Monday, 28 July 2008

I Dare You Swap: Carol's Challenge

This is my final "I Dare You" challenge for Carol. Carol challenged me to make her a mini journal in pink, a real challenge for me as pink is definitely not my colour! I decided to do this as a concertina using a single piece of card and decorating both sides. The whole thing is coloured using three colours of distress inks. On the front page, I've inked the main pink card and also a piece of torn cream card. I added gold Cosmic Shimmer spray to the background, added some mesh, printed words and some Makin's Clay letters which I've painted and covered with metallic rub-on and finally some paper flowers.
On the inside pages I've used similar letters made from Makins Clay and various printed images, patterned paper, paper flowers and pieces of fabric and lace.
Carol did say she expected something "grungy", so I hope this is grungy enough!

I Dare You Swap: Katherine's Challenge

This is what I made for Katherine for Nicks' I Dare You swap (details below). Katherine's challenge to me was to create something using hand drawn elements only. I have to admit, I struggled a bit with this one (I think it was the "only" bit that did it!)
I decided on a gothic arch as I wanted to do something bigger than an ATC but without it being TOO big (because I was scared). The lady in the middle is a pencil drawing and I've inked around her to brighten her up a bit. The flowers and vines around the edges are drawn in ink and coloured using Sharpie pens and I drew the individual petals of the large flower at the bottom and then inked them and stuck them together to make the flower. The swirls and the tiny butterfly at the bottom are also drawn in ink and coloured with Sharpie pens.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

I Dare You Swap: My Challenge from Nicks

Nicks organised a swap on the Docrafts forum entitled "I Dare You" with the idea being that in groups of five people everyone challenges each member of the group to make them something that's not something they would normally do or that's out of their comfort zone.

This is what I made for Nicks. Nicks challenged me to make her something using a stamp I'd bought and never used. When I looked through my stamps, these Egyptian ones were the only ones I could find that I hadn't used. I have to confess that I've used the Tutanhkhamun one before once but I haven't used any of the others at all.
As I was using Egyptian stamps I decided to do something a bit different and make a pyramid. The photos show various different angles of it, and as you can see it opens up. The pyramid is made from mountboard. The inside is painted in gold acrylic and stamped. The outside is coloured using distress inks and stamped. I had originally planned on holding it together just by slipping a smaller pyramid over the top, but when I tried it it wouldn't stay shut even when I made it bigger and attached things to give it some weight, so I finally settled for the smaller pyramid you can see in the picture and attached some Velcro to hold it in place.

I also attached the Tutankhamun masks which I stamped on shrink plastic .

Inside the pyramid, I stamped around the edges with an arches stamp and hieroglyphics and pattern stamps, and I attached another Tutankhamun mask which I stamped into clay and painted with gold and metallic blue acrylics and added gems for the eyes. I added a bit of distress inked card behind which I stamped with some of the Egyptian images and finally added some micro beads and tiny gems around the edges of the bottom square.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


I don't make many cards any more, mainly because I find them a bit boring and would rather be experimenting and getting messy, but I wanted some special thank you cards for my son's teachers because they put up with a lot and do a fantastic job, so these are what I came up with. I wanted something quick but nice, so I decided to do some miniature encaustic art pictures and make those the main focal point, keeping the rest of the card simple. I just added some patterned papers, Prima flowers and a few other bits and pieces (and before anybody says anything, yes those are peel-offs. I was short of time. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)
Oh yes, I almost forgot to say, the pictures are rubbish. This is because I finished these very late last night, and I have yet to master the art of taking digital photos in unnatuaral light!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Round Robin Journal: My Page for Femmy

This is my latest page for Astrid's Round Robin Challenge. This one's for Femmy and is on the theme of "Outdoors".

I chose a very natural countryside kind of look for the page as this is what the outdoors means to me. I started by creating a layered stamped and emboss resist background which I coloured using Distress Inks in browns and greens. I wanted to use something natural on the page so I chose some pieces of bark, which I've layered under the main image. I coloured the image with Distress Inks, cut out and added the birds and then finally added a skeleton leaf (also coloured with Distress Inks) and the quote by Keats.

Alice in Wonderland

These are ATCs I've made for an Alice in Wonderland swap which is being hosted by Kathleen on the Docrafts forum. I've wanted these Alice stamps for ages, so the swap was the perfect excuse.

I started with the Tweedledum and Tweedledee one (yes, I know they're Looking Glass characters but I LOVE them, and anyway Kathleen says it's OK). The background is PVA and tissue paper coloured using Radiant Rain sprays. I stamped the image in black Stazon on a separate piece of card and coloured it using watercolours, cut it out and stuck it on then added some mesh, the word Adventures (stamped) and a shiny star brad.

For the White Rabbit I've again used PVA and tissue for the background and also heated it to give a bubbled texture in the middle. I've coloured it with Twinkling H2Os with metallic rubons over the top. I stamped the White Rabbit on a separate piece of card and coloured him with a Sharpie pen, cut him out and stuck him on then added the printed words and some accent beads at the corners.

For the Queen of hearts I started by stamping the hearts on a white background in red and also inking around the edges in red. I added three layers of clear UTEE and stamped the Queen into it, and finally added the words which I did on a Dymo labelmaker.

