29 April 2015

Stencil Mania at Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone and welcome. We are moving into the second week of the current challenge over at Frilly and Funkie and our host, the lovely Sue Carrington, has picked one of her favourite tools to set the theme this time around. "Now if you know me, you'll know that stencils are a huge part of my crafting style; in fact I don't know what I would do if I couldn't use a stencil! So for this challenge we want to see your stencils taking centre stage, and the more you use the better!" The winner will earn a Guest DT spot at Frilly and Funkie, and everyone who enters will be entered into the draw to have the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique.

The vast majority of my stencil collection revolves around Tim Holtz' Layering Stencils and lots of gorgeous Studio 490 Wendy Vecchi stencils (all of which are available through The Funkie Junkie Boutique by the way!) I haven't had a 'Wendy fix' in a while and those stencils were definitely calling to me. I'd already got the beginnings of a background using Wendy's Archival Reinkers technique and a few stencils were just what was needed to get this DL card finished (I know, don't adjust your screens - it's not square!!!)
(click on the images for a closer look)

Wendy has a tutorial for this background technique on this month's Make ART Challenge Blog - Re-Inkers (into which this card will be entered) so I'll leave explaining that bit to the expert! The thing I love most about them is that outcome is always different and the patterns created can help to guide the final design. I grabbed my Archival Inks to work out which colours to use on top of the Cornflower Blue base and set to work play.

Orange Blossom Reinker mixed with more surgical spirit was dripped from either end of the card before I added the first of my stencils. The Spotlight Frames and Masks are fantastic for creating a focal point (hence that oval) and allowed me to use Old Ledger and Checkmate without fear of 'invading' that central space. Having added some ornate stamping I used the Hydrangea SiSi with Newsprint paper and Black Clearly for Art to make the dimensional flower. I know hydrangeas aren't usually this colour but the Tea Rose/Orange Blossom option was calling to me! A touch of Forget Me Not and Orange Blossom over the Fern Green leaves give them even more dimension. A 'faux graniteware' Mat Mini pitcher, a couple of Tim Holtz rub ons and a sentiment from his Life Quotes set completed the card.

I'm going to make this my second entry into the new 'Stamps and Stencils' challenge where the theme is 'Anything Goes'. Sue has assembled a fantastic DT line up and I highly recommend a visit if you haven't visited already.
With the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge having an 'Anything Goes' theme this will fit too.

Finally, please indulge me as I share a (somewhat blurry) photo of two of the 24 attendees at the Back2Craft workshop last Saturday... yes, it's Sandy and Toni (Artistic Craft Dabbler) who are fantastic crafters and lovely people, who will be joining those of us stalking attending Wendy's UK workshop in August! It's such a thrill to catch up with the people you get to 'know' online, and I can't wait to see them both again soon. And thank you to everyone who came along that day to try their hands at stamping, gilding and painting - as always it was great fun.

Now, there's a step by step to prepare for Saturday so I'll be off to the craft room again. Thanks for dropping by, and if you haven't seen it already, remember to check out the International Design Team Call over at IndigoBlu. Whatever you're up to today, take care of yourselves. Jenny xxx

25 April 2015

International Design Team Call at IndigoBlu

Hi everyone and welcome. If you are wondering where my usual Saturday post for IndigoBlu is today, the regular blog posts have been suspended for the time being. The reason? Well the exciting news is that there is an International Design Team Call over at IndigoBlu!!! It's open to anyone, anywhere across the World, with a passion for stamping and mixed media.
The closing date is 18th May 2015 and you can find all the important details HERE - so what are you waiting for!

As for me it's been another ridiculously busy week, with a heap of projects to get ready for future publication and lots of prep. And today you'll find me returning to Walsall at Back2Craft for a fun day of workshops!
Whatever you're up to this weekend have a good one and take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

18 April 2015

Butterfly Box at IndigoBlu

Hi everyone and welcome. Well it's a busy weekend in store for me, with workshop training at the new IndigoBlu HQ for some new and exciting classes coming to a retailer near you soon! There will be more details to follow soon...

In the meantime, over at the IndigoBlu blog I'm sharing a 'not so new' but as yet unpublished project to celebrate the arrival of Spring to the UK. I hope you can join me over there for a closer look.

Whatever you're up to this weekend I hope you have a great time and take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

17 April 2015

All Mopped Up...

