Saturday, 31 August 2013

Making your mind up

Some time ago, I wanted to do a black and red canvas, so I too a white canvas, painted it with black gesso and a layer of black paint....then I changed my mind and wanted it white again. Well the black was a bugger to cover over, took several coats of paint, getting rid of the canvas texture in the process, but there it was covered......then I changed my mind again. I wanted texture! so I covered it in scrunched tissue - tissue would've covered the black quicker and cheaper than all that white paint! So now I had texture, but added more in the form of texture paste and I wanted colour. I went with ochre, but found it flat, so once again I painted it! Indecisive? Moi? I'm not sure.

Anyway, I'm done messing about with it now, I highlighted the paste with black rub'n'buff and added my 'topper'. This was also an unfinished piece, just because I was having a play and making backgrounds ready for inspiration to hit. I got as far as putting clear texture paste through a stencil onto book page and sticking it to corrugated card. I used DI to colour the book page, then added string and a glassene flower. I really roughed up the edges and stuck the corrugated to a deeply crackled board.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Take these chains from my heart

I love it when a plan comes together, and this project did just that. I bought the mask after seeing Ali demo it on TV, then on my first trip to the craft shop of the weekend, I found the frame. I inked the frame with Chipped Sapphire DI, added clear UTEE then sprayed over Cosmic Shimmer. When reheated, the mica in the shimmer sinks into the UTEE leaving a lovely mottled texture. Next I added texture paste through the mask - the paste didn't take to the base evenly but I loved the distressed look this gave. Once the paste was dry, I reapplied the stencil and went over with Perfect Medium and Denim embossing powder - this then filled it the missing textured pattern and added to the distressed look.

Also over the weekend I made my own paper by putting wet toilet roll through an embossing folder. Once dry, I inked with Chipped Sapphire and sealed it with clear embossing powder before adding it to the frame back.

The heart is paper mache, triple embossed in gold, then stamped whilst still molten. I wrapped some chain around, added the charm and keys before sticking down. To highlight the textures, I added a little gilding wax.

More Carnival glass

I've had a very productive Bank Holiday Weekend. After my first trip to the craft shop and subsequent Carnival glass creations, I went back for more. This time I got two more colours of cosmic Shimmer Fusible Film and five different embossing powders. This time, for the bases I've used memory glass and  ATC style MDF blanks, but the method is the same as in my previous post. Using these as bases is so much better, since the mountboard ones have bowed when they've cooled down - all's not lost though, as I've flattened them and cracked the UTEE for a different effect.

These first five are on the MDF blanks. I've never used these before, but I certainly will do so again as they're perfect for repeated heating and take inks really well. To finish the edges, I've added faux solder - I melted UTEE in my melt pot and dipped the edges.

These four are on Memory Glass - I was a little worried that the glass wouldn't take the repeated heating, but they were fine. With all these samples, I've used the melt pot rather than the heat gun to melt the powders. I inked the blank/glass with Perfect Medium, added the powder and then placed them on a Project Craft Sheet and into the melt pot with the lid on. Again, I added the faux solder, but I'm going to get Memory Frames for these to turn them into jewellery pieces.

Saturday, 24 August 2013


For the past few days, I've been having a play with some new techniques and seeing where my experimentation takes me. After watching a youtube by Rach0113 on faux carnival / dichroic glass, I couldn't wait to crack on! Could I find my fantasy film? Could I heck. No doubt it will surface when I'm unable to find something else. Take two, after a visit to the craft shop. The youtube I saw did the technique on memory glass, but since she made it opaque with the embossing powder, she made hers into a piece of jewellery so it needed to be on something durable, I thought I'd use board instead.

This is my first attempt - two layers of Cosmic Shimmer (CS) Lapis Orange Lustre, one layer of CS Autumn Lustre, scrunched CS glitter film then a couple of layers of UTEE. Then I remelted it and stamped with Versamark - in the video, she used a coloured embossing ink, but I wanted a more carnival glass look.

This time, I used CS UTEE in Bronze Lustre, again on board. I didn't scrunch the film this time and I used two layers rather than just one, followed by UTEE. This is my favorite, it's really even, has the best iridescence and looks the most like carnival glass.

