Thursday, 25 September 2014

From the Heart

Welcome to another Sponsor Spotlight at Our Creative Corner! 

Tando Creative are our sponsors at Our Creative Corner this month - and they will be donating a wonderful prize to the lucky winner selected by!

    Here is a little sneak peek of what I have made this month for Tando Creative. 

 If you want to see more you will have to come over to Our Creative Corner! See you there!

Happy Crafting!

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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Simple Scene

Hello everyone! 

I am here to show you my creation for the new challenge over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges

Trees with Autumn Colours

It's such a hectic time at the moment for me that I felt the need to simplify...and the words on this Artistic Outpost stamp spoke volumes to me! 

I was struggling with this challenge - trying to get too technical and looking for something that was a real WOW! Then I took a step back and thought why make things difficult? - Sometimes simple is better.
 After all, the trees stamp is beautiful enough without any embellishments......

And this is as CAS as I can get I am afraid! Even when trying to keep things simple I can't resist adding in some rustic texture effects...

The card base was inked with Gathered Twigs and Walnut Stain DI and I stamped my favourite script stamp with Gathered Twigs DI and Potting Soil Archival ink to get a layered effect.

The picture was stamped with an Artistic Outpost tree scene in Potting Soil Archival ink and then had Spiced Marmalade, Ripe Persimmon, Fired Brick, Aged Mahogany and Walnut Stain DI's blended over it. I added the palest ink at the center of the scene to look like the sun was setting and the darker colours were added to the outside to give depth to the picture.

The I did some spritz and flick over the picture and spritzed it with some Pink/Orange ink spray.

The background of the card as also spritzed with a brown ink spray to add to the grungy effect

And there is my 'Trees with Autumn Colours'!

Hope you like it! Why not come and play along with us at Fashionable Stamping Challenges!

Remember we are a stamping challenge so please feature a stamped focal image on your creation.
  You could be the winner of $20 to spend at Flonzcraft Stamps! And of course you could be picked at one of our Catwalk Spotlights!

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Monday, 15 September 2014

Writer's Block

Welcome back!

Today I am here to show you my creation for Sandee and Amelie's Steampunk challenge! This month the challenge is called -

"Steampunk Stories"
Whatever you associate with a "good (steampunk) story" is what we want to see from you. Be it the altered cover of a book that holds a story, an old tome, a stamped scene, that tells a steampunk story, a tag, a card, an artefact from a (fictional) steampunk story, a journal page, a captains log, and old piece of steampunk jewelry that would tell a story if it could talk... the possibilities are almost endless. But remember: we are a STEAMPUNK challenge blog - so we want to see something steampunk-ish! And we love to read your stories! ;)

         I must admit I suffered a little with 'Crafting Block' with this - I had things to use for it...I had some ideas, but I had no basis to start ideas on colours or what to make. One day I was working for a project for Our Creative Corner and I was working with Dylusions sprays. One piece didn't go to plan so I knew I couldn't feature it for my post, but I liked it that could be used for the Steampunk creation.....

       I used the several pieces of card that went 'wrong' to create a hanging.

First I got a piece of thick cardboard (previously a pet food container!) and stuck some German text over it with glue.

 I then dabbed some Vintage Photo DI all over it.

I got one part of the card that had a clock stencil sprayed with Dylusions sprays (Polished Jade and Melted Chocolate) and glued that to the center of the board

I tore sections from another piece of card that had been sprayed with inks and dabbed with tissue. I then stamped them with a text stamp that had been inked with Evergreen Bough and Gathered Twigs DI

I stamped a script stamp over them with Potting Soil Archival ink and inked the torn edges with Vintage Photo DI.

I stamped a typewriter with Potting Soil Archival ink on some more card that had Dylusions sprays over it. I attached some Chit Chat stickers to the page

I stamped some pencil stamps and cut them out and added them to the hanging

I used an Artistic Outpost stamp 'jot this down' stamped onto the card and then edged with Vintage Photo DI

Rusty wire was used to make the hanger and a metal nib covered in Espresso alcohol ink was added

Hope you like it! I do hope you will come over to see what the rest of the team have made and share your Steampunk Stories with us! Hope to see you there!

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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Fashionable Fun

Hi everyone!

Here is what I have made for the latest challenge over at  Fashionable Stamping Challenges
I am so glad to be back!

It is my choice of challenge today and I chose.........


I adore all the fashion stamps out there and have quite a collection so I was spoilt for choice. Using my favourite combination of brown and blue, I put together this tag....which my daughter grabbed as soon as she saw it!....Luckily I was able to take some photos of it first before it got added to her collection of treasures :o)

       First of all I blended Tumbled Glass and Gathered Twigs DI over a tag.

   Then I stenciled some leaves onto the tag in the same inks

I began to use various stamps with Frayed Burlap and Gathered Twigs DI

      The fashion/haberdashery stamps were stamped using Potting Soil Archival ink. I used two gorgeous stamps from the FSC sponsors Flonzcraft


 I added a piece of tape measure along the sides and attached a charm

     I added a flower and some buttons

  A quote I have used previously (but very appropriate and true!) was done in some letter stickers

     A brown paper ribbon was added to the top of the tag

Hope you like it! 
Why not come over and join us at Fashionable Stamping Challenges 
 Remember we are a stamping challenge so please feature a stamped focal image on your creation.
  You could be the winner of $20 to spend at Flonzcraft Stamps! And of course you could be picked at one of our Catwalk Spotlights! 
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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Jewellery and Jam

dobrĂ½ den!
We are a bit Czech here today because I thought I would share with you some things I made on holiday.

