Sunday 4 November 2012

Sketchy Christmas

I've been intending to play along with a Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge for months now and never quite managed it! The stars finally aligned and I've played this week.

Sadly the bright sunshine we're being treated to in Northumberland today made it very hard to get a decent photo! This is yellower than it looks in real life but even tweaking with Photoshop didn't improve it much - please imagine a richer colour!

I used the elegant border design from the Paris Nouveau set to gold emboss the die cut ornament and then added dots of pearl paint for some more decoration. The detail shot gives a better impression of the look of the embossing.

Fir sprigs from the Festive Foliage set give a bit of background interest and the sentiment and little flourish stamps (repeated to form a border here) complete the nostalgic look. I love the fact the flourish has a mirror image in the set so you can do this sort of border with them.

Paris Nouveau, Festive Foliage and Compliments of the Season (all Waltzingmouse Stamps)

Paper: Kraft and Cryogen White

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Ivy)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Crimson Red)
Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger (Antique Linen and Vintage Photo)

Vintage ornament die by Impression Obsession
Detail gold embossing powder
Dimensional pearl paint
Tracing wheel
Silk ribbon

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday 18 October 2012

Happy birthday, human

My newphew's sixth birthday has just been and gone. He's interested in space at the moment so he had a glow in the dark solar system and a book about the planets and stars for his pressies this year. I thought an alien and stars on a clean and simple card might be just the thing to go with those.

This stamp set has seen good service for all the little boys I seem to make cards for (I have only one little girl to make for to break the monotony!). Although it's no longer available,  the designer (Kim Hughes) has started her own stamp company and the images in the Little Fella set are almost the same.

A little Kaz-style doodling around the stars and orange panel helps lift the design a little without being too fussy.

Stamps: Little Guy and Birthday Centers (Cornish Heritage Farms, retired)

Paper: smooth white and orange

Ink: Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Fiskars squeeze punch (small star)
Corner Chomper
Copic markers and Fineliner

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Ghostly and gothic

Time for a new monthly theme for the regular postcard swap at UKStampers. I didn't manage to play in September so I was determined to get to it this month even though the theme is a tough one for me! As ever, cards are to be posted "naked" and must include stamping.

The theme is "spooky" and for me it's a tough one because I don't have any Halloween stamps or anything vaguely scary! I managed last year with some digi elements combined with some "filler" stamps and this year decided to see if I could take it a step further and just use colour and composition to set a spooky mood with otherwise non-spooky stamps.

I got some new stamps at the weekend so I set about giving "Molly" a ghostly makeover.

She's stamped and masked so she kept a ghostly pallor while the rest of the card got sponged with purple and black inks. I concentrated black at bottom left so Molly's head is looming out of the dark. I added some scripty writing and bare branches (which actually made me think of capilliaries or nerves once I'd stamped them!) and then stamped selected bits of a drippy frame stamp along the top.

A tiny bit of Copic colouring finished it off (green for her eyes and some grey shadow down the side of her face).

Molly by Beeswax Stamps
Sarah's Choice and Nature by Indigo Blu

Paper: smooth white


Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)
Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger (Dusty Concord, Black Soot)


Copic markers

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday 7 October 2012

Cherish Today - Tando hop

Welcome to the Tando Creative hop - we're finishing up our week's celebration of Tando's third birthday with a blog hop that explores Tando's history! If you didn't start at Tando Creative you might want to do that so that you can follow along and be in with the chance of a prize if you leave comments as you go.

The wavy arch I've used as the base of my project was one of Tando's earlier releases - February 2010. It's a nice arch shape and the wavy base makes it just that bit different. Since I had the VerDay paints out for yesterday's jewellery project I decided to do the arch while I was at it. I painted the arch with Iron paint and then once it had been left to dry, I embossed in a folder that had more of the Iron paint brayered onto it so that I got paint in the recessed bits of the design. I gave it a spritz with the patina solution and then set it aside to rust!

I've also used some of the leaves from the Tando Minis that were added to the range this summer - the grey board gives Copic colouring a nice rustic finish! A stamped sentiment. shrink plastic pocket watch and some flowers finish it off.

Wavy Arch (Tando Creative chipboard)
Leaves (Tando Creative Minis)
Foliage M-Bossabilities folder by Spellbinder
VerDay paint (Iron) and Patina Solution by Ten Seconds Studio 
Sentiment from Wings stamp set (Darkroom Door)
Pocket watch from Clocks Plate 6 (PaperArtsy)
Vintage Sepia Versafine and Vintage Photo Distress inks
Copic markers
Shrink plastic
Roses (Wild Orchid Crafts)

Next stop along the hop is the talented Carol - don't forget to leave a comment here if you'd like to be in with a chance of this fantastic birthday blog hop prize!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday 6 October 2012

Take three - "weathered metal" inchies

Tando Creative is celebrating this week - third birthday already!

