Sunday, 31 July 2011

A not so tiny bird box! (posted by Elaine)

Well it's my turn to bring this quartet of our projects to a close. Judith set us the challenge of making a project of our choice in the colour palette chosen by Rachel Jackson of cream, latte and bordeaux from the May issue of Craft Stamper. My project is inspired by the lovely little bird house made by Jean Hardy in the April issue of the magazine.
I say inspired because my bird box is not tiny. You may know that my crafty friend Judith has this great idea of Forgotten Friday on her blog, using stamps and goodies that find their way into her craft room but have never been used. I think most of us are guilty of buying more products that we can keep up with. I bought this bird box with the aim of altering it sometime.

Now I had been looking at this box as I went in and out of my craft shed and doing nothing with it for far too long, so I decided to go for the Forgotten Friday approach and get on and do something with it. Now as well as my bird box, I decided to use a fab set of stamps from Prima called Green Leaf which were purchased as a result of another article by Rachel Jackson in Craft Stamper which I had shamefully never inked! I also used some papers from a huge 12 x 12 Bella Bella pad from My Mind's Eye that I bought ages ago in Blade Rubber that had incredibly never been touched - except to stroke!

I used the corners of the pattern on the paper to make the eaves of the house. I then overstamped with the Notary stamp from Prima in Hazlenut Adirondack ink. I added my favourite maple leaf stamp from Lavinia stamped in Expresso Adirondack and and the door from Crafty Individuals stamped in Plum Archival ink. The word "home" is from the new Chocolate Baroque Home Sweet Home set, mounted into a Tim Holtz ornate frame and covered with glossy accents. I decorated the eaves with some beaded trim and braid and added paper scrap roses, paper roses and the little key with some sari ribbon to the front of the box, as you know I don't really do minimalist!

The sides of the box got similar treatment with butterflies from the Prima Green Leaf set added and some sweet little laser cut birds and a little stamped grass.

These side views also show the roof which was made of punched strips cut using an X cut punch from a newsprint Tim Holtz paper from the Lost and Found collection, edged with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink. I made the ridge of the roof from thin copper coloured metal which I cut with a lacy edge Fiskars punch.

I mounted the box onto a base made from chipboard which I covered in moulding paste through a decorative screen and then painted in crean and inked with more Hazlenut dye ink to highlight the pattern.

The back view shows the little bird stamp from the Green Leaf set stamped and coloured with pencils, his crown has been embossed in gold and a couple of brass butterfly charms have been added. Originally the bird was going to be on the front of the house, but in the end I decided I liked it's domestic look, so added the birds to the sides and back panels instead.

I did rather stretch the colour palette as I found myself adding more pink and dark brown. Hopefully I haven't strayed too far from the original inspiration!

So thanks to Judith for choosing this project, although I have to confess I found it hard to settle on an idea to work on as the field was wide open. Unusually for me this project wasn't planned. I had to work it out as I went along, but I am pleased how it came together in the end and thoroughly enjoyed working in a more organic way! Thanks of course too, to Rachel Jackson for her inspiring colours and to Jean Hardy for her tiny bird box which inspired me to create a larger one.

Thanks for popping in to see our different projects - we always appreciate your comments.


Monday, 25 July 2011

Carving a Niche for Myself (posted by Judith)

Hi folks, it's my turn to post my project on our joint Blog. I chose the option this month, and it was slightly different to our previous challenges. I told the girls that they should follow Rachel Jackson's colour challenge on page 78 of the May Craft Stamper magazine, but they could combine this with any other project from the March, April or May magazines. This gave us enormous scope for variety, but also made us quite nervous, wondering if we would pick the same project as one of the others. So far, Jo, Lesley and myself have all been different, but we have yet to see Elaine's project.

I knew as soon as I saw my project, that I would like to make this one, even before I had the chance to choose the CSQ project.  I have chosen, funnily enough, another Rachel Jackson project; it is on page 8 of the April Craft Stamper magazine 'Carve a Niche'. I love old books, I regularly go to charity shops and buy them to alter, or use the pages in mixed media projects. I look for lovely covers, and have some really textured ones waiting to be made into something new. For this project, I found a great burgundy book, which was a good size, big enough for my main stamp, with plenty of space around the edges, as I had plans to add embellishments.

I used a lovely stamp by Stampington and Company as my main image, colouring it with my Polychromos pencils in the chosen colour palette. I decoupaged it onto a piece of card that I had coloured with chalk inks.

I followed Rachel's instructions to cut the front of my book out, and tear through my book pages, as you can see, it took ages! I decided not to paint my pages though, as I wanted a creamy feel to my pages.

