Monday 28 December 2009

Spring Butterfly?

I can now post this pic of the note holder I made for a present. I made two of these, in slightly different colours for crafting friends and I confess to shamelessly copying the idea from Craft Stamper magazine.(But the recipients seem not to have minded - lol)

The large butterfly was from a template I had saved on the PC (no idea where it came from- LOL). I cut it out in mountboard then used Distress inks to colour the background before stamping the butterflies and swirls.

The note holder is just secured with a small bulldog clip.

Doing these kept me busy in the early part of December and I enjoyed making them as they reminded me of Spring somehow.....

So Christmas is now over and 2010 is almost here. I recieved some fab presents from fellow crafters and I shall cherish each and every one - I know some real talented people!! We spent a quiet Christmas at home, the peace only broken by my squealing on opening an envelope from my darling husband which contained an extremely large sum of money gift voucher to be spent at Paperartsy!

Hope your festive season was all you wished for too!

Thursday 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Thank you to everyone who has visted my blog this year, commented on my work, encouraged me and given me inspiration.

I hope you and your families have a wonderful Christmas (and Santa brings all my crafting friends lots of lovely new stash!)

Best wishes from me for the holiday season and for 2010. Merry Christmas everybody. x

Tuesday 15 December 2009

3 down................

After the rose (see post below!) I was spurred to try and create something pretty!

Here is another piece for my (hopefully) soon to be assembled fabric book. I now have three projects completed and need to do a couple more. Maureen (the has kindly sent me some canvas to use as the pages for the book and am looking forward to finishing this project, not because I am fed up doing it, far from it(!), but because I have really enjoyed doing it and want to finish it!

I have again used as the backing fabric, more of the chinese silk. This time I used a pale blue piece which really is a beautiful colour and it seemed a pity to cover it but needs must.. so cover it I did, although you can see a small bit of it at the top and bottom!

I used some old cream and pale blue lace for the right hand side (the blue of which has not shown up too well in the pic), a piece of striped fabric from my stash which I frayed and some paper from the huge K and Co pad I recently bought.

The image is printed onto cotton fabric and the blue picot edging was, like all the silk, given to me by my mother in law! I put the image onto a piece of frayed muslin and hand stitched the ribbon roses and pearls.
As the theme at Created by Hand is Vintage this week, I have submitted this as my entry.

The last rose of 2009...........or the first of 2010?

In my garden I have an old pig sty - half of it is used as a storage shed for garden tools and the other half as a store for garden chairs etc. I've had no cause to go near the place over the last month because the weather has not been dry enough to do even a small amount of tidying up outside. (And anyway I'd sooner be crafting!! LOL) But over the last week I had noticed something pale coloured outside the building bending in the winds - the weather here on Friday last was freezing cold but dry so I stopped being lazy and went to take a look.............

Can you believe this rose? Does it not know its December? It didn't look this good in the middle of our so called Summer!!! Even with all the hard overnight frosts we've had since I took this pic the thing is still blooming! I was sorely tempted to cut it and pop it in a vase inside the work room but knew it would die instantly with the change in temperature so I have left it where it is and I am now checking on it every day irrespective of the weather.
It makes me smile each time I see it - and reminds me of summer days past and hopefully those to come.

Friday 11 December 2009

Vintage Tag

I made a few tags this morning to send to some fellow crafters instead of Christmas Cards and didn't think to take pictures of all of them before I put them in the envelopes! This is an extra one I made.

I think the background paper is Graphic45 and the image is printed onto cotton fabric. The vintage lace at the top of the tag was cut from a roll that was given to me recently. I thought it looked like a star! I put a gold star brad in the centre and messed about for ages with a single bead drop which I had taken from the same piece as the beaded embellishment on the bottom. It was the fiddliest thing in the world and sorely tested my patience in trying to secure it to the centre of the lace star - but I managed it in the end - it was only afterwards I thought that I could have re strung the beads and then stitched it onto the tag.............erm......!

I attached some more lace to hang from underneath the star and used some sparkly fibres for the hanging thread.

This is my entry into Theme Thursday's challenge of 'Vintage' this week.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Egyptian Discovery

I have set the challenge on our Flickr Group - Art 'N Soul- this month. The challenge is to make a 'Circle Book'. I have made one of these before (which can be seen here) and have been wanting an excuse to do another! So my poor friends in the group were challenged to make one for our next swap!

