' ' ' 'Crafty Endeavours: December 2013

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Dictionary Letter X

Considering the paucity of X words in my dictionary, I didn't hesitate long and resigned myself to selecting the obvious for the last letter of the Craft Barn dictionary challenge! I expect many of us will do the same, after all tis the season....

The story behind the page: Twas the night before Christmas... Well it's nearly midnight and father Christmas is out an about on his deliveries. It's started snowing again and fresh snow clings onto last week's snow drifts.

Father Christmas (a Christmas set from Katzelkraft) is stamped in black over a brayered background. I added snow with a stamp from the same set, with water for the "background", then with white pigment ink for the foreground.

The snow drifts are made of sand medium and I sprinkled some glitter over the top (said glitter sadly invisible). Later I added some white paint as my snow wasn't "snowy" enough.

On the right I added some texture paste with an hexagon stencil and stamped on top, leaving some hexagons to be filled in with Sparkle medium in Jade (Imagination Crafts). No rhyme or reason for this, I just fancied doing that!
The clock, a die-cut stamped and embossed with a sentiment (Craft stamper freebie) and an embossed snowflake finish the page.

There you have it, Christmas is here!

I am also entering the Imagination Crafts, the Pan Pastel Uk and Lexi's creations challenges.

Happy holidays bloggers,

Thursday 19 December 2013

Favourite project of 2013

I saw the Craft Room challenge and it tickled me to review this year's projects. But... oh... it is like asking who is your favourite child! Still, I managed to shortlist the following :



I gave it a lot of thought and chose the tag (see the details here) not because of its technical merits, or work involved, as it was all a fluke, but because of what it evokes for me.

I wonder if you would have chosen the same....

Thank for coming by,

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Dictionary Letter I

The Craft Barn Dictionary challenge is approaching the finishing line with the last 2 letters.
Plenty of choice for the letter I (unlike the X letter I still have to do) but I simply followed my crafty heart and chose "ink".

You will think the left and right don't go together and you will be right, visually it doesn't quite gel! I stuck with it because I like the concept of having traditional ink (black) and modern representations on facing pages.

On the left, I started with an attempt at medieval illumination (I used gold ink over a flourish stamp portion) of the letter I.
I then partially inked the Calligraphy Mat 13 (The Artistic Stamper) to represent a manuscript written with a quill...
The chevron stamp (Docrafts) at the bottom of this page fills up an otherwise empty space and, hopefully leads the viewer into the second page.

On the right, I illustrate how I use inks nowadays, dribbling, spraying and of course stamping with inks!

I am also entering the page in the SSS Monday- and the Artistic Stamper  challenges.

Hope you've got Christmas under control....

Sunday 15 December 2013

Challenged By Joanne Wardle (3) Second project

I saw Joanne's triangle box on the Paper Artsy blog and devised a way to create something similar, bypassing, as much as possible, any measurements, since things have a tendency to go wonky and asymmetric under my hands! So my version uses a tetrahedron shape (I had to look this up) but with a rounded aspect.

To form the box, glue the long side to form a cylinder, then squash one of the short ends and glue shut. Squash the opposite short side perpendicularly and create the closure. I closed mine by a ribbon threaded through 4 holes (I used a standard office punch and aligned by eye - easy peasy!).

I used an A4 piece of patterned paper, it has 2 colours because it is designed to make cards with, but I don't use much paper for my cards and I need to use up my stock somehow !

I stamped the front of my box with the tulip from ELB02 as well as the Merry and Bright from Uniko studio (All Occasion Sentiments #4) and embossed with dark blue powder.

I stamped both adjoining sides with the leafy branch, also from ELB02 and the "Christmas" from Uniko, and embossed with green powder.

On the last side, which I consider the back, I glued a tag (not shown).

I am also entering the Ali Craft challenge - Christmas.

Thanks for coming by,

Gorjuss Gate

The time has come again... yes it's cute time as I had to make a birthday card for a young girl. Still, this is an opportunity to use this stamp, bought on a whim, and pull out my alcohol markers.

Do you remember when the Martha Stewart  PATP  punches were all the rage? Nowadays die-cutting is more likely to feature in projects, but I wanted to get some use out my punches and was looking for something different. I wanted my borders to face inwards rather than outwards and came up with a process to achieve the effect without cutting the borders first and assembling into a square (knowing myself, there is no way I could have mitred the corners perfectly!)

I eliminated the measuring by choosing a 6"x6" square patterned paper, and marked the diagonals in pencil. I placed a square die (the 6th largest in the Spellbinders large square set) so the 4 corners intersected with the diagonals drawn. That way it is perfectly centred.
Once the square is cut out, there is an opening through which the border punch can be inserted.

By eye, using the notches on the punch as guidelines, I centred the punch and punched once. I needed to punch one more motif to the left and to the right of that first punched area, so I did that with the punch upside down. This is repeated for the 3 other sides.

Then I used the corner punch (with the wings folded), upside down again to align with the corner of the square aperture. The highest portion of the punch design is lost, but I didn't mind since it looked different but OK. Finally, I used scissors to snip where border and corner punches have overlapped.

