Saturday 31 January 2009

BIA Note Book - Green - TGIF Challenge

I thought I would have another go at the TGIF challenge this week Green.

Hmm - it really was a challenge for me - I am not a lover of green - but here is my effort. Not sure which photo looks best so am adding both LOL

(Click images to enlarge)

Using a bit of recycled card which I covered in a scrap of leftover white paper, I sponged all over with green Ecoline ink. With a darker green I stamped a background stamp all over it. Which in hindsight was a complete waste of time as I decided in the end to add an image.

I found a sepia image I liked, resized it and painted it different shades of green. It is painstaking work, as all the leaves I painted individually with a tiny brush - the hardest were painting ivy looking leaves in the foreground.

I really enjoyed doing it though. Once it was all dry, I mounted it onto the inked card, then using another stamp from the Elusive stamp plate I bought - I stamped -
'Art is the pigment of your imagination'. When I saw that stamp - I just loved the wording - and hunted for something to go with it.

This image gave me the impression of the lady staring into the pool, imagining....................

I got both the notebooks made today - you can tell my husband is out bowling - I got a guilt-free play time, without any interruptions!

BIA Note Book - Paris Parfum

Still making art from recycled scraps, this is a 5"x3" Bind it all note book, made from cardboard from a box which had acetate in it, and a lined notepad from a supermarket.

I ordered some Elusive stamps in their sale - and was delighted to get four out of the eight items I ordered - and here is one of them. I only have a few 'sentiments' or words - and now look for plates which contain at least some words.

This came from the Paris Parfum plate. (You can click on the image to enlarge it)

I stamped the background which looks just lovely on it's own - but decided to add a bit of texture for extra interest.

I used another stamp to recreate a 'business card' from the Perfumery, on another scrap of the same card (thick card so its really good), which I embossed so it looks lovely and shiny in real life and feels great.

You can't really see it in the photo but I edged all around with a black ink pad and 'smudged' it to give it a softer border.

I used the same thick card for the back of the book, and covered both side of it - and the back of the front cover, with scrap paper. I think it must have been something my daughter in law gave me. It looks and feels like hand made paper and is the same colour and texture as the card. It is stamped all over with painted silver swirls, very similar to those of the stamp I used. It looks and feels lovely, almost velvety and is very thick. (I had to iron out the folds first!)

I rather like the effect of the natural card and then the natural type paper. I will add fibres and probably a charm or two when it comes to giving or sending it to someone as a gift.

Art on a budget - Tags

Following on the theme of making art from recycled 'material' that was featured in Craft Stamper - I thought I would show you some things I have been doing with 'stuff' from a charity shop. Once a week I spend a morning at college so go early to get a parking spot - which gives me just enough time to walk into the town centre to a charity shop.

This week I bought some children's dominoes - 50p for a box of 26. Really thick chipboard - what a bargain. So I decided to make a couple of tags - just experimenting with different things before trying them out on something 'precious'.

This is an 'image' on painted a tag painted black with some 'colouring' and then varnished. It has come up really well - I have not done the other side yet - apart from painting it - but I am really pleased with the result - and it was easy to punch a hole through too.

I wanted to make a large tag for the keys to my studio. Somehow they always manage to get 'lost' in out pot of keys - so this tag is now a key ring.

I painted both sides with Gesso to hide the pictures on it, added the black and white image of a Geisha and gave her a coat of Gesso so make her look misty and mysterious. I then highlighted some areas with a black pen, painted it with two coats of varnish (I want it to be strong and waterproof) then gave her a little tinge of pink here and there. The calligraphy are Spring, Summer, Autumn, (couldn't get one for winter) so the last is 'Art'.

I know this is bright and 'in your face' but that is how I wanted it to be so that it is easy to see, if I gets put down somewhere! Again - white Gesso, stamped image, varnished twice, then swiped over with alcohol ink which was an experiment- so I now know that I can varnish something and add colours to it afterwards. And it even coloured the metal eyelet.

This now has a keyring and a couple of very heavy keys attached and it works a treat.

