Christmas starts here

Well it may be Monday again but it has a good feel to it this week thanks to the “Christmas in July” challenge that starts today over at Crafty Boots Challenges. I have not one but two design team samples to share:

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First up is this altered canvas, vintage, style. For once, I remembered to take some photographs during it’s creation so you could see how it all came together. This largely consists of a paper napkin and some beeswax with a couple of embellishments thrown in for good measure.

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First step was to separate the layers of the napkin. You just want the top layer that has the image. However, I discovered that the lower layers were slightly marked with “ghost” images from the top. I thought this would make a great base layer and cover up the harsh white of the canvas. So first, using a brush, apply a thin layer of beeswax. It will set almost instantly. The, lay your napkin over the top and smooth it gently – it will take hold of the layer of wax underneath. Now, using a heat gun, re-melt the wax, smoothing with a brush as you go. The napkin will now be sandwiched between two thin layers of wax.

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Next, choose the images on the napkin that you would like to use and roughly tear around them. Torn images will blend in better that cutting. However, if you are going to use just one image, you can cut it to the size of your canvas as the cut edge will blend into the canvas edge. Apply the image in the same way that you did the base layer except this time brush a little melted wax over the top as you go. If it’s too thick in places simply use the heat gun and brush to even it out.

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Once all the images are applied you can build up extra texture and depth around the edge and along the sides of the canvas. I love the effect of this as it does really make it look old. I’ve dusted on a little gold mica powder but you could use gilding wax if you prefer. Then you need to buff the wax with a soft cloth.

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Then it’s just a question of gluing on any embellishments. I chose to add two stickers and I brushed a little beeswax over the top. To finish, there are a couple of matching buttons and two tiny star brads.

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My second project was a very quick card using a fabulous gingerbread man tag. My cousin very kindly gave me a pack of these last year with the intention that I use them in my projects. “You mustn’t hoard them,” was the accompanying instruction!! Well it’s only about a year since I’ve had them so I don’t reckon that’s too bad, do you?

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I wanted the gingerbread man to be the star of the show so I kept this deliberately simple. Mats and layers of coordinating designer papers with a little mat of gold glitter card slipped in for good measure. I’ve secured the tag behind the layers letting it hang loose at the front.

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A couple of snowflake stickers and a “jingle” sticker finish it off perfectly.

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So Happy Christmas in July one and all, I hope you will be able to share your early (or is it late in crafting terms?!) Christmas makes with us over at Crafty Boots Challenges.

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Spread your wings

There’s a jam packed sporting agenda today with the British Grand Prix, Wimbledon, and the arrival of the Tour de France in Sheffield. In addition, I have also been catching back to back episodes of that other great sport “Man vs Food.” I know it’s wrong, but I love it!!!

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Today sees the start of a new three-week challenge over at Anything But A Card. This month we have an “Anything Goes” theme so I am sharing my DT make for this month’s cross-promotion over at the Gecko Galz which is with Wild Abandon. I’ve used their fabulous Winged Dress form images and teamed them with Gecko Galz images from Let them eat Cupcakes and True Love sets plus papers from the Star Crossed collection.

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I used chipboard for the base and cut the shapes using the Tim Holtz Alterations die Artful Dwellings and then punched holes. To cover them I first created a replica of the chipboard  shape using Microsoft Word and used this as a template. I arranged all the images inside the shape with the paper as the background.

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Then it was just a case of printing and cutting them to size. I covered the backs with more of the paper but without the images. I printed the words, edged them with gold leaf pen and then added to the canvas before sealing everything with two coats of Mod Podge gloss. Each piece of the triptych was then edged with gold leaf pen.

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I cut out the winged heart image, coated with Mod Podge and then edged with gold before applying with glue gel to add dimension.

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To get the flowers and seam binding to coordinate with the colour scheme I used a combination of Promarkers and Distress Inks. I’ve threaded the seam binding through in the style of a corset. However, because the seam binding isn’t tied tightly (on purpose!) it doesn’t give quite enough stability for the triptych to be able to stand independently. To overcome this I used some small strips of gold washi tape on the back to act as a hinge.

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Be sure to buzz over to Anything But A Card and see what the rest of the DT have been up to and we’d love it if you would share your projects with us this month. Also, remember that the Gecko Galz have a buy one get one free offer on at the moment – don’t miss out!

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Beach Life

I have made no secret of the fact that this week has been a rough one as far as the day job is concerned. The events of Friday capped it all off. I won’t bore you with the details but just to say that discovering I had had 48 stackable teapots delivered (when I hadn’t ordered any) was the last straw that broke this camels back. At one point I thought I was going to be buried alive under more cardboard boxes than any normal person should encounter in a lifetime. Take a peek:

However, today has been a complete contrast. I had a long standing engagement with a group of friends that saw us have a fabulous lunch at the restaurant where my youngest son is a chef, Fischers of Baslow Hall. With fabulous sunshine we were able to enjoy the beautiful gardens followed by their fabulous tasting menu. Just what the doctor ordered!

