Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WOYWW? Ruby !

Did you know your whole world can change in a matter of seconds... ? Exactly a week ago ours did. Forever. Making her debut appearance on WOYWW, let me introduce you to Miss Ruby Marlene Engels. Born Wednesday 20th June at 3.31pm, weighing 6lbs 15oz.
Things started moving along on the Tuesday and in the early hours of Wednesday morning things really sped up including the pain and inability to walk! We went across to our local Maternity Unit only to be told things weren't 'quite' ready yet, so we prepared to waddle home for a few more hours before heading off to the big hospital. At the last moment a few dips in Ruby's heart rate concerned the midwife and before I knew it I was whisked off in an emergency ambulance. It was a very rough and lonely 40 minute journey, I started being sick and hubby could only follow in the car.
By this time I felt pretty ill, but I was glad to be in a safe place, back with my hubby and so I just 'handed' myself over to the medical team. Continuous sickness, increasing contractions - but no dilation, and a rising temperature were taking their toll. A loud Polish doctor's "Just keep going to midnight" and "No painkillers means no floppy baby attitude" was not so much fun either... I listened only to the advice of my fantastic midwife who saw I was struggling and went for an epidural. Then, amazingly in the space of 75 minutes, I went from 2 cms to 9.5cms and was told my baby would arrive in the hour!

Just enough time to allow my mum be at the birth too... After an hour of uber-intense grunting and bearing down, and with a now new, young doctor on board (amen), it was decided to help Ruby with a ventouse and a few snips. Ow! With one final grunt and suck, out she came and was placed on my chest. Two big, blue eyes looking up at me. My little girl. Incredible. The next couple of hours are a bit of a daze as I went downhill fast, taking quite a while to start recovering from the temperature and dehydration.
It all sounds pretty traumatic... But she's here, she's safe and she's ours. We are just so, so incredibly grateful, amazed and astounded at how wonderful and perfect she is... And as you can see all her animated expressions are just so precious..every single one. And yesterday we brought our little miracle back home.

I will share more another time, but just want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you for so many wonderful wishes, thoughts and prayers. Sarah... and Ruby.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Depths of Distress...!!!

Now that may sound like I'm having a severe nervous breakdown, but it is in fact a cue for a great deal of inky fun and discovery! At Simon Says Stamp & Show we are all totally distressed as my post title is the new challenge theme for this week...
Distress Inks, Stains, Crackle, Paint, Markers, Powders, tools... there's plenty to choose from and I'm sure nearly everyone has a pot of Distress something in their stash! I decided to go for Distress Inks and Stains and created a bright and flowery triple tag to liven up my day...
Normally, for some bizarre reason,  I'm someone who likes to be very consequent in my choice of stamps for a piece - all Wendy, all Tim, all PaperArtsy, etc. But today I wanted to order the whole menu and ended up with Tim, Wendy, Claudine H and Dylusions goodies on my desk!
I started by inking up my tags with a variety of colours including Tumbled Glass, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed and Fired Brick. I added a few water drop flicks to add interest... andI over-stamped Tims Mixed Media Dots in Picket Fence Distress Stain.
Then I went to town with a flurry of stamping using Distress Inks and lots of my Wendy Vecchi stamps. Just mixing and matching, using part and whole sections of the stamps to build up the layers... Also used a few bottle tops dipped in Distress Stain and my fave...
- random stitching in bright yellow thread (it was already on my machine and I was too lazy to change it - but I love it now!)Distress Inks are not as vivid as Archival ink so you get a great faded look which is perfect for this kind of layered effect... and it gives an idea of depth to your piece. I sprayed Claudine's Sticky back canvas with Cut Grass and Bubblegum Pink Dylusions inks and heat set before stamping Wendy's funky flower and leaves in Black Archival ink. Added a few dots for fun!
I stuck them to the tags adding press stud centres and parcel string stems and finished off with a sentiment all thanks to my trusty typewriter! The colours and blooms make me rather happy! So if you are stressed... grab some inky colours right now and de-stress with Distress I say...!
Hope you day is a little brighter now too. Do play along this week - I'm sure you have hundreds of ideas for Distress stuff! Don't forget to check out the Design team blog for more lovelies and see if you might just end upa s the winner of this fabby $50 voucher! Thaks for the peek - that's me over and out...until the next time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's on your workdesk Wednesday???

