Thursday, 14 September 2017

Dreaming in Colours

Hi everyone,

Brrrrr it's definitely autumnal out there today, but we can look forward to cosy nights in with lots of time for cutting and sticking :o)

Continuing my current obsession with collage - here's another one I finished over the weekend ...

Again I started with a background of paint and "Gelli dellies" arranged various printed images - some of them came from magazines (I don't tend to buy women's magazines, but I found the Sunday supplements particularly bountiful) but most of them on this one were from collage sheets by Crowabout StudioB which you can buy and download from Mischief Circus.

I love the whole process - cutting out all the pieces, playing with the arrangement, then enhancing the whole thing with coloured pencils and doodling. Brilliant fun which I can't get enough of at the moment!

Hope you're having fun wherever you are today, thanks for popping in to see me :o)

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

WOYWW #432

Hello Fellow Deskers and Bloggy Friends,

It should be WWOYWW this week cos it's blowing a gale out there today - a Windy What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday :o)

I'm off out for the day with my son in a bit, but I just have time to do a quick post and then I'll be back to catch up with everyone later. For anyone reading this who has no idea what I'm on about, this is the day we gather over at Julia's Stamping Ground, share pics of our creative spaces and then have a wander around to see what everyone else has been up to this week - it's brilliant fun and everyone's welcome, so jump in and join us if you dare!!

Without further waffle, here's what's on mine -

My current obsession is collage, so I've been cutting printed images out and filing them away in clear pockets. For anyone who was interested to see how the Trash Dolls turned out, here's a couple of peeks, but I'll do a full reveal when they're all done ..

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Queen Bee

Hi Everyone,

You know that thing that sometimes happens, where something inspires you and you become obsessed with it and just can't get enough of it? Well, that happens to me quite often and this week it has all been about collage with printed images. Here's my first one ...

There are many YouTube tutorials and process videos, but one of my favourites is CraftyHodges - check out her channel for loads of inspiration. Here's what I did ...

Monday, 11 September 2017

Trash Dolls Are Coming!!!

Hi Everyone,

It's been a busy summer, but I have still managed to squeeze in some crafty time. One of my favourite projects recently has been turning a pile of assorted empty boxes into a crowd of colourful characters I've decided to call Trash Dolls (because they were made from recycled trash).

Here are the first four finished ...

My son says they're creepy, but I love them, they're my weird children :o)

Here's how they started out ...

Saturday, 2 September 2017

One Sheet Is All You Need ...

Hi there Bloggy Mates,

By the time this post publishes itself, I should be busy doing nothing with three of my besties from way back when ...
Left to right: Michelle, Emma and Polly
We have booked a little place all to ourselves and plan to spend a few days catching up, crafting, chatting and generally chilling - probably quite a lot of eating and drinking will be going on as well.

I thought it would be nice to take a little home-made gift for each of them, so I decided to have a go at these little albums, each made from just one sheet of 12" square paper ...

All the papers I used and most of the embellishments came from some scrapbooking pads I bought back in 2007, when I first started scrapping. They're still pretty and I think this was agreat way to use some of them up - they include little diecut pieces like tags, words and borders, so all I had to add was some ribbon, a paper clip and the heart/flower/button on the fronts. I also popped in some washi samples and a few tiny prints of some selfies we took during a previous trip, just to get them going ...

Hehehehe - they'll LOVE those :o)

The books are full of pockets and stuffed with little tags, folders, clips and tuck spots - the idea is to add pictures, words and mementoes of our trip. I hope they'll like the idea as much as I do!

If you would like to try making an album out of one sheet of scrapbook paper, just have a quick search on YouTube - there are just LOADS of tutorials and ideas on there.

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon!