To celebrate, the design team has offered up a variety of projects based around the number three and there are tutorials for each of them if you want to have a go - check out the Tando Online Classes blog.

I used three inchies for my project. The Tando chippie is a lovely weight to work with and makes a great base for jewellery as it's sturdy enough that the finished piece feels quite substantial.

I've used an embossing folder and some VerDay paint to create a weathered copper finish for a pendant base. The paint is fun but you could use any technique you like to add interest to your inchies before gluing them together.

Chipboard inchies by Tando Creative
Tim Holtz Texture Fade embossing folder (Stripes)
VerDay paint by Ten Seconds Studio (Copper)
Patina Solution by Ten Seconds Studio
Copper wire
E6000 and Superglue adhesives

I've done a short video tutorial for this project. The YouTube description area includes a step-by-step that you could print out if you would like to have a go and find printed reminders easier to work from - just click on the YouTube icon at the bottom right of the video preview to watch it over there rather than embedded here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday 24 September 2012

Masks on Monday!

The Tando Creative DT girls are hopping today - we've been playing with masks and we'd love you to join us! If you didn't start at the Tando Blog you might want to check in there for details of how to be in with a chance of winning a lovely Tando prize during the hop (there are some details about what's happening for the Birthday Bash next week, too!).

Masks are great for one layer cards. I've used the new Distorted Hive mask for this one - I love the "movement" created by the distortion which makes it perfect for added interest when you're working with a single layer and don't want to end up with something that looks too regimented.

After sponging ink through the mask, the bees were stamped, bleached to get rid of the Distress ink in those areas and then coloured with Copics.Some colours bleach out better than others and I have to say that Mustard Seed was a dream! I added a little clear Spica over the wings for subtle sparkle. I managed to keep the colouring light enough that there's no bleed through so this can stay as a genuinely one layer card with no insert - hooray!

Distorted Hive mask (Tando Creative)
Queen Bee stamp set (Crafty Secrets)
Sentiment from Petite Posies (Technique Tuesday)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Mustard Seed)
Brilliance ink by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Copic markers
Copic Spica glitter pen (clear)
Corner Chomper

This is Tando Creattive Distorted Hive Mask used here:

The next stop along the Tando hop is Kaz who loves her masks so I'm sure there'll be a treat in store! Don't forget to leave a comment here before you go if you're playing for the chance to win a prize - thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday 19 September 2012

One layer birthday

A quick and easy one layer card today by way of contrast with the steampunky stuff in the last couple of posts!

The boy with the book was stamped and masked then the central square masked off with Post-It notes and sponged with ink. I inked the background stamp randomly and didn't press hard so there's a "hit and miss" kind of randomness to contrast with the very straight lines of the inked square.

I added a tiny bit of shading to the boy's skin and clothing with Copics, stamped a sentiment and called it done.

The stamp is from the Relish Reading set that I picked out as a prize when I won a Gingersnap challenge some time ago - thanks Rogue Redhead! I've seen quite a few cards made with the girl reading in a chair that's in the same set but this chap doesn't seem to get much of a look-in - a shame I think as he's good for more masculine projects!

Relish Reading stamp set (Rogue Redhead Designs)
White cardstock
Adirondack ink by Ranger (Espresso, Mushroom, Pebble)
Versafine ink by Tsukineko (Vintage Sepia)
Copic markers

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday 17 September 2012

Steampunk snowflakes

Handling lots of cog shapes for Andy Skinner's Book of Secrets workshop reminded me of the fact I've always thought that the smallest snowflake in my Spellbinder set looks like a spiky cog. That set me thinking about steampunk snowflakes and this is the result.

It started life as a coffee tin and I had fun trying out a different colour combo for a more silvery/gunmetal style finish. I  added some detail like a line of glue at the "shoulder" for a welding seam and cheap Christmas bead chain in the groove around the top of the canister where the original lid would screw on because I decided that one looked too heavy on it once I'd done all the decorating. I made a new lid that just rests inside the top rim (it's several circles of cereal packet board glued together - the texture is scrunched up tissue stuck over the top - with a little wooden knob glued into place).

Coffee tin
Die cuts
Flat back pearls
Bead chain
Deep midnight blue and Prussian blue Americana acrylic paints by DecoArt
Shimmering Silver metallic acrylic paint by DecoArt
Texturizing medium by DecoArt
Wooden knob
Tissue paper

Gosh - no stamping! It's been a while since that happened.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday 14 September 2012

Book of Secrets!

I've been doing something new! I've never taken part in an online workshop before but I'm currently doing Andy Skinner's Book of Secrets one and having fun! Andy gets some fantastic finishes on his projects and steampunk is way outside my normal comfort zone so I decided to sign up and see what I could learn.

