Saturday, 31 December 2011

Bits and Pieces

After a pretty eventful Christmas we are hoping here in Shetland for a quiet Hogmany and New Year's Day.  Wind speeds on Christmas Day were recorded at 101 mph and 5,500 homes in Shetland were without power on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (including us!).  Bear in mind only 22,000 people live here!  Two houses lost their roof and there was significant damage across the islands.  We were lucky but my large net tunnel in the veg field didn't survive and I've lost lots of garden pots and their plants.  

This week I have had a mega clear out of the craft room and decided to make a bits and pieces book along the lines of the "stuff" book in this month's Scrap 365 magazine.  I am hopeless at keeping a regular journal or diary, so this will be for all my scraps - mis-inked pieces, unused photographs, little notes.  I hope it will be fun.  It felt great going through my paperstock and using some of the smaller pieces for the book. I think it could get quite addictive!

I have spent some time this morning visiting blogs and everyone seems to be having a review of their year.  So I had a look through my blog and thought I would post just three pictures of those projects which I felt gave me a real sense of achievement.   

Wishing you all a healthy and creative 2012. xx

Colourwash and Grungepaper Hanging

Coffee Filter Scrapbook

Scrapbook Layout of My Mum - my favourite piece of the year.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A Very Special ATC Swap

Way back in October my friend Penny (Penny for your Thoughts) invited her friends from around the world to take part in an ATC swap.  This was not just any ATC swap - instead of a normal swap, Penny would make each of us who took part a small book with our swapped ATCs inside.  I got to know Penny on an online mixed media course and her work is just so gorgeous, so it was a delight to take part.  My book was the very last to arrive at its home - having to get from Maine to Shetland and as it coincided with some very bad weather here which affected our mail.  I didn't want to post pictures in the middle of the 12 Tags as I thought it would get lost and I so want to share with you what is one of the most gorgeous things I have ever received.

We each made five ATCs - here are mine
And this is my book - it arrived all wrapped up in abeautiful 

Penny's own ATC and beautiful inside page

ATCs from Paula and Lynne
ATC from Cheri and my own

All I can say is a HUGE thank you to Penny for making all these wonderful books, to those of you who took part and especially Paula, Lynne and Cheri.  My little book will be most treasured.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Journey of Discovery

Having just got back from three wonderful days with my soon to be one grandson, I thought I would post this layout I did a couple of weeks ago.  He is just at the stage of discovering everything around the house and seems quite taken with the washing machine!  I just loved these photographs taken by my daughter in law, so just had to use them. 

I used a sketch from the new UK scrapbook magazine Scrap 365 as I am really new to layouts for little ones and I loved the bunting and thought it would make a good title. 

And his first Christmas card - I am not sure that he will appreciate it yet, but I had alot of fun!

I hope everyone is not too busy this week leading up to Christmas and you all get some time for crafting.

Monday, 12 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 12

Day 12!!! and the last tag! and what a cracker!  Go HERE to see Tim's final amazing tag and some great ideas with a very new product - tissue paper on a roll!  

I have struggled to keep up today due to other commitments ...... but I do just love this tag (I had to end on pure vintage!). 

I did make the tissue flower, but my tissue is not soft and I had no idea what size Tim was working to, never having seen the tissue paper roll before.  I have three tissue flowers, all of differing sizes, but none of which looked good on the tag.  So I substituted one of my own handmade paper flowers.  I did cut the metal letters and shadow mounted them on card (difficult and fiddly) and my whole tag glistens with Rock Candy Distress Stickles.  No bling, but I ended with some glass stick pins and my favourite embellishment - pearls.

This really has been a fantastic 12 day journey.  I have loved all the new techniques, thinking of how to interpret each tag without most of the supplies, loved visiting lots of blogs from all over the world, but most of all blown away by all the people who have visited my blog and left comments.  A big thank you to everyone.

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and everything you wish for in 2012.  


