Friday, 23 October 2009

Catch-up 2 - ATC's...

As well as Inchies, I've been playing with some ATC's - Artist Trading Cards. These are 3.5" x 2.5" pieces of art, anything goes as you can use any media you want on them. The only proviso with ATC's is that they muyst only be swapped or traded, never sold. I'm getting more adventurous with them and the last set I made I'm especially pleased with.

First one was a UKScrappers Swap for "The Beatles - Song Titles" - I picked 'Day Tripper. I cut a page out of an old UK motoring atlas, inked it over with Distress Inks and tore it roughly into a rectangle before sticking it to an ATC blank. The ticket stamp was part of a clear stamp set I got at Ally Pally in September, it was a collage stamp and I merely cut out the ticket bit, then stamped it all around the edge of the torn map. The bus was a pic downloaded from the internet and printed out. I wanted to make the wheels more 3D, so painted some tiny brads with black acrylic paint and poked them thru the picture, then stuck the embellie on the ATC using foam squares to raise it up. Finally the title was printed with my trusty old office Dymo reel and stuck on at a jaunty angle.

Second was another UKScrappers swap, "Autumn Leaves". I went to town on this, using Distress Inks sponged all over a sheet of 12x12 and then a series of leaf-outline stamps randomly scattered on the sheet, so I'd made my own unique background. This was then cut into 3.5" x 2.5" rectangles for the ATC's. Three skeleton leaves were glued to the ATC first, the bottoms of which were covered with a piece of twill ribbon which had been stamped with a paw-print design. Finally the title was again Dymo-reel printed, but stuck to a piece of cardstock, covered in sticky metal tape then coloured using Alcohol Inks.
Both ATC sets have been posted off, but we're waiting for the postal strikes to be over before the hostess returns them all to us - I can't wait to see them all!

Good grief where does the time go...

Last post was June and it's now the end of October...I've got some catching up to do... I'll do it in stages, got a lot of pics to share with you all!

Firstly, UKScrappers Monthly Inchies Swaps... each month it's a free theme but a specific colour. Because we started these in April, right in the middle of Jigsaw-Mania, I kinda went jigsaw mad and decided that all my Inchies would have little jigsaw pieces on them. And as well as little jiggy bits, there'd also be some tiny jiggy bits. I think it's an addiction, one which unfortunately will last into next year lol...

April - Purple / May - Orange / June - Green / July - Turquoise / August - Red / September - Pink / October - Blue. We also sneaked an extra one in for Summer...

These will continue for the next few months at least... I've had some lovely Inchies in return for the ones I've made, hopefully I'm going to make an acrylic album to put them in but I've got so many other things on the go at the moment that it'll have to wait it's turn.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

WOW - here it is - my jigsaw came home to me yesterday... sadly missing a piece from Aristoscrap who has strangely vanished into the ether, nobody has heard from her and the swap organiser Netty has been desperately trying to contact her to see what's going on, but no luck...

BUT the 7 pieces done by the other ladies in my team are absolutely stunning - I'm blown away by them. I've got the jigsaw sitting on the table next to me and I can't stop looking over at it! There's some reeally nice work here, thank you so much ladies xx

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Jiggy piece - Weaselwise (that's me folks!)

Music in purple (using supplied purple ribbon)

Last but not least here's my own piece - another mini-book made using three 3" slide mounts lightly stamped with a music theme and held together with purple ribbon threaded thru holes punched and reinforced with my crop-a-dile (was going to have used the Bind-it-All but got carried away using the purple ribbon as lacing across the cover before punching the holes with it so had to use the crop-a-dile instead lol)

The backing paper was sponged over with purple distress ink and again the book is held onto the jigsaw piece with a length of purple organza ribbon. The guitar embellishment on the cover of the book is actually a metal key-fob which my fella found for me and goes perfectly with the book, which contains several pictures of my friend Pete Gale, the extremely talented guitarist from 'Hair of the Dog' and 'Galeforce' who died in January this year, and the piece is my tribute to him.

