Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Vintage Grunge Cuff/Bracelet And How To Tutorial

Do you like my Vintage Grunge Cuff?  Ohhhhh I love it.  I have been being it all day with a pretty summer dress.  I made a bit of a mess with the flower in that I added Stickles......for my sins!  And it made a bloomin' mess of the flower by making the ink run and now it looks yuckie!!  Grrrrrr

Hello my lovely Loopies, did you enjoy today's weather?  Yeah?  Well, get the good of it, cause its all ending tomorrow AGAIN.  That is if you live in Northern Ireland of course.  Grrrrrrr.  As much as I LOVE living in beautiful Northern Ireland, there are times.........ohhhhhhh...........there are times, I could wring the neck of the weather man......poor Darra from BBC One Newsline!  Ok so I am totally aware its not his fault, and there isn't exactly a Complaints Department for these sorta' things.  But I'm getting completely frustrated with Summers that are grey and soggy wet and its soooooo grey and even puddles are starting to look lake-like!  My cat is starting to sport a bloomin' sopping wet, dirty aul dish cloth look most days now!!!  It is not a good look for her and her wee grumpy face is getting a bit hard to look at .........Nimbus is the only cat I know that has actual expressions that are so obvious.  And I'm fed up looking pasty white and freckle-less!  I look cute with my wee freckles all over my nose and face with my little blonde Pippy Longstockings plaits! Hello!!!!!  Pippy Longstocking Plaits and cute freckles people!!!!  The world is missing out on that look all because there is no bloomin' sun and heat in Northern Ireland.......are you getting my frustration here people??

I could complain and complain (and complain) about the weather here and it won't change a thing.  So enough of my ranting.  Oh by the way..........hubby says we are all nuts (all in good humour and jest of course!)  Yep, I told him about my last post and the replies I had gotten and he laughed his head off and just so happened he needed to run out to the bin to put some bags in the bin.......just at the very second that I was bombarding him with the comments I had received.  I told him he really should know by now that if you dare me to do something, not to do something or challenge me to anything.........its a pretty sure thing that I am going to do "it".  Heehee.  Silly man!

Anywhoodles, enough of my loopiness.  Here's my creation for today's post.  I saw the wonderful Sarah's bracelet on her blog, please click here for Sarah's blog,  It was a gorgeous bracelet and it inspired me to make my own with a little vintagy grungy girlie look.  Thanks for being such an inspiration Sarah, I always love visiting your blog.

I used Grunge paper (thanks Jean) and used a Tim Holtz embossing folder.  The Grunge papers are held together using 2 eyelets, one on each side....boy I love my Big Bite, lol
On the larger piece of grunge I used Victorian Velvet Distress Ink.  On the top piece I used Spun Sugar and Vintage Rose Glimmer mist.  I added Mod Podge over the grunge paper to make it waterproof.
As I said at the top of my post, my flower WAS beautiful.....before I painted on stickles!  Grrrr!  Ack well, I will know for the next time.  It still turned out ok.  I'm gonna make more of these wee babies for this space....., heehee
Heres ma wee arm doing a little modelling for you whilst my other hand is awkwardly trying to take photos!  I added 2 different gathered laces.  The cuff didn't look just right with one or the other lace, so I sewed them together and its looked really pretty.  I hand sewed the lace onto the cuff with thick thread.

I made this closure for the cuff so it can be worn for any size of wrist. Well, any size accept mine!  I did make the cuff a wee bit too big for my wee wrist but I can tighten it so all is not lost, lol.  I added some felt to the inside of the cuff so it would hide all the sewing and brad backs and be comfortable to wear.
It needs to be tighter around my wrist....just imagine the grunge paper section being tighter, but I love, love, love it.  Its so pretty and vintage looking.

Thats it from me for another wee while folks.  Oh by the way, I will be uploading a tutorial on Youtube on how this was made.  So look out for that.  If you ever want to go to my channel, just do a search on Youtube guessed it.....CraftyLoops!


Toodles Noodles.......Loops xx

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Saturday, 16 June 2012

More flowers and Scrubby's Operation Be Good Challenge

Well ladies and gents, whats the craic with you all this very fine June morning?  And when I say "fine June morning" or course I'm being completely sarcastic as its wet, soggy, windy and damp here in good 'ole Northern Ireland but then, why am I surprised really?  Northern Ireland wouldn't be Northern Ireland without said wetness, sogginess, windiness and dampness!

