Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions anyone?

I'm not a huge fan of New Year's Eve. I find it makes me quite melancholy, so I'm usually asleep way before midnight. New Year's Day, on the other hand, it a time for optimism and feeling positive about the clean sheet of a year stretching before us.

I'm also not really one for making resolutions, apart from a few half hearted ones that I've never kept. So this year, I'm making resolutions that I want to keep, and in crafting terms, that is making a stab at Art Journalling. It may not work for me, but I'm looing forward to having a decent bash at it. Oh, and I intend to sort my stamps out into some sort of order- bit of a cheat this one, as I've already got my husband working on building me a storage unit for them!!

So,any interesting resolutions out there in blogland?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Stampman's blog hop

I've been reading the Stampman's blog, and have started doing their Blog hop. Well worth a look, some fabulous candy on offer!! They also have an award to post on your own blog next to your favourite piece of crafting of the year. Soooo, here's mine!!!

Big surprise, it's an ATC!!! It was one of my first attempts at collage using lots of inks. It's so bright and vibrant and I love the lady's snooty expression.It's also got a bit of 3D with the little beads in the corner. It's the first ATC I ever kept for myself.

I'm quite surprised that this is my favourite- there were a few close runners up. the majority of my work is stamped. Looking back through my gallery though, this one stood out to me. I keep a gallery of my work on the Docrafts site- click here for a look.Search for Lisa Sparkle.

I'm off to continue my blog hop- take a look if you have time! Stampman blog.

Monday, December 21, 2009

In love with Gorjuss.....

I'm not normally one for really cute stamps, but I do love my Gorjuss girl holding a star...... whilst I had her out to make some Christmas cards, I thought I'd stamp a few extra images for birthdays I have coming up this month. Take a look, it's great to see how different one stamp can look just with different colours.

Of course, I have made a couple more Christmas cards too, but the Christmas stash is now firmly packed away until next year.

OK, so the last one was just to make sure you were paying attention. She's one of my Stampotique girls with a swirly background and a Christmas hat brad.

I think that may be my cutesy phase over for a while. I promise more arty stuff to come once Christmas is over and done......

Happy Christmas!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Ok, OK, I know I said I wouldn't be making any Christmas cards this year, but I caved..... I really didn't enjoy making so many last year, and laying off making them this year seems to have helped! Inspiration has struck and here's the results.

The stamp is a Gorjuss girl called Little Star-I picked it up from my favourite local craft shop Lora Crafts - it's well worth a visit if you live near Wolverhampton. It's coloured with Promarkers and Stickles glitter. The background paper is taken from a book and aged using Tea dye Distress ink. The swirly stamp is one I picked up for a couple of pounds at the NEC craft show. It's a lovely acrylic stamp with a couple of little flowers on it, but I have no idea who makes it. Some sparkly swirly card, flowers and fluffy wool and you have yourself a card.

I've made it in some other colour ways. I particularly like this green and gold version. She looks like a fairy I'd like on the top of my tree. Being a crafty scavenger.... the ribbon is from a box of chocs = D

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Angel ATCs and another stroppy Miss

OK, so here's the ATCs I worked on yesterday. I've looked at them again today and I'm very pleased with how they've worked out.

Both of these are paper pieced. That's where you stamp the image (this one's from Paperartsy) onto different pieces of patterned paper, cut different elements of the stamp out from each one, then layer them up to form the whole image again. In both cases I layered onto an image stamped on white, where I'd coloured in the legs and face with Promarkers. I like Saffron Promarker round the face edges, coral for the rosy cheeks, then an overall covering of vanilla. The backgrounds are drops of cosmic shimmer mists picked up from my craft mat onto white card, then cut to ATC size and stamped over- waste not, want not! The word life on the first ATC is heat embossed. The background stamps are from Heidi Swapp and Crafty Individuals (1st ATC) and Paperartsy (2nd ATC).

