Thursday, 13 December 2012

Victorian Christmas Chunky ATC

The fifth and final Chunky ATC swap on UK Scrappers was a Christmas one, and the lady I had to make for was Chris, AKA Scrapnanny.  Her theme was Victorian Christmas, which had me scratching my head because I am not really into anything Victorian!  It was my daughter's suggestion to make the front a toy shop window that set me off down the path that led to the finished article below.

My original vision was to have the whole front of the chunky as the window, with the children standing in front and looking through, but it was too fiddly to cut from card and I couldn't find a dolls house window the right size, hence the much smaller window. 

Once I had finished I had a suitable box to send it off in, but it was a cat food box and I felt that it had to be covered to make it more suitable.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Altered Sardine Tin

I think this is the strangest swap I have taken part in to date!  Those taking part had to buy a fish tin, eat or otherwise dispose of the contents in some way (I believe cats may have been used for this purpose!), and alter the tin to your swappee's theme.

My swappee was very kind in that she gave a pretty good description of what she wanted, which involved an old fashioned circus side show peopled with characters like bearded ladies and fortune tellers.  I had a set of little wooden wheels fron a toy kit, and knew at once that I wanted to make the wagon that the sideshow travelled in.  There is indeed a bearded lady, and a fortune teller, but there are also other characters lurking behind as well as a pair of Siamese Twins  and a mermaid girl. 

I really enjoyed making the little wagon, and was sorry to see it trundle off to perform it's magic for Rebecca in France.

Jigsaw swap pieces

As part of a collaboration on the Secret Swappers, I have decorated 12 jigsaw pieces themed on the month of May.  The idea is that everyone taking part has the same piece from 12 different jigsaws to decorate on their chosen month, and once they are all swapped back we will each have a 12 piece jigsaw where each month is decorated by a different person.

I chose May because it was still available, it is my birthday month and it happens to be my favourite!  I planned to buy stamps or images based around May Day/ Maypole dancing/the May Queen.  Unfortunately I couldn't find what I wanted so had to make do with what I had, so one flower stamp was used as Hawthorn/mayblossom, and a flapper girl stamp became the May Queen and was crowned with another stamp.  Oh, and the bee represents the fertility aspect of the May Day festival!  So, lots of ink spraying, stamping and painting with twinkling H2Os.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Halloween Chunky ATC: Bones

The overall theme for the fourth chunky swap on UK Scrappers was Halloween, and my swappee on there was Rebecca, whose theme was Halloween rather than anything too specific. (My own theme was Witchy, and I can't wait to see what my chunky looks like!)

I had already, in readiness for Halloween crafting, bought a little skeleton, some gorgeous Halloween stamps, a small selection of charms and some glass pumpkin beads.  Even if they weren't suitable for the chunky theme I knew I would make use of them in something else.

I struggled to get started, until I picked up a brick wall stencil at a show, and realised I could use it with texture paste; so I duly got messy with paste, which I coloured ith some acrylic paint.  I was really pleased with the stone wall and arch that I created on one side of the chunky:
I covered the other sides with halloween patterned paper, and added pumpkin feet to it.  The sides were simply decorated with stamps and heat embossed:

On the back I added stamped images of cobwebs and cobwebbed poison bottles, alongside a resin bottle which I decorated with a spider charm
The front itself I kept fairly simple because I didn't want to cover up too much of the stone work.  I made shackles out of jump rings and necklace chain, and attached them to the side of the archway and the little skeleton.  I left Bones free standing, because I thought it would be fun if he could be moved around in front of the doorway.  I added a keep out sign because I felt that Bones was a skeletal guard to a forbidden magical chamber, which could only be accessed through the haunted archway.  Of course all you really need to do is turn the chunky round and you are there!)
 Finally, on the top I added a vial of blood with a bat charm hanging from the stopper, a skull and a tag with the Halloween date on it.

I padded out the box that Bones was sent in with Halloween chocolate and sweeties, and while I was buying them I saw a box of After Eight mints which gave me another idea, so I quickl made some extra packaging for the outside to turn them into After Midnight mints, because as we all know the haunting and spookiness doesn't really start until after midnight - the witching hour!
So there you have it.  I understand that Bones has now made his way safely to his new home to await Halloween!


