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30 May 2011

Birthday thoughts

I spent my Saturday afternoon having a lovely cup of tea with my father-in-law whose birthday it is today. I know that some people are not desperately keen on celebrating birthdays (and he is in this group this year) but I love them! I think birthdays are a chance to get together with those you love and spend the day just how you'd like to... and when my life is so busy running our family around this day becomes really special to me (though I confess a few well thought out presents do help too!) So I made him a card that was as subtle as I can be! He spends a lot of time in Lyme Regis so that was my starting point. I bought a map of the UK and cut out an area near Lyme Regis (which was predictably near the binding of the map!) and also a section of sea. 
I used my Styled Labels die cut with my trusty Vagabond and used numbers from Tim's Grungeboard Mixed Minis which I coloured the edges with Silver Paint Dabber and covered with more of the map paper. When dry I cut the numbers out and covered them with a light touch of Glossy Accents just to give them a slight sheen. I cut a piece of acetate to size, adhered the map (Lyme Regis on the front, sea inside - all lined up so they were all neat!), we all signed the sea label and then I glued the numbers on the front. I made a coordinating tag but forgot to photograph that! A huge and heartfelt 'happy birthday' to my father-in-law - I hope you have a wonderful day and that it is spent doing just what you fancy!
Gabrielle x

28 May 2011

How does your garden grow?!

I get really excited when 1pm rolls round on a Monday so I can see what challenge Linda, from Studio L3, has set us this week. I confess to not being as excited by last weeks but this weeks - which is to follow Tim's September 2008 technique looked like fun! It was really simple and this was my take on it.I cut a tag with my trusty Vagabond from cream cardstock (I don't have any watercolour paper -
 what an oversight!) I bought PaperArtsy's Hot Pick 1005 from Linda and Karen at LB Crafts this week as I knew as soon as I saw the challenge that I needed this stamp set! I used Lettuce, Sunshine Yellow, Sunset Orange, Red Pepper 
and Purple Twilight Adirondack Pigment Inks with the flower and grass stamps just as Tim suggested. Then I used purple and red on the 'secret garden' stamp which I didn't mist as I wanted it to be quite clear. I overstamped (in Old Paper Distress Ink) with the curly swirly stamp. I distressed the edges with Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink and added an orange ribbon. So easy and really effective - will be doing this one more often! 
Just a quick tip: over on Stacy's blog is an amazing Tim giveaway! Check it out!
Gabrielle x
Does anyone know why Blogger has suddenly made my posts all central? All very odd.

24 May 2011

Vintage Glamour

When Hels set this week's Sunday Stamper theme of Diamonds and Pearls I had one of two choices leap into my head. To use the Queen as my inspiration (do you have the annual competition to see who can guess what colour she'll be wearing for her Christmas address and whether it'll be diamonds or pearls? No? ...just our family then!) or to use the famous person I most closely resemble... well I would if I had ready access to a
plastic surgeon and oodles of cash! I also spotted this week's Simon Says Stamp Challenge which is Sparkle and Shine and the My Time to Craft Challenge (die cuts) - inspiration was here! I decided to try and recreate a bit of 50s glamour! I covered a canvas with Silver Paint Dabber and edged it with Marketplace Tissue Tape. The picture of Audrey was printed onto Crowded Attic stash and sprayed with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls. I stamped, in Vintage Photo
Distress Ink, some corners - very subtle in the photo - more noticable in real life! I stamped half of a Journaling Ticket with a stamp from Tim's Odds and Ends collection but it looked too harsh so I rubbed a little silver paint on it. I made lots of flowers from Tim's Crowded Attic stash cut with my trusty vagabond (my arm would have looked like Popeye if I'd used my Cuttlebug!) I used Vintage Photo and Black Soot Distress Inks to
edge the flowers and sprayed different layers with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls, Silver Cosmic Shimmer and Graphite Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist. I didn't spray all of the petals - so that it gave a little more 'play' in the colours. Amazing that they are all cut from the same sheets of paper! I made a rosette from Film Strip ribbon (this was so much hassle I won't be doing that again in a
hurry!) anchored with a Philosophy tag which had been rubbed with the silver paint to highlight the word. As this is for my calendar wall I put a month behind an ornate plate and filled the plaque in with Glossy Accents and added a bit of bling here and there! Hope this leaves you feeling a little glamorous!
Gabrielle x
ps Excitingly someone terribly nice has bough my canvas! Thank you so much if you are reading this! So I have replaced the month with a slightly more appropriate legend! So, calendar fans, June will appear again on another project!

