31 May 2012

Simplicity Itself?

G'day all, and a warm welcome to my new followers. Many thanks for joining my world of randomness (is that a word?) Isn't it so much cooler - more sleep, more ideas. My head is so full of ideas trying desparately to get out - just need the time to get it all done! There's also a list of challenges to enter (which is probably why my head is buzzing). So this post is for one of those, a challenge/site I was introduced to by the wonderfully creative Julia (I urge you to go see her work; outstanding). The Artful Times Challenge currently has the theme 'Ribbons and Lace' and is sponsored by Oyster Stamps.

Clearly this isn't one to go in my hubby's inspiration collection! (more of that tomorrow). Where to start? The background methinks. Plain white card sprayed with lots of Cosmic Shimmer silver mica mist, distressed with DI Walnut Stain (my favourite) on the edges. Next layer, an Andy Skinner Simplicity pattern image stamped in black onto greaseproof paper (lovely and translucent).

The buttons were Sam Poole Vintage Sewing stamps on black card using Morris Dance metal flakes and Flitter Glu. The pink ribbon was stamped in Black Stazon with a tape measure stamp (from the same SP set) as was the dressform, this time stamped onto antique gold card with the Morris Dance again. The large flower is a SB Rose Creation using some leftovers of my pink 'lemon juiced' card with a blob of Gold CS PVA glue - this was also used to create the faux pearls in opposing corners.

The lace is paper, inked with Spun Sugar and a touch of bronze and blue to echo the colours in the metal flakes. The needle threader was one of those freebies you get in mini sewing kits that come inside some crackers. It got a touch of Butterscotch, Shell Pink and White Mixative alcohol inks. Added extras include a ripped piece of textured wallpaper, some faux stitching using a pattern pricker and black embossing powder, and buttons (with added black Promarker)/flowers/beads/a gold swirl SB die cut to finish.

This will eventually find its way onto a plain card as a topper/focal point. Meantime I need to disappear as cupcakes need baking, their prospective recipients need collecting from school, and a couple of crafty supplies are required to get Hels Sheridan's Sunday Stampers 207 challenge completed.
Hugs to everyone, Buttons x

30 May 2012

Where's me brush?

Welcome everyone, including my new followers, one of whom I am delighted to say is the Yorkshire Fox (check out her amazing site here). It is such an honour to have you all think enough of my offerings to want to keep in touch with what I get up to in this crafting universe.

As promised here is the next part of the project for my OH. It was inspired by Linda Ledbetter's CC2 Challenge which this week features TH's brushless watercolour technique. This week the challenge is also sponsored by eclectic Paperie.

On plain white cardstock with Memento Desert Sand and DI Walnut Stain I used this technique, trying desparately not to get carried away with the water. Linda herself inspired me to 'shadow' stamp the leaves with the solid versions in Memento Lady Bug. The dots are red Pearlidoodles, the die cuts are from SB Metal Frames and Accents and the sentiment is stamped onto embossed/distressed gold card (stamped twic to create a slight shadow effect).

The ribbons came from my stash - that red glittery swirl one is a real favourite found on a stall in the local indoor market. Finally the 'watch fob' is made from tin foil using a SB charm, coloured with Copper Acohol Ink mixative. The clock face is a small Clarity image, covered in Crackle Accents.

I'm now plowing on with the next few sections of this 'inspirational tag book', trying to use some of the other CC2 techniques that were featured by Linda before I got my copy, and a couple of things picked up from fellow crafters. It would be great to know what you think. Hugs as ever, Buttons x

29 May 2012

Playing and winning

Hello everyone and welcome back. Two pieces of exciting news today - firstly my prize from winning The Stamp Man Challenge arrived today (huge squeals of delight!!!) I got to choose from Jill and Ian's fabulous online shop, and quite frankly it took ages and several lists as there are so many goodies to choose from (hint, hint OH for my birthday). This is what I settled on...

I predict this will be one heavily used set of stamps...! Next on the winning front, I have just been awarded the honour of being placed in the top three on the Make My Monday challenge :) (see side bar link) Redanne - one way or the other we should clean up on the lottery this week!! LOL

Now onto a new challenge hosted by Frilly and Funkie with the theme stencils and masks. If you have not seen this site before it is highly recommended as so many highly talented artists contribute regularly with all sorts of amazing tips and techniques.

