Friday 28 May 2010

Alter it monthly - Tin Pan Alley

This is my entry for Alter it Monthly - where you have to use metal in your work

Zuzu says that we can use something we have made, not specifically for the challenge

So that's good as I haven't been able to do any crafting lately
Here is something I made earlier

 I made in December - it was a present for myself for my 60th birthday

Thursday 20 May 2010

New Stamps - Jo Capper Sandon's

I haven't been able to do any crafting - but today I did get more inspiration from the famous JCP

Firstly I received more of the stamps I ordered from Happy Daze (big link on the right hand side bar)
I am not 'just saying it' - but truly, the service from Moira is absolutely amazing.  I think that when you have your own company, and enjoy crafting too, you  have an understanding  and go 'that extra mile' to ensure that orders etc go out asap - especially when they come from overseas.  Thank you Moira.

So here's what arrived today.

I even cleared out a draw for them all to have their own space!
(I have room for a few more Jo if you get the creating rubber urge again)
It is going to be such a joy to create work having the right stamps for a change.  I know it shouldn't matter, but it gives me more confidence if I can start by having inspiration with the same stamps first, then once I get the hang of using them  -  I can create something in my 'own' style

Talking of which, I have been studying Jo's blog and have had a go at trying to take a better photo of my work.  Here is my first attempt.

I think it is an improvement on the previous photo of this tag

The idea was good - but didn't quite work - the proportions were all wrong.  I wanted to make the wooden shroom look like a shadow of the tag shroom.

If anyone has sent me something by Recorded Delivery - the postman came today - but stupid, stupid man stuck a card through the door, so I won't get it until Saturday now.

My lovely post lady Karen is on holiday this week, and she knows that I can't always hear the doorbell even though it is one of those you can plug in any room.  If she was delivering it, and I didn't go to the door, she would have seen all the windows wide open, noticed the car and trailer on my drive with work tools in and put two and two together thinking 'Ah Lottie is in, but out of ear shot of her bell.  There are obviously work men in the garden, so I'll shout or bang on the gate'.   Logical for us women isn't it....but NOT for a postman - who shoved all the other mail through the letterbox, stood and filled out the flipping card, and put that through too.  It would have been so much quicker to bang on the gate - he would have heard the men talking.

Ah well - I'll have something to look forward to  on Saturday now won't I.

Not been able to craft - won't bore you with the details, but Saturday or Sunday I hope to get going again.

Hmmmm    I wonder whose stamps I will use?

Oh I must just say this - I noticed that all JCP's stamps have her name on them - how cool is that huh?  Wouldn't you just love to have a stamp with your same on it - going all over the world, being bought by all sorts of people?     I know I would  - off to dream of world fame!

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Wow - You'll never guess - I am a WINNER!

You could have knocked me down with a feather when the postman brought a letter all the way from the USA addressed to me!

Thank  you to the incredibly kind - and talented Roni of Ink Stains  click the link to see the fantastic Steampunk style pendant I have won in her 400th follower blog giveaway.

It is every bit of lusciousness as it looks, and I am going to wear it with pride to college tomorrow to show it off.

Thank you so very much Roni - I have emailed you.


Monday 17 May 2010

Beautiful - but is it art?

It was just getting dark when we looked out our patio door from the lounge and spotted this hot air balloon

We almost had a visitor in our garden.  It flew over our garden then over our neighbours roof.

The pigeon seemed rather non-plussed

It was a beautiful sight

Off it flew with a whoosh and a whisper

Saturday 15 May 2010

It's Official - I am/was the first.

The last time I was the 'first' at anything of 'significance' was when I used to come first in the Parents Race at my sons school Sports Days - 30+ years ago.  They used to be very proud of me winning the races - especially as it meant they got to share the winnings - a bag of sweets or lollipops.

Before that it was when I was at senior school - when I used to win the races, high jump, long jump and hurdles!  (I learned to run and jump and climb at a very early age - being skinny, shy, wearing glasses and 'blessed' with titian hair,and freckles, it was of the utmost importance for 'survival' LOL)

So you can imagine my delight, that yesterday at the ripe old age of 60+ to learn that I was the first person in the United Kingdom to receive my Jo Capper Sandon designed stamps, and to blog them.

Just a bit of silliness to make you smile - as  I have visitors this weekend - and won't be able to have time to use the rest of them or to blog them.

Gosh - I was the first - fancy that - can you see my silly grin - it'll last all day?

