Thursday, 30 October 2008


I started to make this using the Bandana technique on the Saturday Workout, but somewhere along the line it morphed slightly into something else!! For a start I used Distress Inks rather than the Staz On ones they suggested, although I did try stamping onto white paper first and then adding the inks. You were supposed to use a lot of colours but I chose just two (Rose and Mahogany). Stamping first worked better than I thought it would - for a start I could see where I wanted the paler areas to be, and the Versafine black ink wasn't affected at all.

I tried adding the details with white pen, but outlining didn't work too well on the stamps I'd chosen (the central image is Paula Best & the small details Fiskars) although I quite liked the effect. Added a few touches of watercolour to brighten it as well.

Quite pleased with the overall effect, which certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone ... which is the whole point isn't it? And I made no apology for the fact that it's quite pink .... after all, it gets me away from brown vintage!! And yes ... I did say just the other day that I wasn't going to make any more ATCs, but sort of couldn't help myself!!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


I've been doing some more work on my pink book (I was hoping that if I blogged it I'd get going on it again). The page on the right is the next in the sequence, then the black one is on the reverse. It's all going to be spiral bound when it's finished on the Bind it All machine.

It's very therapeutic doing this - because as you can tell, pink has been a JOURNEY for me, of acceptance to my new status as a disabled person, and finding a new life and a way to be. I'd also been discovering that women over 50 gradually become invisible, something I've been fighting against as much as I can!!

So if you see a generously proportioned grandmotherly goddess woman with pink crutches making a big noise somewhere in the UK .... the chances are it's ME!!!

Saturday, 25 October 2008


The Arty Girls challenged us to use blue and orange, and since that's a colour scheme I almost never use I thought I'd have a go ....

This is going to be a page for a little arty book I'm putting together - I'm fed up of making ATCs that nobody swaps and the blooming things are mounting up, so for now I'm NOT making any ....

The background is done with Distress inks with an extra spray of Colour Wash. The colour is so intense it's absolutely gorgeous isn't it? I made my blue house with an Invoke Arts stamp and an Artchix image. The tree is a Hero Arts stamp and the grass by Tanda stamps.

Obviously this is an air-conditioned house in Africa where the lovely lady likes to walk about in her undies dreaming of this and that. Little does she know that the blue bird of happiness is about to pay her a visit .....

Friday, 24 October 2008


These are the 3D houses made for this week's Art Adventure challenge.

I have a hoard of packaging type stuff which is "bound to come in useful one day" so I raided this for a frame to build around. The larger one is a watch display box, and the little one a ring box, but you should see the one Linda made from a drinks carton!!

I used an assorted of bits and scraps, including Paper Whimsy images, and yes those stamps AGAIN. They will go down in the hall of fame as most useful stamps ever bought!!

Thursday, 23 October 2008


This week the Crazy Amigo challenge is to use your favourite quotation stamp. This was quite a challenge but this statement by Picasso is SO true for me ... even on really bad days I sit down at my worktable and the world just melts away.

Yet another of my Distress Ink backgrounds, this one made with Aged Mahogany. And yes those are the border stamps I've been using on everything since I bought them!!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


Sorry I've been away so long - enjoying myself is exhausting and I'm only just getting back on track ... but it was all worth it!!

You might have noticed that I have a bit of a thing about pink? Not everyone understands and you can tell that some of my nearest and dearest think it's all a bit naff, so I decided to make a book (I love doing that) explaining the whole thing. I've only managed the first 3 pages and a cover, but it's enough for you to see where it's going, and there will be more to follow.

As part of the process I set out to teach myself to write like this - I had some examples of this font on a sheet of scrapbook paper, and really liked it. Think I'm getting the hang of it anyway ...

Friday, 17 October 2008


It was Linda's suggestion that we should issue a fabric challenge this week over on Big Art Adventure. I thought it would be fun seeing as I love to sew but haven't done much arty sewing (bags, clothes etc being more my line). What can I say - it wasn't! I threw my first attempt in the bin, but then came up with this.

