Thursday, 28 July 2011

Rock...and roll

Due the Grungy Monday challenge there is a lot of rock candy flying around blogland this week so I thought I'd share some rock of a different sort.

Last night, hubby and I went out for an event he's been excited about for months and months (literally, we got the tickets as soon as they were released last year!)....Iron Maiden live at Nottingham Arena.

I'm not as big a fan as my husband is so to be honest I didn't recognise half the more recent songs they played, but the classics were great and they definitely put on a fantastic stage show including giant monsters. Although I have to admit I spent far too much of the show laughing quietly to myself about a middle-aged guy in the row in front of us who was headbanging then swishing his long curly hair around (in the lap of the girl sat behind him!) like he was in a Pantene advert.

There are already videos of the show people have put up on YouTube (aah the wonders of the internet age), so here's a couple of clips.

ciao for now

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Dark dreams

Just a quick post tonight to share a card I've made for Sunday Stampers at Hels Sheridans fabulous blog. The theme is 'back to black' in tribute to Amy Winehouse and also seems very fitting with the tragic events in Norway.

I guess what I'm trying to say with this card is that if things seem dark right now,  you have to keep dreaming of a brighter tomorrow.

The main panel on the card is three strips of grunge paper embossed with Tim Holtz texture fades, coloured with distress inks (broken china, victorian velvet and dusty concord), and swiped over with black soot distress ink to cover the raised bits. The colour scheme was chosen to match the variegated thread I used to stitch the three pieces together. I then sprayed with some heirloom gold perfect pearls mist.

The book plate was cut from black card using the Tim Holtz tag die and painted with rock candy crackle paint which seems to have given it a bit of a leathery look. The white card in the centre was coloured lightly with the same three distress inks then stamped with 'Dream' in black archival. The finished book plate was fixed to the main panel with foam pads and some more of the pretty thread.
The butterfly and bird were cut using Tim Holtz movers and shapers dies and again painted with the rock candy crackle glaze. This time I added a little bit of colour with some metallic rub-ons.

Not sure if there is enough rock candy to really qualify this for this weeks Grungy Monday ('rock candy stickles or paint'), and it'snot come out very glossy, but I'll enter it in anyway. Would have been better for last weeks theme of grungepaper/board :-( but nevermind. Check out Tim Holtz's rock candy how to  here.

That's enough for now, thanks for visiting.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Lost in the middle

Yet again, another weekend watching the grand prix while blogging and intermittently crafting.
I afraid I haven't anything finished to show today - I'm working on a few different things:

  • A birthday card for my husband -  I'm really pleased with it  but unfortunately I can't show you it until after his birthday next month.

  • A decorated box, using the fresco finish paperartsy paints to enter into the local village show where my parents live. More on that in a few weeks time.

  • A Maya Road Owl mini album which I'm hoping to do for a friend who's having a tough time at the moment - only done the covers so far so I really need to get going on that.

I've no idea how I'm going to get all these things finished (and a few cards for the village show aswell). Next weekend was supposed to be put aside for redecorating the bathroom, but instead I'm probably going to visit my friend and try to cheer her up. Then we're into august which was always going to be horrendously busy.  So I'm going to apologise in advance for a lack of blogging for the next few weeks.

Hope you're all having a good weekend 


Saturday, 16 July 2011

Tim, Tags and Flying Time!

This week has gone past in a flash, so time flies seems a fitting theme for the first tag I want to share.

This was my first attempt at this weeks chosen technique for the Grungy Monday challenge  - Tim Holtz's rusty /faux enamel effect - see the details on his website here.

I used walnut stain distress stain over the tag and stamped a PaperArtsy image in vintage photo distress ink. I then covered the tag with clear embossing ink to do a slight variation on the rusty enamel technique. I used vintage photo over the top of the embossing. The butterflies were stamped from the TH Papillon set in stormy sky distress ink and clear embossed again with vintage photo over the top (same colours were used for the little Time Flies tag and the scrollwork at the bottom).  The butterflies and the sentiment were stitched onto the tag. I love the little metal leaf which actually came from a pair of earrings from Tesco.

