Friday, 26 February 2010

Butterfly ATCs and Embossed Letters

These  ATCs are for a Butterfly themed Asian swap I'm entering. The backgrounds are from spare card produced, after going mad blasting alcohol Inks with an air duster last week. Once I start playing with that I can't stop as it's such good fun and so I end up with a stash of lovely spare cards ready to use for projects. I cut out the butterflies and raised up just the tops of their wings with sticky pads.                                  My Tim Holtz book arrived today far quicker than expected along with all the art materials that were offered with it. Good service from QVC. I'm really pleased with the offer after an initial quick flip through it and will enjoy reading it fully. I love the Distress Stickles clear Rock Candy and I used it on the butterfly wings. Although it doesn't show up in the picture it gives a lovely subtle crystal glaze which I think I'll use often.
These letters will  spell the names of my three little grand daughters. I coloured them with embossing inks of various shades, carefully dropping and mixing small amounts of powder onto the heated letters, and love the finished effect. I haven't yet decided what to make from them. Maybe door names with each letter on a small tag. I just got carried away decorating them all.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Man Hanging About & Blog Award

Just had to share this photo. Today we went to Ormskirk, the little market town about 40 minutes away from home. We looked around the market and shops and enjoyed a great pub lunch and when we returned to our car I noticed this mural on the side of a house wall, adjacent to the bus station. 
Someone has a sense of humour and a set of long ladders!!!

I'm thrilled and honoured to receive this blog award from Amanda, a lovely crafter in South Africa. Thanks so much for selecting me! It was hard to answer the list of questions and some of them felt like a trip down memory lane. Some made me think how I am just not "up to the minute" but many made me realise just how important my family is to me. I'll be interested to read this again in the future and see if I change my mind about my choices! Here goes.........
This is the list of questions that comes with it:
Your cell phone? LG.  I only use it for photos and calls.
Your hair? Ash blonde, out of a bottle, but was originally blonde.
Your mother? Kind, helpful, Lily sadly left us in 1991
Your father? Sweet, generous, Bill sadly left us too early in 1969
Your favourite food ? Cinnamon Ice Cream and can only get it in Germany
Your dream last night? A craft idea just as I was drifting off and I made it today
Your favorite drink? If alcohol, Red wine. If non alcoholic, Yorkshire Brand Tea
Your dream/goal? To stay healthy and happy
What room are you in? The computer room/office or I couldn’t write this!
Your hobby? Stamping & Paper Crafting, Textiles, Knitting, Silversmithing etc., 
Your fear? Anything untoward happening to any of my family
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Nearer my far flung family
Where were you last night? Home
Something that you aren't? Tall or Mean 
Muffins? Keep them...Better treats available
Wish list item? Nothing I desperately need except to see my family babies more.
Where did you grow up? Liverpool
Last thing you did? Made a keepsake for my new grandee
What are you wearing? Black tracksuit bottoms, red jumper, 
Your TV? Love wildlife & travel programmes, cookery and historical dramas
Your Pets? Ziggy, Jack Russell 20, Miss Rogers Ginger cat 22 and Dunthorne Tabby Tom 22. all sadly gone and I miss them so much.
Friends? They know who they are and they are precious. A few really close and lots of good others.
Your life? Lucky, loved it and still loving it and living it to the full.
Your mood? Relaxed, happy, but wishing Winter would clear off once and for all
Missing someone? Always ..2 lovely daughters and their babes far away. 
Something you're not wearing? Any jewellery
Your favorite store? Anywhere I find treasures that I didn’t know I couldn’t live without until I see them!!! Usually craft shops.
Your favorite color? Any shades of Purple/Cerise, Turquoise/Jade 
When was the last time you laughed? Today at a video of a friend’s 2 year old relative trying to juggle. Hilarious!
Last time you cried? Two days ago when I got the news that my elder daughter safely had her 2nd baby girl. 
Your best friend? My husband
One place that you go to over and over? Brighton and Germany to see my family
Facebook? On it but rarely look at it, can’t be bothered.
Favorite place to eat? Waddington Arms, Clitheroe

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Baby "Rattle" Keepsake

I made this antique style baby rattle keepsake, instead of a baby card, for my new grand daughter, with the intention of popping it into a bunch of flowers when I visit my daughter and see the baby for the first time.
The idea popped into my head as I was dropping off to sleep last night, as do many of my crafting revelations.

