Monday, 24 October 2011

A mirror for a wanderer

I'm aiming to make quite a few handmade christmas presents this year and one of the things I'm trying is jumping on the bandwagon of decorating Ikea mirror frames. I've seen so many people using them to make some fabulous art and they're an absolute bargain at £1.25 each!

I have various ideas for what to do with the 6 I ended up buying. For the first one I was inspired by an article in this months Craft Stamper magazine where they used reinkers and craft glue to make a fantastic collaged mirror frame. Quite a few papers from my Tim Holtz paper stashes are travel related, so I thought I could do something similar on a travel theme for a globetrotting friend. However, what I ended up with was a much simpler piece than I originally planned...

I started off with a single sheet of map design paper from Tim's Lost and Found paper stash. I cut out the two halves of the globe to use as the main images and used the reverse of the leftover paper to make the background. I edged all the bits in vintage photo and stamped some splatters round the edges of the background pieces.

The mirror frame edges were stained with walnut stain distress stain.

Somehow, I managed to trim the papers so there was a hole in the right place for the mirror, then I glued down the images with matt multi medium.

Using vintage photo distress ink again, I stamped the birds at the top and used a a Tim Holtz mask to create the compass at the bottom, adding the game spinner as a compass pointer.

The strap down one side was made with grunge paper, stained with walnut stain and vintage photo, embossed with a texture fade and highlighted with black soot distress ink and some coppery rub on. I then gave it a coat of multi-medium. Hopefully it looks a bit like leather. The studs are the tops of some brads glued on. The word in the book plate came from the same sheet of paper as the rest of the design.

The final detail was the phrase at the bottom, which I think was perfect for theme of this piece - I used a left over scrap of paper, stamped in vintage photo and clear embossed.

So thats my Holtzian travel mirror and I'm so pleased with how it turned out.

Thanks for reading, I hope you like this as much as I do :0)


Saturday, 22 October 2011

Anniversary card

Just a quick post to share an anniversary card I made for my in-laws, and some tags I made to go on the bottles of wine we got them as a present.

Firstly, the card...

It's mostly Tim Holtz products (no surprise there). The background was inspired by this tutorial on the Gingersnap creations blog showing how to make your own kraft resist style paper. I used the Papillon stamp set  - stamped the background in archival ink, then clear embossed the butterflies, then coloured over the top with distress stains and inks.

I cut the flowers from book pages using the tattered florals die and stained with distress ink and added the skeleton leaves (I've had these for soo long and not really found good ways to use them, but I really like this).

On to the tags:

These were again inspired by a tutorial on Gingersnap creations. The tutorial was on an alcohol resist technique on glass. I didn't have any glass so I did something similar on acetate.
For each tag I cut two pieces of acetate. I coloured one of them with alcohol inks, then stamped the Papillon background stamp onto the alcohol inked surface using archival ink. I dabbed the archival ink off and it takes away the alcohol inks below leaving the image as a resist.
On the second piece of acetate, I simply stamped my other images in Black Stazon.
Finally I layered the acetate pieces up with a piece of white paper to show the background clearer and fastened the layers together with some mini brads.

Anyway, hopefully my in-laws will like them - if not I'm sure they'll still enjoy the wine.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Once upon a midnight dreary

The skeleton piece I did for Grungy Monday inspired me to do another tag using the same skeleton stamp.
.... and since Gingersnap Creations are currently running a horror themed challenge I thought a Edgar Allan Poe quote would be very fitting - in this case the opening lines from 'The Raven' which is one of my favourite spooky tales/poems.

The tag was coloured with crushed olive and forest moss distress inks and stamped in black archival ink. The skeleton stamp is from Kaycee Crafts, and I also used alphabet stamps from Studio G and a writing stamp from Paperartsy. The whole tag was covered with rock candy crackle paint, which I think makes the colour really zing. The little raven (well ok it's a bit too cute for a raven really, but its as close as I can get with my current stash) is a Tim Holtz die cut.

