Wednesday 30 January 2013

WOYWW - January 30

Welcome, WOYWW'ers, thank you for visiting.  If you've been here before, you may have seen the "carriage clock" box I made out of chipboard a couple of weeks ago.  Today you find me in the middle of making a mini album to go inside it.  I'm using the 6x6 Chronology papers from Docrafts - the album is going to be about the Steampunk day that we went to a couple of summers ago. 
Note the handy sticky-tape holder - yes, you are right, I didn't get round to putting the funnel away after I'd used it! 
Anyway, as it is WOYWW, I'm off to take a look at what everyone else is up to.  I hope you enjoyed your visit - please call again!

Monday 28 January 2013

C is for...

Cat, Cheshire Cat.  And circles, as well.  Alice in Wonderland was one of my favourite books as a child, cats are my favourite animals, so the decision as to what I was going to do for the latest Craft Barn alphabet challnnge wasn't hard!

The Cheshire cat face is a Stamp Attack stamp, which I masked while I coloured the background in shades of blue.  Then I inked up the Circles stamp - from Tim Holtz's Bitty Grunge set - using Castaway ink (another "C"!).  I followed the instructions and let it sit for five minutes or so, then I remooved the mask and ironed the ATC with a hot iron to make the colour change. I love this - you never quite know what effect the Castaway will hsve.  In this case, it bleached the image a bit.   All I had to do then was to colour in Chessie and the job, as they say, was a good'un.

Sunday 27 January 2013

My Top 12 of 2012

One of the joys of blog-following is coming across blogs followed by bloggers you follow (if you follow me).  I followed a link from another blog that brought me to the Catered Crop Top 12 in 2012 challenge.  Now, I've already shared my favourite project - my final assemblage piece for the Timeworn Techniques workshop - but it got me thinking, what were the other 11?   So, in no particular order, I present -

"A Bottle of Firewater" - made for Andy Skinner's Evil Elixir Mixer workshop. 

The Altered Coffee Tin - 
The tag that I made for the "Hammer House of Horror" challenge, which is an example of my sense of humour - well, I think it's funny!
This one was a piece of serendipity - it was almost all made of  "rejects" or surplus bits from other projects - I love it because it came out so well!
I was having fun playing with Viva Terra paints and making paper roses out of paper I'd coloured with mica paints when I made this sundial out of unwanted CD's and a cardboard tube.
I think the rubber stamp I used for this cabinet card is beautiful so I didn't do much with it.  Again, this is a "reject" that I reused (the top left of the image didn't stamp clearly, but it's covered by the frame).

The theme for this next one was "Mona Lisa";  I spent a fair bit of time heating and re-heating UTEE to get the texture I wanted.
The UK went Olympic-mad this year - we went to watch the Torch be carried through our town.  As I tribute, I made my own, to be carried around the office!
A different faux leather and faux snakeskin technique on this little box.  I do enjoy making paper and card look like something else!  
I once had a cat that would go to any lengths to avoid setting paw on the floor (he was a rescued cat so we don't know what he'd experienced before he came to us).  We thought he had ambitions to catch bats instead of mice!  He inspired this tag - 
This is the cover of  a mini album I'm making.  The challenge was "stamping without ink" - I stamped into a thick layer of Viva Ferro paint to get the textured swirls-
And finally, one more time - The Dead Man's Chest.
So that was last year.  Onward and upward in 2013!

Saturday 26 January 2013

Famous Last Words!

Good day, gentle visitor, and welcome to my blog.  Today I am sharing my contribution for Haunted Design House's latest challenge, which is to created something creepy, gothic, or Hallowe'eny on the theme of "Famous Last Words".  After some deliberation, (I toyed with "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..." for some time) I chose Oscar Wilde's alleged last words - "Either the wallpaper goes, or I do!"

I stamped the skeleton (from the Tim Holtz Mini Hallowe'en 2 set) and then masked it (masking seems to be may favourite technique lately, don't know what's got into me!).  The halequin background (turned sideways) came next - I used London Fog Memento ink on the stamp at the edge and Tuxedo Black for the rest so it would look as if it were receding into the distance.  Then I masked that bit and stamped the background pattern. 