I've supplied everyone in my group a chunk of the same thin purple ribbon so its going to be very interesting to get my completed jigsaw back and see how my teamies have interpreted my theme.

Jiggy piece - Kikimama23

... the final frontier... not exactly what Chrissy had in mind, she meant astronomy, nebulae, comets, planets, the moon's surface etc - but every time I thought about this piece the opening theme to Star Trek came flying into my mind...
So I emailed her: 'how do you fancy the Starship Enterprise wombling across the front of your piece?' and her response was that she'd love it as she loved sci-fi - what a result!
In the end I couldn't find a small enough model of the NCC-1701 Enterprise that I liked, so instead went with a slightly converted model of 'Thunderbird 1' which came from my husbands 'Starfleet Battles" miniatures collection - thanks Paul!
The title is printed using an old Dymo reel printer as it reminded me of the computer graphics they used in the original Star Trek series.

Jiggy piece - Princess Fiona

Time flies....
My fella came up with part of the idea for this - the winged cardboard clock flying thru a smashed acetate clockface.
The backing paper is from a sheet with loads of expressions and comments about 'time' but inhindsight its not translating as well as it could have done - I did have a piece of paper printed with clocks and watch faces but it was just that little bit too small!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Jiggy piece - Aliblack


... no Disney or cutesy... so this is as far away from that as I could think! Another mini-book made using the Bind-It-All, but this time I was able to actually use the jigsaw piece itself as the back cover to the book and bind it along with the front cover and the pages inside.

The mini book contains the poem 'The Raven' by Edgar Allen Poe which I love (altho I can't get over the mental image of Homer Simpson enacting the part for a 'Simpsons Treehouse of Horror' episode, in which James Earl Jones narrated the poem and Bart Simpson chimed in with all the "Nevermore" 's...)

The picture on the cover is from Crafty Individuals, it isn't a raven at all (actually looks more like a blackbird!) but it's kind-of a play on words... I hope Alison likes this - she did say that she would love a poetical feel so she gets 6 pages of poetry!

Jiggy piece - Dragonfly Jane

Forest trees

...more British woodland type trees, nothing exotic like palm trees or decorated like Christmas trees...

This was the last piece I made - in fact I only finished it this morning... for some reason I just couldn't come up with any ideas for what to do with this theme... it sounds 'easy-peasy', I mean just how hard is it to come up with a tree?

Obviously very hard... I just couldn't get inspired by anything - and the shape of the piece having 3 'holes' in it just didn't help either. A chance email with another lady on UKScrappers a few days ago however suddenly sparked something in my poor addled brain however and I dug out a photo I'd taken of a tree (funnily enough taken during a break on an all-day scrapbook crop!) which I printed in black and white, then attacked with alcohol inks in butterscotch and lettuce. The quote is the opening 2 lines of a lovely poem by Joyce Kilmer, and the tree-shaped brad I think just finishes it off nicely.

Jiggy piece - Andern06


...but NO Disney came the request... luckily I have a first edition Grimms Fairytales book in my collection and I love some of the shorter ones, so it was a pleasure to pick three short tales and reprint them into a mini-book (any excuse to use my Bind-It-All!)

I used distress inks on bazzill to make the cover, scrunching and spritzing until I was happy with the effect, then ironed the paper flat. Forgot to put something between the paper and my iron - ever tried to clean distress ink off the base of your iron whilst its still hot?

The emblem on the cover was initially stamped and embossed using distress embossing powder but I didn't like the effect so over-stamped it with black Memories.

To keep things simple the book is attached to the jigsaw piece just by a piece of ribbon, for ease of removel. I thought about magnets but decided ribbon was a much easier way to go!

Jiggy piece - Mel81pop

The Sea

Philippa wanted a jigsaw inspired by a favourite poem of hers entitled 'The Sea' - and it caused me a few sleepness nights trying to work out how to portray this.

I knew I wanted to do something involving a boat and luckily found this little white-metal boat at a model shop in town. I built up a shaker box using double-sided foam tape around a base of hot-melt glue into which I nestled the boat, so that it would sit upright when the jigsaw is put onto the wall. Covered the glue with tiny accent beads and painted the frame in greens and blues, adding some seagulls and seashells.

