Thursday 27 August 2009

Just a card - The Blue Lady

I was browsing through a CD I bought years ago of Victorian images, looking for something to inspire me - and came across this one. I have always loved this picture and decided I would try and make a card out of it.

(click to enlarge)

I inked and stamped a background first to mat it on.

I very very carefully, using a toothpick and glue, added some glitter to highlight her heavily embroidered gold layer of gown - around the neckline and hem. That took ages to do, but it 'real life' it really lifts it and gives it a rich texture, and accentuates and adds weight to her heavy gown.

It's only a simple card - but I just love the image. I might print her on to material.

My next foray into the 'arty crafty' world is to try and make a bag.........
it will take some time I am sure - so don't expect any posts about it real soon.

My project today is to process a carrier bag full of French beans - which I picked from my allotment - to freeze for the winter!

A bird does not sing............

Still using the deconstructed, soaked cardboard box paper. This time a tag using a stamp from the Serenity plate as before.

(click to enlarge)

I am still experimenting with fabrics and stamping etc. This time I have used a canvas type cotton, and cut out the area I wanted. I carefully cut out around the birds and butterflies. I wanted to accentuate the two tiny birds singing to each other - they are so tiny that I thought they got somewhat 'lost' in the over all design of the stamp, but by using the fabric the contrast between that and the cardboard accentuates them.

Monday 24 August 2009

Serenity - on recycled brown card and swatch sample

You might not be too impressed with these looking at the photos (click to enlarge) but in 'real life' I really like them.

These are still using the cardboard box layers - and this tag is a recognisable tag shape for a change.

The reason I like these is because of the textures and colouring.

Another experiment stamping on a very textured scrap of upholstery material - just as small sample I had. Every time I look at them I 'see' different things.

The stamp is from the 'Serenity' plate - which I bought from Happy Daze. When you hold one in your hand and really study it - you can see not only the stamping, but all sorts of scenery created by the random colours.

The two images look so different don't they when stamped on material. This was a large piece of the cardboard layers which I folded in half. If you look closely you can see that where I frayed the top, the fraying almost looks like tree branches, and the shape continues on the brown paper where I stamped and offset the tree image underneath.

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More brown cardboard tags

As you can see from my post below - you get quite a lot of paper from a small cardboard box, once it has been soaked and the layers magically come apart

Lots to do challenge this week is paper - and I have sure been experimenting with it!

(click photos to enlarge for a closer look)

When I ripped this piece from a large bit - one side of it looked roughly like a heart shape - so that's what I made from it. The corrugated cardboard got a swipe of white chalk in first - which gives a lovely vintage feel to it. Crafty Individual vintage images, and scraps of paper, lace, nylon, and bits and bobs.

As you can see from the back - it's not really a heart shape - but by adding layers of material etc you can make a torn piece of paper into any shape you like.

This one does look rather nice in real life.

'The rites of spring' hasn't photographed very well - it's hard to see the transparent pale blue nylon scraps which match the doll's dress which the little girl is holding. You can see a piece I cut and stamped and glued to the cream material though. In natural light it has a lovely silvery shimmery to it which catches the light.

Recycling Experiment

Fill a sink with water

Add a cardboard box and let it soak

Then it will just all peel off - like material and when dry - gives you soft pieces to play with.

So I am playing making tags.

Just experimenting with textures, stamps, and layout. The button really is a vintage complete with the vintage cotton.

I haven't punched the holes in a couple of them yet as I am not sure if I want to layer them on top of something else.

The back of the label has label too!

Images are by Crafty Individuals - People and Places Book

Sunday 23 August 2009

Do you get times when you just can't feel inspired?

Well I am going through one of those spells now.

I forced myself out into the studio this afternoon - but really couldn't think of anything I wanted to do.

After sitting on my office chair eating a choc - ice and just lazily spinning around, my eye fell on my mobile phone - wishing it to ring - but it didn't!

It's ugly - so I made a bag to hide it!

