Sunday, 8 February 2015

A journal page? From me? No!!!

Happy Sunday morning everyone,

Crikey, 3 blog posts in less than 24 hours!  I shall have to mark this post as a reminder that I can do it.....once in a while, lol!

This is just a quick post as I wanted to document my very first journal pages other than a couple done in a workshop with Ania Dabrowska aka Finnabair (her blog link is in my sidebar).  A few weeks ago Sam, a very kind & generous crafting friend, sent me a lovely A6 size journal, the cover of which she had skillfully altered with mixed media.  If you go to her blog HERE you can see the collection of journals she did and mine is the orange one and it's gorgeous!

Now Sam and I have been united because out of our little group we were the only ones who don't 'do' journalling so initially the idea was to use it as a notebook but I knew what would happen if I kept it in my everyday handbag........ it would get ruined!  So, I decided I am going to use it to 'play' in on those times when I have no idea what to make but want to create something and late last night (& early this morning, lol) was just such a time.  I didn't take any progress pics as I was having too much relaxed fun.

Don't forget you can click on the pic for a bit closer look ...... I still miss the old blogger pics that you could click on to zoom right in :(!  I didn't give this much thought but just dragged bits out that I haven't used much or at all in the case of a Goosebumps texture spray and 2 of the stamps.  I started with sprinkling some Brusho crystals and getting a bit of drippage, then spritzed with the Goosebumps and dusted over with Old Paper DI. I followed that with Dusty Concord & Chipped Sapphire DIs through a stencil and finally the stamping using Archival for the quote and DIs for the butterflies & random script.  Oh yes a a spritz of gold glimmer mist.

In case you can't read  it the quote says

The stars exist that we might know
How high our dreams can soar

And specially for Sam it's a wood backed stamp (cos she loves them, lol)!  The mini script is a PaperArtsy one and the butterfly is Tim Holtz.

Hope I remember to do this more often as it was really relaxing to do because it didn't really matter what it turned out like.  I just wouldn't have show anyone if it looked a total mess, lol!

Have a lovely Sunday everyone & see you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 7 February 2015

And .......I have another entry for the Shiny Stuff PaperArtsy Challenge!

Wow, I'm back again with another project for the PaperArtsy Blog Challenge of Shiny Stuff but first I have given myself and a friend a laugh this evening.

I started this card last night hoping to get it in the post this morning for my friend's birthday on the 9th but I didn't get it finished in time and missed the post.  I sent her a message to apologise in advance because I wanted to blog it and link up to the PA challenge and the reply came back with ........her birthday is the 9th ......OF MARCH!!!  I actually did know that but somehow because I'm trying to get ahead with my cards this year I felt as though we were already in March.  My head does not belong to me at the moment, lol!  Anyway, that means I have plenty of time to make another one that she won't have seen.

I am loving the stamps that PaperArtsy have released this week and the first we got sight of were from the lovely and so talented Lin Brown and I just couldn't wait to get a couple of sets to be going on with until I go to Stamperama at Stevenage in a few weeks.  I took inspiration from Lin's metal work and made this card which really makes me smile so I hope whoever gets it smiles too.

I used various colours of metal sheets which I bought from PaperArtsy several years ago.  It was lovely to play with the tools again but I'm a bit out of practice, lol!  I actually stamped the birds onto card and cut them out and then stuck the slightly puffed metal pieces on top with heavy gel.  I filled the back with Grunge Paste to stop it getting squished.

 I created a couple of grassy mounds by painting a coffee filter with Fresco Finish paints and sticking them to top layer of white card.  I then attached the birds and stamped the grass and flowers with Archival inks. 

I added colouring with some Sharpie pens I bought a while ago & had never used.  I was pleased at how well they worked on top of the FF and realised that they wouldn't have worked on the bare coffee filter paper.....I tried it just to see and it feathered quite badly.

This last photo was taken with flash as it was dusk and quite dreary too.  All the stamps are from one of Lin's new sets except the grasses which are JoFY stamps and the Happy 'Bird'day which is from an old Chocolate Baroque set.

