Thursday, 26 June 2014

Falling in love again!

Hi All

Well I am still re discovering crafty things to play with and I have fallen in love (again) with my water colour pencils.

Drawing and colouring in then painting followed by a bit more colouring ... hours of bliss in my studio :)

That gorgeous box of Derwent pencils was a gift from Mum and Dad quite some time ago. I used to always use pencils but I guess have found lots of other things to play with since and the pencils got relegated to a dusty shelf for too long me thinks ... but not anymore

They have been re discovered and re loved .... lots!

Have a look in your crafty stash ... what have you forgotten about? Do yourselves a favour and fall back in love with something today and unleash your creativity! (and no I am still not telling you what all the painty flowers are about LOL)

Time to be off and get back to packing! I will be away for a while but am hoping for internet connection so I can do some posts, though not holding my breath as it is a remote Greek island ;) If I don't post while I'm away I will get some ready for my return! I hope you're well and happy and thanks for popping by. I'll be back as soon as I can, until then, as ever
Happy Crafting

Monday, 16 June 2014

Paint me a picture

Hi All

Well I've been painting! The miraculous thing about tidying my studio and creating a new space is I have found things that have been ... shall we say .... neglected and I have found myself wanting to play.

Its been quite a little voyage of re discovery, finding things I've forgotten and almost forgotten how to do but it has been so lovely, kind of going back to the beginning and reminding myself of sitting in the art room at school in Mr Hukins class after hours with my Bessie Jane and just painting!

Even that little yellow teacup that holds my painty water holds so many memories. It was one of a set that used to live in our caravan when I was a little girl and I treasure the memories of going away with my family. The cups and saucers would come out at breakfast time. I would have a milky cup of tea and one sugar lump which fascinated me as I watched the tea soak into it, we only ever had sugar lumps in the caravan that I remember and it makes me happy that somehow I have got to save this little cup and saucer which now sits proudly in all its slightly chipped, painty glory on my drawing board.

And I am spoilt with the views from my window while I work, inspiration indeed!

And what are my painted flowers for? Well my crafty friends that remains to be seen .... soon :D

That's the end of this little wistful post, I just wanted to share a little bit of my crafty life with you, thanks for popping by and I hope you're well and happy. I'll *see you* soon so until then, as ever
Happy Crafting

PS There will be more Serif and project tutorials and frequently asked questions posts coming soon, life's got a little busy at the mo but when I can grab some time I will get them online .... bare with me for the time being please ... thankyou muchly ;) M x

Monday, 9 June 2014

A small addition, a huge upheaval .... My crafty Space!

Hi all

A couple of months ago I treated myself to this little beauty

I had a Craft Robo but have been coveting the Silhouette for a while ... got to move with the times right? Well that was my justification :D The only thing was I couldn't get it on my table to leave out and plugged in all the time (the only sure way it gets used ... you know what I mean!) so I had to have a re arrange in the studio which resulted in this

Total carnage of my front room

and dining room .... well basically the whole house! Good job hubs was away!

What seemed like such a small job seemed to take forever but with no where to sit I had to complete it once I'd started!

And suddenly the new look studio took shape!

And I seem to gain so much more space!

I love my room now, it feels so nice to work in it .... and I've even managed to keep it tidy (ish) since
though I do have a pile of 'stuff' to go in the storage room upstairs squirreled away at the moment until I know the pesky mouse visitor has vacated the area so I can get round to that job (I actually think the mouse family has left but it's a good excuse not to do more sorting and tidying .... shhhh don't tell anyone ;))

And there is the little beauty that caused all the trouble sitting on the table in technology corner! I haven't had a huge amount of time to play with it but I love it and it is the perfect partner to go alongside my Serif digi crafting ... and yes for all you serifers I will get round to posting a quick tutorial on my version of how I use them together, and it is super easy .... well it has to be, it's me :D

So that's my room and a little slice in a day in my life! Thanks for popping by, I hope you're well and happy. I will be back soon but until then, as ever
Happy Crafting

Thursday, 5 June 2014

How does your garden grow?

