Friday, 30 May 2008

Florrie's Weekly ATC Challenge - Week 110

The theme this week is "Anything Blue". I like blues, so it only took me moments to grab a Petal Point Fluid Chalk pad that has shades of blue in it and turn a white ATC blank into a pretty smudegy blue background. I worked the lightest of 3 shades of blue into the center and outwards then nearer the outside edges some of the mid-shade and finally at the very edges the deepest blue.

Once I had made my background I grabbed a new stamp I have been dying to use. It's a "secret stamp" ... well sort of. Last week at the Graphicus Workshop we saw these stamps being made, they are the Limited Edtion stamps which are offered to Graphicus Guild members. There is a different limited edition stamp each month and we saw the designs for the next four months! They are all lovely designs and I wanted them immediately if not sooner, but we were sworn to secrecy by Lynne and Bill - Bill is the gentleman who makes the stamps and had kindly let us interrupt his busy day and had answered our questions about stamp making. Anyhow later when Glenda Waterworth arrived she was told we had had a sneaky preview and when we all said how lovely the stamp were she said if we wanted to, those of us who were guild members could buy them now because we had come to the workshop!

To get back on topic now, the stamp I chose to use today is a lovely floral design with an oriental feel. I inked it up with Adirondack Denim ink and stamped it onto my prepared ATC. After stamping I decided to use a wet paint brush to pull some of the colour in from the outline into the flowers. Now this was interesting, because I got an effect I did not expect! The more I pulled the colour in from the edges towards the centre of each petal, the more a sort of mauve shade started to appear. It's very subtle but I think it can be seen in the picture. I rather like this, but it was a lucky accident and I am not sure why it happened - perhaps it was a reaction between the Adirondack inks and the Chalk inks I had used to to colour the background.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Such a lovely surprise

When I started this blog less than a month ago it was because I wanted to have a place to keep a diary of cards I was making and stuff I was learning. I never really expected it to be read by many other crafters as I don't think my own skills are much to make a fuss about, there so many far more talented crafters out there than me. However today I got a lovely suprise from AngelaC on CraftSwap, she has given me this Kreativ Blogger award! Thanks Angela, you have made my day today!

Next I need to think of three freinds to pass this onto.... my first freind will be fabyon, he is a great card maker and better yet a true friend who gives the best advice and always encourages me with my card making. Not only that, but Fab helped me set up this blog and keeps me right with the techy stuff I don't know - he is truely a gem!

Next I think has to be a lovely American lady I met in a yahoo group - Jan's Farth North Designs blog is full if inspiring ideas!

Those are the only two bloggers I can really claim to know a little bit as freinds because I am quite new to the world of blogging so for my third choice it seems appropriate to pay tribute to a the person who's blog first got me lurking round the world of crafty blogs. Had her blog not been so amazing I would never have realised just how much help is given so freely by talented individuals who share their creations and the techniques they use through the posts on their blogs... so my third choice is Crafty Butterfly.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

A change of mood

From shiney bright metal to soft and delicate. I made this card with a stamp I borrowed from a friend. I was not sure what I would make, I just knew I liked the little floral spray and that I would find something pretty to do with it.

It's a negative impression as opposed to an outline image and visions of embossing had been running through my head, but when I pick up the stamp yesterday I found my hands reaching for my brush markers. First I coloured the stem parts green then I chose 2 purple colours, one a very soft pale lilac and the other a deep violet. I coloured the petals all over with the pale lilac first then used the deep violet to bleed in colour from the center of each flower out towards the edges. I then stamped this onto some coated glossy card stock and what you see it the result. I was pleased with very soft look I had acheived. The stamped image is mounted onto pearleascent card in shades of lilac and silver.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

More Metal

Yesterday I decided to try the metal and alcohol inks again but this time to create something less random than my ATC. Like the metal art, working with alcohol inks is a new area for me. I bought my first sets of inks only a couple of weeks ago, but I think I will definately have to add more colours as I love the effects they create.

Once again I mounted some punched flowers onto card and then covered them with some of the aluminium tape, but this time they were carefully arranged rather than randomly placed. I worked on this till I was happy with the raised effect I had acheived. Next I set to work with the inks, using Pesto ink all over which I applied with a finger tip and then splodging in blending solution the same way. It was impossible to keep the green pesto ink off the flowers so once it was dry I took a cotton bud soaked in blending solution and carefully wiped the green ink of the flowers. I then applied the red ink to the flowers using a cotton bud, the colour is Raisin this time instead of the Red Pepper I had used on the ATC. It seemed like the earlier cleaning with the blending solution had left a residue that made the inks flow and I found I did not need to add any more blending solution.

