Friday 31 March 2017

Happy Birthday Sister-in-Law

It is my sister-in-law's birthday today, but as we won't be able to see her until the weekend, I thought I'd at least share her card so that she gets it today - if only in virtual form.

Thursday 30 March 2017

JJJ and Mindful Art Challenge 10: Blue, Pink, Silver and Heavenly

It's not really surprising that the idea of angels and starry skies came to me given the prompt.  For once I decided to go without any words and let the images speak for themselves.  The photos don't really do the shimmery finish justice.

Wednesday 29 March 2017


The photo for WOYWW was taken as usual on Tuesday afternoon.  For more details about this blog hop family, visit our hostess Julia over on The Stamping Ground.  I had to hide the card that I was working on, as it's for my sister in law whose birthday is on Friday and I don't want to spoil the surprise.  Instead I covered it up with a sample card for the last afternoon of term reward workshop with a number of Y7 students.  They have a choice of lots of different activities, so I don't know exactly how many will be in the group yet, but the card went down well when I did it with a similar group a few years ago, so if it ain't broke...
I thought I was going to be on my own all afternoon, until I got an unexpected text from my crafty friend who had finished examining.  She didn't have any craft stuff with her, but called over for a cup of coffee and a chat.  I took a photo of her side of the desk anyway!

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Journal52 Week 12: Balance

The first thing that came to mind when I saw this prompt for Journal52 was Work / Life Balance and the second was the Yin-Yang symbol; I decided to combine both.

Monday 27 March 2017

Clean and SImple Birthday Wishes

This card was made for a friend, who often comes and crafts with me.  She is too busy over the next few weeks to make our usual weekly craft sessions and I will miss her company; Happy Birthday and I hope you like your gift too!  I was really pleased with the way that the card turned out.  Full of class, like the recipient.

Sunday 26 March 2017

Happy Mother's Day

This card was made for my Mum for Mother's Day today.  I finally tried out my Misti and the Altenew stamp sets that I have had for a while.  Happy Mother's Day Mum and thanks for all you do!

Saturday 25 March 2017

Sneaky Peeks Only

I am late with my blog post today as usually I prepare it the evening before and get up early to share it.  However, I was so tired when I got in last night that I didn't come out to my shed to craft.  This morning I have created two cards with a class in between.  Unfortunately I can't share either card yet; one is for Mother's Day tomorrow and the other is for a friend's birthday the day after.  So for now you'll have to make do with a sneaky peek only.
Check back over the next two days to get the full step by step for each. I'm not saying which card is which, but I did use a similar colour scheme for both.

Friday 24 March 2017

Junk Journal Junkies and Mindful Art Challenge 9

The prompts for this challenge were Nature, Tan, Olive Green and Burnt Orange.  I decided to try a new way of creating a background that I had seen recently online, although in that demonstration PaperArtsy Infusions were used.  Apologies, but I can't remember who shared the technique.  Thank you anyway, it worked brilliantly.

Thursday 23 March 2017

Art Journal Prompts Week 12: Adventure

When I saw the prompt 'Adventure', my first thought was travel or reading; to me, both these things provide adventure.  However, as I had used the idea of books as an adventure for the prompt 'Magic' in week 10, I didn't want to repeat myself.  I decided to go with a simple colour scheme for this page and stuck to Salty Ocean and Mermaid Lagoon Distress paint and Manganese Blue Archival ink, with some splashes of white as an accent.  I also decided that the word 'Adventure' would be sufficient on its own, rather than using a full quote.

Wednesday 22 March 2017

WOYWW: 407

The weeks seem to go around ever more quickly; I cannot believe that it's Wednesday again already.  Time to share my desk in accordance with WOYWW (to find out more about this weekly challenge you can check out the link HERE).  As my friend was able to join me for a craft session yesterday, I am also sharing her side of the desk.  It will sadly be a few weeks before I will do so again, as exam season is approaching.
On my desk, you can see the start of my 'Adventure' art journal page for the Art Journal Prompts weekly challenge.  I will share the step by step in tomorrow's post if you are interested.  I have my Tim Holtz stamp binders out as well as one of my Tonic binders where I keep most of my dies.  I number them for easy access as I have 14 in total; one of these days I'll actually make a list on my computer of exactly which dies are in each folder!  I finally made use of the Papermania stamps in the foreground; I have had them for years, but hadn't used them until now.  Part of my new resolution to actually use my supplies. 

