Monday, 14 December 2015

Making things for Christmas...

Hey how are y'all?!
Things have been quite productive round here lately... I've been helping Millie make her Fimo earrings which took us the best part of 2 weekend's work but it was worth it as she sold lots and raised some money for the school. Then I've been making some mixed media art for gifting for Christmas pressies this year. The Works is great for cheap n cheerful blank canvases, wooden frames, boxes etc. and we're going great guns in order to get our little projects ready for next week. NEXT WEEK? (faints in panic!!!!) Oh dear, I've just realised how much shopping and organising I've yet to do. I haven't even written a Christmas card yet - hang on - I haven't even bought any yet!! I think cards are getting sent less and less these days. People seem to send a donation to charity instead and send FB messages to friends instead of cards. Even the kids don't get as many home from school as they used to.  A sign of the times maybe...
Anyhoo here's a quick lookee at some of my crafty endeavours...

I have a pic frame and little trinket tray in progress too at the moment plus 2 more new nest paintings.
Pop back soon for some more in depth pics and details!
Lots of love,

Saturday, 7 November 2015

It's a busy time of year...

    Yes it is. And, it's only gonna get crazier as Christmas is on the horizon which we all know means relentless shopping, card writing and overindulging in anything that can be indulged in! Bring. It. On. !!! So before I work myself into a frenzy in sheer anticipation of it all, let me share a wee moment of domestic bliss with you.
    Meet Mr. Webbs. He's a woolly pompom spider which Sadie and I made as part of her recent homework project. Isn't he cute!

    This is actually a modified version as the first face I gave him was a bit too scary according to Sadie and she asked me to make him a bit cuter (?) ! Anyway, she was happy enough to use him as an accessory to her vampire costume for school the next day.

    Here she is setting off for school resplendent in flowing vampire cape, spider in hand! I can't believe my little Sadie is 9 years old now. Time really does fly when you have kids eh! Sadly, her big sister is not interested in Halloween much these days - changed days indeed! So I just wanted to blog this little moment in time before Sadie gets too cool to be bothered too!

    On a different but related topic, I have decided with Christmas in mind that I want to make my closest friends a piece of mixed media art for gifting this year instead of a shop bought pressie. So, I'm currently nosying round You Tube for some inspiration and came across a tutorial for a quick acrylic painting that I really wanted to try out.
    As a first attempt I'd say I'm semi pleased with my results. The next time I try it tho, I think I'll either do a lighter background or a collage style with old book pages and try a smaller brush for the nest part. Also, I'll try chopping up the text in a more random manner and not in straight lines.

This tutorial is great! It's just so easy to follow and this link takes you right to it!
Big thanks to Angela Anderson for permission to use the link to her video. I hope you enjoy it!

There are lots of great tutorials on You Tube and I can't wait to get stuck in to some more - they're great for tips and getting you started. I've never been confident around paint or easels but these A4 size canvas boards are a perfect size for starting with.

Get those paints out!!!
Happy crafting everyone.
Jak xxx

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Here's a little painting I'm working on!

Well, hello there, fancy seeing you round here!
Welcome to my latest crafty post, this time featuring a little A4 size canvas-board painting. Everyone who knows me knows I can't draw for toffee thus the reason I became a graphic designer and not an illustrator! That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy fiddling around with a bit of colour and texture from time to time and sometimes the mood really does just take me and make me want to do something more expressive than realistic! 

This project started out as a bit of a doodle that grew into a full blown 3 dimensional painting type objet d'art! It is a ready gessoed canvas board that I did a quick pencil design on and realising I wanted a bit of dimension I glued string over the swirls and heart outline. I then covered the string with crumpled tissue paper and painted over this. Once the colour had gone on I added some red glass beads in the heart, more doodles in gold pen and Hobbycraft glitter glue, then went over the swirls with Dovecraft 3d Pearls. I don't think it's quite finished yet - I feel the need to add some text or something but for the moment I have given it the working title of "Joy In My Heart".  Pop back soon to see how it ends up!!! Sorry, this is a quick post - the kids are hungry and I need to get into the kitchen and make their tea!!!
Thanks for popping by,

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Safetypin bracelet project...

