Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Die cuts and Silhouettes (posted by Judith)

Finally, I have managed to complete my cards based on Joanne Wardle's lovely examples in the October issue of Craft Stamper magazine. I haven't been well, and then with the Christmas rush, my Blog assignment just didn't stand a chance. However, I have manage to complete them, and here they are!
I have used Nestability dies to create my shapes on each of my cards, picked some of my favourite silhouette stamps and combined them with some of my favourite ink colours. My first card uses a gorgeous thistle type flower from Lavinia stamps, and a little dragonfly. I wanted to echo the spiky feel of the flower, and so I used an inverted scalloped circle Nestability. I used Antique Linen, and Chipped Sapphire Distress Inks, and Lulu Lavender and Sweet Plum Memento Inks to colour my shape.

The second card uses a stamp from Stampendous, I love this stamp, often using it for sympathy cards. I wanted to use three circles in a lopsided fashion to incorporate all of the flowers. So, I stamped the image onto scrap card, and cut my template with the Nestabilities from this piece of card. After I had coloured my finished card, I then restamped my image, which enabled me to get the stamp in the correct place.  I have a stamp positioner, but I just didn't want the fuss! I used Tumbled Glass and Broken China Distress Inks and Juniper and Stream Adirondack Inks for this card.

The third card uses Elusive Images stamps, which unfortunately you can't purchase at the moment. Hopefully they will be available again very soon. I have used a Paisley Nestability shape on this card, which reminds me of a teardrop. I used Antique Linen, Bundled Sage and Vintage Photo Distress Inks, and Pear Tart Memento Ink for my shape. I stamped the bird, masked him off, and then stamped the swirl.

It's been a challenge keeping my cards simple, I was itching to add an embellishment, but I've really enjoyed the process. Thank you Lesley for choosing the project, and thank you Joanne for inspiring us in the first place.
Now, onto our next project! Elaine has chosen Kate Crane's 'Journal Your Year' on page 40 of the January Craft Stamper. We have slipped behind a little bit, and made the decision to come right up to date again, so that we are in time with what is actually happening with the magazine. This is a lovely project, and although we may only start the project for the blog, we will continue to add pages throughout the year on our own blogs. Thanks for stopping by, and we look forward to showing you lots more in 2011, Judith xx

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Asian dawn by Jo

I was thrilled when Lesley chose this project as it was one I had already decided I just had to try. It has been a challenge on so many levels. I have always wanted to create simple cards that make an impression like Joanne's do in Craft Stamper. But I have always felt that I didn't really have the artistic eye or skills to make it work. Having tried this format now I feel I could quite happily do nothing else for a couple of years!

I tried several colour combinations but decided the ones that worked best were the warm ones like Joanne had used. But I didn't want to copy her colours exactly so I tweaked the mix a little. I had my first play soon after Lesley chose the project as I wanted to use the technique for an October birthday card. I had a mix of successes and failures then but didn't get chance to revisit until this weekend. The time delay has made quite a difference. Firstly, I couldn't be sure exactly which colours I had used the first time round! I have also changed my blending technique while making this year's Christmas cards. I had listened carefully to more experienced crafters who had said how important it is to have a light touch with the foam and inks. But I find I get a smoother result from less ink and and just a smidgin of brute force. Sounds like a recipe for disaster but it works for me.

This is the first card I made, and sent an exact copy to my auntie for her birthday.

I have used Distress Inks in Victorian Velvet and Aged Mahogany. I thought the yellow I had used was Scattered Straw but I am wondering now if it was Wild Honey. The stamp is from the Fantasy Floral plate by Elusive Images. You may notice I just couldn't resist adding the word to the design but it felt in keeping with the feel of the card and I reined myself back in afterwards!

The second card definitely used Scattered Straw in combination with Victorian Velvet and Aged Mahogany. The peacock stamp is from the Elusive Images Peacock Ladies stamp plate.

The third card went badly wrong the first time I tried it. But I love this stamp so much I couldn't bear not to use it so here is take 2. This time I used 3 squares, which really tested my measuring skills and geometry. I blended both Scattered Straw and Wild Honey with the Victorian Velvet and Aged Mahogany. The stamp is from Elusive Images' Brocade Backgrounds. In all cases the silhouette was stamped in Onyx Black Versafine. Love that ink!

