' ' ' 'Crafty Endeavours: July 2013

Wednesday 31 July 2013


As a departure from my usual projects, I am taking the plunge and trying my hand at Art Journaling. Note that I am not committing to anything... and I have used a free standing piece of paper rather than a Journal per se! The Craft Barn challenge letter T made me think of "Travel", which immediately appealed as a theme, and I wanted to play with paints just for myself, with no pressure.

There wasn't a conscious decision as to the hues chosen for my background, although I did choose bright and staining colours so that if they mixed too much the result wouldn't be muddy. I have used watercolours here as I have a lot (in all forms) rather than Dylusions or other dye inks, and used a brush to load the paint from the sides and spraying with a water bottle to distribute the paint around, tilting the paper to control the direction of the flow. After each colour I allowed the paper to dry completely.
It turned out darker than anticipated but I wasn't too fussed and proceeded to stamp my many travel related images (Paper Artsy, Crafty Individuals, Katzelfkraft and Papermania). This is where the choice of a watercolour paper (and what is more a rough texture) was working against me. Still we all like a distress effect...

Finally I added a strip of DIY washi tape and the dictionary definition (and no I couldn't bring myself to destroy a book), which I printed on specialty paper and aged it with Tattered Rose distress ink.

I have scored the sheet in half so, if I fancy making more I will look into making a "Journal" with the individual pages.

I enjoyed the journey... hope you will enjoy the project too!

Saturday 27 July 2013

Inspired By Darcy Wilkinson (2)

This week, the incredible Darcy has created for us a full assortment of decorations for a garden party, with cake stand decoration, cup cakes sleeves, banner, centerpiece, invitations, gift paper and tag and much more... She STILL found the time to bake for her party (I asked ).

And then she revealed her new baby, made out of mesh, clay, and paper. Dont miss her post, the project is amazing, the photos amusing and there are 2 videos so we can see how she did it.

I chose to make something altogether less challenging and created a storage piece for my craft stash. Not as good as Darcy's made-from-scratch bag, but more adapted to my skills!

After numerous layers of gesso, I sprayed my box with a shimmering spray in brown, and 2 colours of Fresco. Sprayed water where needed to guide the flow of paint around the box.

I then stencilled the hearts (part of last Valentine's chocolates box) and the dress form (negative die-cut), using the bump technique. I overstamped , with the mask still in place with a freebie flourish.
I also stencilled a border, using my home made (from a punch) stencil.

There is no ryhme or reason for the stamps I chose or coherent theme for the decoration. I used the girls from Hot Pick 1207 and the butterfly and "Best homes" from Hot Pick 1203.
For the butterfly I used ink on the edges and Fresco paint on the inside.
I repeated the stamps on the box base.

A better view of the lid:

Stamping with paint update!
Following your responses to my problem, I have found the main cause for my smudged stamping and how to remedy.
Last time, I was using a make up sponge to apply the paint, never imagining it would make a difference, but it does. Not because it's Cut & dry but Cut & dry is firmer so the paint is more controlled and doesn't squish between the lines of the stamp so much. So thank you all for sharing your tips and advice.

You can enter the challenge here.

Thanks for coming by,

Monday 22 July 2013

Pack your bags / Vacations

For this week's Impression Obsession challenge I struggled with inspiration... Finally I plumped for the Damselfly with Boat (F1336) stamp because it speaks of leisurely summers...

I chose my patterned papers from my scraps, except the large rectangular piece, which I have created from a piece of white card, inking with distress inks and stamping with CAC Canvas (CC073) and CAC Grunge (CC076).

I created a die-cut border at the bottom with the Flags Die Set (DIE015-F). I usually separate dies that come wired together but for some reason I haven't done it on this one and I was glad because it allowed me to be sure all flags were parallel as I partially cut them twice.

I also used the middle size die again with one of the matching stamp from the Tag set (3119-SM )and a rub on (very old stash)

I inked the Damselfly image with markers and colored it with alcohol markers, adding gel pen and Copic At You Spica clear pen for a shimmering effect. Let's take a closer look at the shimmer:

As it happens, my holidays will involve marshes so maybe I will be able to find cattails and Damselflies soon...

I have mixed "grunge" and classic in that card and I don't know if it works, so please tell me in your comments!

Keep cool,

Saturday 20 July 2013

For the Girls

This is a bit of a departure from my usual images but I bought this stamp on an impulse because it was half price and I thought having a character stamp would allow me more practice with alcohol markers. As it happens, the image is ideal for a birthday card I had to make for a girl too old for teddy bears but too young for something edgy or vintage.

