Sunday, 20 October 2013

The colours of Autumn

Isn't this a beautiful time of year?  The reds and golds,  and all shades in between.   That's why I chose it for my swap card/tag, the theme was to use metal in some form. 

I began with an MDF tile,  then I painted it using red, gold, black, orange and yellow.  I used a dry brush and mixed up the colours until I achieved the effect I wanted.  Then I thought how I could incorporate the metal theme...   problem solved with some metal foil, coloured with alcohol inks, stuck onto some card, the I used a small leaf die cut.

Another method of using metal was to use a metal charm.  Since this is the time of year we put the clocks back (next week folks!) I used this clock charm.   For the leaf I used the clarity leaf mask,  and embossed it with gold and copper embossing powder.   I caught the edges of the leaf with some gilding wax.   You can just about make out the embossed leaves in the background using the smaller of the leaf stamps, and the copper and gold powder.

I do like this little die,  it is from Crafty Devils.  I cut it using some brown card from the leftover stash pile,  gilded it and then added the sprigs,  they were also die cut out of the metal foil. 

You can now see that I also used the corrugated cardboard again, this time I left some of the top cover on,  it was painted in the same way as the base.

And all that adds up to this!   I put on a couple of brads as well.   I know I've used the American term for Autumn, but as I wanted to use large letters I needed a small word.

I'm really happy with this,  it has come out just as I wanted it to.  I've now started the ABAC challenge, which is using orange and black, which I happen to like using.  It also gives me a chance to use me new steampunk stamp set, which was half price at the craft shop. 

It's been a funny old week weatherwise, rain, sunshine, warm then cold!   How is a girl to know what to wear?   On Wednesday it was freezing, the woollies came out, as did the warm jacket, then on Thursday it was brilliant sunshine,  back to a shirt and thin jacket.   I had a lovely morning on Wednesday,  it was my Art Therapy Taster session.  It was held at the Town Hall, and for some reason they put us in the main hall which was so cold.   I was a little early,  and so relieved when I saw that I wasn't the only early bird, two other ladies had arrived before me.  We were tempted by the coffee/tea machine, but none of us could work out how to use it.   The organisers soon arrived and we were all able to indulge in a  hot chocolate, just the thing for a wet and soggy day.    It was a lot of fun,  and I learned more about what the Art Therapy is all about,  you work in groups on a project with two artists.  Also there are trips to galleries, the theatre, all manner of things.   Just the thing I need. 

On Thursday I was back at the dentist for the second impression of the partial denture,  so it was all very painless, just how I  like my dental appointments.  Then off to pay a few bills, not so nice!   One I really begrudge is the bedroom tax!     How is it fair to penalise one part of society with a punitive charge on a supposed spare room, and help another section of society buy a house by acting as guarantor, meaning if the mortgagee fails to pay, us lot have to cough up?   Answers on a postcard and send to Mr D Cameron.

A program also got my goat, it was shown in C4,  On Benefits and Proud it was called, or close to it. Of course they had specially selected the most brazen scroungers,  so giving a completely skewed perspective of life on benefits.  What has also been forgotten is that many people, like me, have worked and we have paid into the system!   I can assure you I am not living a life of luxury,  and every penny is accounted for.  Why do they do this?   Why not show a program of balance,  yes certainly expose the scroungers,  but also show the majority who are barely existing.  Now they are trying to imply that people are abusing foodbanks!  Well there will be a few,  but again the majority will not be at the foodbank by choice,  it only provides the staples,  it is not a bloody supermarket stacked with luxury goods. 

Soap box moment over,  but it had to be said.  Enjoy the week, and remember next Saturday those clocks go back! 

All for now.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Altered Art

I have to say that I got the idea for this project from Julia .  On her blog was a tag using cardboard which had been peeled back to show the corrugated bit.

I found some cardboard and revealed the corrugated underside.  I painted this using three acrylic paints, gold, red and black, using the dry brush method until I was happy with the result. 

Next I focused on the base, which was a piece of MDF.  I used the red and gold.   Next I applied a mask and using gold paint for the leaves,  and then added a few red ones.  The background was largely going to be covered up so it didn't need to be perfect.

I used a die to cut some small roses out of brown paper from a Papermania pack.  These were painted using the same colours as for the cardboard, then I added some gilding wax.

I decided that I didn't want all of the corrugated cardboard to be seen.  I measured a piece of brown card,  painted it with the red, gold and black,  tore it and then used an embossing folder. I did the same with a smaller strip.  I wanted to break up the corrugation.

To finish the piece off I used some die cut letters,  a small MDF candle, coloured and embossed.  I used a stamp to make the tag (Little Girl),  embossing it with copper powder.  I added some left over bits from a necklace in the bottom corner, and the Art Comes... tag.

I also decorated the back with some embossed card.  A fairly simple project.  Time was taken up by stripping back the cardboard to reveal the corrugation,  and making the roses, which once cut have to be wound round and then glued.  Memo to self, get some glue sticks!   I have a hot glue gun, but no glue sticks - doh! 

