Saturday, 26 April 2014

Men are hard but teenage boys are impossible!

Hi all

I have a friend who has three teenage boys who I make the birthday cards for, this is a challenge!  I know them but I don't know them, if you get my drift.  Trying to keep up with their interests and likes and dislikes is a full time job, so... Its Josh's birthday so thats three cards, one from his parents, one from his brothers and one from us.

Don't get me wrong I love all of them and I enjoy making the cards for them but until inspiration strikes its a struggle.  Today I had finished the card for his Mum and Dad and was considering the one from his brothers when I found a sheet of stamps I recently bought at Stamp Addicts in Bedfordshire and the little grey cells began to fire up.

This stamp sheet has a skull, top hats, moustaches and glasses all crying out to be decoupaged and glazed.  The Hats have been triple embossed with embossing powder to give a nice shine.  The glasses have also been embossed. The hats were stuck onto the skulls and then mounted onto some curled wire to give some movement.

The background was made using a Clarity Stamps stencil and mask and distress inks.

Hopefully this will make them laugh, it certainly made me smile.


Friday, 25 April 2014

Vintage 'Nature's Garden' panels Workshop

Hi all,

Yesterday I attended a workshop organised by Country View Crafts and run by Brenda Brown.  We were using the new burlap panels from Tim Holts by Ranger.  We had four of them to work on and Brenda had made some fab samples for us to base our efforts on.

The theme was nature so lots of foliage, birds and insects.  Grunge paste was also on the menu, useful as I had just bought some and was in two minds what to do with it other than spread through a stencil.

Although we were following the instructions Brenda had printed out for us it was amazing how each persons efforts were totally different....fab.  The workshop was from 10 till 4 and after a very enjoyable day full of inky fingers, lovely cake and gallons of tea we had produced our own works of art.

I'd just like to say thanks to Susan and Brenda for a fabulous day, looking forward to the next one ladies.


P.S. Ive still got green fingers!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wednesday Witterings

Today is Wednesday and the weather is still SUNNY.  The wind however is still cold, so you cannot have everything.  Still enjoying our break at Belton Woods Hotel.  Had a little jaunt into Lincoln yesterday to see the swans...saw ONE!  Caitlins friend is at Lincoln University and keeps saying how many swans there are, so do they take them in during the university vacations?

As I have mentioned Caitlin will be 18 this year (scary thought) and of course many of her friends will join her,  although some of her Top Hat (weekend stage school) friends are already 18. Todays offering is the card I did for the friend at Lincoln University.  Like most of Caitlins group she is a thespian and likes things a little over the top so...

I love the sentiment on this as at 18 it is very appropriate 'Life gives you wings, learn to fly'.  the back ground is made with distress inks and overstamped with mushrooms and grasses from Indigo Blu.  The head belongs to the birthday girl and was mounted on a small spring so she can nod to everyone. The wings and crown are from the Tim Holtz die fanciful flight - I think.

A bit of steampunk never goes amiss so the stop for the easel card is decorated with cogs and gears.  The colour scheme is one of my favourites, I love pink and blue but not the pastel kind but strong vibrant colours like picked raspberry and peacock feathers.


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Packing, shopping and the art of juggling

Friday spent packing for all the family, why is it that no-one else can pack a bag? We are spending a few days in Lincolnshire at Belton Woods Hotel in one of the lodges and my sister and her family are coming to join us so we will be a party of 7.  With her 7 year old twins it will be an action packed few days.

I did manage to whizz down to Alexandra Palace to the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show.  Even though I got there for opening time on Saturday (10am) it was still busy so after lunch it must have been heaving!  I only managed an hour and a half as I had to get home to drive us to Lincolnshire that afternoon.

I had a speedy shop and picked up some fantastic bits and pieces, lots of embellishments, some dies and some book ring note books to personalise, but the best purchase was the MDF pocket watch clock.  I'm going to alter this for my daughter for her room at university, she is due to start next September (scary thought).  If I like how it comes out I'll post it at a later date.

