Monday, October 31, 2011

A Stroll Down Configuration Lane...

Farewell Weekend and Greetings Monday...
Welcome to my blog and a new theme at Simon Says Stamp & Show where houses are in the house! A house can be many things but I felt drawn to the idea of a home, a dwelling place for many memories. You know what they say, "If walls had ears..." I have never played with a Configuration Box and must admit I do like to bide my time when a new trend hits town. I like to wait until an idea that's 'me' begins to whisper. See, voices in your head can be a good thing!
Let's take a stroll down Configuration Lane...
I started by ageing my twelve Configuration boxes with a thick coat of Gesso, Mushroom paint and Distress Ink. I didn't go for Tissue Tape as I wanted to see the individual 'rooms'! Then I set about filling them with an array of findings and memories, each one with her own story. If you fancy a tour, then jump on board...
Wendy words stapled onto vintage lace and fabric. The box is lined with cotton tape with an old button to finish.
 A little design paper, a piece of vintage tape measure and an old lace bobbin.
A Grungepaper rose made with Tattered Florals. First I inked up the Grungepaper with Frayed Burlap, then painted it with PaperArtsy Crackle followed by Blank Canvas. Behind, a scrap of paper, a stamped word and two rusty nails... In some of the boxes I placed a layer or two of mountboard to reduce some of the depth so as not to lose the contents into the shadows and darkness!
I had an old, small fob-watch lurking in my drawer so I pulled it apart to create a keepsake locket. I used Alcohol inks to change the silver colour and then I filled it with a book page scrap, vintage lace, a tape measure scrap and a rose bud. The two tiny words are taken from Stuff to Say and the background is a piece of embossed and inked Sticky Canvas. I added a chain scrap and sat it on more vintage lace, adding a button to the corner. Onto quite a deep layered one lined with lace and a book page...
A crochet scrap, button and Glassine Paper. I cut wire supports for my butterfly adding a little typed FLY.

This one merits a larger photo, because it's my dear mum. I absolutely adore this image of her... look at those ringlets! I love it.
 I scanned the original photo and cut a Mica front so it would fit inside the Ornate Plate which I have distressed with Distress Powder and Alcohol inks. I glued cut-off brads in the holes and then taped the plate to the wire which supports itself due to the tension. The background is stitched, distressed paper and I lined the bottom with lace and press-studs. Goes without saying, my favourite box...

Five rosebuds, muslin and an old pen nib. I cut two of the second smallest Tattered Florals, laid them on top of each other, then folded them in half. Then I rolled them into a cone and glued them! Added some highlights with Viva Gold.
A shallow one this time.Three vintage buttons sewn onto design paper and a Tissue Tape lining!
This one was fiddily but so worth it. Glassine Paper lines the back and a hidden column supports painted chicken wire and a thickly gessoed heart. Love the texture. I added some scrap chain and ran some Copper tape through my Dynamo for the Beloved word. I emphasised the letters with Alcohol ink and sanding, adding two old bolts to continue the metal feel. I ended up using super-glue to fix the heart (Can you do that in real life too?)
This box was great because the old clock key fitted perfectly! The background is resist stamped using White Stazon and Rusty Hinge and I layered up two punched lace strips. 'Become' was taken from here. I like taking just one word from a whole stamp - the possibilities are endless.
I love words and my vintage typewriter gives me the chance to add whatever I want. The little fern flower is Wendy's...
And finally...You just can beat the beauty of rusty, distressed metal. I stuck metal tape to card, then used the Textile folder, lots of inks and a sanding block. I aged the tag by really overheating Distress powder and adding more ink (watch out for the fizz!) Added a vintage trim and lined the box with a Bible page. The roofs are corner bracket thingys from the hardware store, again aged as before. What an amazing fit! I was very chuffed...and think they are the perfect finishing touch.
I gave my Lego away years ago so I figured I would make my own arty version! The houses are not glued together so you can play around and create your very own street! So there you go, my houses. It was a big task but one that brought a lot of joy and satisfaction. I hope you feel inspired to play with your Configgy boxes too. I was literally thinking outside the box.
Even my hubby joined in...this is his take on Venice! How fab is that? I might let him make next weeks piece! That's enough boxes for a while for me, I'm only into ones full of chocolate for the rest of this week...
So now it's time for you to get your thinking cap on. Remember we like seeing ALL kinds of projects, big or small, from ATCs to Skyscrapers! Beginners or seasoned fellows. Just be yourself and have fun creating! Hop over to the Design Team blog and enjoy some fabulous takes on this theme - they are all so different! You'll love them...
Phew indeed! This was a mammoth blog post... so huge thanks for taking some time out to be here. I love creating and hopefully feel free to ask any questions. I'm seeing you soon, Sarah.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A little bit of ink and shiny stuff...

