Thursday, 30 June 2011

Altered tin

After tea the other night I spotted the empty tin of moroccan spice mix we'd used and thought it would be perfect for altering. After soaking it for a while to get rid of the spice smell (not entirely sure I succeeded) I set about to prettify it.

I used some Anna Griffin paper to cover the sides of the tin, distressing the edges with vintage photo distress ink. The flower on top used some of the same paper plus some grunge paper, cut with the Tim Holtz tattered florals die, again inked with vintage photo.  Before attaching the flower with the a decorative brad I stamped a flourish in black stazon on the plastic center.
Finally, I stamped some flower images in black stazon round the edge of the tin lid and added some brown ribbon to finish it off. 

Simple but pretty.

Thought I'd enter it in the Try It On Tuesday challenge which is altered boxes this week.


Sunday, 26 June 2011

Playing with metal

Hope you're all having a nice sunday.  It's gorgeous hot, sunny, weather today here which is great but I'll have to keep this post fairly short as I think I'm melting with a hot laptop on my knee.

I've wanted to have a go at something using metal and alcohol inks so the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge this week ('show some metal') was the perfect opportunity.

I started off cutting 4 squares of copper metal and embossing them with some Tim Holtz embossing folders. I coloured them with some alcohol inks - 2 with a single colour of ink and the other 2 with a mixture of the two colours, rubbing the colour off the raised parts of the embossed design. I mounted the four metal squares onto background paper and added an ideology book plate with the stamped word 'smile' (a paperartsy stamp).

I made this the right size to fit into one of these 3 inch box frames, but I haven't got one handy at the moment so it'll have to be on hold until I can get one. I'm thinking of painting it dark brown and distressing with gold / copper colours.

I'm also going to enter this in the Sunday Stampers this week which has the theme of words.


Saturday, 25 June 2011

Cornwall, cider and a tag!

Got back yesterday from a lovely weeks holiday in Cornwall. The scenery along the coast is fantastic, wild and windswept with plenty of rocky peaks to clamber up and admire the view from. I must have looked an absolute state most of the time with my hair whipped up by the wind!

We stayed in a cabin at Deerpark Forest Holidays which was off in the middle of nowhere (Cornwall seems to be a maze of pretty single track roads with grass up the middle). It was a lovely spot and our cabin had massive windows and a deck that looked out into the forest.  We even had our own private hot tub on the deck - lovely to relax in with a glass of wine and watch lots of little birds flitting about in the trees.
View from our cabin
Our cabin
As well as soaking up the scenery (if not the sun so much), we had some delicious gooseberry ice cream, seriously tasty beer battered fish and chips from Rick Steins Fish and Chips in Padstow, and plenty of cider (we found some that was made on a farm near where we stayed that came in what looked like a windscreen washer fluid bottle but tasted great!).

Anyway, It's nice to be back home, catch up with everyones blogs and do a bit of crafting.

I originally set out today to make something inspired by the colours of some beautiful flowers and plants we saw at the Eden Project, but I got distracted and made the tag below instead! Its my entry for Dragons Dream Tag It On challenge, which has the theme of 'Faces' this week.

I used Graphic 45 steampunk papers and stamps (loving them at the moment!) and Tim Holtz distress inks, tattered florals die, and book plates. The visage word stamp was one of the freebie stamps with Craft Stamper magazine a few months ago.

Edited: I'm also entering this tag into the steampunk challenge at Just for Fun.

Think thats enough from me for now. Thanks for looking :0)

Sarah xx

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Steampunk Flower Tag

This week the Sunday Stampers theme from Hels Sheridan is 'steampunk' and, if you've read many of my posts, you'll know I love steampunk stuff :0)

I also love the Tim Holtz tattered florals die which I got recently, so when I saw this challenge, the first idea to pop into my head was a steampunk flower and I think it's worked out really well:

Using the tattered florals die the flower layers were all cut from this fab sheet from Graphic 45's Steampunk debutante range which has a wonderful dark cog background on the back. I glued the flowers to some grungepaper cut with the same die to give the petals a bit more ooomf (if you get what I mean). The edges were inked with vintage photo distress ink for definition.

The wings were cut using the Tim Holtz fanciful flight die and inked with vintage photo and black soot distress inks. I then spritzed the wings and the flowers with some heirloom gold perfect pearls which unfortunately hasn't shown up well in the photo, but looks fab and shimmery in real life.

The tag was just a plain brown luggage tag (from WH Smiths!). I left it it's natural colour and stamped a script stamp and a couple of Tim Holtz clocks, before distressing the edges slightly - all in vintage photo again.

Finally, I used the Tim Holtz hardware findings die to cut a keyhole shape (can you tell I'm slightly addicted to my Big Shot!) which I gold embossed and distressed a little to make it look a bit like metal  and fixed over the hole in the tag. I then attached the key charm to the flower on a chain from an old broken necklace.

I'm  really pleased with this - I think it's one of my favourite things I've done so far. Hope you all like it too :0)


Saturday, 11 June 2011

A tale of two tags

Ooops, realised yesterday that I could have entered my winged things tag into the Simon Says Stamp and Show ('a tag') and Sunday Stampers challenges! The Sunday Stampers theme is 'stash that makes you happy' - steampunk and the Tim Holtz papillon stamps definitely do that (what more could I want!)

