Wednesday, 27 April 2011

TIO - Something with a Pocket

Thank you all for your visits and comments last week.  Hope you come back and join us again at Dragonsdream TIO this week, where Elizabeth has chosen the theme, "something with a pocket" so I had a go at something I've not done before, though not with as much success as I hoped. Still, I am quite pleased with the way it's turned out.

 I used bundled sage distress ink to colour both tags, and Wendy Vecchi backgrounds. Made the pocket with the second tag and then had to find a way to create my pop up.  I scoured blogs and websites and my crafting books but couldn't find the instructions I know I have seen!  So I cut a slit in the base tag instead.

The oak leaves are by paperartsy. This wasn't what I was originally going to have as my pull up!
Finished the tag pocket with a couple of craftynotions drops and some of the fab butterfly tissue tape round the bottom.

Hope you will dream big this week, too!


I'm not sure how many of the 99 weeks I have been following - or taking part, which is slightly fewer- in the blog phenomenen that is What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday; hosted by the divine Mrs Dunnit - I know it isn't all of them as I only started blogging just over 18 months ago, but it is certainly addictive, and now I live for Wednesdays!  Now we are rapidly approaching the 2nd anniversary, and my PIF gift is ready and waiting - is yours? (It's not compulsary, though, so don't panic)

So, on week 99, what is happening, chez Helen on the floor? 

Well, not today but a couple of days ago - there was some new stash (now that was a surprise, wasn't it, rofl!!)
Got back from a day visiting my Mum on Saturday evening, to find some reading matter and the Umbrella man die - oh yes!   Currently I am waiting for some little brass charms to arrive... ahem.

Took this shot of the "storage area" to the right of my craft mat, from my tiny stool at the computer desk (that you saw last week) - the must haves to hand are spreading - not that there is anywhere to move them to- and the glossy accents IS meant to be on its side as it's nearly empty!
Do you like my sunshade for my Tim and Wendy stamps - the little blue towel?  It's to stop the sun getting to the rubber - cute, huh?!!

Ok, that's it for me today - thanks for your comments last week, and don't forget to come back later to see this week's Tag it On challenge - maybe you'll join in this week?! It's free... lol. Go on, you know you want to.
Are you all going to watch the Wedding on Friday? I will - I've decided against going to London and will just watch it on tv.

Monday, 25 April 2011

2nd post of the day - Simon Says - buttons

After my guest designer spot for Grungy Monday earlier today, I turned my hand to play - thanks to Wendy Vecchi for the basic idea I added snow cap adirondack white pigment ink to a tag and then distress stain - the underlying white gives a more pastel colour - though I didn't get much white on my tag....

Anyhow, I decided I could turn this into my entry for Simon Says - show us buttons -
The distress stain is fired brick, and then I took a crafters workshop template and victorian velvet ink, I stamped a couple of the Tim butterflies from Papillon - one on canvas covered grungepaper which happened to be already red - and one onto the tag.
I love this 'fabulous' stamp from Stampotique, it IS fabulous!
Made a tissue tape flower (also inked victorian velvet) and added some buttons to accent the tag.

This was what I really wanted to do with the white ink/distress stain - this is broken china - as I had umbrella man already die cut on a piece from the Kraft Resist paperstack; added some clouds (stampscapes) to a square card, added the Life text, with some gel pen to fill in the letters and the teeny birds; also by Tim.  I added a bit of shading under brolly man, to ground him - anyone else think we need a grey distress ink???

Looks like I have a bit of a bird thing going on at present, everything I've blogged lately is bird-themed!  It is a coincidence.

Grungy Monday #5

I was thrilled when I was accepted by Linda to be a Guest Designer for Grungy Monday #5 but nearly panicked when I saw the technique she set us and it took me a while before I thought "yes, I CAN do this..."!  You can see what my fellow Guest Designer, Rachelle, does here

The technique is from May 2008
and believe me, if I can do it, you can do it!  As you will see when you check Tim's original, he created a scrapbook page, which I have never done, but it's fine to adapt the technique to something else.

