Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Alice in Wonderland

My friend Caz, of stampattack, sent me two plates of her Alice in Wonderland stamps this week so, after seeing the film recently,  I was really eager to use them. Believe it or not she is very soon bringing out two more plates on the same theme as they are so popular at the moment. Can't wait to get them as they have some great quotes to go with the images.
I wanted to make this structure in black and white, as I think it suits the subject, so I ended up laboriously cutting out all the images.
 I wish I'd done it the other way round so I could have stamped directly onto white card. I have made this fold so often, usually as a pyramid shape, but the merry go round seems to be more apt for the Alice theme. It is constructed from four circles of card with the addition of two red pieces for the cover.

I  quite impressed with myself with my idea to use a tiny perfume sample phial, filled with red liquid, as the "Drink Me" bottle. You can see it with it's tiny label in front of the rabbit on the red cover. The photos below show the four inner section and at the bottom you can see how the book folds to close.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

NEC show/ Our Day Out

Our day out was so much fun with great people and so much to see and buy. 
I went with money and, utterly amazingly, came back with money as some of my "must buys" had sold out, so I'll have to wait until the next show, next month.
I came back without a voice, as my slightly sore throat suffered with gabbing all day, and DH is thrilled to have a bit of peace and quiet for at least another day.
New Colours of Distress Ink pads were selling out fast and furiously and I could only get three of the ones I NEED, but the show offer price was good. I bought, and love, one of the new larger PaperArtsy plates and had nice chat to Leandra and Mark. Also found a smaller scale flourish stamp which I've needed for a while. 
The second picture shows the contents of the £5 goody bag from Create & Stamp ......fantastic value which I was so lucky to buy just before they ran out.
All cafe seats were taken up so, as an excuse for a rest, we sat down on the Dremmel stand to engrave a glass and really enjoyed it. I'll show the results when I retrieve it from my friend who accidentally?? took it home. 
No new ideas or products at the show (apart from the new Distress pads) but it was still a good atmosphere and and excellent day. Roll on the Aintree Show!!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Interlocking Hearts and NEC

Tomorrow I am going on a coach trip to the NEC in Birmingham for the Craft Show with Victoria  Stampers group. No money to spend but I'm sure that won't matter and I will probably still come back with lots of stash I didn't know today that I can't live without!!! We leave at 7.30am Eeeek!! At least I'm only 20 minutes away from the meet up but some of the group are travelling first from Yorkshire to pick up the coach.
If anyone will be at the NEC show and want's to meet up I will stand near the entrance at 12 noon and I will have (no, not a red carnation!) a purple flower (as in the bottom picture) on my black holdall bag. I'm going to make some ATCs tonight if anyone wants to trade.  

My lovely DD2 asked me to make one of the interlocking heart cards I made for Jayne's birthday in February, but as a wedding card for her friend in America. I hope she likes it and it will be winging it's way from England to Germany before she in turn sends it on to USA. I really enjoyed making it as my first project in my newly tidied and reorganised, almost finished, craft room.

I coloured my card with Broken China and Dusty Concord Distress Inks by smooshing with a wet wipe. After drying, I splashed water from the palm of my hand onto the card and dabbed off the drops with a dry cloth to create splodges. I stamped over at random with flourishes and script.

Inside consists of two layers... the top being the beautiful "Love is" passage (from Corinthians in the Bible) and underneath there is a layer where a personal message can be written.
The "Love is" passage inside                                                                                 The bottom layer for a private message
Look out for this on my bag if you want to say "Hello"at the NEC

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Confessions from a Craft Room- part 2

After our trip to Ikea yesterday, I stowed away so much stash into the new boxes and finished off another side of my craft room today.
I am owning up to the "before" picture of my mess and I am overwhelmed with the result. I keep walking into the room for just another look! What a transformation, I'm sure you'll agree.
Last night I made the 4 note holders for the cupboard doors from pieces of old cartons and a  metre of red fabric for £3.99 from a certain Swedish store. I fixed the tapes with large gold brads. 
This was a fabulous idea from Jayne and brings the room together. The large boxes on top of the cupboards were a bargain... reduced to £2.99 from £10.99, and no prizes for guessing from where! The whole room is being done on a tight budget but it just evolved into the red colour scheme due to some key items already there. 
As my dear late Mother would have said " and how long will it stay like that?" but I'll do my best to keep it straight, I promise, as it has taken Jayne and me so much work to do it. Couldn't have done it without her help and enthusiasm.
Well, still two walls to complete but we're getting there... watch this space............

