Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Late again - July's Calendar Challenge

Oh dear, story of my life, late again...  And I even started this 2 weeks ago!  So, it's Kate's monthly calendar challenge, for July, and I have gone with flowers.  For summer.

My base colours are unusual for me, taupe and yellow. Not quite sure where that idea came from.  As I say done a couple of weeks ago, and allowed to dry (well!).  As seems to be usual, I added in some iridescent white to the lovely Paper Artsy paints, to give me some bling, all over the top of CLEAR gesso this time.  Not sure about this.  It saved me embarrassment (see last month's post!), but the type I had dried quite quickly.  It meant the colours of paint stayed truer, but...

Then, because I was late, and also because I felt like doing something freehand, I got out my Pitt pens.  They work beautifully on top of acrylics.  Fairly random 'squares', but it looked a bit bland.  So I added in some of the 'known knowns' in terms of dates, and yippee!!  JOFY at the end of the month...so out came the JOFY stamps.  A bit of colouring (with the tongue hanging out of the corner of my mouth, of course) and it all looked a little better.

(When the lovely Mr Skinner bring some more (rubber) stamps out, I shall, of course, use them...and the antiquing cream...ahem!).

Hope you like!


Paint and Ink
Archival Ink: Fern Green
PaperArtsy Fresco finish: Mud Splat, Haystack
Winsor and Newton: Iridescent white; clear gesso
Pitt pens: Various colours

PaperArtsy, JOFY stamps: JM34 (flowers) JM35 (bay tree)

Bling and other stuff
Hmmmm, only the iridescent paint above!  Poor showing, Mooffie!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Kathryn Wheel - Calendar Challenge June

Yes, late again...ah well.  This month (since I have started a new job, really) I have felt like I am chasing my tail, so I went with an Alice in Wonderland theme, mostly

'I'm late, I'm late for a very important date, no time to say 'Hello' - 'Goodbye'....'  Here are my two pages:

On Kate's last session at the Stamp Attic she made a comment along the lines of 'you don't have to start with gesso on your page, but if you don't, it's a bit like going out without your knickers.  It'll probably be OK, but you just don't know...'  So I started with gesso. In honour of flaming June, I went with a yellow and blue theme.  I dragged a hotel key card through some black paint too, just for a contrast.

When it was dry, I used a clock face mask, and a selection of Alice related stamps.

I die cut loads of pocket watches from card, and randomly stamped more of the Alice stamps on them.

Stuck them all down, and hey presto!

Hope you like


Ink and Paint
Liquitex basics: Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow, Black
Winsor & Newton: Iridescent white
Distress Ink: Squeezed lemonade, Mustard Seed, Salty Ocean, Stormy Sky, Mowed Lawn
Archival: Cobalt

TJ Design: Wonderland Silhouettes
Deep Red: Mat Hatter Tea Party

Bling and other stuff
Pebeo Gesso
Tim Holtz Collection Layering Stencil: Clockwork
Tim Holtz Alterations Movers and Shapers: Mini Clock Key & Pocket Watch

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Craft Barn Q&L - Mountain

I guess most of us have songs that bring to mind specific events.  I can remember EXACTLY where I was when I first heard The Joshua Tree - in the bath in my boyfriend's flat in Yeovil!  The perfection of Bono's voice and the soaring music made me come running into the lounge, dripping everywhere!  March 1987.  It's still one of my favourite albums, and when I saw 'Mountain' was one of the words, I knew the song I would be choosing for this Craft Barn Challenge (which I am only making by the skin of my teeth!).  I saw U2 at Wembley, in August '93, the night Salman Rushdie came on stage.  Possibly not the best gig I have ever been to, but that doesn't change how much I love The Joshua Tree.  Hearing this song took me right back to Yeovil, and that flat.


So, as usual, I started with my Centura Pearl card, A3.  I created the mountains by scraping grunge paste and texture sand over a mask torn from card.  Whilst searching for those, I also found some texture glass, unopened.  Hmm....  Oh yes!  It has that distinctive ammonia smell, but once you get past that, it's lovely!  When dry it allows movement of paint nicely.  So I set that aside to dry - for about 2 hours!!  I spread it on quite thick.  This will be used through stencils more in the future, methinks.
The lyrics have been stamped onto card that has been coloured using Distress Inks, mixed with interference red Perfect Pearls spray.  Had to be bling somewhere!  Having stamped the words, I tore them out and edged each with more DI.
Paint - lots of colours, mainly PaperArtsy Fresco Finish, but with some added iridescent white, to give the mountain tops a bit of a shimmer. Plenty of dry brushing.
When I had assembled it, I added a frame using film edge stamps, which gives it closure - unlike my love of that song, and that album.
Hope you like!
Paint and Ink
PaperArtsy Fresco finish: Snowflake, Pea Coat, South Pacific, Hyde Park, Guacamole, Limelight, Mudsplat, Seaweed  (said there was a lot!!)
Winsor & Newton: Iridescent White
Distress ink: Tea Dye, Tumbled Glass, Wild Honey, Iced Spruce
Archival Ink: Jet Black, Potting Soil
Brilliance: Pearlescent Ivy
KaiserCraft: Cursive Script Alphabet, Film Edges
Bling and Other Stuff
PaperArtsy: Grunge Paste
DecoArt: Texture Sand, Texture Glass
Perfect Pearls Mist: Interference Red

