Sunday 28 December 2008

Rhapsody in Blue {Part 2}

People who have followed my blog from the very beginning will have seen the jigsaw piece used in this project before.
This was my very first attempt at an altered jigsaw and the piece itself was sent to me by Maureen earlier this year with a comment to 'enjoy yourself'.
The jiggy bit has sat in a box along with some other made pieces and although I hadn't forgotten about it, I didn't know what to do with it!!
At Christmas some very good friends bought me some crafting goodies, which included two canvases. As crafting has been difficult of late I have tried to ease myself back into the swing of things by making this to hang on the workroom wall (now officially christened 'The Den'!)
The canvas was painted with a blue acrylic wash, 'faded denim' distress ink used on the music score background (which was edged with mulberry paper for some definition) and the large jiggy then attached. The charms are on samples of 'black gloss' worktop pieces obtained from a local DIY store (which I got when I was trying to decide what colour worktop to have in my new kitchen 3 years ago! - Knew they would come in handy.....) These worktop samples have a really high gloss finish which doesn't show very well on the photo, and the charms look really effective on them! Finally I added the small jiggy with the conductor and then used Stazon 'Azure' ink for the flourishes and completed the piece with the flower embellishments. The completed piece measures 12" by 9".
Now all I need to do is arm myself with the hammer and look for another picture hook!

Friday 26 December 2008

I finally finished this little fridge magnet a couple of days ago. It's now stuck firmly to the door of the freezer here in my new work room!
I love this stamp, I have used it numerous times in various projects but it has never lost it's appeal to me!
This image was stamped onto vellum then coloured and some irridescent glitter applied to the wings.
The charms were in a pack that I got from a friend for my birthday and it's taken me this long to get round to using any of them!

I saw this saying for the first time applied to the side of a car about four years ago with the words - 'In memory of our friend ........., ' underneath.
I found it very emotive that these people had obviously lost someone close to them in a traffic accident and had paid tribute to him in this way.
I have never forgotten the phrase, nor it's message.

Saturday 20 December 2008

Enter The Dragon!

I have had so little time lately. I haven't even put up the Christmas Tree and am still a couple of presents short. The other things that have required my attention have prevented me from doing any serious crafting and I have felt real guilty that I haven't been able to send all my very good crafting friends a little something to show how much I appreciate their friendship, encouragement and inspiration. I had started to make a few things earlier in the year so for the last few days I have set about finishing them and sending them off to their intended recipients. The whole Christmas thing has had me really stressed out this year with so many other family things that I have needed to do.

This hopefully should have arrived at it's new home by now. It's ATC size and the background is acrylic paint, shimmer powders and red embossing powder. The fabric dragon was one of my purchases at the NEC earlier in the year.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Catching Up

Sadly, a family matter has prevented me from posting or crafting recently. I made these two Christmas ornaments before things took a downward turn and have been meaning to post them for a while. These are both now at their new home. They were made from parchment overlaid onto metallic gold card. The card had eyelets punched into it at the top of each triangle. Before threading the ribbon through I put in a tiny 'surprise'. Once I'd finished the parchment overlay I added some glitter glue to highlight the 'bauble's' on the tree and the petals of the Christmas Rose. The ribbon was then threaded through the top of the parchy and knotted to make it secure. Both ornaments are now with their recipient waiting to be opened on Christmas morning. Although I still have things to do family wise, I am hoping that very soon I now will be able to find some spare time to do some crafting before Christmas, I need the solace and comfort that losing myself in the creation of something can bring.

Saturday 29 November 2008

Time please!

I have recently taken part in 2 jigsaw jams as those of you who have followed my blog recently will know. I have sat today and completed my 'Time' themed one and this is the result.
I random painted the canvas with acrylic paints. I made the clock face by using a downloaded image scaled to the size I wanted, then added my 'Queen of the Last Minute' stamp in the centre (again scaled down). After colouring with gel pens and distressing the main part of the face I then triple embossed it. The six jiggy bits were done by (from the top) Wendy K, Sheila C, Cindy, Me, Sherry and Jinny. They are fabulous pieces and the small picture on here doesn't do them justice. My other jammers put so much effort and creativity into their jiggy bits, I was completely overwhelmed when they all started to arrive.
Finally I added the metal letters before assembling it all onto the canvas.
I am really happy with this piece. The builders have finished in the new workroom and I am expecting to be settled in there next week..... complete with new clock!

