Ladies Camera Club

28 Feb 2011

I **heart** hearts - 2 crafters wanted

I refer to this post here but will recap with a few pictures below.

Around my home, I hang hearts. A house filled with love is my idea of a home whether its real love emanating out of our bodies or just plain prettiness from hand crafted love hearts.






Ive had two crafters drop out of a swap (I need two more, please) and the plan is to make 5 handmade/crafted hearts to hang in the home. You post me four with an SAE and you get 4 different hand made/crafted hearts in return.
Any colour you like, any size you like....just a fun swapsie.
Ive had Kathy's already and they are BEAUTIFUL....worth the swap alone. The deadline is two weeks from today :) or :( - depending on your timescale
First two comments on this post are in!

**Edited to add - Heather and Emma - you are IN.... yahoo **

26 Feb 2011

West to East to West

It's fun that I can travel from the west to the east of the country in 2.5 hours. Namely to go and collect la Belle. She was at my mums for half term, being thoroughly spoiled by all the affection you can imagine. And more so seeing she is having an op on Wednesday. Belle doesn't know about it and to be honest, it's not worth the potential night sweats and anxiety if we do tell her. She is having a general to have some muscle taken from some abnormal tissue in her calf but when she had the same type of op, when she was six, they didn't have her under general then. Mark and I have sworn that after this, that's it. No more invasive investigation. The poor kid has really had it all. To top it off she has a heart scan due on the 18th April but that's just a bit of jelly and a hand tool to see how her prolapsed valve is getting along. I think that's it for this year, which is a relief.

So............ being home. I love my parents dearly and being home is really special for me. Luckily, my bro and JJ were there for a day so it made the trip more sweeter. I only had my iPhone for pics so here is my weekend in snapshot form:

Walking on the beach. My bro with his dog as I pushed JJ in his stroller with Belles. I love mums beach x
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Belles and granny cuddle up
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

What was also an added bonus was that my dad suggested that my bro, Leigh, and I go out for a few drinks. Well, I just don't go out for drinks these days so I was a bit out of sorts on what to do!!!! Well, almost.
Here is my dad and bro, playing to the crappy iPhone Camera quality
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

And me with dad, it's struck me how very few pics I have with my dad :(
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

A few hours later, slightly inebriated and soaked to the skin (after a walk home in the rain), we play a quiz and get the munchies. How I got 13/20 is beyond me, I was well tiddly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I had such a good niight/weekend but I knew I'd be in for a thick head the next morning. Ugh, I was right.

24 Feb 2011

Stamps part deux

This is another set of stamps, shortly to appear on my website.

Meet Buggle, the bug eyed dolly. Digitally drawn by my fair hand.
The coloured in versions just show you what they **could** look like. Obv the outline stamp is the erm, stamp!


Flex your ProMarkers, crafters x
Talking of ProMarker, there are new and exciting additions to the Letraset family coming soon. And all rather sensible upgrades, if you ask me.

Dont forget to check out my post below.......great video tutorial for your punch craftin'.

What a show!

Ive been to the "Stitches" retail show on many occasions as a show walker over the past 6 years. But this time I worked as a demonstrator for Tonic Studios. I LOVE THESE GUYS! Such a hoot and so clever at what they do. If you have never heard of them, allow me to recap. Tonic Studios design and supply cutting systems for the craft industry including trimmers, guillotines, punches and scissors. You may already know that Tim Holtz endorses a range of tonic products too. PLUS they are a British company, which is what I like. I'm not sure if you know but I only support British companies including Tonic Studios, Letraset and Fantastic Ribbons...... I do love waving that Union Jack, I can tell you.

Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway, I went to demo for three days straight including teaching a couple of classes (using the petal pairs) to retailers. It created such a buzz at the show and retailers were enjoying the potential of the vast product range that Tonic hold. I myself talked myself to death (I even talk glass eyes to sleep, you know!) and between demos and classes, it was reassuring to have a team of guys looking after you with teas and coffees and butties, even when the stand was heaving.

