Thursday, 6 October 2016

Elements of Nature ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New Challenge.

Hi everybody! Its the first Thursday of the month and that means it's time for another challenge over at Stamps and Stencils. Autumn is our fabulous host and she has chosen 'Elements of Nature' as her theme. This is what Autumn has to say........

Whether you are inspired by the glorious world around us with the changing seasons, or tempted to use elements of nature in your art work, this month we'd love to see your nature inspired entries.  Anything goes as long as you include a natural element in your art which can be either either stamped or an actual item!  As always you need to include stamping or stenciling.

I think you'll agree, there is plenty of creative scope with this challenge! My project is a little 5x7 canvas. This is how I got started.....
I firstly collaged some papers and  Washi tape to the  surface of the canvas.....
I then applied gesso to the surface using a palette knife so that some of the papers showed through.
I then stenciled on the heart design using Wendy Vecchi Crackle Embossing Paste. The stencil is by Crafter's Workshop.
As you can see in this closeup, the crackle paste works a treat! Once this was dry, I applied a couple of  thin washes of Deco Art Media Acrylic paint in Titan Buff and Green Gold. Once these layers were dry, I stenciled a few leaves to the bottom and top corners and added some stamping with a flourish stamp. I then replaced the heart stencil, and applied Treasure Gold, gilding paste, in Spanish Topaz
This really brought those lovely crackles to life. To encourage the heart to stand out, I went around the edges with a black Stabilo pencil and activated it with a water brush. The final stage to the background was to add a 'dirty wash' to the surface. I used Andy Skinner's recipe, with Quinacridone Gold, Paynes Grey and a touch of Yellow Iron Oxide thinned down with plenty of water. I then made a dimensional dragonfly, using Tim Holtz's Layered Dragonfly die and embossing folder.
I cut the body from a piece of thin craft metal and coloured it with Alcohol Ink. The wings are cut from acetate. I also stamped onto the wings, with the same crackle stamp, that I used for the leaves, on my last project for Stamps and Stencils. I then attached it to the canvas using Glossy Accents.
So, that's how I made my canvas ! If you would like to join our challenge this month, hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog with this link where you'll find the challenge details, as well as Autumn's beautiful project and some fantastic inspiration by the rest of the team. hope to see you there ! x 

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Having Fun With Stickers.

Hi everybody! It's my turn to inspire you over on the Stamps and Stencils blog. I've had a great time playing around with paints and inks making my own stickers. If you'd like to see how easy it is to make yourself a pile of lovely colourful stickers, hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog with this link, and I'll guide you through the process. Ha ha ! who doesn't love a few stickers? x

Monday, 19 September 2016

Twelve Tags of 2016 ~ Technique Remix ~ September

I can hardly believe it. It's not quite the end of September and I've finished my tag for Tim's Twelve Tags Remix Challenge.This month Tim has married together, Distress Patina and Alcohol Ink Resist. Two great techniques. The added twist is that Tim has used Yupo as a background. If you haven't tried this amazing substrate, I suggest you give it a go, it works so well with Alcohol Ink. You can see Tim's fabulous tag here. I particularly like the effect of the Alcohol Ink Resist on my tag, as It looks rather like a vintage film negative. The stamp I've used has lots of fine detail which the Alcohol Resist has picked up really well......
That's it for today folks, short and sweet! See you soon. x

Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Colours of Autumn ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New Challenge.

Hi everybody !It's the first Thursday of a new month and that means that it's time for a new challenge over at Stamps and Stencils. Rachel is our fabulous host this month, and she has chosen 'The Colours of Autumn'. This is what Rachel has to say

 'The colours of Autumn'.... just to clarify - the theme is not autumn - just the colours - so you don't have to focus on leaves but of course you can if you want to!!! '

I think you'll agree that this is the perfect challenge for this time of year. If you hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog, you'll see Rachel's fabulous journal spread, along with some fantastic projects from the rest of the design team. I decided to go 'leafy' with my project and put together this wall hanging, using lot's of Autumnal colours. Whilst mooching in my 'off cuts' draw, I came across some rectangular pieces of mount board about the size of an extra large tag. This was to be my starting point....
I adhered pieces of book pages to the mount board using Matte Mod Podge. Once dry I coated the surface with gesso.

I then applied Dylusion sprays in shades of yellow, orange, brown and green. I also used my new Distress Crayons around the edges and blended them in. This really added depth to the colours. Love these crayons ! Once this was dry, I partially stenciled a flourish into the background, using gesso. The white colour softened as it absorbed some of the Dylusions, giving a barely there look. I then stamped some images of teasels using Archival Inks.I also did a little more stenciling with a Trellis Layering stencil.
Whilst the various layers were drying, I cut a whole bunch of flowers and leaves, in lightweight manila card, using Tim Holt's Tattered Florals  and Tattered Leaves dies. I coloured these on both sides, using a variety of Distress Stains. 
Once the flowers were dry, I used a ball tool and a soft mat to mold the flowers into shape.
To form the centres of flowers, I used a forwards and backwards motion along each petal. This gathers the petals inward. I then applied a little glue to the sides of each petal and gently brought them up together. This is a bit fiddly and you have to hold the shape together until the glue starts to dry. It's worth doingthough,  as it makes the flower look quite realistic.
I gave the flower a quick squirt of Copper coloured Mica Spray which has added a lovely sheen. The leaves were also coloured with Distress Stains. Once dry, I stamped the surface of each leaf with a crackle patterned stamp.
I also folded the leaves and ran a Mini Distress Ink Pad along the folds, I love doing this kind of 'faux realism'. I then assembled the hanging using Cosmic Shimmer glue to adhere all the different elements. To finish my floral arrangement, I added a bow made with my favourite linen thread. I typed out the quote and added it to the surface and finished the project off with a rusty wire hanger.....

