06 September, 2009

I Made Something!

Well! I made something. 'Thing' being the operative syllable, but at least it was fun!

Influenced by both Kelly Rae Roberts and an article in the latest Somerset Studio. It's made of lots and lots of layers of paints and charcoal and stencils and inks and image transfers (that don't show up in the photo), as well as painted and stamped bamboo tiles stitched onto the canvas. I then added the metal embelishment using (I think) a PaperArtsy stamp?


It's less orangey when seen in the flesh - it hasn't photoed well.


Knee slowly getting there - good collection of scars I have going now. I miss wearing heels but only a couple more months to go. Flat shoes are evil and have given me more blisters that I would have thought possible.


Oh yes, and starting new job in a couple of weeks. Goodbye Croydon and helloooo Westminster! Much better.

28 January, 2009

Surgery Again

Well, turns out I need to have my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) replacement surgery re-done.

It turns out that a combination of the first surgery being done badly and woefully inadequate NHS physio afterwards means that the knee is rubbish. They drill holes through the bones top and bottom of the joint to feed the new ligament through. Unfortunately the surgeon who did the job drilled the lower tunnels too far back which means that the ligament is too loose and the joint is therefore loose as well. I turn, this means that the loose ligament moves about in the tunnel and makes it wider and so the problem compounds itself.

The revision surgery is even more of a bugger than the first one, as it may be that it can't all be done in one go. If there is no room to have another tunnel drilled I will need a bone graft from my hip and have to wait 6 months before being able to do the other part of the surgery. As it is, I will lose the hamstring ligaments (which is what they use in place of the knee ligament) from my left leg as well as they've already used the one from my right leg.

I'll need four to six weeks off work and months of physio.

At least it's covered by the PMI insurance at work so I can have private treatment.

I'm feeling very sorry for myself just now.

23 January, 2009

Clear Out Required!!



Right! I have decided!

I love doing crafty stuff but I'm also a complete neat freak. I have no seperate crafty room (which would be ideal as I could organise it to within an inch of it's life - I loikes organising things - and I could also shut the door), but no crafty room means the craft stuff has to come out and live on the dining table. This drives me nuts as it's too messy. BUT! I need to get a grip, so it's all coming out this weekend, so there.

I'm running out of room due to the interesting new things I've been buying so I'm going to have a clearout on Saturday (i.e. tomorrow) and get rid of all the stuff I had when I started out that I absolutely know I'm never going to use. Dawn Bibby kits might have seemed the way to go when I'd never head of this whole crafty card making thing before but I don't have the slightest interest in using them now so they'd be better of at the charity shop, I reckon!

The picture is just there because I love illuminated manuscripts and I figured that the post needs a picture!

16 January, 2009

Handmade Jewellery Box


I actually made this before Christmas - it's my sister's birthday present (her birthday is December 22nd).
It's not a very good photo which is a shame, and it appears I forgot to take a photo of the inside - silly Kimmy!
It's made out of a book, and for once I had no problem butchering a book as this one was a strong contender for the worst book ever written and a waste of trees as it was!
I started by working out how thick I needed the bottom part with the matchbox drawers to be, and placing the matchboxes where I wanted and then drawing around them. I cut the spaces out using a steel ruler and a craft knife and then glued the pages down using bookbinding glue. I got the idea for that from a recent issue of Craft Stamper magazine, although I can't remember which one (might have been November 2008) and to be honest I'm too lazy to get up and look!
I then glued a few pages down over it before measuring out the space inside for the 'box' part. I cut out the centres of the pages and then glued them all together again, so there was a well in the middle that creates a box when you close the 'lid' (otherwise known as a front cover). I then painted it with layers and layers of gold paint. I stamped into the wet paint for a damask texture but that hasn't shown at all in the photo!
I used jewels and glitter and mesh to decorate the top, and made decorative tiles using memory glass. It's a technique I saw on Tim Holtz's blog (I think - something Tim Holtz anyway!). I made an image using stamped images decorated with glitter glued onto patterned paper and then covered the back of a peice of memory glass with Glossy Accents and pressed it onto the collage and wiggled it a bit to get the bubbles out. Once it's dry you can cut the tile out of the backing, and glue onto the jewellery box.
The drawers are matchboxes (I glued the outside of the matchbox into the book during the construction part of it) where I have painted them gold. I also used copper tape around the edges to prevent wear. I punched holes in the front of the drawers and set eyelets into them and then made ribbon pulls by folding a ribbon and poking it through the back. I pinned a little gold mini safety pin through the folded bit of ribbon inside the drawer which holds it and stops it pulling through.
I did decorate the inside of the box as well with stamping etc on the lid, and an metal/mesh/messy ATC I had that I never got round to sending (sorry Sian! Although the unicorn is unsent if you still want him?????).
Think that's it!
It was my first go at altering a book so I'm quite pleased with it. My sister loved it so that's the part that matters! I did put little bits of jewellery making stuff in it too, so she didn't just get tat (to steal a phrase) for her birthday!
EDIT: I don't know what's going on with Blogger but it seems to be eating my carriage returns. I have actually written this in paragraphs but for some reason it swallows them after I click 'Publish Post'. Grrrr.