Hi All

Today I will share a little slice of my life with you. Do you remember my story of an instant garden the summer before last?

I'm not the greatest gardener in the world though do feel that deep inside there is a gardener trying to break free, it frustrates me that I think I can do it but I'm not very good, however,

I even shocked myself that I didn't kill everything in the instant garden and it's doing quite well!

So we decided this year its the way forward. Weed control mats and pots :D
The borders got the treatment this year, we'll see how the plan works!(bark to be added to cover up the black ;))

and in 5 days we transformed things, we even got new furniture in the conservatory!

Even the trough out front is doing well

and my lovely herb corner

I can't take credit for this however, this beautiful clematis was here when we arrived and is a spring time joy!

Hubs has been doing his part too! The shed is getting a face lift (helped by Oliver Pickles) The finished article will be shown at a later date ... I have plans :D

and the table and chairs look glorious in their pinkness!!

All in all I am thrilled with a week in May in the garden, it's all coming together, lets see if it survives ... I will post pics later in the summer ..... if it all survives LOL

Thanks for popping by and letting me share a little slice of my life with you. I hope you are well and happy. I'll *see you* soon and until then, as ever
Happy Crafting

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Happy June & Happy Birthday Mum!

Hi All

Well the first of June means two things, we are nearly half way through the year eek! Can’t believe it! And the other thing it is my Mum’s Birthday …. Happy June and Happy Birthday Mum (who funnily enough is called June ;)) As you read this we are on a trip to Country Baskets in Gateshead to be inspired by the fabulous demonstrations of Jonathan Moseley and to peruse the crafty, craftable goodies on offer ;)

In my absence I thought I might share this

My Mum’s birthday card … and a tutorial on how I made it using Craft Artist 2 Professional and Daisy Trail digi kits… warning this ended up a bit of a mammoth post LOL.

It’s not often I get to play for the sake of it in the studio these days but I had great fun creating this and mixing up lots of digi kits with a bit of mess to create this hybrid card so here goes ….

I added the Graphic Authority Timeless 1 digi kit to my workspace and added the background to an 8’’ x 8’’ page set up.

Next I added an overlay from the embellishment section of the same kit (15th overlay down I think) I recoloured it a pale green from the kit palette and then made it slightly transparent (27%)

Another overlay was added next (3rd up from the bottom of the embellie section) building up layers and textures! And this time I went to blend modes and chose erase.

To the embellishment tab I added the embellie section from Timeless 1 brushes and stamps volume one and chose one of the lovely text pieces (20th one down the list) I enlarged this and recoloured it light green from the palette.

Then finally for my background I added the crease overlay from the Timeless 1 brushes and stamps volume one digi kit (2nd up from bottom) and recoloured it sage green from the palette.

I knew at this point I wanted to be able to build my design and to be able to see anything that extended the edges of the work page so I clicked the unclip mode button (at the bottom right of your screen) I could now see everything outside the workspace but seeing the extra background was confusing…

….so I selected the crop tool and pushed in the edges of the layers to sit within the 8’’ x 8’’ space.

As I wanted to use the background paper on the front and base of my card I copied the page by lifting the black arrow at the bottom and clicking copy page.

Now my background was finished I didn’t want to keep grabbing the layers as I built my design on top of it. Normally I would drag these layers down to the background to lock them in but it would change the look of the blend modes I had used so the other solution was to add a layer. (Go to layers tab and click the plus sign and layer 2 will appear) The thing you will notice now is instead of a blue line around my selected objects I have a red line to let me know I am working on layer 2.

So moving on with the design of the front of the card I searched 'dragonfly' in my digi kit browser and selected all the images it gave me from my Nature Digi Boss kit. This also picked up the butterfly on a flower and I added this to my page (7th image down)

I then added the dragonfly (10th image down) and enlarged it.

I added the green material from the Timeless 1 kit behind the Dragonfly (send back with arrange tab) and while the material was still selected picked up the erase tool and erased around the edge of the image (remember it has to be the material that is selected to do this!) I didn’t go too close and wasn’t too precise.

