Friday, 28 September 2012

Creating Sets Me Free - Sunday Stamper's Challenge #224

A very quick post to submit my project for this weeks Sunday Stamper challenge - Behind the Mask - which  of course means using masks and stencils.

Well I've got to say that this isn't the project I designed in my head but circumstances were against me and I couldn't get hold of the mask I wanted to use - so I've had to "make do and mend" with what I've got! So here it is. My Behind the Mask tag...

As a newbie to the world of mixed media art - and having a great deal more imagination than skill, I often feel constrained by my lack of training and overwhelmed by self doubt. BUT there is nothing I enjoy more than losing myself in a project (to the extent that I have no fewer than six alarm times set on my phone to make sure I don't miss any of my school pick ups!)

I wanted to illustrate this feeling of release from reality that creating brings and have used my favourite caged bird image (mask) to represent the ties of everyday life and  the stamped images of the bird sitting on the branch and the flock of birds soaring to represent the lightness of spirit I get when I'm playing in my craft room.

The key and ball-and-chain pinned to the fibres echo the themes of constraint and release.

The deets:

I began by cutting out the tag using my Cuttlebug - the die is a Sizzix Bigz die so cutting with a Cuttlebug takes a bit of fiddling with the cutting plates but is OK with this particular die as the tag part of the die fits the Cuttlebug plates - if you want to cut the reinforcers you need to reposition the plates at that end of the die and the pass them through the machine again.

Next I inked up the tag, a light covering of Tumbled Glass DI applied with a distressing tool over the whole surface of the tag, followed by Broken China DI blended from the top right hand corner fading back diagonally towards the middle of the tag.

I then applied Faded Jeans DI through the bird cage mask repeatedly pouncing the distressing tool to build up depth of colour and definition.

When the ink had dried I stamped the birds in Chipped Sapphire DI

At this stage I felt that the whole piece was very two dimensional and a bit dull, so I went over the bird cage in Jelly Roll Clear Star to give a little sparkle and interest. Sadly the photos don't do the Clear Star justice. The tag is sitting on an easel on my work bench and is twinkling at me beautifully in the lamp light. If you haven't come across Clear Star yet take my advice and give it a go - I'm not a big fan of glitter on my projects but this pen gives a very subtle sparkle and is so easy to use - no mess, no glue, no glitter on parts where glitter didn't aught to be!

I stamped the text on white cardstock using Chipped Sapphire, cut out the words individually and lightly inked them with Tumbled Glass to knock back the bright white a little. I then inked the edges (both text and tag) with Chipped Sapphire and then mounted the text on foam pads to add depth.

The fibres (more from my RAK - I said they'd make another appearance!), chain and key are pinned on with a baby blue safety pin.

Die - Tim Holtz Alterations Movers & Shapers - Tag & Bookplates
Mask -The Crafters Workshop Mini Birds of a Feather
Stamps - Birds -Crafty Individuals  CI 234, Alphas - Studio G alphabet stamp set
Ink - Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire
Pen - Sakura Jelly Roll - Clear Star
Fibres, chain, key, safety pin - from stash

I had intended to do an Autumnal mixed media canvas - but never mind I now have another tag to add to my growing tag gallery!

I wont be entering the Challenge this weekend as Mr M and I are leaving the junior Moonshines with Grandma and Grandad and sneaking away for a short break in Northumberland (Please don't let it rain any more!) Mr M - being the wonderful chap that he is, has even agreed to stopping over in Harrogate for an extra night on the way home so that I can visit the Great North Papercraft Extravaganza on Saturday. Tell you what - Mr M really is a TOP BANANA!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Mixed Media Angel - Sunday Stampers #223

This weeks Sunday Stampers Challenge song title is Tie a Yellow Ribbon - with the challenge theme of ribbons.

I've just hopped over to the Anything But A Card Challenge blog and spotted that Challenge #2 is Texture so I'm going to enter this project there too.

Here is my little offering. To give you an idea of scale my little mixed media angel is standing in front of a tissue cube from a well known paper handkerchief manufacturer. (She is four inches tall) and the product of a worse than usual attack of insomnia!

I'm sorry, I didn't take any step-by-steps as I wasn't sure if I was going to end up with something blog-able or a hideous voodoo stylee monster!

Luckily she came out OK!

Here are some detail shots

Her face and wings are stamped with VersaFine onyx black ink on vintage dictionary paper. (I think I've fallen in love with faces stamped on text paper - I WILL be doing this again!) (Or maybe it is the gorguss girl herself - I have a real thing about Santoro's gorguss designs!)

Her body is made from two pieces of pipecleaner bent and twisted in to a body shape and then wrapped with wool roving.

Her dress is made from silver satin ribbon, gathered over a white felt underskirt and bodice and finished off with a white sparkly ribbon bow and a tiny silver heart charm. And because I know that if you could pick her up and check, you would (because we all do - don't we (?) (Oh dear I hope it's not just me - EMBARRASSING!) I can confirm that she sadly is NOT wearing any knickers!

