Monday 30 December 2013

Getting back in the swing...

.. so, my unexpected day off also saw me finish a journal page that I started faffing with a few days ago, with some dibs and dabs of old paint.  Didn't like where it was going so gave it a wash of a blue Fresco or two (not sure which now, but probably Antarctic and Lake Wanaka.

I stamped the Prima tree (Donna Downey) - one of my Christmas presents from my brother and sister-in-law - firstly using brown and blue Frescos but they didn't come out very well - mainly because the journal is so bumpy now it's nearly full - so I cleaned it off and re-inked it with distress inks and over-stamped.

Added some more colour round the tree to further blend the splodges underneath, into the background, and some script stamping (Paperartsy)

Stamped some of Jo Firth-Young's little birds and coloured with Inktense watercolour pencils, then did some drippage with India Inks, and finally the text - tweet tweet straight onto the page, the other one is stamped on tissue (been hoarding some of the Paperartsy tissue!)
I had trouble photographing it, the top one is with flash and the second without, but taken under the daylight bulb... the page is quite dark IRL,it looks a bit better here!!

Patchwork - inspired by Paperartsy

Leandra's second Christmas Cracker video saw her doing a patchwork grunge paste technique which I loved - and having an unexpected day off work (long story!) I had a play...

I chose Lake Wanaka, Limelight, Stone and (unexpectedly) Space Cadet and a smaller, 5x7 canvas
 I only added Space Cadet because I had lots of Lake Wanaka left mixed up and some spaces!!

I die cut a frame and stencilled a pattern on it with Space Cadet, which I then used to wet wash over the canvas.
 I had some Prima flowers lying around in a box that never got put away, in the right sort of blues, so used them as my accents.

Now, the reason I am home - with the saga of the roof/ceiling on Christmas Eve I couldn't get in to work, and missed the message that the boss would ring us if she needed us in today and tomorrow - so went off at my normal time.  Empty office, no-one there - so on checking, yes I am at home!!

Saturday 28 December 2013

Inspired by Paperartsy - Sanded Foundations

Whilst I was at my brother's for Christmas, I saw this video that Leandra posted on the Paperartsy blog - and there's been another fabulous one today, too - make sure you catch them if you haven't already - and I had to have a go, now that I'm home and have my stash to hand!

The video is called Sanded Foundations - and uses tinted Grunge Paste, which is a fabulous way to play with Grunge Paste.  Here is my canvas inspired by Leandra. I actually did a journal page just using paint and this same stencil, but it looks fabulous with the texture of Grunge Paste.

 I coloured the canvas with Toffee and Stone Fresco, mixed together on the canvas, with cut and dry foam, before stencilling Grunge Paste.
After the GP was dry and sanded a little, I put the stencil back in place and sponged a little more paint onto the brickwork to hightlight it a bit more, and then I added the grasses at the bottom, and some die cut birds

It felt very strange working on something that wasn't a Christmas card, it took some time to get back into the swing of it!

Linking here at the Paperartsy blog challenge.

Wednesday 25 December 2013

WOYWW 238 - Happy Christmas

Well I'll blog,but not sure when I'll be able to link up with Julia for WOYWW  unless someone can do it for me! Like you're none of you too busy eating and making happy with your families!!

Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas - I had a bit of a disaster on Christmas Eve as I woke to dripping through the living room ceiling... coming from the loft.. We did have a bad storm, didn't we?!!

 oops... it was too dark to start with and I couldn't see any missing tiles but it was wet in there! I rang work to say I wasn't going to be in, and luckily we've got the decorators in and he happened to know a roofer in my area who was willing to come and look... long story short, it was a cracked tile, replaced - on Christmas Eve. So thankful...
He recommended pricking a hole in the ceiling to release the water to prevent (hopefully!) a collapse..
so this is my desk today, lol!  Still catching drips 3 hours after he's been...Had to move a lot of stuff in case the ceiling came (comes) down...

Am at my brother's for Christmas Day, hence not being likely to link early, fingers crossed it will all be ok when I get home..

So I'll leave you with a picture of my brother and sister-in-law's card and wish you all a very happy and safe, Christmas!!

See you soon...
I did add a die cut 25 to the bottom corner, but seem to have forgotten to re-photograph it!!   Happy Christmas and here's to WOYWWing our way through 2014...