This project has been a real revelation to me. I have also learned a lot from what Lesley and Elaine have done with their cards so I feel I can now expand on what I've learned from the original article and apply the technique for different purposes.

Joanne, thanks for inspiring us with your silhouette cards and sending us off in a new direction. It has really been an education.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

A festive touch (posted by Elaine)

Well, my turn to reveal the cards inspired by Joanne Wardle's cards in the October issue of Craft Stamper. Now these cards look deceptively simple. Anyone who has seen the way I work will know I favour my "everything but the kitchen sink approach", so this uncluttered style was bound to be a big challenge for me. All I knew for sure was that I wanted to do a Christmassy themed set of cards to make use of some of my under-used stamps.

So, I approached this project with a little trepidation. Firstly I only tried to work directly onto a card blank once and mucked it up. After that I worked on a separate piece of card until I got it right. As a result I decided to matt and layer my cards. I tried masking with post its, but didn't get a result I was happy with, so I used round and oval nesties to cut masks that I positioned with masking tape. I was much happier with the rounded shapes somehow, especially as they seemed to let me build the depth of colour to give real definition at the edge of the inked panel, while leaving a glow in the centre. Once I had inked to my satisfaction, so obsessed was I to get the position of the overstamping right I even used my stamp positioner!

This first card used Sunshine Yellow, Peach Bellini, Butterscotch and Cranberry Adirondack dye inks and Wild Honey and Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink. I used Ranger Archival Black ink to overstamp all my designs. I used the Inkadinado Cardinal stamp - a gorgeous wood mounted stamp, that I use far too rarely and the Artifacts Pine Needles unmounted plate .

My second card reflects an ambition I have had for ages to produce an inked representation of the Northern Lights. This design, doesn't do what I really hoped to acheieve as the coloured lines are too uniform and not wavy enough. Never mind! I used Pink Sherbert and Raspberry Adirondack dye inks and Tumbled Glass and Dusty Concord Distress Ink. The stamp of trees is of unknown provenance, I bought it ages ago from an E Bay seller.

Last but not least, I inked my final card using Pink Sherbert and Watermelon Adirondack dye inks and Spun Sugar and Worn Lipstick Distress Inks. I used the same mask as I had used for the cardinal stamps, so a little orange also found its way into this card. At first I nearly threw it away when I spotted this contamnation, but then I realised this added a little more warmth to the design. I used another branch from the same Artifacts Pine Needles plate as my first card, plus the flight of birds from the Tim Holtz clear Lost and Found set. I have to say this was another purchase I made after seeing the very talented Paula use this stamp to great effect. I just hope she agrees imitation is the greatest form of flattery!

I enjoyed making these cards. Thanks so much to Joanne for the inspitation. They certainly challenged me to work away from my normal style. I so wanted to stamp a Christmas sentiment in one corner, but managed to stop myself, at least until the photos had been taken.

Thanks for poppng by. Sorry we have kept you waiting around this month. Life is pretty hectic for us all right now.

Elaine x

Monday, 29 November 2010

Long Time ............. No Posts!!!!

Hi Everyone,

First of all let me offer a big apology to all you kind people who have kept checking only to be disappointed that there was nothing new to see.  Unfortunately in some ways, life has been throwing a few curved balls at my buddies and I.  I've been quite lucky in that most of my distractions have been pleasurable ones but poor Judith and Elaine have both been laid low by nasty viruses as well as being kept busy in other areas.  Hopefully, they are both on the mend now.  Anyway, I have finally managed to get round to the project that I chose for us this month.

I was very taken with Joanne Wardle's beautifully clean and uncomplicated cards on page 74 of the October issue of Craft Stamper.  I had a feeling that they were not as simple as they looked and a big part of the challenge for me personally was to keep them 'simple'.  I always find it a little difficult not to try and fill a large white space, Lol!.  Having said that, once I got into the swing of making these cards, they became quite addictive and although my challenge to my friends (and myself) was to make a set of three cards each, I'm actually posting four and I have, in fact, made a couple more for cards that I needed in a hurry.



This first example wasn't totally successful in my opinion.  I wanted to try that particular image because I like it's delicacy so much but obviously with not being a silhouette stamp the blended colours showed through where the image overlapped.  I also don't think the colour block is the right shape but I still quite like it.

