Friday, 23 June 2017

Any Excuse... for a Tag swap...

The recent heatwave has kept me out of my craft room and I was itching to get back in there and make something...anything...

And my something was this tag which will be used as part of a swap on UK Stampers.

Its actually quite large...I started with a mixed media background piece that measured 18 x 8 cm and when I was done with the background I liked it as it was and decided not to trim it down.

After  a base white gesso, I used a couple of shades of blue acrylic paint (DecoArt media line) and left it to dry.

Then I stamped over that using black archival ink and a variety of stamps...small text is a Finnabair stamp, other background stamps are from a set by Nathalie Kalbach for  Stampendous and the characters are stamps from Viva Las Vegas Stamps.

I painted accents on the characters before fussy cutting and adhering them to the tag, after which I added some glossy accents to eyes, beak and buttons.

Ink sponged around the edges and then the tag was mounted onto Kraft card and an eyelet added with my cropadile.

I was quite pleased with how it turned out and hope that the swap recipient will like it when it lands on their doorstep.

Until next time

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Fathers Day

Every time my birthday falls on a Sunday, I share it with Father's Day and this was one of those years... and this was the very simple card I made for my Dad.

When we were kids my Dad had a Chevy for a while. It was a huge American car and couldn't be parked outside the house because it blocked the road so he had to drop us off and drive round to my uncle's place to park there.... It all seems silly when I say that but at the time we loved that huge monster car... and so when I spotted a retro stamp in my collection it seemed the right one to celebrate my Dad on Father's Day.

Until next time
C xx

Monday, 19 June 2017

Arty Birthday to me

Yesterday was my birthday and my amazing hubby presented me with a bag of arty  goodies as part of my presents. I said I would like some of the new Finnabair impasto paints and he opened a bag in the shop at the craft retreat in Coventry and included what he hoped would be my favourite colours...and he added some gorgeous metallics and some waxes, a couple of stamps, some chipboard embellies and some really cute metal hearts. What can I say, he did good!

I haven't opened any of them yet because we have this awful heatwave and I prefer to create in comfort...and in the knowledge that the paint won't dry on my brush, but as soon as temps return to normal I will be camped out in my craft space up to my elbows in painty stuff.

I do not do well in extreme heat so may hibernate until this passes... so until next time,
Take care

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Applied creativity retreat

It hardly seems possible that it is  already two weeks since I attended this fabulous event in Coventry. Six three hour workshops in two days it was full on creativity and such fun...and we came away with six fabulous completed projects.

The tutors for this event were three amazingly talented and beautiful women... Marta Lapowska. Anna Dabrowska (aka Finnabair) and France Papillon...but if you know their work you would probably recognise their style in the projects we made.

                                                                                                                                                                            Day one started with Marta and a vintage project, followed by Anna's lady assemblage piece and ending with France and what should have been a decorated egg candle holder in a basket, but the temps in the venue affected the plaster and many of us had failed projects... but we are all artists and we made something out of nothing... and I came home with a bag of plaster to have another go at home.

Day two began with Anna and this amazing book, followed by France and the abstract circles  project and ending with this very pretty floral piece with Marta.

I loved all of the projects...and although each technique involved was demonstrated by the tutor, we had free rein with a wide variety of products,  choice of paint colours, stencils designs etc  and style interpretations... so although we each did essentially the same project, the range of results was astounding.

We picked up loads of hints and tips and came away with lots of products to try at home. It was an amazing weekend and I am so glad I went.

Until next time

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Birthday Sax

I made this card today as one of a set all going to the same birthday boy. It can be challenging to make several cards for the same recipient but at the same time it allows me to see how they will look standing side by side on the mantle (or whatever passes for a mantle  in the modern home )

I used three shades of distress oxides for the background and then I grabbed a stencil and  wiped back some of the colour using a baby wipe  to create the starburst pattern. Once that was dry I stamped the sax player ( a Visible Image stamp) and added the sentiment stamp (Stampin' Up!)

