Friday, 14 November 2014

Scandi bedtime story!

I'm playing along with the Waltzingmouse Stamps Pajama Party this month and I've even managed more than one challenge!

The first challenge is "Scandi tags" and although mine kind of evolved to be a bit more complex than I originally intended I think it probably still qualifies! I toyed with putting white faux stitching around the edge of the heart but decided that was yet more complexity so I skipped it in the end!

I reckon if you moved the button and snowflake to be central and punched a wee hole at the top of the heart that bit would make pretty Scandinavian-style hanging decorations for the tree, too!

Supplies from Waltzingmouse:
Stitched Tags dies
My Heart dies
Snowflake #2 die
Folk art medallion stamp set (for sentiment)
Offbeat backgrounds stamp set (chequerboard pattern)

Other supplies:
Adirondack Red Pepper ink
Wooden button
White crochet thread

The final challenge of a Pajama Party is always a "bedtime story" sketch and as I've been meaning to play with these big, ornately scripted Christmas sentiments and not getting round to it I leapt on the sketch's large central oval as the perfect kickstart.

Claire has cut files and dies that match the stamps in the Festive Foliage set but I quite like cutting out so I took the good old-fashioned scissor route. The design is flat enough not to need extra postage and dies or cut files would make mass production doable - hand cutting would mean you were a slave to cutting out for many evenings, I would think!

I gave myself a nightmare to photograph but die cutting the snowflakes from double-sided tape sheet and rubbing on Crystal glitter makes a really pretty, festive touch in real life. The dots are done with a regular hole punch with the tape/glitter and the frosty edge of the oval is just PVA glue applied with a paintbrush to hold the glitter.

Supplies from Waltzingmouse:
Tis the Season stamp set
Festive Foliage stamp set
Snowflake #2 die

Other supplies:
Decoart Glamour Dust glitter - Crystal
Detail gold embossing powder
Versamark
Distress ink - Barn Door
Versafine ink - Olympia Green
Double-sided tape sheet
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!





Thursday, 16 October 2014

You're fabulous!

I had fun playing with the current mixed media challenge at Splitcoast Stampers - a different style and I'm not eniely convinced about the finished product but I enjoyed playing anyway!

Lydia's "Pin up" theme challenged us to find a magazine image, cut it out and coat it in something like Mod Podge to make a mask. Mine came from an advert for a clothing catalogue that was a loose insert in the Radio Times!

I spritzed, stamped and sponged through dry wall tape with the mask in place. Then I added a bit of very pale Pan Pastel to tone down the bright white of the silhouette. I added a charcoal pencil outline and then scribbled right across, one side to the other with a paper stump to give that "whoosh" to the image.
Those stars made this almost impossible to photograph! They're glittery in the middle and coated in Glossy Accents so all the different reflection going on there made it tricky.

I used the bubble border stamp just to get a line to cut along for the wavy edge - I could have done it freehand but I toyed with the idea of having some of the stamped border before deciding I prefered the idea of a dramatic black strip along the edge.

This is a larger format card (5" x 7") - I found it surprisingly difficult to find an image that works as a silhouette at a smaller size!

Stamps:
Numbers border by Kaisercraft
Essential Messages by Hero Arts
Bubble Border by Lost Coast

Paper:
black and white

Ink:
Brilliance Graphite Black
Adirondack Raspberry
Dylusions spray ink Funky Fucsia

Other:
Charcoal pencil
Pan Pastel Magenta Tint
Dry wall tape
Hot pink glitter
Glossy Accents
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Autumn birthday

I should have been tidying my craft table at the weekend but of course I got distracted into playing instead! I've had some gilding flakes in my stash for ages and not really got round to playing with them (I got them from a friend when she de-stashed to move abroad and that's four years ago now!).

I covered a piece of card with double-sided tape sheet and burnished on some of the flakes. They're a nice warm mix of gold and copper tones with just touches of rose gold, silver and the odd blueish-green flake which made me think of autumn leaves so I decided to go that way. I die cut a horse chestnut leaf, accentuated the emossed lines left by the die with a Copic marker and coated it in Triple Thick glaze for an extra glossy finish. The glaze magnifies the sort of "veining" you get from the flakes which seemed perfect for a leaf.

I thought it would be fun to have the very matt finish of Pan Pastels contrasting with  the glossed flake on the leaf and combined them in a clean and simple design. I decided on a whim to introduce a third finish by adding little dots cut from scraps of the gilded cardstock, leaving them with no glaze. I seem to have a bit of a thing for scattered dots as a finishing touch at the moment!

