Sunday, 19 September 2010

More Lumiere leaves

As I said yesterday, I have been playing with the wild rose leaf in my image editing programme, changing the colours. Yesterday's cards were quite graphic, clean and simple, but today I felt the need for something more colourful! So for two of the cards I have used background papers from Crafty Individuals and for the third one, one of their Decorative Card Blanks. This time, unlike the ivy leaf card yesterday, I think the patterned papers work with the leaves, not against them. I guess it was just a matter of choosing the right ones. I considered adding some sort of text or sentiment, but decided in the end that none was needed. Which do I prefer, yesterday's or today's? Can't make my mind up! See what you think.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Leaves et Lumiere!

One of the things I did when I was decluttering was to go through the 10+ years' worth of magazines which were taking up so much space, taking out the pages I wanted to keep (putting them in ring binders) and giving away the rest. It took quite some time! Many of the magazines were Stampington publications: Somerset Studio, Take Ten, Stampers' Sampler, etc. In the September/October 2000 issue of Somerset Studio I had marked a project that I really liked the look of, intending one day to use it for inspiration. Well, I finally got round to it!

It was a beautiful framed picture by Leslie Altman. She had painted a gingko leaf with Lumiere paints and photocopied it against black paper. She had then overstamped the copy, matted it with various papers and mounted it into an ornate frame. I liked the way she had enhanced the leaf whilst still allowing its simple beauty to shine through.

No gingko trees in our garden, but I collected a few leaves and painted them with the Lumiere paints. When they were dry I tried scanning them against the black paper, but my scanner didn't pick up the colours very well, so I photographed them instead, with much better results. I printed out the pictures on to a matt photo quality inkjet paper, and then stamped over them with a text stamp (Stampin' Up) using Brilliance Galaxy Gold ink.

The first leaf, an ivy, was painted with turquoise and purple Lumiere paints (although the turquoise has come out more green in the photo) so I used some purple patterned paper to pick up the tones in the leaf, along with some black paper stamped with a Stampington flourish in gold Brilliance ink. However, when it was finished I decided I didn't like it. The background papers seemed to be competing with the leaf for attention. (Leslie's didn't! Maybe I just used the wrong papers. I'd love to put a copy of Leslie's original here, but I don't think copyright will allow it.) Anyway, I kept the next ones clean and simple.

In these three cards the leaves are clearly the focal point, with just a little subtle stamping to complement them, and I think they are much better. The leaf stamps are all by Starving Artistamps, except for the oak leaf, which is from an old foam mounted set for which I long ago lost the labels, unfortunately. The little "Autumn" stamp is by Hero Arts, and the sentiments are Personal Impressions. Here's a closer look at each of them. Click on the photos to get the big picture and see the detail better!


Wild rose.

Herb Robert.

So, thanks for looking. What do you think? Are the simple ones better? My favourite is the wild rose. When I had got the photo on the computer I played around with it a bit, changing the colours. I'll post the pics of those when I've made the cards!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Cards for men

I struggle a bit with cards for men. I send fewer cards to men than I do to women, so I don't have many male-oriented stamps. Can't justify buying a stamp that I might only use a few times, and I don't feel, really, that I can use the same one each year, even though the recipient probably wouldn't remember it from one year to the next! Though I suppose they might if they got it EVERY year!

However, I couldn't resist some lovely stamps from Innovative Stamp Creations which I think are equally suitable for men or women. Both images are striking enough not to need much in the way of background or embellishments, so I kept those to a minimum.

The boat scene (the stamp is entitled "On The Shore") is coloured with watercolour pencils, and attached to the card with foam pads. The mesh, shells and starfish are all very old stash. I knew I'd find a use for them one day! The text is computer generated, printed on to acetate and sponged with alcohol inks.

The next one, called "Picturesque", reminds me of various beaches I have visited, and I think it's going to become one of my favourite images. I coloured it with Promarkers and mounted it over a background which was embossed with a Cuttlebug folder and inked with Versamagic inks.. Again, computer generated text  and another very old starfish embellishment, with a recycled bit of string separated into its component strands to tie it all together. I'm feeling really good about getting some old stash used!

As well as the two stamps I've used in these cards, I also bought a new ISC set called "Mini Ledger", which I think is going to be very versatile, though I haven't made anything with it yet....

Innovative Stamp Creations is owned and run by the very talented Betsy Griffin, who calls her design team the Creative Architects Group. They all have many samples, using ISC stamps, on their blogs, links to which can be found here, as does Betsy on her blog. All worth a look. (FTR, I have no connection with ISC, other than that I like the stamps!)

