Thursday, 23 February 2012

Shiny Shiny pretty pretties!

I may not have time to do much paper stuff for a while, as I've just taken posession of this little bundle of loveliness! I keep just picking them up and touching and looking at them. Ooh. preciouses!

I've dabbled with a bit of glass and plastic bead jewellery over the years, very simple stuff, but I've always loved gemstones for their amazing natural bright colours and fabulous lustre. If I buy myself- or anyone else- jewellery, its usually gemstones in some form. So I thought, its about time I have a proper go at this. Even if I end up keeping all the stuff I make (though I wouldn't mind selling some so I can afford to buy more gems!) its still another string to my crafting bow.

I'll definitely be posting some pictures of them when I've made some! Though knowing me I'll be mulling over ideas for a while before I can bring myself to start. At least with beading, I can cut the wire and start all over again! Wish me luck :)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Hats Off!

First I'd like to say how much fun this was. When I was at uni I'd make stuff like this often and wear it too (mini top hat=goth fashion staple!) I didn't have all the papercraft resources then that I do now so I was really able to experiment here.
 I've used quite a bit of Tim Holtz idea-ology here: grungeboard keyhole, key and wings, tissue tape and type charm. I've also used Papermania textured cardstock, chain and mini penny farthing charm from hobbycraft, and 7gypsies mini key.

When I first saw the type charms (they come with letter stickers) I thought they would make great mini pocket watches, and I've finally found a project to use it for. They would look great on a charm bracelet or as a pendant too.
The body of the hat was made from an old Lush pot, to give a funky inverted shape, and the base a fine corrugated card, which I found to be quite malleable. I covered with the brown cardstock, then sanded it (white core cardstock is useful here as it brings out the texture) I then covered all the edges and 2 grungeboard wings with tissue tape, and used antique linen distress ink to accent. I covered the key and keyhole with brown then metallic paint for a rusty look.
I thought about the normal netting/veiling you can get on these mini hats, but I only had black net, so I decided to try and utilise the chain that i'd made the charm from for a pretty effect. I just made holes in the brim, opened up a few chain links and used them to attach the main length of chain.

This piece is going in for the Grungy Monday 37 challenge, to create a piece of wearable art.
Thanks Linda for a great challenge!!!

Also, this will be my feb monthly make

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Slushy Stuff part 2!

The second valentine's-related piece in 2 days. I confess, I'm a secret romantic. Don't tell anyone though, I've got a reputation to uphold!
The idea for this piece came from the great song, Erma Franklin's (Take another little) Piece of my Heart. Whilst listening to it, I started to mull over ideas for making a paper-pieced or patchwork
heart, which then evolved into the puzzle. Making the puzzle itself was much more complicated than it should have been: there was an awful lot of fiddly cutting. Next time, I might try picking up a cheap jigsaw puzzle from a charity shop and covering the pieces. A thousand-piece one should last a few projects!
I covered the puzzle pieces in various papers from the Tim Holtz lost and found paper stack, sprayed them with Tattered Angels glimmer mist in candy apple red and touched up the edges with a crimson promarker. I cut freehand a large and small tag from the lost and found paper, using the music sheet to reflect the song lyrics. I used linen distress ink on the tags then adhered the puzzle pieces to the large one, and stamped the lyrics on the small. The mini alpha stamps I used were from Studio G, a bargain £1.50, and so useful and quick. I found the organza ribbon and fibre thread in my stash, and looped them through punched holes to finish.
I'm entering this piece for the Studio L3 Grungy Monday valentine's theme challenge and the Simon Says Stamp & Show anything goes challenge
I love seeing other people's interpretations on a theme, and browsing through all the other entries is a great way to find new blogs to follow :)

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Slushy stuff!

 I received the most beautiful flowers from my sweetheart for Valentine’s Day. Though I must give him credit, he often buys me flowers, the dark tulips and white roses were a lovely combination.
I was very stuck on this layout to start with: I didn’t want to detract from or overpower the flowers, but I wanted a dramatic and romantic piece too. I thought I might use a little piece of the DCWV 12x12 photo stack red roses paper, but in the end I went big with it instead and I’m glad I did. I like the fact that this piece evolved: I wasted paper cutting pieces I didn’t use in the end, but it’s all part of the process. I also considered at one point using the whole of the paper cellar die-cut hearts sheet, but it looked very pretty cut up as a photo mat. I only wish I’d realised earlier it was self-adhesive as I struggled to try and glue it neatly…silly me!
I don’t get too hung up on journalling if I just have a little to say: sometimes the title is enough. For some reason I stamped the writing straight onto my LO when I’d nearly finished everything else, instead of doing it first: brave? Or stupid? Haha. Either way, it worked, and the fact that I used an inky grungy font anyway meant it wouldn’t have mattered if it had been a little messy. The writing is quite subtle and blends into the background somewhat, but this is what I was trying to achieve. To me, it mimics the words, “the closer I look…” because you have to look a little closer to see.
I was inspired by the Feb week 2 team challenge on UKScrappers, and also by the  SJ Crafts february challenge so I put together a combination of the two. Thanks for the lovely inspiration!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Two Girly Cards

