Tuesday, 25 September 2018

My First ScrawlR Box.

Hello my arty crafty friends,

This week, I got my first ScrawlR Box to play with and I thought you might like to have a peek inside. If you click on the link above, you can check out the contents of previous boxes.

Here's what I got in the September 2018 kit ...

I thought it was really good value for £15 including postage - if you add up the RRP for the separate items it's way over that amount - and I love how it's put together. This month, the theme is "Complete Blackout", so all the pens are black, but they are all different shades of black, with very different properties, so it was fun trying them out and mixing them all together.

Here's my very first experiment ...

The ScrawlR Box includes a challenge each month to inspire you - this time it was "Jazz Noir". As you can see I went completely off-piste, but that doesn't matter, it was just a starting-point.

Opening the box was very exciting :o) Here's how it comes, with coordinating tissue and a cute sticker ...

... and here you can see the entire contents of the box, including the matching sweetie - a black jack of course!

There are eight pens; a card which includes a detailed description of each pen and the monthly challenge; two sheets of really good quality cotton paper; a fun sticker; the sweetie; and last but definitely not least, a print of this wonderful piece by Polish artist Damian Rozanski.

Some of the pens were water-soluble and some weren't, and it was really interesting to find out how they would play together. I particularly enjoyed using water with two of the pens - one of them released a pinkish purple colour and another did this amazing dark teal thing when diluted with water. I used these to create a smooshed and splattered background, then used another pen to stamp some flower outlines, then a couple of the finer pens to refine the image and add scribbly texture ...

I should probably have called it a day there, but just couldn't stop, so I made this face which came out a bit weird, but it's just in my art journal, so that's ok ...

Here I used the pens to create the background and a kind of under-painting. I started adding details, got carried away and lost what'd done, then ended up using black and white Inktense pencils over the top. It's not great, but it was interesting to do, I learnt stuff and it has given me an idea ... which is of course the whole point really :o)

Thanks for visiting me today, see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

WOYWW #485

Hello Crafty Friends and Fellow Deskers,

Long time no see!! I've missed so many What's On Your Workdesk Wednesdays I can't even remember how many, but Things have settled down a bit now, so I have time to play - if you would like to join us, just hop over to Julia's Stamping Ground :o)

Here's my workdesk on Tuesday evening ....

You may just be able to make out that I've been playing with my new glass dip pen - I LOVE it, because it's so beautiful, it works really well and it was less than seven squids from Amazon. With just one dip in the ink, I managed to write over twenty words before I had to dip again - brilliant!

Here's another view of my room, looking over my left shoulder as I sit at the desk ...

I guess it still looks a bit chaotic, but everything is accessible now and I'm gradually working on finding storage solutions which are pretty and practical and don't cost too much. Like those magazine files I got in the Pound Shop for ... guess how much?! :o)

One more thing I would like to show you before I go - and I promise it is workdesk related. We were on holiday in York last week - had an amazing time, so much to see and do (and eat and drink!). It's a very beautiful city, but like all cities there were lots of homeless people. We met a guy who was sitting cross-legged in a sleeping bag in a shop doorway, with a rucksack next to him and a piece of a skirting-board on his knees, which he was using as a workdesk. Of course I had to go have a look and buy a couple of cards because I thought they looked really cool ...

He was a really nice guy and we chatted about this and that as he made my cards. I was so impressed with his initiative and what he managed to do with just a glue stick, a pair of scissors, minimal supplies and a piece of skirting-board as a workdesk - it also made me realise how lucky I am to have a whole room just for crafting in.

That's it for this week - I'll be at work when this posts itself and I'll catch up with everyone over the next few days. See you at Julia's :o)

Love Annie xxx

Sunday, 16 September 2018

CSI Case File #262

Hello Scrappy Friends,

There's a new Case File #262 over at CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration and you have until the end of September to solve it and be in with a chance of winning one of the fabulous prizes on offer. Here's a quick look at the Case File ...

For full details and loads of inspiration, check out this post on the CSI Blog. You can choose to follow all the clues, or just pull your own inspiration from the Scene. Here's a closer look ...

Personally, I really enjoy following the clues, so that's what I did. Here's how I cracked the Case ...

