Words I will journal by.

Create. Learn. Try. Believe you can.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

A mini mail art challenge

Just a quick post today to offer a bit of info as to how I made my mini envies and little ATCs to go inside them. This was for a challenge I set at the beginning of January for the Mini Marvel webpage group that I host. The challenge was to create 5 mini envies on a particular theme and to send one to 5 swap partners. It's been great fun and the quality of the art work is fabulous! Here are my completed envies. I chose a 'Cat' theme.

The envelopes are the smallest W.H.Smiths sell, I think. Just slightly larger than an ATC size. I am a little worried that the postie will actually deliver these, but life is all about challenges, right? The Cat stamps are by Katzelcraft. Cute aren't they? I bought these from 'That's Crafty'. I was in the middle of chaos when I completed these due to a water pipe leak in the kitchen and dining room so was limited for space at the time. Therefore, I stuck to just a few resources. Ordinarily I would use paint - my favourite medium, but on this occasion I resorted to Ranger TH dye ink pads as they were easily accessible. After gessoing each little mini brown envie, both sides, I used Tim's technique of squishing the ink pad down on the craft mat and squirting water on it before swooshing the envies through a variety of colours. I love this technique because the result is always varied and interesting. Doing both sides means a lot of waiting for things to dry or heavy use of the heat gun! They did become very wet at times but I think the gesso helped a lot. I then used various stencils and some of Kate Crane's hand made stamps to create the backgrounds using a variety of dye ink pads and Archival in complementary colours. Then I stamped the cats on both sides and used my lovely prisma coloured pencils over the top of the existing layers. I added some labels from a 7Gypsies sticker sheet  and then stuck on the labels. Finally I added borders around the envies and the label. 
Now, there was no expectation to put anything inside each of the envelopes, and some of the ladies taking part have included things and some haven't. However, I wanted to make ATCs to put inside mine, so I did.
I only needed 5 but I always like to make extra ' just in case'. This time I used one of my favourite little cat stamps ever! This is designed by Clare Lloyd for PaperArtsy. It's from the ECL07 collection. I love this set. Here:

The hats are from a Hat cube stamp by Stampotique. Love them! Still using Ranger TH dye ink pads and Leandra's corner, corner, side technique, I quickly added a mix of colours to each ATC. I then used one of Clare Lloyd's new stencils to add layers over the inks.

This is such a versatile stencil. I'm using it all the time! I then used a couple of PaperArtsy mini stamps and Emma Godfrey's scribble circle from one of her new stamp sets for PaperArtsy, EEG15, to build up the background. When these were dry, I mixed some Golden light modelling paste first with PA Fresco Bubble Gum, then South Pacific, and pressed this through a PA number stencil: PSO21. Love that stencil too! 
So, all that remained was to colour my hats and cats, which I did with my prismacolours, add some doodling and they were finished. All ready now to go inside their envies and put in the post. Fingers crossed they all arrive safely! 

Thankyou so much for stopping by. I would love you to leave a comment so I know who you are and so I can visit your blogs too! 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

'Fessing up!

Hi everyone! The time has come for me to acknowledge that my craft addiction has become seriously out of hand or I'm in desperate need of a TV programme to step in and offer me a Craft Room Makeover! ( pause while I dream about how that would look ahhhh). Now I know that this will look like a catastrophic 'mess' to all of you, but believe me when I say that I know where everything is! Well apart from a replacement bulb for my Daylight lamp. I know I put it somewhere!! So, with some shame and a very red face, I post photos of my craft room which has replaced the third out of four bedrooms in the house. However, this doesn't include the 'overspill' into our Master bedroom for the four chests of PaperArtsy stamps! As well as a three drawer trolley of beloved, can't-live-without, rubber stamps mounted on wood! Well many of them are priceless heirlooms! Stampington, Stampers Anonymous, Tin Pan Alley, The Artful Stamper,  Stamp in the Hand etc. Well, ( deep breath) here goes.... Negative comments I could do without as I already know those, but commiserations for my predicament and suggestions as to how I can solve my storage needs alongside contact details of any TV producers interested in doing Craft Room Makeovers will be very gratefully received - lol.

Well they do say that acknowledging you have a problem is a first step to solving it! I would appreciate no references to the various current programmes on TV about people with a problem of hoarding. There are no bags of rubbish, dog faeces or old food in this little enclave! Secretly, of course, I love it. It's my escape. And honestly, the rest of the house is immaculate - well, apart from the study! But that's another story... 
Thanks for stopping by. I would love to read your comments - I think!! 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

PaperArtsy /Clare Lloyd new stamps and stencils!

