Sunday, 14 January 2018

A Fun Friendly Challenge......Week 1 and it's Frames!

Hello Everyone,

A little group of friends and I decided last year was a very poor year for our creative endeavours so we decided to have our own private little challenge this year with a prompt each week to kick us off.  Not sure how long we will manage to keep it up before life gets in the way and we can opt out of the odd week if we don't like a particular prompt (drawn out of a 'hat') but I've really enjoyed this first one where the prompt was 'FRAMES' to be interpreted in any way we chose.


 I decided to decorate a large MDF tag (5.5" x 10")...I am determined to use up more of my unloved stash this year and this has been a very good start! 


First I covered it with a lovely designer paper I have been hoarding for several years.  Its from a pad I created our Daughter's Wedding stationery from 7 yrs ago.  I added some stencilling using Distress Inks and some light stamping using Versafine Inks (second generation) and PaperArtsy Mini stamps.  For once I remembered to ink round the edges before I stuck everything on.  My usual trick is to forget till the very end which is sooo tedious, lol! I then found the perfect use for one of my Tim Holtz Botanicals 😄


Unfortunately I forgot to take pics of the various stages I did to cover my lovely frames 
 which I have also had in my wood and chipboard embellishments for an age.  Both were from the Basics range at Hobbycraft.   Click on the pic for a better look but I was really chuffed with the way they turned out.  I used a couple of coats of DecoArt White Tinting Base followed by their crackle medium (can't remember which one, lol) and finally their Antiquing Cream, first a brown one rubbed back with a wetwipe, then the same with grey.  I backed both frames with co-ordinating paper (from the same pad) having first stuck the TH Paper Doll image to the larger piece.  I added a very light hint of colour to some areas of the image and added the butterflies which are also from the Botanicals.


Before I stuck the frames to the tag I added some shadowing down one side of the flower with a carbon pencil then raided my stash for suitable flowers and flourishes.  I think the flowers were old Prima designs and the flourishes were from Ally Pally last year from a company I had never come across before miszmaszpapierowy.com.pl.  They had some beautiful designs but they are extremely delicate and cut from a thickish paper product so I knew they wouldn't take much wet medium like sprays so instead I used PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paints to colour them. I then stuck the frames and other elements down with Heavy Gloss Gel Medium.


I then rooted around for a suitable quote and found this one on a Wendy Vecchi set  (another sadly neglected item in my collection).  I stamped it twice on a scrap of the background paper with grey Archival Ink, cut it up and inked the edges before sticking it to the tag.


A final look at the dimension on the bottom of the tag.

I love watching Marta Lapkowska's YouTube videos (Maremi's Small Art) while I am crafting and there's quite a bit of inspiration from her in this tag not least of which is to 'USE YOUR STASH'!

Well, that's it for today!  I hope you like my tag and I'm now wondering what our prompt will be for this coming week.  I'm scheduling this post so we'll find out the next when this goes live just after 1:00 pm today 😀.  See you again soon!

Hugs
Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 7 January 2018

A 2018 kickstart!

Hello again!

Right here we go with my first proper blog post for this year. 


This is my first birthday card design of the year.  I had two birthdays very close together in the past week so I made the same design twice but changed the quotes on the front.  I forgot to take a pic of the alternative one.  The beautiful tree stamp is a  'cover the page' stamp from Impression Obsession and in this case the quote is one from an Alison Bomber set for PaperArtsy.  I love the beautiful quotes Alison has brought to us via these stamps and I can't wait for February when she has some new sets coming out with the new PaperArtsy releases.


Before stamping the trees I used a dusting brush to add some Distress Ink colour to a piece of script designer paper.  I wanted to give the impression of hazy winter sunlight filtering through bare trees.   I inked the edges and layered up onto the base card before stamping and cutting up the quote and added it to the top.