I thought I'd share you some of the demo's that I did, seeing as I didn't take one single stinking photo at the show- can you believe that? No, neither can I. You will love what you can create with their new range of punches which I find is a "go to" item in need of either a quick fix or little challenge to beef up your craft session.

The Butterfly punch

The mini circle punch creates the "legless brad"

And the uber popular Petal Pairs

I made a little video showing you some of the basics of the new products (approx 11 minutes, so go and boil the kettle)........you will love what you can do with the mini circle punch too!



Please check out:
Beth's blog (see her FANTASTIC candle stamping technique IMMEDIATELY, its brilliant!)
Crafty Devils - a superb range of punches for you to drool over, actually - the whole shop is your credit cards best friend ;)
Tonic Studios - what can I say, great range of products with a list of your local stockists.

And so onto tonight.
I was going to go over to my mums because Ellie was missing me (she is there on a wee break) but an avalanche of work came in at lastminute.com. This meant I was staying home another day. Mark suggested going to the pictures for a spell away from my work and seeing as it was Orange Wednesday, I agreed to finally got to see MY Kings Speech. I say MY because I think this is the film I was destined to see for my own guilty pleasure. Not only was MY Colin Firth in it but also MY Helena Bonham Carter. Im sorry but they are both MINE. I love them both the mostest and seeing as I was in sniffing distance of Colin Firth a few weeks back, he certainly has me enchanted more over than your average idol crush.

Orange Wednesday = packed out cinema even though the film has been out for weeks and weeks. But still, I was there to be enthralled and by god, it was bloody magnificent. It had an equal balance of laughter, dismay, sadness and triumph; all of which was beautifully filmed. I felt every emotion and every movement in the film, I really did. And it is MINE to own and I will fight you for it. Nobody can claim it and nobody could love it more than I do. I think it was, secretly, made just for me.

NOTE: Anyone who has seen it, the profanity part made me burst out laughing so hard that I think I scared the man next to me who, by the way, hogged my left elbow space. I hate this stupid "one arm rest rule" at cinemas. Next time, I'll take my machette and lob off unwanted elbow-age.

ALSO
Im now teaching at the SCRAPSTARS even in Leeds at the beginning of April. Please check out this link here for more info. It promises to be a superb crafting weekend retreat and the class I have in mind is a lovely treasure.

PS: Don't forget to check out the offer below, which runs out on FRIDAY x

20 Feb 2011

Ribbon Offer - Slurp, clap hands, drool

Keith, at Fantastic Ribbons, didn't give his website that name for nothing.
Oh no he didn't.
His ribbons truly are fantastic and for this week ONLY you can buy 16 rolls of ribbon in its own super duper dispenser for £15 instead of £25.....that's less than a quid a roll!

You know how much that is going to make a great gift (for yourself, obv). It is listed as £25 but rest assured that 40% will be taken off at checkout....you have my word!

Check out this tempting offer here but hurry - its only for 7 days!

You still here?

18 Feb 2011

Metal/Canvas project and WINNER!

Its my day (the 19th) over at Tattered Angels and, this month, the theme is metal. Ok, foil is not technically a metal but Im sure alloys count! I used the ten second studio stuff which is pretty amazeballs and ran it through a cuttlebug folder to achieve that herringbone effect. It ended up being maxed out with ink, glaze and glam paint (along with the canvas) plus those little flower too. the colours I chose were orange, blue and green..... colours that scream to me whenever I visit the harbour at my mum and dads. Namely rusty hulls of boats floating in greeny blue waters. **sigh**
Damn the Glossy Accents taking AGES to dry in my super not-warm room. There is a line from a book I cut inside reading "treasured like gold dust". It will appear over the next millenium, at this rate!


Its quite possibly my favourite ever project, aptly named "Believe in yourself" and quite the reminder for my recently bruised soul.

And the winner of the letrajet is........REBECCA! Hooray, email me your details my loves x

Little sneak

For about a week, on and off, I have been working on a metal/canvas piece for Tattered Angels. Let me tell you, it's been a right labour of love.

