Thursday 3 December 2015

Grungy Christmas!

Good morning all. It's my turn to host the latest challenge at Stamps & Stencils this month. Before I share my project I should like to say that this will by my last post for Stamps & Stencils. I'm moving on but I should like to say thank you to Sue and the rest of the team for the wonderful times I've experienced on the team. I've learnt a whole host of things from these talented women and I will certainly be back to join in with the challenges when time permits.

 I've chosen the obvious theme for December but with a bit of a twist:

Grungy Christmas!

'I love Christmas but I'm a little shy when it comes to the bling, glitter and tinsel bit. We'd like to see you step away from the normal Christmas colours and create a mixed media piece which has a real touch of grunge. Think alternative colours, layers, antiquing and all things which are not pristine red and green! Remember to add in some stamping or stencilling too!'

Here's what I've made for this theme:

Two grungy vintage style ornaments. Two bauble shapes are die cut from chipboard and distressed around the edges. Each shape is painted with fluid acrylics. A design is stencilled onto the paint using Versamark ink followed by gold embossing powder. This makes a good strong image and adds texture to the surface too. All paints and mediums used are by DecoArt.

After the stencilling, crackle glaze is applied. Once dry, sections of the crackle are highlighted with fluid acrylic.

Embellishments are made with a rust finish.

I used pieces from the Tando Creative kit in this image. All pieces are given a good coat of gesso after being assembled as required. The little half pearls are added before the gesso.

The rust method used sand texture paste, grey value 3, quinacridone gold and prussian blue fluid acrylics by DecoArt. The words are rub on letters used on card which is aged with Distress Ink.

The chipboard nuts and bolts are surprisingly realistic when given a rust treatment!

The hanging loop is made by attaching a jump ring to the back of the die cut.

I really like the way the addition of prussian blue makes the rust look more distressed.

Little runs of quinacridone paint are added to simulate the way rust runs and stains after years of exposure to the elements.

The half pearls look very convincing when all the layers are complete.

No step by step this time I'm afraid! This project was one of those times when you start creating and before you know it, nearly every stage is complete and no photos taken! I hope you like my grungy idea for Christmas ornaments though.

Please make sure you pop over to Stamps & Stencils to see the wonderful inspiration provided by the rest of the team. You will also get to meet our new team members too - please give them a warm welcome!

It's over to you now. Let's see how grungy you can make your Christmas project this year!

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Wish Upon A Star

Good morning everyone. December is finally here and the scary countdown begins - scary because I need to get started on all those preparations! It's time for a new challenge at Our Creative Corner and your host this month is the hugely creative Trish. Here's what she has to say:

'My challenge to you all this month is a very simple one...Stars! I have a passion for stars. Stars are incorporated into my email addresses, internet log ins, business name and even my tattoos :) I would love for you all to share your creations, full of stars! Star stamps, star die cuts, star embellishments, star shaped backgrounds, it's up to you! Use lots, or just the one, as long as there is a star somewhere, you're good to go! I can't wait to see all your wonderful creations!'

I don't seem to use stars that often. Not for any particular reason but it just dawned on me as I was deciding what to do for this theme! I dug out a star stencil and die cutter and used those as my starting pointing. Here's what I came with:

A star hanger made from a little canvas, some foam board and chipboard stars, modelling paste stars and lots of paint and mediums.

I cut the canvas in the centre and glued down the cut pieces on the reverse. A pencil is used to indicate where my die cut layered stars will go. Around these marks, modelling paste is used through a star stencil. Two metal eyelets are screwed into the top of the frame so that it can be hung using some jute string. From this point on I didn't take any more photos sorry - just got carried away I suppose!

This is how the canvas was fixed at the back. 

Three sizes of stars are die cut in both foam board and chipboard. The two materials are layered together for each size.

The frame is painted with Prussian Blue fluid acrylic including the stars. Everything is then dry brushed with gesso to lighten the colour. The stars are painted with an interference paint followed by crackle glaze. Silver metallic fluid acrylic is rubbed into the cracks. The end of a pen is used to stamp small circles on the canvas and some of the stars using the silver.

I like the effect of the silver in the crackle glaze and the way the interference paint really gleams like it's been enamelled.

The base and middle star have some muslin fabric attached before a good coat of gesso. Prussian blue mixed with silver metallic acrylic in varying amounts follows and then everything is dry brushed with gesso.

The top star is layered with a piece of embossed card which has a diamond design. It's then painted with gesso. A mixture of lots of silver with a little prussian blue is used to paint the top star. The raised sections are painted with interference paint followed by crackle glaze. When dry, the crackle is highlighted with silver paint.

The muslin takes the dry brushing really well and seems to give everything a frosty look.

The eyelets are also painted and dry brushed. The jute string is tied on between the eyelets. 

A final layer of dry brushing is done with the silver metallic paint. 

A star is cut and given a rusty look followed by a little dry brushing with gesso again. The texture is created by adding a layer of texture sand medium before the first gesso layer.

I hope you like my little star hanging. Make sure you pop over to Our Creative Corner and see the wonderful projects made by the rest of the Design Team for your inspiration. We have a very generous prize for this challenge donated by our sponsor: 

Click here to go and browse the wonderful products available at Tando Creative. Look out for Sponsor Spotlights during the month featuring products from our sponsor and made by members of the Design Team.

