Tuesday, 30 August 2011

tweet, tweet, meow meow!

Challenge this week at Sunday Stamper in homage to AlfieCat was - birds!  

Well having two feline master criminals of my own I knew I had to make something with cats and birds.  

We have a LOT of bird feeders in our garden hanging off our old apple tree as my husband loves encouraging birds into our wildlife garden.  We often see our two cats prowling around underneath the tree hoping the birds will suddenly drop to the floor so they can easily catch them - they haven't been very lucky with this tactic so far.

I thought I'd make something "tall" and 3D to resemble the tree and feeders with the birds at the top and cats down below!

So let's start at the bottom and work up!
The feet are some wooden balls with Chipped Sapphire sponged on. The base is an art part (yes still got loads left Gillian and Gabrielle) covered in a circle of grunge paper that had some Tim tissue tape stuck on top. Fresco snowflake paint on that and a mixture of Tumbled Glass and Faded Jeans distress ink sponged on.

Now for the cylinders. For the tall one I put some tissue tape across some grunge board and cut out with the On the Edge scallop die. Again fresco snowflake paint and then a mixture of Tumbled Glass and Worn Lipstick distress ink.  The flourishes were stamped in Aged Mahogany. 

For the smaller cylinder again tissue tape and fresco paint this time Rusty Rose and Snowflake.  The Stampotique cats was stamped and embossed in black around the strip and a little Black Soot added over the top. An extra cat was cut out to sit on top of the ring.

Moving up to the birds.  I used the wrinke free distress technique with Tumbled Glass, Faded Jeans and Weatheredd Wood to make the background and then added some Worn Lipstick with a bit of cut and dry.  Stamped over the top in Chipped Sapphire with the Papillion back ground stamp and cut out a load of PaperArtsy small birds.  I glued some wire in between each bird and edged in Chipped Sapphire. I put some dry flower oasis in the big cylinder to stick the birds in.

The finishing touch was to add the tweet and meows

I really enjoyed making this, nice to work in 3D instead of on a canvas or a tag and it made my husband laugh!



Sunday, 28 August 2011

Last train ...

The theme for this week at Simon Says Stamp and Show was travel.  

Sometimes for me the journey is just if not more exciting than the actual destination, seeing new sights and sounds on the way and I adore train travel especially the architecture of old Victorian stations and the views from the window as you trundle by.  We had a fantastic trip last year for a rugby weekend in Edinburgh on a chartered train from Northampton - it was just like the Hogwarts Express, 1970's carriages, old BR logos everywhere especially in the loo!. The train also reminded me of my childhood when my Mum used to take all three of us (me and my two brothers) down to London and we'd have to travel in the Guards van as we were in a old fashioned side by side double pushchair - happy days!

So you can see travel and especially train travel is a big thing for me. I really wanted to use some of my photographs that I took on the Swanage Steam Railway a couple of years ago on a holiday to Dorset. We got on at Corfe Castle (very Enid Blyton Famous Five / Kirrin Castle) and went all the way to Swanage (the train station is slap bang in the middle of the town and you can walk down to the sea for a paddle - bliss!).  Along the way at the various stops were little vignettes of days gone by in terms of signs and in this case luggage.

I covered a 10x8 canvas board in old paper (ripped and torn into various strips), gessoed over the top and then lightly washed some cream and brown acrylic over the top and added Victorian Velvet distress ink over that.  Stamped loads of travel type stamps in pumice and slate and then stamped those again in sepia archival. Some of the Tim postcard stamps were added in vintage photo distress embossing powder.
I printed out two of my photo's one of the luggage and one of the train going round a corner in sepia.  I then put antique linen distress stain over the top. Sanded the top lightly to remove some of the ink, distressed the edges and added some walnut stain.  I  used an old credit card to add some white lines as well.

The postcard was inked in antique linen distress stain. The postcard stamp was stamped in sepia archival and then the text and postage stamp in black. Walnut stain added round the edges and in the middle to give that aged look.

