Saturday 31 October 2009

definitely a treat!

This treat comes courtesy of Jennie at the Artistic Stamper!  She's definitely getting into the spirit of Halloween, and all you have to do is leave a comment before Mon eve then post the blog candy and link on your blog!  But the treat doesn't stop there!  Even if you're not a winner of that yummy Tim candy, you can get 10% of any orders this weekend, just by putting 'Halloween' in the discount box.  Check out the Mabel Lucie Attwell stamps ... soooo cute!!!

I got these Karantha stamps from Jennie a few weeks ago now and decided to make a quick tag with them this evening.  The background is made using Adirondack Colourwash butterscotch and wild plum, and the lettuce Acrylic paint dabber.

mmm, now I reckon that miniature film ribbon'd look good amongst the ribbons on this tag!!!
Oh, and I coloured the diamantes with alcohol ink :)

Friday 30 October 2009

busy, busy, busy

On holiday on the Isle of Wight this summer we had one very wet day which Sophie, Tom and I spent in a lovely secondhand bookshop.  It had a great crafts section and I picked up this book, c 1946 as paper sculpture has fascinated for ages.  And this is where I found the pattern for yesterday's rose.

Today I've been prepping pages for my sample journal pages for Wendy at the Stamp Attic.  I'm teaching a class at the end of November.  Sophie joined in and I just love the start of this page :)  She made some 'splats' with the dabbers then 'drew' lines with the dabbers diagonally across the page.

Just Us Girls challenge #4

This fairly new challenge blog has a different type of challenge each week, and this week's challenge was to use a 3d flower.  Now I'd love to make some with a heap of tissue paper or similar at some point, but just this morning I was looking at a paper sculpture book I bought in the summer.  I'll show it to you tomorrow when there's better light or taking pics.

So here's my 3d flower on a gift tag shaped card:

I added stamping and stitching to my flower before attaching it together.  And sorry Wendy, that blue background piece was supposed to be a journal page but it got nicked for this card :)  It's hard to see in this image so I'll post better pics tomorrow but it does have texture in the paint. [Edit: photos replaced ]

Thursday 29 October 2009

the play date cafe creativity challenge #2

Hello everyone!  We're all thrilled that so many joined in with our first challenge and we hope you continue to play as each of the design team take their turn to host the challenge. 

It's my turn to host this week and my inspiration comes from looking at the autumn trees.  The ones I have enjoyed the most are the ones with orange and yellow leaves, where the dark brown trunk stands out in stark contrast. Hence my choice of colours for the challenge. I hope you enjoy working with these brights this week, contrasting them with dark brown/black. I'm soooo excited to see what you do with this colour choice :)

I really struggled to capture the colours on the trees, despite seeing so many of them; the best ones I saw didn't have anywhere to stop and take pics!!!  But I LOVED using these colours in my piece.  I decided to use my Stampington Papillion stamp that I've had for ages but not used...

[sorry the card is slightly bent so doesn't look straight, I promise you it is!!! ]
I never really used to use yellow in my work, I tend to be someone who uses all 'similar' colours eg shades of blue, blues and greens etc, but a couple of years ago I decided to try and broaden my use of colour.  Paddy uses a lot of greens and yellows in her work and I love how she puts colours together that I'd never think of, yet produce a piece I love.  It's one of the reasons I'm thrilled to be involved in the colour challenges at the Play Date Cafe; I'm hoping to continually expand my horizons!

The background is card sprayed with sticky fingers summer ink - buttercup.
I stamped the papillion image with black ink but went over this with a paintbrush using Distress Ink Walnut Stain when I painted the 'jacket'.  All other images are stamped using the Distress Ink Walnut Stain.  The tiny writing is off one of the new paper artsy clocks sheets, Clocks 1.
The butterfly wings are painted with Stewart Gill True Colours Mandarin and Citrus.
I printed the words from the computer using a free font I found a while back called 'Mom's Typewriter'.

Now don't forget to check out Alison, Sandi and Julie's blogs to see their interpretations of this colour combo, then get crafting and join in the fun!

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Steampunk Art Exhibition, Oxford

I just LOVED this exhibition and could have stayed looking at some of the pieces all day!  Not something my soon-to-be-fifteen son understood!  Although the children enjoyed it, they didn't want to stay as long as me. It's on 'til Feb '10 though so I may get another trip in, especially as I'm teaching at The Stamp Attic at the end of November :)

I didn't take loads of photos; I wasn't sure at first that you were allowed, but you could as long as flash wasn't used.  Don't you just love this dog?  And the same artist, Stephane Halleux, made some people too...

At the beginning of the exhibition there were some helmets and goggles, which were fun, but my very favourites were the clocks by Eric Freitas.  I would just love one of these in my house

In fact, there were a few pieces I would love in my house!  How funky to have such different pieces around.  I'd love to learn metalwork and clockwork so I could make something like this.

Sorry about the shadow on the wall, the pieces were brightly lit.  Aren't those words fabulous thought,' three' and 'six'.  Of course there were a lot more pieces but I don't want to spoil it for those who can visit.  I will share some more photos another day though.