Have you got that Friday feeling? Glad it's the weekend, ready to indulge in all the nice stuff and have a ball... but feel so tired you quite fancy staying in bed until Monday? Well, if you do I'm on your side. Life seems full on, on all levels, at the mo, and I can't wait for a free day to just faff and chill! That being said, I still wanted to join in at Grungy Monday. Perfect Distress is on the menu, see the top chef Tim here!

I love the stamp set Floral Tattoo It has an appealing hand carved, slightly primitive look but I don't use it enough so I dug them out and just dived in! The background is Stormy Sky, over-stamped with Barn Door to which I applied Forever Red Perfect Pearls.

I added more stamping with Dusty Concord and again Stormy Sky. The birds are stamped in Black Archival and the sentiment in Ranger Plum Archival. I added more Barn Door to the edges and a lace tie to finish.
Felt like trying out some more tones so went for a second one! The background is Peeled Paint and the over-stamping in Barn Door to which I applied Perfect Gold, continuing with Chipped Sapphire and more Peeled paint. The birdies are again black and the words in Ranger Cobalt for a difference in tone to the black but still strong. I inked the edges with Stormy Sky to give it a boost and added a black lace tie.
A dark, frosty night means shots from my crafty den but it's hard to pick up the glitter & glam! Here's a little bit that was willing to sparkle!
So there you go, some inky gossip from me. I'm working on my new My Mojo Monthly projects so a busy weekend ahead. I love all the entries so far, it'll be tough to choose a winner! There's still a few days to enter October's challenge here, where it's all about creative surfaces (could be my craft mat...) I'm signing off and attempting a Cinderella by getting into bed by midnight! Thanks for being here! Back on Monday with something special! Sarah.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's on your workdesk Wednesday and GIVEAWAY!

WOYWW? Well, that would be anything I can get on it... It's a bit of mine-field in my crafty den at the mo as the week is just running away with me and several deadlines are looming... the floor, chairs and other bedrooms are feeling the brunt of it too with little piles of stuff popping up like mole-hills. I am running out of "just putting it there for now" options - fast!

DT work and Novembers My Mojo Monthly have me in their grip so my Lynne Perrella Lady from last week will have to sit pretty for now. However, I'm now the owner of a new Big Shot. Hubby found it, untouched, in the QVC outlet store. Just £40 for the starter kit as opposed to £75 so a shrewd buy. Dabbling with the new tool ended up in some uber-quick Less is More cards!
This weeks it's polka dots so I went for the textural type. Here I was testing out the free heart die...
Getting into all the new recipe and sandwich jargon. Until now I used an Epic Six from Quickutz but the need to upgrade was upon me, so a welcome bargain indeed! There was also free flower die but I figured it could also pass for a snowflake! A quick Chrimbo card just doesn't get much simpler than this!
Love creating with dots and wish I could have played longer but seeing as those deadlines are nipping at my ankles...
Short and sweet cards it just had to be. It was still a welcome change of scene yesterday from the complex stuff.
Whilst I was creating those new mole-hills of stuff I came across two simple but pretty printed canvas bags I had bought back in April. Still in the plastic bag doing zilch. So I thought I'd give them away and let someone else use them. Fill 'em with junk, love or crafty stash - just use them!!! If you can give them a home, just leave a comment and I'll post them off next week!
Well, that's all folks as Bugs would say so I'm signing off. Head over to Julia's if you're up to sharing your crafty memoirs and gossip. Thanks a lot for calling by! See you soon...Sarah.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Walking in a Wendy Wonderland...

