Saturday, 30 June 2007

The day after the night before!

I gave my Husband his Father's day present last night: an evening out without the baby! We went to a local Indian restaurant which we had been looking at visiting since it opened a year and a half ago. It's too close to home for a taxi ride, but too far to walk (especially after eating!) so it needed the special circumstances of one of us not drinking so we could drive! When I was pregnant, I didn't want to go, and since Dan was born we haven't had the opportunity, so last night was really special.
Back to the important things in life- stamping! After an evening off, I'm raring to go again. I'm finally up to date with my swaps, so I can start on some challenges again. This week's Wednesday Stamper is 'Hats', and Isa has changed her challenges to a monthly winner based on a points system. So off I go again! Yippee!

Friday, 29 June 2007

Thank you, Brayergirl! Great class!

I went back into 2 Peas' World Stamping Weekend's list of classes to start to catch up on what I missed last weekend, and as mentioned in a previous post, I did Kristy's background class. The first photo today is of the resulting creation. Kristy's class has all of the details, but to cut a long story short, you start with the 'faux batik' technique to create some white areas, add your colourwash, which I did using the craft mat/Distress Inks technique, then use a couple of complimentary colours and stamps to create your printed background. What fun! I needed to make two large pieces of paper, English size A2, so I worked on my biggest craft mat, and with some fairly large stamps. My final touch was to add a spritz of perfect pearls mixed with water, in a spray bottle, which Isa and Julie both talk about on their blogs; it adds a beautiful, subtle shimmer. Stamps used are Hero Arts and Aud Design, inks are Distress Inks in Weathered Wood, Milled Lavender, Antique Linen and Tattered Rose. (Again!)
The second two photos are of the mini-book I have made with the background paper. It is for the UK Stamper's Vevet-ize swap. I am not going to post it until Saturday, because of the postal strike today, and I'm not going to show photos of the whole book until it has been received! I want it to be a bit of a surprise for Kym. I hope she likes it! I am due to receive a book from Sid, which I am really pleased about as I love his work. In fact, I would have been happy to receive a book from anyone on the list, they are a talented bunch! All of the photos will go onto the UK Stampers cyberblog, I will post the link when they are ready to be viewed.
I won't be stamping this evening, as my Husband is back from a second week away from home, and I have a surprise planned for him. It's a secret and I've managed to keep it from him for three weeks! Shhh!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Book review.

I have nothing to show for last night's work, as it is a project for a one-for-one swap. It's harder in someways, doing that kind of swap, as you have got to judge what that person would appreciate. Gulp! I hope I've guessed right!
Instead of artwork, I have something better: a book that every stamper should buy! This is "Les Encres- Carterie et Scrapbooking" by Isabelle Norris. This book is mostly about using distress Inks, but also has an excellent section about using alcohol inks. It is written in French, but don't let that put you off; Babel fish is an excellent resource for those annoying words you really can't figure out, and in my opinion, you can work out much of the text from the pictures.
The book is in two sections. The first has lots of colour photos, showing projects of every type: cards, scrapbook pages, mini-books, slidemailers, dominoes, and so on. These photos illustrate the many varied techniques Isa uses in this book. The second section is a step-by-step technique guide, with detailed black and white photos showing each stage of each technique. The two sections are thoroughly cross-referenced, so there is no guesswork necessary as to how to recreate each project.
I have grown to really love my Distress Inks through entering the challenges that Isa hosts on her blog each week, and I am really looking forward to trying all of the techniques in her book. The photos are really inspiring, and the techniques section is really easy to understand. The book is published by CreaPassions, and you can find it at

