Monday, 29 November 2010

Simon Says - Show us a Tag

I love making tags so this week's Simon Says challenge is right up my alley!  The background was already prepared from when I had some dusty concord ink left on my craft mat a few days ago, spritzed with a mix of dusty concord reinker/perfect pearl mix (can't remember which one now, it's not to hand to check the spritzer!)

The background looked a bit too dark though, so I used some Craftynotions white spray over the top.
I cut out the birdcage and bird (Tim's die) using a piece of leftover packaging from some idea-ology (don't like to waste anything).  I covered the birdcage with silver dabber paint and stamped in black stazon with Wendy's number background.  For the bird, I originally was going to use distress paint (in fact that's on the other side!) but used walnut stain and my bottle is SOOOO thick and gungey it didn't look right. So, side 2 - black acrylic paint, spritzed with worn lipstick reinker/forever red perfect pearl combi.  Some music tissue tape and the memo pin holding the adage ticket, then ran some ribbon through the holes in the bottom of the cage and fixed it at the back with tape.  Soar, birdie, soar!!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sunday Stamper - Signs

This week Hels' challenge at Sunday Stampers is to incorporate "signs" of some kind.  Before I read her post properly, I hit upon a "Santa stops here" kind of thing.  Just had to put it in action....

I used a 6x4 deckle edged card base - although the deckle edge doesn't show up - which I painted with a blend of dark and light blue paints from Claudine Hellmuth to form the sky.  Now I will probably have to cut off the front of this card and mount it on something else as the paint as spread round the back (inside) of the card....... DOOOHHHH.

I used a Magenta splatter stamp and some silver "encore" ink for a starry sky effect and the On the Edge houses from Tim Holtz  -  I have had this lying around for ages (since I got the die) - the other side is a dark red but I decided I'd like to use the patterned side, on which I used a watered down gesso to lighten the pattern, as it was too dark.  It's the first time I've done that, and I was pleased how it came out - I have seen it done lots of times. Good effect!

Then to find my "santa stop" sign for the theme of the challenge..... in the end I used the blank ticket from Tim's 100th collection, trimmed it down to a more suitable size and wrote in "Santa stop!" with a gel pen.  Found a small snowman/streetlamp on a Judikins cube stamp which was the right sort of scale, added some fluffy stuff for snow, and stamped a Happy Christmas sentiment, which is mounted on 3d foam though you probably can't tell.

OK, footie calls now, Liverpool are on later, (bit worried about that, we're playing Tottenham and they're on a good run,) but first it's Newcastle v Chelsea.  

I've got both my pairs of glasses now, but I am having some trouble adjusting to them - especially because I am apparently short sighted in one and long sighted in the other eye!  Can't decide which pair is best for watching TV yet.... hey ho!  Enjoy the rest of your Sundays.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

WOYWW 24.11.10

Hello, fellow WOYWWers - standard phrase to follow - I can't believe it's Wednesday again already. By the time you read this (unless you are real early birds) I will probably be sitting in a(nother) queue at the hospital waiting for more blood tests!   Got to fast from 9pm Tuesday  - and not even a cup of tea first thing in the morning. Yikes, not sure I'll cope with that!!

Some of you may have seen that I got an appointment for the referral to the neuro clinic - next March..... (so presumably it's not life threatening!), whatever is causing my blurred vision!  So I have decided not to worry - although getting a call from my GP surgery asking me to go for a follow up (been tonight) freaked me out a bit.  Hence the blood tests and as routine will also be sent for an echo-cardiogram to make sure my heart is ok.  She didn't seem too worried about the heart murmur though, so I think it is just precautionary.  (You never know what they will find though...)

Anyway, onto proper things, that you will (may be) interested in!! What is on my workdesk tonight (as usual preparing this on a Tuesday night) Well.  Nothing actually, although I have got some more Christmas cards made - had a bit of a blitz at the weekend. 

