Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cascade Card

I came across a wonderful tutorial for a cascade card (thank you Jacqueline) which I just had to have a go at.  Once I had studied the measurements and cuts properly it fitted together perfectly.  I decorated the card firstly by embossing one piece with a Cuttlebug folder and highlighted the raised pattern with pink aqua and blue cat's eye inks and the second piece I left flat but inked with the same colours.  I felt that the flat surface next to the embossed one gave it more detail, if that makes sense.  Some pieces of lace along the top edges to give it strength and some Cuttlebug embossed flowers cut out and inked and coated with decoupage medium to give them a bit of strength were slotted into the pockets of the constructed card.  You can find the construction details on Jacqueline's blog here

Monday, August 27, 2012

Flooding around the house

Woke up this morning after a very stormy night to find the road completely flooded.  No matter, wasn't going anywhere today, good day for crafting.  Eight hours later the front garden looks like this..............

Can't even walk to the road now the pond in the front has now become the complete front garden, I have tadpoles swimming down my drive LOL.

The back garden is not much better, the poor shed that is raised two feet off the ground is now just about to float away.  My newly planted vegetable garden is a complete wash out.

The storms have continued to run up the east coast of Florida all day and now we seem to be getting a bit of a respite from the worst rain, just light now.  The county says that they have all the canal pumps running at full tilt pumping water away but so far the waters are not going down any.  Hope tonight is not another stormy nail biting ride.

Blog Candy at the craft barn blog

Not usually one for going for blog candy but thought I would try here.  I check in at this blog everyday as it is full of inspiration and ideas given by designers and followers alike.  Also the draw is open around the world and I see some things that I would love to have in my stash.

Thanks craftbarn for this very generous gift.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tag Tuesday - Table Games

Two for the price of one.

This week's challenge is any game that you might play at a table.  I chose Chess and Draughts (Checkers in the USA).  Firstly I painted some sheet music paper with water soluble oil pastels and gave a light coating of gesso.  Stamped the squares and edge  with brown ink.  Four light brown buttons an four white buttons take the place of the draughts and I cut a King, Castle, and pawn out of embossed tin foil coloured with alcohol inks.  Some light brown threads threaded through a copper eyelet finish it off.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Altered Book Lesson 15 - Decorative Edges

For this lesson Elizabeth gave us examples of ways to decorate the edge of a page in our altered books.   Punched edges decorated with buttons and a line of flags.  I returned to a page I made earlier to add another element to it by sewing various shades of brown, white and cream buttons alone the outside edge with copper wire.  After punching the holes along the edge I reinforced them with eyelets to take the weight of the buttons an wire.  I too had difficulty with the wire twisting but using a pair of needle nose pliers helped to sort that out.  I tried to make the overall shape a triangle by placing the largest button in the center. I like the way the row of buttons shows outside the book when closed.  

The wiring on the back looked fine but the page behind it needed lifting a little and the buttons did not fit it very well with the jeweled butterfly so I glued some gold doily semi circles onto the page behind the buttons for a decorative edge and it worked well.  I like the way the doilies also provide a background for the buttons.

Getting carried away with decorative edges, just made this one from a rusty old earring that my partner found when we were out geocaching.  I coated them with alcohol ink but I think it must be old because the result was dull so I rubbed the with gold acrylic paint.  The page backgrounds are coloured with water colour oil pastels and water added to blend, pastel swirls, highlighted with gesso, stamped with stazon ink, and finally kissed with matching gold acrylic paint.  I attached the gold leaves to the edge with gold eyelets.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Show us your Twinchies

I came across this blog from the UK, that sets a challenge every fortnight to create a two inch by two inch square piece of art and the theme this time is add a flower.

My first one is using a spare dragon that I made for my heart journal, it is triple embossed and coloured on the back.  I used a pretty flower paper to mount it on and coated all the flowers and buds with glossy accents.  Finally I edged it with with lipstick distress ink.

My second twinchie uses the same background paper edged with lipstick distress ink but this time I cut up a plastic water bottle, cut flower shapes our of it and heated it over a candle to curl the petals.  Coloured with red and gold alcohol inks and a brad in the center with a silver heart decoration to hold it all together.  I used the same process for a couple of leaves and stuck a triangle of hessian in the top corner.  

My third flower is made in the same way by heating plastic and coloured with peri and turquoise alcohol inks.  Mounted together with three green plastic leaves and a corner of hessian on blue printed cardstock.   This one has a look of coloured glass to me.  Enjoying this plastic process, I will have to make some more

Friday, August 17, 2012

Altered Book Lesson 14 - Zippers

This lesson taught us how to insert a zipper into our book to give a place to peek at something hidden.  You need 5 pages in your book to do this.  Stick together pages 2 and 3 and  4 and 5 then decide where you want the zipper to go according to your layout and cut a slit 1/4" wide out of the stuck together pages 2 and 3.  Decorate the front then attach zipper to the back of  this with sticky tape, mine was not strong enough to hold the zipper when opened so I added some E500 glue which did the trick.  Attach the item you want to hide onto page 4 and then run a strip of sticky tape along the bottom edge and right hand side only of page 4.  This way when the zipper is opened you can curl back the opening to reveal your picture.  As you can see from the following picture once again my double sided tape failed me at the top.

