31 October 2012

WOYWW 178 (I think?!)

Good morning and welcome fellow WOYWWers. SO glad you are only catching a glimpse into my world via a cable today as it's a 'plaque house' at the moment - the lurgy seems to be hitting us all this half term. Now that is the perfect excuse for staying indoors crafting except that my mojo/head has gone very fuzzy. I spent a good portion of yesterday creating these leaves and now have to work out what to do with them! As you can see all the necessary supplies are poised for action...

And this is for you Morti (I've shown you mine, now you show me yours!!) I mentioned our woof recently and was asked to produce a piccie of her. Butter wouldn't melt! (NOT) We rescued her a year ago, underweight, untrained (in any way) and confused, and life has never been the same since:) She is now plenty heavy enough (just ask my feet when she sits on them) Kennel Club trained (when she remembers/bothers:) and totally at home except when the hoover comes out!

Right, time to visit the lives of my fellow WOYWWers. For those unfamiliar with this term we are a bunch of friendly crafters who meet up via the internet and share our workdesks/lives. If you fancy having a browse/joining in then please head over to Julia's Stamping Ground for the details. Hugs, Buttons x

30 October 2012

Tags With Purpose

Hello out there blogland! Well it's been a busy old weekend and my head can't get used to the clocks changing at all - probably this pesky cold making it worse, but enough of that. Thank you to everyone who left a comment and took part in my 100 followers giveaway. To make it completely fair I used a random draw to pick a winner (drumroll please...........)

True Random Number Generator 3 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

So the winner is............. sam21ski
Hurrah!!! Let me know where to send your prize to by email and it'll be on its way!!!

Now on to the crafty part of this post. Over at The Funkie Junkie blog Linda Coughlin has set a 12 Tags of Christmas challenge that is currently ongoing and is sponsored by the Funkie Junkie Boutique. Each week she is posting a new tag from which to take inspiration and create your own project. Don't panic if you haven't seen it/started yet as there's still time - Linda has set a deadline of 17th December for completing all twelve. Why not pop over to the first one HERE to check on the rules.
So here is my fourth tag of the series...

Here's Linda's fourth tag to help show where I took my inspiration from...

I loved the gingham background and 'postcard' top, the pinecone, the red embossed panel and the use of twine on Linda's tag.

The first element to be completed was the kraft glassine pinecone, built by layering successively smaller layers over the original full image. A shout out here to Woodware - you may remember I won a chance to purchase some Woodware goodies from The Stamp Man, and this included the large pinecone stamp. This image includes the pine needles as well as the cone. I didn't want the image to cover the background too much so stamping onto acetate seemed a sensible solution. It also allowed for the addition of the beautiful lace from The Funkie Junkie Boutique, stained with Peeled Paint Distress Ink.

Now I don't have any Christmas embossing folders at the moment, but I do have several textured ones and a bingo one. When Tim Holtz designed these he was clever enough to include significant numbers on them. I wanted the run up to the 25th to be shown but not the other numbers - cue my trusty diffusers!!! (another buy from The Funkie Junkie Boutique:)
The embossing was then highlighted by using first gold embossing powder and then swiping most of it with Coffee Archival Ink (yep, another fab Funkie Junkie Boutique purchase:)

Without a gingham stamp the best way to achieve that look was with some Basic Grey paper which was then stamped on and edged with Peeled Paint Distress Ink. This was echoed with green punched leaves covered in Peeled Paint Stickles glitter. Ribbon, twine, buttons and MDF letters completed the tag.

I've mentioned previously that my intention with all these Christmas tags is to use them on cards this year, and it seemed a good time to show you how that aspect is progressing (eleven down so far but not enough room to show them all in any detail!) The sentiments are Woodware stamps, purchased from The Stamp Man as part of that win too. By putting them onto recycled kraft cards, the tags retain their handmade feel.

OK, need to finish by saying a big thankyou to the ladies at Fashionable Stamping Challenges who were kind enough to put me in the spotlight this week. Also, as I go to bed my thoughts and prayers go out to all those on the East Coast of the USA who are facing extreme weather conditions. May you all come through this safe and well. Hugs as ever, Buttons x

27 October 2012

Honey, I made these cards...

Hello and welcome everyone, including my newest followers (little squeal of delight!!) Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments this week. The feedback has been amazing and I am blown away to have so much support. OK, down to business. I promised to celebrate hitting the 100 followers mark, and true to my word, I have organised a prize draw for this fantasic Vintage Sewing rubber stamp set.

