Thursday, 31 March 2011

IKEA and Steampunk

Good morning you all from damp and rather dismal Düsseldorf. The sun has hidden today, and the weather frogs have predicted rain, but then the weekend should be warm and sunny again, so let's hope they are right!
Today I am up early - even before the postman - as a friend of mine is coming to breakfast, and then we want to go to IKEA and have a look round. I would like NEED some frames and perhaps a mirror or 2 to alter, and it's always fun going round there and seeing lots of new ideas. But the best part for me is AFTER the check out. You get to that place where you can pack up your goodies. Giant rolls of brown paper. String. And you know how necessary it is to make sure things are packed well before transporting them don't you?? I think my weekend will be busy with lots of mod podge and gesso and things to alter, which will give me the possibilty to really mess up my place before tidying up again. That somehow makes it more worthwhile.
Here is a LO I made yesterday, which I am entering into the *Steampunkerie* Challenge over at Three Muses blog.

The middle part has been made with a virtual collage, which I then stamped with different steampunky images in archival black. The small images round about have been taken from a German Ladies magazine from 1899. I have tried to show the fashions and some of the latest technical things of the time. I have mounted them as they are to try to give the feel of movement, then this was an age when inventions and discoveries were moving really fast, taking people into a technical future. The paper used is from my stash, don't know the manufacturer anymore, and the stamps used are from Tim Holtz, Paper Artsy and Stamper Magazine. The digital images were from Lindsay's Stamp Stuff and Dezinaworld.
So, time to get breakfast ready!
Have a great day, take care, and thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

When the postman rings twice & other tales & pictures….

Well, this seems to be my lucky week. On Monday I got a parcel full of goodies from Dawn. Yesterday was a warm, sunny day; I was able to go walking along the Rhine, and saw some pirates getting ready to fire their guns onto our little township! You don’t believe it?

And today the postie rang again. He was holding a big padded envelope from England, and looking at me….I knew what he wanted to ask – if he could have the stamps! No problem; that made 2 happy people. I dived into my kitchen and opened the envelope from Susie J, which was full of lovely surprises – a card, a tag, a wonderful ATC and an even more wonderful mixed media piece, all made by Sue. Thank you soooooooooooooo much!! More lovely things for my arty kitchen. I want to get the whole wall filled bit by bit with things I have made, and which some of my lovely friends have made for me. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen, as I do all my crafting there, and it is good to be surrounded by so much creativity. And some *toys* for me were also in the envelope – a round tin with a concertina album in it, a little key chain house album, and some images from Crafty Individuals. Yoohoo, more excuses not to do more than the absolute bare necessities of h*******k. (Sorry for the swear-word!)

And this is the canvas I am entering into the challenge on *Paint Friday*, a mixed media piece which I have been making over the past couple of weeks, using pictures of my family, and some of me as a little girl – can you spot them? The canvas has been painted with white gesso, covered with strips of ancient magazines, and the pictures have been added partly with transfer medium from Ranger, partly with gesso. I then put more gesso over everything, and wiped some parts clean to highlight the pictures. The text, from one of Bob Dylan's wonderful songs - has been printed onto vellum.

And before I shut up for today, here is a little reminder for you. Tee is organizing a vintage egg challenge. Well, the eggs don’t have to be vintage, they can be made of plastic or whatever, but they should look it when you are finished with them. Tee is also offering a prize to the winner, so ladies, start laying those eggs – pardon me, I meant, start playing those eggs, get eggcited and get your eggcelent eggs over to Tee’s eggceptionally lovely blog!

Thanks for looking, big thanks to all who take the time to leave a comment, and have a great day whatever you are up to!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Flying parcels full of goodies and more cards....

Yesterday my nice postman brought me a little parcel which had flown all the way here from Dawn in England. Dawn did a draw on her blog some time back, and I was lucky to win a prize again.
Firstly, there was a beautiful handmade card, 2 ATCs with Tim Holtz motives, an altered tag, an altered matchbox with a spring flower hidden inside it, and a little wall hanging, which will be hung on my arty wall in my crafty kitchen.

But no, that was not everything. There was a brush and pencil stand, big enough to take all my brushes, some distress embossing powder in soot black, some copper metallic sentiment stickers and a beautiful, large wooden stamp of a little girl holding a present.

Of course, I had to try the stamp out straightaway, and made this pretty card with it, which I am also entering into the *less is more* challenge.

And while I was playing around in the kitchen, I tried out some more of the stamps I bought at the Creativa, including this lovely little Penny Black stamp which I made into a mini card.

And lastly I made a steampunk card, just for fun. I stamped the background with my fave script stamp before overstamping with the optician's glasses from TH. The image is from Dezinaworld, and has been mounted on a scrap of card covered with metal tape, embossed and distressed. I added 2 cogs to finish it off.

So, as you can see, I had a good day yesterday, thanks again to Dawn for sending those lovely things. And thanks to all who take time to drop in here, and hope you all have a great day!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Another try at less is more....

Good morning you all. Here the sun is shining again, which makes it much easier to get up in the morning. The post man helped me out of my bed this morning, too - not that you get the wrong idea, he just rang the bell to leave a parcel for a neighbour.
Yesterday I tried a card for the *less is more* challenge again. We had a sketch to follow this time, & it had to be a long narrow card. I made the first one in white, with a dotty embossed front panel, a pink ribbon and a pink flower. The edges have been very lightly inked in grey to give a bit of definition.

The 2 small ones have been cut from the left-overs to use as gift cards.

But my grunge loving heart needed to try something else. I took a piece of scrap card from a cereal packet, and covered it with 2 strips of aluminium tape from the DIY store before embossing it. Then I distressed it with inka gold *gunmetal* and archival black, and love the effect. Much cheaper than using metal foil, and lighter for a card, which makes the postage less, too. This time I used a dark grey velvet ribbon and a red rose, and I like the card a lot, although I'm afraid it is more grunge and simple than clean and simple. But at least the first card fits the bill!

So, here's wishing you all a great Monday, and lots of sunshine. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

How to make an egg stand up....and Simon Says *Take a Word*

Good morning from sunny Kaiserswerth. Slept late today and woke up to bird song, sunshine and a sore throat. Then I decided to take some pics of the little eggs I made yesterday evening. Tee has challenged us to make some vintage eggs. I have a big box of plastic eggs for decorating, so I got to work. I painted them both with gold structure paint - perhaps inspired by that poor goose that laid golden eggs - and let them dry. The next thing was to find them again yesterday evening. I knew I had stuck them on sticks somewhere to dry off, but couldn't find them. All of a sudden I just saw them in the kitchen - they had hidden themselves in the jar with my paint brushes, and for some reasons I hadn't thought to look there. I would have liked to make something like those wonderful Fabergé eggs, but don't have that many jewels lying around, so I settled for a scaled down version. The first one got treated to some lilac gem-stones from Kaisercraft, some paper flowers to match and a lilac ribbon. Looks rather old fashioned, but that's OK for a vintage egg. The second one has been dolled up with some Prima leaves, a flower died to match, some golden gemstones and a pink ribbon, looks like a big bud. As I started to take pics this morning, they rolled about everywhere and wouldn't keep still, just like naughty kids! As I had just got out of bed, I couldn't think how to get them to stand up. Then I remembered those magic things - egg cups!
Next problem - they were too small, the plastic eggs are a little larger than *normal* eggs. In the end I used a little cut glass candle-stick, which turned out to be just the ticket!

So, after so much eggciting talk early in the morning I think I had better make an eggsit, as it is time for another coffee.

This is the card I made for the *Simon Says Stamp and show a word* Challenge. My word is *Paris*, and I have made rather grungy card using lots of Paris stamps over a faded French postcard background, and of course, a tattered red rose as tribute to the city of love....
The card edges have been distressed with weathered wood and then some Inka gold in gunmetal grey.

Have a great day, thanks for looking and take care!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

A Mini Bird House

Well, it still seems to be spring here, sure hope it stays that way! Today I have another mini bird house to show. I have a template to cut it out, so it doesn't take long to make, and they make nice little presents at this time of year. This time I used brown cardstock for the house, a scrap of cardboard polished with inka gold for the roof and perch, and some red scraps for the heart and opening. The bird has been stamped from a TH die, again using some pretty scraps,and has been given a red satin heart. I decorated the house with satin roses, too, this is evidently the luxury version of a bird house....

Thanks for looking and have a nice day!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Shadows of the Past and a challenge card

Hi you all, good morning from sunny Rhineland. It's been good weather all week, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and the trees are starting to get a whiff of green - spring! For the weekend we have been promised rain, but I suppose nature needs it, and we can be thankful for the lovely week we had after the long, hard winter.

