Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Self portrait - age 8

This is me! As soon as I saw this stamp I knew it would end up as a self portrait of some sort ;o)

Aged about eight or so, I had this kind of hair cut and often wore an "Alice band" and I was such an avid reader as a child that even when mum said I had to go outside because the weather was beautiful I was not above taking a book with me and sitting on the back doorstep to read it!

Two challenges combine here - Something Completely Different is on the last week of postcards (6" x 4") and the theme this week is "books". Sunday Stamper has asked us all to "imagine" this week, using the word on our creations. Imagination was exactly the reason I loved to read so much - all those other lives and other worlds to live in!

I've curled the corner of the page to show how eager this little reader is to turn to the next one.

Just for good measure here, I threw in a kind of book I'm not so keen on - the background is stamped with Vintage Ledger Scrapblock - I don't really enjoy working with numbers and have to make a big effort to keep things organised so the idea of using a ledger is not really "me"!

Again, in keeping with my take on the postcard theme, layers are minimal and there are no embellishments on this one.

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
School Primer (All Things Considered line - releasing Tuesday 4th August (girl, page, cursive alphabet, "My dear children" are all from the set))
Vintage Ledger Scrapblock
Big Inspiration (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Paper:
Simply Smooth

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Other:
Copic markers

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Ready, steady - stamp!

Most of my UK readers will know the TV show Ready Steady Cook! There's a new fortnightly challenge blog with the same kind of format but we're not cooking, we're stamping! Each challenge features a "recipe" of five items and our stamping project must include all five items, just like the cooks must combine their five ingredients to make a meal in the cookery show.

Here's the (bilingual!) list of ingredients for the first challenge. Cute is outlawed at RSS so my only domestic cat stamp was out (it's a cartoon one wearing a Santa hat) and my dogs were borderline so I decided to head for the savannah and find myself some big game!

I didn't want to vandalise a book so I printed off some encyclopaedia information (from Wiki) about leopards to use for the faux batik background, making it a three column format so it would be more like the real deal. It's stamped and clear embossed with a harlequin background stamp, covered heavily with Brilliance Coffee Bean and then just lightly with Graphite Black before being ironed to remove the embossing.

My third brad is a bit difficult to see as it's black on black but it is there - down at the bottom left.

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Cheetah (Leopard) Profile (Saturday Evening Post line)
Textured Harlequin Backgrounder
Everyday Petites (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Paper:
Premium weight copy paper
Simply Smooth (CHF)
Black

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Coffee Bean, Graphite Black)
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Pitch Black)

Other:
Tag Trio dies by Spellbinder
Copic markers
Brads
Krylon leafing pen (Pale Gold)
Gold thread

Fun challege (although the brads gave me a hard time!) - thanks girls!

Thanks for stopping by, hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Je sais qu'il ya beaucoup de participantes françaises pour les challenge RSS - si vous voulez me laisser un commentaire, mais vous n'aimez pas le faire en Anglais, s'il vous plaît n'hésitez pas à le dire en Français! Je ne le parle pas bien, mais c'est OK pour la compréhension de commentaires court. Merci de votre visite!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Postcard to the stars

I'm just squeaking in on this week's Something Completely Different challenge. July's object is the postcard (6" x 4") and Gez has chosen this week's theme of "vintage". This is not at all what I planned to do when I sat down but sometimes things just happen, don't they?

I love this quote from Galileo - "I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night" and find it especially poignant as Galileo lost his sight in later life. I am lucky enough to live in an area of the UK with relatively little light pollution so we really do have a great view of the stars, even the Milky Way sometimes and we also love the stars fondly.

I hope the star map and the fantastically complex telescope qualify as vintage! In keeping with the postcard theme (at least my thinking of it) I kept the layers and embellishments to a minimum - there's just the torn scrap of vellum for the sentiment and the cut out star other than the base layer. The Scrapblock was perfect here - being a 6" x 6" stamp meant that I could do the whole width of the postcard and have the map go all the way to the edges :o)

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Reach 4 the Stars (Rummage Bin line)
Astronomy Scrapblock
Postcard and cancellation mark from Journal Box (Rummage Bin line)

Ink:
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)
Stazon by Tsukineko (Jet Black)
Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger (Vintage Photo)

Paper:
Cryogen white
Vellum

Other:
Lyra Skintone pencils
Stapler
Copic marker (to tone down the staples)

Thanks for stopping by, if you're wishing upon a star, I hope your wish is granted!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Christmas in July!

