Wednesday, 24 February 2010

....And even more distressed tags

I don't know what it is that is so fascinating making tags at the moment. Perhaps the fact that I get to play with all my lovely distress inks, and stickles and gem-stones and crackle-varnish and glossy varnish and...and...and. There are not many things in this size which can be decorated and played with so satisfyingly. On some I have added mini film strips of old family photos, on others I have distressed the photos with alcohol inks and stuck them behind TH fragments. It gives lots of possiblities to try things out. All of the tags are in remebrance of different members of my family, some of whom I think of gladly and others who I would rather forget. But family cannot be chosen, you have to live with it and get to grips with it or, as a last resort, just turn your back on it. Oh, and the owl tag was just for fun.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Weather antics, buttons, beads and blog awards....

This morning I rolled bleary eyed out of bed. Nothing new, I do it every day. Staggered to the coffee maker for my first fix of the day. Looked out of the window. S-N-O-W!!! I was soooooooooooo sure that it was over and done with. Yesterday we even saw tulips and daffodils and flowering orchids. OK, it was in a garden centre, but it gave us HOPE. The weather was nice. The sun was shining. A bird was sitting in a snow-free tree trying to remember how to warble. And then SNOW!!! Again. I will not write what I said on seeing it, suffice to say I swore fluently in several languages congruently. Then I decided to make the best of it, made another bucket of coffee and headed for a long soak in the bath, with Dead-Sea salt crystals and mandarine essence (It's supposed to make you lively and alert). Well, it smelt nice, anyway, the soak helped my aching joints, I could hardly hear them creak as I rolled out of the tub afterwards. Went back into the living room and looked out of the window. YES, of course I had got dressed first. Surprise, surprise! The snow was gone. The sun was shining. I looked again, it could have been a fata morgana induced by coffee, Dead-Sea salts and manadarine essence. The snow WAS gone. But I could see a patch at the back of the field, so I hadn't imagined it. As I am writing this, the sun is shining, a bird is making a noise like a rusty bike-pump outside, and there are some dark clouds on the horizon waiting to throw snow or rain or sleet at us as soon as we look in the other direction.
Yesterday and the day before I was staying with a friend. We had a nice *old-girls* weekend - ate nice food, played all sorts of games - including snakes and ladders and ludo -*when ye do not become as the little children* - or something like that, went for a walk in *Schley's garden paradise* (wonderful!) and the best thing of all - we sorted out her button box. The garden paradise faded into insignificance at the sight of all those wonderful buttons, pearls, pins etc. Giant butons, tiny ones, wooden ones, shiny ones, jewelled ones, humble ones, pearls, beads, lovely little antique cards with wool on them, a giant mother of pearl shell - in a word - scrapper's paradise. Last night I spread them out on the sofa, let them run through my fingers, drooled over them, started making plans what I could do with them etc. And today, they are still on the sofa so that I can enjoy them before they go into my *treasure tins*. I'm not expecting visitors who might want to sit there - and anyway, there's plenty of room on the carpet!

And about those blog awards - well, something got atarted there.

There aren't enough people on Scrapbooking to give all the awards to that we have to keep giving on to 3 or 5 or 10 people, not to mention all the likes and dislikes, shoulds and should nots we have to admit to. So, now I have got this *Happy award* from Ann
and now I have to list - once again - ten things that make me happy. Here goes:
1. Looking at stash
2. Buying stash
3. Getting stash as a present
4. Playing with stash
6. Cash for stash
7. Drooling over new stash
8. Making mini books with stash
9. Recycling stash
10.People who like stash.

I am still thinking about which victims are going to get this blog award from me, perhaps for the umpteenth time, so WATCH THIS SPACE!!!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Yet more distressed tags - the last ones for now!

Made one more batch of distressed tags yesterday, now I have a visitor coming this afternoon and need to get my kichen looking something like a kitchen and not quite so much like a witch`s workshop, so will have to put everything away and fly once through on my steam broom. Used more or less the same colours again (from TH -what else?) - forest moss, rusty hinge, wild honey, cracked saphire, crushed glassed, crushed sage and olive. Wanted to try to do a bit of jungle theme where everything gets swallowed up by time, ticking relentlessly you know why I can`t sleep at night, always thinking of things like that! Used flowers, gem-stones, some rub-ons, clock charms, skulls etc., and some of the stamped motives have been *stickled* and then glazed with crackle varnish. Was fun making them, won`t be soooooo much fun clearing up! Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

And yet another blog award.....with even more conditions!!

