Thursday 23 January 2014

The Ombré Technique At Craft Stamper. . . . .

Hello everyone. I've been gone again for quite a while - sorry. Just settling in to our new home, having chimneys swept and not really having a crafting hat on for much of the time. I really don't like it when you want to play but the mind is blank and no amount of messing around produces anything that satisfies.

I decided to look around for some inspiration and thanks to a reminder on Facebook by Jenny, I went back to my Craft Stamper and flipped through until I found the article on the Ombre technique. I didn't have a clue what it was and then realised that this was probably something we've all done from time to time with our inks and paints. I just didn't know it had a name!

The latest challenge on the Craft Stamper blog asks you to produce a creation using the technique and this seemed to be the just the kick start I needed to get inky again.

I decided to get three distress colours out and some stamps and have a play. I wanted to make something useful so decided on a card - you don't see many of those here do you?!!

Here's my latest offering. Something a little different but so much fun to make (thanks Jenny!):

I chose three distress colours: barn door, spiced marmalade and mustard seed along with a much loved LP stamp and a sentiment stamp. Some die cutting, punching, dry embossing, stamping, water brush work and finally a little twisted wire (because I can't resist it!) and there you have my card. Oh, and of course, the Ombré technique!

I've used three different layers to work with: plain card, dry embossed card and canvas. Each layer displays the Ombré technique using the colours chosen. I so love the stamp used and I was pleased how well it worked over the coloured background.

I used parts of the stamped image to make little punched blossoms and used a water brush to bleach out the colour from the iconic LP cheeks. I used all three distress colours in turn for all the blossoms so they kept the technique going throughout the card.

The top layer of card was firstly inked in the manner described in the magazine then embossed in a folder for extra texture. The middle canvas layer was also coloured using the technique and some walnut stain distress was added to the edges.

Some card was again coloured with two of the shades, stamped to add extra detail using a combination of both inks on the stamp. When dry a label was cut and stamped with the sentiment in archival. Some brads coloured with alcohol ink finish the label.I used some foam pads to attach the label for extra dimension. You can also see the stamping on the bottom layer here - it's very subtle.

As you may have guessed, I stamped the image several times and then used various sections on my card. Here I have cut out the 'rose' image, used a ball tool on the back to add dimension and attached it in the appropriate place on the card.

In this image you can see how even the tiny flowers have been given dimension by using a ball tool on the reverse.

Some rusty wire was gently coiled and added to the card. I used the direction of the embossed pattern to determine where to put the wire.

I used most of the stamp image but did remove a little section at the top because it looked to fussy when cut out. This stamped strip was attached to the embossed card using foam pads for extra height.

So love those little faces peering out from the blossoms! Tiny black gems were used for the centres of the blossoms - bling's not my thing but I like these tiny ones for this purpose.

I really enjoyed this little make and the great thing is of course, I get to add another card to my rather small collection (I should make more!).

Thanks for having a look and not giving up on me completely! Two more projects are almost ready to go so perhaps you really WILL see more of me now. Hope you are all well and I look forward to trying to catch up with you.

Saturday 4 January 2014

Challenge 31 At Anything But A Card. . . . . . . . Balance.

Hello everyone. Hope your first week in 2014 is going well. It's time for a new challenge at Anything But A Card and this time the theme is based on the photograph below and one word:  Balance.

I had to think quite hard for this challenge! Eventually I decided to take the word Balance and use it in a fairly literal sense.  I could have used the colours, the shapes, the sea or a host of other starting points that this photo and the word conjure up. That's the wonderful thing about challenges at Anything But A Card - you can think as far outside the box as you like and as long as it's NOT a card and you reflect the theme in some way, then we are always thrilled to see what you come up with!

