Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Here is my entry in Sonja's Disney CJ - which has the theme "water".

I decided to go with the daddy of all log flumes - Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Florida.

I had fun putting this little homage together, we all love this ride.

Here's a close up of the boat coming down the main drop - elevated on foam tabs:

And the super cool lil' film strip:

That film strip is part of the Tim Holtz Ideaology line of products. Other stuff on the layout are a Cricutted title in 'Benjamin Franklin' font, which I have watercoloured a darker blue at the bottom to emulate the ride signage; blue pearl gems (Papermania), and blue acetate embossed in my Cuttlebug to make the "water" at the bottom of the right hand page.

This CJ goes to my pal Michelle next, I hope she enjoys it as much as I did.

a homemade Christmas

It's been an expensive year, especially after having my bag stolen in Florida and having to wire money over to replace everything that was lost (hopefully one day the insurance will pay me at least some of it back....)

So I didn't have much cash to buy Christmas presents fact I had pretty much nada.... so I used some Argos and Amazon vouchers I had been hoarding, and tried to make as many presents as possible...

Here are a couple of the things I made, Jay got a hand stencilled t shirt (he likes graffiti hence the three spray cans - Banksy stylee) - and if you look closely you'll see his necklace that I also made - it's a Jens Pind chain in brass, bronze and copper.

Darby's girlfriend Beth loves turtles, so I made her this charm bracelet:

and I made Darby a dinosaur themed gift box and fake "tickets" for a Dinosaur show that he is going to go to next year in London - I'll buy the actual tickets next payday - forgot to take pics of that one, sorry

Last but not least, this one wasn't technically a Christmas pressie, but was delivered just before the big day so kind of counts, a Helm bracelet in rubber and anodised aluminium for my bessie Alison:

Next year hopefully I'll be able to afford to buy real pressies, but it was kind of fun having to be a bit inventive and thrifty this time :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm obscenely proud of this :)

It's bloody hard work joining a full Persian weave into a continuous chain, you know (well I found it bloody hard work lol)

Dead chuffed that it worked out, the bracelet is just big enough to roll on to my wrist easily - so no need for a clasp - but not so big that it hangs loose.

Two more piccies, just because I love it :)

Did I mention I love this bracelet, and I made it all by myself, and I'm very clever? :D

PS the rings are red and purple, not red and blue, but it looks blue in the photos

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stampers CJ - #2 - "the key"....

... where #1 was my own book, and the stamp was "the door"

This is my entry in Di's book for the UKstampers latest "take one stamp" style Circle Journal.

I've done a few of these before so you might be familiar with the format by now - it's one of those collaborations where a stamp is provided, and each participant designs a page using that stamp in any way they wish.

Di's stamp is this ornate key:

I was a tad stuck with this one to start with, as it calls out for a "vintagey" type treatment, and I don't really do vintage.

Jay thought it looked a little like an elephant's head, so I tried for a while to do something with that, with an elephant's head peeking out through the jungle leaves, kind of thing, but I couldn't get it to work.

Then I thought maybe I could use the little man in the middle of the stamp and use him repeatedly to make a crowd scene, looking up at the giant key. Not sure where I was going with that exactly :) And it would have been a nightmare of selective inking and masking to get it to work.

But anyway, I continued along that train of thought, and ended up here:

The backstory is on the back of the page here:

Not sure how well you can see in the pic, but they key statue has been stamped onto metal and embossed from the back to make it 3D. I filled the back in with glue lines so hopefully it will stay puffy.

Other stamps used are a pedestal from, I think, The Stamping Ground, the crowd scene from Viva Las Vegas, the Venice skyline from Green Pepper Press, and a moon, and silhouette of pine trees, unknown.

This CJ goes to my pal Alison next, I wonder what she will do with the key?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009's a secret.......

I think perhaps I was a little ill advised to take on two brand new CJs starting within a fortnight of each other....they have taken up every second of my free time for about the last 6 weeks, but never mind, they are both now out on their journeys, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting them ready for the off.

This time the theme of the circle journal is Disney....a subject dear to my heart after our recent Orlando holiday....I am hosting this one over on UKScrappers.

My book's specific theme is "Disney Secrets" - eg hidden Mickeys, the back stories for the attractions, in jokes and easter eggs in the movies, the little details most people miss, etc.

