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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Steampunk...

...from a different perspective.

(Photo heavy so settle down with a cuppa)

Saturday 6 February was the first Andy Pearson workshop of 2016 and with all the madness that has been going on at work and with Mum, this was a break that I NEEDED - 5.5hours of not having to think or worry about anything other than cutting a piece of paper straight or getting the 'sandwich' right for some die-cutting & embossing.

Now most folk will think of Steampunk as being Industrial & Grungy but our first make of the day threw that notion to the wind.

For speed, Andy had cut a tub full of cogs from pretty pale aqua card. Our first job was to make two borders from these cogs that would be used as a raised embellishment on the finished card...
 ...Having marked the required length on a piece of paper, I put together my borders using Cosmic Shimmer PVA glue (Creative Expressions) and put them to one side to dry.
The main panel for the front of the card was embossed with an 8x8 embossing folder...
 ...covered in clocks & pocket watches. This was matted onto silver miri and then onto a larger square of the aqua card.
After a session of die-cutting clock faces, hands and a few leaves...
 ...the card was constructed with the help of some PinFlair Gel and some bronze coloured metal gems.

The second make of the day was a bit of more traditional Steampunk.

Three panels of black CS were embossed with more clocks (I also used brickwork on one of my panels) and then gilding wax was applied - Decadent Teal was the shade I used on my panels...
 ...the loose cogs were waxed with Mink to give a contrast and the embossed panels were then matted onto some silver miri.
This was the finished result...
...and will offered to a friend who asked me to make a card for her husband (great timing).

The last project of the day was a giftbox/cracker box made to look like metal.

Starting with plain black CS, the various pieces were die-cut...
 ...waxed and assembled. The cracker box is a Tonic die and the cogs panel was a strip die (I think it was from Cheery Lyn) that we cut to size. I used Pumpkin and Mink gilding waxes to colour my piece so that it had an 'aged' and 'rusty' look to it.
The box was finished off with some wooden leaves, jute string and burlap butterflies...
...some of the cogs also got a few silver pearls added to make it look like bolts.

 So the three projects were...
 ...quite different. A quite straight forward bit of...
 ...embossing & waxing using darkish colours. A very clean (but not simple) effect...
 ...using pale colours and not a bit of wax or ink in sight. Then the last piece...
...lots of texture and shading making CS look like something else.

A fabulous day.

Pinnacle Crafts have weekday lessons every week and weekend workshops on a regular basis so if you live within access, check out what is available.

Thank you Andy for a wonderful 'playday'.......................................................................

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Did you know...

...that papercrafting is an 'extreme' sport hobby!

It is, you know.

Think about it...

How many times have you taken part in the "get out of the way of the falling pokey tool/craft knife" challenge. You know the one...

You just put said item down on the desk and it starts rolling towards you and before you can grab it, it is falling towards your lap/foot. Isn't it amazing how quickly we can jump back from the desk to miss the falling object (yet we weren't quick enough to stop it rolling off the desk to begin with - go figure). Even Mr Bolt would be impressed by our turn of speed.

A while back a friend ended up in A&E after a day at a crop where she tried to catch her craft knife instead of performing the traditional 'jump back' - it is amazing how much blood results from a craft knife sticking out of ones thigh. The A&E staff were rather amused - they obviously don't understand the dangers involved in this hobby.

Then of course there is the "slice".

This activity can be performed in a variety of ways...

1. The scissor de-gunking - it doesn't matter how careful we try to be cleaning the glue and gunk off our favourite scissors (yep, even the 'non-stick' ones). We all know not to rub the cloth up and down with the blade side of the scissors facing into our palms but that last little bit of gunk wont come off so you turn every thing over to give it another rub and...

2. The craft knife blade changing - the blade is not sharp enough to give a clean cut so you decide to change the blade. It's stuck. You tug and pull and your hand slips - surprising how sharpe that blade still is, isn't it...

3. The paper cutter/trimmer blade change - I can quote from experience on this one. My trimmer blade was causing feathered edges and there was paper clogging the cutting channel so I cleaned everything and changed the blade. I had gotten used to the blade runner staying upright when inserting a piece of paper due to the paper dust clogging the hinge. In a second I saw it falling towards the paper and didn't want the blade to damage it - so I grabbed. It is a rather painful experience. Who knew that a teeny, tiny metal diamond could cause so much pain & blood...

Have you participated in the "boob clamp"?

The equipment for this event is the Quickutz Squeeze or the Crop-a-dile.

A number of ladies over at UKScrappers reported some time ago that this was a regular occurrence when trying to cut/punch through stiffer materials (they also said that being slightly better endowed in the boob department had also contributed)...

I'm sure you can think of many other "extreme" aspects of our sport craft.

Do share any other "events" that you have taken part in........................................................

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Nice things do happen...

...occasionally.

On my way back from "Member's weekend" at Pinnacle Crafts I got caught in a traffic jam that would have been hard pressed to compete with a snail. A jam that turned out to be caused by roadworks but one of those situations where the 'wonderful' workmen didn't see a need to place any road signs until you were right on top of the closed off area. As a result I cut through a different way and as I was passing Craft Plus, I thought I would pop in and pick up a Joy stamp that I had been considering.

