Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Flowers for Mother's Day

For Mother's Day this year, I made a Groovi card for my mum, with an inky background. I had the idea for the February Clarity Groovi challenge, which had the theme Flower Power (same as the stamps and stencils Clarity Challenge) but didn't come close to getting it made last month. I only just had it done for Mothers Day - it required a first class stamp to get there in time!

I started with the nested squares, and embossed the corners of the largest square, to define my space. I then used smaller squares to make those corners into squares and rectangles, and filled in a  series of different sized and shaped rectangles between them. This created a variety of spaces for me to work in.

Then the fun bit - filling in! I started by deciding which way up I wanted the grid I'd created, and where to put the words. I then added these using the alphabet on the universal framer plate. Then it was time for the flowers! I used a whole range of plates and borders for this - the henna border, the poinsettia plate, Jayne's humming birds plate among them. I used the wishing well plate - the roof patterns went into a couple of smaller spaces.

I also used the piercing grids to emboss some simple patterns.

This is the finished line work.

Time to add colour - I used my Faber Castell polychromos, from the back.

I'm not sure if it would have been better to stick to fewer colours - but I don't have many pencils so would have been limited to only using three or four!

The next step was to cut out - and I decided to go for the picot cutting. I tried using the straight grid to pierce through, but didn't get on with it, so used the two needle tool. I'm not sure I shouldn't have persevered!

The picot cutting is a bit uneven - I'm out of practice! The angle seemed to make a big difference, where I could hold the parchment below the cut line I found it easier than in the indents, where it was harder to hold the parchment flat. More practice and experimentation required, again!

Time to make a background - on much more comfortable ground for me!

I put some distress ink onto my blending mat - chipped sapphire, dusty concord and a bit of picked raspberry. Spritzed with water, then pressed some stencil card into it. The picked raspberry really stood out!

It was lighter than I wanted for the background, I needed the white embossed lines to stand out, so I repeated with just the blue and purple inks. This filled in the gaps and intensified the colour nicely. (The photo bleaches it a little.)

Using chipped sapphire and the bouquet outline stamp, I over stamped selectively round the edge. I don't want too much fussy detail behind the parchment, but do want the interest in the gaps around the outside of the parchment.

To mount, I used tiny pieces of super sticky tape under the coloured areas of the parchment, then attached the background to a 6x6 card base with a tape pen.

I can't claim to be a parcher, I don't have the skills, and it's not a priority right now to learn them. But I do like being able to produce pieces like this, using the crisp white line art, adding colour, and making a co-ordinating background. And dabbling in a bit of cutting!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Wall of colour

Our second Christmas Card Throwdown for March is a colour challenge.

For this one, I started with a brickwork stencil, and sponged through with cream acrylic paint.

Once it had dried (and the stencil had been cleaned) I added antique linen distress ink, and a touch of brushed corduroy, for texture.

(Awful photo I'm afraid, and it's not nearly as yellow as this.)

After cutting down to fit a 6x6 card base (finally breaking my run of 5x7) I stamped words over the "wall". I had a graffiti type idea on mind, although my fonts aren't what you'd usually find spray painted on a wall!

For the main "Merry Christmas" I used Clarity word chain stamps, and claret stazon ink.

I don't have a lime ink, so for the other words I inked up the stamp with yellow then leaf green pigment ink, then went over with light green and light yellow Faber Castell polychromo pencils.

The stamps are Clarity sentiments, and an alphabet set used for the "Noel".

I added a holly stamp to the corners, one I've had for years and love for the detail. I used the pigment inks again, then coloured with the pencils.

To edge, I went a bit grungy (thinking back to the graffiti idea) and used one of my Sheena Douglass distress stamps. The ink is the claret stazon again, but second generation.

I mounted it flat on the card base (with a tape pen), thinking about postage at the end of the year.

For the insert and envelope, I kept it simple, just brushing through the outside of the stencil with antique linen distress ink, to give a frame.

To join in with our colour challenge, head over to the Christmas Card Throwdown, you have until the 31st March, midnight GMT.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Flower Power

Hubby and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary this week, and this is the card I made him. He likes bright, vibrant colours (and thinks a lot of my cards are too dull or washed out) so this was my response!

I was originally going to make this for the February Clarity challenge, which had the theme of Flower Power, but didn't get there in time!

I started with a shaving foam background. I used worn lipstick, mustard seed, barn door and a bit of bundled sage distress reinkers. This was the first print, so had the full impact of the colours. (I did lots more, some with stencils, so the stash is well topped up!)

On scraps of card, I stamped the silhouette from the butterfly and petals Clarity stamp set. I tried different distress inks - worn lipstick, picked raspberry, spiced marmalade, mustard seed and wild honey.

I decided to go with the picked raspberry and spiced marmalade, so stamped multiple of these.

I then added two of the pattern stamps, in black versafine, and cut them out.

I played with arranging them into flowers, and decided I needed a few more, as well as some leaves.

I didn't have the green I wanted for the leaves, so used mustard seed with second generation mowed lawn over the top. It gives more texture, too.

