Welcome to the land of Shiny

The home of exuberant amateurism.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Dress Up 2010. October and November Dresses.

I'm late with October's Halloween dress because I couldn't make a background I liked and I have the full waste bin to prove it.
In the end I caved in and bought some Inkadinkado Halloween stamps, when I realized I was bat drawing challenged or more probably just fed up with and being driven batty by my consistently hopeless backgrounds I was making.
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
So for this dress I brayered Adirondack dye ink in Citrus on watercolour paper added a panel of purple metallic paint at the bottom.
I used a paper doily as a stencil and sponged orange acrylic paint through the doily.
Sprayed with gold mica mixed with water. Stamped with Versafine black and added glossy accents and bugle beads.

Click on it to make it bigger.

November's Dress is Fireworks in the Sky.
This one thankfully turned out just how I wanted it without any messing about.

Click on it to make it bigger.

This dress is metallic blue paint on watercolour paper, the background stars are gold and silver Sakura pens and some silver stickles. The fireworks are various stickles glitter glues.

Next month is the big reveal for December and our last month of Margaret's Dress Up challenge.
Margaret is such a STAR for running the challenge all year :-)

Sorry - No story this time. Sometimes I have lots of free time and sometimes I don't :-)


Friday, 5 November 2010

Christmas Cards for copics!

Have you found out yet about this great giveaway by Charmed Cards and Crafts who have put up 72 Copic pens series A for grabs?

You've got until 14 November to enter here.
I've bought things from them and they are a good store to use.
I don't have any alcohol pens and would like to try them so I've made a total of 3 Christmas cards which is my grand total to date, so I'll probably (you think?)  have to buy some this year!
I've coloured the Santa, Fairy and the stars with Derwent Coloursoft pencils mixed with Derwent inktense pencils.

I used a coloursoft pencil in Soft Pink (C170) to colour her wings then used Sakura quickie glue pen with Glamour Dust in Crystal which has come out really well as pretty shiny wings.
You can also get Glamour Dust in Gold which is also excellent.
All the lovely background papers for these cards are Dovecraft Let it Snow 8"x8" pad.

These two were inspired by Peet a fabulous card maker with a very distinctive style of layering with die cuts and chipboard shapes. I'm guessing she also has a Cricut machine as well as Nesties to get all the shapes she does.

Get yer Christmas stamps out and have a go, it's a random draw.
I like random draws, they take the pressure off.
No performance anxiety required.


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Stampotique Designers Challenge 18, Spooky, Creepy, Crawly. When opposites attract.

Well, seeing as I creeped myself out with the blood splattered treat container last time,  I thought would be on the look out for the funny side of all the shenanigans going on at the Stampotique Halloween Party.
I didn't have to wait long in the cobwebs in the deep dark woods with my trusty camera for a good shot to use.
Which is just as well as I do not like spiders, at all.

I could practically see the heart signs floating out of Bowtie when he first set eyes on Glimmering Hope all dolled up in her party gear. She is wearing bone glitter moisturiser because she has no skin to rub on the body glitter that she found half price in Boots.
Plus she is also wearing her family heirloom "the death diamond" in her hair.
Even though I say it myself (ahem), she is looking mighty fine for a corpse rustler.

I think Bowtie's opening line to the dame is pretty lame, but what do I know seeing as I was always rubbish at dating.

So my entry for the Stampotique Designers Challenge #18 is

"When opposites attract."

Click on it to make it bigger if you like.

Just in case the words aren't legible, and lets face it my eyes aren't what they used to be, why, once upon a time they were blue (no, actually that is a lie they never were blue).

Bowtie's opening line is "I tap dance. What do you do?"
and Glimmering Hope replies "I raise the dead."

Normally her reply would have been "On yer bike." but she is interested in his shoes, as they are very sparkly and she gets easily distracted by shiny things.
Also she thinks he looks rather like Elton John in his outfit and one of her very favourite songs is I'm Still Standing.
Now I can tell you very quietly why she likes that song but I have to whisper it,
 so come very close to the screen,
 no, come closer than that,
that's better,
now press your ear on the monitor because she is very touchy about this subject and I don't want to upset her.