This is the kind of girly I can cope with - no fluffy bunnies or anything too cutesy! I'm sharing a couple of cards- one quick, one that took a bit longer. The more time-consuming one, I made last year. It was the first one I made with my Tim Holtz birdcage die- now a firm favourite. Though I made it before I started blogging, I was always in the habit of snapping my favourite cards in case I wanted to go back for inspiration later. Sometimes its hard to give them away! But obviously as this one was personalised, it wasn't too hard to part with.
I actually used a freebie paper from a magazine for the background. You never know when they might come in handy so I never throw them away (who am I kidding? I never throw anything away!) So I used the TH birdcage and vintage market alphabet dies, the bird and letters are cut from the First Edition desert blooms paper stack. The hanging charms and flower are from Making Memories. A lot of input from my trusty promarkers, especially the Coral.

The second card was a cutting-and-piecing quickie for the 52-week card challenge. The paper is all from the DCWV 8x8 Street Lace stack. I love the lace and net look of these papers, very vibrant but a little bit saucy and naughty. The stack also has green, turquoise and cream papers as well as the pink, all have the black lace theme going on. I'll definitely be using this stack up quick! My black versacolor inkpad got a workout too, and my fingers were pretty sore after all that cutting!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Altered Mini Album Tin

This mini scrapbook-in-a-tin is yet another thing I've had for aaages and not known what to do with!
I’ve decided to do a bit of a step-by-step on this project rather than just snap the finished piece so folk can see what i did. I used the following:
*Book pages (I used some pages from a 1950s science publication – I collect old science textbooks and journals – they were already coloured with age and I like the added provenance they give, even though only I know they are there. You can use a page-effect paper, or age pages using inks).
*Woodware scrapbook in a tin (pages are ~12x12cm). 
*Stamps- Kaisercraft clear alpha stamps –“Grunge” font; Pink Paislee “daily junque” clear stamp sheet. *Black VersaColor inkpad. *Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutante 8x8 paper pad. *Tim Holtz idea-ology fragments charms. *Making Memories jewel charms. *Ranger alcohol ink “Stream” 
*Inkssentials Glossy Accents.*Brown & gold ribbon, buttons. I love buttons!

1. Rip up your book pages. I found using genuine old pages meant they ripped nicely, absorbed glue well and folded nicely over edges/corners. Glue to the lid of your tin to cover it. If your paper is new and won’t get round awkward edges, try Tim Holtz tissue tape on the sides. Leave to dry.
2. Ink with the teal alcohol ink as much or as little as you like.  Stamp directly onto tin with daily junque stamps and spell out “time flies” with alpha stamps.
3. Stamp the clock with wings onto a separate sheet, ink the clock and add glossy accents.
4.  Add the brown ribbon, buttons and cut-out lady from the Steampunk Debutante papers.
5.  When the glossy accents is dry, add clock to layout. I used thinned-down clear glue, which reduces wrinkling and I also applied it over the clock to help it blend to the page. Because its thinned-down, it won’t leave a shine.
6.  Cut around a metre of gold ribbon (check length by wrapping it round as many times as you would like). Make 2 mini tags by gluing images from the Steampunk papers to the Tim Holtz fragment charms. Leave to dry and cut around the charm. Poke a hole through and thread onto ribbon. Finish the ends of the ribbon by knotting a jewel charm onto each end. Tie around your tin.

Done :) I haven't decorated the album pages yet, but when they are done they will be here too.

I have submitted this piece for a challenge here: Simon Says Stamp & Show
this blog is a great place for lovers of altered art and grungy crafts!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Monthly Makes for January

I've been relatively productive this month, taking part in scrapping and card challenges on the UKS forums. I also decided to join in the Monthly Make for 2012 on the Felt Fairy's blog (see badge at the bottom of my blog). This month I have made my first ever ATCs, for a swap, and a card that I can now put up because the person I sent it to should have got it by now!

ATCs represented a completely new challenge for me: being creative in such a small space. When I scrap, I tend to leave space rather than fill pages up too much, but being able to fit everything I wanted onto a little card was a challenge for sure. I made a series of 6, entitled "Secrets in Lace", and 5 have been swapped; I kept the first one as I thought it might be nice to hang on to my first ever ATC. I'd be happy to make one-offs or more series if anyone wants to do a swap, just let me know.

 This card was really fun to make, it came out more like a scrapbook layout than some of my cards, but it was for a lovely friend so I wanted to spend a bit more time on it, hence I've used more techniques, more layers than I usually would: inking, stamping, die-cutting, collage. I liked the contrast of the girlie pastel dress and bunting against the aged feel of the stamped background.
Now I'm on a roll with my cardmaking I'm starting to enjoy it more, like I used to when I first started. I think taking inspiration from scrapping has really helped so I'll try and keep up with the 52 card challenge for the rest of the year!!