#InkTober 4th 2017

Well I did say yesterday that I’d be hard pushed to not, at some point, break open a coloured ink during InkTober this year  … and I didn’t last even a quarter of the month.  How dreadful am I?

There are gazillions of the InkTober Artists around the globe all pushing their black ink pens loyally and here I am being the bad girl.  Oooooohhh  but it’s so delicious to be bad sometimes!  😉

And .. I’m not really bad.  Not really … for I still used ink.  I used Brown Ink instead of black, and I used it straight from the bottle.  A proper glass bottle too!

Aw anyhoo, enough of my bad … let’s crack on and talk about todays inky offering…

This drawing (with some painting) was inspired by a handmade card which I made for Beverly of More Ink Please,  – no the name of her blog isn’t made up for InkTober, that really is the name of her blog. Ha!  I sent her the card just over a week ago, and she emailed me to tell me that it had arrived. YAY!  I’ll blog the card probably tomorrow as I have to re-size the photo’s still, but for today I’m sharing my offering for the 4th day of InkTober2017, which was inspired, as I said, by the card I made for Beverly.

Autumn is a much-loved season by me, so it made sense that I would have to do some sort of nod to Autumn, and here is the inking I created…

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#InkTober2017 day 4

I started with the acorns on branches, on the upper left corner, and pencilled in where I wanted them to be before using ink straight from the bottle and a fine paint brush to ink up both the branches and the cups and acorns themselves.  The ink used is called Chronicle Acrylic Dip Pen Ink, in Sepia.  (I’ve had this bottle of never ending ink for years, and I’m not even sure they still make it).  I also used a Kuretake Zig Memory System Ink Pen in black, (size 005) to give some dark shadows to places where they would normally fall.  Those two things were the only colours and items used to make the acorn branches.

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#InkTober2017 day 4

The Autumn leaf wreath was first drawn out lightly in pencil, then lightly again using a Zig Memory System Pigment Ink Pen, in Chocolate.  I then used Kuretake Gansai Watercolour Paints to add Autumnal colours to the leaves.  I added the twisted vine to the ‘wreath’ using the same Chronicle Ink I’d used on the Acorn branches, and also added some twisted tumbling vines too.

Using the Zig Memory System Ink Pen in chocolate, I added the ‘Autumn’ word, and that’s all there was to it!

It was quite quick to make, the majority of the time seemed to be waiting for parts to dry before moving on.

I’ve told myself that I have to be a good girl for a few days now and not dip my brushes or pens into the blue ink.  So … fingers crossed…. I might be able to do it without falling off the wagon.  (to borrow a phrase from somewhere else.  lol)

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Autumn has really arrived to the South of England.  It’s so heart stoppingly pretty here right now.  Green is beautiful .. but ohhh.. the yellows, reds and oranges,  those stunning sunburst shades that only nature can summon up from her paint-box … those colours just make me want to lie down in those leaves and do the snow angel thing.  So yummy!

Hot meals have come back onto the menu, and my soft pashmina type scarves have come out and are enjoying the odd outing now and again.

Did you know …. that today, in 1883, it was the first run of the  Orient Express.?  Well, you do now!  You can go and impress someone with your new-found knowledge and watch them as they try to work out why you’re so amazing!!  You’re welcome.  😀

Have a wonderful rest of your day!  And … when you get there … Sleep well, for tomorrow you will be gifted with another 24 hours (if you’re lucky enough) and you can join the rest of us as we do it all again … with some differences.

Sending squidges, from me in my corner to you in yours.

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Ye Olde Christmas Past!

Dickens seems to be a theme running through my mind over the past week or so.  Maybe it’s just because it’s Christmas time, maybe because there was the old Alistaire Sim, A Christmas Carol, film on TV about a week or so ago – one which is a favourite of Mr.Cobs, so it was, of course, something which was a ‘must watch’ film for the dear man.

