Monday 30 August 2010


and his friends Yellow Ring, Washer Upper and Alchemist!

Last week Sarah from Art of Moodling and I went to the craft centre in Ruthin, north Wales. There were various exhibitions on display but my favourite was these little recycled metal creatures by LUCY CASSON. So much character and humour in such small pieces, they made me smile :)

Just look at this little guys sewing machine with its plug hanging down.

Balanced on a ruler with a fingerprint decoration.

And stood on a cotton reel.

I bought the brochure for the exhibition and was inspired to make a journal page spread. I scanned and printed some of the images from the brochure.

On the left is PISTACHIO (he is green in real life, I printed in black and white), then there is YELLOW RING, WASHER UPPER and ALCHEMIST.

Aren't they fun!!! Spotted what I used as the border around the page and to write the wording on? Yes, crossword puzzle. I saw it used on EFFIES blog to great effect a while back and stored the idea away for future use.

See that mottled white effect? I put some gesso in a spray bottle, watered it down a bit and sprayed it over the painted background, it settled into this pattern that I kinda like! Will do that again.

Sunday 29 August 2010


from a play day................did you know that the Crooked Man nursery rhyme has a basis in history? No, neither did I till I looked it up yesterday!
Yesterday my good friend TRACY and I decided to have a play day inspired by this blog NORAHS and this blog SOMETHING SUBLIME, while we were playing it occured to me that the houses reminded me of the crooked man nursery rhyme but neither of us could remember it exactly so I looked it up.
Go HERE to see the history behind it.

This is hard to tell but this is a double page spread in my Moleskine journal (one of my fav journals), painted black and then all the images glued in place. The houses are all made using parts from the three houses on the new PAPERBAG STUDIOS stamp plate called DOODLES AND DATERS.

Remember the peeking Stampotique girls from a couple posts back? I really liked the way they looked so used the idea again here.

When Tracy left last night these pages were almost done and I had another spread in a smaller journal (with brown pages, from Paperchase) part done, I sat and finished them both in front of the TV!
Same sort of idea except this time I used the complete houses instead of parts of them like in the first one

The Paperbag Studio new stamp plate will be available from THE STAMP ATTIC this next week.
Now I have to tell you the risks I took to take the photos for this post! I like to take my pics outside as the light is generally better than in the house, so there I was this morning in me dressing gown and a pair of flips flops in the garden in a very blustery wind risking exposing meself to the neighbours any minute, conjures a picture I know.........SORRY! Seconds after I came back inside the heavens opend an it POURED with rain! As I say the risks you run!!

Friday 27 August 2010

Prepare to be jealous.............

if you like STEAMPUNK that is!!!! Today I was out shopping with my sister and another friend and look what I got!

We were wandering around and came across this small shop that was advertising watch and clock repairs, I thought to myself "I wonder?" so in I went and asked if he ever had any parts left over that he could not use, he said he did but that they were in the cellar and he did not have time just then to sort any out but if I wanted to I could go down there and get some myself!!! IF I WANTED? LOL I was down there in a shot and this is what I got FOR NOTHING, FREE, GRATIS!!
My sister says I am terrible but I say if you don't ask you don't get!!

Then we found a shop selling vintage stuff and I got this CUTE little jug! How sweet is that?
That's what I call a good day shopping!

OK, now some art stuff! You may remember a post a while back featuring my fennel plant, well it was suggested that I use some of the pics in some art work so I have done just that.

Not only used a pic of the fennel.......printed onto ordinary printer paper.........but some ACTUAL fennel.
A while ago I saw a post by LYNN on HER CREATIVE SPIRIT showing how she makes bookmarks with pressed flowers and tissue, I really liked the idea and stored it away for future use.
I have long used tissue paper and Diamond Glaze to apply stamped images to awkward shaped surfaces and wondered if I could adapt Lynns idea to attach some dry fennel to my page? After a  little experimenting I found it worked quite well.
Basically the idea is....apply some Diamond Glaze over the surface where you want the dry fennel (or whatever other dry stuff you want to use), add the dry plant, lay the tissue over the top and add more DG. Use a brush to spread the DG, the tissue will start to become see-through. I then use wet fingers to press the tissue into place around the plant material, taking care as the tissue gets quite fragile. Set aside to dry, add colour wash.

Wednesday 25 August 2010


It's time for the STAMPOTIQUE DESIGNERS CHALLENGE. This time we are challenging you with the theme of "NOT SO SWEET 16".
Here is my piece of inspiration!

Stamps used are:
Perl 6071
Topknot 6080
Karin 6108
Jeepers 6082
Clover 6086
Available here in the UK from THE STAMP ATTIC

Sunday 22 August 2010


A couple of weeks ago I went to the Imperial War Museum North on Salford Quays, if you have not been I recommend that you go, it is a great museum, very cleverly laid out. In fact the actual building the museum is housed in is a statement about war, it is made of three shards, each shard being a piece of an imagined globe shattered by conflict.
This journal page spread is inspired by this visit and this postcard and set of paper strips that I bought while there, the strips are used as a border around the page.

