About Me

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Hi, Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting. I'm Carol, married to Bill, with two children. I love to dabble in all types of crafty pursuits and enjoy nothing more than attending workshops and learning new techniques, which I then try to reproduce at home....sometimes with success!!!


Friday, 12 November 2010

Nov. Shilington Swaps


These are my swaps this month. In fact, I've had these made for some time now and as the theme this month was freestyle I am able to send these, without having to use the little grey cells.... it's not cheating just good time management at he moment!!!

The first is entitled Time Flies and uses Paperartsy minis no.59 and 60 for the background which was then distressed and the metal clock was made using Paperartsy Clock 1 and then highlighted with a poky tool.

Gia is the name of this B line stamp, and she is a firm fav. of mine. The background stamp is also B Line called Black Mesh. The lady was masked prior to the background being stamped.

Finally Timeless. I had a great time making backing paper and then cutting to size using inks glimmer mists and perfect pearls. The little stamp is an old Limited Edition one and Hobby craft sold the beautiful chipboard dragonflies in packets of about 20......in the sale for 29p.

I took the whole stock, including butterflies cats and flowers. It's unusual for me to spot a bargain!!

Till next time happy crafting
Carol xx

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Christmas Canvas fo the Stampman Challenge

Stampman Christmas Challenge
(instructions below)
Above is my offering for The Challenge. What fun I had making this and getting into an inky distressed mess!!! but at the end I was de- stressed!!!! It's a Christmas hanging and although the colours are seasonal I wanted to get away from the usual bright red and green associated with Christmas and put a more muted feel on the project, besides the fact that I love this rich Maroon/claret/burgundy colour, but oh what a trial I had finding the colour I wanted. In the end a bespoke mix was called for!
I love canvases and so decided to put some mini canvases onto a much larger one and make a more substantial piece Hope you enjoy seeing it and if you want to replicate the idea, I've put  a little explanation below, together with the ingredients used. Hope you have a go and get as much pleasure out of it as I did.


Paper Artsy Stamps Egg & Nog 1 and 5      ........  for the mini canvases
Paper Artsy Egg & Nog4 and 10                 ........  for the flowers
Papermania Ornate Christmas Stamp Duo          ........  for the Christmas Greeting
Studio 490 Ticket To Art LCS001                      ........  for the leaves
One small square canvas
Two small rectangular canvases
Grunge Paper
Matching ribbon
Distress inks:- Aged Mahogany and Forest Moss
Adirondack colour wash :-Cranberry
Acrylic paint pure gold by eco-green crafts
Acrylic paint Green Patina by eco-green crafts
Selection of co-ordinating self adhesive gems and stars
Black StayzOn
Glossy accents

 Stamp 6 of the large flower stamps and 2 of the smaller flower stamps onto the smooth side of the grunge paper, using black StazsOn ink.
When dry colour using aged mahogany distress ink, blending it to be darker to the outer edges.
Stamp four of the sets of leaves and again colour using Forest Moss Distress ink.Cut one of the stems into smaller sections to use with the small flower.
Using the gold paint cover the wooden frame of the canvas.( I really love this paint as it covers easily and in one coat, with no streaking!) Using the green patina paint cover the large canvas and allow to dry.

The smaller canvases eventually became the colour I really wanted. Firstly I Brushed on the Cranberry wash and dried using a heat gun between the first and second coats. On top of this I built up the Aged Mahogany distress ink until I had a lovely rich colour.  Next onto some thick card  I stamped the gorgeous partridge and the three pears   and then the 3 tree images. I used the same colours of inks only this time with a little water and painted the stamped images.
When all was done I arranged everything onto the canvas ...this took some time as I was so indecisive!! The small stamped greeting canvas looked fine but the other two were missing something. I had a brainwave and found a beautiful damask type napkin pack in my stash. I tore this and placed one section short ways and the other longways on the canvases, That did the trick and gave just another dimension. Here's hoping the pictures show what I mean. ( This is optional to do).
The napkin was adhered to the canvases using dilute paste.

The flowers were attached as above and the other canvas laid out as shown.
Everything was then glued in place using glossy accents and the ribbon made to attach to the frame.             

