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

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Final Chocolate Baroque Guest DT make for this month.

Hi everyone,

Crikey where did this month go?  What with grandchildren staying over and Guest DT spots over on the fabulous Chocolate Baroque DT Blog it's gone by in a flash!  I'm scheduling this post between sleepovers by my little people and have to make the most of it as visits are few once school resumes in two weeks time.

Today I am sharing my final makes over on the Chocolate Baroque DT Blog using the beautiful stamp sets Christmas Candlelight and Sparkling Trees.  They definitely won't be my last make with these gorgeous stamps though as there are several I haven't used yet so their potential still has a long way to go.  My first card today still has lots of white space but couldn't be called simple I don't think, lol!


I took an A5 white card base and lightly drew in pencil around the outside of a circle die, taking it slightly off the edge.  I placed a strip of masking tape down the right edge of the card so that I was going to be left with a clean 0.5 cm narrow border.  I then inked up the reindeer with Sepia Archival Ink and stamped him to the top of the circle, followed by the tops of the trees using Black Archival Ink. 

I then cut a piece of white card slightly smaller than the card base to give a 0.5 cm border, placed it over the base and lightly marked where the die needed to cut.  I then stamped the three trees in the bottom left corner using Black Archival Ink.

I created a mask of the trees by stamping on a post-it note and a rough mask to create hills from torn copy paper.  I then used Distress Inks and brushes to give a hint of background hills both in the left corner and also behind the tree tops in the circle.

I watercoloured all the images with Distress Inks and added some Diamond Stickles to the trees and the reindeers antlers with a damp brush. (I only like a hint of glitter ;D). 

I stamped the greeting then 'rolled' the edges of the top layer on my scoreboard and gave it a finished look by going round with a gold Sakura Pen-Touch pen.  Finally I attached this layer to the base card with 3D foam.

The lovely reindeer has a Red Stickles nose!

My second card uses a 10 cm wide x 21 cm tall tentfold card base.  Because I make a lot of square cards I get quite a few offcuts this size when I'm making my card bases.

All the stamps used on this card come from the Christmas Candlelight set.  First of all I streaked ink direct from an Evergreen Bough Distress Inkpad from the fold at the top.  I then stamped the fir cone branch using Black Archival Ink followed by the lovely lantern. 

I used Distress Inks to watercolour the images except for the lantern where I used a metallic Viva Precious Metal paint.  It wasn't quite as translucent as I'd hoped so I went over the lines of the image with a very fine black pen. 

I stamped the Merry Xmas banner on separate card, coloured it, cut it out and attached it with 3D foam pads.

I have really enjoyed using these beautiful, finely detailed stamps to kick start my Christmas card makes this year and there are many more ideas still floating around in my head.  Do drop by the Chocolate Baroque DT Blog as there are some absolutely gorgeous ideas being posted by the Design Team.

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 23 August 2015

A second PaperArtsy challenge entry!

Hi everyone,

How's your weekend going.  I'm going to moan, lol .........IT'S WAY TOO HOT HERE!!!   As I am drafting this post it's gone midnight and 25c.  I don't think there'll be a good night's sleep had in this house!

Anyway,  today I'm sharing two tags I've made for my monthly swap where the theme this time is 'texture' but also I made them using Lin Brown's inspirational faux paua shell technique.  You can see the video HERE on the PaperArtsy Blog.  I'm not sharing step by steps as I forgot to take photos, lol, but Lin's video is the best way to see how it's done as I used the same products.  There has been some fabulous inspiration as always over on the PA Blog this past two weeks and so many projects to set the creative juices flowing......just need the time and a cooler craftroom!

This first tag uses a delicate leafy stencil for Lin's technique so I took poetic licence and created some leaves in similar colours to the lovely background.  I stamped them onto smooth card, cut them out and then carefully sprinkled teeny grains of Brusho then spritzed with water until I was happy with the effect.  I then triple embossed with clear embossing powder before adhering them to the tag.  I stamped the quote cut it out and blended inks in co-ordinating colours.

On my second tag I used a Tim Holtz stencil for the faux paua effect.  I also used heavy gloss gel at the top and Grunge Paste at the bottom to see what the difference was.  I actually liked them both  but of course the GP gave a rougher, dull finish as opposed to the smooth, shiny Golden gel.  I used some seaweed stamps from Chocolate Baroque on the right hand side enhanced with pencils and the seahorse is also one of their stamps which I stamped onto shrink plastic painted with Snowflake Fresco Finish.  I spritzed some mesh bandaging which I found in an old first aid kit at my Mum's with the Lindy's StampGang Starburst sprays I'd used in the background and glued it to the tag and then attached the seahorse.

