' ' ' 'Crafty Endeavours: 2014

Monday 29 December 2014

Inspired By Emma Godfrey

When I saw Emma's project on the Paper Artsy blog,  I knew I wanted to try this. I was instantly attracted to the bright and luscious colours with the brushstrokes still in evidence.
I chose to make a book cover, a work in progress of mine that should end up being a folder for dies but started life as a Next catalogue.

I followed Emma' s step by step so won't repeat here and just show you the result below.

I used Frescos in Claret, South Pacific, Vanilla and Pansy. The script stamp (only one, unusually restrained...) is from the Paper Artsy ESN10 set and I used the reverse Chicken Wire from the Crafter's Workshop, plus a circles stencil that I die-cut with a Papertrey ink cover plate.

I made the flower from Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers die, the flourish is a magazine freebie.

And if I'm not showing the spine or the back cover, this is because I haven't done either and I am reserving the right of doing a completely different design if I feel like it!

Wednesday 24 December 2014

A quick one made from scraps

Still clearing out the Christmas stuff off my crafting area I found these bits and decided to use them up in a simple Christmas card instead of throwing them away.

Disclaimer: No stamps were bothered during the making of this card.

To make the green mulberry paper more interesting I punched it with a Martha Stewart corner punch and repeated this  on one corner of the card blank, layering some red card behind to make it pop.
Pretty underwhelming I know, but it uses up the scraps and kids don't care a jot about the design or the effort put in!

I am entering the card in the Pan pastel UK and We Do Doobadoo challenges.
Thanks for coming by,

Monday 22 December 2014

#3UP at Paper Artsy

I am delighted to feature again in the Paper Artsy #3UP event!

Please go and see what I and 2 other fellow crafters have made for this special event on the Paper Artsy blog.

 To whet your appetite here's a snippet:

Please do leave me comments, although I will not be reading/responding until the following week.

Have a wonderful Christmas,

Saturday 20 December 2014

Faith and Harmony

So here it is the very last quote of the Craft Barn challenge... can't quite believe I managed to stay the course to produce 25 pages!

I chose the quote purely because it was the only one I could try to illustrate.

I stamped the Harlequin background from The Artistic Stamper with Chalk ink over a Fresco paint layer.
I added some Vanilla Fresco to provide a light area for my main image, a Paper Artsy stamp from Hot Pick 1206.
I added 2 stamps from the Messy Art set (also the Artistic Stamper) and the quote penned with India ink.

Thank you all for your kind and supportive comments throughout this year, it's been fun (as well as hard work at times) and I'm hoping for more fun challenges from the Craft Barn next year.

I leave you with my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year,

White Stamping

Drippage is very big at the moment on the craft scene, so my design started with this idea. The next step was suggested by the Craft Stamper magazine's December challenge, namely white stamping, or rather in my case white embossing, so I could use a resist technique with my drips!

After stamping a butterfly background image by Crafty Individuals (CI- 231), I used Gelatos in blue, purple and pink colours, as prescribed by the Rubber Dance latest challenge and sprayed liberally with water.

The flower is from the Delightful Dahlias set by Papertrey Ink, a 3 steps image, as is the sentiment.

I was going to say it was simple enough, however I did make 2 previous attempts: one on watercolour cardstock, which didn't give me the best drippage, and one on "rock" paper which melted in a twisted mess when I attempted to emboss it!

Still, I learned a few things in the process...
Thanks for coming by,

Thursday 18 December 2014

Love & the City

I wanted to try my new supplies from Imagination Crafts. It's a specialty card with a design on one side and white on the other. Although the recto looks like paper, it isn't, and is waterproof . This makes the card ideal for wet paints, especially acrylics and pastes. The back, is a kind of glossy cardstock but with a more matt aspect, I am still to explore what can be done with this side..

The motif on the printed side is designed by Lavinia stamps and so it made sense to use their stamps for my card.

First I decided where my city stencil (from junk mail) should go and did all my stamping in Archival black. I tried other inks but believe me it has to be Archival or Stazon!

Then I stencilled with Sparkle medium in Jade and when dry I sprayed mists in blues and greens to frame my scene.

