Saturday, 30 July 2011

Back to Black Card

Hello Everyone,

I'm still on a mission to use up as many of my snippets as possible but this time I also had the aim to make some use of the stamps that linger in my ever-growing collection unused - not unloved - just unused for whatever reason. So when I discovered that the Sunday Stampers  theme is the colour Black as a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, one of my favourite performers, I put my little grey cells to work and came up with this card.

Initially, I thought that black would be difficult but once I got going, I was on a roll. The stamp was an easy choice as this one from Aspects of Design's Alluring Ladies (free with Craft Stamper, Nov. 10 Issue) always brought Amy to mind anyway - she had striking eyes just like these. I stamped it with Memento Tuxedo Black and then embossed it several times with clear embossing powder to glaze it. Finally, it was layered on black and white card, and to give it added dimension adhered to the card base with glue gel.

The card is made up entirely from leftovers - Papermania Textured Card in black and Neenah Solar white ultra smooth. Note to Jules: no new sheet of cardstock was harmed in the making of this card :) The black base was stamped with the music script from Inkylicious Simply Script set in VersaMark and embossed with docrafts Seafoam White embossing powder. The same stamp was stamped onto white card with Memento Tuxedo Black, torn and distressed with Tim Holtz Black Soot.

The sentiment, another Inkylicious stamp from the Sentiments 1 set, seemed most appropriate to the theme and again it was stamped in the black ink and clear embossed several times then matted onto black card.

The front and back are finished off with black & white polka dotted ribbon - By making a faux bow I was able to use a small length of leftover ribbon - measuring just 15".  As you can see, I find it almost impossible to leave the back of a card undecorated.

The insert is made from a small piece of white copy paper on to which I have stamped in Memento London Fog.

So, three much neglected stamps were broken out of their wrappers and christened at last, and, with the card used, my card mountain is now a teeny weeny bit smaller.

On the home front, the EM has just finished painting the kitchen. It now has 3 walls in a pale duck egg shade and the fourth wall has been painted in a darker shade called Turtle Seas - sounds so exotic, doesn't it? This is a definite improvement on the rather luminous shade of yellow that was the choice of the previous owners - I don't do yellow! I can't think why it has taken us four years to paint over it!!! The Welsh dresser is looking absolutely pristine in Moonlight White, whilst all the rest of the woodwork got a fresh coat of Brilliant White. It all looks so fresh and new. Tomorrow, when it is all dry, comes the job of putting back all the cookery books and crockery and life will return to normal - which will please The Boss no end - she has been quite put out by it all, poor dear :)

The much promised photographs of our Highland journey will be the next post - I've managed to narrow them down to a reasonable amount to show you.

In the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying a weekend break and maybe finding time to get some crafting done.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Tri-Fold Shutter Card - Snowdeer

Good Evening, Morning, or Afternoon, depending which part of the World you are, to you All,

It's been another lovely day here - hope your day has been as good. I've been trying out something new again - this time a new shape of card using my Hougie Board. The instructions for the tri-fold shutter card are from the Hougie book, Everyone Needs A Hougie, which are easy to follow and here's what I've come up with.

From the front it looks like this. The blue base card is covered in the reindeer patterned design paper.

The greeting is stamped on to some base card using VersaMark and then heat embossed it in white.  When this was cool I picked out the snowflakes with glue pen and added iridescent glitter and then I layered it onto embossed silver card. When the card is fully opened out this is what you see.

The Snowdeer is a digital stamp from Scrapbook Sisters, coloured with ProMarkers - using one of the ultra-fine nibs, won recently from Di of Pixie's Crafty Workshop - once again, many thanks Di. Makes colouring in difficult wee places so much easier. Isn't he cute and the DP could have been made with him in mind.

I gave him the Timmy treatment with some DI and then glittered up the snowflakes, and layered him on silver embossed card.  The finishing touch is the snowflake ribbon trim, two silver snowflakes with blue gems added to the centres, and some blue card candy on the last panel.

Materials used:

Base card: blue textured cardstock from Papermania
Design paper: Papermania's Reindeer/Polka Dot
Stamps: Greeting - docrafts Daisy & Dandelion, Penelope & Percy stamp set; Snowdeer - digital stamp from Scrapbook Sisters - printed on Neenah Solar White Ultra Smooth card
Other materials: VersaMark Watermark stamp pad; docrafts embossing powder, Seafoam White; Iridescent glitter; ProMarkers - Cobalt Blue & Powder Blue; Snowflake ribbon trim, silver metal snowflake charm, blue gems & blue card candy from stash.

