Thursday, 30 September 2010

Countdown to Christmas - Matchbox Madness!

I've finally finished altering my 25 matchboxes for the Countdown to Christmas swap being hosted by Linda on her blog A Swap For All Seasons.  I don't think I've ever been as Christmassy this early on in the year before.

I won't reveal the little gifts hidden inside the matchboxes (although you may already have an inkling if you've read my previous posts).

Here are some close up photos and a little about what I did.

Vintage -  I used rub on images from La Blanche (from QVC), the edges are coloured with gold pen and ribbons to finish off.

Postage Stamps (UK) - Scrapbook paper base, then stuck on an used Christmas postage stamp (from years gone by).  I used a rubber stamp from Hero Arts (Peace On Earth Stamp) to overstamp some postage markings.  Again gold pen edging and some ribbons to finish off.

Postage Stamps (Overseas) - Similar to above, but used overseas postage stamps this time and instead of edging with a gold pen, Star Dust coloured Stickles (they don't show up in the photo).  Embellishments and ribbon to finish off.

Cute-sy Snowmen -  postage stamps (UK) again which had snowmen on and I had these snowmen embellishments which matched just fine. 

Gingerbread Men and Rudolf -  Scrapbook paper base and just made a feature of the embellishment with matching ribbon (and Gold Stickles!)

More Vintage -  Finally, some more using rub on images from La Blanche, but instead of gold pen edging, more of the Star Dust Stickles around the edges.

All that remained was to package them up individually and get ready for posting out tomorrow.

Thanks for a great swap Linda!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

WOYWW - here's what's on mine!

WOYWW or What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday - if you want to know more - and see a lot more, hop on over to Julia's Stamping Ground where basically you can get to have a nose around loads of workdesks and then won't feel so guilty about having a messy one yourself - of course, I don't mean messy - busy and productive, that's a much better way of looking at it!

I've just finished a cup of coffee.  Do you like my huge cup and saucer?    They're not biscuits by the side of it, but some dominos I've been altering into little Christmas decorations which will be gifts to fit inside some of the 25 matchboxes I've now finished altering for the Countdown to Christmas swap.

I'll do a seperate blog post with better photographs of the matchboxes once I've finished all the little gifts to pop inside.

So what else is on my desk?  Well, it was last minute decision on Sunday morning to go along to the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show at Alexandra Palace (or AllyPally as it is so affectionately known).  I was only going to see if I could find a mini tag punch (yeah right!!) and after a serious assault on the old credit card, here's what I came home with .... and I didn't even find a mini tag punch!

It's all my husband's fault - he encouraged me to go and even chauffered me there - so really, what is a girl to do!  (I don't think he's realised how much I spent - yet - gulp!!)

My favourite stall there is LB Crafts and as I spent so much I even got some freebies!  The sample was made by Lin the owner of the store whose demonstrations are so inspiring and interesting to watch.  They also make you spend loads more money - but I'm not complaining (although OH may be once the credit card bill arrives!) 

Finally, the last thing on my desk I want to share with you is a little fabric heart I made using a Tim Holtz Alterations die.  I cut out two hearts in the main red fabric and one in the gold gauze and four wings in the gold gauze.  I stuffed it with some wadding and very roughly stitched around the edges with a gold metallic thread.  This will also be a Christmas decoration.  Here's a photo of the back and another of the front.   You can't see the wings very clearly in the photo, but there are two wings on each side of the heart.

Thanks for coming to see what's on my desk this week - last week was the first time I'd played along and I really enjoyed reading all the lovely comments (thank you) and of course looking at all the desks I got around to seeing (aren't there a lot!).

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

WOYWW - a first for me!

A lot of the bloggers I follow, join in with Julia's 'What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday' - where as the name suggests, you show what's on your workdesk on that particular Wednesday.  Up until now I have only ever looked at some of the desks, but thought it was time to reveal all - well, not all today, but here's a start anyway.

I'm in the process of altering 25 (yes 25!) matchboxes for the 'Countdown to Christmas' matchbox swap (well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!)

The matchboxes came from the Pound Shop (3 packs of 10), I've disposed of all the matches and primed the boxes with white acrylic paint.

So far I've worked on just seven of them - stuck scrapbook paper on, edged with gold marker pen, stuck a used Christmas postage stamp on and a little bit of rubber stamping.

They're not finished yet though, they need a bit of sparkle - and ribbon - I've been amassing on my desk all the Christmassy type ribbon and bits I can find in my stash.

There's also the little job of making 25 gifts to go inside the matchboxes!  I've made one so far (the little hanging decoration you may be able to see in the photo above in the little tray).

Maybe next Wednesday I'll be able to show how far I've got - I'd better get a move on as they need to be finished and posted off by 15th October - which I know seems a long way off, but I am so easily distracted. 

