Monday, 31 October 2011

Stars, Halloween & Pink Card

I've been making up for lost time and getting a few loose ends tied up but I've also found some time to play around with Christmas decorations... well it is November tomorrow!
This star is made from mount board, coloured with Distress Stains,stamped with PaperArtsy Christmas script, clear embossed and before the embossing set I threw on some mini star sequins and accent beads. A tassel of beads finishes it off, all so easy and so simple. 
 Halloween and the Trick or Treaters will be round later and after last year's greedy grabbing from my basket, when one little ghoul tried to grab the lot for himself and his brothers soon tried to join in, I decided to make individual goodie bags to give out. Morrisons Supermarket provided a bag full of crawlies and skeletons for just £1.
 Vicky Stampers decided, well our lovely Neet thought up the idea, to have a swap and as it's Breast Cancer Awareness month the theme was "Pink" and here's the fun card I received from Jeannie. You may just note the Breast Cancer ribbon symbol on the cup cake maid's apron! Thanks so much Jeannie. 
I forgot to photograph mine after it had waited in the hall for a week to be posted but I made a card with pink cowboy boots with the quote "Give Cancer the Boot"
 I've just finished and posted this red cardigan off to a special little new schoolgirl in Brighton... hope it fits and hope she likes it. She asked for a replacement in red of her favourite blue one that she had grown out of so now that one has been passed on to her little sister. The needles are sparking again as there is so much to make to keep the three of them cosy for Winter. Funny how I've been "off" knitting for months and now I pick it up every spare moment. It can be a frustration or relaxation!
Still waiting for Carola Bartz to get in touch and also Cardarian. Please email me ladies so I can get parcels off to each of you soon.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

WOYWW 125 & STASH for Winter Woollies

Here's the state of play on my work desk for WOYWW....  I need to tidy away those tools and beads etc., the residue of finishing off my jewellery after Saturday's workshop (pics in previous post) but I haven't been home to do it. With the wonderful weather hanging in we have been making the most of it, hanging out......going places.
To spy on more workdesks call in on stamping ground, the blog of our lovely illustrious leader Julia who, once upon a time, came up with the crazy idea that folk around the World might enjoy snooping on our workdesks every week..... WOYWW.... and guess what...amazingly THEY DO!!!

Addendum...After reading Julia's post I feel that the rest of my post  may fall into the category of a mahoosive advert but I have no affiliation with the following places, I just wanted to share the chance of the experience of visiting, if it benefited others, as we had such a great time yesterday and I would have blogged about it anyway. 
You certainly have the choice to visit, or not to visit, the places if you desire, or to stop here and call it end of WOYWW, or read on! Next week I'll be good and try to do a shorter WOYWW. 

 Today we visited STASH Fine Yarns, near Chester, and it is a must for any knitter close enough to get there. It is an Aladdin's Cave for superb yarns but be prepared to spend ages browsing as the choice and range is simply fantastic. The staff are so helpful and friendly, far above and beyond good service... extraordinary help, lovely coffee (and biccies) and there's even a rest area for all the long suffering non knitters and chauffeurs! I chatted to another customer there, a lovely lady who had driven from Shropshire even further than the 40 miles we had travelled from Liverpool, so it certainly is a magnet to knitters.
Thanks so much to Lottie who was patient beyond belief and helped me with pattern info, choice of yarns, needle sizes etc., etc. 
They do have an online shop so if you can't pay a personal visit, check out Stash Fine Yarns. They also run courses and have open days.
Two corners of the showroom. 
 Here's my STASH from STASH... some beautiful new skeins of yarns to kit out my three little grandees in Winter hats etc. I also bought some more beautiful Knit Pro needles to knit the thicker wool. I just cannot use any other needles now since I bought 3 pairs of Knit Pro finer ones. They are so fluent in use as well as lovely coloured beech wood.
 First I must finish all the knitteds in hand and I made good progress in the car on our two days out. I'll be able to start on my new STASH soon!
 Afterwards we went on to Wales for the afternoon stopping in Mold at the Glasfryn restaurant/ pub for an excellent lunch. The first time I went there was when I was going to the nearby Theatre Clwydd, and I was so impressed with the food and the setting that I had to return to take DH and now we visit whenever we can. 
 There's a superb view over the gentle North Wales hills from the lovely terraced garden.
 A beautiful sunny October day, good food in a picturesque environment after a crafty visit.. so special!
To top it off perfectly I arrived home in good time to Skype with my DD and grandee in Germany!!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Tin Jewels

I gave a small workshop yesterday for making my tin jewels. You'll have seen some in earlier post along with details of how to make them from up cycled tinplate... old tins in other words. 
I forgot to take photos of the results of the day but these are the ones I partially made, whilst demonstrating the stages, and I finished them today.

Here's what they look like before painting with alcohol inks and adding a glaze, gold leaf, beads etc.
If anyone wants to try this out please email if you want more information but I must give a warning that you need to take special care cutting and sanding the tinplate as the edges are really sharp at first.

