Wednesday, 30 July 2014

An Upcycled Plastic Caddy

Just sharing a little post showing the upcycling of a plastic caddy/case.

I received this as a Christmas present a couple of years ago - it held nail polishes, cuticle creams and the like.  Once empty though it has lived on top of a wardrobe ever since - I liked the size and shape of it, but couldn't think of an immediate use for it.  Plus it also fell off the wardrobe once giving it a nasty, rather large crack down the back - hmm.  But still I was loathe to throw it away.

Eventually though the perfect use for it has turned up - I bought a bargain set of Promarkers (38 of them!) on a certain well know auction site.  Prior to this I only had about 6.  So I needed somewhere to store them but I also wanted it to be something portable so if I ever need to take them to a workshop or something I can.

So I gathered some of my paper stash together - these are from a set called Maisie's Garden which came free with a craft magazine and set to altering it.  Most of my craft storage is either bright pink or purple (colours that make me smile) so I chose some papers that would fit with that - a ditsy floral with bright pink flowers and a co-ordinating polka dot print.  I  love flowers but I usually seem to avoid them when I craft - not sure why really as they can be so pretty :o)

The main part of the body wasn't too difficult to cover, apart from leaving spaces for the hinges and catches, the lid was less easy as it was an oval with a recessed handle.  So I traced out the top piece on a rough piece of paper and then by laying it on top of the lid and rubbing my finger along the edge of the recess I was able to get an imprint of it, and then cut the pieces to size.


I think it looks lovely, bright and cheerful and I'm really pleased that I finally dusted it off and updated it and it's the perfect home to my promarkers - even leaving room for a few more - shhhh!!

I would like to enter this into 

Crafting at the Weekend - Anything Goes - Challenge 4 - here

and Dream Valley Challenges - Challenge 87 Favourite Colour Combo - here

Thanks for reading

Stefanie xx

Friday, 25 July 2014

Just a few ATCs :o)

Hi - can't believe it's been a fortnight since my last post!  I thought I'd just quickly share some ATCs I've created for some of the swap groups I'm in.  I've found that even when I'm struggling a little with my Fibro I can do little bits and pieces to them so that over a day or so I can finish a set.  Also because they are small the idea of working on them doesn't seem too daunting.

These first ones are for the monthly swap organised by Smeared and Smudged; the theme was Bees.  I am going to enter these ATCs into the Tando Creative Challenge Blog where the theme this month is 'Come Fly with Me' and Try it on Tuesday's challenge 'Things with Wings'.

For these I used a brilliant bee design that I found the blog of Romney David Smith - - and he very kindly has allowed me to use them and his two single bee images also, the other bee images are an embroidery outline from Urban Threads (they have loads of fabulous designs!) and a Crafty Individuals stamp.  I also came across a great quote 'The breeze, the trees, the honey bees - All volunteers'! from Juliet Carinreap which I printed out to use on one card.  As the only real rule that Smeared and Smudged have is to include stamping somewhere so I stamped a music stave on each and wrote Waggledance - which is what bees use to communicate the location of a fresh find of pollen rich flowers.  Each card was then given a gold metallic edge.  I am really pleased with the way these turned out.

The next set of ATCs is for a swap themed Roses and Pearls.  I found the 'Rose' bit fairly easy but I am just not a 'Pearls' person so I had to dig a bit for that!  I used patterned paper, a rose image on each (3 were postage stamps the other two were Inchies) and tiny ceramic rose flowers; I then added a little sentiment on each.  Then I managed to find my Pearls - I had a set of 6 stitch markers which had come free with a knitting magazine so I punched a hole in the top corner of each and attached the stitch marker there.  I felt they needed a little more so I added some 7 Gypsies postal themed rub-ons (you may be able to see them in the group picture).

The last set were for an Anything Goes swap that had to include lace somewhere on the ATC.  I forgot to take individual photos of these though - doh!  For these I again used patterned paper for the base, and then using a set of Spellbinders dies I cut 5 vintage female portrait images and two paper 'frames' each one die larger.  I wrapped a strip of lace across the bottom of the card and then layered up the portraits, I again added tiny ceramic roses and stamped 'Vintage Collage' across the top.  (except for the one shown at the bottom of the group which I accidentally stamped upside down so I had to turn the portrait around and reverse the card so on that one the lace is now at the top! - luckily with this swap we keep one of the cards made, so I kept that one :o) )

I would like to enter all the ATCs in this post into the Use Your Stuff Challenge 145 - Layers and also Fan-Tastic Tuesday's Challenge 45 Anything Goes.

I'm hoping I feel up to a few more challenges again throughout August but for now I'm working on another set of ATCs which must use purple, and a tag swap which had to include at least 8 items from a 'recipe'.

