Sunday 24 March 2013

When I am an old woman...

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

(Warning, by Jenny Joseph)

Have you heard of the Red Hat Society?  It's a social organisation of, er, mature ladies which began when one of the founders gave a friend a red hat and a copy of the poem.  Here's my little red hat, which has taken me a very long time to make - well, not so much the hat as the display stand, if truth be told!

The hat is adapted from a pattern by Kim Costello (see here) that was published in Craft Stamper magazine some time ago.  I coloured the feathers with alcohol pens.  The stand is a CD with a cut-down packaging tube stuck to it.  The base I covered in Artists' Spackle texture paste, sprayed green and sprinkled with Flower Soft.  The upright I covered with paper left over after Tim Holtz's Tattered Florals Challenge (blending a little Vintage Photo DI over it first) and added a couple of flowers that I'd made for the Tattered Florals challenge but never used.

And there it is - my entry for the "Anything Goes- Pick and Mix" Country View Crafts blog challenge.  Thank you for taking the time to check it out.  I hope you liked it!

P is for..

We have an Egypt Centre here in Swansea.  My sister-in-law has a part-time job there - she's always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt and her degree in in Egyptian Studies.  So for this fortnight's Craft Barn Alphabet challenge, inspired by the ancient Egyptians, I've chosen "Papyrus".

The stamp is from Clarity, and yes, that is real papyrus it's been stamped on - in Tuxedo Black Memento, as it happens.  I've coloured it with Promarkers, so if you were desperate to know whether or not they worked on papyrus, well, now you do!  According to my SIL, the Egyptians loved bright colours (to quote her, "They'd have used glitter if they had it!") so I've chosen nice bold colours.  I hope you like it! 

Wednesday 20 March 2013

WOYWW - 20 March

Happy WOYWW everyone!  (What's WOYWW?  Find out here!)  Well, after last week's aberration, where you actually caught me cooking (GASP!), normal-ish service has been resumed.  (By the way, the Red Nose cake pops sold like - well, hot cakes, so it was worth the effort - even if the kitchen did look like the shower at the Bates Motel after I'd finished decorating them).

On my workdesk today, you can see that I am finally finishing off a project I began around August.  The little red hat is adapted from a design by Kim Costello (see here for details).  If you know about the Red Hat Society, you will not be surprised that I've added a purple glitter ribbon and purple feathers (coloured with my Spectrum Noirs).  If you've never heard of the Red Hat ladies, you can find out more here.  I'm making a nice little display stand out of a CD and a cardboard packaging tube.  The pots you can see there contain "surplus" bits that will probably feature on the finished item.  I haven't decided yet!

So now I'm off to see what everyone else is up to.  Thank you very much for your visit;  I really do appreciate everyone who drops by.  Hope you enjoyed yourself - come back any time, you're very welcome!

Saturday 16 March 2013

I give in...

I wasn't going to enter Tim Holtz's Tattered Floral Challenge.  I was perfectly happy looking at the brilliant projects everyone else was making, but didn't feel the urge to join in.  Until just now, that is!  I woke up thinking, "I wonder if I could use the Tattered Florals Die to make roses?"   You can guess the rest!   I gave in to the impulse, and much to my surprise, put together a project for the challenge.  Here's what I did...

I cut out a wodge (technical term) of flowers out of some script paper I'd been hoarding for ages (one of the great things about the steel rule dies and the Vagabond is that you can cut multiple sheets of paper in one go, which is what I did!) and made up the roses by my favourite method.  I had to adapt it a bit because it works best with odd numbers of petals and I did need to cut into the centres of the flowers to get the petals to curl around.  I started out thinking that I'd add some subtle colour to the petals. (I changed my mind in the end and sprayed them with inks in shades of red, yellow and orange , though so it was all a bit of a waste of time.)

A bit of DI to tint the petals - complete waste of time as I changed my mind and sprayed them afterwards!

Outer petals on the left, inner bud on the right!  See here for full details of how-to make paper roses
After giving the flowers a spritz of Vintage Photo with some gold Perfect Pearls mixed in it,  I got on with the frame - I am LOVING the Cameo Frame, especially with the oval Movers & Shapers dies.  I cut it three times out of chipboard (and once out of script paper), first with the medium sized oval aperture and then  with the largest size, and finally with no aperture.  I glued the script paper to the corresponding piece of chipboard and blended Vintage Photo DI around the edge.   I coloured the other frame piece with Crushed Olive Distress Stain and touched Burnished Brass stain around the aperture and the outside edge of the frame.  Then I gave it a good layer of Rock Candy crackle paint.