Now for something I haven't done much of at all....journalling!  A friend pointed out that France Papillon was starting a new challenge on her blog, A Layer A Day/A Spread A Week (ALAD/ASAW) so a couple of us decided to have a go. If you want to know the details have a look at France's blog but I have to say I found it extremely difficult to only do one layer then walk away till the next day.  Once I get in a crafting mood I want to keep at it whilst it's flowing but I'll give it another go this week hopefully and see how I get on.  



I did take about three pics with my phone of the different layers but for some reason I couldn't get them to download this morning 😞 .   I started off with a couple of pages I had already stamped a rose onto with two colours of Distress Oxides, left over ink from a previous project.  Over that I randomly stamped a fab script stamp I bought recently by ALL&Create (from That's Crafty) then I gave it a patchy wash with gesso.

 

Next came Grunge Paste through an Imagination Crafts mixed media stencil.  Love this stencil as it has different shaped 'holes' making a random design.  Next layer was PaperArtsy Infusions which I allowed to run and drip plus an old Crafty Notions white spray and some shimmery Glimmer Mists.


A couple of words from a Seth Apter stencil and stickers, a few touches of Treasure Gold and a light application of black ink to the edges finished the actual pages then I stamped a Tim Holtz butterfly twice onto a scrap of brusho'd card, cut them out and stuck them to the pages.

Right that's it for today!  Hope it's not too long before I have something else to share.  Thanks for dropping by today.

Hugs
Lesley  Xx

2017 Christmas card recap....just for my records really!

Hello to anyone who drops by and a belated Happy New Year.

No new year resolutions here but I do hope to be a slightly more consistent blogger in 2018 but we'll see if I stick to that, lol!  Anyway, before I blog a bit of new 'art' in my second post of the day I wanted to share pics of the Christmas cards I made for 2017 as I like to have them recorded here.


This first selection were made from backgrounds I'd made ages ago from which I diecut the starts and then stamped and embossed the snowflakes.


Still on a star theme but this card was a one off with Chocolate Baroque snowflakes stamped and embossed onto a script paper background and the edges heat embossed too then the stars again diecut from a previously made background.

 

A few months before Christmas I bought two gorgeous Penny Black Christmas design stamps from lovely Val, the very talented owner of Snazzy's whose design team I used to be a member of.  I absolutely adore these stamps and the batch above are using the poinsettia stamp.   I inked the stamp up using different shades of Distress Inks and dragged the colours out with a water brush, added a little stickles to the centres and then stamped and embossed the sentiments.


This next batch  use the other PB stamp, berries and bell.  Again I inked up with Distress Inks and am so pleased with the effect I got after dragging the colours out with a water brush.


Here's a closer view on which you can see the gold foiling I added, especially if you click to enlarge.

I have decided that as we don't have so many Christmas cards to exchange these days, sadly as we get older there are friends and loved ones nolonger with us and of course, no work colleagues now we have been retired for several years so this year I am hoping to make all the cards I need, not just the ones for crafting friends.  Wish me luck, lol!

Okey Dokey,  now for the new stuff........I'll be back shortly!

Hugs
Lesley  Xx 


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Destruction leads to creation and another PaperArtsy Challenge entry.

Hi Everyone,

It's a late post from me tonight....I fell asleep after tea and slept for far too long so will probably be in my craftroom till the early hours of tomorrow again, oops!

The mistress of all things layered and vintagey, the very talented Lynne Moncrieff, shared a wonderful creation HERE on the PaperArtsy Blog a few nights ago.  I am not very good at multiple layering especially in a seemingly random fashion.  I have this compulsion to make everything neat and it drives me bonkers, lol!  However, Lynne's beautiful project made me want to at least try something with a nod to her lovely style although she didn't actually do any burning for her piece.  As usual, I still need Christmas cards so that's what I created.


The guest bloggers are into the second week of inspiration for the current theme of  'torn, ripped and burnt' and this time my card has all three.


I found a piece of fabric to tear, along with a piece of mesh ribbon to co-ordinate with the beautiful designer papers that have been forgotten and unloved in my stash for years.  Both the musical background (We Wish You a Merry Christmas) and the stamped piece are originally from the same pad (can't remember who's) and they have beautiful embossing on with fine rainbow glitter.... absolutely stunning! 


