Artistic Philosophy

Reality has limits but our imagination does not, so let it run free and your creativity will flourish.

My imagination helps me create unique work as I strive to produce beautiful things and grow in capability, experience and confidence. My goal as I travel this journey of creativity, is to share my work and inspire others so that they themselves, may create something distinct and original too.

Friday, 12 October 2012

More of my Decorative Pins, Lace & flowers

Hi again all,
My apologies for not posting this yesterday as I promised, but with one thing and another I was unable to get to the laptop to write it up.  So without wasting anymore time here is my second Christmas card adorned with my handmade items again.


If you look closely you can see another of the lovely Linda Wescotts doilies just popping out over the pennant.  To make the doilies go further I often cut them in half to use like this.  I know it is sacrilege to cut up someones hard work, but I love to use Linda's doilies and would hate to waste the other half just glued underneath the topper.  So really I am doing a good thing and I get two cards for the price of one doily!
 For the pin I used here, I kept the colours traditional green and red, but I used them with silver bead spacers and caps as gold was too gaudy for this card.  I thought the cool of the silver tones was more appropriate with the bluey tones in the papers. 


The pretty pearly embellishment in the center of the red flower is a button from The Hobby House.  They have some gorgeous pearly buttons in both silver and gold tone.  Worth a look if you are after something like this;  the eyelets on the back are only plastic and are easy to remove with cutters.
Below you can see my latest piece of lace.  For this one I kept the basis really simple with rows of double crochet and trebles and then finished the end with scallops to fluff it out a bit.


And finally a side view............


Well that's it for another day.  I do hope you have enjoyed seeing my latest creations (pins, lace and flowers) on my two Christmas cards.  I have created more Decorative Pins and lace so I will make some cards over the weekend to showcase more of them.
Thank you so much for popping by again, you are so kind and your support means the world to me.
I do hope you all have a good day and it is the start of a successful weekend.
Best wishes and regards Linda xx

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A Christmas Pin, a lace flower and some Passementerie

Hi all,
Sorry I wasn't able to post this morning but I am on new meds and they made me very tired last night so I was in bed before I had time to even think about the blog.

I mentioned to you in a previous post that I was having a bit of time away from cardmaking to create some flowers and Christmas decorative pins.  Today I am going to give you a glimpse of what I made but instead of showcasing just them I have made a card using one of each to show you them in situ.  I think they turned out rather pretty, I hope you like them too.  I will show another of each in a different colourway tomorrow;  red and green for a very traditional feel.  But for now, lets see todays card shall we:-


As you can see I kept the flourishes and embellishments to a minimum as I thought the flower and button were quite bold.   Those of you who have been with me from the beginning will know that button wrapping (Passementarie) is another of my crafting hobbies.   Passementarie is the art of making elaborate trimmings such as wrapped buttons, braid, cording, tassels, rosettes etc.  This form of decoration was used hundreds of years ago but is still used today in many different ways on Military dress uniforms, wedding gowns, couture clothing and plush furnishings.  Infact if you have ever covered a button with fabric, you have practiced one part of passementarie.  I use threads to cover mine so I can create different patterns in the weaving.  Todays pattern is a star.
I like to make as much as I can for the cards I create and so on todays card I made the braid,  crocheted lace for the flower, wrapped a button and of course, made a Christmas Decorative pin.


In these side views you can see I decorated the inside again and even added a mini banner to carry the greeting and edged it with a small piece of the sky blue braid.  The side angle shot also shows the dimension of the lace flower with all its frills.  You may not believe it but that piece of lace is actually less than 2inch long.


I crochet my lace approx 12inches at a time, then I can cut it to any size required.  From the second row I increased in every stitch and then 3times in every stitch in following rows to get this fabulous frilled effect, which means I use very little of the lace each time to make quite a full and pretty flower.  It can also be made into a rolled flower but that is so 'big' (high and full too) that it is mainly used for headbands, clothing, cushions or bags.
Here is what it can look like:-


This particular flower was made in a circle as I only wanted to make the flower and not a piece of
lace. You can see in the picture below how small the circle is in the center. 


This is the pattern for the above flower.

