Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Tim's tag for December

I am so pleased I managed to find a bit of time today to get my last Tim tag of the year done, all the details and process steps for Tim's own tag are over on his blog. Although I have got the prancing deer that he used, I decided to go with a lantern which reminded me more of the new year and the candle signifying peace. In fact you will see candles from me again very soon.

I didn't have all the supplies Tim used but I did use all his techniques from the background to the lantern and greenery. The word vision comes from Tim's stacked artful words strip die

I love the way the lantern turned out with the distress paint background and the glitter over the top and of course I added one of my rusted bells, it just seemed to fit, I love the candle stuck behind the frosted tag

The little clip at the top of the tags is one I bought when I went back to my home town of St. Ives recently (near Cambridge). One of my old school friends was working in a vintage shop in town so I popped in to see her and found them, they have a hook on them so the tag can be hung up.

Well it's New Years Eve tomorrow, have a great day and evening I will be back Thursday with two posts to start the new yeatr. I can't go without giving my huge thanks to Tim for an amazing year of creative inspiration and these wonderful monthly doses of sheer brilliance. As I am so late (again!!!) getting this completed and linked to Tim's blog, I won't have so much time to wait till the next one. I shall now pop over to his blog and link my tag for the last time this year.

Take care everyone.

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.

Hal Borland

hugs {brenda} xxx

Friday, 26 December 2014

Ring–ring, ring-ring…… new challenge at AVJ

Ring out the old – Ring in the new

It is my turn to choose the challenge at AVJ for the next fortnight and I thought it should be themed around the New Year but trying to keep it as ‘open’ as possible.

I found a short poem –
“Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”
Alfred Tennyson

This inspired me to think about using the bells die, I don’t have the big one just the mini movers and sharpers ones but even with Christmas looming I didn't get much of a feel for it. I also thought about using the Tim clock but some of my amazing teamies were posting their fantastic contributions with clocks on and I decided I needed to go in another different direction. It was after chatting to my sis about it that she took me off to ‘telephones’ – ringing friends and family to wish them a Happy New Year. So this is my contribution for ‘Ring out the old, ring in the new’.


The Tim telephone was cut in greyboard, daubed with black soot distress paint and a small amount of vintage photo, broken china and peeled paint distress embossing powders sprinkled in and heated. When cool I blended walnut stain distress ink over it.

The cover was made with a linen type fabric sponged with tarnished brass distress paint.
Over this I adhered some old telephone book pages and then I applied Wendy Vecchi's black embossing paste through the clockwork stencil and let dry then some black gesso through Tim's texture layering stencils.
When that was dry I stamped some images, words and numbers in black, brown and white acrylic paints and used black and white posca pens for outlining some of the numbers.
These became the covers. I added just a few collage pieces…..
… and another collage on the inside cover…
.. some tabs …
.. and left the back cover with just the textured background.
Tim’s label letters came in really useful for the index and the front cover. My inspiration this week was his telephone die and the layering stencils. By using other textures (book paper, hessian and sewing) and mixed media techniques I am really quite pleased with the outcome.
I hope you'll be inspired to translate the theme in your own way for this challenge.

Have fun.

Hugs Brenda xxx

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Flat card for posting

I can't believe how much it's costing to send Christmas cards this year and the ones with even small embellishments on are costing a bomb. So as I needed to make a few more cards to get out, here's one that isn't too fat and should go normal letter size.

This is my last DT sample for Country View Crafts Project Blog for this year, that just feels so strange - the year has gone so fast. 
More details are over there if you would like to see how I made this one and the supplies I used.

But for now - thank you so much for all the wonderful comments on my AVJ Secret Santa Tim Tag Book, it was one of those projects that just kept evolving and I loved every minute of making it and all the details I added.

Have a great week.

hugs Brenda xxx

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Altered Book for Secret Santa and Giveaway news

We all agreed at AVJ that we would take part in a Secret Santa gift exchange and each of us had one person (drawn from a hat) that we would send a gift to. So if you have a cuppa in hand I will take you through the making of my pressie.

My Secret Santa project went to the lovely Anne at Redanne. She, like all of us at AVJ, loves to get into the vintage, grungy and distressed look that the amazing Tim Holtz creates.
I was delighted to make this and send it to her, however it didn’t end up as I imagined it would, in fact I named it Topsy in the end because the ideas grew and grew, as did the book. So here’s the story.