To be in with a chance to win just make sure you're a follower and leave a comment below. I will close the giveaway and randomly draw a winner on Monday 29 October at 23.59 BST (officially at the end of Son 3's birthday!!) to give peeps the chance to enter after the weekend.

Now for the second reason for todays post. Four birthday cards were needed pronto in time for this weekend, and I only had two appropriate ones in my stash. This gave me the opportunity to get crafty... blank cards... no ideas... help! It was at hand thanks to The Craft Stamper magazine and two articles by the amazing Hels Sheridan (namely August 2012, p 62 and August 2011, p40).

Hels explains this far better than I in her article, but suffice to say I used a Tim Holtz mini stamp set, the freebie Craft Stamper butterfly from the August 2012 issue, and lashings of Wild Honey/Faded Jeans Distress Markers and Fired Brick/Peeled Paint Distress Inks over the top of Coffee Archival Ink.

As this involved the use of lots of Wild Honey I'm entering it for

Lots of Walnut Stain/Stormy Sky/Antique Linen Distress Ink in this one, again with the main image and sentiment stamped in Coffee Archival Ink. I found adding clear embossing powder to the lion helped to make him stand out more.

These were a bit restrained for me! Am I slowly getting the hang of less is more?!!
Right, time to go. Family stuff to do asap, and I promise to do the rounds in Blogland before the end of tonight to catch up with you all. Don't forget to leave that comment if you want the stamps!
Have a great weekend, hugs Buttons x

25 October 2012

Top Talent Award Spotlight

Welcome back one and all and to my newest followers thank you and enjoy:) It's a bit of a milestone time at the moment both in crafting and in my 'real' life. You may have noticed that I have just reached the 100 followers milestone. This needs celebrating - leave it with me, I have a bit of a plan and will sort it out asap, promise.
Now, you were also promised you something special yesterday. A little while ago I was chosen to receive a Top Talent Award by the Our Creative Corner design team . What an honour, but wait, it didn't stop there. I was given the opportunity to be given my own 'moment in the spotlight', and that happens today!!!

I'll show you my project here, and then pop over to the Our Creative Corner blog to get a bit more of the lowdown on lil' 'ole moi:) And so without further ado...

With four men and a 5.5 stone Malamute in the house there is precious little space available for random projects to hang around. This means anything I create has to have a purpose, hence the cards and tags to put on cards (large family, many birthdays) or pots to put crafting stuff in. I have an academic diary which is beyond boring - burgundy leatherette, gold lettering, nothing remarkable. Time for a change!

The starting point was the 'red' stencilled background. Those of you who have seen my previous two posts will know this started life as bright yellow card. After a slosh of Brushed Corduroy Distress Stain, stencil through an Impressibilities stencil with Fired Brick Distress Ink. Tim Holtz has recently blogged about the use of stencils with Distress Embossing Powders (HERE). I used a Stamps Away trellis stencil with Walnut Stain Distress Embossing Powder. Love the texture this creates and the fact that it 'protects' the embossing.

This was matted/layered and had a Spellbinders edge added over a gold punched border. I'm really gonna be using this every day at work so it needed protecting with a good cover of Ranger Glue n Seal. Then the fun really began!

I'm not afraid to admit I'm VERY OCD about the details. As a result the choice of toppings changed three times - I made all sorts of stuff and then changed my mind. There is even another version of the blue tag on the reverse that will never see the light of day again:)

My final choices included; a folder made from a piece of recycled cardboard packaging coloured with Wild Honey Distress Ink, with added file tags and a piece of K&Co Ancestry paper (suitably stamped and inked); an MDF pocket watch painted with mica paints and an MDF typewriter coloured with Promarkers (both from Crafty-Emblies); a stamped gold pen, clear triple embossed; and a tag covered in Faded Jeans and Walnut Stain Distress Inks, stamped, gilded and clear embossed to finish.

And there you have it, a piece I am genuinely proud of. There is no way I would have been able to achieve this back in April when this blogging/crafting adventure began, and the thought of getting one follower was a dream. For all those of you out there who are new to this lark yourselves,

Finally, thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way and a special thank you to Hels Sheridan for giving me the kick up the preverbial backside to start. I am eternally grateful. Finally a huge thank you to the team at Our Creative Corner for giving me this opportunity, especially the ever present/supportive Linda Coughlin, the Funkie Junkie herself, and my super guide for this process, Lisa.