As you can see I decided not to keep my blocks of colour symmetrical so that I wasn't 'copying' Joanne.  I think this Stamp n' Store image that I bought in a set of stamps from QVC when I first started stamping (and previously unused)  works particularly well with this coloured shape.

These last two cards are quite small at about 3.5" x 4" and were made from scraps.  I'm quite pleased with both of them as I think the two images work well for different reasons.  I really like the Lavinia Poppies and the Elusive Images design from the Eastern Grasses set is one of my favourites.  I think this little card has an oriental look to it.

I think these cards are so useful and can either be left as they are or just add a very simple sentiment to make a card suitable for any occasion.  I could have gone on making loads of these trying out different shapes, stamps and colour combinations.  On these particular cards I used three colours on each from a selection of  Adirondack inks in Juniper and Meadow and Distress Inks in Shabby Shutters and Crushed Olive.

Hopefully the other girls will find time to get their take on this particular project done fairly soon but I can say that I have really enjoyed playing with these and will definitely make more.

Once again, I'm sorry we kept you waiting and thanks for sticking with us.  I'm wondering what project Elaine is going to choose for us next as she has not given us any clues at all,  Hmmmmm!!!!

Lesley  Xx

Thursday, 4 November 2010

And finally 'Friends' (posted by Judith)

Well, here I am posting my wooden box project based on Isa Norris' idea in the August edition of Craft Stamper magazine. Last month was so hectic for me, I went to Barcelona, and had another two trips away. My box was painted, but unfinished for a few weeks before I could finally get around to completing it this week.
I decided very early on that I wanted a colour scheme of creams and heather colours. I used Eco-friendly Acylic paint, which comes in a variety of colours, and is very reasonably priced. I used clam shell as my cream option, adding just a bit of white. I then mixed Periwinkle, Pomegranate and White to get my heather colour. I painted the box in heather first, using the Vaseline technique on page 9 of the November Craft Stamper to get an aged effect, I then added the cream colour. I stamped the Crafty Individuals crackle stamp onto tissue paper, and added this to the frame onto some of the cream areas, using matte multi-medium by Claudine Hellmuth.

I lined my box compartments with a mixture of Crafty Individuals papers, and handmade backgrounds, in toning colours. My box is a larger option than the other girls have gone for, because I wanted to incorporate a lot of stamps into my project. I have used a photo tray, similar to a printer's tray, but about the same size. I have used lots of Crafty Individuals stamps, a few Katzelcraft stamps, and one or two by ISC. I have chosen a theme of 'Friends' to carry through the project, and Crafty Individuals have lots of lovely stamps to portray this. I have also stamped out four ladies to resemble myself and my three lovely blog friends, although whether we are that graceful, I'm not sure!

I have included lots of little bits and pieces that have been gifts from my friends. When we meet up, they come bearing little packages of craft gifts , and some of these appear in this project; the lovely cream metal butterfly, (it used to be bronze), the pearls on stems, the printed tape, which should have gone in our circle journals, but I felt it belonged on here.

I thought of my friends as I worked on this piece, and I hope that it shows in the final result.

Now, onto our next project! As I've been so tardy in posting this one, I need to let you know what our next project is going to be. Lesley has chosen Joanne Wardle's 'Sunset Silhouette' on page 74 of the October Craft Stamper magazine. Hopefully, you won't have to wait too long to see some items from the others, as I know that they have already been preparing for this challenge. Thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Sewing Box (posted by Elaine)

Well here is project three from this month's selection of a little decorated box, inspired by Isa Norris. I was really looking forward to making this project as I love working on miniature projects. I have been a bit naughty as I wanted to work with two boxes. I decided to mount the boxes onto a little wooden triptych screen that I had been itching to use for some time, so I have been working in and out of the box like Jo. 

I decided to make a project with a sewing theme when I saw a set of needlework themed stamps made by Mirkwood Designs on E Bay! It took three attempts by my OH  staying up until the early hours to successfully bid for this set from a seller in the US!  I have wanted to make a needlework themed project for ages since I saw the gorgeous Grandma's Sewing Book project by Helen Chilton in the August 2008 issue of Craft Stamper. So this project was actually inspired by two designers. 