Well the exhibit for today is another mens card, there's a surprise! This was for my brother-in-law who dare I say it is younger than my sister so a timely card was the order of the day.  

The topper and backing papers are tatty teddy (I think!) and the distressed clock face is from the Tim Holtz Sizzix die.  The envelope was decorated by stamping the pocket watch stamp, from Clarity Stamps, and masking the images and over stamping to make it look as though there is a pile of watches.

Just sitting watching the London Marathon, note the operative word...watching! Also been watching the Masters at Augusta, wow that course is beautiful, seen the trend there?  I watch sport I don't do, well crafting keeps me plenty busy. Lol


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Those Pesky Men!

Men, don't you just love them?, well until you have to make a card for them.  I really struggle with this as there don't seem to be that many men in my family.  Its always for someone else's family so I don't know them that well and I like to make cards that are relevant to the person receiving the card.

My friends husband is a case in point, I know what he does but who wants a 'work' card for their  birthday, so I had to try something else.  Then I remembered my friend said he likes cars and VOILA a card was born.  Oh a bit over the top that, but there you go:

The background paper is a page from the road atlas we used to use before the invention of satellite navigation.  Just hope we don't need it any more (especially as I haven't told him in doors that I've pulled several pages out ).  I then roughed up the edges and scrupled it up a bit, flattened it out and inked with walnut stain distress ink.  This was mounted onto brown mirri card and a maroon ribbon wrapped round.

I die cut the sentiment using Britannia Dies word sets and glued it in place.  The car is a piece of decoupage from the Hobbies and Pastimes set from Hunkydory that just happens to have a matching stamp, how convenient.  I just hate plain envelopes so I used the stamp and coloured it with pro markers.  Job done!

So one mans' card down lots to go.......does anyone play golf?


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A little bit Steampunk!

My daughter Caitlin is busy doing her final exams for her A levels at the moment and came home the other day and asked if I could make her some paper roses.  They had to be made with paper that had text on it as her project was about reading.

Anyway several hours later there were two sprigs of roses and three larger blooms sitting in my craft room.  Once she had finished the photo shoot I was graciously allowed  to have them back so I decided to have a play with them.

I have just completed Tim Holtzs' on-line Creative Chemistry 101 and Creative Chemistry 102 Courses and I was keen to try out some of the techniques that I learnt.  This one was to make something look old and rusty.

This is what I ended up with:

The canvas was first sprayed with distress re-inker that had been put into a small spray bottle and diluted with water.  once this was dry I used a stencil and stencil paste to put some texture down the left side of the canvas then laid some gilding flakes over the top and gently pressed them into the paste and left the paste to dry.  When this was dry I rubbed off the excess flakes which then revealed the shape of the stencil.

The scroll and the sentiment were stamped onto tissue paper, coloured and roughly torn from the sheet, rough edges look less obvious, then pasted onto the canvas with Slap It On matte from Indigo Blu.

To make the roses look rusty I wiped over the rose with aVersaMark ink pad then sprinkled vintage photo distress embossing powder onto the ink and melted it with a heat gun.  Distress powder has release crystals in it that can be rubbed off when the embossing is cool and gives a very shabby look, sooooo cool.  A little bit of Pebeo Renaissance gilding wax to touch the edge of the petal and hey presto old rusty metal roses, I love crafting!!!

These were then added to the canvas along with a couple of metal charms and a sentiment light bulb from Junkyard Findings.  To make the bulb looked cracked I covered it with rock candy distress crackle paint.

I think I may even hang this somewhere in the house.  I may have to fight with my daughter though as she has already laid claim to this one!  Well thats all for today. Thanks for looking.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Hels Sheridans' blog challenge

A new day a new challenge, I am having a go at Hels Sheridans blog challenge.  The theme is nature.

