Earth Day Blog Hop with StencilGirl Products & Earth Safe Finishes

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Earth Day plus upcycling and using products that can be reused instead of filling landfills. Yeah! 

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Maybe 40 years ago I dyed fabric. As I recall, it was a smelly process involving boiling water. Using Earth Safe Finishes’ Fabric Magic Kit was a pleasant, unscented experience. Dying is just a matter of following the directions on the package 8 parts water to 1 part Fabric Magic, then add the pigments in drops to achieve desired color.

I made plans and the Universe laughed. But I got the last laugh this time:)

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StencilGirl stencils used are from December 2015 StencilClub. The little loopy one gets a lot of use by yours truly! You can find out more about how to get exclusive club goodies HERE:

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Simply cannot toss out leftovers! Especially crafty goodies.

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We had a little rain recently and the iris are in bloom. I shall make flowers!

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Of course I am the Wearer of Many Hats. I like it best when I can interchange embellishments on my many hats. The black straw in the pic below seems to work well for this. I think I paid $6 bucks for it at a thrift store a couple years back. Definitely a favorite. The ribbon band is simply tied on. The flower is pinned in place. Stylin’!

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I am so excited and happy to be a part of this hop! Be sure to check out all of the Earth Day Blog Hop artists from the StencilGirl Products and Earth Safe Finishes Teams:

Mary Beth Shaw
http://mbshaw.blogspot.com/2016/04/cold-wax-project-wit-stencilgirl-earthsafefinishes.html

Janet Joehlin
http://jjhappyreminders.blogspot.com/2016/04/SGandEarthDayHop.html

Mary C. Nasser

http://www.marycnasser.com/blog/earth-day-blog-hop

Gwen Lafleur
http://gwenyth.typepad.com/gwen/2016/04/earth-day-upcycled-project-with-stencils-and-earth-safe-finishes.html

Chana Malkah Harris
http://redoralee.blogspot.com/2016/04/stencilgirl-earth-safe-finishesann.html

Irit Shalom
http://iritshalom.blogspot.com/2016/04/stencilgirlearth-safe-finishes-blog-hop.html

Steph Ackerman
http://stephaniescraps.blogspot.com/2016/04/blog-hop-with-earth-safe-finishes-and.html

Martha Lucia Gomez
http://wp.me/p5TnaH-3yF

Larissa Pittman

http://muffinsandlace.com/2016/04/21/earth-safe-finishes-and-stencil-girl-blog-hop/

Jeanne Streiff

http://inkypaws.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/2016/04/22/stencilgirl-esf-hop/

Vishu Reberholt
http://fabnsassy.blogspot.com/2016/04/earth-safe-finishes-and-stencil-girl.html

Take your time and visit each blog showcased today through April 25th and leave a comment. The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!

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One comment per blog please.
You will have until Monday, April 25th 3 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time to leave your comments.
The winner will be announced on
StencilGirl’s Facebook page on Wednesday, April 27th.

My hat’s off to you,

Carol

 

 

Create art & exercise your sense of pareidolia with StencilGuts

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I look for patterns in clouds where they do not actually exist, for example: a pigeon wearing glasses, sitting reading a book or an alligator eating a suitcase, so imagining four projects with Stencil Guts (Dirty Random Guts and Flourishes) was instantaneous. The torc and apology came out better than I envisioned. I think the poem I wrote to go with my dragons is a sweeter than the collage (but doing is learning, right?! The ornament is a silly bit of fun.
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Spike-o-saurs and Aliens, a Tribal Torc

I live in the Southwest and the moment I laid eyes on these gut shapes hieroglyphs, kokopelli, aliens, herd beasts, stegosaurus– came to mind.

spikeosaursI can’t stand to wear anything around my neck for more than a few hours so the necklace had to be light yet durable and come off easily when I need to be free.

