Welcome to the land of Shiny

The home of exuberant amateurism.

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!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Opus Gluei Challenge #68 You've got to move it move it!

The poobahs over at Opus Gluei have challenged us to make something using old/existing stash stuff.

This is an A4 picture I have just finished and framed for my Mum's 81st Birthday.
It is using some more of the very first pack of designer paper that I bought and I still love it AND I have a big pile of it so I will still be using it when I am 192.  I will shinify my zimmer with it.
DCWV Pocket full of Posies 12" size.
It is inspired by Zetti style but mainly artist Allison Strine's work.

I bought the digital bird images from www.magicpug.com  
They are copies of old paintings of parrots and other exotic birds.
I resized the birds to suit the A4 size and just printed off their heads to use.
There are some great images for sale there.

I now have two ways of altering designer paper to fit a project.

1. Use white gesso to tone it down or scruffyfy it.
The green patterned paper was a bit too bright for the grass so I painted white gesso over it and immediately wiped some of it off again using a baby wipe.

2. Brayer an ink all over it and then spritz some mica powder mixed with water in a Tim Holtz mini mister.
I needed some jazzy shiny brown cardstock for the tree trunks so I transformed a piece of the purple and orange card in the pack. First I brayered over all of it using Adirondack dye ink in currant. Then I mixed up some dark greeny bronze mica powder with water and spritzed it all over. Lovely shiny.

I can't say enough good things about a Speedball brayer used with inks.

Apart from using the brayer to make background ink patterns you can
  • Ink up large stamps really evenly if you apply the ink to the stamp using a brayer.
  • Ink up stamps with more than one colour of ink. I don't know how many times Craft Stamper instructions have said ink up your stamp with these colours without saying how to do it without contaminating your ink pads with the other colours. So I realised that if you ink one half of your brayer with one colour then turn it round and ink the other half with another colour and leave a little gap in between the colours you don't mix colours on your ink pads. Then use your brayer to ink your stamp in the different colours and any contamination of colours won't matter because it'll be on the brayer and not the ink pads. Sorted at last.
Happy creating!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Opus Gluei Challenge #67 Dog days of Summer

I know its more birds BUT I don't care.
Aren't these stamps just the most fun you've seen in ages???
This is a tri fold card and I got the instructions for making one here  Thank you Jayni.
I know it is the rose tinted spectacles view of Summer that I've represented in this card.

I can't see that even if I did a shiny version of mossie bites on a leg that it would be greeted with much joy nor would a shiny sweaty armpit, but the truth of keeping hens is that unless they have a VERY large grassy area to strut their stuff in, it will end up a brown patch of dirt very quickly and no flowers would survive either.
So this is the shiny version of keeping hens.
I used pencil crayons to colour it and edged it with cut and dry foam using Adirondack dye ink in clover. The black ink used is my favouriteVersafine black.
Click on it to make it bigger.

Shiny shot that shows the glitter.

These are the fabulous stamps.

Did you know that hens from Belgium  make a different noise? Kot kot kot.
Is that a silent "t" then? And do you pronounce the "ko" bock?
Because that's the noise they make?
It's a shame I can't do you a sound bite of my hen impersonation.
Maybe as a special Christmas treat I could do one, because I am lead to believe by my loved ones, to hear it is life changing.

Hmm, thinking about it they don't go cluck either, they really do go BOCK.

Happy creating this weekend!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Opus Gluei Challenge #66 The shirt off your back

This week the lovely ladies on Opus Gluei have challenged you, me and everybody else to be inspired by the clothes we are wearing.
My initial reaction was oh no! I'll never be able to do this one, my clothes are completely uninspiring as I have practically no interest in clothes for me to wear and well, let's just say it shows...
But I looked down at this anyway.

A boring T shirt but in a colour combination that I really like, fuchsia, lime green and white.
(Just in case you have got it into your mind that I am very very small - I'm not actually wearing it in this shot. Hey, it's just show biz baby.)

I had some scraps of K and Co stripy paper that I had just used on a card and it was just enough to make a background for an ATC.
I haven't made an ATC in months but I thought I would try but wasn't overly confident that I would make anything other than some bin material.

But miracle of miracles happened and I think all the weeks of studying and studying card layouts and trying to make layout cards is starting to pay off .
I sat down without a clue and within a few hours I had made this without any trouble at all and I actually like it!
I feel I've had a breakthrough moment in creating.
Click on it to make it bigger if you like.

