Friday 31 December 2010

Last post of 2011..... oops that should read 2010...

well, think I peaked a bit early with all those Tim Holtz tags, haven't been on here in over a fortnight!! Seriously, after being very organised initially with loads of cards ready for Christmas, at the end of November I was asked to take my Christmas cards to a lunch meeting - they nearly cleared me out which left me with a huge panic to get everything done...... and then snow came and half of it either didn't get posted or probably didn't arrive in time.

A bit of a production line had to be in initiated. Here are some of the designs I did. The 'angel' stamp is a Sugar Nellie stamp designed by Diane Duda. It is also a fundraiser stamp with all proceeds going to support UK breast cancer charity so if you like it they are still available to purchase. The girly 'Santa' is from an Urban belle collection.

But my favourite card for this Christmas was this trifold/swing card(???If anyone knows the correct name please put me out of my misery!! I can't find the magazine) inspired by a project in craft stamper magazing (Dec 2010). I haven't made one of these before but was surpised at how easy they were to do and they are wonderfully dimensional when opened out. My second attempt was for my mum and came out even better (what a big head I am) but I forget to photograph it - doh!

Well that's about it for this year, but I am just about to go and join in with the Stamp Man's Blog hop and Challenge (There are PRIZES so go join in). Part of the Challenge is to showcase the piece of work you are most please with in 2010. So I have had a look through and chosen my favourite. If you would like to join in for my personal little challenge, have a look back through my posts and let me know your choice for 2010.... I'll be uploading mine on Monday, and there'll be a little prize for anyone agrees with mine.

It only remains for me to thank my blog readers for your support this past year, I enjoy reading every single comment and it really means a lot to me that people take the time to return on a regular basis. So, here's wishing you a very Happy New Year, and a healthy, happy and prosperous 2011.

Hugs, Cindy xxx

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Tagtastic, 12 tags done and dusted...

Here are the last four tags, and finally a challenge I have managed to complete pretty much on time (some of us do have to work you know!!)

Tag 9 - Paper Rosette

Who knew that this would be so easy to do? I don't have the die, but I took a piece of 12 x 12 paper and ran it through a punch to give a scalloped edge and then used the scallops as a guide to fold it. The tinsel not so easy to stick on - BIG mistake not getting out the glue gun!! And as for the brads - I don't have a texture hammer but a big bang with my ordinary one seemed to do the trick!!

Tag 10 - Packaging

I had to go off at a slightly different tangent as I didn't have any snow men shapes but the basic principle of embossing acetate packaging worked really well. The 'bauble' is a chipboard shape and I stamped flourishes on it in gold but they didn't come out that well - however, I think it made it look suitable 'old'.

Tag 11 - Foam stamps

Well I groaned again. Don't have these dies, I have mainly nesties... but hey, what about the poinsetta die again? So out it came again and I made a foam stamp with it. Worked really well I thought and really easy to do (of course I just improvised with pritt stick to attach it to an acrylic block but it still worked. I guess it is better to do it properly if you think you will use it a lot.) For the rest I just used a few embellies I had laying around and put bells on because the text is about Christmas bells.

Tag 12 - Movers and Shapers........ Say again??

Had never come across these before, I can kind of see the appeal but don't think they are anything I would ever buy. I did try to make a bauble using nesties and that die again to cut a hole in the centre (it was that or a bird) as I thought that was kind of what the technique was about but my bauble went all curly when I added the crackle paint - don't really like this one that much which is a shame as it is the final tag. I did however find the mica that I couldn't find for an earlier technique (it was somewhere safe) but can anyone tell me how the h*** do you split that stuff up? I just end up with flakes.

Well that was great fun but phew, all that improvisation has done my head in and I've still got more cards to make..... now, where did I put those peel offs?

Sunday 12 December 2010

More tags - but not finished yet!!!

A few more tags......

