Saturday 31 July 2010

Charity Shop Evening Bag

Having sneakily got your attention with the slide mailer, I wondered if I could crave your indulgence by uploading the mad evening bag I bought on my forays into the charity shops the other day. One side is quite sane, but the devore side is quite OTT, and the inside clashes again, with a floral fabric, so it is altogether very kitsch. Will I dare to use it?

Thank you for your advice on my glossy accents accident (easy for you to say ....). I will do the stain removal things you have suggested, but may need to resort to some altering and decorating. Will let you know!

Steam Punk Double Slide Mailer

I made this double slide mailer (from Imagination Crafts) with some of the remaining items from a previous Design Team pack from the Altered Element, with a steam punk flavour. They have recently starting stocking the Creative Expressions Vintage range of rubber stamps which I love, and I thought the Vintage Aviation set would work well with this theme.

I started off by painting the whole thing with a grey/blue acrylic paint and used Weathered Wood Distress Crackle Paint on the corners of the outside, and added some Distress Inks and some shimmer sprays. On the corners I also rubbed on some Pebeo Gold Outliner, which is a new fave thing of mine. I used the Tim Holtz Sissix Alterations Cogs die to cut the grungepaper cog and the two black shrink plastic ones, and added some of the remaining items from my Professor Sprockett's Craft Emporium cogs and watch pieces box. I also used a small circle hole punch to cut a circular piece of the design from the Playful Gents ArtChix sheet and added it to the centre of the one of the cogs and filled the top in with Glossy Accents.

Then for the inside I used two of the Playful Gents images which were microscope slide sized, and popped them behind the slides in the apertures, and used the gold outliner around the edges, and on the corners of the mailer. I stamped a selection of the text from the Vintage Aviation set, and two of the hot air balloons.

I find with slide mailers you get that pretty little shape at the top and bottom of the slide aperture but you can't use anything too dimensional as the mailers don't have a deep spine so you want it to close neatly. This was where another new fave of mine came in - Deko Ice glass glitter from the Altered Element! I only have this in one colour, Amber, and I found that if you pop a teaspoon full into a little jar, add one drop of alcohol ink colour of your choice, and swirl it around, you can have any colour you want, to match your project!

Thursday 29 July 2010

Tesco Cardi - Blinged Up a Bit!

Eeks, it's been ages since I blogged! I have been busy stamping, but it's been a bit Secret Squirrel for something exciting next week that I am a tiny bit part of. So I thought, I know, I will show you my blinged up 4 quid Tesco cardi! It is not very stampy, though! When I was in my teens I used to decorate and alter my clothes a lot, but nowadays I try to blend into the background with my clothes. It is difficult at my age not to be either dowdy or mutton-dressed-as-lamb! Sometimes I wonder if I should aim for a sort of 'arty/eccentric look'! So here is my cheapy cardi which I bought as I liked the colour. I thought I would change the buttons when I got home but then got carried away:-

All the buttons are odd. I then added extra buttons around the neckline on one side. I was a bit cross with myself as when I got my button caddy out I realized I had cut all the shanks off my favourite ones, with a view to sticking them onto a craft project. It's a bit like when I go to cook something and realize all my utensils are in my Melt Pot box! Having added the buttons I then made two corsages with chiffon pieces in different shades of blue from Poundland, and added my favourite buttons to the centre, and some adhesive gems. I popped these onto brooch-backs as I thought it would be easier when I come to wash it.

On another sartorial subject, I have a problem you may be able to help me with (Hels??). I have got Glossy Accents onto one of my favourite Firenze e Frederico jeans (aka Florence and Fred!). Unfortunately it looks as if I have been wiping my nose on my trousers, and everyone knows I can only reach my sleeve! Anyone any ideas for a solution?

Yesterday I went out with my lovely friend, Hazel (Dansmum if you are in UK Stampers). We went on a tour of the local charity shops and I bought loads of new clothes - would you be interested in seeing what I got? I also got a few things to alter but we will have to wait and see on that!

Thanks for looking!

Monday 19 July 2010

Bird and Insect Framed Collage

I have used the Insects and Butterflies Plate from the Artistic Stamper and words from the Birdsong set for this framed collage. Colin said he thought the 'Beach Hut' in the Seaside Canvas the other day looked like a Bird House (!), so here it is, back in its original guise! When I told him I was making a collage with the Artistic Stamper's winged creatures set, he said, 'do snails fly then?', so I have generally had a lot of ribbing this week!