I want to share you a sneak before it goes live tomorrow.

What I am not sharing with you, is the state of my craft room.
Its a total and utter pig sty.

17 Feb 2011

Promarker - other fun uses

Im still trying to find ways to stretch out the use of my pens. One tip came from a lady visiting our stand at CHA (she was all the way from Aus and swears by Tria - the professional range of Promarkers) and another tip came the dire need of spending less on every colour bling!



Then I have a video showing you how I shade. I am not the Promarker guru, though! I just believe that sometimes, there are easier or quicker ways of doing stuff and moreover, a person that believes that when it comes to splashing out on every colour pen - its best to do it in sensible stages (ie not buy every tonal range of one colour, when one pen can do that for you!) So take a look at my beginner skin tone colouring and see how easy it actually can be



For more advanced colouring - you must check out this tutorial here. I LOVE IT! Waaaaay better than mine. Wow - all these techniques just make me want to learn more and more!

PS: I want to re-direct you to this blog here to show you what my adorable friend Darcy did for my birthday last week. I am very very lucky!

PPS: Lastly - the giveaway for the letrajet is still open two posts below. Enter to win or don't to not! Heeeeeee xx

16 Feb 2011

New Stamps and some useful info

I don't think I'm going to be a huge stamp seller but I wanted to just "have a go". I already draw and design stamps for PI, but that's only twice a year and now, I want to fill the time between. One stamp set Ive had manufactured is the pos and neg of this:
Imagine my horror when I saw that Maya Road have something similar out at CHA. But I think you will find they are not the same. I also think you know what I am talking about, in light of recent events. Ugh.

This leads me on to common trends. I'm not sure if you know but twice a year, you can subscribe to a Trend Predictions campaign that pave the way for what will be popular "design wise". Their predictions will be utilised by fashion designers, interior designers, graphic designers etc etc. They set the trend for wall papers, stationery, fabrics and images etc. For instance, two years ago, owls were prevalent and you saw them everywhere - T shirts, decals, stationery, scrapbook pages etc. This year its about the cameos (or silhouettes to some people). And so you will see these everywhere this year, if not already. And then you will get the gossip that stems from that, such as "huh, she copied her. He copied them etc". What you find useful to know is that trend prediction sites inspires these different walks of designers and that nobody, is in fact, copying. Unless its downright inch for inch plaguerism - I refer to this event of late where a well known stationery shop were sued for copyright infringement.

And also, don't forget that there is public domain imagery. Like the Alice in Wonderland images, for instance.
They were drawn decades ago and the copyright has since expired. Therefore, people have a right to use public domain images both privately and commercially without infringement. Thankfully. They are excellent resources for a whole host of things - namely archival work, mixed media, collage, research etc

Also you can buy into commercial free imagery at stock photo sites. Many times you may see a few things in the shops or on Etsy/Ebay - perhaps clothing lines and even commercial literature that look exactly the same. And its worth knowing that designers will buy the royalty free imagery to use as they see fit without consequence to their reputation as a designer/seller.

Then don't forget Commons Creative licenses. Some designer allow you to use their images but may request you give credit to them. And so you should. And often, I do......if I use them.

I'm warning you now, its worth doing your homework when it comes to doing projects that will be seen by the public and how the whole royalty free and commercial free legislation works ;)

And really, Ive only explained myself so you can be in receipt of the facts before potential hysteria runs amock.

**new promarker video coming later this evensong**

14 Feb 2011

Pixie cut and giveaway

About 5 years ago I had my hair very short and I swore blind Id never do it again. But I get to the stage in my hairiness where it just needs lobbing right off.
Mark doesn't like me with short hair but it wasn't to spite him. It was just to refresh or perhaps renew. Or maybe affirm my mid life crisis. He is getting used to it now though, although my relief did come by the way of Ellie who clasped her hands together with glee. **melt, melt**
This pic was taken on Saturday, when I got back from the cut. Happy to say the filter on this photo finish makes me look way younger than, cough cough, forty. I still hate typing that number - its rude!
Its pixie-ish one side and kind of bobbed the other. Its freakishly weird in one sense, and cut beautifully in the next breath. I get gasps from the people that know me in this area - possibly from the shock of the red, to be fair! But its growing on me (litereally!....heeeee) and will only take a year to grow it back to my normal, safe "mom" bob style.

