Tuesday, 26 August 2014

PMC earrings I made

Thought you'd like to see a pair of PMC (Precious Metal Clay) silver earrings I made.

PMC isn't quite as easy as they like to make out. The actual modelling of the clay, and the firing, are easy peasy. The hard bit is polishing with a wire brush and then burnishing with a steel - this is the killer bit!

Very hard on the hands - and as I've got RSI and had the op for carpal tunnel on both hands, after making a few PMC pieces, much as I love the stuff, I've had to concede it's not for me.

I've dated and initialled this pair on the backs, the safety ear wires (so you don't lose them) are Sterling Silver, hallmarked - and they're on eBay as we speak...

Abstract, just a little bit different!

Monday, 25 August 2014

VINTAGE PLAYING CARDS: old magazine covers, newspaper headlines and adverts

I'm a bit of a pack rat (as I'm sure you've realised) and often shop at antique shops and fairs, bric-a-brac shops, car boot sales etc. I've also got a bad habit of buying things that catch my eye, without really knowing what I'm going to do with them. Hence this set of cards, which I bought from a little shop on Richmond Hill, Richmond-upon-Thames, around 8 years ago.

The owner told me they're vintage - probably 1920s-30s, but I can't really remember the details - and I can't find anything online either! It's really frustrating...

If anyone recognises these, and what game they are for, do let me know! I think it's a form of Snap or Old Maid, but without a box or instructions, who knows?

In any case, I've put them up for sale on eBay as I'm still frantically de-stashing. I've got around 8 sets of vintage cards in all - Heaven knows what I was intending to do with them all!

Meantime, you're welcome to download these for Personal Use, if you'd like to use them in scrapbooking and projects. Just click on the pix to bring them up to full size, then right-click to copy them. They're totally unretouched, and scanned at a large size.


Saturday, 16 August 2014

Finally catching up

UPcycled journal with original covers (1930s), page wraps with pockets and an eclectic mix of papers

View of the stitching - over tapes - on the spine
Well folks, it's been the marathon redecorating session from hell - taken me over 6 weeks to redecorate a 1-bed flat! I've been beset with problems: insect bites that became infected (3 visits to Casualty plus antibiotics - then I became allergic to the antihistamine cream and ended up on steroids) etc etc. I won't bore you...

In the meantime, I've managed to finish this book and also put it (and some other artwork) onto eBay, so fingers crossed someone will love it and give it a new home.

There's an eclectic mix of papers: vintage text in English and French, some vintage sheet music, 1940s street maps of London, plus plain papers (Daler Rowney heavyweight acid free cartridge paper)

I adore making books, and have around 7 journals already on the go - so some HAVE to go for sale as there's only so much room in our place.

The signature wraps are quite stiff, a very heavyweight flecked grey - almost a card - with a half circle punched out to give access to a pocket, and tabs at the back, to make the sections easy to find.

I've been massively decluttering, redecorating and restyling, so lots of things are going - including a little crystal chandelier!
I've also turned up the bottoms of some of the longer pages to make more pocket sections. These can be slit if you don't want them, or pasted for strength, have envelopes tipped in - lots of opportunities for personalisation!

Meantime, a little gentle stitching of journals has provided rest and relaxation - and such a nice change from being covered with eggshell paint!

This is a sweet little book, which I've really enjoyed making, and I hope it inspires some great artwork

Hope you like it!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Another Vintage Journal

Hi gang: Big apologies, as I haven't posted for AGES... reason being, I'm trying to redecorate the flat and finally get my own art space (which is squeezed into part of the living room) more workable. So there's a lot going on (STILL not finished) which I'll post shortly.

Meantime, I manages to get this journal finished. It's another upcycled, recycled one with original vintage covers and some of the original pages, ledger pages plus new papers, tapes etc etc. I've also used washing tape on the edges of the cover to add a little zap, without covering the original titling.

It's a Ready Reckoner - in Pounds, Shillings and Pence!So it's pre 1968 (when the first decimal coinage was released in the UK).

I've also put in section wraps in a really zingy screen printed 30s style paper, which could be left as is, or used to sandwich pocket pages, tip-ins etc.


This one has been a lot of fun! Hope you like it.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Just watched Despicable Me 2

I loved Despicable Me No 1, and Despicable Me No 2 is just as much fun. Those Minions are so sweet - so here's Pharrell Williams's YouTube video for you to enjoy.


