Sunday, 30 June 2013


Whilst browsing Pinterest one day recently, I came across some artwork that I really liked. Diffuse, mystical backgrounds, to which various elements had been added. I followed the links to see how it was done, and thus discovered Citrasolv art. It involved using a cleaning solvent (Citrasolv) to break up the inks in a printed picture, giving amazing effects!

Here's the Citrasolv website, where you'll find lots of info and examples.  

I couldn't wait to try it! The only problem was I didn't have any Citrasolv! It is, of course, an American product. Anyway, back in about 1995 while visiting the USA, I bought some stuff called Goo Gone. Like Citrasolv it is a citrus based cleaner, albeit made with petroleum distillates, which Citrasolv doesn't have. My American host was using some to get rid of the sticky mess left by labels when you try to get them off, and because at that time I had never found anything here which would do that easily, I bought some to bring home.
I didn't know whether Goo Gone would work in the same way as Citrasolv, but decided it was worth a try. I had about a third of the bottle left (been using it very sparingly!) First I tried it with an old magazine, but nothing happened. The inks didn't shift at all. Apparently many of the artists on the website use National Geographic mags, something to do with the type of ink and the fact that the photo pages are clay coated. So I scrounged a couple of old copies from my daughter.
They worked a treat! The Goo Gone produced some great papers, which I then scanned on the computer. Just wish I'd thought to scan the original photos too before I altered them, to compare. I'll remember next time! Since you'll never get the same result twice, it makes sense to scan your original altered pic, which you can then keep, and use a printed copy in your project. Once you've got your printed copy, you can then enhance it however you wish.

These are a few of the best results. 

And here's a card I made with the first one. I used my graphics programme to add the butterfly (one of my own photos) , and stamped the sentiment (by The Craft's Meow).

To the second paper I added a stamped fairy, some leaves hanging down from the top (both Lavinia Stamps) and some tiny butterflies (The Craft's Meow). I used a fine drawing pen to turn some of the blobs into flowers, and enhanced some of the elements, including the fairy's wings, with glitter glue.

Knowing I would want to do more, (and by then having only a few drops of my precious Goo Gone left!) I went online to see if I could get hold of some Citrasolv. Found it on Am*z*n, and ordered some forthwith. 

There's a very good YouTube video by Cathy Taylor, one of the artists profiled on the Citrasolv website. Once you find that one, which is a good one for the basic instructions, it will then lead you to others. 

I haven't yet had time to try it with the Citrasolv, but I have high hopes for it! And if it doesn''t work, at least I have a replacement for the Goo Gone! 

Saturday, 15 June 2013


The hedgerows and verges around here have been stunning this year. Masses of wild flowers and grasses stretching for miles. Cow parsley, buttercups, dandelions, comfrey, vetches, speedwells, bluebells, red campion and more. It was such a gorgeous day, one day last week as I was driving home from work, that I just had to keep stopping and taking photos.

I happened to look over the bridge over the river just in time to see a heron take off. (It's almost in the centre of the photo - you can see it better if you click on the pic to enlarge it.)

A sunset pic to finish off with!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

A great weekend

I went down to Nottingham last weekend to stay with Sally so we could go to Stamp Magic at the Doncaster Dome on Sunday. In other words, so I could get one of my twice yearly doses of crafty retail therapy! It began on Saturday with a little trip to Ik*a. Whilst there I noticed they were selling some lint rollers. Very cheap! On Pinterest I had seen a suggestion to use a lint roller to pick up all the fiddly little bits left in a die after you've been diecutting, so Sally & I both bought one, along with a pack of 4 refills. Suffice it to say, it didn't work! However, we now have enough roller tape each to keep our clothes free of bits until kingdom come!

Anyway, the serious shopping was on Sunday at Stamp Magic. Great show, as usual. Top of my list were some of the gorgeous new stamps from Inkylicious. I then left Sally doing a bit of demoing on the Inkylicious stand while I went for a wander round. I bought some stencils to use with my Gelli Plate, plus a few other bits and pieces, and watched Barbara Gray doing a great demo on the Gelli Plate. Haven't had chance to try what she was doing yet, but I have had a play with some of my new stamps.

One of my favourites from the new Inkylicious ones is called Poppy Lea. I like the way all the flowers except the poppies are solid, and just the poppies are open so that they can be coloured in. I happened to have some small pieces of watercolour paper already cut, so I stamped different sections of Poppy Lea on to each one and made a set of three cards.

 The backgrounds were coloured with Distress Stains, then Poppy Lea was overstamped with Versafine ink. The poppies were then coloured with Promarkers.  I stamped the first base card down one side with Delicate Vines, the second all over with Worn Paint, and the third with French Style Script across the centre. The Poppy Leas were then attached with foam pads, and each card finished with a simple sentiment. All stamps by Inkylicious.

On the way from the car park to the Dome, we came across this mother coot feeding her babies on the grass next to the lake, right by the path! They weren't a bit bothered by all the people walking past. Cute coots!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Summer Blooms

There can't be many people who don't like flowers, so I think our June Challenge at Stamping Sensations will be very popular! The theme is


We have a wonderful sponsor this month too - Heartfelt Creations, who have given us a gorgeous prize. Some lovely floral stamps and a set of matching dies.

I decided to make a tag for a change, and have chosen a Dutch Iris as my summer bloom. The matching stamp and die sets are by Heartfelt Creations. (They don't appear to be on their web site now, but there may be some shops which have them in stock still).

Irises were my late mother-in-law's favourite flowers. She had them in her garden in various colours, one of which was a gorgeous deep purply pink. For the background to my tag (which is from Inkylicious), I used a technique shown by Andy Skinner in a video on his blog. He calls it Alcohol Ink Floating Background. Very easy to do, and a lovely subtle marbled effect. I overstamped it with a Texture Fragment stamp and a Floral Edge stamp, both from Chocolate Baroque, and a text stamp by Stampin' Up. The little butterflies are also by Chocolate Baroque, and they and the iris were coloured with Derwent Inktense pencils (which I found at Dunelm Mill last week for half price - a bargain - and I love them!). Having sponged ink around the edges of the tag, I matted it on some green card and finished it off with a sentiment by Hobby Art, some ribbons and fibres and a bit of lace. 

My talented teamies have some bloomin' gorgeous samples for you this month! Do go over to the Challenge Blog and have a look at them, and then show us your summery projects. We can't wait to see them!
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