Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Finally for 2014

Hi, welcome back

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will probably be aware that I missed November's post.  We were having more work done in the house and I found it impossible to get into the studio.  In fact, I have found it very difficult to spend any significant time in the studio since we moved.  I really hope that now that the major jobs we wanted to achieve have been finished, I will be able to spend time in there on a more regular basis.  

I have also taken part in a photography course during October, November and part of December.  I want to be able to take my camera off the auto setting and take pictures having made some choices in how they will look.  I learned a lot on the course and now that the course is finished, I hope to be able to take my camera out and put my newly acquired knowledge into practice.  If I'm feeling brave, I'll post some of my photos in future blog posts.  
I did manage to get my Christmas cards made - just!  I was so glad to get them finished that I forgot to take any pictures of them to share with you - I feel that I have been at sixes and sevens with my studio work and creativity altogether this year and this is something that I want to address in 2015.  I know that the more time I spend being creative, the more creative I become - do you know what I mean?  The less time I spend in the studio, the less time I want to spend in there.  It's as if my creative juices dry up.    

Apart from my Christmas cards and some knitting, I did decorate some wooden words from http://www.annamariedesigns.co.uk/


In all, I did three of them - one each for each of my daughters and one for me.  They look really nice.  There was a huge amount of glitter involved, but Christmas wouldn't be the same without it!

I received some lovely crafting goodies in my Christmas stocking.  I love the three different grey inks from Simon Says Stamp (http://www.simonsaysstamp.com/).  I think that I am going to use them aside some red - either ink, or embellishments - they could work together to make a lovely colour combination . . .


and look at those gorgeous WOW embossing powders, I'm really looking forward to using those.  The hearts and stars stamp sets from Simon Says Stamp are just brilliant - all sizes of hearts and stars, both as a solid stamp or as an outline.  I used the stars the other day on a birthday card, they were the perfect finishing touch that I needed.

I hope you'll be checking in at the end of January to find out what I have been able to achieve in the first month of the year and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

New projects to share

Hello everyone

I have had a very varied month since I last spoke with you.  I have made a couple of cards to order, some cards using some of my stash that I brought back from the USA and played in my art journal.  For a bit of a change, I picked up some needles and wool and got knitting. Lastly, with only eight weeks to Christmas, I hope it goes without saying that I have been thinking about the cards I want to make.  So lets get started . . . . .



During the month I have had lots of decorating done, so at times I have been confined to a small working space but I wasn't going to let that stop me crafting.  I tend to be very traditional when it comes to Christmas colours, red, green, gold and silver.  I decided that I wanted to branch out and give some different colours a go, step in pink and purple.   

I had prepared the trees a few days prior cutting them with my Big Shot using the Reindeer stamp and die-cut set from Sizzix/Hero Arts.  It was important to have glitter and I decided that the best way to to this would be to cover the tree with VersaMark and then emboss with glitter powder.  I wish the photo showed how pretty and glittery the trees are.

Confined in the corner of my lounge with my lap tray I mounted the trees on a simple embossed card and added my greeting.  I felt that the trees needed a little something in the background so I stamped a tiny snowflake and added some sparkle with my Wink of Stella pen.

After die cutting the trees, I had some leftover scraps; you know, those ones that are too big to throw out but too small to really do anything with.  I decided to use two of my favourite dies, the Confetti die from Mama Elephant and the Mini Hearts Set from Simon Says Stamp



I don't have very many embossing powders, but choosing the right one for this project seemed to take ages.  I knew I'd seen something on YouTube about organising embossing powders and it turned out to be one of my favourite people to watch both on YouTube and her blog; Jennifer McGuire's brilliant post inspired me to organise my own powders.  It turns out that I have five different gold powders and not too much in the way of other colours. Having them organised in a drawer now, it's easy to see which one I want and how it will look once it has been heated. (www.jennifermcguireink.com



Projects that I have worked on during the month include two 'age' cards which are very popular and also  a card using a panel that had been left over from previous work and a card using some of my holiday stash (Lawn Fawn stamp, WPlus9 stamp, and Hero Arts Shadow Inks)




I also spent some time working in my art journal.  It had been such a long time since I'd worked in it and I felt a bit restricted which I think shows in the work.  I wasn't entirely happy with how it turned out and  had thought that I would tear it out, but I decided instead to use the page as a learning experience - what worked, what didn't and with ideas of what to do when I next work in the journal.


