'What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you say.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Charlotte (Kemsley) sent me this gorgeous Gothic Arch a couple of months ago, when I had no scanner. I've just scanned it and it really is gorgeous so I thought I'd upload it here. Sadly, the scanner I was given works like an auto focus camera and it focuses on the front part of whatever it's scanning, leaving anything behind that, however slightly, blurred. I need a new scanner!! The front 'doors' are embossed with copper EP and the gold bits are Gold Leaf.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

I have to admit that I don't enjoy Christmas stamping overmuch - it's so limiting as you can't spend much time on each card when you have loads to make and I'm a slow crafter. Here are a couple I did as samples - I really like the circular card and like the way he turned out with our snowman. The green ink is very surprising - it's the Distress inks Pine Needles - isn't it a lovely colour when sponged? It looks so dark when you stamp it or look at the colour of the pad. I love green but I like some shades much more than others.

Thrown together, but I did some! I may even start on some Christmas cards in the next few days, all being well...........

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Just finished an ATC folder for a swap. Can you tell that my latest phase is black and white? Trouble is, I'm using the same stamps....... the lady on the left hand side looks so like Kristy of Time to Stamp that it's unbelievable - even Kristy has to agree!

I'll break out some of the Christmas stamps later on and challenge myself to do the group challenge - black and white Christmas!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

You can tell it's coming close to Christmas and I haven't even thought about it yet, but I just don't seem to have enough minutes in a day at the moment. We had workshop on Saturday and have another one this coming Saturday, so I won't be around for a while longer......

I'm uploading the first page of a calendar we made at the weekend's workshop, using the Bind it all. You can see the rest of it, with instructions, here. Sadly, my sample is a little the worse for wear, after being handled by all workshop participants - understandably - so if you see any marks (I've edited it in Photoshop so there won't be too many) please forgive me.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Don't know whose bright idea this was (?!?) but I've just finished my tags for the above swap 'with a twist'. The twist was that we had to stamp someone on the tags, give them a name beginning with the letter we were assigned, then write a paragraph or two on the back, describing a moment in time for that person, fitting as much as we could into the paragraph.......... suffice it to say it took me ages to do my own!! It was like being back in school - fun, though and the other participants' tags are wonderful - some funny, some a little bit naughty and some plain incredible!
I've uploaded both my completed tag and the 'nude' tag before stamping the main images. And here's my paragraph - or two.............

Almost breathless with excitement, she carefully put on his favourite dress, after bathing in water heady with his favourite perfume.
The talk of the village, she was a mysterious young widow, virtually a recluse since the death of her husband. Suddenly, she was being seen again in the company of a tall, dark, handsome stranger. She tried not to dwell on the hurtful words which had reduced her to tears when she read them in the local newspaper. Instead, she allowed herself the luxury of contemplating the evening ahead, when she would once more feel complete, even if only for a short while.
Small minded people would never be able to grasp the innocent truth; this was the love of her life - her son .........

Just finished these, so thought I'd upload. The book pages were coloured with the home made Glimmer Mists. In timely fashion, the challenge for this week's Theme Thursday is script, so this is my entry.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Thought I'd upload a card I made a while ago. This was one that I really enjoyed. I've been reorganising the craft room since the show - but there isn't enough space and I can't find things as easily yet. I haven't stamped in it yet, since it was done, but today's the day I need to do that........ watch this space!

Friday, 12 October 2007

We now have blank coasters in stock and here's a Coaster book I made, using the Bind it all. I covered each coaster with white or black card or paper, then stamped and embellished, keeping to a black and white theme. This one was fun to make.......... we'll have it with us at Port Sunlight tomorrow. I've sanded the edges again (with a nail file) since I added paint, so I'm going to touch those up now.
The theme is 'Into the Heart of a Child' - it's my favourite U2 song of the moment and was playing in my head all the time I was making it.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Just made this for a friend. The text is 'Happy Birthday'.

I've had complaints that this wouldn't enlarge, so I'm uploading it again.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

This one's the demo sample from the workshop. I think the technique shows up a little more on this one.

Friday, 5 October 2007

I've given up on trying to fix this so I'm uploading it again, on its own - I bet it works now!

One of the dabbers was a little blocked and as it was one of the lights, I added a touch of water (you can do that with the Lights as for some reason, they seem to be a tad thicker than the other shades!) and gave it a good shake.............. of course it splashed over to where my completed WHITE card was sitting. Sod's law, eh? I had to redo it, quickly so I revamped it a little by adding more colour and shading to the trees and to complete it (or at least I think it does) added two of the JustRite mini Christmas stamps above the image. I was going to replace the original with it, but I thought I'd upload it again and let you decide which one looks better.................