Leaving ALL the masks in place, I coloured the background (Tim Holtz Spiced Marmalade and Rusty Hinge DI, with Frayed Burlap to add shading).  Then I took  the mask away and lightly shaded the skeleton with the ink left on my splodge mat, then added in more shading with a cut & dry nib.

The Famous Last Words were just printed out and distressed, and then cut with a Spellbinders die, as was the frame.   And, quite suddenly, it was complete.  I do hope you like it.  Thank you for calling, and do come again!

Wednesday 23 January 2013

WOYWW, 23 January

Welcome, WOYWWers!  As you can see there isn't much happening here today.  I'm between projects at the moment, with just a couple of things to finish off.  The blue blocks to the centre right of the picture are heat-mouldable foam and I'm looking forward to playing with it, however, everything is on hold at the moment as the snow is pelting down  and the big kid (aka my husband) has turned off the lights so he can watch it falling.  I am practicing my touch-typing skills, taught to me at great expense by Her Majesty's Civil Service, and it's probably just as well I no longer have to use them in anger! 

Anyway, sorry it's all a bit boring this week and thank you for visiting.  I'm going to visit some other desks now, as I'm having trouble remembering where the full stop is.  See you soon, I hope!

Monday 21 January 2013

Tim's 12 Tags - January

I'm not promising anything, you understand.  Last year I failed dismally at joining in with Tim Holtz's 12 tags - I think I only managed one.  But at least I've managed to complete the January tag before February arrives! 
I've kept pretty close to Tim's original, as you can see.  The only thing I've changed is to leave off the hardware - when I got the tag to this stage I decided I liked it as it was.  I hope you agree.
Thank you for stopping by - you'll be welcome back at any time!

Sunday 20 January 2013

The Mists of Time

Hello, gentle visitor, and welcome to my little corner of the Blogiverse - I hope you'll enjoy your visit.  I don't know about you, but I've heard rumours of an Artists' Trading Card revival;  I do hope it's true!  Just in case you didn't know, ATC's are small pieces of artwork and there are only two rules when creating them - they must be 2.5 inches by 3.5 in size, and they must only be swapped or given away, never sold.  They are great fun and usually easy to do, and a good way of making use of all the little scraps of card and material we all accumulate.

The Artful Times Challenge Blog challenge for this period is to create an ATC about "Time", so here's my contribution -

I used Viva Ferro in shades of graphite, gold, green gold and golden orange for the background, applying it with a spatula and making sure I had a good generous layer on the card.  I then inked up my stamp  (a background of clock faces, from Hero Arts - you can just about see one of the clocks in the bottome left corner) using gold Brilliance ink and and stamped into the wet Ferro (and immediately dropping the stamp into a bowl of wated to prevent the paint drying on it).  I pressed the clock face charms into the paint and left it all to dry.
Once it was dry, I went over the places I wanted to highlight with rub-on wax in gold.  And that was pretty much it - as I said, ATC's are quick and easy.  Hope you enjoyed looking at this one!

Friday 18 January 2013


Today, gentle visitor, you find me at home, due to the office being closed because of the snow.  Yesterday I had a day of waiting in for the delivery of my new freezer,   because my old one popped its clogs on Sunday - fortunately there wasn't much in it and I noticed that it had stopped working in time to transfer what was there to my small freezer and defrost it before it created a lake on the kitchen floor.

While  I waited, I have  my time (a) cleaning the kitchen floor where the old freezer stood so that they don't think I'm a complete slob (even though I am) and (b) finishing off the project that was on my desk on this week'a WOYWW.

