Saturday, 22 March 2014

Passage of time

Another slightly messier style card from me today - I did balance out a bit with a wide border though! This is a 6" square card and the mixed media panel is 4" square in the middle.

I've combined this week's Splitcoast Stampers Mixability challenge (use book print on your project) with the current Pan Pastel UK Challenge blog challenge to use three textures.

I used modelling paste with some plastic canvas. Once it was dry, I stamped the time sentiment with Versamark and used  Pan Pastel to colour over the paste and the stamping.

My second texture is the part circle cut from gold mountboard and dry embossed and the third is the star which is punched from tomato paste tube and beaten up with an embossing stylus then coloured with a Copic marker for a more copper tone. I used the same marker to make some neutral sequins and tiny pearls look coppery, too.

My French primer text came from the pack of paper ephemera I bought ages ago from a local trader who makes them up by putting together pages from books that are beyond hope in terms of being sold whole.

Clocks 3 by PaperArtsy
Essential Messages by Hero Arts

Paper: white and bitter chocolate

Ink: Versamark and Versafine Vintage Sepia

Maimeri Light Modelling Paste
Tomato paste tube metal
Fiskars squeeze punch - star
Uber embossing folder
Watch face
Nail art pearls
Pan Pastel - Burnt Sienna Shade
Old book page
Scor-It board
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Another mono printing adventure!

While thinking about mono printing for the current Craft Stamper challenge, I had an idea that might get me round my patterned paper problem - what happens if I incorporate a focal point on the print itself by using masks, I wondered?

This is what happened. I didn't get my masks quite right and ended up adding the small heart as a separate layer cut from another print but it basically worked!

I brayered red paint onto the acrylic block and pressed a background stamp into it then lifted a print. Then I did a layer of burnt umber and burnt sienna textured with plastic canvas and placed my two heart masks on there before pulling the print (I used acetate to cut my masks as it's a bit easier to handle than damp paper!).

Here's where I slipped up - for the final layer (which is white with a smidge of gold, textured with a very open weave, cheesecloth type fabric) I wanted to subdue the background heart by overprinting and leave the foreground one more vivid but I used the wrong mask so the big heart overlapped the small one! To rescue it, I did a second print with the the red paint and stamp (no layering this time) and die cut the smaller heart from that.

The flourish in the corners is stamped with gold ink and shows up differently at different angles (which makes it hard to photograph, sorry!). It's finished with a stamped and heat embossed sentiment, charcoal pencil drop shadows for both hearts and the small heart stuck down with some Pinflair glue gel for a little height.

There's still time to play along in the Craft Stamper challenge to use your acrylic block for some mono printing - you'll find all the details here and we'd love to see you!

Leaves #3 background stamp and sentiment (CHF, retired)
Vintage Flourish (Indigo Blu)

Delicata Golden Glitz by Tsukineko, Versamark

Titanium white, red, gold, burnt umber, burnt sienna acrylic paint
Charcoal pencil
Detail black embossing powder
Sizzix primitive hearts die
Pinflair glue gel

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

WMS - To Die For

I'm joining in with the Waltzingmouse Stamps Pajama Party for the first time - I finally managed to get things in order to get something made on the right day!

Challenge 1 is "To Die For" - Waltzingmouse has recently added their own Cutting Edge dies alongside the stamps and Claire's challenged us to use them in our creations.

I ended up doing something out of my comfort zone and probably not "typical" of WMS style! I actually intended to make something Christmassy with the lovely Bright Season Lantern die but of course I got distracted along the way - when cutting the lantern from kraft cardstock to use as a template, I noticed the "waste" from the centre of the lantern looked like an elegant vase or plant pot and that set me off in a totally different direction!

I've used a piece of paper that had been used to clean a painty brayer as my background with just a little doodling for a border and some splodgy white dots added through a stencil with a Posca pen (smeared while still wet) at top left.

I cut the top off a second "pot" with some pinking shears and added that as an extra detail, inking all the edges for a bit of depth. The "flower" is a heart cut with the smallest die from the "My Heart" set and coloured with Copic markers. I stamped leaves from Funky Flowers with acrylic paint for a splodgy look, cut them out and added them and a wire stem. Pot, heart and leaves are all stuck on with Pinflair glue gel for some dimension.

