Wednesday 29 February 2012

Toy Theatres re-visited

So sorry  I have not been back to report on how I got on with the Toy Theatre. I have been a bit distracted for the last week or so due to going through an interview process for my job - thought I had to take some time off from crafting to gen up on a few terms and conditions before the actual interview, heaven knows I never get time to do anything at work. Anyhow, all done and dusted now, just waiting to hear so I am far more relaxed and able to get back to thinking about crafting - anyone would think what one does for a living is actually more important than art!

Anyhow my puppet making/toy theatre event was a success despite a group of very young and very demanding children who basically well, just made a joyful mess. I think they enjoyed doing their scribbling and gluing but they were very noisy!!

Here is the finished pizza box Theatre I made from the BBC template. I modified it a bit so if you do try don't expect it to look exactly like this. (I cut the sides out in the end so that we could have the characters coming in from the side. The second modification, er, was due to a mistake, read the instructions BEFORE you stick it all together). I used Alice cartoon characters for the puppets as they were easier for little hands to colour in. Coffee stirrers made great 'sliders', and I think I will be using them in my next craft session as well (it never ends).

I don't often take photos of my 'kids' in action as there isn't much we can do with them legally but I think this one is sufficiently anonymous for me to post. I encouraged the older children to try making their own simple theatre, scenes and characters and this young lady put her head down and created this little story about a ship that gets struck by lightning and sinks. We didn't have a lot of time (or resources) so this is pretty impressive given that although basically just a box the theatre templates are quite fiddly to put together. Once they saw how it all worked the kids got quite excited and even the ones who just mucked about during the session took the theatre making info and templates home though I doubt any of them got made once the play station and tv were in touching distance.

Well the theatres have been left up for kids to play with (they've survived so far!) as part of a 'Victorian Childhood' book display. World Book Day, Science Week, St Patrick's Day, Mother's Day and Easter craft events to come. Can't wait.

Sunday 26 February 2012

Our Luvverly giveaway winner is .....

CT Girl . I have emailed you and look forward to receiving your name and address so I can post it out. March giveaway will be along shortly.

Saturday 25 February 2012

Last chance....

to sign up for the February giveaway if you haven't already done so. Where has the last week gone? Sigh, next week isn't shaping up to be much better. Have a lovely weekend, hope it is sunny where you are. xx

Wednesday 15 February 2012

WOYWW #141 - something completely different....

Well it's Wednesday once again (you blink and it's back) and I for one have had a pretty productive week. As I'm sure you know, I'm telling you this because Wednesday is the day we start what is becoming a marathon journey around fellow bloggers desks, seeing what they are up to, saying hi, and generally having a good old snoop round. This is the brainchild of Julia at Stamping Ground so hop on over there to find out more details and discover who's taking part.
So here's my piccy....

As promised something rather different, papercraft but not as you would usually find on these pages.
Although at the moment it is cunningly disguised as a pizza box, it is in fact the bare bones of a Toy Theatre - well, a paper one anyway, my carpentry skills being somewhat limited ie non-existant. This one is being made using the downloadable template from the BBC 'Victorian Christmas' site. (Advice, read ALL the instructions first).

It's coming along nicely but I need to finish it pronto 'cos I need it for Saturday.

So why? Well, when we were deciding our Children's craft events for this year I blithely said I would do something with Victorian Puppets to link in with our Dickens bicentenary promotion. Alas this was not a great decision on my part as much research has led me to the conclusion that the puppets are not very exciting and the theatres are perhaps beyond the capabilities of my average attendee, especially as I haven't told them to bring shoe boxes and I would need 20 or two to have enough - no time now methinks to sort that out! So I am undecided as to what we will actually do on the day (suggestions below please) but I do know one thing - we WILL have Toy Theatres!!

Here is the first one I attempted. This was from a download at the Toymaker and was very easy to put together. It is more a 'scene' than a working theatre as it is completely static but cute nevertheless.

The second one I cobbled together from reading things, the base template of the one above and my own limited imagination. I did think I might be able to do this one with the kids with them making their own scene etc but I don't think they will be able to do it in the time available. Shame.

