Thursday, 29 March 2012

At last some 'me' time!

Well that was after I'd been to the dentist,  then got the shopping...  and found myself inadvertently in a queue for petrol!   I could not believe it,  turned onto College Road,  and !?****!!   Maybe if this damn government could take some lessons in effective communication it would help!  There is no need for panic buying,  the tanker drivers are NOT on strike. 

After a calming cuppa it was time to set up the craft stuff.   I made a start on the exploding box,  cut out all the layers,  had a good root around the various stash boxes for bits and bobs, I think my Slice machine can provide the rest,  just need a few photos.    Then I turned my attention to my new stamps. I set up the encaustic stuff,  and for once I managed to remember to take a picture of how it all starts.  The stamp is just beautiful,  a lovely crisp image,  very detailed.  So from that to...

This.  I was doubly chuffed because as the stamp is quite large I had to use an A5 piece of card,  which of course meant working with a bigger amount of wax.   She only just fitted onto my large block.   Then I just worked with the wax till I got a nice effect,  it was hard to know when to stop!    I think the stamp would also lend itself to a shadow technique.   I am also wondering if it will work if I emboss the image,  it should do.  The iron isn't hot enough to melt the embossing powder.  Something to try over the weekend I think. 

This is my craft space!  Or my bed cum craft space,  stash, as you can see, is carefully arranged on bed,  everything to hand - NOT!  It isn't usually as bad as this, if I am going to use the stash then it is a bit more ordered, or at least that is how it starts out,  then it ends up looking like this,  no wonder I can never find anything.  In the background is my collection of Angels and Buddhas.  The stash itself is organised in the boxes,  so the paper is in one, mirri card in another, ink pads neatly stacked, and stamps also now all in one place.   I've not included what is also on the floor, my toolbox,  paper trimmer amongst other things.  But hey it works for me.   I do try to be organised but it never lasts very long,  say five minutes?   I'm not even sure having a dedicated craft room would make much difference,  it would be just as chaotic. 

And it is Easter next week!  How'd that happen?   Best get some Easter Eggs I suppose - unless they are also subject to panic buying?  

Thanks for stopping by, and for the comments they are very much appreciated.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

So, went to the craft shop...

Spent £1.97,  got two gorgeous stamps,  3 sheets of 12x12 card, some borders and U Mount!   Oh,  I did have a gift voucher and a 10% off coupon - bargain or what!  

I thought it was time to get my act together regarding the wedding, need to make an exploding box for the happy couple.  I have all the bits and bobs, just didn't have any suitable card.    Then I spotted the new Indio Blu stamps...    drool!    Well with my penchant for Owls how could I NOT buy this stamp?   I've been looking for a really nice Owl stamp for ages,  and there he was,  just waiting for me.  Not had chance to use him yet...  watch this space! 

Then I had to decide which of the other stamps to buy.  It was hard,  I wanted all of them,  but such extravagance is out of the question sadly.    I was very tempted by the Poppys,  as it had a lovely sentiment on it, and I do like my sentiments.  In the end I went for...

This lovely lady.  I thought she would work well with the encaustic art work as it is a solid image.  It's also a decent sized stamp, well they both are,  they'll easily fill an A6 card. 

They would have been played with today but I'd promised a friend to look into how to set up an online shop.  Then there was the confusion caused by mum.   She had two appointments, first with the dentist, then the hairdresser.  I asked her if she was then intending to go meet her friends for  coffee in the village, she said yes.   I took that to mean she would get a taxi from hairdressers to village.  So after depositing her at the hairdresser I headed home, for what I thought would be a nice quiet afternoon.   At 3.30pm she phones me and asks when I will be picking her up!  I'm confused,  she is insisting that I had said I'd take her to the village..  but will I come and get her.  So off I go,  3.30 pm and the roads are full of school traffic!    Nope I have nothing better to do than to waste my time and petrol in going to pick her up.   When I get there she apologises as she had remembered what she'd told me!   Bloody great, she had sat in the hairdressers for over an hour waiting for me to come and pick her up!  Doh! 