By the way, I have a giveaway.
I forgot to mention it with the post below so I'm mentioning it now. Remember the fancy schmancy video I did with the letrajet? Well I'm giving away a letrajet air brush system (just the system, not the air cannister, but they are relatively cheap to buy) for you to attach to your Promarkers. You can't use it without a Promarker, just warning. I'll announce the winner on Friday so you have plenty of time to leave a comment.

Tomorrow I have another video to share of Promarker uses plus toning and shading. I know some of you know how to do it but I want to share how I do it with just the one colour as opposed to two or three. I'm even going to use the blender tool.....with all of its magicalness.

13 Feb 2011

Alcohol without the hangover - video tutorial

When I nipped over to CHA last month with Letraset to show off Promarkers, I really did NOT want to sit all day colouring in stamps. I like colouring stamps but I don't LOVE it (I take my hat off to Jak Heath who is a rather great "colourer-inner"). What I do love about Promarkers (and Aquamarkers) are the other fun things you can do with them. I asked Letraset if they were cool with this and yes, they were!

I wanted to share you some of the techniques I demonstrated which captivated a new brand of customer base because, as you know, CHA is not just for cardmakers - it caters for illustrators, cartoonists, mixed media, painters and many craft hobbyists. I had to be diverse and boy did I have fun. And this afternoon, whilst making the video? Well, the kitchen smelled pretty much like a brewery..... I think I got a little high ;)

Below are some images of finished products using promarkers as a base......... can you believe that promarkers did those?

This metal sheet helped create the ATC below it


These prints here helped create the ATC below it


This inked piece of acetate helped create the ATC below it

These inked pieces here helped create the 2 ATC's below it

Now watch the video, below, to give you some idea how to stretch out their many uses and give your crafting a new lease of life - those chunky pens are worth their weight in gold, I kid you not.



Hope you enjoyed it :)

11 Feb 2011

Promarker Day

Are you ready to limber up and do something a bit diff with your Promarkers? Like, not just colour in stamps etc etc etc? Tune in tomorrow - I have a few fun ideas to use them in super coolio mess-your-fingers-up kinda way. Ill be making a few videos so am a: praying for good light and b: hoping the dog wont bark mid record! PLUS - there is an Letrajet Airbrush system to giveaway too, for you to squirt your pen inks into magical and majestical squirtiness

PS: Thank you for my birthday wishes, they made my week x

8 Feb 2011

oh cripes!

Look, some people welcome the big Four-Oh with relish.
But to me, the number 40 looks whopping on my CV.
It denotes middle age, it doesn't look attractive as 39.

I entered my 30's very over weight and blonde. I'm entering my 40's lot slimmer (but not super slim) and red. I entered the world bald and 7lbs 9oz - lol

I may or may not have crows feet.

I still don't know what to do with/in my life.

I'm happy but I could be happier.
Think I might make this happen seeing as I'm ripening and have my age to warrant the manicness that comes with old age.

Pics of me through the ages:
Cringing at this layout (fashionable circa 2005!) Thats me, my mum and dad. Oh my god - what is worse - old layouts or old photos?!

Me aged 5 - nice fringe. Nice collars.
Me at 16 - 7.5stones! I will NEVER be that weight again, sadly!
I think Im 32 here, after a huge weight loss. I am aiming to get back to this weight again, maybe this youth!
So there is the blonde above, brunette below (38 years old). I do like to faff!
And red - oh cripes. RED!!!!!! My mid life crisis hair.