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

'Buttons and Bows' ATCs

I had a really productive evening yesterday. I finished my ATCs for the UK Stamper's June swap, I made a background paper (Another one!) using the instructions from Kristy's 2nd class at 2 Peas Worldwide Stamping Weekend, and then I made the paper into a mini-book for another UK Stampers swap. I will confess, I was really tired but decided not to go to bed until the baby woke up, and then at ten past midnight, I realised that he hadn't woken up and it really was bedtime! But I felt so pleased at what I had achieved, and at how much fun I had had.
The photos are (obviously) of the ATCs. I'm too embarrassed to confess where the song lyrics are from, although if anyone recognises them, feel free to comment, I will publish the truth! The background is an image of a French postage stamp which shows the revolutionary fashion movement, 'Les Incroyables', and I pasted the image several times using Mod Podge. I then painted gesso over the top, and scraped off the excess using an old credit card. The bow image was made using a swirl from Aud Design and a bow from Fourth Dimension, and stamped in the Nick Bantock ink I bought recently. The lyrics were printed on acetate, then adhered using a Queen and co brad. The buttons and ribbon were from my stash.
Worldwide Stamping Weekend was a great success at 2 Peas, the submissions in the gallery ran to 26 pages. The threads for the classes are still there, and I intend to go back and do some just for fun, since I missed the main event. There is talk of another day for later in the year, watch this space for details, or even better, go and join up!

Monday, 25 June 2007

The Long Weekend.

This weekend my brother got married, so congratulations to Mike and Mandy. The weather was awful, apart from a little patch of sun for about half an hour, just when the photos were being taken! I only got a couple of photos, which isn't like me, as I usually take hundreds! The baby was very, very excited, though, and this time I couldn't manage him and the camera. He's still excited now, hence the title; it's a very long weekend if he doesn't sleep!
I had made my brother a little present a while back. This is Craft TV Weekly's 'Accordian book in a box', which a few of us over at UK Stamper's made. It involves origami-type folding, for the box as well as the pages of the book, and I was a little intimidated to begin with, as I don't consider myself dexterous enough for fiddly techniques (or should that be patient enough!). This project came together easily, though, and I will make more as it uses 6" square papers, which I have a bit of a stash of from when I started scrapping, and thought I would never be able to do a 12" page!
The papers are K and co, the flowers Prima, and the buttons were donated by my Husband from his collection of spares. The stamps used were Papermania foam word stamps and Aud Design, and were stamped in Ancient Page Sandlewood and Whispers Chestnut, both of which are beautifully transluscent. Any other embellishments came from my stash.
I didn't stamp yesterday, as I was so tired, and not feeling inspired, but I've woken up with some ideas, so will put up something new tomorrow!

Friday, 22 June 2007

More backgrounds, or How I can't Move Forward!

I have 3 projects underway at the moment: Wednesday Stamper, the theme for which is 'Eggs', UK Stampers' June 'Buttons and Bows' ATCs, and a mini-book swap on UK Stampers. All of these projects are stuck at the background stage! I have an idea of where I want to end up with each, but I don't seem able to put stamp to paper. I think it's because DH is away. Although he doesn't stamp, I often talk through my ideas with him. Sometimes just the act of verbalising my thoughts makes up my mind, otherwise it's nice to have an opinion, even when I disagree with it! So Sunday is going to have to be an active stamping day, to make the most of him before he goes off again.
The first background here is for the June ATCs. I pasted down some images printed from the computer, painted gesso over them, then scraped most of it off with a credit card. Its a nice way to 'grunge' up your stamping surface. The second background is an ATC for Wednesday Stamper, and I used part of the Nick Bantock Ink background I made a couple of days ago. I stamped in Versamark with an Anna Griffin clear damask stamp, then dusted Perfect Pearls over. It is quite shimmery in real life.
I won't be posting again until Sunday, as I am going to my Brother's wedding tomorrow. But Sunday morning I will have photos of a little project I made as a gift for the happy couple!
Don't forget Worldwide Stamping Weekend over on 2 Peas this weekend. The schedule is out, so clear the decks and get ready to play!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Isa's weekly challenge- 'E'

You will recognise the backgrounds used in this card from yesterdays post. I ended using all three for this card.
Isa's challenge this week was the letter 'E', with the added extra options of using Distress Inks in blue, pink and brown, plus using some swirls. I have gone for soft versions of the colours and swirls, to fit with my subject matter. As usual, the card is more interesting in real life, as I have used a wash of Perfect Pearls and some gold Krylon pen, which don't really show up in the photo.
The stamps are all from Cherry Pie Art stamps (my favourite Klimt stamps again!) stamped in Ancient Page in Sandlewood. Ancient Page is a water-resistant dye ink, so I could use watercolours over the image. I highlighted the swirls on the garments with Sakura Souffle pen in white, then added a wash of Perfect Pearls in copper (from the metallics set) over the top. The areas of flesh were watercoloured with Distress Ink in Tattered Rose, and the lips were highlighted with Sakura Stardust pen in Red. The words were added with Sakura Souffle pen, and yes, that is my handwriting this time, as I couldn't use the computer to create white writing! The metal embellishments are Papermania and 7Gypsies.
The colours are much softer than I usually use, but it's nice to experiment a bit!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Backgrounds (Playing with inks!)

