Sunday, 28 September 2008

Very Illuminating!

Today I have taken just for me. Now that may sound selfish, but as I explained in my last post, I have been here, there and everywhere. So after arriving home thoroughly *******!! last night, after the workshop in Newcastle, I decided today would be MINE. So I spent the morning catching up on emails and browsing my favourite blogs. And guess what...? I've been awarded this.

How fantastic, this blog is only three weeks old today and Craftimamma of Crafty Love N Hugs has been gracious enough to nominate it. A huge thank you for this. It is very encouraging that, although still in it's infancy, you find my input interesting (does that read okay?) Anyway, please look at Craftimamma's blog for fabulous photography and inspiration.

Now as I understand it the rules for this award are :
1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.

2. Link the person you receive your award from.

3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.

4. Put the links of those blogs on yours.

5. Leave a message on the blogs you have nominated.

So, checking through the list, I have done 1 and 2, but 3 is going to take some serious consideration. There are some very creative and interesting blogs out there and many people who inspire me. So, to make sure I pass the baton to those people who I really want get the recognition they deserve, I will take a little time before posting those nominations.

Having settled down from the excitement of receiving my first award, and coming in from helping DH with his work on the roof (yes I did say roof but that's a whole other story!!) I have spent the afternoon designing. This time on my computer using Photoshop. Although many may say this is not true hands on crafting, I really enjoy using this medium for my creativity. The blank white document on my computer screen can be just as challenging as a blank piece of card or paper. And can go just as horribly wrong too!! Anyway today has been a good day and I have added some new artwork to my growing collection. If you don't like computer art look away now.....

This is my version of an illuminated letter, which I have designed especially for a very good friend of mine. However I'm also hoping to incorporate it as the bookcover for a project I have in mind. Let me know what you think, and if you would like to see more in the future. If you really like this I might be able to share it with you so that you can download it for your own use.
There you have it, all in all a very illuminating day! Take care 'til next time.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

From one thing to another

and another......

I have just realised that it is almost two weeks since my last post. The reason is in the title...let me explain.

As you will know from my last post I have been working with some wonderful new stamps from Elusive Images, so last week it was all systems go designing samples for the up and coming TV shows. Then it was Friday and I whizzed down to Harrogate to help my very good friend Babara Gray (who owns Clarity Stamp) to help set up the stand at the Paper Extravaganza Show. Back home Friday night to get myself revved up for the coming weekend. Bright and early Saturday morning saw me on the A1 again going back to Harrogate. The show opened at 9.30, Barbara and I started demonstrating and the next thing we knew it was 10 to 4 and we realised we hadn't had lunch! It was just sooo busy. Showed closed at 4.30, we spent an hour or so restocking and tidying the stand ready for Sunday and then home. Sunday morning saw a repeat journey back down the A1 and yet another busy day. Not quite as manic as Saturday, managed lunch at about 2 ish! Then it was all over, the stand was packed back into the van and I was on my way home. Although demonstrating at shows can be very tiring (both on the feet and the voice!) I really enjoy them. You meet some lovely people and it's exciting sharing your crafting passion face to face. Cue here - a huge thanks to all of you who visited the stand and took the time to chat with me. For those who came and I didn't get to speak to - apologies, I hope I will see you somewhere soon.

Monday saw me up at Graphicus, dropping off said designs (see above). A quick chat with the wonderful team that work there and a dash round the shop, just to check out the stock you understand!! Bought a couple of things that I just HAD to have and then it was back on the A1 AGAIN, this time up to Newcastle. I am running a workshop at Fenwicks this coming Saturday and, as it's the first time I have done any work there, I wanted to pay them a visit. Since then I have been working on the projects for Saturday's workshop. After that it will be more samples for Glenda's TV show (I came home to a delivery of more new stamps on Saturday night, they are gorgeous. I just know you will love them, but you will have to watch the show - I cannot reveal anything here!)

So there you have it. As I said at the beginning - one thing to another. Makes for an interesting life! Take care 'til next time.

P.S. Sorry there are no photos this time, but I will share some of the projects from Saturday's workshop soon.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Let us Spray!

First a big thank you to those kind people who have taken the time to comment on my intitial post to this blog. It means a lot to me.

Anyway, I can't believe it's nearly a week since I first set this up; but we all know how time goes so much quicker for the older generation! I would love to say I have been so busy crafting that I haven't had much time for anything else. If only that were the case. Unfortunately my right hand has been out of action for much of the week, which has made life rather difficult (bathing, dressing, writing etc have been a bit of a challenge) More importantly stamping, cutting and general crafting have been nearly impossible. Tip here: Do not try spraying Glimmer Mists with your left hand (unless you are left handed of course). The dog wasn't too impressed in being showered with Hollyberry ink! Sorry no photo here - she moves too quick for the camera, if not quick enough to avoid being glimmered! So, I had to put things on hold for a few days. However, I am pleased to report my hand is much improved and I'm back spraying in a more controlled fashion.

If you have read Glenda's blog (Artylicious), you will realise there is is a TV show coming up. As one of the design team I am also preparing samples and thought I might share some of the backgrounds I've been working on.

For those of you who have indulged in the beautiful bottles of colour that are Glimmer Mists, you will already know that using them is not one of the cleaner areas of crafting. In fact, it is downright messy (halleluah to that!), and you have to be careful where you spray - viz a viz one Hollyberry dog! If you have seen Glenda in action she uses a box which is a fantastic idea, almost like a little spray theatre. I'm much more clumsy and have had my box on the floor, almost over the head of the dog (if she should could use the phone I'm quite sure I would have received a visit from the RSPCA by now) and bounced it off the dining room wall. So I gave that up and now I just cover a very large area with paper and/or my heat proof crafting mat. It very much depends on what I'm doing. By far the best is newspaper, for several reasons. First, it's cheap (actually free because we get 2 free papers a week here), second, the sheets are much larger and therefore cover a bigger area but, most importantly, it acts as both a blotting paper and an ink well. I'll explain further.

I have been using semi-gloss cardstock tags which, unlike standard cardstock, do not absorb Glimmer Mists as readily as regular card/paper. You get a more muted effect on semi-gloss, and the newspaper helps in this process. Tip Use at least four of five sheets of newspaper, I tend to open it up from the midde so that I have a double spread. First choose your colours, then spray approx half to two thirds of the tag with the darkest colour - you need to spray quite close to pool the ink. Then turn the tag over and use the newspaper as a blotter, pressing firmly over the back of the tag. Keep pressing until the ink stops running e.g. the tag is still wet but the colour doesn't run when the tag is held vertically. Next, apply a further respray and repeat the blotting process. By now the newspaper will be quite soggy with your colour. Allow this puddle to dry for a couple of minutes and then start pressing and dragging your tag through it. What happens is that, as the puddle is drying, all the mica comes to the surface. By dragging and pressing your semi dry tag through it you are gathering all the mica and laying over your existing spray. So keep going until you are happy with the result. Change to a clean sheet of newspaper and then spray the remaining blank area of your tag with the another lighter colour and repeat the process of blotting etc. Then leave to dry thoroughly. You should now have a double coloured, shaded tag with loads of mica 'threads' spread over the top.

Both of these tags have been created using the technique I have just described. I have found that those colours which carry more mica give a better effect. Here I have used Frosty Night and Snowflake on the left and Hollyberry (without the dog!) and Olive Vine on the right. Neither the photos nor my photography do these justice but, trust me, they are gorgeous. This technique also works on regular card stock, but the colours are more intense.

Here's the aftermath on the newspaper. I'll keep these and use them on another project.

Now my tags are ready for stamping on. Sorry I can't show you any finished results yet, but the stamps I'm using are still a secret.

Well, I hoped you like this and that you try the technique. Till next time....

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Is the World Ready.....

....for yet another blog, well mine anyway? We shall see...

This is my first foray into blogland. Don't get me wrong, I read loads of other fantastic blogs but now I've created my own, urged on I have to say by some wonderful creative friends of mine - Glenda (Artylicious), Lynn (Inky Artitude) and Annette (For Blogs Sake). So if you want to blame anybody for me unleashing myself into this universe, then it's all the fault of these three ladies (lol). I am inspired by many more than the aforementioned, but I will come back to that in a later post.

Ok, so now I've hurtled headlong into virtual creativity what can you expect?? Propably lots of useless ramblings of a crafting nut, hopefully some useful crafting gossip and info and, once in a blue moon, I may post something that you will find really interesting (and inspiring).

Some of you may already know me, or may have even met me, therefore you know what you are letting yourself in for! But for those of you who don't, let me try and sum up what I'm about (shouts of 'shut up and get on with it Lesley').

In the real world I work with my husband and we provide training for adult learners. In my other world I craft any spare moment that I have. I'm proud to say I am one of the design team for ELUSIVE IMAGES (a position made in heaven) and I am also a freelance demonstrator. I LOVE crafting - with paper, stamps, ink, paint, stampbord, grungebord (you get the drift?). Anything and everything inspires me - even a visit to B & Q (there are other things you can do with washers and electrical tape you know!!). I also love sharing my ideas with others and I hope this blog may be an extention of that.

So, there you have it - my first post. I have finally committed myself (NO comments here please!!) in print and in public. Hope you think it was worth all the effort, now and in the future. How does that saying go "hold on, I think we may be in for a bumpy ride"?....... I hope you can hold on with me and enjoy the journey.