Hello there!
Thankyou for swinging by my little crafty spot! This weekend's post features this punky little safetypin bracelet. Ok, so this is maybe a bit of a cheat as it came in a box as a kind of kit project (a birthday present for my daughter a couple of years ago) but having only about 3 steps to remember, anyone could do this. I think the finished effect is great and I can see lots of potentially different ways of decorating it.
    So, you will need:- 
   approx 50 small safetypins
   plastic stretchy jewellery beading cord
   lots of random beads

Start off by threading beads on to the pins and closing them.
Cut 2 lengths of jewellery cord long enough for going round your wrist and tieing off.
Start threading your pins on the cord alternating their tops and tails so its in a one right way up, one upside down. Once you have enough pins on to go round your wrist with a bit of stretch, tie the ends together.
Repeat this again on the unthreaded side of the pins. (see image for what I mean!!! )
In all it's glory!!
Yay! The finished article. Wouldn't these be great just in one colour of bead or alternate colours! Some bells too maybe or dangly drops/tassels! I think too, the smaller the beads, the more pins you could squeeze on and have them really packed on there.
I hope you like this little project. It didn't take us long to make at all - threading the pins with beads was the bit that took longest. A few of these would be great to sell on a little craft stall - must remember to put that in my list of crafty things to do!
Have a great weekend crafters!
Love Jak!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

A scrapbook page for a wee change...

Hello crafty crafters!
    There is nothing like a bit of serendipity to get the creative juices a-flowing and so the other day whilst having a very small tidy up and minor streamlining of stash, I happened to come across this photo that I had stored "safely" away for future scrapping. Now, we all know how this goes - yes, so safe it's never to be found again! So, when I found it languishing beside all the Christmas chipboard and offcuts of much randomness ( I know, a pretty obvious place for it to reside!) I knew it had to be my next layout or it would probably disappear for another year all over again!!! And with that thought in my head, the small tidying up activity was postponed for some spontaneous scrapping! The BEST kind!

A close up of a little postage stamp I made 'cos the scrap of paper went with the colours in the photo

    There's plenty going on with a few Paperchase stamps, some painted Prima chipboard (giant red arrow) and lots of homemade elements - the journaling card, postage stamp and honeycomb Silhouette diecut! Rather biasedly, if that's a real word, (if not, it should be!) I love the photo! Not only because Sadie is a wee poppet - it's because the colours just pop. 
    This one came together quickly and made me want to get stuck in to some more scrapbooking. Unfortunately, I really do need to finish off that tidying tho, so, thankyou for popping by for a catch up and feel free to leave a comment if you please.
Happy crafting everyone'
Love, Jak

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Here's your CUTE!!!!

Yes, it is! Right here, on a lovely autumnal October morning!
So, I saw this A4 Paper Pack on the DoCrafts t'interweb shop sale for less than half price - how could I resist!!!

If you have visited my blog once or twice before, you may have noticed that I'm a Borderline Crazy Cat Lady TM  with very kitsch tendencies, so when this dropped through my letterbox, and once I stopped hyperventilating and managed to compose my excitement, I got stuck in faster than my cat Rocket streaks across the back garden from six houses away when he hears the fridge door open. What joy! The images are adorable and there are so many die cuts and decoupage sheets, goodness knows how many cards this will make. Here's a few I've knocked out over the last few days...

Voila! Perfect for fellow cat lovers and really great for cardmakers that want to put together some quick ones! These are the kind of cards though that really cry out for little bows but, as I don't have a bow maker,  I have wrestled with fingers with limited success and resorted to paper ones instead! Heehee. Can anyone recommend a bow maker? There are lots out there but I don't know what kind to go for - a cheap wooden block and dowelling one or a fancy-schmancy, purpose designed, plastic comb type one. Any opinions? - please leave a comment!
Have a craftastic weekend friends!!!
Love Jak! xxx

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Finally, it's been finished!

Thank you all for your patience while I get round to uploading the finished results of my Brighton minibook! Just as I was finishing it up I found a few more photos I just had to cram in, so it's ended up with quite a few pages more than I intended, but, hey, who makes plans and sticks to them anyway? Ok, here goes -

I wanted a really tactile cover as it really adds something to the whole appeal of minibooks I think. This has been put together using a heavy weight corrugated cardboard base, gessoed, then layered with a good old coat of texture paste. I used sequin waste and pushed the paste through this to get the pebbled foreground. Once it was dry I painted it and gave it a layer of thick Golden Gel which makes for a durable finish with a matt surface. I couldn't resist a cheeky little bit of glitter Mod Podge on the pebbles too. Lastly, I painted some old chipboard letters white and stuck them on the horizon part of the design. As usual, there's plenty of scraps of material and ribbons to decorate the book rings that hold it all together.