I used a Prima distressing tool on the edges of the main background piece and then inked them.  I also stamped some small stars from a PaperArtsy Lin Brown stamp set using a Memories white pigment ink and then embossed with clear ep.  It's really translucent though so I doubt you can see it on the pics.  I stuck this piece to the card blank with double sided tape.  I also stamped my favourite PaperArtsy bells using an Archival Ink onto the piece of co-ordinating designer paper.


Next I had great fun holding the layers to a candle flame, very carefully, to get all the burnt edges.  I did have to be extremely careful actually because both the fabric and the mesh ribbon proved to be highly flammable but the effect is great.  I added all the layers to the card using a hot glue gun.  I am useless with this contraption and waste more glue than I use, lol!


I inked a piece of Scrapiniec chipboard with Vintage Photo Distress Oxide and removed some of it by spritzing with water.  I love the effect this had and I used the glue gun again to add this piece and the little stars to the card.  The final touch was to stamp the sentiment in the bottom right corner.

Righty Ho!  I'm off to do the link up thing.  Do drop by the PaperArtsy blog if you get chance for as usual, they are sharing some awesome projects for this topic.  Sleep tight everyone!

Hugs
Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 2 December 2017

It's not long to Christmas!

Morning All,

Well I hope you are all more organised and ready for Christmas than I am.  It seems the less I have to do now we go our Daughter's or Son's over the Christmas/New Year period the worse I am at being organised, lol!  Anyway, as we are nearing the end of 2017 we are also almost at the end of another year of fabulous inspiration from PaperArtsy and their talented band of bloggers.  The current challenge over on the Blog is 'torn, ripped and burned' and I believe it is the penultimate challenge for this year so I wanted to make sure I got at least one entry in.  You will find the fab intro post from Darcy HERE and this week has already seen some wonderful projects with more to come over the coming week.

As I still need some handmade Christmas cards my challenge entry is another such piece.


I started with a piece of designer paper (I am determined to start using them instead of stroking them every now and again, lol) which I tore and then inked followed by giving the edges the Stickles treatment.

 

Next I did the same to a piece of corrugated card which I stamped with my favourite HotPicks cluster of bells.  I washed some ink around the image and added Stickles in dots and to the inside of the bells.


It's not very visible but I held a piece of very fine organza ribbon to a candle to melt the edges.  I wanted them to turn brown but I only got a few little specks.  I wrapped that round the designer paper before attaching it to the base card then attached the topper with foam pads, then added a few dots of Stickles to the organza.


I stamped the sentiment and embossed with Wow Vanilla White embossing powder.  Love this powder for a more shabby chic style.

 

Do give the PaperArtsy Blog a visit for an amazing array of inspiration if you get chance.  I'm off to do the link up.  See you again soon.......probably with another Christmas card, lol!

Hugs
Lesley  Xx




Sunday, 26 November 2017

Whoohoo I managed a PaperArtsy challenge entry!

Morning Everyone, 

On this very chilly Sunday morning!  We've had a bit of everything so far this morning I think, sunshine, cloud, bit breezy still, very cold and with the odd little icy shower.  I don't cope well with temperature extremes (or what poses for extremes here in the UK 😉) so it's a stay in the warm day for me today. 

I love the current 'Shades of White' theme for the current PaperArtsy Blog Challenge and have managed to kill two birds with one stone by making an entry which also knocks another Christmas card off my list to make.  It didn't turn out quite as white as I intended but as my makes never ever run to plan (if I have a plan to start with) so be it.  I'm still verey pleased with the end result which is very sparkly for me......I rarely 'do in your face' sparkle, lol!


I started with a white base card (20 x 20 cm), antique gold pearlescent card, beautiful snowflake designer paper from my stash and ivory card.  I don't have any PaperArtsy snowflake stamps so I used my favourite one from a Chocolate Baroque set and overstamped the dp with Versamark then heat embossed with some gorgeous embossing powder I have had for at least 10 years.  I really thought it would have deteriorated by now but it worked perfectly!  It's an ivory with gold glitter, yummy!  I hope you can see the pretty sparkle when you click on the photos.  I love this lamp post from one of PaperArtsy's Hot Picks Christmas sets.  There's a lovely set of bells on there too that's another favourite of mine.
 

