Tuesday, 31 May 2011

WOYWW 104 Happy 2nd Birthday!!

Woo hoo! Happy 2nd Birthday to all you WOYWWers out there and Huge Thanks to Julia who started this crazy, weekly, obsession to show our work desks to the world.
In celebration, my desk shows my WOYWW easel kindly made by Julia's Mr D, a dish of REAL strawberries as a treat, 2 candles lit in the birthday cupcake (modelled from PlayDoh), a parcel containing my PiF gift, and some mini bunting surrounding my giant stamped greeting to everyone. Last but not least... lots of printed strawberries can be seen on the wipe clean cloth on my, amazingly, tidy desk for this special occasion.
Go over to visit Julia's stamping ground blog to spy on the desks of the World and join us in the fun and mayhem as we celebrate 2 years. 
I've made new blogging buddies, some I've even met in person, and some have joined my craft groups. Thanks to you all for the friendship and kindness and long may we all continue WOYWWing!!!
No time for any crafting this week as I am enjoying a welcome visit from my DD and Brighton grandees. 
Last week I visited most of your desks thanks to rainy days at home but had trouble leaving comments on quite a few. With this being a special week I'll do my best to pop in on as many as time allows but I hope everyone has fun and enjoys this special edition.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


A reasonably tidy situation, although certainly not perfect, as there's so much going on here. I decided to show my desk from the other side this week.....Plenty of strawberries to be spied and my ATC hanger on  the back of the door to the kitchen. Klitty, my tart with a heart that our own Doone so lovingly made for me, keeps me company, hanging around on my shelves and the Mad Hatter/ Johnny Depp is lurking there.
Here's the usual, all together now, EEEeeeek! view with my mess before I set to today, tidying before I started crafting and making my pif for next week
 See! Lots of strawberries on view! I really did tidy up but what is hiding under the paper is to be revealed after the birthday party next week.
Confused, perplexed, bewildered? Call in on the instigator of this weekly madness... Julia at the Stamping Ground blog for the full explanation of how we reveal our desks to the WWW (world wide web) every week for WOYWW (What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday) and next week we celebrate 2 years of this WW (Wonderful, Wacky ) phenomenon. JOIN US!

Birthday, Anniversary Cards & Liverpool Street Art

The oldest of my 3 gorgeous little grandees, who lives in Brighton, will be 4 on Wednesday and this is the card I made for her. She loves making cupcakes with her Mummy and the 4 main images depict her and her baby sister who loves to get messy. 
My DD in Germany recently celebrated her 10th Wedding Anniversary with her DH and her little one out in the sunshine in the cafe of Kloster Luene where they held their wedding reception. Take a peek at the website, it's such a beautiful place. They had planned a trip to Paris but that has been put on hold until the little one is through her treatment when I'm sure it will be an even more special celebration for the wait.
 Each year I try to make them a card with Lily of the Valley somewhere on it, as DD wore it in her hair for her wedding. This year I made a simple card with a removable bookmark using some beautiful ribbon I discovered which is embroidered, of course, with Lily of the Valley. Three tiny heart brads added, one for each of them.

I love public art, it enhances the environment and enriches the lives of the public...that's you and me folks!
I recently spotted this mural in Tunnage Square off Duke Street, at the edge of Liverpool City Centre
It took me a while to decipher the large word.... Dream
 Silhouette of the Metropolitan Cathedral
 Ask yourself this question........ answer on a plain postcard (aka in the comments box) and no prizes given but I'd love to hear your answers.
I really do hope you ARE happy!

So many of you ask regularly about a certain special little girl, my grandee in Germany who bravely, and cheerfully, is progressing well with her yucky chemotherapy. Thanks so much for all your good wishes, care and concern for her. All three of them are so valient and I'm really proud of them all.
So here's the treat of the day........a photo I adore! This little fraulein recently went on a special trip for new shoes (lovely to see her wearing one of my crocheted sun hats). She had to go to the shop as soon as it opened so it would be empty, thus with less risk to her of infection. She loved it there! I wish she had managed to bring that fabulous orange sofa home too!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Blue Dress Form and Aintree Show

I'm still mad on making these dress forms especially as some friends want one to keep!  I made this one for my friend Jayne who loves blue and I've added extra detail with pins, press studs, hook and eye. The ribbon behinds the  pins open up to a little book so a message can be written in it.