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Mission Inspiration: March 2017

Here is my Mission Inspiration art journal challenge page for March 2017.  The prompt colours were green, yellow and brown and I chose the word 'Spring' from the choice of five given. There were a series of eight steps to follow.
The finished page

Monday 20 March 2017

My Art Journaling Journey... so far.

As I seem to have shared so many of my art journal pages recently, I thought it was time to discuss what can be used as an art journal.  The simple answer is... anything can be used for art journaling; from diaries and cheap notebooks, to expensive products created with art journaling and mixed media in mind. In this post, I am not going to look into ways of creating your own art journal, as there are so many methods.  For example, you can make individual pages from card or paper with grunge board as a cover and hold everything together with book rings.  You can even use heavy weight acetate or acrylic to make pages.  The creation of junk journals from old books, where the insides can be removed and replaced with home made signatures is a whole new post, and there are many more experts with experience in this area than me. 

Sunday 19 March 2017

Art Journal Prompts Week 4: Life is..

I am still catching up with the prompts for 2017 from the Art Journal Prompts Facebook group.  I have been trying to complete one of the prompts that I missed as well as the new prompt each week.  I now have only five 'back prompts' to go!  This page relates to the 'Life is' prompt from week 4.

Saturday 18 March 2017

Journal52 Week 11: Gentle

Once I had found the quote for this prompt, I knew immediately which stamp was going to be the main image for the page.  The idea of a gentle heart tied with an easy thread made me immediately think of the Wire Heart stamp from Claritystamp.  Once I got started, the ideas flowed easily.

Friday 17 March 2017

Journal52 Week 10: Truth

Although I am sharing this page after the next prompt for Journal52 has already been released, I actually completed it on Tuesday; one of three art journal pages in one day.  That is a record for me, but as I work on Thursday and Friday, I prepare some of my blog posts in advance.  I arrived at the quote that I wanted to use quite quickly, but my idea about the page was very nebulous until I found a sheet of 12" x 12" K & Co. paper which had birds on it.  One of them contained the word truth and I went from there.

Thursday 16 March 2017

Junk Journal Challenge 8: Copper, Royal Blue, Ivory and Science

As soon as I saw this challenge, I knew exactly the stamps to use.  I have all the stamps in the Weird Science collection by IndigoBlu because so many of my family are scientists (one way or another). 

Wednesday 15 March 2017


Hi everyone, the week seems to have gone round really quickly.  I made a resolution during half term that I was going to try and create some art and post every day on my blog and for the third week in a row, I have done so.  As promised, I took a picture of my friend's side of the desk when she visited on Saturday for a crafting session.  Mine wasn't taken until yesterday, as I was working on an art journal page (see HERE for details).  I tried a new technique (for me) for the background by gluing down a piece of plain tissue paper over gessoed kraft card.  Once sealed with collage medium it stamped and embossed beautifully.  You can also see all my tinsel embossing powders to match the prompt.
My friend was working on using up all those offcuts of card from her wedding invitation making, by having a mass die cutting session.  As you can see, she came well prepared with a choice of dies.
If you'd like to know why I'm sharing photos of my work desk, then hop over to The Stamping Ground and our lovely hostess Julia, who will explain more about WOYWW.

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Art Journal Prompts Week 11: Sparkle

I went a bit mad with this prompt; all my tinsel embossing powders were used - some for the first time - as well as my iridescent spray and sparkle.  I also tried a new technique for the background.

Monday 13 March 2017

The Usual Suspects, Hipster Style!

I've been after the new Hipster stamp set by Stamper's Anonymous since I saw the preview that Tim Holtz shared before Creativation; it arrived in the post on Saturday morning and I couldn't wait to get started. 

