Friday, 6 September 2019

Box it Up ! ~ A Vintage Journey ~ New Challenge

Hi everybody! It's time for a new challenge on the A Vintage Journey blog. Julia is our fabulous host this month and she has chosen a fun topic which she has called 'Box it Up' This is what Julia has to say.....
This month our theme is boxes! Perhaps you will make a trunk or suitcase, some kind of package to hold a gift, or maybe make a card or journal page showing presents. Just remember to ensure that you create in one of our preferred styles of vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk.
Well ! this was a timely topic for me, as I am always finding little piles of loose change around the house when I'm tidying up. Coins can found down the side of the sofa, in the bathroom , by the phone in fact just about anywhere .....Does anyone else experience this? I think the men in my life must have too much of the stuff . So, I decided to make this little money box and I shall put any loose change I find into it, after all 'finder's keepers' ! Unfortunately I had forgotten to charge my camera battery so I do not have many process pictures but this is how I got started......

I firstly embossed some lengths of sticky backed aluminium foil tape and applied some colours of Alcohol Ink to the surface.
I then die cut the box out of grey board, using Eileen Hull's Canister Die. I constructed the canister and left it a while to make sure that the glue was completely dry. I used Cosmic shimmer glue and held the seams together with clips.
Once dry I covered the canister with the Aluminium foil.....
I distressed the surface, by lightly sanding back the alchohol ink with wire wool. It was then time to add the embellishments. I gathered together some die cut cogs, some skeleton hand pendants, and a Tim Holtz label frame......
I gave them all a rusted finish by heat embossing them with Seth Apter's Baked Texture embossing powder in  'Chunky Rust'. This technique is a great way of quickly and easily creating a 'rusty' finish on all kinds of substrates. Here's a closeup....
I used Cosmic Shimmer glue to attach most of the embellishments. The skeleton hands were a little more difficult to hold down, so I used a little blob of silicone. Now all I have to do is keep on collecting all that loose change that nobody seems to want!I let you know how much is in there once it's full !
 If you would like to enter our challenge, then hop over to the A Vintage Journey blog with this link . Once there, you'll find some fantastic inspiration by Julia and the other Creative Guides as well as the challenge rules. I look forward to seeing your creations. x

 

Friday, 30 August 2019

A Vintage Journey ~ Tag Friday ~ Holiday Memories.

Hi everybody! This is the fifth Friday in August and, of course, this means that it's a 'Tag Friday' over at the A Vintage Journey blog. Ever since being introduced to the joys of tag art, through Tim Holtz's Twelve Tags challenges, I jump at the chance to create one, as it is always so much fun! I've chosen a sea theme for this tag, so that I can capture a memory of my holiday in beautiful  Northumberland. This is how I did it.......
I began by stenciling the surface with white gesso. Once dry, I sprayed the surface with Distress Inks in shades of blue and green. The gesso acts as a resist to the ink and leaves a very clear image. I dried the surface with a heat gun. I then tried out a 'new to me' product called Xpandaprint, available from Art Van Go. I applied a layer of the paste around the edges of the tag, using a palette knife and gently tapping it on the surface. I then used my heat gun to activate the paste.....
On the left side, the Xpandaprint has bubbled up after being heated. On the right side, you can see the paste as I applied it. Once all of the paste had been activated, I sprayed the areas with more Distress Inks. After drying the ink, I did a little dry brushing with white acrylic paint
I love the texture the Xpandaprint creates, it's also very lightweight. Once my background was finished I set to work on the different elements. I already had the casts of the shells and seahorse, so I only had to apply a little paint and dry brushing to them. I also had a piece of  distressed scrim lying around which I sprayed with the same blue Distress Ink. In addition to these elements, I die cut and heat embossed a few leaf stems from one of Tim's Wildflower Stems. I then started to try out a few arrangements leaving a space in the middle for my photograph of the sea at Budle Bay.....
Once I was satisfied with the arrangement, I secured the elements with glue and dimensional pads. I mounted the photo in a die cut frame.This is also a Tim Holtz die called, Pocket Frame....
I added a few glass bubbles and my tag was finished. I'm hoping the memory of the glorious Budle Bay with its miles of white sandy beaches, will keep me going through the winter ! If you'd like to see a fabulous collection of tags, please hop over to the A Vintage Journey blog and feast your eyes upon the tags the Creative Guides have put together. Until next time,'happy creating!' x

Friday, 5 July 2019

Precious Metal ~ A Vintage Journey ~ New Challenge


Hi everybody! It's time for a new challenge over at A Vintage Journey. Amanda is our super talented Creative Guide this month, and she has chosen the title 'Precious Metal'. This is what Amanda has to say....