I'm submitting this card for the following challenges:

Passion for Promarkers  Challenge – Week 110 – Animal Crackers
Crafty Hazelnut’s Christmas Challenge – Week 30 - Reindeer

Deep Ocean Challenge - #4 - Ribbons

The DP was an 12"x12" sheet so there's quite a large piece left over from this card, now added to my ever-growing pile of snippets. I think another snippet card is called for!

Happy Crafting,

Thursday, 28 July 2011

My first Snippet Card - Tiny Trees Tent Card

Good Morning Everyone,

A quick post today revealing the snippet card that could just be spotted photographed, along with my  stash of leftover bits and pieces, in yesterday's  WOYWW post.

White cardstock was folded to form a 6"x4" card base. The piece of marbled card, measuring 6"x4", forms base of topper - some of you may remember my experiments with marbling using the shaving foam method & Cosmic Shimmer Mist - in this case the shades Meadow Lush & Blue Lime - this is one of the remaining bits.

I think you can see the shimmer better in this photo - it's gorgeous.

Small pieces of silver & green mirror card were used for matting & layering and a 2"square piece of patterned paper (the tiny tree) from Daisy Bucket's Merry Wishes design paper was added to make this wee topper.

I just added the gems, in 3 sizes, in green, blue and white to add even more bling.

It took just 7" of the metallic lace trim for the card and I added some more green gems ... just in case there wasn't enough bling!!

Other items used were Tim Holtz Distress Ink, Stormy Sky - I edged all the card and the insert, just a plain piece of leftover copy paper cut to size.

The greeting is just a green peel-off set on to some mirror card.

I really enjoyed making this quick and easy card ... so quick that it has taken longer to photograph and write about than it took to make ... and the best is that it has used up a bit, albeit a minuscule bit, of my snippet stash. Now that I have sort of sorted the stash into types (card or paper) and co-ordinating/matching designs/colours I'm hoping to make as many as it takes to wipe out my snippet mountain ... well, okay, I'm never to going to wipe it out completely, not when I'm constantly adding to it, but my intentions are good :)

So Jules, what do you think? Am I on the right road to snippet wipe out?

Happy Crafting Everyone,

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

WOYWW - Week 112 - Snippet Reveal + Something for Harry Potter Fans

Good Morning All,

It's great to be back in WOYWWer land - I missed you all last week even though I was off in the Highlands having a fabulous time. In fact, this was what my desk looked like last week . . .

On the Jacobite Express and not so much as a Timmy ink pad in sight.

This is what's on my desk this morning - and if you want to see more workdesks, kitchen tables, nooks and crannies, and there are even those who use the floor to craft on :) - hop over to the Head Keeper of Desks, Julia's blog, Stamping Ground - just remember to grab a cuppa first because you could be hopping for some time!!

So, what is on my desk this morning?  Well, there's my Hougie book - I'm making my first attempt at a tri-fold shutter card, that's the blue card at the back,  which will be covered with the deer covered design paper that's lying on top of my glass cutting top - Crafty Hazel's challenge this week is to incorporate reindeer(s) in our card. The new metal edged ruler is lying on top and a few other tools of the trade are lying about. Not much to see really. However, there's more.

For some time now I've been following Jules' Sunday Snippets posts on Always With A Heart, promising myself that I would join in with the fun one day. That day has come but it did require some preparation, i.e. sorting out of the snippets. Jules revealed her giiii...normous snippet collection recently - if you haven't already seen it, pop over and prepare to be amazed!! Now, there is no way I can compete, thank goodness, but, just for the record, I'm revealing mine. There's two pizza style boxes, one for papers and the other for card - all sorts but not white - that's sorted by size and stored in the 4-drawer set that can be seen perched on top of the new IKEA drawer set here. The white plastic box is full of strips of paper and card and the stack of white card on top is purely representational - there's more, a lot more.

Almost hidden from view, at the back, is the first snippet card made since I sorted that lot out :) I'll be doing a separate post on it later.

