Thursday 21 July 2011

Steampunk Printers' Tray - and more info on my Moulds Course

I quickly blogged this tray last night and thank you for the lovely comments. Here I am with a bit more detail. The 'Printers' Tray' was originally a wooden tray which had housed some (very sickly) sweetmeats such as marzipan fruits which were reduced in the French supermarket after Christmas last year, and this is the second resurrection of the tray. The reasons for making it were firstly that I wanted to enter Happy Daze's 'Dangling Things' competition because I love to have things that dangle on my projects, and secondly because I had already cut into the beautiful papers (Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutante) last week so I thought I would use them up. I did a PVA crackle first with some peach paint. You can just see a little crackle round the edges.

1. This section has the men from the Tim Holtz Steampunk stampset (thank you to Alison for letting me stamp them up). When I cut them out I cut a little ledge so I could glue them down to the front of the tray to add some layering. The photo corner is one of my home-made moulds, made up in clay. The teal-coloured clockface is from DezinaWorld, with some cogs and watch springs added.

2. This section has some vintage pen nibs, and in the middle a piece from the papers popped behind a Fragment. On the right is an actual mini pocket watch (it has a butterfly on the front which goes well with the design). I removed the watch mechanism and back of the watch and cut a circle of one of the paper designs and then popped the back on again. On the opposite face I made a clay watch face from a mould, glazed it, and added a game spinner.

3. For this section I popped some shrink plastic cogs onto the background paper and added the butterfly strip at the bottom. I painted and gold embossed a grungeboard flourish and cut out some of the tiny butterflies to add to it.

4. For one of my dangly bits I used some Primark chain and added a birdcage charm, a ring of keys, and a tiny deep recess frame - wonder if anyone can guess where the tiny image in the frame came from? You probably won't, but I will throw down the gauntlet anyway! I then filled it in with Glossy Accents. The butterfly to the left is another mould, and bottom left are some home-made flower and leaf moulds made from some Primark charms off a charm bracelet. Ok, now the Charlotte doll, not my best decision. It is a home-made mould and I stuck it on and added the home-made angel wings. So far, so good. Then I remembered I had seen a number of these on Vintage sites where they have very black hair and very rouged cheeks. So I decided to do this, 'in situ', after I had already glued it down, which made it fiddly. Unfortunately it looks a bit like Friar Tuck. I may take the whole section out and re-do it, but it's good for a laugh, for now. Added more shrink plastic cogs.

5. I love the paper in this section, so I kept it simple! I added a top hat, and as another dangly bit, a clock charm from a Primark charm bracelet. To cover the hook I carefully cut out some flowers from the paper and glued it across the corner of three sections, to give the effect that the lady is in a 'shady bower'.

6. I framed the beautiful lady's face with a heart shaped frame, a home-made mould made from a set of Poundland plastic frames. I gave her a bit of lippy because I never go out without it! I cut a hot air balloon from another piece of the paper and raised it on silicone glue (actually I used a lot of silicone glue on this project to utilize the depth of the sections and create layering). I thought she looked like she would wear a string of pearls so I just draped some bits of Primark pearl necklace around, and added some triple gold embossed die cut cogs and another shrink plastic one.


7. Centre stage for a bit more dangle, is this stunning bird cage which was a gift from Brenda as I fell in love with it when we went shopping together, and she popped back to get it for me on her way to the car as it was the last one. I was so touched, and I am going to move it back and forth across projects for now, so I can keep using it. Can you see the little birdy inside? Then I added two brown glass apothecary style bottles, decorated with 7 Gypsies labels. The smaller bottle is a 7 Gypsies one, but the one on the left is a Tisserand essential oils bottle. I use a lot of these so it will be a good source of bottles. I just put gold memory foil around the lid. I popped another of the images from the papers behind microscope glass and edged it with memory foil, and added a home-made mould crown. Crossing over the two sections is an ornate frame I cut from the TH tag die, cutting it in mountboard and them in some of the papers, and putting the lady on the chair behind it, and added two screwhead brads.

8. Very simple section as I wanted to balance the rather cluttered overall design. Just some shrink plastic and grungeboard cogs on a cog background.

9. Some of the corset design paper from the pad, with a corset image on the right behind a Fragment. The feathered birdy is bought, and I gave him a top hat and glazed it with Glossy Accents. His bird cage is a mould made from a shrink plastic version of the Tim die, then made up in clay and glazed. I had a tiny mirror charm sat on my workdesk and I thought he might like to look at himself, like canaries do, or is it parrots!

