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Monday, 23 March 2015

Play day part 2...

...attack of the ink pads.

Yesterday I shared with you the embossed panels that had been coloured with a mix of mica & ink sprays - very pretty colours but on most of the embossed designs you couldn't really see the texture.

Out came the box of StaZon ink pads and we set to.

The leaf vein design had orange and saddle brown applied as the main colours and just a touch of olive green...   
 ...however, when the piece was given a spray of 'Spray & Shine' it is the green that is most noticeable.
I know I used black cherry on this one but I had more or less covered it completely with orange, espresso and black...
 ...but you would not have believed that once it was sprayed as the cherry came through as the prominent colour.
I can't remember what colour combos went onto these...
 ...there was iris, teal...
 ...cherry, black...
 ...olive, orange and saddle brown in a variety of combos. I really should have taken a photo of each of them before spraying so you could see the difference.
This panel had a mix of graceful blue, graceful lilac & graceful pink embossing wax applied...
 ...before a touch of teal, lavender and iris StaZon.
Andy then got out a couple of pots of "Buff it" by Pinflair. I had seen this but never used this product. Andy explained that it could be used just the same as a gilding wax or it could be mixed with water and used more like a paint.
I mixed in some water and used the silver & teal colours to dry-brush over the leaf design...
 ...and then buffed it to give the sheen.
The parquet design was painted with a mix of the silver & teal...
...not the best of photos because once buffed it really did have a sheen. This will probably be given an inking at some stage to help highlight the texture.

Hilary & I had a wonderful time on Saturday and we came away with some fabulous backgrounds for use in our paper crafting. We also got to try out different products and ideas which meant for a perfect day of crafting.

Thank you Andy, another super day of play........................................................

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Play day part 1...

...with Hilary & Andy.

The workshop on Saturday was "Masks & Stencils" and we started off by using a trellis die to create an embossing plate and mask/stencil.

We cut four of the dies from smooth card stock and using spray adhesive, stuck 3 together to form a thicker more substantial board. This was then used to emboss a couple of pieces of CS.

The spare die cut was placed into the indentations to create a mask for the trellis...
 ...and then glittered texture paste was applied...
...I used Graceful Peach on both the black and the white CS and as you can see, the resulting colour is very different. The black background has more of a silvery effect but the white shows the true peach colour.
The CS mask is really only viable for two uses because it soaks up the moisture and becomes very fragile...
...but don't throw it away as it is now a pretty, glittery trellis and once dry can be used on your cards or scrapbook LOs. You can also cut some of your CS masks/stencils to use with sprays, inks, Pan pastels etc. Again, you will only be able to use them a couple of times (chalks & Pan pastels will allow a few more uses) but do keep them & allow them to dry so that you have a collection of pretty pieces for use on other projects.
Out came the box of sprays...
 ...and Andy gave us the choice to play with some more die-cuts or the new 8x8 texture embossing folders - we decided to go with the folders...
 ...and just had a wonderful time playing with colour mixtures...
 ...I doubt any of us could remember exactly what colours we used...
 ...but they all turned out very different...
 ...there were some fabulous resulting combos...
...but at this stage you couldn't really tell what the textures were on all of them. We had used - distress, parquet, leaf view and dry stone wall.

Pop back tomorrow to see what we did with a variety of StaZon ink pads to make the texture more noticeable...........................................................

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Something similar...

...but not the same.

You may have noticed that I haven't done very much in the way of colouring lately. This has mainly been due to the weather playing up my wrists. So I had a look through my collection of images that I had already completed and found two versions of the Magnolia stamp called "Sisters".

A bit of die-cutting...
...some matt & layering...
...and a few blooms thrown in for good measure and there you have two quite different looking cards.

Wish this damp and cold weather would go away now. I've had enough of the aches and pains and I want to sit and do some colouring.........................................................................


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Wishing Everyone...

...a very Happy St. Patrick's Day.