It is "Tombola" weekend (a fact that I had forgotten with everything else that has happened this week). The wooden box was being spun and everyone was being invited to draw a ticket which could have resulted in a discount of 10%, 15%, 20%...whatever.

The ticket that I pulled was for 50% off all purchases so I came away with a bit more that I went in for as you can see...
 ...this little lot would have been around £60 but at just under £30 I was a very happy bunny and you might notice there is a Tim Holtz Christmas blueprint set in amongst it all - this was the cherry on the top of the cake. I have looked longingly at this set for some time but couldn't justify the expense but now it is all mine.

Did I remember to get the stamp that I actually went in for?

Yes I did and here it is...
 ...I have some pretty pastel rainbow papers and I'm looking forward to having a play with this on those papers.

At Pinnacle's member's weekend I treated myself to this...
 ...as my pencil case has run out of spaces for the tools I have...
 ...I also added a couple of shaders to my collection...
...along with some pens...
...and a couple of grids.

I also picked up the G45 Worlds Fair in 12x12 & 8x8 as well as some Sweet Dixie dies that I have been thinking about. All in all I managed to get the things that I had budgeted for and a few extras (I hadn't planned on the Pergamano pens).

My friend Hilary was very pleased with her purchases and she is looking forward to the Sue Wilson dies that she pre-ordered.

The café at Barleylands is still out of commission but my suggestion of putting some seating in the barn has been taken on board so at least folk can sit out of the weather - there is also background music playing LOL.

Hilary and I had a lovely catch-up chat whilst tucking into a fried egg roll (Me) and a bacon roll (Hilary), washed down with nice hot coffee.

The latest about Mum - and thank you for all the lovely messages I received - she is still in hospital, still in pain (although the Doctor thinks some of this may be that she is tensing assuming there will be pain) and not very mobile. We have had to lodge concerns that the hospital are not being very 'open' about her condition as on Tuesday I visited to find that she was barely conscious but we had been told on the phone that she was "fine". Now the latest thing is that she isn't eating because she says it makes her feel sick - she has been in hospital a week and they only thought to mention it when my niece questioned them about something else yesterday (Friday). So I went in yesterday afternoon with a supply of baby rice because I know that it is something that she uses at home to help her swallow her tablets. She still wasn't keen but hopefully we can encourage her.

Today, I have to take her walking frame into the hospital because it would appear that they don't stock any that can be lowered sufficiently for Mum's height (???) - she's 4ft 10ins - not exactly minute. Hopefully having her own frame will encourage her to at least have a go at what the physios have been trying to get her to do.

Each day as it comes................................................................................

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

It's Wednesday...

...and VERY windy.

However, the WET seems to be holding off at the moment.

This is just a quick post to say sorry for my sporadic visiting at the moment but life is rather hectic as my Mum is currently in hospital. She took a tumble on Sunday as she was getting into the car after our shopping trip to Morrisons.

Because she tensed-up as she fell her back went into spasm and we ended up at A&E - that was 3pm Sunday afternoon. Two sets of x-rays later she was moved to CDU (Clinical Decisions Unit) at 6pm to await a bed on a ward.

9pm on Monday she was still awaiting a bed.

She was finally moved to a ward - depending on who you speak to; late Monday night or Tuesday morning.

So as I said, things are a little hectic at the moment what with work, keeping an eye on her bungalow and visiting.

I will try and work my way around so that I can catch up with you all but for the moment I'm not posting much.........................................................

Friday, 22 January 2016

I decided it was time...

...for a new knitting bag.

Not that I don't love my tartan one anymore.

No!

I love this cheery little bag that I have sitting by me on the sofa...
...but as you can see, it doesn't have a very large capacity...
...here it is full to the brim with just 2x 100g balls of yarn, a couple of knitted squares and a square "on the go". Fine for keeping my current knitting projects together in one place but not really suitable for crafting on the move.

Here is my new bag...
 ...in a sort of Cath Kidston style fabric that is wipe cleanable (which also means it is rain-proof). It has a lovely collection of pockets all around the outside and as you can see...
...lots of room inside - this is 4 x 100g balls and there is still plenty of room.

I had been looking at these bags in 'Linens Direct' for a while and decided I really did need something for travel purposes when it came to my knitting. I often take something with me when I visit Mum or if I am accompanying her to a hospital appointment but my old knitting bag wasn't really suitable. This is pretty and practical so it ticks all the boxes.

Another step towards a more organised Me in 2016...................................................................

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

All finished...

...and ready to use.

I showed you all another pair of fingerless gloves that I had started to knit. Well here they are all done...
 ...the lacey pattern adapted from the snood/cowl worked perfectly...
...and knitted up fairly quickly. I added slightly deeper rib bands this time and everything seems to have worked just as I wanted.

Now I just have to make a matching snood............................................................

Saturday, 16 January 2016

A bit more...

...stash busting.

I hadn't realised just how many sheets of Kanban & Hunkydory stuff I had so I thought it would be a good idea to try and use some of this stash to make up some quick cards so that I have a bit of stock for emergencies.

This is the first one I've done and I honestly don't know what brand the sheets are from because what I found was just s poly bag with bits & pieces in...
...so using some brown CS and some 3D foam pads, here we have a completed card and a teeny-tiny bit less stash on the 'mountain........................................................