Here's my intro keeping with the "secrets" theme, I decided to hide away all the information behind flaps and in envelopes, I hope the recipients enjoy delving into the various nooks and crannies:

The book itself is a 7 Gypsies envelope book, so what I am asking each participant to do is decorate their envelope to give a hint at what is inside, and then fill the envelope with whatever they choose that will tell their story - eg a folded scrapbook layout, a large tag, a mini book etc.

Here is my envelope, front and back:

Can you guess the subject of my entry???


How about with a close up of that wallpaper? :

Yup, you've got subject is Secrets of the Haunted Mansion, one of the best rides in the whole of the Disney empire, in my opinion.

The contents of my envelope look like this when first pulled out:

And that unfolds to this:

Some close ups:

I had a lot of fun researching this entry, I found hundreds of legends, secrets and details about the Mansion, but only had room to include a handful.

For example, did you know that when the Doom Buggies descend into the house as you start the ride, they go down precisely 6 feet, signifying the riders' entry into the world of the dead.

Or that the reason the ladies appear to be leading as they dance in the ballroom, is that the imagineer who designed the dancing animatronics, forgot that they would appear reversed once reflected in the mirror used to give them their ghostly appearance.

There was limited room in that envelope, however, so I had to narrow it down (and just as well because I could have ended up working on this one for months! I ended up a day or two overdue as it was).

I can't wait to see the book again, in 11 months or so, filled with everyone else's juicy secrets :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

it's Jackanory time

I'm not going to do my usual apology for not having blogged in an age, cos, well, I haven't made anything TO blog....

But in the last month I've made two whole things! whoot! A card and a book for a circle journal. In fact I made 3, as I made another card also, but forgot to take a piccie of it.

And I have another book to make over the next couple of weeks too so hopefully I'll be blogging again very soon.

I REALLY hope that this means a return to me regularly creating 'stuff', partly because I love it and I've sorely missed it, but also because I feel really bad that there are things I am waaaay overdue to make for people that I just haven't been able to get around to yet. I promise, if I owe you something, you WILL get it eventually, and if I had forced myself to make it when my mojo was dead, it wouldn't have been any good anyway, better to wait until the creative juices are flowing. Don't you think? Doesn't stop me feeling really guilty though.

But anyway, before I beat myself up too much, here's the card, for my good buddy Tracy for her 21st-again birthday last week:

She called it "special", I'm not sure if that was a compliment :) But I liked it, and surely that's all that matters lol

The background of the card was alcohol inked (2 shades of Tria purple along with Ranger's denim, black soot and silver mixative) - the railings at the bottom were stamped and black embossed and then highlighted with a silver pen - and the moon lady was stamped with Versafine then mounted on a circle of chipboard, edged with silver paint and covered with a few layers of clear UTEE. The purple stars are Papermania gems.

As for my circle journal book (front cover up top there ^), this is another one of those stamping CJs I love to do, and I signed up for this one on a bit of a whim and a hope that it might nudge me back into making things. I've enjoyed putting the book together so much, that maybe the plan might just work.

The way that these journals work is that you choose a stamp, and send the book with the stamp around a group of fellow participants (11 of us in this case, all from the UKStampers forum), and each person uses the stamp provided in their own style to make a page for your book.

The challenge with these is to choose a stamp that is fairly versatile so that all the ways to use it don't get used up by person 4, leaving the rest of the group scratching their heads.

So the stamp I've chosen is an open it's almost Jackanory, it's just it's an arched door not an arched window....and I've asked each person taking part to show me what they think is behind the door. It could be anything, anyone or anywhere, so hopefully I've left no excuse for people to say they can't think of an idea :)

The stamp is actually part of a set, with the door closed and open, so I've used the closed version on the book cover, and also supplied both stamps with the journal so the others can also use the closed version in their design if they like.

To make the background for the cover....

which you can see clearer in this piccie of the back of the book, especially if you click on it to see it up close:

....I used Golden crackle paste, which is kind of like polyfilla, nice and thick textured, but it cracks as it dries to give a lovely worn building look.

It was painted with 2 shades of brown paint and a bit of antique gold glimmer mist to emphasise all the nooks and crannies, and then finished off along the bottom with little pebbles made from airdry clay and painted with acrylics, and plants punched out of green card.

The front cover was further decorated with the stamped and watercoloured door, chipboard letters that had been coloured with a dark brown sharpie and then topped with copper Stickles, and a little door handle.