I painted my boxes and screen various shades of mushroom, pale yellow and finally cream until I was happy with the colour. The intial idea was to cover the screen with dressmakers' pattern tissue, which I did, but the tissue didn't really go transparent to show the colour through and looked a muddy colour, so I sanded it back and repainted it again!!

I used some twill measuring tape to edge the boxes that I bought some time ago from The Stamp Connection stand at Alexandra Palace. The little boxes are lined with Life's Journey paper by K & Co. The Time's is a Dressmaker stamp on the left hand panel is from Paper Artsy, as is the squiggle I used as the stand for the dummy. Originally I planned to use the words to top the project, but they were too big, but then I got the idea to use the dummy from this card on Suzanne Czosek's blog that I was browsing on the other day. I didn't realise at the time that Suzz is a blogging pal of Lesley. Thanks for the inspiration Suzz! If you haven't visited Suzz's blog, it is full of inspiration! I got the template for the dummy on the Stampington website, reduced it to the right size on the photocopier and cut it out of Webster's Pages paper and coloured the edge with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink. I stamped the stamp onto tissue paper and stuck it on with gel medium. The large scissors on the right hand panel are from the Mirkwood plate, the needle packet and the cotton label on the top are from a pack of rub ons.

I decorated inside the compartments with cream cotton lace, various stamps from the Mirkwood set, The ruler and some of the buttons are Lost Coast stamps from Happy Daze. The little cotton reel is another purchase from the Stamp Connection, with gold coloured embroidery thread added. I also used the button and zig zag stitched design are narrow Cuttlebug folders from the Just my Type set. I added some real needles, a safety pin and some eyes.

I wanted to include a little pin cushion, so I stamped onto some calico fabric and gathered it into a little pin cushion, adding some tiny lace making pins. I added some more stamping, a little thimble that I coloured with Butterscotch alchol ink, which I used on all the slivery metal elements to make them golden coloured to match the rest of the colour scheme. I finally added some little wooden scrabble tiles and some vintage buttons that I think may have come from my grandmother's sewing box.

I really enjoyed making this project, I want to thank Isa for the original inspiration and for her generosity in sharing her skills and knowledge with us crafters and thanks to Judith for choosing this project for us to tackle.

Elaine x

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

My Little Feathered Friends.

Well, I have to admit I really struggled with this project.  I have come to realise that I don't do miniature very well at all and that only increases my admiration for people who can, like Isabelle Norris whose project was the inspiration for our efforts this month and Jean Hardy of Crafty Individuals whose products feature in Isa's lovely little creation.  Unlike my lovely pal Jo, I never thought to 'think outside the box' and I was so stunned by her wonderful project that I almost chickened out on posting mine.  However,  I thought our wonderful visitors deserved to see the not so good side of the coin as well as the lovely stuff so here goes.

I have had a bit of a 'bird thing' going on in several of my efforts this summer and so I based this project on 'My Little Feathered Friends' also.

I painted my box with StudioTraditional Tan semi gloss paint but then decided to cover it with some Precious Metal Paints.  I mixed two colours (and I can't remember what they were now, Doh!) to get the minky shade for the outside.  The inside was dabbed with a stiffish brush and another Precious Metal colour.  I used a Cuttlebug embossing folder to emboss the grass and bird onto a piece of pearl Ten Seconds Studio metal, lightly sanded it and then rubbed it with black and some deep golden yellow acrylic paint.  Finally I used a Ranger Metallic Gold Dabber on certain areas of the metal before sprinkling Gold EP and heat embossing.  This metal was then used to fill two of the sections.
I used a selection of images from a new Crafty Individuals set which I bought from their stand at the Artisan Show at the beginning of October, a few Elusive Images stamps and a Clarity stamp for the other two sections and the small amount of stamping on the outside of the box and after sticking these in place, I dabbed Ranger Rock Candy on the inside bottom 'ledge' of each section.  I made a little bird's nest from a button with fibre and coarse twine stuck to it and then made some little eggs from Friendly Plastic to put in the nest.  I covered a little bird (again from Crafty Individuals) with Viva Ferro (again, two colours mixed together) and then stamped into it with one of the CI folliage stamps.  I left it to dry overnight and then touched the raised surface with a little Precious Metal Paint to show up the texture more and attached it to the top edge of the box.  Finally, I added the strip of lace.

