Saturday, 29 August 2015

Zentangles and Other Matters

If you want a good laugh at Shoshi’s expense, hop over to the Gutless Bag Lady blog (link at top of RH side bar) and see her glamorous new underwear lol! Now all she’s got to watch out for is that she doesn’t get knocked down by a bus.

I’ve got an exciting new project in progress, and as soon as I hear that it’s OK to do so, I shall be blogging about it.

Meantime, I have got my Zentangle kit out again, and have drawn a few more of the ATC-sized cards for my Zentangle album. I realise that I haven’t updated my Zentangles on my blog or on Flickr and I will need to go through them all to see exactly what is missing, but in the meantime here are some that I am pretty sure are not uploaded, and the ones I drew today.

Recent Zentangles 28-8-15

Kringel was one that I discovered online today, and which I know is going to be a new favourite border tangle. There are lots of variations, and it’s pretty easy to draw too.

Another new favourite is “That C Thing” (I love the name!) which I also discovered today – it’s basically “C” shapes with wiggles on them, and circles to fill in, and the whole thing looks like a joyous bubbling sea, hence my art work! This is a fun tangle and dead easy to draw.

The final new one from today is another really fun one – “Kitty” – again, dead easy – I did this card in a matter of a few minutes. I know Zentangles are not strictly speaking supposed to be representational but I couldn’t resist this one! The others are all ones I did some months ago or even as long ago as last year. I shall be uploading them as individual images once I get organised, and you’ll be able to see them more clearly.

It’s definitely more than high time I got back to tangling. I should have been doing it throughout my cancer journey, for its calming benefits and the lovely feeling of “being in the zone” but somehow it’s taken a back seat lately. It’s definitely something I can do on the recliner with the laptop open beside me for looking up new designs, and eventually I’ll get a whole lot of new and useful material for my album.

I’m definitely feeling better today after my last chemo session – this time (treatment #5) I’ve definitely been worse affected than before, and still can’t shift the horrible sour taste in my mouth. My friend Shaz says that pear drops are good for that, but I told her that would be just replacing one horrible taste with another!! I hate the things! Anyway, apart from that, it’s been the same old effects only more so – devastating fatigue, generally feeling terribly unwell (although not nauseous thank goodness – the meds take care of that), peripheral neuropathy – and this time I noticed a loss of sensation in my feet – and not being able to keep awake. Dreadful brainfog too.

I am going to tell them all this when I see the oncologist on Thursday of next week, and they are always particularly interested in the neuropathy because if you don’t watch out, it can become permanent. I’ve been told we’ve got a bit of leeway as far as the chemo dosage is concerned and they can still reduce it a bit more, so I’m going to ask for that. The increased steroid dose this time seems to have made no difference at all, and with the cumulative effect of the chemo, I’ve definitely been worse this time. At least I’ve now got a clear week to get some things done, and there’s a pile of stuff awaiting my attention in the studio – and I can’t wait to get stuck in!! After this last session being so horrible, and knowing that I’ve still got 3 more to go, I’m beginning to feel pretty frustrated now, because in each cycle there’s really only one week when I feel well enough to do anything. I have to keep reminding myself not to say “still got 3 to go” but instead, “I’ve only got 3 more to go!” which sounds a lot more positive. Words are so powerful, aren’t they. Spoken aloud, they can change one’s whole attitude.

One great thing, Beatrice, our older cat, who seems very sensitive to my chemo and won’t normally come near me, has been all over me these past 2 or 3 days and can’t get enough of me! Very flattering, especially when my hubby’s in the room because those 2 are joined at the heart and she usually runs to him, given the choice! It’s nice to be back in her good graces again, but not sure how long it will last after next Friday when I have chemo #6.

I’ve been busy putting stuff on my new laptop, and this evening had an extremely frustrating evening where nothing seemed to go right. I tried posting my first blog post from the new laptop and it wouldn’t publish, saying it could not connect with the remote server. I tried everything I could think of, and then did a google search for the problem, which came up with several suggestions, none of which seemed to work, but eventually, after trying one of these, and also re-downloading the latest version of Windows LiveWriter (the blog writing software that I use), and then discovering by chance in one of Windows Edge’s (IE replacement with Win10) deeper menus that “use proxy server” was checked, I unchecked it, and suddenly all is well – so I’m not entirely sure what I did to put it right!

