Monday, 31 March 2014

New picture, new mess

Another early start,  needed because I was expecting a parcel.  Not sure I can cope with all these early starts.  But I am once again debt free, funny how bills all come at the same time? 

I did buy a large canvas...  that will be a real challenge!  In the meantime I had one small canvas left and since I am on a roll with the pictures thought I'd do another.   First decision - colour, was thinking of green, but it wasn't grabbing me... you'll have to wait and see.

Clue could be in this picture, which was how my glass mat looked like after some painting.  This is why I like the glass mat, you can do anything on it, paint, heat emboss, cut and it doesn't matter. After a soapy wash it came up all lovely and clean.

There is a bit of the new stash in amongst the paint, the decoart metallic paint, oh boy do I like it!  It has great coverage.   What else is there, well some dylusion, iridescent acrylic paint, a bit of distressed silver.

Another photo of the desk, this time with a few clues about what will go on the picture, as in cogs, cardboard... and whatever else turns up from a root in the stash. 

My new stuff arrived today,  tested out the decoart already, the keys and locks are really cute, they'll look nice on the picture. And darn it I forgot the glue sticks!  And I was in the shop... need a new brain.  So guess I should show the picture of the picture... drum roll!

Trust me, in real life it looks much better.  Now you can see why the glass mat was in such a state.  Did lots of dry brushing,  used my new mask - a bullseye, by Tando, and added the other bits for effect.   Now it just had to be left to dry thoroughly. 

I also went to a DIY shop, I wanted a particular roll of tape, which is like a mesh,  thought it would look good on the pictures,  I think that B&Q ought to hand out maps as you enter so that you have a slim chance of finding what you want.  They did have some, but it was twice the price of what had been on their website.  Rather go get some sequin waste, in fact I will.  But as I was driving out of the retail park I saw... Hobbycraft!  Yikes, they're opening on 17th April, here,  can't quite believe it.   It could also be dangerous,  currently the nearest one is Chester,  which is why I don't go there too often,  now I will have no excuse.  I'm doomed.

Now off to do some writing.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Take a flower..

Today was a day I wanted to ignore,  so there was only one way - stay indoors.   In spite of my best efforts I still woke up early, and gave up the fight for sleep around 7 a.m.,  well actually it was 8 a.m. - clocks went forwards.   I felt very down this morning, I had thought about a walk, but couldn't find the energy.  Instead I tackled some ironing until my hands were sore, no I don't mean I was ironing for hours, but my hands have been really sore and painful these last few days. 

I sat down at my craft desk just after lunch and first job was to stick the flower on the canvas.

I tried pinflair, and it sort of worked, but in the end I went with super glue (memo to self, get some glue sticks!).   This was only because I wanted to bend the petals.  I made a template for the flower, cut out five, then painted them, and finally gave them a glossy finish.

Next was to build up the picture.  I'd already stuck on some tissue paper, I then chose some lace for the top.   The lovely flourish was left unadorned,  (Indigo Blu),  and it was topped off by a silver butterfly, and you can also see a golden butterfly in the bottom corner.

So the pic now looked like this.  I added two watches, (2 to give balance).   The rulers were a happy accident,  one was laying on the desk and so I put it on the picture... liked it and added two more.  More butterflies were added, then the sentiment... but it didn't seem 'complete', a bit of a gap in the middle.  I was also half watching the mixed media show (at last proper crafting on CnC!),  loved it and got some ideas.  But boy were those canvases a bit pricey - 8.99 for 3?  I'll stick with the pound shop or Dunelm. 

So had a cup of tea, and a think...  tried various things, nothing was working.  Had a tidy up and...

Unearthed the hinge, and the little metal watch.  Brilliant,  used copper embossing powder on the hinge, gave it two coats, left the fob watch alone.  Perfect.

I did try stamping the sentiment on to acetate, well first try was on clarity double sided adhesive sheets, using gilding flakes, then I cut it with a die.  It looked nice, but didn't suit the picture.  Tried stamping on to the canvas - didn't work, luckily because the tissue paper had a coat of PVA the stamped image came off with a wet wipe.   Happy with this, it is bright and cheerful. Got one more canvas left. 

I was very tempted to buy the melt pot on CnC,  they had a starter kit at a reasonable price, but I've spent my allowance for this month.   I've decided that a melt pot is a must have,  I could do so much more with it. I also have a few tubs of enamel powder, plus frantage, just need the pot!  But it will have to wait a little longer.   I'll definitely be doing more mixed media pictures,  so much more satisfying than a card or a tag.

I hope all you mums have been spoiled by your families.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 28 March 2014

And it's Friday...