Now it's my better half's birthday in a month and he has just started a course at work which is very important. With this in mind, and not wanting to create the ususal card I took inspiration from Hels Sheridan who mentioned that she collects all her TH challenge tags together. So this project is marks the beginning of a collection on ATC's which are designed to be inspiring and supportive. I returned to the TH CC2 faded layers technique (see Linda Ledbetter's challenge week 4).

The background started life as some K&Co Ancestry journal paper which got inked to within an inch of its' life with Memento Lady Bug and Desert Sand, Marvy Vintage Old English Rose and a TH small crown mask. The whole lot got embossed with a TH Texture Fades embossing folder and highlighted with gold ink (DTP). The sentiment came from Sam Poole's Vintage Games stamp set, embossed in CS Black embossing powder. The gold King 'ingot' was embossed with the same folder in gold card, distressed with Archival black ink and re-embossed with Bright Gold CS embossing powder.

The playing card was stamped in Lady Bug on Ivory pearlescent card, slightly distressed with Desert Sand and Old English Rose again. The chess pieces were stamped onto a remnant of the backing paper with Old English Rose, triple embossed with clear UTEE and cut out. Finally the buttons were stamped with Black Promarker with stamps from the Vintage Games set. It has finally dawned on me that using the same limited palete of colours in different ways allows the whole project to hang together better. You see? Drool over others' fantastic artwork long enough and some things begin to rub off!! LOL

I'll be back over the next few days with the next bits of this project (oh yes - there is something happening on the other side of this project!!) In the meantime thank you so much for all the wonderful comments. I will do my best to return the favour, especially as that means I get to see all of your beautiful work.
Hugs, Buttons x

27 May 2012

'Right Royal' eh?

Good morning all. Did you make it through to the end of Eurovision? The lady from Albania was particularly unusual and my three thought she was wearing a plastic chair!! No reaction to her wailing from the dog either, I'm pleased to report:)

So onto more crafty things... the latest of The Stamp Man's challenges is to make a card for a queen. Hmmm, the Jubilee is everywhere at the moment but sometimes it takes a while for ideas to form.

This one started with the background, a bit of an experiment (as ususal) - I coloured acetate (previously cut with a SB Fleur de Lis square) in random patches with three different Promarkers. These were then blended by dabbing TH alcohol blending solution on top.

A quick heat set and then a diamond pattern background stamp (Dimension Fourth) was 'inked up' with the same blending solution and stamped into the blended colour. This had the effect of removing some of the ink - just a quick warning here; this gets REALLY messy and it is best to do a sample to see which stamp is going to work best.

The crown came next. Having sandwiched and heat set angel fibres and film this was then cut using a SB Labels 16 die, folded in half and glued together, embossed with a Sizzix swirl folder and highlighted with a touch of Brilliance Pearlescent Crimson. I cut up parts of SB Twisted Metal Tags and Accents, layered them over the top and added a jewel (recoloured with one of the original Promarkers). The plain white buttons were stamped with a flower centre stamp (Creative Expressions) and the same Promarker, threaded with embroidery silk and garnished with gold Pearlidoodles.

Finishing this card was then a case of M+L gold, glittered and pearlescent card (embossed and punched as required) with more gold SB Metal Accents - well there's no such thing as too much bling when it comes to royalty! Hopefully my first picture gives you a sense of the dimension created with a few foam pads.

OK, it's time to attend to the task of shopping for and feeding 'a plague of locusts' (well, three of them) so I must away!! Hope the sun shines on you today and you get to play. Hugs, Buttons x

26 May 2012

Make It Wild

Hello all out there, sweltering in the heat! Not often it's possible to say that across the whole of the UK so I'm not complaining. Firstly, thanks for all your lovely comments recently. Secondly, many thanks to the team at The Stamp Man Challenge who gave me an award this week! To say I was thrilled is an understatement when you look at the standard of the other entries.

And so, on to another challenge - this time the Make My Monday challenge, which this week requires 'wild flowers and grasses'. I have to say that my inspiration came from a piece by Vicky, one of the talented members of the design team. It gave me chance to try out some dandelion stamps that I had been given a wee while back.

