Wednesday 31 December 2008

In the weeks before Christmas....(Take 2)

Didn't get to do everything I wanted the other day as the site seemed a bit flaky - or could have been 'cos youngest was shooting em up via the wireless - who knows?

Anyhow, during the pre Christmas mayhem (is it really all over for another year?) I really struggled to keep up with my Daily Art Cards but dutifully left them all to be sorted and uploaded at a quiet time. When I sat down on Monday I was horrified to discover it was nearly six weeks worth! Boy do I regret not doing them as I went along now!! So far have only managed to upload until 10th December - about half way - into my flickr album (Check it out if you want to trade) the rest will have to wait until the weekend. by when, of course, there will be another week's worth. Anyway, these are a few that I think turned out OK from the latest batch.

Whilst doing this batch I was playing around with image transfers again - I had a sheet of images
that had printed out really badly but I found that they looked OK as image transfers - the 'banding' from the printer sort of disappeared in with the general distressyness. Just to say - never throw ANYTHING away!! However the one above is a collage - and you can see it wasn't a very good print. This turned into quite a nice composition, I wish I had used a better original.

When I was doing the 'admin' for this last one I realised it was my 500th ATC this year. (Yeah I know, I should get a life). I really like this lady's 'come hither' look and when it was finished I had to call this one 'Forever Amber' - does anyone else have memories of secretly reading their mum's copy? So, in honour of this dubious achievement this one will be given away as a RAK possibly with a little extra something for the 'lucky' winner. To enter leave a comment and THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR and I will do a draw on Sunday morning.

Well that's me for today, although I have something else I'm really pleased with to showcase which I shall probably upload tomorrow. Off to play with my melt pot (At last!!)

Happy New Year everyone, I wish you all that you would wish for yourself in 2009 but above all that you have health, happiness and unlimited creativity in the coming year.

Cindy xxx

Monday 29 December 2008

In the weeks before Christmas..........

I made a few things for friends as pressies, some Christmassy some not, but like most of us was unable to keep the blogging up to date. However, I WAS crafting my socks off so now all the presents have been received and opened here are some of the things I managed to get done.

I made some calendars using slide mailers and jumbo jigsaw pieces.

The mailer one has space for an ATC which can be changed whenyou get bored.

I also did some hanging tree ornaments using doms and stampboard.

and I made a tissue box holder for a special someone who is always getting emotional (nothing to do with the wine lol)

I must apologise for this messy layout, I can't seem to edit this post at the moment and my pictures keep disappearing (think I preferred it when it just showed as code, I knew where I was then) which is a right royal pain as I wanted to get something blogged today, so I may will have to come back later. And if you received something else from me that I haven't featured here I have either lost the picture or I can't show it yet as it will give something else away lol!!

Thursday 11 December 2008


Although I try to only send christmas cards to people I don't see (expect for a few very special friends and family) the list of people I haven't seen for a year gets longer and longer ........ I guess I'd better get out a bit more next year!! Here are a few that I made this year, I had a bit of a thing about angels.

Unfortunately work and life has been very busy lately, and I haven't had much time for blogging uploading or even checking up on what other people are doing - I'm sorry if you've kept coming back to the same old screen the last couple of weeks!!! I've been really busy doing my cards, a few little pressies and keeping up with the DAC challange, but if I can get my act together I hope to do a little giveaway to celebrate the end of the year. More details to follow. Back soon.

Friday 21 November 2008

image transfers with acrylic gel....

Well as I have no longer got my heat gun I have been concentrating on checking out different image transfer techniques, this type using acrylic gel mediums. Over on flickr I belong to the SIS group run by Ange and all my 'samples' are shown there. Ange is setting various projects and challenges to have a go at and transfer techniques is the one for Nov/December. I have found this a very successful technique - (there should be tutorial link from the SIS site but at the time of writing I don't think it is working, however there are lots of others around). I have experimented using both inkjet prints and colour photocopies and found they both work well. To compare I have used the same image for different materials so I apologise if this poor renaissance lady is becoming a bit familiar - I shall probably tire of her soon!! This one, called Orange Beauty is my favourite from this batch.

Monday 17 November 2008

Resist embossing killed my heat gun...

I am very sad lady, my heat gun is no more, despite valiant efforts by OH it has been pronounced deceased which puts paid to a few things I'm working on until I can get my grubby mitts on a new one.

However, here are a couple of bits I managed to do before the end, with resist emboss backgrounds and UTEE tiles.

I was actually trying to re-create the success I had with this one that I made a week or so ago. Maybe I didn't use the right colours together for this technique or my clear embossing wasn't good enough but somehow I don't think they turned out quite so well. Hey ho, it's all trial and error, sometimes more of the latter. So with no heat gun, it'll be back to image transfers for the rest of the week....

