Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Wee Folk Fairies come out to play...

Hello there!  Thanks to all of you who took up last months challenge and produced some stunning artwork.  Its great to see how much confidence you have in taking on a project that was anything but a card, and how you have put your other crafty skills to such good use.   But now its 1st April, and that can only mean one thing:  no fooling around, its time for a new Claritystamp challenge.  We have decided to showcase the wee folk range of stamps which have been incredibly popular, and no wonder.  If you don't have them yet, here's the link to the Clarity stamp website:

My project was one of those where I knew the technique I wanted to use, but didn't really have any idea where I was headed!  The technique is one I learned from the uber-talented Maria Simms, and then put my own spin on it:  thanks for the inspiration Maria, you are a star.

8" x 8" piece of mountboard or similar
Grunge paste
Acrylic paint in various colours (I used a creamy yellow, bright yellow, orange red, magenta, purple, cyan blue, black and gold)
Black archival ink pad
Versamark ink pad
Scraps of gelli card
Gold embossing powder (I used a Frantage one)
Pinflair glue gel
Claritystamp star stencil
Claritystamp wee folk fairies and elves - sets 3 and 4

First, I dragged grunge paste through the star stencil onto the mountboard.  I left it to dry naturally, but you can speed up the drying process with a heat gun.

Then I started to paint.  You can see below how I built up the colours, letting each layer dry, to avoid muddying the colours too much.  I also added the blue around the outer edge, (that was a spur of the moment decision), and I forgot to take a photo of this step.

You need to make sure the paint is completely dry before moving on to this next step.  Have plenty of baby wipes and kitchen roll at the ready.  Now paint the whole piece with black acrylic, then start to wipe it off again.  With this piece we are looking to remove all the paint in the centre, but leave a lot of it round the edges.  Once the black paint had completely dried, I dry brushed a little gold acrylic over the piece;  concentrating on the halo of stars and the darker areas.
So now we have created a space in which to create our magical scene. 

Using black archival, I sponged in a hill and added the bluebell and some foliage.
Then another hill, and one of the toadstools, so that our little fairy has somewhere to sit.
Now  you can see that I added some final touches to the scene with second generation ink to give a better sense of distance and perspective.
I love it already, but I still wanted more...  The Claritystamp design team produce some amazing work to inspire us, and I have to say that I have been loving the work of Karen Hayselden:  and her wired wreaths in particular.  Thank you for the inspiration Karen:  this is my very humble effort.
I used the star stencil to cut out stars from gelli card.  Then I glued these together, sandwiching the wire between them.  I made 3 of these wire rings;  the only thing to watch out for is the spacing of the stars, so that they look right once layered up. 
Then I painted the stars:  one wreath in orange red, one in magenta, and one in blue.  These were then overpainted in black the same as the background, wiping off some of the paint, so that some of the colour underneath could be seen.  This time, once dry, rather than dry brushing with gold acrylic, I dabbed the stars lightly with versamark and sprinkled on some gold embossing powder.  Not looking for total coverage here, so, in areas I even dabbed with kitchen roll while the embossing powder was still molten.  Yes, I hear you say, technically very poor embossing, but I do love the result.
Then I attached each wreath by just one star with Pinflair:  this allows the wreaths to stand out and move.
Finished artwork, but what to use it for?  A card...  a journal cover...  (I did toy with this idea for a while)  or a picture... 
 Although its already in its frame, I'd love to hear any of your suggestions, or your thoughts on whether I made the right decision on turning it into a picture.
Now its your turn.  I hope that as a team, we have given you inspiration for your own projects, and I can't wait to see what you decide to do with the gorgeous little wee folk.  Till next time.  Xxx