Thursday, 4 October 2007

That was the title for this weekend's workshop, so I've had a go today........

Had a great time with the Dabbers and made another background (ever get the feeling I LOVE backgrounds, LOL?) which I really like. It doesn't show up as well in the scans, which is a shame, as it's not often I'm really pleased with how something turns out but I really do like this.
I just dragged the dabbers (three or four colours) across the card, creating a dry wipe look, then overstamped in Adirondack ink in one of the colours I'd used, using Paperartsy Noel 1 Background. After it dried, I applied touches of Snowcap dabber to the same background, randomly (well, not so randomly as I highlighted certain words, like Noel, Plum Pudding, Christmas) and overstamped. I then used the backgrounds as I would have used Scrapbook papers and I like the effect. The first one I made was using pastels, so I thought I'd do one with some of the Brights, to show the effect. Not sure about it cos they're colours I wouldn't normally use, but you can decide. You need to enlarge it to see the real effect...... and there is no white on the background - that's the very pale lilac colour whose name escapes me just now - another senior moment! It won't enlarge for now, so I'll need to upload it again tomorrow - the joys of Blogger, eh?I did another card using the same background - pretty plain and boring - so won't upload that - and I also did a Christmas waterfall card. It's very plain and very simple, but that was the aim. I wanted to do cards which could be mass produced quite quickly. It looks crooked in the scan, but it isn't - honest injun!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Can you see anything Christmassy about this? H'mm...... need to get my thinking cap on quickly. I really love classical type images and this one is just so romantic. I love historical fantasy literature, too, so it's right up my street. I've used one of the mica backgrounds - one I made later with a lot more Shabby Shutters ink and a mixture of blue and interference blue mica. The background and word images are Non Sequitur, but the main image is Pam Bell. All crooked images courtesy of moi.

Sorry I've not been around for a while - work does interfere with play now and again and, to be honest, my stamping room was so messy I couldn't face stamping in it and less still, tidying it!!
I tackled it Sunday afternoon and while it's still an absolute mess, at least I know where some things are and my stamps are back in the right places - for now.
Still haven't stamped though, despite having a workshop on Saturday for which I've prepared absolutely nothing. Can you hear the panic in my voice?????
Leandra rang this morning and it was so strange that she started talking about Glimmer Mists and other similar products and how she's been imitating them. She gave me the recipe so I've just had a quick play with them. You can see the results here http://www.katyscorner.org.uk/Experimentation.htm - I had to sharpen them to show the mica powder effects, but I hope you can see. The ones I've uploaded here are my favourite two.
Basically, you just add a small amount (I used the end of a spoon but I'd say around an eighth of a spoonful) of Gum Arabic and the same of Mica powder (interference powders work well) - use more Gum Arabic if you use more Mica Powder. Then add a pipette (they're already in the Distress reinkers) full of reinker or any inks, topping up with WARM water. Don't overfill, though or you'll end up with inks all over the place, as I did. Shake really hard, then spray..................

Sunday, 16 September 2007

I can't tell you how much I hate Christmas card stamping. With having the business, it seems to take over for half of the year and I get so fed up of it. Having to think of ideas for quick and easy cards destroys creativity and I end up not making any myself, other than for a couple of really close friends. But I need samples and ideas for workshops, so needs must!
I just made a couple of cards - one quick, stamped over my favourite colour combination of the moment - Adirondack Cranberry and Eggplant - and clear embossed Versafine Onyx Black. I've used Prismacolour white for the beard and a touch of pale blue to add shading. My friend, Jacqui (I use the term very loosely, LOL) says this looks as if it's 'run in the wash'!!!!
The other one not so quick, but I like that one much better. I stamped the image twice, cut out the Santa and masked the first one, then sponged Adirondack Butterscotch and Red Pepper and added black shading around Santa and on the edges. I then coloured Santa with Prismacolour pencils, using 3 shades of red and lots of white, with a little blue, then a touch of flesh colour and some green. This one was really fun to make. I really must clean this scanner bed though - the dirty marks are on the scanner - not on the cards!
I've used the Tim Holtz Believe in Santa set.

I got to stamp - not too inspired, but I did do a little bit......

I need to make some show samples for the art boards for the Harrogate show, so I stamped a few of the new Pam Bell images on some of my inky backgrounds for speed - you wouldn't believe how long it took me to put the cards together and find the right colours and yet they are really simple. Still, I did it!