Wednesday 26 November 2008

Early Present

What a great surprise today... A parcel arrived from Tennessee, USA and when I opened it here she was! Isn't she fabulous?!

This amazing work is called 'Granny and Gingerbread Boy' ..'Granny' is about 4" tall and the little gingerbread boy is clasped anxiously against Granny's ample bosom!

It was sculpted by one of the most talented people I have 'met' in Blogland. Her name is Renee Buchanan.

I think Renee's work is amazing. She works with polymer clay and fashions the most awesome figures. Granny here has a look of terror on her face as if somone is about to run off with her little gingerbread boy - (or even worse, eat him!)!

You can view Renees work at Each piece she makes is an original, one of a kind. Her work is also for sale- so if you're looking for something a bit different for Christmas go visit her blog and follow her link to her shopping site!

In the meantime Renee, thank you so much!

Monday 24 November 2008


Margaret is hosting a Christmas Bauble Decoration swap. All the baubles are the same size and shape and we could embellish in any way. Time has been at a premium for me this past week but I found a few hours yesterday to craft.

My new work room is almost completed, so I really need to be sorting out the stash all crafters accumulate rather than actually creating....but I am so ill disciplined!

The poinsetta decoration was cut from a piece of Christmas ribbon and fixed onto some strong card. I then mounted it onto some glitter card and embellished the edge in gold. I used gold and pearl seed beads to highlight the centre. The back is identical to the front.

The other is an attempt to use some of the christmas craft stuff housed in a red box! I found the domed snowman skulking away at the bottom of the box and the foam words and snowflaes were in yet another box inside the big red one!
I really am going to have to be more strict with myself... I still have so much to backgrounds for my jigsaw jams to finish, some more cards for my crafting friends, (daren't send THEM shop bought ones!), blinds etc to buy for the new work room, the whole house needs cleaning as we have also had some work done inside whilst the builders were here and of course I have to sort the crafting stuff out as mentioned earlier! That LITTLE job alone will probably take me to Christmas!

But I have just had a quick look through the challenge sites.....and there ae sooooo many interesting challenge themes this week..................................

Sunday 16 November 2008

Wings of Joy

Double dose today! Don't post for a week then put two on together..(not really together as it's now quite late and the other post today was this afternoon!)

Anyway, this is the final altered jigsaw for the Christmas swap. Margaret had set the theme as 'Wings' and had indicated she wanted to use the piece as a hanging decoation and not mount on the usual piece of canvas with the other pieces. Her colours were white, gold and red.

I used this parchment pattern for some Christmas cards last year and thought the huge oversized wings would suit Margaret's theme.

I triple embossed the jiggy background before assembling the angel. The body and the wings are done separately, and the wings are in 3 separate pieces. The angel is then assembled using silicone glue to give a 3d effect.

I have also decorated the back of the piece in a simple manner just by using a white embossed background as a base and stamping some script over and finally adding a small paper dove in an attempt to complement the 'Wings' theme.

The parchment angel is very delicate and I don't suppose it'll stand up to a lot of bashing about - so it'll be lashings of bubble wrap tomorrow before I post it., then I shall just keep everything crossed and hope that it arrives at Margaret's undamaged.
Now this is done, I can look forward to the postman bringing my completed pieces from the others in the jamand get on with ding my own pieces and my canvas background
June is offering blog candy for the best altered jigsaw piece and has invited me to enter. As I don't know which one to link, I have just linked them all!

Yet another Jiggy......

This week has passed me by completely. I've been watching the builders get on with the garage conversion (the new workroom/office looks great and I can't wait to get in there), visiting the physio, attended a family funeral, went to a craft fair in Birmingham (spent lots!) and finally today sat down and did some crafting!