I'm hooking up with the current Pan Pastels challenge which is "autumn" - a lovely theme if you fancy playing along (no requirement to use Pan Pastels or other Premium Craft Brand products, it's just that I often use it as a push to use the Pans I have).

Supplies:
Leaf dies by Impression Obsession
Confetti die by Mama Elephant
Say It All stamp set by Hero Arts
Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate by Tsukineko
Pan Pastels (Burnt Sienna, Burnt Sienna Shade, Burnt Sienna Tint)
Spectrafix Degas  fixative
Easy Metal gilding flakes by Eberhard Faber
Triple Thick Gloss Glaze by Deco Art 
Pinflair Glue Gel
Double sided tape sheet (151 brand, try your local £1 shop!)

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Hello!

Gah, what happened to September?! I had a holiday in August so I can excuse myself for that absence but September is another matter!

I've been doing a bit of crafting but nothing I could share. I've just managed a bit of time at the stamping table for a clean and simple card for the current That's Crafty challenge which is to keep it simple. That's Crafty is one of my regular shopping haunts but I tend to forget they host a challenge, too!

These Doc Martens are fun for masculine cards, maybe even for those pesky teenagers! I masked them so
that I could let them overlap the stencilled strip that's acting as an "anchor". As it's a slightly grungy design, I stamped the numbers border through the stencil, figuring that if it didn't make perfect contact at the edges that would be fine (it's actually pretty good, the stencil is not too thick). I doodled round the chevrons as well to make that border a bit more defined.

I finished it off with a few dots of Enamel Accents (not because I needed to cover up a stray ink smudge; who could think such a thing?).

Stamps:
Doc Marten Boots by Deep Red Stamps
Numbers border by Kaisercraft
Essential Messages by Hero Arts

Ink:
Versafine Onyx Black
Distress Mowed Lawn

Other:
Hearts and Arrows stencil by Crafter's Workshop
Black fineline marker
Enamel Accents

Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a lovely weekend!



Friday, 8 August 2014

Paperbabe summer blog hop!

Welcome to  the Paperbabe Stamps Summer Blog Hop featuring new stamps... Kim is Paperbabe's owner and designer and she's invited some of her stampy friends to play with some new stamp designs!

The new release includes "Folk Fabrique", "Doll Face", "Mayleedee Little Red", "Mayleedee Frost Fairy" and "Dillon Frost Sprite" which are available at Etsy and the WebShop.

Be sure to stop by PAPERBABE if you are just beginning the hop to see the endless possibilities with these new stamps and to leave your comments along the way... as there are some fabby prizes to be had! To celebrate there will be the ENTIRE release and a very special not yet released rubber stamp up for grabs to a very lucky winner! 

I've been playing with the lovely Folk Fabrique set and have three projects to share with you - all quite different from each other!

First up, of course I had to make a card. I experimented with stamping the peacock outline in a light coloured ink and then stamping the more solid coloured shapes. I liked the result but then hit on an even "cleaner" way to use the outline - I stamped in black on a sheet of paper and then put it on a lightbox with my cardstock over the top. Hey presto - visible outline to guide the solid stamps but no actual marks on the cardstock! Of course, I did my own thing a bit, extending some of the tail feathers and adding an extra little flourish at the side. Thats one of the beauties of stamps like these - infinite possibilities!

I used a Spica glitter pen to add the lighter turquoise colours so there's some sparkle, too.

The elegant little sprigs looked perfect for a bit of faux cloisonne to me so my second project is a pendant made with three layers of black UTEE, Perfect Pearls in Sour Apple and Blue Raspberry and a bit of gold ink. I finished off with a layer of Triple Thick (I find it better that Glossy Accents over an embossing enamel surface).

The base is a simple chipboard shape cut with a steel rule die and hole punched with a Crop-a- Dile. Scrap mountboard is perfect for this kind of thing and can often be obtained very cheaply or even for nothing if you catch your local framing shop in the right mood - just ask if they have any spare offcuts.

And finally I couldn't resist taking the name of the set at face value and stamping on fabric. Lots of the stamps in the set lend themselves to pattern building - I chose the lotus flower and made a lavendar bag (it could just as easily be a little gift bag though - you could make a faux cloisonne pendant and pop it inside!). 

I used a Memento marker to shade the inner part of each petal just slightly and finished with a row of gold dimensional paint dots across the middle row.

