Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Remember... to buy tea bags!

It is the last session of my beginner's card making course on Friday afternoon. I had deliberately left this one 'empty' so that the learners could choose something they wanted to do. They have selected to learn how to make a paper rose, and to use tea to give card a vintage look. To save myself a bit of time I decided to make a card incorporating both of these techniques, but first I had to stock up on tea bags (if you saw one of my earlier posts then you'll know I had completely run out). I used the tea to stain the stamped panel, then distressed and inked the edges. The stamp I've used is by IndigoBlu, the chinese lanterns are by Lavinia Stamps... yes, I bought these at the NEC too! I made the rose out of book pages which I also stained with tea - I used two pieces glued together to make it a bit more sturdy.

Flying high ATC

This ATC used up some of the card I had left over from the previous project, this part was sprayed with chalk mists in green and yellow. I embossed it with a Cuttlebug folder and then rubbed Inka Gold paste (another new purchase) over the raised parts. The bird was die cut from card, covered with Inka Gold, then stamped over. The 'flying high' words are courtesy of the latest free stamp with Craft Stamper magazine.

Having a play...

... with new stash I bought at the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC last weekend! This is me having fun with some of the stuff I got - I used the new Cosmic Shimmer Chalk Mist on the background, and stamps by IndigoBlu and Stampers Anonymous (Tim Holtz collection).

Monday, 21 March 2011


I can't stop making ATCs now that I've started again... yes, they really are seductive! Here are a couple more I made over the weekend.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

ATCs revisited

I had a very enjoyable day last Saturday at the first of my two day workshops, creating inky backgrounds with dye inks, water, salt, cling film, etc. The centre where I teach has asked the tutors to propose details of courses in the autumn term, so I asked for suggestions from the learners. One of the things they have requested is how to make ATCs! At least this is something I know a little about having made hundreds in the past (unlike the Never Ending Card). Although I have loads of ATCs made by other people, I haven't got any I've made myself as they have all been traded! Deciding to make a few over the past few days, I rediscovered the joys of making them. I made the two below for the Stampotique challenge, then went on to make these three. I want to try and make a variety using different techniques. The ATC at top right has a background using the paper blending technique, and the top left one is made entirely from grunge board and grunge paper (a first for me!).

Birds of Time ATCs

Here are a pair of ATCs made for the current Stampotique Designers Challenge which is on the theme of animals, insects or birds. I've used alcohol inks on glossy card for the backgrounds and stamps mainly by PaperArtsy.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

I, Robot

I confess that I was a bit stumped when I saw the theme for the new Make a Moo or Two challenge - robots and rocket ships. I don't have any stamps of either of these! However, I'd just finished my never ending card (below) and the Paper Artsy stamp of cogs and wheels gave me an idea... I have the technology... I can build a robot myself. I used some bits of paper left over from the previous project and that cogs stamp, for his arms and the antennae on his head I used tiny parts of the Artemio modern grasses stamps. As for his legs and feet... you may recognise that they belong to a certain Stampotique girl!

A never ending headache!

Last term I asked my card making group for ideas of projects they would like to do this term and one of the things they asked for was to learn how to make a 'never ending' card. I'd never made one of these, but I confidently said yes of course and put it in the programme. Last weekend I realised that there are less than 3 weeks to the workshop and so I'd better teach myself how to make one of these cards. I set to, using some instructions I'd found on the Internet. However, the finished card turned out to be HUGE. I should have realised, but I somehow thought it would fold down to about half the size! Well, I knew the group would not want to make a card that big so I had to reconfigure all the measurements to make a card 14 cm square, and start again. Mind you, it was good practice making that first card and it helped me to understand how the card works - for example, Face 2 shares parts of two panels on Face 3, so you have to bear this in mind when decorating. I made one card which I decorated mostly with printed papers and just a little stamping. Then I decided to make another but using a lot more stamping and background papers I'd made myself - here is the result.