10. Getting to the end now! One of the papers is like a vintage newspaper and I liked this ad for paste to polish your trumpet (as you do!). I popped a circular Fragment over it but also carefully cut around the text above and below as I thought it added something. Of course I then had to add a trumpet. No, not a mould! I think it is a cake-decorating item. On the right to finish off is a cog made from a mould.

Phew! good job I didn't try to type all this up last night. Hope it wasn't too much boring detail. Thank you so much to those of you who have written to me in response to the on-line course on moulds. A few questions have arisen from this and I wanted to say that of course we are entering the holiday season but please don't worry as the course isn't timebound and you can do it at your own pace. If you are interested, please do get in touch at - or just to say Hello!

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Steampunk Printers' Tray

Just waiting for the glue to dry on this Steampunk Printers' Tray I've been working on over the last couple of days. No daylight left to photograph it but if you like it, I will do some section by section photos tomorrow.

Gingersnaps Challenge - Planes or Trains - Fob Watch

Today's make is embarassingly simple. The challenge starting today over on Gingersnap Creations Blogspot is to feature planes or trains, and I chose trains, and the over-arching theme for the month is Steampunk. I have had this steam train pocket watch for some time and wanted to decorate it simply so it could be worn as a necklace.

I prised the back off and removed the clock face and mechanism and replaced them with a sepia image of men in front of a steam train, from Crafty Individuals' People and Places book. I had to snip the word 'Locomotive' off the edge to make it circular, so I popped it back on beneath the train. For the facing niche I used a collage image I was lucky enough to get from Dezinaworld when I won a competion. It is a teal coloured clock with Roman numerals, and I added some watch springs and shrink plastic die cut cogs and then a layer of Glossy Accents.

This is a close up of the pocket watch when it is closed, showing the embossed steam train design, which I enhanced with rub-ons.

And then onto a chain to wear as a necklace.

Friday 15 July 2011

Frame with Art Mould Elephant, More Moulds, and an On-Line Course

This is a frame I made with the gorgeous new elephant stamp from Crafty Individuals. As soon as I saw it I thought it would go with my elephant art mould. I have used bronze mica powder on him. A couple of my friends have been crafting here this week and they both fancied this particular Krafty Lady mould (out of the millions I have collected over the years!). I love this new stamp as when I first saw it I thought it would be difficult to stamp out as the design part is in the recess so there is a lot of negative area to ink up, but in fact it stamped up perfectly the first time. I used Crafty Individuals' background papers (which I stamped directly onto) and their copper German scrap.

This next 'make' uses one of the very inexpensive mini frames from Crafty Individuals' Must Haves range. I covered it with tissue tape then smeared on some Rub Ons to add colour. The frame was made with one of my home-made moulds taken from a Tim Holtz ornate frame, and the fairy cameo is a beautiful mould kindly lent to me by Petra. I used the same Rub Ons on the raised areas.

I've have been giving this a lot of thought over the last couple of months and have decided to offer an on-line course. Several kind people have written to me asking for tutorials specifically on moulds and some of you are too far away to come over for a Play Date (although I will do an airport pick-up!), so I thought I would offer on-line tutorials for a very small charge to take account of my time in putting it together.

As you know if you have been on my blog before I use a lot of bought moulds but increasingly make my own. So I will cover both, as well as the different mediums you can use in your moulds, how to colour them, how to choose items that will mould well, and finishing off with some projects to use them in. I won't bore you with loads of items I have already blogged, but here are a few moulds I have picked out from my 'home-made 'bellies box'!

The little doll is a mould taken from the Tim Holtz fractured doll. Of course by making it yourself you can have whatever finish you want, and as it is flat-backed you can pop it on a wider range of projects.

As I was laying things out to photograph them I thought, 'how about the bird wings on the doll?'

Or Angel wings? This could be fun!

And finally, a little project made with a bird and a keyhole mould, and a home-made mould bird house!

I am going to offer another class on using tissue paper but I have gone on long enough for now. If you think you might be interested in either course and would like to know more,  please do either leave me a message here, or e mail me at

Thursday 14 July 2011

Steampunk Shadow Box with Alcohol Inks - The Stamp Man Challenge

I am entering this Steampunk Shadow Box for The Stamp Man Alcohol Inks Challenge which closes tonight. It's only the second time I have entered but I remembered being so influenced by The Stamp Man shows on Create and Craft when I first started crafting, and I have learnt such a lot from them.