Hi everyone and welcome! Today we're talking storage. Having purchased this basic set of drawers over a year ago with the intention of getting a little more organised and filling it with all my embellishments, I finally got around to altering it to 'look the part'. It went from this...

To this... (better, right?)

Having received my new Tim Holtz paper pad I did the usual thing of stroking it, then thinking of all the cards/projects I can make with it, then prematurely grieving the loss of these glorious sheets (once used) to friends, family, etc. So it occurred to me that I could retain a little portion of the pad by using some of the 3" square sections on one of the pages on the front of this box.

Ageing the whole thing took several layers of paint and a huge bundle of inspiration from the master of up-cycled furniture, Mark Gould; I started with a coat of 'Relic' Decoart Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint, giving it a light sanding when dry (no need for primer either!); next a good rub over with a plain wax candle; then a coat of thoroughly watered down 'Postbox Red' IndigoBlu English Cottage Artist's Acrylic paint; another good rub over with plain wax candle; and then a final coat of 'Vintage' Decoart Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint covered the outsides of the box and drawers. By now it looked great but not aged enough, so I mixed some of the 'Clear' DecoArt Americana Decor Creme Wax with a small dab of 'Hot Cocoa' IndigoBlu English Cottage Artist's Acrylic paint (you can get a brown version of the creme wax but I improvised!) and brushed a light coat over every surface, rubbing off any excess as I went. It gave the whole box a beautiful smooth finish and dried completely in minutes.

With the wood completely altered I turned my attention to the drawer fronts. As mentioned above, this involved using some of the smaller 3" square replications of the larger sheets, cut to fit the openings, Distress Ink blended around the edges, stencilled with the Tim Holtz Bubble Stencil and Wendy Vecchi's Translucent Embossing Paste, and given a thin coat of the 'Clear' Creme Wax. I think you can just pick up the stencil detail in a few of the photos as the idea was to add texture without overly obscuring the beautiful paper designs.

And now it's full with all those bits and bobs that we all use on our projects (and boy, does it weigh a bit as a result!) The rest of the room really needs tackling to house the ever expanding collection of 'stuff' but it could be a while and require a fair wind before I attempt that!

That's it from me today. I'll be back tomorrow with my regular IndigoBlu slot so I hope you can join me for that. It's a full weekend ahead of training classes that now awaits me, so I'm off to finish the prep! Whatever you're up to take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

15 April 2015

Springtime Die Cuts at Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone and welcome. Over at the Frilly and Funkie challenge blog it's time to get your crafting geared away from Winter and into Spring! Nicole is hosting this awesome Springtime Die Cut Challenge and says "I'm sure there's some foliage, flowers or butterflies somewhere in your stash! Just think SPRING!" We want to see your vintage and shabby chic projects so you can be in with a chance to win a Guest Designer spot for a future challenge or a $25 shopping spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique.

Here's my DT make for this one (click on the images for a closer look)...

Recently I got my paws on some Lindy's Stamp Gang goodies; having never tried these before (but seen them put to great use on my DT team mates blogs) I was intrigued to see how they'd perform. Needless to say they are now firm favourites! To create the background for this canvas I took a leaf out of Tim Holtz' book and stencilled the Flourish design all over before sprinkling it with a mix of Café au Lait, C'est la vie Cerise, and Merci Beaucoup Mint shimmery embossing powders. I then misted a blend of those same colours over the whole background using the Flat Fabio versions and allowed them to pool/set. As they dried the colours intensified. To finish this part I splattered Tattered Rose, Frayed Burlap, Cracked Pistachio and Evergreen Bough Distress Paints around (and added them to the sides of the canvas) allowing them to air dry.

I love the look of the pre-made flowers you see on mixed media canvases but wanted to make my own for this one to fit with the die cuts theme, so out came the Tattered Florals dies (along with several others) and a happy hour was spent cutting mounds of Spring themed card elements. As ever I followed Jennie Atkinson's tutorials for flower making, giving the pink 'cherry blossoms' a spritz with the Chateau Rose Flat Fabio and a Café au Lait centre. The 'daisies' got Bonjour Butter centres with gumdrop centres. Like how I matched up the colour of these with the buttery centres? It took the tiniest amount of Dandelion Archival Reinker mixed with Surgical Spirits (Rubbing Alcohol) to effect this transformation! And as for the stamens in each of the cherry blossoms, step forward and take a well earned bow Shelly Hickox for this superb tutorial using Liquid Pearls.

