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WELCOME to my little crafty world! Crafting is a huge part of my life ... love nothing more than messing around with inks and sprays and generally making a mess!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Speed Dial

"Are these any use to you, Auntie?"  
Was asked that question and handed a couple of gears and chain from my nephew's friend's motorbike that he had stripped down.
Needless to say my answer was an absolute 

Can barely lift the largest of the gears but where there is a will etc.,
And as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted it to be a clock

Put off doing it for ages and ages for fear of "ruining" the parts
But then decided that had they not given them to me then they would have languished away in the corner of nephew's garage and be lost ... 

So, yesterday was The Day and I so enjoyed doing it

Called it Speed Dial
Speed - motorbike
Dial - clock

Clever, huh!?!?!?!?!

I KNOW it is not hanging centrally!!!!
I did not want it to
VERY much ... "left a bit ... bit more ... bit more" adjustment went on
So, off-set it is!

It is all very much more 3D than shows in the photographs
I am hopeless at photographs

Had to work hard on  NOT using my safe, preferred colours and actually had out the browns, teals, greens &  blues and the little pots of rust paste and think I would actually like it more had I stuck to those colours but decided to really push myself and use colours I rarely, if ever, use

Needed help with this from hubby as it is so heavy!
Got him to wire the chain to the largest gear
Raided my box of broken watch parts - the sort of box you keep to rummage through but never use
Parts that are beautiful just the way they are
VERY hard to add them - but needs must!

Ingredients :
Wonderful nephews & their mates whom give you fabulous parts to play with

Prima Marketing (Finnabair) 
Art Basics :
Heavy Black Gesso
3D Matte Gel : Heavy Body Gel : Soft Gloss Gel
Art Extravagance :
Graphite Texture Paste
Art Alchemy Acrylic Paint :
Metallique Black Velvet : Opal Magic Violet Green
Art Ingredients :
Glass Glitter - Pitch Black
Micro Beads - Berry

Sweet Poppy Shimmering Silver Acrylic Mist

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Denim dreams

Ok, it was supposed to be a dream
but turned into a nightmare
well, kinda
in the grand scheme of things it is just a canvas 
and a bit of time spent messing around 
so a disappointment rather than a nightmare perhaps

I was totally inspired by Finnabair's denim journal and knew I wanted to stick a piece of denim to a canvas
that was the easy bit & as far as I got
worked on it for two days then lost my way with it last night
hated it
knew what I wanted to do but no idea how to achieve it
just "doing it" wasn't helping
sat staring at it for a long, long time
sat staring at all the pots of gel and paste
inks and paints

not a clue!
but really should have by now
so had a mini-meltdown on FB
and encouraged by wonderful friends approached it afresh this morning

taken all day to tweak it
paint it out
tweak some more

but finally figured enough was enough and can do no more
can see so, so many errors in it
but ... sit down for this folks ...
don't hate it anymore!

The denim is actually dark blue but shows almost black here
If it photographs any better tomorrow in the daylight then I will pop back and edit this post

note: have popped back and edited
replaced original large photo' to show better colours
but have left the close-up shots 

Stretched canvas : Piece of denim
Black Archival Inkpad
Tim Holtz Flourish Stencil
Stamp from Finnabair - no idea what it is called
Art Basics (Finnabair / Prima Marketing) 
White Gesso : Soft Gloss Gel: Heavy Body Gel : 3D Gloss Gel
Art Ingredients (Finnabair / Prima Marketing)
Mica powders : Bottle Green, Green Opal Magic, Lilac Opal Magic, Deep Water, Purple, Frozen Lake, Teal
Glass Glitter : Midnight Blue
Micro Beads : Berry
Melange Art Pebbles
Art Alchemy (Finnabair / Prima Marketing)
Metallique Acrylic Paint : Deep Water, Vintage Rose, Pink Blue, 
Silver Spoon, Violet Green
Ranger Distress Spray Stain
Broken China, Stormy Sky, Evergreen Bough, Dusty Concord
Wilted Violet, Faded Jeans,  Bundled Sage
Perfect Pearls Mists
Blue Raspberry, Grape Fizz, Mint
Prozac, Jack Daniels

Wednesday, 1 February 2017


What a milestone!!!!!
Well done Julia - our Head Desker and esteemed (and much loved) leader over at The Stamping Ground who came up with the idea of all us crafty bloggers sharing our workdesks each Wednesday

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - get it now?