Wednesday 12 November 2008

jiggy jiggy jamming

Am taking part in an altered jigsaw jam with some friends over at the NI site. The idea is everyone sends everyone else a piece of jigsaw puzzle to alter to a designated theme. They are then returned and the originator mounts them together as a piece of artwork or may keep them as individual pieces. This is Sherry's piece, which is done in a Folk Art Christmas style. Think I might have got a bit carried away - talk about fully loaded!

A slightly more difficult theme to interpret was for Sheila. This is a shabby/homespun style - I used some cosmo cricket journalling squares to make a patchwork quilt for the background. The little house is made from balsa wood and the words are cut from a larger piece. I was going to make the heart all white as pink/red was not in the colour spec but it looked a bit flat. It also picksd up the colour of the text so I think it's OK.

Oriental in blues and gold was the request for this piece for Wendy. I made a real mess of the first tile because I glazed it but I had obviously not used colour fast ink and the image faded away - unfortunately I had stuck it on so this poor little jiggy bit had to undergo major reconstructive surgery. Turned out all right in the end and I left it unglazed this time!!

TIME PLEASE!! Viv had asked for the theme of time and I struggled a bit as I don't have much 'stuff' for that theme. Then I remembered a little wooden clock button I had picked up and found a collage image and part of a stamp - probably just as well it wasn't any bigger though or I wouldn't have known what else to put on!! The journalling could have been a bit neater but I culdn't bear to rip it off and start again. It's also nice to add dangly bits to extend the piece if you are in a position to do so (ie if you will not be encroaching on a neighbouring jam piece.) Again stumped until I remembered the feather charms - well, these are 'feathers in the broad wings of time' lol.

Finally, a piece for Jinny - Floral in a contemporary style. It also had to be brown and gold. I know this is going to be hard to believe, but I could not find any 'Brown' papers in my stash and had to colour something up using ink pads. Unbelievable. The flowers are made with a Craft Stamper 'freebie' stamp - the same image is basically layered up, and the stamens inside are made from wire and beads. Background is gold painted plastic mesh over papers, and some micro beads. Text is taken from a larger stamp and covered with glossy accents to make tiles.

I like to leave off making my own piece (or pieces) until after I have received them all back so that I can make sure the whole thing ties in together. Will post a picture of the completed piece in due course.

Friday 7 November 2008

Renaissance Ramblings....

Yippee!! Off tomorrow for the Southern DC meet in Horsham. Not sure how many of us there will be, but have got lots of ATCs to trade.

We have to take a challenge ATC with the theme of Renaissance and this is my offering called 'Renaissance collage' (imaginative).

The main image is courtesy of the flickr collage group and I have used it again on these two ATCs to show the difference between an image transfer done using inkjet and gesso and a transfer using packingtape and laser print. The lower picture is the gesso one and I was a bit too vigorous with my rubbing and lost the back if her head, hencethe embellishment with tiny beads. Nice save eh? I've also been trying out transpaseal transfers, with somewhat less success but not bad. Someone asked to see transfer techniques so I am taking a bunch of stuff to see if anyone wants to have a go. So, won't be around Saturday - Hopefully will post piccies of our crafting day in due course.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

A Birthday card for Mum....

Gosh, where did that year go!! Every year I like to make a really special card for my mum, partly because, well she's my mum and I love her lots and partly because as my crafting buddy I know she will appreciate the time and effort spent.

She was over the other week (gets about a bit now she's got her 'wheels' lol) and expressed an interest in some little fairy doors that were featured in one of my magazines so I thought I would make one of those and maybe break into the gorgeous DCWV Fairytale papers - I know, I'm a sucker for beautiful paper but then I never want to use it. I started the card when another friend had dropped in for some help with something crafty and happenned to remark I was looking for a fairy image when she produced a set of freebie flower fairy decoupage (why do I never see these freebies?, one of which was in just the right colour to complement thepapers I had chosen.

I made the card in a gothic arch shape. The recess is made by sandwiching two sheets of funky foam between the patterned card. This also makes it quite sturdy and enabled me to attach the front doors by just giving them extended 'wings' (lol) and pasting them underneath. Using two layers also gave the opportunity to put quite a bit of depth in the decoupage although I'm not sure it's clear from the photos. This has turned out so well I am really thinking that shadow boxes might be fun - I have been looking at them for a while and now I can kind of 'see' how you could do them I might have a go but will have to wait for now.

