Saturday, January 31, 2009

Old-lady Bonnie

Isn't it wonderful when our four-legged friends completely capture our hearts and become part of our family? Our friend, Bonnie, is 10 years old this March, and she has been with us since she was 2 months old. Her mother was pure-bred bassett hound, and we think daddy was a lab. This combination produced quite a funny-looking Bonnie. Picture the Bassett body and legs, with a slightly longer-eared lab head perched on top, and the red-gold coloring. That's Bonnie.

My daughter Brandi and I decided to do some scrapbooking of our beloved old girl. Brandi snapped the photos we used (she's a delightfully talented photographer). This first one is a 5x7 photo that Brandi will take to work to post on the "pet-board" - she works in the radiology department at a local hospital, and they often have to "park" the patients while they wait for their tests - this pet board gives them something to look at to pass the time.

This second pic is of an 8x8 page. I wanted to do something that complimented the lovely color of Bonnie's coat, so I chose orange, brown and blue. I use an archival quality artist paper as my rubber stamping platform, so I often wind up with lovely colors and images from past projects (stamp-offs or color trials or just off-the edge images). I save these sheets for inspiration, and decided to use one for this page. The "dream" images and some of the "xoxox" border were there from previous projects, and I added the butterflies and more "xoxo" borders. Bonnie used to chase butterflies as a puppy, so I imagined as she lay there dozing in our front doorway that she was dreaming about that. What an inspiration this lovely pet has been, and we treasure every moment we have with her.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Muse is Back!

I have been away from the blog-world for far too long. Lots of things going on in my life in the past year have caused my muse to absolutely desert me. One thing I've been dealing with is clinical depression - or as my doctor phrased it, a "blue funk". I cry at the drop of a hat, have not been effective in my day-job (the one that pays the bills), and haven't been moved to create a thing - which in itself causes a bout of weeping when I think about it! But, I've been taking medication for about 6 months and just recently began to create again.

I was strolling through a local dollar store a few weeks before Christmas and came across these delightful shadow-box frames. They're about 7 x 7", with a 1 & 1/2 inch deep shadow. They were only a dollar each, so I bought three. One actually made it to the family Christmas gathering as an altered piece of art for our gift exchange (in my rush to get to the gathering, I forgot to take a picture of it - that's how last-minute it was).

The other two languished a bit until my muse was feeling stronger. They began life as white-painted frames with rather unattractive and generic artwork behind the glass. Now, altered, they are lovely pieces that I gave to my mom (the red/pink one) and oldest daughter (the blue/beige one). I hope they inspire them as much as creating them inspired me!

It was a bit of work getting the frames apart for the alterations, but I'm glad I persisted. One item of note - the inks I used (both dye-based and liquid chalk) didn't dry well on the frame's surface, so I embossed them with clear detail powder. I was hesitant to remove the glass in these for fear of breakage (they were glued surprisingly well for a mass-manufacture item), but the heat from the heat gun didn't damage the glass at all - but be sure not to apply heat directly to the glass, just in case.