We have Izzy and Charlie coming to stay for another couple of nights later today.  This time the weather forecast is not good for the two days they'll be here with lots and lots of rain!  We look like getting wet because unlike their wimpy Mamma they don't much care what the weather is like as long as they can get out so wet walks in the wood might be on the cards, lol!

Thanks for dropping by today and enjoy the rest of your Sunday.  

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

My second Guest DT project for Chocolate Baroque.

Morning Everyone,

As the title says, today I'm sharing my second project for Chocolate Baroque as the Guest DT member for this month and I hope you get chance to hop over to the DT Blog to see all the fabulous inspiration from the rest of the team.  I am really enjoying playing with these gorgeous new stamps, Christmas Candlelight and Sparkling Trees and there is no way I will have even scratched the surface of possibilities in the 3 posts I'll have shared on the DT Blog by the end of the month so I'll hope to share more with you leading up to Christmas on here in my own time.

For today though, I have a card and matching gift bag to show you.

Christmas Kraft Card

I love Kraft, white embossing and a touch of red for Christmas makes so I've once again kept the design simple and relied on the gorgeous stamps.  All stamping was done with Versamark ink then heat embossed with Wow Brilliant White powder.  I have separated the Merry Xmas scroll from the main image as it appears in the Christmas Candlelight set so that I can use it more easily for multiple projects but I can still marry it back up with the candle image when I need to.  The touch of red on the wording is a Sakura Stardust pen and I've added tiny blobs of Diamond Stickles to the main image.

If you click to enlarge the photo you will be able to see how I score the edges of my matting layers.  I use my scoreboard and bone folder and I do this on most edges now if they are not inked or distressed in some way.  I just think it gives a neater more finished look.  I've also added a bit of dimension by fixing the top layer with 3D foam.

Gift Bag and Tag

When stamping on the bag I inserted a piece of smooth cardboard cut to the same width to give me a better stamping surface and I scored the edges of the tag in the same way as the card layers.

 I wasn't careful enough with the first image I stamped (partly hidden by the tag) and the bump of the bag handle spoiled the image a bit.  Never mind.... it happens, lol!

And here's the set together.  I think I might stamp some tissue to match for inside the bag as well.

I'll be back next Wednesday with my final share with these stamps on the DT Blog.  See you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Fun new PaperArtsy Blog Challenge theme

Good Morning everyone.......

.......and what a gorgeous morning it is after such a blinking awful day yesterday!  We had non-stop rain (as I think did lots of us) but this morning is wonderful sunshine :D!

Righty Ho! Leandra and the PaperArtsy crew have a fab new theme over on the blog at the moment  incorporating the use of gels and/or mediums.  There's lots of very useful info in last Sunday's introductory post HERE followed by some gorgeous projects throughout the week from the DT.  Wednesday's inspiration came from the very talented Lin Brown where she and Leandra shared a video showing a fab technique Lin discovered using heavy gloss gel and shimmer sprays.  As yesterday's weather was so awful I gave myself a day in my craftroom just to play and have a go at Lin's technique and this morning I'm entering one of the results into the PaperArtsy Blog Challenge.

Yep, I decided to do one of the pieces in my A6 size journal (thanks Sam)!  I had already slapped some leftover Fresco Finish paint onto the pages ages ago so spread some Liquitex Heavy Gloss Gel (only have Soft Matte in the Golden which Lin used) through a stencil.  Oops, unusually for me I hadn't cleaned the stencil from last time I used it with dye ink so the gel did it for me, lol! I then went on to use the two Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst sprays that I have but they weren't the right colours so I dug out some old Moon Glow stains that I've had for years.  
I'm just going to share a few pics now but do hop over to see Lin's video because her results are stunning on different papers and with slightly different products.  One thing I did notice is that once dry the mica in the sprays/stains rubbed off the card/papers that I used but didn't over the gel.

 The stamps are from PaperArtsy's Squiggly Ink range and were one of the first sets I bought from them at a show (NEC I think) quite a few years ago.  The wording is theirs as well from an Ink and the Dog set.

I'm off to link up now so have a smashing weekend everyone and thanks for dropping by.

Lesley  Xx