Sunday 22 December 2013

Gift wrap...

Hi, happy Sunday-before-Christmas... eek!  Hope you're all ready for the big day?!  I finally got my shopping finished yesterday, now is the wrapping - which I used to love, although I'm not a neat wrapper...

I had to make something to put some monetary gifts in, and wasn't happy with the gift bags I made for Joanne's challenge the other week, they were too squashed... so I took a couple of no 10 sized tags and got decorating...

 I used the large background from Wendy Vecchi's Art of Making it Merry set, which is a lovely script of Christmas greetings.  Stamped it in Watering Can archival to cover the tag, back and front..
I then sponged over some watered down Snowflake Fresco paint to push the stamping into the background.
 stamped the tiny pine branch from Tim Holtz's mini holidays set, in Fern Green archival,
 wrote the message inside and tied the gift in with ribbon,
and a greeting (also Tim H)  on the back
and some die cut reindeer to the front.

attached the ribbon with Tim's tiny attacher so they'll be easy to open. I may wrap these further to prolong the surprise, rather than just putting them in envelopes or leaving them like this.

Now the real challenge - finding enough space to wrap some bigger presents!!

** edited a few hours later... wrapping done!

Wednesday 18 December 2013

WOYWW 237 - the before Christmas - oh my!!!

Morning/afternoon/evening to the best way to spend a Wednesday (or in my case this week, Thursday, as I'm on my office party tonight so won't be visiting today....) Better give you the link before I forget to WOYWW

I've finally got some of the presents bought, though not all of them (thank goodness for late night shopping - not to mention online shopping!) The trouble with online shopping (well for me anyway, is you tend to see things you want for yourself....)

so I've been treating myself again this week (even after spending all the money I did on my camera!! ) Well my excuse is the stamps were on offer, I needed a new journal as mine is nearly full - and they were buy one get one free (in Rymans stationers, if anyone is interested!) so that's freebies, and the stencils - well, you can't beat stencils...

I'll keep you posted with how the camera is going, so far I haven't had time to really play with it - I am sorely tempted to take it on our office party because we are going to London to see the lights and have fun - and a meal in the Shard restaurant - but I think I'd better leave it at home - partly because the weather is meant to be dreadful tomorrow! So I'll see you later in the week when I've sobered up!! Have a great week.

Sunday 15 December 2013

It's been a while.... journal page

It has been ages since I had time to play in my journal - but today I grabbed some time...

 This started out very different, with some mopped up Dylusions spray in Crushed Grape, and the pewter metallic distress stain but after I ruined it with some stencilling I went over the whole thing with Nougat Fresco which mixed a bit with the purple to give this pinky colour...

I added the harlequin stencilling using Squid Ink, and then the Art Is stencil with grunge paste...
 I die cut a load of the reindeers on white card, and stamped some music (Prima ) over them, edged them all with Walnut Stain distress ink.

I knocked back the journal page with watered down Nougat Fresco - these pictures don't show the colour particularly well because the light is awful, even using the daylight bulb!
Then it was time to find some words - in the end I went for this stamp from one of my Wendy Vecchi sets, 'do not look back and wonder what if.. but rather look ahead to see.. what's coming next'
I cut the text into two pieces to fit one on each page, and edged with Walnut Stain distress ink.

Thanks for looking

Begelopes - inspired by Joanne for Paperartsy

Hi, wasn't sure I was going to get time to join in with the Paperartsy challenge (again!) this week, but just managed it - Joanne has been making some fabulous projects this week to spice up the money-giving type of gifts - just what I need!

so I combined the gingham triangle pack with the bagelope idea and came up with this very badly ginghamed envelope!

 All instructions are on Joanne's articles on the Paperartsy blog. Now, where's my purse to put the money in...

 I used stamps from the Nut and Meg 8 plate.
This was great fun - not sure about my very wonky lines though! Don't think the brush was the right one (I used a round one, think I should have used a flat one..)
Entering it for the Paperartsy challenge here

Right, I am meant to be out doing the last (hopefully) of my shopping...

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Craft Barn - Alpha Challenge - the final chapter!