The dangly bits!
The full thing
Detail of the front
I love these raggy roses which I buy, by the yard, from Abakhan in cream or white then colour with Distress Stains.  You can see here how the background tissue was stamped before crumpling and attaching to the card.
We had a great day at the Aintree Show yesterday and, as usual, I spent too much but this time it wasn't so much temptation and impulse buying, I went with a list of things I really did NEED!!! 
Basic essentials such as Glossy Accents, inks, embossing powders, ink pads, Easy Mount, etc., and dies for my new Vagabond to add to my limited collection. I spotted a Spellbinders die to make pennants and bunting so I treated myself to that and I love it!
The man on the craftsUprint stand was shaking everyone's hand as they entered the "Everyone's a Winner" tombola and greeted each by name via the entry leaflets, so Lorraine, Jayne and I wrote daft names on the forms and we laughed so much when he never reacted at all! 
So above you can see Milly not Silly, Molly Not Polly, and Mandy not Randy. It's nice to see that I look taller but it's just that Jayne dipped down so she wouldn't hide the big fella!
I won a magazine but whenever there was a "BIG" winner (£5) everyone was cheering and it just reminded me of CHA in America.... mind you the prizes there were really BIG value and worth cheering for.!!!
I planned to visit the show again today, with a friend who couldn't attend yesterday, but she is not well so, as I'll be at Padgate Crafters tomorrow for the full day, I'll spend today in the lovely sunshine with DH!!
The problem is that I intended taking most of my photos today so all I can show is the amazing tableau of knitted scupltures... "Under the Sea" which is touring the shows to raise funds for the Royal Lifeboat Appeal.
 Overall it looks a bit lumpy bumpy but when you see the detail and the amount of work in it  you cannot help but be impressed. 
However, I think I'll stick to knitting hats and cardys!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

WOYWW 102 & Creepy Crawly

It's confession time again and, whilst it is said to be good for the soul, I'm not too revived after baring this mess. It's partly the aftermath of preparing for and then unpacking after the Port Sunlight show last Saturday and the tedious job of cutting and mounting my new UMs. 
The first view looks reasonable and I still have a few of the notorious strawberries peeking out round the edges.
How misleading it is when I bare my soul fully and show the bigger picture. 
Did I hear a mass scream of Eeeeeekkk!!?? It's creeping out of everywhere but I have been busy, busy, busy, folks and, no excuse, but I have been creative, (see yesterday's post for proof) and OK, I know I have made a mess I admit but, no buts... it's all to keep the world happy snooping, not just here, but at the rest of the crafty spaces of we WOYWW-ers who expose what we've been up to each week, where we do it, and whether or not we stay tidy and organised. Mostly we don't!!
Call in on boss lady Judith at the Stamping Ground Blog to see them all.
Go on now ... admit you loved noseying around, we know you love it!

Giant Creepy Crawly
Just had to share this as I love public art.
There's an area our the city centre where all the bikers park, at the bottom of Bold Street, and this piece of public art appeared a while ago. I love it and what a great concept it is for it's situation. It's a leather look bikers glove with a huge creepy creature settled on it and it's made out of bike parts. It lights up and moves too.
Further Confessions
Inspired by Deanne at Quirky Boots, the Boss Judith has confessed her answers to the questions below remarkably well and with great humour, so I too am taking up the challenge just for fun....check Judith's out on Stamping Ground ... quite different to mine of course.

Age: You are welcome to choke at my honesty... 66 and soon to be 67 but feeling 36 in my mind until I see what's in the mirror!
B. Bed size: Super King Size.. it's a dream!
C. Chore that you hate: Trying to get and keep tidy.
D. Dogs: I wish we still had our crazy lovely little Jack Russell, Ziggy
E. Essential start to your day: Opening my eyes and getting out of my pit.
F. Favorite color: (s)Purple, cerise, turquoise.
G. Gold or Silver: Defo silver
H. Height: 5 foot, just.
I. Instruments you play: Comb and Tissue paper or Kazoo
J. Job title: General Dogsbody, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, Artist and Stamp Designer.
K. Kids: two beautiful grown up women
L. Live: North West England
M. Mother's name: Lilian
N. Nicknames:  Too many unmentionables....
O. Overnight hospital stays: Two births, removals of one non malignant breast lump, one fish bone and one non malignant head lump (no comments please as I still have my brain).
P. Pet peeve: Homelessness... nobody should be.
Q. Quote from a movie: Life's a kaleidoscope.
R. Right or left handed: Left
S. Siblings: None, I'm a one off.
T. Time you wake up: Don't have 2 x 8 o'clocks in a day now I'm retired, so shortly after.
U. Underwear: Of course...comfy but brief.
V. Vegetable you hate: asparagus.
W. What makes you run late: Life but I'm always manage to be JUST on time.
X. X-Rays you've had: Work down from the head and keep going.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Scouse.
Z. Zoo animal: Giraffe... maybe I'm wishing I was tall.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Crackled Faux Leather Tutorial

