Wednesday 30 October 2013

Moving Mum!

Hello and welcome to Mapieheaven! Thank you all so much for your kind wishes with regard to my Mum's move on Monday! I have really valued all those messages of support. Today is Wednesday which means it's time to show and tell all that's on my workplace. If you are wondering  why in the midst of moving mayhem I'm photographing a craft activity, click HERE and you'll be transported to the wondrous Stamping Ground, where Julia, the venerable blog hostess with the mostest will make it possible for you to link up with the crafting desks of the world. I didn't think I'd have even a nano-second to write or post this week with moving the Magpie Granny into her lovely new flat. However, addiction is an incredible thing and I'm so addicted to WOYWW, I've rushed home between cleaning, sorting and shopping to photograph the change of address cards I've been creating - up until 2.00 am doing those.
Here they are with some teasels and some pears from the garden ripening. I cut out the cards and then painted them with my favourite autumn Fresco colours: Smoked Paprika, Pumpkin Soup, Brown Shed and London Bus in the corners. I added some Graphic 45 butterflies and little Tim Holtz houses die-cut from different scraps of papers. The music stamp is from the Paper Artsy Eclectica by Sarah Nauman. I felt they weren't quite 'finished' like this, so I added some bee-hive stencilling in Wendy Vecchi Potting Soil Archival ink. I took them through to the dining-room to do this.
Here is my favourite. I liked the way the lady with wings is visible and how she matches the butterflies. The post-mark is from a Lynne Perrella stamp plate.

Well, it has to be a very short post this week, as I am still disposing of Granny's rubbish and trying to make her comfortable. The removal men seem to have packed what should have been the contents of several dustbins mixed in with all the useful things and treasured possessions: it's a kind of 'unlucky' dip most of the time, as we struggle to find toasters, tea-bags and tin-openers among empty plastic bottles, dried-out floor wipes and the end of mouldy loaves! You would have laughed to see Mrs Magpie up to her elbows in bin sacks sorting out recycling from rubbish and the best china! I must fly off as I have to find a quiet room for our cat, Daisy to hide away in Magpieheaven. Granny's friend, Patsy will be arriving shortly to help out for a few days. Poppy her dog is coming too and Poppy+Daisy would = trauma, so I had better make sure they are kept well and truly separate!

Saturday 26 October 2013

Alice and George's Garden

Welcome to Magpieheaven and a special 'Hello' to my new followers who so kindly decided to peek at the Magpies' Nest. It's lovely to have followers old and new and to feel connected to the wonderful world that is Crafty Blogland.
This week over at Paper Artsy, Liz Borer has surpassed herself with some incredible projects. One which was a great hit with everybody was her 'Witch's Garden' - a fantastic Halloween 3D creation. Please click Here to see how fabulous it is - after you've watched the video about Darcy's new stamps, of course! I loved Liz's magical garden and I was inspired to create a garden of my own, which I should like to link up to the Paper Artsy Challenge. I moved away from the Halloween theme with my project - hope that's OK - to create a little box featuring my ancestors, Alice and George. I have wanted to display their images in a more permanent way for a while now and this is the way I chose to do it, courtesy of Liz's wonderful inspiration! To begin with Mr Magpie found a box in the loft.
It had glass in the front and a detachable back. I wanted my box to be open so I made a backdrop to cover the glass and removed the backing, which I decided I would not use.
I think I used every shade of Fresco blue I possess! I'm still kicking myself because I didn't get hold of Antarctic or Space Cadet at Ally Pally! I do have Lake Wanaka and that features on this project along with Mermaid, South Pacific, Bora Bora and Baltic Blue. I also used some Tinned Peas and a little Rose and Snowflake on the moon in the background. I just treated myself to some Frantage, so I had a play with this on the moths and some flowers too, cut from painted card, stamped and embossed with clear ep and my wonderful new discovery (for me!) Frantage. The edge is a Tim Holtz 'On the Edge' die, which I highlighted with White Fire Treasure Gold. I also used some Grunge Paste to create the moonlit trees in the background, pushing it through a mask to give the impression of the moon rising in a twilit garden. I used mainly stamps from HP 1006 and HP1009 and I stamped with Wendy Vecchi Archival inks in Cornflower Blue and Fern Green.
Then it was time to add people and flora and fauna! I used print-outs of George and Alice, coloured sepia and stuck their heads onto the two halves of a Cafe Retro Art Gallery fairy shrine. I chose not to use the centre, so in the final box George becomes a gateway into the garden and Alice his angel! For her dress, I used the lovely lady from ID02. The bird-cage is from a Tim Holtz die-cut made in shrink plastic, the leaves and butterflies are stamped with Lost Coast images and the leaves are shrunk versions of Tim Holtz's Tattered Leaves, as I don't have the Paper Artsy Oak leaf die-cut. I decided not to glaze the plastic for this project, as I liked the matte effect of the Fresco Paint.
Here they are in their moonlight garden of dreams. If you peek through George you can see the garden glimmering beyond him! And the Mica in the Frantage does certainly glimmer!
For the sides of the box, I broke open the Grunge Paste again to make silver birches, painted with a mix of blues and Treasure Gold.
This is now the third project in which I've used Alice and George and I have to say I loved creating a garden for them.
My son pointed out that they may be in the garden, but they are still looking highly respectable! Well, thank you so much for stopping by today and saying 'Hello' to the ancestors again! I so wanted to create and post today, as next week is going to be very, very hectic with moving Magpie Granny into her new flat near the Magpies' Nest. If I do have time, you can be sure I'll craft in some way. It might be to make some change of address cards for my mum! Kevin says the cupboard doors should be ready by the end of next week too, so fingers crossed it will be full steam ahead with Project Kitchen again!!! Have a great week!

