Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Whats on your Hip Hip Hooray Celebratory Workdesk Wednesday???

Hello and a big welcome to this Anniversary mid-week moment as WOYWWers celebrate three years of desk memoires and confessions. All thanks to the one and only Mrs Julia Stamping Ground Dunnit. The occasion is of such grandeur, Mrs D has taken to Spanish shores to rejoice. Olé! My Wednesdays (and sleeping habits) are forever changed!
But in all seriousness, I am so very grateful indeed to Julia for WOYWW? It helped me take my first plunge into Blogdom, has brought lots of wonderful new artful friends and keeps me on sane ground! Thank you Julia. You are a real star!
Well, obviously I'm still around and so is the 38 week baby belly. Apart from my inflatable-dinghy feet, I'm feeling just fine and very energetic. It's all systems go with my Design Team projects. Almost done! It's one thing making them, blogging it all is a real chore. I've become Bloggled eyed. June's My Mojo Monthly is ready to rumble too! Here's a sneaky look - come back Friday for the full story!
My only play time has been in my Art Journal. This page is just a bit of fun, with a small statement too. I am someone, in life and crafting, who seems to dabble with all moods and views. Sometimes girly, sometimes Grungy...
and LOTS of this, that and the other in between. But for the record, even when it's all flowers and girly stuff galore... "I do sweet, not cute." I rest my case. I've got a full-on inky day ahead so I'm off to chase my final deadline. I'm in with the ATC swap - so I'll be hunting my partner down very soon! 
A Big Happy WOYWW to all! Adios! Sarah.

Monday, May 28, 2012

One For The Boys!

C'est encroyable! Monday again. Who stole the bit in between? Or am I suffering from sunstroke??? In true Brit form I must say it is a trifle hot for me...but thankfully my huge pre-mummy DT marathon kept me hostage in the craft room and shade. Let's get straight to the crafty point as I have another six blog posts to reel off...
This week at Simon Says Stamp & Show it's all about man stuff! From little boys to your great Grandpa and all the other fellas, we want to see "One for the Boys". Seems I can't count because I made two!
June brings along Father's Day over here so I thought it was the perfect time to rustle up some male cards!
I also wanted to get kick start my Tim stamps into inky action. I decided on some good old one-layer stamping and masking...

I'm still loving the beauty of just ink and paper! These vintage sets are really great fun and produce a lovely stamped image - with lots of potential for different compositions and designs. This first set is called 'Road Trip".
To add a little extra twist in colour and design, before I started stamping I added a wild swoosh of watery Vintage Photo Distress Stain with Cut 'n Dry foam. I used Ranger Archival inks for a crisp image mixing up Sepia, Coffee, Russet and Jet Black tones.

l remembered to take a quick snap of how I work on the composition! The stamp sets have their design printed on the back which means I can plan the layout of my design just by laying the stamps as shown. Then you need to work out which masks you need and the correct order in which to stamp!
Here I'm working with the Artful Voyage stamps and the aeroplane from the Warehouse District set as they go together so well. I went really wild with a daring swoosh of Rusty Hinge Distress Stain! I also added a few splatters by flicking Distress stain from an old small paintbrush.
Again I mixed up the inks, sometimes adding two colours to a stamp to get variation in colour. The cards are A4 sheets folded in half - so quite large but perfect for playing around with these sets of stamps!
When I'd done all my stamping, I finished off with some distressing of the edges and a little inking.  Great vintage images and a wild swoosh of ink and I'm all done - ready to set sail!
I hope you like them. Do hop over to the Design Team blog to see more great blokey stuff from my teamies. I'm looking forward to seeing your creations - I think we all like seeing  new artful ideas for the Gents! Don't forget we personally choose our Top Three and there's the generous $50 shopping spree to be won! Yes please!

Thanks for taking a peek. Over out - and until the next time!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weekend, Wonderful and Porky Pig Trotters!

Another random Blog post title it seems, but it all makes perfect sense in my world! Just spent the morning chipping away at the - hallelujah, now shorter - To Do list as I waddle towards week 38 of Babydom. All the new blinds are up, so no more obscure angled undressing on the landing and just 6 DT pieces left to do! By jove, I might actually soon be kind of some how ready. Let's add an 'ish' just to be safe...
Despite deadlines I have made a little 'just me' time to work on two more journal pages - another double spread... another whatever I'm feeling...

The intrinsic thought behind these pages is "She found wonderful and wanted to stay..."

All to do with me being in quite a happy place in life. Moreover, me allowing the wonderful to be here.
Mixing up Ranger Color Wash, Dylusions ink with lots of gesso. I like scribbling with them as well as spraying, splashing  and stencilling... Sharing with Art Journal Cafe again!
The 'stay' bit is quite small and you have to look hard to find it ...  but such is life too -sometimes you have to hunt down the whole story!
I'll let the pages do the talking instead of me for a change - a miracle indeed! I'm off for a swim to see if it might help cool off my porky piggy feet. My ankles went on holiday as soon as the sun came out...
If you're up to anything flowery - doodly, shabby, painty, girly or grungy why not share your art and join in with this month's My Mojo Monthly?! It's a Floral Frenzy theme and there's still a week to go...
Happy Weekending to all! Sarah.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What's on your workdesk Wednesday???

