Sunday, 30 October 2011

Feelin pinky?

I have to say I haven't been crafting as much as I'd like over the past couple of weeks, the onslaught of dark nights and dark mornings is beginning to make me lethargic and sofa bound.  

Plus I've had a lingering cold / cough that won't go away (I have threatened it with cough syrup, Vick's, the Mitchell boys - but it just laughs and makes me cough more), leaves me so tired I am in bed at 8.30pm most evenings. 

AND I really can't muster up any enthusiasm or ideas to make me get up of the sofa or stay up til say (let's be daring here) 9.00pm to craft!

Yep fair to say I'm feeling sorry for myself and to be honest avoiding the inevitable trip to the docs for stronger drugs (every year is the same).  Having an underlying chronic condition (don't panic it's only diabetes) is shall we say "annoying" sometimes.

Whinge over - are you still with me? 

Yesterday I was determined to make something. A crafty challenge works especially well if you've got no real ideas or want to think about ideas as you sort of just "follow the instructions".  Grungy Monday 24 fitted the bill, I just watched the Tim Perfect Distress video and got the necessary bits out to play with.

Started with a tag and coloured with Worn Lipstick and Dried Marigold Distress Inks. Added the swirls  from the Urban Chic plate in Barn Door Red Distress Ink and used Perfect Pearl over the top.

Then took an ATC and coloured that with Dried Marigold and Barn Door Red Distress Inks. Stamped the tattoo heart from the Urban Chic plate in the new Dried Preserves Distress Stain and used Perfect Bronze over that.

The numbers were inked in Dried Preserve and Perfect Pearls gold used on those. But then I over stamped them again in Dried Preserve as they faded / disappeared on the strip of card and I needed some contrast!

Edged everything with Barn Door Red and Vintage Photo Distress Inks and added some pink (yes pink) ribbon. 

Trying to actually show some "shine" which frankly was the aim of the game is quite hard work in daylight so this last photo goes against all my "you must use natural light" principles for taking photos - but look at the shine on that stamping!

So another day is looming, it's still pitch black outside, I was awake at silly o'clock as I couldn't sleep and of course the clocks have gone back so it's even more silly o'clock, but I love the silence only broken by the birds starting to sing - let's see what happens today.



Sunday, 23 October 2011

Ten minutes!!!!!!!

Ten minutes to make a complete "something" with Tim Holtz products is this week's challenge from Grungy Monday.  Hum, it normally takes me ten minutes to decide on whether to use stains or inks, but a challenge is a challenge.

So taking the advice of Gabrielle I planned ahead.  Selected a set of stamps - mini classics, which sort of dictated the colour scheme (red white and blue) as the stamps have a french theme.

To the pile I added an off cut of white card, a page of text, two tags cut from Tim dies (I always have some knocking around on my desk ready for inspiration to strike), some background paper, embossing ink and black embossing powder, trusty inks and stains in appropriate colours and set the timer.

  1. First cut the base card to 8x8" and then the next layer of old Basic Grey paper a little smaller.  
  2. Die cut the white card with a PaperArtsy die and stamped the postcard card image all over on an angle in Tea Dye Distress Stain. Edged in walnut stain.
  3. Spread some Picket Fence distress Stain on the large manila tag and all over the smaller one.
  4. Added Faded Blue Jeans Distress stain to the large manila tag
  5. Swiped Barn Door Red Distress Stain to the smaller one.
  6. Swiped some Walnut Stain Distress Ink down the book text
  7. Stamped and embossed the Eiffel Tower over the blue and the Mona Lisa on the red
  8. Stuck the white postcard down on the Basic Grey paper, put the text on top of that and stapled the tag to that.
  9. Stuck the Basic Grey down on the base card
  10. Stuck the little tag with some foam pads on top of the big manila tag


If I had time I would have quite liked to added in some journalling / title along the lines of - "So when are you going to take me????"  My dear husband who has conversational french classes every week for the past 5 years keeps promising to take me to Paris so he can practice his french and I can delight the art, architecture, pretending I'm Amelie or Meg Ryan.  

