Friday, 28 January 2011

Exciting News

Morning dear Bloggers. Is it really Friday again?

Thank you so much to everyone who cheered me up on Wednesday and I'm sorry to be glum. Like everyone I have days that get me down but I don't usually bring it to Blogland. This is a place to be cheerful and creative.

And on that note, I have really exciting news. I have been invited to join the extremely talented design team at The Stampman, which is a great honour as I have admired the team's work for a long time. I can't tell you how thrilled I am and look forward to joining a great group of people.

The theme for this fortnights challenge is Oriental and I decided to push the boat out for my first project and do a little box.

The stamps were an Habico set I bought from The Stampman on my last visit. I coloured them with the the blue starburst stain from the May Day Meadows set and Worn Lipstick Distress ink, painting it on with a water brush. The edges of each panel had Broken China distress ink rubbed around them.

The little dragonflies flying around inside were from an unmarked set of stamps, sorry about that. I needed a mirror image for them and these are hard to come by. They were painted with the blue starburst stain from the French Country set. All the products can of course be purchased from The Stampman.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

WOYWW and A Bit Of Scrapbooking

Afternoon lovely Bloggers. How's your Wednesday going?

I feel a bit world weary today having just got back from a Funeral this morning so am looking forward to having a good nosey round all your work desks later to cheer myself up. I know I'll find some lovely things happening and some lovely people to chat too. If you want to join in with this huge thing that has become WOYWW then pop over to Julia's blog and see what it's all about.

This was my desk this morning, just as I'd left it yesterday with a card well on the way to being finished. I've been having a play with keeping things a bit simpler and found this layout which I like. Just by altering the colours it works for so many occasions. I think this one may well be Hubby's Valentine's card. Good job he doesn't keep tabs on my blog!!

I also managed to do a Scrapbook layout at the weekend, the first one of the year. I really must try and get more done, as I said in my last post I have so many photos just crying out to be scrapped.

This was the photo of the ice crystals on the car window I showed you a while ago. I wanted to keep the colours icy so cut up some Stampin Up paper and painted it with Cosmic Shimmer mica powder to match the main paper. It shimmers beautifully in real life.

I pleated some organza ribbon along the photo and then sewed the beads into it so that they dangle and the flowers were cut from tissue paper with the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die. I sprayed them with perfect pearls so that they shimmer too.

Before I go I have to say a big thank you for two lovely awards I received this week from two of my newest followers.

The first one was from Sue
and the second from Holly
Thank you so much ladies, I feel very honoured to receive them. I always find it so difficult to choose who to pass them on to as each and everyone deserves them so please fell free to help yourselves.

There are conditions attached but please forgive me if I pass on those today, I'm just not feeling up to it at the minute.

Well that's me done for today, sorry it's a bit short and sweet but thanks for stopping by and for the wonderful comments you leave, I love reading them.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Busy Doing Nothing

Evening lovely Bloggers. I hope you've had a lovely Saturday. We have missed that beautiful sunshine from yesterday. Today has been cold, grey and dismal in Yorkshire.

It's been one of those weeks when I seem to have been incredibly busy but now it's the weekend wondered what I've actually done. We just seem to be catching up with everyday stuff.

I did manage to make some cards with the beautiful stamps I won from Sheena Douglass so thought I'd share one of those with you tonight.

This is my favourite. She's so lovely and chubby and a joy to colour. I painted her with distress inks and applied a little bit of Broken China with cut and dry around the top for the sky. The blue matting was done with a promarker (I used the same colour to colour the card candy) and the pink with some paper from my new Polka Doodles CD.

I used one of the extra flower stamps in the set to emboss the background with the pink sparkly WOW powders from the Spring set which was also in the prize and lastly cut out the flowers in the jar as an embellishment.

One of the things I've been doing this week is trying to get to grips with the manual options on my camera. I always use it on automatic but after having another go at photographing the stars and moon the other night and having to google how to photo the moon as all I was getting was a blur, I realised I needed to learn more about shutter speeds and aperture openings. It's all still a bit like a foreign language but I'm getting there slowly.

Here is my best attempt at the moon, no longer a blur.

And this was the beautiful sky at sunrise out of DD's bedroom window yesterday morning.

I really must get some of my photos scrapbooked, I have so many I want to do. Oh well, they'll just have to be added to that never ending list of "to do" jobs.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Triple Embossing Tutorial

Afternoon lovely Bloggers. It's a beautiful day here with sunshine and blue skies which are so welcome after the wet weekend.

My very good blogging friend, Jill, has asked me to do a tutorial on Triple embossing and while I do not claim to be any kind of expert and I am sure there are already many excellent tutorials out there on the web, I am more than happy to share how I do it.

Before I start, a few words of warning. Be very careful with the molten powder, it gets very hot so mind your fingers and as there is a lot of heating involved be sure to do it on a heat proof surface. I've warped so many craft mats in my time it's not funny anymore so I now use a cork mat which works well for me.

1) Choose something sturdy to emboss. A piece of chipboard or die cut a shape using cardboard. In the photos I die cut a tattered flower from a cereal packet.

