Sunday, 30 September 2012

Altered bottles - Hatters' Challenge

Hi you all! Hope you are all enjoying your weekend, whatever you are up to. Here we are having some chilly, but pleasant Autumn weather, so perhaps I will go for a walk later.  The challenge over at 'Out of a Hat' this week is to alter a bottle or a jar. The DT there made some wonderful examples to inspire us. I have used a bottle which already had a hole cut in the back of it, which I made use of. I covered the bottle with mid-podge and mulberry paper. I made holes in the cork to take the wires of the birds - bought from a floristic shop - and added a sunflower on top for the birds to pick at. My birds are not as nice as Florence's floating bee-swarm, but I pinched the idea from her. I tied different ribbons, beads and embellishments round the top, and let them hang down over the bottle. I used a mini set of Xmas lights, which I pushed carefully into the bottle, tried it out - and it works! So now I have an Autumn light bottle.

The second bottle is more dark than light, but is a welcome addition to my Halloween decorations.  The bottle once held cough-drops. I used a label from my stash, and a skeleton which had unfortunately lost it arms to another altered bottle. I wrapped it up in some fashionable tatty grey cheesecloth, and manged to find a little roll of foam to make the bridge between the bottle and the butt of the skeleton. Don't ask for details, use your imagination!! I gave him/her/it some googly eyes, and a flying bat as head-wear over the silver curls. Added a dead rat and a toadstool, and that was it. Sorry about the rather blurry photo, he/she/it wouldn't keep still!

Here's wishing you all a great day! Take care, and thanks a lot for coming by! 

Friday, 28 September 2012

Cissie in Prague and Paint Party Friday

Hi everybody, it's time for Paint Party Friday, hosted by Eva and Kristin, and Darcy's postcard Challenge again. My crafty time was a bit reduced this week, as I had to take some time out, thanks to a nasty cold which sneaked in, uninvited, and reduced me to a fevery, shivering, sniffing, sneezing ,tea-drinking, red-nosed wreck. Thanks to all those who left good wishes on my blog, your concern cheered me up no end!  I feel somewhat better now, still sniffy, but the fever has gone, and that's the main thing!

This week Cissie and Thelma are travelling to Prague for a long weekend, as the granddaughter of a distant cousin of Thelma is getting married, and they have been invited. Thelma’s knees are still hurting, but Cissie persuades her to go.
‘You knees won’t hurt less if you stay here. You can sit down at the wedding, and even if we do a tour with the sightseeing bus, you won’t be driving!’ say Cissie.
‘True’, sighs Thelma, ‘But what about Jason and Shannon? Who’ll keep an eye on them when we’re away?’
‘They’re not babies; they can look after themselves for 5 days! Shannon’s expecting, but she’s not ill, and she’s not helpless!’ says Cissie.
‘Anyway, I’m here’ says Queenie. ‘I’ll stay at your place, look after the birds, and keep both eyes on the kids! That’s settled.’
Jason brings them on Thursday evening to Heathrow, along with three large suitcases. ‘Blimey, you’ll be back on Monday! You got enough shmattes in here for 6 weeks!’
‘We are going to a WEDDING’ says Cissie. We need to dress properly, and we have the wedding presents in there, too!’
Jason knows better than to argue, so he pays for the excess baggage, and watches them waddle off with their furs round their shoulders, looking for all the world like two dressed up circus bears.
The flight is uneventful, and they reach their hotel without problems. Of course, they are very hungry after the negligible snack they had on the plane, so they go for a good meal in the hotel restaurant, where the waiter is astonished at the amount these 2 ladies can eat. They wash it all down with the wonderful Czech beer, and toddle off happily to bed afterwards.
On Friday they take a sightseeing bus to visit all the famous places, and do a spot of shopping, as Prague has many, wonderful shops. They are fascinated by the old buildings and bridges, especially the Charles bridge, with its many baroque statues and crucifix. And they see the The John Lennon Wall. Once a normal wall, since the 1980s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles songs. The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost under layers of new paint. Even when the wall was repainted by some authorities, on the second day it was again full of poems and flowers. Today, the wall represents a symbol of youth ideals such as love and peace.The wall is owned by the Knights of Malta, who allowed the graffiti to continue on the wall, and is located at Velkopřevorské náměstí(Grand Priory Square), Malá Strana.

