Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Shades of warmer climes!

Hi Everyone,

I hope the week is treating you all kindly.   Today I have a tag to share which I made for this month's UK Stampers Forum swap on FB. 

I'd already created the background when I was trying to get my bottle of Goosebumps texture spray to work.  I'd managed to unclog the spring in the top but the nozzle still wouldn't 'spray' and instead spat out big blobs of the liquid so I tipped the tag to let the blobs run.  This created a resist over which I blended Distress Oxides.  I then did a little stencilling using Oxides again and finally some stamped images from Chocolate Baroque both top and bottom.

The gorgeous lizard is from a totally new set of stamps called Creepers and Crawlers from Illusionary Artists (France Papillon design and manufactured by Chocolate Baroque).  I stamped it onto some tissue using a couple of different Archival inkpads and tore round the image before applying it to the tag with Golden Matte Gel Medium.  Now, I have no idea where the tissue came from but am sure it was wrapping I saved from something and it turns out it was really strong and quite thick so when I stuck it on the tag it didn't blend into the background too well.  I ended up quite liking the effect as it reminded me of when you stand on wet sand and the water squeezes out around your feet so my little lizard is in his own little puddle on a hot sandy beach, lol!  The words are from another new set from France Papillon too.

See you again in a day or two.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 19 February 2018

A bit of a catch up!

Hi Everyone,

I've got a little out of order with posting various makes because of making cards which I can't share at the time due to the recipient not having received the card and then I forget,lol, so I've a couple of cards from January for you today.

The first one unusually for me has no stamping except for the sentiment and the butterfly. 

As people who know me are aware, I rarely do anything with glitter and to be honest this is no exception but.......I cheated!  I used one of Tim Holtz lovely dies to cut the flourish for the top layer of this card and underlaid it with some really pretty sticky backed, glittered acetate.  I've had it for years and had forgotten how nice it is to have a gorgeous glitter effect and not one single sparkle where there shouldn't be one!

The butterfly is from Tim Holtz stamp set and after colouring it to co-ordinate I covered it with a sparkle pen.  Such a pretty effect and again no mess 😄   I was really pleased with this simple but effective card.

My second card relies more on stamping.

I created the background at an Infusions class last year and used one of the gorgeous Penny Black Brushstrokes stamps over the top.  I'm not sure now if I used black Archival or Versafine.

 I then added gold foiling to various parts of the image and the edges of the card.  I found it difficult to get a true photo of this card because the light reflecting on the foiling made it much more 'in your face' that in real life I think.  

That's all for me today.  I hope those of you at work have a good start to your week and I'll be back soon.

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Backing up a bit!

Morning Everyone,

It's a proper miserable day here and everywhere is sodden with rain.  Such a shame after yesterday's very cold but bright sunny day.  It's a good day to stay in and craft though, lol!

As I said in my last post I jumped ahead to share scrap page so today I'm going to share my #2 prompt make which was a tag together with another tag I made just for fun with some exciting new stamps from a new collaboration.

The prompt for #2 was 'Wings' and I have a ton of stuff I could have used, from wooden wings, metal, rusted metal, stamps by the hundred and all shapes and sizes but I was a bit busy and that week and didn't look at it until the eleventh hour and ended up making a tag where the wings definitely didn't take centre stage.  It was a fun make though!

I blended my beloved Oxide Inks on the background then stamped the Dylusions girl onto the tag and again onto some pieces of different 7 Dots Studio papers that were out on my workdesk.  I did a little pencil colouring where necessary, as on her face but I ought to have gone over it again tbh as I did it in artificial light so for fear of adding too much colour I actually left her rather pale....it's all this rain, she needs some sun!   I then stamped the circles and border along the bottom....both Dylusions stamps

I also stamped the wings part of the girl several times onto the dp and then cut everything out and paper pieced it all over the image.  I added some Glossy Accents to some of the circles and stuck the spare wings into it and then added a few touches of white highlights ....once the accents were dry, lol! I doubled up with this tag by using it as my swap tag in UK Stampers Forum on FB.  

My second tag share was created using some gorgeous new stamps from a collaboration between France Papillon and Andy Skinner.  They have collaborated to form Illusionary Artists and their stamps are being manufactured by one of my very favourite companies, Chocolate Baroque.  You can order the stamps from CB (which is where I got mine), France or Andy.  I've only bought France's designs so far because I will use them more but Andy's are fabulous too.  Very different genre for CB and well worth a look.  This tag is all I've had time to play with so far but itching to use the lovely lizards on the Creepers and Crawlers set.

After watching a video of Tim Holtz demoing his 'new' texture spray at the Creativation trade show a couple of weeks ago I remembered some texture spray I bought years ago made by Tsukineko, called Goosebumps.  Apart from a tentative squirt I had never used this spray because back then I hadn't discovered mixed media and had no idea what to do with it.  I dug it out from the back of the cupboard fully expecting it to have solidified but Yay! it hadn't.  The nozzle was a bit bunged up and after much soaking in hot water it still came out in blobs which gave me a fab effect when I let it run but I decanted some into another spray bottle and it worked perfectly.  I'm pretty sure with the same results as Tim's too so that's saved me a bit of money, lol!

