Wednesday, 17 January 2018

WOYWW #450: A little box made from junk

Hello deskers! Another Wednesday has arrived so it's time to head over to the Stamping Ground once again for the weekly blog fest affectionately known as WOYWW.  I snapped this photo of my desk just a few minutes ago in natural daylight for once! It shows the aftermath of a project I did on Sunday for Wanderlust. If anyone's interested, you can find it here. I haven't had a chance to tidy up since then - ok, I admit, I would have had plenty of chances,  I just didn't bother!

There are a number of projects in the making but today I'm going to share one that I finished a while ago. You may have seen that little round box sitting in the lower right corner of my self earlier. I'll give you a closer look and show you how I made it. 

It's made out of a cardboard tub - you know the ones with a metal bottom? Hubby cut it to size for me and I cut a round top for it from some sturdy cardboard. I stuck some corrugated cardboard strips all around the tub and found a wooden die-cut shape that fitted perfectly on the lid, along with a little cork for a handle. It just happened that everything was in perfect proportion and the pieces worked really well together.

I used some gilding wax to colour it over black gesso, but I could have just used metallic paint. Next time I will as the wax is not very nice to work with. They all dried up and I don't like the way they smell. I added some ribbon to jazz it up a bit and to hide the unsightly seams. This is what the box looks like coloured and assembled: 

No Oreo photos today, but here's a quick fix for you cat lovers. I found this little guy at The Range, where I now work. Isn't he cute? I won't get my staff discount until my trial period of 13 weeks is over, but that doesn't stop me from buying stuff! I will probably end up spending most my wages there, LOL!

Thanks for visiting! I may not be able to return visits until later in the week as I work tonight and tomorrow morning and I have to home school in between, but I'll be around as soon as I get a chance. Happy WOYWW! 

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Wanderlust Week 02 (2018): Destiny

I signed up for Wanderlust 2018 back in September because I found the early bird discount together with the alumni discount irresistible. Even though I only completed a few of the lessons last year, I watched all the videos and I'm sure every bit of inspiration has found its way into my art in one form or another, so it wasn't a waste of money at all. I don't intend to complete all the lessons this year either, but I know that every lesson will somehow influence my artistic journey.

This month's theme is Paths and Roads and in week two we had Michelle Turbide as our guest teacher. The way she used gesso and ink, immediately inspired me to try her technique and I had just the right substrate for it too! Remember those cardboard panels that I prepped a while ago just in case I might need them? This was the perfect opportunity to use one of them!

Initially, I followed the tutorial to create the background and foreground with a path running through it, but then I went a bit off track and added a few elements of my own. I stenciled a large tree (using a home made stencil cut on my Cameo), I added a little wooden house shape, a die-cut dreamcatcher, a setting sun, some stamping - and even some scrap corrugated packaging and a few well placed glitter dots -  to complete the picture.  The title came as an afterthought. No rhyme or reason - I just felt my painting needed these elements when I got to that stage in the process. None of them were planned when I started out. Here's the completed project - a little different from the lesson:

I'm not sure I managed to accomplish the objective of the class, but I had lots of fun working on my layers and this painting means a lot to me. I decided to hang it on my wall and I found an easy way to do this. I simply stuck a piece of string to the back with some strong duck tape and fixed a 3M removable plastic hook to the wall. So far it's holding quite well. Here's a photo to show you how I did this:

Thanks for visiting! 
I wish you all well on your own journey!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

WOYWW #449: A journal page, a tag and some tattered flowers

I was really sad to take the Christmas tree down this year. I don't usually feel that way but this year was special in our new house - we really enjoyed our first Christmas here. Taking down the tree also coincided with finishing my puzzle (more about that later) which also filled me with a sense of closure of the Christmas period. It's gone now and only the happy memories remain.

I didn't have much time to feel sentimental though as on Monday, I found out that I was offered a job at the local Range to work in the Arts and Crafts department! Yay me, I'm very excited! It's a part-time job, which allows me to continue with home education until my son gets into school (September the latest) and hopefully still spend some time in my art room and blogging. We'll see how it goes - I'm very optimistic about it at the moment.

