Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Ellen Vargo New PaperArtsy stamps

Well hello everyone from a very sunny Isle of Man where we are watching the road racing and thanks to technology I can send this post stood in the middle of the street!

Boy oh boy, I was really pleased to be asked to try out the new Ellen Vargo stamps released this week. I decided I'd use a really neutral palette as I know how much Ellen loves her "brights" and I thought it would be a good contrast to showcase the versatility of these stamps.


Chocolate Line Flowers
I started out with the flowers. As soon as I saw the stamps (EV09) I knew they'd make the most gorgeous 3D flowers.  Starting with a sheet of green based Chatsworth paper I brayered Cheesecake and then Vanilla Fresco paint to create a background.  

I then stamped the petals (I put the six patterned petals on one block, it made it so much easier to stamp) in Tree Branch Archival ink all over the paper.  I cut these out and edged them in Walnut Stain Distress Ink. I gently rolled the petals to give them a curve, some down and some up!

On a spare piece of card I stamped the circles and cut those out.  Using a hot glue gun I stuck six petals per circle and then layered up four circles.  Whilst these set I covered some thick wire in ribbon securing each end with the hot glue gun.  At one end I created a flat spiral so that I could attach it to the underside of the flower.  In the centre of the flower I added a green felt ball.

Because the Chatsworth paper is such a heavy weight it curls really nicely and holds its shape, I was able to curl the petals again to get a really 3D shape t them.  I think they look like echinacea (cone flowers) flowers, so you might see some purple ones soon!

 Concertina Book

Next up I thought I'd use the small stamps (EV08) to create a mood board that I could use to make a concertina book.  Again using Chatsworth paper and Cheesecake and Vanilla Fresco paints I created a soft creamy background.  I then misted some snowflake and Metallic glaze with water in a spray bottle and sprayed this over the paper.  The mixture was quite thin and sat on the paper, so I lifted it up and let it drip vertically and horizontally.  It's quite subtle (you cant see it very well) but I think it looks like snail trails!

Using the small arch line stamp I stamped all over the card with Honeydew Fresco paint , again very subtle but its a another layer of texture.  Finally I stamped the rounded cross in Pebble Adirondack ink in places across the card and the small oblong in Oregano Adirondack ink. All very subtle and toned.

I cut the paper in half to create three oblongs 12x4" and folded each of these at the 4" mark to make three concertina's.  I glued these together to make one long strip and and glued the front and back pages together to make them a bit heavier. I used a couple of Lin Brown flower text stamps for the front and back covers.

Finally I added some of my black and white flower photos and black and white flower image transfers. The soft creamy, greeny paints and greyish stamping really act as a great background for the images.  


Copper Wall Tile

Finally I decided to make a stamped flower tile using Grunge Paste and the oval and circle stamps from the small stamp set (EV08).  

I painted a 6x6" chipboard square with a couple of layers Slate from JoFY's new limited edition paints.  A layer of crackle glaze on top of this and then   a mixture of Elephant and Snowflake fresco paint to get some subtle crackles.  

The remainder of the Elephant / Snowflake paint was mixed with Grunge Paste and spread over the centre of the tile.  Starting with the small circle I spritzed it with water and gentle stamped in the the Grunge paste.  Then using the oval I did the same thing to make the petals.  I left this to dry.

Once dry I lightly dry brushed Slate fresco paint over the petals followed by Spanish Topaz Treasure Gold to highlight the indentations of the stamping. I also went round the edge of the tile in Spanish Topaz to frame the tile.  I love how the Treasure Gold bleeds into some the cracks.

I've really enjoyed playing with Ellen's new stamps, the possibilities are endless for creating textured backgrounds.  If you get a chance do give them a go. You'll find the stamps in the PaperArtsy shop or at your favourite PaperArtsy retailer. And of course check out the PaperArtsy blog to see how Ellen used her stamps with some really bright colours!


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Using up those scraps

So, I had a big tidy up last weekend in the craft room,  there was stuff EVERYWHERE and frankly I hate having stuff everywhere on every surface whether its on my desk at work, the kitchen, the dining room or my craft room.  I find I can think clearly and feel overwhelmed if there is stuff everywhere (stuff everywhere get me down - can you tell!)

