Monday, 5 October 2015

September Tag and ATC swaps ......a little late, ooops!

Hi again everyone,

Are you all planning on a nice cosy evening at home after the miserable weather it's been all day?  Typical that it's going to dry up just as the day's about over, lol!  Anyway, my second post today is to share September's Tag and ATC swaps which I almost didn't get done but our Leader Sam kindly waited for me ;-)  Because I did them in a bit of a rush there's a couple of little boobs but they didn't turn out too badly.  The theme this month is 'resist' and was actually suggested by me so would have been a poor show if I'd failed to get any done, lol!


I decided on a wax paper resist for both my tags and used the same piece embossed wax paper for both by sandwiching the wax paper between 2 coated tags (1 glossy and 1 satin) so that means 1 has the negative resist and 1 the positive. I find this such an effective and simple technique. 


Now, this is where the first mistake occured!  The Invisibile Image stamps I used were new (although I've had them a few months) and when I took them out they were really sticky.  I ought to have given them a soapy wash first but instead I ploughed ahead with stamping and they stuck so well I had to peel them off which almost removed the coating and did take the ink back off.  If you look closely you can see where I restamped over the original images (the flourish at the bottom and the top horse).  Ooops!

The kind of mistake on the second tag is where the lighter coloured areas are.  The face on the Finnabaire image out to have been over the grey area not the aqua colour and I did intend tinting her face a bit but decided it wasn't such a good idea over that colour.  She looks poorly enough!

Joking apart though I did like these tags and it was good that I learnt a few lessons from them.


For my ATCs I used the 'Joseph's Coat' technique.  I blended Distress Inks onto the background then stamped my favourite PaperArtsy script stamp all over.  Next I stamped the Lin Brown (for PaperArtsy) stamps using Versamark ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder.  Finally I dragged a Black Versafine Inkpad over the whole surface and when almost dry I buffed the embossed areas with a paper towel

That's it for today folks.  Hope you like them!  Hope you all have a relaxing evening.
Lesley  Xx

Checking Brusho colours!

Goodmorning All,

Well, we've had a typically British change in the weather this morning and instead of a lovely misty Autumn morning we have a very dark, dreary one with wind and rain.  We have been spoilt for the past couple of weeks with days of my personal favourite weather but I knew it wouldn't last long, lol!

Anyway, I'm going to brighten things up a bit by sharing some colour swatches I did yesterday to check out the colours of my little pots of Brusho crystals.  I've had them for about a year but never really checked the colours properly so thought I'd share them here.  Bear in mind the colours might vary a bit depending on individual monitors.  I've used the same watercolour paper throughout and simply spritzed the paper with water, sprinkled a very few crystals of Brusho and spritzed again.

                                                     Brilliant Red                        Scarlet   
                                                        Lemon                          Yellow

                                                      Turquoise                        Ultramarine

                                                         Purple                               Black

                                                    Leaf Green                          Emerald

                                                       Orange                          Dark Brown

All the following colours are from the earthtones set which my friend Sam (she did a little Bistre test here) and I were wondering if they are brighter than the Bistres.  I don't have any Bistre powders and have only seen them on things crafters have shared online so my monitor or tablet probably don't give a true indication but I do think these look quite earthy and so does the Dark Brown above.  I'd still like some of the Bistres but not in the huge pots they're currently sold in.........there's enough in there to last 3 lifetimes, lol!

                                                    Rose Red                         Terracotta

                                                    Moss Green                       Yellow Ochre

                                                      Lime Green                    Olive Green

                                                     Burnt Sienna                    Sandstone

I do love these little magic crystals but think there are a few colours I could have managed without as you can see some are very similar particularly the reds and the Ultramarine is exactly like the Turquoise with speckles of Purple.  I love the ones that have different colours in them for spritzed backgrounds but I think to get the true colours you would have to dissolve and mix the crystals in a palette and paint on with a brush so when I have time I'll try that out as I do like to watercolour images occasionally.