2) Ink up your shape well with clear ink and dip it into your UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder). I tip it into a tidy tray.

3) Make sure your heat gun is hot and then heat the powder keeping your gun fairly close to your shape until the powder melts. You can hold you shape down with a wooden coffee stirrer if it moves about. If the powder flies off, either your gun is not hot enough before you start or you are holding it too far away.

4) Allow the shape to cool and then repeat the inking and heating process again. Your shape should now have a smooth clear glaze.

5) Change the clear UTEE for a coloured embossing powder. If you don't have UTEE, any embossing powder will work fine. Repeat the inking and heating process with the colour.

6) Before you ink and heat for the last time, ink up a stamp of your choice with the clear ink and leave close to hand. Choose a stamp with a fairly open pattern. NB. ONLY USE RUBBER STAMPS (this technique doesn't do acrylic stamps any good)

7) Ink, apply the powder and heat for the last time (be careful not to over heat or the molten powder will start to run off your shape) and immediately stamp into the liquid embossing and LEAVE for a few seconds to allow the powder to set slightly.

8) Remove the stamp and your triple embossing is complete. Trim the excess powder that melted beyond the shape to get a clean edge, it comes away easily with scissors.

9) You can leave your design as it is or I like to brush mica powder into the design to highlight it and then give a quick spray with cheap hairspray to set it.

10) The other alternative is to use a coloured ink on your stamp when you stamp into the hot powder, which gives another finish.

You can also try mixing your coloured embossing powders by spooning a small amount of each onto your shape and heating. Just experiment, play and have fun.

I hope this has been helpful and would love to see what you create if you have a go. Here is a card I made with my shape and a Stampin Up stamp and would like to send it to Jill if you can e-mail me your snail mail address.

Thanks for stopping by and I just have to say how delighted DD was at winning the Try It On Tuesday challenge last week with her manly tag. She is only 9 so you can imagine how excited she is.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A Tag For A Man

Afternoon lovely Bloggers. How's your weekend going? It's been wet and windy here both days so we haven't stirred very far which has been so nice for a change.

On Friday I was delighted to discover that I was the winner of Sheena Douglass' new stamp set of very adorable children and her new Spring WOW embossing powders so had a lovely two hours watching her demoing the stamps and powders on Create and Craft yesterday so that I know how to get the best out of them when they arrive.

I also had a lovely couple of hours with DD creating some tags for the Try It On Tuesday challenge which this week is a Tag For A Man.

I wanted to use my lovely Umbrella Man stamp which hasn't seen any ink yet so decided to stick to only using stamps on the same sheet, although I did have to use a swirl off another TH set. I limited my colour to Dusty Concord Distress ink for the main part of the tag and cut out some of the little tickets and stuck them on top before adding glossy accents. Umbrella man was stamped in black and clear embossed on a scrap of card and cut out and then added with some foam squares.

DD used the Nautical Stamps from The Stampman on top of an acrylic painted background. She stamped the boat, clear embossed it and coloured it with pencils before darkening the whole thing with a little bit of blue ink to take the whiteness away. She then added a Tim Holtz sentiment.

Thanks for stopping by and I have to say how thrilled I was to read all your comments about the star photo from the last post. I was quite pleased with how it turned out, the camera did all the work, I just set it to the Starry Night setting, put it on a tripod, pointed it at where I thought the stars were, pressed the shutter and waited for it to do it's stuff. We had to wait until we got back inside and loaded the pictures onto the computer to see what we had got. This was the best of the bunch. It's definitely worth a try if you don't mind standing outside in the dark for awhile.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

WOYWW and a touch of Stargazing

Two posts in two days, yes I know. I'm determined to be a better blogger in 2011.

Well, here we are at Wednesday again which means it's time for a snoop around all those lovely desks with our esteemed leader Julia. I was determined that I was going to visit as many as I could last week and think I got around half so apologies if I didn't get to you. Those WOYWW's that get round everyone, you have my admiration, how do you do it!!

I took my photos while crafting was in full flow at lunchtime but when I came to upload them they are all out of focus, shocking for someone who is supposed to be interested in photography, so I have had to go and take them again. Trouble is I've tidied up since earlier so I thought I'd give you a guided tour of my room. It's only tiny. I stood in one spot and just turned round but you get the general idea.

As you can see, my chair doubles up as a table for my cuttlebug and dies and stuff.

This is the card I was making when I originally took the photos. It's one of those we all dread but needs must. I used my new Marion Eberson stamps from QVC and kept things very simple. All that white space would normal scare me to death but I think it works on this occasion, what do you think?

Lastly, I thought I would share a photo I took last night. We have been fascinated by the recent Stargazing programmes on TV and last night was the first clear one we've had so after tea, well wrapped up we went and stood in the garden eyes heavenward. I hope the neighbours weren't looking otherwise they'd have thought we were mad. I had a go at taking some photos and this was the best result. You might have to click on the photo to see it better.

Thanks for stopping by and for all those WOYWW's who are living in the areas of Australia suffering those terrible floods, our thoughts are with you. Stay Safe.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Just In Time

Happy Tuesday everyone. I hope your week is going well so far.

As always I'm chasing my tail and just scraping in with a couple of challenges today.

