Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wrong bench Kes!


from last night's game vs Nashville

a post NHL career as a human cannonball beckons

seriously, I haven't seen the game yet, I hope he's ok! looks like his landing was softened by a number of Preds though so I expect he's fine.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What's your dream tattoo...?

...if money, time, pain, work etc etc were no object....

that was the question asked by Anna, the owner of the latest journal I've come to tackle in the Tattoo CJ.

I wasn't sure what to do at first as I already have my dream tattoo, my beautiful orcas. But then I thought of all the cool places I'd like to have tattoos if it wasn't for my job.... and this is what I came up with.

Anna's album is one of those see through acrylic jobbies. Which was SO much fun to work on! I enjoyed the challenge of knowing that the work on each side would show through to the other side etc etc.

It was a bugger to photograph though, hence me taking it out into the garden and holding it up to the sky, please excuse my two week old nail varnish that really needs to come off!

Nothing fancy on here technically speaking. Hand was just cut out from patterned paper that I had laid my own hand on and drawn around. Letters are Heidi Swapp I think from an old Costco kit, sprayed with irridescent gold glimmer mist and coated with stickles. Neither of which really show up on the photo, the red stickles on the tiny heart don't either, but they are there, honest.

The swallow and the "take a walk..." are rub ons.

The file folder on the back opens to reveal the journalling:

Ummm, what else? The flourishes around the outside are Autumn Leaves stamps stamped with royal purple Stazon.

and all the rest of the stamping on the back page is snow cap Ranger pigment ink

This was much fun, thanks for the challenge Anna!

Friday, January 23, 2009

One World One Heart 2009

***edited to add - comments are now CLOSED***

Oops! I'm a little late getting my One World One Heart giveaway up on my blog - time ran away with me a little, as it has a habit of doing.

Hopefully there's still plenty of time for people to find me and sign up, as the big draw for all the winners won't take place until Thursday February 12th.

You may be familiar with OWOH already from other blogs, or the article in Artful Blogging, but if not, check out the site >>here<< to read all about the big giveaway, how it started, what it all means, how much fun it is to blog hop and meet new friends from all over the blogosphere, and most importantly, the list of all the bloggers taking part, and the amazing "prizes" you might win!

I am offering a custom gift to the winner on my blog, a choice of either a personalised mini shrine, or a necklace:

If you win, and would like the shrine, I will make it around any theme you choose, here are a couple of examples:

The one on the left was on a bird theme, the one on the right is my own little offering to the gods of hockey, hoping that they will take mercy on my team(s) and grant them the odd win (it isn't working!!!!). You could choose any theme you like - maybe hearts, inspired by One World One Heart, or perhaps I could incorporate photos of your children or pets.....or, well, anything :) I like a challenge :D

If you would prefer the necklace, this will consist of a stamped / collaged / etc pendant in a Ranger memory frame, again to your own theme, strung on a necklace with beads etc appropriate for the colour scheme. Please specify square or rectangular frame, and how long you would like the chain. Here's a bad photo of a simple one I made for a Halloween swap, just to give you an idea:

Whichever one you go for, there will also be some extra goodies in with your prize, you won't be disappointed ;)

Entering for this giveaway is simple:

1. Please leave a comment on this post. Just one comment please.

2. You don't have to have your own blog to enter, but please make sure there is a way for me to contact you if you win.

3. This giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere, worldwide

4. You have until Wednesday February 11th, 2009 to leave your comment. I will draw the winner at random on Thursday February 12th, as will all the other OWOH participants.

5. Don't forget to visit the OWOH site for the full list of all participating bloggers - 400+ and counting!!

6. I wish you the Best of British luck!!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Old Skool!

I think I've actually finished this month's fabric CJ entry - for RainbowJoy - ahead of the due date - whoot!!!

I am still on my embroidery kick, can you tell? :D I really need to do something a little different next month, maybe felting....

Anyway - back to this month. The other CJ I am currently in is tattoo themed, and clearly the tattoo vibe has cross pollenated over to the fabric CJ this month.

I have always loved the old school "Sailor Jerry" style of bold, iconic tattoo designs, not that I have any like that me'self. But I love them on other people - swallows, nautical stars, pin up girls and of course the classic sacred heart.

So - I sketched a sacred heart with scroll onto linen, and embroidered over the top with black thread for the outline, and various different variegated threads for the colour.

The "MUM" is black satin cord couched onto the top of the scroll with black cotton.

