Saturday 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you. Some of my friends were a little downhearted when they didn't receive the usual crafted Christmas card this year, so to make amends I've made them a little easel style calendar.

I used an A6 card to make the easel and then had fun making the 'artwork' to stand up and celebrate a new year. This one was for someone who loves steampunk...who am I to disappoint!

The little calendars are available from most stationers at only a few pence each. If you wanted to make a mini monthly page calendar you could take each sheet off and mount it in amongst your artwork to make something truly original.

I hope you got some crafting goodies for Christmas, so have fun creating and see you next year.

Friday 23 December 2011

Seasons Greetings

This little fellow is from the 'Christmas Post' stamp set by Creative Expressions. Basic stamping with distress inks but what makes it a little better is using the pearl PVA glues for the berries and the robins eye.

I hope you have a happy christmas and craft filled new year.

Friday 2 December 2011

Marbling with shaving foam

This tag was made using the 'Butterfly Kiss' stamp plate from Creative Expressions. The main image was stamped in Archival Coffee, clear embossed and then painted with Cosmic Shimmer Drawing Inks. The verse was also stamped in Archival Coffee. The little butterfly at the top was stamped on a scrap piece of card in Coffee and clear embossed, he was then coloured with drawing inks and cut out. For the butterfly body I used a stick on embellishment from the same pack as used in the previous post, they are just the right size for this stamp.
The background for the tag was made using the following technique, shaving foam marbling with Cosmic Shimmer misters. A little messy but great fun!

Fill a plastic container with about an inch of shaving foam. I used the lid from an A5 storage box and the cheapest shaving foam I could find. Don't worry about the fragrance as it doesn't last very long but it is nice to work with something that smells good!
Smooth the foam out a little with the end of a ruler or something similar to give you a flatish work surface.

Agitate your misters to get them ready, then spray at random on to the foam. This on it's own will produce a nice effect but I have always loved the swirly patterns you get inside old books so I mix mine up a little.

Make your swirls with the end of a paintbrush, a skewer or anything else that can be wiped clean easily. Fingers tend to be a little too big for this, though that has never stopped my son from trying it!
The beauty of using shaving foam is that unlike water (used with oil based paints) your swirls will not continue to move while you turn around to reach for your cardstock.

Place your cardstock on top of the foam, press down gently to make sure you have contact with all the paint. Cardstock is best for this technique as paper tends to be a little too weak.
Lift your cardstock out of the foam.

The excess foam can be removed by running your ruler gently along the card. Return the excess foam to the container. You can get several images from the foam, each one will be a little paler than the last. The mica will show clearly on the first copy but may not be apparent after that. This can always be rectified afterwards by spritzing a little clear 'Pearl Mist' over the card.

This colour choice was quite light but produced a spring like colouring which was ideal for my tag.

Experiment with different colours and see the wonderful patterns you can get.
I often do this at home with my seven year old son, he's very creative of his own free will, which means we get to craft together quite a lot. He often has some very good suggestions, I guess it's because he still sees everything as possible.

Bold colours are great. This tag was made with Purple Haze and Aqua Lagoon. I try to keep a little tag book (made using scraps of card) to remind me of favourite colour combinations, write the colours used on the back, punch a hole in the corner and hang them on a big clip ring. I always think I will remember....but I don't!

I hope this has explained it well enough, if not then please drop me a comment and tell me. This is for Pat, Wendy, Mona, Angie and Linda who I met at Capture The Magic...have fun girls!!

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Craftmania's little gems.

This little fellow was stamped in Archival Black and clear embossed. Then he was painted with Cosmic Shimmer Drawing Inks, which are little bottles of gorgeous shimmering paint with a very fine brush, perfect for dainty butterflies.
The head and body of the butterfly is a beautiful stick on embellishment that Craftmania have in stock at the moment. We'll definitely be using these for the demonstration next saturday.
The other stamp plate I'll be working with has a Steampunk theme, just right for men's cards.
If you are in the area please come in and say hello.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

More Baubles

Here are a few more baubles, as you can probably tell I really do love these Spellbinder dies and with the Just Rite stamps there are so many things you can do with them. The blue bauble is made with just the dies.