I've called this one "Lilith".  According to some, Lilith was Adam, the first man's first wife, created at the same time from the same earth - but she wouldn't obey him and left him, so was replaced by Eve.  She's considered to be a bit of a naughty girl as a result! 
I'm in a "stamp and mask" mode at the moment.  The Gibson Girl was stamped first, onto the tag and a Post-It.  Cutting out the Post-It mask was a bit fiddly, so I put a bit of Quickie Glue on the delicate bits and let it dry (so it would be repositionable) then put it carefully over the stamped imaged.  I stamped and masked the bat wings, and finally the tiled floor, which is my trusty Harlequin background (from CaroLines) turned sideways.  That was easy to mask - I just stuck the Post-It straight over it.  I used Memento ink because I knew I'd be using my alcohol-based pens to colour in.
Then it was just a matter of colouring the background with Distress Inks (Wild Honey, Ripe Persimmon, and Spiced Marmalade, with shadows in Weathered Wood), using Colour Dusters.  I flicked water onto the background and blotted it with a paper towel  to get the speckled effect.
Finally, I removed the masks and coloured the Gibson Girl with Spectrum Noir pens and stamped "Lilith" using my 99p a set alphabet stamps to finish the job.

I'm rather pleased that I can enter this one into two blog challenges.  It was originally designed for Haunted Design House's  Macabre Monday challenge, but as it features my favourite stamp - that Harlequin pattern, which features in a lot of my stuff - it also qualifies for the Artistic Stamper Creative Team blog challenge.  Bargain!

Thursday 17 January 2013

Dragon by Moonlight

Hello everyone and thank you for visiting.  This is my contribution to the Dragons-Dream Tag-It-On challenge number 133.  The recipe is -a mythical creature, a clear moon, and a night sky.

 I've had this dragon stamp for some time and I'm so glad to have the opportunity to haul it out and use it!  I stamped it in black archival ink and then masked the dragon and the moon with post-its while I did the sky - I used Inkylicious's Colur Dusters to apply Distress Inks in shades of blue.  I find the Colour Dusters (which look rather like shaving brushes) work very well with masking as you can be quite gentle with them and not disturb your mask too much.  (For the dragon's mask, I also put a little bit of Quickie Glue around the edges and the fine details and let it dry so that it became a repositionable glue - it made things SOOOO much easier!)  While the mask was in place, I also stamped in the branches (stamps by Clarity). 

Once the background was in place, I removed the mask from the moon.  As I was working on a white surface, it was too stark a contrast so I brushed on some Scattered Straw DI, then dabbed on some water with my fingers and then blotted it off with a paper towel and repeated until I liked the effect.

I coloured the dragon with Bruynzeel Superpoint felt-tip pens and used an opaque white pen to highlight some of the details and to add some "stars" to the night sky.  The final touch is a bit of American seam binding coloured with Distress Stains for the tag's tie.  I do hope you like it.

Thank you for stopping by - please come back any time, you'll bevery welcome!

Wednesday 16 January 2013

WOYWW - 16 January

It's that time of the week when we go jaunting around the Blogiverse, courtesy of Mrs Dunnit's blog, taking a sneaky peek at each other's workstation, and here you see mine, just about to start work on a tag with a gothic theme.  I seem to be in a "masking" phase this week and as you can see, the faithful post-it notes are at hand, ready to be stamped up and put in place to protect the image while I work on the background.

I'm keeping it very short and sweet this week as I want to get around to visiting as many of you as I can and having a nosey at what you're up to.  Thank you for stopping by - please feel free to visit any time!

Tuesday 15 January 2013

V is for..

Vampire! This year The Craft Barn's ongoing challenge is based on the letters of the alphabet.  The idea is to alter a dictionary page;  however, the only old dicker that I would spare is my old Welsh one and there isn't a letter V in Welsh (we use "f" for the "v" sound and "ff" for the "f" sound). 

Fortunately, there is a get-out clause, which allows us to use another item as long as we remain consisitent throughout, so I shall be making ATC's.  And here's Drac himself, done with a stamp I made with my Imagepac for another challenge.

I masked him and applied Distress inks in Peeled Paint, Evergreen Bough and Iced Spruce, with a bit of Black Soot around the edges. A touch of Barn Door for his eyes and fangs, and there he is.  Add a tiny little "V" from a set bought for 99p at my local craft shop (a real bargain!) and the job's a good 'un.

