Words I will journal by.

Create. Learn. Try. Believe you can.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Bleach Techniques and JOFY stamps

Hi everyone, back tonight with my Paperartsy project based on bleach techniques. I decided that my play/experimentations with bleach would result in some Christmas cards! Hope you love them and will be inspired to have a go yourselves!
 I do love it when Darcy asks me to take part in a Paperartsy challenge. I love crafting along a set of criteria and this was as much fun as they always are! So, Thankyou Darcy for the opportunity! The challenge was to come up with some techniques using JoFy stamps and bleach! There have already been some great techniques shown this week, offering loads of inspiration. I decided to use different media with the bleach, starting with Fresco chalk paints. 'It will never work' I hear you say. I thought so too.  Surely, bleach will only be effective on water-based products? But, I came up with some interesting results. There is a detailed step-by-step explanation on the Paperartsy blog tonight: Here
Although I risk repeating the same info, I will post more photos of the results of playing with diluted bleach sprayed onto a variety of Fresco chalk paints which had previously been diluted with water and sprayed across Paperartsy Smoothy 240gms card. I love this substrate and virtually use nothing else for all my projects. It can take a lot of wet media without buckling or disintegrating and worked well with the sprayed bleach. I can't emphasise strongly enough that for the bleach to have any effect on the acrylic paints you must spray it on while the paper is still wet.
This photo catches the moment I sprayed the diluted bleach (50/50) across saturated card. I'd previously sprayed the card with a mix of watered down Tango, London bus and Zesty Zing, plus a
touch of Bougainvillea. See how the bleach fizzes across the wet paint as it bleaches out the acrylic
paint. This won't work on dry acrylic paint of course, but interesting effect don't you think? I love it. The next step was to 'almost dry' this layer, but while it was still damp, I resprayed the diluted bleach lightly again and allowed the colours to mix, blend and drip. The result is surprising. I thought it would create large white areas where it removed colour, instead it blended the colours, leaving little air bubbles of darker spots or no colour.
I played around with different colours.  All my favourites! 
The bleach tends to create light and dark patches and a feathering effect. I made several backgrounds in this way. However, on some of the Smoothy card I clear embossed some stamped images first. All my stamped images are from JOFY stamp sets including her minis. I then used the same technique described above but didn't use the heat gun to dry the first layer. I waited impatiently for this layer to almost dry before spraying the diluted bleach for a second time. Once the background was completely dry, I ironed off the embossing ink by placing the Smoothy card between two pieces of copy paper, and set the iron to non-steam, medium heat. The copy paper lifts the embossed image from the card and you are left with some patterned paper you can play with later! 
Now whether or not I had the iron set on too high a heat or it's the effect of the heat on bleach, but yellowish/cream patches appeared within the colours. I rather liked this! I prepared some more backgrounds like this using different stamps, then set them aside while I experimented with some Infusions. I knew these would work more easily with the bleach as they are water-based. I sprayed the card with water before shaking various colours lightly across the wet card. I added more water, lots of water, allowing colours to mix, blend and drip before spraying the diluted bleach across the card as before. I then dried this with a heat gun. If I wasn't happy with the result, I just kept adding more water and/or more infusions until I was happy. I love the vintage, grunge effect, very different to the Fresco chalks! 
Again, the colours blended well but left sporadic spotting of no colour that looked very wintery and snow-like. Perfect for Christmas cards. Rather than embossing these first, I further removed colour by either spraying undiluted bleach through a stencil or stamping into a prepared 'bleach pad' and stamping all across the dried Infusions background. I made this by folding a couple of pieces of kitchen paper into four, placing these into a shallow plastic recycled food dish, pouring on some undiluted bleach and letting it sink in. Then, when you stamp into this and onto the Infusions background colour disappears instantly. If you do this while the card is still wet, the images will appear whiter. However, as I dried the card first, my images were quite creamy which, I feel, added to the vintage feel.
I finally wanted to try using crayons. After playing around with portfolios, gelatos and crayolas, I had most success with neocolours11. I first wet the card to help blend various colours of crayons with my fingers. I then sprayed diluted bleach across these mixed colours and gently swirled them with an old paintbrush, like this:

The result is a lot paler than the previous two experiments but that's to be expected as the neocolours are water-based so the bleach will remove the colour very easily. I also used the iron-off embossing ink technique on some of these backgrounds and stamped with Archival ink on others. 
So, I now had a lot of backgrounds ready to create a lot of Christmas cards. Some of the backgrounds were left as plain backgrounds, especially those that I felt were already 'wintery' or 'snow-like', others I stamped over and 'fussy-cut' the images to layer up. 