Here is the before photo - they are quite large - 3" x 2" approx

I think 50 for 26 chipboard tags is a bargain - don't you?

Friday 30 January 2009

Crafty Makes Blog

Last chance to win some blog candy here on Crafty Makes Blog

Oriental Book Covers - Finished!

I spent the morning finishing off my book covers. I had already varnished them - and they felt like leather - and I could bend them back wards and forwards without them cracking. (I was actually trying to see of the varnish would crack to add to the aged look!

I very gingerly added red to the Japanese image - bit by bit as I had varnished the cover as I mentioned so it made it a bit difficult. But I think it looks better with the red. It is so hard to photograph because of the gold work I did.

The covers I mounted on thick card (recycled cardboard box) so its really thick and strong, and then I covered the insides with Basic Grey paper, then edged it and the sides in black to give it a nice finished edge - which is hard to see as they are photographed on black velvet.

It is meant to have that 'grungey' look - took me ages - to make it look old. The gold paint on both covers is lovely and golden - but I had to tone this down to stop the glare so it looks rather dull. This too has a wonderful varnished sheen with embossed TH red mask in the middle.

I was going to add an image but thought it might be a bit OTT but depending on what I decided to fill the book with - I might got for a Japanese proverb or a saying of leave it be.

I usually give all my 'stuff' away - and just have any photos of here to remind me - but as this has turned out well - and is so much better in real life - and I just love the textures - I might just keep it for myself - well for a while anyway.

Thank you for all your lovely comments they are so very much appreciated

Thursday 29 January 2009

Book Cover

Over on TGIF the challenge is to make a book - so I think I have done this by the 'skin of my teeth'

Oh and there is one on the Objet Dart Challenge too!

I have made the covers of a book - but not made the book yet. This is the front.

I can't decide whether I need to add some colour here and there to the lady.

Please click on the images to get a closer look.

Close up of top right corner

Bottom left corner

Using the Tim Holtz mask on Japanese newspaper - embossing and varnishing - gives it a nice texture but makes it hard to photograph

I have just got to mount it on even thicker card - ditto the back cover - and it will be ready for the inside pages.

Tuesday 27 January 2009

Altered Match Box

This was primed with thick Gesso - so a nice rough texture. Swiped over with red brick ink pad, and on all the edges.

I coloured the image a bit, and triple embossed the flower to make it stand out and add more texture.

Altered Match Box

On the Lots to Do forum they are doing an altered matchbox swap - in the distressed style of Tim Holtz. The photo quality is not very good - as I couldn't take them in daylight.

I painted white Gesso all over the box in 'scratchy' texture using a hard dry brush and when dry I swiped a 'mustard' ink pad over it, then a brown pad to show up the textures.

Next, using a Tim Holtz grunge board skull and cross bones - I inked and Utee'd it several times to make it thick and shiny like a solid piece of metal.

Using sequin waste, I swiped over a darker brown ink pad over the box, then embossed it with 'Divine Gold' an embossing powder from MADJAK. Its got a nice 'antiquated' texture and colour to it - with dark grains. It looks good in daylight.

The gold 'ingot' little tag was coloured the same way as the Treasure Chest, stamped with 'Captured in time' and embossed.

The idea for the tag came from an article in this month's Craft Stamper by Jo Capper Sandon. Her's is nothing like this one, its a different shape, bigger dainty and attached with a key ring which is so much better, but I didn't have one. It was the idea I copied not the design.

Mine is attached with gold wire of course - pirates don't have key rings :-)

Of course a Treasure Chest wouldn't be one if it didn't have gold, pearls, diamonds and gems etc inside would it?

Monday 26 January 2009

My Craft Studio/Shed

A number of years ago, I decided that I needed a shed to put all my 'junk' in. There is no storage space indoors, and the garage was getting full up too.

I had taken a NAFAS Floral Design course for one year - only one day a week - and it had resulted in lots of flower arranging 'stuff'. Which took up lots of room, such as containers, Oasis Foam, Tools.Course info and files etc. I had got rid of lots of it - but still had a fair amount and rummaging around every time I wanted to make an arrangement was a real chore.

