Friday, 15 February 2013

It's only a piece of paper

When I first had the chance to have a crafty play following my accident I knew I wanted to do two things: to lay down loads of colour (preferably very bright colour) and to use the new stamps that were to be released by Chocolate Baroque.

Glenda was assisting with my play time therapy (!) and had the brilliant idea of taping down a piece of A3 paper and then masking this off into four separate areas.  I now had several blank canvases to colour and had a wonderful time with inks, sponges, water sprays and distress stains. I had nothing planned, no firm ideas of what I wanted to achieve.  Let's face it when you are using your wrong hand and you haven't crafted for a long time you can't be structured. And I have to say that just working without definition was amazingly cathartic. 

Within a couple of hours I had four backgrounds all nicely dried out and ready for stage two - stamping. Again I had no preconceived ideas, just a little trepidation. I wasn't sure how good my stamping was going to be and I didn't want to ruin the backgrounds.  Until I told myself "it's only a piece of paper, stop being precious about it". As soon as I accepted that I stamped away with much more freedom and had four pieces of work that I was really pleased with..

Now how many of us get hung up about messing up not only our work but other areas of our life? Perhaps if we all approached things with less fear of doing it wrong we would enjoy the process more and maybe even produce something better than we thought. I am not suggesting that if you have a job that requires much precision and an eye for detail that you throw your bonnet to the wind and go at it haphazardly.  Just cut yourself some slack a little once in a while and enjoy the moment.

Here is one of the products of that day.

This was also the day I discovered how much I could achieve with my left hand.  I approve of my new found freedom.How about you?

I'll be back soon to tell you how I made this, suffice to say I used the new Chocolate Baroque Edges, and also to share another project close to my heart.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Creating the (Im)Possible

Following on from my last post I would love to be able to tell you that everything is moving on a pace, however in reality all that has happened is that I have swopped a plaster cast for an arm brace; same form of torture just a different piece of equipment. And instead of my arm being fixed at right angles to my body it is now at 45 degrees. If you were looking at me as though I were a clock the time would be 2 o'clock - my forearm being the little hand! As I recently commented to my buddies on the Chocolate Baroque Design Team the humour of the inmates in the plaster room of the fracture clinic is not lost on me!

Anyway, still with a positive attitude, I have being pushing myself  to cope with everyday life single left handedly.  So far I can report that in the last week I have dressed myself unaided, well almost (couldn't quite manage to pull my boots on), washed my own hair (long and very wet process), cut my hubby's hair (safely and without ear loss) and...sound the trumpets TA DAH... crafted!!  The card below is testement to that; the only thing I didn't do was cut out the die cuts and the matting, layering and final assembly. I had superb assistance from Glenda in that regard. But I did do the stamping and the embossing (after Glenda had added EP that is) and all the colouring and background tinting.

The card was made using Rose Stem Script which is Chocolate Baroque's Stamp of the Week.  I stamped with Brilliance Graphite Black and embossed with clear powder - you can do this if you (or your good friend) are quick. I then coloured the image with Copics, tinted the background with PanPastels Violet Tint and the edges with Violet. This was then mounted onto coloured cardstock, with the scallops being cut from the same card using Spellbinders Blossom and Tag Accents and attached to a slim card. A small circle was punched out from white card, cut in half and added to the scalloped edges. And finally..... I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

So when you feel that things are impossible remember the advert for American Express "impossible is two letters too long" - I think I'm well on the way to agreeing with them.


Saturday, 26 January 2013

Don't try this at home!

Well, once again, I have been misssing from my blog but unfortunately I have a really good excuse this time!

You see, two days before Christmas I fell and broke my arm just below the shoulder and of course it had to be my right arm.  Apparently it is the worst bone to break and also the most painful - ouch.  Because of the type of plaster cast required for this sort of injury my arm has been set at a right angle and is supported by a foam sling around my neck. The consultant joked (I wasn't in the mood for jokes at the time) that patients didn't know which caused the most pain - the broken arm or the weight that is carried by your neck - hmm. And as a little extra I cannot sleep in bed, again because of the design of the plaster, and so I have to spend my nights upright in a chair downstairs and sleep is in short supply. Now, having road tested this type of break on your behalf, my recommendation is definitely don't try this at home.

However I have not taken to the blog to whinge or moan; there are many more people far worse off than me and I am sure you heal much quicker if you have a positive outlook.  I have become very inventive over the last few weeks.  You don't realise how much you use two hands - taking the top off the tooth paste, filing a broken nail, opening a packet of biscuits.  All common place jobs that we take for granted.  And as for crafting well..... can't stamp cos the paper/cardstock moves, can't cut out 'cos although my teeth have come in useful for some things (toothpaste cap, nail file etc) I have yet to perfect the art of being able to hold the paper in my teeth and cut with my left hand - am not in a hurry to go back to A & E; and colouring in... I shall leave that to your imagination.

There are some upsides - other things on my list of can't dos are dusting, ironing, hoovering in fact h*******k of any sort is out of the question! But I CAN use a computer with my left hand and although typing is slower it is possible.

So as I can't do any crafting I hope you don't mind me sharing some inspiration from the archives.  Over on Chocolate Baroque the Stamp of the Week is Damask Hearts and there is free delivery until the end of the month too. So in true Blue Peter fashion - here's one I made earlier (alot earlier).

This is very a simple but effective card.
  1. Stamp the background with Onyx Black Versafine ink (great for detail stamping).  
  2. Use Archival Black ink to stamp the heart and word 'love' onto red velvet paper and cut out.
  3. Attach the spotty ribbon and adhere the heart and word motifs with either silicone glue or foam pads
There you have a card in about 15 to 20 minutes. Great for Valentines, hubby's birthday,  engagements, ruby wedding anniversaries or change the colours and it would be good for weddings too.

Whilst digging in the archives I found one or 2 projects that are worth having the dust blown off.  I hope to share these with you soon, after all I have no excuse not to blog more often have I?