Yet another recycling project.

I want to try to make bag - or two, so for now I am just playing about on a smaller scale, seeing what happens on a huge learning curve.

I found a bit of cut up curtain with the lining still intact, so that made life easier. Just cut out a bag free hand,to include the hem. So it was already lined! Sewed it inside out like a tube, flattened it and the sowed the bottom seam - so that there was a seam at the back in the middle and the bottom. It is so long since I had used my sewing machine, I had forgotten how it worked!

My heart is just not 'in' to doing anything at the moment - but you have to try don't you?

I frayed some scraps and stamped the cream piece and sewed those on. The vintage image is printed on Pabric.

She is holding a silver feather charm - I wish I had a 'flapper' fan for her to hold instead!

I partly covered her with netting to 'soften' the image a bit. The light makes it look like there is glue all over it - but there isn't its how the netting on top of the nylon underneath which has made it look like that.

At the back I have punched two holes applied silver rivets (or whatever those round rings are called) and threaded through a chain. This will enable me to attach it to a bag handle (inside) so that I can find it easily, or to thread a lanyard or ribbon or chain through it - so that I can wear it around my neck when I am gardening etc.

Well I had better go and clear up my mess and pack everything away. Phew, I wish we could have a nice cool day!

Friday 21 August 2009

I bet you thought........................

It's all very well doing one side of the purse - but what does the back look like. As I intend to use it every day, I spent some time yesterday late afternoon playing - when the heat had died down - it was so peaceful in my garden

I am struggling a bit without many scraps to play with so the back is just plain and simple.

Firstly I had to cover the now very thin material underneath and patch up where it was falling apart. Then I cut a piece of scrap cotton to cover the material of the purse - using Bondaweb to give it support. Next a layer of the thin grey net again bonded.

On top of that a scrap - and it was the only scrap I had - of red thin nylon which I have coloured with Promarkers which I hope makes it look like a stylistic rose - and tucked under some more petals which I cut out of the grey and mounted on Vylene (sp).

I didn't have enough to cover the whole side, so found a piece of fibre thread kindly given to me by my friend 'Lazy Kay' a year or so ago - and who is not the slightest bit lazy I hasten to add! There was just enough to cover the gap, so I drizzled on some fabric friendly glue then patted on the fibre.

Voila - job done. It sits lovely in the hand and feels soft and comfy - sounds silly - but you don't want anything sticking out and scratchy - it might put you off spending!

Thursday 20 August 2009

Worn out shabby little coin purse - now Shabby Chic

The Lots to Do Challenge
this week is a 'free choice' so here is my entry.

Haruko, my daughter in law, bought me this purse as a present from Japan many many years ago. I am afraid that I loved it so much it wore out!

For once - this looks better in the photo than in real life. But it is faded, and worn - but being the sentimental old thing that I am, I treasure gifts, whatever they are, and wanted to keep using it as it means such a lot to me.

So from Japanese - to Shabby Chic!

More teensy bits of scraps. Layering with Bondaweb to make it strong so that it lasts a lot longer.

I cut out roughly a piece of cream cotton and frayed it, and bonded straight onto the purse in one go to make a strong base and to reinforce the thinning material of the purse. Then I made up a little collage of layers of netting, thin nylon, etc, fraying each layer.

I cut some transparent nylon scraps into leaf and petal shapes and bonded those to Vylene (sp?) to give them strength so that they kept their shape - then added little oddments of lace.

The image is a free one but cut right down to just the face and neck - and printed onto Pabric adhesive material sold by Crafty Computer Paper. This is different to the dry Decal, which is more like a film. The Pabric is a material and boy does it print well on an inkjet printer. I couldn't believe my eyes. I only have an old printer and don't use the manufacturer's ink refills as they are so expensive for the use I get out of it. The images printed better than they do on paper! The face looks and feels like material with a sticky back - and was so easy to use! I used lace etc to the right hand side where her shoulders would be to create the impression of her dress with a collar. Her 'scarf' is a tiny scrap of ribbon - that was so difficult to tie!

