Saturday, February 26

I'm so excited.............

I've had a win over at Allsorts in their 'Inspired By Nature' challenge. It's always great to win something, but what's got me excited is that my prize is some digis from Sketching Stamper. These are designed by the fabulous Chris Dark who makes amazing projects for There She Goes Clear Stamps, Katzelkraft and Magnolia. Do you remember this magazine, that now changes hands for silly money (if you can even get one).
Well that cover is one of Chris's projects!

Thanks for the prize Allsorts and Chris, can't wait to get creating with them!

** Kate **

Friday, February 25

Coffee and Cream

I do like a cuppa. I generally have decaf as I get through too many mugs a day to have the 'hard' stuff. I treat myself to a cappuccino when I'm out now and then, with chocolate on top of course!

"What's brought on these caffeine related ramblings?" I hear you ask. Well it's cos I've been making this.............
The Simply Sassy image is 'Love A Latte', I just had to buy that one. I've stamped her with Fawn Impress ink and then painted her with the same ink watered down for different shades. I had better confess there is a little bit of brown Whisper pen on there too, where I over watered her top, sshh don't tell anyone! The background papers are all from Prima Reflections and I've used a bit of K&Co for the stripey insert.
I was looking around for some brown or perhaps gold brads when I saw these turquoise spotty ones and just had to use them.
Challenges:
The Sugar Bowl #54 - Clean and simple plus sketch
Simon Says - Coffee and cream
Fab & Funky #61 - 1 image, 2 embellishments, 3 papers
Creative Inspirations #100 - Stripes
Stamp Something - Flowers
** Kate **

Wednesday, February 23

WOYWW and a hint of steampunk

It's Wednesday, so time for another peak at the world's workdesks. Pop over to Julia's to see lots of other desks in action.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged my new shelves that were not in position yet but had already started filling up. Well, you know what I'm like, the word tidy is never going to be associated with me. My work area has spread to the top of the shelves (which is supposed to be the eventual home for my die-cutter).
The After Eights are not full, unfortunately, the whole family collected wrappers for me for projects (inspired by Kirsty Wiseman) and I still have lots left to play with.

The acrylic 'JOY' letters on the left were in the Paperchase sale for £1 so I got a couple of sets. I've put one by for a Christmas creation and these ones will one day be a new baby gift.

I've been playing steampunk again, this time for the Daring Cardmakers.
The steampunk element comes from Prima Botanical stamps. The scalloped border is Girls Paperie.
The flower in the bottom corner is a Kaiser stamp.
Challenges:
Daring Cardmakers - Steampunk
Creative Cottage #33 - Fabulous florals

** Kate **

Tuesday, February 22

Multi masking and an observational comedy moment

I did a bit of multi masking to build up the layers on this card.
1st I stamped the gate onto spare card and then cut it out, being careful to make sure both the gate and the frame were intact. I also needed a selection of flowers stamped onto post-it notes and cut out too.

Then I was ready to start on the card. I stamped the flowers in the foreground, using a stamp that came with Craft Stamper magazine, and then covered them with the post-it note versions.

Next I positioned the gate cut out, choosing somewhere it would hopefully be easy to position the actual stamp later. I inked over all the exposed are with Pumice Stone Distress Ink. Then I switched to the frame I had cut the gate from, positioned it over the inked areas (the flower post-it notes are still in place at this point) and inked the exposed gateway with Bundled Sage Distress Ink.

Now it's time to peel away all of the masks, it's best to hold your breath whilst you do this, I'm sure it helps. There were a couple of white lines where the edges of masks had been, so I used an inked cotton bud to carefully blend them in.

The Paperartsy word stamp was next in the top, left corner across all the different inked areas. Then I reapplied the post-it note flowers and stamped the gate over the top of the whole lot. The gate stamp is an old one from a QVC kit, a cheap foam backed one. They are OK, but I would recommend having cotton buds on hand and cleaning away any ink that has found it's way onto the edges before stamping.
All that remained was to turn my multi masked image into a card with some layered flowers, Stickles glitter, Prima swirls, a Tim Holtz pin and a ticket that I received in a swap (I think I stamped the message on with a Kanban stamp).

