Monday, April 30, 2012

A Kaleidascope of colour!!!

Well hello there. Be it sunny, foggy, wet or windy, here's to a colourful new week and challenge theme from Simon Says Stamp & Show where we say show us COLOUR!!! I always say there plenty of sunshine to be found in an ink or paint bottle...whatever the weather. Good job too as we might need to start work on the ark soon over here. This week I have something a little different. A funky, chunky, flowery canvas...
   ...and that was all thanks to some fabulous Faber Castell goodies I received from the generous team at Simon Says Stamp! Merci! I started by creating my flowers which are just lots of circles. They are my variation on the lovely blooms I saw many moons ago on Kim Dellow's yummy blog and I've loved them ever since. I used red and orange Gelatos to create the colours...
Gelatos are rather like arty lipsticks and blend really well, with or without water. I've already had fun attacking my art journal with them!
The yellowy circles are cut from Manila card and the red from old book pages stuck to card. I drew the leaves onto more book scraps using my Big Brush pen, cut them out and added some detailing with a white pen. Then onto the background... with a slight Art Journalling feel...
I used various Studio paints from Claudine Helmuth, gesso, more colours using Faber Castell Aquarelle pencils which blend with water and a touch of stencilling. I added bit of contrast with random machine stitching and decided to sew the stems by hand for more texture. Just three simple stamped words and buttons to finish off. I glued it all to a chunky canvas and voilĂ ! Colour, flowers and fun all in one go!

So this week we want to see full on colour from you! What better way to brighten up a dreary day. So go on... get the sunglasses out and bedazzle us with your pallet! We're looking forward to the whole rainbow and looking for those special top three artists. Don't forget the chance of this great $50 voucher too.

I've got another 'Oh my Giddy Aunt!' list to I'm off. Thanks so much for dropping by - be seeing you soon!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Les splodges et les splatters...

C'est le weekend...It's still raining, I'm still coughing and I'm still wondering if my house will ever be ready in time for the arrival of le/la baby. Enforced rest can have it's upsides as all I can do is potter around and sit which are the two essential skills required for creative dabblings.
Earlier this week I shared a little about my secret splashes and splatters with an Art Journal... my fears of just following a trend, knowing zilch about it and a phobia of my own hand writing.
But a river runs where it will as they say, so I thought I would just do what felt right to me and let it be.
No right or wrong, just the moment. I have some old poetry books and was inspired by this verse...
So it's a kind of moody page, with bright outbursts of colours, darker pools and a bit of everything going on. Such is life.
I liked how the above paged turned out and here's a page from a few days earlier which I have to say I do not like at all!


I kind of like parts of what is going on but I think the page is too full, and the colours are just too pretty and too purple for me.
This bit I do like so I might end up ripping it up and using it somewhere else... yet on the other hand I really should just leave it alone and just let it be what it is.

I'm not aiming for Olympic works of art but, for me, it is important that I feel a connection and can express something I want to say. I'm not interested in just making pretty pages.
We shall see...
So purple or not I will leave you with a heart and some love and wish you all a great weekend.

Find the sunshine wherever you can, albeit in an ink bottle...

Thanks for calling by!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's on your workdesk Wednesday???

Welcome to my desk and yet another WOYWW? Here's a shot of a colourful and sunny moment... It was short-lived as the heavens opened and the rest of the day was filled with heavy hail and grey downpours. Yes, the good old British weather is back on form... Firstly I want to say a very big thank you to all the folk who regularly call by my blog...
With all the weeks of decorating, the trip to Belgium and now a week of being ill, I've not been a very good blogging buddy at all. A restful day today will give me the chance to get back into peeking around. I do wish coughing was an Olympic sport as I would do Britain very proud this year...
As you can see above, I've been dabbling with Art Journalling. First time and very hush hush as I am a total layman at it, and as it's such a hot trend right now I worry I'm being swept along with the hype. That being said, it is indeed very relaxing and absorbing. I do a lot of DT work where there is always a 'finished piece', and as a self confessed perfectionist, it is very soothing to get all messy and play around on a journal page where anything goes...
I decided to transpose the same ideas onto a couple of tags as part of the Making Art Challenge over at Everything Wendy Vecchi where it's a 'two eyes and a hand" thing!

I really love my stamps and I also cannot face my own scrawly handwriting on a journal page quite yet, if ever. I prefer a hint of a mood and a few words in my work so that's my path at the moment. I used a right old recipe of goodies on my tags including Ranger Color Wash, stencils, paint, gesso, Faber Castell Gelatos and various journalling pens. Along with the smudge, spread, swipe, splosh, splat, squiggle and swirl techniques...
And to balance out the brain I entertained a CAS mood with my effort for Less is More where it's all about charms. Not something I really use but I figured a Mr. Tim Muse Token would also do the job too!
I stuck metal tape over some die-cut letters and refined the detail with a paper stump. Then I roughly splodged Alcohol inks over the top and sanded the top to reveal the letters, followed by the token. So kind of a Grunge Meets Metal Meets CAS card!
And for all the kind baby bump followers... All is just fine, active and oh so spherical. It's 33 weeks today. 