Sunday, 11 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 11

Another great technique today - shrink plastic and UTEE.  To go to Tim's blog click HERE to see his tag which has a really fun Santa on it and for the video on making these wonderful shrink ornaments.

It was a race against time today to get my tag finished before the dark closed in.  I lost ..... and I had to take these photographs with the daylight lamp on and they really don't look good at all with the light reflecting off the glossy card.  

Unfortunately I didn't have enough UTEE to do the shrink plastic in the Melting Pot, but I did shrink my leaves and use alcohol inks and coated the back with acrylic paint.  I got the shrink plastic out last weekend for a class, and this is the second time this week I've used it.  It runs through the cuttlebug really well.

Another great tag and only one more day to go ................. what are we going to do with ourselves.  I'm posting this again on the Inspiration Emporium blog.  Do have a look as there are some lovely tags!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and see you tomorrow for the last tag.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 10

Day 10!  I love all the techniques and embellishments on today's tag, but I just thought the colours were terribly drab for Christmas. Click the link HERE to go to Tim's blog for details of today's tag. And HERE to see the lovely entries on the Inspiration Emporium blog and your chance to join in and win a prize.

So ..... I decided to lighten my tag up a bit and thought another blueish tag would go nicely with my set so far.  So I used Blue China and Chipped Sapphire on the tag, over white resist snowflakes and and Antique Linen music (although you really can't see it!) and then I spritzed with the Heirloom Gold.  

I did the transfer technique and for the first time ever it worked ..... BUT!!! I couldn't get it to stick to my fragments.  I've got six squidgy bits sitting on the desk with the most beautiful pictures of angels (Crafty Individuals little pics). There must be something about the plastic tape I am using.  So my hanging fragments are just more CI lovely angels but stuck to the back of the fragment.  

A handmade flower, some puffy paint edged tattered leaves and some stick pins seemed to fit with the sentiment.  

Another great morning crafting - I did however get all the Christmas parcels and mail to the Post Office (phew!), but when this is all over I've got alot of housework to catch up on!  Now off to make a Christmas card for my grandson's first Christmas.

Have a good weekend everyone and see you tomorrow!

Friday, 9 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 9

These 12 days are passing fast, only three more to go!  I really loved today's technique of double embossing, it really makes for a fantastically distressed looking background.  Having said that ....... I had a lovely red background (Fired Brick), but by the time it was embossed it looked a bit orange.  Time to buy some of the seasonal DI inks I think!  I just love the colours that Tim is getting on his tags.   Click HERE to see Tim's tag and the details of how to do this technique.

I didn't have a candle die and looked at some of my other dies but couldn't think of a way of making them fit.  I really liked the look of the candle, so I drew my own as all the fussy bits are covered by the wreath.  I did cover my first candle with glossy accents but didn't like the look of it, so I made a second and just gave it a "drippy waxy" look at the top of the candle with the glossy accents.  

Another great tag and I can't wait for tomorrow!  Thanks to everyone who visited yesterday.  I managed to find some time yesterday evening to visit blogs, but with storm force winds the power was coming and going a bit, so the broadband link wasn't great.  Still windy today but now with snow ..... thankfully I am tucked up nice and warm.

See you all tomorrow.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 8

This is so NOT me - but I love it and really enjoyed the challenge.  This is what taking part in the 12 Tags is all about - stretching yourself inventively and trying different styles.  I was amazed that I did have quite a few of the right things as well.  It is a very dark day here today, gale force winds and driving rain/sleet/snow.  Pretty horrible!  so the photographs are not as great as they might be.  (I have to get finished before midday, or I can't get a good photo being so far north!).

For my background I used Distress Inks:  Fired Brick, Peeled Paint, Bundled Sage and Forest Moss with a little bit of Broken China.  I also did a white emboss resist as I had no White Paint Dabber.  I also only had Copper Paint Dabber for the cogs and clock and it is a bit bright, the gold looks good, so that is now on my list of "must haves".  I did position things a little differently as I felt you couldn't really see everything.  I was also very pleased to give this chap an airing - one of my favourite Crafty Individual stamps, but I often can't think of a way of using him.