I think I might have messed it up with the 'Divine' stamped on material, but its not so 'in your face' when you see in on the purse - and I can easily remove it by warming it and peeling it off - I will look out for something else to go there
instead. Edited to say - that I have taken of the 'Divine' - easy peasy - and will re-work that part of the purse. Will have a play around with it.

The finished purse is now soft and strong - with the layers of materials - looks a bit harsh in this photo - but that's because it is a close up!

What it does mean to me is that I now have a purse that I can use again - with a new lease of life!

Updated photo

I needed a bit of distraction this afternoon so played around with the purse some more.

I have changed the lace around her neck and added some sequins - just happened to find one of those tiny little bags they attach to clothing with a few oddments in. Why I kept them I never know - but I do now - they will come in handy. I also outlined all the leaves with Rose Pink Promarker pen.

Still not 100% happy with it - but for a first attempt I should be!

Thanks for looking and your comments

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Bamboo tile - disaster

I had a real disaster after making this pendant. As an afterthought I decided to spray it with a varnish - which worked fine - but this is the 'before' photo so it doesn't look show.

I also decided to super-glue the bottom bead in place. I have done this many times before when I made lots for Christmas - and never had any problems - but today was different.

I managed to drop the bottle of Superglue (without it's screw top lid on) as I was using a cocktail stick to apply it, because the nozzle got glued up months ago.

It poured all over my craft mat and things on it (luckily not many) but it also poured over my hand as I went to pick it up with kitchen roll. The result was all my fingers got stuck together, my wedding and engagement rings did too - and my nails were stuck to my fingers - not nice.

If ever it happens to you - get your hands into warm soapy water as quickly as you can, use lots of soap and a nail brush. I manage to get all my fingers apart fairly easily - the rings took a bit longer and the glue under the rings longer still! The next step is to use lots of nail polish remover and soak the glue off - then repeat the soapy scenario. I am still picking off flakes! My hands and fingers are so sore - but thank goodness I did not get any on the top of my hands - that would have been a total disaster!

The image looks lovely and crisp and darker in real life - again my lousy photography - it might have something to do with it being a bright sunny day. (I am running out of excuses now!)

Just a plain bamboo tile, the image printed onto dry decal paper from Crafty Computer Paper as before, cut to size and applied. I used a black pen to outline the edges and sides, a black 'thong' threaded through and a bead at the bottom to finish it off.

I am so pleased with this 'in the flesh' as it were, that I am going to keep it myself and wear it.

Unlike the super glue - which is in the bin - and I will never use it again!

Recycling - tomato puree tube

Or is it upcycling now?

Still dabbling with metal after the tutes in the Time for Crafting on line magazine.

How can you get a good photo of shiny metal - I wish I knew.

You will have to trust me when I say that it really does look better in real life. The image I applied using dry decal paper from Crafty Computer Papers is so much clearer than it looks on here, and doesn't look as shiny, as I used a bit of black alcohol ink to make it look vintage!

I cut two pieces of metal - one for the front - and embossed one for the back, then glued them together. Added the image - which has a glue backing so makes it easy to do - crimped the edges with pliers and punched a hole, added the rivet - job done! Great fun

Shabby Chic Experiments

I have been playing around today - the first time in days that I have had any time to do so - and I have made this Shabby Chic Brooch.

I can't seem to photograph things very well lately - maybe I need a new camera!

I was inspired by seeing Lilla's work so thought I would have a go - but without all her lovely vintage materials she has collected over many years.

I started with a scrap of material - thick cotton and green. I cut two pieces one for the back and one for the front, which I frayed, and bound them together with Bondaweb, and stitched on a brooch pin to the back.

I chose two different scraps of netting - a fine mesh and an open one, and bonded those together, between which I put a piece of thick plastic which came with the decal paper. Using Dry Decal paper from Crafty Computer Papers I printed out an image and it is self adhesive so it stuck really well to the material.

