Saturday 31 January 2015

Tim's Tag January 2015

I'm not sure how long I'll last this year taking part in Tim's 12 tags of 2015(last year I managed about 5)but if this first one is anything to go be it may be my first and last!! To see Tim's tag see HERE
For a start I had few of the products required. The other thing is…I'm not really a number sort of person and this tag has numbers on it. The good thing is I got to try out some new techniques.
So….here is my take on Tim's tag
Most of the time I was able to follow Tim's instructions But I saw 'ART IS' on this….
….and then the two numbers that to me are significant are together(my age in case you had thought it was my birth year - I wish!!)
I created the texture in my own way on both the numbers and words - involving a little bit of heating to bubble point!)

The chit chat words are chosen because that's what art means to me!

Thanks for looking Chris

Linking to Tim's challenge '12 tags of 2015' 

Friday 30 January 2015

Watercolouring in a curious way..

I love the technique on page 40 of Tim's Compendium of Curiosities III so when I saw challenge 20 on Linda Ledbetter's blog - Studio L3 I knew I had all of the required supplies (I don't always!)
The rules mean that I am not allowed to show you the technique used but if you haven't yet got your copy you can get one HERE signed by the man himself!!
The prize is a $25 voucher to spend at The Funkie Junkie Boutique owned by Linda Coughlin and as well as that there is a chance to get another prize donated by Tim himself - all the details are on Linda's blog.

Here is my tag

Thanks for looking, Chris

Thursday 29 January 2015

Relaxing with my Journal!

Following a bit of a hairy meeting in my capacity as a director here at our retirement complex I was in definite need of relaxation this afternoon! I decided to combine it with  couple of challenges where I had been inspired by what I saw!
I also used a technique that I caught on TV the other day -
I swiped Peeled Paint, Mustard Seed and Bundled Sage Distress ink pads over my page horizontally and vertically to make a check effect. I loved the effect that Ali Reeves from Stamps Away created and I was almost as pleased with mine.
I stamped over the whole of the page with one of my favourite text stamps - the Paris one from TH's Attic Treasures using Bundled Sage and Antique Linen. I then used a Crafters Workshop Random Specimens stencil using up what was on a couple of applicators(shades of green and probably Worn Lipstick!)Next for a bit of texture I rubbed on some streaks of crackle paste and some through a random circle stencil.   
  When it dried it was time for a bit of shine - I bought some Viva Inca Gold paste in a lovely shade of green(Jadegreen) some time ago but had never used it - I knew it was creamy as I had already opened the Aquamarine pot for something else(and I still have a pink to use)I love the way it stuck in the crackle.
So, turquoise on some and green on the others.
I then used the same text stamp and Potting Soil archival ink over parts of the page and the dots!
At this time I was beginning to relax and decided that I wanted to add some plant life! As it happened the stamps that had been sitting unmounted on a spare dining chair since before Christmas finally got mounted this week - they are two lovely sets - from Crafty Individuals - CI-423 and CI-395. I had some plant themed pages from a gazetteer and I punched to some circles and sprayed them with water and Walnut Stain Distress Spray.
I bet you can't guess what the sparkly little circles are from -I had some old sentiments from Craftwork cards that pop out to use on cards and these are cut from the empty sheet and rubbed over with Peeled Paint distress ink.

The quote by John Ruskin is from a very old set from The Stamp Man and I stamped it onto a crumpled up piece of waxed food wrapping(rescued from the bin of course)which I had also rubbed over with the green Viva Gold
So here is the finished page
A little Vintage Photo around the edge of the page finished it off - and now I'm feeling relaxed!

I would like to enter 
the Country View Challenge - Use some thing new to you(The ink pad technique, the stamps and the Inca Gold!)
The Artistic Stamper - New beginnings (there are signs of new growth on the plants already)

I would also like to link to Brenda's Visual Journey where Brenda is wanting to see our journal pages to share with others
She says "This is not a challenge it is just for fun but it's a great way to see what others are making in their journals around the world whether it be an art journal, visual diary or sketchbook and whatever medium or style you choose."

