Sunday, November 14, 2010

Carte a Jouer #5

The challenge this week is for a material background and cake, you can see Isa's challenge blog at I stuck a piece of cream silk onto my playing card and then ran it through a cuttlebug folder coated with cinnamon stickles to give it an embossed and glittery look. My cake is made from 3 pieces of card again each run through a cuttlebug flower edge folder and highlighted with stickles. Each layer of cake was edged with copper leafing pen and tiny punched pieces of pink paper in the shape of stars and swags and stickles were used to make the candles on the top. Sadly the photo merges all the stickles and it is not easy to see the definition. The word "engaged" is layered on card stock to form the base of the cake. Finally I edged the playing card with copper leafing pen.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Carte a Jouer #4

The theme this time is plants like the pumpkin that have curly tendrils and to use coloured wax for the background. I melted several colours of blue wax onto the card and twisted it around while wet so that they ran and mixed. In one corner I made a mask of part of a circle and melted white wax into that area to give the impression of moonlight. I then drew 3 bats in black wax across the moon. My pumpkin is cut out of a coke can and embossed and coloured with alcohol inks. A thin glaze of glitter glue was applied to the dark sky to add shimmer from the moonlight.

Carte a Jouer # 3

This is my card for the 3rd challenge set by Isa, ( to make a card with a Halloween theme and to use make the subject as a textured relief out of tissue paper. I lined my card with black tissue paper and cut out a silhouette of a pumpkin and covered it with white tissue paper using decoupage medium. A thin glaze of orange and green acrylic paints was applied and extended over the edges onto the black tissue to give a faint halo of colour around the pumpkin. Thicker acrylic paint was then applied to the pumpkin and when dry a thin lustre of gold lumiere paint was applied with my finger to highlight the raised areas. This same lustre was applied to the black tissue background.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Carte a Jouer #2

The theme this fortnight is a child or children and to use a capsule, bottle cap with item or picture sealed in it. As you can see from my card I did not use a picture but instead chose items to symbolize childhood. The ABC building blocks were encapsulated in the bottle cap using a swirled mixture of pastel pink and blue puffy paint. The background is a beautiful ribbon with balloons of various pastel colours printed on it. The little blue ducks, to symbolize boys, are cut from ribbon and edged with ink to make them stand out more and the pink flowers are to symbolize girls. The ribbon has a holographic edge at the sides and where I cut the ribbon tip and bottom to fit the playing card I have tinted the edge with Brilliance inks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Carte a Jouer # 1

Just joined a challenge to alter a pack of 52 playing cards organised by Isa. The first card is to be a mixed media card with a flower using a technique with embossing powders and vinyl glue. I used a piece of sheet music as the background with an inked edge. I then spread glue thickly onto it and various colours of embossing powders sprinkled finely and heat embossed until the right texture is achieved. The glue bubbles and moves as you heat it and gives a cratered effect. A flower made with the same music paper, held together with a brad and all embossed with the same technique was applied to the card and a recycled piece of shiny contrasting ribbon used to decorate the top and bottom. Thank you Isa for the challenge. there is a French to English translator button at the top of the page

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Keepsakes for my Son's Wedding

I am so delighted that my son is to marry a such a wonderful girl. She is perfect for him, brings out all the best in him. They are to get married in Hawaii and I thought I would make them a few keepsakes. First made them some small boxes with Dove chocolates in as favours for the wedding shower. These turned out really pretty. I made them out of pale blue cardstock, the wedding colour, and used my paper scorer to make things easier. That tool is worth every penny for getting things to line up properly. There is a small gusset in the bottom which allows it to stand up on its own. Then I made some ATC sized cards with their names, date of the wedding and a heat embossed Chinese symbol for love on the front and a translation from the Dao De Jing about love on the back (an interest of Amber's).

I put these cards in some vellum envelopes that I had stamped with a hibiscus stamp and heat embossed with clear powder. For the top of each envelope I made a small hibiscus flower out of cardstock decorated with watercolours, contracting inks and stickles.