Fortunately I did have some foam, which is the basic requirement and I botched followed the instructions closely!   I cut my foam to 6x6 to match the piece of paper.  It took me ages before I thought of something I could use in the hole!!
I went on a bird theme withTim's birdcage die cut, the paper is by Basic Grey and I've had it ages so I don't know if it's still available.
I covered the grungepaper for the bird and birdcage with a piece of the same pattern as in the "niche"  but I added some distress ink to the cage to dull it down a tad.
I decided to let the bird free (an idea I have seen done a few times, and I like that idea,) so cut the bars of the cage apart so he can escape...

I made the bottle caps for the niche with hero arts letters on paper scraps and punched them out, adapting a technique I had recently seen using epoxy stickers which I don't have in circles)

I used Tim's mini rosettes to make an accent piece for the top of the bird cage, and stamped the words from a Paperartsy plate.  I fixed a piece of cardboard to the back to make it more sturdy.

Stop over now at Studio L3 to take part and check what she and Rachelle have done.

Products used - Tim Holtz dies, grungepaper, distress inks, Paperartsy stamps all available here and here ; as I say, not sure about the paper!

Finally, please also visit the All Things Tim Yahoo group where Gloria (list mom) has a file you can upload your project to.

Thanks so much to Tim for being the source of the inspiration - I have linked his blog, though I am sure you don't need it!!
(now all I have to do is schedule this for the right date and time, lol! fingers crossed!)
(P.S. just noticed now it's gone live, I haven't told you this is open for 2 weeks as Linda is going to Ranger U next weekend - have a ball, Linda. )

Sunday, 24 April 2011

SS - Wind beneath my wings

Today's Sunday Stamper challenge from Hels' is the "wind beneath my wings" so once I'd done some work on my Dragonsdream DT piece for next week (that still sounds so odd - but good!)  -  I turned to my trusty Tim birdcage and die again.

Rather than (another) tag - I got out a canvas - this is about 5x7.
I coloured the canvas with antique linen distress stain, and used the Kraft Resist pad for the bird and cage - covered it with Paperartsy fresco paints and crackled the bird only.
Poor thing looks like he's got some sort of growth behind his eye - I missed a bump of crackle and could only partly sand it away....
Swiped some dusty concord stain, very very lightly over the cage.
Used a piece of Basic Grey paper with the tattered florals die (double layer)

Added one of the Tim Holtz tassels at the top of the cage.
Got to get some more of these fresco paints - I am loving them...

Hope you haven't all got sick from too much chocolate - Happy Easter!

Ok, got to go play with Umbrella Man die now - he turned up early while I was out yesterday and so far all I have done is cut him out a couple of times - need to put him on something now!
Also, did you see who stopped by and left a comment on the previous post?  Again?!! So excited.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Breaking out the Art Parts

Hi, there!
I had a lovely lazy morning - woke early but dozed in bed for a while - mooched around the shops a bit (did a bit of shopping - bought some jeans (double reduced), some books (on a 3 for 2 offer) and a bit of crafty stash - check out these cool guitar ear-rings - obviously I won't be wearing them!! and they were in the sale too, & on a buy one get one free deal - so the anchors came too! I am still assembling bits and bobs for my configurations box....!

 The frames came from a £1 shop and the canvases were a great price too - I LOVE bargains!
And - erm - I MAY have done a spot of online stash shopping too.....!
After lunch it was time for a challenge - the Everything Wendy Vecchi group challenge this week - working from book one, pge 36 - but you don't need the book, the guidelines are to use stitching round the edge and a butterfly cut from patterned paper - anyone who belongs to the group can join in - so click here and join the fun! 
Used an oblong Art Part piece, covered the base with Graphic 45 paper, painted the frame with gesso then forest moss distress stain, and used a Paperbag Studio stitch stamp - you can see my stamp stitching is as poor as my needle stitching, HA HA.
Took a flower art part and stem, gesso'd and painted sunset orange pigment ink (I say painted, I applied it with cut'n'dry foam) then a Wendy script background and an idea-ology clock face - I have been saving these, decided it was TIME to use one (sorry!) 
Used Wendy stamps for some interest in the frame (can anyone please tell me why I never remember to stamp these before I assemble the bloody frame.....?)
The butterfly is stamped on the same paper as the background and is double sided in case you see the back!

