Wednesday, 29 February 2012

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, Week 143

As I'm still up I thought I'd join in with showing what's on my desk.

I've started to alter a torso for the Flickr swap on
What you can see is the reverse side of the torso,
the other side is much messier, but I won't show it just yet
as it's still very much a work in progress.

There's also a template for a matchbox - but I don't
like the size of it.  I couldn't believe that the Pound Shop
no longer sells matchboxes.
They sell lighters, but I don't fancy altering one of those!
I shall be hunting around tomorrow for some small matchboxes
as I need some for a couple of swaps I'm in.

I want to join in with Elizabeth's altered book course 
but have been having trouble finding the right sort of book.
This is the best I could find - it doesn't have as many pages
as I'd like, but it'll have to do.

Finally, I thought I'd show you some  things I've
received recently from swaps.

These two beauties came from 
along with a multitude of other goodies.

This fabulous art block and card are from
Jan of Jan's Arty Journey
I don't know why the link doesn't work,
(here's the url in full

Last but not least, this gorgeous Valentine
altered matchbox and goodies arrived today from

That's about it for now - if you want to see other desks
hop on over to Julia's place
where she'll point you in the right direction
- well Mr Linky will anyway!

Goodnight all, and thanks for looking -
I'll come and look at your desk too if you
let me know you've been here!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Baby Ribbon Challenge

The lovely people at
recently launched a new and exclusive range of
and invited people to make two projects
using some of the ribbons.

I was lucky enough to take part in their challenge -
here are the ribbons they sent me
(I chose the pink option, but blue is also available naturally!)

As I always struggle to make any decent greetings card,
I decided to cover two notebooks with fabric instead.
I started off with the pink stripy one.

 I made a card base for the cover just slighter larger
than the notepad (which is actually a 'Things To Do' Post-It note pad).
I didn't have any suitable pink fabric, so using a piece of white
cotton, coloured it with some Distress Stain - 'Spun Sugar'.
It dried up to a lovely pale pink colour which co-ordinated nicely 
with the ribbons which I machine stitched on top.
I made a loop at the top so the book may be hung up if necessary.

I had a bit more fun with the second one as it involved a face!
I cut out a face and neck shape from white cotton,
stitched a few ribbons at the bottom to make some clothes
and hand embroidered the basic features on.

I used more black embroidery thread for the messy hair
and a little dab of pastel for the rosy cheeks and eye shadow.

Out came my old jeans again - I thought the pale denim
would contrast nicely with the pinks and greens -
and they became the cover.

The little girl was machine stitched on top of the cover
along with a few ribbons - the 'Cute As A Button' one
fitted well I think. 

Between the card base and the top fabric is a layer
of thin wadding to give the books a slighty padded feel.

Here's what the inside looks like.

This was something a bit different, but I enjoyed the challenge.
Thanks for looking x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Altered Matchbox - for Valentine

It looks as though I may be (almost) back to normal - 
although the font looks a little different to usual.
Just to bore you a little more - I have got the Mozilla Firefox
up and working.  For my previous post, I was still browsing on 
Internet Explorer .... hmmm, we'll see how it goes now ....

Still there?   Good, I'll show you something I've made...

This is a matchbox I altered for the February challenge
over on the Matchbox Monthly Flickr group. 
Now my swap partner, 
 has received it, I can show it here.

The theme was Valentines - all things hearts, love and cupid.

I stated off by covering the matchbox with some self adhesive silver tape 

I used Tim Holtz (doh, don't mention Tim Holtz - my credit card is still
hot from all the purchases I made on QVC's craft day on Tuesday!)
well, I used his Sizzix/Alterations die to cut the heart.
(I also embossed it for more detail)

.... I covered the card with silver tape and book text before
putting through the die cut machine.
Then used three colours of alcohol ink 

This is one of my favourite colour combinations 
Pink Sherbert - Cloudy Blue - Cool Peri

I used a piercing tool to etch a few feathery lines on the wings.