Monday, 6 September 2010


What a day! On Friday we decided to have a last day out before I go back to school this week, and as we were heading up the motorway on the way to Robin Hood's Bay I got a text from Sally. It said "You've won the Cuttlebug from the Once Upon A Stamp Design Team Blog!" Well, I had to read it about six times before it sank in. Then I thought, no, it can't be me. Must be a different Lynne K. So I rang Sally, and she said "It's true! No other Lynne K entered the competition. I checked." Woo hoo!!! Now this sort of thing never happens to me, at least it never has until now. I've won the odd raffle prize occasionally, and even 2 sets of  Elusive Images stamps, which was fantastic, but never anything like this. To say I was excited would be like saying the Titanic had a little prang with an iceberg - ie. understatement of the year! How I managed to contain myself for the rest of the day, I'll never know.

We had a lovely time at RHB. The weather was beautiful. We had fish'n'chips, a stroll along the beach, looked in the rock pools, found a few fossils, and enjoyed the fresh sea air.

Then we called on my sister-in-law who lives near Whitby. Home via the North York Moors with all the heather out. It was quite late when we got back, but I had to get the laptop out & see for myself - yes, it was true! I had won the Cuttlebug, along with the new "No More Shims" mat! First thing on Saturday morning I phoned Once Upon A Stamp, as requested, and arranged that, since I'm only half an hour from the shop, I could go up and collect it. Sally came with me.

I'd heard about the No More Shims Embossing Mat, but didn't know all that it can do. It was invented by Gordon himself, and he kindly gave us a demo of its capabilities. I am highly impressed with it. Not only can you emboss through the CB without having to faff about with fiddly extra bits of card (and you get a better result), you can also emboss found objects as long as they are no thicker than a 10p piece. Magic! I tried some real leaves and they came out beautifully. So I made a gift bag to put them on.

The bag is made from an envelope, and it's very quick and easy to do. See the video by Lisa Spangler on the Hero Arts website. The definition on the leaves is amazing. All the veins stand out, even the tiny ones. (Click to get the big picture and see them!) Having embossed them onto plain photocopying paper, as Gordon suggested, I cut them out and then sponged over them with various colours of pigment inks. I thought that doing so might squash them, being on thin paper, but the detail held very well. Then I matted them on to coloured card. The bag is stamped with Hero Arts stamps.

Next I tried embossing some mulberry paper which has a raised embossed pattern on it. Again, it worked really well. I decided to use the one with the flowery pattern and made a card with it, having coloured it with pigment inks to make the detail stand out.

I kept the card simple so as not to hide the background, and just added a Crafty Individuals picture, a flourish (a Marianne Design die) and a Nestabilities label. (Sentiment - Papermania, tiny flower - Rubber Stamp Tapestry).
I've been a big fan of the Cuttlebug for a long time and wouldn't be without it, but have always wondered why they couldn't come up with something better than fiddly bits of card for embossing. Well, Gordon certainly has - and it's brilliant!

I want to say a HUGE thank you to Gordon, Robert and all the team at Once Upon A Stamp for such a wonderfully generous prize. Oh, and it all came in a fab tote bag, also part of the prize. While I was at the shop I bought a Scor-Pal ......... but that's another story!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Parks and Gardens

This week's challenge at Allsorts is called "Park Inspiration", and they want our entries to be inspired by gardens or parks. There's a £10 voucher to be won to spend at One Stop Card Crafts! Well, of course, parks and gardens say "nature" to me, and since that's my favourite theme it was no hardship to come up with a card to fit.

Having recently treated myself to the Katzelcraft "Nature & Travel Quotes" set by Isabelle Norris, this was the perfect opportunity to use some of them. The background was stamped with Versamark and clear embossed, to act as a resist, and I coloured over the stamping with various pigment inks. Then the embossing was removed by covering it with kitchen paper and ironing over it with a hot iron.

The sentiment is an Aspects of Design stamp from The Stampman. (Such a pity they had to spell "marvellous" the American way.) It's from a sheet called (IIRC) "Rambling", but I can't find it on their website now. I bought it at a low sale price some time ago, so I'm wondering whether it's now no longer available.

The butterfly, from the gorgeous "Patchwork Butterfly" sheet by Elusive Images, is coloured with Promarkers and has a touch of Diamond Glaze on the flowers and body, although it's hard to see that in the photo.
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