This is another jigsaw piece for the Christmas Jam. This is for Carol who had set the theme of 'Vintage' and the colours red and gold. I painted the piece with acrylic paint and blasted with the heat gun, adding some embossing powder in red, gold and my favourite 'enchanted gold' (which I confess to being completely addicted to because I love the 'fairy stardust' effect it gives) I used gold embossing powder on the chipboard embellishments and the vintage image inside the 'jolly holiday' frame is one of my favourites.

I secured the frame and the dangling star with gold star brads and added fabric stars, some sequins and beads on gold thread and threaded gold ribbon through the 'Christmas' chipboard to finish.
Over at Objet D'art this week the challenge is to make something altered and include a frame in your piece. Jennie (who has created some fab things) suggested I enter this for this week's challenge.....duly done Jennie!
I really enjoyed doing this piece. Have one more to do then I intend to sort out all the stash from Friday and sit down and play with it!
June is offering blog candy for the best altered jigsaw piece and has invited me to enter... problem is I don't know which one to put have just linked them all!

Sunday 9 November 2008

Jiggy's Galore!

I'm taking part in a Christmas Jigsaw Jam swap and another jigsaw jam on any theme. When each person receives all their swaps back the finished pieces are mounted on canvas to make a complete art piece. As our garage conversion is now under way I am hoping that my two jiggy jam canvases will be the first to be displayed in the new work room/office.

The jigsaw piece on the left is for Wendy's 'Oriental' theme made by using mulberry paper and stamping with gold embossing powder, adding some threaded beads and chinese lucky coin and the one on the right is for her Christmas theme of 'Angels'. This was done by stamping the Angel image, then inking over in varying shades, sprinkling some gold dust embossing powder over to give the sparkly effect, then I added the stars and chipboard words.

These two are for Sherry. Sherry asked for a 'Folk Art' Christmas piece and a red and gold piece which had to include a musical reference. These two pieces are both mixed media collages. I used some 'Shaker' embellishments for 'Happy Holidays' and as I didn't have a gold angel charm I improvised by using gold leaf over a silver one for the 'Angel of Joy'.

This piece is for Cindy. Cindy's theme was 'Things with Wings'. I had been sent this image by Anne and thought it was spot on for Cindy's challenge!
The background paper is from the 'Once Upon A Time' stack and I embossed the edges of the piece with gold embossing powder, after putting a tiny piece of torn vellum in the top left corner.
The words came with the image and I added a gem dragonfly and a gem 'buckle' to the dress!
Finally some gold and green fibres were fixed to the bottom for a 'dangly bit'!!
June is offering blog candy for the best altered jigsaw piece and has invited me to enter. Can't choose which one I like best so am just going to link them all!

Work in Progress

Card making has taken a bit of a back seat lately, mainly because I made a mountain this year for my breast cancer fund raising but also partly becasue I wanted to be doing other challenges!
Christmas card making is seriously bad this year, will probably end up having to buy some! With a distinct lack of enthusiasm, I've probably made about 30 to date with half of these done with basic stamping. Here are a few I did using just a couple of different stamps. The Santa stamp is one of those that you can use plain and colour in, or if you're in a hurry just stamp with embossing powder (which is what I did!) as is the group of trees. The Holly card was embossed onto vellum and red acrylic paint used for the berries and the door was a stamp with UTEE over to give a glossy finish.

All need greetings to be added apart from the holly one and as usual I shall be doing that just before I put them in the envelopes!

Thursday 6 November 2008


Maggie set her weekly challenge as Remembrance with Armistice Day fast approaching.
I thought a lot about this theme. A week or so ago we had done a Vintage challenge and I'd make a tag with an image of a WW1 soldier and the words from the poem Flanders Fields so I wanted to do something different for this week's.
I remembered seeing this photo of the soldier overcome by his grief crouching down in front of the line of boots and rifles which depicted all his fallen comrades and thought this was a fitting image to use.
The 'Soldiers Poem' is a a favourite and I think it reminds us all that our freedoms were obtained at great cost.
I printed the poem over a Union Jack on acetate and placed it over white card.
The blue cross is in remembrance of all those who paid the ultimate price and the cream ribbons and dove the symbol of hope and peace.

