Thursday, February 26, 2009

What I Save . . . And What I Give Away

So, according to the powers that be over at, the lovely Mrs. Pilkington of Mrs. Pilkington Knits is the happy winner of Thursday's magnetic sheet give away!

The question naturally arises, "Bridget, if you're giving away so much stuff, what are you keeping!?"

The answer, of course, is garbage. Here, in fact, is a load fresh out of the washer:

Mixed media artists and crafters are well-known for their interest in re-using things that are normally discarded. Case in point - quilts made from recycled scraps like the infamous and wonderful Michael5000 StormQuilts. My home town, Portland, OR, has a great curbside recycling program, but it doesn't take lids from plastic bottles. I've only been collecting lids from three households, and I have to tell you, I've accumulated quite a stash . . . I've been on a bit of a personal mission to find a use for these things, and I've come up with a few ideas . . . which I plan on sharing with you over the next few months! (Though I have to admit, bed coverings were not on my list.)

I also passed a construction site recently, and saw that these items had been discarded - they were half buried in a heap of dirt and debris, but did I let that stop me from running over in my suit and heels and digging around to grab some choice bits?! Heck no! That's why I drive a truck! These items are just crying out to be included in some kind of mixed media extravaganza . . .

Maybe one made of lids?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's Time for Another Drawing!

I was sick yesterday . . . so we're doing two give away drawings today.
For these drawings, I decided to go more low-tech . . . numbers on paper . . . papers in a bowl . . .

and the winner of Tuesday's Purse Handle Give Away is . . .

Number 1, our first commenter, Sister Diane from CraftyPod!!

Number 6, our final commenter, Jess!

Monday, February 23, 2009

And Monday's Winner is . . .

It's been Tuesday on the East Coast for a little while now, but here in happy Portland, OR, we've still got a little time left! So, who's going to win the Style Stones offered up in last Monday's Give Away?

So, using the random number generator at, the number was "6" - and the sixth person to comment was Seth of The Altered Page . . . Which reminds me, I need to get some goodies out into the weather, and fast!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Give Away . . . A Bit of a Yarn

Ah, so we come to the final give away this week . . . though I'm already scanning the studio for more things I can let go of! This is a lot of fun . . .

Today, we have twelve skeins of wool yarn. I do very little with yarn anymore . . . I do a little small scale weaving, and some machine needle felting, but I don't knit or crochet, and I don't really have any use for this. A friend who used to own a yarn store back in the day is cleaning out her studio . . . and I'm passing the savings onto you!

If you want the yarn, all you need to do is leave a comment by Friday, February 27th, and I'll randomly select a winner and ship the yarn off anywhere in the continental United States. Well, to the winner, that is! If you win, I'll get in touch (make sure you have a blogger profile with e-mail enabled, or that you check back next week to see if you won) and get your address.

So far, I've had interest in everything, but just so you know, if anything doesn't get "comments of desire," it'll find a happy new home at SCRAP here in Portland - my favorite place for recycled art and craft supplies.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Give Away . . . It's Magnetic!

Today's special clutter-clearing, stash-busting, studio-sweeping give away is 12 packages of magnetic canvas! Each of the 12 packages contains one 5" x 8" white vinyl magnet sheet . . . even as I post it, I'm getting the jitters . . . I keep thinking things like "but we could use them for a visioning exercise to make collages on and then put them up on the fridge where they could hold reminders of our future course of action!" or "kids would love to cut these up and draw on them!" or "wouldn't magnetic puzzles be fun?!" or "I could take photos of my friends, attach them to the magnet sheets, and then make funny hats and clothes out of magnets to dress them in!"

Help me stop the insanity. These magnet sheets (purchased on clearance) have been in my studio for several years, and it is time to pass them along. Hopefully to someone who will actually take action on any of the above wonderful ideas, or come up with a million of their own.

