Monday, 30 January 2012

Fabric is the new paper don't cha know!

So I've been getting into a bit of  sewing vibe recently, just love clanking away on my machine, so much so that my husband was forced to comment on the amount of noise I was making as he was trying to watch TV (my craft room is over the living room) - whoops!

I've got a big sewing project on the go, a quilt no less and I'll share some photo's of that soon, but in the meantime have a look at this.

One of the blogs I follow is this one called Lovely Clusters with the side heading the pretty blog and boy is it pretty.  It really appeals to me because it showcases great photos that inspire the most marvellous colour schemes.  So the latest post was called morose loveliness and the gorgeous mocha and pink tones especially in one of the photo's made me go and get the paints and the inks and the fabric and the threads out. 

The A4 canvas board was one I had knocking around already painted in the right colours, just added a bit more with Fresco Finish Nougat, stamped a script stamp around the edges with some hazelnut ink and then ran a cranberry ink pad round the edge and dragged that in with some cut and dry foam.

Had some corrugated card that I knew I wanted to use underneath whatever I created with paper, fabric, sewing etc.  So ripped it a bit, then ripped another sheet to get it right and put some white paint over the ridges.

Took some white card and used Fresco Finish paint in Mocha Mousse (first layer), Mushroom (second layer not so much so the Mocha would show through) and a smidgen of Vintage Lace (dry brushed on) to give some "lines". Stamped some text in a blue ink and then in cranberry ink this gorgeous flower from PaperArtsy. Sewed some paper text strips on this.

More sewing!  I started with some linen and then added some coffee coloured silk strips and ribbon, then added a strip  of cream silk, and a bit of muslin from an old top on top of those, these created a robust background for the more delicate stuff!

On top a pink silk carrier rod which I unfolded and took the top layer off, some boucle thread in cream and burgundy.  Lots of straight and zigzag stitching (hence the noise). I varied the stitch length and width as well to give even more texture.

Finally added in a small photo of mine, that I'd distressed the edges with and added a layer of Rock Candy Distress Crackle paint.

I really enjoyed making this and I can see some more appearing to use up this stash of fabric and thread I buy every year at the HobbyCraft and Quilt shows at the NEC  And as you know if you've been following Lin and Leandra and their sneaky peaks for ArtsyCrafty this year, fabric is new the paper and even the new metal!



Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Easily distracted

So this week I thought I'd concentrate on finishing one of those outstanding projects I listed a while back.  I've been hankering to do some sewing for a while and with my crafting injury inflicted by the hot glue gun (it's looks horrendous and it itches and aches, but it is healing you'll be pleased to hear) gently guiding fabric through the sewing machine seemed the crafting answer.

All was going well, I'd found the box of fabric strips I'd cut ages ago, ironed them and had  started sewing them together to make long strips that will eventually turn into a strippy shabby scrappy quilt.  And then I took a break and checked out the blogs.

Mistake, big mistake.

I read through Leandra's PaperArtsy blog post on oil pastels and that was it, I had to try mine out (purchased at the NEC last year at the recommendation of Leandra along with a LOAD of fresco paints) and play. So cleared sewing machine and fabric out of the way, found some tags and started scribbling and blending.

She's right you know they are lovely to work with, soft, pliable and easy to blend.  And when you heat to set them, well it's like magic.  You literally see them shine for a second as they melt and sink into the paper, it's worth doing just to see that.
I followed the tutorial for a couple of tags and then became adventurous and did my own thing.

Scribb ked and blended three sections of colour from top to bottom (pinky, purpley and green) and blended them together on the tag and added some white here and there. Did the magic heating thing and smiled :)
I then sprayed Biscotti perfect pearls over a swirly stencil, but it didn't really show the stencil, but did go lovely and shimmery so added a bit more all over the tag.

Put the stencil back on and inked with Persimmon Distress Ink and it looked yummy.  

Stamped the crown from this Lynne Perrella collection in Black Archival and edged the tag with black and teal oil pastels.

