Wednesday, 28 January 2015

bokeh & pringles

Have lost the use of the 2 letters that go between the m & v so will keep chat short until fixed cuz copy & paste is a pita lol.

Irl there are very subtle circles of pale white ink. Woodware teasel stamp, Rubber necker sentiment. Picked Raspberry & Peacock feathers distress ink & 3 glitter dots.

 Sample made for the next playday, altered Pringles tin to hold my specs. Very old Kay & Co papers with a purple grey wash and some technique tuesday flourish stamps in white color box ink, flowers, memory box diecuts and lace. needs some better elastic and bigger beads for feet but will do me for now.

Sunday, 25 January 2015


I'm currently taking part in a facebook game called #artchain.  The object is to share 5 pieces of art you've made over 5 days and nominate someone else to join in the fun on each day.  Instead of posting pics of newer cards I've made I decided to have a look back on a few of the cards I've made over the last 20 years.  Been great fun and quite interesting to see that there is a core style that has remained right through the journey even though I've made some real turkeys lol.  Has also been some sadness when I noticed my original site is no longer available and thanks to that and using many different pcs over that time I've lost hundreds of very early pics.  Not to worry though, most were pretty crap lol.

Here are a few that I have still got pics of and on the side bar there are 2 slideshows of cards I made while making samples for Art Of Craft. 

 This is the 2nd card I ever made and I can really look back and cringe.  The only tools I had was a single needle tool, a small piece of grid, an embossing tool and that awful horsehair looking bit of mat that came with the pergamano starter set.

This one and the next are dry embossing and hand cutwork.  I got a lot more satisfaction from making these than I ever have using a die to cut the patterns.  I really miss the challenge of handcutting new stencils.

The decoupage on this one was straight irl, the only photo I could find was at an angle to show the layers.  Have put a perspective correction on the pic which is why it's showing each layer as being a bit off.

A slightly later parchment card, I never did get on with colour on parchment but I used to love doing this style of gridwork.

A very very early parch card made when my niece was going through chemo for AML.
 This is the very first christmas card I ever made and I had to make a dozen or so.  Not fun with all that stippling.

A very early teabag folding card inspired by the lady who held my online hand as she first encouraged me to try other papercrafts, the lovely Janet Wilson then asked me to demonstrate with her.

I think this one might be on the side slideshow, another hand embossed and cut card using a brass stencil.  This one also has paper embroidery and 3d decoupage.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

That sinking feeling..

It's my grandsons first birthday today and as per usual I was being lastminutedotcom... Ade shouted up the stairs last night.. "have you got a card for Nate?"  this then led to me shouting down "what do you think I'm bloody doing"  I wasn't lol, I was playing with the red & orange card from the last post.  I'd only got as far as adding the ink so quick switch over to another sheet of white card, cover with faded jeans, salty ocean & stormy sky ink.  Try out the stencil I'd just cut.. add the brilliance white ink circles.. was pretty chuffed with this one.. really looked good.   Find a bday sentiment.. check.. stamp on the bottom in black archival... oops, that'll teach me for shoving a clean glass mat onto the larger one I'd been working on with the inks.  Only have a stamped impression because the card had been hanging over the edge.  Too late to do another one so I'll think about how to hide it later lol. 

Now for that sinking feeling when I trawled through my stamps looking for something suitable for a toddler.. not a bloomin thing.. 8pm at night and no chance of getting to a craft shop.  Only thing for it was to grab a Tilda Goblin I bought a few years ago and quick watercolour pencil jobbie.  Not really a toddler stamp but I haven't ever had to make a card for a small kiddie let alone this young.  Next job was to think how to add the image and cover up the half sentiment.  Scal to the rescue, a number 1 with a footing large enough to cover lol.  Inked in faded jeans and dotted with the ink straight from the dauber I'd used earlier.  Next problem was how to arrange things, yikes, 2 large things, nothing to do but just side by side and I had to doodle his name because I don't possess an alphabet stamp set.  I do really but it's still in the loft in a box from the last house move... 11 years ago lol.  Crappest card I think I've ever made but he won't know or care and it'll be in the bin in a few days lol.  On the upside tho the bokeh background on this one was nicer than the other ;o)

Bokeh backgrounds

I'll admit to succumbing to the latest fad trend in papercrafting... bokeh backgrounds.  If you want a proper explanation you'll have to google but basically it's a photography term and involves sort of balls/halos of light.  There are several how to's on the net, Eileen Godwin has a nice one this week and there are a few on youtube. 

For this one I challenged myself to use colours I really don't like (as you might have guessed if you're a reg I like cool tones of blues & purples as a rule) so went with barn door, honey & mahogany distress inks blended over some white card before doing the old splatter some water over trick.  Once dry I sponged through my own stencil (nowt but some acetate I'd had a go at with a very old ctmh circle cutting system but stencil sounds posher lol) with Brilliance white pigment ink then left to dry before stamping with an IndigoBlu stamp set, Wild Meadow with black archival ink.  Now I have to say in real life the circles are a lot more subtle but brilliance is a slightly pearlescent ink and the camera is picking up the shine quite heavily.  As often happens when using a white ink/stain/gesso the coloured ink seems to sink below the white pigment. 

With the benefit of hindsight I wouldn't have used the dandelion stamp because the white pigment has caused it to lose the delicate detail. I don't know that I would use this white ink on a warm toned background again either, maybe PTIs cream or maybe keep the stencil in place and go over the white with a pale lemon or orange.  btw I found the SU white ink to be pretty useless over distress inks and now have some orange ink sat on the top of the pad where it transferred.  Can't say as I'm hugely happy with this card but my blog would be even lighter than it is now if I only added the cards I was truly happy with lol.

