Wednesday, 31 December 2014

WOYWW 291

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas - can't believe it's been a whole week since the last What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday and now it's the last Wednesday in 2014! Where did a whole year go?!!??

If you love to check out other people's crafty spaces, wander over to Julia's Stamping Ground and join us - check out workdesks all over the world and link up to show us what's happening on yours today.

My craft room is still otherwise occupied at present, but I've commandeered part of the dining room table and Carried On Crafting :o) This was yesterday evening ...


... I decided it was time to crack on and finish my friend's wedding invites, as I've promised she can collect them next week - EEEEK!!! A few hours later I had this satisfying pile almost finished ...

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

WOYWW 290

Hi Everyone,

It's Christmas Eve wooHOOO!!! I have lots and lots I should be doing, but just thought I would squeeze in a little blogging time, because it's also Wednesday - the day to gather over at Julia's Stamping Ground to share What's On Your Workdesk this week.

My own workroom is out of action again until after Christmas, but I've been fitting in a bit of crafty time at the dining room table. A friend gave me this copy of the latest Molly Makes magazine, with a really cute retro-style kit on the front ...


I love these free kits you get with magazines - this one includes everything you need to make this sweet Christmas deco plus ideas for using up the leftovers ...


Mine didn't come out quite the same as the picture - partly because I didn't have access to a photocopier to enlarge the template so had to make it half the size, and partly because I couldn't be bothered to run upstairs and get some glue, so I stitched all the bits on instead - but I'm happy with it anyway and will probably attach it to a gift for my DH ...


As it has a retro vibe, I thought it would work well for this week's theme over at Tag Tuesday - "A Very Vintage Christmas".

Well, I just have time to nip over to Julia's to check out some real workdesks and see what everyone else has been up to this week.

Happy Christmas everyone!!! HO HO HO !!! :o)

Annie xxx

Monday, 22 December 2014

Getting Knotted!

Hi Everyone,

My workroom is out of action again this week until after Christmas, so I've been trying out some portable crafty stuff. I found this little set in our local supermarket (affectionately known as Uncle Roy's) for less than a couple of quid ...


Remember these?! We used to call it "French knitting" for some reason. Here's what was inside the box ...


... and here's my first effort at French Knitting in over 40 years ...


There are lots of ideas on Pinterest and YouTube for things to make with the resulting long, thin tube of knitted material. Here's a brilliant tutorial for a heart-shaped knot by J D Lenzen which caught my eye - check out his channel Tying It All Together for lots more fun ideas. Here's how it turned out ...


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Snow Angel

Hi Everyone,

I was so inspired by this month's challenge over at Scrap Around The World that I thought I'd have another go at it! This time I decided to create a whimsical canvas using my Georgie stamp set ...


Here's the totally gorgeous mood board ...


To enter the SATW challenge, you can use any or all of these elements to create scrapbook pages, canvases and art journals. For December only you can enter tags and ATCs as well. There are loads of brilliant prizes and I am delighted to be sponsoring a special prize this month, for the best project using the mood board and this sketch from Stuck?! Sketches ....

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Christmas Angels

Hi Everyone,

The theme over at Tag Tuesday this week is "Christmas Angels" - here's my little angel ...


I was inspired by happy memories of watching the children in school nativity plays many years ago. It's amazing how an old sheet and a bit of tinsel can turn your child into a little angel :o)

This particular little angel is for my niece, Georgia - so of course I had to use my Georgie stamp set! I made the dress a bit longer, left out the feet and used the butterfly to create the wings ...


The words were typed onto watercolour paper on the lovely Gabriele vintage typewriter my DH brought home for me a few weeks ago (it was meant to be for Christmas but he just couldn't wait!) and I added some Inka Gold as a finishing touch.

Pop over to Tag Tuesday to see lots of other ideas inspired by this theme - next week's theme is "A very vintage Christmas" ... which is right up my alley as they say :o)

Thanks for visiting today, see you again soon

Annie xxx

WOYWW #289

Hi Everyone,

It's the last Wednesday before the festive season begins in earnest and I'm hoping to squeeze out a bit more time for visiting fellow Deskers this week. In case you are reading this and wondering what on earth I'm on about - it's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, which means that this is the day when we post pictures of our workdesks, waffle on a bit about what we've been up to, then pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to link up with other Deskers all around the world and see what they've been making, what they've got, where they work, whether their desks are even messier than mine, that kind of thing!