Challenges:
Allsorts #91 - Inspired by nature
Take A Word #17 - Door
A Spoon Full Of Sugar #140 - Birthday wishes
Oldie But A Goodie #13 - Spring is in the air

Onto my comedy moment yesterday. I attempted to pay my water bill by phone and had to do battle with a computerised woman.
1st of all she couldn't understand my postcode, then when I read my card number out she said "Would you prefer to use the keypad?" and finally when I had finished and said "Yes" that everything was correct she started saying "Just answer Yes, or No." At this point I got the giggles, which was of course a fatal mistake. I could just picture Miranda Hart giving an aside to camera saying "Tuesday, I can't say it any plainer than that, can I?" Irate computer woman gave me a reference number (so fast that you would have had to be the bionic woman to write it down) and I await my credit card bill to find out how much I have handed over to the water board, if anything at all!

** Kate **

Monday, February 21

Laugh!

I've got 'followers guilt'. My blog following has reached critical mass, again, and I have had to delete a few more. I've stopped following myself, ha! Also I've left a few CD-rom related sites. I don't use CD-roms, so why was I following them? I don't feel so bad when a site is huge and has 600 plus followers, but when there are only a handful it feels so bad to abandon them!

In a bit of a creative lull at the moment. I want the new CHA products and I want them now!

Here's what I have my eye on - in no particular order, I want them all!
  • Tim Holtz - ringbinder mechanisms, texture fades in Pocket watch and Steampunk, Distress stains, Corked vials.
  • BoBunny - Gabrielle and Timepiece.
  • BasicGrey - Sweet threads
  • Prima - Mistables
  • Darcies - new stamps and papers
  • Technique Tuesday - new mini stamp sheets
  • DCWV - Immortal love
  • WRMK - lucky 8 punch (maybe?)
  • Websters pages - Trendsetters
  • EcoGreen Crafts -chipboard cogs
  • Jolees Boutique - cameos, crowns and metal pendants
  • Girls Paperie - Vintage Whimsy
  • Cosmo Cricket - Salt Air
  • Lawn Fawn Stamps - new stamp range
  • Crate Paper - Portrait collection (especially the embellishments)

Oh well, I can dream!! But you will let me know if you see any of this stuff on sale in the UK, won't you?

Tim Holtz has the QVC midnight slot tonight, maybe he will have brought some of the goodies on my list with him.

** Kate **

Friday, February 18

OWOH winner

Wow, what a lot of lovely visitors I had during the One World One Heart event. I think I am long overdue announcing a winner for my visitors prize - those pesky time zones always get me in a muddle. The winner is..........................

Lezlei Ann from Breath of ART

Thank you Lisa Swiftka for organising this event and I'm already looking for forward to the new event she has planned for artists and creative souls in 2012 - One World One ART!
** Kate **

Thursday, February 17

Heartbreaker or Heartbroken

I've put together the canvas that was in pieces on my desk yesterday. I've used Heartbreaker Edwin, but I'm not sure about that, I think he might actually be a little Heartbroken, daydreaming about Tilda.
The canvas has been covered in torn old sheet music and then a thin layer of gesso was painted on top to fade the colour. The edges have been inked with Wild Honey Distress ink.
Edwin and his piano have been coloured with Copics and layered up with 1mm 3d foam pads. Then it was on to the flowers which are all from Wild Orchid Crafts.
Down at the bottom is the last bit of tatting lace that my mum made me, I shall have to get her to make some more!
I made the little framed 'photo' of Tilda using a mini stamp and fawn Impress ink. The ink blends with water, so I used a very fine brush to pick up some of the colour from the stamped image and used it to colour her hair and dress. The frame is a peel-off (they do have their uses!) and the teeny tiny brads are from Queen & Co.

Lots of challenges:
Moving Along With the Times #85 - Photo Inspiration
that's what started me off with the colours, but I'm too late to enter so I'm sneaking it onto #86 - Anything for a little girl but not a card
The Stamp Man #16 - Hearts
Let's Ink It Up #9 - Romance
Sunday Stamper #141 - Love
Kaboodles Doodles #54 - Hearts and flowers
Crafts & Me - Things with wings
Bunny Zoe #9 - Spring flowers everywhere
It's character dress up day at school today, so we escorted the 10th Dr Who (David Tennant) and Pippi Longstocking up the hill this morning.
** Kate **

Wednesday, February 16

Twisted WOYWW

Continuing from yesterday, here is my second attempt at the masked background with silhouette stamping. Did I say yesterday that I used the instructions from a Lavinia advertorial in Craft Stamper magazine? Well anyway that's where the how to came from, except I blended inks rather than using a brayer (I have yet to beat my brayer into submission).
I decided to try another technique new to me with this one and turn it into a twisted easel card.
I'm not going to attempt instructions. Pop over to Bev's blog she has set out all the details there.