Most of the items I have used are available from the Artistic Stamper, and they have similar frames. I painted both the frame and the bird house with Crackle Paint and then rubbed with Distress Inks and sprayed with shimmer sprays. I added some Flower Soft, and made a grungepaper rose, and cut a bird from the Caged Bird Alterations die.

I cut a three by three squares piece from Tim Holtz Shabby Vintage paper pack, emphasized the joins with Distress Ink, and stamped with a selection of the insects and the Bird Song wording. To finish it off, I added a few tiny heart buttons.

Friday 16 July 2010

Domino Accordion Books

Yesterday morning with my students we had fun making Domino Accordion Books. I had made one in advance, by way of a sample, using the Seaside Plate from the Artistic Stamper which I used for the Seaside Canvas the other day. I used a strip of the new Tim Holtz Vintage Shabby paper pack, which you can also get from the Artistic Stamper. Don't you just love these new paper packs? I have got this one, and Lost and Found and I just sit and look at them! I used Sepia ink for the accordion bit, and then black for the domino on the outside, the background of which I had coloured with different Sharpies. I used a corner rounder punch for the paper, to match the rounded edges of the domino.

The students did a great job, and they had 'homed in' on the Crafty Individuals stamps with rows of houses, perfect for a tiny accordion design. So in the evening, I decided to make another one, just for fun. I had my evening student, Jean, with me, and she is a lovely lady who has a very soothing effect on me. My other classes can be a bit manic but when Jean is here I sometimes managed to make something myself, which I never expect to be able to do as the students are my priority, but we seem to happily work on things together in companiable silence. Jean had very kindly brought me some 12 x 12 papers (and a much needed bag of blending sponges!) and one of the sheets was blue with tiny white stars, so it was absolutely perfect for the row of buildings. So here is version two:-

This time I coloured the front with StazOn colours, in three shades of blue. For the accordion bit, I added some flourishes (Crafty Individuals) and some touches of white opaque pen.

Vintage Sewing Card with Metallic Thread

I was so pleased to find that the Altered Element are now doing one of my favourite ranges of stamps, the Creative Expressions Vintage ones which are unmounted A5 rubber: they stamp out beautifully every time, and there is such a good selection on each plate. Today I have just made a simple card, using the Vintage Sewing plate, and some very well priced metallic thread.

I made a spritz and dab Distress Ink background first, and stamped a selection of the images in Sepia ink, then some of the images in black on white card and sponged them. I cut out the cotton reels and wrapped them in pink metallic thread. I stitched some of the thread through the row of buttons bottom right. I found it easier to do this by making holes with the needle first. I stamped the four bodices a second time on various co-ordinating papers and cut them out, then adhered them over the top of the white panelled version.

There are some other lovely sets in this range - Photography, Games, Art, Aviation, etc. I am always drawn towards Vintage Sewing themes, though, as you may have noticed, as this is something genuinely nostalgic to me. As a little child I used to go to sleep to the whir of Mum's Singer sewing machine, which she inherited from my nana, and she still uses today. I am not sure actually if she knows that you can get electric machines now - seriously. She loves hand sewing as well, particularly hems as she has lost a lot of height, and she often sends me out to buy a reel of cotton in a VERY specific colour - 'Somewhere between Raisin and Sultana, please Lucy, you know what I mean'.

I hope you like my very simple card - I did feel when I added the metallic thread it lifted it a bit.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

A Seaside Canvas

 I made this back to front canvas using a gorgeous plate called
Seaside No 1 Plate by the Artistic Stamper. It features a range of shells, the Ship's Wheel with the two little children in the centre, the fish, the parasol, and this lovely Marilyn Monroe style bathing beauty having a paddle. I used Crackle Paint around the edge, and then Distress Inks and shimmer spray. The shells around the edge were made of clay with a little Stickles over the top, and the mould was lent to me by my friend Von when she was here to play - she buys her moulds from her local greengrocer! The little beach hut is actually one of the very reasonably priced wooden bird houses sold by the Artistic Stamper, and I just pulled out the perch and the hanging loop and decorated it with blue and white striped paper and shells. There will be lots more using this plate of stamps as it is so versatile, and captured the wonderful feeling of this hot summer we are having.

Sunday 11 July 2010

Little Crafty Individuals' House

I'm having a 'little houses' phase and made this with the wooden compartment tray you can get from Crafty Individuals, and cut a house-front to fit it out of mountboard. I used a selection of Crafty Individuals papers to cover the pieces inside and out, and stamped some houses onto them for the front. I used a variety of stamps around the edges and for the roof, some metal hinges, a bird and fence from one of their die cut sheets, and a lion's head door-knocker made from a button with Mould N Pour, then made up with friendly plastic. The faces inside are on Stampbord and are from various different stamp sets, again from Crafty Individuals. The aspect I was most proud of, was being able to open the door with the hinges, as I am very challenged when it comes to engineering!