This post is a bit picture-heavy - sorry!

Andy uses a wooden box as the base for his tutorials but I decided to take the "book" part of the workshop title literally and I've used a real book as the base for my project. The people who owned our house before us left behind loads of "books by the yard" and we've never done anything with them. I chose one that looked extremely unlikely to have any financial or cultural value and set to work!

One of the things I struggle with on steampunk is the "more is more" aspect. I find it difficult to add lots of stuff and still feel happy with the overall composition. I think I did OK here and I didn't go for a straight copy of Andy's sample (trying to copy something is always a recipe for disaster at my craft table!).

The "power indicators" (flat back gems) were something that struck me as a fun addition to the mechanical components.

Andy adds dates to his large compass with metal punches. I liked the idea but didn't have the punches to achieve it. What I did have was an embossing tool with interchangable tips that my dad picked up for me at a car boot sale (thanks Dad!). I used it with a hammer to add detail right round the inside of the compass. I think it works quite well.

The spine has been given a leather-look makeover. It's not easy to tell that the book started life as a blue cloth-bound hardback and I think this would probably look quite convincing lined up with other volumes on a shelf!

I carved out a niche inside the book for the inner workings of the machine. I thought a butterfly would provide a suitably unexpected power house for a steampunk contraption and the light/bright colouring makes a nice contrast to the industrial tones.

Lessons for niche carving - be prepared to even up the right hand side once the pages are glued together as there's a surprising gradient on the pages of a closed book!  The slope on the left goes towards the spine and can't be seen but the slope on the right obviously goes into the niche itself.

Here's a detail of the texture on the cogs - nice and rusty!

Old book
Tand Creative chipboard shapes (Compass Duo and Cogs grab bag)
Die cuts
Lamp black, Burnt umber, Burnt sienna Americana Acrylic paints by DecoArt
Texturizing medium by DecoArt
Brads, googly eyes, flatback pearls and gems
Sun charm (saved from a freebie chiffon scarf)
Wings stamp set (Darkroom Door)
"Engine" and number from a retired B&O Railroad set (CHF)
Ranger Perfect Pearls
Copic markers

This is not quite complete yet - I need to do the back and as the niche only goes about half way down the depth of the book I've stuck together some pages so I have a couple of surfaces to decorate. I got distracted into trying a second project though, I'll share that soon!

The Book of Secrets workshop is running again at the end of the month - details of what it entails are here if anyone would like them.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday 7 September 2012

Postcard extras!

I may have got just a little carried away with postcard making when I got going on the Bubbly Funk swap! I did an extra couple with the same sort of look and feel as the first but different compositions.

I used old music paper as the base layer on this one rather than using the music stamp as a background which has made the colour slightly different as it was a more yellowy base under the Bundled Sage ink.

I thought the ornate italic font of the sentiment went well on here!

Bubble border, butterflies and Copic colouring as before.

For the third one I wanted to mimic the vertical lines of bubbles that appear in the forum header. I made dots with a Versamark pen and heat embossed with white powder  before inking the background.

I used the same trick as I did on the original card of stamping with a Copic cap and tiny rubber washer  to make bubbles and then stamped the sheet music background and wording randomly over the top.

Wings set (Darkroom Door)
Bubble Border (Lost Coast Designs)
Aged Sheet Music Scrapblock (Cornish Heritage Farms, retired)

Cryogen white
Old sheet music

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Bundled Sage)

White embossing powder 
Copic markers

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


Wednesday 29 August 2012

Bubbly Funk postcard swap

My long-time favourite crafty forum is Bubbly Funk - great bunch of crafters and a lovely community feeling. We're having a postcard swap and I set the theme. I used the forum's header for inspiration and gave people the choice between:
  1. Use any combination of butterflies, lace, bubbles and music
  2. Use at least three from light green, pink, grey, black and ivory

I combined the two using all except ivory in the colour scheme and everything except lace for the images. I floated bubbles up out of the stamped border by using the cap off one of my Copics and a tiny rubber washer pressed into the Bundled Sage ink pad. I added some shading to a few bubbles with Copics and some Stickles to a few for sparkle.

The focal butterfly is coloured with three shades of pink Copic and the rest are grey. Aged sheet music stamped tone-on-tone adds some background interest (I masked the big butterfly but not the others and aimed for a hit-and-miss coverage with the stamp for a slightly shabby look).

Wings set (Darkroom Door)
Bubble Border (Lost Coast Designs)
Aged Sheet Music Scrapblock (Cornish Heritage Farms, retired)

Cryogen white

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Bundled Sage)

Copic markers
Stickles (Frosted Lace)

I'm sending to Wendy, hope she likes it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday 24 August 2012

Tuneful postcard?

