Wednesday 29 February 2012

What's On Your Workspace Wednesday 143 - and last call for blog candy

Well it's Wednesday again and time for the 'Who has the messiest workspace' competition run by the lovely (and very restrained on the buying front if her last blog entry was anything to go by - I mean, at a craft fair and not spending loads, how could you?) Ms Dunnit of The Stamping Ground.
Anyway, back to the competition, I mean desk share, this is mine this week, taken just before tea yesterday just before I walked away leaving it just as it is now.

So what can you see?  Two of my 'Really Useful' boxes full (and I mean 'full') of stamps - I have another 6 hidden out of sight, a shortbread tin from Christmas, sadly now empty of shortbread but happily full of PaperArtsy Fresco paints.  I don't have nearly enough of these beautiful paints so will have to eat more shortbread so that I can have another empty tin to fill.

I have been working on some more pages for the Deco swap I'm in, this time the theme is 'black, white and a touch of purple and I finished them today.  I used the Tim Holtz Papillon stamps (my favourites) on one page and the Crafty Individuals row of buildings on the other.  Think I need to adjust my camera as the colours are not quite right, especially on the second page but you get the idea.

Bit worried that I've overdone the purple - how much is 'a touch' anyway?  Have had the semi-circular moon stamp for years and never used it, must have been waiting for just this swap.

So that's the last peep at my table in February and also a 'last' is the chance to win my blog candy as it closes tomorrow (Thursday).

If you would like a chance to win just leave a comment on the candy post here and if you would like a second chance then, in the words of the Pied Piper 'follow me' - I promise not to lock you up in a mountain side (how weird is that story?).  Whatever you do this week, do it well and have fun.

Saturday 25 February 2012

Just For Fun - finale

Sorry to see the end of the Just For Fun challenge as it was just that.  Have not been able to take part as often as I wished but today sat down and had a play for the last time with this group.  The theme this week, thanks to the lovely Neet is Men - distressed.
Now I did think about stamping a male image and adding Glossy Accent tears in his eyes but went for the distress techniques instead and this is the result.

It's a Life's Journey's mini book by K&Co that I have had for ages (years) and didn't know what to do with is. Started out plain cream but I added bits of book page that I removed getting ready for my AB on-line class with Altered Book Lover Elizabeth, Distress Stains, Distress Inks and gesso circles.  The strip down the spine and the stamped panel are from a bronze coloured metal sheet embossed using Ten Seconds Studio plate and tools (bought  when LB Crafts was closing) and I added a shrink plastic man and a few charms.

You can see the embossed spine more clearly in this view of the back.

Can't believe I'm on here when I should be enjoying the sunshine so I'm going to get Sorrel and go out for a walk but not before I show you what the Postman brought about an hour ago.

Remember that baby blanket from last Week's WOYWW?  Well it went of to my Forum pal and in return she made me this gorgeous bracelet - how stunning is that?  So Pleased with it and can't wait until  the weather is warm enough to wear short sleeves again so I can show it off.

Postman also brought my prize from the lovely Jozart, for guessing her mystery object - some very pretty paper lace and some stamps.  How lucky am I.  Thanks Jo the lace has found a new home in my stash but it is so pretty it won't be in there for long before it all gets used up.

Better go the dog's looking at me with soulful eyes again.

Friday 24 February 2012

Black and white

The stamping group I belong to has an annual Deco Book swap and have just started the Deco for this year.
We don't circulate the book (problems with 'lost in the post' in the past) but make two pages in our group member's theme and post them out.

This month's partner's theme is Black and White so I used my new Lynne Perrella stamps and my marker pens to do the border.


More LP stamps on this one and I used the serigraph technique, not done this for a long time but enjoyed it, apart from the mucky fingers it left me with.  Looks more brown than black and white - must be my camera as it is grey.

It's Friday so it's back to the cleaning now, if I whizz round with the duster and dust around rather than under things I may get time for a play this afternoon....whizzing it is then.

Don't forget I have blog candy on offer -  see post here.

Have good weekend everyone.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

What's on Your Workspace Wednesday 142

Wednesday again and spring is on the way as are longer days and better light, and my crocus (croci??), not to mention all the other WOYWWers desks to have a nosy at over at Julia's Stamping Ground.