I don’t know what it is but I do know that it’s settled itself into my brain, and now my craft room, as you can see by the latest card I’ve made, pictured above, along with the Charles Dickens book – A Christmas Carol.

Made on a 6″x 6″ white cardstock.  I used an embossing folder to make the brickwork impression behind everything.

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I stamped the window and the street lamp using Penny Black stamps: Winter Illumination – which come as the set of two.  Then hand painted them using watercolours, and dried them with my heat gun, so not to let the cardstock get too wet and floppy.

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Although the stamped image of the lamp does have a wreath as part of its image, I wanted to give the lamp a touch of ‘3D’, so made a teeny tiny wreath for over the top of the stamped wreath, and added a red silk ribbon bow to top it off.

The wooden fence, actually is wooden fencing.  I bought a length of it a few years ago, and have used little bits of it now and again for various projects.  It’s lovely stuff because the wood will take colour really well.  Here I painted it black, and dried it off using my heat gun, as I wanted it to ‘be encouraged’ to be a matt finish, rather than give a slightly shiny finish, which it has a tendency to do if you leave it to dry naturally.

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A side on view, to show the various layers and depth to the card.

The Poinsettia flowers were made using a die, from pages cut from an old book and then inked up to colour the petals and leaves, with the addition of a few glass beads for the centres.

I added the snow using ‘Glossy White’ stencil dimension medium,  and then added some Pinflair Snow Dust to give it that crunchy snow look, and finally assemble everything with the use of black foam tape, Pinflair Glue Gel and a few dabs of glue from my trusty glue gun.

I think I’ve told you everything, but if there’s something I’ve missed or something you want more information about, don’t be shy about asking.  I’m more than delighted to help out a fellow crafter.

On a personal health note … It would appear that the infection I had has now cleared up  (hurrah!) but I’m still suffering this doggam awful pain and the doctor can’t figure that one out.  He’s checked me for any signs of a rash (thinking possibly Shingles) but there is none.  He’s booked me for a blood test (tomorrow) to take a look at my kidneys and see if something is going on there.  After that …  I think Mr.Cobs is taking me to our vets to see if they can sort me out.

Well that’s me done and dusted.  Have a wonderful, bright start to your new week.  May your Monday be peaceful.  Gentle.  Mild.  And may you end the day with a smile, and the thought that, if you consider what COULD have gone wrong today – all things considered, you had a fairly good day.

Sending warm wishes and snuggly hugs your way ~

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The First Christmas Card of 2016

I finally did it.  I jumped in and made my very first Christmas Card of 2016.  I don’t in the least feel anything like it’s coming up to Christmas, but there was a little niggle forming inside me telling me that I really should do SOMETHING,  and I think it was simply because other blogs have all started featuring their own Christmas cards.  It kind of made me feel like I was being a total lay-about.  Like that pupil in school who never turned in their homework.

So I did my first Card for Christmas this year …  but with a twist.  It’s not the normal ‘opening’ card with four sides (front, open left, open right and then finally the back).  Nope.  This one is made on a great big post card (as you can see) which measure 21cm long – or for those of us who still work on the fabulous, can’t be beaten, original measuring system in the UK – that’s 8.25inches.

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The Post Card doesn’t open up.  Instead I cut a stand for the back of the card which folds out, and makes the card stand up all by itself.  If you can’t imagine what this looks like …  go back to your school photos, the ones which came in a mount.  On the back of those mounts was a fold out stand, with another little bit to it which then folded down, and locked the stand in place.  Well that’s exactly the same as the stand on the back of this card.

I totally forgot to take photo’s of the making, apart from one .… so this is all I’ve got to show you how it all came together …  so I’ll try to tell you, but if there’s anything I miss or anything you want to know, just ask away in a comment.