I was quite pleased with how this one turned out and I am sure the birthday boy will like it too
Until next time

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Back to tags...

 My niece is getting married next weekend and I have been really busy making all the little extras for her wedding so the blog got neglected as I stamped and punched and folded and stamped some more making table games and camera kits and signs and tags and cake boxes and  thousands of little hearts all in her wedding colours... The invites were done last year but I kept all the off-cuts because I knew they would come in handy...and they have. She is delighted and appreciative of all the work that goes into this  and while I was happy to do this (it was my wedding gift to them) I am glad my work is done... Now I can  concentrate on getting ready for ( I have a beautiful new dress but what am I going to do with my unruly hair eek!) and enjoying the wedding.

So today, to brush away some creative cobwebs I decided to make some tags...Made using distress oxides for the backgrounds...I did a trio of tags using similar backgrounds but very different design ideas...

The first one (top of the page) with Dreamweaver gold embossing paste through an  Um Wow Studio stencil...

 For the second I used a Katzelkraft stamp for the main image and Tim Holtz stamps for the text ...

And the for the third I used a Finnabair text stamp and  archival ink with a variety of mark makers that were on my desk. The quote was computer generated, printed on texture paper, edged with ink and adhered with matt gel medium.

I used my cropodile to make holes and tied each tag with some fabulous quality bakers twine I got online. I had great fun making all three, one of which (and I am undecided which as yet) will be part of a swap

Until next time
C xx

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Reach for the moon...

For this very quick and easy card I used a hunky-dory paper stack, metallic gold card and the Beautiful You stamp set from Stampin' Up! I stamped and coloured the girl image onto white pearlescent card and fussy cut it and adhered it to the card front making sure to position the hands exactly (I used gel medium to allow me some wriggle room in lining things up). The wording was then stamped into the moon.

I was quite pleased with how this one turned out and the paper stack is perfect for when you need a card in a hurry.
Until next time

Monday, 17 April 2017

MOM - Day Two

Day two was spent with the lovely Kate Crane making this amazing box of tricks. The basic project was a  decorated box into which we put some tags we made. It is designed to be an organic project and more tags and replacement tags can be added as and when needed.

I chose not to assemble my box at the event to make it easy to pack and travel home with, but within 24 hours of getting back, it was done and the final  details on the tags were finished.

I also chose to decorate the backs of my tags and for this I used the same basic techniques and added some things from my  supplies at home to end up with these reverse tags (pic below)

I am really pleased with how this came out and I am already working on some extra tags to go into the box...and have plans to start another box over the weekend. It was just so much fun and the end result is both pretty and practical...what could be better!

Until next time

Friday, 14 April 2017

MoM April 2017

This time last week I was in Coventry for my first ever Ministry of Mixology event and what fun-filled a weekend it was!  I can't recommend it highly enough and I am already looking forward to the November event...

Friday evening started with a meet and greet in the hotel but the event proper kicked off on Saturday morning... with a goody bag filled with all sorts of fab stuff propped on the chair before we even started. (The canvas bag that held pout goodies became the focus of attention at one of the make and take events on Saturday evening and we used paint and stencils...and in my case fingers too... to decorate our bags.)

Day one for me was a workshop with the amazing and lovely France Papillon. She really is a delight and using a variety of media and techniques we worked on making the gorgeous little book-style ink pad holder in the photo above.

It was designed to hold three full sized archival ink pads but can also hold mini books, mini art samples, fact just about anything that will fit to size...and it has this cool pulley system to bring the contents forward at the tug of the string.  

The transformation of the few pieces of mdf into something so gorgeous and practical was amazing and although we were all making the same project the variety of results was amazing. I am really happy with how mine came out and will definitely make another very soon .

Until next time

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Make a Splash!

This was a piece I made for an international art swap with a nautical theme.  I had to hold off until my swap partner received it, but this evening I heard from her so I can now share it.

