Monday, 31 March 2014

Crocheted Square with Raised Heart

Just thought I'd pop by with a little quick entry and for a real change it's my first ever crochet pattern!

I recently followed a pattern in a book that my Mother-in-Law purchased that had a bow design made out of the bobbles. This turned out well and then the grey matter said "Hey we could play with this". So off I went to find a pad of squared paper and a pencil, and that is how this heart was created.

The stitch for those of you who do not know how it's done is very easy and I will take you through it in a second step by step.

The pattern I've included at the end of this blog and its the design as I drew it on the squared paper. The red squares are the bobbles and the blank squares are double crochet. You start with 28 chain and then work a double crochet into the 2nd chain in from the hook, and then 1 double crochet is worked into every chain stitch after that making 27 stitches, at the end of each row make 1 chain before turning. That is the foundation row( 1st row) the 2nd and 3rd rows are just 1 double crochet worked into each stitch. Row 4 the pattern begins with 1 bobble stitch worked into the 14th stitch being the centre.

Right now for the bobble stitch, start to work a treble stitch but stop once there are just 2 stitches left on the hook as in the picture.

Then do this again, so there is 3 stitches on the hook.

And again so you have 4 stitches on the hook.

And now a 4th time so you will end up with 5 stitches on the hook.

Now put the yarn round the hook----

And pull it through all 5 stitches.

So you have worked 4 open trebles before drawing the thread through all 5 stitches. The bobbles are formed on the underside of the work incase you wondered why there was no bobble visible!

I used 4ply cotton and a 3.50mm hook and the square measures 13cm x 13cm.

Here is the pattern and I hope you find it fairly easy to follow. In actual fact it probably is easier to follow if you are someone who picks up their work and does a couple of rows and then puts it down as you can just make a pen mark by the side of the row that you are on. All odd numbered rows are just double crochet so it's quite easy.

Ok I'm off now to cook some supper, happy crocheting and hopefully I'll see you back here soon for some more creative ideas. Have a good week and take care, many thanks as always for stopping by and don't forget if you have any comments, questions or queries do leave them at the bottom of the page and I will get back to you asap. Bye for now Jane x

Thursday, 27 March 2014

*DREAM* Mixed media Canvas

Well Todays entry is a mixed media canvas that I'm entering for the Sunday Stampers Challenge titled Dream. To see Hels Sheridans stunning example and all the other entrants click on the link   
There is a wonderful blog candy to be won this week as its her 300th anniversary.

Ok, so I had a little play time yesterday and I had been promising myself a messy session with some paint and stencils and this is what I produced. I will give a list of the paints, dies, stamps etc that I used and then a brief summary of how it was made.

Canvas measuring 5"x7"
Stamps by Graphic 45 and 7 Gypsies
Acrylic paint from PaperArtsy in Blush and Nougat
White Gesso
Tim Holtz Dies Fleurs di Lis & Eiffel Tower and Trellis from the new Frameworks series
Spellbinders Brackets Die
Stencils by Imagination Crafts called Bay Leaf and Dylusions Alphabet Border Small
Tag from InkyDoodles MDF Shapes Bag
Grunge Paste by PaperArtsy
Distress Inks in Iced Spruce and Vintage Photo
Distress Stains in Brushed Pewter, Tumbled Glass and Seedless Preserves
Brilliance ink pads in Graphite Black and Starlight Black
Perfect Pearls Mist in Blue Patina
Cosmic Shimmers Mist in Plum Tart
Creative Expressions Vintage Plum Gilding Wax
Cosmic Shimmers Mica Powder in Antique Blue
Treasured Gold Wax in Sapphire, Olive Bronze and Pewter
Decoart Metallic Lustre in Black Shimmer
Sizzix embossing folder
Paper scraps, lace, corrugated card, dry wall tape, black peel-off letters, hemp string, odd transfers, gems,2 eyelets and thin suede cord for hanging
The rose and leaves had been previously made and dipped into UTEE in the Melt Pot

To begin with I drilled the 2 holes in the top of the canvas and then gave it a coat of gesso. Then I stuck on the various papers, lace etc with a mix of 1part white glue and 1part water. Next using the grunge paste and stencils added the texture. This was then given a coat of gesso and then when this was dry a coat of blush acrylic paint.
The tag was also given a coat of gesso and a coat of blush. The letters were then stuck onto the tag and the edges stamped with iced spruce and brushed with the mica power. Finally the edges were sanded to reveal the wood.

