Sunday, 31 August 2008

UK Stampers Sunday Challenge no. 4- Red, White and Blue

It was with a heavy heart I saw last week's challenge:

Sunday challenge no4

Well it's all over... the Olympics that is and it's been handed over to London for, create a card ( good luck or a congratulations if possible), white and blue! ..Happy stamping!

A card! I think I have made my feelings about cards quite plain recently. I wonder if I'm getting a phobia LOL! I did it anyway, in the spirit of the Olympics I pushed through my pain barrier, and here is the result. Not perfect, but not bad :)

Colour: Versamagic, Whispers pen, Distress Ink, Gold embossing powder
Stamps: Crafty Individuals (flower), Stampin' Up (sentiment)
Other: Papermania metal-rimmed tag, paper roses, tiny snap, metal corners (all from my stash), Cuttlebug embossing folder

This week's challenge is a different story altogether- I'm excited and raring to get going on it. Here is the link. It's easy to join in- just sign up for UK Stampers and play along!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

UK Art Raffle August entry- Summer Sun

I seem to be blogging an awful lot at the moment, but I think that's because I am doing a lot! I haven't even blogged the cards, mostly because they are only really interesting to the recipients; I am not a natural card maker. I have nothing for tomorrow, though, as I have reached the point with the piece I am working on where I have to leave it alone for a while, so that I know where I am going with it. But I thought I would share this tonight, as I really want to wash my hair and do some housework before going out tomorrow morning, and spending time on the internet is not conducive to either!
Anyway, this piece is for Sarah's UK Art Raffle, a fabulous sort-of swap she is running where everybody sends in something, but only one person gets all of the art each month! It's such a great idea, and I can imagine how I would feel if a surprise box arrived, full of inspiring things. This is the first month, but even now a lot of people have put their name down. It's UK only, sadly, because of the expense of posting, but there will be a gallery each month after the parcel has been received.

Colour: Alcohol Inks, Gold embossing powder, Dee Greunig Blending Blox, Distress Inks
Stamps: Paperartsy, Studio g
Other: Gold card, Cuttlebug embossing folder, fusible film, photo of baby laughing (Dan at 4 months!)

This piece owes a lot to Linda B, who has started to do Youtube tutorials. I had never considered using the fusible film and just melting it onto a project, and it was great fun, if a little unpredictable. And it was also heavily inspired by a certain children's show- the one everyone loves to hate, but I just love!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

ATCs- Children

This month's 3 for 3 swap on UK Stampers had a theme which most people jumped at, but I found quite hard: children. I am not a brilliant collage artist, and don't have a lot of children-y stamps, so I ended up buying a new stamp. I love these two little cowboys, and I can see this image being handy at birthday and party invite time; it's nice to find something arty and yet also suitable for children!

Colour: Distress Inks, Perfect Pearls (sprayed)
Stamps: Crafty Individuals, Studio G and PSX (alphabets)

My trick-of-the-day for these ATCs was to tap the edge of a rough old plastic ruler into my ink pads and then use it to add the 'scratches' to grunge up the work. I'm sure it's not a new idea, but it impressed my husband!

Monday, 25 August 2008

UK Stampers Sunday Challenge no. 3- Inchies

This is my entry for last week's Sunday Challenge. Here is what we were asked to do:

Sunday Challenge no3

The Olympics are in full swing so this weeks challenge is to create a set of 9 inchies with games as a theme...use gold, silver and bronze somewhere on them....Upload your finished challenges to the blog
Happy stamping

I haven't made a set of Inchies for ages, and was stumped for a while, until I cut out a piece of 3" x 3" cardstock and remembered that you don't have room for much on an inchie! I didn't have any really sporty stamps, so ended up using the ball (from a cheap set of baby stamps) and the word 'play' from an Inkadinkado set. I was slightly smug about the idea of tearing the red-coloured white paper to get the white stripes for the Union Jack flag- it's nice to be pleased with yourself every once in a while!

Stamps: Inkadinkado, Unknown (bought from 'The Works' bookshop!)
Colour: Distress Ink, Brilliance, Perfect Pearls (the balls are coloured with it for the medal colour theme), Versamagic
Other: Text from the computer

This week's challenge is up here, and it's easy to join UK Stampers to play- wherever in the world you live. Isn't the Internet great?!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Cherry Pie Altered Noticeboard

I have had yet another move around in my craft area, this time adding a desk with a hutch arrangement on top- the kind most people use for their computers. There is a lot more storage, and I finally had a little bit of space to display my favourite ATCs and other items received from other stampers. This was a really simple project to do, and the last photograph shows all of my current inspiration! Click on the photo for a close-up.

