Sunday, September 19, 2010

A "Name Plate" For a Very Special Young Man

Hi Folks!

I wanted to show you the name plate I created for a very special young man named Brian.  Brian is almost three years old now, but when he first made his appearance in this world, no one was entirely certain he would survive.  Brian was almost three months early!!  He stayed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the first couple of months of his life, and has been steadily growing ever since!!  As I said, Brian is about to turn three and his Mom, Crissy (whom I work with), wanted something special for him.  What's really cool, not to mention extremely flattering, is that she chose me to create that "special something"!!  We collaborated together on the colors and style because Crissy wanted something that wasn't too "babyish", something that would grow with him as he grew up.  And here it is!

As luck would have it, I already had the frame (which my daughter Laura gave me when she moved into her first house from an apartment! See Laura, I told you I'd use it for something!).  Next came the alphabet - in primary colors that young men usually like!  For the background, I chose a brown ticking stripe, a scrap I already had on hand that coordinated beautifully with the frame and matting!  But something wasn't quite right.  Then I thought of some buttons I'd had forever.  They were a green-brown khaki color, which I loved, but they never seemed right for anything.  But I just held onto them and voila' they are, with cream linen thread, coordinating with just the right amount of contrast!!  Here's a close-up view:

And now - for the very special young man himself.................................

May I present to you Mr. Brian Patterson!

Isn't he handsome!!?? And in a very few weeks, Crissi is expected to deliver again - this time a little girl !  I think I'd better start thinking of something in pink!! 
Many, many thanks to Crissi for believing in me and for Brian - who makes everyone around him feel happy and blessed!

Bye for now! Jan

September "Leaves" Theme for ATC Swap

Hi Everyone!

I've really enjoyed my first Artist Trading Card (ATC) swap, September's theme of Leaves.  Very appropriate for me especially because Autumn is my most favorite time of the entire year!  My swap partner was the very talented Angela of Sew Loquacious (her web site is  For those of you who haven't made it to her site yet, here's my ATC for her (it's only the second one I've ever made, but I think I'm thoroughly hooked on making these little gems!):

It's a piece of cardboard that I literally wiped over several different Autumn colors of ink pads (one of those color boxes that I found at a thrift store), then I began digging through my pieces of jewelry bits and found this old disk with what I'd always thought of as a tree with leaves that was somehow melted to the metal.  If I remember correctly, it also came from a thrift store or a garage sale which my Mother found about 30 years ago! After many years in service (I remember Mom wearing it), it fell out of favor and has been hidden away ever since, so it finally made it's big comeback with this ATC!  I just wish I knew who the artist was who made it so I could give her or him proper credit.  Anyway, after I glued this on to the cardboard, I started looking for anything I already had that resembled leaves and I found these little Autumn colored glass leaves I bought about a year ago (another sale, this time at Michael's).  I love them and have used them in several projects.  I made 4 small holes with a very large needle and hung the leaves on the bottom.  I like their movement, just like the falling leaves of Autumn!  Lastly, I glued on four little perforated leaf shapes that came from paint samples I'd picked up at Home Depot recently (again in Autumn colors), never realizing at the time that I'd be in an ATC swap and actually use the little pieces!  I just did a few lines on them in darker ink, giving each one little veins that stood out.

Next came another serendipitous moment!  I was at the local postal service (Goin' Postal) buying stamps and I saw this lovely card for sale, beautiful colors in the background and these two beautiful oak leaves and a large deer on the front.  I think it was a Father's Day card, but that didn't stop me (most things won't if I'm on one of my "missions"!).  I simply freed the deer (Wasn't that nice of me?), then took the two leaves and two acorns for the back of my ATC!  I was so pleased with it, I hated to put it in just a plain envelope.  Besides, I needd to protect it, especially the glass leaves, so I decided to create a special holder for it.  And here it is:

This was literally what remained of a file folder (the rest of which I'd used for something else), but I couldn't throw the scrap away because it was too pretty!  It had writing on the inside, so I just covered that with gesso, then did a zigzag stitch around three sides to hold the ATC in place.  The ribbon came from another cast-off - a tassel I bought at an after Christmas sale years ago that was falling apart.  So I saved all the little pieces and have used them many times ever since!  I just tied several pieces in a little bow, then glued the whole thing to the front of the holder.  What do you think?

As I said earlier, I thoroughly enjoyed this swap and am eagerly awaiting next month, October, with the theme of DARK!!  Sounds hauntingly fun!!  Till later than....may God bless, Jan