Card or paper decorations are great if you have small children crawling around, they can't hurt themselves much with these decorations and you can change them every year without huge expense.
The Suffolk Papercraft Show was eventful and reasonably busy despite the economic climate. I hope everyone managed to find a few bargains.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Just Rite at Jarrolds

This card is also made with Just Rite stamps and Spellbinder dies. Whilst the baubles really have caught my imagination this set will continue to be useful all year round.

Vintage Oval Labels stamp set matches Spellbinders Labels 6 & 13. Each set of Just Rite stamps gives you a list of the dies that it will match. There is quite a selection of stamp sets to choose from covering all occasions.

The main image was stamped in Archival Ink Coffee on a pearl cream card and embossed in Cosmic Shimmer clear. As this stamp needs the largest die to cut it out I used Sue Wilson's trick of drawing round the outside edge of the die on chocolate brown card and cutting it out by hand to get the mat. The corner stamp has also been stamped in Coffee and clear embossed on patterned scrapbook papers with a length of chocolate brown ribbon over the join. The rose is cut from the same cream card as the main image, then the edges are coloured with Distress Ink Brushed Corduroy. I have added a little bow under the rose and a couple of chocolate brown die cut twigs to finish off.

I'm not a bows and frills person but this card really looks better for it, I'm enjoying working outside my usual comfort zone. Let me know if you've tried these gorgeous stamps. I'll be demonstrating the baubles at The Suffolk Papercraft Show on sunday in Bury St.Edmunds so come and see them in action.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Jarrold's preview

This card was made with Just Rite Cling stamps and Spellbinder dies. The dies are great but when used with the gorgeous Just Rite co-ordinating stamps they are amazing.
I would have to say that this combination is my 'Christmas must have' for this year.
I stamped the baubles from the Just Rite 'Merry and Bright' set and embossed them with silver, then I coloured them in with watercolour pencils before cutting out with the Spellbinder Heirloom Ornament 2010. The images do line up perfectly with the dies and as you can see through the die it is quite easy to get it spot on. The larger bauble has a blank centre where you can stamp any one of the greetings from the set, but I chose to cut this out using a Spellbinder circle die and insert a photo of Maple. This is a great way of personalising a card to a friend or family member.
The background has been embossed using a 'That Special Touch Of'' mask - Polka dots. A little ribbon, a small bow on top of the bauble and another backed with Bakers Twine in pastel blue with bells on, mounted on pale blue mirri card and then onto white card finishes it off.
Please come along to Jarrold's on saturday if you are in Norwich and see the other creations made with these amazing stamps and dies. For those of you that can't I'll post some more samples next week. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of them.

Sunday 2 October 2011

Bead This, Craft That visit

Thankyou to staff and customers at Bead This, Craft That in Dereham for a very enjoyable day.
I do appologise for the slow start due to my car trying to behave like a tractor, I did get home with no further assistance from the RAC !
As promised here is a 'How To' for the little triangular boxes. An A4 sheet of card will make three boxes if you cut it into thirds widthways, each piece will measure 21cm x approx 10cm.
Follow the guide given in the photo and score the box along the centre, then score from the centre fold line outer corners to the middle of the outside edge as shown by the dotted lines. These score lines will make the folds reqiured after decoration, it is easier to decorate while the card is still flat. The holes are best punched at the end once all folds are complete so that they match up perfectly ready for the ribbon tie up.
When decorating your box do one side at a time remembering that the picture will need to be grounded along the centre fold, otherwise you may have one side the right way up and one upside down once folded. If using an embossing folder you will find that only one side will fit completely, the same applies with the 6" square masks.

You can make these in different sizes, make 24 little ones for an advent decoration. Party or wedding favours, if you make jewellery they make perfect gift boxes. They can be embellished with as little or as much as you wish.

If you have any queries or comments please let me know, I hope these instructions are useful.

This stamp set is 'Christmas Post' from Creative Expressions. For the lady who was asking about these stamps I have found one sample on the Particraft blog (click the link on 'My Blog List') and I am still looking for more. It may take a while but I'll try and track them down for you.

Saturday 24 September 2011

Halloween Explosion

My apologies for not posting earlier, I have been preparing samples for demonstrations, classes and shows. The run up to Christmas has well and truly begun!

