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!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Round and round

I've had a frustrating couple of afternoons in the craftroom where nothing has worked out quite right, so today I decided to play along with two very "freeform" challenges and not try anything too structured.

This week's mixed media challenge at Splitcoast Stampers is based on painty circles and the Daring Cardmakers asked for some doodling.

I started with a piece of old sheet music and used a pink Neocolour crayon to scribble some rough circles and smuged over them with a damp finger. Then I added some turquoise, yellow and white acrylic paints (again using that highly sophisticated crafters' tool - the index finger). I dipped three different sized lids into black paint and stamped circles with those.

Of course, once it was done I ended up liking the bit I'd trimmed off the main panel more than the panel itself! I turned it into a graphic card just by mounting on a strip of black and cutting the bottom at an angle and mounting it on a crisp white base, finished with a bit of doodling and a stamped sentiment.

Stamp: Journalling Words by The Artistic Stamper

Paper:
Smooth white
Black
Old sheet music

Ink: Brilliance Graphite Black

Other:
Neocolour II water soluble crayons
Acrylic paints
Fineline marker
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Dad - look away now!

I don't usually blog ahead of sending projects where they're going but I'll be too late to join in the current Pan Pastels challenge (One for the boys) if I don't get this blogged so Dad, if you're reading, look away now if you'd rather not see your Father's day card before you open the envelope!





I've just treated myself to a few masks from Caroline's revamped Bubbly Funk shop (bargains to be had as well on older stock as she clears out to make way for new things!). I used the Crafter's Workshop 6x6 Wood Grain here, spreading modelling paste through it with an old credit card.

Once the paste dried, I painted over with gesso using a coarse brush to add some extra texture in the more open areas. I then used Burnt Sienna Shade Pan Pastel to colour the panel.

I really must get a new Father's day sentiment stamp - this is the only one I have and I'm sure Dad will notice eventually! I just stamped it on a simple banner finished with some copper brads and added a single die cut to leave the wood grain as the star of the show as I loved the way it turned out. I did colour the die cut leaf with two shades of green Copic marker, just to give it a bit extra depth.

Here's a more detailed shot of how it turned out adding some gesso for that bit extra texture - I think it works well with the woodgrain!

Stamps: Sentiment from Father's Day Centers (Cornish Heritage Farms, retired)

Ink: Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate by Tsukineko

Paper: kraft, laid texture, scrap of DCWV blue

Other:
Pan Pastel - Burnt Sienna Shade
Spectrafix Degas fixative
Maimeri Light Modelling Paste
Copic markers
Gesso
Crafter's Workshop 6x6 mask - Wood Grain
Leaves dies by Impression Obsession
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Birthday olives

It was my hubby's birthday recently and this is the card I made him. He's a fan of olives and olive oils (he actually had oils as his gift) so I went in that direction.

I did something unheard of for me here - I drew my focal image! I have one olive stamp (from a set by the original Cornish Heritage Farms) but it was really a bit small for what I wanted to do. I decided to just get over my conviction that I can't draw and using the small stamped image and a photograph of a real olive branch for guidance, I sketched very lightly in pencil and then coloured using a combination of Copic markers and watercolour pencils, aiming for a "borderless" look. I was quite pleased with the result.

The olive image is mounted on a background done with home-made shimmer spray and pigment from a watercolour pencil brushed on through drywall tape for a bit of textural interest. I made speckles by wetting the surface and sanding the pencil over it (the blue around the olives and a dark purpley colour on the background panel) and also by flicking thinned down black acrylic paint from a brush. I added a few black enamel dots and a couple of photo corners for more texture and contrast.

Stamps:
Sentiment from Big Day Today by Waltzingmouse Stamps
Hand drawn image of olives

Ink: Versafine Onyx Black by Tsukineko

Paper:
Bamboo Mixed Media paper by Hahnemuhl
Laid texture
Black

Other:
Copic markers
Watercolour pencils
Shimmer spray made from Tumbled Glass reinker and Turquoise Perfect Pearls
Drywall tape 
Tim Holtz/Sizzix ATC and Photo corners die
Black acrylic paint
Black enamel dots

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Starry sketch


As usual when needing to make a kiddie card, I used a couple of challenges to get me going - no idea why I struggle as much as I do with these but I daren't even start to think how long this took me, even with the kickstart!