The film is cut to overhang the board, and as you stamp the piece, UTEE oozes over the sides. I cut the excess off, cut it into small pieces and remelted it onto another board covered in three coats of Autumn Lustre. This time I didn't add more UTEE, just stamped the molten enamel. Whilst it's not as 'realistic' as the previous sample, it is interestingly textural and will make a great background.

I will use the top and bottom samples as the basis for something else, but the middle one may well become an embellishment in it's own right.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Light Up

More sneaks for Thursdays' show on Create and Craft with Sheena Douglass.

The background for this card is an h2o wash which I sprinkled with seasalt and left to dry - I love using this effect as it's like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get! . I then stamped the image and coloured it with h2o, likewise with the roses. Rather than use gold mirri card, I heat embossed the borders of my base card and mat with the same powder as used on the stamped images, it's a much more subtle gold.

This is a Home Bargains find - LOVE that shop! I coloured the top with a mixture of h2o and glossy accents then gilded it in silver. The roses are coloured with DI and I added some die cut flourishes. 

Here I've stamped the honesty sprig with h20 and then added some h2o highlights and DI shading.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Mellors the naughty gamekeeper... the name I gave to this chap, he has a touch of the Heathcliffe about him too but I stuck with Mellors as I knew I'd drive the household potty with my Kate Bush renditions. 

The background is watercolour and Mellors is also watercolour, but then I added an h2o wash for a bit of sparkle. I stuck the scene onto acetate a little bigger than the card to add more dimension.

This is just all kinds of grungy lovelyness. I stamped the honesty onto a scrap of corrugated and washed over h2o. DI on the tag after first heat embossing in clear for a resist. I also coloured the ribbon with h2o.

These stamp sets and the h2o's will be available on Create and Craft on Thursday with Sheena Douglass.

Monday, 19 August 2013

More sneaky peakies

Today I have a card and home decor piece to share.

The background is DI blended then blended for a watercolour effect. The figure, 'Honesty' is also coloured with DI. I added gilding flakes as a window and finished the card with a couple of handmade flowers.

I really love this. My husband thinks that I've had it in for books since I got my ereader, because I now only but 'real' books to craft with - he has a point! If you want to try altering a book yourself, here's how I did mine.

1. I chose a fairly thick book, so that my nook could be fairly deep. Decide on the size of the aperture you want to make and mark it on the front of the book. 
2. Take a sharp craft knife and a metal ruler and begin cutting the aperture. DO NOT use a plastic ruler if you value your fingers - I use a plastic one with a metal edge. Don't try to cut too deeply all at once, it's better to cut all round the aperture and remove the surplus a little at a time than to attempt to cut too deeply all at once.
3. When you near the depth you want, stop cutting and insert a piece of metal into the book to prevent the knife cutting further whilst allowing you to remove the last few pages. I took an empty drinks can, removed the top and bottom and cut up the seam to flatten it as my piece of metal.
4. Take a sheet of tissue paper and scrunch. Apply PVA to the front cover and add pieces of tissue overlapping as you go and leaving excess at the edges to fold over later. Continue over the spine and onto the back. Allow the tissue to dry.
5. Open the book and adhere the overlaps to the inside of the book. Once the tissue is completely dry, you can start to paint. Try not to get paint on the pages - I protected the pages by wrapping the body of the book in clingfilm until I was happy with my paint effect.
6. When you're happy with your painting, remove the clingfilm and close the book. Apply a generous coat of modpodge to the outside edges of the pages to stick them all together. Add a heavy weight whilst the modpodge dries to prevent buckled pages. When dry, your book it ready to decorate.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

DT Samples

Today I'm sharing a couple of DT projects for some new stamps by Sheena Douglass. The stamps launch on Thursday this week, so you can imagine I've had a busy couple of weeks getting samples ready.

I painted the frame with H2O and added texture paste, then used repeated stampings to make the peacock tail. The earrings are one of the stamps onto shrink plastic.

The background effect is PVA applied through a mask then inked, the distress ink appears a different colour on the raised glue than on the plain card, and I really love the effect it gives. For the topper, I used one of the stamps and a faux porcelain technique. After three layers of UTEE, I wanted an even more pronounced crackle effect, so I put the topper in the freezer for a while and then got cracking!