Monday, 28 February 2011

Step Into Spring

The Stampman Challenge - CURLS and SWIRLS
Sunday Stamper Challenge - PARIS
The Play Date Cafe Challenge - COLOUR CHALLENGE see inspiration photo below.
My inspiration came from the colours from The Play Date Cafe, which this week are lovely cheery colours which really had me thinking about Spring, along with the fact that the birds have been singing particularly loudly in my garden this weekend and the frogs have finally appeared in my pond. I have been crafting on and off this weekend, I seem to start something and after an hour take a break to do a little housework and then come back to crafting and that's how my weekend has taken shape.  After two days of this routine I have finally completed three pieces for the challenges above, think I must be the slowest crafter on the planet LOL.
My first piece is an accordion card which has a very definite SPRING theme using an Outlines tulip stamp. I have used the colours from The Play Date Cafe with a small spash of blue in the button on the bottom right hand corner and there is some blue in my flowers too which does not show up to well in the photograph.
This is the back of my accordion and my swirls are in the hearts which come from the Tim Holtz Alterations Heart Wings die.  I have also gathered a piece of ribbon which also created some swirls/curls.
The bird has been created from kitchen towel which I sprayed with colour and then die cut the bird using Tim's Alterations Caged Bird Die.
The flowers and heart have also been created from kitchen towel.
Hand stitching and embellishments complete my first creation.
My second piece is an easel card using papers and stamps from Papermania.  The colours are as per The Play Date Cafe and the swirls are included on my paper and on the stamping in the heart.
I also added a needle felted heart to the bottom right hand corner to give some dimension.
My final piece is a simple card made with all the leftovers of my coloured kitchen towel.  I simply stamped the dress image from B Line Designs onto the kitchen towel and cut out.  I do not have any PARIS images so added the text PARIS and some french text to the top of my card. There are also some swirls to the top of two of the dresses, albeit small but they are there.  Again this piece uses the colours from The Play Date Cafe.  Enjoy your week, I am off to do a little more housework and then perhaps more crafting, I can see a routine taking shape here LOL.  Take care, Tracy x x

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Artful Tag

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Some Stripes!
Compendium of Curiosities -Altered Metal Alcohol Inks, Page 56 of the book.
Sunday Stamper - Numbers.
I decided to create a tag this time around for the three challenges above.  My stripes come from a piece of 12 x 12 paper by Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutante Collection which I machine stitched onto a tag using black thread. The Altered Metal Alcohol Ink technique has been applied to my flowers and my ARTFUL Philosophy tag at the top. The stamps I have used are from Oxford Impressions which are becoming a favourite of mine. My numbers are self explanatory.
I have added wings from the Heart Wings die, snaps to one edge of the wings, black lace and co-ordinated buttons. Enjoy you day and thanks for stopping by, Tracy x x

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

WOYWW Long Time No Speak

It's been a while since I joined in with WOYWW and I have finally found time to play along.  My dad has been seriously ill for a month so I have been visiting but he is much improved now thankfully, so it is just taking me a while to get back into some kind of routine.  Where better to start than joining in with the weekly phenomena that is What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, the brainchild of Julia.  Click HERE to be magically transported to Julia's place for all the details.
I took this picture at 10am this morning but have only just found the time to blog.  As usual I try to keep my desk as tidy as possible before my next crafting session, which I am hoping will be sometime later today, I can hope LOL.  The pot at the back of my desk is one my 10 year old daughter Laura made for me from clay, it is so heavy but it is one of those items I will treasure and is now used to store some of my button collection. The 12 x 12 paper on my desk is for my next challenge piece and the items on the left are for my next Altered Alice piece but I am still at the thinking stage, but these days the thinking stage takes a great deal longer LOL.
Thanks for stopping by, I am now off to try and hop around a few desks, something I have not done for 6 weeks.  Enjoy your week, Tracy x x

Sunday, 20 February 2011

A Bouquet Of Good Wishes

This week The Play Date Cafe are having a 'COMBINED GRIND' challenge with CASE Study challenge. The Play Date focus on a colour challenge and the CASE study focus on the idea of COPY AND SHARE EVERYTHING.
Our challenge is to intepret the card above in our own way and to make the chosen colours the focus of our card.
I focused on the flower first which I die cut from an old apron using the Alterations Tattered Floral die.  I sprayed each flower with Dylusions Worn Leather Ink Spray and scrunched each flower in my hand.  Once dry I scrunched them again and then layered each flower together and added a red button.
My background pieces have been cut from an old BASICGREY paper stack using the Alterations Ornamental die and the swirl is from a Fancy Pants set stamped in black archival ink.
I also added some ribbon which I gathered to add even more dimension to the card. Thanks for stopping by, your comments are much appreciated, Tracy x x