Speaking of which, here's a picture of the offending area, which I took last night ...


Picture the scene if you will - it was around 7.30, I had arrived home from work about an hour ago, prepared dinner and left it cooking in the oven, then made myelf a large G&T and brought it upstairs to "play in my room" for an hour. You can see the G&T there on the right hand side. The red patterned object in front of it is not a festive craft project - it's my discarded bra! After a long day at work, it was really annoying me, and I do have a habit of abandoning annoying bits of clothing in unlikely places - does anyone else do that?!

The project I was in such a hurry to work on is the beginnings of a mixed media canvas inspired by this month's challenge over at Scrap Around The World. I'm fairly happy with the background now, and I plan to add a whimsical angel with some meaningful wordage ...


... although whether or not it turns out anything like the vague picture I have in my head remains to be seen - watch this space!

Well, I'm off to Julia's to see what everyone else has been up to - I am willing to bet that no one else has decorated their desk with underwear! :o)

Thanks for visiting me today, see you again soon.

Annie xxx

Monday, 15 December 2014

Waiting ... Waiting ... Waiting!!!

Hi Everyone,

This month's challenge over at Scrap Around The World inspired me to capture a happy long ago Christmas in a fun scrapbook page. Here's the inspiring mood board put together by DT member Anna Komenda ...


There are loads of fab prizes to be won, and just for this month you can enter tags or ATCs as well as scrapbook pages, canvases and art journals. There's also a special prize sponsored by Yours Truly for combining inspiration from the mood board with this brilliant sketch from Stuck?! Sketches ...


Twenty-five years ago this week, my little boys would have been SO excited!!! They would have been on best behaviour for at least a couple of months, because Father Christmas used to send a robin to our garden to keep a beady little eye on them from around September onwards, just to make sure they were being good boys (I always thought this little addition to our family folklore was a stroke of genius on my part!!)

They loved helping with all the preparations - making paper chains, decorating the tree, wrapping presents and baking - but by this stage, the waiting was starting to seem endless. I really enjoyed remembering those happy times as I put this page together, using the sketch and several elements from the mood board ...



You don't have to use the mood board colours for this challenge, but I LOVE the combination of icy blues, snow white, biscuity brown, dark chocolate and cherry red - perfect for my theme! Starting with a couple of sheets of cardstock in kraft and white as a background, I then rummaged through my paper scraps and pulled out a few possibilities (now that they're all organised into colour families this is so much easier and they're nearly all used up now) ...

Sunday, 14 December 2014

More Last-Minute Christmas Cards!

Hi Everyone,

Here's another really quick and easy Christmas card which looks far more clever and complicated to make than it really is!


This idea was inspired by my son Tom, when we were hunting for nothing in particular in his local "Pound Shop" and came across these pretties ...


Ignore the tissue paper for now and check out the cool textured snowflakes printed onto a sort of clear clingy sheet - they are meant to be for decorating windows, and you get two sheets in a pack for only £1.

To make three cards, I took a sheet of 12x12 cardstock and cut it into three 12x4 pieces ...

Super Speedy Christmas Crafting

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying the seasonal preparations - I've been slow off the mark as usual (in my defence, there has been so much else going on around here this year). Somehow it's crept up on me again and suddenly IT'S CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIISTMAAAAASS!!

Yesterday we had our KHC (Kings Head Crafters) Christmas party, and I wanted to give all my crafty mates a handmade Christmas card, but I only got back from London at 4.30, so I needed a really quick idea ...

Fortunately, I had watched this brilliant video by the talented Helen Allen whilst I was away. Helen's been doing a whole series of Christmas card tutorials on her YouTube channel and this one particularly appealed to me - stylish, sparkly and speedy! Within a couple of hours I had made this whole pile of cards ...