Friday 14 May 2010

It's a giant schroom

I just couldn't wait to use my new stamps from Jo's Stampotique collection - which I bought from Moira's Happy Daze.    They didn't arrive until this afternoon - and I really should not have spent any time in my studio - but I just HAD  too.

On Jo's blog she has used this large schroom stamp - and it looks absolutely delightful on her project  - go and have a look.

I was on 'borrowed' time when I made this tag - I should have been making our tea.

I couldn't reproduce her fantastic double tag card - but I could just play to get the feel of the stamp.
I used a tag with K&Co paper on top.  As usual  it looks much better in real life.
I also used the free stamp from this months Craft Stamper magazine, and the mini bee from Jo's collection.

(I only made the one tag - but cos the light was so bad, I tried taking a photo on two different backgrounds.)

I will spend more time next week playing with them - I just need to get an ink pad or two.  The stamps are lovely to use as they are mounted on lovely thick and rounded wood.  They stamp really clearly too.  Most of my stamps are unmounted, and I do struggle at times to get a clear stamped image - usually resorting to standing on them (on the floor, I'm too old to do that on my craft table - in case some of you have over active imaginations!)  But these stamps are a joy to use - and I will definitely be getting some more of them.

Even Silence Speaks

My Jo Capper - Sandon designed stamps from Happy Daze arrived this afternoon!  They are the very first Stampotique stamps I have bought - and I am so thrilled that I did.

I would love to have bought the whole set - well who wouldn't huh?  But the ones I don't have will have to wait for a month or two.

I bought the quote as it is very special to me, as I am sure it will be for  many others.  It speaks volumes and can be used for many occasions.
So is Jo's other quote - that's on my 'wish list'

Please don't compare this with Jo's - there is no comparison (I can only dream!)

The colours are more vibrant in real life.  I painted with inks directly onto the card,  which gives the effect of layers of grass, rather than a solid block of greens.  The sky was done the same way.   I forgot to do the sun - doh - never mind, I am sure that I will be using these stamps a lot.

I would love to have made mine as professional looking as Jo's - with layers of card matting etc - but I am no way near that standard, nor have the selection of stash to do it justice.

For now, I am just so happy to be the beautiful young girl, daydreaming in a meadow, surrounded by daisies, with a beautiful honey bee collecting pollen.

Thank you Jo for the inspriration you have given me with these stamps - even if I did 'copy' in part your layout!

And thank you to Moira of Happy Daze for sending out the stamps, carefully packaged.

More creations will follow next week.  We have family staying this weekend.

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Butterflies - oh how I just love butterflies

When I went into the EACH charity shop last Wednesday as I usually do, I was looking around and the lady there said, 'Oh hello, you're the bag lady aren't you.'  It really made me smile.  She meant of course that I am the lady who decorates bags - rather than one who lives out of bags!

I have made two like this - not identical.  The image comes from a greetings card, painted by a lady in our Lipreading class - who paints stunning watercolours and has them printed onto cards.

Our tutor is retiring at the end of the summer term, and I suggested a bag as one of her presents - using Dawn's artwork.   I used a different method of image transfer - and it took a bit of getting used too.  The image didn't turn out as bright as I would have liked - so not true to her painting - so  I spent a couple of hours painting over it with acrylic paints and alcohol inks.

It positively glows now, and close up you can see, and feel the textures of the paints.

I will get everyone to sign the butterfly card and pop it in the bag

I hope that she will like it!

Friday 7 May 2010

I may be a bit quiet ......

I might be a tad bit quiet on the arty crafty side of life for a little while we are tackling a makeover in the garden, plus keeping everything ship shape on the allotment - and now I have a vast amount of pricking out and potting up seedlings galore.

All you which you can keep track on here 

Or look at the posts in my side bar under Allotment Lady

I can't keep my eyes open - had a tiring day.

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Yes you've guessed - another bird on a newspaper page

Yes - we get chaffinchs too in our garden
Close up of the layers of paint and the paint stamping
The page in situ - copied print on white paper, torn, and painted with water colours to make it look a bit more original

This is the last one for now - but I do intend to add lots more to this book

Thank  you for looking at this so far and for your very encouraging comments

You either love them or hate them - but you have to admit they are stunning

Yes it is the Starling.
He's coloured with copics over watercolours

So, are they thieving thugs in your garden?  Or gorgeous shimmery irridescent rainbow works of art?  I do have a love/hate relationship with starlings.  I marvel at their gorgeous colours in the sunshine, and their sharp brain - but now and again I do despair when they arrive in 'gangs' and 'hog' all the seeds!