Thanks for looking in today!
Happy Crafting Moments , till the next time
Carol xx

Other Challenges I will be entering this piece for include:-

Wild Orchid Callenges....Christmas..red green and gold
Fairy- Challenge ........Anything goes
Sir Stampalot...Christmas Traditions

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Card For A Man

Here is my first offering for the Stampman Challenge, where a card for a man was to be made. Bill loves his wine and so I thought this might fit the Bill and then could be used for his birthday too.....how organized am I ? Only problem is I now need to find out how to use the inks link, so here we go!!!!!

Boo Hoo many tears and a right royal ear bashing to myself!!!!! Should have checked the cut-off date first! So I've missed the boat so to speak, But on the upside I have plenty of time to create and enter something for November, so.....watch this space.

Bye for now
Carol xx

Sunday, 31 October 2010


                                                  ALTERED BEER MAT

 As you are all now probably aware I love attending the fantastic workshops held in Olney, at LBCrafts. Both Linda Brown and more recently Linda Elbourne have given me such a great hobby to pursue.

Some years ago I began making cards and how pleased I was with the peel off  borders and stamped images or decoupaged characters!!. I still have these in a little treasure box that I look at every so often. It seems I have progressed a lot since those early days and have now begun travelling down the altered art pathway.(being beckoned in the dim mists by an overseas hand, attached it would seem to one Tim Holtz!!! surely the God of all thing altered, vintage, quirky, aged,embellished, stamped, masked, distressed and  ..............) I must publicly thank the Linda's here for encouraging me to a) join in with a workshop and b) feel free to step outside my comfort zone and try new thing.
Well in this section I want to showcase some of the great things they have helped me to produce and then I promise I will put in some creations that are purely my own. By the way you really should go to LBCrafts website and then follow Linda Browns blog and also Linda Elbourne's called A crafting journey.
Above is the Altered beer mat. Such fun to make and to collect!

                                               MIRROR MIRROR

This is not the best photo in the world and it doesn't really show this to its best!!!
Each of the sections comprises of a section of metal, hand embossed using T.S.S. tools and plates, or others that have been put through a Cuttlebug, using their folders. Coloured with alcohol inks and/or black acrylic paint to age and distress. I'm intending to do a few of these as Christmas gifts for friends, in differing colourways.

This gives a slightly enlarged view of one of the sections embossed. The combination of the acrylic paint and the alcohol inks gives a super aged look, which I just love.

Below is a picture of the top right hand corner section where the butterfly gives a real dimensional finish I think.

p.s. The mirrors use to only be available in a pine finish but thank you Ikea, for making them in various colours, including the black/brown variety. it saves having to do a great deal with the reverse of the frame as it already is in keeping with the rest!!!!!!!!!

                                                TICK TOCK CLOCK

Sorry about the light shining on the wording of this!!! I'm still getting use to my camera. I know ....poor excuse. Anyway it should read, "Time can never take away our most precious memories"     This little item used a small shadow type box, in which was placed the old and aged book page, upon which was stamped some of the cogs and wheels. (I have a terrible memory for the stamps used, but in this case I think they were all Paperartsy, apologies if I'm wrong and do feel free to correct me!! )

The stamped clock faces on the metal were further textured using T>S>S> tools and then secured in the box. The frame itself was covered with various colours of ferro and Terra and then heated to create bubbles. I LOVE, LOVE LOVE this simple technique it.s sooooo cool and the effects are always so different.
Various precious metal colours were added and the whole thing shimmers. Little embellishments, by Tim, I think, completed the frame.


This is probably my all time favourite workshop make!!!!! I learnt so much during this session and learnt that it worked really well to mix all types of different mediums together. Previously, I wouldn't have dreamt of using such textured background work with cut out stamped coloured images!!! It just wouldn't have dawned on me to combine in such a way.

The Prisma colouring pencils were lovely to use and blended so easily. Lin showed us her techniques for colouring and shading and it made all the difference. I hope the pictures show this?
  The background was made using Terra in varying thicknesses, some even over metal that had been embossed.(see below bird nest) .The whole was then coloured using acrylic paints and gold dabbers, while the dragonfly was cut and embossed. All the quirky embellishments added to the end result.
Just recently some visitors were staying, and admiring my little works of art that all live in a small lounge next to my craft room. They were amazed that I had actually made them and have already asked for something similar!!
Once again thanks to Lin Brown of LBCrafts for the inspiration for this piece.


