Monday, 27 February 2012

Thank You Card

I've finally got round to putting my 'Cyprus Thank You' card on here! It's made using the same butterfly stamp shown on BJ's card and was made not long after that one - must have been inspired I suppose! Again, I've moved away from my normal choice of colours but I do like the fresh, clean look of this card. I think the colours are spring like and I have seen a challenge on the 'The Stamp Man Challenge' blog for colours of spring/Easter so I'll give it a go I think!
The completed card matted onto corrugated white card which has been inked with stormy sky. The background to the stamped image has been inked using stormy sky and antique linen which are rapidly becoming two of my favourite colours - along with victorian velvet of course. I left some areas almost white because I feel it makes the images stand out. I now wish I'd added more cut out butterflies!

This butterfly was stamped, painted and cut out. I made some wire antennae and then  added glossy accents over the whole butterfly. It's then glued into place. I like the way the gold paint seems to shimmer - well, it does in real life but perhaps not when shown using my useless photography skills!

One part of the stamping which was done using archival coffee. Colour was added using water colour pencils and gold acrylic paint. I  used this method on all the butterflies.

Die cut letters coloured using stormy sky ink which has been left lighter in some areas. Glossy accents was used to coat each letter before adding to the work.

I added a row of stamped butterflies to the envelope using versa magic then brushed on some  pale lilac cosmic shimmer mica to match with some of the water colour painting. I never know when to stop!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Lovely Holiday

Had a fantastic time in Cyprus with Lillian and Chris - thank you so much to both. Saw some wonderful places and just being a five minute walk from the beach was heaven for me. I've missed crafting but did produce a painted stone for Chris and Lillian - it's a tradition they've started for their garden. Each guest is asked to collect a stone from the local beach and add their name and visit date with any other embellishment and design features they choose. A fab idea I think.  Sadly, I wasn't able to add any of my usual distress ink, acetate etc! Guess who forgot to take a photo of their stone?? I'll try and pinch a copy from his blog 'Set For Cyprus'. I really did love the country and when you are spending time with family who make the whole visit special, it makes for a wonderful experience. When I've finished unpacking, washing etc. I'll upload the pictures of the 'Thank You' card I took with me and left in my room yesterday afternoon - hope they liked it!

Here is my master piece created using Lidl's best acrylic paints -  yes, bought in Lidl's  near Larnaca! It looks just like my local shop and has many of the same products. I wasn't keen on the colours I used but it will look OK in the sunshine under the growing hibiscus hedge (at least I think that's what it was!). You can't see it here but the stone was a gorgeous salmon pink and the ones behind are the whitest stones I've ever seen. The beach was covered with the most wonderful array of stones in fantastic shades - loved it!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

BJ's Birthday Card

Happy Birthday to my new crafting friend BJ. Had a remit for this card to include: butterflies, lilac, green, and dragonflies (I think that was it!) - not my usual thing although I love butterflies! Have only one butterfly stamp so out it came and I just had to start from there. No dragon flies except a couple of paper punched black ones left over  from daughter's card making days when she was younger. I used lots of distress inks, acetate, cosmic shimmer, watercolour pencils and a little bit of gold rub n buff on the black dragon flies. . . . . . .
PS since I've been back from holiday I notice that 'Try It On A Tuesday' has an acetate challenge so I'm going to enter my card in that.
Stamped background with archival ink and added colour using distress ink. Hand painted the butterflies.  The cute little dragon fly can be seen in the top left corner.

Embossed acetate placed over the stamping. Die cut, inked and glossy accented Happy Birthday

Inside: stamped image with distress ink and another die cut finished in the same way as the one on the front

Finished by matting onto cardstock with yet more distress. The embossed/painted acetate sits over the main part of the card framing the stamped, painted images.

The envelope got the treatment too just to finish the job!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Textured Tag

 I came across a challenge on the 'Stamp Man Challenge' site for a project with texture. I love adding texture to my work - my resources are still quite basic but out came the embossing powders, acrylic paint, acetate, beads, stamps, distress inks (of course!) and kitchen roll. Kitchen roll? Yes, it's there on my tag for all to see and I just hope it's not so obvious and takes at least a short while for you to spot! I'm going to enter the tag - may as well have a go - everyone tells me to!
Tag with some of the elements I love - the colour reproduction is slightly off as the green (peeled paint) really jumps out at you if you see the tag.
Die cut book plate with die cut flowers.
Debossed side of the paper with some extra embossing powder, embossed acetate coloured with gold acrylic ( I only have three colours -sad but true!).

After cutting, the book plate was coloured with distressed, stamped with green ink and then embossed with UTC. I popped two little gold gems in each of the book plate holes.

Close up view to show the embossed, painted acetate.

Die cut flowers which have been coloured with distressed ink, embossed with gold and true white. Beads have been added in the centre for texture and they haven't escaped the embossing powder either! My leaves are made from kitchen towel which I'd cleaned up with - couldn't waste all that lovely ink and acrylic!

Goodbye Next Door Neighbours!