I am delighted with the new laptop so far. It came with Win8, and as soon as I started setting it all up, I was asked if I wanted to upgrade to Win10, which I did, but didn’t need the installation file I’d saved on a memory stick from Microsoft for the free upgrade, because it all happened seamlessly as part of the set-up process, and I never even had to encounter the dreaded Win8 for even a second! I can’t tell a lot of difference between 10 and 7, except for a slight change in the start menu, and a cleaner, crisper looking interface which I really like. It seems to function in the same way (mostly!) and so far all my software is working OK without any hitches. It should run a lot more efficiently, and certainly, with the added power onboard, this laptop is staying remarkably cool and I don’t think I shall need the laptop cooler mat. It’s also very quiet, even when the fan is running.

When I first got going, I was aware that there was a pre-installed free subscription to a paid-for anti-virus program which came with HP, so I didn’t bother to install my free AVG anti-virus which I’ve used very satisfactorily for several years now. As soon as I got on the Internet, weird web pages started appearing without my say so, and I started getting some unusual pop-ups in my notification area, and before I knew it, I was absolutely swamped with malware, and spent many hours wrestling with this – as soon as I got rid of any of it, more started appearing! I felt as if I was under a sustained attack by locusts, or wrestling with a very large and bad-tempered octopus, until I thought “Blow this for a lark” and bunged AVG on asap, and after that I was able to purge the system of most of the rubbish, and with a bit of online help, delve deeper into Firefox and my control panel and uninstall the rest. Some of the Internet settings seem to have been upset – whether by this or because of some default settings (which gave rise to my Blogger problems this evening) I don’t know, but I think I’ve got it all sorted out at last! A slightly rocky journey, but we’re on the way now.

Rather than just dumping all my data onto the new laptop’s hard drive, I’m taking this opportunity for some serious spring (late summer?) cleaning and getting rid of a lot of old rubbish, converting a lot of photos from png format to jpg (which reduces the size to less than half) and organising my now considerable collection of photos and videos into a more rational system (there really wasn’t much of a system before!) so that I can actually find things now! It’s a long job and I’ve so far only scratched the surface, but this is an ongoing job that I can cope with when I’m dealing with chemo effects, once the most devastating stage is behind me in each cycle.

It’s a fun new toy, and is running a LOT faster than the old laptop which really is on its last legs now, with various bits of hardware starting to fail (e.g. the DVD drive). It’s many years old now, and was 2nd hand when I got it, so high time for a replacement. It’s still working, so I’ll probably keep it on as a spare, and for storage – unusually it has 2 hard drives and each is about 300 GB so some useful space there – one can never have enough HD space in my opinion! If I do decide to ditch it in the future, I shall extract the HDs and put them in caddies to use as external USB drives.

The new laptop has a 1TB hybrid SSD (split between a conventional spinning HD and the new Solid State HD) and 12 GB RAM so it’s working a lot faster than the old one. Considering that I spend a large portion of each day on the recliner, on the laptop, which is my lifeline to the world as a virtually house-bound person,  think this is a good investment that should keep me going for a good number of years!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Test

Since starting to use my new laptop, I cannot publish blog posts from Windows LiveWriter. This is test post from my old laptop to see if the problem lies with the settings on the new laptop, or whether this is a Blogger/Google issue.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

WOYWW 325

Well, I have actually got something on my desk today to show you, but nothing very constructive as yet!

WOYWW 325 26-8

I want to make a get-well card and a small gift for our neighbour who we have become friendly with, who recently came home from visiting family, having had a serious accident while away, and she is now mending and recovering, and needing a little cheering up! She loves butterflies, and last year she gave me a lot of lavender clippings from her garden, from which I made some infused oil, as well as having sufficient flowers left to dry for sachets. I made these for my fellow chemo-ites when I started my chemo, and thought I’d make her one as well, in its own little box, together with a small bottle of the oil, and possibly a lavender soap. Something else to keep my angels project on the back burner!!