I'm not sure if you can see from the photo but it has layered scenes and everything. I even made my 'characters' they are on  the table - can anyone tell what very short little dramatisation I was planning to do? (They are very young children and they will almost certainly know the script).

But by far my favourite so far is this one, again a download from the Toymaker. By far the most satisfying one to make and it also has its characters moving from the sides (as I believe was the norm) unlike the WIP one where they have to be handled from the top. The curtain is down as I don't know yet what the play will be although I''m leaning towards a scene from  Alice. Well I have lots more links to share but will leave those for another post when the theatres and characters are all finished.

Finally if you have got this far I am really grateful that you have taken the time to visit me. For those hopping over from WOYWW even more thanks are due as the participation rate is growing every week - I for one only have time to visit a fraction of those taking part, although I do try and visit different people each week. 

Happy WOYWW every one.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Just loving digital!!

I bought the Serif  Craft Artist programme about 6 months ago now and am really loving its capabilities. When I get time to play with it I am always surprised by how easy it is. I especially like scrapbooking - this layout took me 10 minutes (you could say it shows!!) but if I was doing this with real papers etc I would still be trying to find two that matched that I was prepared to cut up (I have a serious problem with paper).  There are a million features that I haven't worked out yet but I try and play for a little while each week (problem is at my age by the time the next week comes round I've forgotten what I learnt the week before).

I've also made some cards with it (for those people who are not totally enamoured with the whole hand made thing - teens and men especially) and you can get a really professional finish (by that I mean it looks like it was bought in a shop). Obviously a lot depends on your printer and I've yet to 'produce' any of the larger layouts. I'm wondering if you could use one of the photobook applications available to get a nice photo quality reproduction. It would make a great coffee table book I think (not that I've got a coffee table).  Will give it a go when I've got a few more done.

I also use it to sort out things for the craft activities I do at work. Has been a lifesaver on a couple of occasions already.

Two things I do need to work out
- how to save my finished project in a sensible place (they seem to end up everywhere and then I spend hours trying to find them). Technophobia rules.
- how to import things from other applications (if that's the right word) and create my own digikits. (I think I did manage it once, but obviously more by luck than judgement.)

I suppose this may seem like a strange post, but I never thought I would get on with digital, but this is such an easy programme if you have been thinking about it take the plunge, you really won't regret it.

Ciao,  Cindy x

Sunday 12 February 2012

New ATCs

Just a quick post from me.
A few ATCs to show.
Lots to do today so must not get distracted on the pc.
Have a great Sunday.

Friday 10 February 2012

Liebster Blog Award

I have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Fuschia. Thank You!!
"Liebster is a German word, meaning dearest or beloved, but it can also mean favorite."

The Liebster Award is given to smaller bloggers who have 200 or less followers in the hope it will bring them new followers and friends. The tradition is that it is then passed on to five other blogs to help them too. If you want to accept the award the steps are:

1. Link back to the persons blog who gave you the award and thank them.
2. Post the award on your blog.
3. Give the award to five fellow bloggers who inspire you.
4. Leave a comment on their blogs to let them know.

After some consideration I am nominating the following blogs which have amused, intrigued, amazed and delighted me (sometimes all at once). I  do hope you will find time to pop over and say hi - perhaps even become a follower yourself.  In no particular order they are:

-    Artyjen
-    The Tin Goat
-    BlogThis!
-    The Rusty Cage
-    Wendy's Craft Journal

Thanks for looking!!


Wednesday 8 February 2012

What's on Your Workdesk? Wednesday # 140

So, just exactly where was I working?
And how many pairs of scissors
does one girl need?

Oh dear.

What a mess!!

ALL my desks were fine and dandy until I got a call to make an emergency card. I recently did a commission for a 'shoe' card (here).

Great idea, use the guillotine as a
storage shelf. Ah, another pair of
 scissors. You can never have too
 many pairs of scissors.
Someone else saw it and asked if I could make another one - first catch, it needed to be there for Thursday, so meant making and posting out on the same day.

Second catch - it was for a guy!!

I'm saying nothing.

Good job I've got another one
(guillotine I mean)
But this is what happens when I'm in a rush and my crazy takes over. So this is my workdesk this Wednesday. The thing I was working on before I got the call is buried. It will stay like this until Friday now, think I'll just shut the door.....

