Tuesday, 7 March 2017

One Door Closes Journal Page

Hi everyone,

I thought I would just share another journal page that I made around this time last year. The Stampotique door stamp had been on my wish list for ages so I was in my own little heaven when I eventually bought it.  Once in hand, I couldn't wait to set to on this journal page.  So here it is.....

I used a couple of colours of Ranger DP (sorry, I can't recall which they were now. Broken China and Faded Jeans perhaps?) which I worked/blended with a damp wet wipe so that the outside edge of each page was darker, the centres left lighter. Using a texture stamp and the same colours but this time in DI,  I randomly stamped, using the 2nd generation stamping technique, over each page. Then I inked through TH's brick stencil with brown DI and edged each page with the same colour to frame them.

 Then I went to work on my doors.  Firstly I stamped two images and cut out the door panels and glued them onto another couple of stamped images to add a little depth and dimension to each door. I did the same with the little hearts and added a tiny brad for the door knobs on each.  For the door on the RH page I stamped and fussy cut an extra set of hinges and backed the door with Ranger tissue paper.

I shaded and coloured both doors using my Ranger DIs. The little hearts were coated with Glossy Accents and then when dry, each door was coated in Ranger Crackle Paint. I took care not to coat the little hearts with crackle paint as I wanted these left clear so they would stand out.

And this is when one of those happy accidents occurred. Because I had used Ranger tissue and mat medium to the back of one of my doors, when the crackle paint dried it began to chip off where the mat medium had been thickest, leaving the coloured tissue paper in the centre of the door exposed.

Horror turned to being chuffed to little mint balls when I saw how awesome the effect looked....YEA!!!

As you can see there are a couple or three gruesome Stammpotique 'friends' behind the RHS door.  Using craft card and TH's Shattered stencil I blended Ranger DI through the stencil with an ink blending tool, splattered with a little Black Soot DI and then stamped the image of the three 'friend' in black Archival Ink. A touch of white marker pen to their eyes made the image pop a little better.

For the door frame and to hide the magnet closure for the RHS door,  I used some brown textured card from my stashed which I  distressed with a little Ranger Black Soot DI here and there.

Finally I added my title across each page in freehand and highlighted in grey with a FC big bush marker pen and white gel pen.

You can just make out the random texture stamping on the background in these last two photographs.

 I really enjoyed making this page, simple though it is.  Every time I leaf through my journal to find a new page to work on, I can't help flicking open the RH door to see those little chaps and hear the satisfying snap of the magnet as it closes the door afterwards  .... simple pleasures, ah.

Have a wonderful day and if you can, find a moment of two to craft this week. Bye for now.

Carol. xx

Monday, 6 March 2017

Anniversay Tag

Hi everyone,

it's my second wedding anniversary next week and as we're heading off to Carcassonne in France at the weekend to celebrate, I had to set to last Sunday to get my anniversary tag finished. 

My partner and I don't exchange presents on our anniversary. We decided when we got married that we would go away for a long weekends instead. The choice of venue is dictated by what the traditional present would be for that year of marriage e.g. paper is the traditional gift for a first wedding anniversary, so last year we had to choose somewhere abroad that began with the letter P......we headed off to Paris. 

This year being our second anniversary (cotton therefor C) we chose Carcassonne.

Neither do we buy cards, we either make each other a card or a tag. I know my partner is making a card for me this year but I decided to make a tag and here it is........

I wanted to try out a technique that Tammy Tutterow used on her Satin Damask Tag (the link is here for Tammy's step by step tutorial: )

I worked on a size 8 manilla tag and chose Dusty Concord DI to give it and my seam binding a gorgeous wash of colour.  A vintage flourish stamp (A Darkroom Door stamp, I think) was the image I chose for embossing with Stampendous clear detail embossing powder. 

Finally, I gave the tag a wash of Picket Fence DS to knock back the intense colour on the un-embossed areas of the tag, then spritzed gently with Biscotti Perfect Pearls Mist, before doing 2nd generation stamping randomly over the entire tag with a Stampers Anonymous text stamp in the same Dusty Concord DI. Using  a dry cloth I gently wiped the stamped text from the embossed areas so that it only remained on the un-embossed areas of the tag.

