Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Beyond words...

Hello there and a very warm welcome to the new follower who's joined us:  its good to have you with us, and I hope you will continue to find some inspiration.  I'm back with another couple of my samples from last weekend's Claritystamp One Day Special shows on Hochanda.  No wonder the new word chain alphabet stamps sold out so quickly:  I just love them!
As you can see from my play sheets below;  I wanted to experiment using the letters as shapes and patterns in their own right, rather than just to spell out words (although they're great for this too). 

These are just a few ideas I tried out...
If I'd had a bit more time, the "L" border below was next on my list to use for a sample.  It reminds me a bit of a Grecian key border. 
For this first sample, I used Mod Podge to collage old vintage book pages onto some card.
Then I started stamping my rainbow zig zags using the capital V and distress paints.  Can you spot the mistake?  I decided to just keep going and worry about how to cover it up later:  a word chain sentiment should do it.
You can see below that I went through the colours of the rainbow.  Only now did I decide that the green I'd used:  twisted citron, didn't make enough impact. 
Luckily paint is a bit more forgiving than ink, and I was able to overstamp in lucky clover.
Some chipped sapphire distress ink brushed and blended lightly over the joins and around the edges.  Gilding wax and glamour dust glitter to finish the edge, and a word simply stamped in black archival on a scrap of stencil card and edged with a black sharpie pen.
The ingredients for the second card are:  the heart stencil, hugs and kisses word chain, and of course the fab word chain alphabet, black archival, black soot and barn door distress inks.
I cut a 7" x 7" piece of stencil card card into 4 pieces, each 3.5" square and used the upper case X and O on one square, the lower case x and o on another.  Hugs and kisses on the 2 remaining squares.  The squares were then trimmed back to 3" square.  I masked off a single heart on the heart stencil, and brushed through with barn door distress ink.  On the other 2 squares, I brushed around and in from the edge, leaving the centre white.

I went very, VERY gently around the edge of each square with a blending tool and black soot distress ink.  Your Clarity blending mat will help the ink go on nice and smoothly too.  Simply matted onto a piece of black card with a hand made heart embellishment in the centre:  just a little heart shaped piece of card coloured with barn door distress ink to match and triple embossed with detail clear embossing powder.

I hope you like these latest makes and feel inspired to try out some patterns of your own.  Its amazing what you can do with just a set of alphabet stamps.

Thanks for stopping by...  I'll be back soon with another of my samples from the show.  Till next time.  Xxx 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

A Magnetic Farmyard

Hello again.  As I've had so many lovely comments about this project, I thought I'd share this one first.
When I saw the wee farmyard and animal stamps, one of my first thoughts was to make a DIY farmyard scene.  I was inspired partly by childhood memories of fuzzy felt, and the sticker books my grandchildren love.  As I love making projects that are more than just a card;  I thought this was something a bit different to do, and ideal for a little gift.  An added bonus was that it kept the scene building required to a minimum, as its not something I'm very good at.
Just by chance, I found the little tin in my local discount shop:  full of fancy little post-it notes and just 50p:  what a bargain!!!
Before I started anything, I did a little test with the magnetic sheets to make sure they would exert their pull through the Clarity stencil card and adhesive sheets I used;  and also to make sure that I was sticking the magnetic sheet on the right side so it would attract, rather than repel.  Always best to make sure... 
Now for the fun bit... 
I started by making the background scenes, and cut two pieces of card to fit my tin, each 15cm x 10cm.   
For scene 1, I used the ploughed field stencil.  Having cut a paper mask to cover the trees, I brushed in some yellow distress ink (scattered straw, I think), concentrating where the sunlight would catch the top of the hills.
Then I brushed in green (crushed olive?) from the bottom of each hill, sweeping upwards.  Using a make-up sponge, I also swept in a bit of blue (faded jeans), to add even more depth and shadow.
Then I removed the stencil and covered the fields with a paper mask.  Having put a moon mask in place, I brushed the sky into place with stonewashed adirondack.  I added a tree and a hedge with fern green archival;  I used the edge of the tree stamp to do this.
I stamped the picket fence with black archival into place along the bottom, leaving space for the gate;  then coloured it in with spectrum noir pencils.
Old paper distress ink was blended around the edge for a soft vintage look.
Now for the second scene.  Two simple hills created with by tearing paper along the edge of my Clarity blending mat and green ink (crushed olive distress or maybe lettuce adirondack;  I can't remember which).  Then I covered the hills and put the sunburst stencil in place and brushed through wild honey distress ink, concentrating the colour in the centre.  I did brush on a little stonewashed Adirondack for the sky, but I avoided brushing over the sun as I was worried about turning it green.  I added a little extra blue between the rays with a spectrum noir pencil.
Old paper distress ink around the edge as before.
This was where I really got engrossed and forgot to take photos, so we'll talk through making the little magnets while seeing them in use in some different scenes.  Please bear with me;  its really easy...
The shed is stamped with black archival and coloured with spectrum noir pencils.  For each of the silhouette stamps, I blended a couple of colours of archival inks.  I find I get a much better impression with archival inks rather than dye based inks, but its all down to personal preference and the inks you have.  If you are using coloured archival inks, be aware that these will strip the blue indexing off your Clarity stamps and affect the colour of your stamped image, so you need to take it off first with a baby wipe, nail polish remover or alcohol blending solution. 

