Tuesday, 28 September 2010

WOYWW 69 & Superlambanana

My lovely blogging friend Doone, who is a regular WOYWWer, has just had a really sad loss in her life and so my thoughts are with her and her family and I dedicate this post to her. Please keep her in your thoughts too if you know her, or even if you don't!
Here I am a long way from home, still crafting, but most of all I must admit that I'm still making a mess. This is the dining table in the place we are visiting on the south Coast of England and through the window and the morning mist, that is the SEA! Yeah! It's a great spot and the weather has been lovely. We've had our grandees visiting so I've been able to craft whilst they snooze. Amazing what can be stashed into two A4 plastic boxes and here's proof what mess just that much stash can make with the help of ME!!
If you 'd like to be part of all this and want to snoop on lots more desks then go over to Julia's blog at Stamping Ground to find out all about this chance to be a crafty voyeur!
BTW....Don't miss my Blog Candy to celebrate my blog makeover, (on my side bar)
I've been making hundreds of fan images for a Make and Takes at Japan Day which is coming up in a couple of weeks.
I found a great little craft shop in the town of Seaford, lovely people and, of course, I managed to be tempted by some of the lovely stash.
We've enjoyed some spectacular sunsets. Nature's Canvas!
Recently Doone asked me about the Superlambananas and what had happened to them since the end of Liverpool being European Capital of Culture. They are now all over the world, having been auctioned to raise money for local charities. There are, however, quite a few around the city which were bought by local businesses and this is one of my favourites outside the 60 Hope Street Restaurant.
This one's for you Doone!

Monday, 27 September 2010

ATC Files & LIPA Luggage

A couple of years ago, I was a tutor at Katyscorner Weekend Stamp Camp. A wonderful event I loved being part of. My project was an ATC wallet which was made with Origami pockets. Recently I found some of my samples and some were in component stages so I decided to make another one and finish some of the ones half made. 
                                             This the one I have just finished.
You can just see the pockets
The ATCs I made to go inside
This is one of my original samples below, using Distress Ink and bleaching out the face and hand.
Another Culture Trip
Outside LIPA ( the Liverpool Performing Arts Academy) which Paul MacCartney helped to fund and regularly supports, there is an interesting pavement sculpture of luggage, stacks of suitcases, guitar cases, hampers etc. 
Many have luggage labels or name plates on of famous people connected to the city ad there is a "who's who" list nearby on the wall. Here's Paul McCartney's guitar case.
At graduation time students in their caps and gowns pile over the cases to capture what must be a great photographic memory.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Tiny Toes for a Blog Award

I've been awarded a blog award by my lovely friend Dot of Trollymog Blog and I'm honoured she chose me. Thanks Dot!!. I have to add a photo to my blog that it very special to me and pass the award on to some other people.
I have three special tiny girls in my life that I wish I could see more often but they live so far away that it's never often enough. They are all so precious, beautiful, and growing so fast, that the photo I chose shows these tiny new born feet of one of them. Doesn't matter who's the owner of these tiny toes, as all three are so cute!
Hard to choose but I'd like to offer this award on to Julia of WOYWW, Paul of Artsiders, Anne(Liverpool Lou), Sam, Lisa and Alison CB. All lovely people and enthusiastic bloggers. 

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Blog Candy, Distress & 1,000 Bells

I am so thrilled at all the good things happening this week. After winning the last Stampman Challenge with my Music card, I have now been showcased with a feature about me and my art in the Inspirations Blog. I'd love you to take a peek there and share my joy!
A few years ago I missed a workshop given by my talented friends Cath and Lynne of Katyscorner and they did their own take on an unusual structure, which I think was from an Art Specially book. (I am sure they will correct me if I'm wrong). I always wanted to make one so I've figured it out myself and had a go. Don't know if I've made it correctly but it is effective and I am entering it for the next Stampman Fortnightly Challenge which is themed "Distress". I used Distress Inks on here and gave it a bit of a worn antiqued look, especially on the front cover. It has Cath's favourite quote on the front and I wish I could find that stamp for her! anyone got a spare?
Tiny distressed tags tucked into the seam stitching.