Next a sprayed the canvas with the perfect pearls, the cosmic shimmers and a little water and tilted and twisted the canvas so that the colours mixed and blended between the different layers.

Once dry I then added the stamping to the canvas, Paris was first stamped in the starlight black and then over stamped in the graphite black to give some shadowing.

Making sure this was completely dry I then added extra colour using the Distress Stains. This was applied with a brush and my little finger! Touches of colour were also added to the die cut trellis so as to make it blend in rather than stand out too much.

The Eiffel Tower was embossed with the Sizzix folder and then rubbed with the sapphire treasured gold. The 2 brackets were rubbed with the black shimmer and all were buffed when dry.

The rose had some sapphire wax added to the edges of the petals and the leaves had some olive bronze added to the tips. These to were buffed when dry.

The ticket was given a coat of nougat and then stamped in the graphite black.

The canvas was then given touches of the vintage plum gilding wax and the pewter and sapphire treasured gold to the stencilled areas and the corrugated card to help make them stand out.

Then it was down to the assembling, after trying various designs, the transfers were applied before everything was secured in place with some pinflair glue. The gems were then added and the eyelet's were placed in the holes at the top and the suede cord threaded through and knots tied in each end.

A good evenings work I felt, little finger has a deep plum tone to it today but other than that there is no evidence of a messy, inky, painty session what so ever!!

I hope you can join me again soon for another crafty session, thanks as always for finding the time to stop by and read this blog. Any comments or questions are always appreciated and will be answered asap. Enjoy the rest of your week and take care, Jane x

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Easter Card with a Country Feel

Good Morning to you all and I hope everyone has had a calm and creative week. Todays entry is a fairly quick Easter card with a rural, country feel. The main set of stamps are a fairly new set from InkyDoodles and then I have used odd individual stamps from other sets which are all listed.

Stamps Sets by InkyDoodles; You are My Sunshine,  Primitive Blessings,  Just For You mini set and Happiness is.
A Post-it note mask of the scarecrow
15cm x 15cm blank card
White smooth card for stamping on
Scraps of craft card and patterned papers in colours of choice
Pencils for colouring
Clarity Cloud Mask
Black Archival Ink Pad
Clear Embossing Powder
Adirondack ink in Juniper
Distress Inks in Brushed Corduroy, Antique Linen, Weathered Wood and Bundled Sage
Small flower punch
Tim Holtz Bigz Tag and Book Plates Die
Brilliance Pearlescent Thyme ink pad
Pinflair Glue
Small length of ribbon and a few gems

To begin with stamp the scarecrow in the black archival onto the blank card and the white smooth card and then emboss with clear embossing powder. Whilst the stamp is inky stamp the scarecrow's hat, dungarees and patches onto your chosen patterned paper.

Cut out the clothing and stick the patches onto the dungarees. Colour the inside of the sleeves, the scarecrow's hands and the supporting stick on the card with pencils as these parts will not be covered up with the paper layering. I use pencil for this as I find Pro-markers bleed through the card and then spoil the inside. The shirt, face and underside of the hat were then coloured in on the stamped card. You could use pens for this as the underside will be glued down.
The scarecrow stamped onto the smooth card was then cut out, but don't worry about the hair, straw at the bottom of the trousers or the stick hands and inside of the sleeves as that part will show on the card. ( it makes life a bit easier!)

Next its onto the background.

The scarecrow was covered up with the ready made Post-it mask and the bottom half of the card was brushed with the juniper ink to give a slightly different tone to the sky. Then the clouds were inked using the Clarity Mask, Weathered Wood and Antique Linen inks. You really don't need much ink on the sponges to get a really good impression of the clouds. 

Once you are happy with your sky it's then onto the ground. I tore a piece of copier paper into a curved hill shape and starting at the bottom and working up the card apply less ink to each hill as you are getting further away. Make sure the base of the scarecrows stand is anchored with a small hill so that he doesn't look like he's floating!

Now the background is complete it's down to adding all the little extras and embellishments.

Stamp the eggs where you feel happy with them and whilst inked up stamp them onto some craft card and cut out. The chickens were then stamped onto the card and the feathers and beaks were coloured in with pencil. Stamp the same number of chickens onto your chosen papers and emboss with clear powder which helps to define the edges once cut out. 

Happy Easter was stamped onto white card and also embossed with the clear powder. The frame was cut using the Tags and Book Plates die and the greeting was attached to the centre. Ribbon was then threaded through the 2 holes each side. 