With just a mere blink and breath behind us, we find ourselves on the Wednesday bus once again... all thanks to our Chief Lady Speaker Julia. If you don't mind virtual stalkers in your crafty zone, feel free to join in and just share whatever is going down your way! Don't forget! Next week is WOYWW ATC Anniversary week! (Count me in, if the baby ain't out!)
A rare bit of inky play here. Rare because despite big crafty deadlines, I had to be a strict damsel and completely ban myself from La-De-Dah until yesterday. Baby, house and DIY stuff just could not wait..and trying to do it all at once led to nothing but a frazzled brain. Choose one path and walk it I say!

Been working hard on Craft Stamper projects, but can't show you those, also on June's My Mojo Monthly... can't show that yet, and I haven't had the baby yet, so I can't show you that either!

After clearing up I had a load of left-over ink and scraps so I threw them together and made a quick tag for Everything Wendy Vecchi. A girl has gotta play...
Ebay bargain alert! Fab, no longer, made, Tim stamps complete with a wee scribble from Mr. H himself.
l sneaked in a dinky card for Less is More. It's a baby week so I just couldn't quite let it pass this time... I die cut a heart out of my embossed front and added a typed insert.

A simple design with 'on the fence' colours - just as we are here too!
My crafty abstinence and super-hero hubby made a good team! Miraculously we turned a corner house-wise after months of chaos. Just the last few touches to do now. My 41 year old teddy and Flemish books are all set... 37 weeks today. I may still be WOYWWing for a while longer yet. The rest is down to Mother Nature and gravity!
Have a great week, enjoy the sun, flashes of the Olympic flame and whatever takes your fancy... Sarah.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Morning! Howdy! Buenos Dias and Bonjour! Or... "Ugh. Monday." Just in case anyone is feeling delicate or chronologically challenged. This week Simon Says Stamp & Show is looking sunny with a Summer Holidays theme. I love inky fabrics as much as inky paper...
 so I thought I'd create a canvas cover for my Art journal and indulge in bright summery colours. Who knows what the summer will bring but with baby-day just a few weeks away, I'm sure there'll be something to write home about!
l came across this wonderful blog and tutorial and was inspired to create my own take on things... My journal is a different size to that in the tutorial so and I knew that 4 panels would be enough as I wanted to use canvas which is quite thick. As well as normal seam allowances, the outer piece basically needs to be long enough to wrap around your journal when closed, adding on an extra 4 inches at each end to create the 'cover holders'. I also allowed 4 extra inches in the width to allow me to sew the cut and sew the strips together.
Firstly I created my fabric Masterboard. I liberally misted my fabric with water to help the colour soak in. Sometimes I'll prime canvas with gesso, but this time I wanted that natural colour in the background. I used Wild Plum and Sunset Orange Color Wash with the flower template and stencil waste, blotted the excess (very lightly!) and heat set.
I added random patches of Lettuce and Stream for more contrast, dried and then used old pot lids to add the circles, using Gesso and more Color Wash. I dried it thoroughly and then heat set it all with my iron using an old towel to protect the surface (and hubby's shirts!)
I then cut it into four strips and swapped them around to mix up the design. Other wise it's too predictable and even. When happy I stitched them together and ironed open the seams to allow it to lie flatter. At this point I added some random zig-zag stitching with my machine.
I stamped random words with Peg Stamps using Monarch Orange Archival Ink. Then it was onto the inside piece which I also inked up but left as one piece and the rest of the sewing. I went for a simple tie fastening using Distress Stained lace, ribbon and string. I sewed them to the back and used a shabby Tim button to help hold them in place.
Here's a close-up of the inside flap. If you're not a sewing type maybe you can ink up your fabric and then ask a stitchy friend to help with the rest! Except for the random zig-zag bit - it's all straight stitch. Or why not just play around with the same idea on paper to create fun backgrounds?
Here's the back which is as yummy as the front  - I like the panelled look a lot and the variation in colours and pattern. I fancy making a really wild one now! By the way, when I'm working on preparing my journal pages, I do take my journal out of it's lovely home! I hope the inky splashes and colours will brighten up your day... What mood springs to mind when you think of summer holidays?
I really hope you'll join in with this weeks challenge, and possibly win this generous $50 prize! Hop over to the Design Team Blog to enjoy more fabulous summery love!

Have a really good week, thanks for being here and... until the next time! Sarah.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Splitter-Splatter and Pitter-Patter...

Tis me just flitting in with two new pages of inky ramblings. At the moment I'm leap-frogging - paintbrush in hand - between journal pages, nursery floors and DT work!