I 'poured' some seed beads in her hair and 'pooled' some Diamond Glaze over them - they look lovely 'in real life' and really catch the light.

I finished it off with two corners of gold mesh (top right and bottom left) - which in the photo, for some reason, look cream!

Sunday 16 August 2009

Shabby Chic BIA book

Something completely different from me this time - which fits the challenge nicely on Simon Says to make anything but a card.

I ordered a lovely hand made shabby chic bag from the USA (its not here yet), which fired me with inspiration - so I thought I would have a rummage around and have a play.

This is total rubbish compared with the work of art I have ordered - but it got me thinking, and made a nice change - and importantly I spent a couple of fun afternoons creating it.

(Click photos to enlarge)

Scraps of old lace curtain for the base, then a scrap of lavender coloured satin, which I frayed like crazy. A scrap of grey lace on top of that. a small square of satin again, frayed.

Paper image from Crafty Individuals from their People and Places book. I distressed the edges TH style, overlaid with gauze.

A jumble of grey threads and white beads - all sewn together - yes I actually managed to thread a needle with a bit of help! Stamp post mark and Divine from K&Co.

Then I thought - hmm what am I going to do with this now! So I made something useful - a BIA book which I will use to replace my old address book. I stamped the covers with the background Lace stamp from CHF

Then attached a deep purple lace strip to act as a tie, then glued the little patchwork on top.

The back cover was decorated with strips of the materials I used for the front - just glued on - and the other piece of lace strip as a tie. Stamped a flourish to finish it off

I have put acetate pages over the front and back covers to protect it.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Flower Power

There were lots of inspiring things to make in this months' Craft Stamper magazine. One of the articles which caught my eye - was by Jo Capper Sandon

She turned a small metal pail into an unusual and summery 'photo frame' with a gorgeous photo of one of her sons blowing bubbles.

I am not sure about copyright 'rules' otherwise I would have scanned the article and put it in this post.

Anyway - I sent off for the rubber stamp plate of flowers that she used to have a go myself.

But then I couldn't find a pail so gave up.

Then today, when I spent a little time in my studio and was stuck for ideas, I had another look at the article - and realised, that these are for inspiration - and not meant to be copied religiously.

So I looked again at the plate of flower heads - and had previously been daunted at the prospect of cutting them all out individually. After re-reading the article, I realised that I didn't 'have' to.

I got out some 'free' paper I received with a purchase - which I couldn't use for anything and started stamping!

I stamped the whole plate in one go - and voila - from 'rubbish paper' pretty coloured flowers started to emerge.

Here are some samples of what I have been doing. I can now cut the petals, give them some shape, add ink, or gems, in fact they can be coloured and tinted for whatever project I do.

I am not too sure about the 'loud' striped ones - of which I have only cut out a few - but the shades of blue I like. The cream ones have lots of potential (the paper had thin brown random flowers on it all over - really not 'me' as they were - well I didn't like the paper - enough said.) Stamped with flower heads the brown flower pattern disappears completely!

I was looking on some blogs at some gorgeous cards people had made. One lady had made a fantastic card and added flowers as a corner and side border - I counted them - there were over 30 prima type flowers, roses, all sorts. It did look stunning, but the cost of the flowers would have been out of my budget.

I know you can't compare these with purchased flowers - but I intend to stamp them on all different coloured papers, tint them, and mix and match and layer etc.

So whilst I didn't get to make the photo pail - I have been inspired by Jo to think 'laterally' and used just one of her ideas.

It was actually relaxing and fun just stamping and cutting out, whilst looking out of the window at my garden, watching my chickens playing in the rain!

It has also made me look quite differently at scraps and oddments of paper that would otherwise have been headed for the recycle bin!

Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces just arrived

Remember the little lace vintage jigsaw puzzle book I made for the swap on UK Craft Stampers?