Chain 6 and ss to make a ring
1st row:- Ch 2, *sc, ch1* 13times to end, join
2nd row:- Ch2, *sc, ch1, sc, ch1 into every (sc, ch1) space on previous row. Join. (inc row)
3rd row:-  ss into first ch1 space then Ch3, 2tr into gap then *3tr into every ch1 space* repeat  from *to* until the end. Join. (inc row)
4th row:- 3tr into every tr below (inc row). Join.
5th row:- 4Ch picot.  (Basic picot not traditional). Ch4, ss into next tr in previous row, repeat to end.


For the lace for todays flower

Make a chain max of 2inch for a single flower or as long as you desire for more uses.
1st row:-  Sc to end.
2nd row:- Ch2, then Dc into every sc below.
3rd row:-  Ch3, then 3Trebles into every dc below. (inc row)
NOTE.. If you would like your lace a little less frilly, only do 2trebles into every dc.
4th row:-   Into every tr below:  *Tr, ch1* repeat to end (inc row)
5th row:-  4Chain picot edge:- Ch4, sc into every ch1 gap on previous row.
This final row can be Ch3 also for a smaller picot.  There are various edges you can use to finish it off so play around a little and see what you come up with.



As this flower was cut from a long piece of lace I had a raw edge to contend with.  What do we do about that?  Well personally, I always use a strong, quick drying tacky glue  (I use Crafters Pick Incredibly Tacky Glue from Wild Orchid Crafts.  It is by far the best and quickest).
I dab a little of the glue across the cut end and then press a tiny bit of the opposite end ontop and leave to dry completely.  When it is fully dry, bend the lace back into shape to form the frills and the join should become almost invisible.   This pattern is very simple but very effective and looks fabulous as frills on a little girls headband, across a crocheted bag and as a guest towel edging it is beautiful.  One last thing, which you will see on tomorrows card, these lace pieces with regular gaps are fabulous for threading ribbon through also.






This last picture shows clearly my decorative pin, lace flower and even the star in the wrapped button.
I am feeling  a chair groove coming on.....  (it's just my version of the happy dance ...lol!) as  I managed a card, some braid, a decorative pin, a bit of passementerie, 2 lace flowers and two little crochet patterns (sorry they are not done professionally, I am good at the crochet, not good at writing patterns!
I am sorry it was such a long post, but I had so much I really wanted to share with you today.  I do hope you are all having a good day, weather aside that is.  I don't know about where you live, but here in South Wales we have been having horrid drizzle all day.  YUK!
So keep dry and keep crafting.  Biggest hugs to you all.   Linda x

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Another card for Anthony

Good morning everyone,
I must start todays post with the biggest thank you for all the wonderful comments yesterday.  I am so pleased you liked my card, especially as I struggled so much with getting it right for my son.

Today I have another card I created for Anthony, but this was from my daughter to her brother.  I wanted to do something slightly different and in colours that I don't regularly use, but when I explain how I got my inspiration for this one I think you will be a little tickled.  You see I was in the attic with my daughter last week, still clearing and rearranging, when Sian passed me a roll of wallpaper that was left from decorating my bedroom.  I was about to put it in the waste pile when she said to me that she thought it would make nice backing paper for my cards.  I put it to one side and thought no more about it as we were so busy.   The next day I decided to cut up some of the wallpaper and see how it felt for cardmaking.......  well, it had such a lovely texture I decided to give it a go and when I looked at the, now dirty wrapper (the attic is so dusty) I suddenly realised that kraft card would coordinate perfectly.  So that is how I came upon the blue and kraft colour scheme;  blue textured wallpaper covered in dust!   LOL!!!!!!
But it works, don't you think?



I used the beautiful Fleur de Lis rectangles from Spellbinders for my central matt with an X-Cut Large Ornate Frame for the verse.   The verse was printed onto white card and then coloured with Adirondack Halzelnut ink and Ranger Antique Linen distress ink. 


I added some hazelnut spotty ribbon over a 1inch wide satin ribbon and also two tabs of the spotty ribbon to the top of the card.  I wanted to create the effect of the topper matts being suspended.
I finished the border off with the Spellbinders Damask Accents and then completed the outside with some antique brass brads and two waste pieces from the Fleur de Lis matt to accent the top corners.