Thank you for sharing this with me, don't forget to hop over to the Our Creative Corner blog HERE, and see you all very soon. Huge hugs, Buttons x

24 October 2012


Hi out there, welcome to my world. Today it's Wednesday, which means it's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, a chance to take a peek at crafty areas across the globe. Want to find out more and even join in? Head over to Julia's HERE to find out more.
Now, I promised yesterday to show how I've been playing with the coloured card that is normally left to one side. Using an Imbossibilities stencil and various combos of Distress Ink they are easily transformed into card which is totally lush. Why don't you give this a go with your unloved coloured card?

It's like having my own fabric samples book:) and this is going to grow as I use other things on the card. My new brad pot is there at the top and there's the very beginnings of two cards next to my pad (another experiment which may/may not work!)
Right, time to head off to visit my fellow WOYWWers, but with one small request - I would really love it if you could join me tomorrow (Thursday) for something a bit special.
hugs Buttons x

22 October 2012

Christmas is getting earlier!

Welcome to my new followers and to those who have visited before. Your company and comments are, as always, very much appreciated. Has anyone else noticed how the shops seem to move smoothly from suncream to Santa sacks before people's tans have even faded these days? Well I'm using that as a thinly veiled excuse for using Autumnal colours on this Christmas tag. It all started with a happy accident.

Believe it or not those holly leaves started life as bits of bright yellow card. I'm not a fan of yellow so I used a piece of card as a mask for a tree (see HERE). Now what you can't see is the reverse of that tag, namely my failed first attempt. Originally I blended over the tag with DI Walnut Stain and then stencilled over it using my new Impressabilities stencil (from Anne) with DI Stormy Sky. It all got a bit too dark, so I turned the tag over and started again, but it left a very pretty Christmas tree! So I played with the stencil/different card colours (come back Wednesday to see my experiments:) and used that yellow card combo for these leaves.

Another happy accident happened when those leaves were piled onto my Basic Grey Jovial paper pad and a match made in heaven revealed itself. Mind you, the leaves needed a matting layer of olive card to make them stand out properly and the touches of glossy accents and red brought it to life.

One last vital element - hopefully you can spot the difference between the the original paper underneath and the final tag. Yep, stencilled holly leaves in DI Antique Linen and Walnut Stain, an idea courtesy of the genius that is Butterfly. So, although it's intended for use on a Christmas card, this tag has more than a touch of what are traditionally 'Fall' colours. And for that reason I am entering it into the current Anything But A Card challenge which asks for Halloween, Fall or Fall Colours.

Right, it's a busy and exciting week ahead, what with WOYWW and a very special post on Thursday so I hope you can join me. For now hope you have a great week ahead, hugs Buttons x

20 October 2012

Santa Claus is coming to town...

Go on, admit it. Your singing that song in your head now:) Happy Saturday to followers new and old. It's still thrilling each time someone decides to sign up to see my posts, and I do try to find your blogs so I can follow you too - to me crafting is as much about encouraging and supporting each other as it is about showing off our own creations. Stepping down from the soapbox now... and so for today's offering, which is my take on Tim Holtz' October tag.

I don't really do Halloween (more of a Bonfire Night gal) and rather than focus on what I don't have I went for the more positive approach. Background first. Music score on tissue paper with green and blue pigment ink over the top. Following TH's instructions I worked DI Stormy Sky into the creases and added DI Walnut Stain to the edges, then spritzed the whole thing with some copper mica mist. A final stamping with a TH swirl in Black Archival Ink to finish.

Sleigh next. I covered corrugated cardboard with copper acrylic paint - with added beach sand - added a few drops of Pitch Black alcohol ink, a rub of DI Walnut Stain, and completed the runner with Distress Stickles Antique Bronze (gotta love this stuff!) The parcels carry on the paper theme of my previous Christmas tags and who wouldn't be tempted to open them?!

I have coloured embossing glitter with alcohol ink but the red 'Santa' needed a more uneven finish - reach for Fired Brick Distress Stickles and hey presto. Finishing touches included the cord from clothing tags coloured with acrylic paint, a Tim Holtz washer, Woodware lock and key brads (all from The Stamp Man) and some Funkie Junkie Boutique seam binding with copper paint resist (well you can resist in something other than white sometimes - see below) and DI Stormy Sky/Peeled Paint soaked over the top of the resist.

