Saturday, 30 May 2009

Happy 50th Anniversary Mum and Dad

Today my Mum and Dad celebrate 50 golden years of marriage - what an amazing achievement! Congratulations to two of the dearest people in my life xxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 29 May 2009

It's so nice to go travelling.....

It's so nice to go travelling, but oh so nice to come home ... I've been to Spain for 10 days and very lovely it was too, but it was even lovlier (well almost - lol) to come home to some beautiful things which had arrived while I was away.

A while back I did a one to one altered scrabble tile swap with Michal from Israel. Michal couldn't send me her tile straight away but it has now arrived and is gorgeous and she also sent some other beautiful goodies which I can't wait to use. How generous is that?

I also received a lovely sea themed altered tin from Dianne from USA, an adorable button fairy from Leslie also from the USA and last but not least a truly enchanting altered slide mailer from JoanneR which I was lucky enough to receive from a swap that was hosted by Trudy over on the UK DoCrafts forum. Trudy also sent the lovely ATC as a RAK.

So, coming back home wasn't so bad after all and all these beautiful things are sure to last a lot, lot longer than my suntan!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Altered Tin Can Dolls

This month’s theme on MAMMA’s MAD (monthly art doll) group over on Flickr is an altered can doll - that is to say, take one tin (of say soft drink, or lager), squash it and then make it into a doll - and that’s all there is to it! Yeah right!

This was very different from the previous doll swaps - which have been paper dolls or button fairies - nice and pretty ones. We were forced therefore to ‘think outside the box’ - something which is a real challenge for me! However, as I’ve said before I always like a challenge so had a go!

Tempted as I was to pick up squashed tins from the street - I resisted and instead got my hubby to drive over a couple of clean, washed tins for me.

The first one I did was ‘Olga - the Russian Tin Can Doll’ which I based on the Russian dolls (the ones which stack inside of each other) because of the roundish shape. I just painted over the tin with acrylics, added some detailing with pens and sealed it. The only thing that resembles a Russian doll though is her face! I like the way the creases in the tin look a bit look folds of fabric on her red top.

The second one I did was a bit different, well quite a bit different really. He is called ’Max the Groovy Mover’. Max because he is a squashed Pepsi Max tin and groovy mover because his arms and legs (which are metal fish hook thingies) are connected to his body by jump rings so when picked up he moves around and jangles! I’ve left some of the tin un-touched, but the rest is coloured with alcohol inks. His face is a metal bottle top and his hair cut from a CD. Where I cut the tin into a shape it left very sharp edges so I covered them with some red braid which I then painted over with silver acrylic. This has bulked him out quite a bit, but was necessary. (His face looks a little cloudy in the photo because I took it before the Glossy Accents had dried)

He’s looking for love and is holding a little diamante heart - maybe he’ll find a nice girly tin at the disco (disco - are they still called that? - showing my age I think!)

Thanks Margaret, for another great challenge/swap - wonder what next month’s will be!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

'Things With Wings' Charm Swap

I was invited by Michelle of 'Faerie Dust Dreams' to take part in her 4th Charm Swap - how could I say no!

I'm fairly new to making charms and so far this year been in charm swaps where I used Mah jongg pieces, scrabble tiles and jigsaw pieces. For Michelle's swap there are 25 participants (yes 25 - I do love a challenge!) and I struggled at first to decide what to use to make the charms with. Eventually I settled on some crystal chandelier droplets - I acquired these about 15 years ago when my parents moved into their current home and the previous owners left behind a very dusty crystal chandelier in the hallway. Unfortunatly they aren't real crystals, but do have a lovely reflective cut glass quality about them. I saved them from going in the dustbin - so what a good girl I am for recycling some of them all these years on - lol!

The theme of this swap is 'Things With Wings' and the images I used came from either used postage stamps or magazines. They are mainly butterflies but there are also a couple of dragonflies, birds and even an angel! My favourite image though is a bumble bee which I cut out from an old cardboard tissue box.

I adhered the images onto the back of the crystals with Glossy Accents. Once dry, I wet the back and rubbed off most of the backing papers which left an image transfer kind of effect. It worked better on some than others. I tidied up the backs by rubbing a little Perfect Pearls over and sealed the whole thing with some more Glossy Accents.

I'm pleased with how they've turned out and although they may seem a little bit on the large size (one and half inches long approximately) I think this will be ok as Michelle said ' there is no size limit as many will not put these on a bracelet, but instead make wall art, necklaces and other adornments'

I can't wait to see what charms I get back although I'll have to as the swap doesn't end until 20th June!

There is a Flickr group 'Things with Wings Charm Swap, 2009' for participants to post pictures of their charms once done.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

ATCs - Babywipe Backgrounds

This week's challenge/swap on MAMMA was a technique rather than the usual theme. The technique being 'Watercolor on Baby Wipes' from Bernie Berlin's book called 'Artist Trading Card Workshop' We also had to use words on our ATCs.

This was such an easy technique - basically place a sheet of kitchen roll or scrap paper on your table, lay on top of it a clean baby wipe. Drop or brush on some watercolour paints or ink and watch the magic happen - the paint/ink spreads into the wet babywipe and the colours merge. Once the babywipe has dried it can be stuck onto an ATC base, or stitched even as it has a fabric like texture. The piece of kitchen roll, or paper you had underneath the babywipe can also be used too.

I used Brusho watercolour inks on my babywipes and loved their intensity of colour. Once the babywipes had dried they did fade a bit, but once the gel medium I used to stick them onto my ATC bases hit them, a lot of the colour returned.

My entries for the MAMMA swap were just a simple collage as I didn't want to cover too much of the lovely backgrounds up. I've since made a few more with a bit more detail to them. (They are all on my Flickr photostream individually for a better view of them)

I love this challenge and hope there will be more to come like it.