Friday, January 27, 2012

My Football Yarn

Project II-Prayer Shawl
Never thought about it much until recently, but it turns out I crave a yarn project every year during football play-off season. Last year I got out my crochet needle and some super soft baby yarn with the idea of making blankets for the two baby grands we were expecting in fall 2011.
In my mind, there were two things that I could crochet really well—baby blankets and hanging dish towels. Apparently crocheting is not like riding a bike. I could not get the stitch tension consistent and I had trouble working with the cool pastel yarn I purchased.

I stared at the crochet basket with the 6 rows of uneven stitches for the next 8 months. I finally convinced myself a month before the births that babies today couldn’t use crochet blankets anyway because little fingers and toes would get caught in the open areas. Whew…

Near the start of play-off season this year I decided I needed another yarn project. My church participates in the prayer shawl ministry and that’s a great project for a Florida person to do with yarn.

Considering my crochet disasters, it was time to take an Uncharted Destination Tour.

Green Loom is 18" long

Enter the Knifty Knitter™ by Provo Craft. This tool takes me back to my Girl Scout days (Can’t think Girl Scouts without Tagalong cookies which can be mailed to my home address thanks). One of my Girl Scout Projects was to make a knitting loom and use it to create a project.

When you read on a package that this item is great for kids and teens—it’s a very good sign. I had only seen the round looms in recent years which make great hats. Knitted hats in Florida can only be used twice a year and one of those times is when you take a trip north. The long straight looms, however, are perfect for shawls and scarves. Even Floridians wear cool scarves from those fancy yarns.

Greetings from Knitter Land....
I purchased a set of long looms in December and asked for a pattern book for Christmas. (Thanks Dave). Before I invested in the yarn to make a shawl I used some of the baby yarn to make a scarf as a test project. Not only did the scarf turn out well—the knitting loom is a fun easy lap project.


The postcard from this Uncharted Destination Tour reads:

Having a great time with long loom knitting! I’ll bring you a souvenir when I return.

Hugs- Norma Anne

After the shawl I'm going to experiment with "plarn" which
 is yarn made from plastic grocery bags. I'm thinking outdoor placemats.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"New" Video Up -- 5 EZ techniques for Altered Book Art Journals

As previously mentioned, I am not going to miss time in my studio to put my studio projects online. Making movies and taking great photos is a wonderful art form but it is not the one I choose first. Consequently, I end up finding videos I made months ago and realizing I never posted them. Here's one on art journal techniques from last spring.

2012 Art and other Journals Update

I used my altered book art journal every day last year with the exception of about 6 days. I am so happy about that and I really FEEL so good when I create in my journal every day. I used a new book every quarter and still have to do a review of Journal 4 from 2011 for posting.

Oddly enough, although I prepped an altered book for 2012, I decided to step away from the altered books and use a blank page journal. I thought I'd try it for a quarter and now I'm not sure if I can even last a month with it. I still experience that blank page anxiety and I tend to use the journal in my study not my studio so the entries are not as fun to view.

I created a total of 3 scrapbook pages in 2011 and I thought perhaps the art journaling alleviated my desire for scrapping. The experiment in a "plain" book was a test to see if I would scrapbook more without an art journal. So far, I have made 3 scrapbook pages in January 2012...but the verdict is still out. I will find some balance between the two creative outlets very soon.

Here are a few photos of the "plain page" book I'm using this month. It is a journal I bought years ago in Fort Lauderdale and liked so much I didn't want to use it. All journal keepers have had that experience at one time or another, right?

This one has a cool feature call a Zen board in the back. You wet a brush with water and paint on the board. Within 5 minutes the painting disappears and you can do another one. That part is quite fascinating, but may not be enough for my every day use.

Cover of first journal for 2012 before alterations

Painting before a written entry

Same painting as it fades

I decorated the front with my "one little word" OTL and call to action.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Bright and Shiny New Year

The birds blend two shades of glitter and the
 wings and heart are in different colors
New Year’s comes around more than once a year for me—I like fresh starts in January, in August for the school year, and again in October for my birthday. The January new year is my sparkling one.

As a Christmas gift to myself I got a set of 24 amazing fine glitters from Martha Stewart. These glitters had been in my radar for over six months. Of course I had a couple dozen glitters already in my inventory, but there were only three of the very fine variety. (Go ahead, you can smirk now).

The glitters
I set up the glitters in my studio and just looked at them for almost two weeks. I am mesmerized by sparkling things. I did some Internet research on projects and found awesome wall art that I want to do for my upcoming home purchase. The project was designed by Kari Tarr for a contest Martha hosted on the show. The video tutorial is way cool for this.

I have some fun ideas for glitter cards that play on this idea from the wall art, but for some reason I couldn’t even start with that…I broke open the package for Valentine cards. Two techniques are featured for these cards:

1. Covering an entire punched paper piece with glitter after running it through Xyron™ adhesive. (see birds above)

Stamped Image highlighted with glue pen and then glitter.
2. Use a glue pen to outline spots on a stamp image and filling them in with glue. (see heart on right)

Not exactly extravagant starting points, but I did enough to get glitter on my face. Tips from my in-studio session with fine glitters:

1. Use coffee filters to catch excess glitter and return to bottles. My non-stick craft sheets would have worked if they were clean—but seriously, they haven’t been clean in years. Same goes for my cute pink tidy tray for glitter.

2. Mix the colors on a punched object for depth and dimension.

3. Layer pieces of different colors on top of each other.

Design Notes--Valentine Flash Cards

Here's the full view of the cards shown in detail. I used K & Co. double sided print papers (on sale of course) to create these and the others shown below.

The first four cards done with double sided print paper and fine glitters.

A second set of cards with glitter and shiny hearts made from reclaimed note cards--more on that later.

Hat tipped to Michael’s Arts and Crafts for their great marketing over the holiday. They ran daily specials on one item and sent them out by email and phone alerts. The glitters were a one day only special that got me into the store and the phone alerts allow the cashier to scan a bar code on your phone and zip away with your purchase.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Resolved to Affirm

Instead of resolutions, I practice affirmations. If you have never done affirmations you can run an online search that will produce mountains of information. One of the most comprehensive places I found online is Vital Affirmations at
--I have no affiliation with this site other than reading it and appreciating their style.

The book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne inspires me a great deal as well. The web site is  which has a short but scenic video. If you have Netflix or other online video resource the entire book has been made into a great video too. The Secret is just the last in a long line of positive and motivational readings that I’ve done since the eighties. If this one doesn’t work for you there are loads of others.

Heartfelt Art (and other) Destinations that are calling to me in 2012:

As it is written

--Continuing with journaling my morning pages each and every day. There will be art in my journals and more fun with altered book journals, but the words will take precedent this year.

--Speaking of words, I set my “one little word” for the year as TRUST. (The one little word concept was developed and is taught by the amazing ALI at  ) My word last year was wholly and I loved keeping this word alive in my life. My wonderful church, First Christian Disciples of Christ in West Palm Beach has a tradition of giving out words for the year on a star too. My star word is ACTION so I’m all set to put TRUST in ACTION or ACT on TRUST throughout the year. It seems like my “one little word” just grew to two little words. Nice.

Two Baby Grands in one week 2011
--Following some nudging from the fabulous Kandee Johnson, I am thinking this year about the last time I did something for the first time. Since I’m officially over 50 I decided to amend that to allow for first time in a long, long time too. (Long time defined by over 20 years). Whether it’s a recipe, a lifestyle change, or a new art technique—I’m doing something new multiple times per month in 2012. Join me in tracking “first time doings” on my blog and web site.

--Community activists are often thought of as people who stage protests or collect signatures requesting change. I choose to broaden the term to include community outreach as part of community activism. I am reaching out to those I know and those I’ve never met through traditional and non-traditional methods. I don’t have to leave a mark on the world to touch it. 

The family famous Burnett "plain cake"
not pound cake. Grandma's recipe says "plain
cake." Simplicity in abundance.

--I trust that I will have everything I need when I need it. I surround myself with the beautiful and the useful. From my artwork to my home to my work to my relationships—I focus on the simple and the meaningful.

I focus on the simple and the meaningful

Holiday Review 2011:

My Christmas celebrations were awesome this year as I approached the holiday with the spirit of Advent leading my heart and decisions. For the first time in my memory I gave most people on my list one gift.

Hand drawn Santa I used for gift
 ties and ornaments 2011.

We made time to visit with family and friends, we went to church, we volunteered in our community. This heartfelt approach has led me to renew my commitment to the heartfelt art process and the power of creativity as a gift from the Great Creator.

Wishing you peace, prosperity, and loads of sparkle in 2012.