Why am I telling you this? Well, it's all down to Julia of Stamping Ground who hosts this weekly blog hop known as WOYWW. Hop over first to Julia's to read what's what and find out how to join in.  
Oh, here's the card:- 

Do you think he'll like it LOL? (I actually like it better than the original. And it took me half as long to make. Perhaps I do work better under pressure. Or to unusual briefs.(!?!))

P.S. February Art Draw is open.
Have you entered? If not, why not?
Go on, you know you want to!!HAPPY WOYWW.

Monday 6 February 2012

February Art Draw - it's Luvverly!!

If I do say so myself. Not often I'm tempted to keep my giveaways and fob you off with something else but am quite pleased with the way this turned out ...... but I'll stick to the original plan, especially as I already gave you a sneak preview before I went away.

My original inspiration came from two projects in February's Craft Stamper Magazine - 'Their Hearts Connected' by Louise Crosbie (AKA Zuzu) and 'A Splash of Paint' by Trish Latimer. The minute I saw them I knew I wanted to make something similar and get very painty and inky!! I had already decided to do something romantic with hearts using my canvases - it is February after all - and originally tried a red, and then a red and purple colourway (you may remember the red canvases from waaaaaay back).

Somehow it ended up too harsh looking so I softened it with gesso, some pink and added a touch of turquoise and I like it much better.

I really like using canvases 'backwards' for the possibilities they give as a kind of shadow box and I had two hanging about waiting for a project. The only trouble was they are quite small - about 7 x 10 cms - so finding teeny tiny things to go inside was a bit of a challenge. For the main message on the front which I wanted to be clear I stamped on to tissue first and then adhered with gel medium - I always find this works really well.

I did wonder at one point if I
had over mixed my metaphors so to speak as I seemed to have some funky paint effects going on and then went all vintage with a cherub and some tiny paper roses - but I decided  the colours held it all together.

And at last a use for one of those little corked bottles!! Bought them a year ago and they have been languishing in my stash ever since. Filled it with tiny silver stars as I couldn't find any tiny hearts in my stash.

Anyhow, enough of my waffling. If you would like to enter the Art Draw then leave a comment on this post before 9.00 pm on Saturday 25th February.

International players are very welcome. It always seems a bit cheeky to say this as I am not very good at any of this technical linking stuff but I would be very happy for you to link from your own blogs  - the more the merrier.
Finally, as I have been catching up in Blogland I have noticed there are a lot of challenges out there to do with Valentine's, hearts, romance..... there's definitely something in the air. So I'm linking this project to Snazzy's Design Team Blog Challenge # 1, Love/Romance. There are prizes!!! I've also linked in to the Link Party at Cindy Adkins' blog if you would like to join in as well. It also fits the theme for a new9ish) challenge blog  that I have come across - 'art with no boundaries'

Sunday 5 February 2012

January giveaway winner....

is Ann B of Anne's Stamp Pad. Anne is a new follower to my blog which is really nice (and gives all you regulars a break from getting more of my old tat LOL).  Ann, I have left you a message so I hope you get back to me soon.

I am also very grateful to all my new followers and have done my best to contact you about a RAK but I do need to remind you that err... I need an address to send it!! I think I've got in touch with everyone except for Becky Thwaite - for some reason Becky when I try to contact you from your profile Blogger will only let me sign up to become a member of my own site.  I'm not even going to try and work that one out! So Becky if you see this perhaps you'll contact me. That goes for anyone else who thinks they became a follower since 15th January to help me get over 150 but hasn't heard from me. I have done my best to find you all but blogger has a very inconsistent way of recording some of this stuff!!

Well I guess we need a picture, but as I have been having a short break in the Canaries there's nothing new crafty to show you. So here's what I was looking at Friday morning.....

and here's the view out of my window today. I know which one I prefer!! (But I did miss my craft room).
Have a good Sunday all, I am just putting the finishing touches to the February Art Draw so don't forget to check back this week.

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #788

  Morning deskers, welcome to our weekly Wednesday Blog Hop WOYWW which  is now being hosted at Sarah Brennan's blog. Here's the lin...