Firstly, Frankie's Tag It On Challenge is to "Impress", not to amaze folk, but rather to impress a stamp into something. I have chosen to triple emboss, a favourite technique of mine. I painted the tag background with acrylic paint and stamped with some bubble wrap on top using a contrasting colour. On top of the paint I stamped with a Paperartsy college flower using Peeled Paint Distress ink and finally added the circles of triple embossing which was done using Cosmic Shimmer UTEE. The circles had gold perfect pearls rubbed over the top to highlight the embossing.

I am also scraping in last minute with this fortnight's Stampman Challenge which is to pick a favourite project from 2010 They are also having a Blog Hop and there is still time to join in as it runs until Thursday 13th January. Just pop over to the Challenge blog and start hopping. They have some terrific prizes on offer.

For my favourite project I have chosen the card I made for my lovely MIL's 70th Birthday. Her favourite flowers are snowdrops and my blogging friend Lynda very kindly sent me this image and this is the card I made with it.

Thanks for stopping by and hello to my lovely new followers. How nice to start the New Year with some new Blogging Buddies.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

New Beginnings

Afternoon everyone. How's your weekend going?

After all the surprise snow of Friday it's been quite nice and sunny here. We have had a weekend of jobs. Why is it that the New Year always makes you feel like doing all those things that have been put off for months. I now have a kitchen drawer I can open again thanks to a repair job by DH so I took the opportunity to clear out all the drawers which then led to clearing out piles of stuff that had collected in various places around the house. Everything looks spic and span. It won't last but I shall enjoy it while it does.

I even got a couple of hours in the garden and cleared piles of dead stuff and guess what, there are magical signs of life, little green shoots and buds appearing. I know we haven't finished with Winter yet but the first signs that Spring isn't that far away is very welcome.

Tuesday Taggers have had a revamp for the New Year and are now called "Try It On Tuesday" and their first challenge is a card with the theme of New Beginnings. My entry is a New Beginning as it's the first one I made this year and the first one using lovely fresh colours after the Christmas colours have been put away so I hope it qualifies.

The papers are all out of my scrap box. My New Years Resolution is not to buy any more craft stash and use up what I have. We are being encouraged to make cutbacks and economise so this seemed appropriate.

The frame was cut with a Nestability and the sentiment stamp is from Elusive Images.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

WOYWW For A New Year

Afternoon all you lovely Bloggers and a very Happy New Year to all fellow WOYWW's. I've been absent for a few weeks due to all things Christmas but all things twinkly and sparkly have been put away for another year, I have dusted myself off and boy am I enjoying getting back to normal. Holidays are lovely but I have enjoyed getting back into a routine again, how sad is that. To get the house properly clean and be able to escape to my Craft room without feeling guilty is great. My mojo has also come slinking back too so I feel raring to go now. Thanks to whoever found it and returned it with a flea in it's ear!!!!

There is nothing but a pile of things to be put away and sorted out on my workdesk at the moment but I have decided that making things and just putting them in a box never see the light of day again is not on. If you make something, display it and be proud, that's my new motto for this year.

With this in mind I have strung up all the tags I've made over the window in my craft room using a Christmas card hanger I picked up very cheaply. There are hundreds of little clips left so I can add to it whenever a new one comes along and I'm quite pleased with how they look.

My DH has also put a new shelf unit up for me to store all my inks on. Can you ever have enough storage space? I'm beginning to think that however organised you try to be there is never enough room!!

Well, that's me for this week. Hopefully I'll have something to show you next time now the creative juices are flowing again.

If you want to join in with the huge number of WOYWW's out there pop over to Julia's blog to see what it's all about. I shall do my best to get round this week. I love having a good nosey but haven't done very well lately.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week has gone smoothly so far.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Happy New Year

To all my lovely Blogging Buddies I'd just like to wish you the Happiest of New Years. I hope it's a Healthy and Peaceful one and brings you all that you could wish for. Thank you for all your support over the last 12 months and I look forward to crafting with you all over the next 12 months.

It's been a very quiet and relaxing Christmas here catching up with Family and Friends and playing with all our new toys!!!

I have to admit that my crafting mojo seems to have taken an extra long Festive Holiday and every time I pick something up I just lack inspiration. It's so frustrating when Santa was kind enough to bring me some lovely stamps and papers to play with. Hopefully it will return very soon. If anyone has come across it on their travels, please send it back express delivery.

In the meantime I have resorted to an old love, cross stitching, which I haven't touched for years. I hate having idle fingers! Trouble is there's not much to show you. So I've had a trawl back through the archives and found a Scrapbook Layout I haven't shared. This was one of the first ones I did and I like the montage of photos of a favourite place I have been to many times. You always see the same photos of Bolton Abbey but doing it this way made me look at a well loved place much more closely.

I also had a go at making my own rub ons using some special printer paper and the fonts on Windows. I keep meaning to have another go now I have Photoshop so think I must make that a thing to do this New Year. Is there any technique new or old that you have made a priority to try this year?

Well, thanks for stopping by and I hope you are all having a lovely, relaxing Bank Holiday Monday. Enjoy whatever you are doing.