Once it was all dry, it was time to assemble it.  I added in some small Tattered Leaves which I'd coloured with DI in Peeled Paint and Iced Spruce, and a photo.  Yes, that's me in my mother's arms. ( I was 4 months old at the time.)

Anyway, that's it!  Thank you for visiting, and I hope you enjoyed.  See you soon!

Wednesday 13 March 2013

WOYWW - 13 March

Today I have moved to the kitchen for WOYWW.  This doesn't happen often, but it's not unknown!  It's Red Nose Day on Friday and we are going to come to work wearing pyjamas and raise money for Comic Relief.  I have promised to make Red Nose cake pops so here you see the cakes in the nude, as it were' defrosting before being coated in red Candy Melts.  (I'm considering selling them with the slogan, "Pick your nose and eat it". Sorry about that!)
 Anyway, thank you for visiting and I am off to have a nosey at what everyone else is up to.  See you round the blogiverse!

Monday 11 March 2013

A Steampunk Cuckoo Clock

Some time ago, that plucky gel, Lady Ermintrude Duffryn-Felix, accompanied by Major Thomas Felix, visited a Steampunk gathering.   There were a great number of spiffing diversions with which visitors could amuse themselves;  Lady E was particularly intrigued by an exhibit in the Contraption Competition, an automaton in the shape of a dog, called K-1909.  The machine was enamelled in shiny black, ornamented with curlicues in gold paint, and Lady E thought that was a most striking combination.
Accordingly, then, when challenged by SanDee and Amelie to design a Steampunk Cuckoo Clock, Lady Ermintrude recalled the mechanical canine and took inspiration from it, and here is the result.

I began with by cutting a piece of greyboard (one of the dividers from a box of envelopes) using the Tim Holtz Cameo frame die.  I cut off the lower curve of the frame, and used the remaining greyboard to cut the base of the clock.  I coloured the board with black Gilder's Paste. I fussy-cut the clock face from 6x6 Chronology Paper (by Docrafts). Almost everything else is die-cut and GIlder's Paste (cogs  and clock hands by Docrafts, corners by Marianne, bird by Tim Holtz) except for the wings (stamp by Kanban embossed in WOW powder) and the fancy corners on the base (Clarity stamps).  The bird needed a bit of something extra, so I glued on some tiny watch parts. 

And there we are.  I hope you like it.  Thank you for stopping by - come again, you're always welcome!

Green as Grass

Hi all, thank you for stopping by.  Today's offering is for the Anything But  A Card blog challenge, and this time the theme is - green.

Green isn't may favourite colour, I have to say.  I wasn't even thinking of entering the challenge.  In fact, I was trying to overcome crafter's block that had set in while trying to produce my mum-in-law's Mother's Day card. When I was making my tag for Tim's 12 tags, I'd accidentally printed out too many sheets of the background paper (from Sheena Douglass's Paint Fusion CD), and was trying to base the card on the papers I had left over (waste not, want not).  I eventually abandoned that idea, but used some of the paper to cover a tag I'd made a mess of for another chllenge (Tag- You're It!) - so this is green in more ways than one!

What else?  Well,  I stamped the fern frame around the edge of the tag (stamp from Kanban) with some Peeled Paint Distress ink; the roses are from My Paper Stash, the silver mesh was a scrap left over from another projct, and so was the silver bead chain.  A scrap of ribbon from my stash and that was it - and I wasn't even trying!

Sunday 10 March 2013

Mothering Sunday

The Third Sunday in Lent is Mothering Sunday - it was the day when people were supposed to return to their "Mother Church" to worship.  Servants were given the day off to go home and visit their families for the purpose - in many cases this would be the only opportunity they had all year.  They would pick wild flowers on the way - originally these were to decorate the church, but later became a gift for their mothers.  These days it's become known as Mother's Day in the UK.

My mother is no longer with us;  she passed away a few years ago (aged 92).  However, my mother-in-law is still very much in the land of the living, and this is the card I made for her. 

Did I get anything?  Well, I got a lovely card from the cat, and one from my in-laws cat as well.  And some of my favourite choccies.  All this, and breakfast in bed!

Friday 8 March 2013

M is for..

You might think that I've chosen "Mother" as my word of the fortnight for the .Craft Barn Alphabet Blog challenge, but that would be wrong.  No, those worthy challenge-setters have decreed that the "M" word must begin with letters from the range MA-to ME.  So I've chosen "Maternal".  (I can be sneaky too!)

