Monday, 27 December 2010

Christmas Presents

I made this hanging for my great friend Marion for Christmas to hang in her sewing room.  (We always make something for each other every year and she knitted me a beautiful scarf wrap which is gorgeous). The hanging is very Wendy Vechi!  I now seem to be going from tags to hangings and I can't wait to make some more!

I also made Marion this CD holder to store a hard copies of her holiday pictures.  It is based on the idea in last month's Craft Stamper.

I also made my two Aunts a needlecase (again based on a project in a recent Craft Stamper).  The photographs are not particularly great, but I enjoyed stamping on the canvas inside and was VERY pleased with the fabric flower (muslin and calico - all cut with the Tattered Florals Die).  I think I will be making some more of these.

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge 25 Scribble Stain Distress

This is my first entry in Linda Ledbetter's challenge using techniques from Tim Holtz's Compendium of Curiosities.

This is a technique I have not done before, but I really love the effect.  I'm not sure that mine has turned out quite how it was supposed to!   

I swiped a  piece of card through the inks and decided to cut it into two ATCs.  Each piece was VERY different.  I used Faded Jeans, Wild Honey and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks.

I loved the effect so much I didn't want to stamp over it!

The final ATC was the last of the "swooshings".  I basically used up all the ink left on the craft mat.  Still a lovely effect though.

If you want to see what everyone else has done with this effect click on this link here to Linda's challenge:

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge 25

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas Hanging

I needed a Christmas hanging rather than a card for some friends overwintering on their boat here in Shetland, so what better than to base one on my favourite Mr T Tag!

I cut the label from a piece of linen backed plastic which had been used as some packaging in a parcel recently received.  It didn't take the distress inks too well, but has a sort of "ethereal" feel.

PS:  They loved it!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Vintage ATCs

As we are snowed in I've had a lovely day making ATCs.  I had great fun doing these especially looking for suitable pictures.

I made the backgrounds with glimmer mists and overstamped with text stamps.  I also made the tickets from a Crafty Individuals stamp - stamped with sepia ink and then I used Scattered Straw and Vintage Photo to colour them in.  Thanks to Anne who left her stamps (by mistake!) after a course for the lovely comment.

Again I made the backgrounds, the one on the left with glimmer mists and the one on the right with distress inks.   Tickets again from a Crafty Individuals stamp and of course those lovely ladies from Crafty Individuals mini books.

As the Vintage Hues challenge is still on over at Ginger Snap Creations I thought I would enter the first two ATCs as they are my favourites.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

ATC Book

Catherine Scanlon-Matthews is running an ATC course over on the Creative Classroom and I couldn't not sign up!  So over the next four weeks we are making a number of ATCs using different techniques and doing a swap, which will be great.

However, the first lesson was to make a book to keep the ATCs in.  So this is mine:

Not a very good photograph as I had to take it under the halogen standard lamp in the study as it was so dark today (very cloudy and of course only a few days off the shortest day). 

I used Crafty Individuals A4 ATC sheets cut into strips of three pockets.  I then covered the ends with card and repunched them in the BIA.  I made the book as Catherine had made hers by covering card with muslin and then attaching paper before sewing it all together.  It really makes for a lovely book.  I made a heavy card pocket on the back page and then when I bound my ATC sheets together in the BIA I placed a heavy piece of PVA on the back and this sits in the pocket.   The ATC on the front cover is in a plastic cover.  Hopefully I'll make a more appropriate ATC during the course. 

The sewing leaves a bit to be desired!  I used Terry's sewing machine (yes ... he has one too! - for sail bags etc.) as the board was quite thick but his machine doesn't have the adjustments to the stitch as mine has.  Also not thinking ahead, the book is actually too long to fit in the machine, so it had to be sown in parts.  And the spine had to be hand sewn.  But all very effective!

Vintage Hues Christmas Card

This is just one of the (not so many) Christmas cards I've made this year.  I really wanted to find a way of using the Crafty Individuals Vintage Santas as I really love them.  I also love this Christmas paper from Crate Paper too.  So a little bit of stamping and embossing just sets them both off.

I am adding this card to the GC80 Colour Challenge over at Gingersnap, as this week it is "Vintage Hues".

You can have a look at all the others here:

Monday, 13 December 2010

Tims Tags - Day 12

The final tag!  There was just too much happening yesterday to get it finished and it took a while to get my bauble right.  But I really loved the look of this tag and wanted to try and recreate it as best as I could, even though I didn't have the bauble or word die.

