Wednesday, 28 November 2012

WOYWW, November 28

I've been a bit quiet lately - my "real life" has been somewhat busy (If you've been following this blog, you might like to know that I passed my exam, by the way!).  And this is just a flying visit to WOYWW.   On my workdesk this week you can see the beginning of my first project for the latest Andy Skinner online workshop.  This one is the altered bottle course, the Evil Elixir Mixer, and I am learning lots!

Thanks for your visit.  I'm off now to pay some flying visits in return!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

'Tis the Season

Hi folks, welcome to my blog and thank you for visiting.  I really appreciate that you've chosen to take a look at what I've been doing.  Today it's my effort for The Artful Times blog challenge, which is to make a fabric tag. 

Up till now I've resisted doing anything with a Yuletide theme, for a couple of reasons, one being that I can't really to begin to think about it until after my son's birthday in the middle of November.  However, I think it's about time, so here it is!
The background is white cotton fabric, coloured with Adirondack inks in Red Pepper, Cranberry and Wild Plum and then sprayed with red Radiant Rain and gold Sprinkies.  While it was drying, I stuck green organza to actetate using double-sided adhesive sheet and cut the swirls from the adhesive sheet (the dies is a Sizzix Tm Holtz Alterations die - Elegant Swirls).  I stamped the organza using gold Brilliance ink (stamp from The Artisic Stamper), and cut the leaves with the Holly Branch Alterations die.

Once the background was dry, I stamped the harlequin pattern (another Artistic Stamper stamp) in  gold Brilliance and brushed gold Perfect Pearls where I wanted the pattern to stand out. I stuck the adhesive swirls down onto the background and glittered them with Old Gold Art Institute glitter.  Finally, I arranged the holly leaves on the tag ( I stuck them down with offcuts of the adhesive sheet left over from cutting the swirl - thrifty, eh?)

And there we have it.  In the flesh, the red and gold are very vibrant and I am thinking of developing the theme for one of the pages in the mini-album I began earlier this week.  Could be good!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Ink free stamping

Hi folks,thanks for visiting my blog. I've had quite a week and I've a fairly hectic few weeks coming up so my crafting time is precious right at the moment.   I mentioned to a colleague that my crafting was the only thing keeping me sane.  "Do more of it!" she said - how rude!

 Today's offering began as a response to Simon Says Stamp & Show blog challenge - ink free stamping. I've had this Papermania mini-album hanging about the place for a while waiting for inspiration to strike so I decided that the time was ripe to make some use of it.

I covered the page with white cotton fabric then went to work with Distress Inks in shades of blue (applying them from the pad with sponge applicators) and once they were all covered, sprayed some Radiant Rain in blues and purples (plus a touch of pewter to grunge it all up) added a fine mist of water to get it to blend together, and left it to dry.  It was so pretty it was a shame to cover it up, but I spoke firmly to myself and added the netting.   The netting is recycled from my Dead Man's Chest project - it was gold to begin with but a dip in some diluted brown acrylic paint sorted that out.

I covered the lower right of the shape with gold Ferro paint in a nice thick layer, sprayed my stamp (a foam one designed for stamping home decor projects) with water and stamped it into the Ferro.  Result!  The opposite corner was looking a bit bare so I covered that with Croco paints in turquoise, bronze and gold.

I don't know about you, but I love peacock feathers and the colours of the album page were reminding me so much of I had to include one.  The peacock is the bird associated with the goddess Juno (Hera), queen of the gods of Olympus, and this gave me the title for my page.  I printed out the word "Goddess", aged the paper with some Vintage Photo and Pumice Stone DI's and put it behind the Tim Holtz ornate plate, which I'd coated with Celtic Bronze gilder's paste and a touch of Patina paste.  While I had the gilder's paste handy, I gave the edges of the page a touch of both colours.  Finally, I put an acrylic AB gem at the base of the feather to neaten it up.

