Monday, 31 October 2011


Friend's birthday in two weeks and she has a passion for notebooks so I thought I would personalise one for her using my beautiful Graphic 45 papers.  No stamping on this one, just a bit of cutting, design and embellishments.  didn' go over the top on the steampunk look as she is a much more conventional crafter than me.

Papers, images, a few cogs and a bookplate adorn the front with name in Grungeboard letters.  Was a bit of a pain taking the binding off but even more putting it back so that the pages turned freely.

Back page is just papers and cut out images.  Afraid the colours look a bit washed out and are much more vibrant in reality.  Have to make her a card now and have no idea what to do.

Had a brilliant day yesterday in the sunshine in Southport - no pictures I'm afraid as I forgot to take my camera, but I did enjoy the autumn sun.  We had a long walk by the lake, fish and chips lunch and then a wander down Lord Street.  Just so relaxing to sit in the sun at a roadside cafe, drinking coffee and watching the world go by - very continental.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Cuter when scruffy?

Sorrel went to the groomers Thursday as she was getting a bit too scruffy.  Now I like a scruffy dog - shows they have fun on their walks - but when her hair starts to get in her eyes and she comes back from her walk covered in mud (she is a low-slung dog ha ha) and decides to rub it off on the sides of my sofa then it is time for a cut.

Here she is before the groomers; a very shaggy dog.....

..... and here she is all clean and tidy.

Looks like a different dog - maybe they swapped her when I wasn't looking.
Now she wont stay like that for long, surprised she has managed to keep clean for a full day.  She only needs a woodland walk, meet a doggy pal and roll over on her back and she is filthy - but still gorgeous.

I'm off out now to the charity shop - need a book to read and may get one to alter as well - mmm inky fingers and messy paints, don't you just love it?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Whats on your Workspace Wednesday 125

For a change this week I'm going to show what I've been doing instead of what I've bought and my Workspace this week is a bit messy as I decided to make a couple of Christmas cards and (big mistake here) use gold leafing flakes.
If you think glitter's a bit of a pain don't go anywhere near this stuff.  I love the effect you get but it clings to everything and this is one example of a little definitely going a long way - on my clothes, on my shoes, on the floor, all over the table etc, etc.

I bought the stamp from a local craft shop that was closing down - as if I needed another Christmas stamp - as I wanted to do a stained glass window effect and the design was just what I needed.  Stamped on acetate, added double-sided adhesive sheet and piled on the flakes.

Hard to see the effect in the photos because of reflections but I took a couple of close-ups as well.

The first one is different shades of pale gold.

Whilst the second has a darker, richer look - I prefer the second one with the rose tones and will probably mount it on dark red/burgundy card.

Must admit that Christmas cards are not my favourite cards to make, I have a shoe box full of stamps (mostly unmounted) and at one time made all my own but now I only make a handful of 'specials' - would rather play with my inks and paints than start a production line.  Like this stamp though and will get out some of my background papers and have a go on those.

Last week on Julia's massive blog hop over at Stamping Ground I was 50th on the list, lets see what number I am this week.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Less is more - Polkadots

I've been a bit of a numpty (technical term) this afternoon as I wanted to enter the Less is More challenge  which I thought was cocktails, at least it was when I was browsing yesterday and I thought I had the perfect stamp -well two stamps really .
Being more of a 'less is not enough, it needs a few more embellishments, lots more stamps and a bit of glitter' girl I haven't done this challenge before so I didn't realise that the challenges run Saturday to Friday so I made the card, came on here to post and blow me down with a force 9 gale it is now Polkadots - back to the drawing board then.

All was not lost as I got out my white pigment pen and gave the LBD a bit of a makeover so I hope it's not cheating to use the card for the new challenge.

I made a template for the cocktail glass and sponged Adirondack Sunset Yellow and Watermelon through it and added Glossy Accent bubbles.  The elegant lady is from a plate by 'I Brake for Stamps' and the word stamp came from a dutch firm.

Phew - think I recovered that one - must do better next time.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Whats On Your Workspace? Wednesday 124- Steam Punk Day

Welcome to my desk for this week's WOYWWs hosted by the fantastic Julia at Stamping Ground.
Bit of a mixture today as I've just finished my Steam Punk box from the Paper Artsy weekend and am getting ready for my next playtime.

So we have some watch-parts, cogs, pen nibs, some gorgeous lace I bought on Sunday, bottles for altering (some time), some cotton reels, a beautiful owl charm, a couple of plastic, and very realistic looking bugs and Neet's spindle challenge.  Have sorted out what I'm going to do on this one thank goodness so 'all' I have to do is make it - not telling which of the above bits I am going to use on it.