There was some discussion on UK Stampers recently about Ranger's Nick Bantock dye inkpads. My local craft store seem to be phasing out their Distress Inks (Horrors!), but have brought in this range instead. According to Ranger's website, these inkpads are supposed to be in "dramatic" colours, everything else on the packaging indicates that they are similar in their formulation to the Distress Inks, including being embossable. I had asked if anyone had tried these, and as the answer was no, I thought, what the hey, and bought two!
I needed to make some backgrounds using the Distress Inks, and so I decided to also make some with the Nick Bantock inks, using the same techniques each time. For the Distress backgrounds, I used Tattered Rose, Weathered Wood, and Antique Linen, and for the Nick Bantock I used Prussian Blue and Chartreuse Green.
The first two backgrounds were made using the Ink/Water technique. I pressed the inkpads onto a plastic sheet, spritzed them with water, then pressed my cardstock onto the sheet, and moved it around a little. The second two backgrounds were made by applying the inks to the paper with pieces of sponge, I used make-up sponges. The third two were made by pressing a second piece of cardstock onto my plastic sheet. The last picture shows the effect of just stamping my image, and then stamping and spritzing with water.
I would definitely agree that these colours are "dramatic". As with the Distress Inks, the colour does not change when you apply water, it just spreads and travels really well. Even when the stamped image was spritzed in the last sample, you can see how much colour travelled into the water droplets.My fingers got really inky (not a problem!) and it took a liberal application of neat washing up liquid to get them clean!
I didn't try embossing these, but I could see these dye inks have a longer-than-usual drying time, so embossing wouldn't be a problem. In all, I am really pleased I bought these, as I wanted some stronger colours in dye inks, and will be going back to get some more colours. Now the only question is, do I get the Distress Ink in the Soot Black, or the Nick Bantock Ink in the Lamp Black?!
PS For those who are interested in techniques using inks, check out Isa's blog. She has an excellent section with tutorials on this subject, and if you check out the challenges section, each challenge discusses a different technique. It also has information about her book on this very subject!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Where's three of four?!

Honestly, I did send four cards! The one I haven't shown the photo of was one that I'd spent a lot of time on, it was masculine, but...I remembered that I had sent it's picture in for UK Stamper's newsletter artcall, which is still being put together, so I had better not show it now!
Last night's project was putting together some ATCs for the June UK Stamper's swap. The theme is 'Buttons and Bows' which sent me off on a tangent, as it reminded me of some song lyrics, which then reminded me about something else. I was fiddling around for ages last night, but I couldn't make them look 'right', but I got some inspiration this morning, as I was attempting to get more Oatibix into the baby than on him, and so I'm going to have a play with gesso. I'm also very inspired for Isa's weekly challenge, so tonight will be a bit of a creating frenzy! Sadly, the chef (otherwise known as my Husband)is away this week, so it'll be interesting to see what priority I give to dinner!

Monday, 18 June 2007

A Big First.

This Father's Day was particularly special for my Husband, as it was his first! Sadly, we didn't plan anything much as he had to pack for a trip away with work, and had to leave in the afternoon, but he got coffee in bed, and a lot of play time with Dan! I have actually got something planned for him, but my lips are sealed as he may still get around to reading this in the next couple of weeks while he is busy.
I saw the sentiment on this card as a stamp for Mother's Day, but knew then that I had to use it for Father's Day, as 'Danny and Daddy' time is all about smiles and laughter (Mummy time is all about eating and sleeping, boring!). I had planned to use more colour, but in the end I chose black and white because I thought it would be more punchy.
The capital letters are Papermania foam stamps, the curly letters are an MSE clear alphabet, and the small letters are my trusty PSX alphabet. I used Versamark to stamp the background with the Cherry Pie Klimt swirls, then used white embossing powder for the words. The photo was re-sized, adjusted to black and white and the words added in Paint Shop Pro, then the brad and the ribbon added. I stopped there, as Paul rightly says I add too much 'stuff' to my work, and don't know when to stop! At least he is honest enough to tell the truth!