I also wanted petrol, but thanks to that dumbest of Ministers, telling us all to go top up our tanks and stock pile petrol, there wasn't any to be had!  How thick can you be?   His ruddy driver won't run out of petrol will he?     My car isn't a luxury, it is a necessity,   due to having a badly damaged knee and back.   I wasn't going to fill the tank, just get my usual amount,  but thanks to that Ministerial Idiot, and the incredibly selfish I wasn't able to.    What is it with policiticians?  Is it a requirement of their job that they be removed from all sense of reality,  have no commonsense and be totally out of touch? 

On that note... 

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Tense, nervous...

Everton are playing in FA cup match!  It's on telly.   May be chewing nails at some juncture.  I can hear mother muttering about the football being on, questioning why Corrie isn't on... probably cos it is Tuesday. 

Twas another bootiful day,  it made it to 19C here, positively balmy.    Did a spot of gardening, okay I plucked a few weeds from various pots,  well it is a start.   Planters look as though they need a coat of paint!  

Right first task was the supermarket shop,  I make my list, put it in my pocket and there it stays until I reach the checkout, I do glance at it then noting what items are missing from the trolley!   Hey ho. The staples were in there, bread, wine,  cheese, milk and of course chocolate.   And return home to find mum still moaning about her hairdresser,  his mother died some ten days ago after a long battle with cancer, his father isn't doing so well and is my mother showing any sympathy? Nope!     All that was between me and some crafting was mum's dental appointment,  once that was done I could finally have a bit of 'me' time.   So off to dentist,  book mum in,  receptionist informs me that appointment has been cancelled?   Odd, we didn't cancel, but it seems they did!  Charming.  So now had option of waiting for 30 minutes or rebooking....  stuff waiting,  I had an appointment with craft table, so rebooked. 

And now breathe...   out came the wax, what else?    Got some new colours,  and the stylus,  and at 7 a.m. this morning I had caught a repeat of the encaustic show on CnC!   So had a play. Out came the lighter blue,  just used that to make the picture above.   Even I can't quite believe this is all made with an iron!  Crazy.

Then I chopped the red glossy card in half,  and just used the white wax - loads of it.   Then just kept on working the iron,  it is hard to see from the photo, but if you look at the actual picture and relax your eyes you can see loads of images in it.  I also used the stylus on this,  it is a bit tricky to work with, but I'm starting to get the hang of it. 

We've scored! 

Sorry,  Everton 1, Sunderland 0.  

Back to picture,   I did notice that the red card seemed to resist the wax far more than the black.   I'll have  to try the other colours,  got some gold, copper, silver, pink...   I'm intrigued to see how they all behave with the wax and what results I'll get. 

I suppose at some point I should make a start on the wedding candles!   Not sure whether to risk asking mum to apply the transfers?   Off to ponder... 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Sunny Monday!

Well the weather is nuts,  it is more like summer, everyone is in T shirts,  no leaves on the trees - mad! 

Sadly my bed was acting more like a magnet this morning, it was so cosy,  and I was so snug...    I did eventually manage to lever myself from the bed.   Now the plan was to get to Hobbycraft, which is near Chester,   so I was taking mum so she could have a day out, we'd get some lunch at a pub and that would mean no cooking for me.   And it didn't take very long for it all to fall apart,  mainly due to my mother's inertia,  while she was dithering she remembered that she'd not paid our electric/gas bill,  so muggins had to go queue up in Post Office, then join queue for petrol...  by the time that was all done it was lunch time and my tummy was complaining!    So we had lunch at home,  then headed over to Hobbycraft.    I only wanted some encaustic wax,  and was also hoping that they might just have some nice stamps to use with the wax...  well they had the encaustic kits, and the stylus (with extra tips) but the stamps were all a bit naff.   So came home with the stylus, Purple Cows stylus,  does same job and a much nicer colour, and the wax. 

Took a different route home, just to keep mum amused,   the clock in the car was confusing me till I remembered I'd not altered it.   Mum was confusing me by asking questions about new buildings etc she was noticing...   felt like baling out.    And would like to thank confused elderly driver for nearly causing me and another car to crash...  said elderly driver had no idea of where she was or what she was doing.

