Wednesday 19 February 2014

Tango Tulips for Paper Artsy - by Me, Yes Me!!

I am so excited! Over on the Paper Artsy blog I am having a little guest appearance tonight. This is a little sneak peek but I would love you to pop over there and see the whole thing. And I would be even more delighted if you decide to make something for the challenge this week. As usual there is the chance to be entered into a prize draw to win your choice of A5 stamp plate. Do hope you like my project. Fingers crossed!

Monday 17 February 2014

A Trip to France - And a Fireman's Lift!

Colin and I decided to have a few days in our apartment in Brittany to celebrate his birthday, exactly two years after we made the same fateful trip where we were called back by our neighbour to say there was water cascading through our house and our ceilings were down. What could possibly go wrong this time? I was looking forward to a quiet break having had a nasty bug followed by a stressful time with family worries. When we arrived, very late as a train had been stuck in the channel tunnel, we noticed that the river was very swollen. Our apartment building is a converted mill which used to make the buckwheat flour for the local galettes pancakes, and it sits on a weir. Shortly after our arrival, this was the scene out of our second floor window!

The river had burst its banks and swamped the town. In the photo you can see our car park which is the walled part to the right with the tree and the gates, and the left half of the photo is the river! The wall which normally separates the two has been immersed. Straight ahead in the background you can see the shops and cafes on the main road. Water as far as the eye can see!

This is the main road and the roundabout and our 'corner shop':-

The fireservice sailed a canoe into the lobby and evacuated some of our neighbours with overnight bags as the groundfloor apartments were ruined and we were completely marooned: there was no way out of the building. We wanted to stay and were rummaging through the cupboards to see what dry goods we had to keep us going as, having only just arrived, we had no fresh food. I was planning a batch of tuna pasta when a fireman banged on the door and told us we had no choice, we had to leave now. We slung a couple of things into a bag whilst he stood in the doorway. I'm sorry to say, as it is a less dramatic version of events, that I didn't get to go in the canoe. He took one look at me, and like the fat lady in The Poseidon Adventure, there was a change of plan; we were going out through a window. So I got man-handled by five fireman out of a window onto the bridge and into a waiting van. We were taken to a grim community centre with a row of fifty camp beds set up for the night. Colin took one look at it and planned his escape, but they wouldn't let him leave! I had to act vague and pretend I didn't know where he was. He walked ten kilometres in freezing rain to get our car, which was the other side of the flood water so he had to find somewhere to cross the river, and came back for me.

Some friends kindly put us up for three days until the water levels had dropped sufficiently for us to get back into our apartment. We were so lucky to be on the second floor. A massive clean-up operation started in the town, with civil protection people and the fire service pumping out water and throwing out furniture from all the homes and businesses. I feel so distressed for the many, many people affected who won't be able to return for some time and are now assessing the cost of the damage. What happened to our home two years ago was so traumatic and that was with clean water. The stairwell of the apartments was covered in a greasy slime where the water had picked up oil from the lift mechanism and was very hazardous.

Wherever you are, I hope you are safe from this terrible flooding. My heart goes out to the people whose homes have been devastated.

Friday 7 February 2014

Jilly Bean Heart Healthy Red Bean Soup Collection Box for Snazzys DT

Over on Snazzy's Blog I have my second make using the Jilly Bean Heart Healthy Red Bean Soup Collection. If you leave a comment on all the makes by my teamies using this collection you stand the chance of winning the whole kit!

Monday 3 February 2014

Jilly Bean Heart Healthy Red Bean Soup Collection Easel Card for Snazzys DT

Over on Snazzys DT Blog today I have made this easel card using the Jilly Bean Heart Healthy Red Bean Soup Collection, Wow White Embossing Powder, and a VersaFine Satin Red ink pad. For full details, please hop over to the blog where there is a chance to win the whole kit that was used, including the stamp set when you visit the posts from myself and my teamies.

Sunday 2 February 2014

Garden of Dreams Tulip Postcard Tag inspired by Gillian Simpson and Helen Mazengarb

I didn't think I'd have time to enter the Paper Artsy challenge so this is just a quickie. I was so inspired by lovely Gillian's post using the Paper Artsy postcards which is here and Helen Mazengarb's use of the Tulip die which is here, so I wanted to grab an hour to make something whilst I should be making dinner. They suck you in, these Paper Artsy folk! 

Helen is new to me and make a beautifully textural tulip using the die which comes in three pieces, and I used grungepaste and her colourscheme. For those of you who don't know, Gillian is a very talented artist who was behind all the organization of the blog posts and is now ably paired up with Darcy as I believe she has been very tied up with studying lately, but a while ago when she was demo'ing at shows she coined this idea of using the Paper Artsy postcards as a backdrop to pieces of artwork. So it's lovely she has had a chance to break from her studies and make us something glorious again. I had a large postcard which had a Fresco paint chart on the back so I thought I would cut it into a tag and lightly cover it with Bora Bora, Mermaid, and Claret, so that some of the images showed through. I then stamped it with some background stamps. I added the Lynne Perella lady image painted with Frescos and a piece of bobble trim which was in my bargain box I ordered from Paper Artsy a while ago, and edged the piece with Ice Fire Treasure Gold. The Garden of Dreams wording from Lin Brown Eclectica was stamped onto a piece of Thorndon Hall paper which I had image transferred onto canvas a while ago using Fresco Satin Glaze and torn around the edge. I finished off with a couple of buttons.

Saturday 1 February 2014

Crafty Individuals - A fine Romance

Over on the Crafty Individuals' Blog there's a new challenge starting today for the month of February chosen by Daniele, with the theme 'A Fine Romance'. Lovely choice, Daniele! As usual you get an incredibly generous 25% of anything you order from Crafty Individuals just for entering, and a chance of a fabulous prize.

I've been singing 'A Fine Romance' (with no kisses) in my head since I heard the title of the challenge, and made this frame with the couple dancing, and what looks like the same couple in a clinch later! I stamped onto Crafty Individuals backing paper and used their Summer background paper with the dove and the words 'Forget me Not'. I cut a doily shape with another piece of the background paper for the corners to tuck the images under.

Then I went to town with the frame! I painted it and added Tim Holtz Crackle Paint in places and spritzed it with mica sprays. I used a selection of metal and resin flowers and leaves and gesso'ed them all first so they were uniform then painted them and spritzed them, except for the large leaves which I rusted for some contrast.  I also added some mica flakes to the frame.

There are SO many beautiful and romantic designs in the Crafty Individuals range so I hope you will join in this month with the challenge.