I had a small A5 canvas knocking around that had some beige /  brown paint on it.  Added swipes of Persimmon and Seedless Preserves Distress Ink direct to the canvas, added some streaks of oil pastels and white oil pastel through a diamond stencil. On canvas the pastels stay shiny when you heat them, still nice though.  

Finally stamped the large stamp from the same Lynne Perrella collection in French Blue Archival Ink and added the tag carefully (!) with the hot glue gun.

The photo's I'm afraid really don't do the pastels justice - artifical light and all that, but you sort of see (can you???).  I'll try ands take some better ones at the weekend in daylight (ha!)



Saturday, 14 January 2012

Monochrome Magnificence

Well it certainly is a crisp crunchy chilly frosty morning here in the Midlands, I know 'cos I've just nipped out to the back garden in my dressing gown to take some photo's. Us artists eh!

The very talented and very nice Jo has set herself a challenge this year to blog more frequently, she's calling it her BIG Blog Project and the aim is each month is a colour and each week is a letter of the alphabet that will prompt a theme. Go check it out if you haven't seen.

This month is grey.

I like grey (I must do as I have two grey cats, albeit one is a tabby with white and the most gorgeous fawn colours on her that I'd really like to replicate but not sure how easy it would be take her to Homebase paint counter and say match that) in interior design and art, give me a piece of grey velvet and I'll happily stroke that with a silly grin on my face (rather like the cats when we give them catnip!). 

As a colour it's stylish, muted, calm and works with any number of other colours,  but I don't like it when it's in the sky because it's dull depressing and draining!

I made this a little while ago for another challenge which I can't remember what it was but I know I missed the deadline!

I look at this every morning when I'm drying my hair and it makes me smile.  

I love the layers, I love the messy stitching, I love the different textures of paper, felt and silky fabric, I love the photograph (one of mine, I really must do some more photography this year) which is really of bright red poppies but greyed out, I love the stamping and of course I love the colour.

It's an A4 canvas painted in white and a very pale grey which has been distressed with the heat gun to blister the paint in places.

On top is a 10x8 canvas board on top that has been painted in grey, a darker grey glimmer mist sprayed over a stencil and then stamped in grey Stazon .  It you look closely (and you'll have too) there is a random layer of tissue tape which has some card on top that has been heavily stamped with Tim Holtz dressmaking stamps. 
Then  layers of old paper, sari silk and light grey felt cut with a Tim Holtz scallop die and all stitched together. A number of grey buttons from the stash and some old Prima or Maya Road flowers again from the stash.

Right well time to crack on, a big rugby weekend ahead so will be camped on the sofa but before that I have a date with my husband - a breakfast date no less at our favourite American diner!



Thursday, 12 January 2012

Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime is on my side (yes it is)

Time, I've had quite a lot of it since late December, what with the Christmas and New Year break and then the first couple of weeks in January on jury service (interesting, very interesting).  But to be honest I'm beginning to go a bit stir crazy stuck at home and I'm actually looking forward to going back to work (I'll change my tune approximately Wednesday or Thursday next week).

Hels Sunday Stamper challenge this week is Time, so "time" to get all the clock stamps out!  

I started with an A4 canvas board and painted PaperArtsy Fresco paint in chocolate pudding all over. Added a layer of PaperArtsy crackle paint and then topped that with some watered down white acrylic with a small spot of Fresco Haystack to give a creamy top coat. Rubbed back the edges of the board to expose some of the brown.

Added some Walnut Distress Stain over the top in places and added some streaks of Fresco London Bus with a small smidgen of Eggplant mixed in to take the brightness down a bit.

Then I started stamping, I used a Brown Timber Stazon to stamp the tape measure (Clock plates 5 from PaperArtsy) and Cherry Red Stazon to do the watches stamp (Clocks plate 4 from PaperArtsy).  Some of the watches had Fired Brick Distress Embossing Powder on top to add a bit of texture.