 Here I've used the Infusions backgrounds, layering the stamped and cut images over a primary stamped image. A favourite technique. Don't you just love JOFY's stamps?
And finally, the first 14 completed cards, ready for sale at the local, village Christmas Fair. I have a lot of backgrounds to create most of the cards I will need to make this year. I hope you like them. I would love to know you stopped by! Until next time, happy crafting! 

Friday, 2 December 2016

Too early for a Christmas Decoration?

Hi everyone!
A quick post tonight to share some photos of the technique I used to create these cute little decorations! I make these every year with the intention of building up a glorious collection but somehow I end up giving them all away. These will soon wing their lovely way to my swap partner ( no idea who yet) in the Mini Marvel FB group which I host. November's theme was ' Miniature Houses' and there have already been some gorgeous contributions.
I vary the media I use each year to first create a masterboard. This year I tried out the new 'Artistry Ink' dye ink pads that Barbara Gray at Clarity is now stocking. This is the first time I've used them. They blend beautifully and are a little more subdued than the Tim Holtz version. Last year I used some of my gorgeous paper stash and the year before, paint. I always use the same little House die: Marianne designs collectables. Each masterboard starts with clear embossing Christmas images. This year I used a variety of Tim Holtz and The Unmounted Stamp Company (Circa stamps), incorporating a mix of snowflakes, holly, pine cones and other greenery, to cover several sheets of PaperArtsy Smoothy 240gms card.  
Each sheet had a different variety of images which would dictate my colour choices. So, with that in mind, I chose 3 dye ink colours per page and blended the colours with cut and dry. 

Now for the fun part! I remove the embossing ink by placing each sheet, in turn, between two sheets of copy paper and, using a medium hot iron (not steam) press down over the embossed images. You get a more vividly white image. 
So this can now be over stamped, which I did, still using the same dye ink pads and more stamped images. 
Interestingly, the copy paper retains the removed embossed ink so can be used for a later project! Nice one! 
Here are some other masterboards I made using different colour dye pads and stamps. 
Now to die-cut the houses from the stamped masterboards, then ink all the edges.  This is a bit time-consuming but worth it.  You need six houses to complete each 3D  'house' 
You can make each house from the same masterboard but I wanted to use contrasting papers. It's just a matter of folding each house down the middle and gluing the contrasting sides together. However, first I added some pretty twine and a bead to hang beneath each one. 

Glitter along the roof edges is of course a necessary addition so they can really twinkle on a twig branch or shop bought tree! And now a close up of my favourite colour combo....
I hope you will have a go at making some of these gorgeous little houses. Thanks for stopping by. I would love to see what you think and which is your particular favourite. Until next time, happy crafting! 

Monday, 7 November 2016

October's Goodie Box was 'Steampunk'!

Hi everyone. It's been some time since my last post but I do have some very exciting crafting news to share with you very soon and which has kept me very busy! Until then, here is a mini canvas I made recently with the contents of last month's Artful Days Mixed Media Goodie Box! Available here. It's  like Christmas morning when I receive my monthly Goodie Box. Each time it's a wonderful surprise and each box is full to the brim of delicious products chosen so carefully by Julie Bell!
I had such fun making this. I love it when a project just evolves. This canvas, as you can see, is  influenced by the wonderfully talented Anna Dabrowska! I've enjoyed taking a couple of her classes and really appreciate what I learned from her about balance and the layering of embellishments. Although October's Goodie box was literally full to the brim of all sorts of lovely stash, I really took a shine to the metal embellishments, wooden cogs, gears and wheels.  
The only non-box items that I used for the canvas are the stamps: text ( Seth Apter) and skeleton head (Visible Image). However, as I have already made two other projects with the contents of the box (and have a partly made, paper bag journal I have yet to complete), I have also borrowed a couple of items from previous Goodie boxes. But that's the beauty of subscribing! So, where did I begin? Actually, before I made any projects, I began by taking all the cogs, wheels and gears in the box and making them look rusty. I've found the best paints for this technique are DecoArt fluid acrylics, mainly because of their vibrancy and transparency. I borrowed Sheila Landry's technique that I found on her YouTube video: Faux rust technique on wooden gears. Clear and helpful. I show a few of them here:

