Friday, 20 March 2015

Playing cards

The trickiest thing about this swap was getting the media to stick to the playing card used as the substrate. They are coated with a very resistant surface that a lot of media peel straight off. I eventually got the first layer of old book page to stick by sanding the surface of the playing card and using copious quantities of ModPodge.

The theme for the swap was to incorporate the suit and number of the card into the design. Fortune was smiling on me because I got the eight of hearts and hearts are something that crops up often in my stamp collection.

In hindsight the colour scheme might be somewhat obvious for a heart theme but I've thrown in a lot of texture to comepnsate. Fisrt I slapped on some texture paste in the top left corner and stamped into it. Next I stamped three other hearts with gesso before applying pink and red paint in thin layers. The last four hearts were stamped and embossed with copper embossing powder.

I then outlined the gessoed hearts with glitter glue and applied gilding was onto all the raised texture. I used various background stamps to add contrast in black white and turquoise and finished by adding the word eight and some outlining with pen. I still think the end result is a bit too pink but it does look better up close where all the glitz shows up.

Friday, 13 March 2015

And they all lived together in a little crooked house

One of our March swaps was to create a scrappy house. The inspiration came from here. Those houses were quite large and made of wood and other scrap. Because we swap by post our houses had to be scaled down in size and weight to fit in an envelope with what I call a "fat" stamp but is moe properly a "large letter" stamp.

The main background is another ghost print from my gelli plate. I used the same paint to colour some coorugated cardboard for the roof. I think I have said (many times) that I never throw anything out - well here's the evidence... the door is constructed from miniature planks cut from stirring sticks collected when I drink frothy coffees.

The windows are cut from painted funky foam glazed with glossy accents.

I think it is rather fun and a change from ATCs and postcards.

Monday, 2 March 2015

More black

I had so much fun making my "new black" swap that whilst I had all the materials out I decorated the cover of a note book that came free from somewhere with a sponsor logo on the front. The book cover was chosen because I have just discovered The Mirror Crack'd blog. The sentiment (keep everything, even broken mirror) made me smile and I was drawn to their "no cards" mixed media challenge.

I think the picture is a bit overexposed and doesn't show the metallic effects to the best advntage so I'd best explain the various products applied.

The first layer is dry embossed mirri card cut into sections. As it turns out I didn't really need the metallic effect on the card because it all got covered up so, lesson learned, use cheaper plain card in future.

All the shapes of cogs, washers and letters are die cut from funky foam. I set eyelets or brads in the centre of all the cogs - any old colour will do so use odds and ends. The final layer of texture is made from snippets of magic mesh and dymo "printed" words.

I then painted the whole cover black to harmonise all the miscellaneous colours and provide some tooth to hold the subsequent media. I then painted layers of Lumiere paint in different shades of blue, green and copper. I highlighted various textural elements with gilding wax and finished with some rusting powder and there might be more than one spritz of mica spray too.

I think I might do more of this yet. I love over the top shine and glitz and gilding.

Sometimes I hate to be right

Our March gelli technique swap was to use masks. This technique is demonstrated with fabulous results on theGelli Arts blog here. They make it look so easy but I was right, it is getting trickier.

I don't think the odd assortment of paints I used were entirely suitable though - our swap hostess recommended translucent ones but mine were rather opaque so I ended up with horrid dark prints. Well that's my excuse anyway. And you can tell they were bad because they went in the bin and it is not often I throw things away without at least trying to redeem them with a little bit more of something.

I used the second "ghost" prints for my post card in the end. Because I printed an A4 sheet and then cut a postcard size out the pattern was rather large in proportion to the post card. I couldn't resist adding some background stamping in similar colours to balance the overall background.

The technique for next time is dry prints which sounds rather intriguing so watch this space.