Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Finished tin

Have I told you that I was one of the winners in the Crafty Individuals August challenge (well I've told everyone I know - twice, if not more - so you probably know already).  Well my prize stamp sheet arrived this afternoon so I have been busy putting it to good use on the final touches to the concertina book/tin.  I chose CI308, a set of  faux 'postmarks' to add to to the London, Milan, Venice and Manchester ones I had already and have overstamped some of the images in the book.

Just as a reminder here is the front of the tin

and here's the finished project open.

and the concertina book

It is a birthday 'card' for my niece Emma and in her favourite greens and browns.  I try to come up with something different every year for Emma and her sister Sophie so am always on the lookout for different ideas.

Again, I had no idea where I was going with it when I started, just the colours but I knew I wanted a vintage look so dug out the Crafty Individuals books I've had for years and chose some images, added a few pearls, proper postage stamps (I never throw anything away) brads, buttons and other bits and pieces.  I hope she likes it. 

Here's a closer look at the pages.

Busy day tomorrow- off to the specialists for a review of my ankle (torn ligaments) and  fingers crossed that he says it's OK to drive again - the last 5 weeks have been a nightmare.  Then it's the groomers with Sorrel to make her beautiful for her hols.  Funny how I can't find time to get to the hairdressers but can fit in her 'beauty' appointments - still I don't smell as much as she does -  I hope.

If I get time then I'll get out the inks again tomorrow and my new stamps and have a little play and if all goes well I should end up with a few cards for my stash.  Funny how when I started stamping it was all cards and now I rarely make any - well not enough anyway. 

Looking forward to my week away and now all I have to do is decide what craft goodies I'm taking with me - that's my half of the suitcase filled.

Have a good week everyone.

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday - 117

I have a confession to make, well it isn't really my confession but Mr B's - he smokes!
Lots of bad things associated with smoking, least of all the money he could save (and I could spend) if he stopped.  On a positive note at least I get these great tins to alter.

Takes a lot of gesso to cover that warning but I managed it and this is what is on my workdesk this week looking a lot different now.

I used some great little tester pots of emulsion from Wilkinsons, chipboard shapes and some Crafty Individuals stamps for the border. 

I am still working on the inside - concertina book thingy - and have to finish it this week as it's for my niece's birthday soon.  Still playing about with the book pages as you can see from my desk.

You can see inside the lid on the rhs and lots of Crafty Individuals images, bits of ephemera, pearls, twine, postage stamps and a lovely coppery coloured strip of german scrap.  I have to play a bit more with the pictures to make sure I don't end up with all of the ladies staring at the back of each other's heads, or facing away as though they have had a big row.

We are off to North Wales for a week on Saturday so not much on my desk next Wednesday, apart from all the jumpers I leave there when the weathermen predict a heatwave and I have to repack my case on Friday evening (I live in hope). 

Well I'm off to have a good nose round the lovely Julia's blog at the other WOYWW and share this week's crafting vibe - how 70's is that?

Monday, 29 August 2011


Thrilled to find out that I'm one of the winners on the August Crafty Individuals challenge - Bright and Beautiful.  This was my first prize based challenge and I loved doing it and apart from the thrill of winning I get to chose a CI stamp - mmm, that will prove difficult as there are so many of the new ones I like. 

Should I go for the haberdashery/fashion plates , the round 'seals' or the tickets, decisions, decisions.  Knowing me I will chose all of them and then get the plastic out for the rest. Good job the weather is not too kind today, will give me time for a good browse round the CI shop.
If you missed my entry, here it is .

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Freebie photo

Have abandoned (for the time being anyway) my tea box until I decide what to do with the top - not happy with - so moved on to decorate the small cigar tin  Much happier with where I'm going with this one but have to wait now for drying paint and crackly glaze so doing a bit of browsing.

The lovely Sasa of La-De-Dah has blogged a beautiful tag made with a vintage postcard and it reminded me of all those old family photos I have stashed away in the cupboard.
My Mother was born in 1906 and was in her 40s when I was born, there I go giving my age away, and there is one photo of her and her cousin that always makes me smile. It is the expression on my mother's face (on the left)  looks as though she would rather be somewhere else.

Both girls were called Kitty Cassidy - very original choice of names in my family and are dressed for Morris dancing.

Please feel free to use it if you like, it would be especially nice to know that my mother's photo forms part of someone else's collection as well as mine.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

What's On Your Workdesk, Wednesday 116

Have done a little work on my tea box but not as much as I hoped and I'm not 100% happy with it.  One thing about paint, you can always sand it off and start again.
It isn't the paint that is the problem but the stamped tissue, unlike Eric and Ernie's 'wig' joke, you can see the join - will have to see what happens when it is fully dry and will have to come up with a cunning plan to disguise it.

Any how here is my desk this week.