I'm going to enter this one into this months IndigoBlu challenge which is to use a Touch of Red.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Freebie feather die & stamp

On the cover of one of the UK craft mags this month is a free feather die from HOTP, and on a sister mag is a matching stencil & set of stamps.  Not often I buy mags these days, freebies are generally of a poor quality but thought this was one of those dies that might one day come in handy, and at a fiver for the mag it wasn't a bad price for it.  Only bought the stamps (with the mag) after a friend said they actually stamped quite well and I have to admit they are surprisingly a better quality than some of the clear stamps I've bought in the past let alone the jelly like monstrosities that normally get given as a cover gift.

Very very quick card to make if you've kept offcuts when you've been playing with brushos.  The offcut I used was literally a strip leftover from cutting a4 into a not quite 6*6 cards (I've got loads of these) of semi gloss white card which I'd marbled with brushos at the Dec playday and left in the (huge) pile of ready to do something withs.  Not sure what colours I used but it really was just a dollop that had been missed by the rim of the dish, on a ruler and wiggled along the card.  Once diecut, I stamped using 2nd gen archival ink and gave a quick blast with the heatgun.  Background was just a very small sprinkle of lemon, violet & turquoise brushos, gently blown so they spread around the card and thinned out even more.  Misted with water, then puffed about with one of those spritzers designed for felt tips.  Once dry I stamped a heartfelt creations sentiment in black archival, matted on to navy pearl card and onto a white 8*8 card blank from Joanna Sheen that I've had a pack of for about 4 years and only used a couple.  Not sure why I've started making 8*8 cards but hey ho lol.   I curled the feathers slightly and stuck down with a few blobs of gel glue to keep the curl.  When I said very, very quick to make I'm talking maybe 10 mins tops if you have a pile of backgrounds ready to go and other than drying time not that much longer if you start with just white card.

Going to enter this into the following challenges.

Diecut Divas, anything goes. 
Happy Little Stampers, CAS with watercolouring
Natalie and Amy, All Things New
Crafty Cardmakers, old & new. 
Flonzcraft, new year new stash,

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

playday projects

Just a quickie before I forget to post it.  One of the projects we're making at the Feb playday is an altered notebook which involved cutting a recessed panel into the cover.  I didn't have any notebooks here so I cheated and made a cover for a pad of postitnotes ;o)   It's only 3" square so all of my flower dies were out of the question, this is using donkeys years old punches.. not great when you're using 350gsm cardstock but as some of my friends know I hate mixing whites when I'm doing white on white.  Swiss dots embossing folder, one of the small flourishes from Heartfelt Creations Arianna lace dies. Sizzlet alpha die, some white mesh, stardust stickles & a few gems.  Dead quick, dead easy and hopefully a project the ladies will enjoy.

Candy box crafts 4 drawer mdf box

 Back in November I bought an mdf kit to make a 4 drawer unit to store my brushos in at the Oysterstamps retreat.  Taken me a while to get everything this far and there's a lot more I want to do.

I started by painting all the pieces with a teal acrylic paint from docrafts. When dry I assembled the box & drawers using plain pva glue.  Putting the back piece on last was fun.. not and required the use of a soft tap with a hammer.  Next one I do I'll add one of the sides last and paint once assembled.  To help hide the joins I used some inca gold in the same shade as the paint, it's reacting with the camera flash but irl it just adds a nice shine & depth.

The panels were all made away from the box & stuck on last.  I started by blending tumbled glass and evergreen distress ink on to white card.  I then stamped various patterns from a sea themed set of stamps from Designs by Ryn in the same colours, some were first gen ink some 2nd in the same 2 colours.  Next was the bubbles using black archival and highlighted with white calligraphy ink.  The mermaid is from Chocolate Baroque and like the images coming on the next 2 pics was stamped with archival on to hot pressed watercolour paper, coloured with distress & stampinup markers and blended with a damp brush before being cutout with a scalple. The pics don't show it but I've also used a wink of stella brush to add subtle sparkle to the mermaids tail and very tiny touches of the inkagold mixed with water..  I'd already attached the piece to the box when I decided I wanted some fronds hanging down.. dumb idea because I dropped the stamp and have a patch that needs covering..  a small fish stamp will do,just need to find one that's pretty enough now.    Mistake number 2 was thinking hotglueing real seashells to the bottom corner was a good idea.. I don't like them now they're done so when I get round to it I'll carefully pick them off and hot glue some fronds of sand to cover any damage.

 The 2 fish are from the same set of Design by Ryn stamps as the curly pattern.  I've used a seaweed stamp in the corners and some shells from chocolate baroque in a pale brown distress ink at the bottom.

The top had to stay quite flat because I often stack things in the playroom.. comes of having next to no space against the wall left and having so many things I "need" to have at arms reach at all times.

More stamps from Ryn, combined with some treasure urns from the mermaid Chocolate Baroque set.

And one finished for the moment chest.  I've hot glued real shells as handles but other than that I've not decorated the panels yet.  I havent decided what I need the drawers to hold most yet, my brushos are sitting in their a5 boxes lovely and I like how the pots can't fall over in them.    I was half tempted to store my essential inkpads in them, each drawer fits 6 old style archival inkpads with ease but the new style are a bit fatter which makes 3 high a bit too snug.  Maybe I'll put my most used embossing powders in them, maybe not lol.  Once I have decided I'll decorate the fronts of the drawers more appropriately and post again.