Well, I doubt very much I will manage another entry for this particular challenge but do drop by the PaperArtsy blog and look back over the week at the fantastic Designers and their teams.  The products are fab and the artwork is jaw dropplingly gorgeous! Tonight was the last lot and it's another blog post full of inspiration!

Lesley  Xx

PaperArtsy Blog Challenge - Wow I managed more than one!

Hi to you all,

I hope you're having a lovely weekend wherever you are and whatever you're doing!  I've spent a lovely day in my craftroom .......except for freezing cold feet, lol!  I can make the conservatory warm but I can't block out the cold to my tootsies from the blooming ceramic tiled floor!

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit smug because I managed a 2nd project for the brilliant PaperArtsy Blog Challenge..... mind you we have had an extra week because Leandra and her designers have been showcasing PaperArtsy's new product releases all this week and Oh boy, is there some fantastic stuff to see! The new paints are such yummy colours and the stamps are just WOW!  The style of each of the designers is very different so there is something to appeal to everyone.  Unfortunately, I like nearly all of them and want them in my collection asap, lol!  The artwork by the DT is out of this world gorgeous and so inspirational so do hop over to look if you haven't already.

Anyway, on to my project.  I decided to have a go at altering a pencil tin I picked up in the charity shop (where else?) using Pam Thorburn's method HERE.  I won't give an explanation of the how to as I pretty much followed Pam's step by step.  I have to say though I didn't find it as easy as it sounded or rather I'm not too good at working with that foil tape, lol!  Not going over a curved edge or round curved corners would have been better and I did overwork it a bit both on the burnishing to show the textures and on the sanding back between paint layers but you live and learn and all told, I don't think it turned out too badly.  See what you think!

Below are the things I used to create the texture.

Covered with the foil tape & burnished.

Painted with Fresco Finish in Stone, Mushroom, London Night, Pansy & Autumn Fire. The 'Words' stamp is from one of Sara Neuman's sets.

Finished with Treasure Gold in Royal Amethyst, Limited Edition Lilac, White Fire & Copper.

Righty Ho! I'm off to link this to the challenge.  Thank you for dropping by and see you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Thursday, 5 February 2015


Morning All,

I rarely join swaps because I don't seem to manage to stay the course very often and hate letting people down but I decided to join in one this year with a group of friends.  The swap is for two ATCs and two Tags of any size.  The theme for our first swap was faces and these are what I came up with. 

First the ATCs

This one was lightly blended Distress Inks followed by stamping the image and then adding touches of extra DI's to enhance the colouring of the face.  I stamped the butterfly a second time, coloured it with DI's and triple embossed with clear EP before shaping the wings and attaching just by the body.

This one had Pan Pastels blended softly over the background then Versamark applied through a clouple of stencils and more PPs patted onto it.  I then stamped the image and removed some of the colour with an eraser to highlight the hair, eyes and teardrop.  I love the way the Versamark acted as a resist under the stamped image.

Now for the Tags

For the first one I cut the tag from some Prima packaging (always too lovely to throw away). Roughly painted with watered down Fresco Finish and randomly stamped clock hands.  I blended alcohol inks on acetate and when dry embossed in an embossing folder.  I inked the edges of a paper doily.  I painted a piece of card with Fresco Finish paints deliberately leaving it streaky then stamped the clock face and cut it out. Layered it with the doily ontop of the acetate and added metal embellishments & fibres.

My final tag was my favourite! I stamped the face with Black Archival ink and the flourishes with Aquamarine Archival.  Blended Distress Inks over the whole tag removing the colour from the eye with a water moistened brush. I applied Grunge Paste through my new gorgeous stencil and when the GP was dry I replaced the stencil and added Archival ink to colour (the Aquamarine). I added extra stencilling using Distress Ink and also DIs to add colour to the lips and eye. Finally I die cut and embossed the butterfly and added some Treasure Gold.

Here's hoping I manage to keep up with this'll make a change if I do, lol!

See you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

PaperArtsy Challenge #2 - Shiny Stuff

Hi Everybody,

It's a bit nippy isn't it and going to get a lot worse over next few days by all accounts but shouldn't grumble as it probably won't be as bad as the poor folk over the pond in the US have it right now (it's being shown on the news as I type).  Stay safe any visitors who drop by that are struggling over there at the moment.