The card didn't react at all with the moisture, totally impervious. Of course since the mists do not get absorbed, they take longer to dry and there is plenty of opportunity to get the splatters moving this way and that way until you're happy or to mop it all up if you're not!

The theme of my scene has been given by the Live & Love Crafts (With love) challenge and a pun on that famous series, because the townscape reminds me of New York (If I remember correctly it is actually London!). So my faerie is sending love to the town's people...

I am entering the Imagination Crafts and Lavinia Stamps challenges.

Thanks for coming by,

Monday 15 December 2014

Nostalgic Christmas

The Christmas cards season is still in full swing and there is always one more you need to do isn't there?

I have used Graphic 45 Christmas Emporium paper, because it evokes the nostalgia of Christmas pasts. As nostalgic as my memories of Christmas as a child...

Keeping it simple, I added a stamped panel (Katzelkraft), embossed with Aged Copper embossing powder. The sentiment (also Graphic 45) was embossed to match. I had another panel, a Christmas tree, but after pushing the papers around for what seemed the whole afternoon I decided to omit it!

The whole is mounted on a gold card blank.

Challenges: Katzelkraft, Country view crafts, WOW Embossing powders, Lisa.B.Designs and Ladybug Crafts.

As someone pointed out that the Katzelkraft stamp set I used is not sold anymore, here's a pic of the designs.
I use the falling snow all year round as a pattern, like a distressed polka dot.

Thanks for coming by,

Saturday 13 December 2014

Wrapping paper

Artful times want to see wrapping paper and this couldn't come as a better time with lots of presents wrapping to do...

I have done this in the past and although it's a lot of work I love doing it because it's all about the stamping, no colouring, paper or embellishments to overshadow the stamped images.

Today I chose a 3 steps stamp set from Paper Trey ink to create a feminine paper (Delightful Dahlia).

I have some Bare Basics wrapping paper on a roll (Docrafts) but this is A3 bleed proof paper I have no use for; I keep the paper in the pad until I need to do some wrapping to keep it flat.

I am also entering That's Crafty challenge.

Hope you like my home made paper!

Friday 12 December 2014

IndigoBlu Inspiration

I have been honoured to make the top 3 at the IndigoBlu blog challenge last month, with this card, and I have been offered the chance to join them for this month's theme, Let it Snow, with an inspiration piece.
Not an offer I could refuse...

Now is a good time to bling up our cards and as I normally shy away from loose glitter, I made an effort to use some in a bid to streamline my supplies! But I had also decided to use my favourite shiny supply... gilding flakes, from IndigoBlu of course!

I made a frame with snowflakes die-cuts covered with an adhesive sheet, then glittered and foiled to my heart's content.

The main image is from the Retro Christmas plate. I coloured it with alcohol markers, adding white gel pen and white glitter as "frost".
As a backdrop for my image, I used a circle cut out and splattered some blue, green and silver watercolours with a brush.

A peel off sentiment finishes the card (yes I still use them!)

I hope you've enjoyed my card and will join the Let it Snow challenge, you will find plenty of inspiration on the IndigoBlu blog including from my fellow Top 3.

I will leave you with a bonus picture showing the shine from the gilded snowflakes, bear in mind the sun isn't playing ball these days.

Sunday 7 December 2014

On the Home stretch

Yep, it's nearly the end of the Craft Barn quote challenge and barring any mishaps I should get to complete the collection!

Talking of home stretch, I thought I should dust off and use an old stamp set (Polka Doodles) that never really got a chance before. I'd bought it when I thought a move was on the cards - didn't happen - or I needed a card for other people moving houses - no one did -
When I saw this quote, very well known, I knew the choice was made just because I had the perfect stamp set!

The Pan Pastel UK challenge is all about colouring and I was relishing taking out my markers and trying again. All good plans... I still don't own any black dye inkpad, so I had stamped my scene in Versafine. A quick test told me alcohol markers were definitely out of the question!
The house was easy enough to watercolour using pencils and the card wasn't cockling but once I had started I had to colour the pond, the grass..... I decide to use Pan pastel for the sky to avoid the paper getting to wet around the house. A mixed media of some sort!