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Wednesday Stamper- Polka Dots

I am a little later this week with my entry for Wednesday Stamper, but here it is. I love looking at other peoples work, as it gives me ideas and inspiration, and so far there are 72 entries! I have seen some of them already as I have been browsing blogs each day, but I think I may have to settle in with a hot drink and look at the rest. I don't want to miss anything!
This card was inspired by a baby book Dan has, and uses a photo that Rein posted on her blog for people to play with. Thanks, Rein! She has challenged people to use this image and post the link to her blog, so this card fulfills two challenges.
The spots were stamped with a Judikins cube which has four sizes of solid spots. The larger spots were stamped in Stazon onto a white card, the smaller spots were stamped in various colours of Brilliance and Versamagic onto black card, then translucent buttons glued over the top. The writing was added to the photo using Paint Shop Pro before printing, (my handwriting isn't arty enough!), and the little tag was cut using a Sizzix die, then I drew the tiny heart.
Thanks for the challenges!

Second of Four...

This card is for my Dad. I wanted to put a sunflower on it, as it is a flower that has some happy family significance, but I do think the card is a little bit feminine! I think that's partly due to all of the white space; if I hadn't left it so late to make this card I may have re-mounted it on a darker cardstock. However, I know it will be appreciated, and I've now got a whole year to think of a better design!
Both the flower and the square frame are from Judikin's 'Carol's Cube', which is one of those useful stamps that can be utilised in a lot of different ways. I stamped and embossed in white, first doing the flower, using a mask cut from a post-it-note (making sure there was some of the sticky on the part I was cutting out), then stamping the frame. The image was coloured with watercolour pencils, using a wet brush touched directly to the pencil tip. Then I added a length of ribbon, and...that's it! A really simple card, for once!

Friday, 15 June 2007

First of four...

I have four Father's day cards to make this year, 2 Fathers-in-law, my Dad, and my Husband! It is my husband's first father's day, although last year I made him a card and got him a pressie as I was half way through my pregnancy. This time it's for real, and I need to make him something really fab.
This card is for my Husband's Dad, and I can safely show the photo as he is on a lovely holiday at Lake Garda in Italy. The other cards will have to be posted after Sunday, as the recipients do try to keep up with the blog. Hi family!
For the background I patted Distress Inks in Scattered Straw, Antique Linen, and Vintage photo onto a plastic mat, spritzed it with water, and rubbed my white cardstock into it. The images are from Hero Arts and Rubbadubado, stamped in Vintage Photo Distress Ink. The dark cardstock is stamped using Versamark with the Hero Arts stamp. All of the metal embellishments are 7Gypsies, the 'Family' tag is Pebbles inc.
It was nice to be stamping and get messy after the much cleaner scrapbooking!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Isa's weekly challenge-'D'

I always thought that as a mother, I would be scrapping endless photos of my baby, charting every stage of his life. In reality, I'm way too busy doing to stop and scrap! That's why I thought a layout would be a good interpretation of the sketch which was part of Isa's challenge.
The first evening of work on this was just assembling the elements, and I did doubt that I could get the visual balance correct from using the sketch. I'm normally instinctive, and just move things about until it looks 'right'. But last night it all just came together so quickly, I had finished in an hour! I could have played a bit more with the typeface and journalling, but I was so pleased that I was moving forward so rapidly that I didn't want to stop and go back! I may try some more sketches, (it will get the backlog of baby photos under control!)
Isa's challenge was to use the letter D as the subject, use a butterfly on the piece, and use the sketch she provided. My subject is Daniel, my son, and the butterfly is in the lower right corner.
The background paper is Basic Grey 'Perhaps', chipboard letter is Making Memories, the second background paper is a photo printed onto transparency, and I used a butterfly stamp from Anna Griffin. The journalling and title paper was altered with Distress ink in Antique Linen, the butterfly was embossed in white on vellum. Thanks for another fun challenge, Isa!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Photos from Mottisfont

