Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Jayne Nestorenko's Agapanthus

Hello there!  Have you treated yourself to any of these wonderful floral designs by Jayne Nestorenko yet?  Groovi plates or stamps;  you know you need them!  For now, I wanted to share a little piece of art I created using the beautiful new agapanthus stamp set.   

I'm going to concentrate on the frame first.  I wanted to get a proper gilded frame effect, so I did a little test piece first, to make sure my idea would work out.  And yay!  it did!  So here goes..

I stamped the frame and swirls into place onto stencil card using black archival.


Then I cut out the frame.

Next, I started to apply glossy accents to the areas of the design that I wanted to appear raised.  This stage required a bit of patience as I had to work in stages and leave plenty of time for it to dry.


Its very difficult to photograph, but I hope you can see in the details below.  I didn't stress too much if it wasn't quite perfect, as all I'm trying to do is create raised areas.



Once dry,  I washed over with DecoArt paynes grey acrylic. 


To add a greater sense of dimension to the frame, I went around the inner edge of the frame with another coat.  What I really love about this paint is that its transparency allows the stamped detail to show through. 


The glossy accents resists the paint.


Let it dry thoroughly;  then very, very gently so you don't overcook it, apply silver gilding wax.  The raised areas will pick this up and the whole piece will take on a metallic sheen.  Keep going until you achieve the lustre you want.


You can buff it lightly with a soft tissue too which will really bring out the sheen.


Now to concentrate on making the actual picture.

I made the background using antique linen and old paper distress inks;  first splodging onto my blending mat and spritzing with water, then "free" stamping (without a mount), in the same colours to add texture.


As well as this piece on stencil card, I also did the same on some paper that I could use for my decoupaged agapanthus. 

The flower was stamped in black archival and coloured with my gorgeous new Faber Castell polychromos;  the most fabulous present for my 50th birthday from my husband Martin.  I've just reorganised my craft room, so they can take pride of place.  I love looking at them, stroking them and using them! 


Preparing the layers for the decoupage involved a lot of very intricate fussy cutting, which I quite enjoy doing, although it was very fiddly.




The final touch was to add a little angelina fibre and film butterfly.


I mounted the finished piece onto some foam board.  I hope you like it.


Jayne's beautiful designs are a pleasure to work with, and I have a sneaky feeling that at least one more of the sets may fall into my shopping basket at Leyburn on Saturday. 

I am so looking forward to catching up with Barbara and all the Clarity team, and loads of Clarity friends.  Its sure to be a great day.  Till next time.  Xxx  


Thursday, 1 September 2016

In the garden...

Hello there!  I can't believe August is over already.  Time passes by so quickly...  And not just this year either;  I celebrated my birthday on 13th August, and find myself asking wondering how on earth I've reached 50!!!

Anyway, enough pondering;  its 1st September and that means its time for a new theme over on the Claritystamp Challenge blog.  This month, we're asking you to produce artwork on the theme of  "in the garden."

I took my inspiration from the beautiful verse:  Kind hearts are the gardens, kind thoughts are the roots, kind words are the flowers, kind deeds are the fruits.

Using garden patina archival ink I stamped the Shepherd's Purse into place, then stamped the verse in sections.  I did this by covering up the other parts of the stamp with a post-it so I only inked up the section of the stamp I was working with.


Next I coloured in the flowers and leaves using my new Faber Castell polychromos.  I am a very, very lucky girl as my husband Martin bought me the full set in a beautiful wooden case for my birthday:  best present ever! 


Here is a little detail below.


Then I used a versamark pen and kaleidoscopic embossing powder to glaze the flowers and leaves.  I did 2 coats to ensure full coverage and a nice even finish.


I positioned the heart stencil and used low tack masking tape to secure in place.


Using Picked Raspberry and Peacock Feathers distress inks, I brushed these gently through the stencil;  concentrating along the diagonal top right to bottom left.  The embossed areas will resist the ink which can then be gently wiped away.


I replaced the stencil and did a little bit of random stamping using the same colours using the script stamp from the journaling set.


I decided to colour my own card to mat the finished artwork.  Using the same inkpads, I smeared the colour directly around the edges of the card, blending with a make-up sponge where the colours meet.  I sprinkled with water and blotted with kitchen roll;  this lifts a bit of the colour and adds texture.


I added further texture by randomly stamping with both the script stamp and the "Kind hearts" stamp.


All that was left to do now was to mat and layer onto a card blank.


I hope you like the finished card;  quite simple and enjoyable to do.  If you still need more inspiration pop over to the Challenge blog to look at the work done by my talented teamies.  Even if you've never joined in before, why don't you give it a go;  the winner is chosen at random, so whether you're a beginner or have been crafting for years you could still win a £50 Clarity voucher.  Now wouldn't that be nice?

I'm hoping to be back soon with the samples I've done ready for this Sunday's Clarity shows on Hochanda.  Till next time.  Xxx


Monday, 1 August 2016

I do love a bit of fussy cutting...



Hello there!  Really sorry not to have had chance to catch up sooner, but its been a very busy couple of weeks for me at work.  And its the start of August already, and time for a new theme over
on the Claritystamp challenge blog.  This month we're showcasing a technique which you'll be able to do with either stamps or groovi:  fussy cutting.  

So here goes with my project;  inspired in part by last month's NDC stencil projects. I loved this stencil as soon as I saw it.  I started off by stamping the owls into place using black archival and covering with a mask.


I used the gelli plate with chalk Freso Finish acrylic to pull a print of the trees.  This dries almost immediately, so then I spritzed the paper, replaced the stencil and sprinkled on some Colour Bursts.  I used orange, with a tiny bit of yellow and hot pink.  You have to be a bit careful not to add too much water or the colour will spread too much under the edges of the stencil.







I kept the mask in place over the owls and used gold acrylic to pull another gelli print of the trees.  The mega mount is invaluable for perfect positioning every time when you are layering prints like this.  The gold just adds a very subtle shimmer to the trees.

I still felt that the trees needed more definition, so I set to work with my spectrum noir pencils, mainly in shades of grey.  I did this over a few days, just a bit at a time to make sure I didn't overcook it.



Plenty of shading round the owls brings them to the foreground and gives a real 3d effect.  It adds drama too, I think.





I made some background pieces by smearing distress inks in similar colours onto a blending mat and spritzing with water, before picking up with a sheet of paper.  Personally, I like to layer and dry each colour separately, rather than blending them together on the mat, as I find they're less likely to go muddy.

I then used these pieces to stamp out some oak leaves, then cut them out and started to experiment with where to place them.

I also coloured in the owls with spectrum noir pencils in shades of orange and hot pink.  For me the touch of pink intensifies the warmth and vibrancy of the orange. 



At this point I also decided to add in little snippets of orange and hot pink tulle along with the leaves.  They were all stuck into place using Prima 3d gloss gel.


You can see some details below, and then the finished piece which I mounted in a wooden frame.




















I made this for my dear friend Maria Simms' birthday.  I won't see her until the 6th, so I really hope she'll like it.  She's been warned not to peek if she wants it to be a surprise!

I hope you like it too, and that I have given you some inspiration for your own project.  What will you do?  I can't wait to see...  Don't forget you could win a £50 voucher to spend on Clarity goodies.  But you have to be in it to win it, so go on give it a go.  Till next time.  Xxx