Tuesday, April 30

Just Because - Handy Hippo

I got lots of inks out and my hands messy making my latest card for Handy Hippo

Here's what I did.

Cut a 10"x5" piece of card in Butterscotch, score and fold in half to make a 5" square card blank.  Cut a 4" square card from the same colour and emboss with a Honeycomb Texture Fade embossing wallet.  Tear a strip from one side to give a rough edge.  On a craft mat spread Mustard Seed, Salty Ocean and Picket  Fence Distress Paints and spritz with water.  Drag the honeycomb paper across the paint and then leave to dry.  Once dry mist lightly with Rich Cosmic Gold Shimmer Spray.
Cut a 4.5" square from Smoke card and tear down one edge, distress the remaining 3 sides with the edge of a pair of scissors.

Use scraps of the Butterscotch card to die cut a mini bird and cage.  (I've just used the pillow box die in the photo as a carrier for the Movers and Shapers dies.)  Cut the same dies again with scraps of patterned paper.  I've used Bazzill Basics Antique Letter and dark blue painted texture paper.  Adhere the die cut patterned paper to the card die cuts.  Paint the bird with a layer of glossy accents.

Swipe Tarnished Brass Distress Stain on a clean craft mat and spritz with water.  Drag the cage die cut though the stain.  Cut a length of organza ribbon long enough to tie around the card.  Add Spiced Marmalade Distress Stain to the existing patch of Tarnished Brass stain and scrunch the ribbon into it.
Assemble the card layers placing the torn edges on the left hand side with the tied ribbon.  Use scraps of kraft card to cut a branch and a banner. Stamp the banner with the 'Just Because' sentiment.  Edge the banner, branch and bird cage with brown ink and adhere to the card.  Use a black pen to hand draw a chain from the top of the cage to the top of the card.  Add the bird die cut to the branch with 3d foam.

~ Kate ~

Friday, April 26

Adventure #65, part 2

Glitter Girl's adventure #65 is about selecting a kit from your overflowing and intimidating stack of supplies and making 3 layouts with it without adding any extras.  I blogged my kit selection process and supplies list here and now I'm onto the actual pages.

The basic layout of the pages, background papers, pictures and blocks of paper went down in a flash, no trouble, but I struggled more when it came to the embellishments.

It took a lot longer than I would normally take setting supplies to one side, returning to them again and being very indecisive.  I think this was mainly down to my original kit choices.  I had wanted some Studio Calico wooden stars when I originally put the kit together but I couldn't find where I had stashed them away.  Then I chose some big metal trimmed tags which I had several ideas for, but then they just didn't go with the pages.  I might ask Glitter Girl about them!
The eagle eyed might spot that I have switched the photo arrangement on 2 of the layouts from the original sketches.  My set of 3 photos were in portrait rather than the landscape of the original sketch.  When I laid the page out with the sketch flipped around to have the photos in a strip it gave a strange sort of antenna of embellishments coming up from the left hand side and I just didn't like it.  To solve my dilema I put the 3 portrait photos on the layout designed for 2 photos and put the set of 2 portrait photos that I had in a column where the 3 photos originally were on the sketch.
 A couple of other supplies gave me some problems. 

The Hambly stickers I'd chosen for journalling had a slick finish to them.  I tried writing on them with a Sharpie, but the contrast with the page was just too stark.  In the end I write directly onto the background page and then stuck one of the stickers over the top.

My other issue, which I've already raised around the Two Peas forum, is that my lovely adjustable date stamps I have been collecting don't go back far enough.  So if anyone knows of one that goes back to the year 2000 or beyond, let me know! 

~ Kate ~

Thursday, April 25

Yin and Yang - Blue Moon Beads

Another beautiful pendent from the Blue Moon Beads Amulet collection to share with you today.

The Yin and Yang symbol represents harmony and balance.  I've used a Blue Moon Beads drop necklace to hang it from to give it some movement and life, and then a smaller chain to extend the length.
One of the features of this particular Amulet is that it looks lovely from which ever side it's viewed, so the necklace can be worn either way around.

The Amulet collection can be found at Michaels stores.
 ~ Kate ~

Wednesday, April 24

Adventure #65, Part 1

Glitter Girl's adventure #65 uses a limited kit of stash to make 3 great layouts.  There's also helpful hints, a PDF about how to select your kit and sketches for the pages.  I'm in, I thought, I'll have a go at that, so part 1 - kit selection.