I used more magazine freebies - dies and stamps which came free with Creativity Magazine ...


Here's a closer look at the finished designs - I made three of each ...


I had to adapt Helen's design a bit to suit the dies and papers I had available and I decided to heat emboss the greeting for a bit of added texture. Then I made some envelopes from some ancient sheets of cardstock and sealed them with washi tape ...


Check out Helen's YT channel for more brilliant tutorials, and you will always find loads of inspiration on her blog.

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon HO HO HO :o)xxx

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

WOYWW 288

Hi everyone,

I'm scheduling this to post itself whilst I'm away from home for a few days. It's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - when we all get together at Julia's Stamping Ground to show the world what we've been up to this week.

My workroom is still out of bounds, so this is my workdesk at the moment ...


I did manage to complete a few UFOs (see previous post) and I also whiled away a couple of hours sorting out my lovely shiny new Kaiser Fusion pens ...


Hopefully by next week I will have time to actually play with them :o)

If you would like to check out some REAL workdesks all over the world and show us what's on yours this week, join us over at Julia's - see you there!

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon

Annie xxx

Monday, 8 December 2014

Crafty UFOs and Winky Wonky Owls

Hi Everyone,

Whilst my workroom has been Otherwise Occupied for a couple of weeks, I've been catching up on a few Unfinished Objects which have been lurking in my crafty tool bag for ages ...


These were all made from those little freebie kits you get on the front of crafty magazines. I love them!
Just one magazine had all this with it ...

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

WOYWW 287

Hi Everyone,

The first WOYWW of December - I DON'T beLEEEEVE it :o)

This is the day when we all gather over at Julia's Stamping Ground to show off our workdesks and see what everyone else has been up to this week. I'm still crafting on the dining room table as my workroom is Otherwise Occupied ...


After a lovely day out with my friend Trina (we had our hair cut, did lunch, then spent a couple of hours taking FULL advantage of the 25% off clothing sale in Sainsbury's), I arrived home to find this magazine in my postbox. I love the free gifts - a pretty handbag diary, a kit to make a hanging Christmas ornament and a pack of really cute gift boxes. I have quite a few of these freebie kits waiting to be made up and I reckon this week might be a good time to finally get around to it!



Also waiting for me when I got home was my parcel from Every Crafts A Pound (if you live in the UK and you haven't already checked them out, you really should) - they currently have Kaiser Fusion pens in stock for only £1 each!!! I think they're normally around £2.45 or so.

Initially I ordered roughly 40 random colours which you can see in the picture above - then I tried them out this evening and was so impressed I've been back on the site and ordered ALL the other colours!!

I've also started to make up a colour chart on a piece of mount board - took AGES but well worth it I think.

What a lovely day I've had :o)

So now it's time to see what everyone else is up to  - see you at Julia's!

Annie xxx

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Prize Time

Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for all your kind comments about "Georgie" - I really appreciated all your words of encouragement.

All of the people who commented were entered into a draw and I am delighted to announce that Zsuzsa is the winner of a "Georgie" Mix It Up stamp set - I can't wait to see what you create with it Zsuzsa!


I'll pop a Georgie in the post for you as soon as I have your snail mail address :o)

Thanks for visiting today, see you again soon.

Annie xxx


Monday, 1 December 2014

Scrap Around The World

Hi Everyone,

The December challenge was revealed today over at Scrap Around The World - just look at this FABulous mood board which was put together by Anna Komenda, one of the SATW DT members ...


How gorgeous is that??!!?! The challenge is open internationally and there are loads of really REALLY cool prizes. There are some amazing pages from the DT to inspire you, and there will be another reveal in a couple of weeks.

An extra bit of fun for this month is this brilliant sketch from Stuck?! Sketches ...


I am delighted to be sponsoring a Special Prize for the best entry using this sketch as well as the mood board - one of my new "Georgie" stamp sets is up for grabs and like all the other SATW prizes it includes free postage to anywhere in the world. 

As a special concession for the busy month of December, you can even enter tags and ATCs for this challenge, as well as the usual scrapbook pages, art journals and canvases - so why not give it a go?! 

