29 September 2012

A Dancer Abroad

Ever had one of those projects that festers away in your brain for ages, changing before it's even been started?! That is SO the case with this...

If I were to follow in the footsteps of my crafty friend Julie Short at this point I woud tell you about the story of an Antipodean dancer, who has made it to Paris and gets so caught up in her new life she forgets to send her postcard home. But sadly I'm not:)
So instead I'll mention those talented peeps who have influenced this card and let you follow the links to look at their fab work; Trish Latimer (colours/splattering/black and white image), Sam21ski (Picket Fence centre blending), and Mandy (white watercolour pencilling).

And why did it take so long (about 3 weeks of festering)? because I wanted to do justice to a set of stamps sent to me by Sioux Jenneys following the recent Artistic Stamper Creative Team Challenge comp. I am entering it into their monthly challenge - Splatters and Speckles
along with Hels Sheridan's Sunday Stamper challenge - Behind the Mask
and  a well timed challenge from the fab team at the Artful Times Challenge - Postcard.

Now some piccies to show a bit of step by step stuff (shows the stencilling/masking)

The bits of cardstock were ripped and stained with the same one I used for the background. Then I added script (Memento Lady Bug) emulsion paint splatters and some more stamping. As it sat drying for a few hours the colours seemed to blend/fade more, and then I added the dancer/sentiment before mounting.

Can you see the shine? BTW, I strongly recommend using Ranger Specialty Paper for this as it seems to stop the various layers muddying each other and extends the drying time too. Time to get this entered into the various challenges as deadlines are a-looming. Thanks for being the best bunch of followers/visitors a crafter could wish for. You can see how much inspiration you give me:) Hugs, Buttons x

28 September 2012

Funkie Junkie 12 Tags 2

So here I am again with the second tag for entry into The Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas challenge sponsored as ever by The Funkie Junkie Boutique, and this one has come out ok. The idea is to take inspiration from Linda Coughlin's version and come up with your own, and it's metal, which I'm into:)
So this is Linda's version...

and this is mine, picking up on the metal background, the cogs and the single word...

No issue with lighting/photography here, hurrah. Just embossed/inked metal TH stylee and baubles (doesn't that word look wrong!) on a mix of alcohol inked silver mirror card and corrugated card covered with Picket Fence stain and Ranger Rock Candy.

The cardstock, as mentioned previously, is Basic Grey - Jovial.

Guess what, I used those Sizzix diffusers again...

They replace one of your embossing plates and mean you can combined two embossing folders, but here is the Master of Distress himself to explain far better than me HERE.

Another example of this technique on metal tape. Lots more of this to come for those who've been asking about diffusers. Right, time to go for now. Thank you so much for all your lovely comments. They are very humbling and gratefully received. Have the best of weekends, hugs Buttons x

Not Quite Right

Hello all. Been under the weather a bit today and frustrated with myself. You have all been so wonderful with your lovely comments about my first Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas (sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique) entry (please see last post) but I wasn't totally happy with the angel, so I've changed it.

Not a massive change but the last piece of lace seemed overworked/too dark/unangelic to me, and Linda's wings were far more delicate. Yet again my photography skills let this one down as the new layered lace wings are covered in glitter glue. Hey ho.
Pleased to say I'm happier with the next one in the 'series' (see next post) so no more changes.
Thanks for bearing with a frustrated perfectionist. Hugs, Buttons x

27 September 2012

Funkie Junkie Christmas Tags 1

Hi there everyone. It's getting late (catching up with blogs took a little longer than expected but there were some projects to drool over out there - seriously inspiring and sometimes daunting!) So I gave myself one almighty kick up the toosh today and got a tag finished for Linda Coughlin's Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas challenge sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique. Linda gives you her inspirational version and then gives you until Christmas to get them completed (which so takes the pressure off!) Here's Linda's...

and here's mine... the only thing I didn't attempt to replicate was the heart!!

A step by step should have happened but I sorta got into the flow.

