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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Magnet sets now in Blog shop

I was sent an email asking if I had any more magnet sets laying around like the ones that I'm putting into my Giveaway box. Absolutely! I responded and here they are. I've put them all up in my blog shop (although Jodi has laid claim to the "Bird" set.) The ones above are made with vintage Easter postcards + one contemporary card.

This is one of my favorite sets. I made the scrolly bits from rusted floral wire.

This is the one for Jodi. I do hope she enjoys it!!!! If you would like to purchase either of the other two sets you can click here to be taken to my blog shop!!

Update... Blog shop is now closed. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

A brain to carry around with me...

Blogging has become a very large part of my life. I am thinking about this blog and my blog friends, and new posts, and swaps, and the Where Bloggers Create party coming up this summer all the time!

I really needed something to help organize all of my thoughts and ideas in one place. So I made my Blog Book. It's just a 3 ring binder that I slipcovered! I have sections for post ideas, great blogs and websites, the WBC party and several others. I used scrap fabrics that I had laying around and used Lisa's idea to print images on printable fabric sheets. It's really easy to make and if you don't sew you can (almost) fuse everything together using iron on hem tape. Just hand sew the top and bottom of the pocket where the book slips into. You can do this while the notebook is in place. I even sewed a small pocket for a pen that runs along the spine. I love having everything together in one place. Organization is creativity's friend!!!!

And, since I will probably carry this with me wherever I go, I added a little pocket to hold calling cards with my blog address on them!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I am a lucky girl!!!!

I feel like the luckiest girl in the whole world. When I came home from work today I found not one but three fabulous little gifts had arrived at my door! The first one came from Myrna at More than Heirlooms, who I met during the OWOH event. I offered to help Myrna with a few things on her blog and we wound up chatting for hours! She very sweetly asked for my address and sent my these wonderful little treasures. All those little tags where tucked inside the coolest handmade book ever, and they are decorated on both sides!!! The candle will be absolutely perfect in my studio and she made that herself too. Thank you Myrna so much. I just love them all.

The second package contained one of the most stunning necklaces I've ever seen. It came from Terri at Designs by Terri Gordon. It was Terri's first Giveaway and I'm sooooo happy I won!!! This piece is so special, I want to try and figure out a way to enjoy it all the time. Maybe I can figure out a way to put in on a pillow in my bedroom, but still be able to take it off and use it as a necklace when I want to!! Thank you so much Terri!

The third package contained the cutest little soldered charm from Cat at Writing Out Loud. I won Cat's OWOH giveway. I just love soldered charms!!! And it's just as cute on the other side.... Thank you Cat!!!!

For someone who NEVER wins anything... this was a very exciting day!

Now there are just a couple more things I want share. In the last couple of weeks I have several really awesome blogs that I think you would really enjoy (If you haven't already)
Tapestries of Nature is a terrific blog and the things that girl can do with yarn and fibers is terrific!

makes the most amazing pieces out of repurposed items. Scroll down her blog and see all her amazing things. You won't be disappointed.

The Tin Rabbit is a beautiful new blog and she makes some really pretty things. I think Dawn shared her with us but I thought I would too.

And lastly there is Flea Market Trixie. I put her giveaway up on my sidebar so maybe you have already visited her, but I love her blog!!! I think you will all love her too!!!

So enjoy looking at all the wonderful blogs I've mentioned and have a wonderful weekend!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

500+ Followers Giveaway!!!

As I was laying in bed last night thinking about this Giveaway and all of the great people out there that follow my blog, the emotions that I felt ran across the board. Feelings of joy, gratitude and awe.... Feelings of fear and worry. I felt them all and they all make me a better blogger, a better artist, and a better person. I can't express properly in words how wonderful this last year has been. (Truth be told, it hasn't even been a year since I started this blog) I have made some wonderful new friends and am in the process of making many more. Some of you leave comments and some of you don't, and that's okay because I know you are there anyway. I am grateful to you all for your friendship and encouragement. And so... to say Thank you from the bottom of my heart I am offering this humble giveaway to everyone who follows my blog.

The box I made myself, and it will be filled with bits of lace and doilies, an old book with perfectly worn pages, several wonderful sepia toned rose print cards, Sandra Evertson's fabulous book "Fanciful Paper Projects", a set of three French themed refrigerator magnets made by me, a pair of wonderful vintage leather gloves, 3 scented paper roses, and many more goodies!!!

If you leave me a comment on this post and you follow my blog I will enter your name into the drawing. I consider any one who has my blog in their sidebar a follower as well, because that is how I follow most of my favorite blogs. If you post about the giveaway on your blog (please feel free to take the poster), let me know and I will enter your name a second time. I will also send a surprise gift to my favorite comment if you tell me why YOU love blogging.

