Sunday, 30 September 2012

Altered Notebook

I've been locked away in my room of craft, making design teams pieces left right and centre! I've not been blogging as much as usual, so sorry if I've not been to your blog yet.  I will be making up for lost time and  popping by shortly to see what you've all been up to. I have 5 crafty projects that I've finished and they're waiting to be blogged! So watch this space.

You know when you're stuck thinking about what present to buy for someone's birthday? Well I had that dilemma this week, with a friend called Fiona. Then I remembered that Fiona likes to write, so I thought why not alter a note book? So I set to work straight away on making her a notebook with her favourite colour lilac.

I gessoed the cover, then added texture with torn card, lace and embellishments.

 I gesso-ed over the lot and edged around the letters with lilac acrylic paint. I sprayed 'Pashmina' Tattered Angels mist in places and let it drip down over the stencilled gesso to make the texture stand out. 

I rubbed gesso into the words on the Tim Holtz word tags, it made the words stand out more.

I sprinked a couple of areas with pink Beadazzles.

I really like the back of the notebook, with all the layers adding lots of interest. 
I tied various bits of ribbon to the spiral binding too, for that girly touch.

I finished off the book by edging in black dabber and covering the inside covers with purple dotty card.
I really hope she likes it.

Hope you've all had a marvellous crafty week?
Tara for now.
Michelle x

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Collabor-ART Mystery gift swap

The wonderful Sarah Harris organized a mystery gift swap over at Collabor-ART. A wonderful blog where you can swap journals, canvases, mail art, etc.. and collaborate on arty projects. If you want to have a go click HERE for details on how to get involved. 

For the mystery gift swap we had to make an arty project and put it in a parcel with some crafty items from our stash, items that you don't mind parting with and recycling. One man's junk is another man's treasure as they say. Then with the parcel you receive from your mystery swap partner, take 3 items and make something from your new crafty bits.

So a big parcel arrived for me on Friday, full of wrapped up goodies.

Here are my wonderful new crafty bits, all laid out on my workdesk. I love the Prima crystals (lots & lots!), the stamps all of them, the alphabets, the papers, the paints....well everything.

Here is my beautiful handmade journal, I LOVE IT sooooo much. Thank you my secret gifter (I still have no idea who you are!)

Well I just couldn't wait to make something with my new arty bits.
So I got straight to work on the first page in my gorgeous handmade journal.

I used my new journal, the art butterfly stamp, and my making memories transfer letters for my 3 crafty bits.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to my mystery giver. xx
I will treasure it forever. Michelle x

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Victorian Cats Canvas

This is my second design team entry for Try it on a Tuesday their theme for this fortnight is 'Lot of layers'.  Head over there and join in with the challenge for a chance to win a monthly prize.

I've also sent this little canvas to a mystery gift partner who I'm paired up with for Collabor-ART. But more about that with another post later this week.

You can just see my cat's tail sitting behind the painting at the edge of the table. She has to be in!

This canvas has lots of layers with a base of acrylic blue, white and teal paint. Then I added some texture from stencilled gesso (love the way the inks run over the texture). I used distress inks through a Dylusion stencil and used a text stamp here and there. I then dripped blue cosmic shimmer down the canvas (an essential bit of dippage!)

I stamped a crown stamp into heated Stampendous Frantage embossing powder and stuck down my Victorian cat image.

 I painted a tree directly onto the canvas and used liquid pearls for the cherry blossom. I added the cheeky sentiment and edged the canvas with blue and magenta paints.

This is one of my most favourite canvases, I'm so pleased my mystery gift partner likes it. 
Michelle x

Friday, 21 September 2012

Dyan's pink "I believe in me" challenge

Just out of nowhere Dyan Revealey sets a challenge on her facebook fanclub page, to make a journal page with one of her figures, it must include the colour pink and have the words "I believe in me" on it. Well it would be rude not to do it now wouldn't it!? So I set to work in what little time I had in between work, choir and meal out last night and finished it early hours this morning. 

Here is my offering. I did crack open my illuminous pink paint which I've been waiting for an excuse to use, and here it is on these letters and wings.

A most enjoyable challenge Thanks Dyan x

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Be Creative canvas

I've had a great weekend, went to Art from the Heart yesterday and made Dylusions Christmas cards. The new stamps and stencils are brilliant, they're so versatile you can do loads with them. We made heaps of wonderful backgrounds and two super big tags too.....I had to buy a pack of these, they're awesome! We listened to Jim Reeves and Michael Buble's Christmas songs to get us in the mood too, all that was missing was some mulled wine! I don't need much coaxing to get me in the mood for Christmas though, I love it. 

I've made this canvas for the It's crafting time design team and also for a very generous crafty friend Mel aka The Yorkshire Fox. She doesn't know it yet but she will do when she see's this post. Mel gave me her wonderful Believe tag because I loved it that much, so as a huge thank you, I've made this for you Mel xx

I started with sticking down some scraps of paper and fabric then gesso'd over the top. I added some subtle colour here and there and gave it a gold and burnt umber edge. I covered a Wendy Vicchi Art Part flower with some patterned paper and distressed the edges with vintage photo Distress ink.

I've used my favourite spiral paper clips with some Beadazzles in the centre of the flower.

I used bright green florist wire to make a hanger and made some spirals wrapped round the end of a paint brush. I love this quirky addition.

 I hope Mel likes it.
Michelle x

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Halloween tag for Try it on Tuesday

The wonderful people at Try it on Tuesday have asked me to be their quest designer for September, and of course I've said yes! 

This fortnight's theme is Anything Goes so I've made this spooky tag, seeing as Halloween is fast approaching, actually Tesco have already got massive displays of Quality Street and Roses! What's all that about?

