Wednesday, 27 February 2013

WOYWW, 27 February

Hi folks, welcome to my blog - and as today is Wednesday it's time to go visiting around the blogiverse, so especial welcome if you've landed here as a result of WOYWW, organised by the fab Julia Dunnit (and if you have no idea what I'm on about, you can find out here).

Today, you find me in the process of applying a faux leather finish (see here for the technique) to my essential oils box.  I admit it, if I were at Hogwart's my favourite subject would be potions!  Now I just have to decide if I do the same finish on the sides or something different...oh, decisions, decisions...

Anyway, while I think about it, I'll be swooping around the blogiverse having a nosey at everyone else's workspace - I'm bound to be inspired by something I see.  Thanks for visiting - and please feel free to come again, you're always welcome!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Bright Butterfly

Hi folks!  Welcome to my blog, and thank you for visiting.  I'm not usually organised enough to be able to enter one project into more than one challenge, but it just so happens that this time one of my projects meets criteria for two blogs.  The recipe for the Dragon's Dream Tag-It-On challenge this time is- Orange, Purple and Butterflies, and The Artful Times challenge is Colour Technique - in this case, Faux Batik.

Sometimes - not often, I'll admit, but sometimes- I set out with an idea in mind and it all turns out more or less as I hoped.  Sometimes - usually when I've got a pile of bits left over from other projects and I'm playing with them - I have no clear idea in mind and I just go with the flow.  And sometimes, I set out with a clear idea of what I want to create and wind up with something completely different.  And that's what happened here.  My first thoughts were 60's psychedia - and this is what I finished up with...

I stamped the background panel (which is an old Graphicus stamp) in the Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink and heat-embossed with clear detail powder. (I did a panel rather than stamping direct onto the tag, because, after numerous attempts, I came to the conclusion that I cannot stamp straight.  I blame my astigmatism.)  That done, I went over the background of the panel and the edges of the tag with the Eggplant Adirondack ink and a few blobs of Radiant Rain to give a bit of bling. 

Then, with my iron set to "HOT", I covered the panel with a layer of paper towel and ironed it so that the embossing powder melted and was absorbed by paper.  I kept replacing the paper towels until no more of the embossing was left.  I touched the edges with some Burnished Bronze Distress Stain - just a very light touch - and attached the panel to the tag.  

The butterfly stamp was a free cover-mount from Craft Stamper magazine.  Because it's a clear stamp, I could stamp onto the butterfly die-cut ( a Spellbinders die) using the Eggplant pad, lining it all up, emboss, and go over it all with the Spiced Marmalade. While I was at it, I coloured another scrap of card, stamped the "Elusive Butterfly" sentiment (another home-made one) and die cut the label shape.  I edged the butterfly and the label with a touch of Eggplant and the label also got a tiny bit of Burnished Bronze.

Nearly done now!  The fancy "frame" I die- cut from a bit of bronze mirror card - it was too shiny (yes, it is possible) so I dabbed some bronze Distress Stain over it; coloured a scrap of card in Eggplant, dripped a couple of drops of water onto it and dabbed them off,  attached the sentiment with a couple of brads I'd coloured with alcohol inks and once the ribbons were tied on, the job was done.  Hope you like it! 

Monday, 18 February 2013

H is for...

Hi bloggers, and welcome to my little corner of the Blogiverse. Today, gentle visitor, I am showing my entry into the Craft Barn Alphabet challenge (details here). This fortnight's letter is H - for Hat.  On the Head, of a rather Handsome chap.

