Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Another Year Over .....

I don't make resolutions at New Year, nor do I dwell on the past year.  We can't change what's happened but we can influence what might happen.
For me that means another change of career.  To what, I've not yet decided but I'll keep you posted about that one in the next couple of months.  I hope that whatever I do I can blog more frequently than I have managed to this past year.
In the meantime friends, I wish you all
And a huge thank you to those who have continued to pop over and leave the odd comment. 

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Wishing You All ...

A Very Merry Christmas
I hope you all have a wonderful time.  For me Christmas is about family and tradition and this year Louise and I have started a new tradition.  Making a gingerbread house. 
 Louise bought the cutters and we set to, making the most delicious gingerbread and then assembling our house and decorating it.  We had great fun icing and sticking on chocolate buttons, jelly beans and dolly mixtures.  Needless to say, there isn't very much left.   Demolition is as good as building!!


Monday, 1 December 2014

A Festive Noel

It's the 1st of December which means, amongst other things, a new challenge month at ALTERED ECLECTICS where the theme is Anything Goes but no cards please.  We are an altered art challenge only.
My DT piece is of course, a Christmas decoration, using these 10 cm high brown, papier mache letters which I bought ages ago,  ready to adorn and alter for the festive season.
First I gave them two coats of DecoArt crafter's acrylic paint in antique white then stamped them using DI Festive Berries and a Crafty Individuals' script stamp.

Using Imagination Crafts Sparkle Medium texture paste and a Sweet Poppy stencil, I randomly added the swirls over different parts of the letters.  When this was dry I used a dry wet wipe to smear more of the paste over some of the un-stencilled areas and also added some smears of Stickles Red Xmas sparkle.
I deliberately allowed some of the stencilling to 'hang' over the edge of the letters in some places to add more interest.

My intention was originally to add some small Christmas charms but I liked the way they looked at this stage so, unusually for me, I left well alone, simply hot gluing the letters together to make the word.


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

JYC Thanks for the Memories

Recording all those memories of people, places and events is so important and with Christmas traditionally the time for catching up with folk,  it's the ideal celebration to capture and place in your scrapbook album.

With that in mind I've just made my album for this year's 'Journal Your Christmas' class with SHIMELLE LAINE 
Last year was so hectic at work that I just managed to keep up with daily prompts for JYC so this year I've down-sized the album and made a 7" x 5" one using my Bind-it-All. The album has acrylic covers and the first page is decorated with the tag I entered into a recent blog challenge.
I used a large O wire binding because I know from past experience that I try to cram so many embellishments on a page, the album is fit to burst by the time I'm finished.
 This will be my 5th year of documenting the festive season from 1st December to Boxing Day or beyond if you prefer.  Every year, just before Christmas,  we look through the previous albums and it's amazing how many memories come flooding back - good and not so good.  The small details that you forget but that make a real family Christmas or an event special are recorded in the album, with names, dates, venues and some wonderful photographs. 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Christmas is Coming .. . Very Quickly !!

Yes it's on its way and whilst I've been snowed under with work again, I managed to raise my head long enough to make this tag for FASHIONABLE STAMPING CHALLENGES current theme of 
 'A Christmas Tag'.
I die cut the tag from white card using Cricut cartridge Tags, Bags, Boxes and more then inked all over with DI Festive Berries.  The focal image is from Crafty Individuals', heat embossed using Blonde Moments Bronze Lustre embossing powder to give a faded, vintage feel.  The hanging stars are one of the free stamps from Craft Stamper magazine heat embossed in silver. 
A dot of sparkle here and there courtesy of Stickles in Icicle and, appropriately, Xmas Red gives it a warm glow.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Vintage Christmas

Sometime ago I bought a couple of small, metal craft coat hangers to make some wall hangings with and knew when I saw them that Christmas would be a great time to use them.  Add to that some recently acquired hessian and my Vintage Christmas decoration took life.
These are the elements I originally planned to use.  The rosette was from a jam jar and I had intended to cut a circle to fit in the middle onto which I would stamp the focal image.  However as crafters know, most pieces evolve with changes being  made along the way and in the end I decided to use a small piece of card which I had already inked with DI Brushed Corduroy and Vintage Photo.  I changed my mind about the ribbon
After cutting the hessian to the length I wanted, I folded the top edge over the coat hanger and glued the top to the underneath layer, using a heavy book to hold it place.  On top of that I glued some cream lace and added another piece at the bottom.  To make sure these were secure I hand-stitched along the edge of the lace using red embroidery thread.
All the stamps are from Crafty Individuals, using DI Vintage Photo for the main image and DI Festive Berries for the sentiments.
The seasonal berries in the corner were taken from a larger decorative piece and tied in place with a piece of butcher's twine; the stem being tucked behind the lace. 
I'm entering this into the CRAFT-ROOM CHALLENGE - A Vintage Christmas

Saturday, 1 November 2014

It's the 1st of November Already

And that means another 'Anything Goes' Challenge at ALTERED ECLECTICS.  This is an altered art only challenge, no cards etc. but we would love to see anything altered.
For my DT project this month, I've altered a couple of perfume boxes to look like a set of mini drawers. 

