Tuesday 24 February 2009

Busy, busy, busy......


Still keeping this going - am now up to no 321 so 44 to go!! This is my favourite from this week's batch, it's called 'Stripes'.


This week we had a darling little girl to include - I decided to do an ATC using a ready made background as I was a bit short on time. After I had transferred the image (not very successfully) I realised that the backing was actually smaller than ATC size!! So I cut it down a bit more and popped onto another mount. The transfer was a bit patchy so I added the goldpainted grungeboard wings and crown to make 'little Angel'. Not my best work and a lesson that sometimes it is better not to rush.


Am loving my little wooden dominoes - here is another batch. This time, I did endless (well about 4) layers of acrylic paint attempting to 'lose' the embossed dragon on the top before giving up and just adding paper and collaging. This time I used Anita's 3D as a glaze which is certainly quicker than EP (if you discount the drying time) but I do note a few days later that some have developed a slight crinkle in the centre. Not sure what could be causing this - any ideas?


And finally...... the piece(s) de resistance as far I'm concerned this week has been the altered CD challenge over at the new group at GAS MAMMA. The theme was oriental and at first I struggled to come up with an idea and then suddenly - wham bam - had two done in no time at all.

I particularly like this lantern one even though I don't consider it quite perfect - the more I look at it the more mistakes I see lol so probably a good thing it will be on it's way elsewhere. The second one is mor subtle and gave me the chance to use a bit of bamboo work I had done with my embossing paste. Mind you, after getting all my oriental bits out again I do wish peeps who make stamps would indicate which way up their oriental script goes - I've probably got it all upside down!!

Phew!! I have also done the final journal page to the round robin but was so excited to actually complete this project I posted it without photographing so will have to ask the recipient to do it for me! How I have managed to do all this beats me - but it probably explains why the house is such a mess!

Wednesday 18 February 2009

Tiles, tins and tranquility

I love altered dominoes (although I'm not very good at turning them in to anything -I hate drilling!!) but our ready supply of the smooth plastic type has dried up so looking for an alternative I bought some very cheap wooden ones to try out. This is the first batch I've altered and I think they have turned out well. I just put paper on them, inked, glimmered and used up some teeny weeny collage images and finally glazed them with three layers of UTEE to make them into tiny glossy tiles. Some are going off to a swap and others will just be a little 'extra' to friends. Not bad for a couple of hours playing.

I have for a couple of years now been a member of the Docrafts Forum and it has recently become very active in the altered art arena and a challenge was set to alter a tin. Although I'm not sure a recycled tuna tin was what they had in mind I had already started this one, more because I was experimenting with the 'shadow box' idea and trying to see how difficult it was to do. Answer - not very, but I would recommend a beginner does not start with a round tin!! Because I was just playing I didn't think too much about how I wanted it to look when finished (like I ever plan anything lol) so I do wonder if another image would have made it more memorable. The smiling woman was courtesy of the Flickr collage group and the flowers were all individually stamped, coloured and cut out. However I quite like her and she is now sitting on my shelf, reminding me that there will be flowers in the garden one day again...........

The challenge at ACF this week was to use a background. It is really beautiful piece, obviously very textural, and in my most favourite colours of greens, turquoises and blues. I felt the original was so gorgeous I kept my page to a quite simple collage, but added a single layer of clear embossing powder to some parts of the page to try and regain some of the texture of the original. I have also successful transferred the image on to a piece of fabric and have another project in mind - but that will probably take a while to finish.

Saturday 14 February 2009

It's all gone a bit Tolkein........


The theme at UKAL for February is 'Trees'. I have been making some cards using a lovely dreamweaver stencil I have, so I thought I would use it again for this challenge. I love tree images, and this particular stencil always seem very mysterious, putting me in mind of the Tolkein stories with their magical forests and giant trees.

I started with a base of gold mirri card, then inked through the stencil onto heat resistant acetate and embossed. I had no idea where this was going when I did that, but the end result is rather pleasing as the mirri card catches the light and reflects it back. For the gothic arch shape frame I once again used my divine swirls embossing plate in the cuttlebug with rub on highlights. I had recently bought (very cheaply) 4 negative tree images stamps depicting the four seasons. I decided to stamp them onto opaque shrink plastic to make little charms. I did worry that they woulkd be a bit dark but in fact being a negative image worked very well and tied in better than an 'outline would have. At the top I did another shrink plastic tile of another tree image and added a short quote from one of the many poems in the Lord of the rings. Brill.


As I liked this piece so much, I decided to continue the theme for our challenge at SIS which was to make an atc/altered hanging shrine. I love the idea of shrines but always have a complete mental block about what theme to use - so I thought I'd strike while the iron was hot!