Today seems to be blog award day, now I have been given an award from Alma, who got it from Debbie. There are strings attached again - this time I must list ten things that make me happy and pass it onto 5 other bloggers and link to their blogs.
First the ten things that make me happy;
1: Drinking coffee
2: Drinking coffee, & eating chocolate
3: Drinking coffee, eating chocolate & crafting
4: Drinking coffee, eating chocolate, reading and crafting.
5: Crafting, drinking coffee and eating chocolate
6: Crafting, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, & reading
7: Crafting, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, 12" Subways and reading
8: Smoked salmon sandwiches
9: Bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon
10: Sleeping

I could name a lot of other things, but I don't want you to think I am being greedy.
Anyway, they are all very healthy things - chocolate and coffee are made from beans. And what are beans? Yes, right, vegetables! The body needs lots of fluids - mine gets plenty! Healthy again! Chocolate is also known to be good for depressions because it raises the serotonin levels in your brain (if you have one, of course). If you don't, you won't be worrying anyway! Reading broadens your horizons and your vocabulary. I read nearly everything that falls into my ink & chocolate stained fingers. In the meantime I swear fluently in many different languages and dialects, an advantage which is not to be overseen in today's multi-cultural society. Fish - such as salmon, is full of poly-unsaturated fats which are good for you. Sleeping is good for you. Subways contain loads of salads - healthy again! That leaves the bread, bagels and cream cheese. Well, you have to do something just for pleasure, don't you??
I want to give this award to *Sue creating memories* because she has just started to blog, to Suzie Boo, to Gina, to Sue from "This is my World" and to Doodles from *Welcome to my world*, 'cause she is always giving awards to others. The links to their blogs are all here on the left side. So, here you go girls, over to you!

More distressed tags, stress with a neighbour and a blog award....

So, let's start with the good news. I got a blog award from Gill aka Drumcloggirl over at the Scrapbooking forum on DC. Here it is:

There are, as always, strings (conditions) attached - I must tell again three things I would /should never do. OK, you asked for it:
1. - I would never call my downstairs neighbour an old goat out loud. I just think it. She loves boiling cabbage - very healthy - and so I open the little window(about 6" square) in the stair-case to let a little of the cabbage steam reach the outside world before it arrives in my bedroom. This causes her to start screaming about *fools who don't know that it is winter*. She always starts cooking at about 7a.m. so it will be ready when her son comes home at 7p.m. I am one of those strange people who do not take kindly to being woken by clouds of boiled cabbage. After having written this, I am hoping that neither she nor her son ever get to read this blog.
2.- I should never start making more distressed tags before I have cleaned up the mess from the day before. (Please note the use of *should* instead of *would* in this case.
3.- I would never be so rude to show my middle finger in public. Even when provoked, I just gently push my glasses a little higher on my nose. I can't help it that my middle finger is longer than the others and therefore my fave digit.
Thanks for the award, Gill, I will start thinking about the three recipients as soon as I have cleared up my kitchen.....

And for those who are interested, the technical details:
It was such fun making these tags that I coudn`t stop! My favourite is the last one with the quote from *Macbeth*. Used recycled card again, and as colours crushed sage, tumbled glass, forest moss, rusty hinge and wild honey. All by T.H. - what else? The forest moss is really like a dark pine forest, looks almost black, just gorgeous! Decorated the cards with stamped skulls, flourishes, dragonflies, ferns and butterflies. And of course, the quote from *Macbeth* -By the pricking of my thumbs, somwthing wicked this way comes*,(Used to be thinking of my Aunty P. when I said that!) On one I cut out a larger skull, painted it with crackle varnish and then fixed it with foam pads. Some of the other motives have been embossed and /or glimmered with stickles and painted with crackle varnish. Used ribbons, die-cut dragon flies, transparent butterflies, mini prima flowers, bits and bobs of old costume jewelry,(Well I hope it was costume jewelry after I have ripped it apart!!) and on one a TH film-strip which I sewed on - wonders never cease! Thanks for looking!!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Another BIA Album

On Saturday I did a workshop at *Bettypepper*, our theme was recycling - this time, loo-rolls. We had a nice afternoon flattening them, then covering them, decorating them, cutting tags and other decorations with the Big-Shot etc. Although the basic materials were the same - each participant got a *goody-bag* with paper, embellies etc - the albums all looked different at the end. The 4 hours went by very quickly, was nice to scrap in company, and Bettina supplied us with doughnuts (because it's carnival) and coffee galore, so all were happy. All in all a pleasant workshop with plenty of work while talking shop!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Some distressed and altered tags.

