London 2012 rocks – official!

Craft packages ordered = 0, craft packages received = 0 – still got those goodies in a basket – even ‘though I’ve been away!

First, I have to say a big BIG thanks to youngest beez aka Basslineblog who did a brilliant job of submitting my entry to the Graphics Fairy Brag Monday. Mine was the first entry and I didn’t even remind him. Not only that, he put the bin out too 😉 Also, thanks to anyone who buzzed by and left a comment or subscribed to my blog – I always appreciate it when people take the trouble to do that.

Second – the Olympics was F.A.B I saw Team GB triumph in the team showjumping after a tense jump off against the Netherlands. I tell you – I jumped every jump. There was a terrific Olympics buzz in London – I love London and miss it and please don’t make me have to go back to work tomorrow.

Whilst I was in London I took advantage of the opportunity to abandon two of my creations in a new location. The first was the butterflies piece and I left this in the hotel lift:

The butterflies are free – decoupage, glitter and Promarkers

The second was the little house with flowers which  I left amongst a display of pamphlets in the hotel

Daisy dreams – stamping and drawing

When I made my little olympic tributes I told you that I had wasted spent an awfully long time making some different coloured union flags which I then never used. During one of my sleepless nights (which is when I seem to get a lot of crafty ideas rattling around in my head) I had the idea of using them to make some giant flowers. Striking whilst the iron was hot, I thought this would be the perfect project to share after my visit to the Olympic Games. I also intended to abandon it somewhere in London but, in the end, decided it would make a nice topper for my sister-in-laws birthday card.

Now this really was simple and, for once, I managed to keep it that way and not complicate matters or muck it up. First job was using a digital punch in my graphics progamme (on this occasion it was My Craft Studio Elite) to turn the flag into flower shapes. I did them in three different sizes.

Once printed, I cut them out and then curled the petals over the back of scissors. Even though I had used heavyweight paper the flowers were still a little flimsy so I decided to spray them with some glitter and then some paper varnish. This could have been where it all went wrong but, in fact, was the right decision. The petals had much more body and a lovely shimmer and shine to boot.

I attached the petals, using silicone glue, to a circle of card. I chose a pink button for the centre and threaded it with a little pink baker’s twine. The button was stuck down with more silicone glue. I added a little ribbon to the back so that the flower can be hung up. This really was quite easy and I am chuffed with how it turned out. Maybe that time spent creating union flags wasn’t wasted after all!

Flower using pink union flag papers and button detail

Button fairy – Brag Monday #3

Craft packages ordered = 0, Craft packages received = 0 Almost smug 😉

Button fairies. How can I have come this far in life and have only just discovered button fairies? Button fairies and me are natural partners. Since I discovered them, over on the Art Abandonment Facebook page, I have had to really rein myself in from making millions of them. Especially as the Graphics Fairy has so many lovely butterfly images. These two lovely images were, just like me and button fairies, meant to go together. In fact, I already have up my sleeve a second project that uses them.

Image Via the Graphics Fairy

 I printed and cut out four butterfly pictures and glued them in pairs back-to- back before covering them in crystal clear glitter. Once dry I attached them to the pretty lady. The fit was perfect. I have a pretty healthy stash of buttons so chose some blue ones to match and threaded them, plus a few pearls and beads, on to a double wire. I then ran the wire up behind the winged lady, separating the two wires at her head to make anntenae. Little blue gems and some silver glitter finished off the look.

Button Fairy using images from The Graphics Fairy     

Button fairy, images via The Graphics Fairy

 Am allowed to say that I am really pleased with this? I’m not sure if I can abandon her, I might have to give her as a gift.

Button Fairy detail – Images via The Graphics Fairy

Now today I am posting very early because I’m off to London to see the Olympics – yay! We’re catching the train, checking in and then will be Greenwich bound to see the show jumping. So excited. Only slight problem of course is that, although I can post here, over at the Graphics Fairy, Brag Monday won’t be open before I leave. I have therefore entrusted youngest son DJ Beez, to submit my entry for me. What can possibly go wrong?