12x12 papers from left to right:
Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic - 2nd & Oak.  I always thought I would cut out the clipboards but haven't yet.
The next three sheets are all torn from a Dear Lizzy Neapolitan pad.
Studio Calico Snippets - Anywho and Okay.  Both sheets that weren't quite what I expected from their pictures when I ordered them.

6x6 papers, 5 from the Heidi Swapp No Limits collection.  I need to make a confession at this point.  I chose my pictures before I started selecting supplies, still using the criteria of a set of 3, 2 and 1.  They are all of my boys and in all of them they are wearing dark blue, so bits of dark blue will start sneaking into the embellishments, but I've not used it for the main papers.

I've got a few extra here but 2 of the sheets are over half used.
Amy Tangerine - Ready Set Go, some very old Hambly stickers, MME - Miss Caroline labels and Studio Calico stars.
The Pink Paislee tabs are new and so are the enamel dots.  The washi tape (I've chosen 2 one plain green and an Amy Tangerine one with people on) and the Peachy Keen tags I've used before.  I'm not sure if I'll use the twine, but I've chosen the dark blue element again.

Letters and stamps:
The Amy Tangerine large grey letters are well used so I might bring in some letter stamps if I can't spell what I need to.  Dark blue again on the Cosmo Cricket Tiny Type, and cheating a little as there is a half used aqua set stuck in the back of the packet.   The stamps are a new set from Fancy Pants I just treated myself to.  I will probably find the circle punch that matches the stamp size and perhaps add a mist to the mix.

That's my kit, photos are ready so I can get making using the sketches and see if I manage not to go back to my overwhelming volume of stash to try and match up any more bits!

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, April 23

Dare To Dream

I was absent yesterday, but I can get a note from my Mum as I spent most of the day at her house helping to remove a heavy carpet by chopping it up.

I've finished the canvas I was working on, I think.  Part of me wants to add more and part of me says "NO, Stop!"  

The process for this one has been very casual.  I said before that I was just adding something here and there when I felt like it or perhaps if I had materials out for another project.

The main components that I do remember using are the beautiful new Butterfly Kit stamps from the latest Magnolia Once Upon A Time collection.  There are two sizes of butterfly in the set plus a random bit of text, I've used them all on the canvas.  The stamped butterflies are painted with translucent Fresco Finish paints.  I've stamped them again onto Clearly For Art, cut them out and heated them to allow them to be shaped.  The Clearly For Art has been in my stash for a while and I can't think why I didn't use it sooner, it's brilliant stuff. (Thanks to Hels I stuck them to the canvas with hot glue.  I'd tried PVA, because I didn't think I should add more heat, and it wasn't working.)

The texture on the canvas is from another new product PaperArtsy Grunge Paste, great stuff.  Went on well and coloured nicely with the paints and sprays I used over the top.

Flutterby Wednesday #236 - Sentiment
Midweek Magnolias #57 - Copycat,  DT Inspiration - butterflies
Simon Says Stamp And Show - Colour
Artistic Stamper - Texture
Country View Crafts - Butterflies

~ Kate ~ 

Saturday, April 20

Finding Your Photo Style


Big picture classes have a new photo workshop open for registration.  6 weeks of creative photography ideas from 6 industry experts.  I've been checking out the experts, some I already knew of, some I didn't.  There's some interesting and diverse styles there and it looks like it will be an interesting course. Ali Edwards has all the details here plus a giveaway and links to blogs for all 6 of the participating photographers (there's giveaways on some of their blogs too.)

One photographer I hadn't encountered before that I will be stalking from now on is Kate T Parker (I mean she has a fantastic name for a start!!)

Check out the giveaway on her blog and look through the fantastic portraits she shares there.

As a total aside, I just needed to say that I actually have bedding drying outside in the fresh air under the heat of the sun.  The excitement was so much I had to order a new duvet set.

This one spoke to me and the price was right, so I couldn't resist.
~ Kate ~

Friday, April 19

The Quest Can End, I've Found The ONE Ring

It's a long post, but if you truly have what it takes to find THE ring then you will have the stamina to get through it, a cuppa might help.