Materials:
Stencil Guts – 3 beasts and 2 aliens
Carol Wiebe’s mini Circle Tower stencil for February 2016 StencilClub, and
a corner of the 9×12 stencil from an upcoming StencilClub release. See it on StencilGirl Talk on April 1.
ICE Resin®
Iced Enamels – Turquoise and Ivory Relique Powders and the Medium
Silver Glitz
Canvas
Metalic Acrylic Paint
2 jump rings
stenciled-spikeosaurSilk sari ribbon, 2 colors
Chain
Needle and embroidery thread

Tools:
Exacto knife
Non-stick craft mat
Paint brushes or sponges and a disposable paint brush for resin
Cups, stir sticks, and tooth picks
Scissors and paper to make pattern
Baby wipes
Craft Heat Gun

Instructions:
pattern_torc1. Paint the front sides of your StencilGuts with metallic paint. Let dry then stencil some dimension on top. Use an exacto knife to trim excess.
2. Lay out your necklace elements on paper and make your torc pattern and then cut it out of canvas.
3. Place canvas on a non-stick craft mat.
4. Paint a coat of Iced Enamels Medium on fabric. The fabric will ripple, but don’t let this worry you in the least.
5. Sprinkle liberally with Relique Powder, mostly turquoise with just a hint of ivory and a hint of the glitz.
6. Melt with a craft heat gun aimed about an inch off the surface.
canvas-with-iced-enamels7. Sew on the chain and sari.
8. Mix ICE Resin per manufacturer instructions.
9. Use a disposable paint brush to add a layer of resin to the fabric.
10. Place your painted StencilGuts.
11. Drip a little ICE Resin over the tops of your elements with your craft stick and nudge them with a toothpick if they move out of place.
Tip: ICE Resin dries crystal clear and hard on everything but fabric so your torc will have just the right amount of flexibility.
12. Torc is ready to wear after about 12 hours of drying time.

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I adore how earthy this turned out. Now  to make earrings and a bracelet to match!

Apology Card

It’s an exercise in discovery to turn your Stencil Guts different directions and see what appears.
 
          These two Grand Dames, based on the plumage of their hats, are from either the time of the French Revolution or perhaps the Edwardian era and they are quite upset that they clearly purchased the same hat at the millinery. Apparently that led to a severely unladylike row at the club.
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See the hoof-like hands pointing? The wide open mouths exclaiming, “I bought mine first!” and “I hope you purchased a broom to go with that hat.”
 
          Open mouth. Insert foot. We’ve all done it. “I’m sorry,” is about all you can say after an argument that leaves your bestie feeling you are, ahem….
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The “B” and “W” are included in the envelope loose.
 
          Now that the grand dames are once again friends, where shall they go next? I know! I’ll stencil on those hats a bit more and ship them across time to the Kentucky Derby!
 
          I stenciled on velum for the first time and used the Apple Chancery stencil. No guarantees, but you are likely to find this StencilGut shape as part of the “Flourishes” package.

Castle and Dragons

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dragon-pre.jpgflitter1. Paint on Flitter glue.
2. Sprinkle on flakes of Flitter.
3. Lightly scrub off excess.
4. Make dragon wing by making Flitter paper and cutting.
5. Glue on wings.
needs-wings

A Lullabye for the Dragons Sleeping in My Garden

by Carol J. Baxter, ©2016

Sleep little dragons
‘midst petals of rose
stars for your blanket
‘neath the moon you repose

Sleep little dragons
softly sings the brook
nightingale accompanies
in our storybook

Sleep little dragons
whilst bunnies stand guard
dream your big dragon dreams
soaring high, flying afar

Sleep now, little dragons
for she loves you true
roses bloom on the morrow
in diamond-like dew

The Princess in the castle
will come out to play
as golden dawn bathes earth
in a brand new day

Dragon Christmas Ornament

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Materials:
Suzi Dennis’ 6×6 Circle Up exclusive StencilClub stencil
Acrylic paint
Piece of old sheet music
Flitter – flakes of color by Indigo Blu
Crystal bead
Glass ring made bottom of a wine bottle (bezel)
ICE Resin (how to video)
Jump Ring, a bit of chain, and silk sari for hanging ornament.
 
Do:
Stencil sheet music.
Glue paper to base of ring and let dry. I was super lazy and added jump rings and chain at this stage. I highly recommend punching a rivet through the dried resin and doing this step last. Trust me, you’ll avoid leakage.
Mix ICE Resin per manufacturer instructions.
Place dragon and bead.
Drip a thin layer of resin into bezel and let dry overnight. I have to admit that the more I look at the “dragons” they look more like aardvarks… I am at a loss of what to create based on an aardvark.
 
Here’s wishing you see lots of possibilities whether you are gazing at clouds or sorting out StencilGirl StencilGuts,
Carol
 
p.s. Check out all the other fabulous StencilGuts projects by:
and enter the giveaway by commenting below!
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GIVEAWAY
StencilGirl Products will be giving away StencilGuts from EACH category
(Geometric Shapes, Birds, Cats & Rabbits, Flourishes, Hands & Body and Dirty Random Guts)
to one lucky winner!
Visit all the blogs on today’s hop and comment to win!
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
(One comment per blog please.)
You will have until Saturday, March 26th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
Winners will be announced on
StencilGirl’s Facebook page on Sunday, March 27th.
StencilGuts are only available while supplies last.