I have been feeling so poorly since my last chemo that I haven’t been able to make a start on this, so this morning I had a rummage through my stash and selected a few cards and papers to make a start on the project. If I don’t get going soon, she'll be better before she gets it! Lying on top is a fabulous piece of silk paper that a mixed media artist friend gave me several years ago and which I have not yet put to use, and I thought I might add a bit of this. Silk paper is something I want to start making one day.

I have another project in the pipeline as well. Until now, I have been wearing a butcher’s apron in my studio and this doesn’t really offer me much protection especially once I’m let loose  on the spray inks! It has been on my mind to make myself some sort of smock to cover me up a bit better.

Recently while surfing Pinterest, I came across this gorgeous “slouchy smock dress” and knew this was exactly what I wanted, and it has a free downloadable pdf pattern.

Slouchy Smock Dress

On a fabric website I found some linen-look heavy cotton fabric which is 60 inches wide and ideal for my purposes because it shouldn’t allow any bleed-through of paint or ink onto my clothes underneath. This is now washed in case of shrinkage, and waiting to be ironed once I have enough energy.

Fabric for Studio Smock

I shall make the sleeves longer, and put cuffs on them.

If I like it, I shall probably make it again, as a dress for normal wear!

Regarding my chemo, I have not been doing so well after my fifth treatment on 14th August, and am only now starting to feel more myself again. The peripheral neuropathy has been more severe, and I’ve noticed some loss of sensation in my feet and fingertips, which I shall report to the oncologist. She is most likely to reduce the chemo dose a bit more, because this is something they take seriously, as it could become permanent. I have been very wiped out too, sleeping a lot, and feeing pretty poorly generally, and unable to shift a very unpleasant sour taste in my mouth, and my appetite has been poor. All this means that I haven’t achieved much in the last week!

Yesterday, though, my new laptop arrived, and I’ve been busy getting it up and running, which is taking some time. My old one has been playing up quite a bit recently and is on the way out, but until it finally dies, I shall keep it as a spare.

So that’s been Shoshi’s week.  I hope yours has been a bit more productive! Happy WOYWW everyone.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

WOYWW 324

What’s on my workdesk this Wednesday? Unfortunately, nothing!

I had my fifth chemo last Friday and am still very wiped out, so haven’t been in my ARTHaven since then. I did manage to complete the Great Mystery Projects last week, though, and they all went off to our own Shaz, to encourage her in her upcoming surgery and to give her something to play with once she feels up to doing some creative stuff again.

I am sorry to have kept my fellow WOYWW-ers in such suspense over the past weeks, but All is Now Revealed!! This is what I sent her.

02 Pizza Box Full of Goodies

Please scroll down through the posts below to see what I’ve been up to, and what was under wraps for so long! I am happy to say that Shaz is very happy with her parcel of goodies, and I am sure you will join me in wishing her all the best in the coming weeks and months, and a full recovery and return to strength as soon as possible. She and I have shared this cancer journey together and have supported each other throughout, for which I am so grateful!

I’ve also made her a get-well card which is now in her hubby’s safe keeping, and I will share that with you once I know she has received it.

Before my last chemo I was told they would increase the dose of steroids to try and help me through the worst of the effects, but so far I haven’t noticed any difference from before, and after a reasonable weekend, went downhill again on Monday and have felt utterly pooped and wiped out since then. The double dose of anti-sickness meds is really helping, though, and I have not been troubled with nausea this time, so far. I just have to rest and go with the flow and know that it will pass, and look forward to the second half of the cycle when I feel more myself again, and can do more things.

I had my final scheduled appointment with the stoma nurse yesterday morning, and she is so pleased with my progress that she doesn’t need to see me again, but any time I need any help or advice, I can call on them, or make another appointment. She is delighted with how much better I look, despite the chemo, and very satisfied with the way everything has healed up, and that I am managing everything so well. Having set me up with a supply company to provide all the things I need, yesterday she advised me about special underwear to help support the stoma bag and I got on the Internet last night and organised a prescription for that – everything is provided free by our wonderful NHS, and I should expect these things to arrive in the next few days.

So I am doing well! After the next chemo I’ll be 3/4 the way through the treatment, with the final one being on 16th October, which suddenly doesn’t sound quite so far away as it did. Then onwards and upwards to the cancer-free life that they are all quite sure I am going to achieve!

