Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's on your workdesk Wednesday???

Looking at it on a pic, I can say my desk looks fairly sane. Well, in crafty 'I really will do the big clean-up soon" terms, that is. In reality the trail of chaos is a full-on panoramic mine-field. But Wednesday's are the confessional booth for sinful desks, so head over to Julia's and join in!  I just have so much on the go at the moment. One projects left-overs soon become the dandruff of the next. I've got my weekly things, DT work, the new My Mojo Monthly at the door, I'm going to be a Guest Artist at The Artistic Stamper(!) and I've also been asked to create some "things" for "something else". All very exciting indeed, but all of it having to remain under a veil (more likely a blanket of panic) for now...

I can always find a little light refreshment from the intense stuff by enjoying my weekly play at Less is More with some clean and simple (artistic not domestic I must add) cards. The LIM bosses want to see some Bling! Ah yes, they must mean my sparkling kitchen, glossy bathroom and shiny floors. Or am I getting muddled up with 2009 again...?
There ain't much bling in my jewellery box, house-keeping or cards, so this really is the ultimate Less is More. Having fun with Mr. Rudolph! In case you missed it, his nose is the shiny zone. I also used a non festive sentiment which worked out very well. I'm sure we all fancy a bit of Ye Olde Happy Time during the hols...
    As said, the new My Mojo Monthly will be on show tomorrow. I have the fabulous Linda Cain as my featured artist!  Here's a sneak preview of one of my new pieces...
I really hope you can call back tomorrow to take a peek! There's just today left to join in with the November challenge. What? A whole day, oooh, an eternity in the crafty world... Now, I'm done and need to shift my derrière pronto and do some serious swash-buckling with my To Do or Die list...
Thanks for calling by. I got round to nearly everyone last week and will do my best to have another good snoop this week.
Au revoir! Sarah.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Starry, Starry Night...

Well, actually it is! I'm writing this post at midnight hoping it will appear bright and early Monday morning (which is theoretically now if it works and you're reading this!) Bright and early she says. Very unlike myself (sorry, cue sigh if you're at work) as I'll be in bed indulging in the art of 'The Big Sleep In". The body, mind and soul need a little off-duty time. Whilst I am away with the fairies, I'll leave you with the new theme over at Simon Says Stamp & Show! We want to see Stars! If you can just send Michael Bublé over, that'll do very nicely indeedily.
I'm not quite sure if my idea came from a Christmas or cookie fantasy but I do know I love working with metal and alcohol inks. I decided to alter some cookie cutters as I thought they could make some great Festive decorations. I started by colouring the cutter with Alcohol inks using an old paintbrush to spread the ink well and get into all the corners.
Then I stuck a piece of Ranger Metal Foil Sheet to card and embossed it with the Textile folder from Cuttlebug which could well be may favourite one. I used the same Alcohol inks to colour the foil, dripping them on and just letting them run and mix feely. Then I marked and cut out the star, soon discovering that getting a good fit was a bit of a game. Each cutter and corner is slightly different, they bend easily when handled and seem to constantly change size by a few millimetres. So it's a bit by bit, trim, wangle and fiddle game!
I pushed the star two thirds of the way in and then added various decorations. The first is simply an inky Philosophy tag, and on the second I cut 'noel' using Tim's Typeset die. On the third I stamped 'joy' onto metal using Stazon ink, trimmed them to fit behind some Charm Clips and then filled them with Glossy Accents. Glossy stuff indeed, they're like three little swimming pools!
I was going to drill holes to turn them into hanging tree decorations, but I actually prefer them standing at the moment. I didn't fancy a last minute disaster either! I also have some angel shaped ones which I might get done by Christmas Eve. I'm a rusty-look fan but I think you could have some real colourful fun with all the other Alcohol inks or even paint. So there we go, that's my take on stars!

Do check out the Design Team blog to see lots more fabulous star struck ideas! Every week we're looking for our top three artists and Simon Says are also giving away a great $50 shopping spree. On top of that it's also great fun to see all your creations and takes on the theme. Now I know December is tapping at the window, but make a little time to play too! Rightio, I'm up, up and away and will be seeing you very soon (I promise to get up before lunch...) Sarah.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A little bit of Festive Glamour....

Hello to everyone,
I hope your weekend is going very well. Mine seems to be racing away already and I should be half-way through some DT work by now! But it seems Saturday mornings are like fairy dust...gone in a puff. I just want to share a little piece I made for Grungy Monday where Linda asks us to have fun with metals and alcohol inks all inspired by Tim's Festive Pumpkin.