Annie xxx

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Beautiful Boho Beads from Fabric Scraps

Hello Bloggy Friends,

What a bright and beautiful morning it is here in Norfolk UK, I hope you are having a happy day wherever you are in the world :o)

I treated myself to a lovely long cotton summer dress a couple of weeks ago and, because I am a little vertically challenged at 5' 2", I had to take a good 5" off the bottom. The piece I cut off didn't go to waste, as I used it to fashion some straps (my strapless days are a dim and distant memory, I need sturdy upholstery these days!) - but I still ended up with some small scraps, which I was about to chuck in the bin, when inspiration struck me ... I remembered some YT vids I've been watching showing how to turn fabric scraps into beads.

So, I sat in the garden with some glue and a barbecue stick, winding the scrap around to create beads and finishing some of them with bits of lace. Result - a necklace to match my new dress ...

Some of the clever people on YT make much more elaborate ones than these, with beads and fibres added, and all kinds of colours and textures. I will definitely have another go, as I have a mountain of fabrics, beads and fibres which I'm sure would work and it really was very easy to do - the kind of thing I could take to our monthly crafty session and do whilst yakking and drinking coffee :o)

Thanks for visitng me today, see you again soon!

Annie xxx

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Printer Tray Love

Hi Everyone,

Today is our wedding anniversary - it's SIX YEARS since John and I were married - how did THAT happen so quickly?!

Instead of a card, I gave John this little house-shaped printer tray which I made at the Mattishall Mixed Media/Craft Group a couple of months ago, using a kit from Tando Creative ...

The lovely Di Oliver from Tando supplied the basic printer tray kit, as well as a selection of chippie pieces, stamps and stencils, and various Decoart paints and media to choose from and play with. We each brought our own little treasures to add to our projects as well, so every single one was totally unique.

I'm very happy with how mine turned out - I added lots of little love tokens and symbols and wrote a message on the back with a Posca paint pen. John was very pleased with it too :o)

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon !!

Annie xxx

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Teeny People on a Big Adventure

Hi Bloggy Friends,

Hope you are having a happy weekend wherever you are in the world - it's sunshine and showers again here, but I'm hoping to do some more sorting in my garage today, perhaps discover some more forgotten treasures.

My day started well, when the postman brought me a package from China (crafty goodies) and a little envelope from my kind friend Karen, who sent me these REALLY teeny people ...

They must be 24th scale I think (I put a biro there to give an idea of their size) and I have no idea where Karen got them - maybe they're for architects's models or miniature railway scenes??

Anyway, all kinds of possibilities await them - my favourite idea at the moment is to create tiny worlds for them in unexpected places ... what would YOU do with them?

Thanks for visiting today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

WOYWW #428 - in which theTrash Dolls move one step closer

Hello Fellow Deskers and Bloggy Pals,

It's Wednesday (well it will be by the time you read this) so it's time to show the world What's On Your Workdesk this week, by linking up over at Julia's Stamping Ground and then having a wander around lots of other creative spaces all over the world to see what everyone else has been up to.

Here's mine this week - slightly more colourful than last week, when these were just empty packaging boxes and ribbon spools ...

First I covered them in old book paper (from an algebra text book which used to belong to my husband when he was a schoolboy) ...

Then I coloured them with Golden fluid acrylic paints - brilliant for this, as they're translucent and very pigmented - love those juicy colours!!

Next week, I should be able to show you my finished Arty-FArty Trash Dolls!

Meanwhile, I'll be popping over to Julia's to have a nosey at everyone else's workrooms - see you there :o)

Annie xxx

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

New Baby, Bad Hair Day

Hi everyone,

It's a funny old day here in the East of England - at the moment, it's stopped raining but it's still very damp and grey. Later on it's supposed to be "getting out" as they say around these parts - i.e. the sun is going to win through after all - in which case, I plan to finish sorting out the years of accumulated clobber in the garage, hopefully unearthing some long-lost treasures! :o)

Here's a little gem of a photo which had been buried and recently resurfaced. Before you look, imagine this for a second ... you are 21, you've been in labour for three days, you feel sweaty and bedraggled, but you are totally in love with your perfect new baby boy ... your husband goes to take a photo of you and the baby and you say, "Wait! Does my hair look ok?" and he says, "You look fine!".
It's the olden days, so you wait three weeks for the film to be developed, then eagerly open the envelope to see how the photographs turned out ...I was not best pleased with this one, but it does capture the moment ...

