Monday, 26 May 2014

Wedding Thankyou Card

The weather has been horrible today, giving me the perfect excuse to cosy up and craft and get some of the many cards I have on my list made up!

The brief for this one was a thankyou to parents card for a wedding with a fuschia and orange colour scheme and a butterfly and birdcages theme. I used a butterfly mask and distress inks to create the backing paper in shades befitting the colour scheme, which I mat and layered on silver and orange card. The birdcage was stamped in Versamark and embossed in silver before die cutting and mounting on silver card and I made the flowers from mulberry papers and added a silver flourish to set them off.

I really hope the bride to be is pleased with the result!

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Learning the Tarmac Technique with Karen Clare

A few weeks ago my sister Laura advertised a workshop at The Artistic Stamper through her facebook page. The workshop was to learn the Tarmac Technique, taught by Karen Clare (her original post introducing the technique can be found on her blog here). Now, I love a bit of messy crafting so couldn't turn down the opportunity to go and learn something new, despite the 200 mile round trip to attend, so Laura booked us on, along with our third crafty amigo- our very special mum who also likes to craft in her spare time and yesterday I set off at 7am and braved the appalling driving conditions to join them in Kent for a days crafting and laughter.

I don't mind admitting that the whole thought of attending a workshop was way out of my comfort zone as it's not something I have ever really done before. I am usually a strictly private crafter who likes to mess around and make my mistakes in the privacy of my own home. However from the moment I somewhat nervously stepped into the front door of the little slice of crafty heaven that is The Artistic Stamper I was instantly put at ease by Jennie and Mal, the owners, and the lovely Karen who was ready and willing to share all her tips and tricks to help us through the day. 

So, onto what we actually got up to as I have promised some more crafty friends a little guide to the technique..

... We were working on beautiful clocks supplied by Candy Box Crafts which were right up my street as I adore the vintage style. Karen had very kindly pre cut a circle template from cardstock to fit the centre of the clock. This was to form the base for our tarmac work. Our first task was to divide the circle up pizza style, into 5 or 7 pieces and number the front and back of them (so we knew how they fitted back together). Once that was done we decided which pieces we wanted to cover with embossed card and which we wanted to stamp on. We set to work rummaging through pre embossed papers and glued them to their base pieces, layering them if we chose to (I did as I wanted variety on each section). The pieces that were to be stamped on had another layer of plain card attached in order to ensure the same finished height on the finished piece.

The next step was to glue them onto the mdf base, which I can tell you had us all descending into a deathly hush as we focused on making sure they went back in exactly the right places because we had to ensure that our clock mechanisms fitted in the centre hole.

With them firmly in place we decided what we wanted to use to embellish our pieces. While some ladies on the course opted for die cutting their own shapes such as butterflies and keys  I chose to stick to the mechanical feel and use the nuts, cogs and washers that were supplied. Karen had raided Wilkinsons tool section pick and mix and had a fabulous bag full of goodies for us to use. We worked out roughly where we wanted to stick them, and glued all that were going on the embossed sections, but kept our stamped sections clear so that we could work on them without the embellishments getting in the way of the acrylic blocks.

 With all that sorted our clocks were starting to take shape. The next step was to choose our paint colours, and that caused us more head scratching, and it was really interesting to see how different our choices were.

 Mum opted for a lovely lilac and complimented it with yellow, while Laura chose to go bold with bright pink, orange and yellow.

I wanted to keep mine very traditional with my colour choice as I wanted to tie it in with another very special project that I have already completed (not to self- must pop that on the blog too eventually!) so I opted for bronze and complimentary orange and yellow tones.

Once the painting was done and dried (yay for heat guns to speed us along!) we made our stamp choices, grabbed some archival ink and stamped up our plain sections. When all that was done we cleared the decks, opened the windows and the REALLY fun part began!

Karen had already mixed our tarmac, which is made of a 50/50 mix of bitumen (yes-the same stuff used by workmen the world over and available in DIY stores!) and white spirit. With brushes we covered our projects in the potent mix and  nervously watched all our pretty colours disappear under the sticky substance.

 Laura got stuck right in..

.. but mum really wasn't convinced at all that she was going to like the finished result!

Once the tarmac was dry (it does remain sticky though so don't let it fool you if you have a go too) we were told to apply some white spirit to clean J Cloths and gently dab away at our projects until we got the result we wanted. The white spirit lifted the tarmac away and instantly gave our clocks that 'aged' look- exactly what I wanted, but still mum wasn't sure!

We finished up by using gilding wax to add highlights to our clocks and once happy with the end result we added the clock mechanism and hey presto- finished clocks, every one unique and personal to us!

I am pleased to say that Mum was really happy with hers in the end and it was instantly hung on her craft room wall when she got home. Despite the 'grunge effect' it still looks very feminine, and very 'Mum'.

Laura was equally pleased with hers and I must say I love the bold colours that she used. It looks so effective!

