31 August 2012

A Pot of Butterflies

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
- William Morris

Hello out there!! Tons of things going on here at the mo' - hence the reason I need to catch up with visits today (hopefully?!) Still, spare time was grabbed whilst parked in front of the Paralympics coverage (WOWWEE it's amazing!) to finish the tool pot I mentioned on Wednesday.

I've resisted the temptation to add beads/buttons/bling as it looks very Art Noveau to me in this state (my favourite period) and it allows the flowers and butterflies to do all the talking.

Just to prove it is now in use.
I had two challenges in mind when creating this;
The Stamp Man challenge - Alter It (methinks a change of use for a baked bean tin counts?)

The idea was to use the same SB Rose Creations dies to make different flower styles. It works well if you use graduated cardstock colours (darkest in the middle seems to work best). They all had very light spritzes of Cosmic Shimmer mists in different colours to finish. The Lava Red one was definitely the strongest, the Silver added a lovely shine to the purple flowers and the Blue Ice was probably the most delicate on the blue flowers (this is not always the case with this colour, but the petals are quite tight so I suspect there wasn't as much surface area for the mist to land on).

Close up on the butterfly, background and lace border. The butterfly used a mock kraft resist techique with DI Dusty Concord/Fired Brick to colour the non-shiny areas. The background is the corrugated cardboard technique I described in my last post (for the ivy leaves) - this time I used DI Peeled Paint/Stormy Sky on top of the Picket Fence. Underneath the lace - from Trace - (was white! but DI Antique Linen/Walnut Stain changed all that) I have layered a SB Banner Basics 3 border.

That's the last photo - I promise! Think this project lives up to WM's quote and has inspired you to decorate the humblest of items. With that in mind I highly recommend you browse the projects posted recently by Cathryn at Pinxton Craft Club. If you haven't got plans to alter anything that isn't nailed down after seeing these I'd be amazed. Right, time to go visit and attempt to link to the FSC blog, as it isn't playing nice with me - hope it's nothing personal! Huge hugs to you all, and hope you have a great weekend, Buttons x

29 August 2012


Hello fellow WOYWWers. Not so nervous this week as you've welcomed me with open arms and such lovely comments. Thank you all. For those of you who haven't got a clue what I'm on about head over to Julia's Stamping Ground and find out about how to join in the fun.

I promised you a more detailed gander of my workspace so here goes - I've started a bit of a flower production line for a couple of challenges which will keep me occupied for a while (not that I've got that long!) On the left you can see the treasure I got from my mate Julie in Australia. She is a creative wonder and I'm gonna have to make some special projects to lavish these on. Had a bit of a sesh with Flitter Glu/Mega Flakes and black card and there's a tag in the initial stages of production.

The main feature today however is my noticeboard. Seem to remember mentioning it back in the dim and distant past and I got it done :) It's a magnetic board with shelf added (by my wonderful OH) so challenges can be noted and treasures from crafting friends can be displayed. That includes the altered house created by Son 3 to give me inspiration. He is such a thoughtful young man with a real creative side himself.

Time to wrap up so I can visit you guys out there (OK, have a nosey!) See you v. soon with that flower project - now I've said it!! Hugs, Buttons x

27 August 2012


Hello all. For those in the UK hope this bank holiday finds you knee deep in something you enjoy, and for those across the rest of the World with the Monday 'blues', it's not far now 'til Friday! Thank you to everyone who has left such lovely comments and welcome to my new followers. I am chuffed that you have decided to tag along for the ride :) Hope you continue to enjoy your time here.

Another tag today - this one is for Son 1 to celebrate his fab GCSE results (despite the current controversy!!) His favourite colour is green - how convenient! There are two challenges requiring you to be/go green this week :)))
Over at Sunday Stampers Hels Sheridan wants a little green and some stamping
At Our Creative Corner Kim Price wants recycling with a pop of green
Who am I to refuse? And so...

The two stamp sets used for this were Autumn Foliage (great variety of leaves) and African Wildlife (sentiment and lion) both available from Creative Expressions stockists.

