Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Gingersnap Creations Blogspot Challenge - Wax

This week's challenge starting today on Gingersnaps is Wax. I would like to thank my lovely, very dear friend, Jack, who showed me how to do candles a few years ago. It is such a nice technique to have up your sleeve and fairly quick but effective. If you are still making gifts for people or want a table centrepiece for Christmas Dinner, I would really recommend them.

I would also recommend the homemade pine cones because if you leave them on the cocktail sticks, you can plunge them into anything and they stay put. I quite fancy doing some in dry oasis as a table decoration, maybe with some fake connifer and berries. I got the fake connifer in a big pack for £1 at my local craft shop, Nancyz Crafts, which always seems to sell exactly what I want.

The other pine cones I have been putting on my blog over the last couple of weeks have been left plain, but this time I added fake snow to go with the snowy scenes on the candle. I don't have the Tim Holtz pine cone die but you can easily follow his instructions but without the die. At first I thought, well if he says you can use the die to make roses, how about turning that on its head and using a spiral flower die to make the pine cones! And I had one of those! So I started off using my Marianne Creatables die. I didn't have the Kraft Core but I thought, ok, if you are using dark brown Core-dinations, the core will be a light brown anyway. So I rang Nancy and she had 12 x 12 sheets in French Roast for 50p a sheet, which makes loads of pine cones!

Then I decided I wasn't making life difficult enough for myself so I made some without the die. I had a wavy edge pair of scissors which came free with a craft magazine. I cut a rough circle, then cut a spiral into it, letting it get a bit thicker nearer the centre so that the base of the pine cone would be a bit wider. It wasn't a very deep scallop design so I snipped just one millimetre with a pair of scissors between each scallop so that I could bend the 'petals' out further, like on a pine cone. I cut a nick into the centre the way Tim explains, so that it forms a base. The only other thing I did differently was to colour the cocktail sticks with a brown Pro Marker, which disguises it if any of it shows.

Finally I cut some snowflakes out of roasting tin foil. I used the Tim die for that - I'm not stupid enough to cut those myself!! I plonked them into the candle on memo pins. Everything is now falling off the kitchen cork board!

Another, maybe more conventional way, to do the same candle would be to have small evenly sized pine cones and to stick them into the candle in a continuous circle around the base, like a wreath. I was in the mood to have them jutting out at odd angles though!

I am entering this into The Stamp Man challenge which is to Create an Ornament.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Crafty Individuals' December Challenge - All Wrapped Up

I made some little Christmas gift bags using Crafty Individuals' Christmas backing papers and stamps, for their December Challenge, which is All Wrapped Up. I hope you will join in.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Starry Nights on Gingersnaps

I thought I was going to miss the deadline for this dt piece for the first time ever! I still have this horrible throat bug and conjuntivitis and have nearly lost my voice. The surgery are sending a prescription to my local chemist for my kind friend to pick up, but I am not holding out much hope of getting better quickly.

The Gingersnap theme launching today is Starry Nights, and I wanted to create a Christmas snowy and starry scene inside a bubble box. I used Crafty Individuals' Christmas papers and their Santa in the Sky stamp, CI254. I covered the box with the papers and used a gold pen around the edges. The fiddly bit was that I wanted the design of the paper to run continuously across the lid so I cut the square for the lid, drew the circle aperture in pen, then cut it out with a circle Nestie. I then stamped the image directly onto the circle of paper, and again onto plain white gloss card. I wanted the word 'Believe' to run under the sleigh and above the buildings, rather than being obscured by them. I cut out the buildings and matched them up over the top of the stamped image to make them stand out. I added Polar White flower soft at the bottom of the row of buildings and in dots over the globe, and also adhered silver stars to the underside of the globe with glossy accents but they are not very clear in the photo. Definitely don't feel like getting the camera out again at the mo. I added one of my DIY pine cones under the globe at the base, then sprinkled some around the box to take the photos.