The tag had Distress Stain in Burlap, Weathered Wood, Picket Fence, I then stamped the square collage stamp from Clocks Plate 2 in Coffee Archival. 

Over the top of that I added some Fired Brick Distress Stain and then stamped random clocks from all the clock plates in Cherry Red Stazon.  Edged in Walnut stain Distress Ink.

Cut the Weathered Clock form two layers of Grunge Paper and inked over with Black Soot and Fired Brick Distress Stain. Stuck it on top of a circle of acetate old packaging and added the hands.

I love my flying clocks!  Wings cut from old book text using the Heart Wings die, the Rosettes were cut from a sheet of Lost and Found and a clock face added on top made from card inked in Burlap, Fired Brick and Picket Fence with lots of water flicked on. 

So once I made all the elements I needed to stick them down, I wanted some height and I was layering certain elements so I knew I'd be using the glue gun. All was going well until I dropped once of the flying clocks and got hot glue all over my fingers.

Ouch, ouch, lots of screaming and shouting, plunge hands in cold water, ouch.  It is fair to say, it really REALLY hurt. 

So this morning I had a little trip to A&E as the large burn on my finger was still weeping.  The nice nurse dressed it for me and I've now got to check whether I need a tetanus booster (yuck).  Was worth it though as I really like what I created.

I carry my craft battle wounds with pride, I just need to be less clumsy when using the hot glue gun. :)



Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sunshine - please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well woke up this morning to another dreary sludgy grey day.  The only way you can tell it's morning is it's a lighter shade of grey!  I think this afternoon will be a curl up on the sofa and snooze kind of afternoon with lots of tea.

So in order to bring some colour into my day I quickly made this in between having breakfast, having a bath and putting some washing on (I'm a woman, I multi task!)

Started with some white card and misted Mustard Seed Glimmer Mist over a flower stencil. I'm really loving this messy splodged look at the moment, bit Jackson Pollock but less spots and splatters (lordly that's a lot of alliteration, obviously been listening to too much Radio 4)!

Next added a messy oblong of Pumpkin Soup Fresco paint with some Butternut over the top through a diamond stencil. A script stamp over that in Scattered Straw Distress Ink.

On the left of the page I stamped a new stamp got in the LB Crafts sale (sniff sniff) again in Scattered Straw.

Added a strip of yellow / orangey spotty paper edged in Spiced Marmalade and stamped the Grecian stamp in Spiced Marmalade.  The photo is one of mine I think taken yonks ago at the Eden Project.
Distressed the edge of the white card and layered onto some Tulip yellow co-ordinations cardstock.

It is really quite zingy and sunshiny, so rather than put straight in the 8x8 album I think I shall display on my notice board in the craft room (I shall have to clear the noticeboard first but we are on a clear up chuck out operation at the moment so it was on the list!)

Have fun wherever you are and I hope you see a glimmer (or more) of sunshine.



Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Too many projects!!!

Last day of the hols today and I start my 2 week work secondment tomorrow which does mean some lie ins (hurrah), but just look at the state of my desk this morning with a number of projects on the go, these include:

  • a scrappy fabric wreath
  • a post Christmas angel
  • an idea for a "huge" picture for the stairs using hearts
I also need to add to this list of unfinished:
  • the bagpuss scarf (pink and white stripes) being knitted that lives in the living room in the wool basket along with a huge granny square I'm crocheting and some lovely alpaca wool I got from the NEC which originally came from The Toft Alpaca Shop that I want to make a scarf from
  • fabric that I washed and ironed on Monday and got from Sunflower Fabrics at the quilt show NEC that I want to make a lap quilt for the livig room 
  • the fabric strips in the fabric box that I want to make a strippy quilt from
  • challenge ideas for grungy Monday, Simon Says Stamp and Show and there was also a new one which I now can't find (note to self: do what you tell the students to do and use a bookmarking package to save all those nice websites I find). EDITED - found it it is the Artistic Stamper challenge and the theme for January - vintage.
Right need to go and finish some stuff, oh look it's nearly lunchtime!



