Thursday, 31 December 2009

Circle Book - 'Circle of Friends'

The current challenge on the Flickr Art 'n' Soul group, set by Viv is to make a Circle Book with any theme as long as the chosen theme runs throughout the whole of the book.

Viv (aka Bowling Belle) kindly provided a template and a photo tutorial for this challenge which may be found on her Flickr photostream. She assured us that this project wasn't as difficult as it sounded - well, that may be so for anyone with a normal sized brain - but what about for those of us with a pea brain like me!!!!

In an attempt to appear normal (!!!!) I went through the motions and did a trial book with scrap paper - at first I just couldn't work it out (the little pea almost burst out of my head). I tried not to panic and kept trying until the penny dropped - ping! Now I feel a bit silly as Viv was right (don't tell her I said so though - LOL) and once I knew what I was doing, it all seemed quite straightforward.
Having used up all my pea juice on mastering the technique I then had a blank deciding which theme to go with!  The blank circle book sat on my craft desk for a few days taunting me!  Evenutally I settled on a cute oriental theme and used some acrylic stamps from Hero Arts. 

Each of the four circles used in making the book were first covered with black handmade paper, then rubber stamped over the top.  Once constructed (yes 'constructed' as that makes me feel clever - LOL!!) I stuck two of the cute oriental figures (previously rubber stamped onto white card and washi paper for their clothes) onto each page.  Each figure had a cocktail umbrella behind and a flower in front of them.  This honestly was the best I could come up with and although each page is the same, the colours are different at least!


I decorated the covers with more rubber stamping from the same oriental Hero Arts stamp set and covered the whole lot with Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel to give a lovely shine.  The background of the covers were coloured with some Dew Drop Brilliance ink in 'Rocket Red Gold' which is an absolutely fantastic colour.

At this stage I was feeling rather pleased with myself as the book was almost finished, looked ok, and just needed the covers attached.  I attached the back cover one night before I went to bed, so to give it plenty of time to dry overnight.  The next morning I removed all the pegs I'd used and tried to close the book.  Doh, doh and treble doh!!!  It wouldn't close properly.  I had glued the cover on beyond the spine of the closed book whereas I should really have done the opposite and glued it a little short of the spine - yes, that's how my little brain works - welcome to Sherry World - LOL.

I managed to prise the glued cover off and re-attach it in a better position.  Once that was dry, the other cover was no problem!  This did leave rather a mess though which I tried to cover up with some black acrylic paint (just don't look too closely!)

The book won't close up completely, I don't know if this is because of the embellishments inside, or my bad workmanship!!  Despite all these recriminations, I am still pleased with the book - well, the covers look good at least!

I think I'll stick to making paper dolls in future!
Finally, I'd like to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year and wish you all the very best for 2010 - Cheers!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christmas Charms!

This morning my postman delivered a box of gorgeous charms, all with a Christmas theme from Kim of Paper Digital Art and Images for the charm swap I entered. We had to make 10 charms each to receive 10 back from the other participants.  (The charms I made can be seen here.)

Kim is so generous and included a lot of extra goodies too!

The photo I've taken really doesn't do the charms justice and show all the lovely detail, but they are all fabulous - what a great Christmas present!

The next charm swap Kim is organising is a 'Valentine Heart Shape Charm Swap' and sign up is open until 31 December, details are here if you're interested.

Friday, 18 December 2009

All 12 tags together & blog candy info

Here are all twelve of my tags together - I am going to display them in my hallway along the side of the staircase as Christmas decorations.

Now for the blog candy opportunity - Jennie on her blog The Artistic Stamper is giving away no less than 12 Tim Holtz goody bags - yes 12, how generous is that!  You must have made at least one tag in Tim Holtz style to enter and you have until 30 December to leave a comment on her blog - easy as that!  (Thanks again Maureen for the heads up on this one).

Christmas Tag - Day 12

Well, here it is my final tag inspired by Tim Holtz.  As I'd mentioned earlier I hadn't used the Grunge Paper before and it's much easier to work with than the thicker Grunger Board.

Tim's final tag is here and his Grungepaper roses are just fantastic. 

In my defence (LOL!!) I used smaller die cut flowers, I cut too many snips in the petals and it was my first attempt - excuses, excuses!!  Still, they do look like flowers (the middle petals need a bit of work though) and I'm proud of them!

I've enjoyed making all of these tags and have learnt a lot along the way - thank you Tim!

What'll I do now............ !!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas Tag - Day 11

On his tag, Tim Holtz used a new gadget to make some custom brads, you can see his tag here.

Well, obviously I didn't have the new gadget but thought his custom brads looked like covered buttons - and I remembered having a little button coverer kit.  I covered a button with a scrap of Christmas fabric with Santa's head on and I think it looks almost as good. 

Here's a close up of it.