You can see the various pots of paint and the archival ink pad I have used and the lovely Crafty Individuals tree stamps, also the gessoed and painted German scrap below the box ready for attaching.

And if the box doesn't work out as I hoped I can always hide it away for a weeks or so and get cracking on the tin I have prepared (above the box).  It is one of Mr B's cigar tins (bad habit!) and I'm going to make a concertina book to put inside.  This one is for a birthday as I always try to do something different for both my Great-niece's birthdays - and for Christmas when they always have chocolate coins in some sort of container or other. They are 23 and 19 now but still love to search out the coins at the bottom of their present bags.

I managed to get round all the WOYWWers last week and think Julia of Stamping Ground came up with a whizz of an idea when she started WOYWW, so grateful for introducing me to so many talented, funny and friendly crafters.

Hope you have enjoyed another peek at my desk this week. 

Monday, 22 August 2011

Getting messy

I've been spending some time working on the the wooden box I showed you last WOYWW.  Still have no idea where I'm going with it but have changed my mind about the Graphic 45 papers and grabbed my paints.
Think I'm leaning towards a nature theme with lots of trees and birds, but don't hold your breath - I may change my mind before it's completed.
Have gone for a mix of blue, yellow and turquoise shades and quite pleased with how its turned out so far.

Photo doesn't show the colours properly, it is greenier than it looks as the base coat is Lettuce acrylic.  Didn't notice the blob of Mod Podge at top left - have just rushed to wipe it off before it dries.

This is the inside, I wanted it plainer than the outside so mixed some blue and white and then sponged some 'clouds' over the top, well they look like clouds to me so I will probably add a few flocks of birds.

Am stamping the trees on tissue and Mod Podging them but it took me a while to find it as my craft drawers are full of all sorts of stuff.  This is the top drawer -

I get a nice surprise every time I open it as I've forgotten stuff I have stashed away.

Anyway, found the Mod Podge and stamped a tree, will wait to see what it looks like when dry before I do any more.  at least that will give me time to decide what's next - I told you it was an organic project.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


These Wednesdays always come round so fast, a bit like Mondays when I was working, but a lot more fun.
Here's my desk this week.

The big white slab in the centre of my desk is a wooden box bought on Monday, partly prepped with its first coat of gesso.  Not sure what I'm going to do with it, or how it will be decorated as most of my projects are 'organic' which is another way of saying 'don't know what I'm going to do with this?'
Also bought some more distress crackle paints so they will form a part of the eventual plan, as will German scrap after I saw this on Ephemera's Attic blog.  Isn't it beautiful and such a clever use of scrap.  I have loads of this but all metallic which is a bit limiting so very pleased to alter it in this way.

You can also see the paper pad and matching stamps I bought last week (note to self - must stop spending money),  Graphic 45, Once Upon a Springtime.  I fell in love with it when I saw Paul use it at Vicky Stampers last week and had to have some myself - must use some of that paper on, or in, my box.

Am posting early to give myself more time to have a look at Julia's blog and get round all the other WOYWWers. Think I just about managed it last week, even though it took me three days. 
Oops! Nearly forgot to mention my very jazzy sewing box that you can just see at the top right-hand corner of the photo. Not there for any crafty reason - I'm supposed to be shortening a pair of Mr B's trousers - and it is a bit worn around the edges but my Dad bought it for my 22nd birthday (Mum died when I was 21) so it means a lot to me.
Hope you enjoy your snoop round as much as I enjoy a good nosey at everyone else's workspaces.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

It's a small world...

...well it is if your only 1/12 scale like my dolls' house which is what I did before I found stamps.

My first dolls' house was a metal 'Mettoy' one with printed walls and plastic furniture but it did have a garage and a car and was well loved.  I can remember making little blankets for the beds and cutting out pictures from magazines to fix to the walls but mostly I just played and played.
Some years ago  I went to see Queen Mary's dolls' house at Windsor castle and was gobsmacked at the details of the house and contents all of which had been made by skilled artisans and artists of the day.  I wanted my own there and then but had to wait a few years before I found out that dolls house - now called miniatures and collectables - were making a come-back.
I bought the house at a fair in Manchester around 15 years ago, decorated it with a variety of William Morris prints, painted walls with B&Q matchpots and added some samples of wallpaper border as cornices. 
Wasn't keen on the plain outside so it is now covered with 'bricks' - actually sprayed fine gauge sandpaper cut into tiny oblongs and glued to the wall individually.  My fingers weren't half sore cutting them all out.

Anyway, enough words, lets have a look at a couple of pictures.

This is the house front, complete with bricks and chimney pots which have a coating of real soot - isn't half hard to get it off your fingers afterwards.

and this is the inside.
This really is another world, in more ways than one, with a full industry in making the furniture, dolls, etc ranging from cheaper imports to craftsman made furniture and 'dolls' and I have a range from both ends of the market, plus a lot of handmade bits and pieces.