Monday, 17 September 2012

Midsummer Madness Frame swap

This swap took its inspiration from an altered frame project in Craft Stamper magazine.  My swappee is Caroline, and her theme was " A season", (not all girly and yucky though) It took me a long time to get started as I couldn't find a suitable frame to alter, so I had to decide between using the reverse of a small canvas or a box.

I eventually found my stock of canvases and boxes, amazingly they were right under my nose all the time!  and after weighing up the pros and cons decided to go for the box, which is very thick and sturdy, with a canvas effect finish.  Plus it was white which made it easier to paint and alter.

I cut out the tree trunk shapes on the lid and inner section, then used acrylics to colour the whole box.  I painted and sprayed the inside of the box to give it a misty/frosty look and did the same with a spider web I had printed on acetate.  lots of leaves were die cut in autumn colours and sprayed in glimmer mists, and a quotation was stamped and heat embossed.  The bulrushes were also heat embossed using distress powders.  The title was painted to get it the right colour and stamped with one of the leaf stamps which I also used on the outside of the box.  I tried to place everything in the box to give it a layered effect, as if you are looking out betwee trees nto a misty landscape.

I stamped a Stampotique Wolfie king and coloured him with pencils.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Domino Book swap

This took its inspiration from an article in Craft Stamper, and would have probably been a whole lot easier if I had managed to get hold of dominoes of a normal size, i.e. 1" x 2" instead of the 1.5 cm x 2.5 cm that was all I could find.  my swappee for this was Lexi again, and this time her theme was "There's no place like home"

I had some lovely house stamps which I thought would be perfect for this, but they had so be stamped on paper, scanned in and reduced in size to fit the book.  I set up a row of resized houses and trees, and printed them off twice (The second time in reverse) , before colouring them in, cutting them out and glueing them back to back. 

Two of the stamps were used on shrink plastic and shrunk before being coloured in and covered in clear embossing powder.  these were added to the dominoes used for the book covers, which had previously been painted and heat embossed before the edges were glued and dipped in micro beads.

Four tiny alphabet beads spelling home were glued to the base of the dominoes as feet.

The open book
The front cover
The back cover
The feet - as you can see, I had trouble tying the book tightly shut as it turned out that what I thought was a ribbon when I fished it out of my ribbon bag that evening was a piece of some kind of faux leather trim. 

Butterfly Chunky

Here is the third chunky I made for a swap over on UK Scrappers, for a lady called Lexi whose theme was butterflies.  I happened to be on holiday in Ireland when the the swap details were sent out, but I was able to log on briefly to get the details.  This proved to be lucky because on our last day in Dublin I found a lovely little bead and crystal shop, where I bought the mesh butterfly shape I used on the front of the chunky, and the shared bead caps that I used for the feet.

The butterfly shape was coated in several shades of metallic embossing powder, I added wire antenna and used stickles on the body.  The paper I used had butterflies on, but I stamped and heat embossed some silver butterlies over the top too.  on the sides I added wooden butterflies that had been inked and painted with acrylics, with stickles used as trails.

The ATC front:

The right hand side:
The back (The quote is printed on Safmat):
The left hand side:

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Grimms Fairy Tale ATC Book

The lovely Rebecca is running an ATC Book swap on UK Scrappers, where instead of simply sending each member of the swap a selection of loose ATCs back, she will bind them into a little concertina book.  I have one of her creations on a different theme, which I need to take photos of and post here because it is amazing, so I am looking forward to seeing how she presents the Grimms ATCs.

My chosen story was 'The Golden Bird', and I started by stamping am image coloured with distress markers. I was going to use a stamped bird, but I decided the image was too big so I used charms instead. With hindsight I think I made the wrong decision, but never mind.  Here are a selection of the ATCs that are winging their way over to France, plus the prototype with the stamped bird - what do you think?

A new Chunky has arrived!

The third Chunky ATC swap on UK Scrappers is now in full swing, titled Chunky 3: The Full Chunky.  My own production is a little behind as I has to get some ATC's ready and sent to France, so they needed to go first. 

