Friday, 5 February 2016

Dies for hearts

No my post title is not meant to make you think you need to leave this world for hearts! Far from it, but it involves 2 different  types of dies.
As you know I use a lot of dies in my paper crafting but did you know that you can also create your own dies to press form shapes in silversmithing?

Die forming has been the new project since my silversmithing class returned in January after the Christmas break. The first thing I had to decide on was what shape to design. I decided that a really useful shape is the good old heart. I wanted to work in copper and brass as sheet silver is so expensive and just for experimenting these cheaper metals are good to experiment with.

I sketched a heart onto paper and cut it out in 5mm copper and perspex.
My photos are not the best as they are taken with my phone but you can get the idea.
I stuck the 2 pieces together and had to carefully file the "die" until I had very smooth surfaces.
This took a few weeks.......
Fast forward.
Once the die was made I was able to have a play with my metals and textures. A "sandwich" of acrylic, metal and the die is put into a press.
This is the press....it is huge!


 The press is wound down by hand and the  force created presses the sheet metal through the die.
Above are 2 shapes I created in brass and copper with the die. I textured the copper using textile in the rolling mill.

I love this textured copper.

I was able to invert or evert the heart depending on the effect I wanted.
I had great fun playing and below are a few more pieces.


I have some plans to turn these into pendants. I also plan to try soldering 2 hearts together to create a 3D pendant too. Our class is on half term for 2 weeks so I will keep you posted with what I make when we go back,

So my card today has to involves die cut hearts doesn't it. It's another case of when 2 crafts collide I think.

This is a Valentine's day card I made for my Etsy shop which is for sale here.

It's very CAS for me but I liked this simple design with the striking colours. Red, black and white is such a great colour combination.

Die cuts can be so effective. After coming up with my design I just stamped and embossed a simple Clearly Besotted sentiment in red and added a ribbon.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Pixie's snippets playground  3/3 #214  I used a snippet of black card for my die cut and a snippet of ribbon.
Whimsy stamps with love
Crafting from the heart  2/3 anything goes
Try it on Tuesday  2/5 a fine romance
Artistic Inspirations 2/3 anything goes/twist of Valentine
Noor UK  love
The Ribbon Girl  3/3 with love
Papercreator must be love
The Artistic stamper love my sentiment is stamped
The Craft Barn  triplets I have used 3 colours, red, white and black
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday  have a heart
Creative Inspirations  hugs and kisses
Creative Corner  1/3 Valentine's/love
That's Crafty  1/3 love

Thanks for visiting today and I hope you have your Valentine's cards bought or made....only one more weekend to sort things out. I can't show the one I have made my Hb yet as it's a Guest design post for one of my favourite card challenges...you'll have to wait until 19 Feb to see it.

Enjoy the upcoming weekend, we are off to Southampton to catch up with Daisy and Co...I can't wait.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Love and music is in the air

Welcome to February, the month of love. As the weather is not conducive to any kind of gardening at the moment I have been spending some of my leisure time time enjoying some mixed media play in my art journal. I am really enjoying the dictionary challenge over at the Craft Barn and the 2nd letter we have been given to work with is Q...yes I know...not the easiest at all. There are also several other challenges this month asking us to use the theme of love.

I got out my vintage dictionary and thumbed through the Q entries....hmmm...quadrangle, qualm, quart, queen...too obvious....and then I spotted the word quaver. I immediately thought of music and quavers...there are 2 to a crochet, 4 in a minim or 8 to a semibreve. I have played the piano since I was 7 and I own one which I bought with a small bequest an elderly great aunt left me 30 years ago.

I don't lift the lid every day but it is fun when I do.
 I opened the seat lid and pulled out an ancient book of waltzs.
I have some lovely old books of and sheet music, some were my granddads'. The first piano I played was his as we lived with him when I was a child.

I rarely practice but a bit like riding a bike, your fingers just know where to go and I had a pleasant hour tinkling the ivories. Below is one of my favourites. I always enjoy playing a waltz...if you can read music it's a very famous one and I guarantee you will be humming if for hours!
I also sorted through my old school  music from the 1970s. I was looking for something I could cut up and put in my art journal "quaver" pages. Lots of quavers below and the fingering from 1979 when I first played this concerto. I really didn't want to tear anything out here, too many fond memories.
 Below is another old book of music which one of the children must have used, both of mine played piano for a short time. I love the dinosaur sticker.
 My daughter became more interested in the flute at age 11 and played until she left high school.
I found an old book of music theory practice written in by my daughter circ 1997. She was playing both the piano and flute at this time.
I smiled as I looked through her writing as an 11 year old (she's now nearly 30)

 and I saw that she had started her own little piece of piano music called "Song of the Flute."
 How sweet is that...and like Beethoven, it remains unfinished.
I was going to tear it out to use it but then I had a light bulb moment that I could scan it and use it in my journal page. One day perhaps Daisy might finish it for her Mummy? My SIL is very musical indeed, he attended a famous private school on a music scholarship and already sits Daisy on his lap as he plays their piano.