There’s a fortune in my cookie that says I will succeed amongst interesting friends

Chinese New Year is February 19th — the year of the Sheep portends gentle calm tidings so take a sip of Jasmine tea and let’s celebrate.

Chinese and Chinese-American cuisine is my fave, although Thai is a close runner-up.  According to a Smithsonian article, the fortune cookie served at the end of meals in either restaurant is of Japanese origin.

Pragmatic soul that I am, Fortune Cookies will still be a part of my Chinese New Year celebration.

How, you might wonder, does a child growing up down the street from the Rosarita’s plant where jalapenos, beans, enchilada sauce were once canned get her taste for Chinese food?

My Popa.

Reinforced by a Hawaiian school teacher (okay, Mrs. Viola Payne’s recipe was for Fried Rice, but to an 8 year old, that’s Asian).

Made unbreakable by repeated visits to China Town when I lived in Los Angeles.

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Waldorf photos courtesy of Phil Hannum on Facebook Group: Growing Up in Mesa in the 70s

Popa made Chop Suey. I don’t recall necessarily liking it (what child likes mushrooms?) but he also took me and Mom to eat out many Sundays at the Waldorf Cafe, a diner on Main Street in Mesa, Ariz. If I think about it I can see the white tabletop with the silver glitter flakes embedded in the Formica and a fuzzy image of the owner’s smile… or maybe it was the cook.

waldorf to leftAs I recall,  fortune cookies once had fortunes in them. Forecasts.

Hey! I am all for knowledge such as how to say “Pass the rice wine,” in Chinese and winning lottery numbers, but I enjoyed the forecasts more than the pithy little sayings.

A friend, who shall remain nameless lest she curse me with misfortune and release the skeletons in my closet, or perhaps release the skeletons from her closet into mine since they are not busy until the month of October, taught me that pithy little sayings can be transformed into fun with the addition of a simple phrase before or after:

Between the sheets….        or              …Under the covers

Try it with these fortunes:

Between the sheets LOVE IS FOR THE LUCKY AND THE BRAVE.

YOU WILL FIND SOMETHING YOU LOST under the covers.

YOU WILL LAUGH LONG, LOUD, AND OFTEN between the sheets.

Under the covers IT’S AMAZING HOW MUCH GOOD YOU CAN DO IF YOU DON’T CARE WHO GETS THE CREDIT.

“Stop,” you say, snorting with laughter. “Carol, you have made me hungry and besides, I already play that game.”

fortune-picAllow me to alleviate your needs with the FORTUNE COOKIES RECIPE, direct from Andromeda’s Cookbook:

Ingredients: 3 egg whites, 3/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 2 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons water

Directions:
1  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2  Grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper.
3  Have fortunes ready to go on small strips of paper.
4  In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites and sugar on high speed of an electric mixer until frothy, about 2 minutes.
5  Reduce speed to low, and then stir in melted butter, vanilla, almond extract, water and flour one at a time, mixing well after each.
Consistency should resemble pancake batter. Spoon the batter into 3 inch circles on the prepared baking sheets. Leave room between for spreading.
7  Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges begin to brown slightly.
8  QUICKLY remove one at a time, QUICKLY place a message in the center, and fold in half.
9  Fold the ends of the half together into a horse shoe shape. Hang over cup to dry. If they spring open, place them in a muffin tin to cool until set. (I skipped the hanging over a cup and just put them in the tin.)
Note: Although these cookies are not malleable if overbaked, you need to bake them long enough until they are golden around the edges or they will be too under baked and remain soft, spongy and pancake-like.
Enjoy!
Tips: I have made these several times and they have turned out different each time — the first and third being the best. I used the bottom of a regular spoon to swirl the batter in to THIN 3-inch circles.

I think they would be delicious and look divine if one half was dipped in chocolate and then maybe rolled in sprinkles, don’t you?

Remember, Confucius did not say, but that does not make it not true: Woman who makes her own fortune cookies has imagination and hot fingers!

Wishing you all good fortune, Carol

P.S. Know what I love more than fortune cookies? Sesame Balls! C-Fu Gourmet makes the best in the Valley, but here is a recipe link in case you want to try making them yourself.

