Wednesday, 21 December 2016

A Christmas bauble

Hello there!  I am finally almost ready for Christmas;  after a hectic few weeks, the presents are bought and wrapped and I just need to pick up the turkey and the last few food items on Friday evening when I finish work.  And that will be it...  what's been forgotten or not done by then, won't be done.  

After Barbara Gray showcased my Christmas card on her blog yesterday, I thought I'd blog a little step by step in case you want to have a go.

First, I stamped the small moonfairy into place with black archival.  I found it easier to mask him off using masking fluid, rather than using a post-it.  Then, I stamped the bauble and sentiment into place.

Put the outie mask into place.

My advice would be to mask off the rest of the card with copy paper to make sure you don't get any ink anywhere else.  And how does she know this???

I brushed peacock feathers distress ink into the bauble, working round and round from the edge, building up the colour slowly.  I left the centre paler to highlight and to create the illusion of depth and dimension.

Remove the mask.

Now use the innie mask to cover up the bauble.

Next, I lightly brushed picked raspberry distress ink through the top right and bottom left corners and stamped the snowflakes into place;  allowing them to drift down from the top left to bottom right corner.  I used paradise teal and vibrant fuchsia archival inks;  as I love the clean, crisp impression you get with archival ink.  you could however just as easily use your chosen distress inks.  You can now remove the masking fluid;  it just rubs/peels away.

You can see below the Faber Castell polychromo colours I used to colour the moonfairy.

A little glitter to add sparkle to his wings, and all that's left to do is to edge with a black sharpie pen and mat onto a card blank.

So here is the finished card.  I hope you like it.  Maybe you feel inspired to mix some of your new Clarity stamps with an old favourite.

And here is the same design in a different colourway.

So there you have it;  a clean and simple design that's reasonably easy to achieve. 

And now I wish you all a truly fabulous Christmas and a Happy New Year.  With all that's going on I'm sure you'll join me in praying for peace around the world.  Till next time.  Xxx

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Carol Singing and Christmas Joy!

Hello there!  I can hardly believe that its December already.  Hope you're a bit more organised than me.  I've got a lot to do before I'll be ready for Santa!

This months theme over on the Claritystamp challenge blog is "Carol Singing and Christmas Joy" so you have plenty of scope to make a last minute Christmas card or gift.

I kept it very simple, so no step by step this month.

All stamping done in paradise teal archival.  The partridge was stamped first, then masked with a post-it note before stamping the tree into place.  I used a quickie glue pen  to add some glitter to the leaves and coloured the partridge with my polychromos.

I then stamped the words into place using the word chain alphabet and some of the word chains.  Glitter round the edges and mounted onto a co-ordinating card blank, and voila!!!

Looking forward to seeing all your entries this month.  Its always exciting to see what you come up with.  Don't forget the winner gets a £50 Clarity voucher;  now think how nice that would be...  just in time for the half price members sale!

Hopefully I'll be back soon for a closer look at the samples I've made for this weekend's Claritystamp shows on Hochanda.  The new stamps are just fabulous.  Till next time.  Xxx

Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Hello there!  I thought I'd pop in with a quick blog of my butterfly card from 20th November's Best of Clarity shows on Hochanda. 

First, I blended distress paints on an A5 piece of stencil card.  I think the colours I used were:  candied apple, carved pumpkin, fossilised amber, lucky clover, mermaid lagoon and wilted violet.  The good thing about using paint is that you get full coverage and vibrant colour really quickly and easily.

It took several trial runs on copy paper to work out the positioning of the butterflies before stamping them onto stencil card.

I then cut round the wings with  a really sharp craft knife so that they could be folded up.

All that I needed to do then was to stick this in place on top of the coloured background.

Trim back and edge with a black sharpie pen before mounting onto a card blank. 

Its a clean and simple design, but its very effective I think.  I hope you like it too. 

I can't believe that Barbara Gray is back on the TV on Sunday.  My samples for that show are all boxed up ready for posting tomorrow and I'll be back on Thursday with my Claritystamp Challenge card for December!  Going to be a busy few days!!!  Till next time.  Xxx 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

A blast from the past - keeping it clean and simple

Hello there!  Its been a while...

I can't believe its 1st November already.  Where does the time go?

This month, we're doing something a bit different over on the Claritystamp challenge blog.  So go on, pick your favourite theme from one of our previous challenges and create a new project.

I decided to go with "Clean and simple" from November last year.

Put the hexagon stencil in place on a 7" x 7" piece of stencil card.

 Brush wild honey distress ink through the aperture, concentrating around the edges and defining them with a make-up sponge, and keeping the centre a bit lighter.

 If you hinge the stencil at the top of the card with low tack tape, you can check your progress.

 Replace the hexagom 'outie' and use the honeycomb 'innie' from one of the square aperture stencils to add some detail, brushing through more wild honey distress ink.

I  used the word chain alphabet and the bee from the agapanthus set designed by Jayne Nestorenko to stamp my sentiment in black archival.

I added a drop shadow with a grey distress marker.

Coloured the bee with my Faber Castell polychromos and added a teeny bit of Glamour Dust glitter to the wings.

All that was left to do was to run a black sharpie round the edge and mount onto a card blank.  I hope you like it.

Its going to be so exciting this month.  I can't wait to see your projects and your favourite themes. 

Don't forget, you could win a £50 Clarity voucher;  but you've got to be in it to win it.  So, go on, why don't you give it a go.  Till next time.  Xxx

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Going round and round in circles!

Hello there!  Just popping in to share my project for this month's Clarity challenge.  The theme this month is to use circles or squares in your artwork.  Why don't you pay a visit to the Claritystamp Challenge blog where you'll find inspiration throughout the month from my talented teamies. 

Don't forget that there's a £50 Clarity voucher up for grabs.  The winner is chosen at random, so everyone has the same chance to win.  Go on...  give it a go!

Time has run away with me this month, so there's no step by step this time.  Its quite an easy one though.

Tape the stencil into position onto a piece of 7" stencil car and mask off the central square with a post-it..

Brush worn lipstick, picked raspberry and wilted violet distress inks through the stencil.  The colours blend together beautifully.  A final bit of blending with a make-up sponge will help to ensure the stencil design is crisp and defined.  

Remove the stencil and mask the outer edges of the central square. 

Stamp the fuchsia into place with black archival, and another twice onto a small piece of stencil card.

Using a compass, mark the circles for the decoupage and cut out.  This is the only part of the fuchsia design that was coloured in;  the rest was left in black and white.

All that was left to do was trim the artwork back slightly and edge with a ruler and a black sharpie pen; before sticking the decoupage circles into place with pinflair glue gel. 

I really like the combination of Jayne Nestorenko's beautiful floral designs with the funky stencil frame;  I hope you do too. 

Off to Port Sunny today.  Hope to see some of you there.  Then, Barbara Gray will be back on the TV on Sunday and Monday.  There are some real treats in store for you.  Hold onto your credit cards!!!  Till next time.  Xxx

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