I couldn't get the image of something balancing out of my head so here's my little ATC which depicts balance as I see it:

I've used my favourite Oxford Impressions steampunk bird stamp and he's balancing on some 'rusty' machinery.
For the 'rusty' machinery, I used an old mirror fixing, two die cut card gears and a heart brad to secure them together. The rust was all achieved using DecoArt Traditions paints, their sand texture paste and some Andy Skinner Timeworn techniques.
An ATC was die cut and covered with part of a gelli plate print (made using DecoArt Americana and Traditions paints) then run through an embossing folder. To tone down the brightly coloured gelli print, some DecoArt Metallic Lustres were applied along with a little Treasure Gold to add a green tinge.
Both hat and bird are stamped with archival ink onto white card then cut out. The hat was embossed with clear powder, decorated with some rusty wire and the theme word added using a label maker.
I wanted to make the bird look as if he was balancing on his perch. The rusty wire is used to help secure the foot on the 'machinery'.
I decided to colour the bird in a bright colour to make him stand out yet still tone with a similar colour used in the background.

Hope you like my little bird. I'll have to try not to use him again on an ATC but I can't promise!
So what will you make? Need some more inspiration? Why not pop over to Anything But A Card and see what the first team have come up with and remember, the DT is split into three. That means that each of the following weekends will provide some further inspiration for you! Click here to see what my teamies have made for you. Can't wait to see what you make for this challenge. . . . . . . 

Wednesday 1 January 2014

No More Shopping Sins. . . . . . . . . . At Our Creative Corner

Hello Everyone and a very happy and healthy New Year to you all!
(I'm hoping that 2014 brings more good times to our family than perhaps some of us experienced in 2013.) 

A new challenge begins at Our Creative Corner today, hosted by the wonderfully talented Claudia. You are asked to search out supplies which you bought but have yet to use - we all have those little goodies hiding away somewhere don't we? We may be holding onto them because they are so precious or perhaps you bought something and then wondered what on earth to do with it!

This month we have a wonderful sponsor on board too for a randomly drawn entry. We are delighted to be able to offer a prize, kindly provided by Crafty Individuals! Not only is Claudia's challenge a great deal of fun but you get the chance to win a lovely Crafty Individuals treat just for entering. No brainer really isn't it?

Why not pop over to Our Creative Corner and see what my other teamies have come up with? I promise that you're in for a treat if you do. The best part is that you get to see all the design team's work now,  at the start of each month. A feast of inspiration for you all!

I had absolutely no problem fishing something out of my cupboard. I bought these flowers when I first started crafting with any regularity so they have been hanging around for nearly two years. They are very pretty but I have never found a way to combine them in my work - I prefer to make my own these days!

Delicate 'baby's breath' flowers which were just asking for a makeover!
Here's what I made to help show off my 'new look' flowers:

A beautiful sunny day took me outside to take my pictures. Some detail was lost in the shadows but you can see the details in the coming photographs.
The flowers were coated with acrylic wax followed by some rusting powder. This was left for a while then sprayed with vinegar and left to dry. So simple! The flowers were mounted on a painted scrap from my 'bits' box.
Some rusty wire was used to make springs and tiny rusty bells were attached to the ends.
I've had a number of rather battered bracelets for sometime now and decided to cut one and use it to finish the bottom of the tag. Some DecoArt Lustre was smoothed across the bracelet and buffed.
An oval shape was cut from card and coloured with distress ink. This beautiful Chapel Road stamp was then added using VersaFine ink. The edges of the oval were roughly embossed with gold powder.
The tag background was coloured with distress ink and then architectural and floral images were stamped using distress inks in various tones. The edges of the tag were shaded with Versafine ink. Embossed gold script was used randomly in the background of the tag.
A little rusting powder was used around the edges of the stamped oval too.
I still had a few of my leaves left so decided to use one to mount the oval on. Before using the leaf it was coated with some matte medium to help preserve it and prevent it crumbling.
The top of the tag is finished with some chunky jute and rusty wire.

I hope this inspires you to go and have a look over at Our Creative Corner to see the gorgeous pieces made by the other members of the team. It's over to you then to rummage through your craft stuff and find something that you've never used before in a project of your choice. Link up with us at Our Creative Corner and you may be the lucky winner of the Crafty Individuals prize; you may be chosen as one of our top three talents by Claudia and you could even be our 'top talent' next month! What are you waiting for? Can't wait to see what you come up with!