Sunday, 17 February 2013

Indian flower

Sometimes it's good to go out of your comfort zone, try something new, be adventurous.  I'm not talking trekking in the Peruvian hills, or wearing non matching bra and knickers (or even matching bra and knickers).  

No nothing as radical as that I'm just talking colours.

This is a bit out of my comfort zone as they aren't the colours I would normally aim towards. I'm more a neutral classic (actually these probably are in that spectrum) kind a gal, no brights for me thank you very much.

I started off making the tile late last Sunday evening.  Using the "oranges" from the Fresco range.  A layer of Butternut, some Smoked Paprika, crackle glaze and then Haystack on top of that.  Some script stamping in Saffron Archival, some number stampinhg in Sienna and finally the flower mini in black Archival.  

The whole tile had some Walnut Stain lightly added and then over the flower some London Bus, as it's translucent it sort of adds a soft wash and you can still see the Haystack underneath. A little bit of sanding over the tile to distress and lighten bits. Finally some Sapphire Treasure Gold on the edges followed by Black Soot Embossing powder just to frame the tile against the canvas.

The background.

This is a canvas that I roughly added some layers of texture paste with a palette knife, smoothed in places,left rough in others. Let it dry a bit and then used an IndigoBlu crackle stamp to press into the paste to give even more texture.  Where there wasn't texture paste on the front of the canvas I added strips of tissue tape glued down with PaperArtsy Satin Glaze (I also put it all round the edge of the canvas as well).  Left that to dry all day on Saturday whilst we went out to Angelsey Abbey to see the snow drops (they were gorgeous, plus some very early miniture iries, deep purple and really washed out faded pale blue).

This morning I just started putting on layers of paint. Started with the same palette of Butternut and Smoked Paprika. I wanted it to look old and dirty so added a thin layer of French Roast to dirty it up a bit..  Neat French Roast was also added where I was going to place the tile to lift it off from the background.  Over the texture paste I added Treasure Gold in Sapphire and White Fire to pick up the texture.  The red splodges in the corners are Brick Red Distress Embossing powder just sprinkled over the wet paint and dried. 

It's growing on me.


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Duck Egg

Well it's morning here in "The Shires" in dear old blighty  and if I look out of the study window to the right there is some streaks of blue, bright vivid blue with a hint of gold peeping through the clouds - could it be a nice bright day is ahead of us, no greyness, no rain, no snow????  If it is we might venture out for a jaunt (jaunt or crafting - decisions, decisions, decisions)!

I have this little beauty made for AGES and I really thought it was about time I shared it with you as well. 

The twig wreath was dabbed with Fresco Nougat and White Fire treasure Gold dabbed on as well. At the bottom some linen strips were wrapped around the ends tied in a knot and some brown string and brown velvet ribbon wound round as well.

The tag was cut from a scrap of mount board and painted with layers of Irish Cream and Mocha Mousse, with a top layer of Sky.  A good sand at the edges and some nougat lightly dry brushed on around the edges - just to give that texture and distressed look.

The large sewing mannequin stamp from this plate was stamped in coffee archival, dried and then some more Treasure Gold lightly added.  I really like sanding the the treasure gold once I've added to sort of "scratch" the surface of it and add to that distressed look.

A bit of scrunched up crunchy waxed paper that had some Nougat dabbed on and some stitiching was glued on top pf the tag for the bird to sit on.

The bird (a PaperArtsy die) was cut about six times from Kraft card and glued together.  He had (it is a he I've decided) a layer of Sky followed by Mocha Mousse.  The edges were sanded to reveal some of the Sky.  A gorgeous swirly flourish (I love swirly flourishes and haven't used in ages - you may see them reappearing in future works) was stamped and embossed in Frantage Aged Copper Embossing Enamel. Some more Treasure Gold just lightly dabbed around the edges. 

The flowers were cut with a die from felt and some brown glass beads sewn on (that was hard work I can tell you seeing as I really need reading glasses for close up work).  I lightly sprayed the flowers a brown Glimmer Mist just to age them a bit.  It really works well on the yellowy ones around the edges. 