I've had so much fun making this tag, especially the coffin and the mummy. Making something from scratch hurts the brain cells a bit but the end result is always worth it.

The R.I.P. was wrote with a Versamark pen then I put silver embossing powder on and I was away!

I started off drawing a coffin shape on some cardboard, then drew the sides and the lid and cut them all out. I stuck everything down with a Zig glue pen, it works quick and I like that. I used some Tim Holtz spider web tissue tape to cover the outside of the coffin and the underside of the lid. This was great for securing the lid to the rest of the coffin, it was flexible enough to act as a hinge too.

I painted the coffin with burnt umber acrylic paint and drew black lines on for planks of wood. I made a grain pattern with brown Promarkers (with a fine tip) and some white paint on the end of a cocktail stick.

I started the mummy off by shaping kitchen towel with pva glue into a body like shape.  Then I started to wrap masking tape around the body. I had to tear the masking tape into smaller strips and to do that I stuck a strip down on the craft mat and tore strips off. I found this was the best way to make it look like bandages, i.e. no straight edges.

I wiped over some Walnut Stain distress ink to make the bandages look dirty and old.
He looks great sat in his coffin.

I used black Cosmic Shimmer glue and a white Posca pen for the eyes. OOoooooooooo He looks scary!

I made the tag background from Dylusions inks, Artistic Outpost Halloween stamps (Hanging bat and spider webs). Some black gesso, and distress inks.  I also used some Interference green Golden Paint in places around the tag and on the coffin.

The green twigs are an Alterations Sissix die, pained with a mix of green paints.

Hope you enjoyed my Halloween tag and I'm so pleased to be on the TIOT team for September.


I have a little Felix Update.
My little rescued Felix is 17 weeks old now and he went out into the big wide world on Friday for the first time......After a good sniff of everything...........


Binks my other cat....(is like Gentle Ben....he's huge...and could be mistaken for the Essex lion if I lived down there!)...showed Felix how to climb trees...tail up and very happy!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


Well I've certainly been very busy lately. Here you can see a sneaky peak of something Halloween related I've been working on on my desk, I'm obviously right in the thick of it here because it's a real mess!  I won't give the game away yet but it will be on the blog next week.

If you don't know what 'What's on your workdesk Wednesday' is, then why not, have you been under a rock!?

Here's my little Felix update. 16 weeks old and he's had his second set of jabs last Friday, so he'll be going out for the first time this Friday morning. I'll have to have the camera at the ready to take pictures of his little face as he sniffs flowers and chases butterflies. It's a whole new world to explore now he's conquered  every box in my craft room. He likes to run away with things and play fetch! I fetch, not him!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Family History Canvas

This is my third design team piece for Its Crafting Time, a fab shop full of crafty goodness.

My theme for this canvas was sepia, so I found an old family photo. This is my Great Great Grandfather his wife and 4 children in Vienna, we think the photo must have been taken around 1897. I am going to send it to my G Uncle who still lives in Vienna, hence the spelling of family. We send each other parcels every Christmas but we have never met. I would love to meet him though, only I don't speak a word of German, I need an interpreter......anyone up for helping me?

This is quickly becoming my favourite style of canvas making, it looks so interesting in real life, very touchy feely.

I painted the canvas with white gesso and let it dry. I stuck some random scraps of paper & fabric in the central area of the canvas. I cut a piece of grunge board big enough to cut the Tim Holtz’ On the Edge die and stuck this to the canvas too.

 Along with these I added a die cut tree, some embellishments and then gessoed over the top of them all.  Then I pushed some more gesso through a stencil to add some texture in the top right corner

I used a Sandal Dabber to add a little cream colour across the canvas then added my photograph & stuck on more embellishments around the edge of the photo. I distressed the embellishments with gesso.

It's a great way of getting rid of bits and bobs around the house and chucking them under gesso!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Love Life Challenge Thee Tag

Well me and Trace Metcalf from inkypinkycraft have been on the phone again finding out what stash we both have and coming up with an 'I Challenge Thee to make something' list. This wonderful idea was started off by Hels Sheridan and Ellen Vargo with their 'I challenge thee' makes. Hel's last one is HERE and Ellen's is HERE.

So here is the list that me and Trace came up with this time:

Trace suggested using my free digi stamp - Love Machine Heart
A Tag
Some Foil or sheet metal
Alcohol ink
Distress ink
Tim Holtz stamps
Embossing powder or folder
Mica powder
And some lettering

Plus 1 secret ingredient

And here's what I came up with........

Have you spotted my secret ingredient?.......yes it's wax!
I dripped wax down the tag and brushed it with Perfect Pearls, I just love this effect. 

This tag started life being vivid blue (done with alcohol inks) with fancy script and flourishes. And in true Donna Downey style I changed how it looked by scraping red and white acrylic paint with a pallet knife down the middle to make it look grungy

I cut the whole out of the heart where the cogs are and wrapped it kitchen foil. I put sequin waste over the heart and ran it through my Big Shot. Now I had my metallic embossed heart..fab. 

I snipped into the foil where the hole was in the card and peeled back the layers to make it look like it had been ripped open. I dripped a few drops of red, copper, gold and black alcohol inks on the embossed metal. I printed off the heart again and coloured in the cogs and stuck it beneath the metal heart. I stuck them both onto the corrugated card and cut out the heart shape.

I heat embossed the TH wings behind the heart.

I've used distress paint on the grunge board letters and edged it with red paint. I love that crackled Blue China paint! Then I dripped wax down the whole tag and brushed it with gold Perfect Pearls mica powder. 

I can't wait to see what Trace has come up with.

We've already started cooking up the next one, so far we've come up with art parts and Idea-ology.
Ooooooo mind is already running a muck?

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