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,


Wednesday 25 September 2013

WOYWW - 25 September

Hi everyone, it's Wednesday already and that means WOYWW - that time of the week when we go hopping around the blogiverse having a shufti at what everyone else is up to.  I have been absent from WOYWW for a while, but I'm at home on leave this week, so I thought I'd share!

Because I'm home on leave, I have a number of projects on the go and this is a piece of silver net that I'm altering for one of them. I've dunked it into dilute black acrylic paint to antique it and also to stiffen it.  I'm going to use it on a fascinator.  So here, you are watching paint dry - interesting, eh?

Crafty hugs,


Autumn Leaves

Hello blog friends, welcome to my blog.  Right now the blog posts are like buses - you wait ages for one and then three come all together.  There are reasons - one being that, this month, I have been working on some detailed projects (yet to be seen as part of my DT duties at LOC).  Another reason is that real life gets in the way - and sometimes unreal life (the sewing machine is out again as other half wants a steampunk costume made up - did you know it's really easy to buy a pith helmet on the internet?)
So, here is my contribution to The Artistic Stamper Creative Team challenge blog this month.  The theme is autumn, so I've gone for shades of yellow and green.  

I began with a large tag and  blended some DI's over the area I wanted to stamp the leaves in the foreground.  I've had these stamps for AGES - they were some of the first I ever bought and I'd more or less forgotten them.  I kiss-stamped them first (a technique I hadn't used for a long time) onto texture stamps (from the Artistic Stamper - I used dogtooth, hexagon and sequin waste textures)  and then went over them with a Versamark pen (not very expertly!)  and glazed them with clear detail embossing powder.  

After that I blended more shades of DI over the background and went back with the leaf stamps, stamping two or three generations with Memento ink.  Because I'd glazed the leaves in the foreground I didn't have to mask them but just wipe them - cool, eh?  I finished by stamping the words.

I'm also entering this in
Our Creative Corner - Forgotten things (the stamps, kiss stamping technique)

Thank you for visiting.  See you soon!

Crafty Hugs,


Tuesday 24 September 2013


I admit, I do have a "thing" for Edgar Allen Poe, the master of Mystery and Imagination.  So when I came across the Quoth the Raven blog, I did a happy dance and signed up immediately.  This month the Minions of the Master have challenged us to create an offering by playing tic-tac-poe - here's the grid;
I missed last month's challenge so I have to get back in the Master's good books this time!  I chose the middle column.  Now, regular readers of this blog (thank you! Thank you!) will know that I do love my Alterations dies and I love paint effects.  A while ago I was having a play with Ferro paints and embossing folders.  I made a very heavily textured Alterations cabinet card for a project and then didn't use it (and again, regular readers will know that this happens quite frequently!) .  But, being a crafter, I didn't throw it away.  No indeedy.  It lay at the bottom of one of my bits boxes (we all have bits boxes, don't we?) until I remembered it and decided that Its Time Had Come!!!

 I found the Buckmann portrait of Poe on the internet and set to work to make a digi -
which I tinted sepia and printed out.  I die-cut an oval out of the centre of the cabinet card and rubbed a touch of silver gilding wax over the top to highlight the texture.  A black feather or two (to suggest a quill pen) and rose out of the bits box (moulded out of paper clay when I was playing and coloured with black and red Dylusions sprays) and....

(As so much of this was made with things I'd forgotten about, I will enter it in the Our Creative Corner Challenge - Forgotten Things so that others may hear news of the Master)

Crafty hugs,


Monday 23 September 2013

G is for...

Time for the latest Craft Barn Blog Alpha challenge, and this time it's letter G.  Now you may find it hard to believe, but I struggled to think of a suitable word.  Me, Mrs I-Love-Steampunk herself.  Talk about overlooking the obvious - it was even one of the DT's words!  Of course, it HAD to be -

I embossed the usual bit of Centura Pearl with an M- bossibilities folder - I rubbed Walnut Stain DI over the inside of the folder first to get a letterpress look. Then I rubbed Wild Honey DI over the surface, and gave it a light rub of Gleam wax.  Finally, I glued on a few gears that I'd die-cut for other projects and coloured with Gilder's Paste and topped them off with a few Dew Drops

And there we are.  Can you believe that there are only six letters left to go?

Crafty Hugs,


Sunday 22 September 2013


Sometimes it takes me a while to think of how I'm going to tackle a blog challenge, but once the idea dawns the project goes quickly.  Other times I have an idea but it takes a while to come together.  When I saw that this month's theme at Sandee and amelie's Steampunk Challenge Blog was " Dolls & Robots", I knew immediately what I wanted to do.

So here is Ro-box, big brother of last month's Matchbot.  He's based on two papier-mache boxes with half a polystyrene sphere stuck onto the lid of the top one.  I remembered some sheets of craft metal in copper and brass languishing at the bottom of the drawer and hauled it out,  and  embossed with Tim Holtz embossing folders - Diamond Plate and Riveted Metal (They come in the same set).
To cover the dome, I embossed the copper foil , stuck double-sided adhesive sheet on the back, and then cut it apart at strategic intervals.  Then I curved each piece over the polystyrene, starting at the bottom.  I covered the rim of the lid with brass craft metal, punched holes at intervals, and put paper-fasteners (big brads!) from the stationer's through them.

