Friday, 31 January 2014

Catch-up Complete

The last couple of days have been busy - busy working at Alice in Paperland.  Things are changing at Alice's with the opening of a second store in beautiful Port Macquare on the mid north coast of NSW only a couple of weeks away.    I can feel a weekend away happening before too long so I can go check out how Nicole has arranged this new venture.  Ahh, to feel a lovely sea breeze each day, how lucky she and her family are to embark on this sea-change adventure!

Anyhow, I wanted to pop by and show the last of the things I made at the recent Craftanoon, this time with the gorgeous Graphic 45 'Couture' collection.

This is another elegant range that Graphic 45 has brought out, with images from a bygone era.

I like being able to have co-ordinating inserts and this leftover strip of peacock feathers works beautifully.

These four gift cards were so quick and easy to put together - black cardstock, followed by a mat of peacock feathers and topped off with these lovely images.  Each one also has an ivory insert, otherwise you would have to use a white or silver pen to write with.

Thanks for coming to look today.  I'll be back again (before you know it) with some more fun ideas!

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Delivered at last!

Woohoo !!!  The long awaited mail has finally arrived.  Goodness only knows why we didn't get any mail at all last week.   I even went next door and asked my neighbour had they received any mail.  They had, but only on one day.  Anyway, today there was mail, and not one but two exciting packages were MINE !!! Woohoo !!!

The first one I opened was the ATC swap which had winged its way from the UK.  So EXCITING to open it and discover it was wrapped in lengths of ribbon - thanks for the added bonus.

 My camera just doesn't do this delightful ATC justice.  So many little details to look at and I just love it !!!

Thanks Karen, you may be having a frosty winter in your neck of the woods, but here we're having some lovely summer weather, although a bit too hot at times. 

My second package which was also in today's mail, had winged its way from Canada and were the stamps I had ordered from 'Designs by Ryn'.

Can't wait to play with them, especially the 'water droplets' .  I've seen it used a number of times now (thanks Eileen) and it really looks like there are drops of water on the surface of the card or journal.

Happy, happy crafting !!!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Favourite Team Colours

I don't really follow any teams, but if I did it would have to be my DH's and his favourite team has red & white as its team colours.  At Wicked Wednesday this week, the theme is (you guessed it) 'Favourite Team Colours'.

When I was at Craftanoon last week, I picked up a packet of Heidi Swap 'Banners' which have about 8 lengths of different shapes, and all are white with various resist patterns on them.  I chose one of these, cut to the length I needed for the ATC, and blended over it with 'fired brick' Distress Ink.

I also had one little monster left over from Stampotique 'Line Up' who jumped up and down excitedly, saying "pick me, pick me" , so he had a 'fired brick' makeover as well.  He needed a little flag to wave so I wrote on some scrap white card, outlined around the edge with a pen, and then drew in the stick, colouring it with a Distress Marker before cutting it out.

I edged the ATC with some 'black soot' and stamped some foliage so the monster had somewhere to stand on the sidelines.  Little monster and his flag are popped onto dimensionals.

I'm entering this ATC at the Wicked Wednesday challenge.

Happy crafting!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

No matter how cold

Even in the middle of winter, Sydney simply doesn't get cold enough for it to snow (although it feels that way sometimes) and so I wondered how I could create a snowy, cold image for the Tagalong challenge this week, which is 'Snow and Ice', especially when it's summer here.

I was inspired by Corrie's tag "Ice Queen" but really didn't know how to go about creating a background until I happened to look at Craft Stamper magazine, December 2012 issue which had a freebie snowflake on the front cover.    I've been buying these magazines for quite some time but rarely use the stamps on the front (although I like getting freebies) and once I file the magazine away, I tend to forget about the stamps.  Hmmm, maybe it's time I took all the stamps off and find a nice little box for them and then I might use them!)  Anyhow, back to the tag in question .....

I started off by stamping the freebie snowflake in 'stormy sky' and 'peacock feathers' and then found another freebie stamp set (possibly from a Docrafts magazine?) which had tiny images that could pass as snowflakes, so I randomly stamped these in the blank spaces.

Next I stamped 'Gibi' (Stampotique) onto cardstock and coloured her with Distress Markers and then cut around her, popping her onto dimensionals.  I decided she would look more balanced on the right hand side of the tag with a quote to the left.  The words are my own and hand-written - I'm not sure if they quite make sense, and there probably should be a comma after 'cold',  but somehow it looked right.

I edged around each of the words and the tag with 'stormy sky' Distress Ink and finished with a piece of pleated ribbon (SU) stapled into place.

