Sunday, 17 August 2014

Kaffe Inspired Tag

A few days ago hubby and I were looking after our god-daughter aged 10 (going on 20!); we had planned to go out for the day but the weather was awful, so we paid a visit to the American Museum in Bath. I hadn't been for a few years and boy was I glad that we went.  Not only was there loads to do and see for adults and children, but, joy of joys, there was a Kaffe Fassett exhibition running which was included in the entry ticket price.  Of course I had heard of Kaffe Fassett and seen some pictures of his work, but man, was I in for a colour overload!  The exhibition was small, but so very colourful - an absolute riot; it was a real feast for the senses!!  Unfortunately, it wasn't that interesting for a small person, so hubby ran off with the camera (and the child) and I didn't get any photos, but we're going back very soon!  They are running a Textiles Fair at the museum on Saturday the 23rd August, and, as it's my birthday on the 25th, hubby says he'll take me again and also take some photos of the Kaffe Fassett exhibition, which I promise to blog.
Anyway, having viewed the great man's work, I searched the internet for more information - even setting up a Kaffe inspired Pinterest Board
I have always loved colour but have been nervous about using too much of it in crafting (or even wearing it) but no longer!  Inspired particularly by this photo of some fabric designed by Kaffe' (part of his Stripes collection)

I created a colourful tag:
I started off by pencilling in rows on a piece of blank white card and then dividing each row into a series of random stripes.  I then tipped out my huge box of Pro-Markers onto my craft table and started to colour using the fabric as my guide.  Getting braver and braver, I then started just grabbing colours and making my own pallettes for each row.  I resisted the temptation to "match" the colours and put colours together that I wouldn't normally select. You can see the result below:
When I had finished colouring, I defined the rows with a black fine-liner. As I was using Pro-Markers, there was a little bleeding which you can see in the close-ups.

So, having created my stripes, what was I going to do with them?  The idea for a riotously coloured tag came to me.  I die cut a tag from the coloured card and then embossed it through a diamond mask, which gave the effect of a quilted fabric.  I then coloured a piece of card, using the wrinkle free distress method, using Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers, Squeezed Lemonade, Mowed Lawn, Shaded Lilac and Wild Honey and then cut the dragonfly, which was then embossed using the matching Folder. (Tim Holtz Layered Dragonfly Die by Sizzix).
Using some colourful scraps I die cut some Tattered Florals which I shaped and stacked to make a flower.
  I added some hand-written words on coloured card and dyed some seam binding with the same distress colours I used for the dragonfly.  I mixed this with some bright ribbons from my collection and this completed the tag.
I must admit that I was dubious as to whether this would work, but I'm very pleased with the overall effect.  My only regret is that the photography has washed out a lot of the colour, making it look more stark than it is in real life - the original is "warmer" than the photo.
So, plenty of colour and not a hint of Walnut Stain in sight! I can't promise to make all my art so vibrant, but I will no longer shy away from using colour and mixing bright colours together.
I'd like to try this again using paint, as I think I could get better colouring and shade matching using paint, but I wasn't that brave today.  The pro-markers are great but they do tend to be on the blue side of the spectrum and don't come out that warm, but on the plus side they are very easy to use. 
Thanks so much for visiting and hope you enjoyed my flirtation with colour.
Keep Crafting!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Under the Sea

I found some time to play today and thought I would have a go at the Compendium of Curiosities 3 current challenge – Faded Layers. I won't describe the technique as you need to have Tim's latest book to see it, but I will admit that I really struggled with this one. I had fun trying and am quite pleased with my finished piece, but it is very difficult to see my faded layers.

My first attempt used blue, green and dark pink alcohol inks - whether it's the colours I chose or my technique, but I couldn't get the layers to show up very well. The following photo is the sand dollar from the Sand and Sea set - I didn't use it in my piece, but if you look very closely you can just about see the faded layers!

I used the Seahorse from the die set , coating it with a thin layer of crackle paint, which again, didn't go too well, but I was kind of pleased with the texture I managed to achieve.

Not to be beaten by the Faded Layers technique, I had another go but leaving out the pink colour. I also used another stencil (Leaves by That Special Touch). The effect was better than my first attempt, but still not perfect! I used this layered piece for my watery background - close ups just about show the Faded Layers!

Some more stencilling, a bit of painty spraying, some builders mesh painted with DI and lots of stamping using Paper Artsy's Ellen Vargo stamps (and Fern Green Archival) gave me the background I wanted.
I hand cut some “kelp fronds” from a gelli-plate scrappy leftover and attached the seahorse tail around one of the fronds – I understand this is how they anchor themselves in the wild.

I stamped the gorgeous turtle from Crafty Individuals “A Bright Future” on to a leftover piece of marbled distress stain, colouring the shell using watered down Inky Pool paint. Once dry I sprayed it with Perfect Pearls Biscotti, to give it a bit of a shimmer, and cut out the final image.

The words were computer generated, cut out and coloured with distress inks (Peacock Feathers, Squeezed Lemonade and Shabby Shutters) and edged with Walnut Stain.

Once everything was stuck down, I went round the images with a fine white marker to make them stand out against the blue background.  I also added a few hand drawn bubbles with the same white pen. Finally, I added a few rocks on the sea floor, using Walnut Stain DI and the end of a wine bottle cork as a stamp!

Faded Layers wasn't the best technique for me, but I'm happy with the effect and how the final piece turned out.   I've just started my very first Art Journal and have added this as my first piece!
I'd also like to enter this into the August Challenge over at Country View Crafts – the theme this month is Word Play!
Thanks very much for hopping over and hope you enjoyed your visit!
Keep Crafting!!


