Bathtub Marci? SDC 97

It seems that I only join in with the Stampotique Challenge when I see the challenge and have an immediate idea for it that I think will be cool.  This little project actually started out as a traditional Bathtub Mary shrine but morphed into Marci when I spotted the challenge on the SDC blog! Not one to do things by halves, despite me always saying how lazy I am, I cut three of the images of Marci – I think that satisfies the challenge…

When I was thinking of the usual Bathtub Mary a couple of weeks ago, I had picked up a couple of little paper boxes from HobbyCraft – one was actually a flip-flop, the other a plain rectangle that fit the flip-flop inside – you see, these Mary’s are made from an old bathtub, partially submerged in the ground, with a stature of (usually, but sometimes Jesus or another saint) Mary placed inside.  I wanted the bathtub shape to be able to be “submerged” in the box. I tried to convince DH to swing by the local Catholic church last week when we were out and about, to get one of those little dashboard statues, but no luck there.  Then on Saturday, when I was literally RIGHT THERE (twice!) I forgot all about it.  Good thing too or I might never have gotten to this version.


I snipped off the flip-flop part and used the lid, as it was a little more shallow, and seemed to work better than the quite deep base of the box.


I painted it white, inside and out, and then gave it a coat of Mod Podge, so it looked a bit more like porcelain.  I cut a thick slit-like hole in the lid of the box and sponged some green paint all over the lid and the box base.

I stamped Marci three times, and coloured her in with my Copics, all identical.  I chose as close to the Virgin Mary blues as I could find.   Then I cut her out – one with a border of white, which pretty much disappears against the white of the “tub” and two partial-cut ones, right along the edge.  I layered them, as in decoupage (in the UK-cardmaking sense, not the glueing paper sense!) so I had a bit of a 3D version of her.  I used the tiniest foam pads imaginable to stack the images.

bathtubmarci3 bathtubmarci4

I had to fight with the garage door to get to some train model-stuff that I swear we have been hauling around with us, back and forth across the Atlantic, since DS was about 3 or 4 (He’s 20 now!) That is the grass on the box, and fills the bottom of the tub, so it really looks submerged. A few paper flowers (although traditionally Mary is surrounded by cheap plastic flowers, I do have SOME standards) and a little cross at the top finishes her off …


Maybe you can see how she is stacked up in this shot?


…and a little plaque which I made by finally dragging out the metal dies to stamp (letter by tiny letter) her name.


I just love her, if I’m honest.  She makes me smile every time my eye falls on her, sitting on my desk. Hope you like her too.


ATC samples

I am still playing with placement, fonts, etc for my WOYWW ATCs.  I made a few samples. I actually like all of these fonts, and can’t really decide between them


I also wanted to test out the chalkboard-backer to see how I liked it.  I think it ends up being dependant on having a good white pen! I did a more plain text version, as I thought the “handwritten” font would conflict with my OWN handwriting.  I think I may use it.


Now people who make ATCs a LOT can answer a question – on the series idea.  If you say 1 of 5, 2 of 5, etc.  does that imply that all in the series are EXACTLY the same?  Would they be originals (i.e. 1 of 1) if there were only slight variations, like among these?  I have no idea.  And a question on the backer – do you prefer them to be the EXACT size of the card or slightly smaller?  I made this one slightly smaller, then wanted to make sure I covered the machine stitching so I had to shift it too far to the left for it to be centred. DOH!  So before I print a whole sheet of them I have to decide.  I’m happy to decide to make them slightly smaller, but if I were to share them as a download, it’d be better the know what those who might like them would do!  I guess if I made them exactly to fit, then you can always trim them smaller. so maybe that decision is already made LOL!

Off to a meeting, ho-hum…..


Making progress!

I’ve managed to finish up the chili clock – really happy with how it turned out.


The quote is (supposedly) from Kit Carson – his lasts words, and clearly the perfect quote, as it mentions both TIME and CHILI!