The concept began with the idea that I would alter one of Tim’s worn covers and add the plastic tag pages for Anne to keep next years Tim tags in …. but as I thought about it more I decided to use one of the old books I had in the cupboard instead.
I started with an old vintage book that didn’t have a publication date in it, but some research on the internet suggests it was probably published in the early 1900s.
I took out the inner section just leaving the cover and reinforced the spine with some builders drywall joint tape which is a very strong paper (forgot to take a photo here). My intention was to add some flaps on the inside covers for the bound pages to slip into. But I next wanted to add a page to go with each month of the year and tag pocket. So the pages were cut to size and punched with the ‘Bind It All’ ready to put together later.  Each page was sprayed both sides with tattered rose, antique linen distress stains plus several glimmer mists to get the distressed background but keeping the colours fairly light. 
I stamped and cut Tim’s calendar months and cut the pocket hinges edging them all with walnut stain, these were later attached to Tim’s tag pockets and put through the ‘Bind It All’ as well.
Next I gathered lots of die-cuts and collage pieces as I wanted to decorate each page and decided that each one would have a tag theme to correspond with the month and I chose one main colour for each one and wrote them down to refer to.
So as you can imagine, by the time I put all my collage pages and the tag holder pages together they wouldn’t fit between the covers of the book the way I imagined. So I cut the covers off and put them through the ‘Bind It All’ but soon realised that even the largest O wire wasn’t big enough to bind it and believe me I tried lol. I knew that Anne was going to need space to add her Tim tag every month so even more room was needed. At this point I was very disappointed that it wasn’t working out and wondered what I could do to remedy the situation.  I remembered back to when I had bought scrapbook kits many, many moons ago and they had spacers which allowed the pages to go in the albums and not get crushed. So I sat and cut 12 spacers that had bee run through the ‘Bind It All’ and adhered them to each page. As you can imagine by now this book had grown enormously in depth and with the covers on was now over 2 inches deep. But I still had to get it bound. Eventually I solved the problem by googling how to bind single pages in a book and found this video.
Eh voila, new learning for me and problem solved.
It took a while to get each page bound to the next page ….
… it’s a slip knot method that I had seen before but never tried ….
… and actually in the end I was rather pleased with the result.
Each page opened fully and there is now room for the additions Anne will hopefully make.
To finish off I also added a tag to suggest to Anne what she could use the book for.
This is soooo typical of me, start with one idea and then change things as I go along.

As for my Secret Santa gift I was very lucky to receive a sketch book / journal from the lovely Jools with the most amazing cover on it. I love these hard backed books with plain paper that you can keep to add journalling, ideas, snippets of work, photographs etc, so this one will come in very handy over the coming year. The textures are gorgeous and it’s kept to a monotone palette which looks stunning.
More photos and information can be found on Jools’ blog.
Before I finish today, I know I said we all agreed to take part in the Secret Santa but dear Terry was unable to commit to it. As a dear friend who I love to see when I go to California we always swap little gifts with each other at this time of year, so I decided to send her something as well. In my haste to get it in the post to the US I forgot to photograph it and this is all I took.
But Terry has received her gift and very kindly sent me some photos.
I won’t show them all now, I will point you over to Terry’s blog for today, but I will probably be using this technique and ideas in a workshop next year.

We are having a Christmas Giveaway and Creative Guide hop over on ‘A Vintage Journey’ We would love you to come and join in the fun and there are some fabulous goodies to be given away.

I think all it needs is for me to say thanks for stopping by today, especially if you got here to the end of such a long post. Please pop over to see all the amazing projects my wonderful teamies have sent around the world and maybe get some ideas for your own hand made gifts, if not for this year then bookmark the pages or add them to Pinterest to come back to next year.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

hugs Brenda xxx

Friday, 12 December 2014

Let’s Celebrate at AVJ

Nikki is hosting our ‘Let’s Celebrate’ challenge which will take us up to Christmas, but of course with a wide open title like this you could be choosing one of a number of different things to celebrate.
You can make something to celebrate Christmas if you wish but lets not forget about those December birthdays, anniversaries, Hanukkah and New Years. It may be fun to focus on celebrations other than Christmas, it's up to you.