I penned my quote in black ink adding the little heart die-cut to finish.

I am also entering my page in the Artistic Stamper challenge.

P.S Come to think of it, this house looks suspiciously more like a SHOP! Darn...
P.P.S My electric eraser was a godsend for my colouring as I had to retrieve detailed areas after I'd applied the pastel.

Monday 1 December 2014

Christmas songs

Time for challenge #27 over at Vintage Stamping Challenges. The theme this month is Christmas songs and I chose the classic White Christmas sung by Bing Crosby.

I saw this stamp and thought the lyrics suit it to a T:

I used Core'dination Black magic cardstock for my background, tearing, distressing and embossing to make the most of its core colour.
I stamped my image with Versafine black ink and brayered the background with dye inks. I used bleach to recover areas of snow and added gel pen on the tree, stars and moon.
Of course a Christmas card needs a bit of sparkle so use a Spica pen to add subtle shine in the sky and on the snow.

I hope my card will inspire you to join in the fun, as always, you don't have to create a vintage project, but you do have to include stamping though - no digis allowed. Our lucky winner will receive a fab prize of a $20 voucher from Flonzcraft so don't miss out on your chance to win.
Go on and hop on over to the Vintage Stamping blog and see all the DT’s work for more inspiration.

I am also entering the Bunny Zoe's Crafts challenge.
Thanks for coming by,

Saturday 29 November 2014

Christmas tags

It's the run-up to Christmas... need to step up the creative effort and produce something, anything...

I am still planning to stamp some more gift wrap (see last year's here) but this is such a time consuming task I am starting by the quick and easy... the tags.
I work to a formula for Christmas tags, because their lifespan is even shorter than cards, and let's face it they are destined for the bin a few seconds after having served their purpose.
So I only use "rubbish" in my creations, leftovers from other projects, scraps of cards and free supplies that came with magazines.

The pic shows the "rubbish" I have assembled, only used a fraction in the end!

There's card splattered with green paint from  a forgotten experiment, angel hair waste form a die cut, remaining holly leaves, and offcuts from vellum and freebie papers.... Also a piece of card onto which I had stuck the remaining green and red mulberry paper I had a few years back.


As to the design I let myself completely free, the only objective being to use up as much of the supplies to clear up some valuable space for new stash!

Whilst making the tags I pulled out other old die-cut, embellishments etc.. I even added a piece of die-cut waste that had adhesive on it and foiled it in gold (lower right tag)

I haven't threaded them with anything because I usually use the same twine/ribbon as I use for the wrapped present.

I feel a bit hopeless entering my rubbish tags in the Papermill challenge as I can't think anyone is going to vote for them, but I thought you might be interested the process.
Also entering the Wedodoobadoo challenge who are getting festive!

By my reckoning I have enough Christmas rubbish to keep me in tags for decades!

Monday 24 November 2014

Paper Artsy challenge

For the Paper Artsy challenge this month, I was inspired by Sara Naumann's card. You can see her step by step (and a video) on the Paper Artsy blog here. I have followed fairly closely Sara's tutorial although I adapted the design to the size of my card, substituted some of the stamps and went for a less subtle colour scheme!

I used EEV06 and ESN10, the "brads" are actually shrink plastic waste that I shrunk along with the positive of the die-cut!

Thanks for coming by,

Friday 21 November 2014

Quote challenge Journey & Friendship

Settle down for a long post or go down to the last image for the latest Craft Barn challenge.
I have chosen the word Friendship and managed to find stamps to represent the quote, all from Crafty Individuals. Just as well, as I wanted to play with some of the new CI stamps in my collection which I just won on their blog. I am so grateful for Jean and Malcom's generosity!

Another recent supply I wanted to play work with was the Brushos as they're just fun!