I am loving the UTEE embossing.  I left a sort of pebble-y finish on some of them which gives a more textured look, I think.  That, and the three different sizes of chilis keep it from all looking to flat.  I did do the smaller green ones and added all the numbers, which I think I prefer.  I am undecided if I want to add just a few more – leaving SOME of the background peeping through helps the illusion the whole thing is just a big pile of chilis, and I’m not sure if filling in will take that away.  Like many things, I think I will live with it on my desk for a little while and then decide.

The image is from The Graphics Fairy.  I downloaded it ages ago, with the idea of using it when making the booth sign for DH and his chili cook-offs this year, but haven’t needed it yet.  When he mentioned me making a chili clock last week, it was nice to say I have the perfect image for that! and open it up to show him.

Other progress:  I cut the sashing strips to join the long panels of the quilt.  I knew it was going to be tight to be able to use the same brown as the backing, but just HOW TIGHT I didn’t know.  Check it out:


Yep.  Those are the three strips all cut, and that teeny tiny little pile of debris is what is left.  That was really cutting it close to the bone! Now I just need to decide on the binding and the back sashing.  I have two greens I am auditioning, one which is enough for the sashing, but I am pretty sure NOT for the binding.  I think I may prefer that one, which sucks, as I bought it as an end of the bolt for like £3 per metre and I suspect there is little chance of getting more.  Always the way…

chalkatcAnd I’ve been playing with my program to see if I could achieve something like the blackboard effect that seems to be EVERYWHERE at the moment.  I could do it in Photoshop but I’m more interested in seeing if I can do it in Intaglio.  Sort of.  I discovered a whole new menu that I haven’t ever played with at all, using Corelimage. Lots of nifty things to explore.   The text is too crisp and clear, but overall it’s interesting.  More play needed, I think. And it occurs to me that having a black ATC-backer that requires you to add the info in white pen might not actually be useful at all.  So I may abandon it for this little project, and wait for a better application of it.


WIP for the week – so much in progress!

I have been mad crazy busy, and not entirely down to crafty things, so I thought I would do a little wrap-up of works in progress, some shared, some not. A mix of papercraft and quilting.  Going back to the oldest thing, is this little quilt.  I was playing around with the Jelly Roll Race idea, of sewing all the strips in one long line, then matching the ends, and sewing, halving the length and doubling the width with each seam.  Google it, it’s well-known.  I thought Humm – I have the 4 or 5 fat quarters, I wonder what would happen if I used them, in fatter “strips? Not a total success, the blocks of colour were too large. I might experiment with alternate rotating of the FQs, first sewing them slightly shorter side to slightly longer side, to vary the way the patches match up, IYKWIM, for the next attempt.


I experimented with hacking it up and re-sewing it back together in different ways, then finally hacked it in to large squares, maybe 12 x 12, with the goal of having the most interesting mix of bits in each block.  I sliced THEM, inserting strips of super bright solids, and a bit of a B&W dotty scrap, did sone framing of the randomly sized bits, then laid it all out and joined in rows or blocks.  It was all a bit of a puzzle,  but I ended up quite liking the result.  I added some sashing and backed it with that cheetah print fleece that I mentioned once having NO IDEA what I might use it for.  I then experimented with BIG STITCH quilting with some high contrast, for each block, pearle cotton.  It’s appealing to me, but clearly my BIG STITCHES need some uniformity, although I actually LIKE the very rustic and almost childlike look of the imperfect stitches. Or at least that’s what I tell myself LOL!


So then I started quilting that other dotty one, using the CM circle cutter as a template.  Stitches getting better, more uniform, but still not there yet.  They get better towards the end of a long session, then by the next session, they get a bit less precise.


Like it on the front, but REALLY like it on the back! Those circles really POP.


I also have on the go the LARGE one that I posted last week – that one is my first serious attempt at machine quilting,  Straight lines all of them, but that’s OK.  Three of the four long panels are pieced and quilted and trimmed – they will eventually be joined into a whole piece using the QAYG joining.  I find the long panels straddle the line between QAYG and full-on free-motion machine quilting, in the sense that they still need to be manipulated thru the machine, but are not as cumbersome as a full pieced top would be.  I consider it a sort of intermediate step. This is a slightly earlier stage, with only two of them quilted and only one trimmed.  Still playing around with the placement and orientation of the bias colour block strips, as I let it grow fairly organically, with no real plan when I began, except it was going to be sliced and the color blocks inserted with the alternating light/dark areas.  I think of it as my Escalator quilt LOL!


