Sunday 28 December 2014

3Up Portfolio Pastels for Paper Artsy

I'm so sorry this blog post is late going up as I've been poorly and completely out of it today. This past week has been 3Up week over on the Paper Artsy blog. This means that each night, 3 Paper Artsy fans have been showing their favourite techniques. I was absolutely delighted to be working with Gabby and Julie Ann and we quickly decided that the commonality between us was Lynne Perrella, so this was to be the link between our three projects.

We chose to use Lynne Perrella plate 030 which is the one with the lovely big collage stamp. I feel really pleased looking at the way our projects have come together that they show the versatility of this stamp, which is what we had hoped for, as we have all done something quite different. I decided to have a play with Portfolio pastels on Stampbord, which was a bit of an experiment, and you can see some of my test pieces above.

I made a quadrupe slide mailer and used some additional Lynne Perrella stamps for the images to go inside the mailer:-

It was a joy to work with Gabby and Julie Ann and I hope we will have collaborations such as these again.

I do hope you will go over to Paper Artsy to see our three projects, and once again I apologize for my completely 'lost day' today.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Wrapping Paper Inspired by Alison Bomber for Paper Artsy

Happy Christmas Eve everybody! One of my favourite Paper Artsy designers, and favourite people, Alison Bomber, made her own Christmas wrapping paper, using Lynne Perrella stamps and Coffee archival ink. She used a roll of children's paper from Ikea which a friend kindly picked up for me. You get 30 metres for 3 pounds so it will be so useful for brayering and for covering my craft table. I also made some in red, green, and silver, using Hot Picks. I am entering the Paper Artsy December Challenge.

Friday 12 December 2014

Paisley Elephant Pencil Box for Chocolate Baroque Challenge

I have been wanting to join in the Chocolate Baroque challenge for some time, using their Paisley Elephant stamp set. Their challenges are in the form of a colour swatch and I wanted a colourscheme that would be suitable for elephants, which my lovely new niece, Mia, adores. She has a bedroom full of elephant decor items. She had artist pens and pencils on her Christmas wish list so I asked advice from my more artistic friends which would be the best ones to choose for her. So I thought that an elephant pencil case would go perfectly with my gift, as the current challenge colours are Jade, Mauve, Pink, and pale Oyster Pink. I thought Jade elephants would work well!

I painted the pencil case first with Moonlight Fresco Finish Paint from Paper Artsy as it seemed very close to the oyster pink in the colour swatch. I then built up layers of stamping using Eggplant, Lilac, and Pansy with the paisley and script stamps in the set, and used the smaller elephant with green ink. I used Orchid paint with the square stamp in the corners and round the edges as it was very close to the pink in the swatch.

I then used the larger elephant stamp in the set to make shrink plastic elephants using pro markers in Green and Mauve shades, and adhered them to the lid of the pencil box.

I am entering this into the Chocolate Baroque colour challenge.

Sunday 30 November 2014

Stamping on Leather Inspired by Liz Borer for Paper Artsy

There were some wonderful blog posts on Paper Artsy this month, and a lovely balance between festive and non-festive but the one that completely blew me away was Liz Borer's leather covered book. As I scrolled down the post I went 'oooh' and that was before I realized she had stamped on leather. She has a tremendous sense of composition and colour, and her shading is always beautiful. I also felt that it was brave in itself to stamp and then colour leather, but then to risk making that piece into a book was so courageous.
No such courage from me! First of all I wanted to do a test piece. I scoured e bay and bought some pale leather off cuts and did the practice piece above, following Liz's choice of stamps and colours as much as possible. I definitely wasn't going to risk going off piste! I loved doing it and am so thrilled to have another surface I can stamp and paint to add to the mixed media arsenal - I would never have attemped it without Liz's instructions but it was very more-ish!
So I was then a teeny bit braver but only to the tune of £3 and another e bay trawl - this time for vintage cream leather gloves. I measure bravery partly in how much money I waste. It took a while to find what I wanted as I didn't want ones that had seams on them that would be difficult to stamp on. The ones I chose had this gorgeous cut out detail which I chose to mask off when stamping so as to make a feature of it.
I did the flowers in exactly the same way as for the test piece, and as per Liz's instructions. I decided not to do the scrolls and face as I feel something that is to be worn should be a little simpler in style, and I am still not sure whether the recipient will actually wear them or hang them up (or hide them!).

Here's a closer shot. My heart was in my mouth when I stamped on them as I knew I only had one chance not to mess up! These are a Christmas gift for a very special person. The gloves are very tiny but she is very petite so I am hoping they are going to fit - it will be a Cinderella moment!

