Thursday, 11 December 2014

Let's Celebrate. . . . .

Good morning everyone. Today sees a new challenge at Artist Trading Post Exchange and our host is the lovely Toni. Here's Toni's challenge for you:

I hope everyone has had something to celebrate over the last year. It may have been a wedding, a significant birthday, a new baby, or religious festival such as  Diwali and now, of course, Christmas ! We'd love to see your celebration crafty makes. It may be a card, a layout or piece of altered art. Just let your imagination fly! Remember that we are a Mixed Media Challenge and stamping must feature in your entries and please, no digital images. Although your celebration may have taken place a while ago, please ensure that your entry hasn't been featured previously on your blog.

Now, I didn't think Christmas, birthdays, weddings etc. No, my mind was on another wave length and I decided to make something to celebrate my daughter passing her degree this year. She studied Illustration for three years and an art foundation course for one year to start with. 

Here's what I made this time. I decided to use two pieces of my Daughter's art to alter a large wooden heart (similar to these). These images show the two sides of the piece:

Here are the two pieces I used belonging to my daughter:

These are both pencil drawings which I altered in an image editing programme and made them into 'threshold' images which make them easier to work with and look a little funky!

The software converts the images to these black and white versions which can be transferred in several different ways onto your substrate.

The heart is given three coats of gesso and is dried and lightly sanded between coats to provide a smooth surface.
Both sides of the heart are roughly coloured with the shades of acrylic shown. You can do this with a brush, sponge or your fingers.
Stencilling is then added to both sides using metallic gold paint, a stencil brush and stencil.
Random stamping is then added using Archival inks, with the addition some white acrylic paint for the raindrop stamp.
The design is traced onto the heart using artists carbon paper. Black acrylic then fills the traced design. In this image you can clearly see the raindrop stamp with tiny little white paint highlighting dots. The stencilling sits under the stamping but is allowed to show through in some areas without any distractions. The flagstone stamp (in turquoise) is much paler in colour and this helps to build depth.
Both sides of the heart are developed using the same techniques for continuity.
I love the way that Audrey peeps through the design on both sides.
The top of the tag is finished with some wired paper 'twine' which curls beautifully.
The letters are die cut from a piece of scrap card which has been painted and finished with crackle glaze plus a little antiquing cream to highlight the cracks.
The threshold images were transferred using the transfer paper shown - it's very much the same as carbon paper and comes in black and white. The matte medium (find similar here) was used to finish the image painting and a layer of Triple Thick glaze is applied and left to dry for 24 hours.
If you'd like to see more inspiration then please visit my teamies here and over on their blogs. An outright winner will receive a £10 voucher to spend at the Artist Trading Post who stock an endless array of goodies to tempt you. The challenge designer will choose their top three to appear on the blog. All winners can download our badge and pop it on their blog.

You have until January 7th 2015 to get your entries in - we're having a Christmas break!

Thanks so much for visiting and looking at what I've made. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have - just use the email contact point on the side bar.

I do hope your Christmas/Holidays preparations are going well!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Have Yourselves A Very Merry LITTLE Christmas At Our Creative Corner. . . . . . . . . . . .

Good morning everyone. Today sees a new  challenge starting at Our Creative Corner and our hugely talented host is Alison from Words and Pictures.

Alison would like you to make ATC's - or ATB's or Chunky ATC's with either a Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or other seasonal festive theme. Please check on the blog for the full details of the challenge.

I loved this challenge because I like working to this small size now. It's taken a bit of getting used to but it is fun and challenging to see what you can do in such a small space. My next goal should be to try an ATB or a chunky ATC but one step at a time!

As I'm going to be involved in an ATC swap, I thought it would be a good idea to make a small number of ATC's all along the same theme.

Here's what I made:

Four Christmas themed ATC's using non traditional colours!
Firstly, I made a background design using DecoArt Misters and a stencil on some card. Both background pieces were given a light coat of Media Fluid Acrylic in transparent yellow iron oxide after using the misters. (a must have colour in my opinion!).
Four ATC's were die cut - two from each background. They are glued to some chipboard atc's also die cut.
Each ATC was stamped using black archival ink on a Lynne Perrella festive stamp. One of the images was too large to fit the ATC so that was stamped onto spare card and cut out then applied to the ATC.
The 'Russian Doll' was stamped on scrap card and then painted before applying to the now crackled ATC background.
I didn't want to use traditional colours so opted for something more to my taste. I love this Transparent Yellow Oxide as you only need a thin coat to bring things alive.
A little touch of rusty wire and a tiny rusty bell to adorn the bottom edge.
A small Spellbinders snowflake as a headdress works fine for me! The snowflake was coloured using the same DecoArt Misters followed by more transparent yellow iron oxide.

The same lovely stamp but a different configuration for the snowflakes and more mister of one colour added.
Two snowflakes for the headdress this time.
More rusty wire and a little bell but twisted in a different way this time. Loving that crackle in the background.
The lighter background this time with another Lynne Perrella stamp and a Spellbinders snowflake which is predominately yellow. A little leftover flower crept onto this snowflake - I still have geraniums flowering in my garden so thought it'd be ok to add a little bloom here!
Love the word 'believe' on this stamp.
I had some hand coloured seam binding leftover from another project so it was pleated and added to the bottom of my ATC. Of course, some more rusty wire and a little bell!
This is my favourite stamp - I think it's that crown of Christmas trees that does it for me! 
I used the last little piece of my hand coloured seam binding here with a small twist of rusty wire.
Not sure what I'd do if I couldn't get any crackle glaze! I just love all the detail in this stamp.
More layered Spellbinders snowflakes with a good dose of transparent yellow oxide on the top flake!
All the products used for my series of ATC's.
I even remembered to stamp this onto card for the back of each one. The backs of any bits that stick out from the ATC's have been coloured with Krylon pen to avoid looking untidy. No date yet. . . . even I don't want to do Christmas this early!
I hope you enjoyed seeing how I made these small pieces of art. There's plenty more inspiration over at Our Creative Corner so why not click here and see what the rest of the DT has come up with - you won't be disappointed.

Our sponsor for the December challenge
Our sponsor this month is Tando Creative and if you are our lucky winner you will receive a prize from the lovely people there - another reason to enter! You might also be lucky enough to be chosen as the top three talent - it won't happen if you don't enter though! Don't forget that throughout the month some of the team will showcase products from Tando Creative - the first Sponsor Spotlight will be on the 4th December so remember to pop back and have a look.

Thank you so much for visiting today and having a look at my offerings.