I have used the theme of Egypt for my book as I had recently bought quite a few egyptian type stamps (they were a bargain in a sale - honest!!).

I once again have to apologise for my photography skills - not made any easier by the light or the shape of the finished project either! (Enlarging each image helps!) But if you want to see a 'step by step' account and also have the template to make one, they can be acquired on my photostream here.

Inside the book, I used some parchment type paper for the backing of each page, some vellum, a variety of the stamps, embossing some with gold onto a black background and also using some images from a variety of sources.

The front and back covers are thick gold embossed paper and some torn muslin was used for the ties which were distressed with 'Antique Linen' ink. The 'mummy' on the front is made from air dried clay using a Krafty Lady mold, then I used Mod Podge to stick the muslin on the body! The Mod Podge has given the muslin a harder feel and it is quite rough to touch now, which I am happy with - after all, if you've been stuck in the ground for thousands of years you'd expect cloth to be hardened wouldn't you???? LOL

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Winter Wonderland

Another beer can! Basics are the same as the Winter Birds further down in this blog - a beer can ungrudgingly donated by the Other Half, the frame is the same Cuttlebug embossing folder. Wanting to create a 'cold' feel this time I used 'Sail Boat Blue' and 'Stream' alcohol inks with a silver mixative.

I mixed two different sets of beading along the bottom to try and represent varying shades of icicles. The snowmen image was printed onto canvas type card for texture. The greeting was in a pack of Christmas buttons and the pearly snowflake is from my stash with some fluffy snowy white fibres wrapped round it. I used the same fibres to make the hangers.

I have submitted this to Gingersnap Creation's, whose December challenge is 'Winter Wonderland' and also a very late entry into Theme Thursday's theme of 'Christmas Holiday Creations'.

More metal

Have no idea where the last week has gone..... I'd like to say I have been absent because I have been getting organised for Christmas but that is one great big fib! I have though made - a Xmas present (which I can't show you here cos it'll spoil the surprise), - another wall hanging from a beer can (which I'll post later) and - this small canvas. So I haven't been idle... just guilty of not finishing my Christmas Cards!

This was another dabble with metal (bought piece this time, not one of OH's cans!) and although I am reasonably pleased with it (and myself- LOL), there are a couple of things that need more practice. I am still struggling with getting the background completely smooth after embossing and stretching the actual design but I'm hoping that this is the case where 'practice makes perfect'!

The stamp and quote is by Elusive Images. I 'antiqued' the flower plaque by using acrylic paint, but opted to leave this (much used by me) quote bare. Both are mounted onto black card. I painted the canvas with a mixture of acrylic paints and cosmic shimmer powders. The 3 small metal 'studs' were in my stash and fortunately for me were a good colour match!

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Winter Birds

I just HAD to make something out of the empty beer cans that OH has been obligingly supplying me with - it was a real labour of love for him as you can imagine - (lol!).

Inspired by Jan (and encouraged once again by Maureen re using alcohol inks) I completed this wall hanging this morning.

The beer can was embossed with the cuttlebug die and then coloured with alco inks (-Burnt Orange colour mostly).

The bird image I printed onto cotton fabric paper. I added some feathers and a couple of 'eggs'. The leaf arrangement on the right is made up of a large leaf that Maureen cut out and embossed for me (from yet another beer can OH donated - LOL) as I don't have a leaf die - (something else for the shopping list!) and two smaller fabric leaves and a couple of sparkly flowers from my stash. The beading at the bottom was a gift from Maureen and I thought it co ordinated well with the piece and finally I added an antique look chain to hang it with.

My other half appears to be delighted that I have taken to wanting metal to work with....... can't understand why!!!
I have submitted this piece to Gingersnap Creations whose challenge this week is to use frames.

Sunday 22 November 2009

A first attempt at something different

I stayed with Maureen on Friday as I had to attend the National Presentation then a meeting on Saturday morning. Maureens OH played taxi service for me (what a nice man he is) and once the meeting was over I got back to Maureen's as fast as I could so I could play messy before driving home!

Maureen is my tutor on all things crafty............. and having bought lots of stash at the NEC recently only just had room in the car for my evening wear after loading the craft stuff!

So.... Saturday afternoon, she gave me several tutorials on things I was unsure about including how to apply napkins as a background properly.
I was also itching to start with metal and after not having any success with a large stamped image (I kept creasing the metal whilst trying to emboss the design), I embarked on a smaller metal project using one of Maureens stamps. Metal bit finished I packed up and sadly had to come home! Where does the time go when you start crafting?