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I began by tearing up some corrugated card, and then some paper which I’ve had in my stash for a while, pale beige with white snow flakes on it.  I distressed and inked the paper and fixed it onto the card next to the corrugated.  Added some Polyfilla in appropriate places and in order to give it all that frost appearance, I added, to the Polyfilla while still wet, some Mica Flakes;  Chunky glitter, and some very fine glitter dust.

I used a mixture of Polyfilla (yes the type you use on the walls – but buy the flexible Polyfilla in the tube – so that it doesn’t crack and flake) and in some places (along the top) a little dimensional paste, in order to achieve the snowy, icy look I was after.

The Father Christmas ‘postage stamp’ you see in the top right hand corner, is a stamped image, which I stamped onto some brown paper and then fussy cut out.  Then added the white berry twig, twisted into a wreath.

While that all dried I used some Buff It  (by  Pinflair) in red and gold, to the sleigh.

I cannot recommend Buff It highly enough.  It’s a fantastic product, which you use very little of, and mix it with a tiny bit of water.  If, while you’re working on your project, the Buff it on your plate, or tile or glass mat, dries up, you simply add another little tiny drop of water, and it all starts working again.  It dries super quick.  You then buff it with a soft cloth (I use a dried baby wipe) and it positively gleams!  You can find it HERE on the Pinflair website.

Then I began to build up the elements . . .  using the holly and berries (which are made from felt), and the red tinsel (which I curled) along the bottom.   The Poinsettia flower and leaves are made from a set of dies – (which I bought from a fellow blogger about 3 months ago).  I cut the flower itself out of red card, but the leaves were cut from three different shades of green card.

I wanted everything to have that crisp, icy look,  so after I put the flower parts together, I dragged a tiny bit of dimensional paste around the edges of some of the petals and leaves, and using some Tonic Glitter Accent in Fresh Snowfall I ‘iced up’ the flower & leaves.  This Tonic Glitter Accent in their Fresh Snowfall,  is ‘like’ a Stickles (only in a much bigger bottle) but this particular one, in the Fresh Snowfall, is very thick.  Very sticky, and sets hard.

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While everything was drying I made some ‘gifts’.  These gifts took me ages!  Bits of paper and card.  Tiny bits of bakers twine. Sticking the paper down without sticking the whole thing to my fingers!  Ugh!  I popped the presents into the sleigh then turned my attention to making ‘snow’.

I found some fabulous little tiny round dots which twinkle like a million stars, in The Range (in the UK – sorry to folks in other places) when I went shopping last week and fell in love with them.  I wish I could show you how fabulous they are but I can’t get a photo of the twinkles.  They look more like sequins in the photos, but they’re really nothing like them at all.  So so lovely, and, would you believe, all made from a tiny bit of plastic.

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I added Christmas Red Stickle ‘berries’ to the wreath surrounding the Father Christmas stamp and some Red and Green ribbon and string bows at the left hand side of the card.  A metal silver charm in the shape of a snowflake hanging from the berry wreath, and some more red tinsel around the seating area of the sleigh.  Aaaaand  that’s all there was to it.

So there you have it  … I’ve made my first Christmas Card!  I have no idea who I’ve made it for as I didn’t have anyone in mind while I was making it, I just knew I wanted to make a Christmas Card on a big Vintage Style Post Card, with a sleigh on it and some tinsel.  After that I just kind of winged it!  But have to admit that when I stood back and looked at it once finished,   I loved it  …  and hope you like it too.

Have you made any Christmas Cards yet?  I’ve done a little Christmas Shopping, but making cards just …. well, it still feels too early for me.  Tell me what you feel about it.  I’d like to know that I’m not alone in this feeling … but I’m starting to think I am.  eeeek!

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Hand painting Christmas …

Bless me bloggers for I have sinned ...  I didn’t show you the Christmas Cards I created and sent to my neighbours last Christmas.  [hangs head in shame]. But I’m here and able to post them now.  (Wouldn’t post them earlier in the year because it felt almost obscene to post about Christmas too soon.)

