Wednesday, December 18, 2013


So, I was in a challenging kind of mood.

In the mood for a challenge!

I found just what I was looking for over at the Crafting Ireland blog. 

The task, make a bookmark, using at least one kind of paint and an image from a magazine.

Here's the specific post... sponsored by the lovely people over at Mixed Media Place.

 Step one - I painted a piece of kraft card with DecoArt 'warm White' acrylic paint.

Step Two - I thought I'd use some multi-medium to create a bit of a resist effect. So, I smeared a bit of it through a lovely Studio Calico stencil I have.

Resist closeup

Step Three - I then sprayed it all with some Dylusions spray.

Then used a babywipe to take off a lot of the spray.

Step Four - Annoyingly we tend to recycle our magazines about a nanosecond after we finished them, so I didn't have a lot of choice when it came to finding something to incorporate. I decided to cut out the word 'Home' from this flyer.

Step Five - Distressed the word and also painted a little chipboard bird.

Step Six - I stamped 'Home Bird' all over the bookmark. I also smeared a little texture paste (which had blue paint added to it) randomly about.

I finished the bookmark up with some bird stamps from Dyan Reavely and some bakers twine/ribbon through a punched hole in the top.

I'm quite happy with it I'll boastfully admit - but to be honest I realised afterwards I shouldn't have added the chipboard bird - it's too dimensional for a bookmark! I'll be leaving dents in my pages!

There you go! Hope you like it :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gelli Prints and DecoArt Fun :)

The universe has been listening. It heard that my gelliplate has become most most favouritest thing in the whole world.

In fairness it would  have been quite hard for the Universe to have missed this fact. In fact, I suspect the Universe has been banging on it's ceiling with a brush handle, yelling at me to keep it down.

But, holding no grudges, she - the Universe is a woman, right? - sent me a wonderful surprise a month or so ago.

I got an email from the lovely people at DecoArt paints, asking me to do a little design team work for them with their fab acrylic paints and my beloved Gelli plate. I.Was. Delighted. Delighted :)

But I got a little bit of performance anxiety. I didn't want to disappoint. Such lovely, lovely paints and now (after a trip to the Hobbycraft fair in Birmingham) also a new GIANT Gelliplate. It was nearly overwhelming.

But, telling myself to cop on, I eventually dived in...

Here are the current results. I hope you like them :)

I grabbed a few fallen leaves from the Acer tree in the back garden and this is what I got :)

My Dad saw keyholes and I saw trees. I think he's right though.

Broke out a few of my old favourite hand-cut stencils for this one. Loving the pink palette.

The first of two Poppies studies. Love poppies. And the colour teal. This print has it all!

Those poppies again. But more multicolored. I love colour. Loads of it. I guess I'm just  not a subtle person :)

So, there you go. I'm hoping to try producing some videos of my process soon. I tried before but my camera kept falling over. Any and all tips on making videos very happily received!

See you next time :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gelli Madness

So I just dropped off the face of the earth, didn't I?

My cyber disappearance coincided with a trip my husband took to Texas.

There had been a travel freeze in his company for three years, so he'd been going nowhere. But, back in June, that all changed. And off he went to Austin, Texas. And he didn't just bring a change of clothes with him. He brought a crafty shopping list as long as your arm with him!

Oh the things I ordered.

From Jo-Ann's!

From Michaels!

From Hobby Lobby!
The haul!

It was glorious! Only next to actually being able to go there myself and browse the shelves myself, it was the best crafty thing to ever happen to me :)

Well, that is until he came home. And one of the things I had him buy me, well, it's changed my crafting world!

That's a pretty big statement, isn't it?

But it's true.

So, what was this thing he bought me?

A Gelli plate.

Maybe that doesn't sound like much - what's so great about a synthetic gelatin monoprinting plate I hear you cry! Well, maybe you just got to try it to understand...

