Wednesday 30 June 2010

Sing Bird, Sing

I made this card using the Tim Holtz Sissix Alterations dies, and the Bird Collage stamp all from the Artistic Stamper. I used the Caged Bird, the Flourish, and the Tattered Florals dies. I cut the pieces in grungepaper and inked them with Distress Inks, embossing the bird cage in gold and giving it a shabby, patchy look. I made a piece of background paper using Distress Inks spritzed on a craft sheet, and some water flicking, then stamped music script with Archival Sepia Ink all over. I then stamped the words 'Sing Bird, Sing' from the Bird Collage set in black. I cut away the branch from underneath the bird but used it to cut feet, stamped her with more music script and added some feathers. Her eye is one of the holes from cutting the bird cage, coloured with black marker pen and I have given her feathers and a gold princess charm for a crown. I shaped the cage a little so it was convex and added a bit of the gold leaves braid I had left from the previous project, and also the left over bit of chain for the cage to hang from. I then added a Flourish and small Tattered Flower, the centre of which is the 'hanging bit' I cut off the top of the crown charm. I should admit to something embarassing at this point. You know 'What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday'? Well, for ages I thought it meant you had to make something with the bits floating around on your workspace from your last project. Well, this is what I often seem to do because I am so messy. So that is why I have used up all these little bits but fortunately I never went ahead and entered the 'challenge' and showed myself up!

The final fun bit of my card is that I thought my bird should not only sing, but play the Saxophone too! I have had a novelty button for ages that I didn't want to part with, and when I had my blitz with Mould N Pour recently, I made a mould of it so that I could replicate it in friendly plastic. Both my brother and his little girl play the sax, and I love jazz, so it would be a fun card for them. Hope it makes you smile!

Oriental Wall Hanging

In our DT packs from the Altered Element this month, we were sent a range of surfaces to stamp on. I used the same stamp set as for the He Loves Me Daisy game yesterday, the Artemio clear stamps, which feature flowers, a bird, and a butterfly, with an oriental feel to them. For this hanging I used the following items from the Altered Element:-

Tea Dyed Calico
Fusible Film, Shimmering Raspberry
Artemio Clear Stamps
Deko Ice, Amber
Cosmic Shimmer Mists
Inkssentials White Opaque Pen

I also used:-

Contrasting Lining Fabric
Gold Braid
Marker Pens
Small Circle Hole Punch
Chain from Primark Necklace
Gold Leaves Trim
Sequin Waste
Gold Wire

To make the hanging:-

1. Tear a rectangle of the calico, encouraging the edges to fray, spray with Cosmic Shimmers and dab ink through sequin waste.
2. Stamp with a selection of the Artemio stamps, adding fuchsia marker pen to the centre of the tiny flowers.
3. Colour daisy petals with white pen and fill centre with Deko Ice. Add stem with black pen and white pen.
4.Stamp Butterfly onto Grungeboard with Fuchsia StazOn, make another with the fusible film using an iron, and stick just the centre onto the Grungeboard version, adding Deko Ice down the spine. Shape Grungeboard wings with fingers and adhere spine to calico piece.
5. Cut leaves from the scraps of fusible film left from fusing the butterfly with the iron. Use the tiny hole punch to cut out 'sequins' from the remaining waste. Adhere as shown.
6. (At this point I added the white labels from the chopsticks as I liked the oriental writing. You may like to add some white highlights or white stamping instead)
7. Stitch the gold leaves braid or similar to the bottom to weight it down slightly.
8. Tear a slightly larger piece of contrasting fabric (I used brown silky lining fabric). Place the chopsticks end to end so that each end is equal and not tapered, fold the two layers of fabric over them and stitch in place. Cover stitching with gold braid or similar.
9. Twist some gold wire around the end of each chopstick.
10. To finish, stitch a piece of necklace chain in place behind the chopsticks, as a hanging loop, and add a sparkling gem to the bird's eye.

Tuesday 29 June 2010

'He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not' Daisy Game - Upcycling Project

When I first received this item from Lynne at the Altered Element, for this month's DT Upcycling project, I didn't immediately realize it was a child's noughts and crosses game. It may just have been me being thick, but I prefer to think of it as 'thinking outside the box'!! as I thought the symbols X and O depicted Love and Hugs!

