Thursday, 4 May 2017

Fabric and Fibres ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New Challenge

Hi everybody ! Wow the months are rolling by. I can hardly believe that we are in the fifth month already ! Hey Ho, at least it means that it's time for a new challenge over at Stamps and Stencils. Cec, is our very talented host this month and she has chosen, 'Fabric and Fibres'. This is what Cec has to say.........
Let's add some fabric and/or fibres to our creations this month.  You can use linen, burlap, organza, wool, lace, ribbon, rope to name a few.  The list is almost endless but whatever you add, make sure there is some stamping or stencilling (or both) on your creation as well.

This is a challenge that is dear to my heart, as I've always had an interest in textile arts and have recently been experimenting with stencilling and dyeing fabrics. I put my interest to the test by making this 'prayer flag', using layers of 'tea dyed' and stencilled fabric. This is how I got started........
Firstly, I made a 'tea bath' by boiling up some teabags in a saucepan. I then assembled a variety of fabrics and pieces of cotton lace, and placed them in the saucepan. I let them boil together for about 20 minutes. I left the teabags in, as I thought it might  create random patches of colour, where the tea was stronger. This is how the fabric looked once it had been rinsed and dried......

The fabrics yielded a variety of shades of 'pinky brown'. The colour was stronger on the pieces that were 100% cotton, and much more subtle an those that had a percentage of polyester. One piece of fabric I had put in, was 100% polyester, it remained untouched by the tea. I absolutely love the colours and the vintage appearance the fabrics now have. After deciding on which fabrics to use I experimented with different arrangements of the layers and once satisfied I set about stencilling some backgrounds.....
Here is the main background piece. I used a small circle stencils with a mixture of Deco Art Media Fluid in Burnt Umber and Yellow Iron Oxide. When it had dried, I decided that it was a little darker than I had intended, so I brushed, a thin coat of white gesso over the stencilling in order to tone it down a little.
I used some gorgeous sparkly paint, to stencil this strip of fabric. It's called Starlight and it's by Imagination Crafts. I am seriously hooked on these paints, they are certainly the most twinkly ones I have in my stash! 
I then stamped up a variety of images on to a paper napkin and experimented with 'transferring' them onto the stained fabric using matte medium. I found that the tissue didn't completely disappear on the fabric that was darker in tone. As the prayer flag is to be hung outside, I decided to go with the little bird and used a piece of pale muslin cloth. 
In order to stitch all the layers together, I secured each piece with a little squirt of re-positional fabric spray. This saves a lot of bother with pinning and keeps everything secure. I then stitched around the pieces using contrasting thread. This creates another element to the design, a bit like doodling with a pen. I used self coloured thread and a close together zig zag stich to secure the bird panel. The fringed border was made by ripping a piece of fabric into strips without going all the way to the very top. The picture probably explains what I mean...........
To finish off, I stamped out my message of 'Peace' and sewed this to the flag. I then tore a long, thin strip of fabric and sewed it to the top, so that the flag can be hung in my garden.........
I have so enjoyed making this project and I love the finished piece. This could well be the first of many. So thank you Cec ! If you'd like to join in with our 'Fabric and Fibres' challenge, hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog with this link, where you'll find the challenge details, as well as Cec's amazing canvas and the superb projects from the rest of the design team. We would love to see your creations ! x


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