The Altered Alice - Chapter 1 - Week 4

We are now on week 4 of our challenge CHANGES IN FORM AND DRESS FORMS and Stampotique Originals is sponsoring our first month with a $30 gift certificate for one lucky winner, see my original post HERE for my first piece of art and all the details to enter the challenge. Carol from Stampotique kindly sent the DT a stamp of our choice so I thought I would take the opportunity to create a second piece for The Altered Alice.
I chose KARIN as I thought she made a perfect Alice.  I decided on a journal page this time around which I coloured with Distress Inks.
I reduced Karin's size just like Alice was reduced in size and I added the text 'Curiouser and Curiouser'.  The Mushrooms are also a Stampotique image along with the Swirl Stalks stamped along the bottom edge of my page.
I also added text torn from an Alice In Wonderland book "However, I've got back to my right size:" which I thought was quite fitting for my journal pages.
There is still plenty of time to enter the challenge for a chance to win this fabulous prize from Stampotique, simply click on the link above for all the details and to view some wonderful pieces from our Design Team and our entries.  Enjoy your weekend, Tracy x x

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Sew Simple

I have not made a tag for quite some time, I don't know why but I tend to make cards rather than tags so I thought I would have a change and it was great fun working in a smaller space.
I decided to go for a sewing theme and will probably make a coordinated card to go with my tag.  I am entering this piece for Simon Says Stamp and Show a TAG and the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge which this week is INKING AND STAMPING MASKS, page 59 of the book.
Thanks for stopping by, Tracy x x 

Monday, 14 February 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Morning all, I'm back with my second DT piece for The STAMP ATTIC.  I thought I would try and work outside my comfort zone this time around and create a journal spread.  I did find this piece a challenge mainly due to the amount of space to fill but I did enjoy the process.
Pop over to THE STAMP ATTIC blog to find out all the details to create my journal page.
I really enjoyed working with DI's spiced marmalade and worn lipstick they blend beautifully together.
I love adding text from old gardening books to a page it adds another dimension.
This picture gives you a better view of the machine stitching and the dimension on my page.
Thanks for stopping by here and at THE STAMP ATTIC.  Enjoy your week, Tracy x x

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Spread Some Luuuurve...................

The Stampotique Designers Challenge this time around is VALENTINE or LOVE and The Sunday Stamper theme this week is also LOVE so I thought I would take the opportunity to make my Son Ryan a Valentine's card for a bit of fun.
I decided to use the boy (Heart Shirt) DREAMING about his favourite girl, Moth Fab LOL.
The background is coloured using DI inks spiced marmalade and worn lipstick and I am really liking these colours together.  I have added some stamped hearts to the background again in spiced marmalade to give that tone on tone effect.  I have punched out a large heart from white card and again coloured with DI's.  I have added Moth Fab to the large heart and coloured with DI's and added Heart Shirt boy to the bottom corner dreaming away.
DREAM has been added and faux stitching to lift my large heart from the page.  Stampotique Stamps are available from THE STAMP ATTIC and I must say I have had great fun creating this little number LOL.  Enjoy what's left of the weekend, Tracy x x

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Hearts, Hearts and Hearts

Thought I would try something a little different this week for The Play Date Cafe and had a go at needle felting, great fun apart from stabbing my hands with the needle several times, that's what comes from being an amateur LOL.  I am also adding the heart pieces to The Stampman Challenge which this time around is a HEARTS THEME.
I needle felted a heart and my background is sprayed with Memories Mists using a Prima mask.
I also created this heart gift tag to add to a gift bag.
Along with this simple bracelet for my 10 year old daughter Laura.
Our inspiration are the colours above in this wonderful picture, very shabby chic.  Just a quick post from me today as it is time for me to dig over the allotment and I think it's going to take every ounce of energy I have left LOL.  Enjoy your weekend, Tracy xx

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Heartfelt Greetings

The Sunday Stamper - TIME.
Simon Says Stamp and Show - some EMBOSSING.
Compendium of Curiosities -RUSTED ENAMEL, page 41 of the book.
The Play Date Cafe - Inspiration photo below.
A combination of challenges this week just to fit everything in once again.  I have created three pieces this time around as I had a little more time to play.
The rusted enamel technique has been applied to my small heart at the top, subtle I know but I have used the technique LOL.  My time element is Tim's Idea-ology clock piece at the top and I added the text TIME FOR LOVE to fit in with The Sunday Stamper theme and Simon Says Stamp and Show some embossing and I have embossed both hearts, the one with the button added and the one at the top of the page again very subtle, but sometimes less is more and I have used the colour challenge for The Play Date Cafe.
I also created a second card for The Play Date Cafe challenge.
I attended one of Sarah Anderson's workshops at the weekend and we worked on texture in our pieces so I thought I would use one of the techniques to add texture to my heart shaped box.
I just need some chocolates to add to the box and this would make an ideal small gift for my son on Valentine's.  Thanks for stopping by.  Tracy x x