Finally made it home,  and of course out came the new toy!   Love it,   more possibilities,  lots and lots of them, and haven't yet tried all the tips that came with it.  The new set of waxes has some lighter blues and reds plus a lovely pink.   Will be doing much playing this week. 

Posted a new pic of a piece of encaustic art work, the stamp is by Lindsay Mason, I've now got to grips with the stamping element.   I love this little stamp, it is so sweet.   I used the iron to make the archway.  

Lovely stuff...    and more sunny stuff  tomorrow!

And thank you Julia for your kind comments on the last blog.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

In the Summertime

What a gorgeous day!    In fact the weather has been fabulous for a few days now,  just hope this isn't our 'summer'!   I wasn't able to enjoy the sunshine yesterday as it was time for another MBS fair, this time it was local so I was spared any of the travelling.  But it did seem a shame to be cooped up inside on such a sunny day.  I think the punters must have thought the same thing, it was busyish,  and we had a steady stream of customers.   I met up with a few old friends, and made some new ones!  There is always a lovely atmosphere at the fairs,  and everyone is happy to help each other. 

I took along my encaustic art work to show one friend,  sure enough she had ideas about how I could use them.   They seemed to be a hit with everyone,  they didn't go on sale,  they'll be used for something else.   More of that at a later date.

Today it was time to get out the craft stuff, first job was to decorate some bits and bobs for our stall,  we need display stuff, so that is all down to me to transform the old stuff.   Next it was back to the wax.  Well if I am to do what I want, then I need plenty of practice!   I really wanted to get to grips with using stamped images and the wax,  you do need to use solid or silhouette images,  so I chose this clarity stamp, it is a favourite of mine.   I wanted part of the image left blank,   which was kind of tricky,  but I just about managed, any stray bits of wax were wiped away.    I kept on messing till I got an effect I liked,   I just added a hint of red to the sky in the stamped image,  and by a happy accident I got a nice releflection under the fairy's foot! 

I also wanted to use the coloured card, in particular the black glossy card.   This spooky picture was the result of mixing, some green, blue and gold,  and white....  the black card totally transformed the colours,  I think it has given the picture a smoky effect.    I cut the A5 in half to get two A6 cards,  may as well get value for money. 

I should I guess take photos as I go along,  but I am usually too eager to get on with making the picture!    I will try to remember on Tuesday, if I get the chance of any crafting. 

My mum's stairlift wasn't working properly,  it started playing up on Thursday,  she then forget to check it on Friday, so hardly suprising that on Saturday the damn thing wouldn't work.   I did what I could but it needed the engineer, so she rang him.  He first had to go to Birmingham to fix a stair lift there, which of course meant he didn't get round to fixing mum's stair lift till late afternoon, so she was stuck indoors.   Thus today she was expecting me to offer to take her out, but I wasn't feeling too well,  I had cystitis.   I am going to Hobbycraft tomorrow, so mum is coming with me for the drive, and we'll stop and have lunch somewhere.  She could of course have phoned her son and spent the afternoon in his garden! 

Now off to tackle more adverts and stuff for the MBS fairs. 

Hope you are enjoying this lovely weather, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 23 March 2012

More ironing!

No not clothes...  wax.  I felt that I deserved a treat having braved the dentist,  and for doing all the housework yesterday.

Felt much happier with the results today,  I didn't press hard as I had been doing,  just need to make sure I get the right amount of wax on the iron.  I also found a lot of tutorials on Youtube, and of course some amazing pictures.   I really would like the stylus,  not sure whether to buy one from Hobbycraft, or get it from CnC.   The latter has a kit, and it comes with the extra bits, plus more wax,  whereas Hobbycraft just sell the stylus.  Decisions, decisions!   Or I could get more wax and paper from HC?   Mmmm,  that sounds like an idea!

Did this pic, on left by applying the blue wax to bottom of card, then a mix of green and blue to top half.  Made the tree with the tip of the iron, not a bad effort.

I moved on from there to the red/purple,  and dark blue,  again I applied the wax separately,  using the purple mixed with white for the lower half,  then the violet for the top bit.  Oh and a bit of gold chucked in.   At least I had achieved more of a landscape effect than the first few efforts.  The chap on the DVD actually says that if you do iron you are at a disadvantage!  