I have to be honest and say that this wasn't my favourite project to do simply because I found it so difficult working with the restrictions of such a small area but it was a very good test for me.  I'm looking forward to seeing what our other two quartet members come up with now.

Thanks as always for your visit and especially if you find time to leave a comment.

Lesley  Xx

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Echoes of summer (by Jo)

When Judith chose our project this month I knew straight away that my piece would feature trees. The tree pictures in the Crafty Individuals Nature’s Beauty book are some of my favourites and I had used winter trees in the piece I made in Jean Hardy’s class at the Graphicus retreat last month. I thought an autumn theme would be good and prepared my collection of bare trees for this box. But my mind was still on another jaunt from the end of the summer and some of you will spot that straight away. That is how my box became a little ‘cottage’. Crafty Individuals also make chipboard trees, houses and fences but these were a bit too small for what I wanted so I made my own larger tree and fence in the style of the CI ones.

I covered them in papers I received as part of my Graphicus Guild membership. These might possibly be on the latest Essence of Nature CD but I can’t be sure as I don’t have that one yet. At this point the bare tree images were cast aside as this tree is most definitely not a autumn one. I replaced the pictures with another echo of my summer - the bluebells.

 It took a very long time to choose a colour for my box. I toyed with the idea of making it lilac as there is purple in the tree. But I wanted something that looked like part of the woodland. It started out beige but I didn’t like that so I repainted it in sage green.

I dressed my cottage with some pieces of ribbon edged with tiny leaves. I bought this ribbon with Elaine in mind really and it comes in several colours. I had expected to be using the autumn coloured one but here it is in glorious summer green!

You have to look very hard to spot the stamping on my cottage. But it is there. It’s a beautiful leaf stamp from the Elusive Images Fantasy Floral plate. I have used a tiny version of the same stamp in the background of the text (computer generated) and it also ties in with the leaves on the tree.

In her original, Isabelle Norris used Cuttlebug embossing on some of her backgrounds. I love my Cuttlebug and didn’t wanted to miss the chance to use it here so I used the script folder to make a background for the bluebells and also for my roof tiles. Like Isa’s these are made with Pearl TSS metal which has been aged with Terracotta and Gold alcohol inks. The metal was too delicate (and probably too sharp) to use on its own for the roof so each piece is backed with corrugated card which I left exposed at the edges as I think it makes it look more rustic. The eaves are made with bronze pearl card cut with a Fiskars embossing border punch (Punched Lace, I think). I was worried that with all the extra weight of the roof, the cottage wouldn’t stand up on its own as I’d originally intended so I was delighted it still works as a free-standing piece.

The fence was made in two pieces. I coloured it with Antique Linen DI and overstamped with the CI crackle stamp (CI – 116) in Vintage Photo DI. I couldn’t resist adding a butterfly. This is another CI image from the Nature’s Beauty Book. I deliberately chose one with quite neutral colours. The punched fern leaves at the base of the fence came about just because I thought they helped make the words look more at home on the fence.

The summer was not at all sad for me this year but I felt compelled to include the word as that is how I feel looking back at the summer in autumn time. I have come to a point in my crafting where the things I make evoke memories of places, people or events. I have high hopes of getting some journalling off the ground but in the meantime, this cottage on my mantelpiece will hold my memories of summer places.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Onto our next Project (written by Judith)

The Summer is coming to an end, and the Autumn is starting to make its presence felt with the reds and browns appearing on the trees. We get a spell of lovely warm weather, and then the blustery winds appear, making us want to wrap up inside, and keep warm. This is ideal crafting weather, don't you think?
We have had a very busy few weeks, what with holidays, and other commitments, and although we have still managed to fit some crafting time in here and there, we have not been able to keep up with our deadlines on here unfortunately. Our next project is from August's Craft Stamper magazine, based on Isabelle Norris' project 'Seaside Memories' on page 26. This was my choice, as I love the idea of combining stamping, pictures and pieces of memorabilia all in one piece. Isabelle's design is lovely in washed blues, but where we all head? Who knows, with our track record! Will we stay small, or go large? You will have to wait and see. Some of us are well on the way with these projects, and some of us are not so well advanced... hopefully, we'll show you some sneak peeks as per usual, and keep you posted with our progress.
We'll be skipping past September's Craft Stamper magazine in an attempt to get caught up, and next month, we'll choose from October's projects, to bring ourselves back up to date.
Keep popping back for those little snippets, and we'll see you soon, Judith xx

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Courtesy of Morticia's Wardrobe? (posted by Jo)

This project was a long time coming for a number of reasons. I haven't been around much over the summer to do any crafting and when I have, it seemed I didn't have all the materials I wanted for my canvas. My plan changed several times and I only knew what colours I was going to use when I finally had a brush in my hand.