 This is how they started life and you might recognise them as being from the Liz Earle Botanical Essences collection. 
 I love  Botanical Essence No. 1 and am on my third bottle.  These little boxes are really sturdy and have a little drawer with a ribbon pull, just like a handle!!  So there was the inspiration: To alter two of these and stick them together to make a drawer unit.
I started by painting both the outside boxes and the drawers with white craft acrylic paint.  When dry I used DI  Pumice Stone to stamp a Crafty Individuals' script stamp at different angles across the outside boxes and the drawer fronts.
  I left this overnight to dry and then used DI Seedless Preserve, Dusty Concord and Tattered Rose to stamp the small hearts and cherry blossom stamps.  The blossom is from a Kanban Chinese stamp set. I also stamped the ends of the outside boxes. 
I used a hot glue gun to stick the drawers together, then finished with some ready-made resin roses and the white Martha Stewart clay rose which I made. 
I hope I've inspired you to join us at Altered Eclectics.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Getting Ready for Christmas

Wow, I can't believe it I've actually started earlier than usual in getting my Christmas cards and decorative bags made this year.  If I paint my cards I make them all the same but otherwise I like to make them all very different.  Here's my snowflake card which is devoid of ribbons and fabric but I've added texture with dry embossing.
I started by inking the plain white card blank with Distress Ink in Broken China, then used a large music score stamp and DI Pumice Stone to randomly stamp over the card. Here are all the individual elements before assembly.
Next I tore a square of white watercolour paper and ran it through the Cuttlebug using a snowflake embossing folder.  I gently swiped over the top with a piece of Cut-n-Dry foam and the Broken China to highlight the snowflakes. 
 Both sentiments, the focal one from Crafty Individuals' and the
'Merry Christmas' sentiment which was free with Craft Stamper magazine are stamped using blue StazOn onto pale blue pearlescent card. The large snowflake was heat embossed onto acetate.
I'm entering this into the following challenges:
CRAFT-ROOM - Make your own background

Sunday, 5 October 2014

You Can't Throw That Away !!

No I certainly couldn't.  A beautiful bottle of Belvedere Polish Vodka that has a frosted finish with white branches and a black building that look as though they've been heat embossed onto the glass.  Unfortunately, yet again in my enthusiasm, I forgot to photograph the bottle before I started.

I began by cutting a strip of white card to fit round the bottom of the bottle to hide the manufacturer's marks but still allow the building to be visible.  I repeat stamped this with an Inkylicious Twig stamp and heat embossed these in black.  I also pushed some shimmering pinky-copper organza material down into the bottom so the markings weren't visible through the glass.
I topped this with a piece of silver mirror card, edged with black ribbon and added the gold sticker.  Another piece of silver mirror card edged with ribbon made a bottle neck cover and the bottle top was covered with a black doily.
The image is from a Flonzcraft Art Deco Ladies silhouette stamp set, using black StazOn.  The sentiment is from a Crafty Individuals' Christmas calligraphy stamp and reads 'All around us were tiny frozen glistening hexagons of snow'.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

New Challenge Month at Altered Eclectics

Here we go with another 'Anything Goes' challenge over at ALTERED ECLECTICS.  This is an altered art challenge only so no cards, scrapbooking or ATCS please.  We would love to see your altered art projects so pop over and have a look at the other fantastic DT pieces for inspiration. 
For my DT piece I altered another papier mache frame. 

Like the last papier mache frame I posted, I forgot to take a picture but it was the usual brown colour and I painted it with black craft acrylic paint.  I then took some white tissue paper and stamped randomly over it with DI Dusty Concord and a swirl stamp. 
When the frame was dry I covered it with diluted PVA glue and stuck the stamped tissue over the entire frame, deliberately creating creases as I pushed the tissue into all the corners. 
Once the tissue paper was dry, I lightly rubbed over the top with Viva Precious Metal Colour in silver and then added some smears of Frantage Aged Gold Embossing enamel.
For the central image I cut two pieces of very thick chipboard.  The larger piece was heat embossed with black embossing powder and a little of the Frantage and some silver embossing powder. 
The smaller piece of card was sprayed with silver paint and the Penny Farthing which is from a Flonzcraft stamp was heat embossed in black. 


Sunday, 28 September 2014

A Wise Old Owl

This is a lovely stamp, not one I would've bought myself but one I certainly enjoy using.  As soon as I saw the current challenge 'Forest Friends' (ending tomorrow) over at CRAFT-ROOM , I knew this would be perfect. 
Using Distress Inks for all the stamping, I started by stamping the kraft card with an Inkylicious twig stamp in  Brushed Corduroy and Spiced Marmalade.
I used a thick piece of cream card for the topper, inked with Brushed Corduroy and the owl stamped in Vintage Photo.  The feathers, free from Craft Stamper Magazine, were stamped in Vintage Photo onto cream card inked with Brushed Corduroy. 
Some raffia and the Woodware sentiment stamped in Black Soot finished off the card.