Friday, April 30, 2010

A Tutorial and a Giveaway: Flower Collage

Flower collages are really easy to do and you can make them big or small, simple or really complicated!


base material like canvas or board, wall putty or gesso, brush, acrylic paint, water, various paper and fabric. Scissors, white glue, crochet thread, needle,

Optional materials:

Stencils, rubber or foam stamps, fabric, felt, leather, decorative scissors, spray bottle, fixative

1. Decide on your substrate or base material- canvas? Cardboard? Just make sure you can put a needle through it. Coat with gesso or wall putty. I prefer the latter as it’s cheaper, it’s not as fine, but I like the texture it makes. Dry the gesso or wall putty well. If you paint on it and it's not that dry, your work will have white streaks on it..

2. Paint the surface a light color (yellow, light blue, pink, etc.) and wait for it to dry. Apply a second coat of paint – use a slightly darker color. You don’t have to paint all areas. After this dries, apply a third coat of darker color (dark blue, orange, brown, etc.). Again, you don’t have to cover all areas. You can use stencil, or stamps to add texture and interest to your background. You can wipe away some parts and you can even use a water spray bottle to add moisture and dab away the moist paint.

3. Prepare your materials for the flowers. You can use printed cardstock but I prefer to make my own painted paper. Look for old books with music sheets, foreign languages and paint them in different colors. Make your own designs using the computer- use interesting calligraphy fonts to encode french poems for instance. You can also use wall putty or gesso on bookpaper and paint it after it dries.

I also like to draw on book pages and copy it. Paint with acrylic or watercolor. Make different patterns and designs.

4. I also use fabric glued on paper. Use 50/50 water and white glue to attach the fabric to the paper. Sometimes I can find leather or felt scraps and this can make a nice addition to the collage.

5. Cut out different shaped flowers and petals from the paper and fabric. Sometimes I use decorative scissors for the paper and pinking shears for the fabric. I tried tearing flowers and I liked how that turned out too. Cut out leaves and stems and grass too.

6. This is the part I like. Try out different combinations of the cut out flowers and see which ones you like. Place them on the canvas or cardboard to see the placement of the flowers. Stems can be straight, wavy or crooked depending on your preference.

7. Glue on the stems, and the leaves and use olive green crochet thread to make some stitches. You can use whatever kind of stitches you like. I usually do the back stitch but couching , and stem stitches will do as well.

8. Glue on the flowers, making sure you have a balance of small and big ones. In my first canvases, I didn’t glue on the flowers and they were 3d, with the petals standing up. However, I started gluing on my flowers because I thought the 3d ones wouldn’t stand the test of time. Either way you want to do it, you will now choose a button to put in the middle of your flowers. Sew this on.

I like adding embroidery stitches to the flowers to add interest and texture.

9. As a final step, you may decide to put a bible verse or a favorite quote on it. Spray the collage with fixative to protect.

Here’s the finished product:

If you would like to win this 5 ½” square flower collage on liner board, please make a comment below.

To get an additional chance to win, you may opt to put the picture on your blog and a link to mine. Please make an additional comment informing me of this.

Of course all my followers get an additional chance too! I'll add your names after all the comments.

If you ever try doing this, I'd be interested to see the results. I'd be happy to answer any questions, don't hesitate to ask! For more tutorials, visit Inspiration Avenue and come join the party!

The winner for this giveaway is no. 107, Lisa Lectura. Hope you like it, Lisa!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's on your Workdesk Wednesday? Week 47

I got so interested in peeking at people's workdesks courtesy of Julia, that I decided to be brave and show my mess of a table! Here it is:
You'll notice there's nothing much going on in it because there's no space to put much of anything! (There's my Bible in 4 translations next to the red bottle of glue, because I want to do a canvas of the Shema, Dt 6:4-9.) For me it's what's on your workFLOOR, as I've been working on a big canvas, about 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 feet big. When I started this afternoon, my canvas propped on the floor looked like this:
Then by the end of my work before dinner, it looked like this:
I am not that happy with it as I envisioned something else, but from experience I've learned that
is like a
you just have to go with the

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Secret to a Successful Business, Part 1

I've been working in our family business, papemelroti, since I was 11 years old. And that is a loooong time ago! What do I know about business?

Every time we're asked what is the secret to a successful business, I always answer "Prayer!" I think our business is a miracle, and I emphasize this when I give talks to students about our business. We don't do business analysis or any financial reports, we don't even study the financial statements. What I do look at is if there's money in the bank, then I know we're alright!