 It seems like such a long time since I've played with my Rosette die so I decided to give it a quick whirl again and create a bit of seasonal shiny stuff... I'm not really a blingy type of girl but I do like a touch of blue and silver so that was my colour combi for the day.

I just have the mini rosette set but if you snip and trim you can create lots of different sizes and get a graduated look which was my idea. I used silver metal tape which I stuck to card before cutting out. I then embossed the strips and centres with the Textile folder from Cuttlebug.
I sploshed on a good dose of Denim and Stone Washed Alcohol inks not sanding afterwards as the inks ran in such a nice way, I liked the colour intensity. You do need to be careful when folding them into shape as too much handling can make them fragile.
Running a strip of tape along the back can help although I went so mad with the ink mine were a bit damp for the tape to stick to!

I stuck each one to a punched card circle which I had primed and ready with a good blob of Glossy accents. The letters are cut with the Chip Block die and only lightly inked for contrast. I joined them all with inked jump rings and added a swivel clasp and simple blue ribbon.

It's not an easy piece to catch on film but hopefully you can pick up the Christmas mood! Single ones would look great on a tree
in bright red! Well, I must really be awaying before it's Sunday. Enjoy your weekend and I'll be back on Monday with more Festive fun...! Sarah.

Also joining in with:
Crafts4Eternity-Christmas Decoration
Ladybug Crafts Ink-Winter Blues

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Male Card goes Festive...

Bloggers across the world are in different states of chaos, euphoria and panic at the thought of the Festive Season. Many a sane, non-crafty type throws a '100 cards for 99p'  box into the shopping trolley. But there is many an artistic hand in a full spasm whilst it glues it's millionth star and glitters it's trillionth reindeer. I'm still contemplating that one, but decided on a little first-time technical jiggery-pokery with Mr. Apple just for tonight.
With it's fair share of wine and tools the male card can be dodgy ground. So what do you send the Urban chap in December?

Over at Less is More, silhouettes are on show and I couldn't resist another dabble. I love playing with letter fonts and silly bits on the computer and thought I'd revamp the male Chrimbo card... Here's the New Year Mexican wave which is just so much fun, fun, fun!

Added a flashy pink sentiment for the party feeling and we're off. Okay you begin at your end...
It makes a really fab party invitation! Other colour combos with 'You Did It!' worked out great too.
I have to admit it's slightly addictive, and just so much fun to play around with. Who knew making Christmas cards could be soooo relaxing. Check out for everything you could possibly imagine!!! I won't be trading my ink and stamps for the keyboard...but just for one night, before the Christmas crafting cramp sets in, why not? See you soon, Sarah.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WOYWW-What's on your Workdesk Wednesday?

Welcome to another episode of WOYWW. Your weekly dose of unruly desks, crafty shenanigans and gossip. Show us what you've got, ain't got, created, still not finished, glittered, blackmailed, spilt, splodged, glued and punched by linking up over at Julia's. This is what I call my tidy desk as I can see a few inches of space. That white box marked with FRAGILE may well contain my sanity.

I was enjoying the feeling of being on top of things project wise, until I realised there are only seven days left in November and now the Deadline bogey-man is on my tail... One project I did manage on time was a page swap with some arty blogging buddies over  in the U.S. I even sent them off 5 days early. Mexican wave indeed. They've arrived safely so I thought I'd share them today.
The theme was open so I created something personal which I thought fitted by each person. Firstly a little bit of childhood nostalgia..
Love the feeling of this one. Be honest. Who doesn't want to be the little girl with the best butterfly costume in the whole world? Yes even now...
And one for that alas too rare a find, the crafty Gent! It's a revamp of an old design but I do love this chap as he just makes me chuckle every time.
The month is rocketing ahead, so a quick reminder about November's My Mojo Monthly. There are six fabulous entries so far, and still time left if you would like to play along! I also want to say a really HUGE THANK YOU to all my visitors last week. I was overwhelmed and very happy to see you all. Just fabulous! Right, I'm off! Got the number 99 bus to all of your desks... Sarah.

Monday, November 21, 2011

That's just the ticket...

