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


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 -


  • 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


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


  • 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


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

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Hi everyone,

It's Wednesday, so it's time to show the world What's On Your Workdesk this week - pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to check out workdesks from all corners of the globe (what a strange expression that is - surely a globe can't have corners?!) and link up to show everyone what you've been up to.

Not a lot happening on my desk that I can show just yet ... hopefully by tomorrow all will be revealed so watch this space :o)

In the meantime, here's a little hint ...

... on the left, a very bright daylight bulb and roughly in the middle my new video camera which is pointing at my Big Secret. I've been having all kinds of technical battles over the last few days, but hopefully I've nearly cracked it!

You can also see a very badly organised cubbyhole with my mists and stuff in the front and some drawers behind which are so difficult to get to that I can't even remember what's in them! Really need to have a sort out ... on the right is the space where I stuff paperwork which I don't want to deal with - the idea being that once I physically can't squeeze any more in there, it's maybe time to do some filing!

But instead of tidying and filing I'm off to have a nosey at some more interesting workrooms over at Julia's blog - see you there!

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon.

Annie xxx

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Fright Night!

Hi everyone,

The theme over at Tag Tuesday this week is Fright Night - I had all kinds of spooky ideas but they all stubbornly refused to come out looking anything like they had looked in my head - do you ever get that??

Anyway, I really wanted to post my tag in time for Halloween so I had another go last night - ended up splattering Mr Huey "blood" all over the carpet (ooops!) and still wasn't happy with the results ...

... so this morning I've had another go, inspired by all the Trick or Treat goodies on sale in the shops at the moment. These little "printies" are from Chocolate Rabbit Graphics. They're 12th scale, so they would be great for a dolls' house or miniature shop, but I thought they would work well on a tag too.

Many years ago, I worked part time in my friend Maggie's joke shop. It was tiny, but stuffed to the gills with marvellous things. Hallowe'en was a very busy time for us - it was exhausting but huge fun and I have very fond memories of those times. So this tag was inspired by a proper old-fashioned joke shop all dressed up for Hallowe'en ...

Thanks for popping in today and Happy Hallowe'en! :o)

Annie xxx