Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, La la lah!

The title to this post needs to be hummed! Any one old enough to remember the band Altered Images? Clare Grogan the singer, Happy Birthday the song... now there's a memory from the early eighties! Ah, happy, carefree times. I digress!
I love wrapping presents and coordinating papers and ribbons making even the simplest gifts look pretty. As I finished the last one of my daughters gifts... I realised I had totally forgotten to make her a card (shame on me!) It's late, so this is probably the quickest card I have made in years... not a stamp in sight! just 2 pieces of free paper from a craft magazine and some dodgy freehand cutting, I like it though. 
Happy 15th Els... you are and always will be the best thing I ever made!
Kept it to one colour... couldn't find anything to disguise the Wok though! No, it's not cleverly disguised in the photo's!! Small gifts, loadsa love.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Lookie, Lookie! How Cool is this?

I know I often improvise with my crafting, but I didn't realise quite how much my daughter takes after me! She wanted to take part in her first challenge, but liked small flowers - so she found a way to make them out of the middle of Tim Holtz bookplates!
She made a great tag and spent forever getting it till it pleased her eye. She nearly wrote a tutorial too, it's a good little step by step.
Bear in mind the fact she is only 14! Please go and see her blog (link on the right) and give her a round of applause (Proud mum? What me? Oh Yes... very... very proud!) Miss Els
Signing off most proudishly! I am so behind with my crafting, strangely enough Els 'gets' creating links better than me!

Monday, 13 August 2012

A Chip off the old Blog!

My lovely, shy, artistic14 year old daughter (whose work I often publish here on my blog) has now taken a deep breath or 2, taken the plunge and started her own blog and is hoping to share some of her creations. I am so proud of her and love (and often learn from) her art. I would be so pleased if you would give her a visit and follow her if you enjoy what you see.

There is a link on the right hand side of my blog at the top of the page and a link here:

Els begins with an E

Thursday, 9 August 2012

I've just crafted my coat!

I've just crafted my coat! well parts of it anyway... other large chunks of it have been added to the craftly stash of materials as I am increasingly drawn to crafting with fabric. Last week I found a really shabby coat at a car boot sale, but it was made of a beautiful thick woollen fabric and (as an ex Warbrobe Mistress I know about this stuff, having made a few cracking errors myself in the washing department) I think someone might have washed it by hand and then tried to tumble dry it!! Well, they nearly felted it!
All I know for sure is that it cost pennies and dye cuts Sizzix flowers beautifully. I also think it's amazing what some folks consider saleable... on the other hand, I bought it, so what do I know! The larger flower dye is my beloved Tattered Florals Tim Holtz Die and the smaller flower dye is a Green Sizzix original which I think is gorgeous and I love it, love it, love it!  I've cut loads of these from the coat material and shall be glittering in earnest for the next few nights. If you haven't tried this technique, I highly recommend it, it's a huge amount of fun, you will end up with unique flowers that you can colour coordinate perfectly with your projects and it costs next to nowt! Speshully if you make them out of old coats that someone else ruined! 
I fear I may have single handedly caused a world glitter shortage in the last couple of nights! After dye cutting I added Stickles and Distress Stickles to the flowers (pretty!) I've been trying to get stuff together ready to make a few  Halloween projects. Something I haven't really done much of. So far, I had marshalled up some of my old bits from forsaken projects (I'm such a squirrel), some heavy felt bottles laboriously cut from an old  Halloween gift bag (love these). I painted an empty chocolate box brown and used the Perfect Pearl mist on the background, which is now mostly covered up. I was just putting everything away for the evening, when I started playing... I liked how it all looked chucked into the box, so, I messed around a little more and 'Ta Dah'... a project, well sort of! I liked it, so I took a piccie or two and here it is.  Everything is just laid down, not stuck, so I will be able to re use them on bigger projects.  
By the way, that's real wax on the candles, I made  that for a 12 tagss of Christmas tag last year and borrowed it! I shall be entering this into several challenges.Blogger's Challenge (alter it, my choccie box)  Studio L3 (Lord Tim's Perfect Pearls Mist) and Our Creative Corner (Nature and Bling)
Technique Challenge 16 Linda's challenge at Studio L3
Bling, Bling and an item from nature Our Creative Corner
Alter It, Bloggers challenge (altered choccie box)
Tim Holtz's Website, love it!
The postie has just been and I got a lovely surprise, Craft Stamper sent me a copy of the edition that I have been published in, I am still child like in my glee at getting published. I firmly believe that we all need dreams, both large and small and that the clearer we can see these dreams, the more the universe can oblige and help them to happen. Well, this was such a dream of mine and bless Katy Fox for making it happen.