Panorama of Hradcany with Prague Castle and Charles Bridge
Left 1: Queen Anne's Villa
Left 2: Valdstejn Palace
Left3: Wencesals Squate by night
Middle 1: St Vitus Cathedral
Middle 2: Municipal House
Right 1: The Dancing House from Architect Gehry
Right 2: Star Villa
Bottom:Panorama of the old Town Square

The Visehrad Fortress

The National Museum by night, behind the statue of St. Wenceslas

Bridges over the Vltava River

The famous astronomical clock from 1410

The Charles Bridge

The Lennon Wall

(Photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

They take a photo of the wall to send home:

The wedding is magnificent, which for Cissie and Thelma means that the food is fantastic. They enjoy seeing their relations, and the bride is a dream in white.
‘But Shannon looked much prettier’ whispers Thelma.
They spend the rest of the weekend eating, relaxing in the hotel spa and bar, and just enjoying themselves. ‘But I’m still looking forward to going home’, says Thelma. ‘There’s no place like home, and the tea here is just terrible.’ ‘But you’ve been drinking beer all the time!’ points out Cissie. 'You haven't even tried the tea!' ‘Exactly!’ answers Thelma!

For Paint Party Friday I have done some more work on last week's WIP. I didn't get round to painting much, as I didn't want to paint in bed!
I painted over the tree, changed the colours a bit, and added some more texture squares at the top left, which I think gives it more balance. I still need to do the sides of the canvas, but first when I am feeling really better.

So, that was all for today. Hope you all have a happy weekend. Take care, and thanks a lot for visiting!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Sniff,sniff, cough, sneeze....

Hi everybody, hope to be back to business as usual tomorrow. A nasty cold has moved in with me, without being invited, and I am having a day in bed and hope to get rid of it with plenty of hot tea, rest,aspirins, etc.

Take care and stay healthy!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tag(s) Tuesday

Hi everybody, it's another Tag Day here. Our theme over at Tag Tuesday is 'Clocks', a theme I like. I started making a tag, and before I knew what had happened, my tag had turned into a clock, which is now ticking away merrily on my kitchen wall. I now have a whole battery of clocks there. (No pun intended!) I cut a tag using TH's Cabinet card day, embossed it in a TH texture fade folder, distressed it, and then mounted it onto an old calendar page, which I cut just a tiny bit bigger than the cabinet card to give it a frame. Then I added one of my 1€ clockworks,  a hanger, some wings and a quote,and that was it!

And as the weather was very reminiscent of Autumn today, with rapid changes from sun to rain to wind to thunder and lightning and then back again, I made some more Autumn tags. For both tags I have used TH's branch tree, and the background has been sponged with various DIs through a CWS stencil. Here I added some deer with a rub on (which needed an enormous effort till it had rubbed off the paper and onto the tag!), and the tree has been distressed and then embossed with hologram EP

I am linking to Simon Says Stamp and Show 'For the Love of Sparkle'

While making the second one I remembered that song 'Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree', so I did just that. The hedgehog seems to have found a big stash of berries, too. Both trees have been cut from corrugated card from an old box.

Have a great day you all, take care, and thanks for coming by!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Happy Mail and a tag

On Saturday my mail from Donna came after a very loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong journey from Mexico to Germany, it might have been quicker on foot! You can see the green customs sticker on the right side, so I suppose my letter had a long rest on somebody's desk before making the last lap of the journey! But I  got it in the end! Donna made a gorgeous envelope, as always, with a whole battery  of Ronald Reagan stamps. The envie is going into my collection of collectables, too!

The back:

And this lovely little collage, which is now in my arty kitchen:

This is a bit problematic, as I only have vodka - wonder if that works too?

A beautiful collaged postcard:

And one of Donna's great photos:

And if that wasn't enough, she sent me loads of images and  die cuts etc., which made my crafty heart very happy. Thanks a lot Donna!

I made several tags at the weekend, but one is for Tag Tuesday, and 2 are on their way to California, so I can't show them yet. But I can show you my Autumn rain man. The BG paper is from 7 Gypsies, the TH die-cut has been cut from some hand painted paper, and the small image is from Gecko Galz.

I am linking this tag to the Fall into Fall challenge at Frilly and Funkie

Thanks for looking, have a good day, and take care!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Walk on the Dark Side number 2

Hi you all, hope you are having a good Sunday. Yesterday I finished my second journal 'On the dark side'. This time I made it as a three ring book, so that I can add pages as necessary. I have about 30 pages in it now. It is a little larger than the first one, and the covers are thicker. I used the chipboard from the back of a water-colour pad, which I cut into 2 equal pieces, each measuring approx. 12 x 9 ". I covered it with tissue before adding various bits and pieces - string, hessian, lace, corrugated card, sequin-waste, some flowers and leaves and another head. After two coats of gesso I sprayed it dark grey, and when it was dry, polished it again with Inka gold in silver and gun-metal grey. The insides of the covers have been covered in grey paper, as the chipboard was rather paint-flecked. I added some black ribbons, fibres, charms and an old ear-ring for decoration. It was difficult to take the photos, as the sun kept disappearing behind a big, black, cloud....

