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Monday, 29 December 2008

My first go at a sketch!

Hi all :)

I know i said i wasn't going to blog for a while, but as Maddy is down here with me, she has awoken my craftyness, so i felt it only right to put something on my blog. A card.



Actualy, Maddy introduced me to a few new things last night whilst doing this card. Firstly, i have never done a sketch for a card. I tried a sketch from Sketch Saturday, i hold my hand up to getting a guidance from Maddy for this card, but in the end i learnt a lot and will now be able to give them a try on my own in future.

Secondly, i had my first proper play with Maddy's Copics. After an hour of stressing that i was not getting it right, the colour gradualy came with a bit of patience. This colouring is not brilliant, but it's a first effort and i'm chuffed with it.

Thirdly, i have never sewed on card before. I've tried, but my sewing machine kept playing up so i wasn't able to do it. However Maddy mended the machine, which in turn meant i could try out stitching on card for the first time. I am so chuffed with this because i have seen so many gorgeous cards out there, and real stitching can really set a card off.



So a big thank you to Maddy for all the guidance on this, and a big thank you to the ladies at Sketch Saturday for introducing me to my first shetch. :) It will be a huge help for people like myself who can sit in front of a card for ages and not be too sure what layout to do.

Hope you all had a great Christmas, and heres wishing you a great New Year. :)

Friday, 19 December 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!

Hi all,

I've sat in my craft room for over an hour tonight, trying to ink my favourite fruit from past episodes....the pineapple, but unfortunately it has gone so wrong i've had to call it a night. :(

I wanted to recreate a Christmas version of the pineapple masterpiece i achieved all those weeks ago, but it wasn't to be. It turned out a horrible mess, i even tried sticking baubles and candy canes on it, but it didn't help.

I'm very tired, and have more than enough on my plate to worry about a piece of fruit, so i apologise for tonight and accept that sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't.

It would appear that quite a lot of bloggers are taking it easy over the holiday season, so i think i might join them. I think a break is as good as a rest or so they say.

I just wanted to wish everyone in blogland the best Christmas ever, and hope you all have a very Happy New Year. Thanks for all of your great and funny comments over the past few months, they have certainly kept me entertained. :)

Take care everyone, keep smiling and i'll see you all in the New Year. Drink lots, and eat even more! :)

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

A prezzy for a lil mouse.

Just a quick blog post to show you what i made the other day.

I was feeling a little guilty for torturing, i mean "encouraging" Calvin Mouse into telling me where my stamp was. Knowing that Maddy was making a little house for him, i decided to make him a moving in present....some tables and a chair.



Simple, but very fiddly to make, these tables and chairs are made from balsa wood. The rungs on the chair are made from cocktail sticks. Finished off with a coat of white acrylic, they make a lovely addition to any no use house.

Here they are in action.....



I made two tables so that he can have one in his house, and the other is for when he is crafting with Maddy. :)

The full pics and story is on Maddy's blog here.

Wanna know a little secret? If any of you are in any doubt as to how much Maddy loves this mouse......last time i was up at Maddy's, we were tucked up in bed "having a cuddle". However for about half an hour, Maddy couldn't concentrate on anything else because she knew a certain little someone was tied up in the other room!!!

Unbelievable!

Calv.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Fruit i inked today!

Hilooooo my fruity friends!!! :)

Firstly may i offer my sincere apologies for the lack of fruit last week, i haven't been in hiding or anything, just a little rushed off my feet with things. I felt my crafty head had upped and left me again, but that may have had something to do with my craft room being so messy, i couldn't get to the table!

This week i struggled with what to ink in a major way. Although there are many other fruits out there, they are not all accessible to me. So i have to make do with what few fruits that there are in the local grocers.

So this week i had to make do with the only one in the shop that i have not featured yet......and i almost wish i hadn't lol......so please put your hands together for....the MANGO!!!
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This was not nice to ink at all! Theres something about the mango's skin that makes the ink dry very quickly, which in turn makes it dull quickly too. Not a good thing when you want a colourful fruit!

There were however some nice patterns that emerged on it.....the photo doesn't really do it justice but some of the layers of colour were lovely to look at.....
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I think my favourite part of this fruit was a pattern i found whilst photographing it. Interesting fact time......i have a bit of a fondness for the night sky and the gorgeous pictures that come from it. Some of the most beautiful pics are of the many "nebula" that are up there. These are clouds of dust, gas and other spacey bits, and they are the first step in the life cycle of a star.
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Now one of my fave pics is of the "Horsehead Nubula" which can be found in the constellation Orion. Heres a piccy of it.....