The canvas itself was coloured with Aqua and Cool Peri Adirondack Dabbers. I applied the first layer with a baby wipe and then added extra texture and depth of colour with a natural sponge. Over the top I used a Tim Holtz Cobweb mask, sponged through with Dusty Concord Distress ink.

The Grungepaper squares gave me some problems. I was in two minds as to whether to go for a lighter or darker contrast with the canvas. But the first of my elements looked lost on the lighter colour background so I went with Dusty Concord. I was disappointed at first with the colour and considered using a white card with the ink or embossing a ready coloured card. But I did like the velvet texture of the Grungepaper and wanted to keep the textile feel to the squares. In the nick of time I remembered inking Grungepaper roses at Linda Elbourne's workshop at LB Crafts. She told us we needed to really work the ink into the surface and we certainly hammered the Cut n Dry foam getting our flowers coloured that day. So I tried again with the Dusty Concord on my squares and got a much more vivid colour. I embossed with a Jamara Cuttlebug folder but the embossing didn't show too well so I went back and picked out the raised surface with Black Soot and got an effect I was really pleased with. The word 'goth' wasn't in my head until I read the comments on my sneak peek but the black and purple velvet/flock effect is straight out of Morticia's wardrobe.

To colour the tag on which the images were stamped, I used Tumbled Glass, Dusty Concord and a little Faded Jeans. I dabbed these onto my craft mat, spritzed with water and dipped in the tag. Over this background I used a Tattered Angels Ironworks masks. It is a fantastic iron gate. I picked out the shape in more Dusty Concord then stamped over the top. The stamps I used are mostly Inkadinkado but the 'Trick or Treat' and 'Shadows' text is from a new Halloween plate by Elusive Images.  

I didn't have the Tim Holtz Fragments that Linda used on her tag in the original project but I got by using three Creative Acrylics pieces and a few round and square acrylic 'pebbles' which I've had for a while.

I added into the mix a variety of Grungeboard minis which were painted with a Silver Dabber and immediately embossed with silver embossing powder. This gave the paint a lovely bubbled effect and even the tiny pieces look quite gnarly. I also used a couple of pieces painted with Aqua Dabber. I tried quite hard to repeat motifs across the canvas to pull everything together. A chipboard arrow echoes the spikes on Crow Gate and a tiny star flourish in a square pebble (sorry, lost in the glare on the main photo below) echoes the silver chipboard stars. Can you spot the others?

Sadly, I wasn't able to make the word 'Boo' with the type charms because there is only one 'o' in a set. So I computer generated my own letters.

I really enjoyed this project once I finally got to grips with it. I love the way I was able to use so many different elements and techniques. I know it is very different from Linda's canvas in the magazine but I feel I have put my own twist on the piece and was glad I was able to use what I had learned from her to get Grungepaper squares I was happy with. Thanks, Linda, for continuing to inspire us!

PS Sorry for the picture quality. I waited for daylight but it has been murky again today so no chance to improve on the photos I took in artificial light last night.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Don't give up on me just yet! (posted by Jo)

You might be forgiven for thinking I was a figment of your imagination and that this was really Craft Stamping Trio! But I am still here. I've just spent a lot of time gadding about over the summer and consequently I have got behind with our projects here. But after seeing the girls produce such gorgeous tag canvases I thought it was time I started getting mine together. I've made some headway today and hope to have my piece finished in time for a dash to the deadline with Judith's choice of project from the next issue.

 Here is a little taster of things to come.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

My red and turquoise canvas (posted by Elaine)

Well you may know from my sneeky peek that I chose a rather unusual colour palette for my canvas inspired by Linda Elbourne's project in Craft Stamper. I love turquioise, but wanted to add something with a bit of punch too, hence the red - I think it works although it is rather unorthodox!