Finally I have made them a keepsake box for their wedding cards and souveniers. Starting from two pieces of 12" x 12" cardstock I made the box and lid, again using my scorer to make a perfect fit, then decorated it with stencils, decoupage paper, acrylic paints, shells, seaweed, stones, driftwood, starfish and a bleached wood photo frame to await a wedding photograph. My daughter very sadly is unable to come over from the UK to his wedding so I made her one of each of the keepsakes and a small box out of cardstock decorated with tiny shells and starfish to keep them in.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tyvek Clutch Bag

I have made this clutch bag for a very dear friend of mine who has been helping me sort out some things at my house. It is made from an express mail tyvek envelope. I covered one side with pretty paper napkin pieces using decoupage medium. The other side I covered with a cream silk to form the lining. I then stuck more pieces of napkin along the edges of the silk and wrapped them round to the front to hide the edges. I was wondering how the tyvek would stand up to sewing, I looked online and found differing opinions some said OK but some said it would act like a perforation and tear. I folded the envelope into nearly thirds and machine sewed some lengths of embroidered cream 2" ribbon onto the sides to form the gusset of the bag. I think that with the layers of napkin and the actual ribbon itself it has strengthened the seams in the tyvek enough so that it won't tear. The flap is held down by a magnetic clasp and I covered the back of the top clasp with some lace and an altered flower that matches the roses in the pattern of the napkin. I also added a length of contrasting lace ribbon as a long shoulder strap which will tuck into the bag when not used.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Recycled Art Journal

I wanted to use up some papers and beads and stickers that I have bought at yard sales over the past year. So I thought that I would make this journal by recycling old brown paper sandwich bags, 5 in total, I guess this makes it a totally recycled item. The gussets are folded over and then 2 bags are glued back to back. The gussets form the smaller pages inside the book. The 5th bag is stuck to the back of the book and the gusset of this bag is used to form the small flap across the front of the book. The two large paperclips that hold the flap closed I covered with leaves. I am sure my explanation is as clear as mud. This is the video of the process that I followed (thank you angi) but there are plenty of videos on youtube on how to make a mini paperbag albums. The inside pages of mine can be seen on my flickr page at

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Midsummer's Night Dream

This is another postcard for the Art 'n' Soul group containing at least 2 of the following:
* A vintage image (stamped or printed)- I stamped a vintage image from Scrolls work that I won in dark blue ink. Beautiful stamp.
* Paper collage - collaged flower from sheet music, watercoloured oval scolloped punches, glued together with hot glue. Pretty thread used as stem trailing down.
* Some lace or ribbon or fabric - added paper lace made out of matching sheet music paper
* A button or other embellishment - metal butterfly added to flower
* Embossing or texture - mounted on cuttlebug embossed cardstock edged with silver heat embossed powder.
I made a picture frame for the stamped lady using some stickers. Hope whoever gets it doesn't mind. They are very special. The borders are designed from original 15th century art from The Vatican Library - The Bibliotecca Apostolica Vaticana. I picked these up at a yard sale and the blurb on the back says "A significant portion of the proceed from this sale goes directly to preserve and restore the priceless Vatican Library, ensuring these treasures for future generations."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Salt Springs

Been away for a short break in the Ocala National Forest to a campground at Salt Springs. Such a beautiful and peaceful place. We were bathing in these springs where the water is a constant 72 degrees farenheit, crystal clear as you can see from the photo. We swam with a family of otters and mullet that must have been about 24 inches long. There are nine springs that rise in these waters and you can try to dive down into the caves where the water rises but the flow is so great that you can't go very far down before it pushes you back to the surface. Campsite was nearly empty when we got there. Lots of shade provided by big oak trees decorated with spanish moss. We went down some forest roads and saw tracks of deer and bear. Black bear lives in this forest so all food has to be locked away at all times. If you get a chance to visit this area do go it is a very pretty forest. Very little if any phone signal though and certainly no 3G. Which was great made us focus on the locality and resting rather than technology.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Enchanted Castle

