Saturday, 30 January 2010

Brighton Bound! Bingo Board and Js

I'm collecting the letter J in any shape or form. I have a couple of biggys to alter but have already played around with the ones above. Egocentric... why not!! Tee Hee!
The clip board above we  made on a play day with my friend Caz. We always have fun and produce something new. She came up with the idea of altering Bingo boards...I certainly wouldn't have  need for a Bingo Board but the clip board it ended up as would be useful to pin notes and shopping lists , photos etc. The background is roughly washed with Gesso then Distress inks were applied before stamping. The metal parts were treated with alcohol inks to blend them into the overall effect.

I've almost edited a few more bits so may post whilst I'm away ... keep watching.
Anyhow... just a quickie to say that I'll be Brighton bound too early in the morning. Just me going to help DD1 with things as her newbie is due very soon. Looking forward to seeing my 2.5 yr old grandee especially since DD2 her DH and 5 month old babe returned to Germany on Tuesday. Oooh I miss my family! Whilst there I'll miss DH who will be back here too! Can't win.
I may be able to post, depending how well the laptop is functioning down there... let's hope. If not I hope you are all happy and healthy until I return..... could be within the week depending how things are but I have a workshop to teach on 12th Feb so need to be home by then.... watch this space.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Tiny shoes for tiny little people

 In between paper crafting, I've been knitting for my grandees. Whilst baby DGD2 visited I made her a pair of tiny UGG style Brighton Button boots to keep her toes cosy. Much cuter than the full size ones. 
I also made some mini Converse style trainers and Mary Jane Shoe Socks for the expected No3 DGD. I made the trainers/sneakers for DGD2 from an idea on a 1 inch square picture of something similar so had to guess how to make them. My daughter keeps sending me pics of little gems that I must make,(eg., the line of tiny hats for advent) but no patterns!!!... just have to make them up as I go along but after a couple of trial runs I can usually get a good result.
I am now writing the pattern for the Mary Janes and UGGs and hope to get the mini trainers onto paper soon. It's quite boring and laborious, but I'm nearly there, so if anyone wants a pattern.... please ask!  The Mary Janes can be made just as a shoe or with a sock extention added, as below.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Candy Wraps

BTW ... Have added the instructions to the Peep Hole card .....scroll down

My friend Mo has two lovely twin grandsons who are so talented that they have achieved places 
 both in a specialist music college and also in their cathedral choir. I'm so thrilled for them that I want to send congratulations so I've made these candy wraps to send to them.
It's a simple idea from years ago shared by a group friend of mine, Mary G in America, and it was originally just made from 2 sided scrapbook paper. I played round with it and I often make these for gifts as they can hold a small bar of chocolate, sachets of beauty products, gifts of money or vouchers and messages can be written on the back of the large tag. They can  also be stuck onto cards so they are versatile and can be decorated to suit any occasion.

Here are few instructions, but please ask if you don't understand any of my ramblings. 
Decorate an A5 piece of card stock on both sides.
Contrast colours on each side or make one side plain, one stamped.
Cut out the required pieces as indicated in the 1st picture below thus having a square for the candy wrap plus one large and one small tag.  
Refer to 2nd photo and fold back a narrow strip down one side edge.
Fold the other side edge to meet the folded strip.
Fold the top corner down diagonally, to form a flap, as in 2nd and 3rd photos.
Trim off the part of the folded strip that shows at the side of the diagonal flap, as photo 4.
Round off the top corners. I use my new corner cruncher tool by Crop-o-dile but there are small corner rounder punches available for a couple of £s.
Glue 1 cm at the sides and bottom.
Crimp the bottom edge with a ribbler (if you have one). This strengthens it and gives a more "professional" finish.
Add finishing touches with ribbons, charms and tags to your own preference.


Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Tatty Heads/ air blasted alcohol ink

Feeling blue and sad that my DD2, her DH and babe have today returned to Germany....always a low time, so tomorrow I'm going to craft in an attempt to cheer me up so hope to post some results.

