Friday, 27 January 2012

Revisiting Kitty's Room

Well not the room exactly (yet) but the sign I made for my Gdaughter's new room.

Got the door-sign out last night to pack it as we are off to see them all in Bristol tomorrow and the more I looked at it the more I disliked it.  It just wasn't right, too bright, too pink (and too green) and a bit garish - see here - well that's what I thought so this afternoon I started again.  I decided to cover it with paper instead of paint and got out my stash including some I bought last month and found that the reverse of one gorgeous paper was a spotty soft pink.  The papers are Kaisercraft 'Bonjour' collection and I got them for the beautiful birds, butterflies and roses on the fronts not looking much at the reverse so how lucky was that.

So out came the scissors for some home-made decoupage, a bit of distress ink for the edges and the grungeboard letters.  I didn't have a 'y' or an 's' left so had to 'make' my own cobbling together a 'v' and the tail of a 'j' and a reverse 'z' but I'm pretty pleased with the result.  This is much more 'me' and I'm sure it is much more Kitty's Mum as well.

How come some days I can sit at my table and produce absolute rubbish (if I'm lucky - sometimes I produce zilch) and others I can go in, not know where I'm heading and get it right?

Busy day as it was Sorrel's bath-day and she is definitely an earth dog (well she is a terrier) and hates water - you should see her delicately picking her way around puddles - so it has taken her all afternoon to get over the shock and now I'm going to ruin her day completely and take her for a walk - in the rain.

Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't snow on Sunday when we are coming home - have told Mr B to pack a shovel, blankets and a hot water bottle just in case.  He thinks I'm joking - only in part.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

What's on Your Workspace Wednesday - 138

Well, I know what's on my desk this week - a bit of a mess.

Have had the paints out again getting another of my journal pages ready and how much mess can a couple of bottles of acrylic make?  Don't answer that - I already know, a lot!

Also in this week's photo is yarn for a baby blanket I have just started knitting for a friend.  The pattern is an American one off the internet so I wanted to have a practice using some left-over purple and green wool, the cream yarn at the back is the 'proper' yarn and I started on it after taking the photo yesterday afternoon.

Here's a closer look at the background on my journal page - gesso, green and blue paints and a flourish stamp.  The piece on top is an ATC background made with acrylics and pearl dabber - nice texture.

Not been a very good week as I spent a good few hours searching for the Japanese silk fabric I got at Christmas.  I turned the room upside down, not too mention my ribbon box, stamp storage, craft tote (twice) and every drawer in the room. Very upset as I had convinced myself I had thrown the package out when I had the big 'tidy' after New Year - always knew tidying was a bad move and thought this was the proof.

Luck turned for the better when I had one last go at the ribbon box yesterday and found the package tucked away in the middle of some more fabrics- phew!!!  Still have to decide what I'm going to do with it but whatever it is it will have to be good after all that stress.

Didn't get round to everyone's desk over at The Stamping Ground last week but intend to do better this week and see what everyone else is up to.                                      

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

What On Your Workspace Wednesday - 137

Halfway through January now and the nights are getting a little lighter every day even if is is cold enough to freeze off the unmentionable parts off the proverbial brass monkeys but a few days of headaches (think it's my sinuses) have kept me away from my desk.  Still I managed to get in yesterday and this is it.

We missed going to see StepD and family at the New Year but are going at the end of the month so I'm making a door-hanging for Kitty (15 months), hence the profusion of pink.  The blanks are from Joanne Sheen's shop and I used Grungeboard letters and a few wooden bits to decorate. First painted with tester pots of emulsion from Wilkinson's but the finish wasn't right so that got painted over with Lumieres.  That was too shiny  so bought a can of acrylic primer from Halfords and zapped it with that before painting with a combination of Ranger Dabbers and Fresco Finish acrylics.  Must say the Fresco Finish was much easier to use. I need more colours.
 It isn't finished yet - want to shade the edges somehow and add some beads and ribbon but I like the fresh look of the green and pink.

Here is is before painting.

My desk also shows my journal and I managed to have play with a page for that at the weekend.  Not sure about the colours (or my handwriting) but at least I'm started and it can only get better, can't it?

The bird's nest is looking a bit unsafe perched so high in the tree - bad parents, and the colours are not very spring-like but that's what you get when you ink the page and then decide what you are doing on it.  It has shown me one thing - I need more spray inks, paints and stencils, oh, and a winning lottery ticket.

If you want to have a browse around more desks then hop over the Julia's at the Stamping Ground.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Cold and frosty

Not much crafting getting done this weekend - weather is too nice to sit at a desk all afternoon.  It is very cold though and we have had a hard frost both mornings so I nipped out in my dressing gown yesterday morning and took a few photos in the garden.

The frost has fringed all the leaves on this creeping campanula.

and covered every blade of grass on the lawn.

