Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Countdown to Christmas? for Chocolate Baroque

Morning everyone,

As I'm typing this post ready to schedule, it's early on what looks like it's going to be a nice day.  I'd best make the most of it because apparently we are due to start a mega temperature climb in a couple of days and as regular visitors will know .........I DON'T DO ABOVE 75c WITHOUT MOANING FOR ENGLAND!  Lol!  By the time you read this though we'll probably be back to cool ;-).

Well, August has gone by in a blur and today sees the last of my three projects for the Chocolate Baroque DT Blog this time round and I've decided to go with a piece of Christmas home decor.  I love decorating hearts and if we can't have a few hearts at Christmas when can we have them.  For this heart all the stamps used came from the Chocolate Baroque Steampunk Christmas set.  There are some really beautiful designs on here.

1.  First of all I gave an 18cm x 14cm MDF heart a couple of coats of Gesso followed by a coat of Snowflake Fresco Finish Acrylic Paint then blended a little Chalk Fresco Finish over the top with a wet wipe just so it wasn't quite so stark.  

2.  I made sure it was completely dry (Fresco Finish dries very quickly but I gave it a quick blast with the heat tool) and then gave it a light dusting with an anti static bag before using the snowflake tree (minus the trunk), Versamark ink and silver embossing powder to create a background over both sides of the heart.  I did it in sections so I could see where I'd stamped as I didn't want to overlap or have big gaps.  I then used a piece of Cut n Dry foam to roughly edge all round the heart (again both sides) with Versamark and silver ep.

3.  I gave a small MDF tag the Gesso and Fresco Finish treatment then stamped Joy with Versamark embossed with gold ep and finally edged with silver ep before gluing it to the heart making sure the holes lined up.

4.  I then stamped out several of the large and small poinsettia onto card using Versamark and embossed with Queens Gold powder (my favourite gold ep) and cut them all out, shaped and layered them, finally adding sparkly centres from my stash.  I arranged them and glued them to the heart.

The above pic shows the dimension created.

5.  The final touch was the soft crinkly ribbon for hanging the heart.

This heart was done with quite simple techniques and really just required a little care and patience.  I'm really pleased with the result and now have to decide do I keep it or give it away, lol!  Something like this is often nice to give to close family or a special friend in lieu of a card.

Well, that's it for today folks.  I do hope you will stop by the Chocolate Baroque Blog if you haven't come from there as the DT always have something special showing off the fabulous CB stamps.  See you next year on the Chocolate Baroque Blog, lol!

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 21 August 2016

PaperArtsy Challenge entry - Pretty Patterns

A very warm hello to anyone who kindly drops by.

As I am still recuperating very slowly from surgery 11 days ago (silly me thought I'd be dancing a jig by now) I've been getting very frustrated wanting to craft but not being physically able.  Last night I managed a couple of more comfortable hours and decided to try a simple entry into the current PaperArtsy Challenge where the theme is Patterns.  As always there has been some stunning inspiration from DT members and also from entrants to the challenge, some of which are journal pages and that's what tempted me.  I don't often have a bash at journalling so this is a rare one for me.

I had a couple of pages already roughly brayered with left over green acrylic paint in my little 'Sam' journal and I'd also done a bit of random stamping with the Bougainvillea Fresco Finish (forgot to take a before pic).  We had also received a cruise brochure yesterday morning (cruises we'll never afford, lol) and it was a small picture in there of some pottery that sparked the inspiration for these pages.

I added some Emma Godfrey (for PaperArtsy) circles around the pink spiky 'flowers' using Tikka Fresco Finish and then created more pattern with the tiny flower which is from a Cat's Meow set.  Added a few white pen dots then tore the inspiration pic, stuck it to the pages and followed the outline with black fine liner and finally scribbled the words.

Very simple pages but it was nice to lose myself in an hours crafting.  Off to link up to the PaperArtsy Blog Challenge before I go back to bed to nurse my war wounds for a little longer.   The deadline is 5:00 pm today so you still have time for a quick entry!

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Chocolate Baroque Steampunk.

Hi Everyone, another early morning post for Chocolate Baroque coming your way today.

This time I've chosen to go along the Steampunk route using their fabulous Steampunk Butterfly set.  There is a lovely moth and a set of wings, amongst other useful stamps, on this set but I decided to use the large butterfly and created a steampunk MDF plaque for it to rest on.

1.  I painted a rough coat of Fresco Finish acrylic paint in Chalk over a 20cm x 10cm MDF plaque.

2.  I spread texture paste fairly thinly in opposite corners with a palette knife, spritzed the cog stamp lightly with water and then stamped into the paste.  (don't forget to clean stamp immediately)

3.  When the paste was completely cured (I used Grungepaste which doesn't take long to harden) I applied layers of Fresco Finish acrylic paints using a mix of Chalk, Stone and Taupe, keeping the plaque light in the middle and darker over the texture paste.