The chili clock has moved on a lot too!  I have been using UTEE (thanks to all commenters who suggested that) to emboss the chilis. and leaving it rather pebble-y, not super smooth.  I’ve added the ones I previously Glossy Accented as the bottom layer, around the edges, so I can still USE them rather than cut a whole load more and re-do them.  I also did two more sets in two different sizes, so I can fill the whole surround, more or less. I also did the numbers (just the four) on green chilis and MAY decide to do the rest of the numbers, slightly smaller, as well.  Just the centre to sort out! Here’s the progress shot. Nothing except the edging of peppers around the black frame is stuck down so it’s all a bit of a mess at the moment:


I am determined to sort it fully over the weekend.

My last WIP is the ATC play for WOYWW.  I think I have decided on a plan of action.  I’ll do ONE that is unique, that is for the person for the “official” swap (i.e the person above or below me, whichever it is) and then as many as I feel like making that will be earmarked for those WOYWWers who want to swap additional ATCs outside the official one that I know/follow.  I may also do a handful that will be for people who want to swap but who are not ones that I manage to get to every week.  This is the one for people I follow, or at least the germ of the idea – I think you can guess where it’s going.  Gelli prints come in to play, the background on card, the topper on deli paper:


Just two more bits LOL! First, I thought I would repost the printable I did ages ago, of ATC backers.  If they appeal and you can use them, do feel free to grab them.


I am sort of planning to update them – I want to look at a few more to make sure I’ve included all the usual info (Title, card series info, date made, email or address, and a signature on this one – am I missing anything??) and maybe update the font and colours.  I really like the title of ATC by Me so will probably stick with that.  I have an idea using my current pattern obsession (can you guess what it is?) but not 100% sure it will work like I want it to.

Last, finally, is a bit of software.  DH pointed me in the direction of this nifty little thing – called TextExpander.  Mac only, I’m afraid, but there may be a comparable PC thing, I don’t know.  Anyway, this week I was so late, doing my WOYWW visits and struggled with stuff that kept getting in my way on the day.  I was determined to at the very least visit anyone who visited ME and left a comment and then try to hit as many of the blogs that are people I know or think of as ones I “follow.” Now I know the whole copy/paste of the same generic comment in every blog (Nice desk with no indication the post was actually read) is not looked on favourably by some, and I have never done that, but I did want to note my lateness but NOT have to copy that into the comments section, then either type or copy and paste my blog name in a two-step process – since I don’t use Blogger or Google blogging, I always have to select Open ID and WordPress and fill in that info then submit and publish (for every comment!) What TextExpander does is let me type a snippet of text and assign it an abbreviation.  Then, every time I type that abbreviation, I get a little BLOOP noise and the text replaces the abbreviation.  Magic.  The abbreviation has to be something you aren’t going to type on its own (like WOYWW wouldn’t work, but for me, w late (all one word) gets replaced with this:
Happy WOYWW!

MA (8) (so very late this week!)

Then I can have my blog name stored in my command+P (paste) and both sign my comment and fill in my blog info in two strokes.  Normally I even type my “signature” and Happy WOYWW! every time, so this lets me spend MORE time reading the post and focusing on the content of the comment, rather than the generic stuff. If you have a Mac, check it out – there is a trial download.  If you are on a PC and know a way to do this, feel free to comment so others can see.  In just a day or two I have already found it massively useful for a number of things.

Good lord, that got way longer than I planned!  I’ll  hope to get the clock sorted and post the final at some point over the weekend. Thanks for sticking with me if you managed to read ALLLL the bits.  Kudos to you if you did!


WOYWW 203 – a different clock

DH actually liked my Gelli clock.  He finds the ticking comforting. He tweeted it, silly man.  Then he asked me if I would make one with a chili theme for as gift. That’s what’s on my desk today for WOYWW.