Next door's Magnolia looks pretty against the sky - will look even better when the buds grow fat and bloom.

I like the pattern formed with the overhead view of my sundial.

and this view of the moss and lichens covering the stone surface of the dial.

Hope to use the photos on one of the pages in my art journal but I don't feel like crafting at present, tried to make a little hanging sign for my one year old Grand-daughter's bedroom but messed it up well and good so its sitting there at present - staring at me.  Will have another go tomorrow as we are going down to see them all at the end of the month and I want to take it with us.

Hope everyone has had a good weekend - what have you been up to?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

What on your workdesk Wednesday - 136

My desk this week is a bit of a mess - so what's new? Well it's even worse that normal as I'm getting a few (a few?) bits together to make a mini-book for the 'suitcase' I made at the weekend.

We haven't been on a foreign holiday for a while now, we got Sorrel 12 months ago and before that we were due to go to Italy again but had to cancel at the very last minute because Mr B's Mum was ill (we were actually in London the night before the train journey when we turned around and came home).

 I don't fly any more (hate it) so we have been on ferries, stayed in Gites and travelled by train and coach to Italy, France, through Germany, Austria Switzerland etc and so have seen much more than you can from a plane window.  All the ephemera I have collected; tickets, drip mats, receipts, even salt and pepper packs from Eurostar have been tucked away for years waiting for the opportunity to be used.

Needs sorting out as there are at least three trips there - Tuscany, Lakes/Venice and Burgandy and maybe a bit of French Alps - all tipped out waiting for inspiration.  See if you can spot the archetypal photo of me holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, it must be an age ago as I had short hair then, was a lot, lot thinner, and I'm wearing shorts!!!

This is the case - made from scratch (you can see more pictures of it on my previous post here if you like) so 'ALL' I have to do is sort out the photos, make a book, make sure it has some pockets for the little bits, maps etc, make something for inside the lid - not sure what but I fancy a criss-cross ribbon effect like a noticeboard so that I can push papers behind - make some luggage labels, add keys, charms etc (all ready in the little box under the case and that's it. - phewww!

Talking of Sorrel, which I wasn't but no matter, she went to the groomer's on Monday and came back with ribbons tied on to her collar and a pink mini bow in her hair.  I'm not very sure about this (neither was she) - as I don't like to dress up dogs but you've got to admit she does look pretty cute, if a little embarrassed.

If you see what you like and want to share in the big Wednesday desk hop, or just want a snoop around then pop over the Julia's place at the Stamping Ground where loads more desks lie waiting to be ogled.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Have case, will travel

We all made a suitcase at our regular stamp club meeting last Saturday.  Well when I say 'made' I mean I started but didn't finish.  It was very time intensive but well worth the effort when I 'finished' the case this morning.

Here is the front of my case showing the grungepaper straps and handle and the little TH lock.  The corners and insert in the lid (see next photo) were made from some gorgeous metallic wrapping paper I have had for a few years - trying to 'save' it for special projects.

Here is the side view but don't look too closely at the corners as I could have made them a little neater.

and here is the inside covered with some stripey paper.  The papers came in a case from Costco quite a while ago.  Hated some of them as far too grungy for me and only last month I had a big clear out and some of them went in the bin - glad I saved these lovelies.

It isn't finished yet, need to add stuff inside. keys, luggage labels etc and a mini book but I need to get my thinking cap on for those so watch this space.  Can see me getting addicted to these cases and trying all different sizes.
I also need to get my blog candy sorted as I want to do a give-away soon - so much to do, so little time.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Kick Starting the New Year

A huge thanks to Jozarty for putting me on to this great idea and it's FREE!  It called Summit 2012 Creative Jump Start and its a drip feed of creative ideas and techniques from some very talented creative artists around the world.  I signed up this morning via
You need to sign up to get the password and access to the videos and the first one is by Dina Wakely encouraging you to 'warm up' your mojo by playing with colour.
After watching the video I did just that, cutting my own tags as I didn't have any large enough.

I tend to be a bit conservative with colour so this was a bit scary at first but I just went for it, no thinking just colour sprays and water and I love the results, although the photo is just a tad more intense than they are in reality.  My favourites are the ones on the left and as they were a little wet (soaking actually) I dragged my ruler through the ink to make those 'tendrils'. Tomorrow I am going to add stamping to a few of them and the rest will go in my scrap box.

On a roll now I got out the journal - all that lovely white space - as the next step was to add colour in a similar way to my first ever journal pages.  The paper in it is quite thin so I stuck two pages together and added gesso before spraying direct on the pages, adding a little mica spray and water and then mopping up the excess inks.