 This page was inspired by two scrappy challenges. The lovely Jo Boland set a colour challenge for August over at Go Go Getaway. Love the bright colours, but had to go a bit muted and vintage for this photo ...

I also used this fab sketch by Laura Whitaker over at Stuck?! Sketches ...

Brilliant sketch which I will definitely use again! So, I'm going to link this up for both challenges - check out their blogs for loads of inspiration.

I really wanted to scrap this photo, as it is precious (despite my disastrous hair, dodgy home-made nightie and gormless expression) but I feel it turned out kinda drab - a faded, 1970s version of the bright colours I enjoy these days. Maybe I will have another go with the same sketch and colours but a different photo and see how I get on.

Meanwhile, thanks for visiting my blog today, always lovely to see you :o)

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

WOYWW #427 - in which I show yer me old china!!

Hello Lovely Deskers and Bloggy Friends,

It's been AGES since I joined in with What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday (too much other stuff getting in the way) and I've missed snouting around other people's craft rooms and seeing what everyone else has been up to.

If you would like to find out what I'm going on about and maybe show the world what's on your workdesk this week, just pop into to Julia's Stamping Ground - everyone's welcome :o)

Here's my desk this morning, in readiness for a massive cutting and sticking session ...

The plan is to turn these old boxes into gorgeous Art Dolls, by covering them with paper from my husband's old school algebra textbook, throwing some paint and stuff about, adding some vintage images off Tinternet and sprinkling with various bits and bobs which are currently cluttering up my craft room.

I've also been making Really Tiny Things again, like these little vintage-style plates ...

I just printed some images I found online - there are loads out there, like this one which is all blue-and-white china, very pretty. Just search for something like vintage crockery printable. All of these in the picture below came from just one sheet which I printed onto lightweight card ...

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Handmade Pot Plants in 1:12 scale

Hi everyone,

Crafty time has been a bit hit-and-miss recently, with so much other fun stuff going on :o) When I do have time to play, it's often difficult to decide which of my current obsessions I most want to work on - scrapping, miniatures, art journalling or any of the various other projects and UFOs I have on the go at the moment - so many ideas, so much stuff, so little time!!

This week, the miniatures have been winning. I have a Christmas room box on the go for a friend, and I also made some 12th scale pot plants, inspired by the very lovely Annie Christenson from We Love Miniatures ...

Annie is so clever, and generously shares templates and printables on her blog, as well as excellent tutorials on her YouTube channel. The arrangement in the picture above was made with paper, wire, paint, card, some string, tea leaves and some tiny sprigs from a dried flower spray.

For this project, Annie photographed her own hosta plants to produce a printable sheet, including a variety of individual leaves for a natural look. The idea is to cut them out, shape them and glue them on to wires, then arrange them together in pots. One printed sheet produced all of these ...

Annie's looked much more "anatomically-correct", but I'm still pleased with how mine turned out. They will make a great addition to some of my little scenes. I had some little wooden pots knocking around, which I finished with acrylic paint and ink to look like old terracotta. I also made the two troughs out of card, which I trimmed with braid and again added paint and ink to try and achieve the effect of terracotta and old metal with a patina.

Here a few more pics ...

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Upcycling and Using Stuff Up

Hello Bloggy Friends,

Like many of us these days, I love to recycle/upcycle/repurpose rather than throw away stuff which may be useful AND I have way too much crafty stash. In other words, I'm a hoarder by nature. It quietly drives my DH nuts and I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by it all. This year, I'm on a mission to use it all up - clear the decks a bit and really enjoy all that lovely stuff I've accumulated over the years.