I love this bit of advice that the March Hare gave to Alice, so I HAD to use it! I did the background using distress inks and gold Cosmic Shimmer spray, stamped the images on a separate piece of card, coloured them with watercolour pencils and cut them out. I stuck them on and wrote the words straight onto the background. I covered it with three layers of clear UTEE with gold embossing powder around the edges. It doesn't show well on the photo but because I stamped the images onto card rather than paper they are slightly raised from the background and this gives a great effect with the UTEE.

Finally, I had to use the Cheshire Cat because he makes me laugh, and I love this conversation between him and Alice. I wanted to try and recreate a bit of the surreal feeling that the book has (for me at least), so I used a background in dreamy colours with a bit of shimmer which I created a while ago using Twinkling H2Os and clingfilm. I stamped the images and wrote straight onto the background for this one, then added a bit of colour to Alice's dress and around the edges using a Sharpie pen. To finish it off I used some gems for the cat's eyes and added some Stickles glitter glue around the edges to frame it.

I was slow getting started with these as I found myself lacking in inspiration even though I had new stamps (!), but once I got started I could have gone on and on with them. I also originally did a Mad Hatter ATC using lots of bright colours but I didn't like it so it ended up in the bin.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Altered Wall Light

The folks at Paperartsy have been running a competition to see what people can do using Paperartsy stamps and lightshades. I decided to enter as I thought it was a fun idea, (although I don't really think I stand much chance of winning.) I spent hours looking for a light shade I could actually stamp on and finally found this wall light for £1.50 in the Ikea sale! It has interchangeable shades so I'll probably have a go at doing some more when I have a bit more time.

I decorated the shade on the back using alcohol inks so that the light would shine through and show up the pattern, then stamped various Paperartsy images on the front and coloured bits of them with Sharpie pens. (The shade is made from a kind of plasticy stuff, so I was a bit limited in what I could do). I also drew rough lines around the edges with a Sharpie pen. Finally I added eyelets, wire, beads and some shrink plastic Paperartsy stamped people at the bottom for the light to shine through.

Unfortunately my photography skills (or complete lack of them) have really let me down with this one and the light looks much better in real life. I have come to the conclusion that taking a photo of a light is virtually impossible. Above you can see one photo with the flash and one without and also a close up of the detail at the bottom. These were the best ones I could get despite taking hundreds of photos with various different camera settings and different lighting!
I've been busy over the weekend working on various other projects but can't post piccies at the moment, firstly because I want some of the bits and pieces to reach their destinations first and secondly because Matt's pinched the camera and taken it to work with him!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Oh No! I Look Like a Man!

I normally work Thursdays but have been off today on strike (I won't bore you with the details). The boys were with the childminder since I'm normally in work, so as I had some rare time all to myself I decided to make the most of it.

The first thing I did was went and got all my hair cut off (I don't recognise myself). Now, I love my children, I really do, but their verdicts when I picked them up tonight were not exactly flattering. Alex is nearly 6. His comments were "You look like a man", and "I hope your hair grows back really quickly". (It's still almost down to my shoulders). Adam (3) has just been giving me funny looks every time I look at him. Matt's not seen it yet, but he'll probably hate it too because he liked it long. At least I like it, and that's the important thing.

The second thing I did was get down to doing to some arty stuff. Firstly I finished the "thing" I've been making for Nicks for her "I Dare You" swap. I'm not putting a piccy of that on here until she's seen it though, and I can't post it yet as I need to wait for it to dry. Two down, two to go. Whew!

Finally I made the ATCs shown here. They're for a swap hosted by Crafty Vonx on the Docrafts forum on the theme "A Touch of Texture" There have to be at least three different textures on each ATC. The top one was done by sticking various textured items onto a mountboard base using PVA glue. The face is moulded using Makin's Clay and then I've pressed some sequin mesh into it. I painted the whole lot black and then dry brushed it in bronze. The crown and hearts are made from metal which I placed on a foam mat and stabbed repeatedly with a needle to texturise it. (I discovered this is a brilliant way to relieve stress!)

For the second ATC I started with an inked mountboard base and stuck sequin waste and fabric mesh onto it. Next I inked up and burnt a baby wipe and tore a piece off it and stuck it on. The square tile is wood which I inked and then covered with three layers of UTEE and stamped the owl into it. I was hoping some of the wood grain would show through but unfortunately I chose a stamp that was too detailed. Also the wood has had an effect that I hadn't expected, and when I left the UTEE to dry it curled up a bit. I thought about taking it off and using a mountboard tile instead, but decided I quite like the effect. Finally I added the button and fibres at the bottom to finish it off.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Round Robin Journal: My Page for Astrid

Astrid has arranged a round robin journal, full details of which can be found here.
This is my page for Astrid on the theme "Children of a Bygone Age". The background is gessoed, inked with Distress Inks and stamped and I've layered the music and the children image over the top. The children are an image transfer done using Mod Podge. I've added a piece of vintage lace at the bottom which I've also coloured using Distress Inks, a Grungeboard flourish and some layered Prima Flowers. The butterflies are stamped, cut out and stuck on, and the song words are handwritten.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Metal Madness