Next week I hope to be able to show you that I’ve been busy with art again.

Happy WOYWW everybody, and have a great creative week ahead.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Packing Up the Goodies

THE BIG REVEAL, PART 10.

Many of my regular visitors have been justifiably very frustrated and impatient with me lately because I’ve been working hard on several secret projects that I wasn’t at liberty to reveal until now. With her permission, I can now reveal that I have been making stuff for Shaz. As many of you will know, she is about to undergo major surgery and has been through so much over the past year. She and her lovely hubby share the same birthday and I have made cards for them both, a get well card for her (still under wraps) and a selection of bits and pieces for her to play with once she feels up to being creative again. She opened the parcel on her birthday (14th Aug.) and now that she has received them I can share the making of them with you. Until now, I didn’t want to spoil her surprise as she visits my blog regularly. Throughout my own cancer journey, this wonderful friend has been such an encouragement and support to me, and this is one way I can thank her, and show my own appreciation and support. I know that she would love a visit from you to wish her well for her surgery on 2nd Sept.

I have been uploading a couple of posts each day over the previous few days until all was revealed. Please scroll down for earlier posts.

The get well card will get its big reveal once I know Shaz’s hubby has given it to her while she’s in hospital.

Having now completed all the cards and bits and pieces to send off, I was ready to pack them all up in a box.  I have received similar parcels in the past and know how exciting and what fun it is, opening them up and sorting through the contents, and feeling so good that someone has thought of me and wanted to brighten my day. This is what I want to do – to share a little joy and happiness during the dark days when problems abound.

Packing Up the Goodies

03 Pizza Box Packed Up

Here is what went in the parcel, in the order in which I made them.

Steampunk birthday card for her hubby.

27 Finished Card Front

Her birthday card.

28 Card Front with Tag and ATC

Some embellishments made recently from the moulds I made, and some from my stash.

13 More Embellishments

After making these, I painted the hearts and wings, and some of these went into the parcel.

14 Hearts with Wings

I made several backgrounds/small masterboards from A4 card.

The first one was made using my new Dylusions paints, with the addition of some gold embossing.

15 Finished Background

The next one was one using Dylusions spray inks with a gesso resist, on a background of black gesso.

07 Completed Background Full

When I made this one, there was a lot of ink on the craft sheet, so I created another background by smooshing some card in this ink, and adding sea salt for an interesting texture.

04 Finished Background

The second one on a black gesso background was of butterflies in Perfect Pearls.

02 Completed Perfect Pearls Butterflies Background

I made a series of small shapes from card which had been sprayed with Dylusions spray inks and heat embossed, which acted as a resist to the distress inks which I applied afterwards. I made two A5 sheets in this manner and then cut out various shapes with a knife and with punches. (I kept the very small circles).

10 Shapes from Sheet 1

11 Shapes from Sheet 2

I also made some in the same manner, stamping and heat embossing with white embossing powder, using my lace stamps, this time with a pale blue/turquoise background.

21 Lace Shapes

I used several of these heat-embossed shapes as labels to go in the small packages in the parcel, and the rest went in with blank backs. They could all be used as small embellishments in a variety of projects.

One of the lace motifs I made into a simple card to go in the parcel in the form of a letter.

23 Lace Motif Card

Coming back to backgrounds/masterboards, I made three faux leather masterboards in brown, green and red.

11 Detail of 3 Finished Faux Leathers

Here are some of the small packs of bits and pieces I put in the parcel along with the above projects. Included is a shallow DVD spindle box containing a selection of flowers from my stash, all made by me over a long period, from pieces cut with my Cougar cutting machine. There is also a pack of a few silk flowers, some sentiments also cut with the Cougar; the Friendly Plastic embellishments, some butterflies cut with the Cougar, and a pack of miscellaneous die-cuts, charms, stick-ons and so on, most of which were given to me by other people and which I know I shall never use – if she doesn’t want them, she can pass them on in like manner. Got to keep this stuff moving!!

I also made up a selection of fancy yarns in approximately 3-4 yard lengths, which could be used to embellish tags etc. The colours and textures are vibrant and varied.