And of course, this will be entered into the following challenges;
That's all for now folks. Have a great weekend, and see you on a blog near you soon.
Hugs, Buttons x

19 October 2012

What's In The Pot?

Welcome to followers new and old. I appreciate that you spend some of your precious time with me, especially when you leave comments too. It feels like an age since I've posted a project, but it's all been in the name of getting those creative juices flowing after Kettering (and you all know how much I enjoyed that!) Three projects finished which I am happy with - makes a change - and here's the first of them...

This is being entered into the following challenges;
Warning: there are going to be quite a few photos/explanations, including a tutorial for a way to use the new Sizzix diffusers, so grab a coffee and a snack to help keep your strength up. It'll be worth it:)

Focusing first on the pot - it's a paper mache one that I got as part of a prize from Woodware. Dorothy from Woodware emailed me out of the blue and told me to spend some money on Woodware products, so I headed off to The Stamp Man to get some goodies. It was always going to hold my brads (some already in the stash and some as another part of the prize) and then I decided to make it something I would enjoy having on the desk every day.

The bottom half has been covered in embossed metal tape - you may notice that the folders have been mixed (one is the Honeycomb Texture Fade and one a Creative Expressions flower folder). Here's how I did this bit using my beloved diffusers (for those in the UK, available at The Funkie Junkie Boutique) ...

Yes, you can mix the folders! They will only emboss in the parts which are covered - tape essential!!

Fill in the 'gaps' with the other folder...

You just need to line up the corresponding inner diffuser shape with the area left by the outer diffuser.

When completed, just add alcohol inks and then rub with steel wire.

I added more colour using Promarkers and my finger!! The lid was covered in Walnut Stain Distress Ink and another purchase from The Stamp Man, Walnut Stain Distress Embossing Powder.

The rose needed to be autumnal so having made it with metal foil I covered it in Indigo Blu Mega Flakes 'Morris Dance' - yes WOYWWers, I made three, and then decided to use just one! The leaves are Coredinations cardstock covered in Cosmic Shimmer Mist in Silver and edged with DI Walnut Stain.

The butterfly (a Craft Stamper freebie) and the bee (from The Stamp Man) were embossed onto vellum and coloured with mica paint, and yes Hels, I even cut the antennae out on the butterfly:)

My hidden element is a life afirming message to me hidden in the lid - hope Sue C. approves:)

Well, the weekend approaches and I have something special to get finished in time for next Thursday. If you are up for it there'll be a much shorter post tomorrow - my October Tim tag.
Huge hugs to you all and I hope you have a fab weekend, Buttons x

17 October 2012


I know!!! Late!!! No excuses, got caught up with stuff and suddenly thought "oh heck" (well that's the polite version anyway:) It's Wednesday, which means What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday is currently in full flow - this is a chance for the inquisitive amongst us to find out what others are up to (or not). To find out more please head over to Julia's blog HERE and hopefully we'll see you soon.

What do we have here then? After Kettering I was inspired to get even more mucky than usual. Looks clean on the desk but you want to see my hands! Even with a Grimebuster alcohol ink clings somewhat:) I'm working on combining a few challenges, so you find me in the middle of altering that pot in front of the Distress Rock Candy. Just got some Distress Embossing Powders and Distress Stickles - OMG what brilliant results! Doesn't having the right stuff make such a difference? The pot itself if about done (though I'll probably faff more:) and now it's time to make metal flowers. Gonna use those Morris Dance Mega Flakes on them somehow. Still mulling the best way to do that as I find they don't stick on shiny/smooth surfaces quite as well. All suggestions greatfully received...

Promised Anne x I would show you the artwork on the wall to the far left. Son 1 completed this for his GCSE - he ended up spending most of last year's summer holidays doing loads of shell paintings on playing cards and thankfully it was all worth it. The part to show Anne is the background. He mixed acrylic paint with beach sand (more irregular than building sand) and then 'borrowed' my mica mists to add a subtle sheen to it. I've been using the same idea for faux rusting but it can be quite tricky and reluctant to stick in place depending on the surface. Right, enough yacking. Need to come see what you have been up to now.
Wishing you a happy WOYWW, hugs from Buttons x

14 October 2012

Just Persevere

Welcome to my newest followers and welcome back to those who've been here before. You find me on a busy Sunday with a pile of ironing to do (I don't mind that actually - gives me thinking time) and full of renewed inspiration. I will start by saying that there is a lot of yacking at the start of this post, so if you would prefer to 'cut to the chase' the piccies are a bit further down the page.

