Wednesday 30 April 2014

Some Like It Hot!

     This fortnights challenge at The Male Room is to create something to make us giggle, for me this was a challenge. I don't make many funny cards but this one made me smile as it reminds me of a friend who likes very spicy food.
     It's a Joanna Sheen House Mouse decoupage sheet that has been in my stash for a while, time to stop hoarding and start using!
     I have only used two layers of the decoupage so it's nice and slim for posting and if I'm careful I can get another card out of the bits I didn't use.
     Please come and join us at The Male Room with your amusing creations, as long as they are suitable for a man or boy then you can add them to our linky.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Pots of Fun

       Here is something else I found to make with the aluminium tape technique. Hartleys jam comes in lovely vase shaped jars so I just couldn't throw them out, I know they'd be melted down and used again, but I like to think I've saved the fuel costs of transport and heating by re-purposing them myself.
    I have used Tando Creative Mini Shapes to stick on my jar, they are a local company so that's less fuel miles too. I have covered the rim of the jar with a strip of cardboard taken from a cereal packet to hide the ridges where the screw top lid goes.
    Once all shapes where stuck on I began to cut pieces of aluminium tape from the reel to stick on the jar. Using smallish pieces makes it easier to cope with curvature of the jar, there are a few wrinkles but I like to think this adds to the weathered look of the finished vase.
    The tape has been stuck over the rim and down into the jar by about half an inch to secure the cardboard cover and make the whole thing water tight.
     When placing the tape over a shape I have eased it down around the shape carefully, then gone around it with the largest ball tool I have, making sure not to tear the tape. I did on a few occasions so I had to add another bit of tape over the top to cover it up, it doesn't show due to the random pattern of pieces.

     Once the whole jar was covered with tape I then went around all the shapes and gave them some pattern, because the shapes are softer than the glass you can make marks in the tape quite easily. I have also gone around some of the tape joins and made small dents to look like rivets.
    All these marks show much more when you rub black acrylic paint over the jar, allow to dry for a few minutes and then wipe away most, but not all, of the paint. The paint will get into all the marks and joins giving the shiny vase an aged look.
    As the jar is glass it will hold water for flowers or it can be used to house paint brushes. It is however, not dishwasher safe!  I'm really enjoying making these so my poor hubby will have to eat more jam! Tando Creative make more mini's than just flowers and butterflies so I'm waiting to see what else comes in the new order at Aldridge Crafts.  Guess what everyone will be getting for Christmas this year?!

I would like to enter my vase in the following challenges:

Tando Creative - Recycle
Die Cuttin Divas - Recycle (must include a die cut) Die cut extras on some flowers.
Shopping Our Stash - Earth Day, Recycle
Through The Purple Haze - Creativity Strikes!
Through The Darkroom Door - Anything Goes

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Sweet Treats Box

     I've been busy making samples for The Big Shop at Snetterton to help display their new stock from Crafters Companion and Sizzix, so I thought I'd enter this one in a few challenges.
    It's made using the Sweet Treats embossing board from the Ultimate Pro system by Crafters Companion. I've used one 12x12 double sided paper and two A4 white card with a small piece of green card too.
    The box is from the embossing board, it's very easy to make. The handle is cut from some of the left overs, as is the rosette that was cut using Sizzix Mini Rosettes strip die. The scalloped ovals, the Tattered Floral roses and the Tattered Leaves are cut with Sizzix dies too.
    The roses where white card before being coloured with Distress Ink Spun Sugar to match the box. The greeting is a silver peel off and there is a small pink pearl on the rosette.
    All the materials used are available at The Big Shop including the glue used to put it together. If you happen to be in Norfolk then I would suggest a visit. It's just what it says A Big Shop that has arts and crafts as well as models and toys, a garden centre and a cafe, it's on the A11 right next to the race circuit at Snetterton.

I would like to enter this box in the following challenges:

The Crafty Bloggers Network - Die Cut / Embossing
Perfectly Rustics - 3D Flowers for Mother's Day
613 Avenue Create - Anything Goes, twist-Candy Treats
Desert Islands Crafters - From the Itinerary - pink, pearls, anything BUT a card

Friday 18 April 2014

We Three Kings

     At last, a Christmas card for challenges! Time is precious at best but right now it's at a premium. A few great days in Wales with my parents included some quality crafting time with Mum and we got Dad's Fergie ( Ferguson tractor) going as well. The Big Shop at Snetterton has a big demo day Easter Saturday so we've been very busy organizing that and hanging out lots of lovely new stock too.
    Back to Christmas, this card is made using recycled cards and a brad that was sent to me by the lovely Flower Sparkle Ruth. The square card blank is from stash, I'm having a big sort out this week and I've found all sorts of things, the aim is to use up what's already here and resist the temptation to add more! I'll let you know how that goes!
    The picture was a card saved from a past Christmas, as was the purple patterned backing card. I have inked the edges of the card blank to match the blue in the picture, then inked the edge of the purple card with gold to add a little lift, it looks better in real life...honest.  There was a star on the picture but I have added a star brad to give it some dimension over the top.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Jingle Belles - Joy To The Earth (recycle something)
Sparkles Christmas Challenges - Christmas Carol / Song   We Three Kings
Holly Jolly Christmas Challenges - Reason For The Season
Completely Christmas Challenge - Anything Christmas
Crimbo Crackers - Create A Scene
Craftyhazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - Use Patterned Paper (hope recycled card is OK)