This week's Soartful Challenge was to use the Enchanted Castle image in the middle of the picture. The colours are so beautiful and romantic on this that I decided to make this one a larger image and printed it off onto lilac cardstock. I embossed the sides with my cuttlebug and highlighted the embossing with some lilac ink. I mounted the picture onto another piece of lilac cardstock and glued lace all around the edge. The 2 large paper flowers (4 layers)are made using an oval punch with scalloped edges and the smaller flowers (3 layers)with a circle punch. Using lilac cardstock again I cut the pieces out, edged them with deeper lilac ink on the front and back then sprayed them with a little water and scrunched them up. I opened them up and posted a brad through each layer scrunching them up again one at a time around the brad. The layers were opened up slightly and left to dry. It gives the petals a lovely wrinkled look. These were stuck onto the picture along with strips of white netting for stalks.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flower Girls

This month's challenge from my ART 'n' SOUL group is to create a MIXED MEDIA PIECE with a VINTAGE THEME. I chose to make a postcard 6" x 4" all mounted on dark blue cardstock and it was to incorporate at least 2 (or all) of the following elements -

* A vintage image (stamped or printed)- I printed my image of the two girls onto paper.
* Paper collage - collaged it onto chipboard and triple embossed with interference blue.
* Some lace or ribbon or fabric - added beautiful piece of lace, left it uninked as made a nice contrast to the darker colours.
* A button or other embellishment - made vellum flowers with brads and coloured with matching ink
* Embossing or texture - painted the embossing folder with Lumiere Hi Lite Blue then ran through cuttlebug.

Thanks Viv I really enjoyed doing this challenge and will probably make something else as the month goes on.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Triple Embossed Envelopes

When I have the time I love to decorate my envelopes that I send cards in and while messing around with triple embossing I thought it would be a good way to adhere address tags to the decorated envelopes so that they can be read clearly. First I steamed open the backs of the envelopes so that I could completely cover all surfaces that show. Otherwise drips of inks bleed onto the white backs and leave an unfinished look. These two envelopes are sprayed with walnut inks then glimmer mists through a stencil, stamped with stazon using script and detail stamps. The tags are cut from matching cardstock and triple embossed around the edges to adhere.


It has been such a long time since I did any triple embossing so I thought I would try some out again. I found some thick card shapes to use that would fit on an ATC. I triple embossed this one with 2 layers of clear UTEE and 1 layer of gold. I used versamark to make the first layer fix and then the molten powder for the other layers to adhere the powder. Immediately after melting the gold layer I stamped with a rubber stamp and voila! I mounted the piece with contrasting ribbon onto an ATC stamped with the same image. I moved on to create some more items with triple embossing. The round and oval pieces are decoupaged images then embossed with interference blue and clear respectively. The interference blue gives a nice misty look to the piece. The buckle was embossed with 2 layers of clear and 1 layer of gold UTEE and stamped. A final coat of clear gives it a shine.

Friday, June 25, 2010

ACF 80th Challenge - We Only Part

This week's challenge was to use the picture of the little girl. I made this ATC using sheet music paper to make a folded pocket. I edged the areas that are to show with ink and coloured parts of the paper. The little girl I printed on cardstock with a lilac hue and inserted her in the pocket. I punched a contrasting cardstock with an embossed heart and raised punched the flower shape in it. I edged it with gold leafed with pen and inserted it in the pocket. I used a photo corner made out of woven paper inked to match and the "We only part to meet again" charm is held in place with a brad. Someone sent me this charm as part of goodies with an ATC, I am sorry I can't remember who it is, thank you whoever you are.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Soartful Challenge - She's Got Style

This weeks challenge was to use the picture below. Such a beautiful art nouveau image, sad to say I made it smaller and mounted it on some furnace tape with E600 and gave it two coats of decoupage medium. I stuck this on a dry embossed a tag of blue cardstock. This I mounted on a white piece of cardstock stamped with a paisley pattern stamp coated with versamark and silver powder heat embossed. This was mounted on a dry embossed blue cardstock sheet to give it a raised pattern and then on a folded card of blue glitter cardstock. All the edges of the mounts I heat embossed with silver powder.

