Sunday 29 May 2011

More Bleaching - using different card + two completed cards

Good Evening Everyone,

Sample 1
Wet and blustery weather over the last couple of days has forced me into the craft room - yes, I know, not exactly a tragedy :) So, I wasted quite a few enjoyable hours trying out bleaching, with a dilute solution of bleach & water, on off-cuts of different types/quality/colours of card to see how it reacted.  And I had varying degrees of success. In the Sample 1 above all the card used is from Stampin' Up. This was the best result I got from all my experimenting as, after several applications, the bleach stripped a goodly percentage of colour out leaving pink on the red, lilac on the blue and green on the black.

Sample 2
The cards in Sample 2 were totally unsuccessful after the same number of applications of the solution. The green card (top) is from HOTP and the turquoise card is a pearlescent from Create & Craft TV. The HOTP card is textured and, unlike the SU card, the colour is only on one side, as it is on the pearlescent too. I suspect that it is the method of producing the colour and how it is applied, it is coated on top, to the cardstock that has stopped the bleach from stripping colour from it.

Sample 3
For Sample 3 I spritzed the card with the dilute bleach solution and again with varying success. The problem with spritzing is that you can't repeat the application in exactly the same place - it's all a bit hit and miss really. The solution had a very subtle effect on the red and green card, and that is after repeating the spritzing. However, the brayered sample on the left took only one application to get quite a good result.
Brayered Sample
You might recognise this sample as one of the pieces of Claritystamp card I brayered with a Big and Juicy ink pad earlier this week - for those who missed it and are interested you can find the post is here. And here's a close up of the card.
Brayered Sample close-up
 I think it makes a very passable snow scene so will probably use it on a Christmas card.

I have been card making this last week, well, I've made two cards to be precise but, as I was just not pleased with them when completed, I'm only posting them as a record for myself as to how I'm doing - not so good : (  The proportions are all wrong and I'm not sure about the ribbon embellishment in the birthday card, although it is there to hide the edges of the punched lace trim, it looks a bit odd. And the dark blue design paper, from the same pack as the pink one, on the Christmas card strikes me as somewhat discordant - hearken to me, like I know what I'm talking about! I've clearly still got a lot to learn about card composition - but, what the heck, I'm enjoying the challenge : )

So here's the Christmas card for Week 21.

The fairy and presents are Anita's Decorative Toppers, the white scalloped die-cut is sponged with Memento Angel Pink, as is the greeting stamp from Lily of the Valley (done in VersaMark and Heat it Up silver embossing powder). The matting is Claritystamp Matt-coated postcard brayered with Big and Juicy Hydrangea - one of the other samples seen in a previous post. The design papers are from Penelope & Percy A5 paper pack. Flower hand made. The binding is Paradise Aqua from The Ribbon Girl. The blue base card is recycled and the edges distressed with scissor and adhered to white card base.  

And here's the birthday card made for my granddaughter.

The stamp is from House Mouse Spring Dip and coloured with the following Promarkers:Ice Grey 1, Warm Grey 2 & 3, Putty, Satin, Blush, Pastel Beige, Caramel, Blossom, Pale Pink, Rose Pink, Pastel Yellow, Lilac, Powder Blue, Cobalt Blue.

Other materials used: Yellow card base; white cardstock; House Mouse Inserts CD Rom; Letters and Numbers computer generated; Whispers Ink Pad, Rio Purple; Anita's 3D Gloss (for jar & eyes); punched lace trim, polka dot card candy and yellow ribbon from stash.

Fortunately, Jolene was a lot more pleased with her card than I was - it had her name on it!

That's me for this evening - I'm off to play for a while with more paper and inks. I've discovered over the last year or so that one of the things I most enjoy doing is trying out different techniques. I can spend hours in the craft space happily pottering around but not actually making anything, just accumulating lots of samples which may, or more likely not, get used some day. Is it a disease, I wonder?

Hope you are all enjoying the holiday weekend and perhaps even getting better weather than we've had here.