Branston Pickle's class always begin a Monday with their weekend news.  It's Friday already, so I'm not quite hitting the blog as it happens, but still I wanted to share what we've been up to.

I was a little miffed that Branston Pickle said he couldn't remember anything for this Monday's news.  We had spent all of Saturday afternoon with his sister baking whilst SMO and Small-n-Grubby went to do pre-season work on the cricket pitch.  They will look back on their childhoods and say "You never did things like that with us Mum." but I have the pictures to prove it! 

Branston made Postman Pat cakes from a kit.  Here's the Reverend Timms, often found bumbling around on his bicycle, I always liked him.
I made gluten free muffins with coffee icing and chocolate sprinkles, well a girl's gotta have a treat sometime.

The Dinky Diva made chocolate chip cookies, but they don't appear to have survived long enough to be photographed. 

On Sunday I abandoned the family totally for a double treat with my sister.  First a trip to Hobbycraft in Basingstoke, where I sought out some real bargains.

Then on to The Vyne for lunch and a leisurely stroll through the past.  This part didn't quite go to plan as a combination of nice weather, new exhibits and a special tree climbing day meant the place was swamped with people.  The tea rooms were in disarray and after much queuing all we managed to get was a coffee and cake.  Definitely take a picnic with you if you visit here when the children are not at school.  Perhaps you could eat it on the Chute's lawn, the view's quite nice.
 The new exhibits centre around The Lord Of The Rings.
A 4th century ring that cursed the wearer is on display with information about it and how it was known to Tolkein before he wrote his books.  Could it have been his inspiration?  That was a tentative enough idea to spawn an exhibit, new themed children's play area and a gift shop creaking with LOTR books, DVDs and specially produced tea towels.  I resisted the tea towel, but we did have a funny incident on the way in.  There was a pile of specially produced maps of the estate in a very distinctive style aimed at the younger visitor.
Well we weren't leaving without one of those!  We asked to take one and the elderly volunteer asked if we were planning on going in the Hidden Realm (children's play area) and fixed us with a withering glare.  We mumbled excuses, grabbed copies of the map and made a swift exit.  We did venture into the Hidden Realm despite the sign saying "Children under 10 only."  There were so many families and children there it wouldn't have been appropriate to take pictures, but it all looked very good and we thought it was worth a return visit at some point with a child in tow to enable us to investigate further.

So LOTR fans, geeks and the inquisitive consider yourselves enabled!

~ Kate ~  

Thursday, April 18

Elephant Amulet - Blue Moon Beads

My second project with the beautiful Blue Moon Beads Amulet collection available from Michaels.

This time I've chosen a big, bold elephant design and teamed it with Blue Moon Beads cord and chain.  I've also added some small, dark jewels at intervals along the chain.

The elephant as a symbol can mean strength and stability.

Wednesday, April 17

Kathy's Waffle Sketch - April

Here's my second project using the April sketch from Kathy's Waffle Sketch File.
I'd bought the 12" Darice film embossing folder to try out a few weeks ago and thought of it as soon as I saw the sketch.  I used it in my Big Kick with the 13" decorative strip cutting pads and extended platform with no problems.  I still have a demo of the set-up on my video to do list.  As you can see below the impression was really clear with no paper cracking.

I've started with white 12x12 paper that's been splattered with Chalkboard Mist in Sprout, my current favourite.  I wanted to avoid themed dinosaur papers so most of the supplies I've used are from the scraps basket, including the velum that I cut to make the circle.  I'm very glad I started to store my scraps this way, I use it all the time.  My original scraps were sorted by colour in hanging files and the box is still there somewhere buried under mountains of mess, which must mean that when I find it I can send the whole lot to the adult learning group without looking back, I can't have used it in at least 2 years.

The only 'new' products I've used are Amy Tangerine Goodness Thickers (the green letter stickers are ancient Sassafras ones I stock piled) and Bo Bunny Mamma Razzi 2 stamps.  I loved this range when it came out, is it wrong to get excited about tiny shutter stamps?  I've stamped directly on the layout where I might normally have added a pearl or dot of something.

Check out the Waffle Sketch File to see the original sketch and play along too.