Various Tim travel related ticket and location stamps were used to create the rest of the layers all using antique linen, walnut distress inks and stains to make the backgrounds and coffee, black or sepia archival ink to stamp.

Finally glued everything down with trusty glue gun and misted some latte glimmer mist over the top for some additional spotting and ageing.

Really like this one and it goes rather well with my Ration Book piece colour wise and theme so I think I'll try and find somewhere in the house to put these together. So hopefully I've the challenge done in time hence the title - last train ...

Well it's August Bank Holiday weekend here in England so of course it's rained, I put some washing out first thing , bought it back in half an hour later  as it looked like it was going to rain (it did) and now it's back out on the line! Plus we are supposed to be going for a BBQ this afternoon - waterproofs at the ready!



Thursday, 25 August 2011

clickity click...

So Sunday Stampers challenge this week was Houses / Homes. Hum, I could do the obvious, but then I thought no - let's go way outside the box and do ... BINGO!  

OK I know it's a very weak link to the theme but it did mean I could use that bingo embossing folder I've had for ages.

Used some vintage shabby paper to emboss the bingo card, I made sure thre was quite a bit of paper and my black rubbewr mat on top as I put it through my Big shot to get a really deep emboss. Then rubbed some Broken China, Spiced Marmalade and Worn Lipstick distress ink over the top to highlight the raised areas.

For the tag underneath I did the wrinkle free distress technique again with Worn Lipstick and Spiced Marmalade. Stamped over the top with a Paper Artsy ledger stamp in Tea Dye.  Inked round the edges in Broken China.

The playing cards were stamped in black Stazon and then a combination  of Worn Lipstick, Spiced Marmalade, Tea Dye and Broken China were added to tie the colours in. 

The Tim numbers were stamped again in black Stazon and the same distress inks used to add a bit of colour. I scrumpled it up to get some creases and ran the Tea Dye ink pad over the top to catch them.

Finally I used a Tim ticket in the Ideology memory pin and used some very old alphabet stickers to spell house.
Apologies on the quality of the pics, had to do inside with flash as we had no natural light what so ever (it's only August for goodness sake, we aren't in the depths of winter  - yet).

Not sure I'm really liking it all together, I really like the tag underneath and I really like the bingo card, but not sure about it all together!  But it was a good opportunity as is the very nature of challenges to try something new!



P.S the hen weekend went very well, obviously I can't tell you about it as what happened in Chard stays in Chard but you can imagine the scene, 10 women, a cocktail shaker, ice and a large quantity of spirits ...

Friday, 19 August 2011

Running out of ti.....

This is a real quicky post as I am really running out of time.  

I'm supposed to be packing for a weekend away on a hen do.  I'm in charge of "crafts" as we are making fascinators to go out in on Saturday night (we aren't young anymore so wish to appear sophisticated at least until we've had a few drinks!). so I've raided the craft room and a large ikea blu bag is stuffed to the gills with fabric, glue, cotton, sequins, beads and my trusty big shot and flower dies!

And I wanted to finish my bling challenge for Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge this week which is of course - bling!

So here is my entry, hope it's blingy enough!

First I put some gesso through a stencil onto an A4 canvas, I also stamped in some of the flat gesso as well.  Next loads of green inka and purple plum glimmer mist and a bit of wi9ld cherry glimmer mist. Embossed the blue PaperArtsy scroll stamp in some old shimmery embossing powder and the purple embossing was done by stamping the versamark pad directly on the canvas, sprinkling some embossing powder on and then sort of rubbed my finger through it to take some off!

The next layer is a piece of mount board covered in some bits of embossed metal, sanded, London night fresco paint on top and more gold inka added on top.

Final layer again was a piece of mount board covered in gesso and a PaperArtsy architecture stamp stamped into the gesso.  Let that dry and then sprayed with inks, added loads of cosmic shimmer powders and some more inka gold and silver.