And as for mine, well I too am thrilled with the way it turned out. It will look perfect in my dining room/ craft area just as soon as we have decorated (which is finally under way after 2.5yrs here- yay!).

Thank you so much to Karen, Jennie and Mal and to the other 'students' for a truly lovely day. It was worth every mile to be there and I am very glad to have dipped my toe in the friendly world of craft workshops at last!


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Simply Betty - The Oval Portrait

My crafting time has been in short supply recently but I did manage to put a card together this evening so my crafting itch has been scratched for today!

The image is called the Oval Portrait and is from Simply Betty's Steampunk collection and was coloured with Spectrum Noir pencils and Promarkers. I need more practice with the pencils but I am loving them so far!

I mounted her on some gorgeous glitter card and layered that on black and red card, edged with black ink. The addition of black adhesive lace and some red and black flowers finished her off in simple style.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Spreading a Little Bit of Happy

Children are at the heart of pretty much everything I do and when I heard this week about the organisation Post Pals , which has been set up to support long term sick children and their families by a postal friendship service I couldn't wait to get involved and start sending these amazing children and their siblings some special cards crafted just for them.
The friend who told me about it directed me to the Facebook page Jelly Park Post Pals Club , where it is possible to earn free digi stamps by making cards to send to Post Pals. I signed up immediately and made my first card to send using the gorgeous image that was supplied. I really hope that the little girl it is going to likes it!

I wanted to send a card to her sister as well to let her know I am also thinking of her. Her details stated that she loves girly sparkle so I created her a super sparkly mermaid card with a Simply Betty digi stamp. She was so much fun to colour! I mounted her on a print I made a while ago with my gelli plate and added some glittery seaweed and gems for a bit of extra glitz.

All of the children on Post Pals have so much to cope with, but the Post Pals scheme gives them all a boost I'm sure. Everybody likes to receive a little bit of happy through the letter box, and I am so glad to be able to get involved. You don't have to be a crafter to take part, so if you too want to make kids smile click on the link above and have a pootle round the web site and see what you may be able to do too.


Sheena Douglass- Bloomin' Beautiful

I started this card a while ago but my hectic life has a habit of getting in the way of my crafting at times so I had to put it to one side unfinished until today. I woke up before the rest of the household (for some reason I am incapable of sleeping in at the weekends which is very frustrating!) so tiptoed downstairs and treated myself to some crafty time.

The flower stamps are from the Sheena Douglass 'bloomin' Beautiful' set. I loved them from the minute I saw them as they are big and beautiful and a little bit quirky (just like me!!). I stamped them in the corner of the card and for the centre one I stamped and cut it out to create dimension. I coloured them with twinkling H20's to add some sparkle. I masked them off and set to work creating the background using distress inks and water. The sentiment and butterflies are from a Creative Expressions steampunk set. I mounted the finished piece onto black mirror card before attaching it to my card blank.

So glad I finally got around to finishing it. I am determined to have a bit of a crafty day today so there may be more to follow!

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Quirky Crafts Guest DT Spot

I was thrilled recently to discover I had won the mixed media challenge on Quirky Crafts with my mermaid picture. As I am relatively new to entering blog challenges this made my week in itself, but to be asked to be a guest on the DT for their  Proud (and beautiful) as a Peacock challenge was even more exciting!

This stunning Delicious Doodles digi from Stitchy Bear Stamps (who are kindly sponsoring the challenge)  had such bold lines I wanted to fill them with more than just colour, so I tried my hand at a little zentangling. I coloured with distress pens and added a layer of cosmic shimmer mist over the top for a little extra sparkle. I created the backing paper by stamping a peacock feather in versamark and colouring with perfect pearls.

For my second project I used this amazing image from Ali Peeps. I coloured her in promarkers mounted her on glitter paper before layering her on silver and black mirror card. I struggled for a sentiment initially but when I found the 'be yourself' stamp lurking in the bottom of my drawer it seemed to fit the bill perfectly!

I really enjoyed creating these projects and it has been so lovely to be able to take part on the Quirky Crafts blog as a guest member of their team. Thanks for having me folks! xx

Lavinia Stamps Fairy Card

I adore fairies and all things myth and magic so when I saw that Lavinia Stamps were giving this stunning young lady away on a craft magazine I just had to grab myself a copy. I had a great time playing with her yesterday and throwing some Dylusions ink around to create her backdrop ( my hands are still pink this morning!)

I created the moon using a mask and sprayed some ink onto my card. I used Versafine ink to stamp the main image, flowers and sentiment and silver dewdrop ink to add a little sparkle to her fairy dust, and added stickles to her wings. I mat and layered the finished image on to pink and then black mirror card to frame it. 

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Fairy Box Card

I am loving the pop up box cards that are springing up across the web at the moment so am enjoying making a few myself. This one was made using a  cute little fairy digi from Jellypark, which I coloured with promarkers and glittered. I added grass to the front to give it a bit more dimension,and embellished with die cut sunflowers.

I would like to enter this in the following challenges: