31 January 2014

A fast and furious Friday...

Hi everyone and welcome. It's positively blowing a hooley outside here, there's more water coming from the heavens than should be naturally possible and the sun hasn't made an appearance for days. So why then am I skipping around the house like an excited loon? All will become clear shortly...

Last week I was lucky enough to win from Wendy Vecchi the chance to join a fabulous Online Card Class - Stenciled (highly recommended) looking at lots of different techniques using, you guessed it, stencils. This card has a stencilled background, with Distress Paint used to resist Distress Stains.

I teamed it with an Archival Ink background (there is something of an addiction forming to this technique!)

As the layers continued to build this started to fall into a monochromatic colour scheme, and usually I'm not a fan of peach tones - so much so I convinced myself that this is a 'marmalade' colour scheme!!

Thank goodness Linda includes this dyed seam binding in her orders. What a match. The white die cuts worked as a real contrast, especially as the leaf bouquet was covered in white embossing power.
This is destined for entry to the Country View Challenges - Monochromatic (literally by the skin of my teeth :)

And now to explain why I'm doing a Bambi impression; Wendy Vecchi has the most fabulous giveaway on her blog right now celebrating her 1000th blog post. Seriously, you don't want to miss this one! Not only do you get the chance to enter, she also shares an amazing piece of artwork and her latest technique for using Archival Inks - painting.

Now as well as being an incredibly gifted artist I think this lady must be psychic. Why? Last night I had an interiors challenge programme on the telly in the background whilst getting some stuff done, and looked up to see the most magnificent watercolour style flowery fabric in liberal use all over a small living room. I thought out loud "that would look good on a card".

Little did I know Wendy would provide the method for recreating my version today!! So as the light faded (apologies for the photos with artificial lighting) and the dinner cooked, I grabbed my Archival Inks, stamps, Specialty paper and a waterbrush and got to work.

I must confess, Wendy recommended using embossing powder to cover the initial stamping but I didn't bother and it didn't shift when I coloured the flowers. And in case you are wondering I deliberately painted outside the lines for a more watercolour feel (like the fabric) and this has very little fuss for me. Is there anything you can't do with Archival Inks? I guess only Wendy knows the answer to that one too...

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow when it's my turn to host a new challenge over at Our Creative Corner. For now, I have a date with an oven and some mincemeat (it is a truth universally known that growing sons are never filled!)
Wherever you are and whatever you're up to take care of yourselves, Jenny x

25 January 2014

Sponsor Spotlight at Our Creative Corner

Hi everyone. A quick heads up that I'm hosting a Sponsor Spotlight for the fabulous Crafty Individuals over at Our Creative Corner today.

Hope you get the chance to pop over and join me.

And thank you so much to the fabulous Design Team over at Simon Says Stamp Monday who awarded me the honour of a Designer Spotlight HERE. I'm thrilled!
Take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

22 January 2014

The Warmth of Winter at Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone. It's the second week of the latest challenge over at Frilly and Funkie, and our host Rebecca has chosen 'The Warmth of Winter' as her theme. "This time of year we can bring warmth to those who are feeling the chill! Create a card or project that will warm the heart of someone dear to you." If you are picked as a winner by the team you could be asked to join us as a Guest Designer, and there is also a random draw for  the prize of a $25 coupon to be spent at The Funkie Junkie Boutique. I'm sure you'll agree with me in saying that it is well worth entering to be in with a chance of receiving either of these opportunities.

You get a 'twofer' from me today. Here's the first...

January is a very busy month for birthdays in our family, and both my Mum in Law and Dad definitely need some heart-warming words (for different reasons) at the moment. I adore this sentiment from the Wendy Vecchi stamp set 'Heirloom Art', and found that it would sit perfectly inside the heart shape traced from the 'Never Enough Hearts' stencil. So that's where I started, using a blend of Red Geranium and Orange Blossom Archival Inks through the stencil onto white card and then fussy cutting it.

To help compose a card with a main focal image/shape (in this case the heart) I tend to draw around it onto the blank background and work from there. Now as Fired Brick and Rusty Hinge Distress Paints echo the Archival colours I'd used on the heart they were the perfect choice for applying to the base in a blotchy fashion. Next I stamped on a repeat background pattern in white acrylic paint.

With the traced heart shape still visible on the base I could then add/layer lots of die cut shapes and some flat doily paper to the card, knowing how they would look when the heart was put on top. After dry brushing gesso over these elements I blended more of the same paint over them before adding the heart. I then used a Victorian Velvet Distress Marker to outline the main shapes.

Stencils were then used to add an acrylic paint brick finish to the edges and some Archival Ink flourishes over the heart.. Finally I stamped the floral flourishes using another Distress Marker and added the die cut lettering.

I loved this design so much, and decided to see how a 'male' version could work. The base started in much the same way, with a mix of blue Distress Paints in a more random fashion. The blank areas were blended with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink before I used a new Prima stencil to add a white acrylic paint pattern over it.

This time I stencilled the striped line in before adding the painted die cuts. More Distress Marker outlining and some architectural stamping at either edge of the card added deeper blue tones .

Unlike the flowing pattern for the first card, this second one felt far more angular, and the balance of the design felt more complete with the addition of black paint lines (using the edges of a stamping block and a ruler).

I know these cards have already warmed a couple of hearts already and hope you get your own warmth and inspiration from the ideas presented. Don't forget, if you ever have any questions you can leave a comment here or drop me an email and I'll do my best to help. And I do hope to see you entering the challenge over at Frilly and Funkie.
Take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

21 January 2014

So much fun...

Hi everyone and thank you to those of you who left such positive feedback on my latest video. I have ideas for more but if you have any requests for techniques/products you'd like demo'd then let me know.

In between card orders and samples I've taken time out to play, no restrictions, no plans, no deadlines. This new Wendy Vecchi Archival Reinker watercolour effect has got me so excited as it's quick and unpredictable. Here's the latest card made by combining Cornflower Blue and Fern Green.

This design developed from where the ink ran to and that paler patch in the top corner. To make the most of it I stuck with the same colour Archival Inks for stamping and stencilling but then used a contrast colour, Red Geranium, for the sentiment and flower centres; this made them stand out.

I love it when you start to dry the inky mix and see the way the colours have reacted and bleached in different place.

After stamping the flowers I masked them off to add the background stamping and stencilled stripes. Rather fortuitously some left over altered red paper (from these skating boots) matched the ink colour perfectly so I stamped/fussy cut the central elements for the flowers. The smaller dots and flowers were added with a Distress Marker, as was the blue colour to the outer edges of the flowers and leaves.

 Matting and stencilling are the only parts adding any dimension to this design; the various inky layers add plenty of interest already, and of course it keeps the Royal Mail from charging extra for postage!

I'm hoping the fact that this card is essentially built on Archival Inks means it qualifies for the latest
and with that sentiment and the little heart centred leaves I'm also entering it into

Tomorrow is the start of the second week over at Frilly and Funkie's latest challenge, 'The Warmth of Winter', and I hope you'll be able to join me to see how I warmed the hearts of a couple of rather special people. For now, take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

17 January 2014

Colouring Embossing Paste

Hi everyone and thank you for your kind comments on my recent posts. They are always very much appreciated. As promised yesterday, I have just uploaded a NEW VIDEO HERE about colouring and using embossing paste in response to a couple of questions received recently. It will take you through the processes used for creating the background on this card;

I hope you find this useful and, if you haven't yet indulged in the joys of using/colouring embossing paste, you are encouraged to give it a whirl.
Have a great weekend and take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

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