I hope to look at some of the other WOYWW desks today - what could be a nicer distraction than that!

Thanks for looking today and I hope you'll come back for another nosey around my craft room sometime.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

September Birthday Cards

There are two more special birthdays this month in my family.  This first card is for my niece Chloe who will be 10.  She already has a few of my paper dolls and I know she'll like another (cos she told me so!).  The doll looks like a princess to me, so that's fitting as Chloe is my little princess - although she's not really into the whole princess thing any longer - she's getting all grown up now, doesn't time fly! 
Here's a close up of the doll, which I've attached to the card with the brads holding the legs on - so it can be easily detached for 'playing' with - or should that be for inspecting the hair and make up!

The next card is for my sister-in-law Mary who will be celebrating her 70th birthday next weekend.

I've had these handbag shaped cards for several years and only remembered them when I received a more elaborate one for my birthday from Cindy - hers opened up in a fancy fold type affair.  This one is plainer in the inside and all that opens is the little flap to reveal the message inside.

I covered the front of the card and flap with K & Co scrapbook paper and embellished it with some lace, ribbon, flowers and sparkly number 70 (chipboard numbers covered with some glittery bits).  A ribbon handle and a couple of beads finished it off.

Now I've got the birthday cards out of the way (LOL - they really shouldn't be a chore should they!) I can concentrate on the little matter of altering 25 (yes, twenty five) matchboxes and making a little gift to put in each one for the Countdown to Christmas Matchbox swap -

I could be gone for some time - LOL

Monday, 20 September 2010

Compendium of Curiosities - Challenge No. 15 - Alcohol Ink Agate on Grunge

This week's challenge set by Linda over on her blog Studio L3 is to create something using the technique on page 53 of Tim Holtz book 'Compendium of Curiosities'.  The technique called 'Alcohol Ink Agate on Grunge' - a bit of a mouthful!

I created these two ATCs following the technique - they are both Grungeboard as are the little tags.  I fell at the first hurdle though as I didn't have any Pearl paint dabbers, so I used 'Snow Cap' instead.  I used the following colours of alcohol ink - for the dark one - Hazelnut, Lake Mist, Willow, Purple Twilight and Gold mixative.  For the orangey one - Peach Bellini, Watermelon, Shell Pink, Mountain Rose and Gold mixative.

I rubber stamped images on the ATCs from Stampers Anonymous 'Artful Flight' and the little tags from Invoke Art 'Bird Tags'.  I used gold ink so the images are quite subdued.

The dark one turned out to be very dark indeed - I think I overworked the alcohol ink.  To lighten it a bit, I edged with gold pen and then triple embossed both the ATC and tag.  This showed up the detail much more, so I did the same with the other one too.  They are both very shiny now so do have the look of agate.

I forgot to mention, before applying the alcohol ink, I adhered some torn paper (text for the dark one and music score for the orange one) at the bottom of each ATC.  The alcohol inks covered most of it up though, you may just be able to see it in the photo.

I'm enjoying all these challenges as I'm sure I wouldn't have worked through the book otherwise - and there's still plenty more to do - yipeee!!!

Thanks for looking and happy crafting as always!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Dress Up - September

Nine months into the year and I'm still playing along with the uber talented Margaret's Dress Up Challenge whereby all the participants make a dress for every month of the year.

I wanted to make this September 2010 dress special as this is a special month for me as I've just had my 50th birthday - there, I've said it (again)!!

So, this dress is all about me, me, me!!!  LOL.  After this posting, I promise there will be no more said about me reaching my half a century, getting old(er) or anything else relating to age - I'm sick of it, so expect you are too!

Back to the dress ...

The base is white cardstock which I coloured with Antique Linen Distress Ink, then rubber stamped a floral background onto (which is now completely hidden).  The shape is loosely based on my wedding dress - it had huge puffed sleeves and was very voluminous (just the way I wanted it).

I searched through the family photo albums and found the only half decent photographs of yours truly suitable.  The main image is of my wedding day (back in 1992).  In the middle is when I was a bridesmaid, probably about 5 years of age.  In the right hand corner is me as a baby.  The other corner is a school photo and the little snippet poking out from behind the bridesmaid is me at my shy-est, probably about 3 years old. (I still feel like that most of the time, even now!)

I photocopied the photographs on plain copier paper and stuck them onto the dress (using glue stick).  I inked around the edges with Antique Linen Distress Ink to make the whole thing a little more cohesive.

Now the fun part, out with the beeswax and the little quilters iron.  I melted the wax over the pictures and smoothed it out with the iron.  I had so many attempts at this I was worried the cardstock was going to disintegrate - but it didn't!