Sorry, this is a bit blurry. Promise I haven't been drinking!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Simon Says - show a Tim Holtz technique

This week's challenge set by Simon Says Show - is right up my street.  So far up my street and round the corner that it's taken me till now to catch up and decide what to do....

I was looking through the Compendium and my eye was struck by the inked grunge - bingo!  Out came the Town houses die and I was away.
Added bundled sage and tumbled glass distress inks on a square card, then I used the small brolly man and the car from the QVC set - brolly man is just stamped on a scrap of card, the car on grungepaper, and though you can't really see it I cut out the windows and stuck cellophane behind for windows. I used a small alphabet background stamp from Tim's Going Somewhere set over the houses.

My brother in law's birthday is early May, so this will be his card.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

DragonsDream design team - Tag It On!

Well, here it is, the news I was teasing you with!!
I was thrilled recently to be asked to join Frankie's DragonsDream Design Team for her Tag It On challenges and have joined a bunch of very talented ladies.  This is my first time being part of a design team so I am very excited - but somewhat nervous!  Click the link and come join the fun, please!

This week we are challenging you to use "birds" for your tags. Can't wait to see what you do.

I made a very simple tag using Wendy Vecchi stamps (apart from the tiny tiny leaves which are Art Impressions and the 'dream' and 'hope' which are unknown - but from a set of those self-inked stamps - I got them years ago from LB Crafts at a show somewhere!) and distress inks - crushed olive, forest moss, brushed corduroy, and walnut stain.

I decided to make the 'lady' bird sit on a nest which is from Tim's trimmngs, coloured with some distress ink.

I couldn't find a worm for the boy to bring his lady love!!

WOYWW 98? (20th April anyhow)

Help, I've lost count of the weeks!  Julia will be after me!
My desk (using the term loosely obviously, seeing how I craft) is looking a bit muddled this week (what do you mean, it's like this every week - cheek of you!)

The observant amongst you will notice that I still haven't used the "dream" mover and shaker I cut last week, (it was only a test, after all, but I will do something with it one day!)

There is also a new set of Paperartsy stamps which I decided I had to have when I went back to my brother's on Tuesday after we had been to a funeral of an aunt.... well, I read recently that retail therapy helps you live longer, so......

AND if you come back here (to my blog that is) later today (Wednesday) you may get a better glance of what's peaking out from behind the stamps - and some exciting news, to boot!  I am sworn to secrecy so there's nothing for it, you WILL have to come back!
As you can see, this is my computer - mid blog-post (ready for the reveal, no less) - ooh, what a tease I am today.
I intended this to be my craft table, once upon a time, but as I've never got round to organising a computer desk (lets face it, where in hell would it go!) that plan went out the window - hence I craft on the floor.

Oops, what a lot of things under the table too (it's a coffee table from Ikea really, too low to type at comfortably, so wouldn't have been much better for crafting at either!) Behind those drawers and things are loads and loads of magazine holders full of crafting mags I can't get to, so don't re-read but - obviously - don't want to get rid of.... HELPPPPP!!!!
I have been good though - my WOYWW PIF is done and ready - got that done at the weekend.  And if you have got right down to the end of this blabbering and thinking - what is she showing us this c@*p for head over to Julia's to see a load more desks and weird crafting spaces.
Good news though - my job is safe - it will be much changed from the kind of admin I do at the moment, and will involve re-training to an extent, but it's safe!  Yay!! I can shop again..... thanks for all your words of encouragement last week and offers of help for tricks at the interviews - to be honest I was as worried about getting as far as interview stage as the actual interview!  Still, for now, I don't need to worry.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Secret exciting news - and a challenge

Ooh, I'm bursting - but can't tell you yet. Come back tomorrow for a reveal.