The honeycomb background and FUN arrow are diecut from my Silhouette



Finally, the last page holds a little pocket for tickets, receipts etc. It did take a while to put together but is was worth it as it really does capture the essence of our holiday and the girls love looking at it. It's even been passed round the family when asked how are holiday was and its so much more interesting than a showing standard photo album!!
    The papers are a mix of American Crafts Neapolitan (great summery icecream colours!) and a mega pack by Recollections called The Sweetest Thing as they worked well together. I designed and printed off the little journalling labels along with some digital elements from the American Crafts Neapolitan range that match the papers.
   I hope you've enjoyed the tour of my minibook!
Leave me a comment if there is anything you would like more details about...
Thanks for popping in!
Happy crafting,
Jak xxx

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Brighton MiniBook update...

A lovely, sunny, good Saturday morning to everyone!
Here's a quick update on my holiday minibook. It's going well if a bit slowly, I have to share the computer with 3 other people who all somehow seem to monopolise the computer these days, so when I do eventually get a turn my first priority has been to print my holiday pics... There are quite a lot to choose from and I really must get some proper prints done as they would make a lovely gift for the girls Grandmas. I'll put the on the "things to do" list!
So here's a quick peak at progress... I still have a bit of embellishing to do although I've made a start with some cuts from the Silhouette, layering multi-cuts and sticking them together in layers for a chunky chipboard look!

This year I've included a bit more journaling just because the memories are still quite fresh and it's always nice to read these back years down the line. I think I might have a few more pages to add in yet but the book is filling up nicely with pics, receipts and various bits and bobs! Stay tuned for the completed project where I will go into more detail about embellishments and techniques!
Have a lovely weekend lovely crafters,
Love Jak!

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Good Saturday morning to you...

Hello fellow crafters!
I hope you have found time for a bit of crafting this week - I've been a bit busy - back to work from annual leave - car MOT! ( it failed! ) - walking to work etc - car back on the road... Anyways, as a result there's been plenty of paper shuffling go on at the craft table - not much physical creating but, some virtual instead, lol! I have been using my scrappers block wisely though by journaling my holiday and trying out repeat pattern designs in Adobe Illustrator (tricky till the penny drops!) and designs for die cutting on my silhouette.

Morrocan tile repeat pattern

diecut from pattern 

As you can see, the repeat pattern converts well into a diecut panel which will come in handy for cardmaking and scrapbooking. Basic Morrocan style repeat patterns are a great place to start as they are constructed using symmetrical shapes which are easier to work out how they join and repeat. Some people find that kind of thing easy but I'm not a natural at maths oriented stuff I kind of find my way round by trial and error till something in my head clicks then I get it and I'm off... It's like once I know how to do it my way, I can then go back and understand the instructions. I'm a hopeless case!!
And of course the truly brilliant thing about the silhouette is you can use the file at any size so, I'm off to cut these babies out now - I'll post my efforts later. Fingers crossed they work!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Love Jack xxx

Sunday, 9 August 2015

I've started my holiday minibook!

I really wanted to get stuck into this before the memories fade... so I made a start this weekend. I wanted the cover to have a seaside/beach theme as we spent so much time there - the weather was so beautiful we just had to make the most of our sunny days. It felt right to get a bit arty with the gel pastels so I've put together a seascape that goes over both the front and back covers. I'm actually waiting on it to dry as I do this quick post. I'm not sure what else is going to happen on the cover in regard to the title - I haven't thought too much about that yet but I'm sure something will evolve as I put together the photos and pages of the book. Speaking of which, they are at the top of this pic. I've gone for sweet, ice-cream colours mixed up with some neutrals inside and those AC Dear Lizzy Neopolitan papers came in handy again for this. As usual, this mini will hopefully have an eclectic mix and match feel to it. I've deliberately made sure none of the pages inside are the same size, some of which have apertures or fold outs or pockets in them. Here's the pic as a taster of what's to come...

Pop by again soon for an update on how things are progressing!
Jak! xxx

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Oh dear, where did July go?