Blog Candy
In celebration of my blog makeover by Susie Jefferson of 1stfloorflat (button on my sidebar!) I am relaunching my new look blog with a candy giveaway.
Thank you so much for the thousandth time to Suzie for making my blog just how I wanted it and using my own artwork and her expertise so wonderfully. I love it!
To enter please....
1) Add a comment to this post
2)Add it to your sidebar
3)You don't have to become a follower but you'll get an extra entry if you do as a bonus.
This will run until 12th October which is just over 2 weeks away so not too long to wait
I will give 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes, as I have a few more goodies than in the photo, when I find them!
Culture Fix!
This week we took a trip down to the Observatory, which is alongside Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, to see another entry in the Biennial Arts Festival.
There are 1,000 bells hanging and a recorded dialogue and tinkling sounds but the in depth meaning of it all defeats me. It looks so effective and I enjoyed the sight but must admit that cannot see the reason.
A group of people were there filming a programme about the Biennial so we had to duck and dive to keep out of their way. One man taking photographs apologised for keeping me and I was surprised to be talking to Mike McCartney (need I add brother of the even more famous Sir Paul?). I'm pleased to say that he was chatty and charming so I took this photo. 
Later he was talking to some American tourists and he thanked them for visiting the city, adding "Thank you very much for the Aintree Iron, thank you very much, thank you very, very,very, much"!!! I just hope they knew what he was going on about!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

WOYWW & Japan Day News

Was there a week between last Wednesday and this? I really don't think so! It should be called Wizzday as it comes round so fast!
On Monday, my good friend Caz of Stampattack came to visit from Blackpool and brought me her new range of stamps... Steam Punk and Backgrounds. I do remember Monday! We discussed plans for the forthcoming shows and had a great playday making samples with the new stamps and generally having fun.
 As you'll see by my state of play I still have WIP as I'm making a Steam Punk flag book to display the new images. Here are my first two almost completed tags, only 10 more to go!
Look at all that yummy new rubber!
If you are confused as to why I am exposing all my wonderful mess, it is actually a piece of fine art on display for the Biennial Art Fest.... NOT!!!! It's all part of What's on Your Work Desk Wednesday when we happy, mad, arty people show what we are getting up to and how we do it, as part of the delectable Julia's WOYWW at Stamping Ground. So pop over to see so many more if you enjoy snooping! This wonderful event happens every week but the following event is only every 2 years.........
Now some great News ....
This amazingly fabulous event celebrates the culture, arts and crafts of Japan. 
It is to be held Sunday 17th October in the Midland Hotel in Manchester and is FREE
I attended the last one and it was a fantastic day with so much to see and do. This year my friend Caz, of Stampattack, and I will exhibit, selling her Japanese range of stamps, papers and trimmings and will be doing make and takes. I am also demonstrating Mizuhiki Knots.
There will be something for everyone, including hands on experiences in ikebana, kimono dressing, sushi making, koy carp, woodblock printing, embroidery, calligraphy, fencing, armour, crafts and gifts, travel info., etc. A wonderful interesting and different day out.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Sponged Cake Wraps

I have had requests for instructions to make the card I made for the last Stampman Challenge. So I decided to make some "mock ups" rather than giving instructions. They are so easy to make that it will be clearly visible from the following examples.

On this finished card I went one step further and cut out an aperture with my Nestabilities before I made the folds to ensure the aperture was central. I stamped the lantern on acetate and stuck it behind the aperture to create a window. For the card background I, once again, used the cup cake wraps as stencils but this time sponged with distress inks. I think this is more effective than the sprayed ones I showed last post and it is easier to do as it doesn't wet the stencil and card so much.
I added some black dots to the swirls to link in with the black ink of the images.
This fold below is the one I used for my Music Themed Card (on last Thursday's post and repeated below) I have made these examples in two colours merely to show up the different layers of card.
It is just made with two pieces of card the same size. The back one is folded at the centre only. The front one is folded at the centre, then the sides are folded in to the centre. The centre angled portion is cut out which thus exposes the back area for whatever images you wish to add there.The outer two sections are then adhered together. Simples!

This is the same as above but it is just taller
This centre is cut out with a Nestabilities Die and the outcut is adhered to the back of the card. Remember to stamp it first before folding.
This also shows how it looks when the top layer of card is smaller giving a border. 
The cards can also be made by just cutting a smaller piece of card and allowing a narrow strip to stick on to the back card. This is useful if you have to count the grammes for posting abroad.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Cup Cake Wrap Stencils

I finished the cards that were WIP on my desk last Wednesday where I had been spraying colour over cup cake wraps, using them as stencils. I also laid the coloured stencil over the top of the card. Tomorrow I post some more where I sponged over the stencils.
Liverpool is once again hosting the Biennial Arts Festival and there are so many exhibitions and installations around the city. Shops and independants are also joining in with this fantastic event which brings so many visitors to the city on the culture trail.
I spotted this weird piece of art in Seel Street near China Town and had to stop for a second look as I thought I was seeing things.
The building next door asks a question???? 
Just a hundred yards away one of Banksy's old works is deteriorating on a derelict pub and is passed by almost unnoticed by people on the art trail. A piece of his Graffiti Art was found in Manchester on the side of an old electric substation and it made news headlines and is being preserved and revered. This one is fading away. BTW... it's a RAT not a CAT!
Shops are getting into the spirit of it all and I loved this window....I meant to count them. They have had to put a notice up that the green gnomes are NOT for sale!
There are so many sites to visit and I'll be seeing as many as I can.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


I'm in the process of having a blog maker over so you'll notice various sudden changes over the next few days. Really exciting for me! I'll be having some blog candy to launch the new look, when it is all complete, so keep an eye out!

Well it's WOYWW 67 today and it comes faster and faster, each week and I'm amazed where the days go? 
Here we are again, as voyeurs, amongst the manic messes of the creative world, (and the orderliness of some), to snoop on desks around the world. If you wonder if I've gone mad, then take a visit to Julia's (our Majesty's) blog at Stamping Ground to find out what it's all about.
I did tidy my desk before I started messing around again with inkiness. At the back you'll spy some jam jars which are standing ready for my pickles, when they are made very soon. 
There's a Pepper Pig which is a new stamp toy for my grandees. 
On the left are some lacy cake wraps which I had the idea to use as stencils and you can see some of my WIP experiments in the foreground. I laid the "stencil" over the top, as it is now coloured, and it will look good adhered over the background. 
My 4 new wood mounted stamps were bought really cheaply from a garden centre craft area. Yes! I know one of them, the biggy, is a CH*****as one but EEEK! I couldn't possibly use it yet. It was a real bargain so I couldn't leave it there. 
I acquired the old box with 9 compartments for £1 in one of Lady Heys Antique Shops. It used to hold the numbers for hymns and the guy wanted to sell me the hymn board too but as you can tell..... I have enough junk!!!
This is my cutting station "before"( it's on the top of my washing machine)....
..........I tidied! Now isn't that better?
If you spot these hand sanitiser sprays (below) in your £1 shops, usually at 3 for £1, remember that once empty, they unscrew and make great misters and are far cheaper than buying a certain other range of mini misters. 
The lubricating pens, above, also can usually be found in £1 shops or elsewhere in hardware shops. 
I prefer the 3M branded ones but they are all great for removing Stazon, for cleaning stamps, for removing sticky gunge from scissors and guillotines etc., and for making scissors non stick before cutting rubber. I get mine for 47p from Home Bargains shops.
Off to make a coffee and snoop a while....... so keep messing!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Mizuhiki Mingle & Chinese Arch

I made this card for a mingle on OSA (Oriental Stamp Art) group and it had to include a mizuhiki knot on it somewhere. I love making these knots which represent continuing friendship and I often turn out a few on long journeys to have ready as gifts or to use on my Asian cards.
The stamps are from the geisha plate I designed for Stampattack. The main image inside always makes me laugh as, when I originally finished drawing it, I asked DH what he thought of it and he answered "Bum, bum, bum bum!" Get it? I tell everyone who buys the stamp from me at the shows, just for fun!
This is the front when it is tied up and I attached another knot and threaded my ribbon ties through it.
I used some Washi paper to fill the triangle areas and to save time as there are so many spaces to fill.
I also added an ATC for the hostess of the mingle.

Sunday we enjoyed sharing the celebration for my lovely neighbour Betty who really doesn't look her age. She is lovely, a real gem and so elegant too. It was an exceptional meal.... three courses of lovely food and wine and the company of all her lovely family and a few special friends. We were honoured to be a part of it and we will certainly return to Pushka for another meal.
As we arrived early, we took a walk in the sunshine up to Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral and to the Chinese Arch. It is a spectacular sight especially when the gold leaf glistens in the sun.
It was a gift from the people of Shanghai to celebrate the Millenium and is the focal point each year for the Chinese New Year Celebrations. At over 50 feet high, it is the largest arch outside of China and has 200 hundred dragons and five roofs.  
After that Southport in the rain just didn't offer much today! Hope the sun shone wherever you are!