20 May 2011

If the children can do it...!

Tom (left) and Freya's colour blocking
I have spent all week wondering what I can do to play along with this week's Grungy Monday technique. The problem I have is that I'm not that inspired by it. Sorry Tim! So I sat down with Tom and we both had a go. He, mainly because he's 8, just went for it. I tried to be ever so careful and mine was awful!!! 
Then Freya (10) came in and showed me just how I was trying too hard as she too created a really brilliant background! So I tried my tag again using Victorian Velvet, Tattered Rose and Milled Lavender Distress Inks. Then I randomly added butterfly (Sketchbook) Tissue Tape and covered it with the inks. My Milled Lavender is hopeless as it is just so pale but hey ho I know it's there! Then I edged with Vintage Photo. 
I had some glassine paper on my desk so I rumpled it all up and cut a birdcage out. The moth is from PaperArtsy's set and I coloured it with Victorian Velvet and stamped it with Vintage Photo. I then applied a thin layer of Glossy Accents. While I had the stamp out I stamped some moths in Victorian Velvet randomly on the tag. 

The bird has the other tissue tape in the pack, covered with Broken China Distress Ink and Gold Paint Dabber at the edges. Then I added clear embossing powder. 
I cut two small flowers from my trusty Tattered Florals die and hung my moth from the bottom of the birdcage (using chain from an old necklace!) 
My lovely sister rang today and asked for a token to give to her manager so I hope this fits the bill! Thank you as always for stopping by and I really do appreciate everyone of your comments! 

Gabrielle x 
Just realised I forgot the ribbon at the top - hope you can imagine it!

17 May 2011

If a bee...

Hmmm.... Old Wives Tales... that's this week's challenge on Simon Says Stamp and Show. I had a few in mind but I have had these bee stamps forever (sorry can't remember where from) and haven't used them and so I looked up an Old Wives Tale about bees! 
The background was inspired by Hels challenge which was to use green (though I had originally planned to make something else I am time limited this week and so am cheating and entering this into that one too!). I made the background by mixing Peeled Paint reinker and PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paint in Snowflake on glossy card. When it was dry I cut a tag with my trusty Vagabond and die
I stamped a PaperArsty flower in peeled paint and then embossed it in clear embossing powder. Then I painted it with Sunshine Yellow, Cranberry and Lettuce Alcohol Inks (really bleaches the colour underneath - very cool to watch!). I stamped the bees with black Archival 
Ink and then painted them with Sunshine Yellow and Aqua Alcohol Inks. I covered tissue tape with Lettuce Alcohol Ink though I should have done that before I stamped the flower really - always learning! I added the sentiment and a crown (from the lovely LB Crafts) above the bee as it reminded me about queen bees! A bit of sari ribbon to finish it off and that is that! Sorry the photos are rubbish. I might see if I have time tomorrow to take better ones! 
Let me know what you think - your comments really are very much appreciated! Gabrielle x

13 May 2011

Oh my stars and stripes!

I have been utterly inspired to be creative after I read Hels' post and then thought I might enter it for the 'Anything Goes' challenge too! I have started an 'art' wall and thought that a month by month calendar might be a good idea as a focal point so I thought I might make July's! (You can see May's here!) I'm not American so don't really have much experience of July 4th celebrations but I've watched enough old movies to be inspired by vintage flags...!!!
So I ripped some October Afternoon paper and some of Tim's stash and inked the edges with Barn Door and Vintage Photo Distress Inks. I glued them together to make a sheet and then covered cardboard as I did here
For the stars I punched out white shrink plastic (with my trusty Stampin' Up punch) and covered one with Silver Paint Dabber. The background was left over cardstock crumpled and sprayed with Sailboat Blue Colour Wash. 
I cut out a July month from a 6x6 sheet and used a tag and left over paper to make the rosette. I painted Clear Rock Candy Crackle Paint and added a Maya Road pin. I stamped stars in Vintage Photo and that was that! 

I have just noticed I haven't waited for the crackle paint to dry before I took the photo!!! Not terribly patient am I?!I have had a long old week this week and making this has been a real relief from it all! Hope you like it! Must think of what to do for the other months now! 
Gabrielle x

Unlucky Friday 13th?