Friday, June 18, 2010

ACF 79th Challenge

This ATC was inspired by a photo of a jolly man dancing in wooden clogs from the Library of Congress. It was the clogs that took me back to my time spent living in Holland and the wonderful Dutch blue and white china tiles. First I painted the corners of the cardstock to look like some of the examples I found online. I then dipped the whole ATC in hot bees wax and immediately stamped my tulip stamp coated in versamark into the wax before it cooled. I let it rest for there for a about 30 seconds for the wax to set then used alcohol inks to highlight the tulip in the middle.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh what joy!!!

Oh what joy!!!! My darling grandsons, aged 2 1/2, sent me this as a birthday present. My daughter told me that apart from cutting out the hole in the top of the drink can they did it all by themselves. What a treasure it surely is. Thank you Jack and Eric, I love you and miss you dearly.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

ACF 78th Challenge

I have been watching this Challenge group for some time now and love the pictures that are posted to work with and the wonderfully different ideas that people have using them. The picture in the middle at the top shows the inspiration piece for this week. In the lower right side of the materials is part of an old Union Flag. This was my inspiration for my ATC "Gettysburg". I aged my copy of the inspiration piece on the edges and stamped and embossed the saying. I printed the Union and Confederate flags at 1865 on burlap and frayed the edges. The rifle and sword are appliqued prints of weapons of that era and clear heat embossed to make more sturdy. Extra fibres rubbed with aging inks are also applied. I used onion skin paper to print an old field map of Gettysburg, aged with inks and burnt at the edges and in the middle. I mounted the ATC and folded the edges of the map over it. A band of raffia ribbon with an old metal button was wrapped around to secure the map in place(this slips off and is not meant to be untied). The Coat of Arms of the United States was UTEE'd and stuck in place on one side of the map. I then rubbed aging inks along the creases of the map.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ribbon Holder Ophelia

Ribbon holder number 2 for my group is a double thickness of white card 3.5" square covered with lilac striped paper. I put contracting coloured eyelets in each corner and one large on in the top middle. Whispy flowers weremnstamped on the background and Ophelia in the middle. Yellow flowers were tinted with purple and lilac inks and a small brad put in the center. Wine glass charms with beads and silver dove charms were put into the two bottom brad holes. I punched out two one inch circles for the assortment of ribbon pieces.

Ribbon Hanger for Art 'n' Soul Group

This month's challenge is to make a Ribbon Hanger/Ribbon Tag. This is 3.5" square and the hole in the middle at the top fits a wire coat hanger. Heavy card in the middle covered with white cardstock on both sides then I glued a single ply napkin with roses on it onto the front and back. Such a pretty napkin (thanks TJ Maxx). Corners reinforced with small eyelets and larger one placed in the middle for wire hanger to pass through. Front stamped and gold embossed, "Rose" letters cut with cricut and gold leafed with pen. I tried very hard to cut through all those layers neatly but it was impossible so it has a very handmade look LOL, hope whoever gets it doesn't mind. Finally I gave a couple of coats of decoupage finish to the back and front to help protect the delicate napkin paper. I don't have much in the way of ribbon so I will have to find some more unique pieces to add before the end of the month.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I went to the local thrift store yesterday and found these amazing wooden cutouts. They are make by Zebra Freieitmobel und Leitern GmbH in Halbe Germany. They are meant to be ornaments and I got a whole packet of trees, flowers and butterflies for 99 cents (that's about 67 pence in the UK). I decided to make an ATC for my Artful Ideas group and a topper for a card which is shown above. The background cardstock is covered with a mix of colours of acrylic paint, glimmer mist, and then flower stamped. I heat embossed it with holographic powder. The wooden tree I coloured with stamp pads of red green and brown and embossed lightly with gold powder. I mounted the ATC sized card on another piece of cardstock of a contrasting colour. I am so pleased with my thrift store find, usually I am not so lucky. I will be making more cards with these.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cookie and Crunch and Seven weeks

Just thought I would add an updated photo of the baby African Greys. They are growing so fast and eating so much. I have started the weaning process and they are eating small amounts of softened weaning pellets and melon and licking small pieces of pepper, apple and grapes. Not sure how much they are getting from these nibbles. The are starting to climb onto small low down perches in the cage now and are very interested in anything new I put in the cage. They have started to love cuddles though are still unsure of getting on my hand.

