Tuesday, 22 September 2015
I thought I'd post photos of a couple of the cards I made using the panels and toppers that I made last Friday, I'm really pleased with the way these cards have turned out, although I did want to add a couple of poison bottles to the first card but I haven't been able to find that stamp/die set yet! The backing panel on this card was a free download that you can download if you're a member of Club Inspire that Crafters Companion run, its free to join if you're not and you get free downloads and a 5% discount on prices which moves up to greater discounts the more you spend. If you are a member then look for the "June 2014 - Distressed Elegance" download.
I mounted the backing panel I cut on to black card and attached it to a 7" x 7" card blank. The poison label was made using a Tim Holtz Alterations Embossing Folder "Poison", I coloured it with Vintage Photo and Black Soot distress ink. The skull and crossbones are from a Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations set called Skull Blueprint, it comes with the dies and the stamps and a trick or treat sentiment stamp.
The sentiment is from the new Graphic 45 Rare Oddities stamp set (set 2), I saw these a few weeks ago in a craft mag and have fallen in love with them, they appeal to my dark side and the papers as have words on them that say things like 'Herbology', 'Medicinal Herbs' and 'Brews & Potions', perfect for the inner herbaholic :) So far I've acquired the 6" x 6" paper pad and 2 of the 3 stamp sets, hoping to get a couple more bits from this range, but I digress...
The frame around the sentiment is part of the stamp set and I stamped that first in clear embossing ink and used Whispers Metallic Copper embossing powder. I then stamped the Deathly Delights sentiment with clear embossing ink and used Cosmic Shimmer Black Detail embossing powder. I added a dashed line around the edge of the black card with a Metallic Copper Sakura Gelly Roll pen and added 4 black adhesive gems from my stash. I did have a problem with the gelly roll pen, after doing 3 rows of dashes the pen started giving out slightly sparkly clear liquid and not the copper line it started with, no idea why, I ended up keeping going over the lines until they eventually showed up, not impressed when I paid £20 for a set of pens!
The Fright Night card started with a white 7" x 7" card blank, I used a Sheena Douglass tree stamp that came free with Issue 8 of Crafters Inspiration and stamped in Tuxedo Black Memento ink to create the black and white edge. I then took a piece of 6" X 6" paper with a grey and cream pattern and covered it with Spiced Marmalade distress ink to create the orange panel, I'm not sure what paper stack the piece I used came from as it was given to me by Lainie as part of a prize for winning a Docrafts challenge. I mounted it on to black card and attached a piece of black ribbon and a bow I made with my new bow making tool, and a couple of black glitter bats I found in my stash, think I got them from Hobbycraft a few years ago?!
The main panel was embossed using the Tim Holtz Alterations Embossing Folder "Halloween Night", I first coloured the panel with Spiced Marmalade and Ripe Persimmon distress ink, which I added some homemade gold shimmer mist to to give it a sparkle. When the ink was dry I embossed the panel, then ran Black Soot distress ink over the raised embossed area. I trimmed it to size and decided to cut around the top of the 'railings' and mount it on a piece of black card that was smaller than the panel so that the spikes of the railings stood out.
Saturday, 19 September 2015
As I'm currently on a 3 day week at work, I have Friday and Monday off, these are becoming my crafting days when I can play with new ideas and techniques, although I lost the past few Fridays preparing for a herb tea workshop I gave in the Cotswolds last weekend. This weekend though I have nothing to do bar a little cleaning so I figured it was time to play!
When I first started card making last October I bought the Sizzix 'Halloween Night' and 'Poison' embossing folders off the internet, when the folders arrived I embossed the poison label on purple card, decided it didn't work for the card I was making and put the folders in the draw, back then I hadn't discovered distress inks and all the cool things you can do with them! So as its getting round to Halloween and I have a few friends that have parties and enjoy dressing up I thought it was a good excuse to make some cards and play with some stuff I bought last year and this year that I haven't played with yet.
