Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Like playing the piano

Hello there

I've received my SU swallowtail stamp today and even Chris liked it and instantly suggested we could use the images on the arch through to the kitchen!! It's such a great size and such amazing detail in it. It also fits perfectly on the width of the arch wall, so watch this space!

My friend Catherine has done lots of gorgeous cards with it and has a crafty night planned next month which will focus solely on the swallowtail. Because I'm so impatient and very cheeky indeed I suggested to Catherine that we bring the night forward a month. For some strange reason she said no, stating the excuse that she'd had less than a week to order the things we'll need that night :-) I hope you realise that I was only joking with Catherine and she's more than used to me. She told me to get on with playing with it and see how I get on for now. Because I'm a good girl, I did as I was told, not that I needed much encouragement.

Now, you will have looked at the photos and rightfully have thought that the stamping isn't very good and that the blending didn't work well in a few places. That's fine as I was playing/trialling/practising with different techniques on these few images I created. They've gone in the bin since then. The reason I'm posting this of imperfect, unfinished items is because this is where a lot of the fun of crafting lies for me. The trialling things out; the playing with things the minute you get them as you're excited, is all part of it. It's almost releasing the child within you; allowing yourself that freedom of expression and creativity. It's time out from any pressures you have in life. Time to yourself, which I think is precious. Because we practise loads we can then create lovely projects because we know better what to expect. The same as my daughter with her piano this week; she's practised really well on a piece for her grade exam, so now she's able to work through it smoother and more fluid than her teacher had targeted her to do. Mistakes are made but she just accepts that and tries again and with that attitude she will master this piece.

I'm sorry about where the photos are displayed in this post but my computer is rather poorly, so I'm having to use the Blogger app on the iPad instead and it doesn't have all the functionality of the website.

Take care out there and play

Saturday, 16 February 2013


Hello there

 I've had the Music Hall set of stamps by Indigo Blu for a while and I bought them with the purpose of making my daughter a canvas using the sentiment stamp. I also bought the canvas ages ago. It was only on Thursday night that I finally set to making a sketch of what I wanted basically to go on there. That night, I also made a Stampendous butterfly with blended inks onto photo paper. That was it - I had my colours decided and an element.

Last night I set to starting on it. I just sprayed some blue ink and that was it; I was off. My fingers and lovely new nails were also blue but that's by the by; I really do need to wear gloves or get some strong hand cleaning stuff for when I'm spraying or just not buy that particular brand again, as it's lethal. My lovely nails now look as if there's dirt sitting in them - grose! 

The skirt idea came from pinterest - Junelle Jacobsen did that one. I stamped some pattern paper with the musical score stamp from the set to make the 'material'. I also embossed with that stamp, behind the girl and the doily.
The large notes were cut from the Lyrical letters Cricut cartridge,
as ever, I used the negative as a stencil as well as
the positive to be glued on.

I loved making the pattern go from the edge around to the front

I decided to keep the frame around my girl as it helps her stand out more -
I inked the edges though to blur that edge a bit
I got help from another pinterest post of Andreal Designs of she art dancing. I couldn't find any other she art dancing, so that helped me with the legs, feet and arms and fan.The flower on the belt is fussy cut from a paper pad, as is the fan. 

The original finished version still wasn't looking right in my opinion, so since taking that photo,I've added some thin black lines which follow the outline on the right hand side and they get shorter and shorter. I thought this would help with the idea of motion on my girl.

I had primed the canvas first before starting but I had trouble sealing the finished background. I tried Claudine Hellmuth's glossy medium but it started to make the paint/ink blue. If you have any suggestions as to what I could use, please do let me know. For now, I'm just going to leave it.

I had great fun with this, trying to add loads of layers and details and messing about with paint colours, just as the inspiration took me (so much for doing a sketch!) and my daughter really likes it, which makes it all worth while, so I'm off to put it on her wall. 

Take care out there

Thursday, 14 February 2013

I had no choice

Hello there
Since Chris bought me red roses over the weekend (yes, I know, I did wonder what he might've done wrong for me to get them, as it's not something he does routinely or even bi-annually really), he left me with no choice but to rush to make him a card for Valentines. One of the awkward things is that he's away working, so I had to post it to him on Monday.
It wasn't difficult for me to decide that fluffy bunnies, gushy love hearts and such like weren't going to happen. I went straight to thinking steampunk, as he used to love trains and planes. I had a look through Sarah Hurley's steampunk digikit with Craftartist and my Tinkering with Steampunk cd-rom by MyCraftStudio  and came up with some ideas. I found the black wheels paper in a pad I had. The worst bits were cutting out the train shape and those circular letters, as they're rather small.
On the whole, I really like the way the card turned out, other than the word journey which I printed onto Safmat, and it only dawned on me at the last minute that it blended into the background rather too well. It was too late by then to do anything else, so I had to leave it. Everything was distressed with Vintage photo - that's such a life saver thing to do, as with printed items which need cutting out; the inking covers any white bits you may have left. Not that I did anything as poor as that of course though, I'm sure my cutting out was perfect! ;-) I also used a glossy medium on the tags, just to help them look more realistic/solid.

