Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday!!

Today is Taryn's birthday & she wanted everyone to know that she turned 6!! Taryn has been one of the best additions to our family!! Our children are of the 4-legged kind & we have 3 wonderful kids!!

LOVE those ears!! We chose to not clip her ears after she was born. Taryn is a red, German Pinscher & at the time we got her back in 2003, German Pinschers had only been AKC recognized for about a year, they were UKC recognized originally. In Europe, it is common to not dock the tails or clip the ears. We had her tail docked (when she was first born), but liked the look of the original ears (besides, we felt clipping the ears to be cruel.)

We often get comments, when we take her on walks or to dog parks, "she looks like a deer." If you ever watch her run through tall grass, she does leap like a deer & she is fast, she LOVES to run with the greyhounds at the dog park.

Every spring/summer, we tend to have problems with moles (oh did I tell you, she's a ratter, since her breed was originally bred with terrier) as for kills, she has 2 moles, 6 rats & an oppossum & she wants you to know that the squirrels keep her busy, running along the back fence in the summer. Anyway, when the mole mounds pop up in the yard, my DH will go out, Taryn following, & we will place mole traps in the yard. To place the trap, we have to dig out the dirt from the yard, so the DH will flip it all over the yard. Taryn LOVES to try to catch the dirt clods & yes, she's fast!

This was her very first day with us, poppa's laying on the floor to play with her. The first few nights were rough since we think she was having separation anxiety from her mom & her siblings, she'd cry through the night, so poppa slept on the kitchen floor with her the first few nights. (I never thought we'd make it through potty training!)

Our little girl is so absolutely fabulous & we love her SO much!! And poppa says that momma spoils her too much, but I don't think poppa is too far behind. He's the one that told her that we'd got to Dairy Queen to get her ice cream for her birthday tonight, vanilla of course!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

This & That........

Sorry, it's been awhile since my last post. Remember the cold I thought I had? It ended up being a sinus infection AND it happened around the same time as the snow storms we keep seeming to have. Eventhough, the snow kept me from getting to work, I really didn't feel well enough to do any creating except for the journal below, that was a custom order for one of my co-workers.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

This journal is made from raw silk, hand dyed brown, Angelina fibers & turquoise eyelash yarn. The turquoise strap is leather & I just love that dragonfly button. I've actually found a bead store that carries these in quite a few different colors.

I was very excited to see that one of my molding paste journal pictures was chosen for the Yahoo Group, Surface Design's home page photo.

I have to say, this might be my most favorite journal yet!!

I mentioned the snow earlier..........first of all, let me say, in Seattle, we might see a total of 2" of snow all winter (if we're lucky) & many winters we don't see any. Over this past week, we have seen up to 18" of snow in some areas. At my house............9". We've had two snow storms, one with wind gusts in the foothills as high as 90 mph. We're to see another snow storm tomorrow night. I'm really tired of shoveling my sidewalks and driveway, which I might add, no one else seems to know to do this. The DH and I grew up in Iowa, so we learned, after a snow, you dig out. You can tell who the transplants are around here by who shovels after a snow. (I bet the neighbors thought that we were nuts shoveling at night and first thing in the mornings.) But I have to tell you, we're the only ones around now with dry sidewalks & the driveway.

Here's just a couple of pics from of our house and all of the snow. How soon 'til summer?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Proximity Award

Sherry has shared the Proximity Award with me. Thank you Sherry!!

This award states that: This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY- nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends, they are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.

I would like to in turn share this award with Michele, Michelle, Lynda, Carole & Cheryl.

Not only did Sherry give me the Proximity Award, but I think she gave me her cold too. :) It has been slowly coming on for about a week now & I woke up on Sunday with NO voice & no energy whatsoever. I stayed home from work on Monday, to save my throat (since the main part of my job is communicating verbally, whether on the phone or in person). Went to work today (will see how long I can last). As for a voice, I now have that deep phone sex voice, so I don't think I'll be answering my phone at work today. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Little Bling...............

Well, the visiting family is gone & now back to work!! Am so excited, a co-worker placed a 4 piece custom order (possibly 5) with me & she needs it by Christmas. Fortunately, the company I had was understanding enough to allow me to do a little each night to work on these four pieces. Should every thing go as planned (which it never seems to do), I should have them finished by Monday & I can start working on another custom order that I just received yesterday from another co-worker. If I don't think about it too much, I won't stress that I have only two more weeks to get all of the pieces that I had planned to get done, done by Christmas.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

Every year, the company that I work for, picks 1 or 2 families that might need a little extra help at Christmas. We all sign up for different items on their wish lists. I saw that the mother wished for bracelets, so I signed up & made these for her. The two outside bracelets are made from Bali silver & fresh water pearls. I scored those brown spiral beads in the center bracelet, while I was shopping for something completely different at a bead store. Don't worry, I picked up extra "just in case" I want to use them for something for me. :)

(I hope the mother likes these.)