Friday, 7 September 2007

Just a quickie...... I was playing with Lumieres last night and tried stamping on black card with them - not bad, but a bit dark. So I tried another way, inspired by a discussion on Katy's Corner UK. Freyja sent a card made with Stewart Gill paints to Legs and she sent one back done in a similar way, but using Lumieres instead.

I'just sponged Lumieres onto black card, heat set (hence the bubbles) then overstamped in Black Acrylic (dabber). It was a bit lacking, though nice, so I overstamped in Snowcap dabber as before - I really like doing this at the moment - using the Time to Stamp Art text stamp from Leo's plate. I like it cos it's really shimmery but unfortunately, it doesn't work for what I wanted it for.............still, it was fun.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

I really envy those who seem to make lots and lots of cards so quickly - it's taken me all afternoon to do these and they still seem to be lacking.......... But at least they're done. Now I have to decide which ones to upload. I'm afraid the Gesso came out again - I love that stuff - and the main images are over a Resist effect on Glossy card. It's worth pointing out that the glossy card was the coated encaustic kind, so the images aren't quite as crisp as they would have been on hi gloss. The only reason I used it was cos it was lying around and was already cut - I couldn't be bothered getting the other stuff - wish I had now! Just realised on looking that there's no 'C' on one of these pages - duh!
Now to get my Words ATC swap sorted out and find out which ones I need to scan before I swap them out. Then I need to draw the winner of the August Challenge and to draw letters for the new Alphabet tag swap we're doing. I'm excited about this one, as we're doing an Imaginary People swap and each person has to give their image an imaginary name and an imaginary life, describing him/her in as much detail as they can fit into one paragraph on the back of the tag.

I have a REALLY good friend in Germany, Melanie, who's very patient with me, but who won't be speaking to me if I don't get a move on and get my swap done. Mel runs regular swaps called 'Bookie Joints' for which she asks for eight pages from each participant. She then, very kindly, makes up the most gorgeous books, bound in different ways each time - one for each participant. This time the theme is the letter 'C' and the due date was mid August and yes, I'm only just starting mine............. sorry, Mel!! I'll get them in the mail tomorrow!
For speed, I thought I'd play with Distress reinkers and the Non-stick craft mats, so I added drops of inks, misted with water, then put the pages (ivory matte card) in the inks, mopping up as I could, while trying not to muddy the colours. As the inks dried up, I misted with a bit more water. These are just some of the results - you can see how they get progressively lighter as I added more water. The last one was done on glossy card and you can see how the colours stayed much more vibrant. I also mopped up with kitchen roll on that one and you can see the marks, which make it all the more interesting for me!

Friday, 31 August 2007

The new book is in production and should be out in two weeks' time - woohoo! Can't wait to see this one and some of my friends/fellow group members have their artwork published in this one, so all the more exciting. Here's a sneak preview of the cover........ It will be shipped to us as soon as it's available, so watch this space. I can't recommend these books highly enough - especially the Techniques book (currently sold out and new stock on the way) which is beautifully produced and laid out, gorgeous artwork inside and really helpful information, with a great glossary and step by step instructions for some great techniques, as well as some fab projects. You can see one of them here - it's the book that Lynne did at the last workshop! This is a photo of the real cover - duh, I boobed - again!

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Just to show how sad I really am, I'm uploading photos of two of my friends. I really mean it, too! I spend hours talking to them and putting out food for them, but am rewarded when, like here, they come to our feet for food. I have to be honest and say that it only usually happens at breeding time - after that they start to lose feathers and become very timid because they aren't as confident of their aerobatic skills. The downside is that I sometimes get up to a death bed of feathers in the garden. The sparrowhawks are rampant around here because they know they have easy targets. I've found two blackbird graves in the last two weeks and I cry when I do. I need to get a photo of my favourite bird, Scruff. We nicknamed him that when he turned up at the front of the house one day, looking absolutely battered and with one leg which wouldn't bend. We spent the next couple of months feeding him at the front - he'd wait for us to come home and then come down as soon as we put food out, knowing that the other birds would leave him alone if he came while we were there. Then he started taking sultanas off with him and we knew he had babies. He brought them to meet us when they fledged - it was lovely. When I saw the first blackbird grave, I seriously feared for him because of his leg, but he comes every couple of days and the day before yesterday, he actually came down while I was there, much to my delight. They'll become less timid as it gets colder and they need the food more. Photos courtesy of John, not me. To show how good he is, here are a couple of his cormorant photos and one of a grebe. The others were taken with an SLR but this is taken with his new Digital.