Take care all,

Friday 27 May 2011

Tomorrow Holds Many Wonderful Things - bleaching technique on the topper

Good Afternoon,

A few of you wanted to see what I did with my first attempt at bleaching - mentioned in this post here. Now, I usually consign my experiments to a box never to be seen again. However, your interest has made me do something about it this time and here's the result.

For the topper I first stamped docrafts Whispers flower stamp with VersaMark onto dark navy card and embossed with Heat it Up Silver powder. I then painted bleach onto the petals and leaves  to remove colour from the card.

Because I went on to paint the petals with Summer Shimmer paints you can't really see the effect of the bleach but it did strip most of the colour from the scrap of card I chose to try this technique on. You might be able to see it on the leaves if you get up real close. You are advised to use the cheapest of cheap bleaches but I only had thick bleach so I watered it down a wee bit before applying. I actually painted the bleach on several times and with this particular card the colour changed to a turquoise colour. I imagine other cards would produce different results so will be trying out other makes/colours/thicknesses to see what results I obtain - I'll make a record of this and post it for those who are interested.

When dry I painted the petals with Summer Shimmer paints - a freebie with this month's Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine. After stamping and embossing the sentiment I matted and layered using holographic card and turquoise pearlescent card onto a white base card partially covered in design paper taken from Papermania's Birdsong 6" x 6" pack. The edges of the base card are sponged with Studio G ink pad, turquoise. Silver peel-offs, striped ribbon and white brad embellishment from stash. The DP was wrapped round to the back and the inside was decorated with off-cuts from the DP.

The 'Tomorrow' sentiment is from Lili of the Valley.

I don't know, I don't seem to be getting much done this week - going away for a long weekend seems to affect my output.  I haven't even started on this week's Christmas card yet - now there's no surprise! This is partly caused by the antics of the birds - it's like Spring Watch from my window and I get a grandstand view of fledglings begging for food from their parents and of them learning to fly - very distracting. A young starling even landed on my windowsill yesterday, all pooped out, panicking like crazy and looking for dad. A little rest and it was off again, flying over to the nearest branch.

Now, it doesn't make a great deal of difference to me, I'm retired after all, but we have a long weekend ahead of us in the UK so I hope the weather is good for those of you who are not retired. Right now it is not looking promising for us here in Scotland so fingers crossed.

Better get that Christmas card started.

Happy crafting,

Wednesday 25 May 2011

WOYWW - Week 103 - Brayering and Bleaching

Good Morning Everyone,

Well, I don't know how it happened but here we are at the penultimate of the bicentennial WOYWW and now I'm truly in a panic over my PIF. It's nowhere near completion so I'd better pull my socks up and get a wriggle on if I'm going to make it. For those who don't know what WOYWW is all about you can do no better than follow this link here to the lovely lady who keeps the register every week, Julia, Queen of Desks, at Stamping Ground. From there you will be able to follow links to many other desks/tables/shelves/cubby holes/floors situated all over the world and it is all good fun.

Blogger has been really giving me a hard time recently. I came back from my road trip to find I couldn't get into my dashboard until yesterday. No explanation, no post on help to suggest the techies knew anything was amiss - nothing! And, what is worse, I am unable to leave comments on many of the sites of my fellow bloggers : ( I've tried every which way with absolutely no success - I can't sign in at these blogs so apologies to you all - I did try but it's just not playing. Goodness knows what today will bring - I hope the gremlins get sorted out soon.

So on to today's business. What's on my desk is the result of my practicing two techniques - brayering and bleaching. You can see the results of the brayering - I used a couple of Big & Juicies for this - and all I can say is there is still a long way to go. Barbara Grey, you have nothing to fear. The bleaching was more successful - I liked the 'stained glass' effect I got after painting the flowers with Summer Shimmers (free with Cardmaking & Papercraft this month).

I've taken a wider shot of the craft space this week so you can see a lot more stuff. The shelf above my desk it vital. Up there is a box of adhesives, Cuttlebug folders, 12" x 12" papers, card, scraps, templates, etc., etc., a couple of albums I'm working on, a box of stickers, and boxes containing tools of the trade - absolutely essential.