Happy bloody 40th Birthday to me - gah! **runs away screaming into the night**

7 Feb 2011

Chewing on these

Milk Duds.
Oh my, these are the best things ever.
If anyone knows a store in the UK selling these, tell me immediately.
they are my fave and my best.

Spent today catching up on 775 emails and whittling them down to 23. The screen burned holes in my retinas. They ache. Im tired.

Then, I vegged (with my super shiny legs? huh?!)


got inspired


then walked the dog

in the windiest of wind

and imprisoned the little one the staircase jail


Quite productive actually.

T minus 23 hours to my 40th. Cry Cry.

5 Feb 2011

CHA 2011 and winner of ace markers!

This was my 3rd time at CHA this year but this particular occasion was different.

Different location (Donwtown LA) and different reason for being there (Demonstrating but not protesting....lol).

I was representing Letraset, showcasing their Promarkers, Trias and Aquamarker pens. The ranges are incredibly diverse and I wanted to show them working in unique and fun ways as opposed to just "colouring in stamps". I love colouring in stamps and images but these pens can do so much more. You know, CHA caters for more than the stamping sector- it also showcases products for illustrators, mixed media artists, scrapbookers, cardmakers and fine artists. This meant coming up with demonstrations to fit all of the above. However, this years show saw a plethora of new and exciting stamping companies as well as scrapbook manufacturers with heaving amounts of stamps in their ranges; it seemed like perfect timing for Letraset to be there.

The price point of Letraset in the US is favourable, allowing potential customer to get almost two pens for the price of one against its US competitors. The fact that Promarkers have considerably more ink in them also thrusts the potential of its growth into a frenzy. And with huge scrapping and crafting stars swooning over their "alcohol ink" style ability, it turns what is essentially a marker into a marker with a bit of oomph. With artists swooning at their brilliance, these markers were most definitely the buzz of the show. Letrasets newest fans range from Celine Navarro to Jen Starr, Julie Bergman (below)
and Brenda Pinnick to Cathy Allen and Creating Keepsakes including Nat Kalbach, Birgit Koopsen (below - love Birgit......one of my fave Dutchies)
and Natasja Verbeek ....all of them salivating at these new techniques and no doubt about to use them in other exciting ways and unlocking further potential. But why am I trying to convince you, you know how they work already!

Of course, at break times I got to walk the show a little. Not a lot but a little. And I barely took my camera because I didn't want to be a slave to it. I visited my most favourite stands including tattered angels (yum)
with Rachel of tattered angels
and Nat Kalbach (my new fave German!), Wendy Senger and Heidi Swapp all waving the flag for misty, mica mists. I went to see Basic Grey with Kelly (my sweet Kelly) and Studio Calico to meet up with my old teamies as well as April, Greg and baby Claire - possibly the most beautiful little baby girl in the world.......next to Ellie, of course. Whilst walking the floor, I handed out sample pens to many designers to trial but was most surprised to see Stampavie, at their beautiful stall, using every colour of Promarker already. Encouraging!

I loved Graphic 45, 7 gypsies and Unity and was most shocked to see October Afternoon ;) Hero Arts. Tsukineieko, magenta and hampton arts stole my heart as well a Margie Romney-Aslett's stall and Ranger, to briefly visit Dyan. Imaginisce have a ton of delish new things - I loved this on their stand:
I took pics at the DCWV stand which was heaving with stunning dress forms with clothing made from paper. In fact dress forms ruled the shows base designs.
Jolees Boutique's packaging is to die for - I think the needed the updated look to survive this often packaging snobby industry. Cameos are a HUGE trend this season and can be found at Jenni Bowlin and Hambly too.

Loved this on the Jolees stand. And in addition to Cameos, Canvas is also a huge trend on many of the stands I visited.

Sizzix had this incredible display that made me spill my coffee from the shock and awe.
Primas stand was gorgeous as ever but I got told off for taking pictures - meh, pooey. I got this, though ;)
I missed seeing American Crafts and sweet Rhonna Farrer (who I adore) but I did take a picture of one of the Pink Paislee/House of Three collab:
Ephiphany Crafts stand was gorgeous

And Melissa Frances didn't disappoint, either.