02 Pizza Box Full of Goodies

I rolled up the masterboards and secured them with a label from the lace shapes collection. Everything was packed into a pizza box which hopefully will preserve it all in the post!

I had in my stash a beautiful piece of tissue which I had sprayed with Dylusions spray inks when I first got them, and which was finished by a spray of Crafter’s Companion Spray and Sparkle – this paper is very richly coloured and blingy with the glitter spray. It’s been in my stash for so long and I still haven’t used it, so I thought it was time it went to a new home and perhaps would get used! I can always make some more. It wasn’t large enough to wrap everything up in, so I laid it on top of the stuff and tucked it in, tying a length of fancy yarn around the whole collection.

I found two strips of smooshed and sprayed backgrounds on watercolour paper, which were just too long to go in the box, except diagonally, so I tucked these under the yarn, together with the lace card I’d made. I think it makes quite a nice presentation when the lid of the box is lifted.

03 Pizza Box Packed Up

I wish Shaz and her hubby all the very best in the coming weeks and months, and hope this parcel brings her some comfort and cheer, and above all, some fun when she feels up to making things again.

Embossed Lace Shapes

THE BIG REVEAL, PART 9.

This is the first of two posts today.

Many of my regular visitors have been justifiably very frustrated and impatient with me lately because I’ve been working hard on several secret projects that I wasn’t at liberty to reveal until now. With her permission, I can now reveal that I have been making stuff for Shaz. As many of you will know, she is about to undergo major surgery and has been through so much over the past year. She and her lovely hubby share the same birthday and I have made cards for them both, a get well card for her (still under wraps) and a selection of bits and pieces for her to play with once she feels up to being creative again. She opened the parcel on her birthday (14th Aug.) and now that she has received them I can share the making of them with you. Until now, I didn’t want to spoil her surprise as she visits my blog regularly. Throughout my own cancer journey, this wonderful friend has been such an encouragement and support to me, and this is one way I can thank her, and show my own appreciation and support. I know that she would love a visit from you to wish her well for her surgery on 2nd Sept.

I shall be uploading a couple of posts each day over the next few days until all is revealed. Please scroll down for earlier posts.

Embossed Lace Shapes

Using my other new Chocolate Baroque stamp set, “Lace Fragments,” I heat-embossed a selection using white embossing powder onto two A5 sheets which I had sprayed and smooshed using two shades of Dylusions spray inks, London Blue and Vivid Turquoise, using the same techniques as I used in the emboss resist shapes.

01 Embossed Lace

Here is the first sheet.

02 Lace Sheet 1

The second sheet.

03 Lace Sheet 2

The shapes cut up.

04 Lace Shapes

This time, while the backs were messy with ink splodges from my craft sheet, they looked pretty good, so I covered all the white card using Peacock Feathers distress ink and an Inkylicious Ink Duster – this colour exactly matches the Dylusions Vivid Turquoise and seems to be my go-to DI for this colour!

05 Backs of Lace Shapes

Using one of the cut out shapes of the large lace motif, I adhered this to an A6 card folded from a sheet of white A5 card, having inked the card base first with Peacock Feathers distress ink.

06 Lace Motif Card

I used this simple little card to write a letter to Shaz, to go in on top of the goodies in the box.

The other shapes were used as before, for labels for the small packs of items, and some left plain in a pack of their own.

A similar technique, but a very different result.

Monday, 17 August 2015

More Faux Leathers

THE BIG REVEAL, PART 8.

This is the second of two posts today.

Many of my regular visitors have been justifiably very frustrated and impatient with me lately because I’ve been working hard on several secret projects that I wasn’t at liberty to reveal until now. With her permission, I can now reveal that I have been making stuff for Shaz. As many of you will know, she is about to undergo major surgery and has been through so much over the past year. She and her lovely hubby share the same birthday and I have made cards for them both, a get well card for her (still under wraps) and a selection of bits and pieces for her to play with once she feels up to being creative again. She opened the parcel on her birthday (14th Aug.) and now that she has received them I can share the making of them with you. Until now, I didn’t want to spoil her surprise as she visits my blog regularly. Throughout my own cancer journey, this wonderful friend has been such an encouragement and support to me, and this is one way I can thank her, and show my own appreciation and support. I know that she would love a visit from you to wish her well for her surgery on 2nd Sept.