Mother's Day Card

This is the card I made for my partner's mother for this Sunday. I used the smoke technique from La compagnie des Elfes where I put photo glossy paper in the flame of a candle and let the smoke settle on the paper. Had to be careful not to let the flame set it on fire. When I tried to stamp the flower stamp on it with versamark not much of the soot came off so decided to emboss with white powder. The contrast with the soot is good/ I made three paper flowers out of doilies and tinged the edges with a pink ink pad. I used metallic purple and copper wire to form the stems and leaves respectively and stuck the completed flowers onto the sooted photo paper. This I mounted on dark magenta card stock and edged it with a thin line of copper leafing. The whole topper was then mounted on the dark magenta card.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cookie and Crunch

Thought you might like to see the 2 week old African Grey chicks that I am hand feeding. This is the first time I have ever done this and I did loads of research learning online and took instruction from our friend John who has been handrearing birds for years. It is not a simple task and you can easily aspirate them if you do not know what you are doing, and then there is nothing you can do and you lose the chick. I was so scared at the first feeding shown in the second video. We believe that one is male (Crunch) and one female (Cookie). It is now day 5 and looking back at these videos I can't believe how much they have grown, especially Crunch. I am sure that if they had been left in the nest with the parents he would have taken all the food and Cookie would have struggled to survive. Cookie hatched 4 days after Crunch so she will always be the smaller of the two. I have become quite attached to them already, not sure that I will want to sell them when the time comes for them to go.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Flowers of my Heart

Still playing with mushy stuff. The background is gesso on card lightly rubbed with pink stamp pad to highlight the raised areas. French words stamped in dark pink and embossed with clear powder. Muslin inked and stretched and held in place by brad through metal heart, then pink and white 3 dimensional fabric paint placed in top left corner. Flowers created with bead petals and sequin centre embedded in the fabric paint.

Stamped ATC

These two ATCs are made with texture magic, which is a dimensional paint. I chose a contrasting deeper blue card for the base and randomly applied the paste. While it was still wet I coated my stamp with versamark and stamped a single flower on one and three flower heads on the other and pushed hard so that the textured paint oozed out at the sides.

Washed the stamp immediately. The versamark helped the paint to release from the stamp onto the card. I dusted the cards with perfect pearls when still wet and stuck beads and charms to decorate. I love the raised effect that the thick paint left. May get some different colours or try to tint what I have to do some more of these.

Altered Bottle Caps

Someone introduced us to Geocaching the other week and we have had loads of fun with it so far. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment. It should take you to places you wouldn't normally go and see.

I made these small tokens to leave in some of the larger geocaches. I set a picture in the back of each one using liquid embossing gel and the blue cover on the outside is texture magic, a dimensional paint, and fixed some small beads in it before it dried. The strings of beads are on a metal thread embedded at one end in the gell. I do hope that the finders like them.
You can read more about geocaching online at

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Retirement Card

This is a card I painted with watercolours today for my sweetie who finally retires tomorrow. Sadly the paint bled under the masking tape at the edges but I am sure he won't mind. I have bought him a couple of presents to go with it, some DVDs on painting and a reference book on wines. Here's to a fun time painting and having a glass of wine together.

Valentine's Day Card

As promised here is a photo of the card I made for my sweetie. It is a watercolour with hearts stamped with versamark and then dusted with perfect pearls. The edge of the card is gold leafed and then all sprayed with a lustre to seal.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Kitchen Roll Tags

Trying to get back into the swing of crafting and painting again so I set myself the tasks today to make a Valentine's card for my sweetie and to make some gift tags for some birthday presents. The tags are made from the inside cardboard of a kitchen towel roll cut into three pieces and flattened. Covered with a pretty paper front and back and eyelets put at each corner to hold paper in place, then the edges are distress inked. The flowers are made from a Dr. Pepper tin cut out with my cuttlebug machine and a button placed in the center and held together with brads. I used fibres, wire and pearl beads to add dimension and texture to each tag. If you double click on the individual pictures you will get a better idea of the true colour of thses tags. Picture of my sweetie's card will be posted after Valentine's Day.