Sunday 23 March 2014

In The Spotlight At Anything But A Card. . . . . Plus My Mini Challenge To You

Hello everyone from a beautiful sunny morning in Yorkshire - I'm visiting friends this weekend.

Today at Anything But A Card it's my turn to be in the spotlight and tell you a little more about myself. I've made two projects for you to see including one which is my mini challenge to you. I do hope you'll find time to join in!

Here's two sneak peeks for you and I love it if you popped over to  Anything But A Card for more details.

Crackled toes - one of my favourite things!
Stencils, die cuts, shimmer spray, paint and modelling paste - yes please!

Thanks for visiting today. Please do jump over to Anything But A Card and have a quick look. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I hope it's sunny where you are too.

Thursday 6 March 2014

Playing With DecoArt Metallic Lustres. . . .

 Hello everyone, I hope your week is going well. I have been playing with DecoArt Metallic Lustres again. If you missed my first post in this series, please click HERE.

Having tried the lustres mixed with water in a mister, I decided to see if they would behave as other water based products do when using a stencil and a baby wipe.

I came up with some results which I really like and they are now ready to be used as tag backgrounds for future projects:

The tag on the left has been misted with the Lustre mixture and also has some extra layers which I will explain later.  The tag on the right is just DecoArt Metallic Lustre in black shimmer.
Mix the Metallic Lustre with some water in a mister - shake vigorously to ensure the Lustre dissolves. (I had no problem with the mixture blocking the mister when I went back to it the next day.) I have misted onto either white card or gessoed card but you could paint first and add various layers before misting the lustre on your project.
Allow the misted tag to dry thoroughly. Place chosen stencil onto tag and using a baby wipe, remove the lustre as desired. If you rub too hard it will lift the surface of the paper so beware!
Close up image for detail.

Paint a tag with two or more layers of DecoArt gesso to seal the surface. Apply DecoArt modelling paste through a stencil with a palette knife. Allow to dry. Mist with lustre spray and dry. Remove areas of lustre using a stencil and baby wipe as before. Add some shading as required using coloured pencils. Spot the mistake in this image (I forgot to put the correct tub of lustre in - it should show the colour iced espresso!).

Detail image to show pencil used on top of modelling paste - it can be used wherever needed.

To start building layers, paint a thin layer of DecoArt paint onto the craft sheet. Tape the stamp lightly into the paint several times then apply as required on the tag. Wash your stamp immediately to remove paint. At this point you can continue with as many layers as you wish but just remember that the lustre mist will react with wet products even after it has dried. If you want to avoid this, I suggest you spray it with a thin layer of sealant such as DecoArt Americana spray finisher/sealer. When dry, you can then continue your layers.
Detail image to show stamped paint.

For a further layer, you could stencil paint onto your design as shown.

The same stencil was used for both the modelling paste and the paint.
A mister, a stencil and a baby wipe remember. Love how you can get an idea of the shimmer here. Great for a single layer project perhaps.
This image gives you some idea of the level of shine you can expect to achieve. 

Here are two tags which I've started work on and which need more work but they give you an idea of where you can go with this technique.
 The tag on the left uses the method shown above. The one on the right had some acrylic paint added to the metallic lustre in the mister. I used it through a stencil and really like the effect. However, I left the mixture in the mister until the next day and found it had blocked. I would suggest washing out the mister if paint is added to the mixture!

Two different stencils were used here followed by some randomly applied translucent Traditions paint.

 The image was stamped straight onto the background for this tag.

The image was stamped on another piece of card for this tag. Archival ink was used followed by DecoArt translucent Traditions paint.

Hope this gives you some further ideas for using the product. Thanks for looking and if you have time, let me know what you think.

Sunday 2 March 2014

Sparkle At Anything But A Card. . . . . .

Hello everyone. Today sees a new challenge at Anything But A Card with the theme Sparkle. How you interpret that theme is entirely up to you. What you make is again your choice but don't forget: NO CARDS please! Remember that our DT is split into teams and you can get inspiration for this challenge throughout the month and a quick click HERE will take you to the work done by the first team.

For me, Sparkle was quite a difficult concept to work with! I like shimmer, shine and the odd touch of bling now and then but glitter and stickles don't sit very well with my style. Nothing against them at all but I'm a sparkle novice and feel totally out of my depth here!

That said, I'm not one to give up and one question kept going through my mind: 'Do you sparkle?'. I decided to base my piece on that. Not sure if I ever sparkle these days but a good dose of shimmer goes a long way to achieving the cause!

I have played with DecoArt Metallic Lustre on my tag today and I love the subtle level of sparkle/shimmer it provides. Be warned: there are quite a few pictures to scroll through here!!

My tag which really does shimmer and almost sparkle - I promise!!

A tag shape was cut from mountboard, partially folder embossed and coated with a thick layer of DecoArt gesso.
Three DeoArt Traditions colours were used to cover the tag.

I followed a technique discovered by Andy Skinner: DecoArt Metallic Lustres can be used as a shimmer spray when mixed with water in a mister. the result is as light or as heavy as you wish. I added a large amount of the lustre to my mister for extra cover.

A second colour was added to lighten the effect. Such a shame that the sparkle/shimmer doesn't show up very well in photos!!