So the bauble ......  well I knew I would have to handcut it, so I made a template from some cut ovals and then cut it out in grungepaper.  No. 1 that is ....  then inked it with Fired Brick and with no Distress Crackles thought that a good couple of coats of UTEE would work. Sadly the grungepaper just wasn't thick enough to take it and it looked awful.  So .... I cut out template no. 2 ......  inked with Fired Brick and tried clear embossing powder this time.  Still awful!  So ... cut out template no. 3 tried white embossing powder.  It just looked like a bit of plastic!  So ... I tried some red pepper and cranberry alcohol inks directly on the white embossing and it took it well.  The grungepaper is still not thick enough to take all the embossing so it won't lie flat (note to self, must get some grungeboard!) but at least it is the right colour. And by that time I'd lost the will to make another one!

I managed to rummage in the depths of my stash for a white prima poinsietta and I just had to add a bit of ribbon and lace!

I have really enjoyed making these 12 tags and sharing them with ArtyJen's Splinter Group:

I've made alot of new friends in the process, discovered new techniques, been inspired by so many different interpretations and generally had a great time.   I have bought three mini easels to display my tags on the mantlepiece over Christmas, so each day when I put another one on display I will think of you all and send Christmas wishes.

Thanks also to everyone who has left lovely comments on my blog, I have really appreciated it and it has given me a tremendous boost.

Jennie x

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Tims Tags Day 11

Well ..... I'm way off the original today!  I had no materials to make a stamp and first attempts at drawing a tree went into the bin, so I decided to just go with what I felt on this one.  The only technique I ended up doing was the resist embossing (one of my favourite techniques).

The background:  (completely forgot about the paper!) stars embossed with clear powder and then inked over with Broken China, Chipped Sapphire and Walnut Stain.  Then spritzed with pearl Perfect Pearls and dried with a heat gun (again one of my fav techniques). 

The rosette:  cut from vellum using TH's die and edged with a silver pen.

I liked the blue background so thought I would keep everything blue, white and silver (the same colours of my outfit as Fairy Godmother in the panto!).

I am sharing my tags over on ArtyJen's blog here:

So many wonderful tags have been posted here, do have a look and join in if you are following Tim's Twelve Tags of Christmas.

I hope you are all having a great weekend - it is bitterly cold here and apparently more snow on the way in the next couple of days ............

Friday, 10 December 2010

Tims Tags Day 10

This was a lovely tag to do and such a great idea to emboss recycled packaging!  Yet again I did't have the snowman die, but this one was reasonably easy to draw after the santa and sleigh.  He probably could have been a bit bigger though.  I didn't have a snowflake folder, so used the cuttlebug swirls - heavy snowstorm!  My inking didn't work on the acrylic paint, so I had to make a tag to cover it up. Not an easy one to photograph though - it looks better in real life (makes a change!).

I finished this really quickly - thankfully! as I've got tons to do today.  A very rapid thaw through the night, so I'm not snowed in any longer, so have got to get into the town to do some shopping.

I wonder what Mr T is saving up for the last couple of days?

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Tims Tags Day 9

Well I thought this one "might" be quite quick (lol!), but no ........ 

I was a happy bunny today in that I had the rosette die, but I've no music stamp or music paper, so mine is based around "text".  Letters were cut on the cricut, the smallest I could go. I particularly like the technique of distressing the paper first and then covering with glossy accents.  The letters really look quite different.  I didn't have any tinsel for the rosette so switched the positioning of the tulle, but then I didn't have anything for the bottom r/h corner!  So I inked up a grungepaper rose I made a while ago.  

I really like this one, but I do feel my tag looks a bit "empty".  I love the colours and will certainly put wild honey and brushed corduroy together again.

Only three more tags to go ............

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Tims Tags Day 8

Well I think my effort today is worthy of a Blue Peter Badge!  A bit of a quandry today as I didn't have the right kind of masks for a Christmassy theme, so I've not had a go at the double masking technique which looks very interesting.  But I thought I would keep the tag in Tim's style.

The only thing I had was the flourish stamp.  So my santa and reindeer were hand drawn on card and the houses also handrawn (although I quite enjoyed doing these!) on grungepaper.  I've just used up all my clock faces on another project, so the clock was stamped and embossed in black on grungepaper, inked and smudged with white paint. I also layered acrylic paint on some cuttlebug cut corners.

Not exactly my favourite tag ......................

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Tims Tags Day 7

Well I think Tim's tag today was the best ever - I can't say mine is!  There were a number of techniques to this one some of which took me ages.   Again it is probably easier to list the things I did have, rather than those I didn't - tattered florals and flourish dies!  Oh and pretty well the last of the Rock Candy Stickles.