This, in fact both to a certain extent, reminded me of the Northern Lights, which a friend of mine was lucky enough to see.   I was trying to get that 'curtain' of light,   which I think is so magical.   The stylus would make all the difference,  with that you can do fine work,  which you simply can't with the iron,  it is just too clumsy.

  This was my 3rd effort,  I used the dayglo red and yellow,  my terms for the colours, along with some white and got this colour combo.  It was all a bit wild,  and of course the more you apply the iron the more the picture will change.   I added some blue at the bottom to kind of represent water.   This was all a bit mad,  I just kept applying colour, just dabbing it on with the iron.

It is all a whole load of fun though, and I can highly recommend it. 

No reiki sessions for me today, had the most bizarre accident this morning, was having a shower and managed to drop the shower gel, a full and large bottle of Sanex,  onto my foot!   Had a nice bruise and a very sore foot.   Just didn't fancy hobbling around all day at the centre.  I have a full day at an MBS fair tomorrow,  that is Mind Body and Spirit,  holistic and new age stuff,  a much bigger affair than the last one we did.   I usually attend this MBS as a customer,  so this will be my first time as a seller!    

I hope to get round to more crafting on Sunday.    Possibly a few more tags!

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Normal stuff

After two months of promising myself I will make tags I finally got round to it!    It was a lovely sunny day so I chose some spring colours,  paper came from a PM kit, which has been lying around for two years in my stash draw,  butterfly is one of the Anita peel offs,  sentiment came from same place as paper,  and flowers...  PM (Paper Mania) all various kits, there is also a cog lurking under the flowers!   All finished off with a scrap of ribbon.    I also seem to be tearing everything!  

Before I got crafting popped up to local craft shop,  couldn't face the thought of the M62 on such a nice day. So new purchases were: set of stamps,  Cogs,  Angelina fibres, and some high tac DST.    The craft shop is situated in a garden centre, which also boasts a very good restaurant, so the place was packed with families taking mum for lunch.

I did consider washing the car... but the call of the craft table was just far too strong. 

Next up were the Angelina fibres.  I had never considered using them before,  I'd seen them and always loved the effect but the thought of having to get the iron etc had put me off. But now I have a craft iron, so no more excuses.  This is just part of what will be a card, well it will be at some point!    I stamped onto clear acetate,  using a Clarity Stamp:Wild Frame,  then used the blue fibres to make the background.  Actually the plan was that the stamp would make an impression onto the fibres, but it didn't work.  So much for Youtube demos!   I'll try to finish it off this week,  but have got a busy week ahead,  and several trips to dentist,  me and mum - joy of joys! 

But I still wasn't finished, oh no, was on a crafting roll!   It was time to make another page of my AJ book.  I'd sort of got stuck,  the book reflects my journey since 2008, when everything went pear shaped.  I'd reached the point where I had realised that I had to make some big changes,  on a personal and spiritual level. 

The quote is from Maya Angelou (such a wise woman)

"Stepping onto a brand new path is
difficult,  but not more difficult than
remaining in a situation which is not nurturing the whole woman"

That neatly epitomised my situation,  I was faced with the choice of carrying on as I was and remaining stagnant, or daring to step onto a new and unknown path, one that frankly scared me.   It meant dealing with old issues once and for all,  and making decisions that would be difficult for my family to deal with.    So I chose to head down the new path,  which of course will be reflected in the next page.   Why the owl?  Well this bird seems to figure large in my life,   I was once driving home from my sister's, on the A55 and an Eagle Owl flew right in front of my windscreen, it was an amazing sight,  I've seen so many since,  real, carved, in pictures, they seem to be everywhere I go.  Even my car has one, a fluffy owl,  very cute,  he's called Harry,  he keeps the dragon company (er... no the dragon isn't me!  Cheek).    Whenever I pay a visit to Elaine's shop she always seems to have a new owl product for me to buy!   This one is a gorgeous Woodware stamp,  it is so detailed.   Oh yeah the doilly,  well I have no idea how long that has been lurking in my stash draw,  in fact I have a whole pack of them - can't imagine why I bought them?  

