Sunday, 29 September 2013

J is for...Craft Barn Challenge

In my world, J is for the green-eyed god: Jealousy, Jade and Jewels. 

I got out my melt pot, and made some jewels with various colours of UTEE.  I think I made a fairly muddy fire opal, a piece of dark jade and maybe a ruby or a garnet...  I did discover that a tiny pot of Cosmic Shimmer embossing powder with glitter in it is GORGEOUS, and I wish I had a bigger pot!

I reverted to my standard card, Centura Pearl and stamped two eyes, not a pair!  They have been coloured with watercolour pencils, making the eyes really green. 

The background was done with wax watercolour crayons, and a waterbrush.

When the Jewels were cool, I glued them to the background, and created my tag in the usual way, and glued on the definitions.  The ribbon or yarn is a fantastic yarn I bought back along, and is not yet calling to me with any particular pattern!

Hope you like!


Ink and Paint
Archival Ink: Watering Can
Pentel Arts Aquash wax crayons
Faber Castell Colour Grip watercolour pencils

Stampers Anonymous: Classics #5 SCF005

Bling and other stuff
UTEE - Mixture of Cosmic Shimmer and Ranger Clear
Crafty Notions Jewel Tones: Ruby Red
Cosmic Shimmers: Lapis Black Aurora, Bright Gold, Silver Shine, Tropic Pearl, Steel Blue Aurora
Best Flexible Molds: Caboshapes1 (PJ038)
Karantha mold: Square Pyramid, Cabochon

Eynsham Hall with Linda Knight

Last weekend I was in glorious Oxfordshire, getting messy with Linda from Just Scrapbooking.  Another fantastic weekend of tips and techniques and new tools.  Now, when's the next one...?!

Don't think I could possibly go through all the different things we did, so I am only (hah! ONLY!) posting the photos of end results.  As any regular reader of this blog will know, my family is not a great photographing family, old ones are few and far between, so I tend to use either Clark Gable or some random copyright free photos.    

Paris: Watercolour paper (lovely and heavy) with watercolour pigments, then 'scraped through' with a credit card (or similar!).  The Montage chip had the watercolour pigments dabbed on.  All sprayed with cosmic shimmers for bling.

Talk Talk - Using a face mask (!) I cut loads of faces out in positive, and used one of the negatives.  I LOVE the song Talk Talk, so I wrote the words out for a few lines on ripped book pages.  The black stuff on the frame is called 'webbing' and it's magical!!

Having started on a song theme, I went for Wuthering Heights for this romantic copyright free photo.  The background is a feather stamp with acrylic wax.  When completely dry, swooshed over with acrylic paint.  I was just about to go for tea, when I found the magpie feather outside, and it just had to be added. 

When I was little (I was once), I lived in Newcastle.  I still think of it as home, and the song 'The Fog on The Tyne' brings all sorts of memories for me.  Thanks to whoever posted the photo, as I found it online, and it is perfect!  I also used the record label to partially frame it.  The key thing here is tho, the pink and grey background.  It's on something called YUPO paper, which is really plastic-y.  It works really well with watercolour pigments. 



Limelight: Clark (my hero) shows what happens when you use watercolours over photos - and book pages.  Linda also made us rip our photos - that's quite liberating too!  More use of the credit card to apply the grid lines in gesso.

Me and Mum - This one is INCREDIBLY heavy.  Acrylic paint mixed with heavy gel.  I wanted to pull the colours from the curtains in the photo out, hence the orange and blue.  I flicked (a la Pollock) some cream over the top, using an old toothbrush.  Then added a frame in the orange for the colour photo.  I fussy cut a black and white version of the same photo.  With hindsight, it needed more highlight to make it pop, but as I keep saying, it's all about the technique...

Last but not least, finally, I did some beeswax stuff - might even start to use my own... Background is Gelli plate printed, using some of my fave Prussian Blue with some Stewart Gill Alchemy (metallic shimmer) as well, on a pale grey card.  I rolled up the torn book pages, and dipped them in beeswax.  The butterflies were stamped on book pages, coloured with Inktense, and dipped.  The flowers are plain white Prima flowers, absolutely soaked with water, with a tiny touch of watercolour pigment touched to the edges.  Remember doing chromatograms in general science with Miss Floyd?  Mmmm smarties...same effect!!
Hope you like!


Sunday, 22 September 2013

G is for... Craft Barn Challenge

Well, THIS one certainly fits with the 'bright shiny sparkly' name.  This fortnight's letter from the Craft Barn Challenge is G.  G is obviously for Glitter (and/or Glister, if you are feeling a tad archaic) and for Globe, with a smattering of Gold and Green for good measure!!

I'd been meaning to use my double sided sticky sheets with the acetate for a while, and here is the perfect excuse.  I cut a circle out of the backing paper, the wax paper layer, taking care not to cut all the way through the sticky layer.  

