Monday 31 January 2011

Inchies and Journal

You may remember that last month I did a set of 9 Inchies for a "Continents" swap on UKStampers. Now we are into month 2 and this time it is "The Americas". I knew I wanted the stars and stripes so I sat down with paint and away I went. BG is red paint brushed over with gesso. I have not used it for a while and when I opened it, it was mouldy! Still I scraped the mould off and used it. Then I stamped the stripes on with more paint and the edge of a ruler. Next I stamped over with a section of a New York collage stamp before adding the blue square and the gem stars. Lastly I inked the edges with black to provide a border.
Whilst I was waiting for the paint to dry I did this page too, which is Week 5 for my Art Journal. This week it was about "Perfect". We had to talk about our perfect day, include some stamping and a picture. Once again I painted and gessoed the BG and stamped on it with Distress inks. I added white paint and black pen to hi-light and doodled in felt pen in the spaces. I used some of my very precious hen embellies, as I get to keep this, and finished with a picture of a book I love and a glass of vino! This Art Journal malarky is very relaxing!
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Tuesday 25 January 2011

Art Journal Week 4

Sweets was this weeks challenge. Not a toughie...although I did have to ask Jess to buy some as I needed the wrappers! This time we had to include some childhood sweets, a wrapper and some prices from our memories. Mum always used to give me 10p to spend at the sweet shop on the way to Brownies on a Tuesday. I remember buying a packet of crisps (7p) and 6 Black Jacks or Fruit Salads. Some weeks it would be a quarter of something; sherbert pips, midget gems, kop kops or sweet peanuts. Later on I worked in a paper shop and sold the sweets!
I rubbed pastels over the background just to keep it plain. Then I spent an hour or so painting my favourite sweets, Smarties, Liquorice Allsorts, Jelly Beans (not the modern American ones but the bigger, curved English ones!) and Tootie Frooties.
I then wrapped up some bits of card in Starburst wrappers (now they used to be Opal Fruits!), embossed all the sweeties and stuck them on with silicone glue to make them 3D. Then I just used gel pens to doodle on the page. Oh yes and I nearly forgot the paper bag at the bottom so that it looked like my sweets were all jumping out!
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Sunday 23 January 2011

January ATCs

Oh my, 2 posts in one day! Bit like buses, none for ages then 2 at once. ANyway I am waiting for the next prompt for the UK Stampers Art Journal. Whilst I wait I made my ATCs for the monthly swap. I really thought that I needed to use some of my overflowing ribbon stash and last week at school we did paper this killed 2 birds with 1 stone. I merrily wove 2 and then suddenly remembered that the ATCs were meant to be different! I hope Sam will accept that they are at least different colours!
Just a close up of that lovely ribbon. What a brill way it was to use up all the little scraps left from other projects (and snipped out of clothes!) that I just can't bear to throw away!
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A Birthday Gift.

Don't you just have to hate all those people that are awkward enough to have their birthdays in January? Especially Mums. Mums are hard to buy for at the best of time, but just after Christmas....I always struggle! Well my Mum has her birthday next weekend and came up with a teeny tiny list consisting of a recipe card holder from Waitrose, garden centre vouchers and a paper shredder. Exciting huh? She also came over bringing this scrappy little blue bit of fabric which was filthy and looked about to fall apart. It transpired that it was a duffle type bag I had made her when I was about 9 that she keeps all her manicure bits in!
She was too scared to wash it in case it fell apart and she asked if I could make her a new one! Well as that had lasted 30+ years I reckoned we could go for something a bit posher now! I had a scrap of this gorgeous pale duck egg blue silk (with gold pattern on) and thought it would be ideal.
It all came together quite well. Slight panic when I discovered I had to make buttonholes....then I couldn't find a safety pin small enough to go through them to thread the cord! I improvised with a needle and managed it first time!
I then made a lining from a yellow polycotton which I hand stitched in....

...and here is the final bag. It looks a bit pale and wishy washy but it has more colour IRL.
Well I hope she likes it, and she doesn't spill varnish remover on it! I have got her some peppermint foot lotion and a voucher to have her feet nibbled by fishies to go in it too.
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Monday 17 January 2011

Art Journal, Week 3

And yes I am still keeping up! I was so enthused with this weeks page. We had to have 10 things about schoo, lined paper and ink blots and doodles in the margin. I was never a Head Girl or even anywhere near being Deputy Head Girl so I HAD to make my own badge! Then all my school memories flooded into my head...the hard bit was deciding which ones to use.
I made the BG by spreading ink on card and covering with salt. I promptly covered that with my lined paper on which I had hand-written (with my left hand for the primary school memories). Than I just doodled; I really wanted to put a Chad on but had no room!
As you can see, I was quite naughty at primary school. We really did light fires on a regular basis in the dead tree stumps down the field! Our Dinner Ladies could never be bothered to walk down the field so we pretty much did what we wanted, including squeezing out throught the fence and running up and down the footpath alongside the field! Only once did the fire catch hold and the Fire Brigade came out; we didn't own up!
Ahhh those were the days!
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Sunday 16 January 2011

Some lovely gifts!