So, this was a perfect project for me at the moment - it started with recycled takeaway bags and Amazon packaging, which I fashioned into a little mini book like this ...

...then I piled on loads of ribbons, lace, flowers and other trinkets and treasures I've been saving for special for AGES ...

Here's the back cover ...

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Bohemian Patchwork

Hi Everyone,

Can't believe that we're really over half way through the year already and this is Week 28 of Wanderlust 2017!! It's proving to be a great arty-farty adventure and I've been trying so many new things - it's been an amazing experience :o)

Last week, lovely Sandra Evertson showed us how she creates a beautiful Bohemian Patchwork wall hanging, using gorgeous vintage fabrics which she finds in thrift stores (charity shops here in the UK). She also demonstrated how to make a hand-painted and beaded pendant which can hang on the piece as a focal point or be taken off when you want to wear it.

Here's how mine turned out ...

Sandra's pieces were all hand-stitched onto her base, which looked beautiful, but I wanted to finish mine quickly today, so I used a glue gun to stick everything onto a piece of mount board from the stash I totted from a local framer.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Love Your Smile

Hi Everyone

This month the challenge over at GoGoGetaway is this mood board ...

Be Inspired by a moodboard Lisa's challenge July
... and here's my finished page (sorry, very dark photo as it was all stormy here when I took the picture, so the light was awful) ...

This is a school photo of my beautiful niece, Alice, taken a couple of years ago. I can see so much of her Dad, my brother Ivan, in this picture. 

As well as the colour scheme of mint, sugar-mouse pink, fuschia, gold and black, I picked up several elements to maybe use on my page - 
  • Confetti/sprinkles
  • Hanging/stacked pieces
  • Balloons
  • String/twine
  • Hearts
  • Circles
  • Candy stripes, rolled paper
  • Black/white photo
  • Jewels, pearls
  • Frames
  • Handpainted words
  • XOXO
  • Mermaids, rainbows, unicorns, fairies
I had a play with a new stamp set I bought from China through Ali Express, using VersaColor inkpads in a pale pink and pale teal to create a watercolour effect background (which mostly got covered up in the end, but it was fun to do and pretty while it lasted) ...

The stuff I used was mostly from Quirky Kits new and old but I also threw in some bits and bobs from my stash. I love the Paper Fuel patterned paper with the stripes on one side and hand-drawn wordage on the other. I used the stripes to frame my page and fussy cut the word "smile" from the A side as my title. The KaiserCraft cut-apart sheet was a favourite as well. 

As always, I enjoyed making my own embellishments - stamping, fussy-cutting, stacking diecuts and making "paper springs" to add dimension to flat elements like the die-cut heart at the bottom of the page. 

Check out the GoGoGetaway challenge yourself - you can win 100 Hey Little Magpie points to spend on scrappy goodies, just by posting your creation on the FB page.

Thanks for stopping by today, see you again soon :)

Annie xxx

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Amazon Art Journal

Hi Everyone,

Hope you're having a lovely weekend wherever you are in the world and managing to squeeze in some creative playtime :o)

You know when you get a tiny delivery from Amazon and it comes with shedloads of packaging? I hate that. Well, here's the story of how I turned this (this is really now it arrived) ...

... into this gorgeously colourful art journal ...

I was inspired by the wonderful Rae Missigman, who encouraged us to "Build something beautiful out of the ordinary" for week 26 of Wanderlust 2017. Rae started with large envelopes and plain paper, but I adapted the idea to use what I had available ...

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A Close Eye

Hi everyone,

A couple of weeks ago on Wanderlust (or probably longer than that; time is FLYING this year), Kasia challenged us to work BIG - on a bigger surface that we would usually work on.

I didn't want to do a canvas, and I didn't have time for a messy session in my craft room this weekend, but I decided to challenge myself to work in a different scale from what I'm used to, and fill a whole page of my A4 art journal with something small ...