I will announce the winner in two weeks, on March 1st. Have a beautiful day my friends!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Some girls want jewelry....

Some girls want jewelry for their birthday, others want fancy vacations... but I'm not your average girl. What do I want???? Tools!!!!! This is what my sweetie gave me for my birthday this year. It was a complete surprise (although I have been whining about needing my own tools for all my projects. ) I mean, you can't go ask your husband every time you want to hang a picture or refinish a piece of furniture can you??? Well now I don't have to!!! Yippee!!!

The box was huge and inside each and every package of tools was beautifully wrapped in my husband's favorite wrapping paper. What is that you ask???? Newspaper of course!

Pliers and wire cutters of every size and shape for every project from large to small...

New paint brushes, painters tape, spackle knives, dust masks, and primer..... (oh I'm getting all excited!)

Sandpaper for my Mouse sander, (the best all purpose sander out there in my opinion) a coping saw and very chic eye protection.

Screwdrivers with magnetic tips, a small square with a built in level, and a 30' tape measure with nice BIG numbers so it's easy to read. (I'm not as young as I used to be.)

Now I will never again have to bug my guy to go find this tool or that one whilst in the middle of a project, and to top it all off... everything matches!

I have the best husband in the whole word. Diamonds???? Bahhh!! Who needs them?

It's time for the winner!!!

This years One World One Heart was such a wonderful experience. I met so many great women on the magic carpet. It was a little overwhelming actually. I'm not sure how well I did in keeping up with with all of the comments, so if you left me a comment and I didn't get back with you you have my sincerest apologies. I also know that I did not get around to visiting everyone who participated. There just aren't enough hours in the day! Oh well, there always next year!

This little shadow box was my giveaway for this event and I am VERY happy to announce the winner is # 34, Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions! Congrats Kathy! I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Meet my partner!!!!

A couple of months ago I signed up for Cathy's Amour Valentine Swap at Treasured Heirlooms. It was my fist swap ever and I had such a fabulous time. It's been very difficult not to show you the wonderful box of goodies that I received from my swap partner Mary over at Vintage Patina

Isn't that anaglipta wall paper to die for!!! The box is so beautifully covered complete with the sweetest flower made from old clothing patterns.

The box was filled with so many wonderful goodies that I have already put to good use!

Great old Bingo cards and mathematical flash cards....

Wonderful handmade clips

These gloves are fabulous and are already in a vignette in my bedroom.

Sweet little ballet slipper ornaments, a candle, and a neat little ceramic tag that says dream...

I LOVE this flash card!!! (I know I'm easily pleased) and the clock face tops my new lampshade in the master bedroom. The sweet little bird is also with me in that room.
Mary and I had a very interesting phenomenon happen. We were completely on the same wavelength when it came to our goodies. We both sent each other a heart filled with buttons. We both used paper patterns as wrapping paper, and we both sent vintage ephemera. Mary was the perfect swap partner!!!!
If you want to see what I sent Mary then click here. And If you want to see all the wonderful boxes that were shipped all over the country hop over to see Cathy for the list of all the participants.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What's in a name???

I've had several emails from my blog friends commenting on how cool it is that my last name is Valentine. I thought I would give you all the 411!!! Valentine is actually my middle name, because I was born on Valentine's Day. I go by Karen Valentine because it's a lot more memorable and interesting than my actual last name (not that I don't love that name) My mom actually wanted to name me Valentina so I guess I can thank my Dad for putting the nix on that idea!!! I use Valentine Studio as my business name so Karen Valentine just seemed like a logical choice! So there you go, I know a few people have been confused when I send them stuff and there an extra last name attached to address label!!!

Tonight I'm going out with friends to celebrate my birthday. We are going for all you can eat sushi so I know they will be rolling me home!!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful love filled weekend. I'll see you all on Sunday to share with you my wonderful Valentine Box swapping experience with Mary of Vintage Patina!!!

P.S. Please feel free to use and enjoy this great Valentines Day card!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Bedroom and another Tutorial

The bedroom is coming along nicely. Every week I'm knocking more and more off my list. (Don't you wish work didn't have to interfere with more important things like decorating!!!!) I'm mostly working on the finishing touches although I do have a pretty big job to complete that entails painting all the doors and trim. (More on that later.)

A few weeks ago Dawn (Don't you love how we only have to say her first name and everyone knows who she is. Kinda like Cher, or Beyonce!!!) shared with us a website full of the most wonderful sheet music covers ever! You can find that post here. I knew I had to make something with them for the new bedroom.

I played around with a few ideas in my head and finally decided to do some simple wall plaques.

First, print out the sheet music page of your choice and size it to fit the wood plaque that you will be using. My favorite paper to use to get really beautiful images is a matte finish photo or presentation paper. The wood plaques can be found at most any arts and crafts store.

