Happy Anniversary! I pegged on a Chalkboard.

Before we begin …. 

This little chalkboard is proof, if more proof were needed, that I’m a ‘fricken’ rubbish photographer.  You see … in real life, this little chalkboard is so sweet.  So lovely.  Incredible in fact.  Something I was so proud of making,  and still am proud of making.  But in  all  the photos (and there were a LOT of photos taken) there wasn’t one good one. Not one.  🐻  (I wanted an emoticon with steam coming out of the ears but couldn’t find one, so you have a grumpy bear instead).

It was Mr.Cobs and his enchanting  sweet  charming  wonderful  captivating  rubbish photographer wife’s (me) 36th Wedding Anniversary recently and I wanted something other than just a normal card for him.

I know, 36 years!  I heard you gasp when you read it the first time.  It’s hard to believe isn’t it,  because I look so young in my Gravatar photo. What can I say …  he was a cradle snatcher, but I’ve grown accustomed to his face now so I won’t bother causing a fuss.

I went in search of something which would stand up on the shelf or coffee table, but which wasn’t made from a card or paper product.  I found the very thing. A little Chalkboard!

It came as four unprepared pieces so that you can do whatever you wish to them.  A front and a back piece – which are identical.  And a frame front section which goes on top of the front piece – so forming the frame around what will become the chalkboard, and finally – a smaller piece which will give you the little shelf for the chalk.

I waded straight in and painted the section on the front piece, in black paint to make it look like the black of a chalkboard.  While it was drying, I glued the ‘chalk shelf’ to the frame.  Once the paint was dry, I then fixed the frame onto the front (chalkboard painted) section, and held it tightly using some craft clamps and clips.

1 Anniversary Chalkboard

I painted the legs, frame and back of the chalkboard in Amish Blue paint, then once dry I coated it in a crackle glaze – which I bought many years ago (about 25 years ago) by the bucket-load, (well no, about 15 large bottles of it).  It was a new thing on the market then and I loved to crackle crafty stuff.  I had a couple of bottles left . . . . 

I got a bottle out of my cupboard while chewing on my lip, telling myself that it would be no good.  It would have gone off after all this time.  BUT … IT HADN’T!!!   Ohhhh Joy thy name is Crackle!  I duly painted a coat of the crackle glaze, and once dried, I gave it another coat of the Amish Blue.  I didn’t want the ‘white peeping from behind the blue, or black or red etc’ thing that everyone seems to do.  I wanted a crackle which I could rub some antiquing medium into the cracks so that it had that old cracked varnish look like you find on things in posh shops.

Once everything dry, I added some white stencilling paste around the corner of the chalkboard to give it the suggestion of chalk dust sitting on the side.

Then I turned my attention to fixing the chalkboard back and front together – with soft white string as you can see in the photo’s.  And also make the ‘note’ which I wanted to fix to the board.

2 Anniversary Chalkboard

 

Next was the turn of the decorative paper flowers to the lower left corner.  White paper roses, some Prima blue daisies, and Prima pink roses.  Moss, and a few other bits of floral decorations and the corner was done!  (The twigs and the teeny pine cones came from my garden).

I added the sentiment – on some lovely striped paper from DoCrafts, in their Floral Muse range (which I ‘vintaged’ using brown ink and a duster brush), and fixed them in place using the two pegs (now glued to the board) and a dab of glue to the back of the ‘note’ to make sure that it didn’t try to make a get-away!

In case you can’t read it, the note says:   Happy Anniversary!  You are my best decision EVER!

3 Anniversary Chalkboard

 

And that’s all there was to it!

Explaining it makes it sound really complicated, but it really wasn’t.  Truthfully.  If I made it then any idiot with some glue, paint and a brush can do it.

Ohand yes, he really was.  My best decision,  ever.

After the three photographs you’ve seen here …. (and remember, these are not good) …  this was the next best one….

4 Anniversary Chalkboard

Look how blurred that is!!!   When I first opened up this last photo, I initially took my glasses off and rubbed them with the hem of my t-shirt which I had on!  I thought it was my glasses…. then my eyes …. and only after that did I realise that it was my fantastic talent for taking shocking photos.   (And if you think this one is bad you ought to see the ones I WOULDN’T show you!  lol).  But … if you look really carefully to the top bar, over the chalkboard, you can just about see the fine cracked varnish affect I got from using the same colour over the top of the crackle glaze, and then rubbing antiquing medium into the cracks to make the cracks show up.