  • Scheme: all the colours are included, and I threw in a splash of the aqua blue.
  • Evidence: stripes, dots, insects, swirls, Perfect Pearl drops, hearts, flowers, leaves, layered/dimensional stickers, bow, buttons.
  • Testimony: I wrote my journaling in cursive around the edge of the page. 

It's all about how much I love pictures like this one of my little Step Granddaughter Macy - the young Mums and Dads are so good at taking amazing, spontaneous, great quality photos with their mobile phones. Very different from when my kids were small - you had to get the camera out, by which time the perfect moment had passed, then you had to get the film developed, which was quite expensive, and keep your fingers crossed that at least some of the pictures would be good ones. Of course I still treasure all the photos from years ago, but I wish I could have documented my boys' lives with today's technology! 

Why not have a go at solving this Case File yourself? Check out the FaceBook Page for news and inspiration. NB calling all Australian scrappers who haven't played along before - there's a special Aussie Apprentice prize on offer from Scrap Matrix which wasn't claimed last month as there were no new Aussie players, so that one definitely has your name on it :o) 

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon! 

Love Annie xxx 

Craftathon for Breast Cancer Care

Hello Crafty Peeps,

Yesterday our little craft group got together to join in with the Craftathon for Breast Cancer Care - we have £70 to donate to this very worthy cause and we had a lovely time ...

We were making mini books and I love how they all turned out so differently, even though we were working from the same kit. Julie very kindly hosted our mini Craftathon and we completely took over her dining room for the day. Here's the table before we trashed it got started ...

Julie had made us these sweet tissue holders as a memento of the day which was a lovely surprise ...

It was extreme crafting to get the book done in a day, but we had lots of fun ...

... and we were sustained by delicious home made cake :o) Cake break #1 ...

... and Cake Break #2 ...

We started on the easy pages and worked our way up to the more tricky ones. It was satisfying to see them start to stack up ...

We tried out a few different tools and techniques to create some interesting pages - such as heat embossing acetate, embossing vellum, lots of punching and diecutting, using an envelope score board, creating a pop-up, a waterfall and a shaker. Here I'm using a laminator to create a clear confetti page ...

Before we called it a day at around 7pm, we had time to bind our books using the Bind-It-All machine, but we still have lots of decorating and finishing touches to do. We'll enjoy doing that at our next regular craft session and I'll post photos of the end results - can't wait to see them all together!

If you're interested in finding out about the Craftathon for Breast Cancer Care please click here for more details. To make a donation you can go here. You are very welcome to download the instructions for the mini book, just click here. I have made a YT tutorial to go with them, click here. If you do make a mini book from my tutorial, I would love to see the results - please post on my ArtyFarty FB page.

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Friday, 7 September 2018

Mini Book for the Craftathon for Breast Cancer Care

Hello my Crafty Friends,

Next Saturday 15th September, some friends and I are getting together to join in with the Craftathon for Breast Cancer Care - check out the FB page to see what it's all about. It all came from an idea hatched by the lovely Di Oliver and has grown into a massive event, which hopefully will raise lots of money for this very worthwhile cause.

To give us a fun project to work on as a group, I've put together some kits to create a mini book ...

We'll each have 18 sheets of double-sided patterned paper including lots of different colours and designs, so there will be plenty of scope for each of us to put our own twist on the design.

Here's my first prototype, after I'd added some scraps of ribbon to the binding ...

And I used some of the leftovers to create photocorners, pen clips and paperclip flags ...

If you would like to join us, you would be most welcome - I have put together a Word doc including all the instructions and dimensions, as well as a You Tube tutorial to follow along. There's another YT vid showing how to make the photo corners and things here. It's all free, but if you'd like to make a donation to the charity, it would be much appreciated - here's a link to the JustGiving page.

Thanks very much for visiting me today, hope you enjoy the tutorial and if you make a mini book of your own, please leave me a link, I'd love to see it :o)

See you again soon!!

Love Annie xxx

Sunday, 2 September 2018

CSI Case File #261 - You Are So Loved

Hello everyone,

A new Case File has opened over at CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration and you have a whole month to solve it to be in with a chance of winning one of the fab prizes on offer. We have an unusual Scene to investigate this month and I had loads of fun with it ...