The sentiment is all from the Say It Loud set, snipped into individual words and finished with a little more doodling.

If you fancy playing along, you can upload entries for the Pajama Party until midnight tonight and there's a sketch challenge to play with for the rest of the week too - details here.

My Heart and Bright Season Lantern dies (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Say It Loud and Funky Flowers stamp sets  (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Acrylic paints
Brilliance Graphite Black ink
Distress Vintage Photo ink
Copic markers
Copic fineliner
Posca white pen
Sequin waste mask (Tando Creative)
Pinking shears
Florist wire 
Pinflair glue gel

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Experimenting with mono prints!

The Craft Stamper blog challenge has gone monthly so that means it's time for a new one!

This time we're using an acrylic block for mono printing (effectively using the block like a Gelli plate). I've resisted the lure of the Gelli, mostly because I suspected I'd make prints I liked and then my PPP (patterned paper problem) would kick in and I'd have no idea what to do with them.

When Trish told us what this month's challenge would be, I decided I'd have a go. Not sure if I set myself up for it but I proved myself right - made prints I liked and then couldn't use them! This is the attempt I'm happiest with.

I used Americana craft acrylic paints on the biggest acrylic block I own. If I remember rightly I did a layer of gold with plastic canvas pressed into it and lifted before taking a print, a layer of burnt umber and black with star masks scattered over and finally a layer of white with a piece of lace pressed in and lifted before taking the print (you can see the large diamond design of the lace as well as the overall texture if you let your eyes relax a bit!).

I've stamped a sentiment in one of the larger stars, some astronomy charts towards the bottom and then stamped and cut out a pointy finger to highlight the sentiment. The gold stars are punched from tomato paste tube metal (with the smaller punch I used when I made masks for the printed layer). A wee snippet of film strip ribbon seemed to tie it all together.

Not very typical for me but it was fun to get painty for a change! It may not be the perfect mono printing surface but the acrylic block made a good play surface if you're anything like me and just fancy a dabble!

Past Times by Hero Arts
Reach for the Stars by CHF (retired)

Large and small star squeeze punches by Fiskars
Gold, black, burnt umber, titanium white acrylic paints
Tim Holtz Film Strip ribbon
Brilliance ink - Graphite Black
Tomato paste tube metal

As ever, there's the chance of a prize (lovely limited edition paints from PaperArtsy this time!) and of having your card in print in the magazine if you're the winner - we'd love to have you play along! All the details, including the deadline, can be found here.

Monday, 24 February 2014


Lydia has set this week's Mixability challenge at Splitcoast Stampers - Through the Mist.

The idea is to clean a painty brayer by rolling on clean cardstock and use the resulting piece as the basis for something.  The brayered prints are often reminiscent of a misty landscape. Lydia's put together a great little video, you can check it out of the SCS thread linked above.

When I watched the video, I kept mentally filling in bare tree shapes on the prints so that's where mine had to go, I'm afraid! I stamped the tree over the brayered base and added a bit of white pen for some moonlight highlights. I smudged a little charcoal pencil along some of those higlights to soften them.

I helped the brayering along just a tiny bit with a pen line under the tree to define the ground a bit more and stamped and white embossed the sentiment. The moon is finger-painted with silver acrylic paint and I added some lowlights with a Copic fine liner once the paint was dry (again smudging with my finger).

I kept the setting really simple, just sticking it slightly offset on the cardbase and running the fineliner round the edge of the panel - I thought the simplicity went with the tranquil feel.

Winter Trees by Stampendous
Scene-it Sentiments by Hobby Art

Paper: smooth white

Black and silver acrylic paints
Graphite Black Brilliance ink
Copic fineliner
Posca white pen
Bright white embossing powder by WOW!
Charcoal pencil

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Shabby chic(ish)

This is about as close as I'm likely to get to shabby chic and it just kind of evolved that way. I made the embellishment and then had no end of trouble figuring out how to use it!

