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29 February 2012


It's Wednesday! That means it's the weekly snoop around the creative spaces of blogland! Thank you Julia for being our gracious hostess once again! My desk shows the detritus of the last few days (and the make below!) - I really should have tidied up for my WOYWW visitors! The Art Parts on the left are what I chose with my Grungy Monday prize - I'm really pleased with them so now I need to make them into something a little more than a mess!
I found five minutes to play in the Studio last night after completing my DT duties and I had a little piece of board in my hand. I painted it with Snowflake, Nougat, Vintage Lace and Irish Cream PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paints and when it was dry I roughly sanded it down and used what was left on my brush to add a little paint in some of the bigger gaps. 
Then I used the same paints through the Mini Harlequin and a Mini Circle mask. I had washed all my cut and dry foam squares and left them in the kitchen... whilst the kitchen is only about 20 steps away once I go back into the house I am suddenly mum again! So I used balled up kitchen roll which gave a really subtle effect so I was pleased by my own laziness! I'm not sure the photos do the background justice! 
I stamped the row of bottles and the flower in Jet Black Archival Ink and then painted them in with Portfolio Pastels. I then stamped the little label on a separate piece of board, edged it with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and attached it with a brad which I attacked with my Texture Hammer! I might go back and add Glossy Accents to the bottles to make them a little more glass like... Thank you for stopping by - I will try and return the visit!

27 February 2012

Blue Bird

My friend, the lovely Kitty from a far away land*, came to visit on Saturday and we found a few minutes to play with my PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paints! We both had a piece of greyboard and used pretty much all of the colours of paints, and masks, I have! We had such a good time that we played too long and didn't finish them before the lovely Kitty had to go, so we set each other the task of completing our backgrounds later. 
So yesterday I added a Journalling Ticket which I scuffed the edges and added a smidge of Vintage Photo. The advert is from Hot Pick 1109 which I stamped on canvas, painted with some Portfolio Pastels and Antique Linen Distress Stain. I scuffed the edges so that it wasn't quite so perfectly round! 
The bird was stamped on white card, painted with a wash of Beach Hut Fresco Finish paint (I love this colour) and edged with a little Vintage Photo. I hope the lovely Kitty approves of my completed project - I've seen a photo of hers and it looks fabulous! Thank you for stopping by!
*ok - so the lovely Kitty actually isn't from a far away land (she lives about 70 miles away) but sometimes it feels far away!

IACW - Sneaky Peek

It's my turn over at It's a Creative World today and I am confessing a not very well hidden secret! Want to know what it is? Then click here and you will be transported via the magic of the internet!


24 February 2012

Shamelessly showing off

Hello! I hope this finds you well and looking forward to the weekend! I appear to have a tap where my nose once was so yet again this year I am stricken with a lurgy! However I feel tip top in myself so that's a bonus! So why am I shamelessly showing off? Well, I have never had my art included in an advert before and so I was very excited when Creative Expressions chose some of the art that Tracy, Hazel and I had produced to advertise their range of Studio 490. If you look closely you'll spy a little of the tag Freya made - should you be curious, the original post was here! Creative Expressions are the main UK distributor for Studio 490 and will be stocking everything - I know this because Wendy said so here! So, if like me, you love Wendy's products then they may be in a stockist near you! Anyway, back to being shameless... This is what the advert looked like in print... thank you for letting me be just a little excited! Have a great weekend!

22 February 2012


Thanks to Tom for this 'before' photo - he stood on my chair so apologies if the photo makes you feel a little seasick!
So Wednesday lovers it's here again and what better way to celebrate than to join in with Julia's band of nosey neighbours over at What's on your Workdesk? Wednesday?! This week I offer you a sort of before and after shot of my desk - the before speaks for itself and the after... 
Well it was spotless and then I had a little play before remembering I was supposed to photograph the desk in it's newly gleaming state! Lots of Cut and Dry Foam and masks ready to be cleaned (which I did!) See the ribbon on my desk? It's an escapee from here: 
and I have more here: 
Not really sure why I hoard ribbons but hoard them I do and am very reluctant to use them! I also hoard inks, stamps, Art Parts, Ideaology, paints, papers... you get the idea! Have a truly fabulous Wednesday!

21 February 2012

A little courage...