My neighbours of some nine years or so are off to live in Zurich this week. Today has seen manic packing, cleaning and all the other stressful things associated with moving. Obviously, I had to send them a card, so set to last week - no inspiration came! Eventually, I remembered that I had a free stamp from Craft Stamper this month with a strange little pointy castle like house image. I had a look at the designer examples they give for the free stamp and liked the one by Jo Firth Young. I haven't copied it but it was my starting point and, like hers, my strange little houses are in a row (hope she doesn't mind!).

I decided to use colours that aren't in my usual favoured palette and I'm sort of happy with the result. My neighbour has already opened the card and thinks it's fab so I suppose my goal was achieved! Can't help being hyper critical of what I do but aren't we all really?!

The completed card - for once I used printed backing paper which I've had for donkeys years!
I even stamped the envelope so it didn't look too bare!
I stamped some writing first on scrap card , then the house image.I coloured  it with distress inks and added glossy accents after I'd cut out the image. It's lovely and shiny but that doesn't really show here. I did two like this: one for the front and one for inside the card.

I die cut a button shape and coloured it with distress ink. The cotton cord in the button was also coloured with distress.

The inside of my card - sometimes I don't know when to stop I fear!!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Art Journal Page

I have never done an Art Journal page before - well, before today that is! Quite frankly, I was terrified to attempt it as many of the ones I've seen have been amazing and I didn't want to even attempt to match up to those. I also wondered what on earth I would do a page about - not like A-Level art where the teacher gave you a starting point and if you were lucky some research info too! A crafting friend, BJ, decided she'd enter the challenge at the Craft Barn which is to produce an AJ page with hearts. The hearts must contain the things you love. Mmmmm? Does Bryan Ferry fit in a heart? Sadly not!! (That's showing my age!).

Seriously though, I found the production of the page difficult because there are so many things I like in many areas of life. I decided to concentrate on some of the techniques I currently like using on cards etc. I couldn't fit everything on so here are just a few of my favourite things:

My gorgeous new stamp had to go on here. I used some distress ink to add light colour to the  flowers and added  glossy accents so they stood out.

Love beads, ribbon, gold and of course, more embossing!

You can't see it very well here but the flowers are stamped and embossed on acetate .

This is a tiny piece of a large secondhand stamp I've got which is so vintage and I love it.

I love Christmas crafting and the more snowflakes I can squeeze in the better!

Around the hearts I've written as many things as I could think of that I love. Even my gorgeous cat gets a mention! Plus daughter and husband of course.

If I've got the concept of an AJ page wrong, please do let me know - I WANT to learn!!

I'm going to put this in the Craft Barn Challenge so if you're viewing this post - thank you! Constructive comments are really welcome! (If you know what I mean!).

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

New Stamp Arrived!

How gorgeous is that stamp? She arrived today and is the fourth La Blanche stamp that I've got. The others are flowers and some clocks. I had to try her out on the nearest scrap of card which was to hand. I had out my coffee archival ink pad (which is fast becoming a favourite) and voilà! I also added some dark bronze cosmic shimmer but that doesn't show up at all here. My photography skills are not good and I need HELP!

Not sure what I will do with her yet but just staring at this is enough for now - hopefully some inspiration will come. I don't want to 'colour her in' but would rather sneak her into a background in some way perhaps?

Maybe I should have a go at an AJ page like the Craft Barn challenge this week and include her as one of the things I love!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Valentine Card

The front of the card.

The two inside faces of the card and the back.
Decided to use the design elements from my box to make a Valentine card for a very special person! I used one of those three fold cards - I'm sure they have a technical name! - and decorated four of the faces of the card. I used a closed scallop embossed edging, rather than the open one I used on the box, to try to make it less 'girlie'. I failed on that of course because the whole colour scheme is feminine! Lots of stamping, inking, embossing, paper sculpting and I'm happy with it. Love the gold ribbon but need to get more!

Completed 'Love' Card

Thought I should do something to make this piece into a card. Couldn't decide what colour to mount it on though. Finally chose a grubby looking orange (with extra distress on the edges of course!) as all my blue coloured card seemed to clash. I think it's OK but of course it's not my usual choice of colour scheme! Have nearly finished a birthday card which I'll add later - back in my favourite scheme of Victorian Velvet, Fired Brick etc.!!!
I need to do more with this acetate technique - love it but short on acrylic colours sadly.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Love Embossed Acetate!

Then decided to have a go after seeing a demo on Saturday. I tried to be more careful this time with the acrylic paint on the embossed acetate. Have to say I was quite pleased with this one as it looks much cleaner and certainly more pronounced. Also stayed with the theme of using colours which aren't reds, dirty pinks and black - still kept the gold though!

Do I like the card? Mmm not sure but I do like certain aspects. Still can't stamp straight though!

First Try At Embossed Acetate

Here are the tags I made using the embossed acetate as seen on the Craft Barn blog and devised by one of their designers Neil Walker. I really like the effect but they won't take too much close inspection as I'm a long way off perfection here! I tried to use colours that are out of my usual 'comfort zone' (hate that phrase) and I really enjoyed the change. I know the good old reindeers are a little passée but they are so cute (probably the only cute thing I do like)! Also, I LOVE Christmas stuff!