Well just when everyone had given up hope that I would ever finish my April project, here it finally is!!
I have to say it was tricky getting a decent picture as it is quite long!
While everyone else was busy with cubes, I decided to try and use a piece of skirting board for a slightly different approach. As soon as I started thinking about doing a long panel design I though of using this gorgeous stamp from Beeswax Stamps in the US. BUT I don't have this stamp, my distant crafty friend Jo does though and she kindly agreed to lend it to me.
I thought that by stamping this image a few times I could make it into a cloister effect. I have always loved cloisters as they have such a peaceful atmosphere, often enclosing beautiful gardens. They are little safe havens of tranquility.
I had seriously over-estimated the accuracy of my stamping!! One of the things I most admire about Helen Chilton, whose project inspired us this month, is the incredible accuracy of her stamp positioning - I think it is really awesome! Even with a stamp positioner, I couldn't do what I wanted and stamp it all in one line, so I stamped separate images to stick together. Then when I came to colour the images I just couldn't get the colour I wanted, so in the end I stamped the image onto Basic grey Wassail paper in a sludgey, olivey green-grey sort of colour, cut them out with my trusty decoupage scissors and stuck them all together.
The effect I wanted to create was the idea of the changing colours of light through the different times of the day, starting with dawn and going through to evening. I needed a landscape effect, so I used strips of torn Eclipse tape to create the effect I was looking for, sponging on my beloved Adirondack dye inks in five blending sets of colours. I used about 18 different colours all together I think, working hard to keep using the correct blending foam squares as I kept changing my colours!
On each panel I did four colours to look like sky and mountains.
Once I had done that I had my backgrounds and decided to use exactly the same stamps in the same position on each panel, otherwise I felt the overall effect would be far too hectic.I had hoped to use the Elusive Images Wild Meadow stamps, but they were too big for the scale of this project, so I used a Crafty Individuals set CI 207 - that I often think of as mini Wild Meadow!!
I positioned them all on a large block and repeat stamped the layout on all five panels. I edged the top corners with the Lavinia vine stamp that is so very useful. I finished off with the little grass stamp from Wild Meadow (I was determined to get it in there somewhere), and then shaded around the edge of each panel and over the whole image lightly with more dye ink to pull it all together. As a final touch I added some tiny butterflies and dragonflies and a bird in the sky on each colour.
Putting all the panels and layers together with the wood, it was clear I would have to do some serious paintwork to get the wood to match into my stamped panel.
So I covered my wood in gesso, painted it with some acrylic paint in a blending colour and then tried to match it to the colour of the arches by stippling very dark grey paint on with a shaving brush. I did manage to do a couple of horrible blotchy sections, just don't look too closely!! I was trying to get a stoney sort of effect so the moulding of the wood looked more like part of the surrounding architecture. I had to try and do justice to all the lovely moulding my OH did especially for me to fit the size of the panel.
I finally stuck the whole lot together with lots of extra strong DST and glue roller. And if you've managed to read through the end of this screed without dropping off you get extra bonus points and you can sit in my monastery garden for a little longer!!
Elaine, Jo, Judith and Lesley are four crafters spread across the country, united in their love of crafting. They met over the Internet through the Graphicus Guild, a group set up for crafters by Glenda Waterworth owner of Graphicus and manufacturer of Elusive Images rubber stamps. After some discussion, they decided that they would like to 'craft together' in spite of the distance between them. To accomplish this ambition, they decided to choose one project each month from Craft Stamper magazine, and allow themselves the following calendar month to complete the project. Each person would take it in turn to choose a project. The four participants would then post 'sneaky peeks', progress reports and mini tutorials throughout the month. At the end of the month, they would then post their projects, hopefully producing four very different finished items.
Elaine lives in the rural South of England, in a small house with a huge, wild garden and many of her craft projects are inspired by the natural world. She has been crafting for several years, mainly making cards and some mixed media projects with a strong focus on using rubber stamps. She now also enjoys making book based projects and is just starting to dabble in art journals. Elaine is a bit of a perfectionist, with many of her projects never seeing the light of day, but she is working on being more relaxed about her artistic endeavours!!!Elaine has a serious craft stash addiction and treasures the precious times when she can meet up with her distant crafty friends.
Jo lives in the East Midlands. She loved papercrafting as a child, but only rediscovered it as an adult in her work with children, and then again when she had children of her own. She'd promised herself that one day she would try some grown up 'cutting and sticking'. So when her work pattern changed in 2006, it seemed an ideal time to find a new hobby. She started a major collage project, (still unfinished of course), and then got sidetracked into playing with polymer clay. This in turn led to her watching rubber stamping demonstrations on television, and stamping has been her passion since that time.
She loves to travel to craft shows around the country and still hasn't lost the sense of wonder at what can be achieved with ink and paper. At one time she may have gone home from her job in child care with messy hands, now she is as likely to arrive with them looking that way!
Judith lives in a Norfolk village with her husband and son, while her daughter is at University. She keeps chickens. She has always been a crafter in one form or another, knitting, sewing, etc, being taught by her Mum growing up, and finding inspiration from others as an adult. She has been making cards for about eight or nine years, and runs a small card making class from home. In the last year, she has discovered mixed media, and her focus has moved very much towards dimension, layering and texture. Rubber stamping is her passion and she is a serious stamp collector! She also makes jewellery which allows her to indulge in a love of all things shiny. She enjoys blog hopping, and keeping in touch with her crafty friends.
Lesley lives in Nottinghamshire and has always crafted in one way or another from about the age of 7. At one time she took a City and Guilds Fashion and Design course (just for the fun of it), which involved quite a bit of Art in different forms, as well as designing and making garments. She discovered cardmaking about three and a half years ago, and after seeing Glenda Waterworth, the owner of Graphicus and Elusive Images on a craft TV channel about a year later, became hopelessly addicted to rubber stamping. A closer association with Glenda and her company in the form of workshops and open days over the past couple of years, has led to a growing obsession with different media that can be used in conjunction with rubber stamps.
Lesley is thoroughly excited to be a member of this little group of friends whose enthusiasm is so infectious. She is also very grateful to be around in this age of technology that enables a group such as this to come together with such ease to share ideas and give each other support and encouragement.