Saturday, 31 March 2012

Matchbox Madness!

Who knew altering matchboxes could be so much fun! I've had a great time getting to know some wonderfully mad people during the Matchbox Shrine swap on UK Scrappers.
Having checked out the swap and googled matchbox shrines, I thought this would be a piece of cake. Boy was I wrong! Firstly I signed up to swap 2 matchboxes, so twice the amount of work. Then I had creative block for weeks on end, my house is still littered with half-painted matchboxes as I bought several each of 3 different sizes to try out.

I was fascinated by all the different styles and interpretations of matchbox art that people made for this swap. What a creative bunch! I wanted to keep to the shape of the matchbox and the drawer-style opening rather than altering the boxes too much. I remembered making little paper theatres as a child, with layers of scenery and different characters, and I took inspiration from those for my boxes. I used two lovely Graphic 45 paper collections: Curtain Call and Halloween in Wonderland, with background papers from DCWV. I found the neatest finish on the boxes was to use black spray paint as an undercoat, and cutting panels of card for each side. The panels on the front of the boxes were mounted onto chipboard and my black inkpad got a good workout all over!

 I then set about cutting and layering all the internal pieces using a combination of foam pads and folded card posts, finishing with borders to enclose everything. With the music hall box, I added the same ribbon I'd used on the top of the box to make little theatre curtains.

I absolutely loved both the swaps I received in return, one (in fact, two) from Bex which has a saucy Burlesque theme, which is full of lovely touches and can be seen HERE , and one from Karen which is HERE that is a wonderful steampunky grungy number, full of lovely details and made to hang on the wall. Thank you both so much, and extra thanks to Bex for hosting the swap xxx

Edited to add: Link to Karen's matchbox :)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Shhh! Chinese Whispers

My first time in a Chinese Whispers challenge/ circle and I'm quite excited about this. For those that don't know, a Chinese Whispers in scrapping terms is where someone sends a layout to another person, who scraplifts that LO, and sends their scraplift on to another person and so on. At the end its interesting to see how the LOs have evolved. There are about 10 of us in this particular one, and we all start with a LO and send it on to another person, so everyone has a layout to scrap each month. Does that make any sense? Would I be better off making a flow chart?! Haha!
I don't work from sketches very often so it will be interesting to see how I cope with all this scraplifting, but I sometimes get stuck in a rut for ideas so I hope it will help me think outside the box. This LO is the first one that I've sent on, and I've been sent a picture of a lovely layout that I need to get scraplifting! I'm looking forward to the inspiration and motivation I'll get from this.

The sketch I worked from is not my usual style, but I'm pleased with it all the same. I used MME papers and Bazzill dotted cardstock, tearing and inking the edges of the cardstock. The background paper I cut a large central square out of so as not to waste it all, so I could use it on the main picture, and the yellow patterned paper is the reverse of it, which I thought I'd never use! I didn't really like the chevron paper either, but it was really pretty made into a rosette with the Tim Holtz alterations die. I just added a few prima flowers and a kraft tag, with a little bit of doodling to finish off. I like the simplicity, not cluttered with journalling and crammed with embellishments, and when I get around to my scraplift I'll show you that too :)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

First Jewellery!

So I'm really enjoying making gemstone jewellery, having already bought loads more beads than I showed in my last post! (naughty! My gemstone addiction is just replacing my paper addiction as I've vowed not to buy any new papers!)
I've already sold a couple of the pieces, and hope to do a couple of craft fairs maybe at some point. I'd happily keep all the jewellery for myself, but I can't afford to fund this hobby if I do! Haha.
So I'd love to know what people think, and any ideas about what stones or colour schemes people would like to see if you were looking at a jewellery stall.

 Black Jasper pendant (love this leaf!) with pretty orange Carnelian, and mini Tiger's eye, picture Jasper and green Jade beads. Phew!


White Coral with red Jade illusion flower pendant, little bit of experimentation with the flower.

Lovely statement necklace in orange Jade and brown Agate. This will be a present for my Mum, she loves bold jewellery and orange, so I hope she likes it! 

Amethyst and lilac Pearl cuff with earrings. Lovely colour scheme for a prom or a wedding!

Purple Agate with Labradorite set. I've put my bracelets on stretchy elastic, as I hate fiddly bracelet clasps, and this has enabled me to sell them at low prices. They are proving very popular!

Coloured pearl and haematite earrings, really simple. I think I'll keep some of these!

Cute Dalmatian Jasper hearts, with coral and jade. Love this set, Dalmatian Jasper is one of my fave gems. It always amazes me that nature can produce such gorgeous patterns!
 So I've got some scrapping swaps and challenges to get on with, time to put down my pliers for a bit (easier said than done!) and go and fiddle with some matchboxes ...