It was a fantastic day yesterday! The weather started off as grey and dull, But by the time we got to Mottisfont, it was bright sunshine all the way! Mottisfont Abbey is famous for its walled rose gardens, which in June are at their best. I visited two years ago and loved it, but this year even more flowers were in bloom. It was a real sensory experience, as the fragrance was as beautiful as the flowers themselves. I took a lot of photos, some with a view to making some background papers, and, with the excellent light we had, I had some nice results. I started a scrapbook page in the evening with a view to doing Isa's weekly challenge, which reminded me why I don't scrap as often as I used to! The time it takes to organise all of the different elements of photos, paper, embellishments and journalling means that I didn't even start on the stamping! Hopefully another evening will see it finished.
In the meantime, the new Wednesday stamper challenge is Polka dots, so I plan to ponder that and see what inspiration strikes!

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Road trip.

There was no crafting last night again, as the baby didn't go to sleep until 10pm. Better than the night before, but not good for me! He had a good long sleep, though, so I shouldn't complain.
Today I am going on a road trip with my friend, to Mottisfont Abbey, near Romsey. It has the most beautiful rose gardens, so I'm hoping to get some good photos to scrap. We usually end up going to craft shops when we go out like this, but I don't think there are any near Mottisfont. But there is a huge branch of Hobbycraft on the way home!

Monday, 11 June 2007

Guitar Man ATC

Here is the finished ATC that I didn't have the light to photograph last night. I used the same set of Paperartsy stamps that I used for the 'B' ATC I did for Isa's challenge. They really inspire me! For this one, I was thinking about guitars, hence the wire at the right hand side, and the plectrum (which is made of chipboard with 3 layers of UTEE). The stamps are from 'Stage lights 3', and I stamped them in Versamagic Ocean Depth onto plain white card.
The baby finally went to sleep at ten past midnight, but did sleep for four hours straight, which is an improvement on the norm. But he hasn't had his morning nap yet...arrgh!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Nothing to show for my efforts tonight...

...because I have somehow managed to have a baby who doesn't believe in sleep, daytime or evening! I tried, I sat quietly upstairs with him for 2 hours, but he was awake. What can I say? He's happily sitting on his playmat in the living room, playing with his toys.
Oh well. I finished off the ATC I did the background for yesterday, but too late for photos. I will post them in the morning.
And is it all worth it? YES!!!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Kym's 9 step background

Kym had kindly posted a step-by-step set of instructions for a background she had created that I admired, here on her blog, and I thought I would have a go myself and see how different it would look with different stamps and colours. I am pleased with the result, and Kym was right, it didn't take long at all!
Step one is to choose your background paper. Mine is plain white card. Steps two, three and four are creating the first all over layer of stamping, using masking. Mine here is the music manuscript background from TandaStamps in Distress Ink Weathered Wood. Then a vertical stamp, again to cover the whole background, I chose a word stamp from Paperartsy's Stage lights sheet 3, in Distress Milled Lavender. Then the shaded border is created using foam and, here, Distress Dusty Concord. The last step is to stamp all over, again with another image, here another stamp from the Paperartsy sheet stamped in Versamagic Eggplant.
I'm really pleased with the result, it really has depth, and I wouldn't have thought to use so many different stamps in the background. I will finish the ATC later!

A relaxing Saturday...

...or as close as you can get with a 6 month old baby! I have no photos to post today, as I am planning and pondering! Last night Isa posted this week's challenge, which was the letter 'D', plus the option of using a sketch for the layout, and a butterfly. I like to challenge myself by doing all of the options each week, but sketches terrify me! Isa has posted two beautiful examples of using this sketch, one a card and one a scrapbook layout, and I think, given the (to me) complexity of the sketch, I will do a layout. I have it all planned in my head, I just need to get the perfect photos to go with it! So today I will be chasing my husband and son around with the camera hoping that if I take enough piccies I will have the perfect two. Then I will just have to bite the bullet, and try to follow the sketch. Wish me luck!

