Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Lavender & Lace Again

This is my final ATC for Cazro's colour swap for October. I wanted to do something completely different for each one, so for this one I created a background with purple inks and Glitz Spritz Spray. It's actually very shimmery but this doesn't show up in the photo. I stamped the writing and embossed it in silver, added the lace and some sparkly mesh and then stamped the main image into Friendly Plastic and added some gems. I finally tied some fibres through the buttons and added them at the opposite corners.

Created Byhand Challenge: Coffins!

I haven't participated in the Created Byhand Challenge before, but this week's theme is just my kind of thing, so I had to give it a go. The challenge was to make a coffin! (A template is provided).

The background is distress inks. I stamped a Tim Holtz stamp over the top and spritzed it with gold Cosmic Shimmer spray, then outlined the coffin with a gold marker. I stamped the spider web in Versamark and embossed it with gold sparkle embossing powder. The dancing skeleton stamp is by Cherry Pie and I love it just about as much as it's possible to love a small piece of red rubber. It's definitely one of my favourites. I stamped it on a separate piece of card and cut it out. To finish it off I added some printed words and a Grungeboard skull which I covered with gold embossing powder and overheated it to give it a distressed appearance then added gems in the eye sockets.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Think Monday Think ATC: Coffee

This is my ATC for this week's challenge on Think Monday Think ATC, the theme for which is coffee. I struggled a bit with this one as it's not the kind of thing I usually do, but I like a challenge.
This is quite a simple ATC which I made mainly with printed images. The background is a print of a vintage coffee advert, which I've aged using real coffee, so it smells nice! I added some distress ink around the edges and the images of the cup of coffee and coffee beans. I wanted it to look natural and textured, so I've added some bark behind the circle of coffee beans.
All images are courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

...and Lavender and Lace My Way

...and this is my second one. I did this one by creating a textured background using tissue paper, plasterboard tape and lace, painted it with acrylics and covered it with five different colours of embossing powder. The heart is Grungeboard, which I've also coloured using acrylic paints and embossing powder. I've also added a bit of silver rub-on around the edges of the heart and the ATC.

Lavender and Lace...

This is my first ATC for Cazro's colour swap for October. I've used printed paper for the background (rare for me), and coloured it using distress inks. I've layered mesh, fabric and lace onto the background and used printed images, ribbon, brads and paper flowers.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

My First Christmas ATC

Well, it's a bit early but I don't want to end up rushing them all in December like I did last year, so I've made my first Christmas ATC of the year. I coloured the background using grey and blue inks and added three layers of UTEE with some white and sparkly embossing powder sprinkled into it and then stamped the trees into the UTEE. It's actually a bit sparkly but I've scanned it so the sparkle doesn't show up. (Yay! We finally got the new wireless printer/scanner/copier so I can leave my scanner set up, and will actually be able to post piccies of my ATCs on work days during winter).

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Copper and Texture

This is my other ATC for the texture swap. I created the background by sticking various textured items into PVA glue, then painted over it in copper acrylic and added a couple of other metallic colours over the top to pick up the detail. I took a small square of copper sheet, curled the corners, bashed it up a bit with an embossing tool and then heated it until it changed colour. I then wrapped copper wire around it and stuck it onto the background. Finally I added the frog, which is moulded from Makin's Clay and painted with three colours of metallic acrylics, and two small copper brads at the corners.

Some More Bits and Bobs

This is an ATC I made for Bobs' Bits and Bobs Challenge on the DoCrafts forum. Bobs provided the clay face, mesh and foil, and specified that we weren't allowed to add anything else other than inks/paints etc. I created the background using distress inks then stamped the writing in white. I scrunched up part of the foil, applied ink to it and stamped with it in black around the edges. Next, I coloured the rest of the foil using alcohol inks and wrapped part of it around the face. I used an embossing tool to press it in tight to the face. I scrunched up the rest of it then layered the foil and mesh onto the background and stuck the face on top of the mesh.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Some More Texture

This is an ATC I made this afternoon for a texture themed swap. The photo's not too good (I really need to work on my photography skills), and the background has a pearlescent look to it which doesn't show up at all. Also the face and the background behind it are less red and more purple, and the yellowy-looking bits are actually gold. (Anyone want to teach me how to take a decent picture?)

