Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Postcards from Paris (by Jo)

I was so pleased when Elaine chose Willy's book for our next project. I thought the combination of the black card and the bright inks was stunning. I chose a black background for my book and wanted to use bold colours too but wanted to avoid copying Willy's colours. With hindsight I would maybe not have chosen Distress Inks and maybe gone for sizzling colours instead but these were the inks that were in my head at the time and they do seem to suit the subject matter. I chose Broken China, Pine Needles and Dusty Concord.

It was only after I inked all the tags that I realised just how many surfaces I'd be stamping on. I'd chosen Elusive Images' Paris Memories plate as I thought it was my best chance of having a large number of stamps on one theme at my disposal. Even so, I found I had to introduce other stamps so I didn't have to repeat too many.
I used some stitch stamps from HOTP and also some sequin waste for backgrounds. Other images came from Paperartsy, Prima, The Artstic Stamper, Butterfly Kisses, Craft Stamper and Dimension Fourth.

I really liked the bleaching on Willy's flags too and used some bleaching on every tag. The flower worked particularly well so I did use that as a recurring motif, with Hero Arts Old French Script stamped over it. I discovered what Willy meant about the effects of the bleach over different colours.

Putting the book together proved quite simple considering the great effect the flags produce. It was hard to get a photo of the book showing how the tags move but I hope these give you the flavour of how the pages look.

Finally, I decided to depart from Willy's project when doing the cover. I'd been very taken with the cover of Penny Bearcroft's Fuerteventura journal and wanted to produce a collage style cover along similar lines. I also wanted to have a crack at that style as I'm planning to produce my own holiday journal in just a few weeks' time. For my cover I printed some words over a panel from Artylicious' Decadent Brocade CD. This was mounted over some Cuttlebug embossed card, with some die cuts from the same Cuttlebug set (including the tag which was a piece of paper I'd been using to try out some Cosmic Shimmer and Crafty Notions mica sprays). The lamp image was actually my first bleaching practice piece. The key is a ScrapFX laser cut chippie, which had a thin coat of Viva Terra to give it a bit of texture then was lightly swiped with gold ink. The number tag is made with a stamp I love but don't often have the opportunity to use. It is from a US manufacturer. Probably Purple Onion. These bits are held together with an Idea-ology ball chain.

So this is the finished cover. It doesn't look very square as it is standing up. So, to use Judith's expression, it's decidedly 'on the wonk'. Thanks for nominating this challenge, Elaine. I really enjoyed it.

PS My apologies for the arrangement of pics on this post. I look forward to the day when what you see in the preview pane in Blogger is what you see on the page after you've published!

PPS I have just found out about Blogger's new post editor. It might be too late for this post but hopefully my next one will look much more sensible!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Project for June (written by Judith)

Well, slightly later than normal,we'd like to let you know what our chosen project is to be from the June edition of Craft Stamper magazine. Elaine has chosen the project this time, and it is 'Flutterby Flag Book' on page 16 by Willy Anderson. The lovely vibrant colours against the black are really striking, and the butterfly theme running through the book pulls a large amount of different stamps together.
Willy has suggested the option of a yearbook, or using tags for the flags, so it will be interesting to see what we all come up with. Jo has made a start and you can see her sneaky peek here

As you know, at the beginning of the month, we went on our mini Retreat near Bedford. We had four days of chatting, cooking, and crafting together. We had two adjoining appartments,which were stuffed to the brim with our crafty stash. We spent one day attending a class with Linda Elbourne at LB Crafts, making a hanging consisting of three mini canvases. We worked on our circle journals, making pages for each other, and trying our hand at skills that we taught each other. Elaine taught us how to make leafy backgrounds, using leaves from her garden and Adirondack inks. I taught the girls how to add beading to Stampbord, and they made a necklace. We didn't achieve everything that we had planned, but there is always next time! 

The farm where we stayed was brilliant, we made friends with the resident dogs, and admired the horses. The owner even brought her chickens round to meet us! She had a very large great Dane called Dufus, who was a little disconcerting, but if you were brave, and fronted him out, he was okay. 

As well as the four of us meeting up, we took our Art dolls, and photographed them together too. It was lovely to see each other's work in the flesh,because we only get to see photographs too.
We have lots of happy memories of our time together, and were very sad when we came to say goodbye to each other. Hopefully it won't be too long before we can meet up again.