It's nearly the end of the month and that means we're approaching the deadline for the August postcard swap on UKStampers. Sam wanted us to take inspiration from a favourite song this time.

I struggled with this as I don't really have a favourite song. The thing that kept coming back to me while I tried to decide though was Diamonds and Rust by Joan Baez.

I picked up on a few lyrics (brown leaves swirling all around, eyes bluer than robins' eggs and the opening line for the printed text) and the title. Full lyrics are here if anyone is intrigued enough to want them.

I embedded the gems in loads of Glossy Accents and spread some Stickles around as well so I'm hoping they'll make it through the post intact! I was tempted to cheat and just go with the diamond shape of the embossing folder but decided that bottom corner really did need something. I'm still  not really happy with the balance overall but I'm not going to have time for another attempt so decided to live with it - hope the recipient doesn't regret my decision!

Falling Leaves (Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous)
Nest (CHF, retired)

Cryogen white,
Tim Holtz kraft core

Tim Holtz Distress ink by  Ranger (Wild Honey, Tea Dye, vintage Photo)
Adirondack by Ranger (Espresso)

Copic markers
Tim Holtz Texture Fade embossing folder
Glossy Accents
Frosted Lace Stickles

Tidbit of the day - the ex to whom she's singing the song is Bob Dylan (he also wrote a song about their relationship - Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands if I remember correctly)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Sun, sea and sand

The Design Team at Tando Creative is going seasonal this week and being inspired by "sun, sea and sand".

I've made a simple ATC using one of the white board shapes as a base. I love the fact they're really sturdy so they're easy to handle and you don't need to stick anything on the back of your work to make it feel stable.

Small stamps are perfect to create "holiday snapshots" in the film strip cells and I've added a paperclay starfish that has been in my stash for years - I made it in a polymer clay mould that was created from a real starfish that was in a bowl of decorative shells I picked up in a charity shop.

Chipboard ATC (Tando Creative)
Seaside stamp set (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)
Black card
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tumbled Glass)
Versafine ink by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)
Adirondack ink by Ranger (Espresso)
 Filmstrip die (Tim Holtz Alterations/Sizzix)
Copic markers
Paperclay starfish

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday 4 August 2012

Inchies necklace

We're using metallics as our design inspiration at Tando Creative this week.

I seem to be on a bit of a jewellery kick at the moment! I've used three inchies and gently round the corners (I do love that tiny ⅛" on the newer Corner Chomper!) as well as punching holes with a Crop-o-Dile.

Each inchie is done with a different metallic finish. I used three coats of silver UTEE on each square and a layer of Perfect Pearls on two of them (both from the Metallics kit - one Gold, one Bronze). I pressed a stamp into the warm UTEE for texture. I've then glazed them with Decoart Triple Thick - the last time I tried this I used Glossy Accents and it really didn't work (it didn't dry evenly and it split apart in several places so the piece ended up in the bin). I was impressed with the Triple Thick in this regard, it dried evenly and with no problems.

I added jump rings to each piece, filled with more Triple Thick and then finished with a contrasting metallic colour once dry.

The inchies are joined together with jump rings and attached to a necklace chain through a little piece of aluminium tubing superglued to the top one.

The surfaces are shiny enough that it made photographing it a bit of a nightmare but I hope you get the idea!

Chipboard inchies (Tando Creative)
Silver UTEE 
Silver acrylic paint
Crackleglaze background stamp (Indigo Blu)
Perfect Pearls by Ranger (Gold and Bronze)
Jump rings
Aluminium tubing
Triple Thick glaze by Decoart

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Button necklace

The challenge for July over on Tando Creative Challenges is to use texture of some sort on your project. Lots of samples have already been posted this month - I'm part of the rear guard action!

I used a big chipboard button from the grab bag, coloured it black with a Copic marker and created texture with an embossing folder for this pendant.

After embossing, the surface is dabbed with Versamark and I've added Perfect Pearls in three colours (Gold, Copper and Bronze - all from the Metallics kit) and used a length snipped from a bamboo skewer to secure a chain through the button's holes. It's simple to do - just thread the chain from the back of the button through the first hole, wrap round the skewer (I went round twice) and back down through the hole. Come up through the second hole, wrap round the skewer and go back down through the hole. Juggle the two ends as necessary by easing through the holes and round the skewer so you get even lengths of chain each side.

Chipboard button grab bag (Tando Creative)
So Trendy M-Bossabilites folder (Spellbinder)
Black Copic marker
Versamark (Tsukineko)
Gold, Copper and Bronze Perfect Pearls (Ranger)
Bamboo skewer

I've made my first ever tutorial video to demonstrate the process - constructve criticism very welcome! If you'd like go through to YouTube instead of watching it embedded here, the description area has a "checklist" of the steps involved that you can copy and print if you want to have a go yourself and would like a reference on hand.

