Thursday, 30 January 2014

Sssh - Pray Silence for The Craft Barn's Q&L Challenge

Hello and welcome fellow crafters!

Time for another entry into The Craft Barn's Quotes and Lyrics challenge. (Click on the link to get all the details). This time the prompt words are silence and dazzle.

You may be aware that I'm putting together an AJ style quote book with blank spaces on my pages so that I can collect more quotes as I go along. For this challenge I have chosen the word SILENCE and a beautiful and thought provoking quote by Ruth Fishel,

"I will take time to be alone today. 
I will take time to be quiet. 
In this silence I will listen... 
and I will hear my answers"

It is VERY unusual for me to use my own handwriting on ANY layout, but for some reason today I don't seem to hate it quite as much as usual, so it is making a VERY rare appearance!

This layout has been a bit of a love/hate project. I hated the background when I first painted it. It is two colours of blue acrylic over a VERY loud and busy floral tissue paper. The paints seemed to be really grungy and produce a miserable January-esque sky colour - topical, but NOT what I wanted!

A quick spritz with some London Blue Dylusions lifted things immediately and I could see that the layout had potential. Additional background layers came from an Indigo Blu circle dot background stamp, randomly stamped in black Archival and some texture paste layered through a dotty mask. I had hoped that the texture paste dots would remain white for some contrast, but as it dried it soaked up the colour from the underneath layers - oh well... A few splats of White Linen Dylusions completed the first "go" at the background.

The die cut clouds were inked with Faded Jeans DI and adhered to the page using  Scotch quick drying glue. I didn't use matte medium as the Dylusions are water reactive and would have "run". When the clouds were dry I went round the edges of them with a Faber Castell Big Brush marker and smudged the line to blend. This really anchored the clouds on the page. The title is made from Papermania Mini Alpha stickers (keeping up with my stash busting resolution!).

Next I die cut the birds - I was originally going to keep them white, but ended up colouring them black, and stuck them to the page - this time with a smear of matte medium on the back but not on the front.  They are birds but I think this layout has a bit of a look of a Battle of Britain skyscape about it - the tiniest birds could easily be confused with Spitfires!

Finally I went in with my Paper Artsy ink splatter stamp and randomly stamped with black Archival, making sure to get some splashes on the clouds to ground them on the layout. I used a Craft Stamper freebie grungy border stamp to partially frame the page.

Close up showing: grungy border stamp, ink splats, 
FC Big Brush blending and Faded Jeans DI inking

All in all I'm pretty pleased with this layout, especially as I really wasn't keen on it at first! Please do let me know you came - I'd love to see what you are up to.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

WOYWW #243

Hello again and welcome to another What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - the last one in January! - Can you believe how quickly time is flying by?

If you're visiting from The Stamping Ground you know all about what's going on here today, and if not - you need to head on over there and find out - YOU'RE MISSING OUT!

My workdesk is a little bit tidier than last weeks (and for those of you who visited - YES! - I did tidy up the wardrobe too (but the difference between the before and after photos is so minimal I haven't bothered to upload the after one - I think I need some reasonably priced Swedish shelving to sort the problem out once and for all!))

So here's my desk - mid project again! My Mojo is in full swing :0)

What can we see?

I've taken the photo from the back corner of my desk for a change of perspective. In the foreground you can see a pile of 12x12 patterned papers from which I have selected the most boring, plain, mid blue sheet I possess - it must have been in a stack - otherwise I can't work out what "possessed" me to buy it!

To the right of that is a little pile of goodies - an Amy Tangerine 6x6 paper stack, some Kaisercraft cardstock embellies and a gorgeous little Tim Holtz stamp (an early Easter present - along with some TH Distress PAINTS! from my lovely Mum and Dad - THANK YOU!)

Working round to the right are the freebie stamps and diary from this month's Creativity magazine which I got for £3.50 at a local craft shop (I wasn't prepared to pay the cover price (I didn't really want the diary) and hope that Creativity aren't putting up the price on a permanent basis.) In the middle of the table is a storage box which houses all my mini pigment ink pads.

On the cutting mat is my WIP (work in progress), which is my entry for The Craft Barn's latest challenge (details here if you're interested), and on the left is my trusty Cuttlebug - I am in the middle of cutting out clouds.

So that's what's happening in Maisie's world - what's happening in yours? Let me know you came and I'll swing by and visit.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

January Calendar Girls

Hello crafting friends and thank you for visiting.

