Saturday, 31 May 2008

Make a Moo or Two: Brown, Beige and Cream

This week's challenge on Make a Moo or Two is to make a Moo using only the colours brown, beige and cream. As these are very natural colours, I've made my Moos to a nature theme and used some natural materials on them.

Round Robin Journal

I've joined a round robin journal which has kindly been organised by Astrid (thanks Astrid). My mum and dad have taken the boys out for the afternoon, so I've had some spare time and have finally finished my first page (I started it earlier in the week).
The theme I've chosen for my journal is "What Colour Are You?", based on the idea that each colour has different meanings, (although I will hasten to add that not all the words around the edges apply to me!) In case you are wondering, yes, the ugly mug on the left is me, although I've altered myself beyond all recognition, (I think I like my new hairdo better than the real one). Don't worry if you're one of the people doing a page for me - I don't expect everyone to use a piccy of themselves, although you can if you want!
I've started with a base of mountboard for this. (I thought it wise given that (a) I've subjected it to a lot of abuse and (b) it has to make several journeys through the post). I started by inking the background in various shades of blue and then spritzing it with water, quick-drying it with my heat gun (told you I couldn't live without it), then added some tissue paper to parts to add texture and painted over the tissue paper and around the edges using three different colours of acrylic paints. I then added some Radiant Rain Spray, masking off some parts so it wasn't over the whole thing, some blue metallic embossing powder over the tissue, and wrote the words around the edges which are all words associated with the colour blue. With the background done, I printed out a photo of me in shades of blue and stuck it on, then drew the outlines on it with a black gel pen. I stamped the images at the bottom on white card and coloured them using blue ink, then stuck those on to overlap the picture of me. I then added the silly hats, which are cut from book pages and inked, stamped the word blue on acetate in stazon ink and then outlined the word and the edges using a Sharpie pen. I attached the acetate wrod using brads. I also added the words "I am" on card with matching brads. Next, I gave myself the new hairdo with acrylic paints to match the colours on the background and a black gel pen and added the highlights to the eyes and mouth with a white gel pen. Finally, I added a Grungeboard flourish on the top right (it's inked and then gone over with a gold metallic rub-on but it doesn't show up well in the photo), a stamped and inked butterfly, gold metallic rub-on around the edges of the page and the eyelets down the side where the pages will be joined together.
The colours are a bit more intense than they look on the photo. My photography skills leave a lot to be desired!

4x4 Friday: Architecture

I thought I'd have a go at the 4x4 Friday challenge this week. The theme is architecture. I've used distress inks and Adirondack Colour Wash for the background.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Trading Album

I have finally got around to setting up a trading album. If you would like to trade ATCs with me you can find a link at the top right for my Photobucket album where you will find all the ATCs I currently have available for trade. There's not much in it at the moment, but I'm planning to gradually build it up (I'm hoping to put at least 2 or 3 ATCs in there each week.

More Friendly Plastic ATCs

I enjoyed doing the last one of these so much that I decided to do some more (well, that and my new heat gun arrived and I wanted to play with it). I can't believe how much easier it is to work with Friendly Plastic when you don't have to glue it down to stop it from blowing away! Now I need to try it with UTEE and Shrink Plastic. Those will have to wait until tomorrow though as Friday is Computer and Craft Free Night in our house.
I got my heat gun (the new Heat Buddy one) from The Artistic Stamper and thought I would give them a recommendation here because I am so impressed. They have loads of great stuff, free postage if you spend over £10 (who doesn't?), and the service was fantastic. I placed my order the Sunday before the Bank Holiday Monday and it arrived by Recorded Delivery on Wednesday morning (although it ended up back in the sorting office as my postie never rings the doorbell).