Once dry, I did a little random rubber stamping and highlighted some of the wax by brushing on a ittle Perfect Pearls (two colours, Perfect Gold and Heirloom Gold). 

This gave a lovely aged, but slightly sparkling effect (just like me, aged but slightly sparkling - LOL!)

I'm pleased with how this one has turned out - I think it is special, so it's hanging on the inside of the wardrobe door for now on display.  I actually managed to get all of the other dresses in the wardrobe together.

 Nine dresses down, three to go, I think there will just about be enough room in there for them!

I'm off now to go and look at all the other dresses for this month - Margaret has a Mister Linky widget on her blog.

Thanks for looking x

Giveaway Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered my Cyprus themed giveaway and for your lovely and funny comments.  I wish I could give something to each and every one of you, but there are just two winners. 

The winner of the main prize is ............

and the second prize goes to ................

Congratulations to both of you!!

Will you please email me your postal details and I'll get your prizes off to you ASAP!

UPDATE:  Both prizes were posted off air mail to USA 18 September 2010

Monday, 13 September 2010

Compendium of Curiosities - Challenges No. 10 to 14

I've missed the last few challenges due to being away on holiday, but have now caught up!  I'll keep this post as brief as possible and let the photos do most of the talking!  All the details are on Linda's blog Studio L3 and all the techniques are from Tim Holtz wonderful book called 'A Compendium of Curiosities'

In reverse order, Challenge No. 14 'Masks Basics' (page 58)

I hope you can just about see the spider's web masking on this Halloween hanging.  It is one of Tim Holtz masks called 'Haunted'.  Once applied to the black background I spritzed a combination of Shimmer and Glimmer mists.

The images are courtesy of Flickr.

Challenge No. 13 'Grungepaper Flowers' (Page 65).  I loved making these - with Tim Holtz / Sizzix 'Tattered Florals' die and distress inks.  I made three simple greetings card.

Challenge No. 12 'Chipped Enamel' (Page 44)

I used a metal flower with distress embossing powder and gold stickles around the edge.  (The glass pebble is one I had left over from last year - the pebble was stuck onto the image with glossy accents).  I've attached a gold ribbon hanger and this will become a Christmas decoration.

Challenge No. 11 'Blended Batik' (Page 36)

This technique used Distress inks and distress embossing ink.  I rubber stamped a bird in a cage over the top for a quick and easy tag.

Challenge No. 10 'Distress Stickles' (Page 46)

I used Tim Holtz / Sizzix 'Fanciful Flight' die and lots of Stickles (it's much more sparkly than the photo shows).  I didn't know what to do for the background so ended up with a simple landscape painted from watered down distress inks.  This will be another greetings card.

That's me up to date with these challenges now - I'll take a little more time and attention with future ones.

Happy Crafting xx

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

I'm back - with a GIVEAWAY!!!

Firstly, I'd like to say a big thank you for all the lovely comments you've left while I've been away and I will try to get around to visiting you all.

I had a lovely time on holiday on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus and came back in the early hours of Monday morning - but am now nursing a bad back due to lifting my suitcase up a little too quickly!   At least that means I have an excuse to delay some of the household chores awaiting me - the unpacking and washing is done, but all that ironing - doh!

I bought a few extra souvenirs which I'm offering here as a giveaway.  I've never done a giveaway before (apart from the OWOH event) and am a bit worried in case no one enters, but thought I'd chance in anyway - I'd really like to give something back as I get so much enjoyment from blogging and all the inspiration, learning, friendship and fun that comes with it.

The giveaway consists of the following items:

A sturdy cotton shopping bag
A bar of pure olive oil soap with a fridge magnet of Aphrodite (I think!)
A natural leaf notebook with paper made from bamboo pulp
A pack of little twig pencils
... and there's even a few Cypriot Euro coins in there for good luck!

If you'd like to be in with a chance to win, just leave me a comment and I'll pick a winner at random a week today - 15th September.  It's open to anyone here in the UK or overseas.

I'll be celebrating a special birthday on Friday 10th September - mine and I'll no longer be able to say I'm in my forties - sob, sob!!!   Please say something to cheer me up - and I'll send this additional bar of olive oil soap with magnet to the one that makes me feel better or makes me LOL. 

Anyone want to see a holiday photo of me?  Well, there is one I could show, but for some reason when I uploaded it onto my computer it came out as though it had been taken with a wide angle lens!!!!!!!!!  I'm surely not that wide!  So, after the birthday cake and drink I think that ever elusive diet must start - and then I can use the holiday photo as the before picture - LOL.

Here's one I took of my niece and nephew anyway

Don't forget, to be in with a chance for the giveaways, leave me a comment and I'll announce the winners next Wednesday 15th September.

Cheers, or as they say in Cyprus, Yiamas!