Instead, I've been busy making a tag for Linda's fab Grungy Monday week 4 challenge - texture fade/distress.  This was the theme of a 12 Tags of Christmas from just last December from Tim ( )

I have had a kind of busy week so far (and it's only Tuesday!) so it was a quick tag, but it was fun - and I used something fresh from the packet even though I've had it a while!
I followed Tim's instructions to swipe not stab the ink across the texture fade, though I obviously need practice at this technique (hence the judicious use of the teeny tiny background stamp, lol!) I also used the deboss side where I really intended to use the emboss side, but no-one's perfect (except Tim, obviously!) However, I like it, so let's pretend I did mean it!  The stamps are from the UK QVC special set when Tim was here in February. Soooo cute! Oh, and they're clouds at the top, ok! (stampscapes)

So, now you've seen the mess I made, check out the competition at Linda's and also the All Things Tim group run by Gloria. Have a fun week.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

All you need is Love

Today Hels has gone back to an old theme - Love - for her 150th Sunday Stampers challenge - this was her first theme too - and it's also her 1000th post - whoo hoo Hels!  to celebrate she has some fabulous candy on offer - check the side bar for details and be sure to take part.

Hels' wants us to use some favourite products or designers we love - well, that led me to Tim and Wendy!!

I started with this piece of chip by Maya Road (I think) .....
...and ended with this - I covered it in some paper from the shabby chic paperstack, washed with a layer of watered gesso.
I stamped and cut out loads of the mini hearts from the 'In love with art' set, the sentiment is from 'Art inspirtion'

Sprayed perfect pearl 'heirloom gold' over the hearts.

I used fired brick distess (stain and ink) on the hearts which I initially grouped in fours, then found 3 sets of them made a full circle so fixed them to some scrap grungeboard and fixed to the base.  Added some threaded buttons and idea-ology

I have also managed to fit this to the latest Everything Wendy Vecchi yahoo group challenge - 3 buttons and a dimensional grunge piece.
As you can see I got too impatient to wait for the glossy accents to dry before taking the photos!!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A Day off - time to play

I had a day's holiday today as I had an appointment with my hairdresser - she came to cut and highlight my hair.

In between I had a play with some new stamps - a couple of the fab new Stampotiques came to live with me yesterday!  I have been dying to get my hands on these - especially 'fabulous' since I saw the release, and had them on pre-order from Wendy at The Stamp Attic.
I covered an 8x8 card with a sheet of paper from the Retro Grunge paper stack, and stamped 'fabulous' off the edges of a piece of plain white card, then stamped 'minky girl' in the middle.  Used water colour pencils to colour her in matching colours to the paperstack, and distress inks round the edges in toning colours too. 
Made the mini rosettes using some of the same paper.

Swore when I stuck 'minky girl' down slightly crookedly......
Haven't got anyone in mind or an occasion for this one yet, it can go in the stock pile.
Then I went back to a tag and the Paperartsy fresco paints - this is quacamole under crackle with vintage lace on top, but I think the base layer is too pale to show the crackle properly - you could only see it if you tipped the tag at the right angle in the light, so - lesson learnt - use a dark layer on the bottom!!  I should have bought more than one dark colour!!

Took the Tim script background from the butterfly set, stamped in black archival   and painted some scrap white card with vintage lace fresco paint, stamped 3 Paperartsy dragonflies (hot pick 1104) in black archival and cut them out, sticking them off centre and finished with some flowers and idea-ology.

This shows the depth a bit better.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday - 97

Mornin' all! Hope you've had a good week?  Once again it is time to join up at Julia's to snoop around the various workspaces of the world.  Sorry I didn't get to as many of you as I'd have liked again last time.

So, what have we here? 
My tag for this week's Simon Says challenge details for which you can see here

Some odd bits and pieces tht I was messing about with - the "dream" mover and shaker die (I got hold of a base plate to cut it in) and just tried it on a couple of things (spare bit of tag, grungepaper) just not sure what to use them on....

and my draft CV - looks like if the job doesn't fold it will be much changed from what I can comfortably do and am thinking I may have to look around for something else anyway!
I am totally rubbish at interviews - only ever had 2 jobs so it's not something I have much experience at, and I know everyone feels the same, but..... still we'll see!  So if anyone knows of a company close to Sutton (bearing in mind I don't drive!) that needs an ace office administrator - full time, and preferably paying megabucks! - let me know, LOL!!