So lots to be happy about and lots of different things on the go this week for me - so what's new there - journalling, paper engineering, knitting and prep work for my altered book with Elizabeth of Bluebeard and Elizabeth fame.  Enough words, here's the photo.

Top left is my blog candy win from Neet in the Tim Holtz signed bag, a whole heap of goodies to play with and a very generous give-away.  (As an aside see my side-bar for details of my blog candy give-away, or the previous post). Top right is the inside of the suitcase I made a few weeks ago - lid finished, more or less, on Sunday and I started the mini album for inside.

Here's a closer look.

Moving round clockwise, next is my book ready for the altering class, it only cost me 50p at the charity shop.  Seems a shame to alter it but I struggled finding a book with stitched signatures.  Plan to start removing the pages tomorrow so keep you fingers crossed I don't fluff it or I will be in big doo doo.

Next round is my current knitting.  Jozarty sent me the pattern for her scarf/shawls and I bought the yarn on Monday and dived straight in.  Then disaster struck and the end fell off my needle (why does that sound a bit rude?). Trusty Tim Holtz rode to the rescue with his glossy accents and my button box to make this repair.

Love the colours but I think the yarn I bought is a bit thicker than the one Jo uses - still will keep me nice and warm if the weather turns cooler.

The other knitting on my desk is a baby shawl I made for a forum friend.  It's done in a chenille yarn and the pattern is only three rows so it knitted up quite quickly.  All done now and wrapped ready for a trip to the Post Office today.

Last on is a new page in my art journal. I swirled three colours of acrylics round with my fingers and blotted with kitchen roll before adding touches of the blue and blotting.  When I finished it reminded me of some stones I collected from the beach on Jersey some 25 years ago.

Here's the page...

and here's the stone...

Anyway, enough of me rabbiting on for today by the time you read this I will be journeying around the world's craft desks - managed to get round to everyone last week and left comments on over half of the blogs. lets see if I can do the same this week.

Happy WOYWW to everyone and thanks Julia for your stunning idea of a desk hop.

Saturday 18 February 2012

Blog Candy

Since I started this blog last June I have had so much fun and 'met' so many lovely people who are happy to share their skills and art.  Not only that I found out about blog candy, a new concept to me, and, have been lucky on more than one occasion and enjoyed the thrill of receiving craft goodies through the post.

So it's my turn now.  

It isn't to celebrate an anniversary or a certain number of followers, it's just for the fun of it.  So if you would like to be in with a chance to win please leave a comment and I would love it if you became a follower as well.   

In your comment let me know if you are an existing follower or if you left me a comment on my blog on last Wednesday's WOYWW post as an extra chance applies to both, so if you comment on this post, are already a follower and commented last Wednesday you will get three chances.

I have some other bits and pieces so they may well find their way into the candy pile so if gets too big I may split into two lots. 

Blog candy closes 1st March.

Good luck everyone.

Friday 17 February 2012

Different styles

Lots of people have their own, distinctive style and you can spot a piece of art by them straight away.  Afraid I'm still looking for mine as if there is such a thing as a butterfly with a very low boredom threshold that's me.  I flit from one thing to another, not that there is anything wrong with that, if we don't try we don't learn, but it does mean I have an enormous pile of craft stuff.  Nothing wrong with that either - if you have the space to go with it - note to self: get a bigger house.

Yesterday I played with two completely different styles.  The first was on a birthday card for my sister (next Monday).  I am terrible at making cards to 'order' and will do anything rather than sit down and 'make a card for....', would much rather play, see what happens and then find a person it suits.

Anyway, I made myself sit down, decide on a stamp and colours and then, like Topsy, it grew - into this.

It's in the 'pretty' style using a Time To Stamp image I bought years ago at my first visit to the Happy Stampers show at Port Sunlight.  The Paris word, pearls and Eiffel Tour are from a cheap charm necklace from Primark.

Totally different now as I set to work on the panel I coloured using my Portfolios.  Had blended the background and stamped, then stopped to decide what was next.  Used a Paperartsy Mini and marker pens before deciding I didn't like her spooky green face so added a separately stamped and coloured (again Portfolios) panel to the centre.
Here's the before .....

and the after.........
She looks a little healthier on this.

