30 March 2011

Banana Frog :: Blog Hop!!!

Welcome lovely Blog Hoppers (or non-blog hoppers - those just checking in like normal - thanks either way!)
This month's theme is Birds... and I chose to work with the cute birdcage from the 'Hiya Chick' set of stamps - love these!!  and I've been a little bit efficient & multi-tasked - I designed 'bird' projects for you peeps to enjoy and my 'change of address' cards all at the same time! Ta Daaaaaa!! *pats self on back*

These cards are very simple - best to keep them that way if you have to make loads (learned that the hard way!!) & that the beauty of these stamps just a couple of images can be enough.
Right off you hop on your tour round the lilypad - next pad is Beki's where she'll have something lovely waiting for you.

Remember to leave comments on all the sites around the hop - there are prizes to won!!!!!

Have a great day!

25 March 2011

Decisions... Decisions... Decisions...

... moving house is full of so many decisions - is it the right time/ right property, will everything complete on time, what to keep, what to throw out, when do you order the van, has the packing stuff arrived, what do we do with the cats while we move so they're not freaked out or trodden on... (or packed in a box somewhere - you know how cats love a box!!)

... and when clearing out our home getting ready to move, my approach is little & often... shoe boxes on the top of the wardrobe were dealt with the other day - 15(ish) of them and they've been up there for ages judging by the depth of dust laying on them (shameful housekeeping I know but out of sight out of mind).... aaanyhooo I came across these:
These are known as my 'honeymoon shoes' .. because I bought them to take on... yep.. you guessed it.. our honeymoon... and cute as they are (I think I was having a 1950s bride moment) the little kitten heel was not entirely suited to the cobbled streets of Ravello! lol I've barely worn them so they're in good condition - the flowers are a little crumpled but I think they started out that way!...so I'm trying to decide:
a) save them for sentimental reasons
b) sell them - bootsale or ebay
c) cut the cute little flowers off (they're sewn on, not glued - yay!) and use these on something crafty and send the shoes to recycling (or.... oooh create new 'arty' embellishment for the front)(anyone else imagining a Tim Holtz rosette on the front there??)
aaaanyhooo I'm swaying towards c) but its seems a shame to not pass them on to someone else to enjoy... but then again if I remember rightly they weren't the most comfotable shoes (but then then prettiest shoes often aren't - the price we have to pay!! lol) too hard to decide at the moment so I'll just put them back in the box (for another 5 years lol)

OK, less about my house moving decisions (which is good because if I think about it too much I start to panic slightly!)(2 weeks away - 2 freeeaakin' weeks!!!!!!!!)(the bungalow we're renting for a while doesn't have a dishwasher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know that its not essential, but anyone who has one will acknowledge that to then NOT have one is hard!!)(& I should just shut up because there's only me & him - its not like I'm washing up for a family of 4 is it, rofl)(and breeeeaaaathe... in... out... in... out.....) aanyhoo less of me being a spoiled brat-
here is a picture of something I've been playing with, sorry can't show you the whole thing
Hope its sunny where you are, have a great day... 

24 March 2011

Sun, Sites & Stamping anyone??

ARTIZAN

Anyone else think that the combination of sun, sites & stamping would be just a little bit fabulous??  Yep thought so!  That's why I was really pleased to be asked to run a residential art/craft class in sunny Spain!!

The course is aimed at crafter of all levels and over the 3 days there will be stamping, painting, gluing and all round crafting loveliness.... did I mention that its based in a fabulous house in Spain?? (with a pool - not that you'll have time to go in there - no, you'll be too busy crafting, or sightseeing or tasting local food dishes!) (only kidding - you'll have time for a quick dip & tan top up!)

Further details can be found on the WEBSITE under the 'creative crafts' button

I look forward to seeing you there!!

16 March 2011

Banana Frog day!!

Tags but of a different type - over on the Banana Frog blog ... aaaah so many tags so little time....

15 March 2011

Oh be still my 50s design loving heart!!....

Sanderson's have a FAB.U.LOUS 50s designs range!! I've resisted looking because I wasn't thinking about decorating, but now I'm starting to and some/one of these designs will be cropping up somewhere in our home - even if its just as cushions (the Festival print (below) would great on our black leather sofa!)....
here's some eye candy for you so that you know what I'm getting excited about:
 
I wish this blog had sound  - you could hear me happy clapping and squeeling a little - LOVE these designs!  I really like the 50s surface designs.