 (paper from Tim's Seasonal Stack) Chilly - great snowman by Stampotique.
I got the singing hedgehogs done!
 Oops, went shopping again. Not had a chance to use the Art Parts (Wendy Vecchi) yet, but Chilly you can see above!
Here's a treat for you - my pile of WendyVecchi and Tim Holtz stamps - they live here in the corner of my sofa! The earliest Wendy ones are in a binder which is STILL not decorated! The rest are just in huge rings to hold them together.
You can see my new glasses case - the reading ones had to be sent for re-adjustment (they seemed to be focussing when I hold a book at arms length - which I don't - although they were ok for the computer! so they are being redone now) Having to make myself wear the distance ones, it's hard to get used to them so far! The TV is much clearer though.....  And the book "Rebels and Traitors" I nearly finished in surgery (had a LONG wait tonight for my appointment.) It's a novel set at the time of the English Civil War, a period I studied for History A Level back in the late 70's (yeh, I know, showing my age) and which I loved. It is a very good book, I recommend it to anyone fond of historical novels.
And finally, a gift I received from Lynn Stevens who had a blog giveaway recently and whilst I didn't win the main giveaway, she had some RAK's for some extra bloggers.  Thanks again, Lynn!  I love that lace! Check out her fab blog, if you don't know it!
Sorry I have rambled on again, hope you are still with me! Check out the other desks here - there were over 150 last week and I am sorry I didn't get to you all - I did my best! Thank you to all of you who left me comments, I appreciate them all, and to my new followers, welcome.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Doubly Distressing Monday

Another Monday sees me able to combine two of my favourite challenges - Simon Says this week, asks to see our Distress Inks, and Linda's Compendium challenge is from page 40 - Double Distress.

I have made a Christmas card - the embossing folder is a Cuttlebug one of Christmas ornaments on which I used tumbled glass and dusty concord inks, with a spritzing of irridescent gold glimmer mist, and some prima flowers/embellies.  The Merry Christmas is one of Tim's stamps and it's embossed in a pearl gold EP found at the bottom of a drawer of EP's! Can't even begin to remember when I last used that!

There are some fab prizes on offer again, thanks to the sponsors!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Simon Says - Show us What Makes you Happy

Well, what makes me happy at this time of year, is getting my Christmas cards made! And so for this week's Simon Says Challenge  "show us whatever makes you happy", I thought I'd show you one of my quick and simple makes this year - with all that is going on I haven't done any really fancy ones yet!

This is a new Stampotique stamp - Jo Capper-Sandon's "Chilly" snowman, who came to live with me just this week!
 The background paper is by Paperartsy and the little Happy Christmas stamp is from Impression Obsession.
I've done a few of these, very slightly different - think I'm up to about 40 now, so hopefully only half as many to go - must write the list out so I know how many I need to get to!!

Hope you are all ok.  I had the appointment through for the neuro clinic referral about my eye - next March! In the meantime I have been phoned by my GP surgery who have heard from the hospital, and have to go on Tuesday for some more blood tests etc to make sure there are no other underlying health issues. I got my glasses - trying to adapt to the distance ones, but the reading pair weren't right so have had to be sent for adjustment!  The saga continues.....


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

O Little Town of Bethlehem

I just had to play with my Tim Holtz Seasonal paper stack tonight!  After all, I've had it 24 hours now.

One of the pages comprises the words to well known Christmas Carols - and this is one of my favourites.

I teamed it with a Denami stamp which I don't use enough but seemed to fit the Carol perfectly.

I sponged some distress ink through some sequin waste, this is scattered straw - it's meant to be sandy!! 
That's it for me, I'm watching the football, even if it is "only" a friendly.

What's on your Workdesk ?

Sorry about last week's inaction, thank you to those of you who left further comforting messages!  No updates yet, other than I have ordered my glasses - still waiting to hear from the hospital for the neuro referral.  So, as they say, life must go on.

And true to form, I've been shopping!!  Just decided I had to have the Tim Holtz seasonal paper stack and it arrived at work on Tuesday - just in time for it's starring role here, lol!  I had to open it there and then to check out the fab papers!

