Wednesday, 7 November 2018

WOYWW #492: Book of Dreams (part 1)

Hello again, lovely people of WOYWW. I've just settled into my usual routine following a trip to Hungary last week. It's so good to be back! I even managed a short session in my craft room on Monday to start a project altering some recycled packaging. This is as far as I got in the first session:

I used a cheap crackle medium on it, which did not crackle. Seriously, not a single crack! Oh well, at least the underlying collage papers gave it some texture, even though they practically disappeared under the gesso and ink layers. Here's a closer look:

This is still a work in progress. So far, I've added some collage pieces and elements from the Dreamer paper collection. I will do the flip side as well, fold it into a booklet and call it my Book of Dreams. Still lots to be done! This is how it looks right now: 

When I work on these collages I tend to just use scraps lying around - I'm too lazy to get up and look for specific elements, so there's definitely a big advantage in having a messy desk! All those diecuts came from my scrapbox as well as the bits of ribbon. Part two will hopefully come next week. 

That's it art-wise. Now I'll just show you some of the photos I took while we were in Hungary. My dad has been looking into our family history for a while now and discovered that one of our ancestors had a street named after him. He was my dad's great-grandfather's older brother (technically, his great-granduncle) - a bishop and local historian. I took my son to see the street named after him in my hometown, Szekesfehervar. He thought it was cool to have a famous relative!

The following photos were also taken in my hometown. Here's me posing with Kati neni, a well-loved statue in a shopping street. If you rub her nose, it's supposed to bring good luck - hence the shiny nose! 

It was lovely to walk around the town in the evening - it felt like a summer's night, even though it was the very end of October but unseasonably warm. 

We travelled to Budapest a couple of days later, where I took these photos of the Parliament on the river Danube - at sunset and lit up in the dark. 

We did a couple of day trips with my parents as well and visited this new statue commemorating the 1848 Revolution against the Hapsburgs. It is on a grand scale! 

This photo shows my parents with my son at a viewpoint overlooking Lake Velence. You can see that my dad looks a bit like his great-granduncle! 

That's it folks! Thanks for tagging along on my journey - I'll see you again soon!

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

WOYWW #490: Shadowbox from 12X12" paper

Hello on this lovely Wednesday morning! I was up early today and saw the day break - it was eerie and quite spectacular - a sliver of bright pink on the horizon while everything was still pitch black. Never seen anything like that before! Even though I was up bright and early, I've only just now got a chance to put this blog post together. So here goes...

I'm here for another edition of WOYWW. Today I would like to share a shadow frame I made from a single sheet of 12X12" paper. I made the frame a while ago but I wasn't sure how to decorate it. Sometimes you just have to wait for the right moment when inspiration strikes. This was the aftermath of my creative session:

I was going to use those diecuts embossed with gold on the frame, but somehow they  didn't work, so I left them off. I didn't want to cover up too much of that lovely crackle, anyway, so it's all for the best. Here's a VIDEO showing how to make a shadowbox frame from a single sheet of paper. 

I covered mine with book paper and gessoed it several times to make it more sturdy and then I added some Kroma crackle paste (which takes frustratingly long to dry) and then I added another layer of gesso. This is what my frame looked like at this stage:

First, I applied some distress oxide inks, but they didn't really work so I went over them with my trusted acrylic inks, which also made the colours permanent. 

After this, I added some copper wax to the inside and outside edges of the frame. I distressed some metal embellishments with gesso and paint and stuck a gemstone in the middle. For the inside of the frame, I printed one of my previously scanned Dreamer papers and gold embossed a script stamp on it. I also embossed the edges. 

This is what it looked like in the early morning sun. I love how the light bounces off the embossed and gilded parts. It definitely has a magical feel to it, in line with the winged unicorn. Perhaps it's a bit (uni)corny LOL - but I still like it!

That's it for today - I won't waffle on. Thanks so much for your visit. Some of my visitors reported problems with leaving comments from the home page, but I think it works from inside the blog post - it's just another G+ bug. It may get sorted, or it won't. You'll be glad to hear that Google is doing away with G+ next summer, which leaves the question hanging in the air: what's going to happen to G+ comments and G+ profiles on blogs? I'm hoping they will replace it with something more flexible so that people who are allergic to G+ will be able to use it as well. 

I won't be around next week, but I hope to be back in two weeks' time! xx

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

WOYWW #489: A journal page and two cards

Having missed last week's WOYWW, I really didn't want to miss this week as well. On Monday evening I realised  that I had nothing to share, so I quickly put my backside into gear and even remembered to take a photo of my desk:

I initially set out to do something with that shadow frame sitting on top of my drawers on the left, but nothing came to me, so I decided to do a journal page instead. I used some motifs from a patterned paper collection (The Dreamer by Craftbox). These are lovely papers but on the pricey side, especially that they're double sided and you only get one of each sheet, so you end up wasting half the designs! Then the idea hit me to scan in the sheets and print them - this way I can use them over and over again (even digitally) and still keep the original pack to stroke. Why haven't I done that with all my precious papers before? 