Wednesday 23 October 2013

WOYWW! A Massive Sprinkling of Fairy Dust!

Hello and welcome to a Magpies' Nest where the occupants can hardly contain their wing flapping! It's dark and a howling wind outside with rain lashing at the Magpie windows, but I'm off to coffee with my dear Aunty Rene later this morning to celebrate her birthday and I'm as happy as Larry whoever he might be! I'll try to visit as many deskers as possible later on today. Here is Rene's present all ready and wrapped - oh, but hold on a minute - you might wonder what all the commotion is about and why I'm showing you a wrapped present on top of a heavily disguised washing machine! It's all in aid of WOYWW where our lovely Hostess, Julia brings us together to share our desks across the world. Please click Here if you would like to find out more! So here is my present to Rene sprinkled liberally with Fairy Dust and residing on top of my washing machine which sometimes serves as my work desk - not that I'll have that much time to craft today! Ah, now that makes sense!
Now as well as the sparkle on the present, the Fairies have been filling the Magpies' nest with all kinds of joy! First my mum has a moving date - Monday 28th October! Our son battled with depression and acute anxiety and got himself to his first interview in two years yesterday! He looked amazing in his suit and the whole thing passed off without a single hitch! He even coped with taking a wrong turning on the way; a real problem for an Aspergers sufferer, as many of you will know! I am so proud of him. He should know if he got the job, working in a library, by the end of the week. Even if he doesn't I am so proud of him for the way he has refused to let his diagnosis or his depression crush his spirit, though there have been some tough days!
I've really gone to town, pouring as much love as I can into the packaging of this gift. My daughter works part-time in a perfume shop, so inside is Rene's favourite Calvin Klein Eternity! She deserves it for being a brilliant Aunty - eighty-seven and still full of fun and kindness! She has not been just an aunty to us, but also a great friend! You may remember the cards I've made her, featuring our ancestors!
This rosette is created using scraps of Graphic 45 paper, Wax paper and a button from an old pair of trousers transformed by tissue stamped with script and Treasure Golded a la Alison Bomber! 
Do you remember the tag I made Hannah? Here it is!
She loved it and it brought back all those happy Halloween memories I hoped it would! We all chattered away for hours over apple and almond cake reminiscing about those fun-filled childhood days of magic!
Next week is going to be busy with the move, but I'll try to craft between times! I wonder if Kevin might actually come and fit those cupboards or is that too much to ask of Fairy Dust? Have a wonderful WOYWW all of you!