I also ordered some Clarity stamps today,  just couldn't resist the leaves,  which actually would have gone well with this project!   I may do it all again but using the leaves when I get them.    Then blow me on the Tool shed there were more leaf stamps, and a die set!   I would have liked both but can't afford them :-( 

I had some good news this week my neighbour came home from hospital.  I have to say I wasn't impressed at how his discharge was handled.  I'd taken delivery of some equipment for him, a zimmer and two perching stools, all of which needed adjusting. I assumed that someone would bring him home to make sure he could cope, adjust the stools and zimmer, instead he came home by ambulance on his own.   The hospital had provided him with a few basics, some sandwiches, milk etc.  Nor were his family there to welcome him!   It's been left to us neighbours to keep an eye on him, the district nurses are coming to see him, but no sign of his family since Thursday. 

And it is officially cold!   I finally caved in and got the duvet out of storage, and packed away the summer togs.    A friend bought me a beautiful owl bed set,  so that will be going on this week.   The winter curtains are up, the place is now quite cosy. 

Well I can't wait to get my new stamp set, and try out some of the techniques Barbara Gray has been using over this weekend.  I've tried one using the gelli plate,  she put some ink on, water based adirondiac,  then spread it out with the brayer,  put the stamp into it then stamped in the normal way.  Mine wasn't quite as successful,  I hadn't used enough ink and I'd forgotten to clean the stamp which was a bit dusy. 

That's all for now,  enjoy your week and stay warm. 

Sunday, 6 October 2013


Yes I finished my shadow box.  Don't think it is too bad for a first attempt. 

Today was all about arranging the bits and bobs.  I also had a rummage for old jewellry and came across a few of mum's old pieces.  Most of what she had was costume jewellry, but now it will go into more shadow boxes. 

I really enjoyed making this.  It was a challenge,  the frame wasn't that big,  so finding things that were the right size wasn't easy. I used a few dies that rarely get used, and a stamp I've only used once.  The gold scallop edge is some of that card I found,  I used a scalloped frame die to cut it, just using one side.   The musical notes came from a freebie in a magazine, and I still have a lot of the kit, which will be perfect for the next shadow box. 

There are a few other projects in the Craft Stamper mag that I intend to try this week,  one involves the gelli plate.  Another I noticed was made up from a stamp set that I have.    I just hope my mojo doesn't do a disappearing act again.   I think I got stuck in a rut,  just doing the same old stuff,  now I feel refreshed. 

Have a good week, enjoy this warm weather as by the end of the week it will be cold.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 5 October 2013


It seems a while since I posted.  It was all the fault of my mojo which decided to take a holiday.  I  struggled with the crafting this week,  nothing seemed to be working so I took a break.  On Thursday I picked up a copy of Craft Stamper in the hope I would get some inspiration, and guess what - I did!  Flicking through the magazine I noticed the shadow box and thought I'd try to make one.

I did, by chance, have a suitable deep frame.  I used some decopatch to cover it,  I wanted an uneven surface so I crunched up the decopatch paper.  Once it was dry I painted it black, then left it overnight to dry thoroughly. 

While the frame was drying, I began to gather some bits and bobs.  I went with the lavender/purple colour, and then chose some suitable stamps and dies.

No it isn't finished,  I'm still putting it together.  I just wanted to see what worked best for the layout.  There are lots of flowers to go on, and numerous other pieces.  It took me most of the afternoon to make all the pieces, but I really enjoyed it.   I had a good rummage through my stash and found some card that I had completely forgotten about.  I bought it years ago from QVC.  And I found a paper pack,  from Papermania,  the capsule collection, again a purchase from way back.  I also located some foam to lift up the pieces to give it depth.    So still some way to go before the project is finished, then I can see me wanting to make more shadow boxes!

It has also been a stressful week.  I had my medical on Tuesday.  The appointment time was 9 a.m.,  I thought I'd be okay since I had decided to take the motorway rather than chance the awful one way system in Ormskirk.  Well I hit gridlock when I came off the motorway.   The reason was simple, the stupid traffic light layout for the university campus!  One tiny filter lane, and one long traffic queue to use it.   So I made my appointment with five minutes to spare,  and I'd allowed a hole hour to travel 20 miles!    I think the medical went okay, still not heard anything, but that doesn't surprise me as there is a huge backlog - they told me this at the medical.  Well this is what happens when you introduce a new system, but run it along side an old system.   So that was Tuesday,  Wednesday was wet,  Thursday I had my counselling, then on Friday it was time to stress out over the car's MOT.  It did need two new tyres, so I got those on Thursday, then kept fingers and toes crossed on Friday.  But it passed with flying colours!   Phew. 

I was amused that my attempts to make appointments, with the Art Therapy group and Dentist were thwarted by technology.  At the Dentist they had no IT system, it had just crashed,  when I tried to contact the Art Therapy people their phones were still down.  I overcame the latter by sending an email, so I have managed to arrangement a taster and assessment for the 16th,  but not yet made the dental appointment.

I may be back tomorrow with the finished shadow box.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend.