My Family & Other Animals

Monday, 29 August 2011

Birthday Boy

Hi, as promised yesterday, here's todays effort for your perusal.
I used this Edwin image as my teaching tool for the craft class tutorial a couple of weeks ago. Nice and easy to colour and quite easy for you to decide where your light is coming from as he's just a blank canvas really.
I used a new X-cut die for the star and I quite like the overall finished look of the card, i'm just not 100% convinced with the wall and the writing!
After a bit of lengthy discussion with Jo it became clear to me that I need to stop looking at the wall as a brick wall, it could be any type of wall and therefore it doesn't have to be brick coloured!!
If you colour the whole wall and stamp on it then the words tend to look a little lost. Sometimes you just come across stuff that you really like the idea of, you just have no idea how to use them effectively - these stamps are my new achilles heel, but there's no way i'm going to give up on them, I will get there in the end.

Entered into: Paper Crafting Journey - Anything Goes

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Only one day to go!

I know i've only just said sunday is Blog day but Jo and I have been out at our friends house all day so I haven't had the chance to get anything sorted. So I will sort something for tomorrow, that's a promise.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

This week, I are been mostly reading.....

So it's not often that I respond to competitions, but there was one in Craft Stamper magazine months ago that really got my creative juices flowing.

It asked for people to make and send in Bookmarks.

Their only rule was it had to use blue, yellow and green somewhere in it's colour palette.

I set about having a go and came up with this little creation.

The only problem was, once I had finished it, I really didn't want to lose it - so I came up with the ingenious idea of keeping it for myself!

It has now been my bookmark of choice through several tomes and I am growing really attached to it. It's only made from a scrap piece of mountboard and it's covered in scrap papers from my 'special' drawer - the drawer where all good paper scraps go to die!
The most creative thing I did with it was to use some stamps but I just love the overall finished effect. So Craft Stampers loss has become one of my most treasured items.
As you can see, I am currently reading John Connolly's Every Dead Thing. I am a big fan of Charlie Parker and I have read a couple of them out of sequence and have now started them from the beginning. There's a new one out next month, very excited about that. If you haven't read any of his work I can highly recommend him. He uses a traditional detective set-up but with very few traditional detective novel scenarios. He writes about a strange, mysterious, often eerie world, one that very few detectives inhabit. There are some great characters in his work and his writing style is quite beautiful, very descriptive and quite poetic in places.
So treat yourselves, go pick up a Charlie Parker story tomorrow, I guarantee you'll love him.



Whew! What a weekend.

Well Jo and I have had a really lovely weekend together (only spoiled by having to go to work last night - still it was only for four hours!).
We went to craft class together yesterday and it was my first time doing the class tutorial. I showed the ladies there how to use their ProMarkers a little better, giving them a lesson on how to get some shading into their projects and to add a little realism to their images, rather than leave them as just flat images. It seemed to go okay, most of them looked happy to have learnt something new and I even saw some really great work from a couple of the girls who had previously just coloured their images with one tone and that was it.
Well as you can see here, I've been busy making another card using my Kenny K digital downloads. This little beauty is called Eva Pearl and she is one of his new Steampunk inspired creations.
I also bought some of the new Graphic 45 papers at the craft class yesterday and they have a really beautiful steampunk theme to them, can't wait to have a go!
I used my Copics to colour her and I added the metal heart which I picked up at The Range, so I guess it must be a Do-Crafts product, that or the Paper Cellar. They were in a pack of 2 for £1 which I thought was very reasonable. Good luck finding anything on their web site though, under embellishments, in their cardmaking section they only have TWO items listed!
The little hearts on the card were part of a happy accident. I used one of my new nestabilities, a doilie circle with hearts around the edge. I was going to put it behind Eva but it just didn't look right. I was sweeping up the debris when I noticed all the little heart cut-outs. I thought they looked a little bit like butterflies, so I had them flying away from the bottom right corner.
Today was a smashing day as well. I started the day off with breakfast in bed (and it wasn't even my birthday!), then we went out for lunch - a traditional sunday dinner of (wait for it) - fish and chips!!! We went to The Elite fish shop on Tritton Road, Lincoln and the fish was just amazing, some of the nicest fish I have ever had.
After lunch we went to the cinema to see Glee: The 3D Concert Movie which was really good. There were only 5 people in the cinema (well, the sun was out, so you can't blame people), but that didn't stop me from singing along to all the songs.
The only downside to the film was that there just wasn't enough Kurt, and don't even get me started on the total lack of Sue Sylvester! I have read on-line though that she will be making an appearance on the DVD/Blu-Ray, so that's me going over to to pre-order my copy right now!
So I hope you have had a good weekend too, they really make the working days worthwhile don't they?
See you again next week,