At this time of the year Christmas is very special to us as a family and we celebrate the season in a number of ways, one of which is giving gifts. If your children are grown up like mine then these days they don’t seem to want for much and they enjoy receiving gifts of money or tokens. This year I decided to make my own gift card holders.
Cut two pieces of card one 10 cm wide  x 18cm tall and one 14 cm wide x 6 1/2 cm tall.  Create a distressed background with stains and the wrinkle free technique. Repeat on the other side of the larger piece.
Take the larger piece and score at 5 cm on one side of the longest edge and 6 1/2 cm on the other end. Punch a semicircle or semi oval on the 5 cm end.
Take the small piece and score at 2cm on both ends of the longest side. (Here beware the thickness of the card, you might need to score at 21mm so that this wraps around the larger piece properly). Cut out a 2cm square on two of the corners and a fraction off the bottom diagonally so that the flap will fit inside neatly.
Work out which bits of the card holder are going to be upright and stamp randomly, I used Tim’s music score and text from Letter to Santa and Festive Sounds stamp sets with coffee archival ink.. Use a sticky note to mask off any section that you don’t want to stamp over. Round the corners of the large piece as shown and ink the edges before we adhere anything together.
Cut two pieces of ribbon/seam binding, I cut mine 30 cm and 25 cms long and sandwich it between the top and bottom layer when you adhere them together.
On the inside I stamped a greeting….
… and on the outside I added some glossy holly stamping using Tim’s technique that he used on on Tag 10 in 2011. I used Mini Holidays 2 and 4 for the holly stamps. I also cut and added the Noel die-cut from the Holiday Words – Script thinlits dies.
The ribbon ties around the wallet and it’s all ready to hold that gift card for that someone special.

I know it’s a big rush now to get everything sorted, decorating, cooking, buying and wrapping presents, but if you find yourself with some crafty time then we hope you will join us on our ‘Lets Celebrate’ journey.

Take care.

hugs Brenda xxx

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Prove you are not a robot

Recently when vising blogs I have found more and more people with a 'captcha' box headed 'Please prove you are not a robot'. I get frustrated at these verification boxes because they slow you down when commenting and I was asking myself why so many people seem to be turning them on?????

I found CVC challenge blog also has it on and I couldn't believe Chris would have turned it on, but she didn't know anything about it. So I experimented leaving a comment on my own blog and low and behold the Robot box came up. I couldn't find a way to turn it off in the settings and that really annoyed me. 

So after searching around a bit on the internet and experimenting myself I have found that if you have a blogger blog it is likely you
  do not have to fill this in on another blogger blog. 
TRY IT. I did, it worked for me here on CVC challenge blog.

Secondly you probably can get rid of it if you want to. I have my comment box set to come up as a pop-up as I like to see the blog post and comment box at the same time, but if you embed it so that it comes up at the bottom of the post, the captcha box disappears - again this worked for me, but I have changed it back to a pop up box.

So first of all try publishing your comment without filling in the captcha box if you are on blogger and commenting on another blogger post. Good luck.

hugs Brenda xxx

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Santa’s Stable – Crafty Individuals

My Christmas cards are now well under way and I've made this stand up cabinet card, mind you I still have most of them to write and get in the post.  The stamp set is CI 396 and I love the Santa and angel painted in the sepia tones. I did this with distress inks and a water brush. My youngest grandaughter looked like this for her Christmas nativity play this morning, with a long dress, wings and tinsel in her hair. I so love this time of year but I really miss being in school and sharing the build up to the big day with the children.

Now for making the cabinet card. I looked on the internet for cabinet card designs but most of them were just rectangular and I have the Tim Holtz vintage cabinet card die but I knew it would be too small, but I am into extending dies where I can, so I took a piece of mountboard, and die-cut just the top part. Using a ruler and pencil I drew lines to extend both the sides and length, they’re straight lines so it was very easy to do. I used my rotary trimmer and scissors to cut the shape out and hey presto I had the size I wanted to fit my image.

Of course there were cut lines still showing but covering the front and back with papers hid those and gave the shape it’s strength back. I glued the frame onto the papers and cut round the shape. I didn’t worry too much about neat edges as I knew I was going to sand them down.
Whilst in preparation mode I also cut a piece of normal 300 gm card and covered it on both sides with the same snowflake backing paper as the cabinet card and die-cut Tim’s small easel.
Then I was ready to do the background for the image and as Tim says it’s just a background, I used CI  017 text stamp with walnut stain distress ink and that was it simple. I knew it needed to be quite plain as the stars and images needed to take centre stage.
I had just bought a bag of stars made from wood, so I chose one, dabbed it with picket fence distress paint and sprinkled both gold and silver glamour dust over it. The small stars are die-cut and given the same treatment.
To give some dimension I popped this little angel up on foam pads and tucked a small glittered tree behind her.
The base has been cut with die-cut festive greenery and red berries with some silver bauble berries. It finished it off quite nicely.

I hope your preparations are going well.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

hugs Brenda xxx