And, as promised, for all the Harry Potter fans out there here's a photo taken on the Hogwart's Express as it crossed the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Just one of the many photos taken on this fantastic train journey. We took so many that it is proving a difficult choice for a post, but I will narrow it down somehow and do a post later.

Now, I'm off to hang the washing out - too good a day to miss - and then I'll potter/wander round the garden, camera at the ready, and enjoy the sunshine for a wee while. After which, I'll arm myself with the proverbial cuppa and try to visit as many of you as possible.

I hope you will all have a wonderful week, wherever you are. For those of you who are not feeling so good for whatever reason, I hope that things improve so that you can enjoy some crafting the week away :)

Finally, I'd like to extend my sympathies to the people of Norway after the shooting that took place earlier this week. So many young people lost, so many families and friends affected - may you find the strength to get through this terrible thing that has happened to you.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Car Boot Haul - not just a pile of old junk

Afternoon All,

I hope this finds you all well and finding time, and the mojo, for crafting. We are still enjoying our belated summer weather here in the south west of Scotland - it's not too hot, just pleasantly warm. My sympathy, however, goes out to those of you living in the US who are, I believe, suffering incredibly hot weather - let's hope it cools down for you soon.

Here's an update on the trip to the car boot sale at Ayr racecourse yesterday. There is usually a sale, together with some market stalls, every Sunday unless race meetings are going on - and yesterday, because of the great weather, it was huge ... hundreds of cars ... so it took a good couple of hours to wander round. And, here's my haul. At the front, a box of extra large jigsaw pieces (£1) - saw them altered to make a mini album recently - a three frame wallhanger (50p) which is just crying out for a bit of a makeover.

This little wooden jewellery box cost only £1 too - it's sweet as it is but I may give it a re-vamp sometime in the future.

This little metal bird brooch, another £1, will look great on a project.

Last, but not least, five wood-mounted stamps costing an unbelievable 50p each - £3.50 in total. A couple still had the original price tag on them, and either of them would have cost more than I paid for all five!!

So all-in-all a profitable day and I'm looking forward to playing with the stamps just as soon as I've finished sorting through my snippets. I blame Jules at Always With A Heart, of Snippet Sunday fame, for this displacement activity. You have just got to check out her blog here  because she reveals her mahoosive snippet collection - a sight that makes me feel so much better about my wee pile of bits.

Breaking news ... my granddaughter, Jenny, said 'yes' to Kyle's proposal yesterday!!!  No date as yet, but I'll need to start saving for a hat - I haven't got a thing to wear :)  Oh, and that's another card to make too! Off to break the news to the EM - he'll be delighted for them too - Kyle's a nice lad.

Happy Crafting

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Auricular Theatre Update + Birdcages

Good Morning Everyone,

And what a gloriously sunny morning it is, well, here in Ayr anyway - hope it is the same for you wherever you are. The garden is looking particularly inviting today so I popped out with my camera and caught the flowers looking their best. Now, some of you asked that I take a snap of the made over auricular theatre once the plants were in flower - and here it is. Isn't it looking great. How do I explain the tortoise and the snail - in a word, grandchildren! They love them - what can I say - I look at them and remember little Alun and Shari-Ann stroking and cuddling them when they were tots and they make me smile :)

Quickly, before I sign off, here are my two birdcages.

There's a trailing petunia in the large one this year and that is golden hop growing around and into it. In the smaller one there is a red begonia just coming into flower and the trailer is a lovely clematis which has pretty little pink flowers just coming into bud.

Okay, I'm off to the car boot sale down at the racecourse to see if I can find any useful/alterable items going for a song.

Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Home again and catching up on the Christmas Cards - Week 29

Hi Everyone,

I'm back from my trip to the Highlands - bet you didn't even miss me! We had a fabulous time despite discovering on arrival that there was no room at the inn - quite literally - due to a double booking! What happened next is a long story and not one I want to waste too much time on but, suffice to say, we left the inn without a bed for the night and had to drive around looking for a vacancy sign ... in Fort William, in the Highlands, in July!!! All ended well, however, when we were lucky enough to find a comfortable room in a very nice guest house owned by a lovely lady, Lesley and her husband, Ian, and the rest of the holiday went without a hitch. I'll show some of the many photographs taken on a later post ... I still have to sort them all out and choose the best - and with 166 to choose from, I think that's going to be a difficult task. In the meantime, here's the latest Christmas card - No. 29.

