Stamped crafty giggle

I am a firm believer that art should be fun. But sometimes, I like it to be funny, and a bit surreal. Like my milk carton – riffing off the scary kids from The Midwich Cuckoos – or the surprise inside the pyramid of the “happy couple” if I can get a smile I’ll do it.  Even on my scrapbook layouts, if I can hide something that makes viewers giggle, I’ll do it.  One of my all time fave layouts has on the main part of the layout a couple shots of DS creeping through the tall grass, trying to sneak up on his sister.  I caught him, finger to lips in a SHHHHH! pose scowling at me, then a far shot of him and DD, him behind her in the grass, then her turning to see him, then a hidden flap with a photo of her sitting in his head.  Payback is a wonderful thing for a little sister!

Sometimes a joke or weird juxtaposition will come to me and when it does, no matter how bizarre or indeed time-consuming it might be, I tend to go with it.

I made this little … shrine? shadowbox? not sure what the right artsy fartsy term is for it, but I was just giggling inside the whole time I was working on it.  The visual joke is something only a crafter will truly appreciate.  I hope it gives you a Friday giggle.

It was all sparked by some  cow girl images I saw at some vintage image site.

First, the outside of the box – it started life as a holder for a massive number of juice boxes, but it had scores in the cardboard that fit perfectly the size I needed.  I covered it in a mass of old collage bits that have been languishing in my drawer for at least 8 years, maybe more, and did a bit f inking n it.  I did the title by scuffing up some Thickers to get to the white core then rubbed ink over them.  The little 7 Gypsies closure has come out and gone back again so many times as it NEVER worked for what I thought it might.  But it was perfect for this piece.  I also unearthed some very old – now we are talking 12 years at least! – Rust embossing powder that I bought on sale and had never opened.  It’s a bit rough and reminds me of Distress Embossing powder without the release crystals.  A handful of Life’s Journey stuff and some downloaded images from the net and here it is closed:

I loved the casual stance, the comfort with her gun, and her serious expression…

Open…. a totally different story!

If you stamp, or craft at all, you should “get” the joke – maybe easier to see in  a closer shot?

It may be hard to se but that is an EMBOSSING gun she is holding.  I grabbed the best image I could find and reduced it them printed it on photo paper and cut it out.  I excised the bleeding heart and scissors from the figure and replaced the with the gun and a bit of elastic to mimic the cord – you can’t see it because it shifted but there is a little knot at the end of the cord to mimic the plug.

Now I have to make a sidebar comment about unintentional humour in art.  I thought the heat gun in PINK was very girly, but when I cut it and put it in her other hand, at first, it looked a bit like…well I’ll let you imagine that, shall I? Angled up or down, made no difference.  All I could think of was that line from the Spinal Tap song Big Bottom “I want to sink her with my pink torpedo…” I tried lightly colouring it with a Sharpie to a more lavender shade, but it really didn’t help.  So I had to shift it to the other hand, where it looks more like a heat gun and less like….you know.

I also hade two pots of that embossing powder called Desert Tapestry, which fit the overall theme fairly well, so I added that at the back to reinforce the joke.

and there you have it – a whole boatload of work to set up a very elaborate crafting joke.  If it made you smile, it’s done it’s job!

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Just a quick layout

Isn’t it funny – kids that were once so compliant when the camera came out suddenly turn all shy or angry or self-conscious to the point of hiding, pulling faces, or dressing inappropriately, all in an effort to avoid photographic evidence? How many scrappers simply stop scrapping once their kids get to the awkward teen years, or focus their energies on other topics? I feel in danger of that happening to me some days. When the camera comes out, the kids run for the hills. It’s not like I TRY to catch them in unflattering poses or showcase their flaws (although the first thing DH said about this layout was “I can see his feet – I don’t want to see his FEET” – coming from a man who is almost NEVER without shoes and socks, except in the shower and in bed, this does not surprise me) so WHY the resistance? I don’t pose them, I almost never have in the past, and mostly get candid shots from a distance but zoomed in, when they may not even know I am focusing on them, so where it comes from I don;t know. I can only assume it’s part of the natural process of becoming a teen, that self-consciousness and concern over beng made to look foolish.

Anywhoo, these are a couple of shots of DS playing the guitar at my sister’s house. His Grandpa is a master musician – he can play virtually any stringed instrument, although I am partial to his fiddle and banjo tunes as well as the guitar and less keen on the sweetness of the dulcimer – and he put Jack on the spot a bit, asking him about his guitar playing (or maybe it was DH that pushed him forward, I don’t know) so Jack did a little concert to showcase what he’s learned (well, it was never going to be the drums, as who has a full drum kit in their house if they don’t actually drum??) and I was lucky enough to snap a few, natural shots before he was in any way aware of me. Whoo hoo! RESULT!