The menu for this project was as follows;
  • Background - white card painted in white gesso, embossed using an Indentz folder highlighted with Memento Desert Sand, and stamped dandelion images in VersaColor Umber.
  • Next layer - cardboard (well ok then, a piece of corrugated card that contained milk cartons!) lightly brushed with white gesso, Snowflake Tinsel embossing powder and edged with DI Walnut Stain.
  • Foreground - the main dandelions were stamped with Black Archival Ink onto acetate, the 'grasses' (Basic Grey) in Marvy Heritage Dark Walnut onto off-white card, and the butterfly was embossed onto antique gold card, with the centres highlighted in CS Golden Pearl PVA and small antique gold pearl beads.
  • A piece of sage ribbon and some 'faux' PVA pearls completed the look.

Off now to try to cram in as much crafting as possible between mountains of 'domestic admin' (my OH and 'wing man' is away for the weekend, so busier than usual). And then there is Eurovision to watch tonight!!
Wishing you all a lovely weekend whatever you are doing.
Hugs, Buttons x

24 May 2012

Take Flight

I want to start by saying a huge thank you to everyone who has left such lovely comments.
A super speedy post tonight as it has been a bit of a day/week and time is not on my side. This is my entry for Linda Ledbetter's Studio L3 challenge 'Tissue Wrap Collage' which I have combined with the latest Fashionable Stamping Challenge 'Steampunk'.

So it was time to flick through TH's CC2 for the tissue wrap technique, with lots of stamping (Kanban steampunk), layers, Spellbinders cogs, and a couple of other bits...

Alcohol inks were used to slightly 'tarnish' some metal washers,

and the 'propeller'? Well, all I can say is that it was holding an icecream based desert which I devoured, in the interests of art of course! LOL
Well, off now to watch the Eurovision semi-finals - trust me, some light relief is needed tonight. Hope those of you in the UK are all finding ways to keep cool. Hugs, Buttons x

20 May 2012

Patriotic May Tag

And so, a foray into the world of the Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of 2012 Challenge. I drew inspiration from Anne and used what I had in my crafty stash to create this entry.

To begin I stamped an Andy Skinner sewing image in navy onto greaseproof paper, and then glued it to some white card, wrinkling it up as much as possible without distorting the image too much. The sewing machine image from Sam Poole was stamped into the corner in red ink, and the edges of the card distressed with Walnut Stain. To finish the background another of Sam Poole's vintage sewing images, the dressform, was stamped and embossed in black Archival Ink.

The coat hanger was made out of a paperclip, and the metal charm started life as a piece of quiche tin, die cut and embossed using a Spellbinders charm die, and distressed lightly with black Archival Ink. I used a 'what if' moment to good effect to make the Union Jack button which adorns it - having quite a few plain white buttons it occurred to me that they could be altered using Promarkers. The hanger was then attached with coloured staples.

The tape measure was created by stamping another Sam Poole vintage sewing image on the reverse of a piece of grey ribbon using Stazon so it wouldn't bleed. To make it stand out I used red cotton and did a bit of hand-sewing (makes a change from repairing the holes in trouser knees or mending socks!!) The flowers were die cut (SB Rose Creations) using the smallest die in navy, red, white and green card, joined together with twisted silver wire and pearl beads, and given a couple of dunks in UTEE. Chopping up a cotton reel wasn't working, so I layered up cardboard, covered it with greaseproof paper and stamped it with a cotton reel image. Finally a safety pin was glued over the reel and extra staples were added.

Overall this piece came out pretty much as planned and taught me a few things along the way, which I guess is what Tim's challenges are all about.

Thanks to everyone who stops by, and huge thanks to those who leave such lovely comments. Slowly but surely my little blog is growing and I'm getting to discover the work of some uber-talented peeps. Hugs to you all, Buttons x


Good evening everyone. Hope you all had a happy and productive weekend. So Hels Sheridan has set her next Sunday Stampers Challenge entitled 'Circles' and I have managed to create my entry today as this week is going to be busy.

The idea started with some plain white card and a TH embossing folder which reminds me of ripples on a pond. With that in mind I ran the card through the GC with Perfect Medium, covered it with Arctic Blue Cosmic Shimmer UTEE, then heated it, brushed Golden Malachite Mica Powder over the whole piece and reheated it to develop the shine.

To cover the raised parts, I wiped Perfect Meduim over lightly and brushed on Tropic Blue mica powder. Moss green ink was finally added to the edges to distress them slightly. The sentiment is a Creative Expressions one from a set of leaves and needed Archival Black to ensure it would stand out.