Okay, I'm off to have breakfast now and a much needed cup of tea. I wish you all a very happy WOYWW day and I'll be back later to do a bit of blog hopping - and see what you are all up to today. Hopefully, Blogger might have sorted itself out and I'll be able to leave comments today - just don't hold your breath :)

Edited Note: for those interested you can see how the bleached piece came out in the next post - link here.

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Windmills and 114mph Gusts

Afternoon Everyone,

These windmills, on a small wind farm in rural Aberdeenshire, must have been working overtime yesterday. Rather like Marmite , you either loathe them or love them but I thought they just looked fitting surrounded as they were by golden rape - two energy sources side by side!

I'm back and all in one piece despite the gales we had to drive through - gusts up to 114mph at times. We got stuck on our way home on the A9 midway between Gleneagles and Dunblane due to a tree being blown down. An ambulance swerved to avoid the tree blocking the road and unfortunately went into a lorry. Luckily, there were no serious injuries to anyone involved but the road was blocked for just short of 3 hours. It made a long journey seem interminable and my poor husband, the driver, says it was like trying to control a wriggling snake in those conditions. By the time we got home he was totally exhausted and his arms were sore with the stress.

Apart from that we enjoyed being with my son and his family again. They have moved into a lovely little village which even has a duck pond. Here are a few photos taken over the weekend.

looking for the ducks at the pond.
making an appearance thinking we might feed them
the lilacs in bloom in their garden
a laburnum in full bloom behind the old apple tree

Peterhead Harbour - boats in dry dock
gulls  - not sure what kind.
Wherever there is fish you find gulls so that would be down by the sea as seen here. You'd think! But, not this morning. No, they were in my front garden. I woke around 5am to the most awful screeching sound - I thought some poor wee creature was being murdered, but no, it was two gulls just having a conversation! I think the gales have forced them to move inland for shelter - but did they have to choose my garden : (

two thousand acres of sky
I'll leave you with another photo taken at the wind farm - isn't that sky is just glorious?

Nice to go away but also nice to be back.

Friday 20 May 2011

Victorian Christmas - Just 31 Weeks Till Christmas

Evening All,

I've gone vintage again for this week's Christmas card. The challenge requirement over at Crafty Hazelnut's Challenge is to incorporate distressing so I've gone for a torn paper trim and inked edges around the topper using Tim Holtz's brushed corduroy.

The lovely design papers, paper curl, insert  and the topper are all computer generated - from Santa's Christmas Treasures CD-ROM by Hinny Bop. I think the two little girls in the image are very pretty and my aunt who's in her 80s will love this card.

Materials: White card for base; Santa's Christmas Treasures CD-Rom from Hinny Bop; smooth matt paper to print out designs; template to cut out matting for topper; TH Distress ink, brushed corduroy; dark olive ric-rac trim; green glitter; gold card candy.

Once again I'm submitting this card to Crafty Hazel's Christmas Card Challenge - Challenge 20 - distressing.

The postie brought me a lovely surprise this morning and I just have to share it with you.

Tricia of Tricias Confetti sent me this beautiful tag. One of the stamps says 'all you need in life is a friend who has chocolate' (Inkadinkado) - so true! - and attached to the tag was indeed chocolate. Thanks so much for this Tricia - it was such a lovely surprise and the tag is , as you can see, gracing the chook cupboard still.

 I'm off on a road trip up North and will be visiting my son and his family over the weekend - haven't seen them for months so it will be lovely to catch up. The weather forecast is not so good which is a shame when you are driving through what should be beautiful scenery :( I am going to try, once again, to schedule a post for while I'm gone but I was a complete failure at it the last time I tried so we will see :) If I don't succeed I'll see you all when I get back.

That's all for now folks,

Thursday 19 May 2011

A Batch of Homemade Scones

Afternoon All,

I just had to show you these - made by none other than the EM! Alan took it into his head that he would like to try his hand at making scones this morning. He figured that as a chemist (albeit industrial and retired a good many years now) that it can't be too difficult to mix a few ingredients together - easy, peasy. So after tootling down to Wilkinsons to purchase a spanking new set of cutters he set to work and this batch of lovely scones are the result. And here's the man himself, who can now add Head Baker to his growing list of titles.

