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