Onto my desk now quickly, as that's what WOYWW is all about! Here's a photo I took earlier this week. At the front is a nearly finished journal spread featuring my first ever tattered flower - some more are in the process of being made in the background. There's also a tag I used for leftover paint and eagle-eyed viewers can also spot a texture stamp with a brick wall pattern - I ordered it from Aliexpress (thanks Annie and Shaz for putting me onto it!) - it's really good quality and cost me the grand total of £1.17!

Here's a closer look at my journal spread with the tattered flower that was cut from Khadi paper and tinted with distress oxides. 

This is how the flower was produced and assembled: 

My next batch if flowers were cut from brown wrapping paper. I love how the distress oxides behave on that surface! I've made some smaller ones as well with the thinlits die set and put a mini epoxy flower in the middle.

I used one of the small flowers on this tag that I put together (quite haphazardly) from scraps:

And finally here's my completed puzzle! I really enjoyed working on it, though sometimes I wondered whether I will ever be able to finish it! Frustratingly, the last piece didn't quite fit, so I had to find where I went wrong, but I was able to figure it out. Some pieces were almost identical in shape and colour, so it was easy to mix them up! I'm looking for a way to preserve the puzzle - too much work has gone into it for it to just go to waste! 

Thanks for visiting today. I won't have much time to go around until later in the day, but I promise to always get back to everyone who leaves a comment! Have a wonderful day! xx

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

WOYWW #448: Hello 2018!

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope your celebrations went well and you enjoyed your New Year's Eve around the world. We stayed in nice and cozy, everyone preoccupied with their own hobbies and then we congregated in front of the telly for a glass of bubbly to watch the fireworks at midnight. Not the most exciting way to spend your New Year's Eve, I admit, but I wouldn't do it any other way. When I was younger and single, I always felt obliged to go to parties, while all I really wanted to do was to stay at home. Now I can do just that without having to feel weird about it! I love being hopelessly middle-aged!

As for arts & crafts, I have been doing lots of bits and pieces. Too many to show you in one sitting, so I'll blog them separately in the coming weeks. For now, I'll just show you my desk at different times during the past week.

This photo shows my desk on 28th December at around 3 pm. I'd just made my first tattered flower with a Tim Holtz bigz die and I'd also stuck some gelli prints on wood panels for display.

This next photo was taken on 29th December at 1 am. I had an uncontrollable urge to start a journal page. Notice that the shelving unit is still sitting on my desk, unattached to the wall.

Jump to 31st December, around midday. The half-finished journal page had been shoved to the back to give way to my experimenting with foam shapes (cut with Tim Holtz mixed media dies) and distress oxides on the gelli plate. The shelf had finally been fixed to the wall by my DIY extraordinaire hubby - yay! 

In the meanwhile, I also started a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle - quite on impulse, but no doubt inspired by some of you who showed us your Christmas puzzles. I'd had this one sitting in the back of my wardrobe for years and I almost forgot about it. Oreo walked in just as I was sorting the pieces and promptly placed himself right in the middle of it. Later, I managed to convince him that his purpose-made, fluffy bed (never used much before!) would be more comfortable. He wanted to try different positions before moving to his bed though! Here's the story in pictures:

This is how far I got with the puzzle last night. I've added a few more pieces since then, but it's slow going! I hope to be able to show you the finished project next week if I can find the patience to complete it!

One more thing to boast about this week: my afore-mentioned DIY extraordinaire hubby single-handedly  fitted a bi-fold door (too many hyphens, I know!) between the conservatory and the dining area. For some reason, the previous owners of our house thought it was a good idea to leave this area open-plan, but it turned the whole kitchen/diner into a big freezer! Now it's nice and warm and cozy instead of feeling like you're sitting in a cold corridor. I've also found the perfect wall-art at the Range to add a spot of colour.