Flowers made, it was time to finish the canvas. There are; flourishes covered in Café au Lait embossing powder; die cut leaves and ivy coloured with Cracked Pistachio and Pine Needles Distress Stains; my very own 'catkin buds' made from texture paste dabbed with Scattered Straw Distress Paint and added to branches covered in Gathered Twigs Distress Paint; the butterfly contains a mix of Antique Linen and Victorian Velvet Distress Glitters; the central panels are two die cut ATC's layered over each other, with the lower one covered in Chateau Rose embossing powder and the upper one stamped/gilded using IndigoBlu's Heart Flourish and cut on one side with the saying coming from Tim Holtz' Life Quotes stamp set.

It is such a thrill to work with new products and find they coordinate beautifully with those you already have, and I'm so pleased how they came together to give a fresh, vintage feel to this canvas. There will definitely be more Lindy's Stamp Gang sets landing in to my craft room before long!

Hope you've enjoyed seeing today's project from me. As ever, my uber-talented Funkie teamies have also come up with some incredible Springtime Die Cut masterpieces of their own so do hop on over to Frilly and Funkie and see what they've been up to. Then it will be your turn!

I'm entering this into the following challenges;

Thank you as ever for joining me today. Here's hoping that whatever the remains of the week holds in store for you it's all good.
Take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

13 April 2015

Krafty Watercolouring

Hi everyone and welcome. As mentioned previously I'm ahead of myself this month with my Tim Holtz April Tag challenge project! I know, miracles do sometimes happen!!!

As ever, my version is a card (click on the images for a closer look)...

Having started with strips of watercolour card I speckled it all with Antique Linen before stamping out the flowers. I love Tim's water-colouring techniques but wanted to add more depth to the colour of the blooms. My Dad gave me the germ of an idea when mentioning that he was going to add pastels before painting on one of his pieces. I figured that as Distress Paints dry matte they too could provide a perfect base. And so, before adding the two Distress Ink colours (Shaded Lilac and Dusty Concord) I painted each one with a thin coat of DP Shaded Lilac. And as that worked well I replicated the process on the stems using DP Cracked Pistachio/DI Cracked Pistachio and Mowed Lawn.

The kraft background came courtesy Tim's Kraft Resist paper collection and I used one of the Mixed Media Thinlits dies to cut into the border strips (LOVE those dies!) and then for the final trims, I discovered a way of making the heart look the same aged brassy colour as the Idea-Ology Foliage that got a paint/alcohol ink upgrade. And I know the Typeset Alterations Strip Die has been out forever but it's new to me (and it works perfectly with all those new Correspondence releases) so you'll be seeing more of it here. A little Glossy Accents on the lettering really made it stand out.

As well as entering this into Tim's 12 Tags of 2015 April challenge it's also going into;

Woohoo! It's been a while since I've been able to enter some challenges!
I'll be back on Wednesday for the current Frilly and Funkie challenge, but in the meantime take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

11 April 2015

Fabric Marbling for IndigoBlu

Hi everyone and welcome to another link to my regular Saturday post over at IndigoBlu. Today also sees the launch of the first of my latest shows for IndigoBlu on britishcraftnetwork.tv - having received a number of requests over the past few months, I've been demonstrating different ideas for combining English Cottage Artist's Acrylic Paints with fabric.

And to celebrate this I've used one background created 'on air' as the base for today's card. See what it looks like in full over at IndigoBlu.

Apologies for the lack of posts this week - personal life had to take precedence - but normal service will be resumed with an upcoming DT canvas for Frilly and Funkie and my Tim tag card (it's nearly done for once!!!) And hopefully, if time allows, there are a few more of those 'to do list'  projects which might get tackled this weekend.

Whatever you're up to I hope you have a good weekend. Take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

4 April 2015

Lovely Lamps at IndigoBlu

Hi everyone and welcome to a fabulous Easter weekend! It may be raining outside here in the UK but remember, those showers are doing wonders for the newly emerging flowers and soon we'll be treated to the sort of colourful display that nature does best. As for me, I'm back again to share a little something created for IndigoBlu using the Limor Webber Designs Industrial Lamps stamp set.

To see more and find out what I did/used I'd love you to join me over at the IndigoBlu blog today.