I used Deco Art media line acrylics for the ocean and distress oxides for the sky. All the stamping was done using cobalt archival ink, I used  a Joy Crafts sea scape stamp set, Inkylicious stencils  and the gorgeous mermaid is a stamp from VLVS .

My partner liked it so much she plans to frame it and hang it in her nautical themed bathroom. I am delighted!

Until next time

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Tick Tock... postcard swap

This was a postcard I made for an online swap group. This month the theme was "Tick- Tock" . I started by adding blended colour to my base. Then I stamped a large clock--face background using versamark ink and clear embossing powder. I added a little more colour over the top and buffed back the resist before stamping assorted clock images using black archival ink.

To finish it off, the reverse of the card was also stamped with a postcard background stamp and the small clocks, along with a time related verse.

My swap partner has received the card and loves that was definitely time well spent haha!

Until next time

Friday, 31 March 2017

Stencil scene

This was one of several birthday cards made for the same recipient this month and as he likes nature this seemed like an obvious choice. I used a  textured card as a base to give a canvas effect and a stencil to frame the image.  I used a sponge to apply and blend blue and green shades of distress oxides which I then lightly spritzed with water. I stamped the trees using markers direct to stamps and the animals were stamped onto linen paper, coloured with markers and then adhered to the panel. I added the happy birthday wording in the bottom corner and then adhered the panel to the card base using foam pads. Stamps used are all from Stampin' Up!

I really liked the way the stencil frames the image and I plan to try out several other designs using this basic starting point.

Until next time

Thursday, 23 March 2017

52 card cafe...H is for Hearts

I am going to admit this was one of my favourites to make and I really like the simplicity of the design. I believe it is the seven of hearts underneath...topped with gesso of course.

I used three shades of acrylics, blended here on the main card. Once that was dry I used a Finnabair stamp and stamped the lettering in black archival. Once the ink was completely dry I applied a decent thickness of crackle glaze and left it overnight to dry.

I also took a piece of red card, stamped it with the Finnabair stamp and used a punch  to get the heart shape. I then added  crackle glaze to that too and left it to dry.

In the morning it was simply a matter of sponging some black ink around the edges and adhering the heart to the playing card. Job done!

Until next time

Friday, 17 March 2017

52 card cafe... G is for gears

I really liked working this one...mainly I think because I started with white gesso and black acrylic paint, applied very roughly to leave deliberate brush strokes with some thicker patches to bubble when it was heated.. . Once everything was dry and cool I  stamped some scratches from an Andy Skinner set using black archival ink and then started with gilding wax and building layers of ink and wax until I got the effect I wanted.

The gear cogs were die cut from metallic card in gold and dark bronze shades and over-stamped and layered. I loved the final industrial look of the playing card... who knew the five of spades could look like this?
Until next time

Monday, 13 March 2017

52 weeks... F is for Folk

I am definitely playing catch up with these...but that is the beauty of being able to work at your own pace...mine happens to be slow at the moment...mainly because I spend far too much thinking about it before I ever pick up a paintbrush...

Anyhow F is for Folk...and this was anything inspired by folklore, local or otherwise. I must admit I was pretty stumped by this...and end up with a folksy design rather than a true folk design...
Sadly I also ended up with a pretty horrid photo...but no amount of second takes improved it so it is what it is this time I am afraid.

Gesso background on the playing card again of course, topped by a couple of acrylic paint shades. The bird and flowers were stamps and coloured with markers. The sunbeams are represented by perfect pearls...and the pearly sheen is what contributed to the horrible photo.
Still I did manage to produce a F card...

Onwards and upwards, till next time

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Bonjour Beautiful

Although they only landed on the mat a few days ago, I am already totally  in love with Tim Holtz's Hipsters. They are super cool and although they come with some fabby cool wordage
 for some reason I really just had to pair the image with the Bonjour Beautiful (from a set by Stampin' Up!) I have no idea why since the image is an Ostrich and they are not exactly known for being French or related to France in any way...but it was just one of those things and I have run with it... and make my point I opted to also use the Paris cityscape stamp (also by TH)  and just to stick with the Tim thing I tried out the new oxide distress inks..and although I used them in a very basic way here, I think I am going to love these too...

