Thursday, October 31

2 are 2

I needed cards this month for twin boys.  I went for something bold and simple and using up old supplies (2 year old twins definitely don't know if you've used the latest paper releases!)
The hanging stars was a free stamp from Craft Stamper magazine, now found really easily in my new storage system.  The 'Happy Birthday' is a very old Papermania stamp.
I've used scraps of red card and an old pieces of Sassafras patterned paper.
Punched circles and foam thickers complete the cards.

Simon Says Monday - Anything goes
Simon Says Wednesday - Anything goes
Natalie and Amy #14 - For the boys

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, October 29

Half term baking

Having different schools take different half term breaks is very annoying for some families, but its worked out quite nicely for us this time around.  The Dinky Diva had a few days off at the end of last week without the boys and we spent one of those baking.
She made vegetable samosas following a recipe from Ruby Loves, one of the few magazines she takes any interest in.

I tackled giant Mickey Mouse biscuits from part 1 of Disney Cakes and Sweets.  The different stages took all afternoon, but by the time the boys were back from school they were out of the oven.
I managed to keep a few back for icing and piped an outline on in chocolate using one of these amazing Lekue gadgets (I can't find the actual one I bought it had less bits to it and was far cheaper.)  I was going to fill in with white icing but at the rate they were getting eaten it just wasn't worth it!
Had some work done at the dentist yesterday, so all I can do is look at biscuits and dream!  Hoping the inflammation dies down soon, until then, pass me another yogurt.

~ Kate ~

Monday, October 28

Completed #CC102

Here are the last of my tags from Creative Chemistry 102.  I'm still crafting, but I seem to be working a million miles behind everyone and still have Learn Something New Every Day to finish up.  This has lead to the decision not to participate in Journal Your Christmas this year, I think?  Well we'll just see, but I will be placing the emphasis on creating cards, decorations and gifts, with journaling taking 2nd place, if it happens at all.  So, back to the tags:
Distress Glittering, Industrial, and Coloured Crackle.  I think the Distress Glittering was the biggest disappointment for me here.  The glitter just didn't hold to the shape and continues to fall off until the poor cat is near bald.  A thicker layer of Glossy Accents was needed maybe, especially as it just seemed to sink into the porous card I had used for the die cut.
Brayered Stains, Photo Tinting, Altered Surface.  Mixed results again here, but some techniques will definitely be revisited.
Onto what I think were the newest and most exciting of the techniques.  Shabby Chic, Chalkboard and Tarnished Silver,  I don't think I could ever grow tired of these.
My tags don't really do them justice, here is a close-up of the tarnished effect and the next picture is the effortlessly Shabby Chic effect.
Great course, can't recommend it highly enough and hoping to incorporate lots of the ideas into this year's Christmas projects that I mentioned earlier.

~ Kate ~

Thursday, October 24

#CC102 - more tags

My tags from Creative Chemistry #102 are all finished (unless I can find what I've done with the Glue And Seal, in which case I may make a couple more).
I've a few more to photograph, so I've split the round up of the last ones into two blog posts.
There were some great new techniques and I can see why a Compendium Of Curiosities Volume 3 is on the way.  Above is my attempt at smudge stamping with the original version on the right.
3 Alcohol ink techniques, from the left faded layers, ombre and monoprint.
On the left in the picture above is rusted Distress powder, a really great technique.  On the right is faux patina, although I didn't have the correct colours for it really.  The tag itself is not one of the techniques, but a happy accident when I scrubbed the distressing tool with felt and remaining Alcohol Ink across it.

Back with some more once I've chased the sunlight to take the photos.

~ Kate ~ 

Wednesday, October 16

Workdesk #228

Time for WOYWW again and this week I am still deeply into Creative Chemistry 102.
I have nearly finished as many of the tags as my supplies will allow and now they need making up and the instructions need attaching to the back.
I've also printed these from the Ranger website to get my Distress products super organised.
I've labelled my Distress Inks so far.  These are the overflow stack of the more recent colours.  I haven't organised a space they can all fit into yet, that's something else for the to do list.

Happy blog travels.

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, October 15

Autumn Necklace - Blue Moon Beads

Autumn is well and truly here and I am reminded yet again that I still haven't organised some lighting to photograph my jewellery with.  Luckily there is some Autumn sunshine this afternoon and, with the aid of a passing pumpkin, I was able to take pictures of this necklace that's been waiting for a while.
I've combined links from Blue Moon Beads connector chains with a faux suede necklace to make a piece of jewellery just right for the current season.  I love the mottled effect on these blue/green connector beads.
The focal point is a little acorn.  A reminder that even though it's Autumn new beginnings will be just around the corner.
The pumpkin is courtesy of a friend's allotment and will hopefully be featuring in some other seasonal creations very soon!

~ Kate ~

Saturday, October 12

Unexpected Sunshine

I was reading May Flaum's blog this morning and it sounds as though her week had been similar to mine.

Little hiccups in my day have lead to hours spent sorting them out.  2 unexpected trips to town to buy groceries when I should have been relaxing enjoying Creative Chemistry 102.  3 trips to different schools for parent meetings and careers fayres.  Stroppy teenagers, and so it went on.

Then this morning the power button on the router failed to light up.  I did all the technical stuff - jiggled the wires, unplugged it and plugged it back in again.  The light flickered on and I quickly went into my TalkTalk account to see what could be done. As I logged in their system assessed my connection and, before I had pressed a button, diagnosed that there was a problem with my router and a box popped up offering to send me a free new one.

A little ray of sunshine on my rainy day.

~ Kate ~  


Thursday, October 10

#CC102, Day 2

Not quite finished the techniques from Creative Chemistry 102 day #1, there's a few bits still drying, but I have moved on to day 2 and managed to complete 7 tags.  This really is an amazing course jam packed with techniques (30 in all, I think), videos and guest designers projects.  I really can't rate it highly enough.  So for today I give you:
Mixed media layering, dry embossing, stamping.
Heat embossing, sketching.
Here's a close-up of the heat embossing, love this distressing technique.
Ink monoprint and paint monoprint, I liked these ones, definitely on my project to do list.
Right I have to crack on.  Day #1 to complete, day #3 untouched and day #4 to be released in half an hour.  Not forgetting I have my actual life as well!!

~ Kate ~ 

Wednesday, October 9

What's on your workdesk, Wednesday #227

It's another Wednesday and time for worldwide workdesk wonders at WOYWW.  My organisation has moved on a step with new storage for my Craft Stamper free stamps and other similar sized items.
I picked up a pair of these trading card files at Smyths for £1 each, it originally had this in it.
Luckily all the branding pages just slid out and I was able to turn it into this.
The stamping side of the stamps sort of clings to the pocket, I found if you put them in inside their packets they just kept sliding out again.
Other find this week include this candle jar and holder that I might separate and turn into 2 altered projects.  In the meantime, it will make a nice photo prop.
And here's the Moomin tin I picked up at Oxfam. AS you can see, I do love Moomins!  Someone needs to licence some stamps of them.

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, October 8

Creative Chemistry 102, lesson #1, part #1

Creative Chemistry 102 got underway yesterday with a mammoth 6 techniques in the 1st lesson.  I've watched the videos and worked my way through 3 of the tags.  I need to get some die-cutting done before I can complete the rest.  I've kept the tags unembellished just showing the technique for my reference.

Distress Paint marbling:
Eroded metal (needed a bit more diluting, but worked on the 1st attempt):
Distress Paint resist (very pleased with this one):
Whilst I was watching and working yesterday I had help from the Branston Pickle.  he wanted to join in so he used a piece of card to swipe clean the mat after each technique.
It dried inbetween each one and he built up the layers.

Mega busy at the moment not helped by having extra chores from the children like 'Mum, I need lard for my cookery lesson tomorrow!'  I've invested in a new Dyson compact upright vacuum which should be here soon, I'll let you know whether I think it was worth the money once I've given it a test drive.

The housework's mounting up and after a bit of creative dry spell I've loads of ideas I can't wait to try.  Not forgetting the revamp of the craft corner and my new storage ideas.  There just aren't enough hours in the day.

~ Kate ~

Friday, October 4

Sewing with Eclectic Elements

Before I even start I need to make it very clear I CANNOT SEW.  It's one of those skills they try and give you at school and I think my abilities end right where I left off Home Economics lessons at about age 12.  However, Tim Holtz's has brought out Eclectic Elements, a fabric line with Coats, so it's compulsory to buy some, right?  No? Oh well, commencing here the 1st in a series of projects involving fabric entitled 'If I can sew it, anyone can!'
1st up a mini needle case for my travel sewing kit.  Yes, I know, a person who can't sew, but has a travel sewing kit.  Never underestimate the ability of a child to break the fastening on his/her dance costume 10 minutes before being called before the examiner.  It's either sew or die!
I've kept it rustic, stitches showing, raw edges.  That's on purposes, right, not because I can't manage anything else ;p  Using one 5" square folded over, there's just enough room inside for a selection of needles and pins, plus I will add a few safety pins, when I can find some.
So, I can't sew, but I'm not going to let that stop me.  I needed a needle case and now I have one and a cute little Tim Holtz one at that!

Stay tuned for the next installment of 'If I can sew it, anyone can!' where I will attempt to die cut Eclectic Elements fabric and sew it onto denim!

~ Kate
Need Eclectic Elements fabric?  I got mine in the UK from That's Crafty! or in the US you could try Inspiration Emporium.

Wednesday, October 2

What's On Your Workdesk, Wednesday 226

It's time for the Wednesday snoop around the world's creative spaces via WOYWW.  The reorganisation of my studio craft corner is still slowly underway.  This week I've sorted my most recent/favourite 12x12 papers.
Some are by manufacturer and most of the odd pages are by colour in the homemade box file.  I did have them by pattern e.g. hexagons, woodgrain etc, but that wasn't working for me.
I've always liked those home magazines which feature real homes with beautiful kitchens, so what could be more perfect than such a magazine all about creative peoples studios?
A bit expensive, but I can see myself looking over it until the pages fall apart.  Tucked on the bottom there is an item I'm working with at the moment.  Tim's fabrics from That's Crafty.  Watch out for some poorly hand sewn projects coming very soon, if I can do it anyone can!

Lastly, I've been on the lookout for stamp storage.  It's a problem that seems to have existed since stamps were invented and as a 'stamper' I have a bigger problem than many.  All ideas and links welcome, after all it's the day for nosing around at how others are organised.  In the meantime, my 1st one of these arrived on Monday and I'm thinking a pile of them filled with stamps and labelled might look very neat and tidy.
~ Kate ~  

Tuesday, October 1

Tim's terrific tags triumph

Cathy's comment on my blog post for September's 12 tags of 2013 got me wondering.  It's the 1st of October today (I know, how can that possibly be!!!) and so there's a new tag up on Tim's blog.  I went over there to check and there was my name on the list of prize winners for last month.  Woot, Woot!  (Don't tell SMO that I did a 'Woot!'  We're British you know, only polite applause is necessary.  He refuses to sit with some of the other mums at the children's dance performances because of their cheering and shouting.)

 Here's my September tag.

Today is definitely a Happy Face :) day!

~ Kate ~
P.S. thanks Tim!