Things are still a bit busy here this week as my brothers & I have to get Mum's bungalow emptied by the weekend so we can hand the keys back next week.  It's a very difficult thing to dispose of someone's home while they are still alive but have no say in the matter :-( and I have to say it's giving me a few sleepless nights but we're getting there and it will be done with soon.  I just hope I've chosen the right treasures to save for her!

Ok, on to the crafting ;-D!  It's the 2nd challenge theme over on the PaperArtsy Blog and this time it's 'Shiny Stuff'! What a fabulous theme as there are so many things you can use to create shine and it can be subtle or 'in your face full on bling' and the inspiration from the Guest Designers is stunning so do hop over and take a look.  I want to have a go at everything, lol!  For my project I used a lot more shiny stuff than I would normally but I'm actually really pleased with the result.  See what you think! .......Er, sorry for the photo overload!

I started with a 6" x 6" wooden frame (from the charity shop again ;D) from which I'd ripped some awful embellies.

I used the products below to layer paint and add shine, plus gilding flakes.

I die cut the butterfly border from White Greyboard (PaperArtsy) and the word Love is a Wendy Vecchi Art Part and I covered both with gilding flakes.  I applied the pale, creamy colours of Fresco Finish to the frame with Cut n Dry foam and then applied patches of the 3 Treasure Gold colours.

Previously I've always applied TG as the last layer but this time I wanted to try using it underneath FF so I applied a mix of Nougat and Dusty Teal FF all over, again with Cut n Dry. Once dry I then sanded back to the TG and buffed it with a soft cloth.  Sorry for the glare in some pics but the 'process' ones were taken at night. 

The flourishes were stamped with a Versamagic ink and all the script with Watering Can Archival.  The butterflies were stamped with Archival onto a scrap of co-ordinating paper I found, cut out and then coated with FF Metallic Glaze.  All the stamps used are from PaperArtsy sets. The random embossing is Frantage with a few mica flakes added.

This pic shows the lovely effect of the TG showing through the FF.  I was really chuffed with it ;-)!

More 'Shiny Stuff', lol!

I deliberately took the photos of the finished project early this morning in a mix of dull daylight & my lamp so that I could capture the shine properly so apologies for the shadows. 

I totally enjoyed making this frame and I think I'm going to take it down to Mum so see if she would like it in her room she does cos she's always been my biggest fan, bless her!

There is an extra week to make an entry for this particular challenge because next week Leandra and the team are revealing all the new stamps and stuff being released.  The sneak peeks already have me drooling so I can't wait to see and it might give me chance to make a second entry to the challenge!

Righty Ho!  Off to get my 'proper' day underway.  Hope you all have a good one and manage to stay warm and cosy.  See you soon!

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 16 January 2015

The new PaperArtsy Challenge to kick off 2015!

Hi Everyone,

I can't believe it's already two weeks since we saw in the New Year and very belatedly I would like to wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy 2015.

The year has started with mixed blessings here as although I could wish that my Mum had gone to her own home fit and well from hospital, unfortunately that is never going to be the case and I am relieved that she has not been sent home to spend many hours alone and unable to move about or not safely at least.  Last week she went into a nursing home and so far seems relaxed and happy especially as she now has her own TV to watch, lol!  I am deciding which of her bits and pieces can go to make her room look as homely as possible and at the same time rescuing lots of lovely old photos before her bungalow is cleared.  It's time consuming but I'm really chuffed to have managed an entry for the first 'new style' PaperArtsy Blog Challenge of 2015!

The format has changed and I really like how it's shaping up so far so if you haven't seen it up to press do stop by and check it out HERE.  There is to be a theme every 2 weeks and the first one is 'Fragile Papers' which Leandra introduced with a lovely post and video to kick start us all.  I can't honestly say I have taken inspiration from any single designer on the blog over the past 2 weeks other than Leandra's talking about fragile papers but Aneke's lovely project using tissue & napkins would have been if I had seen it before I made my project, lol!  There have been some fabulous, exciting posts so far with tons of inspiration and sneak peeks at gorgeous new PaperArtsy stamps coming out in February......... I need to get saving ;D!