I hope you have as much fun today as I have!  To see Tim's actual tag, click HERE.  And click HERE for the Inspiration Emporium blog where there are some great entries each day.

I am also linking this tag into the Grungy Monday 29 Challenge over with Linda at Studio L3.  Click the link HERE to see some wonderful entries.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 7

At last vintage!  more my style.  But first of all thank you for all your lovely comments yesterday.  I had over 500 page views yesterday and 31 of you left some lovely comments.  I really did appreciate it!  Thank you.

I realised fairly early on that today would be big on interpretation as I had no craft glassine  (I didn't really know what you could do with it, but I shall be getting some now).  So I had to come up with a solution for the leaves (details of how I made them are below) but I am quite pleased with them and shall be using this again.  Click the link HERE to see Tim's Tag No. 7 and a video on using glassine.

I love the inking of the pearls with alcohol ink, they just look so vibrant.  I didn't have the right Distress Stains, so inked my craft sheet with Pumice Stone and Antique Linen, but instead of spraying it with water I sprayed it with Biscotti Perfect Pearls Mist.  It gives it a lovely shimmer and tames down the Pumice Stone a bit.

I really enjoyed this tag as it was much more in my comfort zone.  I hope you all have fun with this one. I am posting my tags each day on the Inspiration Emporium blog and they have some great prizes for each day's entries if you feel like joining in.

The leaves:  I put Forest Moss and Crushed Olive Distress Inks on my craft mat and spritzed with water.  I spritzed some reasonably heavy weight cream card with water and then swished through the inks making sure I had a good coverage.  Then crumpled the card - a bit difficult but you need to break down the fibres in the middle of the card first (I was only using small pieces).  Once the middle has gone you can scrunch up the rest.  Open out and dry with a heat gun.  Once dry I rubbed more Forest Moss on the creases but with an applicator rather than straight from the pad as this was just too dark.  Then I used the Tattered Leaves die and inked the edges a little with more Forest Moss. 

Left:  Scrunched and Dried
Middle:  Forest Moss rubbed on creases
Right:  Cut Leaf

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 6

I just LOVE this technique! Acrylic paints on embossed metal, sanded, inked and embossed with clear powder.  When I first saw it I wasn't so sure, but I did a test piece and was just so impressed with how it turned out.  Be sure to go HERE to see Tim's piece and the instructions.  

I only had copper craft metal, but when I started to sand it the copper also came off in places and I got down to the silver.  I used Cranberry and Wild Plum Dabbers and my favourite embossing folder which has a bit of a Christmassy feel (perhaps!).  

Not having any metal embellishments and not wishing to make another wreath out of small leaves, I decided to go with a lovely white crown which I backed with some text paper and embellished with some pearls inked with Cranberry Alcohol Ink (technique from tag 1).

I've put the photographs here of the pieces as they developed as you really would not think that when you start the process it will come out so well.  I shall certainly be doing this one again.

The embossed metal
painted with
acrylic paints
Sanded but before applying
walnut stain distress ink

The final piece after inking
and then embossing with clear powder
I am posting my tag again on the Inspiration Emporium blog - there are some fantastic entries there.  Do have a look.  

Enjoy the rest of the day and see you tomorrow!

Monday, 5 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 5

Day 5 of the Tagathon and another great technique.  Click the link HERE to go to Tim's blog and details of how to do today's tag and to view everyone's amazing entries.  And HERE for the Inspiration Emporium blog and again some wonderful entries.

I remember doing this resist technique during last year's 12 Tags and was amazed how well it worked although I only did it on a small fragment.  This time it was the whole tag!!  Amazingly I actually had all the right alcohol inks, but I think my plastic was a bit thin and my stamp a little bit too detailed (I have no text stamps of a good enough size and with a Christmas sentiment).  The stamp was also a bit small for the tag, so I had to improvise and "dress it up" a bit.  And with no wreath die I made my own from the Autumn Gatherings die.  I was tempted to colour the gems red again (love that technique), but time was against me.