'For this challenge we would like to see some kind of precious metal feature in your project. Think gold, silver, brass, copper, aluminium, steel..... It could be in the form of embellishments, cardstock,  paint, gilding wax, foil, gold leaf or rub ons. Just remember to ensure that you create in one of our preferred styles of vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk.'

 Now, Amanda is obviously a woman after my own heart as I love using metal. You can see Amanda's fabulous project by hopping over to the A Vintage Journey blog with this link. You will also see some wonderfully inspiring work by The other Creative Guides.

Those of you that have  visited my blog over the years, may know that I have a minor obsession for creating with spent tomato paste tubes. I never, ever throw these tubes away as they are a fantastic source of bright, shiny, precious metal. Let me show you how I used them to transform this paper mache book box.......
I bought the book box from Hobby Craft. It's a really nice size not too big, not too small, with a height of approximately 15cm and cover width 10.5cm....
The cover proved to be the perfect size for a tomato paste tube. To prepare the tubes, I cut off the top and bottom and then cut down one side. I rinse off any remaining tomato paste and flatten out the tubes. I use a wooden spoon to get out any creases. You have to be a little careful as the sides can have some jagged bits, these can be easily cut away with scissors. For this project, I used one tube for the front cover and one for the back. I embossed them with Tim Holtz's 3d Cogs embossing folder, which gave a wonderfully deep impression. I then painted them with Deco Art, black, Antiquing Fluid. once dry, I wiped the surfaces, gently, removing some of the colour. This is a super, easy, technique which gives an instant 'antique' finish to embossed metal. I then dabbed over the surface using Archival Ink in Potting Soil. Here's a picture of the various stages.......
Before applying the metal to the book box, I adhered a piece of black fabric along the spine I also painted around the edges, inside and out, with black acrylic paint. 
I then trimmed the metal so that it fitted the box book cover. It was fortuitous that the covers are around the same size as the embossing folder I used. I also rounded the corners with my  corner 'chompers'.
 I adhered some text washi tape around the sides of the box. It  was then ready to add the embossed metal to the covers. I used heavy matte gel medium and left it to dry for several hours. When I came back to it, I used a poky tool to make  holes, so that I could add an elastic loop to the back and a jeans button to the front as a fastening for the 'book'. I used Glossy Accents to fix a little metal cog on top of the button, which I think has worked really well......
 I used some paper from and old street map to cover the interior......
 To decorate the front of the book, I added one of the new Idea-ology Stencil chips. It's almost is the same colour as the metal cover. I think I might need a bulk order of these beauties ! I glued a piece of black card behind the letter to make it stand out....
This is what the back looks like.....
The streak of silver down the middle is where the tube was folded, I think it rather adds to the distressed look!  The finishing touches were to add some faux studs down the side front panel and  a little Dymo label echoing the challenge title, saying 'Precious' . It was a little stark in black and white so I toned it down with some Butterscotch alcohol ink.
I thoroughly enjoyed creating this for our 'Precious Metal' challenge. If you'd like to join in with the challenge, all you have to do is hop over to the AVJ blog with this link  Once you're there, you'll find the challenge guidelines as well as plenty of inspiration to kick start your creativity. I'm looking forward to seeing all your Precious Metal projects. x  




Friday, 7 June 2019

A Vintage Journey ~ New Challenge ~ Tissue Paper.


It's time for a new challenge over at  A Vintage Journey. Our Creative Guide for this month is the wonderfully talented Astrid, and she has chosen, 'Tissue Paper'. This is what Astrid has to say.......

There are many different ways you can incorporate tissue paper into your project - create texture by scrunching it up, stain it, paint it, wax it, stamp on it, emboss on it. You could use cheap tissue from the supermarket, recycle gift wrapping tissue, or even use old dressmaking patterns. Just remember to create in one of our preferred styles of vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk.

I was really excited by this challenge as I have enjoyed using tissue paper in several of my past projects, it has so much potential. My main problem was trying to decide which of the many ways I was going use it! After some deliberation, I chose to stamp on recycled packaging tissue, and then use it to decorate a ceramic plant pot. This is how I did it......

