Wednesday, 30 January 2013

D is for Dorothy ...

... and her fabulous Ruby Slippers! Here's my tag for Tag Tuesday - we're on the letter D this week, so I decided to play with some more Graphic 45 paper (just a little bit as I have plans for the rest of my Wizard of Oz collection papers). Here she is
I stamped my tag with a newsprint background first, then added the slippers advert, the chipboard alpha and the little Dorothy cutout. I used Distress Inks to tint the edges of the tag and colour the cutout and the alpha, then used some Ruby Red Stickles on the slippers and finally added a gingham ribbon to match Dorothy's pinafore. You might be able to see a bit better in this picture ...

Whole thing only took twenty minutes or so - tags are such a fun way to just have a little playtime...
Check out all the other ideas for the letter D over at Tag Tuesday - they're brilliant!
Cheerio for now :o)

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Tim Holtz Tags of 2013 - January

In 2012, the amazing Tim Holtz designed a fabulous tag for each month and posted a brilliant tutorial to go with it. I had so much fun following along so I'm really chuffed that he's going to do it again this year! I learn something new every time I have a go at one of these, even though I usually have to improvise quite a bit as I don't have all the TH stuff I'd like to have - yet!
Here's my version of the January tag - check out the link above to see Tim's proper one!

Here are a couple of close ups

If you follow the links at the bottom of Tim's tutorial you can see all the other tags which have been inspired by it - SO many really fantastic little works of art.
TFL :o)

Let It Snow!

I've made myself a promise to follow the Simple Recipes challenge over at UKScrappers this year. Each month, the challenge will be set by Leo from Crafty Templates (where I get my fab Quirky Kits from) - we will be given three colours, certain elements to include in the design and a sketch to follow if we want to (and I usually do). The idea is to go "shopping" in your own stash and actually use it! There is a PDF to download which gives you all the details plus sample kits and pages for inspiration.
Anyway, here's my page for the January challenge
How cute does Rich look here?! My eldest, here about two years old, enjoying his first ever snow - this much snow in Cornwall was a Very Big Deal!
The colours were Steely Grey, Waxed Lemon and Deep Navy - they haven't come out too well in this photo but I promise they're there!
We were also to include the following elements -

  • Song title or lyrics
  • Paint
  • Tag
Here are some close ups -

He really does look cute ... love this idea of using twine to highlight a picture which you see in all the magazines at the moment, so I shamelessly pinched it!
You can also see some of my other favourites here - Magic Mesh and Washi Tape and I've used my favourite Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Filmstrip die again :o)
The pp, the doily and the snowflake trim were all Quirky Kit goodies and there is another of my favourite diecuts - the picket fence (can't remember the manufacturer - I wish manufacturers of craft stuff would stamp their name on everything as of course I never keep the packaging ...)
One last close-up - gorgeous glitter Thickers and the veneer camera (Quirky Kit! which I painted to match the fence, as you do. 

Pigs Might Fly

Here's a little card I made for a work colleague who's retiring soon. She loves pigs - all kinds of pigs - so I thought I'd use this one from the gorgeous Graphic 45 'Olde Curiosity Shoppe' collection.

I love doing this diamond fold design - it's so easy and it only uses a 4" x 12" strip of card, which you then cover with pp of your choice. If you want to have a go at one, just type "diamond fold card tutorial" into the You Tube search box - there are loads of tutorials on there.
I also made a matching envelope, created a little piggy stamp from pieces cut from the Graphic 45 pp and stamped a postmark (two from a Kanban set I think). I've used Distress Inks on the envelope and all the cut pieces "Mowed Lawn", "Peacock Feathers" and "Black Soot".
This picture shows the structure of the diamond fold card. The grid paper is from another G45 collection "ABC Primer" - it's really handy how different collections from the same company always seem to go together. The decorative elements are all cut from the Curiosity Shoppe pp and the letters were left over from last week's CSI Coordinates for Case File#54 designed by the fabulous Michele Singh.
Whilst I was going through my stash of G45 papers, I had an idea ...

Can you tell what it is yet ... ?!
I've just recently joined the Graphic 45 website so I'll be putting this on there - it will only be the second project I've uploaded and my efforts look seriously sad next to some of the amazing stuff on there, but "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" as Confucius or Bilbo Baggins or someone said ...
More later :o)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

First Day

Well, after a lot of unexpected drama one way and another this week, I only just got Case File #54 finished in time to post on CSI - I really wanted to have a go at this one as I love the colours and also the sketch from Emma Stafrace. Here's the Case File (you can click on it to enlarge the image)

As you can see, the Scene is the image which has inspired the Case File this week. In order to solve the case, you must use all the colours in the Scheme, at least 2 pieces of Evidence and 1 piece of Testimony. Also there will now be a sketch from Emma Stafrace on the second week of each month. To see more of Emma's fab sketches, have a look at her sketch blog Page Drafts. Each week you will find a new set of CSI Coordinates to help you solve the case - these are free printable papers and decorative elements designed by the amazing Michele Singh
So, this is my solution to this week's Case File
My stepgrandson Bailey was SO excited about his first day at school. Here he is in his new uniform, with his book bag and one of his famous ear-to-ear grins!
The Scheme: I've used all the colours
The Sketch: was such a joy to follow, I will most surely be using it again - thanks Emma!
The Evidence: punched circles; polka dots; tickets; mixed media background; string (well, twine)
The Testimony: word collage; journalling stamped onto a ticket.

That was lots of fun, even though I couldn't start it until the eleventh hour! But right now I need to go catch up on some sleep ... zzz :o)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

B is for ... Bugs!