Anyway, before I show off my pwetty pwetty flowers I want to tell you about my Scrubby's Challenge.  As some of you may Scrubby is a Super Geek and if you have no idea what I am on about please read the previous post by clicking HERE.  As well as being a bit of a computer whizz kid, my hubby has another hobby he's had since childhood called Warhammer.  Its basically a table top game you play with these wee models and you paint them up and stuff.....yadda get the picture.  Yep, he's a complete Geek but he's my Geek, lol.  And I'm not being derogatory in calling him a Geek, I love that he's a computer genius and plays with toys!

Well, the post came at the start of the week with a wee model and a little games manual.  And while the Postman was at it he kindly dropped the above fabric for said flowers through the door too for meeeeeee.  Anyway, we are sitting at the breakfast table, fawning over our new toys and sipping on our morning tea when Scrubby in all his wisdom pipes up and says

"You know what?  I think we should set ourselves a challenge and be good over the next couple of months and just use the supplies we already have for our hobbies"!!!!!!!

Firstly.........Way to go in an attempt to kill your wife you plonker!!!  I nearly choked on my tea and crocked it at the kitchen table with a hand full of Fat Quarters!   After I got over my tea spluttering, I replied

"What you mean like set ourselves a small budget to stick to every month and not go over it?"  Whilst I crossed fingers, hands, arms, legs......even eyes hoping thats what he meant!

Scrubby......"No, I don't mean setting a monthly budget.  I mean be properly good.  Don't spend a penny on anything new.  Just use what we have before buying anything else".

Me.....Well surely you don't mean not to spend one penny? (I say a quick prayer "Let this be a dream, let this be a very bad dream!).

Scrubby...."Yes thats exactly what I mean.  I have plenty of things to be getting on with without needing to buy more and that room of yours is coming down with stuff, so you can't tell me there is actually any more things you really neeeeedddddd".

Oh yes, he emphasized "need" like it was some bad word he was only ever allowed to say once in his life and he was making sure I knew what it meant!  So I'm sitting there, looking at the love of my life, the man I married 2 and a half happy years ago and thought "Now you've gone and done it.  You've gone and waved the red flag to one very pee'd off bull"!

Me........."What the.....?  What is wrong with you man?  Are you telling me you are challenging me to buy nothing?"

Scrubby........."Yes, absolutely nothing."

Me........Completely miffed!  "What like not even when we are doing the shopping and I head off to the stationery stand, I can't even buy a magazine?  Or when you go into the bank and I nip in to Poundland, I can't even buy a 99p frame?  Or if I see a brilliant bargain on ebay for like 3 billion beads for 39p I can't even buy them either????"  Now you must realise, with each and every word my disbelief was growing more and more and with that, my voice was getting higher and higher!

Scrubby........(Who by the way is sitting there grinning at me and is completely loving every little squeaky high note and squirm in my chair that I'm making) "Thats exactly what I mean.  Nada, nothing, not one teeny tiny thing can you buy.  That is unless you run out of glue or double sided tape or something........."

Uh!!  There may be some hope....

Scrubby.........."But I know you won't need anything like glue or double sided tape because I know you have a tonne of it."

Awwwwww!  So close!

Me........Almost in tears at this point like I'm six years of age and just had my favourite toy taken off me.......But whyyyyyyyyy?

Scrubby.........."Oh come on Lee, you know why.  I have plenty to keep me going and you certainly know you do too.  So come on (trying to spur up a bit of enthusiasm from me!), we can be good for the next wee while can't we?  Oh come on, it'll be good to use the things we have and you might even come across stuff that you forgot you had".

Me.......In a rather spoilt brat-ish grumpy voice "Yeah s'pose."

Scrubby.........."Sorry what was that?" (Just to push my buttons a little more!)

Me.........."I said Yes I don't push it."

And with that, my Scrubby laughs, kisses me on the head and sticks the kettle on for another cup of tea!

And so, Operation Be Good was born 6 days ago.  You know how it is ladies (and gents of course), we like to treat ourselves to that one wee stamp, or that new set of ink pads, oh and look 20 million charms from China for only 69p.  Or even grab that magazine that we aren't subscribed to just because its got a "free" set of papers on the front.  So what, we justify it by not smoking or drinking or going out for expensive meals or jetting away on 5* holidays.  We are allowed a treat once in a while.  But on the other hand, Scrubby is right, I do have a tonne of stuff and I need to use what I have in my room before buying more.  But, this has damn near done me in!  So, I would just like to say that even after all my grumping, huffing and puffing, I have decided to be mature about the whole thing and let you all know that............