I'm entering this in the Tagalong Challenge 'Snow and Ice'.

Happy crafting!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Star Keeper

I'm quite enjoying creating something for various challenges lately, and this card works for two of them, Stampotique Designers Challenge and Sunday Sketch and Stamp Challenge.

I'm not sure if "Key Keeper" likes his new title or not, but for today's post he will be known as "Star Keeper" as he has a lovely star hanging from the chain around his neck.

The only alteration I have made to this weeks sketch is a row of hanging stars instead of a banner, but the remainder is unchanged.

I started with a 13.5cm x 13.5cm black shimmer card as the base.  A piece of baby blue shimmer paper was cut to size and stamped second generation with a freebie swirly stamp although it's hard to see.  The paper was stuck in place and the row of stars in 'jet black' Archival was stamped across the top.   The stars were a freebie stamp on the front on Craft Stamper magazine from November 2012.  How do I know this?  Well, I've been buying the magazine for some time now, but have not often used the stamp and this one was still attached to the front, hence how I know which issue it came with.

"Key Keeper" was chosen as he was the right size to fit under the stars overhead.  He was stamped on white cardstock in 'jet black' and coloured with watercolour pencils and fussy cut.   I then stamped a large star from the row onto white card and cut it out before glueing it over his 'key' pendant.  A diamond was placed in the centre of the star and three smaller diamonds added to the star border.

"Star Keeper" was then popped onto dimensionals.  The border and the words came from Tim Holtz 'Simple Sayings'.  To finish off I mounted the black base onto 14cm x 14cm white cardstock.

I'm entering this card in : Stampotique Designers Challenge
                                      Sunday Sketch and Stamp Challenge

Happy crafting!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Steampunk Clipboard

Before I headed off to Craftanoon last Saturday, I had a look in my 'projects' box to see what I could take with me and maybe have the time to do something with it.  In my stash I found this clipboard, which is about A5 size, along with three mini clipboards and two frames.  Quickly looking in my Graphic 45 papers I grabbed the 8" x 8" 'Steampunk Spells' as it is a collection that quite appeals to me.

As luck would have it, the Dizzy Izzy girls had a layout challenge for anyone who wanted to take part and so I decided this would be perfect for this clipboard.

There was a main image, a smaller one to the side, and to the side of that were a number of triangles.  Beneath these images were random splotches.  Below the main image was words or sentiments and below that again, were a couple of small places for decoration.

I chose the background paper and cut it just slightly larger than the clipboard, then completely covered the clipboard with a glue-stick and stuck the paper on making sure there were no wrinkles or creases.  I sanded the paper down and around the clipboard before going around the edges with 'black soot' Distress Ink.  Next I spritzed Heidi Swap 'teal' colour shine mist in random splotches for added colour.

I fussy cut the steampunk lady placing her as the main image, then cut out a journalling card and then the title.  The triangles have straight sides but if the images went outside my lines, then I trimmed around the image instead.   Once I was happy with the placement of the various pieces, I glued them all down.  I had thought to layer the lady but since this was a clipboard and I didn't want her damaged if the clipboard is actually used as a clipboard, I decided against this idea.

As my clipboard wasn't quite big enough for adding the bits below the sentiments I decided to leave this out.

So, with a bit of measuring, fussy cutting and moving things around just a wee bit, this is how my finished clipboard looks.  The remaining mini clipboards and frames went back into my 'projects' box for another day.

I'll be back again tomorrow to show what else I made at Craftanoon.  This was such a relaxing, fun day and I managed to achieve what I had taken to play with, so all in all, I was quite pleased with the whole day.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Beloved Teddy

I recently had the pleasure of being part of an international swap where the theme was "Beloved" and we had to use Stampotique stamps (it being a Stampotique site) to create an ATC.  An ATC is an Artist's Trading Card and is 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" in size.  I rather liked the idea of swapping with someone from around the world and was quite chuffed to get Sonja who lives in The Netherlands.

So, with love in his heart, I chose 'Heart Throb' and his beloved companion 'Teddy' for my ATC.  Both 'Heart Throb' and 'Teddy' were coloured with water-colour pencils and fussy cut.  I also cut around his hand so 'Teddy' could be tucked under his arm.

The background is 'mustard seed' Distress Ink with a touch of 'spiced marmalade' around the edges.

I had bought a new template recently called 'mini confetti' (TCW - the crafters workshop) and liked the idea that it has oddly shaped hearts randomly added to splotches and a couple of other funny little details.  I placed the template so that the hearts would be to the side of Heart Throb, and used Impasto Medium (a texture paste) with a spatular before putting it aside to dry.  Once it was dried, I gently added red metallic stuff (sorry, I don't know what it's called and have had it for simply ages) with my finger-tip to highlight the raised textured hearts.