I love the mood board and the sketch, AND I love the prizes, so I will definitely be giving it a go - watch this space :o)

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon

Annie xxx


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Making Cards With Georgie

Hi everyone,

Well, this must be the most activity my blog has seen in ages - it really has been a very productive day.


I made a few cards with my new "Georgie" stamp set today and took some photos as I went along, so that I could show you how they came together. This will be a looooooooooong post, so this is your chance to choose whether to "Read more ..." or escape now ....

Festive Art Doll

Hi everyone,

It's been a very productive day at my temporary workdesk (AKA the dining room table). I've been trying out a few ideas with my new "Georgie" stamp set - I made some cards and tags and enjoyed playing with different colouring-in techniques, then I thought it would be fun to have a go at a festive art doll to hang on the wall for Christmas and I'm really happy with how she turned out ...


In fact, I enjoyed this little project so much that I may do a few more. They would make a cool alternative to a Christmas card wouldn't they? With my son's help, I managed to make a coordinating deep-fill envelope ...


I'll be posting a tutorial for this project soon, so watch out for that if you would like to make one of your own. "Georgie" stamp sets are available in my Etsy Shop.


Busy Bee

Hi Everyone,

Today I've had a lovely time playing with the "Georgie" stamp set and my box of paper scraps. First, I made three cards with matching gift tags ...


It was fun colouring in with Distress Inks and blendable coloured pencils and trying out different looks ...


Then I realised I would have to work out how to make coordinating envelopes - luckily my son was here to help me with the maths ...


The daisy from the stamp set made a perfect repeating motif for some home made gift wrap ...


... I just stamped it onto white copy paper and coloured the centres with pencil - easy peasy!!

Photo tutorials will be appearing shortly if you would like to see how I made these cards - check the next couple of posts or click on the "tutorials" tab at the top of the page.

If you would like your own "Georgie" Mix It Up stamp set, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon.

Annie :o) xxx

Friday, 28 November 2014

Fractals and Cheese!

Hi Everyone,

One of my favourite warming winter comfort dishes is cauliflower cheese, but it's even more delicious made with "Romanesco" broccoli, because it's crisper and has a more delicate, nutty kind of flavour. It's also SO amazing to look at - look at this locally-grown beauty ...


I find its fractal form fascinating - according to this article on Wikipedia, the number of spirals on a head of a Romanesco is a Fibonacci number.

Almost too beautiful to eat .... but not quite :o)

Fractals and cheese OMNOMNOMNOM!!!

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon

Annie xxx

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Very Happy Post!!

Hi Everyone,

Imagine how excited I was to find a package from the lovely Lizzy Hill in Australia waiting for me when I came home yesterday - and when I opened it up I was just blown away!! Lizzy had a giveaway on her blog a few weeks back, and I was lucky enough to win one of the packs of goodies. Just look at this pile of gorgeousness ...


I would say I was "chuffed to bits" but last time I used that expression on here, it caused some consternation and confusion amongst my non-UK friends who suggested I should go to the chemist  and buy some cream for it hehehehehe :o)

Anyway, as if that wasn't fabulous enough, Lizzy also sent one of her beautiful cards - I always love Lizzy's cards so it is wonderful to have one of my own ...


Check out Lizzy's blog if you haven't already - it's bursting with ideas and fun and Lizzy's distinctive style - and you'll always find something there to give you a kick up the mojo if you need it! 

Thanks again Lizzy :o)

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

WOYWW 286

Hi Everyone,

It's Wednesday AGAIN! Yes it really is!!! So time to gather together over at Julia's Stamping Ground and show each other what we've been up to this week. If you fancy joining us, pop over there to check out creative spaces all over the world and why not show us What's On Your Workdesk this Wednesday??

My usual workdesk is out of action at the moment whilst my craft room is living its other life as guest bedroom, so I've set up camp on the dining room table this week. I thought it would be a good time to finally complete my tag books ...


The idea is to store all the tags I make in here, along with notes about how each one was made, so that instead of loitering in a drawer they will be a handy source of reference when I need inspiration - if you would like to see how I made them, there's a photo tutorial on this post.