Enough of this waffle,  have one more pic left but can't post it as it is this months swap card. 

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, and for all the mums,  Happy Mothers Day! 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Waxing lyrical!

Yep, still at the waxing...  well practice as they say, makes perfect.  Just working on the techniques,  realised what I was doing wrong,  pressing too hard on the iron.  I guess that is what happens when are used to doing proper ironing! 
But I have found that it is almost impossible to make a mistake,  this picture for example, almost ended up in the bin,  then I played with it a bit more and got this lovely effect.  I've used Paint Shop pro to add the text.
I have a few craft vouchers so may use some to get the stylus, then I can do more intricate work,  and the fantasy work.   I also had an attempt at using a stamp with the wax,  well it worked,  sort of,  I realised that you need to use a silhouette stamp,  or a solid stamp,  I have got a few fairy stamps,  and lots of tree stamps, so I will have another go.  

Tomorrow I need to get back to some crafting,  got a card to finish and need to get going on the candles.   Those are the candles for the wedding,   I dumped the idea of using the waterslide decal,  it was just far too fiddly,  I've found some A4 sized clear stickers,  and they work a treat.  I've also used them for the other candles, to put on small quotes,  and you can stamp onto them to. 

Today I picked up a copy of the 365 scrap magazine, I've been keeping a lookout for it,  finally Smiths had it on the shelf.   Quite impressed,  lots of new ideas,  some to try and some to admire.

Now do I take a trip to Hobbycraft tomorrow?   Or wash the car?   Yes I realise that to most crafters that is a no brainer,  but car is in desperate need of a wash! 

Enjoy your weekend,  many thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

This is the only ironing I will do!

Who would have thought that ironing could be so much fun? 

I thought I'd move on to landscapes.  I looked at the DVD,   the booklet is very good and packed with information, but the one thing it doesn't give you is all those extra hints.  I also found it useful to see the wax being applied to the card,  and realising that it wasn't meant to cover all of the card.

This is a flat horizon,  you get this by first loading up the iron with wax,   then running the iron across in a straight line from left to right.  Once you're happy with what you've got you can then 'add' a water effect,  this is achieved by simply heating that part of the card and then wiping away the wax with a tissue!    On this picture I tried my hand at adding some birds,   which is a bit tricky,  you apply a very small dot of wax, using the tip of the iron,  then flick two lines from it and hope it looks like a bird! 

Next type of horizon was the hilly variety.  It took me a bit longer to get the hang of this one.  Instead of going left to right you do the opposite, so you are pushing the wax,  and doing a very gentle half circle motion to get the soft lines of the hills,  the water effect was achieved same way as on first  pic.  I  also added some blue along the time,  it is supposed to be sky!  But it wasn't quite right,  now if I hadn't been so impatient and waited I'd have seen how to add a soft sky on the DVD,  but NOT using the iron, rather you use your fingers. 

There's no doubt that this one is my favourite, I switched to the dark blue.  The intention this time was to get a jagged mountain effect.  You need to hold the iron at a steep angle and drag it,  at the same time you move it up and down. 

What I love so much about it is that it is almost impossible not to get a goodish result right from the off.   I've allowed myself one of the packs of paper to work through the DVD,  for me this is the best approach, others may just wish to dive in and see what happens. 

Sadly no crafting tomorrow,   mum has a hospital appointment,  not sure why we are bothering as she has refused any further treatment,   so the entire afternoon will be taken up for a ten minute consult. 

Oh well got the weekend to look forward to,  forecast is for rain!   Good,  that way I won't feel guilty for not being outside enjoying any nice weather.  

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Have a new crafty toy!

My encaustic art kit arrived today,   it didn't take long before the wrapping was off and the goodies were out.   I did read the instructions,  not like me at all, but I'd heeded Leonie's words of caution, she'd plunged in and then wondered why she wasn't getting the results she wanted. 