I recently did an " In the spotlight" interview over at Our Creative Corner (OCC) (it's here if you want to read it), one of the questions was, "If you have lost your Mojo, how do you go about getting it back?"  Well, to be honest my Mojo went AWOL at Christmas and I've been in a bit of a crafting doldrums ever since. So, true to my interview response I've been looking around for sources of inspiration - and sometimes you get inspiration when you least expect it! - I recently picked up a copy of Creative Stamping magazine (mainly because I was drawn to the knife, fork and spoon freebie stamps - sad - but true!) A quick flick through the mag left me a bit disappointed - but then I'm not really a card maker - until I came across an article from the DT at Ali-Craft showcasing the Prima doll stamps - and then... Ding! - a light bulb moment and my personal 2014 challenge was born.

I am setting myself a "calendar girls" challenge - no silly, not the naked WI with strategic cakes style Calendar Girls, but a monthly themed tag featuring the Prima doll stamps  (or stamp singular - in my case!) I have also made the resolution to make a mega effort to use up some of my stash, so the current challenge over at OCC is perfect to get my newly returned Mojo back in working order!

The challenge is "No more shopping sins" (click on the link for details) and is an opportunity to use up some of the stash that's gathering dust in forgotten boxes and to confess your stash shopping sins and make a clean start in 2014.

So here is my January Calendar Girls tag...

I chose cold colours and a snowy theme to reflect the chilly weather we can have here in the UK in January.

It was fun pulling together various different stamps to make my cluster of embellishments - and of course I have unearthed some I'd forgotten I'd got!

So - to confess my stash shopping sins - I am a terrible sucker for a "bargain" - if it is vastly reduced in a sale bin and I think I may have a use for it at some point it will - almost inevitably - end up in my shopping basket!

Case in point with this tag - the self adhesive fabric ribbon and co-ordinating brad were in a sale of Dovecraft Christmas lines three or four years ago and have not been out of the packet until today.

Talking of ribbon - I just LOVE printed grosgrain ribbon - can't resist a pretty ribbon - OMG I'm SUCH a girl!

The Papermania ticket stamps were reduced to £2 in my local craft shop, the clock stamp was a freebie on a Creativity Magazine - can't resist a "freebie"!

The snowflake rub-ons (part of a set of glitter snowmen) were in a BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) offer at The Works, again three or four years ago.

I must also confess that the Cuttlebug Swiss dots embossing folder had its maiden voyage in the making of this tag - and I've had that for donkey's!

Then there's the patterned paper - you know how that calls to you from the racks in the craft shop... so I'm pleased to be able to say that I have CUT INTO FOUR - that's FOUR, people, - different pieces of patterned paper from FOUR different stacks in the making of this project! (I needed a lie down with a cold compress afterwards mind you!)

Those of you who know your way around Julie Nutting's doll stamps for Prima will know that this is NOT one of Julie's designs. I had great fun (which really took me back to my childhood!) designing and making suitably warm attire for my January Girl.

I started by stamping the doll stamp (Doll No.2) on to white Neenah cardstock, loosely cut out my image and coloured in the face and neck with Copic markers.

I then stamped the image again on to copier paper and drew my "warm clothes" design over the top of the original image. 

I cut the pattern pieces out and used them as a template for making the finished clothes from patterned paper.

The new clothes were then glued over the top of the original stamped image and details such as creases and buttons were added with a fine black Pitt artists pen. A coat of matte medium made the surface of the finished doll non-porous and allowed me to add shading with Pitt Big Brush india ink markers.

The final touch was to add a generous coat of Dimensional Magic (Glossy Accents equivalent) to the spotty wellies to give them a lovely "bang on trend" shine. Oh yes and those are supposed to be fluffy earmuffs - in case you were wondering :0)

So there you have it - my sins confessed and my project completed - and a head full of inspiration for February's tag too...

Wow - that was a long post - thanks for sticking with me - let me know you came and I'll try and catch up with you soon.


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

WOYWW #242

My name is Maisie Moonshine and my craft room is... A MESS!!!!

Why am I confessing this? Because it is Wednesday, and if it is Wednesday then it must be time for our weekly wander around the world's workdesks, care of Julia over at The Stamping Ground. (If you want to join in the fun - go here for the deets.)

The good news is that my craft room is a mess because I have been working on a project - Mr Mojo has returned to the building! ;0) So here is my desk in all its post project glory... (sneak peek to follow, finished project to be posted soon).

On the cutting mat you can see the aftermath of my project - DIs, blending tool, scissors, foam pads etc, etc. On the floor is my stamp catalogue and various boxes and files with stamps in. Sitting on the cubbies on the right you can see five mache tissue box covers which are waiting to be altered (future Christmas prezzies!) The rest of the table is taken up with random stuff which needs to be put away. The purple box houses my Christmas themed stash and is waiting to be tidied back into the wardrobe/craft store. I say waiting because it needs to go in here...