I printed Mona and the word "art" onto Crafty Computer fabric which goes through my inkjet printer. Then I layered the pictures onto a gold background using a herringbone stitch which seems to give a flatter result. I added lace, buttons and charms and then fastened the whole thing to a felt background using another decorative stitch. I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would, but on the other hand I don't think it's put me off having another go!!

Off to spend the weekend with my daughter so won't be posting for a few days while we have some bonding time and watch silly DVDs in our PJs - we know how to have fun!!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


Yes, I'm still playing with metal - and to my delight the challenge over on Step Outside your Box was METAL! So my challenge was to make an ATC using metal.

This is another of my Distress ink watermarked backgrounds which seemed like a perfect colour to set against silver. I used a small mould to give me fleur de lys motif and embellished it a bit, antiquing it with blue rather than black, then mounted the panel on one side. Thinking about silver led me to Mexico and thence to Frida. I love this image of her in black and white, but it makes her seem sad and reflective somehow.

Once more the edge got the treatment with those new Kelly Panacci stamps which I've already used such a lot. Not sure why I chose this title - my brain is still slightly fogged - but I think I know what I mean anyway!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008


A number of people have asked about this, so here's a bit more information. Here's the link to the Ten Second Studio products on LB Crafts in the UK, and the rolls of metal are in this section under "accessories". As you can see the moulds and tools are all there, but I started with a roll of aluminium and the basic tool set, a wheel set, plus some of the small moulds. The work I showed yesterday was mainly done freehand with the addition of one or two wheels. You need to work on a cutting mat and for some things a foam mat too. Here's a link to Ten Second Studios where there are some videos available - but there are others online if you Google for them, sorry I didn't boomark the link to the one I started from. Hope all this helps!

Monday, 13 October 2008


I'm absolutely loving working with this soft metal. Such a great technique, and although the embossing makes my arthritic fingers hurt it's getting easier. I was just experimenting with these two panels (each about 3" x 2") and it's interesting just how much difference the antiquing process makes (using black paint which you rub on and then wipe off). As you can see, the right hand panel is very clean and clear and looks like bright tin, but the left hand with black worked into the design has many more subtleties and has an almost pewter finish to it.

I've now bought some copper too and want to explore colour changing effects using the heat gun on it. All my supplies came from LB Crafts and I've got to thank Sharon for all her help and advice so far - thanks hun!

Sunday, 12 October 2008


I've been nursing a bad cold all week, and had a rather heavy day yesterday which has set me back a bit ... with the result that I've made this ATC and I haven't a clue what it's about!

You know how I usually work, telling myself the story as I go along, well this time the work flowed fine, but without the story, so I have no idea why this particular assemblage works together except that it does.

The background is another of my Distress Ink backgrounds (thanks to Dan's wonderful tutorial) overstamped with text. Although you can't really tell, the picture is mounted on tissue paper, which gives a subtle effect. The two french embellishments are from an Artchix collage sheets, with the key and lace from my stash.

I think my brain has been overtaken by generalised fog, but I'm looking forward to hearing her story!!

Friday, 10 October 2008


I've been continuing to play with metal (my new favourite thing) and learning new techniques from a DVD stocked by LB Crafts, who also keep all the tools etc. Boy am I having FUN, but it does rather hurt my fingers so I have to do it a bit at a time.

For this I worked on a panel cut to size to fit this bean can (completely forgetting that it's not necessarily easy to make a flat panel curve ...). Anyway I used a little mould for the celtic panels, and then from the back you put polyfilla into the curved out shapes to stop them getting squashed. The final stage is to rub black paint into the details which really makes them stand out and the whole thing look a bit "antique". Hey it's not everyone who's got an antique celtic bean tin to hold their pens is it?

Curving and attaching the panel to the bean tin was a bit of a nightmare, but I got there in the end. Considering it's only my third metal effort I am quite pleased with it and learned a lot doing it. And somebody sent me an ATC with a copper panel on it, so now watch this space for even more metal .....

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


I made this for Wednesday Stamper challenge, which was to use brown and another colour. Well, you know me - brown is right up my street, but I'm trying to combine it with colour more often.