"Time flies... The good news is you are the pilot!" 
A little light philosophy to help us cope with the time-warp and "Oh my word. Wednesday again??!!!" thing.
Yes! Still here but only just. Puffing and pacing has slowly begun and a porridge and Curly-Wurly breakfast must be a sign...! This will be my last solo flight into the world of WOYWW? My spell-check is asking me "Do you mean WOOZY?"
Yes, I think I probably will by the end of the week. Whether it's gravity, a ten mile hike, or jiggery-pokery it's time for baby bump to find new packaging! With all this darned rain, I could have a water-birth anywhere I fancy.
Huge fears of being shipped off to hospital with Lime Green and Gesso hands faded for a few moments... Just couldn't stay away from my inky fun.
Firstly a piccy of my oh so wonderful girlie ATC from Doone. I'd had a full on 'baby-stuff day' with my totally kiddy-mad big sis and returned home a bit befuddled. It was a real joy to find this artful damsel, exchange a few words, as well as enjoy her colours and expression. Thank you Donna! She's just fabulous and also reminds me of illustrations from some of my fave childhood reads...
I'm a member of the Everything Wendy Vecchi group run by Lori. This week she challenged us to get bright and funky. Normally, 'Wendy style' is more vintage and grungy in tone but she thought it would be fun to go wild...
Too right and hence my fears of Lime Green tinted skin.
 l used an array of Wendy Vechhi Art Parts... Some painted, some covered in Manilla cardstock before a spritzing with lots of flash Dylusional Sprays. Then lots of stamping and not too much thinking - who says it has to follow any "arty colour codes?" At first I was a wee bit scared of that pink, but we got there...
Not too big, just perfect for a little playtime and distracting yourself from a very dull, cold and wet afternoon. I do like these in your face colours!!! There's even a bit of deep yellow sunshine for Julia. I will leave you with two flutterbys and another snippet of philosophy.
lt might well come in handy this week...
Lots of Bubble Gum pink kisses from the round side. Thanks for being here!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A bit of this and that...

...a bit metal, a bit of Gent-like stuff and a bit of brown! It's time for the new challenge theme at Simon Says Stamp & Show where we say "Show a bit of brown...!" Whether you're into a shabby chic, Steampunk, romantic or Grungy vintage style, there's always a bit of brown to be found. Where would we be without a bit of Vintage Photo Distress ink??? We also, sadly, have to say goodbye to our DT captain Linda Elbourne who is sailing off into the sunset of adventure... Sniff..sniff. Thanks for everything Linda - you are top stuff! Stay tuned this Wednesday for lots of fantastic news from Simon Says Stamp & Show!
l have a nice new pack of Ranger Glossy cardstock in the house and thought I'd have a have a go at one of the techniques in my Mr. Tim book. I went for stamping onto metal foil tape and created a tag which is always a nice 'doable' sized base to work on! Big enough to play around and small enough to get finished before birdsong... (don't ask...)
I first die-cut a tag with my Big Shot. My background was created using Pool and Butterscotch Alcohol inks which I love together. I pounded them onto the tag, softened with Blending Solution and let a few drops fall onto the tag to add lighter spots.
Then I added detail using more images from the great the Mr. T Steampunk stamp set, working with Ranger Jet Black, Coffee and Sepia Archival inks. I coloured my glass fragment with more Alcohol Ink and then stamped my gent onto the sticky side of the metal tape. Apply to the back of your fragment, trim and voilĂ ! A metal man! He does have a few wrinkles, especially in the sunlight - but don't we all?
l wrapped a bit of wire around the tag and added some old washers with a bit of Idea-ology for that touch of brown! I even stamped on them if you look very closely... like with a microscope.
I stuck a piece of Copper Tape to card and ran it through my Dymo label maker to create my 'Eccentric Gent" strip, added a bit of Alcohol ink and sanded it back. Just an inky tie and two nuts (me and him) and I was done! It's a great technique and I hope to try it out again soon...

