Saturday, 31 July 2010

Progress on July project (posted by Elaine)

Well I am making some progress with the July project - it looks like we will all be late this time thanks to holidays and other commitments!! In the meantime, here is a little sneeky peek from me! I have chosen a really strong and slightly wacky colour scheme, but I think it is going to work OK.

When we did the class with Linda Elbourne in June, she promised any of us that weren't confident making Grungepaper roses before would be after the class. I was a little hesitant and slow at the time, but guess what I have cracked it now and my fear has gone thanks to Linda's tuition and Jo's fantastic find of little pointed clips that work like a dream when making these flowers. I can still improve my technique, espcially getting the centres just right, but they are well on the way! These are made from one of my favourite materials, velvet paper - I don't know why more people don't use this! Plus the petals curl up really nicely.

Not quite sure when I might get this project finished, but at least I have started!! Plus ideas are forming for the August one, but that it top secret right now!

Elaine xx

Saturday, 24 July 2010

July Craft Stamper Project (written by Judith)

Now that we've  all posted our Flag Books, and had time for the dust to settle, we'd like to let you know what Jo has chosen as our next project. She has chosen Linda Elbourne's 'Playing Tag' on page 16 and 17 of the July edition of Craft Stamper magazine.
Linda's example is a lovely zingy red and gold creation, full of texture and bits and pieces of Maya Road chip, Ideology fragments and a Memory Frame in the centre. Where will we go with our own pieces? I for one will remember Linda, and the lovely class that we took with her at the beginning of June at LB Crafts, when I am working on my example. It was a time when we were all able to craft together, and chat and laugh, and spend some quality time in each other's company.
For those of you who are new to our blog, this is where we have an opportunity to feel as though we are crafting together, even though we live miles apart, because we are working on the same project. However, no conferring is allowed, and we usually end up with very different end products, although there have been a couple of close shaves!
We hope that you will come back to see our finished canvases in a week or two, and we may show you a couple of progress reports along the way, time permitting.
Judith xx

Saturday, 17 July 2010

I Managed It! (posted by Lesley)

Well, you know what they say 'Better Late Than Never' and that certainly applies to this particular project. Way back in May it was my turn to choose our project for the month from the June issue of Craft Stamper. I chose Sharon Neill's pretty canvas thinking it would be a relatively easy project as my friends and I all had a very busy month ahead. I couldn't have been more wrong. Jo was the first to finish but not without some trials and then Judith managed to get her's done also with difficulty but Elaine and I really struggled. I had three aborted attempts which were truly only fit for the bin. The colours I chose looked a complete mess and I just couldn't get the tissue to 'disappear' once I pasted it to the canvas. I decided to give up and got on with one or two other projects I needed to get done together with my flag book for our June project (which went like a dream).

Then I decided to have another go at the canvas as I don't like to be completely beaten and lo and behold, I managed something presentable. It's no masterpiece but it's not too bad and I do like the colours and the masking. I also managed to get the tissue to almost disappear so I thought I'd post it before we announce Jo's choice of project from the July issue of Craft Stamper.

Everything I used for this project except the 6" x 6" canvas and the tissue paper came from Graphicus. I am sooooo pleased that I managed to finish this as I really thought it was a lost cause. Thanks for visiting.

Lesley Xx

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Nature Notes (posted by Elaine)

Well here I am, last, but not least hopefully with the last of our June quartet projects!! Well we have had a busy time lately, plus I had a disaster with my first set of flags that I recounted recently on my own blog here! I was delighted to choose the flag book project and I think we have all really enjoyed working on this one. The other girls have produced stunning and colourful projects.

Once again I chose a nature theme for my project book. An amazing number of stamps is needed for the flags unless you want to repeat pictures, so nature themed stamps was my safest bet as I have a sizeable collection! The basic design of my book is based around the idea of a notebook with handwritten notes and sketches of plants and insects observed in the field. I used Adirondack dye inks in Willow, Citrus and Lettuce to ink my flags and cover backgrounds. The twist to the way I did this was to use my leafy background technique. Before much longer I am planning to post a tutorial of how I do this on my own blog as a few people have asked me how it's done. Basically, the Willow and Citrus are applied as the background with Cut 'n Dry foam, and the Lettuce is put on stippled using a cheap shaving brush, using a real maple leaf as a mask. The leaf effect shows most clearly on the covers.

I mounted my covers and flags on a Forest Green Core'dinations background. My cover is decorated with a Prima Frame, an Inkadinkado words stamp I recently found in the bargain bin at the Newbury Art Stamps Show and a Crafty Individuals butterfly. The letters are Basic Grey Wassail, painted with olive green Viva precious metal paint and I have added decorative metal corners.

Here are quite a lot of pictures of the inside to show the different stamps I used to stamp on the flags. All the script is stamped in Olive Green Ranger archival ink using the very useful Prima Notary stamp, the other images are stamped in Jet Black Ranger archival ink.

The first set of flags use Darkroom Door stamps, I think they are called Friendship Flowers, plus Crafty Individuals butterflies and a bee, I think this is a Beeswax stamp. As in Willy's instructions I used bleach to highlight certain parts of the design. This is the first time I had tried this technique and I was really pleased with how easy it was, provided you are really careful not to overdo it!!

My second view has stamps from Elusive Images, Wild Meadow, Eastern Grasses and Iris plates, as well as Lavinia, Beeswax, Crafty Individuals stamps and a set of ferns I bought second hand that are from an unidentified company.