I also had 'other stuff' from old hobbies of bygone years when my children were young - so that took up space - plus 'house hold' stuff that wasn't used a lot needed a home.

I tracked down a not-so-local wood yard who 'made to measure' so I took the plunge. My husband left it all to me whilst he had a walk around - foolish man - so I ended drawing a picture and ended up with a Summer Chalet looking shed - larger than he wanted of course (I needed space to 'grow' and this is the result - not the 8ft shed he had envisaged and suggested).

In my defence it was cheaper than a small purpose built one - and I/we did a lot of work to it ourselves. The base and the 'shed' was erected by the men, on the wettest day of an otherwise dry summer. I never expected the shed to ever dry out!

I got a local electrician to put in heat, light, and power, and with the help of my husband, I stuffed the walls and ceiling with thick insulation (boy does that stuff make you itch) then cut up the wall boards (yes I would have loved real wood cladding, but that's for when my husband wins more than £10 on the lottery). Quite a few tantrums,curses, sulking and moaning went on (from the labourer not me) but love and bribery conquered all and in a month it was finished! I still have one piece of wood to put up but need another pair of hands LOL, so it will lay there annoying me for another 8 years no doubt

I cut out and laid the floor single handed and sealed all the edged with sealant in case of spillages and to keep and draught out from the wooden floor underneath.

The curtains came later - some 1970/80's material from a charity shop. Basic - but work.

So here is the tour.

All the storage space is just others 'junk' so a mish mash of stuff.

On here there are 'other things' like my sausage making machine, a food dryer, speakers, an ancient stacking music centre complete with a record deck - in case we ever want to play my old records that haven't seen daylight for at least 36 years. There are two drills - one that works, my sons, and one that doesn't, mine. Hobby books, - oh too much stuff to mention

I also share it with a rocking horse without a tail, that I started restoring, but couldn't find a tail. Its for when my grandson gets bigger - he is too small at the moment and just says when he sees it 'Too big, too big' - he is only three.

The baskets contain some scraps of material, sugar craft stuff (I don't do that anymore), soap making and body cream making stuff, and various bits that 'might come in useful' one day.

Most of this wall contains flower arranging things, some art stuff (as in painting and drawing which I dabbled in badly and gave up in despair) There is a box of fibres for arty crafty stuff, and some hot foil - bought on a whim but not used as I don't know how - and other various oddments that 'might come in useful' LOL

On the left of the picture next to the heater you might just be able to see a tiny chair - it was reclaimed from a village infant school which closed down, and an artist near where I lived at the time, bought a number and painted them in 'canal boat' fashion with those lovely stylised roses. It was the first gift my husband bought for me - as a surprise. The grandchildren have each 'claimed it' when they visited and were tiny - and I just love and treasure it.

This is the view out of that window yesterday - a wild wet windy day - the rain never stopped.

The double doors - left wide open on warm days so I can see my chickens rummaging around the flower beds - and they sit and sunbath outside on the warm concrete preening themselves.

Ikea drawers put together by me - but not very successfully. Full of wrapping papers, envelopes, old Christmas cards - junk really which I ought to sort out and bin - but I get a bit sentimental over some things. On top are cards made from my arty friends which I treasure - and which inspire me. My 'treat' last year - a Bind it All and a Dreamcuts.

At the back, my very first bind it all book, containing tag swaps which I thought was brilliant - but now makes me cringe as it was rubbish - and - spot the (not deliberate mistake) I punched the holes and assembled it with the O wire at the bottom rather than the top! I display it because I love looking through all the tags - and it reminds me also that I have improved my BIA techniques since then!
The cork boards are my inspiration boards - which need updating - and a glitter picture my little grandson made for me for Christmas

Above my head a dried flower arrangement I made years ago - I hate dried flowers with a passion - but we had to do one - so that's how it ended up there. There is still a faint waft of lavender though.

On the other side of the beam are hooks for when I dry out my onion crop.