I also made a  BRAK (a Birthday Random Act of Kindness) for a teenager, so I wanted something with attitude. Cue my beloved Stampendous girls.....

This one is stamped in Archival ink onto a background of acrylic paints. It sort of helps to make the area where your focal image will end up a bit lighter than the rest of the background, to help it stand out. I usually make the backgrounds on these ATCs very busy, so I decided to use a couple of BIG words for a change and keep it simple. The words are big foam stamps, and they worked brilliantly. The twill "It's mine" at the top is a 7 Gypsies sticker. I wanted her to look a bit ill and eerie for some reason, so she's coloured in with white gel pen for that never seen the sun look..... I use white gel pen a lot for accents and highlights, they don't cost much, but can add a real depth to an image.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Feeling warm and getting inky :)

Whew, what a week! We've had some problems with our heating, finally sorted out today, and as a result my house is very topsy turvy. I've not been able to see my desk, let alone get to it, besides it being too cold to consider sitting to craft for any length of time! However, today the plumber gave us heat again, and I got to my desk to get crafting! Hurray!!!

I owed a couple of ATCs, so I had a lovely time stamping and paper piecing with a lovely little Paperartsy angel stamp. I also worked on a little canvas for a Christmas present. I'll take some photos tomorrow and post them up to show you my work. I really enjoyed myself and can't wait to get back in thecrafting swing of things.....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A box for my nephew Jack

My gorgeous nephew Jack is being Christened tomorrow, and I'm so honoured that I'll be his Godmother. A special present was in order, so I've created a keepsake box for his treasures. I particularly wanted to make something that wasn't babyish, although he's not quite 7 months, but I wanted something that would last. I had a box in mind, a blank about 8in square that I picked up ages ago with 4 apertures in the lid. So, after several weeks of painting and spraying and stamping, here it is......

I primed the box with gesso, then painted the whole box with blue acrylics. Once dry, I sprayed with Cosmic Shimmer Misters in Aqua Lagoon and Midnight Blue for a bit of shimmer. It gives a lovely depth to the flat acrylic colour.

His name- Jack William- and date and year of birth were stamped round the edges of the lid using a lovely See D's Ancient alphabet, really elegant lettering. I used a Stazon Midnight Blue inkpad so that it wouldn't rub off or fade.

I wanted something special for the apetures on the top, as they would be the main focus of the piece, and I toyed with each of the 4 letters of his name in the squares, but hadn' got stamps big enough. Eventually, inspiration struck when I visited the Paperartsy blog and remembered I'd bought some Ferro paints at the NEC show. These are thick paste like paints, which can be stamped into. I had a pewter colour and an antique gold. The trick seems to be to have moistened your stamp before you stamp into the Ferro, and also to have applied the right thickness- too much and it squelches and sticks to your stamp, too little and the impression isn't deep enough. A little trial and error led to the following....

Two sections are stamped with a Heidi Swapp clock stamp, the other two with a dotty background stamp and my favourite Hero Arts Old French Writing stamp.Once dry, I spritzed with more cosmic shimmers, in lots of different shades- blue, red, gold and green. Here's some close ups.

I finished off with the words Memories and Treasures on the top of the lid.  I'm really pleased with it, it has a lovely shimemr to the whole piece and the little squares are lovely to touch, very tactile. I hope Jack and his mom and dad like it as well!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NEC- Craft shopping at its best!!!

I had a bit of a busy weekend- shopping at the potteries in Stoke with my Mom on Saturday and a fabulous trip to the craft exhibition at the NEC on Sunday with my mates Kay and Michelle. It was our second time, and we weren't as organised this time, so we didn't see everything, but I still managed to spend more than I'd intended and bought lots and lots AND LOTS of stamps!!! We met Chippa and Wordy from the Docrafts ATC forum and I managed a couple of ATC swaps with them.All in all it was great fun,but very tiring. Wanna see my new stash?

