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Saturday, 18 August 2018

Inspiration struck

Have been a little flat recently but am getting back into the swing of it again.   This week I had a fabulous 1 on 1 silver smithing.  Recent requests for my chain maille to be in sterling silver I have registered with an assay office but before sending anything off for hallmarking I want to solder closed the jump rings that attach the clasp to the chain.   More expense as i get the equipment but being able to offer sterling silver jewellery will be a bonus.

Perhaps it has been that, perhaps the change in the weather or just a change in my fitness routine.  What ever it has been I can feel stirrings of creativity within.


This is one of my display busts, not one that gets used obviously.   So I decided to alter it, just a little.   Using printed paper is hard for me, it is not my art and feels like a cheat. However to get the idea of an emerging image as something else retreats this Imagination Crafts Rice Paper seemed just right.   The something else retreating is Imagination Crafts Starlights Texture Paste.   Various colour mediums used on this and on some of the other embellishments including Imagination Crafts Starlight paints, Imagination Crafts Alchemy Wax, Sweet Poppy Mica powder.  The flourish is a wooden one from Kaiser Crafts.  Three dyed onyx cabochons attached with silicon glue as were the pearls from an old stash of vintage jewellery I'v had for years. TH die cuts and some wire that has been gizmo coiled topped it off.  Looks great now in pride of place on a shelf in my craft room.

I'd like to share this with

Crafters Castle - This is the first time (I think) that I've joined this monthly challenge theirs is an Anything Goes challenge with an monthly optional extra, this time that is Elegant/Shabby Chic.

Creative Artiste - A favourite monthly Mixed Media Anything Goes Challenge.  I think this is only my second entry this month.

Altered Eclectics - A favourite monthly Mixed Media Anything Goes Challenge.  I think this is only my second entry this month,  There is a patten developing here.

Love to Craft - Another monthly Anything Goes challenge that I try to enter at least once every month.

More Mixed Media - This monthly Anything Goes Challenge has an optional that is usually coloured based, this time the optional extra is Brights.

I hope you all like my jewellery stand.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Busy week

I'm retired! but do some ad hoc merchandising and this week I had call to make Monday - Friday.   I'm also working on my fitness and getting out and about on a bike.   Really enjoying these cycle rides especially along the Humber wall, and they keep getting longer.   This week I also managed to make a bracelet and pair of earrings.  And I had a go at Silver Soldering some Jump rings on completed bracelets. that did not go so well but a Silversmith friend is taking me in hand next week so it's all good.  Thing with having all sorts of interests is the amount of time they each require.

This is the jewellery, bracelet box weave with Green Amethyst and Citrine.   Time constraints ended taking me two days to complete when I could fit it in.   The earrings are Green Amethyst as well.



So since last week-end nothing has gone on in the craft room.  Partly the same problem so many ideas competing but as I'm having a more relaxed week-end perhaps something will resolve.  fortunately I do have a door hanger worked on last Sunday with the bottle in my last post.


This is a mfd base, a perfect base to work off.  Using the blue colour Powertex the first layer added was paper, it creases and pleats giving interesting textures.  Before starting I had dug around and cut to size different fabrics and lace.  There also had a left over piece of grunge board, and a butterfly the origins of which escape me and some paper flowers.  Everything coated and arranged on hanger then left to go touch dry.  Then comes the fun part lots of dry brushing Greens and Whites and mixes thereof.  Then Treasure Gold gilding wax.  

It is a little on the dark side but the result is most pleasing.  Will be playing with Powertex at the end of the month, need to consider some of the other techniques that work for mixed media altered art for now.

Looked and thought about it and decided no challenges for this just putting it out there.




Monday, 6 August 2018

Energised and getting messy - again

After having so much fun on Saturday I had to get my Powertex out at home.  Things that have been in my head but the inspiration to get on with them was lacking.  Well until yesterday it was, but fired up more altering happened.


A while back I asked the Claxby girls for empty bottles and they kindly emptied one or two for me.  Gin seems to be the drink of the moment, cannot stand the stuff personally, but these boutique concoctions do come in wonderfully shaped bottles.  This is the bottle I started with yesterday.




There are 3 boxes under my craft table filled with Powertex and materials to use with it.   Looking through I found a small sample bottle of blue/grey Powertex and decided to use it.  On this and another project for another time, the entire bottle was used.  