This morning I decided to finish the torn napkin background which Maureen had started yesterday.. during the tearing and sticking process I thought about using the finished metal piece on the background.

So here it is - The birdie image stamped onto tissue is the only bit of the project that I am not happy with as I think I used too much Mod Podge to stick it and it hasn't got a completely smooth appearance(didn't have any gel medium so reverted to Mod Podge) - I was scared to press too hard to remove some of the creases as I didn't want the design to disintegrate! I distressed the chipboard 'branch', added a couple of fabric leaves and gave birdie a sparkly eye.

I LOVED doing this... I am hooked I think! I love the cat stamp (another thing that I will now HAVE to buy - lol) and the quote 'You know you love me' just seemed apt for the bird to say whilst being stared at by Kitty looking for his dinner! Kitty has turned out quite well for a first try at metal I think although looks better when enlarged - so please click on it and have a look!
I now have a problem about how to display it..... don't know whether to just mount it onto a plain canvas background or what? Have tried various colours behind it but none seem right so am open to suggestions! Even though it is not perfect I tried very hard!
Have entered this into the Lots To Do challenge which has an open theme this week.

Thursday 19 November 2009

Red,gold and green

Tuesday Taggers challenge was to use the colours Red, Gold and Green in any project. I am finding that entering these challenges ensures I don't shirk from the objective of the Christmas card making extravaganza that I am currently embarking upon!

I made this using gold card mounted onto cream cardstock then I glued the Christmas words paper (something else bought at the NEC) onto dark red card.

The tag came from a Paper Pizazz book and was the perfect match for the background paper. I tried to define the tag a bit by using some gold peel off's (not often they come out!! LOL) and mounting onto the same dark red card. Finally I glued on the green Christmas Tree - (love the swirlies on it!) and finished it with some ric rac braiding and red/gold organza ribbon.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

First for today

I am definitely having a Christmas onslaught.... am determined to finish these cards!

Here's another Christmas card using those lovely papermania papers. (I made 4 the same from one sheet of paper). I have been impressed with this book of papers, there isn't really any design in them that I don't like. There's a couple of designs I've yet to use though so maybe will get those done later today. The weather here is dreadful, wet, windy and not as mild as the weather forecasters keep saying it is - so I have a perfect excuse!
I used part of a stamp for the embossed trees - there's actualy about 7 trees on the stamp but felt that it was too long for the size of card I used.
The design is from a sketch posted on yet another challenge site called Create4fun which I found via fellow card maker Anne's blog! Blogland is full of these challenge sites for cards and if you were dedicated enough you could just sit and make cards 24 hours a day to fulfill all the challenges! If you're struggling for inspiration for designs go check out some of the challenge sites and have a look at Anne's fab cards on the way!

Monday 16 November 2009

Have a stiff drink......

..... before you look at this card!!! I can see you all now saying.. 'there's no way she made this' but I can honestly say this is deffo all my own work!!!!

Who said I don't do cute??????????????? Is this cute??? I don't know!!!

Mo Manning draws these digital stamps and I know a lot of seasoned cardmakers love them so I decided to try a few out for myself! This card will soon be winging it's way 'across the pond' to our lovely little niece in Texas.

The striped backing paper is Paper Artsy, I used the 'dots' stamp from Stampers Anonymous with heat set white Versamark ink on the red card which was then matted onto white card. The punched lime green pearlised border was done by Maureen who was showing off her Martha Stewart punches when she visited..LOL - (waste not want not!). The digi stamp was coloured with watercolours and promarkers and I added some 'frosty glitter' round the hat. Lime green and red flowers with a sparkly red snowflake and brad and the words were stamped onto the same lime green card with red stazon.

I am actually feeling quite smug on the completion of this is such a huge diversion from my usual stuff..... may have to go and make some more! And I have found a site Cupcake Craft Challenges whose theme this week is Digital Stamps and another site called Digital Tuesday... so this has been submitted as my entry!

Christmas Flurry number 2

Not exactly a snowstorm but a few more Christmas card flurries!

Have decided to do my latest offerings in 2 lots as one card I am submitting for a challenge so will post that separately.