Monday, 26 May 2014

Q&L - Music - Tiny Dancer

Hi all.  Time for the fortnightly quotes and lyrics challenge from the Craft Barn again.  This time it is Passion and Music - oh yes.  So, sticking to my 'I must have seen them live' criteria, I went for Tiny Dancer, by Elton John.  I think Madman Across the Water was the first album of his I bought, and I remember dancing round my bedroom to Tiny Dancer (and Indian Sunset... what a song, what an EPIC song...), I dreamt of marrying a music man...  That went well - NOT!  Anyway...

Blue Jean baby, LA Lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, Pirate smile, you'll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
Hold me closer Tiny Dancer
Count the headlights on the highway...

The Madman cover is embroidered denim, so I wanted to start with blue.  As I have been on a Kate Crane weekend (another one, at The Stamp Attic), and Kate does love a good colour wheel, I went with green. It had to be Dylusions!  I added a little Radiant Rain, for bling.
Dylusions reacts with water, so I used a mask or two and dabbed through it, with water, and with distress inks - that was a good effect!
Picking up on the seamstress idea, I used his Holtzness' blueprint stamps top and bottom, and reverted to handwriting (I must restart the calligraphy classes) the lyric.
Finally I added a couple of embellishments, a dress form, and some rain drops to act as headlights.  I love the way the glue soaks up the dylusions.
All in all, I'm pleased with it, so I hope you like!
Paint and Ink
Dylusions: White linen, After Midnight, London Blue, Polished Jade, Black Marble
Radiant Rain: Pearl Blue
Distress Ink: Black Soot, Stormy Sky
Archival Ink: Jet Black
Stampers Anonymous: Mini Blueprints CMS150
Bling and other stuff
Tando Creative Mask: Music
That Special Touch Mask: Piano Keys
Studio 490/Blossom Bucket: Mannequin
Prima: Raindrops
Robins Nest Dewdrops: Fairy dust
Crafty Notions: Stellar Flash

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Eye of the Tiger?

No, not another music page, but some jewellery I made, this time for myself.  I love Tiger's eye, mainly because I remember my mum wearing the most preposterous cocktail ring, which she got out in the Gulf.  Unfortunately, when I got burgled a few years back, this was one of the things that disappeared.  Completely irreplaceable, but I can use the same stone and give a little smile to myself...

Anyway...  Because I NEED to have my glasses on a chain ('on and off more often than a whore's drawers', as my mum used to say..) necklaces don't really feature, but glasses chains do! This is where I started, combining organza ribbon, suede and rose gold findings with a couple of red tiger's eye beads.

Then I moved to the bracelet, same components, but with rose gold chain too.

The earrings use the rose gold findings with tiger's eye beads.

Finally, the brooch - lots and LOTS of tiger's eyes, mounted on copper coloured wire, with some wire coiled on the gizmo, and included within the design.  Thanks to Louise Jacobsen for the idea, from her wirework course at Jewellery Maker last week.  She used this for a ring, but it works brilliantly for a brooch.

Q&L: Fame - Life's been good

Hi there!  The challenge this fortnight was Unique and/or Fame.  I was struggling, then the good old iPod did it again...  Life's been Good by the Eagles (or Joe Walsh), and yes, I have seen them a couple of times!  I'll be able to stick all my old ticket stubs into the book at the end of this!  So here is the verse:

It's a difficult one to illustrate, this, so I didn't!  I went for abstract.

My A3 substrate this time was watercolour paper.  Because I wanted to move the acrylic about on the paper, I gave it a coating of Matt Medium (which I managed to squirt all over my trousers, my T-shirt, the floor, before I got it on the paper...), and then used the Eclectica limited edition Paper Artsy paints in blocks, with a smidge of Nougat, for graduation. 

My Kate Crane/Kathryn Wheel stamps turned up yesterday, so I used two half circles on the lower edge, and outlined them in white. 

In keeping with the fame theme, I stamped stars in metallic Brilliance around the edge, leaving a gap for the words.

Added the words, and details of the song/band, and hey presto!

Hope you like!


