Tuesday, 2 December 2014

There are fairies at the bottom of my garden.

December 1 st

Here is a card requested by a friend for her Mum's 60 th birthday. She wanted something ethereal with fairies, I ve had some Lavinia stamps for a while, and this was the perfect time to try them out. I love the little bridge and the dancing fairies. Matched with clarity stamps and after several attempts to get the scene to work and the light I was really pleased with the eventual result.

It involved quite a bit of masking off. I did'nt want the 60 or the word celebrate to fight with the picture so they have been left subtle. The holographic embossing powder worked so well on dark blue card.

Hope you like it!

And close up.


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Christmas cards completed! November 29th

I have never managed to get my Christmas cards organised and ready to send in November and this year I have made them all!....it has been a chance to practice my techniques, Barbara does make it all look so easy!

Here are today's efforts

Loved the 'cut out' on these card, and the clean lines.

Partridge in a pear tree.

This is becoming a firm favourite.

Then I made a couple of cards for friends, one who has just lost her mum...

And a congratulations card for my step son who has just acquired his own business after a tortuous few months, but he has finally made it....
Thanks for visiting and for all your comments, it is much appreciated.






Sunday, 16 November 2014

A crafty day

November 16 th

I have had a very relaxed weekend with no real commitments so I ve been able to have a proper crafting weekend. I entered one of my Christmas cards into the clarity challenge this month which is travel. I have added that card again so it's easier for people to find the right card if they wish to.

So here it is! Again.......

There are some amazing recent stamps which I really haven't had a chance to play with so here are some cards I made today. I have two birthday cards for little girls who are 4 (2 days apart)! Both mad on the Disney film 'Frozen' which I confess I haven t seen so am hoping they will be ok.

I 'decoupalaged' Grace's castle, her Mum's instructions were lots of cool blues, a castle, fairy and lots of glitter! I embossed the castle which made it easier. A little tip don t forget you have a clarity mask on your art work when you heat emboss it! ........ It behaves a bit like shrink plastic!...... A disaster :)


I also have a Male 40 th coming up and the 'bird tree' and the super little car lent themselves to a scene I heat embossed the tree and car which gives a lovely finish. I liked the idea of the car's arrival disturbing the birds.


I then had a go with the perfect pearls and the double sided sticky sheets. (I ve never used them before)

My step son's birthday is coming up and he loves wind surfing so this stamps seemed appropriate and I love it.

It was all going so well! Until I went to re stamp the boat at the end and it missed by a smidge and the ink was nt clear enough ( any helpful hints would be great, Barbara made it look sooooooo easy. I could'nt waste all the effort so as you can see I managed to rescue it?!...... And unless I point it out as I am to my crafty friends hopefully he will never know.


Thanks for visiting and all your comments, it's a great confidence boost.




Friday, 14 November 2014

Christmas is a comin!

November 14 th Here come Christmas!
I have been making Christmas cards and trying out techniques along the way!

Here are some of my efforts.

Here comes the tree!!

I have also tried using a blending solution with the Polychromos coloured pencils and have been very pleased with the results.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

October 1 st 2014

Back to mosaics!

I decided to have another go at mosaics as I enjoyed the last ones so much!

I bought a kit this time which was exactly the right size for the project I had in mind. I thought it might be helpful to see how someone else devises the pattern and divides it into shapes to create the design.

The kit also provided exactly what I needed; tiles; grout; adhesive; spreader and a tile nipper.

I bought a 30 cm square planter for the garden as the kit measures 30 cm it means I can mosaic one face.

I then used a sealant and sealed it with a couple of coats inside and out. If you don t seal a pot that's going to contain moisture the tiles will pop off in time.

The planter is made of fibrecotta and a bit rough looking so I had one of the blue tiles scanned and then a paint made up to match it.

I painted it. It took three coats to cover well enough, the sample pots of the Valspar paint are very generous and easily covered it.

The kit uses the reverse method which I wanted to try. This involves the picture being drawn out on brown craft paper in reverse, the picture is drawn indicating how to lay the tiles, the design featuring a fish uses mainly quarter tiles and the background whole ones. The tiles are glass 2 cm square and are glued down upside down using PVA water soluble glue mixed with 50% water. This method means you can assemble it away from the finished object, the tiles are completely flat and if you were doing a big project this can be broken into sections for assembly.

The most difficult thing was to sort out the different colours as the instructions were a bit vague! It was a process of elimination......... Solution below.

The picture pattern indicated where to place the colours

I then stuck all the tiles down upside down and back to front!


The next part of the process was to grout the finished work and then remove most of the grout from the face of the tiles. The face of the pot also had to have the adhesive applied with a notched tool such that the adhesive has a ridged surface for the tiles to stick to.

The picture is then stuck to the pot, face down, with the paper uppermost. Some gentle pressure is applied to ensure good contact with the pot face. The brown paper is then dampened (this helps to dissolve the PVA glue) and this is then left for 15 to 20 minutes for the water to soak in. The brown paper can then be peeled off carefully, the odd tile did lift (I found it hard to be that patient)! The tiles stuck back quite well into the adhesive and on the whole it worked really well.

