Sunday, 28 December 2008

Altered Jigsaw Calendars

Inspired by (or should I say copied from!!!!!!!!) Cindy who sent me a lovely calendar this Christmas I made a couple of my own. The vintage lady one has an image transfer background with a matching epoxy sticker, and behind the calendar some more matching paper, this time just stuck on. The other piece I used paper which had been protecting my table when I was using some Starburst Stains for another project. I tore it into small pieces and stuck it randomly over the jigsaw piece and the mountboard calendar base. There is a rub on of the months of the year and a time piece on the jigsaw piece. These have both now gone, one to my sister in law as a stocking filler and the other to my Mum who said she'd like to have it - wow, I'm honoured and delighted - thanks Mum!

Merry Christmas!

Now recovering from the many excesses of Christmas and Boxing Day. I've been brave enough to post some pictures ..... I'm standing at the back. My Mum and Dad are at each end and my brother is in the middle with his wife and three little boys. It was so nice having him come for Christmas as he lives a long way away in Devon and we don't get to see him much and his sons are growing so fast.

The other picture is of my sister's children on Boxing day - who we do get to see a lot I'm really pleased to say (our poor old cat dis-agrees though and has to go in hiding when she hears them arrive!)

Hope you all had a good Christmas too - and here's to a Happy New Year - cheers xx

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Pattie's Altered Book

Yesterday I received this altered book from Pattie as a giveaway from her blog.

What I didn't realise was, every page in the book has been beautifully altered by Pattie - it is a real work of art. It is full of beautiful vintage papers, images, embellishments, lace - and it even sparlkes too!

There was a lovely tag which accompanied the book giving this definition:
An altered book is an existing book that has been changed or altered ... glued, painted, collaged, rubber stamped, cut, torn or added to. It is an expression of one's self, a piece of art. An experiment, or a conversation piece.

The book is all of those things (and more!) and I am very lucky and proud to now have it in my possession. Thank you Pattie for sharing and for your generosity.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Deck The Halls .....

At the weekend we finally got around to decorating our house for Christmas. We bought a tree from a local garden centre on Sunday morning and spent what seemed like the rest of the day getting boxes down from the loft and then putting everything in place. The tree we chose was only about 4 foot high but we've stood it on a little table so it looks a lot bigger than it is - lol! I did try to take a photo of it but couldn't get the flash right. I think it looks pretty even though the same old decorations come out every year - mainly Disney ornaments from a summer visit to Florida about 15 years ago. There was a Christmas shop in the middle of the Magic Kingdom and it was John who got a bit carried way - not me, honest! Each year I usually buy one or two new things too, but this year added to the tree are some beautiful baubles from the MAMMA bauble swap.

Other new items added to our decorations this year are two altered Jigsaws from jam swaps I was involved with on the New Inspirations Yahoo group. I'd like to say a big thank you again to everyone who was involved in these.

My themes were both Christmas but with a different slant on each.

The first one was 'Musical Christmas' in the colours red and gold. I sent out my puzzle pieces to each of the other 5 players who duly altered and sent them back. I then pieced the puzzle back together again and stuck them onto a piece of mountboard which I gold embossed around the edges and dotted around some gold stickles. It is hung up by a simple gold beaded hanger. Here's who did what: From left to right, top Margaret, second row - Wendy, me - third row me, John - fourth row Viv, Carol.
As there was some empty space on the mountboard I included two ATCs - top left hand corner from Maureen and bottom right Trudy (from last year).

The second jigsaw was 'Christmas Folk Art style' in muted colours. The pieces for this one were quite large and as I didn't have a canvas large enough I decided to hang them un-mounted with a simple wire hanger (plus a few wooden beads and scraps of fabric). This one was done by (from left to right starting at the top) Jinny, Viv, Sheila, me, Wendy, Cindy.

They are both now hanging in our dining room and they look great together. I'm sure they will be looked at over a glass or two of something sparkling over the Christmas period!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone xx

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Another Round Robin Page

This is my page for Nicks for Astrid's Round Robin Challenge. Nick's theme was 'Instructions for Life' and she left our interpretation open.

I decided to use some more of the rubber stamps from Inkadinkado with not only amusing, but very wise sayings on from children. The idea I had was to use the sayings as road signs, but for the background, my roads turned into countryside hills! I used a combination of ink daubers, perfect pearls, distress embossing powder, gel medium and glitter to build up the background.

The 'road signs', I rubber stamped and stuck onto mountboard. I coloured around the edges and then triple embossed them.

I also inked the back of the page and added a few more sayings too. Hope Nick likes it!

I only have one more page to do (for Yvonne) then I will have done everyones who took part. I'm looking forward to getting back the remaining pages of my journal so I can finally put them all together.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Altered Slide Mailer

This is a slide mailer I altered and sent as a gift for Cindy on her birthday and now I know she's received it, I can safely show it.

Not being particularly imaginative, I always struggle as to how to decorate these mailers and deliberated on this over several days!!! In the end I kept it simple. I painted the front and back with block colours of acrylic paint in pastel colours and painted the torso over the top on the front. I made a head moulded from air dried clay and 'made up' the face with Sakura Pens and pencils, and gave her some hair which was supposed to resemble a 1960s style bob but that didn't quite work! For the inside I acrylic painted in pale green and pink and in the alcove painted in the rest of the girl's body - in black and white to give some contrast. I added some beads under the glass too. I made a bit of a mess of the inside when I glued in the glass so it had to be sanded away and re-done. I think I need some more practice with these.

For the back I added a tape transfer of some words which I have on a rubber stamp - they say "Don't try the cake, go for the icing, Happy Birthday". The words are a quote from 'Liam Holland, aged 8'. I bought the rubber stamp from HobbyCraft and there is a whole series of them by Inkadinkado - so funny.

I finished the mailer off by adding some beads and fibres, again in black and white. I was pleased with the finished article and glad that Cindy liked it too.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

'Joyous Christmas' ATC

I was lucky enough to do a one to one trade with Renee from USA (Nayski on Flickr) recently and I absolutely adore the ATC she sent me called 'Joyous Christmas'. It was so lovely in fact that I decided to make it into a little wall hanging which I will proudly display with my other Christmas decorations.

I mounted the ATC onto some scrim which I frayed around the edges. That was then mounted onto thin wood which I stained with walnut distress ink. A string hanger and a couple of dark red heart shaped buttons finished it off.

I never tire of looking at Renee's pieces they are so sweet and just make me happy!

Thanks Renee!