Tuesday 31 December 2013

New Beginnings

Hello blog friends, thank you for visiting.  It's Team B's turn over at Ikesworld Challenges and the theme is New Year - New Beginnings.

I've chosen to use Mother & Baby, because I think this image is just SOOOO beautiful.

I don't know about you, but over the holidays my crafting gets put on hold because all my stuff gets put away so that the place doesn't look like there's been an explosion in a craft shop when Santa (or the family) comes to visit.  So this had to be created with minimum supplies!  I coloured the picture with a fairly light hand using Promarkers, and painted the card for the frame with pearlescent inks (I just dabbed them on with bits of sponge).  The I laid strips of fusible webbing (the stuff you use to keep the hem of your trousers up) over the top of the card, pinned  onto a cork tile to stop it blowing around , like this -
(Sorry for the naff photo!) Then heated it with my heat gun so that it melted into holes, threw silver embossing powder over it and then heated again to melt the powder, so it looked like this -
I wasn't too bothered about the big gap in the middle because I knew I'd be cutting it out.  Once I'd done that, I finished off the edges with some silver peel-offs and added some flowers (bought ones - GASP!-but  all my crafty stuff is in boxes, remember?)  which I sprayed blue to tone with the card.  Job done!

So how about joining in the fun at Ikesworld?  There's lots of inspiration from the DT, and a freebie digi to get you going.  If you use one of Ike's digi's there's even a chance of winning a prize- which can't be bad.  See you there!

Crafty Hugs,


Sunday 29 December 2013

The last two letters..

in the Craft Barn blog Alpha challenge, and what about that, I kept up!  Rather proud of myself, really although the last two were touch and go owing to the holiday crafting hiatus - but I did it - just.

So I proudly present -
X is for X-ray
I is for IVY
I would love to show you the full set...but it's all been packed away until after New Year.  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the ATC's, and if you were playing as well, I hope you enjoyed the challenges as much as I did.  Will I be joining in again next year (assuming the Craft Barn run a challenge)?  I don't know...I'll have to have a bit of a lie down and a think about it first!

Thank you for visiting my blog and have a great 2014!

Crafty Hugs,


Friday 20 December 2013

What's in the box?

Hi blog friends!  Thank you for visiting.  It's challenge time over at Left of Center once again, and this time we're celebrating Christmas with Sassy Studios.  I've used "All Wrapped Up" on the front of this pillow box.

I printed and cut the box with my Cameo.  The print and cut feature works so well, it's just like magic!  A bit of ribbon to finish and there you have a cute little gift box.  However, I like to use digis for more than cards and papercrafts every now and then, so inside the box...
Two little bars of soap. I coloured the digi in Photoshop and printed them out onto inkjet waterslide transfer paper (it needs a few coats of acrylic sealer to make it waterproof) and applied the transfers to the little cakes of soap (I had some melt and pour soap base lying around, as you do).  I also printed some tissue paper to customise the gift further, and there it is - simples!

So how about joining in with the fun at LOC?  We've got a DT call going at the moment as well so we'd love to see your creations and perhaps have you join us!

Crafty Hugs,


Wednesday 18 December 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Challenge 7 at Ikesworld Challenges is" Christmas is Coming" , and it's team B's turn to strut our stuff.  I've used the Christmas Pixie digi.this time
Cute, isn't she?
I'm still playing with tissue paper - it's a great way of getting stamped images onto surfaces that aren't easy to stamp onto directly.  In this instance, a Christmas Tree bauble - a large, glittery one.
I printed the Pixie onto tissue paper (not the kind you sneeze into, the wrapping paper kind) by sticking it to a piece of ordinary printing paper along the edge that feeds into the printer. I coloured the image on the reverse with alcohol markers (Promarkers in this case, as it happens). Then I cut the image out close to the edge (I could have torn it out, but I am not the sort of person who can do that without a disaster happening!), brushed a light coat of gel medium over the section of the bauble where I wanted the image and smoothed it over.  The medium helps the paper stretch a bit so that it'll curve over the surface.   I brushed more of the medium over the image as well to help it blend in - I didn't work this too much as I didn't want to disturb the printed lines.
So there she is, all ready to go onto the tree, when I can bring myself to put away all my crafty toys and put the tree up, braving Craft Supervisor Mysti's disapproval to do so.  She really doesn't appreciate the Christmas tree as it blocks the view out of her favourite observation post.  Last year she was photographed using her laser vision in an attempt to get rid of it - (well, that's what it looks like to me!)

