Friday 26 July 2013

A Creepmas Carol

Yes, I know, it's only July...but it's already nearer to next Christmas than last.  Now that's a scary thought, so over at Left Of Center Creative Challenges, we are celebrating Christmas in July - or Creepmas.  I say we, because I am totally thrilled to say that I have joined the Design Team. 

This challenge is sponsored by Rick St Dennis, who designs yummy digi stamps, and I've used "Cursed" in my DT piece. 

One of the fun things about digital stamps is that you can have as many as you want in any size you want.  I printed out three copies sized to fit a large tag, and coloured them with my Spectrum Noir pens.  (I designed and printed the banner at the same time) I masked off one copy and blended Distress Inks (Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo, Aged Mahogany, Squeezed Lemonade and Wild Honey) over the background.  Once that was finished, I cut out the other copies and layered them up.  I added some labels for the bottles on Safmat at the same time. 

I die cut the foliage  (Tattered Lace and Marianne's) and coloured it with DI's in greens this time (Iced Spruce, Evergreen Bough and Mowed Lawn).  I added a few blobs of dimensional pearl paint (Tulip paint) to make the berries.

The arch I made using the Sizzix Movers & Shapers Arch Frame die. To make it longer, I cut it once, and then carefully lined up the base of the aperture I'd just cut with the cutting blade of the die, just below the curve of the arch. 

Once I'd trimmed it to fit my tag, I embossed it with the Tim Holtz "Bricked" Texture Fades folder which I'd first inked with Pumice Stone DI, then I inked it with Vintage Photo and Rusty Hinge DI's  and a spot of Black Soot. 
So that's it - my first DT post! Please feel free to hop on over to Left of Center  to join in the challenge and to see what my teamies have been up to- there's some great inspiration over there!

Crafty Hugs,


Monday 22 July 2013

T is for...

We're on number 15 in the Craft Barn Blog Alpha Challenge and this time it's letter T.  Letter Y was a toughie, but there are so many good T-words to choose from!  I picked " tete-a-tete".

This is one of my favourite stamps - it's from Inkadinkado and is called Victorian Couple Walking.  Slight snag- it's too large to fit comfortably on an ATC, so a workaround was called for.   I cut my ATC out of my favourite Centura Pearl card ( the reverse side is a great surface for stamping), and also cut an ATC sized piece of copy paper.  I die-cut an oval out of this piece.  I also stamped my Victorian couple onto the copy paper and cut them out.  Then I put repositionable adhesive on the back of all three pieces.

Then it was masking time!  I used the aperture mask first and stamped the couple in Cocoa Brown Memento ink.  Then I masked off the couple (leaving the aperture mask in place) and brushed on shades of yellow, pink and mauve (from my Big & Juicy Soothing Sunset pad) with Inkylicious Colour Dusters.

Then I removed the masks and covered the work I'd done so far with the oval piece of copy paper and blended ink (Old Paper, Tea Die and Wild Honey) over the background and stamped the script stamp in Memento over the top.

Finally, I coloured in the couple with Promarkers and added the definition.

I'm also entering this in The Artful Times Challenge No 34 - Masking.

Sunday 21 July 2013

Time gone by

Hi blog friends, and welcome to my blog.

As I'm writing this, the British Summer has arrived - although storms are promised for later this week - and a summery feel has crept into this little panel, which will form the focus of a scrapbook page.

I started with the photograph, which is of me with my two sisters.  I'm the two-year old toddler;  my elder sister is holding my little sister, who is decidedly unhappy about the whole proceedings - probably because she's too hot, being wrapped up in a woollen shawl.  We're sitting in our back yard, and it would be around June or July 1957.  My father was probably the photographer. 

I printed it twice, and cut out the figures of my sisters and myself to layer up over the background.  I prepared the panel with a faux wood effect (one of Andy Skinner's Timeworn Techniques) and die-cut a circular aperture.  While I had the Big Shot out (who am I kidding?  It never gets put away!) I die-cut the clock face (Tim Holtz Alterations) and the cogs (ditto) and the letters (ibid). 

I used two different techniques for the rust effect.  For the clock face and cogs, I gave them a coat of PVA glue mixed with some sand to get a  pitted texture.  Once they were dry, I painted them with dark brown paint and finally rubbed some gilding waxes lightly over the surface. 

