Wednesday, 27 April 2011

WOYWW & Foxy Visitor!

I've been so much more creative this week since I decided to cancel all my future commitments that I could cancel without letting anyone down. It was hard to say "No" but now I can do as I wish with no worries, no deadlines and can just indulge in my own crafty pleasures. I feel far more like crafting. My apologies to those I have cancelled but I hope you'll understand that sometimes it is just necessary to take stock and cut back.

Not many strawberries to be seen today as I've taken quite a close up shot of my desk  to divulge to the world for this week's WOYWW. If you are a serial snooper then you'll find lots more to spy on over at Julia's Stamping Ground blog every Wednesday.
I've been to Primani (aka Primark) again and you can see the  faux ivory rose bracelet I paid a couple of quid for and I'm playing around painting them with Alcohol Inks. They would make great knobs/handles for boxes, don't you think? At the side there is a necklace dripping with fabulous charms just waiting to be pulled apart to use on altered art. 
There's a project in hand using TH dress form die cuts... I'm loving this but you'll have to wait to see it!
This closer view below shows what a great mix is on the necklace for just £3. 
Our Foxy Visitor!
The Apple tree is in all it's glory and the garden's looking good...... but......

In all the 35 years we have lived here in the this urban environment we have never ever had such a visitor to our garden as this....
It looked a bit mangy poor thing but whilst I feel sorry for it, I'd rather not have it around. Don't leave your fleas here Foxy and no more open doors to the garden in the warm weather whilst it lurks around here!
DH rapped on the window to chase it and it just sat staring at us so I went for my camera and it was still waiting for it's photo shoot when I returned! My neighbour told me that it lay sunning itself on her back lawn for half an hour.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Smooching About!

I've been playing around experimenting with Smooch Pearlescent Accents as quite a few people mentioned that they had never heard of these fab paints and others had bought them but didn't know what to do with them. 
Smooch Paints are made by Clearsnap, (who are better known for Color Box ink pads) and are available in 33  "to die" for colours. They come in bottles which look just like nail polish and are useful just to paint on a variety of surfaces and they will layer really well.
Here's a card I made from one of my marbled pieces of card. BTW that's not dust but the excess crystal glitter which came off the flowers!!! So don't be talking about me!!
This is the original card I marbled then I stamped a few swirls over it in similar colours.
Before starting to use Smooches they need to be shaken really well and to help keep the pearlescent effect, whilst in use, I stand them upside down in a block of Oasis flower arranging foam which is wrapped in paper because I don't like the feel of it.
Just a note; I tried my friend Jayne's Silkies paints and whilst they are beautiful pearlescent colours they did not marble on water at all as the paint sinks to the bottom of the dish.
 I originally tried Smooches at a workshop at CHA in America and loved them but found difficulty finding them in England. The Craft Barn is one of the few places stocking Smooches and the price is good too!
You'll see more of my mini book if you look back to my Feb 15th post.
Marbling with Smooches
Use 2 or 3 selected colours and dip each brush into, just, below the surface of a container of water. (Pre cut your card so a smaller dish can be used to fit the card, thus saving on paint.) 

The colour will radiate by skooting across the water into an ever increasing circle or swirl of colour. 

Change the water frequently, after 2 or 3 cards marbled.

TIP: Sometimes the colours cannot be easily seen on the surface of the water so use a light coloured container or place a piece of heavy card in the base of the water container as a contrast. 
Plastic mushroom trays are ideal to use for your water.

After dipping the brush, of one colour, several times into the water, repeat the process with 1 or 2 more colours. These can be dipped into the centre of the other coloured circles or around them..... just experiment for different results. Colours of the Smooch paints react differently, some stay in circles and some spread all over the place so it really is trial and error.