Friday, 8 June 2007

My first ever Wednesday Stamper

This is it, I bit the bullet this week and decided to go for it! I have been following the Wednesday Stamper challenge site for quite a while, but have never felt that I had the time or talent to put in a submission. If you look at the incredible pieces of art that are regularly entered on the site, you'll see why! Well, this week I found I had the time, and the theme was 'flowers', one of my favourites, so I decided to challenge myself by making something I felt was acceptable for an entry. It was fun! And this is OK!
Stamps used are Stampendous, and my trusty PSX alphabet, inks are Distress inks in Weathered wood and Antique linen, and I used silver detail embossing powder on vellum for the flowers at the front. The corner punch is from Anna Griffin, and the flowers are from a pound shop! Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Black and white inchies.

Anyone involved in this swap, look away now! These are for a swap on UK Stampers with the theme of 'black and white'. I made the background as one piece, then cut it into the individual 2.5cm square pieces. When it was done, it made me think about the illustrations in fairy stories, I'm not quite sure why! Hence the fairy-tale inspired words, and the theme of the embellishments. I suppose inspiration comes from very individual memories and emotions, you just hope someone else will understand where you're coming from. Or at least like the results, yes, I'll settle for that!
Background stamps from Hero Arts, Tandastamps, and Aud design. Words printed from the computer. Now I just have to wait to receive my swaps!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Shrink plastic embellishments

I didn't do an awful lot last night, I mainly tidied up after my mad tag-making session of the night before. I am obsessively organised with my craft storage, but when I get crafting, I think I get out practically everything I own and leave it in my working space of 1m x 0.5m! But then I do have the satisfaction of putting it all back in the right place and in the correct order. I also finished cutting out my unmounted stamp sheets and putting them away (in order, of course) in CD cases. I had just cut out the ones I wanted to use, so I am now up to date and organised.
What I did do last night was make some little embellishments to go on my black and white inchies. Practically all of my embellishments are coloured or at least metallic, and I thought I would be a purist here and only use black and white. So out came the shrink plastic again, and I stamped a variety of images in black Stazon on the white, and Brilliance Moonlight white on the black. Stamps used are from: Tandastamps, Anna Griffin, Aud design, Cherry Pie, Stampendous. I think that's all of them!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Klimt inspired tags

Here is my entry for Isa's weekly challenge. I think you will recognise the background! I decided to kill 3 birds with one stone, so this also fulfills the 'Define your space' challenge on UK Stampers, and is the first step toward changing the artwork in my dining room (now also my crafting space) from an Italian Rennaissance theme to Gustav Klimt. It's really because of the baby, from an early age he has been obsessed with my prints of 'The Kiss' and 'Tree of Life', staring at them and smiling (I think it's because of the graphic swirls, not because he is cultured!). So we are now getting a huge copy of 'Tree of life' for the dining room, and I am going to make labels for all of my craft storage drawers.
First challenge. Isa set as this weeks challenge the letter 'C', with additional options of using only tags, and no brown ink. I was inspired by her example piece, of three tags, and wanted to make a piece where the layers are individually nice, but look best when hung together.
Second challenge. I think the title 'Define your space' says it all. It was the option of a label, a mini-book, or a name plate for our working space or equipment. I think this qualifies!
The bottom layer is gold card stamped with Stazon, with some areas emphasised with black pen. The next layer is the caught in crystal background, stamped with Brilliance ink in Mineral. The third layer has a piece of caught in crystal stamped with Stazon, and gold embossing, the fourth has some lettering printed from the computer, some stamped , and backed with gold Krylon pen, plus silver embossing and some gems. The last is as the 3rd, stamped around the top edge with Ranger perfect medium, and Perfect pearls from the Metalics set added. All except the bottom tag were made with transparency for the computer, and they were all edged with gold Krylon. Stamps are all Cherry Pie, apart from the PSX alphabet.
Sorry, long winded explanation, but there was a lot going on in this piece!

Monday, 4 June 2007

Paris mini (name badge) album

This is what I was working on last night, the Name badge album challenge from UK Stampers. Basically, it is a really small mini album, 8.5cm wide by 5.5cm deep, using security badges from a stationers as page protectors. The original, from Craft TV Weekly, used slightly bigger pockets, but this was all I could find on the high street. I have chosen the theme of my favourite places in Paris, and I'm using photos from my visit in 2004, for my tenth wedding anniversary.
As you can see, the first pair of pages is of Notre Dame de Paris. Our hotel was in the Quartier Latin, and each morning we took our croissants, crossed over the river Seine, and ate them in front of the cathedral. Lovely memories!
Enough of the reminiscences! The background papers were made using an 'aged newsprint' effect in Paint shop pro, then stamped with a script stamp from Hero Arts, and swirls by Aud Design. The brads are all Making Memories. I haven't scrapped for ages, as you see my style is 'cluttered' as I love embellishing!