It's really shiny but my photography skills and a severe shortage of that large, bright disk in the sky mean it doesn't show up so well here. Highlights include; a grungepaper angel (thank goodness for the cookie cutter) inked with DI Fired Brick/Walnut Stain, Rock Candy layer, gold Pearlidoodles and a piece of embroidered net curtain also covered with the same ingredients; and my banner and tiny embellies from a piece of Basic Grey paper, which I'm thinking will become a recurrent theme.

More highlights; a handcut 25 covered in several layers of Ranger Tinsel embossing powder; kraft card stars embossed, covered in pearlescent mica powder, stamped with gold embossing powder and centred with gold PVA and glitter; a tissue paper background stamped with Coffee archival ink, covered with Gingerbread versamark and pearlescent mica powder and finally stamped/embossed with clear embossing powder and DI Antique Linen. And the plan for this tag? It's is going on the front of my first Christmas card of the year. Oh yes, even I have to give in and get on with it:) The plan is that the others will follow suit and become the special family cards.
Now my bed is calling (got to be up at 6am again) so until next time hugs to you all, Buttons x

26 September 2012


Good morning/afternoon/evening - well followers of our Wednesday jaunt around workdesks are all around the World! Can't belive we are half way through another week though the weather is definitely letting those in the UK know that summer has long gone! For those unfamiliar with the term WOYWW please visit the blog of our esteemed organiser Julia HERE who explains the concept/instructions far better than I could.

Like my head, my workspace is a confused mess at the mo' - looks ok on first inspection but scratch the surface and OMG too many ideas battling for space inside a confined area!

Various metal projects on the go - Son 1 actually expressed his enthusiasm for my metal pieces and would like more cards made this way! Who am I to refuse? Just as well I have a lot of metal tape:) Notice also a pile of goodies from Crafty-emblies who truly saved my bacon this week (see previous post).

And to prove I've been busy, a pile of altered cogs in my 'spray booth', my Sizzix diffusers (oh, so much more to come from these - that's partially why my head is spinning) and yes, those are Christmas stamps at the front! I'm gonna have to move out of denial soon!
OK, time to do the school run and return to visit my WOYWW buddies. Hugs, Buttons x

25 September 2012

Type 'Righter'

Long time no see! (well it feels like it anyway:) Welcome to my new followers, and welcome back to the rest of my followers and those of you just browsing; it's such a privilege to have you along for the ride. I have been 'doing' - WOYWWers will see the evidence tomorrow - but not completing. Well, that was until about an hour ago when the postie arrived with a much anticipated parcel from Crafty-Emblies.

By now most of you will have completed Tim Holtz' September tag challenge. I got so far and then got stuck. For those of us who own a Grand Calibur we cannot use the larger Sizzix dies that Tim has for many of his diecut elements (which is uber frustrating as they are such great shapes). Maybe Sizzix could think about creating thin dies? just a thought. Anyway, this meant I was 'sans' typewriter. What to do? Try emailing Crafty-Emblies and hey presto, they produce one for you!!! Hurrah and THANK YOU!!!

Isn't it great? I did a happy dance when the post arrived and promptly finished the tag.

The sentiment comes from one of my new TH clear mini stamps sets from Simon Says Stamp (I guess it should really have been a typed message, and I do have them, but this one worked so well in my mind).

Other minor 'triumphs' include the Christmas tree bulb (coated in Ranger Glue n Seal and coloured with a Promarker) and cogs/pen nib created from the Indigo Blu 'Take the Time' stamp set.
and Linda Ledbetter's Compendium of Curiosities 2 challenge - Riveted Patchwork - which this time is sponsored by the fabulous Funkie Junkie Boutique (you know I'm a fan!!).
Thanks again for taking the time to visit. I will be catching up with a few days worth of blog posts (hmmm, a few hours required for that methinks!!) to see what is getting you excited/crafty.
Hugs as ever, Buttons x

21 September 2012


Hello all and welcome back to my random world. Welcome to all the new followers recently - word of my madness appears to be spreading!! Hee hee! I have spent another part of this morning fighting with getting to grips with Blogger - thought it would be good to use the Dynamic view to allow Google translate to work but it just went wappy on me and the translate widget didn't work anyway (arrrhhh!!) so I went back to basics:) You wouldn't think I taught ITsoftware would you?!