My first attempt turned out very dark as you can see in this page for the quote challenge Knowledge or Hurt, that I finally managed to catch up with:

I should have used "Knowledge is experience" as a quote because this page is all about experimenting and it shows! I started by a Brushos background with blue, violet and a bit of green all cool colours but... too much!
I tried bleach stamping and it worked to some extent but is quite subtle. If you look very closely, you'll spot a script stamp (ESN10 from Paper Artsy) and a Harlequin stamp (C349 from the Artistic Stamper). I also tried the splats from (Messy Art from the Artistic Stamper) but they can be seen a lot better when I stamped them with white paint.
The central stamping in white paint is of a much too detailed stamp from Impression Obsession (Rose impression background-F8867), which hides the best bits of the Harlequin bleaching! Never mind...
I penned my quote in ink and chalked it all up to experience! I am entering the page in the Pan Pastel UK challenge.

So first Brusho lesson: Don't use too much! The small spoon I reserve for embossing powder is definitely too big for the Brushos. You need a light touch with them and I came up with 2 methods that worked for me.
        1. A small brush. Dip the dry brush in the pot and tap the handle to sprinkle the powder on your pre-wetted paper.
        2. Transform each pot into a salt/pepper shaker of sorts. An internet search revealed that some Brushos aficionados pierce holes(s) into their pots to do this but I wasn't prepared to deal with any resulting incidents where a pot, or worse the whole box of pots, would hit the floor ! Brusho on carpet is no laughing matter...
Here's a pic of my impromptu shakers:

If you have pre-teens in the households pinch a few of their loom bands to secure cling film on top of the pots and pierce a few holes with a needle.

My second attempt with my new tools yielded the background below:

 With a lighter touch I obtained this one (the photo is NOT blurry, it's the brushos) :

Finally the last one is the one I chose for the quote page:

This one is made with a lot of black powder, which dissolves into brown and blues on contact with water, my favourite powder of the set because of this effect. I added a dash of purple and a small sprinkling of red.

For all these experiments I used watercolour paper since a lot of water is necessary to get the brushos moving and card isn't good for very wet work.

Enough of my experiments, onto the page itself:
I stamped the girlfriends (CI-284) first on a piece of vellum & masked them before stamping the music score (CI- 309).
I stamped the heart (CI- 342) directly on the page and added white highlights with gel pen.
To isolate the girls further from the colourful background I applied white and black pencils on the back of the stamped vellum.

If you are a lucky owner of Brushos please share your tips in the comments section!

Monday 17 November 2014

VSC challenge #26 - Anything but a card

Today for my first DT post at Vintage Stamping Challenges I am showing a project for this month's challenge Anything but a card! With Christmas fast approaching, if we can't make cards there are plenty of other crafty projects we can make as gifts or to present gifts: tags, boxes etc...

I have decorated a box (last year's chocolate offerings) to use for awkwardly shaped gifts.

I gave a frame to my box lid by painting a coat of crackle medium followed by a layer of red acrylic paint. I added a thin coat of gesso in the middle of the frame to soften the backdrop for my stamped image. I used a stamp from the Women of fifties set, coloured her with alcohol pens, fussy cut her and mounted her on foam pads. Really pleased with my lady in red... she's got chutzpah, she's got zing, she's got oomph and she's going places.

To embellish the box I added a UTEE rose (WOW mould),  die-cut leaves and an embossed metal die-cut corner. I also added lace all around the sides of the lid.

As always, you don't have to create a vintage project to join in the fun, but you do have to include stamping though - no digis allowed. Our lucky winner will receive a fab prize of a $20 voucher from Flonzcraft so don't miss out on your chance to win.
Go on and hop on over to the Vintage Stamping blog and see all the DT’s work and be inspired to join us this month in making something different.

If you're not familiar with Flonzcraft, our sponsor, and missed my previous post please check it out.

I am entering my box in the That's Crafty challenge.

Big news....

I have been so very good and kept the secret for weeks, but now all can be revealed...

I am proud to join the Vintage Stamping Challenges Design team! Excited is an understatement...

Since I am going to use our sponsor's stamps for my DT makes I thought I should give you the lowdown on Flonzcraft for those of you who are unaware of their stamps.