Thanks for reading

Stefanie xx

Tando Creative Challenge Blog - Come Fly With Me - here

Try it on a Tuesday - Things With Wings - here

Use Your Stuff - Layers - here

Fan-Tastic Tuesday - Anything Goes - here

Thursday, 10 July 2014

July Smeared & Smudged Members' Blog-Hop - An Altered Tryptich

Hi - hard to believe it's been a month since my little deodorant rocket launched - but it really has! And that being the case, today sees the July member's blog-hop for Smeared and Smudged - I enjoyed June's so much I decided I'd join in again, so here we go!

First of all - that all important blog roll:

Sandy -
Jane -
Susan -
Barbara -
'Me :o)'
Erin -
Teresa -

So if you are following along with the hop, you should have arrived here from Barbara's blog and then there are two more stops after me!

The challenge theme for this month's hop was simply 'Steamy' for us to interpret as we wished.  I (obviously!) thought steampunk, and this is what I have created.

I have had a semi-prepped tryptich hanging around for ages - it was meant for my PaperArtsy piece earlier in the year but about 5 days earlier someone else posted almost exactly what was in my head so I shelved the tryptich and went with a canvas instead.  So I've been meaning to do something with it and this seemed just perfect.  So I gathered it and various steampunky papers together and put my thinking hat on!

Something else I've wanted to play with for a while is digital stamps so I downloaded 'Time for Tea' from The Paper Shelter and as a cup of tea can also be described as 'steamy' I used this as my main image. :o)  Please remember then that this is my first time - so be gentle with any comments!

In the final piece I've actually trimmed the image down to just the girl (and her cuppa) as it fitted the center better for me.  I first added my various papers (the clock piece in the center was from a 6" x 6" pad and was a little small so I added an extra piece to the bottom half and used some brown ribbon as a trim and to break the eye-line)  I also cut down an embossed tag and some bits from the cogs on the outer doors (see below) and used some Rub'n'Buff on them to bring out the detail.  I rubber stamped a piece of the watercolour paper with 'Steampunk Time' tore around it and edged it with Antique Linen distress ink.

The outside of the tryptich I've treated like doors.  I ran some copper coloured card through my Big Shot using a cogs embossing folder and trimmed it down to fit each side, then ran some metal tape around each piece which I dabbed with some Rub'n'Buff - by dabbing it, it left a slightly textured effect which I really liked.  I also fitted two small drawer handles on - but turned them sideways so they look like massive door handles.

And this is the finished piece - hope you like it!

I would like to enter this into the following challenges:

Altered Eclectics - (Always Mixed Media Altered Art) - July - here

A Step in the Darkness - Challenge 5 Anything Goes - here

The East Wind Challenge - Challenge 10 Use Ribbon - here


The Stamping Chef - Challenge 37 Anything Goes - here

Thanks for reading
Stefanie xx

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Dipping a toe in the Water :o)

I recently got a new embossing folder which was the starting point for this project - a World Map - as my son is 18 in a couple of days and in the last year has been to both Australia and America (lucky boy!) I thought it would be appropriate to make something for him using it.  He has enjoyed his travels and plans to return to Australia as soon as he can.

So I ran a piece of card through my Big Shot, coloured it, then tore the edges and edged them in brown, then placed it onto a backing piece with some Hot of the Press paper covered in compasses.  The compasses then made me want to add a sailing ship so I searched through my ever growing pile of stamps and came across just the right set of stamps - PaperArtsy HP1202.

 My son also loves fishing, we even took him sea-fishing one birthday, so I decided to use the rest of the stamps as well.  I stamped some of them onto some cream cardstock and the others onto watercolour paper. The compass was the same size as the one on the embossing folder so I attached this with a brad at the center.  I then tried to position all the elements in a way I was happy with in order to create a card.  (You may have noticed I don't usually do cards (!) ).  This is not going to be an exception as I ended up changing my mind and painting a canvas for the back-drop!

Using a palette knife to scrape over the canvas I used some acrylic paints in blues, stones, yellow and a little touch of reddy-brown to give a mottled effect.  I then added a piece of linen to the canvas, wrapped a strip of hessian ribbon across the middle and then built up the picture on this.  I used Tim Holtz's watercolour technique on some of the stamped images using Faded Jeans and Worn Lipstick - by stamping them onto my craft sheet and then using a water brush to pick up the colour and add to the picture, and then used Brushed Corduroy to colour the torn edges which I had added on some of the images.


I stencilled through a mask with Faded Jeans to represent netting in two of the corners and as a final touch added a wooden lotto counter with the number 18.  (Another little Tim Holtz touch :o) )

I hope he likes it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

I wish to enter this into the following challenges:

A Vintage Journey - Challenge 9 Use Every Stamp in a Set - here:

The Artistic Stamper - By The Seaside - here:

Open Minded Crafting Fun Challenges - Challenge 14 Water Water Everywhere - here:

4 Crafty Chicks Challenge Blog - Challenge 201 Nautical - here:

That's Crafty Challenge Blog - All At Sea - here:

 and also

The Stamping Chef's - Tic Tac Toe Challenge (on Facebook) - here: