Wednesday 22 February 2017

Is it a flower or is it a leaf?

Good Evening everyone,

I'm so glad we have an extra week to create entries for the current challenge of masks over on the PaperArtsy Blog as it's given me time to finish an idea I started last weekend but didn't get to complete.  I wanted to use a skeleton leaf from one of Lin Brown's fabulous range of PaperArtsy stamps to create a flower.  I love the direction Lin has gone with her last two releases.  There are some gorgeous main images as well as lots of lovely smaller stamps to create backgrounds and collages, simply beautiful, so her latest stamps released a few weeks ago quickly made their way to my craftroom.

I started by painting a layer of Snowflake Fresco Finish onto a square of card and followed this with brayering three different colours of FF over the top.  I did this very randomly and made sure each layer was dry before moving onto the next as I didn't want the colours to blend at all.  When I was happy I stamped the skeleton leaf from ELB30 multiple times in a circle using Archival Black Ink to create the flower.  After stamping each one I dried it with a heat tool then covered it with a mask I had made from a post-it note. I made 7 masks altogether so that I could overlap the 'petals'.  I think this looks like a clematis I have in my garden.

I then masked off all the petals and proceeded to use stamps from several of Lin's new sets to create the background, sometimes using FF paints and others using Archival Inks.  Finally I stamped the quote, another of Lin's stamps, with black Archival Ink before lightly applying Watering Can Archival round the edges using Cut n Dry foam.  I layered the square onto a larger piece of PaperArtsy designer paper (precious now as it's discontinued I think) and attached it to a white base card.  The final touch was a paper flower and a bit of bling embellishment for the centre.  I loved the way this 'flower' turned out stamped on the brayered background so I abandoned my original idea of adding more colour to it.

There has been so much gorgeous inspiration over on the blog this past 2.5 weeks, first for this challenge and this week to showcase more lovely new releases from the PaperArtsy designers.  My Wish List is now totally out of control and I will have so much trouble deciding which stamps (not to mention some fab new stencils and masks) I can afford to bring home with me from Ally Pally in April.   

Tonight I have another treat to share.  A small group of my friends and I decided to do a version of RAKs as it was RAK week last week (see mine to Emma HERE).  We did a sort of secret Santa thing to decide who we were to make for and this is what I received from my lovely friend Helen (  It is an 8 x 8 gorgeously textured canvas and I love it!

Helen has also used some of Lin's new stamps to create the canvas and the shades of blue are so pretty.

Just look at the fabulous crackle on the heart!  Awesome!  Lots of wonderful layers of paint, paper and various other media on this lovely gift and I shall treasure it.  Thank you Helen!

Helen also included this lovely card using some of Emma Godfrey's newest stamps which were only officially released at this week but Helen was lucky enough to get them from the Stevenage craft show the previous week.  These are also on my wish list, lol!

Well, that's enough from me tonight.....bedtime shortly as I need a good nights sleep - famous last words, lol!  I have my Daughter and her children coming down for a couple of nights tomorrow and as we all have colds it could be fun, lol!  Off to link up my entry to the PaperArtsy Challenge.

Night, night and hugs
Lesley  Xx

Saturday 18 February 2017

Not Quite a RAK!

Hi Everyone,

I'm back home after a couple of nights stay with my Daughter and her family having had lots of lovely cuddles with all three Grandchildren but especially baby Seth who, at 7 months old is now starting to recognise me quicker following a gap between visits.  Jenna, Seth and I also had a nice little train ride into York to have lunch with one of my lovely crafting friends, Emma.

This week is Random Act of Kindness week and a small group of crafting friends to which Emma and I belong decided to do our version of it which was more a Secret Santa type of thing.  Names were pulled out randomly and my recipient happened to be Emma so instead of posting it I took my RAK with me, especially as it was a bit awkward to parcel up.