Here's a link to the official Gelli Arts website -

Watch a few videos. You'll be hook on the idea in no time :)

So, basically, that's all I've been doing for the last six months. I'm not actually kidding. My scrapbooking has fallen very far behind :( I still love it so very much, but the whole gelli printing has kinda got out of hand! Y'see, I made so many prints I decided recently to open my very own Etsy Shop. (RublilyArt) And boy, that takes time. And I've been doing a few craft fairs too. Busy, busy busy! But I'll be back to my scrapping soon :)

Anyway, here are a few of my prints! This is what the fuss is all about :)

Some of them I painted on top of an initial gelli print, some I used my own hand-drawn and cut stencils.  And some had brushwork, stencils and then stamping! And some were just layer after layer of the prints themselves. The possibilities are endless :)

I will be posting more scrapping layouts soon. But there's going to be a lot of Gelliprinting too! Brace yourselves!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Journaling Journey

I haven't been posting much this month as I haven't created many new layouts. This isn't because I've not been crafting, nope - it's because I am in my bi-annual phase of filing layouts, finishing journaling, and all general boring scrapping admin that I usually put off until my scrap room is about to explode.

And, as usual, as I filed my layouts, I got distracted looking over old pages, reading the journaling and generally tripping down memory lane...

But I spotted a problem.

A big problem.

Obviously I have a goldfish brain. Because, there were multiple layouts where the journaling began - "There's no particular story behind this picture...." Disaster! Once or twice, sure, not the end of the world, but three or four layouts in, not good! It was so prevelant that I was considering creating a new three letter acronym of NPS - 'no particular story' for my pages!

So, there was only one thing for it - I had to redo the layouts!

Handily enough this journaling disaster has coincided with another scrapping development. I've taken to listening to the Paperclipping Roundtable podcast. I'm new to this podcast, so I have practically the entire past three years of shows to binge on. And it's wonderful! In a country where there are about three and half scrapbookers (and so therefore so few people you can obsessed about scrapping with) it is bliss to get to listen to an hour show where all they talk about is the minutia of the hobby.

Anyway one little gem I took away from the show was about journaling. Someone said always journal what you will want to remember in years to come. Now, you know, this might sound obvious to everyone else but me. And it does sound obvious when I look at it here. But, my journaling tends to be a bit ropey. Sure, when there is an obvious story to tell, I'm grand. But if it's subtler, I tend to be a bit lost. I end up sounding like a Hallmark employee. Will I really want to read in twenty years time 'Oh darling you look so cute in this picture!' a few hundred times? I doubt it. Between 'gee, you look cute' and 'no particular story' it was all a bit of a mess. And to think my other interest is writing! And I've been paid for it repeatedly! (shakes head in dismay.)

So, what I did...

I redid the layouts. And I looked again at the pictures and thought about what I would really like to read in the future. And suddenly the photos went from cute but storyless to gateways to my thoughts and feelings and a record I will be delighted to have written down in twenty years and a record I will be delighted for my children to read when they are grown.


So, here are a couple of the layouts I redid. Unforutntely I only thought to do a 'before' and 'after' when I got to the second one. So, with the first layout, imagine it with pointless journaling and lots of different paper that had to be ripped out to get rid of the stoopid platitudes.

This is the layout without the 'before'.

I am so happy now with the above layout - the journaling (all about how I was the only girl, and wish I had a sister and how delighted that they have each other) replaced pointless whittering which no-one would have been interesting in reading, even myself.

The second layout....

Before - 

 After -

The journaling here - which was completely absent before - is now a record of nine things she was doing at nine months. Lots of little annecdotes and memories that I would have otherwise forgotten. Am thrilled.

And just before I go - on a totally unrelated note, a link for Terri! (You know who you are :)

The Poetry Divas

I first speak at the third verse - the one that begins 'My squashy cushions'! Lol!

Bye for now!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Subliminal Scrapping

 It's Sketchbook365 challenge time again!

Here's the link to May's sketch

Unlike last month, I don't have a pictorial record of how I created the layout. Why? Mainly because I didn't realise I was creating a layout based on the sketch at the time. Sound odd? Well yes, it is! Basically, I was staring and staring and staring at the May sketch all month, but just wasn't inspired.

And then a day or so ago I sat down at my desk and was just pottering about, throwing a few pictures, papers and embellishments together. When I looked down happily at the completed layout I started thinking - 'That looks familiar.' And indeed it did - it is basically the sketch, flipped!  My first recorded subliminal scrapbooking experience!