Yes folks, I would like it to be known that my Scrubby failed!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  And I'm not going to be mature about it.  Let's face it, I don't have a mature bone in my body.  He caved in and I WON!  Im blowing big fat raspberries and even sticking my tongue out whilst waving my hands at the side of my face.  I won and he didn't.  I was strong and he caved like the 12 year old boy in a toy shop that he is!  HA!

Anyway, ahem!  Compose yourself Loops.  Heehee.  On to my flowers, lol.

I just LOVE these flowers.  I think I'm going to call them "Granny's Sewing Room" Collection.  What do you think?
I used this beautiful flowery fabric and then a white linen type fabric that was embossed with wee white flowers and flourishes.  So gorgeous

The thing I love about these flowers is that they can be so dimensional just by fluffing them up, but they can also be used on projects like cards where you want a more flat flower.
This is gorgeous spotty green fabric with the white embossed linen fabric

Look at these beautiful wee blingy babies.  I found these on ebay.  I got a massive big bag of 3'000 of them.....BEFORE Operation Be Good by the way!  I've had these weeks.
I decided to make some more of my pretty flower centres
You all know these ones.  My large 15mm flat back pearls with the bling mesh around the outside
This is a 15mm flat back pearl with 4mm pearl string  
These are my newer ones and smaller.  10mm flat back pearls inserted onto 10mm buckle sliders
And Tada!!!  My newest of the new...well I had to use those 3'000 blingy babies up!  After all, Scrubby did set the challenge to use what we had!
Aren't they cute and perfect for flower centres.
I used a wee buckle slider and blued one of the wee blingy babies into the centre.
Right, thats enough rambling for one day from me folks.  I hope you like my flowers and my wee centres.  You can all leave comments now telling my Scrubby that he has failed the human race, heehee.  Awww bless him, and he thought I'd be the one to cave in first.  You'd think he'd learn by now that there is nothing more I love than a good challenge.  After all, I'm constantly saying on here that I love a good challenge.  He obviously hasn't been keeping up with my blog!  And the moral to this story all Hubby's out there........always keep up with your wives blogs before setting them a challenge!  Heehee.

Toodles Noodles,

Loops xx

Monday, 11 June 2012

Summer Expedition Journal - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

This is going to be a photo heavy post, lol
So sorry for the glare on this photo.  I don't know whats up with my camera!
I know, I know ............"Where have you been Loops" I can hear you all shout. Im sorry I have been such an awful blogger of late.  And its not as if I can even blame it on having glorious weather either because living in Northern Ireland, the very second the sun comes out and someone says "This is some weather we're having, isn't it?", they have pretty much scudded us all and we are guaranteed to have torrential rain, hail stones the size of golf balls and freezing temperatures!  So the weather hasn't been good at all in Northern Ireland except..... dare I say it?......the sun has been out yesterday and today.  Its ok though, normality will resume in a matter of hours, as we are to have rain again tomorrow.  So as I type this post, Scrubby is frantically scraping the paint off the front window sills in an attempt to get a new lick of paint on them before the rain comes tomorrow.

And would you believe me if I told you that my craft room is STILL not finished?  Yeah, of course you is my craft room after all! I just can't seem to get it how I want it.  And according to Scrubby the problem is NOT the room but the amount of craft stash I have!  "RUBBISH!!!!" protests I!!  "Look you could easily fit more into this drawer", I say confidently as I open one of my cube drawers and lace comes streaming out.  "Heehee" I giggle nervously, trying to push the offending lace under my desk to hide its sudden escape from its confined space.  "Oh yeah", Scrubby says, "theres tonnes of room" the sarcasm drips from every word!

What does he know, eh?  I could easily squash in another few metres of lace into that drawer.  Ok it might jump out to greet me as soon as I open up the drawer again, but I just take that as the lace is very pleased to see me and it wants to be used in my project, and nothing to do with a lack of space issue!

Anywhoodles, enough of my antics.  Here is what I have been working on......forever! It seems to have taken me ages to make this.  I kept putting it aside and then coming back to it.  You know the type of project Im talking about.  When I came up with the idea of this book, the front cover design was made after seeing an incredible Youtubers tutorial on how to do it.  To see how it is done, click HERE to get to CreaBoetiek's channel.