Pop over to the CSI Blog to find the full case file and all the clues you need to crack this case, as well as lots of inspiration from the rest of the CSI Detectives.

Here's how I cracked it ...

The photo shows my little step-granddaughter, Macy, a couple of years ago, and this page is documenting some of the things we love about her. It was also a great excuse to use up about a million diecuts!

New for 2018, you can choose to follow all the Clues in the Case File, or just pull your own inspiration from the Scene. As always, I went old school, as I really enjoy following the clues.

  • Scheme: all the colours are there.
  • Evidence: teacup, paper clip, leaves, hand-drawn elements plus a couple of clues I spotted myself - crayons, spectacles and the way lots of small items are scattered over the desk. 
  • Testimony: I've listed some of the things I love about Macy and written them around the edge of the page.

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

Love Annie xxx

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Boo! Snap! Hey! - GoGoGetaway August Challenge

Hello my crafty friends,

The challenge for August over at GoGoGetaway was to use washi on a scrapbook page. I decided to make a page about one of my step-grandsons, Bailey, using up lots of scraps of older papers and throwing in some glittery denim blue washi to add a bit of non-girly twinkle ...

The design was inspired by the top photo, where Bailey is peeking through a round window - I just echoed the circle-inside-a-square theme throughout the grid, layering up squares of paper scraps with die cut circles and frames and then adding lots of word stickers to finish it off.

By sticking the washi onto card stock, I was able to run it through my diecutting machine. I also added tape around the edge to frame the page.

There will be a new challenge at GoGo on the 1st of the month - pop over to their blog or FB page to check it out and find loads of inspiration.

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Thursday, 16 August 2018

CSI #260 - Family Gathering

Hi there,

There's a new Case File just opened over at CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration and we have another beautiful Scene to investigate ...

Pop over to the CSI blog post and scroll to the bottom to find a full list of clues to follow, or just pull your own ideas from the inspiration image. Check out all the different amazing pages by the rest of the CSI Detectives and Guest Detectives for lots of ideas to get you going.

I always enjoy following the clues which Debbi has pulled from the Scene, so that's what I did. Here's how it worked out ...

The Scheme: all the colours are there.
The Evidence: gold, glitter, twine, floral pattern, people embellishment (hand-cut paper dolls).
The Testimony: my journaling is written all around the edge of the page and tells the story of a family day out during a recent holiday to Cornwall.

Why not have a go at cracking this case yourself and be in with a chance of winning one of the fab prizes? Check out the Face Book page for more inspiration. 

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

Love Annie xxx

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Painted Faces

Hello everyone,

The temperature has dropped a bit and we've had a good rain here in my part of the UK, but today it's blue skies and sunshine again, which is wonderful. I've been up since 3am, unable to sleep, so my chores are done and I have more time to play :o)

I'm still loving Art Journal Summer School, it's encouraging me to play in my art journal every day, even if only for a little time. This week my favourite page was this one, following a lession with Marieke Blokland, the host of AJSS, who showed us how she creates her "dolls" ...

Marieke also showed us how to add a fantastical fairytale background, inspired by a photo of a castle or other building we've seen on our travels. My background is drawn from the view I see from my window every day (we live in a cottage in the grounds of an old Hall). I stood in the kitchen doorway as it was getting dark one evening, and made a ten minute sketch, just to capture the feel of it.

These next two were inspired by a class with Andrea Gomoll, who encouraged us to "Go with the Flow". Andrea worked quickly and freely and I loved her painting - full of vibrant, transparent colours and lots of movement.

First, we added watercolour paint to wet paper and allowed it to do its thing, before drawing our picture over the top with water soluble pencil and activating it with a water brush to create shading. We added more colour here and there with water soluble crayons, and used fineliners and paint pens to add detail.

I wasn't happy with mine and couldn't leave it alone, kept twiddling and adding stuff and it just got all stiff and overworked. That was my second attempt, the first attempt I can hardly stand to look at, but I'll share it with you anyway, click here if you really want to see it ...

Friday, 10 August 2018

Freebie Friday #4 - Beautiful Butterflies

Hi there!