They are a small family-owned design and craft company from New Zealand, and their main products are stamps, most of them produced in clear photo polymer, which happens to be pink(ish).
The colour doesn't really make any difference but what I can tell you is that the polymer takes dye inks very well, even distress inks, which a lot of clear stamps don't.

They stock a particularly large collection of vintage images and fashion through the ages, from Victorian era to most decades of the 20th century.
But if that isn't your thing, they also stock other styles, too numerous to describe here, including a Manga range. Now, I am not  into this particular art form but I have found myself hankering after a few images....

And if you are thinking New Zealand is far away... orders generally reach the UK (and I assume Europe) within 7 working days and the postage is less than £2 (or free above a certain spend).

The sets come in 8"x10 or 4"x7 uncut sheets, which keeps the cost down. This is fine by me as I'd rather do the cutting myself and spend more on images! Plus, cutting polymer is infinitely easier than cutting stamps on easy mount!
The sets are really good value as the images fit tightly to fill up the sheet but where images are very close to each other I would advise to make the cut with a craft knife for more control.

Now to the business of stamping and crafting... my next post is my first as a designer and I hope you will all come and have a look at my project.

See you soon,

Sunday 16 November 2014

Classic Christmas colours

The Rubber Dance challenge us this month with the Classic Red, Green and Gold colour combination. Not my favourite.... but one of the safest when making cards for, unidentified, as yet, recipients.

I used the Happy die-cut banner and applied gilding flakes over double sided tape in the letters' recesses.
I also used some gold for the stencilling - stencilling is a further option for the Rubber Stamp challenge. I used the Crafters' Workshop Chicken wire because of the small size of the pattern, not very Christmassy I know...

The Poinsettia has been stamped with Brilliance black ink and coloured with alcohol markers. The Holly leaves were stamped in green dye inks. Both stamps are from the Poinsettia set (Inspired By Stamping).
I fussy cut 2 of the flowers and 5 pairs of  holly leaves and shaped them before sticking down, IBS have matching cut-files but sadly I have no machine to use them with!

The Pristine border (Memory Box) die-cut and a stamped sentiment by Uniko Studio finish the card.

I am also entering the Wedodoobadoo challenge.

Thanks for coming by,

Friday 14 November 2014

Gesso transfer

Since the unsuccessful experiment with Gesso and tissue paper,  I wanted to try again using Gesso in place of matt medium. Serendipity brought together the Katzelkraft challenge - Use Gesso and the Artful Times challenge - Use some part of Newspaper, book or magazines for the perfect opportunity! I used my favourite Christmas colour scheme of white, blue and purple with a dash of silver in honour of the Live & Love Crafts challenge.

Depuis l'échec de mon collage expérimental de papier soie avec Gesso, je voulais essayer à nouveau d'utiliser du Gesso à la place de médium mat. Sérendipité a réunie le challenge Katzelkraft - Utiliser du Gesso et le challenge Artful Times - Utiliser des morceaux de journaux, livres ou magazines pour m'offrir une opportunité parfaite! J'ai sélectionné mes couleurs préférées pour les réalisations de Noël, blanc, bleu, et violet avec un soupçon d'argent en l'honneur du challenge Live & Love Crafts.

Here's the tag halfway through with the magazine offcuts I selected to use:
Voici mon tag en cours de réalisation avec les morceaux de magazine que j'ai choisi:

