Monday 30 March 2015

Exciting News ~ I'm Dusting Off My ~ Stamps and Stencils !

I'm back again to share some exciting news! I'm very pleased to announce that I am going to be joining the design team of a brand  new challenge blog called 'Stamps and Stencils'. The blog will host monthly, mixed media challenges, with a focus on using stamps and stencils. To help to get your creative juices flowing, we will also feature inspirational posts throughout the month. There's a fantastically talented design team, just revving up for the launch of our first challenge on Thursday 2nd of April. So if you're ready to have some creative fun, dust off those Stamps and Stencils and come and join us. You can meet the design team by following this link to the Stamps and Stencils blog and don't forget to tune in on Thursday for details of our inaugural challenge. Looking forward to seeing you there ! x
Hi everybody! It's been a little quiet here at 'craft dabbler central' as I've been pretty busy with my day job. Happily, I've now broken up for the Easter holidays and  could think of no better way of kick starting some crafty-ness, as to getting on with my offering for Tim's Twelve Tags of 2015, March tag. You can see Tim's gorgeous tag here. As usual it's been great fun to make. I love the embossed gold stencilling against the colourful, Distress Paint background. I'm sure I will be revisiting this technique very soon ! I was a bit disappointed not to have used the Typo Layering Stencil. Mine is currently sitting in the post office awaiting collection! Still, I do love the way the Gothic one has turned out, Thanks once again Tim for sharing your creativity, looking forward to seeing where this takes us all next month ! x

Thursday 5 March 2015

Springtime ~ Artist Trading Post Exchange ~ New Challenge.

Well there has been a definite touch of Spring in the air here in the West Midlands, with crisp blue skies, birds singing and even a touch of sunshine. All this has helped to inspire me to get stuck into our latest challenge over at the Artist trading Post Exchange. Annie is our host this week and she has chosen the theme of Springtime. You can see Annie's amazing project over on the blog, by following this link. I'm sure you'll also be impressed by the work from the rest of the design time.
I wanted to try something a little different from my usual grungy style and this canvas is the result. It's about as clean and simple as it gets around here ! I started with a 5"x 7" canvas and gave it a coat of white gesso. Even though these little canvasses are already gessoed, I like to put on another coat as it kind of softens the texture of the woven canvas.While this was drying, I worked out a design in my art journal. I could 'see' it  in my head but wasn't entirely sure if it would work !
This is what it looked like.
 Once I was happy, I stenciled the splats onto my canvas, using Barn Door, Mustard Seed and the new Cracked Pistachio Distress Paints.
I used Tim Holtz's 'Splatters' Layering Stencil to create the splats. This is the first time I've used this stencil and I must say I just love those splats! I then turned my attention to the stamping. Stamping directly onto canvas is very different from stamping into a journal. It creates a much softer image than I wanted for this project. For this reason, I decided to stamp onto a tissue and apply it to the canvas. I used a 'mansize' two ply tissue, and separated the top layer after it was stamped.
The stamps I've used are from a set called 'Live, Laugh, Love' by Indigo Blu. In this picture you can see how I've used a 'post it' paper mask, to enable me to build up the scene. I keep all the masks I make, as it is a bit tedious having to cut around the intricate shapes of my stamps. I've got quite a collection now, as I really like this technique of creating layers. As I'd already had a dry run of the stamping in my journal, it was easy to re-create the design on the tissue. I used black Archival Ink as this is waterproof and essential for the next stage.
Here is the finished stamping on the tissue. I then coated the surface of the canvas with Matte Glue 'n' Seal. I carefully separated the layers of tissue and gently applied the stamped layer to the canvas.  It is possible to rip around the stamping and apply it a piece at at a time, but I was feeling brave so I did it in  a 'one-er' ha ha! I used a thick soft paint brush with a kind of tapping motion to secure the tissue to the canvas. It's important not to over work it at this stage as the tissue is quite fragile once it comes into contact with the Glue'n'Seal. Once the canvas was dry, I gave it another coat of Glue 'n' Seal and left it to dry once more. I then replaced all the paper masks and added a few more splatters using watered down Distress Paint and a paint brush to flick the paint on, I hope my blog friend Buttons, will be proud of me, as this is a technique I know she loves ! My final addition to the canvas was to add the sentiment, this was stamped on tissue and applied in the same way.The stamp is from one of the new sets by Tim Holtz called 'Perspective'.

So that's it ! I hope I haven't bombarded you with too much information ! We would love you to join us for what is, I'm sad to say, going to be our last challenge as the Artist trading Post Exchange. You have until the 18th of March to upload your Springtime projects. Please remember to include some stamping and you may be lucky enough to win a £10 voucher for the Artist Trading Post shop. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank The Artist Trading Post for their generous support of the ATP Exchange, I know many of you have really enjoyed hopping over to visit and joining in with the challenges.

Now !!!!!! We would like you all to watch this space........ you can't keep a good team down, so keep your eyes peeled for our next exciting adventure................can't wait ! see you soon x