I have used some of my lovely caught in crystal background, but I know that trying to photograph acetate in artificial light just doesn't work, so I will post the photos tomorrow!

Caught in Crystal background.

This is what I was waiting for last night. I did do two pages in my mini-book (the name badge album) to fill in the time, but now I can get on with this.
I love the effects you can acheive with this technique. For those who have never heard of this, it involves acetate, 'Klear' floor wax (called 'Future' in the USA), alcohol inks, glitter or other sparkly things to sprinkle on (I love Ranger's Perfect Pearls), and crumpled tissue paper. I followed an excellent tutorial on Sid's blog , it is so well written, it's hard to go wrong. The most difficult part of this is being patient and waiting until it is properly dry before trying to look at the finished piece: alcohol ink stains are hard to get clean!
The two photos are of the same piece, as it is transparent, the backing paper affects the colour. The first photo uses a gold background, and the second a white background. I think I will use the gold in my finished work, as I like the rich effect. I used Airondack inks in Red Chilli, eggplant, and Terracotta, and Perfect pearls in Metallics.
Try this- it's great!

Sunday, 3 June 2007


No pictures tonight, I'm just waiting for my Caught in Crystal to dry...


There is a lot going on in the crafting world, if you just go out and look for it. Daring card makers, Wednesday Stamper, Green Pepper Press, they inspire some amazing artwork, which then goes on to inspire those of us who just spectate each week rather than join in.
That's not to say I don't get involved in challenges, in fact quite the opposite! It can get quite frantic getting everything done in time for the deadlines. I have really started to experiment outside of my comfort zone, not always very successfully, but I always try!
These are the challenges/swaps I am currently doing:
-UK Stampers Black and White inchie swap
-UK Stampers "Velvet-ize" swap (a mini book inspired by Craft TV Weekly)
-UK Stampers Name Badge mini-album (also from Craft TV Weekly)
-UK Stampers "Define Your Space" tag/label challenge
-Isa's weekly challenge- this week is the letter C
There is also a very interesting looking ATC swap on UK Stampers, I just have to see how the time goes! There are also some great swaps on Talk Crafts forum, I am hoping to join in again once I've got my to-do list down to a managable level!

Saturday, 2 June 2007

The Naming Day is over...

... and I can post pictures of the jewelry I made as presents. They were all done with shrink plastic and Ranger glossy accents, two of my favourite products to play with. The butterfly necklace was made for my 4 year old niece, as she took part in the ceremony, and was a stamped image from Fourth Dimension, coloured with Sakura Stardust pens and shrunk. The cufflinks were presents for the Godfathers, my Brother and Brother-in-law, and were made using a stamp from Cherry Pie, stamped in Brilliance mineral trio on black shrink plastic (there were two sets!). The other necklace was for the baby's godmother, my friend and crafting buddy, and was made by dabbing brilliance in pearlescent purple, crimson and moonlight white onto transluscent shrink plastic, then stamping into the shrunk square whilst still hot with another stamp from Cherry Pie. All of the pieces were given a layer of glossy accents, to protect the images and to add some dimension.
If anyone is in doubt over having a traditional christening, I would definitely recommend a Naming Ceremony as a great alternative, it was quite a day! And the best thing is that I have photos and messages for the baby which I can now make into a lovely star book!

Friday, 1 June 2007

Big day tomorrow!

No photos yet today because it's my baby's Naming Ceremony tomorrow, and it's a bit frantic here! Luckily, I am not the chef, that honour goes to DH, but I am the organiser (otherwise known as the 'bossy boots'!). What I am doing is making presents for the 3 Godparents and for my little niece as a thankyou, and making some message tags to go into a commemorative star book I am planning to make once I have the photos from the day. The presents are shrink plastic jewelry using stamps from Cherry Pie Art Stamps and I will be posting pictures soon!