I'm thinking that I may theme each page inside the album for different goddesses - what do you think?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Compendium Of Curiosities II- Challenge 28

Hi folks, and thanks for visiting.  It's Reflections Stamping this week!  The challenge set by Linda Ledbetter (and sponsored by Simon Says Stamp) is to create something using the technique as described in Tim Holtz's Compendium of Curiosities Volume II, and here's what I've come up with.
This tag is the result of another series of happy accidents.  The silhouette stamp is one I made with my Imagepac that went a bit wrong, due to a timing issue (i.e. the timer works better if you remember to press the "start" button when you want it to begin timing) and as a result was too dense.  However, we never throw anything away, so I kept it to use on this technique.  Then, when I thought I'd got the hang of the technique and was ready to stamp onto my tag, blow me down if there wasn't a missed bit right where the left eye should be!
After taking some deep breaths, I decided to make a feature of the gap by gluing a Kanban Dew Drop over it- and that looked like a monocle...and I had an "Aha!" moment.
I am a big fan of Dorothy L Sayers's fictional detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, who wore a monocle, so I added a jump ring and a bit of chain, blended in some Distress Tea Dye ink around the edges, stamped around the edge with a Creative Expressions newsprint stamp (second generation ink, Vintage Photo), and stamped "mystery" in the place where the reflections stamp wasn't in quite the right place (I told you this was a series of happy accidents!).  I die-cut the "Lord Peter" from black card using a Quickutz alphabet I've had around for years, and stuck it down using peel-off tape to get the alignment right.  And there we are, as if it were planned.  You won't tell, will you?

Monday, 12 November 2012

Ironmongery with Ambition

Hi folks, thanks for coming by.  I really appreciate your visits and I hope you enjoy reading my ramblings and looking at my efforts.  Today I'm featuring my entry for DragonsDream Tag-It-On challenge, theme - Self-Propelled Flowers.

“Butterflies are not insects,' Captain John Sterling said soberly. 'They are self-propelled flowers.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls .  One of my favourite sci-fi authors, and one of my favourite books of his.  In some of his books, Heinlein wrote about self-aware machines - computer "brains" that became so complex that they "woke up".
So here's my "butterfly" - some ornamental ironmongery that woke up and wanted to transform into something different.
The roses I painted with texture medium and then painted grey for a stone effect.  The die-cut corner pieces (dies from Marianne) have been given a coat of gilder's paste, as has the little body piece.  The tag had various shades of blue and green DI's (Broken China, Weathered Wood, Spruce and Evergreen) blended over it and the little butterflies (from Lavinia) were stamped in Stormy Sky.  The sentiment is one I made with my Imagepac and is stamped in Cobalt Archival ink.
And there we are, sidling in just as they shut the doors again.  I hope you like it, and you'll call again soon.  Bye for now!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Cherish your Dreams

Hi folks, thanks for stopping by!  Hope you're all having a lovely crafty weekend, wherever you might be, and welcome to my blog.
The Stamp Man's latest blog challenge is to make something embossed, and as it's my younger son's birthday next week (he'll be 25 - how is that possible?) I thought I'd combine making something for the challenge with his birthday card. 
I have to confess to another happy accident here.  The coloured panel (done with an Alterations embossing folder) was orignally a practice piece for a "painted chipped metal" technique.  The technique is paint-heavy so the card used in the making needs to be a good weight - 300 gsm is recommended, and I use Centura Pearl (the plain side) for most things.  In this case, I put the card into the folder the wrong way up.  Rather than waste it, I reasoned that the piece was going to be covered in paint so Nobody Would Ever Know.  Which worked until the final aging layer was wiped off, and took some of the lower layers with it, leaving behind areas where the pearl card is peeping through. 
The faux leather/crocodile is made by taking brown card and brayering a layer of PVA or gloss gel medium over the top.  If you try this, work quickly, brayer in one direction and don't overwork it - and clean your brayer immediately if you're planning to use it again!  Once dry, the card can still be embossed, as you can see.
What else? Oh, the "stitching" on the vertical strip was done by pricking out the holes (with my Tim Holtz ruler) and then dragging the tip of the piercing tool from hole to hole.  The sentiment is from Pink Petticoat, cut with a Spellbinders die and coloured with Distress Ink in Vintage Photo.
Well, I've had a lovely week off work, crafting to my heart's content, but now it's back to real life.  I may be a bit quiet for a while as I'm going to be busy elsewhere - a Risk Management course in work for one thing - but don't worry, I will be back!  See you soon, I hope.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Lest We Forget

In the US and Canada, November is the month of Thanksgiving, but here in the UK it's the month of Remembrance - first we remember the Gunpowder Plot with fireworks and bonfires (which were originally lit to celebrate the Celtic New Year and the final harvest of the year at Samhain), but mainly we take time to remember those who died fighting to protect their homelands. 

