I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Love Shines

Hello all, and welcome to the second post of the day!

It's that time of the month - new challenge themes to play all over the place.  If you're looking for my contribution for Our Creative Corner, you'll find it here.

But right now, it's time for a new challenge over at Country View Challenges.  Our lovely host, Doreen, would like to see you all Sparkle and Shine this month.

My team-mates have produced some fabulous inspiration for you.  Some of them have gone Christmassy - perfect for the sparkle theme - but mine were made well before leaving for New York... it never occurred to me to think of Christmas back in July!

I'm not generally that sparkly, but I had lots of fun with both my projects.  First up is this jumbo tag full of the lustrous shimmer of gilding and even some hints of glitter.

I started with one of the inserts from the Tim Holtz stencil packaging as my tag background.  (As the whole thing got heavier, I mounted it on some thick card to make the whole thing sturdier.)  Since it has a slight sheen already it seemed like a good start for a shiny project.

I mixed a couple of drops of Walnut Stain Distress Re-inker with texture paste on my craft mat and applied the mixture through the Tim Holtz Gothic stencil (I think this was the very first thing I did with it when it arrived through the letter box on its release!).

Love the clean edges and great dimension.

Later it got a good dose of White Fire Treasure Gold…

… making it gleam from the dark background.

The main focal image is the Found Relatives' baby, cut out around the top, and perched on the clock frame.

She's mounted on some padded tape for that pop of dimension.

Since the Found Relatives cards are quite glossy, even the baby adds some sparkle and shine when she catches the light!

I think the clock frame is one of the Tando ones (or perhaps I cut it using the Tim Holtz die - can't remember any longer).

It's had several layers of embossing powder applied - some plain gold and some Frantage Aged Gold in there I think.

I heated the layers until little extra bubbles of texture started to appear, to add distressed texture.

There are some Gothic book pages layered into the mix…

... as well as a Prima journalling ticket providing extra detail just behind the baby.

The flowers are from various sources - there are some Prima ones, and some that I won in a blog candy ages ago.

I'm guessing I got them on offer, as I don't usually indulge in Prima flowers…

I have to admit I'm slightly in love with the texty print on a couple of these!

Some (I think the blog candy ones) had quite a glittery finish.  Even after I did some altering with spritzes of ink and distressing of the edges, the glitter is still providing an extra touch of sparkle.

The Ornate Plate has had a fingerful of White Fire Treasure Gold applied to it to highlight all those lovely decorative ridges.  And the words pretty much stamped themselves!

When I added all the splatter later I made sure I covered the internal panel so that the words wouldn't get obscured by the flying ink.

There are some more golden metal accents in the shape of one of the large Idea-ology keys (also White-Fired!)...

... and some of the Finnabair Roman Numerals, echoing the numbers on the clock.

It was pretty much an afterthought to add some of my dried leaves (yup, that would be White Fire Treasure Gold they've been gilded with) to the mix.

I think they give quite a good hit of dramatic diagonals to the composition.

And the splatter is done with Dylusions sprays, taking the spritzers out and flicking the other end at the tag.

Even the topping has a touch of shimmer to it… no idea any more where I picked up this satiny ribbon, but it was perfect for the job here.

So that's my gleaming, golden, glittery, gilded make for you, sparkling and shining in the sunlight.

Do hop over to Country View Challenges to see how my team-mates Sparkle and Shine, as well as to check out all the challenge details and rules.

As usual, there's a prize voucher provided by our generous sponsor Country View Crafts, so do come and Sparkle and Shine with us this month.

Thanks so much for dropping in.  I should actually have some time today to do some visiting in Craftyblogland - I'm really looking forward to catching up with what you've all been creating.  Happy October everyone!

Oh, and if all that gilding is a bit rich for you, you could check out my rusty offering for Our Creative Corner from earlier today!

It sometimes happens, even in the best of families, that a baby is born.  This is not necessarily cause for alarm.  The important thing is to keep your wits about you and borrow some money.
Elinor Goulding Smith

Ingredients available at Country View Crafts:
Idea-ology Found Relatives
Idea-ology Word Keys
Tim Holtz Gothic stencil and the packaging from a Tim Holtz stencil
Idea-ology Ornate Plate
Texture Paste
Walnut Ink Distress Re-inker
Dylusions Sprays - Ground Coffee, Melted Chocolate
Treasure Gold - White Fire

Rust Rules!

Hello all!  Can you believe it's October already?!  Time for a new set of challenges around Craftyblogland.

I'll be back very shortly with my offering for Country View Challenges, but first we're kicking off the new theme over at Our Creative Corner.