Back in July someone on one of the Docrafts forums posted that Sixxix were having a sale with some things up to 90% off, couldn't be true I thought, but it was! I picked up the Skull Blueprint die and stamp set for £3 saving around £17, I also got the cobweb, acorn and leaf sets as well, but they were put in my die box until after my holidays. Yesterday I got them out to play and also the water brush pens I'd found in France. The skull above and the cobweb panels in the first photo are the results of my first attempt at colouring with a water brush, I used Antique Linen, Pumice Stone and Hickory Smoke inks to colour the skull, it's actually layered in 3 parts but the photo makes it look rather flat. The colouring isn't perfect but then again not bad for a first attempt, I need to get my head around shading a little more, I'll be practicing by making several more skulls and in some lurid shades of orange, purple and lime green for other cards :)
I've been trying to find the Pumpkin blueprint die and stamp set and some of the stamp sets Tim Holtz released in 2013 namely 'The Chemist' and 'Halloween Blueprints 2' but so far I can't find them at a reasonable price in the UK. I confess I'm becoming drawn to a lot of the Tim Holtz Alterations stuff, things like the Bell Jar and Apothecary Bottles appeal to me because they can be given a herbal twist, i also like halloween designs, they bring out the kid in me and I love the colours, its all wrapped up in that Autumn season I adore so much, I'll keep searching for the dies and stamps I want, you never know I may get lucky :)
The above is a close up of what I've done so far with the embossed poison folder, I used a piece of cream card stock which I trimmed to the out border of the folder image and then distressed the edges of the embossed image with my distress tool, then I went over the raised design with Black Soot distress ink before giving it a spritz with my gold metallic misting spray, I inked the distressed edge with black soot and the 'label' was complete. The other label seen in top photo was cut from the same card but the edge left straight and I used Vintage Photo distress ink on the label and the same gold misting spray, both have come out really well, so glad I discovered distress ink :)
I'll add some more photos when I've finished the cards I have in mind using the bits I've made, I'm waiting for some stamps from the Rare Oddities collection to arrive for some other ideas, I love things with poisons and apothecary type things on them, luckily I have friends where these kind of cards can be given all the year round :)
Wednesday, 16 September 2015
I realise that people who have been creating ATC's for a while will have most likely used these Tim Holtz 'Components' Stamps before, so my excitement at using them is old hat, but I've only just found them. I purchased them on Saturday online from Craft Stash and my order arrived this morning, I was working though so I didn't get chance to play with them until tonight. All of the panels I created tonight are WIP's and still need work, but in my head I already know how they'll look when they're finished, subject to change ;)
I experimented with three different approaches, the 'Birdsong' image had the paper first coloured with Spiced Marmalade and Dusty Concord distress inks, and was then sprayed with the purple metallic misting spray I posted about yesterday, once dry I stamped the image with Onyx Black VersaFine ink. The 'Time' image I used a different approach, I first stamped the image with Black Soot distress ink, then applied Cosmic Shimmer Black Detail Embossing Powder and used my heat gun. Once embossed and the paper had cooled I applied distress ink in Festive Berries, Spiced Marmalade and Squeezed Lemonade. Finely I sprayed the panel with the gold metallic misting spray I made, both panels have a fantastic shimmer which the photo isn't showing very well sadly.
The 'Flutter' panel I stamped the image with clear embossing ink and applied clear embossing powder to the image, after embossing and once dry I applied Picked Raspberry, Cracked Pistachio and Mermaid Lagoon distress inks, once I had the colour blend I wanted, I wiped off the ink on the embossed image and then sprayed with my white shimmer mist. All three panels were stamped on to white 200gsm cardstock, there are so many possibilities and combinations that I think I'll be busy for a while, there are also a lot more of the Components stamps to collect as well to add to my ever expanding craft stash ;)
Tonight I also played with my Spectrum Noir Pens and added a bit of colour to the freebie embossing folder that came with issue 148 of Cardmaking & Papercraft, I embossed a piece of silver foiled card and then coloured in the embossed area, its not perfect, that's because I coloured with my normal glasses on because I was watching TV at the same same. If I'd used my reading/close up glasses I'd have been a little more accurate, still it was just an experiment to see what it would look like and it worked, I think. Will be trying it out using other colours of foiled card and other pens. So in essence, I spent a few hours tonight playing with things and I have no finished project to show, I do have lots of ideas though and 4 pieces to work on over the next few days :)
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
The nights are drawing in and growing colder and we're now in the full swing of autumn, which means its a good time to start thinking about making Christmas cards, last year all the Christmas cards I made for friends and family were done using embossing folders and bought toppers, as you can see from this post written back in December last year. Not that there is anything wrong with using bought toppers, I'll certainly be using more of them this year as I bought lots in the sales in January and a few other topper sets since then.