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Altered Alice Chapter 1 - WEEK 2 Challenge: Dress Form or Changing Forms

"Alice crouched down among the trees as well as she could, for her neck kept getting entangled among the branches, and every now and then she had to stop and untwist it. After a while she remembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in her hands, and she set to work very carefully, nibbling first at one and then at the other, and growing sometimes taller and sometimes shorter, until she had succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height.
It was so long since she had been anything near the right size, that it felt quite strange at first; but she got used to it in a few minutes, and began talking to herself, as usual. `Come, there's half my plan done now! How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm going to be, from one minute to another!"
                                -- Chapter 5, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Well, just like Alice we have been through quite a few changes! But our familiar Alice challenges have arrived safely in at their new home although in a new monthly form.

To reflect all these changes, The Altered Alice Challenge is to make something that features a dress form, OR to make something that changes in form!  While it is not required that your project include Alice in Wonderland, we do encourage it. If your project features Wonderland you will get two chances in the prize drawing instead of one, and what a prize it is!
STAMPOTIQUE ORIGINALS is sponsoring our first challenge with a generous $30 gift certificate, and their fabulous design team is playing along! 

Here is my project to inspire you: 
I started my piece with a cover from a book, so the back piece is quite sturdy.  I applied two coats of Gesso to give me a good surface to work on.  I then applied Distress Ink to the background with a sponge.  The images I have used are from The Octopode Factory with a little colour added using watercolour pencils.  My bodices are ceramic pieces which have been sponged with Distress Ink.  I have added pieces of lace to each bodice along with many embellishments, including wooden hearts, Tim's Idea-Ology, beads and computer generated text.
The bodices add some great dimension to my piece as you can see from this picture.  Before adhering the bodice I added small playing cards to the queen (I kept these from a cracker at Christmas) along with co-ordinated fibres to the bottom of the bodice.  I also added a wooden heart to the top of the queen's head.  Alice has a crown added to her head and to complete I added ALICE and QUEEN using scrabble letters.

I hope you are all inspired to play along and take a few minutes to pop over to The Altered Alice blog to see some wonderful pieces of inspirational art to help you along the way.

Now let me explain how this new monthly challenge works:
  • 1st Sunday of the month: The new challenge will be posted with the link tool, and a few of the design team samples will be posted.
  • 2nd Sunday: Additional design team samples will be posted.
  • 3rd Sunday: The last of the design team samples will be posted.
  • Last Sunday of the month: A winner will be announced and some of your projects may be given an "honorable mention".
You have a whole month to submit your creations, so we are hoping that a lot more of you will decide to play along!
Enter your links on The Altered Alice before 8 p.m. EST (GMT - 5) on Friday, February 25th.  A winner will be announced on Sunday, February 27th. Check back at The Altered Alice each Sunday between now and then for more inspiration!  Thanks for stopping by and good luck, Tracy x x

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Love Is In The Air

The challenge over at Simon Says Stamp and Show is to show some LOVE; the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge is ALTERED METAL WITH PAINT, page 48 of the book; and The Artistic Stamper Creative Team's challenge is ALL THINGS LOVE.  This week I decided to decorate a heart that I found in my mountain of crafts.
I applied tissue paper to the heart to give some texture, allowed to dry and then applied Stewart Gill paint in bright copper and chestnut.  Although you can not see it in this picture due to the light levels, I have added some leafing flakes to the heart too.  I cut two hearts from felt and hand stitched them together with copper thread.
I cut a lock from Grungepaper using the Hardware Findings die and coloured using the Industrial Grunge technique (page 54 of the book), added Idea-Ology which has been altered with gold paint.  Lace and hand made fabric flowers were added along with a crown for the top of the heart.
To complete, co-ordinated ribbons have been added to the rope handle.  Enjoy your week, Tracy x x

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


I thought I would have a change from cards today and get a little inky in my small journal, well my first page in my small journal to be precise.  I still can't quite get my head around journaling but I've tried.  I try to approach it the same way as I do a card but I still find it a little difficult to get my journaling head on LOL.
I created this piece for the Stampotique Designers Challenge which is to use the colours ORANGE and TURQUOISE.  I did plan to enter this to WELCOME all the new Design Team members to Stampotique but I have missed that deadline by a day but I thought I would still say a BIG WARM WELCOME to you all.
The background was created with Gesso and Altered Originals sprays.  The houses are from the Stampotique stamp Row of Houses (available from The Stamp Attic) , stamped onto white card coloured with DI spiced marmalade and broken china. White dots have been added with a white gel pen to lift the images from the pages.  I have added hand stitching, hearts, and buttons to complete my pages.  Thanks for stopping by, Tracy x x