Coat the plaque with a coat of primer, and then one or two coats of white semi gloss paint.

Gently distress the edges of your print and then glue it down to the wood plaque. I found that if you start at the top and add the glue a little at a time to the back of the paper, and smooth out the wrinkles as you go, you will get a better finished look. I like soft bodied gel medium from Golden or Liquitex. Try not to get any of the glue on the top of the print because the glue tends to yellow the paper. (Although this will work to your advantage later)

After the glued print is completely dry, apply the crackle medium of you choice to the wood that is still showing and overlap the crackle medium onto the edges of the print. The edges will yellow adding to the aged look of the piece.

After the crackle has dried overnight you are ready to add your paste wax. I LOVE Bri wax. I buy it at my local Ace hardware. Lowes and Home Depot don't carry it. For these plaques I used the light brown color, but dark brown is a great color too. Use an old soft rag to rub the wax into the cracks and over the edges of the print. I used a stippling motion to get the wax a little heavier in some areas. Allow the wax to dry for about a half hour and buff with a soft cloth. (rag) The wax imparts a beautiful soft shine. I'm really happy with these came out and they really add the look I wanted for the bedroom. If you have any questions let me know. I'm happy to answer them!

On another note... I can't believe I am approaching 500 followers! Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that so many of you would enjoy my blog. Thank you so much for your support and wonderful comments. I am preparing a giveaway to show my appreciation. I'll make the announcement some time next week.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lampshade Tutorial

I finally found some time to put together a little tutorial on one way to embellish a naked shade. I've seen others around blogland and all have been fabulous. You really can't mess these up.

Start by removing the fabric from your shade. I always seem to find perfect candidates at Goodwill for only a couple of dollars or less.

Sometimes there is a yucky glue residue left after removing the fabric. I've found the easiest way to handle this is to cover the metal base with white floral tape. It's inexpensive and really easy to use. It sticks to itself making the wrapping very easy. (Kathy, this might work well for you.)

Then I used whatever I had laying around my studio. These fabric doilies work great because you can lace them on with cotton string or jute.

Zig-Zag some trim over one section...

Attach an old cabinet card in another. I used grommets and fine gauge silver wire. If you don't have an actually cabinet card, print out an old photo and apply to a piece of watercolor paper. It's got a nice thickness and is acid free.

Large pieces of mica make a really nice effect. I punched holes with a small hole punch and tied it on to the shade. I also punched a few holes near the bottom and tied on the feathers. Use clothespins to clip another old photo behind the mica. (This is another one of my mom and my aunt Sandy.)

Clip on flowers or bows, and pin copies of old photos to the fabric doily.

Hang old keys, tags, crystals, silver spoons... any thing works really.

To finish it off I added this great clock face to the finial since the lamp sits low enough for me to see the top. I also added a few book pages to areas where there was too much direct light from the bulb showing through. This was a really fun and easy project. I hope you will share with me your creation if you decide to make one!

One last thing. I failed to mention a wonderful Giveaway from Rebecca for Vintage Living She has made this Gorgeous necklace to celebrate 200 followers!!! I'm crossing my fingers on this one too!!!! Go see her and tell her Karen sent you!

A Fab givaway and an introduction

Have you ever come across a blog/blogger that you felt an instant connection to when you arrived on their site? Well I have,  and Lisa at Tarnished and Tattered   is a perfect example.  From the very first time I saw her blog I knew I would be visiting often.  Now she is having a "Thank you" Giveaway to show her gratitude to all her friends and followers. (I don't know if she realizes we are just as grateful to have her a part of Blogland.  So head on over to see Lisa, and show her some blog love by becoming a follower (if you aren't already) and entering her fabulous giveaway.  She is sharing one of the best stash of goodies I have ever seen!

I've been shooting pics of the lampshade and will have a tutorial ready later on today.  See you then!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A little more teasing

This is the bedroom side table on my side of the bed. I made the lampshade and I love how it looks in the room.  The photo showing is of my mom when she was about 3.  If anyone wants a tutorial on how to make the shade just let me know.  The drapes are a new addition.  I've been searching everywhere I  could think of to find new drapes that look good in the room. Normally I make all my own drapes but I had no luck finding just the right fabric. I try and do everything as inexpensively as possible, so I tried panels from Target, Wal-Mart and TJ Maxx. I couldn't live with any of them.  All those years working for an interior designer really elevated my taste level. Finally I went to a store called The Great Indoors.  When I walked in I knew instantly that I had found my drapes.  They were a little pricier than I had planned on but I knew they would be perfect.  Fortunately, they were on sale so I saved a little bit.  They are hanging now and I smile every time I walk in the room.  Sometimes we have to spend a little bit more to get perfection.  I can't wait to show off the rest of the room.  There still more painting that I'd like to get finished before I unveil the rest.

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