 I can't wait to start using them!
And at the weekend I finally got some more cards made - there are a few more than this, but there are multiples of some ( now that I am so far behind schedule, LOL!) The Santa one was blogged the other day for my Sunday Stamper entry.

And these singing hedgies are waiting to be cut out and put onto finished  cards.  I have a old PSX stamp of a lamp-post that I am thinking they will look good singing under (it's not really the right scale, but I figure I can claim artistic licence!)
The Tim Holtz lamp-post would be better size-wise but I am trying to be good with the credit card (sort of!)

Anyhow, if you have called here wondering why I am showing you my very messy craft sheet (much loved) check out all the other fellow work-deskers here - Julia does a sterling job marshalling us all each week, thanks Julia!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Tag Tuesday - backgrounds

There is a guest hostess this week at Tag Tuesday, Pam, from Scrappy Pam Designs who has asked us to use "backgrounds" as our theme this week.

I started by putting barn door and aged mahogany inks on my craft mat, spritzing them with perfect pearl/distress reinker mixes and dragging the tag through it.  Then I put it through my bingo texture fade in the big shot (don't ask me why I didn't think to use this for last week's theme.....) and sanded the top layer.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Compendium Challenge - Splatters? Blobs? Who Knows?

This week's Compendium challenge from Linda is from page 52 - alcohol ink splatter.  My first effort - two efforts, really - were definately more blobs than splatters. Muddy ones, too - I was definately overthinking the ink!  This is version 3!

I used juniper, lemonade and pink sherbet inks. I had a lot of problems with the technique - both from the can and a straw!  

The background paper is from Crafty Individuals ane the stamps are by Wendy Vecchi.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Sunday Stampers - Santa Claus is coming to town!

Hels' is really getting into the spirit today and has herself made a fab Advent book, with her "Santa Claus" theme for the Sunday Stampers challenge - but I have made a card, continuing my pledge to myself - all challenges now, wherever possible, are to be Christmas cards, till I have made enough!

I used a Tim Santa stamp, he is gorgeous, the Christmas ticket from the 100th set of Tim stamps, distress ink and some paper from a Blonde Moments pad. The "make it merry" is by Wendy Vecchi, and some prima flowers.   I had some trouble with the camera and the glare on the metal!

I am off now to watch the final Grand Priz of the season - if Lewis can't win, I'd love Mark Webber to. Then it's football, and fingers crossed the Strictly results tonight get rid of Ann W - she's "not danced" through enough shows now!! Have a great day.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Tag Tuesday - Bingo - it's late!

What with everything this week, I am behind with my regular challenges (not to say my Christmas card "production line", although I did get some done today) and this is the first chance I have had to try my Tag Tuesday tag. 

I took a square card, and used shabby shutters and pine needles inks, spritzed with a perfect pearl/reinker mix; all stamps are by Tim, the bingo card is from the Lost and Found stack.  The numbers come from Tim's mini set, and are covered with glossy accents.

I have turned the finished card into a Christmas card - another one off the list!

Thank you all for your kind supportive comments - I am keeping positive (especially now the scan was clear) and I ordered my glasses today, so in about a week I should be able to see (apart from the blurry bit LOL!) better.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Nothing's on my workdesk wednesday

Hi, fellow WOYWWers.  (catch the rest here)

As some of you have seen over the last few days posts, I've had a bit of a time of it with my eyes and so there is nothing on my workspace today. I am writing this Tuesday evening (as usual) this time after a long and exhausting day - the second in a row - spent at a hospital.

If you've seen the first two instalments, I will spare you again. Tuesday saw me go for the MRI scan which was a saga in itself as it took some time for them to find who knew I was expected.... and then my 10am slot was taken by an emergency (which is good, I suppose that I wasn't one) so I had to hang around till about 1.30.... the MRI was clear (hurrah) but then I had to go and wait in the eye clinic again to see the opthalmologist (if that is right) let's say eye doctor - which meant more hours in waiting rooms. (I got home at 7 having gone out at 7!)  I didn't take to him much, I think becuase it was so late in the day (gone 5) he was tired too - he seemed to be quite rushed and off hand. Everyone else I've seen has been fantastic.