I decided to go with my first thought, and also that I wouldn't dismantle the box as I liked the mechanism with the cubes spinning round within the compartment, and I knew I couldn't replicate anything with any kind of engineering! I thought of the children's game where you pull the petals off a daisy and chant, 'He Loves Me', 'He Loves Me Not' and see what you end up with on the final petal. As there was a daisy and other flowers in the stamp set provided, I though this would work. Here are the stamps:

They are very 'clean and contemporary' compared to my usual choices, but that was ideal as the purpose of this month's product challenges was stamping on a variety of surfaces, some of which work best with simple and open designs without too much detail.

What you will Need:-

Translucent Shrink Plastic
Deko Ice in Amber
Narrow ribbon to co-ordinate
White Opaque Pen
Distress Inks
Cosmic Shimmer Sprays
Artemio Flower and Bird stamps

All available from the Altered Element.

You will also need an alphabet set of stamps.

What you will Need to Do:-

1. Make 3 A4 masterboards using the distress inks spritzed on a craft sheet method, and sponging through sequin waste to add interest - have one dark, one medium, and one paler sheet. Do some water flicking as well. Stamp a selection of the floral stamps from the set onto the darkest piece.

2. Ink or paint any edges of the 'box' that will show after card has been applied. Cut and glue strips of the darkest masterboard piece around the edges of the box, and the dividing struts, line the inside of each compartment with the medium coloured piece, and the fronts of the spinning cubes with the palest colour.

3. Cut the shrink into rectangles, 6 x 5 centimetres. Stamp half with 'He Loves Me' and half with 'He Loves Me Not', on the glossy side. Spritz a pale colour Cosmic Shimmer onto your craft sheet and sponge colour onto the rougher side. Heat to shrink and adhere to the cubes as shown.

4. Stamp the daisy onto the grungeboard. Colour the petals with a white opaque pen. Cut out and cut into the petals so that they splay out a little. Fill the center with the Deco Ice.

5. To finish, adhere ribbon around the edges of the sides to give a neat finish, and add your daisy.

Sunday 27 June 2010

Papier Mache Mannequin

I made this papier mache mannequin using one of the collage plates from the Artistic Stamper, and their Dressmaking Plate.

I painted the mannequin with flesh coloured paint and stamped a variety of the images onto tissue paper, including the words 'Perfectly Fitted' and the tape measure from the Collage Plate. I also stamped some of the images onto her 'work pinny', which was a Poundland crochet coaster, to which I added a few buttons and poppers, a safety pin and pearl headed pin for texture and interest. I added a scrap of lace to her neckline as a collar, which was my friend, Von's, idea, as she was here yesterday and I said, 'where shall I put this scrap of lace?'. I cut a piece of tape measure twill, also from the Artistic Stamper, and added a bit of memory foil to the ends to look like the metal ends of a tape measure and to stop it fraying and make it drape a bit better.

Finally I stood her on two old wooden thread spools, but I haven't stuck them down as I am not sure about this bit? My thinking was, it makes her look like she has chunky thighs, but as she has a perfect bosom and a tiny waist, that seemed only fair!

Friday 18 June 2010

Class at Nancyz Crafts No 2

I was really pleased to be asked back to do another class at Nancyz Crafts. This time our theme was floral and butterfly cards, using stamps, images, and frames from Crafty Individuals. Nancy lent me all the items I needed to make the samples, so I used Dovecraft Pigment Inks, Archival Inks, Laura Ashley Velvet Brads, Twinkling H2Os, and some plain flowers, and some of the lovely background papers she sells in her shop. The Crafty Individuals stamps I used were CI 135 (4 square butterflies), CI 206 (Flower Heads), CI 207 (Ferns), and CI 235 (Swirls). I used the die cut square frames from them, and also their glossy scroll die cut frames. I made rather a lot of samples as you can see, but there was just so much scope with the items provided, that I wanted to show the class, some of whom are new to stamping, as many ideas and techniques as possible.