Now for the canvas. I used DecoArt fluid acrylics for all the painting, starting with my favourite go-to colours:pinks, reds, oranges and yellows. I used the DecoArt tinting base (thanks Kate Crane for that tip) to help produce darker and lighter patches. I needed this to be bright to contrast later with the more industrial oranges and browns in the lower half of the canvas.
I then used a favourite Indigo Blu stamp (circle dot background) to stamp all over the canvas, even though I intended to paint over most of it. 
Included in the Steampunk Goodie box are a couple of zips. I love the idea of using the zip to 'reveal' a hidden layer, so once I'd carefully adhered the zip  part way up the canvas, I then painted out the lower half of the canvas with DecoArt Carbon Black fluid acrylic. 
Next, I chose one of the 8"x8" sheets of paper (almost card actually - a good weight) and cut it up in various rectangles. I stuck these over the lower half of the canvas - leaving little gaps between)  along with the Kraft paper punch outs (previous Goodie box) from the hexagon die cuts I was going to use later. Once these were stuck down, I used a variety of DecoArt fluid acrylics to paint over the lower half until I was pleased with the colour blend and the overall effect: wanting a more industrial-looking background. 

Now for the fun part. This takes me ages: arranging and rearranging all the elements until I'm happy with the balance and overall effect. Once I was satisfied with my arrangement, I stuck everything down with a heavy 3D gel. Finally, I mixed a little of the Rose Gold Primary Elements powder from Prima with some water and sprayed this across all the elements and the lower half of the canvas. The very final touch was a skeleton head (unusual for me) and some text, and it was complete! 

Now just a couple of close up photos to finish. 

Pop over to see more wonderful art work by the design team, using the Mixed Media Goodie boxes Here. I hope you have enjoyed this post and would welcome a comment to show you passed by.  Until the next time, happy crafting! 


Sunday, 9 October 2016

Another Wonderful Artful Days Goodie Box

Hi everyone! Hope you've all had a lovely weekend!
I'm posting my recent project made from the gorgeous contents of September's Goodie Box! The theme for this month is: Wings. Therefore as you can see in the photos below, it's all about birds and butterflies! Gorgeous. This month included the most adorable bird house, so of course, that had to be my first make!
The A5 Botanical papers that I used here are from a company I haven't heard of before: Crafty Emotions. There is so much in this box again this month, but sadly there aren't any more boxes available. However, if you are quick, you will just be in time for October's box which is: Steampunk!! This post will give you an idea of the quality and variety of these Goodie boxes. They are becoming really popular though so you do need to order quickly Here.

Delicious isn't it? It's so exciting receiving these each month. Julie Bell who created these has organised a subscription on the website to make it easier to order, although you can buy individual boxes too. So now a few photos to show the process of making my bird house! 
 These are the items I used from the box. I actually used more paper than is shown here but this was the original plan!
These are the items I added. The MDF discs and tube are from a little Wendy Vecchi set I had in my stash. You don't have to add very much to the contents of the Goodie boxes to create some wonderful projects! 
As with everything I make, first off, a layer of gesso! Once this was dried, I added PaperArtsy Fresco chalk paint.  I love the matte finish of these paints they are perfect colours for complementing the contents too. The trickiest part was to cut papers to size for the bird house and make sure I created gaps for the perch and the entrance hole. The papers are gorgeous and a really good weight. 

I painted the roof but used the Kraft sheet to cut out some roof  swags in order to  create more interest. These little swags took some cutting and inking! So now it was just a case of assembling and embellishing! 
I adore these little bird buttons. You get so many of them too. Plenty left over for another project so 
watch this space! A bit of doodling on the bunting,  some flowers on the stand and a butterfly on the front and it was finished! Hope you like it. Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Until next time. Happy Crafting everyone!