I painted the shadow box with a mix of Baltic Blue, Sky Blue, and Guacamole Fresco Finish paints to make a jade green to match the dominant colour in the Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutante papers, and used a piece of this paper as the backdrop. I cut a Tim Holtz Alterations Die mannequin out of roasting tin foil and embossed it with a Cogs embossing folder. I cut the stand off and then cut it in half lengthways then reattached it to make two legs. I alcohol inked it by dripping colour on so it was quite intense, and picking out the various colours from the background paper. I cut a couple of Bigz Flourishes as a base for my feather arms and added the head from the papers. I then added a pocket watch face at the neck and some shrink plastic cogs cut from the Alterations Die at the shoulders to pull the elements of the doll together.
Slightly angled view to show the depth of the box

On the backdrop there is a clock from Dezinaworld highlighted with a piece of curved glass, and I used another piece to highlight the woman's face, and added some more shrink plastic cogs. The lightbulb is a keyring and it does light up!
The light only comes on if I hold it down, lol! I think it is meant for finding your lock in the dark!

Bottom right I alcohol inked a microscope slide, concentrating the colour around the edge and placed the lady image behind it so that she was framed by AI colour but not concealed, and edged it with Memory Foil tape in Gold. The acetate butterfly was alcohol inked and I added a vintage pen nib. The cog above it has been made from a mould in clay, and then metallic rub on added to enhance the raised areas. Above that is a piece from a watch used to frame another image from the background paper book. To the left of this are some more shrink plastic cogs. I used a hand from the Tim Holtz steampunk stamp set to point to one of his ornate plates which has been alcohol inked, and the Steampunk word was taken from an Artistic Outpost steampunk set. I alcohol inked the word and the hand just so they weren't stark white and filled in the frame with Glossy Accents.

On the bottom of the frame are some more shrink plastic cogs, a different cog mould, and a mould I took of some wings which I then made up in clay. I would like to thank Petra for letting me stamp up some of her images last night, and Alison when she was here the other week, who also let me use the mannequin die. What good buddies!

Wednesday 13 July 2011

UK Stampers Competition Vintage Photo

I nearly forgot to blog this. It's my entry to a competition on UK Stampers Forum, which ends at midnight tonight. The challenge was to use at least two of the following: a Vintage Photo, Buttons, Pins, Fabric, Lace, and Glitter.

I used crackle paint and blue mica mist on the frame and popped a Crafty Individuals' image behind it. I made a couple of flowers from moulds and coloured them with mica powders. The flower top left is made from pieces of Poundland organza, held over a tealight. Actually I realize now I had originally put a button in the centre of the flower but then changed it for the flower mould so I think I lost the plot as it was a button for a reason! Duh!

I blobbed some Glossy Accents on the frame and 'sprinkled' with pearly beads. I bought some lace with a leaf design at the Newbury show the other week so I cut the leaves out and tucked them around the flowers. The cream 'sprigs' I absolutely love, and were cut from some beautiful fabric that lovely Lynne (Adorn) wrapped some presents to me one birthday and I saved it. I pushed a pin from Ribbon Girl through the fabric.

I don't often mention UK Stampers here but they are a group of lovely stampers and I really enjoy being part of the group - I don't join in as much as I should.

Gingersnaps' Challenge - Cogs, Gears and Watch Pieces - well, Watch Pieces at least

Do you have the concept of The Man Drawer in your household? Well, the reason for my posing this photo with these tools is that Colin recently said, 'I'm just popping out. The Watchmaker's Tool Kit I wanted is now in stock'. Who knew? I questioned him about the purpose of this kit and he said it was to fix my prescription sunglasses, which he kindly did, but I was still suspicious. Well, he has now admitted that the tools came with a cute little compartmented box, with minute screws in ever decreasing sizes. He can now add it to the drawer of un-named items of ironmongery, and keys that don't actually fit anything, and will feel very secure in the knowledge that there is no job too small.

The box itself was an excuse to use this great Watchmaker's Stamp from Crafty Individuals CI 279, and I added the Watchmaker, one of the steampunk men from the Tim Holtz set which Alison kindly let me stamp up. You may remember Mum collecting eleven watches from around the house when I told her I was making a tin man, so I have garnished the box with some of the pieces. The tool-kit is great for getting the back off watches and pushing the springs out of the metal bracelets.

