Saturday, July 30, 2011

Doing a spot of Weekending...

Good Morning,
I have yet to go to bed as it is now the wee hours of as normal in Blogdom. I am about to start a marathon all weekend crafting session so as to be a reasonably sane woman before my hols next week. DT work and project commitments tug at my sleeve... Absolutely adore designing for Simon Says but I really wanted to create something "off duty" and not miss Grungy Monday. Indulge in the pleasures of Rock Candy tricks here!
I painted a tag with Paper Artsy Snowflake paint, roughly blending Pumice Stone ink over the top when dry. Then I painted the whole tag with Rock Candy Distress paint swooshing the ink as I went. I was apparently a bit of a stingy spreader and had to do a second coat to get a decent crackle. You need to gloop... Now I see why there's a big pot on the market.
I then used a mix of Brushed Corduroy, Black Soot and more Pumice Stone inks to bring out the texture and tones. I wanted the look of old painted wood. I dived into my Wendy Art Parts and inked up the leafy flourish and layered it with the heart which has been inked up with Fired brick and Black Soot. I gave it a rough crackle effect with Paper Artsy crackle followed by Claudine Hellmuth Tan paint. Just playing with the monotone shades...
It needed a bit of contrast and more interest so I choose a touch of white with some gessoed chicken wire and a fabric scrap. The tag edges have been well distressed and inked and the Idea-ology helped balance things out. Always liking a touch of metal...

 You can see the Rock Candy effect better on these pics and also the twine which I bound around the heart. It just needed a hefty dose of Glossy Accents and half an hour lying under my Crop-a-Dile to get it all stuck down.  There's a lot of dimension going on so it is pretty hard to photograph, especially at midnight when it's just too dark.

After all that I am still very happy I made some time to play and now I feel ready for the big stuff...
I hope you like the monochrome tones. Thanks for being here, do drop me a line and let me know what you think. See you soon,


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What's on your workdesk Wednesday???

We meet again... at the mid-week mooch where you can check out droves of other crafty HQ's. Very interesting, intriguing and all thanks to Julia. So here is a rather grainy, quick piccy of my desk. Sorry was all a bit rush rush - just like my life at the mo...My last weekend before my hols is galloping towards me and I still have 3 full Design Team pieces to do. Major eeks...Anyway, what's occurring? I'm sorting out some cards for a sale... 

and there's a rather yummy, freshly donated heap of keys !

Just want to share a collage piece I made using square sections punch cut from vintage ads and photos. It is simply mounted on a book page and then onto card covered with polka-dot DP.
Loving the fun colour scheme and mix of black and white head shots. I tried to use a variety of colour, size and images, stamping just one word 'Vintage", which I am also starting to feel like. Don't forget it's the last week of July's inspiration challenge at My Mojo Monthly so if you would still like to join in, do hop on board. There are now 13 entries which is just great. Thank you!
Lots of you were curious about my sewing of last week, and so here she is. My altered apron...full-on girly flowery stuff to brighten up your day...see more here.

Not too much waffle today, as I have a crafty Dutch friend staying with me at the mo, and she wants to know everything about my kind of crafting... could be a long session.

So I'm checking out for now - Thanks so much for coming around and taking a peek. Will be seeing you soon too..
Sarah xxx

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hanging in there...

Tis I... the midnight blogger dropping in with a card for Less is More and also the Everything Wendy Vecchi group. I'm combining the two as it's a full week here with guests, DT work and holidays looming - so limited dabbling. But I didn't want to miss out and managed to squeeze this one in....thought of it while cleaning the bathroom (!?!) and had just 10 minutes to make it happen...

 Buttons and ribbons are on the agenda at Less is More whilst it's birdies at EWV.  I had the idea for some kind of hanging perch and experimented with my circle punches. At first it resembled a big Barmaid Bet Lynch earring but was soon transformed with some spotty paper and ink. The little birdy is a Wendy Vecchi stamp which I love as it is so simple and modest.

I wove a short length of textured ribbon through the frame and added a button. The whole thing is then suspended from a longer brown ribbon, finished off with a simple Hero Arts word stamp. Hope Mandi will survive the snipped ribbon edges but my bird wants to swing a little! Actually very pleased with the look and amazed I coped with the 10 minute guillotine...

Signing out again, the craft room needs some TLC before dawn breaks... Thanks for calling by, always very much appreciated!
À bientôt,


Monday, July 25, 2011

Domestic Goddess in the house...