The background is mountboard which I painted texturising medium onto through mesh and sequin waste. I then heat dried it and painted over it with pearlescent ivory acrylic paint and then coloured it using three colours of alcohol inks with some gold mixative. I then inked a piece of fabric in similar colours and sprayed it with gold Cosmic Shimmer Spray. I heated it until it warped and roughed up the edges.

I moulded the face from Makin's Clay and coloured it using the same alcohol inks, then I painted crackle medium over the top and stuck heart gems in the eyes. When the crackle medium was dry I added a bit of gold metallic rub-on to make the cracks show up more.

I thought it needed something more but didn't want to detract from or cover up the background, so I added some small gold brads at the corners.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Think Monday Think ATC: Homophones

This week's theme on TMTA is Homophones - words that sound the same but have different meanings. It seems I'm in a silly mood today, so I've chosen the words Mynah and miner. I think the helmet suits him!
The background is collaged bits and pieces with texturising medium painted through sequin mesh at the corners. I painted over the whole lot with gesso then inked it and added a bit of Radiant Rain Spray in a couple of places and a bit of Stickles at the corners. I then added my image, which is three separate images pieced together, and the words which I printed out and inked around the edges.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Altered CD

This is my entry for this month's UK Art Raffle, which is kindly organised by Sarah.
This month's theme is "Take Flight". I'm sure there will be plenty of birds and butterflies, but I like to be different so I've made a witch on her broomstick.
The background is an altered CD which I've covered with card, ink, tissue paper and Mod Podge with a few stamped bits. I've punched holes in it for the loop at the top and the dangly bits at the bottom and added eyelets. The witch is made from a moulded clay face, fabric, lace and printed images, with a broomstick made from a cocktail stick, wire and cotton. I've added beaded wire at the top to hang it from and fibres and beads at the bottom.
I've put two photos on as the detail didn't show up very well on the photo of the whole thing.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


This is an ATC I made this morning. I'm not saying who it's for in case they read it.

I started by cutting the hole in the ATC then created the background using various textured items and painted over them using a mixture of metallic paint and PVA glue which I heated to create even more texture. I added some metallic rub-ons over the top and then attached the sequin waste behind the hole.

I moulded the face and wings from Makin's clay and painted them with silver acrylic . I added silver embossing powder on the face and a bit of blue embossing powder on the wings then added a bit of Stickles. I stuck the wings and face on using silicone glue and added some beads and wire to the bottom.

Finally I added the word dream, which I stamped into three layers of silver embossing powder on a separate piece of card. I added some silver brads at the ends to make it look like it was pinned on.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Think Monday Think ATC - Handwriting

This is my ATC for this week's challenge on Think Monday Think ATC, the theme of which is handwriting.

I started by making an alcohol inked background with a bit of silver mixative, then stamped the handwriting background in teal Stazon ink. I added the paper at the corners, (which also has handwriting on it but it doesn't show up very much on the finished ATC), stamped the postmarks then added the main image, the bus ticket, and the tag which I've coloured using inks. I hand wrote the word "Beautiful" on the tag and added some fibres through the top. Finally I added the button at the top right, which also has fibres threaded through it.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Growing Up!

Finally for today, I thought I'd share this picture of Adam. It was his first day at nursery on Friday and sadly I couldn't go with him as I had to be in work. Matt was on one of his days off, so he got to take him, and this is what you get for trusting a man to take the photos! (It is kind of cute though).