I'll tell you where it went. It went on holiday with us to .... lets see if anyone can guess by my holiday photos! Don't worry! I've limited the holibobs snaps to 2 - nothing worse than other peoples holiday pics - zzzzzzzz... Just thought I'd post them to let the world know that unlike our usual weather in Dundee, the sun does actually shine, sometimes, in the UK. It's just that you quite literally have to go to the other end of the country to see it! Oh I almost gave our destination away there...

A very busy seafront!!!!

A view from on high...

Do you know where it is yet?

So, holiday aside I've been busy organising a scrapbook of The Girlz Official Nursery and School Photos. I'm not really one for lots of family photos out on display but I do always put their latest school photos in a frame and update them every year. Consequently, there was a little pile of old ones accumulating and I didn't want them gathering dust so I decided I'd get them in an album with the bare minimum of scrapping involved.  The photos are quite large and didn't leave much room for creativity so that made me decide to just stick them on a pretty tame background and let the photos speak for themselves. I'm not uploading them here as there really isn't much to see apart from lots of huge photos and really not much to inspire anyone with.
   However on a more creative front, I have started upcycling some tatty, old, boring, dining room chairs. I'm actually swithering over to add something decorative or just plump for some snazzy new cushion pads. What do you think? I think I want to try out a bit of floral folk art on the backrest...

First coat in!

So, then I got a chance to squeeze in a 12x12 layout and here's where we get back to business as usual! I have only one photo of this event, I don't know why, and this is it. It's a group photo of Sadie's 3rd birthday party taken over 6 years ago now and to be honest, I haven't a clue who half the children are on it now! The moral in this story is to scrap your photos sooner rather than later or you'll forget the whole story which is kind of the point of doing it!

Tiny partiers ahoy!
You know,  I always seem to start with a pretty neutral background these days, be it kraft, black or in this case white. I think it just gives more scope for using patterned papers and embellishments in a round about way. What I mean is, if you start with a patterned paper as your background paper, then it limits what else you can layer on top. It can work if it's a really small, not too colourful design but even that can really confuse your brain about what it's meant to be looking at. Or is that just me?

Close up you can see the 3d of it.
    This LO was put together using American Crafts Dear Lizzy Neapolitan patterned papers and some printed digital elements from the same digital version of the kit. I think these digital kits are great because as I've mentioned before, all the elements can be scaled to your own requirements and used time after time which can't be a bad thing now can it? My only annoyance is my printer really dislikes any cardstock above 160gsm (thick paper basically)! I can sometimes coax through some heavier card if I add a bit of washii tape to the edge of the card that the feeder for the printer grabs onto but it is a bit trial and error. That's my fault tho for having a cheap, crappy printer, ha! The cone at the bottom right corner has been printed out three times so I could layer it decoupage style for dimension. And yep, those are gromlets there on the left also. I remember when I bought my Cropadile Big Bite about 5 years ago, I got really worried - what would happen if I ran out of gromlets and eyelets???? Well all these years on and there doesn't seem to be much danger of that happening even in the next 5 years such is my extensive use of them,  lol!! Has anyone run out of theirs yet I wonder???
Thanks for popping by for a wee look. Please leave a comment if you stop by. That way I'll keep on keeping on with the scrapping stories!
Love to all you crafty peeps,
Jak xxx

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Well, hello!

...And it's back to papercrafting at Papery Mash! This post I'm sharing a card and a 12x12 layout. I've been a bit lazy of late when it comes to getting stuff done at the crafting table. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's because there always seems to be other things to do around the house/garden in summer...
So, I was looking for a photo to scrap and came across this very cute one of a face painted Sadie. She was only 3 when this was taken and it took me back to how she just loved any opportunity to get her face painted! Also, back then my girls would let me take photos of them all day every day. That has changed somewhat of late and both of them duck for cover or glower fiercely whenever they see a camera pointed in their direction these days. I'm so hoping that this is a phase they'll grow out of otherwise I'll be scrapping baby photos till they're in their twenties!!lol!

Here she is in all her painted glory! I distinctly remember how thick the layer of glitter on top of those facepaints was!!!

So cute! 

This quick card was put together using my "Go To" bedtime story book for the cut little girl with kittens illustration. Seriously, this book just keeps coming up with illustrative treasures too cute to not use! Also, the thing I love about this kind of card too is that to complete the look, all I have to do is rummage through my cardstock leftovers and see what random lovliness comes together!

Thanks as always for popping by!
Jak xxx