I arranged them onto the background, attached with small foam pads. The flower centres are the swirl from the centre of the swirly petal, stamped over mustard seed distress ink and cut out. The stems I drew on with a medium permanent marker.

I tore round the edges of the background to reduce it down to size (for an 8x8 card blank), and inked the torn edges with ripe persimmon. I stamped the happy anniversary stamp, again in versafine.

To highlight the words, I used a pink pen on one side and a white pen on the other.

For a mount, I used a pink sheet, and dragged the picked raspberry ink around the edge to brighten it. (I thought this would be a short cut to an intense colour, but I think a white card with the ink would have been brighter.)

I edged the pink card with a black sharpie, but it looked a bit flat. So I got out the white gesso, and a grid stamp from the Sheena Douglass distress stamp set. I stamped randomly in the gesso, and applied dots with my small groovi tool.

I used the same grid stamp on the insert and envelope (in mustard seed distress ink), along with the petal stamps in the picked raspberry and spiced marmalade.

To construct the card, I used foam tape between all the layers - I'm not going to have to post it, after all!

I do love the zesty brightness of this card. The random, shaving foam background is very happy making, and I like the simple, doodle style - flower power indeed!

Monday, 13 March 2017

A not-so-new home

This is a card I made for a friend who moved house last year. It's taken a while to get around to blogging it!

I used a new stamp from Lavinia Stamps. They are a new company to me, with very whimsical, fantasy style designs. A lot of fun!

I started by stamping the house in black archival ink, on Clarity stencil card.

I painted over it with pebeo masking fluid, then started to brush in the background, with distress inks and Clarity stencil brushes.

Mowed lawn at the bottom, then salty ocean, dusty concord, and chipped sapphire to darken the top.

I added the words with Clarity word chain stamps. The "new' is from news with the s masked, then I used the "H" of harmony, and "ome" from awesome. The spacing isn't quite right on the "Home", I'll sort that out later.

With the masking fluid rubbed off, the house really stands out.

I coloured the house using brightly coloured marker pens, and I think I painted with distress ink in some of the larger areas. I wanted it to be very vibrant.

I also added more ink around the base, to ground the house.

To add interest to the words, I stamped around with small decorative stamps, again in black archival. The stars are another Lavinia stamp, the spirals come from a charity shop pack.

I've also balanced out the letters of "Home", by making the "o" wider on one side, with circles within the thicker area.

To finish, I edged with a black sharpie, and mounted on an 8x8 card blank.

I'm still really pleased with how this came out. I like the intensity of the colour, and how vivid the house is. They really carry it, the card layout is so simple.

When I visited my friend in her new home, I was amused and pleased to see several handmade gifts I'd given her over the years on display. We go back a long way! So here are a few of my crafty blasts from the past!

This photo frame is decorated with stamps and paint, with ribbon flowers and buttons on the side.

I decoupage this box photo frame when her son was born. Next time I visited, there were photos in it!

Glass painting used to be my primary craft! I would love to get back into it (so many crafts, so little time!). I think the set of 4 wine glasses were a gift when she moved into her previous flat. The tea light holders are also a set of four.

This canvas was gift a few years ago. I love the colourful butterflies, I think if I were doing it again I'd space it differently and have more flat butterflies so the letters are clearer.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A stitchy sketch

We're halfway through our March sketch challenge at the Christmas Card Throwdown, so here's another take on the sketch.

I used Clarity card for this one, which is a very shiny coated card.

I started with the embossing, using a Clarity stamp set. I remembered to dust with an anti-static bag (for once), then stamped the rows of "knitting" with versamark. I added white embossing powder to each as I went, then heat embossed all together.

I then did the same with the jumper. I did the outline first, and heat embossed. As I was using masks, I couldn't wait and heat emboss all together, as they would lift off the powder.

The next step was to mask the outside and arms so I could fill in the centre with the sentiment and stitch stamps. I heat embossed this. The masks left a slight tackiness, so I needed to dust off excess powder that had stuck where I'd masked.

For the arms, I masked the body and stamped again.

The final step was to draw in the rib in the cuffs, neck and waist with an embossing pen, and heat emboss these.

It doesn't look like much so far, but the colour brings it out. I added distress ink with a blending tool, bundled sage, iced spruce and weathered wood.

I cut out the jumper, with a narrow border, and added a touch of pine needles ink around the edge to make it stand out.

I trimmed back the background to fit a 5x7 card base (I had been planning an A5, but the topper looked a bit lost). I edged it with a dusky blue sharpie pen.

I mounted the background with a tape pen, and the topper on foam tape.

I used the same stitch stamps and ink colours to decorate the insert and envelope. I made the same mistake I made a few weeks ago, and did a portrait insert first time round - I've put that aside and redid it in landscape!

I really like these knitting stamps, maybe because I am a knitter (although haven't done much recently).

A simple, subtle card - you could use brighter colours for a more dramatic version.

To join in with our sketch challenge, head over to the Christmas Card Throwdown, you have until midnight GMT on Friday 17th March to enter.