Anyway, on to today’s post proper which is a little something I made for this week’s challenge at City Crafter Challenge Blog where the theme is “Beside the Sea.” I am currently loving beach huts (and be sure to buzz over and check out Ros’s brilliant mini album in a beach hut box) and if you are a regular over here you will have seen what I have been doing around this theme (scroll to the bottom of this post to see more). Here’s what I came up with this time around:

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I love little wooden houses and I have quite a few in my stash but am always reluctant to use them – I worry I won’t be able to find any more and Mr Beez just never gets around to chopping up the bit of wood we bought about a zillion years ago for this very purpose!

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I think I got this one from Etsy. I gave it a couple of coats of white acrylic paint and then cut strips of blue designer paper and glued them all the way round. I added red paper to the roof and cut some extra strips for the gable.

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The door is a scrap of book page, a scrap of corrugated card and a tiny heart that I cut out freehand.

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I added some twine around the bottom and then dangled a little seahorse charm and some shell stars. The words, as usual, were printed on my computer.

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Now I’ve made this one, I’d quite like to make a whole row in some pastel colours.

I hope your weekend has started off as well as mine. Right now I need to go and dig out all things yellow for I believe there may be one or two cyclists heading this way tomorrow.

You might also like:

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Mary, Mary

Happy 4th July to all my lovely friends and followers across the pond and to those who will be celebrating today in the UK. I’m sorry I don’t have a 4th July project to share with you today but I hope you’ll like this pretty little card:

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I’d overlooked this card from last month’s Gecko Galz Design Team samples and as I want to get sharing this month’s projects I thought I better get it posted on my blog asap. I’ve used paper from the Carnival paper pack and an image from the June Dreams collage sheet.

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I’ve layered them up with pink and green cardstock and then cut out individual flowers from the paper and applied them with glue gel for a bit of dimension and added some Vintage Photo Stickles to the centres.

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I’ve used some pretty lace across the bottom to complete the look.

 

Now as we are at the beginning of the month you can of course buzz over to the Gecko Galz website and pick up some free images and papers. There’s a fabulous whimsical toadstool digi stamp as well as a lush summery paper and an art deco image. In addition there is a buy one get one free sale on.

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Treat me nice…

Today I am in need of from TLC – I feel a bit as if I’ve been through a wringer. On Tuesday I made a flying visit to London in the name of work, stayed overnight and then returned yesterday evening. I love visiting London but on this occasion there was “no time to stop and stare.” Tuesday night I had to work with colleagues through until midnight whilst we set up the venue for our training event and then yesterday an early start without even time for hotel breakfast, the delivery of the training course, packing up and the return home. The course went well and the delegates were lovely but the three of us were exhausted and were not best pleased when we were being hassled out of our venue as we reached the point of collapse. Dismantling and putting away 12 trestle tables is not fun at the best of times and certainly not when you have Mr Jobsworth breathing down your neck.  I then had to summon up the energy to make my way across London to catch the train home to Sheffield finally landing back at 9.30pm. I didn’t even have the strength to buy a doughnut!!!

I am very pleased that my project for today was “one I made earlier” this week!

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This is an altered wooden heart that I am sharing over at Sunday Stampers for this week’s challenge which is to include wood. Now Hels is the queen of transforming MDF shapes and frames and also of the paper blocking technique such as I have used here. I would LOVE to do this as a workshop with her (hint, hint!).

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I used coordinating papers from my stash, mainly using scraps and cut offs, applied them to the heart and then added a good layer of Mod Podge gloss. This is a technique I learned from Hels and it is one of the best bits of advice ever. The Mod Podge not only seals the papers but also means that any mistakes that follow (and I made plenty!) can be wiped off. I used a Stabilo All pencil to add definition round the papers. I think I should have done this before I sealed it, but am glad I did it afterwards as I made several errors but was able to remove them!

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I stamped the butterflies and used Festive Berries to colour the red ones. I used the same ink to colour some seam binding and applied this across the centre.

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It’s been quite a while since I used the fabulous Darkroom Door string inspiration sentiment stamps so I won’t apologise for popping one on here!

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The finishing touches are some pieces of lace topped with pearls and a few buttons.

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Having failed previously with paper blocking I’m very happy how this turned out and I’m itching to make another of these but with a some festive papers (for there are only 5 pay days and 174 actual days until Christmas you know).

Thanks for buzzing by.

 

Escape

Today I am sharing a tag that uses two fabulous images from The Gecko Galz.

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I’ve combined the castle image, from the Ever After collage sheet, and the glamorous lady, from Her Beautiful Colours, together using Microsoft Word. I’ve distressed the edges and then mounted it on some cardstock that has been inked with Walnut Stain. Then have layered it on to a tag with a book page and coordinating card.