I stuck the base of the upper box to the lid of the lower one and covered them both with embossed metal.  I stuck wooden wheels onto bits of dowel, painted them black, wrapped Kraft card around the axles and stuck the card onto the base of the box, making sure that the axles could still turn.  I stuck bead caps on as hubcaps.

The robot's arms are based on wide-diameter drinking straws (the bendy kind) with sections ofgave him an old pencil and covered with the same metal.  I poked holes in the side of the upper box and pushed a little blob of milliput through to hold them in place.  The hands are moulded,rather inexpertly, from more milliput.

Once Ro-box was all put together I gave him a few coats of black acrylic paint wash and a few dabs of Patina Gilder's paste, die cut some dials and plates, stuck a few dewdrops (coloured with alcohol inks) onto paper fasteners for lights and went for a lie down.
And there he is.  He looks well-used, I think.  I rather like him and I hope you do as well.

Crafty hugs,


Sunday 15 September 2013

Tim's 12 Tags - September

I'm still keeping up with Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2013 (and rather surprised, if truth be known).  And I am so pleased that this tag features the layering stencils, because I have been wanting to get my inky little paws on them since Tim gave us a sneak peek before CHA.  Happily, they are now coming onto the market and I am having such fun playing.  They also inspired me to dig out my collection of masks and stencils and play with them as well.
So this is my version of Tim's tag.  As usual, I've kept pretty close to the original method.  As well as the layering stencils and a Special Touch mask (small polka dots)  I used Sam Poole stamps (The Inventor) and some random embellishments I've been accumulating because I liked them.  I added a touch of Patina Gilders' Paste on the dragonfly and the token.  I got a bit whimsical with the sentiment - the man in the top hat looks so serious, I wanted to suggest that what you see is not always what you get.

So there we are.  So, who's looking forward to Creative Chemistry 102?  I can't wait!

Friday 13 September 2013

Left of Center Challenge - No Designer Paper Allowed!

It's new challenge time at Left of Center and this time we are sponsored by the awesome Rick St Denis.  The challenge is to either create something Left of Centre (Gothic, Steampunk, spooky etc - very appropriate for Friday 13th, don't you think?) and/or to use no designer paper in the creation.   I chose Dark Angel Sauvage for my project.  The background to this tag was one which I made for Tim Holtz's August tag (I made a few while I was in the groove, as it were!) and wasn't used.  However, it came into its own here.

The great thing about digital stamps is their flexibility - they can be any size your printer can handle and can be coloured in digitally as well.  That's what I've done here;  I used photo editing software to colour the image in (another advantage - any colour you want, you can have!)  Once it was all finished, I imported the image into my Silhouette Studio software and added a cut line (it was surprisingly easy!), printed the image and then cut it out with the Cameo.  I previously had a Craft Robo and could never get it to detect the registration marks that it needs to cut accurately - however, the Cammie did it first time. 

After that it was just a matter of assembling the tag. I do hope that you like it.

Why don't you hop over to LOC and see what the rest of the DT have been up to, and maybe join in the fun?

PS Also entering this in
  The Paper Makeup Stamps challenge - Make your own background
Scribble and Scrap - Anything goes
The Sisterhood of Crafters - Divine Digis

Happy crafting,


Thursday 12 September 2013

I can read you like a book...

Hi blog friends, thank you for visiting.  I've been a bit quiet lately as DT duties have taken up a bit of my time and also the real life has been, but busy, what with the dancing exam looming and OH deciding that we should get back into Star Trekking and cosplay after 12 years absence and we were both a lot thinner then so none of the costumes will fit (actually scared to look as I think some of them will have rotted) and guess who makes the costumes?  (not sure Star Trekkin and cosplay count as real life but you get the idea.)

Anyway, the challenge at Anything But A Card is "Hit the Books".  I am a bookworm by nature.  I can't remember not loving reading and books and stories - my parents were both great readers, especially my mother.  I also love boxes - I can spend an afternoon just taking things out of boxes and putting them back in again...I suppose it is a bit sad....

So, this is my faux book box.  It's just about big enough to hold a pack of playing cards (and it came with an even smaller version as well!)  I used a technique learned from Andy Skinner's Book of Ruination online workshop (and if you want to know how it's done then you should sign up for the workshop!) I painted the sides in Aged Silver EcoGreen paint, put some silver gilding flakes on redline tape on the spine, added some chain and embellishments, with a couple of magnets to act as a closure, and a Tim Holtz keyhole for effect.

I lined inside the box with some marbled paper from Joanna Sheen, which I have had for years.  What will I keep in the box?  Well, Lady Ermintrude has her eye on it to store her keepsakes from the Major...

Saturday 7 September 2013

Z is for...

Well, we had to get there sooner or later - it's time for letter Z over at the Craft Barn Blog Alpha challenge.  This is one of those letters with a relatively limited range of words to choose and I went for -

My ATC is just some doodles in a zigzag pattern, done with Micron pens, and with a bit of Black Soot Distress Ink around the edges to give some dimension.  I've done a bit of Zentangle-style doodling as well.  Simples, as someone once said!

Crafty hugs,