Thursday, 13 April 2017

DIY Stencils ~ Inspirational Post for Stamps and Stencils.



It's my turn to inspire you, over on the Stamps and Stencils blog today and I've been experimenting with making my own stencils. If you'd like to see what I've been up to and maybe pick up some tips on how to make your own, unique, stencils, then hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog and let me know what you think.x

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Lucky Star~Stamps and Stencils~New Challenge.

Happy April everybody ! It's an auspicious month for me, with both my birthday and wedding anniversary to celebrate. As if that's not enough, it's also time for a new challenge over at the Stamps and Stencils blog. Our fabulous host this month is Branka, and her theme is 'Lucky Star'. This is what she has to say .......
'For this challenge I would love to see a mixed media project that has star/s in it somewhere. You can create anything you like as long as you include a star. Don't forget to use stamps or stencils or both! Can't wait to see your creations' 
I think you'll agree that Branka has given us plenty of creative scope with this challenge. You can see her gorgeous work, along with some fabulous projects by the rest of the team, over on the Stamps and Stencils blog. My project for this month is a tag using some of my new crafty goodies. I don't know about you guys , but I've really missed Tim Holtz's 12 Tags Challenge. Creating this tag in a Tim Holtz style, has helped me with my withdrawal symptoms !
I started by masking off the bottom of the tag and used Tim's 'Stars Layering Stencil' with Versa Mark clear ink, to add stars to the top half of the tag. I then used clear embossing powder and my heat gun to activate it. I used a piece of tape to cover the last row of stars, and stenciled red stripes using Distress Oxide, with a Wendy Vecchi stencil.
 The tape helped to keep a crisp break between the stars and stripes. I then moved the tape down in order to cover the top part of the stripes, and used Faded Jeans, Distress Oxide, with a blending tool, to add a blue background to the stars. I gave  just the top half of the tag, a little  spritz with water in order to create some texture and gently wiped the ink from the surface of the stars. I removed the masking tape, and dried the tag with my heat tool. I then covered the tag with a piece of printer paper and iron the surface to melt and remove the embossing. This is best done several times moving the paper to a clean area each time until all the shiny embossing has gone. I really like the effect this technique creates.
The picture of the little girl, is from Tim Holtz's new Paper Dolls. I love them! the packet seems very good value as there are loads to choose from in several different sizes. I gave this one a half shadow by 'half mounting' the figure on black card, before fussy cutting the edge. I then used dimensional pads to secure her to the tag. In true Tim style, I added some paper and metal embellishments, a sentiment and a machined stitched border. To complete the tag, I finished off with a length of seam binding, which I had coloured, by running red and blue Distress Markers, along each side. It was  great fun to make and I'm sure I'll always enjoy making tags in a Tim Holtz style! Well it's over to you now. If you'd like to join in with our challenge, hop along to the Stamps and Stencils blog where you'll find all the details of how to get involved. 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep ! ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New Challenge.

Hi everybody! It's my turn to host this month's challenge over at the Stamps and Stencils blog. I love listening to the birds singing  at this time of year, so I have chosen a challenge that celebrates our love of these little creatures. I want to see projects that have a bird somewhere on them. The only rules we have over at Stamps and Stencils, are that your mixed media project,s include some stamping, stenciling, or even both! Full guidelines to our challenge can be found over on the Stamps and Stencils blog.
For my project this month, I decided to use some of the items I've been hoarding for a considerable time! first up, is the Burlap Panel I've used as a substrate. To begin, I spread some patches of Crackle Medium onto the surface and left it to work it's magic......
 Once the cracks had dried, I painted Deco Art Antiquing Medium, onto the paste, working it into the cracks in order to add more definition. I then used a Tim Holtz, Flourish stencil with modelling paste, that I had firstly coloured with a tiny bit Victorian Velvet Distress Paint.
This added just a hint of colour. I left this to dry and turned my attention to making some fabric flowers. This gave me the opportunity to use a new product, Finnabair's Fabric Sculpture Medium. I die cut some Tattered Florals flowers and soaked them with the medium. I placed each flower shape into the wells of a plastic palette and put them in a warm place to dry....
Once dry I tinted the flowers with Distress Sprays and then layered them together adding stamens and pearls to the centres. I then stamped the bird with Archival Ink, onto a piece of die cut card and added a hint of colour with Distress Ink. I layered a piece of  'vintage acetate' over the surface, which I fastened with a few tiny brads. The next step was to assemble the panel and add a few embellishments. I used dimensional tape on the back of the bird panel and a hot glue gun to secure   the rest of the elements. I find myself using my glue gun quite a lot lately. I like the fact that it gives instant results !
 I hope  this has inspired you to join in with our challenge, just  hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog, where you'll find all of the challenge details and see a fantastic variety of projects by the rest of the design team. It's great to Have Sue back with us again this month, I'm sure you'd love to join us in welcoming her back. Many thanks go out to Cec, who has done a great job of keeping our lovely blog going ! Hope to see you there !x  