For this project al ball of string was coated with the medium and then wrapped around the  glass bottle from the neck down.  As the string did not got to the bottom various scraps of cotton and hessian were coated and used to complete the glass bottle covering.   Small lengths of lace came next more hessian scraps, some paper flowers and a cardboard birdcage die cut.  When I was satisfied with the covered bottle it was set aside to start to harden.

There is a fab range of powder mediums for dry brushing Powertex, but this time being experimentally minded out came the glimmer mists.  As always it was trial and error to find sprays that were not blocked, fortune was with me.  Shades on pink, blue, and copper were blasted over the piece.   With the help of Sakura glue pen one of be Creative's mixed embossing crystals were added to the centres of paper flowers and then sprinkled over the bottle.   Finally solvent based gilding wax applied randomly.

Care was taken covering this so the bottle can be used as a bottle if the creative urge to distill my own herbal gin comes upon me.

Sharing this time with.

More Mixed Media - August's challenge is Anything Goes with the optional extra of Brights, guessing because of the darker base you might not call this bright but with all that glimmer mist it certainly looks bright.

Love 2 Create -  Anything creative, mixed media goes.  Challenges like this really inspire people to explore their creativity and push their boundaries.

Dream in Darkness - Another Anything Goes except cute.  So my type of challenge.

Rhedd's Creative Spirit - And another Anything Altered/up-cycled/Mixed media goes.

Hope you have enjoyed your visit here this time.  Time to go and play with the the solder paste now I think.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

A powertex workshop

Butterfly brain here has not settled on any projects recently.  Have been trying to teach myself to silver solder jump rings, mistressing this will give my sterling silver jewellery a nice finish and then I might be able to add them as an option to the shop.

Fortunately for me I discovered a Powertex workshop locally, knowing that my friend Jill is interested in this medium we went along.   I've been using this medium for a couple of years now but not had any form of tutorial or workshop experience with it previously.  We had a lot of fun and my ideas of working with this have been expanded.  Jill the tutor was interested in having someone with previous experience at the workshop, like all mixed media artists she in also interested in learning how other people do things.

Had so much fun I'm going back at the beginning of September for their next workshop.  The providers are Purple Meadow Arts and Crafts.



I opted to decorate an MDF seahorse.  I did not realise until we were done that we were using Black Powertex, a new base for me.  It is not different than another colour just black and that was a surprise.   All the fabric and embellishments were provided for us and that also shows different ideas to try.  Next new to me fact, the initial drying of powertex can be done with a heat gun.  Knowing that warmth softens previously set projects it had not occur to me that it would work to help the initial drying process.   That fact alone will make a big difference to my approach in future.   

When everything is touch dry, dry brushing is used to apply colour.  How much or how little you use is entirely personal.  Most people opt for very colourful but I've always just used touches to bring out the pattens and textures of the fabric layers and embellishments.  This means that my seahorse is darker and might seem duller than the others.  My two pictures above show it in a less well lit spot in the living room, cream wall.  And against the pink shower room wall facing the window.  I did debate adding more colour when i got home but decided against it.


Here are the results from the workshop today, 3 of us worked on seahorses, the other 4 encased wine glasses.  Those glasses are another very interesting and tempting idea.

I'm sharing my seahorse with my favourite mixed media/altered art challenges that are Anything Goes or have themes that it fits into.

A Perfect Time to Craft - A monthly Anything Goes Challenge.

Altered Eclectics - A monthly Anything Mixed Media/Altered Art Goes.

Country View Challenges - Monthly with the theme Sun, Sea, and Sand.

Love to Craft - A monthly Anything Goes Challenge

Creative Artiste Mixed Media Challenge - A monthly Anything Mixed Media Goes challenge.

Not all my favourite challenges are here, got to keep a challenge or two in reserve for another project or two.  Getting on me bike now!


Sunday, 29 July 2018

Winner Challenges for Days

The week long celebration of Challenges for Days 5th anniversary is over, it flew by.   There were 10 qualifying comments on my blog post, these 10 lovely people ha commented on both my post and the Birthday Bash post on our listing site.  I used Excel "randbetween()" to select the winner of the stamp bundle that is my prize.


The winner is SUBHASHINI SWAMINATHAN, Congratulations.  A full list of winners will be found on the Challenges for Days site.

No papercraft or mixed media art to share with you today, instead here is a necklace made over the week-end with some stones I had almost forgotten about.   Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures, the light today is not the best for photo's.   Next week when I have been able to get some decent pictures it will be added to my Etsy site.




Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Happy Birthday Challenges for Days

WoW this blog that I started in 2013 is still going strong and if anything is bigger and better than ever.   The current team are celebrating the anniversary this year with a special bash, and Christi Conley, the current team leader invited me back to join in the fun and games.


Challenges for Days has just turned 5 and we are having a Birthday Bash to celebrate! Now that you’re here now on my blog, you need to comment on this post, then go to the Challenges for Days Birthday Bash post, here.

So how did Challenges for Days come about?  Having been part of another team that published daily lists of challenges I missed it!   Beside which seeking ideas and inspiration all those sites had to be visited anyway.  There were one or two things that could be tweaked, like the way the lists are laid out.  The rules and regulations for volunteer list managers and listed challenges could be lightened.

Having decided on doing the blog the next thing was to get some help.  Using social media the cry went out.  I was also running a challenge blog at that time and some of the team from there stepped up to help at the start.   The lists in the first week were all researched, laid out and written by me, initially there were just 4 or 5 of us doing the lists, it took over a year for the team to be large enough to have a different person for each list there are 8 different lists in total.  It also took a year before people were using us on a regular basis.  With the hard work and support of the many volunteers the blog grew become a very successful one today.

Someone I knew just distantly on Face Book at the start was on the original team and very quickly we became good friends.  This is Christi who took over from me a couple of years ago when my paper crafting mojo flagged.

The way the lists are laid out, Weekly, Fortnightly and Monthly continued.  The appearance of the site was spruced up with the great look it has today.  There is still the minimum of regulation, the purpose of the lists as a resource for people looking for challenges to enter is still at the heart of it.

If you are inspired by this week of celebrations to join this group and help I'm sure they would love to hear from you, having help you can call on is always a benefit to the whole team.  When something happens in an emergency knowing you have a substitute is ideal.  Details of how to contact them are on the Challenges for Days site, Join our happy band.

Thank you to all team members past and present, congratulations to the current team on organising and arranging this Birthday Bash.  To join in the fun and maybe win a prize or two simply check the list each do to find out whose page(s) you need to visit.  When visiting leave a comment on the Birthday Bash post, full details can be found over on Challenges for Days.   Several of the girls have put up prizes and some super sponsors have also come forward to join this event.

The prize to be randomly drawn for my page is the 3 plates of unmounted stamps below.   The polymer plate is from Tanda who closed shop a few years ago so that might even be a collectors item!




Remember all you have to do is leave a comment to be in with a chance of winning.   Entry to my draw closes at 9am Sunday 29th July.  Any comments after then while most welcome will not be included in the opportunity to win this little bundle.

A list of all the wonderful team is on my side bar please pop by their pages and share some love.   As a thank you and recognise all that goes into maintaining the lists I made a Birthday plaque.  Oh yes as a direct result of this celebration I've rejoined the team!



The pressed board base was coloured with Imagination Crafts metallic paint.  The bird on a branch is a Tando stencil with different embossing paste pushed through.  The butterflies are a very old cuttlebug set butterfly die and different embossing folders, used up a few scraps on these.   The sentiment on a die cut topper, the topper dusted with shades of pink DT with the die in place.  An old greeting stamp and two tone ep completes this celebration of something good that keeps going.

All the challenges I've enter this into are on the daily lists, but if you know of a challenge that is not listed please let the team know.

Ellibelle's Creative Moments - Summertime is here.
Pennyblack and More - Winged things
a2z Scrapbooking - Birthday Bash!
Country View - In the Summer Garden
Studio 75 - Birthdays
City Crafter Challenge - Butterflies. below is their inspiration picture.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Artist Trading Coins

These seem to be the new think in our happy little crafting land.   I wondered what they are so googled it and found a terrific you tube posting that explained them.   One of the things in the video was that although the ones demonstrated were 2.5" it was not a specific requirement.   Having a 3" punch I used that.   More subsequent research suggests that 2.5" is the correct size will use that in future.


As my punch was a little stiff foil circles were cut out, these are great and easily glued onto card.  Dripping alcohol ink into these was just plain fun.  The flowers and the cork die cut waste were all scraps on my craft table.   The flowers were coloured with felt pens the coloured built up layering different colours for depth.   The skull is from a Tando stencil with embossing paste.

This was a fun and interesting format to explore.  Next time will be 2.5" circles and I already have some ideas.

Stamping Sensations - In My Garden is their July theme and as it happens both Snowdrops and Roses are in my garden.

Crafting with an Attitude - Always anything goes at this monthly challenge.

Addicted to Stamps and More - Anything Goes with this weekly challenge.