 

 

Welcome to Eloise – and mucking it all up

Craft packages ordered = 0, Craft packages received = 0 – still got those distress inks in that basket 🙂

Back at the day job there is another clutch of little babies hatching away merrily. It’s not just new mums this time around but a couple of new dads too. I always love it when there are first time dads in the office. They are just so oblivious as to how much their life is about to change. 

First past the finishing post dad wise was Lee, whose wife gave birth to little Eloise just over a week ago. Just love that name. Now I’m guessing that, as lovely a name as it is, it isn’t going to be one that you find on lots of goodies. Leave it to Mrs Beez to try and fill that gap!

 I have just invested in some little canvases. Proper canvases instead of the chipboard I have been using. I decided that for this project it was worth breaking into the pack and using one. Ha ha – just one, yeah right! My plan – cut letters from pretty card, cut date of birth from vinyl, stick everything to canvas and job done. Oh that it was so simple.

First off, the vinyl looked good but the letters didn’t really stand out – fortunately I hadn’t stuck them down. Change the plan – cut the name from vinyl too. So easy to do on the Silhouette Cameo. Everything stuck to the canvas nicely – may be a couple of extra embellishements… if only I’d stopped there. Nope, I decided to do something fancy with Promarkers and dots. Big mistake, canvas wrecked no option but to start again.

Canvas two – back  to pretty card but make the letters bigger. This time I stuck them down. Still they didn’t stand out. Having clearly not learned my lesson first time around, out came the Promarkers. The plan this time to add a little shadow – how hard is that? Well, as it turns out, very hard. End of canvas number two.

Canvas three – stuck with the pretty letters plan only this time highlighted the edges with some distress stain and sprayed the lot with glitter. Attached them all to the canvas with mod podge. Held breath ’til sure all OK. A few little embellishments and phew – done. Turned out quite pretty in the end. Only question now is how to use up and make good the other two canvases – leave a comment if you’ve got any good ideas.

 

Eloise name plaque

 

Eloise name plaque

 

Eloise name plaque – detail

 

Eloise name plaque – detail

 

Eloise name plaque – detail

Welcome to my crafting world baby Eloise 🙂 BTW – did I mention I’m off to the Olympics tomorrow?

 

Bee number three

Craft pacakges ordered =0 Craft packages received = 0  I am doing SOoo well! (I do have a basket full of distress inks over at Card Craft Uk but I haven’t checked out…yet.

Number of times I’ve cried during the Olympic Rowing?  Oh buckets!

Another day, another bee and another little piece for the Sunday Stamper challenge #216 Fields of Gold. I think you can probably tell –  I’ve loved this! Of the three pieces I’ve done on this theme, this was actually the first I made.

The background was a bit of an accident. I was using some purple spray on another background (more of that saga another day) when I realised, messy crafter that I am, that I’d hit some scrap pieces of card. Typically, the scrap bits looked better than the actual bit of card I was spritzing. I was patient enough (just!) to let the background dry before going in with my favourite stamp of the moment.

I stamped some daisy type flowers on to card using the very very first stamp I ever owned. I love this stamp too. I coloured the petals in with promarkers before cutting them out and a good old blob of gold glitter glue finished them off nicely. They were attached to the canvas using silicone glue. I don’t think I’ve mentioned my new found affinity with this glue. Having struggled with a very well known brand, which kept drying out, I discovered Pinflair and the syringe. Magic stuff,never dries out and always handy. Love it!

To finish off I wrapped the top of the canvas with some gold thread which was originally part of a spirelli set. A few little gold stars, again attached with silicone, and job done.

Bee – purple and gold

Fab challenge and I can’t wait to see what #217 is. May be time to rest the bee stamp for a little while, but then again…

Buzzing bees – bees and gold for Sunday Stamper #216 Fields of Gold Challenge

Glitter on my fingers

Craft packages ordered = 0, Craft packages received = 0 And did you see what they had available on Create and Craft today  – those Kanban bargains? Not to mention the Crafters’ Companion bubble thingies! I deserve a medal really!

Yesterday you will remember that I was buzzing about the Sunday Stampers challenge, Fields of Gold, run by Hels Sheridan over on her blog. I couldn’t just stop at one piece – I was inspired and wanted to do more.

