Thursday, 27 November 2014

Wooden Advent Calendar with JoFY Bauble Stamps from Paper Artsy

I have made this wooden advent calendar for my dear friend, Pauline's, great grandson. I used Jo Firth Young's stamps for Paper Artsy, sets 27 and 28 with the Baubles and the Mini 07 with the Snowflakes. It's very large so it took a long time to do all the painting and sanding! I painted the sides and the drawers with Plum fresco and then with Crackle, and then Turquoise, and sanded to reveal a bit more of the Plum. I stamped Joy and Ho Ho Ho! and Snowflakes in Snowflake fresco on the drawers and the sides.

I made shrink plastic baubles from both the sets and painted them with watered down frescos.
I used an LED tealight at the top with a bit of canvas trim painted with Turquoise and then another shrink plastic bauble added.

Although it took a long time, it is sturdy so I'm hoping it will last for future years!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Shaving Foam Fresco Finish Experiments for Paper Artsy


Over on the Paper Artsy blog I have been doing some experiments using shaving foam. The idea was that, as Fresco Finish paints dry quite quickly, I wanted to see if shaving foam would enable me to do some techniques and act as a way of slowing down the drying time. I've shown three techniques over there, so here I'm sharing how I made the example project, which is an 8 x8 canvas with a mini canvas. You can, of course, do exactly the same process on cardstock to create a masterboard to cut up and make cards, etc. The shaving foam is an incredibly quick way to make backgrounds and it makes the paint go a long way.

Once I'd got to the stage of adding the shaving foam and Frescos to the canvas with the credit card it looked like this:-

After drying, I dry-brushed some Snowflake so that I had a paler layer for my stamping. It was interesting how the canvas texture picked up the brush strokes. I did left to right then right to left and then rotated it and did the same again.

Then I prepared my flowers from Ellen Vargo EEV10. I love this set. At the end of the project I completely changed my mind about what was going to work as I had intended to have all three flower heads, each on a mini canvas, arranged around my larger canvas with a phrase broken up into words. Once I had finished stamping up my background, however, I didn't want to cover it, since it was the purpose of the exercise. Unfortunately though, that's the problem with step by step photos, you can't take them again if you change your mind at the end, so I will show you all three flowers!

I used cut n dry foam to apply Tango, and Yellow Submarine to the stamp, using Haystack to make them a bit more opaque and graduating them along the flower head, and then Turquoise with a touch of Evergreen to darken it for the stem as I wanted to stick to the same colour palette as for the canvas. Whether that was the right thing to do or not I don't know. I stamped onto Smoothy Heavy Weight cardstock.


For the flowers at the top I added some Plum and for the Tulips on the right, I added Cherry Red.
I hadn't intended to paint the flowers so I did some major dithering and then decided as I had stamped a whole page I could at least paint one of each and then decide.

I painted with the same colours, adding Tango, Zesty Zing, Cherry Red, and Plum, to the ones at the bottom, and then fussy cut them and touched up the edges. Well, I've got loads for another project now!

After I had cut out the flower heads I realized they were too big for the mini canvases I had, so I rushed into town, covered in paint, and bought some larger ones. I was holding my breath as I walked into the shop that they would have them! I bought ten just in case I messed up! I used my shaving foam technique but in different shades to the main canvas but the flowers still didn't seem to contrast enough on the background, so I kept adding white, then more colour, then more white, then edging them with colour. Then the three larger sized mini canvases were too big really for an 8 x 8 canvas, and if I had realized, I could have used one of the Paper Artsy 10 x 10 canvases in the first place. So all in all, I had a right old dither, just because I decided I wanted a dimensional project rather than showing you a simple masterboard. Showing off, huh?!

The next bit was really straight forward. I used EEV06 and the same colour paints as I used with the shaving foam, to build up the background, applying the paint with cut n dry foam. I found it easier to get even pressure on the canvas without a block, and I pressed a stamp near the edge and then carefully bent it so it continued down the side as shown. I used one of the paint tops with Snowflake to overlap the circular images. There's such a lot on this stamp set! You can just about see top right in this picture, although it eventually gets covered by the mini canvas, that I stamped the William Blake quote from Lin Brown LP05 in Snowflake as I wanted a bit of text, and in the centre I've used a catalyst to make a sort of grid pattern.

So that was the background done, and I'd decided just to have one mini canvas and had to decide which bloom to use, so I went for the Tulip as it's such an iconic 'stand alone' flower. I had all those prepared mini canvases in greeny shades, with the other seven spares, and Mr Less is More got involved. 'Why does it have to be painted at all?', he said. 'I can't just shove it on there, straight out of the packet', I replied. But I had to agree it did set things off rather well. So we compromised with a dose of Chalk.

I stamped the words 'Flowers Whisper' from LB05 in Plum Fresco onto a sheet of canvas, isolating the words with some masking tape. I then tore around them. I didn't use the whole phrase as I didn't want to cover up too much of the background, so again, a major dither.

The shaving foam techniques I've shown on the Paper Artsy blog are great fun and very cheap and cheerful and there's no need to dither about as I have with my canvas project, so I hope you will give them a go so that you can enter the prize draw! And to the people stood behind me when I was buying the canvases, yes I do wash my hands sometimes!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Box Canvas with Tissue Paper Textured Flowers Inspired by Anneke de Clerck for Paper Artsy

When I saw this Box Canvas by Anneke de Clerck on the Paper Artsy Blog I knew I had to try the technique! Anneke used little pieces of screwed up tissue paper to added texture and dimension to the flower heads from JoFy No 26 which I recently purchased, and a gorgeous colour scheme on a box canvas. I have copied what she did as closely as possibly, limited only by what I had, as I find this the best way to learn new techniques and styles, and I do find I am learning. You can see the dimension in this side view:-

This has been a rushed job as it is a few minutes from the deadline so I will add a little more to the sides and some of the barer areas tomorrow and take some daylight photos but I am pleased with the result and I really enjoyed it. (Mr Less is More has just walked in and told me to leave it alone). I didn't have the set with the square so I doodled it, and I used Joy from JoFy 28 instead of the alphabet which is what has left me with bare areas. I didn't have the same flower and leaves for the base so I used Darcy's lovely new set, 10.