This is the technique I was demonstrating on Saturday at the Port Sunlight Show and I promised so many people that I would put full details here to help them try it out. It's something, from many years ago, that I tried out using crumpled tissue glued to card but I've updated it using products, such as embossing powder and Distress Stains, which weren't available to me back then.
It's a special effect which gives a wonderfully impressive finish to book covers or die cuts, making the mundane look spectacular and it recycles items which would otherwise be discarded.
Here are the materials needed..
First... Dress to mess!
Card from packaging, e.g. cereal boxes. 
Tissue paper, light copy paper or old dictionary pages.
PVA glue and a spreader. I used a small spatula but a piece of heavy card works well to splodge on the PVA.
Colour medium. I used and love the new Distress Stains as they are so fluent and convenient to apply.
Versamark Watermark Clear Pad, (use an old one as a new one will dirty very quickly for this process).
Embossing Powder. I used gold and silver detail powder, but try out any colour.
Heat gun.
Wet wipes.
Brayer if available (don't buy one)
Take a piece of tissue slightly larger than your card, as it will reduce in size slightly once crumpled. 
If desired, stamp images on to the tissue with a dye ink pad, then dry, before crumpling it.
Crumple tissue or paper into a ball and roll it well in your palms. 
Open this out and do it again to make sure all the creases are small and fairly even.
Spread adhesive liberally onto the card. It doesn't matter if you use the printed or plain side as it will not be visible when complete.
Open out the tissue ball and lay it onto the glued card, then gently roll the brayer over it to smooth out the crumpled tissue and disperse any air locks. 
If you don't have a brayer, turn the card over onto a non stick worksheet and rub gently. 
Tip: If your tissue is a bit thin, use two layers. Kitchen roll also works but doesn't create such good crackles however, it often has it's own good texture and gives a different effect.

If you are making book covers, cut the card before applying the tissue. When the tissue is applied, trim off and mitre the corners neatly and glue the edges to the back of your card. 
A piece of coloured card, slightly smaller than the book cover, can later (when the card is coloured and embossed), be stuck to the back over the tissue.
At this stage and only once the card is dry, cut out die shapes. It will save both ink and embossing powder if the required shapes are cut out before colouring or embossing.
Colour the pieces of card and dry thoroughly. It is best, if possible, to allow them to dry naturally as sometimes bubbles form and the tissue lifts if a heat gun is used.
If using Distress Stains, clean the applicators with a wet wipe to prevent cross contamination of colours.
When the card is completely dry, rub the Versamark pad lightly over the crackles of the surface of the tissue. Do not press the pad down as this will ink everything and not achieve the crackled effect. 

Lightly dust with embossing fine embossing powder and tap off excess. The powder will stick to the crackles of the tissue.

 Experiment with different colours to achieve a variety of amazing results... clear, brown, black, bright colours as well as gold silver or copper embossing will look so different depending on the colours of ink beneath.
Watch the crackles appear when a heat gun is applied..........It always amazes and fascinates me!
Below the dressforms left to right...
from plain card, with crumpled tissue applied, then with colour and embossing.
A dressform covered with stamped tissue before embossing.
One of the final products!
Below...close up of tags, plain, coloured, and embossed showing the remarkable difference from the beginning to the final result.
Above and below shows the comparison between silver and gold embossing.
Heat embossing stamped tissue
On Saturday whilst watching my demo, someone came up with the great suggestion that I should make intentional creases as strata to form a landscape so, very quickly, I tried this. Some one else shouted out that we should have trees, so I made a few vertical creases. Below is a postcard sized piece of the result after embossing and I really do think it could be developed successfully on a larger scale.
Thanks to whoever gave me the inspiration!
If you try this technique I'd love to hear how you get on and, as always, if you hit any snags or come up with any new ideas for it, please email me. 
I share my ideas willingly but if you pass it on, please mention my blog and give me due credit!! 

