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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

'Winter Blues' altered book page

Here's wishing you all health, wealth and happiness in the New Year!

CONFIGURATION BOXES for CHRISTMAS

Here's myYouTube video, showing all five of my Christmas Configuration Boxes.






This is the first one I've done all by myself, so I hope you enjoy it (don't forget to turn the sound on).

pink saturday

Finally, please visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound to see all the wonderful Pink Saturday Christmassy posts!

Happy Christmas, everyone!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL

Here's a vitual Christmas card from me to all of you - feel free to post onto your own blog if you'd like to (left-click for the full size, and right-click to copy).

Created using Cajoline's Kit Noel Blanc- image from Tumblr

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas!

FREEBIE BLOG BACKGROUND - REINDEER

Background copyright Susie Jefferson, using images from Holiday Paper Pack 3 by Cesstrelle at HG Designs
Here's a new freebie Christmas background for you, using reindeer images from Cesstrelle's Holiday Paper Pack 3. Isn't this fun? Perfect for someone who wants a modern image with a bit of an edge.

This will fit most templates: 3-col, wide 2-col and also some of the freebie WordPress templates like Bueno. It will also fit some of the freebie Tumblr blog templates, eg: Redux. The Blogger template I've used here is Awesome.

BACKGROUND CODE

Just copy and paste all the code below into an html box in your sidebar.
<style type="text/css">
body {background-image: url("http://i659.photobucket.com/albums/uu313/1stFloorFlatComputery/3a093400.jpg"); background-position: center; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: fixed; }
</style>
<div id="tag" style="position:absolute; left:0px; top:50px; z-index:50; width:150px; height:30px;">
<a href="http://1stfloorflatblogology.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">
<img border="0" src="http://i659.photobucket.com/albums/uu313/1stFloorFlatComputery/9061ddc2.png"/>
</a></div>

HEADER

If you want to customise my header with your own text, right-click the picture to open to full size then left-click to save to your own computer. Add text using your favourite graphics programme, then load up and click' Instead of Title and Description'.

Otherwise, just save the header and click 'Behind Title and Description' to use Blogger's own default header text (click the Resize button if you want it smaller) or copy the code below and enter that instead.
http://i659.photobucket.com/albums/uu313/1stFloorFlatComputery/75d8d6cb.png
Check out Cesstrelle's blog HG Designs for more fabulous papers, brushes, textures etc.

CHRISTMAS TREES... O CHRISTMAS TREES...


Kaye (co-owner of BladeRubber Stamps) and I were chatting, as you do, when I took the wreath in for her shop window - and I happened to mention my Christmas decorations (3 trees this year). Kaye couldn't believe I could get 3 Christmas trees in the one living room. Hah! Oh yes I could!

Panning around the room, starting from the far left, here's Tree No 1 (4ft) next to the television. One of my Configuration boxes to the right of the television.
Closeup of Tree No 1 (4ft): Santa at the top, and two sets of lights, glitter reindeer standing underneath
The TV bench is on the left of this door, lights strung right around up at the ceiling and Tree No 2 (6ft) with 3 sets of lights and another Santa. Another Configuration box is on top of the bookcase.
Closeup, showing Tree No 2's tree skirt. Fireplace on the right.
Tree No 2 (6ft tree) on left, Tree No 3 (3ft tree) next to the computer desk on the right. Fire in the middle, with Santa lights on the mantlepiece. Tree No 3 has only the one set of lights and now feels very underdressed.
That's it for now... you can tell I just adore Christmas!

How are your decorations coming along? Got your tree up yet?

MY LATEST WREATH


This is my latest creation - using vintage pine cone ornaments (50s) plus some modern bits: the sequinned and tinselled apples and branches.


Here's a closeup, showing my own snowballs (heavy gel medium applied with a palette knife onto polystyene balls, then glittered with 3 different types of glitter all mixed up).


The base is a simple twig wreath, which I wrapped with a single length of tinsel to bulk it out - then in with the sparkly and glittery twigs etc.

My other wreath (scroll down a couple of posts) is the traditional reds and golds, etc.

Glue guns are now my very bestest friends!

PINK SATURDAY - TOOL KIT PREZZIE

Decoupaged tool kit for the geek in your life (or your DIY drawer)
I'm sure everyone is like me: frantically busy, just a little broke, and therefore looking to give handmade prezzies (that don't look HOME made - there is a difference). So I thought a quick and easy project might be just the job! Perfect for anyone, and unusual too! It's a TOOL KIT!