If you choose to play along with the DT on the Pan Pastels challenge blog this week, the challenge is to use a stencil to create an embellishment (details here). It sounded like a challenging challenge and I'm up for that so I had a go!

I used a piece of metal from a tomato paste tube, cut with a Cuttlebug die (it started life as a tag but I snipped off the hanging loop as part of the evolution process!). On the back, I drew inside the circles of a sequin waste mask with a knitting needle, flipped it over and squashed the centres of the raised circles and refined it (again with the knitting needle!) to give a sort of rim. The whole lot is stuck to a piece of mount  board and bashed with an embossing stylus for a beaten metal look. I used a bit of Copic ink to colour the centres of the circles and a dot of Glossy Accents for an enamelled finish. So far, so good - I liked the way it turned out.

Then I faffed for a couple of days and nothing looked right. I eventually ended up with this and I'm still not entirely happy but I decided to say enough is enough and call it done!

I used Versamark through the same sequin mask and added Pan Pastel on the card front. Then I added more Versmark and more pastel at the bottom for more solid coverage. The rose has some turquoise Pan Pastel brushed over the edges.

Tomato paste tube
Cuttlebug Tags die
Sequin Waste Mask by Tando Creative
Say It All stamp set by Hero Arts
Delicata Golden Glitz ink by Tsukineko
Copic Various ink (Holiday Blue)
Pan Pastels (Phthalo Green Tint, Turquoise)
Glossy Accents
Vintage Lace Decorative Strip Die by Tim Holtz/Sizzix
Rose by Wild Orchid Crafts

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Can you repeat that?

It's time for a new Take It, Make It challenge on the Craft Stamper blog and this time it's all about repeats! Take a stamp and use it several times over to make your design - it could be a background, a focal point or whatever you can dream up!

I chose a stylised peacock feather for a lovey-dovey card that could be used for those tricky occasions when hearts and flowers don't seem quite right! The little motif in the centre of the feathers is a separate stamp so I used the "eye" in most and a single heart to go with the love theme. I cut out the feather with the heart and used silicone glue to give it just a tiny bit of height to accentuate it, just sticking it over the one stamped on the base layer.

This is one of those occasions where I'm pleased I have both sizes of Corner Chomper even though it does seem extravagent! Being able to round that corner and have the  white layer "nested" with the black border makes me happier than it should!

Stamps: Funky Feathers and Say It Loud (both Waltzingmouse Stamps)

Paper: Smooth white and black

Versamagic by Tsukineko (Key Lime and Turquoise Gem)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Corner Chompers
Silicone glue

Check out the blog for details if you fancy joining the challenge - we'd love to see you and there's a prize of a couple of lovely stamps from Visible Image as well as the chance to see your card published in the magazine if you're the winner!

The challenge is going monthly from March so if you've been used to a two month slot to join in with us, remember you need to get your skates on this time - closing date is midnight on 26th February!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Experimental hearts

I had a little play with various bits and pieces today. This week's MixAbility challenge at Splitcoast Stampers calls for the use of hearts (here) and the Pan Pastels challenge blog has another anything goes week with the option to join the DT in using fabric on your project (details here).

Very little stamping on here and more die cuts than I'd usually use! I started with two primitive hearts cut from mount board and lettering to spell the word LOVE (I cut the word twice and stacked the layers for a bit extra depth since Spellbinder dies don't cut thick materials). Then I covered the lot with double sided tape sheet and put fine-weave cotton fabric over it. I ran it through my Big shot with an embossing mat to make sure everything was stuck down well. I'd have liked a few more wrinkles in the fabric but never mind, the texture is still interesting!

Then I went to town with Pan Pastels and a charcoal pencil. The only stamping is some Hero Arts brush strokes stamped in the corners in Versamark and rubbed over with more pastel for slightly more intense colour. I left the edges of the fabric deliberately a bit frayed before sticking it to a card base.

I used my finger to apply the white Pan Pastel over the lettering as it seemed to give me most control.