I decorated the inside to coordinate, using a plain white matt stamped with just Happy Birthday.   I wanted this one to look like it was tucked into the border instead of being suspended.

So there you have it, my wallpaper card.  I am so pleased how this turned out and I can't wait to use that paper again, it is fabulous.  I would recommend using good quality wallpaper remnants to everyone, it saves on waste (who wants to waste money after all) and it provides a marvelous source of backing paper that is so easy to use..... oh and it embosses beautifully too (I've tried that too).
I do hope you all have a good weekend and manage to do a little crafting. 
Take care of yourselves, I'm hoping to make a Christmas card or two today (here's hoping). 
Regards Linda xx

Friday, 5 October 2012

My sons birthday card

Hi all and good morning,
Thank you so much for the wonderful, kind comments that you left for me yesterday.  I was so thrilled to see you all visit after my time away.  Everytime I have had to go away for a break I come back and read your warm, thoughtful comments and I am humbled.  Bless you.

Today I am back with the first of my sons birthday cards.  I made this one from me and I will be honest I struggled so much with the design as my son has no major likes other than online gaming.  He is a real brainbox and seems to be doing well at Uni, but I couldn't really translate that onto a card, so I thought simple styling with simple colours would be the best way to go.


I apologise for the poor photos but my camera battery was about to run out when I took the pictures and I didn't have enough time to wait for it to be charged.    One thing I have just realised, I took the pictures before I put on the 21's..  I put one set of numbers above the gems (bottom, left) and the other alongside the tartan matt (top, righthand side).


As you know I love to decorated the inside of my cards to match or coordinate with the outside design and this one was no exception.  I left the Spellbinders label blank inside so I had a place to write my personal greeting.  The Happy Birthday was stamped to the inside too as I wanted 'SON' to be the main focus on the front of the card.
Both of the papers used here are free downloads, but unfortunately, I cannot find where I got them from at the moment.  I will, however,  keep looking and let you know in a future post if I find them again.  I love the soft grey stripe  paper as it is such a versatile paper and it coordianates with so much.
Well that's it for this post, I am off to design some new Christmas Decorative Pins and also some fabric flowers etc as I don't have my grandson today.  This means I can play for longer and if I design something new and pretty I will use them for the next challenge.... I'll keep you posted on that.
Whatever you are up to today I hope it is rewarding.  Take good care and have a great day.
Hugs Linda xx

Thursday, 4 October 2012

My baby is a man today!

Good morning all,
Well today, my youngest son turns 21, I just can't believe it.  Where did all those years go?  It only seems like yesterday I was walking around the hospital willing the contractions on so my new baby would be born.   To this day I still call him my baby;  He will always be my baby,  much to his annoyance I think.
I wanted to show you his birthday cards today, but I have decided that I should first show you the butterfly card I mentioned on my last post.  It is clean and simple but the stylish design could be used for a few occasions I think.  I hope you like it.


I started with a 5.5" x 7.5" side fold card.   The Spellbinders butterfly was cut in both ivory and brown.  I wanted the brown one to act like a shadow, so I cut it down the middle to allow me to move each section slightly outward.   On the background I used the Tied Together embossing folder and added drops of bronze pva from Creative Expressions.  I also used a little of the pva for the body of the butterfly to add some dimension.


I cut some corners in coordinating brown card and aded some half pearls.  Finally, I used a wrap of brown crushed silk ribbon through one of the Spellbinder buckle diecuts.  
This was an easy card but a bit time consuming with the pearly dots and the drying time, but so worth the wait as the finish is always so effective, don't you agree.
Well that's it for today,  however I will make time this evening to do another post for tomorrow to show you the cards I made for my sons 21st.
I am hoping to be blogging more often again now as the clearing and rearranging is almost done and what I have left to do can be done at intervals now.    So, here's to catching up and creating something new.  I even have a new Challenge in mind!!! (but that will come a little later this month).
I hope you are all keeping well and have not had any hardships with all this rain.
Hugs and best wishes Linda xx

