Monday 31 July 2017

Kitchen Towel Background

I needed a quick project for today's post, so I decided to follow the advice of another crafter that I greatly admire and who blogs every day; 'Go with what you've got and don't think it has to be perfect.'  So thanks, Barbara Gray, I love how this tag turned out and I still have the top layer of the paper towel to work with.

Sunday 30 July 2017

My Favourite Colour Combination

I decided to go for quick and cheerful today, so the chance to create a tag using my favourite colour combination for the fortnightly Tag Tuesday challenge, was too good to resist.
As you can tell, my favourite combination is yellow, orange and pink, so I started by adding diagonal stripes of distress inks in Fossilized Amber, Carved Pumpkin and Pick Raspberry over a #8 manilla tag.

I then used two of the stamps from the Journaling stamp set by Claritystamp (script and harlequin) to over stamp each coloured section with a coordinating Archival ink.  I masked off each coloured panel in turn and used Vibrant Fuchsia, Monarch Orange and Saffron Archival ink alternating the stamps. 
As I had used the Summer stamp  (also by Claritystamp), which was one of the monthly stamps for 2016 for members of the New Design Club, on an art journal layout recently, I decided to stamp it at an angle along the bottom using Jet Black Archival ink.  The letter uprights and leaves were then coloured using two of the pencils from the Spectrum Noir Floral set.
For my focal point, I stamped the ice lolly from the Ice Cream 1 stamp set by Craft UK onto Sheena's stamping card using Jet Black Archival ink.  This was then coloured in using distress markers in the same colours as the background, fussy cut and added to the tag using foam pads for dimension.
The finishing touch was to add some ribbons; the orange and yellow ribbon is perfect because the harlequin pattern echoes the stamping in the background.

Friday 28 July 2017

Bleeding Tissue Background

Having used this method of creating a background for a previous art journal layout, I decided to try it again; this time as a background for a card.

Thursday 27 July 2017

Wednesday 26 July 2017

WOYWW 425: What a ReTREAT!

I can honestly say that I had the best start to the summer holidays.  My crafty friend and I had booked places on a Claritystamp retreat held in Crowborough Community Centre way back in February and were attending one of these two day events for the first time.  These are run by the amazing Barbara Gray, ably helped out by Paul Church and a whole host of others behind the scenes from Claritystamp.  We weren't too sure what to expect as it was the first time that we had been, but we couldn't have been made to feel more welcome and learnt such a great deal of different techniques and skills in a jam packed series of workshops.  So here's what my desk looked like on the first morning. (If you want to know why I'm sharing my desk, visit our hostess Julia at The Stamping Ground.)
And here's my version of the project on the day (I still have some colouring and matting and layering to finish at home).

The good folk at Claritystamp had designed some new stamps just for the workshops (although I am sure they are available online too) and the first project involved practising brayering techniques.  The second, using inks on a gel plate and the first afternoon saw us get into the groove with some Groovi parchment work (once again, a new Groovi plate had been designed especially for us).  We had the opportunity to try out some of the more expensive snips and parchment scissors as well as the budget variety.  Nothing was too much trouble.  My crafty friend was always convinced she would never be able to do parchment work, yet came away with some snips and a large flower Groovi plate. The technical set up meant that all 40 crafters could clearly see the step by steps via an overhead camera and large screen; a microphone meant we could all hear every word and we also each had a sheet for each project with list of 'ingredients' and instructions to take away.  As one of the few left handers there Barbara even came round to each of us fellow 'lefties' to help perfect our picot cutting.  Thanks, Barbara, that really helped and I am determined to keep working on it.
The second day saw us all wielding the brayers and gel plates again, this time with acrylic paint, followed by using Alcohol inks on Yupo paper (including stamping with alcohol ink; a brand new technique for me, although I'd worked with Yupo paper before).  The organisation of materials was also exemplary.  As you can see from our table, each pair/person had a set of materials needed for each project and these were rotated out once finished with and the next set appeared.
From left to right, Maureen, Annettea, Carole (one of the talented Clarity DT) and Ros were all friends by the end of the two days, even though we had never met before Sunday morning. 

