Thursday, 28 March 2013

Strange Day

It is a day of many differences.  Technically it is Thursday, but I have done a lot of Friday things.  Shopping for one as I am actually doing my paid job tomorrow. I have also been a bit creative which is usually a Friday or weekend thing.

I have often looked a a book that I made several years ago and wondered if I should make others like it.  I wanted to keep the original, well, original, but the style and method of creation is so enjoyable that I couldn't resist any longer.

With the process in mind I decided to make 2 at the same time.  The production line method suits me and it also means that all the sticky-icky bits get done and out of the way.

I took some card off cuts, these are 3 inch squares, and started by covering them in pages from an old book.  My youngest son was horrified that I was ripping up an 'Oscar Wilde book'.  I quickly informed him that it was a) not a first edition and b) only a book about the works of Oscar Wilde.  Maybe I should have thought more about how he knows about Oscar Wilde?  Oh well.  Education is a fine thing.

Front Cover - The Road I Took

I then tinted the edges, and used a set of house stamps to decorate each page.  I masked out the houses to give the look of a street by stamping in layers.  I then coloured the houses using Pro-Markers in subtle shades of grey - only 2 for those that think there has to be 50 shades of grey.

I printed out the words from another stamp (Paper Artsy I think) and cut them up into bite-sized pieces and mounted them onto black paper.  I Haven't put a title on the front of this one yet as I am still enjoying the moon silhouette.  These are becoming a bit of thing with me at the moment.  I really must put the circle punch  out of reach.

Once the holes had been punched into each page with the Cinch (I have a Bind-it-all too but thought the round holes would look better on this) I threaded some hemp string to bind and added some wooden beads in similar colours to decorate.

Dreams - by Langston Hughes

I also made another book featuring the lovely Lavinia Stamps and the moon silhouette AGAIN.  This one is very similar to the original. I used slightly larger card for this one coming in at about 3 x 4 inches.  This time I used the words of a poem by Langston Hughes.  Short poems work well mainly because there is a limit to the number of words you can get on a page when the books are so small. 

Dreams - by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Well that is all for today my lovelies.  I need to remember it is Thursday and make sure I get up for work in the morning.  Fingers crossed there isn't a frost, brrrrrrrrrrr.

Have a lovely Easter weekend.

Kim x

Monday, 18 March 2013

Doily Day

Happy Monday to you all.

I mentioned last week that I had bought a doily stamp.  I also told you that I had only a few Tim Holtz ink pads left worth using.  So as you can imagine the samples I made over the weekend involved said stamp and said ink pads.

If you look back at my archive of blogs you will see that pastel shades, lace and frills are not within my usual repertoire, so these cards are not what I am traditionally known for.  They did prove to be a bit challenging but that was what I enjoyed about making them.  We all have our comfort zone, most of us would happily make items with the same general feel over and over again.  I am generally pleased with the results and perhaps who knows I might actually make more like this in the future.

Part of the free gift from one of the magazines last week was a piece of cream lace.  Normally I would resign this sort of embellishment to the junk box.  (Every now and then I donate the contents of this box to the local school who are thrilled with that sort of thing.)  Anyway, I decided to use the piece of lace this time and I even threaded a piece of ribbon through the holes. (Feeling faint just thinking about this.)  I stained the ribbon which was cream using the Tim Holtz ink pads.  This got my fingers dirty and made me feel a little more comfortable.  I hunted around in my paper stash to find some scraps of similar colours and with a design that  carried on this lace/cute theme.  I am looking at the cards now and they are giving me a feeling of dolls house wall paper.

The green and brown one is altogether more in my colour range but I am not sure it totally works as a design.  What do you think?   Perhaps the upper paper, the green check is a little too dark? 

So there we have it.  Going out of my comfort zone was interesting and you never know I might just do it again some day.

These cards have been entered into The Crafty Bloggers Network:  Challenge #9 Pastels/Spring 

Looking forward to some sunny days soon - snow again this weekend and a cold fog this morning. 

Kim x

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Musical Inspiration

I am a sucker for a free gift so when I was shopping yesterday I saw a paper craft magazine with some free stamps based on a musical theme.  I have one other stamp in my own collection of a violin which sits all alone in the storage box. I only bought that stamp because I am a huge fan of a very talented folk violin player. I will often be playing his music while crafting or baking.  While I was in the craft shop I also saw a large rubber stamp of a doily which managed to find its way into my basket too.  The doily is a trendy item at the moment but I don't actually like the real thing so I have compromised.

Musical Inspiration 

Anyway, back to the main point for this blog entry.  I am totally smitten by the mini-card thing at the moment.  Maybe it is because I can make a lot of cards at the same time.  Groups of 4 is also my favoured number. This is partly due to my limited collection of 'not really dried out and pale' Tim Holtz stamp pads in Brushed Corduroy, Faded Jeans, Peeled Paint and Dusty Concord.  I really must get some new ones.  

