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and I would like to thank you for taking time to visit my blog. I hope you'll leave me a message or even join in my monthly giveaway - whatever you have to say I like to know you've been!! Cindy xx

Sunday, 30 March 2008

ABSA Challenge





The other thing I have been doing this weekend is an ATC swap on the DC forum. The challenge is to create ATCs using an alternative backing to card or paper (AB) and to incorporate something altered (SA) somewhere on the ATC. I had seen ATCs with fairies and other items 'placed' in bottles, and also a website for 'bottle fairies' so when I saw some packaging that I could use to make the bottle, together with glittery CIC sheets I had made at the workshop all I needed was ..... the fairy. I wandered around a local craft shop hoping for inspiration and instead discovered a bit of balsa wood for 50p - mm, there was another alternative base, but no fairy.

Back home inspiration struck. Raiding my son's pile of old toys I found an old plastic soldier. With precision knifework he got a quick sex change, losing his backpack and rifle (well what did you think I was going to do?). Unfortunately I couldn't do much about his boots and legs, so decided this fairy would have a long dress. I added some hair from my daughter's discarded extensions and after some effort (acetate is very fiddly to work with) finished it. However, she still looks like a trannie but we all had a laugh about it and it is going in the swap. I might try it again with card as I have several more bits of 'bottle' packaging but I think I might have to try an alternative fairy!!

For the other ATCs I used the balsa wood and tried to do something a bit different to my normal style. I'm very pleased with them and especially enjoyed working with the balsa wood as it was easy to colour and made the ATCs feel very substantial. Just hope they don't all fall apart!!

Stamping Workshop




As I have mentioned I took part in a stamping workshop with Susie Jefferson this week. The first day covered basic techniques but although I don't consider myself a beginner there was plenty that I hadn't tried before. On the second day we moved on to do 'Caught in Crystal' (a technique I had previously believed was invented by P Bird!!), retiform stamping, some collage work with a novel use for a glue gun and quick tips on box making. It was a most pleasurable two days, not least because of the friendliest of Susie herself and the other participants who were a joy to work with.

The two items on the left are my favourite items from the two days: Collage 'lady' card and retiform stamping card front (yet to be mounted). The matchbox ATC has been constructed from white card coloured and stamped with techniques learnt on the first day.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Aren't people kind.....


Have had a busy two days and my head is buzzing with new techniques learnt at a workshop - more on that to follow. I have been a bit down the last couple of weeks and one of my cyber mates, the wonderful P Bird, sent me this lovely present to cheer me up. After two great days with some lovely crafting people this was really the icing on the cake and I am in one great mood tonight!! Let's hope it lasts, thank you again Paula!!

Image transfer




Meant to put these up a couple of days ago, this is what I was doing at the beginning of the week!! I was playing with image transfer and after the inevitable mishaps (and the odd bit of reversed text lol) I ended up with these. They look wonderfully soft and even a little indistinct - the dark haired lady in particular looks like she has been painted. I also like the way it tightens up the collage because the layered images don't have so much bulk (albeit they're only paper thin anyway!!) I had most success using the gesso technique and it really is so quick and simple I can't believe I have been scared of trying this for so long.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Altered Dominoes




Despite having lots of visitors this weekend and having to tidy up craft stuff (boo hoo) I managed to sneak in a couple of hours playing with dominoes yesterday. Having never done these before there was a little bit of trial and error(!) but overall I am quite pleased with the results. Hadn't appreciated the difficulty though of using alcohol inks together with stayzon and found the best results came from using ordinary chalks. Sealing was another challenge but have found a way that works but there is probably a better way. Remembered belatedly that I have a dremel somewhere (OH bought it for me when I was making a model of a tall ship. Mmm, less said about that the better) so I am going to have a go at drilling holes today under appropriate adult supervision. Watch this space.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Good Friday - Happy Easter!!