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Texture,Crackle and Paint ~ February Challenge ~ Stamps and Stencils

Hi everybody! It's time for another challenge over on the Stamps and Stencils blog. Rachel is our talented host this month, and she has chosen a fabulous topic, Texture, Crackle and Paint. Thanks Rachel! This is just my cup of tea ! If you'd like to join in with this fun challenge, hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog with this link, where  you'll find all of the details, as well as the opportunity to see the fabulous makes by Rachel and the rest of our talented design team.

 My project is a square canvas assemblage, with lots of texture, crackle and paint so I hope it meets with Rachel's approval!
 I worked on the 'wrong' side of the canvas, firstly covering the frame with old book pages. This creates a nice surface for painting on. I then applied a coat of white gesso, followed by a coat of Deco Art Media Fluid in burnt umber. I left this to dry and then coated the surface with Deco Art Weathered Wood Crackle Medium. Once this was dry, I covered the frame with  Distress Paint, using a mix of Antique Linen, Pumice Stone and Crushed Olive. 
Once the cracks started to appear and the paint was completely dry, I blended  'Potting Soil' Archival Ink, around the edges.
I then prepared a background to fit inside the frame. To add texture, I used a technique Andy Skinner taught, on his Wanderlust 2016 class. It involves stamping into modelling paste and then painting and dry brushing the surface. I used Tim Holtz's Ledger Script stamp and Deco Art Media Acrylics, before finally dry brushing the surface with gold interference paint.
The first part of the assemblage is a Tando clock face, which I painted with Finnabair's Rust Paste.
I attached this to the background with a hot glue gun. The hand in the centre, is made of air drying clay. I made the mould myself, after fashioning a hand from plasticene, and casting it in plaster of paris.
After sealing the surface of the clay with gesso, I used Andy's 'Mega Crackle' technique on the hand and added a typed phrase from the Simply Red song 'holding back the years'.......hmmm, thoughts on my fairly recent retirement !
The wings behind the hand, are made from one of my favourite recycled materials, tomato paste tubes. 
I used a die to cut a pair of wings, and then lightly sanded the surface, before colouring them with alcohol inks. I then stamped them with a crackle pattern stamp and black Archival Ink. 
 I arranged all the pieces and adhered everything, with a hot glue gun. 
The metal and glass circle, is actually a little screw top lid. The finishing touches, were to add some stamped text and four faux bolt heads, to the corners of the frame. I linked these together with a length of rusty wire and Voila! my canvas was done ! I really love these assemblage type projects and have decided to work on a couple more, in order to create a series so that I can use some of my other cast pieces......
 watch this space ! I'm looking forward to seeing your projects on our Stamps and Stencils challenge blog.  Just remember to include some stamping or stenciling or even both.x 

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Upcycle Your Packaging


Hi everybody! It's to my turn to inspire you over on the Stamps and Stencils blog. If you'd like to see how I made this look like.......


 this.......
then, make a cup of tea and hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog with this link and I'll walk you through the process step by step. x

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Swirls, Whirls and Flourishes ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New Challenge