The Man In a Hat stamp is one I made myself (with my Imagepac) from a royalty-free image from Free Vintage Digital Stamps, stamped onto the reverse side of a piece of Centura Pearl card.  I masked the image with a Post-It, stamped the letter "h" and masked that off as well, then stamped the newsprint (Headlines!) (stamp from Creative Expressions).  I removed the mask from the "h" but left the mask over the Hat Man until after I'd coloured the background with Mustard Seed and Scattered Straw DI's.    And that's it!  Hope you like it - and thanks for coming by!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Liebster

Oh, my word, I've been nominated for a Liebster award! 
What is a Liebster?  Here's some information -
This award was designed to be a blog award in the pay it forward fashion. once you've been nominated, you award it to blogs that you like that have fewer than 200 followers, to encourage new visitors to visit these new blogs. 
ACCEPTANCE Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog. Post the award onto your blog. give the award to five bloggers who you appreciate that have fewer than 200 followers. leave a comment on their blog letting them know that you have given them this awesome award!
Huge thanks to Gita , who nominated this little blog; I am so proud of the award, especially when I found the company I was in. I am not worthy...


Five blogs that I think you should visit are -

Pushing the Right Buttons

Lori's Happy Place

She Loves Paper and Ink


No Time for Washing Up

 I hope you'll find something to interest you there!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Reflections in the moonlight

Hi there!  Welcome to my blog.  Thank you for visiting, and special welcome to my latest followers - I really appreciate your interest. 

Today I'm showing my entry for the Dragon's Dream TIO challenge.  The theme this time is  Night Riverbank, so the recipe  boats, driftwood and insects.

I'll be completely honest - this is my third attempt at this tag.  The first one I dropped the inkpad on when I was inking up the butterflies, the second one I put my inky fingers into the middle of the moon and in both cases there was no disguising it so into the bin they went.  Still, three tries for a Welsh(wo)man and fortunately attempt no. 3 went to plan.
I began with a white tag from Inkylicious.  (The card is absolutely brilliant for stamping and colouring.)  I stamped the ship onto the tag (about halfway up) in Memento ink, then I stamped it again onto some acetate without re-inking the stamp.  I positioned the acetate (inky side down)  so that the images lined up, then rubbed over it to transfer the image and voila - instant reflection.  I also stamped the ship onto some Post-Its to make a mask, and cut out a couple of circles to mask off the moon and its reflection.  I put a Post-It across the "waterline" to mask off the sky, as I wanted to work on the "water" first of all.
I inked up my brayer with Denim Adirondack and when I had a good even coverage, scrunched up a piece of copy paper and brayered over it (if you've ever watched Barbara Grey in action you'll know what I mean.)  Then I brayered over the bottom of the tag once, removed the circle mask, and went over it again. 
I uncovered the "waterline" so that only the ship and the moon were masked and brushed (with Colourduster brushed) Denim, Stonewash and Wild Plum over the top half of the tag.  I removed the masks and using Black Soot ink on Cut & Dry nibs, shaded the sails of the ship and brushed on some water to blend the ink out. 
Almost done now!  I stamped the "Split Tree" stamp (from Clarity) sideways across the bottom of the tag to create "driftwood".  Just the insects to add.  In the haunted wing of my stash I found one of the first stamps I ever bought - a group of butterflies (from PSX, dated 1999).  Some of them were too big to work for the tag - so I covered those with masking tape while I got Black Soot DI on the stamp. Then I  took the tape away and stamped the butterflies.  A bit of water to blend the ink, some vintage ribbon coloured with Distress Stains (Weathered Wood and Broken China) and it's (finally!) finished.
Oh, and while I was trying to photograph the tag, Craft Supervisor Mysti decided that she needed to be photographed - so here she is in all her glory. 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Feel the Love - 2

After making a fancy box to contain my husband's Valentine gift, (see part one if you haven't already)  I went on to make the card.  The card which will go in the box (on top of a little gift!) was next - I folded a square Kraft card blank and positioned a heart shaped die (one of the Sizzix Framelits Heart 1 nesting dies) carefully so that it just missed cutting the fold.   I stamped the front with a Rose background stamp in Brilliance ink - it didn't show up as well as I would have liked, so I brushed over it with gold Perfect Pearls and misted with water to set the powder.  I shaded the edges with Vintage Photo Distress inks.  The effect is subtle and doesn't show up well in the picture - it's more obvious in real life, as is the "I Love You"sentiment stamped in brown Memento ink.  