It was indeed a challenge, but a thoroughly enjoyable one. I used only coloured pencils, so it's not at all mixed media, but it was really good exercise for my observational skills. After nearly giving up on it a couple of times, I was eventually happy with the end result.

Makes quite a contrast to all the miniatures I've been making recently :o)

Thanks for visiting my blog today, see you again soon!

Annie xxx

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Crazy Garden

Hi Everyone,

Week 23 of Wanderlust 2017 was a fabulous lesson with another one of my mixed media heroes, Vicky Papaioannou. I've spent many hours watching Vicky's inspiring tutorials on YouTube, so I was very excited to try this lesson. Here's my result ...

Vicky had loads of tips and techniques to share, and I enjoyed trying them all out. My page turned out very differently from hers, but it makes me happy because it reminds me of the colourful jumble of summer flowers in our garden at the moment.

First, we gessoed the page, then we did some stencilling with modelling paste, allowing it to dry before adding diluted acrylic paints with a sponge to create a quick base layer. Then we used a brayer to add more layers of colour from the same palette - Vicky shared some really useful advice on colour theory when choosing colours for backgrounds and focal points. Further interest was added with some stamping, then a contrasting paint around the edges to frame the page.

Once this was done, we stamped the images for our focal points onto separate paper - this was a great tip, as it means you can move the images around until you're happy with the arrangement, before sticking them down and adding colour and details with paint and pens. The doodly flower stamps I used were free on a magazine; the daisies, hearts and butterfies were from my own Georgie stamp set which I haven't used in ages!

This was great fun and I learned a lot whilst making it. Can't wait to see what next week holds - we have metalwork with Jamie and Kasia's lesson is called "Ignite" - intriguing :o)

Thanks for popping in today, hope you're having a great week wherever you are.

See you again soon!

Annie xxx

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Monkey Business

Hi Everyone,

What a beautiful Flaming June we're having here in the UK - it's like Abroad!!! :o)

Just finished my page for the GoGoGetaway June Challenge. Here's the challenge -

Be Inspired by different elements Kirei's challenge June

And here's my finished page, including ELEVEN of the twelve elements (if you count thread as twine) showing a fun picture of me with my niece Alice and grand niece Leila on a day out in Cornwall last summer. We were messing about, doing three monkies ...

I was feeling inspired by the amazing Missy Whidden's You Tube process vids while I made this - she likes to start with a colourful painty/inky background, often using the "packaging technique" which I really enjoyed trying out here. She also does a lot of layering of patterned papers and vellum, fussy-cut pieces, ephemera and embellishments, she often adds stitching and tangles of thread and finishes with splatters of ink. I really haven't done justice to her at all here, but I find her uniquie style so inspiring and love to watch her work.

So, back to those ELEVEN ELEMENTS - 

I started with plain white cardstock, gessoed the central area and used the packaging technique to add splashes of colourful ink.The chevrons were made with tissue transfer and stitched around with matching thread. I used lots of scraps of patterned papers from my last Quirky Kit to layer up under the photo, and you can see a wooden frame peeking out between the layers.The leaves and sunshine were fussy cut and I've added some punched butterflies and diecuts. Tangles of black thread are tucked in here and there to add some contrast, as well as a couple of arrow-shaped paperclips. Added some gorgeous chipboard pieces with gold accents and the little wood veneer bird which I've painted with pearlescent paint. My journalling is handwritten around the edges, and the word Monkey in my title is also my own handwriting, which I've drawn in black pen and cut out. 

So, I'm off to sit in the garden with a nice cold ice cold G & T now - hope you are having a lovely weekend wherever you are in the world. 

Thanks for visiting me today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Painting Backwards

Hi everyone,

One of the many new techniques I tried out at the Ministry of Mixology event in Coventry back in March was reverse painting on clear acrylic. I bought a pack of the acrylic pieces so I could have another go at home.

Here's my first go - not perfect, but it's a start which I can build on ...

