We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Blue - but not blue!

Whilst I'm working on a new project, I thought I would share a past project.  I have previously talked about always using blues and purples as these are my favourite colours.  I also think colour can show moods, and I did this canvas when I was feeling a bit down and blue - and not a blue hue in sight!  So blue is probably my happy colour!!!

This is the first canvas I included die-cuts on - the Tim Holtz spooky tree.  I used a box canvas, and so when the light is behind it, the orange appears to glow.  I also played around with clear tar gel - using a lolly stick and dribbling it onto the canvas (towards the bottom) - I like the texture.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Picasso ants

The Ashtead Club issues bi-monthly challenges, and the latest one is to create a book using envelopes (the club has a lot of excess envelopes!).  I've done quite a few memory books with photos, so decided try my hand at a journal style book, using all my favourite Picasso quotes.  The envelopes are large DL ones, and I cut to size some white card, and sprayed and smooshed with Dylusion ink sprays.  Yes, I know, blue again! Played around with various stamps using inks and Distress Stains.

Also used some Dylusion stamps - love the insect ones, so there is a bit of theme going through this book, which just evolved.  Tried my hand at large lettering.

 Also printed and cut out the words.

Then reversed to white on black.

I've also used different white pens throughout, but I have yet to find one that is really opaque enough, so that search continues.

You will notice all the ants walking through the pages, and they ultimately show my favourite quote.

Enjoyed this challenge as it made me try something I've not done before.  We've all got spare envelopes, so have a go!  (See demo notes on the Club blog here.)

Saturday, 23 March 2013


Occasionally I do some demonstrating at the Ashtead Card Making and Craft Club, and next Wednesday I will be showing how to use masking tape to create a torn paper look. These are the sample cards I've produced.

This one shows it being used as a background.

Here I've used it to die-cut with.

Step by step guide can be found here.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Still obsessed with stencils!

Stencils remain flavour of the month with me, and I also like using Sparkle Medium (the Diamond one).  Another favourite look is silhouettes, so I combined everything to make some cards.  All the backgrounds are pieces of card smooshed through puddles of spritzed Distress Ink, the die-cuts are all Memory Box ones; finished off with some Craftwork Cards sentiment discs.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Having a peachy bleachy time!

Another get together, and we thought we would try the bleach technique. We found that thicker bleach is better than the thin stuff, and make sure room is well ventilated, and wear an apron!

On this card, both pieces have been coloured using Distress Inks.  We also tried Distress Stains, which was OK, but I prefer the control you have with Distress Inks.  This also works on coloured cardstock, but the bleached areas will not necessarily go white, for instance, black card seems to bleach to light brown.  A case of try it and see!

For stamping, prepare a pad of kitchen roll in a box lid or foil tray, and pour bleach onto it, spreading it around,so that it soaks into the pad.  Use this as the "ink" pad, by tapping your stamp onto it. Used here is one of my favourite script stamps for backgrounds. The second layer is a collage stamp, stamped with Stazon (which won't react with the bleach) then bleach applied to certain areas with a paintbrush.

I liked this technique, as it is simple, cheap, but effective.

Finished off the card with some wonky stitching, and a die-cut butterfly.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Singing the blues!

I'm starting to notice that a lot of the stuff I do is predominantly blue!  This piece is no different, but mental note to self to try other colours - I don't seem to use green at all!

My very first post for this blog was about the sign I made with Paper Artsy at the Sandown show in January.  I wanted to try the technique again.  The original sign was made with pre-cut grungeboard letters, but I couldn't find my grungeboard or grungepaper, so I used hot pressed 140lb watercolour paper.  I did several die-cuts, and adhered to a canvas board using matt medium, then gave everything another coat of matt medium.

Using Fresco paints, covered everything with Ice Blue, then used Mermaid to roughly go over the die-cuts.  Dried with heat gun.

Changed to translucent Pea Coat, again roughly going over where the die-cuts are, but then wiping back with a wetwipe.  Then used Claret (another translucent colour) over the same areas, again wiping back with a wetwipe.  I repeated this process with both colours until I liked the look, then really rubbed over some of the die-cut areas with the wetwipe, taking the paint back to the light blue.

The watercolour paper is quite robust, but not really the best thing to use for this technique, all that rubbing with wetwipes takes its toll!  Must find the grungeboard/paper.

Treasure Gold guilding wax is lovely stuff, so to finish I brushed some over the raised areas.  With Treasure Gold less is definitely more!

Like this look; will have another play with different colours on grungepaper.  Here's the finished piece.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Tiny Canvas, Big Flower

For some time I've had a couple of tiny canvases, complete with mini easels, and not known what to do with them.  I wanted to have another play with the Pebeo Prisme paints, and  I 've recently bought some 640gsm handmade paper from India (made from 100% recycled cotton rag).  Never seen this before, and I was intrigued; it's really thick and robust stuff.  Decided to watercolour it using Distress Inks.

I die-cut it using the Tattered Florals die (Sizzix) -my eBosser handled it like a dream.  Spritzed it again with water, and shaped it, then pooled some Prisme into the central section, and dipped the other petal edges.  This paint does take some hours to develop, so patience is important!  A few hours later I accidently put my fingernail in the central pool of paint whilst it still had some give in it, which left a nasty mark! -  not wanting to bin it, I tried heating it with my heat gun - it worked!  I only heated it for a very short time (a couple of seconds), and it smoothed out again.

Then I die-cut a swirly stem and covered with glossy accents, and  prepared a tiny canvas with a dotty stencil.

Put everything together ...

Love it!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Talking of buttons ....

Didn't want to waste the die-cuts I did when trying my new eBosser, so I made some flower embellishments, adding some cream cotton lace and buttons (and I did sew everything together!).

Then some quick cards.  This one using some scraps of matching papers.

And here, a little stamping.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Gone clubbing!

Being part of a craft club is fun; meeting like-minded people and having a crafty play with stuff.  This week was the monthly workshop with the Ashtead Card Making & Craft Club. I've been a member for nearly as long as it's been in existence (about 5 years I think, though if I'm wrong I'm sure someone will correct me!).

If anyone is interested in joining, there is an email contact button in the profile area of the Club's blog site, link above or on the sidebar.

The theme this week was buttons, and stitching (real or faux).  I've used my sewing machine on cards before, but not very often, and not recently.  Really enjoyed making this card.