Tuesday 22 October 2013

That Haunted Feeling!

Well, hello and welcome to Magpieheaven, which is looking more and more like a haunted house with my Halloween makes! I never thought I'd get so caught up in spookiness! There is just so much inspiration out there from great artists and I've been compelled to join in! This week at Paper Artsy, Liz Borer has created a fabulous wooden 'Trick or Treat' bag with some wonderful painty effects and a truly enchanted Autumn/Halloween house full of amazing detail! I've played along by creating two little hand-stitched notebooks. They are meant to look as if they might hold the works of a Mr Edgar Allen Poe, but I plan to give them as Christmas presents: Christmas is also traditionally a time for curling up by a roaring fire and listening to a jolly good ghost story, after all! Maybe my friends can note down their favourite spooky tales in these books!
Here is the first notebook I made. I used Grunge Paste lettering, picked out in White Fire Treasure Gold. Liz explains how to do this HERE. You need to scroll down beyond the description of the gorgeous Halloween House!
Here is what my cover looked like to start with.

 I then used Liz's technique for painting my background. Here are my two front covers before I stitched in the pages and back covers and before I added dimension to the one on the right
 I loved the way she used the Hot Picks Vintage owl, but as my book cover is canvas I stamped him first on a layer of napkin tissue, carefully painted the eyes only on the reverse with Limelight Fresco and stuck him on with Satin Glaze. It is very tricky using such thin tissue and I had to screw up one attempt because it tore, but I do love the effect when it's a success! I also used the same technique with the mini door. I covered the lettering over it by sticking on one of the moths from the Ink and the Dog plate Wings, as it clearly is not a 'blue door'! I was actually very pleased with how Gothic it looked with a totally different colour scheme! The fence is a Tim Holtz 'On the Edge' die, painted with Frescos and then Metallic Glaze and White Lace Stickles. I used his rather 'crazy' looking little houses on the back along with some swirling Artistic Outpost bats!
I also decorated the backs of my notebooks. I used mostly Paper Artsy stamps on the project as a whole, but I supplemented these with some Artistic Outpost Halloween images too. I highlighted with White Fire Treasure Gold, Stickles and some 'just' melted UTEE!
The Frescos I used were Pumpkin Soup, Smoked Paprika and Eggplant. I used white Wow embossing powder on the little cobweb in the corner and clear embossed my moths. The purple one on the book just underneath was painted with Pansy Fresco and then Metallic Glaze, which made it really shimmer! The others are Pumpkin Soup and Smoked Paprika, clear embossed Black Archival.
Here are my notebooks with red, waxed cotton stitching, all ready to pop into Christmas stockings to give to two of my friends. I should like to link this post to the Paper Artsy Challenge this week with a huge Thank You to Liz Borer for all her inspiration. I should also like to join in with the spooky Eclectic Ellapu where this week the incredibly talented May has chosen a spooky theme! Thank you so much for dropping by today! Happy Halloween!