Why the attempted change? Well the talented Alie (who's even designed her own stamps!!) left me a lovely comment on my last post which got me thinking. I am getting lots more visitors for who English is not their first language, and it must be hard to decifer what is being described when we talk (endlessly in my case) about the techniques used. As I said though, Blogger wasn't playing - if anyone knows of a great way to get it to work PLEASE let me know - so I have decided in future to do step by step photos as I'm guessing us crafters are visual beings anyway? And now I break that rule straight away by showing a before and after!!

Playing cards, white tissue paper, plain white card and white gesso over the top as a base.

What? Why? I saw a beautiful card on Pia's blog where she used some Wonderland paper from 7 Dots Studio (Finnabair et. al.) This paper is beautiful and one day I will spoil myself with some to stroke but in the meantime I made my own (see above and then see below)...

TOTALLY inspired by a Hels Sheridan project yesterday (she highlights the texture with her Stabilo All pencil). It was going to be a stab at blended stains for Linda Ledbetter's challenge, but after the last disaster I took Sunshine Girl's suggestion and started by covering the whole lot with Picket Fence stain. Then I followed Tim's instructions (in Compendium of Curiousities 2) using Dusty Concord, Stormy Sky and a mix of Spiced Marmalade and Fired Brick distress inks.

However, probably due to the base combo it all went too pale and uninteresting so further blotting of ink was required on top with some Cut n Dry foam. This sort of discounted it from Linda's challenge, but with the addition of my new TH stamps, some extra coloured cardstock, UPVA pearl drops coloured with black Promarker and a UTEE embossed tag I ended up with a moody/stroppy teenager card to enter into the current Our Creative Corner - It's A Sketch challenge! Hurrah!

In future there will be more piccies and less waffling, promise, but this project was almost complete when I came to that momentous decision and lots of peeps like to know what I've done. So, now I must away and see whether some acrylic paint has dried / hoover up 3 tons of dog hair (Alaskan Malamutes kill hoovers, it's official!) / make spagetti to feed the locusts. What a fun life I lead! Here's hoping those going in and coming out of hospital the very best (including Anne R. and Sheena D.) those of you going to Ally Pally have the bestest time ever, and everyone else has a fab weekend. Hugs to you all, Buttons x

19 September 2012

Diffusing The Situation

This was planned as a quick post to share some technqiues and join a couple of challenges, but a trip round blogland has changed that slightly:) Firstly those eagle-eyed followers amongst you will have spotted that I am proudly displaying a Top Award from Our Creative Corner! It is a massive honour and I am truly grateful to the team for picking my 'kissing card'.

Now, a certain creative talent called Neil Walker got me thinking this morning. He did this fab tutorial on embossed acetate and acrylics (please see HERE). I already had my Indentz tree folder out with the intention of using it and colouring it with paint seemed a great idea. Thing is the tree looks a little plain on its own, but wait! I have some newly delivered diffusers from the Funkie Junkie Boutique! So first to emboss a tree in the oval, then emboss the outside with some swirls. Ta dah! It worked (well I think so anyway:)

These diffusers are like magic, only embossing the areas to which they are applied which means you can combine folders. Now I have a Grand Calibur (they are Sizzix, so intended for the Big Shot etc.) so I'm still experimenting with which plates are needed - the Indentz folders are slightly thinner than Sizzix ones and I suspect Creative Expressions ones will also differ, so just start with the thinnest plate (e.g. the raspberry one) and carefully work up as required. So you can see it easier, these are the ones I used;

The paint element? Well I used gold acrylic on the reverse, rubbing off the excess. Two things here; in this instance I didn't want too much colour over the top of the base, so the removal of most of it was great. However, I suspect more paint would be captured if a smaller embossed pattern were used and the paint were left to dry a little longer (I'm not the most patient crafter!!)