So here we are again!
Another Monday... I hope you are well and had the weekend you hoped for. Mine was busy with cleaning, creating and also a wedding thrown in for fun. Maybe that explains my "Anything Goes" for Simon Says Stamp & Show. For a long time I have wanted to play with a Donna Downey inspired altered apron so this was my chance! There have been a lot of tough headlines in the news this week and I really felt some colour and inspirational words might do us all good.
I suffer with IICMIMIW syndrome... If I Can Make It Myself I I started by making an apron from artists canvas fabric which was incredibly cheap and an ideal material to work on. I drew my own simple pattern, it's only four pieces of fabric. The front, frill, waistband and pocket and I really enjoyed a good old whirring session on the machine. You could of course just use a square of fabric and glue it to a chunky canvas if you don't fancy sewing...

I primed the whole apron with a wash of Claudine Hellmuth Gesso as a base for the coloured paints. When dry, I used a wash of Claudine's Classic Teal, followed by Yellow Pastel. I used a big brush and kept blending to achieve a smoother variation in colour. Then the fun started with creating all the flowers. The round flowers, also canvas, some painted in Modern Red are stamped with spots or stripes by Wendy Vecchi.
I love this Persian poem by Hafiz. It says so much in just a few lines. I'm a firm believer in the power of just one person. Wherever and however... simply making the most of a moment can change everyone's day. A little bit of love can go a long way. I printed the poem onto sticky- back canvas, as are the larger words. I stamped the butterflies onto the reverse of painted fabric, adding some zig-zag stitching.

 The larger flowers are made from thinner muslin stamped with script in Saffron Archival ink. I also used a brayer to apply paint to my stamp so I could continue in the same Classic Teal colours. I chose a selection of buttons for the centres and also added lace, stamped cotton tape and ric rac along the top and frill. Everything was stuck to the apron using Matt Medium which is wonder-stuff. Then back to a good old needle to embroider chain stitched stems and back-stitched leaves which really makes the flowers come to life.

Here a close-up of one of the flutter-bys... I know it's all incredibly girly and colourful but I really did enjoy myself and I love the combination of the zingy florals and the poignant words...  I really hope you like it and can enjoy a boost of colour and inspiration. Fancy some more ideas? Then jump over to the blog. Very sadly we say goodbye to Nancy C. Lori and Kim so do make the most of their creations today! I will miss both them and their wonderful art very much...
This great prize is on offer along with the highly sought after Top Three title. Could it be you this week? With that, I must love you and leave you. Do let me know what you think and I'll be round to see a lot of your work soon too... Thank you for being here today!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Just a footnote...

Hi There,
As usual, it's (ahem) o'clock and I'm in to post... Just finished the last stitches on a DT piece which means I will now be able to retain a certain level of sanity at a wedding tomorrow. Had visions of me turning my heat gun on during the "I Do..." bit. Just sharing my piece for Linda's Grungy Monday where Mr. Holtz's Grungepaper takes centre stage. Thought I'd take a break from tags and try something different.
 You can stitch it, ink it, distress it, glue it, emboss it and make shoes with it. I think I'm having a girly week and fell for the charms of small tootsies... After an intensely grubby inking session resulting in a chronic frostbite finger effect.

You often see paper shoes but I wanted to try out grunge paper especially as I seem to be  in yet another sewing phase. I used Stormy Sky and Vintage Photo and sewed around the edges before sticking on the soles

There's just two pieces (lots of patterns online) although the glue work was rather fiddly. Needed 4 pairs of hands and a million pegs. Love the texture and colours which create a real vintage mood. Lined the inside with some design paper for a nicer finish and found two old buttons which seemed really baby shoeish to me.

My machine was in a funny mood but you can really sew with it and I would love to try out more ideas sometime. Ah, time, that elusive thing...

The soles have also been embossed, inked and stitched for a little extra detail. Stars to celebrate the first steps taken on The Walk of Life!

That's me done again. Hope you like them and are also trying out your tricks! Do let me know...would love to hear from you. Signing off and ready to crash... Thanks for taking time to call by,


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What's on your Oh, cor blimey, are we here again workdesk Wednesday? HQ is still relishing the sort-out even if the playground is back to old tricks. Lots of painty colouring stuff. Got tons of DT work to do before August and my hols, otherwise I'll be uploading folded napkins and altered sunglasses from the Motorway services.
Really into a bit of sewing again and made a whole 'thing' from scratch (sorry can't show until Monday) and I'm rather chuffed. I was very good, did it by the book. Measuring, gathering threads, pinning, tacking, ironing, neatening edges and top stitching. I think I just passed my O-level Needlework again. If you're not into sewing you're thinking "How very blah" but for the seamstresses out there, I'm just saying I didn't cheat.

Also been playing with more of my Wendy Vecchi stamps and made a piece for the EWV challenge held by Lori. I have to say these are stamps that really come to life once put to paper. This chap looks a bit austere in the plastic but ink him up and he's suddenly quite a dandy fellow tinkering away with his camera. I cut a frame from cardboard which really sets him off and gives grounding to the shoe and light bulbs. Mounted it on an old book page and envelope.