I haven't tested this with another design but looking forward to find out...

To embellish the card, I used a tree die (Memory Box), a label die (Impression Obsession) and flower and leaf dies (Papertrey Ink).

I decided to use the spare 6"x6" piece of paper to stiffen and balance the back :

I have taken inspiration  from these challenges:

Artful Times - Die-cut or punches
Crafts-Too - The Natural World/Add a flower twist. The nature bit is not so much the tree, flower etc.. but the swing, these days youngsters are much more likely to be playing with electric gizmos!
Pan Pastel UK - All about Paper/Card
Stamping Sensations - Free and Easy

Thanks for coming by,

Thursday 12 December 2013

Challenged By Joanne Wardle (3)

This week on the Paper Artsy blog, Joanne Wardle has been showing us crafty ways to wrap presents.
I am still thinking about the triangle idea (watch this space), but I couldn't resist the bagelope.

I used the tulip from ELB03 for the bag, stamping in white pigment ink, applying watercolour pencils on top. I then softened with a moist brush.
For the tags I used 2 stamps from ID02.

The top of the bag has been die-cut with a Spellbinders border die, which conveniently pierces 2 holes, perfect to thread the twine through.

Thanks for coming by,

Friday 6 December 2013

Challenged By Alison Bomber (3)

It is Alison's last week on the Paper Artsy blog this semester and she is getting Christmassy (aren't we all). I saw this project and had to have a go.

Warning: I wanted to share my "work" and the troubles I had making it, but I do know it's an awful piece. Time allowing, I would have made a second jar, building on my experience with the first attempt.

I didn't have any Liquid Leaf, so I tried copper aerosol paint. Alas, it was almost finished (and old) so it spluttered more than sprayed, then died...

The coverage is therefore patchy. On the plus side, this produces lovely light patterns when lit. However it is a poor base for the stamping !

I didn't bother to show you the other side of the jar where I stamped the owl image from the same set (ID02), it's hardly recognisable.

Apart from the coverage problem, my second issue was the scratching out of the paint on and around the stamped images. It is effectively drawing and that isn't my forte... Still I managed to scratch out the "Dream" word.

And without the light on:

Thanks for coming by,

Wednesday 4 December 2013

S is for. . . .

The latest Dictionary challenge at the Craft Barn is for the letter S. I had a look through my small dictionary and happened on Sparkle, Shine, Scintillate as well as Stencil and Stamp. Perfect for a crafter wouldn't you say ?
However, as a word, I fancied Serendipity, much more interesting than the above... still I wouldn't let them go, so I included a lot of shine, stencils and stamps on my page. In fact I turned this project in an exercise to include a maximum of shiny mediums.

How do you illustrate Serendipity ? I started by selecting  remnants of previous projects: the Swirl corner, cut up from punched card (EK Success), the dotted border (Nellie Snellen border die) and the Christmas tree (freebie die + gold foil). I applied metallic wax on the Swirl corner and dotted border, for the shine.

The Christmas tree told me to use a Snowflake stamp, the Swirl background stamp (Hero Arts) was serendipitously chosen by the SSS Monday challenge theme (With a Flourish). I inked it with embossing ink and several pigment inks, embossing with WOW blue Pearl powder. Love the lost and found look!

I also stamped portions of a Crafty Individual stamp (CI-001) in blue ink.

I added texture paste with a Prima stencil and coloured it using water soluble metallic pencils and with a DIY stencil coating it with iridescent medium (this is a watercolour medium).

Finally, I added loose glitter to a scrap piece of zig-zag die cut (pale blue) and its negative (purple), enough, I think, to add sparkle but not so much that it overwhelms the page. Added bonus I can enter the Lisa.B.Designs challenge (All that glitters).

Since I was letting myself guided by Serendipity there was no definite plan, but I had envisioned great bursts of colours, maybe with sprays. Having reached that point with no disasters, the courage failed me and I used light colours of Distress inks  instead.
I was going to add some Sequins but I have just realised I just plain forgot... anyway it might have been the Straw that broke the camel's back anyway!

Close-ups of all that shine
What do you think... happy accident (serendipity) or car crash ?

Thanks for coming by,

Sunday 1 December 2013

Challenged By Jo Myhill (3)

Jo showed this canvas full of yummy textures on the Paper Artsy blog this week and I just had to have a go! I used the same method (bar mishaps) but substituted some of the "ingredients".

I had to mix my own elephant paint which I think is a lot darker than the original Fresco, and didn't apply the paste thickly enough so the gold ink (instead of liquid leaf) has spread a lot more. I used Frantage Aged Rose embossing powder on both the texture paste and the heart (the swirl is a freebie from a magazine, as it turns out I have no flourish from PA- how come?).
I used stamps from ESN07 to print my own book text, as well as to stamp the heart background.

My texture paste is a mix of my "elephant" paint, texture paste and .... pink glitter!!! Not that you can see it but at least it's a way of using it.

I thoroughly enjoyed playing with that one, and, although it didn't turn out as intended, I am still pleased with the result.

I am also entering the Pan Pastel UK challenge - Mix it up

Thanks for coming by,