You can just make out the impression of circles left by the kitchen roll I used to mop up the ink.  Although the inks I used on both tag and pages was the same, give or take a spray or two, the effect is very different - maybe the gesso has lightened the colours.  Not sure whats next for the pages but it will incorporate at least one of the tags as a record of my kick-started mojo.  Think the hardest thing for me will be to actually write on the page - hate my handwriting.

The next video is due tomorrow and I can't wait to see what that one is - watch this space and get signed up to that site.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Whats On your Workspace Wednesday 135

Can hardly believe it is 2012, seems only a year or so ago we were getting ready for the new millenium.  My theory is that someone has pressed the fast-forward button by mistake.  Maybe it's Julia at The Stamping Ground, the lovely lady who organises this hop around the crafting desks of the world, if so Julia, can you push the 'pause' button now please.

Christmas decorations back up in the loft and still not fully back into crafting but I have made a start and am getting ready for Vicky Stampers get together on Saturday by cutting all my greyboard pieces to size.  Made a bit of a boob when I measured them as two were a bit short - someone must have shortened my ruler - so had to re-do those.

The scrapbook papers at the back right are for the project as well.  The greeny-purply book at the back is my the newly done cover of my art journal and the tin at the front is full of stuff, want to see inside?  Of course you do.

It's a treasure chest, well almost, it's full of broken jewellery and a gift from my sister.  If you read my 'New Year' post you will know that she fell over the vacuum cleaner on New Years Eve and fractured her elbow and badly bruised her shin.  Luckily she only lives 5 mins drive away and her daughter lives even closer (just round the corner) so she is getting a lot of help.

I went round yesterday to help her get dressed , do a few jobs and keep her company and we were talking about craft and recycling  and out came this tin from the back of the cupboard.  Goodness knows what she was saving it for but I'm glad she did.  There are three broken watches for stripping down and I am going to make a mould with the massive brown 'rope' earring at the top of the tin.  There were even two eye-shadow pencils in there as a bonus.

I'm going round today as well and probably Friday so will not get much time to craft this week, could be worse, could be me (only joking).  At least Sorrel is fully recovered, eating well and full of beans but she doesn't like the windy weather.

Happy 2012 everyone, hope it's a good one for you.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Art journal here I come!!!

It's been sitting there on my table, pristine, for weeks now just waiting for me to get my finger out and get started on my First Ever Art Journal, so what better time to start than on New Year's Day.

Only done the front cover though, but it's a start, isn't it?

Handily the covers of the journal are canvas so it was out with the acrylic paints, masks, sequin waste and foam alphabet stamps and away I went.  It may not be perfect but it's all mine, and it had to be my favourite colours of greeny-bluey-purpley, plus a bit of pearl highlights.

So this is my entry for this week's Anything Goes challenge on 'Just For Fun' because it was just that - fun.

***!!***Happy New Year***!!***

The festivities are almost over for this year so I am taking the opportunity to say thanks to those who helped and encouraged me when I first started my blog , to my followers, your kind comments gave me the warm feeling of friendship; to fellow WOYWWers for sharing stories, inspiration and craft spaces neat, tidy and messy (I love them all) with a special thanks to Julia for organising the weekly desk hop; to those who have offered blog candy (have enjoyed the excitement of joining in even if I didn't win) and to all you hard working challenge organisers for getting my bum into gear and inspiring me to actually do something on weeks when I just felt like hibernating.

As I write this (6:30pm) Mr B is cooking our supper, he loves to cook and I love to eat so that works out well, Sorrel is sleeping on my chair - she has today worked out how to get up on the bed and now owns the whole house. She is tons better by the way, tummy bug in retreat and my bank balance seriously depleted by vet bills.

I'm doing this as a scheduled post with a glass of Rose in my hand because (fingers crossed) I will be tucked up in my bed fast asleep at midnight with earplugs in to deaden the sound of any fireworks. Well that's the plan but as Sorrel is not too happy with the noise I have a feeling we will all be up with the TV on full sound and a glass of Irish wiskey - us, not the dog, I know she's the boss of the house but I draw the line at that.

Oh, and I hope my sister doesn't decide to ring us at 12:05 to wish us Happy New Year.

She did that a few years ago, we were asleep (real party-poopers at our house), woke up thinking if the phone was ringing it was bound to be bad news, ran to get the phone, hit the door frame with my head and ended up with a black eye, so whatever you are doing, stay safe and enjoy, and a happy and peaceful 2012 to all of you and don't phone your sister.

UPDATE (13:30)
Surprisingly we managed to stay up until 12:30 last night.  Lots of fireworks round-about but they died down at 12:30.  Sorrel was in her crate from 10:00 and managed very well.
My sister didn't ring me -  she was at the walk-in centre yesterday evening after falling over the vacuum cleaner and fracturing her elbow.  Just back from visiting her and she is fine, although sore and a bit groggy from lack of sleep.  Good start to 2012 for her then.