Another first for me went into the making of this card - the stars are cut from a foil tape sheet, embossed and given the Tim Holtz alcohol ink treatment with a combination of Red Pepper and Gold Mixative. Loved the effect, it's easier to do than I expected, and I might just have to treat myself to a few more different colours in the alcohol inks now.

I'm on a mission to use up some of the many freebie paper stacks I have tucked away and this BoBunny paper with matching 'ribbon' strip and topper seemed ideal for this card - green's my favourite colour... and love this shade of green.  I traced the stars using a template from a Memories Forever pack I have had for a long time - it has two shapes of stars in a variety of sizes, so very useful. There was enough left over to decorate the inside ...

 and back of the card too.

Materials Used:
  • A4 white card folded to make an A5 card base
  • Papermania textured card, green & red
  • BoBunny DP, ribbon trim & topper, Believe
  • Inkssentials Foil tape sheet
  • Cuttlebug embossing folder, Snowflakes
  • Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink Red Pepper, Gold Mixative, Blending Solutions
  • Tim Holtz ink pad, Black Soot
  • Anna Griffin 1" wide velvet ribbon from Blythe & Dorothy collection
  • Card candy, red from Vintage Berries pack
Submitted to the following challenges:

Fun with Shapes and More – Challenge 88 – must include die cut/punch - Christmas in July

Crafty Catz - 1E - no pink or blue allowed

Joyful Stamper's Inspire Me Fridays 16 - Show Us!- always anything goes

Paper Cutz Challenge #101 is Anything Goes!

I hope you are all well and enjoying the summer sunshine. Those of you with children will be busy keeping them, or arranging for them to be kept, amused, entertained and safe for the next few weeks ... I remember that time when my kids were young so well. Oh, the nightmare of trying to find a childminder who was willing to take on my two little dears for the several weeks I couldn't take off work, while 'superwoman' me went out and earned the money to pay for it, stays with me still :(  Aaah, happy days!!!

Right, I have a ton of things to do, the list is enormous, and yet, since coming home, I seem to be treading water somewhat ... the mojo has gone AWOL. So, I'm off to visit a few blogs and hopefully I'll be inspired to do something other than a Christmas card.

Happy crafting,

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Industrial Card + Steampunk Canvas . . . my first ever

Good Evening All,

The EM and I are celebrating our 15th anniversary so I've been beavering away in secret . . . the EM has been banned from entering the craft space for several days . . .  to make the card and a surprise present for him - my first ever attempt to decorate a canvas!

This card was inspired by Sarah's (Sasa) first Mojo Monthly. I took her idea of re-using photographs in a different way, in this case photos from a recent visit to Dunaskin Heritage Centre, some of which can be seen here. Using MS Publisher I changed the photos from colour to black & white and shrunk them down to 2" x 1.5" and printed out onto glossy paper. It was easy enough to cut them all out using my trusty guillotine.  The base is made from black leather-look card and the photos are layered on to white textured card.

The insert is simply white copy paper decorated with Inkadinkado's Steampunk Flourish stamp (won on ebay) and sentiments from Inkylicious. And yes, that is a black smudge you can see there. This was my second attempt at the insert too - the first one, I stamped it up in portrait instead of landscape orientation :(  So, thanks to you Sarah, a great idea that makes perfect use of photos that remind my husband of a day he really enjoyed . . . he tells me that it's a keeper!

I don't know what possessed me but I decided that I wanted to make a canvas to commemorate the 15 really happy years of marriage we've had together. Again, it had to be something that appealed to my DH and, as he loves machinery and clocks, etc., I thought the steampunk style would be just right. But as steampunk hasn't exactly been my thing I had to search the world for the materials and it took me quite some time I can tell you. The already mentioned Steampunk Flourish stamp was shipped from the US (arrived surprisingly quickly - in only 2 weeks!); the tickets stamps are Hero Arts, also US, just a different state; Clarity Wire Heart stamp from Edenbridge, England;  Coredinations card and Kaisercraft Timeless Collection, Script, design paper and the TH Alterations Pocket Watches folder from Glasgow; the watch findings, yet another ebay purchase, were shipped from Guernsey.