Another newspaper page - painted with acrylics in layers.  Image printed onto white paper and painted with the hope that I have captured his colours.

I rather like him anyway
Off to make another

Have you guessed yet which book the images came from?

I'll tell you tomorrow

Monday 3 May 2010

Great tits and Blue tits - newspaper pages.

These are visitors to our garden too - and we have fledgeling blue tits in the bird house right now!
Another page for my book of garden birds
Created the same way as the others - 10 pieces of newspaper glued together and painted with a mixture of acrylic paints. 

Over-stamped with acrylic paint.  Image printed onto white paper, painted with water colours, and the birds and twigs painted with a mixture of water colours and acrylic paints.

Another page tomorrow

Sunday 2 May 2010

More recycled newspaper pages for the book

Layers of paint on the newspaper page

Then stamped with thick acryllic paint
Although the picture is copied from THE book -  I have painted all over it, the bird, each leaf, each flower, each stem - to make it look more like an original
I am pleased with the texture on the backing pages - like thick oil painting.
This bird is another regular visitor to our garden, and I hope that the image looks like a vintage watercolour painting

Craft Stamper - May magazine

 In the May issue of Craft stamper, there were some great projects - and I have been working on one of them on and off for a while now.

It was to make a book out of recycled materials - by Katy - very inspiring, and the great thing is that you can keep adding pages, to build up a nice journal.

The covers were made out of a cut up cardboard box.

Here is my effort.

This is part of a sheet of pre-printed paper.  What you can't see is that it has lots of texture where I have painted over it, stamped, and embossed - and have used a gold spray in parts too.  I tore up scraps of paper and stamped and painted those, and made them into a distressed flower and added a button.

I did the same with the back cover - you can see on this a bit better the colouring and metallic paints.
The butterfly I stamped onto painted paper, and the body and the spots are made from layers of stickles and sparkle in the light

The cardboard is rather thick, so I have punched holes for book rings.

I have also made a start on the internal pages.

This is the inside cover - I have painted it with metallic paint and experimented with stamping with paint.  I was quite pleased with the paper 'bag' I made with the little blue egg 'in' it.

This is really fun to make and a great opportunity to try out all different techniques.

You need to tear sheets of newspaper to just under the size of the book covers.  It takes ten sheets of paper for each page - then glue them together.  They are meant to look 'ragged'.

I used different layers of paint combinations.  I did the gluing and sticking over a few days as they needed to be left to dry - ditto the painting of each one of them.

This is the book made up - I had to balance it on a box so that you could get an idea of the fringing.
The pages look askew as I have had to  open them to balance the book.

I decided to make this book to celebrate the magical moment a little while ago, when I sat in the shade in my garden and heard all sorts of bird song.

These pages are to celebrate the thrushes that visit our garden.

I painted the pages before I decided on a theme - so they are not very colour co-ordinated - but great practice experimenting.  I have tried to make the paper look vintage and aged, and the thrush in the nest I have copied from a book, and sketched over it and shaded it.  I bet you can guess the book I have used.   If you can't today  -  you will absolutely know when you see the other pages I have made.

Saturday 1 May 2010

Same - but different

I made another flower arrangement yesterday - the same basic style but in a modern fashion - two extremes!

The previous one was in a traditional style and this one arranged in 'modern' style.  I found this one really hard to make.  I used Aspidistra leaves - four of them, and had to manipulate them to cover two blocks of floral foam, by curling them and weaving them - and that ended up looking like a sculpture before I added the flowers and texture foliage.

The tulips I wove in and out of the swirled leaves and pinned them in curves - and yesterday they were all flat.  Then this morning when I got up, they had decided that they wanted to look at the sunshine!
So gradually turned their little heads right the way up!

I guess they liked looking at themselves in the mirror.  It's quite a nice effect as I only used one bunch of ten tulips, but the reflection makes it look as though there are double the amount.
Here is the traditional arrangement.
Totally different.
Nothing gets wasted - I even made a simple vase arrangement out of the scrappy left overs - the stalks I took out of the leaves in the modern arrangement, the left over flowers and some Eucalyptus from the garden.  I have even pinched out some little 'stalks' and hope to grow them on as cuttings.

All this for £18.50 - plus £5 for my share of the cost of the village hall I went to - a bargain I reckon!