I am going to experiment with the same technique to see if I can make some interesting Ch*****as decorations. See I'm getting sucked in already!!
I had a lovely surprise when I got home last night to receive this special treat in the post from Wipso and (all together now AAAaaaaahhh!!!) the new twins Sam & Lexi. I will treasure my cute little grandparent bear (such patience to make it so tiny) and the photo of the twins is adorable. The little bear will keep my other tiny bear company, the one that one has helped care and support my little grandee through her journey to health.Thanks so much Annie and I'm so pleased all the new wing of the family is now on the right track!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

WOYWW 124, Angels, Gnomes & Iron Men

Last week's post came via the windmills of my mind... this week Joni Mitchell's song from 1972 epitomises how WOYWW 124 has arrived.....

And the seasons they go 'round and 'round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on a carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round in the circle game

So.... if you dare to jump on the carousel go over to stamping ground and Julia will reveal all and, who knows, you might meet me coming back round!

I know there are signs of Ch*****as, despite all my protestations but OK, OK, OK! it had to happen eventually but it would have been much later in this household if I hadn't offered to help my DD prepare for the craft event she will be doing next month! I have been up to my eyes in gilding flakes and angels are everywhere but the it's the gnomes... they are making a take over bid. 
Shame they won't tidy up for me overnight!
Here's what it looks like without the results of my endeavours. I've just recently been invited to submit 4 items, fairly short notice, for a magazine article (from that there box of stamps) and the deadline is looming. I made 3 items today but can't reveal the results... as much as I'd love a few opinions! 
 I have prepped some quirky angel cards, a set of gilded wooden wings and lots and lots of gnomes too! See what I mean? The idea for those little fellas came from a great inspirational site I was given by my DDs I couldn't find the pattern for the gnomes so I modified the idea and added quite a bit more detail than shown on the site. 
I've also started a couple of sewing projects including an idea my DD2 has asked me to make for her. I bought these lovely fabrics from Abakhan in Mostyn, North Wales, on the way home from a gorgeous, hot, hot, hot, sunny day out in Llandudno, Wales, last Saturday.
I couldn't waste the following photos, found on file, from Donna (Doone) and Niall's late, great, August visit and our trip to the beach (at Crosby Liverpool) to see Anthony Gormley's 100 iron men, officially titled "Another Place".  

Donna close up and friendly with No 76 
Niall's new best mate ... two cool dudes!
Checking the ID of Number 80
Mr Modesty!
I loved to see the erosion which is so different with each one.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

WOYWW 123 & Wrap Books

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find

In the windmills of your mind
Sounds familiar?  The words from the theme music to the film "The Thomas Crown Affair" perfectly describe how life has been and here we are full circle for another WOYWW123. See what you've done to me Julia!!?? Intrigued or confused? All will be revealed at Stamping Ground.

Here's the state of play on my temporary work desk... my dining table has been taken over because my work room is still heaving with stash from my demmoing last Saturday, all waiting to be decanted back into cupboards and boxes. I just don't feel like tidying, I feel like making... even if it is another MESS! 
I've just taken the first step to make a memory book for one of my DDs using jottings taken from my diary of her first year.... 1974! I really don't know where it is going but it will evolve.
Well alright, I'll fess up and show my regular spot.... so this is my heaving, real, work desk with only a couple of strawberries exposed.
Here's a couple of mini books from my box of samples on the desk. I was given a great, fantastic, thank you very much!!! idea, by Donna (Doone) who suggested making and giving away these easy mini books at the show. For want of a better name I call them "Wrap books". I was demonstrating Distress Stains and could quickly fold the decorated strips of card into one of these great little books. 
There is a video tutorial on Donna's blog which I can't manage to find but will get the link from her asap. 
I do get fed up of tags when demmoing, no matter how effective they may be, and I always prefer to give an idea as well as a technique to visitors, so, thanks to Donna, this was the perfect answer and worked so well. I made so soooo many but enjoyed every minute of the day.
I must admit that I only decorated the covers of the books I gave away but here is one of my samples, with 12 sides on 6 pages, inked, stamped and decorated.
Thought I'd be seasonal so I used the "Leaves" plate from Stampattack

Huge apologies that I didn't get round to very many of you last week but it has been manic.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Mini Houses & Pavement Art