I was out of the house at 9.30 this morning.  Needed to go into town to take back cheap steam cleaner and get the one I should have bought in the first place.  Toyed with the idea of heading off to Hobbycraft but decided against it, and  instead headed for my local craft shop.  Needed some bits for the next mixed media pic. 

This is a corner of it...  my first ever flower, not finished, still needs work, but quite happy with it. 

Here is the start of it, lots to do of course.  I've decided I want the flower in 3D, so I've cut some petals which will be painted tomorrow. 

The lovely flourish is from Indigo blu,  just gorgeous. And I sprinkled a few butterflies on it, the watch is also an Indigo Blu jobby. 

I also have a pile of stash coming from The Craft Barn,  die cuts, embellishments, couple of masks, and soem deco art metallic paint.   Need to mooch on ebay for an armchair - dollshouse size! 

Had a nice time at Art Therapy, box is almost finished, just needs that arm chair, oh and the knitting bag.  The others are also coming along nicely with theirs,  I took the die cuts back in with me, more good use was made of them.  It is amazing though, eight people, eight boxes and all are unique.  One chap was really worried that he wasn't creative,  he took his box home to paint it, tried different colours and then, knew what he wanted, he'd had that little spark of inspiration and his box is starting to look really good.  My friend is making a box in memory of her dad, he was an expert in DIY and had lots of tools, so she's picked out a few,  they were very old,  and just had that lovely distressed look about them. 

The plan for tomorrow is to pay a couple of bills, then shopping, and home to craft!   I think my Craft Barn stuff is on its way,  would it be too much to hope that it will come tomorrow?  

Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Almost there...

At last a picture I'm happy with. Oh the brown cog needs some paint!   Nothing is stuck down as I was making sure that I liked the layout.  I moved up the 'lady', and found the embossed piece of card (it has watches on it), which I covered with alcohol inks.  Still little bits to do, but I am happy at how it has turned out.

May go check out the craft shop! 

Another early start to thed day, although I slept right through till 5.30, which is quite an acheivement.  I did the housework..., not my favourite thing but it needed doing.  Was hoping for a dull day,  well my windows need cleaning and you can't clean windows when it is sunny.    I also got a plant for mum,  didn't want to go to the supermarket but I had to (trying to avoid Mother's Day stuff), saw this really pretty campunella,  and thought well even if Mum isn't here, doesn't mean I can't buy her something.    It has really cheered up the kitchen, and me.    Well I like my fresh flowers, they are my one indulgence,  I'm not great at flower arranging though I try. 

Another pic, the corner of the pic showing modelling paste,  coloured with paint and applied through a fine mesh.   This also shows my paint work.  I randomly applied the paint, some thickly, some thinned,  then did some dry brushing coming in from the edge seemed to work best.   The canvas had been damaged when I took the old picture apart, but it didn't matter as it would be covered up.

Anyone else finding CnC to be very repetitive?  Tattered Lace, Hunky Dory or Crafters companion...  getting sick of them.   I'd like more variety,  more on the melt pot for example, and more altered art.  We're not all card makers.  And I am also rather tired of Tattered lace dies,  not everyone wants things to be frilly or fancy.  They do have some lovely dies,  but enough is enough,  we just need a break. 

I had a surprise parcel yesterday,  I looked at it, and at first thought I'd been sent some unsolicited goods, then I remembered... I'd ordered a doll, don't ask,  I was having a mad moment.  I'd forgotten all about it, she is quite cute, she is a victorian doll and reminded me of one I had as a child before my brother decapitated it.  I got him back, I damaged his Bond car.   I remember asking mum if she'd take my doll to the dolls hospital, we had one in Liverpool, and I was most upset when she wouldn't. 

Enough waffle,  Art Therapy tomorrow,  more work on the memory box.  Going to buy a few more bits of dolls house stuff, it is the perfect size for the box.  I need a bookcase, armchair, and would like a miniature pack of cigarettes! 

All for now.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Change of plan/mind...

I completed the mixed media picture yesterday - and hated it!   Just wasn't 'me'.   So I took the picture apart this morning and decided to start again.   

First task was to use a darker blue, also added some turquoise and slate grey to get this mix.  Much better,  more to my taste,  has a grungier feel to it.

Next problem - what to put on it?   I want to use some of the same stuff, but not all of it.   So I messed around a few ideas.

This is the first idea,  I stamped the image onto some tissue paper.  I think she needs to be higher up...  ?    Yes bigger would be better, but it is a stamped image!   I like the cogs, they got a coat of silver and black embossing powder.   Still like the hinges,  and flowers... needs some modelling paste.

Idea number two.  Can't for the life of me remember where I got this picture, it was in my bits and bobs box.  I do like it, and it suites the picture....  I'm in for more messing around tomorrow.