This week saw the launch of the final two letters in the Craft Barn Alpha Dictionary challenge... and they are X and I...  I have kept up with this challenge throughout the year, and it has been a lot of fun - some of the letters really have tested us! X was going to be no different... so I started with the I.
I settled for Identical

identical twins!! The stamp is from a Paperbag studios set, and I just stamped it 4 times and coloured it identically.

so, "I" done. Now, X... two problems here - firstly, my dictionary didn't have many X letters - even before I painted over them completely for either my W or my Y pages!! So I had to go to my substitute dictionary and tore out the X page ... most of them were strange Greek based words or Chinese rivers... I really didn't want to do "Xmas" as I hate the abbreviation,  but was very taken with

 "xylography" - wood engraving, or the printing from wood blocks.  I knew I must have a rubber stamp in my vast collection that looked like a wood engraving... mustn't I?!

 well, this one by Magenta, comes pretty close I think.  I stamped it in sepia archival ink on Kraft cardstock several times, and cut them to fit round the definition.

Not perfect, but not Xmas either!

Izzy has asked that we show our finished dictionary, too.

Well, I haven't done a great deal to the cover, but I had previously painted the cover and stencilled and stamped the name of the challenge on the front!

and here is the finished book.  I think my favourite page is still M for meadow, but I was delighted to win a Wall of Fame mention for my D for Drip page.

So, thanks to everyone at the Craft Barn, and I look forward to seeing what delights you have for us in 2014... see you soon!

DragonsDream - a new round

Hello, welcome back to a new round of challenges from the DragonsDream Team - we are led off this time by Elizabeth, and the letter E - with purple. Don't forget to use one real stamp somewhere on your tag.

We all hope you have fun with this new theme. Here's my tag:
I wet the tag with water from a mister spray, then sprayed the tag with Crushed Grape Dylusions spray and splodged it around (technical term, that!) with another tag on top.

Once the ink was dry, I stamped the Letters stamp from Tim Holtz's Classics 3 set - it seemed an appropriate one to use for our new round of challenges - and added the Prim Poppy die cut, which always seems a very elegant die to me (!) down the side.   I wrote Elegance in white Sharpie marker and added some purple fibres.

Hope to see lots of entries to the new challenges - good luck!

WOYWW - new toys

Welcome to another Wednesday's desk hop-fest! Julia will set you straight with all the info here at the Stamping Ground.

So, I say new toys - but maybe not the kind of toys you are expecting (they haven't arrived yet, ha ha!) No, this is the new toy I mean... some of you saw the tweets and FB update about this! (I couldn't wait for today!)

I have finally upgraded my 35mm film SLR to a digital one! Found a great deal online which was price matched in Jessops (always been my favourite camera store!) and on Saturday I took myself off to Oxford Street in London to purchase it... now I need to work out all the functions and settings!  The instruction book is 300 pages... Luckily I got a quick demo from the very knowledgeable chap in store!

This was my floor on Tuesday morning - a pile of Christmas cards ready for posting (they've gone now, so it's really cheating to show this today!) the tag is just to hide the addresses...

Underneath is the dictionary I've been using for the Craft Barn Dictionary Alpha challenge, as I've been working on the final two letters - watch this space for the big reveal!

I look forward to seeing what you've all been up to and will be round as many of you as I can, very soon!

Wednesday 4 December 2013

WOYWW 235 - December... 'nuff said!

Good morning (or afternoon/evening, depending on when you're visiting...) it's time for another What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday... check the link at Julia's for all the details of how/why/where/when (Wednesday, obviously, lol!) and you'll amazed at what you come across...

Last week I told you I was going to York for the weekend - well I did, and it was fantastic - if very very busy at the Christmas market... look at all these people, and it wasn't much better at the end of the day!

so much that we couldn't see a lot of the market stalls - but I loved the way most of the stall holders dressed up in "oldie worldie" costumes and the Christmas spirit was definitely in the air...and not only from the mulled wine!
 York is beautiful, I went in 1989 for my honeymoon, but it was great to have a York resident (my friend Emma) showing us round, who really knew the history... if you want to see more pictures there are LOTS more here

and, Jo, yes we saw lots of craft shops too!!  I managed to do a little shopping, (none of the presents I was hoping to buy, of course, but, hey ho!!)

