Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A friend for all seasons

Hi folks.. A rather quick project for this weeks Creative Expressions Design Team post.
I usually like to take my time thinking about what I'm going to do (and then changing my mind and going in a completely different direction) but with quite a few time constraints this week I've had to stick with the original plan which was to incorporate the "Seasons" sentiment into the project the best way that I could..

So, here we go! Each panel represents a different season, and has been coloured with Mica Powder, Lilac for Spring, Pink for Summer, Moss for Autumn and Blue for Winter..
Way outside my colour comfort zone, but sometimes you have to give these things a go!
Hope you like the idea and concept behind this project if not the actual project its self.. I'm still sitting on the fence with this one!
Thanks for checking us out, see you soon.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Happy Father's Day.....

.... to my Dad in a million.
Although I won't be able to spend much of the day with him, I will be able to give him a special present by way of bringing Joanne and Paul home from their travels for Father's Day'ish.. Hope you'll be awake in the early hours of tomorrow morning Dad!

So, here's the card I made for him.. It's one I will be sharing with you all at our Demonstration Day next Saturday (27th) which focuses on more masculine themed projects..
Thanks for checking us out, see you son.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Let it Snow!!!

I know, I know.. It's gearing up to be a warm one this week, but I'm already thinking Chrimbo!! Subconsciously it might keep me cool!!
Besides this, its made good use of some of the MDF shapes I was sent by Creative Expressions for this weeks Design Team project.

I wasn't sure that this Months goodies were going to be my cup of tea but they really have given me the opportunity to re visit techniques I had thought I had long forgotten about, and this is the case with this tag!

So, to start with I took the tag

and "primed" it with Gesso to give it a good surface to work on.

Whilst the Gesso was still wet I added some Gilding Flakes to add some texture.
Once the initial layer was dry, I painted a second layer. One, to seal the Gilding Flakes and Two to make them White.

Next, I took some Distress Ink (Mermaid Lagoon) and a Creative Expressions Smoothie

and applied the Distress Ink over the tag.

As the Gesso has made the tag NON porous, the Ink just lays on the surface and is easily "moveable" so, using the Smoothie and dragging it through the Ink can create some interesting effects.

Still, it needs something more than just some interesting effects, so I firstly applied some Black Soot Distress Ink

followed by some Seedless Preserves.

Not bad?! But as Distress Inks are water based Inks they can be reconstituted by adding water to them whilst they are on your project to create even more different effects.
I blotted this with a kitchen towel whilst it was still wet after I had dropped water on it, but to keep the initial effect it would have been better to dry it with a heat gun.

So, if you are not happy with the result just re apply some ink and try again.

This time I spritzed with water

and then stood the tag up and let the water run off.

And so for some decoration. Now that last years Sue Wilsons Festive Collection Dies are back in stock I thought I'd put one of my faves to good use.

I had the plan to use it as a mask, so once it was cut out I placed it onto the tag and used my Smoothie to ink over and around it!

Which created a nice stencil effect, although the Ink over the surface did lose some of the texture created when the water was applied! Still, I can live with that!

To seal the Ink to the tag, I sprayed it with some Glitter Spray, not my best move as it obscured the wording somewhat.

Not all is lost though as I put the initial die cut image to good use and sprayed it first with the Glitter Spray

and laid it over the stencilled image, slightly off setting it to create a drop shadow..

Decorating it with some Snowflakes from Spellbinders Create a Flake #5 and some Dazzlers from Creative Expressions..

Quite a big tag obviously needs quite a big prezzie to put it on!! Guess this ones for me!!
Thanks for checking us out, see you soon.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Self indulgence!

Hi folks.. Todays Creative Expressions Design Team post is literally what the title says, "self indulgent" crafting.. When this Months goodies arrived from Creative Expressions I did wonder what I was going to do with them! But, with thinking cap on they have allowed me to revisit crafting techniques I had long thought I had forgotten about!, and also the SteamPunk genre that I just love as it allows you to use these creative techniques and colours that you might not usually use or try...

So, here she is!! SteamPunk Betty!! One of Creative Expressions new range of colouring images.. I've teamed her up with some cogs from Spellbinders (Sprightly Sprockets), a clock die from Couture Creations and a frame from Creative Expressions which has been texturised (not a word I know) and distressed using Paints and Gilding Waxes..
Ok, the result has no practical use what so ever, unless you pop a picture in the frame before embellishing it, but the process and techniques used may give you some inspiration for you own crafting projects!?
So, if you fancy giving it or something similar a go, here's a step by step as to how it was achieved.

