Monday 31 December 2012

Goodbye 2012 - Hello 2013

I don't normally do New year Resolutions or 'soul searching' stuff - but want to take a few minutes of your time to look back on some memories of the year just drawing to a close.

The big highlight was meeting lovely fellow crafters at the WOYWW crop in October.
 The lady behind it all (on the left) - the lovely Julia. Just as bubbly and wonderful in real life as she is on her blog. It was wonderful to meet you (and Jan, too, and all the others) Thanks for some LOVELY memories.
 my journal page commemorating the day.
 2012 saw me 'embrace' my journal more - here are some of my favourite pages. I think I've blogged all of these before, during the year. (I just can't find all the links!) This was one I prepped for a 'lesson' during the Crafty Boots DT play day - another major highlight.
Lots of you were kind enough to leave me lovely comments about this page, for which I thank you! I think this is my favourite of them all.

I didn't ONLY play in my journal this year, honest! I was quote fond of this altered piece that I made earlier in December..

I also spent lots of time playing with Paperartsy Fresco paints and stencils - this is a 5x7 canvas 

I still found time for tags! 

As I mentioned, the Crafty Boots Design Team also had a get together this year, which was another huge highlight, and my lovely friend Gabrielle put up with me put me up for the weekend - it was so lovely to meet her again (we met through our blogs and through twitter and met for the first time in 2011) - Gabrielle, your friendship means the world to me, thank you for your support and love this year, it has kept me going!! (some of you know things have been a bit tough at work to say the least and 2013 will see me searching for a new job.....)  Thanks need to go to lots more of you too, with your generosity and encouragement; thank you for taking the time to read my blog and Happy New Year to you all!

Thursday 27 December 2012

Secret Santa 2012

This year I signed up for my lovely friend Carmen's Secret Santa swap - I was going to join in last year but the sign up cut off came just after I lost Mum and I wasn't in the right frame of mind - but this year I was there like a shot!

I didn't get a very good photo of the parcel before I packed it to take away at Christmas - this doesn't show the true size!
Then I forgot to take a picture before I started unwrapping them! I couldn't believe how many individual parcels there were! Just look at them all!!

stamps and some flowers
 A book and some journal prompts to get me started - about time I wrote something rather than just painted in a journal! I love how Santa has decorated these items!
 No words needed! YUM YUM ...

A jar of cookie mix - just add butter and an egg - I can't wait to make these - also YUM YUM!
Masks - love these!!
Gorgeous adhesive fabric paper
 AND a gorgeous new journal - this is stunning!
look at all these wonderful blank pages!

Now, there was a bit of a hiccough with me actually getting this, as there was a mix up with the name and address of who it was coming to, but rather than wait for Royal Mail to send it back to Santa to be sent back to me, Santa - with a day to do it - replicated the original..... so I would have it in time... Who says Santa doesn't exist..... so a HUGE thank you to Santa for being so incredibly generous in the first place - and for the effort she went to, to do it all over again!! - and to Carmen for hosting this swap.
Santa has done a great job of stalking my blog, she seems to know me so well!!  I begged Carmen to tell me who Santa was before the big reveal, and I've been given permission to reveal that it was her good friend Virginia - so thank you!
(p.s. I nearly burnt the dinner finishing this post, but I think you'll agree it was worth it!)

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Dragons Dream - Tag It On - Behind Closed Doors

We are probably all tucked up safe behind closed doors right now, enjoying the festivities with our loved ones. Well, I hope so anyway!

This fortnight, Blackdragon has chosen the DragonsDream recipe "Behind Closed Doors" and your ingredients are, a door, a key and a lock.  Make sure you check out what the rest of the team dream up!

I made a door from a piece of kraft card I put through the Big Shot with the woodgrain embossing folder (Tim Holtz) as I couldn't find my door stamp anywhere! (and I didn't have time to take all the stamp drawers out to find it) I then sprayed it with the Melted Chocolate Dylusion spray and blended on some distress ink (gathered twigs) before sanding it lightly with a sanding block.  I used a paper fastener for the door knob and found a key in my stash. The lock was harder, this was all I had....

I decided with it being Boxing Day today (well it will be by the time this is published) the only person who could be behind the closed door, was Santa (a Tim Holtz one.  I stamped him on white card scrap, used a red gel pen for his hat and used puff paint for his beard, though the flash I had to use doesn't allow that to show!

Anyhow, hope you all had a fantastic day yesterday and that you can join in with the challenge. You have 2 weeks, as usual.

WOYWW? 186

Happy Boxing Day!! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and all your hard worked plans came to fruition.  Depending on what time it is, I may still be enjoying my Christmas at my brother's so I have left this scheduled (I haven't got any means of blogging whilst I am away) - not sure if Julia is hosting a WOYWW this week or when I'll get to link up with it..... Here is how my craft space was left - just in case anyone wondered whose it was....

Jan and Julia - I told you I would treasure this sign from the Crop! The journal page is a part-done Christmas page, though it would probably be better had I been using red rather than sludgy pink paint at the time...

If I'm back in time I may add to the photos.....otherwise, till next time - when it will be next year!  Crumbs, where did 2012 go to!

Monday 24 December 2012

Crafty Boots Challenge - Lads Tags

It has been a bit of a frantic scramble getting this done for Crafty Boots latest challenge, with the run up to Christmas but I eventually made it!  The theme this week, picked by Sandra, is 'no girls allowed, lads tags only' so a tag with a masculine theme.... good luck!

I sprayed a kraft tag with Dylusion sprays (fresh lime, cut grass and London blue) with some vintage photo distress ink round the edge.  I lightly crumpled the tag , to create some texture and smooshed some picket fence and pewter distress stains on my craft sheet and dragged the tag through it.

The car is Tim Holtz's old jalopy, and the running man is by Wendy Vecchi.  He always looks like he's missed the bus, so I stamped WAIT from an alphabet stamp on a kraft scrap (I think it's a Hero Arts set)
There are some chunky brown fibres tied through the hole in the tag, but the camera didn't pick them up.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and we'll see you in the New Year!

Sunday 23 December 2012

Merry Journalling

Popping in to wish all my followers a very Happy Christmas - may the turkey be moist and the cracker jokes funny. (well, there's always a first time...)
Hopefully you haven't been affected by the (further) flooding that has been caused by the awful rain we've had in the UK again over the last few days.

This journal page started with some of the new brown shade paperartsy Fresco paints (chocolate pudding, irish cream, probably some nougat) and some of my favourite stencils and stamps.  For the focal point, I rummaged in a little bag of die cuts for the tattered poinsettias (done on sprayed book pages) and the sweeeet little cardinal (a mover and shaker die by Tim Holtz) which I stamped on fabric sprayed red.  Made a little branch for them to sit on with some string.

There are a couple of scheduled posts over the next few days but otherwise not sure when I'll be back... Happy Christmas to you all. Thanks for some great messages of support this year, some of it has been (continues to be) trying!!!

Wednesday 19 December 2012

WOYWW 185 - it's nearly here!!!

Hello my lovely WOYWWers. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....the last minute rushing around buying presents has begun!!

In the absence of room for a Christmas tree, I have a swag (sadly not home-made) on my window ledge and this year I've festooned it with some of my cards - I have had loads of wonderful handmade ones this year.
here are some of them.
my latest journal page in progress on my floor desk.

and it's progressed a bit further...

I really must get some sort of storage device for my distress inks and fresco paints next year!!  I've seen all sorts of clever people making their own so may try and have a go (yeah, right!!) This is now doing my head in!

All that is left for me to say, is to wish you and your families a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS - not sure if we'll be here next week to play WOYWW as it's Boxing Day, but I'll see you soon.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Lonely Girl - a journal page

Once again after working on the canvas I shared yesterday, I had leftover paint (very berry and baltic blue) on my craft sheet and so as the flourish stencil was still covered in paint, I used it up on a journal page.

Today I finished it up - and went back to one of my all time favourite stamps, Lonely Girl (Dina Wakely) as the centerpiece.

I also smooshed some more of the leftover paint in the gaps between the flourishes and then gesso'd over the whole page to knock it back a little.

Took some distress inks in vaguely matching colours to the paint (picked raspberry and salty ocean) and some Paperartsy mini stamps.
Took a Kraft coloured tag and painted layers of baltic blue, snowcap white and very berry paints, blending before each layer was dry.  Stamped Lonely Girl on the tag in archival black and then tore roughly round the edges, which I blended with chipped sapphire distress.  Stuck her on with double sided tape (was quicker than deciding which glue would hold best!)

