Tuesday 31 March 2009

Someone to Watch Over Me

Do It In An Hour's challenge was on the theme of 'Eyes'.

I made an ATC using a cream parchment paper background and stamping the eye image on it in grey Stazon. I then printed out the guardian angel image onto an inkjet transparency and overlaid the stamped parchment, securing it with a couple of brads. I thought it looked rather bare and flat so added a few fibres at the bottom to try and give some texture and then added a silver cross.

'Perhaps the idea of Guardian Angels is a fanciful one. They could be something invented by humans to help people cope with the difficult times in our lives. They could be real. Perhaps only your own faith or experience can determine their reality. Are these spiritual beings really "assigned" to assist people here on Earth and is there one angel per person, one angel for several people or several angels for one person? Ulitmately, perhaps only your own faith and experience can determine their reality. But whether you believe in them or not, or whether you want one or not, believers insist that you do have a guardian angel. '
I have called this ATC, 'Someone to Watch Over Me' and hope, if angels do exist that one is assigned to me!

Saturday 28 March 2009

Mother Nature

I suppose many of us could be forgiven for thinking Spring had arrived here judging by the lovely weather we had last week and at the beginning of this - once again we were fooled! Despite the blooming daffodils and other spring flowers Mother Nature dealt us a blow with some really cold winds, very heavy showers and grey skies!

I have completed a piece today and have submitted it for two challenges.

The theme at Awfully Big Art Adventure was set by Patty and it was to 'alter cutlery'.
Heather had set a theme of 'Mother Nature' on the Saturday Surprise blog.

Having viewed some amazing pieces of altered cutlery on other blogs I managed to dodge the husband before he put locks on the kitchen drawers and found a couple of old forks. Unfortunately, the forks weren't old enough because they were almost impossible to bend!! (They must have been nickel plated.)

Undeterred I managed to bend the tines on one even if it wasn't to the shape I wanted!

I alcohol inked the fork using 'Lettuce, Meadow and Ginger' inks. I made Mother Nature in the centre of the fork with a Sculpey head (smudged suitably using a felt pen before colouring the mouth and eyes), and made her hair from a collection of fabric leaves wound onto long wires. The wires I then wound to create arms and legs. I added a sparkly dragonfly a shell shaped flower with a silver ladybird charm and the words Create and Grow which to me represent Nature. Finally I put the little foam bird onto the top of the fork with a few tiny twigs and a piece of green wool to try and represent a nest.

This was one of those things where I was quite surprised that it turned out not bad for a first attempt.

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Ruler Book

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I am a member of a group called the 'Six Inch Square Club' - all ardent crafters are part of this group even though they mightn't be aware of it - its for all us messy artists who no matter how hard we try to be tidy always end up with only 'six inches' of usable space on their work tables!

The very talented Ange is the group Administrator and she sets a project every couple of months for us to try. I was lucky enough this month to win the basics to make the project of a Ruler Book. Ange sent me the ruler, fixings and the board.
Here is the result. I decided on a 'Garden' theme and used the image of the garden landscape design as the basis for the front cover. The large lace flower (dyed with distress ink), the daisy lace, green ribbon and small flower were all part of a 'lucky dip' bag I bought at the NEC. I painted the chipboard piece with Distress Crackle Paint then ran another distress ink pad over it. The background paper is from Basic Grey and the tag and butterfly were from my own stash. The rusty key used to open our old garden shed!
Inside the book I made a couple of pages to depict the garden seasons. All the background papers were from my stash and the larger tags are K and Co. I added smaller tags with leaves etc and also glued a seasonal 'tip' onto the large tag before putting the tags into the lace and paper pockets on each page. A few lace and floral embellishments finished the book.

I really enjoyed this project. I have uploaded the inside of the book as smaller images so as always if you want to see the detail you need to view each pic by clicking on it individually!
And of course if you want to join the 'Six Inch Square Club' Ange would love to see you! Just follow this link or click on the pic on the right hand side of my blog.