Just one final tag to go now - and that involves making some flowers from Grunge paper which I've never used before .... should be interesting!

Christmas Tag - Day 10

This one uses metal tape and chipboard shapes.  See Tim Holtz's one here.

I've come to the conclusion that the tags I'm using are a lot smaller than Tim's so consequently I didn't have any chipboard letters or shapes small enough to make a pattern like the one on his tag.  I did however have a Christmas tree and star which just about fitted my tag.  I used only two colours of alcohol ink and could really have done with some of the 'Adirondack Fillable Pens' which are empty pens you fill up with a few drops of alcohol ink and because they have fine nibs you can colour right up to the edges.  Something else for the shopping list!    I put some drops of the blue alcohol ink directly onto the tag and they have pooled a bit, but overall I think the tag looks fine.

I put a bit of texture on the tree with some of the metal tools and added some nice sparkly gems for decorations.  The star is coloured with some Rangers Stickles.  This one is quite a bit different from all of the others but I enjoyed making it so I could use some of the metalwork tools I have but not used much.  Practice makes perfect as they say ..... what do you mean I need to practice more!  LOL

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Christmas Tag - Day 9

Tim Holtz's tag for day 9 is possibly my favourite one, you can see it here.

I didn't have any of his 'film strip ribbon' so used a sizzix die cut film strip instead.  I also left off some of his metal embellishments (only because I didn't have any!), but am still pleased with my finished tag.

The look on the child's face says it all - she looks scared witless, poor little mite - I just hope that Santa left her lots of lovely presents on Christmas day to make up for it.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Christmas Tag - Day 8

Tim Holtz's tag is here, and mine is heading for the bin I think - lol.  This one turned out to be my least favourite of them all so far.

I was looking forward to trying out Tim's technique of 'changing plain vellum into vintage parchment' - especially when he said  'the paper will start to smoke which is the distress ink basically being baked into the paper - don’t worry'  Oh, that sounded dangerous - couldn't wait to try that!!  When it didn't smoke at all, I dispensed with the blending tool and just swiped the ink pad directly across the vellum - well, he did say use a generous amount of ink.  Once I started heating it up with the heat gun it took a while, but yes, as promised there was smoke - well, more like a puff of powder really but at least something happened.

My main disaster with this tag was the stage before applying the distress ink and heating up the tag.  Before that, as instructed I stamped a music score stamp with black archival ink onto the vellum and dried it with the heat gun.  So far, so good.  Next was to apply the distress ink with the blending tool - did that, but obviously I hadn't let the archival ink dry properly as it all smudged!  I stopped quickly enough so the whole thing didn't smudge and I carried on and yes, my vellum did look and feel a bit like vintage parchment but all the music disappeared in the process!

Oh well, you win some, you lose some.  I'll probably try this again sometime - I wonder if I could stamp on the vellum after turning it into parchment - worth a try I suppose.

Eight tags down, four to go.....

Christmas Tag - Day 7

I've not been keeping up with making the tags, but have finished this one and have the next three under way. 

To see Tim Holtz's one look here.  Now if you want a laugh have a look at my one!  I didn't have his gorgeous Santa stamp so instead used the only Santa one I own which was of his suit, minus his body!

I wasn't at all pleased with my tag at first but it is growing on me now.  I like the background, and the masking technique worked a treat - although I didn't have any of the new acetate masking sheets so used the good old post it note instead.  I particularly like the flourish stamped with gold acrylic paint which resists the distress ink.  I'd like to use this technique again, but probably won't remember how to do it - memory like a sieve!

Now off to finish the next one....

Monday, 7 December 2009

Christmas Tag - Day 6

Day 6 of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas - see his amazing one here.

As I mentioned in my previous post I didn't have his old car and tree stamp - or anything remotely like them.  He had stamped and embossed them onto Grungeboard - well I did have some Grungeboard at least, so I roughly drew a tree, coloured it with some Adirondack marker pens and glittered it (supposed to represent snow!).  Now for the big cheat (ssshh don't tell anyone!), I printed out an image of the old car with my inkjet printer and applied it to the Grungeboard with some Gel Medium, once dry, rubbed the paper back off, and hey presto!  To achieve the embossed look I coloured the black areas of the car with a black glaze Sakura pen and then wiped some Distress Ink (Tea Dye colour) over the whole lot to colour the grey areas in.  I love the 3D effect of the car with the tree tied on the roof and through the windows - what a great idea - why can't I think of things like that for myself - lol.

The tag for Day 7 has now been posted on Tim Holtz's blog and the theme is masks/masking - hmmm!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Christmas Tag - Day 5

Tim Holtz uses his 'Idea-ology - Fragments' (small clear tiles) to make his Christmas baubles but as I didn't have any I used glass nuggets to make mine. I'm pleased with how it turned out anyway.

To see the master's tag have a look here.