There's still time to join in the challenge and be in with a chance of your name being pulled out of the hat to win a great prize at the end of the month - check out the blog and add your link if you'd like to play along!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Steampunk circles

We're going round and round at Tando Creative this week,  taking our design inspiration from"circles". Lots of possibilities with this one! I've used one of the jewellery shapes that's based around fused circles and gone a bit steampunk with it, adding cogs that are circular too!

I started by colouring the frame (including the edges) black with a Copic marker and then gave it a couple of coats of silver UTEE, leaving that "orange peel" effect you get when you don't aim for full coverage. I used a bit of black acrylic paint to further highlight that texture.

I added text papers from an old book to the base piece and knocked them back a bit with a smudge of gesso. A stamped clockface stuck to a glass pebble fills the largest circle and I added a stamped swirl plus some holeless beads with some silver paint (to mimic ball bearings) to the one above. I punched a hole through the top circle for a pendant cord and added a few more fake bearings.

The teardrop shape is fill with Glossy Accents and has some tiny cogs embedded in there. They were mostly black plastic so they've been treated with silver acrylic paint. The one that hangs over the edge of the frame has a watch winder with a tiny blue gemstone stuck in the centre.

Jewellery Circle Pendant Straight (Tando Creative)
Silver UTEE
Black and silver acrylic paints
Old book
Stamps from Inchie Style (CHF, retired)
Tiny cogs
2mm holeless beads
Glossy Accents
Glass pebble

If you're looking for Tando stockists you can find a list here.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday 21 July 2012

Childhood memories

The theme for this month's postcard swap on UK Stampers is "childhood".

If anybody picked a random day in my childhood and took a peek, they'd probably see a little girl with slightly red hair, pale skin and her nose in a book. I'd be surprised if there were many days that didn't involve reading somewhere along the line.

So I picked one of my favourite Crafty Secrets stamps and, inspired by a memory of a make-over by Sophie LaFontaine, I turned the little boy into a little girl!

I started with a page from a story book stuck to some card and lightly covered with gesso. There's a local business that sells packs of paper ephemera, mostly pages resuced from books that are not fit to be sold on in their entirety - this is a page from one of those packs.

The wording and swirls are stamped directly onto the page, the little reader was stamped, coloured, cut out and stuck on. I used watercolour crayons to add some background colour in the doodled circle - I thought the colour could represent the colourful world of the imagination bringing the words to life.

Story of Me (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)
Big Inspiration and Storybook (both CHF, retired)
Paper: Book page and smooth white
Ink: Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Copic markers
Neocolour II watersoluble pastels
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday 5 July 2012

Big Buttons

In keeping with the haberdashery theme I mentioned last time, I decorated some chipboard buttons from the grab bag. The large buttons are a good size and I think they'd make lovely one-off embellies on scrapbook pages, frames, memory boxes etc - you could knot a ribbon through and add a stick pin and charm for a unique embellie cluster!

I embossed the square ones with a Cuttlebug folder (Textile Texture is good for this because of the small scale pattern) having coloured them red, white and blue first. I then used a tiny amount of gold acrylic paint on my finger tip to highlight the textured pattern before triple embossing with UTEE.  

Tando Creative chipboard button
Distress Fired Brick, Adirondack Stonewashed and Versamark inks
Cuttlebug Textile Texture embossing folder
Gold acylic paint
Clear UTEE

I think the white round button is my favourite of all of these! For this set, I stamped the swirl and embossed with white powder and then used Distress ink to colour the buttons (using the embossed pattern as a resist). Again, they're finished with three coats of UTEE - the original embossed pattern gets encapsulated in the thick clear coating.

Tando Creative chipboard button
Distress Fired Brick and Antique Linen, Adirondack Stonewashed and Versamark inks
Ornamental Beauty stamp set (CHF)
Detail white embossing powder
 Clear UTEE

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday 2 July 2012

Heritage Haberdashery

Ooops - haven't blogged for ages! Off on holiday and then just not getting back into the swing of things, I'm afraid.

Today's project is something I made for the Tando Creative demo table at this weekend's Extravaganza at the Craft Barn. As it's the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, we played with a red, white and blue colour scheme and a haberdashery theme for some samples. I used one of the printer's trays as the base and stamped and embellished at will!

I gave the frame the sort of "tarnished enamel" look you sometimes see on old sewing machines by painting with gold acrylic and then sprinkling lightly with black embossing powder.

Except for the two 1920s ladies, all the stamps are from the Darkroom Door Dressmaker set - a lovely set of vintage style images.

I cut the little bunting flags freehand and triple embossed the die cut lettering for a glossy, raised effect. All the images are coloured with Copics and the tiny buttons are ones I've had in my stash for years that were just the right scale for this.