Sunday 12 March 2017

Here's Where I Went With It: art journal prompts Week 3 - Music

Having become stuck over what to do with this page to finish it off, I decided to leave it overnight, ask some fellow crafters for advice and look at it with fresh eyes in the morning.  This is what I did in the end, thanks to my crafting friend who joins me in my shed once a week for some companionable craftiness.  Thanks to everyone who commented, I did read them all and have made a mental note of some great ideas for future projects.
The final project

Saturday 11 March 2017

Where to go next?

I have been working on a catch up page in my 8" x 8" kraft card scrapbook for the Facebook group 'art journal prompts'.  The week 2 prompt was music and I found a fabulous quote as I am both a language teacher and a musician. 'Music is the universal language of mankind' by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  

Everything started so well; I gessoed the page then added a piece of the discontinued Symphony Tissue wrap by Tim Holtz using Distress Collage Medium.  Once dry, I trimmed the edges.
I wanted to bring in the element of 'language' by creating flags of different countries all over the page.  The Union Jack two part flag from Claritystamp was the ideal place to start (Vermillion and Cobalt Blue Archival ink), but I was unsure how to add further flags without drawing them.  Looking through my stamp folder I found a rectangular solid stamp from Sam's Shapes 1 (also by Claritystamp), which was the perfect shape and size to create the vertical stripes on flags and used it to add French and Italian flags (additionally using Emerald Green archival ink and Picket Fence Distress ink/paint).  To create the flags with horizontal stripes (German and Hungarian), I used the small solid rectangle from the Wordpress Letters set (Claritystamp again), and stamped it several times going across the page to form each stripe (Saffron and Jet Black archival inks were added at this stage). 
This was where I became unsure about how to add the quote.  I die cut the middle sized speech bubble from the square set by Spellbinders out of Sheena's stamping card; stamped the letters to make the word 'Music' using five of the colours from the flags and the Word Chain Alphabet by Claritystamp along the top.  I then used my Dymo Letratag to print the rest of the quote and then added a strip of Symphony tissue tape along the bottom.  The mistake I made, was to use a ProMarker to add a black border all round it to help make it stand out from the background.  The marker bled a little where it came into contact with the Letratag stickers.  I have tried it against the background, but I'm not sure if I really like it or not; so watch this space to see where I go with the page...

Friday 10 March 2017

Tag It Tuesday March: Drips and Spatters

When I started this challenge, the only idea I had in mind was to do a double layered tag, with an area die cut from the top layer to show through to the tag below.  The tag evolved quite naturally from one idea to the next and didn't take me too long at all.  So here's my tag for the March 2017 challenge with the Facebook group Tag It Tuesday.

Thursday 9 March 2017

Junk journal Challenge 7: Lime Green, Red, Turquoise and Peace

I can't say that I'm as happy with this page as I have been previous ones, but I like the quote and the process was relaxing so here goes anyway.  The challenge prompts were Lime Green, Red, Turquoise and Peace and the quote is by Mother Teresa.

Wednesday 8 March 2017

WOYWW #405

Hi everyone.  I've been crafting alone this week as my friend couldn't make it yesterday. She will be joining me on Saturday afternoon this week as she can't make next Tuesday either.  I will be sure to take a photo of her side of the desk to share next week.  Having crafted and blogged every day over half term, I decided to see if I could keep it up once I was back at work.  So far, so good, although the first week back wasn't a normal week due to INSET.  I don't think that I would be able to keep it up if I worked full time, but on three days a week it is a little more manageable.  The photo was actually taken on Monday night after my longest day of the week, so if I can find time to craft then, I can find time anytime.  Normally I would have just fallen into bed after tea, as I am usually up and marking by 4am on a Monday; however I made myself go out to the shed and start crafting.  
Before I knew it the art journal page that I was working on in the picture was finished and ready for posting.  You can see the step by step HERE if you're interested.  The page reflects my new outlook on a work, life balance.  I actually felt quite refreshed once I was finished, although normally I would have been fast asleep by that time on a Monday.
If you want to know why I'm sharing a photo of my desk and what WOYWW is all about, check out our host Julia's page HERE.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

art journal prompts Week 1: My Word for 2017

I'm working in a totally random order to catch up with these weekly prompts from 'art journal prompts'.  This is the third that I've completed of the ten set so far this year, but if I work on two a week for the next seven weeks, I will have caught up.  With this in mind, and my determination to craft and share daily this year, I chose the word 'Create' as my word for 2017.