I made this piece in tandem with yesterday’s little Queen Bee number.

Queen Bee – for Sunday Stamper #216 Fields of Gold challenge

Continuing my latent book vandalising tendencies I ripped up a page and covered a little piece of board with it. I gave the whole thing a coat of PVA and then rubbed a thin coat of gold glitter glue all over. Once dry I buffed up the edges with some tea stain distress ink.

The bee was stamped onto brown paper and I shaded in its stripes with my Krylon gold pen. Next up I used my Spellbinders spiral flower dies to cut some flowers out of brown paper and book pages. I added smudges of Krylon gold pen to the outer edges and then, when all rolled up, smeared the finished blooms with more gold glitter glue. And here’s the thing – there was an awful lot of gold glitter glue all over my fingers, but remarkably little seems to have stayed on the flowers. I wasn’t going for overkill and used glitter glue as it tends to be less obvious than ordinary glitter, but even so – where did it all go?

It took quite awhile to get the right arrangement but I got there in the end. I love the shabby chicness of this and want to do more flowers and more backgrounds like this. I don’t think the photo’ really picks up the gold element but it is there and I’m now crafting with gold fingers. (Please tell me you’re not singing again!)

Shabby Chic Bee with gold for Sunday Stamper #216 Fields of Gold Challenge

Going for gold and the return of the bees

Craft packages ordered = 0, craft packages received = 0

Don’t worry, this isn’t a return to any olympic inspired crafting but it is all about gold! Over at Ink on My Fingers Hels Sheridan’s Sunday Stamper challenge #216 is entitled “Fields of Gold”. What I like about Hels’ challenges are that there is a theme (this week it’s gold) to which you add some stamping and that’s it. You can make anything you like as long as it includes the theme and stamping. Last week was my first entry and the theme was “more than words”. This was my little entry.

Daisy dreams – stamping and drawing

I’ve been experimenting a lot with my bee stamp so, as it was to hand, decided to use this for the stamping part. I thought I’d go for a bit of drama so stamped the bee on to black card and then embossed with gold embossing powder. I’d already prepared a little gold canvas using some gold acrylic ink so it was just a question of combining the two.

Now a little confession. Originally I stamped directly on tto he gold background using black Stazon. And mucked it up. I tried it on the reverse and guess what? Yep, I mucked it up again. Not for nothing is Stazon called Stazon. I sanded it a little and painted over the top but there was a bit of blemish. So my design had to include a cover up job.

I printed some letters on my computer and aged them up with Brushed Corduroy distress stain. A little bit of gold braid and some gold coloured gems are the finishing touches. The crown looks silver in the picture but it is in fact gold.  I would have quite liked to had a black and gold tassel to hang from the bottom but was fresh out of tassels and black thread (naturally I had gold).

Queen Bee – for Sunday Stamper #216 Fields of Gold challenge

I loved this week’s challenge so much that I have produced two more pieces. I’m not sure if that’s allowed Hels but I just can’t help going for gold? By the way if at any point in reading this  any of you have been singing Spandau Ballet’s “Gold” then stop it – I’m told it’s not cool.;)

PS Abandoned yesterday’s olympic themed pieces, on the train bound for Skipton, at Bradford Forster Square station.

Abandoned on the train at Bradford Forster Square

 

It’s Olympic time – just in case you didn’t know

Craft packages ordered = 0, Craft packages received = 0, Craft packages lusted after – loads (should not have looked at Calico Crafts FB page)

I’ve been reprimanded advised by my eldest son that I should be creating something to mark the Olympic Games. Spookily, on the day he told me, I had been thinking the same thing. But what do do? Inspiration at zero.

I did start thinking about using the olympic torch design but am clean out of gold sequin waste. I did try some stencilling with gold paint but didn’t really like what I ended up with. Back in January I had an idea involving union flags. I spent a long time, and I mean a l-o-n-g time, messing with a graphics programme to create union flags in a whole spectrum of colours. I did tiny ones, big ones, long ones, swirly ones and the stuff I was going to create … only didn’t! Time to dig out my creations.