Also after making this sample ready for the techniques day I started to look at spiders webs more closely and discovered I had a house full of them!!! So I had to do the 'H' word...I know it's a waste of precious crafting time but you really could write your name in it!

I was given an exploding box pre cut ready to decorate, it was orange so what else could I do but Halloween. I decorated each layer prior to assembly, it's easier to handle and if an accident happens the whole box is not spoilt.

The pumpkin on the top was cut using a poinsettia die from the Marianne range. Cut one large flower and one small both in orange, then one small in green. Curve both sets of orange petals inwards to form a ball and glue together as best you can, add the little green flower to the top and this will help hold it all together.

The black base the pumpkin sits on is cut from a Spellbinder die 'Fluer De Lis Squares', this die also makes the most amazing picture frames if you cut out the middle. The Black border around the lid and base were cut from Spellbinder die 'Fluer De Lis Accents'. Don't throw any offcuts away as they are used to decorate the inside.....waste nothing.

The spiders are dome stickers I was given and the bats are cut with a Sizzix die that I borrowed (thanks Avril) as were the Ghosts and Skeletons inside.

The first layer was stamped with Chocolate Baroque stamps on the outside and a Tim Holtz stamp on the inside plus a little free hand drawing of the long studied spiders webs. This colour scheme was great to follow, black card, black ink pad and black pen plus a little acetate and some white card offcuts.

The second layer was very easy as I

used more die cuts, the offcuts from cutting the border and a repeat pattern on the inside flaps.

The inside layers were stamped with more from the Chocolate Baroque Halloween set and the offcuts from cutting out the frames used on the lid and the inside base.
Finally I thought an exploding box should have some kind of spooky outburst and what better than bats. The bats were again cut with the Sizzix die and then stuck onto a wobbling acetate tower. The tower was made using a piece of acetate saved from the packaging of a much needed craft item, make a small, long, square tube, then cut down the length of the tube to an inch off the bottom to achieve the waving fronds. Cut these fronds at different lengths and glue a bat on each end.

Getting the lid back on is a little tricky but well worth the effect when the box is opened.

This is just part of the techniques day and the theme for the box is optional, some are making for Christmas and some for birthdays.

Please leave me a comment to let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

I hope to post some of the samples for the Dereham demonstration soon, they're nearly finished!

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Three in one stamps

I have been playing around with my stamps to see if I can get more out of them. We are all thinking very carefully before we make new purchases so I'm trying to re-vamp what I already have, but there is always something that tempts you no matter how tight the purse strings are.
These first two stamps are from the same set by Creative Expressions - 'Christmas Day'. To begin with I cut out the complete wreath which makes a lovely stamp on its own but on taking another look at it I decided to cut out the words in the middle. This was done very carefully with a craft knife without cutting into the wreath at all. I haven't trimmed the word stamp so that I can put it back into the wreath and get a perfect fit when the whole thing is used. You will need to keep an eye on the edges of the word stamp to make sure no stray ink is picked up, if it is just gently wipe it off before you stamp. The same method was used to cut the second wreath stamp.
This now means I have two lovely wreath stamps with words inside, two word stamps I can use alone and two beautiful Christmas wreaths I can use to frame other artwork.

This is a clear stamp from Papermania, it's one of this years selection but I couldn't resist it. Stamped and embossed in black and coloured in with Cosmic Shimmer Drawing Inks it will look great.
It is quite a large stamp, 5"x 4 1/2" so I decided to cut mine in half. Two groups of three baubles made the cut line clear, it was then a close study of the garland to see just where to cut that. Again do not trim the cut edge as this will help you match up the two sides when you want to use the big version.
Now I have three bauble stamps, one for a large card and two that will fit an A6 card blank.

Take another look at your stamps and see if you can make more out of them. A small pair of sharp scissors and a little bit of courage to give it a go and you'll see your stash in a whole new light. If you're hesitant then try it out on an old stamp first and not your brand new purchase.

Friday 26 August 2011

Flower challenge

The first flower has been made by using a double sided sticky sheet to put fabric onto thin card before being die cut. By putting the fabric onto thin card it gives it some rigidity but still allows you to bend the petals into shape. The button centre is stuck on but marked with black permanent marker to give the illusion of stitching.
This could be very useful when colour co-ordinating wedding favours, cards, decorations. If you can use fabric from the wedding dresses you will get a perfect match!