I came across this necklace below, this past weekend while out doing the "tourist" shopping thing with my visiting family.

I fell in love with it right away. One of my friends loves Celtic things so I bought it for her for Christmas. I might have to go back & see if they have another one for ME :)

(if you're wondering, because it was my first question too, this is not made from bone, it's actually made from porcelain)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wonderful weekend!!

I was able to complete over 9 art projects during my 4-day holiday weekend. It was wonderful!! I felt like a machine, but that was ok, it kept me from getting bored & snacking all day. Hmmmm, could creating art possibly become a new diet? :)

I created 3 different journals, 2 for my Etsy store & one was a custom order for a friend. The first journal below, I think might be my absolute favorite!! The photos just don't do it the justice that it deserves. If you can imagine the colors in a peacock feather, this is the colors that you can see in this journal & the light plays with the colors as you change the angle of viewing at this journal.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

This entire journal was an experiment. New materials, new clasp, new idea of adding a refillable pocket for a spiral notepad (that I made) instead of sewing in signatures. (Love the new clasp!)

Not to break my arm patting myself on the back, but I figured out how to add the refillable pocket to hold the spiral notepad on my own. I could have checked out Fibre & Stitch's free padfolio pattern, but I wanted to figure it out myself, since everything else was an experiment with this journal.

A little note that might make you giggle about the notepads. I had this brainstorm to make my own notepads.......make some with "art" chipboard fronts & some without to just fit in journals like these. Well I needed the wire binding combs. Do you know how hard it is to find wire binding combs locally? It's impossible. So off to the internet to surf. I searched for over a week to find the smallest quantity I could order for the best price......................yeah, I now am the proud owner of 140 wire bindings combs, but wait................ I can make two spiral notepads from one binding comb, so now I have 280 wire binding combs. Ok, so it is funny, but it ISN'T!! I'm never going to go through THAT many combs & the worst part, finding a place to store that huge box. Don't think the DH has seen it yet since I haven't received a scolding yet :)

The journal below, is made from painted brown paper bags & I decided to create lined pages for the signatures this time.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

The closure, seen in the close up below is made from Ebony. I learned a lesson when cutting this wood on my DH compound saw, you know the saw you can use to cut mitered edges? If you seem a little nervous about cutting a small piece of wood, let the DH do it. I tried to cut it, but apparently didn't have a firm grip on the piece of wood. When I brought the saw down to cut it, it ripped it from my hand, the piece of wood, circled around & came back & smacked me VERY hard on the knuckle right above my wedding ring & turned it purple instantly. I found the piece that hit my finger, but have NO idea where the other piece landed. So while I was icing to get the swelling to go down, the husband cut the wood for me. It's now day 5 since the accident & it's just now starting to feel better. I think I can say happily, that it's not broken.

The hurt finger didn't stop me though, I was able to continue creating. I was able to finish some Christmas ornaments for a swap that I'm in. I tried many times to photograph a couple of hand-dyed cotton velveteen ornaments & for some reason, the colors never seemed to turn out well, so am sorry that I'm not able to post those here.

I did manage to get a couple of Rayon/Silk Velvet scarves hand dyed & stamp embossed.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

Not For Sale

The scarf on the left is dyed with Pro Chem's Deep Navy & the beautiful emerald green scarf is dyed with Dharma's Better Blue Green.

I almost forgot......................a post or two ago, I mentioned about making a journal cover using molding paste & how I had such a hard time with it cracking while it dried. Well I was able to make those cracks work for me in this photo below. Am thinking of adding them to a journal cover front. I rubber stamped the molding paste while it was still wet. After it dried, I applied Golden's Iron Oxide & then lightly buffed it with a soft cloth to remove some of the color. Reminds me of old stone tiles.

I probably won't post much the rest of this week since I have family coming in for the first part of next week. I do hope to have another journal cover finished by the end of next week to post that I've been working on. I used molding paste again & squiggle rubber stamps. Intentions were for it to be in my store, but I think that I'm liking it so much, I just might have to keep it :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm Featured in an Etsy Treasury

View my scarf

I've been featured in my first Treasury!!

Riskybeads chose to add me to her Etsy Treasury, thank you Lori!! If you get a moment, check out her Etsy shop, she has some really nice pieces!!

(I have to admit, the scarf she chose of mine, is one of my favorites that I've recently made.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ornaments for the Holidays or for Whenever

I always enjoy making these!!