So, to start with I took one of the MDF frames I was sent

and some of the Decoupage papers.

Cutting them into different sized Squares and Rectangles.

To adhere the Decoupage Papers to the Frame, take a Paint Brush and some Cosmic Shimmer PVA Glue

and paint a small area onto the Frame

and apply a piece of the Decoupage Paper.

Sealing it with more PVA Glue

and overlapping another piece of the paper

building up layers all over the Frame until it is all covered.

Obviously, the appearance of the edges is a bit raggedy but this can be quite easily rectified by the use of a Sanding Block.

Just angle the block against the edge of the frame and the Decoupage paper will simply fall away leaving you with a nice tidy background.

Repeat the process with the front of the frame.

mitre the corners

before sanding to give a nice clean edge.

There was no way that the Paisley design Decoupage Papers were going to fit in with my plan so the back and the front of the frame got a couple of coats of paint. I used Spiced Raspberry mixed with some Midnight Black.

To highlight the layers of paper, I "Dry Brushed" over the Frame using Warm White Paint,

finishing off with some Autumn Bronze Gilding Wax...

To embellish the Frame, I cut out some cogs from the Spellbinders Die Sprightly Sprockets and some images using the Couture Creations Die - Antique Clock (CO723706) in Black card stock

colouring them using Autumn Bronze and Chic Pumpkin Gilding Wax

and then placed them onto the frame.

To complete the project I added my stamped and coloured image "Betty SteamPunk".

And there you go, self indulgent creative urge fulfilled!!!
Thanks for checking us out.
See you soon, Andy.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Heart of Stone!!!

No, not me! That's the title I've given to today's Creative Expressions Design Team project!
This Month’s goodies includes lot's of "non card making" products, MDF Shapes and alike!
So, to show them off to their best I guess it's time to roll up the sleeves and get creative with some crafting techniques..

For today's offering I have taken one of the Shaker Hearts and transformed it from its initial MDF state into what I hope looks like a piece of stone?!

To achieve some texture onto the Heart I decided to "crackle" onto it. You will be able to achieve this technique with products you probably already have rather than forking out for expensive Crackle Glazes.

Firstly, paint the image with your chosen colour of paint and allow it to dry. You can use a Heat Gun to speed up the drying process.

Next, apply a generous layer of Cosmic Shimmer PVA Glue,

Whilst the Glue is still wet paint over the top of it with your second colour of Paint. Try not to move the Glue layer around too much, the paint should be on the top of the Glue not in it!!

Now for the crackle bit!! Because the drying time between the Paint and the Glue are different, this is what causes the Glue to split or "crackle". This will happen quite naturally, but you can also encourage this process to happen with your Heat Gun...

Depending on how you have applied the paint and the Glue and in which direction will depend on how the crackle will react! The results can vary and is just the nature of the beast!!

As mine didn't seem to react much on the left hand side I decided to add my own technique by way of "Blistering"! This is taking the crackle stage a little further and really just means leaving your Heat Gun in one position longer than is necessary so that the paint starts to bubble.. This creates yet more valuable texture to your project.

Now you have your base, all's left to do is colour it!!! Now, I would list the products used and show the pictures of each stage, but it took ages and about 12 different colours of Ink and Gilding Wax to get to this stage, a stage I was finally happy with it, sort of!
Any hooslebees!! what to do with it? I wanted to add something (not quite sure what)

so I went with a Peel Off word. The Peel Off was initially Gold which I coloured with a Black ProMarker so that it would stand out from the background!!
Then thinking that the recipient of this heart may wish to hang it outside I thought that I would seal the Peel Off to protect it from the elements!!

Not a good idea. The Spray and Shine I used to seal the image seems to have had a reaction with the Ink on the Peel Off and it started to bleed...I think I caught it just in time and in fact I really quite like this outline effect it has created. Close up it almost looks like the word has been etched into the "stone" effect!! Happy accidents do happen then!??

So, a little Ribbon, Stick Pin and Dazzler to create a hanger for it and its good to go...
Thanks for checking us out, see you soon.