My favourite room is the kitchen with cast iron stove, dresser and a proper rag rug in front of the fire.  The housekeeper is wearing a shawl that I knitted (on steel pins - painfully sharp) and the back of the fireplace is tiled with real tiles. 
This is the lady of the house and her dog which has proper fur and a sweet face.  The doll was bought, again at a fair, naked but with her hair all done up so I had to hurry up and dress her to save her modesty.  The dress is silk and a pattern from a dolls house needlework book - I told you it was a big industry. 
The characters in the house are named after my Grandparents, Jo and Annie and as my Gran had  a parrot I just had to get one for my house.  The stand even has pretend (well I hope it's pretend) bird dirt and fallen seed.  It makes me smile every time I open the door.
The final picture - before I bore you all to bits, is of a sampler stitched onto silk gauze I bought as a kit.  It was so small I had to buy a strong magnifying lamp to see what I was doing so all in all an expensive piece of embroidery. 
I hope you have enjoyed a little peep into my private, miniature world.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Bright and beautiful

This is my first ever go at the Crafty Individuals challenge which for August is Bright and Beautiful.  Well this piece certainly qualifies for the 'bright' half of the challenge using my favourite combination of distress inks, broken china, worn lipstick, mustard seed and spiced marmalade, plus of course some Crafty Individual stamps - CI 034, 272 and 278.
Decided to do a slide mount flag-tag book but as I only had one slide mount left I had to make my own, colouring them, and the folded tags that hold them with the four colours of ink.  The images in the slides are from one of the CI books, and the shrinkies attached to the fastening thread and below the first tag/slide are also CI .

This is the sort of project I love, colour, inks and my favourite stamps, I hope you like it too.
This picture shows the front cover with the shrink plastic image.  I stamped CI034 with pearl dabber so it has a lovely shimmer in real life.

This view shows the inside with the four tags holding the slide mounts.

...and finally, the slides, out of their holding tags - they are attached with multi-coloured threads.

I told you it was bright!!!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Just For Fun - Black and White

I hardly ever think of stamping just black on white, don't know why not because it is an elegant combination, so thought I would join in on this week's Just For Fun challenge which is Black and White.

Its also good to try something different every once in a while as it means when you go searching for embellishments you find stuff you forgot you had - like the spotty ribbon I found right at the bottom of my ribbon box.

The lacy background is an Aspects of Design stamp by the Stampman which wasn't quite big enough so had to be stamped three times.  Didn't line it up properly and left a small white gap between impressions so I got out the fine liner pen and 'sewed' the lace together - can you see the joins?

Well if it's Friday afternoon it's shopping time, not craft unfortunately just the boring food shop variety, so I'm off to Asda.  See you soon.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

She's a lady

Had a great day yesterday with my friend Kath.  Have been friends for 40 years now and she blames me for making her a poorer woman by introducing her to crafting - well you have to spend it on something and crafting comes a very close second to red wine in my opinion. We have very different styles but enjoy working together although I didn't produce much - knew I wouldn't - as we were too busy chatting, but I did manage to make two cards.
This one is a favourite stamp of mine as I love her elegant yet slightly haughty look.
Have used stamp and colours before in a page on a fat book swap and was pleased with the finished page so decided to turn it into a card.  The lace is a bit wonky as I pleated it directly onto the back of the card on  a strip of DST.  The ribbon is a very strokeable velvet from my box of ribbons, lace and fibres which is so full it is just about collapsing at the corners - note to self ' buy a bigger box'.

Had to go to see the consultant about my ankle (badly sprained two weeks ago) and as it's only half a mile away or so I drove there.  Much better than it was but still swollen and told my torn ligaments would take 8 weeks to heal properly.  Two options -  cast on for two weeks or stick with double layer of tubi-grip.  No contest then as I definately don't want plaster - had a cast on my wrist once for 6 weeks and couldn't move it properly afterwards for weeks.  He also said no driving - oops!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday 114

Complete change this week as I plan to do a bit of colouring today and have got my desk ready.  A friend is coming round before 10:00 and we will have a relaxing morning - probably spend more time chatting than crafting - just hope I get a couple of cards out of it as I have no stocks left and am seriously behind with my birthday cards etc.
Here's this morning's desk for you.
CD storage tcase with a mixture of Copics and Promarkers and some pre-stamped images from Lili of the Valley, Del Arte (if I remember the name correctly) and Housemouse and a sheet of Indigo Blu stamps that I bought from Port Sunlight in May.  I love the main image, by illustrator Anne Anderson, as I recognised the style straight away.  I have an old book (well I say it's mine but my sister says it is hers - what do they say about possession and the law ha ha)  called 'The Golden Wonder Book'. 
It is very well used but has pride of place on my bookcase - and was tatty when we got it as my Uncle was a binman (refuse collector for those of you who are not as old as me) and someone was throwing it out so he brought it for me/my sister (use as appropriate).  We had lots of things that people were throwing out, including a lawnmower.
The book has fairy stories (Grimm, Hans Anderson etc), book extracts (What Katy Did, Treasure Island), and poems and is full of the most beautiful Anne Anderson illustrations, black and white line drawings on every page and some stunning full colour plates

You can see why I had to have the stamps, just wish someone else would produce more of them.
So this is my entry for Julia's WOYWW 114, I'm off to finish my breakfast now - porridge if your interested.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Tag flag book

Had a lovely day on Saturday with crafting buddies at Victoria Stampers, there isn't any better way to spend a day, creating, chatting, eating (cakes from Mandy and Gill) with such a friendly and generous group of people.
Carol showed us a lovely tag-flag project and a mini slide book neither of which I managed to get finished (nothing new there then) but I settled down this afternoon to finish to tag-flag book.
We stamped with bleach on black card, rubbed chalk inks over the bleached images and stenciled Lumieres to make the covers.  Afraid I overdid it with the chalk inks obliterating some of the images - always was a bit heavy-handed - but I loved the effects of the lumieres, especially on the inside cover where I used a beautiful butterfly mask.
I'll miss the next meeting as we are off to Wales for a week, just hope there are no disasters on that holiday (it's OK as I have my fingers crossed as I type that) but I am looking forward to the October meeting as Neet has something a bit different for us then. October??? it's nearly Christmas - can't believe I just said that.

Anyway here's the book: -

You can just about see the ginko leaves stamped either side of the geisha's head. 
Stamp is one of a set designed by JoZart for Stamp Attack.

This is the inside, don't look too closely as all the butterflies are facing the same way - Oops.

and the last photo shows all the tags.  Some people used black and white photos and others printed images which looked good so am going to dig out my Crafty Individuals books and have a go at another one.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Friday and the sun's shining. What more can you ask for.

After a miserably wet day yesterday the sun is out and it's pleasantly warm out there.

Housework done (will the bit of it I do - Andy does the rest at the weekend), washing blowing gently on the line and my craft bag is all packed up for Victoria Stampers tomorrow.  Am so looking forward to a day of craft and friendship with the other Viccy Stampers as I missed the last meeting and it seems an age since I was last there.  It's always very relaxed and chatty and sometimes I complete whatever project we are working on.

Carol is tutor this week and we are doing a couple of little books - a tag book and a mini slide book).  I love things in miniature - except glasses of red wine, then I prefer extra-large - just hope my stamps are small enough.

I'll let you see what I come up with but in the meantime here's a peep at the card I made (the only crafting I have been able to do this week) using the blue backgrounds I made on Wednesday.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

WOYWW 3 August

What's on my Workdesk?

Not much at the moment I'm afraid as events, as they say, have overtaken me.  First the family holiday in Somerset where I managed to fall over, twist my ankle very badly and spend 2 and a half hours in the Minehead minor injuries unit.  Despite the ankle swelling up like a balloon, turning a lovely shade of greeny-blue (think Shabby Shutters crossed with Broken China) the x-ray showed no fracture so it meant rest for a couple of days followed by increasing amounts of exercise.

It still hurt like heck (but I'm not one to moan - much) but being a good girl I followed advice did ALL my holiday ironing and even took the dog out for a walk/hobble on Monday.  Thought if I took her ball on a rope I could get her to exercise while I stood more or less in one place - wrong.  She was happy to run after the ball and bring it halfway back but then drop it and come racing back to me for a treat so I had to go for it - all the hours of dog training worked very well then. Ended up with a throbbing swollen ankle on Monday afternoon.

Then got a phone call yesterday from the Somerset Hospital, the x-ray report showed a small fragment of bone by the ankle and a suspected fracture so I had to go to my local walk-in centre.  Great, another 2 hours of fun, and a further x-ray.  Ended up back at home, strapped up again (too small a fragment for a plaster cast thank goodness) and told to rest - only wish I'd found out before I did the ironing.

Still managed to do a bit of playing with my new Tim Holt Papillon stamps - love that french text backgound - and my favourite Distress Inks.

Not sure where I'm going with this but I sense a French theme as I want to use some of those little charms you can see to the left of the black mat.  Have to thank Jozart for introducing me to the joys of bargain hunting through the Primark jewellery sale items.  Mind you I'm nowhere near as expert as Jo as these cost me all of £1 each!  The cute little white poodle on the safety pin broach is calling out to be added to a french card so who am I to resist.

Well seeing that I'm a lady of enforced leisure I'm toddling over to Julia's blog at Stamping-Ground to see what the other WOYWWers are doing this week,