At this stage the tag has had gesso applied all over, sprayed with water and some Brushos sprinkled on it in blue and purple. The Brushos dried considerably lighter and since I have seen this happen before with Distress inks, I conclude that the dyes (I believe the dyes molecules are much smaller than pigments molecules) do sink into my gesso. Since my previous brand of gesso behaved differently, I'll have to remember that and work with it!
Then the fun bit... I gessoed the back of the magazine pieces with words on and stuck them on the tag, as I remembered just in time that a transfer would show the words as a mirror image! When dried I wetted around the words, peeling away the extra paper.
The 3 pieces from the scarf image were gessoed on the front and stuck as before. After drying I applied water on the back of these pieces and rubbed away, leaving in places beautiful bursts of subtle colours.
A ce stade là, le tag a été enduit de gesso, vaporisé avec de l'eau et saupoudré de poudres Brushos [1] en bleu et violet. Les Brushos ont séchées beaucoup plus claires et comme j'ai déjà vu ce phénomène avec les encres Distress , j'en ai conclu que les colorants (je crois que les molécules des colorants sont plus petites que les molécules de pigments) sont absorbés par le gesso. Comme le gesso que j'utilisais avant ne faisais pas cela du tout, il faudra que je m'en souvienne !
Ensuite j'ai enduis le dos des bouts de magazines, ceux avec les mots, avec du gesso et je les ai collé sue le tag, m'ayant souvenu juste à temps que le transfert montrerait les mots à l'envers! Après séchage du gesso, j'ai enlevé l'excédent de papier en le mouillant.
J'ai appliqué le gesso sur l'endroit des 3 morceaux de l'image du foulard et les aie collés sur le tag, Apres séchage j'ai mouillé l'envers du papier pour retirer la couche supérieure pour révéler l'image.

My scene being set I stamped my Father Christmas in Archival ink, adding a sentiment and bits of the snow stamp all from the same Katzelkraft set, embossed in silver.
The Christmas word was a bit faded so I used silver gel pen to add a "shadow".

Le fonds étant terminé j'ai tamponné Le père Noël avec de l'encre Archival, ajoutant un sentiment et une partie du tampon neige gaufrés à la poudre argent (tous les tampons provenant de la même planche Katzelkraft).
Le mot Christmas avait pris une apparence un peu fanée alors j'ai ajouté une ombre avec un stylo gel argent.

Hope you'll like my Santa tag,
En espérant que mon tag Père Noël vous plaise,
[1] J'ignore si les poudres Brushos sont de même nature que les poudres Bistres mais elles s'utilisent de la même manière.

Monday 10 November 2014

I spy

Indigo Blu challenges us with masking this month and I chose to use the masking technique to get part of the I spy image over the Bubbles background.

I added 2 strips of paper and a sentiment (Dovecraft Curiosity corner) as well as a die-cut embossed with Frantage.

Short & sweet...,

Saturday 8 November 2014

CB Quote Challenge Moon & Sensation

When the latest Craft Barn challenge came out, I assumed Moon would be easy to find a quote for... but not for me! I ended up going for lyrics this time and chose the rather obvious Blue moon (Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart) sang by many artists over the years including Elvis Presley.

Now I had the moon in my sights... I could indulge in creating a scene with my most recent stamps, including Stampscapes (Moon and clouds, water, rocks, reeds) and Lavinia (path, trees, faerie).

I need to practice my perspective with these new stamps as it's a bit off in places, but since it's a fantasy piece I figured nobody would mind!

I did all the stamping first so I would know where to apply my background colouring and used markers as well as pads to ink my stamps.
I applied the background ink with a brayer to start finishing with Cut & Dry for the grassy areas.

I used clear Spica on the wings of Mia and white pen on the path, water and highpoints of my rocks.

Hope you'll like my scene,

Hot & Spicy with a touch of bling

In the sea of Christmas colours, That's Crafty's challenge would like to see hot colours, well that's a relief...

For my hot background I used linen card with pastels ,applied in an ombre fashion.

Before die-cutting my circle, actually a clock face from Papertrey Ink, I applied double sided tape to my cardstock. Then I used gilding flakes over the sticky side for a bit of bling.
I added a touch more bling on a black flag (partial die-cut of an Impression Obsession die) by stamping with glue before gilding.

The central image is by Crafty Individuals and I stamped it with black and silver inks. The silver was applied on the cage part of the image but it wasn't very successful. I later added a bit of silver gel pen .
I coloured flowers and bird with watercolour pencils and a waterbrush.

My flower embellishments are pieces of fabric dyed with Inktense, folded, stuck and twisted with a piece of netting.
I die-cut my bouquet flowers (Papertrey ink) and enhanced them with the matching stamps.

I was going to add more bling in the form of gems but, as per usual, couldn't bring myself to do it!

I am also entering the Pan Pastel and Wedodoobadoo challenges.

Thanks for coming by,