More Mannequin ATCs

These are the rest of my ATCs for Smellihelli's mannequin swap. I made them in pretty much the same way as the first one (below) but with some variations on each one, and I've used a bit of stamping on some of these as well. Guess which one I cheated with the stitching on the fabric on! It was only because the fabric was too thin to hand stitch properly and not because I got lazy, I promise.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Mannequin ATC

Smellihelli is hosting a mannequin themed swap on the DoCrafts forum. This is my first ATC for the swap. I don't know what's wrong with me at the moment, but I keep doing things that are pink and pretty, which is not my thing at all! Anyway, I decided that as this is a mannequin swap I should incorporate some fabric. The torso is moulded from Makin's clay which I painted with gesso and then transferred the image onto it using Mod Podge. I added the wings and attached the beads using wire. I did the background using a piece of book page and a music score print, which I stuck on and then coloured using ink and drew some stitching around the edges. Then I cut the piece of fabric and roughly hand stitched around the edges. I layered on the fabric and lace and then added the torso to make my mannequin. The pole is cut from black card and the legs are hand drawn in black indian ink. Finally, to stick with the mannequin/fabric kind of theme, I tied some fibres through the buttons and stuck them on.

I am very excited, as I went on a bits and pieces buying mission on my lunch hour yesterday. I've found a FANTASTIC fabric swap, Abakhan fabrics in Manchester, where you can buy some great fabric offcuts by the kilo and it's really inexpensive. I didn't have chance to look upstairs so I'm going back again next week! I also called into the Oxfam shop on my way back, where I bought a book to alter. I've never done one before and I know I'll find it difficult as I was brought up in a household where books were treated with as much respect as people, and I still really love them. The thought of cutting into a book or drawing/painting on it makes me feel very uncomfortable indeed. I've also decided that I need to spend at least half a day exploring Manchester's Northern Quarter, as there are lots of arty/crafty/junky type shops which are just my kind of thing!

Experiments with Beeswax

Sheila C is hosting a beeswax swap on the DoCrafts forum, and as I've never used beeswax at all before, I thought this would be a good chance to experiment. After a shaky start, (I looked everywhere for beeswax and couldn't find any, then discovered I already had some in a candle making kit), these are what I came up with. I haven't got a melting pot (which I am assured makes working with beeswax really easy), so I had to make do with a bowl of boiling water and one of my trusty pie tins. I started with the mermaid collage, which I did by firstly inking various bits to match the coral and blue colours in the main image and then painting the beeswax directly onto the card and sticking down the various images, adding more beeswax in between each layer. I then used my encaustic iron to flatten down any sticky-up bits. I did wonder if maybe I should have started this again (the pictures come off really easily when you iron them) as I don't think I used quite enough wax and there are a few bubbles, but then I decided to leave it as I quite like the distressed effect this gives.
Being an unconventional kind of person, I couldn't JUST do collage with my beeswax, so the next one I did is this Heat ATC. I created the background by painting the swirls on in beeswax then inking it. Then I put a piece of paper over the top and ironed off the excess wax with my encaustic iron (like an emboss resist background but using painted beeswax instead). I then created the sun by colouring some beeswax with candle dye and pouring it into a mould. It doesn't show up well in the photo but I've added a little bit of metallic rub-on over the top to highlight the features. I added the fibres around the edges to represent the sun's rays and the word heat which is stamped on a separate piece of card and inked.

For the third one, I decided to experiment again, and this time I coloured some beeswax with candle dye and poured it onto the card then stamped the image into it in silver ink. I then splattered a few more bits of beeswax on and peeled them off when they were almost dry to create a resist effect on the background. I inked the whole of the background using distress inks in colours to co-ordinate with the wax, added some silver metallic rub-on around the edges and a few micro beads to accentuate the stamped wax.

Next, I decided on another collage as I thought I could improve on the first one. I coloured edges of the background pieces with ink before I started then did the collage as before but this time using more wax. i also added the lace and a button which I stuck down with the beeswax. (The button fell off and I had to stick it back on, but I AM new to this and it seems I was a bit stingy with the wax again).

