Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Last month's ATCs- Wings and Crowns

I know a lot of stampers love wings and crown images, but this is my first time playing with them. I found it really challenging, just because there are so many great examples out there. I feel that I haven't tried to be really 'individual' with these, but it was quite relaxing to know where I expected to go with this theme.
All three ATCs use free collage images, and it had to be children for me, as they are little angels (awww!) The first uses printed vellum over a stamped background (that Anna Griffin stamp again), and Anna Griffin butterfly wings. The second is on a sparkly card, and uses the new Paperartsy Christmas stamps (don't you love that swirl!) heat embossed in white. The last one uses an Inkadinkado flower stamp on the background (in Brilliance ink) and for the wings, heat embossed in gold. Thanks for looking!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Circle Journal at UK Stampers.

This is hello and goodbye to my first circle journal. For those who don't have a clue what I'm talking about, the idea is that you work with a group of people who each creates a journal and then it gets sent from person to person until it eventually comes home, full of other people's artwork. This one has the clever idea of sending an unmounted stamp around with the book, for people to use as a starting point. My stamp is from Non-Sequitur, and I chose it because it's an interesting image for people to play with, but I won't struggle without it for ten months!
The journal itself is handmade. I made the cover using traditional book-binding methods, then used my Bind-it-all to hold the inside pages together. The cover paper was made using the craft mat/water/Distress Ink technique (using Vintage Photo and Aged Mahogany) then stamped with a Judikins cube. I added pockets to the cover and first page, one for the 'rules' (and contact info), and the other for some tags. I love tags and have chosen to ask participants to make one as a sign-in. I can't wait to see all of the fibres etc at the top when it's complete, it'll be so textural.
I did the first page before sending the journal off and I thought I'd get the Oriental thing out of the way by doing it myself (the stamp is from an oriental plate). The red is painted with Hot Cinnamon H2O, and the text stamp is Judikins.
So far, one other person has completed their page in my book, and I love it! I was trying not to peek, but I knew it was on Photobucket so I couldn't resist. It's completely different to mine, and has a clever quote too. I have the next person's journal, and will be completing my entry soon. It has tags and envelopes to decorate, so it should be fun!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Hi there!

In case my absence was noted, I've been away on a lovely holiday at my Mother-in-Law's place in Southern France, followed by a week playing catch-up; with washing, baby stuff, washing, stamping, and more washing! I was also lucky enough to do a class with Isabelle Norris, one where I got inky and played with some great sprays and stamps. So here's a tempting list of photos which are waiting patiently to be cropped and uploaded:
-A CJ for UK Stampers, where we are sending a journal plus an unmounted stamp around to ten participants,
-Some ATCs from September's 3 for 3 swap, also on UK Stampers,
-A 'peel-off' challenge, which actually turned out to be quite arty,
-My returned jam ATCs, decorated by the hands of two other people,
-Birthday cards for some babies,
and finally
-Christmas ornaments for yet another swap!

My life is pretty busy at the moment. Like most crafter's I am planning my Christmas obligations already, there isn't much time left, really! My little one is coming up for his first birthday, and we are subtly changing our lifestyle to accommodate our little 'cruiser' (he's not walking yet, but he loves to get around on his feet). I am not crafting every night as I used to (wasn't I lucky to be able to do so before :-)) but I am still photographing all of my work with a view to sharing when I can. So I hope I will get some time very soon to share the above projects, until then, bye for now!

PS Thank you to those who played along with the 2Peas challenge. The winners were Sandy(Colorful) and Jan(Far North) who produced beautiful cards using my tutorial. Follow the link with the class to see their work.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Perfect Pearls class for 2 peas Stamptoberfest.

I don't know if you remember, but 2Peas' stamping board staged a very successful weekend event called World Stamping Weekend. Well, this time you have a week to get involved and have some fun! There are loads of challenges and classes, and this is one of them.

In this class, I am going to demonstrate my three favourite techniques using Perfect Pearls. The challenge part for you is to use all of those techniques on one piece! The RAK for the best piece is a bag of ribbons and embellishments which I promise to photograph tomorrow! Judging will take place next Saturday, and all entries must be in the 2Peas gallery and have SOF Pearls in the title. Here is the thread to link to. Click on any of the photos for a closer look!

Note: I have used Perfect Pearls here. From what I have read, the difference between PP and other powders is that PP contains a gum that acts as a fixative. So if you are using other brands, just remember to use a spray fixative or varnish.

Stage one- Creating a background.