Thursday 17 April 2014

Eggs To Dye For

      Happy Easter!  
     My Easter egg is a dyed goose egg, the chocolate one is already gone!!!!
     This egg started life as a goose egg. It has been blown to remove the contents, which make very good fruit cakes, and washed in cold water to clean it out.
     The egg is then wrapped in onion skins and tied around with cotton to secure the skins and form a 'tie dyed' type pattern. Once wrapped it was then put in a pan of water and boiled for a couple of hours, onion skins are an amazing natural dye.
     When the egg has cooled you can remove all the skins and gently wash off any bits. This one has been varnished to protect it. The tiny hole at the top is covered with a small jewellery finding, as is the larger hole at the bottom. There is a small tassel hanging from the bottom using the same embroidery cottons as the hanging thread loop at the top.
     The stand was made by my Dad from a small piece of wood and some brass tube that he bent into shape. Mum and I used to make lots of cut and decorated eggs a few years ago, it's been good to get back to one of my favourite techniques like dyeing them. I've just done my weekly shop and come home with a bag full of red onion skins so tonight I shall be blowing hen's eggs and making cake ready to dye the shells tomorrow, I've run out of goose eggs. 
     This is something that can be done with young children, just make sure that the eggs are cold again before you let them unmask their masterpiece. If they come out rather plain don't worry, all is not lost, you can scratch a picture on the shell rather like you would one of those foil scrapper pictures. Spray varnish would be good for these too, a little thread loop on the top and a small tree branch to hang them on in a pot on the window sill. Not quite Faberge but still very pretty.

I would like to enter my egg in the following challenges:
Craft Your Passion - Bunnies, Chicks or Eggs
Rhedd and Rosie Challenge - Anything Goes

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Cats Rule!

     There is a new challenge over at The Male Room, this time we would like to see a masculine card featuring Man's Best Friend ( it doesn't have to be a dog!)
      This is a very CAS card which took longer to think about than to make!  I have used my computer to type the words and centre them on the right hand side of an A5 page, this meant all I had to do was fold the A5 in half and there was my card.
      The cats are from an All Occasion Die that I bought recently at a show. My family are cat people, although my husband wasn't until our elderly neighbour sadly passed away and her cat adopted us. The cat adores my son and even likes his belly rubbed but the best thing is he's a very good hunter......rabbits beware!
      Please pop over and join us at The Male Room with your Man's Best Friend creation, the challenge runs for two weeks.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Artistic Inspirations - Monochrome
Crafting Musketeers - Monochrome

Monday 7 April 2014

Shabby Old Boot

     For the beginning of this month at House Of Cards we would like you to use our sketch to create a Cute or Shabby style card. The DT have come up with some lovely cards to give you inspiration so please pop over and take a look.
     I was given some Hunky Dory bits and bobs to use up and in that pile was this lovely old boot and the fancy strip. I have used some scrapbook paper for the backing, cut to size with corners rounded off and distressed with Victorian Velvet Distress Ink.    
     When I reached for the corner punch I grabbed the wrong one! so that's why one corner has a slot cut in it. How to get round this problem? With the right punch do the other corners and tuck a tag, which will hold the greeting, in the corner like it was meant to be there! Mistake?...What mistake!!
     I have added a pearl swirl that tucks under the boot topper. The topper is mounted on foam pads to allow the pearls to fit. As there were pearls under the topper I decided to pick them off and stick them on the boot over the buttons, waste not want not!
     I hope you can come and join us at House Of Cards, there are two weeks for you to make your card and join us, see you there.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Craftyhands Challenge - Shabby Chic
Craftyhazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - Anything Goes with patterned paper
Seemacrafts - Vintage

Old Time Box

    I am pleased to announce that I have been lucky enough to join the All Crafts Challenge Design Team and this is my first project with them. The challenge is for anything BUT cards, knitting, crochet, altered art, jewelry, absolutely any craft BUT cards so it's just up my street.  The challenge runs for two months giving ample time for you to create a masterpiece of your own.

    This little wooden box was given to me by a Friend who was clearing out some of her stash, thanks Maggie, hope you like how it turned out.
I have used a selection of die cut cogs, numbers, clock hands, hinges and locks to cover the box. These are cut from thin greyboard and glued on with Cosmic Shimmer glue. 