Friday, 16 May 2014

VOICES - Gelli Plate mono print

VOICES - this is a monoprint I've just finished, using the Gelli Plate and IndigoBlu stamps. The silhouette shape is a stencil I made, cutting round a figure from a magazine which I've then laminated. Came out pretty well, I think.

I used a page from an old text book for the print. The base layer was a mix of Antique White and a pale turquoise - both craft acrylics (the cheap ones, ready mixed in a bottle). I placed the stencil on top and left it in place while I brayered deep pink and deep turquoise onto the plate, then removed the stencil. This was the second layer.

Next, I stamped the IndigoBlu Honeycomb Background stamp using Ranger's Archival Black ink, and topped this with IndigoBlu Mechanics background stamp. I held the stamp in my hand (not on a block) to get partial images - again, with Archival Black ink.

Finally, I stamped the phrase in Archival black, the chemical formula in Archival Red and the lightbulb in Archival Sepia - all from IndigoBlu's Beautiful Mind stamp set. The black circle shapes in the corners are giant snap fastensers.

I started off creating this as a journal page - now I'm thinking it could go in a frame? I'm really pleased with this one.

Monday, 28 April 2014

6 PRINTERS IN 7 DAYS! A loooong story...

Yes, you read it right: SIX printers in seven days. As usual, when it comes to me and machinery, there's always a story...for me, NOTHING is ever simple.

HP printer - broken type and smudging
Easter Saturday I had the first printer delivered: HP Envy 4500. As soon as I opened the box, I knew I was in for trouble... the CD was bent, so wouldn't load, and it took 5 tries to download from Hewlett Packard's website.

By the way, I emailed HP - as of today, they still haven't replied.

Then when I finally got printing, the top quarter of the page had horizontal breaks right across.

Thursday, 24 April 2014


I've used stamps from the latest Stampendous range - just IN! Plus Kraft card, an edger punch, buttons, a piece of lace and some seam binding ribbon.

I'm really excited about my new class at Blade Rubber Stamps on Saturday 3rd May - details here. It's all about how to use the Gelli Plate! Anyone who's used one just raves about it - it's the easiest and most fun way to create your own unique monoprints EVER!

I've created a lace edge on the card with a Martha Stewart punch.

I thought you'd like to see a card I've made, using the Gelli Plate to make my own background papers - and this background is using some kitchen roll to create the texture! I've also made my own paper flowers from die-cut card.

Tons of dimension: I stamped the bird directly onto the Gelli print background, and cut the paper down to size. I also stamped the phrase twice. I then stamped the bird again onto the leftover Gelli background, this time using pigment ink, and embossed it. Finally, I cut it out, mounted it over the first stamped image using silicon glue, and added a little bit of Stickles glue for extra bling.

I'm absolutely loving working with the Gelli Plate - so much you can do with it, using stencils, found objects, bits of old lace, draw directly onto the plate...so much fun, it's really addictive.

Friday, 18 April 2014

HAPPY EASTER - 20% off in my Etsy store


I can't send you all an Easter egg, so here's something a lot less fattening: 20% off across my Etsy shop (until 30 April). Just type in HAPPYEASTER in the coupon code space when you buy something.


I've put up a couple of blog sets (background, header, sidebar widgets, email thingie and social icon buttons) and I'll do the coding for you, plus add your blog name etc. And I'll supply tutorials if you need them, too!
Vintage Concertina book

There are also some new bookbinding tutorials.

So I do hope you'll take a look - you might find something you like!

Happy Easter, everyone.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Vintage Journal class

Children's annual circa 1930s

Just a quick reminder my Vintage Journal bookbinding class is on Sunday, starting at 11.30am - and there are just 2 places left...

Closeup view - you can see I've used Grungeboard, painted to look like leather, for the tapes and the keyhole fastening.

If you love to UPcycle, and would love to make your own journal using a variety of vintage text and sheet music pages, mixed with art papers, then this is the class for you (even if you've never made a book before!)

This journal was really old (1910) but had a very boring cover, apart from the debossed edging, so I've collaged the cover with bingo counters, a bingo scorecard and a vintage photograph from the same period.

You'll choose your own mix of papers, vintage book covers (I'm bringing a biiiiiig selection) and you'll go home with a unique, tailor made journal - a true one-of-a-kind, which you'll love to work in.

This book is a modern one, but I couldn't resist the cover - so I saved the entire page block for reading later on.

As you can see from the couple of samples above, you know you'll never see another journal exactly the same as yours! Much fun - and very addictive.