This is another of the Distress Ink backgrounds I made - this one was done with Aged Mahogany and Tattered Rose, and I love the way the colours turned out. I stamped over it with a new background stamp from Crafty Individuals, and the image is from Digital Collage Sheets.

I aged a piece of real lace and added an antique button. The title came about because she looks so joyful. The man of her dreams has just proposed, she's planning a fairytale wedding, and after the wedding she will be redesigning his country seat ..... !

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


This is another of my water splattered distress ink backgrounds, used this time for the TMTA challenge on a nature theme.

I was thinking about human nature as opposed to autumn leaves etc, which is why this image from Digital Collage Sheets appealed to me. She looks rather lost and baffled doesn't she - as if the world is a bit of a mystery. But then I got into a sort of play on words too, adding "natural" elements such as grass and butterflies. The grass is a stamp I got free from Tanda Stamps, and it's amazing how much I've used it.

I know what I was trying to do with this, but I'm not sure I've managed to describe it! It's in the area of the overlap between our inner "nature" and the things we associate with this word in terms of the nature that is "out there". I also object to advertising which uses the word "natural" as if this implied it was somehow superior or inherently good. As I'm always telling the TV, hemlock is 100% natural .....


Linda tagged me with a request to list five random facts about me, so here they are ....

1. I danced on "Top of the Pops" in the 1970s (for non UK readers, it was a pop music TV
2. I want to grow up to be a cat lady - just love those moggies
3. I like to eat chocolate in bed
4. I AM an artist - even if I often throw my work in the bin
5. I am happy to be me in the place that I am right now - and it's taken years for me to be able to say that

Monday, 6 October 2008


I found the most brilliant tutorial on Dan's site which has helped me do shading with Distress Inks. I've been wanting to do this for ages, and Dan's instructions are just brilliant! If you enlarge the picture by clicking on it you can see that I also used his tip of flicking drops of water at the result to get a watermarked effect. Well worth a visit.

I used this background for the TGIF challenge to work in tone on tone - well I didn't have to be persuaded because I love to work like that anyway, in fact you have to tell me NOT to do it!

The image is a favourite Paper Artsy stamp, using a Kaleidoscope rainbow ink pad, which gives you a wonderfully graded range of shades. I've had mine for donkey's years and it never seems to dry up. The edges have been done with my latest toy - Kelly Panacci border stamps. I love them so much they're currently turning up on everything (see if you can spot them on the previous post).

Absolutely STINKING with cold so that this is all the creative juices can muster for today - going to get my sewing machine out and combine that with feeling sorry for myself .....

Saturday, 4 October 2008


I made this for the Mind Wide Open challenge using the image they provided. I printed it onto tissue paper which gave a wonderfully fuzzy result, and then tore the edges and pasted it with Mod Podge onto a Distress Ink background.

I'm very pleased with the faded distressed look this has given - something I've been trying to achieve for some time. I was thinking about memories and how sometimes they become less sharp and the colours fade, which is exactly what I wanted to convey. That's why I used the title "fragments" to get something of this across ...

And look - although this is vintage style it's NOT brown!! I can do it if I really try!

Friday, 3 October 2008


I made this for our challenge over on Awfully Big Art Adventure and to be truthful I found myself working slightly outside my comfort zone! I love the dolls Linda made, but I couldn't quite seem to get a grip on this project ....

I had fun making her though, beginning with this wonderful face from the silent movie era - I think it may be Theda Bara but I'm not absolutely sure. Whoever she is I just adore the wonderfully over the top eye make up and dramatic stare!! I meant to make her more of a vamp with sultry clothing, but at this point she began to have a life of her own and insisted on having stripey underwear and spotty brad bosoms. Well I got the giggles at this point and it all went from bad to worse ...

The body is just a scrap of paper and the background is me doodling away in vaguely Art Deco style ... I'm not really sure what this is all about, but I do love the way her expression is is direct contradiction to her exuberant clothing and stance. There's almost a "do I really have to do this?" look in her eye! Sometimes it's just fun to make something silly. Oh and apologies to my public for not posting very much this week - DD2 has been in hospital with suspected appendicitis so I've been a bit preoccupied.