This was inexpensive, but doesn't look too cheap (although the plastic case was a dead giveaway, hence the decoration)
This is just a cheap basic tool kit you'll find in most hardware stores, a good size for changing plugs and other small electrical stuff (women need to be able to do this too, lol) also poking holes in signatures for books, levering out staples, prising drawing pins out of walls etc.

Front and back prepared in exactly the same way - just change the positioning of the decorations

PREPARATION

As it's plastic, it's rather slick and not good for gluing, so sand a little first, just enough to roughen the surface (use an emery board if you don't have sandpaper).

DECORATION
  • Couldn't be simpler: leftovers of scrapbooking paper for the front and the back, cut to size. 
  • Collage the ticket on first, then overstamped some text (using Staz-On ink).
  • The dots were Punchinella (sequin waste) used as a stencil, stippled with acrylic paint. Move the stencil and stipple again, creating a drop shadow using a metallic paint. 
  • Finally, decoupage a vintage scrap image of a clown's head.
 I used PVA (white glue) throughout. Mod Podge is also good.

Next step: glue to the tool kit using a good quality strong glue such as Crafter's, Gorilla, Aleene's Tacky Glue or use double-sided tape. You don't want this peeling off at a later date.

Finishing touches: I ran a metallic gold pen round the edges, then applied a single coat of clear acrylic varnish for protection.

TIME TAKEN

Very fast - took around 2 hours including coffee and biscuits, and drying time!

pink saturday

Finally, please visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound to see all the other wonderful Pink Saturday posts!

50s CHRISTMAS SCRAPBOOK PAGE AND CARD

I used a copyright-free 50s image as the main photo, as I wanted a retro feel
Thought you might like to see a Christmassy scrapbook page I did as samples for Blade Rubber Stamps, plus a stepper card - both using the same design of background paper and chipboard embellishements.

View from the front - notice I did a little background stamping with snowflake stamps onto the base red card. I also trimmed round the edges with gold peeloffs. The Tree chipboard element was mounted onto separate gold card and rimmed around with gold glitter.
I also stamped on the centre red band of the tree (which was plain) and added baubles - some were the chipboard elements, and the rest were little metal hearts cut from an old necklace. All 'antiqued' with Rock Candy crackle paint.
View from the side, showing the steps and the dimensions. The darker snowdrops are stamped with Versamark ink, then embossed with holographic embossing powder.

I 'antiqued' the chipboard pieces using Tim Holtz's Distress Crackle Paint in Rock Candy (which is clear, and a couple of coats give a lovely spun sugar sparkle - very vintage).

A little on the cute side for me, maybe, but the 50s feel definitely saves them. Nice and colourful, no?

SNOWMAN CONFIGURATION BOX

Snowman box - lit up
Here's my Snowman Configuration Box, all lit up. 

Snowman - detail
This one's more for the kiddies, with lots of snow, a snowball under his feet, prezzies... and white bobble braid (more snowballs anyone?)

Detail - little bottles spelling 'Joy', and another bottle with Christmas Cheer spilling out of it (and some more prezzies at the side
Fun, huh?

PINK SATURDAY - GETTING READY FOR CHRISTMAS

My 'NOEL' Configuration box - I'm teaching this next week at Blade Rubber Stamps!
I know it's early, but if you're making your own decorations you really need to start NOW!

My excuse (not that I needed one) is that I'm also teaching a couple of classes shortly, so of course I've got to make my samples. I'm totally in the mood, and can't wait to put up all our decorations on 1st December. So... if you want to make some too (or overhaul the ones you already have) here's some inspiration.

My own wreath, for my Christmas Decorations Special class at Blade Rubber Stamps
Closeup of my wreath for the Christmas Decoration Special class.

The secret with wreaths (and any decoration, really) is lots of dimension, lots of glitz and glitter, lots of reflective surfaces and lots of colour. And lots of lights.

My 'NOEL' box - closeup - unlit
My 'NOEL' configuration box - closeup - lit up (including a little LED light up the skirt of the blown glass angel on top)
The box unlit, in daylight
All lit up for the evening
Closeup of the tree, the other lights and the German glass glitter - this tarnishes a little over time, adding to the atmosphere of the piece
Of course these rules can be broken: white on white, shabby chic, matt surfaces played off against glossy surfaces... don't take it all too seriously though -  it's supposed to be fun after all! If you don't have fun with your decorating, it show!

White wreath, pink ribbons and the sweetest little bird - wish I knew who made it! If it's YOU, please let me know
Off pinterest
Copyright HappyDotMom - click this link for the tutorial

Above is some inspiration I've seen online - I am crediting where I can (I lost a lot of my links when my old computer died) so if this is yours, and not credited and linked to you, please let me know so I can give credit where it's due!