Inside the book I made pockets inside each cover for the stamps, and an intro page at the front, and sign in pages and an address label at the back:

The door knobs on the little sign in doors are "gunmetal pearls" from Papermania - I found these buried in the bottom of one of my drawers and was chuffed to find they fitted perfectly, and the numbers were stamped onto small punched squares of black shrink plastic, and then shrunk with a heat gun.

And after all that of course I had to do my own entry....I had all sorts of ideas for this one, from a fully underwater scene with mermaids and allsorts, to a fantastical alien planetscape, because I love doing outer spacey stuff.

In the end, following input from my creative director/boyfriend, I kind of ended up doing a combination of the two - a kind of unearthly place where Haida orcas swim right up to the sea wall. My little tribute to the beautiful city of Vancouver and its spectacular views out into the Pacific.

here you go:

The gorgeous big orca on the left was stamped with a hand carved stamp made for me by the wonderful Michelle Ward, based on my backpiece tattoo. I use it all the time, I love it to bits.

The whale was stamped on white card in black ink and embossed, and then I coloured in the white bits with glue and a thin layer of pale green glitter. You can see it a bit on this close up.

The background and also the backing for the waves is watercolour paper painted with various shades of Lumiere paint, and in the case of the pink sky, overstamped with various celestial images in different inks.

The waves are made with torn vellum in different shades of blue, and the wall (other than that part of the wall immediately around the stamped door) was hand drawn and watercoloured.

Over on the right hand side is much of the same, with the addition of a hand painted sun and two more stamped Haida creatures. You can see some of the lovely shimmer in the Lumiere paints on this close up if you click on it for a closer peek.

So that's it - now I'll send the book out into the wide world, and it hope it survives on its journey and comes back to me in 11 months time filled with colour and texture and creativity.

Have fun, book!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Doh! silly me....

....of course it hasn't been 6 weeks.

I just forgot to blog the entry from last month.

Would forget my head if it wasn't screwed on etc etc

So the sparrow was entry 12 of 12

here's 11 of 12

for Lou x

6 weeks since I last made anything??? poor show!

....and this could be the last thing for a while as this CJ is now officially over :(

I've so enjoyed the 12 mini quilty things I've made for this fabric round robin, and would love to do more of the same, but the truth is they are so time consuming that it just doesn't leave me time to do anything else.

So I've decided to revert to paper for my next couple of circle journals - one arty farty one with the girls from UKStampers, and a more scrapbooky Disney CJ over at UKS. Both start in November, so watch this space in a few months.

But today, for the last time, it's all about the fabric.

This is my contribution to Irboo's CJ, I do hope she likes it.

The swallow was hand appliqued, and then the whole thing was quilted with low loft batting.

I don't know what else to say about it really :) I'm out of practice with writing blog entries lol

Oh yes - I added some metal letters to spell "fly", forgot that bit :)

see you again in November or December

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

it's that time of year again.... make thank you cards for Connor's teachers

I hope they liked 'em :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Buried Treasure - originally posted August 2007

Seth over at the Altered Page has had, as is his wont, a genius idea:

Let's get everyone to re-post one of their favourite blog entries, so that we can flit from blog to blog and wallow in all the amazingly creative wondrousness that we might just have missed the first time around.

So here's my contribution.....

This altered book spread was first posted on my blog in August 2007, and it's not even on here any more (well, until today :)), as I pruned my blog a while ago and removed everything prior to 2008.

So I'm glad of this opportunity to re-showcase this Day of the Dead piece, as I had so much fun making it :)


I have always liked the look of altered books, but have never quite gotten around to trying one.

So I was chuffed to bits when the latest CJ turned up in the Take One Stamp circle, and it was exactly that - a fab old hardback book, with a really nice, versatile shrine stamp from Lost Coast. So nice in fact that I already own it myself.

This CJ belongs to my pal Julie, and I know she used to be a bit of a goth girlie, so I thought I could crack out my skeletons and skulls and have some real fun with a Day of the Dead spread. And that's exactly what I did. And fun, indeed, it was.

I started off with the Misfits stamp I made ages ago on the Imagepac, for my son - as I thought he'd look pretty cool inside the shrine. I stamped him in Starlite Black and then "coloured in" all the white bits with liquid pearls.

