Tuesday, 17 May 2016

WWWow! Carte Blanche!!!

Cor blimey, you know I loves a good old challenge theme and this month, over at the Creative Carte Blanche blog, Cheryl has set a grand prompt for us all.... to use something Wild, a Word and some Wood!   This one certainly got me all of a dither and I decided immediately to not go down the usual route of a wooden thing to alter but instead to decorate a wooden thing.... and then I completely got sidetracked after rummaging in the Room of Stash and remembering this old wooden spool that a friend gave to me yonks ago.  It has, to be honest, been sitting folornly gathering dust on a shelf, so I took it down, blew on it (rids the fruzzins and dusty bits, that does) and set about scavenging in the garden for something wild.

I have some ok, lots of hardy fuchsias and they needed a tidy up so I gathered together some of the twiggy bits and the idea formed to bung them into the spool.  A passing pigeon obligingly dropped a few feathers on the lawn so I nabbed those up too and popped those into the middle of the spool too. 

I didn't want heavy decorations so I decided on acetate butterflies, perched lightly on the twiggy bits (with the aid of hot glue, I hasten to add) and I added some resin blooms for a splash of colour along with a Word Band to.... add my word!  Voila, done... and whilst the photo's are a bit dodgy, it does look really pretty and delicate in real life.  One of these days I shall get myself a decent photo... until that time I shall keep trying! 

To join in the fun, CLICK HERE and you will be whisked off to the Creative Carte Blanche blog and you'll be able to see how to join in, where to upload your entry and also, do take a cuppa and a HobNob as you will be wanting to feast your eyes upon the gorgeousness that my teamies have been making this month too.

I shall away now... busy, busy, busy this week... I have news, verrrrry exciting news... all will be revealed very soon... watch this space ;o))   Thanks for looking... TTFN!

Hels x

Friday, 22 April 2016

Carte Blanche to Box Clever...

...Cor blimey and thrice!!!  Two blog posts in a week!!!  I know, I know, whatever next eh?    I have been playing again for the Creative Carte Blanche theme for April, which is Cigar Boxes.  However, I have had a lot of feedback telling me that us poor UK peeps are struggling to get hold of cigar boxes.  So, I had a little think and decided that whilst a cigar box is preferable (it is the theme after all) I would bend the rules slightly and alter a papier mache box instead.  *that also means if I bend the rules, so can you ;O)*

I have a gorgeous paper pad from ScrapBerry's that has been whispering to me for a few weeks now, it has!  It's been positively yowling to be chopped up you know... and who am I do disregard such a request?  The papers are called Photo Archive and are a 6" x 6" pack... full of lovely muted tones and greens (I have saved those for another project, I do love my greens... altho not kale or any other healthy thing like that of course!)  Armed with a 4" square papier mache box (also ScrapBerry's) I set about the alteration.  Starting with a smidge of Vintage Photo DI all around the edges of the box and then cutting into the papers to make them fit... sanding the edges of the papers, scruffing them up a bit and then popping a bit more Vintage Photo onto them, a smidge of glue and voila, box covered.  Seriously this took about 15 minutes (I love a quicky I do!)

Now to decorate it.  I had intended to go down the old steampunk route and bung loads of cogs and screws and stuff on it.... and then I veered off into a floral fantasy (I spend half my life in a floral fantasy you know) so I just had to use mulberry roses... also from ScrapBerry's - in actual fact, everything on this project is from ScrapBerry's!!!   Anyways, I added smidges of Vintage Photo to the flowers to tone them in a bit, stuck on a pearly swirly, added a twist of waxed linen thread, popped the metal "special" plack, plaq, pl... um, thingy onto glue gel to raise it up and then added the diddy little bottle cap with the resin image inside *how cute are these!!!*   A couple of resin blooms finished my little box and it is now ready and waiting for a few special trinkets to find their way into it *am thinking secret stash of choccy*

That's all from me for today... afore I go I will just let you know that I will be in Preston tomorrow, demoing and Inspirations, with my old mate Pauline -the pair of us, under one roof, demoing... what have they let themselves in for!!!  So, if you are at a loose end, fancy a natter and a watch of me getting down and dirty with some Gelatos, please do pop by... entry is free and doors open at 10am.    Thanks for looking and have a grand weekend!  TTFN

Hels x

Friday, 15 April 2016

Carte Blanche in a Box!

Evening!  Tis that time of the month again when it is my turn to share on the Creative Carte Blanche blog.  This month the theme is "Alter a Cigar Box".  Ooh, did someone say alter?  Whooothooot!  I loves altering stuff!  To see more details on the challenge and where to upload, CLICK HERE and you will be transported on the back of a giant umbrella to the Carte Blanche blog.

