Friday, 12 April 2013

Inspired By Helen Chilton

It is Helen's last week as a guest designer on the Paper Artsy blog and I just had to make an effort and produce something... a) I had a chat with Helen recently on backgrounds and b) I have in my hand an original Helen Chilton's glossy card - Might be worth thousands in a few years, should have had it autographed ! -

Par for the course, as much as I actually tried and overstamped my street names in several colours of ink, it is way "cleaner" than I was aiming for. Still, I have a new admiration for glossy cardstock and I quite like the result.

I finished with stamping Big Ben in Archival black and applied inks all around the card with Cut & Dry foam.The stamps used are all from the Hotpicks 1208.
Thanks for coming by,

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A scrapbook page for the Spring fun challenge

Mostly it is difficult to enter themed challenges with scrapbook layouts, but I did my best to squeeze this one in ! On the basis that the photos are taken in March and April (I worked that out by the haircut) and it would appear some fun is being had, this will fit my Impression Obsession challenge remit. There is a bonus page too... as I nearly always end up doing double pages when I scrapbook, since for some reason I always have more photos than I can fit in on one page !

The base kraft cardstock being a bit too dark I used the CAC Rose Lace (CC087) with white pigment ink to lighten the overall effect. This took ages to dry and lifted up when I overstamped with the Rose leaf branch (F8199) inked with Distress. This also re-activated the white ink and in desperation I applied mica powder on top to dry it !
A prima flower, a small and a large doily colored with distress inks complete the layout.
I used punches on the patterned paper and to create the photo slots on the green mat. The journalling tabs tucked behind the photos, and as yet not written, have a decorative scissors detail.

Bonus facing page :

I applyed a dry-ish pigment ink direct to paper to knock back the dark kraft then overstamped with Flourish 2 (H5575) also in white. I then impressed different plastic packaging inked with white and orange pigment inks for more interest on the left side of the page. I used the other half of the large doily inked in pink and a small one in green.
With less photos I had space for embellishments : I fussy cut the Rose (E1332) image and the  Rose leaf branch (F8199). On the latter, I used the kissing technique with the Muslin (E4518) stamp.
I also added a prima flower, ribbon and tag and decorated the edges of the patterned paper with punches.

Hope you will like the layouts, but if you think the design is a bit lacklustre, have a look at this page, where I share my experience working with vintage photos.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

All About the dies

After a 3 day blog hop at Impression Obsession, I have finally decided what my card should look like for the challenge. As a stamper first and foremost, I use dies either as an embellishment (flowers, leaves, buttons, borders) or matting for my stamped images.  So this is quite different for me and the stamping is taking second place, in the background, stamped on an embossing folder.


The stamp is CAC Canvas (CC073). The butterflies are made of 2 layers die-cut with the Butterflies die (DIE008-I) one out of lightly colored paper and one out of vellum. The paper has also been stamped with Flourish 2 (H5575) in black ink, but you will have to trust me with this as it is barely visible on the picture.
The sentiment, a first for me, is actually written by my own hand ! Needs must... I didn't have a stamp and didn't fancy putting my embossed card through the printer !

Thanks for coming by,

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Inspired by Linda Cain (2)

This week my entry in the Paper Arsty challenge is based on Linda's second project. Although it did not turn out as planned and there were a few accidents along the way, I am quite pleased with the result which is so different to my normal style.

For the background I used the same technique as Linda with Portfolio pastels and stamped a few images from Hot Pick 1112 and 1202. Rather than stencilling I stamped found textures with Fresco white (plastic packaging).

Hope you will like this project !

Friday, 15 March 2013

Inspired by Helen Chilton

Helen is returning to the Paper Artsy blog for a new week of projects. I took inspiration from her layering technique of translucent paint using stencils and stamping on tissue paper for my page. A few niggles along the way... but here it is :

I used a gear stencil (Crafter's workshop) and a stamp from Hot Pick 1206-if you don't recognise it it's because I have glued it on the wrong side (Duh!)-
Rather than painting it with Fresco and a paintbrush I used Cut & Dry and distress as I thought it would be more manageable and I have more colours !

Could do better....

Monday, 11 March 2013

Favorite technique

Time for a new challenge at Impression Obsession on the theme Favorite technique.

Choosing the technique was easy, and so was making the background with the technique. The next stage however...

As per usual, once I had done the background, I didn't want to hide it because I thought it so beautiful. Eventually I decided to use the same stamp in a contrasting color as a topper for my card. I tried gilding flakes on dark blue card, which, predictably looked a mess  (detailed stamp + bonding powder is not a good combination), moved on to mica powders on dark blue, pretty, but I realised dark blue was never going to work with my background's blues !
Then lightbulb moment.... I reversed the color scheme and embossed the stamped image in white, applying watercolor on top. I had several tries with that too... and concluded that to get good results watercolor paper was an absolute necessity. To make my topper more interesting I die-cut it with a Spellbinders Accent die, added a ribbon with a rub-on greeting and some heart gems.

Now for the technique : the background is CAC Ornate (CC077) stamped in Versamark, then colored with pastels (chalks) using cotton balls. I used 3 pastel sticks in dark indigo, ultramarine blue and a vibrant violet, concentrating the dark indigo on all 4 sides of the background. I sprayed a bit of fixative to  avoid smudging.
This is the same technique as the one I used here

I encourage you to try this technique, it's foolproof and the results are so beautiful...