Thanks for looking, Chris

Wednesday 28 January 2015


Good Morning!I'm joining folk across the World over at Julia's Stamping Ground to show my desk!
You'll be pleased to see a bit of productivity! This photo was taken yesterday afternoon in the fading light after we came home from picking our GD up. My son, I may have mentioned this before so forgive me, has a job as a teaching assistant at last. You may remember last year he was quite poorly and didn't want to change anything until he had recovered fully. His school finishes a little bit later than my GD's school so we are involved two days a week picking her up and walking her home. It's often only a matter of minutes until her dad gets home and we combine it with our shopping and cinema trips so the drive isn't so bad and we get a cup of coffee, a play and chat into the bargain!!
So…want to see?
Bottom left, slightly hidden, are what I was working on before we went out - one already posted last night and the other will probably be posted later on today.
Now, guess what? We are off to the cinema - a choice of two, so I'll let you know next week what we choose!

Cinema Review (from last week)
'Into the Woods' was brilliant - the music (Sondheim), Meryl Streep, the costumes, the whole fun aspect of the story - I will be buying the video when it's out!!

That's it for now, I hope I can get around a few more desks than last week.

Thanks for looking, Chris 

Tuesday 27 January 2015

2 fer!

I am enjoying playing in my journal and I've been encouraged by Brenda at Bumblebees and Butterflies

This first page started, as often happens by just using up some grey paint, which I wiped onto my page with a baby wipe. It is the first page in a new journal - from Rymans with smooth white paper.
From here I had the idea that I wanted to make a monochrome page - I had bought Sara Nauman's Paper Artsy Eclectica set ESN09 a while ago but it was still in it's packet!! The stamps include a set of random marks and I chose to repeat two of them over the page. I also spattered some Fresco paint - Little Black dress over the page too.
 It was really just a case of those early beginnings….. 
 …..and the addition of the boy prince from Paper Artsy's Lynne Perrella set LPC013 stamped onto the page then onto white paper and cut out. The three strips are from the same stamp - they were the border.

I added the word stamp from Sara Nauman's set ESN04 and a small piece of sticky backed plastic from a shoe decorating kit I bought in Boots sale for £1.30p. Still not happy, I added more buildings from the prince's crown along the bottom of the page to arrive at this.
The next page was started the same way with swiped paint only this time deliberately!
 This time using Paper Artsy Fresco paint - Irish Cream and the same Sara Nauman set(ESN09)
I then stamped the image from Paper Artsy Lynne Perrella set LPCO09 onto tissue paper and stuck it on with Multi Medium Matte. I added some cut out the bird and cage images from some of my Mambi Paper and some from a little pad I bought at a craft show that I have split and left the main pad at our caravan so don't know exactly what it was but it has a lovely flower image in the corner! I also used some of the same piece to stamp the quote from ESN09
 I think I may be breaking out into colour for my next page!!!
I am linking to Brenda's Visual Journey link party here and planning to make a few visits as soon as I can.

Please bear with me over the visiting and commenting - when we go to our caravan there are very few times when I get a connection(phone or other wise and I like to ring my family when I can)At the moment we are home but I have had to attend meetings and appointments so I am still struggling to catch up - if you leave me a comment on any of my posts I will always try to get back to visit you! 

Thanks for looking, Chris

Monday 26 January 2015

Altered calendar challenge

When I saw Darcy's invitation on her blog Art and Sole to join her in altering a calendar page a month(add crackle and book page for January) I set off in search of a calendar - it took me until the middle of the month to find one I liked and that was the right price! Fortunately, I was also looking for an organiser for my son too - a trip to 'The big stationers' in the UK that we know and love came up with nothing except overpriced calendars that apparently stay at full price all year!!I found an organiser in Boots sale - 70%off, but nothing for me until I ventured into a card shop - can't remember the last time I went into one, but Clintons had a sale and with fingers crossed I found what I was looking for(sort of!)
I started by adding PA Fresco paint in 'Sky' - it was then I realised I hadn't photographed the page so what you see is a partly completed page
and then a painted page
and then the photographs stop - I added some script stamping using a PA mini stamp and some crackle paint and then went away for a long weekend!
While away I just wanted to get back to it so what you see here is the completed page with ink added over the crackle,some sakura pen dotted around then outlining the butterflies and then 'pulled out' with a water pen and some book paper butterflies cut out with a punch and smooshed through some distress inks. The book I used was an old gardening book so I cut out the word butterfly to translate the word 'papillon' at the top of the page.
There's only one problem - the paper didn't like crackle paint being added to it and its gone a little wrinkly - bit like my face now - ha! ha!
Thanks for looking, and for all the encouraging comments you have been leaving for me, Chris 

Thursday 22 January 2015

I believe in Angels!

