Hello my blogging friends, and, once again, apologies for being awol for a week or more. It's been an especially busy time with shows and demonstrations on the work front and other activities also taking up my time.
As promised, here is a photo of the cute tags that Diane added to the two bags of cat treats that she gave me for T&T when I was down at A Maze of Memories a week or so back..........each tag has a little cat image and a different poem inside. As you can see, Tara wanted to get in on the act.......
.....thanks again Diane - once they've finished all the treats I will be carefully removing the tags and adding them to my Doo Lally display area.
Last Saturday I was back at Coleman's Craft Warehouse in Rushden, Northamptonshire, which is a huuuge store, crammed full of goodies. I didn't take my camera as I was already loaded up and, going off last time I was there, I knew I'd probably not have time to take any pictures anyway! Thank you to all the staff for, once again, looking after all the demonstrators so well (teas and coffees on tap and sandwiches in the fridge!) and to everyone who came along to watch....and spend! It was another really fun day and, hopefully, I'll be back in the Spring.
This Wednesday I was at Inspirations in Preston, so hello to everyone who I met there. Once again, myself and the other demonstrators were really well looked after (it does make a difference!) and I had plenty of space to work which is always a bonus....
Here are some of the things I got up to on the day.....
.....as ever, when I take photos at a demonstration, the background is usually my grubby craft sheet, so not the most beautifully presented image! Anyway, I used one of the Steampunk snowmen from my Nicicles as Icicles stamp set to make a Christmas tag with a slightly Halloween feel....dangly spiders anyone?!
I made the tag background by dabbing Liquid Pearls onto the card using some scrunched up plastic bag (I usually just snip a bit off a carrier bag, but you can use cling film) and then drying the tag before blending Distress inks over the surface. This gives a shimmery effect and it's nice to use the Liquid Pearls in a different way.
I stamped the snowman onto the tag and separately onto white card....I'm not cutting round those fiddly arms for anyone, so I was able to cut them off the second image! I used a metallic gold pen to colour the arms on the tag, then coloured and cut out the second snowman before sticking him down. Some black gem spiders with webs and legs drawn with a fine black pen always add a nice touch! The snowy area is just scrunched tissue glued to the base with a wet glue and more glue squelched over the top to strenghen it - and to adhere some Rock Candy glitter to of course!
Here are two quite different effects using my Winter Silhouettes and Winter Critters stamp sets.....
.....The one on the left has a background made with my trademark faux bleaching technique using Distress inks and a water brush. I think I must have demonstrated this over a thousand times now, but I always get asked to do it again! The stag was inked up with a little Dusty Concord followed by a touch of Frayed Burlap Distress inks - just use one colour if you are a bit precious about keeping your ink pads absolutely pristine! I stamped him directly onto the card, resulting in a slightly two tone image...sometimes a silhoette image will come out slightly patchy, so just tickling it with the water brush will even everything out.
I stamped the sentiment in black and then overstamped it in Dusty Concord but ever so slightly to the above left to give a shadow effect - not too much or it will make your eyes go squiffy!
The card on the right has a much bolder look, created by the wonderful Goosebumps sprays. I used the clear (gloss) one on this one. I simply sprayed it over 300gsm white card and allowed it to dry for about ten minutes. It dries to a textural finish but is also a brilliant resist medium. Some Mustard Seed and Spiced Marmalade inks were blended just below centre and I then worked various blue and purple Distress inks in from the edges to create the snow filled sky. I used the old torn white card trick to create the snow drifts and then turned to heat resistant acetate to stamp the stag and also the trees from the Winter Critters set.
I stamped them with Archival black which won't dry on acetate unless given a quick blast of heat. I cut around the trees and added a couple of bits of black 3D foam behind the trunks before popping them in behind the "snow". The stag was trimmed out and then coated with glue (not the antlers) before adding Black Soot Distress Glitter. He was stuck to the foreground and I used a little Gesso to anchor his feet.
On the non-work front, I've been rehearsing my role as Camille the Camel again - this time for the Harvest service on Sunday, so it's a little sketch with two lugubrious camels discussing where their food comes from. The children at church love the puppets, but the adults also usually find something to smile about as well.
Last night was one of the rehearsals and, of course, the rain, which had held off all day whilst I was at home, decided to come down with a vengeance as soon as I set off to church! After the rehearsal I was then going to a WI meeting but had twenty minutes to spare, so I "treated" myself to a bag of chips for my very unhealthy but nice, dinner! The WI meeting was a visit from a local bee keeper so very interesting and, even though I thought I knew a lot about bees, I learned lots of new things about these fascinating creatures.
Everyone has a single raffle ticket on the night and mine was 999! I never win these things, but I did last night - it was either a box of chocs or the wine. I don't eat chocolate anymore, so it had to be the wine....I don't really drink either, but I'll force myself!
I'm all set now for my day at the Northern papercraft show where I'll be on the Ali Craft stand tomorrow. Hope to see lots of you there, so do say hello. It's going to be a busy day!
I'm really looking forward to next Thursday as I am going on a coach trip to York with others from church. We come under the Diocese of Blackburn and a new Bishop, Julian, has been elected and is being ordained on Thursday at York Minster. It's a wonderful opportunity to experience the full splendour of this magnificent building and will be a spine tingling ceremony I'm sure with the full choir and the service taken by the very charismatic Archbishop John Sentamu. Not sure if we're allowed to take any photos, but I'll take my camera just in case!
Well, I'd better get a shift on now, or there will be an empty space where I'm supposed to be tomorrow! Have a great weekend everyone.