Added some Dylusion text stamps randomly.

Saturday 15 December 2012

Fresco Painting

I "accidentally" bought some more Paperartsy Fresco paints earlier this week after watching another of Leandra's You-Tube videos.... and last night/this morning I had a chance to play a bit..

The new colours are Nougat, Irish Cream and Chocolate Pudding and after I stopped feeling really hungry (LOVE the names of these paints!) I took a small canvas and went to work... I borrowed Leandra's "corner, corner, side" method and went from there.   As well as these colours, I used Claret, Baltic Blue and Snowcap.

After I got the background colour more or less as I wanted, I took the Bubbles stencil that fell into the shopping basket with the paints...
... and Very Berry paint with a flourish stencil. I did an "almost bumping" with Nougat paint to create a bit of a shadow around part of the flourishes...

and some Paperarsty minis and stamped them randomly with Baltic Blue paint (clean your stamp straight away), a script stamp and stamped it in black archival ink, and the 'imagine, dream, create' words from Hot Picks 1105

Stamped the girl (One Penny - plate 2) (I can't find this one on the website, but she is in the new Vintage re-sized collection here )on some of the Paperartsy tissue paper and added some colour from the back and stuck it to a scrap of cardstock and fixed to the canvas.

Sorry about the pictures, the flash is bouncing off the canvas!

Thursday 13 December 2012


When I was playing yesterday with some Paperartsy Fresco paints (see this post and this post) I had some extra paint left on my craft sheet, which rather than wipe up and throw out, I painted onto some journal pages.

Wednesday afternoon/evening, I had time to embellish the pages - and these are the results....

 This one looks a bit of a jumble, but I quite like it.... there was more or less enough blue paint to cover the page, then I cut and dry foamed the claret in streaks over the top, added some white.  Sprayed Black Marble Dylusions through an alphabet stencil randomly.

Before I started the bumping I sanded the page lightly.  I made some more circles with my film canister  and doodled in some of them with a white textile pen which is nice and runny and thick, unlike my white gel pen.  Used some of the leftover blue (Baltic Blue) from the bumping on this page, to edge the page.

Stamped 'art' (Dylusions) on some low-tack masking tape and sealed it with matte medium.
This one is leftover butternut and haystack (I think!) from the fabric painting on my Christmas decoration.  Deliberately left some white at the edges.

Stencilled vintage photo through the reverse honeycomb mask.  Followed the stencil spraying from the opposite page, along with the circles.  Stamped a script stamp (paperartsy mini) randomly.

Took one of the small stamps from Dylusion Love Struck Lucy set, stamped inside some of the circles, and the 'laugh' (also Dylusions in black archival.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Dragons Dream - Christmas

Here at DragonsDream, we decided to include an extra challenge in the run up to Christmas, as a break from the recipes - this time we challenge you just to make a Christmas themed tag. Don't forget to use one real stamp in your design.

I sprayed the tag with red Dylusions ink and then blended it with the festive berries distress ink, spritzing some water to give it a watermark effect. The Happy Holidays stamp is from Tim Holtz's 'Holiday wishes' set.

Used some tattered poinsettias I had die cut - some are sprayed book pages, others are cut from cotton fabric and stamped with Tim Holtz 'a Christmas carol' stamp from the same set as before. Used some clear rainbow drops in the centres.
Hope you get time to join in, between your festive preparations!

WOYWW? 184

I am sure there are more Wednesdays than any other day in the week - how else do you explain it's time to meet up at Julia's again, already?!  Still, Wednesday it is, time to share our crafty spaces...

This week my "desk" (I'm back on the floor this week) sees my altered icon from the post the other day 
 I have been watching the fabulous videos Leandra (Paperartsy) has been sharing this week and was inspired! If you haven't caught them yet, here is a link
Once I moved the previous piece, I got to work on a "bumping" tag.. (again, there's a video) I love this technique but haven't done it with so many colours as here, before.  (the one on the other side was a bit of a failure - mainly due to my choice of stencil, I think. No, I won't show you.....)
I used Fresco paints in Guacamole, Hyde Park, Inky Pool, Mermaid, Claret and Snowcap.
oops, a bit of clearing up to do now.... shame to waste all that paint, where's my journal?!!