From here, the next stop along the way is the talented Kim Dellow.  

If you didn't "begin at the beginning" and you'd like to see what everyone else has been up to, here's where you want to be to follow the hop:

Kim Costello
Chris (DT)
Kerrie (DT)
Lady (DT)  
Delphine (DT)
Jackie (DT)  
Sandie 
Katy  
Joanne (you are here!)  
Kim Dellow
Tricia  
Paperbabe Stamps 

Thanks for joining us! Winners will be announced on the Paperbabe Blog on the 15th when the newest challenge will also be starting! You have until the 13th to hop along leaving comments for the chance to win!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Summer treat postcard

We're having one of our occasional postcard swaps on the Bubly Funk forum with the theme "summer treats". My original thoughts were overtaken by the current mixed media challenge on Splitcoast Stampers where Tiffany has asked us to mix colouring media with glue and use it on our projects - I thought it would make great melting icecream!

Childhood summer holidays without icecream would be unthinkable and I suspect it's one of those summer treats we never really grow out of! I mixed acrylic paint with my glue and dribbled it over embossed cardstock to look like strawberry or raspberry icecream melting over the edge of a waffle cone. Thickly dribbled glue takes ages to dry but once it has it's shiny and has some texture along with the kind of tiny little air bubbles you might find in real melting icecream!

Stamps: Essential Messages by Hero Arts

Paper: white, kraft, dark chocolate, vellum

Ink: Versamark, Distress Tea Dye

Other:
PVA glue
Fresco Finish acrylic paint (Orchid)
Detail white embossing powder
Fiskars texture plate
Corner Chomper
Sewing machine and thread
Sequins
Pinflair Glue Gel


Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Here comes summer!

For this month's postcard swap on UKStampers, Sam has asked us to include wheels. I thought of summer road trips and this surfer couple in their convertible seemed like the perfect set of summer wheels!

I had some fun with a shaving foam marbled background for a retro, tie-dye look and coloured the car and the stripe down the surfboard to match the vibrant shades. As usual, it has no embellishments so it can go through the post with no envelope when we swap.

If you've never tried it - shaving foam backgrounds are fun and each piece will be unique. Just squirt a layer of  foam onto your craft mat (or other surface that's easy to wipe down). It doesn't need to be a particularly thick layer - I tend to squirt some foam and then use an old credit card to spread it out a bit. Add drops of reinker to the surface of the foam and then swirl with something like a bamboo skewer or thin paintbrush handle. Press a piece of card onto top, making sure you get contact with the inky foam all over the piece and then lift - it will look a big gooey mess at this stage! Scrape the inky foam off (I use the credit card again) and you'll have a marbled background. Wipe with a tissue or kitchen roll to remove any last traces of foam and then just leave it to dry and you can stamp on it directly or use it as a background piece.

I used Distress ink here but any dye ink is fine and alcohol inks work too - I've never tried it with pigment inks but I don't see why not. Try to choose colours that won't get too "muddy" in any areas where they mix together as you swirl.

This is actually the second background from one lot of foam - I just smoothed over the surface with the credit card after lifting the first one and added a few more drops of the inks, swirled again and pressed a second piece of cardstock on there. The first one had a little bit of Perfect Pearls as well as the ink - I'll use it for something in the future, I just happend to prefer the swirl pattern on this one for the postcard.

Stamps:
The Beach (retired CHF)

Paper: Smooth white

Ink:
Distress reinkers in Spiced Marmalade and Picked Raspberry
Brilliance Graphite Black

Other:
Shaving foam
Copic markers
Tracing Wheel
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Pastel blooms

Back in slightly more comfortable territory today after my foray into tags! I like to go back to basics with a one layer card sometimes so when I saw the current Hero Arts challenge (open through August 10th if you want to play!), I decided to play along. It's a  super-simple card with no embellishments or fancy techniques, just because the mood took me that way!

I've used the lovely Hero Arts Etched Flowers stamp and as these look like wild roses to me, I'm linking to the current Pan Pastels challenge, too (Roses are a girl's best friend).