The background - woohoo! Guess who went ink misting mad again?! Punched falling leaves added more of an autumnal feel. Then oh, how to attach the two layers? So first a quick layer of Glue n Seal (which helped to brighten the ink even further) then some TH mini fastener 'berries', including some which have fallen on the floor. It always pleases me to die the seam binding to match each project, but it needed more. In each of the parcels I have received from Linda Coughlin's Funkie Junkie Boutique she has included extra goodies, including this card disk with a heart cut out. Several layers of embossing powder later, ta dah!

Linda's twine and lace (dyed to match) and a Sam Poole sentiment (again stamped in a colour so as to be deliberately unobtrusive to the main 'image') finished the tag off.
To finish I am entering this into the following challenges;

OK, time to disappear again. If you have any questions or need more deets please let me know. Thanks again to Neil and so many others who continue to inspire me on a daily basis. Hugs, Buttons x


Goodly morning all and welcome to Diane, my latest follower. I'm so glad you've chosen to come along for the ride. Bit of a milestone today - post 100!! Who knew those few short months ago when Hels Sheridan nagged encouraged me to create a blog that I would post so much!? And today sees another milestone as Son 2 reaches the age of 15 so we've already had the grand card/pressie opening session before the sun came up:) Now there's a quick window of opportunity to join in with the fun that is What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - please take a trip to Julia's HERE to find out what I am banging on about here as she is SO much better at explaining this phenomenon. And what is on my workdesk?

This was the scene in the dark at 5.30am today - oh yes, at least three projects mentally on the go (is it any wonder they take so long to materialise when they are all fighting for space/time?!) There's a failed blended stains tag that went WAY too dark and needs doing over. Aarrrrgh! My new TH stamps, courteousy of my August Tag win (yummy:)) need to be put through their paces, as does a dance set which I won from a recent Artistic Stamper Creative Team 2nd anniversary blog giveaway (yippee!!) Sioux Jenneys wants to see what I can do with them so my mind is currently in overdrive on that one. What else? Hmmm, could those be the new TH Sizzix diffusers? Oh yep! Another win over at Frilly & Funkie's Sunday Share meant I HAD to have a bit of a spree which included these, some yummy lace, embossing folders and archival ink. Finally, lurking in the shadows in the top left corner is my September TH Tag, waiting for its typewriter, but that's a whole other story and Julia likes us to keep it short and sweet. So I'll disappear at this point and add my name to the ever expanding list (are people linking a week in advance now, or do you all sit up 'til the wee hours of the morning to beat the rush?!:D I'll be seeing you at your places v. soon.
Hugs, Buttons x

18 September 2012

An Inky Autumn

Hi everyone and welcome to my new followers. I really appreciate that you take the time to stop by and leave such lovely comments. I've been working on a couple of projects for the couple of days (including my Tim tag for this month) and for some reason they have taken ages to evolve. So this morning I set myself a challenge to use the pile of neutral embellies sat on the corner of the craft mat to make a tag by lunchtime.

It did start off neutral, promise! Lots of creams/browns and oodles of texture.

Then I went to town with my Jenni Bowlin inks - bottles of gorgeousness made from H2O and reinkers:))

As well as the ribbon there is a host of deliciousness from the Funky Junkie Boutique, including lace, seam binding, jute ribbon and a die cut white corrugated cardboard butterfly (some of which came as a complimentary gift from Linda Coughlin with my orders!) As well as stamping/hand cutting the various leaves the brown paper flower was stamped and clear embossed to provide some shine and resist.

So, this is going into Hels' Sunday Stamper challenge - ribbon (mine is yellow, + green + brown!!)
and the Anything But A Card challenge - texture (oh yes, there's plenty of that:)
and of course the Frilly & Funkie Sunday Share.

Thanks again for popping by. Hope you feel inspired to get soaked in ink:)
Crafty hugs, Buttons x

14 September 2012

Rosepunk Bouquet

It's Friday already!!! That was my first thought this morning. My second thought was 'Oh ****, I've missed the deadline for Linda Ledbetter's enamelling challenge even though that part of my current card is done!' Hey ho missus, either start earlier or stop procrastinating. Hmm, so I got in this morning and got on with it (warning - sunglasses required!)...