Yesterday was a sad day, it was the anniversary of my mum's death.  It hardly feels like a year has passed.   I had a sleepless night,  woke up and thought it must be 9 or 10 oclock, and without looking at the time I got up - mistake, it was in fact 7 a.m.!   I felt like rubbish,  took me a while to even feel like getting dressed.   I went to one of mum's favourite places - the beach.  It was sunny yesterday, but there was a very cold wind blowing.   The beach was full of dog walkers,  I had to laugh as one dog padded towards me,  he was a big, lollopy dog with huge ears which were flapping in the wind.    My heart wasn't into crafting, that was the reason why the picture came out wrong, my heart wasn't in it,  and wasn't all weekend.  I just kept thinking back to last year.  I got a lovely e card from my niece,  and my cousin phoned to see how I was coping.

I've just signed up to all the outings on the art therapy list - nice to have stuff to look forward to. One sounds very interesting, a photo walk,  think I'l enjoy that.  There is another add on workshop, and I've asked to join another follow on workshop which is on Friday's.    I'm hoping that doing two workshops will boost my mood.  I tend to feel flat on a Friday after the art therapy, and there is also the need for company.   It is far too easy to just hunker down in the flat.  Well that is the plan,  as for tomorrow, it is to finish the picture and then plan to tidy up this flat.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Take one canvas...

 Thought I would do something different this weekend.  I liked the idea of a mixed media picture,  fortunately I had a couple of canvasses, just needed some lace.  A quick dash to lovely haberdashery and the lace issue was sorted.

So to the canvas, I gave it a coat of paint, wasn't bothered how it looked as it would just be the back, back, background - you'll see what I mean shortly!   Whilst it was drying, I picked the card, and other bits and bobs, got them all together.  Then I found a favourite stamp, so did some stamping.   Now it was time for... dinner!

Sunday.  I woke up at 10.30,  so much for my promise of an early start.  Not that I was bothered,  it is Sunday afterall.  Just after lunch I sat down at the craft desk, had a tidy up so I could find stuff, then thought about the picture. It needed some interest, so used my tissue paper, then next up was a piece of sequin waste and modelling paste - yep it was looking good.  Def need more grunge type stuff, will have to go to DIY store for supplies.   Whilst this was drying I embossed a few of the die cuts I was going to use, and then looked for my grunge board stuff.

Now it was time to stick the card and lace in place.  I used my home made modge podge, works a treat.   Just need to do a spot of tearing here and there, then I'll be happy.  I was finding this very absorbing,  and was wishing that canvas was bigger.  

I messed around trying different arrangements for the bits and bobs that will go on.    When I looked up I realised the sun was out!  Yesterday had been a washout, and very cold, at one point there was white stuff.  

This is one possible arrangment,  not sure, hence nothing is stuck into place.  Still want to add some accents here and there.   If you look at the blue flower you may just make out the centre, I meant to take a picture of it.  It was something I saw on Youtube, this lady just chucked in some beads into a bottle top, it was so effective that I've used the idea. Yes, it is definitely needing more in the way of accents.  Maybe play with it tomorrow. 

Not sure what I'll be doing tomorrow, it will be the anniversary of mum's death.   I was disappointed when a friend, a very close friend had forgotten about it.  She had skyped me and asked how I was, when I said I felt really down she asked why.   She is a good friend, but sometimes she doesn't think beyond herself.  She was more upset when I said I'd have to pull out of our weekend away,  well the electricity and gas bill arrived, and it was more than I had budgeted for.   I have the money, and it is partly my own fault that it is high,  there were times when I had put the heating on meaning only to leave it on for an hour, and had then forgotten about it.   But with the bill being high it meant I had a tough choice, cancel the weekend and pay the bill,  or do both and feel the pinch.  It was a no brainer, I'd rather cancel the mini break and then not have to worry about money,  wasn't really looking forward to the long drive to Glastonbury anyway.  In fact last time it took so much out of me that I didn't actually enjoy my break.   I can plan something for later in the year, and when the weather is hopefully warmer and there is sunshine.    I also wasn't happy when I said to my friend that she could come here if she wanted,  she has a well paid job,  so I was mystified why she starting dithering and muttering about petrol costs. So it was okay for me to fork out £70 for petrol, but not her who gets nearly 3 times as much as me per month.  Mmm...  left me with food for thought.

Now I'm off to do some writing.  Hope you've all had a lovely weekend.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Down memory lane...