Welcome to another Freebie Friday, when I show you what I made with one of those free cover gifts you get on the front of crafty magazines.

This time, I'm using a beautiful butterfly-themed kit from Crafts Beautiful Magazine. The kit included card blanks and die cuts as well as a gorgeous layering stamp set which I really enjoyed playing with. Here are some of the cards I made ...

And here's a short (12 minute-ish) YT video - check it out if you would like to see how I got on ...

And finally, a closer look at some of those cards ...

Friday, 3 August 2018

AJSS - Taking the Scenic Route


Last week in Art Journal Summer School, Nathalie Kalbach encouraged us to create an art journal page inspired by a photo scavenger hunt, with each photo providing inspiration for a different element of the piece - colour, texture, lines, pattern, shapes, and words.

Here's my finished page ...

My photos were all taken in and around our own house and garden. Here they are if you would like to see them ...

Thursday, 2 August 2018

AJSS Week Three - Parking Lot


Last week in Art Journal Summer School, Marieke challenged us to be inspired by the Parking Lot .... or by something that you wouldn't usually take pictures of when you are on holiday or visiting a new place.

I decided to create a page inspired by one of those billboards, where you can see layers and layers of old posters, which have been torn off and replaced over and over again, resulting in a fascinating accumulation of textures and colours, with lots of fragmented words in different fonts ...

These kinds of billboards have caught my eye many times, but I have never thought to take a photo, so I didn't have a reference. However, luckily for me, many other people have clearly had the same response, taken a picture and posted it online, so I was able to print off some images to give me some ideas.

I sketched the rough shapes and words in pencil, then used NeocolorII crayons to add colour, then went back in with a black Inktense pencil and white Aquarelle pencil to add definition and highlights, and finished off with some scribbling using my bog standard propelling pencil.

This is a theme I would like to come back to, when I have more time to play :o)

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

Love Annie xxx

CSI Case File #259 - Family Fun Day


There is a new Case File over at CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration - it's bright, colourful and perfect for your summer holiday snaps ...

I was inspired to create a fun page with a cartoon feel to it, documenting a day out with my family back in May this year. This was our first day in Cornwall for a couple of years and we had all gathered in the park close to where we used to live to have a picnic lunch.

The photo is printed in black and white, so that I could add colour with Distress Inks to match the colour scheme for this Case File ...

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling

The rules have changed over at CSI this year - you can choose which clues you want to use, or just draw your own inspiration from the Scene. However, I love the traditional clues, so I went Old School again. 
  • Scheme: colours are all there except I left the brighter blue out.
  • Evidence: text pattern, speech bubbles and brush/hand drawn fonts.
  • Testimony: I documented a trip and I put some of my journaling in speech bubbles. 

Check out the CSI blog for all the details and lots of inspiration and why not have a go yourself - there are lots of prizes to be won and you have until the end of August to crack this Case :o)

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

Love Annie xxx

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

WOYWW #478


It's Wednesday AGAIN!! So it's time to pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground and link up with other Deskers all over the crafty world for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Here's my proper workdesk, where I've been putting together some mini-book kits ready for the Craftathon for Breast Cancer Care in September ...

But mostly I've been crafting Al Fresco over the last two or three weeks, working in my art journal out in the garden. Here's a fairly typical scene, taken after work one evening last week ...

Bliss!!! :o)

Thanks for visiting me today, I'll pop over to Julia's when I get in from work and find out what everyone else is up to this week over the next few days.

Love Annie

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Paper-Pieced Piechart Page


I've just posted my layout for this month's challenge on the GoGoGetaway FB page - talk about just in the nick of time!

The challenge was to use paper-piecing, which is something I love to do and a great way to use lots of pretty paper scraps. Here's my page ...

I decided to make a pie chart representing everything I love about a scrapbooking weekend - it's not ALL about the actual scrapbooking of course :o) The photograph was taken on the GoGoGetaway weekend in April 2017 and shows from L-R Yours Truly with Trina, Karen and Emma. One of the best things about these retreats is spending time with old friends and making new ones - this was the first time we'd met Karen and Emma, but we became firm friends very quickly and met up several times since then.