Rather than a single solid colour, I was aiming for a blended effect.  The technique's the same for the trees and all the animals;  ink up the stamp in the lightest colour, then gently kiss part of the stamp onto the corner of the darker inkpad to blend the colours.  The cockerel and hens were done in orange blossom and sepia archival.
The barn was stamped in black archival and coloured with spectrum noir pencils.  The trees were done using fern green and potting soil archival;  the cows with tree branch and potting soil archival.
The sheep are easy peasy;  simply stamped in black archival.  The windmill, gate and tractor were also stamped in black archival, then coloured with spectrum noir pencils.  The horse was done in watering can and black;  the pigs in tea rose and cactus flower;  the ducks in saffron and orange blossom;  all archival inks. 

I cut everything out roughly first, then stuck the pieces onto the magnetic sheet and cut each one out leaving a small white border.  This wasn't hard to do, but did take quite a bit of time.

And there it is.  I'm on the lookout now for more tins, as I think I'll be making more of these for my grandchildren...

I've been blown away with all the positive feedback on this project;  you've all made me very happy, thank you.  In return, I hope you feel just a little bit inspired.  I'll be back again soon with another of my projects from last weekend's Clarity shows on Hochanda.  Till next time.  Xxx


Friday, 1 April 2016

Extreme masking!!!

Hello there!  The start of another month (and, yes, its April already), means its time for a new theme over on the Claritystamp challenge blog.  Click here to pop over and see some wonderful projects to inspire you from the rest of my talented teamies.  This month, we're doing something a bit different, and asking you to showcase your grasp of a fundamental stamping technique:  masking.  So please make sure your project involves masking, to avoid being disqualified and missing out on the chance to win a £50 Clarity voucher.
So let's get started.  There's lots of masking in this one.
I've planned to make a gatefold card using the NDC acorn stamp.  Cut a piece of 7" x 7" stencil card to make 2 pieces, each 3.5" x 7".  Then I started by stamping the first part of my sentiment into place with black archival using the woodpress set.  This was then masked off  (good news;  the masks are included with this set). 
 Then I stamped the acorn into place using potting soil archival.
When you remove the masks, you can clearly see how the acorns are sitting behind the letter boxes.
Repeat the same steps for the other side of the gatefold:  boxes and letters first, and cover with masks.
 On this side, I stamped the oak tree from and an old classroom set:  trees and their mantles.
Remove the masks again. 
I completed my sentiment on the main piece (7" x 7" stencil card) and masked  off again.
Before starting on this panel, I had to stamp the acorn on to a couple of post its and cut out the masks.  This was a bit fiddly because the stamp is quite intricate, but it'll be worth it.  So, working from the centre outwards, start stamping the acorn sprig, covering up and moving the masks as necessaryas you go along. 

Just keep going... 

At this stage, I added a frame with low tack tape, and yes...  still kept going!
Once the masking tape is removed, you can see how I let some acorns and leaves overlap into the frame.
Its time now to add some colour.  I decided to go with three of last year's new distress colours:  twisted citron, carved pumpkin and wilted violet. 
I inked up and stamped the mantle with twisted citron.  Then I scribbled onto the stamp with carved pumpkin and wilted violet distress markers and lightly spritzed with water.  This gives a fab variegated effect without going muddy.
That's it for the stamping now. 
I just need my spectrum noir pencils, choosing colours to match the inkpads I've chosen.
Having coloured in the acorn sprig on the front panel, I coloured in the background on this main piece.  This really makes the acorn sprigs pop. 
And here's the finished card.  I hope you like it. 
I'm looking forward to seeing loads of fabulous entries again this month, even if it does make it very difficult to pick a top 5. 
And don't forget to tune into Barbara Gray on Hochanda on Sunday and Monday.  She has some absolutely fabulous stamps to show you.  You are going to love 'em!  Till next time.  Xxx