I don't know if you've noticed yet but she has no legs. Sssh!
Anyway she is very proud of the fact that she is still standing despite her leglessness.
But she doesn't like it if anyone asks her where her legs have gone. Well obviously.

Happy creating whether you have legs or are in fact legless the next time you pick up your favourite glue!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Gizza sweet. Girl's from the Black Stuff?

This piece is for two challenges.

Alter It monthly for October. Which is "To spook or not to spook".  I've altered a box that held my wrinkle cream into a Halloween treat container. So it's almost turns your wrinkles into sweets doesn't it? What could be nicer.


Stampotique Designers Challenge. SDC#17. Treat Container.
I was really hoping that whatever challenge #17 was going to be I would be able to enter Moth Fab in layers.
But it was not to be.
Although Moth Fab could possibly be considered as being a treat container herself in her underwear, I thought you might throw things at me for my audacity, so I made something else instead.
Although if I was sure it would be Cathedral City Cheese that you threw I would have entered her. Mmm cheese.

This time last year I would not have anything to do with Halloween Art and I am really a bit amazed that I made this.
I was made bold by Kaz's journal page called Naughty Weasel, as she has made this rather sick but completely brilliantly funny piece over on the Stampotique Designer's blog do go have a look if you dare!
 I did and I'm a real scare-dee cat when it comes to spooky things but this is more funny psychotic than spooky.
I say that as if funny psychotic is better somehow, which means I need to review my medication ;-)

So I came up with a rather gory Treat Container all splattered in fake blood courtesy of Dylusions Post Box red spray ink.
I did add lots of gold mica for shininess, so that makes it alright doesn't it?
( The gold mica doesn't show up in the photo's because if I added any shiny shots this post would stretch all the way to China.)

Gizza sweet. Girl's from the Black Stuff?

Click on any picture to make it bigger.

Seeing as there is the expression "Get your craft on" I thought that maybe we could
 "Get yer creep on" for Halloween?
Maybe not, seeing as I'm no trendsetter and I'm ever so grateful I am not responsible for such heinous expressions as "pushing the envelop" or "thinking out of the box" that do the nauseating rounds through large corporations until some other bright spark comes up with another even better heinous expression that everyone can run around spouting or sprouting even.

Top of the box.
Which actually means the top of the box, and not some wank.
(Sorry Mum but I really feel it was merited on this occasion.)

Open box.

One Side of the box

The other side of the box

Front of the box

Back of the box

Inside of the Box is Heart Throb who has a most unfortunate dribble of red ink on his brainbox that looks like a pickaxe was recently removed.
 Notice the lovely blue tissue paper lining for all those lovely Halloween treats such as Eye of Newt and Chunks of Spleen, which are selling like hot cakes in Asda this week.

This is the box before altering.

Stamps used were Stampotique.
The Ladies: Clover, Muffin, Jeepers and Miss Snottie.
The Boys: Heart Throb, Smile and Mort has a pin curl.

Now I have been tardy in the last few posts and not said how I made it.
This is going to be an awfully long post if I do one now so briefly with the main points only.

I used Reeves Black acrylic which is a soft sheen acrylic which has a very dense coverage and an ability to stick to a fairly shiny surface without the need for Gesso, so is perfect for a bit of altered art but not very good for writing on if you were to use it on a journal page. You would do better with a matt acrylic that pens can write on easily for journaling. (My opinion only.)
I used black stazon ink for the stamping because of the gold mica sprayed on the card and I thought it was guaranteed to adhere because it's Stazon. Mmm almonds.
The tissue paper was glued on with Golden Gel Medium around the top of the box only.
Gel medium is your fall back glue for Altered art.
If it wasn't so expensive to buy in the UK I would use it much more often as it will stick most things together and dries within seconds and thereby defies gravity.
These two properties make it an absolute must for a place in your glue arsenal if you like altering things.
Just to clarify, you don't need Golden Gel Medium if you want to alter your hair colour, you need a hair dye for that which is something else entirely.

So get yer happy creative creep on (or not) this week folks!

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Artistic Stamper Challenge Layers. Spanky does Moth Fab in layers.

Spanky has done Moth Fab as you've never seen her before.

