Friday, 30 December 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 
   One of my final projects of the year and I'm really very pleased with it because I managed to both use many of the techniques that I learnt during the epic Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas and I used most of the gorgeous crafty bits that my wonderful daughter unexpectedly bought me for Christmas. 
   While we were in Hastings on our (much looked forward to) pre Christmas jaunt, we were wandering down the hill after visiting Hastings Museum on a dull and drizzly day  when the heavens opened up and let fly an absolute downpour of sleety rain, drenching us to the bone in seconds. Undeterred (but temporarily rendered Grinch like at the the prospect of Christmas shopping  in such grim weather and having just  slipped   over spectacularly on one of those metal utility thingies on the pavement,  landing flat on my backside in the street, hurting pride far more than bottom!) we popped into a store called ESK seeking shelter  from the apocalyptic elements.

Click on any photo for a larger image


   Fortuitous or what? This unassuming store turned out to be an absolute Aladdin's Cave of eclectic goodness! My daughter,  quite undeterred by looking like a beautiful wet dripping swamp thing, managed to buy most of her remaining Christmas presents in less time than it took me to stop gently steaming  (yes, both literally from the icy rain and mentally because of falling over in the street)
   Then she found a craft section... honestly, it was like a scene from the film Hot Fuzz! One second she was with me; the next she appeared to be 20 metres ahead! I seriously considered the possibility that she might have vaulted over a display to get there before me!
   Wow! she went through it like Taz of Tasmania! by the time I negotiated my way round the stacks of product piled up chest high in the aisles and caught up with her, she was looking incandescent with pride, triumphant and furtive (never an easy combination to achieve) she had found stash for me!
   These were not secret presents, she gave me choices, we do not get to buy crafty stash often these days.. so each purchase is considered and relished, but there were no changes to be made, she sees colour and tones through artists eyes and her taste is infallible. 
    She was clutching.... A huge Anna Griffin lace stamp, a pad of Rich Cocao Memento Ink, 2 Stickles (Pink and Platinum) taupe embossing powder and a pack of gorgeous Shabby Vintage paper in soft pinks and browns by a company I had never even seen before, Craftworkcards. Knowing from the steely look in her eye (my side of the gene pool) that resistance would be futile, I gracefully allowed her to buy this huge haul for me. Knowing  these pressies had been purchased with money saved to buy herself a Christmas outfit, but instead, happily spent on me....made producing this tag the most happiest crafting experience ever!! God bless my loving daughter.

Wearing the hat!

I am entering this tag in the Sunday Stamper Challenge -week186 - Do anything ya wanna do
and the:
Simon Says Stamp and Show A Tim Holtz Themed Tag!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A Cute Animal Hat and My Blog is 4 weeks old today!

Sewn up - button eyes added  - then daughter added!

We went away for a few days before Christmas to Hastings, a seaside town not too far away. It was a lovely break, lots of ambling around, some nice food, a couple of museum visits and a little Christmas shopping. We had a few problems with our hotel but I managed to negotiate a huge discount.. in the end it was all good!

Pom Poms half made
It was a period of real quality time for my daughter and I and a welcome break after the hectic last week of term at college (all my lovely students had exams) While we were there I bought some knitting wool hoping to knit my daughter a fun hat before Christmas. Having so merrily completed Tim Holtz's 12 tags of Christmas I am still very much in full on crafting mode! Well...I nearly got it done..and then Christmas came along and happened and well, I finally managed to finish it this evening! It's cuter than it looks in the picture!!

Finished ;)            ? Super Hero Bear Hat

Still trying to get the hang of the camera - the top piccy is closest to the actual colours.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Decorations - our family tradition

Just in case I don't get a chance to post again before Christmas, I would like to wish everyone a safe, happy and blessed Christmas!
These are little night light holders I painted a while ago. I love upcycling goods which have previously been used for another purpose - it makes for inexpensive crafting too! I collected flat bottomed yoghurt pots and after cleaning them applied nail varnish remover to give a good surface for the glass paint and outliner to cling onto. They come out each Christmas,  every year,  my daughter and I make one or two little things  together to add to the hand crafted decorations in our house - this year it was the altered angel who has featured in a few earlier posts
Handpainted by Anna, I made these for friends and family - I love it that folks still use them
Made by my daughter Eleanor when she was little more than a tot - still one of my favourite things - it makes me happy  each year when I unwrap the decorations

Hand painted by Anna - sorry about the blurry photo - lots to do today!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Tim Holtz - 12 tags of Christmas - the leftovers!

