Friday, March 16, 2018

Mythology, The Hobbit, Tolkien and--Ah yes, a Mixed Media Project...

I just discovered, delightfully, a BOOK-THEMED challenge and let me tell you, it's brilliant.
And that's not just because I worked in a library and the challenge host happens to have picked one my favorite authors for the current challenge...

Well, okay, it helped a little. :)
But if you love reading at all or at least enjoy a very cleverly organized challenge, 
head on over to

Now don't even get me started guys, because I'm one of THOSE Tolkien fans... 
I've read the Silmarillion more times than I can count and I dare anyone to test my Tolkien lore.  
I can even tell you about the Sindarin number system and just FYI, it's not base ten.
No no, it's far more beautifully complex and Milton would have loved it.

But I want to move beyond the epic storytelling and esoteric details for just a moment.  
Tolkien is a genius, not only of language, but of character.  
He understands the archetypes that move us.  He lived the stories he wrote, and harnessed raw storytelling energy to transform the events he felt and witnessed into something artful.  
In his scholarly essays he was not afraid to stand for and defend what he believed in.  
His deceptively naive-sounding essay "On Fairy Stories" is well worth the read 
just to be rewarded by his powerful insights in the last two or three pages.  I will not spoil it.  

If you THINK you love Tolkien but have only read The Hobbit (and it's not a bad place to start at all) or if you just watched the movies, do yourself a favor and dig deeper.  
Try "The Monsters and the Critics," a well-edited collection of his essays, 
or just taste the grand sweeping tone of the "Ainulindale," the first part of the Silmarillion.  
And my friend if you do, please let's talk. ;)

Here are some detail views:

Hand-crocheted "rope":

Burlap, moss, roses, stem pearls and wooden leaves detail:

The thick paper base is my own handmade paper, which I crafted in large batches some years ago from scraps produced in my work for my Etsy shop. 
After making as much as I felt I could possibly use, I began composting the rest of the scraps and turned them into vegetables.  Ha!  How is that for using up every last bit? :D


Get Creative Challenges #67 - Fantasy/Mythological
Simply Create Too #136 Use Green - 2nd entry
Creative Artiste #36 - Anything Goes - 2nd entry
Deep Ocean Challenge #176 - Vintage / Shabby Chic
Everybody Art #421 - Anything Goes

Vintage Journey March Theme: Treasure

So in case you haven't read the book...Why treasure?

It just wouldn't be a Hobbit-inspired project, of course, without GOLD.
Just enough gold though, and no more.

I wanted to focus more on Bilbo's ability to still see beauty in simple, natural things.
And this, to me, is a sort of treasure of the soul as well.
It was this ability that allowed him to get through his adventure,
even as frightened and homesick as he was. 
It was that ability that allowed him to withstand the Ring for as long as he did.

Yes, I could have dome a whimsical project on bacon and eggs and the missing handkerchief.
I sincerely hope someone has! :)
But I chose to focus on the simple beauties of his journey,
especially the dark-colored butterflies above the treetops of Mirkwood.

And like Bilbo, I hope we will also climb up once in awhile to look over the Mirkwood that is sometimes our own day-to-day life when we just can't see a way out.
I hope we will climb up for a different view, and while there that we can enjoy the glorious sunshine
and the fleeting joys that lift the soul like butterflies.

Be well all!

Monday, March 12, 2018

March Mixed Media Canvas - Lily of the Valley and Butterfly

Before the little Harrier came along nearly two years ago, Sunday afternoon tradition almost always found Robin, Jay and myself in the sunroom painting, writing stories together, sewing or making cards.  Since then we've fallen out of practice in the course of raising a toddler hurricane, moving and reestablishing.  This afternoon was the first time we've pulled out the paints in I don't even remember how long, and let me tell you--it felt wonderful.

There are certainly times when I'd rather just craft on my own,
but usually it's such great time with the boys that I don't mind the extra mess or even a few wasted materials... although I did have to make Jay start buying his own stickers for the most part awhile back...