I was playing in the Studio last night seeing how different Fresco Finish paints work in layers on each other - was really a lot of fun! The basic premise was to add thin layers, drying each one and then adding paint through masks, again in layers. I really like how by building the layers up you get different effects and the transcluscent  paints react differently with the layers below creating new shades. It's really very clever stuff! 
Anyway I was building up layers having a lovely time when I remembered that this painty surface is really great to stamp on. So I got out my really fabulous Hot Pick Stamp & Die Set 01 - Moths and stamped three of the moths on the tag in Jet Black Archival Ink and then panicked as the black ink was so stark against the background! However one of the really clever things about layering paint is that if you gently sand it then you reveal the layers below and so I sanded the whole tag (as well as those beautiful moths) meaning that much of the starkness was sanded away. Phew! 
As it started to come together I remembered a stamp on the Hot Pick 1011 set that reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend today. And so I stamped the sentiment on some spare Kraft card (as it was just a smidge too long for the tag!), edged it in a little Peeled Paint Distress Ink and I will give it to my friend today as I think it might just make her smile!
Courage comes in different forms - sometimes it takes a lot of courage to show our work to the world - allowing ourselves to be judged - knowing something wasn't as good as it could be but wanted to get feedback anyway. It takes courage then to take it a step further and enter challenges and I was so thrilled when the lovely Gillian spotted that I'd been chosen as the Simon Says Stamp Grungy Monday 36 winner for my True Love Valentine! I don't know if was names in a hat that decided the winner but I was glad I felt brave to enter 'cos it was a great feeling to have been picked! Thank you to Simon Says Stamp and to the lovely Linda for tirelessly inventing Grungy Monday challenges!

20 February 2012

Food Glorious Food!

It's new challenge at Crafty Boots and this fortnight's theme was set by Amy who chose 'Food'. Now I found this quite tricky as I didn't think I had anything food related but then I remember that I'd bought a cupcake die for one of Freya's birthdays! 
I cut out two cupcakes from mountboard and the icing section, one cherry and one flower. I covered both sides of the cupcakes with dictionary paper (the die has cut lines in them and so I wanted to strengthen the shape). 
I then added a thin layer of Snowflake Fresco Paint. I used a variety of masks and Fresco paints (e.g. Claret,Dolly Mix, Inky Pool, Limelight, Pansy and Beach Hut)  to create the images on the inside and outside. 
The cherry was Claret and Limelight Fresco Paints with a little Barn Door and Peeled Paint Distress Inks. The little flower was covered with Dolly Mix Fresco Paint and both the cherry and flower were covered with Glossy Accents. The whole project was sanded and then edged with Pumice Stone Distress Ink (what? No Vintage Photo?!) and I added some Studio 490 stamps to the inside. To make this a card I added two eyelets, a jump ring and a little ribbon. I hope you like my interpretation of the theme and please do stop by the rest of the DTs blogs and see what they have made!

19 February 2012

Man and Machine

Today is my Dad's birthday and we're off to celebrate over lunch. I thought that I adored my Dad - but then my children came along and they took it to another level! He is their unofficial hero! I thought I ask them why - for Freya it's his 'utter kindness' and for Tom 'because he's really nice and he lets me help him in the garage' and it's Tom's comment that prompted this card and tag. 
My Dad is a racing driver at heart. I'm sure if you cut him open there would be go faster stripes instead of veins! He has had a successful amateur racing career for 50 years and a variety of cars that he has lovingly built to race and cars he's restored from rusty shells to beloved members of the family. 
PaperArtsy's Hot Pick 1106 a natural choice! I made both the card and tag the same way, covering both with a layer of London Night Fresco Paint and used both this and Vintage Lace Fresco Paint to 'bump' stencils (Mini Bingo and Cogs). 
I sanded the images lightly and stamped the car and sentiments in Jet Black Archival Ink. I did sand the car image again as it looked a little stark! I added Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges. I hope my Dad likes them and that he has a truly wonderful day. Thank you for sharing this with me.

16 February 2012

Little birdie...

For this week's Creative Expressions DT piece I am using the rather fabulous Garden Chic stamp set by Eco Green. I have fallen in love with the little bird but haven't used it much and so I thought I'd put that right today! Following the comments on my blog and by email on my last DT post I have used a similar technique and hopefully this will answer some of the questions you had! If it doesn't let me know and I'll answer them directly! I cut two ATCs from cream mount board and pushed them together on my craft mat. I used Tumbled Glass, Broken China and Faded Jeans Distress Inks for the sky and Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint and Forest Moss for the grass. When I blend backgrounds I try to leave a discrete line between the sky and the grass, so when I spritz them with water the colours wick away from each creating a natural horizon. I then used Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint and Vintage Photo to create the tall grasses at the edges of the ATCs. If you want to see the background before I added the rest then click here
I stamped the bee and bird in Black Soot Distress Ink and made a little plate for the bird to stand on with the word 'fleurs' inside from mount board, coloured in Faded Jeans. The bee and bird were painted in with Distress Stains. If I do this again I'll think ahead and use an Archival Ink as, of course, Distress Ink reacts with water! Always learning!!! 
The plaque on the bottom was a piece of mount board stamped with Cobalt Archival Ink, and coloured as before. I added a rough layer of clear embossing powder and tapped some off so that when it was heated I could rub Faded Jeans Distress Ink into the 'pits' for a more interesting effect. To finish I added 6 silver eyelets, some twine and a little Glossy Accents on the wings of the bee. Thank you for popping by today!