Here's the snowflake detail.


The pic below is a bit darker than real life (the sunshine disappeared) but it shows the lovely sheen on the pearlescent card.  


When I stamped the lamp post I inked up first with Versamark and also with Vintage Photo Distress Ink before using the ep and it just makes a subtle difference.

 

I cut lots of poinsettia and two little reindeer using Tim Holtz/Sizzix dies with pearlescent card in three different shades and also some crumpled crackly tissue that came as packaging for something.  I

 

I added a bit of Vintage Photo round the edge of the lamp post piece and a bit of random embossing powder then layered everything up finishing off with some sparkly embellishments for the flower and snowflake middles.
 

Righty Ho!  Off to do the link up.  Do drop by the PaperArtsy blog if you get chance because the guest blogger's have excelled themselves which reminds me I'm two post behind so missing out on crafting treats.

Have a lovely Sunday and stay warm.

Hugs
Lesley  Xx







Tuesday, 21 November 2017

It's a Dickensian Christmas at Chatsworth House!

Hi Everyone and thanks for you visit today,

ALERT!  This is a mega photo heavy post and has only a passing connection to crafting AND there's lots of things Christmassy so, if you decide to stay for a browse I'd grab a drink and settle in, lol!

Last year Hubby and I visited Chatsworth Christmas Market for the first time and were quite impressed even though it was raining most of the time but we didn't go to look round the decorations in the house.  This year we decided to book a time slot online.......not a bad idea as it saves you a parking fee 😃f as well as guaranteeing you a place.  We decided to try and get there as early as we could, even though our house visit wasn't till 3.15 pm, so that we weren't parked too far away as we are not too agile these days and it does get a bit claggy underfoot when it's damp (which it was).  They do have some 'golf cart' type buggies driving around to ferry people though which is a big help if you're prepared to wait for them. 

The house this year, is decorated in a Dickensian theme and I have to say it is stunning.  Unfortunately we had a mishap with the camera.......I remembered to put the battery on charge the night before and thought Hubby had put it in the camera as he'd taken it from the socket.....WRONG! I had picked up a battery empty camera so I had to resort to my phone and whilst they are not the best pics in the world I was surprisingly pleased with them.  I haven't done any tweaking with the light or anything because I thought it would spoil the atmosphere in the house and market.  It was a very gloomy day and did rain several times so we got a bit damp and chilly waiting for our time slot after lunch.  The restaurants get mega busy so you have to be patient if you want to eat indoors but there are loads of fresh foods available outside....the hog roast aromas were driving my senses potty all day, lol! 

Now I'll move on to the photos which you can browse or skip as you will........

Straight away you are greeted with FOOD!


 

Loved the wicker animals on this stand but the magnificent stag below was my favourite.  Not surprising given the price tag of nearly £500!
 

And more food!  There were at least two hog roast stands, plus lots more eateries and the smells were driving me mad all day.  I love a proper hog roast!
 

Really pretty paper light decorations.
 

Lots of quality handcrafts of all kinds from decorations, clothing (sewn, knitted) some of it way out of my price bracket, lol, handmade soaps, pottery, woodwork and much, much more.  There was also some beautiful jewellery, toys, metal garden ornaments...I fell in love with some metal robins which I forgot to take a pic of but now I do wish I had bought one, lol!
 


Above is looking from about half way up the market to the top and below is looking back out over some of the park land and you can see the car park filling up in the bottom right corner.


This lovely organ grinder lent a very festive atmosphere if you stopped for a nice drink of .....whatever took your fancy.


Garlic anyone!


Or do you prefer a little tipple.......


The pic below gives a better idea of how busy it was but it wasn't that busy as to be uncomfortable.