I hope you have a happy and safe festive season (don't let your cat laser the tree!)  and thank you, thank you for visiting my blog. And now you've been here, how about hopping over to Ikesworld and seeing what the rest of the DT have been up to and giving the challenge a go?  There's even a freebie to get you going and you could win a prize if you use one of Ike's digis in your creation.  See you there!

Crafty hugs,


Monday 9 December 2013

Tim's 12 tags...December

I DID it!  I did every one of Tim Holtz's Twelve Tags of 2013!  Here's my version of the December tag.

The background to this one was a one of those happy accidents...I started off with an idea in mind, used the wrong colour of ink, tried to correct it, made it worse, then decided I might as well experiment with it, sprayed it with water and blotted it with paper towel...

The frosted film is beautiful - it does look like frost, only drier and warmer!  I didn't have any of the Clearly for Art plastic so I fell back on a technique from Creative Chemistry II and used packaging material.  It would probably have been  easier with the proper stuff but worked well enough with the holly leaves and juniper sprigs.

So that's it for the 12 tags of 2013.  It's been fun, learned a few cool techniques and had a great time getting inky along the way...see you in 2014!

Crafty hugs,


Friday 6 December 2013

P-Pick up a ...

Hi all, I'm back - did you miss me?  I took some time off from my DT duties over at Left of Center, but here I am again, refreshed and ready to get going with this fortnight's challenge, which is Winter/Christmas.  We're sponsored by Dilly Beans and I've chosen to use the Three Penguins digi.

I don't often make a straightforward greeting card but hey, it's the season of goodwill.  I coloured the digi in Photoshop and printed it out onto flock paper.  I matted it on silever and then mounted it onto a piece of white card that I'd embossed and then brushed DI over.  A glittery sentiment and it was all finished.

So how about you?  Why not join in with the challenge?  If you don't like the theme you can always go "Left of Center" and make something gothic, steampunk, manga or horror - related.  We'd love you to play with us!

Tuesday 3 December 2013

It feels like winter

Team B's turn over at Ikesworld blog challenges again and I've chosen "Castle" for my DT piece this time.
I love playing with digi's.  Just because they are electronic files, rather than physical stamps, doesn't mean you have to stick to just printing them and colouring with markers.  This time I tinted the digi a grey-green before I printed it out onto tissue paper.  I painted the back of the castle in white acrylic to make it stand out when I glued it to the "weathered wood" panel (an Andy Skinner Timeworn Technique) with matte gel medium.  The tissue blends into the background and makes it look as if the picture was painted direct onto the panel.  

I finished it off with some Tim Holtz Tattered Pinecones cut from Kraft Core Core'dinations.  As well as the pinecone, the die cuts a piece of foliage, which is very useful.  So now it's over to you - why not join in the fun at Ikes?  There's lots of inspiration from the rest of the Design Teams (A and B) to get you going, and there's even a free digi for you.  If you use one of Ike's digis in your project you could win a $15 voucher for her store, which can't be bad.  See you there!

Monday 2 December 2013

S is for...

The latest Craft Barn Blog Alpha challenge is brought to you by letter S, which is a relief after last time (Q was not easy!)  After some thought, I went for  - Snowflake.
Nothing very complicated about this one, just die-cut and punched snowflakes cut from flock paper left over from another project (waste not, want not) on card coloured with shades of blue.  Job done!  

Saturday 23 November 2013

Up,up and away...

...in my beautiful balloon!  Well, Major Thomas's balloon really - just the sort of thing to take Lady Ermintrude for a jaunt.  The theme at SanDee and amelie's  blog this month is balloons and it gave me a chance to complete a project I've been thinking about for some time.

I began with this Christmas Bauble -
And after some work with paint and GIlder's Paste finished with this...
As well as the paint and gilder's paste, I used a curtain ring, some chain, a bottle top, a bit of net and German scrap, and a flag made with a bit of cocktail stick and a stamp from Clarity.  And yes, I shall be hanging the finished item on the Christmas tree!

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Photo Inspiration at Ikesworld

It's Team B's time to share at Ikesworld Challenges and this time Ike has given us a photo to use as inspiration.