Now I may have missed Linda's challenge, but this was made to experiment with a number of techniques and fits with the following challenges;

Apologies that this image is a little blurry - it is by far the best of a bad bunch as this part of the card seemed to move around of its own accord! The kiss technique has been used on the banner with cogs (DI Peeled Paint) kissed with a diamond pattern (DI Fired Brick) to give a more mottled look.
Gosh I hope that shows up - it is one of those days when it feels like it would be so much better to physically send this to the various challenge teams so they could really see it!!!
And the vase? Ha ha! The crafting genius that it Anita Houston did a tutorial HERE - I didn't have a spare plastic bottle cover so I cut and shrank a bottle shape from shrink plastic, carefully moulding it slightly around an candle when it was still hot!

The enamelled plaque (see Tim Holtz' Compendium of Curiosities 2 page 44) was done with some Stampendous cogs. The background got my fingers in a right state (Jenni Bowlin Chili Pepper/Chicken Feed and DI Fired Brick/Spiced Marmalade).

Believe it or not the cogs stamped on those flowers was also done using the kissing method and a Vintage Sewing cloth stamp but again, I need to build Dr Who's Tardis to whip round and show you all!!

OK, that covers the card. Now a couple of photos of those scones and homemade blackcurrant jam I mentioned a couple of weeks ago and forgot to post... needless to say these didn't last the night!

Are you hungry now? Time to fly (not literally, although it would be a helpful skill!) Stuff to do as ever. Hope this finds you as it leaves me, ideas a'bubblin and covered in ink:)
Hugs, Buttons x

12 September 2012

Small but perfectly(ish) formed

Welcome to my new and longer established followers (always feel bad calling you old for some reason!) It is half past one and I seem to have done nothing other than blog and complete one of the projects on my desk before time runs out. GOT to get this done and get something or another cleaned before guilt sets in even further! (so that does mean this will be short and sweet - everyone breath a sigh of relief:)

Never made 'Inchies' before but that was a challenge set by Neet at Artful Times, so who am I to refuse? especially when it dovetails nicely with the Fashionable Stamping Challenge which is currently Good Things Come in Small Packages. These used the Indigo Blu 'Take the Time' stamp set.

This took forever because I went to town on each inchie. Who knew something so small could involve so much work? And so for a quick run through of each one...

Top left - pocket watch on shrink plastic on a gold card background with blown alcohol inks.
Top middle - flittered cogs with soft gold pva centres.
Top right -watch centre using the coloured angelina fibres technique from previous posts.
Middle left - 'caught in crystal' embossed and highlighted with archival black ink.
Middle - sentiment on shrink plastic (trimmed carefully!)
Middle right - a random stash bead 'set' with a black Promarker.
Bottom left - die cut cog covered in Morris Dance mega flakes and set on an embossed background.
Bottom middle - cogs set into black UTEE coloured with mica powders (faux cloisonne).
Bottom right - embossed vellum coloured with copper and gold pigment inks.

Time to pull my underwear over my clothing (in a phone box of course!) and give the house a good going over so OH thinks I've been busy!!! Hugs to you all, Buttons x


Good morning everyone. I know you WOYWWers are out there because you appear to sit up 'til the wee hours on a Wednesday waiting to pounce on Julia Dunnit's Stamping Ground blog in order to link your crafty areas. If you have no idea what I am on about at this stage, we WOYWWers take a nosey round the World (quite literally) of fellow crafters' workspaces areas - for more deets go HERE.

You can tell the autumn is well and truly underway - my daylight lamp becomes more essential! Now (in your head imagine a David Attenborough voice at this point) you join me in the natural environment of a muddle-headed crafter. Oh, it may look fairly tidy, but there area at least two projects on the go here - one more inchie and the background to go - and a lot of it is experimentation. Does anyone else find they start with a bit of an idea in their head but no clear direction? That would be ok if, like the wonderous Julie Short I could just go for it and produce three projects at one sitting, but thinking seems to get in the way and everything takes days instead of hours! Then there are those ever-looming deadlines to meet so it starts to get slightly pressured, which is ridiculous really as this is supposed to be a relaxing hobby! Hmmm, a change of approach is required in this craftroom methinks...