Finally I decided to do another one using the wax in moulds. Again I coloured the wax with candle dye and poured it into the moulds. I probably should have used beeswax for the background as well, but I didn't on this one. The background is created using distress inks, tissue paper and Mod Poge with a bit of Cosmic Shimmer spray and some gold rub-on around the edges. I used micro beads for the hair.

These were all great fun to do, but I think there's perhaps room for improvement!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

A Bit More Brown

This is my final ATC for Cazro's colour swap this month. I started with a collaged background that I made from book pages and various printed images, coloured it using Distress Inks and then stamped the watches background over the top in brown Stazon. I then added three layers of clear UTEE, sprinkled a bit of copper embossing powder into it around the edges and stamped the main image into the UTEE.
I'm now working on some ATCs for a couple of other swaps which I should hopefully be able to post on here in the next couple of days if it manages to stay light long enough for me to photograph them when I get in from work!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Round Robin Journal: Wendy's Page

This is my page for Wendy for Astrid's Round Robin Challenge. Wendy asked everyone to use a photo of themselves as a child on their page, which for me was easier said than done, firstly because I didn't have any photos of myself and secondly because my scanner is not permanently attached to my computer due to lack of space (I need a bigger house!)
Anyway, I managed to borrow some photos from my parents but I had trouble scanning a lot of them because they were faded and my scanner is old. (We're hopefully getting a new wireless printer/scanner/copier next month when Matt's overtime money comes through, which I am hoping will solve all these problems). I chose this photo because it's a wedding photo and scanned more clearly as it's a much better quality photo.
The picture is of me aged four at my dad's almost-stepbrother's wedding. (His mum was engaged to my dad's dad, who sadly died before they were married.) I have to say, this is not a typical picture of me as a child at all. I was a real tomboy and spent most of my childhood covered in mud with bruises all over my legs. (I used to play football with the boys and make mud pies). For those of you who know me this will probably comes as no surprise!
The page has a mountboard base which I dabbed gesso onto in places to create a distressed appearance and then inked. I added the music at the corners and then stamped butterflies in the opposite corners. I stamped some swirls in Brilliance Ink (these don't show up very well in the photo), and then added Brilliance ink around the edges. I added the image and some mesh and then the Grungeboard flourish and some Prima Flowers in co-ordinating colours. For the writing I inked some card with the Brilliance ink and stamped the letters onto it, cut them out and stuck them on, then highlighted the letters with Stickles.

Think Monday Think ATC: Dancing

This week's theme on TMTA is Dancing, and I couldn't resist using my dancing skelton stamp for this.
The background is one I made a while ago using Twinkling H2Os and clingfilm. It has some shiny bits which unfortunately don't show up very well in the picture. I stamped the cobwebs on the background and stuck the musical notes over the top then inked around the edges. The skeleton is stamped on white card and cut out. I stuck him on and put the star in his hand as I think he looks like he should be holding something. Finally I added the mesh and fibres down the side and the words "Born to Dance".
The skeleton and cobwweb stamps are both by Cherry Pie.

Dans Ma Maison Il y a ... un ecolier

In my house there is a school kid. This is my entry for this week's Dans Ma Maison challenge.

I started with some images of letters and a school report card which I layered onto the background and then stamped various school related items and words in black Stazon. I then stamped some writing over the top and embossed it with clear embossing powder and inked the whole of the background. I added a bit of Perfect Pearls in various places and then added the mesh at the top and the musical notes. Next I added the lace (which I coloured using the same inks as the background) and the clock at the top which is an old watch face with the prongs of a brad poked through to make the hands, which show 9 o' clock, the beginning of the school day. Finally I added the vintage image with the word "genius" which is stamped on a piece of white card and edged with blue ink. I stuck the image on with silicone glue to make it stand out.

You can see the detail more clearly if you click on the photo to see the larger version.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Birthday ATCs!

