Saturday 28 April 2012

Deco book cover and a near disaster

Ha ha, bet the title got some of you going, imagining paint all over the carpet, earthquakes and floods.  No the disaster was me nearly forgetting our wedding anniversary, again.  Did the same last year and there was no excuse there as it was the same day as William's and Kate's wedding day.  How can you forget when the date is splashed all over the national newspapers - not my anniversary - Prince William's.  Thank goodness my M-in-L sends us a card, early, each year.  It arrived yesterday so I had all this afternoon to make a card.

I hate making cards to order, even if it is for my beloved husband, and he doesn't like arty-farty cards so I kept it simple - no photo I'm afraid - and the simple card gave me lots of time to play on other things.

I'm in a deco book swap, two pages out and in each month, and my theme is 'vintage.  We are half way through the swap so today I made the cover for my book.

Cotton lace, flowers, stamping (one of my favourite faces), more lace, ideology, charms and a couple of book rings.

We are going out for a meal tonight to celebrate - now all I have to do is remember how many years we have been married and I have it sorted.  Maybe I'll ring my M-in-Law - she'll know.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

WOYWW - 151

My desk is a bit (?) of a mess this week as once more I have a few things going on, and, don't fall over with surprise, one of them is almost finished.

It's like a crafting version of I-Spy, something beginning with 'A' - Altered book.  Something beginning with 'B' - button (extra points if you spot this one - clue: it's purple).  Something beginning with 'C' - cup, 'D' - doll.....'F' - felt etc, etc.  Also two cutters, the folder with all my altered book ephemera - at the back left - baby wipes, fabric and a bit of general mess.

Now I've said before (and I truly mean it) I'm a crafter, not an artist but yesterday, while it was pouring with rain outside I tried to create a bit of sunshine in my Altered book painting daisies freehand with acrylic paints, all done without the aid of a safety net, no drawing, just me, a paintbrush, an acrylic block and some cheap acrylic paints.  Now it isn't perfect and the budding daisies must be on MiracleGrow (plant food) but I loved doing it and am pleased with how it turned out.

Here's a closer look.
I didn't paint the bees, that would be a step too far for me, the two small ones are laser cuts from a sheet by Rahyer that has been tucked at the back of the drawer. I think it needs something at the top left, any ideas?

The other project I'm doing is to have a go at making my own Russian doll from the pattern Judy sent me (see last week's WOYWW for a closer look at her fabulous doll.  Judy paints the faces and sent me a couple to use in mine but I decided I would have a try using one of her's as a model.

Judy's is on the right and my version is wrapped in her shawl ready for sewing up.  Not sure how I'm finishing her as I need to fish out beads and fibres to decorate the dress but I think now I have noticed the purple button that will go on somewhere.

That's it for this week.  I managed a lot of desks last week but as I have a friend coming round this afternoon for a bit of crafting fun I'm not sure how many I'll get to today but I'll try my best to visit you via Julia's Blog frenzy.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Summer colours

The theme for this week's Sunday Stampers on Hels' blog is 'summer colours' so I chose pretty shades of soft green and peach plus the sign of summer (to me anyway) a beautiful butterfly..

The background is decorator's chalks through a butterfly stencil and I used the same green on the mat before edging and stamping in Adirondack Meadow.

The deckle edge is done with a fine-liner so there is no bulk on the card and I can get away without using a 'large letter' stamp and have a bit more money for rubber when I go to the Happy Stampers show at Port Sunlight on the Wirral in just over two weeks time - can't wait.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Altered matchbox

It's an age since I did a matchbox and I do like to work on mini projects so I signed up for a swap on Facebook run by Zuzu'sPetals.

I went for an oriental theme and finished it yesterday.

The matchbox is a tiny one and came flat in a pack.  It is coloured with Lumiere Crimson paint with gold leaf added randomly all over to give it an aged look, then stamped with Japanese text.  The mizhouki (?) knot is one I made a while ago and the stamped face added to the frame is covered with Glossy Accents - only just seen she has a bubble on her chin.  The shrink plastic 'Geisha' completes the front.

Another geisha stamp on the inside with washi paper robe and background.  The paper was wrapped round a bottle of wine - a gift from a Japanese family member (Mr B's cousin lives in Japan and his wife visited last month and brought lots of beautiful papers and silks).  The image is raised on foam pads and a bit of German scrap added at the front.

Here's a view of the back of the box - hope the text isn't upside down.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

What's on Your Workspace Wednesday - 150

Wednesday again and maybe this week I will be lower than 50 this week as Julia, our hostess on this weekly magical mystery tour is publishing Mr Linky a little later this week to enable us larks to have a chance of getting in a bit earlier than the owls who should still be fast asleep with their heads tucked under their wings.