It seems my gentle stroll into a bit of art journalling is well-timed as it definitely balances out the demands of creating for set themes. It's nice to just 'do a bit', ponder the mood and come back with another layer, be it midday or midnight...
Although I started them separately, somehow these two pages really wanted to hold hands...
so I worked on both with layers of Color Washes, Dylusions Sprays, stencils and heaps of gesso. The words read 'being me' and 'It's simply done with shatter-proof life" which relates to me being tougher than I think, even on uncertain ground.
I'm on an often turbulent but I think also worthwhile journey with myself. Learning to just be, and embrace where I am today. All those motivational sentiment stamps we have look pretty on paper... in real life they take a bit more homework.
Wishing you all lots of Happy Weekending! Sarah.

Sharing for the first time with Art Journal Cafe!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What's on your workdesk Wednesday?

Tis WOYWW? once more. Warning! Long post - might be my last for this week, so I'm stuffing it all in... feel free to whoosh through!
Sometimes it's more a case of what isn't on my workdesk. I am missing both my decorum and sanity as the 36 week baby clock chimes louder and rounder. Still a bit on the small side, so today I hope the midwife will say "Oh, at least another 10 DT projects and shopping trips to go Mrs. Engels." Just done the big hospital much money on so many totally unglamorous things for baby, bums, 'bits' and boobs! Apart from the lovely new armpit hugging underwear which is decidedly liberating!!!

It's DT (DesignTeam) Boot Camp for me as I'm working flat out to clear my list of deadlines for Simon Says Stamp & Show and Craft Stamper Magazine...

Doing quite well although it's tough on the old Mojo creating pieces back to back and sigh.. I DROP EVERYTHING! The used stamp pile has even hijacked my typewriter.
Still thinking about your WOYWW ATC? Feast your eyes on these fantabulous ATCs I received yesterday from a swap. I love them to bits. Five beauties from Debby, Lori, Nancy and Linda. Thank you so much ladies! Just outstanding!!!

ATCs must be the 'in thing'...
They're coming at me from all angles. I made this one for the Everything Wendy Vecchi group -  all thanks to my fab friend Kaz who sent me this scrummy stamp set. MERCI Missy Ranger Gal!

Just fooling around in miniature and having fun before I start on project 896.

Might make my hubby wear it in the delivery room... although I have to say it looks more like my Pa. Well minus the flowery hat then.
I'm a gal of extreme extremes (!) so from out of the inky mess two 'bare as you can get' cards arise. Chrissie and Mandi of Less is More fame have challenged us to just three stamps and one layer... with the wish of hopefully seeing lots of white space. Mission accomplished methinks. 
A slight blush of blue or red and just a face with two words.
I dug out some old word stamps and I then I found this Hampton Arts lady hiding in a corner of my stamp box. I thought she deserved a little inking and daylight.
If only my week was as uncluttered as my card! Right, time to blog hop and then I gotta wibble wobble away... Midwife, final baby scan and Ikea today. Thanks to everyone for calling by, the lovely words, baby-tips, stern advice and new followers. It's slightly manic but I am planning to go off-duty in June! Planning - LOL! Like it's optional! Really - thank you all so much!

Over and out. Sarah.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A bit of whatever you fancy...

Hmm, that sounds good on a Monday we awake, frown at both the alarm clock and calender, wondering who kidnapped the weekend! We had a speedy but, at last, sunny one here, so not all bad.
In true Monday blog tradition, I'm here to share a new Design piece for Simon Says Stamp & Show as we indulge in an "Anything Goes" week! Always fun because whatever your fingers, ink-pads and mood can join in.
Also good for me too. I'm someone who dabbles in (too!) many styles, so I can just go with the flow and see what arises. Books pages and random art journal pages were lying all over my craft room... I thought I'd go for a bit of recycling by creating an inky postcard and envelope set.
Any excuse to use a Wendy Vecchi flower! They were fun, quick and really easy to make! You could use any colours, papers or style you like and use up those scraps we all hoard... 'just in case'. Using Ranger Monarch Orange Archival ink, I stamped the two smaller flower stamps from the Live and Make Art set randomly onto an old art journal page which produces really varied and interesting flowers.
I swiped the cards with Gesso for texture, dried, then added a few flicks of Sunset Orange or Lettuce Color Wash.
I chose a different sentiment for each card. Every Wendy stamp set comes with a number of great words - in all sorts of letter types so you can use them time and time again on all types of projects.
I used Olive and more Monarch Orange Ranger Archival inks as they always come out well on top of gesso and other 'background' stuff.
Cue a close-up of some yummy texture and paint on the petals... Before gluing the flowers in place I added a few lines of yellow machine stitching to help 'ground' the flowers and add more interest. I finished off the centres with various washers which I had coloured with Ranger Alcohol inks and distressed edges.
The envelopes are simply dictionary pages cut to fit the cards. machine-stitched and then distressed around the edges with Peeled Paint Distress Ink. I used a circle punch to cut a half circle by the opening, stamped a few Rose Art Wendy leaves for decoration and dyed a piece of cotton tape with more Color Wash to create the tie. And that was that. See, mucho easyimo!
Do visit the Design Team Blog and see the loveliness everyone came up with and then skid-addle away to rustle up your own!  We'll be on the hunt for our Top Three Artists and you can also win this rather great $50 voucher. I must be off - I've got a bathroom floor (and brain) that needs oiling. Thanks for calling by! Sarah.