Tag 5 - enamelled metals

First of all, I really didn't get the brushing the sides of the tag, didn't seem to work for me at all!! I had no metal numbers so just triple embossed some chipoard ones which gives a similar effect. What I really liked about this tag was the idea of using distress embossing powder on metal to make the flowers. I only have one colour of dep - Tea dye - not very flowery!!So I decided to use alcohol inks - worked really well and I now know what to do with the rest of the packet of metal shapes!! I decided not to put white bits over my Santa but did highlight him with a gel pen - he looks much better!!

Tag 6 - Texture Fades

Improvisation time again - no suitable embossing folders!! I had read however that you can emboss with almost anything if you have a tan embossing mat so I cut out my own tree design and tried running it through the cuttlebug with my tag. Have to say it could have done with a bit of fine tuning but it does work and is something to remember if you want to create some custom embossing. Not entirely happy with the colouring on this one (couldn't get the colours right) but another technique experimented with.

Tag 7 - Poinsetta

Wow, wow, wow .... sorry, shouldn't say it I know but I really love my take on Tim's tag. I don't have the canvas he uses but I do have a brand new 'Marianne' poinsetta die (I'm getting a bit hooked on these actually) which I think makes a lovely flower. It has a subtle vein emboss through it as well. I dutifully distressed, glimmered, inked and rock candied and I'm really happy with the result. Oh and the background - again, no appropriate folder but I used the glue and acrylic technique with some new 'green' paints I have to give me a wood effect background. Definitely my favourite so far.

Tag 8 - Extreme Masking
lol you are not kidding!! I found an old stencil of two candles but it was very thick plastic so I made my own mask and stencil so that I could do the technique. Looks quite cool but the two inks I used were fairly similar so I used my white gel pen again just to highlight the slight 'frame' that was between the wo pieces of inking. I have to say this tag looked much better when I glittered the snowflakes - it really brought it to life, and what's Christmas without a little bling?

Off to Mr H's blog to check out the final tag and make a start on the last 4. Hope you have enjoyed taking a peek at what I've done so far!!

Tuesday 7 December 2010

And the winner is....

No 4, Netty!! Well I have your address so no problem there. Should be on its way tomorrow. Enjoy!!

Tag 4..... and we have mail...

Here is my interpretation of Tag 4 of the 12 tags of Christmas. The main techniques in use were using 'faucets'.

One of the uses Tim suggested was to put an image behind and bling it up with a bit of stickles - works really well!! But what kind of faucet is that I hear you ask? Well it isn't, because I don't have any, but that's why I was playing with the melt pot. I thought that I could make my own embellishments using UTEE and cookie cutters. I have used images behind UTEE before, and this time used a vintage santa, but I love the extra sparkle you get by using stickles.
Another technique used by Tim was to colour the gem with alcohol inks behind and then stamp an image with archival ink which then lifts the colour off - kind of reverse resist. Doesn't work so well with a UTEE shape, (not a complete disaster but not as effective as I had hoped with the stamp I used) but then the colour is not so clear to start with as UTEE looks more like amber than clear glass and gets darker the more it is heated.

I did however use the technique for the glass in this slide mailer. You may just about be able to see the little clear snowflakes.
I used this lovely little vintage image several times on this piece and on the accompanying ATC (I'm hooked on that snow effect now as you can see).

As she is wearing a holly wreath I added the poem 'under the holly bough' to the inside. The mailer is for a Christmas present swap, and I am also entering it for Alter It Monthly.
Really getting a creative buzz from doing these tags, shame I'm only on holiday for one more day, I seem to be getting so much done. Quick reminder - last chance to enter the December giveaway which closes at 9 pm tonight!!

Sunday 5 December 2010

12 Tags of Christmas begins.....

Of course I am talking about the wonderful Tim Holtz and his wonderful 12 tags of Christmas. Each day he posts a different christmas tag for your delight and inspiration. Obviously he is showcasing his products but there are still plenty of ideas and techniques that you can adapt and play around with. As I said I have wanted to do this before but never had time.... but this year it is going to happen!!

I am already behind (of course) but have finished days 1-3 and started on days 4 and 5 so not bad going for me!!