Friday 9 July 2010

Accordion Card for Class at Nancyz Crafts

This is an accordion card I have prepared as a sample for the class I am doing at Nancy's next week. It's such an adaptable card to make for a range of special occasions, with a bit of mantelpiece appeal without too much cost. I also thought that the scrapbookers amongst the group might like to have photographs as their main images, with stamping around the edges.

I used Sepia ink, and a range of Crafty Individuals feminine stamps. I'll list them in case you fancy any of them, CI 199 (Horse), CI 100 (Tag Girl), CI 235 (Swirls), CI 206 (Flower Heads), CI 179 (Inchies), CI 186 (Ladies on Bikes), CI 283 (4 x Ladies with hats and pearls), CI 108 (Butterfly Girl).

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Crafty Individuals Wooden Tray

I got this wooden tray with little compartments when I bought a set of felt alphabets in my favourite art and craft shop in France the other week. The challenge was that there were so many compartments in it that if I filled each one with a detailed image it would look very busy. This is particularly taxing for me as a 'more is more' girl but I am trying hard at the moment! Now that I have finished the project it looks really simple but I struggled with it and tried the pieces lots of different ways before I stuck them down.

I painted the box with pale yellow paint and then cut some squares from two pieces of the masterboards I made recently, one more predominantly pink, and one more yellows and blues. I had intended that the empty compartments would be the plain yellow paint ones, with the stampbord tiles sitting centrally on the masterboard backgrounds. I really liked the backgrounds, though, as I have this thing about inky sheets that look dribbly, if you know what I mean, so I didn't want to cover them up. I also preferred the assymetry of having the tiles positioned differently in each section. I wanted to have a few tiles that were abstract rather than focal images so that there wasn't too much detail fighting together.

I coloured the stampbord with Distress Inks and then pressed them into the sections of the Crafty Individuals' stamps that I wanted. Having stuck everything down, I then added copper hardware at the opposing corners.

I don't know about you but I find composition the hardest thing with my stamped work. I know when I am not happy with how it looks, and I know when I am happy, but don't always know what I need to do to get from A to B. So it was like a chess game last night, repositioning all the pieces and then going away and coming back to it later. And now it looks such a simple piece of work .......!

Sunday 4 July 2010

Collaged Oriental Tin

I mentioned before that we were sent such a generous box of items from the Altered Element DT this month that it was difficult to use them all in one project. The theme was stamping on different surfaces, and I still haven't used the Tyvek and the Metal so they will be for another day, but have used several of the materials provided for today's project.

For this tin, which will house a mini album, you will need the following items from the Altered Element:-

Translucent Shrink Plastic
Angelina Fusible Film, Shimmering Raspberry
Stampbord Dominos
2 ins sq Canvas Board pieces
White Inkssentials Opaque Pen
Glass Tiles
Deko Ice, Amber
Artemio Clear Stamp Set, Bird and Butterfly
Alcohol Inks, Raspberry, Wild Plum, Sunshine Yellow, and Gold Mixative
Stickles or similar
Large Tin

Chipboard Squares
Distress Inks, Wild Honey, Worn Lipstick

I also used some pieces of card left over from the He Loves Me daisy game project.

What I did:-

1. Alcohol ink the tin.
2. Ink the canvas and stampbord pieces with co-ordinating colours of Distress Inks.
3. Stamp blossom and fronds onto stampbord.
4. Stamp the daisy on tissue paper and adhere to canvas. Fill centre with Deko Ice.
5. Make a butterfly with grungeboard and fusible film, layer together, and add Deko Ice to spine.
6. Stamp cherry blossom on rectangles of shrink plastic, shrink, and colour flowers.
7. Adhere pieces of card remaining from He Loves Me project to chipboard squares and behind glass tiles.
8. Stamp the bird on grunge in pink ink, cut out and add Stickles.
9. Add white pen where needed, and scratch back detail on Stampbord, to give white highlights.
9. Assemble as shown.

This was quite a quick project by my very slow standards. I feel collage is something I need to practice as I really admire people like Hels, who do it so well. I don't find it difficult from a technique point of view, just the composition and making sure there is a pleasing juxtaposition of colour and images. I left a few blank areas as I tend to over-do things, plus I aimed for a deliberate lack of symmetry. It is something I want to persevere with. I have a few of the components left over to make another tin, or similar, for a friend.