Sunday, 15 March 2015

Birds for Mothers Day

Hello there!  I thought I would share with you this piece of art I've made for my mum for Mother's Day.  Mum is an avid birdwatcher, so although I have created something a little bit modern and funky, I know she will love it.

Thanks to Barbara Gray and the Clarity Design team for their inspirational work.  Seeing what they make always gives me ideas, and the confidence to try them out.

Having stamped the parakeets using Black Archival, they were then coloured in using the following Distress Markers:  Spun Sugar, Cracked Pistachio, Scattered Straw, Tumbled Glass, Mustard Seed and Tea dye.  I then added some extra shading using the Spectrum Noir pencils.
These were then carefully cut out, so that the parakeets could be moulded and shaped.  In the meantime, I made a background using Distress re-inkers in the following colours:  Mustard Seed, Worn Lipstick, Tumbled Glass and Cracked Pistachio  These were simply dripped onto a blending mat and spritzed with water, before pressing the card onto the ink.  I find its a good idea to keep drying the card in between layers to prevent the colours getting too muddied.  Here you can see me choosing my favourite bit of the background.   
Then I cut out a frame, and using super sticky tape on the back to keep it secure, I wound various coloured embroidery silks round it;  knotting the ends together to create simple tassels.  Although at first glance, this might appear to be completely random, I tried to loosely follow the colours in the background.
I modge podged a co-ordinating piece of copy paper onto an A5 canvas board, then mounted the panel onto it.  Then plenty of patience was needed to separate the strands of the embroidery silks before trimming them back.
All that was left to do was to mount onto an A4 canvas board, add a couple of words from the word chains, and finally some little flower buttons in the corners of the frame.
Hope you like it.  If you have time to leave a comment, I really appreciate your thoughts on my work.  I'm off now;  things to do ready for lunch with Mum and the rest of the family.  Till next time.  Xxx 




Sunday, 1 March 2015

Anything but a card

Well here we go again!  The beginning of another month, and that can only mean one thing:  its time for a new Claritystamp Challenge.  This month, we are asking you to make 'anything but a card' and we hope that our design team projects will give you plenty of ideas.  It was really exciting to see what the rest of the design team came up with, and I can't wait to see all your fabulous creations. 

Main Ingredients
Small drawer unit from Ikea
Americana Décor Chalky Finish Paint in Everlasting
Americana Décor Ultra-Matte Varnish
Golden Open Acrylic Paint in Pthalo Blue and Nickel Azo Gold
Black Archival Ink
Grunge Paste
Black Micron Pen
Glue Pen
Glamour Dust Glitter
Jo's Bubbles Stencil
Flower Stencil
Wee Folk Stamps
Word Chain Stamps

It was my youngest niece's 16th birthday in February, so I decided to make something special to mark the occasion.  A set of drawers for her dressing table to hold her make-up and other bits and pieces seemed perfect.  First job was to paint the drawer unit with white paint.  This needed a couple of coats.

Now for the fun part...  I did a rough layout of what I wanted to do before I started.  I often do this as I find its a great help when I need to visualise how the finished project is going to look.

The first task was to sponge and blend the blue and gold acrylic through the bubble stencil.
Now for the stamping.  In the end, I went for a combination of meaningful words chosen from the word chains and some of the little girls chosen from the wee folk.
 Then, little by little, I added in some flowers using grunge paste through the flower stencil, sprinkling on a little bit of glitter while the grunge paste was still wet.

I have to admit that at this point, I was feeling a bit unsure about how it was all turning out.  Somehow for me, it just wasn't coming together.  Still, I'd come too far now and had to persevere.  I sanded back the grunge paste to take away some of the bling from the glitter.  Then I did a little bit of doodling with a micron pen.

I felt that just this little touch made it look so much better.  I heat set the doodling before varnishing, as a trial piece showed that without heat setting the micron pen, the wet varnish made it bleed.  Phew!  that could have been a disaster.

Well, the birthday girl, Emily absolutely loved it.  Here she is with me, and my husband Martin on a family night out to celebrate.
Just as a little footnote, I thought you might like to see Emily's card too.  Done in a similar style, but brushing inks through the stencil to create a background rather than acrylic paint.

I'd love it if you could take the time to leave a comment and let me know what you think.  Now its your turn.  Clarity stamps and stencils are so wonderfully versatile, and I can't wait to see what you are going to come up with.  Its all so very exciting.  Till next time.  Xxx