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.

The Beach (retired CHF)

Paper: Smooth white

Distress reinkers in Spiced Marmalade and Picked Raspberry
Brilliance Graphite Black

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.

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

Paper: Hahnemuhle Bamboo Mixed Media 

Adirondack Willow
Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate

PanPastels (Magenta Tint, Phthalo Green Tint)
Derwent Pastel pencils
White Posca pen
Spectrafix Degas fixative
Corner Chomper

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

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

Paper: glossy white

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!