I like the finished result, but I didn't think it really came out as a rusty enamel look... So now for number 2, again using a feast of Tim Holtz distress inks, alteration dies, texture fade embossing folder,  stamps and the rusty enamel technique.

This time I used crushed olive and forest moss distress inks to colour the tag, then clear embossed and went over the top with vintage photo. Then I stamped the birds in black archival. I stamped the Tim Holtz sentiment on white card, edged with crushed olive ink and matted onto black card. The little flourishy bits were cut from the on the edge scrollwork die I also used for the first tag. The flowers were cut with the tattered florals die, embossed with a flourish texture fade folder and coloured with the same distress inks as the tag, with a little additional black soot around the edges. I then attached the whole thing to a piece of white card, also edged with crushed olive, and finally onto black card. I love the colour combination of the crushed olive and black - it really zings in real life (is that even a word?)

I decided to enter the first tag into the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge ('show some stitching') and Sundays Stampers ('flying').

The second tag will be entered into Dragons Dream Tag It On ('Project Tim Holtz') and Grungy monday ' Tims faux rusty enamel technique')

Going out for dinner tonight so I better go and scrub the ink off my fingers.
Hope you're all having a good weekend :0)


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Dreaming of butterflies

I fancied trying out a technique from this months Craft Stamper magazine using tissue to build up layers of images and texture, and I just got some Tim Holtz distress stains so I wanted to try them out too.

I started off with a canvas board and swiped it over with the distress stains in wild honey, fired brick and walnut stain. I cut some pieces of heavy TH music print paper using the TH scrollwork on the edge die and coloured these with the wild honey stain before glueing onto the canvas.

Next I added a single layer of tissue over the whole canvas, soaking it on with diluted PVA glue. It wrinkles in places to add texture, and I worked it in around the scrollwork pieces so that they still appear slightly raised. The pattern on the paper is also still visible through the tissue.
Then I stamped my various images (stamps from Paperartsy, Tim Holtz, Debbi Moore) onto more pieces of tissue in black stazon  and glued them onto the canvas in the same way. Thanks to Florence at for the tip of stamping with a layer of foam underneath the tissue for a better print - hop over to her blog to see some gorgeous bottles decorated using a stamped tissue technique.

Once it was all dry, I added some extra colour with the stains and a few more butterflies in black archival ink. Finally I rubbed some gold rub-on colour around the edges and lightly over the rougher bits to emphasize the texture. Oh and at some point I sprayed some heirloom gold perfect pearls over it.

Not too bad for a first attempt I think - the colours look better in real life too.

This last photo is just an ATC I was using to test out some of the techniques before using them on the main canvas, but I quite liked the way it turned out (even if the butterflies have smudges because I used distress ink then went over the top with more glue).


Monday, 11 July 2011

Blooming gorgeous!

I'd put aside sunday afternoon for crafting time, but my mojo appeared to have slunk off into a corner, so I ended up watching most of the Grand Prix with my husband instead. What a cataloge of pit stop errors it was - I feel really sorry for Jenson Button and Paul Di Resta.

Anyway, eventually I put my mind to making a flower card for the Try it on Tuesday challenge and this is what I came up with:

Lots of wild honey, fired brick and vintage photo distress ink, Tim Holtz Papillon background stamp (and butterflies on acetate) and a big grungepaper flower. I like the contrast of the orange shades and the black background. Having nicely red and orange stained finger-tips for the rest of the day was quite cheering too.

I do like the finished card, but it's less original than I'd like. It's definitely been strongly inspired by all the gorgeous things I've seen other people doing - guess that can't be a bad thing really.


Sunday, 10 July 2011

I can see clearly now...

Hope everyone's having a good weekend. Thanks for the nice comments on my chilvalry tag - sounds like a Monty Python themed project would go down well - will definitely have to think about that one.
....But, just a short post today to share a quick tag.

I don't end up using patterned papers that much, but there are some absolutely stunning papers out there. I recently came across the Lost and Found papers from My Minds Eye and couldn't resist couple of sheets.
This one in particular is really gorgeous:

I used this to make a simple but pretty tag:

I cut the decorative frame section out and mounted it on acetate stamped with a Tim Holtz sentiment, the simply added a strip of music print paper and some ribbon - very quick and simple!