Thought I'd show you the background as it disappears under the foliage! The resist has been done using Ranger Glue n Seal (thanks for the tip Hels) and a touch of spritz/flick afterwards. The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice the lion has changed - originally he was stamped with gold foil on black, but once he dived into the undergrowth he seemed a bit lost, so a makeover was required (black on sand cardstock).

The recycling element was definitely in the leaves: there are maple leaves and oak leaves made from acetate packaging (stamped in black and coloured in a mix of Stonewashed and Butterscotch alcohol ink); ivy leaves made from corrugated cardboard carton packaging (painted with DS Picket Fence and DI Peeled Paint, covered in Ranger Distress Crackle Paint and highlighted with DI Walnut Stain); and 'cheese plant' leaves (stamped on linen and backed with more acetate). The acetate was great because it buckled and was easy to reshape when heated - hence the reason for putting it on the back of the linen leaves.

The finishing touches included twine and seam binding from the Funkie Junkie Boutique and string. I also learned from the last lot of spritzing with CS Shimmer Mist - in this case Golden Mint) and protected the areas that didn't need colour with some of the spare acetate (it wipes clean afterwards! hurrah!!)

Son 1 loves it, so that's good. Hope you do too. Time to disappear now as there are a ton of blog posts to catch up on and the odd domestic duty to attend to! Hugs to you all, Buttons x

23 August 2012

You Decide...

Morning all. 'Bear with' as today's post covers a multitude of things.
Firstly there is a Design Team call out at Creative Expressions and as at least 50% of my stamp collection comes from CE, thought I'd give it a go. The challenge is to create a piece with texture.
Next, there are three challenges that this project was designed to fit too;

Still with me? There are two versions of this and I'm leaning towards the misted version but I would love to hear what you think...

Version 1. pre-sprayed

Version 2. Cosmic Shimmer Lava Red Mist added

I'm torn because when you commit to spritzing with ink it is a one shot thing. By that I mean there is no going back/redoing and even if you get right up close to your intended target (in this case the rose buds) it is still going to spread far and wide, casting 'shadows' in its wake. The control freak in me wants things more uniform. The creative in me loves that it creates unpredictable shapes. Hmmm.

A few more close-ups pre and post spritz as I know lots of you like to see the detail. Notice the added resist on the seam binding ribbon (from The Funkie Junkie). Stamp with white acrylic paint, sponge over DI Fired Brick then wipe away from the stamped elements using a damp tissue.

Design details: the background, the whitewash technique, used Sam Poole (CE) Journal Calendar Stamps and DI Fired Brick/ Memento Tuxedo Black. The frame was cut/embossed using SB Labels 13, and the roses were created using SB Rose Creations and Coredinations cardstock.

There are loads of office supplies added as embellies. I also chopped/added the chain pieces to the pin with some pearl beads. The tab is another Sam Poole Journal stamp on aluminium with red Pearlidoodles on top. The sentiment is from Sam Poole's Art Sayings set (can't live without that one!)

I have got photos of those scones from earlier this week but don't want to overload this post, so those will come later. Right, must away and link before getting ready to go to school; son 1 gets his GCSE results this morning and I think I'm more nervous than he is!!! He has worked so hard I just want him to be rewarded for his efforts and achieve his goals. Love to you all, Buttons x

NEWS JUST IN ! - 7 x B's, 2 x A's, 1 x A* and a place at 6th Form!!! So proud of him!!!!