After many hours cutting and contemplating I’m afraid I went for a relatively easy option – another altered matchbox – yay! I shall probably get carted off to the tower for meddling (geddit?) with a 5p piece but, in my defence, it was the only tiny round thing I could find. I used some of my previously created multi-coloured union flag inchies to make some mini bunting.

Altered matchbox with an olympic theme – and pink!

Altered match box with an olympic theme and some mini bunting

My second piece was just an excuse to try out a technique I’ve been wanting to do for ages and plan to do on a much larger scale. I prepped a little board with some white acrylic. Then, using my Silhouette Cameo cut out the words of the olympic motto in vinyl and stuck the letters over the acrylic. I painted on stripes of colour adding in a touch more blue each time. Once the paint is dry  (this is the hardest part, you have to patient and I like instant results) carefully peel off the vinyl to reveal the still white lettering underneath. Simples – and it really was.

Olympic motto – Faster, Higher, Stronger

I shall be abandoning both of these, together, somewhere between Sheffield and Bradford tomorrow!

So eldest son – two olympic themed pieces. Now I’ve done as I was told – please tidy your room!

 

Butterflies, colour and glitter

Craft packages ordered = 0, Craft packages received = 1 (4 items – bargains every single one) 

I seem to have a bit of a butterfly thing going on at the moment. I have several projects in the pipeline using some of the wonderful images at The Graphics Fairy and you’ll also recall I did an abandonment of Canadian butterflies at the weekend. However, today’s project didn’t start out as a butterfly project it was really just an excuse to play with my Promarkers!

When I was younger, if I had a pack of felt-tips I would spend a lot of time sorting them into colour groups and sequences. I do the same thing with Smarties. I seem to think there was always a bit of a dilemma as to how to link different colours did lime green follow on from yellow or did you go with orange and then to red and where did brown fit in? And so it was when doing this background. You’ll see I excluded proper red altogether!

As soon as I had the background done I knew I wanted to add silhouettes of something. I’d planned to stamp but a) was worried about mucking it up and b) none of my stamps were quite the right size, unless I opted for flowers – which I didn’t want to do.  That’s when the idea of butterflies came to mind. Plus I could use my Martha Stewart butterfly punches which would cut down on the risk of mucking it up (ha! ha! ha! – read on to see how that turned out)

Now I liked the butterflies flat on the page but wanted to create a bit more dimension and also a little bit of “magic”. For dimension I cut a second set of butterflies to decoupage. For magic, well…it has to be glitter doesn’t it?  I wanted it to look like the remains of an evening summer sun were bouncing off the butterflies’ wings. Take One:  add crystal clear glitter. Now this comes out green, when put on black, which wasn’t right at all. Take Two: punch some more butterflies – add silver glitter. Pretty, but not right for this, more appropriate for a moonlit scene (make mental note). Take Three: punch yet more butterflies – add gold glitter. Yessss, 80 butterflies later and success.

Mr Beez thought that bats would have been better. Hmph -thanks for that! (Make another mental note for Halloween scene). Think the finished result will be abandoned on my way to Bradford on Thursday.

The butterflies are free – decoupage, glitter and Promarkers

Bloom – a little thank you

Craft packages ordered = 0, craft packages received = 0 Still in credit card shock!

A couple of Mondays ago I posted my first piece for the Graphics Fairy Brag Monday with a promise that I would be entering every week and posting on my blog the week before. Now I have actually entered the challenge I realise that this is a numpty way of doing it and it’s better to post and submit it on the same Monday – doh! So this week, just to get back in synch, I won’t be posting a Graphics Fairy linked piece however, I will be submitting last week’s post which was an altered matchbox – Fairy Whispers.

Confused? Then please accept my apologies. However, if you have time, do hop over to Brag Monday and, if you think it deserves it, please “like” my entry for this week.

Altered Matchbox – Fairy Whispers

I loved this idea and have a whole series of altered matchboxes planned. The second box that I have  altered I am going to give as a gift to someone I work with who is, sadly, leaving for pastures new. She’s been a brilliant colleague, is always smiling and I know she will bloom in her new role. This matchbox was painted and then I covered the front and back with paper. I added some butterfly ribbon, a dragonfly brad and, naturally, a smear of crystal glitter.