And to think my husband claims I 'm obsessed with scrapbooking - whatever could have given him that idea...

Hope you like it :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sketchy Details

Sketchbook365 challenge

I've been meaning for a while to join in with the fun on the Sketchbook365 challenge blog, but lacking the focus of most normal humans, I've only just got to it now. 

Usually I love a sketch challenge, but with this one, I found it more difficult to access my creative mojo - it was more like a creative dodo, as in, dead as a...

The Sketch!

So, here is the sketch the team at Sketckbook365 gave us this month ...

You agree, tricky. Cause, you don't want to just plonk down a house layout. You want to give it a personal twist. But the house image is so strong, that doing your own thing is challenging! 

I guess that's why it's called a challenge then.

So, I decided to just mess about with my messy scrappy stuff and see what happen... And here is my finished layout...

 The Layout!

Close Up

Below is a pictorial account of how the page came together! (Well, except for a few steps towards the end where my phone ran out of charge and I missed some pictures... but you're creative people, you can imagine those bits :)

The Process!

And ta da! the layout again :)

So, there we go, I've popped my sketchbook365 cherry ;) Hoped you liked it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Albatross Project

So, I mentioned my giant scrapping project last post.

Let me elaborate...

We went on holidays last year to Tuscany and had a fabulous time. There were tears from the eldest child he was so sad to be leaving. I was nearly bawling too. It was that good. So, when I came home and reviewed the 700 pictures I had taken, there was no way practically (or emotionally!) I could reduce this down to the ten or so as I would normally scrap for our annual holiday.

What to do?

I decided to make a whole album to cover the holiday. I managed, with great difficulty to reduce the numbers of pictures I wanted to work with down to 60. Mammoth task! I normally do about 60 layouts for the year! And just to make matters for challenging, I decided to give myself just three weeks to complete it all.

That's the introduction to 'The Albatross Project'! So-called as the campsite we stayed at was called Park Albatross and because it was such a big task I hoped it wouldn't become an albatross around my neck!

I'll explain how I went about undertaking this massive project in my next post.

In the meantime, here are a couple of layouts I finished just before the Tuscan hills took over my scrappy life...

"Are We Having Fun Yet???" - freezing 'fun' watching Leinster play Montpellier.

Ru and her sports day. Probably the last medal she'll win. She maintains the fine family tradition of being useless at sport!

Till next time!

Happy New Year!! Er...

Isn't it dreadful. This is my first post of the year. And it's April!!

So, multiple choice quiz!

Question - What will Tríona's excuse be today for why she hasn't been blogging?

a) She'd been too busy crafting?

b) The weather's been so awful that the light has been so dreadful so no good pictures could be taken?

c) She's a busy mammy of four who is also, when she's not crafting, writing two books simultaneously and has an ulcer to nurse?

d) The dog ate her homework?

e) All of the above?

And yes, indeed, it is answer e!

Well, except we don't have a dog.

But I have managed to find one solution to the problems outlined above, I've fallen madly in love with Instagram. Take a picture, and sure, if the light isn't quite good enough for it to be a great photo, just apply a filter. Hey presto, a rubbish picture is suddenly interesting and arty. So you may notice that a lot of the pictures I'm going to upload today are of a quirky, square Instagram kind.

Canvases. I've become obsessed with creating multimedia canvases. I don't really have anywhere to put them, so perhaps I'll have to give my Etsy shop a proper go and see if anyone else would like them!

More multimedia fun! Dylusions sprays, modelling paste, stencils, pearlescent medium, bleach, acrylic paints. At least this one has a home with me (even if it is in the downstairs loo!)

More original artwork for the downstairs toilet! A poem by a friend of mine about how men don't change the loo roll. Well, it's a bit more sophisticated than that :) I've had a lot of fun creating the stamped and inked frame around the poem. It got the rare husband seal of approval too.

And no prize for quessing what colour the downstairs loo is painted...

Okie dokie. Well, that wasn't too hard - I've finally kicked off my 2013 blogging. I hope I'll be back soon to tell you all about a giant scrapping project I've been undertaking.

Talk soon!
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