30 August 2014

Busy, busy, busy at IndigoBlu

Hi everyone and first an apology for having been MIA again. Prep and sample making seems to be taking over my life right now. I've been beavering away getting articles written and getting ready for a busy few weekends ahead demoing at garden centres across the Midlands. And then of course there's tomorrow... it's the Open Day at IndigoBlu HQ where Kay, Clare, Nikki and myself will be in action with stamps, inks, paints and so much more. I know a few friends have already arranged to be there and it would be great to see you too! I'll be taking along the project we'll be doing at my inaugural IB workshop at the end of September (details on my sidebar) so you'll get a chance for a sneaky peek at what's in store.

Of course I can't post just that so by way of a reminder of our Indian Summer challenge over at the IndigoBlu Challenge blog right now here's a little something to get you in the mood (for creating of course!)

This card involved the use of gesso, inks, stencilling, a spot of paint and of course some stamping. I've used the 'Under the Sea' A5 stamp set, the 'Regal' stencil, my all time favourite Gee-Sso Good! white gesso, and the English Cottage Artist's Acrylic Paints. You'll need some close ups, so...

I intend to get back on top of commenting and make some time to see all your wonderful creations on Monday, and in the meantime if you haven't put your name in the hat for one of my Tim Holtz inspired ATCs yet make sure you leave a comment HERE. Remember, I'll be drawing the names of four lucky winners on Thursday at the end of A Vintage Journey's current ATC challenge.

Time waits for no crafter, so for now take care of yourselves and I'll hopefully see you soon.
Jenny xxx

22 August 2014

A Little Touch of Tim at A Vintage Journey

Phew, what a whirlwind few days! And now it's finally Friday and the start of a new challenge over at A Vintage Journey. Alison is our host for the fortnight and she's after seeing your ATC's. "Keep it small please! I'm looking for Vintage and Tim Holtz style ATCs - a single ATC or a set - perhaps a trio that match. And I'm being a purist here, so only ATCs, please - no ATBs or Chunky ATCs allowed".

Never one to knowingly disappoint...

I have been DESPERATE to use the new TH Gothic Layering Stencil so when Alison challenged  us to create Tim style vintage ATC's there was only one way this was going! I had images of rusted gates in my head (yep, it's a weird place in there ;) so these became experiments to create different versions of rust and verdigris.

For the first one I used the mono printing with Distress Paint technique, using a mix of Evergreen Bough, Shabby Shutters and Tarnished Brass on the stencil. Using the painted part as a resist I rubbed Rusty Hinge and Vintage Photo Distress Inks over the top.

The next one happened by accident! Having applied Copper Mixative, Bottle and Stonewashed alcohol inks to the glossy card I attempted the faded layers technique, but it didn't look so good with this detailed stencil. For me, I will note that in the memory bank (for at least half an hour!) and use larger, more graphic stencils for this technique in future. Rather than give up I added Ranger Verdigris embossing powder through the stencil and absolutely loved the effect!

This was a really quick one making use of the brayered stains technique. A mix of Evergreen Bough, Frayed Burlap and Antique Linen Distress Stains gave a lovely mottled effect before I added a mix of Studio 490 Wendy Vecchi Orange Blossom and Tree Branch Archival Inks through the stencil. A coat of clear embossing powder strengthened the colour.

Finally I reached for embossing powders again, this time employing a mix of copper and Walnut Stain through the stencil. Don't you just love that roughened texture, unlike any other embossing powder I've seen used. It worked perfectly as a resist to the Rusty Hinge and Evergreen Bough Distress Stains that were dragged across the ATC in much the same way as Tim has done with his August 2014 tag.

Each of these ATCs had a collection of die cut floral and fauna added before I cut a bird and the tag from paper from the TH Menagerie collection (inked with Vintage Photo to match). The Hash Tag stamped sentiments fit a little better than Chit Chat stickers this time as I really wanted the beauty of each background to shine through.

So here's the deal, my follower count ticked over the 300 mark recently but I was flat out with DT/workshop work and unable to celebrate it at that stage. Now it's time to put that right. Fancy owning one of these little treasures? Just leave a comment below and one of them could be winging their way to you! Yes, I'm giving all four of them away to different recipients - it's not much I know but it's my way of saying thank you for keeping me company as I travel this often bumpy creative road. I'll draw four lucky winners from the comments left at the end of the challenge in a fortnight.