The Daring Cardmaker's challenge this week is to use stars and the current challenge at Waltzingmouse Fanatics is to use this sketch.

Apologies for the quality of the photo - as any of you who have tried to photograph mirri card will know, it's an absolute nightmare! The card looks more "integrated" in real life but this was as good as the photo was going to get, I'm afraid.

I toook the liberty of changing the third rectangular panel on the sketch to a circle as it fit the space rocket better to make a sort of planet/moon thing there. I used marker caps to stamp the "craters" on there.

This is destined for a wee boy celebrating his sixth birthday, I hope it's OK!

Stamps:
Half Pint Heroes by Waltzingmouse Stamps

Paper:
White
Silver Mirri
DCWV textured blue

Ink:
Brilliance Graphite Black and Starlite Silver

Other:
Fiskars squeeze punches - small and medium star
Tracing Wheel
Copic markers
Pinflair glue gel
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Light as a feather

I've been meaning to play with the Waltzingmouse Fanatics since they launched but failing to get my act together. I also follow the Daring Cardmakers religiously each week and yet haven't played along in forever. So I'm combining challenges just for fun again today.

The DCM theme this week is feathers and as I've just treated myself to the WMS Fine Feathers set I thought I should take it as hint that those stamps needed to see ink sooner rather than later! The Fanatics asked for some texture on our projects.

I mixed some reinker and Perfect Pearls in a mini mister to make my own shimmer mist and sprayed some cardstock. Once that was dry, I added texture paste through a home made stencil, let that dry and spritzed again with the shimmery stuff.

I added some stamped splats and some actual splats flicked from a paintbrush before adding a strip with the stamped sentiment. The feathers are stamped on vellum and cut out (Claire does have cut files as well as matching dies for these stamps but I went for the old-fashioned scissor approach).

I cut my stencil from a piece of cereal box cardboard - the intricate die does need a couple of passes on this thickness but it went through and all the pieces popped out cleanly. I've given it a coat of Mod Podge each side and hope it will last for a few goes at least. I could have used acetate but I wanted something a bit thicker to use with the paste.

Stamps (all Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Fine Feathers
Splat That
Big Day Today

Paper: 
Laid texture
Vellum

Ink:
Pearlescent Chocolate Brilliance by Tsukineko
Distress Tumbled Glass reinker

Other:
Brown brad 
Spellbinder Fancy Trellis Die
Maimeri Light Modelling Paste
Turquoise Perfect Pearls
Mini misting bottle
Tracing Wheel
Corner Chomper
Snowflake Fresco Finish acrylic paint

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Playing with words

I decided I needed a little play with no real purpose in mind this morning. I did use a couple of challenges as a direction for play time but this is a project with no occasion or recipient in mind.

This week's Mixability challenge on Splitcoast Stampers is to "take it away" - do something to show what's underneath a top layer. Indigo Blu's Challenge 15 is "words are all you need".

This little scrapling (the piece left over when you trim a sheet of cardstock to make a square card) started off with a piece of old book page which was spritzed with Dylusions. I added a layer of Mod Podge and once that was dry, a layer of Fresco Finish acrylic paint. I laid a stencil over the top of the dry paint and used a combination of rubbing alcohol, baby wipe and elbow grease to remove the paint and let the inky text show through. I found this technique didn't work without a clear layer (the Mod Podge), I just ended up rubbing away the paper if I rubbed hard enough to remove the paint.

I doodled rough circles round the exposed areas then added a single word, part of a definition and random snippets of script writing with Brilliance ink and finished with a double layered punched star for a bit more drama.

I had fun doing something away from my "norm"!

Stamps: Sarah's Choice by Indigo Blu

Paper: old book page

Ink: Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Other:
Dylusions ink spray (Vibrant Turquoise)
Fresco Finish acrylic paint by Paper Arsty (Mermaid)
Mod Podge Matt
Random Circles mask by Tando Creative
Fineliner pen
Fiskars squeeze punches (star medium and large)

Thanks for stopping by!