If you are doing something fun to celebrate...
 ...don't forget to take photos and scrap it.
At the moment, the weather is pretty awful - it hasn't stopped raining...
...but perhaps that is so we can find a rainbow to follow to that pot of gold.
Whatever you are doing today...
...have FUN!!!.......................................................................

Friday, 13 March 2015

Red Nose Day 2015...

...has arrived.

So what is "Red Nose Day"...

Since its launch in 1988, Red Nose Day has become something of a British institution. It’s the day, every two years, when people across the land can get together and do something funny for money at home, school and work.
There’s a fantastic night of TV on the BBC, with comedy and entertainment to inspire the nation to give generously.
Comic Relief spends the money raised by Red Nose Day to help people living tough lives across the UK and Africa. The charity website can tell you more here.

In more recent years, the Comic Relief experience has expanded into Sport Relief so on the "odd" years (2001, 2003 etc) we do funny stuff and on the "even" years there are sporting events such as the England v Rest of the World football match where each team is made up of current footballers, past footy legends and celebrities.

This year is an odd year so we are all going silly...

Past Red Nose Days - how many of these noses do you remember?


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Red Nose Day...

...is on its way.

This Friday it is RND 2015.

This year there are 9 different noses but you can't choose which ones you want...
 ...as they come in sealed bags. The contents are a surprise because there are 9 'gold' noses hidden for folk to find and win prizes with. I was doing well - I bought 4 noses and each was a different one...then number 5 was a duplicate so that's where I stopped.

Sainsbury's at Stratford still has loads of packets of noses - I might try another couple as I would like to get the Professor.

I treated myself to a set of mugs...

 ...3 of the comic type...
...and the 3 white designs...
...I have also added to my Lulu Guinness bag collection - at £5 a time, this is the only way I would ever be able to afford a designer shopping bag.

We will not be holding any events at work this year as the redundancies have put quite a downer on everything but most folk can be seen sporting wrist bands, lapel pins and using one of the cup designs.

Are you doing anything funny for money this year?.............................................

Sunday, 8 March 2015

"Make it happen!"...

...is the theme behind this year's International Women's Day.

If you opened Google this morning and saw this...
...did you click on the image to see what it was all about or did you continue on your way to the site you were heading for?

International Women's Day is celebrated on the 8 March each year - this year there was an event held at my place of work (Thursday 5 March) and we had some fabulous speakers who shared with us how they "made it happen". Although the event was open to everyone (male & female) only one of my male colleagues came along - but he did spread the word after and perhaps next year there will be more of a mix in the audience.

Our first speaker of the day was Aneeta Prem (find out more about her work here). Her presentation was moving, thought provoking and very interesting. We were extremely lucky to have her attend - something brought about by her acquaintance with a colleague who is a Magistrate the same as she is.

We had various speakers from within our own organisation 'sharing' their journeys. Nothing was presented in a political way - much of it was light-hearted - but it showed that there need not be a barrier to pursuing our dreams. One speaker was the first senior female working in the promotion of 'Digital'...previously a solely male area of work in our workplace. Another was the first female director of a particular area of our business. There were colleagues discussing volunteering that they undertake (school governors, local authority work) and we also had a female colleague who recently qualified as an Anglican minister. A very wide range of 'journeys' and all very interesting.

It made me stop and think about many of the 'workplace' changes that have occurred within my own lifetime...

We have had women in space.

Women now play an active role in our Armed forces. We had the first female "Chelsea Pensioner"  as a result.

The Fire Service was opened up to female fire-fighters.  

Here in the UK we had our first female Prime minister.

As of today we now have a female bishop.

...and on the reverse...

Men can now become mid-wives.

If nothing else this Sunday morning, whilst you sit and have your cuppa and read the paper, why not spend a few moments thinking about things that have changed during your lifetime. Is there something that you would like to do but feel there are barriers in the way - take a moment to pause and think about what you could do to "Make it happen"..............................................................

Saturday, 7 March 2015

I thought I'd share...

...just a few of Mum's owls with you.