Happy New Year everybody! It's the first Thursday of the month and that means it's time for a new challenge over at Stamps and Stencils. Our very talented design team member, Ruth, has the honour of launching the first challenge of the year and I'm sure you'll agree that it's a great one, with lots of creative scope.The subject Ruth has chosen is 'Swirls, Whirls and Flourishes'. You can see Ruth's fabulous work, as well as some gorgeous projects by the rest of the design team, if you hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog with this link . I've created this little book, inspired by Kate Crane and using Eileen Hull's Passport Book Die. I was fortunate enough to attend one of Kate's workshops last year, and she showed us how to blend paint onto a substrate and then build up layers of stenciling, stamping and doodling. It was great fun and making this little book, was like having a second bite of the cherry.
Here are the painted book covers. I used Deco Art Media paints with White Tinting Base, to blend the colours together. I then added a layer of stencilling........
Followed by some stamping, using one of Kate Crane's custom made stamps, as well as some bottle tops and swirly stamps from my stash.
I added a bit of doodling with a white pen, some brush strokes and finally a few strips of Washi tape.
I used one of my Gelli prints, to decorate the inside of the covers, and added some decorative papers to wrap around each of the three signatures.....
Eileen Hull's Passport Book die, is a pretty ingenious invention. It is very easy to put together and although I've used only three signatures, there's plenty of room to add more. I added a few beads to cord I used to bind the middle signature and finished the book off with a stamped quote from Donna Downey..........
 'Do what makes you happy', I think that is very appropriate as we start a new year ! It would make me very happy if you hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog and join in the fun, with our first challenge of the year. We'd love to see your Swirls, Whirls and Flourishes, and as long as you use some stamping or stenciling or even both, anything goes! x

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Twelve Tags of 2016 ~ Technique Re-Mix~ Final Tag !

Hip, hip, hooray! I've made it to the end of Tim's Twelve Tags Re-Mix Challenge. Once again, it's been a fabulous, fun year of creative challenges, set by Tim Holtz. You can see his lovely tag with this link. The Technique Re-Mix challenge, has provided a great opportunity to re-visit some of Tim's superb techniques, from times gone by. For the final tag of 2016, Tim has mixed it up with Shadow Press from May 2014 and Burlap and Punches, from 2015. I haven't acquired any of the leaf punches (yet!) so I have used a die cut instead, That's the great thing about Tim's challenges, you don't have to have everything, you just get down and use what you've got. So thank you Tim for another great year of tag making, as well as the opportunity to read your blog and follow your creative adventures, with Mario, Paula, Chelle and the rest of your talented friends. Hope to share more of your adventures in 2017. Happy New Year everybody ! x

Friday, 23 December 2016

Winter Magic ~ Guest Design Post for A Vintage Journey


I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to be a guest, over on the blog,'A Vintage Journey'. It's truly an honour to be featuring alongside such a talented team. This year, I have had the great fortune to have attended workshops by Kate Crane, Andy Skinner, Mark Gould, Finnabair, and AVJ's very own, and wonderfully talented, Brenda Brown. I've tried to bring a little of what I have learnt, from each of these artist's, into my work for this guest designer spot.The host for this challenge is the lovely Deb, and she has chosen  'Winter Magic'. I love the theme and was inspired to create a project featuring lots of frosty colours, textures and of course a touch of sparkle. This is how I got started.....
I started off by adhering strips of torn fabric and pieces of lace, to the frame of a reversed canvas. I then put this to one side, and worked on a separate piece of board, as it is much easier to use stencils I on a flat surface, rather than to try and manipulate them inside a frame.
I used Andy Skinner's 'mega crackle' technique, to create the background, and stenciled the tree branches over the top using Crackle Paste. Once the stenciling was complete, I was able to place the board inside the frame, before continuing.
I then gave all my embellishments a coat of white gesso, before arranging them inside the frame. Coating them with gesso gives uniformity and for me, this made it easier to get a sense of whether the arrangement worked before attaching them permanently. 
I used a hot glue gun to adhere the embellishments and sprayed it in patches, with diluted cosmic shimmer. I then proceeded to dry brush everything with white gesso. It took several layers to lighten the surface, drying each one before adding the next.
To finish off my frosty canvas, I added a trail of holographic glitter, a few gems and a crown for my wintery angel.....
It's been an absolute pleasure to make this project for A Vintage Journey. I must say it rounds off what has been a lovely year of crafting. Many thanks to all of the team over at 'A Vintage Journey' and a big  thank you to all of my lovely followers and all of the people who have taken time to leave me such uplifting comments. May I wish you all, a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year !x

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Christmas Wishes ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New Challenge.