What a hectic week! The main focus was Port Sunlight show on Saturday where I demonstrated for Stampattack but unfortunately Carol, alias "the Boss", was ill and couldn't make it so her DH Fred, my DH Dave and I soldiered on, set up on Friday and ran the stand on Saturday. All good fun and rather hectic but we pulled through even though Carole was really missed by us and many regular customers too. Carole is getting wrapped in cotton wool before the next show.
We received great feedback from all of the lovely people who stopped by and I must say a big thanks to Paul of Artsiders for his kind offer of help... but that's our lovely Paul!
This is the sample I made of the new range of Mini House Printers trays we had only just got in stock. They are quite deceptive and much smaller than the wooden one I made at Neet's workshop last week. 
They are also quite flat in comparison so can be made as a special card and I think they'd work well with a card front fitted. A really lovely handy little project which proved popular.
Carol has since made a great Steam Punk version which is on her website along with details to buy the various mini printer trays... click here for stampattack.
Here's the new little one being a little next door neighbour to my bigger one from last week and above is a side view.
Here's Carole's Steam Punk House
Each packet has 3 houses, one stand and one back piece so the 3 houses can be used separately or layered to add more 3D depth to the project.
There are also round trays and teeny weeny towns in the range but we were unable to make samples from them with all that happened. I can't wait to do house makeovers on them!
Mad dash rubber stash!! 
I ran around the show just 5 minutes before closing and it's amazing how much rubber I managed to buy! First  a visit to Linda at Lost Coast then Mary Kay at Stamp Camp, and Crafty Individuals couldn't be missed. I had already sent a friend to get a couple of stamps earlier from Jennie of the Stamp Connection and there are also some here which Carole gave me to make a future project but I missed visiting Indigo Blue.
 Too many stamps too little time!!!
It has been a real chore to mount them all ready for action but I am so lucky and can't wait to get all this new inspiration in use!
Pavement Art
I was fascinated by this special event in the centre of Liverpool recently. A special project by Urban Canvas to commemorate 50 years of the Beatles first starting their pop music careers. Pavement artists came from Holland and England to create a 3D scene, (also known as anamorphic art) which really tricks the eye. One end depicted the Beatles playing in the Cavern, the other end was a collage of the many subjects featured in their songs. When it was complete, the marquee was to be removed and the artwork was then open to the elements and the wear of passing feet.

 The photographs above, despite the artists still working, gives a taste of how it will look finished and it was amazing how the figures really appeared to be standing and the walls rose up from the pavement. Above amongst other songs depicted, Lovely Rita Meter Maid, Baby You Can Drive my Car and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds can easily be spotted above the Liverpool skyline.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

WOYWW 122, Mariposa & Gaia

Here's another WOYWW.... What's On your Workdesk Wednesday or that is to say....the 122nd Snoop of the week via our lovely leader Julia's blog Stamping Ground where there will be over 100 desks to spy on, a share of wit and wisdom and of course deskloads full of wonderful artwork too.

So happy to hear the good news that Wipso's new twin grandees and her DD are now home from hospital after all their challenges. Good luck and continuing health and happiness to you all.
This 4 winged multi coloured butterfly, called Mariposa, was blatantly purloined from me by Donna whilst she was here at the weekend, just because she loved it, but I was so happy it has gone to a good home and now I'm making more as you'll see further down my post.
Here's my desk with the proof. The desk is amazingly tidy after all the lovely messing Donna and I did whilst crafting over the weekend but I had to clear space today in readiness for my friend Carole's visit tomorrow. I am so lucky to have another crafting friend here in the same week to continue all the fun!
We are planning and prepping for the Port Sunlight show this coming Saturday and generally having fun and crafting. 
Let me know if you are going to Port Sunny and don't forget to pop by the STAMPATTACK stand and say hello. There will be some new plates including a new larger version of my Sleepy Heads designs..... two little girls tucked up in a quilted bed and extra images of all their toys plus some words.
Here's my WOYWW 122
Strawberries will never be out of season here!
Here's Spooky Dolly still lazing around and we decided that she has such a peculiar face that we must take a mould of it before I start altering her. 
The white lamp holder fitting is eventually going to be a doll.
 WIP.... my acetate butterflies (below) will end up very similar to the one at the top. I drew the butterfly images with a Sharpie pen on one side of an sheet of acetate. They were not too neatly drawn, just scribbled and could be traced over a printed scan, if you cannot manage it freehand. I also stamped with a few texture images then applied alcohol inks to the other side, colouring the inks in with a paint brush.  AIs tend to smudge or take off the Sharpie ink, which is the reason I coloured the opposite side.
I have already cut out the left hand butterfly but not the other one so you can see how freely they have been drawn and painted.
When the two layers are stitched together, beaded, and a face added, it all comes together so well. A few micro sequins were stuck to the wings and beaded legs. This one has wonky legs but Miss D told me not to fix them as it was preferred that way!!
 Now to introduce the special new addition to my family... GAIA (which means EARTH).... made be Donna's fair hand from a doll she kidnapped from me on her last visit. She is definitely in a fantasy world of her own (that's Gaia, well maybe Donna too!) and I adore her and will treasure her for ever. 
 There is wax and paints, lace and flowers, charms and bling.

 An amazingly deep crackle effect....
Here are a couple of close ups of my butterfly that has flown off with Doone...

I bought a new pink ATG crafters version to use with narrow tape at such a bargain price thanks to my friend Lynne Wilky who ordered them for a group of us. I don't like the colour at fact I don't like the yellow colour of the original model! 
It's now called "Advanced Tape Glider" instead of "Automatic Tape Gun" and is supposed to be better than the original... As good as, maybe but better NAH! I love both and both work so well. 
So this new model came out of the box and had an instant makeover thanks to Alcohol Inks and a bit of bling. Now it's mine all mine and very "ME" and now I won't go home with anyone else's at workshops!!!
I'll do my best to visit as many of you as I can this week but it's going to be a busy few days until after the weekend, so please bear with me.