Ah but anyhoo …

Before I go I have something I just have to share this with you.  Mr.Cobs reads a little selection of newspapers on-line and he popped over to the Daily Mail to glance down the main home page to see if there was anything he’d missed from elsewhere.   I came in from my craft room to find him laughing so hard (yet trying to keep it under control) so much that I thought he was about to have a fit of some description.  He eventually calmed down enough to show me what he was laughing about.  When I looked at it I too began to giggle, then laugh, eventually having to grab a tissue to wipe my eyes so I could continue to read.  I thought that I would love to share this with you because … well, there’s so much in life to give us a frown right now that if I can make just one of you smile even a little then grabbing the link to this would be very much worth it.  So, with my love, and with the advice of making sure you too have a tissue ready ….  I share this link:  Daily Mail UK – Answers Children gave for Tests.   It will open in another window for you. 

Enjoy!

Thanks for coming for a visit, I love to see you, but then, you know that already.  ❤

Have a blessed day.  Be good to each other.   See you next time.  

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A Card with a ‘twist’: Book Marking Vegetables!

I sat at my desk towards the end of last week wanting to make something different in the ‘handmade card’ category . . .  and I came up with  A Card for a Gardener – but one with a difference.   It’s slim and tall, and stands up all by itself, just like a card is supposed to do, but if you pull on the ribbon at the top, you find that there’s a bookmark hiding inside!

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pull on the ribbon and SURPRISE! something is hiding inside!

Trying to make a card suitable for a lady or gentleman, either of which gardens, seemed a challenge at first, (I instantly thought of flowers … and flowers on a card is something one normally associates with a ladies card),  but as I was gazing around my craftroom looking for inspiration, my eyes rested upon my collection of Graphic 45 and one of the Graphic 45 collections is a particular favourite of mine, it’s called Home Sweet Home.

Home Sweet Home by Graphic 45
photograph credit: Graphic 45

So … the choice was made!  The Card (base) is made out of craft card, which I measured, marked and cut to size, scored and folded, then glued all the parts which needed to be fixed together.

I then chose and fixed to the ‘base’ layer of paperthe papers behind all the adornments.  The deeper green paper on the front and back of the card (the holder of the bookmark) are from a selection of papers by Dovecraft, called Couture de Jour.  But the paper used on the bookmark itself is again from Dovecraft in their range called Floral Muse.

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Distressing and inking up took place, and made everything look like it had enjoyed a good ol’ time in the garden with it’s gardening friend. (I almost feel like the distressing looks like soil covered fingerprints!)

I cut out the images I wanted to use from the Graphic 45 papers, and placed them where I eventually wanted them to be, – then leaving them there, I turned my attention to making some vegetables out of Hearty Clay.

Hearty Soft Clay

If you haven’t already tried this clay then I can highly recommend it.  It’s easy to handle and will dry quickly – I always give it overnight, simply because I want to ensure that all the moisture has had chance to evaporate.  (You really don’t want to put wet clay on a card!).

It’s also very light in weight so it adds little to the weight of a card.

Once the clay vegetables were dry I painted them and put them on one side for the paint to dry.  While I was waiting, I fixed all the fussy cut items to the card.  Then I sprayed the dried vegetables in a quick dry glaze, and once dry I added them to the card, then turned my attention to the bookmark.

6 Back of card and front of bookmark
showing the back of the card and the front of the bookmark.

Again, wanting to make sure that the card could be given to a lady or a man, I chose the stamps carefully.  All the stamped images you see are Graphic 45, and from the same Home Sweet Home range.  I stamped the images in black dye ink, then hand painted them using watercolours.

6 The Back of the Bookmark Card
showing the ‘stand’ for the back of the card.

Finally … I made a fold out stand for the back of the card so it could stand up by itself, or if preferred it could lean against a book or a shelf, wall,  etc.

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trying to show the glaze I gave the card.

But . . .  there was just one last thing I wanted to do … I glazed the front of the card so that it gave it an extra sort of ‘aged’ look to it, and especially so to the craft card (see above photo)  It made it look like I’d found it in Grandads shed, a left over from the 1940’s.  It was a bit difficult to photograph the glaze, but the photo above was the best out of the ones I took.

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And that’s all there was to it!  🙂  The bookmark can be separated from the card holder, and the card can stand there all by itself without the bookmark.  So your gardener friend or relative can use the bookmark in his/her  [gardening]  book and not lose the page they were reading , –  AND …  they will carry your inscription around with them tucked into the pages of their book!  Something which would make me smile over and over!

