Wednesday, 30 June 2010

WOYWW & the Same but Different Birds

At last I made time to have a play and make some cards but before I started I took a photo of my work desk for WOYWW.... Eeeek! I remembered that last week that I had said that I'd try to be tidier and the week has passed so quickly that I've not been out there until today. Shame oh shame, it looks just the same until you take a closer look as I shoved some things to one side to make way for the cards I planned to make. 
On the left there is a stash of yummy pink, red, purple and orange papers, ribbons and embellishments which I sorted out ready to make a decoupatch Indian themed torso at Victoria Stampers on Saturday. Don't yet know if I'll get there as I'm waiting to see how DH is doing by then. He valiently tells me just to go but I'll make up my mind on Friday. 
There's my No 2 ATG all decorated with splodged alcohol inks.
 There are 3 mini tin pails (middle back) waiting to be altered as a future project. One of my bargains at 5 for just £1. They'll come in handy if I never use them!!! LOL! I've too many things in my stash that fall into that category.
Propped up against my Promarkers are 3 of the images I had started when I remembered to take a pic for WOYWW.
No1 stamped on printed paper No2 card sponged with Distress Inks

My mojo had given up so I decided to do something easy to break myself in and get revved up again. I turned to my stock of decorated papers, couldn't decide which to choose so I set myself a project to use lots of them and make a group of cards all the same but different, if you know what I mean. Same stamped image but different colour schemes and finishing details. The birds were singing their little hearts out in honour of this gloriously sunny day so I just had to stamp a bird image or two, or three........or more!.
No 3 using Distress Inks and Color Sprays. No4 using Conte Crayons
I stamped with Versamark and embossed in black. I then coloured in the images in various ways, some with Promarkers, some painted with Distress Reinkers. 
I painted all the birds irridescent but it doesn't show in the photos.
No 5 Glimmer Mists used. and highlight dots with a white Souffle Pen No 6 is a Brusho powder paint and Spray Starch background.
No7 Distress Inks and Perfect Pearls. No 8 Distress Inks and Glimmer mists and another dotty time with a Souffle Pen.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Frilly Pink Things

I've posted out the 1st and 2nd Blog Candy prizes to Lisa and Tinkertaylor so watch for the postman!! However I am still waiting to hear from Wipso. I left a message on her blog via WOYWW but if anyone can give her a shout her 3rd prize is waiting for her.
Things are rather busy here caring for DH, post hip hop, but everything is going well other than the fact that we are both shattered. Can't complain as it gets easier every day and he's going to get betterer, and betterer, every day.. I hope to do a bit of crafting therapy very soon but in the meanwhile I'll post a few more ..... yes! you guessed it...... POPPIES! 
 (hello Dot, more for you!) I now know that they are called poppies because the pop up everywhere completely unannounced and today I received another surprise gift from Mother Nature that I had not planted. Keep them coming! This one is like a mop.... I'm sure they are all mutations.
I laughed when I saw my latest poppy as I had just found time to rustle up a couple of tutus for my 3 year old grandee to dress up in and there is a distinct similarity. 
I had to squash the skirts up as small as possible to get them posted and I can't wait to see a pic of her in them. Sadly the photo doesn't show the glitter thread on the overlocked hems or the sparkle of the holographic sequins. I'm sure she'll love them and have such fun playing in them.
I DID plant this lovely peony....
but this foxglove is another of Nature's gifts to me!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Blog Candy Winners Alert!

Drumroll.... fanfare... fireworks..... Vuvuzelas!!!!!!
Late addition to this post... the BLOG CANDY WINNERS!!!
1st Lisa
2nd Tinkertaylor
3rd Wipso
I'll post prizes by the beginning of next week, so I hope you like them when they arrive.

Please post your snail mail and email details in the comments... I won't publish them and will delete them ASAP.
Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes and messages for my DH's operation!

