Old blog posts and when they spark an idea

I had a comment and a flurry of hits on an old post about adding gilding flakes to embossing paste. You can read it here. Sometimes, I forget something I blogged about years ago, and follow a link back to my own blog to see what I said. Old age is creeping in, but at least I recognize it was ME that said it, so it could be worse!

That idea totally sparked the idea to use something else I realized I have quite a lot of an nearly never use. Embossing powders. I have a drawer full of them:

And I found it interesting that some of them still have a price tag on them!

MJD – or MJ Designs, was owned by one of some number of brothers (three, I think, one owned Micheal’s, maybe still does!) and went out of business in 2003 – the price tag is dated 1997! At least one of the other pots still had the shrinkwrap on it. DOH! I painted the page with some watery acrylic paint in pinks and blues, pale colours made paler by watering them down and NOT colours I would usually pick. Hummm. seems I added the blue after the modelling paste and embossing. Whatever. Here is a process shot – I didn’t do a very good job of capturing every step this page.

I picked two colours, a Claret Tapestry and a Worn Lipstick Distress powder – they work well together, I think

I found it a challenge to know when they had embossed, given they don’t go SHINY per se, but you can just see the change in a ray of light:

THEN I added the pale blue and lots of water. The embossing resists the paint but it pools a bit in the craters and valleys of the embossing.

More water spray, some drippage, and un-filmed steps of background stamping…. Will do better.

I found a stamp with a quote I liked (stamp by Teesha, quote by Andy Warhol) and stamped then embossed it (in for a penny….) and dulled the extreme shine slightly by brushing matte gel medium over it, which worked better than I thought it might.

I stamped another Teesha image, and puled together some of the black embellishments from my vintage box of yesterday and eventually got to here:

I love the double circle stamp, which is the roll from the tape I used when wrapping Christmas presents! Quite glad I noticed it’s uniqueness before I binned it LOL! A close up:

The attribution to Warhol was on the stamp but when embossed it turned into a block of shiny black. Oh well. I will go back and add a date stamp – I have one, I used to do it on every page, but lately I have been forgetting. I really love this page, despite it being in colours I wouldn’t normally use. I am totally going to figure out how to pry off that slightly wonky don’t and re-set it! It’s buggin’ me.

30 hours to go, give or take. WOYWW tomorrow!

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Unearthed art!

Another brain dump, I’m afraid. I’ll share the unearthed art first then you can skip the blather if you like.

I was working on a page, which I thought I had a clear vision for, but it went haywire. I pulled out a box marked VINTAGE on the side and flipped open the lid to find:

I suppose you might think that the little piece in the upper right corner of the box was also unearthed art, and I would agree. It has been set aside for a jump-start for another page! But the real surprise was this piece:

What a surprise it was! I don’t even remember when I made it – It would have had to have been for one of the Stampotique Challenges I am sure, and maybe even a cross-challenge with Graphics Fairy. I could go back and do the research, but won’t. Suffice it to say that it was a LONG time ago.

Once I got over the surprise of finding not one, but TWO completed pieces of art in a random box from my shelves, I started to delve a bit deeper. It was all just overwhelmingly…..brown.

Don’t get me wrong – there was a lot of nice stuff in there, some bits and pieces I 100% know I can use in my journal, but the brown-ness was not fitting my vision of the page. I also found some stuff that surprised me.

There was a fair bit of empty packaging. These are all the cardboard sheets that various embossing folders came packaged with. The colours of the top one and those pinks matched the page I was working on to a T. I wonder how many of the companies represented in this pile o’ stash are still in business? Sorting thru the box, I finally came to a pile of kinda-vintage but not-brown things that I think will work.

And how about that very cool Book Depository free bookmark? Love the imagery on that and I think it could also be a focal point on a new page too! But first I have to finish the page I am working on NOW. And then, if we can make it thru the next 55 hours or so, I can FINALLY finish my Good as Hell page. I really would have liked to add it on WOYWW day but I just cannot take the chance jumping the gun will call down bad karma on the whole thing. I just pray for, finally, a peaceful transfer of power, and look forward to waving BYE, DON! and HELLO JOE!


Some DIY samples (Decorate it Yourself calendars)

OK, well I had hoped I could get all 12 done, but we had a bit of a family day yesterday and I only managed a handful.  Some of them are things I already mentioned.


I have a few favourites.  The simple collage on March is one.