Added a chain scrap for a bit of male-ish metal interest and thought I'd put his cameo in the charm clip!
Whilst dabbling with the chain the challenge over at Happy Daze came back to me. Although putting both together results in this, "A Male card with Dangly Things". Really! That's my piece and that's their challenge theme.
Fill in your own story... you can't make it up can you??? I joined Facebook just this week (purely for my crafting). Well... that's a title with  potential for a few 'likes'.
Anyway, there he is, oblivious to it all and I do like him very much.

I must away my dears as the 'to do' list is looking more like a 'to die' one. Thanks for calling by, I'd love to hear from you and will be hopping around later today too. Over at My Mojo Monthly we have 12 entries which really is just fabulous and very encouraging. Thank you! You still have the rest of July if you fancy sharing too.

Join in the desk-hop over at Julia's. Wishing you plenty of what you want, miss, enjoy and need today...


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Frugal yet free...

Rolling in with my clean and simple card for Less is More.  We are doing Circles and pondering the rise of CAS challenges. I think there are strong similarities in both the crafty and social worlds... many are becoming becoming more frugal and cutting out the frills - be it for financial or moral reasons. A bit of the strict Victoriana ethos creeping in there. Restrictions and simplicity can actually offer a wealth of new insight. I genuinely enjoy and discover as much in my CAS work as I do in my other fields. When products and stash abound as never before you can easily get swamped in trends, techniques and commercial overload. To each their own and all that, somedays just freshly baked bread and butter is divine.
I have a hugely busy month and a ton of DT work to do to before my holiday so I went to what may be my "Go to" colours. But then again I love red and white 24/7! I was dabbling with inky drips and bottle top stamping but gave up. I had grunged all weekend on a mixed media DT piece so that side of my brain was all done... flip the switch.

I punched five card circles and stamped them with Darkroom Door dots. The butterfly is a Wendy Vecchi and always a joy. No foam stickies, just layered them up with a touch of glue in the centre so that they weren't glued down flat. Gives just a bit of dimension.
The peg stamps return with a hello. Found them at the stationers just this weekend. In the 2x2m "Craft Corner"...!
There is a closet girly in all of us...let her out to play I say... Polka dots, butterflies and prettiness. Sir, yes, Sir! Do you also have some  inspiration and art to share? Why not join in at My Mojo Monthly and show off latest your creative dabbling. Huge thanks to Chrissie and Mandi for a bona fide CAS society!
See you soon,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Broken Curiousity...

A Very Good Morning to All!
Monday has landed so let's jump straight in with my new piece for Simon Says Stamp & Show. We're delving into embossing this week, so plenty of paths to choose from... Our summer has gone AWOL but I kind of enjoyed the dark, overcast skies and let it influence my inky mood. Rich tones, raw textures and obscurity find a home in my Curiosity canvas.
I started by creating a cracked glass tag using Distress Inks and the Haberdashery set adding detail with punch waste and Wendy Vecchi stamps. I applied several thick coats of UTEE embossing powder to build up a glossy varnish and then laid her in the freezer for a few minutes. I was then able to breaks the 'glass' by bending the tag, then I worked a good dose of Distress Ink into the cracks for emphasis.

I am an ardent layer lover and went to town with stitched Glassine paper, stapled to an old book page stamped with Papillon. Underneath there is a piece of frayed Crinoline dyed with Color Wash as is the stitched binding strip. The tag lies on a bed of distressed and stitched canvas fabric and gessoed chicken wire. The Ornate plate has been aged with burnt Distress powder and Alcohol inks and contains a snippet of stamping behind a mica front.
Painted muslin, a stamped mica scrap and a wonderful vintage clock key adorned with a charm clip.

A closer look at the cracked glass. It is actually very shiny which created a great effect. I do advise a fresh pot of UTEE powder to avoid donations from all your previous projects!

More metal findings. Everything is set on a chunky cardboard off-cut which has been painted and stamped. I'm finding packaging to be a very attractive plaything which must mean I am morphing into either a two-year old child or a Labrador dog...

A few more details of the colours, stamping and cracked effect. To finish, the whole canvas is bound with jute string.

 That was my inky journey which was quite a path, but worth the walk! As said, I just followed the mood of the day with this one. An obscure feeling... fill in your own story of curiosity! Looking forward to seeing your expression in embossing! Do take a look at our blog and the other great creations from the Fabulous Design Team too.
The top three tiara or this generous prize might just have your name on it! I really hope to inspire a few hands and minds out there. Did it work??? I would love to hear from you and wish you all a FANTABULOUS week. Be seeing you soon...


Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday, vendredi, vrijdag, viernes!