Then I created my world (at this point, I felt a bit like Slartibartfast, only without the fjords...).  As I was born in a sunnier clime, I decided to do the 'other side', so carved a slightly odd looking Oceania, I think!  You have the former USSR, China, India, Bangladesh etc etc etc, a VERY odd Australia, the Arabian Peninsula (that's my bit) and the start of Africa.  The Med also shows, and the North and South Pole.  Apologies to all for the wonkiness of the countries. I gave up Geography in favour of German for O'level...

By carving through the backing paper carefully, it is possible to peel off the bits that need to be blue, and cover them in blue Glitter.  When all the glue is covered, then the next piece of backing gets peeled away, and green Glitter comes out and so on.

When it's all done, then the acetate goes on, to stop the shedding. 

For the first time in this challenge, my substrate is NOT Centura Pearl!  I was away from home, so used a piece of oil paint paper, which has a lovely texture.  It's been painted in my favourite Prussian Blue, and then (of course) some more glitter paint, to represent the Galaxy (Darn!  Forgot that definition!!  Missed opportunity!)

The tag, which has the definitions on, has been slid in between the base page, and the oil paint paper, has the usual wooden G stuck on, and some gorgeous sari silk in (wait for it) green and gold!

Hope you like!


Paint and Ink
DecoArt Traditions: Prussian Blue Hue
Stewart Gill Alchemy: Sea Spray

Bling and other stuff
Martha Stewart Glitter: Various shades
Wooden letter, sari silk from stash

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

In the garden - Tando Creative

Hi all.  This week's challenge is 'In the garden'.  In my head, I saw my Mum out in the garden cutting dahlias for the chapel flowers, with an old fashioned, and indeed OLD trug.  So I started off with the 3d basket, and set to, to make it look old!

I ran all the pieces through the big shot with the Harlequin mask.  Several layers of paint later, I used the harlequin mask again and some distress ink, to really knock it back.  I forgot to take a final photo of the replacing of the mask, and the reinking - but you will see it at the end.

Then I die cut a few flowers.  More than a few actually!  I layered them up and created stems out of florist's wire, and glued some card candy over the middle, to hide where the wire went in.

All the flowers were planted into oasis, which I covered with tissue paper sprayed green. Doesn't oasis feel odd? Not sure I like it...  I had also Crop-o-dile'd a few holes through the side walls, and pressed some prima flowers through.

I stamped and embossed in gold a massive butterfly, and then painted it in Twinkling H2Os on the front.  On the back, it got a coating of Alchemy paint, to give that shimmer you see when a butterfly closes its wings.  The finishing touch was a small piece of board painted up, and then stencilled with the leaf mask, and then stamped with 'Time to Garden'.  I had two spare clock hands from somewhere, painted up in the same sort of colours as the trug and the plaque.

And now I have a reminder of my Mum's green fingers!  Wish I had inherited them!!


Now you can see the reinking, where I replaced the mask.  This shot is from the side...

...and here's the butterfly in all his glory, from above.

I've really enjoyed my month as Guest Designer for Tando.  Such a great variety of blanks, and they take paint so well.  Hope you've liked what I have done with their stuff!


Substrate: Tando Creative 3D Basket (3DBASKHAND)

Dies and Stamps
Sizzix Big Shot Pro
Sizzix: Flower, Build a flower#3 655969
Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations:  Tattered Florals 656640, Mini Tattered Florals (Movers and Shapers) 657488, Base Tray 657007
Artemio Alpha stamps ARTA61
Stampin' Up!: Swallowtail

Paint and Ink
PaperArtsy: Nougat (my absolute favourite colour!)
IndigoBlu: Hot Cocoa, Peppermint Tea
Stewart Gill Alchemy: White Hot
Dylusions: Fresh Lime, Black Marble
Distress Ink: Evergreen Bough, Walnut Stain
Distress Stain: Evergreen Bough, Black soot
Archival Ink: Watering Can

Bling and other stuff
Twinkling H2Os: Plum Crazy, Red Pearl, Poppy Red, Persimmon
Stampendous Embossing Powder: Detail gold
Card Candy
Tando Creative Masks: Leaves set of 2 (MSKLEAVES2), Harlequin (MSKHRLQUIN)
Prima flowers, eyelets, brads, beads, oasis, florists wires, all from stash

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Larger Than Life - Tando Creative

The only guidance for this week's challenge for the Tando Creative blog was bigger pieces rather than minis.  Well, this take on a dream catcher measures 30" from top to bottom!  Biggest thing I have ever done!

I started with 3 sheets of 12x12 Tando chipboard, and two metal rings, 12" and 7" diameter.  I used a couple of different star dies to cut the stars out of the card, and then painted them up to give them a good base coat.

