Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's on your Spring workdesk Wednesday??? Plus Giveaway!!!

Hello Again!
Welcome to my desk in action, inky ramblings and WOYWW? If you're up for a mid week flash of your crafty happenings and fancy joining in head over to our Fairy Blogmother Julia and link up! I am almost done with reinstating my crafty space to it's former glory and am back on home ground in this shot.
I did take a few pics of my room but the sun-rays were so uber-bright it looked more like a TV Ad for floor polish so I will try again next week...

I, like half the world and his wife it seems, am doing the on-line course from Mr. T. Holtz. I'm sure there are many fan crazed damsels that would sign up even if he was only showing you how to toast bread...
But hype and stalkers aside.... it really is a fabulous course with oodles of tips, techniques and very worthwhile product information.Today was all about heat embossing, different powders and stuff...
I learnt quite a bit really and so here is my trio of taggy homework...

Starting out with quite a Grungy blue take on Rusted Enamel.

Then onto the next...with the Nostalgic Batik Technique.

Oooh yes, there are posh names and all...

I really love this frame stamp but I like to turn it on it's side as it then reminds me of a mirror which is quite fitting for the sentiment.
Also a little bit more colour...and the birdies which I still lurve.
 A blend of Wild Honey, Broken China and Shabby Shutters Distress inks here...
Lastly this tag uses Distress Embossing Powder in Fired Brick for a sassy a pop of colour! Although I have a lot of new Tim stamps I do still really like this sewing themed set and the dress form always looks great.

I know you see a lot of tags around but I don't actually do that many and with my room in tatters they are the ideal project to just keep you going... and a good reference point for yourself or when teaching workshops...

I'm soooo glad to have my sewing machine back - all plugged in and ready to go. We have really missed each other...

Anyway - onto the giveaway! During the upheavals I have also had a good clear-out... There were bags and bags of absolute junk. How much packaging did I save? And why? I even found a new pair of sport-shoes and a bag of prunes. Both good for the body!

Here are a load of goodies up for grabs. It's quite a random mix. I know...don't ask. If you would like to adopt it, let me know and I will send it off to a new home next week. It needs loving...and I'd rather it be to a WOYWWer than eBay!
Righteo, I'm done for now, time to get desk hopping!  Sarah.

P.S. Some folk have asked how I manage to get the no.1 spot. I dunno...just click and link up. I couldn't possibly disclose that I am actually Julia's estranged twin sister, working under-cover for the FBI.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tagged Expressions...

Monday musings are in the house as a new Simon Says Stamp & Show challenge theme hits town. Time for some Tagology this week...with well, yes, a tag! Or two or three then...
The perfect sized canvas for a miniature work of art and coincidentally a fabulous chance to show off your Tim tags if you're on the school bus with Creative Chemistry 101! l was well pleased with the tag theme as my whole house and moreover, my crafty zone, are but chaotic dust dunes. The makeover endureth...

There's seems to be so many changes going on at the moment - in both my house and my life as baby day races towards me. Eeeek!

l've always been a  real "Do what I want, go go go!" type of gal, so I'm on a very steep learning curve indeed.

I've never done any art journalling but love the expressive nature of it so I decided to lay down my thoughts in a triptych of inky tags aided by the company of my favourite Wendy Vecchi stamps...
The story line is Stop and Listen, Become and finally Live...and I think it's fair to say that's probably the order that things need to happen in - for many of us. I'm not always such a fan of the 'stop' bit, but sometimes a new start begins with a stop!

Only then can you actually really listen. I've also come to the conclusion that "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable and valid answer to many of life's questions...
l enjoyed a real free 'go with the flow' session using a variety of Distress Stains and Distress Inks  to create my back ground.
 I began with a mix of Distress Stains on my craft sheet and then dragged my tags through them. I dried them, spritzing on a little water to help them blend and then carried on building up the layers by pressing the tag down into the remaining stains.

This achieves more of a blotchy, dappled effect which I like a lot.
l added more colour by blending Distress Inks onto each tag and then I think I pulled out every Wendy background stamp I own! I used lots of Monarch Orange, Vermillion and Plum Archival inks to stamp just sections of the tags. Then I went in with more detail including flowers, leaves, numbers and here the fabulous Wrought Iron border.
I chose a stamp to be the focal point of each tag. The Art Girl for the first, the dress-form for the second and finally the Peeking In Eyes. The Girl and Eyes were stamped directly onto the tag in Cobalt ink whilst the dress form was stamped in Plum onto inky card and then cut out.

l used a Signo white gel pen to pick out some of the stamped details, shapes and lines as well as adding a bit of contrast. Lines, dots, circles -  or just refining and  retracing the shapes - whatever I fancied!