After taking an ATC sized base, I cut a hole so that the recess formed by the matchbox could be seen. (instructions HERE) At the back of the recess I did a little painting of the lonely mountain. I hung my wedding ring (I haven't worn it over 10 years and now I will be looking at it every day so I consider that put to good use) which is a plain gold band from the top and put another little shrink plastic tree in the front. The shrine does open and behind there is a quote 'it's a dangerous business going out your front door'. I haven't shown it very well but there is a dangky bit with two more SP charms - a dragon and another tree (told you I liked trees). I don't know why the rest of it looks like a castle, I had thos bits of door left over from 'practising' for the previous project so it seemed a shame not to use them. I suppose a round hobbit hole door would have been better but I couldn't get my head round it. The bottom quote is a little bit of the poem 'The road goes ever on and on' several versions of which crop up in the texts. So, my first proper shrine completed yay!!


hee hee gotta go and do the valentine draw.

THE WINNER IS GWEN (MINIMAKER). Thanks for stopping by, and look out for next months giveaway, - can't tell you when it'll be, it all depends lol.

Thursday 12 February 2009

Valentine giveaway..........

The hearts and flowers have been out in force this year, I've never done so much Valentine's stuff!! Anyhow, I did say I was going to have a little giveaway each month, and given the season this decorated papier mache heart hanger seems appropriate. It started off quite differently, (which is why I am so late posting) and I was going for a chinese black lacquer type of effect - but it was far too sombre so I just sort of decopatched the whole thing with cupids and flowers!! Just a little bit of nonsense and obviously it will now be too late to receive by Valentine's day :0( but I will do the draw at 10.00 pm on Saturday 14th UK time. If you want to be included just leave a comment to that effect. That way, even if you don't get a valentine on the day you could be in with a chance of something!!! Hope you like it.

Wednesday 11 February 2009

Blogging, it must be Wednesday....

I really don't know what is worse, starting projects that require lots of time between stages to dry or having so many things on the go that it seems to take a week to get anything finished!!! Have spent so much time in my craft room while I've been poorly I'm starting to get stir crazy, think I had better have a break soon lol...

Anyhow, this is my attempt at the ACF challenge. I couldn't figure out what to do with the whole image, so I started cutting it down, then thought maybe I would put it on an oval tile,then thought it looked a bit like locket....so yes I then made a locket, not sure why, with a top and bottom, all done with metal magic on the outside and stamped with a big medallion stamp (sorry the photo of that hasn't come out and youngest has run off with my camera - may add a piccie later). For the bit with the picture I made a 'frame' or edge with my glue gun. After touching up the glue with gold rub ons and a bit of gold mica powder I flooded the inside with glossy accents to make it shiny like glass. I even added a metal bead for the chain to go through. It would have been so much quicker to just make an atc.......

Friday 6 February 2009

A week in ATCs..

It's been over a week since I uploaded my daily art cards and I have been playing with a few different techniques this last week, mainly using resist embossing, stamping and colouring.

This first ATC uses clear stamping and embossing on white card, this is then inked over and then a paper and iron (no steam) used to remove the embossing powder. This gives you your original stamp in white, and you can then stamp over the top as you wish.

I have been using this technique for a while, but after looking at a tutorial on Tim Holtz' website, I tried using the technique over patterned paper - think this turned out rather well!!

All in all spent quite a bit of time making up backing papers this week using this method and I've got lots ready to use although I did get a bit carried away - some of them are rather bright!! You can also sometimes end up with really interesting waste - that's what I've used for the background paper on this collage ATC. It's hard to see but the number stamp I used originally has a reversed image - doesn't bother me though!!!

Finally, a little collage. Just like this one, nothing fancy just pretty.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Blink and you'll miss it....

Wow, where did January go? Hope the rest of the year isn't going to whizz by that fast.

Well I'm still at home hobbling around for another week, trying to be positive but am getting a little frustrated atn not being able to do everything. Was going to attempt the shortish walk to the PO but didn't dare take the risk in all the snow - although we are right next to a main arterial london road, the A40, my little dead end didn't see a gritter till last night and has no through traffic. Still sun is shining now so might be adventurous this afternoon - the post is piling up lol!!

Anyhoo, haven't been on the pc much as decided to get ahead with all my birthday cards and then got in a card making groove - won't post them cos they're pretty boring but have managed to replenish my stocks and also use up some (but not all) of the card kits I've bought over the last couple of years.

I have managed to finish a journal page for Nicks as part of the round robin swap arranged by Astrid last year. I don't know why this has taken so long (although my heat gun did die early on) and this finished version is nothing at all like the original idea which I started with enthusiasm but just couldn't make work. I'm much happier with this. Nicks' theme was advice for life. As an acknowledgement to my tardiness I have chosen 'The secret of getting ahead is getting started' but there is a little pull out addition - I'll leave that for Nicks to discover for herself.

That leaves just one more to do .....

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...