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Wednesday Stamper: Altered Playing Cards

I've never participated in Wednesday Stamper before. This week's challenge is altered playing cards and I couldn't resist having a go. I've made a set of two ATCs. Despite having been making ATCs for over a year and a half now, these are this first ones I've made using playing cards. I started by bending the cards a bit to crack the coating on them, then applied alcohol inks for the background. I filed around the edges with an emery board to make them look a bit distressed. I stamped the background stright onto the cards, then stamped the images onto white card and coloured them using distress inks. I then inked a piece of textured paper and layered it onto the card with the stamped image over the top, and finally added the words. The club and heart I've used for hats are cut from the centre of the cards.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Think Monday Think ATC: Diptych

This week's challenge on TMTA is to create a diptych, two ATCs with at least one image connecting the two but with each ATC looking good in its own right.
The background for this one was done starting with a music score with scraps of patterned paper stuck on. I then painted over it with a thin layer of gesso and inked it using Versacolour inks, then stamped the words. I then added mesh (I tried not to on this one, but the colour was so right I just HAD to use it) and lace. I then added the printed image, inked around the edges of the "Cherish" transparency and layered that over the bottom, then finally added the paper flowers and pearly hearts.

Friendly Plastic ATC

This is the offensive article, which my heat gun decided to die in the middle of making. I decided to have one last go this morning at getting it working, switched it on, gave it a shake and it came on, so it seems I have nothing worse than a loose wire. Matt has said he'll have a look at it for me later on (which probably means sometime in the next year or two, so I should probably do it myself). I've ordered the new one now anyway so that means I'll have a spare, which is good.
The ATC is made entirely from Friendly Plastic which I've manipulated using a piercing tool, and the face is moulded.

Sunday, 25 May 2008


I am not happy. I was in the middle of making a Friendly Plastic ATC and I was really enjoying myself, and then my heat gun decided to die so I've had to stop (and yes, I've tried changing the fuse).

This will probably sound ridiculous to some people, but I absolutely cannot live without my heat gun. I use it for everything, so I feel like somebody's chopped my arm off right now. Bleh! (And I have an unfinished ATC which I was really enjoying doing and now I'm sitting here feeling grumpy instead).

Anyway, looking on the bright side, my heat gun (before it died on me) was one of the really blowy ones and I've wanted one of the non-blowy ones for ages, and now I've got the excuse I need to get one. Why the silly thing had to die the day before a Bank Holiday though I really don't know. How inconvenient! The only place that sells heat guns around here is Hobbycraft and they only have the blowy ones, so I've had to order one online. The good news is I found a website that has 10% off over the Bank Holiday weekend, well, if I spend over £25.00 anyway, which meant I had to buy some Grungeboard too (well I couldn't miss out on the discount, could I?)

Make a Moo or Two: Dots and Stripes

I haven't joined in with Make a Moo or Two for a couple of weeks now, partly because of lots of looming deadlines and partly because of my recent lack of inspiration for anything artistic. Anyway, I think I'm back on track now, so here are my entries for this week's theme of Dots and Stripes.
I made the stripy background by masking with pieces of paper and inking. The dotty background is done by inking through sequin waste. I've used vintage images, inked and drawn on the dresses with a black pen, and added hats.

Fly Away

This is an ATC I made last night using a few techniques I've never tried before. I started off with a piece of mountboard which I painted silver, then stuck a piece of mesh over the top using double-sided tape. I then cut a frame from another piece of mountboard (and I'm saying nothing more about the frame as I've used a banned item and the ATC police will be after me). I made the words out of wire and attached them using brads at the corners of the frame, then stuck the frame down using double sided tape. I then added the torso in the middle. The torso is made from Makin's Clay using a mould. I've covered it with torn up patterned paper stuck on using a mixture of PVA glue and water, added beads and wire around the waist and the wings which are Paperartsy German Scrap.

Stampbord Pendant

This is a pendant I've made out of Stampbord. I've done the background using blue and green inks applied with a sponge, stamped the owl image on top, scraped away part of the colour with a needle to create highlights and then added UTEE over the top. I've then added beads, wire and a smaller owl image which I've stamped on shrink plastic and coloured with inks.

Nature: Colours of Autumn

This is a set of ATCs I've done for Cazro's quickie swap on Docrafts. I've done the backgrounds with Distress Inks and stamped leaves. The main images are stamped on an alcohol inked background, and I've added various natural and other bits and pieces.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

More ATCs

These are a couple I did on Thursday night, with my inspiration (I hope) beginning to come back. I don't think these are some of my best work but thought I'd show them to everyone anyway, (it's the exhibitionist in me). The blue one has a background made with reinkers and clingfilm. I've added mesh, seed beads, Friendly Plastic, buttons, fibres, and the owl image was created using the caught in crystal (acetate and tissue paper) technique.