They're both approximately 8 1/2" long by 3.5" to 4" wide. They're both made of hand dyed bamboo poplin (of course) & hand dyed cheesecloth.

The blue ornament below, has been machine stitched & hand stamped with squiggles. Angelina Fibers (the iridescence that you can see) were then fused between the bamboo poplin & hand dyed cheesecloth. If you're curious about Angelina Fibers make sure you check out Embellishment Village's vodcast on Beginning Angelina Basics. It's an excellent 10 minute video on how to use Angelina Fibers.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

For sale in my Etsy shop

The red ornament (yes the color is that vibrant), also from hand dyed bamboo, has layers of machine stitching, fused cheesecloth (the white misty fuse gives it a nice little bit of added glitz), more machine stitching & hand beading.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

For sale in my Etsy Shop

The nice thing about these is that with the colors & designs I use, they can be used all year around. They'd hang nicely on a Christmas tree or wrapped gift or hang in your studio or office. It would be nice if you could hang them from your rear view mirror, but the direct sun light would fade the dyed fabric.
I have ornaments in different stages, waiting to be finished, in my studio in colors of purple, possibly turquoise & of course my signature neon green. I'm also working on some embossed hand dyed velvet. I'll post them here when I finished. (Am hoping with this 4 day holiday weekend, I'll have a lot to post here next week!!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

I have a new label.................

I've been called many different things (think nicely, here) :)

I've been called an artist, a Fiber artist, a quilter, a surface person, a dyer (I've never really considered myself a mixed media artist) but now I have a new title to add to my list..............."cross-over person."

I'm so lucky, my quilting store & bead store moved in together so now I can visit one store to get fabric & beads.

I went in to get thread for this...........

This is going to be a cover for a new journal. It's molding paste, stitched, painted & beaded. The color in person is so much brighter, think peacock feather & you've nailed the colors.

And beads for this............

This is hand dyed bamboo poplin that I've free motion stitched. Plans are to bead it & create holiday ornaments or gift tie-ons.

I'll post pics of both once they're finished & yes, they'll both be in my Etsy store!!

Back to my new I was checking out & visiting with one of the ladies that works there, she asked what I did. As I showed her these two pieces, she said, "oh, you're one of those cross-over people, you know, that do beading & quilting." And I said, yes, I guess I am. So, now I have a new title to add to my list. Are you a cross-over person?

By the way, I've created some blank note cards for my Etsy store. You'll find a closeup of Green Apple Martini & a blue woven bamboo strip squiggled pc there.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Green Color Are You?

You Are Teal Green

You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you.

Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible.

While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks.

Your warm personality nicely counteracts and strange habits you may have.

This fits me to a "T"!! (Whenever my DH describes me to someone, normal is never used in the sentence .) Why be normal, anyone can do that? Being different, now that takes work :)
What color of green are you?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yummy Journals............

© 2008 Tracy Borders

Remember the burgundy journal a couple of posts back for a custom order? Here's the other one that goes along with it. I never grow tired of the green & turquoise :) This is made from hand dyed bamboo poplin, black misty fuse, Angelina Fibers & green & turquoise eyelash yarn. I've posted a closeup of the threads & the fabulous button I found for the closure, below. Love how the button works with the piece.

For the signatures, I used turquoise & green Lohkta paper. I love that handmade paper look. Something I discovered with this paper, I couldn't tear it to keep that nice uneven edge. It was as if some of the fibers in the paper were plastic & it wouldn't budge on tearing.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

Please click on the photos (if you can) to see the detail better. (I'm slowly getting better with my free hand machine stitched squiggles.)

The journal below is a belated birthday present for a very dear friend of mine. This is the journal that I've been giving you peaks of over the last couple of weeks.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

I just love, love, love this!! :) Normally, it would not take me as long to create a journal, however, I was using materials that I had never used before, so there was a huge learning curve AND I'm very proud of myself in sticking with it & not giving up.

The base material for the journal is cotton fabric, I then added modeling paste, scribed into the paste while it was still wet & placed the metal squiggles into it as well. After the paste dried, I lifted the metal squiggles & machine stitched over the dried paste. After the stitching, I then applied Prussian Blue acrylic paint & replaced the metal squiggles & waited for it to dry. To seal the paint & help adhere the squiggles to the journal, I then applied a polymer medium, which gave it that glossy appearance. The journal, has a really nice hand to it. One would think with the modeling paste & the polymer medium it would be very stiff, however, it's not, a friend of mine said it reminded her of eel skin.

Love that button!!!