The all important deets:

Face stamp - Personal Impressions / Santoro gorguss - Hang me up to dry
Wings stamp - Hampton Arts - Teen Labels

Well this little project couldn't be further removed than last weeks minor opus - minimal stamping and monochromatic to boot, but I really enjoyed making this, and with the addition of a hanging loop I am determined that my sweet little mixed media angel will be taking up residence on the Moonshine's Christmas Tree this year!

Thanks for popping in, please come back again soon.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

I predict a DIET (Sunday Stampers #222)

OK so I've played fast and loose with the title of this weeks challenge (apologies Hels) but bear with as all will become clear...

After three failed attempts at this challenge Mr M stepped in to the breech and suggested a twist on the title (Thanks Mr M) which got the old creative juices flowing and what a time I have had!

This fun little offering includes not one, not two, not three but FIFTY FIVE individually hand stamped and coloured images and yet it is only seven inches tall!

I hope you enjoy it...

My tiny riot of colour cake display began life as a the 99p first instalment of a new dollshouse part work spotted in the village post office.

I gave it a couple of coats of acrylic paint (bog standard craft white mixed with Folk Art linen).

When dry, I sanded back some of the edges to give it a distressed look and then rubbed on some Inka Gold highlights.

Then the cakes - all forty nine images were stamped on to frosted shrink plastic using Staz-On, coloured with Derwent Academy coloured pencils then cut out and shrunk using ye olde heat gun. 

The shrunk images (of cakes) were then adhered to L shaped pieces of acetate (packaging) using Dimensional Magic (similar to Glossy Accents) the gingerbread men and Linzer biscuits were put on die cut tissue paper "doilies" and stuck on to two of the plates that also came with the part work. The red swirl candy lollipops were stamped on to white card and then punched out using a single hole punch and glued on to dressmaking pins (I'm still finding bits of pin which pinged off when I cropped them!) The multi colour round lollies are simply pearl headed dressmaking pins cropped and then poked in to a blob of white Fimo (un cooked).

For the Record:

Stamps: Cupcakes - Papermania - cupcakes minis and Creativity freebie, Gingerbread man - Papermania - Seasons Greetings, Bunting - Molly Blooms (Simply Handmade freebie)  Wow - I do seem to be making use of my freebie stamps lately!

I do hope you've enjoyed sharing this and sorry for posting so late - have just returned from an unplanned but fab day out at Ironbridge Gorge with Mr M.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Vintage Dress Form

Oh happy day! I have just finished my project for the Sunday Stampers Challenge #221 and because, as you will see, this project definitely isn't a card I'm also going to submit it for the Anything But A Card Challenge.

I bought this vintage style wire dress form months ago with the intention of embellishing it at some point...

well - inspired by the two challenges that point appears to be now!

I really enjoyed this little project which gave me a chance to use a variety of bits and bobs from my stash.

For the record:

Stamps: Flower - Craft Stamper freebie from August 2010 issue; Flourish label (on fabric) My Minds Eye Wild Asparagus; Perfume bottle and perfume bottle label Habico Vintage Sewing

Inks: Staz-on Jet Black (flowers),  Tim Holtz Distress Inks Spun Sugar, Tattered Rose, Aged Mahogany (flowers) Antique Linen (perfume bottle and perfume bottle label background), Ranger Archival coffee (perfume bottle and perfume bottle label), VersaCraft chocolate (flourish label)

Other bits and bobs:

Adage ticket & charm clip- Tim Holtz Idea-ology

Postage stamp - WH Smith

Bird cage charm - Crafty Individuals

Lace, bead trim, cameo, beads and stick pins from stash

I hope you like it too!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Carpe Diem

During the long hols I had a bit of an epiphany and decided that I was stuck in a bit (LOT) of a rut with every day being too much like the last and no sign of change on the horizon - a bit of a depressing thought really!

So I decided to shake things up a bit and get out there and make a difference to my days. Hence my rediscovery of my love of crafting and creating and a new positive outlook on life.

I mentioned in a previous post that I had been dabbling in Art Journaling - and although I am still VERY MUCH a beginner I am picking up hints and tips as I go along, both from the Interwebs and from my trusty Craft Stamper Magazine (CS) (a favourite source for inspiration).

I came across a journal page tutorial by Kate Crane in the January 2012 issue of CS and as both a learning exercise and wanting to get my epiphany down on paper I attempted to re-create one of her pages. Of course, Kate is WAY more talented than me, and of course I haven't got access to the FABULOUS range of supplies that she has (although I have asked Mrs Claus for the full set of Dylusions spray inks for my Christmas prezzie (BIG THANKS Mrs Claus x x) but this is my journal page - inspired by a new desire to do more with my life - and to have the courage to make the most of any opportunities which come my way.

You can just make out Kate's page on the open magazine in the background.