Behind the tag books you can also see a little pile of craft mags I've been waiting to read and to the right a glimpse of one of the bags of crafting clobber I've hidden under the dining table - I'm trying to keep it reasonable tidy so as not to try my husband's patience too much! :o)

I'm scheduling this to post itself tomorrow as I will be in hospital having a little procedure - all being well, I should be at home in the evening with plenty of time for a good snout around over at Julia's - see you there!

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Lost for Words

Hi everyone,

It's not often I'm lost for words, but I really couldn't come up with anything to add to my tags for Tag Tuesday this week - if you have any ideas for suitable sayings, clever quotes or pearls of wisdom that would be fab - please leave your suggestions in the comments box below!

The theme for this week was "Skylines" - I couldn't choose between moonlight or sunset, so I did both ...


I only had half an hour to play in my room whilst dinner was cooking, so these had to be really fast and simple - I created the backgrounds with Distress Inks straight onto white card, freehand cut the silhouette of the buildings once and then drew around it to get a duplicate, cut the birds out of the scraps, made a double mask for the moon from a sticky note, flicked some white mist about for stars and added highlights and windows with an acrylic paint marker.

Just need those perfect words now ... hmmmm .... I often turn to songs when I'm stuck - how about "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" and "Just a Song at Twilight"? 

Thanks for popping in today and I'll see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

All You Need is Love - A Mixed Media Recipe!

Hi everyone,

On Sunday I spent a very happy couple of hours getting messy in my workroom, creating my FIRST EVER mixed media canvas - not only did I have a lovely time, but I'm really pleased with the results, for my first time anyway!

Here's a picture of my finished project (had to take this out on the lawn as the light is not great today) ...


I used my new "Georgie" Mix It Up stamp set of course, plus lots of ideas and inspiration from some wonderful mixed media experts who generously share their techniques and inspiration on You Tube.

Here are a few of my favourites - these ladies often keep me company in my workroom, though not IRL of course :o) They all have very different artistic and presenting styles and they've all inspired me in different ways - I have lost many hours in YouTubia watching these people!

Christy Tomlinson - wonderful bright fun canvases, truly inspiring
France Papillon - gorgeous artsy Journal On Monday series
Vicky Papaioannou - beautifully whimsical art journal pages
Helen Allen - clever techniques, brilliant tags and art journaling

Oh, there are so many it's hard to choose, but those are just a few of the ones I watch all the time. It's so cool that all these clever people take the time to make videos to share their inspiration and experience and it's fascinating to watch them creating wonderful art journals and canvases - they really make you feel like you can do it too!

Here are a few close-ups of my canvas ...


It's all about building up layers and layers and more layers ... until you're happy with the result - and then adding some more - and finally deciding it's time to stop!


A couple more close-ups ...


Last one ...


I'll post a proper tutorial soon, but here's my basic recipe -

Ingredients

  • Blank canvas
  • Mod Podge
  • Scraps of patterned paper
  • Rescued napkins
  • Salvaged tissue wrap
  • Acrylic paint in light blue
  • Distress Paint in Picked Raspberry and Peeled Paint
  • Jenni Bowlin acrylic paint dabber in Lemon Drop
  • White Gesso
  • Texture paste
  • Archival Ink in Jet Black
  • Distress Ink in Black Soot
  • Inka Gold
  • Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs
  • Acrylic paint marker in white
  • Faber Castell Pitt Pens in brown, black, turquoise, pink
  • Leftover alphas

Utensils

  • Brushes
  • Baby wipes
  • Palette knife
  • Lolly stick
  • Crafters Workshop stencil
  • Stamps - gorgeous lace, text, and Georgie of course
  • Acrylic stamp blocks
  • Scissors
  • Sticky fingers!