Friday, 2 December 2011

A Christmas Card - and Tim Style Pine Cones

I haven't got much to blog at the mo as I am lying on the sofa nursing a throat bug which is really grotty. It is very unlike me to catch anything. I don't feel well enough to do Tim's tags so my offering looks a bit pathetic, but I am enjoying seeing what everyone else is making. As you may know by now I don't hang from Tim's shirt-tails so it shows how inspirational he is that I jumped off the sofa yesterday to see if I could improvise from his brilliant pine cones video. The card is one that I think will be for Colin this year unless I can do better before then, so it's just a vehicle to show off the pine cones. (I used the Winter Distress Inks). I think bearing in mind I don't have the pine cone die or the Coredinations Kraft card I did ok.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Alice in Wonderland - in Fall Colours

I couldn't resist joining in an Altered Alice challenge, as I need an excuse to make Alice in Wonderland artwork otherwise you will think I am just obsessed! I have been restrained for a long time now! The challenge this month is to use fall colours, and it seemed strange not to give Alice her customary blue dress, but it was fun once I got into it! You don't have to follow an Alice theme for the Altered Alice blog, but why wouldn't I?!

The image I had in my mind was of Alice falling down the rabbit hole into the hall of doors, taking the Autumn leaves with her. I had the perfect stamp for the hall, from the Eternity plate by Non Sequitur, which was just the right size for the little back to front canvas. The depth of the frame added to the sense of perspective, with the full size Alice on the edge, and the shrunk (shrink plastic) version where the corridor narrows. She has drunk from the 'Drink Me' bottle, a shrink plastic version of the bottle from the Vintage Apothecary set by Artistic Outpost from Happy Daze. Now that she has shrunk she cannot reach the golden key, made from a mould and friendly plastic, with some gold Inka Gold, from Happy Daze, rubbed on.

I started off by painting the frame and sides with bronze paint and gathered up some brown organza to represent the curtains, with a sequin trim at the top for the pelmet. I coloured the stamped corridor image with Pro Markers in shades of brown and orange, also used to colour Alice.

I finished off with some very brightly coloured Autumn leaves, in orange, bronze, and green, so I am also entering this for the Happy Daze challenge which is An Explosion of Colour, as that is what the trees outside my house look like at the moment.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Venice Papier Mache Mask

My lovely friends, Jack and Pauline, were here yesterday and we had a great day. Jack very kindly brought me a papier mache mask so we could make them together. Hers are stunning! For mine I used metallic white paint and Mustard Seed Distress Ink. The stamps are by Oxford Impressions 'Venezia' and my favourite Crafty Individuals' scroll. I finished off with gem stone tears.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Another Purse - in Pistachio with Bird Cages

I thought I'd better quickly blog this purse as I see it has popped up on the Crafty Individuals' blog. They have some blog candy at the mo, and there are some lovely things on there if you want to have a look. Paula, from Ephemera's Attic, whose bags had inspired me to make these has the most glorious pink bag on there!

I have made this purse with pistachio Lumiere paint, and two of the recently released Crafty Individuals' bird cage stamps.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Livestock - Gingersnap Creations Challenge

Today's new challenge launching on Gingersnap Creations Blogspot is Livestock, as part of their On The Farm month. I only have one suitable stamp for anything of this kind and I'm not afraid to use it lots! It's the chicken stamp from Crafty Individuals, CI 289. I bought the little hen coop with its chicken wire door at my fave shop in France. I covered it with texture paste and painted it with green and purple paints - sorry there isn't some deep and artistic meaning behind my colour choice, I was just in a green and purple mood! I covered the roof with glue from my hot glue gun and slung the raffia on to mimic a thatched roof and added more to the floor for the chickens to lay their eggs on.

I stamped out the image twice and kept it whole for the back of the hen house. I coloured it with Pro Markers and glazed the wing feathers with Glossy Accents. Finally I stamped another image and cut out the chickens to run around outside.

I've never used raffia before and if I had had any sense I would have entered it for the Raffia challenge on GSC last week, but no that would be far too logical and would suggest I know in advance what I am going to make! It is a fun product though so I'm sure I will use it again.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Vintage Purse - Crafty Individuals' Bird Cages

Just when you thought I wasn't going to make any more vintage bags, I am sneaking another one in! This is one of the purse size bags. I painted it with Fresco Finish paint in Vintage Lace, which has more of a mushroom tone than it looks in the photo. I stamped it front and back with some of the new bird cages from Crafty Individuals. I added rose net trim around the clasp.

I lined it with a serviette that reminds me of Paua Shell, and some black gathered lace.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Farm Fresh - Gingersnap Creations Challenge

Today Gingersnaps are launching their Farm Fresh challenge for their On The Farm month. My contribution is this egg box featuring chickens from the Crafty Individuals' Farm Fresh Eggs stamp (CI 289). Hope you will join in!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Winter Wonderland - Crafty Individuals' November Challenge

The Crafty Individuals' Blog November Challenge is now up. The theme, as chosen by the lovely Lynne, from Adorn, CI's newest recruit, is Winter Wonderland. Funnily enough, so far we have all chosen to use the winter stag for our contributions, the new CI 332 but it does show just how differently it can be used.