Now the fun part, finding little bits and pieces to fill the matchbox with!

and just for good measure, I filled a little glass bottle
 with teeny weeny hearts too

For next month, the challenge is to alter a matchbox
to the theme of 'Shamrocks'!
"March will be all about the Shamrock, you must have a shamrock or shamrocks in or on the outside of the box. It can be the main theme it can be small it can be held in the hand of an image, but, you must have a shamrock."
Les, the owner of the Flickr group is looking for some new members,
 so if you'd like to join in you have until 9th March
to sign up for the swap
Thanks for staying with me .... I promise not to moan
any more .... well, maybe I won't promise, but you get my drift!

Shabby Chic Mini Book - page for February 'Hearts'

I really have no idea what's going on with my blog at the moment.

I haven't altered any of the settings but my blog posts can only be made

under the old style editor, which after using the updated version is so frustrating.

Thanks for the comments and help given.

I have uploaded Mozilla Firefox, but can't see that it's helped?

I don't even know if it's loaded (although it did say 'installed') as at the top

of my screen it's still showing 'Windows Internet Explorer' even though

I set the Firefox as the default browser!

I really haven't a clue about all this.

Anyway, I don't know what this post is going to look like when published

(if it gets published at all that is!), but I shall stop moaning now and press on!

The photo at the top of this post is of a page I made for a

'Shabby Chic Mini Book' challenge

this is the page for February and the theme is 'Hearts'

I started off with a card base and machine stitched various strips of seam binding and ribbons onto it. I painted a heart shape in the centre with Gesso and machine stitched around the shape a few times. I added a few other hearts from old book text and scraps of fabric.

I stretched some sari ribbon across the back and machine stitched into place, leaving the scruffy edges showing at the front to add to the shabbiness of it.
Fingers crossed when I press 'publish post' in a moment, it'll work!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Art Block

This is the 'art block' I made for a swap with the lovely and very talented

I didn't actually make the wooden block itself of course, it started off like this

It originally had a rubber stamp on, which I pulled off.
The letters LOVE were made with a metal punch kit.

I painted the whole block with white acrylic first.

So far, so good, it was all going well.
Then I had to paint a face ....... eek, not as easy as I thought!
I had several attempts, painted over them and eventually
settled for this one.

I used a combination of water colour pencils, acrylic paint,
pastels and rubber stamping (for the background).

The top I decorated with paper and fabric flowers
and in the centre a glass pebble with an image below.

I added more glass pebbles on the sides
(with script under them) and a band of wide pink
lace at the back extending around to the front.

I added two little game pieces for the feet.

I painted Glossy Accents over the eyes and mouth to make them shine.

I pleased to say that Jan has now received the block
and likes it!
I can't wait to receive her one so I can see
in person how it should be done!

Thanks for the challenge Jan, I really enjoyed it!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, Week 140

This is what my desk looks like at half past midnight -
I really should be in bed now as the alarm will go off at 5pm,
but I've been messing about on the computer trying to
understand what Pintrest is all about - I keep seeing it
everywhere and set myself up on it a few weeks back.
I've only added one pin from elsewhere so far apart from some
of my own paper dolls - is that allowed, pinning your own stuff!

Anyway, I'm digressing, back to my desk - it isn't really as dim
as it looks, it's much lighter than the photo shows.

What's on it?

This is what the postman delivered to me at half past four
this afternoon (who remembers when we had two post deliveries
a day, the second arriving about 11am!!)

I was thrilled, no, ecstatic to receive this wonderful altered book
from my good blogging friend
The photo really doesn't do it justice, it's totally
beautiful - full of decorated pages, tags and lovely embellishments.

This was for a 'four piece swap' we did, each sending the other
4 items to be made into something.
The something I received was this wonderful book
 to record my life's journey.

I took some photos of the inside earlier - 

Didn't she do a wonderful job on it!
Thanks again Mrs A you're the best - and if you're reading this -
I still haven't found the 'wally button' yet!

Also on my desk at the moment is this

This part work magazine was out a few weeks ago and I thought
I'd missed my chance, but last Saturday it re-appeared in WHSmiths -
only 99p for the first issue, worth it I thought for the freebie
fabric, cotton and needles. 