Speaking of owls, a favourite subject of mine, the one taking centre stage in the photo is on a journal page for the monthly swap I am in.  I did finish both pages but didn't like one of them so that went in the bin and I have started the replacement.  Only done the background so far with watercolours and acrylics and a few partial impressions with background stamps.

Bottom right is a simple card made by stitching a dragonfly die-cut on to handmade paper.  All new to me this machining, partly because my sister has had my sewing machine on loan for over 5 years so I have to get used to it all over again - must figure out how I can do free-embroidery on it though.
Top left is a WIP of a fish (stamped), intended to be a trout but I got out the pencils before I checked the correct colours so it's a cross-breed at the moment.
Stars of the show in centre stage are two glorious pieces of art I received on Monday as a one-to-one swap with Judy of Judy's Fabrications, not only the fabric doll I was expecting but a beautiful fabric postcard, two of her painted doll faces and patterns to make some of my own, very generous and a lovely surprise.

I was trying to keep photos on this post down to the desktop but I cannot resist sharing this with you.

Gorgeous, aren't they?
Weather forecast is pretty poor for today but I don't care, lots more time for desk-hopping.
Happy Wednesday everyone.

Monday 16 April 2012

Altered Book - Lesson 5

Elizabeth's last AB lesson was part one of the design principles.  Now I'm not usually one to follow 'rules' and my tendency is to move stuff about until it looks right to me then glue it down.  It works most times and I guess we have a bit of a natural eye for harmony, after all we are surrounded by it in nature. Anyway I read and re-read the principles before setting to on my page and tried to apply them, harmony, unity and balance to my work.

I used the page I had tested the glues on and chose colours to harmonise with the photos I had picked and with the theme.

The unity comes through the design (I hope) with feather stamps repeatedly across the double spread and the two birds face each other and into the centre of the page in the hope this provides balance. I did find it difficult to stamp on the slightly bumpy pages so some images are a little indistinct so I need to sort that one out for the next lesson.

So, that's my homework for lesson 5 and I have a few ideas for my next set of pages - am enjoying this workshop very much - thanks to Elizabeth and my classmates who share their work

Saturday 14 April 2012

Concertina box card

This time last week I was at my local stamp group making this card/box kindly demo'ed by Paul of the Artsiders who also showed us how to make the pretty scrunched flowers.
As usual I hadn't the foggiest idea what I was going to do as I set out that morning so took a few general stamps and threw in my bag of lace and button box bits.

The papers came free with a magazine I bought last month.  Don't usually buy mags as I subscribe to Craft Stamper and Somerset Studio and they keep me busy but I quite liked the look of the free papers and there was a set of clear stamps as well.  I used the papers on the cover and to make my flower.

I also used them on the inside, together with a TH die cut (had to cut the stand off as it wouldn't fit), some lace and a few bits of habadashery (love that word) plus a Crafty Individual stamp. I love the stamp and as these ladies seem to me to be wearing their best summer clothes and the colours I have used are so pretty and summery I am entering it in the CI April challenge - Here comes summer.  Not a conventional summer theme I know but then you need (lots of) new clothes for summer, especially as this one is going to be a scorcher - I promise.

Thursday 12 April 2012

Sunday Stampers - numbers

I haven't taken part in a challenge for a while now, lets face it, I hadn't done much stamping at all for a couple of weeks, but had a real good play this week so I'm having a go at Hel's Sunday Stampers challenge - numbers.

Went for a tag, I do love tags, big enough to experiment but not too large to intimidate.  Feeling grungy (well not personally, I did have a shower this morning) so got out the mucky looking inks and a few stamps.

I love that numbers stamp so decided to use it with Picket Fence distress for a background and then swipe over with Moss and Walnut stain, stamp the little PaperArtsy numbers with gold dabber and then the big PA stamp is embossed with Fired Brick Distress EP.

I told you it was grungy.
The colour is true on this but you can hardly see the number background so I took it outside into the beautiful sunshine and took another photo of it lying on my, equally grungy, lichen and moss covered sundial.  Luckily it didn't blow away...until afterwards.

The sunshine distorts the colour but at least you get a better idea of the resist background.

So a Sunday Stampers, simple tag - the letter 2 is cut out from a TH Distressables sheet and covered with Glossy Accents.

While in the garden I took this photo of my gorgeous basket.  It has been up there since last September and has  flowered continuously since.  It had miniature daffs flowering last month and now tulips  and the pansies, thyme and sage have kept going all through the winter, and it only cost me £25 pounds.
Makes me smile just looking at it.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Whats on your workspace Wednesday - 149

Well Easter's over with, but lots of chocolate sitting in my cupboard as eldest G Son went back to Bristol on Monday leaving one of his Easter Eggs by mistake, oops - still his loss, my gain......