Colour: Versafine, Distress Crackle paint, Perfect Pearls, silver embossing powder, Distress Ink
Stamps: Cherry Pie
Other: Calico fabric, satin ribbon, Papermania jewel brads.

I drew the diamonds onto the calico before stamping, and used post-it notes to mask off where I was stamping. The frame was painted with crackle paint, wiped over with Distress Ink, then dusted with Perfect Pearls whilst the ink was still wet. The stars were heat embossed on the calico, but the effect was a bit disappointing. It works best on the silk!

PS The card in the top right hand corner is from my best friend and scrapping buddy, Vicky. I love it!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Glenda's Stampbord Challenge

I am a regular reader of Glenda Waterworth's blog (as so many are- it's number 9 on the Crafty Blogs listings site) and recently she set a challenge with the chance to win some gorgeous new stamps. Those who stop by regularly will know that my current favourite stamps are the Elusive Images words set with all those fab quotes- I have used them for most of my recent projects! I also have a couple more sets, and a wood mounted mandala stamp, which I haven't used since last Christmas. Well, to stop the rambling, Glenda's challenge is to produce something using Elusive Images stamps plus Stampbord, and this is it- a star ornament for my Christmas tree! I haven't had time to look at the other entries, but I am sure they are all beautiful and inspiring. As soon as I have finished this, I'm off to admire!

Colour: Glimmer mist, Dee Gruenig Blending Blox, Paint Dabber, Sakura Stardust pen, Ranger Stickles, Cosmic shimmer embossing powder, Versafine, Versamark
Stamps: Elusive Images
Other: Shrink Plastic, acetate, Stampbord, ribbon and star eyelet from my stash.

The star itself is made by stamping the mandala onto acetate, heat embossing, then spraying three times with Glimmer Mist, leaving it to dry each time. Then I cut it into six triangles, flipped it over, and re-arranged it as the star. I did this twice, and layered them back-to-back. The front Stampbord is a Versamark resist, and the back is heat embossed before colouring, to get a stronger image.

Thanks for the challenge, Glenda, I really enjoyed making this!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Cherry Pie- Inched ATC swap

Eleven of these are currently winging their way to Florida, to Marina, who is hosting this swap. The idea was to use inchies on your ATCs- at least one, but as many as you like. I eagerly signed up to this, but then struggled to come up with a design I liked. In the end I fell back on my favourite face stamp, and a new butterfly stamp. I am pleased with the overall design, although I have no idea what I was trying to say with it!

Colour: Distress Inks, Versafine Sepia, pencil, Brilliance
Stamps: All Cherry Pie
Other: Silk dupion fabric, safety pin, staples, old(ish) paper from an A4 notepad, really old book page, textured watercolour paper, Sizzix tag die

The colour of the old book page hasn't been altered at all (except at the edge of the ATC), but everything else has been, to match. The turquoise colour is watercoloured Distress Ink, and the staples were grunged up with Brilliance. I got truly inky making these!

Monday, 18 August 2008

July's altered art swap- matchbox shrine

This is my first ever shrine, and I loved it. I have always loved working in miniature, so this was an ideal challenge for me. I was inspired by Japanese inro, little boxes that were tucked into a kimono's sash as a pocket. The first one I made was a bit costume-y, and I didn't like it (after spending a lot of time on it, of course!). This is my second attempt, and I managed to put into it the essence of what I admire about Japanese art, while still retaining my own style.

Colour: Versafine, Sparkle and Sprinkle embossing powder, gold Krylon pen
Stamps: Non Sequitur (ginkgo leaf), unknown (crane)
Other: Japanese newspaper, origami paper, gold cord, Ranger Crackle Accents, gold card

The bead is a paper bead, made from the newspaper, and the crane inside was made from a 1" square of the newspaper. If you like origami, check this site out for great tutorials!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

UK Stampers are doing Sunday challenges!