The heart and bird on the greeting were stamped from the Primitive Blessings set and the flowers punched out in co-ordinating colours. The bird on the scarecrows sleeve was stamped from the mini set, cut out and the claws were draw onto the sleeve with a black micron pen.
The dungarees were dabbed with a little brushed corduroy ink to dirty them up a bit before being stuck in place. Now its time to stick all the bits together, I used the pin flair glue as I wanted each of the images to have a raised effect and this holds up well if applied in a good mound.

The bottom edge of the card was stamped with the leaf from the Happiness is stamp set using the pearlescent thyme ink.

One Easter card with a jolly theme without a bunny in sight! Mind you, it would be easy enough to add one to this scene as it would fit in quite nicely! I really like the country check feel of this card but you could also go soft and flowery which would also look lovely. A great set of stamps and very versatile, which is what crafters are always looking for.

Well I hope you enjoyed todays entry and please feel free to leave any comments or queries at the bottom of the page and I will endeavour to reply asap. Thank-you as always for stopping by today and hopefully we can get together again soon for another crafty few minutes. Take Care and have a good week, Jane x 

Wow, Hubby has just bought me in a coffee, no biscuit though!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

'Add Something Pink' Challenge Entry

Hi Everyone and a very happy sunny Sunday to you all. Todays blog is my entry for Lavinia Stamps monthly blog challenge titled 'Add Something Pink'. To follow the blog and see the DT lovely examples click on the link

Lavinia Stamps Secret Garden and Fairy House
Tornado Stencil by Andy Skinner
White greeting card measuring 15cmx15cm
White card for stamping, not too thick around 160gsm
small amount of black and pink card i.e. scraps
Smallest heart from the Inkydoodles bag of MDF Shapes
Memory Box Ivy Tendrils Die
Small flower punch
Distress Inks in Victorian Velvet, Tattered Rose, Antique Linen, Wild Honey, Iced Spruce and Pumice Stone
Versa-mark ink pad
Ranger Seafoam White Embossing Powder
Stampendous Fran-tage Aged Ivory Embossing Powder
Tim Holtz ATC & Corners Bigz Die
Pink and white Bakers Twine
Fresco Chalk Acrylics in Blush
Perfect Pearls Mica Powder in Perfect Pearl
Decoart Metallic Lustre in Black Shimmer
1 Brad

To begin with colour the greeting card with the Distress Inks using 5 of the colours but not the Pumice Stone. I started with putting a base of the Antique Linen down all over and then random patches of colour. The centre and the edges are the parts that will show when the card is complete.

Next stamp the secret garden stamp in versa-mark in the centre if the card and sprinkle with the sea foam white embossing powder. Tap off the excess well and then sprinkle a little of the aged ivory embossing powder around the edges of the stamped image and the edges of the card before heating with the heat gun. I didn't use any ink to adhere the aged ivory powder to the card as there seemed to be sufficient dampness left from the distress inks and I have found in the past when using this EP that as it's a little courser in texture you only need a very little powder to create an effect. Once embossed using a blending tool I rubbed a tiny amount of pumice stone ink over the image to help make it pop.

Now stamp the image onto a piece of scrap paper and roughly cut out. Place this in the centre of the thin white card which has been cut to 13.5cm x 13.5cm and mark where to cut the aperture. 

What you cut away does need to be accurate as you then snip the edges of the hole ready to roll back the card. This card was then coloured with the same inks. Spritz the centre edges with a little water and then gently roll the edges of the card enlarging the aperture and refining the shape of the window.

Using the stencil add a few of the curved lines to the card in the matching colour inks. Then ink the curled edges that you have rolled back in victorian velvet.

Using the edge of the fairy house stamp ink up in the versa-mark and randomly stamp the part image around the card. Sprinkle with the sea foam white EP, tap off the excess and then sprinkle the curled edge with the aged ivory. Tap off any surplus powder and then heat emboss. The aged ivory has odd specks of gold in the powder which gives a nice effect.

Tie a length of bakers twine around the aperture with a bow at the top. To secure tuck into the curled card here and there. The very edges of the card were then brushed with the mica powder to give a slight sheen.

Next onto the small heart, this was given 2 coats of the blush acrylic paint and once dry the edges were rubbed with some sandpaper back to the wood.

This was then stamped using versa-mark and the very centre of the secret garden stamp. Sprinkle with the sea foam white powder and emboss.

The 4 corners were then cut from the black card scraps and rubbed with the black shimmer lustre. Once dry they were buffed to a metallic shine. The 2 flowers were punched out from 2 different pieces of pink card scraps and fastened with a brad in the middle. I cut 1 ivy tendril from white card and this was cut into 2.