A Silvery Night in Jewelry Affaire

  One of the most fun things about working with Susan Lenart Kazmer , ICE Resin and Susan’s Industrial Chic Line is the opportunity to create in a 180 degrees different direction than writing fiction, grants, blogs and designing books.

Just like a finished manuscript, sometimes a piece of jewelry comes together perfectly and I send it off for an editor to love (or not).

My sparkling little evening bracelet arrived in my mail box a few days after the always inspirational Jewelry Affaire magazine.

Pretty cool, as for me, making jewelry is more like playtime. You can find me toward the back. Before you get to my “Silvery Night”, do pause a moment to adore the “Grapefruit Pink” bracelet of Chelsie Boyd and the “Mermaid Net” necklace by Emily Deister.

And, if you are looking for pieces made with Industrial Chic components, check out Debbie Cole’s Blue Bird Reversible Necklace (the bird image with the crown is absolutely darling!)

 

 

 

STORY… Talisman Project with ICE Resin

Brambles by Carol Baxter

As I write this post, there is a cacophony of voices in my head as my former newspaper editors Jerry, Richard, Jim, Pete, Tom and Autumn telling me that my words must be pared-down. Jen Cushman is there too, reminding me one word for the Talisman Project, Carol.

I learned from each of those editors, but the best advice came from Autumn. “Write until the story is finished.”

I protest to Jen, “I had a negative space in the heart that needed  filled and whether it is science fiction or fantasy, it is the characters that make me take my time to read a work of fiction.”

Characters with their foibles, courage, hates, loves, desires, and interactions make the STORY. (I am quite partial to science fiction and fantasy… Greg Bear, Guy Gavriel Kay, Jacqueline Karey, Patricia McKillip, Gregory Benford, and Harlan Ellison to name a few.

STORY is my Talisman for 2014 because if I stopped writing “Brambles” right now to make a piece of jewelry that said NOVELIST, it would take time from my preciously carved-out writing time–besides, I when one writes until the story is finished, one gets stories of many different lengths and I am working on more than just one.

A couple of years ago I made this bracelet as a gift for an author friend, Eve Paludan, and I liked it so much, I made one for me but it has sat neglected in my jewelry box.

I made it with an open back bezel and chain from Susan Lenart Kazmer’s Industrial Chic Line.

To make something similar you will need:

Torn words from a dictionary, ICE Resin, German Glass Glitter, Staz-On Ink, a bit of paint (it looks like I used a green aqua color to tint the resin), chain, clear packing tape, a craft cup and a stir stick, jewelry pliers, and a disposable paint brush.

Instructions:

1. Tear your words out and edge if you wish with ink so they stand out.

2. Mix ICE Resin per manufacturer instructions. Add a drop of acrylic paint for color if desired.

3. Apply packing tape to back of bezel. Burnish edges with your fingers so the resin does not leak.

4. Drip a little resin into the bezel. Add words and glitter. Drip more resin. Tip: be careful not to over fill when working with a smaller bezel.

5. To place word STORY on flat piece of metal, I painted on a little ICE Resin first, put the paper down,  another swipe of resin then a wee bit of glitter.

6. It dries and is ready to wear in about 6 hours.

Stay tuned on the ICE Resin blog for more Talismans and interesting, touching stories of why a particular designer chose his or her Talisman word. We hope it moves you to achieve your dreams!

If you want to know more about Talismans, Susan talks about them as numbers in these posts: 4 plus 3 and Lending Power to the Ordinary.

Provide for your errors

“… charitable contributions and provide for your heirs,” said a client dictating changes to a document over my cell while the house phone was ringing. Then I read the sentence out loud.

… provide for your errors…

errors

heirs.

English grammar

You can provide for your heirs. I am told they favor money.

You can provide for your hares. They like green stuff too—lettuce.

You can provide for your hair. I am sure there are hair products out there tinted with Solid Green FCF.

You can provide for your errors with contemplation and study. If your errors are of a more grievous nature, the state will provide for your errors and in that instance, your heirs, hares and hairs will suffer.

Heirs, hares and hairs all enjoy clean air.

Before you tell me that error and air does not belong with hare and heir, think about dialects.

The English Language provides for you to make many errors. In fact, I am completely convinced that English Language and Mother Nature are at happy hour in some dive laughing hysterically….

because you can dive off a cliff or meet your friend at the  local dive aka bar. Or it could be a dive bar as in one frequented by people who like to cliff dive.

