Thursday, February 16, 2012

Make Yourself a Matchbox Pocket Circus!

Make yourself a matchbox pocket circus - or make one for somebody who needs a smile!

Supply list is easy! A matchbox, Graphic 45 "Le Cirque" cardstock pad, some German scrap (available here at Altered Pages), glue or Xyron (I use Xyron, but the choice is yours), gold glitter, scrap of chipboard. That's it!

Click on photos to get a larger image if you need to get a closer look!

1. Take your chipboard scrap (I used a piece of cereal box), and cut 1/2" taller than your matchbox and 1" wider than your matchbox.

2. Draw an outline of where your matchbox will sit on the cardstock and apply a thin layer of glue to that area (I use Martha Stewart glitter glue).

3. Sprinkle generously with gold glitter (I use Martha Stewart ultra fine Florentine.

4. Cut a piece of the Le Cirque cardstock large enough to wrap around the matchbox sliding cover. It will help to get a good tight fit if you use a bone folder to crease the corners.

5. Glue or Xyron the cardstock to matchbox cover. Glue matchbox cover to the glitter-covered cardstock.

6. Add German scrap to front of matchbox cover and the edges of the cardstock backing.

7. Using the border strips page in the Le Cirque cardstock pad, make a paper fan and edge the top with the gold glitter. Glue to top of match box. I added a feather, but it's not necessary.

8. Using the Le Cirque scroll image, glue to bottom of paper fan. Cut a circle from your favorite image in the Le Cirque pad, back it with a 1/2" larger circle cut from another pattern and apply with pop dots (or just glue to matchbox cover). If desired, use Stickles to circle the image.

9. Cut paper to fit inside of matchbox bottom. Using a bone folder to crease corners will give you a tighter fit!

10. Use two different borders and apply to bottom and lower edge of back of matchbox.

11. Cut various images from circus scene sheets (I like using different scale images for a funkier look).

12. Cut small pieces of toothpicks or very small dowels and apply to back of images. These will give the images a good "resting" spot to glue into matchbox. Also, you can glue to back "wall" of matchbox to add depth to your circus scene!

There you have it! Your own little pocket circus! Have fun!

Check out all the great supplies available for your altered art projects at Altered Pages!

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(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥ 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from Betty and Me!

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(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥ 

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Poolville Store / Then and Now

In 1835, a small store was built in the prosperous small town of Poolville, New York. It was located two and a half miles from then Baptist seminary, Colgate University. It catered mostly to the locals and supplied them hardware and groceries.

In 1848, there was a second story erected on the building and a huge wheel-and-gear pulley operated a grain elevator built on the side of the building. It became a grain and feed weighing station, as well as general store. It was also the site of the first town post office.

The building and business went through many owners, until the early 1960's when it was purchased by Colgate University, and operated through the Economics program as an exercise in running a small business. It became a popular destination and tourist stop - well known for it's eclectic stock and huge cheese refrigerators.

In 1982, Professor Farnsworth, the force of nature behind the economics project passed away, and the university auctioned off the contents of the building and the property itself. My business partner at the time, Dominic, and I purchased the building at the auction - which was really just a shell of a building, as everything from the wiring to the plumbing was ripped out and sold at the auction. 

The Poolville Store Restaurant and Bed and Breakfast was born!

After what seemed like decades - but was really only 9-11 months! - our restaurant (sans B&B) opened. The above photo was taken at our opening Christmas Eve open house, where we greeted and met our fellow residents in the small hamlet of Poolvile - our home for the next (almost) twenty years. It's a little hard to see in the photograph - but at the far left is a twenty foot wide by eight foot tall walk-in fireplace, complete with bake ovens and log storage. We managed to get some pretty big fires roaring in there!

I also took a small room off the dining room, and turned it into my art, craft and gift shop. It was a popular little shop in the area, and I had a lot of fun shopping for it ... it's always fun to shop with money that you can justify spending because it's "money to make money!"
I lived on the second floor of the building - it was a quite large open space and I enjoyed filling it up with a collection of hand-crafted tapestries and pottery and glass. 

I also turned part of my living space into a performing space, and my theatre company "Above Ground Productions" started here. Above is a photo of Mike Tefft and (then) Colleen Law - now Colleen Law-Tefft! They performed in the first ever production of "Above Ground," The Beard, a story of Jean Harlow and Billy the Kid - in Eternity. Not exactly run-of-the-mill fare!

About thirty feet from the store, there was a small building which served as the village butcher shop. The small building to the right was, apparently, a residence, but was long-gone by time we had made our way to Poolville.

The butcher shop became the first room of our bed and breakfast business. It was a self-contained one-room building with a bath and kitchen and a small bay breakfast nook we built to the side. Believe it or not, even way out in the boonies of upstate New York, the room was leased almost every evening. It led us to buy the residence on the other side of the store, and enlarge our lodging accommodations.
Behind-and-to-the-side of the restaurant, we had a gazebo built and a large koi pond (which I can't believe I don't have a picture of!). The gazebo was used by lodging guests to hang out for cocktails in the evening, and was often the site of small weddings.

So, what is the point of telling you all this? I just found out that the Poolville Store has been purchased (second owners since we sold) and they have done marvelous and exciting things with the space!