Which is probably why I like this artist so much (her lino prints are delicate & gorgeous!) and find her work really inspirational:

And why I reeeeeaaaally like Claudine Hellmuth's 'Creative Layers' stamps... the combination of foam & clear rubber stamps allows you to create the slightly offset lino/screen print look of 50's illustrations..LOVE..LOVE..LOVE!!
This is the first tag I created using the Dwelling stamps set... keeping it quite simple (but not completely simple: two colour on the foam).. The tag was created with Sticky back canvas stuck to a chipboard tag and stamped using PaperArtsy's Fresco Finish paints (LOVE these!) which went really nicely onto the canvas (another surface they'll work on, but I don't know how stable they'll be for washing (I'll ask PA) so maybe just use them on decorative items for now....)

14 March 2011

Little book of things with wings.....

Another ArtsyCraft sample.. and the last... a little tag book (gotta love the tags!) ... measures 12x6cm.... using distress stains, Paperartsy stamps, Tim Holtz embellishments, Claudine Hellmuth canvas.....
The bindings on this book are Tim Holtz 'Hitch Fasteners' - cute little things! and great for binding a slim book.. & also on this book they work really well becuase they something to hold onto while you flick through!
I really enjoy making things like this - they're quick (-ish) and such a cute little size.. maybe I should work up to making bigger things which I do try to every-so-often but I'm much more comfortable making smaller things...
Page fronts:
Page backs:
The samples of work I've shown over the last week have been quite simple, 'quick & easy' - I do make more comples things - honest guv'

Have a great day

12 March 2011

Tags... Part 4...

Love the Tim Holtz 'Haberdashery' stamp set its right up my street!!  (anything with a sewing/ mannequin theme really!) (in our home there are 3 vintage sewing machines & umpteen mannequins (not all of which are full size I hasten to add!))
I really like how this tag turned out - that the image of the mannequin is faded out - like a ghost sign or fresco on a wall.... and the nice scrunched tag with bling and motif - its like a little swatch of a long forgotten design idea.... like a mood board (and I LOVE to make mood boards!! - it was one of my favourite things to create when I was studying interior dec' techniques.. pulling together all the bits and pieces to conjur up the 'feel' of a room...)
aaaanyhoo - that's all the tags I have to share now... I think... tomorrow its a mini book (again, created for AC)..
Enjoy your weekend!

11 March 2011

You can never have too many hearts....

When I get a product I like to try it out on & with anything I can get my hands on... The above are what I made before (and after) I went to ArtsyCrafts with one of the new PaperArtsy Heart dies - like this one a lot...
So these dies cut through:
Claudine Hellmuth sticky back canvas
Brooch I made with the stickyback canvas mounted onto Grungepaper for stability (might even've been grunge board?!?)
Grunge Paper
PaperArtsy's Metal Card
Metal Card embossed with a Tim Holtz embossing folder (its also been painted with acrylic paint, sprayed with Perfect pearls in several colours and sanded back)
Card stock (stamped with PaperArtsy images and coloured with distress inks)
Card stock (stamped with Fresco Finish paint & coloured with distress stains (Fresco Finish paints resist the stains! lush)
Shrink plastic x 2

Just wanted to show you how versatile these dies were (and no prizes for guessing which of the hearts were cut from shrink plastic! lol)

ooh - corrugate cardboard  - cuts through that too... how could I have forgotten to show that - I do love a bit of corrugated cardboard! lol

10 March 2011

Tags... Part 3

Today's tag is decorated with the lovely new PaperArtsy OakLeaf dies - love how they've made them in 3 sizes!

Went a bit old school with this tag - scrunched up and distressed the tag - haven't done that for ages - I liked it! - Looks the tags been under a leaf pile for ages.. lol
The word 'nature' is printed with the PaperArtsy Words plate 2.
I've always wanted to use the plate to create words, and toyed with the idea of cutting the plate up to use as an alphabet, but I really like to use it as a background and so didn't want to cut it up. But, after seeing Joanne Wardle use it to create words it made up my mind - I bought another one and cut it up - really glad I did!! ("its only rubber - cut it up!" said the little voice in my head!!)
So now I have 2 - one for building words and 1 for creating backgrounds! Ta Daaa. Simples! lol
The leaves are sticky back canvas stamped with the co-ordinating images for the dies, and coloured with distress inks - very autumnal. Little leaf is attached with a Tim Holtz teeny tiny safety pin, the big leaf with a clip.  The tag is also stamped with a Tim Holtz image - from the new Papillon plate.

