Friday 20 April 2012

Another Crafty Individuals' Collaged Bag!

I'm still sticking with what I know, and not pushing myself to try anything new as I still don't have my confidence back after the recent upheaval to my life. I enjoyed making this bag though. The Crafty Individuals' stamps I have used are too numerous to mention but the good thing is, any of their stamps work well for this style. This time I didn't add lots of colour and I feel I might actually use this bag on a night out - if I ever go anywhere!

I am entering this for the Stamp Man challenge, which is shabby chic, my first challenge in quite a while!

Friday 6 April 2012

Another Bag - with a Crafty Individuals' Collage

I'm being a bit feast or famine with my blog postings and maybe should have held this one back but I finished it at midnight last night and was much happier with it than the previous one, so I wanted to blog it straight away. Although I adore the Sheherazade stamps, there were so many flaws of my making in the bag so I wasn't really happy with it, and I am still trying to get myself organized enough to be able to craft - you know how it is, if something isn't working out normally you have a product or a tool to hand to remedy it but I still can't find anything! Also my patience and concentration are not very good so I give up at the first hurdle!

As I have mentioned before, I have been totally inspired by Paula of Ephemera's Attic's beautiful work in making these bags. She has such a wonderful sense of colour and design.

This bag has two sides to it and I collaged together a selection of stamps and parts of stamps from Crafty Individuals. As it was then quite 'busy', I kept the trim fairly simple. The thing I am pleased with is I love a bargain and I got the base bag from the 99p shop (am I going back there? you bet I am!). They are nothing like as easy to work with as the lovely ones I normally get from Happy Daze as they are black and kind of snakeskin so you have to cover up the colour and the texture before you can do anything else, and they are less elegant as they don't have the chain handle. But for me at the moment having a cheap base item I can mess up if needbe gives me more confidence. And I found it satisfying as I was with my friend, Elaine, when I bought it and she thought it was hideous and wondered 'where is she going with this?', so it was rewarding to turn it into something pretty.

I started to feel a bit more like my old self as I crafted at midnight last night. People often talk about losing their Mojo and to be honest that hadn't happened to me before. That is not to say that I make good stuff or have good ideas all the time - far from it - but I had always felt I was in the mood to craft and I never felt I was sat in the craft room staring at a blank desk for long, I just get stuck in and make something even if it is rubbish. But these past few weeks I have had no desire to craft and not a single idea in my head, and I wondered if I would ever feel creative again. When I gave up my job a few years ago I wondered why I had never wanted to craft before and now I realize that the stress I was under at work didn't leave any space in my head. And that is what has happened again since our disaster - the stress has been so enormous I haven't been able to think about or concentrate on anything except house stuff and worry. So I'm hoping the worst is over now ......

On that note, I am hoping to soon be able to get stuck into writing a column for the new Blogozine, Unruly Paper Arts as I had to put my involvement on hold. Have you seen it yet? It is looking great! My contribution, I hope, is going to be a column on altered art with the emphasis on using things that are inexpensive either as a substrate or as a product, as that is what I find the most rewarding. Hope you will drop by and see what everyone is up to so far!

One final thing (crikey, I am going on a bit today, I told you it was feast or famine with me!) you may remember a while ago I ran an on-line course on making your own moulds which went really well. This perfume bottle was one of the items I showed you how to make:-

If you would like to take this class and didn't have the chance before, I am running it again before I start on a new one. The cost is £7.50, $12 US dollars. Please drop me an e mail at if you would be interested.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Clasp Bag - Sheherazade

Still struggling a bit with crafting but I thought I would fall back on an old favourite: a clasp bag! Do you remember the story of Sheherazade? These gorgeous stamps are by Katzelkraft from the Craft Barn and I love working with them. They are red rubber and you get a lovely selection on the plate, to depict the story.

Here's a closer shot. The bag blanks are of course from Happy Daze, one of my favourite on-line shops along with the Craft Barn.

Closer still, to show you Sheherazade with her beautiful downcast eyes. I shaded in a bit of a decolletage as I'm sure the King was charmed by more than just her story telling!

The diamante along the top is a whole bracelet, opened out, and I added pearl trim, and some ribbon which picked out the colours I had used.

Sunday 1 April 2012

Crafty Individuals' April Challenge - Time for Summer

This is my first bit of crafting since our disaster, but my goal has been to be in a position to make something for Crafty Individuals for their April challenge. I really struggled with it as I couldn't find any of my supplies, everything having been either trashed, or thrown into packing crates. Once I had got what I needed around me though, I really got into the zone and it was a lovely feeling of normality. We are still spending all of our time sorting out problems with the house and dealing with the insurance company, and have had problems with the plumbing in our rental accommodation which has caused additional anxiety.

Anyway, enough of that! The Crafty Individuals' challenge for April is 'Time for Summer'. I thought it would be fun to interpret it as Summer 2012 with a Great Britain theme, as I wanted to use the two new sets of GB stamps from Crafty Individuals, the collage one, CI 343 and the one with the individual images and the flag, CI 334. I wanted it to have a flavour of the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and a feel of lots of tourists visiting London this summer.

I painted the divided tray with Fresco Finish in Baltic Blue, then their crackle, then a layer of Sky Blue. I painted the grunge letters to spell out Summer using a mixture of the two, and 2012 using foam letters. I used Papermania Portobello Road papers for the backgrounds, and also cut the bunting out of the cover sheet and adhered it with dimensional Pinflair glue. I added a crown charm with some adhesive gems on it to the 0 of 2012.

Here's a closer view. For the first section, top left, I used the Beefeater image from People and Places Book 2 from Crafty Individuals, and added another crown charm again with adhesive gems. To the right of this is a section with the collage stamp of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and the London Eye stamped in Cobalt Blue archival ink. Far right is the London Bridge ticket stamp and a London Bus charm, with a bus ticket I found in a coat pocket the other day after I had washed it!

Across the centre I have stamped the quote stamp. Bottom left is a piece of the Portobello paper depicting a post card so I have added some used stamps and a post box charm. The charms were on key rings and when I removed the shanks a little bit of the enamel came away, so I topped it up with red nail polish! To the right of this is the flag stamp and the Keep Calm and Carry On wording. You can just about see a tiny porcelain tea pot and tea cup as my idea of keeping calm is to make tea - very British! Finally to the right of this is the medallion part of the individual stamp set, with the 'In England's Green and Pleasant Land' quote.

It is my birthday today as I am writing this so we are trying to have a day off 'house stuff' although we hadn't had any water here for 24 hours but fortunately that is sorted out now. Yesterday we went out for an amazing Thai buffet and then my best friend took me for a facial. We are going to do a BBQ later although it is a little cooler than it has been, and I am off in a mo for a browse around Hobbycraft. So nice to do normal things! Thank you so much to everyone who has kept in touch; it means so much. I will try to blog now and again but am still a bit bogged down and don't have very much time.