Ok, on to my project!  It's a little wooden box which I picked up for 50p in the local charity shop and I decided to turn it into a sort of double shadow box.  So far I have only done the outside (ran out of time) but I will finish it so watch this space, lol!  I have quite a big collection of paper napkins which I have never yet used on any project so when Leandra announced the theme for the challenge I knew immediately that I wanted to use napkins and tissue.  I forgot to take pics of some stages but there are still lots of photos so here goes.

I used the JoFY Limited Edition 2 Fresco Finish paints with Chalk covering the whole of the box inside and out. 

The napkin I wanted to use has beautiful oriental imagery and reminded me of willow pattern plates but in cherry red and white instead of white and blue. 

I almost dry brushed  roughly over with Turquoise FF.  I then tinted some Grunge Paste with the Turquoise FF and applied it in random areas through a stencil (forgot to take a pic).  When it was dry I highlighted with White Fire Treasure Gold (my favourite and 'go to' TG)

Above I adhered some of the top layer and the middle layer of the napkin onto Clearly for Art Whiteout before using PaperArtsy Grungy Flower die to cut out them out.  I also cut some in Tim Holtz Kraft Glassine which I stamped in gold with a Chinese script stamp I've had for years.  The lovely Lucy worked with some plastic and tissue to make flowers for her fragile papers project HERE.  I highlighted  the edges with a beautiful blue limited edition Treasure Gold.

Here I adhered the paler middle napkin layer to some toning tissue but the tissue colour showed through & obliterated the design, lol! Never mind I still liked the result and it made quite a strong material to use for die cutting lots of cherry blossoms.

I used the Kraft Glassine to die cut the branches and then set about playing with the positioning and sticking all the flowers on, 

Here you can see the TG highlights and I hope, the pretty little bird!

I also gave some Chinese coins the TG treatment to use in the flower centres.

I randomly painted watered down Cherry Red and Turquoise FF onto Cream Waxed Tissue from PaperArtsy and then stamped a border from a Lynne Perrella stamp set LPC021 using gold ink.  I tore it into strips and adhered it to the 'spine', top and bottom edges of the box.

So that's the finished outside.  I wonder what to do with the inside ;D!

If you stuck with me through that lot, thanks very much and you now deserve a cup, mug or glass of your favourite beverage.  I'm off for a mug of coffee & to do my linkup to the PaperArtsy Challenge.  See you again soon I hope.

Lesley  Xx

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

A Final Piece of Christmas!

Hello everyone,

Finally ....... a blog post!!!

First of all I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas.  Mine has had some lovely bright spots when we managed to spend time with our children & grandchildren, courtesy of our Son and Yvonne, his lovely partner, who hosted us all for a fab Christmas Day dinner and then again on Boxing Day.  Yvonne's family were also there so it was a really lovely time.  We made it home on Boxing Day evening by the skin of our teeth because of the really heavy snowfall we had .  Half an hour later leaving and we would not have got through ........ which would not have been good for our little mutt who we'd left at home!

I am still spending a lot of time visiting my poor Mum who is still in hospital after her fall on the 4th November & broken hip but hopefully that situation will change in the next few weeks.

Anyway, this post has a dual purpose.  First of all to point you in the direction of the Craft Stamping Quartet blog I share with my buddies and below is a little peek at the project I just posted over there.  I'm quite proud of it so I hope you have time to pop over and have a look.

And for my final piece of  Christmas I have a few quick photos of some of the Christmas card designs I managed to make.

This last one I made to give to the staff (with a little gift) who have been looking after Mum for the past 7 weeks or so.  It was a bit hard to photograph as it's pearlescent card in ivory & pale gray.

Well tomorrow sees the last day of 2014 and I for one am not sorry to see it go.  I hope that 2015 is a better year for us all and I wish you all much health and happiness for the coming year.  Thank you all for your visits and comments throughout the past year.  They are very much appreciated especially when I have been such a bad blogger.  I live in hope of a much more productive year to come, lol!

Lots of love and hugs to you all
Lesley  Xx