Tag Background:  I used a cuttlebug grasses folder again and covered up the bird with the flower.  Some of my practice pieces came out better - inking is a bit hit and miss.  I also feel it is a bit yellow, despite using the same inks as TH.  Also the inks all smudged on the unembosssed bits when I put the Rock Candy Stickles so it looks kind of  "dirty" rather than inked.

The Flower:  Well for a girl who loves making flowers, I was really looking forward to this.  Gosh it was fiddly.  Not having any sticky backed canvas I stuck some calico with Claudine Hellmuth medium to some grungepaper and then cut it in the die.  So far so good.  Then I had to try and experiment to get it to colour - distress inks didn't work well (wet or dry) so I had to resort to Cranberry Zing Glimmer Mist.  It was extremely fiddly to put together and because I had used CH medium was very stiff so I couldn't get much shape into it.  Same with the leaves.  

I didn't have anything to hang with the ribbon, so I made another fragment with alcohol inks and a small poinsietta stamp (I really love this technique).

So alot of work!  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's tags .......

(I think the tag looks better in the photograph than in real life - !)

Monday, 6 December 2010

Tims Tags Day 6

Well my heart missed a beat when I saw today's tag as I thought I had pretty well all of the items needed, but ........ no I didn't!  I had the stamp of the trees but not the embossing folder, so I couldn't try out that technique, which was a shame. 

I used the deer stamp to make a template and cut one out of grungepaper which I then embossed in a circles folder.  I used the Aqua acrylic paint and DIs and it really is quite effective.  My antlers were cut from the elegant flourishes die.  Sadly my tumbled glass DI doesn't seem to come out very blue, but I quite like the background colours.  I stamped the flourish stamp "off" before stamping it onto the tag.  The trees are inked with peeled paint, pine needles and walnut stain and then embossed with clear powder.  Snow is "splodged" on with a paintbrush again!

I actually really love the colours on this tag, the aqua really makes it very different despite it being alongside the more traditional green and reds.

Not a great photo - a heavy snow blizzard passing by at the moment, so it is quite dark.  Even the house feels cold today at -3.  Brrrr ............

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Tim's Tags Day 5

I decided after yesterday's "pink rebellion" to try and stick a bit closer to the original, but hey ho the only thing I had which matched Tims Tag No. 5 was the music paper!  The biggest blow was not having a santa stamp as I would really have liked to try out the paint on the beard.

So ..... this is my interpretation.  I thought the acrylic paint edging would show up a bit better than it did, but I don't have a white dabber so used ordinary acrylic paint splodged on with a brush, so perhaps it was not thick enough.  The holly was carefully stamped from a large Anna Griffen stamp and then embossed with Green Fern Embossing Powder (again no stickles!).  My letters were made from ordinary card die cuts embossed with about three layers of white embossing powder and aged (poorly!) with black staz on ink.  I don't have the small label dies (they are on my wish list), so I cut the ornamental die into two smaller pieces.  This is actually quite effective, so I will use this again.  And yet another handmade flower using the Tattered Florals die.

The bells!  I couldn't think what I was going to use for the bells, when I had a sudden flashback - I remembered making pj case clowns back in the mid 80s (!!!!) and found two bells at the bottom of my materials trunk (now I've got to try and put all the material back in!).

I can't say this is my favourite, but again it has been very enjoyable trying to think about how to interpret the original.  Looking forward to seeing how everyone else interprets this one.

A good job we have a night off tonight from the panto run otherwise the Fairy Godmother would be going on with very red/green inky fingers .................

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Tims Tags Day 4

A bit pink!!!  Nothing like Tim's Day 4 blue tag.  But I've been making Christmas cards from some really lovely vintage Christmas paper by Marianne Designs and so I thought I would use it for my tag.  I inked it with Aged Mahogany and a bit of Walnut Stain.

I really loved the technique for the fragment - although I found "dabbing" the ink off didn't work and against instructions gave it a good rub and polish!  But it seems to have worked ok.  I'm not really a "bling" person, so I finished off with a few pearls, a CI mini pic (again on grungepaper) and another handmade flower using the tattered florals dies.  My pearl decorations at the top of the tag were made from a pearls and bits of necklaces given to me by my sister in law. 

I would just like to say a big THANKYOU to all of you who have looked at my blog and left comments over the last few days since I joined ArtyJen's challenge.  I really have appreciated every one and thankyou for making me feel so welcome.  I am really enjoying looking at everyone's interpretations - so many ideas and such alot of inspiration.