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Port Sunlight Show May 2011

After unloading and setting up the stand at Port Sunlight on Friday in pouring rain, Saturday brought a bit of sunshine and a really enjoyable day for everyone. It was not a busy as usual but we still saw many old friends and met so many new Happy Stampers through our demonstrations on Stampattack's stand.
Here's the dress form below that I made from the card backgrounds, using Distress Stains, which I demonstrated and I'll post instructions, as promised to so many, for it all tomorrow when I unpack my bags and find the rest of my samples to photograph.
It was especially good to see Jan from KCUK, here on a visit all the way from New Zealand and also Judith of Poppy Cottage who had travelled half way up England to be there. Many members of WOYWW will know Judith. I was just so sorry I could only see them briefly as time flew and I never managed to get outside to meet up at 1pm as planned. A few friends were really missed, especially Dot, who usually comes all the way from Hartlepool, and Neet who we hope will be well enough for Aintree next weekend.
     Before the doors opened.... here's me...all set and ready to go...
and Carol below on the stampattack stand.
In front of Carol you can see my string of mini bunting and to the left the birdcage full of pennants which I made as giveaways.
Here are the big guys, my DH Dave and Carol's DH Fred, resting before the rush! In the background you can see Gill and Ian of the Stampman!
End of a busy day always leaves me with plenty of scrubbing to do but not too bad this time as with the Distress Stain applicators I don't get to wear as much ink on my hands!! Can't you tell I'm left handed?!?
A little blog candy prize for the first to tell me what I have written on my manual filofax.

POST SCRIPT!!! A winner with the 3rd comment from VON... WELL DONE...YOU'VE GOT IT... SMOOCHIES IS CORRECT!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

WOYWW 101 & Steam Punk Card

Here's another of the cards we made on Saturday at the Vicky Stampers workshop. A further development of the Heart to Heart card. I've only just finished this one, as I couldn't find my Steam Punk stamps (from stampattack) but here it is, completed at last, and it shows how circles can be used instead of the interlocking hearts of my last post.
View of the inside....
These, below, were made from double sided scrapbook paper and are handy as a quick package or card. Ideal for giving a cash gift or vouchers.
WOYWW 101 
Busy, busy, busy, prepping for next Saturday and Port Sunlight Show so my desk is a hive of activity... How very dare you say it's a mess! I'm just in the midst of making components for demonstrating and also making some extra sample cards for display.... and giveaways  etc., etc., and you can still see some strawberries...only just, not a lot, but they are peeking round the edges....
You'll just have to wait until after the show to see what I'm making... or better still ... come to see us at Port Sunlight on Saturday on the Stampattack Stand and you may well get a giveaway and some sweeties.
Why, oh why, do I show the world what I'm up to on my desk, each Wednesday?... well if you get over to the boss's blog... aka Julia at the stamping ground.... you'll find out the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and also see that I'm really not the only mad crafter on this planet!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Heart to Heart Workshop

A new stamping era began yesterday when Vicky Stampers relocated to Padgate and I had the honour of being the first tutor in the new premises. The emphasis of the club remains the same with stamping being the main theme of our workshops and we all enjoyed a great day. It was sad in many ways to move but it means that we now have no stairs to struggle up when carrying equipment, we have a kitchen where we can make our own tea and coffee exactly to taste, better lighting and generally better facilities, all at reasonable cost. The group of people are still as great, and we enjoy good crafting and lots of fun once a month, so if anyone within reach of Padgate, near Warrington, would like to join us then email me for details. We've space now for a few more dedicated stampers.
At Jayne's request, my project was my Heart to Heart Card and you can see my sample open above and with the 4 hearts interlocked below. It is a simple card which just looks somewhat complex.
It's a great way to get good use from your die cutter and I left my Cuttlebug in the drawer in favour of my new Vagabond... I love it! I used Nestabilities to cut the 2 sizes of hearts.
First we got messy and marbled our backgrounds to use on the card with a choice of using Smooches (as I posted on 24th April) or with Shaving foam (as I posted 1st April).
There were lots of great results from the group....
Lovely bit of marbling by Neet inside this one
A card open... I think it is by Lorraine
I forgot my camera so the following photos were emailed to me ... thanks to Neet, but sorry I can't make them any bigger and so sorry that cannot see to credit the people who made them.

Everyone completed their card so we moved on to make some heart shaped packages in the afternoon.
 These packages can also be made quite quickly from Scrap book papers (as I did with the large brown one below). The blue and pink ones were made from card decorated and stamped using Distress Inks.
Once again, these are quite simple to make so if anyone would like the template for the packages, or any information of the items I've made, just email me and I'll send a pdf to you.