Frosty

I visited my Mum in Scotland for Christmas and we had some pretty amazing frost. Here are some photos (only taken on mobile phone so not so hot - sorry!). The bottom was was taken on the first morning, I think, and it got progressively frostier for four mornings. The top photo of the evergreen was taken the day I went home. No snow, but nearly a white Christmas after all!




06 January, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I have two:

1. LOSE SOME DARN WEIGHT! As always. I've not done badly, really - I've gone from a size 20 to a size 14 (although going from 10 to 20 in the first place was a bit of a disaster; however, this is what happens when you live an extremely active life working with horses and eating whatever you like and then injure your knee so you can't do impact exercise and go to Uni in a city with no horses, and then proceed to drink like a fish and eat too much pizza - I have only myself to blame!). Still have two stone to go though and I'm just not getting anywhere. . .BUT!! 2009 will be difference and this time next year I'll not need a 'lose weight' resolution as I will be slim and slyph-like!!

2. Crafty resolution is. . . ummm . . . actually do some this year!

Got to go and have an MRI scan tomorrow to find out what is going on with my knee. I had ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) replacement surgery three years ago but it hasn't been right since. Partly this was the terrible physio that I had after the surgery. However, having had an x-ray on the knee it also looks like the surgery itself was done badly and, if that's the case, I will have to have it re-done. Noooooo! Crutches for a month, great big bloody hinged brace whatsit for two months, and pain pain pain. No standing up without brace - even in the shower. I had to sit in a plastic garden chair to have a shower last time. Sigh.

So - MRI tomorrow which will either confirm that the surgery was botched and needs redoing or show that it's just weakness in the knee from bad physio after the original surgery. All fingers, toes etc crossed for the second option, please! This means that all I need is a course of proper intensive one-on-one physio (courtesy of my healthcare plan at work) and that's a much better option!

09 December, 2008

Scary!

I just analysed my blog using http://typealyzer.com and this is what it came up with:

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.


I find this very interesting as it's almost exactly the same as a Libra horoscope, which is what I am. Maybe there's something in it all after all! Apparently the blog typer whatsit uses the Myers Briggs personality type scale, whatever that is. . .

21 November, 2008

Not been doing much recently - been feeling really unwell.

Anyway - here is something I managed to make, a commission for a lady at work for her sister's birthday. It's my new favouite technique again, card painted with black and brown acrylic paint and then stamped and embossed in clear.

Gold paint layered over the top and then ironed over a blank peice of paper so that the embossing powder lifts and the dark paint underneath shows through.

I then added some gems and ribbon, and layered onto a card blank I had painted blank.

I then hand wrote the greeting as I thought that stamps or whatever would not match the slightly grungy style of the card. It went down quite well so that's all I can ask for, really!

Hopefully will get the time tomorrow to make a couple of ATCs that I've got to do for the handrawn fantasy swap. I've an idea for a dragon curled over his hoard, with his eyes glowing in the dark. . . Hope it comes out the way I plan!

18 November, 2008

Officially a Lunatic. . .

Well - I found this 'what tarot card are you' test on someone else's blog and thought - oh, I'll give it a go!

Turns out it's telling me what I already know - I'm completely insane!



You are The Moon


Hope, expectation, Bright promises.


The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.


The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

09 November, 2008

Handrawn/Handpainted Fantasy



What a week! Have been bringing work home with me everyday and so today was the first time I've had to make anything all week, really.

This is for a handrawn/handpainted fantasy swap on ATCs For All, which is a forum I've discovered recently. Seems a great forum with a lot of very talented people on it - I've sent off envelopes of ATCs to three states in the USA and to Australia, and am so excited waiting for the ATCs to come back!

This is my first attempt at an ATC for the handrawn/handpainted fantasy swap. There will need to be 4 ATCs in the end. I'm not sure whether I like this one or not - any constructive criticism gratefully received!

I used watercoloured pencils, and finished off with some acrylic paint highlights. I was going for a feeling of a dark slightly creepy wood with the unicorn glimmering through the gloom, but it's not come off quite the way I wanted. I used iridescent paint for the unicorn but this hasn't photographed very well at all.

I don't know - will have to think about it a while longer before I decide to enter this one or not. Off to think up some more mythical creatures now - dragons, gryphons, maybe a goblin or two. . .

Oh yes - please also click on my dragon egg! Top right of the blog - if people don't click on him/her it might not hatch and then you'd have a sad Kim to deal with!