Sunday 2 November 2008

Vintage Children

I have waited a while to use this photo plate and the theme on Gothic Arches this week was 'Vintage Children' so I finally got an opportunity.
I opted to use Ranger Distress Ink in Frayed Burlap colour on the plate rather than an ordinary ink stamp. The backing paper is one of my favourites (this was the last sheet too!)and I just used Versacolour around the edges of the arch. A chipboard jigsaw piece and numbers tag fixed through a piece of brown ribbon by a brad and some lace finished the project.
As this is an original photo plate I wonder who these young ladies are? They've got to be sisters and this family photo probably took pride of place in some drawing room a long time ago!
(To have a good look at the photo plate just click on the picture - it will then zoom in so you can see the plate properly).

Wednesday 29 October 2008

Forever Autumn

Lots to Do has the theme of Nature this week.
I think Autumn is a lovely time of the year. I love to see the leaves changing colours, there are some many different hues
(Mind you, I just wish they would stay on the trees as I'm not so keen in having to get out the rake to scoop all the dropped leaves up from the lawns!)
This unmounted stamp is just a single tree, so I needed to stamp a couple of times in varying shades to try and get some appearance of depth, and I added the buttons in different colours again to try and reflect the shades of the leaves I can see at the moment in my garden.
It is unseasonly cold here at the moment, some snow flurries all over the country but hopefully this won't last.
Autumn should be clear blue skies and cold windy days - it shouldn't be grey skies and snow!

Monday 27 October 2008

Wee Witches

This is my second Halloween Arch! This one though is for the 'Wee Witches' theme over on Gothic Arches this week.

It is similar in style to the last one I made, and I've used the lovely spiders web fabric I picked up at the local haberdashers as the background. I like 'cute' in moderation but am not normally pre disposed to use lots of it in my work.... but I actually liked this image of the cute wee witch! I tried to lose some of the 'kitschy' by using a copy of an old poster advsing the towns residents to rid themselves of the evil that had moved into their neighbourhood!

The tiny decorative bat, moon and pumpkin brads were a present from the USA (Thanks Renee!)

How Fairy Tales were really written....

Over on Rainbow Lady's blog the challenge this week was 'magical and mysterious'. I have had this stamp for a while and thought it could be used to interpret the magical world of fairy tales. I'm not sure if it really fits in with the theme but have linked it anyway!

Several different colours were used to ink the background, then the gold lettering stamped and embossed. I added lace, a star brad to hold the tag and a fabric flower. The words are from the 'Once Upon a Time' paper stack.

Saturday 25 October 2008

O Christmas Tree

Halloween not yet here and the shops are already full of Christmas stuff! Quite depressing really, it seems to me all the magic of Christmas I experienced as a young girl has disappeared completely. I remember well the excitement of seeing the first Christmas tree in the front window of a house or the tree and Nativity scene that was placed outside the local church mid the decorations are up at the end of October, making the christmas 'season' almost as long as the four natural ones!
Anyway, without wishing to become like 'Scrooge' altogether I decided to take part in this weeks challenge on Tag You're It - Christmas Tree!

This tag is a scaled down version of a hand made Christmas Card. I sponged the white card with 'fir tree' colour ink and drew the 'tree' in gold pen. Overlaid a piece of vellum that had been edge embossed with 'seafoam white' and added gems for sparkle on the branches of the drawn tree. A piece of green organza ribbon and a red corrugated card tub finished the tag.

Wednesday 22 October 2008


This week

This weeks Mamma challenge was 'Black and White'. For some inexplicable reason I found this challenge difficult. I had lots of ideas but nothing came together properly.

I wanted to do a plain stark composition but after a total disaster with a gouache and ink drawing (twice!!- my drawing is dreadful), I gave up that particular idea..... so it was (sigh) back to the Fimo faces!
This ATC is so similar to an altered CD I did some time ago but was the best I could come up with. This morning I now have loads of monochrome ideas whizzing round in my head but these will have to be put on the back burner.