Actually …  perhaps we could make this card a give-away!  Yes … let’s do that.  If you’d like to enter your name into the mix for this card to be sent to you, simply add the word GIVEAWAY either to the start or end of a comment,  and we’ll give it till Thursday of this week – so the 4th of May – at 6pm (UK time), at which point I’ll get a number generator to pick a number and I’ll announce the winner on Thursday evening!  Oh … and those of you who’ve won a previous give-away, please enter if you’d like to win this card … you’re not excluded just because you were picked out before.  It’s all just down to the luck of the generator.

I can either write the card out to whoever wins …  or I can leave the card blank, and the winner can give it to someone else as a gift for their birthday.  Winners choice.  😀

Happy Monday, and …. HAPPY MAY DAY!  In case you didn’t look at the calendar this morning, today is the 1st of May 2017.  This day won’t ever happen again.  It’s the only May Day of 2017, so beg you to enjoy this day like it should be enjoyed.

“The world’s favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.”
Edwin Way Teale

I feel the earth waking up truly now.  Everything seems brighter, lighter, more joyous.  People seem to be happier too.  Oh … and the little cottage along the road has some holiday makers in it already!  I saw the people there walking their dogs earlier.  (I wanted to run off with the dogs!  Two fabulous White Highland Terriers, all snuffly and smiley).

Oh anyhoo …. I’ve yapped enough.  I shall shut up and leave you to enjoy the last gulps of your coffee.

Thank you so much for coming and having a coffee with me.  I absolutely love seeing you.  It brightens my day and makes me so happy to share some time with you.  It’s like having an open house and all my friends popping in, sitting around the pine kitchen table to share a few smiles and giggles together.  What a great way to start the day!  ❤

Sending lots of May Day love and buckets of squidges, from me here in my corner, to you there in yours.  Be good to each other and … may your God go with you.

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Edit to add: —> GIVEAWAY now closed! <—

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Just for You … with Altenew

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I will pop the TV on to take a gander at Create and Craft (UK) now and again when I’m crafting up a storm in the craft room, and sometimes spot things that I’ve not seen before. This happened recently when they were showing some new stamps called ‘Altenew’.  A lady was on-screen demonstrating these new stamps (new to me) which I’d not seen before so I watched to see what they were.

If you’ve ever stamped with Card-io stamps then these are very much similar to those – although they’re bigger.  But the idea is the same, being that you use a variety of stamps in order to build up a unique picture or scene.  The postage and packaging charges push the prices up of anything bought on C&C so I looked around on the internet to see if I could find the stamps anywhere else at a cheaper price, and as luck would have it I found a small craft shop not far from where I live, called My Mums Craft Shop  ~  link: www.mymumscraftshop.co.uk  ~ who sell Altenew stamps.  They didn’t have the stamps I wanted in stock one the day I phoned, but they were waiting for a delivery, and the (really lovely) lady on the phone told me that they would be there within about ten days, after they’d made it through customs in our country, so I asked to be notified when the stamps were available for sale, and as promised I was emailed just over a week later.  (I can’t quite remember how much this craft shop charges for postage and packaging, but I know it impressed me and I vowed that I’d shop there again).

At the same time as buying a selection of the stamps I also bought two sets of Altenew stamp cubes.  And this post is how I got on with the stamps and stamp pads on my first use and sharing the card I made using the stamps.

I wanted to play with the Vintage Roses stamps, so decided that I’d just do some happy stamping to start with, in order to get a feel for the stamps and see how well the ink pads worked.  The following four photos are images stamped onto some scrap card out of my scrap drawer.  I perhaps should have chosen something a little better, as the ink wanted to bleed on this card, hence the smudgy outlines of the different colours.  But .. I was only playing so wasn’t overly bothered  ….

b1 Roses in red
This ‘2 rose’ image was made using (for each stamp) 4 different stamps.  If we just look at the bigger of the two roses – you might just be able to see that there are actually  4 colours used.  Very pale pink;  a rosy pink;  a deep pink with a tad of purple added;  and finally an almost vintage style red.  All these different colours go onto 4 totally different stamps, (one colour per stamp) which will, when stamped, make up all the layers of the petals of the rose, and add the shadows and hi-lights.
b Roses in red
I added a third rose, a rose bud and some leaves, all stamped with Altenew stamps in the same Vintage Roses stamp set.
a Roses in blue
Same stamps, this time using a selection of 4 different blue inks – from the Altenew Stamp Cubes.
c Roses in Yellow
The same roses –  only this time in Yellow.