Here the lustre is till wet and I think you can begin to see it's sparkle and shine. If it's too heavy you can wipe some off which is exactly what a did with a baby wipe.
Perhaps the angle of this photo gives you a better idea of the incredible shimmer and sparkle obtained by using this product.

I made a label for my question and roughed it up and added ink.

I have been playing with these Tando flowers for another project and couldn't resist using one on this tag. I love the combination of colours and I believe that flowers do sparkle - even on a damp day in Suffolk! They always make me smile anyway and lift a low mood with one glance.
The chipboard flower is folder embossed, covered with DecoArt gesso followed by various DecoArt paints to achieve a graduated colour effect (or ombre).

To finish the flower, I added a coat of DecoArt Triple Thick glaze to add extra sparkle. You may notice that some raw umber was swiped over the flower then wiped off with a baby wipe first to add depth.
The flower centre is one of my Fimo makes - a small flat button shape which has been given interest by pushing a rubber stamp into the clay whilst still wet. Some DecoArt carbon black Traditions followed by a rub of their Metallic lustre finished the look.

Behind the flower and embossed strips, you will see a combination of stencilled carbon black and embossed stamping. This was all added to give extra interest to this section.

Detailed view of the embossed stamping and below that the stencilling. You may also notice that some of the raised areas appear to have a dark shadow on them - I achieved this by shading with a charcoal pencil and then rubbing it in with a finger. I think the effect is subtle but just adds more depth to the piece - oh, and I never know when to stop!!
 A rusty wire hanging loop was added to the top of the tag.

Another of my Fimo makes, made using the same technique as described earlier. My little 'nod' to sparkle is not very clear here but there is a clear, tiny gem towards the bottom right of the heart!
Now it's your turn to show us what you interpret as 'Sparkle' on Anything But A Card! Can't wait to see what you come up with - hoping that one of you will help me with my 'sparkly' aversion!!

Saturday 1 March 2014

Let's Get Scrappy At Our Creative Corner

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend. It's time for a new challenge at Our Creative Corner today. Our host for March is the lovely Linda aka The Funky Junky. Linda has set us the challenge to 'use your scraps and leftovers from previous projects, pieces of paper, scraps of ribbon, embellishments made and never used'. I'm very guilty of keeping all manner of scraps thinking they may come in use at sometime. The box is very full now and I think they will need a bigger home soon!

 This month we are pleased to announce that one randomly drawn entrant will win a prize from our generous sponsor Tando Creative.

Here's the scraps I collected from my box to choose from for my make:

Most are leftover pieces from other projects or extras made but not used. I wasn't intending to squeeze all  of them into one project but I wanted plenty to choose from. I'll show an image at the end with the leftover 'leftovers'!

Over at Our Creative Corner you can find further details and gets lots of inspiration from the wonderful work shown by the rest of the team. Just click HERE and you'll be in for a real treat!

So, without further ado, here's the tag I made using my scraps:

My very pink and feminine tag - I can do other things besides rust! (there is still rust though, for the eagle eyed amongst you!)

The brown script covered tag topper was embossed, inked with archival, randomly rubbed with DecoArt Metallic Lustre then crackled with DecoArt Perfect Crackle. The gold crackled accent was originally a die cut scrap from my box. It looks better for some EP embossing powder and Perfect crackle. The kraft card tag topper was also inked then covered with DecoArt Triple Thick Glaze.
The back of the tag was inked with distress then stamped with archival using a large vintage style floral image. Before the ink dried it was covered with EP and heated for a crystalline look.

I used a metal fixing to hang the tag. I thought you may like to see what the 'naked' version looks like before rusting with various DecoArt Traditions paints and mediums.

I used all my leftover floral pieces for this bloom. I had to enhance their colour with extra distress ink and a good dose of spritzed shimmer spray. They are held together with a distressed brad.

Some pieces of die cut diamond shaped script were added to the background before inking. The words are chit-chat stickers put on card and inked. The green and pink spotty die cut is part of an accent which sits very nicely at the bottom of the tag. The original colours have been enhanced with further inking. 

A leftover fimo heart (I made quite a few of these!) is used with some rusty wire coils. The colours were left in their original state. The heart had previously been painted and lustred after baking to dry.
The fabric die cut leaves were given a little extra paint for definition - I love how these turned out!
You can also see one of the two parts of a die cut flourish used from the original picture. They had previously been embossed with EP in aged gold.
Image shows rusty wire detail.

A vintage digital image was printed on card. Prior to use, I added some extra distress ink to age it and roughed up the edges a little. I like that these old images are not crisply printed - adds to their charm.
The die cut flourish at the top was rather crumpled from my box but a quick coat of aged gold EP improved the look (and stability!) of the piece.

Here's what I had leftover. A white card label is missing because I tried to make a word banner from it but it went very wrong and was binned. The green painted fabric used for the leaves only left a small corner which is re-useable. These pieces will go back in the box for another day.

Thank you Linda for a wonderful challenge! It was great fun to to use these items for a new creation - even if there's still loads of scraps left in my box!
You must click here to get to Our Creative Corner and see what those hugely talented teamies of mine have been up to. Big congratulations too for both Claudia and Jenny for their wonderful work with Craft Stamper.
Now to sit back and wait to see what you come up. . . . . . . .
Thanks for taking the time to visit and enjoy your weekend! x