The Dovecraft Pigment inks are lovely for sponged backgrounds or for colouring the flowers, in the same way I would normally use my Distress Inks. Obviously the archival are great for stamping detailed images, or for stamping on glossy surfaces, so I wanted to explain this to the students who may not know what to use the different inks for. I have really fallen for the Cobalt Archival ink Nancy has been lending to me, so now I have my own one. It makes a card look so different to stamp in blue rather than black. The swirl stamps are amazingly versatile and you can make some pretty backgrounds using the cobalt, and with the glossy frames it worked well to sponge it then stamp with it, for a tone on tone effect. The large velvet brads worked well for the easel cards, and the Twinkling H2Os were great for colouring the glossy frames and the die cut swirls.

I enjoyed making the samples, and I really enjoyed the class. Everyone made about three beautiful cards, all different, and we had good evaluations. We are now planning some future classes. We had twice as many book for this class as we could fit in the classroom, so we are offering it as a repeat class too.

Special Offer at the Altered Element!

The Altered Element have a special offer running currently. See here for details.

Friday 11 June 2010

Monogrammed Passport Holder

In our design team kit for the Altered Element this month, we were sent a selection of media to stamp on, and there was plenty to enable a number of items to be made. This is my first item, a passport holder made from Grungeboard. It will be a useful item for me (I don't often keep/use things I make) as we keep our passports together, but Colin often goes to France ahead of me and I follow him out, so I always worry he will go with my passport instead of his. No worries now, although he might not want to be seen with me at passport control!

As usual for me, this item 'evolved', which is my way of saying, I sat down to make something and didn't have a clue what it was going to be! I had in mind folding the Grungeboard piece in half to make a book, but once I had done so, I immediately thought it was the right size for my passport. Grungeboard is ideal for this project as it folds perfectly, forming a nice spine, and is very strong, and gives a lovely suede/leather effect. I like the fact that using Gesso on Grunge enables you to use paler colours and makes it look a bit different.

I used the following items from the Altered Element:-

One sheet of Grungeboard
Grungeboard Letters
Grungeboard Hinges
Decorative Metal Corners
White Gesso
Tim Holtz Compass Mask
Distress Inks in Brushed Corduroy, Tumbled Glass, Shabby Shutters, and Mustard Seed

I also used sequin waste, and brads, and Creative Expressions' Vintage Aviation set, although any travel-themed stamps would work.

What I did:-

1. Cover both sides of the Grungeboard with slightly watered down gesso, using a cosmetic sponge or similar, and allow to dry.
2. Sponge inks over the Compass mask, in several positions on both sides, overlapping the edges in places. I used all of the colours except the Brushed Corduroy. Fill in the gaps with the Distress Inks and sponge some through the sequin waste.
3. Ink the edges, the letters, and the hinges with the Brushed Corduroy.
4. Pop the brads through the hinges, and stick them into position, along with the 'Monogram' and the decorative corners, using strong glue.
5. Stamp 'Enjoy the Journey' or any travel related text onto the holder, using Brushed Corduroy.
6. Make two pockets inside, one to slip the passport into, and one opposite for boarding cards or tickets.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Gingersnap Creations Mad Hatter's Tea Party Bloghop

Gingersnap Creations are having a Mad Hatter's Tea Party bloghop today. Here is my invitation to you, to my tea party!

I used Silkies from Imagination Crafts for the background of the actual invitation, with the Crafty Individuals invitation to a tea party stamp. The main background is Kaleidacolor Caribbean Sea, brayered on. I got my Kaleidacolors and my brayer from Imagination Crafts. The Hatter is from the Oxford Impressions set, and the tea cup has been stamped on Fimo and baked.

Saturday 5 June 2010

Birthday Cards - Masterboard Backgrounds

When I was doing background techniques with the students recently I made a batch of A4 size masterboards, which I have now made into some birthday cards. They were a mixture of Distress Inks on a craft sheet and spritzed, bubble wrap, sequin waste, and some Tim Holtz Masks.

The images on these are from a Time to Stamp A5 plate and I have added an art mould I Ching coin and a Fragment to the Geisha one:-

And this one is a completely different colourscheme, for the Butterfly Girl from Crafty Individuals, one of my favourites. It seemed strange composing cards in this way, from the bottom upwards, and keeping the main image plain, but I think I will do this again.

This one was made with the Artistic Stamper Cycling Plate, and the two little boys CI 080 from Crafty Individuals:-