Looking fair chuffed with himself, as well he should : )

Hope you are all having a great day and as much fun as we are having here in Casa Worthington.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 102 + Tempus Fugit Card

Hello WOYWWers, Followers & All,

Not much to be seen on my desk this Wednesday morning. I tidied up after the card I made yesterday and started on another. Sorry, but apart from the Joanna Sheen House Mouse papers and the yellow card base, can't let you see it as it is just possible the intended recipient might be looking. Hence the strategically placed magazine, the latest issue of Scrapbook Magazine. It's open at an article entitled 'Making Your Own Hardware' by Helen Salthouse which I've found particularly interesting. Helen shows how to make metallic effect hardware embellishments like the clock you can see together with a variety of other useful effects. The box which once held diabetic ice cream (yes, not exactly Haagen Daz, but when needs must ... sigh) now holds all my small punches including the very hand corner rounder which is lying out. So that's my desk this morning.

Here's the card I completed yesterday, just in time to go out in the post today.

It's for my little brother's 60th birthday - I can hardly believe it. I can still remember the day he was brought home from the hospital. I climbed up onto the sofa to get a peek at this baby in his pram, I was only 3 at the time, and it was love at first sight - he was gorgeous! And now here he is hurtling toward retirement age - how did that happen : )

As you can see the card is an easel and I went for clocks, more clocks and even more clocks. Not a subtle reminder of time flying but if he hasn't started on his 'bucket list' yet this might give him the nudge he needs.

Most of the materials were computer generated, there's some stamping, embossing. distressing and a lot of matting and layering. Hopefully, Colin will like it.

Materials used:
  • Cardstock: Card base from docrafts Premium Textured Cardstock A4 size; matting & layering with gold mirror card, 200gsm (Create & Craft) & black leather effect card, 300gsm (Hougie); white A4 card 200gsm for printing out toppers & greeting.
  • Paper: Super Smooth A4 matt paper, for printing design paper.
  • Digital: CD-Rom, Cardz 4 Men from Jem’s Designs; My Craft Studio Professional.
  • Stamping: Tempus Fugit & Watch – a freebie from Craft Stamper; VersaMark; Sheena’s WOW embossing powder in Bark Regular.
  • Other materials: Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads in old paper & brushed corduroy; bakers twine, The Ribbon Girl; gold brad & gold chain from stash.
Wondering what this WOYWW thing is. Then pop over to the Queen of Desks, Julia's Stamping Ground - link here - and take a tootle round the links to dozens of crafty desks, (or tables, kitchen worktops, floor spaces) from all around the world. Be careful though, it's addictive and you may find yourself joining in.

Hopefully we are all back to normal after last weeks Blogger disaster. We were promised that we would get our postings and comments back, the ones that were lost on the fateful day, but mine certainly didn't reappear so apologies to my commenters if I didn't get back to you.

That's it folks for now. Hope you all have a great week ahead and I will, as ever, endeavour to visit as many of you as I can just to see what you are all up to today.

Take care and happy crafting,

Monday 16 May 2011

Gilded Card - first experiments with gilding flakes

Afternoon All,

The postman brought me a pot of gold last week, well, gilding flakes actually. I've been dying to try these after seeing a YouTube video of Sarah Lawrence of Crafty Notions - link here - demoing the deckle-edged effect. So on black card I applied and spread the glue, then sprinkled and rubbed in the flakes as instructed. The result was nowhere as good as Sarah's but it was my first time!

Not wanting to waste this first effort , however amateurish, I made this topper using up bits and pieces from my stash and adhered it to a ready-made ivory base card. I stamped Hero Arts' Wavy Stars, a favourite of mine, with black ink onto the gilded panel, then with VersaMark onto the black card which I then brushed with gold mica powder. The panel of music note card, although creamy in colour, was a bit too light for my liking so I embossed the edges with gold powder.

The inside and back are decorated with gold embossed stamping. As this card could be used for any number of occasions, I'm leaving the greeting/sentiment for now.