These are a set of birthday ATCs I've made. As already mentioned I'm very late with all my August birthdays, a combination of a huge lack of inspiration, going on holiday and the fact that I know LOADS of people with birthdays in August and September. I haven't done my early September ones yet, but I'm getting there.

Anyway, I wanted something that was simple but striking with these, and I'm quite pleased with how they've turned out. I made them using the flower stamp that was free with this month's Craft Stamper magazine, which I stamped onto a book page and cut out. I inked the backgrounds in various bright colours and stamped them with a Paperartsy stamp which is one of my definite favourites. I stuck the stamped flowers onto the backgrounds and added sparkly gems in the centres.

I don't think any of these are for people who read my blog (although I could be wrong).

Getting Back on Track

Well, after a two week holiday and a couple of weeks before that when I have no inspiration whatsoever, I'm finally getting back on track and getting back into making things. I've finally done Wendy's journal page and have been catching up with my birthday ATCs (well, I've finished August's anyway).
The ATC on the right is a birthday RAK I made for Dee, which I can now show you as I know it's arrived safely. I started by painting the background black (I never seem to have any black mountboard when I need it!), then I made the Friendly Plastic grid. I covered the background with two layers of UTEE and then dropped some Perfect Pearls into it and added another layer of UTEE over the top. I sprinkled a bit of silver embossing powder into the UTEE and then pressed the Friendly Plastic into it and stamped the word "inspire" into it at the bottom using silver ink. I finally added some Stickles to highlight the word and the star at the top which is Grungeboard coloured with Brilliance Ink.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Think Monday Think ATC - Architecture

My little boy decided to have a sleep this afternoon and I managed to get a bit of ATC time, so I made this ATC for this week's Think Monday Think ATC challenge on the theme of architecture. I love gargoyles, so I had to use one for this challenge!

Metallic ATCs

Cazro is hosting an Olympic Medals swap on the Docrafts forum, the idea being to make ATCs in shades of bronze, silver and gold. Normally I am very organised and make all my ATCs in deadline order, but I love metallics and couldn't resist doing these straight away.
I won't go into too many details of how I made them, but I used moulded heads which I made a while back and altered a bit. The bronze one I made and then ran over with a toy car to get the stripes, the silver one has a mirror frangment embedded in its forehead adn I have reshaped the gold one to make it long and thin and given it antlers made from wire. I stuck them onto textured backgrounds and painted the with acrylic paint.
I've used all kinds of bits and pieces on these including mesh, embossing powder, micro beads, kitchen foil, eggshells and Grungeboard.

Now I need to behave myself and get back to doing my August and September birthday ATCs, otherwise nobody will like me anymore!

Monday, 1 September 2008

I'm Back!!!

I've just got back from two weeks on holiday, and after having a couple of weeks with zero inspiration before I went I'm now raring to go! Sadly I am stuck with all the post-holiday washing and ironing, two little boys who have spent too much time together over the last few weeks and are doing their best to kill each other, and school uniforms etc to get ready before tomorrow. To top it all off, it's my birthday on Thursday and I have to spend the afternoon at a property auction (zzzzzzzzz...).

Anyway, I've been busy the last couple of evenings but unfortunately I can't post pictures of everything I've made because I've been trying to catch up with the birthday ATCs I should've sent out in August (slapped hands for me, but I'd rather send late ones that I like than rubbish ones that arrive on time) and I don't want to post any piccies until they've arrived at their destinations. I'm hoping to get my September ones out before the end of October - hahaha!

The ATC on the left is one I've made for Cazro's colour swap, which is brown for this month. I started with a background cut from a book page which I distress inked and then added texture to one half using tissue paper painted with acrylics. I heat dried this to make it bubble up a bit and then covered it with metallic rub-on. The heart is cut from mountboard, coloured with distress inks and covered with three layers of UTEE which I've stamped into with gold ink.