Here you'll see the purple spread into a swirl whilst the yellow formed almost perfect circles of colour.
When enough colour has been added, swirl the tip of the brush gently over the surface to disperse the paints and create a marbled effect. 
The less you swirl the less complex the finished marbling will look.
Lay card on top of the marbled paints just for a second or two to pick up the colour.
You will create lovely marbled background effects just like these.
Below.... only 2 colours were used.
Below, the blue paint stayed in small dots so I gently swept the brush through to create quirky heart shapes.
The pink and green paints stayed in circle shapes
I hope you have fun if you try this but if you have any queries, or even tips for me, just email me. 
Just a memory......
I spotted some Dicentra in the garden and it reminded me that when my DDs were little we used to call them "Lady in a bath tub" so I just had to pick a couple of flowers and look at the ladies! Memories! Anyone else ever do this?
If you pull the pink petals apart, there she is in all her glory!
Thanks to Sam who reminded me that they are also called Bleeding Hearts, inspired by the drop coming out of the heart shape as they hang.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Happy Easter

Every Day is a holiday, now we're retired, but to those who get time off work public holidays have so much more value. Time to rest, time to catch up with family and friends or time to go places. We can do this any day now so why do I never have time?
Whatever you are doing, have a Happy Easter!
I set up a live feed yesterday and it has proved so interesting locating all the welcome people who have kindly popped into my blog. 
This morning, someone from Botosani visited, so I had to look up where on this Earth Botosani is to be found... thought it might be Africa, well it sounded African...but it's Romania ...
so Hello Romania!!! Thanks for visiting.
They looked at my Easter post from last year and thus reminded me of these Card Eggs I made and my other Easter decorations, so I'm cheating and posting the pics again as my Easter Greeting. 
The egg decorations are very simply made from decorated card ovals, stitched together, then opened out.
The decorated cones hold mini eggs and a marbled egg is popped on top!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

WOYWW 98 & Baxter Bear

Woosh and wizz, brrrrrr and plop... that's a week going by!... and here we are with another WOYWW, the day so many crafters admit to the triumphs and failings of their workdesks. All inspired by our amazing muse, Mrs Dunnit... aka our Julia of Stamping Ground blog who leads us astray into the path of exposing our weaknesses. Join in or just call in to see the mayhem but in the meanwhile here's mine.....
I'm in the process of making a 4th birthday card for my oldest grandee to be ready for May. The new stamps I bought last week at Crafty Carole's in Oswaldtwistle Mills for the amazing price of 8 block mounted stamps for £5... yes! £1 each or amazingly 8 for £5!! Yeah! a bargain, just up my street.
Below, at the back, you'll see there are some bigger Asian block mounted stamps amongst my bargain stash. 
I'm using Smooshes to colour the images and I like the way they work. The desk is reasonably tidy by my standards of just how many strawberries are still on view! Well I did tidy a bit of space ready for Carole's (of Stampattack) visit tomorrow when we'll play and plan just what we are doing and demming for the Port Sunlight Show in May and we'll make some samples from our new stamps. 
You can just see the two little Sleepy Heads in the quilted bed above which is the ATC size of my new design for Stampattack.
The roses are a gift from my lovely friend and neighbour, Margaret, as a kind gesture in return for making her an outfit to attend a mock up of a Kate & Wills wedding. She has a good sense of fun so we rigged her out as a Lucky Sweep! Don't know about other countries but, it is an old English tradition for a chimney sweep to attend weddings, give the couple a horseshoe for luck and also to kiss the bride. 
My hot glue gun helped make a great sweep's brush from a cane and the fibres of an old wicker blind. She has a row of bottle top " war medals" on ribbons and I made a top hat with a tiny bird nesting in it and she'll have a sooty face! 
I'm hoping for a photo tomorrow.
I've been busy again  making more hats for the little one in Germany and even for Baxter Bear... with slots for his ears! 
This is the, well loved, original Baxter who really is jaded now, as you can see, but we are so lucky to have his dopelganger ready to stand in. 
A well earned rest for a dear friend!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Padgate Crafty Collective

Stop Press... my friend has just told me that the Birchwood QVC outlet shop near Warrington, has several Vagabonds in stock for £113 ....  less 25% discount so that's down to approx £85 !!!(and pensioners get an extra 15% discount Mondays only) They'll go quickly so go now and grab a granny for the extra discount!
What a bargain for anyone in travelling distance... but guess who purchased one full price only last week....yup! little ole MOI !!! UGH!