Materials used:
  • Card: Ivory Luxury 5.5" Square Card (140mm x 140mm); black card for gilded panel; music note patterned card from Payperbox.
  • Stamp & Inks: Hero Arts Wavy Stars; Stazon Jet Black; VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad
  • Other Materials: Gilding Flakes Sunshine,  Light Gold Mica Powder Paints & Craft Adhesive, all by Crafty Notions; Heat It Up Gold Embossing Powder; two jewelled heart embellishments from The Works; black satin ribbon & gold raffia from stash box.
This was fun so, after this first foray into using gilding flakes, I'm now looking at other ways to use them. There's nothing like getting your fingers sticky and covered in gold stuff  ; )

After blogger getting into a tizz last week and being down for a couple of days it's nice to be back to normal again. However, I didn't sit twiddling my thumbs waiting for blogland to get back to normal. No, I took advantage of the enforced downtime and sorted out, chucked out, re-organised and cleaned the craft space and today it's positively gleaming. Even the EM got caught up in the flurry of activity and, after inspecting my handiwork and passing it as impressive, decided I deserved another shelf. So after a quick visit to B&Q, and donning his handyman overalls, the job is done.

Now there is less stash on the floor and more space for The Boss to curl up in - as you can see she likes to keep an eye on me while I play : )

Okay, that's it for today - got a lot to do and so little time to do it in so I'd better get a wriggle on.

Take cared all of you and happy crafting,

Friday 13 May 2011

WOYWW 101 - Not Wednesday but Thursday

Afternoon WOYWWers, Followers and All,

Edited Note, Friday, 13 May 2011: Apparently Blogger discovered a problem that necessitated removing all posts uploaded on Thursday, 12 May 2011! Unfortunately, it has also meant that all comments left here have been lost too.  Here's a copy of the lost post but sadly I can do nothing about the lost comments so apologies to all of you who left a comment - perhaps Blogger will find them again :(

Apologies for the lateness of this post - I've been ill for a few days so not been doing much of anything at all. So not a desk photo today, there's nothing doing on it and I think you've all seen enough of my only too clear desk recently, so here is an ATC I was working on last week.

This ATC was created to celebrate the coming of summer. Well, it has felt so much like summer here over the last 6 weeks or so that I don't think it's too early to celebrate.

Here's how it was made in condensed form. A watercolour wash was applied to a white background, then stamped, using Hero Arts Flourish Spray randomly, with VersaMark and embossed with Heat It Up gold powder . The flower topper is a Craft Stamper freebie, stamped once and masked, stamped several times more, then coloured with ProMarkers, and the centres are embossed with gold powder. The bees, a Lavinia stamp, stamped using VersaMark and embossed with Sheena WOW in Bark Regular, cut out and coloured with a yellow ProMarker before adhering to flowers. The words, summer bees, were printed out on a PC using Microsoft Office Word and font 'Betsy Flannagan', trimmed and edged with Memento Dew Drop ink pad, London Fog.

This is only the 4th ATC I've attempted but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it now.

Still wondering what WOYWW is, that's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, then you can do no better than to pop over to the Queen of Desks site - follow the link here - where you can find many more links to around 140 workspaces which could be craft rooms and desks, but then it could just as easily be floors depending on what space is available. Wherever, it's worth the trip and quite addictive :)

I will, as usual, do my best to visit as many of my fellow WOYWWers as possible this week but it might take me some time so I'm apologising in advance if I don't make it.

In the meantime, Happy Crafting,

Monday 9 May 2011

Nodding Honey-bells - Early Blooming Columbines

Afternoon all,

Not such a good day today - but then it is Monday! Although it started fine enough it  turned to rain this afternoon, but not before I took the chance to get out and photograph my early Columbines.

This, my favourite, is a stunning Alpine variety which has the prettiest white cup nestling amidst the vivid blue outer petals . I've long forgotten the name, this is true of all my Aquilegias because I've had them all so long the labels have long gone too (along with my memory!) This plant grows in a trough in a wee shady corner of the back garden and it never disappoints year on year.

Here's another wee beauty, another Alpine variety with rosy pink petals which contrasts nicely with the fluffy yellow stamens. It grows happily in a sink garden by the front door step - providing a lovely greeting to everyone who comes to our house at this time of the year.