Nearly half way!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 4

Hmmm ....... Tim made a lovely tag today, but I just didn't have any of the right bits and pieces!  I DID have the two stamps for the background, but other than that it was pretty much improvisation all the way.  Click the link HERE to see how Tim's tag actually looks - bit different huh!

I did use the picket fence distress stain on the tag background with the only other distress stain I have - broken china.  So I added a bit of sailboat blue colour wash - the result is not for the faint hearted!  Nothing subtle about this background!  But I did feel that it was a good foil for the white stamping and my snowman (cut from my own drawing of circles) and covered in pearl dabber (no crackle paint to work with either).  I'm not so fussed with the tulle as it never seems to lay where I want it, although it was a neat trick for threading it through the button.  I did cover my numbers with glossy accents, but love the recessed numbers Tim cut.  I just really want those dies!  Oh and the only border die I have is the half doily, so I cut that from plastic packaging and you can just about see it.

The feather is special as it is from a hat my Dad bought me in 1982 for my brother's wedding.  It cost a fortune and was a Princess Diana look alike with a mass of feathers out the back.  I have never been able to part with it, although never worn it again, but it was just the right colour blue, so I cut a small feather from the inside and used it for the snowman's hat.  So Dad ..... this one is for you!

I am posting each day on the Inspiration Emporium blog, so do check the wonderful entries there too.

I'm really enjoying these tags, however improvisation means that my craft room and table look as though a bomb has hit it as I wrifle (is that how you spell it?!) through drawers and boxes looking for the right bit.

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 3

Playing catch up today as I was teaching a workshop in ATCs all day yesterday (which was brilliant fun!).  Also a bit of a test of inspiration for Day 3 as I had neither the stamp, embossing folder or any foam to make a stamp.  So ....... I decided to go back to day 1 and reuse the technique for the background which I really loved.   So I have used my favourite embossing folder which has a bit of a christmassy feel about it and used barn door colorcore cardstock with white embossing powder.  

I did cover my pearl gems with red pepper alcohol ink - what a great idea! but as usual felt it needed a little bit more so added a bow, a couple of stick pins and (as I was working with shrink plastic yesterday at the workshop) a shrinked sentiment).

You can find all the details for the day 3 tag HERE on Tim's blog.   

Just off to make tag 4! and looking forward to visiting blogs later this afternoon.  I have been entering my tags on the Inspiration Emporium blog which is a great site for inspiration.  Check the link as there are some wonderful entries for the twelve tags. 

Friday, 2 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 2

I had to be quick off the mark this morning due to other commitments and then found I had to improvise so much it took me ages!!  Tim gave us another great technique with the Picket Fence Distress Stain on Kraft Paper.  Click HERE for his blog and to get details and instructions of today's tag.

So improvisation:  no christmas kraft paper, but I managed to find a piece with a post stamp.  I had to cut my reindeer out from a TH stamp, but it seems to work ok and was easy to cut through linen and grungepaper.  I stamped on the back so the pattern didn't show on the linen. The antlers are from a TH swirl.  And I just felt the tag needn't a bit of lace .......

I hope you all have a great creative day on your tags.  It was wonderful visiting blogs yesterday and seeing everyone's interpretations.  

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas : Day 1

lst December and we are off again on the 12 day journey with Tim and his 12 tags of Christmas.  Not sure that this is one of my best, but I had fun trying to make the fir cones - yes they ARE fir cones!  And they needed to be hidden somewhat by some flowers (which are not on his tag).  And the more observant of you will notice that I have stuck my N upside down - the writing goes the other way.  And ..... I never work with glitter, although TH does show a great way of dealing with it.  My distress stickles are still wet as I am rushing to get a picture of the tag in the daylight.  

What we do for our art ..........

But .......... the background embossing was a cool technique which I am sure I will definately do again.  Click HERE for the Tim Holtz blog page for this tag and the step by step instructions.  

See you tomorrow!