31 October 2013

Hassle Free Marbling

Hi everyone. Thank you so much for your response to yesterday's post. I'm sending a copy of all your messages for Anne to her in hospital so she can see for herself how much support she has.

A quick post today to show you this journal, altered for No. 3 son's birthday. He doesn't have a passion for a subject at school or hobby at the moment but he does love animals, so this former steampunk gentleman has become an old fashioned ringmaster replete with performing beasts.

I took inspiration for the base of the cover from Candy Colwell's Spooky frame, covering it with an initial layer of crumpled tissue before layering on Distress Paints, stencilled embossing paste and gilding wax.

Taking part in CC102 has given me even more enthusiasm for utilising stencils, and as you can see here, after employing some masking of the main images a number of stencils were layered to add that circus/carnival feel to the background.
A hint here - if you want to 'bleach' areas having coloured them with deeper Distress Ink colours, paint on Antique Linen Distress Stain, let it dry, a little then blast it with your heat tool to allow the base stamped image to become clearer.

One of my favourite parts is the inside cover. I was lucky enough to win my choice of a new stamp from The Artistic Stamper and went for the Marbled Background. You will be seeing much more of this as it is an easy and far less messy way of creating those wonderful marbled backgrounds people usually achieve with inks and shaving foam. Here I used it with Distress Stains before adding some more ink through a Dylusions Stencil  and using another fabulous stamp called Smudge Background which gives you a distress look without having to go to the trouble of spritzing/flicking. Finally some washi tape added some much needed structure to the pages.

I will be entering this into this month's Artistic Stamper Creative Team challenge - Alter Something and highly recommend you consider adding these two background stamps to your collection.
You will never be stuck for coordinating backing papers again!

Time to leave you for now with the promise that there's much more on the way.
In the meantime please take care of yourselves.
Hugs, Jenny xxx

30 October 2013

Special Friends

Hi everyone. I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating; you can make some wonderful friends through crafting/blogging, and I'm lucky enough to have some of the best on the planet. One of those beautiful people is Anne (Redanne) who I'm sad to report is poorly at the moment. It is a measure of her incredible selflessness and thoughtfulness that, lying in hospital after a fall at the weekend, one of her first concerns was to let her blogging friends know that she wasn't ignoring them deliberately or falling behind on commenting on their work.

Knowing Anne, she'd be mortified that I'm letting you know and asking you to send your thoughts and prayers her way as she never seems to think she is worthy of attention. Knowing you guys, you'd be equally mortified that you'd been left unaware of Anne's plight and the opportunity to send those thoughts and prayers her way. On the horns of that dilemma I thought it right to keep you all 'in the loop'.

I'm sure there'll be lots of you out there who will be putting those crafting skills to good use creating a little something for Anne. For those who would like to contribute to a collection for some flowers on Anne's return home, please contact Brenda Brown (another of my 'rocks') who has incredibly kindly offered to coordinate this; brenda_brown25@hotmail.com

Isn't this absolutely gorgeous? Another wonderful person, Patricia, sent this bespoke handcrafted brooch to me along with a really moving letter. Glory only knows what I did to deserve it but her generosity and skill had me in a puddle when it arrived. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Patricia. This will be treasured and worn with beaming pride, and if you haven't seen her truly amazing box creations or beautiful cards I thoroughly recommend a visit to her blog HERE.

How lucky can one person be? Very lucky it would seem. Another parcel arrived from the amazing Anita Houston packed with these superb Halloween goodies. It is a mark of this beautiful lady's generosity that she created these and arranged to send them in the middle of family life and getting ready for her Tuscany trip. Again, they will absolutely be treasured.

So from someone who is counting her blessings, thanks for stopping by and please take care of yourselves.
Jenny xxx

24 October 2013

Controlled Dribbling

Hi everyone. Thanks so much for dropping by and welcome to you all, including my latest followers. It's always so gratifying to see that number slowly but surely increasing. Today I want to share a bit of an experiment with you.

As many of you will be aware I am a MAHOOSIVE fan of the work of Vivian Keh (Contadina K) who produces the most amazing works of art using her trademark hot glue gun. The video on THIS POST for Donna Salazar Designs got the little grey cells spinning with possibilities.

Why did it appeal so much? As a bit of a control freak I love the idea of being able to have at least partial control over spray inks, but with no glue gun how to achieve this?

Taking some neutral paper roughly brushed with gesso, I created a basic flowing pattern by stamping leaf fronds from Wendy Vecchi's 'Love to Make Art' stamp set with her Fern Green Archival Ink. Next came a layer of her white embossing paste into which I stamped the same leaf fronds.

Now for the 'clever' bit. Translucent embossing paste through leaf stems on Wendy's 'From the Garden' stencil created something of that raised transparent effect achieved by Vivian's glue gun and more importantly the channels through which the ink could run. Once dry I rubbed a little white acrylic paint over the translucent paste to add highlights.

Now for the fun bit - dripping Dirty Martini and Sailboat Blue into the centre, spritzing it with water and allowing the ink to run along the channels created in/by the pastes. As Vivian herself says, it felt very organic, taking on a life of its own. Then I walked away for a while to allow my head time to work out how best to finish this card. Stamped Tattered Florals became the final solution (with an embossed Simple Saying) keeping the colour scheme sympathetic.

A lot has been learned during the making of this card and translucent embossing paste is now a firm favourite. Now, how can I translate these lessons into slightly more 'mass produced' Christmas cards...
The adventure continues! Have a great Friday everyone and take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

23 October 2013

'What's Your Poison?' at Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone. Thank you for tuning in to see what I've been up to as the rain has poured. Apart from getting my head round setting up for a last minute craft fair entry this weekend (weather permitting!) there have been longer term plans formulating. Hmm, over-thinking things is an 'area for improvement' methinks!!

In the midst of it all has come this project for the current Frilly and Funkie challenge, 'What's Your Poison?' Trace has set us the task to create a Halloween themed piece using black and green but NO orange. An initial attempt at a witches tool kit ended up in the bin. The new box had to be built from scratch using plain green card altered with the Metallic technique and a very handy take out box template. It has an acetate front with the medicine bottles image from The Chemist stamp set added to the front, but try as I might the reflective quality meant taking decent photos failed at every attempt.

At least you can see the added die cut details - the altered grungepaper straps and gravestone decorations given a mix of media used to give an aged feel. The skull shot glass had crackle paint and copper alcohol ink added to it before I dripped Moss Vintaj Patina onto it. Boy, does it make a difference knowing how each of these will react/not react with each other! If you hold it up to the light it will actually glow from inside too. Then there's a couple of altered poison bottles and a spare wand (essential for any witches tool kit in my book).

I love altering little containers that would otherwise find their way into the recycling bin, with texture paste, vintage gold gilding wax, alcohol inks, crackle paint, Stickles and of course some stamping. Bit of a tip here; if, like me, you find your Distress Crackle just crumbles off no matter how little/much you add to prepped surfaces, try adding a single ply layer of plain paper napkin before the crackle layer as it seems to give a better key without affecting the translucent quality. Finally, no self respecting witch can be seen forgetting their most important spells, so a few prompt cards are always helpful.

If this has put you in the mood for whipping up a little of your own Halloween magic we'd love to see you playing along over at Frilly and Funkie, where you can win the chance of a Guest Designer spot for one of our challenges or a $25 shopping spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique.

I'll be entering this into the following challenges;
Country View Crafts challenge - Something Spooky
Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge - Spooky
Make My Monday - Halloween
In the meantime take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

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