I cut out the thread spools and used an embossing stylus to raise the top and bottom of each one. The scisssors are gold embossed, cut out and raised up on foam pads with some pins and a stamped thimble tucked in behind - you can probably see both those things more clearly if you click through to the bigger version of this detail shot.

This was my first go with a printer'stray - it's fun to collect lots of things together for all the apertures!

Dressmaker (Darkroom Door)
1920s ladies are from Haute Couture (Cornish Heritage Farms)

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Adirondack by Ranger (Stonewashed)

Printer's Tray by Tando Creative
Copic markers
Embossing powder (detail black, detail gold, clear)
Mini buttons
Tim Holtz Typeset alphabet die

If you had chance to get along to the Extravaganza for yourself I hope you enjoyed it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday 24 May 2012

Round robin postcards

We've had a "round robin" swap on UKStampers over the last few months - we each chose a stamp and sent it to the next person in our group and then after two weeks we passed on the stamp we'd received and so on until our own stamps came home. We had no limitations on what we made and could do whatever we liked with our projects.

I decided to make postcards with the stamps I received and I'm sending the cards to the people who own the stamp used to make it. The cards are all ones that can be posted as genuine postcards (no envelope) and standard postcard size (6x4"). I'm blogging just a couple here.

Pat sent us this Roman statue stamp to play with. One of the beauties of this kind of swap is that you get to play with stamps you wouldn't normally choose and this fell into that category for me!

I started thinking about grafitti because of the lettering down the side of the image. I stamped the image, masked it and then added some random lettering masks and sponged with neutral inks. I added a crackle stamp over the top, using only part of the stamp and moving it around randomly to get patches of crackle effect. I used markers to add a drop shadow to the image to give an illusion of some depth.

Pat's stamp (I think it might be a Crafty Individuals' one?)
Crackle glaze background stamp (Indigo Blu)
Versafine Onyx Black, Adirondack Pebble and Mushroom inks
Copic W1 and W3 markers
Tim Holtz Ransom Alphabet masks

Witchy chose this photo-realistic image of Elvis to send out (I recognise it as a Stampsmith stamp). I happened to have an Elvis set in my own collection so I used a couple of those faces as part of the background by stamping in the same colour as the sheet music stamp I used.

This is also a one layer card - I stamped Elivs in black and masked him then stamped a ticket and masked before stamping the final ticket, masking that and stamping the background. Again, drop shadows added with markers help to create "layers" from the elements,

I did the wording by printing out (mirror image) onto an acetate sheet and then rubbing over it with a lolly stick to transfer it to the postcard - I like the slightly grungy look it gives and you don't have to fret about lining up a postcard to go through your printer!

Witchy's Elvis stamp (Stampsmith)
Elvis Faces stamp set and Aged Sheet Music Scrapblock (both CHF, retired)
Versafine Onyx Black and Adirondack Denim inks
Copic C1 and C3 markers
Inkjet printer and acetate

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Kid's stuff

The challenge this month at Tando Creative is to "Alter it". Now I'm in the camp that says to be really altered, something must be changed beyond its original use rather than just decorated in a certain style. Others are in the other camp and that's fine!

I started with a child's board book picked up for 30p in a charity shop. I'm not sure I would have given it to a child (a bit too much evidence of its previous owner's snacking habits!) but it was ripe for a bit of cutting and sticking.

The pages are covered with scrunched tissue paper and then painted with acrylic paint for a textured, leathery sort of effect.

On the front, I've added a bookplate with a stamped sentiment (Time to Stamp was one of my very first purchases from Cornish Heritage Farms way back when so I'm delighted that it's formed part of the first release now that CHF has new owners).

I painted the bookplate with gold acyrlic, beat it up with an embossing stylus and added a tiny bit of brown paint for the textured look.

The little stud on the right of the plate is actually the book closure - a Sam Browne stud (that's a hitch fastener if you're in the world of Tim Holtz but a whole lot cheaper if you're in the land of leather supplies).

 I cut a niche by removing the centre of most of the pages and sticking them together. Versamark dabbed through a mask and brushed with copper and bronze Perfect Pearls adds some pattern over the scrunched tissue paper texture.

I added sketchy circles with gesso on the inner page to suggest a clock face and added the ornate chipboard hands, painted with gold acrylic. They're positioned so that the thick bit where they are stacked on top of each other goes inside the niche when the book is closed.

Inside the niche I've sponged over a clock mask, added a stamped sentiment and a "rusty" chipboard key (coloured with a copper Krylon leafing pen and then given a coat of Vintage Photo Distress embossing powder).

A bit different for me but I had fun doing it and it's certainly not going to be used by a child to learn about colours and shapes so it fits my altered requirements!

