Thursday, 31 January 2013

Artful Times Challenge 21

Aarg I'm so late for this - sorry if I get this wrong!

The challenge is at Artful Times  which is a fortnightly challenge blog. Challenge 21 is Calling Time on an ATC.  The rules of the challenge state that all criteria of the challenge must be met - in this case they are an ATC and the word "time", after that the interpretation is down to the individual artist.

(I know I have a couple of non-arty followers so FYI an ATC is an Artist Trading Card, a miniature work of art produced on a "canvas" of 63 mm x 89 mm (2 and a half x 3 and a half inches in old money) The artwork can be in any media or indeed mixed media. As the name suggests the ATC is intended for trading (swapping) with other artists either by post or at ATC swap events - but this is of course optional! (Wikipedia has quite an interesting entry if you want to know more!)

Anyway here's my ATC - A Stitch In Time

Close up...

Materials used

Stamps: Toodles and Binks - Very Vintage Set 2 La Couture

Distress Inks: Antique Linen (to knock back the brightness of the white cardstock), Gathered Twigs (background stamped images) and Festive Berries for the floss card

Other, Tissue paper, Bakers Twine, calico, needle

Will do better next time!!!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

WOYWW 191 - I finally did it!

I almost can't believe I'm posting this as it has taken me SOOOO long to get my act in to gear and

1) have a project on my desk on a Wednesday
2) remember to take a photo (in daylight) and post it on here!

So what is WOYWW? It stands for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday and is a fast growing institution among crafters started by Julia over at The Stamping Ground in which crafters from all over the world post images of what is (or isn't!) going on in their creative spaces. I came across WOYWW about 6 months ago whilst having a lazy Sunday blog hop and decided I would love to get involved. It is so much fun popping in to other crafty folks' creative spaces and seeing what's going on in Craft World! So, welcome to my craft room / salon de stash / dusty garret - come on in, grab a chair and make yourself at home - I'll go and put the kettle on...

I'm currently working on a project for the Sunday Stampers Challenge over at Ink on My Fingers (link in the side bar if you're interested). My copy of the latest Craft Stamper magazine dropped through the letterbox this morning with SO MANY gorgeous projects in it that I was inspired to start work on this tag straight away! At this stage I've only just started on the background but if you're interested in seeing the finished project it has to be posted by 21:00 (GMT) on Saturday 2nd February so do pop back - blimey that's put the pressure on to get it finished!.

So what is on my workdesk? Well... I'm seeing a lot of Tim Holtz influence there! There are Distress Inks and blending tool, an Alterations Movers and Shapers tag die, Ideaology charm clips and Muse Tokens as well as some Paper Artsy and Prima stamps, chipboard butterflies, my heat gun and of course my Craft Stamper mag.

My desk is quite tidy at the moment as I am making a real effort to try and clear up between projects, mind you - you can't see the floor behind the table in this shot!!! (Ooops!)

I'll try and do some close ups next time around - I'm new to this WOYWW thing so still getting the hang of the do's and don'ts! Hope you come by again soon.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

My First ATCs

Hello again - here's a very quick post as I scrape in under the wire for Sunday Stampers Challenge #241 (Birds) and for Anything But A Card Challenge #11 (Things that can be tied).

This week has been a bit hectic what with tax returns and trips to the fracture clinic (Moonshine Minor has broken his wrist (he did it in PE so no it's not a snow related injury!) so my project is very simple. I chose to go with a monochrome colour scheme making use of second impression stamping on the background images to add depth. In hindsight I wish I had sprayed some Glimmer Mist through a harlequin mask to give the background a bit of interest and texture - but hey-ho I didn't - lesson learned for next time!

 Here's my humble offering...

Some close ups...