The front:

The back:

I had fun making it again, and now have 2 nice journals to use in the next time.
Have a good day you all, take care, and thanks for coming by!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

A shadowy Halloween Shadow Box

Good morning everybody! There's a real nip of Autumn in the air now; the weather is dry, but really chilly, especially mornings and nights, and the evenings are getting longer. But every weather is good for crafting and painting!
For my shadow box I have used a wooden rack that was filled with Easter decorations. They were under 2€ each - with the filling! - so good value, and are approx 12x8".  I sprayed it with gold and then gave a quick spray of dark red over it, to make it look 'blood spattered'. The background papers are all from TH's Halloween Kraft Paper Block. Here it is before I added the filling. 

Here is the finished box. I gathered all the scraps and Halloween bits I had lying around. The three bottles in the top row were the packaging from some stuff from Ranger. The quote behind the  rooster is one the head-mistress of a school I taught at in St Helens many years ago greeted me with every morning:

A whistling woman
And a crowing hen
Waken the devil
From his den.

She didn't like it that I came happily whistling to school. It certainly woke her anyway, wonder what that tells us?!

The clock is showing us that the witching time is fast approaching.

The little book has been cut from some old book pages, and sewn together with 'witches' hair'.

The bottle was one I made up last year, and which I have astonishingly found again in time to use it for Halloween; mostly the things turn up much later....

The houses, fence and bats are all TH die-cuts.

I am linking to the 'halloween' Challenge at Out of a Hat Challenge Blog

Here's hoping you all have a great weekend, whatever you are up to. Take care, and thanks a lot for visiting!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Dubai and PPF

It's Friday again, and that means it's time for Paint Party Friday, hosted, as always by Eva and Kristin, and Darcy's Postcard Challenge, where our participants are off to Dubai this week.

Jason and Shannon are still overwhelmed by the success of their shop. Queenie is a bit miffed that they seem to get more trade selling their ‘junk’ than she does with her second hand clothes and accessories, although she has to admit that her shop is doing ‘ bloody well on the whole’. Cissie has been reading a lot, she has bought herself a Kindle reader, and is addicted to it. This has Thelma feeling a bit fed up, as she is not so fond of reading, and her knees are still hurting a lot. But Cissie often reads the juicy bits to her, and Thelma does like that!
They all meet for lunch at Latif’s Chippie, and enjoy their usual, large portions. Then Jason says, ‘I’ve got an invitation to the annual meeting of the Antique Shop Dealers!’
‘Bet you’ll get good food’ says Cissie.
‘Where is it?’ hisses Shannon.
‘Well, it’s being held in a hotel, like always.’ answers Jason.
‘WHERE IS IT???’ spits Shannon, her green eyes glittering dangerously. ‘
Jason smiles and says, ‘Funny you should ask that! It’s in Dubai!’.
 Four strident female voices say in chorus, ‘You ain’t going!’
Shannon sobs. Thelma tries to comfort her little daughter. Queenie and Cissie just look daggers at him.
‘Well don’t get excited about nuffink, will you?’ he says. ‘I’ve already said I can’t leave my Shannon when she’s expecting a baby, and I wouldn’t want to leave the shop now, either, would I? I’m staying here.’
A sigh of relief goes round the table. Latif nods in agreement, and brings them over another pot of tea.
‘But I got a prospect wiv’ some gorgeous pictures in it, wanna ‘ave a look?’ laughs Jason.
Shannon looks adoringly at him, and says, ‘Later! I think I need to go and have a rest! You coming, Jason?’ Queenie says rather tartly, ‘Well, if it’s rest you need, I’ll bring you back to your flat. Jason needs to use his energies in the shop!’ Shannon and Queenie exit, arm in arm, Shannon blowing Jason kisses all the while. Jason pays the bill and leaves for the shop.
Cissie says, ‘Well, let’s have a nice afternoon. I’ll get the cream cakes while you go up and put the kettle on!’
‘Deal!’ Says Thelma.

Here are some of the lovely photos they see in the prospect later that day.

Burj el Arab

Elegant bus-stops

The old method of travelling -  with Abras

Sheikh Sayed Road by night


Another view of Burj el Arab

The Beach  Desert

All photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

A week or so later they get this postcard from Marc, one of Jason’s ‘antique’ cronies.

‘Well, that ain’t my idea of  an ‘oliday!’ says Jason.
‘Yeah, but you must admit, there’s plenty of beach!’ says Shannon.

For PPF I have a work in progress to show. It started off hopefully, but I have got a bit bogged down in it just now and don't know to where it will be progressing. I have used acrylic paints. The raised bits have been made with a CWS stencil. I used a music sheet under the rest, but it can only be seen here and there. Perhaps I will have a brainwave!

Thanks a lot for visiting, take care, and have fun!