The challenge this month over at The Artistic Stamper is layers.
Spanky thought she would do layers of clothes and chose a very pretty lady who is no doubt Spanky's match in every way on the Diva front.
But Spanky thinks Moth Fab needs a natty new wardrobe.

It's gatefold card that starts with Moth Fab dressed up as The Queen of Narnia, and WOW does she make a scary Queen.
I can't imagine her saying "Squeeze me 'til I squeak".
Maybe "Touch me and I'll rip your head off."
Poor Edmund.
(Click on any of the images to make them bigger.)

Then Spanky gave her day dress a little bit of dazzle and bling.
Is it just me or is Moth Fab looking hard to please?

Not heaping praise on Diva Spanky for any favours she may deign to bestow is SUCH a bad idea Moth Fab... can't you at least...Uh Oh - too late was the cry as she waved her wooden leg.

Rock and Roll Moth Fab! Who knew you had a stitched up belly to match the rest of you!!!

Oh look a lovely shiny shot.

Well, will you look at that, Moth Fab is a cross between Marie Antoinette and Dame Edna Everage underneath all the glowering and Fru Fru.

Moth Fab is the fabulous invention of Daniel Torrente for Stampotique stamps and I hope I am not in the dog house for the modifications. Spanky made me do it!

The quote is the title of the book by Louise Rennison's teenage drama and further confessions of Georgia Nicolson. Louise has the funniest way of saying things.
I could make a lot of art using her quotes.

Now you might not think Moth Fab's knickers are very big but Spanky does not believe in knickers at all. She thinks you should let the breeze blow freely down below and only wears a thong for warmth so they are really big as far as Spanky is concerned.

This is the middle of the card. The Standing Up Shot just to prove it can.

This is the back of the card.

Happy creating everyone with or without knickers!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Easel Card. Autumn colours Art Journey's Dancing Lady

The last couple of projects I've made have included autumn leaves so I've had enough of leaf making for the moment but I adore the autumn colour scheme of reds, browns, golds and greens.
So I've used one of my prize loot stamps, the gorgeous Art Journey stamp plate Silhouette.

I am very disappointed in my photography of this card, I completely forgot to put my flash on to get a shiny shot of the gold mica that covers the inked paper I made for it.
But in real life it is lovely shimmery shiny golden-ness on the reds, oranges and yellows which tones them right down so they are not quite as bright in real life as in the photo.
 (It was late, I was rushing, and I nearly forgot to photograph it at all blah blah blah.)

 Unsurprisingly it was going to Alison the next day, for her Birthday.
 It would have been surprising if it had been for John's Birthday though wouldn't it? 
Unless of course he was in love with Alison, in which case it might have been quite sweet,
 unless his love was a secret unrequited love in which case I WOULD BE REACHING FOR MY COAT. 
Thankfully whomever John is in love with is a complete mystery to me, or if he is a John Doe with a toe tag that would be who he was in love with.
What is a mystery though, is why I started this train of thought because now I'm thinking, Spade. Hole. Digging. Stop.

Moving swiftly on.
I'm entering this card in:-

Sir Stampalot Challenge for October. Autumn breezes, buttons and a bow(s)
Daring Cardmakers Challenge. Welcome to the dance.

Here it is. Click on it to make it bigger.

I always think that if a project comes together really easily it's because the idea of it has been wafting around in your brain for a long time.
I've just realised from where my inspiration for this card came.
This is the silhouette of the dancing woman in the flames of the opening credits for Tales of the Unexpected isn't it?
If you're not old enough to remember Roald Dahl's televised series of stories then you won't know what I'm talking about. Never mind, you have fewer wronkles than me.

"Some say wrinkles and some say wronkles.
Let's call the whole thing off."

Wait! I've lost my place in the conversation, what were we talking about anyway?
Oh yes, John Doe and his magic toe...

Happy creating everyone with or without wronkles!

I'm an ecstatic winner!

I was very lucky to be one of the 10 winners of the Craft Stamper magazine's 10th Birthday Competition with this card. (Blogged about here.)

I did a huge squeally happy dance on finding out, I don't think Himself has recovered yet from the spectacle of it, I would imagine it is burnt onto his retinas good and proper. Ha!

I'm published on page 67 of the November 2010 Edition of the magazine along with all the other fabulous winners.