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I’ve added crochet lace, organza rose trim and seam binding before adding the embellishments – pearls, a wooden butterfly, a button and plenty of bling – after all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, right? The word was printed on my computer.

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Marbling in the melt pot

In addition to the current “five” themed mini challenge over at Anything But A Card, the spotlight challenge, as set by the very talented Brenda Burfeind, is running alongside it. The spotlight provides the chance for you to learn more about the ABAC Design Team and then join in with their challenge theme. Brenda is showcasing some amazing jewellery and would like to see projects that incorporate marbling. I knew immediately that this was an opportunity for a little bit of melt pot marvelousness:

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This is probably the simplest project ever and yet the finished result is, even if I do say so myself(!), stunning results for very little effort!

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I melted some Cosmic Shimmer Tropic Red UTEE, together with some clear, and then sprinkled in some gold mica powder and the tiniest bit of black UTEE. I drew the spatula through it to create marbling and then simply poured into the bezel. I found it much easier to pour into the larger bezel that the smaller ones that I used previously. The great thing is that once cool, the shape releases easily so you can use it independently if you wish.

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Maroon Five plus two

This week’s theme at Every Inchie Monday is maroon. I decided to go with the colour rather than the flare (as in distress flare, not seventies apparel) or stranded on a desert island, both of which were thoughts that came to mind.P1080609

I happened to have some maroon card so used that for the base of my inchies, teaming it with white, in the form of spots and dots, and pink card.

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My second set were based on sari patterns and fabrics. I’ve used the same maroon card and this time used gold ink and heat embossed the stamping.

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Now no post about Maroon can go without mention of the devine Adam Levine from Maroon Five so, as he is featuring in the newly released film Begin Again, and because I can here he is!

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Aahh, Happy Monday!

 

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Five for silver

This month is another that contains five Sunday’s and consequently a mini-challenge over at Anything But A Card with the theme of “five.” Last time round I altered a domino so this month I thought I would stick with the gaming theme and alter a playing card:

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I’ve chosen “five for silver”, the line from the magpie song/rhyme and used this fabulous magpie in a “titfer” as the focal point. This is another fabulous design from the brilliant Catslife Press.

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I added strips of torn paper to the card  and smeared on a little white acrylic paint. Once dry, I gave everything a coat of watered down PVA. Next, I applied some white texture paste through a leafy stencil and allowed to dry overnight.

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The black dots were stamped at random, then I applied the magpie using the tissue transfer technique.

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In keeping with the five theme I added five paper flowers, which have been stamped with script, and used Stickles to give them glittery centres that I thought would appeal to the magpie. Hidden amongst the flowers are five silver charms – no doubt mister magpie’s stash!

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I have always loved the magpie rhyme and always distraught if I see a single bird anywhere near me. I try to balance it out by remembering that I have never received a stash of silver or gold when seeing six or seven of them!!

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I hope you’ll take five and find time to share your project with us all at Anything But A Card, buzz over and be inspired by the rest of the Design Team.

You might also like:

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Down where it’s wetter

I have two little makes to share with you today both of which use a fabulous mermaid stamp from Catslife Press.

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Now there is a story behind this stamp. As you know, I’m not the greatest when it comes to the care of my ever growing stamp collection. However, this little mermaid mysteriously disappeared even before she was out of her little plastic bag. I searched high, I searched low, I even resorted to tidying to see if she would appear. In the end I came to the conclusion that I must have thrown her away still in the parcel’s packaging (I went through the dustbin just in case!). Reader, no one was more ashamed and disappointed than myself. Then, earlier this week, I went to get a wooden spoon from the kitchen drawer and there, as bold as you like, was my mermaid stamp tucked safely in her little plastic bag. I have no idea how she got there and she certainly wasn’t there in the two weeks that I searched for her. Needless to say I am now keeping my beady eye on her just in case she has any more tricks up her sleeve!

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The first piece was created using Dylusions inks that I sprayed on to card. I’ve then stuck it to a chipboard house shape – cut using Tim Holtz’ Artful Dwellings Alterations die. I stamped the mermaid and then stamped a second on to card and added colour. You may be able to make out a touch of glitter on her diva red tail.

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The flowers were stamped on to some of spare the Dylusion dyed paper and then over stamped with dots in Peacock Feathers before applying to the house shape. I’ve scribbled white gel pen over the centres.

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For the second piece I used Distress inks – first applying a background and then adding the detail by stippling more ink through a swirly stencil. I’ve stamped then paper pieced the large flower and the mermaid. The flower is by Stampotique.

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To finish, I stamped the border and then added the words.

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I am sharing these over at Crafter Hoarders Anonymous for challenge #10, which is to get messy with inks, sprays, pastes etc, That’s Crafty Challenge Blog, All at Sea challenge and also over at Sunday Stampers where the theme challenge is green. That’s Crafty have the stamp, and lots of others by Catslife Press, available in their shop :)

Thanks for buzzing by.