Sometimes the doubts set in when you see other people's work and begin to wonder if you will ever be that good. At that point it is wonderful to get some encouraging words from those around you - or in this case fellow bloggers like Butterfly and Anne, to name but a few. Then two huge 'shots in the creative arm' happened in the form of Hels Sheridan and Ali Reeve (of Stamps Away fame).

To explain, I attended the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show in Kettering yesterday and had the time of my life. Ali demo'd her Ink Blending Mats which are truly genius. Yes, they help you blend, but you can use them for perfect reverse stamping (they are solvent resistant) using a Grand Calibur (or I assume any other embossing machine) and you can even do a brayer effect without the need for that level of dexterity. I was stood at the stand as that particular lightbulb moment went on in Ali's head (and I'm proud to say mine at about the same time!) and feel sure she will be showing it to everyone having had chance to experiment further to push the potential.

Then it was off to see Hels in order to attend two of her classes. It's only when you spend time with a Ranger Educator that you truly 'get' why they can teach so much more - a huge depth of knowledge of the products and the inspiration behind them means they seem better able to get you to see how best to get the most out of them. Hels, resplendent in steampunk hat and newly straightened hair, guided two large classes through a world of inkiness resulting in our producing two beautiful tags (and in my case the mucky fingers to match!!) She may be posting them at some stage so I won't show mine out of creative respect.
"Just show us something woman!!" OK, there are piccies in this edition of War & Peace.

And the inspiration for this little number (created pre-Kettering) why Miss Hels herself - there was a fab tutorial on her blog on Friday which I sort of followed.

Obviously the colours are different - I like to think the background splatters of Jenni Bowlin 'Seed Packet' ink are a bit like ivy up the wall. Hmmm, that wall. No brick stencil here so I used a Creative Expressions embossing folder, rubbed DI Walnut Stain carefully over the top and reflattened the cardstock.

I must admit to loving the hand drawn lines seen on this - no need for perfection!!!
 Needless to say, after my day in Kettering I am now raring to go with a couple of ideas that I haven't seen much about out there. This may take a little time so if I disappear from Blogland there's no need to send out a search party - I'll be knee deep in masks, folders and inks, and ejoying every minute of it:))
Hugs for now, Buttons x

10 October 2012

A Friend Indeed

Hi all and welcome to my new followers. I feel honoured that you have chosen to keep up to date with my crafting addiction. I also feel blessed to have some very special existing followers, including my crafting BFF Anne who's box of goodies transformed this project (see last post HERE).
Now, a few challenges have come along at once, namely;

I also saw the wonderful DT creation by the uber-talented Sue C HERE.
Thoughts of these themes sent me on a journey in my head (I know, it's a worry) to stories of a former seamstress in the autumn of her years reminiscing about her life and looking at her rusting scissors...

OK, so the ladies at F&F are thinking "where's the tag then"? Ah ha!

Take six small tags.

Die cut the flat ends.

(apologies that this is a tad blurry) so, colour with inks/mica, emboss - my new Impressabilities stencil was essential here as I needed a delicate pattern and something that wouldn't push through the tags. Inked raised areas clear embossed, and hey presto, you have the start of a flower!

Just add guilded kraft glassine (courtesy of Compendium of Curiosities 2 and my friend Anne!) a died piece of netting and an inked brad.

As well as kraft leaves and stash buttons I added a wooden button and scissors courtesy of Crafty-emblies (links above) and two grungepaper buttons. These got a rusty makeover (ink and roughed-up embossing powder a la Tim Holtz (videos on his website). The seam binding (Anne again!) was inked too.

To round up the rest, the tape measure border was inked and covered in Cosmic Shimmer Dark Bronze mica powder, the tissue pattern was stamped in Ranger Coffee Archival Ink, and the other images were stamped onto cardstock that was smooched in an inky/mica puddle on my craft mat - very Anita Houston stylee! There's a fair amount of shine on this but that big orange ball in the sky has done a disappearing act:(
Hope you enjoyed my little lady's story, hugs Buttons x
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