Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Chocolate Baroque Challenge 18 entry .......and last Christmas card for this year.......

..................I think!

Morning All,

Today sees the start of the final Chocolate Baroque Challenge for this year and by coincidence last night I made what is hopefully my last Christmas card for this year.  The challenge colours are the gorgeous dramatic combination of red, black and white which are exactly what I had used on my card so I'm sure this is my quickest every entry to a challenge, lol!

After writing out all my cards over the past couple of days I felt that none of my bought cards which I usually send to none crafters were suitable to send to a lovely neighbour who sadly lost her hubby a month or so ago.  They all glaring shouted 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' and I somehow didn't think they were appropriate so I decided to make her one.

I used the lovely trio of trees from Sparkling Trees set simply stamped in black Archival ink together with the word 'Peace' from the Crafty Individuals set of Christmas words (available from Chocolate Baroque).

It's a little difficult to see (but click on the pick for more clarity) I stamped the star from a discontinued CB set using Versamark ink and Sticky Stuff ep over which I sprinkled Distress Stickles Dry Glitter.  I added touches of Diamond Stickles to the trees favourite way of adding sparkle mess, lol!

Finally I edged the card with a red marker and added it to the slightly larger card base with double sided tape.  I like this method of giving the impression of matting and layering because it eliminates the possibility of scew-whiff layers ;-).

A fairly quick card but still quite pretty I think and the red border stops it from being too stark.  Off to do the link up to the Challenge now.  Wonder if I'll be first off the blocks, lol!

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 12 December 2015

A Sparkly Christmas Angel!

Hello again,

As promised here's my second Christmas card for today.  Very different for me in that I rarely use glitter (unless it's Stickles) ..... and having made this card I don't think I'll be using it again for a while, lol!  Everytime I pick the card up everything sparkles with Glamour Dust fine glitter.  The results are so pretty though!

Last weekend I spent a fabulous Sunday with long standing PATwit friends and lots of new ones too at an amazing workshop with the lovely and very talented Tracy Scott.  The workshops were quite intense and fast paced and anyone who knows me is well aware I don't do 'fast paced' lol, so needless to say neither of my projects is finished yet but I loved them so much (especially the 2nd one) that I will definitely finish them probably after Christmas.  I didn't feel too bad though as several of the 'experts' didn't get finished either ;-).

Anyway, Leandra and Mark, who very generously arranged this fabulous day for our group of PaperArtsy addicts also set up a 'shop' for us and one of my purchases was a lovely simple JOFY mini stamp of an angel.  I rashly decided she deserved lots of sparkle and this is the result.

I started by using a poinsettia stencil and applying clear texture paste through it.  I then sprinkled Glamour Dust very fine crystal glitter over the paste and the effect is really beautiful but ......... inspite of much dusting with a soft brush I am still getting glitter everywhere each time I touch it.  If the recipient is like me they will be blessing me good and proper, lol!

The angel and the sentiment were stamped with Versamark and embossed with blue sparkly ep.  I then dusted blue ink using a brush around the image before assembling the card.

Well, I'm happy with the simple, pretty design but I don't think I'll be using glitter again for quite some time.

Lesley  Xx

Chocolate Baroque Challenge #17

Morning All....

....on this very wet and dreary Saturday :-(.  I mustn't grumble though as I feel so sad for all the people who have been flooded, some not once but twice, over the past week or so and while the rain continues to fall I am thinking of them.

I've managed to squeeze in a bit of Christmas card making last night.....I am so behind with Christmas prep this year.......  A couple of weeks ago I made two masterboards and still have lots of bits to use up.  I realised the colours fitted the current colour challenge on the Chocolate Baroque Challenge so I added a little flourish with part of a CB stamp and then stamped & embossed in gold, one of my favourite CB flowers from Steampunk Christmas

I love this poinsettia layered up and using the masterboard to give me a matching band across the front made this a nice quick card when time is very much at a premium.  The sentiment is also from a CB set.