My mom is such a great role model for timid women who want to go into business. When she started 42 years ago, she didn't have money, she didn't have any business degree or even experience, she didn't have a brilliant marketing strategy. What she did have was a love of making things with her hands. She was industrious, she still makes all sorts of things today which we sell at the store. She had a faith in herself and more importantly, God. Plus my mom was thrifty, had a good intuition and had a lot of practical sense. And so in spite of all she didn't have and the little she did, our family was able to build a business with an identifiable brand.

Another important factor in being successful in business is recognizing your gifts and using them. Some people say, "Follow your passion!" or "Use your core competence!" or "Be in the circle of your anointing!" God gave each one of us gifts and talents, blessings, passions, an anointing. He was not stingy in His giving. We just have to discover what that is and use it. We should never be selfish with this gift. If we are generous, it will grow, it will come back to us in the form of fulfillment, satisfaction, meaning and purpose, and also financial blessings.

Have you discovered what your gift is?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Party Time!

You are invited to a party!
Join in on the fun- Inspiration Avenue is hosting a Blog Party! The great thing about it is everybody, participants and visitors will get a load of inspiration, gifts of creativity and lots of ideas. Blog participants will either teach something by way of a tutorial, or share a new recipe, or just list favorite sites!

Ummm... what will I be sharing? Since I've gone gaga over my flower collages, I will be making a tutorial for this. I finished one when I was at the beach this weekend. I put a bible verse on my collage: "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever." from Isaiah. I also finally finished my Madonna of the Flowers. The flowers are really easy to do and a joy to make!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A Blessed Easter

This is indeed a wonderful story, but alas, merely a legend! Today we celebrate a true story - of the one true man and true God who gifted us with our Resurrection life! Jesus is the stairway, the path, the gate, the open door! We are an Easter people and Hallelujah is 0ur song!

The Miracle of the Carpenter

by Max Lucado
Loretto Chapel took five years to complete. Modeled after the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, its delicate sanctuary contains an altar, a rose window, and a choir loft. The choir loft is the reason for wonder. Were you to stand in the newly built chapel in 1878, you might see the Sisters of Loretto looking forlornly at the balcony. Everything else was complete: the doors had been hung, the pews had been placed, the floor had been laid. Everything was finished. Even the choir loft. Except for one thing. No stairs.

The chapel was too small to accommodate a conventional stairway. The best builders and designers in the region shook their heads when consulted. "Impossible," they murmured. There simply wasn't enough room. A ladder would serve the purpose, but mar the ambiance. The Sisters of Loretto, whose determination had led them from Kentucky to Santa Fe, now faced a challenge greater than their journey: a stairway that couldn't be built.

What they had dreamed of and what they could do were separated by fifteen impossible feet.
So what did they do? The only thing they could do. They ascended the mountain. Not the high mountains near Santa Fe. No, they climbed even higher. They climbed the same mountain that Jesus climbed 1,800 years earlier in Bethsaida. They climbed the mountain of prayer.
As the story goes, the nuns prayed for nine days. On the last day of the novena, a Mexican carpenter with a beard and a wind-burned face appeared at the convent. He explained that he had heard they needed a stairway to a chapel loft. He thought he could help. The mother superior had nothing to lose, so she gave him permission.

He went to work with crude tools, painstaking patience, and uncanny skill. For eight months he worked. One morning the Sisters of Loretto entered the chapel to find their prayers had been answered. A masterpiece of carpentry spiraled from the floor to the loft. Two complete three-hundred-sixty-degree turns. Thirty-three steps held together with wooden pegs and no central support. The wood is said to be a variety of hard fir, one nonexistent in New Mexico!

When the sisters turned to thank the craftsman, he was gone. He was never seen again. He never asked for money. He never asked for praise. He was a simple carpenter who did what no one else could do so singers could enter a choir loft and sing.

See the stairway for yourself, if you like. Journey into the land of Enchantment. Step into this chapel of amazement and witness the fruit of prayer. Or, if you prefer, talk to the Master Carpenter yourself. He has already performed one impossible feat in your world. He, like the Santa Fe carpenter, built a stairway no one else could build. He, like the nameless craftsman, used material from another place. He, like the visitor to Loretto, came to span the gap between where you are and where you long to be. Each year of his life is a step. Thirty-three paces. Each step of the stair is an answered prayer. He built it so you can climb it.
And sing.