No playing today - Friday is cleaning day, the washer is on and Sorrel and I are just our for our morning walk. well I walk and she runs round like a whirling dervish, fills my heart with joy to watch her.

Have a good weekend everyone, hope the snow stays away.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Whats on Your Workspace - 141

Whats on my workspace - lots of new goodies, which I'm sharing with you via the wonderful  Julia of Stamping World.

Bit of a spend last week including some truly beautiful Portfolio Oil Pastels from PaperArtsy and a Lynne Perrella stamp plate.  I also bought some Fresco acrylic paints (tucked away for play on a later date) and yesterday added some Posca markers for my journalling.

 These new oil pastels are great, lovely creamy texture and they blend with water so kill two birds with one stone - not that I would kill any birds, I love my little feathered friends.

Playtime yesterday afternoon and I used the horizontal strip stamp to make a bookmark colouring over the stamped image with the pastels - nice and vibrant aren't they?

My favourite colours of inks were blended on this panel, zapped with the heat gun and overstamped.  I used the new Posca marker to add white highlights - not sure what I'm doing with this yet but it needs something round the edges.

Last buy this week was this great mug.  Went to Hobbycraft with a friend yesterday afternoon (for the pens), spotted this and couldn't resist - will take it to my craft club at the next meeting in 2 weeks.  Would have preferred one saying 'I'd rather be getting my fingers inky, playing with my stamps and altering art' but they didn't have a mug that big.

I managed to get round a good proportion of the desks last week but I couldn't make it to the end - must try harder and hope to visit more of your desks this week.

Happy WOYWW everybody.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Panic valentine

After agreeing last year that we wouldn't do the whole 'Valentine' thing this year Mr B came home from work yesterday with a paper bag that looked suspiciously like one from a card shop, then admitted he had forgotten we weren't buying cards this year.  The look of surprise on his face when I said I hadn't made, or even bought one for him sent me scurrying off to my craft stash.

I don't have many stamps suitable for valentines and time was of the essence (as they say) so it was down to a House Mouse stamp, a few Promarkers, an oval aperture card blank from way back when in my Pergamano days and a few hearts.  I only had pink roses so thanks to my trusty mica sprays they, and my fingers, ended up a rich dark red.  Only had to add a bit of red velvet ribbon (Paperchase) and away we went.

It only took half an hour or so and I was pleased with the end result.  Totally different from my journal page but then I don't think Mr B would have appreciated an arty-farty card.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone, let's appreciated those we love.

Saturday 11 February 2012

Arty Hearts - journal page

Playday yesterday so I took the opportunity of looking for challenges and plumped (I just love some words) for the latest Craft Barn Art Journal challenge which is hearts - and what you love/like.
Got our my ,very, new Portfolio oil pastels (the are water soluble - how do they do that?), a couple of old favourites from my stamp stash, few paints, stencils, krylon pen and a couple of sheets of paper to make my own heart and wing stencils.

This is the result.

This is only my third journal page and the composition is not quite there but I loved. loved doing it, and that's the whole point, isn't it?

Background sprayed with dilute Fresco Finish paints, then I added the oil pastels before zapping with the heat gun to embed them - I like the blended black round the edges.  Cut out a heart and sprayed through then added more deep red oil pastel which I blended with my fingers.  More spray through sequin waste, Krylon on the hearts, stamped and Bob's your uncle, and mucky (and very red)  are your fingers.  Just finished before the weekly Tesco trip and I'm sure the checkout woman thought I was a mass murderer, at least I didn't have glitter in my hair, that would have thrown her.

So that is my entry for my first journal challenge, and probably the nearest I will get to making a valentine card for Mr B this year - just going to show him the page and give him a kiss instead.

Wednesday 8 February 2012


How many Wednesdays are there in a week?  Not enough if last week was anything to go by as it took me three days to get round everyone and I was only able to leave messages on about a third of the desks - just ran out of time. Still that is the global phenomena that is Julia's massive desk hop at The Stamping Ground.

After a shaky start my desk has been much more productive this week and is showing a bit of colour.

The Yahoo group I belong to has a monthly stamping challenge set by our blog Mum Cath of InkyFingers and this week it is to use an acrylic block as a stamp-pad.  She has some brilliant examples on her blog and shares a few of the ways you can use this technique with various media.

