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 ....as 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.
and........
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.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Twelve Tags of 2016 ~ Technique Remix ~ June

Ha ha ! back again with the second post of the day! Here is my tag for Tim Holtz's Twelve Tags of 2016, Technique Remix Challenge. This month, Tim has selected, Tissue Wrap Collage, from January 2015 and Stencil Plaid, from June 2015. You can see his fabulous tags here, with this link. Although I didn't have all of the products Tim used this month, I'm pretty pleased with my improvisation. I recently bought the Globe Die after a long spell of trying to persuade myself that I didn't need it, but..... well you know what I mean! I love it and was so glad I found a great way to use it on this tag.
So that's it for now, better go and cook some tea ! x

A Little Bird Told Me........


Hi everybody ! I was recently doing some experiments with stamping on tissue paper and had a few pieces left over. I thought I'd use some of them up and put them together on this painted canvas board. I used some of the lovely Indigo Blu Cottage Artist's Paints to paint a sky effect on the canvas and then applied the layers of tissue. I used  pieces of dress pattern tissue paper and white tissue paper that I'd stamped on and also typed on. I think that stamping onto tissue paper provides great scope for blending together several stamped images together, as well as being able to reverse images, as I have done with these faces. The reversed image on the left side, is just slightly lighter than that on the right. The panel has been finished off with a layer of Deco Art Crackle glaze which has produced some lovely crazing. I shall put this on the wall in my craft room to remind myself............'never doubt your creative instincts, just go with them and enjoy the ride' Yes that's my kind of crafting ! I'm going to hop this over to The Country View Challenge blog where this month's challenge theme is 'Crackle' They have a fantastic prize of a £20 credit for their fabulous Country View Crafts shop for one lucky winner. I'll be back shortly with my Tim Tag ! x

Friday, 17 June 2016

Sneaky Peek.......Inspirational Post for Stamps and Stencils

It's my turn to inspire you over on the Stamps and Stencils blog. I've chosen a little glow in the dark summertime project. So if you've got a few spare jam jars, some tissue paper, stamps and embossing powder, hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog with this link, and follow my lead x

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Floral Frenzy ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New Challenge.

Hi everybody! It's time for a new challenge over at the Stamps and Stencils blog. Our talented host this month is  Ruth and she has chosen the theme, 'Floral Frenzy'.This is what Ruth has to say.......

'Hopefully it's sizzling June... when beautiful blooms burst into life. Whether they're stamped, stencilled or hand made, we want to see flowers as the main focus of your mixed media project'

Well, this is a challenge that speaks to my heart. I'm sure I've said it many times but I love making flowers! As you can see, my project features quite a few. The substrate is a piece of grey board, salvaged from the back of used sketch book. I adhered some torn book pages to the surface, and stenciled the top half with modelling paste.

Once this was dry, I gave the background a light coating of gesso, allowing some of the text to show through. I then used several colours of Distress Paint, blending and allowing the colours to dribble and mingle, by spraying with water.

I then stamped the face onto a piece of lightweight white card. The stamp by Indigo Blu, is called 'Jane'. It's a large size, A6, so is perfect to stand alone. I used black Archival Ink, and coloured the image with Pan Pastels.
I've made a mental note to use my Pan Pastels more! I've only got a few, and I'm afraid to say I've hardly used them. They are so nice though. I then cut Jane out, and adhered her to the background. I then had a root through my tin of spare paper flowers. I have a stash of flowers left over from past projects as well as ones that I've been trying out. As they were all different colours, I gave each one a coat of white gesso. I really like the way the gesso has blended with the original colour, giving some nice pastel shades. I used Distress ink to add depth to those that were plain.
After trying out a few arrangements, I used a hot glue gun to adhere each of the flowers. I used a black Stabilo pencil and water brush to add some shading around the edge of the head, and a little Distress Ink around the edges of the background. I applied a piece of paper doily, painted similarly to the background, to 'ground' the head. The dyed satin bow was my finishing touch.
If you'd like to join in with our latest challenge, hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog, where you'll find the details of how to get involved. You'll also see some fantastic projects by the rest of the design team. Until next time....'Happy crafting' x