So what did I do - well I started by giving the canvas (measures 5"x7") a coat of white gesso and then distressing it with matt acrylic paint (Pebeo) in burnt umber, petroleum jelly and antique white paint. I then dabbed some Adirondack mushroom because I thought it was a bit stark - not that you can see much of it in the finished piece. The metallic edging was done by rubbing Versamark all round the edges and embossing with platinum UTEE.  The embossed brown coredinations card was cut to size, sanded and distressed to within an inch of it's life. Same with the strip of script paper and I also distressed it with TH idea-ology Regal masks. The TH distress inks I used throughout the piece were, in no particular order, Dried Marigold, Vintage Photo, Fired Brick and Black Soot.

This embellishment (top left) is made from stampboard, distressed with Fired Brick & Vintage Photo; numbers made from card, 3 coats of UTEE and stamped with the Steampunk Flourish; watch findings attached with Anita's 3-D Clear Gloss; the 'yrs' topper is a circle of distressed card stamped with letters and covered in the clear gloss.

The heart was stamped in black onto shrink plastic, cut out and coloured with Fired Brick and Vintage Photo.

The Steampunk Flourish was stamped in VersaMark and embossed in gold onto mountboard that had been treated to the crackle affect way back in March - recorded in this post here. The unfurled coil spring came with the watch findings and was just perfect as an embellishment.

And just for a trip down memory lane here's a layout with a wedding day photograph.

Not a very good photograph as it was taken with a very old camera. I'd have taken fresh shots of the layout but a friend has a loan the album . . . once it is returned I'll photograph it again and maybe do a post on it.

We are off tomorrow for a few days to celebrate - we are taking a trip on the Jacobite Express steam train which runs from Fort William to Mallaig so, be warned, there will be a ton of photographs to mark the occasion. I'm looking forward to seeing Loch Lomond and passing through Glencoe . . . a place that I always find awesome. 

I thought I'd leave you with a photograph of the pot of red lilies as they are now . . . I posted a photo of just one in June - link here  - but I thought you might just like to see how fabulously massive they are now - they are about 4' tall.

Right, must go - The Boss is refusing to come in for the night so I better go and persuade her, and I need to get get to bed too - we have an early start in the morning.

Take care all,

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Steam Trains and Rusty Wagons at Dunaskin Heritage Centre

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Warning: this is going to be a photo heavy post so if your computer can't cope then feel free to skip this post. We are lucky enough to have more than one heritage centre in Ayrshire and, although we have been to the Robert Burns Heritage Centre in Alloway, we had never been to the Dunaskin Heritage Centre near Patna even though it's only 10 miles or so from our house. So, to right this wrong, we made a point of visiting it last Sunday (another item crossed off the bucket list!).

The centre, operated by the Ayrshire Railway Preservation Group, owns a number of standard gauge steam and diesel locomotives and has an extensive collection of old photographs. Sundays are Steam Days at Dunaskin and we were lucky enough to take a trip on this old NCB (National Coal Board) steam locomotive.

The EM just loves engines, any engines, but he particularly likes old trains - bet he wants to be a train driver when he grows up : )

Chatting to the train driver after our enjoyable wee trip on his lovely train.

Sadly, this sign is now well out of date as the Heritage Centre is no longer operating - funding from the Council ceased in 2005 and today it is the little railway that keeps going. Sad really, because Dunaskin has a long history having once been the site of a brickworks - this giant mixer was used in for mixing the ingredients for the bricks.

And then an ironworks employing more than 300 people at one time.

This building has a preservation order attached to it because of it's historical importance. There used to be a village up behind it but when the ironworks closed down the workers and their families moved on, many going to England, Canada, America and Australia.

The preservation group have amassed a huge collection of old trains and wagons in various states of disrepair. Here are just a few:

Much to my surprise here's mention of Nobel's Explosives - a company I once temped in back back in the late 80s.

The first of several wee explosions that occurred whilst I worked there had me jumping out of my skin - happily I was fairly safe beavering away in the typing pool and never had to be transported in this uncomfortable looking appliance.

Finally, and just because of it's name, here's one of the model trains that run round a track in the centre.

Well done, if you've got this far in this lengthy post - you'll be pleased to know that it's the end of my record of a what turned out to be a really interesting and enjoyable day. I took a ton of photographs, lots of the wildflowers that grow on the site, too many to include here but which I will possibly post another day. In the meantime I'll bid you adieu and go brew myself a nice cup of tea.