I then took some tissue paper, and stained it with tea, and left it to dry. I stamped this with a script stamp from IndigoBlu, and a phrase from The Artistic Stamper, in Timber Brown Stazon. I added this to my book cover with matte medium, as I wanted the burgundy colour to show through, in keeping with the colour palette. I added pieces of book page randomly, painted with a very diluted wash of Cranberry paint dabber.

I then stamped lots of butterflies, some onto card, some onto shrink plastic, and some onto Clearly for Art. I coloured them in, either using my Polychromos, or alcohol inks, shrinking, or heating them where necessary.I then stuck them to my book.

I then added a ribbon inside the book covers so that I could tie the book closed, as per Rachel's instructions.

I had an onlooker when I was taking my photos, the eagle eyed amongst you will spot her paw in this photo, she wouldn't budge as she likes to be involved. Finally, here is the finished article:

I thoroughly enjoyed making this project, and would certainly make another one. I have Rachel to thank both for her colour inspiration, and the tips and hints on the book project.
Thanks for stopping by today, Judith xx

Sunday, 24 July 2011

A quick peek (posted by Judith)

Hi folks, it's been a couple of weeks since Lesley's gorgeous project was posted on our Blog, and my own project is virtually finished now. Just a little bit more work, and I'l be done. I thought I show you a few pictures, and see if you could guess which project I've chosen to combine my colour palette with. My project has been chosen from either the March, April or May edition of the Craft Stamper magazine, which narrows it down slightly for you.

I am sticking to the colour scheme of cream, latte and bordeaux, as you can see by the photo above. But that probably doesn't help you too much does it?

It is a lovely project, which I liked the look of as soon as I saw it, and wanted to make it straight away. So being able to combine two challenges was perfect for me. Need some more clues?

I'm using some of my favourite imagery, butterflies of course, but that isn't really a clue in this case, sorry! There are some real clues in the pictures though, so have a think, and here is one last sneeky picture.

Thanks for stopping by today, Judith xx

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

On The Cover ................ not quite!

Hello Everyone,

I hope this evening finds you refreshed by the recent rain but not downhearted by it.  Personally, I am so relieved it has cooled down although my craftroom/conservatory has still been unbearably hot.  Oooh, I'm such a spoil sport when it's hot!

Well, tonight it's my turn to post my project for this month and as Sue correctly guessed from my earlier teaser I chose Hels Sheridan's 'On The Cover' project from the April 2011 issue of Craft Stamper for my inspiration together with the lovely colour palette Judith chose for us to use from Rachel Jackson's Designer Palette in the May 2011 issue.  I didn't adhere strictly to Hels' wall hanging because I didn't use the Craft Stamper free cover mount stamps but instead spent ages going through my stamp collection to find the ones I wanted to use.  I did use one of the cover mount stamps but the rest were a mix from Chocolate Baroque, Paper Artsy,Creative Expressions and Inkadinkado for the main Stampbord images, Stampers Anonymous for the background script and finally a new company called IndigoBlu for the crackle background on the canvas.

The first problem I encountered was finding suitable ink colours in my quite substantial collection.  I actually had both the Umber and Burgundy inks but one was a cube and the other a cat's eye and both were so old they were too dry to use so I had to look for alternatives. I finally settled on Coffee Archival, Parchment Paris Trunk and Aged Mahogany, Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Inks.

I love working with Stampbord so inking and stamping the tiles before covering them in UTEE was a real pleasure to do.  I do have a question for any Stampbord experts though.  I really enjoy doing the highlights with a scratch tool but even though I usually give the piece a blast of the heatgun to make sure the ink is thoroughly dry, as soon as I cover it with UTEE the highlights just about disappear and it really annoys me.  If anyone has a tip on how to stop this happening I would be grateful to hear it.  I actually forgot to sand the edges of my tiles before embossing them, lol!

To colour the middle of my canvas I found it was taking far too long (and too much ink from my precious pad) using the Parchment Paris Trunk so I mixed a very pale creamy colour from some acrylic paints and covered my canvas with that before inking round the edges with Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain.  I used a babywipe to take some of the ink from round the edges as I wanted it to look patchy.  I did this instead of the UTEE that Hels added to her canvas edges and also stamped the fine crackle (I stamped off onto scrap first so that the ink wasn't too dark).

I used a Chocolate Baroque flower stamp in two sizes to make my Grungepaper flowers and then filled the middles with Glossy Accents before adding some tiny gold beads.  I had the perfect beaded fringing in my stash plus the gorgeous steampunk butterfly and a lovely crystal type drop and finally some Ideology bits.  The other mistake I made (hmmm, they say confession is good for the soul, lol) was forgetting to punch the holes in my canvas board BEFORE I stuck the tiles on.  I had a heck of a job getting the Crop-a-dile at an angle that wouldn't damage the tiles when I squeezed to punch the holes.