Friday 20 March 2009

The lovely weather this week has meant I have been outside in the garden during the day. I went along to the bowls club on Wednesday for the first time this season to indulge in some much needed practice before the season starts in the middle of next month! Consequently I haven't done much crafting, although I have thought about the layout for the ruler book and am hoping to make a start on that this weekend.

Having not managed to do last week's challenge on 'Tag You're It', this morning I made an effort to do this week's!

There was an open theme but you had to include 3 elements - a ribbon, buttons, and brads or eyelets.

Here is my tag! I crumpled up some green tissue paper then ran 'Shabby Shutters' distress ink over it. The little lion and the monkey's head are buttons and the lizard background is from Hot Off the Press. I put a small green brad to secure the lizard paper onto the main tag. I used black eyelets to thread the ribbon through at the top. I finally added some small chipboard scrabble like tiles for the greeting.

Monday 16 March 2009

A winner!

Well, I just can't believe it! One of my most talented blogging friends Ange (otherwise known as Agnes the Red) sets a challenge every couple of months over on her 'Six Inch Square' Club and blog.
This month was to make a ruler book.... and she set up a prize for someone to win all the stash to make one of these gorgeous books (inspired by the lovely Tim Holtz, of course!) ......AND I WON!!
I'm so pleased cos I've been looking for wooden rulers everywhere without success so I could try one of these and now I've won the makings!
Please go and have a look at Ange's blog, her work is fab, she is full of inspirational ideas and has lots of tutorials for you to learn from.
Thanks Ange, promise I will try to do a real good ruler book for you!

Sunday 15 March 2009

Mother and Child

The challenge this week at Gothic Arches was 'Mother and Child'.

Having already immortalised my great-grandmother and my father on ATC's, this was the perfect opportunity to use some more of my relations!

This picture is of my Nan and Mum. Nan was only 17 when Mum was born and this pic must have been taken late 1927/early 1928. I love this photograph.

I used Basic Grey paper for the background, then stuck the lace onto the same paper and cut out following the line of the lace. I mounted the two pieces onto the arch shape to 'frame' the image.

I finished the arch by adding a couple of buttons, a heart button with some organza ribbon and a couple of timy pearls. I added the year on the top of the arch digitally.

I have been researching my ancestry for about 5 years now and it is as addictive as crafting! I have printed this quote ' The Family is link to our past, bridge to our future' onto the front of my ancestry journals.

Playing with stash!

Cards finished so tipped the contents of the carrier bags out onto the work desk and began to have another look at all the stuff I bought with Maureen at the NEC.

We had spent a bit of a time admiring a 5' tall 'Decopatch' giraffe and as mad crafters do had bought a 'starter' kit! (Don't panic - We didn't buy anything as big as the giraffe!)

The decopatch papers are absolutely beautiful. Gorgeous colours and designs and as part of the deal we got 4 papers of our choice... I spent ages choosing but eventually much to Maureen's relief (as she was itching to go into the sewing section) I made my mind up!

Here are the results. (You really need to click on each pic to get the full view of the different designs on the papers).

I enjoyed doing this, tearing the paper up though was a bit of a wrench as the designs were so pretty- but I steeled myself to destroy it consoling myself that it would be reborn!

Friday 13 March 2009


I had a great day yesterday with Maureen at the Birmingham NEC - despite the best efforts of British Rail to leave me abandoned in the wilds of Wolverhampton by cancelling and delaying trains, I managed to arrive home very late but in one piece, heavily laden with crafty stash and with a considerably lighter purse!

I have been itching to play with the new goodies but had to discipline myself as I have some card orders that I HAVE to do within the next 24 hours.

Here's one that I finished earlier!!!!!!!!!! (with some images I got yesterday).
I have another 2 Birthday cards to make before I can get rid of the 'girly, frothy' stuff and get down to real business!