It hasn't happened yet either acting or rugby gets in the way (that's the excuses).  anyway my birthday is on a Saturday next year with no excuses of sport or thespianism (I might have just made that word up) on the horizon so I think we might manage it especially if I waft this under his nose enough times!

And no it doesn't mean I was rooting for France in the Rugby World Cup!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Spooky? Not really

Grungy Monday has returned and the them this week is .... Halloween.  

Halloween - the majority of the UK just doesn't really get it. Perhaps the pagan undertones are just too scary for us! But too be honest when it's teenage kids roaming the streets in Scream masks menacing you for money and causing criminal damage to your property when you don't cough up; so that you are forced to either go out or sit in your own house in the dark in fear of a knock on the door, it seems very removed from the cute candy dress up we see over the pond (phew that was a long sentence - apologies).

So going back to the pagan undertones of the dead walking, of the macabre, the spooky and the downright spine chilling who else does it better than Edgar Allan Poe, so in homage, I give you Raven.

Having acquired the new autumn palette of colours from Mr Holtz (not personally of course, courtesy of Karen at LB) I decided I'd use those on a tag.

Put some of the Ripe Persimmon (orange) on my craft sheet, spritzed with some water and  smooshed the tag through it a couple of times drying in between.  Then with a blending tool I added Seedless Preserve (purple) in the spaces where the orange hadn't stained. Stained a piece of text with Barn Door Red and stuck that down the edge of the tag and dragged a white paint dabber down it to give a bit of streaking.
Then with a craftworks stencil I added Gathered Twigs (brown) towards the bottom and up the side. Finally using black archival I added in some stamped images from Mini Ornaments plate.

The Raven himself was cut from a PaperArtsy die and coloured with Black Soot Distress Stain and Violet Glimmer Mist.  He sits on a torn, inked and scrunched up bit of spare card attached with a staples. 

Mind you Mr Raven might not be Mr Poe's but rather Arabel's Mortimer - still miserable and naughty but perhaps not as scary! 


P.S Joan Aiken has to be one of my all time favourite children's authors, her fantasy novels especially the short stories about Mark and Harriet Armitage and the strange things that happened to them as if they were natural everyday occurences.  Perhaps I'll revisit on the sofa with a cup of tea and some jaffa cakes!

Inspired by nature

 Look at what we were looking at this morning - do you think Tim was inspired to make those new limited release distress inks by the delights of nature?  

Looking forward to playing with said inks later today!


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Get out of jail!

I'm taking a day's annual leave today - why?  Just because I can - aren't I the rebel!

I've had a lovely morning so far and I intend to spend the rest of the day crafting (a little bit of housework just to keep things ticking over of course). But I thought I'd show you the birthday card I made for my oh so fantastic niece who was 17 at the weekend.

I started off with a piece of white card which I embossed in pink with a Tim typeface letters stamp all the way down the card.  When that was dry I went over the top of it with a Black Soot Distress Stain which really set off the pink letters and made them pop!

The Tim butterflies were stamped and embossed in black on old piece of background paper I'd made ages ago with Fired Brick and Barn Door Distress Inks.  The card was originally a parchment colour and a linen effect. 

Distressed the edges with my trusty tonic tool and added some Black Soot Distress Ink round the edges. Used foam pads to mount it on top of the pink letters and voila - one grungy goth emo card (I know I know I am mixing my genres but figured only craft types would be reading not grunge, emo or goths!) 

So just a quick post now I'm off to the craft room to have some fun - I may blog later!



Sunday, 2 October 2011

Pride, honour and egg shaped balls

Challenge over Simon Says Stamp and Show is - men only this week.  No it doesn't mean only men can enter ( I do occasionally let my husband near my craft room - usually to make my birthday card) but that we create something which is a a bit bloke orientated.