If only this had been last week, or if only I had waited to do my Gifts journal page until this weekend! This week I received two fantastic gifts, completely out of the blue. The first was from a lady I work with. She and her husband are off on their narrow boat around the country for a year so she is emptying her house, ready to rent it. At school on Friday she came up to me and said she had "a few bits you might be able to make use of". There was some wadding and polystyrene beads (for beanbags) and tons and tons of eyes! There are all sorts and sizes from green cat ones to blue teddy ones and pink ones for a white rabbit! And there are noses too! They have metal washers to go on the back which I think means they can't be used on toys to sell but I know that I will use loads on crafty things and also my children will love them too! So watch out for lots of eye inspired art work!
Then yesterday I had a call from my youngest daughter. She walks a dog for an elderly lady who live near us and the lady likes to spoil her a bit! They had got chatting about sewing and such and she pulled out her button tin. Well I thought I had a lot of buttons....this was a full sized big round biscuit tin full to the brim with all kinds of buttons from 1920's onwards she thinks, as many were her mother-in-laws. Now I LOVE a button tin but I am not good at rummaging...I have a thing about the bits of thread and fabric that are still attached but I did tip them out and there are some beauties in there! Eliza's next job is to de-thread and de-fluff them all for me!
So challenges with buttons and eyes now!
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Sunday 9 January 2011

Art Journal Week 2

Look at me all up to date and done already! Don't worry, it won't last so let me be smug for this week!
Challenge for the Journal this week; one, worst one and use some recycled packaging or card.
Lots of painting and writing on this one and again it began with a thought of nice kitchen presents I have had which led to thoughts of a 1950s polka dot idea. Though as you see it hasn't ended up looking at all retro!
And my recycled bit....a bow made from a sweetie wrapper and the ribbon was wrapped around a gift too.
All done for this week then!
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Art Journal Week 1

The new year has brought a new challenge over at UKStampers. Ages ago I was doing the rolling recipe tags but I got way behind and then "stuff" took over and I did no more. The new weekly challenge is a 6x4 page that will bind together at the end into an Art Journal. I still will do my other one, where I experiment and record random thoughts but this one is smaller and has "ingredients". Let's see if I can stick with it!
So week one and we had to include 3 goals, a handmade background and a photo. As is often the way when I do Art journal stuff I don't start with much idea of what my final piece will be like. This is a great case in point because I wanted my Journal to be portrait! Great start then huh? BG was acrylic paints in pink and lime green scraped across with a piece of thick card and then stamped over with bubble wrap and teal paint. I added my photo on the bottom and just daubed on it with metallic paints, gel pens etc. I promise that my hair is gold irl, not bright straw yellow like it looks here! Rest was just doodles with a variety of black pens and a silver gel pen for highlights. Really need to pinch Jess's white one for next week.
I enjoyed this..I love just seeing things develop as I add to them and even more so when they are just for me so that is the only audience I need to please. I think all of us crafters are guilty of not really ever making much for ourselves, so this will be my self-indulgence!
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Saturday 8 January 2011

New Year, new stuff!

I am sure that I mentioned that I had been side tracked from my Christmas Journal by knitting. Finally I have finished what I was knitting so here it is! A good friend of mine is unexpectedly expecting a baby at the beginning of June and I asked if she would like me to knit for "it". Now even in this country we don't usually need too many knitted cardigans in June but she did need a blanket. Whilst she was looking at my old patterns I got itchy fingers and found a free knitting pattern on the net for this Apple Tree Blanket.
It was nearly done before Christmas but I didn't quite manage to finish it so I did the last few rows and gave it to her last night. She didn't unwrap it whilst I was there but judging by the text she sent me, I think she liked it!!!
Unfortunately knitting this has reminded me just how much more sociable it is to knit in the lounge with hubby and the children watching TV than it is to sit in my dining room doing papercraft. Maybe my paper crafting activities are going to take a back seat for a while......
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Wednesday 5 January 2011


Now it has been a very long time since I did any of these......Over at UKStampers, they are holding a new Inchie swap. The plan is we make 6 sets over 6 months, one set from each continent. So the first set were "Africa". My BG is a mixture of distress inks (spiced marmalade, vintage photo and frayed burlap) swooshed and sprayed. Then a quick squirt of cosmic. Once that little lot was dry I inked a section of a leopard stamp in Timber Brown and stamped randomly on the separate inchies. Finally, after ages searching on the net, I found the type of tribal dance images I was after and just doodled them on. Oh yes I thik I edged with a felt pen too! Bit of a dark pic but I think you get the drift!
I am frantically catching up with my journal still to follow!
Now all that remains is to say A Very Happy New Year to you All!
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