My personal favourite from the winners is Andrea Neville's Graffiti Card, a brilliantly clever card using the wonderful Daniel Torrente characters from Stampotique.

A HUGE ENORMOUS thank you to the Craft Stamper crew and all the wonderful sponsors who provided these fabtastic prizes.

Here are links to their websites:

Art journey
Blade Rubber Stamps
Crafty Notions
Crafty Individuals
De Stempelwinkel
Elusive Images
The Artistic Stamper
The Stamp Man
Stampattack Art Stamps

It'll take me ages to try out all my winning loot.
I encourage you, yes YOU to enter some competitions if you've never done so before, especially if you've made something a little different from normal.
You gotta be in it to win it and I wish you lots of good luck :-)

Happy creating for competitions!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Dress Up 2010 September.

After a great deal of computer woes, I'm finally back.
I have a shiny new Apple Mac and it's like going from a Lada to a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce.
R.I.P. to my microsoft tower of shite.

I am however in a learning curve with the iphoto program and resizing for blogger.
What is the matter with uploading photo's with blogger at the moment?
"If it works fine lets mess it up"  is that google's mantra today/this week?

Anyway enough of that.

I made this dress so long ago I can hardly remember how I made it but I do remember this is my second attempt. My first go could best be described as Confused Christmas Crap.
The autumn theme got blurified by xmas looking trees AND even adding glitter glue didn't fix it.
 I would include a picture of it but you might be about to eat your tea and I don't want to put you off your nosh.
Click on it to make it hopefully bigger.

This photo shows some of the layers including the ones on the bottom of the skirt.
 I do like sticky up bits.

Stamp set is Habico - Autumn leaves 2.
Stamped on white card using Versafine vintage sepia.
They are clear stamps that work brilliantly and cost £2.85 full price.
Hmm, that's food for thought isn't it?
I used Derwent Inktense pencils to colour in.
If I did anything else I can't remember now but it is backed onto thick watercolour paper to give it good rigidity and I have forgotten to stick my hanger on- doh!

Margaret is still going strong with the challenge and her dresses get better and better.
I will try and get my Wardrobe finished this month or definitely maybe for November.

Sorry to everyone for not doing the blogging rounds lately, I shall try and remedy that very soon.

Happy creating!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Artistic Stamper Challenge September 2010. Sing a rainbow. The many moods of Heart Boy.

This is my first time with The Artistic Stamper Challenge
I had a lot of ideas for this rainbow challenge but settled on Stampotique's Heart Boy by Daniel Torrente.

We so often describe our moods in terms of colours so I made "The many moods of Heart Boy" whose heart is much bigger than he thinks and he is going through the often painful process of growing up.
The thing that hopefully eclipses the pain is the sense of wonder in everyday things that comes so naturally to children and is so sadly lost by many in adulthood.
I have been recultivating a sense of wonder in everyday things for some time now.
It is easy to find a sense of wonder in crafting blogland, (wowser to the imaginative talent that is out there...) however, I think we are all resoundingly trumped by nature in her everyday glory.

Click on it to make it bigger.

I wasn't sure how to sit the Cowboy hat on Heart Boy's head, a jaunty little angle didn't look right, and neither being a Cowgirl nor knowing any Cowboys (unfortunately there are none to be found in the wilds of Shropshire) I  plumped for plonking it straight on and very low on his brow.
Would mirror sunglasses be a bit much do you think? Because I was tempted until I realised that I don't have any mirror card and seeing as it is pretty much essential for mirror sunglasses, I had to give that idea up.

Oh look, bless Evangaline she has made my Cowboy wishes come true and my old heart go pitter pat.
It's good to share Hauwt Hottie Guy.

(I can't remember where he came from, I get easily muddled, sorry.
He's two unknown google images, but the mystery makes him all the more delicious doesn't it?
If you wondering why I don't feature Himself in this spot, it's because the world just isn't ready for his perfection. Mwah.
In fact I can't remember where I found Himself either.)
If you have forgotten who Evangeline is or you are new here (where have you been?), she is the recipient of all the Dress Up 2010 dresses and she got transformed in my very first post.