Thursday 17 October 2013

Hannah's Halloween Tag

When I remember the Magpie brood's childhood days, the most vivid memories seem to cluster around October. I recall the twilight coming in late afternoon shades of violet and orange; tiny feet running through swirling golden leaves and lots of giggles as we prepared for Halloween Parties with all the excitement of dressing up in wigs, masks and cloaks. An artist friend of ours painted a picture of our son as a wizard and our daughter as an angel which hangs in pride of place in the Magpie living-room. A frequent guest at these parties was our friend, Hannah, resplendent in shiny witch's hat and flowing cloak, usually with a pretty sequinned dress underneath! Well, it's now Hannah's twenty-fourth birthday! I hope she will remember those magical autumn days when she sees the tag I've made for her, which I should like to enter for The Our Creative Corner Halloween Tag Challenge Here. I should also lie to link this up with the Paper Artsy Challenge this week where Joanne Wardle has been creating her lovely Clean and Simple creations. I do admire what she does - not as easy as it looks to be simple - although it's not my style of crafting. Nevertheless, I was inspired by Joanne's idea of using Grunge paste through negative leaf die-cuts. Another inspiration for this tag was a lovely tag of Laura Bomber's I recall of 'Frosty Leaves.'
I wanted to incorporate lots of texture on my tag and to create the dreamy twilight I associate with Halloween. I cut a tag from corrugated card and peeled off a corner. I then painted my whole tag in Snowflake Fresco. When this was dry I die-cut some Tim Holtz leaves from card and from waxed paper. With the negative die-cut I created my own stencil, Grunge pasting inside the leaf shapes. I then sponged my tag with misty twilight colours: Lake Wanaka, London Night, Pansy and South Pacific. I have a Woodware punch of tiny leaves, which I love, although it is broken and has to be literally punched into action! Somehow I punched out a few tiny leaves too to use both as stencils and as 'stand-out' leaves fixed with sticky dimensional cubes.
I stamped the pretty, little witch from Artistic Outpost's Halloween plate onto the white underlayer of some napkin tissue; heat-set it and then painted the back in places with Snowflake in the areas I wanted to appear to glimmer. I used different shades of Treasure Gold: Green Amber, Aqua Marine, White Fire and Classic over the Grunge Paste and Ice Stickles and White Lace Stickles as well as Crackle Glaze on my leaves and the rose at the centre of the tag, which is the Tim Holtz Tattered Pine Cone die. In different lights the TG appears different colours, which it is difficult to show in a photo unfortunately. I also picked out the brooch fastening the little witch's top with Stickles, but again this is difficult for the camera to show. The moths are from a Paper Artsy 'Wings' plate, stamped in black Archival on card painted with Butternut, Smoked Paprika and Pumpkin Soup Frescos and then clear embossed and accented with Stickles. The little cobwebs that form a chain from the witch's broom are embossed with Wow white embossing powder, their edges just touched in places with South Pacific.
I hope these photos gives some impression of the surface texture and different layers I tried to incorporate on this tag.
I also cast a bit of a spell on the witch myself!
I stamped her onto Shrink Plastic painted with Lake Wanaka, die-cut into an oval and then glazed with Glossy Accents so she has a little tiny 'doppel-ganger'. I added a sentiment from Paper Artsy Wings - now what does the 'Take Flight' refer to? It could be the witch's broom, the moths hovering over the tag or the swirling Autumn leaves - or Hannah as she starts out on her adult life, having graduated she's now doing a media training course. Here again I hope some of the textures can be seen more clearly, including the 'just melted' UTEE gold and the glittery black lettering on the Sentiment! I had lots of fun with Stickles too!
I used Tim Holtz pediment die-cuts at the top and bottom of my tag. I crackled the top one and then darkened it a little to try to create a woody look with some Wendy Vecchi Potting Soil Archival. The rose was Little Black Dress then Crackle Glaze and Eggplant. The petals are edged with White Fire and Stickles. The leaves around the edge are stuck to the bottom of the corrugated card tag and then sandwiched between this and a plain card tag on the underside. The beautifully coloured yarn to hang the tag by was a gift from my dear Magpie cousin, Dianne Marcoux. So thank you for stopping by Magpieheaven as Halloween approaches. I'm off to add Hannah's tag to the patchwork Owl Cushion we bought her for her main present! Happy Halloween when it comes!

Wednesday 16 October 2013

WOYWW - Maybe I'll Clear up in the Morning! Oh, it is Morning!

