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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Go fourth and make your own!

It's a crazy half term at the Mallaghan Household.  I am getting a new bath and tiles installed, yippee! there is mess and I only have one loo in my house Boooo!

I picked some gorgeous tiles, a lovely pastel patchwork design, worked out the cost and by trading in tesco vouchers they were affordable, yippee! However, a quick trip to the shop to order them and instead of tiles I got disappointment;  the price I'd worked on was for the plain white tile in this collection, the pretty patterened tiles are £10 for 4 tiles! well out of my price range boo :(
The tiles I would love *sigh*
We trailed around all the tile shops in my area but couldn't find anything I wanted, I don't know about you but once I see something I lurve it is very difficult to want to use something that just doesn't make you feel as warm and fuzzy.

Back home and after a nice cuppa and a small sulk my wonderful mum convinced me that if I wanted patchwork tiles then I am capable of making them myself, No way says me, yes way says Mum, well it is the only way I can have them says me, Lets look online for masks says Mum.  Another cuppa and some browsing on the wonderweb and I have ordered some fab Creative Expressions that special touch of masks, some Martha Stewart paints and more Tea

Friday, 23 May 2014

Once, twice, CC3C times a blogger

Tis a big day for me,  the first time I am going to share a piece of my work with the big webby world.

*Ooooops, I just went to add my project to the CC3C competition.... and I missed it by 53mins, note to self check timezones for closing dates.  But never fear this was an opportunity to look for other comps  and blogs and wow are there a lot out there.  Altered Ecletics have a lovely page that lists lots of their fav sites.  I am now entering this project for their May "anything goes competition" and  Rhedd's Creative Spirit Altered Art challenge (I would love to win this prize and get my hands on their very generous totally tempting prize. Wish me luck!

I am (was) entering the CC3C challenge, and just in the nick of time (or not) , round 2 closes at midnight (MDTtonight.  The challenges are all based on techniques from Mr Holtz's new book the Compendium of Curiosities 3.  This challenge is based on his distress Glitter technique on page 56. We cannot and would not give away Tim's techniques as I can only imagine the time he has spent developing and publishing this book full of wonders.

I had wanted a place to keep my new glitter collection, I only have four at the moment but of course I NEED to have them all lol.  I treat myself to a new Ranger product once a week or so, when I started crafting I bought cheaper items, I mean really how can glue, inks, glitter be that different from each other?  I was wrong,  I still don't know how they can be so different, I just accept that they are.

I had this MDF mini chest of drawers and thought it would be perfect for my glitters, those I have and those to come.  I wanted it to look shabby so applied a base coat in white gesso the frosty skies followed by pantry white and then sanded it back.

I love working with Tim Holtz distress glitter, it seems they are a bit heavier than some others I have previously used and produced a lot less glittery puffs of messiness.  My family, especially the men, will be most chuffed with this as they are all pretty fed up with leaving my house looking like they have romped with fairies.  This is not a good look for 18 year old boys in particular!

I started by using the Distress Glitter technique on a mannequin that came in the Craftwork Cards paper couture collection I bought on create and craft a few weeks back, this is a fab kit and also comes with 12 inspiration sheets. I was inspired by Emma Williams Paper Couture Tutu dress project.  Rather than have neat cones for the dress I wanted mine to be more curly.  I punched out circles of 2 different sizes, I misted them with water and inked the edges. When dry I cut to the middle, slightly off centre, curled and then stacked them up on the dress.  I then glittered a couple of punched hearts and mounted on some paper I had darkened down with Pumice Stone distress ink.

As I already had the glitter out I wanted to experiment with some other mediums.  I added some re-inker and glitter to some texture paste and used the doily layering stencil (a gorgeous stencil that I a have used a treat with inks, paints and texture paste... so far) to add some interest to the top of the drawers.  I was pleased with how this turned out although the glitter is very subtle.

Next I wanted to use a bottle I had in my stash to act as a block on top of the drawer to stop little things rolling off, having used "the technique" I thought I could probably build a glitter pile and hoped to get it to look like it was pouring out of the bottle.  It took a few layers but I was so on a happy glitter roll I just needed to have more overflowing glitter bottles on this project.  So a quick ebay shopping trip and delivery of some mini bottles and voila some nice little handles, I mounted them on some frames I fussy cut from the paper couture pad.

My oldest daughter saw my little mini bottles and "just loved them they're so cute, can I have the drawers please Mummy"  When your 14 year old calls you Mummy you know they really really want something, and who am I kidding,  I love it when my family loves my makes enough to want them, no better feeling than something I created wanting something I created ;)  My glitters will just have to continue hanging out in a box with their inky cousins.

Instead of the pocket I had planned on putting on the other side I added some bits my girl would like better, some  charms (I glittered the little heart on the wing one), a tag with her name and I used micaboss and some shimmer powders to turn a silver dream word into a colour suitable to this project.

