' ' ' 'Crafty Endeavours: November 2014

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,

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Mixed Media card

The starting point of this project is a sketch from Sketch Saturday

I first stuck some pieces of stamped tissue paper on the panel, intending for it to show in places in the final product... Then I had the "brilliant" idea to replace matt medium [I don't have any at the mo] by Gesso to stick my tissue, and by Fresco paint to apply the top coat. Hmm... the images are now invisible!
At least I still had that extra texture from the tissue paper,  so I continued by adding a few more dabs of paint here and there. I finished the background with stamps from Paper Artsy (sets ESN10 & EEV06) and The Artistic Stamper (Messy Art).

Instead of the hexagons of the sketch I decide to re-use a home made stencil I created for this card and stencilled the butterflies with Sparkle Medium in jade (Imagination Crafts) as before.

I felt it lacked a bit of something so I gave the panel an embossed frame (Frantage Aged Aqua).

Finally I stamped and embossed the sentiment (Magenta) and popped it up with foam pads.
I am also entering the following challenges:
Imagination Crafts - Bugs, Bees and Butterflies, Wow Embossing powders - Mixed Media and Country View Crafts - Anything goes.

Sunday 2 November 2014

Tri shutter card, the Vintage one

Finally my second tri shutter card is ready. If you missed the first see it here.

This time, I used a deer die-cut as my main point of interest, it's from Memory box. The papers are from the Graphic 45  Christmas Emporium, perfect for a Vintage feel.

A quick look at the flattened card:
On the back I have used the same Craft Stamper freebie stamps as for the other tri shutter card:  elf postage stamp coloured in pencils, baubles coloured with gel pens and the Handmade with love postage stamp.
I am entering the Craft Room, The Artistic Stamper and Inkychicks challenges.

Thanks for coming by,

Saturday 1 November 2014


Artful Times want to see Poppies and although I have some Poppy stamps I fancied doing something different and unusual for me, a digital image!

Still trying to clear my stash from old purchases, this time DL cards with a very small recess that cries for a CAS design involving just a small image. I bought these cards before I started stamping and I meant to use them to showcase photographs or photos of paintings. I still have a few left so I decided to use one to house a pic of a watercolour painting I did on 30cms square paper (just under 12x12). The drawing isn't mine by the way as my skills are lacking, I just traced it.

To print I used a canvas effect paper, quite thin so it goes through my printer without trouble.

 I am also entering the Ladybug Crafts challenge.
Thanks for coming by,