The Monday mornings keep on coming and I for one am very glad as it means a new challenge over at Simon Says Stamp & Show! This week it's One Colour, Any Colour... There's no denying it... the gloves are out, the evenings darker and the shops bursting with Festive Frivolity. The first frosty mornings led me to my 'colour' choice of winter white.

l have a healthy collection of Wendy Vecchi Art Parts and after playing around on my desk I decided there were some great shapes and elements for a dimensional framed hanging. I really wanted to achieve a white look but had to figure out how to do it without everything looking really bare and bland...
I used quite a few different ones including the Leaves, Floral and Flower sets. You won't use them all on one piece, so you'll find one small bag of Art Parts can go a long way, especially if you mix and match. I love building them up in layers to create dimension and there's always a great sentiment in every set. I've used the book-plate as the central focal point...
I prepped the Art Parts with Ranger Snow Cap Pigment ink and then swiped them with Mushroom paint to tone down the whiteness. I then used lots of my background stamps to add some details I stamped in White Stazon. It's not the easiest detail to capture on camera, but stamping does make a huge difference to the feel and look of the whole piece.
I sanded all the edges and lightly inked them with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink just to pick up on a little of the stamped detail and to give the piece a little more depth... I really like the effect and although it started as a wintery theme, I think it would work all year round! I finished off the flowers with some inky washers and upholstery studs. I just could not resist a butterfly, so I stamped and cut out a Wendy one from Sticky-Back canvas which takes paint so well...

So, the colour choice is all yours this week !!!! I'm really hoping to see all your artful creations this week...Remember we look at all the entries, thoughtfully pick our Top Three and there's that fabulous $50 spree up for grabs! All sounds just dandy to me!
So, I'm just about done! Please take a look at the other wonderful pieces from the rest of the Design Team - they're so inspiring!!! Have a great week, enjoy the half term if you're off and I'll be seeing you all very soon. Thanks for visiting! Sarah.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tim in Ten...

Hello Saturday Blogettes,
Just some dabblings from the world of inky stuff. I was really happy when I saw Linda's theme for Grungy Monday this week.Tim Cards in Ten. I love making cards and love making them quick. Be spontaneous and go with the flow! Sometimes you end up with something much better than if you faff all day! I also love to dive into my scrap box and see what beauties are just waiting for their day. I felt a shabby mood coming on so I started with Kraft cardstock which I love.

 Then a swish of white from my dabber followed by some torn Tissue tape. I then stamped the Papillon butterfly onto a piece of Kraft Glassine and stitched it onto the card with a book page scrap underneath. A length of twine, stamped words, a button and inky edges...I'm done!

Just some overlapping and simple layering. Although it's shabby I'm still thinking about the vertical and horizontal focal lines crossing at right angles. I've been doing lots of colour this week so I enjoyed being back in the Sepia zone..

It's so quick to put together so I grabbed some more scraps and went for another...Again just playing and not thinking for too long. I've got lots of off-cuts from the Tattered Florals die and they can look really good placed on the edge of, an art journal page or layouts...
 I stamped the LOVE WISH DREAM onto a scrap of dress pattern paper to get a translucent effect and just stapled it to the card. More twine, but off-centre and sewn through the card. I'm mad on string, thread and twine - use it on almost on everything! Again a button for a little colour and interest and all done. I hope you like them and might feel inspired to raid your scrap box too! Have a wander through Tim's blog too and see what you can do in ten...

It's the last week to enter October's My Mojo Monthly! Got some creative surfaces going on or another inspirational artful gem you like to share, please join in! There's some great entries and a fab set of Tim stamps in the giveaway too!
I'm off, there's a whole weekend of creating and living that needs doing... Thanks for visiting, have a great weekend! Sarah.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cockails? Ice, scissors and a twist of humour...

Chilly Thursday Greetings!
This week at Less is More it's Cocktails...I'll start by confessing that I was thinking of skipping this week. I was tired from a weekend away, feeling uninspired and could only think of cherries and deadly potions. Not a great combination, with a distinct lack of anything cocktailish in my stash. But the colours kept inviting me to play and before you know it, you're off on a whim...
l really liked Chrissie's bird take on the theme and figured if I can't stamp it or I ain't got it, I'll just have to improvise... I decided to exploit my snipping obsession of cutting out and went in search of a rooster outline which I found on a kiddies site here!
I reduced it in size and printed it out on the back of various coloured Bazzill cardstock. That meant I wouldn't see the ink on the right side and it also made all the fellas end up looking to the right which is just what I wanted...handy! I found the perfect shade of ric-rac lurking in my ribbon-rage bag and a Wendy Vecchi stamp was the finishing touch (second card attempt on view due to a last minute skid...sigh.)

l thought I was done, but had such fun I was up for another. I went through pigs, parrots and umbrellas but suddenly thought that the Playboy logo might be a good candidate to audition. Once teamed up with the PaperArtsy Rock Star stamp it seems to have more of a party feel to it. Celebrities, bunny girls, wild nights and all that!
Just all a bit of creative fun...the roosters and bunnies do make me laugh so I'm happy and very glad I didn't walk away. So that was that. Just need to tidy up now because I had to go through every single folder to find that last stamp...
So just one word, thought, colour, image or mood can give that push - they all count. Have a great evening and hold on, it's Friday tomorrow!