I’ve printed the vintage chili pepper image loads of times then coloured it to give it a much brighter, more intense look.


Am I the only one who finds cutting out relaxing?  I’ll bet not!


Now I could use a tip for brushing on Glossy Accents so it looks smooth, without seeing the brush strokes.  I don’t have nearly enough to flood it over all those chilis and I need to do another sheet of them as well, but paint brush or foam brush, the stokes are obvious and it’s not the look I want.


Different sort of clock, one I bought like 5 years ago and never completed, but I think I can make it work – IF I can get the Glossy Accent smooth!  I may bail on it and go with my matte Mod Podge, as that looks better to my eye even if it isn’t shiny.  Or maybe clear embossing?  I have a ton of embossing powder so I may do that in the end.  Have a happy WOYWW!!




Gelli clock – improvement!

So after I made my Gelli clock, I installed it in the lounge.  Two immediate problems presented themselves – one, the TICKING, OMG THE TICKING.  It is SO LOUD.  As someone who really, really hates sounds like humming, whistling (especially tunelessly) or any rhythmic, repeated noises, like tapping of feet or jangling of keys, this is driving me INSANE.  No way to fix that.  But problem two, the difficulty in seeing the black hands over the highly patterned face of the clock…that I can fix.

I cut a sort of arrow shape from a spare Gelli print.  This was on fairly heavy card, so slightly rigid, but not too heavy.  I feared the extra weight on the hands might impede their proper working.


I lined the edges with a black pen, just hoping to add some additional contrast.Then I stuck them to the existing hands – temporarily, while I test to check the timekeeping.


I installed them.  The only thing to make sure of is that the second hand clears the minute hand, and the minute hand clears the hour hand – you may need to very slight bend them to make sure of that.


I think you will agree this is going to be FAR EASIER to see, late at night, in a semi-darkened room where the TV and one small lamp are the only lights.


It’s been running for a little while and SO FAR. the clock on the wall and the Gelli clock (and the clock on my Mac) seem to all be in sync.  The hands have made multiple revolutions and they are positioned correctly so they don’t interfere with each other.

I am tempted to replace the clock mechanism with a quieter one, however.  As it stand now I suspect it will have the battery taken out and go in a box.  Shame, as I like the look of it, esp. with the improvement, but honestly I would surely check it before yo go to the trouble to make one to see if the ticking, esp. in a quiet room, will make you crazy.  I keep thinking it will fade into the background but I am now far too aware of the passage of time – and at my age, this is NOT a good thing LOL!


ATC Play

I am re-visiting something I did a while back, using inks and stamps of Tee Shirt Transfer paper, as one of my (many) experiments in preparation for the WOYWW anniversary ATC swap.  I am hoping that whoever ends up above me (or is it below me? DOH!) on the list will not see this, or if they do they will at least know this is only one of the things I am playing with and it is by no means my final design – or, in fact, if I will offer all my experiments as available for swapping.  I just don;t know at this point.  I may make a handful of one design and offer them, I may just make one (I did that last year) as I have been testing out LOADS of ideas, some which ended up in final ATCs, some which were only good for the bin.  In any case it’s still more than a week away so plenty of time to try out one or two more ideas.  But I must say I DO like this one a lot.

Using my all time favourite image from The Graphics Fairy, and gosh, I forget, but I think I DID use her last year too, so if I used her AGAIN, it would become a trend/ritual/habit, which I am not opposed to.  The whole POINT of WOYWW is to look at desks all across the world and see what others are working on.  So the Quirky Lady seems entirely appropriate, given that she is looking across a great distance at SOMETHING interesting.

Anyway, what I did was printed the lady on to Tee shirt Transfer paper.  This version is one where you iron it on flipped, so all text needs to be reversed to read right.  The superimposed image is actually a mask.


I started by smudging my Distress Ink on the background, using the mask to keep the lady white.


With the mask still in place I stamped, with Archival ink, on the background.