Very pleased with the way my steam punk box has turned out, especially as I have not done anything like this before.  My nature is to be neat and tidy not at all grungy but I enjoyed doing this, especially the little touches at the end of the project so I may be converted now.

I know there is another set of workshops this weekend but as the sample photos are up on the Paper Artsy shop website, and have been for some time, I'm not giving away any secrets by showing you what I did. so here is the full piece (apart from thebrass knob at the very top which for some reason I cropped off the photo).
The boxes are from one of Tim's large configuration boxes, re-jigged in shape and stuck together before painting and beautifying (which is what my Dad used to call painting and decorating).  Most of the boxes are filled following the Paper Artsy example at the class as I couldn't have kept up if I had gone my own way - takes me an hour or so to chose stamps for a card sometimes so would have had no chance with this.
I did chose and mix my own colours and added a few touches of my own though and more at home yesterday when I was finishing it off.

This is a side view with my addition of a watch part for the face of this stamped metal.

Also added the coiled watch spring to the hanging key, the netting wrapped 'thingy' to the right of the stamped man (who appears to have developed a few chicken pox scars on his face from my poky-tool), and a few cogs here and there.  My favourite bit of the whole thing is the brass watch part pinned to the front as the engraving is so beautiful and the shape (thistle?) so pretty so when I found it it had to go in right at the front.

A few more close-ups for you: -

....and finally...

The back, covered in Ferro paste - cool heh?   The whole shape reminds me of a factory building which is quite appropriate given that the theme is grungy industrial.

Gosh what a lot of photos, hope you managed to make it to the end of the blog this week.  I'm off to tour the world on Julia's massive blog hop now  - cup of tea and a biscuit ready.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Paper Artsy weekend

I spent a fruitful if tiring day yesterday at the Warrington Paper Artsy workshop. Have wanted to attend in the past but a full weekend is a bit too much time out for me so was doubly pleased when they split this one into separate days.
Was tempted by the Lynne Perella class but thought it might be a bit beyond my capabilities so opted the Steampunk project with Lin and Leandra.  Have never done anything remotely steampunkish before so it was a challenge to myself.  Here's a sneek peek.

It was a very full-on day and I was a gnat's whisker (is that a mixed metaphor?) away from completing it but my back was giving my gyp by 5:30 so I slowed down and packed up.  I have all the other bits and pieces ready so this is one project I will finish - will try to get it done for Wednesday ready for WOYWW.

Can recommend the Paper Artsy events, different projects delivered by two talented, and helpful tutors  - roll on next June for the next one.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Is it just me or....

....does this handsome man look like he is sitting on the loo, and not only that, having a bit of trouble as well?

Miserable day here yesterday but we took the weather forecasters at their word (said it would brighten up quickly) and went to Dunham Massey (National Trust) in Cheshire.  They were wrong! It didn't stop and we got a bit damp. Still, the wood sculpture was worth the walk as was this knarrled old root (no not Mr B).

Sorrel enjoyed herself, well she liked the walk and the smells (again, not Mr B) but she isn't keen on getting wet.

We did manage to see a couple of deer but the majority were hidden in the bracken, not that I was too bothered as the thought of confronting a stag at this time of year is a bit off-putting, this little beauty though was rather sweet.

Not in very much of an arty mood at present so after a morning's ironing (winter clothes out of summer storage in the loft) I'm going to tuck myself in the conservatory and read this afternoon.

Will save the arty inspiration for Sunday when I am going to the Paperartsy weekend in Warrington (well one day was all I could afford, money and time-wise) for a workshop day.  First time so I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Whats On Your Workspace? Wednesday - 123

Week  123 (it's so easy, like taking candy, from a baby*) of Julia's fantastic blog-hopping journey over at Stamping Ground and what a hectic week it has been for me.
Mr B's birthday last Wednesday so we had a great day out with scrumptious lunch then preparing for the arrival of family for the weekend so the craft stash had to be tidied away Thursday and it's taken me two days this week to find where I hid it all.  In fact I searched for 2 hours yesterday to find the spindle Neet sent me to alter - how can you lose a piece of wood 8 inches long?  Don't know but I managed it and only found it after a brainwave.  Just keep calm Ann and think about what else you had on your desk - paper, not there, stamps, not in with those.  Eventually ended up opening all of my craft drawers before finding it - tucked away with my lace???

