Monday, March 17, 2014

Doors atc

The title for the latest atc trade was 'doors'. Hmmmm ... quite a broad subject really. I always like to do something different from the other gals, and didn't think they would be doing out house doors, so I went for it. LOL. I have this absolutely fantastic stamp from Impression Obsession, His and hers outhouses - how wonderful. I love quirky stuff like that ....So here is my doors atc, isn't it just perfect :) I think my favourite ever.
 I stamped the 'hers' outhouse onto Ranger kraft emboss resist cardstock, cut it out, added detailing in black and scrunched up tissue paper flowers, that I sponged with brown. The background was made from acrylic paint, the stars stamped and embossed with aged silver embossing enamel. Finally little silver embellishments and a splash of white acrylic.

If you can see though, the door opens, and inside we spot a surprised set of eyes, there in the darkness... LOL

As I look at this pic, I can see the reverse side of the Ranger paper, the side you are meant to use as the front, but I wanted writing inside the door. Wish I had grafitti'd it a bit more, would that have been awesome. I will save that for next time I do a toilet door project ! LOL

I just love making atc's, if you havent tried it, you definitely should, its fun to work on such a small canvas, 2.5" x 3.5"

Nature tag

I got together with a couple of friends, the challenge was to make nature themed tags, we did it like an atc swap, in that we made extras to trade.
I had recently bought this La Blanche stamp, it was perfect :)
The background is sponged with distress inks. I also sponged a spare piece of cardstock for the butterflies, then punched them out with using a butterfly punch. I stamped the wildflowers in stazon ink and painted some detail with acrylic paint. The grass was made from scrunching up a piece of cardstock, sponging it, tearing the edge and adhering. I plaited the ribbons :)

My favourite bit of this tag though is the glitz. I got myself a clear wink of stellar. Its more like a brush than a pen, I absolutely loved playing with that. Isn't the effect just gorgeous.

March cards .. some creative fun :)

Couple of cards for March, the first being a spring themed flowery card. I used the Stampin' Up! lattice bigz die for the background, I just love that die, its 4x4" so showing here is one and a half of the die cuts, but the other half piece wasn't wasted .. see below what became of that :)

The rolled rose was made by punching a circle from pink cardstock, cutting a spiral and rolling it up. So easy, yet always an original and interesting result. Start from the outside, roll in, keeping what will become the bottom piece flat. The inside (where the spiral cut ends) will form the base of your flower. I use a hot glue gun, put a blob onto a silicon mat and scrape it up with the flower base, then seal it shut.
The little flowers were punched with a flower punched, then rolled and scrunched up to break down the fibres. The top and bottom layer start to separate, then you carefully peal them apart. They give a delicate detail to any flowery project.

The inside of the card was made to be pop up, by using that spare cut off piece from the die cut, mountain and two valley folds. Its always a nice surprise when you open a card to find something fun and interesting inside :)
Another project had a more masculine or mature feel, the sahara sand, old olive and chocolate chip worked so well together. The oak tree was colored with markers, the green first, then the brown detail added. Do you notice that the tree is stamped on flat cardstock ? Details of that below ...
I made my own diffuser, by using two pieces of brown cardstock taped together. A diffuser basically keeps the pressure on or off certain pieces you are embossing. For this card I wanted that circle to be flat, so I made circle cuts in the card. The sandwich for this to work was : Multipurpose platform on all tabs, embossing folder with cardstock inside, diffuser placed on top, then the top acrylic plate. Run through the big shot. Note that is you are ever making your own embossing layers, you need to think about and test how you build your sandwich to get the right amount of pressure.
Hope you learned something, thanks for visiting :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Alternative 70th Birthday Card - SDC 137

Making a card for a funky, bee keeping, alternative guy on his 70th Birthday, and participating in the Stampotique Designers Challenge :) Who says I cant multi task ... lol

I made the textured background flowers from tissue paper. They resemble carnations, but I am thinking lotos fruit, and my favourite lines of poetry sprung to mind .... "And, like a downward smoke, the slender stream. Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem .... (Tennyson, The Lotos-Eaters). Lots of paint, stencilling (notice the honey comb), fussy cutting etc etc. This is the Birthday boy, all relaxed, dreaming in his Lotos-Eaters world .....

I wanted Baby Cthulhu to feature, so stamped him onto shrink plastic and colored with copics. He is simulating a bee ... because after all, this is an imaginary, dreamy kinda world :)
I'd quite like to visit there myself, wanna come ?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Freedom to Sing journal page

I was fortunate enough to encounter Karen from Southern Ridge Trading Company at a craft event recently, and spent time looking through her baskets of wonderful-ness, various wooden and chipboard die cuts in all shapes and sizes, some delicate and intricate, others more sturdy - it was exciting. 

One little bird caught my eye. He was bagged up with his little friends but was desperate to feature in my next art journal page, so I enabled him ! lol

Here is a close up of the right side of the page :

The inspiration for this page came from a poem I had recently read about acceptance, and in particular accepting ourselves for who we are. Unfortunately I didn't note the authors name of this poem. I would like to think we all have the freedom to sing and simply 'be'. This bird was perfect, he looks confident and was the perfect size.