I used my Big and Juicy pads (still big but not as juicy now as when they were new) and brayered the ink on the block, spritzed with a little water and 'printed' the result on glossy card stock, stamped with Archival inks and added a few branches at the edges.

Pressed a little too hard on the fairy castle stamp so the image is not as clear as it should be.

Then I dug out my (very) old Marvy Le Plume markers.  Half forgotten I had these - I know, I have too much stuff if I can't remember what I have - thought they would have dried up after 5 years or more but they were fine, if a little 'gloopy'.  Scribbled yellow, orange and a little purple on a small acrylic block and printed three times before overstamping with flowers in Adirondack purple.

This is my favourite of the three cards - I do like a bit of dramatic colour and purple and yellow is just that.

The last card is also markers and matt card stock but a bigger block this time and another favourite stamp by Paperbag Studio.

I like the faded edge this technique gives, reminds me of faded old sepia photographs.

Also on my desk is a set of acrylic paints,  picked up on my supermarket shop (Tescos) last week - much more fun putting this in your trolley than cabbage, and I love cabbage.  Great to be back in the crafting mood as I spent all of last Friday and Saturday feeling sorry for myself having picked up a stinking cold on Wednesday, was cheered up no end at the weekend when I found I had won a lovely piece of art from Cindy of Plantslist, a gorgeous Asian slide-mailer to celebrate Chinese new year, can't wait to see it - thanks again Cindy.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Blast from the past

Having a head full of cotton wool, irritating cough and a general feeling of 'wrap me up and leave me alone for a week' (in other words a cold) I haven't done any crafting for ages and as I don't want to leave my blog for a full week without posting I have been browsing old files on my computer to see what I can post.  Came across a whole batch of ATCs  -  used to do lots of these but not so many these days.  Don't know why because they are small and (fairly) easy to do and it is lovely to get swaps - just one of those things I suppose.

Anyway here are a few from past swaps.

Did I say ATCs are quick to make?  Depends on your definition of quick - this one took a full day.  Would you believe there are about five different colours of ink on the background, masks, clear embossing - iron off, mica - not stamped very well when I look at it again.  Still like it but I find the 'sightless eyes' of these marble statues a bit spooky.

Another stamped ATC from the same sheet of stamps and another layered inked backgrounds.  Wings were german scrap coloured with alcohol inks.

A set of 'naughty' ladies.  The images, from the Artzine site, affixed to stamped and inked backgrounds.

This was a 'seasons' theme and again the images were free from the internet on inked backgrounds.

Looking at these again reminds me of how much fun I had making them - maybe I should do some more swaps?

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Whats On Your Workspace Wednesday - 139

Afraid my table this week is a little bare. Was away for the weekend and find that journey down the M6 and M5 to Bristol increasingly hard to do, still it is worth it to see family, especially my youngest Granddaughter Kitty - she is growing up so quickly.
Even thought there is nothing creative on there at the moment I thought I would show you my favourite storage box.

It is a Really Useful Box with a pair of trays in it that are full (and I mean full) of all my little embellishments, charms, book rings and lots of bits and pieces all waiting for the right project.

Also on my desk is my journal as I finished a page on Friday.  Well I say 'finished' but I'm not fully happy with it, seems a bit too grungy for me - what do you think?

Am lucky enough to have been to Venice twice.  The first time we arrived by train and I couldn't believe the view from the station as it opens out directly on to the Grand Canal - what a station approach that is!  I bought some cheap acrylics for the background and used my Darkroom Door stamps adding watercolour to the images.  Think the reason I'm unsure about it are the 'floating' lampposts - look like spooky angels to me.

Finally a photo of Kitty
Worth the journey down the motorway don't you think?

This is a scheduled post as I'm off out tonight. Don't get out much (boo hoo) these days but I am going with a friend to see the Strictly Come Dancing Tour at the MEN so it will be a late night for me and a lie-in, and when I do get up I will settle down with a cup of tea and slice of toast to tour the other desks via Julia's fantastic desk-hopping site at Stamping Ground, and now she is doubly famous (having been featured in this month's Craft Stamper magazine) it will probably take me the rest of the day.