Wednesday, 11 October 2017

I'm impressed!

Morning everyone,

Last Saturday was the Autumn Happy Stampers Show at Port Sunlight and I had a trip across with my friend Emma.  It's a fair trek of 2.5 hours drive from here which is a bit much for me these days, there and back with a show in between so we went the night before, stayed in a cheap Travelodge, had breakfast in Port Sunlight's Garden Centre then went to the show in the beautiful hall across the road, another bite to eat before we left and back in Mansfield for 6.30.  We had a great time and as always the show was fab (apart from being too hot in the hall). 

I was quite proud of myself as I pretty much stuck to my shopping list for once (just a few extra stencils and 1 set of PaperArtsy JoFy stamps snuck into my basket) and the item I had at the top was a stamping press because I am finding that as I get older my hands occasionally don't do what I tell them, lol, and most importantly I have always had trouble getting really good silhouette images.  There are quite a few on the market now and for various reasons I had decided on the Be Creative one from Once Upon A Stamp.  Today I'm sharing my first little test using it.

As it was just a test and I didn't intend making anything with it I just stamped the cute image from Lavinia stamps onto a piece of scrap card.  I forgot to photograph the first impression too and have to say it wasn't too bad actually but it still had a few bare patches in the middle so I inked up again and repeated the stamping and voila! A perfect silhouette image with no gaps!  Of course, I then thought it was too good to waste so I made a mask and used Distress Oxides and a stencil to create the sun rays.  I turned the post it mask round to cover the rays then used Oxides again to blend greens onto the bottom bit.

I dripped some water and dabbed it off for the speckles and I did the leaves and flowers stamping the traditional way and inked around the edges.  Then I used the stamp press again to make sure I got the tiny word stamp in just the right place....perfect!  Finally I added various colours of Stickles before matting and layering onto the base card.  

I was delighted with my little card and I have to say I'm very pleased with the stamp press so far.  I was a bit concerned it might be another gadget that would end up shoved to the back of a cupboard but I now think it's going to become one of my most used tools.

Have a good day everyone and see you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 9 October 2017

And.....Missed It!

Morning All,

Two weeks ago the PaperArtsy blog challenge topic was one of my favourites ie Metallic and I did manage two entries which is pretty amazing given my usual production rate, lol.  However, I did start a third but it got no further than bits on my desk which got left while I tootled off to a fabulous workshop with the delightful Tracy Easson and her beautiful Wonky Tonk Dreamer girls ....more on that in another post!  Yesterday, I determined to stick to my new rule of finishing projects before embarking on the next and this is the result.

I altered a mega cheap frame from Poundland using embossing metal tape and Fresco Finish acrylic paints.

I used various shades of grey starting with a good coat of slate and used a makeup sponge to apply so that I got good coverage on the metal. 

I then got carried away having fun and forgot to take progress pics as I added a couple of orange and brown shades with the odd touch of blue and spritzed with water, dabbed with tissue and let it run.  I kept on till I was happy with it, dried with the help of the heat tool and then sanded lightly to reveal the silver foil on the embossing.

I also had a rummage in my old bits and bobs box and found the acetate leaves which I'd coloured with alcohol inks years ago.  I drew in some veins and scrumpled them up a bit by heating gently and then stuck them to the frame with heavy duty gloss gel and added the pine cone to hide the blob.

I then blended co-ordinating Oxides onto a piece of card and did a little subtle background stamping before adding the lovely quote from one of the new Alison Bomber sets from PaperArtsy to finish off.  I only got these on Saturday from the fab Happy Stampers show at Port Sunlight 😃.

A close up of the leaf detail.

And a final one of the painted metal.

I'm now feeling very virtuous for finishing this little project and as well as having some painty fun I'm pleased with how it turned out.

When I was editing these photos I realised I still have several fairly recent pieces I haven't shared yet so I must make an effort to catch up this week.  Have a good week everyone till then.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 25 September 2017

And......another entry for the fab PaperArtsy blog challenge.

Good morning all,

Well, I didn't do another blog post over the weekend as promised mainly because I was having another play in the craftroom after finishing chores and as well as a tag just for fun I made another entry to the current PaperArtsy, Stamps and Stencils and Country View Challenges

A couple of weeks ago I mixed some texture paste with Infusions and Brusho powders and of course, made loads more than I needed.  I couldn't waste it so ended up with two tags and a piece of card as well as my original piece for a card which I forgot to photograph before I sent it, Doh! This is made from the piece of card which I also forgot to take a pic of in it's original state.  I sprayed a couple of Lindy's mica colour sprays to cover the card and then stamped the PaperArtsy image with Versamark Ink and embossed with Ranger Queen's Gold embossing powder.   Originally the image was lost against the background but as the sprays are water based I bleached out most of the colour from the face and then touched in the empty spaces with Sakura Stardust pens (been in my stash like forever!).  