13th May isn't too unlucky for my lovely friend Kitty - as it's her birthday! I hope she enjoys every minute of it and that gets the chance to play with the PaperArtsy present I bought her! We no longer live near each other but thanks to texts, emails, Twitter and Facebook we are in constant touch!
I made her card from acetate, a Stampin' Up stamp and clear shrink plastic with Tim's stamps, alcohol inks and gold paint dabber on various movers and shapers dies joined together with jumps rings. I am currently in love with shrink plastic - it's brilliant stuff! My next post has even more on it! You have been warned!
Her tag was cut out on my lovely Vagabond from a piece of thin card covered with October Afternoon paper and a little square cut out and then backed onto cream card. They were edged with tissue tape! I made the bottle top the same as I did here and  used Mixed Mini Grungeboard for the heart and butterfly. The key was from LB Crafts and I used my trusty Dymo! Happy Friday 13th to you all! 
Gabrielle x

9 May 2011

My very exciting (Grungy) Monday!

I was truly honoured when Linda at Studio L3 asked me to participate in this week's Grungy Monday project - not only is she incredibly talented but she hosts a fabulous weekly challenge  that is really fun to join in with! I found this challenge really enjoyable, Tim's techniques are super easy to do and don't really need many supplies which is a real bonus! The challenge details are here: Tim's 2007 tag - it has the instructions on how to recreate the background. 
I wanted to use the mini frame I bought from LB Crafts and was determined, no matter what I made, it was going to be in that frame! I have played with paint dabbers and distress inks in various colour combinations, as per Tim's instructions, but finally decided on a cloudy blue and 
weathered wood combination! When I looked at it, it looked so much like a sky (instead of wood) that it inspired me to use a butterfly theme. I painted the frame in PaperArsty Fresco Finish Snowflake (lush paint!) and covered the frame with the 6x6 butterfly paper from Tim's Crowded Attic paper stash. I actually cut out two frames to cover both levels and so that the butterfly pattern continues (it's too lovely just to leave it on the first level!) and I edged the whole frame with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. 

I covered one of my Papillon stamps with black paint dabber and stamped it on spare paper a couple of times to get rid of the excess paint and then stamped the image on the canvas. I cut out the central butterfly from the left over paper and covered it lightly with glossy accents
The butterfly's antenna was stamped with black paint onto acetate (using the antenna from Stampin' Up's Butterfly Prints set) and attached on the back with glossy accents. I attached it to a memo pin with an Accouterments button and a type charm, I made a hole in the frame and pushed the memo pin into the frame so the butterfly was 'flying' out of the frame. I used four corners and a May calendar which I cut from Tim's Lost and Found stash and crumpled up and edged with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. The words were printed from my laptop and edged in Vintage Photo and then sort of 'dropped' in place so where they fell was where they stayed! 
Well, I hope you like my contribution and I encourage you to stop by Linda's blog and to also visit the Yahoo group, All Things Tim, where Gloria, the list mom, has a Grungy Monday section where participants can upload their art for the group to admire! 
Really looking forward to reading your comments and I'd love to pop over to your blog and see what you've been doing!
Gabrielle x

6 May 2011

Better late than never!

I am so late! The latest Grungy Monday challenge has been out for ages and I haven't made anything for it! So I decided to rectify that and made this little wall hanging. 
The challenge is, in essence, to cut a space from foam for an item to be embedded in a scrapbook page or piece of art but I didn't have any foam so used some really thick cardboard that I couldn't bear to throw away (I am such a squirrel!). I covered it with paper from the Lost and Found paper stash - I am not usually very colourful but I decided that today 
was a day to throw caution to the wind and break with tradition! I added some Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist over the paper as I think I am addicted to it! I punched four circles from some leftover Stampin' Up paper from this project as well as making a mini rosette (I really do squirrel everything away!). I used paint dabbers (Watermelon, Cloudy Blue, Lettuce and Gold) to colour three letters, a star and a crown from Tim's mixed mini's grungeboard. The wings were painted in Watermelon, lightly sprayed with silver Cosmic Shimmer and then painted with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint. I 'smooched' a little gold paint dabber over the top of them - I couldn't help myself! The circles, letters and star were put inside four 'previously enjoyed' Budweiser bottle caps and covered very liberally with glossy accents (and I waited very impatiently for them to dry!). I punched a bottle top from the paper, lightly covered it, and the crown, with glossy accents and the put them together. I just need to put a little hook on the back now...! 
I am so sorry that this was so late - must try harder! 
Gabrielle x

2 May 2011

Hands up!