The dining room has become light and airy - and much larger. Notice my "shop" on the right has been broken through and enlarged the seating capacity greatly. It looks lovely and comfortable. I'm glad to see that the walk-in fireplace is still there!
And my second floor living space (and home to "Above Ground Productions!") has become a second floor dining room. I think it looks so inviting! And they left the large wheel gear mechanism for lowering and raising the grain elevator just where I left it! It is so nice to see it's still being appreciated. Even though the elevator is gone (we had a spiral staircase installed in the elevator shaft), it's nice that the apparatus is enjoyed by diners.

Although the gazebo is still there, they had the koi pond filled in, and now have large wedding receptions on the lawns ... I'm sure it's marvelous, as Spring and Summer (and Autumn) in Poolville is absolutely delightful (I have to admit, the Winter snow got to me after a few years!).

It's also nice that they're still using the sign we had painted for the building 25 years ago by our artist friend, Skeet Guenther.

If you find yourself in upstate New York - in the triangle of Syracuse, Utica and Binghamton, check out The Poolville Country Store ... you can check out their menu and B&B options by going to their website.

Now - go make something beautiful!
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(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥ 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This and That and a Bit of the Other ...

 Though life hasn't exactly been as exciting as a circus, I've been keeping myself busy during these cold winter months. Creating a lot of stuff - and watching lots and lots of wonderful movies on tv (only went out to see one movie - "Hugo" - more about that later).
Got caught up on a lot of swaps. These two ATC's (artist trading cards) were for the trading Yahoo artists' group, Art for the Creative Mind. The card above had a theme prompt of "heart strings." So, I used (ta-da!) hearts and strings. The card below is on my signature home-made paper, and I completely forget the theme given. But, rest assured, it falls within the theme constraints. Several people have asked how I do the paper surface design, so I'll be putting up a tutorial soon.

On the same group, there was a triptych (triptych) theme of "simple pleasures." I figured there was nothing more simple or pleasurable than birds and flowers - so this was my little offering. If you click on the image and get a big image, you can see the details - my signature paper and lots of micro beads.

Let's take a break from the craftsy stuff ... here we have some just washed ballerinas - hanging on the line to dry ...

 Back to what has been taking up my time ...

On another Yahoo swap group for altered art (altered art), we had to alter a box with the Year of the Dragon theme. On another swap, we altered an ordinary envelope. Mine had to be put into a vellum envelope for mailing, as there was no way it would make it through the postal machinery!

Having to do with absolutely nothing, isn't this a wonderful hall tree?! Even though it's not my style at all, it looks especially nice against that prim and proper baby blue wall-paper. Baby blue may be one of my absolute least favorite colors, ranking right up there with kelly green and taxi cab yellow.

This is a little pocket circus I made from a matchbox. It was lots of fun to do ... and I'm quite pleased with the outcome. I will be posting a tutorial on making one soon. If you'd like to make your own pocket mini-theatres, I'll have you going full steam ahead in no time at all!

Last year, I did a posting on curiosity cabinets (you can see it here) and recently discovered this contemporary version of the antique style curiosity cabinet. I love it!

Oh! Some fun news ... I've been invited to become a member of the Altered Pages design team. So, look forward to lots of projects and new product information - and, most importantly, SALES! I've always been a big fan - and customer! - of Altered Pages, so I'm especially pleased to be part of the team!
Click the button below, and you'll be taken to the online shop ... check out all the great supplies for mixed media and altered art - and a plethora of collage sheets with fantastic images!

Does this skirt make my butt look big?

Oh, for the days when there was much less serious crime to fight ... and children didn't have to be afraid of strange men on the streets in tights and a speedo!

I don't know if my taste has changed dramatically - or if this piece of furniture is just especially ugly. When I was a child, my grandmother had a gorgeous Victorian tête-à-tête upholstered in a deep dark green watermarked moiré which had a bazillion tufting buttons. I used to think it was so fanciful and romantic - and just loved it. Now, I've found this 1930's version which I find absolutely hideous. I dont think it's just the fabric - there is something ungainly and homely about it - and the idea of it seems kinda ludicrous. Gramma! Don't tell me, after all these years, that you had pedestrian tastes!

Have you seen Martin Scorses' multiple Oscar-nominated 3-D film "Hugo?"
I'm hoping everybody sees it before it leaves the theatres. It's an absolutely amazing film. Scorsese has taken the 3-D process to a whole new level. I have never seen such a breathtaking film - every frame is layer upon layer upon layer. It never looks like "a movie" - it always is a visual feast of depth and texture. Nothing like it has ever been done before.
Sadly, the story didn't do that much for me. It's an adaptation of a children's book (albeit, a sophisticated children's book), and didn't hold my interest. The final full 1/3 of the film was an homage to early pioneer filmmaker, Georges Méliès; although honorable, not exactly edge-of-your-seat stuff.

So, why do I want everybody to shell out twenty bucks and see it in the cinema? Because the filmmaking is awesome. And, when it's shown on tv without 3D capability, it's going to lose all its impact on an unsuspecting audience. I know people raved about "Avatar" - but this is cutting-edge film making. Visually stunning - and if you're into steampunk style, you're going to be in 3D heaven! Don't wait to see it on DVD - it will never ever be the same thing!

Well, I suppose I should get back to the studio and play around a bit ... or maybe take a nap ... or maybe watch Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" on Turner Classic Movies. Maybe all three - though I doubt one can cat nap through Tallulah Bankhead's foghorn of a voice! 

Now, go make something beautiful!

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