This year though, now I'm playing with distress inks more and getting better at stamping, I can do a few different types of cards like this one that I made tonight. I embossed a piece of 200gsm white card with my Sheena Douglass 'Ornamental Snowflake' embossing folder and then went over the raised area with Distress Ink in Cracked Pistachio and Spun Sugar, after that I used the white pearlescent misting spray that I made earlier today which blended the colours a little and gave the paper a lovely, frosty sheen.
I cut the panel to size and inked the edges lightly with Spun Sugar and attached a piece of pink organza ribbon to the panel. The sentiment came free with an embossing folder in a recent issue of Quick Cards and I've been meaning to use it since I got back off holiday. So tonight I gave it a go, I stamped the sentiment on the same white card I used for the embossed panel using iZink Metal Green pigment ink. I've had problems getting metallic inks to dry without smudging so to seal this one I applied clear embossing powder and which raised the design slightly, but more importantly sealed the coloured ink in.
I mounted the sentiment on silver card, after first rounding the corners and finished it off with some small bluey-green adhesive gemstones from my stash. I made a bow from the same organza ribbon and glued to the ribbon on the panel. When I first put the panel on the white card it was too stark, so I used the Spun Sugar distress ink to colour the edge of the card, blending it to a soft sheen using my white pearlescent misting spray, once dry I attached the panel and the card was finished, I want to try doing this for a variety of colours, but for a couple of simple elements I think it looks pretty effective and I'm rather pleased with the results, I need to knuckle down though I have 125 cards left to make lol!
When I ink paper I like to add shimmer sprays to them to give a sparkle and sheen, I can't help it, as well as vivid colour I love sparkle and glitter, I've been using perfect pearls mists in the past but recently I experimented with a mist of perfect pearls and water but it took a while to dry, which after waiting for the inked paper to dry was a whole new level of testing of my eagerness to move onb with a project.
So when I was recently on holiday in France I found bottles of 74% alcohol that the French use for cleaning, it comes in bottles and is scented with aromas like vanilla, raspberry, peach, green apple... the list is endless, so I picked up raspberry and vanilla to experiment with. To make your homemade misting spray you'll need a spray bottle, colouring medium (re-inker, acrylic paint, food dye, water colour paint etc), alcohol, water and pigment powder like perfect pearls. I've seen YouTube videos with people using eye shadow powder to make their sprays, these recipes involve adding glue or gum arabic to the mix to make the eye shadow stick. If you use perfect pearls, the product is especially formulated to contain a resin that reacts with water which then makes the mica adhere to the surface you spray on.
To make a 50ml bottle of spray you need to half fill the bottle with alcohol (using alcohol will make the spray dry a lot faster), to that add your colouring medium around ½ - 1 teaspoon depending how strong you want the colour to be. I prefer to just have a light coloured mist, but I am thinking about making deeper colours to spray to colour paper where I would use distress inks. Next add your perfect pearls powder, I use a couple of small scoops using a lolly stick, I'd say around 1/8th teaspoon. Put the spray in to the bottle and screw down securely and shake the bottle to mix all the ingredients, once mixed top up your bottle with water, re-secure the lid in place and give the bottle another good shake to mix. You can then use the spray.
I made a white spray that I coloured white acrylic paint with perfect pearl, silver which contained silver metallic acrylic paint and perfect pearls and a purple spray that contained metallic amethyst acrylic paint and small amounts of Perfect Pearls Interference Violet and Interference Blue. I also made a gold misting spray which wasn't as successful, I used DecoArt Ultra Fine Glitter Paint, as my sparkle medium, but the sparkly bits are larger than the mica pigments and once dry then don't stick to the paper, will try adding some glue to that spray and see what happens, its a shame really because the sparkle is very intense.