Edging Paper Tip

If I want to edge a fiddly small shaped paper with an ink pad I use a coloured pencil instead.
It saves ink getting everywhere you don't want it and nowhere that you do and the joy of having an upside down ink pad in your lap. Yes! That joy.
Any coloured pencil will do although a soft one like Derwent coloursoft or Derwent Inktense are a bit easier to use.
The crafty trick is to get the angle of your pencil near horizonal to the paper. The more horizontal to the paper you hold your pencil the wider the line of shading will be.
Here I'll show you.

And this photo shows the angle of my pencil but NOT how to hold it properly.

How I made it.

I coloured Heart Boy with Derwent Inktense pencils and glued him on with white PVA.
The edge punch is EK Success - bubbles. As there isn't a corner punch for this I disguise the corners with brads.  Brads have saved the day many times in this way for me.
I used double sided tape on the card layers.
I edged the words with coloured pencils.
This is the rest of the equipment I used. Click on it to make it bigger.

And finally I owe a huge apology to Perl whom I called Pearl.
Tut tut to me.
I have gone back and edited that post but the card can't be changed without being made a dog's dinner.
So, I hope I haven't spoilt what is the start of a great friendship as I have so many plans for cheering Perl up :-)

Whatever you are doing today I hope you can find a little wonder in it.
Happy creating!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Opus Gluei challenge #72 Ease(l) into fall. Autumn Leaves scalloped circle Easel Card.

Well talk about serendipity at work here.
Love the pun on the title ladies at Opus Gluei.
I have recently finished this card for my MIL who asked for something in Autumn colours.
Nothing too wacky although bless her she wouldn't have minded if it was, 'cos miracle of miracles in the wonderful world of families, she thinks I'm good enough for her son so she puts up with good grace the strange things I make!
She was lucky my Stampotique stamps hadn't arrived yet otherwise she would have got Poor Pearl.
Click on it to make it bigger.

How I made it.
Background paper made using inkadinks in Cherry Pie, Mango and yummy Yellow from the brights range. Oversprayed with gold mica powder. Instructions here

Largest scallop nestie used from the classic scalloped circle large set.
All stamping using Versafine in Vintage Sepia.
The leaves are from Habico, Autumn Leaves 2 set. I stamped them onto thin card. Coloured with watercolour pencils.
Silhouette birds on bottom of easel card are Crafty Individuals.
Heat embossed using Versamark and Stampendous in Detail Gold.
Quickie glue pen and Decor Art Glamour Dust in gold used on veins of the leaves.
Happy Birthday sentiment free with Papercraft Inspirations magazine.

I'm rushing now because OMG I think I might actually be first on the linky thingy on Opus Gluei.
See; miracles do happen everyday.

Happy creating everyone!

Gini xx

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Stampotique Designers Challenge 15 - Birthday. Blondes really do have more fun.

I have finally got some Daniel Torrente Stampotique stamps, so I can now join in with the Stampotique Designers Challenges. They have some fabulous dimensional ideas (in the archives) over there and on the Stampotique Originals blog.

So this is Perl and the Heartboy Twins, let's call them Beat and Thump, enjoying a sophisticated Birthday Party Bash.

I hope to goodness that The Bumps have gone the way of the Dodo and are now well and truly extinct.
Was there really anything more hideous about birthday parties in the olden days than the scourge of The Bumps?
Even if everyone held on tight you ran the risk of going face first into the ceiling, getting Chinese burns on your extremities and having your arms and legs pulled out of their sockets. If you were lucky that was all that happened to you.
If you were unlucky some damn fool who was too busy thinking about Birthday Cake let go on the up toss...

Poor Perl and she had even gone to the trouble of borrowing her Mum's super cool eye shadow in the subtle shade of Disco Blue.
Click on it to make it bigger.

Have you noticed Perl's d├ęcolletage?
It looks like she is wearing three necklaces doesn't it?
But with a bit of judicious doctoring it could easily be chest hair.
In fact she could have mantitty. Poor Perl.