Have to go to Brighton on Sunday to help DD1 who has baby girl No 2 within the next month. Her 2 year old is lively (but lovely) and so I can take her out, entertain her, cook and help about the house. What are Mums for?

Above is a card using a background made with alcohol ink dropped onto glossy card then blasted with compressed air and stamped with two of my Tatty Head designs stamps from

I'm pleased to say that Olive in Warrington, England, and Karin in Sweden, have received their blog candy prizes and I hope Katarina and Wyld Cat receive their's very soon.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Peep hole card

I'm pleased to say that I am in contact with Wyld Cat and her blog candy prize will be winging it's way to her.

It has been so lovely having some of my family to visit but I am really going to miss them when they leave on Tuesday, especially the baby. They grow and change so quickly and I hate to miss it.

 As they have gone out to visit friends I thought I'd pop in and add these cards, which I made as samples for last week's workshop. The fold makes a little book which has a series of apertures which diminish in size up to the focal point at the back...... Hence the name! I coloured the background card with a combination of distress Inks, Colour Wash Sprays and Glimmer Mists, through stencils then stamped over at random. On the green card I rubbed gold acrylic paint through sequin waste (punchinello) just in a few areas. It produces a 
slightly raised effect which I love. 
I'll add the instructions for this card as soon as I can. It's my own take on an idea shown to me by my friend Caz of when we had a play day some time ago.Thanks Caz!

Peep Hole Card Diagram 
When decorated, concertina fold the top layer of card to the right.
Then fold all top layers down to the covers (on the bottom)
Close the front cover over to complete card fold.

To open and stand.... concertina fold the top layers and stand on top of the open cover.
From the front you can peep through all apertures to the focal point image at the back.


Friday, 22 January 2010

So sorry that I didn't catch up on messages as I have family staying here and the computer room is now the baby's bedroom! I had changed my settings to "moderated" after someone I know had her blog infiltrated and with all the things going on I forgot to look if there were any messages, I'm just not used to moderating yet... Doh!! So sorry to Wyld Cat who's been trying to make contact..... I will contact ASAP and get that prize posted off. Amazingly, Olive has already received hers!
Off now for a family lunch out for DD2s birthday.......... We're going American! Ribs and chicken, steak and fries.....Yum! Damon's here is a fab restaurant.

To those who asked about their messages being been deleted... thanks for contacting but I delete any containing email addresses, once I've read them, for your own security.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Acetate Card

Thanks for the lovely emails from 3 of the Blog Candy winners and also from some of the unsuccessful entrants. The winners' prizes will be posted today.
I am still waiting for Wyld Cat in Kentucky to contact me.

It's pouring with rain, but I'm so happy today as my DD2, her DH and 5 month old babe are at this moment flying over from Germany to England to visit us. Woo hoo! I'm so excited and relieved that there is no snow or ice to cause problems on their journey.
I made my daughter this card last night, as her birthday is in 2 days time, and as she is on her way here she won't get to see it.. 
I stamped swirls on acetate using Stazon Black ink, as I've always found this to be best ink on acetate.
The images are stamped on thin white card and the squares must be cut and positioned back to back on the acetate very accurately. 

I added mini tags with messages on both sides and tied them through eyelets to the back edge of the card.
I quite like the impression that everything is suspended in space but this made it so difficult to photograph. It just had to be in daylight as flash reflected so much.
Top pic is the front and the bottom one shows the card open and how the squares fit back to back.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Blog Candy Winners!!!

(Addition to message at 7.14pm 
I've been contacted by Katarina, Karin and Olive who are all happy to have won... .just waiting for details from Wyld Cat in Kentucky USA)

Congratulations folks!! This morning my 83 year old neighbour, Arthur, kindly drew the names of the Blog Candy winners for me. He was so pleased to do it and jokingly asked if he too gets a prize. I told him that he wouldn't know what to do with any of them!!
Thanks to everyone who entered, to the many who have become followers of my blog and for so many lovely comments about my art. Most of all it is a pleasure to feel that so many of you have gained inspiration and ideas.
Amazingly, I had 106 entries from so many corners of the world... Argentina, Africa, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, Russia, USA and Ukraine. With so many entrants I'll make it 4 winners..........and here they are ...........