Once I was happy with that I stamped a Wendy saying and played around with some of the words. I think they are great phrases to play with and would be fabulous in on a real journal page...
Just a quick close-up. I luuuurve how the circles, stripes and leaves work together...
So there you go... A bit of tag journalling and inky food for thought from me. If, maybe like me, you're not ready for a full on Art journal, let your fingers and thoughts run wild on a tag....! Do take a look at the other fabulous creations from the Design Team. I think they're all so amazing and different.
Don't forget the generous $50 prize on offer too! Your imagination and an empty tag awaits you... and a dishevelled craft room awaits me....
I've got my work cut out today so I'm off into the inky beyond.

Many thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In the Lab....

Sunny Weekend Greetings to All!
Just popping in with a touch of Tagology homework seeing as I'm back at school. I decided to sign up for the on-line class from Tim Holtz. I'm sure many of you, like me, have made a zillion tags (ok, a slight exaggeration) and know your way around an ink pad. So maybe you're thinking, why bother?
I wasn't sure what to expect but it's a really informative, enjoyable and educational course...learning about the how and why - not just the what. Whatever your inky passion or style, Tim Fan or not, knowing your inks, products and their compatibility is an absolute must. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed in the course. Knowledge, sincere and passionate enthusiasm from Mr. T, tips galore, print-outs, insight and inspiration - a fabulous grounding for the rookie and enrichment for the prof!
l make sure I watch the class everyday, taking time to absorb the information, rather than rushing off to produce oodles of tags. I haven't made them all yet for each day...plenty of time for that and what's more my goal is to learn rather than produce!

That is after all the point of a workshop. To discover new things that you can develop and apply to your future work and projects...
So if you fancy joining in, but are short of time, it's still definitely worth signing up. You also have lifetime access - so you can go with your own flow.

So I'm just sharing a few tags from what I've managed to cook up so far.

With my crafty zone still undergoing a makeover and me therefore feeling out of sorts craft-wise, it's quite nice to be back on tags for a while... I'm sticking to simple one layer designs focusing on the technique rather than the perfect tag.
No embellies - just good old ink, colours and stamps. Still one of may favourite recipes! I'm running low on tags so I'll be stocking up. I'm off to the NEC to the craft show and I'm sure I'll find something for my pennies...then onto Sweden, well, Ikea then and picking up an antique wardrobe on the way home too. Just pop it all in a bag...thanks!

Both my bank account and I will need a day in bed after all that.
Look a full inky flush...all snapped on my desk. Or an 'in studio action shot" if you like which is another way of saying a grubby craft mat.
Enjoy your weekend, that Spring sun and don't forget the clocks change Saturday night. (Boo - less shut-eye on Sunday morning!) Adios!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What's on your workdesk Wednesday???

Hello there again to another WOYWW? Theoretically it's Wednesday 21st March, April next week. C'est incroyable! Methinks God has a few diary pages stuck together and hasn't noticed...
I'm still dwelling in a mine-field of decorating disorder, not helped by a few days in bed due to my vintage mama status. So sorry, not many desk hops last week. Thanks for all the visits and Congrats to April. The mini stamps are all yours!
So not a lot of anything...I've studied the ceiling, upped the iron and I'm back on track now. I've even managed to reproduce a mirrored clone of the usual inky mess in my make-shift crafty patch. Yeah!
Getting to all my inky stash is ok but locating any paper goods requires some serious forensic detective skills. Anyway, I really wanted to join in with the Everything Wendy Vecchi challenge and thought I'd make an ATC, which had ambitions and soon became a card.
Splashing out in full colour especially for Julia who suffers from Sepia immune deficiency disorder.
l missed Less is More last week so I'm doing my best with this week's masking theme and giving my new Tim stamps more exercise. These are from the Road Trip set which have a great vintage vibe! I laid the stamps on my card to get an idea of the placement, sketched a few pencil lines as a rough guide and just stamped, masked and stamped!
Wow first time - look mum no smudges! That always results in a slight tribal dance. Well, a wobble then.
Just to say... It's a 'Vintage Vibes' challenge theme for this month's My Mojo Monthly... Here's my Steampunk appetiser!
Thanks so very much for so many kind wishes and thoughts. I thought I'd be brave and let my bump make a guest appearance. A lassie or laddie? No idea. At the moment (28 weeks) I'd say a washing machine...on full spin.
With love and bulges, Sarah.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Little Retro Grunge!!!

