Friday 31 May 2013

F is for...

Hi blog friends!
The latest Craft Barn Alpha challenge is letter F, with the added condition that the word chosen must begin with the letters FE to FR.  I've gone with "Feather" 
One of the things I love about ATCs is the speed.  I've mentioned elsewhere that crafting has had to take a back seat of late (but soon, my lovelies, I shall be back up to full strength - mwah-hah-hah!)  I coloured the reverse side of a piece of Centura Pearl card with DI's in Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers and Black Soot.  Once it was dry I stamped the small feather (a Sam Poole stamp) in Versamark and brushed on some mica powders in gold, turquoise and green.

I stamped the large feather in FlitterGlu and gilded it and job was done.

Thank you for visiting - hope you enjoyed yourself!

Crafty Hugs,


Wednesday 29 May 2013

WOYWW - Happy 4th Anniversary!

Blogging and running today, folks, but I had to be part of the WOYWW 4th Anniversary bash!  Terribly boring workspace today, featuring an ATC just cut and with the corners rounded by the Corner Chomper, a basket of stuff, and some rubber stamps to be used on said ATC.  I bet your desk is much more interesting, so I'm off to have a look.
Happy WOYWW everyone!
Crafty Hugs,

Tuesday 28 May 2013


Hello, blog friends and thank you for visiting.

I've been a bit quiet lately.  There have been a couple of reasons, one being that my husband has been in the hospital (he had a nasty infection in a gland in his neck and spent five days on intravenous antibiotics).  Running to and fro to visit him, plus the demands of getting  to grips with a new job and recovering from the old one (seriously stressful!) left me little time or inclination to craft. Then I got a bit carried away with my entry for the Quoth the Raven turned into a real project.  So this post is going to have quite a few photos.

The theme is "Anything Poes" - and I've taken my inspiration from "The Raven". 

It was originally going to be a notebook cover.  I began by embossing black cardstock and painting it to get the look of leather - one of Andy Skinner's Timeworn Techniques.  The frame was made using a mould bought from a well-known internet auction site and is moulded out of paper clay, painted silver (Eco Green Antique Silver, as it happens.) The plaque I made out of Pearl white Fimo. When it was cooked I stamped the raven stamp (from the Tim Holtz Hallowe'en set) in black archival ink and covered it in Glossy Accents.  I made the book cover out of chipboard (yes, the pieces that come to act as dividers in the boxes of envelopes we have in the office.)  And I could have stopped there...but I didn't.

I decided to put the poem into a mini album using Laura Denison's "Stack the Deck" method.  The great thing about this method is that it allows space for embellishments.  I love getting a 3D element into my projects and my latest toys are some Martha Stewart silicon moulds, including this frame, so while I had the paper clay out it would have been rude not to make it.  I made my own mould (with Siligum) of a rose-shaped bead and made a few paper clay roses while I was at it. 
I made the leaves for the Stack the Deck out of black cardstock, and while the paper clay was drying I went searching for some suitable papers to suit my project.  In the haunted wing of my stash I found a pad of "oriental" papers I've had for years - so long I can't remember where or when I bought them - but the rich colours were just the job.  In the pad there was some white textured paper with a gold flower design that I didn't like very much.  When the flowers were dry I put some sheets of the white paper underneath them while I sprayed them (black & red Mr Huey's and pewter and red Radiant Rains)...and they suddenly became yummy - result!  All that was needed then was a vintage picture (again, one I've had for years) to represent Leonore and to paint the frame silver.

Surpise - the page opens up. I die-cut some ravens and the candlestick using the Alterations dies and you can see some of the oriental paper behind the raven.  The silver part of the candlestick is cut from a scrap of textured card that I found at the same time as the oriental paper.
Next pages - the window is a digital stamp from Ike's, printed out twice, colored with Spectrum Noirs.  I cut the panels out of the lower print and stuck the frame onto acetate. I backed the acetate with a scrap of card - I masked the moon and blended shades of blue ink (Adirondack Cloudy Blue, Stonewashed and Denim) over the mask with a bit of Dusty Concord and Black Soot Distress Inks around the edge.  I used the Split Tree stamp from Clarity to get the branches (I used Memento ink).  I repeated the process on the tag and added the Raven  (Dah-dah-DAH!)
The raven and the background paper on the left are from Ike's. (I like Ike's.  They have some very fab digital stamps in the fantasy/gothic genre)  On the right, the raven is from Smeared Ink - added to the bust of Pallas and coloured with my Speccies (hard to see in the image but it is really a light grey).
More diecuts and Smeared Ink digi stamping

Nearly done.  You can find directions for the pushmi-pullyu card here.
The last page.  Thank you for staying with me in this marathon post!