Using a couple of ephemera pieces (TH Thrift Shop) I shaded both with the Dusty Concord DI using a blending tool and then coated  both in Picket Fence DS to soften the colour.

Next using ribbon and lace from my stash I edged the LHS of the tag by sewing them both into place with a single line of white stitching, catching my ephemera pieces at the same time.

Anyone who follows my blog will know that I love working with hearts. 

For this tag I draw a freehand heart on cream cardstock,  stamped it with text and shaded it with Dusty Concord DI.  Once again I knocked back the intensity of the colour with Picket Fence DS. 

A small strip of delicate lace was stitched down the centre of the heart. It was also edged on one side and along the top with cream coloured vintage lace. This was initially held in place with double sided tape but then overstitched with white machine stitching.

Using TH Remnant Rubs (numerals) I added the date of our wedding to a tiny piece of background paper before fixing it into place in an Idea-ology heart.

I found that my last TH Idea-ology monocle had broken glass when I came to use it, so I had to improvise by cutting a circle from the packaging which I glued it into place with Glossy Accents. Again I used TH Remnant Rubs numerals to create the '2nd' on the new  'glass' before sealing it into place with a coat of Glossy Accents... Surprisingly it worked really well.   Providing there aren't any bubbles it looks just as good as the glass.

The little heart and the monocle were joined together on a jump ring which was threaded through the ribbon of a triple bow. To get a blend of colour I used the dyed seam binding together with a piece of SU taffeta ribbon.  These were tied around by tag but under the heart. Once in place, I cut away that part of the heart that hang over the LH edge of my tag.

Finally I doted a few TH Remnant Rubs words around my tag, choosing the words 'eternal moments' at the top, 'forever', 'together' and a couple of stars on the heart and finally the word 'love' to one side of the bow.

More SU taffeta ribbon topped off my tag through with I threaded a tiny key. As there are plenty of references to the date on this tag,  I decided not to use a picture anchor to detail the date that I made the tag but I did back my tag with black card as usual.

I need a little more practise at Tammy's background technique.... using Picket Fence didn't quite give the same background finish that Tammy seemed to get in her tutorial. Tammy used Picket Fence DP but not having any in my stash I though DS would do the trick... yes, it did to a certain extent but it didn't wipe off the embossed image quite as well as DP would. OK, Picket Fence DP is now added to my shopping

Overall I'm pleased with my anniversary tag and knowing my partner, I am sure it will be received well.  If nothing else it gave me an afternoon of fun in the craft room, so smiles all round here.

Have a wonderful week and hope you find time to craft.

Carol. xx

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Kate Crane Workshop

Hi everyone,

I've had an amazing day last Saturday. I attended an art journaling workshop with Kate Crane at the Craftrange.  Kate was brilliant, generously sharing her techniques, ideas, advice and tips, in addition to letting us leaf through her inspirational journals. And although the class was full there was plenty of space and products galore to try out,  so we weren't scrabbling around looking for specific items or jostling for room.... a couple of my pet hates when attending classes or workshops.

Kate took us through step-by-step tutorials to create two of her journal pages:

Trust me, in comparison to the original pages in Kate's journal, the above pictures look completely flat and lifeless. 

For example in the green page on the LHS,  the butterfly is dimensional and in the other, on the RHS,  there is a  touch of glitter and both pages have border and decorative stitching.  The original pages are stunning, the vibrancy of colour is beautiful and oh sooooo many layers. Oodles upon oodles of them.

Using Art Deco fluid acrylic paints, stamps, stencils, washi tape and a brayer these the three efforts I brought home at the end of the day  ......

Playing more after the workshop, I added a wee bit of stitching on all three pieces and a couple of ceramic tiles from my stash rather than the stamped feathers that Kate used on her green page.

Here are a few close ups:-

The little house was a test piece that Kate brought for us to try out with a crackle medium called Weathered Wood.  First the body of the house was coated in Art Deco Quin. red fluid acrylic paint, then a generous coat  of Weather Wood went on top, followed by Art Deco yellow. 