Quick descriptions - the top cards were made using Papermania 'Christmas Carol' papers. Played with my new Martha Stewart punch for the maroon one, and mounted the paper onto maroon card, added some broad ribbon and a silver Christmas tree charm secured with an organza bow. The two 'snowflake' cards were matted onto dark green card, the stamp is also Papermania and co ordinates with the backing paper. The snowflake and words were stamped stamped using a mix of Antique White and Holographic embossing powder.
The holly decoupaged card was a quick one made from a kit.. just distressed the edge os the backing card, added some red ribbon and matted onto dark green card - made in about 10 minutes!
And finally St Nick and the Christmas Cake recipe was stamped onto white pearlised card, matted onto a grey background then mounted onto a silver grey/white/blue Christmas script paper (which I bought at the NEC and have no idea who makes it....!) , which had been layered onto grey and white card. Added a sparkly white ribbon to finish.
I have suprised myself that I have been so disciplined to carry on making cards... when all that luscious metal and other bits are sat here waiting for me to play..... but cards it is for the next few days! I am staying with Maureen at the weekend as I am at a Presentation Dinner near where she lives - the metal stash is also coming to stay with me!

Saturday 14 November 2009

A Flurry of Christmas - 1

I have spent some time this week making Christmas Cards.... guilt really, cos when I mentioned to a couple of people I was going to send shop bought I was told in no uncertain terms that ' You'd better not send ME a shop bought one'...............hence the mad flurry of card making that has started (am nowhere near finished... they might end up getting cards In February... it's the thought that counts...LOL)

So here's a small selection of (Blue Peter quote) -some I made earlier (this week!).

The one thing I haven't mastered with blogger is to get the pics all together on one post as they just appear all over the place! So am sorry for the higgledy piggedly placing....

Quick description of the cards ....
The Angel is stamped onto white pearlescent paper and embossed in silver -mounted on silver holographic card as is the quote which is from Elusive Images. The backing paper is a vellum musical score sheet (Silent Night), added some sparkly ribbon on left hand side.
The 'White Christmas' card was simple and quick.. using fab Graphic 45 paper (just love it!) and some glittery ribbon. The paper is so beautiful I didn't want to use it! (But there's none left cos I made a batch of these.....)
The Silver Dove was the free stamp from this month's Craft Stamper magazine.... as the embossing powder was out I used it again! Can't remember where I got the background paper from as this was just a piece I had left.. have also got a scrap of some lilac paper the same design left so need to use that up too!
The Holly card is another Elusive Images stamp, suitably distressed and Liquid pearls used for the berries. The holly sprigs at the top and bottom left of the card are from a clear stamp set (I think from Habico....?) coloured with watercolours and berries done again with liquid pearls. All mounted onto a dark green embossed holly background.

The green background on the reindeer card is from the Papermania Christmas Carol collection, matted and layered onto lighter green and dark brown card. I don't have a circle or scallop punch so these were both cut freehand (which probably accounts for them not being completely symmetrical!LOL)
The reindeer was stamped with brown Stazon and a tiny gem added for the eye and I put some pale green organza ribbon down the side.
Finally, the other Reindeer card was made using the same Papermaia papers, this time matted and layered onto maroon and white card. I used 'Silver Tinsel' embossing powder for the reindeer and edge of the scalloped circle and finished with an organza bow. The reindeer and edge is really quite sparkly and it's a nice effect I think!
Just lately I have wanted to try so many other things and have become frustrated that there hasn't been enough spare time for me to actually sit and learn new techniques, but I have to confess that I have really enjoyed doing these cards... which is just as well cos I've still got loads to make!!!!

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Far too early arrival!

I have waited for a couple of weeks to post this picture - I made this for Nancy's birthday and posted it early as I wasn't sure if the postal strikes were going to muck up the delivery! Anyway it arrived in the USA just five days after OH took it to the post office and unfortunately two weeks early for the birthday- but she opened it anyway... despite the warning on the envelope! Honestly, some people!!!

The image was stamped and distressed and I used different shades of white, holographic and gold embossing powders for the rays of light. Although the pic doesn't sho the 'rays of light' tumble down onto the face (done with holographic powder!),
The vintage lace was acquired from my mother in law ( who is still clearing out and finding fab fabrics and lacy bits etc...goody!). I added the charm which says 'Live in the Light' and a fabric flowerbackground with a glass flower centre secured with a brad. The whole piece is mounted onto chipboard to give it some substance for hanging on the wall.

Nancy has said she loves it - thank goodness!
Checking through the challenge blogs, Lots To Do's theme this week is 'embossing'... thought about submitting the red and gold oriental card but decided this also fitted the challange!