I shall be uploading a couple of posts each day over the next few days until all is revealed. Please scroll down for earlier posts.

More Faux Leathers

I have made three more sheets of faux leather, this time A4 size, as mini-masterboards, and decided to try doing some different colours. One was the classic brown that I’ve done before, but this time I didn’t use the yellow ochre, and the other two were green and red respectively.

Here are the materials for the green one.

01 Materials for Green Faux Leather

I chose Hooker’s green for the main colour, as it is a nice rich dark green, and sap green for the dry brushing.

For the red one, I didn’t really have the colour I wanted, so I got out the various shades of red that I do have, and also some black in case it needed darkening.

02 Materials for Red Faux Leather

Here are the sheets after their first coat, drying, each with their respective paints.

03 Three Faux Leathers 1st Coat Drying

As before, the brown one’s main colour is burnt umber. For the green one: Hooker’s green. For the red one, I used the whole small tube of crimson red from a very cheap and nasty little set of acrylic paints that I started off with – I’ve had them for ages and can’t remember where they came from – when I squeezed it out onto the palette it was like water, and then at last some more solid paint came out! I mixed it all up well and it took the whole tube to cover the sheet. The colour is more or less OK, though, and it will all get covered with subsequent layers. This red one was more experimental than the others because of not having the exact colours I wanted.

Here are the faux leathers with their respective paints, after all the painting was complete. With the brown one, I decided to leave it plain after the dry brushing with the burnt sienna, and not add the yellow ochre which gives it a slight tan tinge, and I did not add any gilding wax.

04 Brown Faux Leather with Paints

The green one looked very rich with a light touch of Treasure Gold gilding wax in the raised creases. As someone said, to get the right effect, you need to touch the surface as if it’s red hot when applying the gilding wax, and this is good advice because that way it prevents you from being too heavy-handed and getting the gold anywhere but on the raised surface.

05 Green Faux Leather with Paints

As predicted, the red one proved more difficult to get right. I added a dry-brushed layer of alizarin crimson, and then cadmium red, but the whole thing still didn’t look quite right, so I made a dark wash with black and alizarin crimson, which I brushed liberally over the surface and let it run into the creases. I repeated this with more black in the mix until I got the right look. I was concerned that all that water would make the card disintegrate so I was careful not to handle it until I’d dried it with my heat gun. The result was pretty fair at the end! It had a lot of layers of paint, dry brushing and washes before I was satisfied, and again it was given a lovely rich look by the application of some Treasure Gold gilding wax. The red one also proved the most difficult to photograph to get the colour accurate – in this photo it looks a bit brown.

06 Red Faux Leather with Paints

Once all the leathers were painted, gilded and fully dry, I was able to apply the acrylic wax. After much experimentation, this is my preferred finish for faux leather. It gives a gorgeous rich, shiny, polished surface once it is dry and buffed with a soft cloth, like the patina of old leather. It goes on quite milky, but dries clear and shiny. Fabulous stuff! I have seen it applied to stitched teabags and they look like old leather!

07 Acrylic Wax on Faux Leather

Here are the finished leathers with their application of buffed acrylic wax.

08 Brown Faux Leather with Acrylic Wax

09 Green Faux Leather with Acrylic Wax

10 Red Faux Leather with Acrylic Wax

Unfortunately in these photos, the gilding no longer shows up! It is still there, though, and they look sumptuous and rich. You can see a little of it in this detailed shot of the three leathers.

11 Detail of 3 Finished Faux Leathers

This is such a fun technique to do! I recommend it to everyone. You can use it for the backgrounds for cards (it is especially useful for those perpetually tricky male cards we are all called upon to make from time to time!); book covers, to cover boxes, for scrap book pages, etc. etc. You are only limited by your imagination.

Suggestions on a postcard, please, on how to make this stuff actually smell like leather!!

Emboss Resist Shapes with Dylusions

THE BIG REVEAL, PART 7.

This is the first of two posts today.