The Weathered Wood crackle medium only activates and crackles when the second coat of paint is added. In the picture above you can see the Quin. red base coat showing through the crackled yellow top coat......The roof, door and window were just painted with the red. I also stamped the roof with black Archival ink using Kate's Stampotique texture cube stamp before adding a little shading to each roof tile.

A little random doodling with black and white marker pens plus  stamping with France Papillon's crackle stamp (one of my favourites).....

On two of my pages I used Quin. red,  yellow and metallic gold Art Deco fluid acrylics with a hint of black in places on the edge. I wanted to add my pages to my art journal, so rather than work on an A4 sheet I trimmed it to size and created two almost identical pieces to glue in to my moleskin journal after the workshop.

I have a 'thing' about this TH pointy finger washi tape.... love it.... so it featured on both my red/yellow pages.

A little bit of stitching..... I always have to remind myself that less is more when I get near my sewing machine with paper  in hand!

And finally my butterfly, which I rubbed over with matt medium so that it would hold it's shape before coating with Glossy Accents to bring a bit of shine to my page.   Kate brought these butterflies with her for us to use. They're available as a digital download from her Etsy....

Here are a few pictures of the green page....

Bottle caps came into play for the circles plus some random splatters.

My colours for this page were cobalt teal, green hue and vermillion.

Rrandom stitching again, plus more stamping with Kate's texture cube stamp and a Stampers Anonymous flourish stamp both in acrylic paint and in black Archival Ink.  Obviously more doodles here and there but this time with TH's Distress Crayons

And here's the finish page with my ceramic tiles in place...

I was quite happy with these pages for my first attempt at Kate's techniques. Once I relaxed and went with the flow of just playing rather than trying to control the page, I began to enjoy both myself and the techniques.  It's was great fun and I'm certainly going to be doing it again.... and again....and again. 

What I really liked (and which surprised me) was that the pages began to take on an almost leathery texture as the layers built up. They would make stunning book covers. I can see a couple of journal or note book covers coming on in the near future...

Off now for more practise. Thanks for stopping by and have fun crafting this week.

Carol, xx

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Altered box

Hi everyone, 

I was given a small, three drawer wooden box a couple of months ago and as soon as I saw it, I knew how I wanted to alter it and what I was going to use it for.

I was lucky enough to attend one of the Gentleman Crafter's courses and made this Archivist's album....

It sits in my craft room and is lovingly stroked from time to time.

When I received the little drawer set I thought it would be an ideal stand for the album, especially as I had some of the paper left over from the course and an unused 6 x 6 paper pad in my stash. These papers are simply gorgeous........

This was a really easy project to do as the drawers were predominantly white and I knew I didn't want grungy. The white would tone in with the rest of my craft room......yes, I know, who has a white craft room?  My answer, it's a blank canvas (Smile).

And here it is......   

Side view........

Back view......

Close up of the drawer front with a couple of TH accoutrements...

Inside..... the drawers are painted with black gesso. The outside was left the original white colour but also got a light coat of white gesso before the paper was glued on with Multi Matt Medium. Once finished I gave the whole thing a coat of Multi Matt Medium to seal it.

And here it is next to the album.  A really quick and easy project but I'm really happy with the end result. My album now sits happily on top of it's own set of drawers......

Happy crafting everyone,

Carol, xx

Tag Storage (Part 2)

Hi everyone,

I posted a blog a little while back about the tag wardrobe I made for my 2016 tags? I mentioned that I would be making another for my 2017 tags and here it is .....

It's exactly the same design as the previous one; same fastenings, handle and TH Botanicals paper, so I won't go into detail again here other than to show a couple of pictures of the construction which I didn't show in my earlier post.

Here it is along side my earlier wardrobe.  I reinforced all the seams with black card and double sided tape and punched holes in one side for the handle and again on the front and top for my closure. When the box is covered the brads for these will be hidden.

Side view.... and a little helping hand from my inquisitive cat. Well, it is a box and he has to be in any box he sees! It's just the closure is a tad difficult to manage.

Another side view.....

Top .....

And lastly, my two boxes sitting side by side on my craft cupboards..... now only the labels to do.

Bye for now everyone.  Happy crafting...