It's a bit tricky to get your head around the idea that you're working from the back, so the first layer you paint or stamp will be the foreground and then you add layers, working towards the background. So when you turn the piece over, the bit you painted first is in the foreground - if that makes any kind of sense at all?!

In this example, I starting by stamping the houses in blue Stazon Ink, then filled them in with white acrylic paint, leaving spaces for the windows and doors. Next came a layer of gold acrylic paint to colour the windows. Then I stamped the text in black Stazon Ink, followed by acrylic paint in royal blue, ivory and buttery yellow which I sponged on to create the background.

I enjoyed the challenge of thinking in reverse and will definitely try this again - practise makes perfect :o)

Thanks for checking out my blog today, see you again soon!

Annie xxx

Monday, 5 June 2017

Patchwork Playtime

Hi everyone,

We had a lovely week away in Derbyshire and Notts - lots of sunshine, interesting places to see and delicious food to eat - perfect!

But we also love to come home to our little cottage in Norfolk and of course I couldn't wait to get into my craft room and play :o) Yesterday I caught up with week 19 of Wanderlust 2017 - this was a class with the wonderful Kate Crane.

Here's my finished AJ page ...

Kate showed us how to create a patchwork of squares and rectangles, gradually building up layers and treating each little square as a separate area, but bringing them all together to form a cohesive composition. She encouraged us to just have fun, play and experiment - and this format did make it really easy to do just that.

I decided to add the black "suture lines" to mine for a bit more definition against all the bright colours. This was such an enjoyable and easy process, I think I may try another one in a really grungy style next ....

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

Annie xxx

Monday, 29 May 2017

Courage to Continue

Hello everyone,

It's a fabulous sunshiny May Bank Holiday Weekend here in my part of the world. Yesterday we had a family BBQ and the garden was full of squealing grandchildren playing in the paddling pool - and guess who couldn't resist getting in with them?! :o)

Tomorrow, we're off for a few days in Notts and Derbyshire, staying in a couple of places along the way and visiting lots of National Trust sites. I'm all packed and ready, so I have this afternoon to play in my room - planning to finish my latest miniature room box and start on a new AJ page.

Here's my latest page, from a class with the amazing Dyan Reaveley for Week 17 of Wanderlust...

Dyan was inspired by this wonderful quote from Winston Churchill; "Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."

This is a great motivational quote for life in general, but it can also be related to our arty-farty endeavours. Whilst showing us how to use inks and acrylic paints to create the background for this piece, Dyan encouraged us to keep going and never be afraid to experiment. Success is something to build on, we shouldn't stop because we're afraid of spoiling what we've already done. Failure is something to learn from, then cover up with another layer and move on.

Speaking of which - I've just spotted my mis-quote, so I will need to go back in and rectify that, and although I love the vivid colours, I really thnk the whole thing needs some more black, and maybe some drippage ... hmmm ...

I hope you're having fun wherever you are today and thanks for taking the time to check out my blog - see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Go Explore

Hi everyone,

This month's challenge over at Go Go Getaway was this fab sketch ...

Image may contain: text

I love working with sketches, and this one inspired me to finally get around to scrapping a photo of my youngest son, Tom, which was taken 33 YEARS AGO can you believe it?!

Here's my finished page - bit of a dreary photo as it's gone all overcast here today ...

I used papers, die cuts and embellies from my latest Quirky Kit and mixed with bits from my scrap stash. 

Wasn't he cute?! <3

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

Annie xxx

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Colourful Discovery

Hi everyone,

Every two months my gorgeous Quirky Kit arrives in the post, all wrapped in colourful tissue paper, which of course I stash away to use for collage or wrapping. Last month, there was a sprinkle of die cut magenta tissue flowers - very pretty, but I wasn't sure what I would do with them.

After seeing people on YouTube creating beautiful effects with the new Reactive Tissue from the Vicki Boutin mixed media range, I just wondered if it might be worth experimenting, and it totally was - look what happened ...

