Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Beautiful Christmas!

Merry Christmas All!

Well we have romped home once more and this time I have a card for my beautiful Mum for Christmas - quite safe on here because she does not use a computer!

Please forgive the lack of detail shots - I   took the photos that I thought would be useful, packed the card and then very cleverly deleted the detail shots by accident! Very useful!

But I am sure that you will forgive me and mostly you can see what is going on from the photo here.

I wanted to achieve a really tasteful card with the grey skies of winter and a fall of glittering snow (no amount of detail shots would have helped there!

I started with a palette of greys and black and white. The card blank is quite large ( 15cm x21cm) and I cut a piece of  black and white ViviGade paper (a scandinavian company) plus a piece of grey smokey paper from the same company. I inked the edges with Ranger Distress Ink (Tim Holtz) in Pumice Stone, stamped some random snowflakes and, because my mum loves music, also some sheet music and sewed the grey paper to the black and white. I spent some time distressing and curling the edges of the paper too - it works better to make any larger tears before sewing.

This was great but still a little dull so I heat embossed some holographic snowflakes also at random, over the card.

Still with Tim Holtz, I cut a neutral grey Tattered Ponsettia with my trusty Big Shot die cutter and inked the edges with Mowed Lawn for the background and Barn Door for the top of the flower. This was a little loud so I went over with Vintage Photo ink to calm it all down. That worked a treat! Instead of using the die cut centre for the pointsettia, I used a really big flat backed pearl in the color green that my Mum loves best.

Some green ribbon and some grey patterned ribbon over the top of that with a matching bow really set it all off. Tuck the ribbon all around the back of the black and white paper for neatness.

The words up the top are some red washi tape and I wrote out a lot of random words in a nice font (courier in this case) and cut them up. They received a treatment with Pumice Stone ink too so that they did not leap out too much and I adhered them to the tape.
Next I went around the edges, just on the black and white paper with some DecoArt Glamour Dust to make that sparkle nicely in the background.

Finally, use your favourite method to adhere the completed card front to the card stock.

That's all folks!

I know that this is a little late for Christmas but I hope that this fairly timeless design will be the start of something big for next year.

in the mean time, have  very Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Stamping With Acrylic Paint

Hi All!

Well it is getting closer to Christmas and I have been so busy with my day job, writing furiously for the year ahead - magazine world is such a strange place to live, that I have not had a chance to post anything remotely Christmassy! Let's do something about that right now!!

Normally when papercrafters and card makers talk about stamping, they reach for their favourite ink pad. But there is another way. Consider acrylic paints! I love DecoArt for their general versatility and now I can add stamping to the mix.

Before we begin though, I want to do the right thing and thank the wonderfully talented Andy Skinner for showing this idea. We have much for which to thank him!

So. What do we need? Firstly, we need some paints. DecoArt have litterally dozens of gorgeous colours and then they all mix together ad infinitum so the sky is literally the limit.

Next you need a stamp or two. Let's choose something Christmassy for the sake of this particular argument.

A brush is also needed and make it a flat one to make the spreading of the paint easier. I use a 3/4 flat brush. This is a really good all rounder and it makes a welcome addition to your kit. Incidentally, if you are new to painting and you are worried about choosing a brush size, they are printed on the handle and if they are not, RUN! the brush is too cheap and is a waste of your money. Buy a great brush and look after it.

You will also need a non stick sheet. These are those beige Teflon ones - everywhere at the moment. However, if you have not got access to one and you need to do this tonight, try non stick baking paper. Even waxed paper. Experiment.

The first thing to do after choosing the paint colour and the stamp is to put a pea sized amount onto the non stick matting.

Spread it out with the brush until it is very thin and even.

Coat the stamp by pressing it onto the paint and then apply it to your project. et voila! A very crisp image.

So why bother, I hear you ask? Well, this paint is lightfast and waterproof. You can use it where you cannot use ink, paints come in an almost infinite number of colours and you can mix them for more. This is without talking about the benefits of being able to stamp white or light over dark and the whole world of metallic shades. You can use paint over transparent and translucent surfaces, layer them up and it is simply another way of approaching the subject. Acrylic is waaaay cheaper too, need I go on...Have a play anyway and see how you go.

There is a small warning though. Acrylic paint dries really fast. This is both a good and a bad thing. In particular, I am talking about your brushes and stamps. Wash them immediately in water. Never leave this task because once the paint is dry, it is dry. As I said, both  a good and a bad thing!

Thank you so much for stopping by!
See you next time,


Monday, 2 December 2013

Leaves To Go With The Rose

Hi All!

Well here I am again and this time with the leaves that I promised you to set off your woven rose for paper craft. Have a look at the rose on its own.....

While you can clearly see that it is a rose, it is missing something. Now compare it with the one with leaves....

I think that you see what I mean! The green sets it all off beautifully and forms a nice frame/backdrop for the flower. I have added a little fern in there too and there will be a little more in the last photo but now let's see how this is done.

I used Mulberry paper in soft green and I cut out some leaves with a nice shaped leaf die and my Sizzix Big Shot. It doesn't really matter which leaf die you use. I think that most of us know what a rose leaf looks like so go with the nearest to that one that you can find.

Now grab a couple of inks in green and an applicator tool. I have used Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint from Tim Holtz. I really love them and they blend beautifully. And why Mulberry paper? It is thicker, has a little texture and it makes a more substantial leaf over all. I prefer it for flowers too. Find it by name on eBay easily.

So, back to the leaves. Load the ink applicator and working from the outside in, colour the leaf 2/3 with Shabby Shutters ink. Change pads and colour 1/3 with Peeled Paint.

In the photo you can see the two leaves, the first one is uncoloured and the second is coloured with Shabby Shutters. PROMISE me that you will never just cut out a leaf and use it uncoloured- that is flat and uninteresting and you can do so much better. It is easy!

The next shot is of the too leaves again, this time to compare the two inks. the one on the right is the completed leaf. That is all there is to it!

See how vibrant the right leaf is? And how realistic with so little effort.

Finally, here is the rose with the leaves a a little more fern. It is ready to use. It can be worthwhile to make these on a rainy day and some leaves and foliage to go with them and put them in a box. It is great for using stash and they are ready to go in different sizes and colours.

I hope that you have had fun and if you have any questions at all, ask away! I am happy to help.

Thanks for stopping by