Bar. Ballet bar? Drink bar? Bar the way? Ug! I have heard native English speakers complain about the words in other Romance languages that change depending on gender, saying how difficult it is to learn, but I think there are bugaboos no matter the language you are learning.

“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a crib house whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
–James D. Nicoll

“Viola “is the first word that comes to mind. (Yeah, I could write a whole other post on how the phonics educated child learned that “v” was a “w” and “io” was “ah”.)

The longer I write, it seems the bigger the hurry, end even if there was no hurry, the adage is true: EDITING YOURSELF IS UNWISE.

I have errors I routinely make as a less-than-fantastic typist and perhaps a titch of dyslexia:

  • from becomes form
  • the becomes teh
  • dropping the r in country so it becomes a somewhat smaller plot of land

The aforementioned dive is filling up with customers fast, most noticeably the Grammar Police—bots adept at catching i before e and errors, and error that are not error because  my character is speaking in the vernacular.

Yes, the Grammar Police deployed by Microsoft Word pretty are akin to government workers—with the exception of IRS workers who I am convinced get Bonu$e$ based on catching errors.

When I deem them ready, the novel, a memoir, and short story will go to a trusted editor.

That red-pen wielding  human will strike  my errors thus  allowing me  to provide curls for my hair and provide beach-side air for my heir.

Note to heir: I know you want a bunny rabbit. You will have to buy it and love it and care for it and think of a better name for it than George.

postscript–

Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning.

A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.

Spinster’s Folly, the new book by Marsha Ward, is worthy of your time

It is Day 7 of the blog tour for Spinster’s Folly by Western novelist Marsha Ward.

I expect a book to lead me into another world (usually science fiction) and immerse me in its characters.

This year, I made an agreement with myself, that just because I downloaded a book to my Kindle, brought a book home from the library friends’ book sale, or walked out of a retailer with one, I would allow myself the pleasure of not knowing the end if the book was not worthy of my time. Without an easy way to get to the eBook-of-the-night’s cover, the character(s) must vigorously, joyously, walk off the page.

Marsha Ward authorMarie Owen, in author Marsha Ward’s Spinster’s Folly, does just that. Marie feels she is on the verge of becoming a spinster and there are few prospects for a decent suitor let alone a match in Colorado Territory, but sometimes, you can’t see what is plainly in front of you.

Marie is the heroine, yet I recall the first time characters from Spinster’s Folly waltzed off the page. —that they did this in supporting roles made me beg Marsha to be one of her beta-readers. Here is a bit of the excerpt she read that day:

Julia drew her shift over her head again, smoothing it down over her body as she glanced sidelong at Rod. He lay beside her, his eyelids only half open as his breathing slowed.

“You’re a caution, you know that?” she murmured, wanting to snuggle against his bare chest, but resisting the impulse. The night wasn’t as long as it needed to be, and they had best get to sleep.

He took a long lungful of air before replying. “I missed you. I missed my Julie-girl.” He slid his arm under her neck and, turning to her, exhaled softly into her ear.

“There now, don’t you begin again,” she remonstrated, chuckling in a low tone. “We’re gettin’ too old for that business.”

“What do you mean, woman? I can still love you ’til the day breaks.”

She wanted to tell him that was nonsense, but knew he would take it as a challenge and that would be that for a good night’s sleep. Instead, she gave him his nightshirt and asked, “Did you encounter any difficulties in makin’ your arrangements with Ed Morgan?” She waited until he’d put the nightshirt onto his head before she let her fingers explore the red spot at the base of her throat where his enthusiasm had gotten out of hand.

Gems in life are where you find them.

The bulk of what I read is science fiction. I was easily in my 30s the last time I read a Western, although in my 20s, I read a lot of Louis L’Amour. I found his plots quick and his characters believable. L’Amour was a master of allowing the reader to escape into the magic of another time and place.

Marsha WardMarsha Ward is a master of allowing the reader to escape into the magic of another time and place.

Spinster’s Folly  is the 4th in the Owens Family Saga but stands up tall on its own two feet.

Bio:

Marsha Ward is an award-winning poet, writer and editor whose published work includes four novels in The Owen Family Saga: The Man from Shenandoah, Ride to RatonTrail of Storms, and Spinster’s Folly; and over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She also is a workshop presenter and writing teacher. She has her own blog as well as one for the characters living in her head. You connect with Marsha on Twitter and Facebook.