I used Paper Artsy Fresco Finish paint with a layer of crackle on the papier mache box and stamped a few CI Christmassy words around it. I pushed 9 one inch Stampbord tiles together and stamped and coloured the stag, and then added some silver cord to fill in the gap around the edge of the lid, and a bit of Polar White flower soft to give more of a wintry effect.

I hope you will join in this month - plenty of scope with this theme. The prizes are, I think, amongst the most generous in Challenge Land as five winners get to choose a stamp of their choice - how cool is that!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Hallowe'en Card - Download from Chocolate Baroque

Chocolate Baroque have very kindly made available a free Hallowe'en paper download. I haven't done anything to speak of to this card, but I wanted to upload it to say Thank You to them for the freebie and I'm sure I will use it next year too. For those of you who have their lovely Edwardian Gentleman stamps, they also have a background paper available to go with it, also free.

I just added the bottle and poison label from the Artistic Outpost Apothecary stamps and some embossed numbers, and popped it on a mauve card blank.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Mr Forrest, The Farmacist!

Meet Mr E Forrest, Pharmacist, known as Epping to his friends, who are few and far between, let me tell you. He is not a nice man and suspicion is rife in town that he is really a Poisoner. He has outlived four of his wives so far and rumour has it, he keeps his exes in the Attic. Well, look for yourselves! His last wife has been overcome with chloroform and then forced to drink from a bottle of poison, which she is still clutching in a dead man's grip. He doesn't have much in the looks department, with that overgrown moustache, but he lures them up the aisle by polluting the local well with his Love Potion. When his Elixir from the Fountain of Youth wears off, he trades them in for a younger model and switches the bottles for ones of strychnine. He keeps the skeletons in the attic amongst the cobwebs, the bats, and the mice, and eventually grinds down their bones to make more of his secret potions. The locals mistrust him for his cures but visit regularly when bothered by rats ....... He evades the long arm of the law as the local Sheriff, Sherwood, is his brother.

I wanted to create the feel of a sinister pharmacy in a wild west town, where the pharmacist mixes up his own tonics and potions from eye of newt and essence of bat. I have used the wonderful Apothecary stamps by Artistic Outpost from Happy Daze, and a wooden house curio box also from there. I painted it with Fresco Finish paint in London Night, then crackle, then Vintage Lace, and rubbed black ink around the edges. I lined all the sections with ledger paper from the Tim Holtz 'Lost and Found' paper stash, building up the design with a ledger stamp from Crafty Individuals, and some of the smaller stamps from the Apothecary set. I didn't want the whole piece to have a dead, monochrome look, but I didn't want it to be colourful either, so I have just added a touch of colour with Distress Inks in Stormy Sky, Shabby Shutters, and Barn Door, and a little bit more colour by cutting out some of the labels from the pharmacy themed paper from the same Stash.

The poor wife in the attic, amongst the bats and the spiders - and even a rat,
nibbling at her toes!

Rows of bottles and keys to the drugs cabinets. The bottle far left is
actually an empty lip gloss tube, with a bit of cut up cork.

 A  bottle of perfume, and Mr Forrest in front of his shop

Rows of blue bottles

Is that more skeletonized remains I can see?

 I used an assortment of tiny bottles, with labels either from 7 Gypsies or from pieces of the Tim Holtz Stash, together with some shrink plastic bottles stamped in blue (like Neal's Yard blue bottles), with stamped labels made up from the stamp set.

I wanted depth, partly in the layers of stamping on the backgrounds, but also positioning the items at different levels in the compartments to look like deep shelves. Some of the stamped images were cut out with a tab on them, so they could be glued down standing up. Some of the shrink plastic bottles were curved slightly whilst they were still warm.

I didn't have any bats so I embossed some black card with a bat embossing folder and cut them out. The cobwebs from Brenda helped to create the spooky scene.

