Friday, 26 September 2014

Tag Book Tutorial

Hi Everyone,

Recently I've been working on reducing my Massive Piles (!) ... of tags. I love creating these tiny pieces of "art", because they're a great way to experiment with different techniques on a small scale, but I had accumulated quite a few over the last couple of years and I just didn't know what to do with them all.

I wanted to find a way to store them and record the details of how they were made, so that instead of languishing in a drawer they would become a useful resource which I can flick though whenever I need inspiration. This is what I came up with ...

Over the last few weeks I've made several of these little books. I can stick the tags safely inside and make a note of who/what inspired them, how they were made, what products I used and so on. They're basically just cardstock pages joined together with cardstock hinges and I managed to use up lots of my patterned paper scraps in decorating them - bonus!!

There are lots of videos on YouTube about making these kinds of books (here's just one of them), but as a few people have asked, I thought I would show you how I make mine - WARNING! - this is going to be a really long post so I won't be offended if you stop reading now, but if you would like to have a go at one of these yourself, please read on ...

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Old Bag Transformation

Hi Everyone,

I'm sure that many of you, like me, hate to throw anything away if you think it may come in handy for something crafty - like this old bag for example ...

I bought her in the spring for around a fiver, from our local supermarket. She's done good service as handbag, overnight holdall and shopping tote, but as you can see, the end is nigh! Rather than consign my faithful friend to the bin, I decided to deconstruct and repurpose her.

Here's what I ended up with ...

And here's how I did it ...

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

WOYWW #277

Hi Everyone,

Is it REALLY Wednesday?? - they are coming around so fast! This is the day when Deskers all over the world gather together at Julia's Stamping Ground to show each other what's been happening in their arty/crafty workdesks this week.

Mine's a bit boring today ...

I've started playing along with Tag Tuesday again after a long absence, so I'm making another book to keep my tags in as I go along this time, rather than end up with massive piles again (!?!)

My previous Tag Heap grew so huge, I had to make FIVE fat books to keep them all in ...

These still need some work - I have to put covers on them, pretty up the insides and most importantly add notes about where the inspiration came from, what techniques I tried and so on. It would have made much more sense to do this as I go along, so hopefully that's what I will do in future ... hmmmm .... we'll see! :o)

Ok, enough rambling on, time to check out everyone else's creative spaces over at Julia's - see you there!

Annie xxx

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Hi Everyone,

Well I'll be blowed, here am I posting my tag for Tag Tuesday ON TUESDAY!! Wonders will never cease :o) Actually, we are off to Budapest for a few days at the end of this week, so I'm trying to get a head start.

The theme for this week is "Danger", which I really struggled with - couldn't think what to do at all. Whilst working on another project, I had come across a book page with the chapter title "Dangers Ahead", so I'd kept that aside to use as my background, but otherwise - I had a big fat nothing!

In the end, I decided to create a 3D collage with a collection of images which I downloaded from Graphics Fairy. To me, they all represent warnings, hazards and portents of doom ...

I used Distress Inks to age the background pieces and added some stamping here and there and a sprinkle of "blood". The individual images were coloured with Distress Inks and acrylic paint and adhered to the tag with pop dots to add dimension. The bird is perching on some bones (tib and fib I think!) which were fussy-cut from a medical diagram and the chippy X was altered to look like rusty metal with black paint and Inka Gold.

A scrap of ribbon through the top and it was done - definitely spent more time wondering what to do than actually doing on this one! Can't wait to see what everyone else has done with this theme - pop over to Tag Tuesday to find out.

Thanks for visiting today, see you again soon.

Annie xxx

Nuts Nuts Nuts!!!

Hello everyone,

What a wonderful summer we've had :o) It's still bright and sunny here today, though there is a nip of Autumn in the air and the days are getting shorter.

We love foraging for free food - and I don't mean that we go rummaging in the bins outside our local supermarket hehehe - no!! I mean stuff like this ...

Monday, 22 September 2014

If You Want to Fly ...

Hi everyone,

The theme over at Tag Tuesday this week is Stencils, which gives you such huge scope that I had a hard time making up my mind what to do, which is why I'm posting this just in the nick of time again!

I decided to use several different stencilling techniques to create a layered background for some pretty butterfly scraps and this wonderful quote from Toni Morrison -

"If you want to fly, you have to let go of the shit that weighs you down."

Here's how I made it ...

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

WOYWW #276

Hey everyone,

It's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday again - when I show you mine and you can show me yours if you like! Pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to join in the fun :o)

I'm posting a bit late in the day because I've been playing with my crafty friend Trina all afternoon and this was our workdesk today ...

We were trying out these cute felted animal kits we bought at Hobbycraft last week - can't believe they were only £3 each and included the wool, foam pads, polystyrene base and two needles in each one (which was fortunate as Trina broke both of hers due to over-enthusiasm!).