Notice I carefully haven't mentioned the 'C' word yet... but the cards are in the post, some of the presents are bought (indeed, the ones that had to be, are also in the post...) can I be back on track????

Have a great day, look forward to catching up with your desks very soon....

Monday 10 December 2012

Christmas Altered Art - Inspired by Leandra

I have been enjoying the Paperartsy videos recently that Leandra has been filming, showcasing their fabulous Fresco paints and Treasure Gold  and techniques and I've been working on this wooden triple icon and I think it's just about finished...

I wanted to go for a Christmas theme because I don't have room for a tree, but wanted some decoration to display.    

 I started by painting the icon blue - I used Peacoat, Baltic Blue and Sky, with some French Roast, drying and sanding between layers. I also used Treasure Gold (Aztec Gold and Aquamarine)

I wanted a starry sky kind of feel to the piece...
so used the Crafters Workshop template (Balzar Designs) mini punchinella, which has stars as one of the designs.  Applied white Snowcap Fresco paint.
I sanded the edges to get a distressed look.
Front and back.. Then used the Dylusions Ho Ho Holly template - tried with black paint first, but it didn't show up enough, so went over it with two layers of Snowcap.  You may see from the first image that I also outlined the letters with a fine black pen, which made the letters pop more.
Inside, I used some tissue tape, (Treasure Gold Indigo, wiped over it,  some sparkly stickers and a Paperartsy image that I stamped on fabric (I have been loving this for many of my Christmas cards this year, but Leandra has a fabulous video on her You-tube site which gave me loads more tips)

This stamp is from the Urban Snapshots plate YuleTide 4 and I have had it years, not sure I'd even inked it was very clean!

I used hitch fasteners for the door knobs...

This was a whole heap of fun, and my thanks go to Leandra again, for the inspiration. Now I just have to find a window ledge to place it on.

It's Christmas at Crafty Boots

The theme this fortnight at the Crafty Boots challenge is Christmas.... quite appropriate, just wish I was a bit more prepared... the cards are made and written and by the time you read this will be in the postbox.... and hopefully some of the gifts will have been purchased - but not all!!

Anyhow, for the theme this time I made a special card for some special people, who may unfortunately see this before the card is handed over....

I took an 8x8 inch card blank and my Dylusions snowflakes template, tumbled glass distress ink for the snowflakes... and chipped sapphire for the lettering (from the smaller of the snowflakes templates)

Once the ink was dry, I relayed the stencil and took a white pen and added some dots within the letters to give the appearance of further snowflakes
I had made a load of snowflakes a while ago with the Tim Holtz snowflake rosette die, and some Dovecraft Christmas patterned paper that I actually won in a raffle at my sister in law's craft club a month or so ago. You can't see from the photos, but the tops of the snowflake dies, have picket fence distress stickles added to them.

Do pop over to see what the rest of the team have made, and we hope you find time to join in before the big day!!

Wednesday 5 December 2012


Hello, welcome back to What's on Your Workdesk? Wednesday, edition 183 probably (I will check before I hit publish!)  The first Tuesday in the month is my sister in law's craft club and hopefully I will have remembered to take some photos to add to this post!! Otherwise it will look a little bare...

The idea this time is to make tags, gifty type tags... which as you will see in a minute, is a little presumptuous....

Since we last met I have had a disaster with a pipe in the kitchen coming adrift from the tap and causing some very wet floor tiles (carpet!) and much dampness generally. This was Sunday lunchtime.  Fortunately a neighbour was around to help me fix it, but now I have to get the chap who fitted my new tap, back to sort out a little residual leak.... grrrrrr 

So I haven't found a new job, I haven't done my Christmas shopping, I haven't even written my cards. I saw a list on Julia's blog yesterday of things she hasn't done either..... we are doing well and 'not doing' between us!!!

But here are some pics from Craft Club (yeh, I remembered!)
 me, at a desk....

my gift tag/atc's.  the time seems to fly, this was all I got done! I did give some of the other novice stampers a quick lesson on distress inks too! 

Looking forward to seeing your desks and crafty spaces soon! Have a good week.