1) Katarina from Sweden        
2) Karin from  the Netherlands  
3) Olive from Warrington, England
4) Wyld Cat from Kentucky, USA

If you don't have an email address on your blog then please leave it in a comment below this message and I will delete your email as soon as I've read it. I will then contact you privately to arrange getting your prizes out to you as soon as possible.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Butterfly card


Instructions as requested

This is a card from Saturday's workshop but this one is folded correctly. The yellow one in my last posting is incorrect, but I think it still looks OK, that's why I still posted it. 
As I have been asked for instructions, I have made a quick sketch of the folds for this card. As I said earlier, it is quite simple to make but looks complex.

Fold an oblong piece of card in 3 ( if your fold isn't exact then just trim off the excess)
Make a cut about 3cm (or just over 1 inch), at  top and bottom, as marked by the solid lines, .....
....from the middle of the 1/3 on the left side, to the middle of 1/3 on the right side.
Then fold along the short broken lines.
Adjust the folds of the card into the positions shown in the photo of the black and white card.
As I've shown below.. if you get it wrong it can still look good and it's good to be different.
You can adjust the size of the card so it is short and fat or long and thin depending on your needs and taste. Play around with spare card to make templates to the sizes you like.
I don't measure much, but as a guide the above card is made from card stock approx 15.5 x 27.5 cms or 6 x 11 inches.

You can colour/decorate your own cardstock or use plain cardstock and mount layered images onto the card.

REMINDER.....Last day today to enter for my blog candy..... closing the entries at midnight so still time to limbo under the wire!!

I'm going to post details for making the backgrounds I did recently and maybe get a video made but I'll be quite busy over the next week or so as my DD2 is visiting from Germany with her DH and baby. Ooooh!! I'm soooo excited ... this is better than birthdays or Christmas!!! I have a few items in hand waiting to upload but otherwise,I'm sure you'll understand if I don't post as much as usual. Life gets in the way of crafting but this is one thing I really don't mind.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Double fold card

The rain has washed away most of the snow around here so all's well for the workshop tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone and having a great day crafting. 

First we'll be playing with my new background ideas..... so watch out for instructions of how to do them early next week. Then we'll be folding lots of 3D cards and decorating as many as time allows. The members of this workshop group are all such good friends that we tend to talk too much and end up finishing things at home, but we have so much fun.

I just had to make something today from these new stamps that arrived from Stamp Bug and were designed by Penibear. My friend Neet showed them to me and that was it... just HAD to have them!

This is what I made as another sample and it is one of the folds I'm doing tomorrow, shown closed and open... easy but just looks difficult!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Tiny folded frames

The snow was almost clear and then we had a fresh fall overnight. Just had to take this picture of the tracks left by a car's 3 point turn...... the driver will never know!

Another tiny frame duo (2 ins square) from paper I coloured.The patterns looked so geological so I added some polished stones to the front.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Folded picture frames

Just heard there's more
 great blog candy on
Erica's  fab blog to check out

Don't forget
to scroll down
to see my
blog candy
and also  there's
 a great offer at

  I love making these, simple to make, little picture frames and  they can be linked up to make a folder, an album or a hanging. They can also be  joined in a cross shape..... with a centre frame and a frame connected to each side.
I usually decorate my own papers but here, for speed, I used scrapbook papers.
Here in the five frame album (below) I slotted in stamped images of my Tatty Head and Freckles designs. Above in a twin fold are more Geishas images and a picture of the front of the album.
The frames can also be used to display family photos or make a memory book.
One day I'l learn to make video tutorials but until then I'll try to give directions via pictures and words.
Please let me know if you don't understand any of it!

