Sunday, 26 September 2010

Old Skool

So here I am sitting in my villa at Center Parcs, wildlife is right on the doorstep, a swan has just waddled past the patio doors and yesterday I had to physically threaten a squirrel who was adamant he was coming in to help himself to my biscuits - it wasn't pleasant.

So I was limited to what I could physically cram into my stash bag which meant no big shot, metal, dies or embossing plates - just paper, distress inks, few stamps and a pritt stick.

It was like going back to basics when I first started out crafting.

I thought I'd have a play with my new Paperartsy stamps - HP 1006, not bad if I don't say so myself given my limited stash.

DI's used include: worn lipstick, spun sugar, tattered rose on the tag. Peeled paint and dusty concord on the flower and crushed olive to print sanctuary. Quite apt really because Center Parcs for me is a bit of a sanctuary especially the spa session we've got planned for the afternoon.

I had thought about nipping out and raiding the natural stuff outside - bit of bark, few leaves but it's raining and I'm scared of the swan.

Friday, 24 September 2010


Hubby and I are going away for the weekend for some much needed US time, a long weekend at Center Parcs, which means Starbucks coffee, pancake house, cycling, swimming and an afternoon in the spa - bliss. I need this break so much I'm even missing out on going to Ally Pally - am I ill?

The dilemma is though how much stash to take away with to facilitate play? I mean what will I want to make, what colours will inspire me, what stamps to take and can I get away with packing my bigshot???

I did sort of speculatively broach the subject with hubby and there wasn't a complete - you are joking aren't you statement or look from him, so ......

Edited - In the end I decided not to take the bigshot away for a holiday,it was a tough decision but hey let's attempt to be sensible. So instead confined myself to one bag of stash,took a bit of a while to decide and there were only a few "sighs" from hubby as he sat patiently waiting, not quite in the car but it was almost getting to that stage.

Have fun this weekend everyone especially those of you venturing to Ally Pally - -me jealous when I've got all this wildlife around me???

Sunday, 19 September 2010

shabby kitty

My brother is in the process of moving into a new flat but it means he can't have his own kitties - Arthur and Polo with him, they currently lodge with my ma and pa and he has regular visiting rights.

So I thought I'd make him a little house warming pressie using my new Stampotique stamp purchased yesterday - it kept tempting me from the craft room with little chirrups of meow meow meow which I translated as come play with me.

A tag with book text pasted in and then gessod over the top. Pumice DI on the bottom which sort of slid about a bit on the gesso and pritt stick mix but it was ok. That was over stamped with a dotty stamp in pumice and prr added in rusty hinge DI. On the top half I used peeled paint, shabby shutters and mustard seed DI and spritzed on some water to get that blotchy look. I used a charcoal pencil to add a line for kitty to stand on.

Kitty was stamped in black archival and then rusty hinge DI used to make him a ginger puss. Added on a couple of prima flowers and a brad and did my usual twisty wire thing through some eyelets to make a hanging bracket. Stuck him on a piece of mount board grunged up with gold, green and ochre paint with white rubbed over the top to tone it all down.

Bro likes it, I like it, hope you like it.

It's not an addiction ....

Well yesterday I ventured out to Wantage to go to Stamp Attic. I really WANTED / NEEDED to get some new artful blogging and cloth paper scissor mags and some stampotique grunge girl stamps (you know the ones). I sort of tentatively asked John on Friday if he would drive and he grudgingly said yes but it will have to be after lunch.

Saturday dawned and it was bright and I'd had a good nights sleep and I thought I want to go early then I can get home and play so decided I'd drive. I mean I'm a big girl, I can do this, stop being lazy and have an adventure.

So I did.

Apart from queuing to get past Silverstone who'd got a big car event on, it was a great drive through lovely countryside with open windy roads which my Italian stud (the car) loved. Coped with the closed road and parked in the Civic Centre and there was the Stamp Attic over the road - a tingle of excitement as I crossed the threshold.

Ah, what delights, what marvels, what temptations teased me at every corner and nook. I breathed deeply and picked up a basket.

On hindsight it was a good thing John didn't come.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Red blue, but mostly blue

So I've been off sick today. Got up at my normal 5.30am and my whole body just felt HEAVY, an effort to go downstairs (after "dealing" with a spider in the bath), effort to feed the cats, effort to make coffee and toast. had a shower and then promptly went back to bed still with wet hair wrapped in a towel. Woke up at 8.00am and thought - nope can't do this, don't feel quite able to drive down the M1 to Luton. So checked email, phone boss, phone team, set out of office on email and go back to bed with cup of tea and a cat.

And frankly that's where I've spent most of the day - sleeping.