The background paper is from Graphic 45 (Nutcracker sweet).
The glittered shape is a remnant of a partial die-cut (MFT die).
To make the birthday tag I stuck a piece of washi tape from the Docraft Gorjuss collection on white cardstock and die-cut it with Impression Obsession Flags die set.
The striped pink paper ? Now there's a story...

When my printer ran out of yellow ink last year, instead of switching cartridges like normal people, I decided to use up the rest of the ink by printing patterned papers that had no yellow in them, and when the blue ran out, I carried on printing in pink... No waste!

I am entering this card in the following challenges:
My Mum's Craft Shop - Just For Girls
The Artistic Stamper - Ladies Day

Let me know what you think,

Thursday 18 July 2013

Inspired By Carol Quance (2)

As soon as I saw Carol's first project for the Paper Artsy blog, I knew I wanted to play! However, although I have worn dangling jewellery on occasion, I didn't want my bling to get in the way of everyday tasks, so I made a "bracelet" for my handbag (lucky handbag!).

In the main I followed Carol's method, encountering a few hiccups along the way - down to a lack forward planning :
  • colours too strong after shrinking
  • shrink plastic deformed whilst embossing
  • hole a bit too far from edge
  • stray white embossing speckles
At least this time I didn't forget to punch the holes before shrinking!

The stamps I used are from Hot Pick 1204 and 1206 and for the first layer of embossing I used a clear glitter EP.

I second Carol's statement about shrink plastic, some of them do not shrink uniformely and some have pitted areas after shrinking. The Polyshrink brand however does shrink beautifully. Plus here's my tip for no-brains measuring, if you have a metric/imperial ruler that is...

Measure your piece of shrink in inches BEFORE shrinking and in centimeters AFTER shrinking.

So if you want your shrunk piece to be 3cm after shrinking you need to start with 3 inches, simples!

Enjoy !

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Shimmering Venice

I have a weak spot for photo stamps, and I have had this idea about using mica powders with one for a while. Translating this vision into a reality proved difficult but after trying a number of versions, media and methods I finally happened on a nearly there result.
This stamp from Katzelkraft evokes the holidays for me and I wanted the shimmer to give it that feeling of heat you get in the summer.

I stamped the image first with a blue dye ink to provide the base darkness to the image, then overstamped with Versamark. I applied mica powders (Imagination Crafts "Natural" set), gold on the building, blue in the sky, burgundy on the darkest areas of the image. I had trouble catching the shimmer with the camera, especially since the light flares on the glossy cardstock, but here's two attempts:

At the beginning I was determined to use patterned papers for matting but as you can see in the end I used plain colours to let the image be the star of the show.

For embellishment, I stamped a Crafty Individuals stamp (It says Violettes de Parme) in a pool of mixed UTEE, in fact not completely mixed, as when I added my last scoop of coloured powder, I thought the swirls would give more interest to the piece. Love playing with embossing powders me !

I haven't got a favourite embellishment as such, but I do prefer to make my own, so my favourite embellishment is one that I created myself !

I am entering this card in the following challenges :

- WOW embossing powder - Summer & Sunshine
- Imaginations Crafts - Anything goes
- Ladybug Crafts - Favourite embellishment

Thanks for coming by,

Friday 12 July 2013

Inspired By France Papillon (3)

For the Paper Artsy challenge this week, I followed Frances's design quite closely although I didn't follow the steps in the same order!

I first glued my tissue to the tag to prevent tearing, then I applied the Claret Fresco.
As my ancient crackle pot had mostly dried out,  I tried the PVA glue crackle method, and as you can see this method produced very big crackles!

I then stamped the "Joie de vivre" and "memo" from the Hot Pick 1205, then the paste over the chicken wire stencil and instead of cutting and sewing the pieces back together, I faked it with an embossing folder. I also faked the sewing round the tag with pricking and a black pen.

I made the flower with 2 layers each of the small and middle sizes of the Tattered Florals die using mulberry paper.

Quite enjoyed that project, as usual a good learning exercise, even if the result isn't fantastic.

I haven't cracked yet how to reliably stamp with paint though and on the tag my stamping is pretty smudged...
If there is a foolproof method, please share it in your comments!

Tuesday 9 July 2013

What's shaking

At the Impression Obsession blog we are Shakin' it up... I wasn't going to join the challenge, but then I found a piece of packaging that I had kept for that specific purpose, and since it had been there a while, I felt under the obligation to use it rather than chuck it.

I couldn't remember how I used the other one (there were 2 of these pieces of plastic) or how painstaking it was, which is why IO have these packs that slash the effort. Sadly the shops this side of the pond don't stock them and I persevered through the pain.