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Jayne Jettpack - a Kenny K creation.

As mentioned in a previous post, I have all the new Kenny K steampunk images and this little lady is called Jayne Jettpack.

She's a typical Kenny K character (big boobs, loads of hair, curvy and showing too much flesh!) but for me that's a good thing. I really love this man's style. There is a big part of me that really wishes I could draw like this. Put a plant in front of me and I'll draw up a storm, but to pull something from your imagination, that's a gift as far as I'm concerned and it's not a gift I was blessed with unfortunately.

The new girls all have a certain organic look to them, a bit like leather & lace and I can't wait for part 2 of the release on September 4th.

All Kenny's 'girls' can be used for a quite broad spectrum of cards. They are not just for men's cards, to be used for a cheap bit of titillation, they are really versatile and I think I will be making quite a few Christmas cards using his artwork. Most of the women I know love these girls.
As for this card, well I fell back on using my Nestie dies again (in all honesty, they are all I have in my stash that is really suitable for the Steampunk style) but I intend to add to my collection soon by getting some of Tim Holtz's incredilbe range. I did however, find a large metal daisy which I think goes perfectly and remains honest to the style of the card. I've probably had it for a few years now, one of those items you buy because you just know it's going to look amazing on a scrapbook page, but then it just sits there, gathering dust while you merrily crack on with other projects.

I used to be quite precious about what I would or would not use on a card. If it cost me a few quid then it was reserved for my scrapbooks, but as I am more into cards at the moment, it feels right to use the things I have to make my cards look the very best they can look.

I want to send things that I am proud of and that is best achieved by using whatever I have in my stash, no matter what I initially intended it for.
So once again dear reader, I hope you like what I've made. I feel quite proud of this particular card, there's a certain member of my family I already have in mind who I want to send it to, so please feel free to leave a comment or two. I welcome feedback - good or bad (as long as it's honest!).

Take Care



Some Odd Girl - finally finished

Hi again, woke up today feeling very positive and have decided that from now on Sunday is going to be known as Blog-day. If I set myself a clear goal to do this every week, then I think that is achievable and won't make me feel too pressured into doing it.

Today's first card is the Some Odd Girl stamp I bought from Quixotic Paperie last weekend. She cost a very reasonable £6.99 and she is called Photo Kaylee.

I really like the anime style, the big startled looking eyes and the disproportionate legs. She was really fun to colour and she comes with some essential accessories like a snapshot, some small icons (heart, flower and star) and a couple of useful expressions (Smile and Picture Perfect).
As well as Kaylee, there are other characters too. Mae Tia and Toby are just three of them and I think they are well worth a look.

For me, the hardest part came when it was time to put a card together. Because she is so different from anything else I have I did struggle a little, I even took one card completely to pieces, but I got there in the end. I think using the My Mind's Eye paper helped (what's that? no Basic Grey I hear you say) as I tend to use my mountain of 6x6 papers rather than look to my 12x12 stash (so precious to me!).

Anyway, I hope you like the finished product. If you do, let me know (or even if not, I can take it), i'd love to hear some feedback.

Here's a close-up of Kaylee so you can have a better look at the way she has been coloured.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Nearly, but not quite....

Hi again, I said I was going to make a card using some of the new stamps I received this week from Quixotic Paperie.