Most of the papers are from various Scrapagogo kits over the last few months, I think. It was interesting – while looking for some black cardstock to frame the layout, which I had first planned on the music paper, one of the sheets I pulled out had this large oval cut out of it. Laying on my desk, over the music paper, I liked what I saw enough to change directions. Nice to get back to my first love, scrapbooking, and step away from the stamping for a day, and make a layout that has not a single even HINT of a flower on it.


WOYWW – and the nested box tutorial

First, my workdesk. a mess as always! Not everyone who plays with WOYWW has such a messy desk, tho’

oops! now where did that photo go?

I am working on a minibook (and a slideshow for it, so making and snapping and making and snapping) using, surprise surprise, a Papermania paper pack. A4 size so some compromises had to be made, and (most annoyingly) only ONE sheet of each pattern. But the weight is good, some of the colours and patterns lovely, and it works together well.

Next, the nested boxes from the Stampotique Designers Challenge tutorial, which you can see in much detail in the last two posts.

If you hate math I’ll break it down for you:

Every box is one square for the lid, of any size, and one square for the bottom 1/4 inch less

The NEXT box LID is the previous bottom measurement minus 1/2 inch then minus 1/4 inch of THAT measurement for the bottom

So these are the size squares to cut:

First box lid = 8  inch square, bottom = 7 3/4 inch square

Next box lid = 7 1/4 inch, bottom = 7  inch

Next box lid = 6 1/2 inch, bottom = 6 1/4 inch

Next box lid = 5 3/4 inch, bottom = 5 1/2 inch

Next box lid = 5 inch, bottom = 4 3/4 inch

etc. to the smallest box you want to make.

The folding is easy peasy but you do want to be as precise in your cutting and scoring as you can.

I’ve dithered about making the tutorial on view but there are a lot of photos and the PDF is 7 pages long so I’ll add the PDF here and to the sidebar with a smaller version .jpg without the chart from above here so you can sort of see what is going on without adding HUGE images like in the PDF! Sorry, when I reduced the photos the text got a bit squashed – I trust you ar clever enough to know what it means LOL!

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More box details

OK, so box by box – you have already seen the lid –


and the array of boxes lined up


Inside the lid is a quote which fits nicely with Moon Girl, I think.

The the outside of the bottom of the first box

and the inside – small stamps of flies, spiders and ladybugs (or ladybirds, depending on your “side of the pond”)

And that is just box ONE!

Top of box two – inside box one, so you can see how nicely they nest:

And the bottom of box two:

and inside box two

box three – and you can see there is too much room around this one, which is why I am sure I’ve lost a lid&bottom combo on the chaos of my desk somehow.

and the bottom

and inside and last box

and the final surprise in the middle:

So I hope that works – honestly?  I have NO IDEA what the formatting will look like on a laptop or a smaller monitor, or when I save if it will maintain the side-by-side of the small pictures.  I did skip a few (mostly the inside of the lids that have quotes as they are fairly boring) but will post the info on measuring and folding the boxes tomorrow.


what Summer Means to Me box for the SDC challenge

I have dithered and dithered about how to do this post – should I make a post that is so heavy on images that it takes a day to load? Should I post just a taster each day and stretch it out over the week? Should I post just the tutorial on making the boxes and one image?

In the end I decided the best way is to post an overview one day, detailed shots the next and the tutorial the final day.

I am really pleased with this. Although I already did a “walled garden” card/piece for the challenge even as I was working on it the idea for this one was percolating in my brain. I took a couple of days to make, on and off, but in the end I am very happy with it.

Anyway here it is:

This is the top of the main box.  The flower is from a stamp from a Fancy Pants 12 x 12 set, stamped 3 times and separated by chipboard circles.  The stick pin is stuck thru all thee circles, daubed with glue for security, to provide both a handle for opening the box AND so Moon Girl will appear to sit within the flower and remain both strongly attached and upright. I cut a backing for her and the pin is sandwiched between the image and the backing.

I stamped her then stamped her again, this time embossing in silver, then cut just the wings, which I filled with diamond Stickles.

Each box has different Summer themed stamping – some of the boxes have quotes inside, some work together and some are separate.  The first box is Moon Girl in the flower, and the bottom of the box is decorated outside with a Picnic and inside with bugs.  I’ll show more detail tomorrow.

Box 2 is Blue Skies and inside, sun showers and a quote.

Box 3 is Sleeping in on top, a quote inside, long lazy days on the outside of the bottom and sandy beaches on the inside

The final box has a quote on the top and inside a sun made from both a Zettiology stamp and one of the skeletons in the wash (as I like to call them) with some gems and Here Comes the Sun

Somehow I think I must have used the two sheets I cut for the box between box two and box three (which should have been box four!) because the fit is much roomier than it should be. I’ll probably go back and make that additional one at some point.

What fun it was to make!

Here is a shot of most of the stamps I used:

I am def. missing the big flower but I think the rest of them are there.  I have Jo’s bees from the newest Stampotique collection on my wish list but to be honest I have been on a bit of a binge recently and will have to hold off on buying them for a bit.  Luckily I had a small foam stamp of a bee that fit.  And the Paper Artsy checkerboard worked really well for the picnic cloth, and some very old stamps of sand dunes, rippling water and little grassy clumps all helped set a scene.