Made with a little help from a kit bought for me as a gift, from:  Folk It,  which contained all the colours of paints which I needed, (and I only already owned the one colour (white)), so I was happy to have the kit just to get everything there in one place.  If you haven’t painted before, or even if you have and need a little encouragement for whatever reason, I would thoroughly recommend their kits to you.  They don’t just come with the paints and a couple of brushes, (and a dotting tool), but they come with everything you need to make at least one project, or in the case of the cards – you would normally get around 4 or 5 really good quality cards & envelopes, a little booklet which helps you, plus it comes with a CD Rom that you simply put into your computer (in that little draw which you use to hold your coffee cup  – just joking.  I don’t do that.  At least .. not for a few months now. lol), and you watch as the delightful lady on-screen as she not only tells you what to do, but demonstrates IN REAL TIME as she teaches you – so you can watch, pause, paint, and then move on (but I’d recommend watching the CD Rom all the way through first … don’t run before you can walk, eh?)

Aw anyway .. you want to look at the piccies … so without further ado ….

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Angels, stars and snowflakes.  With the addition of an ‘angel feather’

All of the cards you see here, have that central panel with the painting on it – which is a piece of mount board, already cut to size for you.  But, you only get a certain amount in the kits which will help you to make the projects in the kit itself, however, you can purchase more of these cut to size mount boards from them directly (pack of 25 for £5.00).  I recommend their ready cut mount boards because I know how difficult mount board can be to cut.  (oh boy do I know!).  So if you can buy it ready cut then it removes the struggle.

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Another Angel card, this time with an embossed background.

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Mistletoe …  PUCKER UP PETAL and brace yourself, I’m coming for a smacker!   … Good grief!! Cor  …  you can run faster than I thought you could just by looking at you!

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Ok … you might have got away that time … but . .  here I come again  ….  [flicks the light switch and everything goes black]  ..  you’re not getting away that quick this time kiddo!

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A snowflake … on a chalky blue background.  The painted snowflake was sprinkled with very fine glitter before the paint dried, so that snowflake twinkles merrily when the light catches it.

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Another snowflake … only slightly different from the last.  I think I must have had a glass of wine too many when I took this photograph because it’s drunk and leaning!  LOL

Now I did a snowflake on black... but I should have taken more care as I slightly wandered off the straight and narrow, but I kept it anyway and was so glad that I did because at the last moment I realised I’d forgotten a card for the Postman!  So I quickly mounted the black backed snowflake onto a card and ran it past Mr. Cobs who said … “It’s fine!  Stop worrying!”  … so I tucked an ‘internationtionally accepted gift card‘  (i.e. [in this case] money) into the card and sealed it just in time before the postman arrived…..

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Can you see where I wandered off the path of good and true?  Look down in the bottom left corner as you’re looking at the card right now.  It doesn’t end in the corner.  [sigh] … But, in crafting,  just as in life …  It’s the mistakes we make which teach us the things we need to learn.  …  Because this was for the Postman, I stamped a postal franking image on the envelope. lol.

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To mix it up a bit, I turned the mount boards so that I was painting on the diamond rather than the square and this time it was a wreath.  Once the painting was dry I added a little satin bow in a deep vintage colour red.  (The berries are paint … not stickles).

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And we end where we began … on a wreath, this time a thicker, fuller wreath, mounted on a square of mirror card in deep blue, which I punch around the edges of with a little hand punch.

Better late than never  …  those were the Christmas cards I posted to my neighbours last Christmas.  What am I going to make for them this Christmas?  Well,  right now I haven’t got the foggiest notion, but as soon as I’ve decide and have made some, I’ll share them with you!.

Happy Monday all.  The start of an all new, shiny, fresh out of the box, week.  Enjoy it.  Make a memory happen today.  One that your mind reminds you to remember.  Remember *that* moment.  A moment in time is just a moment in time … unless you remember it.  And then, it becomes a very special moment.  A magical moment.  A memory.