Above you can see examples of the shimmer I achieved, the purple panel was inked with distress ink on to 230gsm water colour paper, once dry I lightly sprayed with the purple mist, sadly the photo isn't showing the sparkle as well as the second panel that was done in shades of black and grey and was then lightly sprayed with the silver mist, the shimmer is rich and intense, can't wait to use the silver panel for a halloween card idea I have. I love the fact that whilst working with these sprays they give off a pleasant aroma, which does transfer to the paper, although how long it will last... I'm already thinking about making my own autumn and Christmas fragranced sprays using alcohol and essential oils, I like to scent my cards for giving at Christmas and I usually do it by storing the cards in sealed boxes above wooden balls that have been infused with essential oils, I make blends, to me it adds a whole new dimension to the card, so if I'm successful with the aroma spray metallic misting spray I'll add another post in the not too distant future!
Thursday, 10 September 2015
This is my second ATC, still very new to this medium but its growing on me, keeping things to 2.5" x 3.5" is a bit of a challenge as all my stamps are bigger than this mostly, but its an excuse to add more items to my ever growing stash :) When I enquired about taking part in the PIF I went in at the deep end, Vicki who runs it added me straight away, no backing out no, must admit I panicked just a little bit, especially when I found out that the word for the challenge was LAUGH!
Instant panic, I only had one sentiment stamp with the word Laugh on and that was attached to Live and Love and was too big for the ATC. My thinking cap went on, this was a challenge after all, so I googled the word laugh and found a little banner that said "When you LOVE and LAUGH you live a beautiful LIFE", it was perfect, but it was too big! Not a problem as I resized it in word.
The banner already had a antique paper look to it, so I decided that I'd give the ATC an antiquey/vintage look to complement it, so I looked through my stash, my first thought was Vintage Photo Distress Ink, I knew I wanted to add some gold accents and subtle sparkle so I got out some Encore Ultimate Metallic ink in Gold, some Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearl Mist and some Mirror Gold embossing powder.
Next to find the background, I have a huge stack of 6" x 6" backing papers on my desk that cover all aspects florals, christmas, birds, botanical etc you get the idea. Leafing through the stacks of papers I settled on one of the floral papers from the Dovecraft 'Curiosity Corner' stack, which you can see in the above image as the background for the ATC.
Once I'd cut my ATC to size - mental note to self, find out if you can buy ATC blanks to cut out this step - I backed the front with a piece of my chosen paper which I glued on with modge podge, then I distressed the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink, the next step was to lightly distress the edge of the sentiment banner, once both had been distressed I spritzed a little Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist on both pieces and left it to dry.
I glued the banner in to place and inked up a decorative edge stamp that came free with a card making magazine, although for the life of me I can't remember which one now! I used the Encore Gold ink to stamp the decorative edge, but then I remember how much of a pain I've been finding metallic inks to dry even when I used my heat gun on them.
I decided to sprinkle mirror gold embossing powder on to the stamped design to save any smudges and smears and when heat set the embossing powder added the gold bling I wanted and it wouldn't rub off at the slightest touch. Incidentally I have found that adding a little hairspray to metallic inks that refuse to dry helps, but on some types of paper it can leave a surface mark.
Two final touches for this ATC were running my Clear Star Sakura Gelly Roll pen over the word laugh to make it stand out a little bit more, and I glued two small deep pink heart gems to opposite corners of the banner for a final bit of bling. All done, I added information to the back with my name, email addy, date, challenge and signed the back and then used the vintage photo distress ink on it to complement the front of the card. Now I just have to get it in the post and send it off to the lady who is to receive it and hopefully she'll like it?!
Monday, 7 September 2015
You can see another one of them just below, to create them I used 250gsm water colour paper and a mix of the following shades of distress ink: - Ripe Persimmon, Fired Brick, Spiced Marmalade, Festive Berries and Dried Marigold. I used the method shown in this link posted by AmyR over on Craftsy, where my method differs is I pull the paper through the ink more and finish off with pearlised water to give a shimmer to the paper, I do also work round the edge of the paper with one of the darker shades of distress ink which defines the edge and draws the eye in to the middle of the design.