A couple of years ago (at least) I found a metal memo board with a magnetised bird and butterfly attached in a charity shop.  They were covered with some decorative paper with Parisienne images which had probably been really nice originally but had become scratched and faded almost to disappearing.  As soon as I knew Emma was my recipient I knew exactly the makeover I wanted to give this.  I soaked and scraped off the original paper and searched through my considerable stash of 12" x 12" designer papers to re-cover the board.  This paper was just so lovely it didn't need any stamping and I definitely wasn't going to cover it up with paint or pastes! Once glued on and dried I blended Archival Ink lightly around the edges and then added light touches of Treasure Gold blending it into the middle.  From the strip I cut off I covered the bird and the butterfly and edged them in the same way.  I then gave everything two coats of DecoArt Matte Varnish to seal and protect the paper.

I then found a lovely chipboard flourish which I painted with Fresco Finish paints, stamped a script with Archival Ink and dabbed Treasure Gold onto the flower parts before gluing it to the memo board.  I also searched out the beautiful Prima flower embellishment and glued it and a metal flower to the flourish with heavy gel medium. Finally I stamped the quote and added a few gems to the bird and butterfly.

The last bit was to cover the front of a little memo pad with the last little piece of paper, stamp the quote and paint the back (no paper left, lol) with co-ordinating paint.

It's funny that I have had everything that went into this makeover in my stash for years, the paper must be at least 8 years old and although I love every bit somehow I've never been able to bring myself to use them but they all came together quickly as soon as I knew who the piece was for and I have to say I was well pleased with the finished project.  It turned out better than I had ever expected and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday and are looking forward to the balmy temperatures we are forecast for next week ;-).  See you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Monday 13 February 2017

My first PaperArtsy Challenge entry for 2017!

Hi everyone,

The lovely PaperArtsy people are into their second blog challenge of the new year and, having failed to get a project finished for the first one, I made sure I've got at least one entry for the second one.

The theme is Masks and being a crafter who absolutely loves using masks and stencils I was determined to have an entry in this one.  I hope I get chance for another one too!  I also made this project fit a colour theme challenge for a group I'm a member of on good old Facebook,  UK Stampers Forum.  If you are a stamper/crafter and fancy joining a group of very friendly likeminded people, have a look on FB and ask to join.  Lots of shared inspiration and encouragement with challenges and swaps as well.

For the PaperArtsy Challenge I used a Wendy Vecchi heart mask and stencil and also a Color Box stencil to create a card.

I did lots of switching backwards and forwards between the Large Heart Mask and Stencil and the Color Box stencil to achieve this effect and I Ioved how replacing the CB 'bendy' hearts and lightly blending where the hearts overlapped made it look as though the large heart is translucent.  The script stamp is from a Sara Naumann set and the quote is from an Emma Godfrey set, both PaperArtsy designers.


I deliberately used the edge of Cut n Dry foam to achieve the streaky effect but also did some traditional blending inside the large heart.  Simple matting and layering on co-ordinating coloured cardstock before attaching to a white base card completed my card.

There has been some wonderful inspiration as always on the PaperArtsy Blog this past week both from the guest bloggers and the people who have entered the challenge so far.  I'm off to join in by adding my card.  Hope you get chance to pop over and look, you won't be disappointed.

Thanks for dropping by and see you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Monday 6 February 2017

A Brother's birthday.

Hi everyone,

It was my eldest brother's birthday last week and although I shared a pic of the card I made him on FB and Instagram, I completely forgot to blog it.  I like to do this as a record for myself so I don't make him a similar card next year, lol!  That could happen as he and his wife love hill walking so that was my inspiration for his card so it's bound to pop into my head again.

I started with a piece of card I had scraped Fresco Finish paints from PaperArtsy onto ages ago when making a project for their new releases this time last year and I created the hills using torn copy paper, Cut n Dry foam and Archival Inks.  I then stamped the rushes (IndigoBlu) along the bottom, added the birds in flight (Inkylicious) then stuck the piece to a tentfold base card.

I finished off by stamping the sentiment (from a Lin Brown set for PaperArtsy) and adhering the diecut bullrushes.

Apparently the card was well received which is good because he might end up with a bought card next year unless some fantastic inspiration strikes.  I can't use his other hobby passion as he is a very talented water colour artist and I wouldn't even attempt to make a card for him with my novice water colouring, lol!

Thanks for dropping by.  Have a good week everyone.

Lesley  Xx