Aren't the colours gorgeous?  I enjoy the colours of autumn so much.  This year autumn has arrived late here and the trees have only just changed colour (in fact, there's one or two stubbornly remaining green at the mo).  There's definitely less daylight about, as well.  So, for my DT project this time, I decided to decorate a candle with Ike's Autumn Nymph digi, which I coloured in digitally , because the technique uses tissue paper which would be tricky to colour in with markers in this (small) scale.

If you haven't come across this technique before, it is incredibly quick and simple to do.  Print, draw or stamp your chosen image onto tissue paper.  (You can print onto tissue paper - the kind that you wrap precious items in, not the Kleenex kind- by taping the edge that goes into the printer first to a piece of ordinary paper.)  Tear around your image (the rough edges make the tissue "disappear" into the wax.  Then place your image onto your candle and wrap it in a piece of baking paper or greaseproof paper or wax paper - something that you can see through, will take being heated, and is non-stick.  It needs to be long enough to go all around the candle with a bit left over for you to grip.

Now, take your heat gun in one hand and pick up the candle by gripping the extra baking paper so that you can see the image through it and heat the candle.  The image will look faint and pale at first but as the wax melts it sinks into it, and it suddenly appears brighter.  Once that happens, move on until the whole image is clear.  Unwrap the candle and just as easy as that, you have a fancy candle.  Most pillar candles have a wick that is, strictly speaking, too thin, so that the outer shell of the candle doesn't get consumed. If this applies to the candle you've used, it can be burned - but do be careful as if the flame gets to the tissue, it'll flare up and you'll have an incident on your hands.

So that's my offering, and there's lots of inspiration over at Ikesworld Challenge blog.  How about joining in the fun?  We'd love to see what you come up with, and if you use one of Ike's digi's, you might win a prize!

Sunday 17 November 2013

Q is for...

We had to get there eventually...it's letter Q's turn in the spotlight at the Craft Barn blog Alpha challenge.  There's not an awful lot of words to choose from in my little dictionary, but after a bit of thought I've chosen QUARRELSOME.

The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland was a pretty quarrelsome person, so I've used her on my ATC.    I masked her with a Post-It and stamped the tiled floor and blended DI's over the background.  She's coloured in with Promarkers in bright primary colours.  

So I'm still keeping up and not many letters left...although one of them is X...

Crafty Hugs,


Sunday 10 November 2013

Tim's 12 Tags - November

We've reached November already - can you believe it? - and this month Tim Holtz has shared one of the techniques from his Creative Chemistry 102 course.  This is an amazing effect and so easy to do as long as you can get hold of the chalk (don't children play with it any more?  I had to get the huge lumps of pavement chalk!  After all my years as a primary school teacher carrying bits of it around in my pockets, don't you think?) and theAntiquities embossing powder, which is what makes it all work!
November is very much about remembrance for me so I've chosen a this Poppy stamp from Sheena.  It is hard to see in this picture but the flower heads are coloured with red chalk and have been layered
up on silicone glue.  I'm going to try this again using a Versamark pen to write my own messages...

Crafty hugs,


Tuesday 5 November 2013

Who dat cat?

It's Team B's time to take the stage at Ikesworld Challenges and we're showcasing Ike's Krazy Kritters.  Given a choice, I always go feline, so I've chosen the Kooky Katz for a Kinetic Kard.  In this case, a pushmi-pullyu card.

Here's the card -

Pull gently on the tabs and -

I added the "Who dat up dere?" wording to the digi before I printed it out.  I coloured the image with Spectrum Noirs - the cat looked ginger to me so I chose light browns, oranges and terracotta colours.  His eyes are actually quite a bright green, but the colour isn't showing up in the photo.  I blended DI's (Mustard Seed and Wild Honey) over the background

This one is actually quite easy to construct once you know how and there are instructions here   I enjoy making cards with something extra and I hope you like it - but you can make anything you like to join in the challenge at Ikesworld.  If you use one of Ike's digi's you're in with a chance of winning a prize and Ike has even got a freebie for you - you can't say fairer than that!

Crafty Hugs


Monday 4 November 2013

The C word...

Hello everyone, Friday again and time for another challenge over at Left of Center.  This week our sponsor is the wonderful Ike and our theme is "Tape or Twine".

I usually go for the Left of Center theme but this time I've played it straight and this is officially my first Christmas project of the year.  I used Bauble Cat and coloured it in Spectrum Noirs.

I diecut an aperture into the card and added some die-cuts - the large branch is from Marianne and the other bits of foliage are Tattered Lace, coloured with Distress Inks.  A few red gems and a bit of red twine, and there we are.  