It's appropriate that this post is about the memory box, on Monday it will be the anniversary of mum's death.  Let's concentrate on the box.  It is an art therapy project,  it sort of came 'flat packed', in pieces and we had to assemble, paint and then decide what to do put inside them. Everyone has come up with very different ideas,  it has been very exciting watching them all develop.   My intention was to make a memory box about mum, what reminds me of her.  I picked up some TH tissue paper, I just wanted a printed paper but didn't realise that the one I had chosen was about 'memories', so it was a happy accident.  I gave the box a coat of paint, then applied the paper with the decopatch glue, which I ran out of so I thinned some PVA.  That done I toned down the white by applying 'weathered twigs', using a water brush.  So box was made, next was choosing what to do in it.

My mum loved music, especially the proms,  and I can always remember her sewing.  She made me and my sister all of our dresses, blouses and goodness knows what else.  Every summer she'd make me two new summer dresses for school, one in pink and the other green, with a white cotton collar.  She was also a great knitter,  and taught me.  So into the box went some mini pictures of patterns, sewing and knitting, oh and a crochet pattern - she had begun to make doillys working with very fine cotton.  I wanted a shelf system, so used two pieces of  stiff board,  covered them in paper, then used a crochet hook at the 'stand',  and some supports underneath.  I embossed two strips of cream card to give it a wallpaper look, and the diamond washable on the bottom and top.   I'd discovered a mini sewing kit in her handbag, it had a paper tape measure, so that got stuck to the two top and bottom strips.

I scanned in some old photos of mum as a baby, and as a young girl.   I found some small frames on offer in The Range,  I gave one the grunge treatment and put one of the photos in it.  In amongst the stash I found the treble clef, and some other music notes.  You can just see the cotton reel I found yesterday, I'd been looking for a wooden cotton reel (sorry wasn't going to pay an extortionate amount of money for a couple in a craft shop), the mini scissors were in the sewing set.   I trimmed the shelves with some lace.

The bottom contains a sewing machine. I looked around to see if I could find one similar to the one mum used, which was an old singer machine, this was the closest I could find - it is so dinky!   Champagne cork is either from a birthday or anniversary, on the wall is an origami dress - saw it on a friend's card and thought it would be perfect for the box.  Good job I used to do origami!   There is still a lot more to do, and to put into it.  I plan to put pictures on the outside as well, and some journalling somewhere.

And it all adds up to this!  Nothing is fixed into place,  pics are stuck down with photo glue,  used that so I can remove them without causing any damage.  I'm pleased with it so far.

It's not been a good week, today I felt really down, wasn't in the mood to do anything.  If I'd not needed any milk I would have stayed in the flat,  as it was I just about got round Tesco.  I hate seeing all the Mother's day stuff, it is really upsetting me for all the obvious reasons.  Last year mum was able to enjoy Mother's Day, I say enjoy because well, aside from a visit from my brother - who came and went, that was it from the family.  I deliberately avoided it today.  I picked up a bit in the afternoon, did a few bits to the box and did some painting which was very relaxing. 

Just been watching some Youtube videos on mixed media pictures, so I may give that a go tomorrow.  I was using my Kindle,  I've now downloaded a few books onto it, it is much better for night time reading!  I always struggled trying to get the right amount of light to read, but the Kindle is back lit.  It has a good battery life as well, and is HD so picture quality is superb.  Just one gripe, you can't download Flash onto it, apparently Adobe stopped supporting the Kindle operating system, which is bloody stupid.  I've got apps for Iplayer, Youtube etc,  but can't play anything with flash content.  It is my only gripe, and it does stop me wasting time playing games on it, which isn't a bad thing.

All for now, have a good weekend, and thanks for stopping by. 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Speed card making!

Two hours to make an involved card, and that includes having no plan!   All I had was the prompt - use a page from a book.  I didn't have any suitable books,  well none that I wished to tear a page from, so what to do?   I could have gone to a charity shop, got an old book, checked the library to see if they had a book sale on... instead I tore a page out of a recipe book.  Choosing recipes I knew I'd never use.   So have page and now what?  Stamp on it, alter it,  make a collage... ?  Stamps,  but which stamps,  I have quite a few.  Tried some Sheena stamps, and although I liked it, it wasn't quite 'there'.  Light bulb moment - Clarity stamps, birdhouse to be precise. 

I couldn't use the brayer, so I rubbed some green distress ink on the glass mat and painted on the grass,  I sponged on the 'sky', leaving some white patches for clouds,  then added the sun.  Next I added all the stamps.  Not bad if I say so myself.

For the topper I used one of the Sheena stamps, I do love this sentiment.  Stamped it on to the glossy black card with versamark, added perfect pearls (copper) then used a tag die. I also used my bow maker, my first time at making a mini bow - chuffed.  Sorted.  And all in two hours, which for me is fast,  I usually take that long to think up a plan. Even more extreme, I addressed the envelope, put a stamp on it, card is inside - I checked, so it is ready to go, miracle of miracles.