Day 1 - well, I read through the instructions and my heart sank a bit, grumpily thinking I don't have this stuff.... then after a stern talking to I started to have ideas. I may not have the folder or die to make the house, but I do have grungepaper, an embossing tool and a craft knife - might take a bit longer but not much!! I didn't have a spare holly wreath knocking about either so I stamped some leafy branches and used the leaves to make a wreath. I found one little ticket that someone had given to me, wrote the '25' and coloured it in and stamped Happy Christmas over the top. Could have made a picket fence too but decided I liked it as it was. Job done.

Day 2 - OK, this tag is mainly stamping but without having the same stamps that Tim uses it is hard to get the same 'look'. The main technique that Tim shows here is how to create a custom ink pad, but as I don't have any of the re-inkers in the right colours to do this for my stamps I just went for stamping and colouring in. Not entirely happy with this one and the colours looked a right mish mash until I added the yellow and bronze ribbons which seemed to tie everything together.

Day 3 - Yay, something I have the bits for!! Well not entirely, I didn't have any of the tissue tape, so I stamped music and text onto ordinary tissue paper and stuck it onto my bird shape and used the rest to make my 'flower'. I especially loved the 'snowy' effect Tim created with a splatter stamp and acryllic paint. I don't have that exact stamp but used a different one. I re-sized and printed out a little vintage postcard image for one of the embellishments and used some green lace with a touch of red ribbon behind across the bottom. I think this is my favourite one so far, although looking at it now I think maybe the elements are a bit too regimented but too late now!! In fact I liked it so much that I used my experimental bits to make an atc.

Well, off to dust off the melt pot and have a play and then I must sit down and write out Christmas cards at some point today...

Thursday 2 December 2010

Happy Birthday to me, Week 2 part 2, and Week 3 part 1!!!

First of all thanks to everyone who sent me cards for my birthday - I have a stunning display up and will pop round to say thank you properly as soon as I can. Am having a quiet day, partly in my craftroom and partly with my DD who has decided to keep me company. This evening I am out with my darling hubby for a quick meal and then to see Bill Bailey at the theatre. Brill!!

OK, now we are back to the Art and Healing course which I am now about 3/4 of the way through. The second part of week 2 was to do a page in our altered books representing a positive outcome from our younger years (or sort of turn something around so it is positive even if it wasn't at the time). I chose to focus on my school days and the positive influence of a lovely lady teacher, Miss Gillian Smith, who was a great encouragement to me - I was a shy little soul back then.

So this is a picture of her and me (looking a bit like I'm about to ascend to the heavens) with a picture of my old school in the background. The words I have chosen to accompany the page are 'Shine your light'. Miss Smith once said to me that I 'shouldn't hide my light under a bushel'. My biblical education being somewhat sketchy at the time, I had no idea what she was talking about, but as the years passed I realised what she meant and I have never forgotten her support and kindness.

The next things was to do our front cover with some photograph altering (loved that!!) and a little tag to go on the front. I couldn't think of a quote to put on the tag but finally I chose one from Dr Seuss: - 'Today you are you, that is truer than true, there is no one alive who is youer than you'.

Because I have access to them at work, the book I am using is a recycled board book. The down side of that is that the baby books have seen a lot of love during their shelf life (and drool, chewing and generally been treated with the care and attention you expect from the average toddler). When preparing the back of the book I realised it wasn't going to withstand a lot of prep, so I have made a little pocket out of the last page - not sure what will go in there yet. I still have to make an empathy puppet (might pass on that - there are some great ones about though!!) an affirmation page and something with my personal 'angel'. Because I have so many other things to do at the moment I am going to leave these until the christmas break rather than rush. I also seem to have lost the sound on the computer which makes it a little difficult to follow the videos...

I must also quickly blog a little altered matchbox I have made for a swap on Flickr. It has a little domino book inside and I chose an oriental theme just to not be doing Christmas for half an hour. I have to do displays and activities at two libraries through Nov/Dec as well as my own stuff and sometimes I just need a break...... but I'm still smiling through apermanent sprinkjling of glitter.

Having said that, I'm thinking about doing the twelve tags this year even though I'm already a day behind..... well, if I get at least one done today I might go for it.

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #788

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