The next set uses more Elusive Images stamps from the Wild Meadow and Spring plates, Lavinia stamps. Armerio and Crafty Individuals.

The final set uses more Elusive Images stamps, and others from Lavinia and Crafty Individuals.

The back cover uses an Inkadinakdo stamp from the Utopiary set, another bargain Inkadinkado stamp bought at the Newbury show and a Paper Artsy flourish circle. I have added punched leaves in black card using the McGill pine bough punch.

This picture shows the flags as they alternate in the way the book opens. I managed to get myself muddled about how they would all work as I was stamping, so had to stick them on back to front to the instructions, but it worked thankfully!!

So that's my project for this time.

Last but not least, some of you may have noticed I didn't post last month's canvas project. I just wanted to show you that I did try - a number of times, but I am not at all happy with any of my results, so I am admitting defeat, giving in gracefully, letting the side down and moving on, so we can announce our next project! 

Thanks for popping by!


Friday, 9 July 2010

Wandering through a Rainbow Garden (written by Judith)

Well, I've finally finished my flag book, I can't believe that it's taken me so long! June was such a busy month, and the time just flew by.
I have chosen to incorporate some elements used by Willy in her lovely book shown in Craft Stamper magazine, like the bleaching, for example. However, I decided to make my flag book more three dimensional. Although I have chosen different stamps, and a different colour scheme to Jo and Lesley, I wanted to add more elements. Therefore, I have introduced decoupage, layering, and chipboard shapes to some of my tags. I have used butterflies and flowers throughout the book, which could have become repetitive, so I needed to vary what I did to my tags.
Those of you who saw the sneaky peeks on my blog last night could be forgiven for thinking that I have gone with red, yellow and orange as my colour palette, but I decided to use a few more than that. I have also used green, blue and purple too! I have graduated my colours, rainbow fashion down my book, to again add variation to the whole thing. I used the gorgeous Patchwork butterfly from Elusive Images on the front cover with a layered flower, also from Elusive Images. I have given the butterfly some antennae which Jo might recognise as a present she gave me at our mini Retreat. I have used cream Prima leaves, brushed with DIs.

For the back cover, I have again used my Elusive images stamps, and made a poppy head from a cream flower, by folding it up, and again colouring it with DIs, and glueing it in place. Throughout the book, I have used sequin waste, or a sequin waste effect stamp as a background.
I chose to use black card like Willy, Jo and Lesley, as it really is the best colour to display the lovely colours that I have used, and brings the Stazon out. I really enjoyed bleaching some of the images, but even in a well-ventilated room, it gave me a headache.

Here you can see the inside of my flag book, and the graduation of the colours that I used. The first layer at the top was Mustard seed, Wild Honey, and Barn Door. The second layer are Mustard Seed, Shabby Shutters, and Broken China. The third layer are Shabby Shutters, Broken China, and Dusty Concord.
I kept a common element from one layer into the next, and so on.

I have lots of photos to show you, and apologise if you feel overloaded by them, but would like to show you one or two tags close up.

I have really enjoyed making this project, as the images are some of my absolute favourites. I love making flowers, and working with these colours has been cheering and uplifting. I hope they brighten your day too! Thank you for looking, and any comments will be really appreciated, Judith xx

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Paris in the Spring (posted by Lesley)

Hi Everyone,

Well, I'm very relieved to say that I managed to complete June's project - unlike the one I chose myself (lol!) for May. Let's just say that is still a 'work in progress'. I have thoroughly enjoyed making my flag book so thanks a lot Elaine for choosing it. I hope you won't be bored as I also used the beautiful Paris stamps from Elusive Images as Jo did. I mixed mine with another Paris set and for the life of me, I can't remember whose they are. I'm hoping Jo's wonderful memory serves me well (as she was with me when I bought them) and that she'll be able to add the name ................... here! I also chose the Paris stamps because I needed so many on the same theme to be able to stamp 18 flag sides and I suppose it was inevitable that at some point two of us were going to choose the same stamps for a project.

I hope you don't mind a lot of photos because this project warrants them I think.

The front cover

I thorough enjoyed the painting with bleach technique for putting in the hightlights

I did almost mess up by not working out in advance which images I wanted to be on the 'top' side of the flag once they were attached to the spine

I also had an accident with one of my Distress Inks. I decided my inkpad needed re-inking but although I was using Old Paper I was thinking Tea Dye and I re-inked with the wrong colour. I now have an interesting new Distress Ink colour, lol, and had to use a different DI for my trio of colours which were Wild Honey, Crushed Olive and Tea Dye.

I also had one major moment of panic. Because the second set of stamps I used were clear stamps I didn't want to use Stazon for stamping the images so I decided to go with Ranger Archival Black. Then when I came to paint them with bleach I suddenly thought Uh! Oh! is the bleach going to remove the black image? I had also taken note of Willy's advice that some of the DI colours react differently to the bleach so I stamped an image and put some patches of the three colours onto some scrap card and 'painted' them to check them out before I risked ruining my carefully stamped flags. Yipee, all three colours disappeared beautifully and the Archival Black stayed put!

The back cover

Finally, another look at the front cover so that you can see the details a little better.

I'd like to say a big thankyou to Willy for her inspirational article in June's Craft Stamper magazine. It's been a brilliant project to do and I will definitely be using the painting with bleach technique again.

Hope you enjoyed your visit and many thanks for any comments you have time to leave.

Lesley Xx