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hi all and welcome,
It's lovely to be back with you and..... crafting again!  I am still not able to craft everyday as I am still so busy and doing any sort of physical work wears me out completely.  It can take anything from one to four days to recover.  But please don't see that as such a bad thing, it's my life now and I am, on the whole, use to it.  I don't like the pain, I hate it, but after almost 13years I have learned to adjust my life around it so that I can still function, it's just on a slower more delicate pace.  With the big upheavel in my life recently I have had to learn to cope all over again and that is why I am often away from the blog for more than a day at a time.  My daughter and her partner have been helping me restructure the house so that everything has its permanent place, making cleaning & tidying much easier and quicker.  We started on the attic today and ended up with a boot full of unwanted items to go to the skip and a few bags for the charity shop too; so I am feeling really good about it all now.  Hopefully a few more visits from my daughter will be enough to have the bulk of it finished and then I can relax and get on with life.
Well now you know what I have been up to it's time for my card as promised.


I stamped the tailors dummy and cut off the wings.  I used one half of the wings on the sprocket below and the other was used on the notebook I created the other day.  I replaced the wings on the dummy with some metal ones I had in my stash and then I used the Rock Princess cartridge and my Cricut Expression to cut out a winged heart and the clock face..
Next I cut some sprockets & gears using Spellbinder dies and stamped another smaller butterfly to finish off the clock face.  Finally I added some chain, a metal clock and key charm (the key is behind the clock face sorry.  I didn't notice it was hidden till now). 

Here you can see the depth of the layered wings and the key charm is actually visible here.
So there you have it:  grungy, full of created imagery and mechanisms,  do you think it passes for a good representation of Steampunk?   I know some of you are not partial to this type of cardmaking but it is quite fun to do as you can go alittle wild and be a bit messy too, so why not have a little go yourselves and see what fantasy world you can imagine.
I have a lovely CAS card for you next, hopefully tomorrow, but if not it will most certainly be before the weekend.  It is using the lovely Tied together embossing folder from Creative Expressions.

I do hope you all have an inspiring day today and are blessed with a good day too.  Take care,  Linda xx

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Winner as chosen by you

Good morning all,
I'm sorry to say but it's a very quick post again today as I must try to get some sleep.  But that's enough of me, I can bore myself sometimes.... lol!!

First I must say a big thank you to everyone that took the time to vote.  You are so thoughtful and such good sports and I am truly grateful.  We had 12 sets of votes in all and from those votes we have a clear winner.

The first place winner is:-
No.5 Andrea Ewen
Congratulations Andrea, please Email me to confirm your win and to let me know which stamp you would like from LOTV as part of your prize.

I have also decided to do a second prize winner as the entries were all so glorious. So without further ado-

The second prize winner is:-
No.18 Helen Mitchell
Congratulations Helen, please Email me to confirm your win and I will post off your surprise gift.

Well that's it for another Challenge, thank you all very, very much indeed.  I have really enjoyed seeing all the entries and the wonderful inspiration.  Isn't it great how we see cards everyday and yet we can still find new and exciting ways to do things.
Tomorrow  I have a Steampunk card to show you, something a little different again.  I have mixed it up a bit using my Cricut expression, Spellbinder dies and some stamped images (including the other half of the butterfly I used on my notebook; didn't want to waste it now did I!!).  I even used some jewellery chain for added dimension and texture.  I hope you can stop by again and give me your opinion; good or bad, your opinions are always welcome.
Have a wonderful day and I hope it stays dry where you are.  Hugs Linda xx

Monday, 24 September 2012

All the Challengers

Hi all,
Well while I was wide awake I had little time to myself.  When I had time, I fell asleep.... can you believe it..LOL!!  Nevermind it may be late as I prepare this post but I am here now and I have decided to make things a little different.
Before I talk to you about the winner of our Almost White Challenge, I would like to show you all the entries once more.