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Cotton Wool

Have had a real bad cold the last few days. Although the cold not yet disappeared completely at least my head doesn't feel quite as fuzzy and cotton woolly. But I've been left with a hacking cough and I feel like someone is sitting on my chest permanently. Consequently I have not ventured to do anything and I certainly have not been able to play with all my goodies bought at the NEC last Friday.... which, as you can imagine, left me soooooo frustrated!

I have promised myself that when I'm 100% again, I shall lock myself in the craft room for a full 24 hours!!!

In the meantime, as my brain would not allow me to be even remotely imaginative I sat for a while today and made a couple of simple Christmas Cards and also tried out a new embossing folder called 'Stylised Flower'. I think it's really pretty. I used 'Black Magic' paper from Core'dinations and once embossed attacked it with some sandpaper( a very big emery board really, but it worked the same!), which exposed the colour underneath. (Which yet again has been spoilt by my photograph! - The colour is a very pale and delicate pinky lilac). I glued two flat backed pearls onto the 2 main flowers and an addition of a paper flower secured with a pearl brad finished this basic card which I actually quite like for it's simplicity!

Tuesday Taggers challenge this week is 'no patterned papers' so I'm submitting my embossed card.

Thursday 5 November 2009


The weather here has been dreadful today so I have spent my time making some Christmas cards, - all made using different embossing powders with a Papermania 'Bauble Decoration' stamp! The stamp is a popular one this year and I have to confess I really like it - will post some pics when I feel a bit more 'Christmassy'!

When I became bored (and believe me it wasn't long), I turned my attention to something else - this Asian themed card was made using Elusive Images stamps. The blossom background was done using just the edge of the stamp omitting the branches and I gold embossed both blossom and quote before mounting the quote on a black border and adding a strip of black card behind to give it some definition. The fan is a fabric one which I bought at the NEC last year and although a bit too pricey to use on a card I decided it was worth the expense - the pic doesn't show the embroidery very well as I am trying to take pics in artifical light which is never a good idea - maybe I will retake the pic over the weekend...(if I remember!)

I have submitted this card into two challenges this week - Wednesday Stamper's theme is Asia and Theme Thursday's challenge is 'Borders'.

Another toe dip into the fabric pool!

A couple of weeks ago I was partnered with Jan in a domino book swap. Inside the envelope she sent me (apart from the beautiful domino book!) was an assortment of lace and buttons, a picture printed onto cotton and an instruction to 'make another pretty fabric collage'.

So I have done as I'm told! (Jan can be really fierce if you cross her...LOL)

Here is my second venture into the world of fabric collage. I would like to think I am improving but I know there is still a long way to go before I get even close to my other talented friends!

The fabric back is a piece of Chinese silk given to me by my mother in law. She had a whole array of small pieces in different colours - these are now all at home with me! Inside the pack of material were bills dating back to 1975 from the Kowloon store where they were bought (this proves doesn't it, that if you keep something long enough it eventually comes in useful!!!)

The applique rose corner I cut from a sweater a long time ago and found in the bottom of the lace box - I stitched some tiny beads on it for a bit of sparkle.

All I need to do now is to make several more pieces and get them into a book...............................!!

Saturday 31 October 2009

What Price a Life?

Our new art group, Artful Ideas has the theme of 'Remembrance' for the next fortnightly challenge. The theme was not soldier/war specific and the only stipulation was there had to be a poppy somewhere on the ATC. I chose though to stick with the armed forces theme as this is the one that I feel most drawn to when the subject comes up.

I stamped this poppy image, distressed it with 'Antique Linen' colour and mounted it onto black card. The poppy was painted with water colours and I used a tiny amount of black shiny embossing powder for the centre.

The image of the soldier comforting his friend was printed onto acetate and then attached.

Finally I added the cross, a small metal tag (to represent a dog tag) and a silver coloured dove.

The stamp has an 'invoice' background which prompted me to think about the heavy price that is paid by those that engage in conflicts on behalf of others.

In memory of all those who have lost their lives in the name of freedom.


This card was inspired by Graphicus. I love everything about Graphicus - the designs are wonderful and they have such a huge and varied range of stamps it's impossible not to want to buy!

The stamps used for the image, quote and background are all Elusive Images. I picked them up in a sale and they were a real bargain being less than half price - so much of a bargain that I bought 2 different sets!

I backed the card using dark green mulberry paper, then sponged a pale green ink over cream pearlised card before stamping over with the tiny fern stamp. I rolled some pale green ink round the image before colouring with watercolour paints then mounted both image and quote on the same dark green paper.