Hope some of you might find this handy if you haven't succumbed to Brusho powders.

Sadly,I have a neighbour's funeral to attend this morning but I'll be back sometime later today with my tags and ATCs swaps for this month.

Lesley  Xx

PS  I have no idea why Blogger moves the colour names across when I publish as they are centred in the draft!  Winds up my OCD, lol!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Birthday Birdie .... and a Chocolate Baroque Challenge entry!

Morning Everyone!

Well, this morning started out the same as yesterday weather wise ....... it was slinging down with rain, lol!  However, at the moment we have some bits of blue sky and sunshine so I managed to take photos of the card I finished last night before the next shower hits ;-).

I really wanted to enter Chocolate Baroque Challenge 14, mainly because the inspiration colours are not in my normal comfort zone so I combined the need for another birthday card with the challenge.  In the end my colours turned out somewhat brighter but still out of my comfort zone ;D.

The stamps I used are from sets As Free as a Bird - main image and birdcage,  Eccentric Edwardian - script and Amazing Birthday - sentiment

I stamped the main image using Archival Watering Can and coloured it with pencils. I edged the oval with Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink.

I used Distress Inks, Chipped Sapphire, Dusty Concord, Fired Brick, Forest Moss & Pine Needles blended with cut and dry foam for the background.  I then spritzed water through a peacock feather stencil here and there and dabbed it off for the water mark.  I followed this with a patchy wash of some chalk spray picked up from my craft mat (mainly to tone the colours down a bit, lol).

Next I applied Chalk (colour) Fresco Finish paint through a favourite Imagination Crafts flourish stencil with a stencil brush and stamped the script with Olive Archival Ink. The birdcages are stamped using the Chalk acrylic paint.

I was going to stamp and colour some flower embellishments but decided I really should try to use some of the many purchased flowers I have in my stash......9 down, 10,000 to go, lol!  I diecut some leaves which I stamped over with the script using Stazon ink because the card is pearlescent.  The main image is attached with 3D foam and the embellies with Pinflair glue.

Finally I did my usual trick of deciding to stamp the sentiment directly onto the card and risking ruining the whole thing, lol!  If it had been a whisker out of line with the edge I would've had to cover it with a diecut because it would be the first thing I saw on every photo (bit of OCD slipping in there, lol).

Righty Ho, off to link up to the challenge as it closes in just over 13 about last minute!

Have a good day all!

Lesley  Xx

Thursday, 10 September 2015

A Birthday card and chance to try out some new PaperArtsy products!

Hi Everyone,

After a lovely long weekend in Chester things are getting back to normal around here apart from collecting a dog from the kennels who sounds more like a sealion when he barks, lol!  I think he must have spent the whole 4 days barking (although they said he hadn't) because he's definitely given himself a bad throat. 

I think I mentioned in my last post that I need quite a few birthday cards this month and as I now have some fab new PaperArtsy Fresco Finish products in my craftroom it was the perfect chance to try them out.  I will apologise in advance for the photos because I found it impossible to get a really good one.  Firstly I was trying to photograph shiny acetate and secondly it was very bright in my craftroom today (it's been glorious) and thirdly I couldn't get a good one of the new Fresco Frosting Glaze :-(.

I found some lovely squares of acetate I had created subtle backgrounds on with alcohol inks several years ago so I applied the Fresco Frosting glaze through a JOFY leafy stencil.  You can just about make it out in the above photo.

I took a square of PA Heavy Smoothy card the same size and painted it with a layer of Granny Smith from the new limited edition set of Fresco Finish.  I then stamped the 'HAPPY birthday' words from JOFY 26 stamp set using Fresco Finish Snowflake paint and coloured in some of the letters.

I attached the acetate layer to the stamped layer with two green sparkly brads ...... OMG I need to use some of my brad stash up!!! I have hundreds!!!....and then attached the two layers to the basecard with 3D foam.  Lastly I curved the wings of this butterfly (another JOFY stamp) which I had left over from another project and attached it's body to the card.