Good Morning and welcome to Magpieheaven. It's officially Wednesday so I can show my desk just as it looks as I'm about to head off to bed! Why, you might ask are you photographing your very messy desk when your eyes need propping open with matchsticks? Well try linking to Julia's brilliant Stamping Ground, where you'll find out all about WOYWW - the rendezvous for crafters all over the world and the opportunity to have a jolly good snoop and see what we've been creating - or procrastinating about creating! Once again I'm ashamed because this table really is a mess. After I finished tutoring this afternoon I so wanted to carry on with a tag I'm making for my friend's daughter, Hannah's birthday that the time just evaporated! Suddenly - after a brief pause to cook, eat and clear away dinner and then get crafting again - it was 1.30 am! Does anyone else find that?
So what's going to be at the centre of my tag for Hannah? What seems like a lifetime ago this young lady - now twenty four years old - used to come to play with my two, and dressing up was always the favourite game! My son would be in his wizard's hat and she would be in her witch's hat, but probably worn with a glittery creation in purple net sprinkled with sequins. Hannah's card, then, will feature a pretty witch all ready to take flight on her broomstick just one more time, for old time's sake. I've stamped her onto shrink plastic painted with Fresco Lake Wanaka, but she'll have to wait until tomorrow for my magic trick - to shrink her into a very tiny witch indeed! It's a pity my magic doesn't extend to making the ink stains vanish from my die-cut frame, which I somehow seem to have smeared with black Archival! How do I manage to get ink and paint absolutely everywhere?
You can just see the corner of my trusty Clarice Cliff mug in the bottom right of the picture! I still have my notice board inspired by this waiting for the kitchen to be finished! Any information about my cupboards, you ask? 'They're coming on slowly!' according to Kevin! Hmmn, yes, slowly certainly does describe it!  Ah well, after the excitement of my big green fridge I've had to calm down and learn to live with a half-finished kitchen. And I promise that you will all be invited to the biggest virtual party ever when that darned kitchen gets done! So that's something to look forward to! We don't yet have a completion date for my mum's move, but things do seem to be progressing in the right direction and we should hear any day; my daughter is absolutely loving art school and she and her group gained an excellent mark for their presentation today so she came home walking on air! Craft and crafting friends fill my life with beauty and fun! If we could just find a way to make my son feel a little bit less troubled and anxious life would be perfect. Thank you so much for dropping by and looking at my late night, early morning mess! It will all be cleared away in time for breakfast, I promise!

Monday 14 October 2013

A Haunted Tower

Welcome to Magpieheaven...but, before you step inside, I have to check that you are not of a nervous disposition. You see, Halloween fever seems to have hit Crafty Blogland with ghouls and ghosts everywhere! I have to confess for a while I resisted the temptation to go 'spooky' because that's not really me! Then I saw the Artistic Outpost Haunted Halloween stamps and I wanted to play! I should like to enter my project for Country View Crafts 'Something Spooky' challenge and Artistic Outpost's October Referral. Anything Goes!

 I had a Retro Cafe Art Gallery exploding box, which reminded me a little of a Gothic tower so I decided to decorate it. My children are long past the 'Trick or Treat' stage, but we still have troupes of little witches, demons, vampires and ghouls who appear out of the mist and come knocking on October 31st - with spookily dressed parents in tow - so I thought I'd keep their chocolate pumpkins in a scary box this year! I began by giving the layers of the box a good couple of coats of Snowflake Fresco paint. Then I went for a blending of Butternut, Pumpkin Soup and Smoked Paprika on one layer and  London Night, Eggplant and Pansy on the other. I also coloured some Grunge Paste with Pansy and pushed this through a mesh Crafters' Workshop stencil. I blended in some Butternut when the Pansy was dry and edged the Butternut and Smoked Paprika layer with Blood Orange.
I used my Artistic Outpost stamps to create a flurry of bats on the roof by stamping and heat-setting the bats onto a layer of napkin tissue and then sticking this carefully in place with Claudine Hellmuth Multi Medium. I stamped the ravens straight onto the box and with the witch, the Gothic house and the skeleton I stamped onto shrink plastic die-cut ovals, heated and then glazed with Glossy Accents. I wanted them to look like portraits hanging around the ghostly tower!
Here is the box assembled. The window is a die-cut by Spell-binders, Crackle-glazed and painted with Fresco 'Tinned Peas' and edged with Green Amber Treasure Gold. The Dresden trim was gold, but I toned it down with some Green Amber Treasure Gold too. I dusted a little Treasure Gold White Fire on the lid to make the bats appear to be in the moonlight. My railing is a Tim Holtz On the Edge die. I also added a little spider web at the window from the Artistic Outpost stamps.
In this view of the outside you can see the Artistic Outpost raven and a tattered pine cone rose which I edged with Ice Stickles. There are some black, crackled leaves on the roof too.
And then the spooky surprise! At the top of the tower the Lady waits! I formed her from wire, tissue and a little RCAG 'Day of the Dead' skull and crown. She is sitting on a little golden chair with a scattering of fallen October leaves that have probably found their way in through a hole in the rickety tower!
My daughter says she's scary, but I think she's just sad; a bride jilted on her wedding day, a little like Miss Havisham in 'Great Expectations'. Her veil is tissue decorated with White Lace Stickles and she has pearl earrings to match her pearly white teeth.