Tilda is sitting in her garden in the moonlight, I think. I found this ancient little stamp for the sentiment.
I've sat Tilda on a little folding scalloped circle, so that the whole thing will still fold flat, and decorated her seat to match the background.
Challenges:
Try It On Tuesday - The sky's the limit
Totally Tilda #16 - How does your garden grow

So that's the twisted bit, now on to today's WOYWW (pop to Julia's blog to play along or see what on earth I'm on about). Here's my work in progress.
Just got to put it all together now.

** Kate **

Tuesday, February 15

Moulin Rouge

I've used a Moulin Rouge stamp from the new Prima release today.
When I created a rusted enamel tag the other day I made a spare which I've used here. Torn and distressed sheet music makes the rest of the base. I've stamped onto some Websters Hollywood paper and cut the biplane from the same sheet.
I used a sticker with a bit of an art deco corner to it that I thought matched the era well and stuck it to acetate to make an overlay.
At the top there's a little Darcies key hole, I was going to say it was an escutcheon (I like that word!) but the dictionary informs me that's a shield with a coat of arms on, I always thought it was a fancy bit that went around a key hole! I've wandered off now, haven't I, back to the tag. Also at the top is a little flower from the new Prima release.
Challenges:
Simon Says Stamp And Show - A Tag (they are looking for new DT members too if you fancy joining them)
Ladybug Crafts Ink #15 - Anything but a card
A Spoon Full of Sugar #139 - Anything but a card
Allsorts #90 - It's all about the sentiment (not sure if I had to stamp the sentiment, apologies if I have broken the rules)
I mentioned yesterday that I had put off a project at the weekend because I was feeling poorly. I was having a try at masking backgrounds and then using silhouette stamps. Well the background part I liked but the stamping was a bit of a disaster.
I used some Personal impressions fairies and I would not recommend them. They didn't take the ink well and I had to go over the image in pen afterwards. I think the old saying 'you get what you pay for' probably applies here, they were cheap and that's how they looked once stamped. The toadstools are from the same set. The other flowers were Technique Tuesday and they stamped much better.

I've had a second attempt at this without the PI stamps and finished it last night. It's tipping it down at the moment, but if it lightens up enough I will take a photo of the completed card and blog it this afternoon.

** Kate **

Monday, February 14

Je t'aime

OK, hands up, who else ate chocolates for breakfast this morning? Come on now, it can't just be me surely?

I've had a stinky cold all weekend and couldn't concentrate on the project I was planning. So instead I found a sweet little sketch at My Minds Eye to play along with.
I've used My Minds Eye papers throughout (natch), the large heart and small butterflies are Lush Pink Floral, the border is from the ooh La La For Him accent sheet and the large butterfly is Bohemia.
Other supplies used are cream pearl card from the Colorbok Nocturne pad, Papermania heart crystals and the words are an Accessorise sticker.
Challenges:
My Minds Eye #20 - Sketch
Take A Word #16 - Romance
Colour Create #64 - Chocolate, strawberry and cream
Ladybug Crafts ink #14 - Love is in the air
A Spoon Full Of Sugar #138 - Show some love

Feeling a little better today so I will have another attempt at the project from the weekend and hopefully share it tomorrow.

** Kate **

Saturday, February 12

Steampunk!

I quite like the whole steampunk thing, so when I saw that was the ATC swap theme at the Stamp Man this month I really wanted to make the effort and join in.
I gathered up my steampunk supplies, but they were sadly lacking and my watchfob stamp had totally done a runner. I was saved by the arrival of the new Prima Botanicals paper. I ordered it because it looked like soft florals that could layer up behind lots of things, but on closer inspection I found there were lots of hidden elements on the paper making it a steampunk must have!
To add a metallic effect I played with some Tarnished Brass Distress Crackle Paint which I had bought after I saw May Flaum make some great embellishments with it. Once it was dry I rubbed Walnut Stain Distress Ink into the cracks.
I've added little tickets from a new Prima stamp and Papermania flowers with a rub-on centre from Creative Imaginations. Almost forgot, I stamped the background with a Making Menories postmark.