The background paper is cut from a card sent to me by Renee in the USA last week. She must have had a premonition about this weeks challenge cos it fitted the theme perfectly.
I was happy that on this fimo face I managed to do her heart shaped beauty spot perfectly, less happy that once again I smudged her eyeliner!

Sunday 19 October 2008


Lots to Do this week has set a challenge of Stone. This is a paper collage with a 'stone' head. The head was one of a large matchbox full of similar heads sent to me by Maureen.

I used a stone 'gothic arch' background, coloured the windows with watercolour paint and a stone headless winged angel whose wings were accented with fine glitter. The words are a quote attributed to Pablo Picasso.
I have to go out today but am hoping I can check all the other challenge sites and get on with doing some tonight! I was out all day yesterday so am getting withdrawal symptoms again!

Wednesday 15 October 2008


Over on Lots to Do Challenge the theme this week is embossing. Those of you who knew me in my former life on the DC site will have seen this card that I made for Mum's birthday before.
This was a large project for me as I'm still very much a learner with regard to parchment, but I felt it was my best embossing effort to date on parchment paper so decided to submit it! (Even though i took the picture of it before the glue had dried!)

Vintage Tags

Maggies challenge this week was the theme of Vintage Tags. Time has been at a bit of a premium so although I love vintage, I had to make these in a hurry. Suppose it's a bit early for a remembrance one, but then really rememberance should be done all year round not just on one day. The ATC sized tag is a vintage paper collage , with a skeleton leaf, a photo of a soldier and a made vellum envelope. The poem 'Flanders Fields' always brings tears to my eyes, and after making the vellum envelope I popped in a copy of it. The paper poppy is secured with a black brad.

The other tag is again a paper collage, added a few bits of lace,ribbon and a little crocheted flower secured with a pearl brad. Isn't her hat very grand?!!!

Monday 13 October 2008

J'adore Haute Couture...........

but can't afford it!!!!

This weeks challenge over on Gothic Arches was 'Haute Couture'.

I really struggled with this theme for some unknown reason...considering I LOVE clothes, especially handbags and shoes as everyone who knows me will testify!

I eventually sponged a background then used black indian ink before adding the image, lace, sequins, feathers and words to make a mixed media collage.

Saturday 11 October 2008

Windows and Squish a Boob!!!!

The Creative Wednesday challenge this week was 'Windows'.

I have done a 4 x 4 piece. The background was done using Mica pigments in Golden Pear and Violet Frost with a blend of a pale pink ink sponged background. The lady image and the words were printed on acetate to allow the shimmer powders to show through, the flower swirls stamped and the sleeping mask and beads are suspended from the top of the window.

As I have used 3d pads to mount the frame the sleeping mask turns round! I added the lace, fibres and gems in an attempt to give the piece even more depth.
For those of you that have followed my blog this year you will know that the Breast Cancer Campaign is close to my heart.
This little 'Squish a Boob, Save a Life' penguin is a real cutie and as October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, please pick him up, pass him on and pop him onto your own blogs!

Friday 10 October 2008


So there I was this morning looking out on a rather grey day when the postman arrived. I opened this jiffy envie and suddenly the sun came out! Inside was this exquisite little work of art from Jan.
Isn't this just gobsmackingly beautiful? The little bird is on a scrabble tile..... and the colours are awesome! Once again the pic does not do this justice!! So thank you again Jan, there was no need to send it to me but am really glad that you did!!
Oh and for those of you who are wondering what D.D.G stands for in the title it means -

Tuesday 7 October 2008

New stamps!

Haven't done a lot of one to one swapping recently, but made this for a trade.Well I had to play with my new stamps didn't I??? I think this is a really pretty face! I am still trying different methods of using stamp ink for backgrounds and this one was just three different ink pads swirled on with a piece of felt. I love this irridescent vellum which I used to cover the bottom stamped image - trouble is I haven't got very much of it left in this pearl type colour, so will now have to try things with the other colours! Some of the other stamps I bought are too big for ATC's so will have to try 4 x 4's or maybe another wall hanging next!