So when I heard the theme was going to be altering a cigar box, I got very excited indeedily and headed off to the Bay of E (other auction sites are available!) and started a bidding war on this ratty old box.  I spent hours, poised, ready for the auction to end and, waiting there, finger hovering over the "place bid" button, coiled like a spring knowing that at any second I could lose out and be outbidded....  Ok, ok, I went on eBay, put Cigar Box into the search engine, placed a bid on the cheapest I could find and won it... but it did sound exciting didn't it? 

Once I got my new purchase (which, btw, stinks like a poke of devils and is rather mildewy) I decided that I was going to pretty it up using the gorgeous Birds of Paradise paper collection from ScrapBerry's.  I love the designs and colours of these papers, just perfect to brighten up my shabby old cigar box.

 I made some roses using the papers and Tattered Florals die.  Next I layered the papers onto the box lid and sides, shabbying them up a bit with an edge distresser and some Vintage Photo Distress Ink and ensuring I didn't cover right to the edges as I wanted the original edges of the box still showing - to me it just reminds me what the base is and how old it is too!

In the paper collection is a sheet of birds ready to cut out and a sheet of sentiments... so I picked the ones I wanted, cut the birdy out, edged with Vintage Photo and then curled him with my fingers to get some shape into him, the sentiment had the same treatment as the papers so it matches in nicely.  Once I had the bits and bobs all done, I glued them to the box and added a few ScrapBerry's embellies to finish and made some ickle footsies for the box by gluing bingo counters together and colouring with ink and Treasure Gold.

Apologies for not blogging for the last four weeks.  Things have been, well, how can I say this, pretty chuffing awful here at home since I last blogged...  Grim's life has, yet again, sadly been turned upside down in the course of his duties at work...  so real life has taken priority. However, thanks for all your lovely comments and messages and apologies for being absent... normal service will resume sometime soon hopefully but in the meantime, both of us do really appreciate all your kind thoughts that you have sent our way.  Thanks for looking and have a grand weekend.


Hels x

Friday, 18 March 2016

A Carte Blanche Recipe!

Ooohlalaaaa.. I loves a recipe I do!!  This month on the Creative Carte Blanche blog, Candy has set us a delicious recipe to use lace, metal and corrugated paper together on our projects.  I had the best fun playing, getting covered in ink, paint, glue, texture paste and generally making a mess of my nice tidy desk!  To see more details and upload your own entry, please CLICK HERE for the main CCB page... and please do pop on over HERE to see what the rest of the girlies have been up to this month.

My creation is a 16" x 12" canvas oil board that I have had my eye on for a while now... just waiting for the project to arrive in my head... which it did, the other night, in the middle of the night!  I love it when I dream my projects!   Starting off with some lush papers from Ken Oliver, I cut into them *they didn't squeal... much* and layered them onto the canvas board.  (as usual I forgot to take step by step pics during the making of this... oopsies)   Once I had the papers layered on, I added my lacy bits... I have a massive bag full of vintage lace, so I used a few snippets of that, along with some lacy trims, overlapping them as I glued them down.  I grabbed a stencil and some Ranger Texture Paste and added dimension around the edges of the canvas board.

Whilst that was drying, I knocked back the papers with a smidge of cream paint and then die cut them using the Tattered Florals die and made three blousy roses.  I used corrugated craft card to die cut some Tattered Leaves and painted those with Forest Moss Distress Paint.   Once the paste was dry, I liberally pounced cream paint all over the canvas board and used a babywipe to remove some of the paint from the papers to reveal the patterns on them.  A quick zap with a heat tool and then I used the scraped paint technique to layer on some paint that I wanted to be perfectly co-ordinated with the colour palette... so I popped a puff of Orchid Color Burst powder into a dollop of cream paint, mixed them together and then scraped the paint over the canvas.  I wanted a slightly darker shade of paint, so I repeated the process of colouring the paint but added a bigger puff of powder.  I love that the Color Bursts are so vibrant and will mix so easily into any medium.  Once I had added a few smidges of black paint to bring the whole design together, I slapped a layer of Glue & Seal over the top of it all the seal it.  WOW!  That proved a big surprise because the Color Burst in the paint reactivated and really came to life... a happy accident indeedily.

I used a Stabilo All pencil to add shading around the papers and lace and then used a splatter brush to flick droplets of black and cream paint onto the canvas board.  The beauty of using the Glue & Seal means that if I goofed up this bit, I could just wipe it away (tis my safety net!)   Finally I got cracking with the embellishing.   Of course, I love to pile embellies on and Candy's recipe gave me the perfect excuse to raid my embellie boxes and go totally over the top!  Finishing touches were smidges of Treasure Gold on the stencilled areas and voila, a completed project that made me so happy to make!