The "old school" is hand drawn onto cream hockey tape

And I got the lovely fabric from good old ebay

I made a bit of a mess of the binding, which is a pain, (it's not as wonky at the top right corner as the photo makes it look, though) - but I'm still a novice at this quilting thang. I'll get the hang of it eventually.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It had to happen eventually

In fact, I'm amazed it didn't happen sooner

To be honest, for a fight that's been brewing for 6 years, it was a bit of a disappointment in the end, kind of a damp squib

But hopefully it was enough to close off that unfinished business...

John's new solo album is out tomorrow

Can't wait.

I haven't read any reviews or fan opinions, and have only heard the one track that was on his MySpace. I've ordered a copy but I don't know when it will arrive, as it's coming across from the States. I'll hear it when I hear it (but I hope it's soon!)

The photo made me double take. I've missed this man, and breathing underwater.

Friday Five catch up

The hlog girls went with a Sunday Seven this week instead of a Friday Five, so here it is, along with last week's Five that I seem to have missed:

1. Do you have a day off from work or school for MLK day?

I’m guessing this is Martin Luther King day? That one’s not recognised over here…

2. Are you sick of the unusually hot or cold weather?

Who has unusually hot weather? And can I move there?! Freeeeezing here today, we are all sat in the office with our coats still on, shivering

3. Do you care about the football playoffs?

Nope, I’m not hugely interested in any kind of football, either the English or the American kind. I do very occasionally watch a bit of CFL, especially when the BC Lions are on, but to be honest I don’t really know what’s going on half the time (Kat needs to give me some pointers :) )

4. What new TV show do you like this season?

Ummm, I can’t think of anything, the IT Crowd was good but the series was short and is already over. Ditto Ace of Cakes, which seems to have been bumped a couple of shows in (sob). Heroes series 4 is due to start soon I think, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m not really watching anything else….except ‘ockey.

5. What's the next DVD on your Netflix queue or on your list to rent?

I don’t really rent movies, I don’t have time to watch them. I did make an exception last week to watch the Love Guru – which I instantly regretted as it sucked HARD. But generally, the only films I get to see are kiddy ones with my 6 year old, so the last one was Alvin and the Chipmunks :)

6. What book or magazine are you currently reading?

I usually have a couple of books and mags on the go at any given time – I’m currently making my way through this month’s Somerset Studios and Cloth Paper Scissors, and I’m also part way through reading two books – Bad Science by Ben Goldacre and Open Ice by Jack Falla

7. Is anyone else sad that we have to wait 11 months for Xmas?

No! I need that long to recover from the last one!

1. Do you make New Year's Resolutions?
Not really, sometimes half heartedly, this year not at all. I do have goals, but they aren’t new year specific.

2. How much TV do you watch?

Not that much – although it’s almost always on (kids watching Spongebob etc)

3. What kind of pet would you like to own?

A dog, definitely, but it would have to wait until I’m retired or something daft, as I don’t think it’s fair to have a dog alone in the house while everyone’s out at work and school. As far as lower maintenance pets go, we already have a pair of lovely friendly rats and the cutest pygmy hedgehog on the planet.

4. Do you recycle?

Yes. I’d want to anyway, but the tiny waste bins the council give us mean that I haven’t got much choice.

5. Have you just wandered around the town that you live in?

Just aimlessly? Not really. I don’t tend to do much without a purpose. And it isn’t the most exciting or pretty town, to be fair.

it's not quite Big In Japan...

.... more like 5 minutes of fame in Taiwan.... but hey, I'll take it :D

My mate Anam over in Oil Country was approached at the tail end of last year by a tattoo magazine from Taiwan called 'Tattoo Extreme', as they wanted to run a piece on her tattoo-related scrapbooking.

They were clearly impressed by what she sent them as the result was a 7 page article (should have been 8 pages but one got missed off in a printing error, apparently)

You can see the full article here

And at the top of page 7 (see above), if you look very carefully, you'll find me :)

Three of the bits on that page are mine, and there are also contributions from my Tattoo CJ pals Lori and Willow, and the lovely Rhomany too.

Great fun - thanks for including me in your project, Anam x

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm slowly playing catch up....

I have been getting worryingly behind with my collaborative commitments recently, partly because life in general has been busy, and partly because the fabric work I have been doing is so much more time consuming than paper stuff.

So I am pleased to have got another entry for the Tattoo CJ done and dusted

This is Vicky's book and her theme is "My First Tattoo"

Well, my first tattoo is verrry old :)

I had it done when I was just 16 (sorry Dad!!!!), and it is a Hawkwind logo.