Well, that's my offering for this month.  I thoroughly enjoyed making this so thanks to Rachel for the lovely colour combo (even though mine is not quite the same) and Hels for the project inspiration.  As always thankyou for visiting and for any comments you have time to leave.  I don't think it will be long before the next one of my buddies is ready with her project so keep an eye out for the post.

Lesley  Xx

PS   After publishing the post I noticed that the pics are a tad blurry but if you click on them the zoomed images are fine.  Xx

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Wish You Were Here

I thought Judith made a very clever choice when she settled on Rachel Jackson's Designer's Palette project from May's Craft Stamper. We'd all been so busy it seemed sensible to choose a project that could be completed quite quickly if we chose. But I found myself quite tested by it. For starters I realised that my colour vision is quite unreliable and when I saw the article the latte colour seemed quite green to me. Not a good start. I searched my inks and found the bordeaux colour hard to match up. The closest I could come was Cranberry which semed far too red. But I had brand new Indigo Blu stamps I was itching to try so I jumped in with both feet and liked the way the cranberry went with the latte and cream. I always intended to get myself an ink which better matched the ones Rachel had used in the article but before I knew it my project was at the point of no return!

In April's Craft Stamper I had been very taken with Jo Firth-Young's shaped concertina book and made a mental note to try something similar with my Baroque Bigz die. After playing with the Indigo Blu Grand Tour stamps I decided I would make a travel themed book and as my first attempts had looked good in the latte and cranberry, I decided to go with that.

As I was making my pages I was still in three minds as to how I was going to put my book together. Only at the last minute did I decide to make acetate hinges. They worked well for most pages but looked a bit clumsy on the burgundy backgrounds and, needless to say, if I was making this again I might do things a little differently.

The book takes its title from my favourite stamp from Indigo Blu's Grand Tour I set of stamps. It is called Wish You Were Here and you will see it on a later page. The bicycle stamp is from the same set. The background is made with the map stamp from Grand Tour II. I love the stamp and can see I will be using it a lot. You can't tell here but the map is of a favourite place of mine - the Lake District near Coniston and Windermere. I printed the title plaque on my printer and used an Elusive Images Creative Acrylic piece over the top.

The left hand page here uses a variety of stamps. Boys on Bikes is an Elusive Images stamp. The bus ticket is from The Open Road by The Artistic Stamper. The striped background is Holiday Stripes by Hero Arts. The top half of the page is made by inking through punchinella and stamping with the postmark stamp from Paperartsy Man of Numbers Plate 2. The right hand page was made with the Starry Night and Woodgrain embossing folders by Craft Concepts. The flags are made from newspaper and remind me of the ribbons we used to win on sports day at school.

Judith very kindly shared with us some lovely wooden Scrabble tiles which I used here with the Indigo Blu map stamp again and the compass from CI-294 by Crafty Individuals. On the right hand page I have used a Crafty Individuals' crackle stamp and the Artistic Stamper bus tickets from The Open Road. The arrows are Grungeboard Mixed Minis.

The gears page uses stamps from Crafty Individuals CI-294 again. There are also watch parts from The Artistic Stamper and some Tim Holtz Idea-ology sprockets. The card cogs were made with Sprightly Sprockets Nestabilities. Cycling Knickers is from The Open Road and the background is made with stamps from the same Crafty Individuals elements set and Sun Rays embossing folder. I added a swivel clasp for a bit of extra movement on the page.

This is the aforementioned Wish You Were Here stamp. I stamped it over a background made by inking through a compass mask by That Special Touch and layered up the lady on the top. The crackle stamp is there again in the background along with the wheel from The Open Road.

This page features stamps already mentioned. I've used a tiny Tim Holtz file folder and made the page a little bit interactive...

Here I've used one of the Mixed Minis again with a number stamp taken from one of the bus tickets. I think this was probably my favourite page.

I needed to keep the back page fairly flat but couldn't resist layering up the scroll, which is from Elusive Images' Harlequin Mask. The wheel is from The Open Road and the text from Indigo Blu Grand Tour II. In the background the page is embossed with Starry Night again and I have picked out the texture with a gold rub-on.

This wasn't the quick and simple project I'd thought I would be making but I loved doing it and in spite of the time it took I never tired of looking at the stamps or enjoying the colour combination. I wouldn't have used these colours without Rachel's inspiration but I like them so much now that I know I'll be turning to them again.