I really like the wrapped baker’s twine with tag for November and the inking+stenciling+stamping on January (even if I worked on it with wet hair from the shower and I smudged a bit of the A.



and the Washi-tape chaos on April and faux Letterpress with an inked embossing folder on February


You can just see the MAY, with a chunk of patterned paper filling the gap, there at the back.

The point is it is pretty easy to tie your calendar blocks in with your PL page with not a lot of work.  So go ahead and grab them here and then show me what you do with them……



Fishy printables

I am having some power issues at the house lately.  We’ve lost power a few times this week, and the last time we did, bringing back the Mac was harder than it should have been.  DH is going to do another full back-up, despite the fact that as a Sunday, and Father’s day on top of that, Tech Support (he tells me) is closed.  LOL!

Looking to tidy up my disc, I found this set of printables that I had originally planned to add before Father’s day, cause I thought they might be cute as card toppers.  They are sized for Project Life at 3 x 4/4 x 3, but if you print 2 images per page then you can get the size down to 2 1/4 x just under 3 inches.  That size may be useful on a layout, for example. Actually, originally they had just the fatter fish images (this one and this one) from The Graphics Fairy, but I saw these new ones this week and had to incorporate them. I just couldn’t manage it without power.

fishplayJust a one page PDF, 5 cards.



SDC 16 – Vintage, and more dominos done!

I’m later than I usually am for the Stampotique Designers Challenge.  As usual, I knew what I wanted to do but finding just the right vintage Halloween image to work with was a bit tricky.  The problem with stamps is they are the size that they are.  I needed to find something that “fit” any of the Stampotique heads that I had.  I found the image here.  It needed a bit of editing because Rocky was a little bit smaller than the pumpkin head, and getting him to fit “right” (so the knife didn’t obscure too much of his face) took some fiddling.

I stamped spidey first on card and then on acetate, because I wasn’t confident I could precisely cut the spindly legs and have them still look good and be able to secure them to the card, especially if I pop-dotted the body.  I knew they would get damaged going in and out of the envelope!

I overlaid the body on the acetate image and that made him much stronger. No vintage in the brown and cream sense, but vintage nonetheless.  And for me, it’s all about the giggle.  Perhaps too gruesome?  I don’t think so, but then I like Dexter, and if serial-killer-as-hero isn’t too much for me, this card isn’t going to be.  I wouldn’t send it to a kid, obviously, but I do have a few friends who would get it and smile.

I’m making progress on the dominos – just a handful of images left to colour and cut now. Lordy, but it does take some time.  And given the cheap-ass dominos are not standard size-wise, the cutting of the background bits is more challenging than it should be!  I expect I will finish them in the next couple of days.  Here’s an update:

It was working with all the disembodied heads that sparked off the card idea.  I do so love it when your creativity feeds off itself, rather than always needing to look elsewhere for inspiration.

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Today, another download spot for vintage goodies. The site is Vintage Stampers Freebies and they have some fab images:

or if you prefer a more soft and sweet style:

They also have lovely background papers so it’s well worth a little meander thru the older posts and maybe even a bookmark if you use this sort of thing often.

Have fun! and Happy Sunday to you all….


Having a play with tissue paper

OK, well this is totally a flying visit, but I wanted to make a post before the rest of my day is taken up with THIS:

You know some days there is so much creativity swirling around in your brain, but, like a blender with the top left off, you never know what is going to come flying out, and in what combo? I think I had a fair few things “blending” – some You Tube videos on making backgrounds with paint and ink, an ATC with an old sewing pattern on it, the fact I have used my iron so much recently, and oh yes, reading an issue of Craft Stamper (which I am liking quite a lot, actually) that had some ATCs and a new swap for a bookmark (not that I will be making a bookmark, but the ATCs were fab)

Now I have only made about 3 or 4 ATCs ever, and while they intrigue me I’ve not really pursued them at all. BUT, one of the term break tasks was tacking DSs room (or getting him to, in the breaks between studying Math and Physics) and one thing that was unearthed was a HUGE number of Pokemon cards (I mean like a 12 x 24 x 12 deep wicker trunk full of them) I couldn’t bear tossing them in the bin, and THOUGHT I had read SOMEWHERE that ATCs were the size of these cards (do please correct me if you know, but I will research it before even considering taking tis any further – I’m impulsive, but not likely to dash off and make 20 ATCs in all the wrong sizes LOL!) While wandering out in the early AM to take a few photos of atmospheric scenes and lighting for another idea I had, it hit me like a bolt that printing vintage images onto tissue paper (sewing pattern) might be cool. So it is now 8:20 AM and the idea has come to fruition.