Moving Along With The Times - Inspired by a film - Jurassic Park
Crafty-Emblies  #10 - Anything goes

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, April 16

By The Cute And Girly - reminder

April is fast slipping away and dare I say it the weather seems to be improving.  A reminder for you that this month's challenge at By The Cute And Girly is - Vintage!  Check out the challenge blog for all the fabulous design team makes and you will see some absolutely stunning vintage style cards.  You may also spot that neither of my projects this month are cards.  I'm just not quite there with that particular card style, grungy or steampunk I can manage, but the really vintage stuff doesn't quite come together for me.

All is not lost though as By The Cute And Girly is an all crafts challenge every month; needlework, scrapbooking, altered art, or in my case jewellery, all welcome.

I've put my piece together using brass effect metals for the vintage look.  The beads are just oddments from my stash and the rose pendant is from my recent win at Live And Love Crafts.

 I hope you'll join us and share your vintage projects over at By The Cute And Girly, and have a chance to win a prize pack of goodies from Tea House Bridge.

My groceries delivery came to the door and I hit publish before I'd finished typing in the challenges I'd like to enter my necklace for:
Challenges 4 Everybody #18 - Anything goes
Craft-Emblies - Anything Goes

~ Kate

Monday, April 15

Bella and Butterfly - Handy Hippo

Handy Hippo have asked me to make some more projects for them and of course I said "YES!!"  The shop's had a huge input of new stock this year so if you haven't popped by lately it's well worth a look.

For my project I'm using the lovely Bella and Butterfly stamp by Wild Rose Studio, stamped with flannel grey ink and coloured with Promarkers.  I've then cut it into a small panel and mounted this onto painted textures paper leaving a small border showing.

For the base card, I've cut purple bobble dot embossed card into a 9x4.5 inch strip and then fold it into a 4.5inch square card.   The bottom of the card is lined with patterned paper from a Crate Paper Little Bo Peep 6x6 pad and I've used the remainder of the sheet to make a panel for the inside of the card.  I've carefully inked up just the butterfly from the main stamp and stamped that in the corner of the inside panel.
White organza ribbon is tied around the card to attach a Marianne Designs butterfly charm and then the coloured image panel is attached to the card front over the ribbon.

The sentiment is from a Wild Rose Studio circle greetings set and I've used a scrap of the patterned paper to stamp it on with the grey ink.  For a finishing touch I've added some grey pearls from a mixed pearl pack to the card and sentiment.

All of the products used are available from the Handy Hippo store.

~ Kate ~

Saturday, April 13

CCP - Dirty Fingers

For those who have not yet discovered CCP, it stands for Creative Craft Photo and is photo challenge hosted by Katharina and Sonja on the 13th of each month.  This month's theme is 'Dirty Fingers' and these are my fingers from Friday.

They aren't much better today, I've done a proper dye job on them.  You see I was impatient.  I've been working on a mixed media canvas all week, just 10 or 15 minutes a day.  If I have a product in my hand I think 'Do I want a bit of this on my canvas?' and then, if the answer is 'Yes!' I slap a bit on and then get on with whatever else I'm doing.

I just couldn't waste the over spray collected on this tile and I had my hands in it picking off the wet letters way before my brain had engaged gear and thought that it might not be such a wise idea.

It's a combination of Chalkboard Mist in Seven Seas and Sprout with a touch of Cosmic Shimmer Mist in Aqua Lagoon because I just wanted to go a shade darker.

Have you got creative this weekend and ended up with Dirty Fingers???

~ Kate ~

Thursday, April 11

Amulet by Blue Moon Beads

I've a fabulous line from Blue Moon Beads to introduce you to.  It's called the Amulet Collection and is  available from Michaels.  The range features inspirational icons and charms ready to be made up into projects with a meaning close to your heart.  Each one has a little card giving the name of the icon or charm and it's meaning, so you can choose something that's exactly right for you.

There are both bold and subtle pieces in the collection and I've chosen one of the Hamsa designs for my necklace.

Hamsa literally means 5 and is an ancient symbol worn for protection and good luck.  This particular charm has a green stone in the centre which I've used as my colour guide when picking beads from the Blue Sky bead selection packs of Melon Ball, Grape Soda, Champagne and Mud Pie.

I've got lots more projects from this beautiful collection to share soon.

~ Kate ~