9 March 2011

WOYWW...

.... hello! its been a while since I WOYWW'd - my desk isn't any tidier - at the moment it seems covered in ink & paint bottles - and there's nothing wrong with that is there! lol
To understand what WOYWW is all about go to http://www.stamping-ground.blogspot.com/  where all will be explained,
and if you like my blog/ramblings please click the follow button down on the left hand side, thanks!  :o)

Have a great day!

Tags.. Part 2

This tag, created again for demo'ing at the AC/TH event, is a bit of a sampler:
the tag has been partially embossed accented with Distress Inks & Lava Gold 'Goop' (love that stuff - so shiny!!) (& versatile) (and now comes in smaller pots - yay!)
painted & water splashed Distress Stains (top blue half)
Die cutting (the flourishes)
Tim Holtz tissue tape & Adage Ticket
and a distressed flower created with the spiral technique - I flatten/ distress these by hitting them with a small hammer... which is quite satisfying! lol

2 tags down, 2 tags to go... see you tomorrow.. same place same time.....

8 March 2011

Getting all the ducks in a row...

... not literally, its just about getting everything ready - each day I do a bit of sorting out in preparation for the looming (in a good way!) house move... today amoung other things (and because I was in the work room and needed space) I went through the small 1'' square ink pads...
I don't use these much anymore and so there was a bit of a cull, but being ever organised and 'thorough' I had to test them all first (duh! really! did I have to test them??! no, not really but it was fun & I rediscovered some great colours!)
so here they are in the sketchbook looking really quite lovely!! - I almost wish I'd put them on a seperate piece of paper now so I could stick it on the wall!

Tags... Part 1....

... well not technically Part 1 as I've put up a lot of tags during my time on this blog but its part 1 for this week - there are going to be 4 tags going up this week!!

This is one of the tags I made for demo'ing at the ArtsyCrafts/Tim Holtz event (& how freakin' good was that!!!)(the event not my tag & demo'ing lol)
The bird is the small bird die and co-ordinating stamp - one of the new PaperArtsy dies. I trimmed off its legs so it can sit on the branch*, which is actually the Tim Holtz tree die turned on its side (tilt your head to the left.. there you go.. now you can see it! lol)** and trimmed! (the other off-cuts made it on to a smaller tag that was a page in a mini book I created - more on that later in the week).  Background is painted in Distress Stains & inks. The bird is 3d mounted to give a bit of depth, branch is cut from Thorndon Hall with a bit of Distress Stickles added for texture...
All stamps are PaperArtsy.

The weather here in Essex today is glorious sunshine (but frosty! who'd've thought!) but not a cloud in the sky! Love that! Gives me such a positive feeling.... And its perfect for taking photos so thats what I'm going to do before I have to start working through my 'to do' list!
I hope its nice where you are!


* Don't worry no birds were harmed in the creation of this tag!
** It makes me chuckle to think that everyone reading this blog post will be tilting their heads to the left... thinking 'oh yes' and straightening up again..lol  ... its the little things that make me smile...

7 March 2011

Beautifully Distressed & Bleached!!

oooh be still my paint lovin' heart!! or actually my Distress Stains lovin' heart!
I was lucky (and very grateful) to be given a set of Tim Holtz/Ranger Distress Stains (thank you very much - you know who you are!!) but was still unsure how the stains would be better/ more versatile than distress ink in pads  - O.M.G!!
They are sooooooooooo fab - seriously.. really versatile - colour goes on really generously (not too generously - nothing being wasted) and smoothly - I worked with them on tags (its how I 'test' out everything - 'put it on a tag' lol) and the ink looks sort of satin-like... love it!
I tried all the usual things - water splashing, salt etc .. and then I thought lets try bleach!!..  just household bleach.. nothing fancy... and look at the stunning effect the bleach has!!  Because the Distress Inks/Stains are dyes the bleach takes out the lightest colour in the mix and then goes to white depending on how much bleach is applied to the stamp!!
(to stamp with bleach I fold up a piece of kitchen towel (into quarters and then again) so thats its quite thick and then pour bleach on - creating a sort of inkpad but with bleach in place of ink... then use exactly as you would normally when inking up a stamp)
How fab is that - I have to tell you that happy clapping ensued and I had to reign myself in not to try this on all 12 colours! lol  (.. that may still happen! but other things had to be done so I'm saving it for another time...)
I really like how it removes colour rather than adding colour as we would normally do when stamping.
The Stain colours I used were Walnut Stain (such a good brown), Peeled Paint & Fired Brick.
I used a red rubber stamp (PaperArtsy Mini22) - its best to use red rubber when using bleach - & make sure you wash it off when you're finished.  I don't know how bleach would affect clear stamps so I avoid using it on those (better safe than sorry!!)
NB: I still need to test out what happens when I stamp another colour over the top of the bleached image - I think if its a pigment ink the colour will be OK but possibly not dye... I'll let you know...