Carol, xx

Ink Swatches

Hi everyone,

I've had a list of my paints, stains and inks in my phone for years now, but generally I know what I have when it comes to adding to my collection.  And like most crafters I also have swatch books. These are soooooo  handy for deciding exactly what colour to use without having to trial the colour first or relying on the label which invariably isn't a true colour match.  

Whilst I have swatch books for my paints and stains, making one for my inks has been on my to-do list for as long as I can remember..... well, that was until I came across a nifty little clear photopolymer stamp made by Inkylicious.  It's called  an Ink Pad ID Reference Stamp and it's made specifically for the purpose. 

As you can see it has four sections: fine text at the top, a block colour design in the second, fine design in the third and finally block or solid colour in the last.  Enough detail to give the my inks a good work out, but I can see it coming in useful for my embossing powders and perhaps my stains and paints too, when my existing swatch books get worn out. 

I know some crafters like to carry around their swatch books and this stamp is small enough so that a swatch book made with it can be easily popped into a pocket or bag.  The stamped image size is approx. 9cm. H x 4.5cm. W

Here's my ink swatch book..... 

LOOOOVE all those gorgeous colours....inspiration enough to play!

My tag size is 5.5cm. W x 11.5cm. H. Obviously you can have any size you choose but I wanted my swatch book to be as small and compact as I could get it. ... Hmm that didn't quite happen!

Because my handwriting isn't the neatest I printed the colour names of my ink pads into a template which I created on my laptop. (Font: Merry Cables. Font size: 11pt).

Next I printed the template onto  300gsm white card and then cut each tag to size along the grid lines using a Friskars guillotine.

Out came every ink pad from my cupboard and using the Ikylicious ID reference stamp and my Misti, I systematically stamped the image onto the corresponding tag for that coloured ink pad.

300gsm card doesn't really need reinforcing but I created reinforcement rings to go on both sides at the top of each tag. I had intended to add a book ring to bunch all the tags together but found I didn't have a big enough one in my stash, so for now I used some rounded ribbon cord to keep them all together.  The final touch was a couple of sheets of acetate cut to size to form the back and front covers of my swatch book to help keep it clean.

This really was a good exercise to do (apart from appeasing my OCD bent) because it actually made me realise just how many ink pads I have and surprisingly, what my favourite colour is.  I only had to look at the number of green swatches I made to realise! Apart from that, it gave me the opportunity to give my pads a little TLC and re-ink them along the way (I always buy a re-ink in the same colour when I buy a new ink pad). 

Another tick for my to do list.  Now on to the next on the list,  sorting out my paper stash... This crafting is never ending lol.

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting.

Carol, xx

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Journal Page

Hi Everyone,

I was adding labels to all my blog posts this afternoon and realised that whilst I made quite a lot of journal pages, I don't post them.... or at least not many.  So I thought I'd share my absolute favourite journal page of all time.

I made it in March last year, so I haven't the foggiest what colours I used.... I was just playing subconsciously and it materialised. It will have been a blend of Ranger DI, water splattering and heavy misting with Briscotti spray (just love how it gives the page a gentle glimmer and the same splatter effect that water has on DI).
 I used a TH stencil on both the size 8 manilla tag attached to the LHS of my page and also on the main journal page. I adore the look of vellum and especially when you rip and ink the edges, so a little bit of this went onto both pages.
I used Ranger Remnant Rubs all over this journal page (not a stamped image in sight!)  with a little freehand doodling around the edge, as you can see above. There's also a Finnebair numeral and some clock parts that I bought off the internet... I love how delicate these are and use them all the time, either on their own or layered onto Idea-ology cogs and gears.

Here are a few more pictures ......

I  have a tiny alphabet set that I used to stamp the word 'Fractured' on my vellum. I also used a gold gel pen on the distressed edges of my tag, to tie it in with the gold glimmer of the Briscotti splatters..

 A close up of the clock parts working with the Idea-ology cogs and them!
This one shows the inking on the edge of the vellum strip more clearly... also the brown inking behind the stencil peeking through.

I actually learnt a lot with this page..... it showed me that if I just go with the flow that sometimes, just sometimes, I can fall in love with the end result.  Easier said than done most days but on this day in March last year it came (Smile).

Have a wonderful weekend and if you get chance, play!


Carol. xx