Mixed-media paper crafter; stamper, freelance craft tutor, designer of PaperArtsy JOFY stamps

30 November 2010

Banana Frog Blog Hop

Yesterday I didn't think we'd see any snow down here in Essex - I was wrong! Yay!  ...Though the snow might get boring very quickly - I think OH is bored/fed up already after it took him 2 HOURS to get to work - it normally takes 30 minutes! ouch!
So I think this months blog hop is going to more of a blog sledge & ski trip - so wrap up warm and take a look around... just follow the links...

So here's my card featuring the lovely Rudolph from the 'Its christmas.. deer' set - love that stamps - I always think Rudolph looks like he's had one christmas sherry too many! lol  The background is stamped with 'Retro Snowflakes'

Enjoy the rest of the blog hop - and don't forget to leave comments along the way - there'll be prizes!!

Next stop Lori : http://lovescraplife.typepad.com/il_mio_weblog/ where she'll have something lovely to share with you..

Enjoy & keep warm!

29 November 2010

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!...

Here's a pretty tag I made with things that came in the post last week - making a tag lets me quickly use new 'toys' ahem sorry, craft equipment.  Snowflakes are Martha Stewart Scandinavian snowflake punch (large) lovely, lovely snowflake (and it looks like these are the only snowflakes I'm going to see - our area of Essex seems to be the only part of the country that doesn't have snow - humph).  The blue panel is a Tim H punched tag embossed using one of his embossing folders - love those!
There's an acetate tag peaking out on the right handside (sanding picks up the embossed design), and some scallop edged cardstock 
Its christmas and glitter is expected, no - its an essential requirement! I really like glittered chipboard but it can be a bit of a pain when the glitter ends up EVERYWHERE! But I discovered the solution (and duh! how could I not have realised/used this before) when I went to Imagine That on their birthday weekend..... STICKLES!!!!  Emma had covered a chipboard Eiffel Tower in stickles and it was soooooo lovely! I can't believe that I've only use stickles to dot accent things! Oooh so much more to do (and cover!) with stickles! (or any glitter glue for that matter)  Pretty!!
So I glammed up a chipboard 25 (sizzix dies) with Stickles. Lush!

I think duck-egg blue & pale gold are going to be my christmas colours this year - on a white tree....

25 November 2010

Houses... everywhere...

Little houses - they were all over our house but in September quite a few of them relocated.  Here are two of them: 'made do and mend' on the left (bought by a lady who makes patchwork items -very appropriate!), and blue/grey on the right....

And this house - didn't sell at Village Green - I think because I was sending out 'don't buy it' vibes because it was my 2nd favourite! (& someone had already bought my favourite! lol)(which I'm very grateful for obviously! lol)
Love making these - and I can feel a christmassy one coming on...  ho ho ho  (only 30 days 'til christmas day!!)

23 November 2010

Lilliput PaperArtsy HQ?!?

or in 'JoLand' of miniature houses this is what PaperArtsy HQ looks like - made with the lovely new Thorndon Hall papers:
The house stands on a vintage cotton reel, is edged with spots of Distress Stickles and has a Tim Holtz book plate on the front.  I'm going to further embellish the house by adding pen nibs onto some of the printed nibs (I've just got to find them - they're in a safe place.. but I've got to find that too! lol) 
The roof is covered in metal that's been run through an embossing plate, painted, spritzed with glimmer mists (perfect pearl mists) and sanded back.  Love the effect that gives!

PaperArtsy have the new Thorndon Hall 12x12 papers in stock here.  Enjoy!
(oh and the house is from PA too!)(and the metal!)

17 November 2010

HoHoHo - Banana Frog Day! (and WOYWW)

24 ATCs later.....
go HERE to take a look

PS: 38 days 'til Christmas.....

I almost forgot today was Wednesday (don't ask)!

Here's my desk - possibly an even less interesting picture than last week (ie very tidy, no half made items,no fiddly twiddly bits & pieces and shockingly no cups of coffee!!) - its my computer desk with this month's dt pieces for Banana Frog... multi-tasking! 
Sorry - craft desk pic's will return next week (or during the week - so please pop back!)

10 November 2010


OK, this is not the most interesting picture of a desk you'll look at today so I apologise! Its just that I haven't woyww'd for a few(!) weeks (so thought I reeeeaaally should) (and of course I wanted to) but unfortunately today is a computer/ paperwork day before I go and teach this afternoon!

So please enjoy my 2 red course folders, hand outs and a couple of samples ... oh and of course the ever present cup of coffee!! (but don't feel too bad for me - disappearing under a mountain of paperwork - those box files top right are hubby's!) and also don't worry because I actually enjoy paperwork! (in moderation... lol)

Hope everyone is well - I'll be around for a snoop later!

If you want to know what this is all about go to Queen WOYWWer's  site for all the details at http://www.stamping-ground.blogspot.com/

9 November 2010

Tags & little sketchbook... pt 2

I'm loving the new glitzy-painty generally luscious sprays that I've bought recently, and because I couldn't wait to use them on an actual project I played around with them on tags and in a sketchbook....