I was given some great advice by Barbara Gray who blogs every day (I don't always manage to but try my best).  'Go with what you've got and don't aim for perfection every time.'  I will be sure to follow that advice and will definitely be continuing my habit of keeping mop up sheets and offcuts to use as backgrounds for quick art work  when I need a post in a hurry.
The next event is the Open Day at Leyburn, North Yorkshire on 23rd September, so my crafty friend and I will be heading up there for some more Clarity fun; maybe we'll see some of our fellow deskers there too.

Tuesday 25 July 2017

An 'In Joke' themed card

This is the final card made for colleagues at work to sign.  It is for a young man who has only been with us a year, but was invaluable on the recent visit to Berlin.  He knows exactly what the 'in joke' message is all about; suffice it to say, we couldn't have done without him on the visit.

Monday 24 July 2017

Themed Birthday Card

This birthday card is for a friend of my husband's whose birthday was last weekend.  He is a keen amateur Thespian as well as a Manchester United fan so I decided to combine this as a theme and a colour scheme.

Sunday 23 July 2017

Saturday 22 July 2017

A Good Luck Card

This card was made for a colleague who is leaving us after many years at our school; she will be missed.  Once again I was working with a 20cm x 20cm pre made white base card to allow room for notes and signatures.

Friday 21 July 2017

Maternity Leave Card

As usual towards the end of a school year, I make cards for the staff to give to celebrate a special occasion.  A colleague will be starting her maternity leave after today and this is the card which I made for everyone to sign.  I kept the colour scheme neutral for obvious reasons.

Thursday 20 July 2017

JJJAMA Challenge 26: Purple, Orange, Maroon, Picture a Song

I must admit that my heart sank when I first saw the colour combination and theme for this week's challenge from Junk Journals Junkies and Mindful Art.  I hadn't a clue what I was going to do and vaguely had a thought about 'Purple Rain'.  It wasn't until I had completed the first two steps that I decided on the song to picture on my page and now I absolutely love what came out of it.  Thanks for taking me out of my comfort zone.

Wednesday 19 July 2017

WOYWW 424: Are we there yet?

Only two more working days until the summer holidays (if you can really count a day out at Alton Towers with Y7 and Y8).  The books have all been marked for the final time this year, all data has been entered and my crafty friend and I are off to the final Claritystamp retreat on Saturday (Sunday and Monday).  What a great way to start the school holidays.  I have been so busy crafting since I got back from Berlin and finished my latest art journal page yesterday.  In the picture of my desk it is a work in progress, but you can see the finished result HERE.  I didn't end up using all the colours of Archival ink, just the Fern Green.
Once again I had my crafty friend for company; if you think my side of the desk is untidy wait until you see hers.  She was working on Brusho/Pixie Powder backgrounds, embossed using 3D embossing folders.

Finally I have a lovely orchid on my desk which was a present from my eldest son and his girlfriend when they came over for dinner last week.  I am giving it a daily misting with a water spritzer which it seems to like.  If you'd like to know why I share my desk each week, visit Julia at the Stamping Ground and all will be revealed.

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Art Journal Prompts Week 29: Chaos

I had so much fun making this page for week 29 of Art Journal Prompts: Chaos.  At one point, I realised that I had added all the stencilling and stamping with the background the wrong way on, but turning the whole thing 90 degrees to stick in my art journal only added to the effect.  At least I realised before I added the sentiments.

Monday 17 July 2017

Sunday 16 July 2017

JJJAMA Challenge 25: Yellow, Teal, Gold, Myth/Mythology

I had the perfect stamp set for this week's challenge from Junk Journals Junkies and Mindful Art: the Sea View Collection by Sheena Douglass which came free with Creative Stamping a couple of months ago.  The colour scheme was yellow, teal and gold and the theme was myth or mythology, so the mermaid and under sea stamps were spot on.

Saturday 15 July 2017

Prom Stationery

I was asked by my school to make the invitations and put together the name plates, table number labels and seating plan display for the prom this year.  As the prom was yesterday evening, I can now safely share what I made.  The theme colours were blue, silver and off white and the school hall looked amazing when decorated in these colours.  A great team worked really hard all day yesterday to make sure that everything was ready; by that time my job was well and truly over and I could enjoy the celebrations.