Board book
Keys grab bag, Clock hands, Bookplate, Bamboo mask  (all Tando Creative)
Time to Stamp and Key Expressions stamp sets (Cornish Heritage Farms)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black) 
Versamark by Tsukineko
Acrylic paint (Dark Umber and Gold)
Perfect Pearls (Copper and Bronze)
Distress Embossing Powder (Vintage Photo)
Krylon leafing pen (Copper)
Timeworks mask
Tissue paper
Paper roses (Wild Orchid Crafts)
Sam Browne stud

Thanks for stopping by! As ever, we'd love to have you play along with the challenge and be in with a chance of picking out some lovely Tando goodies as a prize package if your name comes out of the hat at the end of the month! Details here: Alter it

Monday 16 April 2012

New leaf?

It's challenge time at Tando Creative and our theme this month is "Green and Yellow".

I've made a simple canvas this month. I used watercolour crayons in shades of green and yellow to scribble directly onto the canvas and blended with gesso.

I sponged ink over the Random Circles mask and then stamped the leaves. I used green and yellow acrylic paint to paint over the stamping and left all but one of them as basic shapes. On the last one, I added some veining with dark brown paint and also scratched through the layers of paint with a pin and finally added a drop shadow with the brown paint.

The chipboard domino is triple embossed with a word stamp pressed in and then picked out with some more acrylic paint.

Falling Leaves (Stampers Anonymous)
Imagine (The Artistic Stamper)

Adirondack by Ranger (Lettuce)

Random Circles mask (Tando Creative)
Chipboard domino (Tando Creative)
Acrylic paint
Caran d'Ache watercolour crayons

Thanks for stopping by! If you fancy having a play with this springtime colour combo we'd love to have you join us and if your project is picked in the random draw at the end of the month you can pick out a lovely Tando prize! Challenge details here.

Saturday 7 April 2012

Household flower!

Papercrafts magazine is celebrating its Pratical Solutions for Papercrafters special issue this week with a whole bunch of challenges on Cath Edvalson's Moxie Fab blog.

I thought I'd play along in the "Household Items" challenge and made this card.

I've used two household items - a facial tissue and kitchen foil.

The foil was simply stuck to some cardstock and embossed with a Spellbinder folder. I scribbled over with a pink Copic marker and then sanded to give a sort of brushed metal look with a hint of pink in the low spots.

The sentiment is heat embossed in silver to go with the foil.

I remember making piles of flowers from coloured tissues when I was a kid to decorate a village carnival float. We must have been pretty sure it wasn't going to rain!

This is a smaller version of those flowers - I started by cutting strips about 2" wide from a tissue and then layered, concertina folded and wired in the middle of the strip. I rounded the petal ends, ran a marker around them and then carefully separated the layers to make a fluffy bloom. The centre is Glossy Accents with some nail art microbeads sprinkled on.

Stamps: Say it Loud (Waltzingmouse Stamps)

Paper: White, Bitter chocolate, Facial tissue

Ink: Versamark

Detail silver embossing powder
Memento marker (
Angel Pink)
Nail art microbeads
Kitchen foil
Copic marker (
Tender Pink)
Spellbinder M-bossabilities folder (So Trendy)
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by - why not check out the Moxie Fab blog for some great pratical challenges?! (Deadline is 9th April and you'll find all the challenges listed on the right hand side of the blog).

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Inspired by Klimt

Our challenge for March over on UKStampers is to take inspiration from a modern (fairly abstract) painter and alter something.

I've altered a chipboard domino to make a pendant inspired by Gustav Klimt. I didn't look at a particular work of his, I just worked on my association of him with rich green and gold and fluid curved lines.

I didn't have black UTEE which is the ideal for this "faux cloisonne" technique so I used three coats of clear with black pigment ink and then a coat of black detail embossing powder just to make sure! The final surface is coated with Versamark and dusted with a couple of colours of Perfect Pearls, reheated to melt before pressing the stamp into the soft surface.

Once it was cool, I used a Versamark pen and added a little more Perfect Pearls to a few circles. I gave the whole thing a couple of coats of Klear floor polish to give it some sheen. This is take two - the first one had a coat of Glossy Accents on it which I left to dry overnight. This morning it was cloudy in the middle and had deep splits in three or four places - I guess it didn't like the non-porous surface!

The edges and the back are finished with gold acrylic paint and I rounded the corners with the ⅛th inch Corner Chomper.

Stamps: Bubble Border (Lost Coast Designs)
Paper: Chipboard domino by Tando Creative
Ink: Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Clear UTEE by Ranger
Detail black embossing powder
Perfect Pearls by Ranger (Forever Green and Sunflower Sparkle)
Gold acrylic paint
Versamark pen and fine paint brush
Corner Chomper
Klear floor polish
Jewellery findings

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday 24 March 2012

Against the tide

I'm just sneaking under the wire with a postcard for this month's swap on UKStampers. Our theme this month is "windows".