To finish the month off, I decided to work on some knitting.  I find it really difficult to knit during the summer months as my hands get very hot and sticky.  I wanted to work on something simple that didn't require me to concentrate hard on a pattern.  I am presently working on my second blanket for premature baby incubators in the Halcyon Suite and Special Care Baby Unit in the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.  I have a friend for whom this baby unit is very special as they looked after her newborn premature baby boy. He is now a bouncing 6 year old.  I will be donating the blankets via With Love From Madison (www.facebook.com/WithLoveFromMadison)


Thank you for stopping by to keep up with what's going on in the studio and I hope you'll look in again at the end of November which I am sure it will be Christmas all the way but for now . . . . 

Happy Halloween



Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Look at all the stuff I brought back from my holiday

Hi and welcome to the first of the monthly posts.  In some ways the month since I last posted has flown and in others, it seems like an age since I was here.  So, what has happened in that month?  Well, I have been to the US on holiday where scrapbooking, project life, stamping, in fact crafting of all kinds is big and well supported.  I ended up with this massive haul.


I had ordered some of the items to be delivered to the hotel, so it was a little like having an extra birthday or Christmas when I arrived and had three exciting parcels to open!  

You may be able to spot several different companies represented here and I thought that you may like a closer look at some of the items. 


Hero Arts has been on my radar for a long time, but I had not used their cards before, so I needed a couple of packs of those didn't I?  I love their shadow inks, I particularly like that way that they dry to a uniform colour.  


Lawn Fawn is just full of cuteness; I had had my eye on the 'Chit Chat' stamps and dies for a while.  I had also been looking for a snowflake die that was not too big, these were just new into the shop and had not even been put out on display - perfect size.  


Wplus9 is a fairly new company to me, but my collection is growing steadily.  I had previously purchased the 'Fresh Cut Florals' set and had been thinking that some containers for them would be a great addition.  I had been watching some YouTube videos and had spotted the container set.  I really enjoy using the background builder sets, it means that the background can be customised to whichever colours I need.  


I have been adding to my sentiment stamps and loved the wedding/anniversary themed stamps in the 'Together Forever' set from My Favorite Things.  The 'Sea Life' stamps with coordinating dies were irresistible, having relocated to the coast.  

I'm sure that you can spot lots of other bits and pieces that I got; it was fun shopping for all of them and when I got home, it was great to find space in my existing collection for them.  

Thank you for stopping by and perhaps you'll take a peek at the end of October to see what I've been making with my new stash.


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

There's going to be a change - for now

Hi 

It's been a few weeks since I posted on my blog which has been troubling me somewhat.  I have found it difficult to get into the studio to work for any length of time and anything that I have produced has been in snatched moments of time.  As anyone who blogs knows, it takes up quite a bit of time to add to a blog and a considerable amount of time if you commit to doing it on a regular basis.  It's not just the content of the post, there are photos, links to mentioned companies/products to find and editing to name but a few things to bear in mind.  

I want to be able to create a nice blog where I can look back to see how I went about a project, how I put it together and to be able to learn from it and improve.  I'd also like my blog to be something that other people enjoy reading too.

I feel that I have been a little too ambitious in my first few months in my new home thinking that I would be able to spend the time needed to produce a weekly blog.  We have been so busy since we moved and had so many lovely people come to visit us whether it be for a day or a week, the time just disappears.  If I have missed weeks on my blog, I have felt a little guilty that I have not produced anything and then it feels like blogging is more of a chore than a pleasure.    