Both my grandfathers fought in the First World War.  My father served in the RAF in the Second World War - he was a mechanic who kept Spitfires flying.  Happily, they came back home again, but many didn't; my great-aunt's first husband was killed in France.  So my take on Tim Holtz's tag for November features poppies.

"The poppy is an instantly recognisable symbol of respect for those who've made the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts past and present. As the nation's custodian of Remembrance, the Legion is committed to helping everyone understand the importance of Remembrance, so those sacrifices are never forgotten." Royal British Legion

The poppy stamps are from Sheena Douglass's Paint Fusion range, stamped in Versamark, then embossed with detail embossing powder before masking them off and stamping in the leaves.  The "Remember" stamp I made with my Imagepac kit .  I had to adapt Tim's method a bit - I used DI pads instead of Distress Stains as I wanted to control where the colours went - I'm hoping the Craft Police won't be paying me a visit as a result.  After I'd taken the embossing powder off,  I stamped the "Remember" again in black archival ink and added the poppy stamens in black marker.

I'm going to be observing the two minutes silence at 11 a.m. on Sunday and I'll be thinking of the men and women who fell in action, defending their country.  Please consider joining me.

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Nautical but Nice!

I live beside the sea - from my living room window I can see the Bristol Channel, a few hundred yards away.  The last part of my journey home from work parallells the beach, and I always feel refreshed ti see it.  So perhaps it isn't surprising that the seaside is an influence in my crafting.

This is the frame that was on my desk on Wednesday,  given a coat of gilder's paste in Rich Gold, some Timeworn aging and some more gilder's paste in Patina.

I filled each "porthole" with a piece of Core'dinations whitewash card, embossed with a swirly folder and lightly sanded back.  The embellishments are moulded out of paper clay and were part of my final assemblage item for the Timeworn Techniques course.  They have been painted in acrylic paint to get a faux ivory appearance (you'll have to sign up for the course to find out how - I'm not going to reveal Andy Skinner's secrets!).  The idea of using Pledge Multi-Surface Wax (formerly known as Klear polish) as a sealer/polish on the embellies is entirely my own, though, so I can share it with you.  It gives a lovely soft sheen, I just love it.
I'm so enjoying my few days leave, relaxing and catching up on my crafting.  I do hope you enjoyed visiting my blog - thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

WOYWW- 7 November

For once I'm not rushing my contribution to WOYWW in between coming home from work and rushing out the door to my dance class (it's Samba and Foxtrot at the moment, two flippin' hard dances, and not helped by the fact that the Love of My Life loathes Samba with a passion!). 
I'm halfway through a week off work.  Next week I will be taking a challenging course, so right now I'm relaxing and making the most of the crafting time!

Yesterday's contribution was a pretty blue card;  today normal service is resumed and the grunge is making a comeback.

Thes little papier mache frames will be given the timeworn treatment eventually, but at the moment the flatback pearl "rivets" are drying.  Once they are dry I will roughen them up with some sandpaper so that the next layer will stick to them - I may even give them a coat of a medium of some sort as I am probably going to cover them with gilder's paste.  I'm aiming for a "porthole of a ship" effect this time.

Now I'm off to post this, link to Julia's blog, and go whizzing around the blogiverse visiting other peoples' workdesks.  See you soon!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Singin' the Blues

I've always crafted - needlecraft mainly.    Like so many crafters, I came to papercrafting through cardmaking.  (It started when I went to buy a greetings card, saw a "hand-made" card I liked - then saw the price - and said "I can do that!" and a habit was formed). It suddenly occurred to me that I haven't made a card for - well, months.  Not that I'm likely to run out of greetings cards any time soon - I have a large box full of cards I've made - but I thought it was about time I got back to my roots for Sunday Stampers this week.
Hels has chosen "blue" for the theme this week, and here's my blue card.