I have always had great fun trying out the techniques in the Compendium of curiosities books and on the Online Chemistry 101 class and def think they have helped improve my crafty knowledge and skills.  I highly recommend them.  Thanks for reading and looking at my project, I hope you like it and will come back for a look at other projects that are yet to leave my brain ;)

Happy Crafting :)

Photos taken by my lovely Daughter x

Main Crafty Stash Used:

  • Craftwork Cards Paper Couture Kit
  • Tim Holtz Distress Glitter -Peacock Feathers, Antique Linen, Clear Rock Candy, Victorian Velvet
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Peacock Feathers, Pumice Stone, Tattered Rose, Victorian Velvet
  • Tim Holtz Layering Stencil - Doily
  • Indigoblu English Cottage Paint - Frosty Skies and Pantry White
  • Mini Mister and Ink blender
  • Bits and bobs I collect and cherish
  • Glue ;)


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Fibro is what happens while you're busy making plans

So for day 2 of my new fibro forced journey into blogdom I had wanted to complete and share some pics of card Im making for my sister-in-law using The CC3C distress glitter technique... however my fingers and brain are not co-operating today.

The hardest thing I had to come to terms with regarding this illness was learning when to just say OK today I need to change my plans or just allow myself to rest.  Pre Fibro I had been an energetic likes to plan things always on the go person, my bestie Jayne would often hum the Benny Hill chase song as she watched me do my thing.  These days I think it is very kind of her not to hum The last of the summer wine tune or on really bad days the Funeral Dirge!

I now live my life by the day, by the fibro funnies I am experiencing and what my children have on and what that requires of me.  My youngest is 12 eldest 18,  I am so grateful they were not littlies when fibro got me.  To all you parents out there coping with babies and littlies and an illness, gentle hugs and my sincere admiration. I have been ill for 3 years and it is very difficult to accept a body with limitations. I still have days when I feel good so go against the advice of taking it easy and not overdoing it and instead just enjoy doing things I sometimes cant. This can lead to a worse day the next day but sometimes even if I take it easy on a good day a bad day will follow anyway. How do you approach good days?

Today my fingers are stiff and swollen, so no craft knives and precious glitter and flakes out today, but that is why I have Craft Artist and Crochet Hooks and will save this blog often and take as long as I need to complete my roving writing.

A friend I met on a pain management course told me that using ice packs on your hands or running them under cold water relieves the swelling and some of the pain, it was the opposite of the heat that I felt my hands needed and does indeed help.  If you are reading this and have some tips of your own for dealing with this symptom please share, although my GP is awesome and a very compassionate lady most of the help and advice she passes onto me comes from other patients of hers with this or similar illnesses.  It is not a fully understood illness but by sharing our experiences and tips for living through this we can help each other and hopefully move things closer and closer to a cure.

My Heels are also playing up today, it  feels as though I am walking on spikes,  so no shopping or running around (as if lol)  but that is why I have comfy slippers and the Game of Thrones on Demand and on my beloved Kindle!  The first book, A song of Fire and Ice is only £2.99 a real bargain and I love loosing myself in the world George Martin has created.

So enough for now, after school  I'm off to watch my youngest run the 800m against a boy in the year above. They had all ran the 800m in their year groups earlier this term and the PE teacher told his class my girl had beaten all their times; should she really have done this, my daughter trains with our local club 4 times a week but bet she didn't share this info with them, anyway the uninformed lad issued a challenge and the race happens tonight.  My daughter has allowed me to come and watch providing

  1. I watch outside the fence, 
  2. Do NOT shout and cheer
  3. Get back in the car to wait for her after the race... 
I am promising nothing other than the waiting bit,  my feet may hurt but my lungs work just fine ;)

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

I saw you Crafting through the pain

I love my family and friends, music, crafting and beating Fibromyalgia on a day to day basis.

I started Crafting when my disability saw me off work for a while. 

Actually to be frank it was more some colleagues dissing my ability and their inability to understand and be human in the face of an invisible illness that caused me far more problems remaining in work than my actual illness did.  More of this later.. maybe

I have been trying to find the confidence to share my experience of becoming ill for a while and also wanted to share some of my projects. My family love my work (because they love me) and are so supportive of the new broken me even thought they think my crafty obsession is just plain weird lol.  So today is the day I begin another new journey because of fibro but bear with me, I have no idea how the world of blogging works so it may take me a while to get the hang of it, just thinking, if anyone happens to read this do you have a good tutorial or three to share?

 Today I have decided to be brave and other than my family it is mainly down to Dear Fibro, Mr Tim Holtz, Hels Sheridan,  Ali Reeve and Sheena Douglass. I absolutely NEED to enter the CC3C challenges based on the new Tim Holtz Book a Compendium of Curiosities 3.  I love Hels work and blogs she is a down to earth, warm, funny and very talented lady, she was a train driver you know!, who can do things with a melt pot no one else can. Sheena, another funny, warm and super talented lady makes the most amazing stamps and can make leather out of kraft card! The creative genius Ali could go into a garage and come out with something so impressive even the A-Team couldn't compete.  Their blogs and demos on Create & Craft TV saved me from terminal boredom while off work. 

Dear Fibro offered me a place to chat to others who have been through similar experiences and help feel like much less of a freak, trust me this is a very bizarre illness with a whole host of random bodily breakdowns. And finally, sorry if this is a bit Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar speachy, Gael Denny the owner of TillyflopsCreations,  not only does she have a fab eye for all things ribbony but she is a Lovely Lady who also happens to have Fibro, despite this she runs her own business, I am in awe of her bravery and determination and would never buy a ribbon anywhere else.

So, if you  hate what I'm doing here or have any problems with my thoughts projects or rambling... blame them, without their inspiration I would still be in bed!