Day 6 tag has now been posted on Tim Holtz blog and that'll be a challenge for me as I don't have anything like the main stamps he's used - so I can't wait to have a go!

You da man Tim!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Christmas Hearts

These wooden hearts which could be Christmas decorations are made from solid birch and measure 7cm long.  I got them from an on line shop called   I was actually looking for some small wooden hearts to make into charms for a valentine charm swap I've signed up for on PDA when I saw these hearts which were described as 'Christmas Hearts Wooden Gift Tags'.  I couldn't resist them!

I had them for about 3 weeks before I could bring myself to do anything with them as I loved the natural wood and jute hanger as it was.  Eventually though I painted, rubber stamped, embossed and decorated them with little bits and pieces and I think they'll look quite pretty hanging from a Christmas tree. 

My 12 Tags of Christmas - Tim Holtz style

Each day from 1st to 12th December Tim Holtz is posting a Christmas tag on his blog together with detailed instructions and photographs of how he's made them.  The only downside to this is it's made me realise how many more Ranger products I need!  It's day 5 already and his tags are just amazing (well, we wouldn't expect anything less would we!)

I've made my first four tags based on his although I didn't have all of the products mentioned so substituted where necessary.

If you leave a comment on each day's post Tim does a draw for some of his wonderful goodies so it's well worth a visit - although chances of being picked are slim in view of the large number of comments he gets.

Now, onto day 5 ..........

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Girl With A Heart - Paper Doll

This one is a bit different from my usual dolls as I've made her clothes (the sleeves and the skirt) with old book text coloured, then rubber stamped with ink.  I thought the book text was applicable as she's gone to Cindy to wish her a happy birthday and Cindy does like her books methinks!  The wings are a sandwich of acetate and tissue paper made in the same way as I did some Christmas baubles - well actually I made them from the leftovers of the baubles - waste not, want not - and they sort of determined the whole colour scheme.

The heart she is holding is made from metal and is left over from some Christmas ATCs I made recently - oh no, I don't throw anything away!

Anyway, I know that Cindy now has the doll so here she is!

I'd just like to take the opportunity of thanking those of you who leave some lovely comments here (and on Flickr) on my little creations - it means so much!  Thank you!!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

'Elfie' Paper Art Doll

'Elfie' is an old English girl's name meaning 'elf' or 'magical counsel' and I think it suits this paper doll perfectly.  She's a little woodland elf!

I made her dress from some fibres from a ball of wool (well, it's polyester really) and I didn't knit it, just stuck it on.  Other parts of her dress and her booties are made from some silky fabric in a co-ordinating colour.

I love her hair - probably because I had mine chopped off today - and mine's dark brown (with a nice grey parting!!!!)  The doll's hair is from a cone of something or other - it's very fine and silky.

Her overall costume looks a bit like she's in a Panto - girlfriend for Jack and the Beanstalk maybe?  Well, at least that's seasonal - lol.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Inchie Row Houses

...and now for something completely different....

Little houses measuring 1" wide and no higher than 4" made from mountboard and decorated to the theme of 'Who lives in this little house?' for a swap on Paper Digital Art and Images By Kim.

I made two sets of five houses.  The first set were mainly inked, rubber stamped, painted and collaged whereas the second set were much more textural - I used wax, tissue paper with Brusho, metal embossing and textural paint.

I prefer the first set but hope the recipients will like them anyway.  The last day for getting them mailed to Kim is not until 30 January 2010 so I am well ahead of the game.

Fabric ATCs - Vintage Ladies

This is the current theme on the Artful Ideas Flickr group and I used a couple of vintage lady images I had in my stash and applied them to some cotton fabric using Golden Gel Medium - Regular Gel (Matte). 

As my proper sewing machine has a broken needle at the moment I used a tiny little machine which just does a basic straight stitch and is so irritating as the cotton keeps breaking in it!  However, I got the two ATCs done (evenutally!) and just sewed an assortment of scraps of fabric and ribbon around the main 'image transferred' piece of fabric.

There are some lovely ATCs in the Artful Ideas photostream already which you see here.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Thank you Trudy!

Yesterday Trudy came to visit me and we spent a very enjoyable day together.  It's the first time we've met in person and she really is a lovely lady - especially as she came laden down with belated birthday gifts for me - LOL.

Here is the fantastic altered frame she gave me and some close ups to show all the glorious detail.

She also gave me loads of other goodies included a tic tac toe game to alter some lovely beads and rainbow crystals and jewellery finings.  Also, a coat hanger to alter - she showed me the one she had altered with some of her jewellery hanging from it and it was stunning - you can see a picture of it in her Flickr photostream here although the picture doesn't do in justice - it's ever more scrumptious in real life!