For those who haven't come via ArtyJen's blog, do click on this link below and take a look at the incredible array of tags posted so far.  Each and everyone is fantastic.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Tims Tags Day 3

Even more improvisation!  I made my own collage on grungepaper from old music paper and used a Paper Artsy stamp to make a template for my bird.  I was pleased the alcohol inks worked well on the music paper, but of course I had used Claudine Hellmuth mixed media to stick the paper, so that gave a good coating for the ink.

I've not stuck a Crafty Individuals mini pic on grungepaper before, but as a result it was able to take quite a bit of sanding at the edges and lightly across the page to take the shine off the paper.  The flower is one I've made from handmade paper and the Tattered Florals die.  No snow stamp, but I just "splodged" white acrylic paint on with a very stiff brush - surprisingly effective!

And .... the good old Hero Arts Ivy stamp came into its own again!

I really enjoyed doing this tag - in between helping to paint the kitchen ceiling!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Tims Tags Day 2

Day 2 - much more in my comfort zone! Alot of blended inking and
stamping. I made the duo  coloured stamp pad for the ivy as per TH's instructions - and I'm pretty impressed with it as a technique

Now looking forward to Day 3.

Tims Tags Day 1

Another year and I am trying to keep up with Tim Holtz and his twelve tags of Christmas - last year I only managed six! 

Day 1 - what a challenge this was as I didn't have any of the cutting dies he used.  So I've used a Crafty Individuals plain white cut out house and fence which I embossed (using an embossing folder of grass - side on!) then inked and embossed.  My tree is from paper string covered in white paint.  Oh and I didn't have a ready made Christmas wreath, so I stamped some holly leaves on grungepaper and made a sort of wreath.  It took me all day to do this one!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

More Scrapbook Layouts!

These were the final layouts from the Beginner's Scrapbook class.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the course and asked for another!

More Punching!

I have now completed the last week of the "Get Creative with Punches" course.  It has been quite interesting as I don't really own that many punches! 

This was a cross between a scrapbook layout and collage piece.  The muslin adds a lovely layer and "mutes" the background paper.  I just love this photo of myself and nana crawley - and the bit of rhubarb!  I've framed this and have it hanging in Mum's room.

The following week was a scrapbook layout utilising a circle punch. My punch was quite small, so I scaled down the page and then mounted it on a 12 x 12 piece of cardstock.

And finally another card and a couple of ATCs.  I really love the lace edging on the cream card (I had certainly not thought about using my punch both sides!) and it was good to use a pre-made flower. 

Cutting out figures and layering them onto book paper is very effective and I shall certainly be doing this again

This has been such a good course.  I have learnt alot and it has been great getting the sewing machine out.

A Life At Sea

Well this is the fourth and final canvas.  The background was to be melted beeswax but unfortunately my wax crayons and beeswax didn't result in the right colour blue and even after melting it all off and trying again with natural beeswax I didn't feel the colour was right if the four canvases were to be hung as a set.  So I resorted to tissue paper and paint as in the first canvas.

I love this photograph of my mother in law Molly with her brothers and mother and father.  A Life at Sea?  Both Terry's grandfather and his uncle (the little lad in the sailor suit) had a career at sea as First Class Stewards on passenger liners and Terry's Mum volunteered for the Royal Navy at the start of WWII.

I have really enjoyed this course and the four canvases work well together:

Monday, 25 October 2010

Generations Canvas

The third canvas in my online course with Catherine.  I used photographs from six generations of Terry's family from Mary Horwood who with her husband Martin came over from Ireland in about 1860 with nothing (hence the use of our favourite Yeats poem - I being poor have only my dreams) through to our eldest son Adrian who is soon to become a father himself.  I love the photograph of Adrian's great grandmother in her wedding finery which seems to indicate that it didn't take long for the family to make its mark!

For all this looks a simple canvas there was a lot in it which took ages!  I used Ranger Antique Linen Crackle Distress for the background, but I felt it was too dark so painted over it with a weak white acrylic paint mix.  Rubbing the Tea-Dye into it afterwards resulted in quite a nice "vintage" look.  The wire "frames" were fiddly but I think very effective and are all sewn on. 

Again I learnt alot of different techniques and have to thank Catherine for introducing them so well. 

Pretty Pink Cards

A couple of cards I've made following Catherine's online "Punches" course - although mine are a mixture of punches and die cuts.  It is a LONG time since I made a card which didn't have any inking in it!  I really enjoyed these and a chance to use up some Anna Griffin papers too. I love the "flying" butterflies - I think these will be a favourite.