So, I had some real music score sheets in my stash, and when I eventually found them, I set about covering the fronts of the mini cards.  The pages were naturally very brown and I didn't need to age them much at all.  I used the doily stamp to add some interest to the edge/corner of the card.  I love the way the old paper takes a stamped image.  It is very rough and gives a fractured look.  Funny isn't it how at times we seek perfection in our stamping and any little 'missing' areas make us curse, but that imperfect, poorly stamped effect is exactly what I was after with this group of cards.  

Close-up of Treble Clef

Using two of the free stamps I set about making some 'ribbon' to go across the cards.  The little piece of keyboard is great and the row of floating notes are perfect for this job.  

The main focus of each card is one large element.  The piano, violin and bow, and treble clef, which were from the free gift and my violin stamp were stamped onto a piece of water colour card, shaded using Pro-markers and also the edges were aged a little with some Tim Holtz ink.  A quick run around the edges with a black marker instead of mounting on a piece of black card saved additional weight on these small cards.  Too heavy and they have a tendency to fall over.

All told I think they have worked well don't you?  

I am off to play again now with the doily stamp.  Be back soon with the results - I have an idea in mind already.

End of Part One. x

I have entered this project into the 'Brown Eyed Girl' Challenge 

Thursday, 7 March 2013


What do YOU do with your leftovers?

No, I am not talking about the times when you cook a little too much pasta, or there is half a bottle of wine left.  (What is half a bottle of wine anyway?)

I am talking about those little experimental bits, or off-cuts from a card making session.

Well, following on from the Lavinia Blog challenge  of yesterday, here are three little cards made with the off-cuts from them.  Only three because sadly one off-cut ended up on the floor and the dog decided it was his and played with it until it was well and truly 'dead'.

I simply stamped onto the shaded off-cut, which was used for the background of the cards I made yesterday, with the featured seed head in jet black ink and added a paper ribbon with a phrase on it.  The ribbons are attached with eyelets.  The image was then mounted onto some contrasting card.

Once again I used my favourite card stock, ribbed brown craft card for that wholesome, earthy look.

So go on, make something with your leftovers.

Kim xx

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Moon Silhouettes

Hello again.

Today proved to be quite a productive one in the end.  Not only did I do some crafting this morning, but I also manged to get some playtime in the afternoon.  Must be something to do with the sunshine.

As you know I just LOVE Lavinia Stamps.  I have been a fan for a while.  My favourite stamps are the seed head silhouettes.

This afternoon I created a group of cards using these silhouette stamps together with Tim Holtz inks and a few little embellishments. 

I  began  by shading  some plain white card having first masked off a small circle to represent a full moon. 

I always make a few backgrounds at once, especially when the process is messy.  It seems sensible to to all the 'dirty work' at once, plus I find that no matter how hard I try I can't get the same results if I try to replicate it later.  Carefully positioning the seed head silhouettes over the pure white moon really shows off the highly detailed Lavinia Stamps.

Moon Silhouettes

I then used some more of the shaded card for the background mount.  To allow the main image to stay the focal point I stamped repeats of the seed head in one of the colours I had used for the shading.  With some careful addition of black lines, very narrow mounts, some dragonfly brads and a strip of printed vellum it was just a case of positioning the pieces on some of my favourite card stock; brown ribbed.

I hope you like them?  will take you to the blog page so you can see more examples of the lovely things you can do with Lavinia Stamps.  Happy stamping to you all.

Kim xx

Spring has Sprung - I hope.

A nice sunny day today - tempted to get out in the garden.  

Spent a few hours over the weekend messing around in the craft room.  Continued for a little while with the Mini-card theme but soon burst out onto another track.

Ready packed hence the glare.

Stamp close up.
I liked the stamp idea so much that I made several 'stamps' but with no small cards left to mount them on I just arranged them on a single long card.  It did seem a pity to relegate them to the bit-box because I knew what would happen; once in there it would be months before they saw the light of day again and they were just too pretty to not use.  Every now and then I go to the bit-box and have a little rummage. It is strange how certain styles and techniques have come and gone over the years.  My early cards (and we are talking 1990) were  made from recycled bits and natural things like pressed leaves.  Who would have thought that paper craft and card making would become so popular?  Products are available everywhere, stamps, paper, card, etc are now so easy to get.  Back in my early days of card making I would have to hunt high and low for decent card, and you were restricted to C6 envelopes.  Now you can pretty much source any size envelope, made form any type of paper and in any colour.  It means more time can be spent on the creative and less on the administrative.

My New Shopping List.
While in the bit-box I noticed some note pads which I had made when I first got my Zutter bind-it-all.  Now there is a tool that I thought I couldn't live without and now only use once in a blue moon.  Anyway, the note pads needed a little re-working to bring them into the 21st century. The end results are very pleasing and I plan to use them for my everyday notes, like shopping lists.  What is the point of being able to make these things if you don't use them?  I suppose I am a bit precious about what I make and find it difficult to actually use them.  Like the quilts all folded neatly in the cupboard.  I really need to use what I make.  

An hour has passed and the sun is still shinning, I really think I should get outside now.  Who knows, I might find inspiration out there. At the very least I will have a tidier garden.

Take care.

Kim xx