Mt theme was 'Under the sea', suggested by my daughter as I couldn'r decide what I wanted.  As soon as I sent in my request for this theme though, a certain song started playing in my head and must have been playing in my swappee's head too while she was making it for me!  Even before the wrapping was fully off, I could see tentacles, and when fully revealed it was an Octopus' garden, complete with seahorses and a handmade mermaid, although the crowning glory is the quivering octopus on the top!

This came from Lynn, who didn't take photos of it so I have put three on to show as much as I can.  This is her first chunky, but she has done a wonderful job and it brightened my day!

Swap Goodies

I have taken part in several swaps this year, and have received some gorgous works of art in exchange for my own pieces.  Unfortunately I have been a bit slow popping pictures on my blog!  Anyway, here are a few:


I received my first chunky from Rebecca:  My theme was Freedom, and she included all my favourite things, as well as a great quote on the back.

My second Chunky was a Gothic one from Audrey, and after going AWOL on its way to me it eventually turned up safe and sound.

I also received a fabulous altered tin:

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Collage Swap

AS part of the Secret Swappers I am taking part in a collage swap.  The idea being that we each end up with 4 different sized/shaped pieces from each person taking part, using their chosen colour/theme.  Mine was vanilla and keys, I had to make 12 of each piece but as they are identical I took a photo showing 2 of each.  Once we get all our pieces back, they can be pieced together into a collage.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Wild Animal Chunky

I have made another chunky for a swap on UK Scrappers, this time on a wild animal theme;  her favourites are giraffes and meercats so I went for an exotic animal style, with a couple of handcrafted items from Africa  (the zebra and the fabric panel on the back)

Friday, 25 May 2012

Tinchie swap - the Road Trip

The latest swap I have been involved in on UK Scrappers is a tinchie swap; this involves altering a mini mint tin to a designated theme and sending it to your swappee.  Mine was for Rebecca, and she wanted the theme Road Trip.  Unfortunately I got a bit confused what I was doing and started making a tin on a completely different theme entirely, which wasted two weeks.  As a result, I didn't have much time to plan and carry out the alteration so it had to be done using stuff I had to hand or could find locally.  I hope Rebecca is not too disappointed by the end result.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Box Frame Shrine

A couple of months ago I picked up a double box frame from a charity shop, and have been trying to decide what to do with it ever since.  I decided last weekend that it would make an ideal shrine, and what better time to make it than over Beltane?

It was already painted a weathered white, which I quite liked for the outer part which would represent the Maiden.  I removed the plastic flowers and twigs that were glued in, stood it on it's end and started painting it.  The lower recess was painted red to represent the Mother, and to house a battery tealight to which I had glued an acetate strip printed with one of my favourite images. This is of an amazing wall mural of a Red Goddess.

The top recess was painted in black to represent the crone.  (As you can see the red and black are only roughly painted; this is because I intend to line the recesses with other images, stones, shells etc as I find suitable ones)  At this point I realised that I didn't have a figure suitable to sit within the recess - I have a few moulded and mini versions in stone of the Venus of Willendorf but they were too big or too small.  I ended up buying a block of black fimo, to which I added a small amount of white and red which can't be seen. This was moulded very roughly, as I wanted her to have an ancient and prehistoric feel and look.  Once she was baked I washed her in water from Chalice well in Glastonbury.

I added a moulded white fimo face to the frame section, and printed out  a poem in red, white and black which I cut and added around the outside of the frame and each recess.  To make the frame stand, I glued two old cotton reels at the back, these were from a box of cottons given to me after my grandmother died, so I am very please that something of hers has gone into the making of this shrine.

The shrine was finished as it is now on Beltane, and dedicated that evening; however it is still a work in progress!

Alice themed ATC's

Over on UK Scrappers, I have joined a select group of creative nutters, and we are starting on a round of swaps within the group.  The first of these is a set of ATCs based on Alice in Wonderland, for which we each selected a theme or character and made a set of 14 the same so that each person taking part has one from everyone else.  These ATCs are being collected together by a very dedicated lady called Rebecca, who will make each set up into a little book and send them back to us.  I decided to do the caterpillar, and they have already gone on their travels.  I forgot to get a photo of them all together, but here is a picture of them in their box getting ready to go:

And here is a close up of a single one:
I got a bit stuck trying to figure out how to make a hookah pipe as you can see!