Sunday, 28 February 2010

February done too....

Yes, I'm feeling quite pleased I've managed to finish February too in the Calendar 365 Challenge. I won't go as to far to say that I'm that organised that I have my March pages all ready and waiting .......because I haven't. I'm sure I'll get there, I did last month. I think March will be a little crazy and I'm not sure if 1.5" squares are going to big enough to record it all but I'll try. I've also been enjoying a bit of experimenting using some tags. I covered one with a book page and inked using distress inks. I then cut out a butterfly image and added some wire antennae and some decorative red pearls. I painted some white gesso so I could stamp the butterfly quote from The Artistic Stamper. The second tag uses distress inks which have been spritzed with water. I die cut the button shapes from grungepaper and painted with acrylic before finishing with glossy accents.

A bit more experimentation...... I have to say that I have found die cutting grungepaper a bit tricky so for this flower using Tim Holtz as inspiration I hand cut the flower shapes. First I covered the grungepaper with a book page and then drew my flower shapes and cut out. I added a bit of ink around the edges and a metal flower and brad at the centre. I thought it would make a pretty brooch so I added a brooch fitting to the back and have been wearing ever since.
Onward and upward into March........

Monday, 22 February 2010

Not So Heavy Metal

After using some lightweight sticky backed metal in a recent workshop it's really made me want to use it more in my projects. Today I needed to make a birthday card so I thought I'd try making a metal monogram. I used a chipboard alpha as a template and cut out the 'S' in lightweight card and covered in the sticky backed metal. Next I used my swiss dot cuttlebug embossing folder to give it a bit of texture and rubbed a bit of black acrylic paint over it to give a bit of an aged look. I mounted it on a large card circle backed with another large pinking circle, both from the nestabilities range.

It was quick and simple to do and ideal when you're stuck for an idea. I think I'll be using it again although I need to invest in some more manly embossing folders, swiss dots was the best I could do although it was better than roses and florals.

It seems I'm not the only one with an interest in metal this week Alana has some lovely cards and ATCs using embossing techniques at The Little Blue Shed she also shares a good tip for squishing bottle caps.

This little square birthday card is sized to fit inside the box that I made to present the minibook I shared in the previous post. Following on with the metal theme I gold embossed the sequin waste stamp, a technique I haven't used in ages. I decorated the lid of the box in a similar way. I then inked the edges of the card with distress inks as well as the stamped image.

Sorry about the poor images I'm still in scanning mode and I have a punch update - it's in bits, Mr Fixer says it's beyond repair. Do I go the expense of buying another or resort to good old scissors in the future?....

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Third Time Lucky?

It's been one of those weeks where if something is going to go wrong then it has. This minibook is for a friend's birthday and was my third attempt at an idea. The first involved a square wooden box that I very nicely painted and then ruined with some over enthusiastic stamping. They say that there are no mistakes in crafting only happy accidents. Let's just say I was one unhappy crafter.

On to attempt number two which involved a circular wooden box. I duly prepared the box for painting only to discover that the hinge was less than perfect..........which leads me onto my third and final attempt a minibook with pages cut with the nestabilities large scalloped circles. I'm going to make my own cardboard box to present it in ;-)

I apologise for the poor picture I had to scan the minibook minus the bookring which was holding the pages together as it was too bulky.

The reason I had to scan rather than photograph? Oh yes, I've experienced more of those 'things come in threes' incidents. At the beginning of the week my camera decided to have a funny moment and hasn't recovered since. This was followed by my beloved flower punch. Yes, those of you with punch envy need not experience it anymore. I have the Mr Fixer of the house working on it as we speak and I have my fingers crossed that it will pull through but it's not looking good. Then to top it all I wrecked a favourite journaling stamp................these things are sent to try us.

Moving on and trying to sound more cheerful I have completed another two weeks of the 52 in 10 project I'm working on. They are a bit mixed up and out of order but some prompts take a bit more thinking about than others. On the up side they are the perfect size to be scanned as I decided to make my album with pages 8.5"x11" rather than 12x12 - result! Something has gone right.

This prompt asked how music features in your life. I think music does evoke memories and I often associate a certain song with a particular time or event. I love using song lyrics to inspire a layout. Song titles also make great layout titles. On this page I decided to feature the first record I ever bought - Dancing Queen by Abba. It also reminds me of my Nan as it was one of her favourite songs. I made and printed my own record using Says It an online image maker using my own text.

This prompt asked are you like someone in your family? Scarily I have to say yes. My Mum and I share many similar mannerisms but I think our characters differ. We do share a love of crafting though and I'm thankful for all the things she taught me when I was young like sewing and knitting. Without that I'm sure I wouldn't have the love I have today for all things crafty.

I'm currently working on another prompt featuring family heritage which I hope to share soon. If you fancy taking part in the project you can find the 52 in 10 prompts here at Dolly's Dreamings

Monday, 15 February 2010

Inky Fingers

This weekend I had a great time at the alcohol ink workshop at Pickleberry Papercrafts. We learnt lots of different techniques taught by Jennie which we made into a sample tag book. Here are some of my favourites. I love the effect of the metal embossed in the cuttlebug embossing folder and then inked and my favourite was the double stamping technique. We used the text stamp as the background and over that stamped the image which allows the background to show through. We also got to ink and decorate a tin. I chose to ink mine in bright raspberry and watermelon with a splash of metallic silver. The text, butterflies and lace are all stamped in black archival ink over the top and all come from The Artistic Stamper The new lace stamps are really gorgeous and one just happened to fall into my shopping basket along with the new sequin waste stamp.
While I was at the Pickleberry shop I just had to pick up some grungepaper. I thought I'd try some out on a birthday card so I ran some through the cuttlebug in the textile folder and inked with faded jeans distress ink. It's hardy stuff! I'm looking forward to trying out some more techniques with it.