Once again the watery background reminded me of Monet's Waterlillies (if you ever get the chance to go to Paris, a visit to L'Orangerie is highly recommended) so I created some of my own. Small flower shapes from a Crafters Companion embossing board were cut out in lemon, pink, lilac and green card, secured in the centre with brads, softened with water and shaped. To finish them the tips of the petals were rubbed in Lavender Shine Cosmic Shimmer paint. Now, at this point I could have added them to the card and left it at that, but it needed something more.  So I mixed small amounts of acrylic paint to compliment the colours in the waterlilies and dribbled them onto the bottom section of the card. When dried the edges were again distressed with moss green ink.

So there we have it. In honour of Monet and all the talented artists and crafters who have inspired me to push boundaries and ask the question 'What if?' Thank you so much. Hugs, Buttons x

17 May 2012


A quick one today as there are a million and one things that need doing (such is life). I wanted to enter The Stamp Man Challenge 'Your Favourite Technique' and the Make My Monday Challenge 'Flowers and Music' this week. My favourite technique is a mixed media version of faux cloisonne (see HERE for video link) which involves embossing powder, pearl or mica powder and gold stamping.

I used the Spellbinders Square Fleur de Lis set to create the frame and used this technique on it. It was then attached to a small piece of paper from my stash which had been sprayed liberally with mica mist previously and was also attached to an outer frame in whitewash Coredinations card.

The whole lot was then mounted on ivory pearl card because it needed a backing to make it work (so much for making small projects!) Next, the flowers. These started life as tins holding chicken and mushroom pies!!

They began their transformation with the Spellbinders Rose Creations dies in various sizes. They were then coloured with Ranger alcohol inks in Shell Pink, Butterscotch and White mixative. When dried they were stamped with an Artemio music background stamp using Ranger black archival ink. Lastly they were shaped with the end of a paintbrush and an embossing tool, glued into place and centred with some little flowers punched from the same Coredinations cardstock.

The leaves were punched from textured wallpaper as I wanted a slightly tattered look. They were then arranged to look like they were cascading from the frame (ish!) and the whole lot was mounted on a square white card.

OK, not as short a post as required so time to dash off. Hope you enjoy the video link. Thanks to everyone who has sent such lovely comments. They are gratefully received. Hugs, Buttons x

P.S. Just realised the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge for this week is Anything Goes so I will enter this too as it always has some lovely entries to look at.

14 May 2012

Glitter Queen For A Day

Welcome to post number two, and another Sunday Stampers challenge this week entitled Killer Queen. 'Killing' two birds with one stone, this project will also be entered into the inaugural J&C Creations challenge, 'All That Glitters'. There's a story to this one...

At Ally Pally recently I was privileged to watch the wonderful Maria Simms at work demonstrating the use of angel fibres and film with Clarity Stamps. Imagine my surprise when she handed me her beautiful creation (above) - I wore it with pride for the rest of the day and it is now one of my crafty treasures. On the day I promised to have a go myself, having previously been a little wary of this technique.

Mine came out slightly differently (apart from the obvious - a Dimension Fourth stamp). I used plain film for the top layer and white fibres for the 'underskirt' layer. Now she is more generous with her fibres (or I am stingy more like!!) and I found the bottom was a little thinner, so a layer of ruffled cotton lace was added underneath them to retain the occupant's dignity!

The background was created in gold and mauve using TH's enameled stamping technique (see CC2) edged with Stampendous Jeweled Gold embossing powder - gotta do more of this as the result is splendid if I say so myself! CS Golden Pearl PVA dots were added to the crown.

Finally the tag. This used mauve, pink and olive green ink with the TH faded layers technique (see CC2) and a TH mini mask. A few extra trimmings, including the stamped sentiment, and it was complete. Now recently I have decided to concentrate on creating smaller pieces, but this one needed something extra to make the colours work. So, glitter card stamped with Kanban crowns and some cardstock from my stash and hey presto! I could put it down!

That's it for tonight folks, except to say a HUGE thankyou to the Make My Monday team who awarded me the honour of a Top 3 in last week's challenge! You've truly made my day. Thanks also to everyone who has left such lovely comments again. I promise to do likewise as it is such a great way to 'share the crafty love'. See you soon, hugs, Buttons x

Shattered Butterflies

Good evening. The first of two posts from me tonight having worked like a ... worker bee (?!) over the weekend. I have created a little something for Linda Ledbetter's CC2 challenge, which this week features the TH 'shattered stains' technique. As mentioned in my last post, I was inspired by Hels Sheridan's hedgehogs and a piece of student artwork. The concept is butterflies emerging from a book...