I know I've only used one of the new colours on this card but they are all quite stunning colours and I'm looking forward to using the rest,  The Frosting Glaze is a very fun product but I need more practice with it and I have a couple of things I want to try it out on.  I just wish it wasn't so difficult to photograph, lol! 

This is the link to Leandra's blog post from Monday evening introducing these new products and also giving links to the suppliers who are stocking them and there are posts all week with some amazing Design Team projects showcasing all the new fab stamp sets. 

Well, it's nearly weekend folks so hope you have something fun lined up. See you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Thursday, 3 September 2015

PaperArsty Blog Challenge ... Circles entry #2!

Hi Everyone,

I didn't think I would manage a second entry to the PaperArtsy Blog Challenge before the deadline on Sunday as my OH and I are off for a long weekend in Chester with family and friends but as I need quite a few birthday cards this month I've made one for a very special friend who has a birthday coming up and I've combined it with the 'circles' theme.

Whilst browsing Pinterest I found a card which had some flowers on created from folded circles (HERE - it doesn't give a how to but they are simple enough) and I had already decided I wanted to make some for the card I had in mind but instead of plain paper I wanted to make mine from a designer paper I had created myself.

The inspiration from the PaperArtsy DT over the past one and a half weeks has been gorgeous and has included wonderful backgrounds with lots of layers of Fresco Finish paints and PA stamps such as this one from Emma GodfreyAlison Hall also did a gorgeous one last night using her small Gelli plate; yet more inspiration although I'd already done mine by then.

I just built up the layers with my small brayer, for once being totally slap dash, lol!  It was still very patchy when I decided it was ok, then I started to cover it with layers of stamping mixing the colours to get varying shades.  All the stamps I used were different circle stamps from several PaperArtsy sets (I've listed them at the end of the post).  For the final 3 stamping layers I used different Archival Inks.  It wasn't quite what I wanted at this point so I used a wet wipe to blend a wash of Chalk  FF to tone it down a bit.  I finished it off with a slightly watered down layer of Satin Glaze.

I also painted the back of my designer paper with a mix of Hint of Mint and Evergreen with some Satin Glaze added as it was obviously going to show once folded.  I really like the subtle effect the glaze gives plus it makes the cheap copy paper much stronger and very malleable.  I diecut two sizes of Nestie circles plus some smaller deckle edged circles, edged them all with Archival Ink and proceeded to fold and construct my flowers.

I then got so carried away I totally forgot to take any more progress pics so the rest are a selection of angled shots to show the fabulous dimension of the stylised flowers.

I took a 14 cm square of card, stamped a leafy stem and the dotty borders in each corner, both JOFY stamps and painted them using some of the same colours as before.   I gave this layer a fine edge of Archival Ink for definition and adhered it to a slightly larger basecard before attaching my flowers.

I added some stamens to the centre of the largest flower.....

 ....and stamped the JOFY words onto separate card, cut them out and stuck them in position.

I was really pleased with how my take on these flowers came out and the card overall.  Thoroughly enjoyed the 'messy' process for the paper too!  The only problem is I now have to find a box to post it off in so the flowers don't get squished, lol!

Off to link up to the fabulous PaperArtsy Blog where once again we have been wowed by some amazing creations from the's always well worth a visit for the inspiration!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.  I'm sure I will!  See you when I get back.

Lesley  Xx

Stamp sets used
EEG07, HP1010, ESN13, HPXT02, JOFY 11/24 & 36.
Fresco Finish Paint colours : Chalk, Hint of Mint, Evergreen, Moonlight, Wisteria, Squid Ink

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Wow, Double Post Day!

Hello Again ........well I've been here once before today even if you haven't, lol!

Over on the PaperArtsy Blog at the moment they are just going into the second week of their current challenge theme which is 'Circles' (see Leandra's intro post from last Sunday HERE) and as always there has been some absolutely fabulous inspiration from the various designers.  I've been itching to join in especially when I saw the gorgeous cards from Jo Firth-Young on last night's post so this afternoon I went through my stash of PaperArtsy stamps and pulled out several sets with promising images.  However, I went off on a complete tangent for this entry and only used one tiny stamp ..... for a sentiment, lol!