The second flower is made using Walnut Hollow Creative Metal and tools. This idea is taken from a wonderful tutorial I found on The flowers are die cut from metal then using the tools they are decorated with pattern. Once the tool work is complete you can then colour them with alcohol inks. This is my first effort at this as you can probably tell but I shall do more as this technique can give great results and it's quite therapeutic too.

This little fellow is made using my favourite technique from Sue Wilson at Creative Expressions. If you look further back in my blog history you will find a link to her worksheet. This flower is also die cut, using four identical flowers that are coloured and trimmed then assembled to make this lovely rose.

All these flowers have been made using one die plate - Tattered Florals from Tim Holtz at Sizzix but they can also be made using any other die cut flower shape. The rose requires a six petal flower but can be made with a five petal with a few adjustments. Marianne Creatables have a die set with several sizes of six petal flower which makes amazing little roses in small to tiny. Spellbinders also have some beautiful flower dies. It's a case of experimenting with what you have to see what you can make. If you don't have a die cutter don't worry, several companies produce gorgeous flower stamps that can be cut out by hand and made into roses etc.

If this rain keeps on then settle down and create some flowers.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Mind that heat gun!

It may not be the typical fire engine you would expect to see but it is an active fire service vehicle. I have always wanted to drive a fire engine complete with flashing lights and sirens and on saturday that's what I got to do.

The Fire Fighters Charity organised a Ladies Driving Challenge day held at Coltishall, Norfolk. You raise money via sponsorship for the charity and they let you drive a wide selection of vehicles, it has to be done, it is without doubt one of the best days out ever and you're helping charity while having fun. For those of you who are tempted then contact The Fire Fighters Charity to find out when and where the next challenge is.

The fire engine was top of the list but I also got to drive a combine harvester, a tractor, a coach, police car, double decker bus, a landrover on an off road course and to finish the day a ride in a tank! Wasn't allowed to drive that one .....shame, maybe next time!!!

There were also sports cars, articulated lorries and a couple of army lorries but I ran out of time. There's always next year!

Friday 19 August 2011

Welcome Ellie

One of my friends has just had a little girl so I made this for her. Although I've known for some months of the baby's approximate arrival date I still managed to leave it to the last minute to make the card!

The stamp is from Lilly Of The Valley and works perfectly for either sex, just stamp and colour in, I've used Cosmic Shimmer watercolours. The image has been cut out using a nestability die, then leaving the die on the image I inked around the edge with Victorian Velvet Distress Ink. I love the little white border that you get when you do this, it gives the impression of another layer of card. The next layer is cut with the next size up in the nesty set using pink mirror card.

The base card was half embossed by only putting half of the front into an embossing folder. Lilac gingham paper is stuck onto the smooth half of the card. I always take the paper round the fold of the card and fix it on the back as this stops the edge getting creased up and spoiling all your hard work. The main image is placed in the centre on foam pads. Booties and wording were added using peel offs.

Thursday 11 August 2011

Sheena Douglass blog candy for christmas!

Just a small note to let you know that Sheena has some gorgeous new Christmas Fusion coming out tomorrow. Pop over to her blog to see what she has been doing with them. Must put these on my Christmas wish list......that's if I can wait that long!!

Friday 29 July 2011

Peaceful Greens challenge

This is my 'Peaceful Greens' challenge entry for Aldridge Crafts. OK so there's a little tiny bit of orange hidden in there.

This was made using the usual Distress Inks, I know I use them a lot but they are so very versatile and this was with only two different greens.

The stamps are from a set I was given sometime ago called 'Wild Meadow' and the butterfly is from U-Mount set 'Botanical'.

To create some depth to the picture I have stamped some foliage in the paler green ink 'Bundled Sage' and the rest in 'Forest Moss'. Using a water brush or small paintbrush and a little water I painted over the stems and flowers of the large stamp which gave me a filled in look.

The butterfly is stamped in Forest Moss and coloured in with Sakura gell pens to give him a little sparkle, which unfortunately doesn't show on the picture.

I wonder what the challenge will be next week?