These tags have all been cut from cardboard packaging, which is always much too good to throw away! I have distressed them using Tim Holtz inks in some of the new colours, wild honey, broken glass, victorian velvet, crushed sage and rusty hinge. The names alone sound yummy! Then they have been stamped, and some partly embossed with plants, a skull, flourishes, flowers etc. Some of them have been brushed with perfect pearls in interference blue, which has a lovely sheen like oil on water. Some of the motives have been varnished with crackle varnish and /or decorated with stickles. Added some textile flowers, some transparent butterflies, some dragonfly die-cuts. The ones with the skull and cross-bones have been decorated with little skull charms, as in the style of the *memento mori* paintings, which I always love looking at.. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Fat Book Pages and *tin* album from Lesley AKA Dragonlady

Yesterday I received these wonderful works of art from Lesley, after they had been in the post for 4 weeks. I know we have had bad weather, but perhaps somebody could explain why an airmail letter in the year 2010 needs 4 weeks to get from England to Germany. Now I know why it is called *snail-mail*. Lesley's pages speak for themselves, they are the most beautiful pages I have ever received. Thank you, Lesley!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

A baby album in a satchel for Pia.

Made this little album so that Pia`s Mum can put lots of the new baby photos into it. The *satchel* is made of cardboard, covered with pretty paper from the *Sascha Collection* by Anna Griffin for Prima. The concertina album has been covered with a coordinating paper from the same collection. I punched eyelets it the front part of the bag, and threaded a pink ribbon through so it is done up like a bodice. Added a butterfly gromlet to the top of the flap, sewed a button to the bottom part so that it can be closed quickly by winding the ribbon round it. Used more pink ribbon for the straps, and added a bunny wrist-rattle. Used some foam alphas for the name, and some peel offs for the first page of the concertine album. Was fun making something for a baby (who`s one week old now). This was definately something different for me, neither distressed nor stamped with skulls and crossbones, but sometimes we have to leave our *comfortable* paths....

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Distressed valentine mini-book

Aftrer TH had taken leave of us on Saturday, we had a little workshop at Bettypepper with Wendy Morris, a lovely gal from Alabama. She gave us a wonderful selection of papers from Graphics 45 and lots of ephemera and embellishments to go with it. we didn't have enough time to finish it there, but I managed to get it done the past 2 evenings at home, adding a few photos and bits and bobs that I have here in my various *treasure* tins. Was fun making it, distressing the papers, stamping the tags etc. As nobody loves me - big sob, please - I have decided to keep the album myself! Was fun making it, thanks for looking!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Meet & Greet with Tim Holtz by *Bettypepper" Düsseldorf, Feb, 6th 2010

Today was THE BIG DAY. Tim Holtz was in Düsseldorf and visited our Scrapbook Laden *Bettypepper* Well done Betty on getting such a big fish hooked! We had a meet and greet, we each got a copy ot Tim's yummy new book , *A Compendium of Curiosities*, signed by the Master himself, and were able to chat to him, take pics, watch him work etc. It was quite expensive getting into the *Location*, but my best friend B bought me a ticket and enabled me a wonderful day. Took lots of pics, and gave Tim an album I had made, he even said he liked it! Then we had a group pic of the shop team with Tim, and he took some of his own of everyone who was there. His one complaint about Germany was that aren't enough *Starbucks* coffee shops!! But it was a day to remember for me!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Narnia Revisited....

While I was driving past snowy fields, trees and frozen ponds in the past few days I had to think of Narnia, the land where it was always winter and never Christmas. I grew up with the *Chronicles of Narnia*, that cold and magical world where you go through the wardrobe to get to Lantern Waste, part of a frozen world where time seems to stand still. I think I wouldn't have been surprised to have been overtaken by Jadis, the White Witch of the North on her sleigh, with her gang of nasty dwarves - sorry, I know that expressions like that are not politically correct today, so let's say with her troop of vertically challenged, bearded activists - or to see the gentle Mr Tumnus out and about with his shopping basket over his arm. But no, nothing so romantic crossed my path, and I was overtaken just by the usual hell-bent lorry drivers and BMW and Mercedes drivers who believe that they have a right to push you into the ditch when they are in a hurry. Neither did I see Mr and Mrs Badger, nor talking trees and stones. But if there are any Lucys or Peters or Edmunds out there - take courage! Go through that wardrobe, find Aslan, and then Jadis will have to retire to the High North with her winter, and spring will be just around the corner.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Another Family Layout

This shows a picture of my Great Grandmother Rachel, taken in 1920, when she was 50 years old. She was born in Kiew in the Ukraine, but moved to London to give her family a beter chance in life. She was a very resolute lady, who brought her children up with an iron, but loving hand.
For this LO I used coordinating papers from the *Bridgeport* Stack by SEI again. The flourishes have all been cut by hand, the edging paper has been cut into strips to make 2 straight and 2 zig-zag borders. I used the same paper for the matting behid the photo, making a space for some hidden journaling. Used some *Prima* flowers and half pearls for decoration.