 I added a hand embossed copper sheet crown and corner pieces and a strip of red metal sheet with the words Copper Candle Sconce across the bottom right diagonally.  

This technique is very fiddly and you do need strong glue but it is well worth the effort when it is finished, adds a cool new dimension to your book.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Altered Book Lesson 13 - Windows and doors

This lesson talked about creating windows and doors in the book.  I chose two images from a magazine of  gingerbread houses as they had lots of windows and a couple of doors.  Sadly the images were on two separate pages in the magazine and so I had to piece them together to make one house.  Then of course had to find 10 images small enough to put behind the openings.  In a Christmas decorating book I found some tiny images of Christmas greenery that fitted perfectly an each one has its name in type as well.  It also reflect the way we decorate the inside of our houses at this time of the year.  I used 4 pages of my book, one and four to mount the greenery images and two an three to stick the house on an cut out the windows and doors.  I backed all the cut out windows with pieces of transparency to represent glass in the windows.  Two tiny gold brads for handles on the doors and voila!  I really enjoyed making this spread as it was a challenge to fit the pieces together and to find images.

Off to buy a zipper!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Altered Book Lesson 11 and 12 - Pockets and Folded Pages

My spread covers two lessons this time.  Pockets are used in our books to provide a place for tags, memorabilia, insets etc to rest.   Pockets can be made by attaching any item that has two pieces joined together, such as envelopes or tea bag holders etc.  They can be of any shape or size that fits the book or the item to be stored in it.  Another way of creating a pocket is by folding the pages of your book in any direction so that it creates a pocket.  A hidden pocket is exactly as it sounds, created either by slitting into the page or by sticking two pages together leaving a small area unstuck at the edge so that an item can be slid inside.

Our homework for lesson 11 was to create visible pockets, a hidden pocket and to use folded pages for lesson 12.  I painted 6 sides of my book with red water colour paint, splattered with purple and salt added while still wet.  When dry I sprayed the pages with silver iridescent paint in places.  For the first page I cut out a Christmas stocking from melted plastic paper and decorated it with lace, buttons, presents and a mouse. I then folded the middle two pages to form a large pocket.  I did this by bringing the two corners of the page to meet in the middle of the page which formed a point at the edge.  I then took the point and folded it in towards the middle of the page.  I repeated this with the other middle page.  I glued a line along the top and bottom edges and the diagonals and stuck the two folded pages together.  The pockets created hold cookies, milk and a child's letter to Santa.  Two tiny Christmas stockings and the first part of the poem "A Visit from St Nicholas" finish the spread.  Do you see the hidden pocket?

My hidden pocket is created by the Christmas stocking, maybe not a slit in the page but the tag is hidden by the lace at the top and slides out when you pull on the toys.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Altered Book Lesson 10 - Frames

For this spread I stenciled a swirl pattern onto a page that had been removed from the book using Lumiere paints and crayoned over with green and blue wax crayons.  There was a central eye to the stencil so I cut this out to make my frame and stuck a magazine photograph of a piece of Christmas cake behind.  The swirls lead you through the page to this focus.  Of course it is a pun on the word Peace.

For my second layout I chose two window frames from a magazine and cut them out, I also cut out the middle of the windows to leave an open oblong.  I chose two pictures of Christmas trees from a magazine and framed them with the windows.  I painted in the white wooden mullions to give depth to the trees behind.  I painted the background of the pages with coral H2O and penciled in the clapboards.

Got carried away with the frames, did another one torn strips of text stuck onto the page, text covered with the sticky part of a post-it note, iced the whole page with gesso and added sprinkles.  Remove the tape and voila!  A gesso frame around the text.

One last thing

This is what I did with one the melted plastic bag background spread.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Two Heart Journals - July and August

The challenge for July was to use two heart shaped sheets of transparency and to encapsulate some item that have some dimension to them.  I chose to punch three little dragons paint them red and triple emboss them with UTEE to give them dimension, in fact they curled a bit which gave them more.  I gave them each some yellow and gold threads at their mouths to represent fire and attached them to one sheet of the transparency.   I then very carefully gold embossed the edge of the heart, slow heat so that the film did not warp.  The other heart I edged with gold alcohol ink and then joined the two together with gold eyelets.   A Chinese cube with a bell inside and a tassel was added to the bottom and a red and gold braided toggle at the top.

Sorry I was late with this one.

The challenge for August is to use only blue, green, brown and white acrylic paint with a palette knife to create a landscape and to add some decoupage pictures and to varnish it.

I wanted to create a seaside picture with the colours and the images of the seagulls fitted in perfectly.  I heated some white acrylic paint at the bottom until it bubbled and then scraped the brown paint over the texture to give the look of rocks in the water.  Sorry for the shine on the left hand side, I'm not a very good photographer.