Just quickly doing a few pc related things while everyone else is still snoring. Finally finished my pieces for a jigsaw swap and here is the finished result. I think it looks pretty good, although I'm not really sure how to mount it properly - am waiting for advice on that one!! Otherwise am all up to date, next project is a matchbox shrine which I'm really keen to do but can't quite decide on a theme. I also have another mailer swap set up but I am not going to do anything with that just yet. I am off on a course with Susie Jefferson at the end of next week so really hope I will pick some new ideas which I can use. Will be really nice to do some crafting with other people and bounce ideas off in the flesh so to speak. Anyhow, I can hear stirrings so must be off.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

More ofthe same.....



I am a naughty girl, should have been working on a design project today but finished the rest of the gesso pictures today instead(not sure what else to call them!!). I have uploaded them to the flickr gallery but the one on the left is my favourite of the series, although I did have a slight problem with the base image wrinkling slightly, still c'est la vie. Might have to try out some of the recommended acrylic mediums to see if I can get a better finish - I'm still on good old pva. The one on the right I did from a photocopy of a picture of three of my friends - I think they look pretty cool, they certainly all look a lot younger than in the original photo even if ever so slightly scarier!! Still, don't think I'll show them it just in case they never speak to me again .......(I conveniently painted myself out!!)

Bernie Berlin



Finally got hold of a copy of bernie berlin's ATC Workshop to have a look at through work. Probably a good idea they didn't actually buy it to meet my request as they'd never see it again!! Having had a look I think I will get my own copy, it's got lots of ideas and simple instructions on how to do things. I was particularly inspired by the section on gesso and magazine images as it looked so easy - and sure enough it was and I'm very pleased with the results of my first two attempts!! I have a load more ready to be finished and will post them to my gallery as and when they are done. Mind you after only an initial read through there are at least five more projects I want to have a go at!! Just not enough hours in the day unfortunately. If you are in to ATCs the book is well worth a look.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Inspiration strikes


At about 12.30 last night (yes, I had been crafting pretty much all day) I was at last inspired to do my final jigsaw piece so here it is. I'm happy with it now anyway, and hope it fits in Ok with the overall scheme. Am getting quite excited about getting my altered jig pieces back; the ones I've received so far are stunning. Managed to finish pretty much everything else and do a rake of ATCs for BRAKS/RAKS. Now have to make an easter card... think I'll be hitting the magazines for inspration for thos one!!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Jigsaw Jam Continues....



Have been focussing my efforts on completing the pieces for the jigsaw swap and getting up to date with other ATCs I need to make. Am nearly there although the urgent need to 'catch up' shows that I still haven't grasped the nature of life - things never stop, there is always another job or project to be started I don't know why I get so anxious about getting things done, after all there is never a point at which you can say ' I am finished' (well maybe there is, but I don't really want to think about that). If only I could be more relaxed about things that don't really matter in the great scheme of life I would be happier!! Of course if I had this kind of devotion to real work I'd be a millionaire by now and could sit crafting all day and pay other people to deal with all the c***. However, mustn't complain, had a nice day today as I didn't feel guilty about doinbg what I wanted to do as its the weekend. Oh the little games we play with our heads.. Anyhow, the photos are of pieces for the swap, with themes of 'metal' and 'oriental'. Can you tell which is which?....

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

It's pink, it's pretty .........


but is it shabby chic? I'm supposed to be working in my office today but couldn't resist just finishing this off and uploading a photo of my piece for the NI Jigsaw jam. This is the first altered jigsaw I have ever done so poor old Margaret has drawn the short straw and got my first attempt! As you will see some of the roses from the previous project have made their way on to here as well, just hope it's not all too bulky for what she has in mind for mounting it. Oh well, no more excuses, off to do some work...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Floral Mailer Swap




I have at last finished this slide mailer (sorry, yet another one)for a 1:1 swap on a floral theme. I've taken a bit of time over it because it's for someone very special - at first I thought it was going to be quite bright but it's ended up kind of vintage and I quite like it, hope the recipient is going to be pleased! I wanted to add some embellies but everything I had was too 'modern' in style so I modelled some roses with air dry clay. Had to call upon techniques I haven't used since I decorated my wedding cake nearly 18 years ago but they didn't come out half bad. I've even got some left although I think at least one might end up on a jigsaw piece I'm currently doing.

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