So this project was a try new stuff and make a postcard for a swap project that I think turned out just fine. I am happy and hopefully the person who eventually ends up with the postcard will be happy too.
Until next time

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Love Letters and Old Lace

This is a postcard I made for a swap...and the theme was Love Letters & Old Lace.

I will admit to feeling a little pressure with this one from the start... firstly because I was new to the group, but secondly as a newbie I was invited to set the theme...and then of course felt I really needed not to make a hash of it ...

I began with a layer of gesso (of course) and then added a  thin layer of acrylic paint. Once it was dry I used black archival ink and a French script stamp... which I then proceeded to largely cover with torn pieces of lace doily and more paint and a single application of gold wax...

On top of that I used plain white texture paste through a script stencil and gold embossing paste through a teeny hearts stencil. I stamped the word love randomly across the card.

I used a distress tool around the edges and then went over again with distress ink and the gold wax. I also used both of them on a layered flower which I adhered to the card and finished with a tied piece of old lace trim.

For the base I used Kraft card which I stamped over and over with a lace border stamp and black archival ink. Once everything was dry I adhered the centre of the panel to the base card to complete the project, leaving the distressed edges to lift from the base and reveal the lace stamping underneath.

It took a few days to complete this project because I did a bit and walked away...sometimes simple to let things dry, other times to give me some thinking time about the next step, but when I was finished I was happy with the end result ...and more importantly the recipient loved it.

Until next time

Thursday, 23 February 2017

52 week cafe card challenge and E is for Eclipse

I am really enjoying this weekly challenge and I am slowly getting used to working on something so small. I will admit it was hard at first, especially as my roots were in card making, but I am liking it more now.

For this card I began with a couple of fairly thick layers of "boiled gesso" background and I topped this with a couple of  fairly generous coats of black acrylic paint (I used Daler Rowney for this). I then rubbed in some Treasure Brass to highlight the textured surface and to provide the glow. The central focus was made by rolling and ink edging the eye shaped piece and adhering with distress medium to form delicate  teeny cracks. The letters (from Stampin' Up!) were stamped onto linen paper with black archival ink and adhered with gel medium.

This one took me the longest to actually begin but once I had the design idea fixed in my head it came together easily and I am happy with the result.
Until next time

Monday, 20 February 2017

52 week cafe card challenge and D is for Dragonfly

D is for Dragonfly and for this card I really wanted to keep it very simple and let the dragonfly be the focus of the card.

I used a couple of layers of gesso for this card and I heated both long enough to make the gesso surface bubble (I call it boiled gesso background lol)  Over the top I simply added some diluted decoart acrylic and over that I added some blue radiance paint to give a shimmer. The dragonfly was made from two layers both stamped onto vellum and heat embossed.

I really like the simplicity of this one.
Until next time

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

52 week cafe card challenge and C is for Coffee

The 3rd in the series of altered playing cards for the 52 week challenge...and it is C is for coffee.

 As always I started with a layer of gesso to which I added a few layers of torn paper to add texture. I stuck to a range of coffee coloured inks to do the back ground and the stamping... All the stamps used here were from VLVS. The mouse was stamped onto linen paper, coloured and then adhered to the card with a distress medium.

Considering I do not like coffee at all I was quite pleased with my take on the theme.
Until next time

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Postcard crazy

I am  going a little postcard crazy this month... With  the intention of boosting my motivation to get things done and set them free, I signed up for several swaps this year, including a couple of post card based events.

This postcard was made to fit a monochrome theme. I really wanted to step away from the obvious black and white and since the definition of monochrome also includes shades of one colour with the addition of either black or white, my choice was to take the sepia route.