Eeeeeeeeeek! To put it very mildly... Could well be a WOYWW? arrival. Now, that could make a rather interesting desk shot depending on the angle and lens.
I cannot promise you Forevermore but I can wish you all lots of love and inspiration for this week. Hop over to Julia's to join in the Show & Tell and read all about WOYWW's 3rd Anniversary ATC Swap if you're joining in with the celebrations.
Farewell for now, Sarah.

Monday, April 23, 2012

In the mood for...

A bit of Botanical...! This week at Simon Says Stamp & Show we are playing around with our favourite words so I chose Botanical as my word of the moment along with Paper Artsy Hot Pick Stamps as it gives me the chance to dabble with lovely Mother Nature and her flowers and butterflies!
Seeing as we've had a wet week and I've been unwell, I thought some inky sunshine would brighten up the day...
I used a Mr. Tim faux batik technique and crackle stamp to create the backgrounds. I cut two large tags from Ranger Manila cardstock and randomly stamped and clear embossed the whole tag. No need to worry about an overlap with such a stamp. Simples!
I then applied a mix of Wild Honey Distress Stain and Scattered Straw Distress Ink with a few touches of Fired Brick. Don't get your tag too wet when using Distress Stains as they can seep under the embossing.
Then I covered the surface with plain paper and did the ironing bit to melt the embossing and create a smooth stamping surface which was enough domestic duty for one day. I added a gessoed page scrap for contrast, machine stitched around the edges and stamped the flowers in good old Ranger Coffee Archival ink.
A previous tag went a bit wrong so I used it to stamp my butterfly and got that nice wing edge! The sentiment is stamped onto Mica in Black Stazon and I added some copper thread, a button, eyelets and a few Botanical words. A little Walnut Stain Distress Ink and distressing on the edges finished it off.

I always like to play around with a stamp set and see which variations are possible to create new designs and images.

On my second tag I used the same flower stamp as before but I only inked up parts of the larger flowers, stamping each one separately so as to alter the angle and to get them to 'fit' in the bottle.
I had worked out where I wanted the bottle to go by using a roughly stamped cut out. I drew a faint pencil line where the bottle top ended and masked off the rest with so as to avoid random ink!  Once the flowers were stamped I could stamp the bottle in exactly the right place.
This time I used Ranger Sepia Archival ink, added a darker butterfly and similar finishing touches as before.
I like using Mica for stamping sentiments as you can place it wherever you want whilst still retaining that transparent quality and see the detail underneath. If you stamp something badly a little wipe with blending solution of cleaner whisks it away and you can try again! So that's the inky gossip on my sibling tags. What would be your favourite word of the moment??? Family, holiday, adventure, love or even cake...
Oooooooodles of possibilities for this week's challenge theme because you get to choose! Hop over to the Design Team Blog and see what lovelieness my team mates have thunk up! And check out all the new goodies at Simon Says Stamp, because you may well be the winner of this generous $50 prize!
Have a good Monday and enjoy your week. Thanks for dropping by... Sarah.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Just a dot of dabbling in doodling...

Hello to Friday and the weekend...
Well, I stopped work two weeks ago and am watching my baby bulge grow and wriggle each day. I thought with so much free time I would be streaks ahead on my DT work and projects. Alas seems more time means more faffing around in my world...and a bad cold and a few days in bed have eaten up this week.
I was up to a bit of easy going crafting today and although I'm rather late with my entry, I wanted to have a go at Less is More's theme of doodling. I'm a complete layman and only ever doodle when on the phone. Plus the thought of my own handiwork instead of a trusty old stamp is a bit daunting for little ole Missy  Perfectionist... Anyway I grabbed a square block stamp, a white pen and just had a go...
I decided not to be so fussy on placement. Just going 'au naturel'. Brilliance Pearlescent Crimson ink here.
After a bit of scribbly dibbly on scrap paper I managed a few more blooms. Ranger Monarch Orange archival ink here.
I used a white Gelly Roll Pen and both sentiments are from Hero Arts. Can't face my own scribble quite yet.
Very relaxing and I even started on a garden. Could be addictive, but I say that about all the new inky stuff I try...

Anyway, that's it for now so with a cough, I am off! Sarah.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What's on your workdesk Wednesday?