Monday 6 March 2017

art journal prompts Week 10: Magic

This is only my second page following the 'art journal prompts' Facebook group, so I still have 8 weeks to catch up!  This week the prompt was 'magic' and this is what it inspired me to make.  To me reading is magic.  Books can transport you to any place at any time, whether real or imaginary!

Sunday 5 March 2017

Twenty Minute Tag

I recently saw a challenge to create a background in two minutes.  I decided to extend that and experiment to create a finished tag in under twenty minutes.  I just about made it, although if I hadn't taken any photos as I went along, I would have cut it less fine!

Friday 3 March 2017

Art Journal Prompts Week 5: Take Two

I decided to start another art journal in my bargain buy from The Works; an 8" x 8" wire bound kraft card scrapbook.  It only cost me £3 so I've decided to work on every other page and glue the sheets together to make them more robust.  This journal will be used for the weekly 'art journal prompts' from the Facebook group of the same name.  As I'm late for the party this year, I decided to dip in and have actually started with week 5: Take Two.
As the pages are made from kraft card, I decided to gesso the centre of the page, but deliberately left the edges bare.  This would allow me to add colour without the base showing through and keep the interest of the kraft card border.

The next step was to stamp the focal point.  I have had this stamp set for quite a while; it is from the Little Bit Sketchy range designed by Sheena Douglass and is called 'Just the Two of Us'.  Although the image is of a boy and a girl, I have a twin sister and there are photos of us sitting on the beach together wearing our red swimming costumes when we were little.  Although the photos I have are in black and white, both the prompt and the image brought back memories.  The image was stamped using Jet Black Archival ink and then painted over with Pebeo drawing gum to protect it while I worked on the background.
For the sand I used Fossilized Amber and Mustard Seed distress paint.  Once some had been dabbed on, I moved the paint around with my fingers, blending it out over the gessoed area onto the bare kraft card.  For the sky, I used Sailboat Blue and Cloudy Blue Adirondack paint and the same method to create the blend that I wanted.  Where the gesso showed through it was perfect to give the feeling of sky.  Once the background had been dried off, I used a Versamark ink pad and detail white embossing powder to add the sentiment from the same stamp set.  I then rubbed the drawing gum off the focal image.
I usually use distress markers or pens with a water brush to colour my stamped images, but I wasn't happy with the effect on gessoed kraft card.  Instead I decided to use Distress and Adirondack paints. I gave the little boy a slight touch of the sun by going over the intitial layer of Antique Linen and Tattered Rose mixed together with some areas using Worn Lipstick.  He is wearing Candied Apple trunks and his hair is a blend of Gathered Twigs and Ground Espresso (as is the girl's skin).  The girl's hair is a blend of Fossilized Amber and Mustard Seed to match the sand and she is wearing a Sailboat Blue swimming costume to tie in with the sky.  I considered the page finished at this point.

Thursday 2 March 2017

Bubble Stencil Tag

I had a new medium arrive in the post, so I wanted to play with it as soon as possible.  Neocolor II are water soluble wax pastels; there are 120 colours in total, but I decided to start with the tin of 30. As usual if I just want to see how things work quickly, I decided to work on a #8 manilla tag which I had previously covered with a light coat of white gesso and dried with a heat gun.  I was delighted with the end result and will definitely be using these frequently in the future.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

WOYWW #404

It's that time of the week again to allow everyone a glimpse into our creative areas and share what's on our workbenches.  If you want to join in just visit our hostess Julia over on The Stamping Ground.  This week the photos are once again from yesterday and my weekly craft session with a friend.  The art journal page that I was working on can be accessed HERE.