Having to think of a design for such a large subject is hard as my brain just goes off on a wander and tries so many ideas that it can come out a bit of a mess, however having reigned in my imagination and stuck to one idea here is what I came up with:

The fields are made using masking tape and tearing it to get a rough edge then inking over the top with various shades of green and yellow.  Then add a sun template and use a brayer to give a cool sky.  This background has just been used by Barbara Grey, so thanks for the demos on Create and Craft.  

I then stamped some branches and grasses in archival ink, oh and a hare!  Then using the Tim Holtz garden greens die, I cut the large stem in brown card and then trimmed off the leaves to keep the autumnal feel and mounted them over the top of the scene.

The toadstools are from a ClarityStamps set, I stamped in black ink and embossed with clear embossing powder.  They were then coloured with pro markers and the tops covered with Rangers Glossy Accents.  I then cut them out and  mounted them with silicone glue on top of the scene.

Hope you like it.


Monday, 7 April 2014

Who'd have thunk - Day 2

Yes its day 2! and they said it wouldn't last.

As I said yesterday I attended a workshop with Hels Sheridan on the many uses of the melt pot.  Although I have used the pot with UTEE I hadn't ventured into the sticky realms of bees wax.

Well the first thing we were going to do was play with wax, Hmmm!  Now I have to say it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be and not as smelly, I'm not a fan of honey, wax polish or anything else bee related - including the bees! However I think I would say I'm a convert, it was easy to apply once you got your head round the fact it sets really quickly (so no faffing about) and don't put too much on in one coat.

Well we set about planning a canvas and after a little extra work at home after the workshop here's what I came up with.

Both canvases were painted with acrylic paint using a palette knife to give some texture then set aside to dry.  The various images were stamped onto tissue paper and then applied to the canvases with the hot wax.  This was the most nervous stage as I didn't want to tear the paper but that manged the piece was left to dry and then buffed to give a soft shine.

The various leaves and metal flowers were dipped in coloured UTEE to produce something that looks like stained glass, very cool!  The paper flower was dipped in clear UTEE and took on the appearance of porcelain.  These were applied to the piece with hot glue.  

I added a few self adhesive pearl swirls and the blank face, again made with coloured UTEE and a silicon mould, and finished with black acrylic paint round the edges.

I would like to thank Hels Sheridan, Crafting Time in Shepreth, and my fellow crafty ladies for making it a really lovely day.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Tim Holtz 12 tags of 2014 - April

I am very new to blogging so if this looks awful my apologies.  

I've decided that now I've got to 50 and a half (55) I'm going to try all those things I've not done yet.  One of those things is having a blog.  I don't even have a Facebook page cos if I want to speak to someone I'll ring them or pop round.  Then I thought I sound like my Mum who doesn't even like texting so here we go!

I decided to have a go at one of the tags for 2014.  My interpretation is with a rather more vibrant colour scheme so here it is:

I used spiced marmalade, spun sugar and scattered straw distress stain for the background and then applied some tissue tape.  I then coloured the tape with wild honey distress ink.
I die cut the trellis and covered it with some of the french industrial paper stash.  In hind sight it may have been easier to attach the paper first then die cut but I have never done things the easy way!

The flowers were made using the tattered florals die.  I stained a sheet of paper that already had script printed on it with spiced marmalade and scattered straw distress ink then cut three each of the large and small flowers.  Using Hels Sheridans method for making paper roses I made the flowers up and dipped them into clear UTEE in the melt pot.  (Love the melt pot, just did a workshop with Hels and am back in love with this little magic pot!)

The leaves are from the large sprig on the garden greens die which it chopped into small pieces and crumpled up, then dipped into the UTEE.

These were added to the tag along with a couple of musical notes and a treble clef cut from black card.

The tad was finished with walnut stain distress ink around the edges to highlight the centre of the tag and a piece of jute ribbon secured with a square brad.

There you have it, I enjoyed making this so I hope someone likes it.