Saturday, 25 April 2015

A wee monster tale...

Todays blog post is my entry for the Clarity Challenge 26, which was to design a project using only Clarity Stamps and the Wee Folk.

I had lots of ideas going around my head, but as I live in the Highlands just down the road from Loch Ness, I decided to use the father and child stamp, with the Nessie Stamp and some Scotch Pines to create the wee monster tale. My friend Nigel told me that his young foster son still sort of believes in the myth of Nessie, so this card is for William who is coming to visit us for Hogmanay from Australia with his dad and grandma!

The background to the card was created using the gelli plate, with a mixture of Distress and Adirondak inks in blues and purples, dabbing off some of the ink with crumpled paper to create some clouds. Then I used a circular aperture to create the focal scene, making hills with torn paper and additional sponged ink, with a little shading using Spectrum Noir pencils. I added a very faint castle stamp on the edge of the Loch, and stamped the Scotch pines using first, second and third generation inks to take the scene outside of the circular aperture. Finally I stamped in Nessie and the Father and child to complete the scene.

I added some detail with a black micron pen to define the circular shape and the hills, and to tie in with the black ink of the wee folk stamp, and then added a sentiment using some torn paper with inked edges, adding a few second generation nessies to the word monster.

I was really pleased with the final result, and hope that William will like his card too!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

My crochet zoo....#edsanimals

Hello again and Happy Easter!

A few weeks ago my sister was visiting with her two boys Gerry and Charlie, and she'd asked me to crochet them some doggy jumpers. Anyway, having made up the patterns I just had to guess at how much yarn they would take, and ended up with LOTS left over...

As we're still in the year of using stuff up, I thought long and hard about what to do with tons of black and white washable yarn - then I remembered the book I had for Christmas, Edward's Menagerie by Kerry Lord. It's a fab book with really simple instructions, and the little animals that are produced are really, really cute and are designed and stuffed so that they can sit up on their own. Although intended for alpaca yarn, I used machine washable DK yarn so they could just be thrown in the washing machine with the rest of the dirty washing!

They might be a little late arriving (the zebra took a bit longer to finish), but I thought these would be a perfect easter gift for my great nieces and nephews rather than yet more chocolate eggs. So let me introduce you to Emma the Bunny, Mac the Monkey (made to the gorilla instructions with an added tail), Fiona the Panda, and Alice the Zebra!

I think this book should be sold with a warning though - they are seriously addictive, and I still have more leftover yarn!!! Watch this space.....

Susan x

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Upcycling old jeans

 So, for many years I've been an avid blog follower, and I have learnt such a lot from other people sharing their tips and ideas so freely. Now it seems I have entered the world of having a blog of my own, so if you are reading this, thank you, and please forgive any mistakes I make as I learn!!

After a spring clean of our wardrobes, I suddenly ended up with 5 pairs of old jeans in my craft room - they'll come in useful one day I thought! As my new year's resolution for 2015 is to use things up (all those half empty lotion and potion bottles are gradually reducing in the bathroom too), I decided that my entry for the March 2015 ClarityStamp Challenge would involve those discarded jeans.

Firstly I removed the back patch pockets, and stamped out a little scene using an Archival black ink pad, and a range of Clarity Stamps using the embroidered lines on the pocket as features of the design. I then cut off the bottom of one of the legs, and made the bag shape by stitching the cut edge, and just cutting drawstring holes into the original hem of the jeans and threading through a ribbon.

Finally I restitched the pockets onto one side of the bag - in retrospect I should had done that first before making the bag, but c'est la vie!

I tried to leave some frayed bits of denim sticking out of the seams in places, just to add a bit of character to the final bag, and I put a little sunburst stamp on the inner pocket peeping out - might go back and add a flock of birds above the houses too before I use it as a gift bag.

I won't tell you about all the cursing when I was trying to get the tension right on my sewing machine - I think I unpicked it half a dozen times,
I won't tell you how much I wished I had just used a fabric glue to stick on the pocket edges - that only occurred to me after the event!,
I won't tell you how I could hear my mum shouting at me not to break the needle on the machine as it hit the little rivet in the top of the pocket - even though I live in the Highlands of Scotland and she lives in Essex!!!

What I will tell you is that the bag holds 3 bottles of beer perfectly, and will make a fab gift bag for a man in your life....

Thanks for visiting, Susan x