Jiggy piece - Aristoscrap

Indian/Hindu inspired
This was the first piece I actually made, again a trip to the African shop in Southend because I noted that as well as African they had Indian goods as well. Picked up this lovely necklace and set it onto a rather fetching paper from RICO which had what looked like mehndi patterns on it, which I picked out using a Quickie glue pen and gold Perfect Pearls, finishing off with some embroidered shisha mirrors.

Jiggy piece - Terris Chocolat

African Masks/Abstract fur prints in black/white/orange and chocolate

This caused me a bit of a headache to begin with - I don't know a lot about African masks and when Terri posted that she didn't like the 'Bet Lynch' kind of fur print I had to put my patchwork fabric collection away...

However there's a rather nice shop in Southend called 'The Africa Centre' and after a good browse around there I came up with these miniature carved masks.

Some animal print paper and a bit of distress inking around the edges later and I'm rather pleased with this - hope Terri is too!

Arty Farty Jigsaw Swap

Over on UKScrappers a few months ago, there was a discussion about a swap that was done last year called The Arty Farty Jigsaw Swap and the completed jigsaws that I saw were stunning pieces of artwork. The deal was that groups of 9 ladies decided on a theme each and then using a blank 12x12" chipboard jigsaw made one piece in their own theme, and the other 8 pieces were the themes of the other 8 people. The pieces were sent to the swap organiser who juggled them all up so that everyone received a completed jigsaw back in their theme, with 1 piece made by them and the other 8 made by other people.

"Sounds complicated" I thought - and promptly signed up for it...

So thats where I've been for the last 2 months - tearing my hair out over making 9 jigsaw pieces each in a totally different theme - I'm surprised I'm not bald!

This is how it all started - 9 chipboard pieces covered in gesso so that they'd take paint better...

And this is my completed jigsaw before posting it off to Netty...

"Never again!!!" I screamed........ and promptly signed up for the 8x8" jigsaw swap starting when this one is fully completed...

Individual jigsaw piece pics will follow in due course...

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Had my hair permed this week but I'm still not sure if I'm really happy with it - its dropping out really quickly and I have to mousse it to within an inch of its life to get the curls to stay in - not really what I wanted... but I'll see how it goes for a bit longer before I decide what to do about it. Isn't it funny how we girlies are often not happy about our hair - if it's straight we want it curly, if it's curly we want it straight... no wonder there are so many hairdressers in town...

Finished my "inchies" for the swap on UKScrappers - the first one is stamped with Memories black ink for the bird, then overstamped with white Stazon with the word 'beauty' (a bit hard to see in the pic!) and a jewel stuck onto the background (which was coloured using Distress Inks).
The second one is also stamped with black Memories onto a Distress Ink background, the leaves were coloured with a green glitter pen and the whole thing covered with Crackle Glaze - and thats where my problems started... I'd not used this product before and might have been a bit heavy-handed with it, and all my inchies started to curl up at the edges as the glaze dried... I've had to stick them onto another piece of cardstock using permanent Herma and weight them down to try and get the curl out, hopefully I've succeeded...

The third one is a strip from a Hambly acetate overlay which I've layered over a Distress Inked background and then dipped the edges in liquid UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder) using my Melt Pot, sort of a faux metal-soldered effect. I'd not used my Melt Pot in years (and boy the smell sure told me that!) but I had great fun reminding myself just what I could do with it.

Now I've got these finished and sent off to the host, I can really start planning my next project... I've joined in with a swap called the Arty Farty Jigsaw Swap - we're working in teams of 9 using a 12x12" chipboard (cardboard) jigsaw base. Each member of the team has their own theme and we make a piece for each of our team members, then send them off to the co-ordinator who puts everyones jigsaws together and sends them back, so you get a completed jigsaw on your theme made by you and 8 other very talented people. We've got until the 29th May to finish all 9 pieces which on the face of it sounds AGES but in reality is 9-10 weeks away - thats a bit over a piece a week.

