Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Lawks - do things really come in threes????

Well I can't believe it, not only did I win one of these gorgeous things of beauty from the lovely lovely France a few weeks back, I've just read today that I won the Simon Says Stamp and Show challengee with my ATC!

Is the big one on the way then - that hand in my notice one that allows me to spend vast quantities on stash - fingers crossed!

BIG hugs


Sunday, 25 September 2011

ATC's aren't easy!

The Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge this week was to make an ATC - how hard can that be?


I did have a grand idea involving a box canvas, linen, four ATC's inks and Tim Holtz stamps, which I started and then stopped (I will return to it- never fear 'co I think it's going to be good) and instead raided the um pile (unfinished projects) for stuff to make a quick ATC.

The ATC had been cut from some mount board and covered in a scrap of Tim Lost and Found, some white paint added, then Fired Brick Distress Stain over the top and a swirly stamp from Mini Classics plate stamped in grey stazon.   I did sand it a bit and some of the paper rubbed off, but that was ok - added to the shabby charm!  The edge was inked with Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink.

The house was a spare one cut from the Artful Dwellings die for the Home Sweet Home project .  I added some Antique Linen Distress Stain and stamped the Eiffel Tower stamp from Mini classics in grey stazon.  The metal roof was a spare bit of metal with some grey paint added and ribbed back to expose some silver. Again some Chipped Sapphire Distress Stain round the edge.

The bird was a spare one from the tweet tweet project, so it had already been stamped with Papillion background stamp. I edged in Chipped Sapphire just to give some definition.

The little hanging bracket is a book ring coloured with Slate alcohol ink.  The inspiration for this is Gillian - so thanks Gillian for the idea.

So considering in the end this was a very quick make made up of odds and ends on the um pile I quite like it, especially the colour combo, Fired Brick and Chipped Sapphire - rather delish and shabby!

Right that big idea is calling (plus others), but I really should do the massive pile of ironing that is engulfing the dining room table at the moment - sigh.



Thursday, 22 September 2011

Catch a falling star ....

First of all a very big thank you to all of you who left comments on my last post and especially to Hels who gave a big shout out on her blog to come and check me out - I did wonder why I had so many hits on my post and then I found out why!  All your thoughts and best wishes much appreciated blog friends and apologies if I made you sniffle!

Had to raid the Christmas stamp box to find a star stamp for this weeks Sunday Stamper Challenge.  Now I know some of you are already thinking about Christmas but I just refuse too - way, way too early and anyway haven't got any Chrimbo mojo!

So having found said star stamp I decided to make a good old trusty tag, it's nice to be confined by the limited space and therefore you can't spend too much time faffing around on it (well you can obviously but I decided I wouldn't - ha!)
First of all a layer of Weathered Wood distress stain all over the tag followed by Black Soot distress stain.  This was a mistake I thought I'd picked up Weathered Wood again for a second coat!  A quick wipe back with a baby wipe and I quite liked the inky blue darkness with a hint of cream peaking through! Edged in Chipped Sapphire distress ink and a little bit of silver inka along the edge.

Stamped that swirl of stars in clear embossing ink and then used a plumy purple embossing powder over that.

The hanging stars are grungepaper that had Black Soot distress stain all over followed by lots of sprays of a plum glimmer mist and then dazzling diamonds glimmer mist. The star stamp was the freebie in a recent Craft Stamper (this month, last month I can't remember, the pile of magazines by my bed gets bigger and bigger every month!). Stamped in black embossing powder and cut out. 

Two eyelets at the top with a thin bit of black ribbon threaded through and tied into a bow, each star was attached with a tiny staple and button added on top.  The third star was glued to the bottom and spare bit of grunge paper was stamped with catch a falling ...

And yes I didn't spend too much time faffing around - love that word! 



Saturday, 17 September 2011


Well it took me soo long to do the steampunk challenge I really didn't think I was going to make it for the Sunday Stamper Challenge this week - nick of time just scraped through.

I'm quite glad I only checked the theme this morning as it really struck a cord - memories, a time to remember.  Tomorrow is my Dad's birthday, it's his first birthday since he died in February this year, so as you can imagine memories and remembering have been high on my agenda this week and will be tomorrow.

When I think of memories I often think of time, happy times, sad times, do you remember when times; and the fact that time is a great healer for helping us come to terms with sadness that happens in our lives.

If we don't take time to remember, if we don't talk and share then we can loose those memories and they float away on the wind like the seed heads of the dandelion. 