Delicate and pretty isn't my usual style, so I don't know what came over me here!

I began with a shaped card which I turned into an easel card with the help of a Go Kreate fancy label die.  ( In case you haven't seen how to cut part of an aperture into a card, here's my way of doing it)

For the embossing on  the dark blue panel, I inked up a rubber stamp with silver Brilliance ink (Platinum Planet, do be precise) and put it face-up on the craft table, then put the velvet paper face down on top of the stamp and pressed it with a hot iron. If you've never done this, it can be a bit scary, but I am assured that rubber stamps can take very high temperatures.  Don't try it with clear "jelly  acrylic stamps though, as you will wreck the stamp. (Fortunately, the stamp I killed that way wasn't one I particularly liked!)

This little ballet dancer die from Marianne is one of my favourites.  I've cut her out of silver foil card and the three roses are cut from copy paper that I've coloured with Starburst Stains - you can see them a bit better in the close-up.  

 The sentiment is a digital stamp from Pink Petticoat and the label die is from Spellbinders;  the pearl pin is by Creative Expressions and the polka-dotted card is from Hunkydory. 

Hope you like it, and thanks for stopping by!

(Don't worry, the grunge will be back soon!)

Monday, 5 November 2012

Black in style!

I have a week off work, which means I can get caught up with my crafting (I pour scorn on the suggestion that I could get caught up with the housework instead!).  I do like to enter blog challenges when I have the time - they make me try things I wouldn't usually attempt. 
The challenge over at the Anything But A Card challenge blog is to make something that features black.  So I'm hoping that this tag qualifies!
The background I embossed with an embossing folder then stippled some black acrylic all over to get a rusty texture, then employed some of Andy Skinner's Timeworn Techniques to make it all aged and grungy looking. I couldn't resist a bit of "decayed rust" along the bottom of the tag . 

The roses I made from velvet paper.  I LOVE velvet paper and I really like the texture it gives to the flowers.  The petals are die cut using the Spellbinders Rose Creations dies and my favourite method (see here for how-to's)  The leaves were cut from some Kraft glassine "gilded" as shown in TIm Holtz's Compendium of Curiosities Volume II

The gears I die-cut (using the Gadget Gears die from the Sizzix Alterations range - has to be one of my favourite dies!) from scrap greyboard before getting the timeworn treatment.

The whole thing came out looking a bit Gothic to me - what do you think?

Friday, 2 November 2012

I never

Ah, Hammer films!  Memories of going to the pictures in the 70's with the latest boyfriend, going to see such gems as The Abominable Doctor Phibes or The Devil Rides Out - burying your face in his jacket at the scary bits!  (On reflection, this may be the reason our boyfriends were so keen to take us to see the films in the first place).  The king of Hammer has to be Christopher Lee's Dracula, so that was what I wanted to feature in my challenge piece for Haunted Design House

So here he is, ol' red-eyes himself, stamped and masked while I built up the background with red inks - Adirondack Red Pepper, Distress Fired Brick and Barn Door.   I added some hits of red to eyes and fangs with a cut and dry nib.  And I couldn't resist adding in the words (printed onto Safmat) - it's my idea of funny.  You'll just have to get used to it, I'm afraid!

Update - I made the Gruesome Twosome!  Whoo-hoo!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Compendium Of Curiosites II - Challenge 26

Two-for-one again.  The challenge set by Linda Ledbetter this week (sponsored by the Funkie Junkie) was to create something using the Crumpled Kraft Suede technique in Tim Holtz's Compendium of Curiosities Volume II, and Hels Sheridan's Sunday Stampers challenge was to make something Autumn related, so that worked out well!

The leaves (cut with Sizzix mini Tattered Leaves dies) and the tag were both treated to the Kraft Suede technique;  the leaves also got a bit of bling by way of some Perfect  brushed on.  The words were stamped with some of the 99p-a-set alphabet stamps I picked up - all so simple, but I hope you like it!