I know that really Christmas comes but once a year - it's just that in the papercrafting world we get to spread it out a bit! When I first saw the Evergreen Holiday set I just knew I wanted to use it on ornaments somehow. Here's what I did yesterday...

These are regular common or garden microscope slides (1" x 3") turned into ornaments for the tree with the help of some stamps, some copper foil tape and some wire. I'm a total novice when it comes to wire work so I was pretty happy with the way this turned out (although I did end up with blood blisters on the tip of my left index finger - I think I must have nipped it with the pliers without noticing!).

What I didn't want to do was get into the whole soldering thing that usually goes along with microscope slide art. It looks lovely but I'm really not sure about the fumes that come off that stuff - I well remember the smell of soldering from my dad and brother doing electronics projects when I was a kid! So I just wrapped the edges of my slide "sandwich" with copper tape (this narrow stuff is often sold for doll house enthusiasts to do the circuits round their tiny houses) and used Superglue to attach jump rings to the backs of the pieces. I even made the jump rings so they'd be the same copper as the rest of the wire work - I'm feeling quite proud of that little achievement :o)

If you didn't want to do the wire work, these would be just as pretty with a chain loop or a ribbon hanger - the sort of narrow silk ribbon sold for ribbon embroidery would give them that touch of vintage opulence!

I was so pleased to find that this little sentiment block fit across the width of the slide to make one with a tall, slim look about it.

On this one, I've just done a simple hanging loop at the top but added a jump ring at the bottom so it has a little bead dangle for added interest there. The trees on this one and the branches on the final one have touches of green Spica glitter pen which looks really pretty in real life but doesn't really show in the photos, sorry!

This last one is my favourite, I think! I love the elegant shape of the cone and the teeny tiny conelets at the tip of the branch!

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Evergreen Holiday (All Things Considered line)

Paper:
Simply Smooth (CHF)

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Stazon by Tsukineko (Olive Green)
Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger (Vintage Photo)

Other:
Copic Markers
Copic Spica Glitter pen
Microscope slides (two per ornament)
Copper tape (6mm)
Copper wire (22 and 16 gauge)
Round nose and chain nose jewellery pliers and wire cutters
Superglue
Czech glass beads

Thanks for stopping by!

Edited to add a note on materials as Tracey asked: I think the entire thing is an eBay special here! Microscope slides are pretty cheap and widely available, eBay just happened to be convenient for me to get them. If you only want a couple, try asking a school lab technician if you can pay for a couple of out of school supplies. My copper foil tape also came from eBay but you'd most likely find it in a model shop since people use it for things like doll house electric circuits and electric cars and stuff. The wire is just jewellery wire so anywhere that sells a decent selection of weights and types should do you. Oh, the Superglue came from the £1 shop - three little tubes in a pack :o)

Monday, 6 July 2009

Bits and pieces...

Paper piecing is not something I do very often but it is a fun technique! It's also the challenge for week two of the CHF Summer Stamping Star contest so I thought I'd show you a recent paper pieced card. Of course, the patterned paper phobia struck again and I basically created my own!

In my head paper piecing goes hand in hand with the Clean and Simple look for some reason, so it's a CAS card today...

I stamped the tree top twice on green paper from the Scrapblock pack then cut out three of the clusters and pressed them onto the Fine Houndstooth Scrapblock. I left tabs on the base of the two higher pieces when I cut them out and cut corresponding slots in the base tree so the tops of the patterned piece are free of the base for a bit of dimension. The trunk was cut separately from a piece of brown cardstock and stamped with the Wood Grain backgrounder.

I used my home made stamp positioner (a handful of Lego bricks made into a right angle and a piece of clear card sheet) to split the sentiment over two lines to suit the shape of the card better.

Stamps:
Summer Trees (Kim Hughes Collection)
Fine Houndstooth Scrapblock
Woodgrain backgrounder
Friend Centers (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Paper:
Scrapblock Layers (CHF)
Smooth white
Scrap of unknown brown

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger (Shabby Shutters and Weathered Wood)

Other:
Stamp positioner
Craft knife
Detail scissors

If you played along, thanks for joining us in week one of the contest - we've had some wonderful coloured creations! Hope to see you again this week (check out the details by clicking on the Will It Be You logo over on the right if you'd like them).

Thanks for dropping by!