    Once the box was covered with the shapes I wanted I began to cover it with aluminium tape. This tape is readily available in most iron mongers and builders merchants but I found mine in a garden centre!
Rather than try and cut a perfect strip to use I have cut small squares and rectangles and overlapped some of them, giving quite a random pattern, this helps hide any little faults. Work a small area at a time, once a shape is covered with tape use a large ball tool to gently ease the tape into all the gaps and round the outline, don't worry if you split it, just add another small piece of tape over it and it all becomes part of the pattern!

     Along some of the joins I have used a small ball tool to make little indents, they look like a row of rivets.
    When the box was completely covered with tape and all the shapes were worked I used a black acrylic paint dabber to cover the entire box. Before it all dried I rubbed some of it off with a tissue so that the joins and crevices looked dirty.
     We are being sponsored by Crafty Individuals for this challenge so I have used one of their stamps to make a label on top of the box. It is stamp #279 Clock Maker on cream card in Coffee Archival Ink and clear embossed. It has also been stamped with another Crafty Individuals stamp #116 Crackle Background in Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink. My Crafty Individual stamps came from Aldridge Crafts. The label has been glued on and painted over with a matte medium from Eco Green.
     The base of the box is covered with a green baize so it won't scratch any surface it's put on. The inside is part aluminium and part baize, this was done by making paper patterns of the inside shapes and then cutting the baize after, it could be done with a thin felt if you have no baize.
     I hope you come and join us at the All Crafts Challenge, it will come up as Craft My Life, don't worry you're in the right place, just click on the flower link on the righthand side to go straight to the challenge. We don't have many rules so pop over and take a look, you could win a great prize for your creation too.

I would like to enter this box in the following challenges:
Shopping Our Stash - Faux Technique (metal work)
Frilly and Funky - Time After Time
Altered Eclectics - Altered Art
The Artistic Stamper - Embossing and Texture
Natalie and Amy - Embossing (Box - dry, Label -heat)
Rhedd's Creative Spirit - Altered Art

Friday 4 April 2014

To Boldly Go....

     This canvas was great fun to make and it's just right for the current challenge at The Male Room, which is Sci-Fi. Being an avid Trekkie I just had to have the Enterprise in there somewhere.
     It started life as a white canvas that I found in The Works some months back, it has been painted black with acrylic paint.  I have used Cosmic Shimmer (no pun intended) to spritz the canvas to create an array of stars systems in various colours, this I have to do in the greenhouse which has become my spray booth, no worries about over spray in there just a few pretty plants!!
     The planet is a mix of sand and acrylic paint splodged on to the canvas in an arc, this took longer to dry than just paint but has great texture.
     The alien and planets come from a Creative Expressions stamp set called Outer Space. The planets have been stamped on acetate with Stazon and then glittered from behind using Art Institute glue. The alien is stamped on card and coloured with a green highlight pen before being covered with Wow Glow-In-The-Dark embossing powder and he really does glow very well.
    The Enterprise is a small picture taken from a magazine, I really hope it doesn't cause any infringements, it's only meant to be for fun and the canvas is not for sale, it's going on my wall at home.
    I would like to thank Aldridge Crafts for supplying most of the items used. All that remains is to invite you to join us at The Male Room with your Sci-Fi project an wish you in true Vulcan fashion to 'Live long and prosper'.

I would like to enter this canvas in the following challenges:
A Random Fan - Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Spaceships?)
Make My Monday - One For The Boys
Cardz 4 Guyz - Make Us Laugh (hopefully this will raise a smile)

P.S. Sorry for the delay in publishing, we lost internet connection for a couple of days, playing catch up now.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Side Stepping Rabbits

     Some of you may be surprised to see a card on my blog featuring rabbits, we have a love - hate relationship........they love my plants and I hate them eating them!!!  I now have a lovely cat that likes a rabbit dinner so I don't see as much of them as I used to! I shall be sending this to the lady that used to live next door as she will appreciate the joke, she now lives some distance away in a rabbit free zone!  
    To make a side step card is the new challenge over at Technique Time Tuesday, there is a really good tutorial to show you how it's done and lots of inspiration from the DT.
     I have used a sheet of patterned card to make my side step card and decorated it with die cut eggs and a black cat hiding by a Spellbinder Aster flower. The rabbits are from a Penny Black stamp called Bunny Friends, stamped in Archival Coffee and coloured with GraphIt markers before being cut out and mounted on foam pads.
     If I buy a shaped or mechanical card I always make a paper template of it before I use it, so then I can make more without the trauma of trying to remember how to make one from scratch, that way all the measuring is already done for you.
     I hope you come and join us at Technique Time Tuesday with your side step creations, you have a month to work on your project so practice on scrap paper and then come and show us what you've made.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Brown Sugar - Easter
Simply Create Too - Easter or Bunnies
Lexi's Creations - Easter