 and a faux rust, name plate
and that, readers, is how I put this project together ! Now if you fancy getting to grips with some gorgeous Autmn Colours, we'd love to see your efforts. Hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog, where you'll find plenty of inspiration, as well as all the details of how to join in. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.! x

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Twelve Tags of 2016 ~ Technique Remix ~ August 2016

Hi everybody ! It's Tim tag time. It's been a great month for crafting with Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry 103. After following this brilliant online course, I've now got a lovely pile of tags showing loads of different techniques. I've still got to photograph and post my Alcohol Ink tags and amongst this group are some of my favourites. Watch this space ! There is of course always room for one more tag and this is it, my offering for Tim's Twelve Tags Remix Challenge. This month Tim combined 'brayered stain' and frameworks'. Both lovely techniques which work so well together. I've followed Tim quite closely for this one, as quite frankly my brain hurts after all the tag making I've done this month! I did, however, use some Distress embossing powder on my die cut flowers. This has given them a lovely texture. You can find Tim's tag here, and if you haven't signed up for The Creative Chemistry Classes, it's not too late as there is lifetime access. Whoopie ! x

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Creative Chemistry 103 ~ Day 3 Distress Mediums ~ Day 4 Distress Crayons

Well I'm still way behind but I'm loving the intensity of Creative Chemistry 103. Tim has put together some amazing techniques for using his new Distress Mediums and Texture Pastes. I'm resigned to not being able to catch up, but I'm going to keep going until I've finished at least one sample for each lesson. First up, are my sample tags for day 3, using Distress Mediums and Texture Pastes. Lovely to see our very own Jenny Marples getting a mention and inspiring Master Tim, with her brilliant Texture Paste Resist Technique. My tag inspired by this, is the second to last, on the bottom row of this set. Way to go Jenny ! here are some individual pics from day 3.......

Layered Collage

Texture Paste Embossing

Texture Paste Resist

Distress grit Paste

Day four.....
Next up, are my samples using Distress Crayons, what can I say, these crayons are just fabulous! I've had them for a while now and have only used them tentatively, so it was really great to get down and dirty with them and I mean dirty ! Lot's of smudging and finger painting with these luscious crayons.
Distress Crayon Smudge.

Distress Crayon Gesso Fresco Technique

Distress Crayon Textured Resist

Distress Crayon Watercolour Resist

Distress Crayon Blended Background

Distress Crayon Layered Colouring Technique.
So, I have just Day 5 and Day 6 to complete. Just hoping that the postman arrives soon with my Yupo ! x

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Creative Chemistry 103 ~ Update.

Just a quick update so that I can add my pictures to the CC103 Gallery. Here are some of my finished tags from day 1. Some fabulous techniques amongst these. I love the offset stamping, and the two different ways Tim showed us how to use Micro Glaze. Here are my tags from day 2........
I thoroughly enjoyed making this set with loads of colourful techniques. I haven't invested in Tim's Mica Sprays yet.... So I improvised with Tarnished Brass Distress Spray, which didn't work in the same way but gave quite a nice effect. I'm working on day 3 now and will be doing another short post when I've finished. X

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Time To Take Flight ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New Challenge

Hi everybody! It's time for a new challenge over at the Stamps and Stencils blog. Time To Take Flight ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New ChallengeSue is our very talented  host for this month, and she has chosen the theme, 'Time To Take Flight'. Wow! so much scope with this one. This is what Sue has to say......

For this challenge I would like to see anything relating to flying, so this could be a bird or a butterfly or it could be an inspirational quote that includes words relating to flying ! As always, please remember we are a mixed media challenge and you must include either stamping or stenciling or both !

I was about to reach for my birds and butterfly stamps,( sounds like I'm quite organised !) when a little sketch book caught my eye. I like these soft backed, A5 size books. They're very cheap and have quite good quality cartridge paper. I think they're ideal for doodling, or trying out ideas and not so precious to use, as some of the more expensive journals. They're also nice and lightweight, so are great for travelling with.......see where I'm going with this....? That's it my idea was born, a travel journal.
This is the book before I got started...