So … when you go to bed at the end of today ... just as you lay down to go to sleep … inside your head, remember something which happened during the day which either made you smile, laugh, or even something which was just an enjoyable moment in time.  A few seconds even.  Then remember what it was that made that moment a memory for you.  What special thing was it?   Fix that memory to the wall of your brain.  Put it up there on a memory post it note and pin it there with a pin, to make sure that it doesn’t fall down.  Now look around at all the other post it notes inside your head.  All your memories or moments.  Coooo … there are a lot.  Have a look at them as you drift off into sleep.

Sending big squidges from my corner to yours where you’re sitting right now.

Have a blessed day, my friend

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It’s beginning to feel a bit like Christmas . . . is coming.

I rarely make Christmas cards.  You can buy a box of Christmas cards so cheaply that it kind of feels like it’s a bit wasteful to spend lots of  money (not to mention time) to make them myself.  We crafters know exactly how much it actually costs for our supplies – and believe me it’s not cheap! 

But this year I thought that I could justify making them as I had a plethora of card stock, and I if I used my Card-io stamps then I could make them really cheaply, with very little in the way of adornments or embellishments.  (Watch out for more about Cardio stamps soon.  I’m going to do a write-up in my  ‘Craft Products I recommend’  category on my blog here – so look out for that one.)  Over the next few days I’ll post a card a day of a selection of the Card-io cards which I’ve made for friends and neighbours this year.

Today is the turn of the Christmas Wreath Card.

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Pretty, isn’t it!  And yet it’s made SO simply that you probably wouldn’t believe it.  Made using just four tiny little clear stamps.  The only embellishments on this card are some pale pink flat back pearls (used as little berries on the wreath), and a tie of a tiny bit of ribbon for the bow on the top of the wreath – oh, and a little sprinkle of some glitter.

I know that in the photograph the wreath looks as if it has quite some depth – but it’s actually totally flat, apart from the pale pink pearls.  The clever bit is in the stamping.  If you use a second and sometimes third generation of stamping then you’ll ‘build in’ some depth.  If you look around the edge of the card itself, you’ll see what I mean by ‘second generation’.

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second generation stamping

You can see a dark stamped image … but between the darker images, you’ll see a second, paler image.  Well – that’s second generation stamping.  I stamped the image once, then without inking up the stamp again, I stamped the image again – this time pressing just a little harder on the stamp to ensure that the image printed out.  This is what gives a depth to a stamped image.  It looks like something is there, in the background.

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Because the wreath is a little more heavily stamped, you don’t see the second generation stamping too easily – but it’s there.  It kind of tricks your brain into thinking that what you’re seeing is actually a shadow of the darker stamped image, and so makes the darker images look as if they’re dimensional and stand out proud of the card.  Hence the deception of depth.

Crafty stuff I used to make this card:

  • White 6×6 ready scored card stock.
  • An assortment (4) of small individual Card-io stamps
  • Whisper Archival Ink Pads (a pinky peachy raspberry colour and a dull brown)
  • Memento Ink Pad  (in a warm brown)
  • Ranger Archival Ink Pad (black)
  • Pinflair Glue
  • Translucent Glitter Dust
  • Anita’s flat back pearls from their Gemstone Wheel.
  • Short length of tartan/plaid ribbon.

Cardio  Wreath

This was a really quick to make card and it didn’t need any die cutting, measuring, cutting (other than the ribbon) or any great deal of ‘working it out’.  I knew I wanted to make a wreath.  I knew I wanted it to look festive but in colours other than red and green (so over-used at Christmas!) – and I wanted the edges of the card to be coloured to tone with the wreath.

I had such a fun time making this  but then … I was using Card-io stamps, and I always have a fun craft time with them.  But I’ll do you a write-up about them and then you can make your own decision on whether to buy some for yourself!

Wishing you a blessed and trouble-free Tuesday, love from ~

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