I am entering this for the Happy Daze 'Christmas and Hallowe'en' Challenge' and the Samuel Taylor challenge, who have a great prize of  a Configurations box. I am also linking this up with the Artistic Outpost October Referral Programme. I am joining in My Mojo Monthly which this month has a wonderful interview with Tammy Tutterow and next month will be Jo Capper Sandon! We are invited to say a little bit about our inspiration and this piece was definitely one where the mojo was in good flow! That is down to Gingersnaps who have had some tremendously inspiring and spooky makes this month, for their Go Poe theme. It has really got me into the creepy zone! I am entering this for their Horror Stories challenge because although I had the chance to join in as a DT at the beginning of the month, I didn't think I knew any horror stories. Little did I know the creepy imagination that lurked within ........,!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Art Nouveau Frame - Altered Watch Bracelet

When I went to the car boot sale on Sunday I picked up loads of bits of jewellery, including this watch (should have photographed it before I decorated it), which had a bracelet made of circular links with nothing in the centre, each link surrounded by diamontes although some have come away. The catch was broken but the watch still works. I had Pauline and Jack here yesterday and I was sorting through and cleaning the pieces I bought when I looked at the watch links and thought 'Circles - The Stamp Man challenge!'. Jack thought it would lend itself well to an Art Nouveau style so that got me started. I used a selection of 1920s lady stamps with hats, and this very Charles Rennie MacIntosh rose, all from The Artistic Stamper. The rose determined the colour palette. I then went through my Joanna Sheen Art Nouveau flowers paper pad and chose this Old Rose colour design.

First of all I stamped some ladies in hats and coloured them with Pro Markers and glued one behind each bracelet link (these are my Circles, for the challenge theme), and filled the centres with Glossy Accents. I then stamped the lady in the ermine coat and coloured the roses. I reversed a canvas so that I had the depth I wanted for the bracelet watch and covered the frame part with texture paste, then painted it with Old Rose paint. I stamped up the Roses, coloured them, and used them to decorate the frame. I then glued the paper inside the canvas and added the lady and the watch. To finish it off I added a chandelier earring from my car boot haul, to give the impression she is dancing in a ballroom. Finally I photographed it against a fur stole.

I am back on 'Pretty' after my foray into the dark side for Hallowe'en!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Gingersnap Creations Challenge - Ravens - 'Trick or Treat' Lantern

Today Gingersnap Creations launch another Hallowe'en challenge theme - Ravens. I only have one Hallowe'en stamp and that is the spooky recently released raven in a churchyard with a full moon one from Crafty Individuals, which is CI 319. I had in mind I wanted to make an inexpensive lantern from a jam jar or similar, that children could take round the houses with them when they go Trick or Treating, or that you could have lit in the porch to show that you welcome Trick or Treaters and have candy! It would also work for parties in the garden.

I stamped the images twice on tissue paper and once on card and coloured them. I applied the tissue paper ones to the jar, which was an empty bath foam bottle which was perfect for the purpose, and cut the raven from the card one. I covered the lid with spiders web paper and added the card raven. I bought some skellingtons from Poundland and gave one to Brenda, she gave me the spiders webbing, and we split the pack of skull candles which we got at the car boot sale on Sunday - isn't it great to have friends you can share a cup of sugar or a skellington with?!

I filled a little bottle with blood (red Crystal Lacquer) for the skellington to clutch, and dribbled some everywhere! I gave him some black grungeboard wings to make him look like a really scary cross between a raven and a skellington - imagine him flying over your head! Except he won't be flying anywhere as he has had a nasty bash on the head, followed by being hung in a noose just for good measure! I fashioned some string around the lid to make a handle, and tied some 'barbed wire' around it. I added some raven table sprinkles (thanks again Brenda!), and popped an LED tea light inside. I used the skull tea lights to pose the photo. I forgot to photograph the side with a skellington hand charm on it.

All just a bit of fun but could make a cheap lantern just for the Hallowe'en period.

I am entering this for the Happy Daze October challenge which is anything Christmas or Hallowe'en.

Had some good news on Friday - I won the Stamp Man challenge for the Greco Roman box I made. I have given it to Col and he likes it! That is even more of a challenge!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Altered Bottle - Bird Cages

For this altered bottle I have used a selection of Crafty Individuals stamps including the new Lady with Birdcage, CI331, Birdcages and Birds, CI329, and Bird Cage with Flowers, CI320. I've also used my favourite old set of flowers heads, CI206, and added some flowers cut from some beaded and sequinned trim.

The photos are awful so I've given you several: quantity rather than quality!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Gingersnap Creations Challenge - Alcohol Inks

For Gingersnap Creations Alcohol Inks Challenge which starts today, I thought I would make another evening bag and use alcohol ink to change the silver chain and clasp to bronze. The Florodora stamp is by Crafty Individuals, CI148, surrounded by their flowers CI206. The fabric flowers are homemade. Around the clasp I used the lovely trim Petra gave me which I used on the Venice bag, and tied some into a bow at the centre. Of all the ribbon stash I have, this trim seems to be perfect for these bags.