For the previous PaperArtsy challenge to use gels/mediums lots of us fell in love with Lin Brown's fabulous faux paua shell technique (see my entry to that challenge & link to Lin's video HERE) and one result of my play was a piece of crackly tissue.  It was actually my favourite result but I decided I wanted to use it on this card and very bravely (I think) punched various sized circles out of all of it.  I have enough circles to make 2 more similar cards and as you can see I only used the one sentiment stamp from a JoFY set.

I'm sorry I forgot to take photos of each step.  I cut a square card base and a smaller square of card which would leave a 1 cm border.  I found my Nestie circles were exactly the right size to leave a border round my punched circles.....very handy..... so I decided where I wanted them to go and diecut the circles from the top square.  I used a stencil and a mix of Guacamole and South Pacific Fresco Finish paints together with some Fresco Metallic Glaze to stencil the little circles.

I used two co-ordinating metallic chisel tipped markers to edge the circles and the outer edge of the topper and then mounted it onto the card base with 3D foam.  I then glued the punched circles into the holes and used the smallest diecut circle to stamp the sentiment onto before adhering it with 3D foam.  This was a happy accident because initially I was going to stamp the sentiment directly onto the topper but forgot all about it until after I'd stuck it to the card base.  I was then worried in case I messed up the stamping (and ruined the whole card) as the 3D foam underneath meant I nolonger had a stable surface to stamp onto.  Thanks Sam for suggesting stamping on a bit of card!  I actually think it balances the design better than my original idea ;D!

This shows the dimension of the 3D layering.

Well, I have 10 birthday cards to make for September so this is one off the list ;-).  I'm off to link up to PaperArtsy then crack on with another card.  See you soon.

Lesley  Xx

ATC Swap Time!

Morning All!

'Tis a bit dull and cool this Sunday morning but as it's the long bank holiday weekend what more can we expect, lol!  Great for me and my craftroom though ;-)!

I finally managed to get my ATCs done for this month's Tag and ATC Swap with some buddies.  The theme for this month is 'texture' which I love but for some reason I struggled for 2 days just to get going.  Never mind, I got there in the end so here they are.

This first one was cut from a piece of black card embossed in a folder.  I then stuck a torn piece of fine corrugated card to the right hand corner and blended some PaperArtsy Fresco Finish chalk paints in various greys over it and onto the black.  I followed that with a bit of stamping in Black Archival using a Chocolate Baroque stamp (Texture Fragments set).  I didn't use a block and like the way the ridges picked up the stamping and created more texture.  Next I added some Golden soft semi-gloss gel in the top left corner and added teensy glass beads to it.

When the gel was dry I rubbed on some Treasure Gold in pewter and a bit of a blue limited edition one and added the cut out words.

The second one was also cut from a piece of previously folder embossed card which had a stonework design on it.  I blended various colours of Fresco Finish starting with Concrete, then Stone and then more or less dry brushed Toffee and Brown Shed, blending and dabbing off with a wet wipe.  I then stamped the Chocolate Baroque image (Gothic Fragments) onto tissue, painted it with Fresco Finish, tore round the image and stuck it to the ATC.  I gave it all a coat of DecoArt Soft Touch Varnish and when it was dry I added some Prima Clear Crackle Paste through a stencil and when that was dry wiped over with Vintage Photo Distress Ink before adding the cut out words.

If you click on the pics you can see more detail.

I still haven't mastered the technique of stamping on tissue and adhering it to textured surfaces or any surface come to that!  Unless I fussy cut the image the tissue is always visible and I've tried a multitude of different tissue and adhesives/gels.  It's that long since I painted on tissue I've forgotten how to do that too so must revisit Leandra's fab video HERE.

Have a lovely weekend and a long one if you're here in the UK.

Lesley  Xx