The lilac ATC has a background made using felt tip pens and a water spray and I've added mesh, metal shavings, fusible fibres, dyed linen fibres, wool, sticky ribbons, Friendly Plastic and a big gem, (LOL, I didn't realise how much stuff I'd used on this one until I came to list it!).

Lack of Inspiration!

Apologies to anyone who's looked or left comments over the last few days. I'm not ignoring you. I've just been suffering from a complete and total lack of inspiration (not good when I have two swaps with a deadline of 31st that I still need to do ATCs for), and I've hardly looked at my blog or anything else. I'm feeling a bit more inspired today (and less tired), so hopefully I'll have a few more bits and pieces to post over the next few days.

These are a couple of Zentangle style ATCs I did earlier in the week. I found I could do these even without much inspiration as I just sat down and doodled them without having to think about it first. They were great fun to do and a brilliant way to relax.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

A Child Free Weekend!

I've had a rare child free weekend this week. I spent yesterday buying birthday presents for my little boy Adam, who'll be three a week tomorrow, and we went out for a meal in the evening so I didn't get very much arty time, but I've had most of today to myself, so have made a few ATCs.

These are two of my favourites, which I've made for a couple of hosted swaps I'm in. I think I was in a bit of a silly mood this afternoon. Oh, and I've got some new colours of alcohol inks. Can you tell?

Are We Nearly There Yet?

These are some ATCs I made yesterday for Vonxy's swap on the DoCrafts forum. The one on the left has an alcohol inked background with the image stamped over it inbrown Stazon. I've then picked out the various elements and stamped them onto a separate piece of card which I've coloured with dsitress inks and then finally added some Anita's Clear Gloss Finish to the car.

For the one on the right, I stamped the image in Versamark onto black mountboard, then dusted Cosmic Shimmer Powders over the top. I set it with hairspray and then added two layers of UTEE. The words are handwritten on card and coloured using distress inks.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Encaustic Art

I got the opportunity to do some encaustic art this morning, my first in a while (well, a few weeks anyway - it feels like a long time to me!) These are all ATCs, and although it doesn't show up well in the photos, the top two are on pearlescent card and have a slightly irridescent quality.

I got a good few hours so I managed to do eight altogether (I can only put 5 in one blog post). They will mostly be in a swap I've joined, but I'm trying to build up enough ATCs to finally start up a trading album, sot the rest will go in my stockpile!

I have to say a big thank you to Wendy for inspiring me to try out some new colours (the sandy ones) with her fantastic encaustic art - hers is much better than mine! I've finally managed to produce something that vaguely resembles a real landscape!

Gothic Arches Again

These are my last two (for the time being anyway). The top one has an inked background with printed images, mesh, lace and fabric trim and a Makin's Clay sun painted with acrylic paint.

The bottom one is made using various Paperartsy stamps with a Distress Ink background.

Monday, 12 May 2008

More Gothic Arches

I made these last night. I've really enjoyed doing them, and I think they're in danger of becoming another new addiction! I've decided to experiment a bit and do each one in a different colour and theme. I'm still struggling a bit though as my brain's stuck in ATC mode.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Gothic Arches: A First Attempt

This is my first ever attempt at a gothic arch, and is (possibly) for a hosted swap I've joined. I'm not sure whether I like it or not. I suffered a bit of an "OMG, how do I fill all this space?" moment about halfway through (I think I've got too used to doing ATCs), and I think that consequently it has a bit of an identity crisis! I'm planning on doing a few more anyway, so watch this space.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


This was a four way jam swap I did on the DoCrafts forum. I did the top right, top left was done by Bobs, bottom left by Frankiesue and bottom right by Puppenay. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out (it's nothing like I expected, which is why I love doing jam swaps). Thank you very much indeed to all three of you if you're reading. I really love it!

Love and Time

These are some ATCs I did yesterday. The love one is my final ATC for the quotations swap I've used part of a book page for the background, with acrylic paint around the edges. The heart is cut from mountboard and covered with acrylic paint and UTEE. I've drawn the swirls on with a black fineliner.