I chose to go with a vintage, almost steampunk, theme and used a variety of stamps, quite a few by PaperArtsy. The backgrounds were all made with distress inks and water, with the odd spritz of glimmer mist. I was quite pleased with the finished card although it is far from perfect - there are a few wonky edges to some of the panels. You can't stick anything over the creases as this will interfere with the mechanism, so you end up having to measure, cut, decorate and adhere a total of 24 little panels!!! I have to admit that it is great fun folding back and flipping over the sections of the finished card to reveal the 4 different faces, and when you get back to front you just can't resist doing it all again... and again...

Monday, 7 March 2011

Wish upon a star

Another project in the new edition of Craft Stamper that I love is Joanne Wardle's Floating Front card, and of course I had to have a go at this one. Unfortunately you can't get the full effect from the scan, but when standing the centre of the card comes forward and the central image really appears to float, due to the nifty way Joanne has devised to attach it to the card. I've used Moon Girl (yes, again!) sitting on a star for my version here. The background was made using distress inks, water and glimmer mist, and stamped with Artemio's Modern Grasses.

Joseph's Coat Technique

I have been really pleased that Craft Stamper has been revisiting some old stamping techniques recently, and often adding a new modern twist to them. In the new April edition the masterclass is all about the 'Joseph's Coat' technique by Trish Latimer. I remember trying this out years ago when I was fairly new to stamping, and back in the days when I had never heard of a brayer! So when I saw Trish's article I thought I'd have a go... here are the results. On the first card I brayered Kaleidacolor creole spice ink onto glossy card, stamped and clear embossed the mosaic stamp, then brayered over with black dye ink. The second card is trying out Trish's idea of using a 'cuttled' piece - brayered glossy card with Kaleidacolor riviera, ran through the embossing folder, applied clear embossing ink carefully to the raised areas and embossed with clear ep. Black ink was then sponged over. I have to say that using a brayer makes everything much easier - quicker and cleaner!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Sitting on a branch

This card was not planned at all, but was one of those projects which just evolved as it went along! I had made the background using the craft mat technique and dye inks, sprinkling some rock salt over and then leaving to dry. The next day I was debating what to do with it and suddenly decided to run it through a Cuttlebug embossing folder. Well I was really pleased with the result and did not want to obscure it too much, so I just stamped Stampotique's Moon Girl and sat her on one of the branches and added a few lace flowers.

Oops, out of tea!

These are a couple of cards inspired by Rachel Jackson's work in Craft Stamper magazine. The first one is my version of one of Rachel's cards in the new edition of the magazine. I've followed Rachel's design closely although I had to use different stamps - on mine the flower stamp is by Elusive Images and the text by Hero Arts. The text panel was made by wrapping and glueing tissue paper around a piece of card. The tissue was stained first with coffee and then stamped onto when it was dry. Rachel actually used tea to stain the tissue in her project but when I looked in the cupboard for some tea bags I discovered I had run out! I can't stand tea and never drink it although I usually keep some in case friends visit. I seem to have a vague recollection of using the last tea bag for another craft project some time ago. So much for hospitality. I decided to add the butterfly to my card using the new free stamp with the magazine. This was also stamped onto some of the tissue paper which I glued to a scrap of card first.

The second card uses another technique by Rachel which appeared in the magazine in August 2009 - pressing distress ink pads onto a sheet of tin foil, spritzing with water, then using this spritzed ink as a 'stamp pad' for your stamp. I have used this technique to stamp Stampotique's Arty and the flourish at the bottom of the card. I then mopped up all the ink left on the tin foil with a piece of card to create the background. I felt that the image of Arty was too white, so I stamped her dress on a piece of spare inked card, cut it out and glued on top. This gave me a nice bit of solid colour in the centre of the image. The idea for the flower came from the latest Craft Stamper - using canvas die cut with Tim Holtz's Tattered Florals die, which I coloured with distess inks.