I also removed a little colour from around the image to make it pop a little more and then used the same Tim Holtz stencil as the textured area to remove bits of colour here and there.  Next I used Cut n Dry foam to add Versamark ink and embossing powder around the edges.

Finally I replaced the stencil over the texture paste and added some Treasure Gold guilding paste before sticking the piece to a base card.  If I find a suitable word sticker or something I may add it to finish it off completely.

It's a horrible very dull rainy morning here, the complete opposite of yesterday, so the photos aren't the best and are not picking up the subtle sparkle from the lovely mica sprays 😞.


This is the tag I created very quickly and just for fun late last night.  I used one of the tags with left over texture paste on and blended Distress Oxides in two suitable colours before adding stamping which is all done with PaperArtsy Minis.

I used a sparkle brush pen on the eye and the textured flourish to finish it off,  Oops, just realised I didn't ink the edges to 'frame' it.  Must rectify that before it will look finished to me, lol!

Righty Ho,  off to do the link ups and maybe I'll manage another 'metallic' entry before weekend.  So looking forward to a Tracey Easson class on Sunday.  It will be my first workshop at Art Workshops and I am really looking forward to it.

Thanks for dropping by and see you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 22 September 2017

Ooer.....Long time, no see!

Wow, I hadn't realised that it is exactly one month today since my last blog post so for anyone who has been lovely enough to stick around waiting .......

Goodmorning on this beautiful sunny Autumn day!

I haven't been totally idle on the crafting front but somehow just never got round to blogging my makes over the past couple of months.  I've made several birthday cards and two lots of swaps for UK Stampers Forum Facebook group.  Some of the cards I even forgot to take pics of so they are not going to get shared, lol!  I'll try and catch up with the ones I do have though over the next couple of weeks.

Today I'm sharing an entry to the fab new PaperArtsy challenge ........did you see all their lovely new releases over the past couple of weeks?  Some beautiful Christmas stamps and stunning inspirational creations from the stamp designers and their wingmen. This link will take you to the first of the two weeks of new release posts and they are well worth a visit.  Anyway, back to my entry.....

As I want to make a few birthday cards for October I used the theme of metallics, introduced beautifully as always by Darcy HERE, for this one.   I started with a Gelli background I made a few weeks ago (forgot to take a pic) when I had a lovely messy play with some new acrylic paints I got on a brilliant offer from Hobbycraft.  Some of them are beautiful metallics from Pebeo and Abstract and although they are very subtle on my background they are there.

I went with two of my favourite leaf stamps from the gorgeous Lin Brown set for PaperArtsy ELB33 and a lovely background 'punchinella' stamp from ELB34.  I used the smaller more skeletal leaf and the background stamp with PaperArtsy Gold Fresco Finish paint to random stamp all over the background and the larger leaf stamp I inked with Versamark onto the piece of Gelli background I had left and embossed with Ranger Queen's gold embossing powder before fussy cutting them.

I stamped and embossed one of Alison Bomber's beautiful quote stamps (set EAB02) onto a Gelli scrap cut it out and embossed the edge.  I layered the background onto a piece of gold metallic card, then the card base, added the strips of German scrap and finally stuck my cut out bits.  If you click on the pics to enlarge I think you might get an idea of the lovely textures I ended up with on this.  I absolutely love it.  It's very tactile and I must stop stroking it otherwise it will be very grubby before it reaches the recipient, lol!

Righty Ho!  I'm off to link to the challenge.  I'll be back to share some of my swap makes over the weekend but here's hoping you all have the same beautiful blue sky I can see right now.  Thanks for dropping by....

EDIT  I just remembered there are a couple of other lovely favourite challenges of mine with a metallic theme this month so I am also linking to them, see below

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 22 July 2017

It's all about swaps (and a birthday)

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well and have a nice weekend to look forward to without rain possibly?  It's lovely here at the moment but we had heavy rain all through the night and more on the way tonight apparently so enjoying the sun while it lasts.

I should have been on a workshop today but unfortunately I have been proper poorly all week with a stinking cough and cold and with a water infection thrown in for good measure so just didn't feel up to the very long day it would have entailed not to mention the annoying coughing bouts which are best kept away from polite company, lol!  So, instead I'm sharing the small amount of crafting I've managed to do over the past couple of weeks.  I did make a birthday card for my Son's Father-in-Law (managed to get to his birthday lunch last Sunday before the lurgy struck on Tuesday) and also my swaps for this month in the UK Stampers Forum Facebook group.

First the card.  I wanted to make something bright for a change.....a little fed up of seeing browns for men all the I mixed four little batches of Grunge Paste with different colours of Brusho powders and applied them through a stencil.  Simple matting and layering of the stamped sentiment then the same with the whole piece onto the base card finished it off.

Love how the PaperArtsy Grunge Paste works with the vibrant Brushos and it works equally as well with PaperArtsy's gorgeous Infusions. 