I placed a little piece of washi tape at the bottom for Heart Throb to stand on, but it seemed to be missing something.  That something was the dictionary meaning of  "beloved - adj: dearly loved; n: person dearly loved" which I tore from an old dictionary that I used at school many, many years ago and which had long since lost it's cover.

Heart Throb and Teddy were popped onto dimensionals and the ATC was finished.

I hope there might be another swap again as this was such fun to be part of, especially as you don't know where in the world your ATC will come from.  I'm looking forward to recieving mine - ooh, can't wait!!!

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Hearts and Love

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a lovely time at Craftanoon on Saturday.  This was put on by the Dizzy Izzy girls and they also had a shop set up with lots of interesting goodies.  I spotted this packet of chipboard hearts by Pink Paislee and thought "they might work with this weeks challenge at Wicked Wednesday" .

The pack has quite a number of hearts in various shapes and sizes, all of which have gray script on a white background, perfect for adding colour.  However, what I didn't realise until I started sponging 'fired brick' Distress Ink onto the hearts, was they also have a resist surface which gives another look altogether.  Pretty cool, eh?  I also added just a touch of 'peacock feathers' to a couple of the edges for a little more contrast.

The ATC was coloured using 'peacock feathers' with a little more colour on the edges.  The border was doodled by hand using a black pen.   I had also purchased from the shop a Heidi Swap colour shine mist in 'teal', so to finish off I gave it a quick spritz of shimmer (although it's very hard to see in the photo).  It goes perfectly with the 'peacock feathers' ink!

I'm entering this in this weeks challenge at Wicked Wednesday.

Happy crafting!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Winter is Coming

It's going to be a while before I see the leaves falling from the trees in my garden, as we are in the middle of a hot summer with temperatures at an all time high in some parts of the country.  In the past week in Sydney we've been averaging around 35 degrees, but in Melbourne where the international tennis is being played, games were halted when the temperature went over 40 degrees.  Phew!  My DH and his best mate were in the crowd for two days and they found it hard just sitting, let alone playing tennis!

Anyhow, back to the theme in question at Tagalong this week - "Winter Trees".

The thought of a snowy, wintery landscape just never occurs to me, as it simply doesn't snow in Sydney.  The closest we get snow is in the Blue Mountains (just over an hour away) but at the most it will only last a day.  We were lucky enough to wake up to snow years ago when we were on holidays there but by midday it was all melted and gone.  It was quite exciting (especially as the children were only small) to play in the snow though.

This tag was started with Distress Ink 'peeled paint' on the bottom section (I had the stamp lined up so I could see how far up the tag I needed to colour) and then adding 'stormy sky' to the remainder of the tag.  I spritzed it lightly with water for a mottled look, and then using 'jet black' Archival Ink stamped Deep Red 'Fall Leaves' , which lined up quite well with where the colours merged.

The trunk of the tree and the individual dropped leaves were coloured with Distress Markers, and washi tape was added to finish it off (or so I thought).  I looked at my tag and decided to just add a light touch of 'tea dye' surrounding the tree to add a slightly colder feel to the tag.

So, this is my entry in this week's challenge at Tagalong.

Happy crafting!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Wish Big

Yesterday was fun!  Along with a couple of friends I spent the day (10am - 10pm) at Craftanoon, an all day scrapbooking/papercraft event.  This was the first time I'd gone along, having only recently found out about it but it was such fun.  It's held every 2 months and I think I definitely would like to go along again.  There was about 30 ladies and most were working on layouts for their scrapbooks.  Me (?), I rarely scrapbook anymore so I took along a project, some papers and cardstock, a few stamps AND my list of what challenges are on this week.  There was lots of chatting, yummy morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea and finished with a variety of pizzas for dinner.   Thanks, ladies, for a fabulous day!

I made this card with two challenges in mind, the first being Stampotique and the other Sunday Sketch and Stamp.   Unfortunately I'm too late for Sunday Sketch but it was good having a sketch to work with nevertheless.

I started by blending 'vintage photo' and 'black soot' Distress Inks together and randomly overstamping with a Tim Holtz script stamp.  A square of Graphic 45 'Happy Hauntings' edged with 'black soot' was added followed by a strip of black cardstock.

The circle was also blended with Distress Inks and overstamped with a stamp from JOFY, and edged with 'black soot'.  Two little 'monsters' from Stampotique 'Line Up'  were very happy to be the centre of attention and to wish (big) upon a star!