Unlike my blogging companions here, I have not gone for the understated approach, rather the more is more technique, or what I often call my "everything but the kitchen sink look"!! I have also gone a bit glittery and blingy, which is another diversion from Linda's original, I hope I will be forgiven Linda!! I painted my canvas wirh a Pool dabber, then I wanted a really true turquoise colour, so I actually made my background squares from a pale chipboard that I ran through the cuttlebug and then painted with precious metal paint. I backed each square with a matted layer of glitter card and let just a tiny edge show for a little sparkle.

I used a lovely Darkroom Door set of stamps as my words and some images. I really struggled to find some words that fitted the memory frame, so this was a bit of one of the main stamps in the set. I needed a bit more space than a tag allowed so I used a semi gloss postcard to work on. I can't remember for sure which inks I used now, I know one was Tumbled Glass DI. I used a nice swirly mask as my background. Although I did use Fragments for the first time, I also used some of the Tim Holtz film strip ribbon too for some of my images. Linda very kindly demoed how to stamp tiny images for using the ribbon when we were at Ally Pally a while back. Linda also got me over my fear of making Grungepaper roses when I did a brilliant class with her when me and my CSQ pals went in holiday together in June, so I wanted to add some of them onto my canvas. I made these out of red velvet paper and thought black leaves would set them off nicely.

I used the lovely Jo Capper Sandon small bee stamp and a key hole that I think was a lovely freebie from Crafty Individuals. I added some lovely metal keys from K & Co, some red buttons and some jewelled flourishes. I just inked my chipboard frame and shape as I had already used metallic finishes, after all you can see I didn't want it to be OTT!

So this is the full canvas and like Judith and Lesley I really loved doing this project, so thank you Linda for the inspiration in your article, on your blog and in your classes and demos. You make us laugh and we learn a lot too - what better combination could we ask for?

Thanks for popping by and sharing our fun!

Elaine x

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Birds of a Feather (written by Judith)

Here I am, slightly later than intended, posting my offering based on Linda Elbourne's 'Playing Tag' in the July Craft Stamper magazine.
I decided to go with a green theme this time, as I was feeling very summery, and wanted to reflect the foliage and freshness of the garden. I wanted to incorporate lots of birds into my project, and use my favourite Paper Artsy and Elusive Images bird stamps.

I started by choosing a colour palette of Willow and Juniper Adirondack Inks, and Bundled Sage Distress Ink. I applied Willow and Juniper paint dabbers to my canvas, and Juniper to my Grungepaper. As I mentioned in my sneaky peek, I used the Tim Holtz Cracked effect folder to emboss my Grungepaper.
I used a lovely Tattered Angels mask from the Blossom set on my tag, keeping to the natural theme. I had some chipboard leaves which I coloured with Bundled Sage, and a lovely Scrap FX Bird which was coloured with Vintage Photo DI, bringing in an element of brown for contrast. I used a little bit of Gold paste on the tail of the bird to age it slightly. I added a couple of Wendy Vecchi butterflies, and some handmade flowers, all with a brown tinge.

I had never worked with the Ideology fragments before, but enjoyed finding images small enough to fit the pieces. I love the effect that embossing over gold Paint Dabber gives, so thank you Linda for this technique, I will be using it again! I added a dot of black Pearl Pen to the birds for their eyes, which seemed to work well.Inside the memory capsule, I placed a couple of little humming bird charms, some Paper Artsy clock fragments, and some green seed beads. I stamped one of my favourite phrases from the Live out Loud themeplate from Elusive Images, I love the font on this one.

I had fun making the small flowers, as I had never made these before. They are really easy, and take no time at all. So I will be making lots more of these too! They will be handy for using up scraps of pretty papers I think.
As you will see, I went for a rectangular canvas; it was what I had to hand. Therefore, my grungepaper pieces are a mix of square and rectangles. I played around with the combinations before sticking them down, and decided on this conventional pattern in the end. I have really enjoyed this project, although my time was tight, and would certainly like to make more of them, so thank you Jo for choosing the project, and thank you Linda for the fabulous idea in the first place.

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and any comments that you care to make will be really appreciated, Judith xx