Here is the pot I used before it's makeover.  The first thing I did, was to give it a coat of white gesso. This provided a nice neutral surface for the tissue paper.  Whilst this was drying, I stamped out several sheets of plain white tissue paper, using a gorgeous bee stamp (origin unknown),  and also the fabulous #161 Ladybug stamp by Tracy Evans, for Aall and Create. I used black Versafine Ink to stamp with. 
After heat setting the ink with a hot air tool, I began tearing the tissue paper into manageable pieces, preserving some complete images of the ladybirds and bumble bees. I then applied the tissue to the pot using Mod Podge adhesive. As the tissue is quite fragile when wet, it was much easier to paint the Mod Podge onto the surface of the pot and gently smooth the tissue on top. Here is the covered pot......
 I also added a couple of bumblebees to the inside. I left the pot to dry completely and then started to apply some colour. I used Deco Art Media Fluid acrylic paint to add colour to the ladybirds and also a little colour wash in the hearts and background. Once the paint was dry, I sealed the surface with Matte Medium, left it to dry (again!), and then gave it a coat of Crackle Glaze. Once the crackles had developed I applied DecoArt Antiquing fluid and wiped it back to reveal the crackled surface....


To finish off the surface, I gave the whole pot a coat of 'dirty wash'. This is basically, a watery mixture of Paynes Grey and Quinacridone Gold. I coloured the rim of the pot with a gold paint marker, before spraying it, inside and out, with matte acrylic varnish. I then added a twist of rusty wire and a little ladybird charm. I also remembered that I had a set of travel dominoes and as the Ladybug stamp set features images of dominoes, I thought it would be fun to make a charm out of one. With that, my pot transformation was complete. Now I just need to find a suitable house plant to stand in it. I think I can feel a trip to the garden centre coming on!
 If you would like to use tissue paper in a project we would love you to share it with our Tissue Paper Challenge. Hop over to the A Vintage Journey blog with this link, and you'll find the challenge details as well as a wealth of inspiration from Astrid and the other Creative Guides. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. x

Friday, 31 May 2019

A Vintage Journey ~Tag Friday ~ and Much Excitement!

Hi everybody! I'm very excited to announce that I am joining the A Vintage Journey blog, as one of their 4 new Creative Guides! I have been a big fan of AVJ for many years and it is a dream come true for me to be joining this fabulous team. My first post is for Tag Friday. This happens whenever there are five Fridays in the month. You can see some stunning work by some of the other Creative Guides with this link. As we are enjoying a lovely Spring season here in the UK, I've chosen a Spring theme for my tag. This is how it came together...
Firstly, I used Distress Oxide and Distress spray to colour the background...
Once dry, I ran the tag through my Big Shot, using Tim Holtz's Botanical Flowers 3D embossing folder. I also stitched around the edges with my sewing machine....
I stamped out the nest using the Stampers Anonymous, Bird Feather set using a piece of card that I coloured at the same time as the tag. I then fussy cut it and added some little 'eggs'.
 
My next step was to create a little fairy child to look after the eggs! I used one of the most adorable Paper Dolls and honoured him with a pair of Tim's gorgeous Transparent Wings...
 To enable him to sit snugly in the nest, I folded him in the middle and at the knees. This added just  enough dimension. I happened to have a set of hat stamps on my work table and when I spied a little crown, I couldn't resist using it to add a finishing touch. My final step, was to add a little more texture. I used corrugated card sprayed with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and added a Remnant Rub On, saying 'Found'....
The addition of a couple of faux rust brads and a piece of linen thread and my tag was finished. I have to say that I'm rather in love with this little cutie!
I hope you've enjoyed this little walk through and I hope you'll be back to see what else I get up to as a Vintage Journey Creative Guide. Ooooo! sounds good eh! x



Friday, 5 April 2019

Spring Tag ~ It's Good To Be Back !

Hi everybody! I'm almost ashamed to say that this is my first post of 2019! I've had a little break as real life events have needed my attention. I'm now, very pleased to have a bit more time on my hands! What better way to get back into crafting, than with constructing a tag.........
I started off by creating a textured background, using a wonderful little Dyan Reavely stencil and some modelling paste. The stencil was part of a Ranger freebie given away with with one of the craft magazines. As the stencil was smaller than the tag, I  re-positioned it couple of times allowing the modelling paste to dry each time. I then used my newly acquired Distress Oxide Sprays to colour the surface. It's the first time I've used them and was impressed by how well they covered the textured surface. 
This was how it looked after the first layer of colours. I decided, eventually to use more blue, but was pleased that the amber colour shows through slightly just adding a little glow. I used my favourite bird stamp for the focal image. I hope all the bird watchers out there will allow me a little artistic licence, as I'm pretty sure it's really a Sparrow but has been transformed by the magic of Distress Crayons into a Blue Tit!
The flowers were made using Tim Holtz's Spiral Flowers Thinlits Dies. I love these dies and haven't used them nearly enough! 
The letters that spell the word 'Fly', have been die cut in thin copper sheet using one of Tim's Bigz alphabet dies. I then used a soldering iron and covered the surface of each letter with solder. This is a technique I learnt when I followed the 'Wanderlust' course the other year. It's something I will certainly be doing more of as I love the pewter type finish,
Hope you've enjoyed seeing how my tag came together. I 'm going on holiday for a couple of weeks but will be back with another project soon! x. 