Our brilliant leader Laura is our host this month, and she's inviting you all to Go Rustic.  Here's what she had to say: We want to see a huge variety of items here, so make anything you like, but add some RUST!  Now you can take this rust-ic creativity to any level you like - you can use just use some rusty autumnal colours or you can really go for it and work with gorgeous, rough textured, grungy, real or faux rust.

Before you go and check out the amazing inspiration over at Our Creative Corner, here's my starter for ten...  I've kept it pretty simple this month.

I do love a bit of rust and I think it goes perfectly with one of my other favourite things, corrugated cardboard.

I built up my hanging over a piece of cardboard which I rusted up with lots of layers of paint and embossing powder.

The paint included lots of DecoArt colours - Burnt and Raw Umbers, Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Gold, Transparent Red Iron Oxide amongst others.

And for texture there are various Distress embossing powders - Walnut Stain, Black Soot, Vintage Photo - as well as the Ranger Antiquities Rust.

I added Weathered Wood Distress Paint around the edges later on to provide some contrast, and to tone in with the central panel.

For that panel, I stamped one of my favourite Tim Holtz quote stamps onto some white card, and then inked around it with Weathered Wood Distress Ink.

Around the corners I stamped possibly my all-time favourite branches, from the Silhouette Blossoms set by Autumn Leaves.

The Idea-ology flowers have been treated with the Crafty Notions Rusting Powder.  (You apply it over multi-medium and then spritz with vinegar and let it work - you can see the process in detail in my post Tea Dye and Rusty Hinge.)

I layered in a couple of washers from that same rusting session and attached my little floral arrangements in opposite corners.

It still needed a little something extra, so I layered in some torn book pages to give it a little lift, and the whole thing is strung up with twine that's been roughed up with some more Weathered Wood Distress Paint.

I hope you like my rusty rustic hanging.  My team-mates are also rust-lovers and you're going to be amazed by what they've come up with this month, I promise.

Check out their fantastic projects over at Our Creative Corner and we hope you'll be inspired to come and play soon.  Our sponsor this month is the fabulous Funkie Junkie Boutique, so make sure you comply with all the challenge rules to qualify for the prize!  Oh, and I'll be back very shortly with the new CVC challenge details... see you then!

A sword, a spade, and a thought should never be allowed to rust.
James Stephens

Monday, 29 September 2014

Calico Joy

Hello all!  Thanks so much for stopping by - especially when I'm being a very bad blogger at the moment.  There just never seems to be enough time to do everything I want to do - especially with New York City beckoning on the doorstep!  

I will be back soon with some updates on what I've been up to in New York - including meeting up and bargain-hunting with the fabulous Marjie Kemper - but for now it's a quick sneak peek to tempt you over to Calico Crafts for my latest creation there.
 I'm actually ten days late with this project because my laptop collapsed on me - so I'm relieved finally to be able to share it with you today.

If you have time to pop over and check it out, that would be lovely.  
We're almost at October, so there'll be some new challenge projects very soon - watch this space!  Hope you're all thriving, and I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Joy is not in things; it is in us.
Richard Wagner

Friday, 19 September 2014

Autumn Colours

Hello all!

Apologies for my complete disappearance - it's such a relief to be back.

My laptop collapsed on me and had to go away for repairs...  I'm afraid I missed a Calico date, but hope to fit that in some time soon - and now I'm back just in time for the new challenge at A Vintage Journey.

The fabulous Astrid is our host this fortnight and she's looking for The Colours of Autumn in your projects - with, of course, the usual requirement for a strong Tim influence.

You can find lots of beautiful inspiration from my team-mates over at A Vintage Journey, as well as all the challenge details and rules.

Here's my offering for you - a crackly tag full of glowing autumnal colours and the crunch of leaves underfoot.

I started with repeated stampings of one of Tim's Falling Leaves stamps in lots of different colours of Archival ink - Sepia, Sienna and Orange Blossom - as well as some clear embossed stampings.

I inked over and around the leaves with Distress Inks - Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge, Vintage Photo, Gathered Twigs and Walnut Stain - before coating the whole thing with Rock Candy Crackle Paint. 

The clear embossed leaves are still nice and present, but the colour versions have almost disappeared - shadowy echoes remain, like layers of leaf mulch under the surface.

For my background tag, I used some of the same Distress Ink colours and the fabulous Shatter stencil - here playing the role of cobwebs.

I layered the two together and added some metal accents.  I love the effect of the cobwebs peeking out around the edges of the crackle.

The clock measures those days ticking away, revealing your true colours as you head towards the autumn of your life.

Both the Idea-ology pieces and the metal skeleton leaves had a slight burnishing of Copper Treasure Gold for an added glow.

I found the quote online, and it seemed perfect!  I stamped the words onto one of my tea/coffee dyed tags, then cut them out and arranged them amongst the leaves.