Then I blinged them up, with mica (what else?!) and when that was dry, I used a star mask, with translucent embossing paste.  When that dries, it is amazing the effect it has on the paint and mica below.  It pulls the mica up into itself, and holds it in suspension, almost.

(the difference between the embossing paste when it's wet (white in the picture above) and dry - clear in the picture on the left is amazing!)

I had this silver furry ribbon in my stash, along with the beaded wire.  I glued the stars together, trapping the silver 'fur' in between the two layers, and then wound the excess round the rings.

I then wound the beaded wire over the top of the fur, which will hold the tinsel in place, and also used it to create a hanging loop at the top.

The smaller stars hanging from the bottom had the same treatment, but with slightly different colours.  When dry, they were glued together, trapping the end of the tinsel in between.

One (large) post-modern dream catcher!  (or a Christmas decoration, perhaps)

Hope you like!


Tando Creative chipboard sheets
Metal rings

Sizzix Originals: Stars#2 654995
Sizzix Alterations Bigz: Star Bright 3D 658265
Sizzix Big Shot Pro

Paint and ink
IndigoBlu English Cottage Acrylic paint: Grandma's Teacup, Park Lane
Adirondack Paint Dabber: Silver

Bling and Other Stuff
Crafters Workshop Mask: 12x12 Punchinella
Dreamweavers embossing paste: Translucent
Luminarte Primary Elements: Majestic, Wisteria
Cosmic Shimmers Mica pigments: Silver
Perfect Pearls Mist: Interference Red

Free for all - Tando Creative

Hi all!  This week's topic was 'Free for all'. This made me think of 'free time' and I do love doing a clock!  The first time I 'noticed' Tando was on an Andy Skinner workshop, where we did a box, with cogs and things, then the next time was a clock.  I now have 3 Tando clocks around the house!

I started this time with a 12 x 12 sheet of board from Tando, and I pinched a mechanism out of one of my other clock kits, sat in the cupboard.  I had a bag of Tando cogs, and several cog dies.  I also used the large circular clock face.  I had in mind Andy's rust technique, but more blingy.

I sealed both sides of the board with matte medium, and punched a hole in the centre of the board with my crop-o-dile.  I cut several cogs and glued them down on the board, and some webby stuff from my stash, and used a clock face mask with modelling paste.  I then painted the lot with lamp black, three coats, to give it a good base.  When it was dry, I gave it two washes (allowing it to dry in between coats). 

 Then I got my new Stewart Gill paints out!  These are billed as jewel tones, and oh yes!  They are. The colours mix really well, and there are also some amazing iridescent mixers too.  I completely forgot to take a picture while I was painting, so this one is from when it was assembled (whoops).

I painted the clock face in shades of green and gold; I was thinking verdigris, but heavy on the gold.

The Tando cogs I painted separately, that is, straight in with the jewel paints.  The photographs really don't do it justice - the shimmer is amazing!

I wanted to add 'weights', so broke out the beads!  I cut some chain down, and created some embellishments using beads, and some more of the cogs, glued together.  I also had some nice time themed metal embellishments, which got rubbed with alcohol ink, to tie them in to the colour scheme.

Then I came to assemble to the clock - and realised (again - I did exactly the same thing last time!) that the mechanism needs two layers of board, not just one!  So, one of the spare circles I had over in my stash went through the big shot, to create another cog.

It got a similar treatment to the clock face, but with some embossing powder to give it a pitted look. 

The hands got alcohol inked, so they would stand out against the face - if I had left them black, I'd have never been able to read the time!

This has definitely been the most involved piece I have done to date.  Plenty of layers of paint, and then making all the bead drops for the weights! 

I finished the back off , swooshing around the edges with black paint, and then with a sheet of black card - using the big shot pro (ooh, new toy!) to cut a cog out of the centre, so I could put the mechanism through the central hole.

Now FOUR Tando clocks around the house....

Hope you like - I really do!


Tando Creative:    12x12board, 12" round clock face, Cogs grab bag,

Paint and Ink
Stewart Gill Byzantia: Laurelius, Constantine, Seraphym
Stewart Gill Galactica: Holo Silver
Stewart Gill Alchemy: White Opal, White Mist,
Stewart Gill Meta Mica: Bright Gold
DecoArt Americana: Lamp Black
DecoArt Traditions: Transparent Red Iron Oxide, Quinacridone Gold

Spellbinders: Sprightly Sprockets S5-048
Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations: Mini gears set 657211, Gadget Gears 656636

Bling and glitz
Chain, beads, wire from stash
Embellishments from stash
Web ribbon stuff (!) from stash
DecoArt Modelling paste
Tando Creative Clock face mask
Claudine Helmuth Matte medium