I love the image on this stamp.  It takes me back to the time when my boys (now grown up) were babies.  I don't often get the chance to use it, so I wasn't going to miss this opportunity.  Because it's so intricate, I didn't do much more than just stamp it in Wild Plum Archival ink, and I'm making no apology for the fact.  Sometimes the trick is knowing when to stop.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

WOYWW - 6 March

Hi folks!  Sorry this week's WOYWW offering is rather dull (see here for details, if you don't know what WOYWW is all about).  You've caught me between projects, as often happens midweek.  By Wednesday I've usually finished last week's projects and haven't begun on what'll keep me amused at the weekend (BTW, I did finish the box I was working on last week -I'll be photographing it soon to show you all).  Also, on Wednesdays I have a dancing lesson (it's Jive and Tango this week) so I do have to blog and run. 

So today you can that I still haven't put the rolls of sticky tape away and the glue is still out.  However, the stamp, stamp mat, craft mats and dicitonary are there in readiness for my entry in the Craft Barn alphabet challenge (it'll be great when it's finished, I promise!)

Anyway, thank you for visiting - I hope next week I'll have something a bit more exciting for you to look at!

Sunday 3 March 2013

Tagging along

Hi everyone, and welcome to my blog!  It's good to have you visit, and I hope you enjoy yourself while you're here.  Now, if you think I'm going to miss an opportunity for a play on words, you think wrong.  And when The Artistic Stamper Creative Team set "Tag" as their blog challenge theme for this month's challenge, just had to be done, didn't it?

This took me back to my childhood;  we loved playing chasing games when I was small.
(Actually, we didn't play "Tag" in my part of the world. We called it "Kit". But it was the same game.)

I wanted a nostalgic, 1950's-postwar-schoolbook feel for the tag.  I began with a rummage in my collection of alphabet stamps, and stamped out the letters in Vermilion Archival ink.  (I love red, it's my favourite colour).  The March hares were a free covermount from Craft Stamper - they reminded me of the kilnd of illustrations that appeared in children's books in my childhood and I thought they looked as if they might be playing a game too, so I stamped them in Coffee Archival. 

Once that was done, I took Cloudy Blue Adirondack ink and two Artistic Stamper unmounted background stamps (sequin waste and houndstooth) and, using them without a mount, dabbed them more or less randomly across the background.  Finally, I blended Broken China, Peeled Paint and Weathered Wood Distress Inks over the background.

And that's it!  Hope you like it. 

Friday 1 March 2013

Tim's 12 Tags - March

OK, it's March already and so far I'm managing to keep up!  This is my version of Tim Holtz's tag for March (you can see Tim's original here).  And the ONLY thing I had on hand that was the same as the example was the Kraft Core card and the little flowers.

 I am not a bunny fan, sorry. So while I had the fancy label movers & shapers die, I didn't have the little rabbit, and don't really want to buy it.  And while I DO want to buy the fringe die, I would have to wait for it to be delivered, and I had a day off today...But, fear not!  I turned to my trusty Cameo.  The Silhouette online store had lots of bunnies and grassy border cutting files for instant download, so I chose my favourites.  I already had the banner and label files;  I added the word "Ostara"* to the banner and cut everything out using Cammie.  LOVE that machine! 

I didn't have any Tinsel Twine either, but I did have a giant tinsel chenille stem which I chopped up to back the bunny cut-out.   The background paper is from Sheena Douglass's Paint Fusion CD.  I coloured the vintage ribbon like Tim's and made the flower pins just like he did.  Then I put it all together and there it was!

* Why "Ostara"? The story goes that the goddess Ostara was challenged to demonstrate her power, which she did by transforming a bird into a rabbit. However, thereafter, the rabbit continued to lay eggs - which is why Easter eggs are brought by the Easter bunny!

Dragons and Daffodils

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant hapus - or, Happy Saint David's Day!  We make a big deal of our patron saint's feast day in Wales.  Everywhere you go, you will see people wearing daffodils (or leeks).  Children go to school wearing national dress, and will be taking part in school eisteddfodau, celebrating the Welsh language and culture. 

When I was in school, St David's Day was a half-day - we all got the afternoon off, which was a definite reason for celebration as far as we were concerned.  At the High School I attended, every other year we had a full-on Eisteddfod, with competitions in all sorts of activities (not just music and Welsh poetry) - art, needlework, public speaking, as well as just about everything on the curriculum.  The half-holidays are no more, but the celebration of our culture continues.

So today, rather than my usual mucking-about-with-card-and-ink type of project, I'm sharing a digital scrapbook page I made a couple of years ago.  The Welsh flag is the Red Dragon, and Rugby is a national obsession.  And James Hook is one of my favourite Rugby players (even if he has left the Ospreys, sob, sob - but we still have Adam Jones!)  Normal service will be resumed later, meanwhile, I'm off to make some cawl (lamb soup) like my Nan used to!