I'm entering this into the Just For Fun challenge  - acrylic/plastic.


Friday, 8 July 2011

The Age of Chivalry

I nearly titled this post '...and now for something completely different' as this weeks theme at the Dragons Dream Tag It on Challenge has got me thinking about Monty Python. The theme is 'the age of chivalry' which immediately brought to mind Monty Python and the Holy Grail - one of my husbands favourite films ever (he can quote huge sections of it practically word for word!).

However, after all that I haven't actually done a Monty Python themed tag (although I do have some ideas bubbling away for a future this space).

Here is my actual offering:

The background paper I think is from a range by Rusty Pickle called Guinevere - so quite fitting for the theme. The stamp used for the shield is from Paperartsy,  the crown and flourishes are from a Tim Holtz set, and the bird is from Graphic 45. There's also a little Making Memories fleur de lys stamp in each diamond in the background.

I used black soot and dusty concord distress inks on the shield. I swiped round the edges of the tag in clear embossing ink and heat embossed in gold. I also heat embossed the corner flourishes and the crowns on the shield in gold and the bird in black. The lettering was die cut from a Tim Holtz alterations die.

Annoyingly,  I've now got the knights of the round table song stuck in my head! Comic genius :0)


Sunday, 3 July 2011

Where flowers bloom

When we got back from holiday last weekend our front lawn was a sea of beautiful flowers - white clover, daisies, and what my Dad tells me is birdsfoot trefoil. Unfortunately our neighbours are very keen gardeners whose lawns are always perfect - literally they go round the edges with scissors! - and have been known to moan to our landlord when we don't keep the garden as neat as they'd like. So the pretty flowers had to be mown :-( It was almost heartbreaking, but I'm sure they'll grow back pretty quickly.

I took this photo before we got the lawnmower out (sorry for the quality - I don't think photography is really my strong point):

Anyway, this inspired me to make a flowery tag. I coloured an ATC sized piece of white card with butterscotch and stream alcohol inks, edged it in vintage photo distress ink and stamped 'Where flowers bloom...' a few times also in vintage photo. The stamp was from the flower fairies lavender set by Crafters Companion, which I got as part of some blog candy from Craft Stamping Magazine. When I first saw it I didn't think I'd use it as cutesy isn't really my style, but I've ended using it a few times now.

The flowers were cut from grungepaper using the Tim Holtz tattered florals die and coloured using alcohol inks (butterscotch, and wild plum) and distress inks (wild honey and vintage photo). I also stamped a Hero Arts script stamp over them using various different inks. The letters spelling flower were stamped in black in the center of each one.

I curled the petals a little and mounted them to the background card using foam pads. The whole thing was added to a plain kraft tag and to finish it off I added some ribbon and an acetate butterfly (stamped from the Tim Holtz Papillon set in black stazon and coloured with wild plum alcohol ink).

I think this tag fits the new Sunday Stampers challenge over at Hels Sheridans blog. The theme is writing and this tag has both the script stamp on the flowers and the phrase stamped on the background.
And the current challenge at the Stamp Man is alcohol inks so I'm going to enter it in that too.
Oooh and not to forget the Grungy Monday Challenge at Studio L3 where the theme is also Alcohol Inks - check out Tim Holtz's demo here!
...And finally Simon Says Stamp and Show - A word!

Thanks for reading and I hope you're having a good Sunday


Friday, 1 July 2011

The universe in a brain cell!

Every now and again I come across non-crafty things that I really have to share and this is one of those:
Taken from the New York Times
These picture on the left is an image of mouse brain cells and The image on the right is a simulation of the universe. A mouse neuron is only a few thousandths of a millimeter wide whereas the universe is billions of light-years wide, but the similarity of the pattern is striking and awe inspiring.

I find something very appealing in the idea that many different natural phenomena are built with the same structure but on vastly different scales - maybe its a feeling that there is some sort of order in apparent chaos.

On a more arty note, the structure of brain cells can have a real beauty (see the fab jewellery made by Morphologica on Etsy - keep hinting at hubby to buy me some) and I keep thinking about making some sort of artwork on this theme. Hmmm will have to put my mind to it and have a go.