Anyhow, I have waffled on long enough, you have places to go and desks to see - be off with you. Have a good WOYWW. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Distress

I love distress! To me it immediately says Distress Inks - and now Stains too...which I got a few of at the weekend at the Ally Pally show.  So when Simon Says Stamp and Show 'distress' this week - easy peasy lemon squeezy!

So tonight I had a chance to play a bit - took a tag (for a change, lol!) and antique linen which I covered the tag with, then streaked some wild honey down . 

Used my new coffee archival ink pad (can you believe I've never had one till now....?) and stamped the Wendy dictionary stamp.  Back to wild honey distress - ink this time - for the flowers

I had some leftover patterned paper covered grungepaper from a secret project I can't show you yet which I used for the butterflies and the sentiment was stamped on a scrap of tag covered with wild honey distress stain.

Edged the tag with walnut stain ink (please tell me why I didn't buy this in distress stain at Ally Pally???)

All stamps today are Wendy's.

Pop over to Simon Says to catch some gorgeous art and have a go - there is a prize on offer, what have you got to lose?

Monday, 11 April 2011

Grungy Monday 3 - colour wash

This is going to be short and sweet from me tonight as my team Liverpool are playing - and WELL - 3 nil up at half time (I am talking football - soccer if you prefer, in case you don't know!)  - so just got time to show this quick tag for Linda's  Grungy Monday which this week is to use adirondack colour wash.

I have a few of these (the new ones, I also have some of the original ones which don't seem to want to spray at present, and I don't have time to faff about with them tonight!)

anyhow, I used Sailboat Blue and Lettuce on the tag, which I spritzed with water to spread them about a bit, blotted a bit of the intense colour off whilst I was drying the tag.  Then I took the background stamp from the Tim Holtz butterfly set and stamped and embossed it in white.  Stamped the 4 butterflies from the same set on the bag of a piece of leftover paperstack in green, and highlighted with a few touches of white Inkessentials pen.

Found a piece of green ribbon - it is a lighter, brighter green  than it looks in the photo (it must be the flash).

Go and check out Linda's site for more fabulous entries - and there is a sponsor for one lucky winner this week - have fun!

Ok, gotta go, the boys are back out, here's hoping we don't throw away the best lead we've had all season. Come ON!!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Tag City Sunday!

I am having a lovely play this morning with some of my new stash I got yesterday at Ally Pally.

With the uncertainty over my job I had to force myself to not splurge like I normally do, but I did manage quite a haul!   Even if the job itself doesn't go, it is going to change so drastically to something I am not confident or comfortable with (though I can learn, if I am given the time) I don't know if it wouldn't be best to look for something else anyway.  Hopefully we'll get some news at the end of the week.

Anyhow, back to yesterday's purchases - this is the pile!  You can also see my little badge I wore (finished with enamel accents and the much suggested swirly stamp) and a fantastic tag from Lin
Distress Stains (at last!) Paperartsy Fesco Paints, some idea-ology and new paper stacks.

 Close up of Lin's gorgeous tag - using the Paperartsy paints.
Thanks, Lin this is stunning - and the flower survived, lol!
I was so tired last night I didn't have the energy to play  -  but this morning was a different story!
 Hels has set a "blue" theme for today, and as one of the Distress Stains I got was broken china, decided to use that.  I did a resist technique with a Paperartsy stamp and the new white adirondack pad - boy does that work well!  covered that with the distress stain and then added another Paperartsy stamp and broken china ink.
The moth I had die cut and stamped a few days ago and not used, but seemed to go quite well. 

The butterfly is Tim's, just stamped in black and sprayed with forever blue perfect pearl spray to colour it.

Then I had to play with the Fresco Paints. I LOVE these!! I used London Night as the base colour under the crackle - that is such fabulous stuff! and Honey Dew as the top layer.
Found a criss cross stamp which I painted with the London Night paint and stamped it randomly.