This has turned into a mammoth blog!!!! I am gong to leave all the explanations for the rest of the work and just let you see my FAV makes. Hopefully the pictures can speak for themselves, although I confess I am no great photographer!! So here goes, I hope you enjoy.

I knew I'd have to write something!! Can you see the error? My Mum did right away and told me so!!!  I lost the R from the word bird at the last minute and so replaced it with an upturned L. I didn't think it would notice as I had done all the other letters different sizes. Clearly I was wrong, because she said she didn't even understand the word !

Love this embossed Ten Second Studio plate and it was even hand embossed!!

                                         DREAM UP A SCREEN

Thanks to Linda Elbourne this has proven to be one of the most used ideas for gifts that I have made. The grey board is easy to work with and also my lovely Bind it All machine. I didn't think I'd use it much, but I have had great fun with it. This allows me to use all my lovely papers ribbons and stamps and make something really feminine or seasonal. Hope it gives you some ideas too!!


Ever wondered what to do with all those empty bean tins? Well Linda Elbourne had the answer!! Cover it in a smart HAND EMBOSSED (yes, how cruel was she) jacket and adorn it with a canvas backed metal flower trio and metal foliage. The jacket was made in two sections and then beaded together.


No harm done though and her face was a picture. tee hee!!


Hopefully these will show better than they are on the preview.This was my first venture into the world of corrugated board and cardboard. What fun ripping tearing and poking, the knack was when to stop though, it was a very therapeutic activity and one that I have dabbled with since.

Had to buy the fantastic Dark Room Door set of stamps, especially as they are so versatile.
Love the whole combination Lin Brown suggested although we always veer off a little!

A Waxed Frame

This was a fab class by Lin Brown on using napkins in conjunction with melted bees wax!! and of course we had to include somewhere along the line some metal work and stamping. The canvases were painted in acrylics first and then randomly stamped before layering on various depths of napkin. The birds were also cut from a paper napkin and the metal and stamped metal images were then all assembled.  Great fun!!

Well this is the end of this log! Should have warned you of its length at the start. Hope you've enjoyed looking in at my fav makes and as promised now I've got these on for posterity I can begin to show off some of my own designs soon. Till next time, enjoy your crafting moments.
Love Carol x

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A Flourishing Quartet

Another fabulous workshop make and at the moment my all time fav!!!!
Held at LBCrafts in Olney, by Linda Elbourne

The canvas board was firstly painted with acrylic paint and then randomly stamped with a flourish, (sorry can't remember which off hand) The four squares were individually placed over different Ten Second Studio plates and using the tools embossed. If you're feeling less energetic, they could be put through a Cuttlebut, but only if they're of the solid variety!!!

Each piece was then covered in black acrylic paint, which was wiped off before dring, to give an aged look, whilst still allowing the beautiful copper metal to show through.

The flowers were cut using Tim Holtz dies and the leaves stamped onto the metal using Studio 490 stamps. The leaves and flowers were aged and assembled on the canvas, before die cuuting the bird cage and bird,,,,,also from the wonderful Tim range!!! Is there no end to this man's genius?
                                                                       This picture shows the quartet background a little better, also. the bird cage. which was run through the Cuttlebug folder.
 The tiny flowers were just yellow and plastic so had to TEDIOUSLY be coloured using gold and copper metal effects paste!!!!
Everything was then assembled and I love it.Just wish I had had the idea first...ah well another day maybe.
HAPPY crafting
Carol x

Monday, 27 September 2010

Shillington ATC'S

Shillington Swap A.T.C s. Sept. 2010

Here are my offerings for this months swap. The theme was nautical and to tell you the truth I didn't have a lot in my stash for sea-faring swaps, still I have had a good rummage; (and in so doing found LOADS!! of long forgotten goodies.)

This Vintage style postcard uses a crayon resist technique I learnt from Rachel Greig, of Dark Room Door fame. (She was over here earlier this year). You simply highlight areas of light with a child's white wax crayon and the n do the usual with your distress inks. The crayon resists the colour and the all you do is polish it with  a                                                      soft  cloth and the light areas are really bright.