The aperture card was attached using double side tape, then the 4 corners were stuck in place using glue. The heart was threaded onto the righthand thread of bakers twine and then a knot was tied into the 2 ends. The ivy tendrils were threaded through the loops of the bow and the flower fastened with a blob of Pinflair glue.

This is not a card I would trust in the post as the centre may get crushed in the posties sack. I have to say I'm not a 'pink' girl but I have enjoyed being out of my 'comfort zone' of turquoise, blue, beige and greens!

Thank you as always for stopping by and reading todays entry, I hope there has been something of interest to you. If you have any comments, questions or queries please feel free to leave a message at the bottom of the page and I will answer them as soon as I can.

Well I'm off to do some much needed weeding while the sun is shining, I hope you have a relaxing Sunday and have a good creative week, take care Jane x

PS. There is a Mother's Day Card  Draw over on our Fb site, if you fancy entering click on the link 

Monday, 10 March 2014

"A Stitch in Time " Entry for The Sunday Stampers Challenge

Hi Everyone, hope you are all well and that you have been able to enjoy this lovely Spring sunshine that we have had the last couple of days. Todays tag is my entry for Hels Sheridan's Sunday Stampers Challenge titled " A Stitch in Time".

To view the other entries and to read her great blog click on the link


1 Large Manilla Tag
Stamps from Inkydoodles Cross Stitch Heart background and Primative Angel, Studio 490 Flower Art, Daisy and Dandelion Christmas Wishes.
Small Heart from the bag of Inkydoodles MDF Shapes
Tim Holtz Layering Stencil Measured
Pan Pastels in Magenta extra dark, Hansa Yellow shade and Permanent Green shade.
Versa-mark ink pad
White embossing powder and Wow Metallic Pewter embossing powder
Distress Ink in Vintage Photo
Brilliance ink pad in Graphite Black
Memento ink pad in Sweet Plum
Tim Holtz Tattered Florals Die
Memory Box Trailing Ivy Die
Small amounts of cream card, patterned papers and material
PaperArtsy Fresco Acrylic in Nougat and Satin Glaze
Distress Stains in Seedless Preserves and Milled Lavender
Decoart Metallic Lustre in Black Shimmer
Cotton Tape
3 Pearls and 1 brad

To begin with I coloured the tag with the Pan Pastels using the soft tool applicator starting with the yellow at the top, then the green and lastly the magenta. I  didn't layer the Pan Pastels too thickly as I wanted a slightly mottled effect.

Next I randomly stamped the cross stitched hearts in versa-mark ink and then using the soft sponge went over them with the green shade Pan Pastels.

Then using the vintage photo ink, make-up sponge and the stencil I made 2 areas of tape measure across the tag. As the Pan Pastels will rub off onto your hands its best to set them in some way and for this I brushed on a layer of Satin Glaze before the next stage. This glaze takes only about 5mins to dry.

The large flower from the Studio 490 set was stamped onto the tag using the sweet plum ink. This was stamped just off the tag at the bottom as I wanted the flower going off the edge.

Next I coloured a piece of cream card with the Pan Pastels to match the tag but using a little more of the magenta. This was also given a coat of the satin glaze. Once dry I stamped the tag using the graphite black ink from the Christmas stamp set but didn't ink the christmas greeting in the centre as I wanted the stitched edge. Then the message You're Sew Special was stamped in versa-mark and embossed using the white embossing powder. The tag was then cut out with a craft knife and a hole was punched ready for the tape to go through. 

The heart was given a coat of nougat acrylic paint, then once dry was stamped with versa-mark using the trellis heart from the Primative Angel stamp set, sprinkled with the Wow embossing powder and then heat embossed. A pearl was threaded onto some silk thread and tied onto the heart.

Now onto the flower, firstly I stamped the large flower with versa-mark onto a chosen piece of patterned paper and then embossed with the white embossing powder. This was cut out with a pair of scissors. The other layers where cut from card and material scraps using the tattered florals die. I cut 4 different coloured ivy trails using the Memory Box die. 

Once I had decided on the sequence for the layers of the large flower and the small one for the top of the tag they were then glued together. When the glue had set I then applied some of the metallic lustre to the edges of the petals on the large flower. This was then carefully buffed up with a soft cloth when dry. 

The white tape was then coloured using the distress stains. This was done by dabbing the stains onto a craft mat, spritzing with a little water and then dragging the tape through the wet ink, turning it over as to colour both sides. This can be dried using a heat gun if you are in a hurry ( or just a tad impatient!) The tape was then attached to the top of the tag.