I know there are a lot of challenges out there, but it never hurts to have another choice! UK Stampers is now doing a challenge each Sunday, and the challenge is being set by Efemera, otherwise known as Gail, whose work you will have seen in last month's Craft Stamper. We have done two challenges so far. The first was to make something with your oldest and newest stamps. I used the bright card I made for my friend Vicky as the example of my newest stamps (those Inkadinkado flowers), and the top photo here is what I made with my oldest stamp, the Personal Impressions snowflake. I bought it in 1998, and used it originally to make that year's Christmas cards, before putting it away and forgetting about it. Using it again, on the triptych ATC, made me realise how pretty it is, and I may even use it this year for my cards!
The second challenge was to make two Oriental-themed tags, one in colour and one black and white. I found this really challenging, as I don't really 'do' oriental, even though I have a gorgeous set from Non Sequitur. I started by making some stamped paper, then I got so inspired by it that I made a little origami box! (The design for this is from CraftTV Weekly, although I made it smaller this time. Here is the last one I made) I then remembered to make the tags, and I quite like them. I think the black and white one is better, and my Husband likes the red. You decide!

Colour: ATC- alcohol inks, Stazon, silver embossing powder, Tags- Distress Inks, Vivid inks (to colour paper), Brilliance, Perfect Pearls (brushed on and made into a paint), watercolour pencils
Stamps: ATC- Personal Impressions, Non Sequitur, Tags- Non Sequitur, Judikins
Other: Japanese paper, free origami paper downloads from Canon, red card, gold card.

The kimonos were created by paper piecing, using the origami designs. The origami downloads were printed out at half size, so that the proportion was correct for the kimonos, and the Japanese paper was embossed with clear embossing powder to make it go transparent to give the look of a screen.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Saturday Night is Music Night

This is The Avalanches- frontier psychiatrist. Enjoy!

Friday, 15 August 2008

My Lovely New Label Cloud

I have seen these on a few people's blogs recently, and I had to have one! I always use labels, mostly because I get a ridiculous amount of personal satisfaction from categorizing things, and also so anyone can just look at one topic, rather than hunting through the whole blog. Well, phydeaux3 wrote this fab code, and here are the full instructions for installing it in your Blogger template (sorry to all those who use other templates, but I don't know whether this will work for you!) It took me a little while to do, but the instructions are excellent. I love it!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Yet Another Present!- 3 of 3

This is the last in my little run of gifts for my friends- at least for a while. This mini-book (and it is mini- only 4" square) was for a friend who loves philosophy and psychology, so I thought I would go all out, and use most of my set of Elusive Images words stamps. I also used patterned paper, for the first time in ages, thinking it would be a quick option. Ha ha, I was so wrong! I found it a real challenge to tie in the printed paper with all of my stamped elements, and in hindsight I feel that it was not textured or tactile enough. But it did give a good surface for stamping on, although you will need to click on the photos to see, as I used Versafine Sepia for all of the stamping, which didn't photograph too well! In real life, you can read every word :-)

Colour: Distress Inks, Versafine, Whispers marker pens
Stamps: Elusive Images (words), Crafty Individuals (everything else)
Papers: Bazzil card, Crafty Individuals, gingham paper from France
Other: Cuttlebug embossing folders, Sizzix 'Sunset' alphabet and tags, linen fabric, mulberry paper, old manila envelope, Flora doodles flowers, old buttons from my box, raffia.

The centre image was stamped onto mulberry paper, then glued onto the linen fabric using PVA. The mulberry paper was almost invisible. The two images either side were stamped onto pieces of an old envelope which I had scrunched up then smoothed out. It was soft and tactile after the scrunching, and took the Distress Inks I used for watercolouring really well.

PS Each of the tags had a phrase on it, too, but my camera was running out of battery life!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Present For a Friend- 2 of 3

This is a present I gave to my best friend and scrapping buddy, Vicky. She has started to commute by train recently, so has suddenly got time to read more. I did a challenge where we were asked to make bookmarks, so I made this bookmark for Vicky, then did the card to go with it. The card uses my three most favourite stamp sets- one of the PaperArtsy Squiggly Ink plates, my new Inkadinkado Scribble Flowers, and the Elusive Images sayings plate.

Colour: Distress Inks, Silver Paint Dabber, Versafine, Stickles
Stamps: Paperartsy, Elusive Images, Inkadinkado, Crafty Individuals (On bookmark)
Other: Silk dupion, laminating pouch, Cosmic Shimmer embossing powder, Papermania gem brad, watercolour crayon background paper.