Now I need to send you to see the miniature works of art created by my fellow AVJ Creative Guides - trust me, you will be amazed by their ideas. See them all at A Vintage Journey, then enter the challenge yourselves to be in with a chance of winning a shopping voucher from our generous sponsor, Country View Crafts. You can find all the items I've used (including the die to cut the ATCs) in the online shop.

Time to go and get back to work on new ideas and wish you a wonderful weekend, whatever you're up to. Take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

21 August 2014

It's an Indian Summer at the IndigoBlu Challenge Blog

Hi everyone and welcome to the second post of the day (you can find the first one HERE).
It's the start of a new monthly challenge theme over at the IndigoBlu challenge blog; "The trees are starting to turn very subtly to brown and the weather is becoming decidedly more chilly... Here's to hoping for an Indian Summer... "

Indian Summer's are supposed to be warm, colourful and joyous. I have a passion for Indian fabrics and had these in mind with this 'faux paisley' design using, of all things, the new 'Snowflake Bauble' Dinkie stamp. Doesn't it work really well repeat stamped!

I used 'Sheffield Steel' Mega Flakes with the stamp to create this opulent foiled pattern before blending Crushed Olive, Fired Brick and Seedless Preserves Distress Inks over it. To get a really good 'hand dyed' look I spritzed the inks with water and dipped/dried them to add some mottling. The same thing was done to a piece of plain card to be used as a background. And I added more flake to the edges of the separated panels to make them stand out. With a busy background I kept the rest of the card simple by adding a sentiment (stamped with Plum Archival Ink) from the 'Little Voice' A5 stamp set, matted and layered to match.

OK, that's it from me for today but please do check out what my fellow Challenge Design Team mates have been up to and see the amazing prizes up for grabs at the IndigoBlu Challenge blog. And don't forget to leave Lisa Baker and myself a comment on my first post today to be in with a chance of winning an ICE Resin prize! Seriously, all these giveaways! They'll be stocking crackers and decorations at the supermarket next!!!

I'll be back again tomorrow with a new challenge project for A Vintage Journey, so until then take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

ICE Resin Blog Hop

Hi everyone and welcome, especially if you've joined me for the first time using the links on the IndigoBlu blog. I'm here for the first of two posts today; for this one I'm taking part in another first for me - an ICE Resin / IndigoBlu blog hop! The blog hop is taking place over the next three days (21st to 23rd August) and there will be more blog posts coming up from members of the two Design Teams. As an added bonus we will be giving away one IndigoBlu Starter Kit per day. To be in with a chance to win today all you need to do is leave a comment on this post below, and if you also leave a comment on the post from my IB team mate Lisa Baker you'll have a second entry.

And so to my project for this hop - my very first piece of ICE Resin jewellery! Now I must admit to being very nervous about all of this. We were given a list of things we could use on our projects, including the new IndigoBlu Christmas stamps and a fabulous ICE Resin Kit which contained all sorts of goodies. As a complete newbie my first stop for advice was YouTube - there are tons of really helpful videos out there. Then of course days can be lost on Pinterest just gazing at all the wonderful pieces created by many talented bods across the World for even more inspiration...

I kept it simple, colouring the background panel with Distress Inks to match the ribbon, stamping the A6 'Snowflake Lace' background with FlitterGlu and covering it with 'Chariot of Fire' Mega Flakes. It is really important to seal your inked card with 'Slap It On' matte medium to stop the resin from leaking into it as this will make it translucent and could spoil the look of your finished piece. Then for the ICE Resin itself - with a simple two syringe system it's simple to prep before pouring onto the bezel, and I even mixed some tiny flakes in with it to add to the effect. The resin is self-doming and set beautifully without bubbles or other nasties appearing as I left it overnight to set completely. You may notice from the close up below that I also added some tiny 'Chariot of Fire' flakes to the raised area of the bezel for extra sparkle.

So there you have it! My first piece completed and I'll definitely be carving out some more play time in the coming months.