Thank you so much to the Guest Designers this month - I've run out of time as I'm off to Mum's. Thank you to Liz Borer as I will most definitely be stamping on leather again and painting with Frescos and it's been so lovely to have something new to try. I am entering this into the Paper Artsy challenge, inspired by Liz Borer.

Flower Card Inspired by Sue Carrington for Paper Artsy

I loved the card Sue Carrington made for Paper Artsy and I really wanted to give it a go as I had the stamps and stencils she had used and I don't make cards very often. I decided to make a couple of sheets in a masterboard fashion, following her steps, so that I could make some extra cards, and I've prepared some base cards above. I used Cheesecake, Butternut, Pumpkin Soup, Smoked Paprika, Brown Shed, and Cherry Red for the stencilling and then overstamped with the Ellen Vargo scratchy circle.

I black embossed the Ellen Vargo flower and then painted it with Cherry Red, Brown Shed, and Smoked Paprika. I doodled a bit on my scalloped book text edge. You see, I am trying to keep up the doodling, but anything involving being freestyle does scare me!!

I am not sure whether I need maybe some little orange painted buttons bottom right, but I was aiming for something fairly plain.

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

Saturday 29 November 2014

Hope Canvas Inspired by Wanda for Paper Artsy

I loved Wanda Hentges 'Peace' canvas for Paper Artsy, and this is my 'Hope' version! I used the stencil with grunge paste first and then applied Chocolate Pudding mixed with Old Gold and Metallic Glaze all over the canvas. I used Treasure Gold in Emerald on the grunge paste, the wooden word, and the edges of the canvas and then used the leaf stencil ELB 002 with Nougat and Emerald TG on the front and sides. I added some lace as Wanda had done and then a flower made from Chatsworth transferred onto canvas. I finished off with some rusted and painted metal flowers.

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

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.

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Homes and Gardens Canvas Inspired by Jo Firth Young

I loved the triptych of houses made by lovely Jo Firth Young, Designer for Paper Artsy, and thought I would use up some of the sheets of Chatsworth transferred onto canvas I had left, together with some canvas arches I had had in my stash for ages which I thought would work great for houses, with some more Chatsworth transferred onto them. I used Paper Artsy script tissue as the base of my canvas with some stencilling. At the bottom I used Darcy's grasses stamp and I found to add depth it works well if you turn it upside down and just use the bottom part along the edge for some stumpy grass. For the doors and chimney I have used some Thorndon Hall canvas, with painted buttons. The flowers on the far ends are made as per my blog post here.

I am entering this into the September challenge here.

Lynne Perrella Christmas Card Inspired by Wanda Hentges

One of the delightful new Guest Designers on Paper Artsy, Wanda, did a great background technique using a credit card to scrape Frescos onto Smoothy Heavy Weight Card and build up layers and knock them back. Such a great technique to have in your arsenal and so quick to do. It creates great visual texture and a little paint goes a long way. I used the same colours as Wanda, from Lin's new set with Plum, Marlin, and Evergreen, and added a little Dusty Teal, and Chalk for knocking back. I didn't have an old credit card as I cut back on store cards years ago so I cut up an ice cream lid. It is very important to eat lots of ice cream so you always have plenty of lids. Top Tip.

I'm not big on Christmas so I used a Lynne Perrella image as Lynne is like turkey, not just for Christmas. I made a faux poinsettia using a Lin Brown stencil. I call it 'faux' because instead of red I used Plum to tie in with the colours already used. It's a bit mad so I don't know if it works. I finished off with some dyed seam binding.

I am entering this into the September Paper Artsy challenge.

Sunday 28 September 2014

Fresco Stamped Grungepaste Card - Inspired by Sara Naumann for Paper Artsy


It's always a treat when Sara Naumann guests on the Paper Artsy blog as she gives us both a step by step and a video. We all love a video, I think, and having the step by step makes it easier when you go back to have a look when you want to follow something. I've only just bought my first set of Sara's stamps, ESN09, the one with the sunburst and some grungy bits on, which I know I will use a lot. I think I've been slow to buy them because although I love text and background stamps, I tend to like each project to have a focal image. Seeing how Sara uses them has helped me to get ideas though. I guess I get set in my ways.

For this card, Petra kindly let me use some stamps of hers when she was at my house crafting for the evening. It's a departure from my normal style and I love how it turned out so thank you Sara! Sara showed two cards here and here. I have applied the Fresco to create a frame and also stamped with Grungepaste. For a splash of colour I added some orange buttons which I painted with Frescos - Yes, still some leftover roof buttons! The artful twine arrangement was down to Petra!