Copyright Michele Kovak - tutorial here
I adore the cupcake ornament/place setting above - and can see this will adapt very nicely for snowball ornaments too.

Copyright Karina Guirre at Creative Chaos
Above is the ultimate in do-it-yourself trees by Karin at Creative Chaos - I absolutely adore it.  A wonderful confection of crepe paper, tinsel and glittery balls (with a touch of artificial snow) her tutorial is here.

Finally, below is another wonderful display - with and without lights, adapting ornaments you probably already have.

Copyright Sandi for Christmas Pudding
Copyright Sandi at Christmas Pudding - all lit up with LED lights nestling in the foliage
These images are copyright Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage (who we all know and love)  - who also has this other wonderful blog: Christmas Pudding.As you can tell, I'm highly recommending using lights whenever and wherever possible.

For my freebie Vintage Robins background and header set, go here

Have you noticed Sandi's using my freebie Vintage Robins blog background on her Christmas Pudding blog?

pink saturday

Finally, please visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound to see all the other wonderful Pink Saturday posts!

ART SPACE MAKEOVER PHASE 2 - IT ALWAYS GETS WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER

Even more stuff over by the fireplace. The computer area to the right (other end of sofa just showing in the photo) is reached by stepping VERY carefully.
So far so good. It seems to be a universal law that everything always looks worse before it gets better when you're trying to do any kind of makeover. All that stuff has to get pulled out before you can put it back again.
The computer area (sofa to the right, fire to the left). Sorry about the blurry picture - my elbow jerked. As you can see, more piles of stuff (and I'd tidied this at the weekend). Sometimes, I despair...
SO: much moving of stuff - and I've found I'm my own worst enemy, moving something only to find I'm in my own way again. I spend much of my time moving one heap of stuff to another area, then having to move it again as it's just where I want to put something else. Very frustrating!

First coat of paint, applied with a foam brush
The tabletop is a huge piece of MDF we had cut to size, and I used it as it was - brown and impossible to see if there was any dust or glitter on it. So much use of scrap paper (which meant keeping a pile of scrap paper close to hand - more clutter).

Magic or what? Some change, eh? I'm very pleased with it - AND I didn't drip on the carpet.

So I turned it over to the clean side, and gave it two coats of watered down emulsion paint (left over cream from the walls) diluted 50:50 to the consistency of single cream.

I then gave it two coats of Klear to protect it. Can't believe how it's brightened that corner! Plus I can see any debris. And wipe it clean.

We're getting there... more photos tomorrow if I can find the charger for the camera (been looking for 2 days!)

ART SPACE MAKEOVER PHASE 1 - THE 'BEFORE'

View of my entire desk area, crammed into the corner (door into hallway is on the right) with a trolley positioned at the end of the table top. Plus a lot of stuff on the trolley, under the trolley, next to the trolley, creeping across the floor...
I'm very ashamed to admit it - I've actually got to the point where I can't stand it any more - my art space is such a mess I can't find anything, and I just can't WORK!

Closer view - see how cluttered the desk actually is? I'm trying to finish my Christmas Configuration box here, and everthing is awash with extremely itchy glitter (did I tell you I'm allergic to dust?)
The main problem is that I'm extremely restricted for space as I work in the living room - at one end - with computer area at the other end, and the sofa and TV etc in the middle. And my poor long-suffering husband finally said enough was enough. And he's actually right - it was getting so out of hand I really didn't know where to start.
View from a slightly different angle. This window is tiny, and in what used to be a long and narrow hallway before this section of the hallway became integrated with the living room, and the door moved. At least I have some good natural light coming from the left.
The left side of the desk, next to the wall and under the window. I'm in the corner of the room (the dark brown you can see on the far left of the picture is our sofa, with the back of my art chair facing the arm). I've crammed in 3 Ikea wood shelf-storage thingies, plus a little bamboo shelf unit (from a junkshop) which needed a good wash. I sprayed it white.
The kneehole section under the desk. Can't even get my feet in there (which is why my chair is jammed up against the arm of the sofa).  I have to stretch and reach over to get at anything. I've got one of those rubber-backed scrubbable mats under the work area to try to keep paint drips etc under some sort of control.
The other end of the room. There's actually a rather nice fireplace and some bookcases under all the mess.
So I'm being really brave and showing you the 'Before'. You'll see the 'During' and the 'After' over the next couple of posts.