Wednesday, 9 June 2021

WOYWW #627: A bit of a scattered post and more ATCs!

Sorry I had to miss last week - I ended up working on my day off. That was the pay off for the bank holiday - there's always a pay-off! I'm back today with a bit of a scattered post - it's been a scattered couple of weeks. I've been doing this and that, fluttering from one project to another. I'll show you just a few. 

This was my desk almost two weeks ago. You'll be glad to know that I have since cleared it, though it got pretty messy again pretty quickly, so why bother?

Here I was ironing my tea-dyed papers - I love that little travel iron, it's so handy! I've made a ton of these papers and tried a new technique as well dying inkjet prints letting the inks run, which produce a pretty cool distressed effect. You can check out a tutorial here. These were my initial results and some plain ones too:

Another thing you can do is print directly on tea-dyed paper. I've printed these end papers for an altered book I'm planning to do - and that's as far as I got! 

What else? Oooh, you gotta see this! I saw this cool technique from Birgit Koopsen on Instagram where she uses gold Pan Pastels on a gelli plate - what can I say - mind blown - I had to try it! Here are my results: 

I've also been catching up on challenges in the Mixed Media Emporium Facebook group. One of them was ATC coins. I'd never created coins before and I must say I struggled with this format a bit, but managed to come up with these in the end. When you don't know what to use for focal points, just slap on some TH paper dolls - they always seem to work LOL! 

Talking of ATCs I've received some delightful beauties in the second round of my swaps from Heather, Chris, Lisa-Jane and Lyn (Spyder) along with some lovely little note cards, holders, ephemera etc. Thank you ladies - getting these in the post always made my day and put a smile on my face. 

I have a few other projects in the making - but I think I've kept you long enough - I'll show you next time. For now, there are just these photos to share. 

An amazing cloudscape from a few nights ago:

My beautiful hydrangea with huge flower balls (they're even bigger now)- the summer house still under construction in the background - hubs working on the insulation - had a little accident stabbing himself in the wrist narrowly missing his arteries - ended up in A&E but he's ok! I told him to take it as a warning to be more careful - a bit like when I fell down the stairs two years ago. I'm being very careful around stairs now! 

Some mood lights installed along the fence and the new flower bed leading to the summer house, by DIY extraordinaire hubs (without any accidents this time). I only showed him a picture in a magazine and bang, a week later we've got the lights going - he was trying to explain the technicalities of how the wires are connected, which went straight over my head - all I'm interested in is that on/off button LOL. (Similarly, he wouldn't be interested in my cooking method - all he's interested in is the food to stuff in his face. Yeah, we're old fashioned like that.)  

And that's all for today! Fingers crossed for "freedom day" June 21st - though I don't really see what all the fuss is about when we can already do most of what we want to do. We're hardly in "lockdown".  A few more weeks wouldn't make any difference. Let's just hope the vaccines are working! I had my second dose on Saturday - feeling great so far, not even a sore arm, but I'll be a bit jittery for the next two weeks. Not sure I would want another round of the AZ until they sort out the clotting issue. 

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

WOYWW #625: ATCs and an old book

It was so much fun receiving all the WOYWW anniversary ATCs in the post - we know why it's called Happy Mail, right? I haven't actually done much in the past week and I even forgot to take a photo of my desk, so instead I'll show you my floor where I laid out all the ATCs received. I feel so spoiled, especially by Caro, who's sent me not one but two ATCs (as I was also her PIF) along with a load of goodies as shown in the bottom row. I love each and every one of your creations - they're all unique and they will join all the others from previous years' swaps - I'll just need to get them organised.

These were the ones I sent out below, along with a postcard I had printed from my own photo (I used - they're really good!). It shows the Almonry Museum in Evesham - I took that photo in 2017 when we first visited not realising, that we will end up living here. Four years on and we couldn't be happier! 

I could finish here and call it 'short & sweet' but I'm dying to show you this old book I bought on Ebay. I was going to use it as an art journal but it's really too precious for that - I can't possibly deface it! It was published in 1866 and belonged to someone called Annie Mahone. I wonder who she was and what her life was like back then a 150 years ago! I feel so privileged to own this old book - I might get into the habit of collecting them. Here are a few photos - there are some illustrations inside as well, which I might scan and share later, as they would be copyright free by now, I assume.

Again, I could finish here and call it 'not-so-short-and-sweet' but I still have a few photos of some blooms to delight you with. First, my 3-year-old rhododendron bush, which had two flower buds this year - twice as many as last year! - and loads of new leaf shoots. And then my little garden centre haul, that I bought to console myself after being bitterly disappointed with my online purchase from Gardening Express. Do not buy any plants online - it's  a big scam - they use stock photos to lure you in but that's not what you're getting! I won't ruin my blog by showing you what they sent - lesson learned! 

And that's it! Not at all short but hopefully still a bit sweet! I'll see you around!

Happy #625!