What I learned - Mod Podge doesn't take Pan Pastel very well (I originally Mod Podged the fabric rather than using sheet adhesive); I love the look of fabric over die cuts; you need to make sure there's a support under the overhang of the second die cut to bring it to the same level as the other one before running it through the Big Shot. I'm also extremely pleased with my new fixative - it's a natural substance (based on casein, the protein found in milk and apparently the fixative preferred by Degas!) and it's in a pump bottle so there's no solvent smell or hazard if you're spraying indoors.

Mount board offcuts
White cardstock
White cotton fabric
Primitive Hearts Bigz die by Sizzix
Spellbinders Font One dies
Pan Pastels (Turquoise, Permanent Red, Permanent Red Shade, White)
Charcoal Pencil
Brush Strokes stamps by Hero Arts
Versamark ink
SpectraFix Degas fixative spray

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Bright birthday

The weather is so awful here in the UK at the moment that I thought a bit of brightness might be in order in the craft room! I've just treated myself to a few new colours of Pan Pastels too so I chose the Bright Yellow Green and made a cheerful birthday card for my stash.

The  Pan Pastels blog has another "anything goes" challenge with the option to join in with the DT in using a stencil (details here).  I've actually used a mask but the terms seem to be somewhat interchangeable these days so I'm going to count it as playing along with the theme!

I loved how easy it was to feather out the edge of the pastel - quicker and easier than ink and sponge!

The pretty flowers are really quick and easy to do - they're a two step stamp and as they're clear, it's really easy to line up the various layers. I fussy cut by hand but Claire does have cut files available for this set if you have an electronic cutter and prefer to leave the scissors in the drawer!

The sequins are irridescent white and at certain angles they're almost exactly the same pink as the flowers!

Stamps (all Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Two Step Sprig
Leaf from Funky Flowers
Say It Loud

Paper: smooth white

Adirondack by Ranger (Raspberry and Cranberry)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Pan Pastel (Bright Yellow Green)
Timeworks mask by Tim Holtz
8mm and 5mm sequins
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by - hope you're staying safe and dry if you're dealing with extreme weather!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

"New" postcard

We've just had one of our occasional postcard swaps on Bubbly Funk. Our theme this time was "new" with interpretation completely up to the players! As ever, our cards are posted as genuine postcards so keeping it flat is good.

I tried to shoehorn in several "new" elements - a new technique, a New Year theme (it is still January - just!) and a new stamp (OK, not that new but the first time I've used it since it didn't get used for what I originally planned for it). I've gone a bit "eclectic mixed media" in the hope it will suit the recipient!

My new (to me) technique was to tint modelling paste with Pan Pastels. The dots on the left are made from the paste applied through a sequin waste mask so they have a bit of dimension. Tinting with acrylic paint can make the paste a bit sloppy but this worked brilliantly, especially as the pigment is so strong you don't need much. Just squeeze a little paste out onto a non-stick mat, rub a sponge over the Pan to dust some powder off onto the paste and mix with a spatula. The dots on the right are flat - I just inked the card and then used a babywipe through the mask to remove some of the Distress ink.

The Pan Pastel blog has another "anything goes" theme this week with an option to play along with the DT in using a metallic (details here). I don't have any of the metallic Pan Pastels (they do look lush though!) so although I incorporated the theme, I did it by giving the party puffin a sparkly crown with a metallic gold glitter pen. If you fancy playing, there's no requirement to use Pan Pastels or other Premium Craft Brands products, it's just that I tend to use the challenge as a push to use the Pans I have.

Party Puffin by Alice Palace at Crafty Individuals
Just My Type alpha stamps by Ma Vinci's Reliquary

Paper: Smooth white

Graphite Black Brilliance by Tsukineko
Broken China Distress ink by Ranger

Maimeri Light Modelling Paste
Turquoise Pan Pastel
Black pastel pencil
White Posca paint pen
Copic fineline marker
Fiskars squeeze punch (stars doodled by drawing round a punched shape and cross hatching to fill)
Copic markers
Sequin Waste mask by Tando Creative
Gold Spica Glitter pen

Thanks for stopping by!