Friday 14 July 2017

A Never Ending Card

I haven't made one of these cards for ages, but as they look really impressive and are actually quite easy to make, I decided to have a go at one.  They can be made any size as long as the four pieces for the base card are cut in the ratio 2:1.
First of four aspects

Thursday 13 July 2017

Art Journal Prompts Week 28: Rework an Old Page

I struggled with this page for Art Journal Prompts to start with as I didn't have an art journal page to rework.  Then the suggestion was made to use a drop sheet or mop up sheet as a starting point.  When I looked through my stash I found a failed Gelato background and a gelli plate clean up  sheet from a previous art journal page and had the idea to use the two together.   Together, I love them, but I didn't really like either of them on their own.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

WOYWW 423: I'm back!

Well I made it safely back from Berlin.  I don't have many photos to show you as most of them have children on them so I can't share them.  We had a fabulous time, although we missed out on the pandas at the zoo by two days as we visited on Tuesday and they were due to arrive on the Thursday.  The weather was really kind to us and as usual we packed the days with visits and sight seeing.  
The Ritter chocolate shop went down well as usual!  We visited the Story of Berlin Museum and the Nuclear Bunker, the DDR Museum, the Zoo, the KaDeWe, the Reichstag, the Holocaust Memorial, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the Palace of Tears, the Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial, the Anne Frank Museum as well as bowling, enjoying a river cruise and shopping at Alexa.  I have just about caught up on my sleep now.  
I really missed my craft session last Tuesday so made the most of yesterday's session with my friend.  She was working on getting ready for a series of Y7 zentangle workshops which she will be running today.  She was stamping some large Woodware word stamps onto card ready for the pupils to zentangle, as the sessions only last for 45 minutes.

My desk shows my treat to myself for surviving the trip, which arrived yesterday.  Sizzix had a sale on and were giving free P+P if you spent over £30.  This is my haul for £30.47 which I think was a great bargain, although I won't be using the Christmas dies yet! 
If you want to know why I'm showing you my desk or if you want to see more desks, visit our hostess Julia at The Stamping Ground.

Monday 10 July 2017

JJJAMA Challenge 24: Orange, Green, Purple, Witchcraft

Just made it under the wire before the next challenge begins.  I would have hated to miss one as I have participated with the Junk Journals Junkies and Mindful Art challenges since I joined this amazing group.  This is the first challenge that I've completed in different groups with this particular colour combination that I really love; I decided to go for bright!

Sunday 9 July 2017

Art Journal Prompts Week 27: Gold

Just as I caught up with the Art Journal Prompts for 2017 I have fallen behind again, due to leading a school visit to Berlin.  This is in response to last week's prompt 'Gold'; I am planning on completing this week's prompt before the next one appears!

Saturday 8 July 2017

Crafting on the Move

Having spent the last five days in Berlin with a group of Y8 pupils, I had very little time to craft.  The only time available to me was on the plane travelling both ways so I packed my set of 20 Staedtler Triplus fine liner pens and a small Daler Rowney cartridge paper hard back note book so that I could doodle.  Even so, I only managed one page during the entire trip. 
I started with dark blue and drew paisley inspired shapes all over the page.  I then used the purple to add an inner shape and filled between the two with arch shapes.

I decided to fill in the whole background between the 'paisley' shapes with swirls in the original dark blue pen.
Finally the inner sections of each paisley shape were filled with spirals in the next lightest shade of blue pen. 
I'm not sure if I consider it entirely finished yet; I could colour in some of the zentangled areas, but it helped me to relax on the flights, so all is well!

Saturday 1 July 2017

JJJAMA Challenge 23: Red, Pink, Blue, Oriental

As I haven't had a great deal of time for crafting recently, but I didn't want to miss the Junk Journals Junkies and Mindful Art challenge for this week, I decided to keep things simple.  I don't have a large choice of stamps for an Oriental challenge as I am not overly keen on the theme usually, but I was really pleased at the way that the page turned out.