I then focused on the memory box.  I've now covered it with the TH tissue paper,  by accident I got the one that has the meaning of the word 'memory', very apt.  I put some card on the inside, I embossed it using one of my folders,  then used some washable card for the floor, you'll see some photos tomorrow.   I added some masks to the outside, the clock face and compass points,  both represent what a parent is, their time spent with us, and that they are our reference points.  I used some sequin waste to add a bit of modelling paste to give it some texture.   I'm tempted to just keep going, but don't think I ought to,  the idea is to make it in the class.  I'll carry on the prep work, and there is lots to do,  I've got patterns to copy, both sewing and knitting, and I want to incorporate some of mum's old crochet hooks.   I've worked out my shelf system!   Which I now need to test out to make sure it works.   It's appropriate that I'm making this box now, in what turned out to be mum's last week.    I've also been looking at dolls houses,  I am now determined to make one - something I've hankered to do for years.  I had one as a little girl,  I wish mum had let me keep it, but she wasn't one for keeping what she considered 'clutter'.   It was a double fronted post war house, with bay windows,  it had proper lights,  and was all wallpapered,  my uncle made it and the furniture. It kept me amused for hours. 

Another grey day,  so where is all this sunshine?  And there is a cold wind,  at least it is dry,  hope it stays like that.  Right need to go on Google to find more pictures.

Have a good week.

Friday, 14 March 2014

What a Hoot.

Today was not a day I had been looking forward to - my birthday.  Not for the obvious reasons such as the passing of time,  but because it would be my first birthday without my mum. It doesn't matter what age you are, you are always a child,  a parent is a constant in your life, they are your reference point, and when they go, well you are inclined to drift and wonder who you are.

To my surprise I slept well,  indeed I thought I may have a lie in but a panic attack put an end to that.  I'd put aside all the cards and parcels,  normally I would have waited for mum to wake up, but there was no need this year.  I made a cup of tea and then opened them,  and it wasn't long before the tears started to flow.

Until I got to this parcel... well if these can't make you laugh then what can?  They are from a very dear friend,  and had been purchased with the aim of making me smile.  Well it worked.  I was also very touched by the above present from my cousin as it was so unexpected.   I think I will have to rename my flat The Owlry!  It now has an abundance of owls as candles, carvings, candle holders, slippers...  There is something magical about an Owl.  My first encounter with one was when I was 3 years old,  I had got lost and was found by a policeman who took me back to the station.  They had an Owl, must have been an Eagle Owl as I clearly remember it spreading its wings.  And I keept encountering Owls,  once on the way home from my sister's house in North Wales a Snowy Owl flew right across my path, it took my breath away with its beauty.  Then a couple of years ago as I was heading home after a drum lesson an Owl again flew right across my car, causing me to stop.  And very mysteriously an Owl feather was lodged in my engine...

I got myself ready for my lunch date,   I knew that my friend hadn't had a good couple of days and so I was delighted when she arrived at the restaurant.  I'd had one other surprise, a small refund from the taxman, so lunch was on him!   We were chatting so much we forgot to look at the menu,  even when we got our meal we didn't stop talking.   My new friend understands my situation, and I understand hers,   it is lovely not having to explain your odd behaviour, why you just may cancel a date at the last minute, or have a bad day.   I think we could have whiled away the rest of the day at the restaurant.  I had been hoping for a sunny day, that was one wish that wasn't granted,  it was sad because I'd chosen the restaurant down at our marina, which on a sunny day is a great place to be. 

So not one minute of crafting today, not that my mind was very far away from my memory box.   I was given some old patterns,  they are just perfect and I can photocopy them for the box.  I also wanted a sewing machine, but a very tiny one, so I went on a hunt around the Dolls house websites, then went to ebay!  A very tiny old fashioned looking sewing machine is on its way to me, it is very similar to the one my mum used to make all my summer dresses.    I also want to include a system of shelves in the box, but don't want them to be too intrusive, again the brain has been whirring as to how I can do that.   I shall have some fun tomorrow ageing the box,  and working out this shelf system.   I think I also need a day to myself, this week has been full on,  I've packed a lot into it and now I need some downtime. 

The last pic...

My birthday cards, most are hand made from my fantastic friends.  I never expected this to be a happy day,  it has been bittersweet,  but more sweet than bitter.

Have a lovely weekend, make the days count with those you love.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

What a difference a...

Song makes!   More about that later.  Just wanted to share this with you,  this frame used to have a lovely poppy in it, sadly the light bleached it...   So I decided to revamp it.   I managed to find some ultra black glossy card,  gorgeous stuff!  Anyway I knew that I wanted to use the Chinese stamps on it,  I also knew I had to be careful and keep everything free of fingerprints.   I dowsed the card with talc,  then stamped the image,  painted on some perfect pearls and - here it is.  I buffed it all up and was so happy with the clean result.  So it is now back on display.