I've called this For Those In Peril On The Sea.
I found these images in a bits and bobs box.
They are from the Masculine Artsy collage book
by HOTP. I love the varied images in it!! I really was at a loss how to put them on the ATC so that they didn't look like they were just floating there, then I spied upon some lovely hand-made paper a friend had given me. The large holes in it reminded me of how the sea swells and dips into hollows so it was perfect for the foaming sea. I hope I've managed to capture it?

Lastly this is a quickie!! Again the images were from HOTP and put together on a holographic paper background, and yes your eyes do not deceive. I have used peel off letters!!!! I can get them straight but struggle using my mini stamp set.
Now I look back I can see that I should learn to crop things...........another day, another time and another lesson from Megan!!   Hey Ho.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


After watching a tutorial by Linda Brown on her L B Crafts website, I decided to try my own version, and here it is! I have used metal, which has been hand embossed using Ten Second Studio equipment and torn, then distressed using brown acrylic paint. The right hand side was then daubed with Viva's Terra (Sahara) and then coloured using Turquoise and Blackberry Precious Metal paints. This was heated to "bubble point". To this I added some Gold Rub N Buff.
for highlights

The Fleur De Lys embellishment is yet another of the very talented Linda's ideas, where you emboss metal, cover in Utee and cut!!! It's such a crafty technique, do hop over to see Linda's tutorial.

By the way, I should mention this is all on a beer mat.....more altered mats in further postings. 

( Now that I've managed to navigate my blog a little better I can't stop. I've decided to put all my larger projects from work-shops on so will update again soon.)

Bye for now

The Key Of Life

Below is one of my favourite pieces that was made during a craft workshop at L B Crafts in Olney , which also happens to be my fav. place to buy all my crafting goodies. This workshop was taken by the witty and talented Linda Elbourne and it was her design this piece was based on.

I actually gave it to my Husband as a birthday present and although he does not possess a crafty bone in his body, was very appreciative of my efforts and made all the right noises! It has the number 13, top left, which is his birthday, and the initial B for his name.(I should have checked the angle of dangle before hand!!)

 Here are two of the sections that give the piece its title.

 It was made on canvas that we distressed.The outer squares are grunge paper, again distressed and then run through various Cuttlebug folders, allowing the patterns to be highlighted with distress inks. I'd never used glass fragments on anything before either, but I LOVE them and the way they magnify images. This was a fantastic class and I learnt sooooo much. Too much to write here, Hope it gives you some ideas though.


My Bargain Buy

Thought you may like to see a little bargain that I bought some time ago in the garden centre for just £3.00!! Its contents included some delicious jams chutneys ,biscuits etc. and was then suppose to become a small garden tool carrier. But..... like all crafters I knew it had more potential uses than being relegated to the potting shed. or worse !!  I have taken it along to several workshops, carrying my crafting tools and some members of the class have then rushed to buy their own. Alas, this was last year, but it was in the Seasonal Department Sale at the Wyvale Garden Centre, so eyes peeled for it this year!!. It's just the right size for all my bits and not at all bulky. I have been meaning to make it look a little less like a garden tool carrier for ages and so this week have sewn on some lovely flowers and brads.

These are super extra thick felted flowers and as you can see, the bag is a heavy duty hessian so should last for ages1
This shows the bag a little better, but I didn't like the side panels as they looked quite empty, so I added an extra large flower to either side!! I must learn when enough is enough.

and......here's the final article, hope you like it. Now I see the colours on the screen, I realise they're quite autumnal! I must have been getting prepared for the season. That's a thought, maybe I need to go to the sale this year and see if I can get another three and have one for each season. I'll keep you posted on that one!!

My Crafting Tote

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Sew Special Workshop 1

Here is my first large piece of art work! I attended Linda Brown's workshop at L.B.Crafts in Olney, Bucks. What a revelation I learnt so many different techniques that day. This sewing  piece was made using painted Art Canvas Board on which were placed a range of mini canvases, each stamped differently and embellished with sewing bits and bobs. The stamps used were from the B line stamp range ,and the flower, designed using sticky canvas adhered to metal. The corrugated background card gives an interesting reflection when the light shines onto the gold paint, which doesn't really show in this photo.