If you are of a nervous disposition look away now.
I coloured this card with my watercolours and a small paintbrush, you can see the brush strokes.
Yes, lots and lots of brush strokes folks and I DIDN'T get struck by lightning.
Yep, still here smiling and alive.
Neither Copics nor Distress Inks were harmed in the creation of this card  :-)

The designer paper is Corn Husk from the Basic Grey Urban Prairie range.
I had to draw two larger Nestie Label 8's because the largest label die only just fits The Bumps.
Poor Perl is rather long.

With or without brush strokes happy creating!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Opus Gluei Challenge #69 Not so Ordinary.

The challenge this week over at the Opus Gluei is to make something different and outside your comfort zone.

Well different for me and outside my comfort zone would be a standard card using designer paper, a rubber stamp, embellishment and shaped border.
I make all sorts of strange crap things so a traditional card where I haven't drawn anything myself (or made a picture and stuck it on a card blank which would be cheating for the purpose of this challenge) is outside my comfort zone and I have only recently been dipping my toes in this crafting style of water as it were.
So that's what you're getting from me for this challenge, a layout card, in fact your getting a series of 8 layout cards, in for a penny in for a pound.

I admit I chickened out of inches which was my first thought as I haven't been able to make them at all and am still nursing my bruised ego from a whole evening of inchy making, all of which went straight in the bin.
Quite a feat really for 4 hours work; from craft table to bin in one swift motion.
Maybe I'd have more success if I stayed up way past my bedtime?
Nah, I 'd probably end up with foot long inches.
Nothing quite like the logic that crafting at 3am gives you.

I really like the black border style.
I'm always drawn to the cards that use black as an accent colour.
(It's must be the lure of the dark side.)
I'm not terribly impressed with any of them, but you have to start somewhere and they aren't so bad that I threw them all in the bin either.

What I used.

A basic grey paper not sure from which range sorry.
Tim Holtz stamps heat embossed in detail black.
Glue stick to stick down DP and black card.
White PVA to stick down the ribbons all of which came from www.alteredelement.co.uk/

Talking about glue, what a mess a glue stick makes and doubled sided tape only gives you one chance at getting it accurately stuck down so I prefer white PVA and a fine nozzle and the wiggle room it gives you.
What type of glue do you like to use on layout cards where accurate positioning is so important?

Whether you are in your creative comfort zone or not this week- happy creating!

Do I get money for this many posts in one week do you think?


Thursday, 26 August 2010

Opus Gluei Challenge #65 Ephemera. Just making some adjustments.

The lovely ladies over at Opus Gluei challenged us all to make something using Ephemera.
Now I am aware of the word's existence but I couldn't have given you a definition apart from some rubbish I'd have made up on the fly if my "dunno" was unacceptable. But thankfully the poobah's gave this definition:-

"Ephemera is defined by Merriam-Webster's online dictionary as "...something of no lasting significance...paper items that were originally meant to be discarded (as posters, broadsides, tickets) after use but have since become collectibles."

I don't have a lot of this kind of stash but I have a few things I've kept because I instantly had an picture idea for using it.
Click on it to make it bigger.

This is the advertising leaflet that the little mouse comes from.

As soon as I saw her I could see her cleaning out Julia's flip top head and "making some adjustments".
I don't know where these ideas come from sometimes, it's just the mystery of creativity for you.

The way I see it is that at a very basic level our lives are nothing more than a series of adjustments, of changes.
We make adjustments to accommodate people entering and leaving our lives, adjustments to accommodate earning money, adjustments to accommodate new ways of living depending on our life experiences. On and on the adjustments go, and it is continuous.
Sometimes huge adjustments and sometimes tiny ones but everyday we are making adjustments.
The great side to these adjustments is that we get to choose how we react to these inevitable daily changes.
We can choose whether we view them fearfully or humorously or as chance to improve our lives.

I like the idea of the little mouse and her dustpan and brush helping the process along.

 I have recently got some border punches and they have so much more potential than just as an outwards facing border. I really like them facing inwards for a start.

I have a couple of colours I don't like; grey and peach. But for this challenge I thought I'd try to do a colour scheme I would never normally choose.
Grey, black, white and peach.
I couldn't stomach adding peach into the mix as well but I'm pleased with the result anyway.  

Happy creating!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Opus Gluei Challenge #62 Far Out. Spanky does outer space.

