Sunday, 2 July 2017

Christmas in July!

Hello there!  Hope you are all well and enjoying the sunshine.  As I've been asked for instructions on how to do this card, I thought I would blog some simple instructions.  Its actually very easy to do.
Here's where we're heading...
7" x 7" stencil card - Stencil Card 7" x 7" (50 Sheets) ACC-CA-30095-77
Potting soil/coffee archival - Archival Ink Pad - Coffee INK-AR-50037-XX
Distress or Artistry inks in yellow, green and red
Stencil brushes - Clarity Stencil Brushes (Set of 4) ACC-BR-30006-XX
Abstract square stencil - Abstract Squares 3 Stencil 7" x 7" STE-PA-00200-77
Jayne's Holly & Ivy stamp set- Jayne's Holly & Ivy Unmounted Clear Stamp Set STA-FL-10385-A5
Colouring pencils
Brown sharpie pen
8" card blank - CARD BLANKS & ENVELOPES X 10 8" x 8"DOVE WHITE INK ME!CBIM13
  • Attach the stencil just to the top of the card with masking tape.  This will allow you to lift the stencil without moving its position so you can check on your progress.
  • Brush through randomly with the inks;  building up and blending the colours until you're happy with the result.  Don't be tempted to go too dark.
  • With the stencil still in place, stamp through with "the Holly and the Ivy" in the same colours in a few areas to add a little extra texture and interest.  (Its wise to check on a piece of scrap first, as you may need to use second generation ink). 
  • With a make-up sponge, smear any ink left on the stencil onto the card.  This will make the edges of the design nice and crisp.  Remove the stencil.
  • With potting soil archival, stamp the long embellishments and the words into place. 
  • Add colour to the leaves and stems with pencils, and a drop shadow to the bottom of each square (if desired).  Trim and edge with a sharpie pen, then mount onto a card blank.
I hope you like, and maybe feel inspired to have a go at something similar yourself.  I'd love to see it if you do.
I'm off for now.  A few things to catch up with before Barbara launches the One Day Special on Hochanda at 6pm.  More wonderful Jayne Nestorenko designs.  Its been a real pleasure to be remembering her by bringing her artwork to life.  Till next time.  Xxx

Monday, 5 June 2017

Sew happy to be part of the Clarity Design team!

Hello there!  I can't believe how long it is since I last blogged.  How time flies!  I really must get back into the habit, as I do enjoy our little chats and sharing some of my projects to hopefully inspire you.

As I remembered to take photos while I was making it, I thought I'd share this card I made using the tag and haberdashery stamps.  Masking isn't difficult, but it does require a bit of logical thinking.  I'll often have a practice run on a piece of copy paper to make sure I'm happy with the layout and to make sure I'm clear on the order I need to stamp everything in.

Stamp the largest tag into place, the mannequin and the sentiment in sepia archival, then cover with a mask.  Its always worth while taking time to position the mask accurately, a task that's not always as easy as it sounds.

Stamp one of the smaller tags in place to the side, overlapping slightly.

And again at the other side.  Put the outie mask into position.

Stamp the pincushion and thimble into place;  remove the outie mask, and cover up with the innie mask.

Repeat the process on the other side, this time using the scissors and the tape measure.  Its always worth covering up your card with an extra couple of post-its to prevent any unhappy accidents (and, how does she know this, I wonder?)

Remove the outie mask and cover with the innie.

Repeat again with the last 2 tags;  using the outie mask to allow you to stamp through onto the tag, and then the innie mask which allows you to overlap the stamps if desired, and create the illusion of one being behind the other.

Here we are with all the tags covered with their innie masks.

Using second generation ink, randomly stamp the fabric scrap from the journaling set in pink to ground the tags.

To disguise a little paw print, I added a couple of stitching lines (also from the same journaling set).

Lightly brush pink ink across the bottom of the card.

Remove the masks and go round the edge with a brown sharpie pen.  Add a little bit of shading with coloured pencils.  For a final touch, I decided to decoupage the largest tag, splattering ink and adding ribbon.  I gathered a tiny piece of tulle for a skirt and glued onto the mannequin, leaving some of the threads loose.  Finally this was glued into place, then the card was mounted onto a card blank. 

Hope you like it and you feel inspired to try out something similar yourself.  I'd love to see what you do. 

I'm hoping Mr Postman arrives with the stamps for Maria's next shows tomorrow.  I think you're going to love them;  the designs look fabulous, I can't wait to get started.  Till next time.  Xxx

Friday, 14 April 2017

A canvas using some very wee stamps

Hello there.  Its been a while...

I thought you might like to see how I made the canvas that was on the last Claritystamp One Day Special shows on Hochanda.

Its not so long ago I would have been terrified of starting out on a big project like this, but with this sort of art you can just go for it without worrying too much.  When you break it down step by step, its not scary at all;  so if you want to, you should definitely try out a project of your own. 

It's easier working on a canvas board, but for this project I needed a stretched canvas.  You'll see why later.

I stamped the leaf onto tissue with grey archival ink and mod podged onto the canvas.  This helps with the layout and positioning of stencils and colours later on.


Next stop was to pull grunge paste through the stencil.  We're not looking for perfect here;  just texture.

I tried some random stamping with brown archival using the text from the journalling set.


After a coat of white gesso, I started to flood on some colour with diluted Paperartsy Fresco Finish paints.  The advantage of using these over watercolours is that once dry, the colours are permanent, so they don't go muddy.

I mod podged on some old book page scraps, and using a different stencil, added more grunge paste.

 A slightly darker colour starts to add depth.

To apply the paint, first thin it down with a bit of water.  Spray the area on the canvas where you're going to apply the paint, so that when you add the paint it can spread and move more freely.  And if you want to thin it out and make it spread even more, then just spray again.


Allow each layer to dry before adding the next.  

Some little splatters are good too.  I made sure to keep the background paler where the leaves are going to be placed.


Keep going until you're happy.  I lost count of how many layers I used here.  Most of the time is spent waiting for the layers to dry, so this is an ideal project to have on the go while you're working on other masterpieces!

Now I laid out the twigs that will provide the main structure of the design and planned out each of the little landscapes in the leaves on some copy paper.


Then I painted on some areas of crackle glaze;  varying the thickness.  The crackle effect will develop as the glaze dries;  a thinner coat gives a more delicate effect, the cracks will be larger where the glaze is thicker.


Next job was to make my leaves.  To avoid any potential issues stamping directly on the canvas, I stamped these onto deli paper using black archival.  The sky and landscapes were also done with archival inks to make sure the colours wouldn't bleed when decoupaged onto the canvas (I used DecoArt matte medium);  and how do I know this?  Let's just say it's a good job I did a little trial run.

Once I'd decoupaged the leaves into place, I attached the twigs with some fine wire;  simply by piercing 2 small holes in the canvas and threading the wire through (hence the need for a stretched canvas rather than a canvas board on this occasion). 

In the details below, you can see that I rubbed over the crackle glaze with antiquing cream.


Finally, I coated the canvas with a couple of coats of matt varnish before adding a few highlights with gilding flakes.

I hope you like the finished piece, and that maybe you feel inspired to try out something similar for yourself.

I'll try not to leave it so long for my next post.  Till next time.  Xxx