I began by printing white paper and card with a basic script background image. This was then aged by using Memento Desert Sand direct to paper and watered down DI Walnut Stain splattered with a paint brush (take care! this covered the paper, card, me, the kitchen and the dog!!) Next I cut pages by folding the paper and card and cutting it using the largest Labels Sixteen Spellbinders die. The pages were distressed at the edges using the Walnut Stain again with a little Tsukeniko Ultimate Gold for good measure, and stamped with the a Creative Expressions swirl, again in Walnut.

And now for the magic. Having used a Crafters Companion embossing board to emboss butterfly shapes into a spare piece of the card, I cut them out and used the shattered stains method on them using the Walnut Stain again, this time with Spun Sugar. Confession time - my Rock Candy has gone quite gloopy but it gave a delicate texture when dry so I went with it. Four butterfiles were also embossed into the top pages (the card one for strength) and the wings cut out/bent back. The shattered butterflies were layered on top to look like they were emerging from the pages. Finally the pages were layered together, curled and raised apart using foam pads, extra butterflies launched from lower pages and ribbon applied to the centre. And so...

This is special to me because it is going to top a card for a good friend who will be leaving her role in education in a little while. Let's hope she likes it. Now to post number two...
Hugs, Buttons x

11 May 2012

White Christmas Roses

The Make My Monday challenge this week calls for white flowers. Now I've created any number and variety of coloured flowers for projects, but white is a first; in fact it is so much of a first that when I first saw the challenge I thought "can't do that - no inspiration". However, five days later...

The background had been completed a while ago - lemon juiced background inked, embossed and highlighted with gold ink. Then one of those middle of the night "what if?" moments happened - I didn't want a black, gold or any other coloured edge to the flowers, but if stamping them, there would need to be an edge to cut round.

So, by stamping and embossing with clear embossing powder this effect could be achieved.  The perfect stamps for this came from a Creative Expressions set. It includes several sizes of lentern (Christmas) roses which typically have some delicate colouring in the centre. To achieve this effect I added pale gold and golden pear mica powder into the embossing powder, before heating it from underneath to melt the colour into it. Finally by cutting into the petal edges and curling them I was able to add some dimension to them.

I love the sentiment that is part of this set and stamped it in archival black. Finally for the leaves. There is a lovely spray of ivy in this set which fit perfectly. Flitter Glu and Morris Dance metal flakes on dark green card did the job nicely, and by stamping it twice I was able to decoupage them to add further dimension.

 And so there we have it - white flowers and an entry for the challenge completed !! Hurrah!!
 Now, I've just seen Linda Ledbetter's shattered stains challenge so that is going to require some thought... no, wait, combine it with Hels hedgebogs and an art project I saw recently and... inspiration hits!! See you soon and hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Buttons x

10 May 2012

Something Old...

Good evening all.  Another project to share with you which was created in part to enter the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge 'Your Favourite Stamp', and partly to scratch an itch created by a project by the super talented Terry entitled 'Paris On My Mind'.  I love her use of the colour yellow in this piece - it's a colour I find scary normally.

I've had Adirondack Sunshine Yellow sitting untouched for over a year, but with Terry's inspiration I decided to use it in combination with one of my all time favourite Artemio manuscript background stamps.

The yellow was applied DTP on plain white card, distressed with umber and gold, and stamped using my background stamp and a combination of four inks (a range called Color Kiss that came from Japan - vine green, cobalt blue, red bronze and bright gold).  This was overstamped using clear embossing powder.

The floral panel was distressed and ink spattered with umber and gold, stamped in Archival black using a Rubber Stampede wooden stamp, and painted using the same colours as the manuscript background.  This panel was then glazed wth UTEE. 

The butterflies were embossed, cut out, covered in the same inks (heat set between each layer) and Rock Candy crackle glazed. To add that finishing touch, small antique cream beads were added to the centre of the butterflies, and the distressed card edges were inked with gold and colbalt blue.

Having tried something new with something old I'll definitely be reaching for this colour in future - the manuscript stamp will remain a staple in my crafting repertoire!!

Thank you for stopping by and for all the wonderful comments.  They make my day.
Hugs, Buttons x
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