If you have been wondering where Spanky has been and why you haven't being seeing many of her projects lately it's because she's been to outer space.
Well no, I didn't realise she could go there either.
 I had just assumed she'd gone time travelling again but now I can understand why she's been gone so long.
Click on her to make her bigger.

As soon as I saw this challenge I knew I wanted to make this picture.
Well I have been listening to Imogen Heap's album Ellipse and one of the lines from the song Earth is
"swanning about the solar winds" and I thought Spanky would do that, the little daredevil.

I bought a small pack of handmade paper because this background paper was the sheet showing and I thought it would be great for a sea scene not realising it would also make an outer space scene, the swirls could be the Milky Way and solar wind ripples couldn't they?
I just added some stars in gold stickles and gold liquid pearls to make it solar. Put a biggish blob on the paper and use a cocktail stick to pull the points of the star out. Easy peasy.

The surfboard idea is from the film "Dark Star". It was made in 1974 and directed by John Carpenter.
I watched it at a very impressionable age (early teens) and thought it was great, it was also one of my uncles favourite films so I watched it more than once. It's an offbeat Sci fi film. A full description of the plot is here.
Do you remember it by any chance?
At the end of the film the astronauts realise that they can't get the bomb on board to stop it's countdown to detonate itself and they all die. But as I remember it some of them get to choose how they die (I may be remembering it wrong about them being able to choose though). 
One of them drifts off caught on the Phoenix Asteroids to die and circle the universe eternally and one of the others surfs down (he loved surfing) to an unstable planet on a piece of debris to burn up in the atmosphere.
I remember realising at the time that it doesn't matter how many people you surround yourself with in life, death is a journey you have to make on your own.
But it doesn't all have to be doom and gloom you can turn the telescope around on every situation and view it differently, and you can always rewrite the ending so it's a happily ever after ending if you need to.
(Whatever it takes to get you through life is really OK you know, regardless of  however silly or strange it may appear to others.)
Spanky proves it by Surfing the Solar Winds and coming back to tell us about it.

Happy creating!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Opus Gluei Challenge #63 Sending smiles. The one where I stay up far too late.

The challenge over at Opus Gluei in the third century B.C. (or at least it feels like it was that long ago).
It was to make something to make someone smile, what a wonderful challenge, I can't think of a nicer one really can you?

Although this challenge has turned into a cautionary tale of what can happen when you stay up way past your bedtime crafting.

It all started off well, I had seen a card style in a crafting magazine that was of a wrapped bouquet of flowers, that I thought had loads of potential for variations on the theme. I made this first card for my Mum's Birthday which needed to be "normal" not like my usual stuff anyway. I used one of the Elusive Images flowers from their Big Flowers plate of stamps that I watercoloured and put glossy accents over the flower centers.
It doesn't matter what card size you use. Just have a play with some scrap paper to find the right size of square to use as the wrapping paper of the bouquet. It'll depend on the size of your blooms as well, so choose your flowers and card blank first.


Then once that one was finished I thought I would have a go at a grungy flower bouquet so I could use my new Tim Holtz distressing tool. The centres are Inkadinkado button stamps.
 I used the brayer technique I mentioned in my last post to ink up a background stamp with two colours and stamped the bouquet wrapping paper with a Chapel Road Artstamp called Celtic page (A) after I had brayed the white card with antique linen distress ink to make it look older than me.
 At this point I was concentrating more on being really chuffed with my newly acquired brayer techniques than  considering whether or not I was making anything that looked like a bouquet of flowers. I think this card still resembles a bunch of flowers sort of.
Can you see where this is leading?

By now it was getting late but I was on a roll. So my next thought was OK do it again but with musical flowers this time and so I got out some more white card and more stamps and made the flowers and wrapping paper using stamps.
Now if I hadn't already got you thinking about cards showing bunches of flowers would you even know what this was?
 No I wouldn't have a clue either, but this insight didn't come to me until I looked at what I had made the next morning.
So as far as I was concerned I was making smokin'  bouquets of flowers.....hmmm.

By now it was really really really late (I am not a fast crafter) and did I have the sense to go to bed?
I did not.
I can only imagine I was in a state similar to being punch drunk because my next thought was
"I know, make a bouquet of owls and trees!"
Owls and trees. WTF?
What can I say, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
(Spanky made me do it.)

