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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bits of old tat, and then something new...........

Yesterday I got a parcel from Ireland (Northern) from Waltzing Mouse..............Irish Blessings stamps and a cute little house; I am currently thinking about what I can make with them! I have lots of ideas but nothing has eventuated yet.

The last two days have been BEAUTIFUL!  John is still in the garden, weeding.  At least the weeds come out fairly well after all that rain. But no rain lately ... we have had blue skies, no wind, warm without being hot, birds singing...........and the grandgirls came for dinner last night, rejected the idea of roast chicken, opting for that first summer BBQ!  Of course, the house husband (Llo) gave in and so number 2 (Miss nearly 14) and I went shopping for meat and salad (third visit by this house to the supermarket in one day!); she made the salad, cooked the BBQ AND completed her homework on Tsunami's! Number 1 (nearly 17) studied maths for her test today - she got 3 A's for her last assignment, so things are looking up there as well!

I made some more Christmas cards last week, inbetween painting with medium.  Here they are:

I used green scrap paper on white cards from Regal Press.  I have so much scrap paper and card that I decided I better use it all up before I purchased too much more. Some arecut-offs from A3 Bazzil card, some  SU card cut-offs and some I have purchased in various packs over the last few years. I put the smaller pieces into an A3 plastic bag (one colour family per bag), and use them for mounting and layering up or to make embellishments, but the stash has got too large, so now I need to use it up!

The stamp used was Baroque Motifs and I used a packet of 5 silver and white metal stars with silver wire spiral attached. I made five cards from this packet I purchased from a stationary shop (Frenchville label I think) last year after Christmas, so they probably cost me about $2 for the packet.  The greeting was either a peeloff or rub-on or stamped with SU Many Merry Messages using Craft White ink.  Some were embossed and some were not. Snowflakes were from SU The Snowflake Spot.  The middle card used torn whisper white card and green card to mount a pressed tin christmas square - again I have had a packet of 5 of these for a couple of years and no idea where they came from.  I used an SU marker to create faux stiches in the corners and just layered up. The star cards were layered using either grey or silver card from a variety of places.

These cards are made with a diecut give-away I got on an card-making English magazine last year.  (English mags tend to be at least two months behind in the newsagents here, so I would have purchased it in February or March!) They looked very garish in the sheets (3 of them) but when I pushed out the individual pieces they were not so bad - and although you cannot see it clearly here they are covered with sparkle.  I put them onto a base card of BoBunny Holiday Cheer paper (the reverse side) - one sheet made all five cards.  The rub-offs were from American Crafts MiniMarks Christmas 2, or peel-offs, or Kaiser rub-ons. All left over from last year. So, 15 cards for very little cost - and I have reduced my stash a little. Means I can now go shopping, doesn't it?

Anyway, that's it folks. Thanks for reading this far!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's beginning to look like Christmas......

Well, after being shocked by seeing all the Christmas cards being made by crafters and posted up, and then going into one of my favourite shops in the city and catching them putting up their Christmas deco's I eventually got into the swing myself and made some Christmas cards! You can blame Michelle Zindorff - she started me on this road to using my ink pads as a paint pallette and practicing brayering.  I really like this style.  The stained glass effect on the Christmas trees was done using peeloffs stuck on vellum, coloured with either gel pens or my SU markers, and then I turned them over and used an embossing tool on the back to create a 'puffed up' look (description courtesy of the nearly 14 year old granddaughter).  I then painstakingly fussy cut them and this took the longest time as my hands are not as good as they were doing this type of work.

I then grabbed the inkpads - mainly SU ones - and my brayer and began to either layer on the ink using successive layers of different colours (while I had my Michelle Zindorff file open on the computer, reading about how she did each thing and trying to replicate a similar look!) or swiping the pad directly onto the SU whisper white card or using ink sponged on with foam to add another dimention.  I used the punched out circle idea from a sticky pad, and the torn out hill shape to brayer over also to create the appearance of a moon and hills at night.  I then either embossed with clear or gold or silver embossing powder, or direct stamped various stamps from Snowflack Spot, Baroque Motifs, Snow Flurries, Many Merry Messages, and Merry, Merry.  Didn't realise I had so many until I started this! I also used gold peel-offs on some for the message.

Here are a few examples!

I had some stained-glass trees left over, and so used them on a piece of paper I had first embossed in my Cuttlebug with a folder called Snowflakes. They looked OK as well. I used either peel-offs or rub-ons for the message.

I have made some others as well, but will leave these for later.

What else have I been doing?  Nothing much but it seems I was always busy - went to a fantastic version of Miss Siagon last Friday night at our lovely old Theatre Royal in Hobart.  All the girls went with us, and we all thought it was excellent.  We were sitting right up front and the singing and music was loud, but so good - and the helicopter! I made my tummy rumble! Wow - what an excellent presentation of the events.  I can remember the storming of the gates by the Viet Kong and the images beamed around the world of it all; the people left behind - crying and begging and falling of the skids of the last helicopter out....... and when John and I were in Ho Chi Min city last year we were there on the grounds of the palace  as well.  It bought it all back to me then and to see the production it just came alive for me again.  We were so anti the Vietnam War in those days, and so the scenes were both good and bad - mixed memories that were represented well in this piece of theatre. Amazing how one's perception of something can be so influenced by experience and so different to someone elses. The granddaughters were intrigued by the love story and the universality of it,  and the music of course.

Well, that's enough - thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How does your garden grow?