PS Neet's blog candy offer finishes tomorrow (midnight) but there is still  time to wing it under the wire before it's drawn on her blog... hickydorums.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Same but different cards and baby UGGs

Glad to hear that Artyjen in England and Artyventure in Belgium, have both received their blog candy... thanks for letting me know. It will, of course, take longer to reach the other two winners in South Africa and New Zealand. Hope it's not too long!

My friend Jayne came again on Saturday for the second attack of my craft room makeover. Yet another big thanks goes her way! We made great headway and had good fun doing it but there is still a way to go before I disclose the evidence of "before we started" and the "results afterwards". DH took me to IKEA today and treated me to some much needed storage boxes and meat balls, berries, gravy and chips for lunch. That's the only junk food to which I succumb.

As my work table is clear for the first time in eons, (do I hear gasps of shock and amazement...well, I should think so!) I made the most of it to make some cards for forthcoming birthdays. 
The two pictured here show how different the same stamps and layout can look with different  backgrounds and  finishing touches.
When we were tidying up Jayne found a box of nail polishes and asked me why on earth I wanted so many so I squidged a few colours onto card and swirled two pieces of card together to quickly show her  the effective result which can be so easily produced. I've used this background for the pink card. 
For the first card I used a piece of the starch technique card from the results of the tutorial in my last post. 
I've been knitting more tiny UGG style boots for my 7 month old grandee. I made some and sent them out last week but they were too small so they've  been gifted to one of her little friends and I had to  quickly knit some more. It's so hard to believe how quickly she has grown!  

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Spray Starch backgrounds

At last, as promised, I can give instructions for the backgrounds I posted some time ago. I had hoped to make a video, but I still haven't got to the bottom of  how to do one, so that will have to wait for another project and someone with "knowhow" to help me. For the time being, lots of photos and written info I'm sure will suffice. If you try this out then I'd love to see your results.
This idea came when a friend mentioned that she'd had seen Spray Starch backgrounds somewhere so I trawled the web with no success. I decided to play around and experiment and the results shown here are all my own ideas. If you think of anything to add to this.....please let me know. 
Remember to DRESS TO MESS!

Materials needed:
White card or black card, plain or glossy.
I find that if the card is too porous, the surface colour is absorbed too quickly and does not move about to create the wonderful finishes. 
Can of spray starch.....(Yes! that can you've probably had in the cupboard for years in case you decide to iron!)Any will do... I've tried the good stuff but it's no better than any cheap one  and I pay only 65pence for mine.
Pearl Powders, Brusho Powder paint, Distress reinkers, Glimmer Mists, Color Wash sprays. Try anything water based as you may make a great discovery and have a "Eureka" moment.
Spray the card with starch
Sprinkle or spray colour or powder (or both) sparingly over the starch.
Spray again with starch
Sometimes this creates a lovely effect without doing anything else but I love to 
crumple Cling Film over the top of the coloured starch wet card to create amazing swirly marbled effects.
It is all hit and miss and serendipity but go gently at first as more colour can be added but too much can go like mud.
The cling film must be left for about 30 minutes without applying heat so that the colours can be pulled and absorbed into the creases. Don't be tempted to remove it too soon, be patient. 
 Try applying starch and colour onto a craft mat then swirl card over the top.Distress reinkers work best on glossy card.The starch provides a gloopy, viscose, movable, carrier for the colour medium used.

It is really effective on dark card
When dry it has a sheen and seals pearl powders if they do not already have a binder in them so it is handy for using up all those old pots in your stash.
Using Brusho powder paints over spray starch then sprayed again... no cling film

Glimmer mists sprayed over starch. Below left, with cling film applied and after cling film was removed on right

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


YEH!! Drum roll and fanfares............ announcing the winners of my 6666 hits and 100 posts Blog Candy Draw........................



1st       Artyjen        from England (main parcel of goodies)

2nd      artyventure    from Belgium

3rd      Amanda      from South Africa

4th      Glennis       from New Zealand

All people I have never met! Congratulations and thank you for stopping by my blog and participating in the draw. I'll contact those who have email addresses for details but if you don't hear from me then please leave me a message with an email address and I'll delete it as soon as I can. I'll get your parcel of goodies in the post PDQ.

Just an afterthought.. wouldn't it be nice if we saw something made with the goodies as one of the comments suggested? If any winners email any results to me I'll post on my blog!