I like, my only reservation is the positioning of the top layers, in hindsight I think I would have quite liked to off centre them - I might attempt to prise them off when I return from hen weekend.

Ok, that's it, off to raid the drinks cupboard - wish me luck!


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Distressed at lack of distress!

So Grungy Monday this week was to use Tim Holtz distress stickles. Going to my stash box of stickles, metallic paint, perfect pearls etc (I suppose I should call it the glitzy box)  I was somewhat dismayed to find only 2 (yes only 2) distress stickles: pine needles and rock candy. 

To add to the distress and panic,  my local Hobbycraft is closed for the week for a refit, so I couldn't even go for a quick stash dash (try saying that after a few too many vodkas)!
Anyway a few deep breaths saw me calm down a bit and focus on the task in hand.

I've had the weathered clock die for ahem "a few weeks" and I haven't got round to using it along with an associated embossing folder, so a clock tag it was and as I was limited to basically green that pretty much dictated the colour scheme.

I cut the clock from white card, put on some peeled paint distress stain and added some pine needles and vintage photo distress ink. Added some daubs of pine needles distress stickles, not all over just in some places to look,  distressed and well you know - weathered!

Whilst that was drying I started work on the tag.  I used rusty hinge distress stain all over and then added some spiced marmalade distress ink in places  I then ran the tag through the clocks embossing folder and added some pine needles and vintage photo to highlight the embossed bits.  

It was a bit too bright for me, so I swiped a white paint dabber over in places and rubbed back almost immediately to remove the excess and tone down the colour. Finally added some rock candy distress stickles on some of the raised areas for a bit more sparkle.

By this time the clock face was dry so I glued that down where I wanted it, cut off the excess and stuck the remaining bit at the top (waste not want not!).  Stamped the PaperArtsy hours, minutes, second and attached to the bottom of the tag with the mini staples
It was looking good at this stage but I thought it needed just a little something else on the right hand side to fill in the gap.  So out again with the the clock from the PaperArtsy Clocks 4 plate. (a quick look on the PaperArtsy site reminds me that there are other clock plates I don't have and rather like ....) 

I cut a circle from card, painted all over with snowflake PaperArtsy fresco paint, added distress stains and inks in pumice, rusty hinge and stamped the clock face in grey stazon and clear embossing powder. Daubed a bit more rock candy distress stickles over the top - panicked as it moved the ink around and then left it to dry.  Stuck it onto the card with some foam pads slightly off the edge but filling the circle neatly.

So considering I only had 2 products to take part in this challenge I don't think I did too badly! 



Monday, 15 August 2011

White ... mostly

So the theme this week was white on the Sunday Stamper Challenge.

I love working in tonal one colour colour schemes and one of my favourite artists is Ben Nicholson (wikipedia entry on Ben Nicholson) especially his white relief work (link to the Tate catalogue) so this challenge was right up my street!

I'd got this canvas knocking around and I knew I wanted to do strips of torn paper sewn on to a background.  At the quilt show at the NEC I'd also seen some nice combinations of paper and cloth so out came my scrap bag of fabric

On the canvas I stamped and embossed the Papillion vertical butterflies in pearl embossing powder and various stamps from the Curiosities plate in white ink and clear embossing powder.  Round the edge of the canvas trusty tissue tape was stuck on to hide the drip marks and wiped in milled lavender.

I tore the OLD 6x6" grey swirl paper (see still using the stash)  into various widths stuck it down onto some base paper and then lightly washed over with snowflake fresco paint, the last layer also had some pearl translucent paint mixed as well to give a very light sheen. I then started sewing along the papers top and bottom and then added in various strips of fabric.

Next I stamped the Tim Papillion background in embossing ink and sprinkled silver pearl embossing powder randomly over the top.  Finally I used pebble ink to stamp the small PaperArtsy birdcage to give that faded french chic look. Stuck this background piece down on the canvas with red line tape.

Then I thought about embellishments.