So, what is on my workdesk this Wednesday?

that's what

A departure from my normal way of working as this particular project needed a different approach 

Needless to say I will avoid such a different approach in future and go right back to how I prefer to work
(ie: gesso'ing everything once stuck in place and none of this faffing around painting it first!)

You can just see daddy's hand as he looks at a magazine whilst having his coffee and two Malted Milk biscuits on his daily visit

The telephone was rescued yesterday from Great-Nephew Henry (two in March) who helped himself to it from the stand thing and proceeded to wander around with it to his ear chatting away in his own, oh so cute, developing little language
Eventually I realised I could see the display illuminated and could hear odd beeps - he had obviously managed to press a button or several
Just hope now he was not connected to someone in China
or, love this thought - trying to sell a boiler upgrade to someone

Would love to blog more on each of our special WOYWW days but only do so when I know I have the time to return any visits to my humble little site
But could not miss this most wonderful milestone

THANK YOU dearest Julia
for all the friendships forged here, support and sharing of not only crafting and art but the roller-coaster that is life

Happy 400th WOYWW fellow bloggers!!!


Monday, 30 January 2017

System Breakdown

Had this one in mind for a very long time
Started it
Lost track
Lost confidence
Threw it in the cupboard for months and months

Was given more treasure disguised as broken laptops
So thought ... What The Heck 
and just went for it

One of the very - VERY - rare occasions I finish something and am actually quite pleased with it

Nothing amazing  
just sticking stripped down laptops and pc's back together 
and squirting and spritzing 
but that is what I love to do

I deliberately did not get carried away adding anything other than what came out of a couple of stripped down laptops and pc's 
 I so wanted to add cogs and other bits & bobs but was very disciplined with myself and wanted only to represent when such devices go wrong  
So all the pieces are genuine
(hubby tells me there are a few typewriter parts that got mixed up but I can live with that mistake)

All Prima Marketing products for Finnabair
Heavy Black Gesso, Heavy Body Gel, 3D Gloss Gel, 
Mica powders : Rust, Bottle Green, Teal, Deep Waters
Rust Paste Trio
Metallique Steampunk Copper Acrylic Paint

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

WOYWW 394 - Cards Past & Present (but no future ... yet!)

SO here it is
Merry Christmas
  a couple of days early but what the heck!

Next few days will be a flurry of activity and then a few days to recover once it is all over ... all good fun, of course!

Nothing to show on my workdesk so my WOYWW post this week is somewhat fraudulent I'm afraid - hoping our head desker and much, much loved leader, Julia over at The Stamping Ground will forgive me as I have, literally, just cleared it all away now until "after the festivities" ... am well in hand with my birthday cards for next year so no immediate panic after Christmas to get the early January cards made ... or the late January ones for that matter ..

Or February 
Or March 
as they are all done!  

Well, practically - just need to matt them onto a decent piece of card as when splashing and splooshing inks around the reverse of the tags get awfully messy and only a fellow crafter MIGHT appreciate the somewhat arty backs.

Yes, they will be tags again.
My far preferred type of card to make.
But they will not go down too well with some.

So no workdesk to share so thought I would share my Christmas cards for this year (that's the present part of my post title!)

For most of our friends I made tags (no surprise there then!)

SOOoooo, you know how you KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) when you have lots cards to make?
Well, Stupid couldn't manage that.
So, 27 stages per card later, we had 180 cards.
BUT - did manage to keep them flat for minimal postage!!!!

For family and close friends I wanted them the same but different ... so enlarged the tag and design and went with gilding flakes.
Never again!
Flakes, that is, not a larger tag.

 Then there was little great-nephew Henry's card

Not at all how I wanted it to be but figured he is 20 months old so will not be all that upset that it did not turn out as Great-Aunt Grubby Bee hoped!

Now they have all been received I can share the birthday cards (the past bit of my post title!) I sent this year.
All a variation of the same - just batches of different colours.