My theme is music in purple - I've sent each of my teamies a piece of the same purple ribbon we all wore to Pete's funeral and I've asked that they incorporate it into their jigsaw piece somehow. My own piece is (at the moment) going to have some pictures of Pete sandwiched into slide mounts making a little book of pics of him, and the cover will have the ribbon wrapped around the slide mount... this might all change when I actually get the blank jigsaw in front of me and I actually make a start...

Wish me luck - I think I'm going to need it!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Warning - infrequent poster alert!!!

Just had to share this pic of the sunset taken from my balcony the other night... all those aeroplane trails in the sky make me want to save my pennies and go fly somewhere again mysefl!

OK, so I've not updated for a while - just goes to show that time really does fly when you're having fun!

The UKScrappers cybercrop went really well - got some nice layouts done and am pleased with the amount that I did. However, that was over a month ago now and I've still to finish clearing my craft desk off (oops...)

Pete's funeral was a really lovely occasion, I think we did him proud. The church was packed out and several of us made it up to the crem afterwards, which was very emotional. Some beautiful floral tributes to the big man, including at least 2 wreaths in the shape of a guitar... Afterwards we went back to the Sutton Arms for the wake and it was again packed out. I had to work during the afternoon/early evening but managed to get back to the pub before they closed to catch up with some old friends.
This Saturday the Sutton Arms had another tribute night to him, his band Hair of the Dog played with some guest singers and players, a very enjoyable evening. It's still very strange walking into the pub and not seeing Pete sat in his corner, not sure how long I'll feel that way but there are plenty of friendly faces there to chat with.

And talking of chatting with friends, I joined Facebook a while back but have only really just started using it - 18 out of my 23 friends so far on there are people I know from the pub... I really must get out more...!

Crafting-wise I'm making "inchies" - inch-square pieces of artwork for another swap on UKScrappers. I'm doing 30 in 3 batches of 10 and so far the first set have come out just about ok, but the second set have gone a bit perculiar... not quite sure whether I can rectify the problem or whether I should just start again.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Where did the time go?

They say a week is a long time in politics...

It's also a long time in Blog-land too. Not quite sure how I got through this week, so much seems to have happened!

Tuesday got my car MOT'd - so I'm good to go for another year. BUT I need 2 new rear tyres and the tracking needs adjusting, also new rear brake shoes(?) 'cos the handbrake has too much travel in it. Almost sounds like I know what I'm talking about, but my b/f does and seeing as how he's going to be the one doing the work that's all that matters!

Wednesday stayed in and watched The Match on the telly - it's funny how I've lived in Southend for 22 years almost and have never yet been to a match at Roots Hall... I'm not really into football tho but it was a case of local pride. We were never going to have beaten Chelsea in a million years so to score the first goal after 16 minutes was fab... shame that Chelsea proceeded to put 4 goals past our goalie before the final whistle.

Friday we went down to our local to see a live band called Replica. Not seen them before, they weren't bad but not as good as other bands we have seen there.

And last night we were back at the Sutton to see one of our favourite bands, Junk Yard Aliens... well worth going to see as they are a great laugh and play some good stuff. They played "Walking By Myself" and dedicated it to Big Pete, and several people had tears running down their faces, myself included. It was one of his favourite songs, he played it so well, and it's just another hard reminder that he's gone. Funeral is set for a week on Thursday and that's going to be hard.

Today? Going to spend the afternoon crafting - I have 2 sets of Artist Trading Cards to make for swaps I've signed up for on UKScrappers, and ONLY THEN can I start playing fully with the cybercrop mystery kit I received on Friday - I've got a few ideas on what to do with it but can't play until I've done the ATC's.

What's a cybercrop? go to and find out!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Started this blog a long long time ago but didn't post more than a couple of times, and now I don't like what I posted... so it's time to recreate myself!

Running late for work this morning - no change there but always time to spend having a quick surf... check my emails, log onto a couple of forums I watch regularly... and hopefully from now on to make a blog entry now and then. Let's see how long it lasts!