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

WOYWW #624: Gelli printed envelopes, mini journal and trial ATCs

Here it is, the 12th anniversary of WOYWW, possibly the longest running blog hop in the history of the internet! Huge congratulations to Julia, our beloved hostess and eternal thanks for facilitating our weekly meet up, come rain or shine. I've only been part of it on and off since 2014 but it feels like forever and WOYWW has irrevocably become part of my life and my Wednesdays would never be the same without it! Without further ado, here's a photo of my desk in the midst of activity:

I knew that sticker maker would come in handy one day! I printed some vintage butterflies and moths on tracing paper and ran them through the machine - it worked remarkably well and I used them to decorate my envelopes and ATCs for the big anniversary swap. I won't show you my ATCs, but I'll give you a glimpse of the envelopes, which I gelli printed. 

OK, perhaps I can show you my trial ATCs - these are the ones I made before making the real ones for the swap, just trying out a few things. I'll show you the real ones next week, once they've been received.

Then later I used some of my gelli prints and the left-over bits and pieces on my desk to make a mini journal, which was our new challenge in the Mixed-Media Emporium Facebook group. It just all fell together serendipitously!  Here are a few sample pages: (they are not entirely finished yet - perhaps they never will be - but sometimes less is more.) 

That's it for today - happy WOYWW anniversary, everyone! I'm going to be out for most of the day, but I will visit when I'm back. I amazed myself and posted off my pre-arranged ATCs early on Monday (16 of them!) - very much out of character for me as I like to procrastinate until the very last minute. I sent them second class, so they may not have arrived yet. The reason I sent them second class is because the blue stamps suited the envelopes better than the red first class ones, not because I'm stingy LOL! It was purely a design decision! 

I still have a few ATCs left over apart from the one reserved for my PIF, so please let me know if anyone else would still like to swap. And if I sent you one, but you're not in a position to send one back, please don't worry about it. It's all for fun, not for stress! See you all later xx

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

WOYWW #623: More teabags and altered playing cards!

Running late today, even though I was up at the crack of dawn, but got distracted as usual. I snapped a quick photo of my desk just minutes ago - I'm afraid it's in a terrible state still - I must make some room before starting on my ATCs for next week! 

First things first, I've finished my 100-day project! Ok, I cheated a little by working in a weekly series - you're supposed to post every day, but I couldn't have done that, so this was a good compromise with the same end result - 100 altered teabags! In the end there were 9 left over which (in retrospect) would have been a better number to work with purely for esthetic reasons.  Here are my last nine tea bags - white stamping on a colourful alcohol ink background. 

Here's a picture of all 100 of them in the box - I wasn't sure they would all fit but they did! 

Even my clean up sheet turned out rather pleasing:

Apart from these, I've also worked on some more altered trading cards for the MME Facebook group, inspired by some of the members. It's good how we can bounce ideas off each other. These were done with alcohol inks and distress oxides:

That's it for today. There's just an Oreo photo left to share - he's looking more like himself in this one lounging on top of my puzzle board. He's newly jabbed - we missed his booster in lockdown and had to start a new course. It was very stressful for both of us with the vets being overbooked! All good now!

Happy #623 everyone! I'll start working on my ATCs this week - let me know if you want to swap and I'll add you to my list! xx

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

WOYWW #622: Catching up with challenges (teabags and playing cards)

I've been playing catch up this week, having missed last week's WOYWW.  I forgot to take a photo of my desk, but I can show you my alternative work desk, ie. our dining table. I know I said I was going to keep those gorgeous foiled puzzles until Christmas but I couldn't help having a go at one of them. It is now almost finished - this photo was taken earlier just after I had started it. I think I've found the perfect set-up with this new puzzle board - combined with my old one, I have four sorting boards and it only takes a few seconds to wrap it up and move it out of the way. The dining room gets the evening sun as well, which makes it very pleasant. 

Despite my absence, I managed to keep up with my challenges. Here are two weeks' worth of 100-day project teabags. The first lot is simply quotes typewritten directly on the teabags, and the second lot are around the theme of birds of prey to tie in with last week's challenge in the Mixed Media Emporium FB group - two birds with one stone, figuratively speaking! This brings me to #91 - only 9 more to go! 

The new challenge this week in the MME FB group was altered playing cards - the biggest challenge for me was to find my playing cards as I knew I had a couple of decks I bought a few years ago just for this purpose! This is what I made with them, front and back:

Hopefully, the weather will now allow us to plant out some of our newly acquired plants and trees. Hubs working on a flower bed at the moment, so I'll have somewhere to put them. Here's a shot of one of our new acquisitions: a  passion flower - isn't it fascinating? These flowers keep opening and closing - I wish I could film it in timelapse! (edit: actually, I've just found this video - it's quite amazing!)

And finally, a photo of Oreo that some of you will have already seen on Facebook - doesn't he look like an owl? Julia said without the whiskers, she would have been fooled LOL! 

Happy WOYWW gearing up to the 12th anniversary! xx