So, this tag, it was really easy. The dandelion photo was coloured on the PC with a blue filter and a film grain texture added.  I sanded it really heavily to remove some of the ink to get those white spots. The brown luggage tag it is attached to had a like covering of white gesso and then a PaperArtsy ledger stamp in brushed corduroy distress ink on top.  The ever faithful walnut stain around the edge.

The larger tag was again brushed with gesso and then blue acyclic paint on top of that.  Using brown corduroy distress ink I stamped a large PaperArtsy numbers background all over the tag.  A strip of text paper was rubbed with antique linen distress ink and then lots of sewing on the machine using a green, brown and gold variegated thread, I left some of the ends on to give a messy look. 

Finally on a spare piece of text paper I stamped the word memories and added a string bow.

Simple but nice - Happy Birthday Dad.



This should have been soooo easy

Ah steampunk, what a theme.  it must have been the gods smiling down on me to select such a challenge in this weeks Simon Say Stamp and Show. I mean what more justification can you have for purchasing some of the latest PaperArtsy hotpicks?

Well yes the gods may have been smiling but it was that manic ha ha we are going to take your inspiration away and now let's see how you get on (I'm sort of thinking Greek legend kind of scenario ethereal , white togas and lightening bolts - you know what I mean).  On my goodness - what a challenge it was.
It's taken me all week and it's nearly gone in the bin twice, but this morning I rolled up my sleeves and decided I would crack it.  

To be honest I'm not sure I did - what do you think?

Frame - painted in a dark navy paint and then a lightish grey with some pearl glaze mixed in over the top of some crackle glaze.  Waited for it to dry and then sanded back to distress.  A cogs stamp from Paper Artsy in black stazon all over and finally some walnut stain and distress ink on the edges.

Middle - this is where it got painful.  I first started off with some grey metal embossed in a cogs folder, die cut a clock face and distressed and this was going to go over the top with this gentleman and these birds on top. as you can see only the gentleman and birds remained!

So this morning I started again, glued a page from an old book onto some card, covered with some Antique Linen and Crushed Olive distress stain and then some picket fence. Added various background stamps of Paper Artsy splodges, coffee stains and clocks.

Using a piece of Tim paper I inked with brushed corduroy stain , sprinkled on some walnut stain distress powder, flicked and rubbed of some of it and then heated.  

Once it was cool, gave it another rub over and added some dried marigold stain on top of that.  Ran it through the cogs die, added some bits of ideology and glued everything down with my glue gun.
I'm not sure it's what I was trying to achieve and I'm not sure it's really steampunk, I think it needs much more metal and sprockets and springs to give it more of a  "clanky victorian look" and I think I wanted to make something 3D that suggested movement like a lady dancing in a jewel box (am I talking gibberish - do tell me and I'll stop).

Right that's it I've spent far too long agonising over it  - time to move on to the next challenge: is it going to rain again today and what do I wear to the rugby?



Saturday, 10 September 2011

Love, what is the meaning of this love?

Love, such an interesting word with so many different emotional responses to it's utterance and interpretation of  what it means.  Suffice to say it means different things to different people and the strangest things get done in the name of love.

OK Saturday philosophy lesson over, down to art!

Sunday Stamper this week was Love, I could have gone girly romantic (not my natural state but I can do) or do I go a bit grungy (happier)??

Started off with a tag which had white dabber streaked down it and then one of my new Distress Stains - Victorian Velvet put on top (it was well juicy as it was new).  Little bit of Aged Mahogany added as well.  Tim's music score was stamped on top in Aged Mahogany Distress Ink and a little bit of Black Soot ink round the edges. 

I covered some scrap card with Aged Mahogany Distress Stain, stamped the wings in Black Soot Distress Embossing powder.  cut them out and added some gunmetal stickles.

Underneath the heart (a PaperArtsy die heavily inked with Fired Brick, Aged Mahogany and Black Soot) is a very old stamp essentially a heart surrounded by text.  I stamped on some red distressed card and embossed in clear and then put Black Soot over the top. I added some gunmetal stickles to the plain heart but when it dried it didn't look right  hence the large heart to cover up the "design mistake"!

The banner at the bottom was from Tim and then I just added the words  - my heart is. 

So although the look is quite grungy, I'll accept the sentiment is quite girly romantic!

Right busy weekend ahead with family commitments which means not a lot of time for crafting but I'm sure I'll manage to squeeze something in at some time!



Thursday, 8 September 2011

But there's no stamping!

Scrapbooking was where I first entered the papercraft world as we know it, but I struggled, really struggled as I didn't seem to have any stories to tell or at least not the type of stories most scrapbookers were telling.  I don't have or will have children, it's just me, the husband and two cats and well there is only so many layouts of me, the husband and two cats a woman can do!