Anyway, I sprayed a little of the Goosebumps onto my tag, let it dry and then blended various Distress Oxides over the top before polishing it off with a paper towel to reveal the resist.  I then used Watering Can Archival ink to lightly stamp one of France's text stamps from London New York set, followed by stamping the moth/butterfly from Creepers and Crawlers using the same Oxides as the background.

I then stamped the moth onto separate card and coloured it with co-ordinating pencils, cut it out and added it to the tag.  The words come from another France set, Perfect Words!  Really love this pretty tag as it reminds me it can't be too long to Spring......can it?

Sorry to have waffled a bit about the Goosebumps but it just might remind a few folk they have a bottle lurking in a drawer or cupboard 😄.  That's it from me for today.  Have a fab weekend everyone and see you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Oops, I've been a naughty blogger ......again!

Hi there,

Once again I've got behind with blogging....and I vowed to be better this year...Oh well! 😉

I'm going to go out of sync with my projects today because I am going to share my #3 project made for the prompt challenge with my friends when I know I haven't shared #2 yet.  This is because I am sooooo happy to have finished today's share.....it's only taken me nearly 7 years, lol, and it needs a post all of its own as it will be a bit photo heavy.  I'll share project #2 and a few other things I've done in a day or two.

The prompt for #3 was People/Photos.  I decided it was the perfect opportunity to create the scrap layout I started to plan for a favourite photo of our two beautiful granddaughters Alexa and Izzy about 6 years ago.  The photo was taken at our daughter's wedding 7 years ago this coming May when they were both 3 years old.  Izzy was 10 last December and Alexa will be 10 in March....where do the years go?

I don't have any step by step pics as I got carried away as usual and forgot to take any.  I used some gorgeous papers from 7 Dots Studio designed by Finnabair as well as lots of her mechanicals metal pieces and yet more from my stash.  There's some distressing and inking to the paper edges  and a little stamping in the background.

Alexa on the left and Izzy on the right....just love their cute body language!

One of the things I learned from a Finn class was to use border punches just on small sections and I thought the butterfly one was very approriate.  I also used a little flower one.

Collaged paper pieces, strips and other elements from the same paper collection.  There are also a couple of lovely flourishes from Scrapinek that I heat embossed.  Doubly pleased I am using my stash more and not just my stamps and colouring mediums.

Don't forget you can click the pics to see the details better.

 I just loved their pretty dresses, quite different to the traditional bridesmaid.

The main arrangement of embellishments.  I used a fair amount of Treasure Gold to highlight everything and confess I chickened out at using sprays.  I was pleased with it as it was and didn't want to risk spoiling all that hard work squirting ink in the wrong place, lol!  Maybe next time 😉

I love this little arrangement!

The teensy butterflies cut out by the border punch!  I always use them.

I really enjoyed rooting about in my stash finding pieces to fit the puzzle and must try and do some more layouts.......

I couldn't resist a closer pic of those two little happy smiling faces!

Well this was definitely a doting Mamma post, lol!  I hope there weren't too many pics and I promise my next post will have a lot less.  Thanks for bearing with me and I'll see you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 14 January 2018

A Fun Friendly Challenge......Week 1 and it's Frames!

Hello Everyone,

A little group of friends and I decided last year was a very poor year for our creative endeavours so we decided to have our own private little challenge this year with a prompt each week to kick us off.  Not sure how long we will manage to keep it up before life gets in the way and we can opt out of the odd week if we don't like a particular prompt (drawn out of a 'hat') but I've really enjoyed this first one where the prompt was 'FRAMES' to be interpreted in any way we chose.

 I decided to decorate a large MDF tag (5.5" x 10")...I am determined to use up more of my unloved stash this year and this has been a very good start! 

First I covered it with a lovely designer paper I have been hoarding for several years.  Its from a pad I created our Daughter's Wedding stationery from 7 yrs ago.  I added some stencilling using Distress Inks and some light stamping using Versafine Inks (second generation) and PaperArtsy Mini stamps.  For once I remembered to ink round the edges before I stuck everything on.  My usual trick is to forget till the very end which is sooo tedious, lol! I then found the perfect use for one of my Tim Holtz Botanicals 😄

Unfortunately I forgot to take pics of the various stages I did to cover my lovely frames 
 which I have also had in my wood and chipboard embellishments for an age.  Both were from the Basics range at Hobbycraft.   Click on the pic for a better look but I was really chuffed with the way they turned out.  I used a couple of coats of DecoArt White Tinting Base followed by their crackle medium (can't remember which one, lol) and finally their Antiquing Cream, first a brown one rubbed back with a wetwipe, then the same with grey.  I backed both frames with co-ordinating paper (from the same pad) having first stuck the TH Paper Doll image to the larger piece.  I added a very light hint of colour to some areas of the image and added the butterflies which are also from the Botanicals.