But I have managed to finish my entry for the Sunday Stampers Challenge - my first! The theme was Red/Blue or Red&Blue. I fancied doing a bit of a Rothko in terms of blocks of tonal colour, so dark blue background with a midnight blue paint and sprayed with slate glimmer, over stamped with a Tim text stamp and them stamped a Paperartsy cow parsley with sapphire chip DT and clear embossing powder. The red bit was inked with worn lipstick and barn door, over stamped in brick red with the Paperartsy birds and stalks and then again stamped with the cow parsley brick red and clear embossed. Cut into strips and edged with stormy sky. difficult to see all that in the photo as the light in the conservatory (my temporary craft space) is murky to say the least.

My husband has just walked in and remarked that's very Rothko - so success!

Monday, 13 September 2010

And here's one for Fiona!

I had to make something for Fiona as well as Sarah, so here it is.

An Ikea frame rubbed with sand and light brown paint and rubbed back to reveal some of the bare wood. Inside the frame is card painted and sprayed with light brown and sand paint and then stamped with a large B line stamp in sepia archival. Sprayed with latte glimmer mist. The corrugated card was lightly rubbed with sand paint and ripped to distress and stamped with a PaperArtsy hotpicks swirls in coffee archival. the flower was made from watercolour paper using PaperArtsy grunge dies inked with red barn and fired brick DI's sprayed with redbrick glimmer and run through an embossing folder. The petals were cut and then rolled to give some dimension. the button in the middle was inked with cranberry and gold alcohol inks.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Shabby books

So I work in a library and sometimes we have to throw books out because they've got too old and broken or just not needed anymore - sad but true.

Well last week I was walking through our main office and I spied a trolley of said old books. I gave a gasp and asked, are those being thrown out? Yes came the reply. Imagine my delight rows and rows of old, faded tattered, torn and yellowing books waiting for me to give them a new purpose in life.

Once my colleagues stopped laughing at me and my apparent near orgasmic delight in musty old paper, they asked me why. So I decided to give them a short introduction to the delights of ripping, sticking, inking and stamping using said texts.

Of course they then said they wanted evidence of such activity,so I showed them a couple of photos on my phone, but you've got to see ther real thing to really appreciate the depth and texture. So having a reason to create, that's what I did.
The base is mountboard painted in white. I then used an old candle to rub along the edges to act as a resit and painted over in a darker pink. Rubbed back with sandpaper and then rubbed some brown and gold paint to further add to the distress. Stamped over the top in archival coffee ink to add some text and sprayed a bit with creme rouge glimmer.
Smaller peice of mountboard (bottom left) had scraps of book pages stuck on with matte medium, painted and wiped back with a baby wipe in sand, then using a roller inked over with raisin ink. Where the matte medium was a bit thick it acted as a resist (nice). Again edged with gold. the tag on the right was inked with DI's spun sugar and victorian bvelet and sprayed with glimmer in taffy pink, creme rouhe and antique brass. Put through an embossing folder and again gold along the edges. 2 PaperArtsy roses in gold metal, embossed, cut the petals and rolled back. Finally three cream buttons had some sherbert alcohol ink dripped on them annd some purple floristry wire threaded through eyelets to make a hanging bracket.
Again photo's don't do it justice but I hope Sarah likes it.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Taken the plunge!

So I've done it, finally plucked up enough courage to start publishing in cyber world and letting other people see my art work apart from my dear husband who is frankly running out of nice things to say!

The look of my blog may change as I play around a bit more with fonts, layout styles and colours but the name certainly won't. It took me most of the day to come up with a title I really liked - shabby because that's the style I feel most comfortable in creating (might have something to do with an inability to be neat and tidy) and dandelion because I'm fascinated with them as a flower, well the seed heads really as yellow really isn't me, something to do with getting impaled on a gorse bush as a child - deep deep trauma!

So here is something I created a couple of weeks ago as the project I'm working on this weekend isn't quite finished - that's the blog entry for tomorrow.

The frame (Ikea) is painted in white and a pale brown and then strips of Tim Holtz tissue tape added on top and again paint lightly rubbed on and off with a baby wipe. Spare bits of gold metal sandwich were also added. The middle bit is a number of layers starting with card that has been painted in similar colours sprayed with glimmer mist in coffee and over stamped with a text stamp, the edges have been distressed by running an old scalpel along the edge. the corrugated card was ripped and again rubbed with white acrylic. On top of that is a small piece of mountboard covered in book text and inked with I think burlap Distress Ink, edged with white as well. Finally on top is a PaperArtsy moth in gold metal stamped on top with the moth stamp in sepia archival and edged with a metal wheel tool.

Phew as a first blog that was pretty long! Right Merlin to watch on TV