Once I had finished this I had to decide how to turn it into a card. I felt keeping the card simple and uncluttered would allow the metal art to stand out therefore I chose some white linen effect card to use. I mounted the metal art onto the card with foam pads and used more of the Raisin alcohol ink to colour in a silver peel off to co-ordinate.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Flowers for Florrie's Challenge

This week the theme for the Florrie's ATC Challenge was flowers. I had discovered gold (well aluminium actually) in hubby's craft stash! He builds model cars and he had adhesive aluminium tape very much like some of the material I had been using in the metal art workshop at Graphicus last Thursday. Well of course that tape, or at least a good portion of it, has found it's way into my craft stash.

Armed with my new acquisition and some basic tools I had bought during the workshop day I set to work to create a floral ATC. First I punched some flowers and mounted them onto some card, then carfully stuck down the tape over the top. I was not sure if this was going to work as the tape did seem quite thin and I was not certain if I would be able to make it mould to the flower shapes without puncturing it. Anyhow after some careful rubbing down with a paper stump things were looking good, but then the tricky part, defining the image. I remembered hearing somewhere that a dried up ball point pen would work as a substitute for the proper defining tools, but this was the bit that had worried me most as I thought the pen may just puncture or tear at the thin metal. I used the pen very carefully, only a light pressure, and as you can see it worked well. Next I coloured my image with some Alcohol inks (Red Pepper and Oregano)and a tiny bit of gold cord round the corners added a little more texture and interest. Finally I mounted the results of my work onto some deep green card stock which I think co-ordinates nicely with the colours of the inks.

Fab's Christmas Challenge - May

Well yesterday was the 25th of May, so time once again for Fab's Big Christmas Challenge! This time I chose a Penny Black stamp called "Snowball Fun". I love the Penny Black stamps, they are good quality stamps which makes them so easy to use as they give a lovely clear impression every time. Oh, and maybe the fact I am a sucker for cute designs has something to do with this too.

I stamped my image with black Stazon ink then coloured the image with Prismacolour Pencils, blending the colour with artist's low odor white spirit. This is such an easy technique to do and very relaxing. Once I had my finished image I chose some blue cardstock and printed some lovely snowy paper from the Artylicious "Season's Greetings" CD. The image was mounted onto some silver foiled card and stuck to the card with foam pads. Finally for that bit of Christmas sparkle I added tiny dots of Stickles Glitter Glue (Star Dust).

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Cute Birthday Card

I made this card for a Birthday swap. The very cute teddy, or at least in my opinion very cute teddy, is from Visible Image. I bought this stamp quite a long time ago not just because I liked it, but also because it seems such a versatile design that is suitable for so many occasions.

Ted is stamped in black Stazon, then coloured with Prismacolor pencils. I mounted the coloured image on to some fushia mirri card. My main card is from the Papermill's new colour range and the papers and brad are from an Hot Off The Press kit that was sold by QVC last year. The celebrate was a stamp from the same kit, stamped using a magenta coloured ink and then embossed using Cosmic Shimmer powders (Iced Blush Luster) which is a very translucent pink, made more vibrant by the colour of the ink underneath. Finally some blue fibers were added to tie in with the blue paper.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

A Graphicus Workshop

Well today was the very best fun! I had signed up to take part in a workshop at Graphicus in Barnard Castle, Co. Durham. The theme was Ten Second Studio which is metal art, something I have never tried before. Our teacher for the day was the very talented Lynne Robinson-Hunter, you can see samples of her work by visiting the Graphicus website and checking out the Meet the Team link. Graphicus have some amazingly talented people working there and their Gallery is a place I often visit when my own inspiration is failing. Lynne is a lovely lady, a good teacher who is very patient and obviously delights in sharing her skill and knowledge with beginners like myself.

We started by just having a little play with some of the basic tools we would be using - ball tools to emboss the metal with, defining tools to define what we had embossed and paper stumps to smooth and perfect the finish. I think I was far too excited and trying too hard, as a result my initial test pieces were not particularly impressive. We then moved on to creating some small metal items that could be used to embellish a project, the 2 flowers you see in the first photo. By now I think I was starting to settle in and relax and things were coming a bit easier. I am really pleased at how these 2 flowers turned out, I especially like the flower on the right which was very easy to do using a huge ball tool and a tiny wheel tool. Next was the larger "Dream" peice and by now I was captivated - finding the defining and smoothing process very relaxing, I really enjoyed making this piece. These items took care of our morning session and we stopped for lunch.

In the afternoon we made the bookcover you can see in the second photo and Lynne helped us bind it into a book with the Bind It All - what a fabulous little toy that is! The cover was made using the embossing plates that are a part of the Ten Second Studio range - fun to use, but some patterns and textures definately seem easier to work with than others. I am really pleased with what I made, as while they are far from perfect, I could see my level of proficiency increasing the more we did.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

A Thank You Card

Well today was a better day for creating something I like. First I made the three tiles with a stamp from the Elusive Images Damask Hearts Themeplate. I stamped and embossed with clear embossing poweder onto white card then added inks from a petal point fluid chalk pad for a resist. I like resists, they are fun and messy and you never quite know how it will turn out till you wipe away the excess ink from the embossed area!