I chose a Christmas theme because I could shake snow and it's a great interactive card for a kid.

My image is Winter Scene (H1284) and I stamped it in blue dye ink, then colored the scarf and hat with a red water based marker . I applied glue to the roof of the house behind the snowman and the snowman himself, then sprinkled some flock. Initially I was to going to flock the hat and scarf in red but I realised that I would end up with flecks of red everywhere and stopped myself in time. Phew!
Of course I put more white flock in my shaker along with some blue ultra-fine glitter and some clear glitter. It works well as the snow falls when you stop shaking.

The panel has been stamped with CAC Snowflakes (CC035) and the sentiment (a peel off) added to the largest tag die-cut with Flags die set (DIE015F-F). A bit of twine and a green whatsit (sorry don't know what to call them) that had become separated from its family and was laying around finish the card.

Thanks for coming by,

Monday 8 July 2013

Quick cards for the boys

I had to rustle up birthday cards for 2 11 years old boys and quickly! Not my favourite thing...

During my web travels I came across the concept of "Craft Dash" and decided it would be a good opportunity to try making a card under 10mns. After all, as my OH always says, there is no sense in spending a lot of time on kids's cards as they will spend even less time looking at it.

Not as easy as I thought... my first try was a complete failure as I took over 13mns to finish the card. 3mns doesn't sound much but it is already 30% more than the allotted time! Back to the drawing board then.
From the original idea I had to abandon the embossing, the die-cut for the star as it took me ages to align the stamp and die, what with being stressed by the ticking clock. Also I had to switch colours around as I had used the last blue card blank in an old pack (yeah!! using up old stash) and I abandoned the tag stamp too.

Setting up again :
I started with die-cutting the ticket, then stamped it and the sentiment in blue ink (roughly 3mns). Then stamped the star 3 times (only one inking and 2mns) and effectively the rest of the time was swallowed by the embellishment. 2mns to punch the holes out (wishing for one of these screw punches) and trim the top and bottom to fit my stamp. Putting the foam pads on the ticket,  threading the twine and sticking to the card took another 2 1/2 mns.

And the twine is crooked...  Total time 9mns 47.

What I learned from the exercise:

- planning the card in advance and preparing all the supplies in one go before starting cuts down the realisation time. OK obvious...
- but to do that, and to iron out any unexpected issue, I had to walk through all the steps, for instance I had to try which inkpad was going to work (turned out I had to use a dye ink and a crafter's ink on top).

I am entering this card in the following challenges:
- Lisa.B.Designs challenge - Blue, Red and White
- Pretty Pink Posh Craft Dash #21 - Stars

Thanks for coming by,

Sunday 7 July 2013

Summer Sizzler

My followers will know that I am Guest Designing for the Country View Crafts blog this month, and I have beavered away on my project for several days.

Hot summers, for me, must involve the beach, so that was my starting point in designing the card. Then, I pulled from my stash a stamp that would fit in with a beach scene.

The background was brayered with inks, for the sun I used several sizes of masks to produce a light halo effect and for the sand I textured the brayered layer of ink with an inked piece of pliable soft plastic (from packaging) and also with sprayed water. For good measure I added Copic At You Spica glitter pen in clear to add a subtle glint, just like sand in the sun, unfortunately the photo doesn't show this.
For waves I used a white gel pen.

The hammock was inked with a combination of inkpad and markers, then masked before brayering the background.

I then die-cut the scene with 2 sizes of dies and a pink mat with an intermediate size and layered them together to create a frame, sticking the whole thing on an A5 card blank.

Finally, lest the hammock looked like it was floating in the air, I added posts made out of toothpicks. I sanded flat one side of the toothpicks so they would be easier to stick down.

Do you feel the heat ? Hope you like this mini scene... let me know in your comments below !

Friday 5 July 2013

Inspired by Sue Carrington (3)

I saw this project by Sue and I just had to try it. I think my canvas is smaller than Sue and I ran out of space around my image to fit in all the stencilled areas.

The main image is from Hot Pick 1208.
In the bottom left corner I have used my latest "found" stencil - from an ad in a mail shot - with texture paste and drew some of the windows in yellow gel pen.
For the 3 stamped mats, I used a specialty paper with inclusion that has been lurking for years in my stash... and I just didn't know how good it actually was: it stamped very well, it's sturdy enough to be used with waterbased mediums, so glad I re-discovered it !

I added a strip of washi at the top and bottom as I had nowhere else to fit it in.

You can join this week's Paper Artsy challenge here.

Thanks for coming by,