So I had a play first,  just heated up the iron, got a piece of the paper and loaded some wax,  and away I went!   Then I decided to watch the DVD to get some tips.   This is what I produced after watching the first few segments.   The DVD is very good,  demostrations are clear and concise,  with a lot of good tips. 
This was my attempt at a landscape,  okay a surreal landscape!   But it doesn't matter as you can't help but produce stunning effects.  This was the next effort, using 3 colours this time,  starting with the yellow, red then blue.  After that you can start to make patterns. 

I found it very therapuetic,  so relaxing.   I'll be trying all of the exercises on the DVD.    You're supposed to be able to use stamps,  the BG Clarity stamps will be ideal.   I can see this becoming addictive!

First part of the day wasn't as pleasant,  trip to dentist!  But the dentist was nice,  got a few more dental appointments to go before the smile is back to what it was. 

All for now folks

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A lazy day

First, answer to Julia re yesterday's blog.  Yes image was stamped,  clarity stamp, Wild Frames,  archival ink,  onto textured card,  a lot of torn paper,  metal butterfly (which I got from a craft fair) - and card is to be given to a friend, for her birthday.   Many thanks for bothering to read my witterings :-)

Today was a lazy day.  I did wake up at 4 a.m.,   after a bit of tossing and turning decided to have a mug of tea and return to the land of nod.  2 hours later I was awake again, and feeling hungry,   well 6 a.m., has been my wake up call for most of my life!   So toast and another mug of tea,  plus painkiller (for wonky knee) and back to sleep... next wake up,  9.45!  Did double take on clock,  had I really slept that long?   So some mooching,  tea,  crossword solving,  tidy up kitchen,  and then hit shower,    revived I make sense of hair,  apply creams to various bits of body....   osteorgen cream for hot flushes,  face cream - not sure why,  some E45 for a bit of ecezma I've developed.    Starting to feel human,  brain starting to work...  time for read of the Sunday newspaper,  and make bacon butty - nothing quite like a bacon butty! 

To wash car or not to wash car - well what are Monday mornings for?   So car can wait.   Time to hit the craft table,  want to complete at least one scrap challenge.   Compare the 2 outstanding challenges,  one requires a lot of photos,   a good challenge,  but the other needs one photo... go for easy option.  Haven't yet installed printer, or downloaded photos I need... that takes 45 minutes,  15 to install program from CD, only for program to tell me it needs to be updated!  So get through all that,  get photos from FB,  and at last I can start to craft! 

Need to decide to faff,  or in other words, waste time selecting papers... or limit myself?   Choose the latter, grab first 12x12 pad that comes to hand,  a bit grungy, but it will have to do, otherwise I'll start faffing, and I don't want to faff.   Only one slight diversion from chosen pad,  a paper from a different kit, but one that was staring at me!   Apt title, quote from Maya Angelou,  very apt for niece....  butterfly is supplied by Slice...  done!   Feel a lot happier.   Will tackle the Feb challenge at some point, have the photos, just need to sort them all out for printing.

Next on sticky note...  skype friend!   Well business partner as well, we discuss upcoming MBS fairs,  agree on a 'look',  going for the ethnic look,  not corporate,  or T shirts.... we agree on some Kurtnas,  go google it!    So timetable for next couple of months is sorted,  dress code sorted,  just a few things to edit.

New PC is now sorted,  it did throw me a curve ball today, it has a card reader installed, as opposed to the old A drive.  Until I loaded the printer software, the card reader drive had been acting normally,  so after printer is installed card reader drive goes AWOL!    It reverted to Kodak printer card reader... funny it never did that on old PC, which also had a card reader installed.   Still trying to find stuff on Windows 7,   like My Docs,  which used to contain everything, now it is all split up.   Just a question of getting used to it.   Still not used to this super duper speed...   blink and I miss something!  Sadly that does not apply to Zynga,  I play Castleville, but currently it won't load,  Zynga know about it,  and in fact it is an ongoing issue, so why not solve it zynga?   Customer service?   Do these companies ever understand the term: customer service? 

Must go and catch up with the Dancing on Ice results...  thanks so much for stopping by.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Rats and double fink....