Perhaps this is the beautiful young witch she once was! It's a long time since I made anything for Halloween, but this has been fun and I can't wait to fill this box with some treats.

 Thank you so much for stopping by Magpieheaven today. Happy Halloween and I hope you're not too terrified to pay another visit soon!

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Inspired by Alison - Alice and George!

This week on the Paper Artsy blog, the inspiring Alison Bomber aka 'Butterfly' of Words and Pictures has created some absolutely amazing projects - her dolly street just has to be seen to be believed: inventive, playful and original - a tour de force! I would love to have made something inspired by this... but I had to make cards! Now, like a lot of crafters, my crafting journey began with a few handmade cards and I so loved being creative I wanted to branch out. Now cards just don't seem to provide the challenge they did and I have to confess to putting off making them sometimes; but people do ask for a handmade card from time to time and I want to make them special, if I can, for that person. This month it's my dear Auntie Rene's eighty-sixth birthday and as well as wanting to make her a card from me, my mum asked if I would make one from her too! I set myself the challenge of exploring some new techniques courtesy of Alison and creating two cards that would be just right for Rene! And thanks to Alison's wonderful ideas and a desire to create special cards for a special auntie I really enjoyed myself!
A while back while sorting out my mum's house I came across two lovely old photos of a couple who turned out to be my Great-Great Grandparents. Auntie Rene, thanks to her interest in family research, has been able to put names to this couple and provide me with information about them. I needed to make 2 cards - that suggested a matching pair!
 I wanted each card to tell a little story. Oh, yes and the parrot feather in the middle! My hubby found this in the street the other day! It just had to feature, as my Great Grandfather, Percy, the son of this couple, had a beloved parrot. He was often to be seen walking around Peckham with Polly on his shoulder! All my mother's family including Aunty Rene have loved gardens and wild life! I wondered if they inherited this from my Great Great Grandfather, George Allen Payne whose card I began to create first.
For the backgrounds of both cards, I used an Ink and the Dog stamp from the Letters plate. I stamped this in Wendy Vecchi Archival ink, Cornflower Blue on a background sponged with Mermaid, Ice Blue and Lake Wanaka Frescos. George came from a little village near Abingdon called Milton. He loved music and he was a good student at the village school. He played the violin, but his great love was the church organ and when he was old enough to leave school, he was apprenticed to an organ builder in Lambeth by the name of Hunter. I tried to create the countryside origins of my Great Grandfather and his love of music by using the Hot Picks stamp with a dragon fly, the little birds in the grasses, musical notes and then a butterfly just landed above the photo, snipped from an Ink and the Dog Wings plate. For this I used Alison's technique of blending two different colours of ink in the stamping - in this case Potting Soil and Cornflower Blue - both by Wendy Vecchi - and clear embossing. I used a Tim Holtz stamp on a blended Cinnamon Fresco and Snowflake wash with some Lake Wanaka and a little Cornflower Blue for the background: it just seemed to fit with this studio photo of George that I transferred onto yellow cotton. Another technique I lifted from Alison's 'Wings' canvas is the button covered with stamped tissue and glazed with Metallic Glaze.
This is Alice, George's wife. All Rene could tell me about her was that she was the sister of Mr Hunter, George's employer. The Hunters would have been quite well-to-do yet Alice and George, the simple country lad, married.  I don't know if it was Alison's use of those lovely Paper Artsy feathers on her canvas - I now so want this stamp - but I knew I wanted to use the Paper Artsy Mini feather on her card and as I worked a Natural History theme seemed to form itself. I  would like to have used all Ink and the Dog stamps as Alison did, but I didn't have enough of these so I used Tim Holtz and Artistic Outpost stamps and a collaged bird's egg.  I would so love to own more 'Ink and the Dog' stamps - maybe Christmas? As I explained on my WOYWW a little story about this couple suggested itself. I imagined the Lambeth lady captivated by this simple country boy with his tales of finding nests of speckled eggs, hearing music in birdsong and watching the flight of dragon flies and butterflies. 
 Alison had used text as a background for her canvas. I took just a small torn piece of text from Alice in Wonderland with a wash of Cinnamon. For dimension I curled the edges of my torn pages and accented them with different Treasure Golds. You can just see the words, 'Said Alice' under the Hot Picks flowers stamped in Cornflower and accented with a pearl at the centre.