Good morning on this "Is it really Monday again?" morning!
If you're suffering from the Monday blues, or are maybe at work wishing you were somewhere else, I hope you end up having a good day after all and that something nice, however small, comes your way to perk you up. How about a quote to help you along?
"If you add a little to a little and do this often, soon the little will become great."
And here are two flowers and smiling ladies from me to you... Monday is my day for sharing a new DT piece for Simon Says Stamp and Show and this week we want to see your tickets!
Last year I can remember thinking "Hmm, I could make flowers out of tickets..." and then never really thought of it again. So when this theme came up, I dug into my brain archives and decided to try it out. You just can't beat flower therapy! So I sat in my Crafty Den and lost myself in a little floral fantasy and if you happen to have Mr. Bublé for company, it's almost a perfect day.
 So as you can see, it's all nice and simple and done in a jiffy! I used the Idea-ology Adage tickets which were the perfect size for flowers. I played around with different numbers of tickets and finally settled on seven which seemed to work the best.
I lightly curled and distressed them and then edged them with Aged Mahogany ink for some extra colour and definition. I then stuck them onto a circle of card overlapping each ticket on top of the previous one. I needed a flower centre and a bottle top photo frame was just the job.
Belgian Beer Fanatic Hubby is my source and head supplier but here's a great crafty version if needed.
I cut out two lovely vintage ladies, both with a glint in their eye, to fit the tops and then filled them with a good dose of Glossy Accents. Squeeze gently to avoid bubbles and just leave them to dry naturally which will be all day or better still overnight. Don't be tempted to hurry things along with a heat gun!
You'll cook up a right old bubbly fiasco and end up with bearded ladies. Save that one for some altered art I say.
To finish off, I coloured some thick wire with Alcohol Inks and glued it to the back of each flower. I added a little parcel string detail and set them in an old wooden beam off-cut by drilling holes with a Dremmel tool. Twizzle to desired angle!
Do check out the creative ideas from my fab team-mates and the generous prize here! You could use huuuuge tickets, inni-mini ones, home-made ones, Tim ones, ephemera, go full on festive or just whatever takes your fancy... We're looking forward to seeing what you make of this theme! I'm must away and see what my Monday has in store! Thanks so much for visiting... Sarah.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Just one for the weekend...!

Hello Friday Lovers,
Hope everyone is doing okay and enjoying a little weekend joy. I wandered down to the shops after work for a quick meander and peek at the Festive windows, but realised I'm still waiting for a D in the month. Although I did get my first Christmas card today!!! (Thanks very much indeedily, Tracy!)
Tomorrow it's a 'working arty' day for me, getting on with commissions and DT work. All fabulous but with deadlines too...  So just for tonight a quick tag to entertain the fingers and ink-pads. I'm playing along with Linda's Grungy Monday which I never get done on the said day! It's a masking, spritzing, shiny, inking thing this week. See Mr. T on stage with another retro show here.
I had to be little a bit inventive as I don't possess a single re-inker. Blush!!! They're on my toilet roll long wish list somewhere as my ink-pads are feeling slightly thirsty. Anyway, I improvised with a mist of water, drops of Lettuce and Meadow Color Wash and a good dash of Forever Red Perfect Pearls and rather like my own recipe! Then it was an exuberant stamping frenzy, followed by good old distressing, random staples, and gold thread.
And just one rusty metal corner, created with uber over heated Distress Powder and Alcohol ink.

As said, just a little playtime. I'm off to join hubby on the sofa for once, enjoy a Friday night of doing nothing and watch Children in Need on the BBC for entertainment... Make your weekend a good one and I'll be back on Monday. Cheerio and farewell my lovelies.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's on, under, around, on the side and teetering on the edge of your workdesk Wedenesday?

If you are sensitive to mess, stash and bright pink at dawn, then look away now... Confessions of a Crafty Table and Bloggers unite at the weekly shin-dig known as What's on your workdesk Wednesday? Hosted by Queen Bee Julia over at Stamping Ground, WOYWW? is fun, free, full of both our waffle and loveliness, open to all and the best remedy in town against the mid-week doldrums. From a blank Mojoless desk to the ultimate battle-field, everyone is welcome, so do feel free to hop on board! Plenty of room on this bus...
Well, my desk looks like it has been kidnapped by both Mr. Holtz and Gok Wan. The spread of stash is my latest DT package and the fuchsia tape gun is a B-day pressie from hubby. He ordered it on line and expected one of those mini throwaway things. So he had quite a shock when he realised we are talking military proportions. Still, it looks like a gadget, so he's more impressed with it than any inkpad or stamp...