My tipple of choice was a lovely hot chocolate with a measure of Baileys....delicious!  The chappy asked if I would like a spot of rum in it too but I was driving so thought I'd best not, lol, even though  I did have lunch and several hours before we were setting off for home.


On our way into the house now and the walkway was lined with these lovely character silhouettes.


Here's Hubby lighting Ebenezer Scrooge's candle for him.


The first beautiful tree in the marquee where we waited for staggered time slot.


The entrance hall (North Sub) is dedicated to Dickens use of words many of which he invented.  I like sassigassity .....  audacity with attitude!  Many of my crafting friends would have appreciated this as it was covered in books and book pages.......


.....including the tree!





Below is the Chapel Corridor dedicated to 'A Christmas Carol' 


Loved this beautiful wall decoration


After walking past the 'shops' and round the corner you find the door to Scrooge and Marley's business premises.



Then into the Chapel and the Ghost of Christmas Present...  Look at that ceiling!





Next is The Old Curiosity Shop and some weird and wonderful 'trees' including this fabulous upside down one.


Followed by A Tale of Two Cities.....


Now on towards Dickensian London but watch out for one or two scoundrels, especially this one who will charmingly kiss the ladies hands .....while 'lifting' their jewellery 😉


AND THIS WAS MY FAVOURITE BIT!  A London scene created from bookpages!  Absolutely wonderful although I think I would have scruffed it up a bit with some distressing, lol!



And into the Painted Hall where you can hear a blackbird singing


You can see why it's the Painted Hall with this stunning ceiling!  


It's a bit gloomy and smoky depicting dawn breaking in London


and here is the gentleman himself, Mr Charles Dickens.


Hubby making his way up the staircase to the stunning tree at the top.  I waited ages to try and get an unobstructed pic but there were too many visitors.


The pic below was taken from the little balcony you can just see to the left of the staircase.



And on into Fagin's lair and a Christmas tree made of beds for his little band of urchins.


Below is a layout of the house and gardens.


How about these for embellishments fellow crafters?


Cheeky Bullseye has found himself a cosy spot to keep an eye on his many offspring!



But I don't think Scrooge is so cosy with the Ghost of Christmas Past disturbing his slumbers.


Looking down on the Painted Hall from the other side.  It sure is spectacular!



This I think, was my favourite tree as it appealed to the crafter in me.  Little Dorrit has used threaded buttons and bobbins of cotton from her sewing box as decorations to give her family some Christmas cheer on a budget. 



And another exhibit to appeal to us crafters!


 Now we have my personal favourite Dickens story, Great Expectations and Miss Haversham's dining room (Chatsworth's Dome room and Great Dining Room).  This was the perfect setting .....without the mould, lol! 


Miss Haversham very kindly turned round for me to take her picture.  Can you see her little furry friends scuttling back under her table!



The cake was beautiful if a little cobwebby and I definitely loved the chair decorations.  How stunning would they look for a modern wedding.


And finally we're on the way out!  Looking back down a beautifully decorated corridor.....


....and turning to face this gorgeous final tree!

 

Outside a very small glimpse of the gardens.  We could have had a walk round them but the light was going fast and I didn't fancy a walk back to the car in total darkness, not to mention the fact that we were very tired by this point.


The exit to the grounds is round the side of this grotto


When we reached the other side this was the market spread out before us.  It looked beautiful and had I not had a tramp over muddy parkland in the dark I would have found the energy for another walk round as there was still about an hour to go I think. 



 Once again Chatsworth did not disappoint.  I haven't been a regular visitor over the years even though we live barely an hour away but it's always beautiful and their Christmas Market just gets better I think.  It's definitely bigger than last year I'm sure!  I haven't been inside the house for about 40 years I would think and it's the very first time at Christmas.  I'm so glad we made the effort to go and would thoroughly recommend it.

Well, if you even looked at all the pics let alone read the post you deserve a medal but I wanted to add some info as a reminder for myself (the memory's not what it used to be, lol).  Thanks for stopping by and normal services will be resumed on my next post, Ha! Ha!

Hugs
Lesley  Xx