I went for a specialist window - a porthole. It must be on a submarine since there's a fish just outside! The fish is stamped on acetate and painted with Precious Metal paint and then flipped so you can see the detail of the stamping. The base is metallic silver which made it hard to photograph since I either got glare off the acetate or the silver bleached out to white!

I've layered up the piece painted with silver acrylic with a die cut hole, the stamped acetate and a piece painted with various turquoise acrylic paints for the background. A ring cut with Nesties makes the porthole frame and I made dots with glue for rivets and let them dry hard before painting. I used some pewter Perfect Pearls to add streaks to age things a bit.

The wording is done by printing onto the shiny side of a transparency sheet with an inkjet printer, laying it onto the painted surface and then burnishing with a wooden stick. You need to remember to print wording in mirror image if you do this but it works well, particularly for a slightly grungy look where you don't need a super crisp result!

A quick spray with Krylon Matt sealant to give it a bit of protection and it's done.

Under the Sea (Darkroom Door)

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Smooth white
Acetate sheet

Class ic Circle Nestabilities by Spellbinder
Acrylic paints (silver and various turquoise blues)
Precious Metal paint by Viva Decor (Pearl and Azure)
Perfect Pearls by Ranger (Pewter

Thanks for stopping by - hope your weekend is a good one!

Thursday 15 March 2012

Paris Birthday

Waltzingmouse Stamps recently released a whole bunch of new sets and I may have been tempted into buying one or two!

My first project with them was this birthday card for somebody who spent time in Paris as a nanny in an earlier phase of her life! The graphic style of this Eiffel Tower stamp is great and there are so many elements in the set to mix and match. I used the Art Nouveau border stamp to create a little strip of patterned paper and trimmed round the bottom to shape it round the pattern.

I hand cut the label shape and its mat too - I don't own Spellbinder Labels 25 which is what it's designed to coordinate with but it's a pretty easy shape to hand cut.

Paris Nouveau and sentiment from Say it Loud (both Waltzingmouse Stamps)

White and black

Adirondack by Ranger (Pool and Stream)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Corner Chomper by We R Memory Keepers

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday 12 March 2012

Floral gift tag

Here's another guest project for the Chocolate Baroque Design Team blog.

While I had the Copic and Prismacolor pencils out to color the image on the seed packet I shared last week {here if you didn't see it and would like to}, I also coloured the floral spray from the Fragrant Honeysuckle set and turned it into a pretty tag. I think this would be a lovely addition to a gift of a bunch of flowers - perhaps for Mothers Day?

I stamped and cut out with a Beaded Oval Nestability die and then carefully cut the beads off, cutting round the flower head and leaves that extended beyond the basic oval shape. I coloured the image with Copics and Prismacolor pencils and then sponged ink round the edge. I stuck the coloured piece onto a second beaded oval die cut and finished with a simple ribbon at the top.

I used a Copic marker to colour white silk ribbon on this and the seed packet project - it's a great way to get a match for the colours in your image.

Fragrant Honeysuckle (Chocolate Baroque)

Cryogen White

Adirondack by Ranger (Espresso)
Jenni Bowlin ink by Ranger (Soap Powder)

Copic markers
Prismacolor pencils
Beaded Ovals Nestabilities by Spellbinder
Silk ribbon

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday 8 March 2012

Spring flowers

It's time for my contribution to Tando's March challenge where the theme this month is SPRING! We'd like to see an actual spring or two in your work.

I immediately thought of spring flowers (I'm always one for a pun if there's one to be had!). My flowers are mounted on springs from a big selection box I keep with my crafty supplies on the basis they might come in useful. I then added extra springiness by coiling green craft wire to make some foliage for my arrangement.

The "vase" for my flowers is actually one of the shapes from the hot air balloon set. I added a small cog (this really is just one cog, I split the thickness in two as I didn't need it to be as substantial as Tando chippie always is) and painted with silver acrylic paint. Before the paint was fully dry, I pressed scrunched up kitchen foil over it to texture it. A bit of watered down black acrylic paint gave it the final touch.

The piece has a little stand at the base that's made with epoxy repair putty - super-useful stuff! You can usually find it in the pound shop too so it won't break the bank. I used it to attach the springs to the piece as well as it's strong and easy to press objects into when they're a tricky shape and/or potentially have a small contact area if you're trying to glue them down.

Hot Air Balloon grab bag and Cogs grab bag (Tando Creative)
Paper flowers
Green craft wire
Silver and black acrylic paints
Screw head brads
Spellbinder snowflake dies
Epoxy repair putty

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget there's a fab prize up for grabs in a random draw at the end of the month if you fancy putting a spring in your step and joining the challenge - details here.