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Beautiful eh? You can see where it gets it's name from. So what has this got to do with my fruit you might ask? Well......look what i found in the patterns of the ink.....
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Yes ok, maybe not something NASA would be proud of lol, but i like to think of it as my very own fruity horse head nebula! :)
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Fruitinkability rating? I think a lowly 3 for the mango, mainly because it dried to quick and went very dull very quickly. The colours weren't vibrant enough on the skin. So a poor performance from what you would imagine would be a colourful fruit.
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Now then, i have mentioned many times that at some point i would run out of fruit, and i'm just about at that point now. So instead of making my task of searching for fruit each week even harder, i'm going to move on to my new feature of "Veg i inked today!". Very original i know, but it had to be the natural progression after my fruity subjects.
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Next week though, i am going to leave the fruit inking saga with a repeat of a rather special fruit from past episodes. Not sure which one yet, but i have one in mind. :)
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Thanks for tuning in, i hope i have found you all well and in fine crafty spirits. Till next time..... :)

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Back with a tag.

Hi all :)

Sorry for being absent recently, have had a few things on. he the longer i was gone from here, the less crafty i felt. Not good.

So tonight i sat down and forced myself to do a real basic tag....



Nothing too fancy, background paper from the DCWV "Once Upon A Time" collection, some blending with Distress Inks, some ferns from my new Fern Family punch, and stamped willow branches.....not forgetting a fairy in the forest, courtesy of Maddy who gave me a set of lovely fairy stamps (Cheers Maddy xx). A bit of ribbon around the edge and that was enough for me to feel crafty again.

I made this because it has been in my head constantly lately. My youngest watched the video about the Cottingley Fairies the other day, it's her fave. She now wants us to go into the forest and find our very own "beck" (like a stream) where fairies live. :)

Thank you once again for all of you who have visited recently, and a big thank you to those who have commented. It's nice to come back to such nice and funny comments when you're up to your ears in it! :)

Saturday, 6 December 2008

I'm not going to be popular in Heaven.

Hi everyone :)

I'm having a bit of a breather after returning from Maddy's last week, yep she tired me out getting me to make cups of tea all the time.....(cue sympathy). :)

So I'm spending a few days relaxing with the kids, and trying my hardest to get into the Christmas spirit. So today we thought we do the decorations and the Christmas tree. Out comes the old faithful tree from the loft, and went up no problems.

Now for as long as i can remember, my Christmas tree has been adorned with something different on it's top each year. Not a star, not an angel......oh no.....as a perk to having little girls in the house, I've had a Barbie or a Bratz doll taped to the top of my tree every year! No kidding, without fail i end up with a doll on my treetop. I swear to God that last year Barbies eyes were watering!

So this year i decided we'd have an angel. So this afternoon i was all set to stick it on the tree, when i accidentally stepped on it's face!!! Flippin typical!





Great! Instead of an angelic looking beauty on the tree, i now have what can only be described as the Elephant Man in drag......with a dodgy wing!

The rest of the decorations went up fine, i went a bit stupid with a can of spray snow though, so now my house looks like the aftermath of an explosion in Lapland!

So i hope your Christmas planning is going better than mine. I hope i find you all well and smiley. I will be back on track with my blog after the weekend, i just needed a few days with my girls and to get some sort of order back in the crafty mess that is my house!

Thank you to everyone who has visited me even when I've been away. Much appreciated it is, and i'll repay the kindness with a tour around blogland later on. Thank you too to the people who have given me awards, i will sort them out asap.

See ya soon. :)

Friday, 5 December 2008

Right then! Times up!!!

So then Calvin Mouse! I went easy on you earlier due to Maddy waking up, and i gave you a day to get my stamp back....so why do i find myself sat here without a certain Sugar Nellie stamp?
Not good my furry little friend.....not good at all!

I mean we are mates and all that Calvin Mouse, but a stamp is a stamp and I'm sure any crafter would feel the same. In fact I've seen crafters do terrible things over missing stash, you should see Maddy when her fave ribbon is missing!!! I'm still having therapy from when i accidentally used her new 12 x 12's for wiping up glue!