There's no attribution - it seems to be by the very prolific Anonymous.

I'm already finding it hard to hide my true colours, and I think I could probably still claim high summer... it doesn't bode well!

The topping is some dyed crinkle ribbon, the same Distress colours again, and tied with some rustic raffia.

So those are my autumn colours.  I hope you like them...  Do hop over to A Vintage Journey for more inspiration, and I hope we'll see your Colours of Autumn this fortnight.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Now that my precious laptop is back safe and sound I hope to do some catching up with you all in Craftyblogland soon.  I've missed you all!

I am having a great time in New York.  There's not much time for anything outside of work, but luckily I love my work too!!  If you're dying of curiosity, how about a taster of where I'm working: Theatre for a New Audience.  Tamburlaine is my show...  We rehearsed at the theatre for the first couple of weeks, but we're now in a rehearsal space right on Washington Square - lots of literary associations, and a fabulous Blick Art Supplies store right around the corner!

Don't you love New York in the fall?  It makes me want to buy school supplies.  I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.
Nora Ephron

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Luggage Label

Hello all, I'm back with my second offering of the month for Jennie's Nautical theme over at Country View Challenges.

You can find the challenge details and lots of inspiration there.  Do come and play to be in with a chance of winning the prize voucher generously sponsored by Country View Crafts.

I double-checked the definition of Nautical - "of or pertaining to sailors, ships or navigation" - to see what I could find in my stash to fit.

The map notations on my Nautical ATB fit the bill well but, given that shipwrecks and undersides of boats and barnacle-y rocks form part of one of my only phobias, I don't really have much else in the stash that is particularly nautically inclined.

Fortunately, I remembered that I do have the fabulous Tim Holtz ship stamp, part of the Artful Voyage set.

I thought I'd seen a similar image somewhere, and found it amongst the pieces in the Expedition Ephemera Pack.  I realised that these ephemera would be able to come to my rescue, along with some papers from one of the Tim paper stashes... and this layered tag is what I came up with. 

The main background is one that's been sitting around on my desk for months.  (In fact I seem to remember I made it in the Czech Republic, which would make it about April or so!)

Finally the ocean colours and swirls of the Distress Paint marbling seemed to come into their own.  At some point I'd added the alphabet stamping with another plan in mind, but I decided that the swirly font just added to the flow of the water!

The largest extra layer is an additional tag, gently inked and then stamped with the ocean liner and some of the travel documents from the same set.

That's when I started to gather some more ship-oriented ephemera to layer into position.

The photos are cut from an 8x8 sheet in Tim's Menagerie paper stash.

There was another photo from the same page on my recent Missing You Postcard - they're such great travel images.

They've been inked and distressed around the edges - mainly with Vintage Photo, but I think there's a touch of Gathered Twigs in there too.

And the labels, and tags, and globes are all from the Expedition Ephemera Pack, all distressed and inked on the edges too, of course.

I added some thin twine through all the luggage labels.  I like the slightly messy random look of it - adding a bit of life to something which is otherwise a bit flatter than I'm used to dealing with!

I couldn't resist using the same twine to attach one of the fabulous Word Bands.

I've always been a hoarder of travel tickets and mementos.  Somewhere there's a whole boxful of stuff from my trip to Egypt (nearly a decade ago now), still waiting to be formed into a travel journal.  So the word SOUVENIR seemed appropriate.

Once everything was stuck down, I roughed up the edges even more, trying to add a bit more dimension and movement.  I hope you like it - I think it captures something of the age when travel still had a touch of glamour and adventure, rather than the dehumanising drudgery it tends to be these days!

There's more nautical inspiration throughout the month over at Country View Challenges, so do pop over every now and then to take a look.  And we'd love to see what you come up with for the Nautical challenge this month, so come and play along.

I'll try to get around to sharing some of my current travels with you soon, but we're working pretty much flat out, so there's not a lot of spare time, sadly.  I hope to fit in some blog-travelling soon...  Until then, happy crafting all!

We travel, some of us forever, to discover other states, other lives, other souls.
Anaïs Nin

Supplies available at Country View Crafts:
Stampers Anonymous - Artful Voyage and Typography stamp sets
Distress Paints - Evergreen Bough, Chipped Sapphire, Picket Fence
Distress Inks - Stormy Sky, Vintage Photo, Gathered Twigs
Tim Holtz Menagerie Paper Stash 8x8
Idea-ology Ephemera Pack - Expedition
Tim Holtz Paper Distresser
Manila Tags

Also, a quick dollshouse update... you can now finally see inside the "old house in Paris, that's covered in vines" over at Cestina's Dollshouses.