New stamps from Lavinia, Stamps Away,Paperartsy, Artistic Stamper, Heidi Swapp and lots more..... I've also bought some Croco and Ferro to try- Croco is painted on and then crackles, whilst Ferro is metallic and can be stamped into. I watched Leandra from Paperartsy demonstrating the Ferro and had to buy it and have a go. She gave me the demo piece, so I've got a bit of inspiration!!!!

So all that lovely stash to play with and I haven't had time to do much crafting!!! I grabbed an hour yesterday and came up with these....

Can't wait to play with the rest of my new stash.......

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A challenge!!!

We've been away on holiday to Somerset for a week- had a lovely time, with great weather (when we went away this time last year, it snowed!!!). I can't believe I've been walking round in a tshirt at the end of October!!

Before we left, I posted a question on the DoCrafts ATCs forum asking what essential crafting kit people thought I needed. Long story short- my mate Tina (Furryboots) challenged me! The rules were that I could take my basic craft kit, inks and just four stamps. Yep, you read it right, only FOUR stamps!!!! I can use 4 stamps on a single ATC easily! I had a long think and a browse through my stamps and finally decided on these 4, mainly because I thought they'd be versatile.

Left to right, I took my old faithful Hero Arts Old French Writing, a clear swirl from a HOTP set, Fly by Hampton Arts and a gorgeous collage stamp.

Anything else I wanted to use had to be found whilst on holiday. I really, really enjoyed myself trying to use the stamps in different ways and scavenging bits and pieces to add on to my ATCs. I took several already made backgrounds, along with my Stazon and Distress ink pads. I loved it, I used my Distress Inks to watercolour, stamped onto the inside bag of a cereal packet, cut out words from cereal packets and the packaging from a toy, picked up a scrap of red tissue paper form the dance floor, tore up the white corrugated divider from a box of name it!!!!

Sooooooo- onto the results of my toil.....

These were both stamped onto red/yellow shaving foam backgrounds, stamped with lots of swirls in red and clack, then the main image in black. The left hand one is stamped onto the bag out of one of the kids' cereal boxes! For the right hand one I stamped the frame out again onto white and layered it up. The words are from some toy packaging.

These two both take the face from the collage stamp, but it looks completely different on each ATC. The left hand one is stamped in brown Stazon, the watercoloured using various Distress Inks. The right hand one has a background of acrylic blue paint spritzed with cosmic shimmer mist. I stamped the face and butterfly onto another piece of cereal inner bag, and layered it up with the frame from the Fly stamp. The Delicious word is from a cereal box.

I didn't realise how similar these two were until I posted them side by side. I tried to take elements of the two collage-y type stamps, but wasn't too precious about inking the stamps up, so it's quite a rough and ready look. The green ATC has a background made with a makeup sponge and Peeled Paint Distress Ink. The background of the pink ATC is made using a Tim Holtz barbed wire mask.

This is my favourite of the batch, I think because it's almost totally scrounged!! The blue checkerboard background is from toy packaging, the red tissue paper was picked up from a dance floor, the words are cut from cereal packets, and the bottom silver embossed piece is the foil from a tub of margarine! Even the stamped bird was an offcut from making another ATC. I'm amazed at how inventive I got!

So the moral of today's blog post is to try going without and seeing how inventive you get! I'm a bit fed up of these 4 stamps now, but I definitely had my money's worth out of them this week.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Believe!!! Altered canvas

This is my latest canvas- and one I'm not so sure of. It's not made with anyone in mind, I just had acrylic paints out and painted the base, and it stemmed from there. I sprayed sections with Cosmic Shimmer mists, but the glimmery effect doesn't show up well on camera. The letters are stamped with some fab stencil letter foam stamps. The owl stamp is Personal Impressions, the gate is Paperartsy and the branches in the background are from a Basic Grey set. There's also tissue paper, beads and mesh, all painted over with modge podge yet again.

