Sunday, 9 November 2014

We will remember them

On the Centenary of the Great war.
I created a wee wall hanging, in remembrance of the soldiers who fought and to those who gave the greatest sacrifice of all in WW1 and also remembering soldiers in all wars before and since.

The Poppies were created with a Sizzix Bigz L Flora -Prima die, poppy centres are Spellbinders Die delights Bloom 1 and Crealies dies CL CS 09 & CL CS 09.

I've had this Chocolate Baroque sentiment stamp for a couple of years. Lovely words.

Thanks for dropping by
Alexandra x

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Happy Halloween

Hi everyone, Thanks for visiting my wee blog.
Long time, no blog!
My bad!!
I'm still here, I've still been creating but maybe not as often as I used to, or like to.
Anyway I thought I'd share a couple of photos of pumpkins I carved.
The first one I carved last week. A Spooky Minion ghost.
 My grandson David loves minions!

Then tonight I got a new doggy... well I carved him out of a second pumpkin.

Meet Kyle from Despicable me. 

 I think he looks scary. I don't think I'd like to bump into him on a dark night. 

I still prefer my lovely Labradors, much more cuddlier! lol.

Have a lovely night and thanks for coming to see what I've been up to.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Live Laugh Love + Upcycling

I made this for my daughter Nicole.

Warning this is a bit of a long post, you may want to grab a cuppa before you read on.

This project was constructed with the help of my Cricut. 
I wanted a wee house shape, but the nearest I had was this tag shape...I thought.... well, near enough! 
Using multiple layers of cereal packet card, I glued the base tag shapes together, on top of each other with a strong wet glue until it was about 5mm thick (approx 8 - 10 layers of card  for each base section, (32 -40 layers altogether... I lost count!). I then sanded each now thick, solid shape when it was dry. For the framed fronts I used my Gypsy & Cricut to design and cut the aperture I wanted in the tag. I chose a basic rectangle, and a heart shape for the other. I cut approx 16 layers each design (8 for each front) with the aperture in the centre for the fronts these were layered and sanded as before.
I cut 4 fronts with the apertures, (2 of each design), and 4 tag shapes for the backs, from some lovely old Basic Gray 12 x 12 paper I had in my stash. This was a rich brown, beige and rust coloured design so after sticking to the block shapes I lightly sanded again. I painted them with a thin layer of Gesso so you could still see the paper design through it, but it's muted, I added this top layer with wet glue before assembling, and sanding again. (the paper dust is awful stuff, it gets everywhere, but it's worth the mess for the lovely smooth result)
I also cut 4 of the base shapes from white card for the top of the base layers for stamping on the top of the base so it would be visible inside the apertures when these were added and glued in place. I lightly sanded the edges of  this layer too. I stamped over the 8 main card "block" pieces, base both sides back and front, and then around the aperture of the top piece) then stacked and glued together, the hinges are just printed card I had in a bits box, reinforced underneath with a thin sheer fabric glued to the card then trimmed to fit & attached with wet glue to allow to concertina fold open, I sanded again to give a smoothed edge. 
For the stamping, I stamped with black Archival, using mainly Birdhouse garden set of Clarity stamps images and Clarity stamped poem, masked and stamped a bit at a time to fit the shape. 
I also used a free Hot off the Press stamp "Sweet treats" with birds & bird houses that I got with Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine recently, and "Live Laugh Love" words were from an old Crafty Impressions stamp set.
I tinted everthing to add a wee bit of soft colour, using Tumbled glass and tattered rose Distress ink. 

This is it folded closed. It's solid, and feels like it's made of wood.

This is the back. 

At the top of this post you'll see the picture of the inside or opened face of the finished project.

Well done making it to the end.
Thanks for looking.

hugs Alexandra

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Life's a garden, dig it.

Paper clay flower making was so addictive, so here's the result.....

The pile of flowers continued growing.... 
I used Spellbinders Sunflower dies to make the flowers, 2 layers of the large flower and 2 of the small. 
The whole lot was diecut using up unloved yellow card which is a colour I don't usually use. I sprayed the die cut flowers, dipped, dabbed and mopped ink up from my craft mat I used a cool red, yellow and black to get these variations. I liked the resulting colours much better.