In the picture Trina is holding up the little egg which was to become one of her penguin family and the head of my mouse-which-looks-like-a-bear. You can also see the dregs of a glass of Aperol Spritz we had with lunch, a cup of coffee and a jar of home-made beetroot and onion pickle (not scary purple mayonnaise).

Anyway, here are the finished results two or three hours later ...

Trina's cuuuuuuute penguin - isn't he gorgeous?! and my wonky mouse-bear ...

He's a little quirky but I love how his smile turned out slightly wistful :o)
I improvised a bit (as you do) because I wasn't too keen on the little feet that came in the kit so I made him some legs from the leftover wool instead, and used the felting needle to join bits together and make features, because I didn't want to use sewing or glue as per instructions - instructions are only suggestions, right???!!!

We both thought these kits were lots of fun and fabulous for the money and now it's got me started, I might actually get around to using the felting stuff I bought months ago and haven't looked at since!

Ok, that's more than enough rambling on for now - happy WOYWW and I'll see you at Julia's :o)

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Fairy Tales and Fungus Ink

Hi Everyone,

The theme over at Tag Tuesday this week is "Fairy Tales" - the perfect excuse to try out some very unusual ink.

Before I tell you the story of the Shaggy Ink Cap, here's a picture of my finished tag ...

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. Last weekend, we found some Shaggy Ink Caps growing near to where we live ...

WOYWW #275 - Taming of the Tags and Fungus Ink!

Hi everyone,

It's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, which means it's time to show the world what's happening in my crafty space today and then pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to link up and see what everyone else has been up to this week - come and join us, everyone's welcome!

Here's mine on this sunny autumnal morning ...

In the centre you can see how my tag books are coming along since last week - they now have covers and prettified inside pages ...

... with spaces for me to write in details of how they were made, what I used, what/who inspired them, and so on. I have filled three more like this - blimey!!

You may be wondering about the plastic tub full of a strange black liquid just in front of the tag books in the first photo ... it's not a weird diet snack, it's Fungus Ink! We found some Shaggy Ink Cap mushrooms at the weekend, and, after eating the small ones for lunch, I decided to experiment with the older one - apparently the liquid it produces can be used as drawing ink, so I plan to use it on this little sketch of an elf to make my Fairy Tale tag for Tag Tuesday ...

There are about twenty other things I plan to squeeze into today, so I'd best get cracking - see you at Julia's!

Thanks for coming, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Follow Your Inner Moonlight

Hi everyone,

The theme over at Tag Tuesday this week is "Silhouettes" - so many possibilities! I thought this would give me the perfect opportunity to try out my beautiful new Memory Box mask which I picked up at Papermaze a few weeks ago and haven't had chance to use yet, as well as

I also used a brilliant quote by Allen Ginsberg. Here's my finished tag, just in the nick of time, as the new theme goes up on Tuesday ...

I've always been fascinated by how a landscape changes in the moonlight and I wanted to capture that on this tag. This is what I used to make it ...

  • Black card
  • Memory Box "Garden Birch Trees" mask
  • Acrylic paint in royal blue
  • Cosmic Shimmer Vintage Mist in turquoise
  • Dylusions Ink Spray in white
  • Neoart water soluble pastel in royal blue
  • Gelatos in light blue and white
Using washi tape to hold the mask in place, I began applying the pastel and gelatos by just scribbling over the top of the stencil ...

... and then rubbing it in to the card with a sponge applicator ...

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

WOYWW #274

Hi everyone,

It's come around again ALREADY! Where did another week go?! It's time to pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground, see what everyone has on their workdesks this week. Here's mine ...

I'm still working on organising my collection of tags from what was a big messy pile shoved in a drawer into what I hope will be a more useful format. So far, I have them all mounted onto sturdy cardstock and I've started to assemble them into books. This is where I left them waiting to dry after gluing on some calico to strengthen the spine.

Today I plan to do some work on the insides ...

... adding some coordinating patterned papers perhaps (using up more scraps) and notes about how each tag was made for future reference. I haven't put them in any particular order (that was just too daunting), but I've tried to pair them up by style, colour or theme ...

... and some of them needed a whole page to themselves ...

Actually, I really enjoyed going back through them again - I can't even remember exactly how I made this one, although I know it involved a lot of heat embossing, acrylic paint and sanding, so I will probably look up my old blog post to find out!

Ok, enough waffle already! I'm off to have a nosey at some other crafty workdesks over at Julia's now - see you there :o)

Annie xxx

Monday, 1 September 2014

Easy Peasy Patchwork and THREE video tutorials!

Hi everyone,

It's been a bit quiet on the blogging front around here lately - life has been getting in the way, as it sometimes does and there hasn't been much time for cutting and sticking :o(

I have made some progress with my first ever patchwork quilt though :o) It's the perfect portable project to pick up and work on even if you only have a few minutes to spare and I'm really pleased with how it's going so far ...

This project started few weeks ago, when I spent a wonderful weekend in Oxford with three of my best friends - we always take along a crafty project to work on in the evenings and I decided to finally have a go at patchwork, using the Foundation by the Yard method ...