22 August 2012


So I actually feel nervous for some reason!? Having had the odd nudge (Morti) to join the gang today is the day! Welcome to Julia's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday (go HERE to find out what I'm on about). Feel like the new girl at school, desparate not to get it wrong :o So welcome to my world... now I think the point is to keep it short and sweet so the guided tour is going to be given over a number of weeks. There's my notice board, Son 1's artwork, an embarrasingly large box of paper stash... oh, the list is endless. Where are we? Well this is an extension which used to be called the 'playroom' (TV/Wii/Playstation - kids stuff, you get the idea). Now it is known as the 'craftroom'!!! A girl has to have her own space (for those of you who don't know me I have a lovely hubby and 3 sons, so (apart from the dog) I am somewhat outnumbered - you could say this is my garden shed!! On my workdesk today you will find the beginnings of a whitewash tag. The first effort failed but will receive a makeover. It's currently lying on top of the dog's cage - well she doesn't use it now so it makes an ideal drying rack! OK, short and sweet woman. Time to fly. Got to link this and visit you all now. Hmmm, may be gone for some time methinks.
Hugs, Buttons x

21 August 2012

More Quiche Please!!

If you are wondering whether this post title means I have finally lost it (seriously subject to debate that one!) the answer is no, not yet. However, the boys are going to need to eat some quiche soon as the aluminium supplies are running seriously low! The reason for this drought is that my latest tag has used up a substantial amount - I needed to try out Jennie's metal/gesso/alcohol inks technique (over at The Artistic Stamper Challenge blog HERE).
It will also be entered into Simon Says Stamp & Show - No Rules.

The reason for using quiche tin? It is thick enough not to disintegrate when sanded vigorously. I used a comb of Copper and White mixative - guess they must be thicker in consistency than basic ink as it really took some scrubbing to get back to the bare metal in places!

It's a bit fiddly to cut out but I adore this Stamp Man bee. To make foam pads less obvious I colour the edges of them with Promarkers.

More tin was used for the branch and metal lace edging. Another wee tip - the die cut rose leaf was cut in half at the bottom, with one edge folded over the other to curl the leaf into more of a 3D shape.

This one has a real autumnal feel methinks. Thanks for stopping by and your lovely comments. No scone piccies I'm afraid as they went so quickly there was no time to whip the camera out! Guessing there needs to be some more baking today! Hugs to you all, Buttons x

20 August 2012

Getting seriously gooey...

Hi there everyone and may I begin by saying how grateful I am for the fab comments that have been coming through from you all and the positive feedback to the new look. As you know I love to play with different techniques, and so they don't get forgotten once completed I am continuing to photograph my own step by steps to create a project book.

So here's a project which used an acetate method beautifully described by the goddess that is Sue Wilson (HERE). Beware - you WILL get covered in glue/ink/mica with this if you are anything like me, and work out where you are going to put your acetate to dry IN ADVANCE!! It may also take two layers of tissue on the reverse. I made a few different ones using various colour combos/mica mixes, so don't be surprised to see a few over the coming weeks.

This one is ready for entry into two great challenges;

So I've taken Hels' lead by going for feminine steampunk on a card :)) and stuck with two basic colours (thanks Mynnette, you've made me concentrate on these far more than previously). And look, I've even managed to leave some blank space!

Recipe includes; Stonewashed/Butterscotch alcohol inks, Pale Gold/Tropic Blue CS mica pigments, Wild Honey/Faded Jeans Distress Markers, Picket Fence Distress Stain, Coredinations cardstock, Crafty-Emblies buttons (inked and covered in Rock Candy) Olympic Gold CS PVA glue (with beads from stash dropped in it) Blue Ice CS shimmer mist and Kanban stamps. Gosh, it's only when you list ingredients like this you realise how much goes into a project!!

Hopefully this close-up shows the clockface/cog/compass stamped flowers. Gold SB sprockets were layered behind them with punched leaves.

The doily got covered in Wild Honey/Picket Fence and edged with gold - although it isn't seen much (especially with dodgy photography!) little things like that make such a difference.

So now you have been subjected to image overload I'll let you go and enjoy the rest of your day!! I've got a date with the oven (scones for the homemade blackcurrant jam I made yesterday - no I'm not a domestic goddess - the hungry hoards need filling somehow... ) See you all soon. Crafty hugs, Buttons x

17 August 2012

Look Up!!!

Noticed anything different? Do you like? So many peeps have been updating their blogs recently, and you inspired me to sort mine out a bit. Now when it came to the blog title I decided to go down the handcrafted route, and in the process came up with a piece to meet the needs for two challenges;

Guessing the denim is obvious?! The buttons depict the layers of a heart. OK, so I've stretched the OCC brief somewhat by using a flower piece cut from a strip of lace rather than ribbon, but it did work better with the ink/Picket Fence. The stamps are from an Andy Skinner set and the 'corrugated' flower is courteousy of Linda Coughlin (it was in my order parcel and I've been saving it for just such an occasion).

The favouite technique? I love embossing fabric and highlighting it with ink, or on this occasion gesso. Rather than leaving it embossed this time I ran it back through the GC to flatten it again, making it was easier to stamp on. All of this was inspired by the amazing work of Finnabair (I highly recommend you check out her site if you are not already familiar with her style).

Huge thanks for dropping in on me and welcome to my new followers. I really value your comments and feedback as you are all such a talented and awe-inspiring bunch for so many reasons.
Hugs, Buttons x

16 August 2012

Shiny Lady

Another day, another tag. This one was done to try out a technique demo'd on Sannie's blog (you gotta check her out - seriously!) and the end result fits with Hels' Sunday Stampers challenge theme this week - Shiny Happy People.

Stamps used are from the Indigo Blu 'Sewing mends the soul' set and the other goodies used include; DI Antique Linen/Walnut Stain/Spun Sugar/Spiced Marmalade, Perfect Medium, VersaMagic Gingerbread, and CS Pink Ultra mica powder/CS Amethyst Mist UTEE and Clear EE.

I think this close-up shows a bit more of the shine created by the mica powder on top of the ink.

Mental note; VersaMagic gives a far crisper image on pearlescent card and also embosses well. The cream nylon lace 'skirt' was died with Shell Pink/Butterscotch Alcohol Ink and Blending Solution. It goes darker in patches if you heat it with a heat gun.
Thank you for all the amazing comments over the past few days (and a special thank you to Neet :)) I promise to join in with WOYWW next week - there's gonna need to be an extension on broadband usage limit methink!!! Take care all. Hugs, Buttons x

15 August 2012

Divide and conquer

Welcome back to my little patch of blogland new and old followers (still get a huge thrill every time someone new appears on my list and oh boy am I honoured by the names that have appeared!) Today I want to share a card created as part of Linda Ledbetter's latest Compendium of Curiosties II challenge. This has been sponsored by the generous people at Simon Says Stamp. Linda wants us to get creative with Coredinations cardstock using the technique in Tim Holtz's latest book. And so...

Did I go over the top?! For some reason it seemed like a good idea to 'deconstruct' each part of one of my fav TH Texture Fades folders using not just one but three of his CCII methods, and boy did it take some time in the end!

So I got 'creative with coredinations' over the whole lot (DI Spiced Marmalade) and used the same technique in two tone on lighter cardstock for a couple of sections. Now I find the card can start to get a bit fragile when sanded but 'The Yorkshire Fox' provided the perfect solution - recycled acetate packaging embossed and cut to fit!(technique two)

I used the same principle with other cardstock types too, inking each one mostly with DI Walnut Stain/Fired Brick. Technique three was the shattered stains one done using grungepaper and DI Antique Linen/Fired Brick (the star, button and 13).

Finally the sentiment, which probably shows off the main technique most clearly. So there we have it. I learned a bit more (always essential) got covered in ink (again, essential) and used lots of orange! Now who'd have thunk it! Time to disappear as the hairy hound is pestering for her breakfast (you don't want 5 stone of dog pestering for too long, trust me!!) Take care and hopefully see you soon. Hugs, Buttons x

13 August 2012

August means ice-cream?

Oh, if only! The weather is not doing us any favours right now is it?! Blooming jet stream! Still, rain cannot stop crafty play :) Right. Time to be a Miss Bossyboots for a mo'. For those of you who have been watching the Olympics you must surely know the slogan has been 'Inspiring a generation' - so important, I'm sure you will agree (especially those of us who have kids and/or teach them). Well you can do your bit for a young crafter too; Anna Christensen's daughter, Eleanor, has just started her own blog to display her fab work, and it would be so supportive and encouraging of you to begin following her HERE.