Monday 6 October 2008

Sunday 5 October 2008

A Leap and Time!

These two ATC's are for a swap on the DC Forum. The theme was altered playing cards. It has been quite a while since I took part in a swap on this forum but the subject appealed to me! Both are basic paper collages, the playing card corners have been coloured by using alco ink on the 'Jack' one and Distress Inks on the Queen. The Queen image made me smile cos it doesn't matter how early I get up, I'm always rushing about at the last minute before I go out!

Friday 3 October 2008

St Joan and Embossing Powder

Have called this ATC 'Look to the Light'. This stamp is one of my new stash. Once I'd stamped the image the thought of Joan of Arc came into my head... maybe it's because the face is looking upward and I seem to remember an old drawing of the Maid of Orleans at the stake looking toward the heavens. Anyway, I decided to try and follow the theme using the stamp as the base. I added some meshy fabric frayed at the edges to try and give a sense of imprisonment and collaged the shield and sword. I recently bought some 'Enchanted Gold' embossing powder and had been disappointed with it as I felt it didn't give enough depth, I thought though that it might be delicate enough for rays of light. I first used white embossing powder and ran the brush through it before heating to give the 'rays' effect then once heated added the gold one over. I allowed the gold one to scatter a bit onto the face. Finally I added the cross charm.
I am pleased with this project but don't think this pic does it justice. I feel that I am learning new things all the time - just wish my photography skills were improving too!

Wednesday 1 October 2008


There was an 'open' theme on Gothic Arches this week so I took the opportunity to post a 'fun' arch! The background of this arch is fabric - it looks like a sparkly spiders web- which I spotted in the window of a small haberdashery shop in the nearest town to me - I have another Arch almost completed (not a halloween theme!) and really should get round to finishing it! I've got loads of ideas for gothic arches as i really like the shape and size, trouble is I never have enough time to make any of my ideas come to fruition!
I've also had a bit of a spend on some stamps this week, so have been too busy stamping the images in different colours seeing what they look like instead of actually doing any proper crafting!

Friday 26 September 2008

Have been out in the garden today. Needed to take advantage of the beautiful weather! So have done a bit of tidying, pruning etc at the lawn and borders nearest the house. The large middle lawn is suffering from the wet weather, moss appearing and the shrubs on the left are desperate for a hair cut! So maybe I will manage to do another border tomorrow as the forecast is good. I made this ATC last night - inked and stamped background, paper collage and an embossed border - am going to have a crafty messy evening tonight as I have a new stamp!

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Nature and Nakedness!

Maggies Challenge this week was 'phone books'. I remembered seeing a dress shop called Fine Feathers in the local yellow pages so this image seemed to fit! I have bought a lot of stamps on line recently, some have arrived and some not. The other ATC is one of a pile that arrived yesterday! I love this image, her face is so serene. I inked the background and after stamping the image sponged over it lightly with white ink. The skeleton leaves and lace I added afterwards and does anyone else have trouble with 'rub ons'? I never seem to manage to get ALL the transfer off onto the project!

Friday 19 September 2008

Circle of Life

Have wanted to do this circular book for a while. This being my first attempt, it isn't perfect - it's not entirely symmetrical when it's closed. But I know where I went wrong, so maybe if I do another, I will manage to get everything lined up perfectly. It looks fine when it's opened out fully! You do each segment separately, then stick it all together so when it opens out it makes a perfect circle.I chose the 'Circle of Life' theme as it combined my crafting with one of my other passions - Ancestry! I did each segment as a generation, starting with the children, then the young gentlemen looking forward to their travels and young lady who is in love for the first time and finishing with Grandma and Grandpa who have a treasure chest of memories of their lives together. I'm enough of a romantic to think that perfect families really DO exist (if only in my imagination!)
I have started a couple of projects this week, in anticipation of my bowling season finishing on Sunday!