Monday, 21 July 2014

Gentleman's Travelling Box

Challenge No 10 over at A Vintage Journey is about Dies and Distress - oh be still my beating heart - my two favourite craft styles!  I adore die cutting and have quite a few of Tim's Sizzix dies, and distress is my all time fave method of crafting.  Well, where to start?  I wanted to showcase as many dies as possible so I chose to do a Artist Trading Block with the theme of "A Gentleman Traveller" for my entry.

I started off with a plain black box. On the top I added a "tile" made using Tim's metal patchwork technique, which I painted with Adirondack Terracotta Paint and Black Soot Distress Paint. I wiped most of it off before it was dry, leaving a rusty, distressed sort of look.  I added a vintage typewriter cut from Tim's movers and shapers, which I wiped with glossy accents in places to make it look a bit worn. I then made a little journal using Sheena's Fleather technique (the link to the tutorials can be found here) filled with some scrap paper and bound with a bit of cord from my stash.  One of Tim's Ideology Nibs and one of his Faucet Knobs which had been given the Distressed Paint treatment completed the look of the top which is meant to show how the journey was recorded.

For the first side, I blended Barn Door, Wild Honey and Stormy Sky Distress Inks with a bit of Frayed Burlap and Vintage Photo thrown in - and then given a bit of spritz and flick to add some faded dots.  I added some chevrons cut from my latest Frameworks Die and applied some embossing paste mixed with Walnut Stain through the Chevrons Layering Stencil. The brown looked a bit dirty (and, well, like something you'd find in a cow field!), so I livened it up with a sprinkling of mica flakes.  The car is Tim's Old Jalopy movers and shapers die, cut from mirror board and dabbed with Pitch Black and Rust alcohol inks.  I used some vellum for the windows which then got the crackle accents treatment. I went over the wheels with a permanent marker just to give them some definition.

The addition of one of Tim's fabulous arrows finished off this side which was meant to depict the start of the Gentleman's Journey. (sorry about the shine in the piccy)

For the next side, I used the Kraft Resist Technique, in the same colours as the first, but using Distress Stains.  I die cut the vintage camera from the movers and shapers set, once in black coredinations and once in foil-covered card. I then mixed up the two to create the look of an old fashioned camera.  The lens was created with a big dollop of glossy accents and the straps are just two strips of black card. I added a Remnant-rub eye at the bottom, and voila we have a side showing how the Gentleman would capture his memories!
The next side was made using the same colours, but using the marbled Stains technique and then spritzed with Perfect Pearls Biscotti mist.
I then cut out the alarm clock from the movers and shapers, and used one of Tim's clock faces which had the distressed metal treatment (Antique Linen Distress Paint).
I added a bit of the waste from the chevrons frameworks die and some Remnant Rubs and here we have the side depicting the time taken to travel!
Finally, the side depicting the distance travelled.  For the background I laid down the same colour distress inks on to my craft mat, spritzed them with water and then put the card down into the ink without moving it around.  When dry, I water-stamped a text stamp to get that "washed out" look. The Paris, New York, London stamp is from the Papillon set, and the other images are from Tim's sticker sets.
I then die-cut the globe movers and shapers twice - once using some painty scraps and the other with foil covered card.  The foil base was given the alcohol dabby treatment. A Remnant Rub finished the look.

And there you have it, my Gentleman's Travelling Box.
Thanks for sticking with me though this photo heavy post.  I had an absolute blast creating this - cutting and inking - fantastic fun!  I hope you enjoyed travelling with me on my Vintage Journey!
Keep Crafting!


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A Vintage Box

Hello All, I'm back with another post - I'm starting to get the hang of this blogging stuff!!!
Today I'd like to share my entry for Challenge 9 over at A Vintage Journey - yes, it's another box.  I love making boxes - they are both decorative and useful and you can indulge your crafty heart without wondering where you're going to display the result.  Tim has a magnificent collection of vintage storage in his studio - I'm not so lucky so I thought I'd create my own!
The Challenge this time was to use every stamp in a set.  I don't have too many of Tim's Collections, most of my "Tim Stamps" are backgrounds, but I do have this set and thought it would make a great Vintage Box.  I don't see these stamps used much by other bloggers, so I thought I'd give them a whirl.
Firstly I made a box from Black Card which would fit the various images in the Stamp Set. I started by stamping the large diamond shapes several times with Black Archival and then using the Wrinkle Free Distress technique misted with loads of water, coloured it with Walnut Stain, Frayed Burlap, Stormy Sky and Chipped Sapphire (my absolute fave!).

I then took a smaller piece of scrap card and covered in with layers of clear UTEE, Gold Embossing Powder sprinkled with Black and kept going until I had a lovely shabby liquid covering. I then stamped into the molten EP with the large image and this is the result.

Unfortunately, because the piece was so large, some of the EP had started to harden and so the bottom half of the image was less impressed (as was I) than the top.

Here you can see the detail where the EP was still molten - a gorgeous deep impression.

I decided to cover the bit where I didn't get an impression with the key from the collection - this was stamped in Archival and coloured with Tarnished Brass Distress Stain.  I cut the image out and then gave it a good dunk in clear embossing powder to make it shine! 
This was all stuck on to the lid of the box.

I used the decorative diamond stamp to create strips to go around the lid of the box, colouring them with the same inks as the top and shabbying (is that a real word?) up the edges before sticking them to the edges of the lid.

I used the final stamp in the set to create more strips to go around the base of the box.

Finally I attached a lock plate which had been given the Altered Metal with Paint treatment using Picket Fence and Peeled Paint Distress paint. This was stuck it to the front of the box lid and, hey presto, one box in which to keep my Sharpie Pens!

Just the right size!!

Hope you like my box as much as I do. 

Thanks for visiting

Keep Crafting.