メリークリスマス皆 - Merry Christmas everyone! I know, it's way too early. Having said that so many people are already fully immersed in making their cards and gifts ready for the oncoming festive season so maybe it's not totally out of place.
This greeting could also be considered totally wrong if you bear in mind my choice of focal images - Zojoji Temple, a Buddhist temple in Toyko, Japan! However, with the colours used and my love of all things Japanese I forged ahead with this unconventional selection.
These beautiful images were actually freebies from the incredibly generous Ignacio Molina of Nicecrane Designs!! You can find them HERE alongside more wonderful samples from some of the Design Team.
If like me you are a fan of all things Oriental you will find a very reasonably priced selection of images at the Nicecrane Designs store HERE. As well as sheets of ATC's there are envelopes, b&w digital images to colour and beautiful prints which are easily resized.
Did you notice the background layers directly under each image? That's something else I'm really excited about. As you will be aware my Wendy Vecchi stencils and paste are a source of great enjoyment and experimentation. It occurred to me that the flower in the 'From The Garden' stencil looks just like a chrysanthemum.
The Japanese are so enamoured with this bloom that it has the status of royalty and it is used on the Emperor's official seal and crest. They even have a National Chrysanthemum Day, the Festival of Happiness! There, you've possibly learned something new today.
Before applying the translucent paste through this portion of the stencil I mixed it with a little Distress Paint to add colour. Unlike the white paste this means you get a 'true' colour, and when dry it acts as a perfect resist to any inks or stains. On the first card I applied Tarnished Brass Distress Stain over the top to give a very dramatic and regal effect. The second card is slightly more subtle - red on red - with the addition of Watering Can Archival Ink flowers as a contrast.
The first card also makes use of some 'Brayered Stains' card, embossing and of course lots of layering. Matting each layer adds a more professional framed finish. For the second card I employed the very popular 'chalkboard' look with this Hero Arts background stamp called 'Chinese Thank You'. OK, so that bit is a little politically incorrect but it looks good, especially when layered onto some Maja Design blue card which has been distressed with Antique Linen and Spun Sugar.
Both cards were completed with some festive sprigs, a quick and effective way of adding those festive finishing touches without them detracting from the main images.
The 'ingredients' for these cards are listed below and I hope you'll take the opportunity to visit Ignacio's super digital store, Nicecrane Designs.
I'm entering these into The Sunday Stamper challenge - You Raise Me Up - it's been a while since what I've produced has matched with one of Hels' fabulous themes so I'm thrilled our two worlds have collided for once this week!
Thank you so much for the positive response to my first video; I will be working on more for the future.
An update on my wonderful friend Anne - thankfully she has been released from hospital and is now under very strict orders to do nothing and let the healing process happen. As a result you won't/shouldn't be hearing from her for a while, but she wanted me to let you know your kind wishes, thoughts and prayers mean the world to her. Thank you so much everyone.
Take care of yourselves and enjoy what remains of the weekend, Jenny xxx