Have a good Saturday everyone and I'll be back later with another Christmas card.

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 5 December 2015

PaperArtsy Blog Challenge - Masterboard entry.

Good morning ...... on this extremely windy Saturday!

This post is going to be mainly pics as I have been away for a few days at my Daughter's and after a quick one night turnaround at home I'm driving south on the A1 later today.  I can honestly say after the scary drive home last night I am not looking forward to my drive today.  I certainly won't be at risk of getting picked up for speeding I don't think!

Anyway, the last blog challenge of 2015 over on the PaperArtsy Blog comes to an end tomorrow and I didn't think I was going to be able to complete an entry between trips but I have so I'll show you my effort mainly by pics.  The theme of the challenge is Masterboards and as always the inspiration over the two weeks has been gorgeous.  For mine I took inspiration from Leandra's introduction video using a brayer and stamping with the Fresco Finish paints.  All the stamps are PaperArtsy, mainly from JOFY40 set plus a couple from the new Christmas Hot Picks, except from some snowflakes.

I actually made two masterboards using more or less the same colours but forgot to take pics of the first one.  I did use that original one for the decoupaged tree so there was a slight contrast in the colours.

I curved the garland stamp on my acrylic block to make it fit round the cut out and added some bling.

Righty Ho!  Off to link up to the Challenge then get ready for the off mid afternoon.  If I weren't driving I think I'd be partaking of a little Dutch courage, lol, but at least the forecast is better for the drive back tomorrow evening.

Have a good weekend all!

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Off we go ......Christmas cards!!!

Hiya All,

I've finally knuckled down to making some Christmas cards.  I don't know why it's such an effort to get started because I love making them, lol!  Anyway, the other day Mr Postie brought me a stamp and stencil set called Holiday Birds by Dina Wakeley.... I love her scribbly birds and had to have them inspite of the fact I have oodles of Christmas stamps already!

I made a batch of 10 with this first simple design.

I made my card bases 15 x 15 cm and also cut squares 13 x 13 cm.  I stamped the bird off the edge so it looks like he's peeking round a corner or in a window.  There's a choice of 3 hats in this set and I stamped this one as though it's falling off and added the little lines to emphasise it.  I then deliberately painted him very badly with watered down Distress Inks.

Next I stencilled the snowflakes (from the stencil in the set, stamped the sentiment (from the same set) and finally gave his had some Stickles sparkle which you can see if you click on the pic.  I edged the square with a metallic brush marker and stuck it to the card base.

My second design is made with a Woodware clear stamp that I bought at the Stampmagic show a month ago.

Basically, I used stuff that was out on my desk from another project.  I stamped the trees onto a piece of vellum with White Versamagic ink and embossed with white ep and then drew in the ground with a white Pitt pen.  I dry embossed some lines around the edges and also the baubles with a ball tool, glued the topper to a piece of dark blue pearl card just in the corners and placed some pearls on top to hide the glue.  

I stamped the sentiment, which comes with the trees, onto the card base, adhered the topper to the card base and added some dark blue Stickles to some of the baubles.

So I've made a decent start on my Christmas cards and need to keep up the momentum this week and they'll be done in plenty of time except ..........then I have to write on them all, lol!

I hope you're all well on the way to getting your cards done and pressies bought.  That's something else I've been putting off........

EDIT  I forgot to mention that I'm linking my birdie card to A Monthly Challenge which is a new challenge set up by the lovely and very talented Paula just for the fun of entering ie no prizes or winners.  There are hardly any rules, just a theme to kick start the creative juices and which this month is 'Take Flight'.

Lesley  Xx

Thursday, 19 November 2015

A different kind of swap for me!

Morning everyone,

I hope if you're from the UK you haven't been blown hither and thither or even worse, flooded by the storms battering us this week.  OH and I did manage to get out yesterday to a lovely Christmas Market at Chatsworth in Derbyshire (only about 40 mins from us) and although we got a bit damp it wasn't cold and was well worth going to. Lots of lovely products to browse (or buy ;D), gorgeous food to sample and if I get chance next week I just might go again, lol!  I'd definitely recommend it if you're in the area.