The PC died...  tried the recovery disks but it seems it was beyond recovery :-(    So considered if it was worth getting it repaired,  but considering it was nearly 10 years old it would also need more RAM as it had been running very slowly.  Added up the cost of what I would need and...  went to get a new PC, just the tower bit,  which reduced the cost quite considerably.   Well I can't be without a PC,  use it for business as well, so it is vital.   So now I have an all singing and dancing Windows 7 PC,  still finding my way around Windows 7,  but do like some of the new features, well those I've found so far. 
There was however one snag to overcome, to get connected to the internet.  Normally it would have meant plugging in my Livebox,  but think old PC must have upset the settings on it as no matter what I tried I could not get connected.  Rang helpline,  spoke to a chap in India, he just suggested what I'd already done,  plus he said he'd tweaked a few things his end!   No success,  so rang them again, this time I got a nice Indian lady who had the connection up and running within minutes - why couldn't the other plonker have done the same?   Thanked nice lady,  order had been restored,  my world was complete... phew.   All that was left to do was to load the essentials,   lost the lot on the old PC, hadn't backed it up recently,  smack on wrist for me, cos usually I back up the important stuff.  Not that there was much that was important.  

But all that faffing meant I had no chance to play with my new BG stamps.  Definitely had to correct that! So had a play today and came up with this,  just a bit of messing around,   used a textured card,  really like the effect I got,  then tore some paper, and inked a plain white piece, and tore that,  used the TH tape and added a quote from Maya Angelou, oh and the butterfly!    Not made a card in ages.  Been doing so much brayering lately.   Need to make a mothers day card tomorrow.

I have been watching CnC today,  saw that the encaustic art show was on,  I recently met someone who has been doing it, she showed me her pictures and well that was it, decided I had to have the kit.  I did look around to see if it was cheaper elsewhere, and it was but with a lot less in it,  you do get quite a bit of stuff with the CnC starter kit pack.    I'm hoping they get it to me by next Wednesday,  my BG stamps only took 3 days,  fingers crossed this is the same.  Plus it will be very apt as it is my birthday pressie to me! 

Enjoy your weekend folks, and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

It worked!

Whay hay...  it worked!   At last I've found a medium that I can use to stick on candles, that I can print onto and also can stamp onto.  Phew.

I had ordered some clear A4 stickers,  yes A4,  they are slightly sticky on one side, and rough on the other.  You can if you wish use a fixative to stick them, but I don't think it is necessary, and it also just means more faffing.   I had tried waterslide Decal paper,  which did work, but needed treating with a fixative,  an hour between each treatment!   Next I tried some clear large labels,  they were more like vellum, and while they were okay they were not quite what I wanted.  Finally I found what I was looking for,  these clear A4 sheets,  they are not acetate,  they come in a matt or glossy finish.  I chose the glossy.  They worked a treat on the candles for my nieces wedding,   so I wondered if they would take a stamp...  and yep, they do.  I used a stayzon ink pad,  I'm using small candles so need to stick to small stamps, but large stamps can be used on large candles.   Printing on to them is easy peasy,  no need for special settings, I just left my printer on the usual normal settings, though for a colour print go for 'best' or whatever your printer preference is for  high quality.   The sheets will also work for cards and scrapbooks,  so that means the world is my oyster as far as printing my own sentiments goes. 

I use alcohol inks on the candles, yes it sounds risky as the candles are going to be lit, but it is perfectly safe, I don't take the ink up to the wick, but leave a gap, I used masking tape (the usual type from hardware stores will do, you don't need the low tack stuff),  once the ink has dried the candle can be burned normally.  I know cos I've tried.  The candles take the alcohol inks beautifully,   it is best to just dab it on.  I put the inks on the applicator,  plus the mixer, and then dab away.  You can put a couple of coats on if you wish.   For this candle I used a mix of purple, silver metallic and pearl,  it gave a nice soft finish.  On some I've used a thin DST to add a thin strip of glitter,  it is up to you.   And you can use masks on the candles as well.   Just experiment and have fun. 

A happy crafting day.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

A Gray Day

Yep it was BG time on CnC!    She has become my hero.  I learned so much today,  from the scene scape she created, though think a B/W photo would have been easier to trace,  to the poly bag idea.  All brilliant.  I got in early with my stamp order choosing the wild frame stamp set.  Next on the list is the stuff for the next lesson,  got some of the ink pads, think I am missing 2,  and of course the stamps.