Now then, this is a blog hop so you'll need the links to the other participants;

DAY ONE: Thursday, August 21

DAY TWO: Friday, August 22
Carol La Valley http://wp.me/p1MCno-3st
John Creighton Petersen http://artnewwave.com/?page_id=468

DAY THREE: Saturday, August 23

Remember, if you leave a comment below and one on Lisa Baker's post today you'll get two chances to win an IndigoBlu starter kit today. And there will be more chances to win for the next two days .

Hopefully I'll see you back here at 10am today for the start of a new IndigoBlu monthly challenge (it's all go eh?!) Until then thank you for dropping by and take care of yourselves. Jenny xxx

20 August 2014

Hip to be Square at Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone and welcome to Wednesday and thank you for joining me. I'm back with a flurry of posts and DT projects over the coming few days, all of which have been keeping me out of mischief!

First up is the current Frilly and Funkie challenge (hosted by yours truly) which is entitled 'Hip to be Square'. For this challenge we want you to create a 3D vintage or shabby chic project based on a cube shape. The Design Team have used Artist Trading Block cubes but let's be clear, you can use your own templates, dies or hand cut cubes if you would prefer. Decorate, embellish and alter them in any way you choose as long as they are cube shaped and have a vintage or shabby chic feel. As an added bonus this fortnight we are teaming up with our friends at 'The Artists on the Block'. They have a dedicated Design Team using Eileen Hull Designs cubes (and many other 3D die cut shapes) in incredibly imaginative ways so make sure you take a look for some added inspiration. And with their companion challenge blog 'Art With Heart' having an 'Anything Goes' theme this month you've got the option to enter your creations there as well to be in with a chance to win a brand new Eileen Hull Designs die!

And so to my set of boxes... you may have seen the remarkable block projects created by the Frilly team last week - talk about setting the standard! I knew only the best would do to match up this week and so began an often frustrating yet ultimately fulfilling few days beavering away. Inspiration came in part from a US tv show called 'Sin City Motors' where a workshop team in Las Vegas breath new life into vintage cars, embracing every imperfection and quirky design twist imaginable (well I do live in a house with four males who love cars!) And then there was Tim Holtz' August tag, all steampunk and rusty. In my head, then, formed a partial vision of old motor vehicles, rusted metals and travel.

For the smallest box I used Tim's riveted metal technique, adding extra dabs of alcohol ink after rubbing back the original layer. The top looks ultra-ornate with its filigree metal corners and ring fastener (all altered with Distress Paint to match). As all of these cubes open to allow for future use as gift containers each one has been lined with paper or paint to match.

The next box became a travel trunk, complete with Tim's faux kraft suede technique and tons of Rusty Hinge Distress Stain. I added an extra 'lid' to make it look more realistic and included little travel stickers cut from the Menagerie Paper Stash. Finally it was fastened with an inked grunge paper strap and Idea-Ology buckle, with matching 'feet' added for stability.

Next box up, and I used my version of Tim's eroded metallic technique from the June 2014 issue of Craft Stamper magazine (Rachel of Fisher's Cards and Crafts has also made fantastic use of this technique for her entry into the current CS Take It, Make It August challenge). The added extras included a sprinkle of Verdigris embossing powder and a swipe of Watering Can Archival Ink. The 3D car atop is my tribute to the 'Rat Rods' created on that tv show I mentioned earlier and Wendy Vecchi's 'Licence Plate Art' words were a perfect fit with the theme. I love mixing Distress Paint, Ink and Embossing Powders to create rusted and aged effects on arrows, cogs and washers!

The final, largest box is the one based on Tim's August Tag and pretty much follows his colour choices but this time teamed with Brett Weldele's 'Racer Girl' stamp set. All the metal embellishments were altered with matching Distress Paints and I added a little tag to the handle cut using the Tim Holtz Framelits Tag Collection and some Remnant Rub Ons. Funnily enough this block didn't look completely finished until I roughed up the edges!

So those are my blocks/cubes/boxes and now it's time to flip over to the Frilly and Funkie challenge blog to see what my Funkie team mates have come up with for this theme (they're awesome again by the way!) Don't forget, when you enter this challenge you've got that added option of entering the 'Art With Heart' challenge too giving you more ways to win.

As for me, I'll be entering Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of 2014 August Tag challenge

Hopefully see you again tomorrow, but for now, take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

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