Another wonderful fun, therapeutic, happy Sunday was enjoyed by about 25 crafters at Padgate Community Centre (near Warrington). We missed a few of our regulars, especially Neet who is in hospital. Hope she gets well soon and makes it next time. Welcome to the new people who joined us and I hope they all come again.
 As usual there was such a variety of craft skills going on............
This is a great technique using masking tape, shown to us by Lynne at an earlier meeting, and Sharon and Carmel decided to have another go with excellent results. 
We meet every month and do just whatever crafts we want and whilst there are no formal tutors we often share skills, as Lynne did here.
Enid finished off her fabulous art doll
Beautiful beadwork from Olive's friend... Sorry I have forgotten her name but will add it soon.
 The bracelet on the bottom will be MINE when it's completed by Mo. The beads are the most gorgeous iridescent purple and I fell in love with it.
Tiny exquisite flowers made by Mandy
Pretty bouquet by Grandma (who's really called Vera)
 A new member Hazel and her teenage daughter Ellie joined us with a basket of monkey parts.... Hazel made great sock monkeys and Ellie painted a Manga character on a canvas bag.
Gill and Josie made some lovely cards with some fab techniques and backgrounds.
 Lorraine perfecting her excellent Promarker skills
 Vix and her friend Sarah joined us for the first time and made fabulous cards.
Tracey had her first but perfectly stunning attempt at Pergamano Parchment craft.
 Olive is mad on skulls and these three will end up on a fascinator as Olive is now developing her millinery skills.
 Jen's arty shopping bag before it's painted.
Jayne, aka DIZZY, painted an apron with lots of bling... here it is half completed.
I started painting and stamping a series of aprons ready for gifts... 
I also started making this beaded safety pin bracelet but I think my beads are too big. Mo started her's with seed beads which allow the pins to lie closer to each other but I found the seed beads too fiddly.
I apologise that I can't find the original site to give credit for this bracelet idea.

We had a yummy lunch, made by Jayne and helped by Mandy, of baked potatoes with a choice of fillings, and continuous tea, coffee, cakes, chockies and bickies. Lots of nattering and laughs too, but we really did miss our lovely Neet who had to go and get herself into Hotel Hospital. Her ears must have been burning as she was talked about so once again...get well Neet!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

WOYWW & Loads a Rubber!

I was so excited to receive all this new rubber in the post from Carol of Stampattack including some of the new images I have drawn for her. See the full range of new images HERE! 
Mounting and cutting rubber isn't my favourite job so I decamped to the living room to get it done whilst watching TV. 
A good tip, I think I've mentioned before, is to cut out and stick the UMs on the Kling On or Easy Mount, whatever you use, then dust with talc before trimming off the sticky mount. (Cut off the unused mount first to save.) It makes it so much easier and the scissors don't gunge up. 
WOYWW is a great global opportunity to spy on millions, well over 100, creative desks and see all that is going on creatively and messily or sometimes even tidily!  The evidence is instigated by our dearly beloved Julia of Stamping Ground so pop over for more!
Looks a mess but it works!
 Here's my first quick trial card using my new Sleepy Heads UM with 2 little girls in bed all snuggled up under a quilt.
 I've passed on the tip ages ago to use hand sanitiser sprays, once empty, to fill with and spritz Cosmic Shimmers or Glimmer Mists etc. I just had to mention it once again as my friend Jayne spotted these sprays in Home Bargain household stores for around 35p for 3 in a packet. What a bargain! I'm going to decant the contents into a bigger spray for use around the house so I won't have to wait to use them up.
Still knitting and doing crochet in the car (as a passenger silly, you didn't really think.. .you couldn't possibly.. .oh really, never mind!!!!) and this is the latest open mesh Summer weight hat with a butterfly.