31 October, 2008

Metal, Mesh & Messy


This was fun! Sian (here) has created a 'metal, mesh and messy' swap, meaning that you have to use metal, mesh and something messy (i.e. inks and paints).
So, I used one of my favourite techniques where you dry brush the card with a couple of coats of acrylic paint (burnt sienna and naples yellow). Once dry, you stamp and emboss with clear embossing powder and cover with another layer of paint (I used gold). Once this has dried again, you put a plain peice of paper over the card and iron with a craft iron to take up the embossing powder and leave the underneath paint showing.
I then covered some metal with various colours of alcohol inks and overstamped the dreamy lady using black stazon. I roughly cut some sequin waste and aged it with brown stazon and stuck this down. I secured the metal to the ATC using brads and then curled the edges.
Finally, I stuck some gems down onto the card and surrounded them with glossy accents to make sure they didn't get knocked off and to add some shininess to the card. It's more shimmery in the flesh than you can see in the photo, as I used gold metallic mixatives in the alcohol inks (I like that stuff!).
My obsession with gold,brown and cream continues, obviously! I've even taking to wearing it! I'm usually a black clothes sort of girl (I decide I'm definitely going to go out and buy coloured clothes and come back with black every time!) but I've started buying cream and white tops, brown bags and boots and belts and jumpers. All very strange. . .
Oh yes, and my hands are suitably messy - I'm covered in alcohol inks and I've got gold acrylic paint all over my nails - so I hope Sian is happy!

29 October, 2008

Wednesday Stamper



I think I may have been bitten by the challenge blog bug! Here is my entry for the Wednesday Stamper challenge (here) where the theme is 'open'.

I've just received some new stamps from Catslife Press so I decided to use a couple of them for this challenge. I've become obsessed with my new acrylic paints, so I brayered the background with naples yellow, parchment and gold and stamped over it in gold and in antique linen distress ink using the same collage stamp.

I put some alcohol inks on metal and cut it into interesting shapes and fixed it to the ATC using eyelets. I then stamped the eye onto the card, and used the offcut card to stamp the queen's head on. I sanded the edges of the head and the ATC as a whole and then put the head on some sequin waste and a leaf and put this onto the ATC. Finished off by edging the ATC with walnut stain distress ink.

It's a bit of an odd one but it was fun and I've got painty inky fingers, so I'm happy!

Catslife Press


Wow! First off, I have to say that I have absolutely no connection with Catslife Press, I'm just a customer who thinks they're fab.

I ordered four stamps from them (including the bottom right on this pic - my favourite of the ones I bought) for only US$26 including postage from the States. And, when they arrived I discovered that they had also included two free stamps, and had also taken the time to choose two that matched the stamps I had bought (i.e. I bought a bird stamp and they included a dictionary definition of 'fly'). The stamps themselves are great and very detailed and stamp beautifully.

They were also really friendly and responsive via email and all in all I am very very impressed!

28 October, 2008

Think Monday Think ATC



So, having done one challenge blog I thought I'd try another!

The theme at Think Monday Think ATC (here) was staples. Staples being silver, I figured I would have to move away from my current obsession with cream and gold! It was so freezing cold walking home from the train - there was snow on some of the cars along the road - I thought I'd go with silver and white and a winter theme.

I started by painting the ATC base with white iridescent paint. I liked the thing I tried yesterday with the paint on a sponge and the sequin waste, so I did that again with silver mixed with iridescent white, and then again with silver. Then I stamped over this with paint (silver with a little black) using a collage stamp. Sanded a little bit around the edges and added blobs of white glittery embossing powder.

I cut the snowflake shapes using a punch and silver tape and stuck these to the ATC, and then I used one of the backing papers from the punch to brighten it up a little.

I stapled the star shapes to look like snowflakes (well, in my head anyway!) and added a sparkly gem whatsit in the middle of each. Finished the ATC by stapling a bunch of sparkly shaggy fibres in the corner.

I'm really not sure about this one - it's just weird not seeing gold and cream and brown!!!

27 October, 2008

Mixed Media Monday

This is my first ever attempt at doing a challenge blog ATC - Mixed Media Monday (here).
The theme was 'lock and key' and this is my take on it.
The underlayer is just painted card (mixed gold and pearlescent white acrylic paint). The card with the stamping on is actually layers of work but it didn't quite turn out how I expected (and photographed really badly!).
First I painted it using the irridescent white, and using sequin mesh and cut'n'dry foam I put the mixed gold and white paint on, then moved the mesh and went over it with pure gold paint. For the next layer I stamped using a collage stamp and the gold paint mixed with burnt sienna. I didn't like the effect of this so I sanded it with fine sandpaper to make it paler, which I quite liked. Then I scrumpled up the ATC and inked it using antique linen and tattered rose distress inks, sprayed with water and ironed it flat again. Phew!
Then I put the sequin mesh down the side and trimmed it, and stamped the edwardian lady using brown stazon. I used her as I thought this matched the theme, what with women having no vote and etc etc. I finished off with the brads and the key (jusst to make the theme a little more obvious!!).
Oh yes - I also inked the edges of both cards with walnut stain ink before I put them together.
Needed to do something to take my mind of the terrible hash I made of my development centre today. There goes my promotion in March. . .