Once the coloured panel is created I can then stamp or emboss, I've shown examples of panels I've worked and embossed in previous posts, for this panel I stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black ink using stamps from the JustRite 'Shabby Chic Leaves' stamp set. I loved the look, the water colour paper adds texture to the panel as well. I've created a couple of panels that I'm going to fussy cut the leaves from to use on a card design, I've also been creating some rich coloured panels and cool frosty iced panels to use on Christmas cards that have been stamped with musical note backgrounds and snowflakes. I just love playing with the water colour effect of these inks, when I first started playing with distress inks I just worked from the craft sheet onto the card or paper, in the early days I didn't realise how well these inks reacted with water.
Back to the topper I made, the owl was die cut from gold foil card using the 'Beautiful Owl' Joanna Sheen Signature Die. The sentiment "Autumn arrives in early morning, but Spring at the close of a Winter day" just seemed so apt, is from the Crafters Companion Wildflower A6 sentiment set and was stamped on to a remnant of a distress dyed piece I did for the Fairy Sunset card I did a while back, I save all my offcuts in a box, you never known when they'll come in useful ;) The sentiment was backed on to a matching piece of gold foil card to tie everything together.
I matted the panel bedecked with the owl on to gold card and attached a small piece of orange ribbon to the panel before sticking it down on a piece of Chestnut Roast pearl card from the Hunkydory Autumn Collection. Each of the toppers layers were rounded using a 10mm Xcut corner rounding punch, the final touch was to add cream adhesive pearls to the owls eyes from my stash to finish off the card. All I have to do now is put the topper together as a card, I have a friend with an Autumn birthday coming up so maybe... I'm waiting for some stamps to arrive from the new Graphic 45 'Rare Oddities' collection to make some Halloween cards for friends, also eager to work with the new Distress ink colour for September from Tim Holtz which is a vivid purple, that for some reason they've called Wilted Violet, its anything but tired and wilted!
Saturday, 5 September 2015
I'm chuffed with the way this card came out, although I did mess up matting the sentiment a little, but that's what makes our cards individual lol! The backing paper, topper image and sentiment are printed off from the free CD that came with Crafters Inspiration Magazine Issue 7 and the are from the Kimono range, which I confess I'm developing a soft spot for. The blue hue panel between the backing paper and the topper is my own creation and is one of the two oriental inspired panels I created last weekend.
The first purple hued panel was inked using a selection of iZink pigment inks which I've mentioned a few times previously on my blog, I fell in love with them when I picked them up in France in August. The iZink's dry with a metallic sheen, I added to the shine by using a little Cosmic Shimmer Enchanted Gold Gilding Wax. I have plans for this panel for another project that I'll be working on soon, the finished panels looks almost like metal when viewed close up, the photos leave the images looked a little washed out and flat sadly.
The blue hued panel I used on the Oriental Birdcage card used Distress Inks I used Broken China, Mermaid Lagoon, Blue Sketch and underneath the blue sketch I used a little Picked Raspberry to add a tiny hint of pink. Once I'd applied the ink I used my usual technique of misting with water and drying then misting again with a pearl mist the one on this project I made myself with a couple of mica powders in water in a misting bottle. Once that was dry I embossed the panel with my Oriental Birdcage Embossing Folder, the final stage was to use an inking tool which I'd inked up with more Blue Sketch ink and lightly rubbed over the embossed image, which darkened the raised areas and made them stand out more. I had the card I ended up making in my mind when I started inking this piece so I was very pleased that it came together so well.
Close up of the two panels hopefully showing the detail a little better, both panels were done on 200gsm white card, nothing fancy, the iZink's dry very quickly but I have noticed when using the card distress inks that have been misted with water take a while to dry, you can use a heat gun to speed things up but I like to let them dry naturally. Today I've also been making cards from the new Gorjuss Tweed goodie bag that hubby treated me to yesterday, will post some photos when I've made a few more, although I do want to make a few inky backgrounds for Gorjuss cards as well, I can't help it, I'm addicted lol!