Right, bossy hat off, creative one on. Here is my entry for Tim Holtz' August Tag challenge. It is also going to be entered for the latest Fashionable Stamping Challenges - Summer Ice Cream Colours challenge.

The cameo on Tim's design got me thinking about Viennese waltzes (how does my brain work?!) so I went with his manuscript texture fades embossing folder.

I found an old wooden stamp to do a mount for my cameo (yes, black embossed and coloured with DI Antique Linen/Walnut Stain. The cameo got a layer of Rock Candy (love that stuff to bits).

The flowers, leaves and branch are all of course Coredinations cardstock (you can squish it/ink it/spritz it so well!) and the whole tag got a generous squirt of pearlescent mica shimmer. That really made it even more feminine and made the flowers in particular pale enough to be remind me of ice cream.

OK, time to go and get life organised (well mine anyway). Thank you to followers new and old who mean so much to me, and special wishes to those of you who are going through life's challenges at the mo' (probably most of you in one way or another!!) Hugs, Buttons x

Mona Lot!?

Hello and welcome to followers new and old, and those visiting. A quick post tonight as I'm running out of time to enter the Simon Says Stamp & Show challenge - Paint it up! It has also been designed to meet the requirements for the current Artful Times challenge - Mona Lisa. You'll have to forgive the ropey photography - artificial light isn't the best, but needs must...

The background is the paint element - I had another go at the Faux Verdigris technique discovered on Splitcoaststampers some long time ago. This involved painting embossed card with layers of copper paint, green and blue acrylic paint mixed with white gesso, more white gesso, some sanding back to the original layer and a final light brush with some copper and walnut ink. The rubbing back created some real patches that made the copper stand out. The pen nibs were stamped onto acetate and cut out before adding to the bottom of the tag. I also added one to the centre of the butterfly, created using the Flitter Glu/Morris Dance metal flakes technique on bronze pearlescent card.

I don't have a Mona Lisa stamp so opted to follow the master that is Tim Holtz by using Reflective Imagery technique (Compendium 2 page 55). Again, not sure the patches of metal background show up really well, but I was quite pleased that it worked first time. The 'frame' is grungepaper painted with dark bronze mica paint and the image was covered with a mix of Crackle Accents/Glossy Accents (ageing without losing the image) which have taken forever to dry - hence the reason for the late post. Oh, and my heatgun packed up unexpectedly too! (hence the title of this post!) The trials and tribulations of a crafter eh?

Thinking out loud here - I will take another photo in daylight tomorrow and if it comes out better, will add it to my next post (August TH tag also completed and ready to go!! Woohoo!) Until tomorrow then...
hugs, Buttons x

11 August 2012

Crows?... hmmm...

Good morning everyone and welcome. And now for something different (for me anyway!) I have seen some of the wonderful creations at DragonsDream Tag It On and often thought of joining in - and finally this week I couldn't resist playing along. The recipe requirements are a murder of crows, a blue moon and a chill wind. So what do you do if you haven't got crows in your stamping collection? Improvise!...

One of TH's embossing folders has a small section with a collection of flying birds, so I did a bit of 'old fashioned embossing' (you know, where you use a tool not a machine!) and slightly extended it where needed. By highlighting with black ink they turned into crows! Hurrah!

The rest of the recipe; DI Stormy Sky (how appropriate methinks) on antique gold card, die cut with a Memory Box branch die (I used the die in my last tag). The blue moon is Picket Fence Stain which draws out some of the blue from the base layer. Loved that bit :)

The greaseproof paper leaves are supposed to signify the presence of wind and the sentiment could have a multitude of meanings (including the Twilight vampire twist if you are a brooding teenager!) It was quite refreshing to hold off using loads of layers for once - it probably won't last!! LOL
Have a great weekend everyone. Hugs, Buttons x

10 August 2012

Loving Linen

Hello out there. Hope you are heading into a wonderful weekend. Quick post to share a tag made to test a theory and enter a challenge - the challenge being Frilly & Funkie's "Get crafty with canvas". As I have used a couple of items I bought from Linda Coughlin's fab shop 'The Funky Junkie's Boutique' it will also be eligible for her Sunday Share challenge.