So not a lot on my desk this week, well not a lot of my stuff but it is covered with the yards, and yards of ribbon, fibres and lace, not to mention buttons and assorted brads I won in Cath Wilson's blog candy draw last week  It arrived on Saturday but I couldn't have a proper look until now. Lots of lovely unravelling to do today then - goodness knows where I'm going to store it as I already have a boxful.

Back to the weekend - it was a great time as we were celebrating not only Mr B's birthday but eldest Grandson George plus the youngest addition to the family, Kitty Ann who is one year old today.  The family travelled up from Bristol for a couple of nights and a family get-together.

George is now 15 and we wanted him to decorate his own cake.  Couldn't get a plain white sponge so we compromised with one which had a few roses in the centre - should have seen his face when he saw it ha ha.  The rose came off and we provided him with a couple of tubes of ready icing a a bag of Halloween horrors.

Not a traditional cake but he (and Thomas - 7) loved it, especially the blood round the base of the centipede, blood coming out of the central skull's eyes and the brown bits (don't ask) behind the spider.

* 123 was the title of the Len Barry song in the 60's - one of my favourites - can't see the numbers in sequence without breaking into song.

Enjoy your week everyone - I'm going back to bed for a week to recover.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Crafty Individuals October Challenge - Wings

I missed last month's challenge - time runs so fast. especially when you are my age ha ha - so I was determined to have a go this month where the theme is 'Winged things'.   Had lots of ideas for this but finally settled on angels and made a hanging.

Not a lot of stamping on this one apart from the sentiment which a friend gave me last week - untouched.  It isn't a CI stamp but one designed by the now defunct Katy's Corner, however most of the rest of the piece are CI products.

The frame (CI) was coloured with acrylic Dabbers in a combination of Sail Boat Blue, Raspberry and Pearl.  I over-stamped the frame with one of the flourishes from CI plate 235 but this doesn't show up very well in the photo - Brilliance silver.  German scrap round the frame and the wings were gold but Lumieres soon fixed that.  The sentiment is stamped on a piece from the CI Christmas paper book and the angel's face in the bottletop is punched from the Christmas image book.

Another enjoyable piece to work on - and all done this afternoon which for me (little Miss Prevarication) is amazing.  There is some beautiful work on the Crafty Individuals' blog - why don't  you pop over and have browse.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Whats on Your Workspace Wednesday 122

Bit of a change weather-wise from last week's beautiful warm, sunny days.  Toyed with the idea of turning on the central heating last night but they make them tough here in Lancashire and were my brother still with us he would say I was nesh, mardy, or a bit soft.  I had two brothers, both sadly deceased and much missed, not least because they both spoke with a broad Lancashire accent with lots of dialect words - Mr B who is a Mancunian, couldn't understand half of what they said when he first met them..  How many of you out there in blog-land know what I mean by clempt, brasting, nowt, mizzle?  Sad that so many of the local dialects are no longer to be heard.

Anyway, enough of me rabbiting on, you didn't come here for a linguistics lecture, you came for a look at my work-desk this week and here it is.

Not much actual work going on but lots of things to join my 'to do' list.  As you can see I had a bit (?) of a spend at the weekend.  Went to a craft show with firm intentions not to spend a lot but I can't resist a bargain. The tissue tape was a bargain at £6.90 and the Distress stains were a bargain (sense a theme here?) so I gave in to temptation and bought a few.  Couldn't resist the Graphic 45 steampunk book, not a bargain but I loved the colours - yet some more paper to add to my growing pile of strokeables.

I also got a couple of inkpads (bargain), a few packets of charms/frames - must be a bargain as there are 8 in each pack for £1.45.  The pretty dragonfly one wasn't that much of a bargain as you only got one but I had to have it.

My favourite purchase, and the pride of my desk, a lovely old printers tray.  Nearly didn't get it, in fact I left the craft fair without it as I couldn't make up my mind, got home, decided I wanted it and rang a friend who was still there to ask her to buy it for me.  Now 'all' I have to do is decided what on earth I'm going to do with it.

Same goes for the long wooden pointy thing you can see resting on the printers tray.  It is a spindle given to me by Neet (Hickeydorums) on Saturday as a challenge - well it's certainly that.  I have to alter it for the next workshop in November but first I have to pull some ideas together.  I'm reluctant to alter it too much as it is a poignant reminder of the now defunct Lancashire cotton industry and as both my father and grandfather were cotton spinners it has sentimental links for me.

What else is on my desk -  another house-blank just like the one I did on Saturday, a few bits of lace and bottom of the picture the blue pincushion Jozart showed us how to make, only mine looks more like an atomic mushroom billowing out of it's base.  Will have to trim it down and have another go - but another of Jozart's brilliant ideas.