So first up was the tags (cut using the V nice Tim H die). I sprayed the same colours onto white and black tags to see (and have a reference of) how different the colours look when sprayed onto different bases - different colours pop.
I was spraying the tags inside the kitchen sink to try and contain the spray - the sink looked v pretty and so I mopped up the colours :
How much fun was I having - spritzing, stamping, a bit of white accenting and lots of glimmerly shimmeriness!
ooh and to top it off a bit of cuttlebug embossing:
ooh I was on a roll now - next stop: sketchbook!
The white areas were created by laying some chipboard shapes from the Heidi Grace alphabet stack (that I bought recently in TKMaxx) spraying over them, removing them and doodling around.  And 'cos I don't like to waste things and because the chipboard took the paint/spray really well (thin chip but no warping!) I used some of the pieces to embellish the 'art' page.  The black star motif had been stuck to the noticeboard in the kitchen for ages and I used this not just to embellish the page but to cover up a bit I didn't like... (its all created with smoke & mirrors!!)
I love how the light catches the reflective particles in the sprays when the page is tilted different ways. Pretty! When the page is tilted and catches the light its an 'ooooohh' moment!  Like watching fireworks burst into colours.

I created all these and had the kitchen back to looking like a kitchen rather than a mad craft/paint studio all before M got home and without spritzing either of the cats!! (though am thinking Bertie, who is a smooth black cat, would've look quite nice accented with a bit of turquoise glimmer...)

8 November 2010

Big sketchbook...

My big sketchbook is where I think about bigger projects - sketches, colours, to-do lists - this way of thinking comes from studying for City & Guilds where the courses require you to keep a sketchbook that shows process and progression... it definitely helps me focus... (and I'm less likely to loose a sketchbook than bits of paper here and there!)

aaanyhoo this page is samples of things that didn't turn out quite as planned as I was working on them, but even though the end result wasn't successful I really liked the colours.. 
And more importantly I learned something along the way:  its seems that embossing powders do have a shelf life (I've often wondered if they do) because the older (gifted to me) pot of embossing powders weren't sticking - they sort of melted into the page rather than sit on the surface as you'd expect... still resisted ink but not with a nice sharp image)

But as I said I really liked the colour combination so I thought I'd show the photo. Distress inks used are frayed burlap and broken china, the stamp is Purple Onion, and the lovely patterned paper on the right-hand side is Rum&Raisin from PaperArtsy.

7 November 2010

Little test post...

... featuring little houses that I created!
The little patchworked house was bought by a lady at Village Green who made patchwork & quilts! How bloomin' appropriate! lol   Love it when the little houses find their 'perfect' owner!

Little sketchbook....

My big & little sketchbooks are where I unload my brain...
(by the way - I may have shown these on twitter so if you saw them via that - oops -sorry! but not everyone tweets.. and sometimes I wonder if I should - because if I didn't I'd get a lot more other stuff done! lol)
here's a page from my little sketchbook (14x14cm):
This page makes me smile for several (well 7 actually!) reasons:
1. the pink Cosmic Shimmer spray
2. the Banana Frog border stamp
3. I like dahlias - very much
4. I grew that lovely flower in my window box
5. mmmmn book text
6. tab punch!
7. photo printed with my Pogo printer (slightly dodgy print quality sometimes but I like it anyway!)

6 November 2010

ArtsyCrafts October 2010

Now that the ArtsyCrafts weekends are over I can share pictures.  I really, really enjoy working at these events run by Leandra (PaperArtsy) & Lin (LB Crafts) - so many lovely ladies come and make so many lovely pieces of art! 2-3 (?) years down the line I enjoy them just as much now as I did the first time! (though I have learned to pace myself a little better - lol).
The Team (Leandra, Lin, Karen, Lynne, Linda and myself) all make versions of the projects in the different colourways so people can see samples, hopefully be inspired, and also so that we can give advice & answer questions that may arise...
Aaaaanyhoo enough waffle - here is my version of the main project in the Citrus Sorbet colourway...
Yellow!  Yes yellow!!  and I loved working with these colours - its was a challenge to start with because they're not colours that I find easy (or would not normally choose) to work with but now - now I am embracing yellow!!
But I did counterbalance the above by creating a different project in 'apple blossom' which is my favourite colour combination of pink & green... (back in my comfort zone)
There'll be more ArtsyCrafts events coming up in 2011 details will be on PaperArtsy & LBCrafts sites as and when.

5 November 2010

Y? Why not?