Wish I'd got a few more colours, but never mind, next time!

I cut a tattered floral in the kraft Glassline papers - hmmmm nice stuff! - and painted it with the same colours, adding some dot to the inner one. 

Finished it with a pearl.  

Off to play with some other stuff now!!
And I've just realised, I forgot the Clearly for Art... damn! Oh well, maybe I can splurge for that still!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

WOYWW? episode 96 - the one with not a lot!

Well, as usual I am prepping this post Tuesday night but not a lot will change.  Not a lot on my mat on the floor tonight, I am trying out some bits and pieces for..... well this and that - and nothing is really working. As usual I am trying to watch Holby City, listen to the football on the radio, and write this blog post... nothing like multi-tasking!  (Tea got cold, too....)

So you can look - but it's boring! The "h" thing is a badge I've made for Ally Pally - and I had such fun with these little Wendy Vecchi flowers here the other day, I did a load more!  And Wendy herself left a comment - oh my, I am still on such a high about that! (I am sorry, I can't help it!)
I think the badge needs something else, but am lost for ideas!!   The one at the back by the multi medium pot is a reject!
 So instead I show you my now upright piles of Wendy and Tim stamps (bit like the Janet and John books we learnt to read with, maybe?!!) that no longer sit in one pile on the sofa - it wasn't doing the stamps any good!
However, this has to be a temporary solution as I keep kicking them over going out of the room....
why can't I be TIDY?!
And yes, the box behind them ARE all Paperartsy... (apart from the Paperbag Studios set at the back cos it's too big to go anywhere else...)

So, off with you now to Julia's where she will marshall you round the world's desks and other crafting spaces, have a great day!  Oh, and welcome to my new followers - hope you enjoy the ride!

Monday, 4 April 2011

A Monday Twofer!

I am still so excited aout yesterday's canvas that I posted - because THE WendyVecchi herself visited and left a comment!!!

Anyhow, on to Monday - Monday sees two of my favourite challenges and this week I managed to combine them. 
The uber-talented Linda Ledbetter hosts Grungy Monday - a tribute to all things Tim Holtz and Tim techniques. This week is the second challenge in this series and is based on a Ranger video Tim filmed for CHA and is called Distress Ink with Studio Matte Medium. You can see how Tim does it here .

I took a coaster shaped piece of chip and covered it with a book page.  I ddin't have any of the foam that you need to make your custom stamp, but I did (luckily!) find a foam stamp that I could use instead  - don't have a clue where it came from, and I am sure I've never used it before!! Apart from that, I followed the video technique to the letter.
 I used crushed olive, wild honey and tumbled glass inks, for the coaster.
I rummaged around in my stash of embellishments and found this cute little glass dragonfly charm and added some leftover grungepaper flowers.
The "fly" and swirl, are by Paperartsy.

The second challenge I am entering this for, is Simon Says Stamp and Show - "Anything but a card" - which is lucky!!

Check out both challenges - there are bound to be some wonderful entries again.

Sunday, 3 April 2011


Hels Sunday Stampers theme this week is Gold, taken from her song theme Golden Slumbers.
Over on the yahoo group Everything Wendy Vecchi, Lori has challenged us from Wendy's first book based on page 28 - to use at least 3 grungepaper flowers and another grungepaper image & perfect pearls. Soooo

I took a canvas and painted it with a gold dabber, spreading it and thinning it with a baby wipe, and adding some Viva gold paste thinned with a wet paintbrush.  Then set to stamping and inking some flowers!

 The inks I used were dusty concord and scattered straw,  and I sprayed the yellow flowers with sunflower sparkle & the butterflies with heirloom gold.
The text is by Tim and I used a piece from the Lost and Found stack which I painted with viva gold too.

I also used 5 of the tulips from Make Mine Mini Art and stuck them together and used some crafty notions rainbow drops for flower centres.
Suddenly noticed I had a close up function on the camera.... so retook some of these!
Hels' challenge is open till Saturday, the EWV one is a 2 weeker till April 12th. Come join the fun!
(edit - OMG look who left a comment!! Thank you.........   am so excited!!)