I'd made three roses (see here for the method I followed) that I was going to put on the lid of the box but changed my mind.  One of them went on the front of the card with a couple of the small metal leaves from Creative Expression.  The rose and the leaves got a coat of Gilder's Paste.  Gilder's Paste is fantastic stuff, it looks and smells like shoe polish, is non-toxic,dries in about 20 minutes (is touch-dry in next to no time) and goes onto almost anything!
And that's it done.  I'm sharing it on the Artistic Stamper Blog Challenge for February.  Hope you liked it!  Thanks for visiting - please come back soon!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

WOYWW - 13 February

Hello, WOYWW friends!  Today, on my workdesk, you can see some of the things that I am going to use in my next project - some stamps, some sticky notes that will be used to make masks, and some masking tape.  I still haven't put the funnel away - it's been a feature for some time now but comes in handy for holding rolls of sticky tape.  Not terribly inspiring, I'm afraid, but trust me, it will get better!

Now, if you've arrived here from anywhere other than Julia's blog, you might not know about WOYWW, which is when we go travelling around the crafty blogiverse taking a peep at what's on our workdesks at the time.  If all this is new to you, why not hop over there and find out what it's all about - and better yet, join in? 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy (Chinese) New Year, or should I say -
Happy New Year in Chinese Characters
You pronounce it (I am told) in Cantonese as Kung Hey Fat Choy, and in Mandarin as Gong xi fa cai. Both sayings mean “Congratulations and Prosperity!” The year of the snake begins with the new moon on February 10 (if you would like to know more about the Chinese zodiac, there's some information here) so today I have decorated a little papier-mache box in oriental style.

I covered the lid with black Gilder's Paste (I could have painted it, but the Gilder's Paste was right there on my workdesk) and then gave it a couple of coats of gloss varnish/sealer (Spray & Shine, in this case, as it was what I had around.)   I masked off the bit of the base that was going to show and gave the bit that will be under the lid some Gilder's Paste as well - I wanted to cover up the brown papier-mache but I didn't want to make the lid too snug. 
I went digging in my stash of oriental papers and found a piece with Chinese calligraphy (from Crafhouse Press) that I liked.  I measured the depth of the base and cut some strips of the width I needed, making sure I got the red characters in the right place, and stuck them on. 
I remembered I had a stamp of a Chinese coin somewhere (of course it was in the very last tray at the bottom of the very last pile of trays, which I went hunting in after I'd gone through all of the storage drawers.  I was beginning to think I'd dreamed it!) I inked it up with some black Memento, then covered a scrap of black card with embossing ink, threw on the gold Debbi Moore Metal Magic embossing powder, heated, repeated, and then pressed the stamp into the still-hot Metal Magic.  Once the embossing was set, I removed the stamp and carefully cut the coin out (being very careful around the square hole in the centre).  Metal Magic stays flexible enough to allow you to cut or punch for about 20 minutes. And it does a very good job of faking a metal embellishment, don't you think?
Nearly done now - I stuck the Chinese knot (I wish I could say that I'd done the intricate knotting myself but that would be a lie!) at the top of the heart, folding the ends of the cord around to the inside and gluing very firmly.  The last job was to attach the "coin" by threading the loop of the knot in and out of the hole in the coin and securing with a bit of skewer coloured black . 

Hope you like it!  Thanks for stopping by - come back any time, you're very welcome!
(PS - I'm entering this in the Artful Times  blog challenge)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Feel the Love - 1

I admit it, I'm a big softy when it comes to Valentine's Day. Yes, even after years of marriage.   The second time around, too.  In my head I'm still 18 and as romatic as ever.  So I like to make a bit of an effort with The Love Of My Life's Valentine and as there are a number of Valentine/romance/hearts and flowers related challenges going on right now, well...

Having said I'm a big softy, I don't like giving TLOML something that is too sweety-sweety.  In the past I've done mini-albums, minimalist white-on-white, a CD slideshow - all sorts of things.  This year I've gone Steampunk (we both love the style - just as well really!)