All the stamps used here are from VLVS and I used the simple combination of vintage photo distress ink and black archival ink to complete the project.

I hope my swap partner will enjoy the postcard I have made for her...I certainly had lots of inky fun in the making of it.
Until next time

Monday, 23 January 2017

Create Art...altered frame

On Saturday my lovely niece and I ventured out at silly o'clock on that cold frosty morning and took a train to Market Harborough (yep I had no idea where it was either...but it turns out its on the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire borders) to attend a one day workshop with the lovely Ali Reeve...and this was my favourite of the four projects we made that day.

A wooden frame totally transformed, by layers of collage,  some texture stencilling, assorted embellies, a ton of black gesso and topped with  marvellous Radiance Paints. I had such fun with this and absolutely loved how it turned out.

If you get the chance to attend one of Ali's workshop days then do'll have fun and come away with some great ideas.

Until next time

Thursday, 19 January 2017

52 cafe card week two... B is for Bubbles

This is my altered playing card for week two...where the theme was Bubbles.

For this one I added an extra thick later of gesso and purposely painted it on in waves and ridges. I used a  teal acrylic and then a turquoise dylusions spray over the top.

Once this was dry I stamped the rising bubbles (by Ryn) using archival ink direct to the card...and I also stamped the interconnecting circles (by VLVS) onto textured paper and coloured them with watered down acrylics and then used alcohol markers over the top of a few of them... Once dry I cut them out and adhered them to the card with matt medium. I stamped the wording  and then added some glossy crackle medium to a select few circles. I dry brushed the edges with darker blue acrylic to finish it off.

I do find working on such a small scale quite a challenge but I am enjoying it so far.

Until next time, take care

Monday, 16 January 2017

52 Cafe Card Challenge

I am taking part in a year long challenge with the  group at  Maremi Creative Cafe ...the aim is to  to alter a playing card (from an ordinary standard  pack of playing cards) each week with each one being themed by using a letter of the alphabet.

So we started week one with the letter for Art.

For all the cards I start out with a base layer of gesso  (I gessoed a dozen to start me off so they are ready when I am ready to start) and then for this one I added some decoart acrylics in multiple colours over the top. I  stamped the paintbrush stamp (from VLVS)  and the wording (from Chocolate Baroque) onto white textured paper and added colour to them. I adhered the brush to the card with matt medium and then added some more acrylic paint which I allowed to drip off the ends of the brush. Once that was dry I adhered the words and ink edged the card to finish it off.

I hope you like it, I had fun making it.
 Week two to follow very soon...
Until next time, take care

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Find your Tribe....

I have been away for a while - we spent December in Las Vegas and it was fun catching up with friends and just taking a break from real life....Vegas is possibly the easiest place to break from reality for sure and we had a great time... but we picked up (and brought back) what is known at "the Crud Virus" and it is a real beast. Brit papers report it as a virus which mimics or results in severe bronchitis I think the Americans have a better name for it as it really does make you feel like poop on a stick...and it is relentless.

To add to my general misery we began a major renovation on our kitchen a couple of days after we landed back in the jetlag and the crud virus plus a renovation finds me escaping into the craft room for a huge dose of the inky painty antidote to all that chaos

And its postcards again...I joined up to a couple of postcard swaps groups - one is UK based and the other International...and then another craft group I am a member of decided to have a postcard swap this I have been concentrating on postcards...and they are very addictive indeedy.

I made six yesterday but I think this is my favourite so far. I used 99% stamps from VLVS....(along with one stamp form Andy Skinner's Toxic set) I love their quirky designs and they do some really great sayings too. If you can't find what you want elsewhere, VLVS probably have what you need.

Anyhow this postcard was  fun to make and I decided to enter it into the Craft Stamper January Take It Make It challenge. There will be more postcards following shortly...but that's it from me for now.
Until next time,

Any Excuse... for a Tag swap...

The recent heatwave has kept me out of my craft room and I was itching to get back in there and make something ...anything... And my som...