4.  When it was dry I added stencilling to the middle area with a mix of Stone and Taupe paint, then stamped some little keys from the stamp set using Potting Soil Archival Ink and finally stencilled some numbers using Black Archival Ink. 

5.  I applied Raw Umber Antiquing Cream to the textured areas and when it was dry removed some with a damp cloth until I was happy.  At this point if you are going to be using any other wet medium over these areas they would need to be sealed to prevent the cream from reactivating but as I didn't intend using anything wet I didn't bother this time. 

6.  I used a sponge to apply Fresco Finish French Roast around the edges of the plaque and added gilding paste to the textured area and edges.  I used Treasure Gold in White Fire and Silver because that is what I have in my stash.

 7.  I stamped the amazing butterfly onto card and coloured it with metalic paints.  Here I used some lovely water based Gansai paints from Kuretake and I cut it out.

8.  Next I raided my collection of rusty old metal bits - tacks, screws, springs and other odds and ends which Hubby thinks I'm mad to save - and arranged them on the plaque before fixing them with matte gel medium and the butterfly too.  I gave him some metal antennae.


9.  Finally I added some Chit Chat stickers and outlined them with smudged graphite pencil.


Well that's it again for this week's Chocolate Baroque post and once again I hope you have time to visit their lovely blog to see all the fabulous DT inspiration which is shared almost daily.  Next Wednesday will be my final DT post until next year so I hope you can drop by then.

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Roses in Bloom for Chocolate Baroque

Good Morning Everyone and thanks for dropping by today.

Well, time is certainly flying by at a rate of knots this year and it is already 6 months since my last stint as a Chocolate Baroque Design Team 'part-timer' (AND we are over half way to Christmas, eeek) so it's my turn to share a project with you for the next 3 Wednesdays and I'm kicking off with a pretty, very feminine card using a colour combo that I love but rarely use of greys and peachy oranges.

1.  I cut a 19 cm sq of white card and painted the whole piece with grey acrylic chalk paint (I use PaperArtsy Fresco Finish throughout).  When it was thoroughly dry I ran it through a large embossing folder with a distress design (Crafters Companion) and then cut an aperture 12 cm sq from the centre.  I now have a nice square to use on another design.  

2.  I applied a good coat of White DecoArt Antiquing Cream and when this was dry gently removed some with a damp cloth until I achieved the desired effect.

3.  Although the cream dries it can be reactivated at any time with a damp cloth so if you want to fix it apply a coat of varnish or other sealer.  I used DecoArt Soft Touch Varnish which leaves a gorgeous velvety feel but is totally matte.  You have to work quickly and lightly to avoid the varnish reactivating the cream again.  Put the frame aside to dry thoroughly.

4.  Next I took another piece of card, this time 18 cm sq and applied acrylic paints in shades of peachy orange plus a little of the grey.  I often mix my Fresco's until I get the shade I want as I did here because I wanted varying depths of the peach tones.  I used an old credit card to scrape on the paint and then gave a light wash of watery white to tone it down a little.

5.  Using the same paints I applied grey through a crackle stencil, peach through a leafy stencil and a little white through a tiny squares stencil.  I finished this background piece by stamping the swirl using 2 different orangy shades of Archival Ink.

6.  Next I stamped the rose section from Chocolate Baroque's Crackling Rose several times and the same with a rose from their Harlequin Rose set.  I used the peachy tones to colour them then added touches of Inktense Pencil to add a little detail shading.  I cut them all out and layered up the Crackling Rose to create one full bloom and a couple of 'buds'.

7.  I adhered the background square to a 20 cm square base card with double sided tape, followed by the frame and finally arranged all the roses before adhering them with silicone glue (Pinflair) to create some depth.  I also added some lovely delicate dried flower sprays and some pearl trim from my stash.

8.  Finally I stamped the quote from Chocolate Baroque Words of Inspiration, cut it out and edged it with a black Pitt Pen before fixing to the card with 3D foam.

I hope you enjoyed my first DT offering for Chocolate Baroque this month.  Do stop by their blog if you have time as there is always fabulous inspiration from the rest of the talented team and I will be back next Wednesday with another share using very different stamps to this romantic card.

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 15 July 2016

Quick Cards for Chocolate Baroque.

Morning Everyone,

Over on the Chocolate Baroque DT Blog they share twice monthly posts of inspiration for cards that can be made in about 15 minutes using their beautiful stamps.  Today a selection of cards I made are included in the post together with contributions from some of the other DT members.  Here's a bit more detail of how I created my cards.

