Tuesday, 30 November 2010

WOYWW 78 & Lueneburg

Well my desk this week isn't a desk it's a dining table here in my daughter's house in Lueneburg, Germany. I couldn't get away without crafting in some way this week and you can see fabric on the table as I am making a copy of a hat and cape, in warm red fleece, for my little grandee. It makes a change from my usual mess!
If you are snowbound, or not, in any part of the world, why not pop over to our illustrious leader Julia's blog... Stamping Ground and you'll be able to peruse over 100 more desks.... messy or tidy..... you'll have to find out in your snoops!
Here, we seem to have escaped the bad weather that's sweeping through England and whilst there is snow here, it's only a smattering and the odd flurry. It's really cold at a few degrees below and a colder spell is forecast for Thursday. 
Late this afternoon we went into town to see the Christmas Market....Weihnachtsmarkt.... in full glory, all so beautifully lit up and, of course, we partook of our first gluhwein of the festive season.... Neet, I had one for specially for you and it was just wonderful and warmed me through so well! That's two new mugs to add to my collection! If you don't claim back your deposit you get to keep the mugs and they are different each year. I've got to make a confession here... we did take our own home made mince pies with us to eat with the gluhwein!! Is that a first I ask?? 
The Raathaus (Town Hall) looks amazing with Renaissance style images projected on it's facade. 

I bought these tiny wooden decorations specially for my friend Neet who is making an Advent House... I think they'll fit perfectly and I put my finger in the corner of the pic so you can see the scale. Hope she likes them!
Lots more photos to share so I'll post some more tomorrow.... watch this space!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Tree, Cherubim and Santa Advent Tags & Lueneburg

I prepped this post in England so now I'm in Germany I will add some photos of Lueneburg, the lovely little town where my daughter lives.
First some more tags..........Tags 14 & 15! I love my tree with the tiny gingerbread man, but I am not too fussy about Santa here. I might have a rethink and make him again entirely different. 
I think he's lost his Ho, Ho, Ho, as I just couldn't get that beard to stick

Having a great time here with my family and it's especially lovely to share precious time with my little 15 month old grandee who is such a joy and lots of fun.
I've been out and about today in the town but I am not going near the main Christmas Market until tomorrow... after dark when all the lights are lit when I'll have my first gluhwein!
Pretty cold here at a few degrees below freezing the snow sent a few more flakes down today but there is only a smattering underfoot.
My favourite supermarket!
Every year I buy a different mug for the year on the gluhwein stalls
I wished that white van would have moved!

This is a table in the local chemist selling spices for Christmas
This is the window display in the chemist showing lots of old equipment and prescriptions from the 1800s
Some of my favourite bread rolls....they look like chestnuts and are so small.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Candle & Bottle Advent Tags 11,12 & 13

Just a quick post before I fly out to Germany today to see my daughter and her family... and the Christmas Markets and enjoy the gluhwein! I'm taking my laptop so I'll be able to post pictures of all the loveliness there.
 Getting nearer to 25 ........and on the bottle again! Hic! Here are tags 11,12 & 13
and there just had to be mistletoe somewhere (it gives a bit of help and a girl can hope!)
This was made quite simply by stamping the image, painting it then clear embossing all over.
To mimic the running candle wax below I drizzled PVA glue then when dry, it was rubbed with Perfect Pearls.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Four Fold Card Tutorial

I have frequently been asked for information on how to make the Four Fold Card I posted, on July 10th this year, so I am showing how to make it via a series of pictures of the stages of it's construction.
There's a different and simpler sample to those I showed last July(click here for the original post.)
Inside the double flaps...
The card when closed...
The stages of how to make it.... Start with a square of card... I usually make it with a 12 x 12inch card which results in a 6 inch square finished card but it can be made any size and 8 x 8 inch makes a 4 inch square card.
These folds can be easily made by folding each side to the centre point
ie., 12 x 12inch card  folds would be 3 inches from the sides and the centre area would be 6 x 6 inches.
Next cut out the four corner sections
Cut each flap to the centre point as shown in the photo below and Trim a narrow sliver from the inner edge of the loose edge of the flap. you can just see this in the pic. It is to enable the flaps to fold inward and lie flat neatly. 
 Fold flaps in half
Trimming the edges of the flaps allows them to lie flat neatly when folded inward as in the pic below.
Remember to add eyelets (for the 4 ribbon ties) only to the top layer of card as indicated by the markings.
You can also make different variations of this card by experimenting and changing the sizes of the flaps as I did in the July sample. 
The Card can also be made by sticking separate flaps to a card which is useful if you do not have card large enough to make the preferred finished size.
The original idea for this card was from a small version made as a memory keeper, as featured in Art Specially book a few years ago. I have modified it radically but thank Art Specially for the inspiration. 
If you need any further information, please contact me and I'll be happy to help if I can!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Angelina, Tags 9 & 10, & WOYWW 77