Friday, 8 March 2013

Inspired by Michelle Webb

For my entry for the Paper Artsy challenge I took a little bit of inspiration from 2 of Michelle's projects: Fragile Hearts and Old Door. I didn't go as far as Michelle with the stencils and I didn't apply white on top of the stencilled areas, but I stayed with her choice of green because I tend not to use green (not my favorite colour by far !) and I need to get out of a rut...
You will have to forgive the lighting, but the weather is miserable and I don't have my usual camera.

For stencils I used sequin waste in 2 sizes and a Chickenwire template (Crafter's Workshop).
The stamps are from Hotpicks 1207 (the girls) and 1204 (sentiment, dot texture).

Not sure if I like it but hey it's a learning experience, so honest opinions please...

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Pick & Mix challenge

This is the theme of the Country View Craft challenge, their very first one. I thought this would be a good time to try and use more patterned papers and more layers on a card, as I have a tendency to keep to one stamped layer and as a result have a lot of papers lying around unused...

The main image has been stamped in black and coloured with pencils, as has the sentiment.
Then I used some of the paper offcuts to embellish the inside of the card (it also help with balancing the weight from the front).

Quite different from me but I enjoyed making it ! Thanks for coming by,

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Inspired by Suzanne Czosek

Well I can't say the Mojo is 100% but there is improvement... Thanks to the Paper Artsy challenge I can follow someone else's inspiration and that make things a lot easier.

I based my entry on Suzz's Vintage Bottle and Springflowers project, but changed a few things, starting by the colour scheme. As this is the back of the binder I altered here, I kept to the pinks and blues, but this time only used sprays.

The main stamps are from PA Hot picks 1203, 1204, 1205 for the bottles and 1206 for the flowers stamped in Archival Ink. I used coloured pencils to put shadows in the bottles and colour in the flowers and butterflies.
Finally, I used a technique I had been itching to try with puff paint and a stencil. Fortunately I had a dry run before attacking the binder with it, because in the end, the only way it would work properly was with a mixture of puff paint and texture paste. When heated the stencilled areas form nicely rounded shapes and the colour is a full tone lighter than the puff paint alone.

Thanks for coming by,

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Liebster Award

I am delighted to receive a very special award called the Liebster Award from Anne of Ink-a-Doodle-Do ! Merci beaucoup Anne (Anne lives in France) for selecting my blog, I need all the encouragement I can get ! Go and check Anne’s blog  and look up her recent Oriental screen card and her tutorial on Quilt like backgrounds. Not to be missed !


This award was designed to be a blog award in the pay it forward fashion. Once you've been nominated, you award it to five blogs that you like that have fewer than 200 followers, to encourage new visitors to visit these blogs.

Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog. Post the award onto your blog. Give the award to five bloggers who you appreciate that have fewer than 200 followers. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know that you have given them this lovely award!

Here are the five blogs I think deserve a visit :

Jenni of

Paula of

Come and play and discover new blogs...

Friday, 22 February 2013

Inspired By Linda Cain

This week Paper Artsy showcases work by Linda Cain and I took my inspiration very closely from this project. This time I only had to contend with one or 2 problems, so things are looking up !

Like Linda I used distress inks for the background but because I started on a gessoed chipboard panel (it was grey so I had to paint it white) I encountered my first problem. If you've never tried this before know that distress inks do not dry on gesso... even after using the heatgun on it, the inks still moved ! Which is why the colours are not very strong as past a certain point instead of adding colour the cut & dry just moves it around.
Before stamping I sprayed the panel with fixative to avoid smudging.

I used stamps from Hot Picks 1205 (the flower), 1203 (the leaves and sentiment), 1204 (the butterfly), coloured the images with pencils and then used  a white gel pen as per Linda's technique. I had never done anything like this before and I was determined to try pen was not very cooperative. Although fairly new (less than a year old) the ink, when it starts flowing, leaves "dry" residue along with the normal gel. So I didn't go too far with this lest I made it worse !

Let me know what you think,

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Paper Artsy Challenge

I haven't posted for a month, victim of creative block, evasive mojo whatever... I blame the awful winter grey skies and miserable rain ! To try and kickstart my crafting I have decided to enter the Paper Arsty challenge which this week features Helen Chilton and Crunchy wax.
Probably due to my lack of mojo, everything that could go wrong went wrong ! Starting by the technique showed by Helen with embossed Crunchy wax and inks. Except I used paints
and as a result the bricks (I used Tim Holtz bricks embossing folder) hardly look like bricks !
If you're looking for them it's the sand coloured splats.

I would have changed tack and used the crunchy wax over the splats but I didn't want any thickness as this (it's an A4 binder) is going to be handled a lot.
I had to use my Chicken wire mask (Crafter's workshop) as I am still trying to find the best technique with it, having discovered that sprays are no good (too much seepage under the stencil). This time I thought texture paste... which I mixed with black acrylic paint not expecting the mix to be quite that black ! To tone it down, I dabbed some silver ink on top with mixed results.

The main images are from Hot Picks 1202 and 1111, plus some bits and pieces from 1206 (obliterated under bricks and chickenwire on the left), 1207 and 1203.
For the background colours I used Fresco Rose, a bit of yellow and some blue acrylic paints, which I watered down a lot. I stamped some texture with craft inks all around the "page" in similar colours and then decide to spritz... my newly made DIY pink spray was a bit too vivid !
I used Aged Aqua and Aged Rose embossing powders in 2 corners.

Although it's not great I had thrown so much a it, it was time to stop...

Thanks for coming by,