Anyway, my post for today is to show you my makes for a matchbox swap I'm taking part in this month.  It's supposed to be 'mini' creations but I don't do mini very well plus the only empty matchboxes I have are some 'Cooks Matches' ones which I've been saving over the past few years and they are 4.75" x 2.75" x 1" so not exactly mini but they are within the allowed limits.

I began by making a wrap for the box cover using Kraft card.  I stamped the two baubles some discontinued *Chocolate Baroque sets using Versamark ink and embossed with Wow white embossing powder.  I added colour with Sakura Gellyroll pens which has given them a lovely enamelled effect.  When they were dry I masked them with post-it note circles and sponged white Versamagic ink through a circles stencil. 

For the base of the boxes I used Kraft coloured wrapping paper to cover them as I needed something thin but fairly strong.  The base was already a snug fit into the cover so I couldn't use anything thicker and if I'd used paints that would have caused a problem too.  I stamped another CB bauble using a multi metalic inkpad I've had for years and embossed with clear ep.  I did use Kraft card for the inside bottom of the box.

For the contents I decided to create a couple of Christmas decorations.  The little angel was a supermarket buy last year and only cost me 25p!  It was a horrible brassy bright gold colour with heavily glittered wings so I gave it a coat of Stone Fresco Finish paint followed by another one in Nougat.  When the paint was dry I added lots of Treasure Gold highlights.

For the hanging snowflake I used a Tim Holtz snowflake strip die and then created the medallion for the top with the CB bauble stamped onto Shrink plastic and lightly coloured with Derwent pencils before heating to shrink.  I must say I love the way the bauble turned out once shrunk.

Here they are nestled on a comfy bed of torn tissue paper.

And now I'm just waiting for the name of my recipients (we are swapping two each) before these go winging on their way in time for Christmas.  I can't wait to receive my swaps exciting :-)!

Stay safe everyone, wherever you are!

Lots of love and hugs to you all!
Lesley  Xx

*  I checked Chocolate Baroques webshop and there is a clear set of stamps which has a lovely selection of the bauble stamps I used.  They are only in one size though, not 3 different sizes as my old sets are.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

A 2nd PaperArtsy Challenge entry and ..........It's shouting 'CHRISTMAS'!!!

Evening everyone,

Are we all fireworked out yet?  I blooming well hope so because inspite of it raining heavily we have had fireworks going off since before dark (about 4 hours) and OH and I are exhausted listening to our poor Snoopy barking like crazy to protect us from the nasty bangs! Still got at least three more nights of it too I bet!

Oh well, at least after this week's not long to Christmas (just sayin'), lol, and that leads me nicely onto my project for today.  I'm on a bit of a roll with the Triptych theme over on the PaperArtsy Blog and made another entry to the challenge.  I was partly inspired by Alison Bombers lovely trio of tags HERE but decided to make mine Christmassy with some of the PA Hot Picks Christmas stamps so I can either give it away as a special Christmas 'card' or keep it myself and put it on display ;-).

I chose a fairly rustic style using red and Kraft with just a little colouring of the lovely images from PA Hot Picks Xmas 03

Left side tag. 

Right side tag.

There is star stencilling in Chalk PA Fresco Finish on the red tags and stamped tiny black stars.  I can't believe the only PA star I have in my collection is a huge Sara Naumann stamp so the little one I found after an extensive search through all my stamp stash, lol!  I then went round the edges randomly applying Versamark ink and Seafoam White embossing powder.  I added some of the stamped stars with Potting Soil Archival to the Kraft tags at the last minute.

Middle tag.

On the Kraft tags I very roughly brayered Chalk Fresco Finish paint followed by stamping the music strip from ESN13.  I'm so pleased to have discovered brayering the paint onto the stamp works so well for me as I've never been successful stamping with paint using other methods.  I also stamped the holly flourish using Potting Soil Archival (second generation stamping) and then went all round the edges with embossing.

The bells and street lamp were stamped onto Kraft card and fussy cut.  I used pencils to add colour because the card I used is extemely porous and it was much easier to use pencils than paint.  The sentiment is from the new Hot Pick Xmas 08 set.  I liked the bare wood stars as they are so left them that way and added eyelets to the tag sides and laced them together with gardners twine.

Well I hope you are having a more relaxing evening than we are, lol!  Snoopy is still being driven bonkers by the bangs ....... I'm off to link to the challenge.  See you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 2 November 2015

A PaperArtsy Blog Challenge Entry....Love Theme #20!

Hello again,

After my early bird post this morning showing a snippet of my triptych project as a guest blogger on the PaperArtsy Blog (not my mistake surprisingly, lol) I decided to blog the card I made yesterday, as an entry to the challenge, in tonight's 7:00 pm slot instead of tomorrow.

I love this theme of Triptychs, there's something very pleasing to the eye about trios and as I need to get in front with my birthday card stash I decided to create a card.  I also decided it was time I used some of my hoard of gorgeous PaperArtsy 'Chatsworth' designer papers instead of always creating my own backgrounds so paper piecing/layering was my main technique for this design.  It's really simple to do but can be so very effective and although the layers can be left flat I like to add some dimension by using dimensional adhesive.

I selected a couple of co-ordinating paper colours and used Lin Brown's stamp designs from set ELB20.  Multiple stamping, cutting out and layering up of the flower created my triptych of blooms and I stamped the tiny leaf image using Versamark Ink and clear embossing powder on the bottom paper layer.

Quite simple but I love the effect! Off to link up to the PaperArtsy Challenge post!

Have a good week all!

Lesley Xx

A Bit Early for Bluebells?

.......not on the PaperArtsy Blog it isn't!

Hi everyone,

EDIT  : As most of you will know the PaperArtsy Blog posts usually go live at 7:00 pm (19:00) but there has been a little blip ;-) and mine has gone out at 7:00 am so I am altering the scheduling here.

There's a fab challenge theme of Triptychs over on the PaperArtsy Blog at the moment and I'm so thrilled (and as usual a bit nervous) to be contributing as a guest blogger tonight.  Here's a little snippet of my triptych and I hope you can pop over to see the whole project and how it was created as well as see the rest of the fabulous DT contributions.

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 25 October 2015

PaperArtsy Challenge Entry ..... I caved in!

Happy Sunny Sunday All........

....well, it is here at any rate! 

The challenge over on the PaperArtsy blog for the past two weeks has been 'Faces' introduced by Leandra HERE.  There has been some amazing inspiration as always from the designers and my own personal favourite was Darcy's fabulous skull clock HERE.  However, right from the get go I wasn't remotely interested in making an entry myself .......that was until Friday evening when I went back over some of the posts I'd missed and also took a look at the lovely entries to the challenge from other crafters! 

So, I picked up a very soft pencil from a sketching kit I have and my A6 journal (a gift from my friend Sam) and started to sketch some facial features.  I was totally surprised and chuffed with how it was shaping up and decided to go over it with a sepia pastel stick from the same set.  With hindsight (wonderful thing that ;D) I should have rubbed most of the pencil lines out first but I still didn't think this face was going to be shown to anyone.  I was convinced I would muck it up completely when I started to add to the page!

I forgot to mention the page I chose already had a pinky wash of left over paint.  From here I stamped a butterfly (PA Hot Pick 1203) on her cheek using Black Archival Ink and thought......That's it, I've messed it up!  It looked horrible so I went to bed in disgust, lol!

Yesterday morning I took another look and thought it couldn't look much worse if I messed about with it some more so I started playing with the background but unfortunately I didn't take pics of the steps because I still didn't think it would be shown.  First I stamped an image from Hot Pick 1304 using 3rd generation Sepia Archival Ink, then using a couple of stencils, also from PaperArtsy, Mini Texturised with Distress Inks and Mini Moving Vines with Fresco Finish paints.  