So as out of practice as I am, this is one of the four canvases I completed today.  Robin and Jay were THRILLED to see Mom getting fingers so messy.  They're solidly out of the finger-painting stage, so seeing me dive in and get inky-fingered really made them laugh.
And just spending the time together made my afternoon.

Some more close up views:

Entering into the following challenges:

More Mixed Media Challenge - Open Theme and Optional Green

My Time to Craft Challenge UK - Spring / Easter theme

Thank you for visiting, and wherever you are,

Be well and enjoy the sunshine!


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Autumn Harvest Cards, Tags and Class

The months have flown!

Here we are, leading into the season when gratitude gets the kind of attention
it really ought to all year.  I plan to bring back Grateful Sundays here at Kitchen Table Crafter,
but in the meantime I want to share some autumn-themed cards and tags that I will be sharing
in a class at the end of this month:

October 27th, 2017from 6:30-8:30 pm

at Z Bakery and Venue

124 Confederate Street in Fort Mill, SC

Participants will be able to choose two of the four projects I have as samples,
or they can do one and then have a freestyle crop.
I will provide all materials, as well as free gifts at the end of class.
Participants may bring their own tools and supplies if they wish.

Scissors, marking pencils, coloring medium of choice
and/or a brown stamp pad

would be most useful to bring to ensure everyone has the tools they need.

Cost is $45 per participant.
Cost includes class, supplies, and a meal and dessert provided by Z Bakery.

This will be a fun opportunity to craft, eat and socialize with your girlfriends at a ladies' night out
at one of the trendiest and most welcoming venues in Fort Mill/Rock Hill area!
Participants will also receive a coupon to share with a friend for their next class.

Are you ready to see the projects?


PROJECT #1: CARD SET - Autumn Hills and Grateful Wren

 Detail views:
 I will show you how to glaze with colored pencils, including
tips on Prismacolors to achieve luminous colors.
 Our wren nests in a little burlap "nest":

Set view together:

PROJECT #2: Shabby Fox Card and Chipmunk Notepad

 The notepad is a quick and easy project that you can easily customize.
If you prefer to use a different harvest-themed stamp from my collections,
you are more than welcome to. :)
I will show you how to create your own embellishments to maximize the
usefulness of scraps so that your project harmonizes.  I will also each elements of balance
for different card-making styles.   This particular card class will combine elements
of clean-and-layered style with shabby chic.


The season of visits and gift-giving is not far off now!
All those hostess gifts can get expensive, but what if your gift
would itself help your friend to give her own personalized gifts?
Everyone wins!

Enter this first of two tag sets.  This one is quick and easy 
and you will leave with your own customized tag sets.
Sticker message availability may vary depending on the number of participants we have,
but I guarantee you will have plenty to choose from to make your set just right!

We will make three tags and a tag holder base for each set.
You are certainly not limited to my examples.


This second tag set is a little more complicated than the first but still
lovely and easily assembled.

 Here are the three tags I designed to go with this theme.
For the life of me I still can't pick a favorite.

Pussywillow Tag:

Retro baking tag:

Autumn butterfly tag:

Full tag set view:

 Another view of the tag holder:

I hope these tags and cards have inspired you!
Visit the Z Bakery website 
to sign up or comment on our Facebook event
to reserve your place!

Hope to see you at the end of the month!


~~And now, at last, for the challenges that these projects play in online!~~

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Spring Cleaning Giveaway Winners

Morning, gals!  I hope you have a beautiful week ahead of you.
I'm stopping in to announce the winners (yes, you read that right)
of my Spring Cleaning Giveaway.
So, first for the main giveaway:
Next for a batch of craft books:
What a lovely shabby chic blog you have Olenka.
It's been nice to look at your many projects :)

For a £5 pound voucher to spend at Dragons Lair Designs:
This is Lena.
Congratulations, Lena!
And, lastly, a little something for everyone:
A free digi sketch!
This is a hand-drawn sketch of meadowsweet.  Enjoy!
Congratulations Lena, Olenkaja and Lilian!
Please email or message me with your response before the end of the week
so that I can get your packages / voucher codes to you ASAP.
I'm going to be busy in the hospital having baby H next week!
Wish me luck :)
Take care,
be well,
and enjoy the sunshine,


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