Well - this is the 'business' end. My desk with all my 'paper' craft supplies - all in one place. On the cross beam of the window is a little clock my friend LK (aka Kath) made me - its got a chicken on it - and its brilliant and right in front of me so I don't even have to move to check the time.

If you look to the left there is a pink shoe box (which has my paintbrushes and bits in it) on the front to the right, you might just make out my 'walkie talkie'. My younger son bought it for me a number of Christmasses ago so that I can contact my husband and he me - it comes in very useful, especially in the bad weather - I can summon him with a brolly!

Quite compact isn't it. So although the room is big my actual crafting space isn't. The bottle of water is for washing my brushes - no sink - or loo - sadly LOL

Nor do I have or can get 'on line' in here - not even 'wireless'. This old computer is very finicky and only works when it wants too. Its a weird fault that can't seem to be fixed. When it does work, I can use it just to print out any pictures - but that's all. It should be binned really - but it does come in useful sometimes - if it works LOL

My husband insists on calling here the 'Studio' which embarrasses me, as a studio conjures up a space where great works of art are produced - and looks far more professional than mine.

So that's it. Next week the floor at the other end in front of my flower arranging stuff will have trays of potatoes 'chitting', and in spring if I decide to hatch out quails again - they will be up that end too - so it can get a bit cramped in here!

This is used as a 'Wendy House', a theatre, and art and craft classroom, a 'get away from the grown ups' room by our grandchildren too.

The only downside is that it is at the (side) end of our garden - the furthest distance from the back door - so not much fun in winter or at night - but when my husband wins the lottery........................

Sunday 25 January 2009

Metal Work

I was rummaging in my studio and I heard 'thump' and bent down to see what had fallen down behind the shelves.

And found this.

I made this pewter plate 32 years ago - and now the 'art' is all the rage again.

I did evening classes in the little village I lived in, and remember covering wooden boxes with copper, making inlaid pictures in lids - in fact lots of things. I gave them all away as presents - but this one has been stuffed in the bottom of boxes, at the back of cupboards, etc each time I have moved home. It has taken quite a bashing over the years but seems to have survived unscathed.

As it is all the rage I thought I would resurrect it and put it on show in my 'studio' shed.

You may be wondering how I made the plate.

It started out as a piece of wood (plywood probably, I can't remember. MDF wasn't invented in those days.) It was cut out in the shape of a plate. I didn't cut it out - we used to buy 'things' from the tutor ready to cover.

I remember that I chose to use Pewter for a change - which was more challenging (and more expensive) than copper - so it took me quite a while to do. The back of the 'plate' is covered with black felt like material.

The metal came on a roll and we used to buy a piece of it. It didn't have a sticky back like you get today.

I remember, having finished it - I applied some patina to age it - and felt very pleased with myself as I think it must have taken a whole term to complete - and is probably the reason I hung onto it.

I still have a roll of copper - its rather thick though and has 'aged' with the patina look already. What am I saying 'already' I have had it 30 years!

I think the 'stuff' you get from 10 Second Studios is in sheets and probably and heck of a lot thinner - so I am not sure that this will be suitable for today's 'art'

Saturday 24 January 2009

Four hours later - the little recycled box is altered!

Here it is - finished at last. It looks nothing like the purple box in my last post does it?

Was it worth four hours work? I think so because I learned a lot!

I used up some scraps of turquoise card, stamped the image onto it and then embossed it to make her look all wet and shiny. I guess I have 'over used' this image lately haven't it - but never fear - I have ordered one or two stamps in the Graphicus Sale - so you will get to see some different things.

You can't see in the photo - but I shaded the card, and her with different blues - using pastel chalks, using a darker shade on her eye lids and lips. (I guess a mermaid might have blue lips LOL)

The box is now quite robust - I just have to make something to go in it now - its for a friend - as a surprise.

Along the top and side edges it is silver paint - layers of it - heated to make it bubble. Thought it would look like a pewter frame. Not sure if I should rub some alcohol ink on it to give that effect - or to leave it in case I mess it up!

This fits the this week's Lots to Do Challenge.

I cut out strips of the matching card to go on the sides - I did it properly - measured scored cut - had to do it in two pieces as I didn't have any more scraps of card left.