I am going to do some more of this design using different colours for the basic theme as this is one project that I am happy with!

Thursday 29 October 2009

Flight of Fancy

I am really quite disappointed with this photograph. The original looks so much better ( well I think so anyway! LOL)

This is a 6" x 4" greetings card. I bought these stamps ages ago -(can't for the life of me remember whose they are)- the plate is four birds with varying degrees of fancy tails and flourishes. The challenge at Tuesday Taggers this week is 'Bursts of Colour' and over at Theme Thursday, this week's offering is 'Favourite Colours'. As I love all colours I couldn't select a favourite so decided to do a rainbow of colours instead and combine the two challenges.

The bird was stamped using Brilliance Ink Pads in Peacock and Twilight colours on glossy paper. The irredescence of these inks does not show up at all on the pic - (tried using the flash on the camera too - all I got was a silver outline!) - but trust me the lovely shimmering effect of these ink pads looks really nice on the gloss paper!

I used the same ink pads for the background of the card and this time ventured a try out with a brayer. Must confess I'm not very proficient with brayering technique but am not too upset at how the background turned out really, even though I definitley do need some more practice! I then used the flourishes from another of the bird stamps and stamped over the background.

Finally I stamped the words using the purple part of the Twilight ink pad. The rainbow organza ribbon came from my stash - can't remember where I got this from either - but I definitely need some more!

The Craft Barn is one of Tuesday Taggers sponsors - click on the owl above and go and visit their fab website and treat yourself!

Monday 26 October 2009

Cutey Spooky!

I haven't had a lot of free time as I have been attending four Presentation lunches in the last 8 days all over the Northern Counties! Whilst pondering how I'm going to get rid of my expanded waistline I found some time to make a birthday card!
The recipient is away on holiday and will receive it when she returns home at the weekend.......

It's a bit 'cutesy' which is something of a change for me but I really liked the little witch and her cat! The image is from Mo's Digital Pencil. I coloured it with watercolour pencils, mounted it onto black card and the background is a freebie from Glenda's 'Artylicious' blog with some flowers and a couple of lightly glittered pumpkins mounted onto card and a greeting printed from the PC.

I have linked this to the challenge on Tuesday Taggers - pop over and see some fab interpretations of their 'things that go Bump in the Night' theme

and also at One Powerful Hour - who's challenge this week was 'Something Spooky' ... OK I know she isn't exactly SPOOKY but perhaps if you stretch your imagination you might find her just a teeny bit scary?????!!

Saturday 17 October 2009

Altered Bottle Tops

We have a new Flickr group called 'Art 'n Soul' . The group challenges run every month and the first challenge is to alter 3 bottle tops....

Here is my entry. The pics were from a book by Hot Off The Press called 'Easy Peasy Jewellery' and they have the added bonus of having matching acetate overlays, intended for making pendants, rings etc.

I thought they were perfect for the inside of the bottle tops!

I have edged the inside of each top with some seed beads and then added a scrap of vintage lace and a silver heart charm at the bottom.
There is a challenge at Dezinaworld to use lace in a project... OK there isn't a lot of lace on this piece but there is a teeny weeny piece!

Sunday 11 October 2009


OH has 'man flu' and is feeling sorry for himself today - I have come outside to the craft room under the pretext of not wanting to catch his germs...... (well I thought it was a good excuse anyway!)

I have made this tag this morning as I had bought some stamps before I went away and hadn't tried any of them out, so I am sat here surrounded by a pile of 'virgin' stamps and also a pile of papers where I have stamped other images onto!

Stamps by Crafty Individuals, Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous and The Stamp Bug and the papers are Basic Grey. Little half flower and fibres from my stash.
I am submitting this for the challenge this week at Three Muses which is 'Numbers'.

Thursday 8 October 2009

Back to normal

Ah well, the long days gazing out on a clear blue sea or up into a clear blue sky are behind me for another year (at least!). We had a fabulously lazy time, weather was fantastic but sadly all good things come to an end don't they?

So on my return I set about finishing the ordered Christmas Cards. After declaring yesterday I was sick of looking at Christmas cards and this year I was sending shop bought to everyone, this morning I decided to tidy the desk.

Under all the mess there were two stamped images which I had done before I went away and promptly forgot about...... so I made them into a Christmas card!