Just got word of a couple of challenges this will meet so I'm going to hop over to the lovely Indigo Blu, where the challenge is 'May...... all your Dreams come True', I think this dreamy image of a young Jane is longing for a summer full of romance! I'm also hopping over to the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge blog where I've chosen '#14 Summer days'x

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Twelve Tags Of 2016 ~ Technique Remix Challenge ~ May

Hi everybody ! Here I am once again taking it to the eleventh hour, to post my tag for Tim's Twelve Tags of 2016 Technique Remix Challenge. You can see Tim's post here, with this link. Now, my tag didn't get the full remix treatment this month, as I had 'lost' my Tiny Tattered Florals dies. one minute they were there on my table,in the next, they had vanished into the black hole that is evident in my craft room ! Grrrr! I spent ages overturning the heaps of   'un-put away stuff' and retracing my steps to no avail. I decided to just press on and came up with the little decoupaged flower arrangement you can see here with roses cut from the gorgeous Wall Flower Paper Stack.
.......Now what about my Tiny Tattered Florals..... I found them! I had been listening to some music on my stereo player, (I suppose that's a bit old fashioned now) when I got up to change the music, there it was, stacked between the CDs. Doh! x

Monday, 16 May 2016

Drippage Tag

Hi everybody! I had a little time to play with my new Seth Apter dies over the weekend and this is the first one, of two tags I've been working on. I love making tags as they're  ideal for sampling new products and techniques and there's not too much space to cover when time is limited. I fished this particular tag out of one of my unfinished / leftover, project wallets. I'd already sprayed it with Distress Sprays in various shades of blue, so it was just the job for what I needed. The Drippage die cut by Seth Apter and the splat, die cut by Tim Holtz, have been heat embossed with a couple of layers of ultra thick, silver, embossing powder.
The centre die cut is also by Seth Apter. I used gold transfer foil on the surface and then distressed it with sand paper, I then gave it a coat of Andy Skinner's magic  distress wash, which is basically a mixture of  Deco Art Paynes Grey and Quinacridone Gold.
 A bit of stamping and a Chit Chat phrase provided the finishing touches. So, that was a lovely afternoon, spent with three of my favourite men, Tim, Seth and Andy. What an awesome trio heh heh! I'm going to hop this tag over to Sandee and Amelie's Steampunk  blog, where they have an Anything Goes, Steampunk/Industrial Challenge. They also have some lovely prizes, for 2 entrants, chosen at random, from their sponsors, Deco Art and Boozy Bear, as well as fantastic inspiration from their very talented design team. What's not to love !  you can see some of Seth  Apter's work over on his blog The Altered Page, and Andy Skinner's, over at  his blog with this link

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Think Pink ~ New Challenge for Stamps and Stencils

Hi everybody ! the first Thursday of the month has rolled round again and that means that it's time for another challenge over at the Stamps and Stencils blog. Branka is our fabulous host this month and she is asking us to 'Think Pink'. I've really enjoyed making this heart wall hanging with loads of girly pink and a moderate helping of grungy crackle! The heart is made of grey board, this is how it looked before  I gave it a little Andy Skinner treatment.....
I followed a technique he shared, in a recent online tutorial he made for Wanderlust 2016. In fairness to Andy and Wanderlust 2016, I won't go into too much detail, but the technique involves stamping into modelling paste, followed by lots of painting and crackling, before finishing off with iridescent paints. This is it before I added the handmade flowers.....

 Here's a close up of the surface....
I must say I really love the finish, even though I need a bit more practice with the stamping and some of the brushing techniques.I'll certainly be trying this again. It was also great fun to get back to some flower making. I used die cuts stacked together for these flowers, and sprayed them with Dylusions inks once they were constructed. I always find that scrunching up the flowers, whilst they are damp and then leaving them to dry, helps to give a more realistic look.....

An extravagant bow, dyed with Distress and Dylusions Sprays completes the heart. I've really enjoyed this 'Think Pink' project  and hope you feel inspired to join our Stamps and Stencils May challenge with a Think Pink project of your own. We'd love to see what you come up with! Hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog by clicking on this link and you'll find the challenge details and also see the fabulously inspiring projects by Branka and the rest of the design team. As a little bonus for joining in, I have a set of two grey board hearts which I'll send out to one randomly drawn entry, at the end of the challenge. So come on, get those rose tinted specs on and Think Pink ! x