Some basically coordinating paper, from the same pad as the black wheels, was used for the insert (Chris loves birds too).
A suitable stamping and inking for the envelope and hey presto. I'm sorted for Valentine's Day.
It's a far from traditional type card but I hope he'll like it and be really surprised by getting it handed to him by the lady behind reception where he'll be working.

Take care and hope you can find love, in whatever form, at sometime today.

p.s I haven't found out about anything bad he may have done to feel guilty enough to get me flowers. He spent all weekend cooking allsorts of stuff, so I gotta love him :-)

p.s.s the heart placemats I made last year are on the table too, as are the paper rose, tealight holders I showed you last week.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

MIMM - page 1

Hello there

I'm finally getting round to doing page 1 of my Me in My Moleskin journal. You can see what I did with the cover here. I have instructions from Kirsty but I prefer to think of them as pointers/guides/inspiration to get me moving and so far, they're working very well. 

Without further ado, here's the page:

I had a field day using bits which were just lying on my desk, such as the leaves and the ladybird. The flower shapes were sprayed through a piece of die-cut leftover I had in a box of card I found, whilst looking for the card for the sun pieces. I then highlighted them a bit by doodling inside the stencil quickly.
Yet again I love the shimmer that the SU champagne mist adds to sprays- as can be seen on the tag. I used the leftover die-cut sheet for the tag flower shapes again. Kirsty provides prompts for what to write too; hence the first sentence being that Diane means divine but I'm sure you're all aware of my heavenly nature!!! ;-)

I've read today about a lady who is using her journal as a means of 'outlet', as her life is pretty manic and not too happy right now. That is an excellent reason to do a journal but I'm mainly doing mine for a crafty outlet (as if I need yet another project to be working on??!!)  and also as a memory book about me, so that my daughter can see it in years to come and know me a bit better maybe. Scrapbooking records memories too but this is solely about me, so rather daunting in a way yet still important for my daughter to get a fuller picture of who I am/was.

Take care out there

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Paper cone wreath and.... just read and see!

Hello there

Last Thursday I went to Crabapplecrafts in Frodsham for a workshop. Rosemary Merry is so inspirational and lovely with it. Nigel is her husband and he helps dust the shelves; I hope he laughs if he ever reads this, as Nigel does alot more than that in the company. How on earth they spend so much time together and never have public rows, is testament to their great relationship.I went to one of their retreats a couple of years ago and had such a blast and did so much crafting in one weekend - I loved it. The store is quite local to me, so I do go fairly often. The store is in a small 'out of town' shopping complex, which also has a great quilting store, cake decorating store and a brewery. The brewery means that Chris doesn't mind me going, as he gets me to fill his flagon with whatever they've got on draught at the time. Win, win! :-)

Anyway, I digress; how unusual for me.

We had several packs to chose from to make our wreath with but I chose a very colourful, bright pack. This is how my wreath turned out.
Some other ladies wreaths were far more sophisticated in look but all were made exactly the same way with 6inch squares of double sided papers; it just depended on the colour scheme used. Since there are ladybirds in one of the papers, I just had to cut some out from Walk in my Garden Cricut cartridge. I cut ladybug1 at 3/4 inch in black and then the layer in red and then I cut the main shape again in white at 1/2inch, as I wanted it to have white spots as in the paper; I glued this white patch (with head cut off- ouch!) onto the back of the red layer before glueing that onto the black base. 
I think they look so cute, all wandering across the wreath in the same direction
 I'll definitely be making more of these. Perhaps the next one will be for my mum for mother's day in a more sophisticated colour scheme.
Now as proof of Rosemary's generous nature and her skills of being a teacher, she showed another pretty thing to a few of us at the end of the workshop. She had these lovely 3D flowers on display in the workshop area and said that they were easy enough to make and went about showing us; allowing us to practise it on a piece of paper there and then, so that we could take it home and be able to see how the folds go. I did this but there's one step I couldn't quite remember, so I made it up; so if you don't like these instructions, it's not Rosemary's fault, it's my poor memory of her instructions :-)
Here's my version I made today.
I've made a video to show the instructions for making these. I'm almost tempted to put them on my Folksy store and see how they do but as ever, packaging might be difficult to post them. I'll look in my post office and see what size boxes they have and how much it'll cost to post. If it inspires you to have a go, please do let me know, as that would make me very happy. 
Take care out there and make 3D flowers 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Osmonds

Hello there
 A fairly quick little post here, mostly to help me remember how I made the cute little paper roses (hence the title! Before any of you fellow oldies say anything - I know it was Marie Osmond who actually sang the song :-) )

I used the Flower Shoppe cartridge and after watching loads of videos and tutorials, which took me off on the usual lengthy youtube session, I decided upon the best method for me with the tools I have. I cut four 'fun4' shapes from page 16 of the booklet at 2.5inches.