I do, but that isn't the reason for me making this tag, though it is a reminder that every time I've seen a white feather on the ground have been times of stress or worry and I have felt comforted!
When we were selling our house I found one outside the door at our old house and then we came here to our flat to do some decorating there was one on the door mat here - not so unusual - we have an outside door but I am convinced that an angel was telling me that we were doing the right thing!
Okay, I'll stop rambling! My tag is using some Christmas leftovers.

I painted a tag with PA Fresco paint - Sky - by dabbing it on with a sponge as I wanted a smudgy effect and then added some text using a PA mini stamp
My leftovers were - a stamp that I took from an envelope, the angel scrap image, from a set I bought with the intention of sticking them onto envelopes I sent(I remembered about six!)and the quote at the bottom that was inside a Bacci chocolate wrapper (they have some lovely quotes but this one - seriously - was the first one that came out of my little scrap bag - after I had assembled everything else - angels at work???)
I dragged the edges through some Brushed Pewter distress stain then used stormy sky and antique linen to dab through some stencils. I also added some tinted Decoart crackle paint through another stencil.
The rest was just some layering of scraps of papers and fabric and then I added some Frantage (shabby white and chunky white)
Finally the wing (from a Primark necklace) was painted with PA Fresco paint - snowflake and then rubbed over so the white stuck in the grooves then tied on with  a linen scrap.

I would like to enter this in
Our Creative Corner - Christmas Leftovers challenge
Try it on Tuesday - Add some Fabric

Thanks for looking, Chris

Wednesday 21 January 2015


We've come around to Wednesday again and time to share desks at Julia's Stamping Ground. My desk is full today - of a pile of bits and pieces!
This is the photo I took yesterday afternoon
What can you spot? 
It came to the stage where my bit box (bottom right) had overflowed into a plastic container so it really was time to do something - so I just tipped it out!
I did start to sort it out - I had spent yesterday taking jewellery apart and realised that I needed to sort to my bit boxes containing beads, charms, metal bits and pieces etc - so now I have a lot of little piles to put away in said boxes (Confession time - I had to use another bigger box!)
So…here are the sorted piles..
This was taken this morning, as this is how I left it last night when Holby City came on TV.
Bottom left is an escaped necklace - it's one I bought for a pound at Primark and has some lovely charms on it.
So before I get off to the cinema I'm hoping to get some of these stored away and I may just leave some things out for a project I have in mind!
Elizabeth asked where I got my big craft mat, so I thought I'd tell you all in case you were wondering - it is a baking mat from 'Lakeland' - not sure whether it was any cheaper than a regular craft mat but it is bigger!

Cinema review….last weeks film - 'The Theory of Everything' was everything I expected it to be! We both really enjoyed it! If this film - and Eddie Redmayne in particular, doesn't win some awards it will be a shame!!
Off to see 'Into the Woods' today - the trailer looks good!

If you want to see what excitement there was in Carnforth at the weekend, where we have our caravan, see here.

I'll be round later if that's ok, thanks for looking, Chris

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Tea time….

….well not quite for me! Hubby and I have given up caffeine apart from our breakfast cup (not ready to give that yet!) So, it's either decaffeinated or water for me  - hubby has an option of fruit juice or tea(I have an aversion to tea - it makes me ill and of course being diabetic, juice is not an option)
So…in my new mug, a Christmas present, it's water! I've been in my craft room but the desk is rather full at the moment(as you will see tomorrow!)so the mug is balanced by my handy fabric and lace basket that gets replenished every so often - it's just handy to reach out for stuff rather than go in the drawers!
Last weekend, while we were away, Carnforth's new craft shop opened - Rowan Tree Crafts - right by the doctors and the chemist and right next door to my favourite boutique! How very convenient, and just around the corner are the car park and Booths and Aldi supermarkets too!! The business used to be on the outskirts of the town and they are now in bigger premises with the promise of workshops!

You can see just a few of the goodies here are right up my street, Tim stuff,Indigoblu,Lindsay Mason and lots of lovely bits and pieces

Here you can see Kitty Brown's too, and the inside…
I have bought quite a lot here in the past and got a lovely top in the sale on Saturday after I had a spend in Rowan Tree Crafts!
I shall be volunteering to get the food shopping on my own in future! 