Still I digress. Lots of gold paint and krylon pen later I think it looks suitably fantastical - the paper is glittered so I have resisted adding more bling, don't want to go OTT. Oh, and of course, although I have a pack of ready cut boxes for dimensional cards did I think to check the finished size before I started? Of course I didn't so I had to make a box as well. But I think it's nicer than the ready made ones anyway. Happy Birthday Mum!!

Monday 3 November 2008

MAMMA CHALLENGE - Rememberance

On tha ball again, but really only because I have been sitting here today feeling mighty sorry for myself as OH has managed to padd on his man flu (he is such a generous sort) and its a humdinger.

At this time of year poppies and what they represent are very much on our minds so it seemed an obvious choice. I love this poppy stamp but I wanted another image behind it - I remembered this small face stamp and tried it with a mask so that just a small part of the original stamp shows. I think it is quite effective, and although I toyed with the idea of adding some extra stamping I decided to leave it very simple. The colour was added with watercolour pencils and the whole thing has been utee'd - I fully expect this to crack up and make the whole thing look more antiqued.

Saturday 1 November 2008

AWARDS and TAGS .............

I have been most remiss lately responding to various notifications - it's not that I don't appreciate them, I do, but I can never seem to get my head round doing all the bits that go with acknowledging it. Anyhow, here goes,

I have been given this award by Jan and Margaret.
These are the rules relating to the award:-
1. 5 people are allowed to receive this award.
2. four dedicated followers of your blog.
3. one is to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. please link back to the person who gave you this award.

So hard to make these decisions!!

However, I have decided to make the award to the following peeps, apologies if you've already received it a million times (it probably means you deserve it!!) and also to anyone I've missed out - you are all brilliant!!

1. Kim - who has been a regular on my blog and who has just started crafting again - go girl!!
2. Sian - well, I don't know how she produces so much super work and holds down a job and family. Brilliantbloggger too.
3. Jinny - she's a bit behind with her blogging and crafting because life has been keeping her busy but she's one of the most talented people I know and can turn her hand to anything.
4. Hazel - really brill stamping and eye candy on this blog! And always takes time to comment back, which is greatly appreciated.
5. Heather who is in Ontario and has some really lush pieces on her blog.

AND i've been tagged..... by Kim and Sherry. So just for a bit of fun I need to list here six random things about myself.

So, here goes:

1. My favourite book is Lord of the Rings.
2. My mum wanted to call me Tina Maria after her favourite tipple. Fortunately I was saved by several other little girls being given that name that week. (Phew!)
3. My favourite meal is fried chicken and chips.
4. I have ridden on the back of a Harley Davidson.
5. I helped to build a show garden at Chelsea.
6. I cannot bear to touch polystyrene (not sure I can spell it either).

The rules are as follows:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

The people I have tagged so far are:

1. Astrid
2. Femmy
3. Patti
4. Jinny
5. Wendy

Phew, that took ages and I've still got to write to you all!! Have fun, and I look forward to finding out a little more about each of you!

Friday 31 October 2008

How do you store your ATCs?

The other night I was tidying up my ever growing collection of ATCs into some sort of order because putting the best ones in the glass cabinet was becoming a bit of a problem - they're all good!! I also wanted them in albums so that I can take them to the meet being organised next week as I thought peeps might like to have a browse through - nothing like seeing the works of art 'in the flesh' so to speak.

Whilst I was sorting, I came across the set of ATCs that I 'won' in the New Inspirations August lottery. Basically everyone in the group who wants to play makes an ATC on a set theme (that month it was Friendship)and a 'winner' is selected at random to receive all the ATCs. As I looked at them again, I realised that I hadn't looked at them since the day they plopped on to the mat, which I thought was a great shame, and what I really needed was a way to showcase them. So here it is - Ta da!!!

I decided that the best way would be in an altered board book album. I divided them up into similar sort of colour ways and chose some papers for the pages. I was also able to use up some the 'Friendship' stickers and rub ons that I have collected but which never seem quite appropriate for cards and are usually too big to go on an ATC. One of Jan'e entries was quite thick so that had to go on the front cover (that gave me a few problems and I'm still not entirely happy with it).

I decided that I didn't want to actually stick the ATCs on so instead I have opted to stick the little ATC sleeves on to the pages and then use them to hold the ATCs. I did think about photo corners but a) didn't have any and b) some of the ATCs were quite thick and I thought they wouldn't work. (I had some really great little stickypockets made of heavy duty plastic that I 'liberated' from elsewhere, alas they are about 2mm too small for an ATC. Grrr!!) Anyway, time will tell if this works or not. I expect this piece will get handled a bit next week - if it survives it was a good idea!! Because I don't really want the ATCs to be taken in and out I have put the name of the artist on a little tag next to each one. (Margaret, sorry I had to put you down as MAMMA as I didn't have room for Margaret and I was running out of 'Y's for Maggy).