So I’ll add some more detailed shots tomorrow and details of how to cut, crease and fold the boxes along with how to measure to ensure they nest properly on Wednesday.

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I first want to mention that the tag I made for Linda and Annelise’s How many More Sleeps til Ranger U? challenge in the previous post is covered with a coffee filter before embossing. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the texture and softness it adds, and with thinner car it also helps keep the embossing folder from cutting into the cardstock. AND it takes the distress ink beautifully.

But on to SSE – I stumbled across Not So Idle Hands at some point, no idea how or when, but I loved her necklaces made from common household washers.

She has a tutorial at the link.  V V easy to do and so adorable. You can get the metal stamp sets here – not as expensive as I thought they might be, and if you can make these adorable goodies with them, worth it.


7 more sleeps….

Before Linda and Anneliese join the jet set and head over to Ranger U – lucky girls! I thought I would join in the fun and live vicariously by making a tag. One of Tim’s texture fades with some embossinging and a spritz of glimmer mist (which yo probably can’t see in the overcast light coming thru my window this grey day) and a little glossy accent tear – for the girls, who have still SEVEN WHOLE SLEEPS till they can play, and for ME who isn’t going. Boo Hoo.

The stamp is a Stampotique one – hard to bypass more creepy people for such a stylish one, but I just had to have it.  The tears are dotted with white gel pen then a dot of glossy accents placed carefully with a pin.


SDC9 – Summer

The challenge over on the Stampotique Designers blog is to make something that says what Summer means to you. I had this idea for a 3D  piece that could be a card (if you really, REALLY like the person and I mean A LOT) but probably a pain to mail so better as something to display.

One of our favourite haunts in summer is the walled garden at The Vyne, our local stately home and a NT property so free with our membership.  I wanted to re-create the walled garden idea.  Those who know me know how much I loathe those pun-y titles like Snow Much Fun, or overused titles like I Hope You Dance.  I ha a similar reaction to the perfect quote for what I wanted to do.  It took a few hours of struggling, while I considered and discarded SO many other options before I grudgingly gave in and decided to use what I perhaps knew I was going to have to from the start.

It started life as this:

(for those who care, the centre bit is 8″ and the flaps at the side 1.5″. All three pieces are the same size but the door piece is cut in half, the arch has an opening cut in it, and the backdrop is as it is.  The height is about 7.5 ” so you can manage this from A4 card.  I made the bits as above then decorate other card and attached it so it is all very sturdy, I think.)

And eventually, the better part of 24 hours later, became this:

The doors were cardstock sponged with Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain and Brushed Corduroy, then overstamped in Walnut Stain with a stamp I am SURE Shimelle designed, a wood grain.  It matches up beautifully left to right, so I stamped it top and bottom, then masked that and stamped in the middle and attached the bands over it to hid the join.  The grungeboard hinges are done with Tim’s Distress embossing and ink, as in his Compendium.

I cannot seem to stay away from those teeny tiny letters LOL!

The inside surround is inked with Fired Brick and Walnut Stain then stamped with the brickwork stamp from Tim then embossed with Distress Powder for a suitable brick-y, crumbly effect.  It turned out better than I imagined it would.

The backdrop is Stormy Sky and Broken China, with touches of Weathered Wood and an ancient (dated 1992!) stamp From Stamp In The Hand and a little cloud from Stampa Barbara – they were stamped with Versamark and embossed white.  The sun is a bit of an image from, I think, Zettiology, but as it’s unmounted I can’t be sure.  It could be Paper Artsy. And of course a Stampotique stamp.

I wanted a real cacophony of flowers, so you got a massive burst of colour when you open the doors.  They all sit on am accordion folded bit at the bottom so you get layers of flowers and it’s not just flat.


WOYWW 9 June 2010

Blazingly fast with an edit later perhaps, as I have a manic day ahead.  Started last night and added the final touch while waiting for the kids to get moving – DS has his last exam today – I got some Tim Holtz Texture Fades in the mail yesterday and had a play.

I watched Tim’s video series about the Alterations, and decided I would cut up the packaging and test out his comment about embossing on it.

It DOES give a bit of a frosted effect and I think I will be having a further play with this.  I made a super-quick ATC from the small sample:

And on white so you can see it better

Must dash out the door! When I get back I’ll dash over to check out your desk!


ATCs – done!

I was rummaging recently and unearthed a bit of stuff that I bought a while back, spurred on by a fantastic layout my mate Debbie (previously of Scrap Magic and the Scrapmanic crops) did using the stuff.  It’s a bendable metal garland designed to curve around a light.

I have it in both silver and gold, but picked the gold for these.  I adhered it with Glossy Accents, and it did show a bit more than I had hoped but I was able to buff off most of the worst of it.

Here they are

Of course now they are done I’m not exactly sure what to do with them LOL!