Don't forget you have until the end of the month to play along with the Creative Carte Blanche recipe... hope to see your entry!   I shall away now... I have a messy desk that needs a lot of attention!   Thanks for looking.. TTFN

Hels x

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Carte Blanche to Color Burst!

Ohlalaaaaa and thrice!  Firsty, goodly morning!!!  Secondly, I am SOOOO excited... can you tell?  Practically fizzing with excitement I am!   Remember a few weeks ago I told you about the new Creative Carte Blanche blog?  And remember I said that our theme for this month is so try something new?  Well, how about that eh?  Try something new!  There I was, scratching my head thinking "I have done it all.. been crafting several yonks now and I have really tried it all" until I began to think properly and stopped being all old and daft and realised that actually, I have tried hardly anything really and there was a tonne of stuff to chose from.

Guess what I chose to be my "try something new"?  Go on, have a little guess?  If you follow me on Facebook you might have noticed that the past few days have been sooo good because I finally got to do a class with Ken Oliver at Daisy's Jewels in Coventry and finally got to play with his fabulous Color Burst Powders.. which are absolutely brilliant!  WOW!  What a fab teacher Ken is but not only that, he also made me sit back, relax and realise that I do have freedom in what I make and his Color Bursts are just so easy to use, so colourful and also extremely addictive!

Dotted through this post are a few of the things I made in class and a very special thank you to Ken for allowing me to use these samples to show you my "something new" and also a few bits and bobs I made just fiddling and playing and letting the relaxation of Color Bursts wash over me.  I got to play with the new Caribbean colours which are absolutely gorgeous... you know me... I loves a bit of blue and green but mix in a smidge of purple.. cor.... I am in lurves!!!!

Color Burst Powders aren't just for sprinkling onto card and spritzing with water though... oh ho no!  Guess what I also learnt to do!   Watercolour!!!  Yes, armed with a paintbrush and an expert tutor guiding me through the process, I managed to create this beautiful card... just look at the colours of that poppy!!  Wow!   *I know, I keep saying WOW... and I also keep saying gorgeous... but that is cos it is true!*

Now... have you seen what my Creative Cohorts have also been up to this month?  Please do pop over to the Creative Carte Blanche blog HERE and have a scroll down to see all the delightful creations they have made.   Also, have you joined in yet?  Have you tried something new and want to share it and join in with the Carte Blanche fun?   CLICK HERE and you can upload your creation and we can all come and visit and see what you have been up to.

I shall away now... it is the Stitches Trade Show here in the UK and I have some serious stalking ahem, walking, to do because Ken is demo-ing there... and of course, it would be very rude of me not to go and stare um, watch him making delicious magic with his Color Bursts!

It is no secret that I have been pretty unwell for a long time now and only just very recently  have started to feel a smidge better.  Alas, during those long unwell months, my Mojo had upped and left... run off with a much healthier model I do believe.    The Creative Carte Blanche ethos is to have freedom in your art and creativity... and you know what?  I have had my Mojo re-awakened... my creative sparkle is returning... and all because I tried something new!  Thank you Ken for relighting the old creative fire in me... I shall be sure to keep it burning now!     Thanks for looking everyone... have fun!  TTFN

Hels x

Friday, 5 February 2016

A Brand New Arty Adventure!

... I am SO excited to be able to finally share with you all some news that has been getting me all of a tizzy for a few months now.  And what is this news?  Only a brand new challenge blog to tantalise your artyness and excite your inkiness!   Firstly, I have to say I am so honoured to be a part of this new adventure and am most humbled to be amongst such talented girlies;

The new blog is called Creative Carte Blanche... and it offers you just that... carte blanche to create the things that makes you happy... the freedom to embrace your creativity.

To see more details about our new adventure, hop on over to the new Creative Carte Blanche blog where all the challenge information and details and stuff in general has just being posted... I hope you are able to join us all in this brand new and very exciting arty adventure!  Thanks for looking... TTFN

Hels x

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Ink Buds!

...Cor blimey! I am soooooo excited!!!  All of a dither in fact!!!  Pauline and I have just announced our next Ink Buds Weekender!  The weekend is 12th & 13th March 2016 and the venue is at Inspirations in Preston, Lancashire. 

Saturday's class will be a Perpetual Calendar... lots of gorgeous techniques to alter and decorate a perpetual calendar and Sunday will see us In The Frame... decorating, altering and making a beautiful arty frame.

If you would like more information about our Weekender, please drop me an email (my email addy is in my profile) and we will get back to you with all the details on how to book your place.

I am off to squeal a little bit more now and get the finishing touches put to our very first weekender.... which is... this weekend!!! Yikes!  Who pressed the fast forward button already!!! 

Thanks for looking... TTFN!

Hels x

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