I'm entering this card in the "Stars" challenge at Stampotique this week.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Dragon's Castle

Two posts in one day - I'm obviously having lots of fun, or rather trying to catch up with challenges before they close would be closer to the mark!

The theme at Tagalong this week is "Home Sweet Home" and as I was looking for a suitable tag, I pulled this one out and thought "hmmm ...... castle, dragon - this could work".    I had made the background some time ago, stamped the castle and then couldn't think what else to do with it, so had put it aside for another time.

Looking through my stash, I found the dragon I was after and set about colouring him with watercolour pencils before cutting him out.  I added spots of fuschia Liquid Pearls to the tips of his wings and along his back and tail, and then put him aside to dry.

I just added a few touches of colour to the castle turrets and windows and then found some bubble sticker letters (I've had them for absolute yonks) with the extra letters being from Kaisercraft, and created the title 'a dragons castle is his home'.

A piece of washi tape was added for the dragon to stand on and another piece folded over and stapled to the top finishes it off.  The castle is from Magnolia stamps and the dragon from Lucy's Stamps.

I'm entering this tag in this weeks challenge at Tagalong.

Happy crafting!

One Good Friend

The challenge at Wicked Wednesday this week is "Friendship" and with the cut-off fast approaching, this is what I've come up with.

I already had the background from when I was playing with Gelatos the other day, and I know it's fairly pale but that is what happens when you rub gelatos off with a tissue on gloss card.

The little girls are from a SU set called "Kimono Kids" (I'm not sure but I have a feeling it is discontinued) which I stamped in 'jet black' Archival ink onto watercolour cardstock.  I coloured them with various Distress Markers, fussy cut them out and popped them on dimensionals.

The clouds and birds in the background are from SU "Up, Up and Away" and the words (sorry they are blurry) read 'One good friend is worth a thousand relatives', also from "Kimono Kids".

This ATC is my entry in this weeks challenge at Wicked Wednesday.

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

A Feathery Wave

Last week I was busy making tags for a swap that I had signed up for.  There wasn't a particular theme, just that it was a tag (not too big, but not too small = just right).  I was just finishing constructing them and thought "I would love to send one of these to my friend just to say I was thinking of her".  How easy it was to make another and pop it in the post!  Now that I know she's received it, here it is:

I started with some ivory cardstock offcut and trimmed it to 4" long, leaving the width as it was.  I blended 'peeled paint' and 'mustard seed' Distress Inks together, then using my new Tim Holtz stencil 'burlap' I blended more 'peeled paint' through it for the background followed by just another light colouring of 'mustard seed'.  Using a lid off a drink bottle I dipped it into gesso and randomly made circles, then put it aside to dry.

Next I stamped "Feathery Monster" onto scrap watercolour paper and coloured him (her?) using a pink and two purple watercolour pencils, blending them together.  I fussy cut him and dotted gold Liquid Pearls on his body and red Liquid Pearls for his eyes and set him aside to dry (otherwise knowing me, I'll instantly forget I've just added Liquid Pearls and I'll put my finger in it and it will smudge.  Guess how I know this ?????? [hee hee] ).

"Feathery Monster" was popped onto dimensionals and to finish off, a piece of washi tape was added to ground him, with a tiny smidge of a piece on the top for balance.  The piece of striped ribbon came from Alice in Paperland and was stapled in place.

I hope "Feathery Monster" put a smile on her face, he is such a cheerful little chap and is fast becoming one of my favourites.

Happy crafting!

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Frog House

The Frog House?  You'll look at this and think "but it's a bird house" however, there is a story behind this.

Some years ago I purchased a decorative bird house which (from memory) was hexagonal and had more of a keyhole (back & front) for its entrance.  I had it hanging in the camellia bush at the front of our house and thought it looked quite nice.  The chain it hung from finally rusted through so I was able to thread some plastic coated wire through via the keyhole entrances and there it hung for quite a number of years.  One day I happened to notice it was lop-sided and upon looking into the gloom inside, could see a lump so being curious I shone a torch inside and there was a brown frog.  His body was probably about an inch or so long and he had found the perfect hidey-hole away from birds etc.  He seemed to spend quite a number of his days in there and one day there was even a 'friend'.  The poor birdhouse slowly disintegrated from being out in all weathers until finally the bottom fell off, and sadly I didn't see the frog again.  So when Kaisercraft brought out a birdhouse, I knew where it was going to hang.

I've had this birdhouse sitting in my box of "Things to do" for a couple of years at least, and as I was looking for a project to take with me to my 'home away from home', I thought it was time for it to be constructed.