Over to you now. You can link up with us until the 28th December - can't wait to see what you create! Remember: you could win our sponsor prize in the random draw and you can't do that if  you don't enter! You may be one of top three winners or the challenge hosts' chosen winner and go on to be our Top Talent in January!

Thanks for joining me today and I do hope the coming weeks aren't too hectic for you!

Friday 27 November 2015


I'm a fan of making masterboards  and I noticed that PaperArtsy are running a two week challenge on this subject so I decided to join in and link up a project. I often have a look at what they're up to because they provide a wealth of inspiration. I really loved what Anneke did with her Gelli Plate prints so thought I'd try something similar!

I am addicted to my Gelli Plate and often run off batches at a time. This results in some which I love and other prints which I don't love but which I can't throw away! I went through my pile of somewhat unloved prints and chose one to work on for my masterboard.

Here's the print I chose which is made with fluid acrylics:

Three colours and a stencil were used for this Gelli Print.

Here's what I made with the final masterboard made from my Gelli Print:

In the following images you will see how I transformed my rather sad looking Gelli Print:
I applied some Guacamole using a plastic card in a very random fashion.

Using the same technique, I applied Lake Wanaka and Spanish Mulberry. Some areas were left uncovered so the print showed through.

Snowflake was a applied through a small stencil using cut n dry foam.

The same three colours were applied using the edge of the plastic card to make vertical and horizontal lines in a random design.

Acrylic Paint pens were used to add little dots here and there to add more depth to the design.

I die cut an ATC, a tag type shape and a tiny tag.

These were the scraps I had left once I'd die cut the shapes and punched a few tiny flowers for embellishments.

The main Lynne Perrella image is stamped in black archival and embossed with clear powder. Little punched flowers are shaped and given a tiny gem centre. The edges are inked.

The number and words in the corner are rub ons which work very well on top of the paints. In the background some blue script has been stamped using an image from Hot Pick 1501.

The numbers are rub ons from Tim Holtz. More acrylic paint pen dots and some black ones made using a journalling pen.

I love how the masterboard design shows through the gaps in the stamped headdress.

A little black gem had been add to the point where two lines intersect in the circle. I usually colour these for her cheeks and had to resist the urge to add another colour!

Tiny tag which could be used as part of a future project. Rub on letters are used for the word.

Crackle glaze has been applied to the backgroud and some Walnut Stain ink has been used to highlight some of the crackle. The edge of the tag is sponged with Little Black Dress paint.

An unusual tag shape is die cut and stamped with this image from Stage Lights Plate 3. The technique used for the stamping is the same as the ATC.

The stars are stencilled using Little Black Dress. The dots are journalled on afterwards.

The numbers are rub ons. The edge of the tag is sponged with Little Black Dress.

The figure is grounded by adding some shadow with an Inktense pencil (dry).

Again, I love how the background can be seen through gaps on the stamped image.

More rub ons are used for the numbers. Extra details are added using the journalling pen and the acrylic paint pens.

Thank you for wading through this post! I thoroughly enjoyed sitting playing just for me rather than for DT posts for a change! I need to try to do more of this but the time just disappears doesn't it? If you haven't seen the post at PaperArtsy, just click here - it really is worth a look!

Thursday 5 November 2015

Remember Remember. . . . .

Morning everyone. Today sees the start of a new challenge at Stamps & Stencils. Our host this month is the hugely creative Ruth and here's what she has to say:

'Remember, may be the 5th of November but for this challenge we want to see mixed media projects inspired by favourite memories.You may interpret this how you like as long as you include some stamping or stencilling.'

I could have chosen so many different things for this challenge - I love it! I decided to go down the memory lane route and use a photo of a favourite Auntie when she was very small in around 1929. The photo is a copy because I didn't want to use the original but the colour and definition are true to the real photo. Here's what I've made:

I've made a shadow box frame to display a photograph of a favourite Aunt. This is a copy of the 
original image which I preferred not to use. The colours and clarity are true to the original.

The box part of the frame was made from foam board. The top layer of the frame is made from chip board which is firstly layered with dried seeds and flower heads, all held down with matte medium.

The blank areas of the frame are stencilled with modelling paste followed by a layer of gesso to seal everything.

The frame is painted with fluid acrylics then dry brushed with various toning shades to define the texture.

The final dry brush coat is done with metallic gold fluid acrylic.
Dry brushing brings out all the texture in the frame background.
The little bee is made from cork clay using a silicone mould. Love how the insect is defined by the dry brushed gold metallic paint. 

The lovely photo is set into an aperture on a die cut which has been painted, stamped and powder embossed followed by a crackle glaze finish. The crown and little button are home made embellishments.

The little button is made from Fimo clay which has been given texture from a rubber stamp. The crown is made from cork clay which has been put into a silicone mould. Both embellishments are sealed with gesso then painted with gold fluid acrylic followed by antiquing cream. 

Detail image to show the antiquing.

A piece of embossed card is painted and dry brushed then glued to chipboard for rigidity. The die cut frame and photo are then applied.

Delicate crackle on the die cut which has been highlighted with paint in some areas. Love how the powder embossing below the crackle becomes an old gold, almost silver colour.

I loved making this piece so thank you Ruth for such a wonderful challenge. Now, it's your turn to come up with something and head over to Stamps & Stencils to link up with us. Just remember to add in some stamping, stencilling or both and you're away.