In the corner here you can justabout make out where I sponged ink (Adirondack Lettuce) through some sequin waste to make a gorgeous dotty/honeycomb effect. I'm loving doing that technique at the moment, it's on lots of my ATCs!!! There are always a couple of techniques that are favourites at any one time, and I tend to use them to death then get fed up of them!! What's your favourite trick at the moment?

I'm liking the canvas more as time goes on...... :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Christmas cards

I'm revisiting last year's Christmas stamps in the desperate hope of srumming up some inspiration for this year!!! I think I'll start with my special cards, and then see what creativity is left over for all the rest! Here are couple of child-friendly ones.

I think the main problem is that when I feel Christmassy and in the spirit of things it's too late and my cards should have already been made!!! I could go for totally alternative images from Stampotique this year, but I'm not sure the recipients would appreciate the cards. Watch this space, and I'll let you know how I get on.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another altered canvas and an altered box

On Sunday I had a lovely crafting day, with lots of time to play with paint and inks. Bliss!!! I promised myself I'd make at least one Christmas present, but I actually managed to finish two!!!! I'd already painted a canvas in lilac for my cousin's daughter, Megan. Here's the finished canvas!

I painted the canvas with lilac acrylic paint, then sprayed opposite corners with purple Cosmic Shimmer Mist. I LOVE my Cosmic Shimmer misters. The stamps are from a Stampin' Up set called Garden Whimsey, and are stamped in Royal Purple Stazon. I tried Impress ink pads, but they didn't stamp at all well onto the paint (hence the flowers stamped on tissue paper to cover up the mistake!!!!) The letters are chipboard coloured with Stazon and I added purple stickles glitter glue and white gel pen for added definition. In the top left corner there's a scrap of purple mesh and three purple buttons.

The problem with stamping onto a canvas is that it's not a solid surface, so it takes a bit of fiddling around with something suitably hard underneath it!!

I also finished off a little wooden box I had already started. It's a gorgeous little box, so I left most of it as it was, and just painted the top of the box. I've also stamped the name of the person I intend to give it to on the side. I'm not showing you who it's for though, in case they see it on here!!

I stamped flowers on it in black Stazon, added a couple of decoupaged flowers in the centre on orange and red paper, and some red and orange Stickles glitter glue. Once it was dry I covered the whole top with glitter modge podge to seal it.

So now I'm 2 Christmas presents up and I really enjoyed myself. I've got a list of people I want to make things for this year- might save me a few pennies!!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Autumn colours

This month's Pass It Forward swap on Do Crafts had to have the word Autumn on. I made two in my crafty day with Kay yesterday, but the first one shown here is the one I'm using for the swap. The background is made with a shaving foam technique (I promise to blog on how to do it at a later date), and I thought that this one was lighter and looked like a sunset. The trees are a Lost Coast designs unmounted stamp, that I just HAD to have after trying Kay's out!!

This second one was actually my first attempt. Again, it uses a shaving foam technique background but this time I'd stamped over it with a leaf outline stamp before adding the trees. I stamped the trees first in a chocolate brown Impress ink....argh!!! Disaster, it was blurry and patchy and just awful!! I wiped most of it off with a wet wipe, but it darkened the whole piece. I restamped in Stazon but I still wasn't happy, so out came the trusty Cosmic Shimmer misters. A quick squirt of Mango Blaze and it looked all warm and glowing!!! Amazing what comes out of a mistake isn't it?

A little bit of faux stiching and a word stamped onto an offcut of cosmic shimmered card, and I'm happy with it!!

I made a couple more ATCs yesterday using shaving foam technique backgrounds.

Queenie is heat embossed round the edges with a pale shimmery golden powder that's just gorgeous. She's from a Paperartsy set with some quite rude ladies in it!!

On Creative Thoughts, I stamped the flower over the swirly background for a nice warm orangeyred effect, then restamped onto white card and cut out. Spot my favourite, some Stickles glitter glue in the centre :) This is a See D's mini stamp, great because it's unmounted with the image printed on the reverse, so you can work out where you're stamping it.