By this time I’d got the idea, so decided to make a card and this card was the result:

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Card made using papers from the Floral Muse range from Dovecraft plus  a sentiment “Just for You” from the same Floral Muse range,  and stamped images using the Altenew Vintage Roses.

I stamped the rose images a few times, so that I could fussy cut them and create a 3D decoupaged image of the roses, building up certain parts more than others, in order to give it the right ‘feel’.

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Taken from an angle so that you could see the ‘layers’ of the 3D decoupaged roses.  If you look carefully you’ll just about be able to see the little foam pads between the layers.

I carefully dragged a glue pen around the rose petals and over some parts of the leaves, and sprinkled them with glitter dust, to give them a magical twinkle.

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The Butterfly was stamped using an image from a set of stamps in the Floral Muse range, by Dovecraft.  I stamped it using a quick dry fluid chalk ink pad in a colour called ‘Rusty Bucket’.

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The wide, pink Organza ribbon was wrapped all the way around the front of the card so that it continued onto the inside.  Added to the top of the ribbon inside was a sentiment stamp using the same ‘Rusty Bucket’ chalk fluid ink pad, – the sentiment stamp is from a small collection made by Jayne Nestorenko.

It needed a box, because I feared that the roses would get crushed in the post, as this one is going to the other side of the world, so a box was called for…

7 Just for you card and box

I made up a white 6×6″ box, but then sprayed it using some Lindys Stamp Gang sprays in two different colours, which matched the papers on the card really well.  I stamped another rose and some leaves this time using a different set of Altenew rose stamps, and once I’d cut the images out, I attached them to the top of the box – only this time the rose and leaves are flat against the box lid so making wrapping and posting easier and safer.

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After using these new stamps, how do I feel about them?   Well actually I quite like them.  They give me the opportunity to make something unique and to make it personal, and gear it towards the person I’m making it for.  And … it stops all that fiddling about trying to get different colours of ink onto different parts of a stamp.  With this design it makes everything simple!

The ink cubes …  well the colours are nice…  and they’re VERY juicy, but to be brutally honest I did question if they perhaps had been used before.  The edges of the stamp pads were a bit ragged, as if they were old(ish).  After using them I concluded that they were so juicy they couldn’t possibly be old because they weren’t dried out at all, but I was disappointed on how ragged they were around the edges of the pad bit of the ink pad.  However .. they worked in the right way and they did what they said they’d do on the pot.

The blue roses were made using the Altenew Stamp Cubes.  The Red (pinky) roses and Yellow roses were made using Dew Drops ink pads in four different colours, and all the leaves were stamped using Dew Drops.  So if you have the colours already I think I’d say that you can use your own colours of pads – but make sure you have the right amount of different shades so that you can make the rose … or any other of the stamps which Altenew make.  (and they make quite a lot!)

May I just take a moment to say that I haven’t been paid money or given any crafting goodies for sharing my experience of Altenew Stamps or Stamp Ink Cubes.  Neither have I been encouraged, paid money, nor promised products or discounts to share my experience of the craft shop where I found the stamps I bought.  I don’t work for either of these companies.  I’m just a crafter who’s happy to share experiences with other crafters in order to make our crafty lives happy. 

I’ve really enjoyed playing with these stamps and like the card I made for my friend.  I think she’ll like it too.  There’s nothing so lovely as receiving a hand-made card from someone.

Well, Summer seems to have arrived – although we did have some spectacular thunder and lightning storms a couple of days ago, which scared me half to death and had two of my cats hiding under the furniture, and the dog barking her head off.  It sounded like a war zone … or what I imagine a war zone to sound likeBOOM.  BOOM! …  rumble … rummmmmmble. (rain starts)  BOOOM ~~  KerBOOM  ~~  BOOOOOM!  I darn near joined the cats under the sofa, I’m telling you!

It’s also very hot herehumid and sticky and tiring.  I keep yawning – and I actually fell asleep in the chair on Monday afternoon!  I think I need to think like the Spanish and take siestas during the summer.  Ahhhh… just the thought is making me smile.

Well, that’s me done and dusted.  I wish you a very happy Tuesday and leave you with a few words to make your smile a little wider ….

Always remember to forget
The things that made you sad
But never forget to remember
The things that made you glad.

Always remember to forget
The friends that proved untrue
But never forget to remember
Those that have stuck by you.

Always remember to forget
The troubles that have passed away
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.

Have a truly blessed day all.  Remember to stop at some point during your day and smile as you make a memory.

Heaps of love and Cobwebby squidges . . .

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