The backing paper is from Papermania 'A Christmas Carol', and has a fab linen feel to it. I used distress inks on the stamped images and added some pearlised crimson paint for the berries. (On the pic there is a block of red behind one of the berries... don't know ehere this has come from cos it ain't on the card!!!)

Quite like these two images together.... might make some more...................................

Wednesday 23 September 2009

A (well earned?) Rest!

There have been a lot of peops who have sent me messages over the last few weeks wondering why I haven't been about as much recently and asking if all was OK... all is fine here at Chez Viv's, but it's real nice to know that

1. People miss you


2. People care enough to ask

Am just posting to tell those of you who follow my blog that I am off for a holiday so will look forward to catching up on all your creations and musings on my return and of course making a mess in my craft room during the winter nights and getting back to taking part in the challenges!

In the meantime, here's a pic of what I am intending on doing for the next 10 days!

See you all soon. x

Tuesday 22 September 2009

A First in Fabric

As well as messing with metal during Maureen's visit, she also cast a watchful eye over me whilst I transferred some images onto fabric. What is a relatively easy process was difficult for me because the ink in my HP printer is obviously not designed to allow you to take a printed image and transfer it onto cloth! I managed it eventually - but had to use some of the pics Maureen had printed off at home.
With that mission accomplished I was then taken to task about my lack of use of the new sewing machine that was a present about 5 years ago! After a couple of hours deciphering the instruction leaflet and a trial run,I promised Maureen faithfully that I would use it (and also use the beautiful sewing case she had made for me - complete with already threaded needles!!LOL).

I had been completely overwhelmed by the beautiful fabric collages Maureen had done and we spent rather a long time trawling through other people's blogs looking at their work too! I was instructed to just 'treat fabric like paper' when making collages, which was sound advice from my learned mentor!!

After Maureen went home I was determined to give a fabric collage a try..... unfortunately a large card order coupled with my bad neck giving me lots of aggravation in the last week meant it was a slow process.

BUT ............... here is the result! OK it's not perfect and I am not completely satisfied ...... but it's a start!

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Metal Experimentation!

Maureen has been visiting! I have had a great few days culminating in a slap up meal last night and lots of laughs at the dinner table!

My purse however is somewhat lighter due to the craft stash that I was FORCED to buy when we paid a visit to a craft shop in Lancashire - I will not advertise it here but for those card makers amongst you, if I told you the 'ladies room' was decorated in pink complete with black chandelier and gem encrusted toilet brush you might be able to guess where we were!

Anyway back to the visit. I have never tried to do anything with metal before but the bold Maureen (who I think has tried EVERYTHING - lol) arrives for the designated 'crafting day' complete with metal tools and metal sheets in varying lovely shades, after me mentioning in passing that I quite faniced having a go but didn't know where to start. (She arrived with tons of other stuff too but more of that later).

So with the men packed off to the bowling green we proceeded to make a mess in the craft room (which I had tidied up especially!).

This wall hanging was inspired by a book called 'Images on Metal' and is the result of my endeavours - image stamped onto aluminium sheet and then edged with a 'dot' tool, the blue background paper is from my stash with a few more stamped flourishes added and stuck onto mountboard. OH had found 3 rolls of plasterer's joint tape during a shed clear out and I painted some of it with silver metallic paint, pegged it out to dry then used it down the left side adding a blue skeleton leaf, some seed beads, a couple of mosaic tiles and a silver filigree piece and metal word.

I really like this and am determined to do some more experimenting with metal, particularly as I was the fortunate winner of a recent give away in Craft Stamper magazine - 7 Paper Artsy Geometric Stamp Plates especially for using on metal - which arrived as a great surprise 2 days before Maureen did!!

I will post more details of Maureens visit over the next few days..... am off for a lie down to recover!! LOL
Mixed Media Monday has the theme of Metal this week so I have entered this into the challenge!

Saturday 5 September 2009


I had this small canvas that measured just under 3ins square and have been wondering what to do with it!
Yesterday I covered it with some script paper and some music score paper which was torn from a napkin sent to me by Maureen. I stuck it on the canvas then used Mod Podge over it and left it to dry.
This morning (cos it was raining!! - a good crafters excuse to sit and make messy I find!!), I stamped the Eiffel Tower and the 'Paris' word and distressed the word using Antique Linen Distress Ink, then glued them onto the background.
The image of the lady is from a collage sheet I bought some time ago and I cut it out to fit inside the black iron look frame which I placed a paper filigree cut out behind.
I then used a clear glaze over the tower and the lady picture which has given them a nice muted glossy finish and highlights them quite well - although this hasn't shown up very well in the photo!
The metal corner, lace, ribbon, pearl drops and pearl button were added to finish.