What an exciting week with lots of luscious new stamp, paint and stencil releases from PaperArtsy and we are only on the 3rd night! Tonight I'm so pleased and privileged to post alongside PA to show my samples that I made with Clare Lloyd's fabulous new stamps and - 'Ta-Da' - new stencils too! This has been a complete pleasure. I adore these new stamps and love the flexibility of the new stencils.
I was given just one of the new stencils which, as you can see, has been well used! I love it. Here it is with her gorgeous girls!

Our team were given five colours to play with. And joy of joys, this included my all time favourite: Bougainvillea. These colours blend/contrast so well, I had a ball playing around with these. No paint left in any of the bottles though, especially after making several Gelli plate mono prints for backgrounds and embellishments. Here they are:
And now here are the samples I made for Clare. The guidelines are very exact as these need to be a certain size to fit on sample boards for shows. We were offered a template for a 12" square layout and  I generally kept to this. The largest is 11"x5", a couple of 7"x5" both landscape and portrait and then smaller sizes again. I have also made some 6" x 6" greetings cards but will post about those later in
 the week as there won't be room here tonight!
I adore Clare's girls and now she has a DVD out with Traplet Publishing showing us all how to create a Clare look-a-like! I love the hairstyles as they are great fun to colour in or stamp on mono prints. I really played around with hair colours on these samples! I tended to mix both stamp sets to create these samples and I urge you to buy both sets as the variety allows even more creativity. As the colouring speaks for itself, I will focus on how I created the backgrounds. On this sample below, I used the vaseline resist technique. This is very simple. After painting the first colour, which here was Mermaid Fresco chalk paint, you just smear small patches of Vaseline across the substrate. I waited a little while before then painting the second colour, Bougainvillea, over the top. The areas where you have smeared the Vaseline resists the new colour thus creating a striking distressed background. 

The trim around her neck is made with the flower on ECL09, but just the central petals. I just added coloured pearls on top. Her 'dress' is cut out from the Gelli plate prints I made with the paints. Don't you just love that cute little bird? It's from ECL10. I also mixed the texts from both stamp sets here. 
I really love the different elements on Clare's stamp sets, especially on ECL09. So I played around using these to make washi tape strips as you can see in this sample:

 On the next sample, I used masking tape and theses different elements again to create a 'wallpaper' background for one of the girls:

This time I stamped the face from ECL10 on one of the Gelli prints I had made, also using Clare's stencil. I just love that butterfly and due to its 'open' design will be useful for so many projects. Here, I again stamped on a Gelli print but I'm also using it for zentangling. The next sample focuses completely on Clare's stencil:

My favourite technique again of painting over the background to reveal the main image. I used all 
five colours in the original background, all elements of the stencil and various stamps from the two sets. I also added a few doodles before placing Clare's stencil over it and drawing the outline of the flower head and making leaves from the ovals. Then it's a simple but daring process to paint around this image. That bougainvillea really pops against the Bora Bora! I painted a similar 'art journal' style background on the next sample and added several of the butterflies stamped on a Gelli print.

So cute. I'm going to be using that butterfly - a lot! Now the largest sample I made using the girl's face from ECL10. This face is so gorgeous to play with due to it's symmetry. It also gave me the opportunity to add a body and dress which, on this occasion and something I rarely do, I cut from a sheet of scrap booking paper. But, of course, the embellishments are made with Clare's stamps and the odd pearl or two! 

Using Antarctic, Mermaid (completely run out of now 'cos I love it so much) and Candy Floss, I made a patchwork background and used a couple of elements on the stencil to tie all the squares together. The elements on that stencil are so flexible! I love the dots being well spaced apart with large circles too. Lots to play with. Her hair ribbon is again cut from one of the Gelli plate backgrounds I'd made earlier. I just love her bougainvillea hair! With all the hair colouring and faces, I started with Fresco paints but finished with my beloved Prismacolours. Amazingly there is a matching colour to nearly all of Leandra's paints! But then again, I do have the whole set of prismas! 
My final sample for tonight is where I used just part of the girl's face from ECL09. I think these faces lend themselves to partial stamping as if they are peeping round the corner. I've used them like this on my greetings cards which I will post later in the week.