So now you know what'll happen if you craft way past your bedtime.

Happy Creating!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Dress Up 2010 August.

Just in case you have forgotten, the lovely Margaret at Alice and Camilla's blog hosts this challenge.
Go visit her and leave a comment please, it'll help take her mind off all the building work noise.

This month I planned to do a summer green dress.
I picked green because none of my dresses have been green yet despite the fact that I use green a lot in my projects and I wondered why that was.
Looking in my wardrobe gave the answer because I don't buy green clothes.
Weird that I'd unconsciously reflected that in my Dress Up wardrobe.

This is my second dress I made this month because the first one I made wasn't um green.
Good to see I can keep to a theme then.
Click on it to make it bigger but you can't see the shiny gold mica on it, sorry I forgot to take a shiny shot for posterity, my bad.

How I made it.

For the background I splodged Inkadinks in Gooseberry Fool and Yummy Yellow from the bright range onto my waterproof craft sheet. You can use acetate, glass or anything else that is flat and waterproof instead of the waterproof craft sheet, I only bought mine as it is heat proof and I heat emboss on my oak table, which has the potential to be a hideously expensive mistake.

I spritzed water onto the inks and then dabbed my thin white card (160g/m2) onto the inks sitting on the craft sheet.
When that was fully dry I sprayed gold mica powder mixed with water over the top using a Tim Holtz mini mixer.
Inkadinks and mica powders from www.imaginationcrafts.co.uk
A great store, excellent products and customer service and very very good value too (no, I don't get a commission, remember there is only you, me and Spanky reading this blog.)

I used a Image Tree calligraphy stamp and the fabulous free Craft Stamper flower stamp from a the August 2010 edition and the teeny distant birds from the Crafty Individuals stamp; the one with the birdcage, birdhouse and birds in branches, yes - that one!
All stamped in Adirondack dye ink in clover.

A bit of lace and light green ric rac ribbon from www.alteredelement.co.uk
I first tried to glue the white lace on with Matte Accents but it absorbed the green Adirondack dye ink and made a right mess of the lace so don't try that at home! Then I tried white PVA with a new bit of lace and that worked fine.

Can you guess what the sleeve cuffs are made from?
Go on, I'll wait...

No, not that, try again.

Do you give up then??
The waste card from the top of..... Martha Stewart's Gothic Arches border punch.
No really, it is and do you know what?
If I painted it gold, it would look very like German Scrap wouldn't it?
It could be used on Inches and ATC's or any other project where just a short strip of German Scrap was required.

I've remember to take some photos of how I finish my dresses.
After I have finished the front of the dress I cut a very slightly smaller template using 300g/m2 watercolour paper which will give the dress it's rigidity. I colour around the edges with a colour that will blend in with the dress.

Then I glue it using white PVA to the back of the dress.
Then I use Scotch Magic tape to stick the coat hanger onto the watercolour paper.

Then I use white PVA to glue the back of the dress onto the watercolour paper.
The dress is then 3 layers thick and you can't see the coat hanger. Of course I forgot to photograph the back of the dress so just scrunch up your face and imagine it please.
It is a unembellished piece of the green and yellow background inkadinks paper I made.

When I first sat down to make a summer GREEN dress this is what I made.
Click on it to make it bigger.

I have to wonder at what part of GREEN I didn't understand.
It's probably due to the brain fartage that occurs outrageously regularly.

Fartage = to fart collectively.

Oh well, Evangeline can use this one for moments when she gets the urge to be a domestic goddess (bog cleaner) .

However I think I have redeemed myself somewhat by remembering to take a photo of all 8 dresses together, yey go me!

Click on it to make it even bigger.

Do you have a favourite?
Mine is January's The Shiny Eye of Sauron, not because it is the prettiest but because it makes me laugh.
You have to understand the reverence with which The Lord of the Rings trilogy is held by some of our household.
Himself reads the books at the beginning of every year and has the 3,452 hour versions of Peter Whosit's film trilogy.
But Spanky made it so I'm safe.
If in trouble just say "Spanky did it" or 
"Spanky made me do it".
It's OK,  Spanky's shameless and I'll vouch for you.

Happy creating!