31 July 2013

Bend me, shape me...

Hi everyone. It's week two of the latest challenge over at Frilly and Funkie - Any Way You Fold It. Sue has picked a fantastic theme - folds - and we have already had some amazing entries. It would be great to see what you can do too if you haven't played already.

You may have seen my Step by Step guide for creating the basis of this booklet (I have taken note of those who want a video and will attempt to have a go at that once this week is out the way). Although created with Tim Holtz's wonderful double sided French Industrial sheets, these booklets were relatively plain and needed something more doing to them.

One challenge faced was that I needed to keep everything reasonably flat so that the booklet would still close properly. I started by adding Distress Stains and stamping (and some washi tape) to the base papers. Distress Stains are fabulous for adding a translucent colour wash without obliterating what's already there (which is, after all, beautiful already).

All the edges needed inking (I hate white edges) and die cuts were used to add more detail. Filigree metal elements are also perfect to add a touch of intricacy and shine.

I saw the way Anita Houston added strips of card to her Mario (take a look HERE if you haven't seen it yet as it is gorgeous) and had a go at doing the same. The rips are there to allow a little more of the background to peek through. Aren't there some really great sentiments in Tim's Simple Sayings stamp set.

That's the thing isn't it - you don't want to lose what is already there but want to spice it up a bit, but how far is too far? I am in awe of those CHA sample makers who know just how much to add to make you fall in love with the items without overloading each project.

I have made some items to put inside the booklet too. The travelling man has been stamped onto glossy card which has been marbled with alcohol inks and the ATC has had the dimension and texture of those cases increased by using Distress Embossing Powder. Don't be frightened to emboss and ink your lovely printed sheets either. I had great fun altering the larger card that fits snuggly into one of the side pockets to create a suitable background for the gentleman. And look, I can do subtle too! Clear embossing over the photo ATC gives you a hint of the Eiffel Tower without it blocking the picture underneath.

This is definitely one of those projects I will be adding to, ensuring those pockets are all 'stuffed', and as you saw from my guide there are four of them to play with!! Should keep me out of mischief for quite a while...

I'd love to see more of your folded projects over at Frilly and Funkie and if you take a look at the wonderful projects created by the rest of the team you will see that there are many ways to tackle this challenge.
For now, take care of yourselves, hugs Jenny xxx

27 July 2013

Saturday Step by Step - Fold It!!

Hi everyone and welcome to the weekend!! February seems like a lifetime away, but I'm reminded of my trip to the Stitches show back then as we drool over the latest Create-n-Connect highlights from Las Vegas. I was lucky enough to meet Anneliese Bates demo'ing on the Jones of Nottingham stand. She was showing how to put together the most fantastic 'one sheet wonder' book, and I thought now would be the perfect time to show you a step by step 'how to' over at Frilly and Funkie.
With our current challenge being 'Any Way You Fold It' you'll have a project to get your teeth into and something to enter if you haven't done already! I'd love to see you over there and hear what you think of this make. Hugs, Jenny x

24 July 2013

A Venetian Summer Dream

Hi everyone and welcome. Looks like I've got a night of commenting to catch up on again after more positive feedback. Well that can be done is all good conscience knowing that the family have been out walking today in the stunningly beautiful Dimmingsdale, Staffordshire (thank you so much for that recommendation Rosie - perfect for the dog!) A hidden gem in our fair county, there are walking areas for the more (and less) adventurous, much of it covered by a canopy of forest which stops the excessive heat and sunburn. But enough eulogising, here's another location I wish I could be spirited away, namely Venice.

As part of my birthday 'haul' I was lucky enough to get some Penny Black stamps, including this one called 'Venetian Summer'. You'll be seeing a lot of it as it is such a detailed, stylish and versatile stamp.

This time round I utilised a couple of Tim Holtz stamping techniques, 'brushless watercolour' and 'spritz and flick distress'. For me the background cried out for a watercolour effect as it was a great way of adding the mix of building colours. I coloured the gondolas with coordinating watercolour pencils. The glamorous lady deserved a different treatment as I wanted her to stand out more, so she was stamped with a Memento ink and painted with a mix of Distress and watercolour pencils. Once dry, she was fussy cut and layered over the original image.

Now I don't know about you but I find that either the background comes together easily and the toppings are the problem, or the focal image is a doddle and the background takes a lot of thinking about. Rarely do the two come together easily! Luckily I stumbled upon the Scrap365 sketch challenge. As you know I like to use scrap layout sketches and ideas for cards (unfortunately that means I can't enter them into the challenge itself, but the designs are great).

Tipping the July sketch on it's side, I used some die cut/embossed/inked elements to pile underneath the water-coloured image. The dots just finished the whole thing off beautifully, matching up with the Venetian postmark; yes, there's Crackle Paint in the larger dots to add more texture, and remember, you can punch through the background card if you are layering it onto a base card too.

So I can now enter the current challenge over at the Penny Black blog;

And there's still just enough time to enter the current challenge over at;

Time to go get on with commenting and catching up on what you guys have been up to. Enjoy your crafting and take care of yourselves, hugs Jenny x

23 July 2013

Vintage Childhood

Hi everyone. Lovely to have your company today. The card I'm sharing today has been a while in the making. Do you ever have times where you start/stop something as inspiration hits and then fades? Well so it was for this, and the thing that rescued it was the fabulous image from Nicecrane Designs (from a set called New and True).

I'd started by stencilling the birds/birdcage image onto a piece of patterned paper with a mustard/aged gold colour pattern, adding some Tarnished Brass Distress Stain over the top, but it didn't feel right and got put to one side.

By chance I'd been using some Aged Mahogany Distress Ink on another card and dabbed a little onto this background. It looked a whole heap better, so the whole thing got covered. Then another pause - well what can you do with what seems like a rather busy background?

It was the image that saved it from being buried at the bottom of a pile forever. As well as the adorable Edwardian children, it contained a beautiful birdcage. I printed it on watercolour card and die cut it ready for altering.

Having spritzed/flicked water over a background wash of Antique Linen, I painted in the shadows with extra layers of the same and used Victorian Velvet/Aged Mahogany for the dresses. Always remember to dry each layer of colour as it is applied if you want to stop the paper from starting to breakdown in places.

Finishing the card was a balance of embellishing without going over the top: Antique Linen Paint was used to colour some texture paste ready for stencilling; one of my new Penny Black lace stamps was used on tissue to add detail over the top; another new Laura Kriste designed Penny Black applique stamp set was used onto vellum for the lacy trim; and some filigree metal corners and handmade flowers completed it.

My message for today - never give up, inspiration can hit at any time.
And here's another link to that inspirational set of images (click on them);

I'm entering this into a new challenge,
Take care of yourselves, hugs Jenny x
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