Friday, November 30, 2012

Eleanor and Pickles!

I got given some new digi's to play with by the lovely Heather Valentin, an American Fantasy/Gothic artist, who I actually knew nothing about at first. The name and style didnt mean anything to me, but by gum does it mean something to the kids round here...........seems she is one of the subjects in Art Class at the local Secondary School! So she has a lot of fans in this area, and it's not just confined to my local area, but the North West in general it seems, according to Middlests ex-girlfriend, as she was a big fan as well!

So lets get to the reason you are here!
I am a hybrid crafter. Basically it means that I mix the digital with the physical product. I dont just design via a program and then save the image and post it as a finished product. It means that I might start with a digital image, but I ALWAYS have a finished crafted paper or card product at the end of it.
This time is no exception! And its a bit of a tale, so grab a cup of tea or coffee, a couple of biccies, and get comfy, you could be here a while, while I lead you down the road I traveled to come up with this!

Now this is actually a first for me, and if the lovely Hels reads this, yes you did inspire me to make one, Thank You, its perfect!

Its lying down as its still drying! So dont get picky on me, I cant fast forward time, actually would much prefer to stop time for a few blissful hours of uninterupted craft, but hey-ho, no chance there!
But I digress! This, for those of you who havent come across one before, is a Shadow Box. Basically its a recessed box for displaying anything, and comes in all sorts of sizes and styles. I have a wooden one the kids got me from Chester Zoo years ago, so the concept wasnt totally alien to me, but I didnt "get it" at the time! Now these versions I get, but the others that you fill up, with loads of little areas, sorry I dont "get" those ones!
However, unfortunately for me Darling Daughter was in my craft room when I got sent the image to play with, and she immediately seized upon it and demanded that I do it for my Grand-daughter for Christmas  Hmmn more like do it for her she means!
So how to do it as something that will last and be a treasured item that comes out on display every year? As basically that's what she was after! And you cant really bring out the same cards year after year now can you? And a batch of 7 cards just for her, erm I dont think so!!
So it had to be large, as in A4, Okay so I printed it out on some A4 card stock. So I sat looking at it, wondering what to do, where to start, where to finish...........................and it has to be something I can replicate in a series, which is what this image is, one of a series of the cute Eleanor and Pickles by the lovely Heather Valentin. If you check out a couple of other blogs providing we havent all started on the same one, then you will get to see more of them, so pop over to Lexies Blog, and also Linda's blog.
Right back to my story, now where was I? Oh yes, just starting, sorry! So first step was to colour I seem to have done a swap with Lexie, her complete collection of Spectrum Noirs, for my incomplete collection of Promarkers! So as they were new to me firstly I had to play on one that printed out waaaaay too big, which took a couple of hours to do, they are different to Promarkers, but the principle is the same, and actually I find them easier to use, as the naming system makes more sense to me. And Youngest agrees, at first he was disappointed that I had given my Promarkers to Lexie, then he turned round after 20 minutes of playing with the Speccies, and asked for them for himself!
So practice over, so come on Lou pick and image and get to work girl!!
Speccies to the fore, I sat and lost myself in the colouring for several hours. When I had finished I sat and looked at it.................not bad, some area's I need to practice on and I will work through the accreditation work, when I get a few hours. Hubby came up to ask me about when I was going shopping, chores, honestly, men just dont get it do they? Now Craft shopping isnt a chore, but having to dash out when I wanted to play? Er sorry Work? So I indicated what was lying on my work surface, now normally he doesnt get craft, and its a general "yes, very nice dear, now.................". This one prompted a comment........Boy is that in my album of moments he was interested! "Is that the one you were colouring?" so I handed it to him,
"(Snort of Laughter)Is that a Frog? Hahaha! Like it! Oh yes you did colour it! Shame it went through to the back though!" Sigh, he just DOESNT UNDERSTAND!
And what does he mean, "Oh yes you did colour it?" Does that mean he thought I was incapable of colouring it? Mr "I have an Art CSE and make sure you remember that!" Or "Wow that's good, looks very professional."?
Anyways,  now I had an image coloured, what was I going to do with it? I mean I had the first part done, so a step in the right direction, but now I had to make it into some thing that could be displayed every year.......................................
Now a few weeks ago the lovely Hels was on Create and Craft and you can watch online, just go to create and crafts webpage andd you can watch online, making Shadow boxes, now I didnt particularly pay attention, as it was on in the background, as is normally the case for me, but it must have sunk in, so Thank you Hels, as I now "get it"! So up popped the idea into my brain, and I did have some Shadow Box designs I had downloaded from the Silhouette online store. So off I trot, and would you Adam and Eve it, I dont have one big enough! So off to the online store I trot, and would you Adam and Eve it again, they dont have one in the size I want!
Not to be thwarted, I decided to adjust one of the pre-designed shadow boxes, so I could do one that would cover 11x8 inch, roughly the size I wanted, a few mistakes later, and I had it!
So next step assemble and decorate.........Collal Glue first, as its a strange glue, that seems to change the physical make-up of the card or paper you are working on, and I need this to be tough enough to withstand years of use! So a nice stiff shadow box was completed and the picture incorporated into it.
So now to finish decorating the image and box. So gems on her Glasses, and red pearls on the berries in the picture, some snow flakes by Papermania, and some Glossy Accents on glasses lenses, and Pickles Eye's.
On the outside, I used some Twisted Christmas Rope, from the Pound shop, for the handle, and trimming around the front, then I got some of the plastic Mouldable boughs, holly and pinecones, by MCS, snd trimmed and heated them to shape. I added a Poinsettia, leaves, and bits again by MCS in the bottom corner. all in all I like it! I like the colouring, and composition, and hope that you do too, and well done by the way on getting all the way down to the bottom!
Just in case you forgot what you came here for:
Right what you need:
Eleanor and Pickles. The only Official place you can get them from is the Lovely Heather. Anywhere else is NOT official.