So I'm sorry Calvin but.....


The alcohol ink it is then!!!

Sorry Calvin Mouse but you brought this on yourself. Assisting a known stamp thief is a crafty crime beyond belief, and one that must be dealt with swiftly, and colourfully

So then, we've started with the Stream blue ink....do you want to divulge any info yet? Or do i have to go for the.....CRANBERRY!!!
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OK, we're playing hard guy are we? Right then......oh hang on....postman is at the door.....
Ah.....um......well......um........well......thing is.......it's a funny story actually.......you see......in fact you really wouldn't believe it......the postmen has just brought me a parcel.

On the front of the envelope is some writing which says, "Sorry about the delay, got lost at the sorting office".
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I've just opened it....and you'll never believe this.....um.....how do i say this....ummm....this was inside.....
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It would appear that Maddy sent it a while back and it got lost in our wonderful postal system!
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I am so sorry Calvin Mouse! I should have known you wouldn't have helped out in such a terrible crime when you have such an honest and lovable name as you do. I feel really bad,i really do.
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Tell you what, so there are no hard feelings, I'll do this for you. Firstly I'll give Maddy my brand new bottle of blending solution to get you cleaned up. Secondly, it's really bad weather up here and i need to get back to collect my girls from school tomorrow. If i stay, the snow will not let me travel, so as a gesture of friendship, from one man to another......you can have my Grease night ticket so you can go with Maddy!!!
Oh yes my groovy little rodent friend.....yourself......and the leather jacket and medallion WILL GO TO THE BALL!!!
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Sound good? Aha i can see that smile under that ink there.....so off you go, and let me know how you get on OK. I'll keep an eye on Maddy's blog for the update.
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Sorry again Calvin Mouse, i will go forth into my craft room and ink myself as punishment!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Maddy's asleep so.........

RIGHT THEN YOU FURRY LITTLE RUNT!!!

You might try and look cute on Maddy's blog, but she's asleep now so you have nowhere to hide your furry little butt!



It's no good pouting your lip like that either, the "RSPCA advert" look won't wash with me mister!



We are going to be here until i find out where you and Maddy have put my Sugar Nellie stamp! I know it's in the craft room somewhere, and as you spend most of your time here......i guess you are the next best person to ask!

So whats it going to be? The tweezers or maybe a pokey tool somewhere eh? Oh yes my furry little friend, no-one pinches my stamp and gets away with it!

The balls in your court now Calvin Mouse!!! It's my Sugar Nellie stamp back in my craft bag by tomorrow night....or i'll be back for a chat without cheese and biscuits!



Oh nice one! You've woken Maddy now, ok ok stop you're squeaking.....i'll let you go for now.....but i'll be watching ya!

*Note: Don't worry bloggers, no mouse was harmed during this interrogation......he still has a day to come with the goods! :)


Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Apologies for my absense.

Hi all :)

I just wanted to send my apologies for my absence from the blog over the past few days. I am up at Maddy's for the week, i only get up here about once a month, so time is precious as they say.......or should i say time is spent making cups of coffee!!! :)

She has been looking after me well though, I've had a copics lesson, we've had a lovely day shopping in Leeds, and tomorrow as you may have already read on her blog, we are off to a "Grease Night" for our craft clubs party.

So if all is quiet on the blog front, i haven't forgotten about you all, I'm having some quality time with Maddy.

By the way, i know it's "Fruity Thursday" tomorrow, so i will do my best to fullfil my fruitly duties......unless i have something else in mind? :)

Take care all, hope you are all having a great week. :)

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Fruit i inked today! Danger Danger!!!

All is not good in the land of the fruit inker my friends! :(

Whilst i welcome you all once again to "Fruit i inked today!", i am sorry to say that i have a story to tell that is one full of failure......and DANGER!!!

Good evening my little fruitbats :) Yes it's Thursday again and if you've come in search of a triumphant fruit masterpiece, i am afraid i have failed you.....badly!

I said at the beginning of "Fruit i inked today!", we would have the ups and the downs of fruit inking here, and tonight i truly mastered the art of the "down". Faithful fans of the fruit fetish.....may i offer you my sincere apologies......for the PEAR!!!



Whilst at first glance you may think it's not all that bad compared to some of my fruits, i promise you, this one lived up to it's name and went totally pearshaped!!!