And now for the deets:

For the background I used Reeves water soluble pastels on watercolour paper which had been primed with white gesso. I scribbled areas of colour across the page and then used wet wipes to "activate" the pastels. I found that using a large nibbed water brush and fingers worked best for blending the colours together as the wet wipes tend to take a lot of colour off the page.

I then sprayed Cosmic Shimmer Teal Wash through a circle template and stamped Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink (DI) circles (using the end of a piece of plastic tubing) randomly over some of  the stenciled circles and allowed to dry naturally (it was the wee small hours at this point and I didn't think Mr M would be too chuffed to be woken by ye olde heat gun!)

Next (day) I stamped the cogs (PaperArtsy minis - Ink & The Dog MN60) and border (sorry don't know who made it) in black archival ink and the quotes (PaperArtsy - Ink & The Dog Clocks 3) in Wild Honey and Broken China DIs on to the background and then printed off, cut up and inked the edges of my journaling.

I made the clock faces by stamping a clock face (I think this was a Crafty Individuals freebie mini stamp) on to white cardstock which I had coloured using Wild Honey DI and a blending tool, and cut out removing the fob.

The tape measure border (Toodles & Binks La Couture) was stamped using black archival ink on white copier paper which was then lightly inked with Old Paper DI to knock back the bright white a little. The tape was then trimmed to fit over the border stamp. All collage elements where adhered with matt medium (this made the Distress Inks smear a bit as they are not waterproof but I wasn't too worried by the effect).

Although my colours are not as intense as Kate's Dylusions background and I haven't used any focal point stamping or images I'm really pleased with how this page has turned out, I wanted my words to be the focus of the page and I think I've achieved this, whilst picking up some new techniques along the way.

TOP TIP#1: When using Reeves watersoluble pastels, put plenty of colour on to start off with and don't try adding more whilst the page is wet as the pastels just scratch the surface and don't lay down colour smoothly.

TOP TIP#2 If you're just starting out on Art Journaling (as I am) you might find a spiral bound sketch book easier to manage than loose leaf pages - I find loose leaves slide around on your craft mat, picking up stray paint etc and ruining your hard work on the other side of the page :-(

More anon...

Monday, 3 September 2012

Random Act of Kindness

Thanks to my Big Sis aka Speedy Stitcher for her RAK sending me a stash busting collection of gorgeous fibres, ribbons, velvet and metallic threads left over from her incredible stitching projects. You can see her amazing blog here.

I'm sure more of them will be appearing on other projects soon!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

...aaand breathe

Blimey! I seem to have been bouncing from one thing to the next for the last few days! Mr M has been on annual leave for a week so we've been trying to get some JOBS done, mainly in the garden (will try and post pics over on my Garden Crazy blog soon).  There are still pictures to be hung and a mirror for the boys' bathroom, they can currently get a great view of their feet - but as a shaving mirror it sucks! And  two years after moving in the garage still looks like a cardboard box museum. Oh well Rome wasn't built in a day!

If it's OK with you I'm going to ignore the fact that I haven't blogged since whenever and just carry on from now. I think I've got my mojo back and am feeling bright, cheery, positive and creative again. The junior Moonshines have been off school for the summer jollybobs and I have been playing in my craft room at every opportunity. Of course I should have been working on building up my stock for the next round of Craft Fairs but what they hey, I'll get back to work when Major and Minor go back to school, Major to Sixth Form - massive well done to him on his GCSE results and Minor in to Year 9 (my baby is now a teenager - where DOES the time go?)

When I've not been crafting I've been surfing (the web that is - not La Mer) and I've come across some fab new blogs and (drum roll) YouTube Tutorials - what a revelation! Is there NOTHING you can not learn how to do on line!

I've been dabbling with Art Journaling and mixed media work (there will be more posts on this in the future)  and have discovered Rachel (RachO113). I love her work and her tutorials and time lapse videos are incredible you can see here gorgeous blog here and see her YouTube channel here.

I am also a massive fan of Hels Sheridan (Craft Stamper Magazine) and am following her blog Ink on my Fingers and joining in her Sunday Stampers Challenge (click on the badge in the sidebar) my first entry is on my previous post.

I've also signed up for the Anything But A Card Challenge which as a non card maker is right up my street. The challenge does what it says on the tin - make any thing in any media as long as it is not a card - It is due to start sometime this month and is a bi-weekly challenge - I can't wait to get started.  Why don't you hop on over there and have a go?

Saturday, 1 September 2012

A very quick post with my Sunday Stampers project

Hello I'm back again - but I'm trying to do a million things at once so I'm just going to post my pics to enter the Sunday Stampers Challenge before the 21:00 deadline and then I'll come back when I'm not chasing my tail and get things properly sorted!

The challenge title this week was GREEN so here is my EXCEEDINGLY green tag...

In case you want to know, the inks used are Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint and a hint of Vintage Photo to edge) The flower die is Tim Holtz Tattered Florals, and the stamps are Paper Artsy Hot Picks 1109 (dragonfly) and XT04 (text). That's all I've got time to say right now but in the words of Mr Schwarzenegger "I'll be back..."

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