Although the purple-blue flower is pretty, it's the foliage of this one that really catches the eye. It's a zingy lime colour growing from purple coloured stems - just gorgeous.

That's all the Columbines that are in flower in my garden now but there are late bloomers to come yet.  Apart from the Columbines there are other beauties brightening up our lives just now and here are just a few.

Red Cardinal in the wildflower border
The first strawberry blossoms - can't wait to taste my first strawberry!
The EM's pet Azalea

And, finally, white Bellis in a snail shell pot - positioned on the front doorstep as a greeting to all.

The rain hasn't let up yet but after the dry spell we've had it can only be considered liquid sunshine - the plants will be loving it : )

Earlier today I spent an enjoyable hour or so colouring in a House Mouse stamp with ProMarkers ready to use on the card I'm making for my granddaughter which I'm hopeful of completing this evening. However, I've a few jobs to be doing beforehand - when they're done I get to play : )

I hope you all had a great weekend and that your day is turning out well. Many thanks to all of you who take an interest in this blog and to those of you who have left your lovely comments on my posts - although it is by no means necessary - it is good of you to take the time. I appreciate each and every one.

Happy crafting

Sunday 8 May 2011

Week 18, 19 Christmas Cards - Three cards including a Squidgy Santa

Afternoon All,

It's turned out lovely here after the awful storms of last night and we now have bright sunshine. The birds are really enjoying it and singing their hearts out. I even spotted a squirrel earlier. I've been working on Christmas cards to keep up with my personal challenge to make one a week, even managing to make two for last week and one in advance for this week. Here's the first.

Squidgy Santa Front
Some time ago my DH surprised me by bringing in a pack of Christmas Squidgy Stickers he'd found in one of the pound shops. That was 15 stickers for 99p - quite a bargain though at the time I did wonder what I would ever use them for! However, they do have just the sort of texture a small child would love to touch and squeeze so this card will be going to one of the tots in the family this year.

The black and white script card was scanned as a jpg so that it could be imported into a graphics programme to create the insert and also printed out for layering. A red chalk ink pad from docrafts was used to distress the piece of card used on the front.

Materials used: White cardstock for 5.5" x 5.5" base and for print out of script layer; black/white script card from; white copy paper to print insert; red car die-cut; red chalk ink pad; squidgy Santa topper.

Snowflake card
The second card kind ofgrew out of the first, though I did originally intend using the gorgeous snowflake die cut as something to put a stocking topper on. However, while I was working on it, it became clear that it wouldn't work so it was back to the drawing board. And that's when I decided to double up the snowflake, distress it a bit and bling it up. I lifted the tips of the topmost snowflake to add a bit of dimension to it too.

Materials used: white cardstock for 5.5" x 5.5" base and for print out of script layer; red paper from Cock-A-Doodle Christmas Page Packet; Two white snowflake die cuts; Tim Holtz Distress Inks, Black Soot & Fired brick; Perfect Pearls, Forever Red; docrafts red glitter; flat-backed rhinestone from stash.


The inserts for these cards were the same and the backs were similarly decorated.

The third card uses the stocking topper intended for the second card - one thing just led to another this week :)

Christmas Stocking Card

This card proved impossible to photograph face on because of the silver embossed card reflecting the light. So these are the two best shots taken at two different angles.

Christmas Stocking Card

The top of the stocking has been decorated with fluffy stuff - I love the texture - and a sprinkling of silver glitter. No insert for this one but it's decorated inside, as is the back, with the design paper.

This card I'm submitting to Crafty Hazel's Christmas Card Challenge - the challenge this week is based on this cute photograph.

I've a busy week ahead of me with several cards to make. My wee brother, Colin, turns 60 on 20th May - I can hardly believe it. It doesn't seem so long ago I climbed up onto the sofa to peep at my new baby brother in his pram! And my son's daughter, our lovely granddaughter, Jolene, is 11 on 24th May - she's growing up rather too fast too. Living as they do in rural Aberdeenshire we don't see them as often as we do my daughter and her family, so we are travelling up this coming weekend to pay a visit - it will be lovely to catch up. 

Anyway, I'd better get on - I've a stamp to colour!

Take care and happy crafting,