I started off by coating all the surfaces with Modge Podge (outdoor) before glueing the papers on.  All the papers are Kaisercraft "Basecoat" collection.  I then added another three layers of Modge Podge (with drying time between each coat).  All the pieces slotted together really well and then yet another coat of Modge Podge was added.

I am quite happy with how it turned out and am still debating whether I should add something decorative around the 'front door', maybe a swirly vine or something.

All that is left to do now is attach a couple of hooks and I think I'll have a look for the leftover plastic coated wire as that worked very well.

So, we shall see how long this lasts out in the weather and whether a new resident might call it home.  Maybe it needs a little sign over the front door "The Frog House" !!!

Happy crafting!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Girl and Dog

On the Stampotique Challenge this week is the theme of "something new" and another of the challenges has the theme "Love is in the Air".  So with this in mind, this is what I came up with :

The "something new" is actually the background - let me explain.

I didn't get any crafty goodies for Christmas (although I did get a subscription to "Craft Stamper" magazine - woohoo!) but I was looking at pan pastels and gelatos when I was visiting my BFF's local scrapbooking store.  The pastels were quite expensive in comparison to the gelatos (although you got a lot more colours included in the pastels) so I decided I'd buy one set of gelatos which has 4 metallic colours and try them out.  They say they are super easy, but I struggled with blending them, so looked at their website and then proceeded to watch some 'how to' videos.  OK, obviously this technique is one where the more you practice, the better the result will be.

So when I was at our local shops a couple of days back, I was looking at art supplies and came across 'soft pastels' and was able to try them out.  These are very chalky and blended very easily, but I wasn't going to buy them from this shop as it tends to be a tad expensive.  Yesterday I was at a different shopping centre (I was supposed to be doing grocery shopping, hee hee) where there is a discount shop that also sells art supplies, and they had a pack of 'soft pastels' in 36 colours for $15.00 (bargain) !!!   So ..... the blended background colours are these 'soft pastels' in three shades of green and one yellow - easy peasy!

 I stamped "Every Girl and her Dog" directly onto the background and then again on ivory cardstock.  The dress and the dog are both coloured using these soft pastels before cutting out and gluing directly on top of the first image.

The foliage is from SU "Pocket Silhouettes" with the clouds and words from SU "Up Up & Away".  To allow definition, the edges are coloured with 'seedless preserves' Distress Ink and 'crushed grape' Dylusion Ink was spattered randomly across the tag.  It's finished with a purple ribbon.

I'm entering this tag in the following challenges:
     Stampotique Designers Challenge
     Artistic Stamper Challenge

My apologies if I bored you to death with my rabbiting on about all these products, but I wanted to explain how the background came into being.  If anyone out there in blogland can give me any tips on using and blending gelatos I will be very grateful.  In the meantime I'll keep practising before I give up on them.

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Just the ticket


I've just come back from a lovely 5 days away at my 'home away from home' on the scenic Central Coast.  I'm lucky enough to be able to spend the beginning of each year at my BFF's home where we spread our craft stuff over her lovely big table and relax and play.  We visited her local scrapbooking shop (5 minutes from home) and spent a couple of $$$ or so, went to the cinema to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty which we both really enjoyed, had brunch at The Entrance (mmm... yum), watched some Midsomer Murders and Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, and generally had a relaxing time.  I really look forward to spending this time with her family each year and hope it can continue for more years to come.  

Once I got home, I checked on the different weekly challenges and thought I'd join in with a couple of them including Tagalong and SundaySketches.

The challenge at Tagalong this week is "Tickets" and although I looked in my stash, I couldn't find any tickets, so thinking outside the square, I realised I still had the cinema ticket in my bag from last Friday.  

I started with a blank tag, coloured it with 'tea dye' distress ink and then using my new Tim Holtz stencil 'burlap' went over different areas with more 'tea dye' and for more colour added some 'stormy sky'.  In keeping with the sketch at SundaySketches, I added some dotty rub-ons, hopefully at the same angle as the ticket.

I stamped 'Heart Throb' onto some ivory cardstock and added the same stencil background.  He is coloured with watercolor pencils and the panel is edged with more 'tea dye'.   Since cinema tickets never have the full name of the film on them (probably as the name is too long) I decided to add the letter stickers to both the panel and the tag "Walter Mitty".

To finish off, a couple of arrow paperclips (SU) were attached at the top and bottom, the tag was mounted on co-ordinating cardstock and some yarn threaded through the top.

I'm entering this tag in the following challenges:

Thanks for visiting and I'll be back soon to show you the project I was working on while I was away.

Happy crafting!