  I was a little unsure about blogging this piece as it uses a poem that is often used at funerals and I did not want to upset anyone who might think it a little in-appropriate, but I decided to go ahead as it is my interpretation of how the museum made me feel. After all war is a very sad thing.

I had always thought that this was a first World War poem but it turns out it isn't, in fact its origin is not really known. I found several versions of where it is thought to come that it was found on a soldier killed in Northern Ireland and read by his father at his funeral, another that it was written by a woman called Mary Frye in 1932 and yet another that says it is a Hopi Indian prayer. Whatever it is it gives me gooosebumps when I read it.

Now for another flower from my garden

See that little flower bud?
 Well it opened into this tiny little water lily! And I mean tiny, it is about an inch across and grows in a wooden barrel in my back garden!

I am entering this into the SUNDAY STAMPER challenge this week which is FLOWERS.

Saturday 21 August 2010


Time to share he next thing I made with my GRAPHIC 45 HALLOWE'EN WONDERLAND papers.This time it's a little book, I had great fun making this, I need to get back to making more books!

The covers are made from recycled covers from an old book, cut to size and decorated.

The pages are pieces from the Graphic 45 papers cut and glued to card for extra weight and stability, each page has a little tab added

Close-ups of a couple of page spreads

The pages were then sewn into the spine.

I have to say I was really pleased with the way this came out and I was sad to see it wing it's way to THE STAMP ATTIC where it now lives! The GRAPHIC 45 papers are available from THE STAMP ATTIC

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Thank you, Wednesday Stamper, Grunge roses and Cardoons

I want to start this post with a HUGE THANK YOU to every one that took the time to comment (and email) on my previous post. I am overwhelmed that not only so many sympathised with my thoughts on the matter but also for the LOVELY things that were said about my ME-NESS, I never knew you cared!
In the course of those conversations I happened to mention to Hels Sheridan that I am also bored with grunge paper roses.....they seem to be everywhere........Hels came back at me with "well, here's a challenge for you, make one Sue-style"........not one to back down from a challenge I agreed to give it a go!
Now here's my next confession.......I don't really like grunge paper so I decided to make my flowers from something I do pages.
I stamped these little flowers onto the book page, need three for each flower, cut them out. These things are small, that's a 1p piece, this was fiddly I can tell you!!. Then cut pieces out of two of them, roll them up, glue together and then inside each other. So I suppose these are not really grunge roses but they are MY take on the idea and technique. You will have to judge fir yourselves whether I met the challenge or not?

This is how I used my decorate the cover of my book which is my entry for this weeks WEDNESDAY STAMPER challenge where the theme is STITCHING.

The stitching may not be obvious at first glance, but I stitched the pages together for my book, the stitches run between the strips of paper across the spine of the book. Those strips serve two purposes, first they look good and second they cover up mistakes........some of my stitching was not that good but now you can't see it!
I used recycled old book covers for the covers of my book.

Now to continue with what is turning into an occasional look at flowers in my garden. As you can see I like unusual stuff in the garden as well as in my art stuff! These things are CARDOONS or ARTICHOKE THISTLES, they are a thistle like member of the Aster family.....according to Wikipedia! All I know is they are over 6 feet tall and trying to get pics was hard! The last one I just held the camera over the flower facing down, pressed the button and hoped! I was pleased with the pic I got!!

Monday 16 August 2010

DON'T SHOOT ME BUT..........

OK, I have been debating with myself all day whether or not to write this post but I have decided to go ahead at the risk of being ex-communicated from the craft church!
I was looking forward to this weeks SIMON SAYS STAMP AND SHOW challenge but I have to say I was disappointed to see the theme was to produce a piece in the style of Wendy Vecchi.Of course they are free to have whatever theme they like but I don't understand why I would want to make something to look like someone else made it, I have enough trouble making something that looks like me and I am happy with never mind trying to look like someone else!
I spend ages worrying what people will think about my stuff instead of just making what I like and satisfying  ME, I think it comes from years of magazine work where I had to work to a theme and was told quite often to tone down my "me-ness". Since I am no longer working like that I have found it so hard just to please ME!
I know that Ms Vecchi and Mr Holtz are very popular and they done a lot for us crafters......I mean Tims Distress ink pads are the yummiest pads ever and I am distraught that mine are in Almaty.......but I can't be the only one that wishes things would move on a little and something else new would appear.......if I see another grunge rose it will be too soon........OK don't shoot me...... I don't want or mean to offend anyone, it's just my opinion expressed on my blog!!

Having spouted on for way too long I will move onto what I made! Having been disappointed by the theme I decided to get out my Wendy Vecchi stamps.....yes, see I do own some......and do MY thing with them rather than hers! This is the result.

All stamps used apart from the alphabet are Wendy Vecchi.
As you can see from the pages, I LOVE MY GARDEN, in fact I think I miss my garden when I am away more than some people.......only kidding! This page was inspired by one plant, a cone flower that is looking pretty good in the garden at the it is.......this plant is why I bought the flower stamp used here!