So there you go, "a nice thing", I've just got to deciced where to hang it now!



Sunday, 10 February 2013

Love Shack

I don't know about you but shows brings out the demon spender in me.  It doesn't matter whether its paper, fabric or food,  it encourages impulse buying. You are so caught up in the throng, the loveliness of everything, the "oh go on buy it, baked beans all month won't be so bad" that you come home with bags of goodies that sit in your craft room "for a very long time not being used".

I remember one Good Food Show my husband and I went to years ago and having got "tipsy" with the free samples by midday, impulse purchased a new oak refectory style dining room table.  How could we resist it was beautiful and such good value.  It was due to be delivered on Christmas Eve and I was cooking Christmas lunch the next day.  So not only the panic of will it get delivered (it was handmade in Wales) I had no  idea whether it would fit through the front door or even in the dining room. 

It was (delivered) and it fitted (in the dining room), but it  took a long while to ease it through the front door but we got there.

This birdhouse from PaperArtsy was another one such purchase (no I didn't live on baked beans, it was spaghetti hoops). But inspired by Michelle's work this week on the PaperArtsy blog I thought I'd do something with it this weekend. 

I started off with quite a few layers of Fresco Toad Hall, this really is a lovely green not too khaki and not too yellow. Next I gave it a crackle layer and topped that with Sky Blue. I gave it quite a heavy rub with sandpaper and removed bits of the blue and crackle layer.  If you sand it hard enough you can get quite big strips of the top layer to come off, the crackle acts like a rubber resist.

Next just started lots of layers of paint to add to the depth. I used Inky Blue, Brown Shed, Snowflake, sometimes full strength and sometimes watered down.. Wiping back and sanding to get the feel I wanted. Finally I stamped some script in Snowflake.

On a scrap of Kraft card I used Desert Orchid and Ruby and Sapphire Treasure Gold and then stamped in Plum Archival with the this heart stamp   With the spare ink left on the stamp I just randomly stamped over the birdhouse to use up the ink and add a random contrast colour. 

Finally paper and fabric flowers and buttons to add another layer of texture and interest. I also painted some wooden beads to act as feet.

The roof was really fun to do.  I gave the metal a good sand and then added layers of Brown shed, Inky Pool and Toad Hall. I didn't want a thick opaque cover so just lightly sponged on the colour.  I also added some rusting powder on the edges, the vinegar I used to activate the powder ran in places so added some interesting streaking. Finally I stamped this numbers from this plate and used Frantage aged black embossing enamel it's quite thick and has some gold / coppery larger balls in it which tend to sit on top of the black.

It wasn't quite what I envisaged as in you can't see any crackles, but I like it (and so does the cat who insisted on making sure it was positioned right for me to photograph, which meant his tail, face got in the way of the first photo's).


Saturday, 2 February 2013

Butterfly arch

Those that follow me on Twitter (I love it it's like drinks down the pub with the girlie's gassing and laughing)  know that I was intrigued by the reference to "metal cracks" At the time I hadn't read the PaperArtsy blog post on Suzz using metal card and crackle

So this is my interpretation.

The double wooden arch I 've had for ages and by chance found the other day whilst rummaging. First off I cit the metal card to size and put a layer of crackle glaze on.  I was very patient (ready for bed actually) and left it to dry overnight.  I painted the double arch in quite a few layers of Hyde Park Fresco giving it a sand in between.

Next day (my crafting always seems to happen over a number of days) I painted the metal in Fresco Guacamole. Oh my the cracks appeared beautifully.  With the spare Guacamole I lightly brushed that over the arches.