And here is an empty box - my memory box.  Today it got a coat of paint,  an interesting mix of emulsion and polyfilla. Not my idea, but that of my tutor, he says it gives a lovely finish.  That was fine, except I just wanted a smooth finish.  I got some TH ideology paper,  and that was to go on the box,  everyone in the room drooled over it.  I did offer to share it.  This is of course the bare bones of the box,  it has to be filled.  I want to put some contrast paper on the sides of the box, inside that is,  then think about how to construct the layers.     I was getting a tad frustrated with a fellow student, she was wondering how to cut down a photo to fit in hers, I showed her how to, and got ignored, the result was: she cut the photo far too small.  Tutor also tried to advise her, but neither of us were getting through,  not sure why,  I'm guessing a lack of confidence,  I could see what she wanted to do,  so could the tutor, but we couldn't convince her to go with our advice, no matter how gentle we were.   In the end it is her work.

Back to the start.  I hadn't had the best of starts to the day,  for this last week I've either slept in and not wanted to wake up, or been wide awake at silly o'clock.   I know why, this week has been preying on my mind, it is when my mum decided she'd had enough of living.   She kept going until my birthday,  I cooked us a nice meal,   mum had wanted to do the cooking but she wasn't up to it. We had steak au Maggie,  my take on steak au poivre,  season steak with peppercorns and garlic salt/powder, leave for a couple of hours,  cook on a hot griddle, medium rare is best, serve with new pots and veg, mushrooms in a creamy sauce.  Mum made a brave effort to eat it all,  but barely managed half.  The next day she stopped taking her medication,  she was winding down, she'd had enough.  I wasn't aware of what she was doing,  I just kept trying to cheer her up, cooking her favourite meals and throwing them away.  So my birthday is bittersweet,   knowing that she wanted to spend my last birthday with me is of great comfort, but hating the thought of her not being here tomorrow.    Once I had woken up I took ages to get going,  and was on edge as I'd been told to expect a delivery,  it arrived - a case of wine!   I had my art therapy class to look forward to, I decided to take in some chocolates,  it seems that is what people do when they have a birthday near or on the day of the class.   I was also looking forward to seeing my friend, and having a natter with her, but she didn't arrive, which left me worried.  I handed out the chocs, explained why and was treated to Happy Birthday!   It is a VERY long time since anyone has sung Happy Birthday to me.   I also got lots of hugs,  it was also nice to see another lady who is very timorous,  and has an awful time with her neighbour.  I got nice and messy,  covered my box with the paper,  listened to the others explain what they intend to do with their boxes, I can't wait to see them all finished.   And when I got home my friend rang,  she had just had a really bad night, but she was okay,  phew...    Postie had also left lots of cards and parcels,  how blessed am I?    I feel like a very lucky lady right now, no idea what I have done to deserve such wonderful friends, but I am truly thankful that they are in my life.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

More tales from the cupboard

More on the cupboard.  It is now fully assembled.  So the work on decorating it and turning into a thing of beauty has begun.   Before I assembled it I used rub and buff around the edges of the doors and side panels.  

I wanted something on the doors and fancied using a stencil.  I like this bamboo stencil, but it is square and it has always seemed a bit 'too much', so I butchered it to fit the doors!   I prefer the mask like this and think I'll use it a lot more.  Going to do some dry brushing on the doors to tone them down a touch.   Oh the handles got the rub and buff treatment.

The inside, with the inside of the door having been 'distressed'.   I think it maybe used to hold my embossing powders, or stamp pads.

This pic gives a nice close up of the mask work. I mixed some purple paint in with the modelling paste,  but it might be sanded back to give it a less 'perfect' look.

Yep I've distressed the side, and toned the cracks down with black soot.  Still have the other side and the back to do. 

I want all the edges to have the rub and buff treatment,  it is nice to pick out the detail.   The holes in the doors are to attach the two frames that came with it,  though that is optional.

I lost all sense of time this afternoon,  every section of this took a while to do,  and of course it needs to dry between coats/alterations. 

There was also the match - Everton V Arsenal, well we started well...   then it showed why we need someone to invest in the club and build a good squad of players, and hang on to our talent.

Oops, one more pic, the top.  The fancy bit was orange and now it is gold.  I masked off the purple and added rub and buff, used a brush to get it right down to the join.  It doesn't look gold in this picture, but it was a sunny day,  well when the clouds parted it was sunny. 

It was a very mixed bag of weather,  sunny but cold, then cloudy and even colder,  a few rainy bits, but the one thing that was constant was the wind!