I cut a niche for him in a block of pages, and also cut an arch shaped niche above, to showcase the lovely design at the start of the next chapter. Why did they stop putting these in books? They looked great.

The bit I cut out of the top niche seemed too nice to waste, so I glued that at the bottom of the page, upside down.

Next I gave the whole thing a coat of gesso - with my fingers - I like getting messy :) and a swiping over with yellow and orange distress inks.

I wanted to mask the lettering for the title, but none of my Heidi Swapp mask alphas were "spooky" looking enough, so I cut some letters with my Cricut and ran them through a repo cartridge on the Xyron to make masks. The first letters I cut were way too small and in the wrong font, because I am spatially challenged and incapable of operating simple machinery - but they didn't go to waste because I used them on my sign in tag :)

I stuck the masked letters down, covered up my skull with a bit of tin foil to make sure he didn't get splashed, and then washed over the whole spread with watered down paint in crimson and violet.

Once the paint was dry I lifted the masks - with difficulty - that repositionable Xyron isn't as repositionable as you'd think :) - and the lettering looked like this <------------

I especially like the way the purple paint pooled around the letters in "Dia" to make a defined outline. A happy accident :)

I added various stamped images - some direct to the pages such as the ravens, the crosses beneath the shrine, and the "de los" - and some Third Coast dancing skeletons on yellow tissue paper adhered with mod podge, and bones stamped on ivory card. Then embellished with a stamped fabric trim and a jewel above the shrine and rays of dimensional paint below.

The shrine itself I stamped in royal purple Stazon onto glossy card that I had alcohol inked in yellow, orange and gold (Pinata inks and Ranger mixative), and I cut off the cupids at the top as they didn't really suit my theme.

I really wanted some authentic Mexican milagros to finish the piece off, but I couldn't find any to buy in this country (ebay let me down, horror of horrors), and didn't have time to wait for them to get here from the US. So I made my own freehand with embossing tin. I made two burning hearts and an eye, and I'm really pleased with how they turned out. Must admit I had to make about 9 to get three usable ones, but I got there in the end :) I aged them a bit with a light swipe of brown acrylic paint, and adhered them with foam pads behind the raised parts which will hopefully stop them getting too squashed.

All in all a REALLY enjoyable project. It has certainly whetted my appetite for altered books, I can't wait to work in another, or even start my own.


You'll be glad to hear, I have since started my own :)

Monday, July 06, 2009


My 10th entry in the fabric round robin...only 2 more to go - sob - have really enjoyed it

This particular person's CJ (not really a "J" as it's not really a book) has evolved a nature theme on its travels, so I wanted to stay on topic...and mushrooms were the first subject that came to mind.

I used some fabric from a pair of kiddies trousers I got in the Matalan clearance store, and the same reverse applique technique that I used before on the jellyfish entry.

PS sorry for neglecting the blog...I only really post here when I've made something, and life has been way too busy lately for making stuff, I'm afraid.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I made a proper quilt!!! whoooot!!!

ok, maybe at 6 inches square it's not really much use, unless you're a dormouse and sleep in a very tiny bed, but it's a proper quilt all the same.

The top is foundation pieced to a traditional Amish pattern (although the batik fabrics aren't very Amish at all), and it has been quilted in (or at least close to!) the ditch.

The binding's a little unorthodox though, it's hockey tape lol. Does the job!

This is, like most things I've blogged recently, for the fabric round robin.

I was going to leave it as just the mini quilt, as I liked it as it stood, but decided to add a little embellishment. Hence the copper star bead and bugle beaded "rays".

This one's for Mandy over in Northern Ireland, hope she likes it!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dedicated to ladies with complicated love lives everywhere...

This is my latest entry for the fabric round robin I'm a part of. Am enjoying this project so much, I'll be sad when it's over. 8 down, 4 to go.

I wanted to use needle felting on this one, so needed a fairly bold/simple focal motif. I settled on a heart and a triangle. No reason! :)

I didn't have a big enough piece of wool felt to use as the background, so sliced up two smaller pieces and sewed them back together in a stripey pattern.

Next the heart was felted on using merino roving, a border was cross stitched around it, and then I embroidered the three points of the triangle.

The background looked a little empty at this point, so I added some purple seed stitches to liven it up a bit.

A bit of red bias binding to finish, and it was all done.

A close up of all the textures, this one is very strokable:

Roll on the next one!