Monday 11 July 2011

Creative Expressions Calling Card Challenge

Having done a little research into Edwardian calling cards I chose to put a little twist on my idea for this challenge. Calling cards were used to announce your arrival at the home of the person you wished to visit, they usually had your name on them alongside a small decoration. This little ATC is housed on a free standing pop up tag.

To make this card you will need to cut three pieces of white card as follows.
One piece measuring 4 1/4 x 11 inches, another 2 3/4 x 5 1/4 inches and another 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.

Take the largest piece and score lines for folding at 1 inch, 2 3/4 inches, 3 3/4 inches, 5 1/2 inches, 7 1/4 inches, 8 1/4 inches and 10 inches. At the 5 1/2 inch score line measure 5/8 inch inward from each side and mark, cut a slit between these marks for the tag to slide up and down. If your ATC has dimension the slit can be cut a little wider.

Decorate both the large piece that will form the box and the middle size piece that will be the tag. Using Perfect Medium and a stamp from the U-Mount Mini Swirls set stamp and clear emboss at random. Next use a piece of Cut and Dry Foam and Distress Ink Old Paper to colour your card, then use the Old Paper with the stamp to add more swirls. Finish off with a spritz of Cosmic Shimmer Enchanted Gold. Set aside to dry while decorating your ATC.

My calligraphy skills are not too good so I used my computer to print the name. It was printed on a larger piece of paper and cut to ATC size at an angle so the writing has a slant. Once cut to size it was decorated with Distress Inks Wild Honey and Rusty Hinge, then spritzed with water to get the speckles. Once dry the corner stamp was done with another Distress Ink Aged Mahogany.

Die cut two butterflies in gold satin card and attach them, one on each side, to the top of the tag. This could be done with ribbon if you prefer. Once the butterflies are on the ATC is then stuck to the tag, make sure it is a little closer to the top as the bottom inch of the tag will be inside the box when it stands up.

Pass the tag through the slit and attach it to the last inch fold at the end of the card, make sure it is centered. Attach the tag to the other end of the card to form the box from which the tag will stand.

The box is finished with a paper rose made from die cut flowers using a technique found on Creative Expressions website, see link below. Colour the rose before assembly with Wild Honey and Rusty Hinge, once assembled spritz with Enchanted Gold.

The card will fold flat and pop up when the butterfly is pulled. Calling cards were hand delivered so the rose would not have been squashed. If you wish to post this type of card you could either use a box-a-lope or a flower with less dimension for the decoration.

I do hope you try this card it's something a little different.

For all the ladies I met last weekend please follow the link above to Sue's paper rose technique, this is how I learnt to make all those flowers.

Happy Crafting.

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Time at Craftmania

Many thanks to Craftmania in Lowestoft and their eager customers for a very busy day last saturday. Viv and I spent the day demonstrating to a constant crowd of fellow crafters.
This was one of the samples on show which raised some interest. It was made with the Creative Expressions embossing folder Time using white card. Once embossed I inked the card with Distress ink Old Paper all over, then Brushed Corduroy around the edges and over the raised features. The clock face was a piece of satin gold card also put through the embossing folder, as are the hands. I used an Archival Ink black to rub over the clock face to pick out the numbers, it wasn't a perfect job so to cover my little smudge I stamped the face with Archival Sepia and a crackle background stamp. The hands are also coloured with the black ink pad and fastened to the face with a brad, then the clock face was mounted on the card. This would also look good using Walnut Hollow Creative Metal.
The sentiment is a stamp from the U-Mount stamp set Time, stamped in Archival ink Coffee and clear embossed. The little cog is from a broken clock I got from a local jewellers ( got some funny looks when I asked for a broken clock! ) It is then matted on chocolate brown card and mounted on foam pads. The whole card was matted on chocolate card, then cream, then chocolate again.

Monday 13 June 2011

Truly Cosmic

As soon as I saw this canvas I knew what I wanted to do with it. I have to confess I am a bit of a Treki and this just had to be done, for my son of course!!

How to 'Make it so'. One round canvas from Wilkinsons painted with Eco-green acrylic black. Then comes the fun part, spritzed with Cosmic Shimmer sprays in various colours. I've always wanted to do this type of thing with the sprays since I first got my hands on them and what better way than to 'Boldly spritz where no crafter has spritzed before'.