The letters got a different technique.  I coloured them with Vintage Photo Distress Ink, and then sprinkled on Vintage Photo Distress embossing powder, heated it, and finally rubbed away the release crystals. 

I stamped the panel with a hexagon texture stamp from the Artistic Stamper, using Mushroom Adirondack ink.  I stuck the clock face around the aperture, and put the photograph behind, with the cutouts popping out of the frame.  I played about with the position of the cogs until I hit on the idea of using them to make a "sun" .  I stamped the words "If I could turn back time! and "Time machine" using my trusty £1 alphabet and Coffee Archival ink.  Finally, I glued a scrap of net, which I'd soaked in runny brown acrylic paint, and stuck the letters onto a length of chain which I'd dipped into the same runny paint and then baked in the oven to cure. 

The last process was to stick the chain letters (geddit?) to the panel. 

I'm entering this into the following challenges -

Sandee & amelie's Steampunk Challenges - Rust
Our Creative Corner - Captured Memories
Country View Crafts - Summer Sizzler
The Artistic Stamper  -  Ladies Day

Thank you for visiting - come again soon, why don't you?

Crafty Hugs,


Thursday 11 July 2013

Y is for...

More than halfway through the alphabet challenge at The Craft Barn blog now - and the latest letter is Y, with the added condition that the project must have some yellow on it. After a lot of thinking,  I remembered that I had this stamp of a cat playing with a ball of wool, so I've chosen "Yarn" as my word.

It's a straightforward ATC - the cat and ball of yarn was stamped in Cocoa Brown Memento ink, coloured with Promarkers in shades of yellow and gold, then masked off the image (Quickie Glue is great to use on the back of the mask to add repositionable glue at the fiddly bits) and blended yellow inks (Adirondack yellow and butterscotch) over the background. 

I wonder what letter will be next?  We'll just have to wait and see!

Crafty Hugs,


Monday 8 July 2013

A Poe-triotic blog post

July already, and of course, for our friends in the USA, Independence Day has come and gone.  If you celebrated the 4th of July, I hope you had a great time!

The Minions of the Master over at Quoth the Raven have decreed that this month we shall submit Poe-triotic items for the delectation of the faithful, and here is my humble offering -
The image is made up of digital stamps of Poe and the raven from Smeared Ink (no longer available as a digi, but there are many other similar images out there) combined with a picture of Uncle Sam and manipulated in my graphic software, with a background and lettering added.

It's printed onto Safmat and then applied to a faux weathered wood background (one of Andy Skinner's Timeworn Techniques) with the headers cut from the same material with the "Pediments" Alterations die. 

And there it is.  I hope you like it - and that the Master approves!

See you next time!

Crafty Hugs,


Thursday 4 July 2013

Tim's July tag - version 2

Hi blog friends and welcome!

I got in quick with my Tim Holtz tag for July by cutting the US flag with my Cameo.  However, it got me thinking about how to adapt it.  As I am Welsh, I wanted a Red Dragon after a bit of work in Photoshop and with the Silhouette software, here's my second attempt! 

I followed Tim's techniques but used green in place of blue DI's  and went even made my own Welsh text stamps for the background (it's the national anthem, which incidentally was written and composed in my home town, Pontypridd - and we're very proud of the fact!)  The words at the bottom (stamped with my bargain £1 alphabet set) are from the anthem and mean " I am faithful to my country"

I designed the Red Dragon flag and then imported it into the Silhouette software to trace and cut it, then coloured it using Tim's "Shattered Stains" method.

The three daffodils were also cut with my Cammie, coloured with Promarkers and shaped using tools from the Susan's Garden set.  (I originally made Susan's daffodil with the Sizzix dies but it was too darn big for the tag).  (The toolkit is just brilliant - definitely worth getting.)

I suppose I should have saved this until St David's Day but it's a long time to March 1st and by then I will have forgotten all about it. 

Thank you for stopping by - I hope you had a good time!

Crafty Hugs,


Wednesday 3 July 2013

WOYWW - July 3

Hi blog friends and thanks for visiting.  Today, in WOYWW, my workdesk is featuring (Da-dah - DAH!- dramatic music) the sewing machine, lurking under the jacket I've been working on.