I did think that I'd spend the day differently today, I had in mind to go and do some beachcoming but I woke up too late (I enjoyed the lie in), then I realised the match was on so all plans were changed.   Had a silly letter from the council wanting Council Tax from 2012, well I wasn't the tenant in 2012, mum was and she had full council tax benefit, fortunately I have kept some paperwork and it shows that for 2012 CT was paid in full.  It is only £6,  but they can go swing for it.   Always amuses me when you get three or four letters from the same department, sent on the same day but all in separate envelopes - dumb or what?    And more bumph from Virgin TV,  I am sick of the stuff, it all gets binned.  Had a very irritating cold call, the chap mispronounced my name so I said that there was no-one here by that name and said goodbye, the cheeky sod rang back, told him to get lost,  and he rang back again, this time I swore at him then started banging the phone - hope that gave him a headache, but it worked as he soon hung up.  Sorry I am no longer being polite to cold callers,   I've put a stop to most of them, so the rest can get lost.

More of the cupboard tomorrow...  all for now.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Cupboards and boxes

It's suddenly all about wood.  Yesterday my cupboard arrived, here is a pic of it semi assembled - so chuffed with it!

Then at art therapy we got out new project - memory boxes.  Ours were sort of flat packed, so to speak.  John had cut all the wood and we had to assemble it.  Out of all the women in the room I was the only one who knew how to wield a hammer, and bang in a few nails.  To me it was self explanatory,  all the pieces fitted in a certain way...  yet a few were flummoxed.   Aside from that everyone enjoyed getting rid of all of their frustration hammering in nails.   Now I need to decide what will goes into it. 

Meanwhile back to the cupboard. I began the painting,  yes orange and purple, both are a bit 'in your face' at the moment, but with a bit of distressing etc it will soon come together.  I'll put the sides and doors on tomorrow, then move on to the decorating.  Nope, I have no idea what I'll use it for.  I just enjoy building things,  always have.  I would love to build a dolls house and furnish it.    I really wanted to do woodwork at school, but I went to an all girls school and all we had was domestic science!   Mind you we did actually learn to cook,  I see kids today taking in packet mixes - we  had to make everything from scratch.  

The cupboard is going to have a macrame front, it came with two frames and the instructions for the macrame - never attempted macrame, but nor had I ever made a shamballa bracelet.  I just like the idea of the macrame,  and it will be another skill. 

So tomorrow I should be able to put up a new pic of the cupboard - fingers crossed.

Enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A day of colour.

The bookmark is coming on a treat.  Today I experimented with the frantage.  First I dabbed some versamark in the corner,  added some UTEE,  then the frantage and heated from underneath.  I use UTEE so that the frantage will 'hold' and not fly off.  

I want to use the new stamps,  I've used a couple, now think I may add some of the Sheena ones!  The paper has bubbled, that means I can 'distress' it even more. 

My main focus of interest today was the glass painting: Harlequin.  I spent an hour or so last night making a template for it.

It didn't take long to add the lines,  it was the painting that took the longest,  that and working out where the colours would go.  I didn't want too much of a repeat pattern with the colours - they will be distressed once they are fully dry.  I experimented yesterday and found that a wet wipe does the job nicely. 

I just had the butterflies and stars hanging around on my desk and thought - why not?   Though I'm not sure yet, which is why I didn't stick them down,  maybe the butterflies need to be on the colours?   I covered them in embossing powder, they had been on a card so have been 'upcycled'!   I tend not to keep many cards,  some I definitely hang on to,  but I only have a finite amount of space so have to think carefully about what is kept,  but I do always try to upcycle/recycle stuff from cards I've been sent.  Well that way they 'live' on. 

I wasn't feeling very alive this morning.  I had to be up handy as I had to go to the surgery to have my bloods taken.   I set the alarm,  but of course my brain decided to go into anxious mode!  Hence that is why I was wide awake at 3 a.m., and stayed that way until 5.30, then of course I fell into a deep sleep only to be rudely awakened by the alarm.  The next nasty shock was realising that I would need to go to the supermarket - why do you always run out of the staples?   This time it was milk,  oh and eggs... needless to say I was at the supermarket an an early hour.  Though I was puddled as to how they had run out of loose carrots by 10 a.m.?   Blooming big bag of carrots is no use to me.   I do wish my corner shop would sell more veg, but they only have a few spuds.   I also got petrol well I noticed that the price of oil had shot up, nice how these stock market racketeers always manage to cash in on any misery.  It does bug me though how some folk make a meal out of getting petrol,  all that is required is that you pull up at pump, stick nozzle in the filler thingy, fill up and then go pay...   I have a friend who has to use a disposable glove, so it takes her a while to locate the box, put on the glove, then she carefully selects the pump she needs, stares at the pump deciding which button to push, pay in shop or pay at pump...   she fills up car, taps excess petrol into tank...  by which time I am pulling my hair out!   I never use the pay at pump, they are too prone to being tampered with, in fact I try to pay with cash for my petrol.