Roll on next week's crafty sesh with Kay!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Inky fingers rule!

What a fabulous day. Take one kitchen table, two friends and some white card. Add a load of ink and stamps and you get a really lovely crafty session! I managed to catch up on my owed swaps and make a few spares. I'll scan them in tomorrow and show you my latest work.

Both of my children got star of the week awards at school, and my son and husband both passed their Tae Kwon Do green belt gradings, so a successful week all round.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Weird girls

Wow, 2 posts in one day.......

I had a couple of new Stampotique stamps last week, they're from a fabulously horrible set by Daniel Torrente and Jill Penney. Click here to see more stamps. Inspired by a Craft Stamper article I came up with these 2 beauties.....

Whiner is my favourite for some reason!

The background is painted with acrylics quite roughly, I didn't take much time over blending colours in. I then stamped my girl image onto the ATC where I wanted her- I knew I'd want to stamp her again on white card to colour and cut out, but there are a few fiddly bits I thought might not cut out well, so by stamping her onto the ATC first I made sure I didn't miss any bits! Plus it helps with positioning the background stamps to have an image to work around.

The background stamps were from Prima stamps- the distressed checkerboard works really well, it allows the background colour to come through whilst still being quite dark. The other background is like a mesh- again from Prima. The crest is one I was sent as a freebie from an ebay purchase, which just happened to be lying about on my desk when I needed something! I nearly used a postmark.

I restamped the girl onto white card with Memento ink because I wanted to colour with Promarkers and it doesn't bleed into the pen colours. Finishing touches were those little phrases on cloth (from 7 Gypsies) and some white gel pen for highlights and faux stitches.

I now have a loooong wish list of stampotique stamps.......


Found this on Twitter and had to share - some very, very intricate hand drawn mazes. Knocks my doodling into a cocked hat (now there's a saying I'd like to know the origin of). Seriously- take a look, I'm going to get my pens out later, I can feel a maze ATC in the offing.......

Here's a few of my doodles in the meantime. I enjoy doodling for a while, but then I get a bit fed up and have to rein it in for a month or 2.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What a week!!

Whew! What a week I've had!!! Soooo busy, both at work and at home, so my crafting time has suffered. No craft session with my crafty mates this week, and very little time to craft on my own.

I did manage to whip up a couple of birthday cards for 2 little boys who turned 4 this week. I own several cutie stamps, but don't use them very often. I rarely make cute ATCs, and tend to save the cute stamps for card making. I used a couple of lovely Elzybells stamps to make these cards, and got out my growing Promarker collection for a colouring session.

Here's the image I coloured.
I stamped the knight and dragon first (isn't the dragon sweet?), then stamped them again on a postit note and cut it out to use as a mask so that I could stamp the castle in the background.

I love my Promarkers (I'm yet to venture into Copics, but I'm sure I will), they make blending colours so easy. I'm intending to stamp lots of my cutesy images out so that I can sit and colour them in front of the tv when I'm watching something with the kids. Then, when I need a last minute card, I'll have something to work with. Good idea eh???

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday's crafting session

I'm really, really lucky, because I have a couple of friends who live close by who like to craft (and stamp in particular). Most Tuesdays see Kay, Michelle and myself geting together for a craft session of some sort. We all 3 have little girls of about the same age so they play while we get inky!!

Yesterday's session was at Kay's- it's always lovely to visit someone else's stamp stash- and a lovely time was had by all, despite Michelle not being able to make it. I made 3 ATCs, pictured below.

ATC Reflection

I made the Reflection ATC first, stamping off the piece of card at the edges. I then cut up the scrap card I was working on to make the backgrounds for the other 2! Waste not, want not, as they say!!

ATC Bzzz bloom

ATC Flutter blossom

I think Flutter blossom is my favourite- the dragonfly wings are stamped onto pink vellum, and only attached at the body, so they do flutter a little bit.

Wonder what I'll make next time?