Saturday, 26 January 2019

Splashes of colour

Our final January challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown is a technique - heat embossing.

I went for a simple design, using lovely stamps and resist embossing with distress oxides.

To start I stamped the designs and embossed with white powder.

This frame is Clarity, teamed with a wooden block tree stamp I've had for ages.

This script tree is also Clarity. (I realise these aren't the most exciting photos!!!)

Not sure who made this tree stamp, but I really like it!

For each I used a different combination of distress oxide colours. I added them to my craft mat, spritzed with water and dipped the card in.

The tree was a combination I've used before, wilted violet, picked raspberry and twisted citron, which give a gorgeous orange where they mix. This was one layer only, as I liked the result so much.

The script tree was bundled sage, aged mahogany and I think wild honey. I added second and third layers of the green and red to build up the interest and colour.

The frame one had faded jeans, peacock feathers and I think broken china. I added a little of the faded jeans over the first layer to add more interest.

On the script tree, I added a drop shadow with a very fine black pen, to define the words - it doesn't necessarily show but does make a difference!

To finish I cut to size, edged with one of the inks and a sponge, and added to a card blank.

This is my favourite I think, as I love the bright colours, and the areas of white and speckles at the top and bottom.

The blues have a lovely frosty feel, and I think both these stamps are so delicately beautiful.

To join in with the challenge, go to the 52CCT blog. You have until Friday 1st February to join in - have fun!

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Silent Night

This week on the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, we have a theme challenge. Andreja has chosen "Silent Night".

This has obvious musical connotations, so I wanted to use musical notation in my card. It's such a soft, peaceful song, I sing it to my daughter as a lullaby, which is where I think the soft grey colour scheme came from.

The first layer of the background was stamped in a pale grey pigment ink. I used a background stamp on one side and snowflakes, stamped repeatedly to build up a pattern, on the other.

Over this I added my music stamp - I used archival black, second, third and more generation, added randomly. I realise it looks a right mess in the photo, in real life it was more pleasing!

I cut the background down to size for a 5x7 card, and blended silver pigment ink around the outside. I then ran the black ink pad around the edge.

I decided it still needed more framing, so used black and the same snowflake stamps to add to the outside.

The final step for the background was some black thread (normal sewing thread, I do have some of the heavier weight stuff somewhere but have no idea where!) wrapped around.

My idea for a soft layer to go over this was to die cut snowflakes from parchment. Picot cut snowflakes would be absolutely gorgeous, but I don't have the time for that at the moment!!

After one false start, I put copy paper under the parchment to cut it, and was able to get the snowflakes out of the die without tearing them. They were a little too subtle, so I pressed the reverse into the silver pigment ink pad. It picked up the ink incompetely, and a bit got onto the front, which actually worked well I thought.

The sentiment is from a stamp set I've had for years, probably one of the first sets I ever got, from Papermania/Docrafts. I simply stamped onto white card with black archival ink, masking the words to separate them, cut out and edged with the black.

I'm really happy with how this has come together.

I'm curious to see how it would look with more colour - maybe a sepia look to be warmer, or even something really bright!

To join in with the challenge, head to the 52CCT blog. Entries close on Friday 25th January. I'm looking forward to seeing how you all interpret this theme.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Purple and Green Christmas

Our second challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown each month is always a colour challenge. This month Andreja has chosen Purple and Green for us to play with.

I dug out my distress oxides and Wee Folk Christmas stamps from Clarity.

I stamped a background in a texture stamp and bundled sage, then added the wee folk around the page in purple (wilted violet and dusty concord) and green (mowed lawn, cracked pistachio, crushed olive, twisted citron and more bundled sage).

Once they were in place, I stamped in between with two script stamps, to draw it all together.

I then spritzed with water to activate the inks.

Not sure it looks that different, I didn't want to overdo it.

To turn the background into a card, I cut it down to card size (5 x7). I made a background matte and sponged dusty concord ink round the edge.

I stamped a Merry Christmas sentiment, and die cut it out, along with a mount for it with a larger size die. This was also sponged purple. I cut out two lacy borders from the purple sponged card to see which I preferred across the card.

And then fell out with it completely!

Fortunately, for once I wasn't last minute, so could put it aside and think about it!

So this is what I did instead. (I forgot to take any photos of this bit!)

I sponged wilted purple into the centre of the mount piece (and the edge a bit), then put green oxide inks onto a mat, spritzed with water and dipped the card into it.

I cut two snowflakes from the centre using new dies from The Works.

For the sentiment, I used the offcuts of the background I made. The stamp is the mini word chain from Clarity. I used the stamp platform so I could stamp in purple, then add a bit of black to make it stand out more. I also heat embossed with clear powder. I then went round the edge of the words with a white gel pen to emphasise them further.

I made a mount in the same way as the big mount.

I added more purple to the snowflakes so they stood out more.

Everything was edged with a black inkpad. 

There was a purple Santa in the background that was making the snowflakes disappear, so I went over it with a green pencil. I used a grey pencil for a shadow around the sentiment to add dimension.

Final touch, a metallic purple pen to scribble in the corners.

I put it together with a tape pen, and PVA for the snowflakes - I want to make mostly postable cards this year!

These are two of my favourite colours together! I may have overdone them a bit but hey! A bit more white/neutral space may have helped. But then I like busy cards - they're only small.

To join in with the challenge, visit the 52CCT blog. You have until Friday 18th January to enter. Have fun!!

Saturday, 5 January 2019

A new year and a fresh start

As we start a new year, I'm back to contributing to the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown.

Our first challenge for 2019 is, as always, a sketch.

I decided to get my groovi parchment kit out - I haven't used this for so long! (Possibly since I did the same thing at the start of last year?)

Here's the line art, using snowflake, poinsettia and a couple of framer plates, plus a lace background and a piercing grid for the dots.

I added colour using sharpie pens - I find these work best for me, maybe as I don't have much patience for blending with pencils.

The background came out of the stash - I have no idea how I made it, I guess it's a mop up of distress inks. I cut it to size and edged with a bit of chipped sapphire distress ink.

It's less green and more purple than the photo shows!

The parchment was attached with tiny pieces of super sticky tape.

So there we are, off the mark for 2019 Christmas cards!!

Very delicate and pretty, every time I do some groovi I resolve to do more, we'll see how that works out this year!

To join in with our first challenge of the year, go to the 52CCT blog. You have until midnight on Friday 11th January to enter!