First I scattered the tissue flowers over a page in my art journal, then spritzed with water, and left for a few minutes before peeling off the paper to find beautiful rich pigment left behind. Then I had a rummage and found the previous month's tissue which was a lovely deep teal colour, tore that into strips and repeated the process ...

This will make the beginnings of a brilliant background for an art journal page - I love how the translucent colours overlap each other ...

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Digging Tunnels!

Hi everyone,

I really DIG these tunnel books :o) Here's my first one all finished now ...

 The papers I've used are leftovers from the Bird Song collection by Graphic 45 - I've been hoarding them for YEARS now, so it's great to finally put them to good use.

The method I used is demonstrated by theZim on You Tube - check out this video to see how he makes one of his amazing tunnel books with postcards. The sides are accordion-folded, then little flaps are cut to securely hold each frame inside the tunnel. Then the sides are covered with strips cut from a coordinating piece of card of paper.

I added a handle at the top because I wanted this one to be reminiscent of a lantern ...

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Light at the End of the Tunnel!

Hi everyone,

This week I've been tinkering with Tunnel Books. There are some beautiful examples to be found on the internet and I was particularly inspired by TheZim on YT - check out this video where Zim explains what a tunnel book is and shows some really cool ones he's made. I love how he chooses to work with found objects like flyers and postcards.

How cool is that?! So, I had a rummage about in my workroom to see what I have that might work for tunnel books - because of course I will get totally obsessed and want to make loads of these! I found some old children's books and some National Trust postcards which I think will work really well. I also dug out some old partially-used but still beautiful G45 papers I've had stashed away for ages. Those papers are just begging to be cut up and they're nice and sturdy.

For my first go, I decided to see what I could do with some pieces from the Bird Song collection, which features fabulous flowers and birds, lovely ladies and lanterns and gorgeous background patterns, all inspired by Japanese artwork. I had a brilliant time cutting and sticking and I'm chuffed to bits with the result so far ...

It was really hard to get a good picture of, and I still need to finish the framework, but you get gist :o) Instead of a sold background for the back panel, I framed a piece of vellum for this one, so that when it is stood on a window ledge the light will shine through. That's the plan anyway, we'll see how it goes - maybe I could even put a couple of LEDs in there .... hmmmm ....

Thanks for stopping by today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Letting it Happen

Hello Blogmates,

I'm still picking at titbits from the delectable picnic hamper which is Wanderlust 2017. This week I decided to nibble at Week 10 and have a taste of Intuitive Painting with the talented Alena Hennessy.

Alena showed us how to create a fantastical background with acrylic inks and paints, then we cut shapes from painted and doodled paper and applied these to the background. My shapes were circles, which reminded me of planets ...

I added some doodles, drippage and spatters to accentuate my "planets", then used a white paint pen to write in some words from that old Frank Sinatra song which I love ... it's been in my head ever since ...

Hold Fast to Dreams

Hello Everyone,

I've been a bit slack on the blogging front just lately - I have been doing stuff, just haven't made time to blog about it! I sometimes wonder what motivates me to blog. It's a strange thing, because I'm very shy about showing my stuff to people IRL - so why don't I mind putting it up here for all the world to see?! Weird isn't it?

Originally, I started blogging as a way of linking up to enter scrapping challenges, but I hardly ever do that now. I do love the idea of sharing ideas and inspiration with bloggy friends - the internet is truly a wonderful thing isn't it? Also, my blog is a record of my arty-farty journey just for myself, so I think I would want to keep it going even if nobody else ever looked at it :o)

Anyway, enough waffle. In the spirit of recording my progress through Arty-Farty Land, here's one of my latest efforts ...