Now I really need to get on with all the christmas cards and handmade gifts I actually need to make, rather than playing :-(


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Grungy Halloween

Ok, so I don't do halloween, which is strange because I generally like the spooky side of things. Halloween for me usually means me and hubby buying sweets in case we get trick or treaters, then staying in with the curtains drawn tight and the lights off so no one thinks we're in (and eating the sweets ourselves). However, I remembered I had this lovely skeleton stamp from Kaycee Crafts and with the Grungy Monday theme being Halloween I couldn't really resist.

I started off making an ATC from a few bits of card left over from a botched attempt at a card, then thought the poor old skeleton deserved more of a background.

I used a lot of Tim Holtz products - distress inks and stains, ornate frame and crown stamps, background paper, on the edge and bird dies. I loved how the fired brick distress stain worked with walnut stain to give that lush dark blood red on the main image. The red background paper was from one of Tims paper stashes and, with a bit of extra black distress ink and stamped script, I though it made the perfect spooky background.

Enough from me for now, but check out Tim's website here for lots of fab inkiness.


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Moonlight and sunset

It's been ages since I entered any challenges so today I've done two tags for two of my favourite ones. Firstly, the Dragons Dream Tag It On theme this week is the whole of the moon. This is what I came up with:

The background started off with baltic blue fresco finish paint, crackle glaze and a top coat of black with white for the moon. The tree (from a Kanban set) was stamped with embossing ink and heat embossed with Moon Glow midnight sapphire obsidian powder. This is such a gorgeous deep shimmery blue and very fitting for the moon theme. I used some blue patina perfect pearls to add shimmer and stamped the tim holtz birds in black archival ink.

Hels Sheridans Sunday Stampers theme is blue and orange so I decided to create a similar tag with more of a sunset theme. 

The tree is the same dark blue embossing powder as the moon tag, and the background detail is done with the same blue perfect pearls as before, brushed over the pattern stamped in clear embossing ink. The background is wild honey and fired brick distress stains and ink. I know the blue doesn't show up too well in the photo so this one shows it a wee bit better.

I really enjoyed doing these and I'm starting to remember why I like challenges - they're fantastic for giving a bit of focus to my work. And I love seeing everyone else's fab work :0)

While writing this post I came across a great quote from Allen Ginsberg which I will leave you with.

"Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness"

I like that sentiment


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Endings or beginnings?

I've been badly neglecting my blog for a while. It's been a busy time with conferences, holidays and bathroom decorating. Also was coming up to the end of my contract at work. Sadly, it ended last friday, so after 5 years in the same place I have to move on... to what I don't yet know.

I've applied for lots of jobs and haven't even had an interview - I work in psychological research and I guess the university research funding cuts have made things a lot more competitive. It's especially difficult because my husbands job means I want to stay in the same part of the country. The academic career path seems to expect people to move around the country (or world!) for years before they can get a permanent job and settle somewhere. I'm not willing to do this and it frustrates me that I end up feeling like I have to apologise for putting my family and personal life before my career.
So I think it's time for plan B... however, having a PhD apparently qualifies me for absolutely nothing in the real world so it might prove a little tricky!

At least having no job means I can make the most of having some inky crafty time. I have endless projects I want to do and xmas cards to make, so I'll definitely be keeping myself busy.

For starters...

This photo frame was lurking in my husbands study. The frame was a faded green and the photo in it was an old and unflattering picture of the two of us from around 10 years ago. It was just crying out to be updated. I used one of my favourite photos from our wedding and the text is the poem (by e. e. cummings) that hubby and I read to each other in the ceremony.

i carry your heart with me 
i carry it in my heart 
i am never without it 
anywhere i go you go,my dear; 
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling 
i fear no fate for you are my fate,my sweet 
i want no world  for beautiful you are my world, my true 
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant 
and whatever a sun will always sing is you 
here is the deepest secret nobody knows 
here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud 
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; 
 which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide 
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart 
I carry your heart 
i carry it in my heart

Will be back with some more crafty stuff soon