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

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Playtime ......just because I can!

Hello everyone and a very good morning to you.


At the end of May I was so happy and proud to be the chosen winner of the fabulous Stamping Sensations Challenge.  I think this was probably the first challenge blog (known then as The Sir Stampalot Challenge) I started to follow when I realised there were such things waaaay back when I started blogging but I've rarely had time to make an entry.  In May 2010 (must be a lucky month for me, lol) I was one of their top three with this Memory Box commission which you can see HERE if you want more pics.  As you can see I loved butterflies back then too and birds still come fairly close as well.

Brenda and her team do a wonderful job bringing fabulous inspiration for the various themes every month and they have some super prizes for the winners too.  My prize was a beautiful set of Courture Mariposa dies and butterflies being just about my favourite images you can imagine how thrilled I was to win.

As their winner I was honoured to be asked to do a guest DT piece for this month's theme and I already had an MDF tag started with an idea that fit the brief so I decided this was going to be it.

 This tag is 10" x 5.5" and I specifically wanted to use as much of my newest stash as I could throw at it, lol!


So, I started with a coat of gesso then some DecoArt texture paste through a stencil.  When it was dry I applied the beautiful Distress Oxide inks with Cut n Dry foam.  Next came stencilling with a brush, Fresco Finish Paints and a new stencil by Kay Carley for PaperArtsy.  I then dug out some die cut pieces my friend Sam sent me ages ago to create the foliage at the top and added the red butterfly for a pop of contrast colour.


Next I made the little house with my fairly new Tim Holtz die.  I used DecoArt paints given to me for my birthday again by Sam, Seth Apter stamps for PaperArtsy to create texture effects on the roof and Artemio wildflower stamps on the walls.  I then ran the wall pieces through a brick effect embossing folder before I assembled the house.  I used some dinky little mdf pieces from Calico Crafts with crackle glaze on the door and window frame and red paint and glossy accents on the heart.  I also stuck on some pretty flowers from a recent purchase of Tim Holtz Ideology Botanicals.  How cute does it look 😃....I think I want to live there!

Next came the little picket fence which was gessoed and crackle glazed.  A happy accident was that the glaze turned the gesso a bit brown in places which had a lovely aging effect.  I placed the 'sisters' and little dog from TH Ideology Paper Dolls behind the fence then diecut the wildflowers (TH/Sizzix new purchase) and positioned them on my arrangement.

I added some more of the die cuts on the sides of the house to finish it off and here you can see the dimension all the bits and pieces create.   I was originally going to place the house further up the tag but by placing it at the bottom it turned this into a freestanding piece.

I had a whale of a time making this piece because it was all just for fun and I even though I decided to use it for the guest DT spot I had loads of time so there was no pressure of deadlines involved.  I hope you all enjoyed it along with me.

See you all again soon and thanks for visiting.

Lesley  Xx