So now it's over to you - why not hop over to LOC and see what my talented teamies have come up with - and maybe show us what you can do?  Looking forward to seeing your projects!

Crafty Hugs,


N is for...

Not long to go in the Craft Barn Blog Alpha Challenge, and I'm still keeping up.  This time we've reached  letter N, and I've chosen


A no-frills ATC, this time, beginning with a bit of Antique Linen DI to soften the color of the card a bit, then masked off a circle for the moon and then Stormy Sky, Black Soot and Dusty Concord blended over the background.  I stamped the bat and the branches using Surfacez ink and drew in some stars and highlighted edges with white pen.

And there we are - I wonder what the next letter will be?

Crafty Hugs,


Monday 28 October 2013

If I only had wings...

I don't know, where does the time go?  Almost the end of October already, and here I am only just making the deadline for SanDee and amelie's Steampunk blog challenge.
This time it's aTic-Tac-Toe grid.
 and I've gone with Metal, Wings, and Braid or Ribbon to create a necklace for Lady Ermintrude.
I enjoy kumihimo braiding, and made the cord myself -for those who are interested,  it's an 8-strand cord made with 1mm rattail thread (it's not that easy to find 1mm rattail!)  The square pendant is a Media Mixage bezel, the background is done with Pebeo Vitrail and Fantasy paints like this;  once they were dry, the gear was added and then the whole thing covered in Gedeo crystal resin (I like this resin as it doesn't smell, but it does take a good 24 hours to set properly)  The angel wing charm I found on a well-known auction site .  Altogether, I think Lady E will enjoy wearing this piece when she goes for a jaunt in Major Thomas's Dirigible, don't you?

Thanks for visiting,

Crafty Hugs,


Saturday 26 October 2013

Words of wisdom

Hello blog friends.  At Quoth the Raven they're asking for projects that reference quotations this month, which, as I have a - quirky- sense of humour, could be dangerous. I'm still on the old kinetic card kick, so it's another twofer...

So here we have a Rick St Denis digi of the Master, printed out and mounted onto some Halloweeny-orange card...

Pull a tab and...
The message reads " It's being so cheerful as keeps me going", which is a quote from a character called Mona Lott in a radio programme called ITMA.  I am not old enough to remember it, despite my ex's insistence that when I went to school the lessons were in Latin (and he wonders why he's my ex!)
but my mother was fond of quoting it when she came across a particularly miserable person.
Here's a closeup of the sentiment -
The instructions for this one came from a book called Interactive Cards and I'd recommend trying to get hold of the book as it was a bit tricky to get my head around this one.

I'm also entering this into the
Artful Times Blog challenge - Spooktacular

Anyway, I hope you like it!  Thanks for stopping by!

Crafty hugs,


Friday 25 October 2013

Crow and Poe

Hello blog friends!  Well, after weeks of next to nothing, this week it's all happening.  I blame Mr Holtz - I was having so much fun with Creative Chemistry 102 that the ol' blog got a bit neglected.  But I have not been idle, oh no no no!  And it's my turn to run the Left of Center challenge, which this time is sponsored by Rick St Denis and has a Creepy/Spooky theme.

It's a twofer this time.  I'm on a kinetic card kick right now and this is a "Dissolving image" card -

First a crow (all right, it's a raven!)
 And then it's Poe!
This is a tricky one to make.  It's important to get the pieces in the right orientation or it will almost work but not quite!  (Guess how I know?  I'd practice a bit first if I were you!)   I've done aYouTube video of how to make this (which I could do with updating) and if you would like templates they can be found here.

The frame is covered with spiderweb netting, painted black and drybrushed white (I've done this before but I am very proud of myself for thinking of it - someone else may have done it first but if so I didn't know about it so I'm giving myself the credit!).  To tone down the bright white card I put a piece of acetate into the aperture and dabbed on some Lake Mist alcohol ink just to give it an aged look (sorry about the flash flare on Mr Poe)

Anyway, please hop over to LOC and see what the DT have been up to...and how about joining in?  If you don't like the theme you can still enter the challenge as long as your project is "Left of Centre" - creepy, horror, anime, steampunk, goth and so on.  We would LOVE to see your work!

Crafty Hugs,


Wednesday 23 October 2013

Tim's 12 Tags - October

Hi blog friends, thanks for visiting! 