I'm joining Elizabeth for Tea on Tuesday although it's probably nearer to cocoa time for some!

Thanks for looking, Chris 

Monday 19 January 2015

A New Baby!

My lovely hairdresser, who also happens to be the mother of my youngest grandson, has a new baby girl, Lily Rose! The baby will be no relation to me as her Mum was my son's partner and she is now married to someone else! They are a lovely couple and already have a little girl together. I haven't made a new baby card for ages and didn't even have a suitable stamp for a baby girl until I found one in a sale the other week! 

I decided to take some inspiration from the Craft Hoarders Challenge where you can choose the elements you want to use - see here!
I chose - ink,ribbon/lace/thread,die cutting/stamping,dry embossing/metal, flowers/bling.
I had also seen the challenge on Stamping Sensations so my new-ish dies could be used again.
I decided to round the corners with a corner cutter to soften the shape a little.
I rubbed Victorian Velvet distress ink over the raised dots of the embossing,and although I had been going to distress the edges decided against it.

The flowers are some I've had in my stash for ages(some I think are from when I first started crafting)I put Worn Lipstick and Victorian Velvet distress ink on my mat and then spritzed the flowers and mat with water and ran them through it. The metal curls are the wire stems of the roses.I added some threads pulled from some muslin as I had seen this technique used on Nancy's blog 'Tattered Treasures' recently

I would like to enter in the 

Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge - Choose Your Challenge
Stamping Sensations January Challenge - Dies and Punches

Thanks for looking, Chris

Sunday 18 January 2015

November, December, January…..

…and I've only just remembered to post them!!(So much for being organised!)
Here is January, a snowy affair….
and here are November
and December
I'm not sure whether I will link to Kate's blog yet as she is no  longer having a Linky link - I understand why, just not sure what to do next! I will still continue with my calendar journal though!!

We've been away for a few days so I'm looking forward to a big catch up with some of you!

Thanks for looking, Chris

Thursday 15 January 2015

Portrait of Billy!

I was so pleased to find this in a new folder on my desktop the other day! Hubby has been transferring old photos onto the computer so I found this folder that says 'Chris - pre 1995' - the year I moved in with him! In it there is a photo of my Grandad and my Mum at my wedding to my first husband. I have quite a few photos of my Mum and my Mum and Dad but none of my Grandad so I put a copy of it into 'Print Shop' and cropped it! 
If it is blown up it looks too grainy but fortunately the inspiration from various sources,( I love the way Tim uses his found relatives - now I have one of my own!) meant I could do something with it!There also just happens to be a challenge at A Vintage Journey that requires a portrait!

Some time ago I was lucky enough to win some amazing blog candy from lovely Alison and there were a couple of little hangings so I decided to use one of them - I covered it with torn up book paper and then coated it in a combination of Snowflake and Little Black Dress PA Frescos - quite streakily, then when it was dry used a dry brush to stroke on some Irish Cream.
 I then stamped it with a TH film strip and used the edge of the stamp to distress the photo

I found it easier to put the edges of the photo onto the stamp.
I crumpled some paper from a Tim pad and used some Remnant Rubs - Botanical set - bought last year but put away(err…to look at?)
I'm really impressed with these, I bought them, as I had tried them at Tim's workshop last year, I also used one of the word bands, painted with LBD and then partly wiped off!(I wanted it to look a little grimy) I used some twine from the scrap box on my desk to tie it on. The words sum up how I felt about my Grandad.  

Now, it's here I need to tell you about my Grandad! He fought in World War I and then worked on a farm and then for a firm of nurserymen in Lincoln until he retired! He was known as Billy and when my Dad went to work there too - also a William - my Dad had to change his name to Ken(his middle name so as not to be confused with his Dad) After his retirement Billy took to visiting the local tip and rescuing items he thought could be useful (yes, up-cycling is not a new thing)My first grown up bicycle was one such item - put together with an assortment of bike parts - hand painted in a lovely shade of sky blue! My Grandma though, wanted nothing to do with this 'hobby' and he had to enter through the back gate with his grubby finds and go straight to his shed!
My Grandad always had a twinkle in his eye and I loved visiting, especially as his garden led to the riverbank where there were swans who would wait for their daily treat!