After last weeks success with the UTEE, i decided to try it on the pear. All went well at first, but then it started bubbling badly. I thought it had something to do with the heatgun being to close, so i adjusted that and still it bubbled.

What in fact was happening, and i tell this as a warning, was that the pear was cooking inside and the bubbling was the juices overheating! I discovered this when a huge pear juice bubble burst and sizzled on my arm!!! Not good....not good at all!!! :(


Granted there are some nice colours to be found in there at times, but the UTEE just would not melt nicely on it, instead choosing to mess me about and stay lumpy!

Due to the shape of the pear, the UTEE kept running downwards which was real annoying, in the end, and after two more pear juice explosions, i chose to call it a night! I am shattered from doing the girls times tables tags this week, i hurt my knee tonight which almost ended me up in hospital....so theres no way i'm putting my life on the line for an unco-operative pear!

Even an aerial view didn't produce a good pic, a kind of nice spiral effect maybe, but even thats at a push....


Note the little bubbles of cooking pear juice at the bottom of the pear above.......dangerous stuff my fruity friends......dangerous stuff! I'm talking almost on par with "prickly pear" danger level.....and we all remember what happened to me with that little devil don't we?

As for the fruitinkability rating......this doesn't even deserve one, however i guess it should get at least a 2 for sitting still whilst i messed it up!

As a small consolation, i tried to make it up to you all with a few blueberries.....but have you ever tried to ink something that small?

You can't hold them, so i tried something new and let the fruit do the work. I placed some drops of ink on a plate, added a few blueberries and let the roll around to their hearts content. The result wasn't great either, but if it takes your mind off the pear for two seconds, it's gotta be good!



Thats me for tonight my friends, i'm beat! Thank you all for popping in tonight, it's a pleasure to entertain you as always. I hope you are all well and are having a crafty week, i look forward to seeing you all again next Thursday for another episode of, "Fruit i inked today!".
Nite all. :)

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

A mathamatical labour of love.

Hi all :)

As i type this i am literally dropping on my feet from tiredness. All my girls have been saying since i picked them up from school today is, "You look very tired Daddy".

That would be due to my latest project for them below, a times table tag board.....don't forget to click on the image for a larger view......



I have been working on this for a few days, my girls wanted something to help them with their tables, so i thought about putting some tags on book rings which they could flick through.

Then came the idea of doing a whole set.....1's to 12's, all 12 tables in each set.

So i started, and what followed was the most tiring project i have ever done! Not because it was difficult, it was the repetitiveness of everything. More about that later though. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.....



The board is just MDF, covered with a couple of bits of Wassail paper. The lace was layed around the edges and also across the board so it sectioned it into squares. This was handy as the tags fitted into each one nicely.

A bit of fibre on each book ring went nicely, and a Prima bloom behind the brass hooks looks gorgeous. I made a little wooden sign for the top too :)

Finished off nicely with some brass filigree corners, and there you have it......one full set of times tables for the kids to learn with.



Now as i said at the start, this was a labour of love. "Labour" being the operative word!

Just to give you an idea of what i did, in case you were thinking of giving it a go.....

1. Cut 144 tags on the Big Shot.
2. Stamp flourishes on all 144 tags.
3. Blend all 144 tags with Distress Inks.
4. Then edge all 144 tags with another colour. (I was tired at this point!)
5. Write the times tables on every tag.
6. Round the corners of every tag. Two corners on each.....288 corners!
7. Laminate each tag.
8. Hand cut round every laminated tag. (I'm wondering why i started this now!)
9. Crop-A-Dile punch all 144 tags.
10. Eyelet all 144 tags.
11. Book ring and add fibres to them.
12. Spend a day making the board.

The only reason i kept going was because my eldest learnt her tables so quickly with the one set i did the other day, i knew it would be worth it in the end. The look on thier little faces was a picture when they saw it. :)

I do however seem to have aged 10 years!

I would love to make these for the girls primary school, but i think it will be a while before that happens! :)

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Handy tip for hinged lids on ink pads.

As usual, i have come across a handy tip whilst breaking something! A tip that will probably be the most plainly obvious tip in history, but many people may not know you can do it without breaking something.

I'm talking about the hinged ink pads like Versafine and Versamark. I don't know about you, but whilst the inks is great, i find the hinged lids the most annoying and fiddly things to use ever! When trying to use the pad, i end up with ink on my hands, due to trying to hold the pad between my fingertips and trying to hold the top and bottom of the pad together whilst the pad swings about with a mind of it's own!