Method

  • Build a base layer - slice, trim and shred a mixture of papers, add to blank canvas 
  • Arrange leftover alphas and cover with another layer of paper, heat gently until dry.
  • Decorate with paints to taste, then garnish with stamped butterflies and sprinkle with rub-ons.
  • Add a light coating of gesso and dry out with a heat gun.
  • Apply texture paste through a stencil, allow to dry then dot with paint
  • Stamp all the Georgie pieces onto patterned papers, cut them out and add them to the page.
  • Blend the character into the background by highlighting and shading with pens.
  • Doodle and stamp to add texture, brush the edges with ink and finish with a touch of Inka Gold.

Phew!! I think you can see how much fun I had with this - can't wait to do another one, so watch this space!

Thanks so much for popping in today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

WOYWW 285

Hi Everyone,

It's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, so it's time to say "Hi"  to other Deskers all over the world and see what we've all been up to this week. Pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to link up, join in or just have a nosey - no pressure, it's totally up to you!

Here's my disgracefully messy desk this week ...


... and what you can't see in this picture is that actually the mess extends to all available surfaces to either side and behind me, including the floor which is always handy as extra desk space!

Still, I did spend a really happy few hours on Sunday afternoon creating all this mess, and out of the chaos you see here came my very first attempt at a mixed media canvas. I'll be posting that later, when it's light enough to take a decent photo.

In the meantime, I'm off to see what everyone else has been up to - and then I had better go Tidy My Room as it's been like this since Sunday tsk tsk!

Happy WOYWW - see you at Julia's :o)

Annie xxx

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Say Hello to Georgie!!

Hi everyone,

Today I am VERY excited because at last I can share with you a project I've been working on for quite a while - in fact, I'm SO excited that I want to run about squealing like a piglet wooHOO wooHOO!!!

So, without further ado, please allow me to introduce "Georgie" - my brand new stamp set ...


Georgie is the first in a series of Arty Farty Annie "Mix It Up" stamp sets - so called because in each set, the central character is made up of separate components, which are designed to be put together to create different poses and gestures. They can also be combined with components from other sets in the series to give endless creative possibilities.


As well as the whimsical character which is the main focus of the stamp set, I've squeezed lots of fun images into every spare inch of space! I wanted to make these stamps as useful and versatile as possible, so I've included design elements and motifs which will lend themselves to all kinds of projects such as art journalling, scrapping, cardmaking and other papercrafts.


The inspiration for this first stamp set was my lovely niece - the pretty girl, butterflies, hearts, happy daisy, musical notes and the glasses are all things which remind me of the real-life Georgie - then I threw in the photo corners and the faux stitching just because they are things I will use a lot myself :o)


As you can see, I've had so much fun with my Georgie stamp set already. One of my favourite things is to stamp a simple whimsical scene and then enjoy a bit of colouring in. The samples I've included here all started as a simple scene stamped in black archival ink onto white card, then coloured with various media such as Distress Inks, felt pens, coloured pencils, acrylic paints and Gelatos to create very different results.


In the one below I've added a bit of decoupage to add depth to the hair and I've heat embossed the glasses to make them shiny ...


I wonder if you can guess which one of these looks the most like the real Georgie?! :o)

If you would like to see how easy it is to create one of these whimsical scenes, check out the You Tube videos below. Here's Part One which shows how to assemble the figure ...


... and here's Part Two, where I'm adding the background details ...


Apart from a bit of colouring in therapy as in the examples above, there are so many ways to use this stamp set - for art journals, mixed media canvases, scrapbook pages, art dolls, cards, tags, pocket pages and all kinds of papercraft projects. I'm so excited about the idea of other people experimenting with these stamps and can't wait to see what they come up with.

If you would like a "Georgie" Mix It Up stamp set, please pop into the Arty Farty Annie Etsy Shop.

New ideas for using the stamps will be posted here and on the ArtyFartyAnnie FaceBook page every week. Please subscribe/follow to make sure you don't miss anything.

The next two stamp sets in the series are already in the pipeline. They will be called "Bex" and "Alice" (two more nieces) and should be ready to go not too long after Christmas.

This is a completely new venture for me and I would love to know what you think - please leave a comment below (with any advice/suggestion/question/request/constructive criticism) before the end of November to be in with a chance of winning a "Georgie" Mix It Up stamp set - including free postage to anywhere in the world.

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx