Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Green Man

Our June theme at the Berkhamsted Creative Challenge is "All about the boys".

We're having a month celebrating all things masculine, in honour of Fathers Day. I thought I'd take a different approach, and pulled out a Green Man stamp I got from the Clarity stamp club last year, and have never used. (I planned to use this for the "Spring" challenge back in April but ran out of time.)

I started by stamping onto kraft card, for a natural look.

I used black archival ink. I then put distress inks onto my blending mat, in shades of green - pine needles, crushed olive, mowed lawn, old paper. With a paint brush I added a little water, then flicked each colour onto the stamped image.

Looking back at the photo, I like this effect with the splats, but for this purpose I had another plan. I fussy cut out the various leaves around the face. I stamped in olive green stazon onto another scrap of kraft card, and fussy cut that out too.

I then coated each piece with exterior mod podge, front and back, a few coats. I also coated a gorgeously shaped piece of wood I found while out on the park with Bethany -she's at the age where she collects all kinds of sticks, stones, daisies, feathers etc when we're out, I think she liked Mummy joining in.

I used 3d silicon glue to add the green pieces to the face, giving dimension, and then to attach it to the wood. A final coat of mod podge over it all, and a D ring in the back to hang it.

I had hoped to get outside to take a photo of him in a more natural setting, but the weather has not co-operated today. However, in a few days when the mod podge has fully set, our Green Man will take his place in our garden.

There are a couple of days left to enter the June challenge, then we'll have a brand new theme for you to play with on the 1st July. Come over and see what's going on.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The lone soldier

I wasn't going to do a second card for our current theme challenge at the Christmas Card Throwdown, but then I had a thought for a really simple card, and was curious about how quick it would really be!

I only have the one stamp that works for this theme, a drummer from a "Twelve Days of Christmas" set, so he came out again.

I stamped him once, in cobalt archival ink, onto stencil card I had cut to size for a 6x6 card.

I painted him with pebeo drawing gum, to mask him, then used masking tape to create a panel.

I stamped into the panel using the circle outline from Sam's shapes from Clarity, with iced spruce and weathered wood distress inks. For smaller circles, I used the lid and top of a small pill bottle.

They stamped pretty well!

I then brushed over lightly with iced spruce. With hindsight I wish I'd used weathered wood, so it was more blue than green, but I was going for quick, so wasn't about to start again!

This is the panel with the mask removed.
I rubbed the drawing gum away from the soldier.

I coloured him with distress markers, stormy sky and faded jeans.

Pencils may have given a better result, hindsight again!

I stamped a Merry Christams sentiment in the cobalt archival ink. The panel was edged with wiggly lines in the stormy sky distress marker (fine nib).

The final touch was stormy sky around the edge, and mount onto a 6x6 card blank.

I added an insert, and decorated this and the envelope with the stamped circles.

A simple, cool (colours) card. I'm not sure how long it took altogether, but certainly less work than some! I really like panel cards, they're a great go-to if I'm struggling for an idea.

If you'd like to join in with the fun, go to the Christmas Card Throwdown. You have until midnight BST on Friday 30th June to enter. 

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Toy Soldiers

I'm getting behind with my blogs a bit, only getting the Christmas Card Throwdown ones posted at the moment - I'll have to have a catch up at some point, there's a really big project I want to share!

In the meantime, here's the new Christmas Card Throwdown challenge:

I don't have anything that would pass as a nutcracker, but in my "12 days of Christmas" set I have a drummer, who makes a lovely Toy Soldier.

I started by stamping him four times onto scraps of card. The outline isn't particularly clear, he needs to be coloured. I used distress markers in barn door, stormy sky, black soot and mustard seed.

I cut them all out with different dies, in different sizes.

To get started with the background, I cut stencil card to size and placed it under the Clarity harlequin stencil. I brushed over fired brick first, then moved the card and used salty ocean. For the final layer I used antique linen.

My camera doesn't focus well on the pattern!

As I liked the waste piece so much last time I did this type of pattern, I made sure to use a clean paper underneath!

For a sentiment I cut another piece of card with a die, and added "Happy Christmas" with a Clarity stamp.

I used a Sheena texture stamp and watering can archival ink to add detail to the soldiers and sentiment.

I used the same on the background, and added red around the edge.

At this point I got a bit stuck! Some cards just come together, others make me work for it! My mum is staying with me at the moment, and we were both standing over it at 11pm, trying different ribbons, colours, arrangements.

Having slept on it, we came up with some ideas! This is where we went.

I added a Clarity holly corner stamp to the background, with salty ocean.

I then used an embossing folder as well - I'm not sure where I got this one, it may have been from a magazine.

The background is now much more interesting!

I added antique linen round the soldiers.

I also added little holly leaves on the sentiment, in blue and red, to tie it in.

I added ribbons on the background. I've just sorted out my ribbons, I got a ribbon organiser from Stamps Away last year, and I finally put it together. My ribbons are now all neatly wound onto the hangers, it's very pleasing!