This way I was able to rip up the sheet without having to gasp and use some bits on my page. My new page is on the left hand side of the spread. I've already shared the other side here. I wanted to keep the same colour scheme on both sides, so they go together. Here's a closer look:

While I was on a roll, I also finished a UFO that I started a couple of months ago - it only needed assembling. I don't even remember how I made them. I know I used some free embossing folders that came with a magazine and some of the vintage butterflies Annie sent me here

FREEBIES ALERT: Before I forget, there was a free Lifebook 2019 summit last week organised by Tam of Willowing with free videos published each day. I missed it as I didn't have time to watch them, but Tam extended the availability until next Monday if anyone's interested. You can find all the links HERE. This page will disappear on 22nd October. The first video on each page is an interview and the second one is an activity. In addition to the videos, there are free gifts from each artist -sometimes it's a discount code or a printable, but there are some offers of free classes as well. I was especially delighted to find that Donna Downey offered her 10X10 class for free!!! You can find Donna's gift HERE. It is such an incredibly generous offer! I'm not sure if there's a time limit on this link, so if you want it, you'd better sign up while you can and then the class will be registered to your account on Donna's website to access at your leisure. 

A few more photos to share: 

Oreo in his favourite sleeping position
Oreo with his best friend
Rainbow in our garden 
The Malvern Hills from the bottom of our garden
Yet another beautiful sunset
  Thanks for visiting! I'll be over soon! xx

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

WOYWW #487: Three birthdays and other things

I'm a week too late with this WOYWW post - I really should have posted a week ago, but it wasn't meant to be. The exact date of my desk shot is actually 19/09 which was exactly two weeks ago. I was getting ready for my son's 14th birthday that Friday (and Oreo's 3rd!). He requested a colourful, hand-made card. I decided to do something simple as he doesn't always appreciate my grungy mixed-media efforts, so I just stuck with using block colours, die-cuts, decorative tapes and photos in a more scrapbookie style. I used an Amazon mailer like I did for his 10th and 12th birthdays previously.

That shadow box on my desk was just an alternative I had explored but I'll do something else with it later. This is how the card turned out:

The card came with a cake (and a new 24-month phone contract, phew!). I can show you the cake - we ran out of Maltesers but it still looked ok. Who would have thought that a whole box of Maltesers is not even nearly enough to cover an 8" cake? 

Incidentally, my hub's birthday is today - just 12 days after my son's, which is always good because I'm less likely to forget it! He's getting a shop-bought card this year but I know he'll like the sentiment more than anything I could have cobbled together:

Just a few more photos to share:
Remember the blue shed in my last post? It didn't take long for Oreo to discover that it's a perfect vantage point to keep an eye on the back door.

My avocado continues to thrive. I keep moving it to the sunny side of the house and make sure the soil stays moist but not too wet as I read it needs good drainage. I may have to re-pot it sooner than I planned - the roots are already trying to come through the holes at the bottom of the pot. 

We've had some amazing sunsets in the past few weeks. This is just one of the many photos I took. 

Thanks for visiting! I'm not around as much as I would like these days, but I'll make sure to visit everyone during the course of the week! 
Happy #487!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

WOYWW #485: Acrylic pears and a blue shed

Hello Everyone! I managed to unintentionally skip another WOYWW last week. (I know it's a split infinitive, but where else would you put the operative word 'unintentionally'?) I prepared a post but I just wouldn't have had the time to visit and I still owed some visits from the previous week - now all taken care of, I hope, but shout if I unwittingly missed anyone!

So here I am for #485 with a quick shot of my desk over the weekend. It was my son's homework to paint/draw or create in any way a food item and he asked for some guidance. Not wanting to over complicate things, we chose to make a simple painting of a pear. We followed this tutorial, more or less.

We were not going for anything realistic, just playing with some strong colours, so it has a colour block effect. I did something similar a while ago (you can see it sitting in the window). I'm not sure my painting skills have developed anywhere in the intervening two and a half years LOL, but that's not the point anyway. Here are our pears, side by side - mine's on the left, my son's on the right and he did most of it himself. I think his came out better than mine and he's very proud of it too! (He didn't want the splatters on it, in fear of ruining it.)

Another little project I did was painting a new shed. Hubs did most of the assembly work - I was only the underdog holding things while he fastened screws and nailed things together - but I did all the painting myself - ta-da! 

Do you like the colour? It reminds me of a beach hut and it looks so much nicer than that dreary dark brown next to it covering our oil tank. We're thinking of erecting a summer house next, paint it the same blue and decorate it in a beach theme. Something to look forward to!  

Another thing to show you is the progress of my avocado tree. In just two weeks it has grown so much - look:

I may not be able to visit much today but I promise I will get back to everyone who leaves a comment eventually. Happy #485!