Crafty hugs,


Saturday 18 May 2013

K is for...

Hi blog friends - good to see you!  If you've been keeping up with the Craft Barn Alpha challenge, you will know that we're up to K.  Not the easiest letter, even if it is the initial of my first name. After toying with "King" or "Kite" or "Kitten", I finally decided on - "Knight".
The knight chess piece is from an "Alice in Wonderland"  set I've had for years.  I masked it out and stamped the tiled floor (from Lost Coast Stamps) over the top, blended Weathered Wood and Pumice Stone DI's over the back and added the shadow around the knight with grey Promarkers.

And that's it.  Short & sweet tonight, folks - the OH is in hospital (don't worry, it's pretty minor stuff) so I'm off to visit the sick!

See you soon!

Crafty Hugs,


Friday 17 May 2013

Faux enamelled pendant

I bought some Pebeo Fantasy paints from Create and Craft, with no idea how to use them - if they were demo'd it happened when I was in work and I missed it.  I no way daunted, I did a bit of research on the internet and came across this technique - here's my version!

Begin with the blank pendant - mine came from that well-known auction site.  I've foiled the back of these (just to see what the effect would be)

Add some solvent based glass paint - I used a pipette (this is Rainbow Glass because it's what I have handy, Pebeo Vitrail is very good also).  I started with some clear to dilute the colours a bit as they are very concentrated.  This time I've used green and blue.

The effect so far - you can see how the foil catches the light and reflects it through the transparent paint.
Then I added a few drops of Pebeo Fantasy Prisme in Mandarin -
I moved the colours a tiny bit with a cocktail stick and then left the blanks to set.  I made sure that I left them with the bails hanging over the edge of the table so that the backs were flat to the table and level.
After a day's setting time, this is what I had - as you can see, the Fantasy paint has spread out a lot.  I could probably have used much less of the fantasy paint!  As it dries the glass paint flattens out.  To protect it and add a crystal effect, I mixed up some Gedeo crystal resin.  I like this one as it doesn't smell!  It takes a day to set so again, I put the pendants aside, making sure they were level by putting them at the edge of the table with the bails hanging over the edge (and putting them out of the cat's way as I didn't want bits of Persian cat fur in them!

The finished item!   I've suspended one of the pendants from some black velvet tubing and made it into a necklace and I think it looks pretty good, even though I do say so myself.

Thursday 16 May 2013

Out of my comfort zone!

Those nice people at the Anything But A Card blog have challenged us to make something using a very specific colour palette this time, and the colours they've chosen are light-years away from my usual preferences!
As you can see, not me at all!  However, I gave it a shot.

I coloured the background of the tag with DI's in Pine Needles, Peacock and Broken China, which gave a good approximation of the green, and when stamped with water (using a bold stamp designed for home decor!) lifted enough colour to get close to the turquoise.  I painted some crinoline fabric with acrylic paints and inked over the top to try to match the pink, cranberry and the beige, and when they were dry I die cut the flowers (Alterations Tattered Florals, of course!) and layered them up.

I stamped the man with cane (from Lost Coast Stamps) and the sentiment ( Tim Holtz from Stampers Anonymous) in Cranberry Adirondack, then added the flowers. I finished it off by gluing some pearls into the centres of the flowers. 

And that was it.  Not a colour combination I would have chosen, but you know, I rather like it!  I hope you did too!

Crafty Hugs,


Friday 10 May 2013

Butterfly cage

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the Sizzix Alterations Cameo Frame die?  It's just about my favourite of the moment. And when I saw Shelly Hickox's Bird House, I knew I had to make my own version.

So here it is.

It's die-cut from chipboard, which I get from the boxes of envelopes we use in the office.   I painted it first with turquoise acrylic paint, gave a coat of crackle medium, and then painted white paint with a bit of yellow oxide added to warm it up a bit.  Once dry it got a touch of Black Soot to distress it a bit.  The mesh panels are made from some stuff to cover gutters.  (You can see a "how I made it" here)  The feet are wooden beads, coloured and inked to blend in.