The Deets

Eiffel Tower and Ledger - Habico - Vintage Travel
Flourish - Artemio
Birds - cArt-Us - Birds on branch
Journaling spot - Kelly Panacci for Sandylion - Decorative Details
Text - Royal & Langnickel - Viva France

Versafine - Onxy black
StazOn - Jet black

Frosted shrink plastic
Black cord
7Gypsies mini keys, black
Jump rings

The charm was made by stamping the Kelly Panacci journaling spot and part of one of the Birds on Branch stamps on frosted shrink plastic, punching out with a 1 inch circle punch, punching a hole at the top with a single hole punch and then shrinking with a heat gun. I then threaded on a black jump ring followed by a second jump ring with a 7Gypsies mini key, then a final jump ring before threading the piece on to the cord.

I really like the effect of the sharp black stamping over the lighter second impression stamping of the background images but REALLY wish I had done some Glimmer Mist or clear embossing harlequin background - anyway I hope you like it and thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

January Blues and Sunday Stampers Challenge #240

I could hardly start by NOT mentioning the weather now could I? - being a Brit and everything! We are shivering under a blanket of snow here in rural Staffordshire, and however beautiful it looks I have no love of the white stuff!

Here is a pic of the view from my bedroom window this morning. It has stopped snowing, but I think this is just a brief respite before it starts again tomorrow. The grey patch at the end of the paddock is our "lake", which formed during the recent "rainy season"  and was starting to soak away (it's about half the size it was).

I think this snow might well have done for my cut-and-come-again lettuce which I was still harvesting on Christmas Day!

Anyhoo - to the crafting... I'm getting a feel from my recent blog hopping that it's not just me who is suffering from a lack of inspiration in the craft room. I had put it down to the January Blues but my suspicion is that all the Mr Mojos have gone AWOL and are sunning themselves on a Club Mojo cruise in the Caribbean. I just hope their return journey wont be affected by the weather!

 I really struggled with Hels' challenge this week. By Thursday I still had no idea what I wanted to make for the Dreams prompt, doubly frustrating because I wanted to join in with What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday over at Stamping Ground - but all that was on my desk was a cutting mat - not very interesting to share with the world! Finally - out of sheer desperation - I opened my fledgling art journal, got out my water soluble pastels and went to work. 

The result is a UFO, an almost finished journal page which is lacking that certain something, a focal point image which at the moment, even after spending half an hour searching The Graphic Fairy's gorgeous blog, is eluding me. Any road up, apologies for this not being finished but, for better or worse, here it is.

Some close ups

The Deets

Flourishes - Artemio
Text - Paper Artsy Hot Picks HPXT04
Bluebird - Partners

Staz-on - Jet black, Midnight blue, Cotton White
Promarker - Sky blue

A word to the wise before I go, I might be teaching grandma to suck eggs here but I made the mistake of using Staz-on cotton white ink on a stamp which I had previously inked with SO jet black, and although I had cleaned my stamp with a baby wipe the white ink seamed to react with the traces of black to make a dirty grey ink and ruin my brand new ink pad. The moral of the story is buy some Staz-on stamp cleaner when the thaw comes!

And finally, because this picture makes me smile... this is a shot taken recently by Moonshine Minor for art homework. The brief was to take a photo of his most prized possessions...  

I love the reflection of his monkey onesie on the ipad screen.

Keep safe and warm and see you soon.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

These wings were made to fly - Sunday Stampers Challenge #239 and Anything But a Card Challenge #10

Hello Again! I'm back.

Following a brief "sabbatical" - I was actually sewing my poor little fingers to the bone for my proper job (Maisie Moonshine's Handmade Crafts Emporium) making stock for the Christmas Craft Fair season. (Which went very well - thank you very much for asking.) I have now returned to my craft room to play nice again.

I've been following Hels' blog even though I haven't had the time to join in - although I did complete a project for the snow challenge (but forgot to post it - duh) and started one for Noel (now a UFO (un-finished object) to be completed some time before Christmas rolls round again - only 346 sleeps till Christmas!) and as usual have been wowed by her amazing creativity - if I can be an eighth as productive as Hels in 2013 I'll be a happy crafter!