It has a Kraft card cover and I think, it's by Derwent. As the cover was pretty inoffensive, I decided to just make a panel which I could attach to the front cover. This speeds up the 'altering' process and also ensures that the inside pages and back cover remain nice and pristine. Rather than following my usual 'go to' techniques, which generally involve gesso, matte medium, book page etc, I decided to have a little Alcohol Ink fun. It was quite fortunate that the paper I use with my Alcohol Inks, happened to be just the right size for the cover.
I applied various  shades of blue Alcohol Ink using a blending tool. I then placed a 'sun ray', Layering Stencil, over the top half of the paper and used a clean felt pad with Alcohol Blending Solution, to remove some of the colour....
 I also applied some yellow ink, to suggest the sun bursting through the clouds. I forgot to photograph this stage though. I then proceeded to stamp some images onto the background. Initially, I didn't want to add any dimension to the cover, so that it would be easy to travel with, however, after playing around with my stamps and adding on some rub ons, I thought it was lacking a bit of Oooomph, when I had a little brainwave......
I die cut this wonderful globe, It's by Tim Holtz for Sizzix, I gave it a coat of Flitter Glu, and added Mega Flakes to the surface. Unfortunately I couldn't capture the lovely glisten of the silvered surface, in my photos. I also stamped the airplane with black Archival ink, onto a piece of silver card and embossed it with clear embossing powder. I cut it out carefully and started to layer up the design, securing everything with Matte Medium.
To finish off, I used my sewing machine to stitch around the edge before attaching the panel to my book with Matte Medium.
This was a fun project to do, and proved to be a relatively quick way of transforming a simple journal, well, that's if you take off the time for making cups of tea, day dreaming, looking for misplaced stuff, and tuning into the craft channels! Hey ho, I'm still getting used to this retirement malarky !
Now, we would love to see what you can make for our latest 'Time to Take Flight' challenge. Just hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog, where you'll find some wonderful inspiration from the rest of the team. Follow the instructions for up loading your mixed media project and who knows, you could be a winner or one of our fabulous top three. Look forward to seeing you there. x

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Creative Chemistry 103 ~ Day1

Day 1.
Oh happy day! Creative Chemistry 103, started yesterday. It's great to get back in the classroom with such a brilliant teacher as Mr Tim Holtz. There was so much content to yesterday's class, that I'm afraid to say that I didn't finish everything. It's a good job there is lifetime access to the lessons. Here are a few of my samples  featuring two techniques, Ombré and Highlight Stamping, there will be more pics to come as I have to complete my samples for Off Set Stamping, Washed Watercolours and Micro Glazing......when I can get back in the craft room ! x

Friday, 29 July 2016

Twelve Tags of 2016 Remix Challenge ~ July

Well ! It's been a whirlwind of a month for me. I have said my goodbyes to all my wonderful colleagues and the marvellous children I've worked with and after more than 40 years of teaching, on and off, I have finally retired. It hasn't really sunk in yet, I suppose it won't seem real until September. However, I'm really looking forward to this next chapter of my life and hope to fill a big chunk of my time, pursuing my love of art and craft. What better way to kick start my 'freedom', than with a little tag making, for Tim's Twelve Tags of 2016 Remix Challenge. This month Tim has revisted, 'Watercolour Resist' and 'Layered Words'. You can see Tim's wonderful tag  here, with this link. I've used a few improvisations and settled on this lovely circus elephant stamp. I've used an off cut of corrugated card for my tag and the star brads have been 'enamelled' with embossing powder. So that's it for this month, I'm looking forward to seeing what Tim's got in store for August. I shall also, of course, be tuning in to the third installment of Tim's Creative Chemistry course, as CC103 starts on Monday. Hooray !!! x

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Tic Tac Toe ~ New Challenge for Stamps and Stencils

Hi everybody! It's my turn to host the July challenge over at the Stamps and Stencils blog. I've chosen to do a Tic Tac Toe.  My teamies have done me very proud with some fantastic art work, based on their selections from the grid.
I've made this assemblage piece using elements from the top row of the grid, flowers, corrugated card and lace.I started off by peeling back some of the smooth surface of the cardboard to reveal the texture. I painted the surface with gesso and stenciled some vertical lines using modelling paste through one of Tim Holtz's layering stencils.
I then adhered a piece of textured lace with matte medium and a selection of metal,  plastic and lace flowers. I used a hot glue gun to attach these pieces.
I then painted everything with a couple of coats of gesso. Once this was dry, I added several thin washes of colour, allowing it to drip and pool in the texture. I used deco art Media Fluid in Prussian Blue
Left this to dry thoroughly, and then used a stiff brush with white gesso to dry brush the surface. This really enhances the detail of the different textures.
The crackled photo frame, is the underside of a small canvas. I applied Deco Art Crackle paste over the surface, and rubbed some Antiquing Fluid into the cracks once  the Crackle Paste was dry.
This is a photo boothe picture of me and my Auntie Sue, I think I was about 14 or 15 at the time. I used my mum's old typewriter to type out the phrase, which is something that stuck in my head after listening to Adele on the TV. It is perfect for the reflective mood I find myself in, as I am on the verge of retiring after teaching, on and off, for the last 40 years. Ha ha ! bring on the next chapter !
If you fancy a bit of playtime with a game of crafty Tic Tac Toe, hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog and you'll find all the details of the challenge, as well as some fantastic inspiration from our multi talented design team.