I had wondered about the bird cage in pearl metal stamped in a dark ink and "worked" with a pointy tool. Although  good idea I wanted to save it, so instead  used the small bird die from PaperArtsy and the corresponding script stamp in milled lavender.  the bird text was stamped in lake mist and roughed up round the edges with a bit of milled lavender as well.

I really enjoyed making this and I've managed to get it down well before the deadline! 



PS. I did buy more stash at the quilt show: some lovely ric rac, buttons, silk rods and yes - fabric. I know, I know I said I would, but it was soooo lovely, I couldn't resist!!!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Pick a page at random

So the SSSC was to pick a Tim technique - how on earth do you just pick a Tim technique???  Well the easiest for me was to randomly open Compendium and see what page I landed on and that would be my technique. I didn't like the page I landed on, so I then had a flick through and ended up on shabby chic!

So in the perpetual battle of using up stash  found an old IKEA square picture frame, covered in some REALLY OLD Basic Grey paper. Picket fence over that and then weathered wood and burlap stains over that.

For the technique bit I used some raw umber on the grunge paper, stamped with an old floral swirly wooden stamp and embossed.  Had a bit of a nightmare with the embossing because I sprinkled pearl powder not clear at first, panicked and quickly wiped off.  Fortunately there was still enough stickiness to cope with clear embossing powder.  

Then to think about the top layer of paint.  I started off with a dark blue but it was just too dark and wasn't giving enough contrast, so then found a paler baby blue left it on a bit longer and then wiped off - success!

Happy so far but now what?
Work and stuff got in the way so I returned to my work desk on Thursday night as I had to make my mum a birthday card.  I cut out a PaperArtsy heart  from a scrap of Lost and Found, inked the edges and then spread rock candy stickles to give a bit of subtle bling. Put the heart on top of a bit more scrap Lost and Found and attached to the background I'd made from embossed and inked handmade paper.  Looked at it and thought - nope, it doesn't work and I don't like it (ended up BUYING my mother a card - I know, shame on me).

So this morning knowing I had to finish this off to meet deadlines I looked at the carnage on my work desk and thought ... use the heart embellishment on the shabby chic background - two techniques!

Pictures aren't great (sorry), no light outside so forced indoors with flash and lamps!

Anyway a relatively short post today as I'm off to the NEC in Birmingham for the Quilt Festival (birthday treat for mum). I PROMISE not to spend, especially as I haven't used the fabric I got last year, but if I see any nice lace trim I might just have to break open the piggy bank ....


Thursday, 11 August 2011

I wish ...

So the Sunday Stamper challenge was wish.  Um don't think I'm really brave enough to tell you what is on my wish list, those secrets stay deeply locked in my heart (and some would say they might be regrets, but I try not to have too many of those as they can send me into a right blue funk of depression), but I could say the standard response which is of course to win the lottery (the euro lottery naturally) and world peace.

Anyway deep dark wishes aside, this is my entry for the challenge this week.I'm trying to be good and use up stuff that I've got rather than buying new stuff and when I means stuff of course I mean paper and canvases not ink, stains, paint or stamps (honestly what do you take me for - they are ESSENTIAL).  

So this is a 10x8" canvas that I've had for ages and I put loads of white acrylic on and then added weathered wood and bundles sage distress stains on and then added the same inks to get a bit more depth.  Some text added in peeled paint and denim.

I then used a piece of 12x12 green card stock painted over it in an apple green lightened with white, cut into 4 and ran through my big shot with the tattered florals die.  Stuck them together with the glue gun to give some height and added a green candy from Craftworks Cards in the centre. Sprayed loads of marshmallow, lime twist, iridescent gold glimmer mists (see using up stash) and edged with peeled paint distress ink and finally some vanilla breeze glimmer mist as well.

I had a brainwave whilst driving to work (this often happens, I also have them in the shower as well) the next morning what if I edged the canvas with strips of metal embossed and scooched (copyright Lin Brown) the edges?  As you can see it worked a treat.  I put grey paint over the top and wiped off the excess to aged and dull down the green, cut into 1" strips and then into smaller pieces, schooched the edges, sanded to expose the aluminum and stuck down with red tape.