If you look closely, you can see that I've added lots of stitched details to the floral paper, as well as stitching around all the pieces. This was a technique we learned at the last GoGo event we went to - it's time-consuming, but I love the effect and enjoy doing it. The portion with the file tab on it lifts up to reveal my journaling ...

There will be a new challenge out tomorrow for August - why not have a go and be in with a chance of winning some points to spend with Hey Little Magpie as well as an automatic entry in the annual draw to win a free place on one of these wonderful events next year :o)

Saturday, 28 July 2018

AJSS Week Two - Sunny Landscapes and Pretty Blooms

Hello my Arty-Farty Friends,

We're into Week Three of Art Journal Summer School, but I'm kinda popping in and out, taking a dip into whatever takes my fancy whenever I have a bit of time to play. I'm having a great time, mostly working in my art journal outside in the garden during the cool of the evening.

Here are my pages inspired by the lessons in Week Two. First, "Sunny Landscapes" with Marlene Meijer-van Niekerk ...

We started by collaging various patterned papers, then used different mediums to add layers of colour and interest, finishing with pencils and pens to give emphasis and detail.

My next page was inspired by the lesson with the creator of AJSS, Marieke Blokland, who show us how to draw "Pretty Blooms" in a loose, sketchy style which I love. We add scribbly details with pens and filled in the background with a wash of colour ...

And finally, in case you haven't seen it already, here's a reminder of my AJSS kit, which I've been taking out to the garden most evenings ...

Friday, 27 July 2018

Freebie Friday #3 - Magic Slider Card

Hello arty-farty friends,

PHew!! It's HOT here in the UK and my brain is a little melty, but doing a bit of something crafty always helps me chill out :o)

This is the third in an occasional series I'm calling "Freebie Friday", where I show you how I made a project using the free gifts which come with crafty magazines. Papercraft Essentials #161 has a fab set called "Bubbles and Fizz", which includes an embossing folder, stamps and matching dies and I used it to create this magic slider card ...

When you pull out the tag on the right, a secret panel slides out on the left - magic!!

I've made a ten-minute tutorial on You Tube if you would like to see how I made it ...

As promised, here are the measurements you'll need (in inches)...
  • Main piece: Cut 5¾ x 12. Score at 3¾, 7½, 7 5/8, 11 3/8, 11½
  • Tag and secret panel: Cut two 5½ x 3½
  • Plastic: 12 x 2
The mechanism is clever but simple, making this a really fun project to make and to receive - I made this one for my husband and he loved it. I think it's really sweet that he has kept all the cards I've made him over the years and I like to come up with something different every time :o)

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

WOYWW #477 - Playing Out

Hello Fellow Deskers and Blogland Mates,

It will be Wednesday when this publishes itself, the day when we congregate over at Julia's Stamping Ground to show the world what's going on in our crafty spaces this week and check out what everyone else has been up to.

With the amazing summer we're enjoying here in the UK, I've been doing a lot of al fresco crafting again. Here's a page in progress in my art journal, inspired by one of the Art Journal Summer School lessons ...

I've just taken the picture early on Tuesday morning - it's my day off, so I had time for some cutting and sticking with my First Breakfast :o)
Hopefully, the lovely Zsuzsa will spot this tomorrow and kindly link up for me (thank you Zsuzsa), if not, I'll nip over to Julia's after work - see you there!

Love Annie xxx

If anyone's interested to see what I made during Week One of AJSS, check out this blog post.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Art Journal Summer School Week One

Hello lovely friends,

This year I signed up for Art Journal Summer School at Bloknote Academy. I've been having a great time dabbling in different techniques, styles and approaches and it's worked out especially well with the unusually sunshiney summer we've been enjoying here in the UK. It's been lovely to be able to sit outside to play and quite liberating to use only what is in my AJSS kit ...

I've been working in my home-made journal, which I made from a vintage children's book and watercolour paper. The lessons are very varied and inspiring and all reasonably short, so I'm finding that I dip in and out and keep coming back to work on a page some more when I have time.

Here are some of the pages I made during Week One, all still works in progress ...

I included some of the original book pages in my journal, because I just love the look of them.

We're into Week Three now - already half way through my AJSS adventure!

Thanks for checking out my blog today, see you again soon :o)

Love Annie xxx