I can say that my Kindle is useful for my bouts of insomnia,  I can see who else is still up in the early hours, of course most of the activity is from America, but I do have few FB friends who are also tossing and turning. 

Must stop waffling!   Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 3 March 2014

That Monday feeling

Yesterday's crafting was a lot of stop and start, mostly 'stop'.  I didn't seem to get anything done. Today I realised that I did make a background, and I made a start on Harlequin.  That got finished off today, well almost!   The usual happened, I like it, but it ain't right.  Just worked on a new design,  also spent some time on this piece distressing it.  I just took off some of the paint here and there,  the effect was great. I also added some stamps,   but realised that they need to be embossed on to the glass so will have to check out Youtube.

This piece did go to plan, well the plan that formed in my head.  For this I need to use a page from a book, not many books that I wish to tear a page out of... then I spotted the cook book!   So I've ripped a few pages out of that, mainly from the fish and pork section as I'm not keen on either.   I trimmed it down to a large tag,  used dylusions, green and blue, which were thinned down.  Next I applied some modelling paste,  I added a bit of green acrylic paint,  then using the wing from the magpie stencil I embossed through it.   After that I used some of the oriental stamps.  It isn't finished,  lots more to do to it.  This in turn has given me an idea for the Journal 52 project!  

And this is the cupboard that will soon be on its way to me.   Well mine will be plain, then it will be up to me to decorate it.  I really can't wait to get my hands on it.   I've already pikced out some pieces I can use on it.  And I found two lovely small frames, half price,  that will look great on it, oh and some hinges!

Today wasn't a bad day,  at least what I planned to do got done, which makes a change.   So tomorrow a slight revamp on Harlequin,  some repainting,  and try the stamping again...   though I've also got the decal stuff.  Off to Youtbue!

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 1 March 2014


Yes a blank piece of paper, this was the start of my 'Somewhere a simple place' for Journal 52  which is number 2, so I still have a way to go to catch up.  I knew what I had in mind for this.  The prompt was to think of your favourite place.  I didn't want mine to be an actual place, but more of a nice corner somewhere, maybe a park bench, or standing on the beach. 

I chose a personal place, a comfy seat, preferably in a lovely conservatory, with a book, a cup of tea, an easel or craft table nearby waiting to be used.

So blank piece of paper... what happened next?

A bit of painting,  medium brown, yellow, orange and some gold.  I did some dry brushing as well until I got the effect I wanted.  Then I added some stamping, the pen nibs, which I adore,  just makes a lovely border (Indigo Blu stamp).  It was finished off with a distress stamp and some second generation stamping.

I'd already cut out my pieces/pictures.  I've been raiding the few magazines I have - and even bought one on Thursday!  I also made use of Craft Artist for the title.

And this is it.  My special space, or it would be if I had such a room.   I included the picture of the weaver to symbolize creativity,   the disc is a TH piece and says 'breath' as I often forget to.  The little time piece, well not to bind me to time but to remind me to craft.   The tag just says what it is all about. I may add a few more bits to this, in fact I think I need to as I don't feel it is finished.

Yesterday I visited a place called 'Safe Productions', it is a space for artists to use and is community based.  It has studio spaces available at affordable rents for all us hard up artistic types.  I was there with my friend who hasn't the space to do her artwork in her tiny flat.  Sadly the last space had been taken, but the good news was that they were in the middle of creating more studios.  I was tempted myself,  but I'm not sure the time is right for me to make such a move.  I have a spare room that really I should make my art space.

Today I was really tired, I hardly slept last night. Woke up at 2 a.m.,  tried to just go back to sleep, but in the end I made myself some tea,  got bored watch sky news (goodish cure for insomnia) but it didn't work.  I stayed awake with my tummy rumbling till 4 a.m. then I got up and made breakfast!  Yes a very,  very early breakfast,  but I was hungry and that was what was stopping me from going back to sleep.   I hoped I would manage a lie in, but noooooooooooo,   I woke up at 8, sun streaming in from a chink in the curtains.  In a way it was a good thing to be up early,  I did want to go to the art shop in Southport to get some gel medium,  want to try a print transfer.   I also picked up two gorgeous small frames and little rules, all less than half price.   My mistake then was to watch CnC, spotted the most fabulous gothic miniature cupboard that I HAD TO HAVE.   So no more spending on stash till April.  Though think the cupboard will keep me nice and busy. 

I enjoyed the lovely sunshine today,  can it continue?   Fingers crossed.  Thanks for stopping by.