© 2008 Tracy Borders

Inside, for the signatures, I used hand made paper instead of the normal bright white I normally use. I hope my friend is better at using this than if it were me. I received a beautiful leather journal with hand made paper for a birthday gift, back in September & I still haven't been able to bring myself to sketching in it yet.

I have plans to make more of these for my Etsy shop. (There are actually 3 in progress right now sitting on my studio table.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

BFF Award

Scrappy Cat awarded me the Blogging Friends Forever Award & Fannie also awarded this to me as well, not that long ago !!! Make sure you check out both of their blogs as they're creating some wonderful art!!

Now I'm supposed to pick 4 dedicated followers & one new one from another part of the world..............
  1. Sherry
  2. Michelle
  3. Michele
  4. kiwi Carole
  5. Tracy Mc

I did get the blue molding paste journal finished last night & it turned out great (if I do say so myself). Sorry no pics yet, by the time it was finished, it was too dark outside to photograph. I will get it photographed this weekend along with another journal that I just finished & post it hopefully on Monday!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Before & After..............

I wasn't sure about posting these, since the metallic paints in the samples really don't appear in the photos very well & I feel that the metallic "shine" is what really makes the pieces!! (In each of these samples, you'll see the before & after they were painted. You may have to click on the photos to see detail better.)

© 2008 Tracy Borders
The piece above, was created by weaving cheesecloth layered fiber strips & plain strips & fabric. The second photo shows how the piece turned out after it was painted with several layers of colors. I LOVE the colors in this piece!!

© 2008 Tracy Borders
I had little hope for the photo with the couched threads (I thought it was pretty ugly.) After I painted this piece (on the right), I really ended up loving the it. It has quite a few layers of neon green acrylic paint & Payne's Gray acrylic. After the paint dried, I applied pewter Treasure Gold to all of the rasied surfaces, which I think really helped make the piece "pop". (Wished the photo was just a little bit better for you to see, it's not as muddy as it may appear.)

© 2008 Tracy Borders
This sample piece was done on a 5"x7" canvas. The metal squiggles & cheesecloth were laid on top of the molding paste while it was still wet.
I'm still not sure about the success of this sample. Layers of Payne's Gray was painted over the cheesecloth & burnt orange on the right & then a metallice green & silver over the entire piece. I think I might have to live with this one for awhile before I can decide if I like it or not.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

Remember the molding paste journal I've been teasing you about? Here's a closeup. This piece has really been a learning & challenging piece for me & has taught me a lot of patience as well. Just as things seem to be going well & I think that I can move forward on to the next step, a bump in the road appears & it has to be tackled before I can move on. But, I have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself, I haven't given up & tossed the piece aside & moved on to something completely new, I've stuck with it & I think I'm going to be really pleased with how this journey ends!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Angelina & Eyelash

© 2008 Tracy Borders

This journal was a custom order for a friend of mine's mom for Christmas. (I hope she likes it!) Wished this first photograph turned out just a little better. Those Angelina Fibers really play havoc with the camera flash.

This hand dyed bamboo was a color I've never really worked in before (had to dye it twice to get the color that my friend wanted.) It's hard to tell from the photographs, but it's a very deep burgundy that was overlaid with black misty fuse, Angelina Fibers & burgundy eye lash yarn.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

I have to keep this journal locked away until I can deliver it to my friend, something about the fuzzy eyelash yarn tends to attract both of my cats :).

Remember the modeling paste samples a couple of posts back from my Textures Class? I'm in the process of creating a journal cover for a special friend of mine. I had planned to have this done for her last week, but as I'm still learning the process of the modeling paste, painting it & sealing it, it's taken me longer than I had planned. Each process seems to take about a day, with applying & letting each step dry & cure. But that's ok, this is my first time at using this technique in a finished product, so there's bound to be a learning curve. (I'll post it here, once it's finished.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Something other than fiber.........

Thought I'd blog about something other than fiber are some earrings that I've made recently which will all be featured in my Etsy shop.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

Whenever, I feel the need to keep my hands busy but don't want to create anything fiber, I make jewelry pieces like these. There's something so relaxing about sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table, watching TV & working with beads & wire.

© 2008 Tracy Borders
These are probably my favorite. The squiggles are sterling silver & the beads are hematite.

© 2008 Tracy Borders

The ear wires are brown niobium. Niobium is 100% hypoallergenic. Niobium is colored by electronic current, no dyes or other harmful substances are used to achieve this beautiful brown color.

© 2008 Tracy Borders
I think these might be my 2nd favorite pair. Not sure if it's the use of color or the delicacy or simplicity in the design. These are sterling silver with hematite beads also.
I was never really a huge fan of dangle earrings, but these are all small enough (ranging from 1-2" long) that I am comfortable wearing them.