The panels down each card were Brushos (such fun!) and then simply stamped and embossed and backgrounds stencilled.
Girls got hummingbirds

Boys got clock faces or feathers

 Anniversary cards were plain and simple and 
So not really my thing but figured I can't keep foisting tag cards on everyone when they are not considered (by some) to be proper cards!

The flourish was stamped and embossed and the little red hearts just punched.

Then came the "In Memory" cards I sent this year.
But decided they will be my last as news reached me that a few people found them offensive and upsetting.
I wrote a very polite note in each explaining that I shan't send a card in 2017 but will, of course, keep those who would have received one in my thoughts.

Oh, not forgetting the cards made when Nephew Number One got engaged!
One on the left from us and the one on the right made for daddy to give

So that covers another year of card making
Around 300 in total
Plus all the extras I made for charity events or at workshops
Some of which I have probably blogged already so won't share again

On top of that will be all the canvasses, wooden hearts & panels and a ton of stuff I have forgotten

Have plans for next year so am cutting back on cardmaking to leave me more time for more arty stuff but it's been a full on year of a life full of art and craft and I can't wait to do it all again in 2017!

Only better.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Another Finnabair Experience!

Seemed to take forever to come around but then, of course, was over in a flash!

Another ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS set of five workshops with the AMAZING Finnabair and this time was enjoyed with no nerves - just huge excitement!

First did two workshops with Finn back in June 2015 when we went up to Harrogate so I could dip my toes in the water - came away regretting only having booked two of her four workshops that weekend but it was a lesson learned so when she came closer to home in February of this year I had no hesitation booking the whole weekend and put my name down before I left for when she returned in November.

This time FIVE classes over three days so a total immersion in everything Finnabair and I LOVED every minute and would do it all again tomorrow.

First project on the Friday was an altered book.
Fin names all her projects and this one is called
"Rust Affection"

And I do have a great affection for her magic little pots of rust paint.
Everso slightly addicted to it.
With no desire for a cure.

On Saturday morning we made
"Heart of Clock"

And if we thought cutting out all the pages of the book was time consuming we had no idea painting everything black on this would take so long! Every bead, leaf & tendril ... but well worth all the effort!

Saturday afternoon saw us tackle

Similar to previous canvasses done with Fin so I went my own way a little bit and made a slightly different layout.

Was pleased with this but wish I had used different colours.
Went for my "comfort zone" colours and should have dared to try something new.  Will do next time!

Sunday morning and a project I had been wanting to do since the first time I saw it 

Knowing the story behind the design just had me wanting to do it even more!
The panels on the side represent magical gates (channel your Indiana Jones vibes here!) that open to reveal treasure that gives off an explosion of light.

Of course, being an artist there is no treasure greater than a paintbrush but I have to admit to a meltdown with this piece and a yell across the room to Finn to come and help me out and only by taking my paintbrush in her talented hands did she rescue this for me.

She says otherwise and it was just that I had stopped too soon - but I really thought I had messed up big time and just deflated.
Do actually like it now though - and that is real progress for me!

Sunday afternoon saw our last project

This turned out to be one of my ALL TIME favourites and something I enjoyed doing more than pretty much anything else I had ever done.

Still got nails covered in sculpture medium (but Finn did warn us to wear gloves - which I did, but they leaked  so I abandoned them and just went for it!)
The tablespoon was one of my grandmother's that I have used this past 27 years but, whilst thinking about what to use on this project, felt the time was right to let it go!  
So that very precious spoon represents my most beloved grandmother and the little spoon is me - wrapped together with wire and gauze forever. And the little heart balancing on the bowl of the tablespoon speaks for itself.

Can't wait to do another one of these - can easily see how it can be improved but I do love it just as it is.
And I have never EVER said that before!

Alas, Finnabair is not back near to me next year but I have signed up for the Applied Creativity in 3 Acts
workshops where Finn is one of the teachers - along with Marta Laprowska & France Papillon and I absolutely can't wait!

Will end by saying Finn has no idea the impact she has had on my crafting and art work ... I would NEVER have dared to use the word "art" about anything I do having been told over and over again that my art is rubbish or never quite right or would be better if I did this or that.

Well, this is what I do - and it is art - art that calls to me and gives me joy to make and it doesn't really matter if others don't "get it" - I get it and it changed my life.

Thank you Finnabair!