Very busy weekend and no crafting done for a few days but making up for it like mad now with two full afternoons spent playing.

Here's my desk today.

Finished off the concertina/box/card thingy (never know the 'correct' name of anything these days) that I started at our stamp club meeting at the weekend so lots of bits of lace (it's a pretty theme for a change).  Also on my table are a wooden folding shrine for altering and a wooden pencil box that Neet brought on Saturday to give away and I snaffled it - that's going to get the treatment as well one day soon.  I'll post a close-up of the card in a couple of days but want to keep this post short as I know you have lots of desks to get round.

Pop over to Julia's place for the great desk hop see you there..

Before I go, if anyone wants a peep at the latest on the Altered book I'm doing with Elizabeth it's in yesterday's post here - link.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Altered Book lesson 4

Bit late getting round to this as we have had family of one shape or another for the last 10 days so I haven't been able to get my fingers mucked up until today. All gone now so time for some 'me' time and to continue with lesson 4 of Elizabeth's **FREE** on-line AB class.

Lesson 4 was glue and gesso and our homework (how long is it since I did any homework?) was to experiment with glue and that counts as special permission to get completely gunged up and inky-fingered - well it does to me.

So out with the glue stick, white glue, gel medium and gesso and get sticking.

Finished that one - four sets of pages stuck together and results duly noted.  Best were the gel medium and (a surprise to me) the gesso.  Would never have thought of gesso as an adhesive but it worked a treat.

Here are my results - not all of them that would be very boring for you but the tags peeping out down the side prove I did use all four glues.

Next bit was much more fun -  gesso  a double spread and use as a glue to add in some page elements.

I added some napkins to the wet gesso.

Then I went on to add some more gesso over the top, a bit of ink and some butterfly images cut from a poster, free in a Sunday mag, that I have been saving for a couple of years 'just in case'.
Here's the final page.

Not perfect but then I just went for it.  Lesson 5 is on Design Principles and after reading it today I realise the balance and proportion of my page are not right - I may do a similar spread for lesson 5 showing what I have learned.

Lastly I had a go at one of Elizabeth's bonuses (do anything for extra brownie points) and used gesso (my new love) as a resist.  I had a scrap of metal card left over from some butterfly die-cuts so used that as a stencil, sponged gesso through the holes and when dry sprayed mica sprays over.  The gesso resists the ink and you can wipe it off.  Have not put it in my book yet but it is stashed away with all my other bits for later.

Wednesday 4 April 2012


Short and sweet this week, partly to keep the lovely Julia happy, partly to save all you other WOYWWers time as this Wednesday blog hop gets bigger and bigger each week and partly because I haven't got a workspace this week.

So this is my mini-space, a tray in the conservatory, well at least this week you cannot say it isn't tidy.  Reason is we have our 15year old, 6ft,  Grandson with us this week and my dining table, where I usually spread out is full of his stuff and come Saturday the rest of the family are joining us for a few days and then it is air-mattresses on the dining room floor.

On the tray - a felt needle-case I made in my teens some seed beads and a half finished beaded doll brooch.  This is for a one to one swap with a crafter from Australia who 'met' me via WOYWW.  Not finished yet as I need some more beads and a back and then it gets sewn together with more beads.

Happy Easter everyone.

PS - just realised that in the middle of the warm sunny break I put the curse on the weather saying it would probably snow at Easter - how could I do that!

Sunday 1 April 2012

Something about Alice

Realised yesterday morning that I needed to get a couple of pages dome for the deco book swap I'm in.  I made a booboo last month and sent one lot off too early (we do one set a month) and thought I could relax as I was a month in hand - wrong! The one I did early was due by 3 rd May and I still needed to do a set for 3 April.

Luckily the theme was Alice in Wonderland and I have two sets of Alice stamps so I set to work yesterday and managed a couple, plus a card to go with them so they will be posted tomorrow.

Watch stamped on card-backed metal and glossy accents (not quite dry here) background is coloured with spray inks - 'Sticky Fingers' and overstamped.

Bottle from a PaperArtsy sheet is also covered with glossy accents.

Same background but used a home-made heart template and some oil pastels.

Limited time for crafting this week as our elder Gson is staying with us for the week and then Mum and the rest of the family join us next Saturday for the weekend.  Not used to having a 15 year old boy in the house - don't they take up a lot of room?  Only joking - love him to bits and we don't get to see him as often since they moved to Bristol.