And, as he's an ATC, he's up for swopsies!  Anyone want him? 

Sunday 13 January 2013

Tempus Fugit..

...which, in English, means "Time Flies".  The Anything But A Card Blog challenge is to make anything but a card (naturally!) including something that has wings.  So of course, I made a clock.  With wings.
I was inspired to make this by a project in the latest Creativity magazine from Docrafts, which was based upon altering a carriage clock.  I didn't have a carriage clock to alter - so I made my own out of chipboard.  The main part lifts off so treasures can be kept inside - I'm thinking of maing a mini album to fit inside but I haven't decided yet!  Just for once I took photos so I could show you what I did - you can find them on my website here

Apart from the wings, which were cut with a Tim Holtz Alterations die, and the chipboard, which came out of a box of envelopes, the whole thing was made using items from the Chronology range from Docrafts.  I'm a Steampunk fan so this range is totally my cup of tea - I hope it's around for a while, but I'm taking no chances and I'm stocking up!

Anyway, thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoyed.  You're welcome to drop by at any time!

Wednesday 9 January 2013

WOYWW - 9 January

It's WOYWW time again and normal service has been resumed now that the place has been restored to its usual explosion-in-a-craft-shop states.  The work in progress today is my take on one of the projects in Docrafts's Creativity magazine, which is based on an altered carriage clock.  I don't have a carriage clock so I am making my own from chipboard  (not a working one, you understand). I am taking photos as I go along so I will post a step-by-step at a later date for those who are interested. 

Anyway. it's time to go hopping around the Blogiverse to see who's sharing their workspaces with the world.  Thank you so much for visiting - feel free to come back any time, you'll be very welcome!

Tuesday 8 January 2013

What's Behind the Door?

The latest Dragons-Dream Tag-It-On challenge recipe this time is to make a tag with a door, a lock and a key.  The door stamp is from Crafty Individuals and the lock and key are actually meant as a toggle clasp for a bracelet (slightly altered with the help of memory wire cutters).  The background is shades of Distress ink (Pine Needles, Weathered Wood, Broken China, Lilac and Vintage Photo)layered and blended and flicked with water.  Alice and the door are cut out from a separate sheet and layered onto the tag after being coloured with Promarkers.

Whew - just in time!  Hope you like it!

Saturday 5 January 2013

Clean and Simple

 Hi folks! If you've visited my blog before, you've probably realised that I am a fan of the grungy, steampunky, distressed and altered so the white-on-white look is a real departure from the norm. However, in my ramblings around the Blogiverse, I stumbled upon Hotshot Crafts Blog Challenge, which at the moment is to create something "Clean and Simple", and I thought this might fit the specification.

I was given a Grand Calibur for Christmas (I know, I know- I've already got a Big Shot and a Vagabond, so why do I need ANOTHER die cutting machine?) so I decided I'd put it through its paces.  I embossed the front of the shaped card (by only putting the front part of the card into the folder before putting it through the machine) with a Tied Together embossing folder from Couture Creations, and cut and embossed the Marvelous Squares Spellbinders dies from white card.  The central element is a digital stamp from Pink Petticoat.  Hope you like it. 

Thanks for visiting - I do hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday 2 January 2013

WOYWW - 2 January 2013

2013, for crying out loud!  What happened to 2012?  And back to work for me today after a lovely Christmas break.  Anyway, welcome all my visitors from Julia Dunnit's WOYWW, and I hope the new year brings you everything you hope for.  I am still camping on the picnic table in front of the TV (craftily speaking)  and I am still working on altering bottles (if you were here last week and want to see how the Bottle of Firewater turned out, you can see the pictures here)

This time I'm going for a more "Arabian Nights" look - I plan on calling this one "a bottle of Djinn".  It needs some "jewels" added.  I had the house to myself on Monday so I made good progress, but the Love of My Life did complain bitterly about the smell of epoxy resin glue when he came home. so I'm going to leave it a few days before I glue on some acrylic gems, just for the sake of peace.
OK, so I'm off to visit some of the workdesks out there.  Thank you for visiting mine - you're always welcome, you know!