With all this in mind, I have decided to take a small step back - running before I can walk springs to mind here - and reduce my blog to a monthly post. This time frame feels more realistic at the present time and I have decided to do this up to Christmas (yes, I said the 'C' word).  Following my post in December, I will review whether I feel able to put that extra time into a fortnightly or even weekly blog.  

Thank you for taking the time to catch up with where I am at the moment and please look in at the end of September for the first of my monthly blogs where I know that amongst other things, I will have a haul to share with you.


Thursday, 7 August 2014

It's holiday time - for my mojo!

Hi there

It's right in the middle of holiday season here on the south coast.  There are lots of holiday makers and families having a good time on the beach, the roads are very busy with day visitors taking advantage of the beautiful weather.  In fact, everything seems to be very busy and buzzing all around me, but my mojo seems to have gone on its holidays too.  I have had visitors again and, don't misunderstand me, they take up studio time.  I love to have family and friends visit and stay, but it is impossible and impolite to disappear to the studio for a few hours.  How do others cope with creativity time being taken up for whatever reason?  

I have been sitting looking out of the window waiting for inspiration - I think it's on holiday with my mojo too! My desk is covered in 'stuff', it is not a pretty sight 



This is not a creative mess, it's just a mess! 

I did receive some nice mail in the post this week though and perhaps I'll be able use these books to give me a creative kick start.  


I love colouring and used to love colouring with my daughters when they were small.  These are 'grown up' colouring books by Jonanne Fink which feature her Zenspirations illustrations.  Each page can be removed from the book and coloured with any medium.  Perhaps if I choose one of these lovely illustrations and work without my head being filled with daily intrusions - shopping lists, cleaning schedule, washing, ironing etc - my mojo will creep back and I'll be off again.  

I did not want to miss a post just because my creative juices have temporarily gone AWOL - honesty is the best policy.  Let me know how you get over any dry patches and I hope you check back again next week to see.

Thank you for stopping by, I'm off to sort my desk out 


Friday, 1 August 2014

Turning a failure into a success - nearly!

Hello

It's August already - I can hardly believe it.  The hot weather has been carrying on, but as I write this, today is a little cooler and I welcome that.

If you looked in last week, you will have seen that I had had a disaster with my first attempt with Copic Ciao pens.  I spent some time this week looking through some videos on YouTube to see where I was going wrong and I think that I have made some progress.


As you can see, to make it a little easier on myself, I stamped the image again (on the right) in black and followed the instructions on the videos that I had watched.  I think that it looks much better although I think that the shading could look better.  I did have a go with another image 


I love this sweet image and I used the Copics to colour the cupcake case. I think that the blending looks much better than the flower image.  It seems that it takes some time to get the blending just right and lots of going back and tweaking it here and there.   I'll just need to keep colouring which won't be too onerous for me - I find colouring images very therapeutic.

I have loads of pretty backing papers, some I have bought myself and some have come as gifts with magazines.  I have always thought that the papers should be used with scrapbooking and have never had the courage to used them in cardmaking.  As I am sure that I have mentioned before, I follow Kristina Werner (www.kwernerdesign.com) and Jennifer McGuire (www.jennifermcguireink.com) and was interested to see their collabaration for several different online card classes (www.onlinecardclasses.com)  There was a class on using background papers and this was right up my street.  I signed up for it and spent my time watching it thinking 'why didn't I think of that'.  So following the class, I made these 



I was really pleased with these and I'm going to look through my box of patterned papers to see what else I can come up with.  If I'm being honest, I think that I found the papers a little intimidating and before taking part in the class, I would never have put a striped paper with a flowered one.

Thanks for dropping in this week - check back again to see more of the Copic colouring and how I've been using my patterned papers.