 Despite the lurgy which is still hovering, I seem to be amazingly on schedule with my big projects and design work. So I enjoyed some easy-going crafty time making two cards for Less is More where it's one layer stamping and leaves. I say easy-going but Clean and Simple cards tend to cause the opposite of their name during creation. One smudge or wonky word and you're a gonner.
These are all Wendy Vecchi stamps and the lace is stamped in Ranger Saffron Archival ink which is rather lovely.
 I used masking to create a narrower lace border, added a little Distress Ink to the edges for definition and then just over stamped the flower and added a sentiment.
Just showing that Wendy's stamps can be taken down many routes. They're great sets and you don't have to do the Grungy, quirky stuff at all to enjoy them. I just happen to like both (see my previous post!)
I thought I'd also try one all in green which I like too. So that's the low down from my HQ.

Thanks for all the visits, get well and birthday wishes. I had a great day Sunday with hubby and the folks. Fabulous weather, a delicious Roast Dinner and chocolate...simples!
Thanks for calling by, I'm off for a mooch myself. Sarah.

Monday, November 14, 2011

In the Circles of my Mind...

Monday Greetings to you all! A new week flashes a smile and so does a new theme at Simon Says Stamp & Show where it's 'Women Only'. The fairer(?) sex, Diva, mother, lass, chica, gal, sister, damsel and Queen - we can be them all! Just maybe not all on a Monday morning though... I had been down with a cold all week and only felt fit enough to tackle my DT piece late on Saturday. So inspired by a single face I let my creative muse go freestyle.
The mystery of the female mind seemed an interesting path, so I surrounded myself with a hearty array of Wendy Vecchi Art Parts, stamps and inks and let the shapes tell me where they wanted to go. Soon enough the circular shapes and curved lines were winning my attention. I figured a woman's mind must be round because our thoughts sure like to perform some serious laps...
I used many shapes from the Sample Pack, which is just brimming with potential, and started out by constructing the flower pedestal. I used a combination of Fired Brick and Chipped Sapphire Distress Inks to colour them up, over stamping with Snow Cap Pigment ink or Coffee Archival ink. I really love how the Art by Number Stamp came out on the blue flower!

From there it was a process of constructing the main focus. I covered the circular frame with an old book page, inked it up and then glued the lower Art Part Leaves in place, which I've inked in Rusty Hinge. I also glued a small block of chip board to the other side of the circle. By glueing these three layers together I created more width at the base giving a more stable point I could then super glue to the pedestal.

I glued the other leaves in place and set to work on my lady who it is of course all about. I used the rather quirky but appealing Phrenology stamp from Art Rules. I stamped her onto Manila cardstock which I'd glued onto Grungeboard for extra thickness, adding some colour with Stormy Sky. I wanted to increase her feminine traits, so I added flowers stamped using the same set to create some floral hair, a Spinner pin, a little blush and lips with a crayon along with a glossy embossed starry eye. Ah, what a little make-up can do for a gal...! Then I felt that the Wings and Hands and ring could add some symbolism for the dreams, practical giftings and commitment of many a woman.

At the base I wanted to add one simple sentiment which was also destined for more circular lines. The pocket watch was just perfect in shape and mood. The desire to step out and yet the restrictions of time! I think we all know that Catch 22 story. I had a great journey.
I love being totally absorbed... it was wonderful to just sit and create in the moment, yet achieve a piece that expresses all you long to say.
I hope I can encourage you to be more spontaneous and free and to trust your own creative mood of the moment. Women Only is a fabulous theme which can be taken down so many paths. I'm looking forward to seeing your ideas on this one! Take a look at all the Design Teams really wonderful interpretations here. There's oodles of inspiration to be found!
So why not get creative, make a bid for the Top Three Title and be in with a chance of winning that very generous $50 shopping spree!
I'm into the wee hours now. I'm must flee the blogging nest and ascend the wooden hill. I've got a morning of sleeping in to catch up on. Heaven. Thanks ever so much for calling by. Wishing you all a great Monday (they do exist). I shall be back later...Sarah.

Friday, November 11, 2011

This, that and the other...