Although my projects are nothing like Alison's journal, canvas or street, I feel that her ideas have helped my imagination take flight and inspired me to create something that I hope will appeal to my much loved Auntie. Thank you, Alison and Paper Artsy for some great inspiration this week!

WOYWW - Getting to know the Ancestors!

Hello and welcome to WOYWW at Magpieheaven! If you have happened upon this blog and you'd like to know what the acronym WOYWW is all about click HERE to find out more about why we show and tell about our work desks every Wednesday. Julia is our hostess and makes it possible to shrink the globe to the size of a tea-cup by the wonders of the Internet, bringing together old friends and new every week! So what's on my desk this week! If you've visited before, you may recognize my ancestors on my mother's side of the family. (My father's family were from Poland, a little Jewish village destroyed completely in WW2.) I scanned these photos into my computer after discovering them when helping my mum sort out her house ready for the house-move. At the time I knew nothing about them, but my Great Auntie Rene has been able to share her family research with me now. For this reason I am including their images, transferred onto fabric as part of a special birthday card for her upcoming birthday when she will be eighty-six.
The gentleman I now know to be my great-great grandfather, George Allen Payne. He was born in a little village called Milton near Abingdon. He loved music and learned to play the violin, but his greatest love was the church organ and when he left the village school he was apprenticed to an organ builder in Lambeth by the name of Hunter. George married Alice Hunter, the lady on the right, who was the sister of his employer! At the moment the various elements I want to combine on the cards are merely placed on them. My plan is to stick them down today and see if I want to add any others. Can you recognize any of the stamps I've used?
Last week when I played along with the Paper Artsy challenge and Jo Myhill, I had a go at transferring images onto fabric and this is what I have done again here. I still want to add some tissue covered buttons inspired by Alison Bomber who is guest designing at Paper Artsy this week. I love these vintage images so much I can see them appearing on lots of future projects! I still want to use them on a shadow box!
I know so little about Alice, but as I made my elements I felt that a natural history theme was emerging on the card where she was depicted. I have only a vague plan for a project when I start so where this came from I'm not sure. Maybe I'm going a bit mad, but I started to weave a little story. Did Alice find herself attracted to George's innocent charm; did he retain something of the boy who dreamed among the hedge-rows; maybe he brought a breath of rural air to Lambeth, sharing his love for dragon flies, butterflies and birdsong!
This week I've had a couple of challenge wins, which have lifted my spirits no end. Craft is keeping me sane and bringing me such joy! I am sorry to report that the kitchen is still at a standstill! We are beginning to suspect that Kevin must have some problems, as it's getting on for five weeks that we've been waiting for our cupboard doors and nothing else can move until they are installed. We are phoning tonight so perhaps we will discover! My mum's house-sale seems to be progressing well after the Asbestos scare, which was unfounded, and it looks as if we might exchange towards the end of this month so huge flapping of wings in delight about that! Perhaps I'll soon see the end of all the reams of paper the solicitor keeps sending me to read!!! I'm off to peep in at the window of some other deskers and see what lovely things you've been making and what adventures you've all been having in Crafty Blogland. Have a wonderful day everyone who flutters by. I have to go out later on today, but I'll try and return the visit and get round to as many desks as I can,

Sunday 6 October 2013

Inspired by Jo

Over at Paper Artsy Jo Myhill has been creating some stunning projects using the most exciting techniques. Please click HERE and be prepared to have your socks knocked off by the vivid use of colour and the wonderful textures of her creations. I really wanted to join in the fun, but - once again - I had a busy week with my daughter's twentieth birthday and lots to sort out and arrange with my mum's house sale. Now that the Autumn Term is well and truly under way I'm busy tutoring too! However, I recently learned how to make little notebooks using canvas boards and Coptic stitching. I have already created one for my daughter and one for myself so I decided to use something I'd learned from Jo to decorate one for my collection of possible Christmas gifts and I would like to enter this for Jo's Paper Artsy Challenge.