Before I stuck the frames to the tag I added some shadowing down one side of the flower with a carbon pencil then raided my stash for suitable flowers and flourishes.  I think the flowers were old Prima designs and the flourishes were from Ally Pally last year from a company I had never come across before miszmaszpapierowy.com.pl.  They had some beautiful designs but they are extremely delicate and cut from a thickish paper product so I knew they wouldn't take much wet medium like sprays so instead I used PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paints to colour them. I then stuck the frames and other elements down with Heavy Gloss Gel Medium.

I then rooted around for a suitable quote and found this one on a Wendy Vecchi set  (another sadly neglected item in my collection).  I stamped it twice on a scrap of the background paper with grey Archival Ink, cut it up and inked the edges before sticking it to the tag.

A final look at the dimension on the bottom of the tag.

I love watching Marta Lapkowska's YouTube videos (Maremi's Small Art) while I am crafting and there's quite a bit of inspiration from her in this tag not least of which is to 'USE YOUR STASH'!

Well, that's it for today!  I hope you like my tag and I'm now wondering what our prompt will be for this coming week.  I'm scheduling this post so we'll find out the next when this goes live just after 1:00 pm today 😀.  See you again soon!

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 7 January 2018

A 2018 kickstart!

Hello again!

Right here we go with my first proper blog post for this year. 

This is my first birthday card design of the year.  I had two birthdays very close together in the past week so I made the same design twice but changed the quotes on the front.  I forgot to take a pic of the alternative one.  The beautiful tree stamp is a  'cover the page' stamp from Impression Obsession and in this case the quote is one from an Alison Bomber set for PaperArtsy.  I love the beautiful quotes Alison has brought to us via these stamps and I can't wait for February when she has some new sets coming out with the new PaperArtsy releases.

Before stamping the trees I used a dusting brush to add some Distress Ink colour to a piece of script designer paper.  I wanted to give the impression of hazy winter sunlight filtering through bare trees.   I inked the edges and layered up onto the base card before stamping and cutting up the quote and added it to the top.

Now for something I haven't done much of at all....journalling!  A friend pointed out that France Papillon was starting a new challenge on her blog, A Layer A Day/A Spread A Week (ALAD/ASAW) so a couple of us decided to have a go. If you want to know the details have a look at France's blog but I have to say I found it extremely difficult to only do one layer then walk away till the next day.  Once I get in a crafting mood I want to keep at it whilst it's flowing but I'll give it another go this week hopefully and see how I get on.  

I did take about three pics with my phone of the different layers but for some reason I couldn't get them to download this morning 😞 .   I started off with a couple of pages I had already stamped a rose onto with two colours of Distress Oxides, left over ink from a previous project.  Over that I randomly stamped a fab script stamp I bought recently by ALL&Create (from That's Crafty) then I gave it a patchy wash with gesso.


Next came Grunge Paste through an Imagination Crafts mixed media stencil.  Love this stencil as it has different shaped 'holes' making a random design.  Next layer was PaperArtsy Infusions which I allowed to run and drip plus an old Crafty Notions white spray and some shimmery Glimmer Mists.

A couple of words from a Seth Apter stencil and stickers, a few touches of Treasure Gold and a light application of black ink to the edges finished the actual pages then I stamped a Tim Holtz butterfly twice onto a scrap of brusho'd card, cut them out and stuck them to the pages.

Right that's it for today!  Hope it's not too long before I have something else to share.  Thanks for dropping by today.

Lesley  Xx

2017 Christmas card recap....just for my records really!

Hello to anyone who drops by and a belated Happy New Year.

No new year resolutions here but I do hope to be a slightly more consistent blogger in 2018 but we'll see if I stick to that, lol!  Anyway, before I blog a bit of new 'art' in my second post of the day I wanted to share pics of the Christmas cards I made for 2017 as I like to have them recorded here.

This first selection were made from backgrounds I'd made ages ago from which I diecut the starts and then stamped and embossed the snowflakes.

Still on a star theme but this card was a one off with Chocolate Baroque snowflakes stamped and embossed onto a script paper background and the edges heat embossed too then the stars again diecut from a previously made background.


A few months before Christmas I bought two gorgeous Penny Black Christmas design stamps from lovely Val, the very talented owner of Snazzy's whose design team I used to be a member of.  I absolutely adore these stamps and the batch above are using the poinsettia stamp.   I inked the stamp up using different shades of Distress Inks and dragged the colours out with a water brush, added a little stickles to the centres and then stamped and embossed the sentiments.

This next batch  use the other PB stamp, berries and bell.  Again I inked up with Distress Inks and am so pleased with the effect I got after dragging the colours out with a water brush.

Here's a closer view on which you can see the gold foiling I added, especially if you click to enlarge.

I have decided that as we don't have so many Christmas cards to exchange these days, sadly as we get older there are friends and loved ones nolonger with us and of course, no work colleagues now we have been retired for several years so this year I am hoping to make all the cards I need, not just the ones for crafting friends.  Wish me luck, lol!

Okey Dokey,  now for the new stuff........I'll be back shortly!

Lesley  Xx