Monday, 2 January 2012

Anything Goes

It's the last but one day of my Christmas hols and I've just about got into a new routine as a lady of somewhat leisure - work really does get in the way!

One of my "to do's" this hols was to catch up on my blogs and this morning I finally managed to get the list down to 30 posts (it had been over the 500 mark - whoops).  What it does mean is I can again start looking at and taking part in challenges.

I really like challenges they give a focus to my crafting, they REALLY help when the old mojo has gone for a wander and I get to to browse around other peoples work and sometime nice people leave me comments (thank you lovely crafty people)

So since I started the calendar challenge and I'm putting mine in a 12x12 scrap book I needed something for the opening page in order to keep the double spread layout.  I had thought about doing a page listing my goals for this year (notice goals not resolutions) and then I read Hels blog for Sunday Stamper Week 186 which because her mojo has gone walkabout (there should be a missing mojo service where you could post a description and mojo investigators would go out and fine those missing mojo's)  she's extended last week's theme which was "anything"

This is my interpretation - a positive life affirming kick up the bum when I feeling sorry for myself, girl power, invincible, no excuses, putting me first, grab life kinda a page!

I sprayed lettuce colourwash and sour apple perfect pearls over a sheet of white 12x12 and blotted of the excess.  Rubbed some Evergreen Bough Distress Ink through some sequin mesh and stamped the frame in French Ultramarine and the quote in Blue Violet Archival Ink (these were a recent purchase and I LOVE the colours, can see me using these more) and the wings in Evergreen Bough distress Ink.

The tag was made using Mustard Seed and Broken China Distress Ink with some Dried Marigold Distress Ink on the edges.  the ledger stamp was stamped in French Ultramarine Archival and the flourish in Blue Violet Archival. 

I stamped the words on top with Blue Violet Archival.Glued then some staples added.

Some scrap bits of card layered up for the tag to sit on and job done!

I have made goals for this year (part of that doing lists thing) and one of those is to think about the word I want to use to focus life on this year.  Ali Edwards does this and for the past couple of years I've chosen a word.  The first year was ME, last year was SIMPLIFY and this year is LIVE.  Each one builds on the other and yes I admit they are all selfish as they focus on me and what I want to do, but actually doing that makes me a happy sane bunny and that it is a good thing. 

So in order to live this year this is what I intend to do:
  • give my hobbies time 
  • go and look at art
  • include exercise in my live
  • go and explore places I've never been to
  • do things I want to do
  • fill my life with memories
  • laugh and have fun everyday
  • spend time with the people I love and care for
OK Oprah moment over and I leave you with the above photo - see even the cat wants to see what I create (actually he was after the cushion to sit on in the sun).



Sunday, 1 January 2012

January 2012

Did you ever play that game to see how old you would be in 2000 (I'm not telling what I was, you'll have to guess)?  Well I can't believe that was ages ago and we are now in 2012 - isn't it all supposed to be space agey with flying cars and robots?????

As I said I've decided to take part in the calendar challenge so here are my pages for January.  I decided rather than use an art journal I would use up sheets of 12x12 paper and put in a scrap book. I might also combine in the scrap book photo's from the month as well.

As it's still winter and we are likely to get snow I thought I'd do a wintry bluey whitey background.
I used Baltic Blue and Ice Blue fresco paint then spritzed over some Raspberry Blue and Biscotti perfect pearls mist (you can't see anything in these photos as I'm taking them inside with rubbish light).

Used some sequin waste and Ice Blue paint to put some small dots around the edge, then used a white paint dabber to put snowballs on and ran an old credit card through some of them to get lines.Edged round those with a white pen.

Finally stamped one of my favourite Paper Artsy  flower stamps in grey and white and edged both sheets with some Burnt Red Glimmer Mist.

Once I worked out  what size squares I'd need (2x2) I coloured some paper in Baltic Blue and Moonlight, edged them with a Sharpie and added the numbers. 

All a bit of learning curve, but fun.  Just need to write in the squares for the month now!