It's my choice of colours for the play date cafe tomorrow.  The posts get published at midnight EST which is too early for me to get up, but those in the US will probably wait up to see them, I know the rest of the design team do :)  I've loved meeting lots of new people through this challenge this week, and would like to say a special thankyou to all those who visited my blog for the first time and/or became followers :)

Sunday 25 October 2009

off on a trip

I've been working on the next play date cafe colour challenge today so I can't show you I'm afraid.  Except to say it's my choice of colours this week so I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone does with them :)

I thought I'd show you a page from my ideas journal.  I've kept these for a number of years now and use them to make notes on workshops, try out new products, stamps or ideas, and keep a record of artists I admire.  When Julie gave us her colours, I needed to get my journal out to play with the supplies I had in those colours as they're not ones I use very often. I also wanted to use my new character constructions stamps in the piece so I stamped them up to get a feel for the images.  Playing like this before settling down to an idea really helps me get the ideas flowing. Although sometimes they just 'happen', like RSS week 8, that one I just sat down and made!  How do you get your ideas flowing?  Do you keep an ideas journal, or do you just get stuck in?

I'm off to Oxford in the morning with my three children.  We're going to see the first Steampunk Art exhibition [my husband declined the offer, it's not very 'him'!], I can't wait!!!  Squeezing in a trip to Wendy's Stamp Attic of course whilst we're down there :)

Saturday 24 October 2009

Ready Steady Stamp: Week 8

I've needed just a real 'play' with my art stuff recently and this week's RSS caught my eye as being the exact things to be playing with! I adore snowflake images, and I have some Rock Candy Crackle paint that I got from Jennie at the Port Sunny show.  [I've mislaid all my stuff from there when tidying last week but this got put in my shoulder bag so it was findable - I should never tidy up, it doesn't work ;) ].  I've had a lovely, relaxing afternoon and am very pleased with the result :)

This time the stamp image really is Inkadinkado: Holiday Sentiments!!  I got it from Wendy at the Stamp Attic a few weeks ago :) And that perfect Christmas Greeting?  That's from Jill at the Stamp Man.  It's a great sheet that I'll be sharing with you over the next few weeks :)

Friday 23 October 2009

a quick card

It was really quick as I'd already made those ATCs yesterday.  I needed a birthday card today so I grabbed one and made this with it.  Do you ever hold the card at a funny angle so you can glance at it, or leave it on the side so you can glance when you're passing?  I do this when I'm not quite sure of it.  Blogging helps too (although it's been sent now so it's too late!);  I think this needed punched fallen leaves around the bottom corner, not flowers!  Pleased with it though.

Thursday 22 October 2009

the stamp does it all!

Sometimes the stamp image is just so lovely that it doesn't need much else.  That's how I felt with this tree which I think is Inkadinkado [EDIT: no it's not, it's Autumn Leaves Stampology: Wild Trees, sorry!].  The colours from the play date cafe colour challenge have been going through my head all day, to the extent I've been spotting autumn leaves in these colours LOL.  Anyway, I decided to do some quick ATCs (hope you like it Karen).  I used Adirondack colourwash spray in butterscotch, spraying the card with water after to create the 'blobs'; a Colorbox reddish brown and Nick Bantock charcoal grey to stamp the paperbag studios hole punched; and finally stamped the tree in black.  My colorbox tuscany set has the yellow ochre, reddish brown and grey next to it in the palette!  I couldn't believe it when I saw it!!

STOP PRESS...stop press...STOP PRESS...stop press...STOP PRESS
:) :) :) I made it onto another design team.  The lovely Wendy Gale from the Stamp Attic asked me and I said

the play date cafe is officially

I'm feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness.  I can't wait to see what you all do with this colour challenge, especially our brand new design team whose blogs I'm heading straight over too!!!  And my fingers are crossed that you like my contribution!

Soooooo, here were the colours Julie challenged us with

And here's what I did

I used my new, slightly mad, character constructions stamps from Wendy's Stamp Attic to make this little book.  Then added washers, press studs and Tim Holtz gears, and hinges from B&Q! 

To get the colours needed I used card stock in a burgundy and a yellow ochre, raisin adirondack spray (over Tim Holtz alphabet masks on the background piece), grey Nick Bantock ink and regular black ink. 

I made the book by folding 5 pieces of card and using sticky tape to attach them together.  The hinges were attached with eyelets because I couldn't find my brads!!  I attached the hinges to the front cover, then the back cover, then inserted the inner pages.
Can't wait to see what you create!  Go to Julie's Open Window and add your blog post via Mr Linky.  Have fun!

Wednesday 21 October 2009

and breathe...

What I really want to do is shout AAAARRRRGGGHHH!  The Play Date Cafe starts tomorrow [don't forget, if you add the above image to your blog sidebar and leave a comment on Julie's blog you're in with the chance of some one of a kind blog candy] and my picture editing software has died!  It wouldn't crop earlier so I duly switched my laptop off and back on again [the answer to everything in IT], and now it won't even open the photos!!!