I used silver rub and buff paint - to rub on the sides, and them stamped swirls - to give the impression of waves rolling in.

Bottom of the box - quite tricky as I couldn't get the black ink to dry on the alcohol - so embossed it - that worked a treat!

I even stamped a square of silver card to go in the bottom.

Alcohol inked - and then stamped and embossed to give the feel of seaweed.

Friday 23 January 2009

I blame Craft Stamper Magazine for this.

Last month I was living blissfully unaware of lots of 'things'. I recycle everything I possibly can - and have done before it was 'fashionable'. I grow my own food, keep chickens and quail, and potter about trying to do some arty crafty stuff.

Cardboard tubes were saved for seed planting, cardboard for composting. But not now!

Cereal, tissue, in fact any boxes are now cut up to use for art work - covered in paper or painted for book covers - and now this!

The Craft Stamper magazine full of art work using recycled 'waste'.

I found these at the back of a drawer. They would normally have just gone in the recycle bin. But never again. I tried to throw them away, I really did, but kept retrieving them - feeling totally guilty that I wasn't doing some thing arty crafty with them.

So if the weather is bad and I can't do anything productive - then you will know where I will be and what I will be doing.

In my garden 'studio shed' trying to do something with these boxes - or one of them.

Oh dear - life is never going to be the same again methinks.

Thursday 22 January 2009

Altered Match Box

This is my first attempt at altering a little match box - this one is using Tim Holtz techniques.

It took three hours to alter this morning between phone calls.

I inked a piece of paper with a sponge dabber, in a soft lime colour, then with pale brown.

Cut out a piece of it to cover the match box, and then using an ink pad, brushed all the edges with brown ink to give it a bit of character and to emphasize all the straight edges.

I cut a long piece of the inked paper to make into a mini - book for the top of the matchbox.

One side I stamped the TH stamp 'Believe' in brown and embossed it with clear powder.

Then stamped scrolls in gold and embossed with gold to make it rich looking.

The other side of the 'book' has TH quote stamped in brown and again embossed with clear. More scrolls, and gold embossing around

I cut some more of the paper for each end of the 'drawer' and stamped scroll patterns and embossed with gold. Inside the 'drawer' is lined with gold paper - and bubbled up slightly to make it look like gold material

Then to finish it off - it is tied up with gold cord.

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Vintage Lotto

I go to college once a week and whilst in the town usually take advantage of wandering around the charity shops - and today - in my opinion - I struck lucky

I was thrilled to find this little box - tatty, brown with age - but I loved it. I don't know how old it is - but I am guessing maybe in the 1950's and can picture a little family, mum, dad, children, playing this on a Sunday afternoon in winter.

The lady in the charity shop seemed amazed at my being so enthralled at such tatty old junk. They had had it valued, and if the box had been intact and in good condition i.e. as new - it would have been worth something - but as it was - it was just junk.

Look at all the little cardboard numbers - dozens of them - and the lotto playing cards - I think they are brilliant - and those tiny circles for covering up the numbers you have called out!

These are destined to be used in my art work.

Genuinely old - not printed or tinted - but wonderfully aged - a bit like me really LOL

Monday 19 January 2009

Bamboo Dominoes for friends

One side of the book mark - varnished and edged with gold - with a bit of highlighting

Another bookmark for another friend - these have all been received, so I can blog them now.

The reverse side - a cute little vintage image, varnished several times, edged with gold.

Finished off with beads to match the colour of the little girl's Rose on her coat, and shells, I superglued on to the cord to weight the thong. The 'loose' beads slide down to the seashells.

The back of a little bag charm/keyring. Painted with Lumiere paints. Stamped and varnished

It a pretty pearlised charm, with white pearly beads and the pink one matches exactly. Not very good photos.


This is a lovely little image of Venice - Hmmm nice memories of Venice - my husband proposed to me at the stroke of midnight one New Year many years ago.

Painted with metallic Lumiere paint. Varnished and edged with Krylon Gold pen.

Its a bookmark.