Thursday, 6 December 2018

It's got to be Christmas ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New Challenge.

Hi everybody! It's time for our final challenge over on the Stamps and Stencils blog. Not only is this the last challenge of the year, sadly, it will also be the last challenge for our fabulous Stamps and Stencils blog. It has been going for a fantastic 3 years and we have had a blast, setting some great challenges and delivering  brilliant inspirational posts. I'd like to take this opportunity to say a big thankyou to Sue for having the vision, leading a great design team and running the blog alongside her very busy life. She has done a great job! I'd also like to thank my fellow teamies for all their support and fantastic inspiration. Finally, I'd like to say thank you to all the talented people that have joined in with our challenges and left us uplifting comments. We've seen some incredible work and it's always been difficult to choose our winners!
The challenge for December has been set by Sue and is, of course, it's a seasonal one. We'd like to see what you've been stamping and stenciling for Christmas. this is what Sue has to say about the challenge...….
It's got to be Christmas! Possibly predictive but as everyone gets busy for the festive season time seems to disappear at a fast pace, so we're keeping it simple . For this challenge we want to keep it festive and see your Christmas themed creations, just remember it must be mixed media and include stamping and/or stencilling.
My project is a  Christmas decoration based on an MDF 3 part bauble shape from Tando Creative. I was lucky enough to attend the Ministry of Mixology event a couple of weeks ago and as well as doing some fabulous workshops with Andy Skinner and Birgit Koopsen, I also was able to participate in some fabulous 'make and takes' during the evening. My project is inspired by one of these which was run by the lovely  Fiona Randall. This is how I put together my interpretation, using of some of her ideas and techniques...…..
Instead of using a tag, I used this layered frame kit, which of course I just had to buy from Di Oliver's pop up shop at the workshop venue...…
I painted the pieces with black gesso and then applied a coat of Deco Art Americana Crackle medium. once this was dry I applied a top coat of Snow White, mixed with a little Buff coloured Fresco Finish paint this is how the two layers looked once the crackles appeared...……


 I then stamped with a script stamp around the top frame, and added a little shading to the edges with Archival ink, and painted the sides with gold paint, allowing it to cover a little of the edges of the frame.....
I then mixed a little texture paint with fine glitter, and stencilled the back of the frame using a 'splatter' stencil. Here's a close up...….
I then glued the two pieces together and turned my attention to the centre piece.....
After painting a chipboard snowflake with black gesso, I dried it with a heat tool and then brushed a little Vaselineto some of the edges. I then applied  Texture Sand Paste, using my finger to dab the surface and create a 'fluffy' texture. I then painted it with Snow White paint and I dried it with a heat tool. I then wiped the edges with a soft cloth, removing some of the paint and paste.....
I then repeated the Texture Paint and glitter stencilling on the surface. I painted a few smaller die cut snowflakes, one gold , one white and one pale blue. Once they were all dry, I stacked them on top of the large snowflake and adhered them together with dimensional tape...…
A piece of dyed seam binding, threaded through the top finished of my bauble, which is now ready to hang up. 
I hope you'll join us for this final  challenge, just hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog, where you'll find all of the details as well as being able to feast your eyes on some beautiful and inspiring projects by the rest of the amazing design team! Have a happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year. I shall be continuing with my Artistic Craft Dabbler blog and look forward to sharing my projects and tutorials with you! xx 










Thursday, 1 November 2018

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November.......

Hi everybody! it's my turn to set the challenge over on the Stamps and Stencils blog and this is what I've come up with ........

......... As a child, I used to love bonfire night. My dad would come home from work with a box of fireworks and packets of sparklers. We couldn't wait to get outside and enjoy the show! Fire works and fire, are used in celebrations all over the world.  I'd love to see your art works based on fire and fireworks. Think bursts of colour. Let rip with the colour sprays, glitter, and paints. Let's have a bit of fun and brighten up these dark days with COLOUR ! Just remember it must be mixed media and include stamps or stencils or even both.