I started with the image transfer. I used a vintage photo of two gypsy girls that I had downloaded. I used Satin Glaze to transfer this onto yellow cotton. I then die-cut it into an oval and mounted it onto a slightly larger oval painted with Fresco Butternut, Smoked Paprika and Blood Orange and edged with Wendy Vecchi's Archival ink in Potting Shed.
 My image suggested a vintage theme for the notebook, so I decorated the background with Grunge Paste through a Harlequin stencil, stamping a little script into some of the raised diamonds. I had a go at filing the edges so that they seemed to blend into the canvas background a little more as Jo had done. I stuck corrugated cardboard to my corners to give a grunge look and painted the whole cover with first Snowflake then Butternut, Smoked Paprika and Blood Orange. I randomly stamped script from a Hot Picks plate in Potting Shed and accented my diamonds and my corners in Rose Quartz Treasure Gold. For a little extra dimension I used gold UTEE in the corners.
 The embellishments are a Mini of a feather, embossed with clear embossing powder on Black Archival to make it contrast strongly with the background and a wax paper flower painted with Treasure Gold in Aquamarine and Classic with a Prima brad at the centre. I added charms to the right hand corner: a tiny fan and a hand-made paper bead and finished off with one of the lovely resin roses I bought from Paper Artsy, coloured with Aquamarine Treasure gold.

The back of my notebook was painted in the same colour scheme and decorated with tissue napkin images and script from a Paper Artsy Mini.
Although time only allowed me to complete one project inspired by Jo and not put into practice all her techniques, I should definitely like to have a go at some of the other wonderful projects one day, especially something inspired by her truly impressive final piece. Thank you, Jo for sharing so much creativity and talent this week! And thank you, visitors and followers for taking a look at Magpieheaven today.

Thursday 3 October 2013

Dragons' Dream - Brown, layers, Die-cuts and a Word of your choice

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven! I'm so pleased today to have a new background. I do hope you like it. My very patient son sat down with his severely, technically challenged mother and taught her how to create a prettier venue for Magpie chat and craft and even pointed out that I could have larger pictures if I wanted to! I was so thrilled that I found the energy and inspiration to create a tag for the Dragons' Dream Tag it on Challenge in between chores. This time it is chosen by Trace Metcalfe and it's Brown, lots of layers, Die-cuts and a word of your choice. Well the word was easy! Magpies love to chatter and words are my business, as I tutor in English. It's something I often wish I had a bit more of! I first stamped my word onto corrugated card, then stamped it again on a thin layer of tissue, using Wendy Vecchi Potting Shed Archival ink.  Here is the word I chose:
Next and more of a challenge was the use of die-cuts. I decided to use the pediment dies by Tim Holtz so as to create the effect of a pillar for my tag - I know there are supposed to be seven, but seven pillars would be a lot to get on one tag! I layered lots of Fresco paints in  warm browns, sanding every now and then to let the different shades come through.

Here is my pediment at the top and a Prima brad to add contrast. I used Fresco paints in Snowflake then Butternut, Chocolate Pudding and Brown Shed and edged with Wendy Vecchi Archival ink in Potting Shed and some Rose Quartz Treasure Gold. The stamp that forms the central image in by 'Lost Coast'.
The bottom pediment is accented in Treasure Gold with a little amber gem. The text is from a Paper Artsy mini stamp and I tried to create the idea of a medieval palimpsest with its layers of text scratched away then written over. I used a layer of corrugated card with layers ripped away, painted with Frescos and highlighted with White Fire and Rose Quartz Treasure Gold.
Here is the tag in its entirety. I added some hand-made beads and brown ribbons which I threaded through the eyelets either side of my word. Thank you so much for stopping by today, visitors to Magpieheaven, whether you be my followers or new friends. Thank you Dragons too for letting me dream with you again!