Friday, 4 September 2015
It's autumn officially, my favourite time of year :)I can't help it I love the colours and the aromas, its the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and time to get the nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves out and use them in the kitchen. Spiced Apple Crumble is on the menu this weekend. I've loved the season of autumn since I was a child, something about the crisp autumn air, scrunching through leaves and the riot of beautiful colours makes my inner child smile. One of the Docrafts challenges I entered recently asked for an autumn theme and the card above is what I submitted as my entry.
The card began with an distress ink background piece which was coloured using Scattered Straw, Tea Dye and Vintage Photo inks which were misted with water to merge the colours together, I then added a mist of Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist to add a little shimmer. When the paper was dry, I embossed the panel with an Xcut 6x6 Woodgrain Embossing Folder, once embossed I used an inking tool to gently go over the raised area with Walnut Stain ink, trimmed it to size and then inked the edges.
I was in such an 'autumn's here, hurrah' mood that I got carried away and created another inked piece so I could use Sheena Douglass Leafy Corner Embossing Folder I picked up for just £1. I can see lots more pieces being created using this folder, I inked in diagonal strips using Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade, Rusty Hinge and Ripe Persimmon distress inks, misted and shimmer as above then when dry embossed. After embossing I used Walnut stain on the top and bottom corners and Rusty Hinge in the centre to highlight the leaves. Card yet to be created with this piece but its either going to feature an owl or a red squirrel. If someone had told me 12 months ago that I'd be getting inspired by nature in a whole new way and enjoying creating inky messes I would never have believed it, but enjoy it I do :)
This is another autumn colours card I made a few weeks ago for the Noah's Ark Challenge, you had to use a British Wildlife animal image, and this hedgehog caught my eye. The leaves were printed on the computer, fussy cut and then inked and run over the back of a biro to make them curl slightly. I used the same free background paper because I obviously like it, but I can't for the life of me remember where I got it! It's not all been autumn, this week I've also made a christmas card and a couple of projects using images from my Flights of Fantasy CD, and created some oriental inspired backgrounds for some cards using images from the Kimono collection.
It'll be a Gorjuss weekend this weekend I think, hubby treated me to the new Gorjuss goodie bag from Docrafts today and I can't wait to get stuck in. It's coming up to 12 months since I made my first card, I can't believe how far I've come! Still so much to learn but I can already see a huge difference in the cards I create and since those early days I've discovered I have a passion for colour which over the next few months will be being explored to the fullest. Whatever you do, enjoy your weekend, as well as crafting this weekend, I'm off out for a walk looking for signs of nature donning her autumn clothes.
Tuesday, 1 September 2015
The card was cut from a cardboard posting folder that a book came in, so its got a recycled base, the back of the card was treated with black acrylic paint, then PVA and then orange acrylic paint to create a crackle effect, something I learnt in a Docrafts demo by Mags Woodcock, only I didn't quite get it right and it only cracked apart a little, but I'll work on the technique :)
Once I'd dried and trimmed the ATC to size, I then stamped it with Jet Black StazOn ink using an oak leaf stamp from the JustRite 'Shabby Chic Autumn Leaves' set. I stamped the image upside down but it doesn't matter to the overall ATC I think. I jumped in after a little research yesterday, all I know is the size an ATC is supposed to be, which is 2.5" wide and 3.5" long, no idea of thickness, shape etc, I have seen some examples of ATC's with rounded corners, hopefully other crafters will tell me what sort of card they use, what thickness etc.
The front I covered with a piece of paper from a free download set of papers from Crafters Companion, available if you're a member of their Crafters Companion Club, its free to join and you get downloads and offers and sales goodies. To get the same papers look for the June 2014 Distressed Elegance download, it has 4 nice distress effect papers plus some embellishments and sentiments.
After I stuck the paper to the front of the card and trimmed it to size I distressed the edges with Walnut Stain distress ink. I then stamped the sentiment in the centre again with StazOn, the sentiment for those interested is from Stampendous and is called 'Witching You'. Orangey adhesive gems in the four corners and a glittery spider with wobbly eyes from my stash to finish. Not as complex as some peoples gorgeous creations but I've dipped my toe in the water :)