The inside of these bags when you buy them is a white plastic washbag type of lining which is practical but not very nice for a vintage evening bag. This time I painted it with mushroom Paper Artsy Fresco Finish paint and it worked fine. Does anyone know when we will be getting new colours in this range as I find them so versatile?

Hope you won't get bored with these bags, as I am making some purse sized ones at the mo ......

Thursday, 6 October 2011

A Nice Pear - for the Stamp Man

The Stamp Man current challenge is to use Pears or a Pair of something in your submission. I have a gorgeous set of Non Sequitur stamps from them, called Greco Roman collage and I think I have used every stamp on this huge set for my entry! Janet, when she introduced the challenge, was saying what a pear represents in different cultures and that to artists it often represents the female shape. I guess that is why this set, which includes naked statues and women's faces, also includes a pear!

I don't normally stamp directly onto wooden boxes but I wanted to use my new Distress Stains as a wood stain, so I used Vintage Photo and Antique Linen, with a little Aged Mahogany Distress Ink, then stamped directly onto the box, all the way round, in Archival Sepia. Finally I varnished the box.

When I was in the charity shop the other day buying the vintage bag, I spotted this artificial pear for 20p, so I had to have it to pose my photograph!

Although this was hard to photograph, I am pleased with it IRL as I think it would make a good present for a man's study as it has the natural wood look and I haven't added any embellishments (for once!).

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Charity Shop Bag - Before and After

I have been itching to make another vintage bag (Nic liked it by the way), and yesterday spotted this bag in a charity shop for three quid. It is a bit yucky but it is silk inside and out, and it was easy to snip the flowers off.

I used the Paris Exposition stamps by Artistic Outpost from Happy Daze, and coloured the silver frame, clasp, and chain with a brown ProMarker to make it bronze. Once again I would like to say how inspired I was by the ones Julie and Paula made for Happy Daze, and now I am hooked!

This is the front, with flower sequin trim:-

The back is a little plainer but I might add some pearl trim when I get some more.

I filled in the corners by dabbing through some sequin waste but decided not to fill in the whole bag too much, but keep it plain, as the trim is quite busy.

Terry has just reminded me about linking to the Artistic Outpost Referral Programme when I use their lovely stamps - thanks Terry!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Crafty Individuals' October Challenge - Winged Things - Hallowe'en Bottle

Crafty Individuals have just announced the theme for the October challenge which is 'Winged Things'. I hope you will join in! I decided to make something with a Hallowe'en feel to it, to be seasonal, and also to use the rather sinister-feeling raven stamp in a spooky churchyard which they recently brought out. I had also wanted for a while to make an altered bottle, so I have combined the two into this:-

I used grungepaper wings cut from a die kindly lent to me by Alison, and cut into them a bit more to make them look more like the ones on the stamp. The fake blood is red Crystal Lacquer, and to echo the barbed wire on the stamp, I wrapped the whole bottle in wire, cut some tiny pieces of it, and twisted them around at intervals. The skull and crossbones is a Grungeboard Element, and I added white opaque pen and red blood for some more definition, and a skull charm on the bottle top.

The fun thing about altering bottles is it is such a cheap and accessible medium, and very addictive (another one coming soon!).

This is a bit different to my normal style, I think!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Steam Punk Frame

I made this frame some weeks ago but hadn't got around to putting anything in it. I covered a cheap frame with cog and propeller die cuts, then covered it with aluminium tape. Definitely something I will try again!

The stamp is a Paper Artsy one, which I stamped onto Steampunk Debutante cog paper then stamped the words on white and cut them out. The beautiful car stamp is from an Elusive Images set called Edwardian Gentlemen which was a birthday present from Jack. I finished it off with a zip flower which I made ages ago and then realized I had no idea what I intended to use it for!!

Thank you so much for the encouraging comments on the vintage bag. I am feeling very low today. I have been poorly all week and have had to pull out of the party tonight for John and Nic's 50th birthdays, where I was going to give Nic the bag. I am getting so fed up with my health problems. It takes the shine off the good things, and makes the bad things harder to cope with. I am going to try to pull myself together now and tidy up the mess I have made this week with my crafting - I don't think the mess is helping my mood! Thanks again for always being so supportive.