I decided to use up all the 'scrips and scraps'  I had left over after the 12 days of Christmas marathon...though anyone following my blog will know I made most everything very happily 'out of scraps' in the first place. I was happy with this tag because I tried out several of Tim's techniques on this one that I had never tried out before. Who knew there was so much you could do with a stamp! Not me for sure. I was so pleased with my drippy candle, it looks good in real life!

My little altered angel atop the tree

The Angel I made a few weeks ago (my very first post) has made it onto the tree! she looks really cute, I grabbed a hasty shot on the camera and realised I had also captured a mixed media canvas that my talented daughter made when she was 13!! it is so cool that I grabbed a photo - she is very talented and I am always so proud of her.

One of my daughter's canvasses -done when aged 13

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Shopping trip

This evening my daughter and I spent a pleasant couple of hours Christmas shopping. As it turned out, mostly we window shopped and chattered.. We got a few things....How cute is this plate? The Rocky Road bar that we got during the trip looks pretty good on it too! 

On our travels we walked past a local monument which I thought looked beautiful festooned in gently   flickering white lights. Standing under it looking up as we were waiting to cross the road, it looked quite magical, so I took a couple of photo's to remind me of a lovely evening. Sometimes it's nice just to appreciate the little things in life!
The Clock Tower, Brighton, England

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - Bloopers - Care to share?

Hello  Bloggers

 Just a quick post!

Hmmm.... Did anything go wrong while you were working on your tags? or indeed, on any other craft project!

One thing I learnt:

 A little container of Perfect Pearls really goes a long way if you open it upside down by mistake!

Do share your experiences - I'd love to hear!

Anna x

PS...I completed Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas and would love for you to take a look!

Thanks so much for dropping by

Monday, 12 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas, Tag 12 - Thank you Tim and Mario!

I loved Tim's tag so much that later I am going to buy white tissue and have a go at that flower....and possibly make more tags and add them to this post, but for now, this is it!  I sanded Coredinations Whitewash Card, used Memento ink in London Fog to faintly stamp the text and reindeer/sleigh. I die cut a pretty shape to go on the bottom part of the tag. Sanded and swooshed a 'freehand cut' house shape with Walnut Stain Distress Ink and added a liberal dash of the 2nd best EVER product in the craft world, Rock Candy Stickles (the 1st being Vintage Photo Distress ink) to everything. Finished off with snowflake and stamped girl, Tim Tickets and a sentiment sticker from K&Co

Right now I need to finish knitting a scarf and sew the ends in on another one!

THANK YOU TIM, THANK YOU MARIO, THIS HAS BEEN  ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!. I'm sure lots of people echo this sentiment.  For a new blogger, this was, just the perfect opportunity. I have seen some inspiring blogs, started to make crafty friends and gained  a measure of confidence in my work...most of this is new to me

I craft a lot...I invite anyone to join me on my happy meanderings through blog land, company would be great! I do have a follower button and would adore to meet more of you - thank you so much for your comments - they have thrilled me so much and I appreciate each and every one of them.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Twelve Tags of Christmas 11 - Water splats and Embossing

OK then, the only thing I had in the way of supplies for this task was a 'Faded Denim Distress Ink' Anyone who has been kind enough to drop in on my recent efforts will know that this has been par for my course! Has that stopped me? Oh no, not a jot....quite the contrary in fact! Using techniques learnt this week on previous tags, coupled with the 'water splats'  from Tim blog today, I tried to emulate the  look of shrink plastic and to infuse my tag with as much texture as I could manage.

For the tag itself, I swooshed distress ink over paper, water splatted it, dried with a heat gun and  stamped and embossed snowflakes. I die cut 3 baubles using a Quickutz die, embossed them with a freebie folder, coloured the 'debossed' element with Sakura pens and found 3 clear plastic domed tags which (mostly) fitted over the baubles. I cut out the tree and added a sentiment.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

I do believe in Christmas, I do, I do!

Each dayof this challenge, I applaud Tim Holtz's creativity more and more.

Now today, I had to hurry and I knew I didn't have the right things to copy (I've done all the tags so far with minimum supplies, purchased nothing and have loved being inspired)

Joyfully making use of what I got and employing techniques learnt this week.

Presenting, my dreamy Gibson Girl bauble (!) wistfully remembering Christmas times of yesteryear

Please may I thank you so sincerely for visiting my beginner blog! It is nearly 2 weeks old and your comments have been so unexpected and joyfully received..Anna x

Twelve Days of Christmas 9 - Oh Little Tree

Wow - I was so blown away by the techniques in today's installment of Tim Holtz's blog that several hours into playing with the new techniques - and making funky little samples,  I realised that I hadn't actually made a tag at all! So this one was made in a happy rush.

 I have just remembered, I have a set of Basic Grey Stamps with a great tree branch and owls...ooh hurry up tomorrow! So many tags, so little time.

My photo doesn't do this justice at all and I have no editing software. Never mind - it is very sweet in 'Real Life' I don't own many background stamps, but used Fired Brick, Vintage Photo (my favourite of my little collection) and Peeled Paint Distress inks, clear Embossing Powder and Ranger Black Embossing Powder to create the upper part of the tag. The stamp is one of my favourites - it is from Hobby Art Ltd. The photo makes the top of the tree look more orange than the original.Lastly, I added a mix of Diamond and Rock Candy Stickles onto the tree -they/re still wet in the picture, I was too impatient to wait for them to dry!

I hope you are enjoying the 12 Days of Christmas - I'm loving it!

I hope you all have a great weekend. Anna x

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Twelve Tags of Christmas Day Eight - The Best of Times


I can't believe that I am keeping up with this! I'm juggling the day job with more crafting than I would usually do in a month! The funny thing is, people keep telling me how well I am looking. 'Pooped yet excited' would probably be nearer the mark! When I started making the tags, I didn't dream I would be able to make more than one, let alone keep up with the STUNNINGLY talented folks that are putting stuff into the gallery...but I am, and I'm proud of this.

I said in an earlier post that crafting feeds my soul...well apparently, doing a lot of it 'makes my soul fly' isn't that  the coolest thing to be able to say? Mine wasn't even really meant to be a blog! A couple of weeks  ago, it was started to keep a little record of what I my daughter could be inspired to reach for her own artistic goals.

Today's tag was again so fun to make, A quick swoosh of distress ink, some ornaments made, but not yet used were chopped up mercilessly and applied! I stamped and embossed a couple of old favourites from Paper Artsy and Tin Can Mail (the 'best of days greeting'). I mixed a little Ranger Black Embossing Powder in with Mirror Gold (a new idea for me) and embossed the greeting,  took another bad photo, accidentally tried to link my whole blog instead of just the aforementioned  and then sat down the in debris in a happy afterglow of my crafting frenzy. Happy Days!


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Twelve Tags of Christmas 7, I just distressed a twig!

Day 7 - Growing realisation that I didn't have a holly die/bells or anything remotely similar inspired me to pick up a handful of twigs from the pavement outside my daughters school - lucky break! They made it onto the tag

This was good fun to make. I used a favourite Paper Artsy stamp.When I have more time (and crafting stuff) I am going to go through many of the techniques that have been included as extras - can't wait - loving this so much.

Thanks Tim and Mario

Ooops, when I took this photo, it came out way too dark. I don't have any editing software as such (just a 'fix' button) Somehow it didn't save - so my photo on Tim's site is way too dark - sorry all, forgive me, my blog (which seems HUGE to me) is still only 12 days old and I am experimenting like an enthusiastic toddler!

A simple tag in masculine colours

Just using up scraps and playing happily with little pieces of ribbon! This is so much fun - so much inspiration and support in this amazing project - I wonder if Tim Holtz and Mario know  just what a great time they are  giving so many people? Just realised I put up the wrong photo - I added glossy accents and a sprinkle of Glamour Dust after I got to this looks different this time,,,,must put learning how to take pictures onto that long list of things to do! I think this looks like a little house with smoke coming out of its chimney

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - day 6. I'm using bright colours!

Day 6 and I wasn't sure what do when I first saw the image. But after reading Tim's blog (Oh I enjoy reading it as much as being inspired by the pictures) I thought of the embossed tins of biscuits we used to get at Christmas when I was little - such a treat! So, I decided to try and create a richly textured metallic effect.

