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!