Our garden is full of weeds - poor hubbie was in it for last few days and only managed to clear a small patch.  When we got back from the mainland, the rain and warmer weather had encouraged great growth so there were many, many weeds to be got rid of.............and it was green waste day yesterday. I cannot do much to help - my back is a good excuse - so he does most of it by himself. Today has been sunny and warm except when it wasn't raining, so no gardening got done. He needed a break anyway as he was a little tired - I forget he is nearly 75 at times.

Today was painting day and we had a demonstration on the use of galze mediums in your oil painting, and three different ways of going about it.  Still a little confused but will give it a go this week and see what happens! Perhaps I will show you what I have done, perhaps not.

Meanwhile I have made some cards! Suprise, suprise.  Again, they come from my collection of pictures I have torn out of various magazines, and so are to a great extent cased.  Please accept my deepest gratitude all you great card makers you, if you happen to see my attempts at your work. Most card used  is SU card and inks ditto.  The first card uses an Artee Stamp Double Daisy, which I masked to create 4 flowers.  I coloured it in using SU markers and a watercolour brush. The sentiment is a Virve Stamp from USA, one of several I got last month. The ink is SU Baja Breeze and I used one of those baking papers from the set I mentioned last time that the family gave.  I used gold card to back all these. Inside I used another Virve stamp sentiment as my verse, stamped in blue ink on a cream paper inset.

This one is on SU Craft paper, using SU Chocolate Chip ink to smudge the edges.  The little card has felt flowers on it and the 'parcel' was created using scraplings pasted onto cardboard. Inside onthe inset I used stickers from Joane's on birthdays.

This one is too big.  I am thinking of framing it rather than using it as a card.  The flowers were fussy cut from a sheet of Pink Paislee Spring Fling Collection: Spring Flowers, and placed over another piece from the same collection: Tree House. I hand drew and cut out the bird, and mounted it on left over gold card. I used a scrap to create the fence, after carefully giving it a scalloped edge. The letter stickers were from the many I have in the box - maker unknown. I 3-D'ed the flowers with dimentionals and only stuck down the bottom of the stalks and the center of the flower to give it more life. Inside I printed a sentiment I made up - and glued another flower next to it, plus one on the envelope. I must admit it is pretty.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Spring has come back.

Well, today is a beautiful day and the sun is shining although it is not that warm yet.  Took a photo the other day of the view from my standing desk in my craft room - cannot understand why I need inspiration sometimes with a view like that.  Around late afternoon the birds come to drink and have a bath in the dish and although they cannot see me I am aware that they know something is watching them!

I made a few cards too that day but the colours seem too strong for the subject material I think.  However, they are both made with card blanks, and SU scraps of card, and I embossed one background sheet (the Joy card) with the Swiss Dots Cuttlebug folder. The stamping sets are SU Summer by the Sea and Uncharted Territory.  I felt like colouring in that day and so made two picture cards - I used my SU markers to watercolour the Joy card and my Derwent watercolour pencils for the other to see what the difference in tone and texture would be like - you be the judge!

Last weekend I went to my SU Demonstrator (Lynda)'s house and we made a small card tote there  - my attempt is pictured below but Lynda designed it and produced the template which is for sale. You can find it here.

It is a card tote and contains a place to put stamps and a calendar to record anniversaries and store the cards you make for them behind each month - how organised!  Now all I have to do is fill in the month sheets and create the cards to go with them!  Mmmmm.....

Just have to share the news that I went to the Clarence Performing Arts Esteiddford (?) yesterday to watch my very talented 13 year old granddaughter play her cornet in a solo competition (Under 16) and she WON!  Well done Hettie! Everyone there to watch her was very proud and all had a lump in their throats and some even had a tear in their eyes - no, not me this time, but Llo was a very proud grandfather I can tell you!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rain, rain, go away......................

Well, it's October, and it's still raining!  What's more, it's bloody cold as well!  Spent all of last week crafting cards, but sold two today, gave away three and left the rest at a friend's business, to see if she can sell them (she offered!). Didn't even take any photo's of 'em before taking them out of the house! Have started to paint another Italian scene - an alleyway; I have blocked it in in sepia, and tried to get the perpective correct before beginning the task of painting it using a glaze or medium in the paint other than the turps which I have been using to date - mmmmm, could be exciting or disasterous. What is interesting is I have been 'allowed' by my teacher to move onto this method of painting!

I made the following card a while ago now - when I was practicing working with embossing and sponging ink.  It is made from scraps of paper and card, some buttons from my mother's old button box and a rub-on. The ink I used was a Tim Holtz distress ink on the edges of the rub-on and the brown was from Timber Brown Stayzon. I used  SU Glossy White paper to stamp and then emboss with white ink (Brilliance - Moonlight White) and clear embossing powder. The stamp was a foam freebie from somewhere that was one of my first stamps and I used with acrylic ink before using it here.  Once the brown ink was sponged on, I used a tissue to carefully wipe the excess ink off, and polish the surface.  Despite the fact that the embossing powder stuck to the surface and that it is a bit 'rough' looking, I like the look of it still. It was made when I was first beginning to 'play' with different styles!

The card below was also made ages ago - before I got a stamp for a bird that is similar to this, so this bird is drawn freehand, and coloured in using various inks.  The legs are drawn freehand on the ruled paper, and the 'for you' is also written freehand with a black pen. The ribbon is one that came tied around a present for me, and the scrap paper is stamped with SU Peaceful Wishes; the tail feathers are covered with glue and purple glitter, and the green background paper is one from a pack given to me by family - in other words, I have no idea what label it should go under!  The card is a Bazill card. I have edged the papers with SU Wild Wasabi ink.