Lastly I just had to share these leaves - also leftover from my house.  They are quite big and were a plain beige until I attacked them with the Alcohol inks.  Surprisingly they didn't crumble under my manic pounding and turned out OK, just have to find the right project for them - house number 2???

So that's my desk today and now I'm flying over the bloggersphere to Julia's blog to see what the other WOYWWers are up to this week - why don't you join me?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Supersnooks13 - blogcandy

If you want to be in with a chance of winning some superb blog candy then pop over to Supersnooks13 blog.

 Not only a lovely handmade fabric folder (see picture in my sidebar) but lots of other interesting and equally lovely bits and pieces to go with it.  On second thoughts I think I am making a mistake encouraging you to leave a comment there - less chance for me to win - and I really want that beautiful candy.....

No crafting today as I'm all crafted out after a busy weekend so I thought I would share some photos from our walk this morning.  We are lucky to live near a lot of open space, woods and country parks and Sorrel loves her morning jaunts.  It was Leigh Flash Country Park today (a flash for anyone who doesn't know is a stretch of open water).

This is a view of one of the smaller flashes -there are four or five in total -doesn't compare with New England Fall but isn't that red shrub beautiful?

The biggest flash.

Not a very good photo as these sunflowers are almost over but I love the idea of planting them for the birds.

We had a good 40 minutes walk round this morning, well I had, Sorrel covers twice the distance at a running pace then flops in the back of the car for the 10 minute journey home.  She will be out for a woodland walk  this afternoon - don't know why 'it's a dog's life' is seen as a bad thing, seems ideal to me.

Going to photograph my table now ready for tomorrow's WOYWW as it is full of stuff I bought on Saturday that I'm going to get on with next.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Autumn House

Had a very productive Saturday at Vicky Stampers in Padgate, Warrington where this month's workshop was an altered wooden house led by the lovely talented Neet

My house had a distinct seasonal theme as I had collected woodland bits and bobs and decided on a washed/old/shabby house.

The house is painted with a mixture of acrylics in brown and teal and then swiped with the new seasonal Distress Ink - Gathered Twigs.  Wasn't sure I 'needed' another brown but I quite like this one.

The poppy heads came out of my garden and I glitzed them up a bit with various mica sprays and a bit of copper alcohol ink.  Afraid I also sprayed some of the sycamore seeds as well - talk about gilding the lily!

The seeds came in useful as well to fill these little bottles although most of them were scattered in my garden to provide a few more next year.  The poppies themselves were a bit of a surprise this year as I have always had pink poppies but this year I got two enormous, beautiful, double red ones as well - fingers crossed  they come back next year.

The 'tree' is a broken from a hebe plant and sprayed with glimmer mist with shrink plastic 'word' leaves then  stuck into a cotton reel - should have distressed the owl charm though but 'too late was the cry' as he is super-glued in.

I haven't finished it yet, still have a dragonfly to add somewhere and the other side of the roof needs finishing - need to colour some more strips of paper for punching to represent the tiles.

I always enjoy my craft club sessions, good company and such generosity with people eager to share their craft stash and inspiration, for instance this time Jozart showed us how to make tiny pincushions for a haberdashery house.  Haven't finished mine yet but when I do it will make a great addition to the Configurations box I did a few of weeks ago.

I rounded the weekend of with a visit to the Sincerely Yours craft show in Leigh (my home town) and spent a few pennies (again) with some 'sale' bargains.  I gave in and bought some Distress stains as they were a bargain plus lots of other bits even though I promised myself 'no more spending' - obviously not that good at keeping promises.

Watch out for this weeks' WOYWW to find out what else I bought.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

British Tree Week

According to today's paper it is British tree week so here's a photo of a notebook I made.  Well I didn't really make it, just bought one, removed the covers and replaced them with ones I had stamped.

It was for a swap on Katy's Corner UK Yahoo group and you had to incorporate Stampboard in your swap, which I love using.

This is the front cover, stamped with versamark resist, over-stamped with autumn colours and then gold.

...and this is the back.

I had a lovely surprise on Thursday when the Postman brought me a prize - yippee!
I had entered the Craft Stamper magazine 'Give-away' a couple of months ago and I won!  The prize was two stamp plates from Crafty Individuals - only one slight issue, one of them was the plate I chose as my prize from the Crafty Individuals blog challenge so now I have two the same.  Sure it will come in handy - maybe I should save it and use it as part of a blog candy for the future.