Many of my regular visitors have been justifiably very frustrated and impatient with me lately because I’ve been working hard on several secret projects that I wasn’t at liberty to reveal until now. With her permission, I can now reveal that I have been making stuff for Shaz. As many of you will know, she is about to undergo major surgery and has been through so much over the past year. She and her lovely hubby share the same birthday and I have made cards for them both, a get well card for her (still under wraps) and a selection of bits and pieces for her to play with once she feels up to being creative again. She opened the parcel on her birthday (14th Aug.) and now that she has received them I can share the making of them with you. Until now, I didn’t want to spoil her surprise as she visits my blog regularly. Throughout my own cancer journey, this wonderful friend has been such an encouragement and support to me, and this is one way I can thank her, and show my own appreciation and support. I know that she would love a visit from you to wish her well for her surgery on 2nd Sept.

I shall be uploading a couple of posts each day over the next few days until all is revealed. Please scroll down for earlier posts.

Emboss Resist Shapes with Dylusions

I have made some shapes with emboss resist and inking. These were used as labels to go in some of the packs of goodies I sent to Shaz. I have deliberately made them like this so that they can be used as embellishments once they have served their purpose as labels! I didn’t use them all, and packed the blank ones separately.

10 Shapes from Sheet 1

11 Shapes from Sheet 2

I began by cutting two sheets of A5 card, and spritzed them well with water. I sprayed Dylusions inks onto one of them and spritzed again, and held it up so that the inks ran down the sheet. I used the second sheet to blot it off and then smooshed this a little on the non-stick craft sheet which had quite a bit of ink on it, so I ended up with two sheets for the price of one, but different in style. The sheet further away is the one that I originally inked, and the one at the front is the one created by blotting off, which also has water spatters on it which were blotted off with kitchen paper, leaving the paler design.

01 Sprayed and Blotted A5 sheets

These are the stamps that I used. It is my new set from Chocolate Baroque, called Harlequin Fragments – it’s a fabulous set and brilliant for mixed media backgrounds. I used the stamp without an acrylic block, using Versamark, and then heat-embossed with clear embossing powder.

02 Rubber Stamps

After this I revealed the embossing with the addition of distress inks, using Inkylicious ink dusters which blend beautifully. This is Sheet 1.

03 DIs on Sheet 1

Sheet 2.

04 DIs on Sheet 2

The completed Sheet 1.

05 Sheet 1

The completed Sheet 2.

06 Sheet 2

I wasn’t too bothered about creating a coherent design on the sheets because I knew that they would but cut up.

Punching the ovals and circles from Sheet 1.

07 Punching Shapes from Sheet 1

From the remaining card, not wanting to waste anything, I used a couple of smaller punches to punch out some circles which I retained, to be used to embellish projects in the future.

08 Punching Small Circles from Sheet 1

From Sheet 2, I cut a series of rectangles, two of which were ATC-sized.

09 Rectangles Cut from Sheet 2

The shapes cut from Sheet 1, including the small circles which I kept, and didn’t add to the parcel.

10 Shapes from Sheet 1

The shapes from Sheet 2.

11 Shapes from Sheet 2

Because the backs were so messy from all the inks on my craft sheet, I backed each piece onto another piece of white card, using Crafter’s Companion Stick & Stay spray adhesive, making sure I’d got good adhesion by using my brayer.

12 Mounting Shapes on Card Backing

Trimming off the pieces.

13 Trimming the Backed Shapes

I inked the backs using distress inks.

14 Inking the Backs

After this I spattered them with water and blotted them off after moving them around to encourage the droplets to run a bit. I really like this effect. After I had dried them, I distressed the edges using Black Soot distress ink and a home-made ink blender.

15 Spattering and Distressing the Backs

The completed backs.

16 The Finished Backs

Detail of two of the backs.

17 Detail of Backs

Somewhere along the line I lost my small oval piece! I think I might have inadvertently thrown it away so I shall have to have a rummage in my waste bin. (Found it! It was in the bin!! Duh.)

I used some of these to make the labels for the small packages of fun stuff to play with. I made more than enough of these shapes, so I selected a few to write on. In a later post, you can see some more that I made, using my Chocolate Baroque Lace Fragments stamp set, using a cooler, blue colour scheme.

These shapes could be used to make small tags, or as motifs on a card, or to embellish a box or album page. I do not have very many punches, but other shapes could be made as well, such as simple flowers, hearts or polygons.