Concentrating on the arches I added some Inky Pool, panicked a bit as it covered up the green , wiped it off with a baby wipe and stopped panicking! Added some stamping of the owl and the numbers from this PaperArtsy plate and some copper embossed swirls from this PaperArtsy plate

On the reverse of the arches I decided to try some tissue paper stamping. Used the winged lady from this PaperArtsy plate, added some Inky Pool paint on the reverse and stuck down adding a layer of glaze over the top.  One dry I could still the tissue paper so dabbed on some Hyde Park to blend it in a bit.  Added some copper Treasure gold around the edges, panicked again as I was a bit heavy handed gave a bit a of wipe and also sanded which softened it up and took aways some of the excess (more shabby distressed than opaque of colour).

Back to the metal card.  I added a thin wash of Fresco Holly to dirty it up a bit added some Shabby Copper Frantage embossing powder around the edges, bit of Walnut Stain and finally some stamping in Aquamarine Archival using this numbers mini from PaperArtsy.  The butterflies were stamped in Black Archival and Inky Pool added to colour in the wings. The little tag stamps from the same plate were also added. Once stuck down the metal card still didn't quite stand out so I went round the edge with a dark grey Oil Pastel just to add some shadow. On reflection I think I should have edged the metal in black embossing powder, but hey they look ok.

I really really like this and I think I will take to work so it can remind me when I slogging away doing long days, getting stressed that the reason I work is so I can make lovely things like this.


Friday, 1 February 2013

Sometimes you just have to do it

There may be a moral to this story, there may not (it's also a long post - sorry!).

I really enjoyed painting and distressing three tags in the style of Lind Cain valentine trio. They had lots of colour on (Moonlight, crackle, Eggplant, Dusty Orchid, Limelight and French Roast and lots of sanding and then stencilling, stamping and finally the three metal hearts.  

They looked good and rather than join them together in a triptych like Linda, I wanted to put them on a canvas.  So quick nip out to HobbyCraft (plus Sainsburys they are virtually next door to each other) and a long oblong canvas purchased.

You know me I have to put texture and layers EVERYWHERE, so I scraped some texture paste over the canvas and then used a dot stencil over the top of that in areas. Left it to dry (gosh horror I think I did some housework in between).

I used Kaiser Eco paint (hiding away in the bottom of the paint stash) in eggshell all over and followed that with slate slopped on, all random and messy it's not like painting walls is it! Finally added some weathered wood (a blue grey) Anita's acrylic (why no Fresco - too precious to cover this whacking great canvas

Added some of the many sewing stamps from PaperArtsy I have - really big background images in plum archival, left it to dry a bit and then gently smudged some of the ink with a baby wipe.  Added in some edge of a credit card lines as well.

Tissue tape - I have quite a few rolls as I assume many of you have as well, so put different strips on top and sealed them with some Ranger Glue and Seal (had it yonks and not opened it).  On top of that I put some Mermaid.  Some Treasure Gold on the dots and it was all looking fab.

Then I laid the tags on top to gauge positioning.  But they just sort of sat there, perched, floating but not really looking at home, not anchored. It needed something else so I added some corrugated cardboard along the length of the canvas covering the tissue tape and stuck the tags on top.

Nope still looked wrong, still needed something else to bring them together.  Rootle rootle through stash - ah lowers.  Yep they worked as they linked the three tags together and covered the gaps.  Glued them down and then thought - they need a bit of colour, I could spray them "carefully" to avoid the tags (I do talk to myself when I'm crafting, not out loud  - just in my head like).

Disaster!  I over sprayed they all went soggy and the wrong colour, heating with the glue gun warped the metal hearts as well and softened the hot glue sticking everything down. Stomp, stomp, stomp, grumble, grumble, grumble.

So the next day after letting it all dry out overnight to see if would improve (it didn't) I started to rip the tags off thinking well I can just repaint the canvas and use for something else.  The first two came off with the corrugated but then like a beautiful butterfly emerging from a caterpillar the last one looked lovely with some of the cardboard. It looked at home, grounded and let the eye focus on it.  

So I left it.  I added some Pea coat over the tape and the right hand side of the canvas and now I'm really happy with it.

So the moral?  Don't be afraid to rip it it up and start again (sneaky eighties reference there)!