My project, is a square canvas with a tissue collaged background and stamped and stencilled patterns on top. This is how I brought it together.....
I started off by covering the surface with torn pieces of coloured tissue paper, adhered with Mod Podge. I slightly crinkled the paper as I applied it, so as to add some texture. The next step was to stencil the pattern. I haven't got any specific fire work stencils but I thought this chrysanthemum style, flower stencil, had the look of a rocket burst. I mixed a little acrylic paint into some moulding paste and stencilled the first flower. To add to the look of a firework, I sprinkled the surface of the moulding paste with glitter. I then dried it with a heat gun and repeated the same procedure for each flower.......
    I think the glitter helped to transform my flowers into the desired firework bursts. In order to add another 'firework' element, I stamped several areas of the canvas, with a concentric circle style stamp, using Indigo Blu Flitter Glue. Once this was tacky, I layered on some gold leaf, apologies for the rather blurred picture.......
Once everthing was completely dry, I applied some black Archival Ink to the edges of the canvas, with a blending tool. I also ran the ink lightly across the background surface, just catching some of the tissue crinkles. I added the words 'Remember, remember, 5th November, which were taken from a rhyme we used to say at school which commemorates the foiled plot by 'Guy Fawkes' and his buddies,to blow up the King and Parliament.....

'Remember, remember, the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder and treason
Should ever be forgot'

......and that is why we still celebrate Bonfire Night to this day.
If you would like to join in with our Stamps and Stencils challenge, I'd love to see your interpretations of fireworks or fire.Hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog with this link, and you'll find some inspiring work by the rest of this fantastic team, as well as all of the challenge details. Hope I'll see you there ! x

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Spooky Fun....With an Autumnal Twist ! ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New Challenge.

Hi everybody! It's that time again, when a new challenge starts over on the Stamps and Stencils blog. Rachel is our talented host this month and she has chosen a fun, seasonal, challenge. She has called it.... 'Spooky Fun with Autumnal Twist'. I was pleased when I saw Rachel's theme, as it gave me a chance to use some of the Halloween stash, I've been hoarding since last year!
My project is a large tag made from a piece of corrugated card......
I always get a sense of satisfaction when I'm able to use some recycled materials in my crafting. The tag measures around 23 cm x 12cm. I removed some of the surface paper from around the edges and gave the tag a coat of white gesso. Although applying gesso to the surface is a bit of a faff when it's going to be painted further,  it really does provide a good ground for the coloured acrylic paints, making them more true to their colours, than if they were painted straight onto the cardboard. once the gesso had dried, I painted the surface with Decoart, Media Paint in Green Gold. I then used one of Tim Holtz's Layering stencils, with black gesso, to stencil the harlequin pattern.......
I love that Green Gold colour, though for my spooky tag, I felt it looked a little too bright. in order to grunge it up a bit, I gave the surface a little 'dirty wash' and added some faux rusting to the exposed corrugated card.....
I then turned my attention to the main focal image. I Took a piece of  light weight card and sprayed it with Distress Spray.  I used a combination of Marigold and Spiced Pumpkin. I then used my Stamping Platform to stamp the raven image.The stamp is by Stampendous. The advantage of using the Stamping Platform with a stamp such as this, is that you can stamp it several times if the image doesn't come out perfectly first time. I am, of course, speaking from experience, with my first effort ending up in the bin! After stamping out the image, I tore around the edges and scrunched up the card. I then used Distress ink over the surface to highlight the folds, as well as around the edges.....
 As usual the photographs tend to peter out at this stage as I started to have fun with trying different elements to layer with the image. Underneath the focal image I added some die cut 'twigs and die cut, embossed planks of wood.......
I made a little picture frame for the image of Edgar Alan Poe.......
and tucked a fun skeleton image at the top of the tag..........
Both of these die cuts are from a pack of Tim Holtz Ideaology, Halloween Ephemera. The final addition of a dyed ribbon to the top, was the finishing touch.....
So there you have it! Spooky fun...... tick......Autumnal colours..... tick ! Ha ha! If you fancy having a little spooky fun, or if you prefer a project with an Autumnal feel, then why not join us in this months challenge. We would love to see what you come up with. Just hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog, where you'll see some fabulous inspiration. You'll also find the challenge rules, there aren't many, just remember to use some stamping or stencilling or both ! I look forward to seeing you there. x
I'm also going to join in with the Spookalicious Challenge over on the 'That's Crafty Challenge blog'