Once I had removed all the material and while it was still selected I made it more transparent, I liked the watercolour effect it gave doing this. I then drew an imaginary box around the dragonfly and the material and grouped them so they would move as one.

I added the postcard from Timeless 1 digi kit, sizing it and putting it in a rough position for my design, this is where the clip mode off is useful as I could still see it even when it extended my page. I love to use the software as a design tool as I can make things the right size to print off and get a rough idea of how I want to assemble things. To distress my little card more I added a corner overlay to it from the Timeless 1 stamps kit (9 up from the bottom) and recoloured it.

I then grouped both items to move as one

Next I went to my Serif Swirls 1 digi kit from the Brushes and Stamps collection and added some of the flourishes I like, roughly positioning them.

And then I created another little postcard from an overlay in the Hearts Designs Vintage Paraphernalia kit and added some distressed white material (recoloured) from the Digi Boss papers kit behind it….

…. Cropping the material to the edges and adding some distress overlays to it from the Timeless 1 stamp kit.

Then grouped the layers to move as one. I created this on my grey space as I wasn’t sure where it would go on my design but thought I might like to use it when I assembled it in real life.

With the digi part of my card designed I needed to separate my hybrid elements for printing so I opened a new A4 craft project ready (File …. New …. Blank project from wizard … A4 page) then selected all the hybrid pieces, right clicked and copied ….

...Then pasted them onto the new project.

I then inserted a new page into my A4 project, selected just the flourishes, right clicked CUT and then pasted them to the new page.

I arranged the flourishes into a smaller area as I wanted to export them as an image to then import it into my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine software. I selected them all went to tools and selected convert to picture (I always just click yes on the pop out box and don’t change any numbers)

I then went to file and selected Export as image

In the pop out box I made sure I selected the image to be a PNG to make sure it had no background and then clicked export, saving it to the pictures on my computer

I could then delete the flourishes and make this page into a paper to cut my flourishes out of. I returned to the original project, opened the layers tab and this time dragged the background picture up to the 1st layer, you can see it makes the edges whiter as the blend mode I used reacts differently now but that’s fine for the paper I want to cut from.

I zoomed out (bottom right) and drew an imaginary box round all the layers grouped them all then right clicked and copied …

…. Pasting it onto the blank A4 sheet of my 2nd project.

I then pasted it again so I could fill the page.

Going back to the first page of my A4 project I arranged the remaining elements for printing and copied a couple more of the postcards just to fill in the space and to have for a future project. I also selected the dragonfly and put the transparency back up to 100% as I wanted the solid colour when I printed it.

I then added a sentiment which is from the Hearts Designs Vintage Paraphernalia kit (I cut this with the scissors as it was a long sentiment originally) and put this on top of a tag from the Timeless 1 kit (I erased away the string attached to the tag as I didn’t need it)

So that was my element sheets sorted. I went back to the original project and returned that background layer I had just moved to its original place and then on the page that I added my design elements to deleted the bits I didn't need anymore leaving the dragonfly and butterfly in place.

While my elements were printing I opened my Silhouette Cameo software and went to the open file tab

I found my flourish image

And inserted them onto my cutting page, copying and changing the size slightly a couple of times.

I then opened the trace window, selected the area to trace (draw a box round all) and selected outer area so it knew just to cut the outline of the swirls and once my A4 background paper was printed

Cut them out.

After cutting out all my elements I assembled my design

Adding flowers and leaves

Distressing and inking the little cards and tag

Adding gilding flakes to edges and corners and the cut out dragonfly that I shaped and layered up on the front

And finishing off with some dew drops and Pinflair pearl wand pearls.

Phew! That’s it ;) I hope it all makes sense and maybe inspires you to have a go at some hybrid crafting! Thanks for letting me share my project with you and also a little insight into my design process with Craft Artist 2 Professional.

I will love you and leave you now and wish you a Happy June once more, I’ll be back soon, until then, as ever
Happy Crafting

PS The Timeless collection digi kits that I have mentioned from Graphic Authority are exclusive to Create and Craft TV until the end of June ;)

PPS I will *see you* tomorrow at 2pm & 5pm on Create and Craft TV with the Digi Boss kits M x