I was so exhausted by then I didn't ask all the questions I should have - they have given me a diagnosis but I can't find the piece of paper -hang on "posterior non arteritic ischaemic optic neuropathy" which means the blood isn't fully getting to the eye -  but needs a referral to a neuro clinic - and I don't know what the treatment (if any) or timescale is.("It's not the one that kills you", he says! I think the Dr in the MRI unit said he thought this interupted blood flow was the problem and that it may be that I just have to live with it)  I am reluctant to google it in case I get more bad news!!  On the plus side my blood pressure was normal (how surprised was I at that after the last 2 days). Please don't all tell me how stupid I am not to ask what this means - I know that!!!

Hope you will understand if I don't visit you all today! Am off for an early night (tuesday). At least I can go to work today (Wednesday)

Monday, 8 November 2010

With Love at Christmas

Needed something to take my mind of today and - more so - tomorrow!  Thanks for your kind comments and tweets to my last blog!  (more later, which you can skip if you like)

This week's Compendium challenge is "perfect distress" and I don't think I've tried this one before.
This week's Simon Says Stamp and Show Us - your favourite Tim stamp - meant an ideal opportunity to combine the two.

I inked the base tag with wild honey - thought I may as well use my favourite ink colours too - and stamped my favourite Tim stamp - rock star - in dusty concord which I treated with the challenge technique.  I added some more gorgeous Tim stamps for the Christmas theme - I will add this to a Christmas card later.

This is the bit you can skip if you like!
I had some trouble seeing to do this because I had to go back to the hospital today to see someone about my eye again (as I was told to on Saturday) and the drops they gave me haven't worn off yet, so everything still looks a little fuzzy even if it's not meant to!

They have worked out that something is blocking the blood supply to my eye, hence the blurring/lack of vision but don't know why - so tomorrow I have to go back to the hospital I went to onSaturday, for scans and tests to try and find out why!  I was at Sutton hospital all day - got there at 9 - interrupted by a fire alarm meaning we all stood outside in the rain for 20 odd minutes (felt like hours) in and out of consulting rooms blah blah blah. Got home at 4.... Am warned tomorrow will be an all day-er too. (Nearly got sent today to stay overnight, so I suppose I am lucky!)  Apparently this is to rule things out and meant to be precautionary and I am "not to worry"....... yeh, right!  Also, when checking my heart (something to do with listening for the blood supply to the eye) they found I have a slight heart murmur and did I know. Errrr that's a no then!!
Ah well, thanks (if you are still with me) for listening me unburden myself. Will let you know how I get on - I hope!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Tag Tuesday meets Sunday Stampers

Hi all. I haven't been around much this week blog-wise (doing, I've been watching!) because at the beginning of the week I noticed a problem with my left eye.  The upshot was that I made an appointment for an eye test yesterday - the first time in years as I have had pretty good eyesight always. (Think the last time I had my eyes checked, I was still at school - which is a LONG time ago...)

Anyhow, the optician noticed a loss of vision in my left eye that she was worried about - although she said she hadn't seen anything "sinister" (it had of course crossed my mind!) she wanted me to get it checked out as soon as possible so wrote a referral for the eye hospital.  Typically, the one 10 minutes down the road in Sutton, doesn't have a weekend opening, so I had to go to Moorfields Eye Hospital at Tooting (still only a busride, but a longer one!)

Luckily I was seen more or less at once, although still with no confirmed reason for the loss of vision - the Dr at Tooting thought that possibly I had had a hole in my retina which has self healed.  Don't ask me how it happened or seals itself!  I have to go back Monday morning (to Sutton, fortunately) for another field vision test and from them, it's glasses!! So all in all, a strange old week.  It took all evening for the drops they gave me, to wear off so that I could see properly again (apart from the probem area, obviously). Having set out at 11 for the eye test, I got home at 4..... no lunch, either!

