Welcome to the land of Shiny

The home of exuberant amateurism.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Opus Gluei Challenge #110. A picture is worth a thousand words.

This fortnight's challenge is a tricky one if like me, you like to add words to your creations, and I nearly always do so.
The Opus Gluei challenge is to create something without words and let the image speak for itself.
I have created a 5 x 7 inch canvas which hopefully makes you think of summer.
Click on it to make it bigger.

Now you know how it is when you are desperate (oh so desperate) to get hold of a crafty item and then when you finally get it, you sit and sit and can't quite come up with something to make that you know you will actually love and want to put it up on your wall and not just making something for the sake of it, which is quite different.
Well this is what happened to me with the Woodware pack of 12 blank jigsaw puzzles which size at 4 x 51/2 inches, which are great and need NO surface preparation.

But thank goodness a trip around my favourite blogs in blogland took me to the super talented stamper Willy Anderson and her jigsaw creation in this post which has inspired my canvas. Thank you Willy!

How I made it.

If you like working with acrylics you may have come across a series of special property gold acrylics that you can either:-
  • use on their own,
  • over the top of coloured acrylics to add a translucent shimmer (similar effect as watercolour H20's give), 
  • or mixed into a colour to produce a unique lustrous shimmer to the colour.
I use Golden's  Interference Gold (Fine) #4040-4 from series 7
Golden's Iridescent Gold (Fine) #4010-4 from Series 6.
(Golden is the company name.)
They give the most amazing shiny effect, I  mean really majestic shiny as oppose to glitter glue shiny.
Don't get me wrong I love my Ranger stickles but these are in a whole 'nother league of shiny.
I'm talking 'bout POSH shiny.
 For this project I used Golden Interference Gold (Fine) #4040-4 from series 7 neat (I'm talking hardcore shiny) on a white canvas.
It gives a shimmer so good you could rub your cheek on it and give it a lick, yes truly, it really is that good.
This paint is truelove shiny.

The Woodware jigsaws come in plain white.
I used Chocolate Baroque (formerly Elusive Images) Doodle Birds and Doodle Butterflies collection stamps.
I stamped straight onto the jigsaw firstly the peacock feather with versamark and clear heat embossed it and then stamped the bird (and the butterflies on white card) with Brilliance Ink in Mediterranean Blue and clear heat embossed them.
I used tumbled glass and mustard seed Distress Inks and the applicator tool to apply them.
I liberally used Arctic Frost Glitz Gel (Imagination Crafts) over the stamped images. I spread this gel with a small wet paintbrush which I keep re-wetting, because squeezed neat out of the tube this gel is very thick and looks like kiddy snot combined with rabies froth, sorry but it does and it isn't a good look.
I used white PVA to glue the jigsaw onto the canvas and glue dots for the butterflies.

So do you feel like making a shiny something or a picture that is worth a thousand words?
You have until the 13 August to join in using Mr Linky over here!

Happy creating!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Opus Gluei Challenge #109 Beat the Heat.

This fortnight's Opus Gluei Challenge is to Beat the Heat.
You have until 30 July 2011 to dazzle us with your scorching project.

I'd also like to enter this card in the Sir Stampalot Anything goes Challenge.

I was so lucky because Spanky knew the answer to this straight away.
Her advice is to stay in the fridge during the day and come out to play at night when you can comfortably rush about with the wind in your fur being all windswept and dangerous.

So that's what I did, I created a night scene.
I've provided the scene but you've got to provide the windswept and dangerousness 'cos I'm too shy. *cough*

This is an aperture easel card that I came up with.
Now whilst I love aperture cards, I don't like the way you can't control the position of the card flaps on a standard card to display the scene through the aperture correctly.

Click on any picture to make it bigger.