I made this earlier in the year and can't remember why I haven't blogged it?? and if there was a reason I wasn't posting/blogging it I can't remember what it was now!.... so here it is
I love little boxed panels like these - I have no idea why.. this one is quite small (9.5x7cm. canvas is 12cm) and is very managable (love making small things) - the vintage printers tray that I have sitting waiting to be... well, erm.. I don't quite know whats going to happen to that yet - isn't quite so managable... a proper plan is needed for that! The above came together in about 1-2 hours (probably less)... so you see I'm working up the printers tray -  little steps! started with the above, then there's a similar one with more sections, then I'll alter/fill the 7Gypsies printers tray and then.... then I'll have worked out a design/plan/ theme(?) for the vintage tray! 
(I feel I should point out that I'm not being flaky - the vintage tray is quite big!! its about 3x2ft and I don't want to think how many sections are in there... let just leave it 'a lot' shall we! lol)

(the section box is mounted onto a canvas board, painted with acrylics, the sections have been lined with embossed metal, book text, Hambly acetate, K&Co papers, and sorry but I can't remember where I got the lovely swirly wooden pieces)

4 November 2010

Rudolph the {not so} red nosed reindeer....

OK, I don't want to scare anybody but its only 51 days 'til christmas!!!

I'm easing myself into this gently - afterall I completed christmas projects for Craft Stamper (what seems like) ages ago & taught christmas classes in September, so Christmas seems to have been coming for a looooong time.  ho ho ho!

Another tag today - this one is made up of 3 layers -
*  bottom layer is PaperArtsy Rum&Raisin papers stamped with a Stampin-up stamp 'Bella Toile',
*  middle is the torn edge layer which has been embossed with a Cuttlebug xmas embossing folder and coloured with distress inks (frayed burlap- I like that colour a lot) and faded jeans (or maybe broken china),
*  top layer is acetate run the the 'bug with the Swiss Dots (goes with everything) embossing folder.
The reindeer is cut using another of Tim's dies (reindeer flight) - cut from a paper I made using same Stampin Up 'Bella Toile' stamp embossed in clear and coloured with the faded jeans/broken china. I accented its underbelly with frayed burlap ink which seemed to give it a bit a dimension and stopped it looking so 'clean'.
The cute little rosette is made with Tim Holtz' 'paper rosette' die - love these - it makes creating rosettes sooooo easy! Love it!
The rosette on the tag is the smaller of two I've made using the same die. The picture above shows the original and smaller size- create the smaller one by cutting about 1cm off the depth of the diecut (remember to run a length of sticky tape along the reverse to avoid the folds tearing)

Thanks for popping by!

Doing a happy dance!!

 Remember my woeful/rantful blog post regarding the treadle sewing machine - if not, you can read it here..... well a week or so ago a student of mine (thanks CW!!) read the blog post and one thing lead to another and earlier this week I had the lovely item below passed on to me!!!  I'm doing a happy dance!!  A happy dance indeed!

Look at the lovely metal engraving on the front panel - its a really lovely piece and I am VERY grateful and appreciative of being given it - I will certainly look after it.
so, I think this says something about the communication (& sharing) power of blogging...
(I'm full of cold at the moment  - and the above made me feel better... unlike pseudoephederine (decongestant) which I took and turned out I'm allergic to - resultd in a small (not so) nice facial rash!)

1 November 2010


A pinch & and a punch for the first day of the month! by that I mean a pinch of embossing powder and a Martha Stewart punch - of course - what else could it be?! {chuckle}

The pc is now mended - yay - though after the tower was fixed the screen died! ......

So, I like a tag, or several, they're great for using up scraps from the desk, or testing out new stamps and/or techniques - whatever the reason - I like tags!! (and now I've bought Tim H's big tag die I'm liking them all the more because I can cut them out of all manner lovely cardboards, acetate, paper etc etc etc - the list could go on!
This tag was created with a plain luggage tag & a piece of leftover corrugated cardboard - love the HotPicks PaperArtsy stamps : the flower head is from HotPicks 1005, long 'branches' 1008, & words are from HPXT04.  I liked how this turned out - especially as I am continuing to embrace yellow (if you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I'm really not keen on yellow but now I coming around to it)(when I find the photos I'll show you my recent ArtsyCrafts project - lemon&lime!! bring it on!)
You'll have to excuse the wierd angle of this photograph (in the folder its landscape oriented but on screen Blogger seems to think it would look better portrait! gggrrrr) aaaanyhooo - I wanted to include it to show two level of black image stamping - I stamped the long branches, dried them, and then stamped the flower heads & added embossing powders and heated.  I liked how it made the flower heads 'pop' as they are now 'shiny'. (you can just about see that in the photo - tilt your head to the right.....)
Edit:  I altered it in Photoshop - yay for me! lol - see you learn something new every day!!
This tag is again using a parcel tag & another piece of leftover corrugated cardboard - there's a lot of that on my desk at the moment! lol  These dimensional paper flowers are all over crafting projects at the moment - I think this is first/second one I've made and they're really easy to make - though to glue them in future I'm going to use hot glue.. Leaves are PaperArtsy dies, the loopy border strip is a Martha Stewart punch (punching atlas paper) and the wording is a Tim H stamp.. oh and there's a little Sizzix flourish die in there too.. & some distress ink, silver versacolor & a scrap of book text....

Take care
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