Well, after a whirlwind day visit to the land of Cheese & Clogs, followed by 'in-laws' duty in Belgium, I've just fell through the door... I have missed both my blog, crafty space and bed and can't wait to become reacquainted with all for once this could be short(ish) and sweet!
I mentioned I was off to the big Art Specially stamp convention in Zeist in Holland. Look at that spread for a show of restraint... just bit of G45 paper and two Stampington mags...
THE ABSOLUTE HIGHLIGHT WAS A EUROPEAN WOYWW FLASH YOUR BADGE MEET-UP!  Franka is on the left, Marleen in the middle and that leaves little ole round me on the right. All of of us doing our best "Hello Julia!" fan faces. After about ten snaps we all managed to look semi-normal...Do check out their fabulous blogs, different styles and great creations. Hope you like the piccy Julia and can feel a bit proud of your fab WOYWW?
Here's a piccy of just part of the fair. A stamper's heaven indeed. Carrying around a big baby belly is actually very good for the purse strings. It was soooo hot in there and after just few hours I was done in and not up for any serious pushing and shoving...

Just sharing a birthday card I was asked to make for a friend of a friend... It had to be vintage and a bit frilly so I went for an easel card and lots of lace...
All very Sarah style which means lots of distressing, layers and wonky sewing!
Well, I must limit the waffle as I've got lots of sleeping, cleaning, unpacking, tummy measuring and crafting to be done.

Looking forward to catching up with everyone... have a wonderful Wednesday!

See you soon,

Monday, April 16, 2012

Simon Says...Anything Goes!

Hello and welcome La De Dah!
It's Monday morning here and therefore once more a new theme at Simon Says Stamp & Show where we say...Anything Goes! Now that's a theme that is music to my ears! Whether you are brimming with Mojo, trying out some 'new stuff', Tim tagging it or fancy making one of your trademark creations, you can share them ALL with this week's theme.
ATCs are a huge favourite of mine and as I am taking part in a swap I figured I'd grab my chance to have some big fun on a small scale! I'm thrilled to see lots of fabulous Paper Artsy goodies on sale at Simon Says Stamp! Folk on this side of the pond will probably have heard of Leandra's amazing lines.

Stamps, matching dies, totally brilliant paints and much more too. Do check them out! Vintage, Grunge, Steampunk, Wacky, Doodly, Nature, Altered...there's something for everyone. I started with Manila cardstock...
I swooshed it through Picket Fence and various Distress Stains to get a marbled effect. I embossed them with the Diamonds in the Rough folder, brought out the texture with Rusty Hinge Distress Ink and added my fave - stitching!
I played around with the stamps from various sets including Hot Picks 1005 and 1102, the matching dies and lots of other images from my growing collection!
I kept to a pallet of Grungy greens, reds and rusty colours and stamped my images in Black or Red Archival Inks for a strong detailed image. The stamps really are superb quality - genuine red rubber, giving great results.

The ATC swap with some friends is all about dimensional ATCs which I just love! Just like tags the limited size means you get to play around, create and actually finish a piece of art before you go to sleep! I love to layer up the elements, adding snippets of sentiments, shabby lace, wire and even Idea-ology Memo Pins.
This wonderful damsel is an old Paper Artsy fave of mine. Her wings were kindly donated by another PA butterfly stamp!  I love to mix and match my stamp sets to create new, layered looks - and get a lot more out of your stash!
As said - anything goes so whatever comes from your inky fingers this week, be sure to put it in the spotlight and join in at Simon Says Stamp & Show. There's this great $50 voucher to be won and the coveted Top Three Artists' Crown could be yours! So off you go and get into that crafty zone today! Thanks for calling by, be seeing you soon.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Being A Good Girl... (ish)

Every good schoolgirl should finish their homework and I'm inching towards graduation as Ifinish all my tags from the on-line Creative Chemistry course that Mr. Holtz just did.

No complicated tags as they are samples of the techniques for future reference, rather than finished creations...This is my Perfect Pearls Trio and although you can't see all the yummy sparkle, shimmer and shine from the powders... it is there. I think I'm like may folk - have a small stash of PPs but just don't get round to using them...
I'm not a bling and glitter gal but I must say that these techniques do produce some lovely - not too in your face- results and I should try powdering my crafty nose more often. This lassie is done with the Perfect Distress technique.

Hard to see, but his tag has a really great marbled, dappled and grungy background created my dragging it through misted Distress Inks and PPs applied to your craft mat. At first, after just one drag and dry, it looked a bit grim. It takes a few sessions of repeating the technique on the tag to finally get achieve a good look.

Here's my newest fella - David. After seeing DT buddy Dan use him so well I was really inspired and he just somehow meandered into my collection. This background is done with home made PP mists. I don't have many re-inkers but the subdued colours seem to fit his distant mood...

Just added a single word from a larger stamp in Vermillion Archival ink. I'm glad I bought this set as there is a fabulous flourish, pen and number stamp on the sheet too.
If you are up to some creative tagging at the moment, maybe you'd like to join in with April's My Mojo Monthly challenge! I'm focusing on getting creative with tags... here's a little tag bag I made. See tags can be useful too - they're not just a pretty inky face!
I must be awaying as I'm off to a big stamp convention. No, not Ally Pally in London, but Art Specially in Holland...'tis a little bit of stamp heaven. A lot of it is for sale too... Mmmmm.
Wish me restraint. That's it for seeing you all Monday!