Or is that just me? Anyway, whilst being all masterfull with the Versafine just now, i kind of broke it....but i discovered the hinge mechanism can be removed from the pads top and bottom, leaving you with a top that just drops on and off of the ink pad.

Heres your normal hinged pad......



Now carefully, take the plastic hinge piece off, it has two slots each end that just come out of the holes......you may need to use a tiny bit of force but the hinge does bend slightly so you can remove it from the slots.......



There you go....you are now left with a normal...less fiddly ink pad. I wouldn't say it fits as tight as a Stazon pad or similar, but it fits fine and you don't end up dropping the thing on your trousers like me!



The hinge can always be replaced later if you want to, say for travelling or something.

Hope it helps. :)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

I got an award!

Karen over at Crafty Goings On has very kindly given me Kreativ Blogger award.



Thanks ever so much Karen, the only things i ever get awarded are bills!

Rules are, i have to pass this on to 5 bloggers, very difficult when there are so many blogs that i like, but here goes anyway......so i choose the following.....

1. Jennie for her new blog Objet D'Art. Jennie has such a talent with so many different materials and i think it's great she is encouraging and passing this on to others by way of her new challenge blog.

2. My friend Val. I would like her to have this award as she not only makes me laugh, but has come on so much in her crafting over the last few months, trying different things and sharing other crafty skills like her parchment work. Also she makes the best cuppa.....but obviously that has nothing to do with this award. ;)

3. Daniel at Daniel's Hobby Blog. I think Daniel's work is stunning for a lad of such a young age, he really has that Norweigan excellence and attention to detail going on in his makes. Very inspirational and one to watch for the future i feel.

4. Bea at Katz and Stamps. A French crafter, her works is always gorgeous and theres always something different to look at. Her work with metal has me really wanting to try it someday. She uses lots of different materials in her makes and is skilled with all of them.

5. Trine over at Scrapping etc by Tigerlily. I love going to Trine's blog as theres always something great to look at and unusual too. The way she scraps bricks is fasniating, and her little scrapped L/O on a babys romper suit had me in stitches and amazed at the same time. Well deserved.

Now the rules are that you are supposed to pass these on to 5 other bloggers. I do know however that many people get so many awards that they either fall behind with them, or find it a struggle to pick 5 great bloggers from so many. Plus the ones i have chosen may have already been given one of these......so i don't mind if you just accept the award and don't feel you have to pass it on if you have more than enough on your plate.

I just wanted to give you this award as it is very much deserved by you all. :)

Thank you once again Karen for my award......i was needing a bit of pink on my blog! :)

Friday, 21 November 2008

Times tables tags for the kids.

Here's a very easy project to make your kids which will help them no end, plus they look "cool" so they won't feel a numpty using them.

Laminated Distress Ink times table tags.......

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My girls are having lots of times tables tests at school at the moment, so they are always grateful of something to remind them. These are so easy to make.
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1. Just take 12 die-cut tags.

2. Stamp them with Stazon or Archival black ink.

3. Blend the tags with Distress Inks.

4. Write the times tables on them. (Just go carefull not to smudge the writing when you blend the inks....or write on the tag once you've inked it).

5. Laminate them.

6. Round the edges of the tags with scissors or a corner rounder, stops the kids getting scratched/cut on the sharp edges.

7. Punch and eyelet the ends.

8. Thread a book ring though the eyelets of each tag.

Hey presto......one set of indestructable times tables that your kids can refer to whenever they want. Small enough to fit in there pocket or school bag, laminated so the tags won't be affected by the grubbyness that kids attract!
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The book ring means they can attatch them to things too, belt loops, school bags etc.
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So whilst we are on the subject of maths, i have two girls, they need a set of these for each set of tables, thats two lots of twelve......and this one set took me about an hour......i think that equals no sleep for Daddy tonight!!! :)
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Hope this helps. :)
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Edited at 2:05am: If you are thinking about doing a whole set of these for your kids......be warned.....heres the result of a couple of hours on the BigShot.......
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That's two complete sets of tables......244 tags!!! Now all i have to do is just stamp, blend, write on, laminate, eyelet and cut the corners off of every single one! I guess you could call it a labour of love!
Nite all. :)

It would appear i am a rodent!!!