There is a story behind this project.  Of course there is......I made it! lol.  I have created a fictional character called, Prof. Alexander Oscar Stewart who is a Lepidopterologist at Oxford University in the early 1920's. "Ah Lepid do da whatsit?" I hear you ask!  Heehee. The Professor has been sent on an expedition by the University to Africa in the Summer of 1923 to examine and catalogue new species of Butterflies and Moths as thats what Lepidopterologists do.  "Ohhhhh right" I hear you sigh, lol.  So this is his Journal and catalogue book.

I took a piece of cardstock and glued down approximately 35 pages of old book paper to the cardstock, only adding glue around the edges and leaving the centres glue free.  For future reference and if anyone else decides to make a book like this, use a piece of chipboard to glue your pages too.  The cardstock, although 300gsm still wasn't thick enough and wrinkled a wee bit with the amount of wet glue on it.

I cut an "X" in the middle of the pages and down through the layers with my knife and starting pulling and tearing back the pages, adding glue (in this case I used pva) to the pages to hold them in place.  To make the pages a bit stiffer and hard, I gave the paper a good coat of Mod Podge, let it dry and added another good coat.
For the inside of the book, I wanted it to have a display box rather than pages.  So I made this little "thingie"!  Can you tell I don't know what its called!?  Well, I call it a "thingie" and thats good enough for me!  Im sure you all know how to makes these, its just doing a valley and mountain foldie dodaa.  You all know what Im on about......don't you??  I can do a tutorial on it if you like.  Just let me know in the comment section below.

So after a great deal of paint, crackle medium, more paint, rub on's in 2 colours and making a charm and a weird peacock eye......this is what I came up with!  I have never made anything like this before, but I love it.  It looks very vintagy, grungy, oldie worldie kinda thing....there were a lot of "eeee's" there, weren't there?!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I love how old and leather like it looks.  Its amazing what you can do to paper to change its appearance.

I added a little gold filigree to the spine of the book.  This paper is from the Tim Holtz Kraft paper stack which was kindly given to me by Jean...thank you Jean!

I made a peacock charm using this peacock that came off of a necklace.

Then I added loads of wee handmade charm embellishments and a wee bird cage and wing charm.

It is just clipped on to the spine through a little eyelet at the top of the books spine.  The charm can be taken off and used on a keyring, etc.

The words were just stamped onto cream cardstock using the wee individual wooden alpha stamps you can buy for a couple of pounds at Dunelm.  They aren't stamped on perfectly straight but I didn't want them to be sitting perfectly.  Obviously, I didn't stamp the word "eye" out as the peacock feather eye represents that word.

I added the saying on wherever I could find a wee space for it! lol
I love the peacock feather eye.  And I love the saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and I wanted the Peacock Feather to take centre stage on the front of the book, so I took one of the Peacock feathers I bought on Ebay and cut down the Peacock eye.  I made a eye template and cut it out.  Glued the feather down and added bling around the top.  I drew in black lines with my embossing pen and embossed the lined in black/green embossing powder.  I coloured in the spaces with another embossing powder using my Versamark embossing pen.  If you don't have one of these pens, I highly recommend having one in your stash, its fantastic.  It has a fine tip and a thicker tip to it, its brilliant.

These are genuine vintage pen nibs.......these are not Timmy ones.

I love the texture and dimension that the curled up pages gives the cover.

I wanted the paper to look like thick old cracked leather.  I managed this by using a coat of white gesso, mixed some crackle medium with burnt umber paint, then a coat of Timmy Scattered Straw Crackle paint, another we lick of burnt umber and I went over it all with a redish purple rub ons and gold rub ons too.  I love the texture.  It really does look like an old leather book thats been well used and worn down.  I sealed the entire front cover with a layer of mod podge.....good old mod podge, lol.

This probably seems like a strange closure, but I just love it.  I covered two small bulldog clips with patterned paper and just added a length of garden string to it.  You just open it by taking off the front bulldog clip.  Its very rugged and a quick fix closure which I think works really well with this book.

And its not your normal paged book inside!

The left side holds Professor Alexander's catalogue/Diary with all his butterfly drawings and stories of his adventures in it, with a little envelope carrying pen nibs and his peacock feather pen.  The other side is a little exhibition cabinet.

