Saturday, 13 July 2013

Italy At Tag Tuesday . . . . . . Or Even Saturday!

I'm a late with my tag this week for Tag Tuesday. House hunting is taking up lots of my time and just when we think we've found our dream home, something crops up and we start the process all over again!

The theme this week at Tag Tuesday is Italy. We have a really free hand to interpret the challenge in any way we please so I decided to make my tag background inspired by the colours of the many historic marble, stone and painted treasures I saw last year in Rome. I wanted to make a little pocket on the tag for some of the many, many photos I took.

Here's my tag and I should warn you that there a number of photos to illustrate the steps taken to make the tag:

The tag has a mixture of mediums used to help illustrate some of the things that inspired me during my visit.
A calico tag shape and another in thick card were cut and glued together. The calico layer was coated with DecoArt gesso and dried.
Two shades of DecoArt Traditions paint were applied to the calico fairly randomly and dried.
The same shades of paint were used through a script stencil again, in a random manner. Some gold coloured acrylic was applied through a leaf stencil. The gold represents the many sumptuous gold gilded treasures seen in the Vatican during our visit.
A pocket was cut using an On The Edge die and some of the waste was saved. Both layers were masked and painted with DecoArt Americana acrylics in the colours of the Italian flag.
Some DecoArt Modelling paste was mixed with DecoArt Traditions and Golden iridescent bronze. The mix was used through the script stencil used earlier. In real life, the modelling paste has a lovely golden brown hue.
Close up to show the stencilled modelling paste.
Scrap card was painted with the iridescent bronze, dried, then stamped with stazon using a Tim Holtz architectural stamp.
Letters were die cut from the painted, stamped card and applied to a label made from more scrap card. 
The random stamping on the card allows the stencilled background to show through the design.
An eyelet was attached to the label along with some beads on a jump ring (charity shop find) and some coiled rusty wire.
The word label was painted with the DecoArt Traditions shades used earlier. The edges were inked with distress to give a framed effect.
The waste card from the die cutting was used as bunting across the top of the flag, again in the colours of the Italian flag.
The top of the tag was finished using jute string and some rusty wire.
Just a handful of the photos taken on our visit to Rome last year.

Thanks for reading this far! Why not pop over to Tag Tuesday and see what the other artists have produced for their Italian tag? 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Steampunk At Anything But A Card. . . . . . .

Time for another challenge at Anything But A Card and for the next fortnight we ask you to share your steampunk creations with us. You can make any project you like as long as it's NOT a card.

I've decided to make an ATC this time as I rather like the challenge of working in such a small space! I've made the same background previously but I liked it so much I replicated it again for this project.

If you go over to Anything But A Card, you can find more inspiration from my teamies and in a weeks time another gorgeous array of work will be shown by the second team.

So, without further ado, here is my little ATC:

I decided to go for a little steampunk bird from Oxford Impressions and he is attached to the ATC using foam pads to give height. The Steampunk stamp is part of the same plate. The background was created by using DecoArt Modelling paste through a stencil followed by the Skinner technique.
The bird was stamped onto old book text using DecoArt  Americana acrylic and distress ink was used to colour the image background for a more vintage look.
The wing is a chipboard shape with a screw style brad added. It was given a rusty finish (Andy Skinner) finish  using DecoArt Traditions paints and other DecoArt products. 
The wooden letters were found in a charity shop and given the rusty treatment complete with brads.
Rusty wire was used to make the bird perch at the bottom of the ATC. A completely rusted nail I found in one of my flower beds was suspended through the wire loops - no need for any treatment!
Some coiled rusty wire was added to the ATC before a label was applied with the word steampunk. 
I had to add a little flower to my piece just for fun but where to put it? On the birds hat of course! The leaf is a die cut and the flower a punched shape both left over from another project. The hat was stamped onto old book paper using DecoArt Traditions then embossed. The eye is a little black gem.

The label card was coloured with distress ink and stamped with a cog design also in distress ink. Finally the word Steampunk was stamped with DecoArt Traditions raw umber because it's a lovely dark colour and I wanted the word to stand out.
The brads on the label were black but I added some DecoArt Metallic Lustre to give them an aged, worn look.