You know the drill. If you want these magnetic sheets, all you need to do is leave a comment by Thursday, February 26th, and I'll randomly select a winner and ship the magnet sheets off anywhere in the continental United States. Well, to the winner, that is! If you win, I'll get in touch (make sure you have a blogger profile with e-mail enabled, or that you check back next week to see if you won) and get your address.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday Give Away and a note about My Hair

One of the things that happens when you spend a lot of time looking at blogs is that you end up ordering a lot of cool things, like this Cathy of California vintage flower loom kit . . . and here's her tutorial on how to make them.

Of course one of the other things that happens when you spend a lot of time looking at blogs is that some of the things you order sit in your studio gathering dust. Which means it's time to give them away . . .


So, if you've been craving your own vintage flower loom kit, all you need to do is leave a comment by Wednesday, February 25th, and I'll randomly select a winner and ship the vintage flower loom off anywhere in the continental United States. Well, to the winner, that is! If you win, I'll get in touch (make sure you have a blogger profile with e-mail enabled, or that you check back next week to see if you won) and get your address.

I also just got my hair cut. The gal over at Bliss Salon did a great job - she gave me exactly what I asked for. And I'm still not used to it. It looks weird.

So, in that reactionary way you do when you're not used to a new haircut, I was thinking maybe I need to get it all chopped off in a blunt wedge cut with flippy front . . .

and maybe all asymmetrical, like it was the 80's all over again.

But for now, I'll just leave it the way it is and do my best to channel my inner Joan Jett.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Give Away & A Lot About Purses

Yup, it's time for another . . . .


This time, it's purse handles. About two years ago, I made a single purse out of a felted sweater. Suddenly, purses were exciting . . . and purse handles seemed full of possibility. So, I bought, well, quite a few. And never made another purse. In part, this is due to the fact that I love Queen Bee bags (and use the occasional Hardwear by Renee bag) but never use purses with handles like these. The other part is that, well, I got distracted by a lot of other crafty goodness out there.

Fortunately, the recycled accessory maven at Mugwump took a few off my hands, but I'm still left with five. Five groovy purse handles. You know you want them. (Dang, maybe I really do need a Mugwump bag, too . . . one of the advisors at the SBDC has a Mugwump bag made from a Monopoly game board . . . and I covet it. Maybe if you take these purse handles off my hands, I'll have room in my house for a new purse!)

If you want them, leave a comment by Tuesday, February 24th, and I'll randomly select a winner and ship the purse handles off anywhere in the continental United States. Well, to the winner, that is! If you win, I'll get in touch (make sure you have a blogger profile with e-mail enabled, or that you check back next week to see if you won) and get your address.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday's Give Away & A Crafty Update


Here's the first studio clearing give away: A collection of over 100 simple shape Style Stones by ClearSnap/Color Box. They're flat-surface beads that you can stamp and color and decorate like in the sample bracelet . . . I got them on clearance a few years ago, and they have sat in my studio ever since. If you want them, leave a comment by Monday, February 23rd, and I'll randomly select a winner and ship them off anywhere in the continental United States.

As for the crafty update, I got to spend a big chunk of the day in the studio today . . . very much needed. It had been way too long since I'd really spent a good chunk of time just making art. I worked on some artist trading cards for ArtFest in April. I'm using a stamp made from one of my octopus drawings and a bunch of old security envelopes mounted on watercolor board.

I also started working on a new encaustic collage . . .

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Life of Order

Back in January, inspired by the success I had reorganizing the studio, I decided to tackle the office. With the Sweetie's help, I moved the desk and got the computer and the printer set up. That was a month ago. Not a lot of progress has been made since then.

I've mad a few attempts to organize my on-going projects by income stream and gather up my '08 tax info. I also painted the bulletin boards to make them more . . . appealing. They have yet to go up on the wall, though, in part because I really want to paint the wall. There's also an embarrassingly large stack of papers on the floor that need to be sorted.

I've been attempting to sort out my books, and have this empty bookshelf to show for it. I managed to buy a wall calendar so that I could see the year-at-a-glance, but it's still on the floor, along with some unused exercise equipment. There is also a stack of stuff that I cleared out of the studio that needs to be given away or go up on on Craig's List or otherwise gotten rid of.

Ah, yes, and here we see all the books that are laid out for sorting, along with some furniture that needs to be put together. I've also got a bookcase full of photo albums and unsorted photos that I keep meaning to deal with . . . someday.

So what does all of this mean for you? One, I'm really hoping that showing you this will help me stay on top of the organizing . . . and Two, I'm clearing a lot of things out. Like some art and craft books. And extra supplies from the studio.

And they'll be showing up as give-aways on the blog over the next few weeks . . . cause, who doesn't love free stuff?

I owe you an explaination . . . and it's free!

So even I have to admit that the last Demo was a little weak - amusing, but weak . . . . and in fact, the blog has been suffering from a bad case of overall neglect. I've had a couple of great ideas for demos, but haven't had time to photograph them and write them up.

I looked at last January's New Year's Blogolutions again recently, and had to laugh. About all I've had energy for recently is the low-attention span short sound-bite type of posting that Twitter requires. Blogging every day every other month? eek.

So I haven't been blogging, what have I been spending my extra time doing?

What have I been up to?

Well, I started a new part-time job . . . I've let go of the work that I was doing to exercise the other half of my brain, and I'm now working for the Small Business Development Center . . . they wanted somebody with experience teaching, someone with experience running a creative small business or two, and someone who could help them integrate creative thinking skills into their entrepreneurial curriculum. Check, check, and check. The Oregon Small Business Development Centers are all affiliated with Community Colleges (mine is affiliated with PCC, but our office is in Lloyd Center) and because they get funding from the Small Business Administration and Oregon Economic Development, the advising is free.

Yes, that's right. Free. If you've got a small business (50 or fewer employees) or are thinking of starting one, you can register at, let us know what you need, and the administrators will get you hooked up with an advisor who fits your needs. I'm also doing free one-hour advising sessions at Souk in downtown Portland - you can call Julie at Souk at 503-517-6900 and she can get you hooked up.

I'm also going to be speaking at the BizArt Conference in Everett, WA, this coming weekend - giving a couple of workshops on how to apply your creativity to your business. I love making art, and I love helping other people do what they love and make a living at it, and I just wanted to let you all know what I've been up to.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled craftiness.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

DEMO! How to Slice an Apple

I had a few friends over about a week ago for an evening of playing with Salt Dough - inspired by Sister Diane's clay podcast. We were having a good time, needing a snack, and I started to cut up some apple slices.

Simple, right?

That's what I thought. I cut it in half, sliced out the stem on the top and the stubby bit on the bottom. And then my friends started looking at me funny.

Because I pulled out the melon baller. This is the way my mom always did it. I knew not everybody did it this way, but I didn't think it was as weird as my gasping, staring, stunned-into-silence* friends seemed to think.

I use the melon baller - like my mother before me - to scoop out the seeds. It leaves perfectly concave centers and sets the stage for lovely little slices of apple-ness.

Served with peanut butter (the kind that made it through the recall unscathed) it's super yummy and looks so good.

Yup, I can't even eat apples anymore without slicing them up like this. Sad isn't it?

*(I exaggerate for effect.)

Wasting Time in the Kitchen

Ok, maybe I'm being a little hard on myself with all of this wasting time stuff. Everyone needs to eat, and everyone needs a little down time. The last three weeks have been crazy busy, albeit in a really good way, and taking a little time to do something other than work (like bake, poke around on Facebook, or watch Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist with the Sweetie) is actually time well-spent.

So there.

Last night, I whipped up a batch of gluten-free brownies, and used the new Baker's Edge pan the Sweetie got me for Christmas (he had more under the tree than just flesh-eating beetles! what a guy!). I really love the chewy, crunchy edges of brownies, and there's always a bit of a battle in the house to get the corner pieces, then the edges, and then, determine who's desperate enough for a chocolate carbo-crack fix to eat the interior pieces.

No more. Now every piece has at least two chewy edges. The brownie mix itself was a bit cakey, but the brownie edges? Still chewy. YUM.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wasting Time Online

I made some candy hearts.

I obamaconned myself. Poorly.

Then I tried another candy heart generator. Needless to say, not much art got made.

And I have yet to actually update my web site. It'll happen soon.

Just probably not tonight.