Just a quicky to say that my computer went off and normal service has only just been resumed so I am taking all blog candy entries up to now and any more after this post will not be entered. 
Quite unexpectedly DH has come home from hospital and he is so happy to be home. He is doing so well and the uphill climb to full recovery now seems a gentle slope. It's lovely having him back!
Will announce the Blog Candy winners a little later but here's the card I sent Alison as she should have received it by now and yet another poppy, a pink one especially for Dot, that popped up in our back garden today. I'm doing well for them considering I never planted any! I'm going to be saving all those seeds!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Well here goes... it's fessing up time and I'm going to try to do this every week so that I may get some semblance of order into the chaos that is supposed to be my workspace.
What's On Your Worktop Wednesday always interests me... it's voyeuristic and smacks of reading a gutsy warts and all autobiography... to see what people are up to and if their mess is as bad as mine. When I see super neat work areas I cringe as, at first I think how bad mine is in comparison and then, I realise that I couldn't be like that or produce anything creative from a bland neat space. 
Starting from my new Promarkers, which I'm just beginning to make friends with, and moving clockwise, you'll then see some of my Blog Candy stash still waiting to be won.  Still time to enter for it!
There's a big letter L there reminding me it is waiting to be altered for the 1st birthday of my lovely grandee in Germany for August.
Next to the L is my new gas gun which DD2 kindly bought me for my birthday gift. It is reminding me to get cracking and make some more silver clay jewellery. 
That phone handset has been missing for weeks and I moved that box of brads today to find it hiding. I always seem to go to the phone port without a handset then it's a rush to find another one before the answerphone kicks in.
I'm working on a congratulations card for my friend Alison who's just become a grandma to a new baby boy... woo hoo! Makes a change from all the girls we both have.
In the middle some of my faves which are always out... black Stazon, Glossy accents, Gesso and my super scissors (I have 6 pairs of these).
By my left hand is one of my 2, "never to be without" ATG guns.
I'll post the card tomorrow and hope Alison has, by then, received it.
I'm having a day home thanks to the World Cup and England's match today... .DH is recovering from his hip op in hospital very well but so slowly. I know he won't want any visitors this afternoon when THE MATCH is on so I'll pop in tonight and hope they won or he'll be having a major set back!!!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Birthday 12345 Blog Candy Fans

Indian Fan
These are four of the fans I made some time ago using the images on the fan plate I designed for stampattack. I am giving away a plate of these stamps as one of the prizes in my Birthday 12345 blog candy so I thought I'd show how the images can be used.
Japanese Fan

Egyptian Fan

 The top three have honeycomb paper inside, which opens out very effectively, as you can see in one of the photos.
Below is the fan made by stamping and cutting out 7 art deco fan blades. Fastened with a brad and with an added tassel, it opens and closes just like a real mini working fan. I embossed on black before painting in the design. On the right of the photo you can just see a section of a fan I made using acetate.
Art Deco Fan
I'm happy to report that DH is continuing to improve in hospital but I really miss him. It may yet be another week before he's home. I prepped most of this before I started having to run back and forth to hospital but I really thought I'd have more time to myself to craft whilst DH is away!!

There are still a few days to enter for my Birthday 12,345 Blog Candy draw... just leave a comment!

Had a great show of poppies yesterday and as so many of you love them I'm going to be boring and show the FOUR that opened together. What I find amazing is that the one top right is a DOUBLE petalled variety compared to the others on the left! I'm hardly taking notice of anything else in the garden as I'm too busy keeping an eye on this show by the front door which my DH nearly demolished as a weed

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Thank You & 1st stage of Birthday Blog Candy

I have now had 12345 hits since I started this blog just over 6 months ago  and so the blog candy offer starts here!!!

First....I cannot thank everyone enough for all the messages of concern and support for DH's operation. I'm relieved to say that it went really well and he is making a good recovery. He never complains and has put up with all the pain and immobility for so long that I'm looking forward to him getting mobile again. We both think that we are so lucky as a hip replacement is something we can get over and is far better to go through than a life threatening illness.

This will be posted as near as I can get to a certain point in my blog history. I'm giving two prizes. One for those lovely artists, bloggers, readers, now friends, who have become regulars leaving comments for me. Their imput lifts me day to day. Whoever posts nearest to 12,345 will get a sheet of UMs so I'm not posting this until my counter reaches that point.
I can now announce that the talented and lovely Dotpak , who has a great blog, posted the last message as I tipped 12345 so has won the prize for regulars!! Congratulations Dot!