I'm entering this into the Paper Artsy challenge, Inspired by Sara Naumann.

Saturday 27 September 2014

Heart Sewing Case with Chatsworth Canvas Transfer

I've been gradually building up the needlework stamp sets from Paper Artsy for a few years now as vintage sewing is one of my favourite themes, and then I spotted that That's Crafty, one of my favourite retailers had a couple of sets in their Clearance section. In fact, they have a few Hot Picks sets at a bargain price! So I now have all of them. I had been working on a heart shaped needlework case and coincidentally their challenge at the moment is All You Need is Love. I wanted to show lots of different things you could do with my canvas transfer technique which you can see on the Paper Artsy blog here. I used a pack of Papermania Bare Basics Canvas Hearts and transferred a mixture of Chatsworth and Thorndon Hall papers onto one side of them, and on the other side I stamped a selection of the sewing images using archival Potting Soil.

I then painted two pieces of shrink plastic, one with Fresco in Dolly Mix, and one in Guacamole, and stamped the largest button in Potting Soil, cut it out with a circle die, and hole punched the holes. I then stitched them onto the different layers.

Sewing always makes me think of love. When I was a child my Mum used to make my clothes and then matching sets for my dolls. I used to go to sleep to the whir of her sewing machine, which she inherited from my grandmother. Such a gentle sound. She has been doing a lot of hand sewing recently as she has lost several stone in weight and has been altering her clothes. I suggested it might help with her Raynaud's, and amazingly, the pain has nearly gone! I guess it has helped the circulation. Her old sewing machine remains a problem, though. It is a BSM in a silvery blue colour, with a wheel, not a treadle. I am guessing it might be around 1930s. It has a bullet bobbin. She wants to use it again but can no longer remember how to thread it. I have searched the internet and looked on You Tube. Any thoughts would be very gratefully received!

Friday 26 September 2014

Grid Background Card and Notebook inspired by Anneke De Clerck for Paper Artsy

On Paper Artsy, a new Guest Designer, Anneke De Clerck, made a Mini Book/Notebook from scratch using a bookbinding, and a wonderful background paint blocking technique that I wanted to try. I am entering the Paper Artsy September Challenge.

I used Smoothy Heavy Weight Card and went about it a very long-winded way as I used Eclipse masking strips to form grid lines. I've now ordered a mask which will be easier but probably a different sort of effect. This took me ages. I started off like this. with Marlin, Evergreen, Plum, and Dusty Teal.

Then I added some lighter, brighter colours.

And the dry brushing of Chalk. I really like the metamorphosis into pastels! I will definitely do this again!

In fact I did!

Here's the card and notebook I made, and I have some left from the first sheet to make something else too. Thanks, Anneke.

Huck Finn Anchor

I had a wonderful time on Sunday at the Big Stamping and Scrapbooking Show at Ally Pally, and as always, the best thing was meeting up with lots of lovely people!

I had had in mind as I walked around that I wanted to join in the Country View Crafts challenge this month which is Nautical, using my Huckleberry Finn stamps by Artistic Outpost, and I saw this anchor on the MDF man stand. I thought it would be perfect! I painted it with Fresco Finish in Sky Blue with some dry brushing of Chalk, and some South Pacific around the edges and then used all of the stamps in the set with a selection of blue and brown archival inks to build up layers of stamping. I used Cobalt for the steamboat and Jet Black for the boys (Huck and Tom?) as I wanted these to be my focal points. I coloured the little boys with Fibralos. Does the Mississippi count as Nautical?!  I suppose it flows into the sea eventually!

I used the largest stamp with Huck and the Steamer on shrink plastic and tied it to the top with an anchor charm.

I am entering this into the Country View Crafts Challenge which is Nautical and the Artistic Outpost September Challenge which is Anything Goes.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Paper Artsy Canvas Transfer Experiment - Thorndon Hall Sketchbook

Here's another example of something I made using the canvas transfer experiment which I showed on the Paper Artsy blog here. I love the colours of the old Thorndon Hall papers and I have a stationery set I made a while ago so I wanted a matching notebook. This is another of the Reeves A5 canvas covered ones. By the way, Royal and Langnickel also do one. I used some of the older Paper Artsy stamps and layered them up on the canvas transferred background using different neutral shades of archival. For the flowers I stamped them on acetate and them painted them from behind with Fresco paints. I die cut the letters using a memory box set using more Thorndon Hall canvas transferrred paper. The tags on the spiral binding are Thorndon Hall transferred onto some canvas tags from Papermania.

There's a great prize up for grabs if you join in the Paper Artsy challenge before the end of September. Details are here.