REMINDER... last day today to enter a tag for TIO... details on the side bar. A prize of a plate of stamps! 
I'm still beavering away trying to get my 24 advent tags made before I leave for Germany at the weekend. I've had some great inky handed fun messing with Alcohol inks and also using Angelina Fibres which I've had for years and forgotten about. How many other things are lurking forgotten in those drawers and cupboards?
Angelina is easy to use but I don't know if it will wreck clear UMs, so be warned!. I've only used rubber UMs as I know they are vulcanised and will withstand the heat of an iron.
(Just had a message from Angela who by bitter experience tells me that it won't work with CLEAR UMs ....so don't try it! Also she reminded me that Angelina works well with fabrics as it can be machined. Thanks Angela!)
First, I layered the fibres across the UM which was inked with Stazon and then laid a piece of waste copy paper on top. Next an iron, on low setting, no steam, (yes irons DO have their uses!) was pressed over the top for about 5 seconds.
A GOOD TIP... if you mess up your impression into the Angelina, don't waste it. Turn it over, re ink the stamp, add just a few extra shreds of fibres and iron it again on the reverse side.
 The edges look good left feathery but the poinsettia's were trimmed and red and yellow beads added to the centre. The Angelina gives a terrific sheen but as I had no pink or red, I used white  then coloured it really successfully with Alcohol Inks. It meant I could shade the poinsettia red, pink and green which gives an even better effect.
You can also see the effect below on some snowflakes and I've left the top RH one for you to see without Alcohol ink. A dosh or two of blending fluid helps the inks spread through the fibres and it means that by buying just the white sparkly Angelina you can create any colour or blends from it. The snowflakes, poinsettia, and the holly are all on the Winter plate I designed for Stampattack.
I tried it on this Winter Scene stamp from Crafty Individuals
Here below, several colours are applied to a Stampendous Gemstone image from their quad cube. I've given their link but I don't think the cube is still available.
The holly on the tag below is made from ready bought green Angelina Magic Fibres. 
Getting no tidier but also no messier... it's all action and I'm sure if I did nothing my desk would lay boringly empty, uninteresting, and very tidy. Believe it or not, (how double dare anyone say NOT!) I cleared desk space on Monday for an expected play day here with my friend, Olive. Alas she had to defer so I just had to mess it back up myself! She missed a load of fun, but we'll do it another time.
Well there a still strawberries to be seen and you can also see evidence of my Angelina/Alcohol Inky experiments!
My friend Neet recently showed me someone's fantastic display of ATCs so I thought I'd show you mine...maybe not as good as Neet highlighted but I do also have files of ATCs. They all start off on show behind this door before they go into the files.
Wondering why I'm rambling about my creative mess? Well, if you pop over to our Queen of the Desks ... Julia at her Stamping Ground blog, you'll be enraptured to find over a hundred other lunatics crafters and artists quite willingly showing theirs.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Advent Tags 5 to 8 & Mermie Grandees ATC

Last night I made 4 more Advent tags.....It's a shame the photos don't glisten and sparkle as the real things do!
A purple Grungeboard swirl
A boyfriend for Mildred and Dot.... they'll have to fight over George in his Gingerbread "House"!!
A blaze of stars
A cluster of hearts
Mermie Grandees
Now a ginormous thanks go out, as I am lucky to have received a tiny unique piece of handmade art from Donna a lovely blogging buddy. This talented, generous, young woman has set herself a major task to make 50 individual ATCs for her blog followers, and what's more, the lucky recipients are asked to challenge Donna to produce whatever subject they select. Click here to take a look at her blog to see some more on her side bar link.
 My choice was to have a mini portrait of my three precious grandees as mermaids, (mermaids are one of Donna's favourite subjects... mermies she calls them!). This is the beautiful hand painted water colour I received and I am so thrilled with it. She has even given the eldest littl'un her golden curls! I can't wait to show this to the children and their parents and I'm sure I will have to create a story to go with the picture! Thanks again Donna for such a special gift.
We had a lovely day out today in Southport, ..... sunny and crisply cold. We had a good walk along Lord Street which is a boulevard of shops covered with a Victorian glazed, filigree, wrought iron canopy and we also went down to the promenade on the sea front . The joke is in Southport, that although it is a seaside holiday town, the sea never comes in!! People joke that they went for a paddle in Southport.... if they do it's a VERY long walk to the sea!!
The Wayfarer's is in full splendour for Christmas with some beautiful decorations and trees in this lovely Victorian Glass Arcade. I love to see old places like this kept in good repair and treasured.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

WOYWW 76 & Advent Tags 2, 3 & 4

Another week has flown and my work desk is suffering after Sunday's Christmas Card workshop. I still haven't cleared everything away as I'm still using most of it to finish my cards and now my Advent Tag Thingy is on the go.
May I introduce you to Dot, my Advent Angel, tag 2, named after my lovely friend Dot who is always  so helpful. I wish the photo would show her sparkle.
WOYWW 76... well here's the awful evidence but I can redeem myself somewhat later.
I pushed it back and still couldn't get going on here so I decamped into the living room and worked on a small folding coffee table.(next pic) I worked here happily making three more additions to my Advent Thingy. (Thingy because I don't know yet  how all the items will be displayed). As I shared in an earlier post, they are tags from IKEA which I am altering.
Well I will now shock all those who know what a messer I am...the shock is that I cleared up!! Here's the proof and NO! I did NOT take this next photo earlier!! How very dare you if you thought that!
You can guess which is mine.... to the right....one of my favourite Polish mugs and one slice of toast with yummy homemade chicken liver pate, with sherry and herbs in it... guess who gets the TWO slices?
If you want to see more mayhem just like mine then there are over a hundred crafters sharing their wonderful spaces, ie., messes, (but a few tidy ones) over at our illustrious leader Julia's blog... Stamping Ground.

Here's Sidney Snowman, Tag 3. I used DecoArt Snow Paint over one of the IKEA tags.
Snowflakes, tag 4, made with leftover bits from my production line cards.
That's four I've made so only 20 to go!  All together now "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...... la, la la, la la etc.," It must be getting close if I've started thinking about it!

Christmas Production Line & Croxteth Hall

On Sunday I shared an amazing day with a group of friends, and made some new friends too, at a Christmas Card workshop, organised by my lovely friend Jayne, in Padgate near Warrington. It was a great venue and such good company and we laughed, ate, nattered, ate, crafted and ate all day... oh and drank tea and coffee too. Jayne made us lovely soups and cakes at home for us to share. Thanks to everyone, especially Jayne for organising it, as it was a special day. Thanks also to Lorraine for tempting us with the tins of chocs and biscuits.
I made simple production line Christmas cards for my DD2 in Germany to send to her friends and neighbours. I made a couple of sheets of background card using Distress Inks then stamped snowflake images all over in different shades and sizes. These were cut up and mounted onto holographic card and  I punched snowflakes out of the same card to trim the top. I made about 15 which is amazing considering how much we nattered, laughed and ate etc. I will add greetings to the front to complete them. The snowflakes are from the Winter plate of UMs that I designed for Stampattack and the plate also has mistletoe, spruce cones and poinsettia images.

Last week we had a lovely sunny afternoon visiting Croxteth Hall and Country Park.
It reminded me of when I used to re-enact Victorian Christmases, a couple of years ago, for parties of schoolchildren visiting the hall. I played a kitchen maid and here is the evidence below, with a few of my friends. I'm on the right and I must say that under the costume I wore thick tights, jogging pants, a woollen skirt, thermal vest and jumper to keep warm in the freezing basement kitchens whilst making mince pies and truffles with the children before Christmas parlour games in the great hall.
At the hall there is a home farm and playground, walled garden, stables cafe and tour of the hall as well as the country park, to enjoy there and it is such good day out at a very reasonable cost.
The Lady of the Manor's boudoir. 
As you enter each room a recording plays, the voices acting out the lives of the character's within.

Fancy a shower in this?
This litter was only 1 week old and mum was snoring for Britain, tongue out, whilst the family dined.
I loved this fella and he looks more of a pussy cat than a bull!