The planet surface doesn't show up too well on this picture but it has a really moon like look to it. It was made by mixing Eco-green acrylic paint with sand. I masked off the canvas with a piece of card cut around a tea plate, this helped keep the edge crisp. It took overnight to dry fully, I was going to cosmic that too but decided it would be too much bling so left it matt.

The planets and alien are all stamped from U-mount plate 'Outer Space'. The planets are stamped onto acetate with Stazon and then glittered, the alien was stamped on white card and coloured in with a green highlight pen, then double embossed with a glow-in-the-dark embossing powder. The Enterprise (starship) was taken from a tatty book found in a charity shop.
I really enjoyed making this picture, I was so pleased I managed to get it just as I'd imagined it. It also shows that Cosmic Shimmer and rubber stamps are not just for card craft.

I have another canvas so I might try and see if 'The force is with me' and adapt the idea slightly, so watch this Space! You don't have to be mad to craft but it helps!!!

Friday 20 May 2011

Cosmic Shimmer Misters

Shimmer mist is suitable for use on any porous surface such as : Card, Paper, Papier Mache, Canvas, Wood, Fabric - will NOT be washable.

* The mica does settle so shake well before use.
* Bottles are best stored on their side, this helps keep the tube to the nozzle clear of mica reducing the risk of clogging. Less shaking needed too.
* If the pump clogs remove it and rinse in warm water, do this before long term storage.
* Use a small shallow box as a spray booth to prevent any stray squirts escaping.
* Use a craft mat under your project so you can mop up any overspray on spare card, it may come in handy for another project, waste nothing.
* Mica's are very effective on dark backgrounds so experiment with coloured bases to your projects.
* Colours co-ordinate with other Cosmic Shimmer products to help you mix and match.
* Wear gloves if scrunching your card, some colours can stain a little.

* Stamp an image using Perfect Medium, then clear emboss before spraying. Lightly dab off excess spray from stamped areas as it will stick to the embossing a little. This will retain the base colour on your card. Alternatively you could stamp and emboss using coloured powders after spraying. These two tags were sprayed with the same colours, one onto white card and the other onto black card.
* Create dramatic backgrounds by using several colours. Seascapes, stormy skies, sunsets, galaxies - on black card, enchanted forests, the list is endless, let your imagination run free.
* Spay thin card, then while still wet scrunch it up and smooth it out again. To get it quite smooth again you can iron it. If you then rub gently over the card with an ink pad only the raised areas will pick up the ink.
* You can spray fabric but it will NOT be washable.
* Use masks to spray over, there are some really gorgeous ones available.

I hope this has given you some idea about Cosmic Shimmer misters. Choose a couple of colours you like together and have a play, if you like what you see, and I'm sure you will, then invest in a few more and have fun. I love all the Shimmer mists but I would have to say the Pearl Mist is my favourite, it has a clear carrier colour so it can be used to add a subtle shimmer to almost anything from wedding cards to christmas decorations.
There is also a range of Chalk Misters available now. These are very similar to use but they have no shimmer, they are a chalk effect that have many uses of their own.

Monday 2 May 2011

Sew Simple goes Cosmic

I would like to say thankyou to the staff and visitors at Sew Simple on saturday for making it a most enjoyable day.
As promised over the next few weeks I will try to give you a run down on the different Cosmic Shimmer products and their uses.
This card was made using the new Cosmic Chalk Mists, they give a matt chalky finish. They have a fresh spring like look and once you've played for a while you can get some lovely effects. Personally I like to use them as a subtle mist, blending two complimentary colours rather than an all out solid coverage.
This was using green and yellow, well I was demonstrating on the outskirts of Norwich, over the Trellis mask from That Special Touch Of... The stamps are all from U-Mount Botanical using Archival Jet Black and Coffee. Foliage was stamped in Distress Forest Moss and clear embossed. Clear embossing powder over the stamped butterfly and yellow flowers made painting with Cosmic Watercolours nice and easy. The Pinky flowers were stamped on card misted with the chalks in purple and pink, all flowers were cut out and glued onto the background with Cosmic Acrylic glue, as was the butterfly. Matted and layered on green, gold and pearlescent chocolate card seemed to suit it.