I could have used the little configurations boxes to display the goodies, or even made small boxes, but I wanted it to look like a makeshift display, something that my Professor could have made quickly whilst exploring the wilds of Africa.  So I simply made the dividers out of wooden skewers and painted them.  I then glued them into one of the valleys of my frame.  Do you like my little specs and book?  I think they are so cute and they took minutes to make. 
In side this little envelopes is a few extra pen nibs that Professor Alexander needs.

This is the inside, where my Professor keeps his little Catalogue/Diary of finds.

Here is Professor Alexanders little Catalogue/Diary with all his details and the details of the expedition on the front.  As well as drawing and cataloguing butterflies and moths, he must keep an inventory and supplies list and writes down every extra penny spent.  He also finds time to write about other little adventures he encounters along the way.

The inside of the catalogue/diary

Professor Alexander has a little trinket and photo of his love that is back in England, eagerly awaiting his safe return from Africa.  Say hello to Charlotte.  I cut her out from a piece of the Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutante paper.

And here is the handsome devil himself, Professor Alexander Oscar Stewart.  This is actually a Crafty Individuals stamp which can be found here. Isn't he a handsome fellow?  I just love Crafty Individuals Stamps.

And of course no diary would be complete without a wee love letter from Professor Alexander's pretty Charlotte.  This sits in the wee pocket that I made on the inside of the catalogue.  It just so happens that Charlotte has a brother Sebastian who has managed to get into the good graces of the Professor and has come along with him to Africa.  Charlotte is aware of her brothers reputation to be a bit of a wild one and politely writes a little line in her love letter to her dear Alexander, asking him to keep an eye on her brother.

Professor Alexander has opened this letter, read it and re-read it many a night when he is all alone in his wee tent at night.  He has read it so many times that it is terribly wrinkly and he even managed to spill his tea on it at one stage!

I won't show you photos of every single page of the Professors Catalogue/Diary......after all, we can't read all of his secrets and adventures! Here Professor Alexander catalogues and draws the new species of butterflies as and when he finds them.

He writes about new things he sees and even has time to stick in some feathers to bring home to his Charlotte.

One of the local villagers even trades some goods and gives Professor Alexander some paint to colour his butterflies and moths.  Although he had to trade for the paints, Professor Alexander has been told that he can only borrow the paints and must return them once he is finished with them.  Somehow the Professor didn't get the best deal, as I can't see him getting back the tea he traded.

And here is the "Page" section of the book which is the wee display area. As you can see it is centred around Peacocks and Butterflies with other bits and bobs thrown in.

I covered the front with Timmy's Tissue Tape......again, thank you Jean!  And then went over it with Distress Inks and sealed it with Mod Podge.

At the top, we have some buttons and a needle and thread.  Professor Alexander had torn his trouser and went in to the local village to find someone to repair them.  And rather than getting someone to repair them, a local lady simply handed him a needle and thread and told him to do it himself.  He found it so amusing that he kept the needle and thread as a momento.  A little butterfly in the middle with its Latin Name (not all names are perfectly matched to the type of moth/butterfly.....Im not that good!).

The middle section has another butterfly, a Peacock Pendant in the middle and some pretty flowers with a little vile of seeds for that particular flower.  Professor Alexander wanted to bring home something beautiful for his Charlotte.

In the bottom section is another butterfly, a bottle cap with another image from the Graphic 45 paper and another peacock pendant.

And thats it.  The Journal of my Fictional Professor Alexander O Stewart. 

Thats it from me folks.  I hope you have enjoyed the trials and tribulations of my Professor.  Sorry I have been a bad blogger.  Its not like me to go so long without having at least something to post about.  I was getting Blog Withdrawal!!!  Hmmmm, I wonder what the symptoms of blog withdrawal would entails??

And I would just like to add that from I started this post half an hour has just started to rain!  See, I told you.  I spoke too soon.  I shouldn't have mentioned that the sun was out in Northern Ireland!!!!  Its absolutely chucking it down now!!!

Its nearly my one year Blogaversary too, so keep an eye out for some goodies that Im giving away.....just around the corner.

EDIT.......I added the video that I did of this book if you want to watch it instead of looking through the many photos and reading my drivel about the adventures of my Professor, who "owns" this book, lol.  Mind you I sound completely distracted in my video so you may prefer to look at the photos, heehee.

Toodles Noodles.....Loops xx

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