Hello again to everyone looking in...
Well, the Mondays keep on a coming and that means another great theme and challenge at Simon Says Stamp & Show! This week it's a chance to get really crafty, arty and playful with Handmade Backgrounds. Distress inks, paint, stamping, embossing, collage, sprays, grungy, girly or full on funky...just choose your favourite and do your stuff! It's been ages since I've made a card for the Design Team...
I thought it would also be a good idea to see if I could magic up one with some of my great new Tim stamps and yet still create a Grungy look. Sometimes you need a card but not everyone wants flutterbys and flowers. So...

Browns and blues always seem to like each others company, whether shabby chic or funky. I started by creating the main panel of colour and interest with Kraft Glassine paper and Alcohol Inks. I pounded Pool and Picket Fence Alcohol Inks onto the paper to create a random blotchy effect. Then I heat set the inks with a quick blast from my heat gun. You'll see the paper turn slightly shiny and waxy as you heat it which is fine and also necessary to "set" the inks.
Then I embossed it with the Retro Circles folder and swiped Walnut Stain Distress Ink over the surface to pick out the texture and detail. Heat set again and repeat the inky swipe if you want a darker colour. I distressed the edges and added some random stitching before layering it up and adhering it to my Kraft card base which I had stamped with Tim's Mixed Media spots
The Glassine paper will become more delicate during all these processes, so do take care not to tear it after embossing. That being said, I myself had a slight casualty with A Retro circle centre. So I decided I'd take it off completely and make a feature peep-hole of it!!! I slipped a piece of dictionary paper in behind and added an "Ideas" Trinket Pin to mark the brainwave!

I stamped Tim's Words for Thought in Sepia Archival Ink, then re-stamped some again in Coffee Archival and layered them up adding two real staples to the 'finding'. More inky edges, a bit of string and a wrap of rusty wire - and there you go - Retro Grunge! It's a fabulous theme this week with lots of room for artistic expression and discovery!
 Take a look at the wonderful display of Background Beauties over at the Design Team Blog and check out all the wonderful new goodies at the Store. You might be the one who gets to spend that $50 voucher, or be one of the Top Three chosen artists! I'm looking forward to seeing what you all cook up with this one!
Thanks for calling by and staying a while...wishing you all an inspired and sunny week.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kilts and Punk

Now that might seem like quite a random post title but over at Grungy Monday Linda is reviving a retro Tim technique which is all about plaid and alcohol inks. I immediately think 'Tartan' and that soon leads my thoughts onto Scotland and kilts! But not quite what I had in mind. I have to admit I was a bit stumped with this one and how to make it work for me.
After a few dabbles everything on my desk resembled badly washed car blankets and I thought I'd give it a miss. Plaid, tartan - whatever you want to call didn't seem to do it for me. The only thing that flickered was the thought of Punks and designer Vivienne Westwood - both renown for their Tartan escapades. I decided to give it one more stab with some bright colours, step out of my comfort zone and just go with the flow...
I used a mix of Pool, Wild Plum and Lettuce Alcohol inks going for fairly bold stripes...before getting busy stamping with lots of black archival ink, Urban Chic images and a touch of Mixed Media

I re-stamped and cut the heart and embossed it with lots black before putting it in the freezer for a few minutes. Then I bent and cracked the surface for a shattered look, shaped it and stuck it over the original with pads for extra height. I used wooden peg stamps to add the word "Rebel" inside the banner.
If you're going to do Punk then a few rips, attitude and safety pins are right at home. I used my Dymo to add the whatever and 1974 which is a quintessential punk year... all finished off with a tattered tie and wire. So all in all not a Sarah tag AT ALL but a challenge and a bit of inky fun which is enough for today. Right I'm off, I saw some boots on sale yesterday and I'm out to score a bargain. Enjoy the weekend and see you Monday. Sarah.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WOYWW? Not a lot, but hooray - a mini giveaway!