I began with a papier-mache box (one of a nested set of three.  This is the middle-sized one) and covered it with aluminium insulating tape (I got some 50 mm wide from the DIY store, and I also got some 100 mm wide from Ebay).  I followed the technique demonstrated by Tim Holtz here

I die cut some gears (from the Chronology range by Docrafts) and the letters (Sizzix Bigz XL - Word Play) rubbed on Gilder's Paste in shades of gold, silver and bronze and antiqued them all with a very dilute wash of black acrylic paint.  When they were dry, I stuck them all to the lid of the box.

That's part one done and dusted - now I just have to make the card to go inside.  But before I go on to make the card, I'm going to enter this in the Anything But A Card blog challenge nd the Hostshot Craft Blog Challenge.
See you in Part 2!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Tim's 12 Tags - February

Hi everyone, and welcome to my blog!  Today's offering is my interpretation of Tim Holtz's tag for February.  Last year I failed dismally to keep up with the 12 Tags of 2012, and I'm not making any promises about this year either;  however, so far I've managed two out of two - so far, so good!

In January I kept pretty close to the original - I had most of the supplies on hand.  This month I didn't have most of the items Tim used - so I improvised.

If you've seen Tim's blog, you'll be only too well aware where I've deviated from the Master's creation.   About the only thing that's the same is the background colour.  But that's OK, Tim wants to inspire and teach us, not turn us into copycats!  I didn't have Tim's stamp so I used one I'd made with my Imagepac...the charm is a jewellery blank, the words were made on the Dymo and covered with a clear epoxy bubble, I didn't have seasonal Kraft Core'dinations paper so I die-cut and embossed some of the plain get the picture.
 (I'm so glad that Core'dinations have brought out the Kraft Core papers in 6x4 pads - much easier to use, not to mention lower cost.  I'd hyperventilate at chopping up a 12 by 12 piece for a few small diecuts - don't know about you!)  Anyway, I'm pleased with the result, and very pleased to get it complete before Valentine's day!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

WOYWW - February 6

It's Wednesday, and that means WOYWW.  (If you don't know what that is, you can find out more here.) Welcome to my blog, and here's my workspace this week -

Tim Holtz's tag for February features the Queen of Hearts.  Last month I kept pretty close to Tim's design;  this month I don't have most of Tim's supplies so I'm improvising.  Not very interesting at the moment I'm afraid, but I will post my completed tag so you can see how it turns out and with any luck that'll be prettier.

I'm very late in the day posting this so I must away now and see what everyone else is up to.  Thanks for stopping by - see you again sometime!

Monday, 4 February 2013

E is for...

Hi bloggers, and welcome to my little corner of the Blogiverse.  Today, gentle visitor, I am showing my entry into the Craft Barn Alphabet challenge (details here).  This fortnight's letter is E, and I've chosen "Egyptian" as the image for my ATC series.

This stamp (from Clarity) was one of the first I ever bought, after I saw the resist technique in Craft Stamper.  I stamped in Versamark ink onto glossy card, allowed it to dry a bit, then brayered over the ATC with Big & Juicy Soothing Sunset inks.  A quick polish with a paper towel and the job was done.  Easy!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Iron Maiden

Hello folks, and welcome to my blog.  This is my contribution to the Dragon's Dream TIO challenge Dress to Impress- the recipe being a dress or dressform, an embossed impression and some bling.

Sewing Room is one of my favourite Tim Holtz Alterations dies and I've used the dressform again and again.   And I'd just taken delivery of the new Embossabilities folder from Spellbinders and was itching to play with it, so I decided on a "steampunk" look for my dressform (surprise!) Once I'd embossed and coloured my tag with Distress Inks (Rusty Hinge, Tea Dye and Stormy Sky)  I cut the dressform in kraft card and another body piece from card I'd covered with aluminium insulation tape distressed as per Tim Holtz's tutorial and then added the AB crystals.

The last job was to stamp the words "Iron Maiden" using a set of alphabet stamps onto card coloured with Vintage Photo DI, and there we are! 

I hope you enjoyed your visit - you're welcome back at any time!