1.Sue Pass  

2.Christine Harrop




3.Jenny Lawrence



4.Jenny Lawrence



5.Andrea Ewen

6.Christine Harrop

 7.Christine Hussey

8.Melanie

9.Linda Wescott

 10.Mags




11.Oksana

12.Kim

13.Regena

14.Nicola
15. Patricia

16.Linda Wescott

17.Ani

18.Helen Mitchell

19.Christine Hussey

What a collective of talent and array of ideas. 
These are all so lovely and are all truly winners;  however, one has to be chosen, so I have made a decision to let you chose the winner!  Yes that's right YOU vote naming your top three and I will do the rest. 
Just EMAIL me your TOP THREE and I will post the winner tomorrow.   I will leave the vote open until 10pm tonight, so please try and vote even if you have entered yourself, but please DO NOT vote for yourself.

My final SPECIAL SURPRISE IS:-   
If I receive more than 15 votes I will put up a 2ND prize!!

So now it's up to you, get your votes in as soon as possible and lets see if we can win a prize for a second winner too.

Before I go I have the finished Notebook to show you at last.  I do hope you like my creation, it was a bit of a fight to finish it as I was unsure what to do for the best; I didn't want anything too fussy but I wanted to make it a little special.  I think I got there in the end, see what you think.

First I used my new Memory box swirl die and then started cutting some up to make a bigger swirl.

I cut away the same piece at the bottom of two diecuts, one at an angle and one straight cut.

Then I attached them to the top diecut and glued a reversed one to the bottom (The paper arrows show their positioning).   To be able to reverse the diecut I put each one under a piece of baking parchment and rubbed over firmly with a bone folder. This flattened them so they looked alike.

This is how it looked before I started painting and attaching mica flakes etc.

I used Martha Stewart multi purpose metallic paint on the letters and then sprinkled over silver Mica Flakes for texture and glitz (the paint holds the mica really well).  I love the way they came out, I just wish the picture did them justice.

I finished off with some Spellbinders Sprockets diecuts in silver and black textured card, some keyhole brads and some stamped wings from the Creative Expressions Steampunk Dreams stamp plate.  I used the rest of the stamp on a card that I will show you in a day or two.

I'm so sorry for the extended post today, I seem to have been uploading photos for hours!  But thank you for taking the time to view them all, I truly appreciate it.  Bless you.
I hope you all have a wonderful day today.
Best wishes Linda xx  

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Almost White Papercraft Challenge

THIS IS A STICKY POST AND WILL STAY AT THE TOP UNTIL THE CHALLENGE ENDS.  
TO VIEW TODAYS POST PLEASE SCROLL DOWN.   THANK YOU. 

Good morning all,
Well I am doing it again, apologising..... Sorry about that (apology again...lol!).
Unfortunately when I was supposed to be putting up the Challenge post, as promised, I was nodding of on the sofa as I was shattered after having a poor nights sleep previously.  
So to the rules;  well there aren't rules as such because as you know I've never really liked rules (except where my children were concerned), so lets call them characteristics.

CHARACTERISTICS

1.  The theme is  'Almost White' with your base card in white or ivory.
2.  No more than two other colours, one of which should only be a very small amount.
3.   You can make any papercraft item(s)
4.  You may enter up to twice only but they must be different and one item must be a card or tag.
5.  All entries must be linked to my blog by the closing date of Sunday 23rd September.
6. Non bloggers 
 EMAIL the picture of your entry(s), with a little description and I will showcase it on my blog so it can be entered.

Here is my example from yesterdays post.
My Characteristics are:-   Base card of White, two colours of pink with hint of green



Now to the prize.  
The prize will be made up as the Challenge goes along.  Each and every week I will add something new to the prize until the closing date, the final piece being added on the completion day
To start the ball rolling, here is the first piece of the Prize Parcel:-

SPELLBINDERS   LABELS ONE


Update:-  The next prize to be added to the Candy pot is:-
 a £4.50 rubber stamp from LOTV (surprise winner chose Fur Cone stamps!)


Update 11th Sept:- The third prize to be added to the Candy pot is :-
a Wooden House Frame (surprise winner chose a Decorative Pins starter kit)


I do hope you will all try to take part and make this an exciting and varied Challenge.  I am so looking forward to seeing your fabulous creations, all the best.

Have a great day one and all.   Hugs Linda

Please see this POST for the original Challenge post and rules