If you aren't one of the winners today then there's still time to enter for some of Neet's birthday blog candy here........ http://hickydorums.blogspot.com/     ... or see my side bar pic!

Johnny Depp & the Crafters

Blog Candy Draw Later when I've eaten my dinner!

I went with a few of my crafting pals to Manchester to see the film Alice in Wonderland" in 3D on the IMAX at the Printworks. The entrance looked so unimposing with no clues that inside we would find such a fantastic entertainment complex with so many restaurants as well as the Odeon Cinema. The architecture in the interior was like a giant piece of steam punk art.

We had such an amazing time and all enjoyed the experience of the film in 3D on the biggest screen in England. Wow! it was bigger than HUGE... the ultimate cinema experience with digital surround sound, and floor to ceiling screen which was the equivalent of 8 storeys high. 
I was forever wanting to grasp at objects passing so close to my nose but when the Red Queen, whilst playing croquet, hit the rolled up hedgehog with the flamingo as the mallet, sending it spinning into the arena, Mo and I ducked for safety. I did feel so dizzy at times, but closed my eyes as advised in the preview information and that really helped, but then I couldn't watch the film. It was a bit scary at times!
The Mad Hatter's Tea Party was fantastic and my favourite part of the film.
The film was a work of art and I'd like to see it again (but not 3D) so I can absorb more of the amazing detail and see what I missed when I closed my eyes.

Mo, Jayne, Johnny Depp, Neet and Jo

 Afterwards we took advantage of the early Spring sunshine and temperature of 13C and had a stroll  round Manchester.
A big vote of thanks to my friends for a special, fun day out!

Monday, 15 March 2010

I'm going to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D in Manchester IMAX on Tuesday with some of my crafting buddies so I will draw the Blog Candy Winners when I get home.... last chance coming up to sign up.

Craft Room Makeover Begins

Sunday Sunday, what a fun day! 
Although it was Mother's Day, my friend Jayne came to clear out and completely makeover my craft room. Who wouldn't want an amazing friend like that??!!? 
The congestion of all my stash completely daunted me lately and Jayne, believe it or not, has been dying to get her hands in and perform her magic on it all. Yes! Amazingly she loves doing it.
Lots more photos to come of the complete mess before, and the transformation afterwards, but here is a little taster of just one area transformed by my own special reorganiser. I now have an ink, dye and paint station instead of a mess of old block stamps. Everything is easy to find and so tidy. 
No prizes for guessing which is before and which is after.
 Jayne was amazing and worked so hard all day, with me as her goafer, clearing and planning so everything is to hand to suit me and it is all far more efficient. It should take another session to finish but it's on it's way. BIG THANKS JAYNE!!!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Deco Vintage

Yeh!! &  Woo hoo! this is my 100th post so I am adding some more stash to my blog candy in celebration and thanks to you all! Make sure you sign up by Tuesday 16th March

I have made my two pages for the Deco Book  round 2 that I have joined on KCUK yahoo group. The theme choice this time is "Vintage" so I have really gone to town interpreting this and all the items are really old..... antique lace, silk and beads, except the stamping inks and images. The recipient, Sylvia, doesn't have a computer so won't see this until she receives it in the mail.
First I stamped swirls on cream coloured card then stretched fine cream silk over it and adhered it to the back. As I hoped, the images showed through the silk quite delicately. I then stamped more swirls and images directly onto the silk using Stazon Timber Brown and machine embroidered freestyle over the images. A few beads and lace were added and highlighted with some gilt acrylic paint with a very light dusting of glitter to give a subtle bit of bling to finish off.
It is such a change for me to use soft shades as lately I've been on a visual colour attack. Well the sun has been shining so maybe that's brightened me up so I can do subtle (ish) once again.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Isla Gladstone Conservatory

Crafting resumes tomorrow as today has been an experience extraordinaire. We had a very special afternoon when we attended a reception and tea dance in the Isla Gladstone Conservatory in Stanley Park. My sister in law, there on the steps, was invited in honour of her services to the community and we were lucky to be her guests.
The conservatory was completely derelict but has recently been beautifully and sensitively renovated into one of the architectural gems of our city parks.
 It is named after Isla, an artist of the Art Nouveau period,  who married into the family of Gladstone who was Prime Minister of England four times during the reign of Queen Victoria. 