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Two successes and one failure

Hi everyone

I don't know about you, but I am wilting in the summer heat that we have at the moment.  It's gorgeous, but I do not cope well in very hot weather. It has been as high as 37 degrees in my conservatory, so I am very happy that I have the studio to escape to; it is probably the coolest room in the house.  That being said, today I have a huge fan wafting me.  It's a good job that I don't have a project with loads of small pieces of paper on the go otherwise they'd be everywhere.  I think that the hot weather has been affecting my crafting mojo too as I have not been very active at all craft wise.  

Last week I spoke briefly about the Copic Ciao pens that I had bought and asked if anyone had a preference.  Well I had a go with mine and what a total disaster so far


I'm not sure that you can see the stamping and embossing that I have done; the flower is stamped using the Hobby Art Ltd set CS024D Anna's Collection - Special Wishes and embossed with clear powder.  I started to colour in with the light pink (R22 Light Prawn) Copic and followed it with a red/pink colour (R29 Lipstick Red) going back again with the light pink to get a blend, it looks terrible!  At the present time, I will not be rushing out to buy more Copics, but I will be watching several tutorials on YouTube on Copic colouring to see what it is that I should or should not be doing.  In fact, I'll stamp the same flower on the same piece of card and give it another go when I have watched some.  Check back to find out how it's going.

Let's get on to some more positive makes from this week.  


This card was for a friend who was celebrating a special birthday.  I knew that she would not want a 'fussy' card, but that she would appreciate something simple.  I used a Penny Black slapstick cling stamp called Longing and embossed it with ultra thick black embossing powder.  The ultra thick powder gave the image the slightly distressed look that I wanted and I was pleased with the outcome and glad that I had taken the risk of using the ultra thick.  I used Distress Ink for the background in Peacock Feathers, Broken China and Evergreen Bough, I applied the inks with the new mini ink blending tool (pictured on left) from Ranger.  I really like the smaller style of these as opposed to the original tools (pictured on right), I find them so easy to use and I find that I get a better blend.  I also find that using them with stencils so easy too.


Continuing the theme of simple cards that I seem to be creating lately, I loved how this card below turned out.  Using Hero Arts stamp set Many Dots along with Hero Hues Shadow Inks, I feel that I have a really nice birthday card that can be for a male or female.  I think that I am going to do some more versions of this one, possibly in gender specific colours although I haven't decided yet.  I can also see this card with many different greetings also.


Perhaps you'd like to drop in next week when I may have had more success with Copic blending and to see what else is new.

Thanks for stopping by


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Craft Show Haul

Hi!


The summer days are flying by and I don't seem to have enough (or any) time to spend in the studio and I even missed posting to the blog last week.

At the beginning of the month I went along to the Artstamps England show in Newbury.  I have been to this show several times over the past few years and have always enjoyed the day.  This year was a little different; don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the day, but the show itself had a shortage of stalls.  Apparently this event has been taken over by new management and organisation of any kind was severely lacking.  I felt sorry for the stall holders who had been contacted and had made the brave decision to attend as I'm sure that their sales must have been badly affected.  I hope that the management can pull this show together again next year as it is a lovely venue with lovely stall holders, together this creates a great atmosphere.  All that being said, none of the above stopped me from spending my money! 





Here's my haul and a little scary is the fact that there are items for the winter season, or dare I say the 'C' word, to be found in amongst my goodies.  

Like many crafters out there at the moment, I am loving the stencilling and die cutting 'fashion' in card making.  I am a big fan of Memory Box dies and stencils and chose the Flowering Christmas Tree, Hanging Ornaments and Blissful Butterfly Border dies.  I also chose the Texture Tessatina stencil which I thought could be used on cards as well as in my art journal. You can see in the photograph below that I have already played around with the stencil and the Flowering Christmas Tree die a little.  


I have used three different colour Distress Inks for the background stencilling which I was very pleased with.  I embossed the tree with gold embossing powder and used some Stickles in the centre of the flowers.  I was also really pleased with the tree.  It is such a shame that when put together, I feel that they both lose something.  The tree gets lost on the background and the background focus is taken away by the tree. I'll be working more with these to come up with pleasing effects for both the die and stencil.


This was such a quick little card to make using the Card-io Majestix Sweet Birdhouse set that I bought.  I also used some of my beautifully coloured VersaColor mini ink pads.  I love everything about how this card has turned out; the colours, the shape and the stamps from the set used.  I am planning to make a set of these cards with various different greetings, I think that the simple heart shape design lends itself to this idea. 

You may have spotted the Copic Ciao pens at the front of my display.  I have several Promarker pens but have never really mastered them and will probably be passing them on to my daughters to share.  I decided to buy a few of the Copics to see how I get on with them.  Do any of you have a preference or do you use both?  I'd be interested to hear your views and I'll let you know how I get on with the new pens.

I hope that the days slow down a little to let me play a little longer in the studio and I look forward to posting again next week.

Thank you for dropping by, I hope your week is going well and that you are enjoying some beautiful sunny days.


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

It really works!

Hi everyone

It's been a quiet week in the studio as I have been away for a few days, but I still have a couple of things that I'd like to share with you all.

Do you ever read about something that is supposed to help you and you think to yourself 'well, that'll never work'?  I did when I read about a Flash Magic Eraser to help remove stubborn ink stains from stamping blocks, the article even claimed that Staz On ink would disappear.  

I didn't think that it would work and thought nothing about it again until I spotted one during my weekly shop.  I thought that I'd give it a go and that even if it didn't work for my crafting purposes, I could use it as it is meant to be used.  It says on the the package -  Try it on anything: from grimy baths to greasy microwaves, from crayons on walls to grouting between tiles –even those dirty white trainers Just add water, squeeze, then watch stains disappear like Magic.


So here it is and to be totally honest, I wasn't expecting much.  After all, I had tried and tried to remove the ink stains on my blocks before using Staz On Cleaner that is specially made for the Staz On inks.



I hope that you can see all the ink smudges that are on my blocks.  I am one of those people who will be bothered by not being able to remove them.


It's a miracle!  It works!  I was really surprised and delighted that with just a little water and without having to scrub, the stains just disappeared.  The Magic Eraser has not made it back into the kitchen.  I'm keeping it in my crafting arsenal.

* * * * * * *
Have you ever produced something that you liked so much that you have recreated it elsewhere?  That is exactly what happened towards the end of last week.  I had really enjoyed making the cards for my recent giveaway and had been very pleased with how they had turned out.  I needed to make my ATC's for the June swap and decided to do a mini version of each of the cards.  


I added a different sentiment and used one different stamp on the striped watercolour ATC.


For this watercolour with Distress Ink ATC, I used a different stamp set - I had to as between finishing the cards for the giveaway and producing this, I have lost the original stamp set.  How a whole stamp set can just disappear is a mystery to me.  I have turned the studio upside down looking for it.  


On the third and final ATC, I used a different sentiment stamp and I love the words on this stamp.  

My week ahead looks pretty busy with a friend coming to stay and a theatre trip, but on Saturday I'll be heading off to Newbury ArtStamps Exhibition.  I'm sure that I will find some items that I need for the studio. Watch out next week for haul photos!

I hope you are continuing to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and as always I am grateful for you stopping by to my little corner of the crafting world.


Friday, 27 June 2014

Two new firsts - filming and giveaway

Hi everyone

I hope you managed to keep up with my first giveaway last week.  I think it went really well and I have posted off the cards to the winner, I hope she likes them.
 
I had put three cards that had already featured on the blog and added three previously unseen cards to the prize.



  
I love Pinterest; how about you?  My boards vary and show how eclectic my taste is in just about everything.  I have boards ranging from ‘New York’, (one of my favourite places to be) to Laughs and Giggles to Glitter and Sparkle.  I am sure you have read here before about how much I love colour and perhaps unsurprisingly I have an ‘I love colour’ board.

