Saturday, 19 April 2014

Way out of my comfort zone

One of the swaps I joined in March was to make a postcard using a technique specified by the swap organiser. On this occasion the technique involved painting over a background of cardboard shapes and crinkled tissue paper.

Check out Therese Urbanska's blog - she has some pretty Christmas decorations made using this technique.

Needless to say I launched in with no proper forethought - and glued a bird shape to my postcard and covered it with crumpled tissue no problem. Then I got to thinking about the painting but I really should have done that first.

Me and my rules - I decided I'd have to use brown (because my bird is a sparrow) so what with my lack of painting skills the end result is not exactly eye catching. Oh well, live and learn.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Home alone

 
A very rare occasion today - I find myself home alone with time to "play". Funny how with some free time and an empty kitchen to spread out in inspiration disappears. I suspect it is the result of having too much stuff - makes it too difficult to decide where to start.
 
So first I played silly games on the computer until I ran out of lives... and then I went blog hopping and on-line window shopping. Whilst doing so I came across some really useful inspiration on the Sprinkle of Imagination blog where they have a colour challenge.
 
The background started life as a cake board recycled from Christmas with a layer of book pages and a coat of gesso. I stencilled on some green paint and then over-stamped with Crafty Individuals Crackle background to start with.
 
I had a root about in my stash and dug out some gelli print backgrounds in mauve and got started. I've also used various other backgrounds and printed papers including Crafty Individuals book 3 Springtime to die cut lots of flowers and foliage. I seem to have a lot of purply shades but had to paint some paper flowers plum coloured.
 
So here is my May Queen - looking I fear a little bit like an alternative Christmas wreath. Whatever, I had a nice time making it as evidenced by the amount of mess I made. I really will have to get on with some housework now!
 
 




Sunday, 9 March 2014

Ready, steady, craft

My second swap of the year had a bit of a twist. We had to make ATCs using materials provided by the recipient of our end product, so much like Ready,Steady,Cook we had no idea what sort of theme or methods we might be working with until a mystery parcel of "treasure" arrived.

And what a bumper bundle it was, with enough materials to make twenty or more ATCs nevermind just the two for the swap. Whilst it wasn't specifically stated in so many words in my mind the "rules" were to only use what had been supplied and for the first ATC I made, apart from glue, that is exactly what I did.

The image in the background is a transparency in lovely vintage shades.I got a bit carried away on this I think trying to use everything all in one ATC - so there is some magic mesh down one side and then the whole is veiled by a layer of wide organza ribbon. I've topped and tailed to stop frayed ends using the edges off a sheet of ATC images cut with deckled scissors. And then added fabric and paper flowers on top - maybe a step too far in hind sight but I like the pop of brighter colour.


For the second ATC I took a Gelli print made on computer listing paper I think (the old type with holes at the edge). I added a bit of colour with Distress ink to tone down the white so that it fitted with the picture of ladies paddling which had been torn from a magazine. I think the shell I added was actually a seed pod - it came from a sheet of botanical images (line drawing type in black on white) - and I coloured it with pencils. To finish I added a dot of turquoise to brighten the ladies hair ribbons. So more restrained but was it cheating to add my own colours?

 
My third offering would have fitted with the frozen theme. My goodies included several pages of text and illustrations from German books. Basically all I did here was combine the text from one (no idea what it says!) with the illustration of children making a snowball. I added shadow with a charcoal pencil and sparkly highlights with a glitter pen.

 
And finally off at a tangent again.... the stems on this ATC started out as some very bling braid in gold and red. I unravelled it into its component strands and glued these down to create the texture and painted the whole lot white. I then used more of the magic mesh as a stencil to spray ink through (oops cheating and adding things again) and rubbed green paint over the top with my fingers. The butterfly die cut was one of several in my pack of goodies although I must confess I have glitzed it up with glitter pen.

 
It is interesting to see what other crafters keep in their stash. I use book pages a lot in backgrounds, often virtually concealed and only adding texture and I am quite good at hoarding bits and pieces in case they come in handy but I never remember to cut out and keep magazine pictures. I will try to do so in future.
 


Sunday, 2 March 2014

An unseasonal swap

My first swap of 2014 had the theme "Frozen" which for February would normally be quite appropriate. This year though the weather just seems to have been endlessly wet but not extermely cold (I suppose I'd best add so far - I'm sure there is still time for snow in Yorkshire!).

We were swapping sets of 3 ATCs. I started out with a Gelli Plate background in shades of icy blue and lilac. For the first of my ATCs I used a sheet of crumpled fusible film on top for a lovely shiny icy top layer with little pieces of mica trapped inside to catch the light even more.

 
The second ATC uses some of the same background print as the base. On top this time I have used Croco paint and embedded into it on the left hand side some magic mesh and a sprinkle of glitter. This one has a properly hard texture to it just like ice/

 
And then for the final ATC I went a bit off at a tangent. Instead of sticking to the background paper I used the baby wipe I had cleaned my Gelli plate with as the base and embellished on top with angelina and other fibres including scraps of muslin coloured with Dylusions spray. It fits the colour scheme nicely and has pretty sparkle like frost but I have to say the texture doesn't seem the least bit frozen - I suppose thinking laterally it is rather like a woolly scarf you might wear in the cold.