Or maybe you can give it a go and enter your piece into this week's challenge. Just 'a bit of brown', a really easy and fun theme. Hop over to the Design Team Blog to see all the great makes from my Teamies and I'll look forward to seeing all your creations too..! Thanks for calling by,

P.S. Update...bump is still bumpy! Thanks so much for all your this space!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Raining on the inside and out...

Blame it on the weather, blame it on the rain, blame it on the hormones...or say you're just tired. But boy, did I wake up in a really rubbish mood today, and it's still hovering. Whatever the reason - it is what it is and I feel like I feel. Not into analysis and reason today. I saw Art Journal Cafe had a new theme up, so I went for a little peek. I took one look at the colours and thought Au revoir....
It's not like I ran away screaming or anything, but I really didn't feel the colours calling my name either.

Just shrugged and thought, "Not feeling any of those. Not my cup of tea at all today".
But then I thought that was actually how I was feeling about the whole day and in some mad way, a wrong might just be a right, if you know what I mean...
So I plundered my paint box and scattered my desk with an array of paint and ink. Seems some of my pots have seen better days and were feeling worse than me. I might be feeling moody, but at least I haven't completely dried and cracked up...
Started with random scribbles of black ink which is very therapeutic, especially if you pull a miserable face at the same time. Apart from a blast of Orange Dylusions spray and the odd splatter, it was all mainly paint and gesso today. The stitching is the reverse of last weeks page...
Hand cut heart stencils along side yellow dots and blue fragments of flowers painted using the Dotted Flower Stencil. A grabbed a crumpled dictionary page which coincidentally has the word Injury at the top. Strong emotions stamped onto transparent pattern paper to portray their 'thin' presence today... covered with my typed journalled thoughts...
"There's something not quite right about these colours...or my day either. So maybe it makes sense after all."
Also joining in with the wonderful Julie Fei Fan Balzer's Art Journal Every Day.
That's my Saturday fix of Freudian fun. I'm must be awaying. Going to see what an animated two hours of Tin-Tin might bring. Until Monday methinks... Sarah

Friday, June 15, 2012

Of Tags and Paint....

It seems that more and more of my weekend posts are tending to be rather splattery. But then again that's what weekends are for aren't they... a bit of whatever you fancy?!

Being 'granted' some more free-style inky playtime meant I could join in a fun journalled tag swap with a few friends across the pond... The deal was a size 8 tag and nothing too dimensional. I have to admit to being rather rubbish on the whole tag size thing and just tend to grab one that 'looks big enough for the job'... I think I tend to use the same tactics when it comes to my credit card and stash shopping!
l like to go full out with lots of  layers, colours, inks, paint and texture but admit to a little restraint when documenting the thoughts...
Artful Blogdom is a funny old place...and although I like to share my creative ramblings and be honest about life, I prefer to express a mood, rather than tell the whole virtual world and his wife my innermost thoughts...
 l started with some stitching and black stamping. I love Wendy Vecchi's Wrought Iron stamp which is just peeping through there... Then I just keep adding a layer, could be shapes (circles), random spritzing (Dylusions and Ranger Color Wash), Tissue Tape, punchinella, paper scraps, stencilled paint... all interspersed with lots of drips, splashes and gesso. I went back with a white Posca pen to 'pull out' the circles and added a few stamped polka dots and words...
l also fancied a bit more colour and texture, so I grabbed some bright embroidery thread and added a few flowers and lines of stitches...
They are in transit or possibly on American shores by now, which is a heck of lot nicer than lying in a box under my desk...!
It's Father's Day over here on Sunday, so if you need a few ideas or have created your own male masterpiece, head over to join in with June's My Mojo Monthly Challenge where it's time to Man Up! Loving you and leaving you with four quirky gents...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

O, ye crafters. Pray, do tell of thy Wednesday Wares...