So I chucked out some stuff, re-arranged some stuff in the wardrobes in my craft room and put a lot of stuff away in this wardrobes (I just need to remember where I've put everything now).

But I still hoard "bits of paper" you know what I mean , those small (tiny slivers I can chuck) bits that just might be useful.  I have a whole box of plastic food bags (thank you IKEA)  that contain coloured themed cut into sheets of 12x12 papers all ready for a "project".

Except I get new 12x12's out and use those instead on the next project.

So I had an idea, not an original idea but a good idea on how to use those scraps.  ATC's. Lots and lots of ATCs using up all those bits and quick enough (ummm that bit might not be true in reality, but I try) to get a a crafty fix in my full throttle life.

But then what would I do with all the ATCS, just have them lying around making more stuff lying about everywhere????

What to put them in?  A BOOK of course, I could make a book with some of the scraps and use even more stuff.

So that's what a I did.

I had a load of long thin envelopes bought in a sale that I'd never used because I don't really make cards anymore.  But folded in half they were just the right size to have an ATC stuck on them.

I'd bought some JoFy stamps ages ago and hadn't really used them (I struggle with painting in the lines if I'm honest, more of a slap it on grungy shabby kinda girl). So took some Chatwsworth card (I just love the weight of this card, so strong) and painted in a dark grey as a base layer. Crackle Glaze and then Chalk over that.  I wanted a shabby seaside look on the cover so used the Vaseline technique to act as a resist for some blue and red streaks. 

Stamped in Black Archival and carefully coloured in with water colour pencils. 

I lined the inside with a piece of that scrap.

I looked up the tutorial on 5 hole pamphlet binding and bound the folded envelopes tot he cover with some strong thin twine.

Two big brads to act as closures and it was done.

So far Ive made two ATC's as you can see.  I painted the "page" and added a background stamp and then stuck the ATC in.

There are still loads of scraps and envelopes to be used.  But I reckon Ive found a solution.


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Peeled Paint Delight

A technique to that gives me a shabby, distressed grungy look?  YES PLEASE!

I had to try Liesbeth Fidder's peeled paint technique showcased on the PaperArtsy blog this week and I knew exactly the photo I'd use as well (well to be honest I have a whole series of rusty metal hinges, locks and peeled paint ones taken at Southwold, it was just a matter of choosing which one would work).

I started with a 12x12" sheet of Tim Holtz paper cut down to 11x11" to fit in my scrapbook and then proceeded to cover it in a mix of Very Berry and Blood Orange (it originally a pink piece of paper).  Next I used a whole range of Ellen Vargo Eclectica stamps in Maroon and Sienna Archival inks to go all over the paint.  Very subtle and hardly seen in the finished article, but they just pop through in places..

Next a few layers of  watered down Irish Cream to add depth and a very light layer of colour, it also knocks back the pinkness of the base colour and stamping. I then stamped some of my favourite PaperArtsy Words and Ephemera stamps in Black Archival.  I was going for the faded wall advertising you see on the sides of buildings (I tend to photograph that when I see it as well!

Finally the Vaseline!
I smeared in places over the black stamping and added a layer of Nougat.  When that had done its magic (see Liebeths post for the full technique) I added a bit more Vaseline over the Nougat and added Mocha Mousse.  For both the top layers I varied the amount of paint I dded so that in some places you could still see the brush strokes.

Chicken wire stencil in Elephant and crackle stamp in Watering Can Archival in places to add more layers.  Distressed and sanded the the edges and added Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo Distress Ink with water spritzing 

The photo was distressed and scratched and Vintage Photo Distress Ink added. I then stamped and cut out a lot of label stamps from the PaperArtsy range.  These I scrunched up and added Distress Ink to the edges and the folds to add further shabbiness. Layered all this up with two tags and before adding the photo I flicked watered down Snowflake and Chocolate Pudding.

Really happy with this.

Right today will be would you believe stripping and peeling wallpaper off the walls at my mums new house.  She's downsized and the bungalow is stuck in a 70s time warp of yellow, oranges and browns.  Very retro as I keep telling her but hard on the eyes!