These are just a small selection of her owls...
 ...ceramic, glass, resin, fabric, stone, metal - she has all sorts and some of them have functions other than just being ornaments. Her resin owl is meant for the garden and if you put a battery in it and have it switched on it has a motion sensor and "Twit-twoos". There are a number of tea-light holders, key-rings and bottle openers but one of my favourites is her fabric door-stop (not shown here).

When I visited last weekend, I noticed that her birthday card is now in a frame...
...and sitting on the windowsill.

The weather forecast for this weekend is supposed to be warmer than it has been - we shall see. The sun is shining brightly at the moment but it still seems pretty nippy out there (at least the bitter wind seems to have disappeared). Have a lovely weekend, wherever you are.............................................

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Some more...

...recycling.

The desk at work where I sit for part of the time is on the sunny side of the building and as such, the blinds are closed when the weather is nice otherwise you can't see the screen of the PC because of the glare.

This makes things very miserable as we are either shut off from the world to stop the glare or can only look out when it is dull or after dark.

I decided to cheer my desk up with a visit to the silk flower section in Poundland.

As I don't have any vases at work, I rescued an empty one of these from the bag that was...
 ...destined for the plastic recycling and went to work armed with...
...my bow maker, scissors and some ribbon.
This was the result...
...and as you can see - the background is still a glare nightmare even with the blinds closed.

The 'vase' was easy to make - if you look at the first photo above...I measured about an inch above the label on the bottle and cut the top off. I then removed the label and wrapped some plain white copier paper around the bottle keeping the bottom edge level with the desk and folding the excess over to the inside of the bottle to give a smoother edge around the top. Some ribbon to decorate and make a bow, then it was just a case of arranging the flowers.

Some of the flowers had stems that were way too long but rather than throw away the off cut, I made some ribbon picks to add to the arrangement.

Flowers - £6, Ribbon - £1(for a 50m roll of parcel ribbon), bottle & paper - free.

I used to use these 2litre bottles a lot for this kind of thing - a piece of pretty wrapping paper can help to colour co-ordinate and they are also great for real flowers as they will hold water.

Not a bad way to spend 10 mins of my lunch break..................................................................

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Do you get the most...

...out of your craft equipment?

I'm probably as guilty as the next person - I buy something and only ever use it the way it says on the box/tin/pack.

If you are busy (and who isn't these days) the time you have available for crafting is limited and you don't always have the luxury of playing around with pieces of equipment to see if they can do more...this is a shame because craft equipment can be expensive and in this current financial climate, who can afford to buy things that will only be used occasionally when there is the possibility that they could be in use on a regular basis.

Take the We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch board...

Would you have thought that you could make this cute gift box...
...isn't it great and you can even add apertures if you want the contents to be seen.
Andy Pearson (Pinnacle Crafts) held a demo day above the shop yesterday...
 ...and he shared a lot of his ideas and those that he had found on places like YouTube. These boxes were one of the favourites of the day...
 ...and the samples got a lot of handling. Andy said these boxes were not his idea but he had found some videos by a lady called Deb Valder. I only look at YouTube occasionally so I probably would not have found these - thank you Andy for bringing this idea to my attention and thank you for another great demo day.

So of course, when I got home I had to have a go...
 ...out came my Envelope Punch board...
 ...a paper cutter and a scoreboard...
 ...some pretty CS, ribbon & DST.
In next to no time I had this...
...my own little gift box (I didn't put a window in mine)...
...as I was in a hurry to get it done...
...these boxes are adorable and even have a lid to help keep the contents secure.

With Easter coming up, I thought this CS would be perfect because of the Spring-time colours - just imagine one of these full of tiny chocolate eggs.

Change the colour scheme and you have favour boxes for the wedding table or gift boxes for the bridesmaids.

You can get 3 of these out of 2 sheets of 12x12 or one out of a sheet of A4. This is an ideal way to make a dent in that mountain of PP & CS.

So an envelope maker can do so much more - I made cutlery holders at Christmas. I've made bon-bons (crackers) and a wrap over box that will hold two crème eggs. Now I know I can make these cuties as well..........................................................................