Hello to all including the weekend!
I hope everyone out there is doing well. It's been a really dark and wet old day, a true November one. Both hubby and I are down and out with The Lurgy, but at least we weren't worried about missing out on a suntan. Hoping to upgrade to couch potato status tomorrow. I decided to have a quick dabble with a card for Linda's Grungy Monday where we delve into a retro festive Tim technique full of the joys of masking. Turned out to be a long messy affair with four experimental rejects as proof. Cards always do that to me... but I sniffed through until the end.
I wanted to play with the Season's Silhouettes set but took a while to suss out the right combo of inks, powders and card stock. I stamped Mr.Deer in Fired Brick onto white card, masked him and stamped and embossed the background with clear powder. Then I blended Peeled Paint over the top masking the little chap again.
I then melted away the embossing powder using the Faux Batik method so I could continue stamping well. I used the music stamp from the Joyful Song set using the mask and also added some snowflakes working without the mask so he has a little frost on his behind which I quite like... Then just some distressing, layering, buttons, ribbon and gold thread to finish off. I did all the masking 'old-school' Post-it note style...
and this fella saw some serious mileage, especially after all four duds. Dear me, he looks like I feel...
I almost gave up and walked away but I've now dumped the losers and am feeling slightly nostalgic, Festive and alas also rather snotty. I wouldn't mind trying this out with the new Chrimbo inks...!

Anyway, that's me done. I have a DT piece and my birthday to fill the weekend, so I'll be back on Monday.Thanks for taking a peek, loving you and leaving you, Sarah.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What's on your Workdesk Wednesday???

Well, organised chaos a.k.a. my messy desk. 'Tis the mid week moment for confession, waffle and arty gossip combined with a flash of your desk - au naturel. Join in by heading over to Supreme Hostess Julia's... I'm on a hunt for that ever elusive perfect button and have just dumped my new stash.
On Monday I trekked way down South to LB Crafts for a Master Class with Linda Elbourne. Kicking The Dirty Habit has done wonders for Linda. She looks just fab, healthy and O, so fair-faced! We did a million techniques in a minute. Well, forty in four hours...the little box of tricks is on my desk ready for action in a Mojoless moment. Okay, lots of pics and blurb now... stroll or whizz at pleasure...

In October, I did a workshop with the fabulous Lynne Perrella. Here is the inspiring lady herself doing some PR and modelling! I had a great time. She's a true coach. She just makes you dive in and then spends quality time with everyone, challenging you to really ponder, discover and 'audition' your creative thoughts. At last, I can show you 'My Lady' who has been waiting very patiently...
It's the largest piece I've done at 32x42cm. At the start you're given a white photo-copied image and that's it! Just start. I decided on two roads. I'm a big vintage fan and wanted some familiar ground but decided to add a quirky element with unusual colours and details. Hence the purple swirly hair. And why not I say! 
I started by painting the face, bringing out her features especially her eyes. She is a very alluring woman I must say... For some reason I decided on a blue tone of skin under that slight blush. Who says it has to make rational sense, as long as it works for you! Then I moved onto her clothing, hat and hair playing with layers of paint and stencilling, giving myself the freedom to be spontaneous and open to whatever whim I had.
I would never have chosen these colours if I'd have sat down and thought it all through. I'm normally terrible at workshops, start faffing around and get overwhelmed by all the other creativity. This time I stayed in my own space and thought zone and didn't walk around wondering if I was artistically 'up to scratch'. At one point I just snipped her hat off, set it at a jaunty angle and pushed her ladyship to the right. I'm liking the go with the flow thing!
Lynne's sample had a great painted background but I went with my signature layering! I had already used lots of painted detail and felt this was a better companion. There was oodles of materials and ephemera to hand, floods of the stuff and it was so great to rummage through such 'riches'.

Old books, ledger pages, fabrics, lace, doilies, flowers, feathers, ribbons and  papers galore, to name but a few. Really, Lin and Leandra sure know how to put on a fine workshop. You want for nothing. I took bags of my own stuff too and by the end of the day my 'zone' was one major bomb site. Hubby walked in and said, "This must be your spot..."
I got so carried away with the playful vibe I added a 'Brussel Sprout Bag' veil for a touch of elegance before loading up the florals and vintage buttons. I even painted the shadow box in a soft dusky pink! (1980's bathroom flashbacks...) She will soon be behind glass which really finishes everything off and adds to the mystery. But just for the pics she's having an open air moment. I had such a fabulous day and came away feeling very tired yet also creatively refreshed and proud of my damsel.
She's full on feminine, a little eccentric but still very much my style, so all in all, two happy ladies.
So, an uber-long post. Is it still 2011?! I did really want to share about the whole experience! I suppose the moral of the story is to just be and trust yourself now and again... Thanks for hanging in there, even if you just like looking at the piccies! 
Two weeks ago I was giving away some bags and I'm pleased to say they're off to Lee from Crafty Loops! Now I really am done and need to knock my Wednesday into shape. Have a good WOYWW! Sarah.