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20 May 2015

Spread Your Wings and Fly

The challenge this week on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge is to use an inspiration colour swatch.

Isn't it delicious?  This combination of colours seems to be really popular at the moment, and rightly so because it's lovely.

Whenever I use paints, if there is any left over I brush it over watercolour paper to make backgrounds for future use.  It just so happens that some of the backgrounds matched this swatch beautifully.  So I stuck two of the watercoloured panels to a card front.  I recently bought a new stamp  - a butterfly surrounded by the words "Spread your wings and fly" and added small butterflies from the Hot Off The Press "Dressform" mini stamp set.  I added some gems in teal and light blue as butterfly trails, and then added a sentiment to the top left corner.  The edges are inked with a light pink pigment ink.

19 May 2015

L is for Lilac ATC

While searching for images of lilacs for the latest Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge - Lilacs or Daffodils - I came across this image:

The gorgeous, rich blue-purple, the turquoise (which I'm particularly fond of at the moment), and freshness of the water droplets all sang to my soul!  So much so, that I felt the need to make another lilac-themed ATC with this image as my inspiration.  

So I put down a wash of colour on watercolour paper.  I used Azurite Luminarte Silks Acrylic Glaze and turquoise mica powder.  I painted rough lilacs onto the background as well but it's difficult to see underneath all the embellishment.  I did the colour from memory, and so it's ended up more blue than purple, but still OK.

Then I cut out some lilac shapes from watercolour card and painted both the front and back with the same colours as the background, adding a bit of brown to the centres.  I used the acrylic glaze and mica powders because of the shimmer, which I hoped would add to the illusion of moisture on the petals.  I used the rounded tip of my paintbrush handle to shape and curl the flowers before sticking them down.  For the water droplets I applied blobs of glossy glue with a toothpick and left to dry.  I think that the water droplets are my favourite bit.  Then I stamped "L is for Lilac" and heat embossed in white.  Et voilà!

Lilac Bouquet ATC

Well, I was thrilled to find that I'd won the last Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge with my Capture Joy ATC!  How fabulous - my first challenge win :-).  The latest challenge is entitled "Lilacs or Daffodils".  I know I didn't have anything daffodil related, but I didn't know what a lilac looked like.  With the help of a Google image search I discovered that they are really sweet, four-petalled flowers usually in pinks and (surprise, surprise) lilac, with the occasional blue and white.  And as luck would have it, I had a lilac-esque four-petalled die as part of the Sizzix Flower Vases Thinlits set.

To start with I coloured white card with watercolour pencils in rows of graduating colour and then spritzed and blended the colours a bit with a paintbrush.  Then I applied a layer of white gesso over the top to mute the colours a little, but I also like the distressed look that it gives.  After than I stamped butterflies randomly over the ATC in light blue ink.  I love script in backgrounds, but as I didn't have a stamp I simply wrote over the whole surface with a white gel pen for a really subtle effect.  (For those of you interested I have written down part of the poem "Lilacs" by Verna Sheard.)

Then I cut out lots of flowers with my flower die from pink and blue paper, and a vase from gold mirror card, which I then embossed.  I also cut some leaves from green mirror card.  They are not lilac leaves, but I think that I am allowed some artistic licence.  I also added shading and highlights to the flowers and then stuck everything down in a pleasing arrangement.

12 May 2015

Capture Joy ATC

I really enjoy blog challenges. I find them an excellent source of inspiration and I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting ones. So I was pleased to find a blog dedicated to the ATC (that's Artist Trading Card to the uninitiated).  The subject of the latest Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge is "polka dots".

I've heard of ATC's but have never made one before.  I thought that having a smaller area to work with would be easier, but it's every bit as challenging as trying to fill a large page!  Anyway, this is my attempt:

I started by covering an ATC-sized piece of Kraft card with polka dot patterned paper.  I went over that with a thin layer of gesso to mute the colour a bit. Then I randomly stamped small honeycombs and flourishes all over using silver and black pigment ink.  I tried to ink through some stencils that I made, but it didn't really work out.  It just kind of looks like I've smudged ink on the background 😀.  I used a white gel pen to draw different sized circles on the background.  Then I die cut and embossed the umbrella (from the Sizzix "Hello Rainbow" set) three times from patterned paper, silver mirror card and black paper, then pieced them together.  The raised parts of the umbrella were highlighted with the white gel pen.  

I then stuck on the hearts (waste from another die cut << never throw anything away!) with largest at the bottom and teeny tiny ones at the top, to give the impression that they were floating off into the distance.  I went around the umbrella and the hearts with a grey marker, and dotted around the hearts with the white gel pen again to help lift them from the background. Finally, I stamped and embossed the sentiment, which unfortunately didn't stamp very crisply or cleanly.  More practice needed!  

I really enjoyed making this tiny piece of art and I'm looking forward to the next challenge.

11 May 2015

Best. Dad. Ever!

I think I have just got time to join in with last week's Freshly Made Sketches challenge.  This is the sketch:

And this is my interpretation:

I used my new Stripes embossing folder (from the Stripes and Pinwheel set by Sizzix), going around the edge with a Spectrum Noir marker to lift it a little from the background card.  I used Washi tape for the banners.  Then I cut a rectangle out of patterned wood boards paper and matted it onto silver mirror card, then stamped the sentiment.  Using my Garden Tools Sizzlits I cut handles from wood grain patterned paper and cut the heads from silver mirror card.  

The mirror card was pressed against the scratched surface of my Big Shot cutting pads so it's been inadvertently embossed with the scratches, but that gives a nice weathered look.  I hadn't done it when I took these photos, but I think I'll glaze the handles of the tools.  If I had glossy accents that's what I'd use, but as I don't I'll have to make do with Decopatch's glossy glue.

04 May 2015

Home Sweet Home

A couple of weeks ago on Create and Craft TV I watched a programme about Stampbord, which I'd never heard of before.  The demonstrator made a lovely night scene as though looking through a window.  Just by layering inks and stamping and creating texture, she produced a really lovely piece of art.  It took a lot of willpower not to buy up every piece of Stampbord on the show (those people really know what they're doing!).  I really wanted to have a go, and then I remembered that I had quite a bit of greyboard left over from a previous impulse buy.

Now, I'm a creative person, but I wouldn't call myself artistic.  As I've found since starting cardmaking, composition is a real skill.  So it was with some hesitation that I cut the board down to size and prepared to get started on my first mixed media masterpiece.

I used three pieces about 9 x 6.5cm (roughly 3.5 x 2.5in).  I covered them in patterned paper  and then painted the backs with white gesso.  I also applied a  thin layer of gesso over the top of the papers to mute the colours a little.  I then stamped and embossed the word "HOME" in purple on two pieces, then wrote  "Sweet" with a Versamarker (my new favourite thing!) and embossed that in blue.  I stamped then embossed a couple of bird silhouettes on the HOME panels,  On all three panels I used a flower and foliage stamp with silver ink, then over-stamped the flowers in a different colour.  I didn't like the way that it looked so I painted over the silver ink with Moss Green Luminarte Silk Acrylic Glaze.  Then I attached a few flowers made from air-drying clay and ran purple organza ribbon along the back to hold the three panels together and make a hanging loop.

It's quite pretty and I like the way it turned out, but it is very basic.  Having seen a few mixed media tutorials since making my wall hanging, I see that I could have gone much further with creating the backgrounds and layering, but then that's what learning is all about.  I've still got a lot of greyboard left, and I'm already thinking about my next project...