One was from Some Odd Girl called 'Photo Kaylee', something really different for me as she is quite a simple little drawing but the art is to make her look spectacular. I colored her in and I was really happy with that but then I tried to put a card together and it just didn't look right!

I kept it aside as I wanted to show Jo first, she's my barometer for what's good and what's not, plus she's always honest with me (and me with her). I knew instantly i'd done the right thing waiting, the look on her face said it all. It was too busy and there was too much stuff on it, so back to the drawing board and i'll try and get some stuff up before the weekend is over!

Much Love



Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Fly Me To The Moon.

I got some new Magnolia stamps a few weeks back, some of the new "Winner" range. It's full of all sorts of sports and activities (odd that a Swedish woman should have come up with so many american sports - What exacty do they play in Sweden??).

I got some of the Football ones, a lovely one of Tilda diving which I haven't used yet but already have a great idea to use acetate with, a fantastic Edwin dressed as a superhero (which is all coloured and just waiting to be turned into a finished card - keep 'em peeled) and these ones of the moon, Tilda in her spacesuit and a little rocket with a lovely saying on.

I also bought a load of different coloured butchers twine so it was nice to be able to put that to good use as well.

I put the card together on saturday when I had my goddaughter over for the day to do some crafting with her Uncle Andy and Autie Jo (who went to sleep!).

It's the first time since her birth (she is eight now), that she's spent time with just the two of us and it was such a lovely day. We did stamping, colouring, matting and layering and after lunch (and most of the new Yogi Bear movie) she made a bracelet and necklace and then stamped a mountain of images to colour at home.

The day was made all the more special for me because it was her who instigated the day. She just came out of the blue with it one day to her mum and I couldn't wait.

She really reminds me of Tilda, in to everything and with just the right amount of tom-boy to balance her girly side.

I took the picture in the garden again, as the weather was so nice today it seemed such a shame to waste it.

Hope you like it x

A first dabble with Steampunk

As the title suggests, this is my first attempt at anything to do with Steampunk.

The figure is called Lady Victoria and she is one of four new characters from Kenny Kiernan (Kenny K), a digital download which only cost me $3.00 which I think is very reasonable for such amazing artwork.

Anyway, he labelled the images as being in the Steampunk mould (mold?) so I thought i'd give it a go.

I had a blast using my alcohol inks for the first time in ages, a new set of Nestie dies which i've also had for ever and only just opened today! and the little metal brad is at least three years old!!, so a great chance to get a load of really old stash out and have a play.

For a change, I thought i'd take advantage of the lovely sunshine and take the picture of my new creation in the garden. It was a little bit windy today, so it took a while to get it just right but i'm really happy with the end result. I've gone well outside my comfort zone here (even with the colours!!) but I think i've done a good enough job.

I used some Basic Gray papers (natch) and on the bottom sheet I used some Perfect Pearls spray but you can't really see it here. It gave the sheet a lovely metallic look which I thougt was in keeping with the theme of the card. The ribbon seperating the sheets is made from a scrap of card on my table and the large ticket is Tim Holtz (who else!).

Hope you like it and i'd love any feedback.

Friday, 5 August 2011

From out of the digital domain...

So i've already said I love Kenny K, but like most things in my life, I never thought to Google him until someone suggested it and Hey Presto, I found his site and he has a whole range of Digital Stamps available for download.

With the rubber stamp costing nearly £7 (sometime more, depending on where you shop), I was amazed to find the Digital versions were only $3!!

My sister uses Digi stamps all the time and I must admit, I like to have physical things rather than things that only exist on my hard-drive, so I never really considered the Digi route before, but looking at Kenny's site and seeing just how many great images he had for sale I couldn't resist.

This young lady really took my fancy as she has such a great attitude and I LOVE her enormous feet. She kind of reminded me of the singer P!nk so it was a total no-brainer to make her hair pink, plus I liked the edge it gave her.

There are some magnificent images on Kenny's site, you really should check it out and keep your eyes out here too for some more of his stuff coming soon. I've done some early christmas cards and used a few of his images which aren't what you might expect to find on a UK christmas card.