Let me explain.  On Friday we are going to Singalonga Grease.  If you've never participated in a Singalonga,  they show the film with subtitles so you can join in. The audience is encouraged to dress appropriately (they have a Nuns' Parade at Singalonga Sound of Music).  I have my Pink Ladies costume ready (I'm channeling Rizzo) and the Love of My Life is accompanying me as a member of the T-Birds.  However, the jacket that we bought (at a very reasonable price) was apparently designed for a gorilla,  I mean the sleeves were about four inches too long. So I have been doing alterations.

Anyway, I'm off round the Blogiverse to visit some workspaces.  See you there!  (I'll be the one singing "Summer Nights")

Crafty Hugs,


Tuesday 2 July 2013

Tim's 12 Tags - July

Good day blog friends!  I'm quick off the mark with Tim Holtz's tag for July - a combinations of (a) being on leave and (b) having most of the materials at hand. 
It just so happens that I studied the American War of Independence as part of the syllabus for my History "O" level.  In those days the exam was very much about events and dates so there was a LOT of studying to be done, and I have a clear memory of sitting in the garden, reading through my notes.  Unfortunately, I would get as far as Napoleon's 100 days and decide enough was enough, I'd pick up where I left off next time.  Next time, however, I wouldn't be able to remember a thing about anything I'd read so I'd go back over the first bit, get to Napoleon and fall off again...The upshot of it all was I went into the exam knowing a great deal about the American War of Independence and Napoleon and not a lot of anything else!  (I passed the exam so I must have remembered more than I thought I did).
The tag is also very appropriate as a way of commemorating the Prescott firefighters, who gave their lives in the course of a day's work protecting their community.  There are no words that will do them justice.
I try to keep close to Tim's original when making the tags, using them as an exercise in the technique.  Some I like more than others - and I really loved the background technique with the brayer - I will definitely be using it again.  I didn't have the flag die and honestly couldn't see myself getting a lot of use out of one...however, the Silhouette store has a very similar flag...and what was more, I already had it in my library.  I cut it four times out of kraft card and layered it up, and did the same with the stars.  Sentiment was printed out  and the number 4 is a die-cut.
Thanks for stopping by - hope you enjoyed your visit!
Crafty Hugs,

Monday 1 July 2013

More Steampunk!

It was a happy day for me when I discovered Left Of Center Challenges.  It's a young blog, started in February this year,  dedicated to all sorts of stuff that I love SO much  - Steampunk, Goth, Halloween (year-round), dark, spooky, creepy, anime, edgy, mythical (fairy tale,  mermaids, dragons, fairy, literary characters, fan art),  and horror, as well as regular mainstream crafters.  The latest challenge is to include a sentiment, and here's my contribution.

I'm off work on leave just now, which means I can watch Create & Craft in the day, and last week Ali Reeve (Clever Crafter) was on demonstrating all sorts of wonderful things to do with That Special Touch masks. I have a fair collection of these and some of the things Ali was doing made me go " I'm going to try that!" 

One of the techniques involved using a mask in a letterpress technique, then blending DI's over the piece and brushing on mica powders - that's how I made the background image, and I have a feeling I'll be repeating the technique.  (rub ink over the mask , then run through your die cutting machine with the mask, ink up,  on your lower plate, then the paper face down, then squidgy mat and embossing plate.  Yes, I got it wrong a couple of times.  D'oh!) Once I'd got my background I had to think what to do with it (one day I will plan a project from start to finish, I is not the day, though).

I stamped the sentiment (one created with my Imagepac kit) onto Safmat  (stamping direct onto the embossed background would have been difficult)  and applied it to the background.  I die cut the piece, using the "out of bounds" technique and a Go Kreate die. 

I embossed a shaped card (again with a Special Touch mask), coloured with blended DI's and glued on the background.  I had a good rummage in my box of bits and found some gears and foliage that I'd die cut and coloured with Gilder's Paste for another project but hadn't used.  They went onto the card, tastefully arranged (!).  At that point I stepped away from the card...

Thanks for visiting - you're welcome back at any time.

Crafty Hugs,