Nearly time…

It’s nearly that time of year again, where kids get mesmerised by adverts on TV, parents get bombarded by “I want…” cries and I get all “Bah Humbug!” I can’t bear all the hype and commercialism, so when I saw that Take a Word’s challenge this week was to use “Time” in our artwork, I altered a vintage photo from my collection.

I may well use this as a Christmas card this year!! Enjoy all the entries HERE. ♥



This is a photo of a friend’s dog who roams the countryside all over the complex where we have fished in the past. She doesn’t normally have much to do with me but I guess back in January this year, we were both so cold, and there was so little happening, she decided to sit on my lap for a while… I give you Mooha:

Thanks to Kim Klassen’s mini e-course, I learnt how to convert photos to black and white, with some soft vintage tints about them…

For Take a Word – “black & white” – this week. See all the contributors HERE.  ♥

Take a Word #51 – Childhood

I developed my love of books and losing myself in other worlds when I was a child. I was one of those kids who’d be sleepy in the morning on the way to school because I’d been reading under the bedclothes by the light of a torch! So when I saw this quote by Marcel Proust, I created the artwork around it!

Thanks to Tangie Baxter for the cat. The vintage image is from my own collection of photos.

For Take a Word this week.  🙂


TAW – Wedding!

When I was working with Lisa Vollrath on her DT for Ten Two Studios, we always had some beautiful vintage images to use.

I recently combined 3 small altered frames to make a vintage-style wall-hanging.

I used lots of broken/recycled costume jewellery, scraps of ribbon and lace and the whole thing has a D-ring brass hanger!

Personally I am no fan of weddings – especially when they are outrageously expensive these days – but there’s something so innocent about this vintage couple’s photos, that I enjoy seeing this hanging every day. It’s one of those creations that you really don’t mind hanging onto!! 😉

See more interpretations of WEDDINGS over at Take a Word this week!

Things my mother should have told me…

The title is taken from a brilliant book I bought last year at a Flea Market – “Things my mother should have told me – The Best of Good Housekeeping 1922-1940”. As today’s SPA theme is “vintage glitz and glam”, I thought I’d take a look at it for inspiration, especially as I made a mistake when stamping and embossing a 1920s image!! So that melted into the background (quite literally), and I cut this advertisement from the right side of one of the pages…

Isn’t that a fab ad for Helena Rubinstein? And the text is so 1920s… my Mum used to buy HR cosmetics when she could afford them!

The biggest problem with that book is that it’s absolutely fascinating – a charmingly retrospective look at women and how their lives changed during those formative decades. There are “Housekeeper’s Diary” notes, recipes and problem pages, fashion plates… I could spend a lot of time lost in its pages! 🙂

Double Take!

When I saw the typo in the title, that’s exactly what I did! Double Tkae indeed – and I’m an English teacher – hah! I have no excuse for the frequent typos, I have no idea why I can’t touch type either. I can’t even use predictive text… you should see some of the things I used to send DD before I learned to turn it off!

Anyway, I digress… this week’s challenge at SPA was to use the same image twice in our postcard art. I started with the makeovers again yesterday – sewing machine, scissors, ironing board out upstairs and I cut 3 pairs of fingerless gloves from an old lambswool waistcoat (now awaiting embellishment before they go to the Etsy shop!); I converted a shiny black dress into a bag (awaiting handles) and even made the zipper go round the corner!!! I cut and tore strips of silk up for the prettifying and sewed up a sweet pair of variegated blue wristies (that have a matching hat) to photograph and Etsy later… I have also started the sleeves of the jacket I was knitting back before Christmas, so I was in full-on, artisan-mode.

I decided to take advantage of not yet having put away the sewing machine this morning and create a fabric postcard. I have some beautiful vintage playing cards with the same image on every one which were ideal for the theme. I get Linda Matthews  newsletter every week and she shares some beautiful tutorials, etc. I am often inspired by her (textile) projects and I wanted to try the simple scrap-strips method she showed one week… although I didn’t use the iron, I just stitched them together.

Seeing double...

It’s such a pity the metallic ribbon on the right and the shiny gold fabric on the left don’t scan well, but you can just see the red metallic thread I used to stitch the images down, can’t you? I know metallic thread can be tricky to stitch with – mine broke once when I was sewing through the brown suedette strip – but if you stand the spool on the table behind your machine, the thread seems to flow more freely and not get stretched to snapping point.

That’s a tip from a Cloth, Paper, Scissors newsletter last year!! See, I may be very eclectic and untrained, but I do pay attention sometimes! The reason for this foray back into stitch, knit, sew is really down to my bookbinding buddy ***Billie (Billie’s Craft Room), whom I first ‘met’ in JP’s Supernova Journalling Class. Billie has been picking my (in)expert brains about interfacing, threads, knitting, etc. We haven’t met in real life yet, but as we are moving later this year, it’s a pretty fair bet that we will sooner or later… 🙂

***See Billie’s blog for loads of tutorials about crafting items, reviews, featured artist of the month is a good read too! And, if you need help, Billie’s bound to respond quickly – she’s very kind (and a Twitter addict!).

So, this is a long post, innit? But, I might be too busy embellishing and stuff to write much this week – we’ll have to see how it goes. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Frances was not looking…

Why would she? She stood, fascinated by her reflection in the full length mirror, the sun streaming through the window… etc.!

Isn’t it funny how you tear a random sheet of text from a little book you’ve never read; you stick it to a long narrow strip of card along with random strips of sheet music and some french text aswell; you apply a coat of gesso and then some orange paint and gold mica powder mixed into it.

You take some punchinella (sequin waste), and sponge silver paint through it randomly. You love turquoise and orange as a colour combo, so you randomly sponge turquoise ink on too. You choose a small image for your ATC and a couple more scraps of uninked, plain sheet music; you turn over the long strip of card and mark off the width of your ATCs (5 + a slimmer piece left over). You cut them up randomly and then, as you place your collage elements onto your randomly assembled background, you find that line that suggests the entire tone and theme of your ATC.

How random is that? 😉

Image: Alphastamps; Derwent Inktense charcoal grey pencil; Caran D’ache Neocolours II – blue and black; Uniball signo white and black gel pens; scrap netting and green staples!  Made for TMTASheet Music – this week!

Waiting for Santa!

“Waiting for Santa” is the theme at TMTA and I have made 3 ATCs – one of which is a background freebie for you to use, if you would like…

Free to use wintry blue background...

Please enjoy this background which I made with white and blue Tempra watercolour paints and my favourite Stampendous snowflake stamp; and also Robin’s latin text (MaVinci), having stamped both with faded denim (?) distress ink. And here are my ATCs:

The image is from last year’s free vintage Christmas cards mag., featuring Crafty Individuals and Joanna Sheen…

Aren’t these tiny children adorable? So much for me and Bah Humbug!!

Guess who’s on her wishlist?!

Wishlist is the theme at SPA today, chosen by the formidable Fatma… Here’s my entry postcard!

"Ho ho ho!"

Those great fun images are from the Silly Santas collage sheets by Lisa Vollrath at Ten Two Studios. They’re fab and I have lots of “Bah Humbug!”-style fun with these images, as you can see. All the stamps are from Ria’s Christmas Sheet, handpainted holly berries by moi! 😉

I’m painting a mixed media background on an 18″ x 14″ canvas for my “Angel” from Tam’s online course. Her new “Magickal, Mythical Makings” class has opened now for registration, is that’s your ‘bag’. I’m still going to buy the Fabulous Faces DVD so I can draw and shade better and bigger faces… although they might be “slightly monstrous” or somply “dark”! The experimenting will be fun!

I also have a 3D altered collage on wood in progress… a row of houses, waiting for more ‘stuff’. This one will be fun to complete so I am taking my time.


This is my entry to Mixed Media Monday’s monthly challenge… A tiny altered canvas/shrine:


The canvas measures 7cm x 7cm – just under 3″ square!

I love texture… don’t you? I painted the canvas and then glued torn pieces of napkins to the edges. I’m too impatient to wait for that to dry so I started gathering “stuff” to fill the void meantime…

Not sure if you can see it, but there’s lace behind the image and more metal flowers under all those beads! The torso on the left hand side is a clay piece that I made a couple of years ago when I was experimenting with air-dried clay and rubber stamps/making beads, etc.

The image is a bottlecap “Round” from Ten Two Studios, on top of which I have stuck a glass pebble. There are buttons, a mini peg and a link from an old watch strap around the frame, and a grungey flower with a pearl centre. The whole thing was sponged gently with black and copper acrylic paint to give an aged and “mucky” effect, whilst still allowing the colour to show through! The easel was also painted to show the shrine to advantage.

I enjoyed making this and have another 7 mini-canvasses left. There might be a series coming – who knows?! 😉