Your choice of Colouring mediums, now I'm not going to tell you what colours to use, as its YOUR choice!

A Shadow Box, to suit the size you choose. You can cut them with an electronic cutter like me, or purchase them un assembled in card and wood.

Embellishments to suit your design. My project is to inspire you to go off and create your own version of this, so I have told you what I used, what you use is up to you!

Right off to sleep for a few hours, well it is 1am, lol, have fun, and take care, oh and if you do pop by Linda's blog, well she has some fab candy up for grabs!



Yesterday was a fun and relaxing day!

It was a day of decorating for the holidays!

In  the chilly November morning air... the  hunt  was on  for the perfect  Christmas tree.  After  about  15 minutes of  browsing the  trees,  I  spotted the  perfect  tree. ( Kind of the  Clark W. Griswold  moment from  Christmas Vacation). There it  stood.....  a beautiful Fraiser  Fur.

Before leaving the  store, more lights  were  purchased, along with  other   holiday  things.  Then  it  was time to head back home.

The  fun begins. Unpacking boxes filled with decorations, untangling lights, checking bulbs, setting the  fresh  tree in  its  stand,  watching my babies play in the  tree skirt and  lights,  adding the  new  dome led lights to the  tree, hanging stockings, decorating  the  outdoors, and the list goes on  and on. All of course while  listening too National Lampoon's  Christmas  Vacation, one of my  top ten  Holiday movies.

When nighttime arose it was time to  turn on the lights...... Drumroll please.....(wink)

Ohhsss and  ahhhhhs.. how pretty the   tree and house looked.  An added  treat this  year  was the  way  my  new dome  tree lights  reflect throughout the   room's walls and ceilings.  Truly unique and   beautiful!

Still have  more  decorations   to add to  the  tree... for I am still crafting  some. Will for sure  show  you  when I'm  done.  And I have  yet  to  decorate  my  art studio.  Hmmmm  might  just take a lil break  later  from  sketching and painting and get my  studio all fancied up for the  holidays.

Have a wonderful day..
Until the next time.....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


snowflakes falling.

joys of the holiday season.....decorating, holiday lights, baking cookies and other yummy treats, the  fragrant smell of the freshly chopped Christmas Tree,  get togethers with family  and friends..... and my list could go on and on.

misletoe ( nothing  like a  kiss under the mistletoe *wink*).
my lil babies(shihtzus).
cuddling and reading  by the  fireplace.
Stephen King books.
movies. (Chick flicks, horror, suspense, action.... ok I'm a huge movie nut!)
puppies and kitties.
decorating cakes.
ren faires.
plays and musicals.
ballroom dancing.
lavendar roses.
chocolate. ( I  think I might have mentioned chocolate already... but come on  a girl can  never  have  enough  chocolate *wink*)
ok  love animals and  marine  life.
Disney World. One of the most  magical  places I have  been.
Purple (the color).

Painting. ( I am the happiest  when I  paint.)

scrapbooking and making  greeting cards.
and  I love enjoying life and  everything it  has  to offer.

Of course  I could  go on and on  about  my loves.... but this  gives you a lil insight into me:)

What  kind of things  do you love?

Have a  wonderful day!