Saturday, 30 April 2011

Eastern dreams

Hope everyone is enjoying the extra long weekend - I certainly am as its given me lots of time to play with some new crafty bits. I seem to have spent a fortune on craft stash this last couple of weeks including being seduced by a Tim Holtz lost and found paper stack and spinners in Hobbycraft this morning - I shouldn't be allowed near the place. Unfortunately hubby is encouraging me a bit too much... because he wants to scan my stamped images, papers etc to make textures for his digital photo art! I think he may have caught the distressing bug - he's just taking a digital approach rather than an inky one :0)

Anyway, despite the amount of time I've spent, I don't really have that much to show for all the playing. One thing I did manage to finish is this oriental theme tag which I'm going to enter into the Gingersnap creations red and gold theme challenge:

I started by covering a white chipboard tag with fired brick distress ink and covered most of the front with a chinese dragon image. I then painted the whole lot with crackle paint just to see what it would look like - I think its worked out ok. The butterflies are made of vellum and were edged with red and black ink. The fringing and a couple of cute buttons seemed to finish it off quite well.

...and I'll have to leave this post there as there is a delicious scent of roast beef coming from the kitchen and it's just too tantalising to stay sat in front of the computer.


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Wishlist - bird stamps

I'm a bit obsessed with birds and butterflies at the moment so I've been browsing a lot of websites looking for cool bird rubber stamps (which is pretty silly because all I end up doing is getting frustrated with all the fantastic stamps I want and can't really justify buying!). I thought I'd show you some of my favourites (if I haven't messed up the pics should be links to the online shops where I saw them).

Memory box: spooky collage Memory box: distressed crows Memory box: words to birds Invoke: blackbirds 4 Darkroom door: love birds Eco Green Stamps: wings Crafty Individuals: free as a bird Cart-Us: birds on a branch

The first three are all from Memory Box Stamps and I absolutely love them, especially the distressed crow one - so wonderfully gothic. The wings one is more a butterfly theme but a couple of the sets of wings look far more birdlike to me - there's a wonderful tattered pair that I can see endless uses for.

Oh well, my birthday's coming up so I may have an excuse to have a spending spree soon :0)

Monday, 25 April 2011

Gothic birdies!

Yet another gorgeous sunny day (you'd never believe it was a bank holiday weekend!), so, just for a bit of contrast, I decided to make a dark, moody, gothic tag.

I'd like to enter it into the Dragons Dream Tag It On challenge this week. The theme is birds (love this theme!) and it just so happened that I rediscovered some lovely bird rub-ons in my craft drawers yesterday. I hope this is within the rules as the bird itself isn't a stamped image, just the background details!

I created the background with stormy sky and dusty concord distress inks, stamped the frame and script stamps (from Tim Holtz) in embossing ink and heat embossed with clear powder, then wiped over with black soot distress ink. I'm really pleased with how this worked out. I then added the bird rub-on (which I think was from the periphery range by Basic Grey), a bit of lace and some dangly beads.

On another bird related note, I just have to post this gorgeous picture my husband created this morning! He started off with a simple photo of a crow in a tree and added colour and texture layers. I think it's fantastic and he likes it so much he's ordered a print of it to hang on our wall. It's not his usual style, but it's exactly the sort of picture I love.

Hope everyone's having a lovely easter!


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Sunday stampers - Love theme

Last sunday, the Sunday Stampers theme on Hels Sherdians blog was 'Love' - using the techniques and products that we love (can't believe how gorgeous her printer tray is!). I thought I'd have a go at something a bit different so I made this LOVE hanging using some of my current favourite bits and bobs.

I started off with chipboard letters and covered them in some wonderful papers from the Moulin Rouge range by Prima. This is one of my favourite ranges at the moment as I love the decadent style and the beautiful shades of blue and deep pink in this range. I inked the edges with stormy sky distress ink and used a Tim Holtz grungy text stamp to add some more detail to the L and O. I used glossy accents to add texture to the spotty paper on the V.

I'm currently a little obsessed with birds and butterflies, especially the butterflies and moths on the Tim Holtz crowded attic papers. I cut out a few butterflies and a bird stamped from the Tim Holtz urban grunge set and added these to the letters. Finally, I inked up a butterfly in stormy sky and stamped a swirl over it in gold (you can't really see the design but it gives a nice gold shimmer at certain angles).

Finding a way of fixing the letters together with what I had in was a bit of challenge, but I quite like the way its turned out with the pink wire that matched the pink in the Moulin Rouge papers.

Whats cool about the chipboard letters I used is they came in square pieces so they leave square frames to do something with as well. I'm thinking I might but some little photos in the letter spaces. Hopefully I'll have the time next week and will be able to show you the finished piece.

Finally, this weeks tip of the week is don't craft on the sofa - or at least don't use squeezy glue bottles! I squeezed the glossy accents bottle a little too hard and it went all over my hands then dripped onto my jeans and the sofa, Oops!


Monday, 18 April 2011

Dancing in the dark

Before I get started I just want to say thank you to everyone who has left such nice comments on my last few posts. I really appreciate that you took the time to look and it means so much that me that people actually like what I do. So thank you all! xx

I've been away this weekend celebrating a friends birthday so  I haven't had a chance to do anything crafty this weekend :0(  Can't complain really though - it was great fun catching up with people and having a bit of a dance. Latest night I've had in ooh... years! I'm amazed I actually managed to stay awake - have to say I'm normally yawning by 10pm.

Took a couple of photos I'm actually quite pleased with - I usually leave the photography to hubby, but he prefers landscapes to shots with pesky people in them!
I love the lighting and atmosphere in these pics:

Will be back with some crafty stuff once we get into the Easter break. I get a few more days off than my husband (poor thing has to go back in between Easter and the second long weekend) so I get time all to myself to play!


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Embossing on a sunday

I've been having a lovely relaxing sunday, basking in the glorious sunshine though the windows and making some ATCs.

I have a drawer full of embossing powders but haven't used any of them for ages - mainly because its very difficult to do heat embossing on a lap tray in front of the telly :-(  However, the latest challenge in on the Stamp Man Challenge blog was embossing...and I just got the Tim Holtz compendium of curiosities book... so I was inspired to have a go at some new techniques.

Here are two ATCs I made (I think I like the red one best!):

I'm going to enter them into the Stamp Man challenge and I'm also going to enter the blue one into the Sundays Stampers challenge (although it's definitely not a patch on the gorgeous tag Hels Sheridan has made!)

To make the background I stamped the script and embossed it with clear embossing powder, then inked over the top with distress inks. I created the hearts from some Maya Road chipboard hearts and the triple embossing technique described here (thanks to Vix for the fantastic tutorial). I love the texture it creates. The blue heart was using some moonglow embossing powder and has produced a lovely shimmery effect thats maybe a bit hard to see in the photos.

On an unrelated note, tip of the week is that glossy photo paper and rubber stamping don't mix - unless the aim is to spend 20 minutes scrubbing your stamps to get rid of the layer of paper now stuck to them!  Ooops!  Should I have realised that would happen?


Saturday, 2 April 2011

Adorable kitten pictures!

I couldn't resist posting these photos my husband took of my parents new kittens. They are just so cute!

The black and white one is called Polly and the tabby is called Pickles. I think they were about 2 months old at the time. My parents are finding them quite a handful so this poem I found seemed very apt:
    Kittens kittens everywhere
    Kittens chewing on my hair
    Kittens climbing up my jeans
    Kittens hanging from the screens
    There's a kitten on each shoulder
    Will they do this when they're older?

    Kittens fighting on the chairs
    Kittens tumbling down the stairs
    There's a kitten on my head
    There's a kitten in the bread!
    There's a kitten in my shoe
    I don't believe we just have two!