Here's a closer look at the canvas in better lighting. I instantly fell in love with it when I first saw it! It's a Moroccan tile pattern with some gold details - incredibly good value for just £20!

I hope I didn't keep you up too long. These blog posts always end up longer than I intend. 

Thank you for stopping by - I hope your 2018 is filled with joy, health and happiness! xx

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

WOYWW #447: Christmas presents and happy play!

For once, the past week went rather slowly. The countdown to Christmas was rather excruciating as I was counting down the days till I was finally allowed to open my present! Not since I was a child have I felt so excited! Here I am for a special edition of WOYWW this week: What's Underneath Your Christmas Tree?

Here's a shot of our tree on Christmas morning. Oreo is well positioned for his festive snap. His present is on the left, mine's the big one in the middle, hubby's was too large to go under the tree, so we took a photo of it instead (it's a metal tool cabinet on wheels - the man version of the iconic Ikea craft trolley!) - the rest belongs to my son, who was almost as excited about Christmas as I was! He chose his big presents but I also bought him some smaller things for the surprise element. Luckily, we no longer need to pretend about Santa! What a scam, hey? He still holds that against us!

Here's Oreo posing with his present: six months' supply of Dreamies, his favourite treat.

This cinematic light display is so much fun to leave messages around and I couldn't resist that little cuddly toy that literally jumped on me in the shop. His name is Barry.

And here's the one you've all been waiting for - tada! No, not Darth Vader - the Big Shot with a selection of dies to play with. Darth is only guarding it for me. 

I used to have a Big Shot years ago, but I sold it when I got my Silhouette Cameo. It was a mistake - you really do need both - they can't replace one another! Although I realised this early on, I didn't have the space for another device, so I had to make do without a Big Shot for years. Now, I've found the perfect spot for it:

I had a marathon play session in my craft room trying out all my new dies. I bought some simple shapes, tabs, tags, frames and a nice alphabet with numbers - the kind of things I can use on a regular basis without having to fire up my Cameo every time I need something. I was delighted to see that most of the the dies easily cut thick kraft card - I'm pretty sure the Cameo would have struggled with that. I've made some tags with my newly cut shapes and also to test run some cheap craft paints, found at The Range.

Note: I chose these numbers at random - I've only just realised, it could have easily been 2018 - why it's 9018, I'll never know LOL! The creative side of my brain doesn't have a seasonal setting!

Actually, it wasn't the Big Shot's ability to cut shapes from card that excited me the most! It's the fact that I can now cut foam, and emboss as well. The Cameo does neither of those jobs. I have a lot more things to share about the Big Shot, but I'm afraid I'll have to leave those for another blog post.

That's it, folks! The last WOYWW in 2017! I'll be back for a lot more in 2018! I hope you'll enjoy your New Year's Eve celebrations. See you again in the New Year!

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

WOYWW #446: Tiny houses and gelli printed mini envelopes

I'm writing this WOYWW post on Tuesday night, which is quite unusual for me. I will probably sleep in tomorrow as we are officially on holiday as of tonight and we are now unstoppably hurtling towards Christmas! I've got something crafty underneath the Christmas tree, but I can't reveal it until next week!

For now I will just show you these little houses I cut on my Cameo. Aren't they cute? I found the free cut files on this site.  Here's a photo I took while I was inking the edges. The walls are stained with distress oxides and the roofs with distress ink (rusty hinge). That shelving unit on my desk is new (well, recycled - it already has a nice ink stain on it!) and still needs to be fixed to the wall. It will be great for storing regularly used products within easy reach.

I've also made some mini envelopes with some gelli prints I'd created earlier this year. I used a scoreboard, which was an early Christmas present (from myself!). I should have got one years ago - I don't know how I managed without it so far! The envelopes are slightly different shapes and sizes but mainly around ATC size. 

I've been meaning to share this gif for a while but always forgot. This cat looks a lot like Oreo and reminds me of myself when I order art supplies online LOL!

I hope you've enjoyed your visit today! Wishing you all a joyful and peaceful Christmas! I hope to be back again next week for this year's last WOYWW.