The stamps are all Stampotique Originals. I've used Daniel Torrente's Tree and some of Jo Capper-Sandon's wonderful stamps, Wee Owl (he's sitting on the tree), Owl with wings (he's peeping out around the aperture, and he has separate wings so he can be coy like this or in full flight etc whatever takes your fancy) and Small moon.
This is a tribute to Jo as she did a similar layout on her triptych card here.
I used basic grey papers and lots of Nesties; Circles, Lacy circles, Fancy Tags and Fancy Tags 2 and a Martha Stewart butterfly punch.
I coloured with Derwent Inktense pencils.

How to make this card so it'll fold down properly to fit in the envelop.
Take two square card blanks.
Stick one flap of each card blank to each other so you have a 3 flap card.
In the picture I have used a white card blank and a red card blank to make it clearer. Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

If needed cut 1 to 2 millimeters off the front edge of the aperture panel so that the card will fold down on itself to fit in it's envelop.
Stick dimensional embelishments on the horizontal card flap to hold the easel in place. Now the aperture sits exactly where you want it so your view through the aperture is in the correct place.

To fold the card up, allow the aperture flap to fold down inside the card like this.

I was so pleased with how well this card works.
But if you know of any other way of creating this type of card I'd love to hear about it so please leave me a link in the comments.

Happy creating!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Stampotique Designers Challenge #33 Use your scraps. Also #32, #30 and #29

The Stampotique Designers Challenge #33 is hard this time.
A lot of my scraps are basically rejects, things I made that are UGLY but I don't have the heart to throw them away completely so they sit there in my scrap drawer. It also contains very small scraps of designer paper and a few stamped images that never got used.
I managed to make a card and a tag out of this sad little drawer and used only a white card blank that was new.
This is the pitiful drawer.

Now the only saving grace in this drawer is all the spare Daniel Torrente heads I had left over from a tunnel card I made earlier this year.
I often alter these characters, give them different outfits or move their arms about, they really lend themselves well to this sort of mucking about. 
If you are squeamish you might not want to look at this card.

I had 2 Mort has a Pin Curl heads I had coloured in red.
I used Derwent Inktense Pencils, possibly the best pencils in the world, certainly the most fun to use and as I'm sure you are aware some pencils can be downright frumpy.
I mean just look at this one.

A Frumpy Pencil trying to look hot?

Aha, now we are talking, and as the late great Elvis would say
"A little less conversation a little more action please"
As I understand it, he was thinking about Derwent Inktense Pencils when he wrote that song.

Anyway where were we?
Oh yes.
I thought I would make Mort a twin brother.
Sort of Mortledee and Mortledoo.

Now all I did was turn Mort's head upside down, cut off his chin so his teeth became his hair and added a mouth drawn with a 0.1 Staedtler black pigment liner (which would be the Mercedes of the fineliners as it is a German pen).
That's all it took to create his twin.
But he kind of creeps me out so I didn't try too hard with the background for the card 'cos I can only look at him out the corner of Spanky's eye when she is giving a carrot a really hard stare.

May I just repeat myself here now.
If you are squeamish you might not want to look at this card.
OKAY be it on your own head then.

The background is Ranger paint dabbers, a real ugly colour called Willow (oh the joys of internet shopping) and Cloudy Blue. A couple of bits of scrap DP's and a bit of string.
I made a real effort with this photo and went outside in the sunshine and did a patio shoot.
"Photos from the patio", will it catch on do you think?

Onto the sorry sorry tale of this tag's ignominious beginning.
Do you remember the first year that Tim Holtz did his 12 tags of Christmas?
Well I thought I would join in.
I remember it took me ages to find the correct dimensions to cut out this tag "properly".
 3 hours later the base tag was made.
I then sat there and thought
"OK how are you going to wangle this one then foolgirl?"
Because I didn't actually have any Tim Holtz products.
Not a single one.
Nope, none.