Tuesday 10 March 2009

Front Cover

You know I've been promising to make a book from my gothic arches for a while? Well don't get excited...it isn't made yet..... BUT I have decided on how I want it to look!

Instead of using the arches and adding a 'spine' to them by joining them together, I chose to mount them onto co-ordinating paper which I could also decorate. I've done 6 so far .

This picture though is of the book's front cover.

I really enjoyed doing this. I used mountboard measuring approx 8" x 8".

The background paper and lady image is from Flickr collage group and I painted her lips and nails before adding some wire mesh to her veil. I think she is stunningly beautiful and has such a peaceful aura about her. I distressed the paper behind her then highlighted the edge of the mountboard with red ink before distressing the arch background. A couple of red gems added to the top of the arch with our winged gothic ladies in front, a crow (HAS to be included on anything gothic doesn't it???!!), a hand holding a red rose, a fabric flower, red ticket and metal tags also added and I glued some black lace along the bottom edge.

I am now looking for something suitable to spray/paint the whole piece with to give it a protective coat.

This is definitely work in progress. Will post again when I have completed the book!

Sunday 8 March 2009

Last week I did my entry for the Tag You're It challenge early - I loaded it onto my blog on Saturday but then the following Thursday realised that I hadn't linked it on the challenge site! What a fool! I just managed to post it before the new theme was put up!

This week's challenge is 'Wings'.

I like this pic of the 'Butterfly Lady' - she has a dress and hat made of butterfly wings as well as sporting a fine pair of wings herself!

I used several different shades of purple and pink inks for the spritzed and sponged background after stamping the flower head images and text in dark blue and then put Butterfly Lady onto the tag with some 3d pads.

I am off right now to link this onto the site!


Gothic Arch challenge this week was 'Fantasy'.

I made this arch using a background courtesy of Flickr Collage Group, added a fairy stamp and some wording. The stars, butterfly, flowers and heart are silver fabric and I used some glitter glue to give it some shimmer.

Another one for my gothic arch book! I have made a front cover so far and mounted all the other arches I've done onto co-ordinating paper - so at least have made a start!

The Tragedie of Macbeth

Fellow blogger June has started a new blog... it's called Art Freebies. She is running a challenge every Wednesday where you have to enter a piece of artwork using that week's image.

So here is my entry!
I thought this image represented Shakespeare's tragedy so well. I am not an expert on Shakespeare (far from it!) but from what I remember Lady Macbeth was a strong willed woman who (along with the 3 witches) goaded her husband into murder and thus achieved her ambition to become the Queen of Scotland. She then suffered terrible guilt, began sleepwalking and eventually committed suicide.
This ATC is a paper collage and I used some red embossing powder for the blood dripping from the dagger!
Why don't you go visit June's blog - there's some great free artwork for you to use - and whilst you're there, have a go at her challenge!

Thursday 5 March 2009

Oriental Bird

I am on a bit of a roll this week (or should that be last week????) as my altered tin made the Nautical Theme photo sampler at Theme Thursday - can't tell you how pleased I am, especially as it was my first attempt at making an old tin into something else!

Today at Theme Thursday the subject was 'Birds' - those of you who follow my blog will know I've made quite a few 'bird' things just recently so it seemed silly not to carry on and make another page for my bird journal!

Although for the 'journal jam' I chose the theme 'vintage floral', I thought I might try something a bit different for the challenge.

So here is my oriental bird - I have only done one side as I need to do the other as a progression from the other pages already completed. With this in mind, I thought I'd be better sticking to a more neutral theme, but once I got started I realised that birdie desperately needed an injection of colour! So - on with the pink flowers, thread and fibres! Have not quite worked out how I'm going to make this birdie fit in with the others - if I can't I can see another journal coming on!

(The other birdies I completed for the jam are on my posts from 1st March and 11th February).

Wednesday 4 March 2009

More Pink and Brown!