The rest of the blog candy will be given to someone, from the list of anyone else, new or old who leaves a comment within the following 6 days ( I'm now 66 and therefore a new member of Neet and Mo's Clickety Clix Club) So closing will be in 6 days time at mid-day on Friday 25th June 2010

We celebrated my birthday early with a day trip, on Wednesday, to Wales where we had a wonderful meal in the Groes Inn, a 14th century coaching inn which was the first licensed premises in Wales. The food is fantastic and the views across the Vale of Clwyd are amazing.
It was so hot we sat outside so please excuse my silly but sensible sunhat!
We also visited Llandudno and I show these pics to make Neet & Jayne envious as it is one of their favourite Welsh holiday towns
The Little Orme
The Great Orme
Just look how peaceful it is!

England on the Scrap Heap? & BlogCandy

A reminder that my Birthday BLOG CANDY will be posted later today... keep an eye on it!

Flags are everywhere supporting England in the World Football Cup.... yes everywhere. There is even a big one on the window in my DH's hospital ward! Can you spot this one?

As we queued to cross the busy Runcorn Bridge, on the way to Wales on Wednesday, we could see this car scrap mountain alongside the road. It was causing great amusement to all the drivers as we slowly crawled past to see a St George flag on the top.... not an excellent picture taken from our car window but there it is all it's glory!!! It was a brave soul who climbed the scrap heap to raise it there!!
late addition...I've just been told by my friend that one of our local radio presenters saw it and phoned the scrap company to ask who had got up there with the flag, thinking it was one of their employees. They don't know who did it and someone must have entered the premises after hours!!!

Yet another vibrant poppy popped out in the crack today and still more to come.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Netsukes and a Royal Birthday

Watch out for some blog candy here very soon, on offer for only a short time........ 2 ways of winning, so make a comment and you might be a winner. One prize for followers and one for anyone else interested who pops by.
Today I came across these Japanese Netsukes I made from Washi paper. Netsukes are decorative objects, usually carved but can be purses, which are hung from Obis, the belts on mens kimonos. Some time ago I took part in a swap where we had to make something from Washi Paper and this idea of a take on Netsukes, which I made, was published in a magazine. I had completely forgotten about them until I unearthed them today and I think I will play around and make some more soon, maybe with my own decorated papers instead of printed Washi papers.
Today I treated the day as a Royal Birthday and I opened all the lovely cards I have received early, so I could share it with DH, as tomorrow when it IS my real birthday he will be in hospital having his hip op in the Royal Hospital. So it's a not too Happy Birthday for me and hopefully a Very Happy Hip Hop for him. I'll put my cards on display tomorrow.... what a fabulous stash and how lucky I am to receive them all.
I had phone calls as if it was my real birthday and my friend Jayne came to visit with lovely flowers, yummy cakes and a bag of crafting treats, and brought along her little ray of sunshine, her 3 year old little son. We had a lovely day playing in the garden in the sun where he delighted in knocking the loose head off my broken Bhudda by kicking the soft ball at it. I'm sure Bhudda didn't mind the joy provided! We later visited Hobbycraft where I treated myself to 4 packs of Promarkers at HALF PRICE!!! Thanks to Jaqui on KCUK for telling us about this great bargain.
My Poppy "Weed" in the crack under my front window flowered, just one flower, today and has also dropped all the petals with the heat of the day. It is a stunning  colour with varied shades and I'm so pleased I took photos first thing this morning of it's short life. It is not as red IRL as it looks in the pics.... more cerise. I'm certainly going to catch the seeds to grow more next year. Plenty more buds to open!