Now on to my swaps for this month and first up are the ATCs for which the theme was Anything Goes.  I'm still trying to use my rediscovered old backgrounds whenever I can and these were cut from a piece of glimmer misted card onto which a mask that had been sprayed over was flipped and placed onto the card to use the spray from.  I used a variety of stamps in the background which I thought appropriate for the gorgeous quotes from the lovely Alison Bomber's new stamp sets for PaperArtsy.  I love using quotes and I just know I'll be using these beauties a lot!

Next up is my postcard for which the theme was the sea.  All the stamps used on here are from Chocolate Baroque (except the little birds) including the beautiful poetry.  I have no idea how I created the background, lol, it's another piece from several years ago which I thought perfect for the theme.


Finally, I have my tag which again had an 'anything goes' theme and I began by using a ready prepared tag from my old background stash (doubt I will ever use it all, lol).  I began by adding some background stencilling followed by stamping.  

I then stamped the above image onto blank sewing pattern tracing paper, tore round it and adhered it to my tag with matte medium.  Unlike the finer tissue it didn't disappear into the background so much and looked a bit odd so I used a micron pen to follow the torn edge which looked better.

Finally, I stamped another of Alison's new quote stamps, cut it up and stuck it to my tag then added Treasure Gold gilding round the edges and also created a few highlights on the main image.

Well, that completes my swaps for this month and I do hope the recipients enjoy them.  I love receiving mine as they sure brighten up the mail these days but they won't start arriving till the beginning of August.

Thanks for dropping by and hopefully I might be a bit more productive next week 😊

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Why has this been languishing?

Hello for the second time today!

Two years ago some friends and I had a fabulous workshop with the lovely Lin Brown (YoursArtfully).  We'd all been in awe of the wonderful things she has created using metal with our much loved inks, stamps and paints and wanted to learn some of her techniques.  As usual I was way behind by the end of the workshop but came home with all my bits and pieces ready to assemble once I had finished my background canvas board.  Despite all my good intentions I could not decide on which colours to use so the project was left to languish until last weekend.  Yesterday I finally completed it and I'm just as pleased with it as I thought I'd be 2 whole years ago, lol!

I'm not going to attempt to describe the techniques we used but they are the sort of thing that suits me to a T.  I find working the metal with the various tools very theraputic.

A close up of the word 'Dream' hanging from the rod at the bottom.  After embossing (the letters were done by hand) the pieces were painted with black acrylic which was then buffed off just before it was dry to give the aged looked.  I decided to add just a little turquoise paint too to give a patina effect.

The canvas board had been covered with pieces of designer papers before painting and I should have left some of this showing but I found it difficult to leave a patchy background (OCD ?) and ended up obliterating most of it so I did some subtle stamping and stencilling before stamping the pretty Lynne Perrella stamp in black Archival ink. (all the stamps are PaperArtsy)

I created the flowers using PaperArtsy dies and a contrasting designer paper from my stash.

You can see more of the background stamping and stencilling in this close up.  The word 'beautiful' was handwritten into the metal and I was amazed because my handwriting is not good.  This doesn't look half bad though, lol!

And a final close up of the top section.  Don't forget if you click on the pics you can see more detail.

This really was a lovely project to make and I am sooooo pleased I finished it.  Lin's workshops are always so packed with inspiration and tuition, they are a joy......she's very patient with this old slow coach too, lol!

See you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Lazy Days of Summer?

 Hi Everyone,

It's been a rather warm summer day here but not lazy.  Does anyone have a proper lazy day these days I wonder.  We all seem to rush about cramming as much into each day as possible, lol!  Anyway, after a 'steady' day of bits of housework and a fair amount of crafting in my really hot conservatory/craftroom I stupidly fell asleep after my tea and didn't wake up till after 11 pm!  Needless to say I am now wide awake and heaven knows what time I will be ready to sleep again now.  Whenever that happens and I ask why OH didn't wake me up earlier he says 'You didn't tell me to.'!  Duh!!!

Anyway,  as I'm not going to the Land of Nod anytime soon I thought I'd share what I've been making this week. 

This is the first card I've made with my recently purchased Kay Carley stamps (for PaperArtsy).  I do love the pretty, delicate way Kay interprets flowers.  
I created a soft background by pressing Distress Oxide inks onto my craftmat and spritzing with plenty of water.  I then dipped matt coated card into the inks and then dried with my heat tool.  I was pleased to get the nice soft shades that I wanted.  I then did a little background stamping with the Oxides.

Next I stamped the flowers, some with green shades of Archival Inks and some with black and the lilac coloured ones were inked with green for the stems and lilac for the flowers.  I painted some of the flowers with Fresco Finish paint and finally added touches of white paint using a fine embossing ball tool and a bit of Stickles bling.
Mounted onto co-ordinating pearl card and finally onto the card base I had a lovely dainty summery card.

I'll be back later with a project which should have been completed 2 years ago!  I hope you have time to drop by again.

Lesley  Xx