The flowers were made in the same way as on previous cards, by stamping onto the crayon background paper and cutting out. The bookmark was made by laminating a torn piece of silk dupion fabric, then stamping and heat embossing on the outside of the pouch. I used a silver Paint Dabber in places for added effect- I my do my Christmas cards in the same way, as it looks like a frosted window!

Sunday, 10 August 2008


I wasn't planning to blog again today, particularly without a photograph of some creation of mine, but I was skimming the BBC's news website and came across this article. It rambles a bit towards the end, I'm afraid, but I love the point it makes at the beginning, about the meaning of art. Please enjoy.

PS In the case of Tracy Emin, I saw a roomfull of her art at the Tate Modern a while ago. In my opinion, that is art, not pretty but full of emotion and meaning. I hope others get that, too!

A Present For a Friend- Part 1 of 3

I have had a couple of weeks of making presents for friends, luckily the ones who appreciate hand-stamped. This is a little wallhanging for a friend, and I sent it late as I didn't want to send any old stamped thing! All three of these pressies use the same Elusive Images sayings stamps- I can't stop using them!

Colour: Distress Inks, Glimmer Mist, Perfect Pearls, Paint Dabbers, Versafine
Stamps: Tanda, Paperartsy, Elusive Images
Other: Mountboard, metal tape, acetate, piece from necklace, leather thong, silk dupion, Glossy Accents

The shimmer on the stamping was created by swirling Perfect Pearls onto an image stamped with Distress Ink- not when it's too wet, but before it dries. The beads were made using long thin triangles of the silk, wetting them with Glossy Accents, then winding them tightly around a cocktail stick- exactly like making paper beads.

I will try to blog all of the other projects I have been making soon- I have such a backlog of photos as I have been too busy creating!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Here at last- Photos of my Cherry Pie swap!

I love being part of an international group of stampers, and I recently participated in this 4"x4" swap entitled "Tribute to Women". I have watched from the sidelines on many swaps in this group, partly as I didn't feel I had the right stamps to participate (it's Cherry Pie only, and I only had two sets for a while), and partly because of the postage costs. Well, this swap really inspired me, and I am so glad I joined, as you can see what I got in return for making my squares! Marina did a fantastic job of presenting the artwork, and this wall hanging currently has pride of place in my living room.

Participants, from top, left to right: Linda Kilsdonk, Bibi, Brandy Wickham, Linda Jennings, me, Kathy Ronan, Loretta D'Onofrio, Janie Husband, Marina Lenzino, Melanie. All stamps by Cherry Pie.

If you like what you see, click here to go to Cherry Pie's site. Love those stamps!

Friday, 1 August 2008

Birthday Cards- Inspired By...

...Sid and Jo!
I tend not to enjoy card-making at the moment, as I am finding it hard to reconcile my arty-farty, distressed side with the need to make pretty things for people who nothing about my hidden nature! I am quite pleased with these, though, as they have been made using arty and interesting techniques, even though they are essentially cute and pretty.
The first card features Robin Beam's Bandanna technique. Sid did a great step-by-step tutorial, which is on his blog, and he challenged me to have a go. I don't have a lot of solid image stamps, so I tried it with these Inkadinkado scribbled flower stamps, and I love the effect. The card is for a friend's nine-year old daughter, and I think she will like it, especially as I bedecked it with Stickles!
The flower on that card, and the flowers on the second card were made using a technique from Craft Stamper magazine last month, which was from Jo Capper-Sandon. The idea is that you scribble randomly on watercolour paper using water-soluble crayons. I used my ancient set of Caran D'Ache here. Once you have scribbled, you spritz with water, then use a straw to blow the colours around until you have an effect you like. You can keep adding colour and water until you are happy with the finish. I tried this on two different kinds of watercolour paper. The top flower was from a really heavy textured paper, and the effect was very bold. The colours didn't mingle very well. The second card is from the second try (which I remembered to photograph before cutting!), and is on a much smoother finished paper. I was much more able to create a blended effect. In both cases, I stamped in black and cut the flowers out.
Thanks for the inspiration and great tutorials, Jo and Sid!

Stamps: Inkadinkado (flowers), Heidi Swapp (sentiment)
Colour: Caran D'Ache watercolour crayons, Brilliance, Versacolour, Versafine, Ranger Inkessential white pen
Other: Ranger Stickles, braid from my stash.

This morning I have had a huge session cropping and sorting photos of things I have made. I will have lots to show next week! Bye for now!