For those of you too young to remember the space rock geniuses (geneii??) that were Hawkwind, here's what the logo is supposed to look like:

And here is the oh-so-cute Dave Brock, who was singer/guitarist in the band in their best era:

I got a Christmas card from him one year, I nearly fainted with joy!
I've still got it somewhere.....must try to find it......

Ahhh, Hawkwind, Here and Now, the Stonehenge free festival, those were the days!

Anyway, back to the CJ

The background was made with glimmer mists (which makes it so difficult to photograph!) and a mask I cut of the band logo from acetate.

There is also a fair bit of stamping of suitably "space rocky" swirls and things using pigment inks in toning colours.

I highlighted my tattoo on the photo with a little pronged frame thing (I can't remember the proper word for these - a conch? something like that), stamped and embossed the title, handwrote the journalling, and edged the lot with acrylic paint.

That was about it

Close up of the journalling:

(the bit at the end isn't very clear in the photo, it says "I thought it was so damn COOL at the time, but to be fair, it hasn't aged all that well :)")

Close up of the left hand page - I was trying to capture the shimmeryness.... glimmer mists are so fab but you just can't capture it in a photo....

Now on to the next Fabric CJ entry - see you in three weeks!

Friday, January 09, 2009

I either need to learn to sew quicker....

... or go back to paper, nice, easy paper....I can finish a paper CJ entry in 1-2 days, these fabric ones take 2-3 WEEKS!

But that does mean a lovely feeling of satisfaction once it is finally done

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :)

just like that :)

It didn't help that I decided to do this one entirely by hand not machine, but I figured I needed the practice if I am ever going to speed up....

This is an 8x8" quiltie for Wisher's book.

It started with the harlequin pattern which I embroidered in very sparkly gold thread on black cotton fabric with a music print, and then I built the rest around it in a similarly regal stylee.

Very unusual colours for me but I like how it (eventually!) came together

My by-hand zigzag stitch is painful to look at, it looks like I was drunk when I did it lol

In my defence though, it is really difficult to get a little tiny needle to come up through loads of layers of fabric, batting, and heat-and-bond, and actually emerge where you wanted it to!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Friday Five - 2nd January 2009

ooops! I'm a little late!

1.) Did you watch the Outdoor Game?

Oh yes :) Wouldn't miss the Winter Classic for one meeellion dollarssss. It wasn't QUITE as magical as last year's because there was no snow, or Dany Sabs looking adorable, but it was a cracking good game. And I'm still giggling about the anthems :D

2.) Do you have any New Year's traditions?

Not really, unless staying in sulking because I can't get a babysitter counts as a tradition.

3.) What sport have you always wanted to try but never gotten around to?

I'm much more of a watcher of sport than a participant, although I love swimming. I would LOVE to learn to skate, have only tried it once and I was awful, couldn't even let go of the sides.

4.) Which sports website do you visit the most?

THF by a country mile, but I also pay daily visits to the Wildcats forum and CDC, and I read a ton of hockey blogs

5.) If you could get any tech gadget, what would you get?

Good question. Something small and portable that would let me painlessly (and preferably for free) surf, and contribute to, the internet whilst out and about, I think. Like an iphone or something.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Cutting it fine.....

I planned to make this calendar MONTHS ago. In the end I finally finished it on January 1st. Just in time, phew!

It is a pressie for my fab chappie Ian, I hope he likes it. He did nod and smile and make all the right noises, but it's hard to tell with boys :)

As it took forever and a day, I decided to get more mileage out of it by making some desk calendars too (see right at the bottom of this post, ink pad for scale) - so I got a load of 6"x6" colour copies done at Staples.

The original calendar is 12"x12"

The format of each page is the same - a background made from various paper ephemera primed with gesso and coloured with various acrlyic washes and drips of pearlescent acrylic inks. Month name stamped with toning pigment ink and clear embossed. Plus an iconic image to symbolise each month cut from textured card:

(drip drip drop, little April showers)

(here we go gathering nuts in May.....I was grasping at straws a little with this one :D)

(Strawberries at Wimbledon....)

(there's glitter on the fireworks but you can't really see in this pic)

Here is how the backgrounds were made:

1) Randomly tear and stick pages from an old book, and sheet music, to a large sheet of watercolour paper. (1 sheet makes headers for two months so you need 7 of them in total including the piece used for the front cover of the calendar). Fill in the gaps with rubber stamped images, using permanent black ink.

