Thursday, 20 February 2014

Masculine Birthday Card

When I saw the 'Vintage Camera' die by Tim Holtz/Alterations
on the Sizzix website recently for silly money I had to get it.

This is the first time I've used it and am not entirely happy
with what I've done with it - it looks as though I've just
placed a copper card under it, when in fact each piece is a
separate die cut.
  I'll have to try something different next time I use it.

I was originally going to cut the camera from leather,
but found a sturdy piece of board from the cover of an
old diary which had a lovely texture on, so used that
instead and coloured it with 'Walnut Stain' distress ink.

I like the background which is the technique from
Tim Holtz Compendium of Curiosities Vol II
called 'Riveted Patchwork'.
Just stick randomly shaped pieces of silver tape
and make various marks along the seams, then
colour with alcohol inks and sand off.

It's a shame the camera covers most of it up.
I added a little snippet of Tim Holtz film strip
to go with the camera theme.

This is heading for a keen photographer,
hope he'll like it.

Thanks for looking and say cheese :)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

WOYWW, week 246 & my Craft Room Tidy Up!

It's been an absolute age since I last joined in with
desks-around-the-world link up so I thought today's the day!

 This was actually what my desk looked like yesterday -
I was working on an old canvas (revamping it) which
had altered jigsaw pieces on.  If you want to see the
finished article it's in the post below this one.

Last weekend I had a change around in my craft room.
This followed a trip to Ikea on Valentine's day
(such a romantic my husband!).

We bought a large drawer unit and a trolley
(who needs chocolate and roses anyway).

This is what under my desk looked like before - 

 I had accumulated a collection of boxes, baskets, 
metal trays and the like all which had an assortment
 of craft items in (all essential of course!)

Once that was all pulled out and the new white
drawer unit put in this is what it looked like.

I suppose it was a bit optimistic of me thinking I could
fit everything in the new unit, but I didn't do too bad.

The other end of the room used to look like this


My Big Shot die cut machine was kept on the nest of tables
and the dies stored high up on the shelves - so every time
I needed one I had to get the steps out.

Bring in the trolley!

I'm so glad my husband suggested I get the blue one
instead of the dark grey I had in mind.
The Big Shot is in the bottom tray, embossing folders
in the middle and Bigz dies in the top.
Now I can see them at a glance without having to climb.
As it's on castors it's easy to move too.

I still have some on the shelves but the ones I use
the most and now to hand.

I thought I was done when I took this photo, but then
had a further tidy up of the first shelf!

The amount of craft stuff I have is quite alarming really.
At least having sorted it out I know exactly what I have
and maybe I'll use it now .... then again .... maybe not -
but at least I have somewhere nice to store it anyway!

Sorry if I've bored you and thank you if you've made it
to the end.  If you leave me a comment, I'll come and
visit you (whether you're a WOYWWer or not).

Now to make some mess!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Altered Jigsaw Canvas - Revamped

Several years ago I, along with six other
crafting friends did a Jigsaw Jam Swap -
my chosen theme was 'Beautiful Vintage Ladies'.

When I received all the jigsaw pieces back
I mounted them onto a canvas

(From the top, the jigsaw pieces from left to right
were altered by Wendy, me, Nicks, Maureen,
Jan and Trudy.)
Until about a year ago, I'd had this hanging
in our dining room but was never entirely happy
about the background - too heavy and orange.

I've been re-organsing my craft room (again!)
and when I found the canvas again thought
 it was about time it had a revamp.

I took all the pieces off

Sanded down the canvas, gave it a rough coat of white
acrylic paint and found some lighter coloured handmade paper.

 Then stuck the jigsaw pieces back on.

(It's actually lighter than the photo shows)

I added some lace top and bottom.
Put the vintage looking earrings
back on, but dispensed with the beads.
I also added some real pressed flowers which
I attached with Liquitex Gel Medium.

Aaah, that's better!

Here are some close ups.

I've always loved these beautifully altered jigsaw pieces
and now I can appreciate them even more!

As the canvas has butterflies (the earrings)
and some flowers on it, I am linking this to
Mrs A's new Butterfly Challenge site -
and hoping that she doesn't chuck me off 
as it's not a completely new project!

Thanks for looking :)

Sunday, 16 February 2014

A Frenzy of Faces

I don't do anything by halves do I - 
why create just one face when you can do ten!
After I made my previous whimsical face 
following the video tutorial by Clare Lloyd,
I thought I'd do some more - practice makes perfect
after all, although I've got a way to go yet!

I discovered a better flesh tone (than my previously
very pink one) by mixing a little 'Nougat' coloured
Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic paint with 'Brushed Corduroy'
Distress Ink.


I did each set in pairs and they looked like sisters.
Here's what I did with these two.

Made them some clothes, rubber stamping and a bit of lace.