So the eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that the challenge asks for canvas and this is linen! OK, hands up, I don't have any but this linen has been applied to the card and worked in the same way I would have done if it had been canvas. The whole design was inspired by one posted by Tammy Tutterow (I can't find the original - apologies for that - but quite frankly just looking at her blog will be thoroughly inspiring, probably the very reason Tim Holtz has put her on his 'must visit list' recently!)

This embossing folder has become a real favourite and I wanted to see what would happen if the linen were embossed and inked (DI Antique Linen! somewhat appropriately :)) The Coredinations card element on top was embossed too, but with a SB die (thanks Sue Wilson) and pricked with a sewing too. The seam binding, from the FJ Boutique, was also died with the DI Antique Linen.

The flowers/leaves were made with some paper from my stash, and were 'tied' in a bunch with some cotton thread and some fab twine from the FJ Boutique. Quite restrained on the colour front for me!! but overall it came out how I wanted (for once!) Thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comments. Hope you all enjoy the remaining events at the Olympics (come on Tom Daley!!). Hugs, Buttons x

9 August 2012

A Trip To Paris

Hi everyone and a huge welcome to my new followers. It is fantastic to know that you want to see more of my artistic endeavours in future. Apologies for the longer than expected absence - everything we needed to do took SO much longer. Anyway, back to crafting (oh, what bliss!) and in particular my entry for this month's Artistic Stamper Creative Team monthly challenge. This month the team are focusing on 'holidays'. They are also celebrating their 2nd blogversary (a new word methinks?!) and have some giveaways going on so do stop by and check it out.

This tag celebrates a trip to Paris taken by me and my OH before kids. We walked miles and saw so much, and would love to go back with the kids if possible. Anyway, the base of this tag took inspiration from a tutorial by Anita Houston (check it out). I found that by using lots of water on thick brown parcel paper (scrunched, covered in mica powders and then dried) I could create a similar effect.

The 'leather' straps, buckles and trunk corners are grungepaper covered in Gingerbread/Silver VersaMagic which have then been stamped with Black Archival ink. It's quite useful that the sun is shining so you get to see the metalic shimmer properly :))

The pile of ephemera includes tickets, a glazed compass, a white mini tag aged with DI Antique Linen/Walnut Stain, a piece of acetate embossed in a TH folder and coloured with Copper Mixative alcohol ink and a real centime!!! (no use now they have the Euro!)

Finally the tag was topped off with string and seam binding (all inked lightly of course!) OK, it is a glorious day here in Staffordshire and we are off to see the in-laws for the day. Hope the sun is shining on you to and you have a lovely day. Thanks for all your kind messages recently and huge hugs to those who aren't doing so well at the moment. May it pass quickly and let you get back to doing what you love soon.
Hugs, Buttons x

5 August 2012

Gearing Up

Hi all. A super quick post today (promise!!) Got to go down south to sort funeral arrangements and house contents for my uncle, so the kids/dog need decanting to M&D and that takes a bit of prep!! Apologies that I haven't done the rounds yet - will try catching up later.

So, here is my entry to this week's Sunday Stampers Challenge - Patterns. It's also going into the Fashionable Stamping Challenge - Anything Goes.

Hurrah! The sun is out so you can see the mica in this (didn't work so well yesterday methinks). The patterns in this are courtesy of embossing folders.

The top part has been done using a mask, Perfect Medium, mica powder and a Silver gel rollerball pen.

Pick a technique, any technique here!! Shrink plastic, distressed Coredinations card, metal foil with alcohol inks, Silver outlining with that gel pen...

The gears are grungepaper covered in acrylic paint and ink. Brads finish it all off.
Told you I'd be quick!! Hopefully see you all v. soon (dependent on the avoidance of any more curveballs).
Hugs, Buttons x
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