NOTE: These frames can be any size but the finished frame will be a quarter of the size of the paper square you start with. eg., 6in X 6in paper gives a 3in x 3in frame.
Fold a square of paper as indicated in the photo on the right
First fold the 4 sides into the centre
Then turn paper over and fold the 4 corners into the centre
Then fold in the four corners tips to meet the cross point
of the centre square.
Push in the sides as you can see in the next photos

Cut square pictures to fit exactly under, and into, the corners.
A good tip is to also cut a piece of acetate, the same size, to fit over the pictures.
Link the frames into the desired shape by glueing small pieces of card to fit into the side slits (formed by the folds) to join the units together as hinges. 

Colours of Life

Yeh!! It's 3 degrees today.......I may be singing the Three Degrees song..."When will I see you again?" about the snow, but it's 3C and the first time it's been that high in weeks. I never thought 3C could feel so warm. I hope it doesn't come back this year as we've all had enough of indoors and I want to get to the workshop on Saturday. The thaw is well on the way and it is now far easier to get around walking or by car so, let's hope. 
I'll have craft to post later but for now I really want to share this poem. Had it for years but I came across it again today. Colour plays such an important part in our lives and I always give colour ratings to the days I've had.

If you painted your life, would it be grey, with rare flames of scarlet for each special day?
The odd strands of silver where you kept your illusions, mixed in with blues showing loss & confusion.
If you painted your life would there be storms? For the times you lost courage and agreed to conform.
Perhaps you'd paint stars, one for each dream that gave life a meaning, or so it once seemed.
Has anyone painted clouds in your sky and dulled your bright colours as your chances passed by?
Maybe it's time to take back the brush, start painting your own life, enough is enough.
You can paint rainbows, banishing grey and splash on some gold, starting today.
Puddles of silver, shimmering, bright; walk out of the shadows, come into the light.
Perhaps you need mellow, golden nut brown. Are you running too fast, is it time to slow down?
Paint yourself peace and space just to be, gentle blue mornings, a soft lilac sea.
In painting your life let the beautiful days shimmer in gold and light up the greys.
Paint it with courage, thread silver strands, pick up your brush, life's in your own hands.
Take it with both hands.

Well we've certainly had lots of white days lately turning to grey but the green is showing through and I expect bright shiny colours back for us all very soon.

Monday, 11 January 2010

More black & white Asian

I made these two cards from the extra images stamped for my mingles. I love the gingko leaf design but can't remember who I bought it from at the Stempelmekka show in Hagen, Germany, last September. I think yesterday's diagonally spliced cards look far better than the quartered card here. 
I'm feeling so self satisfied having posted out cards for all the January birthdays. For once I'm ahead as, thanks to the weather, I've made a stash of cards. Production will slow down now that the big thaw has arrived. 

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Geishas with Chalk Resist Background

This morning I went outside to give food and fresh unfrozen water, to the birds and I discovered that one of us had left the back door open all night. Eeek! Living in a big city, security and the need to lock doors is important so, I think we were lucky. However, I don't think too many burglars will be out in this cold weather and I was amused to read, last week, that  2 thieves who did risk it were caught, very easily... they were tracked by their footprints in the snow back to their own houses! Yeeehh!!

Today I enjoyed messing around with chalk inks to make a background and thus fulfil the challenge for an Asian swap, which my good friend Leo is organising. I liked the background so much that I made 3 cards from it and stamped the images with the geishas UMs that I designed for stampattack. Not sure which one I'll send in for the mingle but I think it may be the 4 geishas in a row. 
When I did the drawing for this one I asked my husband what he thought  of it and his reply was "Bum, bum, bum, bum!!" ( 4 backsides in other words!!) so that's what I always call that image!
For the background I stamped a Japanese script with Versamark then clear embossed it. I sponged chalk pads over in two shades of blue and a little yellow and, after drying, the chalk polished off the embossing to show the script.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Black & White

The card is for a Black and White challenge and the bookmark for an Asian mingle, each for a different one of my groups. For the card I stamped 2 of the images, one  embossed black on white card and one embossed with opaque white on black card. I then sliced them to fit together. I find it easier to cut the black one, match it up with the white one, then draw a fine pencil line to mark the cutting line.
I haven't tried this technique for ages.