Winsor and Newton Cotman Water colour paper

Paint and Ink
PaperArtsy: Tikka, Chartreuse, Chutney, Nougat
Distress Ink: Black Soot
Brilliance: Mineral

Hero Arts: Life of the Party Stars

Bling and other stuff
Edding 751 creative: White Marker
Pitt Calligraphy pens: Black
Winsor and Newton: Acrylic Matt Medium

Thursday, 8 May 2014

First Jewellery Commission!!

The other week my sister sent me some beads, and said 'make me a bracelet and earrings with these'...OK.  Chums on FB seemed to like them, and so I got a commission, 'something like that, but really dark purple'...  Hmm.  So, trawled through a few bead shops (now, THERE was a hardship) and used a couple of techniques from Louise's wire-working class at Jewellery Maker last week, and came up with...  (the flash wasn't right... better piccies below...)

The bangle on Memory wire is agate beads - big ones - with flash silver spacer beads.

The link bracelet, with matching earrings, was a bit more interesting.  I made the enhanced figure 8 links from silver plated wire, and attached 'charms' to them.

I used head pins and eye pins to hold the beads, which are a mix of onyx, tourmaline, and agate.

The clasp is also silver flash.

Matching earrings with tourmaline and agate, on 925 silver shepherds crooks.

One small matchbox made with a Sizzix die, and 3 gems...Voila!  My first commission - one happy customer, and maybe the start of actually USING and selling what I buy, rather than stroking it!!

Hope you like!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Swarovski bracelets

I have to say, I have another addiction forming....  Swarovski crystal kits... oh dear...

It all started fairly innocently with a simple magatama bead bracelet kit

...and before I knew it I was trying a ring kit

then I tried a Catherine Wheel necklace, this time with some right angle threading

Then a flat rope bracelet using the Swarovski crystals, and another, this time with some amazing Jet AB magatama...


I'm not sure that vodka is any less dangerous...

With thanks to Shiney Rocks - they are WAY too local....!!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Q&L - Knowledge - Two Roads by Chris Rea

This fortnight's challenge from the Craft Barn was Knowledge and/or Hurt.  Took me a bit of a while to find a song from someone I have seen live, that I wanted to do... then I came across Two Roads by Chris Rea, and I have no idea why I didn't think of it straight away!  This was on the 'On the Beach' album (yes vinyl...) and I saw Chris live probably 5 times during 86/87.  I even got his signature on one of my programmes... Oh yes, I started my stalking career many years ago!

So, Two Roads, and the lyric goes like this:
Ain't it funny how you never can tell? 
It always seems to hit you when it's going so well
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
Now it's lawyers at midnight and the learning begins
I put my old favourite Centura Pearl through the big shot in an embossing folder, then used Distress ink across it, to highlight the texture. There are several layers of stamping across the top of the texture, to add a bit more depth. 

I took a couple of book pages (knowledge, after all, comes in books!), and used some watered down acrylic, before I stamped the lyric on the pages.
I gave the page an 'edge' with my Pitt pens, just to finish it off.
Hope you like!



Substrate: Centura Pearl
Paint and Ink
Distress ink: Worn Lipstick, Stormy Sky, Evergreen Bough, Iced Spruce
Archival Ink: Cornflower Blue, Cobalt, Venetian Orange, Tree Branch
PaperArtsy: South Pacific, Snowflake

Katzelkraft: Woodgrain
Hero Arts: Music Background CG479, Printer's type lower case LL762
Artemio: Roman capital peg stamps

Bling and Other Stuff
Sue Wilson A4 embossing folder
Faber Castell Pitt Pens: various

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Random Birthday Card

These days, I hardly ever make cards, there's always other things to do.  However, when it is a special birthday, for a special person, I do want to make the effort.  A certain someone is 60 this week - which just feels wrong on so many levels - I am clearly closing in on the same age too (a few years to go, but even so...).

I knew it couldn't be uber-blingy, and I knew it had to go through the post.  I wanted to make reference to the passing of the years...and all this led to a Kraft base card, with a little dry embossing and some mega flake.

I am a great believer that the birthday starts with the envelope, so that has a little stamping too, on the back, an aide memoire for how to open an envelope, and on the front, just a little advertisement that there's a birthday coming up.

Hope you like!  (Actually, hope he likes too!)


American Crafts Kraft Card

Paint and ink
Distress Ink: Stormy sky, Tumbled glass, Walnut stain, Tea dye
Archival Ink: Potting soil, Manganese blue

Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Collection: Mini Blueprints CMS 154
IndigoBlu: Wild Meadow WM1, Happy Birthday HB
VildaStamps: Time Flies V474

Bling and other stuff
Mega flake: Gin and Tonic
Flitter Glue
Triboss embossing folder: watches
Sakura Gelly roll pen: clear star

May - Kathryn Wheel Calendar Challenge

In an effort NOT to be late for the Kathryn Wheel challenge for May, here we go!!