Friday 4 September 2009

England and the Orient!

Well what a mad week this has been - I feel like I've met myself coming back on several occasions!

This week has seen the culmination of almost 6 months preparation for a visit by no less than the England President! She brought a representative team of 24 players from Bowls England (which included yours truly!!) and we played against my home County at my Club. Pre match buffet, game, then a four course meal (prepared and cooked by my amazing other half) - this was a wonderful day despite the rain trying to unsuccesfully dampen our spirits. Visits by England Presidents are very rare, particularly in a County as small in (Club) numbers as we are. There are a few pictures of the day on my Flickr account. I have played on several occasions this season for Diane's Bowls England representative team and we've had great days - the one though at my home Club was very special!

So..... after all the excitement (and the washing up!) I struggled to do very much yesterday as I was still recovering! Today though my copy of Craft Stamper arrived complete with free stamp so I made an 'all occasion' Oriental card. I coloured the image with watercolours and stamped some chinese writing onto the ribbon. The flower is one I bought last year at the NEC!

Thursday 27 August 2009

Owls, Fairies, Flowers and Buckets!

Well it's seems an age since I posted anything - and it is only a week! I haven't been idle craft wise just not very messy! I have spent what free time I've had making cards - nothing too intricate either! I have made a lot using some basic card toppers - those of you who make cards will be well familiar with the Art Deco ladies. I haven't pictured them here.
Those I have put here on my blog are some of the others I've done this last week.

The Owl, Fairy, and Flower card were all made using pre printed card blanks. The Owl is an Elusive Images stamp, coloured with watercolours and I added some jewels for his eyes and some tiny gems on the flower outlines of his body. I sat him on a 'perch' made from Maya Road chipboard pieces suitably coloured with Tea Dye Distress Ink. I like him!

The 'Fairy' again was stamped and sat on a chipboard piece painted with silver metallic paint coated with some holographic glitter.

I thought the bronze pre printed blank didn't need much so just outlined a couple of flourishes with copper glitter and added the double fabric flower secured with a jewelled brad.

The last card here is made from a stamp sent to me as a present from a fellow crafter Pam. Not being a cutesy person, I have no idea why I like these vintage 'kids at the seaside' stamps so much! But I do.
I stamped 'Baby with Bucket on Head' onto a background made using inks and shimmer powder, stamped then cut out a shell image and mounted it onto dark blue card. I used more inks for the actual card (no shimmer powders as I wanted it to be 'flat') and attached the tag complete with brad, gold starfish and gingham ribbon. I finished the card with some more ribbon and some real shells from my collection!

All of these cards were easy and quite quick to make - so I made the most of my limited free time!

Thursday 20 August 2009

Taken Advice!

After leaving the clay piece overnight and coming back to it this morning, I definitley decided I didn't like the gold background. So out with the gesso!

I mixed some Pearlescent Tint with 'Pale Olive' and re did the background.

Am happier now! So thank you Sherry!

I may add some random mosaic pieces before it finally takes up residence on the work room wall.

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Castles in the Air

After a hectic few days I found some 'me' time and decided to start a project I have been wanting to do ever since I saw an example in a magazine.

The designer had been inspired by a recent holdiay in Venice and had created a truly stunning mosaic by stamping into polymer clay.

Never trusting myself and my own creativityand certainly not being an expert in polymer clay I decided to attempt something in a similar shape but on a much smaller scale.

Overall I'm not sure making it smaller was a good idea as I can't make my mind up if the balance is right but........ my initial impression is 'not too bad'!!!!

As with all things my photography skills are not up to scratch and unfortunately the mica powders shimmering colour is not well reproduced in the picture - (the grey clouds didn't help the daylight either).

I used a variety of colours in both metallic rub ons and mica powders but predominantly used Golden Pear, Mathracite, Copper and Red Bronze powders and Brass and Gunmetal metallic creamy rub ons and used edges and pieces taken from some stamps to make the impressions. And of course, I had to pop on a fimo face somewhere!

I have mounted the piece onto an acrylic painted canvas (as in the original example) but it may end up on another background as I'm a little unsure about the gold paint - I might try a dark background to make the piece stand out more, but at the moment can't make my mind up about what colour! (Any suggestions gratefully received!)