mart in the craft department. It was about $3 a yard. They do have ones that cost less. Our store was out when I purchased mine.

My table would certainly be interesting looking if I didn't have this protective covering. Between inks and mists oh what a mess! They all don't wipe up easily either. On top I have at least one sheet of newsprint. I buy my newsprint from Lowe's in the moving section. The have large sheets rolled up so there's no folds. This is much cheaper than buying newsprint in the art department in a craft store.

For this project I had three sheets of newsprint on top of the vinyl. It still bled through to the vinyl a little bit, but it didn't stick to the vinyl.

So how did I ink up the drawers? Well, I did each drawer one at a time. I stood the drawer up and dropped a few drops of three to four inks all over the front. Then I use one of the sponges and dab all over the front. Each drawer got a different sponge so the colors didn't all blend and become a muddy mess. I spritzed some Alcohol Blending Solution (yup, I have the squirt bottle they come in and I have a spray bottle with some also) on top of the ink drops. Using my heat gun, I blew around the ink and for the ones with the Mixatives I dropped them on before I dried the ink. I dried the ink with the heat gun. I didn't dry them completely because it would have taken forever and the drawers were getting a tad warm to the touch. I used a clean sponge to push them back into their cubby hole.

WARNING: The drawers do get VERY hot if you heat them too long. Also make sure you're in a very ventilated area. The heat with the ink and Mixatives can be a little odorous for some.

To protect my clothing, I wear a black apron. Why black? It hides the inky mess easily! I also have a towel handy. I have a few hand towels that are just for my studio. They are very interesting colors between the inks and paints oh baby! Oh and baby wipes are a must have. I have a box at all times on my studio table. I also always remove all of my rings and bracelets whenever playing with ink and paints. I don't want to see if the ink will come off my wedding rings later.

Until next time *

Get your ink on!