 Hope you like my steampunk offering this week. I really must try to stop rusting everything but it's totally addictive! Those of you who have been here before will not that there is NO crackle this time. . . very unusual for me!

Thanks so much for looking and why not get a steampunk inspired piece together and join us this fortnight at Anything But A Card?

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Craft Barn Alpha Challenge - Letter B. . . . . .

As usual, I'm just getting my entry in at the last moment (almost) for the Craft Barn Alpha Challenge!

The letter to be used this time is B and for my word I have chosen: bête noire.

I particularly dislike spiders to the point that I don't even like looking at pictures of them or seeing them on tv so I couldn't choose to use those for my 'bete noire' page! Instead, I have chosen bats. I know they can look so sweet hanging upside down to sleep but if you're out in the dark and they swoop around your head it's not a pleasant experience! I  would never do anything to harm them but neither would I engineer a visit with them!

Here's my take on the definition but beware because it does look as if Halloween has come early!!

My bat drawing isn't quite what it should be so I found an image on google  and decided to give it a makeover. On the left of the print out you can see the original. On the right you can then see where I've used black, grey and white pencils to add shading and definition to improve the print out (I hope!).
The finished pages complete with bats both printed and stamped.
Word definition which was masked off during production to preserve the original text for all to see.

Two printed bats were used and both were altered with pencils as mentioned earlier. The images were glued to card, cut out and applied to the pages.
At the lower edge of the two printed bats, I used the black pencil to add shading for definition.

The letters were die cut, painted with DecoArt Americana acrylic paint. Carbon black DecoArt Traditions paint was used to stamp onto the letters. (I used part of an Andy Skinner ink splat stamp to add the detail).
The pages were first coated with watered down fresco paint. Some script was randomly stamped with chalky black  ink. The bats were stamped / glued into position. The edges of the pages were coloured with black pan pastel. I liked the way this stuck to some of the script stamping which was slightly damp.
Sequin waste was then used with DecoArt Americana acrlyic in red and DecoArt Traditions in carbon black - both were applied with cut and dry foam.

 Not entered this challenge at the Craft Barn yet? There are still a few hours left today and the next letter goes live tomorrow so why not pop over and get all the details for entry by clicking here?

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Letter Z At Tag Tuesday. . . . .

Not long after January 2012, when I first began blogging, I went on the waiting list to allow me to post at  Tag Tuesday and I'm delighted to say that I now have a place!

Tag Tuesday is a wonderful 'community' where people create tag art to a given theme, using any medium or technique of their choice. Sounds like heaven to me!!

I'm joining at the end of a long running alphabet challenge and I've chosen the letter Z for my tag and the word Zip. I thought that was appropriate given my previous life as a Textiles Teacher! I'm sure lots of others will go down this same route and why not?! Here's my tag:

I've gone for a contemporary look for my tag by using one of my gelli plate prints in a fun way.

I wanted to use a real zip and found that by working with grunge paper as a base, I could sew the layers together and achieve a level of 'drape' that normal card would not give.
The top layer of the tag was created with the gelli plate print made using DecoArt Traditions and Americana acrylic paints. I cut up the pieces and created a patchwork on the grunge paper then machined over the joins. The opening for the zip was created and stitching applied to make it look as if the zip had been inserted in the normal manner. I then glued the zip into place - cheating I know but so much easier!

A layer of gelli plate print was glued over the back of the grunge paper to act as a lining to cover the zip. The base tag was cut from Amazon packaging and covered with another layer of gelli plate print.
The letters were die cut, painted with DecoArt Traditions acrylic, stencilled with versamark then embossed with gold embossing powder. Finally, a light layer of DecoArt Triple Thick glaze was applied for shine.

Each side of the top tag layer was folded open and secured to complete the look of the zipped opening.
The turquoise paint was added through a stencil onto the gelli plate print for extra interest.
 This has been a fun project and now I've got to think about the tag for next week! Never been to Tag Tuesday? Click here and pop over and have a look at the wonderful art work on display. If you fancy joining in, the details are all on the blog.