Anyhow, back to crafting.  This week's Tag Tuesday challenge set by Louise is "front and back" - to use both sides of your tag; and this morning, Hels' Sunday Stamper challenge is Winter (inspired by "walking in a winter wonderland") so I have combined the two.  I used the dabber resist technique and Tim's snowman - one side I used the Pearl dabber, the other Snow Cap, and distress inks.  Sorry it's a quickie today, I hope you will forgive me!

I tried really hard to get blogger to line these up side by side, but it won't!
As I was writing this post, I decided, that it wasn't enough to leave this tag like this - so I have turned it into a card! When I first started making cards and stamping, many years ago now (my late sister introduced me to the obsession and it's been 13 years since she died) I used to use a lot of aperture cards - and still have some left. So I found one - the last one - which was black with an oblong aperture, stamped Tim's small pine branch all round it using distress embossing ink and added some crystall embossing powder for a wintery Christmas shimmer. Rather than another stamped image which I thought might detract from the tag, I used some snowflake paper (Craftwork cards)
I fixed the tag to the back of the aperture so you can turn it to see both sides.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

WOYWW 74- and what do you mean, it's November?

OK, another Wednesday (already!), the days are getting shorter and the evenings darker earlier - must mean winter's on the way.  In the meantime, it means we all get together at Julia's for our weekly nose at the craft spaces of the world. Thank you for all your lovely comments last week!
This week, there isn't much actually ON my desk-on-the-floor but my box of Christmas cards is (very slowly) growing (at this point I had to stop as I realised I hadn't actually downloaded the pic from the camera!)  Carmen, I have loads left to do still!
Christmas is about the only time I "do" cute!!
Haven't done any of the middles yet, though (I only stamp a greeting inside, I don't make inserts!

I have also been rummaging in my drawers (and yes, I do mean drawers, plural) of Christmas stamps and have pulled out a little pile of stamps to use (I don't like to do multiples of the same card, unless I am really running out of time, lol) so need lots to choose from..... that's my excuse and I am sticking to it!
Lots of Penny Black as you can see, and quite a few Denami (the trees, angel) and Magenta too!

And when she sees the next pictures, my sister-in-law Lynne will say "see, Helen I told you there is something NEW every single week"  - hmm, you got me there then!

But, when I saw these new Paperartsy papers I just had to have them - 12x12 double sided, thick, beautiful papers - may never use them, mind, just stroke and admire them.  Shortly after I took this photo they all slid off the box I had tried to lay them decoratively out on!!
Now, can I convince you that because this was on pre-order since I saw it, and it's just arrived this week, that it's not new?  That's logic, isn't it?    It's the new On the Edge die, "town houses" and let me tell you, it is great - but fiddly to remove all those windows.....  here's one I was playing with yesterday when I got it out of the packaging.

I used a piece of Tim's Lost and Found paper stack and it's scanned wonky, sorry! I left the top of the die cut folded down, I will obviously cut it off when I use it!!
Anyhow, that's more than enough from me, happy Wednesday, and happy nosing!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Industrial Monday!

Monday means a new Compendium challenge from "the book" this week, and this week, Linda sent us to page 54.  As usual there are some amazing prizes on offer, this week from eclectric Paperie and Tim and Mario themselves - so I'm keeping my fingers crossed more than usual!!

I can't tell you how I carried out the technique, for that you need the book, but I used silver, gold and copper AI's and my brand new "town houses" on the edge die.  I've been eagerly waiting for this since I pre-ordered it, and it arrived today!!

Once I had "decorated" the town houses (on grungepaper) I inked a card with chipped sapphire DI and spritzed it with water for a kind of starry night sky look (not sure if it's really worked).  I looked EVERYWHERE in my Christmas stamp collection for a santa sleigh pulled by reindeer stamp but couldn't find one - so used Tim's reindeer and a small text stamp, from Tim's 100th set.  Santa is coming, he's just out of sight still!!

If I can persuade the houses to stay stuck to the card, it's another one off the list for Christmas (and to answer Carmen's comment the other day, no, I have a few more to do yet - quite a few!!)

Thanks Linda, for another great week!