Nuffink, zilch, nada! That evacuated corner is all that is to be seen of my desk this week. Freshly painted and already living in fear of a rogue squirt of green Color Wash. Today is the final day of three weeks of upheaval. Amen. I will be reeling off my (s)nagging list today and pointing out the 'could do better' bits. Call me old fashioned, but as a 'hubby at work' damsel, I hate dealing with male builders and cannot face another, "Yes, love..."
Just need to sand the floors, sort through the now widely spread junk, donate half our wardrobe to Oxfam and scoop up the dust with a JCB. I have a make shift crafty space in another room but most of my gear got shifted at one minute to midnight. Crates, pizza boxes, supermarket bags and suitcases... anything with four sides and 'holding' capacity! I feel totally lost, out of sorts and admittedly darn moody. It's "Grin and bear it"... without the grin.
Thankfully, with just a few pots, potions and ink pads, I could rustle up a tag and felt a lot better for doing so. I saw a Go Green theme over at Inspiration Journal so I thought I have a dabble with a colour pallet I don't often use. I used Peeled Paint and Picket Fence Distress Stains with a splash of Lettuce Color Wash too. I added more white splatters with a paint brush before stamping away with my new Tim stamps and a bit of doodling with a white pen. Me liketh green!
Butterflies grunged with a Picket Fence and Rock Candy Crackle mix, then inked with Forest Moss.
A fitting sentiment for this week. Although I felt the urge to scribble 'My craft room' on top of the first four words.
Idea-ology Ball chain connectors add metal detail to the flutterbys, perching gently on stapled string scraps.
Yesterday I just had to escape the dust pit and went shopping looking for big belly clothes. Came back with these! Just a bright set of Funfetti mini stamps and paper from WAMK going cheap. If they're your kind of thing and you fancy them, leave some blurb or sign your name in the dust and next week I'll pick a winner. The second name out of the hat gets to clean my house...! Right I'm off to vent my OCD with the painters...! Head over to Julia's to join in all the desk-hopping antics. Thanks very much for dropping in... Sarah.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bring on the Spring....

Monday Morning Greetings to you all!
Boy, yet another swifty week indeed! March is living up to it's name and striding ahead! Here in lurvely England we had a weekend of fabulous Spring sun-rays, definitely more smiling faces and yes, white legs in shorts were spotted. I used that Spring mood in the new theme at Simon Says Stamp & Show where it's the mojo-soothing 'Anything Goes'. Hooray, since my crafty room is now but dusty tatters of it's former self, awaiting a makeover.
I pulled out two Bookplates from my Wendy Vecchi Art Parts treasure trove and wanted to see if I could get them 'working it' in a different way! I thought they would make a great pair of 'screens' and and framed setting for the other pieces. I felt like getting the paints out, using a selection of colours from Claudine Hellmuth and my Dabbers, mixing the colours as I went...

After painting the bookplates, I used Distress inks and Wendy stamps for a shabbier look.
My flower head is painted white and stamped with numbers before masking it off and spraying the stem with Lettuce Color Wash. I painted the scallop in Sky Blue and stamped it and the stem with dots. A press stud centre and a bit of old string for fun!
On this side I sprayed my leaves with Color wash too which is a fab, quick way to get colour onto your Art Parts! I over stamped with text and then made the little sign which is also from the Bookplate set. I used in a book page scrap, painted with Gesso and then stamped with a sentiment in Sienna Archival ink. On all my pieces I sanded the edges and adding shading with Distress inks.
I wanted flexibility but solid colour for my butterflies so Clearly For Art was perfect! I stamped them, cut them out and painted them with gesso, added a swipe of Rusty Hinge and over stamped with this great lattice effect and flowers from Art Rules. Then I could heat them and bend them just as I fancied!
I built up my base using pieces from the Flowers and Florals. Terracotta paint, more Sky Blue and old book pages made a great trio. Here you can also see more of the sanded, inky edges...and some upholstery studs for decoration. Then - 'twas the hour of assemblage! I used good old Glossy Accents...

with my secret weapon...
two metal nuts! They support the back of the book plates and hold everything bang on target!
As said - Anything Goes and a 'be nice to your mojo week!' Make time to just sit, play and create and see what you come up with. Then share it with us! Head over to the Simon Says Stamp & Show DT blog for a whole display of amazing inspiration! You'll love them all!

So I'm all finished with the blurb and arty stuff and must flee the nest... I have an agenda with love handles... Have fun with the theme and thanks for taking a stop here!