At the market I bought the beautiful wooden tray/crate (I'd have liked more, but was worried about carrying everything home!) and the dried fruits to make a Christmas display and then some bits and bobs from various crafty shops along the way!!  All of this is still on my craft mat so there's been no room (or time!) for crafting since I got home...

so here's another shot of one wall of my living room with the stamp drawers (wooden) and other stuff (inks mainly) in the cardboard've seen it before but I hope you don't mind...! As you can see the daylight bulb I have to use to craft by/take photos with in winter, is permanently in situ clipped onto the tv table!

I say this every week, but I will try and get to as many of you as I can so please leave your linky number to make it easier!

Sunday 1 December 2013

Crafty friends away day(s)

You may have seen the photos of the city itself on my other blog photosbyh but this is the story of the rest of the trip!

I spent Friday and Saturday in York for the Christmas market (thanks again Emma and John for putting Lin and myself up...) hope Misty has recovered!! but we did a little shopping, and the lovely Sam came on Saturday bearing PINK gift bags for us all...
I had to use it as a backdrop for this gorgeous heart decoration we bought in one of the craft fairs we visited on Friday... my wall is too pale and it doesn't show up well (which means I need to move it somewhere else or no-one will see it!)

Lin brought twigs and skulls for us, and I bought the Moomin keyring (I loved the Moomins, both the books and on tv!) so I had to have one..
bag of wool fibres - we bought two balls (and missed out on a stunning rusty red-y orange one that had gone cos we didn't snap it up on Friday!) and spent ages splitting it into 4 to share between us.... we only trod on Misty (Emma's dog) once... hope she's recovered!  The bottles and dominos were from the Works, sure I can alter the dominoes-  and the box...  the fabric is gorgeous, not sure what I'll do with that yet..
and this fabulous tray was £5 from the Christmas market (they had loads of sizes, I'd have loved more if I could have carried them home...) and the bag of dried citrus fruits will make a lovely Christmas display.

 The contents of Sam's pink gift bag was very generous, unexpected and very naughty - but thanks, Sam, we all loved them!

funnily enough I'd "borrowed" a couple of beer mats from the Carvery where Lin and I took Emma and John on Friday night... look ... this version of the picture you can also see Lin's Christmas card (with the snowflake being blinded by the flash!) and Hels' Sheridan's burlap panel that arrived on Saturday , from a blog giveaway..

Wednesday 27 November 2013

DragonsDream - TIO - A book, green, paint, stencils/masks

This fortnight, my wonderful friend Gabrielle is setting the receipe/theme for the DragonsDream TIO challenge - and she wants us to have a book of our choice, green, paint and stencils for our tag.  Don't forget you must use one real non digi stamp on the tag....

Confession time!  I had an inspiration the morning I was making this tag, and was done in record time... till I realised I hadn't used paint or stencils... back to the drawing board!!

My book is "Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, one of my favourites growing up as a child, a series of books telling the adventures of a family growing up on the Prairie in the Midwest  USA in the late 19th century. My tag captures their little house in the big woods (the first in the series) mixed with the prairie and their fears of harvest ruined by the birds in the fields....

I started with the stencil of the birds - my new Stencil Girls stencil, and used cut and dry foam to apply Mudsplat Fresco paint.

Then it was on to Stampscapes stamps, and distress inks for the winding path to the cabin, (which is archival ink) and the cloudy sky.

The girls on the path, are of course, Laura and Mary, the older sister.

Hope you enjoy this one, and come join in the fun at DragonsDream. We know you're busy getting ready for Christmas but would love to see you dream along with us... Me, I want to go re-read the books now!

(edit - sorry, got the scheduling wrong, it was ready, honest!)


Well we are here again... Ready to desk hop? Ok, let's get going...Julia's waiting for us at the Stamping Ground 
Shame I haven't got anything exciting to show you that I've been doing this week...oh hang on, I got some new stash a few days ago..
 Afraid this is a staged shot, I seem to have forgotten to take a picture when I opened the post! As you can see, I've already used the new Tim stamps (well one of them!)

and here's the full journal page.

the stamps are "put away" (well, this is as put away as things get round here...) the box to the left contains my Fresco paints (under the stencils, which I really need to find a better storage solution for...)
Please don't comment on the threadbare carpet... can you imagine how difficult it would be to empty this room to get a new carpet installed...

I hope to have something more interesting to share next week - I am away for the weekend in York at the Christmas market, so who knows what I'll find there!

Till then, have a good week, and happy WOYWW...