It's October and so far I've managed to keep up with Tim Holtz's Twelve Tags of 2013 - amazing!  I'm beginning to hope that I can finish the year...I've been looking forward to this one - Halloween is always so much fun!  

As usual, I've stayed fairly close to Tim's recipe.  This is my first play with Distress Glitter and have to say, I'm pretty impressed.  It's not quite so all-pervasive as the usual kind somehow.  The cat and moon are cut using a Sizzix die, the background stamps are from Tim's range, and the message is an old All-Night Media stamp..but see what it's stamped on?  Yes, vellum, and it dried within a few minutes because I used Surfacez ink!  Impressed?

Crafty hugs,


Tuesday 22 October 2013

Anything goes at IkesWorld

Hi folks, we're halfway through Challenge 3 at IkesWorld Challenge Blog and it's time for Team B to strut our stuff.

I've chosen to use Snowdrops again - I like this digi just SOOOO much.  I've said before that one of the beauties of digital stamps is that they can be any size and I've printed this out on acetate at teeny-tiny size.
I've used an Epiphany frame which conveniently comes with the right-sized epoxy sticker to cover it.  I don't have the Epiphany punch  - it would have been a lot easier if I had! - so I used the epoxy as a template by sticking it to the acetate, sticking the acetate to double-sided adhesive sheet, then sticking it to a scrap of glitter card and then cutting it out with scissors.  I adhered the whole thing to the frame with a bit of Cosmic Shimmer glue (that is a good glue!)

I added a pearl bead to make a bail and voila, a pendant!  Here's a second pic to give you a better idea of the scale -
If you haven't already, hop on over to IkesWorld Challenge blog and see what the rest of Team B have been up to - and also what Team A have created.

Crafty Hugs,


Sunday 20 October 2013

L is for...

The 21st letter in the Craft Barn Alpha Challenge is "L" and I've chosen "Leaf" for my little ATC.  The project has to feature a window, so I made a little window envelope for it -

And here it is in the nude...

I haven't played with Paint Fusion for a while so I decided it was about time I did.  The image is a bramble leaf from one of Sheena's Paint Fusion sets, which I overstamped and embossed with gold powder after I'd done the painting.  I also added in some swirls and dipped the edges of the ATC in gold powder before I blended Wild Honey and Tea Dye over the card.  Simples!

Crafty hugs,


Friday 11 October 2013

Halloween Tag

Good day blog friends, thank you for visiting.
Halloween is on the horizon, and everything's coming up spooky!  I’ve had an idea buzzing around in my head for a while and thought now would be a good time to try it out.  I began by gluing a piece of Spiderweb net down onto my tag.  

I happened to have black net,  but it could be any colour as the next thing I did was to paint it with black acrylic, then dry-brush it to highlight the texture (I used orange first and then just a touch of white).  I must tell you that I liked the effect a lot so you’ll probably be seeing it again.
I cut the cobweb border (a Tim Holtz die – love, love, love it!) from Bazzil Bling card and the pumpkin tendrils and leaves (Sizzlits dies) from Core’dinations Distress card.  I drew a face on one of the pumpkins and edged them all with a bit of Brushed Corduroy Distress ink.The little postcard is from Graphic 45’s Steampunk Spells 8x8 pad (it’s OK, I bought two so that I could bear to use one of them!)  I love that Toulouse Lautrec Black Cat image!
I'm entering this in the Our Creative Corner challenge – It’s Halloween – Let’s Tag it On!   (The tag must have a surface texture treatment )

LOC - Halloween, Orange and Black

Hello blog friends and welcome!  It's time for a new challenge over at Left of Center and this time we're getting ready for Halloween with our sponsors, Limited Run Digis, and a colour theme of orange and black.

Halloween is a truly LOC festival and is much bigger here in the UK than when I was growing up, when Guy Fawkes Night was the event we all looked forward to, and I do so enjoy the fun these days - and with fun in mind, I've created this card.

I used the Alterations Rickety House die, and couldn't resist asking "who lives in a house like this?" Just a minute, though - where's the digi? Aha, this is not just a card.  This is a "waving flag" card.  When you pull the edges apart, lo and behold, up pops "the Count"!

 He was coloured in with alcohol markers and cut out with the Cameo - although there are no fiddly bits to this digi so it would be easy enough to cut by hand.  I just like having an excuse to use the Cammie!

If you would like instructions on how to make this kind of card (which is really easy) I've put them here.

To see what the rest of the DT have been up to and join in the fun, why not hop over to LOC?  We'd love to see your creations!