I was lucky enough to be first out of the hat in a recent Pan Pastels challenge and part of my prize was a pan of Magenta Tint - a super-pretty shade that inspired the colour scheme for this soft, feminine card. I stamped in a really light green ink and then coloured the whole flower shape with a layer of the PanPastel to give me a base. One of the beauties of PanPastels is that it's really easy to erase if you get colour where you don't want it! I used Derwent pastel pencils (which rarely see the light of day, I'm ashamed to say) to add shading and colour the leaves and centres. It's a good idea to have an "index" image of the stamp to hand when you do this kind of colouring - it helps you focus in on the pale lines of the stamped image. I added some extra definition and "direction" to the petals with light strokes of a white Posca pen.

A quick spritz of fixative stopped me smudging or over-working the image and once that was dry I added a hint of background colour with Phthalo Green Tint and accentuated the flowers with a "halo" of blue pastel pencil. As I did a "lazy" background (ie just swiped colour right over the leaves) they ended up a wee bit too muted so I added a bit more pastel pencil. A couple of scored lines and rounded corners are my only concessions to "tools" here!

I thought the elegant lines of the Waltzingmouse sentiment went well with the delicate feel of the flowers.

Stamps:
Etched Flowers (Hero Arts)
Sentiment from Big Day Today (Waltzingmouse Stamps)

Paper: Hahnemuhle Bamboo Mixed Media 

Ink:
Adirondack Willow
Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate

Other:
PanPastels (Magenta Tint, Phthalo Green Tint)
Derwent Pastel pencils
White Posca pen
Spectrafix Degas fixative
Corner Chomper
Scor-It

Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Tag - you're Blu!

I'm a bit tag challenged - they never seem to work out quite right for me and I find photographing them difficult too! But in the spirit of doing things we find hard by way of learning, I thought I'd play along with this month's Indigo Blu challenge which is Tag -You're It!

I decided to throw a new technique into the mix to make sure I really was playing the learning game - I've never done Polished Stone so I had a go at that. I don't have any metallic reinker but I found that just dabbing a Dew Drop pad onto the card a few times worked fine - the alcohol spreads it out so you don't see the shape in any case. I added a little Funky Fucshia Dylusions to my cotton ball after the first pass and added that just to the lower part of the cardstock and then die cut the tag.

Now my problems started! I stamped the Stylised Flowers in Brilliance ink and took half the surface of the paper off when I lifted the stamp - eek! I liked the look of the background enough to persevere though so I decided to use a fine brush and black acrylic paint to go over the image and give it a slighty more "hand painted" look. I added white dots with a Posca pen and also went down the sides of the stalks.

No idea why I then decided to do more stamping but this time it worked fine - maybe the surface was just a bit tacky when I stamped the flowers (I'm not noted for my patience at the craft table!). I stamped around the edges in silver with the flourish stamp and then the grasses along the base in black.

I added a rub-on word, a button and some organza ribbon for a fairly simple treatment at the top (finishing the top of a tag is always one of my issues - whatever I do, it never looks right to me!). The button was originally gold so I painted it black and gave it the Rub n Buff treatment to fit the colour scheme.

Stamps (all Indigo Blu):
Stylised Flowers
Nature 1
Vintage Flourish

Ink:
Brilliance Graphite Black and Starlight Silver
Reinker: Distress Tumbled Glass and Salty Ocean
Dylusions Funky Fucshia

Paper: glossy white

Other:
Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs Words
Sizzix/Tim Holtz Tag Collection dies
White Posca pen
Upholstery button
Black acrylic paint
Rub n Buff - Silver Leaf
Organza ribbon
Isopropyl alcohol

Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Circle of Life

I haven't managed to play along in the postcard swap at UK Stampers for ages. I had such fun finger painting circles and doodling for my last card that I thought I'd try a quick postcard with the same technique and sneak in under the wire for this month's swap.

Sam wanted to see circles and stars for this month's cards. I made painty circles (there's a tutorial here) on an old book page (I'm still working my way through the paper ephemera pack that a local business puts together from books that are not in a fit condition for resale - this one seems to be the tale of the magic ass from a children's book!). The sentiment is heat embossed to make sure it would be dense enough to stand out well on the busy background.

I used punched stars in a couple of sizes as templates to draw the stars and then filled in with doodling (so I'm linking up the Daring Cardmakers again). Then I brushed on some diluted Dylusions to colour the while thing, avoiding the stars and some of the small circles.

Stamp: Journaling Words by the Artistic Stamper
Paper: old book page (on white card for stability)

Ink: Versamark

Other:
NeoColour II water soluble crayon
Acrylic paints
Fiskars star punchies (used to doodle round)
Black detail embossing powder
Dylusions spray - Funky Fuchsia
Fineline marker


Thanks for stopping by!