Welcome to my blog and the weekend! High kick and your best jazz hands please! Planning a whole creative weekend, but first up a tag for Grungy Monday (which I have never managed on the said day). Mr. H freestyles for us here...
 I indulged in Wild Honey then Barn Door, Rusty Hinge and a puff of Black Soot to create my background. Swooshing it all on, off, on and around, letting the colours make the decisions. I often have a clear image in my mind but today it was go with the flow which is fun too. Fell for the dress form stamp from Wendy Vecchi as I'm just a bit in love with her curves. Really liking the variegated ink tones which really sing with the extra embossing.
She needed a bit of costume drama so I stamped Wendy's light-bulbs as wings onto Clearly For Art and a brassy bustle for her booty! Here you can also see a bit of extra background stamping and the texture on the tag. Added some layering and grounding with a paper scrap and seam binding.The brass ball chain is attached with red cross stitches for a bit of colour.
Inked up, stamped up, stapled and pinned! Specimen 2b is a fine lady...
 I stamped another scrap with yummy well worn Distress powder and lots of red ink, also colouring more seam binding for the tag tie.

So there she is, hope you like her. It's a great technique for a background and I really enjoyed just playing around and seeing what grew. Hope you also find some inspiration for some creative dabbling too.
Thanks for dropping by and also a big thank you for the continued support and entries for July's My Mojo Monthly. Is it a blog challenge I've been asked???? Well, it's not the quite the norm... Your inspiration is in the spotlight! Come on - tell me about the why behind your what!!!

Enjoy the minutes and moments of your weekend, wherever they appear...


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday?

Well, a truly wondrous cleanliness and the sheen of an immaculate new craft sheet actually! In life there is mess, and there is mess. I can justify many post mess scenarios (post shopping trip, post party, post Sunday lunch for ten...) but when it's mess, it will grind you down. The more you look at it, the harder it shouts and the longer you just put it off. Sunday, with husband lost to the Tour de France, I decided I was "just going in". No plan or strategy, just the words, "Do it." The months of procrastinating were a greater burden than the chaos. I needed the mental order more than the physical and at 1am Monday morning I surfaced as an older, yet wiser and redeemed being. Every box, shelf, ink-pad, folder, book, stamp... the lot. Done, dusted, sorted. Something definitely shifted in the universe. Really.
Yes, the dust and the disorder will return, but it's a joy to create in a space that is all mine again. So today I indulged in my Vintage passion to create a hanging. Working with an eye to wards the challenges at UK Stampers and Crafty Individuals, I started playing and layering. Faded browns, cream and a hint of pale vintage pink.

 I dabble in many styles and as CHA looms and we are wooed by Trendamania, I took a step back to fan the flame of the style that got me hooked in the first place. I love composition...choosing images, papers, tones, textures and listening to the the mood. The typed words are an excerpt from the poem, To a Child, by Christopher Morley. Ah! To be four years old again...

Taking an afternoon to create shabby flowers and work on each petal. Just because I can...

So, there you go. Pain and pleasure all in one post. Check out more desk memoires over at Julia's. A bit more nice stuff. Last week I had a giveaway! The choc and Octopode Stamps are off to Suze Bain and Lesley! Enjoy!
I'm thrilled to say there are now seven entries over at My Mojo Monthly! Thank you and also to all the new visitors. There's still lots of time left to join in and share your art. Hope to see you there soon!
Thanks for being here... How are things at your end of the world...would love to hear from you. Enjoy the desk-hop!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A shade better...

Hello! Sarah here with my weekly antics for Less is More where we dabble with one-layer stamping and "Something with legs". Legs. That could well be your patience which often likes to run away within this inky realm. Last week was a tale of woe and failed efforts, yet this week is the other side of the flipped coin... Had a thought, tried out some colours and went for it. This one was a hole-in-one. Yes - first time! That definitely constitutes a tribal dance around the swivel chair.
I sponged the sunset using Distress Inks and post it notes going for a graduated effect and sharp edges. Then I over stamped with the top portion of this wonderful bird stamp from Paper Artsy in Coffee. The card base is off white so I felt a brown tone was a better choice than black.

I needed to add some grounding and contrast which I did with a simple green section, opting for softer edges this time. I finished things off with the word 'birdsong' which is stamped using individual alphabet pegs. Just one of those small sets you often see in many a shop. I have four sets and use them all the time! In a perfect world things would always go this smoothly but I'll settle for today because this one is giving me good vibes all over.

 Just a quick reminder that you can still submit entries for My Mojo Monthly. Feeling inspired, got something to show and fancy sharing your creations with others? Please feel free to join the journey, whatever your crafting passion may be.
Thanks very much for taking the time to be here. I hope you will take a little of that sunset glow with you...

See you soon,