Sunday, 29 May 2016

Bits And Pieces

Just some recent projects, starting with a few cards for friends and family.

Stamps: Altenew & Inkylicious. Stencil: Crafters Workshop.

Stamps: Altenew, Crafty Individuals & Inkylicious. Stencil: Crafters Workshop.

Stamps: Lavinia Stamps & The Craft's Meow (sentiment)

 Stamps: Inkylicious & Lavinia Stamps.

And  few DT makes for Be Creative, using their stunning new embossing crystals.

Butterfly stamp on notebook: Hero Arts. Butterfly diecut on tealight holder: Frantic Stamper. Background papers: Be Creative.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

A Blank Canvas!

Our current series of mid-month posts at Stamping Sensations is showcasing various techniques. Each DT member will choose either a favourite technique or one they haven't tried before. This month it's my turn, and I've gone for the latter. I've always wanted to try a mixed media canvas but haven't done so before now because I didn't know where to start. I decided this was the time to have a go!

Step 1 was to sit with the blank canvas (7" x 5") in front of me and stare at it, hoping for inspiration to strike! This took quite some time!

Eventually I decided on a nature theme, and Step 2 was to add some texture using a stencil (by Crafty Individuals) and relief paste (Colourcraft). I took the photo before the paste had dried. By the time it did so, it had sunk into the canvas a bit, and didn't stand out quite so much, but it still looked ok. I pressed on.

I added some punched leaves.

The next step was to paint it all, with acrylic paints. I also added a couple of laser-cut butterflies (Rayher).

So far, so good! I wanted to use some stamped images, but stamping on canvas is tricky. One way to get round the problem (you see - I've been doing some research!) is to stamp on to tissue paper and decoupage it on to your canvas. I stamped some images (Crafty Individuals) and  carefully tore round them. I also printed out some text on my computer.

I used diluted pva glue to decoupage the images on to the canvas. It makes the tissue paper transparent so that only the images show up. That's the theory, anyway!

Before adding the text, I sponged over it with pigment inks to tone it down a bit.

With hindsight, this would probably have been a good point to stop adding stuff, but there was a blank corner, and I felt the base needed something to hold everything in. I decided the blank corner was missing some birds, which I found on a scrap of Crafty Individuals background paper. The base received some small punched leaves, and the sides some chipboard leaves, all coloured with pigment inks.

And here's my finished canvas! Were I to do another, I would probably do some things differently, for instance some of the initial elements ended up mostly hidden, but I'm not too dissatisfied with it as a first attempt.

We  already have lots of wonderful entries for our May Challenge, for which the theme is "Anything Goes", but there's still plenty of time to enter. (Or enter again, if you have already! You can enter up to three projects.) And of course, there's the fab prize of a £35 voucher from our lovely sponsors, Crafty Individuals. I hope I might have inspired you to have a go at a mixed media canvas. The hardest part was getting started! Once I'd got over that it was easier than I thought, and although it is a long way from perfect, the main thing, I think, is to experiment and enjoy the process. I certainly did!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Anything Goes!

Well, as you might suppose from that post title, our challenge theme this month at Stamping Sensations is

* * * * * ANYTHING GOES * * * * *

However, it could apply equally to the weather we're having at the moment!  I'm sitting here in my thermals, watching the rain pouring down the window, out of which I can see blue sky and fluffy white clouds just across the valley and snow on the distant hills! And it's the beginning of May!!!

Never mind, I'm sure we will get some fabulous entries to brighten things up. As always, although "anything goes" for our theme we do need to see stamping as the focal point of your project, since we are a stamping challenge.

Our sponsor for May is, once again, Crafty Individuals, who have donated a very generous £35 voucher for the lucky winner to spend in their online shop.

Their mix of products is beautifully eclectic, so whether you are into simple stamping, collage, mixed media, altered art, or styles from traditional to modern and quirky, you will find something in their range to suit you. For a long time now they have been one of my favourite stamp companies (not least for their fantastic customer service) so I had no hesitation in using their stamps and papers for my DT project this month.

Recently I went to a talk and demo of simple bookbinding given by the wonderful Glenda Waterworth. Glenda showed us some some stunning samples of her work. I came home feeling thoroughly inspired, and decided to make a (very simple!) accordion book.

I used mount board for the front and back, which I covered with Crafty Individuals background papers from their Springtime paper pad. The front cover is decorated with one of their newest stamps CI-452, a collage-type stamp from which I cut individual images and coloured them with Be Creative alcohol markers and watercolour pencils.

Continuing the Nature theme of the stamp, the pages of my book hold images from Crafty Individuals' Miniature Image Book "Nature's Beauty. Around each picture I stamped various images which help to tell its story. All stamps by Crafty Individuals. 

I really enjoyed making my little book! It has whetted my appetite for attempting something a bit more complicated, though I will have a long way to go before I produce anything as beautiful as Glenda's.

The DT have some absolutely gorgeous inspiration to show you over on the Stamping Sensations Challenge blog, and if you also check out their personal blogs it would be much appreciated.

I'm entering my book in the Crafty Individuals Blog May Challenge. Thanks for looking!
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