Finally stained some card with picket fence and brushed corduroy distress stain and stamped wish with an old Banana Frog alphabet set and stuck everything down with my trusty glue gun.

Photo's aren't fantastic as the light is appalling this evening but you get the idea!  Right off to tidy up craft room and make a birthday card for my ma for tomorrow and this about other challenges!


Sunday, 7 August 2011

Bottom of the drawer

So I was up bright and early this morning, so checked out the Sunday Stamper challenge which is wish, yep I could work with that and I'd got an idea for a colour scheme inspired by some silk flowers I'd seen.
This won't be going to Sunday Stamper challenge, nor is it the colour scheme I imagined!

I was however inspired by a comment on a previous post from Judy who said my Grungy Monday tag with all it's layers reminded her of the bottom of a drawer, you know everything all sort of thrown in together, random bits of paper, tickets, labels, old photos, buttons etc - a snapshot of a life.

I did start with a tag, you can just see it under everything!  I painted it  in a sort of lime yucky green with a pale greeny / cream (white added to the yucky green) over a layer of crackle glaze.  I then stamped in coffee archival a Tim ledger stamp and over stamped that with a text stamp to suggest writing on the ledger page.

The photo is one of mine that I printed on black and white and then used mustard seed distress ink to colour the fern.  (I love using this technique to alter my flower photos). Little bit of white paint dry brushed on the photo, walnut stain around the edge and a bit of rocky candy crackle glaze over the top (still trying to work out whether I like this or not - need to keep playing).

And then I just started creating ephemera stamping on scraps of Lost and Found paper with stamps from Tim Holtz and PaperArtsy (love that Ration Book stamp in the middle). Crumpled up bits of paper, fabric scraps, buttons and even a couple of old paper flowers (I have a massive stash of these and I need to do something with them).

Everything was stamped in coffee archival and edged in walnut stain distress ink. Once it was all glued down I gave a light spritz / splodge with a latte glimmer mist, just to give a bit more depth and texture.

The frame was one I made ages ago and was in the um pile, I found it  purely by chance when I was looking for  the string. Aha I thought, that will work with this tag as it continues the old aged granny type vibe and I think the tag needed to be mounted on something so that all the stuff on it was sort of grounded, anchored and framed (you know what I mean don't you)

So yes it wasn't what I intended to make, but often we start out with one idea (or no idea) and as we progress something different emerges - somewhat like life.

Right that's enough Radio 4 Thought for the Day breakfast philosophy, I need to go back in the craft room and think about wish ...



Saturday, 6 August 2011

I think I may have overdone the layers - what do you think?

As promised second blog post!

In a bid to do more crafting I thought taking part in challenges would be good with 2 under my belt already I turned to Grungy Monday and this week's challenge (18) which was - 12 Tags of Christmas day 8 and vellum.

I knew I had some vellum knocking around somewhere (don't we all) so a quick hunt through my organised stash found a "few" sheets.  Rather than sheet music I thought I'd use the theatre tickets stamp from Tim I've had for ages and not used (knock on effect of taking part in challenges - use stuff I haven't used yet!).
So followed the instructions (running between the study where the PC is and my craft room and back again because I'd forgotten a vital bit of information - the cats were well amused to see me dashing across the landing) and voila  a tag.

I inked the tag in picket fence stain and then walnut stain on top, really like how the picket fence softens the walnut but you've still got hints of really dark brown as well. 

Spritzed some espresso colour wash over the top and dried. Next I added various Tim mini ornates stamps in walnut distress embossing powder. 
The red tickets used fired brick and mahogany distress stains with a little bit of watered down snowflake fresco over the top.  stamped in black archival, cut out, roughed up round the edges and inked with walnut distress ink.