It is made from circles of scrapbook pages, folded in half and glued back to back. It could easily be made from stamped art pages but I was being lazy today as I was given this paper recently and it was perfect for the project having interesting vintage images of children's toys.
 I embossed the edges quite roughly with gold UTEE, added a few embellishments, ribbons and tags to finish. The ball rattle top was glued to a wooden chopstick to which I also added specklings of gold UTEE to link it in visually.
Some of the lace was from my wedding veil from almost 44 years ago but it was white originally!! No! It didn't get THAT dirty....I simply sprayed the lace and the ribbons to tone in!.
A great advantage to this idea is that it can be folded flat for posting and it can also be made as a hanging ball. Good also to theme for other occasions.

Monday, 22 February 2010

NEC Stitches Show

Well, we made it to the NEC for the Craft & Creative Stitches show!! Yeh! The best bit is that, while we were there, I got the wonderful news of the new arrival to our family. All safe and well at 9lbs 5 oz, our new little grand daughter. It was the best of days!
Amazingly the snow cleared by lunch time yesterday so we decided to wizz down to the NEC, stay in the hotel we had booked, and attend the show today. I really thought that it wouldn't happen and my last post unintentionally fooled everyone so I received some lovely sympathy. Thanks so much, but there I was having fun and you didn't know it!!!
The "budget" priced hotel was amazing, black and white timbered with a grand oak winding staircase. Good food etc., (that's wine BTW) and we all enjoyed the overnight stay before today's visit to the show. Caz and her DH decided they would also stay over so we had good company too.
The show was far better than last year with more demonstrations, including those by Tim Holtz, Claudia Helmuth and Suze Weinberg. More make and takes which Caz and I enjoyed and so many interesting stands to visit for ideas and inspiration.
The highlight for me was the superb demonstration by Liz Welsh who is so expert at Friendly Plastic techniques and I am thrilled that I will be taking a full workshop with her later in the year. She spent so much time giving us ideas, hints and tips and made Caz and I beautiful pieces to keep.
I also enjoyed Fran Seiford's workshop  Painting with Powder which I know I will try again.

Down to earth now after a really colourful magic day.

Liz Welsh, some of her samples made today and the lovely brooch she generously gave to me.

Fran Seiford from USA demming her Painting with Powder Technique
Caz with the shoe cards we made on the Woodware stand. My effort at the front.   Tim Holtz made me a Grunge Paper Rose for my beret
Claudine demonstrated her sticky back canvas techniques
Suze Weinberg's UTEE dem

The bargain hotel, not bad eh? The Chase Coventry, about 15 mins from the NEC

Sunday, 21 February 2010

White out, wipe out!!

Boo hoo and sob sob! Winge and moan! Instead of being in Birmingham at the Craft & Stitch show I'm sitting here feeling sorry for myself and watching a blizzard through the window. We were up extra early to make a good start, only to find that heavy snow had fallen overnight. As I REALLY, really wanted to go it was hard to make a decision whether to go or not but DHs stomach isn't too good and the weather forecast down to Birmingham is bad, so that clinched it. 
I,... who doesn't have two 8 o'clocks in one day,... am not happy at getting up before 7am for nothing! 

Methinks I'll console myself with a day of crafting!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Cards with AI on Acetate

This afternoon I made these really vibrant cards using the acetate backgrounds which I produced last week when I was having a crazy time blitzing away with my air duster. I thought the acetate would look good layered over images, stamped in black on white card, so I'm showing a photo of the plain images to compare the change of look when the coloured acetate is laid over the top. They look very contemporary and quite wacky but I like them and will do more in the future with another theme. At the moment I cannot bring myself to use subtle colours, maybe it's after this dark cold Winter that bright colour is uplifting to me! This time I stamped images of glamourous women which I haven't used for ages.Three are from I Brake For Stamps and the face on the  pink card is from stampattack