I added some faux stitching to the edges of the tag with a black micron pen before assembling.

The large flower was attached first.

Then the message tag and the small flower were stuck in place and just for fun I stamped the 100% original art in black ink from the primitive angel set!

Hope you have enjoyed todays entry and perhaps can take some element from this to use on one of your creations. Thanks as always for stopping by today and reading this blog, it is appreciated. Please  feel free to leave any comments at the bottom of the page or if you have any questions or queries I will reply as soon as I can. Take care and have a good crafting week and hopefully see you back here soon  Jane x


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Decorating MDF Shapes for Embellishments

Hello, and thanks for stopping by, today I thought I would show you some great MDF shapes now being sold by Inkydoodles, I will start by showing what the bag contains and then I go on to explain how the 3 in the photo above were made.

OK, the picture above shows all the different shapes and sizes that are in the bag and the numbers above each mdf shape is how many of each kind are in the pack. There is a total of 52 items in all!

For todays crafty make I shall be using these 3.

To begin with the heart and tag were given a coat of white gesso and left to dry. If you don't have any gesso in your crafty stash a coat of slightly watered down white emulsion paint will also work as its just to give a light base to work on.

I shall start with the heart, this was inked with tumbled glass Distress ink and then using iced spruce Distress ink I stencilled the centre pattern on the bottom two thirds of the heart as in the photo.

Once completely dry I stamped the chicken wire pattern from the Inkydoodles 'Primative Angel' set in versa-mark ink and heat embossed with Wow Metallic Platinum embossing powder.

Next I took the word stamp Wonderful from the Inkydoodles 'Its all about you' set and curved it to the shape of the heart when placing it on the acrylic block before stamping it in black Archival ink.

The flowers were stamped onto some coated card stock that had been coloured with alcohol inks and then cut out by hand. They were layered and the petals curled before fastening in the centre with a brad. The trailing leaves were cut using the Memory Box die Ivy Tendrils. These were then stuck in place with a little glossy accents.

I then crocheted a chain with some cream cotton.

This was then finished with a button.

Next is the flower shape, this was inked well with versa-mark and then sprinkled with Cosmic Shimmers Ultra thick Midnight Blue embossing powder and heated with the heat gun.

This was after one coat and then I gave it a second coat---

Much nicer! Then another inking of versa-mark and then a coat of clear UTEE. Whilst the clear layer was still hot I placed the Leafy Swirl stamp by Clarity which had been well inked with black Archival ink into the molten Utee.

You need to press quite hard on the stamp and leave it in place for a few seconds. This doesn't damage the Clarity Stamps or the Inkydoodles ones but I'm not sure about other makes!

Some Treasure Gold wax in pewter was applied to areas of the flower and then buffed up with a soft cloth. Narrow ribbon was threaded through the hole for hanging or attaching as an embellishment.

And now for the third and final MDF shape the tag. A coat of Paperartsy Fresco Chalk Acrylic in French Roast was painted on top of the gesso. Once touch dry a coat of Americana Weathered Wood  Crackle Medium was then brushed on. When this was touch dry a final coat of Fresco Chalk Acrylic in nougat was given for the cracked, peeled paint effect.

Allow this to completely dry before stamping the peacock from Inkydoodles Peacock Mini set in Brilliance pearlescent crimson at an angle. 

Using the same colour ink stamp another peacock onto some white card stock. Allow to dry and then over stamp the birds body but not the head with versa-mark ink using the medieval background stamp from Inkydoodles and then emboss with white embossing powder. Once heated cut out the body and head and stick onto the peacock previously stamped on the tag. The tree branch was stamped in Archival sepia from the "May all your Dreams and Wishes come True" set of stamps again from Inkydoodles. The edges were rubbed with Creative Expressions Metallic Gilding wax in vintage plum and buffed up when dry. An eyelet was placed in the tags hole and some white ribbon threaded through and knotted.

I have used several of these MDF shapes on cards and have loved everyone of them. Its great having a big bag as you don't get the " oow I'm not sure I want to use this as I will only have 2 left" feeling. There are so many different ways of decorating them but its fun just experimenting, and in most cases if you don't like how it turned out paint over it in another colour and start again.

I'm sorry this ended up such a long blog entry but there was a lot to cover and I hope you will have found some of it of interest. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a good week and can manage to fit in a little crafting time along the way. Take care and hopefully see you soon Jane x