Monday, 28 July 2014

A fun and fairly quick little project.....

Good morning folks I hope this finds you well.
I was having a bit of a rummage in my studio the other day and came across a little bag of something my cousin had sent me a while ago (won't spoil the surprise yet by telling you what it was) with a challange to do something with them so I thought, rather than packing them away again, I would do something with them.....
 So, I started off by cutting white card to the appropriate size and stamping elements from my Funky Birdz stamp set onto both sides of them.
 Then I grabbed my Distress Markers and began to colour them in. I love these Markers and use them all the time. I love how they blend and mottle with water.
I did 10 all together because this is what I had been sent........
 10 keyrings.....aren't they cool? Both sides have images on.
I enjoyed making these in between my other projects. I've already allocated the recipients for most of them but I do have a spare so I thought I'd give it away. If you would like to have the chance to receive it then just leave me a comment telling me you would and I'll pull a random name tomorrow.

Before I go, I have a fun project over on The Craft Barn Blog today too. I'd love it if you popped on over for a closer look.

Friday, 25 July 2014

At long last, how I do the inside of a book .....

Good afternoon folks, quite a while ago I shared the basics of working with my book cover kits to make the outside covers. (The post is HERE if you've forgotten)
I promised to return with how I put the inside pages together. Well, to be honest, life kinda got in the way but here at long last is how I sew and make my books. So, sit back and make yourself comfy, we may be a while.......

For this book I have worked in a variety of different paper and card to create interest in my book. Starting with A4 card trim the narrow side to 15cm. (Just a note. Don't throw those strips away.......)
 Fold  and score each piece. Now, it is impossible to specify any quantities as it is all determined by the thickness of the paper and card you use but to give you an idea,  this book has 6 signatures, each consisting of 5 pieces of folded paper (Road Atlas map, lol) one piece of this thick card and one sheet of scrapbook card.
 So you can see here that I have cut and folded the green card. I have trimmed the atlas to 15 cm keeping the existing fold line but I haven't trimmed it yet and at the back there is a selection of 12 x 12 that has been cut to 15cm, folded, scored but no further trimming has been done.
 So, now it is time to put the signatures together. I began with the green card, into this I added the map pages and to finish I added a piece of the scrapbook card to the centre. At this stage you want to make sure that all the folds are in the same place and that everything is pressed as tightly as possible into the fold. When you are happy then, keeping everything closed and the green card as a guide, you can trim the rest of the paper that sticks over the edge away using a craft knife. Repeat with all the signatures.
 The next step is is to make sewing holes to make it easier to bind the book. Make yourself a guide like this from card.
 Take a signature and place it closed onto a pricking mat. Carefully open to the centre taking care not to move the pages and use a poky tool to make holes through all the pages at the four markers (the black lines lol) Repeat for all the signatures.
 Now, we are ready to sew everything together. Golden rule: Don't rush! You will need a reasonably sturdy needle and a really decent linen thread. If you can break the thread with a yank of your hands, it's not going to be strong enough and believe me; it is VERY frustrating snapping a thread when you are almost finished! A bulldog clip is also useful.
 Ok, in this pic you can see all signatures are clipped together. To be honest, that didn't work for me, I find it easier to add each one as needed. Starting from the outside and with enough thread on the needle (I tend to have around a meter which is a bit much really but hey, it works for me) push though and pull through leaving  a "tail" of around 15cm.
 Take the needle through the adjacent hole and pull through.

 Take the next signature and take the needle through the adjacent hole and out the other side....confused?
 It makes more sense now looking at this. You can see that the sewing zig zags and each signature is caught by one thread only.
 When you have done all your signatures, you then work backwards which then catches all the open pieces.
 So by the time you have worked back to the end you have linked all the pages together and your threads are both on the same side.
 Time to knot off. It is important to keep everything as tight as possible to minimise gapping. Congratulations; now you have to repeat the process on the other side too LOL.
 When you have finished you can help secure everything more by pressing the pages together and adding some glue to it and tightly wrapping with adhesive parcel paper tape.
Like this (Cover the middle piece too) and then leave pressed under a flat heavy weight to dry. Preferably overnight. I use slate place mats, they weigh a ton!

So, that is now the end. You now have the inside pages of your book ready.  I'll be back soon  and I'll show you how to put these pages to the cover to finish off your amazing journal... in the meantime, I hope you decide to give it a go.
If you remember in the beginning I said don't throw the narrow strips from trimming the A4 card to 15cm away? They make a good practice run as you only need to sew once and you can make a lovely tiny journal like this one....

See you later folks!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Textured fun.

Goodly mornin peeps.....
Again, just popping in to touch base in between trying to sort out my studio (and NO, you definitely don't want to see the state of it at the moment)
Over the weekend, I was up in Shepreth having a good time messing about with textures and paints with a lovely group of ladies....
I forgot to take my camera out half the time but I did manage a few pics.......