 This one really is bling city...  The month and year are die cut, and then glued on.  Then, I started off with a wash of purple and then overpainted with some Byzantium (full of mica) and a bit of Alchemy (iridescent loveliness...).  When dry, I stamped some dots, some scripts and the ticket label outlines.

I die cut the tickets, distressing the edges of the weekdays, and stamping the weekends with the same ticket label as in the background, adding the numbers in blingy Brilliance ink.  The final touch was to add a group photo (happy boating men!) from Deviant Scrap (thanks for the link, Kate!!)

All glued down with redline tape!

Hope you like!


Paint and ink
Rico: purple
Stewart Gill Byzantium: Cerisanctum
Stewart Gill Alchemy: White Mist
Brilliance: Pearlescent Lavender, Galaxy Gold
Distress Ink: Seedless Preserves
Archival Ink: Deep Purple, Hydrangea

Wendy Vecchi Studio 490: All About Art LCS011
Stampers Anonymous: Apothecary CMS138
ClarityStamp: Numbers set

Sizzix Alterations strip die: Ticket strip 656620, Inside Out 657827

Bling and other stuff
Cosmic shimmer dries clear

Saturday, 19 April 2014

April - Kathryn Wheel Calendar challenge

Over half way through April, and I finally do my Calendar page!  Busy month...  Anyway, here are my pages.


I started by painting the pages with fairly runny gesso, and then brushing through with two shades of green, with added iridescent shimmer (not enough, methinks).

While the paint was still wet, I used a plastic tube to make circles/bubbles, some right through to the white, and some through as far as the lime green.

I cut the card for the pockets, and while still flat, stamped the decoration in archival ink.  I used red line tape to stick them down.  I used the same card to cut the daily ribbons from, and numbered them for April, adding SAT and SUN (so I could work out which go in which pocket).

I doodled (yes freehand DOODLED!) April, with a little very basic zentangle - it's not really my thing. And then, out with the various white pens to add a little perspective to some of the bubbles.

Hope you like!


Paint and Ink
PaperArtsy: Limelight
DecoArt Traditions: Phthalo Green-Blue
Windsor & Newton: Iridescent white
Pebeo Studio White Gesso
Archival Ink: Jet Black, Dandelion, Sap Green

Prima: Stationer's Desk, Finnabair dots

Bling and other stuff
Faber Castell Pitt pens - Various
Pilot super colour pen - White
Sakura gelly roll - Starlight

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Q&L- Change - New England

The challenge from the Craft Barn crew this time was Truth and/or Change. I opted for change, as this songs takes me back to my school days.  Actually, it can't, as it was only released in 1983 (or 1984 if you go for the Kirsty McColl version) - I must have been imaging it my school days.  I was long gone by 1983! My song is 'New England' by Billy Bragg.
I don't want to change the world,
I'm not looking for New England,
I'm just looking for another girl

I love the end where he sings: 
Is it wrong to wish on space hardware, I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care
so I added that last line into the page.

  My school days were spent in Somerset.  With 20/20 hindsight, it was always sunny, the land was always lush, flowers bloomed permanently, never a care in the world.  I guess that may be why I keep returning to fairly verdant landscapes.  And watercolours.  May have to do some proper watercolour classes, before long, I guess. 
For this one, I used (for the first time) my inktense blocks, finely grated onto damp watercolour paper.  I used a very wet brush to create my fields and sky, and dabbed some of this off to create depth, and added more, by stamping hedgerow type foliage when it was dry, at the front, in archival ink.
I also stamped some butterflies, again because of the change reference, but also because I remember our garden being full of butterflies.
I am still struggling with white.  This time I opted for some liquitex acrylic ink, with a fine paintbrush.  It's still not as white as I would like, but at least it is there.  The others just soaked into the watercolour paper.  I did most of my colouring in with Pitt pens (india ink) - I like that you can see the archival through it, and it was still the colour on top of the inktense.
So thanks, Billy, for taking me back to an unreal world - I am happy with the memories that are created, so I don't want to change the world I have created in my head!

And....still managing to only use songs from people I have seen live!
Hope you like
Substrate Windsor and Newton Cotman Watercolour Paper
Paint and Ink
Derwent Inktense: various colours
Archival Inks: Fern Green, Sap Green, Jet Black, Hydrangea, Deep Purple, Leaf Green, Dandelion
Faber Pitt Pens
Liquitex Acrylic Ink: Titanium White
PaperArtsy: HP1203EZ Botanical, HP1009 Happiness, HP1010 Poetry, HP1005 Take Flight
Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Spring Sprung CMS084
Stampin' Up: Broadsheet Alphabet
Bling and other stuff
Sakura Gelly roll pen