Another reason I like steampunk is you can use it to transform old floral papers.
Take a sheet of old K&Co Floral tapestry paper like this......
Use masks, glimmer sprays and stamps to transform it like this..........
Then use old supplies and a few new ones to transform it to this................
I was quite pleased with the outcome and will be grunging up some more K&Co florals in a similar way in the future.
Challenges:
Craft Us Crazy - Anything goes
Drunken Stampers #54 - Lost for words

** Kate **

Friday, February 11

Dream Box

I'm not overly sure what a 'dream box' is, now a 'dream boat' I could probably figure out but that's not the same thing, I hope! The challenge at Alter It Monthly is 'Shrines, Nichos, Altars and Dream Boxes' and this is my interpretation.
I've created the box by cutting a 4 inch square of card and using the rusted enamel technique (from yesterday's post). Liking to think that I am green, and not having a box to hand, I have used old packing foam to build up the back of the frame and attach my image to the back.
The little owl is an Inkadinkadoo stamp which I've water coloured and added Rocky Candy Distress Stickles to make him look feathery. The leaves have all been punched from K&Co scraps and there are some of my favourite little black butterflies in there too.
Finally, I've added the 'wisdom' text from a Brenda Pinnick pack and the 'follow you heart' from a Girls Paperie pack.

Challenges: (max 3 as stipulated by the alter it team)

Alter It Monthly - Shrines, dream boxes, niches and altars
Sir Stampalot - All creatures great and small
Simon Says - Anything but a card

** Kate **

Thursday, February 10

Rusted Enamel

This tag started out as a piece of rusted enamel for the latest Compendium of Curiosities challenge (page 41 if you need the 'how to' details). My 1st time at rusted enamel and as Miranda's mum would say "Such fun!" My 2nd rusted enamel project, a little box frame, is already on the way.
I've stamped and cut out Girls Paperie patterned paper using the stamp from this month's Craft Stamper. Then layered up the flowers using ideas from the magazine and finishing with some little flower buttons. I did make some far more elaborate flowers but decided they weren't right for this project, so I have them in hand for something else. The dress form is a Glitz stamp and the leaves are a Sizzix die-cut. I finished off the whole thing with a sticker cut from a Brenda Pinnick pack and mounted on the reverse of the same patterned paper I had already used.

Here's a close-up of the rusted enamel effect.
Challenges:
Studio L3 #31 - Rusted enamel
Fab 'n' Funky #59 - Tempting Texture
Altered Alice #1 - Dress form (does this count as altering, I'm not sure?)
** Kate **

Wednesday, February 9

What's on your little red craft mat, Wednesday?

More commonly known as WOYWW and if that still doesn't make any sense then pop over to Julia's blog to find out about all the Wednesday madness.

The little red craft mat on my kitchen worktop has been very busy. I took two pictures during yesterday afternoon (you seem to have to wait until well past noon for any light at the moment).
Planning and on stamping and cutting in to my new Girls Paperie patterned paper. All inspired by articles in the current Craft Stamper magazine.
Even caught some sunshine in this next one.
I've got the dress-form stamp out. There seemed to be dress-forms everywhere on the reports from CHA this year and it reminded me about this lovely Glitz stamp that I have.

Hopefully I should have a couple of these projects finished later today.

** Kate **

Tuesday, February 8

3 little things to share

Got these at the weekend in Paperchase. Cute!
And these from John Lewis. Also cute!
And no, I haven't gone barking mad. I know it's not Halloween. But I found these in a specialist confectioners.
I've wanted to try them ever since they started appearing on Halloween craft supplies from the states. For anyone who is in the dark like I was - I had to ask an American crafting friend what they were - they are Candy Corn. I thought they were going to taste like those little coloured candy squares you get in Dolly Mixtures, the ones that are white and chewy inside. I was wrong! The only way I can describe them is they are like a honey fudge and definitely as yummy as I was told they were. The photo was taken in bad light during the evening - they didn't last until daylight!!!

** Kate **

Monday, February 7

Tempus Fugit

It's almost Valentine's day so I thought I would blog the last project I made for By The Cute And Girly's February challenge theme of 'red + 1'.I've gone for red and yellows. I was inspired by the Dinky Diva's Super Mario game, where you have little red boxes with wings and question marks on flapping around the different levels.I've used BasicGrey for the papers, the wing stamp is from Hot Off the Press and the clock was a Craft Stamper magazine freebie. I've printed the sentiment on the computer, inked it with Distress ink and then stamped the clocks on top after I had stamped onto spare paper 1st.

Challenges:
Crafty Calendar #17 - Love
Craft Your Passion #44 - Anything goes
Allsorts #89 - Love, love, love
Simon Says - Love is in the air
The Artistic Stamper - Love is in the air
Sunday Stamper #140 - Time

** Kate **