Today I want to show you a small (6”x6”) canvas I made this week. After giving it a base coat of white gesso, I stamped TH’s *Countdown* onto some thin, hand made paper with clear ink and embossed it with copper.
I stuck it onto the canvas with mod podge and let it dry. Then I used Ranger Matte medium to transfer various vintage family photos onto the canvas. As I just use ordinary inkjet prints, they look faded and grungy, which is an effect I like. I placed some stamped script, also embossed with copper, on top of it, and went over the whole canvas with diluted gesso, which I then wiped off with a damp cloth so that it just gave a sort of foggy effect. Then I used some Inka gold & copper around the edges, and it was finished. I like the shadowy look of the finished canvas, and have called it *Shadows of the Past*.

The second piece is a card made for the *Try it on Tuesday* Inchy challenge. I have made a simple, one layer card, with three inchies – or rather one-and-a-half-inchies - printed in three shades of yellow and stamped with some fashion motives in archival black and clear embossed. I added a Bosskut sentiment and 4 gem stones. Finished!

Have a great day you all, take care, and thanks for looking!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Gingersnapper Spirit Colour Blog Hop

Hello everybody and welcome to the Gingersnapper Spirit Colour Blog Hop. *Ginger, copper or rust*

I have made three pieces for today.
The First one is an altered Notebook.

Here I used copper coloured structure paste around the edges of the covers, and some hand made paper with a copper metallic finish for the main part of the covers. I bought the paper at the CREATIVA on Sunday, at a stand where they had sooo many beautiful hand made papers that the choice was very difficult. The book plate has been cut from some dark brown paper bought at the same tempting place using a TH Alterations die. The title, *Geflügelte Worte* - literally *winged words*, is a German name for collections of sayings and quotes. The note book is a present for a friend who loves collecting sayings, and I thought this would be very appropriate for writing them down. The wings are from Melissa Francis, and have been painted with copper coloured paint and distressed with brushed corduroy.

The second item is a piece of altered jewellery. It shows a picture of a distant relation as a child, and the reverse shows a part of an old document pertaining to an ancestor.

The images have been sandwiched between two memory glasses with sepia accents. The glass on the reverse side cracked, but I decided not to change it, as it gives it a very vintage look, and it cannot fall out as it has been fixed with the sepia accents. I mounted the memory frame onto an old necklace which belonged to her, and it makes a nice addition to my collection of memory shrines and tins.

The third piece is a shadow box, or nicho, cut from copper coloured metal foil and embossed.

The box has been made from a large matchbox, painted with copper metallic paint, and backed with a vintage rose scrap. The head, made from a form and coloured with Inka gold in copper, has been surrounded with roses. I added some beads on a gold wire at the top, and an angel scrap, which has been coated with glossy accents.
All three items were fun to make, and it is great to take part in this Gingersnapper spirit blog event.
Thanks for looking, and have a great day!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

More *less is more* and a Bird House

Yesterday was a busy day, preparing for an event that will take place tomorrow....But I found time to make three clean and simple cards.
The first one is my second entry for *Less is more* - Masculine:
The sentiment means *Everyone has stupid ideas; a wise man keeps quiet about them*
The other 2 cards were just for fun, still playing with my new stamps and colours....

I am starting to really enjoy *Less is more*, startling, but true!
But I still like messing around, and making things that nobody really needs - like this little bird house....once again, just for fun. I used paper from Graphics 45, and scraps of cardboard for the roof and perch. The bird and the *door* surrounding have been made from scraps of copper coloured metal foil, the flowers are from my stash.
Thanks for looking, and especially to all those who take time to leave a comment. Have a great day!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Less is more Challenge and just playing around.....

Yesterday I started playing with some of my new stamps. I loved the cube with geometric shapes and a gingko leaf that I got from Hein design, and combined it with another stamping-cube that I bought from them last year, and my new tiger and leopard stamps, and just played around, which is very therapeutic.
This card has been made for *Less is More* masculine cards.

I have kept the 6" square card very simple again, one layer, a coloured square and Mozart in profile, and instead of a sentiment some notes and his name.

The next piece is a contrast programme. I made it for *Try it on Tuesday* *Chocolate* theme, and then fell asleep on the couch last night and forgot to upload it. But as it as planned as a little present for a friend, it will not be wasted. I used the packaging of some very lush chocolate bars which were filled with mousse, cut the tag, heart and wings from it and took it from there. I added a vintage image, a sentiment made with my Brother p-touch, and a golden heart. I tied a chocolate stick into the ribbon instead of a charm, and stuck a small bar of chocolate onto the tag, so now I truly have a chocolate tag.

The little cards following are just try-outs, I used half postcard sized scraps to play with my new stamps.