It was so quaint to be able to enjoy
 a delicious afternoon tea of cakes, scones and sandwiches served by staff in period costume. We daintily spooned the most elegant dessert of rhubarb and custard from tiny glasses.

People in elegant Victorian dress circulated the grounds and talked to and danced with the guests inside the conservatory.

We really did dance waltzes and tango to a three piece band!!!
Amongst other gifts, I was thrilled and lucky to get a quality porcelain mug printed with a picture, by the artist Anthony Brown, of my favourite Beatle, Paul McCartney.

As the park is close to Liverpool Football team's ground, and where the team first played in Victorian days, the European Cup was on display.

Let's hope Everton gets blue ribbons on it one day!

Monday, 8 March 2010

BLOG CANDY, 6666!!! and thank you all!

I sat down to write this and to offer some blog candy when I noticed, coincidentally, that my counter had reached 6666 hits!!Wooo hooo!! What other excuse do I need to offer a few goodies in appreciation! I find number links amazing. We have a projector clock our the bedroom and each time I take a peek if ever I wake at night the digital clock is always at a "special" number  such as 2:22 am or 4:44am and it freaks me. Hence, you can imagine how I felt when I noticed the 6666!!! It's meant to be!

So first I must say a HUGE thank you to all who have stopped by since I started all this around 4 months ago at the end of 2009 and I wondered then if anyone at all would be interested! I have received so many lovely comments and I must admit that they are all appreciated. I have also become quite friendly with some of my regular visitors and it is lovely to make new friends from all around the cyber world.

Just leave a comment that you'd like to enter the draw which will take place on 16th March...... there has got to be another 6 in there somewhere. I will probably make it 3 prizes as I'll find a few more items. (don't know if I can make it 6!)

Additional comment added 11th March
Yeh! I have just added my 100th post so I am going to add a bit more stash to my blog candy in celebration!!
In the picture, amongst other items, there are over 20 clear Anna Griffin UMs and also some amazing flat antique pearl buttons which I cut off an old bag I found in a charity shop.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Workshop at Vicky Stampers

I had a fun day at Victoria Stampers yesterday and big thanks for the workshop which was given by guest tutor Margaret Rose of Stampinup. We all made the blue gift box with 3 cards inside and had the opportunity to play with all the Stampinup punches and stamps.

 We also made a useful pocket fold to hold some mini chocky Easter eggs, which most of us couldn't resist eating. I remember making the same fold, many years ago when I ran a Girl Guide company, and we used it to hold water as an emergency drinking cup! Margaret Rose also showed us how to make the large  flower. These are so effective and quite distressed and I'll certainly make them again in different sizes and colours. We made the pockets from Scrapbook paper (the striped one) but I came home and made some more from paper I had coloured and decorated myself. (the 2 in front of photo).

 I am told that information for the folds and for making the flowers is in Stampinup's tutorials on YouTube. 
 the  The day was so relaxing and such good fun, although more practical than creative. With the usual good company we laughed so much whilst crafting and at one stage during a flow discussing our favourite Disney films we started  singing "Zippedy Doo Dah" which spread round the room as everyone joined in.
I'd love to do this every week so now I am really looking forward to the next meeting, in April, which will be a layered Asian Lantern Card, with my friend Neet as tutor. 

Friday, 5 March 2010

"Time" MOO Swap and Mirror ATC

I've just added   my ATC entry for tomorrow's swap. The theme is "Through the Looking Glass, and I presume that means Alice in Wonderland related, but as I don't have any images to suit I have just interpreted it literally and made a mirror. Yeh! It's Vicky Stampers again tomorrow and I always have a great day. Partly because of catching up with the lovely crowd of crafty friends who attend, but we do some fab projects as well as nattering. Tomorrow is a "Stamping Up" guest tutor but I don't know the project... watch this space as I may make something to post.
I signed up for my first MOO swap not knowing just how tiny the pieces would have to be ....2.8cms x 7cms!! eeek! For messy, splodgy, me that is quite a challenge so I had to think about detail and composition on an entirely different scale.
 I sponged the background with Distress Inks, made some squiggles with Conte pencils, then rubbed Distress Inks over small gauge sequin waste producing the spots. I stamped over with the Paperartsy stamp I received as a freebie for subscribing to Craft Stamper magazine and it came in perfectly for the theme of "Time". The clock faces were coated with Sepia Accents then, before it set, I dropped in some tiny watch parts, which my friend Dot had given me last birthday...... Thanks Dot, my angel, you are always there when I need you!! LOL!