Well the tag was snuggled down at the bottom of my scrap drawer.
Lost and lonely no more.
Recently I diecut a load of nestie tags and inked them with stormy sky distress ink that I didn't like at all, plus it didn't go with the project I was making.
I still think they are ugly so I dragged them roughly through chipped sapphire Distress Ink and they look better now.
I bent them into a deep curve, used white PVA to glue them on the tag. The heads are stuck on with foam pads. The hearts are left over Daniel's Hearts from the same tunnel card project. The boys from the top are Smile, Rocky, Heart Throb, Smile (again) and Rocky (again).
Now I used gold liquid pearls instead of gold brads in the holes on the Nestie double ended tags which looks OK I think and makes a cheaper option than brads.

Ready to do some of the SDC challenges I missed the deadlines for when I was ill?

SDC challenge #32 - Clean and Simple

Describes me really.

How AMATEUR is this then? I love it!
A priceless gem I think.
My nine year old likes it too, worms are bad (the new word for cool apparently).
Hey, that worm is all my own work I'll have you know.

SDC #30 - Recycle.

I have altered a lot of matchboxes and have the matches left over to prove it.
What do you mean, show you?
Looky here then

We probably use one small matchbox worth of matches every 5 years lighting birthday cake candles, so I have a LOT of left over matches.
Strangely no, I don't have any desire to transform them into an accurate scale model of the Cutty Sark or Westminster Abbey.

Instead I came up with some little birdhouse homes for the Three in a round Stampotique stamp that managed to use up about 10 matches.
Now my maths is a bit dodgy but I think about another 9999 bird houses to go to use all of them pesky matches up, unless you know any old men?

I thought I would try a different style to my normal and use a muted palette of colours.
This first birdhouse uses a piece of recycled parcel paper, as it was runkled (creased) I ran it through my Xcut paper crimper which is adorable, sometimes it wears a bow; actually it IS a hot tool.
Then I used my finger (another hot tool) to apply some silver acrylic paint to the parcel paper along the top of the ridges.
The base is made of foam board.
I cut up some matches for the gable and used white PVA to glue everything including the beads around the stamp.
It was so plain I just couldn't leave it like that so added some tiny red beads and crystal glitter glue to the match sticks to try and perk it up.
It's still a bit dull to look at...

Then as an antidote I did another one in my normal style.

Now for this one I was planning on putting 3 match sticks together as the little step into the birdhole but got carried away with the other decorations and didn't leave enough room so had to put them on separately, doh.

 SDC#29 - Sketch

Now I have never liked the Pied Piper's general nastiness.
Stealing children for heaven's sake, and I wondered what other story he could  have had to make him nicer, and possibly just another misunderstood soul doing his best to survive.

What if the Pied Piper was a girl who was living in the shadows; living only a half life mostly drab and ghostlike, having neither emotions nor physical sensations   and only a wavering form.
Perhaps to be corporeal and complete she needed to be taught how to live.
Maybe she needed the animals in all their glorious, noisy, colourful variations,  being busy living life at full throttle in the present moment to really teach her how to live.
Maybe it was the animals she was calling with her flute playing and maybe just maybe they all lived happily ever after.

 Of course she could have just been the victim of a careless misspelling by a lackadaisical Scribe who was spending too much time thinking about cheese and she was really the Plaid Pipper which is a whole 'nother story.

Happy creating!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Opus Gluei challenge #108. Red, white and ???

You are not alone if you think this fortnight's challenge is a colour challenge, 'cos I did too and got it wrong - aargh fiddlesticks!

What the Opus Gluei challenge #108 really is, is to make a project to celebrate your country's National Day. Independence Day in the USA, Canada Day in Canada etc.

So why did I get it wrong, do I hear you cry?
Do I actually need to explain it or do you nod with understanding if I just say, Well I'm Gini aren't I?
For anybody new reading who was really meaning to do their online food shopping but somehow ended up here by mistake, I'll try and explain.

You see I only had the title of the challenge to work on for starters which was "Red, white and ???"
And I'm English and a challenge going out on the 3 July has no significance to me apart from wondering on the day if the sun might shine and what shall I do for tea, that nobody I endeavour to feed a balanced diet to, will moan about not liking; same menu as last week then!