I'm glad to say my fingers are now looking normal. I was worried for a while that I would be wearing the Ranger look for ever more :-)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Love Is in the Air

It's nearly Valentine's Day or should that be St. Valentine's Day? Either way I don't go in for all the manufactured rubbish that you can buy while filling up at the petrol station or doing your weekly supermarket shop. However, it is a good excuse to make this altered canvas. I suppose it's only slightly altered, it is still a canvas afterall, but I've used it the other way around. It's covered with book pages (yes, it's that book can you see Foo Tang anywhere?) and then has a layer of gesso painted over the top. The edges I distressed a bit with metallic silver paint. As I've used the reverse of the canvas it creates a 'nook' that I have then been able to mount a small calico pillow that I made giving a 3D look. I transferred the image onto the natural calico using a photocopy of the photo and acrylic gel medium. I then machine stitched around the edge and filled it with stuffing and finished it by hand stitching small red seed beads around the edge.
I used more of the paper roses I've been making inset around the edge and added a small ladybird button. The heart was one I made at the UTEE workshop I went to recently and I added the cut out wings and a pretty button. Quite minimal but I like it.
This is another paper rose but I've been experimenting by adding some florist wire and tape to make them into proper roses. This one has added sparkle with stickles too.
I may make a card but if I do I don't think it will feature the cherubs of a Victorian Valentines like the one below - it will be something much more simple. I do know that we will be tucking into M&S Valentine's Dine in for Two, will it be romantic probably not but very yummy - Coquilles St Jacques, Steak and Chunky Chips (well, you have to give a little), Summer Berry Hidden Centre Desserts not forgetting the Rose Cava and box of chocolates.
Whatever you do Happy Valentines Day.

Monday, 8 February 2010

An Art Doll

In the latest copy of The Craft Stamper there is an article all about making art dolls. I'd been wanting to make one for a while and had thought about ordering some character stamps or stamps of body bits (not as macabre as its sounds!) but using this article I had everything to hand and was ready to go.
A while ago I was very lucky to find some vintage wooden cotton reels in a charity shop which cost me about 50p each. I wish I'd bought more. I'd used all the cotton from the one used in this project so I wrapped some checked ribbon around it which was just the right width. The body is painted with acrylics and then stamped with a great stamp from the PaperArtsy minis range (MN20). It's a small section of a paper sewing pattern.
I added a tiny torn piece of a book page which is always going to make me smile when I look at it, it says 'Foo Tang'. I bought a book specifically to use in craft projects and it almost seemed like vandalism to tear it up. However, once I'd torn out the first page I got over it and I always have a little read of the page. Foo Tang features alot and amazingly was even printed on both sides of this tiny scrap of paper. I then added some stickers saying ' I Love To Create'. The wings are made from a free heart stamp I got with a magazine stamped onto watercolour paper and coloured with H2Os and the face is a stamp by Hampton Art stamps which I've had for ages. The final stamp I used was a royal crown by Pink Paislee which I decorated with some pearls and jewels. My finishing touch is a flower which I made and finished with a felt ball centre.
......and if you're wondering how she stands in the cotton reel I used a wooden coffee stirrer stuck to the reverse - now I know why I squirrel these things away.

Friday, 5 February 2010


Today is a very good friend's birthday - Happy Birthday K :-) I made this beaded ring for her birthday after she admired my prototype. It's nestled in the box so it's quite difficult to see but it's in shades of grey. I decorated the papiermache box in the same paper as I used on her birthday card and trimmed with some ribbon and paper rose. I've already received a message that she likes it so that makes me happy.
This is the birthday card I made. I took part in the 12 days of christmas online workshop at The Copy and Paste Project and part of the project included some really lovely templates for making paper doll type images and projects. They really appealed to me and I'm looking forward to making more. As my friend likes reading I made my image, (nicknamed Dotty by me!) into a removable bookmark and put a little note inside the card letting her know that it's only held in place by the photocorners. The 'Hello' is a favourite stamp of mine by Basic Grey.

I picked up the latest copy of The Craft Stamper today and as always it's got some great techniques to inspire me, my only problem is time. I can't quite seem to be able to knit, stamp, sew and paint all at the same time. I have so many ideas in my head I need to write them all down before I forget them.....

Monday, 1 February 2010

Shake your tailfeather

.....that's the song that kept going through my head as I was making this little felt birdie brooch and ok so he hasn't got a tailfeather more of a tailribbon but I did contemplate the feather. I think I could end up with a whole collection of these maybe I'll include that feather in one.

With Spring nearing, although it certainly didn't feel like it today I thought I'd use some spring like colours to make a birthday card. I stamped the flowers and chinese vase onto watercolour paper and coloured the flowers with yellow cosmic shimmer watercolour paint. I don't know if you can see very well in the photo but I then sewed a tiny black seed bead in the centre of the flowers. Yellow isn't normally a colour I use but I thought it looked good with the black card that I matted the stamped image on. The finishing touch, some tied yellow organza ribbon. I have another card to share later in the week.

I really must get my February page ready.....