Hi everybody, It's my turn to host our new challenge over on the Stamps and Stencils blog. I've called it 'Christmas Wishes'. Whether it's cards, decorations, giftwrap or gifts, I'd like to see what you've been making, that is as long as it includes some stamping, stenciling or both. I've put into practice a few things I've learned over the last couple of weeks at workshops with The Ministry of Mixology team, and Finnabair, and created this Christmas wreath. I started off with a greyboard circle and covered it with crumpled tissue paper, as taught by Mark Gould.....
I then painted it with  Decoart Pthalo Blue Media Paint and dry brushed the surface with white gesso....
I then attached a selection of embellishments, including one of Tim Holtz's cute little reindeer heads, using extra heavy body gel. I then sprayed the surface with Cosmic Shimmer mists......
This is a technique we used on Finn's workshop. Once the cosmic shimmer was dry, I dry brushed the surface with gesso.....
This is how it looked after the first coat. I continued to build up layers of gesso, dry brushing and drying between each coat.
I found that the Cosmic Shimmer was very strong and kept coming through the gesso. After several coats, I decided to put on a coat of matte varnish in order to seal the surface. This worked well and I was then able to achieve the effect I'd envisaged. Once this was dry, I added some additional pearls and gems and finished with a dusting of glitter. Here are some close up shots.......
and.....

and finally that cute little deer......
I hope you can find a few spare moments to join in with our challenge. You can hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog with this link, where you'll find the challenge details and see some fabulous projects from the rest of  our very talented team. x 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Twelve Tags of 2016 Re-Mix Challenge~November.

Hi everybody! It's the last day of Tim Holtz's Twelve Tags of 2016 Re-Mix Challenge and true to form I am posting my November tag. This month, Tim has remixed 'Rub Resist' and 'Dimensional Colouring'. You can see Tim's fabulous Autumnal tag here with this link. I've followed Tim's instructions quite closely on this one and substituted a different stamped image and word cut out. only one more tag to go and that signals the end of yet another fantastic year of creating along with Tim. Thank you Mr Holtz ! x 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Bags, Tags and Boxes ~ New Challenge for Stamps and Stencils

Hi everybody ! It's time for a new challenge over at the Stamps and Stencils blog. Cec is our very talented host this month and she has chosen the title Tags, Bags and Boxes. This is what Cec has to say.....

With Christmas coming up and the gift buying underway, we are going to need something to wrap them in.  Let's make some mixed media tags, bags & boxes that will be as treasured by the recipient as the gift itself.  Don't forget to include some stamping or stenciling.

I've made these little fabric gift bags and decorated them using a stamped and coloured transfer. I love this medium for decorating fabric with stamped images, as the image stays nice and sharp. I aleady had a few pieces of leftover calico cloth, so I decided to make the little bags before decorating them. On reflection, I think it would be easier to buy some bags as they were quite fiddlesome to make. The transfer printing process was much more fun ! This is how I did it......
I firstly die cut some circles from a sheet of Tee Shirt Transfer paper, I bought mine from Asda....
I used the largest circle punch I have, I found that the first circle didn't cut as cleanly as I had wanted. To resolve this issue, I used a thin piece of card placed on top of the transfer paper before punching out the other circles. Those big punches do not cut well through thin papers. Punching through the card and transfer paper together worked much better.
I then used distress colours with a blending tool, over the surface before stamping the images with black Archival Ink. I then left them for a few minutes to dry, as you cannot use a heat tool or the surface will melt.
In order to create a firm surface for ironing on the transfer, I slotted a cork coaster inside each bag before pressing. I was really pleased with the results, here are some close ups......


I threaded some dyed seam binding through each of the bags, and added a simply stamped label and a little 'rusty' jingle bell. I think these little bags would be excellent stuffed with some crafty goodies! Many thanks to Cec for setting this challenge, it means that I have finally made a start on Christmas! If you fancy a little crafting and it doesn't have to be Christmassy, we would love to see your tags, bags or boxes over on our Stamps and Stencils blog. Click on this link and you will find all the challenge details as well as seeing some brilliant work by Cec and the rest of the design team. Hope to see you there ! x