You can just make out the girl hidden by the vines! I stamped the wording from the new release Hot Pick 1506 using Black Archival and then decided to use pencils to add a bit of subtle shading to the vines.

Then I plucked up courage to go back to the butterfly!  At first I stamped and embossed it using white onto acetate and cut it out.  I thought I'd overlay it to reduce the effect of the black butterfly but I wasn't really happy.  Then I decided to colour in the butterfly with pencils (I could have used Frescos but the pencils were already out) and Voila! I loved it!!!

At the last minute I added a bit of white pencil to the eye, lips and butterfly and some second and third generation stamping of a PA mini script stamp.

I am so pleased the other entrants to the challenge shamed me into having a go because this is the first time I have ever come close to achieving something that looks fairly realistic.  Maybe I should take some lessons from my Art Tutor Son who's portraits are amazing and you can see some of them HERE on my Pinterest board if you're interested.

I'm off to link up to the PaperArtsy Blog as the deadline is in a few hours time.  Thanks for visiting today.

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Stamps and Pretty Papers!

Hi Everyone,

Well, it's a lovely day here weather wise (not, lol) so a perfect excuse for spending most of it on craft related fun starting with this blog post.

I bet there are a lot of people just like me out there who have bought oodles and oodles of pretty paper pads and scrapping sets just because the papers are so gorgeous (love the smell too ;D) and then left them languishing in the cupboard totally neglected.......  Well, when I had my lovely day at Port Sunlight, Happy Stampers show a few weeks ago I spent some time chatting to and watching Lesley Wharton, owner of Chocolate Baroque, demoing her beautiful stamps.  She was using them in conjunction with some lovely Crafty Individuals papers and it reminded me how effective paper piecing can be.  I don't have the lovely Patchwork Landscape set of stamps that Lesley was using that day (on my Wish List, lol) but I searched through my CB collection for an alternative and decided to use Woodland Dreams instead. 

I also wanted to join in CB Challenge 16 which has just started and these two cards are the result.

My apologies if the colours are a bit dull but even in my conservatory/craft room it's very dull today.

Card #1

I chose two co-ordinating papers from the CI paper pad and stamped the tree tops then cut them out.  On a third design I stamped the images again and then extended the 'ground' to create little hills.  I cut myself a mask following the lines I had drawn and then used a brush to apply Distress Ink shading and then stuck the cut out treetops over the images.

I layered up onto black card and then used a Tim Holtz crackle stencil and Distress Inks to create the border on the basecard before layering on the 'topper'.

Card #2

This was made in exactly the same way as the first card except I used a different background design which was a bit bright for the treetops and they didn't show up enough so I gave it a wash of watered down white acrylic paint to knock it back a little before creating the little scene.
I decided to layer this one up twice onto black leaving a plain white border between and I love the way this 'pops' the scene.  I think this is nice enough to frame!
The words Imagine and Dream come from a discontinued CB set I think (sorry).
There's lots of wonderful inspiration over on the Chocolate Baroque DT Blog as well as their Challenge Blog which I'm off to link up to shortly.
A Tag for Fun
Here's a tag I made just for fun the other day.  I found it in my 'bit box' having just blended the Distress Inks and then left it, so I decided to play and finish it off. Really liked how it turned out!
Have a fun weekend all!

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Autumn Leaves and Bistres!

Good Morning.....

.......Although looking outside it's not very good out there, lol!  We have horrible blustery wet weather so my apologies everyone 'cos it must be my fault.  I have a long overdue hairdresser's appointment this afternoon, lol!

It's my buddy Sam's birthday today so I can now share the card I made for her.  A couple of weeks ago she very kindly sent me some Bistre crystals to compare with the Brushos that I already have.  In my opinion the results from the Bistres were very subtly different to the Brushos.  I found they gave more of a starburst effect when hit with the water spritz which is lovely and the colours are a bit more grungy.  I can't wait to add some of them to my stash but wish they were in smaller pots ......their current size would last longer than I will, lol!  Three of the four colours are perfect for Autumn shades and I made a gorgeous A4 sheet of card while I was playing which I then decided to use for Sam's card.