This week's there was an 'open' theme at Wednesday Stamper but it had to be done on a 'skinny'. (3" x 5"). I was so happy to have made the front page photo show with last week's silhouette ATC but time was at a premium as I have several family birthdays approaching and need to make cards not just for me but for Mum to also send - so I made my 'skinny' and popped it on the front of a brown pearlised card!

This Chinese Cherry Blossom stamp is a favourite as I think it's really versatile, looks OK either on it's own or with other Oriental images, and can be used as a variety of greetings with the right background and colouring.

I stamped the image onto white cardstock, sponged with Tattered Rose and Frayed Burlap inks and coloured in the image with watercolour pencils. I put a dot of 'Cotton Candy' stickles in the centre of each flower which gives the middles a tiny bit of sparkle and mounted onto the card, finishing with some pink organza and brown shoestring ribbon.
It's strange that I very rarely have used this colour combo before but here this is my second post this week!

Sunday 1 March 2009

Brown and Pink Gothic Arch

After missing the Gothic Arches challenge for the last couple of weeks, I was pleased that I managed to find time to do it this week particularly as the colour combination of brown and pink is so pretty!

The background paper and image is courtesy of the Collage Group on Flickr. I added some pink tones to the backing paper and edges of the arch. I used Pink Pearls Liquid to highlight the child's hair ribbon. I think this pic is beautiful as so many of these vintage images are - I always wonder what these children looked like when they became adults!

The jigsaw piece was a real bright fuschia colour and far too bright so I used some white versamark ink over it to tone it down a bit. The fabric roses were in my 'lace box' - I think they were cut off a child's dress by my Gran a long time ago!

I now have quite a collection of arches and really do need to make a book to house them all in.

More Birds!

Have finally finished the pages for the Bird Journal jam over at our New Inspirations Group. These are Sherry's. Sherry's theme was 'lavender and lace' and we were told 'interpret how you wish'! I had some dried lavender so put some in a felt pouch which I attached to the bird on the left with the lace and ribbons. I found this quote of a lavender seller in Victorian London which I liked!
I also found a 'recipe' for lavender ink! It was designed for young Victorian ladies to use when they wrote letters to their 'heart's desires' so when the envelope was opened the 'mysterious scent would waft and linger'! I stamped inks bottles and nibs onto the background paper, added a vintage pic and put some more lavender in a vellum envelope attaching it to the bird's beak.

Wendy wanted 'birds, nests, eggs, butterflies in blues and greens. I used a K and Co tag on the middle of the bird on the left as it had a pretty flower already on it! I stamped some more leaves and placed a little gem in the centre of the flower and a watering can embellishment. The butterfly came from the same fabric I used earlier this week to make the ATC. this is much smaller and was a bit more fiddly but after treating to prevent fraying it turned out ok! The bird on the right is a paper collage made up from images courtesy of Flickr Collage Group and a couple of stamps and a large 'opal eye' gem for the birds eye!.

This is Sheila's. Her theme was 'birds and associated stuff' in browns, gold and creams. The images on both birds are courtesy of Flickr collage group too. I stamped and embossed the cherry blossom tree branches on both sides of the bird. The gold actually shows up far better in real life! I added a gem dragonfly and some gold braid to the one on the left and on the right some tiny flower gems and cream/beige fibres. The bead charm I have to admit was a straight copy of one that I received on an ATC some time ago and I liked the design so made one exactly like it! I think I may have gone a bit overboard with the feathers and I hope the bird doesn't start to 'moult' by the time it arrives at Sheila's!

This was for Maureen who wanted a theme of Birds and Flowers in a vintage style in pastel colours. I stamped the one on the left with various clock faces and flourishes then stamped the wording. I added a vellum butterfly and some fabric flowers and leaves. The right bird was stamped with leaves and I added a paper collage depicting a nightingale, a bird's nest and the music sheet 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkely Square'. The lace was from a pile given to me some time ago and I secured it on the right bird by using a K and Co flower brad.