Saturday 23 April 2011

Cosmic Butterfly

My photographic skills are not too good, this really looks much better than this, sorry.
This was made on a watercolour board to stand on an easle from Ikea, sprayed black. The board was blended with Distress inks Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge, Scattered Straw and Aged Mahogany. Behind the butterfly is stamped with a script design in Perfect Medium and then dusted with Cosmic Mica powder Marigold. The grasses are stamped and embossed with Cosmic Lava Black (which matches Aged Mahogany perfectly), the tree was stamped in Aged Mahogany but not embossed. The edges of the board are embossed with Cosmic Bright Gold.
The flowers are made with card coloured using Distress inks so they match the colour scheme of the board. To make these flowers you can find the instructions on the Creative Expressions website along with some other really good projects. Once assembled the flowers were sprayed with Cosmic mist Rich Gold. Leaves were cut from some chocolate card I found in the draw then passed through a ribbler to get the veins.
The butterfly was stamped and embossed in Cosmic Lava Black, the stamp is from Eco-Green Crafts - Butterfly Post. It was then painted using Cosmic watercolours, these really are great. TIP: emboss your image before painting so if you paint over the lines by mistake the embossing will repell the paint leaving you with a perfect image.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Charity shop bargains

These little boxes were part of a kit donated to one of my local charity shops. I enjoyed putting them together and they are now on sale in the shop for mothers day.
There was a large stash donated along with this kit. I would like to say a big thank you to my fellow club members for helping to raise £45 for the East Anglian Childrens Hospice charity by buying most of it.
Charity shops are for me a great source of bits and bobs for altered art as well as books. You never know what you might find. So next time you're in town, any town, go and have a look.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Bitten by the tag

I have been well and truly bitten by the tag. It gives just that little bit more space than an ATC. The lady I gave this one to was adamant it would be taken off the card and hung on the wall.
I also like this size to work as samples, enough room to showcase techniques and materials without producing a whole card. I've got a little metal tree with grippy clips on each branch that's really good for display (Lakeland Plastics).
This tag was created using the ever popular Distress Inks, Stamps from Crafty Individuals, paper roses cut with Marianne Creatables dies, a couple of peel offs and some paper lace. If you take a look at Creative Expressions website you will find a tutorial for making the roses and lots more too.
I was lucky enough to go to the trade show at the NEC, lots of new goodies coming out. My favourite has to be the new Pearl Mica Spray from Cosmic Shimmer (thanks Karen!). It's great for that subtle shimmer on wedding cards, christening cards and perfect for christmas snow scenes. Is it too early for christmas crafting?
There are some really lovely masks coming out, shed loads of Tim Holtz goodies too. That man costs me a fortune, he just keeps coming up with things I try to resist but can't! I don't do much grunge and shyed away from his materials for ages but they are proving to be really useful for lighter projects too.
I'm also looking forward to playing with Eco Green acrylic paints, I'm no artist so it will have to be simple. These paints are very eco freindly and safe for kids to use, the red has already been earmarked for a cardboard fire engine and he has his eyes on the rest for a castle!

Sunday 16 January 2011

Quick pearlescent card

This little fellow is for a friends birthday. I don't usually do a lot with pink but this just seemed to be right.
The image is stamped with Archival Ink Coffee and clear embossed. The mouse and cake are coloured with watercolour pencils, the icing and candle are painted with Cosmic Shimmer watercolour paints.
I wanted to mat and layer the picture so I used Spellbinders Nesties but every pink card I tried wasn't quite right, until..... I played around with Brilliance Pearlescent Orchid ink pad! It's almost a perfect match for the 'Rose Hue' used for the icing. I only had to ink up the edge of the card because the middle is covered, no point in wasting ink! It dried well and has a perfect sheen to it. I'm now working my way through all my inks and matching them to the paints where I can, no more expensive pearl card required!
The edges of the main picture have been lightly inked with Distress Ink Spun Sugar whilst leaving the nestie on the card, giving the tiny white edge. The background has been stamped with a swirl in both Spun Sugar and Pearlescent Orchid.
If you have some pearlescent ink pads give it a try, if you don't you might like to get some. Brilliance are available in Dew Drop size which are not to expensive for a try out, good luck playing.