This is the Craft mat/ Distress Ink technique with a little added Perfect Pearls. You could also use Nick Bantock Dye Ink in the same way. Or feel free to play with whatever you have! Be warned, this technique is messy and you will get inky fingers. It’s all in a days stamping!

You will need:

Distress Ink or other dye ink (not water resistant!)

Perfect Pearls

Craft mat, cutting mat or other plastic surface

Water in a spray mister

Small paintbrush

Smooth watercolour paper or card

  1. On your craft mat (or other plastic surface) dab your ink pad(s) randomly, leaving some gaps. Make sure the area you cover is a little bigger than your chosen paper.
  2. Use a dry paintbrush to get a little powder and flick it over the inked craft mat. I like to have a few little ‘drifts’, to give a more obvious effect.
  3. Spritz your craft mat with water until there are tiny even beads of water/ink visible.
  4. Place your paper on the wet, inky mat, and move it around a little. Lift the edge and check the coverage. If there are any gaps, then put it down again and move it around some more.
  5. Put the paper to one side to dry. You can use a heat gun if you are impatient!

Now for the next part…

Stage two- adding pattern

This is a really simple stage (isn’t it all?!) to add some pattern to your background paper. You will need to make sure your paper is really dry, as the powder will cling to any moisture.

You will need:


Perfect Pearls

A small paintbrush

A soft brush ie. a blusher brush, or a dry tissue/cotton wool.

A stamp with a swirl-type pattern

  1. Ink up your chosen stamp with Versamark
  2. Stamp it onto your background paper to create a pattern.
  3. Using the small paintbrush, generously dust on some Perfect Pearls. You can use more than one colour and blend if you like. If you swirl the brush around as you go, you can move the powder along the design so as not to waste it.
  4. Blow off the excess powder.
  5. Using either the soft brush or a piece of tissue, gently rub all over the design to take off any unwanted powder. This also sets and polishes the powder.

And now for the last part…

Stage three- Adding your design

This last stage utilises something I found out by accident, and creates a two-tone effect.

You will need:

Distress Ink or similar in a darker colour

Perfect Pearls

A small paintbrush

A soft brush or tissue/cotton wool

A stamp!

  1. Stamp your design in Distress Ink or other.
  2. When it is nearly dry, add some powder. Swirl it around with your brush, it doesn’t have to be really even.
  3. Brush off as in stage two.

And this is the finished piece... All stamps by Cherry Pie.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Ta da! The finished collage!

These are the last steps for Mission: Collage.
Here are the final 5 steps:

1. Scratch: Use a sharp instrument to scratch anywhere on the surface of your collage.

2. Text: Sally lists specific examples of what to do with a book page during this step, but I am going to open it up and say that you can place any text (as long as it is not magazine, since we already used that technique) onto your collage.

3. 3-D: Apply something dimensional to your project..any embellishment you like as long as it is not flat.

4. Write: Write any word or phrase, in any medium you would like: pen, pencil, ink.

5. Surprise! One last step that you can use to add your unique spin to your project! Let your imagine run wild with this one!

I finished! I actually finished a week ago, but life with an almost-walking baby can be very hectic! Here's the run-down of what I did:
1. Scratch. I used scissor points to scratch. It worked best on the paper, as it had a white core. The foam board I used for the base was black, not good for scratching.
2. Text. I stamped 'Time Flies' onto the photo.
3. 3d. I added some really old buttons from my button tin. I love all of the circle shapes!
4. Write. I wrote 'butterflies' in black pen (sort of a pun- butterflies, time flies. Not that funny, I'm afraid!)
5. Surprise. After wracking my brains, I added a small butterfly image, stamped in a shimmery ink- now you see it, now you don't!
Now I need to arrange to send it off to my swap partner, Neda. She emailed to say her son was recovering from knee surgery- I hope he is doing well!
Thanks, Julie, for taking the trouble to organise this. It was a really good experience for me, and I have been really touched by all the comments. Even my best friend, who is a brilliant scrapper, said it was good! And I have done some more collage work since, which I will blog about later.
PS My little one (who is currently on my knee, trying to get to the laptop to bang it) said 'Mama' for the first time yesterday. Say 'ah'!

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

I'm still here!

Just a quick check in before going out (again!) to say I am still here, and still creating. I'm gearing up for a two week holiday, and have loads of commitments to fulfill before I go! I have finished the collage, made a cute card for a baby, and I am in some swaps. Plus I'm one of the people doing an online class at 2Peas on Saturday.
More later, gotta go!