The giant key I have had for ages as it was out of a grungeboard elements set and I thought it was too huge to be useful. I decided my Watchmaker would have a huge key to wind up all the Grandfather clocks in his shop. It was also an excuse to stamp the Crafty Individuals' stamp onto this as well, so that if it is lost they have his address to return it to.

This dull photo is the box after I had painted it but before I decorated it, the reason being that I have had this cloudy blue colour in my head for ages, but found it difficult to achieve. I kept veering off into turquoise with everything I tried to make! So I thought I would photograph it at this stage in case it then went horribly wrong. It took about five different products to get the shade right and I have already forgotten what they were, so I can't tell you.

When the lovely Alison was here last week she also let me stamp up her butterfly plate. The text which goes with it actually says Clockmaker, Jewellers, and Silversmith on there, so I thought this went with my theme, although we seem to have shifted from Edinburgh to Paris suddenly. But it seemed just the right size to give me a neat bottom! The 'feet' are domino word tiles coloured with Pro Markers so my watchmaker is now a clever, serious, finicky, genius!

I decided I wanted to use one of the little Tim glass vials for him to keep his tiny watch springs in. I painted it with Paper Artsy paint which works brilliantly on glass, then cut off a piece of tissue tape with said Horlogerie, but I could only fit Horloge on it. I added some actual watch hands to one of the clock faces, and then another clock face bottom left. Top right is a little charm I added some chain too, to make it look like a pocket watch, and top left is an art mould clock face with a Tim game spinner.

Inside the box is a mirror for his lady customers to try on jewellery items, and it has lots of tiny compartments to keep tiny screws and springs in.

Over on Gingersnaps you can see the other items to help launch the challenge - they are wonderful and so varied. Hope you will join in!

Monday 11 July 2011

Gift Box with Frame for Brenda

I had a wonderful visitor today, a new friend, Brenda. We had such a great day and she is such a talented and warm person. I had made her a gift box to house some little feathered birds I had picked up. Sorry about the terrible photos but I suddenly realized this morning I hadn't photographed it and I think I should have put my glasses on!

I used Paper Artsy Fresco Finish paints in Pansy and Dolly Mix, and a layer of their crackle, and then stamped with Crafty Individuals' flourish stamps (CI 235) with purple ink. The main purpose of the box design was a vehicle for the frame art mould which I got a couple of weeks ago when I went to the Stamp Bug sale weekend. I just love it, but it is quite large and 'in your face' so it needed a plainish and quite large box to show it off. I used mica powders to colour the clay. Around the sides I used Crafty Individuals' flower stamps (CI 206), stamped onto their background papers and cut out, to look like they were coming off the fronds of the flourishes. In the centre of the frame is a Crafty Individuals' image from their People and Places image book, and I glazed it with Glossy Accents.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Crafty Individuals' Bird Cage in a Frame

Crafty Individuals have brought out some great new stamps, two of 1920's style ladies, one of elephants, which I am working on at the moment, and this beautiful bird cage stamp, CI320. I coloured it with Pro Markers and then cut around the ornate frame, and set it against a sheet of Spring background paper. The shadow box frame was coloured with crackle paint and Silkies (from Imagination Crafts). The bird cage was made from a mould made from a Tim Holtz Alterations Die which was made out of shrink plastic, and then the mould made up with Fimo clay.

The flower top left was made from a mould made from part of a Primark necklace, then made up in friendly plastic, and likewise the centre of the lace flower bottom right. The lace had a flower pattern within it so I cut out just the flowers and layered them up and gathered them slightly. I then added a resin rose from a Primark bracelet which I coloured with alcohol inks, and the leaves are cut from a strip of lace which was mainly made up of a leaf pattern.

Friday 1 July 2011

Crafty Individuals' July Challenge

I have made this box for the Crafty Individuals' July challenge using CI 238 and 258, Spring Background Papers, and their Chocolate coloured German scrap, together with some cream lace, and crackle paint. I stamped the Spring papers with the background text stamp (one of my favourites!) and then glued it onto some grungepaper cut with the Tattered Florals die, so that the flowers had some shape and strength. The flower on the left is made of clay, from a home-made mould from some of my ubiquitous Primark jewellery!

I've just edited this post as I see the challenge is now up on the Crafty Individuals' blog. The theme is to use pink, brown, and cream, and to use at least one Crafty Individuals' product as usual. There is a good chance of winning a prize of your choice of stamp so do have a go! I have really enjoyed seeing what people have been making each month. If you haven't seen them yet, there are some gorgeous new stamps out including an ornate bird cage and some 1920s ladies.