OK, I know Julia likes us to keep it short and sweet, and the school run creeps ever closer so I'll be away and dropping in to see as many of you as poss later on. Hugs, Buttons x

10 September 2012

A Chili Heart!

Welcome back to my cyberworld, and thank you to all those who have been kind enough to follow me and leave such lovely comments. Today's offering is rather colourful! I mentioned last WOYWWednesday that Anne had tempted me with her talk of 50% off crafty stuff (and from the comments I wasn't alone in that!) Some Jenni Bowlin inks somehow found their way in the post to my door and once here it would have been rude not to play. I'm also starting to have fun with the Indigo Blu stamps I was lucky enough to win (Trace's blog candy) recently. All this seemed to be ideal for a challenge set by Trace herself over at Dragons Dream Tag It On - a beating heart, a weathered timepiece and a bit of grunge.

The stamp set? 'Take The Time'. The inks? Jenni Bowlin Chili Powder and Chicken Feed with water sprayed on white (would you believe it!) card - these are INTENSE and everything got covered - whoops, there's always a washing machine.

That heart needed to take centre stage so the pocket watch was kept deliberately 'weathered' through gentle stamping and flat (layered over the original image). A beating heart? Oh! I thought Trace said a beading heart! It was made from shrink plastic covered in Rock Candy and coloured with Promarkers.

I love using Mega Flakes with Flitter Glu although sometimes it seems to work better than at other times - maybe it has to do with the amount of glu applied to the stamp. It also seems to work well when overstamped or highlighted with black archival ink. Adding pearly dots using Cosmic Shimmer PVA is also a favourite idea as it adds enough detail to make things pop more without overshadowing the original stamping.  Hopefully the whole tag is 'slightly grungy' enough for the challenge.

Be prepared for more of this colourway and these stamps as their potential is more fully explored (and the house slowly turns a lovely shade of crimson!!!)
Hugs to you all, Buttons x

9 September 2012

Crossing that ocean...

Welcome back one and all. I'm like a bus! You don't see me for a quite a while and then I appear in rapid succession! Hope you think this is worth it though.

Well here is the project I was asked to show by so many of you on Wednesday, and it has taken all that time to get done. Now that could be my incompetence (but Hels would tell me off for saying that:) or my attention to detail, or the fact that I kept going back to it and messing a bit more - still not totally sure the frame is right but we are rarely truly satisfied with our own work here in blogland it would seem from reading your posts (thank goodness I'm not alone in that one!)

Just to warn you there are going to be some more close-ups in this post (oh, not another long one woman!) but many of you have mentioned that you really like to see the details.

Some details as I progress through this gallery - the stamp is a Michael Powell one that has been coloured with Promarkers (and lots of blending - gosh I enjoyed this SO MUCH!) It has also been decoupaged (stamped/coloured twice for this) so the lighthouse and foreground stood out more.

Think you may be able to make out that both image layers were covered in Rock Candy when completed too as this protects them and brings the colours to life even more.

The frame is white card with shells glued in place which has then had more of that kitchen roll (I used to mop up some Peeled Paint/Stormy Sky/Picket Fence Distress inks with) torn and Glue n Sealed over the top. That too got a healthy dose of Rock Candy for extra texture.

The shells were rubbed over with taupe and silver pigment inks (little finger required!) The 'driftwood' sentiment is waste cardboard, run through the Grand Calibur to flatten it somewhat, covered in Gingerbread/Aspen Mist VersaMagic and highlighted with DI Walnut Stain before the phrase was added with Black Archival ink.

This one is being entered into the Frilly and Funkie challenge - The Great Outdoors. If you haven't seen this one I highly recommend you take a look as the DT are sublime - led by Linda Coughlin who never fails to amaze me with her work and has one of the best stores, the Funkie Junkie Boutique.

Now I am away to do all that domestic stuff that won't go away by itself before hopefully putting together something that has been rattling around in my head for a while. It's noisy in there! Thanks for stopping by and for all your wonderful comments. I promise wherever possible to return the compliment.
Huge hugs, Buttons x
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