I wanted the words to be at the centre of the hanging, the rubs represent his nursery life.

The next thing was to add something to represent his scrap metal finds - Cogs and buttons again painted in LBD and rubbed off lightly.
I used some more TH paper, used a distress tool around the edge and added Black Soot Distress ink, to mount the photo.

The twine at the top got the LBD treatment too as I thought it looked better!

I would like to enter in the following challenges

A Vintage Journey - 'Use a Portrait'

Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge blog - 'Choose your Challenge' - ink, paint,twine, stamping,distress tool, ephemera, button,brad.

Try it on Tuesdays - 'My Favourite Things' - easy - Texture and Embellishments(and Grandad!)

Craft Stamper Magazine - 'Take a Stamp' - the stamped film strip is to focus the eye on the photo.

Thanks for looking, Chris  

Wednesday 14 January 2015


What a whizz of a week - it's time to show our desks again over at Julia's Stamping Ground already! I've had a bit of tidying going on again - threw out - to charity shop or tip - six bags(ok, they were supermarket bag size!)I've bought more storage boxes - Sainsbury's had plastic shoe boxes - 5 for £5 - to organise myself a bit better!
So…my desk…
…….has also been tidied, for no other reason than I got fed up of working in a small space. If an explanation is what you'd like - basically - to the left - a pile of papers for playing with, back left my little jelly pot desk bin, back right propped up, some stamps, new before Christmas but not yet played with! Above that my note book from Joanne(see mine here and others that she made here). Hidden under the mat is part of something I'm posting later!
I've just realised that I have my favourite photo of my GD - moved along slightly - normally out of sight - she hates it but to me it's a lovely memory of a happy day!

Cinema report(hope you don't mind Julia)
'Exodus' last week was OK, padded out by lots of fight scenes but a much better film than Noah (which I think took liberties!)

I'll be back later and will probably edit this as we are off to see 'The Theory of Everything'

I'll also be visiting later too,so for now Thanks for looking, Chris

Saturday 10 January 2015


I'll come to that shortly but first I'd like to welcome my new followers - I really do appreciate the support! Secondly, I would like to say 'Thank You' for all your kind comments on my Dragon's Dream tag, it's amazing what a lift comments can give!

Okay so,'imperfection'……I'm quite patient as rule but when it comes to crafting I get on a roll and often don't think things through!
This happens especially in my journals - usually for other projects I gather what I think I will need first. Of course, the resulting mess is one thing, but often I am not so happy with my pages! The point is…does it matter? 

I had a page started in my A5 journal but certainly wasn't happy with it - went back added some more colour, still not happy….
Last night I saw Kate Yetter's post on Paper Artsy's blog. The challenge there this time is "Fragile Papers" so I went to my folder and took out some music paper, a page of German text and a small scrap of my beloved MAMBI paper! 
I painted over the papers with a mixture of PA Snowflake and Toad Hall Fresco paints and let it run down the page, then rubbed it off the shiny MAMBI paper. Kate added texture paste through a stencil I used some Deco Art Crackle paste mixed with a little Peacock feathers Distress ink.

I stamped the bottom corner with one of the stamps from Sara Nauman's set ESN09 and then went around the top corner with part of Darcy's text stamp from EDY10.

I then added, from my scrap pencil case, parts of leftover LPC030 and a scruffy die cut of am umbel that hasn't quite cut out! I added the quote, 'embrace imperfection' using Tim's chit chat stickers and a quote I had from a collection I have taken from weekend Express magazines - fits the bill perfectly!

I though it still needed something else though - but what?…..
more spattering - all over with PA Frescos Sky and snowflake mixed up with water.

It isn't the page it started as but Thanks to the inspiration by Kate it is done!!

 I am linking to the new Paper Artsy Fragile Papers challenge

"'Keeping a visual journal is a journey of experimentation; giving time to be free in expressing yourself and not constrained by others expectations. Practicing design, layouts, composition, colour mixing, techniques, materials, mixed media. Creating your own exercises, titles, mood boards, taking yourself out of the box, finding yourself. Bring new ideas to life, to spark you off in new directions, to allow your own imagination and creativity to develop in complete freedom'.

I'm going to try,
Thanks for looking, Chris