Maya Road was just across from our stand and I was slurping over these goodies - see, all canvas!


I did visit countless other stands but you know.....I was working, so photos are lacking of those ones!

And then after each day (of being on my feet for 8 hours solid), it was time to play and sample LA's finest. Oh man, the carb free diet went right out the window after day two. On day 1 I did have a caesar salad (fit for 45 people, as you know - the portions in the US are ENORMOUS) without the dressing. However, some Pinot Grigio did fall in my mouth and the odd bottle of Corona so I knew that I was pummeling my diet into the ground. **le sigh** I then went hell for leather with yummy food ranging from proper mexican food (not Taco Bell!) to the Cheesecake Factory with Maz, Rick, Simon and Amanda (poss the most fun night ever - I laughed so hard I thought I was going to die from it). The gang suprised me by telling the Staff that it was my birthday and I got this yummy delight - thanks guys xx
and then on to The Pantry for another night - a retro diner that has been open 24 hours a day for almost 7o years. Those potatoes really were that grey (puke!) The rest was lovely !
I ate out with Simon, my Letraset colleague, most nights and the poor fella has possibly been bored rigid with everything crafty that I involved him in. Plus I reeled fact after fact after fact to him that I think google might take a battering as a result, cos I dont think he even believed half of them. What can I say, I like facts. FACT. Oh talking of facts, I proved to Simon that I could shove 14 pringles in my mouth without choking to prove my amzingness but ih no he went one better with 15! Im practising a 16 pringle stack for the bext dry snack-off becuase I will not be beaten. Have you got a dry snack trick you might want to share?

I was also introduced to yoghurt land, possibly my most fave eatery in the world ever with fat free, gazillion flavoured yoghurts on top and not forgetting the gazillion toppings you can add. Current fave yog flavour is Red Velvet - hello?! The sooner the UK introduces this style of eatery, the better. I went along with my funny facebook friend, Heather Fuentes (Metrochic on forums) and along with her came Anam (who I have not seen for years and is now sporting a Canadian accent - loved it!) plus some girls from Craft Critique including Kelsey who I immediately got along with; her sense of humour rocks (and so do her re-puposed and hand made yummies). We had been in a proper american bar which, considering I have been to the states over ten times, was a first. Loved it.....great laughs.

Im sure im missing out more stuff that happened but I can always fill you in on those another time. Perhaps tomorrow, no?

PS: Colin Firth was on my plane on the way over (I now know he was there to pick up Best Actor for Kings Speech from the Screen Actors Guild). I stood behind him at Home Security. He is soooooooooo tall, with slightly chemically peeled looking skin and best of all he looked at me (prob thinking "jesus, you hair is soooooo red, little dwarfy girl). I tried edging nearer and nearer to him to get a sniff of him and he did smell a bit lush, even after a 12 hour flight). I do not think this behaviour is wrong - you would do it too!

PPS: I made it through to Britains Best Dish for the North West, being whittled down from hundreds to just 30. Filming starts in March and Im a nervous wreck. If you have ever watched the program, you will note that there are an awful lot of competitive amateur chefs who make uber foie gras this and fancy foofala that, in jenga styled presentations with a splash of gold leaf decor. I'm none of those things. I'm just a girl who likes to make wholesome, simple dishes - the ones that 1940's Britain survived on... the stuff that sticks to your ribs. You know, I don't profess to be amazing in the kitchen but when I do get to have a little experiment, I experiment in a way that will please my family. They like my dish, it creates sighs and oooohs and yums. My dish is a pud - a hearty, filling dish with no bells or whistle but as the saying goes "The proof of the pud is in the taste". I like to think that the producers who put me through my audition, a few weeks back, might agree too.

PPS: Any US readers who want to locate Letraset can either go to the US distributor here. UK readers? You can buy your Promarkers from most leading craft outlets in the UK.

PPPS: The winner of the 36 Letraset markers goes to BUMBLEBEE! Hooray!