So inspired by BG I got out the clarity stamps and my big and juicy.  Funny only a few months ago I had no idea how to use a big and juicy, or a brayer,   and came up with this quickie card,  I also used the masking technique to turn the stamp 'upside' down.

I also got another 2 pages of my AJ book done,  it is coming along nicely.   I knew that I needed to use some Angels,  and to bring in my reiki training.  So...

This had to be the next page.  I learned about reiki when I joined the carer's organisation,  once I'd signed up they asked me what pampering I'd like,  I had no idea what the lady was talking about, so she explained that they offered holistic treatments,  reiki, aromatherapy massage or crystal healing.  I really wanted the massage but that was booked up, so went for the reiki,  I had no idea how that choice was to change my life.  Once I'd had my treatments at the centre my curiosity about reiki began,  I looked for courses and found one at the Well Barn,  which is local to me.  All that is on this page is significant to me,  the picture of the Well Barn, the reiki symbol, the 'keys' meaning I'd found one of my keys,  the butterfly denoting freedom and how transient our life can be.

So next page had to be... my turning point. The Barn was my saving grace,  not only did it give me reiki but also some much needed therapy, and a lot of healing. I also found a friend.  Well two if I count Poppy, the dog!   Animals know who is lost and lonely, who needs help, they go straight to them,  Poppy never let me alone when I did my reiki course,  she gave me so much comfort.   I went on to take my Second Degree reiki, which then meant I could practice if I wished.  I wasn't sure at that point what I'd do with it.  I was still needing a lot of treatment for my knee, plus surgery, so I wasn't much use to anyone.  But I did feel my life had entered a new chapter. 
This page represents that,  the Angel,  because I do believe in them,  her goals are held in her hand, within reaching distance,  there for the taking if we dare.   To do so we need belief in ourselves,  and to realise that life is to be enjoyed.  And that we must 'listen' to our hearts desire,  trust our instinct.  

Thanks again for stopping by.   Take good care

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Feels like Spring!

It isn't of course,  that won't happen till our clocks go forwards.   But today was glorious, mild, a lovely blue sky with fluffy clouds drifting by,  and you could feel the warmth of the sun. 

And where was I?  At the supermarket!  Well it has to be done, we eat food and then it needs to be replaced.  Quite bothersome!    I only decided to go today so as to avoid the busy time tomorrow, seems everyone else had the same idea as it was busy.  Oh well... 

Home and a spot of gardening,  the potty garden was in need of a tidy up,  discovered that one plant had long bitten the dust!   The rest got a good cut,  swept up all the rubbish so generously dumped by passers by - charming.  But it did all look much better,  felt the plants were happier for having got rid of all the dead stuff.   And the bonus was that I'd worked up an appetite for lunch. 

No crafting today, but did buy a craft mag,  spotted one with some nice papers that seemed to suit my current project, the AJ book.  It also had an Altered Journal book type project inside, only they'd called it a diary, same thing really,  grunge stuff, altered arty things.   I did do some crafting on Tuesday,  another page for my AJ book,  a page to my good neighbour Mo,  I felt that was a turning point, I had no one to lean on anymore, so it was up to me to get my life going again.  Not that I had any idea how I was going to do it.   But even now there is an ache inside me for her company,  her ready smile and her practicality.  Mo never overcomplicated things, she saw everything in simple terms which is how it should be.  I really enjoyed putting this page together, it sort of came together by accident,  while I was looking for something else I found the two papers, the plain green and patterned, then decided to do some tearing,  the white tear was a bit too stark so I used the TH distress inks on them, the other stuff came about after a declutter,  then suddenly there was a page.  I guess it should say In Memorium,   but I didn't want that, it was my turning point, as bitter and as painful as it was, and it didn't happen over night. Oh boy was I angry at her passing, and that anger stayed for a while.   But eventually I picked myself up.   And that is what the next page will reflect.   Got to say this is so cathartic...

A new day tomorrow, and when I become a reiki practitioner for a few hours,  I've found it so rewarding. 

Thanks for stopping by.