Any road up - to the chase... As usual I've gone a little bit off piste with my project, using Hels' challenge as a jumping off point. I like to pick up the challenge as early as I can on Sunday - too often this is not long after midnight as that ol' devil called insomnia comes a callin'. Then I'll let the challenge wander round  my mind for a couple of days and then with a sort of plan and a mental picture of what I want the finished project to look like I'll head to the craft room (must think of a better name for it) and start to play.

Tragically Mr Mojo appeared to have left the building - I think because I've got out of the habit of paper crafting whilst I've been spending every waking hour stitching. After much umming and ahhing, head scratching and discarded ideas this project started life as a mixed media piece; a stamped and collaged background, a Crafty Individuals butterfly stamp (recent purchase) on fabric which I intended to colour in with Distress Markers - but oh yes I haven't got any - and I don't want the look Copics would give me - so - project stalled.

BUT thank heavens for the bedside notebook! 03:15 DING! inspiration... The lyrics of the Little Mix song Wings popped in to my head "These wings are made to fly". Which got me to thinking about the freedom of flight, both physical and spiritual and how wonderful it would be to be able to strap on a set of wings and JUST SOAR...

So here are my "things that can fly" - a set of mechanical wings on a harness which can be taken on and off as required - because these wings were made to fly...

The back view

some detailed shots

The steampunk mechanical wings stamp was perfect for this project!

The deets...

Tiny Harlequin background stamp - unknown
Woodgrain stamp - Kaisercraft
Wings - Kanban - Insignia
Tiny alpha stamps - unknown
Distress Ink - Tea Dye for ageing dictionary paper, Gathered Twigs for woodgrain and harlequin stamp
Staz-on Jet Black for wings and text
Dress form 
Tim Holtz Alterations sewing room BigZ die
Greyboard, Kraft cardstock, dictionary pages,acetate, quilters batting, rusty tin wire, beads

How it was made

1. Die cut 7 dress form shapes from greyboard, 2 from Kraft cardstock (only one shown) and just the body from quilters batting

2. Laminate the layers together using quick drying glue, pay attention to the edges, especially on the stand, 7 layers makes the piece able to stand un-supported.

3. Stamp the two pieces of Kraft with the woodgrain stamp and heat set using a heat tool, then glue to the front and back of the greyboard stack. Place under a heavy weight and leave to dry. (I put it under a stack of magazines and left it whilst I did the school run) When dry colour the grey edges with Promarker in a matching brown.

4. Glue the batting in place on the front of the dress form. I wanted this to give the dress form a softer shape at the front, but I think another layer or thicker polyester wadding would have worked better. Allow to dry whilst you move on to the next stage.

5. Tear some strips from dictionary paper then tear again into random shapes - not too large or small, then use an ink blending tool to apply Tea Dye Distress Ink. I used differing amounts of pressure and ink to produce a varied depth of colour. Over stamp a few of the pieces with the harlequin stamp using Gathered Twigs distress Ink. Heat set (use a pokey tool to stop the pieces blowing away!)

I used matte medium to decopatch my dictionary pages over the body of the dress form. Leave to dry (I used my heat tool to speed up the process as the batting gets quite wet) (Sorry was a bit messy and forgot to take a pic of this bit)

6. Stamp the wings on to acetate with Jet Black Staz-on and cut out leaving a 1cm border all around, cut up the middle of the wings to create two separate wings. Using a Crop-a-dile punch a small hole in the unstamped border at the centre top of each wing. You can just see this on the detail shot of the back above.

7. Stamp words on to fabric - I used Staz-on then cut out and fray the edges

8. I made the harness from rusty tin wire, simply bent into a U shape with three beads threaded onto the bottom curve which goes across the chest. I placed the U to the front of the dress form then folded the "arms" of the U over the shoulders of the dress form. I then threaded the wings on to the wire at the back twisted the wire, trimmed and then curled the wire ends up using round nosed pliers.

9. Finally glue on the words using dots of fabric glue and there you have it!

Oh by the way - to give you an idea of scale this piece is 15.5cm tall.

See you again soon

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