Layered it all up, cutting the large theatre ticket vellum to make smaller elements, spritzed some copper glimmer mist which fortunately came out in big globs because that's what I wanted - sort of aged liver spot look! Finally chose some ribbon from my huge stash (end to end it could probably stretch to the moon) to complete.

So I do like it, but I do wonder if I've put too many layers on, is it too fussy at the bottom, am I over analysing it and should I just shut up?????




I think it's fair to say Waterloo Sunset (which I'm listening to on YouTube) is one of my ultimate faves - it would have to be in my top ten. So the Sunday Stamper challenge of sunsets was a goer because a) I lurvvve the song and b) it meant I'd have to use some different colours!

This week I have loved (there's a lot of love around this morning)  making tags inspired by my tweet meet pals, so thanks girls.

I started of with some colour washes in sunset orange, wild plum and lettuce, blotted them and then spritzed all over with lemon meringue and bronze glimmer mist. Stamped all over with a text stamp and old paper distress embossing powder. And then stamped the PaperArtsy birds in grasses ups the tag in mahogany and dusty concord.

I knew I wanted to use a bird sort of roosting at sunset as the focal point,so I painted a spare piece of card with some london night fresco paint, I used the large PaperArtsy bird die and then embossed in a swirly folder to give the pattern. Inked in black soot and dusty concordm, sanded a bit and then sprayed with some slate glimmer mist,  The art part was stained with bundled sage and then stamped in olive with a text stamp still stuck to a block on my desk!
The bottom third of the tag I knew needed some layers to anchor it with the heavy art part, so started with some tissue tap randomly stuck over spritzed with lemon meringue, next a scrap of linen with some mustard seed distress ink and finally some scraps of card that have been embossed using the the tin sewing line folders. The flower is a Wendy Vecchi and the take flight words are PaperArtsy. 

Sunsets are so beautiful, the intensity of colours streaking across the sky, the dark inkiness of shapes silhouetted against those colours is just well - inspiring! Hopefully my tag captures all that.

Well off to finish another tag so there will be another post today (nothing for a month and then I go mad) and more playing - I also have some house shapes that need decorating!


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Show a tag!

As some of you know there was a crafting tweet meet this week in the Shires, myself, Gabrielle, Hels and Gillian descended on Lin and Karen (Karen  - you NEED to get a blog!) at LB Crafts to meet in person and spend our pocket money on new stash - namely distress stains!

It was such fun meeting everyone even if I was beginning to panic I wouldn't get there in time due to roadworks. I very nearly just left the car parked on the verge with the hazards on and run the last 500 yards to LB, but figured I didn't really want the girls having to phone for an ambulance as I collapsed in a heap gasping "give me picket fence stain now"!

I think we all agreed a great success and plan to do another one - SOON!!!!

Anyway given that I was able to ask calmly for a picket fence stain (along with a few others as well - of course) I thought I'd better use and try them out. So as I'm home alone this week (husband is still acting) I thought I'd do a tag and enter for the Simon Says challenge this week, show a tag - so I am!

Started off putting picket fence down and then going over with aged mahogany and pumice stain.  Flicked some water on to give it that water stained look. Like a lot.

Stamped some Wendy flowers in aged mahogany distress ink along the right hand edge and embossed with some vintage photo powder. On the other side I die cut a strip of paper with a Tim die inked with picket fence and vintage paper and stamped the ruler on top in black and attached with staples.

Inked some spare card with various distress inks and stains (there were rather a lot on my work desk so I was sort of randomly using all of them) and ran through the an embossing folder to get the numbers and then further inked and distressed. Layered that over a Tim label again distressed and inked to age. 

I was also "told" to buy some Wendy Vecchi art parts on Monday by the above mentioned tweeters so I wanted to use one of the flowers in the tag. PaperArtsy Toad Hall base, crackle  glaze and honeydew over the top and finally some antique photo lightly added to show up the cracks a bit more.  Used a hitch fastener for the centre and the stalk is a bit of florist wire wrapped in tissue tape.

So I'll add this post to the Simon Says blog and hey who knows - I might win!