I mounted the soldiers and sentiment with 3d glue gel. I made a matt layer, with salty ocean distress ink, and mounted onto a 5x7 card blank.

It took a bit of trial and error to get this to card to work, but I'm pleased with the final result.

To join in with the challenge, go to the Christmas Card Throwdown. You have until midnight BST on Friday 30th June to enter. I look forward to seeing what you do with our theme.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Pretty pearls

Here's another take on the current Christmas Card Throwdown challenge - gems, pearls or sequins.

This is based on a tree I created as part of the Creative Sandbox Way play a while ago - I think it's ridiculously pretty, so wanted to put it onto a card.

I started with the border though - after a few trial runs and measurements. I used stormy sky distress marker, applied to the snowflake corner stamp from Clarity. I stamped it four times to make the frame.

I then used the tree stamp - a wooden one I got in a charity shop. I used distress markers again - tumbled glass, with dots of stormy sky and faded jeans.

I do like stamping with the distress markers, and being able to mix up the colours.

I stamped a sentiment from Clarity, using the same colours.

I found some teeny tiny pearls in a pack in my stash, so added these onto the curls of the tree. Forgetting any more photos!

I edged this piece with the stormy sky marker. This took a few tries, and some trimming in between - sharpies are easier!

For the background, I used another Clarity stamp, I can't find the name, it's an abstract swirl pattern. I inked it in tumbled glass, then added stormy sky with the marker. I stamped a frame, then trimmed it down to fit a 6x6 card blank. I edged this as well.

I mounted the background flat, then used foam tape for the topper.

I struggled to get a good photo, but this is very delicate and pretty in real life!

To join in with the challenge, head over to the Christmas Card Throwdown. You have until midnight BST on Friday 16th June. 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Sequins and pearls

As my stint hosting the Christmas Card Throwdown comes to an end, it's time for a stash challenge. We would like to see your cards with gems, pearls or sequins.

I'm not usually one for a lot of gems, and I can't remember the last time I used sequins. But that's the point of a challenge, to push you to do something a bit different.

I decided to go for a busy, mixed media style. Not sure that's how it worked out, but anyway!

I started with a selection of Christmas papers, and cut a base layer then built up smaller pieces on top.

The first one was red colours, as I have red sequins, but then I had other offcuts of paper to use, so made another arrangement, more cream and brown.

These were the pictures I took to remember the lay out as I took them apart to edge and stick them - how organised is that!

I edged each piece of paper/card in gold wax, and scribbled in gold pen around some too. I then stuck them together with tape pen - I was going for a background so wanted flat rather than too many levels to navigate.

This is what they looked like put together, I really like the random, overlapping look.

Next I raided my ribbon bag for crochet lace, ribbon and twine, to create a band across the middle. I raised this on foam tape for the red base.

I die cut snowflakes from a selection of the papers, and gold card, and arranged them around the ribbon band.

I used a wider, mesh band for this base, so the snowflakes ended up more widely spread. I attached this with red tape.

At this point I forgot to take more photos until I'd finished!

I tied a triple bow with the twine and added it to the ribbon. The images are from designer paper that I cut up, I edged them in the gold wax and mounted on contrasting card, before mounting on foam tape. I added another snowflake in the corner, and then the all important red and orange sequins.

I mounted it on cream zeta hammered card, edged with the gold wax again, then onto a 5x7 card base.

For the cream base, I used an image from another design paper. I cut a gold frame with a die from a magazine, and backed with the cream zeta hammered card, with the gold wax. I used 3d glue gel to mount it over the ribbon. The twine bow went on the top corner, and I added pearls and gems to the card. This one I mounted on a dark red patterned paper with, you guessed it, gold wax. Then onto the 5x7 card base. (I also straightened out the pearl on the bow, but after I'd taken the photos!)

If you want to join in with our "gems, pearls or sequins" challenge, pop along to the Christmas Card Throwdown. You have until midnight BST on Friday 16th June to play along.

Friday, 2 June 2017

A boy's card

One of my daughter's friends turns three this month, we have his party tomorrow. So I made this little card for him. 

It ties in with the Berkhamsted Creative Challenge for the month as well, which is "All about the boys".

The background is something I'd wanted to try for a while. I used the harlequin stencil from Clarity, and brushed through with distress ink, offsetting the colours. I used brushed corduroy, weathered wood and antique linen. Where they overlapped, they gave a beautiful green.

I also really like the waste - I'd taped the stencil to copy paper and then moved the card under it, giving different ares of colour, then I wiped the ink off the stencil with a make up sponge in the centre.

I didn't manage a focussed photo though!

The letters are an alphabet die set from The Range. I cut them in a double layer of copy paper, just to try them out, then liked it enough to use them. I stuck them on with a glue pen. Most stuck together naturally from being pressed in the die then glued, a few came apart into layers so I glued them together.

After edging with the brushed corduroy, I mounted onto an A6 card base.

Simple but quite stylish. Possibly a bit "old" for a three year old, but I reckon at this age the cards are more for the parents than the kids anyway.