15 February 2012


I know I say this every week but it's Wednesday already! Sometimes the week whizzes by! Today is my last day at work this week as it's half term here and I'm going to spend the rest of the week with F&T - no idea what we'll do but luckily Daddy took them to the cinema to see 'Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked' so I have escaped that 'pleasure'! So for those who are new to the wonderful world of What's on Your Workdesk? Wednesday the idea is simple - simply post gratuitous photos of your creative crafting space and then pop over to our gracious hostess with the mostess, Julia, link your post and then have a nosey around all the other blogs who are sharing their creative spaces! This week I am thrilled to report that not only do I feel a gazillion times better than I have in ages but that my mojo has been discovered hiding in my Studio 490 stamps and is fully restored! Hurrah! I am, as you can see, finally able to have a well needed tidy (I'll have you know that had nothing to do with the lovely Ms Myhill coming over on Sunday to go to Stamperama via a quick peek at the Studio  - pure coincidence!!!) 
So whilst my desk has finally been discovered under a pile of discarded stamps it means I have nothing to show you - but I will show you a sneaky peek of this week's Creative Expressions DT piece - but don't tell anyone I showed you! The full reveal will be later this week. Happy Wednesday y'all!

14 February 2012

True Love

Now I don't want my blog to turn into a slushy read but today IS Valentine's Day and I am hugely privileged to be married to my True Love so this little token is for him! I am somewhat consumed by my newly learned technique of bumping and some what obsessed by Portfolio Pastels so I covered a piece of thick cardboard with Snowflake Fresco Paint and some Cut and Dry foam. Then I used Dolly Mix paint and sponged it over a Mini Harlequin mask, heat dried it, moved the mask slightly and repeated with Claret paint and finally repeated with Dolly Mix again. I then sanded the whole piece before using the Mini Bingo mask as before but with Inky Pool and Snowflake paint. In the top right I used a Mini Cosmic Swirl mask with Limelight and Snowflake paints and again sanded the whole piece. 
There are parts of the piece where the cardboard shows through and I love the whole retro feel of the colours - much like an old battered fairground ride. So that's where my imagination went next I stamped the heart on a piece of grungeboard, painted it with red and orange Portfolio pastels and covered it with Glossy accents. Then I stamped the image on my painted board, embossed it and painted the ribbon with red and pink Portfolios slowly layering the colours. I then painted the swirl in yellow pastel. 
Because this is for my Valentine (!) I stamped an 'Admit One' stamp (in keeping with the fairground vibe) and stamped and cut out a ticket and added the words 'True Love' so it now says 'admit one true love'. Aahh! How romantic! I am missing the Valentine ticket from that set so if you see it lying around do let me know! I thought I might share this with the lovely Linda and the Grungy Monday folks and Hels' and her Sunday Stamper where this week's theme is, unsurprisingly, love! 
I hope you like my romantic gesture and that you might have received one yourself (I will update this post if I do but I think it's safe to assume that my Mr Right will be true to form and won't be acknowledging the day!)

13 February 2012

I am an Artist

When you have lost your mojo many of you turn to your favourite designer for a well needed injection of creative ideas. Well, I turn to Wendy Vecchi who is, for me, incredibly inspirational as well as being a seriously nice person. Not a bad combination!
There are a few challenges about that also help channel my thinking and so I knew that I had to try and make something to enter. So using stamps and Art Parts I have had great fun making this! 
I used Jet Black Archival Ink, various Distress Stains and Inks and clear embossing powder as well as several of Wendy's stamp sets. I have absolutely loved making this, I hope that comes across! And thank you Wendy - my mojo has returned after being MIA for about 7 weeks! Phew!

I am entering this into:
Snazzy's February challenge - Studio 490
Everything Wendy VecchI's MAC #35 to "make a custom epoxy embellishment"
Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge - Anything goes!