This is being entered into
Country View Crafts challenge - Something Spooky
Paper Crafting Journey - Halloween colours

Thursday 10 October 2013

J is for...

We’ve reached letter J in the Craft Barn Blog Alpha Challenge.  I’ve chosen “Japanese” for my little ATC this time.  

It’s a very straightforward piece, being just the image stamped with permanent ink onto my favourite Centura Pearl card and coloured with Promarkers.    But – just a minute – did I say Permanent ink and Promarkers in the same breath?  Well, yes I did.  I used a new ink called Sufacez, which is permanent, dries on all sorts of difficult materials, and can be used with alcohol markers.  (It comes in all sorts of yummy colours as well – but I was only able to get black and brown)  Good, eh? 

Crafty hugs, 


Tuesday 8 October 2013

Ikesworld Challenge - Awareness

Hello, blog friends, thank you for visiting.

  The more observant among you may have noticed that this blog is sporting a rather natty new DT badge, for the Ikesworld Chalenge Blog.  Ike, who designs excellent digital stamps has recruited two teams for a three-month tour of duty and I am honoured to be a member.

The theme for this month is "Awareness".  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and many of us will know someone who has suffered from this awful disease.  Through continuing research, the outlook for many sufferers these days is more hopeful provided the diagnosis is early enough, but too many women still die too young.

The digi is available for free from Ike for the duration of the challenge.  I coloured it digitally (I used Photoshop) and printed it onto inkjet acetate and backed it with Centura Pearl card.  This time I took care to keep it away from the cat, who has a thing about licking plastic - the last time I left a printed piece lying around she washed it for me...

I embossed another bit of Centura Pearl using the "Tied Together"  Couture Creations folder, cut the aperture with a Go Kreate die and painted it with acrylic paint in a pale pink.  Once it was dry I went over it with a wash of pale pink with a bit of pastel green mixed in.  While it was drying, I coloured some copy paper by spraying it with water then splatting (technical term) Distress Stains all over it, spraying mica spritzers onto it and then scrunching it up into a ball while still wet and then opening it out VERY carefully to dry.  I did one in pinks and one in greens.

By now the embossed card was dry (with a bit of help from the heat gun) so I drybrushed it in white to accentuate the highlights and gave it a couple of coats of Klear floor polish -  now known as Pledge Multi-surface wax.  This gives it a lovely satin sheen.  I threw a bit of mica powder into the top coat as while I was at it.   (One of these days some bright craft product manufacturer is going to wake up to how useful this stuff is, call it a posh name and sell it in small bottles at £5.99 a throw.  Fortunately, nobody has so far!)

Back to the coloured paper now, I finished off the drying process by ironing the paper and then die-cut multiple layers of my favourite flower and foliage Spellbinders dies (I folded the paper twice and the dies coped very well with the layers of paper).  While I was at it, I cut four ornate corner pieces (Marianne's dies) out of glitter paper.  I made the flowers by my favourite method.

After that it was just a matter of assembling the whole thing.

If you haven't already done so, why not hop over to Ike's World and see what my teamies have created - and  how about joining in? If you use the free digi or another of Ike's images you're in with a chance of winning a $15 prize certificate, which can't be  bad!  

Also entering this in 
 Designed To Color- Use a Die
Tuesday Throwdown - Awareness
Crafty hugs,


Monday 7 October 2013

3D Halloween

You might not have noticed but at the end of this month it's Halloween.  Amazing how that's crept up on us, isn't it?    At Haunted Design House the challenge is to make something dimensional for Halloween.  Now, I'm beginning to suspect that I was warped in childhood by walking to and from school through a cemetery.  Seriously.  The secondary school I attended was situated between a churchyard on one side and a cemetery and crematorium on the other.  We always said that the neighbours never complained about the noise.  Come to think of it, my bedroom window looked out over the cemetery...and my office is next to a cemetery as well (not the same one) - a pattern is developing here!  Anyway, I wanted to make something that reminded me of the monuments I walked past every day on my way to school.

When I saw the corked vials from Tim Holtz, they reminded me of the domes that Victorians used to cover displays of wax flowers and so on.  Tim's  were too small for what I had in mind so I went hunting on my favourite auction site for jumbo test tubes and cork stoppers.  While I waited for them to be delivered I painted a cotton reel (previously covered in matte sealer) with Viva Terra paint, tinted with a bit of black acrylic.