I also made this card for a friend who has just had a baby girl.  I quite like the colours but no idea how I got them!  I think I had a bit of yellow on the pink blending foam which resulted in this lovely peach!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Inspired by the Sea Canvas

This is the second canvas in Catherine's course - Inspired by the Ocean.  Although mine is more inspired by our time sailing at sea.  The base of the canvas is covered in an old maritime chart of Shetland, which you can't really see as it is covered with a number of layers of paint.  There were so many layers on this canvas - the chart, then paint, then more paint, letters, stamped tissue, more paint.  All before the final layers of collage were added.  I also used some astronomical tables and I hope the large cog looks like a ship's wheel.  I like the way the wire splits the canvas into spaces - although it took me a bit to get it in the right place!

I really enjoyed this canvas and was pleased to keep my theme of "time" running through it.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Button Family Canvas

I'm also doing another course with the Creative Classroom - Wire Paint and Paper with Catherine Scanlon.  This is the first canvas of a set of four.

The canvas was first covered with stamped tissue paper (I stamped my own tissue tex with Brown Staz On Ink and a Crafty Individuals clock stamp).  Then I overlaid white and cream paint to create texture and cover up the hardness of the stamped images on the tissue paper.  Other layers of paper and paint were then added before placing the buttons.  Never have so many buttons been repositioned!  They were all then sewn on with brass wire. 

We were encouraged to develop a theme with this first canvas which will then follow through the set, in addition to adding some symbolism.  My theme is the "Passage of Time" and each canvas will depict a different generation of the Atkinson family.  The clock in the right hand bottom corner will point to the next generation when the set is hung.  Symbolism?  There are two female buttons (a pink one and a flowery one) for my mother in law and the tape represents the fact that the photo was taken in 1955/1956.

I wasn't too sure about it at first, but now I've stopped working on it I am getting to quite like it.  I'm looking forward to the next canvas which we start tomorrow.

Donna Week 5

Some different techniques this week which have been fun!

 Journal Pocket:  It wasn't too easy creating this curved pocket - it took a lot of persuasion!  I used my new Smooch Spritz sprays for this - gingersnap and electric blue.  Makes a change from my usual pinks.  The depth of colour with these sprays is great and they really do shimmer.  They also result in greater coverage of the dictionary paper so my flower has got some good colours in it for a change.

We used glossy accents in the middle and on the edges of the flower to create the look of early morning dew.  Mine slipped off a bit!

Perfect Pearls: ..... and me do not get on!  This is probably the best I've ever done with them.  The butterflies were first stamped with versamark and then had perfect pearls lightly brushed over them and then spritzed with Vanilla Mist smooch.  Then ....... and this was very clever.  The stamp was reinked with Versamark and stamped over the image again (difficult to get it bang on) and then clear embossing powder sprinkled over the stamped image and heat set.  It actually looks very impressive in real life.

Batik Embossing:  Again another technique I've not done before.  The flourish was stamped with Distress Ink (I used Chipped Sapphire) and then embossed with clear embossing powder. I then inked around the area with other distress inks and blended and spritzed them well.  The embossed flourish acts as a resist.  Then it was a case of  "ironing off" the embossing ink using paper and an iron.  I did get my paper stuck to the embossing powder in a couple of places, but I'm quite pleased with the effect.  The page was decorated with more rolled roses.

Nearly at the end of this course now.  Just one more week.  It has really been great and I've learnt alot of new techniques.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Rolled Roses

A number of you have asked how I make the small rolled roses I used in one of my pages on the Artsy Fartsy course.  I made a couple over the weekend and took these photographs (one handed!) explaining the process.  Hope it helps. 

DO have a go at making them as they really are very easy.

Cut a piece of light cardstock or dictionary/book paper approx 8" long (depends on the size of the book) and 1" wide.  Spritz with water.

Twist the paper at the left hand edge, holding the right hand edge still.  Just a gentle roll is all that is needed.

Fold down the right hand corner (a sort of triangle) and start rolling the twisted paper, using the folds to create the edges of the rose.

Keep rolling until you get to the end.  Put a little bit of glue onto the "tab" left at the end and fold onto the bottom of the rose.

Here's a finished one made with book paper.  I find it easier to make them with this type of paper as they are more pliable. 

I have also made them with grungepaper and they look pretty spectacular, but because the grungepaper is thicker the folding tends to spring back out sometimes, so a bit of perserverence is needed!  I found it easier to spray the grungepaper ones with ink after they have been folded.