2. Once dry, use an old credit or store card to scrape gesso over the surface to whitewash and soften the papers.

3. Using washes of various acrylic paints, and undiluted pearlescent acrylic inks, colour each month's background paper in "month appropriate" colours.

And finally - the desktop version made from the colour photocopies mounted on black card (actually, I think I like it better smaller):

It was a lot of work, and I will probably never make another, but I am glad I stuck it out. I usually abandon biiiiiig projects like this about a quarter of the way in...

I couldn't really give Ian a calendar with only January-March in it though, could I? :D

Thursday, January 01, 2009

I swear I thought I would never let up giggling

I LOVED the Winter Classic, but the OTT-ness of the Star Spangled Banner made me miss the first 5 minutes of the first, easy

I just couldn't stop laughing

It just got better and better, through pyrotechnics to the Top Gun re-enactment

I loved it, so so funny

Judge for yourself:

The way I see it, firstly the Canadians had their lovely, restrained, self assured, sexually confident, rendition of O Canada

Then the Yanks barge in with the BIGGEST manhood size complex eva eva ev-ahhh, and this was the result :D

If I was a Canadian sat in the Wrigley Field bleachers this afternoon, I would be so smug, secure in the knowledge that I just didn't need to try THAT hard.

As for the hockey - a thoroughly enjoyable game, and the right team won.

Happy New Year everyone :)

I'll have some arty farty stuff to share soon, but in the meantime I'm seeing the new year in with a tag stolen from Iva:

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
- Had a good, non dysfunctional relationship. And long may it continue
- Twittered
- Cuddled a hedgehog

2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
- I can't remember making any last year, but if I did I doubt I kept them
- Have made 2 this year but am keeping them to myself

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my good friend Anam brought the beautiful Lily into the world, and my pal Jo only just made it into 2008 with the late December birth of baby Emily.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My Aunty Muriel, just a couple of days before Christmas.

5. What countries did you visit?

Canada, and France

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Energy, and time, and to see my best mate out of hospital and getting her life back

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

- January 1st, when that good, non dysfunctional relationship started
- the second half of March, when I was in Canada, had SUCH a great holiday
- Christmas Day, the best one of those I have had in years

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting my photos printed in the Wildcats programme :D

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not being able to stick to a diet for more than about a week

10. Did you suffer any illness or injury?

Nothing major. Colds and the occasional dicky tummy.

11. What was the best thing someone bought you?
My "wishful thinking" t-shirt

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Alison's for the bravery she has shown in the face of all the awful stuff she has been through

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
No comment

14. Where did most of your money go?

- mortgage, bills, food, petrol
- art materials
- Friday Picnics
- hockey
- new lens for my camera

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Canada, Eurodisney, new hockey season, Tau

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Hmmmm, good question. Not sure. Maybe Rolex by Wiley. Not very highbrow, but it's a banging tune :)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
waaaaaaaay happier
b) fatter or skinnier? fatter by miles
c) richer or poorer? poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Making stuff

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Faffing about on the internet

20. How do you plan to spend Christmas?
bit late with this one. I spent it with my sons and my dad and it was fab.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?


22. How many one night stands?


23. What was your favourite TV program?

Heroes or the IT Crowd

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I don't hate anyone

25. What was the best book you read?
I was really enjoying the latest Terry Pratchett, but I lost it as I was about to reach the final chapter - so annoying!

26. What was your greatest musical discovery of the year?
High School Musical :D

27. What did you want and get?
Support and encouragement. and tenderness.

28. What did you want and not get?
- A mud free Bestival
- To be able to use rather than sell my ACE tickets to the Sens/Pens game in Stockholm

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
I only really get to see kids' movies. The best of those was Wall-E.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 41. I sulked for most of it as none of my kiddies had bought me anything and I thought I was going to go the whole day with zero recognition that it was even my birthday. But then Ian turned up with cake and pressies and cuddles and totally saved the day :)

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A Stanley Cup for Vancouver

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Canucks hoodies and Converse :)
Oh, and I bought some crimpers ------> And some legwarmers. And a FRANKIE SAYS RELAX t-shirt. 80s retro is go go go!

33. What kept you sane?
Hockey. Art. Music. Ian. Darby.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Still Ryan Kesler. Kid gets hotter by the minute :)

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The US elections, I got really into them this year.

36. Who do you miss?

37. Who was the best new person you met?

38. What was the best thing you ate?
Marks and Sparks refrigerator cakes

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008?

Don't go to a festival if it has rained non stop for weeks and the site is already a mud bath