I made some tiny lilies and ivy leaves with the Susan Tierney Cockburn dies, found a little skull bead which I'd antiqued with acrylic paints (a technique learned from Andy Skinner).  It all went together with some hot glue (for a quick bond) backed up with some glue gel (for a longer-lasting adhesive).  A bit of Flower Soft around the base of the "pillar" and there we are!  Happy Halloween folks!

Crafty Hugs,


Wednesday 2 October 2013

WOYWW-2 October

Crikey, is it Wednesday again already?  Time for WOYWW, and a quick tour around the blogiverse to see what everyone's up to.  Now, if you're of a nervous disposition, you might want to avert your eyes, because my workdesk today is....

(Pause for dramatic music) DAH-DAH DAAAAH!


Be reassured, gentle blog friend;  I am still crafting, although with fabric and thread rather than my usual ink-or paintiness.  I have mentioned before that Steampunk costumes are in the offing and what you can seen there (along with my vintage and very precious dry iron, which is about 40 years old and still going strong , and the handles of my shears) is the seam of a skirt about to be pressed open.  Feel better now?

Anyway, I'm off to do some visiting before going back to slaving over the sewing machine.  Have a great day, won't you?

Crafty Hugs,


Friday 27 September 2013

LOC Challenges - Water

Time for another challenge at Left Of Center and this time we are sponsored by Delicious Doodles.  I've chosen Steampunk Mermaid for my project this time.  I've said it before, but the beauty of digital stamps is that you can have them in any size or colour your printer can cope with.  And they take up NO ROOM WHATSOEVER  - how good is that!

A few years ago glittering on acetate with Art Institute Glitters was all the rage and I acquired a fairly substantial amount of them, which have languished in a box under the table for lo, these several years.  It was high time to bring them out again and put them to use.

I printed the Steampunk Mermaid  on inkjet acetate, got out my glitters and a Quickie Glue pen and spent a happy afternoon applying glue to the back of the acetate section by section (starting with the darkest colour and working to the lightest).  Once I was done I coloured the sky and the rocks with alcohol markers (Promarkers in this case) and on the front of the acetate I added in some subtle shading to give definition here and there.  I trimmed the piece square as I wanted it to fit in the aperture of a little Graphic 45 box I happened to have about my person, and stuck it to a piece of Centura Pearl card with double-sided adhesive sheet.

The box got a "Weathered Wood" effect learned form Andy Skinner's Timeworn Techniques course and I moulded the shells and starfish from paper clay.  Once painted they all got a coat of Klear floor polish (this is a great sealer and gives a lovely soft sheen to things - and I've even used it as a clear adhesive where a lot of strength wasn't needed and the piece could take a long time to dry). The net was originally gold, and a bit flashy if truth be told, but once dunked in brown acrylic it came out looking good!

The inside of the box I painted with turquoise acrylic then put white over a coat of crackle glaze (Decoart, in this case).    Just right for storing a mini-album with memories of the seaside.

If you want to see what the rest of the DT have been up to, hop on over to LOC and take a peep - and perhaps share your project!  

Crafty hugs,


PS I'm entering this in 
Altered Eclectics - Anything Goes
Our Creative Corner - Forgotten Things

Thursday 26 September 2013


Hi blog friends, welcome to my part of the blogiverse.  Did you know that the amazing Ike, who creates wonderful digis, has a new challenge blog?  The first ever Ike's World Challenge is to make something from the tic-tac-toe grid -

I  chose doily, tag and ribbon - 

The first version of this met with an unfortunate accident,which is why I am sliding in through the doors just before they shut them...I hope. (The blog is denying me permission to read it.. )  I'd printed out the snowdrops (an Ike digi) and glued micro beads onto the reverse.  I'd coloured the picture on the computer to save myself time and left it on one side for the glue to dry.  I forgot that the cat (Craft Supervisor Mysti) has a strange addiction to licking plastic. The project was not improved by the addition of cat spit, believe me!  (BTW, Mysti seems is OK - she obviously didn't like the taste of the ink as she didn't lick much - just enough to ruin it!)

So, take 2- as well as the aforementioned micro beads, I used a doily cut from a Cheery Lynne die, a teeny-tiny tag cut with a punch I've had for a long time, and a bit of velvet ric-rac ribbon (I LOVE velvet ribbon!) on some paper printed from a Sheena Douglass CD, mounted on a bit of textured silver card.  

Hope you like it! 

Crafty hugs,