Behold, another What's on your work-desk Wednesday?! The mid week moment that has seemingly altered the course of the entire planetary system for many a Blogger, when we once again wonder where the bit in between tootled off to. Fancy revealing a little of your creative, chaotic or crafty antics? Join in at Host Julia's HQ here.
As Mother Nature is granting me and bump a little just pottering around time, I've enjoyed some more 'just because I can' stuff. Working on some journalled tags for a swap...more another time.
Two ATCS I made for the WOYWW 3rd year bash! I wasn't sure if I'd be around so the right one was made a while ago and the left one is a newbie. On their way to or hopefully in the hands of Sandee!
Look at the wonderful concertina ATC I received all the way from down under from Roslyn. I love it - it's full of wonderful scenes and vintage images! Thank you!!!
A wee dabble for Less is More where it's a one layer, flourish thing...
I used a Mr. Tim heart die cut to ink and stamp through. Ranger Vermilion Archival ink on my Judikins flourish, followed by a little Distress ink.

It's the same technique as Chrissie used. Funny enough, I was just doing something very similar for another project, so this is a skinny variation on the same theme!
Red and black, and good old blue and brown! "Appreciate what is..." A wise few words to end with. Hopefully I can do a a bit more blog-hopping. I enjoyed having the time to visit a few more folk last week. I'll do my best and keep you all updated on life from the bumpy side!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A whim of whatever...!

Another Monday and another week to explore a great new challenge theme from Simon Says Stamp & Show! It's a fabulous 'Anything Goes!" theme so indeed... why not just follow your whim for whatever!!!! Ink, paint, paper, sprays, die-cuts, stamping, cute, Grungy or funky - this is your week to show it off and play along...
There's been a flurry of celebrations for our Queen Lizzie and just recently I saw the Olympic torch run past my very street... You just can't help being swept along in a bit of British flag waving, Patriotic pride and euphoria. So that was my inspiration to get inky. With a stiff upper lip of course!
I just got a new stash of Ranger's Glossy cardstock so my Alcohol inks weren't that far behind... I decided to make a set of three cards using the wonderful Loverly London and London Underground sets from Artistic Outpost.
l used Pool and Red Pepper Inks and applied them in three different ways to achieve my background. Firstly I used the applicator tool to pound my cardstock, then I softened the colours by adding a little Blending Solution and then I dropped some ink directly onto the card for more intensive areas.
Then... I stamped lots and lots of the images over the card using Ranger Jet Black Archival ink followed by a blast with my heat tool to make sure it was dry. There's so many great stamps in each set and they are really fun to mix and match! This Gent sure reminds of an English actor. Hmmm, might be Simon Callow... What do you reckon?
l then cut out my images roughly and spent hours moving them all around until I was finally happy with each card. I went for six pieces per card and tried to create a good balance between the images and words.
l trimmed a few of the images down slightly (like the postcard/flag) so that the shapes worked well together and then I mounted them on black card for extra depth and effect.
I mounted them on very white card which works well with the Glossy cardstock. My card bases are unusual shape and size but I do like the chunky, larger than normal look! I just need to make my own envelopes for them now! So there you go, a bright and funky start to your Monday! Hope you think they all look rather spiffing and jolly nice...

It's time for you to get creative now. Remember there's this great $50 voucher up for grabs AND it's a free-style week - so I'm looking forward to a wave of fabulous makes.
Cheerio darlings, one must be dashing oorrrfff!