EDIT:  I have just seen a feature on the Sizzix website called 'I Spy Saturday' and am going to add this as I used so many Sizzix products here, When don't I?! Sizzix - I Spy Saturday

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Tim Holtz 12 Tags - August - my 3rd post in 2 days!

When I saw the gorgeous tag Tim Holtz had made I was inspired to make this. The background tag was made using the 'faux leather' technique I learnt from Anita Houston's recent tutorial and then embossed with a floral folder. The shimmer is provided by generous sploshes of Perfect Pearls. The silhouette, I stamped with black Archival ink and cut out (oh sooh carefully) The frame is Grungeboard covered with picket fence Distress Stain. The flowers were made from burlap using Tim's tattered Florals die which I love, love love! The sentiments are Tim Holtz stickers. I love it when a new tutorial comes up each month, it is always an exciting day - thank you Tim :) 12 tags of 2012 August

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Renaissance Mens! 2nd post in 2 Days!

   When I saw Anita Houston's challenge over at Frilly and Funkie, I was utterly fascinated by her idea and promptly got distracted Googling all her references and getting lost in art all evening (and watching chunks of the Olympics) I 'ummed and aarghed' about what to make and in the end decided to have a go at a canvas... not, as you will know if you follow my blog, my usual route at all. I'm quite proud of myself!
   A while ago, I bought a pad of canvas pages, I thought they might come in handy to stamp on and cut out for this and when I found the pad... BONUS! the drawing on the cover was Leonardo da Vinci's Vetruvian man (c.1487) albeit chopped up into 3 pieces... hmm... after about half a seconds thought the pad was in the photocopier providing the first piece of my homage to the Renaissance! It has been chopped up, wetted, distressed and torn and now resides proudly in the top right quadrant of my canvas looking like it has been there for hundreds of years. How lucky a fnd was that? 
   My main aim was to try and recreate the look of a Fresco/stylised working drawing using works by the Renaissance giants Anita Houston cited (Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael)  2 extra influences here... One of my first jobs was in an Architects department of my local Council and I loved the style of architects drawings (still do) the second, my love of all things Holtzy... which has now extended to those amazing new stamps by Mario111 with those awesome 'working drawing' lines. How neat are they? He has inspired my daughter and I so much. Alas, I got so into merrily chucking every art supply I own at this canvas that I totally forgot to take photo's until I was most of the way through it DUH!
   I reckon I paid homage to everyone Anita mentioned. The cherub (bottom right) looks much clearer in real life but twas a be-atch to take a piccie of with my little camera!. Also, the pointy hand (Graphic 45) is paler in real life.My piccie makes it stand out like a sore thumb!LOL. Again, the real thing is very heavily textured and, still glowing in the proud aftermath of having my first article published in Craft Stamper, I was actually so chuffed with this canvas that I squiggled my initials at the bottom of it.
   I was pleased with all my rulers...'cos I made them! They are made from an Xcut embossing folder, embossed (well, what else!) Perfect Pearled, Distressed and chopped into pieces. Some got treated with the 'faux leather' technique... I am so loving this at the moment. Honestly, I'm like a puppy rampaging thru Blogworld. I even worked in a few Latin quotes... one of which is the motto of my town!

I'm so chuffed with this canvas, it makes me miss the days when I taught crafts... Wanna go back to it so much! Ending this now. Tim Holtz has posted his August tag, tis awesome... and I want to play. I don't think I have many of the ingredients and I can't wait to improvise. I hope you all have a good day. EDITED! Yay! I just found a little silhouette stamp my daughter got at a craft fair for a pound.... Happy Dance!

This is my entry for the Renaissance challenge over at Frilly and Funkie... do go check it out, there are some amazing pieces being posted. Renaissance Men Challenge
I managed to get a better photo of my little cherub by holding the canvas up to the light in the garden. I like the effect of this, I used the mask and swooshed clear embossing ink around it and then embossed it using Ranger Ultra thick Embossing Enamel. I wish I could show the depth of this finish, the canvas is sooh tactile and chunky.

As it has one of my favourite Tim Holtz sentiment stamps in the middle (Life is the Art of drawing without an erasor) I am also entering this into the 'what do you say?' challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Anything Goes at Fashionable Stamping Challenges