With my tiles ready, I chose some Moondust Pearlescent card to mount them onto and also to make my main card. I embossed the "Thank You" sentiment in sliver onto some of the Moondust card which I then matted onto a layer of silver foil card. Next I mounted the tiles using foam pads to help lift them out of the background. With this done I then turned to the Artylicious Season's Greeting CD which provided me with the beautiful backing paper used on the main card and I was ready to mount my topper using more foam pads. A finishing touch was added with some silver corner peel-offs.

Lady in Red

Well, yesterday was pretty unproductive, nothing I was making was turning out how I hoped and most of it ended up being trashed - here's hoping for something better today. I have been looking at photos of some of my favorite cards from those have I made since I started this hobby. When things are not turning out I find this sometimes helps me to move on from the disasters and come up with an idea that will work. Anyhow I thought I would share this card which was made in Ocotber of 2007 as a birthday card to give to someone who is a member of a birthday swapping group I am in. The stamp is one bought as part of a set from QVC - I love this classy and elegant lady. It was simply stamped and embossed in red onto white card then matted and layered using matt black and red foiled card. A finishing touch was some lovely deep red cabochon gems. Simple, but elegant, like the lady in the stamp.

Now back to my stamps because I have so many ideas I want to try out today, let's hope some of them turn into something I like enough to keep.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Another ATC for Florrie's Weekly Challenge and a FLAP

The theme set this week on Craft Swap Forum was "sepia image". Not my forte, but if you don't try you don't learn. This is my attempt using a stamp by Hero Arts. I made my background with various shades of chalk inks in ochres, ambers and browns. Then had my first play with some Memories Sprays I got recently to make it look more aged. I think the sprays are not supposed to make such big droplets, but I quite liked the effect.

I then repeated this onto some card and stamped my image using an Adirondack ink pad (Espresso). The stamp is in a heart shape, but I thought it would create more interest to tear around the image before adding it to my ATC. Once I had torn the image out I added more of the same inks I had used on the background to colour the torn edge of the card. This was fun to try and I think it manages to meet the theme of the swap.

As well as the ATC challenge I also had a FLAP to make for a swap on the Craft Telly forum. The theme this time was just a colour - green. I started with some deep green cardstock and stamped it with a background stamp from the Elusive Images's Peacock Glory Themeplate. I used VersaMark ink and then swirled on some Perfect Pearls - the green one from the Jewel tone set. I then used another stamp from the same themeplate to create a topper - this time a square tile motif with a peacock feather. I heat embossing this image with Cosmic Shimmer powder (Lapis Cobalt Aurora) and then added more green by using Adirondack bottle and lettuce inks with a stencil brush as I felt the white card I had stamped onto was too bright. A little more colour was added into the center area of the Peacock feather by swirling in some moondust powders in Hydrangea Blue Mauve and Cornflower Blue Quartz and then sealed this with Glossy Accents. A finishing touch was added by edging both the topper and the FLAP itself with gold using a Pentouch gold pen. This was a really enjoyable project to make but very hard to photograph well as it's all so shimmery.

Monday, 19 May 2008

An Old SCS Challange

I recently found the Split Coast Stampers forum - it's a great place, full of inspiration. I have never tried a sketch challenge before, but something about the lay out of this one drew me towards having a go. The challenge is several weeks old, but my understanding is that you may take the challenge any time you like, there is no deadline for completion.

I was not sure what kind of card I would for make for this and decided to start by picking some papers to use for the layers. When in doubt I look first at my Artylicious CD's, and I was not disappointed. I found I kept clicking on blue designs and so I went to check what blue card stock I had and found a lovely piece with a slightly marbled finish. Once I had chosen the papers it was time to choose a stamp that would fit the top layer, a recent purchase from ebay was right there just asking me to use it so I grabbed an Adirondack inkpad (Denim) and stamped up that golf bag.

I have to admit I surprised myself with this card, the last thing I had expected was to make a male themed card, but perhaps that is the beauty of these challanges. You never do quite know what you will make until it's made. As my hubby is a golfer and his birthday is next month I think this card is destined to be his birthday card from me this year.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Never Look A Gift Cat In the Mouth...

A very kind and thoughtful freind showed me a web site in the USA from which he was planning to buy some stamps. He asked me which of the stamps I thought was the nicest - not an easy question to answer as I was only allowed to choose one and they were all fabulous. Then I remembered that my friend had sent me an absolutely stunning hand made card which featured a cat. It's one of my favorite cards so the choice seemed obvious - the cat stamp! In my head I could already imagine the amazing cards he would make with it. In due course the stamps turned up and of course my freind did make some brilliant cards with his new stamps, but the cat stamp - well that arrived in the mail to me as a gift! Thanks Fab you are the best!