From these, I then created this....

Two views of the same project. This is the other side.

I stuck the flowers back to back on stems using a holly napkin left over from Christmas wrapped around wire which I also coloured with peeled paint ink. I cut a few leaf shapes to add a bit more greenery. 

For the bottle vase, I used stamps from PaperArtsy Hot Pick 1009, to stamp on tissue paper. I coloured the reverse with acrylic paint, then when this layer was dry, I added another layer of white acrylic paint which I used to highlight the colour and adhere the tissue to a heart shaped bottle too. 
I sealed the tissue once it was dry using PVA glue which I painted over with a soft paintbrush. This gave the bottle a soft sheen too.

......and I still have flowers left over to play with some more, lol.

Thanks for looking
Alexandra xx

Friday, 28 February 2014

Paper clay play

Thanks for visiting. Sorry I've been AWOL for such a long time.

I just popped in to post a wee update and wanted to say thank you again to all you kind ladies for your well wishes and prayers for our daughter. She has had diabetes since she was a wee girl. We were lead to believe (by her) she was doing okay, and she reassured us if we asked about her health, that all was good. We were always proud of her. She's always been so clever, talented and seemed sensible and mature for her 18 years. She was so busy with everything in her life, before this happened, with her college & photography work, social life with friends, singing in a band etc, a typical teenager I suppose you'd say. Having no idea she wasn't giving herself the due care and attention she needed for her diabetes, which resulted in her going into a severe diabetic coma. She suffered a brain injury when this happened. This came as a huge shock.

She wakened from her coma after about 2 weeks, she was still on lots of monitors, lines and tubes etc for a good few weeks after this. She had no voice after ventilator was removed. I don't think we think of these things when we haven't experienced this before. It was a very scary time, one I wouldn't like to re-live.

If you know anyone with diabetes, especially young people, let them know how important it is to keep regular checks on their diabetes control. When we're young we think were bullet proof, but this is a potentially life threatening condition without regularly "keeping your eye on the ball".

My daughter got home, after 4 months in hospital. She still needs help getting about and she's getting help with physio' to help her mobility, and she had speech therapy to help with her talking.
She is so brave and is getting stronger, her walking is improving slowly. Her voice though quieter, it's stronger, though she's not the chatterbox she used to be. She's not singing again yet, and I miss her constant chatter too.

On to a bit of me time, which I love when I can get it.

I've been dabbling in odd crafty projects on and off when I've had the time. I had a go at making air dry paper clay too. Inspired by Darcy from PaperArtsy, last year when she created her huge paper mache giraffe, Colin. You can check it out here.

I made quite a large amount of the paperclay, so had some fun.
I made these roses from it the same way as I would fondant ones for cake decorating, and then tried stamping into it. These other shapes are made from stamp impressions from Sheena Douglass flower stamps.

I found this Inkylicious "Always Remember" stamp. I couldn't resist buying it, as it made me think of my brave girl.
I made this fridge magnet for her by stamping this into the paperclay, I trimmed it, and left it on my craft mat to dry.
After letting it dry for 24 hours, I painted  it with black acrylic paint, then used gilding wax to highlight, finished it off by adding a dangling, cameo metal charm.

I had purchased a few silicone moulds 

and made these too. 
Great fun! 
I'll be back to show you what I've created with some of these soon!

Thanks for stopping by.
Alexandra x 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Thanks to everyone

I wrote this back in May, but I didn't realise I hadn't posted it back then:

I wanted to say thanks for all the well wishes and prayers for my daughter.
God was listening. She came out of the coma late on 29th March - Good Friday (a very good day). She still has a long way to go yet, but thank God she has survived, despite the odds, amazing the hospital staff, who didn't think she'd make it.
She'll need to work hard with physio to get back on her feet, and speech therapy to help her recover her voice, but she is for now, free from tubes and lines etc.

Our beautiful girl has been given back to us.

Since writing this, she has improved and though she remained in hospital, for what seemed like forever, we have had her home now for just over 2 months. Her mobility is slow but improving and her voice is getting better. She is still working hard to get stronger with lots of help from therapists.