Once again, thanks for having a look at my work, it's much appreciated.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Captured Memories At Our Creative Corner. . . . . New Challenge Starts Today.

We had some beautiful entries for our last challenge which was a Recipe concocted by Buttons. Our new challenge goes live today and this time the talented Linda aka The Funkie Junkie is your host.

Linda is asking everyone to use the theme 'Memories' for the month of July. This gives lots of scope for the type of project you produce which could be a layout, card, wall piece, tag, 3D art, the list could go on and on!

There is one rule for the product you make: it must use a real photograph. Not sure of the other rules for the challenge at Our Creative Corner? Click here and you can find a short set of rules which we ask you to remember when you play with us.

Please remember to pop over and see the wonderful creations made by my Teamies. Halfway through the month, the second team will post yet more inspiration for you so don't forget to pop over then too!

For my piece this time, I have made a piece of wall art using a family photograph. I did cheat slightly because I only have photographs of the originals so I printed one off onto photographic paper.

I've used a picture of my paternal Grandmother when she was aged approx. 19. If you click here, you will see the childhood image I used of my Grandmother in a previous post. The photos I have are a wonderful record of my Grandmother's life from childhood, through to becoming a young woman, bride and mother to three children. A very special memory for our family.

I should warn you that there are a number of photographs because I've shown the making of my product in more detail this time. Grab a coffee and let's go:

The finished piece which could be hung on the wall or given a stand and stood with other family photos.

How did I achieve this end result? Let's start with the substrate used for the base:
I found this hanging in a charity shop and thought it might be useful at some point! Originally, it had a thick white cotton cord for hanging. I've removed the cord and kept it for another time. At a glance it looks like shabby wood but it is simply a thick, rigid piece of plastic - what more can I say?!
Two coats of gesso were applied to cover the existing design. Three colours of  DecoArt Americana acrylic were then randomly applied over the surface (not blended though) and dried.A fourth toning colour of DecoArt Americana was then applied covering the random shades from the first stage. When dry, the base was sanded to reveal some areas of the first layer of colour. 

The base was then stamped with versamark using a background stamp - I made sure that the stamping was Not precise in order to give an aged worn look.  Gold and brown mica powder was then lightly brushed onto the stamped area and allowed to set. Finally, a coat of DecoArt Americana sealant spray was applied to protect the surface.

To make the flowers (follow images from left to right), I painted card with the same colours used on the base - I've only shown two here as the rest were already cut up!
Flower shapes were die cut. Each die cut was stamped with a script image and versamark. Gold mica powder was then applied.
DecoArt Two Step Crackle medium was then applied according to the instructions. Raw umber Traditions paint was applied to the crackle when dry and wiped back with a baby wipe leaving the colour only in the crevices.
The flowers were then assembled in various combinations of shape, size and colour.

In the centre of each flower, a 'distressed' brad was used to hold the layers together. The distressing was done with various DecoArt acrylics and a small swipe of their gold Metallic Lustre.

Images of the three remaining flowers are shown below:

The frame for the photograph was cut from Amazon packaging - so useful! Various layers were cut until I achieved the look I wanted.
The top layer of the frame was embossed and coated with gesso. This was followed by two layers of DecoArt Traditions acrylic. Some gold DecoArt Metallic Lustre was roughly applied to the raised areas followed by some sepia archival ink to age the frame.
Two flourishes were die cut from the same Amazon packaging as before. Each went through the same process as the frame to achieve the aged appearance,

The flourishes were used to help 'frame' the flowers.

I was quite pleased with how the background turned out, particularly the stamped image which shows up much better than I could have hoped. 

The final touch was to add coffee archival ink to the edges of the base just to complete the aged look.
If you got down to the bottom, thank you so much for sticking with me! I really enjoyed making this piece but when I showed it to my Husband he said  'it's far too girlie and peach coloured'. Can't win really can you??!!