 I'm loving the concentration LOL, everyone focused in on working with various elements. Then it was time to add some more textures with Grunge Paste and other smaller pieces.....bit of drying time required which gave a good reason for a coffee break and a slice (or two) of Cheryl's delicious plum cake.
Starting to add the first layers of colour..... until by the end of the day we had taken our plain boxes to this delightfully messy stage
 and then from that to this......

All in all, there are about seven layers to get to this but it was all good fun and the finished result is fabulous!
This is one of my favourite classes to do and I love how ,though everyone begins with the same basic "ingredients", the end results are always so different.

I love mixed media work like this, don't you?
Catch you later, have fun.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A bit of this and a bit of that

Good morning friends.
I trust that this finds you all well. For the last few days I've been playing catch up both in the house and the studio and am slowly beginning to see some light at the end of it all so I am hopeful that I will manage some more personal crafting soon. In the meantime, I am over on The Craft Barn Blog today with a project using a trio of bird boxes so I'd love it if you nipped on over for a closer look. As always there is a downloadable PDF available with lots of pics and instructions. Here's a peek, for more details click HERE

Staying with The Craft Barn; I'll be at the shop on Friday August 01 doing a lovely Al Fresco/ picnic set class. If you fancy joining us to make this rustic style bowl, cloth and serviette holders
the details can be found HERE and I'd love to see you.
Then on Sunday August 10 I will be doing my Seaside Treasures class; using one of my new book kits to actually create a box. Again, it would be lovely to see you there LOL

Class details can be found HERE

Righteo, guess I had better get back to work. Have yourselves a fun and creative day....

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The house is strangely quiet now.....

Good morning folks.
Well I did tell you that it would be a while but I'm back now and slowly picking up the pieces of my creative life.
For the last few weeks I've been taking time out showing off our beautiful land to our american family and it's been a blast. We are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful place. I didn't really get much crafting time so now I have a lot of catching up to do.
So, starting off I thought I'd remind you that I will be at the lovely Crafting Time in Shepreth, Cambridgeshire for my Pandora's box class on Sunday (20th July)
This pic gives you an idea of the style of project; lots of textures and lovely layers of paints. There are still a  few places left so if you fancy joining us for the day I'd love to see you there....
All the details can be found HERE

So, what else? Well, I made a quick little wedding card for some a little while ago which I forgot to share

Just a nice simple design using primarily patterned papers etc with a bit of detail added with Distress Markers and the Spritzer to tie in the elements.
Then, while I didn't have much crafting time I did manage to get my SIL and her daughter to have some crafting time....

Here they are busy working on the covers of their new Smash Books. Adding texture pastes and paints and generally having a good time.
So, just a quick little hello from me really, now to get my studio sorted out and some creating done before work..... have a lovely and creative day everyone.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A bit of scrapbooking for The Craft Barn

Good morning peeps.
Just a quick little post from me this morning. Grabbing a few moments to catch up on things. We've had a manic but pleasurable 5 day whirlwind of introducing my brother in law to England.  From stately homes like Knole, lovely gems like Ightham Mote, castles like Bodiam and Dover, from London to the White cliffs we packed a whole lot into the time! He left on Sunday leaving the rest of the family here so we have had a quieter day yesterday and today we're off again.

But before I go; over at The Craft Barn Blog today I've a lovely double layout using Maja Road and Tando Creative. There is a downloadable PDF too. I'd love you to pop on over for a closer look HERE so I'll leave you with some teaser photos.......

Monday, 23 June 2014

Not enough hours....

Good morning friends.
My personal crafting has taken a bit of a back seat recently with one thing and another so I haven't really got a lot that I can share at the moment. Currently I'm gearing up for some overseas family arriving tomorrow for a few weeks which will be lovely so though I will try to squeeze in some crafting I may not be able to so if it stays quiet on here please bear with me, I will be back, I promise! Today, though, I do have a project I can share with you.
My little box of Hopes and Dreams.

 I started out with two wooden flat boxes from The Craft Barn and glued them together as seen. I added some textural details with a mask and Grunge Paste and then started to play around with the Tim Holtz Frameworks dies. I love these shapes and I folded them over the edges, around corners, using some of the inside pieces too, until I was happy. It took a little lime to glue them as I had to hold them in place for a while to stop them springing off but hey, it was worth it in the end.
 I cut the words out of thin card using Tim's Time Out strip die which is another of my favourite alphabet dies and glued them down too.
 Obviously by this stage there was no way to open the boxes so I had to carefully cut any pieces that were over the lid joins.
I added some flowers made from the Tattered Garland strip die to add further dimension before painting in a selection of colours, blending them as I went to achieve a more subtle tone.
When the paint was dry I then added a bitumen mix to darken and age everything and used a damp cloth to wipe areas away to reveal more of the colour below. Lastly, I used white and grey paint to add some dry brush details.
 For the inside I inked card with Distress inks and stamped in Archival using Tim Holtz stamps
 So there you have it, a little box of Hopes and Dreams. I may add a couple of little journals to write in or perhaps just do a bunch of loose cards to remind myself of my Hopes and Dreams....... not sure yet.
Take care folks and I'll try to be back soon.