I cut one petal off one of them, two off another and three off another, which of course left one of them untouched. For this method, you don't need the little tab, so it's up to you if you cut it off or leave it. I then roughed them up a bit, to make them easier to work with. As part of that scrumpling, roll over the top of each petal to the outside; this will give them a natural shape once completed. Remember to ink around the edges at this stage, if that's the look you want.
Now take the smallest one and roll it up to form the centre piece. Roll from the straight edge inwards. You need to do it so that there are two petals opposite each other for the best look, then glue the edge to the back. With the others, bring the straight edges together and overlap the outer petals and glue them. 

Once set in place, put them in your spray booth i.e old cardboard box. Cut 'fun5' leaf out at 1.5inches, as many times as you like and ink around the edges and put them in the box too and spray with SU glimmer mist. This just adds a certain je ne sais quoi :-)
Here's a couple which didn't make the final project. It really is vital that you use practise pieces first, so that if they're no good, you won't feel cross with yourself for wasting your lovely card. Actually doing things works so much better than just reading or watching about them. 
I also cut one flower at 1.25inches and some of the leaves at a smaller size too.
They really help set off my table decorations which I firstly filled with some tiny dried rosebuds.

Word to the wise - just found a website called photovisi. That's where I got that brilliant photo collage from. It's extremely quick and easy to create a fun display. Love it!!!!

Take care out there

Monday, 4 February 2013

I'm shattered

Hello there

Yes, the title of this post says it. I have to get up at 5a.m on Mondays and Tuesdays and start work at 6, so they're not the best days for me energy wise. Tonight I wasn't feeling enthused with life as it's been blowing a freezing gale and the walk with the dogs was not fun. I'm a warm weather girl for sure.

Tonight though I've completed a layout which my friend Catherine created the sketch for, for our crafty session last week but due to us all having too much of a good time chatting, we didn't get to do the page. 

I've been able to escape the weather and just play away doing this. My sweetie carriage full of fruit pastilles, my glass full of Ribena and off I went.
This photo doesn't do the colours of the Afternoon Daydreams simply scrappin' kit from SU, any justice at all, as the colours are much more vibrant in real life. The journalling tag is a Cosmo Cricket one which goes brilliantly, as I wasn't convinced that the tags in the kit were the 'mood' I wanted for this page. The lace isn't real lace; it's the amazing Viola's lace stamp around stamp from SU embossed with tempting turqoise embossing powder - it's lush! :-)
The inky stains were just me playing around after I'd done the dribbles down the right hand side of the page. I just dropped some pool party ink onto the card and then blew it around - good fun! The bubble space it created was perfect for the title. Just like Maggie enjoys playing around with hairstyles, I like playing around with scrapbooking!
Ya gotta love distress crackle paint!

It might be disgusting outside and I might be ready to drop asleep but this has filled my soul with good stuff.

Take care out there

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Feeling blue

Hello there

Over on The Crafty Network's blog, there is a challenge at the minute for all crafters to enter. The title is 'Winter Blues'. So your handcrafted item can be anything from knitting, card making, jewellery - whatever you like! As long as it's vaguely related to the theme at least. You don't have to be a craftseller; you can be a pure hobbyist if you like. I just so happened to be working on a couple of things which, for one reason or another ended up being blue. I'd also like to make another wreath, like the one I made for one of my sister's for Christmas, as that was blue.

These challenges have been running for over a year now and Linda has decided to 'up the anti' this year by now asking us to be creative with your photographs and project descriptions too. This is a good selling tool, so she's doing it for our benefit. It makes entering that bit more challenging though.

I've taken a tonne of photos of the two projects and deleted tonnes too, so here's what's remaining in the little video. I've numbered them, so let me know which ones you think I should enter. Give suggestions for better photos if you think mine are all rubbish. The music in the video is nice and relaxing too, so just enjoy that if nothing else :-)

The framed item you may recognise as a Tando arch, which I mentioned in a recent post.  It was great fun altering the arch, as it's only a narrow surface to alter, so not too stressful for an amateur like me. 
The box with the yo-yo's on it, is a John Lewis hamper box I got full of goodies at Christmas but I'm re-purposing it as a toilet roll holder in our downstairs toilet. Not very glamorous for it but I like it. I just thought it needed something extra. The yo-yo's were thought of quickly as I have a couple of my canvasses in there too and one of those has yo-yo's made with the same fabric. This time though I used an old t-shirt of my daughter's as well and I stamped on them. This was as a result of watching a video by Revlie Shuit, as part of the Creative Jumpstart 2013. Revlie makes the most gorgeous fabric mini albums.

None of the items could be sold, not that I want to but it'll still be fun for me to enter, in order to push my boundaries and help me do more for my Folksy shop. I've yet to have time to do any descriptions - I'll wait a couple of days to see if this post gets any comments and then I'll do a marketing description of the one I chose to enter.

Take care out there whilst having fun!
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