Once the paper had been peeled off and any adhesive had been removed then it was left to dry.

A further grouting was then done to ensure there were no gaps. This was allowed to dry and then the surface was polished with a dry cloth.



Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Journal cover for clarity challenge 19 "nature"

I have challenged myself to have a go at a 3D project which has been a steeeeep learning curve.

I have posted a step by step guide on my blog for the front, (the back cover followed the same pattern as the front). Instructions and step by step in previous post below.

I prefer the back which is the one I will enter for the challenge.

Hope you like it!






Monday, 1 September 2014

Shaving foam backgrounds

September 1st

Last week I was away on holiday and had some time to play a bit with shaving cream, Faber-Castell polychromos pencils and the few stamps I had taken with me. I had my 6 and 9 year old grandchildren with me too and I was amazed at how quickly Amelia aged 9 got the hang of tearing paper to create hills and mastering brushing ink onto the card. She made a card for her friends birthday which was amazing.

I had a go at some shaving cream and really enjoyed it, I mastered it a bit better this time and got some lovely results some of which I have made into cards.

Here are the results of my labours!


Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, I need to get on with Christmas cards!


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Anniversary Card

August 27th

Here is a card I made using the Funky foliage stamp.

I masked off a strip to create a narrow border and stamped the image above it. I added a moon mask behind the foliage and masked off the stamped image.

I then used distress inks ....fired brick; wild honey and mustard seed and clarity brushes to create the background.

The foliage was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils which are great for subtle shading.

I used a little of the distress ink on the moon after removing the mask.



The border was divided randomly and I used the same pencils to add colour to it and my favourite word from the word chains for this anniversary card.

The little bird finished it off.

I need to get better at stamping this as it is such a large stamp but I was quite pleased with how it turned out and the next one will be better!

Hope you like it too.

Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils

Note about these amazing pencils. I had a tin of 36 of these and while chatting to Barbara Gray at our retreat about whether to buy the Spectrum Noir pencils and which tin to chose she said that really the Faber-Castell Polychromos were the Rolls Royce of pencils but obviously expensive.

I decided to think about them a bit longer and then won first prize of £100 in our work lottery and managed to find all 120 pencils for £104 a bargain! So I have invested in them. They are amazing and I am really enjoying using them. A good use of my prize money I felt!




Monday, 18 August 2014

A card for Alice Rose

August 18th 2014

Today I returned home after visiting my daughter and son-in-law to welcome my new grand daughter, Alice Rose, She joins Eddie (4) and Adam (2) and is very beautiful!

Card for Alice Rose
This is the card I made to welcome her into the world.  The back ground is done using my first attempt at shaving foam and then enhanced with a touch of distress ink using a make up sponge.
I thought it was perfect for this months challenge, I have been meaning to enter for months and am finally managing it!
I hope you like it.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Mosaic project

Sunday July 20th 2014!

A slight delay has occurred...........
I found myself distracted from my card making and lured into the world of mosaics.
Now bearing in mind I have never made a mosaic before this was a major challenge.
I find the Internet invaluable and utube, in particular, as a teaching resource. I scoured both and read some books and then as I'm a hands on kind of person just decided to get going.
We have a small pond in the garden, it has three seats incorporated into the design and it has all been painted with an outdoor paint. The seats are constantly wet from the fountain and I was faced with peeling paint and having to try and keep it looking nice which had become a constant job.
I decided mosaic seats might be a more permanent solution. So set about making some!
The pond

I found some designs I liked on the web and then adapted them.

Each seat is subtly different. I thought the fish theme was probably suitable.

I found some mosaic tile sources on the web and opted for Murano glass tiles. They are good quality so cut well with tile nippers and have interesting colours through them. They come in 2cm squares.

I played about with the design as it was all new to me and then decided just to 'go for it'.
because the seats are going to be in a wet environment the suggestions was that I should use something called 'Hardie Backer Board' which is a cement based product, quite thin and has to be scored and snapped, this being harder than it sounds. Topps Tiles were incredibly helpful and sell this product. They also suggested a cement based glue which needs to be applied in small areas as it sets very quickly.

This is called the direct method where you put glue down and then fix the small pieces in place. I learnt half way through, there is a better way to do this, called the indirect method but I had already got going by this stage. The result is that there is not quite enough of a gap between the pieces and they are not entirely smooth....

first seat completed.

2nd seat completed

3rd seat under construction

close up

and completed

The seats once completed had to be grouted. I chose a dark grout (black) as I felt it would help to bring the design together. With hind sight I needed a bigger gap between tiles and by the time I got to the third seat I was using more of a square tile but you live and learn and I was pleased with how it had turned out. The whole project took a month and was very therapeutic. I m planning the next!....

here are all three grouted.

and finished!


and after!

See you soon, hopefully with cards next time.....