Thursday 25 March 2010

Papertrey Blog Hop - March

PTI's blog hop for March is tonight and the challenge is to incorporate buttons into a project - easy uh! These up-cycled cardboard tubs for storing my copics were very easy - I haven't wanted to throw away the pretty card bands that package brand new stamp sets and I had the idea to use them to decorate the tubs (which originally contained dried milk powder). Two narrow bands are almost the right size - adding some ribbon or tape easily fills in the small gap. The brown tub uses one large band that packaged the 2009 anniversary set "Everyday Classics" (a very kind lady sold me her extra set last year). I wanted to cover the vertical join on the tub as it wasn't very neat so added the row of buttons. A storage idea that costs almost nothing and utilises something that would normally be thrown away.

Monday 22 March 2010

Talacre Beach

We decided to take a walk on nearby Talacre Beach this afternoon. B to try out his new radio controlled car and me to take photos and pick up more sea glass. The day had started with sunshine and clear blue skies but by the time we got there it had started to cloud over and the forecast is for rain tomorrow. However the more dramatic sky made for an interesting backdrop to the lighthouse. I've left this digi scrapbook page quite simple as the pictures didn't seem to need embellishment.

Of course this scene is a favourite with photographers and there are many pictures of the lighthouse on the web. There are lots of stories too - some say the place is haunted by a lighthouse keeper who died of a fever and a broken heart! It was replaced by a lightship in the 1880s and has not been in use since. If you are interested there are some pictures of the inside on the BBC website here.

Friday 19 March 2010

Poppy Seed Challenge #2

Its ages since I've participated in a challenge so I thought I would have a go at a couple. Here's the first from Lisa Johnson - one of my favourite PTI designers. The challenge is to use three elements - buttons , polka dots and spring moss ink. The flowers are stamped and paper pieced using the Blooming Button Bits set flower heads, and the Rustic Branches set stem and leaves. It doesn't show up in my photo but I've used gold Perfect Pearls on the flower petals - to give a sunshine effect? - so I thought the sentiment (also from Blooming Button Bits) appropriate.

Thursday 18 March 2010

Two cards for Spring

Tuesday was a perfect Spring day here - the sun shone and the temperature rose. So much so that the first daffodils in the garden were persuaded to come out. These are the tiny Tete-a-tete, just about 4" tall.

I celebrated by making these two cards which I think come into the "just because" category! I'm absolutely loving Darkroom Door's plaid background stamp and have been using it everywhere lately. It gives just the right homespun look to everything. Other stamps are from Papertrey and Inkadinkado.

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Up-cycling Project!

I bought an A5 display book at the weekend to store my finished cards in - they've been getting a bit "distressed" in the plastic tray I usually use. Of course I wanted to decorate it and here it is finished. I'd seen a great tutorial video here on the Ranger website for a grunge paper butterfly brooch - I don't have any bendy grunge paper but I had the idea that the roll inside paper towels is bendy too and maybe that would work. It did! That's what the blue butterfly is made from. As shown in the video I dabbed on acrylic paint, embossed in my Cuttlebug, sanded the surface, sponged on Distress Ink and then wiped it off, leaving ink on just the sanded pattern.

I wanted to continue the up-cycling theme, so I used some saved brown wrapping paper to stamp on and tomato paste tubes for the gold butterfly and flowers. I've been saving tomato paste tubes for years and have used them for Christmas decorations, mobiles, etc but only recently found how fabulous it looks die cut and embossed. I've been able to cut the metal with dies in my Cuttlebug and with paper punches - works nicely with both. As an added bonus I think it may even help to sharpen paper punches - I've read kitchen foil does. To get this gorgeous golden metal, all I do is cut off the top and bottom of the empty tube with scissors and then carefully slide in a kitchen knife to cut down the side and open the metal out. A quick wash and smoothing with something like a bone folder or the body of a large marker pen and you're ready to go.

Sunday 14 March 2010

Enjoy your Mothering Sunday

I hope we all enjoy our day today doing just what we want to do. Our family day is not panning out as hoped but we'll try to enjoy it anyway.

I made these small decorated canvases for my Mum and sisters. They were a bit of an experiment using Lazertran and copies of old family photos. The images needed to be attached to the canvas with PVA but once they had dried completely they took on the texture of the canvas, a really nice effect, and the stamped background shows through too.
The first one is a photo of my grandmother Nancy and her mother Ellen c1898. The two studio portraits are my Mum aged 2 and a half in 1926/7 and the other is my sister in the garden about 1953. I like the way my Mum and sister are both photographed with a stool as a prop!

Thursday 11 March 2010

Another OWOH Gift!

I was SO pleased to be the winner of Godelieve's One World One Heart prize in February as I really, really love her work at Stamping Mathilda. She's given me so much inspiration since I found her blog last year. So when her package didn't arrive, and didn't arrive, and didn't arrive, I was dreading having to tell her - but HOORAY! it arrived this morning, having taken 3 weeks to cross the channel and make its way up to North Wales. But it was worth the wait - its a lovely triangle shaped mini-album of beautifully stamped and hand cut scraps on the theme of nature and a lovely hand stamped flower ATC, so where better to photograph them than in the garden.
We've had some gorgeous spring days this week with brilliant sunshine by day and frosty nights. I really want to clear all last year's dead plants away before the daffodils start to come out and this weather is perfect for some hard work in the garden. As usual, while I clear away all the weeds and leaves I'm watched intently by my garden birds, who swoop down to snatch juicy morsels as they are uncovered. I couldn't resist recording this Robin who was following me around today - if you listen carefully you can hear he's answering a rival Robin's song.

I don't know why my video has turned into a black square - I've tried reloading it a couple of times but it turns out the same. It does work though if you click on play.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Two Mothering Sunday Cards

Two cards which are very different in style - I think my Mum will like the red as she loves little children and this will remind her of her youngest great-granddaughter. This is Betty, a digistamp from Pink Cat Studios and she's been coloured with Copics.
My second card is more muted and I think just right for one of my sisters. The plant image is from Papertrey's Blooming Button Bits (a lucky find on SCS's Buy&Sell forum). I've used the same set for the flowers on Betty's card too and the flower heads are from the Paper Tray set.

I'm really pleased with the gifts I've made for my Mum and sisters but of course I can't post about them until after the day. Come back next week if you are curious.

Friday 5 March 2010

First Day of Spring??

Yes, I know it isn't - but it really felt like it today in the garden as the great post-winter tidying up continues. And I think all the garden birds felt it too..... though its freezing again tonight.
And as I walked home there was a beautiful sunset.


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