Saturday, 16 February 2013

February swaps

This month I joined a swap to make three ATCs using text as the base. Now I use old book pages and old music score in a lot of my projects but you wouldn't always know, as by the time I've added paint and ink and other stuff, it is usually well covered up. In this instance though I wanted the text to show through - evidence I suppose that I had followed the instruction.
In my usual experimental way I painted ModPodge over the text to seal it and then used alcohol inks to add transparent colour. Probably not a recognised combination and for a reason. The ModPodge becomes a bit tacky when you apply the alcohol ink. It dries fine in the end but my felt kept sticking to the surface as I dabbed.
I then stamped circles and dots (using a Paper Artsy mini) and filled some of them in with a white gel pen. With the lighter mornings and Spring (briefly at the time) in the air I chose borders and flowers in bright colours to contrast. The paper was coloured with Dylusions ink sprays prior to stamping and punching. 

So well into month 2 of the year and I'm still upto date with everything. Visit again soon to see how long it lasts!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Craft Stamper Blog Challenge

Over on the Craft Stamper blog there is a challenge running to create something using the faux airbrush technique featured in the Distress to Impress article by Joanne Allison in the March issue of the magazine out now.

What can I tell you... for me this really was a challenge! I am not a neat and tidy crafter, and being left handed I tend to be rather heavy handed too so the lightness of touch needed for this technique did not come at all naturally.

With the benefit of hindsight I would also recommend careful choice of card or paper for this technique. If you've visited my blog before you'll know my craft is experimental and somewhat unplanned. I use whatever comes to hand, including the first sheet of plain card I come across when I need one and usually this is OK. However, for this technique, to deliver the desired dotty effect, you need card that isn't too absorbent. I'm sure smooth coated stamping card would be reliable but I'd recommend you do a test on any general cardstock you are planning to use to make sure the ink doesn't bleed - otherwise no amount of care will stop the ink blending into a solid area.

Any way after a few (how many is a few?) false starts I eventually mamaged to create a piece of airbrush style background using a Crafters Workshop template and Distress inks in shaded lilac and peackock feathers.

I then used the same technique to colour a stamped image (from Dark Room Door Venetian Vol.2), added a punched trim and some bling to creat a simple card.

Visit the Craft Stamper blog to join in the challenge. I look forward to seeing what you create.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Craft Stamper Blog Hop - Looking Back

Welcome to this stop on the Craft Stamper Blog Hop looking back at favourite crafty things of 2012. If you didn't arrive here from Helen Chilton's blog you are missing out on fun and prizes! Pop over to the Craft Stamper Blog to start your journey at the beginning.

I'm Kate and I joined the Craft Stamper Design Team around three years ago after winning Stamper of the Year. For me crafting fun is as much about experimentation and the process of creating as it is about the finished piece. I work in a very organic (and messy) way, usually with the smallest germ of an idea to start with and just see what develops.

I have been making things since I was a child, making clothes and knitting as well as doing papercraft and mixed media experiments and confess to having lots of unfinished projects lurking as I get distracted by a new idea or new must have product.

Looking back at 2012 I wouldn't like to confess to how much new craft stuff I obtained. Suffice to say it significantly outweighed the amount I used! I was lucky enough to get an embellisher machine of which more later (much later as I am still learning to drive it ). But of all the things I got last year the most used and loved, as of now, is my Gelli Arts printing plate.

If you haven't come across these yet take a look at their blog or at the February issue of Craft Stamper for ideas. You can get fantastic results really quickly and easily with a very basic technique or develop ideas and skills further with very artistic results. I find the process of making prints somewhat addictive and made a huge batch of background papers as soon as my new toy arrived last summer.

Here are a few of the first background prints I made...

This is the absolute basic method - if I can do it anyone can. Truly it is simple. You get your Gelli plate out and put it on a smooth (imprtant so you don't give it a permanent pattern from any texture that a craft mat may have) surface. Add some small, and I mean small, blobs of paint. Roll the paint out into a thin layer with a brayer then make patterns with whatever stamps, stencils and other materials you have to hand.Then lay a sheet of paper - or fabric - over the top and burnish gently with your hand and peel back to reveal your print.

You'll find that bubble wrap crops up in virtually all the prints I have made so far. It is fantastic for making patterns, is soft so it doesn't harm your plate and best of all you don't have to wash it up. I am a very messy worker and find cleaning up a chore. Working with paint does mean a lot of washing up to keep your stamps and stencils in good condition. I am now thinking up ideas to use painty bubble wrap in projects - I have lots and can't bear to send it off to land fill without at least one more use first.
The next print is actually three or four prints on top of each other - made each time using the dregs of paint left after an initial print. A convenient way to substantially clean your plate without wasting paint. Whilst I was playing I didn't give any thought to what colours or patterns went on top of each other, it was only afterwards I discovered I rather liked this effect.

Again this is a basic print - with bubble wrap! This time however there was far too much white in the print so once the paint had dried I spritzed with spray inks and water which fills in the blanks so to speak. This is the reverse side of the print which has a softer watery feel. I think this may become the background to a spring themed project because it reminds me of frog spawn and ponds.

I think now the mornings are a bit lighter I must have spring on the brain because another of my background prints inspired me to make this quick tag. (Now there's another new toy from 2012 that I am more than a little obsessed with, a Sizzix die for cutting tags.) This was just a basic one colour print in orange. Not my favourite I have to say but making prints is a good way to use up those paints that are hanging about - they somehow get a new lease of life used in this way. I added yellow spray ink to fill in the white areas and worked on the front of the print this time. 

Bubble wrap again what a surprise! This time though the colours and shapes cried out honey comb so I used gel pens and some foiling to convert the circles into hexagons. Some are then filled with honey - Diamond Glaze actually but they look nice and glossy just the same. The bees are a stamp from the Artistic Stamper Insects and Butterflies plate 1.

These prints will be appearing in virtually every crafty make for some time yet as I think I must have used at least 100 sheets of paper and old book pages whilst playing with paint so please do visit again and see what I've been up to.

Thanks for looking. The letter you need to collect from me is F and the next stop in the hop is to Kim Costello. If you get lost at all simply return to the Craft Stamper blog for a full list of the hop participants.