These are for a swap hosted by Sam on the UK Stampers forum on the theme of metal/metallic. For the top one, I cut the heart out of the bottom of a disposable aluminium tray, alcohol inked it and stamped it and then alcohol inked some aluminium duct tape in the same colours. I painted the background in silver acrylic and stamped it, then stuck the ADT around the edges adn attached the heat usign silver brads.
For the middle one, I cut the ATC from the same aluminium tray, alcohol inked it, stamped the image in the middle and then embossed freehand around the edges of the image using a fine embossing tool.
For the last one, I created the background using tissue paper and copper acrylic paint which I heated with my heat gun until it bubbled. Then I stamoped it and rubbed over it with baclk Stazon ink to distress it and added some creased up copper mesh at the bottom I than alcohol inked a piece of aluminium from the bottom of a pie tin (I didn't have any copper so it was the next best thing), stamped the image onto it, added some distress embossing powder around the edges and attached it with brads.


These are ATCs which I've painted for Paula's hand painted swap that she's hosting on the Docrafts forum. The top one's done in acrylics and the other two are watercolours. Painting is something that's quite new to me (apart from what I did at school), so they're a bit simplistic. More practice is needed, I think!

I am in awe of Paula's drawing and painting skills, so if you want to see some really good stuff, check out her blog from the link above.

An Assortment of Angels

I've been busy this weekend catching up with my ATC swaps as I have some deadlines looming. These are for Frankiesue's angels swap on the Docrafts forum. On the top one, I started with an inked background and then drew the swirls on it using Stickles glitter glue. Then I added three layers of UTEE and stamped into it. The second one is again stamped into UTEE, but this time I've inked the background and then stuck sequin waste onto it with PVA glue and added UTEE over the top so the sequin waste is embedded in the UTEE. I've also dropped some glitter into the UTEE.
For the third one I've painted the background with gesso to and then inked and stamped over it so that it looks faded. The angel has a head moulded from Makin's Clay, a leather body, Grungeboard wings, hand drawn arms and legs, gems for her eyes and a copper wire halo.

The last one is a gesso image transfer of a stone angel onto a stamped background. I then inked it, added the flourishes in gold embossing powder, the word Angel and the paper flower.

Friday, 11 July 2008


It's Nicks' birthday today. (Check out her blog as she's way more talented than I am). Anyway, that means I can now post piccies of the bits and pieces I made for her birthday. The top one I have called an ATC, but I use the term loosely as it's about half an inch thick. I've called it "Captured Angel" and the photos show it closed, with just the door open and completely open. I won't go into how I made it, but needless to say it took HOURS (so I hope you like it Nicks!)

I also made an altered mint tin. (Strange as it may seem, I've never done one of these before). I started by sanding all the paint off - err, I think I'll just paint over it next time - and then coloured the bare metal using alcohol inks. I've added a sun moulded from Friendly Plastic and some accent beads. I wanted to keep the inside simple so it could be used, so I've painted the bottom and added some mesh coloured with a Sharpie pen and some seed beads, which I've embedded in a layer of UTEE. I originally painted the inside of the top as well, but then it wouldn't shut so I had to scrap that idea. I settled on colouring it with alcohol ink and Sharpie pens.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Think Monday Think ATC: Colourful

This week's theme on Think Monday Think ATC is colourful, so here's my bright and funky ATC. I've been dying to try something along these lines for ages, so it was just the inspiration I needed.The background is inked with painted flowers which I've outlined with a black pen. The face and hands are printed images and all the other bits are drawn and cut out. The writing is done by hand.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Red, White and Blue

Unfortunately I haven't got a lot done this week as I've been really busy with other things and have also been really tired with the humid weather. I also can't post some of what I have made because it would spoil the surprise!

These are two ATCs I've made for Cazro's colour swap which is red, white and blue for this month. I'm going to do another but it will have to wait a few days. For the Carnival Mask I started with an acrylic paint background (inspired by Katherine's swirly background that she did on my house). I dripped the paints onto a piece of mountboard and swirled them around with the end of a paintbrush, then I heated them with my heat gun to create some texture. The mask is made from air dry clay and painted in the same colours, with tiny gems for the eyes and fibres for the hair. I painted the word "carnival " onto white card, stuck it on and stuck flower gems at the corners to look like they were holding it on.

For the second one, I started with part of a book page stuck onto card, coloured it using distress inks and then stamped some text on a piece of textured card and also gave that a bit of colour using a distrss ink. Next I added a bit of mesh and lace to the background for a bit of texture and stamped the woman onto a piece of white card, cut her out and stuck her on. Finally I added the other bits and pieces to make it a bit more interesting.

This is not a colour scheme I would normally use so I found these quite difficult!


Well, thank you very much to Astrid, Shaz and Paula who have all nominated me for this award. I am honoured!

The rules for receiving this award are:
1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you've nominated.
This is easier said than done, as a lot of the people I'd like to nominate have this award already. Anyway, I have chosen to nominate Katherine, Dee, Gwen, Joey, Cindy, Margaret and Helen.