Some of the papers I chose were quite busy and I did wonder at first if the individual ATCs had got a bit lost on the page. However after handling it for a day I think it does work and these little pieces of art will get more attention in this book than they would in a 9 pocket album. Right, that's those few sorted, now what to do with the other 3,373..........? (joke, I don't have quite that many..)

Wednesday 29 October 2008

At last!!

My attendance has been pretty sporadic lately due to major redecorating going on at home which has also involved moving things from room to room, sorting, recycling .... you get the picture.

But the achievement for me is that I have a craft room, small but perfectly formed. I have all my craft stuff within reach (not a 40 step walk from the craft table) and the kitchen and dining room have been returned to their former purpose. The pc has gone wireless (so far so good) and I even have a little bit of surplus storage space. (Room for more stash........).

All I need to do now is work out a way of displaying a few of the gorgeous items I have collected as trades and pressies over the last year.

Oh, it looks so tidy now.............

Sunday 26 October 2008

What's new....

Bad blogger again, was going to put up some new work but realised that I haven't photographed anything!! So a bit after the event, here are a couple more tags I did after the tag challenge the other week.

I have been very busy lately, working and having a life and I wanted to share something that I did with you - last weekend I went to visit a friend who lives in the village of Compton, Surrey, home to the Watts gallery. Watts was a Victorian portrait artist and symbolic painter with strong links to the arts and crafts movement. Sadly the gallery is currently under renovation, but my friend took me to see the chapel created in his memory by his wife Mary Seton Watts which is in the village cemetery. I didn't know what to expect but I was stunned, it is absolutely beautiful and if anyone is ever in this neck of the woods I strongly advise you to go and have a look. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera but it is just one of the most wonderful things I have ever seen - if you click on the link there are a couple of photos but they don't really do it justice.

Apart from that, I have been working hard in all my spare time this week to finish the works going on at home and consequently have been really tired and unable to face the pc at night. Still, it's been another great weekend spent with my family and I'm feeling very refreshed - time to do some serious crafting. Plus must do some uploading and blogging so off to find the camera. Watch this space!!

Thursday 16 October 2008

Getting ahead of myself..........

Inspired (lol) by two different articles in Craft Stamper magazine I had a bit of a flurry making these calendars using altered slide mailers. I'm off in a couple of weeks to a crafty meet and I think at least one will go with me as a raffle prize contribution. The others may end up as crimbo pressies, or I may keep them myself.

On two of them I used Cosmo Cricket papers which are really pretty and the quality is superb. They have inspired me (there's that word again!!) to make some little mini albums using old baby board books from the library which I have a fairly regular supply of as they get well used and have to be removed from stock fairly frequently. Nothing that can't be recycled though (I do throw the really bad ones away!!) and they make a great base for little scrap books, although I haven't actually finished any of them yet!! Watch this space.

The calendar below, has space for an ATC which can be changed whenever you like - thought this might be a nice and useful way to keep your current favourite on show - as long as it's not too dimensional or heavy!! The finished colours went well with the 2 little girls ATC which I have put in to start it off. The image was from a challenge on Mind Wide Open , something I didn't in the end get finished in time but I loved it so much I had to use it.

MAMMA - Vintage tags

This week's MAMMA challenge is vintage tags. I have to say , I'm not sure I like the proportions of ATC sized tags, seems to me they ought to be slightly taller but these are my two attempts for this week (yes two, I am on the ball this week). In fact have had a bit of a run on tags once I'd started,trying to decide on the perfect shape. There are a couple more in my flickr gallery.

Friday 10 October 2008

Bad blogger...

Well, not that bad, it's only been a week but it seems like an age. I am really finding it hard to get used to working an extra 10 hours a week plus lots of other stuff going on.. seems more sensible to get on with crafting than spend hours on the pc - you KNOW how the time flies once you start.

Anyhow, thought I would share these three ATCs which I have sent off to the ATC swap at Craft Stamper. In the end as usual I was right up against the deadline but I'd started so I was determined to get them off even if I didn't think they were that great. I have never sent anything in to a magazine before but I suppose it could lead to more people to swap with!!

Speaking of which, here is an ATC I received today from 'Cat' who I met at Ally Pally at the end of September. She is new to the UK and was really excited to hear about the ATC community over here. I gave her an ATC as a RAK but she insisted on reciprocating, even including some crafting goodies. Ain't crafters great?

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #781

  Morning deskers, welcome to our weekly Wednesday Blog Hop - WOYWW. As you may know,  Julia has stepped down after many years of commitment...