We also had a play with some toilet roll tubes (as you do - LOL) as I'd asked her about a loo roll tag book she made which you can see here.  She also showed me how to use some embossing plates I had bought for my Big shot a while ago but hadn't yet got out of the packet - it was so easy and there'll be no stopping me now!

Thanks again Trudy for a lovely day, and for all the wonderful presents.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

More Christmas Angels

I made two more angels a lot more glitzy this time - although the photographs don't show up the sparkle very well.

The triangle body is covered with fabric and highlighted with some Ranger's Stickles.  For the wings on both of them, I used old music score then covered that with some gold gauze type fabric - stuck on with more of the Stickles.

These are a lot of fun to make!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Christmas Angel Challenge

A few weeks back I made a batch of Christmas Angels based on an article I saw in an old issue of Somerset Studio magazine dated Nov/Dec 2006. The article was called ‘Altered Stockings’ by a very talented lady called Nelda Ream-Jinkerson. She made the stockings from vintage sweaters and then applied some mixed media embellishments - her delightful angel being one of the embellishments. You can see a picture of her creation here (just scroll down a little way).

By co-incidence Nancy over on the Art ‘n’ Soul Flickr group, hinted at an angel art-doll as a theme in the lead up to Christmas, and as I’ve been ‘volunteered’ by Viv to be the next guest challenger I thought these angels would be a good idea.

Of course, my version isn’t as pretty as Nelda’s but it is based on the same principle. Whereas hers was made from a shipping tag, I cut a body shape for mine from card and made some wings - here’s the template for what it’s worth!

In short here‘s what to do to make one:

  • find a vintage head and shoulders to use, extend the body template to accommodate the head and shoulders.

  • Cut out the body template (extended at the top to include the head and shoulders) from card.

  • Glue on the head, shoulders and a Christmassy landscape or other design of your choosing to the card template.

  • Glue on a decorative paper to pretty up the back (I used some music score to match the wings).
  • Cut out the wings template from card, cover with paper (or fabric or whatever) of your choosing (I used old music paper sprayed with a little Glimmer Mist, Nelma used antique book text)

  • Attach the wings to the body (I attached mine with a button and thread and the button has a touch of gold leaf on it)

  • Attach some lace or other decoration to the bottom of the body.

  • Make the legs with wire, string, or whatever you choose. (I used jewellery eye pins with some bells at the bottom)

  • Attach a loop for hanging the angel at the back

….. and there she is, all ready for Christmas!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Christmas Fairy ATC

I fell in love with the Xmas Fairy stamp set from PaperArtsy as soon as I saw it (Nut & Meg 6 - SINM6).  The whimsical fairy is adorable with her big eyes and pretty wings.

I made a few ATCs using the fairy - ie, got her to distress the backgrounds up a bit with some acrylic paint, dye based inks - she then stamped a few random circles in a contrasting colour and stencilled though a bit of sequin waste - her finishing touch was a generous spray of Glimmer Mist (Marshmellow colour) - or maybe she used some of her own fairy dust!

She asked me to make her a little heart - how could I refuse?  I stamped onto some metal sheet with the heart from the stamp set, embossed it and coloured with some alcohol inks - luckily the colours were a fairy....I mean fairly good match with the background colours.  I stuck the heart down with some E6000.

I think she likes the end result, although is looking a bit green and blue around the gills - must be all those alcohol ink fumes!

(oops forgot to say I rubber stamped the fairy herself onto some tissue paper and adhered her to the background with Liquitex gel medium before the Glimmer Mist was applied) 

(oops, oops - that's like PPS - forgot to mention her wings - how could I!  They are quite sparkly in real life - made by sprinkling some Pearl-Ex mica powder onto the Liquitex gel medium while it was still wet)

Another Christmas Bauble

Here's another bauble for the same swap as mentioned in the post below.
This one is much more sober (in both senses of the word!).  It does have a lovely glittery, sparkly look to it, but unfortunately my photography skills are not up to showing it.

It is made with two acetate bauble shapes with some rubber stamping on.  Sandwiched in-between is some crumpled tissue held within some clear medium, coloured with some alcohol inks and sprinkled with a fair bit of glitter and mica powders.  This is a technique I saw in the 'Craft Stamper' magazine (October 2009 issue).  The clear medium I used was the one recommended in the article being Johnson's Klear floor polish and they were not joking when they said it's a bit messy!  I'll know not to use so much next time as it went everywhere - lol.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Christmas Bauble

This is the bauble (front and back) I made for the challenge over on Flickr's 'No Bangles and Beads - just baubles' for swapping with another participant when Viv does the random generator thingy on 28 November.

A simple but fun idea I thought to make the bauble dressed for the Christmas ball - the man's tux on one side (made from textured card) with sequin buttons and a silk shirt and on the other side his companion's red velvet evening dress trimmed with tinsel and a string of pearls.

Looks like they'll be having a 'ball of a time'! (groan, groan - lol)