Don't worry, I'll find another way to do it ready for tomorrow.  But to keep me calmer, and to add a bit of pictorial interest to my post, here's the lovely Vernon Kay!

ps a colleague of mine was on a course last week, in the same building as Vernon!!!  He was doing  a journalism course.
pps  aaarrrgh, now virgin tv isn't working

Sunday 18 October 2009

the trouble is

I can't share what I've been working on this weekend!  But what I can share is this

It's the first exhibition of Steampunk art at the museum of the history of Science at Oxford University.  Which means it's close enough to visit in the half term hols in a couple of weeks :)

Friday 16 October 2009

the play date cafe design team

Julie over at the Open Window has put my bio up today.  :) :) :)  And I'm giving myself a play date tomorrow and intend catching up on the pieces I owe people, and the things I've been wanting to make for a while now :)

Wednesday 14 October 2009


What is it about best laid plans?  Yesterday the plan was to visit Wendy at the Stamp Attic, a nice jolly day out with the girls.  I woke up to the news that a lorry had hit the central reservation of the M6 motorway in the night and that the motorway was closed for 2 junctions.  We didn't need to go on the motorway to pick Sue up but the impact on surrounding roads was horrendous!  It took us over two hours to do a 40 minute journey, nearly as long as it then took to get to Wendy's!  But all that driving was definitely worth while!  Look, here's a sneaky peek into Sue's 'studio'.

I'm standing half way into the room and on each side of me are drawers and drawers of stash :)  It was great to see some of Sue's creations in the flesh (not the best pics, sorry!)

Again, I was so excited to get to Wendy's shop that I completely forgot to take a picture!!  But I did persuade Wendy to let me show you the 'original' stamp attic, at the top of her house.  Sue had tidied her room but Wendy got completely caught out by me producing my phone and saying "can I take a piccie for my blog?"  I don't know, how sad am I!  But I really want to get my blog candy together for 'Where women really create' and this is as much a reminder for me.

Talking of blog candy, don't forget that if you grab the 'play date' button, put it on your sidebar and leave Julie a comment before next Thursday you'll be in with a chance of winning some yummy stash!  And whilst you're over there, read up on my talented fellow designers [and check out my bio tomorrow :)]

Monday 12 October 2009

I can proudly announce...

that I've got a place on my first design team :) :) :)  And I get to announce first as I'm in the UK and ahead by 6 hours :)  Julie, over at the Open Window, has set up a weekly 'play date' for us.  The challenges will be posted each Thursday and I'll host once a month [but will publish a sample each week so you're guaranteed to see something new here once a week at least ;)]  The other DT members are really nice and I hope you'll join in with our challenges.
Hee hee, I'm so excited!!  Julie's brilliant at organising things, and makes great cards etc so I know she'll have lots of fun planned :)

Saturday 10 October 2009

that space you're watching...

Well!  News will be announced on Monday :) 

But whilst you're waiting, here's some fun from Port Sunny.   I took some photos of some of my fellow demonstrators.  Here's Jennie showing us how to make those fab grungepaper roses

She doesn't look like she's been doing this for three consecutive weekends at shows does she!!?  And look, I got my own rose

It's exactly my colours, blues and turquoises :)  I had an hour free at lunchtime to shop and chat whilst Sue Roddis signed copies of her new book

I meant to get someone to take a photo of me demoing but I forgot!!  Sorry!  But this is where I was demoing, and this is my sample

I was working on a jigsaw frame and demonstrating how you can add texture to your work.  You can heat Stewart Gill Metallica and Alchemy paints to make them bubble,  add layers of embossing powder and stamp into it, and then add collage pieces.  This isn't finished yet, but I'll keep working on it.

When I went to find Jill from the Stampman she wasn't demoing as Ian had gone for lunch and she had to cover on the till

but I did get a picture of her inky hands, just to prove she had been demoing ;)

Jill definitely won the dirtiest demonstrator's hands LOL!  Surprisingly I had the cleanest ;), although I bet Tracey's weren't particularly bad thinking about it.  I couldn't get near enough to get a photo but here is a demo piece that she made and gave me. 

I ended up getting all the stamps from this demo piece.  I knew I wanted the tree but had to choose between the door in a wall, the door in a tree, or a spider's web.  And I decided to treat myself to a new fairy as I've not had a new one in a long while.  Here's my complete stash.  I love looking at what others have bought so thought you might too.  I also got a lovely yummy piece of moonglow paper that Jill gave me as she said it was very 'Sarah' paper :)  (just my colours you see)

Can you see that corset stamp from Lost Coast Designs?  I had to buy that after my corset adventure this year, especially since just one has wings, just like mine!

Friday 2 October 2009

a steampunk romance

I've got an idea for a steampunk themed piece of art to demonstrate at Happy Stampers Northwest at Port Sunlight on 10th October '09 so I've just been doing a bit more research on 'steampunk' to make sure I was on the right track.  And look what I found!!!  How fantastic is this?  And you can see step by step pictures of how he made this in his book here.  Roll on tomorrow, I have a couple of hours to play with this idea and Paper Artsy's new clock stamps :) [check out blog entry dated 25th Sept '09]


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