 Yet again, I had none of the right supplies but found some lovely heavy quality Mirri card in a really unusual shade and a free embossing folder from a Docrafts magazine. I debossed some card and then embossed another piece. My daughter and I coloured in with Sakura pens trying to use similar colours to Tims design. I cut one out and stuck it onto the tag and then added a glittery trim and a snowflake - Ta Dah!

Monday, 5 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - day 5

Wow! what a technique - go check out Tim's tutorial if you haven't already - it is AWESOME

As ever, lots of substitutions here, but with such fun results.

I didn't have a large solid stamp so I used fired brick distress ink directly onto a foam block and then used the embossing distress ink directly onto an old Tim Holtz stamp (the one that looks like peacock feathers) My stamp was covered in Stazon ink and somehow when I stamped it onto the foam pad it lifted off a lot of the Stazon.....soooh when I stamped it onto cream card lots of the black came out. Weird, Yup!  I loved it.

I added a favourite hobby craft stamp of Santa flying through the sky.A light dusting of embossing powder was followed by a quick blast of the heat gun. Lastly, I scribbled a little snow with an embossing pen and then used snowfoam white embossing powder.

I think I will use this technique again and again....I may also invest in some stamp cleaner!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

12 tags of christmas...tag 3 From our house to yours

Thank you so much for leaving comments.. what a thrill! I have seen so many wonderful projects in the last few days - what an inspiration.

This was a tricky one for me. Great fun dipping the Tim Holtz tiny houses in glitter though! Normally, I'm quite a 'grungy' crafter, drawn to shades of blue and brown, so I'm amazed that I ended up doing 'jolly'.

 Sorry about the dodgy photo! I shall endeavour to improve

I'm keeping up - very very happy

A romantic tag

My daughter got the cool silhouette stamp from a craft fair for £1...bargain!

A little Collection of tags

12 tags of christmas...tag 4 Hello

Hi, thanks for stopping by - this is a new blog (still less than a week old!

I had so much fun making this.But....I couldn't get a good photo, it lost all the detail...each day I learn something new. I offer such heartfelt thanks to Tim Holtz for inspiring me to create using what I have rather than what I wish I had...most of my tags will lack ALL of the right elements (how many times can I use my reindeer!) but it doesn't matter..the creative juices are BUZZING!

Hip Hip Hoorah for Tim and Mario!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

12 tags of christmas...tag 2 - Planet Anna is a happy place!


Planet Anna is a happy place! thanks you for dropping by!

Hi, welcome to my new little 'nest' on the web, an English crafter invites you to come on in and tarry a while! why not take a look at my other stuff - even better if you would like to 'join me as a follower' My little blog is only 6 days old and I have had such a thrill that so many of you have visited my site from far flung corners of the world.  I would like to come see your blogs too.

I didn't expect this... my space was just set up  to keep a record of my stuff for my daughter to see -and maybe, if I get brave, so I would have a blog address to go in for challenges.

Inspired by the wonderful Reindeer tag Tim Holtz produced, as well as the amazing collection that is being amassed on his website, I have made one in a style that is  so different for me.

When I was hunting through my stash to find supplies, I found lots of little blingy bits and pieces that have sat around in my craft stash  for years. I used one and waddya know, before I could even say '12 Tags of Christmas', I'd used the lot!

As my funds for crafting are mostly pretty non existent (College Lecturer, single parent, mortgage) I was pleased that I was using stuff up ...I hardly buy craft stash these days, I save for the basics, Distress inks and Tim Holtz clings etc, Tims comments on using what you've got already this project has REALLY hit a note with me.  Stamping and paper crafting are such a fashion industry that it is so hard not to be seduced by the latest items and feel that your old stuff is - well - old! I've looked at my stash with a new pair of eyes tonight! things I had bought 3 or 4 years ago look bright and fresh again and I remember why I liked them in the first place.

Friday, 2 December 2011

12 tags of christmas...tag 1

Something truly inspirational is going on at the moment.....people from all around the globe are crafting together..all because of Tim Holtz..(and Mario) I don't own a single item of the supplies, but am proud to use what I had to take part in such an amazing project. thanks Tim x

I only started this blog a few days ago - I'm so happy that I did! Happy Holidays to anyone who finds this post - yours comments would also let me know I am not blogging to myself!