Stuck them onto a board with a background of
paint, rubber stamping and a little embossing.
I edged around them with black watercolour pencil
but I was a bit too heavy handed!

 I softened the outline by rubbing lightly around it
with a babywipe.
Added some sisterly words.

 Finally covered the
whole board with

Sisters with dirty faces!

Thanks for looking :)

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Make A Face - Whimsical Girl (with attitude)

When I saw the title 'Make A Face'
 over on the PaperArtsy blog
I couldn't resist a visit.

The Guest Designer Clare Lloyd
(whose blog is Miscanthus Crafts)
shows in a 'picture story' video how to
make a face simply and without sticking
to numerous dos and don'ts.
The video (vimeo) can be found here.

I really enjoyed listening to her and seeing in
a series of photos her step by step method of making a face.

Here's what I did after watching her video.

 I made a simple stencil of neck and shoulders and head.
Dabbed through the stencil with a mixture of
PaperArtsy Fresco Finish chalk acrylics and Distress Inks.
(my face is pink as I only have a few of the paints at the moment.)
Did what I could with the shading (using watercolour pencils)
 - that's what I always struggle with.

I enjoyed making the background as much as the face.

Rubber stamped a collage/text image in Pumice Stone
Distress Ink and then daubed through the swirly
stencil some Milled Lavender Distress Ink.

Then overstamped with a single swirl stamp
(freebie from Craft Stamper mag June 2012)
with Faded Jeans Distress Ink.

Finally randomly stamped (with Aged Mahogany Distress Ink)
the ferny leafy thingy which doesn't in fact come from the stamp set
pictured (sorry!).  It's from Hot Picks-PaperArtsy number HP1010.
I didn't use a mount so the image is intentionally a bit sketchy.

I cut the girl out and stuck her onto the background.

She's not perfect, but I'm pleased with how she turned out.
She doesn't really look like she has 'attitude', but it was
just a word I had laying about on my desk (as you do!).

I like the background too - that's something I don't 
usually do - overstamp, but I really like the result. 

Thanks for looking, and thanks Clare for sharing your techniques :)


Saturday, 1 February 2014

Tim Holtz: 12 Tags of 2014 - February


Tim's tag above - click on the picture to go to his blog
 and see in detail how he did it.


My tag below - I must warn you though
this is a lesson in how not to do it!

I put it on some nice music score to distract you!

I'm always too hard on myself I know, and I actually like
the finished result - the background's quite nice, but
what let it down was the rubber stamping.
It should have been a nice chalky effect - I love the
blackboard effect on Tim's tag.
Mine shows how it turns out if you don't have any of
the 'frosted crystal embossing powder'.
I used regular Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel.

Once it's stamped and heat embossed, chalk is
rubbed all over the image and the chalk is supposed to stick
 onto the texture of frosted crystal embossing powder.

Not in my case as can be seen from the photo above.
This is the first time I've used Distress Embossing Ink
and I think I may have applied too much heat
as it went shiny - oh well, I'll know for next time. 

I didn't have any Distress Glitter for the heart
(mine's cut from mountboard)
so instead used some tiny little balls which are
actually for nail art which I'll never use on my nails.

Just in case you're wondering what the lettering says -

"Change is to give up what we are
to become what we could be"
from Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz collection
'Pattern Pieces CMS012"

If I get some of the proper embossing powder, I
may have another go - I'll have no excuses then
if it still doesn't turn out right!

Thanks for looking :)

Artist Trading Block

I'd never heard of an 'artist trading block'
until I saw the one Deb had made on her blog

There is a Sizzix die available to create the block
(if you don't want to cut your own).
The completed block is 3" square.

I used the die with some corrugated cardboard
which I retrieved from my recycling bag.
It is really easy to put together, then I decorated
the block by sticking on some squares cut from scrap paper
I'd previously used to protect my craft table.

As the squares of paper didn't completely
cover the box, I edged it with gold pen.

I rubber stamped some swirls on areas of the
paper that looked a little plain.

I decorated the top with a 'Heart Wings'
die cut (from Tim Holtz/Alterations/Sizzix)
I used 3 layers of mountboard for the heart
so it's nice and sturdy.
The swirl on top of the heart is a scrap of
glossy paper coloured with alcohol inks - from
my scrap box.  I like all the bright clashes of colour.

(sorry about out of focus pic!)

I know it's supposed to be a block, but
I couldn't resist keeping it as a box -
 I just didn't stick down one of the sides.
The corrugated cardboard was a bit flimsy on two 
of the sides,so I re-inforced inside 
with more of the cardboard.

I really enjoyed making this 'artist trading block'
- although I prefer to think of it as just a box.
It'd be lovely to put a gift inside and the box
itself could be a keepsake too -
 not this one though, as it's staying with me!

There is a blog dedicated to Artist Trading Blocks
well worth a look if you're interested.

Thanks for looking at mine :)