The flower and leaves I bought ready made. ( I just don't have a die big enough to make one that would fit.) The rose is made of a thick, soft paper.  I sprayed it with inks and mica sprays to get a more vibrant colour.  Because the arrangement can be viewed from all sides, I wanted to keep everything neat.     I made a mount from a cut-down packing tube (a bit left over from the stand for the mini hat), covered with a scrap of patterned paper and hot-glued the flowers and foliage to the inner surface.

I added the butterfly - cut with my old faithful Quick-Kutz dies.  The lower part is paper I'd coloured with mica sprays, the upper part is shiny black card.

This is going to go to my mother-in-law for her birthday, with the addition of a suitable sentiment.   Before that, though, it's going into the Our Creative Corner blog challenge.

Thank you for stopping by;  I do hope you enjoyed your visit!

Crafty Hugs,


Wednesday 8 May 2013

WOYWW- 8 May

Hi everyone!  I've been away from WOYWW for a couple of weeks (see here for what it's all about!).  I've been having a difficult time of late which has led to me having less energy for crafting.  However, things have changed for the better and I'm starting to feel like my old self again.
So, today, I've got my Distress Inks out and I'm blending up a tag on the Splodge Mat ready to try the water stamping technique.  You can see some of my collection of DI's - how did we manage without them?

Well, thank you for visiting.  I'm off now to see what everyone else has been up to.  Cheers!


Tuesday 7 May 2013

All work and no play...

Hello blog friends, and thank you for stopping by!  Those fiendish folk at Haunted Design House have challenged us to make something with a Stephen King theme, and as you probably know, there's a lot to choose from.  After much thought, I've based my tag on The Shining.

I haven't seen the film;  but I remember very vividly where and when I first read the book.  I'd been to York on a British Rail day trip.  It was a long journey back to South Wales so I wanted something to read.  A friend had recommended The Shining, so I bought a copy, and then read most of it on the journey home, scaring myself silly in the process.

Stephen King was inspired to write the book after a visit to the Stanley Hotel, which is reputedly haunted. For my tag, I've used a Clarity stamp to represent the hotel.  (It's actually a castle).  I wanted a silhouette so I stamped it and then went over it with a black marker and blended in some Black Soot Distress ink some way down the tag.  For the upper part of the tag, I brushed on some Fired Brick with my Inkylicious Colour Dusters and added some Aged Mahogany and Barn Door around the edges.  I typed "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" repeated  over and over and printed it out, trimmed it to fit the tag and distressed it by crumpling it, tearing it, and blending DI's in Tea Dye and Walnut Stain all over it.

I used a Docrafts Chronology key and a Tim Holtz enamelled tag to represent the key of the haunted Room 217, and coloured a white trainer lace with Distress Stains (Crushed Olive and Tea Dye) to look like a fire hose, with a bit of gold card around the end to look like the nozzle. (In the book Danny, the little boy, is chased by a fire hose ) I had a bit left over so I tied it onto the tag. 

And there you have it!  I do hope you like it. 

Crafty Hugs,


Monday 6 May 2013

A is for...

Hi blog friends, and thank you for visiting my blog.  Today's offering is my contribution to the Craft Barn Alpha challenge, for which I am making a series of ATC's.  The latest letter for the challenge is "A" and I've chosen "Arachnid".

The ATC itself I embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder, then tinted with Distress Inks in Iced Spruce and Salty Ocean, with a  touch of Black Soot over the raised areas.  Then I lightly rubbed in a bit of Pearl Moon metallic gilding wax to highlight the web. 

The spider was cut with my Cameo and given a coat of Glossy Accents.  And then all I needed to do was to add in the definition and the job was finished!  Simples!

Crafty hugs,


Saturday 4 May 2013

Tim's 12 Tags - May

Hi blog friends!  Well, it's May already and, amazingly, I'm managing to keep up with Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2013.  I've made a decision to try to reproduce Tim's tag as far as possible, concentrating on the technique he demonstrates each month.  This month I really, really like the way the tag turned out, although I will admit it was more by luck than judgment!

The stamps I used were from La Blanche (the lady) which, quite honestly, I made a bit of a bodge of stamping by working on an uneven surface (yes, I do know better!).  The rest were free covermounts on Creativity magazine.  I used Rusty Hinge, Squeezed Lemonade and Barn Door Distress Stains with a smidge of Faded Jeans, and the film strip I printed onto acetate.

And there it is, job done.  Thank you for visiting, you're always welcome!

Crafty hugs,