 I have a lovely set of Just Rite stamps which is all different leaves and stamped out one of them onto the card then fussy cut them all out.  It took me ages, lol, but was very relaxing. I arranged them onto a square of off white card and stuck them down except for the middle one which I gave about 5 layers of clear embossing

I then stuck that one to the centre of the card with 3D pads.  I stamped the greeting on the inside of the card as I didn't want to change the balance.  Matting and layering onto dark brown card and then the card base finished it off.

 (This angle just shows the shine from the embossing better)

I had a lovely day at the StampMagic show at Doncaster Dome on Sunday, meeting up with several lovely PATwits including Sam so I got to hand the card over.  As her car is poorly at the moment I had offered to drive her home so she could still go so we had a nice chat then too and I got to meet her lovely big and boisterous dog, Fraz!  Got to watch some fab demos from Leandra on the PaperArtsy stand as always too.  It was another crafting friend's birthday that day and I'm ashamed to say poor Lynne ended up with a bought card because I have lost the one I made for her a few weeks ago.  I've searched everywhere in my craftroom to no avail ........ bet it comes to light when I stop looking! 

I've just noticed that this card fits the Stamping Sensations challenge which is 'Autumn Colours' so I'm off to link up.

Hope Sam has a lovely birthday and a good day is had by all!  See you again soon!

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 17 October 2015

For once I'm early with my swaps, lol!

Hi Everyone,

Hope you're all well and if anyone is visiting from overseas I hope you are safe from the horrendous weather some of you are experiencing.

It's getting a bit late tonight but I wanted to blog my Tag and ATC swaps for this month now as I'm off to the StampMagic Show at Doncaster Dome tomorrow.  I think this show and the Happy Stampers one at Port Sunlight (which I went to 2 weeks ago) are my favourites.  Both have pretty good exhibitors, especially now PaperArtsy exhibit at both,  for stamping and mixed media fans and tomorrows has the advantage of being pretty local to me so I don't need an overnight stay anywhere..........which means more stash spending money available ;-).

Anyway on to my swaps for which the theme this month is Pink (it's breast cancer awareness month).


I've sort of got into the habit of trying to use bit and bobs left over from other projects for my swaps and the two ATCs were cut from a piece of handmade paper I created HERE.  I then brayered PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paint Professor Plum from their latest limited edition onto a Chocolate Baroque background stamp.  At last I remembered to try brayering the paint onto a stamp and as you can see I got a fantastic result!  I stamped the words onto a tiny offcut of the paper, cut into banner shapes and stuck them to the ATCs.  The hearts were die cut from pink mirri card.


I painted the tags with Fresco Finish using a couple of their pink shades but I forgot to make a note of which ones, lol!  I then brayered more FF onto a Wendy Vecchi lacy background stamp and again, you can see it worked beautifully with this fine detailed stamp.  I found the chipboard frame in a box of old bits and bobs, painted it to match my colours and then stuck a Crafty Individuals image from one of their books. Final touch was stamping the word 'inspire' at the bottom and adding fibres to the top.

My second tag was given the same background but then I stencilled FF through a TCW stencil, first with a dark colour and then bumped the stencil and used a pale pink.  Once the paint was dry I replaced the stencil and stamped the script.  The chipboard border was another bit box find and I painted it and the wooden butterfly with pale pink FF, then their crackle glaze and finally the dark pinky purple.  The finishing touches were the tiny gems on the butterfly and some fibres.
Although pink is definitely not my colour of choice I was quite happy with these when they were finished.  My monitor shows them more purple than they really are but at least they aren't 'Barbie' pink, lol!

I hope you all have a good Sunday and I'll be back midweek with a card to share.

Lesley Xx