...and as you can see here needs a massive tidy-up too! Hmmm - maybe tomorrow...

Anyway - enough of my slovenly habits! Here is a sneak peek at my finished project...

Any guesses?

And finally - in case you were wondering why I have pipe lagging in my wardrobe/craft store - it makes great insides for felt cakes like these...

That's all from me for now, please do let me know you stopped by so that I can return the favour. I hope you have a happy and creative day. Oh, BTW, I'm off to a mixed media art class at my local Hobbycraft store tonight - I'll let you know how I get on.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Smile - it's The Craft Barn's Q & L Challenge

Hello again and welcome.

It's January - so it is time for a new challenge over at The Craft Barn.  This year it is the Quotes and Lyrics Challenge. Each fortnight the DT give a two word prompt and you have to find a quote or song lyric using either or both words and design a project using your chosen quote or lyric. If you want the full explanation go here. The current challenge words are "smile" and "up".

I've decided to make a quote book using a Daler Rowney hard-backed sketch book. My plan is to produce an Art Journal style book with my chosen quote on the left hand page and space to include additional quotes on the same theme on the right hand page.

For my first page I've chosen the word SMILE and this sweet little quote:

“There's enchantment in a smile, did you know?
Shall I prove in a wink that it is so?
Watch my mouth grin wide and see,
How quick your lips smile back at me!”

Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway

I just liked the reminder of how irresistible something as simple as a smile can be.

The background is made using a technique I've borrowed from Vicky Papaioannou (see her YouTube video here - LOVE HER!). I've used some VERY old Papermania 12x12 stack papers cut in to rectangles and randomly stuck all over the page to create the textured background, and then two colours of acrylic paint (NOW I wish I had TH Distress Paints!) over the top, blended with a baby wipe.

I used an orange Posca paint pen to emphasise the joins between the paper rectangles and a little bit of Vintage Photo DI here and there too. I've inked Wild Honey (or Rusty Hinge - sorry can't remember which) DI over a Kaisercraft Doily template and stamped flowers and a Cactus Annie text stamp in Espresso Archival ink to add some extra interest in the background.

Showing the texture of the paper rectangle background

The letters are American Crafts Rootbeer Float Thickers (had these for years too - I'm making a BIG effort to USE MY STASH this year!).

I made the library card pocket from the same Papermania paper as the background and gave it the same inky treatment. (I downloaded the template from Ruth Ann Zaroff at Mirkwood Designs - she has loads of great printable templates)

My plan is to collect additional quotes on tags and store them in the library pocket - the quote I have already is a Paper Artsy stamp (HPXT04).

Well that's it from me, leave me a message so I know you came and I'll come to see how you're playing along soon...

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2014 - January

Well - here we are with the first crafty finish of 2014. I've got to say that the old Mojo is still feeling a bit sluggish (no doubt the effects of way too much festive food!) and I'm struggling to find the inspiration to get in to the craft room and do some creating.

That said - I'm making a mega effort to keep up with at least the Tim Tag challenges (only managed 6 out of 12 last year - SHAME!) so here is my January 2014 tag...

You can see Tim's tag here.

As usual I had so few of Tim's chosen supplies that I had to come up with workarounds almost from the first step! My background colours are Weathered Wood and Old Paper DS and I've used Tim's Timeworks mask instead of the layering stencil - I quite like the result.

I used the large numbers from the 7 Gypsies Numero set, stamped with Black Soot DI to get an approximation of Tim's sanded rub-ons - I don't think it looks too bad!

Of course I don't have the fob watch die either so I've used the frame part of a Wendy Vecchi Art Part pocket watch covered in aluminium tape and a circle of cardstock similarly covered for the watch face. I was pleased with how well this worked and surprised by how easily the tape cut with a craft knife.

A couple of close ups...

Ooops - did my splattering at the wrong stage in the proceedings!

There are a few bits I'm not too happy with, but considering the lack of the supplies - it's not bad.

Hope to see you again soon.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Belated Happy New Year and WOYWW #240

Hello, welcome and a very Happy New Year to you all!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to stretching your creative wings again.

It is Wednesday so it is, of course, time to join Julia over at The Stamping Ground and show you What is on my Workdesk this Wednesday...

Today I am mainly doing my Tim Tag for January 2014.  Only just started on the background - and having to think of some workarounds, so progress is slow.

Bet your desk looks a tad more interesting - let me know you came and we can compare notes.

Oh by the way - if anyone has any blog challenges they can recommend please let me know in the comment box - I would be very grateful - I REALLY need to kick start my Mojo!

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