I have a problem. Not a huge earth shattering one you understand, but a problem nonetheless. I needed a way to carefully store my tags etc that I make and don't give away or that are in the middle of being 'made'. They are just precariously hanging from a bulldog clip in the corner of the room I call my craft room and that David calls his study! 
Anyway I solved it today! I bought a kraft paper A5 folder from Paperchase for £3 that was just ripe for recovering and some clear plastic inserts and I will be able to store them safely with a note of why I made them, if they were blogged, when, etc! 
I cut two sheets of October Afternoon's Good Junk into two 228mm x 188mm and one 228 x 40mm for the cover and the same again from two Stampin' Up (Newsprint - page 91 of the 2011 UK catalogue) sheets for the inside. The folder came with the ring binder section already attached so I did cut a slot out of the back page to slide under it and keep a nice finish. The edges were finished with Tim's Traveler Tissue Tape (as Tissue Tape doesn't stick to itself, I did 
put a dab of glue wherever it met so that it doesn't peel at a later date). I didn't want to overdecorate the front as it is likely to end up on a shelf and when it gets pulled in and out it's likely to get damaged but I couldn't resist doing a little 
when I read this week's Simon Says Stamp and Show blog. The challenge was to 'show some hands' and I really wanted to join in! The Alphabet card is from JBS and I made the Rosette (with my lovely Vagabond!) from an off cut from the Newsprint paper. The Philosophy Tag and game spinner were painted with Gold Paint Dabber, as was the hand from the October Afternoon 5 & Dime Miscellany pack
I wasn't confident enough to stamp the black hand (from PaperArtsy) directly onto the gold one (I am sooo honest!) so I stamped it onto acetate and laid it on top! The bingo number was from Maya Road. Not a spray of Perfect Pearls anywhere - must be getting over my addiction! 
Gabrielle x

1 May 2011

A day of Firsts!

I have had such a lovely day today. My sister came back from holiday and bought me a truly lovely birthday present. Even though she is not very crafty she kindly oohed and ahhed when she saw my fabulous Vagabond! Now that is the mark of a wonderful sister! 
We also finally made it to the infamous Concrete Cows which are such a landmark in Milton Keynes. We've been here for 4 years, 5 months and 7 days today - which means we really should have been to see them before now! Tom in particular loved being a 'cowboy' and riding his 'rusty steed'!!! Sooo cute!

Yesterday I went to see Lin at the too tempting LB Crafts and bought some PaperArsty Fresco Finish paint in Snowflake which I have had my eye on for ages. I bought a few other things, including some shrink plastic, and decided to combine them in my first 'inchie' (which is actually 1.5" square but no one will notice!) I covered a square of Grungeboard that I had left over from the ArstyCrafts day in February (OMG that was so much fun!) in Fresco Finish paint. 
I put it on liberally as I wanted a stucco/textured feel and then was too impatient to let it dry and used my trusty heat gun! I then inked it with Aqua Alcohol Ink and the edges with Denim (I am getting a little obsessed with Alcohol Inks - is there a self-help group - AIA perhaps?!) and added a little Gold Paint Dabber on the very edges. The Alcohol Ink really softens with the chalky paint and becomes very beautiful - a terrifically beautiful effect. 
I cut out a bird and birdcage from shrink plastic using my lovely Vagabond, lightly sanded them and then inked them with Espresso and Aqua Alcohol Inks. I have never used Alcohol Ink on shrink plastic before and really enjoyed the result - I liked how the colours stayed vibrant which is a good contrast to the Fresco Finish paint.
I shrank them (including the wing which I'd inked in Denim but it looked wrong so didn't use it - I will ink another in Aqua when I have a minute!) They shrank beautifully under the intense heat of my heat gun (it is a little industrial so isn't great at finer heating projects) and the birdcage came out all wobbly which I really liked! The picture shows a sort of 'before and after'! I just attached a key from Blue Moon Beads with a jump ring. Really pleased with results - am going to make a few of them and put them in a frame so will keep you posted as I do more! Off to clean my craft sheet now!
Gabrielle x