Au revoir,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday???

The usual state of chaos is on show today. I've even resorted to putting my grotty old craft mat on top of the new one! I've been playing with paint and getting it everywhere. I just don't do tidy during a session...

As told last week, I spent the weekend up North at the Artsy Crafty Lynne Perrella workshop. I had a really fabulous day and for once was really pleased with my piece. Here's a sneaky peek! I'm just finishing up a little Botox work. I'll tell you more gossip and will show her in all her glory next week.
In the meantime, here's a fun piece I made for the Wendy Vecchi Challenge. You might need shades! It's a leaves theme over at Hel's Sunday Stamper so...

I seem to have spent the summer drowning in Sepia and now, as we approach winter, I'm having a full on colour phase. It was a sewing theme which I've taken quite literally.
I decided to work with canvas and paint as opposed to paper and ink. They are pretty wacky colours indeed, but I still think they work and I'm liking the white a lot.
The white somehow balances out all the vibrant colour and gives your eye a rest. The frame is also from Wendy and adds a nice solid touch and contrast in materials.
I used Artists unbleached canvas which is readily available from most good fabric stores.  I primed the whole canvas piece with a wash of gesso to give the paints a base to cling on to. I used a brayer to apply paint to my stamps so I could get some more texture. Set it all on a canvas covered with colour washed book pages. As said, just fooling around with colour and being brave!
I also thrilled to say there are 5 very arty entries for October's My Mojo Monthly. Great stuff! Why not take a look or better still join in?

With that, I am off into the pale blue yonder as they say... Actually make that drizzle, grey and windy. Have a good desk hop and great week. New to all of this? Pop over to Julia's to link up your crafty den too. Thanks for taking a peek! Sarah.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Whatever you are...

Good Morning,
The weekend did but wink and she was gone! Well, so it seems. I was in Warrington enjoying a fabulous workshop with Lynne Perrella and here I am already, back home, creeping into Monday morning as I type! I shall dive straight in with the low-down. At Simon Says Stamp & Show, we want to see your Stripes! I grabbed some delicious Glitz papers, some scrap cardboard and created a full on girly shadow bow.

I wanted to just simply play with bright colours, dimension and butterflies, so I ran with it... Is it too sweet or cute? Will folk wonder if I've gone a bit doo-lally with my feminine side? Well, it doesn't matter. I was feeling Girly. So be bold and stay true to yourself, I say!
I used some strong cardboard to create the frame which means I can chose the dimensions, very handy indeed! Here you can see the back piece already covered in Love Nest striped paper, the frame and I'm just starting to make the supporting 'walls' with cardboard  strips and cardstock  hinges.
Then onto 15 Wendy Vecchi flutteries. I stamped them, cut them out and inked up the reverse side.
Of course you can use a die but I am woman of few dies and I just love this shape! You could use the same idea with  flowers, Christmas stockings or even little animals if you wanted to create something for a child's room. Love how Distress Inks can change everything. I added a few simple words to some butterflies with my trusty, handy typewriter. I chose different people but you could use a saying, a song, a poem or prayer. Playing with words is such great fun.
The flowers are punched circles cut from the same paper as the frame but they have been distressed and darkened with Rusty Hinge. The centres are upholstery studs - just cut the long bit off before sticking! On the butterflies I used a lot of Stormy Sky and Bundled Sage to get the right shades and variation in tone.

To finish off I added just one simple but strong sentiment from Afternoon Muse by Glitz. The frame had been lightly sanded and aged with Vintage Photo.

I love the bright yellow colours of the frame and the individual butterflies so I didn't want to add anything more.

The butterflies are mounted on very small foam pads which aren't visible so they seem to float. Here's a quick peek from the side so you can see a bit more of the depth.

So there you go, a simple idea for a shadow box... How about a huge one with say 99 Grungy butterflies? There's a challenge for you...

Hop over to the Simon Says Stamp & Show to see some great striped inspiration from my team-mates. I'm looking forward to seeing your creative offerings!!! As always, there's a chance of a $50 spree and the bespoke Top Three Title. Don't be shy, give it a try...!
Thanks for taking time to visit my blog, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to ask any questions and I'll do my best to sound smart!
Have a great week wherever you go...À bientôt, Sarah.