 I'm soooo excited as tomorrow I will be going to Birmingham, to the Craft & Stitches Trade Show at the NEC, with my friend Caz from stampattack. Hopefully we'll see lots of new ideas and I know Suze Weinberg, Tim Holtz and Claudine Helmuth will be demonstrating the new Ranger products. Watch this space and I'll tell you all the goss when I'm back!!
I'm glad to be going somewhere so interesting as it will keep my mind off the impending birth of my 3rd grand daughter, who will be born in Brighton on Monday by Caesarean section. I'm longing to see and hold HER ( yes we know!) but let's get the serious bit over first. Seems so odd to me to know the date and sex of the baby and they even make a fairly accurate estimate of the weight these days. Just please let her arrive safe and healthy is all I ask.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Birthday Card & kusadama tutorial link

I made the pop out birthday card for a very special friend, Jayne, who's birthday was Valentine's Day. It's a bit of fun and suits Jayne's bubbly personality.

Today, I've been playing around quite happily, after browsing a great origami site which has really easy to follow tutorials. The flowers are intended to make into a ball but as yet I have only made three from the pages of an old dictionary. 

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Day with Suze Weinberg at CraftRange

Caz, Jo & Jayne with wax collage panels

What a magic day I had yesterday at CraftRange in Burnley! On Monday, (thanks to my lovely kind, helpful, friend Jayne, making a call to the shop) I was so lucky to get a place on Suze Weinberg's meltpot workshop. I sneaked in to surprise my good friend Caz who didn't know I'd be there.
 We were welcomed at this fab craft store with tea and fresh toast and all day the staff were so attentive, friendly and helpful. Congratulations to Debbie and Janet and her team for such a wonderful level of customer service.

Besides being a superb crafting opportunity we had the pick of their cafe menu for lunch and and the pick of any of their amazing homemade cakes for afterwards. We were so stuffed after the lovely main course that we saved the cakes for afternoon tea! All day long we were joking with a male member of staff about his ardent service getting us clean cups and helping generally that we were calling him "chef" and pulling his leg, only to discover at the end of the day that it was "El Primo", the Boss, the OWNER of the 
store, Michael Toms!!! 

My Wax Collage

Below are the collage successes  by Lynne, Paula, Jayne and Caz

Check out Suze's blog where she has posted her great photos of the day and I feel so proud to be a part of it.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Snowdrops Croxteth Hall

Today with some welcome sunshine we walked in the grounds of nearby Croxteth Hall, (side aspect pictured above) and we were surprised to find some snow around. It must have fallen overnight and melted near home but not in the exposed areas of the park. My idea was to visit the field of snowdrops but as they aren't yet at their best we'll have to pay another visit next week. A few dared to open their petals but most are still tightly closed... I think they saw the snow and didn't like it! I was fascinated to see some amazing fungi in texured ripples and layers on a huge log.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Using (not losing) my Marbles!

Returning to my session playing with marbles I'm adding pics to show some results for this fun background method, a few hints and tips and cards I made. The cards have an inner flap which folds behind the front when closed. 

Lay a sheet of A4 card in a shoe box lid (I didn't even bother lining it with foil as some people advise.) 
Pop marbles into a small plastic pot (I used 5 marbles.. one works but takes longer) 
Add  a couple of drops of a stamp pad re inker colour. (I tried a few different inks and they all worked well) 

Swirl the marbles round in the pot to coat them with ink then roll them onto the A4 card in the shoe box lid.
Quickly roll the marbles round all over the card in the lid in different directions. If necessary re ink them.
It's best to re ink a few times than to add too much ink initially.

Wash and dry the marbles and the pot before changing to a different colour.
One, two or three colours looks good but any more colours gets too complex.
Distress Inks and Color Box inks work well on normal card. 
Alcohol inks are effective but need to be on glossy card and, when using alcohol inks, work speedily or they will evaporate before the colour is applied to the card. 
The pic with the marbles shows that even one colour looks effective. The bottom pic used 3 colours of alcohol inks.

Today I was jamming... not  Bob Marley style but making more blackcurrant jam from the fruit DH and I picked last Autumn. Fluffy will be very happy and I promise to save at least a jar for her!!! I froze so much of it, made some pies and compotes but the jam proved so popular and delicious that it has gone so quickly. Had to make more from the frozen fruit so now I've freed up some freezer space it will be easier to find stuff in there. It makes me content to see the results in my store cuboard.