Keep watching for my special blog candy alert!!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Jig Saw Deco

Today I sent off my last set of pages for my KCUK group Deco Swap to Hazel and her theme is Jig Saws. I really struggled with this one, even though I specially made two jig saw pieces in the friendly plastic workshop recently, but it finally came together and I hope she likes my finished result. I knew I had to finish it before DH goes into hospital for his hip replacement on Friday as, no doubt, I'll be really busy for a while with other things! Thanks BTW to everyone who has sent good wishes for DH.........Don't know if I'll manage much blogging for a while.
I also sent Hazel a signature tag to go with the pages

This poppy sprouted up in a crack between the house front wall and the path, and I just managed to rescue it as DH was about to demolish it as a weed when it was only a couple of inches high. It has sprouted like a triffid and bears so many buds that I'm waiting impatiently to see it in bloom and so are all my neighbours!!. Watch this space!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Sgraffito Playtime

Not one but two blog awards today... woo hoo! Thanks go to Neet and Cath for nominating me and I'll do the honours tomorrow! Should be fun!

Last night I escaped from World Cup Fever, to have a play, as the constant noise of the hooters was driving me bananas. I don't need an excuse but this was a great reason to get away from TV! 
Recently I had been thinking of so many painting techniques from childhood so I decided to try out some of them. My first idea is simple Sgraffito, a technique where the top layer of colour is removed to reveal a plain contrast colour from below. 
This technique is used in ceramics and painting, amongst other fields, and far can be more involved, but I stuck with the simple form we used to do in school ?$2%!!? years ago.
First I covered a piece of card very heavily by scribbling and rubbing a piece of white chalk over it for quite a while.
Then I rubbed and scribbled over the chalk with coloured wax crayons covering the whole white area.
I then stamped images onto the back of the coloured card.

I laid the coloured card face down onto a clean piece of white card with the stamped image on the top and secured these two cards to my work table with masking tape.
With an old ball point pen,(a small ball tool can also be used),  I drew over the images, pressing quite firmly.
Here's an example.....

When finished, the separate cards had the images transferred. A positive image and a negative image, both usable.
I then decided to stamp at random over the images, with the same stamps, before I made cards from the results.

Easy to see the positive and negative here

This one below looks as though I made it at school!! but it's good to share warts and all!
These swirls were also sprayed with glimmer Mists and will make good backgrounds.
Here I used black wax crayon over the coloured crayons for greater contrast but the colour still shows through.
Over all I think the technique will make good backgrounds if applied quite delicately but I don't think I'd use it again for focal images. It was all good fun and got me back into experimenting which I haven't done for a while.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Sam's Surprise gift

Today I received a lovely "Thank You" gift from one of my cyber friends Sam in return for a little favour I did for her. I enjoy following her blog and she is venturing really successfully into adding textile art to her paper art interests.
Thought I'd share the lovely hanging panel she kindly sent me. Thanks Sam. It is really appreciated and I'll try hard to live up to the quote!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Sea Shells and DH's Birthday Treat

This is the freebie stamp on this month's Craft Stamper. I don't usually like them or use them, but they have had some really good ones of late, so I decided that each month as they arrive, I should dive in and have a go with the stamp of the month.
I used lots of various bits of background scraps on which to stamp the
images and I laid them out somewhat, but not quite, influenced by the Andy Warhol style. I must admit that I'm pleased how all the mix of background colours meld so well. A great way to use up tiny scraps.

It was my DH's birthday last Friday and we decided to have a special day out in celebration as, pretty soon, once he's had his hip replacement operation, we won't be able to go anywhere for a while until he recovers. He chose a visit to Samlesbury Hall, a place on the way to Clitheroe in Lancashire, which we pass so often but had never before entered. It was always closed on the days we chose to stop. This time we were lucky and had a really interesting trip with such a sunny day to also enjoy the fabulous grounds and gardens. The hall dates from 1325 and had major refurbishment from 1968 to 79. We had an excellent meal in it's superb restaurant after touring the hall with it's minstrel gallery, stained glass windows, wonderful fireplaces and even a priest hole from the time of the Reformation. 
I was so surprised yesterday to see that Suze Weinberg had visited within a day or so of our visit and there is a photo of the hall on her blog!
The Main Hall

The Antique Shop
Even a fireplace and armchair in the toilet!