Altered matchbox, Bloom – outside

Altered matchbox, Boom – inside

Altered matchbox – Bloom

 

Altered matchbox – Bloom

I also made her a tag to go with. This was crafted mainly by using my Silhouette Cameo which cut out the tag and all the letters. Then I embellished liked crazy with butterflies were punched using Martha Stewart punches, bakers’ twine, Prima flowers, stick on gems and a button. I used some Tim Holtz distress stains (shabby shutters, parchment and tattered rose) to colour some seam binding and a little tea dye distress ink around the edges. I loved doing this and decided in advance that this was going to be a case of more is more.

Tag for Jade

 I hope she likes them and Jade, I will miss you and it’s been brilliant working with you, always a star 🙂

Mission: International Abandon – and a found poem

Craft packages ordered = 0, Craft packages received = 0 Credit card bills opened = 1 – YIKES!

Very excited about today. Last week I received a craft package that I didn’t have to pay for – how cool is that? And it came all the way from Vancouver, Canada. Want to see what fluttered through my door?

Butterflies by Harry Grunsky, Vancouver

Aren’t these lovely? They have been made by Harry G, a member of my Abandoned Art Facebook group. In fact he’s made 2,012 of these beauties  – wow! So when he asked if anyone wanted to receive some to abandon his behalf how could I possibly say no? What a privilege. He even kindly said it was OK to keep a few and then abandon the rest. I decided to keep the dragonfly but to set the rest free in my little corner of England.

Dragonfly by Harry Grunsky, Vancouver

Now not only are these butterflies pretty on the outside, they also have a magnetic strip on the back. When Harry has abandoned these he has put them in clusters on metallic things. However, in this country, what with our unseasonal weather and all I decided to pair them up an pop them in bags. Here they are all partnered up!

Butterflies,by Harry Grunsky, Vancouver all paired up and ready to be abandoned

Do you think I matched them up right? Nearby where I live there are some botanical gardens where there are all sorts of hidden treasures – even a bear pit, with a bear! So where better to leave these pretties for Sunday afternoon visitors to find?

All packaged with a little letter of explanation

Botanical Gardens, Sheffield

First drop – at the top of the bear pit

The bear pit down below!

At the base of Peter Pan’s statue

It would be cheating to do a whole post about someone else’s stuff so I also have something of my own to share. Do you ever come across a type of crafting or art that you just know is something you just have to do? Well for me, since I have been blog hopping and Pinteresting, one of those things I have discovered is “found” poetry. Now this isn’t entirely new to me. There is an inspirational man in the teaching world called Pie Corbett. Of the many books of his I own, his Jumpstart Literacy was my bible. It’s jammed with creative ways to get children writing and it works. Many of the ideas are along the lines of found poetry.

Anyway, I didn’t start off with this idea. Originally I was going to do some stamping on book pages but, to be quite honest, it didn’t really work out how I’d intended. You know about my aversion to book vandalism? Well I recently found a book that I had absolutely no qualms about ripping in to. Not one of mine, it belonged to my late Mum and I just felt it was a book that nobody would really want to read. I’d be amazed that there would be many who read it when it first appeared.

Ripping a page at random, I started by distressing and stamping a frame and smearing some white acrylic paint over the text. That was when certain words jumped off the page at me. I circled these and then added collage to illustrate the words and phrases I had picked. I decided to print out these words on my computer to make them stand out more on the page. Now I’m not entirely convinced by the final result but I do like the poem that I found.

Restoration Tragedy

Tassels and braid,

A rose, a ribbon,

Candles in the night.

Pink silk dress,

Silver on the walls,

A cup of coffee,

Blue!

Would love to know what you think and, if you can tell me which book I ripped in to (clue – it has a link to the Royal Family) there may be a small prize. Thanks for buzzing by.

 

Found Poetry – Altered book page with mixed media. Image of little girl in pink dress courtesy of Vintage Holiday Crafts

Tassels and braid

A rose, a ribbon

Pink silk dress, candles at night (Girl image courtesy of Vintage Holiday Crafts)

Silver on the walls

Cup of coffee

Found Poetry – Restoration Tragedy