Question is, is it ok to edit posts to add in challenges I'd forgotten about and will Blogger mess up my links if I do? Not knowing the answers, I just had to make something new (as if I need an excuse ;-))

I started off making one background by adding stormy sky and dusty concord distress inks to my craft sheet and smooching a cream coloured tag through them. It gave it a wonderful grungy distressed look that I really liked. I then stamped the papillon background stamp in stormy sky. Looked okay but I wanted a crisper look for the butterflies so I used a Whispers dye ink pad in fresh eggplant. That didn't show up very well so I stamped the butterflies again in Whispers azure seas ink, which made it look like it should be viewed through 3d glasses :-( ...  gave up and started again!

the original background
Did pretty much the same thing again, but only stamping the butterflies once. I wrapped some multi-coloured thread around the tag and added a flower made from die cutting Tim Holtz tattered florals from metal and colouring with alcohol inks (my first attempt with alcohol inks!). Then I stamped and cut out the butterflies, distressed with a bit more dusty concord and stormy sky, and attached them with sticky pads.

I tried and failed miserably to take a decent photo as it was getting dark so I decided to leave it til the morning. Glad I did... when I looked at it this afternoon I didn't really like it. So I moved the metal flower onto the original tag (having decided I actually like the slight offset of the two lots of butterflies) and added a sentiment. On the other tag I replaced the flower with another cut-out butterfly and added a few crystals for interest.

So, I've ended up with two simple tags, both of which I like better than the original one :0)

I'd like to enter these in the following challenges:
Grungy monday - 'distress-o-rama' (a homage to the king of distress, Tim Holtz - check out his website here!)
Simon Says Stamp and Show - 'a tag'
Sunday stampers - 'stash that makes you happy'

Hope everyone's having an enjoyable and inky weekend!


Thursday, 9 June 2011

Winged things

Having a busy week, but managed to find the time for a little bit of crafting.

There's a fab theme of 'winged things' at Dragons Dream Tag it On challenge this week - I was going to go down the butterflies route  (just got the Tim Holtz Papillon stamp set and I love it - taking so much effort to resist using it on everything!), then I remembered some cool images from the Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutante papers and decided to do something a little different.

I stamped a variety of Tim Holtz stamps (clock, papillon words) in broken china and vintage photo distress inks onto a tag cut from a sheet from the steampunk papers. The main winged figure and the stamp images along the bottom were cut from another sheet from this paper set. The definitions were from a paper from the Tim Holtz Lost and Found stash.
Finally, I felt it needed just a little something more so in the end I couldn't resist stamping papillon butterflies over the top!

It also fits the theme at the Just For Fun challenge this week - 'anything Tim' - First time entering this challenge but since everything I do involves something from Tim Holtz It just had to be done :0)  


Monday, 6 June 2011


I have realised I have a (bad?) habit of making bits and bobs of backgrounds or embellishments with no clear idea, or no idea at all, of what I'm going do with it. 

I just got the Tim Holtz tattered florals die and of course had to test it out. I had some vague recollection of a challenge with 'red' as the theme and that stuck in my head even though I quickly realised that it was the Sunday Stampers theme and had just ended :-(... So I cut the flowers out of grunge paper and inked three of them with fired brick and black soot distress ink. I stamped a script design in black on edge of the largest flower and curled the petals - love the way you can do this with grunge paper and it stays in shape! I added a large brad as the centre and a tiny metal 'dream' tag.

I was really pleased with the flower, but had no idea what to do with it. After rummaging aimlessly through my craft drawers looking for inspiration for a while I found this little frame which is actually a magnet. It seemed to suit the style of the flower and together they had a dramatic gothic feel which I liked. Maybe it's a bit of a cop out - just sticking the flower in a fancy frame - but I love it.

I'd like to enter this into the Try it on Tuesday challenge with the theme of dreams.


Sunday, 5 June 2011

Time piece

The Dragons Dream Tag It On challenge theme this week is 'Time Piece' and, having plenty of clock related bits and bobs at the moment I jumped at the opportunity.

Umm, not entirely sure it went very well....

I started off with a tag cut from some lovely diamond patterned paper which I embossed with the Tim Holtz pocket watches embossing folder.  I lightly inked the raised areas with brushed corduroy and black soot distress inks. At this point I really liked the look of the tag but wasn't really sure where to go with it.

After I while I thought along the 'time flies' route and stamped some Tim Holtz birds onto acetate with black stazon.  This really started to give me a feel for the way I wanted the tag to go - a dark 'gotham cityesque' feel (the tags are darker than they look in the photos)- but it needed a focus point... Umbrella man seemed perfect and the phrase 'no time to stand and stare' came to mind.

So... finished tag no.1:

But I didn't like it - the phrase was too messy and took up too much space, it just looked too busy. So I tried again - this time doing all the stamping onto acetate which was overlaid onto the clock pattern tag. Unfortunately, I couldn't get as clear and crisp an image onto the acetate as I had before (any tips will be gratefully received), so as a quick fix I coloured the faint images with permanent marker (??). I wrote the phrase freehand onto the acetate.

Finished tag no 2:

I do sort of like this one better, but it's still not right (and I'm sure permanent marker was not the best tool for the job!).  Think I'm going to give up on this one - nice idea, poor execution!

Hopefully, today will go better :0)