Well that's about it for now - except, do you want to see
a snow photo - I took this last Sunday after the heavy
snow fall on Saturday night - through the bedroom window
of our garden.

The snow has melted from the greenhouse roof and the patio
now, but the grass is still covered.

I hope you're safe and warm wherever you are,
and if you're wondering why I'm showing you my desk,
it's all down to
go and take a look, I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

It's now after 1am - all is quiet apart from the
humming of the computer,
the snoring of the husband
and the howls of the foxes outside
I'd better turn in now....

'Night All xx

Friday, 3 February 2012

'Diana' - Paper Doll

This is a paper doll I made for a one to one swap
with the sweet Jandee.

Her name is 'Diana' - the Roman fairy name meaning
Goddess of the Woodlands.

From the look of her hair (fine silky yarn)
it seems she's been frolicking around in the woods!

We decided to make a 'ribbon' doll, so there are
no legs involved (don't know how she's been
frolicking around then - ah, but she's a Goddess so
she can do anything!)

Her bodice and sleeves are sari ribbon.
The cuffs and neckline and part of the skirt are
fibres from a ball of polyester yarn.
There are other pieces of ribbon in the skirt too.

This is what the back of the doll looks like.

Hope you'll like her Jandee.

As always, thank you for looking :)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Four Piece Swap - Mission Accomplished!

One of my dear blogging friends
recently challenged me to a four piece swap.
The idea being we send each other 4 paper crafting items
of our choice and then each add a few items from our own stash
- make something with it all and send it back.

I'm always up for a challenge so of course agreed!
Here's what Mrs A sent to me

- sheet of designer paper
- pink fabric flower
- glass beads
- metal butterfly

It took me a few days before I decided what to do with it all!
It was the fabric flower that spurred me into action.

Look how pretty it is, so what did I do?

I took it apart - as you do!
Once the petals were separated
I had the idea of making them into little hats.
I was going to use clay heads at first, but changed my mind.

Very fashionable, wouldn't you agee!

I stuck the hats onto a (7" x 10") canvas board -
after adding two stylish ladies -
I wonder who they could be - lol!!

I glued the designer paper onto the canvas first with Paper Mod Podge
then gave it a light brayering of white acrylic paint to tone it down.

The ladies were pieced together - their faces, arms and legs
were drawn onto book text then painted a tan colour.
The clothes were pieces of scrapbook paper.

At the bottom of the canvas, I stuck on some tissue tape
and coloured it with water colour pastels.
The metal butterfly, I coloured with alcohol inks and it became
a hanger at the top of the canvas.

The Coco Chanel quote, I found on t'internet - printed onto
copy paper and stuck onto the canvas with more Paper Mod Podge.

Thus far I had used three of the four items
 - the designer paper for the canvas background
- the pink flower for the hats
-the metal butterfly for the hanger

This left the glass beads and the only way I could incorporate them
I thought was to just hang them from the canvas - but that seemed
to be a bit of a cop out to me.

After several days of thinking about and playing with
the beads I decided to make them into a necklace -
but not one for wearing!

I had a wooden heart blank in my stash and drew
on a neckline - so the heart effectively became
a sort of torso / bodice hanging.

I stamped versamark ink on the lower part of the heart,
applied several layers of embossing powder and heated it up
- whilst still warm, I pushed an acrylic stamp into it.

I painted the top half of the heart with tan acrylic paint
and then a coat of Sparkle Mod Podge.
The finishing touches were a row of stickles at the neckline
and the lace around the edge.

Phew, all finished!
The worry now was would Mrs A like what I did with
her four pieces.  I'm pleased to say yes, she did!!!

Here are the four pieces I sent to Mrs A -
- scrapbook paper
- lace
- ribbon
- beads

I can't wait to see what she makes of them all!

Finally, here's the inspiration for my canvas piece -
the two fashionable ladies with their fine hats!
A book called 'Collage Couture' by Julie Nutting.

It's full of wonderful ideas and I'd thoroughly recommend it.

Thanks for looking :)