Monday Moggies...

can't resist posting these photos I took of our cats..
Bertie (the black one) wants to be friends with Lola (the tabby) but she's not overly keen & so spends a lot of time avoiding him... and so to see them like this together is lovely - and requires photographic evidence that they don't dislike each other all the time...
and what makes me really smile about this photo is that they're both squeezed onto the box...
but the box is on a chest.. where there's loads of room.. but oh no!.. got to sit on the little box..

Pop back later when there'll be an actual craft/stamping/creative post.. yep seriously - actual creative samples... not pictures of cats... actual painted samples... featuring distress stains, Fresco Finish paints & tags!!   lol

5 March 2011

Craft Stamper April Issue

I have an article in this month's issue - chipboard book using PaperArtsy stamps, Tim Holtz dies and my favourite colour scheme - Pink & Green. Here's a sneek peek but to see the whole thing you'll have to buy the magazine - and why would you not want to do that?! - its another great issue with lots of lovely projects and a cute cover stamp!!

Yes I was indeed at the computer at 06:20 in the morning!
Lots of stuff wizzing around in my head - so I thought I might as well get up.
I'm teaching at Imagine That today - distress/ butterfly themed cards using a new 'favourite' colour scheme of Dusty Concord & Peeled Paint (or shabby shutters if preferred) - purple & green - v calming......
Going back to bed now to catch those zzzz..zzz..zzzzzz ...zzzz..zzz..zzzzzz...

1 March 2011

Stop the world......

.... I want to get off - well I don't want to actually get off I just want everything to slow down a teeny bit so I can get a grip and make a plan! lol

The last 8 days have been a bit fabulously surreal:
*  Had a great few days at the ArtsyCrafts / Tim Holtz event - bloomin marvelous!! met the man himself and saw LOVELY peeps that I've met at previous events, and chatted with on Twitter (great to put faces to names) ... waving at all of you!!
*  Started demo'ing at AC at 7:30am!! Loved it! Used PaperArtsy's new dies - v nice - more about those later..
*  Went to the Ballet - Matthew Bourne's Cinderella - it was beautiful - & brilliant - like watching a black & white war movie.. fabulous
*  I'm consumer testing this:
.. its a great machine (not very fast but maybe thats a health & safety thing) ... it definitely takes the effort out of die-cutting... now I've just got to play around with layering of shims etc so thin dies can be used through it (and thanks to David at Craft Obsessions for some pointers) (apparently they'll (sizzix) be bringing out an extra plate - if it isn't out already).  (The Engineer in the house (ie M) gave it a good look and thought it had been well thought through, and then I moved it away from him before he could think about taking bits apart to see how it went together! lol)
*  but what put the surreal label on this week was this:
both flats sold on the same day!!!!!!!  We are really pleased but didn't expect the top flat (one we live in) to sell quite so fast! lol ... 8 days on the market!! wth!  *insert slightly hysterical laughter here!*   lol
I cannot get my head around the fact that soon I won't live here anymore - its been my home for nearly 16 years and so much has happened.. and.. and.. erm .. sniff... sniff.. someone pass me a tissue please! (I'll stop now or I'll start to sound like Gwyneth Paltrow accepting an Oscar! lol)

I've also decided that 28th February is an EXCELLENT day:
*my grandad's birthday (well actually he was born on a Leap day but 3 years out of 4 he celebrated on the 28th)
*date of my first date with M
*the day we sold the flats
!! 3 reasons to make this officially 'an excellent day' - I might start a campaign to make it a public holiday! lol

So thats it - my wierd & wonderful week - fingers crossed please everyone that everything goes smoothly with the sales!

Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of arty things.....