Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile. We're not quantified; there's no chart of desire. When the roaring flames of your heart have burned down to embers, may you find that you have married your best friend. [Steven Tyler]

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tags and Stamps

As you know from previous posts, most of my time over the last few months has been devoted to looking after Diesel while his broken leg healed and although he was only in plaster and then bandages for about eight weeks following his operation I have had to have eyes in the back of my head to keep him out of mischief and prevent any further damage. Then the rehab, getting him out and about walking to build up the muscles and strengthen the tendons and the occasional swim to build stamina (I wasn't aware that needed building - he never stops). All in all it hasn't allowed for any concentrated bouts of crafting so I've been dabbling here and there.

When the weather has been nice enough for him to be outside in the garden I've taken my lap top out and worked from the patio table planning and designing new and exciting things and keeping my eyes on him at the same time.

Now that Diesel can be left more to his own devices again it's freed me up to do more of what I want to do when I want to do it and I have been creating in many different ways, with fabrics featuring heavily in my pieces but I'll share more of that in the future.

What I have enjoyed has been going back and revisiting my huge collection of beautiful wood mounted art stamps that I have been collecting since 1981. When I first found rubber stamping I was in Tampa, Florida and I started to bring stamps and stamping supplies home with me after every visit to the USA, believing that my new found passion might last a few years at the most before I found something else to replace it with. How wrong can you be?

We now have access to all sorts of rubber, acrylic, clear and foam stamps in the UK but I still love the feel of a quality wood mounted rubber stamp and those stamps that I bought thirty years ago are still as good today as they were the day I got them. So, I thought today I would show you a few art tags that feature some of my 'old' faithfuls. I've mixed them up with newer acrylic stamps, images from paper napkins and hand drawn border lines.

The main image here is by Acey Deucy, it's called 'Sweetbriar' and this is one of my all time favourites. I've layered a small tag onto a large tag and used the background stamp by Anna Griffin to unify the two tags.The hi-lighting on the face has been created by working on a white tag and leaving an area un-inked where I've stamped Sweetbriar's face, it gives quite an ethereal feel to the focal point.

A mix of acrylic and unmounted rubber stamps here featuring Classic Icons by TPC Studio, 7 Gypsies and Lost Coast's Chess Pieces stamped over torn musical score which has been aged with Ranger's Distress Inks. I've used a white gel pen to edge the tag and add some hi-lights. The butterfly is from a paper napkin.

The same Anna Griffin image as used in the first tag has been stamped in a very pale ink to create the background then over stamped with a sweet collection of floral and dotty wood mounted stamps from Elusive Images. The main image is called 'The Calligraphy Robe' by Stampington and I've added a butterfly and flower stem taken from a paper napkin applied with DecoPatch Glue/Varnish which you can now find at branches of HobbyCraft. Check out DecoPatch's tissue papers, they are Divine!

On this tag I started by stamping the background with a clear Prima alphabet collage stamp then added torn and aged musical score down one side. Lost Coast's 'Chess Piece' and 7 Gypsies 'Travel' clear stamps simply stamped with Archival Black ink. Finally, the face of the chess piece has been covered with Glossy Accents and some more paper napkin butterflies added.

The final tag has been completely covered with a musical score then aged with Distress inks. Sweetbriar, the chequered floor by Lost Coast and a little swirl have been stamped over the top and the tag is completed with a butterfly cut from a napkin and a white gel pen border.

I finished all of the tags by attaching a metal eyelet to the reinforcement hole and linked them all together with a silver book ring.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Diesel's Dog Days

Hello to all my Mum's bloggy friends.... Diesel here! I've been watching my Mum while she works on her lap top and I recon I can hack this blogging thing she does (occasionally). I'm very intelligent being a German Shepherd, my breed is consistently in the top three breeds of dog for intelligence you know so doing a bit of blogging should be a breeze. Ahhummm, let's get started before I get booted off of here so she can go surfing... I don't get that, she doesn't go to the beach to do it more's the pity, I love going to the beach.

I wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you who sent me good wishes and enquired about me when I broke my leg, you are all so lovely I'd like to send you a big lick in return.
It's been a long haul for me and my Mum, she's had to keep a very close eye on me and restrict my movements for ten weeks. That's not an easy thing to do because I love to run around and play and protect my family from people passing the house, especially those who have dogs with them... I don't like strange dogs on or near my property. I don't mind the nice little Staffy who lives next door, I never bark at her and occasionally I get to play with one of her toys if it comes over the fence.

Anyway, I digress.... while I had the pot on my leg I got sick with something else and my nose went all dry and crusty, then my lips began to go flakey and peel off and I was finding it hard to breath at night so Mum took me back to see Uncle Derrick (my nice vet who calls me some very funny names) and he told Mum that I have a nasty thing called PEMPHIGUS FOLIACEUS,
not nice at all. Apparently my anti bodies are fighting each other. It is a known immune condition in German Shepherds and anywhere the outer skin joins the inner skin is prone to attack so the eyes, ears, lips, nose, groin and nail beds can be affected. But I got some steroid tablets to take and hopefully it will get it under control and I won't have to stand still while Mum plasters the greasy stuff she calls Vaseline all over my nose.
My pot is off now and I have to have lots and lots of short walks (yipee) and I can go further and further as we progress. I'm allowed off my lead in the garden but not when we go in the big field as I might get a bit too over enthusiastic again as I love to chase the balls and run really fast and jump up really high to catch them. I can go swimming at the therapy pool too so things are getting much better and I don't have to go back to the vet's until August which is a shame really as they all know me so well now and make a big fuss of me. Even Uncle Derrick who calls me 'Whally' says I'm a nice 'Whally' and I never growl at him.... ever!

So that's where I'm at at the moment. I'm not liking all this wet weather we're getting here in the North East as I love to be out in the garden playing and chasing the birds and other critters who try to share my garden but at least while it's wet I can play on this lap top thingy. 
I shall say goodbye now and maybe I'll be able to come back again and let you know what I've been up to if Mum doesn't get angry with me for getting mud all over the little black buttons! I'm going to go and stare at her now until she gets the message that it's time to go walkies in the field.

Bye Bye to all my Bloggy Friends.... until the next time.

Love, hugs and licks......
Diesel x