 So with the prompt being "Red white and ???" I assumed it was a colour challenge so accordingly made a card using Red, white and yellow, a colour combination I love when using yellow as the accent colour. 
England's national day would be St George's Day but I have never met an English person who celebrates it other than noticing it as a typed annotation in their diary. Which is a bit of a shame now I come to think of it.

So my apologies go to Electra (who set the challenge, and a very good one it is too) for my getting it wrong!

However I have made "the perfect card".
You know the one we all strive to make every time we sit down to craft a card.
The card that is perfectly our style in cardiness.
This is it.
This is the one.
This is mine.
I don't need to ever make up another design now, just keep on making this one over and over again. - Um not likely really, but it does look good written down doesn't it?!

It isn't quite a clean and simple style (CAS), at least I don't think it is from my understanding of the style, because it has too much stuff going on.
But it does have lots of breathing space or white space or blank space, which is usually very visually pleasing to me in the cards I like to make.

Click on it to make it bigger.

I've used a PaperArtsy stamp set, Hot Picks HP1004.
The bottom panel is using the flower stamps and masking to create the panel.
The bird cage is coloured with Derwent Inktense pencils.

So try and get the Challenge right will you! 
I hope you decide to join in but even if you don't, Happy creating!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Catching up on Opus Gluei Challenges #106, #105, #103 and #100

Some of the Opus Gluei Challenges I missed the deadlines for whilst poorly.

Challenge #106 - It's a jungle out there.

These are the 2 Father's Day cards I made, for my sons to give to their dear old Dad (Ha!)

Ooops, I forgot to set the close up button on my camera so they are a bit blurry or it might be that I'm not wearing my glasses as I type this...rank Amateur eh. 

The Panda is another Jo Kill design for Papercraft Inspirations magazine made using circle and oval punches and a bit of hand drawing that took me ages and then when I couldn't find a button to match the ribbon at the very end I happened to flick through the magazine and there at the back was a Template for the Panda, just marvellous.

Why is the pig carrying a piece of fence?
A very good question and one I have no good answer for.
It was another little oversight on my part.
The original pig card in Papercraft Inspirations magazine (which of course I can't find now to refer to) had a stile (type of step over gate) under his arm and a good joke sentiment with the other word style (fashion) in it (if my memory serves me correctly) or it was something like that anyway, but of course I wanted a Father's Day sentiment and used a Tim Holtz fence die cut instead which ruined the joke, which I didn't exactly notice at the time because I was no doubt concentrating on cheese and not keeping my eye on the ball.
Moving swiftly on.

Challenge #105 It's a girl thing.

Using my favourite craft toy at the moment which is a 3 inch Woodware dress punch, that isn't even mine, but I want one of my very own sometime soon.

Challenge #103 Mail Art

I would say that I like to decorate my parcels of craftiness but I wouldn't call it mail art, as it has got to be quick, look very AMATEUR and is usually relevant to the contents or some sort of joke, I do it partly for the recipient and partly for the lovely lady who works in my local Post Office because it makes her smile.

This is a reproduction on an envelope of the last 2 parcels I sent that never arrived at their destinations in America. 
I've never had that happen before and I am left wondering if there are judgemental postal workers who illegally "vet" mail art and bin those that they don't perceive as suitable. Could my greenhorns have been misread as devils and therefore ditched? I don't know, I would hope that is not the case and I am just being a grumpy old cynic and that they are now floating somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean by mistake.

Challenge #100 Matchbox

This is the storage container I made out of the smallest matchbox size you can buy to store my Distress Ink applicators that velcro onto the Distress Ink tool.
I am planning on making another similar box with larger matchboxes to hold my pieces of cut and dry foam that I use with other ink pads.
This idea is floating about on the internet, I've no idea who to attribute it to as I saw it years ago, long before I had any Distress Inks and thought what a good idea I'll try and remember that.

Will be back tomorrow with a new Opus Gluei challenge.
Happy Creating!