This week at Tag Tuesday is all about the letter B - which I thought was an excellent excuse to Bring out this Beautiful Beetles stamp again! Aren't Bugs Brilliant?!
I am happy to say that another one of those hideous coasters has a new purpose in life as the base of this tag. This is what I did to it:

  • I stamped the image twice - then I cut the first one to fit the coaster, glued it down and sanded the edge. 
  • I carefully cut the beetle bodies out of the second image and stuck them over the first one with repositionable glue. This meant that they would work as little masks which could be removed later. 
  • Then I used Distress Inks in "Shaded Lilac", "Scattered Straw" and "Mowed Lawn" to colour the background, finishing with "Black Soot" around the edge. 
  • I really enjoyed removing the masks to reveal the plain stamped image underneath. 
  • Each bug was then coloured in with Wispa pens and I added Glossy Accents to the bodies for depth and shine. 
  • A chipboard letter "B" was also coloured with a Wispa pen and glued to the centre. 
  • After leaving to dry overnight, I punched a hole with my Crop-a-Dile and threaded a length of purple ribbon through to finish my tag.

As I was walking home through the snow this evening, I was thinking of various ideas for my "C" tag next week ... hmmm ....
Nip over to Tag Tuesday and see what everyone else came up with - it's always amazing to see so many different ideas for the same theme.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Let it Snow!

At this time of year I usually leave for work just as it's getting light and don't get home until it's dark again, but today I have the afternoon off. I came out of the Hospital about an hour ago to find that the whole world looked like a giant Snow Globe - it was so beautiful!!!
The snow was all new and soft and powdery and made that lovely squeaky sound as I walked through it. My coat and scarf collected the snow as I went so by the time I got home I looked like a short squat Abominable Snowman!  How lucky we are to have a warm safe place to come home to ...
I just had to grab the camera and take a picture from our doorway ...
Ok, so tomorrow it may have turned into a mucky, treacherous ice rink, but today - it's just beautiful. It's stopped for now, the sun has come out, the sky is blue and everything is quiet ...
... and I'm inside in the warm looking out :o)

Sunday, 13 January 2013

A is for Apple

Hey everyone! Tut tut, it's been nearly a fortnight since I last posted - I've been working on a project which just HAD to be finished by today, so everything else has been on hold but IT'S DONE NOW! Phew - can't tell you about it just yet but it's very exciting ... watch this space!
Anyway, back to the Apple (and I'm not talking about my iPod) - this year at Tag Tuesday Carolyn has challenged us to work through the alphabet, taking a new letter each week and letting it inspire us to create a tag. So I went with the first word that popped into my head for the letter "A" - APPLE! Here's my creation

Tags are a great way to

  • try out techniques,
  • use up scraps,
  • have a play with stuff that's been lurking in your workroom all unloved since the Middle Ages

They're only small, so not too daunting and you can just have fun with it :o) Go on - you know you want to!
This one only took about half an hour - here's what I did -

  • The base is an old coaster (I have a set of 12 to get rid of - they're tacky and I hate them but now they have a new destiny) covered it with green paper from my store of scraps, sanded and inked the edge.
  • The apple was drawn on scrap white card, cut out, stuck onto a scrap of red paper and cut out again, leaving a small margin of red showing.
  • The pips were drawn in with a felt pen
  • A Distress Ink pad in "Mowed Lawn" was used direct to the white card to give a line down the middle and then with an applicator tool working inwards from the edge to add a hint of colour.
  • The leaves were cut from the same green paper using Shapeabilities "Foliage" die, folded along the length of the leaves, then the colour was deepened with the same DI
  • The felt pen was used again to colour the stalk and add definition to the leaves
  • A chipboard alpha was covered in scrap pp, sanded and inked
  • The little words were cut from a vintage children's book I've been saving for special
  • The Crop-a-Dile came in handy yet again to make the hole and finally some ribbon to finish it off.
This was so much fun - have a go at one yourself, and if you haven't visited Tag Tuesday yet, what are you waiting for?! It's really inspiring to see so many interpretations of the theme and they're a really friendly lot too - I love being on the Tag Team :o)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Crafty New Year's Resolutions

I have lots of ideas which I have promised myself I will try and turn into reality this STARTING NOW!! :o)

#1 Organise my workroom - I am lucky enough to have the little spare room of our tiny cottage all to myself and it is stuffed to the gills with STASH. (that's my window, above the door there)

These days, thanks to the inspiration of online challenges, I do make the most of all the stuff I've accumulated over the years, and it's sort of organised chaos in there but I can find most things quite quickly

BUT I would love to get some proper shelving in there, display it all nicely, maybe even leave enough floor space for a camp bed which my sons can use when they come to stay ... well, that might be a tad ambitious but I like to aim high!
#2 keep up with all the online and magazine challenges and continue to learn and be inspired by them (click on the tab at the top to see my challenges page)
#3 Do something with my tags - I've had a great time making tags this year and love the idea of trying out new ideas on a tiny scale - but I have a HUGE pile now (of tags, not a haemorrhoid obviously) - these are a few of them ...
So, my plan is to combine this resolution with ...
#4 Start my Art Journal - Sally gave me this fab book last birthday and I've been too chicken to get started, but I think it would be a great place to display the tags
It has a plain cover, begging to be altered and this is the inside, with pockets and space for notes and experiments

#5 - last but not least - I also have a gorgeous (but empty) Smash Book which I treated myself to last Spring  - time to get stuck into that as well. Here it is in all its pristine glory

There are so many inspirational videos on YouTube and so many cute bits and pieces you can get to go in these, I really don't know why mine is still empty!

Watch this space!!!

Happy 2013 everyone and good luck with all your endeavours :o)