The backing for the card is made using a Creative Expressions embossing folder and my absolutely favourite crafting tool of all time - The Cuttlebug.

When the Cuttlebug first came out and everyone was getting one I just put it down to being a faddy new toy. "You'll never catch me using one" I said to Jo (my beautiful wife), but like most crafting things, eventually I just had to have one (bit of peer pressure there, even at MY age!) and I haven't looked back since. It's my most used and most versatile piece of kit and I take it everywhere (only to craft classes, i'm not weird or anything!).

Jo bought me the Grand Calibur for my birthday and I love being able to use bigger dies now. It really has taken my crafting to "a whole new level" (my second least favourite cliche, just behind "it's so difficult to make cards for men"), corny but very true.

Anyhoo, check out Kenny K's site for yourself at and let me know what you think.

I love Kraftin Kimmie stamps.

Wide eyed and legless, this little beauty is called Nerissa.

She is from a whole range of K.K. mermaid stamps and I made this card after watching someone on You Tube giving a Copic tutorial.

The lady in question (sorry, forgot her name but if you look on You Tube for Copic tutorials you'll come across it!), was using a similar stamp and for the first time I realised you could do the fins and tail and make them look transluscent, which I really hope I pulled off.

The backing paper is from a Basic Grey pad and the bakers twine was purchased recently from Crafts U Love, who have a lovely selection of colours from various companys.

There is a deliberate mistake too.

If you noticed it then say no more. If not, I coloured and cut out the seaweed in the corner, but the second I stuck it on the card I realised I hadn't cut the little loops out and now you can't see her tail through it - D'oh!!

Still, I don't think it ruins it too much. What do you think?

Another Gorjuss little angel

So you never see one Gorjuss card and then two come along at once! (bad joke I know, sorry).

Well this is the first one I made actually and the backing paper used - no idea. It was on my craft table for weeks and I've been using the back of it as a way of stopping my distress inks from getting everywhere when I was busy stippling! I turned it over and thought "you'll do".

In fact, this whole card was pretty much thrown together from stuff lying around on the table. The large blue doily behind her head was the aperture I cut out from another card and liked so much I couldn't bear to throw it away. I just thought the Molly Bloom stamp I used on it was perfect and the metal embellishment was bought at a craft fayre, I just added a Papermania brad for a bit of pizzazz.

The new range of Gorjuss stamps feature a bit of a wintery feel to them (what's that coming over the hill - is it Christmas?), there are some absolutely delightful little foxes too. As an added bonus, the stamps are now available in clear stamp sets and the prices are exceptionally reasonable.

The look of the new ones remind me a little bit of Russia and those odd TV cartoons from my youth that you just knew were dubbed in Leavesden or somewhere equally exotic.

Anyway, get yourself over to Quixotic Paperie and check them out.

So Gorjuss

I don't know what it is about these strange little creatures but I fell in love with them the minute I saw them. They have a Tim Burtonesque feel to them and like the Magnolia stamps they also have no mouth but still come across as very animated.

I've used some Basic Grey paper (of course!), a Nestability (naturally!!) and an embossing folder (d'uh, it's like we've never met!!!).
So no big changes in what I use to make my cards with then, but if it ain't broke, why bother getting the socket set out eh?

I think what makes this slightly different to what I usually do is the colouring. I've tried to keep the image and card a little more gothic than I normally make, it felt in keeping with the stamp.
Some of the other Gorjuss stamps though are very girly in tone, I just don't know if they are for me.

Back Again!!

Hi folks, sorry I haven't been here for so long but didn't think anyone would ever bother reading what I had to say - turns out I was wrong! So here's a message to my wife - Thanks for all your continued support x.

There's a call for new Design Team members at one of my favourite websites - Quixotic Paperie. They are based in Weymouth and the last time we visited the family we were going to visit them but they are web-based only, so imagine our disappointment. They stock some of my most favourite stamps, including Kraftin' Kimmie, Kenny K and some lush new Gorjuss stamps.
Anyway, I have to have a current blog so I thought it was time to get a few more posts out and hope that I am lucky enough to be chosen.