So on my desk for a few weeks I've had this inked up rugby image ready and waiting for me to do something else with it.  As you know (if your are that way inclined) the Rugby World Cup is on a the moment in New Zealand.   Rugby is also quite a "big thing in our household", we have season tickets for Northampton Saints and go to every home game and away games - especially long distance like Ireland Wales or Scotland.  So far this season we aren't doing quite as well as we did last season (finalists in the European Heineken Cup) but as we have so many squad players in the World Cup team we are hoping this is a short term blip and perhaps this year is a consolidation year for our newly revamped bigger squad.

Ok sport talk out of the way and back to crafting!

I've had the rugby team stamp for ages from PaperArtsy (fellow rugby fanatics), it so reminds me of a picture of my Grandad from the 1930's in a similar pose with his team (must find that and scrapbook it). I also really love the shabby chic look that you often see Union Jacks or the St George's cross in graffiti style high end expensive art, so thought I'd combine.

Started off with some card that I painted in a light grey acrylic and Pumice Stone Distress Stain. Then using Fired Brick and Bard Door Distress Stains I "painted" a St Georges cross across the card.  Finally stamped the boys in black stazon.

I sewed round the edge of the card in grey thread quite a few times and then distressed it some more with walnut stain ink and heirloom gold perfect pearls spray.  Also smooshed the edges across my craft mat where excess ink and water were as well.

The large tag underneath is an old manila folder  (I have loads knocking around now after we tidied up the study last week). I stamped a Tim ledger stamp at the top and then stamped again down the card using a large post it note to mask off the top bit and just gt the lines. Stamped the numbers in grey stazon (first and second stamping to get the faded look) and inked with walnut ink.  

The background is part of a new project for me.  I make so much stuff (according to my husband) that I'm running out of space to display it, plus I really wanted to get back into using my photographs in my art.  So i thought why not revisit where you started and scrapbooks!  So I've dug out an old 8x8 scrapbook album.  I like the idea of working in this size, tags will sit nicely on this size page and still leave lots of white space which I like.

So cut a piece of 8x8 card and trimmed down a bit.  Using Frayed Burlap and Fired Brick Distress Stains I just painted some colour on and used a baby wipe to move it a round a bit and soften the edges.  Flicked loads of water on from the palm of my hand to get big water stains.   I stamped the pen nibs in black stazon and distressed the edge.  Attached the tag to the background and them stamped three lions down the left hand edge. Finally grounded it all by sticking it all to an 8x8 piece of light brown card.

From something that was sat on my desk for a while with that I like it but what next question mark hanging over it, this has turned out rather nice, grungy and some might say messy (I appreciate that the grungy look isn't every ones cup of tea) but it suits me.

Well I'm feeling much better than I did yesterday, so more crafting, necessary housework and possibly some gardening!



Saturday, 1 October 2011

Have a back up plan

It is fair to say I have felt better than I do at the moment.  

It looks as though myself and most of my team have picked up freshers lurgy because yesterday and today I feel absolutely rubbish, I even don't really want to eat so I know I'm ill. 

Freshers for those of you not in or have been in the UK Higher Education system is induction week for all the new first years starting their degree courses - lots of new germs floating around and it looks as though we've picked them up.

I always say to my team have a back up plan for just in case anything goes wrong when you are teaching - usually that's a technology failure and you have to resort to handouts or even the whiteboard to demonstrate what you are trying to do.
So it's a good job I do what I say and had a tag already made that fitted this weeks Sunday Stamper Challenge - resist. It's not cheating, but good planning!

Stamped the lovely swirly flowery stamp in white embossing powder on the bottom of the tag and then used Weathered Wood and Faded Jeans Distress inks to go over the top. Used a dotty stamp on the top half of the tag in Weathered Wood. 

Used the Paper Rosette and Mini Rosette dies to cut out the flowers, sprayed with a antique gold glimmer spray and added some buttons on top.
Ok a very short post for now, I'm off to put some shorts on and sit out in the garden feeling consumptive in this glorious heat - you do know Mr Weatherman it's October 1st today and I live in the UK don't you?