I began by creating a quick A4 sized masterboard using a selection of Fresco Finish acrylic chalk paints which I scraped on with an old credit card.  I followed up with some stencilling using white acrylic paint.  I then used offcuts from creating my favourite 20 cm square card bases to make bases for notelets and cut some pieces from my masterboard to fit.  I chose a selection of Chocolate Baroque silhouette stamps and sentiments which I stamped with black Archival Ink, edged with a black permanent marker and mounted onto the base cards.

I was really pleased with how these turned out and I had enough masterboard left to create two decent sized square cards too.

Thanks for dropping by today and I hope you have time to visit the Chocolate Baroque blog which is always filled with gorgeous inspiration from the DT.

Lesley  Xx

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Playtime with DecoArt Antiquing Cream

Morning All and thanks for dropping by.

A couple of months ago my buddy Sam gave me a lovely birthday gift of some DecoArt Antiquing Creams which I'd been wanting to try ever since she started using them on her projects.  I've been itching to have a play with them and made time this week.  I need more practice to get used to them but had fun and I'm quite happy with my first attempt.

It was quite early and dull when I took my photos so I couldn't find a suitable place to show this piece hanging with decent light on it.  It's too breezy outside so that was out as it wouldn't keep still, lol!

I covered an MDF heart with black gesso (which I've had that long it's almost solid) and then made a mix of about 50/50 black gesso with Grunge Paste and applied it through a harlequin stencil.

 When it was dry I applied some of the white Antiquing Cream and left that to dry.  I think, true to form for me, I am being too sparing with the cream and need to be a bit more generous but once dry I gently rubbed it back with a damp (not wet) wipe.  I then did some stamping with a PaperArtsy script stamp and black Stazon and stencilled the hearts and two words with Little Black Dress Fresco Finish.

I made sure it was dry by giving it a gentle waft with a heat tool before applying a coat of DecoArt soft touch varnish.  I do love how matt this stuff dries and the velvety feel to it but again I need to be quicker and more a little more generous because the Antiquing Cream continues to move if you work it too much.

Next I added touches of Patina Green Antiquing Cream (still being too mean with it, old habits die hard, lol) let it dry, rubbed it back and applied another coat of varnish before adding some finishing highlights of Treasure Gold.

After choosing the embellishments I gave the metal parts the Treasure Gold treatment to tie them all together and added some crumpled sari silk ribbon.

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed playing with my birthday gift (thanks again Sam) and can't wait to practice more but for now I'd best go get my shower & hair washed in case I get The Call from Harrogate.......yes, our new grandbaby is still keeping us waiting, lol!

See you again soon, hopefully with a pic of our new family member ;-)!  In the meantime

Lesley  Xx


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Cute and Quirky for PaperArtsy!

Hello everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Tonight I am really chuffed to be sharing a project over on the PaperArtsy Blog using some fun stamps from their Squiggly Ink sets.  In fact it was watching Leandra demo with a bird on a branch stamp from the Squiggly Ink Flora and Fauna set 4 and metal many years ago at Birmingham NEC that first got me hooked on all things PaperArtsy.  I was only just dicovering all the wonderful things you can do with rubber stamps and using them to work on metal had me enthralled.  I think I must have stood there for at least 2 hours, lol!  Not much has changed ;-)!

Anyway, here's a little piece of the project I made for the PaperArtsy Blog where the current topic is Paper Piecing and I hope you have time to pop over and see the whole project if you haven't already been.

As I had quite a few bits and pieces left over from the main project I created a greeting card and a gift tag as well.

 For my main project I had created masterboards onto which I stamped the main images (details on the PA Blog).  I cut them out into little bits dictated by the stamps lines and then juggled them about to create my multi coloured owls and houses.

The leaves on the 'bushes' and the tiny birds were all coloured with pencils and the lettering is a cheap alphabet set I picked up in a supermarket years ago.

This very simple tag is using up the last of the bits of owls and I simply covered the tag with repeat random stamping of a section of the leaf branch which I again coloured with pencils.
I added the mismatched googly eyes to the owl on the card and one owl on the tag.

Apart from the lettering all the stamps are from Squiggly Ink Flora and Fauna A6 sets 3, 4, 5 & 6 plus Squiggly Mini 26 which you can find HERE.  It was the little bird & branch on set 4 Leandra was demoing with and which started my collection of Flora and Fauna, lol!

I hope you enjoyed my fun projects which aren't my norm these days but I really enjoyed playing with these.

After a rather worrying time over the past three months over my Son in Law following his cycling accident and subsequent pneumonia and other infections, he is now recovering steadily thank goodness and hopefully by the time you read this post their new baby (our fourth grandchild) will have arrived. It will be good if normal service can be resumed with crafty playtime now, lol, so fingers crossed I'll have more to share very soon.

Thanks again for stopping by
Lesley  Xx