Most people turn on thier computers in the morning and read the news, catch up with friends....maybe plan thier day ahead.

But not me.....oh no! I wake to find i've been immortalized in Fimo as a mischeivious MOUSE!!!

Over at Maddy's blog, she has done a most excellent tutorial on a colouring technique she discovered the other day. Well worth a look. However she also gives you a little look at another character from her craft room......"Calvin mouse"!



Complete with inky fingers, he looks to be a mischeivious fellow that will be worth keeping an eye on......heaven knows what he'll be getting up to in the future!

Thanks Maddy....i think! :)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Fruit i inked today!

Good morning fruit fans!!! :) Yes that's right, it is almost 2am on a Thursday morning and although a little bit earlier than usual, may i welcome you all to yet another episode of "Fruit i inked today!" :)
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I am feeling triumphantly artified right now because today's fruit inking has been rather a success for me. After last weeks "Fairy hot air balloon", i was all engineered out and wanted to get back to basics with my fruit. It's ok making fantastic things out of fruit and bits of ribbon, but what happens if you're stuck in the middle of nowhere and you have to "just ink the fruit!?" Aha, yes i see you all nodding now...."Ah yeah....that's right Calv!"
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So i sat at my workspace, inks in one hand, a selection of fruit in the other. Then one volunteer bravely took a step forward. He knew this was going to be a different kind of fruit inking, and he knew it wasn't going to be easy....but he stepped up to the plate regardless.
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What resulted in the next hour, was what can only be described as a galactic stew of colour! So without further ado, good people of the four corners of our fruity earth, may i drench you in the colours of the AVACADO!!! (Don't forget you can enlarge the pics by clicking them).
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Would you look at the colours on THAT little beauty!!!! I am so chuffed with the way this turned out, but it wasn't all plain sailing......oh no my friends, not at all!
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I started off with another avacado, but it ended up a muddy mess, i'm even too embarrassed to show it on here. Then i got to thinking, "Whats my favourite way of making alcohol inks really stand out?" Then it hit me......UTEE!!! Yes fruit fans, i plastered the whole avacado in Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. :) First i dried off the stone in the middle, Versamarked it then covered it in UTEE. The outside rim of the fruit was wet anyway so i figured it would stick to that too.......so i sprinkled away for all i was worth!
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Let me tell you though, it takes forever to melt UTEE on fruit with a heat gun! Don't ask me why, i just ink the stuff. Some of it didn't melt as well as other parts, but overall it worked out pretty well i thought. However once it started melting, and i started to add ink to it.....well butter my rear and call me Mildred!!! It was the best colours I've ever got from playing with UTEE.....ever!
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Kind of looks like a spaceship doesn't it? Definitely has some kind of alien thing going on in there. You could almost imagine a little alien head poking out of the egg in the middle there.
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So then....the all important scores on the doors....the fruitinkability rating! Due to the fact that it was so much fun to ink, and it welcomed the UTEE so obligingly......and the colours turned out so well, I'm going to have to go with a mighty 9 for this one! Yes fruit fans, a whopping great juicy 9!
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Just look at the stone on this most excellent subject!!!........
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So there you have it for another episode of "Fruit i inked today!".
Thanks ever so much for coming along, i do so enjoy Thursdays because i know it's the only time i get loads of visitors lol. :) Just kidding ;)
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Till next week....stay juicy everyone!!! :)

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Want a giggle?

Well look no further than my...what can loosely be described as an "effort" for this weeks challenge on "Objet D'Art". Jennie gave us an arty challenge involving a frame......so i tried doing something arty with it!



Before anyone asks.....no my kids didn't do this for me! I wish they had as they'd have done a better job!!! OMG doing something "arty" has got to be the hardest thing i have ever done since getting into crafting! I have new admiration for people like Jennie, and the many others who can make such wonderfull pieces of artwork. This just looks like i fell into my crafty stash whilst plucking a ginger chicken!!!



Firstly, it appears that the bits that took the longest to do, have not come out well on photo. Typical! First i sanded down a frame i found in a charity shop. Then i painted it white. Next i stamped it with some of Jennie's new swirls, they looked really cool like tiger stripes.

With those all around the frame, i thought i'd colour it a deep orangey red, so out came the spiced marmalade and fired brick Distress inks. The frame is really orangey, but it looks light in the pic.

Next i stamped, alcohol inked and UTEE'd some chipboard letters to spell out "ART", just so people know what this is supoosed to be lol! :)



I love using alcohol inks with UTEE, the heatgun blows the inks into all kinds of crazy patterns, you never know what you're going to end up with.

Now the trickiest part of the project, i used multi-coloured metallic thread to wrap all around the frame, but i also suspended each individual letter in the air with the thread too. This was really hard to do and very time consuming, but worth it in the end.



A few orange feathers, some fibres, blooms held on by upholstery tacks.....and a gold tassle on the side and there you have it! The biggest mess since Messy McMessy messed up his massive mess.....and made a huge mess!!!

Thanks you Jennie for introducing me to the world of art.....your stamps were great on the wood. :)

Look who's arrived at my house!

Well what do you know! In my grief stricken condition after having my one and only Sugar Nellie "Honey and Pip" stamp SNATCHED from under my nose!.......i felt the only option was to temporarily replace her with some others. These little beauties arrived this morning under armed guard.....no thieving so and so's are going to pinch these!



Want to know something funny? I just emailed the stamp thief, Maddy "Fingers" Hill this piccy, and as soon as she saw them she tried putting on that cute girly voice that all women do when they want something.......and said, "Oooh i really like the one on the end...i want her!!!"

Ha! I want good looks but it ain't gonna happen!!!

So now it seems that Maddy, after putting me through turmoil on the public stage, wants me to lend her my new ladies! That is laughable in itself! Do you honestly think I'd see them again?

I've told her that i "may" be willing to send her the stamp, or some images, if i get the other one back.....unharmed.......however she went off umming and arring like an ......."ummy-arry thing.

So the ball is in Maddy's court now! :)

Monday, 17 November 2008

Magazine storage tutorial.

Hi all :)

Over the past week, i must have read at least a dozen requests for advice with magazine storage on various sites. This is always going to be an issue as long as the publishers keep bring out great crafty mags!

In the past I've mentioned wooden storage racks that I've made, but these aren't quite so easy to knock up in your craft room in 20 minutes. This however....is!
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I thought of all the ways I'd seen magazines stored before, and when i was 12 years old, i subscribed to a magazine which i bought the binders for. I've modelled this crafty version on that storage idea.

All you need is an A4 ring binder, some pliers, some ribbon lengths and an eyelet setter.

Ok, here we go....first take your standard A4 ring binder.....



Now we want to get rid of the metal ring contraption in the middle. This is going to be the hardest part of this project. It is only held in with two eyelets, but they are tough little fellas, so i got some pliers and sort of pinched the edge of the eyelets together until you could shove it back through the hole in the binder.



Take it off back and front, eyelets too. You should be left with holes like this.

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These can be easily covered up with a strip of card/paper.

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The outside bit gets covered up the same, however you can fancy this up a bit more, even write a label so you can see what is stored inside. You may even want to have a folder for each brand of magazine, in which case you could be ultra organisational and include the name of the mag.

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Now to work on what holds the magazines in the binder. Using a Crop-A-Dile, punch a hole at either end of the binder. Ensure you leave a few millimeters so you can slide a magazine in.
Secure the eyelet, nice side on the outside of the binder.....looks prettier that way!

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Now you want a few lengths of ribbon, thin ribbon is fine. Make sure they are a couple of inches longer than the binder as you will need the extra length for tieing a knot. Tie your first ribbon at one end, just tie any old secure knot, pull it tight..but not overly tight that you can't fit a mag under it.....then tie it off at the other end.



You should now have this....

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You will need a separate ribbon for each magazine, so just add them all either at the start when you make the binder, or add then as you buy each magazine.
Here I'll just do two for the tutorial.
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As you can see, if you do them singularly, you end up with a knot for each ribbon. You may want to hold a few lengths together and thread them through. I just tried it and you can fit ten bits of thin ribbon through an eyelet. If thats too tricky, you could always place an extra eyelet either side of this one.
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Now open your magazine to the centre pages, and slide it under the ribbon.
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Close the first magazine, and you can see below that you have the next ribbon waiting to take the next mag.
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Insert your next magazine exactly as you did the first.....
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Hey presto.....here you have a quick, easy and affordable way of keeping your magazines safe and in good condition.
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Hope this helps.....thanks for looking. :)