Well the postman has just been and this is what he delivered.

The artist is called Piney. Thank's Piney - just off to the forum to thank you on there.

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Gorjuss Angel Chunky Book

No pressure today - so just played about with a Gorjuss Angel - and coloured her with Promarkers.

I made a chunky book with lots of A4 sheets of paper - and navy blue mount board - and my trusty BIA machine.

Monday 10 August 2009

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Ruby Wedding Anniversary Gift

I have been working on this book for days - my original plan having been scuppered when the promised scans of photos did not materialize.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

We are going to a Ruby Wedding Anniversary party and I wanted to make a nice keepsake book for them - with photos taken over the years. It wasn't meant to be I guess, so I had a rethink and decided to make a book that all the family and friends could leave messages in.

I made some thick acetate covers for the outsides - which I embossed along the top and bottom edges - which I hope might protect the cover pages from mucky fingers.

This book is about half A4 size. I coloured all the flowers with a copic marker,

Ditto their initials, frame, and numbers, so that they all looked like red velvet and matched. The little vintage lace flowers are the same colour as the ribbon, which I mounted on plasterers joining mesh which I cut in half lengthwise. The remnants of which I used with the ribbons to tie it all together (No pun intended)

The inside covers of the front and back pages have the same paper as the front and back covers - and with personal messages on them so I won't show you those.

I cut all the pages into large tags.

One side of each inside page is stamped with a pattern etc with a blank 'plate' to write a message on. Below are just a sample of some of the pages there are too many to photograph and blog.

The reverse of the stamped pages have all different stamped images - with blank spaces for the messages. I used Tim Holtz stamps from Happy Daze

In between every 'pair' of pages is another with a poem on it.

I embossed some of the poem pages to add texture and interest- but each is the same colour 'ties in' with the overall theme

Not to everyone's taste - but I am an old romantic at heart

That's it - finished - a bit like marriage - 'For Better Or For Worse' - I tried my best.

After finally completing, after days of hard work and many aborted pages and ideas, I showed it to my husband just before he went out, and his parting words to me were...................

'I'm not being funny, and its nothing to do with your book, but I don't think that people who are having a good time and are drinking or drunk would be bothered with signing a book'.

(Anyone know the number of a quick locksmith!)

Friday 7 August 2009

Recycled Metal

After seeing Sara's tutorials on her Time for Crafting site I decided to have another play with metal and came up with this.

I have made this for the Lots To Do Challenge Blog this week - to make something out of recycled stuff.

You can't get more recycled than this! It is meant to look old and grungey.

It is made totally out of a tomato puree tube.

I opened it up, washed it, flattened it, and cut out some petal shapes. Then I used a bit of the tube that I hadn't roughed up - and glued it behind to make the blue petals, and bent the tube over at the back to totally enclose it. Punched hole with my Cropodile, added rivets to secure it and make it strong - and a bit of old flower arranging wire I found in my 'rubbish' when I was clearing out.

The 'seeds' I wrote backwards on the front of the tube with a biro, and then kept going over it - the gold is the inside of the tube - and I roughed that up with some sandpaper.

It is a label for my seed box!

Painting with purple

I have been working up my allotment every day this week, and thank goodness for rain, so I have an excuse to stay at home and play.

Not much to show for it though as I am struggling to make a book for a Ruby Wedding Anniversary party, so I decided to take some time out just to play with purple!

I am still on my slow cardmaking journey - so very basic beginners work, but I did have fun experimenting with colouring, not only the Gorjuss stamped image, but also the flower, and vintage lace.

So long as I have some fun - then I am a happy bunny, as being retired, this is just playtime for me - no pressure!

Monday 3 August 2009

Play day today - experimenting with ink

I purposely stamped the birds and the quotation in grey as I wanted the tree to be the prominent feature.

I was trying to capture the heat at the end of the day in Africa - I wish I had bought that TH plate of rubber stamps which had the elephant on it!