Pinterest along with YouTube is a great source of inspiration and I based the ‘you’re the best’ card on a Pin.  The picture is of a mass of tulips; the colours are very vibrant.  I wanted to recreate this vibrancy in my stripes and used layers of watercolour to get the depth of colour I wanted.  I painted the stripes on one large piece of watercolour paper and then cut to size when it was dry, I followed that with some simple stamping in black.  I was really pleased with how this turned out; watch out for more ‘I love colour’ inspired work.

The second of these cards uses one of my favourite Penny Black slapstick/cling stamps called dreamy.  I find it very versatile as it can be added to many different backgrounds and it can look different each time.  I always like to add some Sakura Gelly Roll in #700 which is a lovely sparkle, but it has no colour.  It adds a subtle hint of twinkle and looks lovely when it hits the light. 

The last card is inspired by one of my YouTube craft gurus Kristina Werner.  I find her videos very informative and easy to follow.  It is also simple to put a personal spin on her ideas.  Her cards have a clean style to them which I favour.  There are not loads of bits and pieces added to them.  This card uses Distress Ink and Distress Markers as watercolours and I really enjoyed using this technique and once the colours dry, they are permanent.  

* * * * * * *


I have been thinking for some time about filming my cards in progress, not only to add to my YouTube channel, but as a self learning aid.  My other half made an overhead filming set up for me out from a cd unit that was no longer being used (I had also seen this on YouTube by laurelscrafts) As a first attempt at filming with it, I made the announcement for the giveaway via video.  I used my phone and I have to say that I think it worked it very well.  


This set up is so simple and I can just put it on to the desk when needed and stored away when I have finished filming.  Don't you find that the most simple ideas are sometimes the best?

Perhaps you'd like to hop over to my Facebook page, The JacquieLine Studio, and see what you think about how the filming turned out.

I'm so glad that my technical issues from earlier in the week are now resolved and that you have dropped by to see this week's post.

Enjoy your week and thanks for stopping by




Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Aargh! Technical problems

Hi everyone

I have some technical difficulties this week, so my weekly post will not be up until the end of the week.  I do hope you will check in again and see what's been happening in the studio.

Hope you are having a good week



Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Two things this week

Hi everyone

Just a really short post this week as I have my first 'giveaway' on my Facebook page.  Have you hopped on over to my page to see how you can get 6 handmade cards and the stamps to post them with?  If you are an overseas visitor, the stamps will not be useful for you, so I will add in a further card.  

Three of the cards have been featured both here and on my fb page before.  I have had some really lovely feedback for them and I thought that it would be nice to use them for the giveaway.  

If you would like to take part, you only need to do two things

1.  Go to my Facebook page (The JacquieLine Studio) and like it

2.  Go to the post on 13th June which shows the cards and share it on your own page

It really is that simple.

* * * * * * 

I have been doing a little experimentation with colour again this week.  The view to the garden gives me so many different colours to look at and enjoy.  I really like colour on dark or black card, so I decided to try using my Derwent Inktense pencils on a black background.  I did clear embossing prior to colouring and used the 0700 Fuchsia colour to fill in the flower, I then used a white watercolour pencil to give some depth to the image and once again went over the petals with the fuchsia colour.

   


I'm not sure how I feel about how this has turned out and so I haven't used it on a card or anything else.  Any thoughts?

Thanks for spending some time with me this week



Friday, 13 June 2014

Giveaway Time!


Giveaway Time!

The three cards pictured have already appeared on my Facebook studio page before. I will be giving away these cards plus three unseen cards along with a book of second class stamps (for overseas entries, I will add in a further unseen card as Royal Mail stamps will not be useful!).

All you have to do is 'like' The JacquieLine Studio page on Facebook plus 'like' and share the 'giveaway' post.

The winner will be announced on Thursday 19th June.