So then it was play time in my art journal.

Here is the dictionary page
I wanted some very vintage colours for my pages so I chose these inks and sprays.


I decided to work on a double page spread again.  I used my LOTV music stamps and added some partial stamping and also some flourish stenciling using texture paste.
I started adding my inks and sprays, lots of splashes and drips,
drying and adding layers
until I was happy with my background

It was then time to put on my creative hat and add the elements I chose.

Here are my finished art journal pages.

 You can see how I scanned and reduced the music book cover and my daughter's music theory work.
 I found a perfect quote on the internet attributed to none other than Plato.
 Here is the close up of my dictionary page showing the definition of quaver.
 My darling girls forgotten composition.
 I added some glittered words ; love, family, cherish and forever, very apt for my pages and for the month of February.
 There is so much texture and you can see all the random music stamping I added.
 My Memory Box music notes die, seen on my friend Pamellia's blog,  is a new addition to my stash, I think it will be useful for lots of crafting projects.


I would like to enter my journal pages into the following challenges

The Craft Barn alpha dictionary challenge Q
Simon says stamp Wednesday  anything goes
Simon says work it Wednesdays something new my new is my music notes die
Pixie's snippets playground  2/3 #214  I used lots of the snippets from scrap of my mixed media die as accents on my pages and snippets of gold glitter card for my words.
Whimsy stamps with love
Anything but cute ring out the old bring in the new  my new is the music die
The Ribbon Girl  with love
We love 2 create 2/2 #3 anything mixed media
Allsorts 2/3 bring on the bling
As you like it 2/3 favourite 1 or multilayer mine is multi particularly in journal pages...I love adding layers for extra texture.
Vintage stamping   1/3 splatters and drips
Country View make your own background
Crafting from the heart  1/3 anything goes
Try it on Tuesday  1/5 a fine romance
Artistic Inspiration 1/3 anything goes/twist of Valentine
Noor UK  love

I really did enjoy making these pages and they are also a lovely memory of my daughter's early musical years...I put plenty of love into this creation. Happy days.

It's been a lovely sunny afternoon today...it makes such a change from all the rain. I hope you got to glimpse a little blue sky today. I also noticed how much lighter the evenings are getting...yes spring is not too far away now.
Thanks as always for your kind visits and comments.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Happy Mail

I had some very happy mail delivered by Mr Postie last week. I was lucky enough to win the Rubber Dance stamps Christmas challenge and my prize was some gorgeous stamps from Bibi. Just look at this lovely haul. Bibi included a sweet tag too and my envelope was also beautifully decorated.
I also received some happy mail from Linda over at the Funkie Junkie. Part of this haul was bought with vouchers I had won over at Frilly and Funkie and from Lisa with the Visions of Sugarplums Christmas hop. I chose lots of Wendy Vecchi goodies.

 I decided to have a play with Bibi's lovely antique botanicals set. I also wanted to play with my Wendy Vecchi vintage quilt stencil.
I chose the camellia stamp, top left,  as I thought I would make a vintage card for my Etsy shop.
I also used my Wendy Vecchi vintage quilt stencil.
 I used some distress inks on watercolour paper and bumped some archival ink through my stencil  The "with love" die cut is from my blogging buddy Di, another win last year. I LOVE this little die.
 I stamped the flower onto a snippet of paper and coloured it with matching distress inks.
You will see my new Joy floral oval die came out to play again, this time with glitter card. Such a pretty die.
It is for sale via the link here

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Simon says stamp Wednesday  anything goes
Simon says work it Wednesdays something new my new are my floral stamp and stencil.
Anything but cute Ring out the old...bring in the new  my new are my floral stamp and stencil.
Pixie's snippets playground  1/3 #214 I used a snippet of paper for stamping on and a snippet of card for my sentiment.
Noor anything goes
Whimsy stamps with love
The Artistic Stamper anything goes
As you like it 1/3 favourite 1 or multilayer mine is multi, I find it quite hard to keep to CAS one layer cards. I really enjoy taking time with my creations so I tend to add other dimensions to my cards.
Allsorts 1/3 bring on the bling
Sweet stampin 1/3 Valentine's
The Ribbon Girl  with love
We love 2 create 1/2 #3 anything mixed media
The Craft Barn triplets/trios the stamp I have used has a trio of flower heads.


Bear went home on Wednesday night, he was such a good boy. Here he is just before he went home
Billy has got his house back now and my legs are getting a little longer after wearing them down with 3 walks a day!

The drizzly rain and wind has returned so I think that some crafting will be occurring here today.
Keep snug I hope that you can enjoy some creative time too. Januray comes to a close today, although we have been really busy it has seemed like an incredibly long month. I am looking forward to February...Valentine's day, my son's birthday and lighter evenings will all feature.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x