It will become clear the photos don’t show my final ATC because I ended up not liking the font I picked for the text.  It was not readable enough in such a small size.

Once I had decorated the whole bit of transfer paper, and I ended up with a piece that was about 2 x 3, so just smaller than an ATC sized card, I ironed it on to the fabric.  I glued THAT to the ATC blank and stitched around the main block.


Because the fabric I was using was very loosely woven, the edges, even with the glue, dis fray a bit,  so it was, as it so often is, Washi Tape to the rescue! I think it finished it off nicely.


I hope you can see the texture of the fabric and the stitching in this photo.


The only thing that I am not totally happy with is THIS tee-shirt transfer paper allowed too much of the fabric colour to show thru.  She has a slightly sickly green complexion, where the  other paper I have, where you peel off the transfer and iron it on, right way round, comes out with true WHITE where I masked.  Not sure if I will try other fabric or not.  White fabric will still show all the inking and stamping while leaving the lady white, so I will have to play around a bit more then decide.

Noted: It seems I never shared my ATC from last year, I left it up to the person I sent it to for the swap to do it, so until I figure out who that was and check HER blog I won’t know.  DOH!

Leave a comment

A quilt for ME!

Having done enough smaller quilts for LillyBo (although still not delivered them yet! I keep saying I have to make the bags! but can’t set aside all the stuff I am ENJOYING to do it.  I will, I will, soon) I had an idea so I just sort of went with it.  That is my way…

Anyway, I don’t know if this qualifies as a MODERN QUILT – I think it does –  but it has elements of QAYG, free-form piecing (only in that I am beginning with no pattern, making it up as I go along) and I am having a go at machine quilting, albeit using the feed dogs up and the walking foot – free-MOTION quilting I think I am still a way off from.


Basically, I am using some fabric I unearthed, pretty sure it is from some of DDs “ethnic” dolls.  As I’ve said before, row after row of peachy white faces didn’t appeal to her – she wanted Chinese dolls, Afro-Carribean dolls, Asian dolls….. I have NO IDEA why I bought the khaki colour.  I simply cannot think why I would.  Anyway I have a huge chunk of it (maybe destined for a backing at some point when I flirted with quilting in the past?) and it works with the beige and the bright strips, I think.

My method is this:  I am slashing the long strips of fabric, on a 45 degree angle, and inserting the strips of multicoloured fabrics to create the angled lines. I am finding in fiendishly difficult to make the side seams perfectly aligned!  Try tho’ I may, they always seem to be just that little bit off.  I am going slow, taking care of the seam allowance (I used an index card with a 1/4 inch line to position the needle to ensure I am keeping the 1/4 inch seam allowance – read that trick SOMEPLACE and it’s a good one), taking note of the bias nature of the seams, and making sure I am aware of the action of the feed dogs pulling the top fabric at a different rate than the bottom so I am stitching with the right fabric top or bottom. And they still don’t match up perfectly.  Grrr.

The QAYG idea I have adapted to fit my needs.  I am sewing the long strips then doing the quilting so I am dealing with only a small bit of fabric thru the machine at a time.  Maybe you can see the pattern in this shot?  The angles are sort of concentric lines into the middle and the straight bits (where I have two colourful strips close together, going at the same angle) are…straight lines.


I am loving how it is turning out, but I do wish I could work out so the sides line up perfectly when I insert the strip!  The strips are about 2.5 inches wide, and mostly I have been looking at asterisk quilt blocks for guidance but they tend to end with squaring up the block, which I don’t really want to have to do with the long strips, and lose too much of the width.

Once I have the long strips pieced and quilted, my plan is to join then with long sashing just between the columns, in the QAYG style, using the SAME fabric for the sashing on the back so it LOOKS like one continuous piece of fabric, rather than a contrasting colour – but I may still change my mind on THAT – I joined Craftsy and got a free class on pieced backings when I did so I will watch that and see if making the backing with a pattern to it appeals to me more.

Now, I have to await delivery of 505 quilt basting spray as finding it at a local shop has proved impossible.  So I’ll carry on piecing and then see where this goes.  I am also still working on two different quilts with big-stitch hand-quilting but that is proving difficult to find time for.  I have high hopes for the long trip to skating tomorrow when I know I will have a good 90 minutes of travel time, at least, and provided I am not piercing my fingers with every stitch in the bumpy car, I should make some progress.

Oh, and the Tando clock – be warned!  I def. need to highlight the hands to make them stand out better from a distance, and OMG the TICKING!  It is soooooo LOUD.  Honestly, I can hear it over the TV.  If you like a silent clock this is not the thing for you LOL!


Painterly rosettes – with the Geli plate

I was thinking about this idea but needed to work out the best way to get a long enough strip with the 6 x 6 plate.  It finally occurred to me that as the rosette is folded, printing 1/2 the plate on one edge and the other half in a line, would work fine.  You don’t really NEED to have a continuous print with no obvious join or overlap, as the folding is going to disguise it anyway!


You can see the top edge of the paper there above, where I sliced off the 1 1/2 inch strip to score and fold the rosette.  I’ve run out of the pre-cut Tim Holtz die rosettes that Julia very kindly brought me when she lent me the die, but I see no reason you couldn’t cut them, then print on the cut rosettes with the Gelli plate and then fold them.  I did it old school, with a scoreboard. Pretty, hummm?


I would think this would be a good use for prints where you like the colour but the pattern you are less keen on, if you had the bigger plate and didn’t have to intentionally 1/2 print along the edge to get enough length.

I also think that you could use the word strips that I have shared before to print on the Gelli print with your printer.  I already know printing works, as I did that here on the Gellibird:


and I am sure the word rosettes would work fine.  I can see it looking good on a clean-up print, where the colour of the print is painterly but quite light so the words really show.  It looks fine on patterned paper, so I am confident it will work!


No time to give it a go at the moment, but when I do experiment, I’ll be sure to at least add a photo.

A couple of tips: First, make darn sure your print is DRY.  If you are using a scoreboard, score on the BACK of the print – the bone folder might chip off the paint if you score too deeply or your scoring tool has quite a sharp edge.  Scoring the back will make no difference to the folding.  I would also suggest thinner paper.  This is using the Staples Text and Graphics paper (dirt cheap for a ream of 500 – maybe £6) which is I think about 125 GSM.  Thicker and the rosettes will score and fold less easily.

The thing is, while I just LOVE printing with the plate, I quickly amass piles and piles of prints and since I don’t really art journal and I don’t really collage, I kinda have to figure out a way to use them that fits the kind of stuff that I DO do.  This would look very pretty on a card front, with a Gelli print background in lighter colours, would look pretty hung up by twine in the window – a bunch of them would look even better – and is thin enough that it would work on something like my Gelliprint paper bag book or on a layout or for a rosette wreath.

Basically I think you can pretty much use a Gelli print as a substitute for patterned paper, for just a more “arty” look! I have one or two ideas to test out in addition to the printed word rosettes so watch this space!



Gelli clock DONE!

I finished up the Tando clock, using Gelli printing, and am really pleased with the results.  I found a nice SVG of a variety of gears that I was able to cut with the Cricut using SCAL. as I THOUGHT I had a gears die and didn’t.  Typical.

I cut them from black card and used the Gelli plate to print on them.  Same basic colours as the clock-face, so I used gold to highlight rather than copper, just cause I think the gold works better with the grassy greens while copper would work better with more verdigris (personal preference, I guess).  I fit almost all of the gears on the plate at once! Just laid over another print so I could press down and got the pattern as a second layer on that.  Two for one!


I’ve been considering adding more gears, maybe mixing in some of the other colours from the rug we have in the room this will live in, but not sure.  All the gears are stuck with Hermafix at the moment, till I live with it for a bit to see if it is too chaotic to be functional (i.e. can the clock be read at a distance, as busy as it is?)


I think it should be OK, but I feel more comfortable living with it for a bit, just to be sure! I think I MIGHT want to paint the hands white or something, although it IS easier to see in real life than it shows in the photo.


It was fun – I would def. do another.