A warning:  Know your printer.  I know my printer can handle this sort of thing.  If yours can’t or you don’t want to risk an expensive replacement, don’t try this!  I have an Epson Photo 1400.

You need tissue paper and Freezer paper (and I’ve seen this at Hobby Craft now so not so hard to find in the UK as it once was) and your iron

Iron the tissue paper on to the freezer paper, and trim to A4 size to fit your printer

Go to some Vintage Image site – these images are from this site.

Arrange the images in whatever image processing software you use, Photoshop or PSP or some Windows program, to fit on your A4 sheet

Put the tissue-paper covered freezer paper in your printer and print – I use the Epson Archival Matt setting on mine.

I iron over the printed image just to heat set the ink

Now the tricky part.  Make sure it is cool then gently, slowly peel the tissue paper off the freezer paper.

Now you have a nice, sheer image that you can crumple and Mod Podge to anything.

Def. something I will play with further, including printing photos this way.

Have fun with it.  I’ll be singing along to HSM3 with two teen girls this afternoon so my creativity will have to be put on hold for a bit.  Don’tcha HATE that?

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Just a quick one today, perhaps useful for digital scrappers moreso than paper ones, although no reason you can’t print the results and use them that way. The Catalog Card creator creates, you guessed it, library catalog cards.

You fill in the info and generate the card then save it (instructions in the blurb) I like the little scribbled info and the aged lool of it.  Might be a fun thing to use for a journaling spot or as a tag in a mini-album (maybe a “favourite books” one!) or a card topper.

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Humm – not entirely sure why this didn’t appear yesterday, as it should have, as I did try to post it, but we had some odd internet issues so maybe that got it caught up for a bit. But here it is, I hope, on Monday!

Mod Podge ROCKS! It does. I adore the stuff. And funnily enough so does someone named Amy, who has a blog by that name.

I love this project she blogged, which can be found at the original posting site I didn’t sign up for this. She uses old cereal cans (but I’m guessing any sort of smooth edged can or tin or bucket would work as well. How handy in the kitchen, says the woman who nearly pulls her window shelf off at least once a week because the kitchen-package-opening scissors are attached to it to keep the rest of the family from running off with them.

One of Amy’s own projects, this mixed media board, is more recent and fab – with a tutorial.

And I would love to make DS, the budding magician, who’s deft, sleight of hand card tricks amaze his mates, this bit of wall art, made from scanned and blown up vintage card decks, linked from Just Something I Made (which really should be a whole other SSE) which has a lik to download the images she used:

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Not exactly technological

cardbook…unless you consider paper engineering to be a technology! I am hugely inspired by Efemera Ink’s blog. She does lovely work and it all takes me off in 100 directions at once. Recently she did a couple of birds from an old (1973!) book called One Piece of Card. It is still available as a used book (previously upwards of £60 but seems to have dropped in price recently) and I scored one from Alibris UK, which sells ex-library books. The beauty of Alibris is they arrange the sale, and have the book shipped to them. They then ship to you and you only pay for that leg of the book’s journey. My copy came from a library in Oklahoma! Not only are the books (generally) cheaper but the shipping is as well. The book is just full of interesting models, with less info on construction than I would like, but with perseverance most can be figured out from the photos and the cut models.

Efemera’s samples are all very stamp-y and vintage-y, which I completely love, but although I was inspired by her work I did not want to simply rip it off. So I went a completely different way with my versions. Firstly, mine are bigger. Hers are cut from an A4 and my templates are bigger, fitting a 12×12 piece of cardstock. Mine are less vintage and a bit more OTT, and I focused on bird/flying/wings related quotes and have some oddball extras (like the little monk trimming the pink bird’s wings and in an as yet unfinished version, a little skeleton holding the world) They are endless fun to make and plenty of leeway to experiment with technique, colour, and”meaning”

Here are a couple of my own versions. The first one is very colourful, with a transparency over some fab B&W paper – I added some silver details and a bit of bling for fun. The second one is a bit more towards the “vintage” end of the spectrum and uses one of my favourite embellishments/details, a little pointing hand dingbat. I love these so much I will probably do a post on them listing all my versions some day.

birdfromEI2 pinkbird1_2