It didn't stay ATC size though, it's 6" by 8".

How I made it.

For these light weight wall hangings I make the piece using layers of card and paper, then once I know what size it is going to be I mount it onto the same size of mount board.
Mount board won't warp or curl, is inexpensive and easy to cut if you use a steel ruler, cutting mat and a heavy duty craft knife. Make the cut in two goes. The first cut will go through most of the mount board and the second cut goes through the rest. If you try and cut it in one cut then you have to press so hard that you may get a wobble in your straight line and it hurts your wrist!
I usually use white PVA glue to do this sort of project and you don't need all that much to give a good bond. I run a reasonably thick line of glue around the edge and then draw squiggly lines of glue over the space left in the middle.
I try and remember to get it on mount board before I make the front too dimensional.
I used white PVA to glue down everything including the ric rac which I ran a line of glue along the ric rac and then stuck it down. I find this works better on ric rac than double sided tape does.

The stamp is an Elusive Image stamp and I stamped with stormy sky distress ink.
I glue on the sequin ribbon last and I use Anita's 3D clear gloss as a glue for this. My opinion is that Anita's used as a glue is stronger than Glossy Accents and as Anita's is a thinner liquid, it is often easier to use as a glue. However if you want to get a raised glossy finish, Glossy Accent wins hands down.
I run a line of glue down one side and put the sequin ribbon on.
Then I leave it for about 15 mins or longer in the winter to dry. Then I repeat this for the next side and leave that side to dry. I do this because it is very difficult to make the sequin ribbon go round the corner neatly if the first side isn't dry.

I use 20 gauge beading wire for the hanger. I thread the beads on the wire first then measure two points of equal distance from either side across the top of the back of the hanging. If it looks about the right amount of loop height I cut off the wire leaving about 2 inches extra on either side of the beads, then using a pair of jewellery pliers I twist over the wire just below where I want the beads to sit on the top of the frame.
I can't work wire for toffee but this way works even though it's neither posh nor proper wire working.

Then I use Scotch magic tape to tape down each end of the wire using my measured marks as a guide for where to stick them.
I am all for saving money when possible but the cheaper brands mimicking Scotch magic tape are in my opinion no good. You need to buy the real thing.

I wonder what Spanky would make if she looked down?

Happy creating!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Three 3D cards.

I made a side step card to celebrate Craft Stamper magazine's 10 Birthday.
As always, click on the images to make them bigger.

This is a story that reads left to right and front to back.

We start with all the eager Craft Stamper readers waiting in a tree patiently or not so patiently for their local newsagents to open on the morning of the issue of the latest magazine.
Can you spot me?
I'm the one too fidgety with excitement to sit still.

 Up goes the shout by the scout. The lights are on, come on!

An orderly line all the way to the door. I think they've done this before.

Whoohoo we've got it, let's make a celebratory tottering tower of beautiful birdiness.
Can we run away to the circus?

A good trick is to make a "W" shape piece of card to glue to both inside edges to help the card stay upright and in place. Nobody likes to do the splits that they didn't intend.

One last shot, the centerfold shiny shot.

What I used.
I used distress inks for the background and versa fine black stamp ink.
I coloured in using Cosmic shimmer watercolour paints.
The birds are Elusive images. The house stamp is by October Afternoon.
I cut out the bottom window of the newsagents and replaced it with acetate and put the teeniest tiniest copy of craft Stamper in the window.
Did you spot it?

 I also made an Easel card and I hope to make a lot more of as they are so easy yet glamorous to make.

I used Elusive Images stamps. My minds Eye designer paper. Papermania butterflies with the holographic silver cut off. Some brads. The image is coloured with water colour pencils.
It's never too late for a desk calender!

Then I made a pop up card.
The card mechanism is disappointing because it has no means of supporting itself, so you have to prop it up against something and you have to decorate the front that won't be seen.
It would have made a much better Easel Card. So a big raspberry to pop up cards.
This is a Jo Kill design.
She designs for PaperCraft Inspirations magazine (among others) and all of her cards in this style are made as much as possible from punches. I adore all the animals that she makes, she's so clever!
You don't get templates, but this squirrel is just circles and ovals with a little bit of drawing needed for the tail and the ears. I used my nesties for the cutting.

Happy creating!