I am entering this into the Paper Artsy challenge if you are not too fed up with me!

Christmas Gift Bags with Stencilling inspired by Lelainia Lloyd

I really liked Lelainia Lloyd's idea of decorating your own Christmas gift bags using a stencil and a vibrant Lynne Perrella image and Portfolio Pastels over on the Paper Artsy blog. I only had very small gift bags and it was difficult to fit in both stencilling and the image so I have tried out one on each side and not stuck the image down yet. I will get some larger bags and experiment some more.

I decided to try Sara Naumann's idea of tinting the grungepaste with reinkers instead of Frescos which I would normally use. I thought Brilliance reinkers would be perfect for Christmas as they are shimmery but it made the mix too wet and, combined with the uneven surface of the bag, caused a bit of seepage. So, not my best bit of stencilling! I sprinkled some copper glitter on whilst the grungepaste was still wet and for a Christmas look I really liked this.

My friend was here whilst I was using the Portfolios which she hadn't seen before and she thought they looked fun! I hadn't had such great results before so I looked at Leandra's tutorial under The Classroom section on the blog and followed the instructions there and got the vibrant result I was looking for. I felt like a kid playing during half term week, having a good scribble with my crayons!

I finished off the bag with some of the Damask patterned tissue from Paper Artsy. I am entering the challenge here.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Amazon Folder Inspired by Julie Ann Lee for Paper Artsy

I've been working on a big project over the last couple of days, the gorgeous inspiration of Julie Ann Lee! I don't need to go into too much detail on what I have done as you can see Julie Ann's instructions over on the Paper Artsy blog here and on her own blog here. I have almost completely copied her, except where I didn't have exactly the same items as I was so impressed with the originality of the idea and the composition and choice of colours. We've had loads of these Amazon folders over the years and I have never thought to recyle them before but they are perfect, as you get a fold out pocket inside to tuck a present, and you can peel off layers to reveal all the wonderful corrugated texture!

Here's a close up view showing some little seed beads I added to the hearts:-

I thought the turquoise ribbon would be perfect but I didn't have enough. I had some in cream so I painted it with Beach Hut. You can hardly tell the difference!

 I will definitely be making more of these. Such a cool recyling idea. I think I am going to make this into a gift as a stationery or notelet set maybe?

I am entering this into the Inspired by Julie Ann Paper Artsy Challenge.

Shrink Plastic Bauble Card Inspired by Wanda Hentges for Paper Artsy

The Paper Artsy blog is proving to be a good motivation for me to make some Christmas cards which is something I struggle with every year. I bought Jo Firth Young's A5 plates 27 and 28, the ones with the baubles, when I saw her demo-ing at the Craft Barn recently, and there has been some terrific inspiration on the blog this month also. Being a deadline person I am up against it to get all the things I fancied from this month made in time, especially as I have been away and tied up with family and health stuff as always. I am enjoying getting stuck into the crafting though and it's good for the morale.

This card was inspired by a delightful lady, Wanda Hentges, who made a gift card containing shrink plastic bauble earrings. What a great idea to wear for Christmas dinner! I used to be an HR Manager and we dared one of my colleagues to wear her Christmas cracker hat all afternoon after the Christmas lunch one year. She was always up for a joke. The only thing was, she had a disciplinary hearing that afternoon, and Yes, she did wear it!

For my card I used the new Jo Fresco colours, Turquoise and Cherry Red, which I love, and made two different sizes of shrink plastic baubles, and drew on the hanging bit with a white gel pen. Jo is great at doing doodling and I have mentioned before that I always forget to try it and I am not very good at it. I thought whilst I had the pen in my hand, the black and Kraft cardstock were a good time to give it a go. Must keep trying!

I am entering this into the Paper Artsy challenge, Inspired by Wanda Hentges. Right, off to finish my Julie Ann inspired folder now!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Reverse Stencil Stamping Bauble Card inspired by Anneke for Paper Artsy

Over on Paper Artsy, Anneke De Clerck made some gorgeous Christmas cards using a wonderful choice of colour combinations using the technique where you paint on the reverse of a stencil and flip it over onto your card and brayer over it to get a negative impression. Well if that doesn't make sense, you can see what she did here! She is fast becoming a favourite designer of mine! I found this technique a little hit or miss but I needed to make some Christmas cards and also I recently bought JoFY's bauble set 27 which I thought would work well. I thought I could use the messed up bits to stamp baubles on and cut them out. I don't have any Tim Holtz stencils and I don't have any Christmas stencils at all so I thought I would use a Paper Artsy one and the circles one seemed to be the most neutral and echoed the shape of the baubles. Please Paper Artsy, would you bring out some Christmas stencils for next year as I do love using your stencils?

I used Lake Wanaka, Cherry Red, Orchid, and Yellow Submarine, and then painted a piece of card with Cherry Red to stamp the bauble on. I know there is no greeting but I didn't want to cover up my background. Heck, people will know it is a Christmas card when they receive it, surely?!

I am entering this into the Paper Artsy challenge, inspired by Anneke.