So the story telling bit didn't happen (and then I found stamping, but that's a whole new story!) but I still kept taking photographs and really enjoyed (and still enjoy) taking photos of flowers and other interesting things like old wood, buildings, rusty iron work, shells, stone, lichen etc.

So this weekend I decided I wanted to create a bigger piece of art work using one of said photos'.  I recently went to Hidcote Manor in the Cotswolds which has the most marvellous gardens; I've been so many times but love it all and never fail to be amazed by the colour and shapes of the flowers.

I'd taken some nice close shots of some poppies so  knew I wanted to use those and I still love the collage look of scrapbooking using a range of papers layered on top of each other. 

So this is what I created from stash: lots of 12x12 paper and fabric and ribbon and stitching.  

I cut the paper and laid it out on the background to work out how I wanted to arrange all the different shapes - took a photo on my phone so I could refer back as I worked on each piece  distressing the edges and inking them in Aged Photo.  The large yellow piece had Rusty Hinge and Mustard Seed added using the direct to paper method, plus a baby wipe to move it around a bit and some white dabber to tone it down (- thank goodness for white paint, I panicked it was too bright and clashing!)

The photo was colour (the poppy was a deep purple almost black colour with a lime green centre) but I fancied it in black and white so that's what I did!  I also distressed the edges and sanded off some of the printing ink to give a more distressed look.

It was really nice going big and I think at some point I'll make a matching one with a similar photo using the same papers keeping the frame portrait but making the collage landscape.  And yes - NO STAMPING!


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I won and I hope I win again!

Just a quickie to say I was a VERY lucky girl this morning and my comment won the the gorgeous box that France made - see all the details here. And then this evening the oh so creative and inspirational Lin at LB  Crafts is running a give away on her blog for pan pastels!

It's all go in blogland - fingers crossed I'm a lucky winner again!



Friday, 2 September 2011

Home Sweet Home

Houses are quite a strong "thing" for me, I was always rearranging my room (I had the smallest room as I was the only girl) as a child, if I can't sleep I fantasise about decorating friends houses. And I loved (and still love) reading about houses. all the little doors and windows in the Magic Faraway Tree, Pa building the house in Little House on the Prairie and my favourite turn to when stressed with life - Milly Molly Mandy and especially the decorating of the jam storeroom - for the jam of course, not because it was going to be Milly Molly Mandy's first bedroom.

I have quite a few house stamps from PaperArtsy and PaperBag Studios (and I REALLY want the Claudine Hellmuth houses) and of course the Tim Artful Dwellings die.  I've wanted to make a terrace of houses for a little while and the idea has been steadily simmering on the back burner.
I started out painting an IKEA mirror frame in blues and greens. I used lots of watered down gesso over the top to tone down and give it that beach hut washed out look.  Tissue tape around the edge of the frame and Walnut stain over the top of that and round the edge of the frame as well to give it a bit of a grunged up shabby look!

The house were cut from mount board and painted in guacamole and toad hall fresco paint, a light wash of gesso and then stamped in various PaperArtsy stamps. The roofs were a combination of odd bits of embossed metal from previous projects and tissue tape grunge board. All sorts of odds and ends of metal embellishments, buttons and a paper flower were either inked with alcohol ink or left bare to "dress" the houses. Good old walnut stains added round the edges to continue that shabby look.

The"road" is a strip of grunge paper inked in Peeled Paint and shabby shutters distress stains, more watered down gesso wiped on top and the ruler from Tim's Curiosities stamp set stamped in grey stazon (love this - loads).

The flowers at the bottom are PaperArtsy again stamped in grey stazon and cleared embossed and the centres painted in a turquoise sparkling H20( haven't used these in ages - feel some flower stamping and  gentle painting activity coming on!)

Finally the numbers are Tim grunge blocks left over from the ArtsyCrafty day in February painted in white dabber and the numbers in Weathered Wood distress stain. Again more Walnut Stain added round the edges.

I'm really pleased with how it's turned out, the frame is really heavy and chunky and the houses are sort of folksy quirky shabby - a bit like I imagine the houses were in that Faraway Tree!

Anyway it's Friday night, so there's a bottle of rose chilling in the fridge, a trip to Olney tomorrow for haircuts and shopping (ooh I wonder where - perhaps here!) and the rugby season starts this weekend so off to watch Northampton Saints play Gloucester on Sunday at home - Autumn is indeed fast approaching.
Oh and of course there might be some crafting this weekend as well!