Anyhow I have been wondering what I could make with this stamp in honour of Fab's kindness, I hope this card using the cloisonne cat stamp designed by Michael Strong is worthy.

I stamped and embossed the cat in black detail embossing powder onto silver foiled card, then colured it using Sakura Gelly Roll Glaze pens. I then cut the image out and mounted it onto black card to create a topper. The main card is orange card from The Paper Mill's new colour range and the Gold shimmery card came from Southfields. The word "purrfect" is stamped in Brilliance Galaxy Gold ink using the Elusive Images Sketchy Alphabet Themeplate.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Challenge Swap

This was a challenge set by a swap group member, Jan, a very talented crafter as you can see if you take a peek at Jan's blog. The challenge was to make a double slider card and Jan gave us a link to this tutorial so we could see how to make the card. You will need to scroll down on that page to a post dated 18th March for the double slider tutorial.
I used some cream card stock I had bought in a local office supply shop to make the card outer section, and also the topper. The cream card for the topper was coloured using a stencil brush and inks from a Kaleidacolor Pad (Birthstone)then stamped with Brilliance Lavender ink using stamps from the Elusive Images "Flora Bella" themeplate. This was layered onto card from the new colour range being sold by The Paper Mill, both layers were inked at the edges using more of the Brilliance ink and some gems added for a bit of bling! I used that lovely plummy colour of card to make the 2 slider elements which slide out together when you pull the little ribbon. The Ellusive Images Flora Bella themeplate provided the stamps to stamp the sliders, using the Brilliance pad again for the borders and then switching to an Encore Gold Metallic Pad for the main image. Highlights to the blooms were added with Derwent Metallic Pencils. Oh and the plastic bag for the slider mechanism - credit for supplying that goes to W. H. Smith.

Monday, 12 May 2008

A New ATC Challenge

I enjoyed taking part in the ATC challenge last week. The challenge is hosted on Craft Swap Forum and is a weekly challenge Called Florries ATC Challenge.

This week the theme was backgrounds. I used stencil brushes and a Color Pallet ink pad (Greenery) which has 3 shades of green pigment ink to create the background, then stamped over it with a leafy spray stamp from Clarity Stamp using VersaColor Ink this time (21 Green). The flowers were punched from 2 colours of cardstock then layered up and finsished off with a touch of Sakura Glaze Pen in the middle. I really like the way the inks seem to glow in the center of the background.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

An ATC and a FLAP

I tried a challenge for the first time this week. The challenge was to make an ATC which incorporated geometric shapes. This was made using Adirondack inks to create and stamp the background then the same stamp was used again with black stazon to repeat the image on silver foiled card. Shapes were then cut from the foiled card and placed so they matched up with the stamped impression on the background. The stamp is from the Elusive Images Damask Delight Themeplate.

This was made for a swap where the them was to create a vintage feel. I used PetalPoint Fluid Chalk inks to make the background and also to stamp the edges and the main image. The lettering was done on my computer, cut out and inked to blend in with the background. The stamp is by Clarity Stamp.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

My April Offering for Fab's Big Christmas Challenge

It seems apt to start with this card which was made for a challenge on a freind's blog. It was getting involved in that which finally made me think blog of my own might be fun.

My freind Fab started a Christmas Challenge on his blog and it's such a good idea - make one Christmas card (or more if you wish to) on the 25th of each month and that way when Christmas comes around you will have a stash of cards ready to send - no more last minute rush to make them all in December.

I made this card by stamping that lovely winter scene with a stamp from Creative Expressions. I used Adirondack ink (Denim) to stamp the image and colour it. I used a wet paintbrush to pull more shading into the image from the stamped lines an where I needed more colour or a different one I just dabbed the corner of the inkpad onto an acrylic stamp block and added some water with my paint brush and carried on painting. The finishing touch was a few sparkles of Stickles and then I mounted the image onto some lovely rich blue mirror card. The base card is a pearlescent card which has been stamped using a TAC stamp and more Adirondack ink (Stonewashed)

Click here for Fab's blog

Fab's Christmas Challenge

Getting Started

Oh dear, I am wondering now if everyone finds their first blog entry as difficult to write as I am this one.

Anyway perhaps the way to go is to say why I started this blog. I wanted somewhere I could keep a history of my journey into the world of papercrafts and rubber stamping. It seems blogging is a great way to do that and to share the things we learn with other crafters along the way.

Now all I have to do is figure out how the rest this blog stuff works - basic stuff really like uploading pics. Guess I best go and do that now or this really is not going to be much of a blog.