I'm continuing to dip in and out of Wanderlust 2017. For week 14, the wonderful Jessica Sporn showed us how to make meaningful art with shapes and symbols. She encouraged us to think about something important to us and then we gradually built up layers of collaged papers and paint, incorporating symbols which represented our subject. I love how Jessica describes each layer as "having a conversation with" the previous layer.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

WOYWW 413 - Miniature Madness

Hello Fellow Deskers and Bloggy Peeps,

I've missed a couple of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesdays due to too much other stuff going on, so looking forward to catching up this week - if you would like to join in with the fun or find out what it's all about, just pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground and check it out.

Here's my workdesk today - I've been making miniatures again, at the dining room table instead of in my craft room ...

I can't get enough of these cute little kits from China - this is the tiniest one I've made so far. Here's a closer look, with the lights on ...

The detail is just amazing and I find the whole process of assembling the little bits and bobs totally absorbing. Bit of a problem sometimes with understanding the instructions and I do struggle with my eyesight, but a good light helps and now I've found the perfect glue which makes things a lot easier.

I'll be looking forward to catching up with fellow Deskers over the next couple of days - see you at Julia's!! :o)

Annie xxx

I'll schedule this to post tomorrow and link up when I get home from work ...

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Random Landscape

HI everyone,

I've been having a lovely arty-farty catch-up this Bank Holiday weekend. Here's my page inspired by a lesson with the wonderful Clair Bremner for Week 7 of Wanderlust 2017 ...

Clair uses acrylic paints to create the most beautiful, tranquil, fantastical landscapes. I was fascinated to watch her work - her skill with paintbrushes was so impressive. She made it look so easy to paint different shapes of leaves with round brushes; she used huge household brushes to apply paint, adding lots of water and allowing it to run down the page over the previous layers; then she used really small brushes to add tiny repeating patterns over the top.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Big Eden Adventure

Hello Bloggy Friends,

There's a new challenge every month on the GoGoGetaway Facebook page - with a chance to win the monthly prize and an entry in the big draw for a place at one of next year's events. This month we had a colour challenge, set by the lovely Nancy Sinclair from the GoGo design team ...

 Gorgeous colour combo, here's my take on it, with some green thrown in to the mix as well, The photo shows my niece Alice and great-niece Leila at the Eden Project in Cornwall last summer ...

My design was inspired by lovely Elsie who I've been watching on YouTube recently. Elsie has such a unique style - lots of white space; light, fresh colours; hand-drawn, hand-cut, paper-pieced elements and ALWAYS some hand-stitching - the stitched clouds are one of her trademarks. They took me ages to do, but I love the look of them.

The bunting, arrow, signpost and sunshine were also hand-drawn and cut from patterned papers, then I did a lot of doodling with my Micron 02 black pen. most of the papers and some of the embellies came from my latest Quirky Kits, but I also mixed in some older stuff - part of my stash-busting policy! :o)

Thanks for having a look at my bog today, see you again soon. Hope you're having a happy and creative day wherever you are.

Annie xxx

Boxing Clever

Hey everyone,

There will be a little flurry of posts today as I've been catching up over this lovely long Bank Holiday weekend. I'm actually glad the weather isn't great, because it's actually perfect for arty-farting! :o)

I've been finishing off my projects from the recent Ministry of Mixology weekend. Here's the very clever little box-disguised-as-a-book which we made in the wonderful France Papillon's class ...

It was brilliant fun playing with all the beautiful Decoart paints and media to create this aged crackled effect. France showed us how to use paints and glazing medium to age some diary paper and cambric, we hand-cut stencils from watercolour paper, then we built up layers with crackle and modelling pastes. The heart was painted with fluid acrylic and finished with a tiny word sticker. 

But the really clever part was in the design of the box, which was designed to hold three ink pads. When you untie it and pull on the top string, the contents pop out automatically, so cool!! I found it is a perfect fit for my ATC swaps ...

The chipboard pieces for this project all came in a kit from Tando Creative - it was only £2.50, so I bought another one to have a play with :o) 

Thanks for popping in to see me today, see you again very soon!

Annie xxx