Thanks for all your kind words, these were comforting to read during this very difficult time.

I hope to get back into doing what I love, creating, soon.

Alexandra xx

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Pencil pot make over

Hello all, sorry I've not been around and missed blogging for a few weeks.  
I had this project saved in draft for a few weeks but haven't gotten around to posting it here. 

Added today:
To briefly let you know my heart and head have been elsewhere as my daughter is just now on life support in hospital. We almost lost her. I have been there every day since she was admitted a week past Monday. She is stable now but still in a coma. 
We did get a wee flutter of her eyelids, and she tried to open her eyes when we said her name yesterday. Baby steps in the right direction. Say a prayer for her please.

Welcome to new visitors and new followers and thank you to older blog friends for your loyalty and coming back to see what I've been up to. Your visits and comments mean a lot to me.
Anyway here's the latest venture into creativity. Inspiration struck when I was in my local Tesco's grocery store when this bargain 40p pencil pot
caught my eye (and my imagination) for a make over. (They also had a wee matching lidded box with flamingo note-let/cards in it with which I plan another re-do this space!)

I started by painting the full box with a couple of coats of white Gesso. Then using the silver embossing paste generously given to me by Anne last month. I stencilled through a V&A brass stencil I've had for "yonks" but never used. As it had such tiny fine detail, I wanted to see how precise the paste would work. I was impressed, as I'd never tried embossing paste before this. I think my first attempt turned out not too bad.
I then used Pebeo paints in two blues, and pink at random occasionally wiping back to soften the look with a baby wipe and using a dry brush to change it where I felt the need. I love the soft colours this produced. I cut and glued 3 x 33/4"square layers of card for a lid then 4 layers 3" square to fit inside the box top. I painted the lid the same way to match the box. I used various Indigo Blu stamps throughout and around this pencil pot project, 

I stamped the flourishes from Indigo Blu "Discover your passion" set on the lid, and added Tim Holtz tattered florals made into roses stamped first with Wendy Vecchi ledger numbers and a couple of her make mine mini art flowers covered with tissue tape, cut out and coloured with DI's. The bead in the centre of these wee flowers was shiny silver, so I coloured them with alchohol inks. the leaves were from Indigo Blu "Live Laugh Love" set as were the words I used. 

"Laugh as much as you breath" was stamped in blended blue-green and pink chalk ink colours which I then found didn't dry too well on acrylic paint... even after blasting with the heat gun, arrrgh! so not giving up, I used a fixative spray that I use for pastel painting, well pastels are chalky too! (hairspray does this job too with pastels, if you need to use this and don't have it) this seemed to do the trick, so I then over stamped this in Rangers white archival. 

I tried same idea using white acrylic paint stamped over (playing safe now) black archival with "Love to Create" from Indigo Blu "Discover your passion" wording stamp set. I like the shadow effect it produced with the lettering. I stamped the flourish in black here too to balance the corners.
The wee dragon fly here is from the "Live Laugh Love" set too, stamped with chalk inks before I discovered it didn't fully dry well and set with fixative as before. It is so pretty and highly detailed, even the tiny veins stamp with such detail. 

The last face of this box started off life very different. I originally had a stamped butterfly on Clearly for art stuck on this side but I bumped the edge of it's wing which damaged it,so when I took it off the underlying paint was well glued to it and peeled off too. I could have cried, but they say there are no mistakes in art so I then had another idea using this "hole" in the paint I peeled back more to create a faux hole in the back of the box then painted inside and around it to create the trompe l'oeil (artistic optical illusion) .
The wee bird "hiding inside" is from the Indigo Blu Clematis flourish stamp. I painted in the shape of the bird with Pebeo paint, then over stamped it in black Stazon to bring back the details of her feathers, I added white Sakura for highlight but didn't like it so colouring carefully in tiny dots and dashes of alcohol pens over this and on the wings and tail to deepen colour between the stamped image. In hindsight I should have picked a different stamp pad to over stamp the bird, but managed okay (holding my breath, lol).  The flowers were painted in alcohol ink from pens then blended with blending solution on felt, to suggest something else tucked inside but to leave the tiny wee bird as the focal point inside.

Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to look.

hugs Alexandra x