And even though I have written 'dobrĂ½ den' (hello) I won't try to fool you into thinking I speak is to my shame that in the 7 years I have been visiting the Czech Republic (and loving it) I still don't speak the language. I know basic words (Hello, Goodbye, Thank you and Cheers!) and each year I intend to learn and never get around to it....I don't have any kind of talent for learning languages!
     We went to stay with my mother-in-law Gil in the Czech Republic. For those of you who don't know, Gil has been a dolls house collector and crafter for over 40 years. She spends half the year in the Czech Republic where she has set up a dolls house museum filled with the dolls houses she has collected over the years. If you fancy taking a peek (and I really recommend you do!) here is a link to her blog. When I first met my husband and saw her collection of houses I was amazed and thrilled - I had always been fascinated with dolls houses and had always wanted one...imagine how thrilled I was to find a person who owned so many! A few years later Gil gave me my own dolls house and it is slowly being decorated....

      I miss crafting when I am away from home so Gil usually finds me things to make! She has a knack of collecting helpers...."Oh you do crochet/sewing/woodwork....have you ever thought of doing miniature items?" These people find themselves suddenly using their skills in 1/12th scale and I don't think Gil has ever encountered anyone who says they won't do it again and again. I think she has infected many people with the miniature bug over the years - myself included! When she bought me my own dolls house I said I could never make anything for it and I would have to buy items. She told me this was nonsense and I absolutely could do it....She was right....once I began I found a fascination for working in such small detail that I never thought was possible.


      Gil has created a department store and needed some items for the jewellery department. So I went to work in the museum and sat making jewellery one morning - more jewellery followed later in the holiday and I am so hooked I will probably make some for Gil to collect when she comes home later this year.

       I began to practice before I went away. I wanted to make chains from the metal wire and most of the ideas failed totally. Eventually I put together a piece of wood with two nails hammered into it.

I wrapped a length of wire around the front nail and twisted it

Then I lifted that loop off the nail and placed it down over the nail at the back

I twisted the wire again in a loop around the front nail

I then lifted it off and placed that loop over the back nail...and so on and so on....

Once the chains/loops are formed it is simply the case of adding beads. This necklace was made with two strands of wire (forming four once looped into a chain). I decided to have three lines of beads so the center line was beaded with two strands of wire. Once I had finished adding beads to the four strands I knotted the wire and began the wire looping again.

 It all sounds tricky and time consuming but it really isn't. I got into the flow of doing it quite quickly and it was a lot of fun.

This double necklace was made by just twisting thicker wire and occasionally adding a pearl bead.

  As I was finishing on that first day the idea of rings came up....I didn't have a clue how to manipulate the wire in such a minute way....then I saw toothpicks on the table. Perfect size. I wrapped the wire around the tooth picks once, twice or three times (depending on how thick I wanted the band to look) and then stuck gem stones onto the loose edges of wire with strong glue paste. They are soooo tiny - as you can see!

Here is the entire collection I made - pictured against a penny to show the scale....

And here are some of them close up......

 I think this one is my favourite. It was made with miniature crystal seed beads. I threaded them onto two strands of fine silver wire then secured the ends. I then twisted the two strands together.

And because I liked that one so much I made another using the miniature seed beads along with regular sized gold seed beads and added a pearl bead at the center.

This one was made using the chain/loop method and adding pearl and gold beads.

Sometimes simple is good! A strand of wire threaded with pearl, crystal and red seed beads.

I loved making this one! This was the trickiest - but then I LOVE tricky work! Using two lengths of thin gold wire I wrapped them around the nail to begin making the loop. So I was working with four strands. I made the entire chain for the necklace then I added the gold beads.  I then began to add beads to the four stands of wire before repeating the three gold beads again and finishing by making a loop so that I could connect the length of chain.

    But it wasn't all about jewellery this year. There was jam to made too....Gil has many plum trees in her garden.

 Last year the fruit yield was nil and this year the trees are overflowing and they needed to be used. We all adore plum jam so I offered to make some. It is lovely to make jam and even better when you have picked the fruit yourself.  

So two evenings were spent preparing buckets of plums and cooking the most luscious jam.....Bliss.....There were more jars than this!!!

We ended up eating quite a lot ourselves and we made so much we began to give them as gifts to visitors. Czechs don't really know plum jam - they make something called Povidla instead....and most of them thought they were being given a gift of Povidla and were amazed when told it was jam. Povidla is more like a thick plum stew that is cooked without any sugar - so they use late harvest plums which are naturally sweeter. Even then it is slightly sour. I wonder what they make of a very sweet traditional English jam! I think there will be more jars on the way as the trees are still overloaded with fruit and Gil plans to make more....I think I might have even convinced her to collect enough to make Slivovice!

Nastravi! (Cheers!)



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