The background is made from a Donna Salazar Designs paperpack called Fun & Funky, I was loving the chicken wire. The torn pieces were glued into my Moleskin art journal with gel medium and I coated the pages so that I could go in with my Faber Castell Big Brush pen to add some depth and shading to the background. I whitened the edge of the page with white acrylic paint. The whimsical birdcage is from a Prima stamp set.  I stamped the words using an Image Tree alphabet stamp set and applied a washi tape musical road for my bird.

A close up of my bird :
He is quite thick, sturdy chipboard. I put a layer of clear gesso onto him to get a little tooth for my gelato's and so I could work with a wet medium. I colored him with chocolate, butterscotch and tangerine gelato, and used my aqua painter to blend and move the colors around. As you can see, he has red lips /beak.... yes, he is a very fortunate whimsical bird. lol. A couple of layers of clear embossing powder put the finishing touches to his appearance. Isn't he cute. 

Your instructions for today ... go forth, sing and be you - everyone else is already taken.
Nikki x

Stampotique February atc swap

The Stampotique girls were keen to go again with the atc swaps, so I organised another, entitled 'Outside the Box'. I am loving these exchanges so much, I hope it goes on forever ...

My interpretation of the title 'Outside the box' was that Mothloved is feeling left out, she is a square peg in a round hole, feeling a bit insecure. Also, the tab protruding from the side of the atc is on the left, 'left out' - get it ?

I randomly clear gesso'd my water color paper, let it dry, then colored onto my craft mat with a blue and purple gelato, spritzed with water and 'smooshed' (is that a word? LOL) my paper through the mixture. I went in afterwards and did some more specific painting and applied a little contrasting ocre. The texture of the paper turned out amazing, it was scratchy and abstract. The ungesso'd areas are darker. I stamped Mothloved and embossed her, then painted white acrylic over her body parts and spots on her dress. I painted her tshirt purple. The edge was lightly sponged with black soot distress ink.

The tab was punched with my envelope punch board and 'left out' stamped. I love the contrast between the smooth shiny embossing and the gritty background.

 I always decorate the back of my atc's. If I spend that long planning and executing the front, then I want the back to be just as great. Painting and a little second generation stamping make the perfect atc back.
The atc was sent to the UK, the recipient LOVED it :) Result ....

Designs By Ryn Celtic Bird

A new stamp to my ever growing (house groaning under the weight) stamp collection, is a beautiful set from Designs by Ryn. I loved working with it, and made a cute card for my card box. The background is sprays from Dylusions and Lindys Stamp Gang onto water color paper. I stamped the bird with black versamark and embossed with clear embossing powder. I colored the bird in with my signo white gel pen. Its subtle, but quite special. A hero art flower stamp in the background, using pale green ink to keep it subtle. I wrote the sentiment, and used clear pops to embellish.
Published on Ryn's blog :

Retreat and bead making ...

I had fun at a craft retreat last weekend, its something I really really look forward to, and plan for. I never pack kits and plan pages really though, I just have general thoughts and ideas. I tell ya, I'm like a one-girl think tank ... I get an idea and then start imagining all the possible variations on that theme, a play on words etc. It can get pretty far fetched and bizarre - I love it  The hours just fly by .... but it seems like I have only been there for a few hours and its time to pack up to come home ! How can time be so deceptive like that ? Another thing about crafting events that I 'dont like' (LOL) is that it doesn't matter how big my work area is, within an hour or two I am operating in a 12" square area !!! Stopping to tidy away and discover something you lost 6 hours ago ... its like entering an alternative time dimension .... Seriously if you have never been to a crop or retreat, you should try it. You meet great people and its a great source of inspiration.

One of the projects I did this weekend was to cover a gift box for cards. Quite liked the front of the box, but LOVED the beads. So easy, so much fun and so amazing and durable. Thank you to JenniBelli for her youtube tuition. Beads are just long strips of tapered patterned paper. Start to roll the widest end first, to the smallest. I applied a bit of glue along the way to keep it from unravelling, but the whole bead is coated with a couple of coats of clear nail polish. Fab, or what ....
Thanks for stopping by

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The future looks bright

A chance encounter has lead to an exciting opportunity for me.

I met Karen, who runs an amazing company selling chipboard and wooden shapes. Her items are so beautiful and many of them so finely detailed, I have never seen anything like it. The possibilities are endless with these little beauties, and as a fellow crafter I'm sure you will understand : I just HAD to have some of them ..... lol

After working with them, a horse shoe and adorable little bird, Karen asked me if I would join her design team. I thought about it, for maybe a nano second and said yes :)

I am very excited to be part of this new business venture. Stay tuned for some yummyness and inspiration .....

Check out the store and blog. Both have a fairly new web presence and are being populated bit by bit, so maybe you'll just have to keep checking back for more :)

Have a great day x