The time one has a stamped and distress inked background. The clock is made from air dry clay and painted with acrylic paint, and the wings are printed butterfly wings. I've edged it with a Marvy Metallics gold pen.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008


Well, I didn't manage to get my final quotation ATC done last night, and I only managed to do one. I've used Adirondack inks for the background on this one, and added fusible fibres, lace and a few bits and pieces.

...And here's the reason. Adam will be three towards the end of the month. He's decided that if it's not dark then it's not bedtime, so I spent most of yesterday evening up and down the stairs trying to get him settled and clearing up the mess he made. I finally got some ATC time at around 10pm and then I discovered I'd run out of ATC sized mountboard so spent another half hour cutting mountboard. Grrrr!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008


These are for a swap on the UK Stampers forum on the theme of quotations. On the top one I've done a Mod Podge image transfer of a Gargoyle and the background is bleach stamped with the writing stamped in Stazon over the top.

For the second one, the background is stamped and distress inked, and I've added some pieces of rusty metal I found in the street, together with various watch parts and mechanical bits and pieces. I love this quote by Thomas Edison!
I need to do another one for this swap and am hoping to get around to it tonight.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Think Monday Think ATC - Black and White

This week's challenge on Think Monday - Think ATC is black and white. I usually use a lot of colour in my work, so I find monochrome quite difficult (although I do enjoy doing it). I've decided to do a stamped collage for this one.

Make a Moor or Two: Gold

This week's challenge on Make a Moo or Two is Gold. There must be gold somewhere on the Moo. For this set I've used rubber stamps, old sewing pattern images, gilding flakes and brass tape.

Textures, a Creepy-Crawly and Stamping on Metal

The spider and the web are made from Friendly Plastic. I've created a textured background by using various textured bits and pieces (eggshell, micro beads, mesh and lace) all stuck on using PVA glue. I've painted over everything but the spider with copper acrylic paint and then dry brushed over the top with three other metallic colours.

The second one is my final ATC for my Stamping With A Twist swap. I've stamped the image on the bottom of an aluminium pie tin coloured with alcohol inks and have then embossed it. The background is made in pretty much the same way as above, but I have added some distress powder. I've also put distress powder on the star brads at the corners to make them look rusty. The metal disc at the bottom right is a piece of rusty metal that I found in the street. I'm not sure what it is, but it looks like some kind of lid (or maybe a robot's nipple?)

Sunday, 4 May 2008

More Stamping With A Twist

These are more ATCs I've done for my Stamping With A Twist swap. The first one is stamped into UTEE. I've used clear UTEE over a Radiant Rain spray background and have sprinkled blue and green embossing powder and Mica Flakes into it. I've stamped the image into the UTEE using gold pigment ink. The embossing powder I've used is a couple of shades lighter than the background and has created some nice swirly effects in the UTEE, but this doesn't show up very well in the photo.

The second one is stamped onto leather using brown Stazon ink. I've also inked around the edges of the leather. The background is stamped and distress inked, and I've added a border using a Marvy Metallics gold pen. I've added wings which are moulded from Makins Clay and painted with gold acrylic paint, and some Paperartsy German Scrap stars.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Experimenting with Image Transfers and Crackle Medium

This is an experimental ATC I made on Thursday night. I started off with a music score background (you can just about see it if you really look), used distress inks over the top to age it a bit and then painted a single layer of gesso over that. I then pressed the image down onto the gesso, burnished it with the handle of my scissors and left it until the gesso was dry. I then wet my finger and gently rubbed the paper off the back of the image. There are a few bits where I rubbed a bit too hard (or didn't burnish it quite qwell enough) and the image has come off, but I think this adds to the overall distressed effect. The next step was to stamp the line of music across the bottom with Stazon and then add a bit more distress ink around the edges. Once the ink was dry I painted over the whole lot with crackle medium (I used DecoArt One Step Crackle) and left it to dry. (I hate having to do that). Finally, once the crackle medium was dry, I rubbed over it with a gold metallic rub-on to accentuate the cracks and added the paper flowers. I'm not sure whether it would have looked better if I'd distressed the flowers a bit, but I think I like the contrast.