My crafting time was axed today as we ventured out to get fresh food supplies and it was quite an adventure with cars and people sliding where they shouldn't have gone. We are now stocked up but it was scary in the supermarket to see so many empty shelves with people panic buying and with the stores not getting their normal deliveries.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Stash of new cards

The set of ATCs on the left are for a swap I signed up to only yesterday. Now that's a 1st for me as I'm usually last minute with making swaps. The theme was open but the ATCs had to include a postage stamp, so I used the quote stamp, which I love, "If my words had wings they would fly to you each day" and it linked up nicely to the butterflies on the postage stamps. Now I just need to brave the elements and get out to post them!
Another day housebound but I'm not complaining as I have been very productive making a stash of cards. I really need to catch up with posting out some RAKs and Birthday cards to my friends in my groups so these will be so handy. I made good use of the stamped backgrounds I made in December whilst on holiday in France.
DH bought me the flowers when he slid his way to the doctor's earlier in the week and they are compliment the colours in the cards. Orange Gerberas, Purple Anenomes, Tulips and green Button  Chrysanths. It almost looks like it's my birthday!  We may be down to 3 toilet rolls in this house but we do have lovely flowers!

Blog Candy!

To brighten things up at this dark, cold, time of year, I thought I'd add some cheer by sharing blog candy, to say thanks to everyone who has taken the time to look at my craft ramblings. It's almost a couple of months since I started Jozartdesigns and already, amazingly, I have entered over 50 posts.

I will draw at random from all who leave a message over the next couple of weeks ( closing date Monday 18th Jan) and post out packets to 1st, 2nd and 3rd, as I have some more crafty stash to share. I will also give away 3 items I have made, the key fob shown here, one of my perfume phial pendants and a piece of grunge jewellery. (look at Nov 4th posting for pics of the latter 2 items). I have also included some Geisha UMs which I designed for

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Waxed Cigar box

Being housebound due to the icy conditions is a great excuse to craft. I justified it by cleaning a room this morning so I wouldn't feel guilty for playing around the rest of the day. Inspired after peeking at Suze Weinberg's great blog, I decided to revisit wax  techniques and it was a real but scrummy mess along the way. I worked in the kitchen instead of my craft room so I could use the cooker to melt the wax in a Bain Marie. I just didn't think to use my melt pot and ended up totally messing up the kitchen with inks, stamps, trimmings etc., and had to clean up before making dinner. Doh!!  

A warning here to anyone thinking of crafting with hot wax... check the internet for full instructions if you've never done it before and take every precaution for safety... don't set the house on fire!!! 

The finished article, an old wooden Cuban cigar box about 200cm x 110cm, looked pretty miserable after I  wax collaged it, until I rubbed the amazing metallic Lumiere paints over a few areas, which really lifted it.

 If, like me, you are a real geriatric,  you should know the lady in the collage.... it's an English film star from my childhood.... Anna Neagle. Such an elegant lady.
 Don't miss two great blog candy chances. One from
katykrunch.blogspot (closes 19th January)........

and scroll down to 4th Jan for my blog candy.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Yummy Backgrounds

Had time for a short craft burst after dinner and made some more yummy backgrounds and really messed up my hands once again. This technique was to be part of the workshop I was due to host on Saturday but sadly it's likely to be cancelled, hopefully deferred, due to the snow and ice. 

I added the top photo as an afterthought as I found the piece of card drying in my craft room and just love the colours and swirls.

I've been asked to explain the technique and it looks like I'll be telling all the how to do info, here, very soon, if the class doesn't happen.... so watch this space.

Go Snow!

It has been the most beautiful day with sunshine and an azure blue sky ( see above left) so I ventured out to clear snow and care for the  wild birds but I couldn't resist spoiling the untouched snow in our back garden. I copied my DD2 who drew a heart in the snow for her DH, Aaaahh! so romantic. I made mine in return  just for fun and I left out some of the apples, that had softened in storage, for the birds. I think that's the Jay in the photo above who was 1st to pounce on them. No crafting yet today but I have been comfort cooking for Britain. I made yummy lentil and veg soup with a ham shank and also a spiced sausage casserole for dinner... the house smells wonderful.