What a whirlwind of a week it's been here! Starting with what felt like an 'Extra Day' for my March Tim tag project, I 'Put a Ribbon on It!' on Wednesday and went 'Through the Looking Glass' yesterday, and there's more to come! Do I deserve a little chocolate to keep me going?

Whatever you're up to I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend and take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

3 April 2015

Through The Looking Glass at A Vintage Journey

Hi everyone and welcome. Today sees the launch of a new challenge theme for this month over at A Vintage Journey with our host Julia. Called 'Through The Looking Glass', her challenge to you is to make a project involving glass (acetate) or mirrors (metal sheet), perhaps a window or a clock face, a hand held mirror or glass bottle. Tim has lots of Idea-Ology products and dies that would be just the thing for this challenge!

To me the essence of Tim Holtz' style is to take something new and give it a feeling of age, replicating in part the vintage pieces he's well known for collecting and exhibiting on his show stands (and even at home!) When Julia set the challenge theme I knew I wanted to some kind of reflective surface rather than glass but didn't want to go for the standard die cut option. Whilst browsing through Pinterest (anyone else lose hours doing that?!!!) I came across a set of boards from Savvy City Farmer which included antique furniture and mirrors. The cogs started whirring and, in one of those 'what if' moments, I came up with an idea for ageing a Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Mirrored Sheet.

The majority of the ageing process took place on the reverse side of the mirrored sheet. Having soaked it in water for a while I rubbed away some of the sticky backing sheet with my fingers, much like you do when revealing the reverse side of a double-sided paper/card (though it takes quite a bit longer with the mirrored sheet).

I then applied Walnut Stain and Black Soot Distress Paint to the edges and stencilled some onto the front using the Splatters Layering Stencil. Finally I stamped the script pattern from the Papillon stamp set onto a piece of white card and stuck it to the back of the mirrored sheet.

The first of the embellishments continued the mirrored theme; foil covered card altered with Alcohol Inks and die cut with one of the Mixed Media Thinlits dies. To make the embossed feather stand out more I offset another one (cut from black card) underneath. The rest of the elements, including the butterfly from one of Tim Holtz' Ephemera packs, were splattered with some Tarnished Brass Distress Spray Stain and the Alpha Parts numbers were painted with the matching shade of Distress Paint.

Now I highly recommend a visit to see the other DT members participating in this month's challenge at A Vintage Journey as they have created a stunning line up of projects to get your creative juices flowing. Then we'd love to see your Tim Holtz influenced entries using glass or mirrors so you can be in with a chance to win a £20 shopping voucher for Country View Crafts. To see all the details head on over to the challenge blog.

I'll be back again tomorrow with another IndigoBlu project so I hope you can join me for that, but for now have a great Easter weekend and whatever you're up to take care of yourselves. Jenny xxx

1 April 2015

Put a Ribbon on It at Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone and welcome! I'm back to share my Funkie DT piece for Linda's challenge 'Put a Ribbon on It!' Since Linda had so much fun creating new projects with ribbon for a recent Friday Focus she figured it would be a great idea to challenge you to do the same, especially as there's such a great range in stock at The Funkie Junkie Boutique. The guidelines for entering are simple: create a vintage or shabby chic project following the challenge theme, link it to the challenge post and you will be in with a chance to win! The winner will earn a Guest DT spot here at Frilly and Funkie, and everyone who enters will be entered into the draw to have the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique.

I wanted to incorporate ribbon into a mixed media piece to show that it's not just for wrapping and bows. Even though I had the germ of an idea about what this could look like it took on a life of its own and evolved at every stage. The 8.5 x 11 inch canvas started with layers of gesso, paper lace doily and stencilling with Tree Branch Archival Ink and Black Soot Distress Paint. Some misting with Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain removed some of the stark white areas. To finish the background I added some more stencilling; Picket Fence Distress Paint through the new Wendy Vecchi 'Old Ledger' and Texture Paste through Wendy's 'Vintage Quilt' stencil. And finally splatters of Alcohol Ink - it's not just for metal you know!!!

I love the colours in these plaid design May Arts ribbons and planned the focal point of this piece around them. The lace was died with more Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain and threaded with red twine before strips of the ribbon were layered over it. I deliberately frayed the ribbon edges and removed the wiring so they would lay flat on the canvas. More twine and a selection of brass filigree leaves provided the perfect foil for the rose panels. These were so easy to create thanks to another of Wendy's stencils; having distressed pieces of card with more Antique Linen I used the Rose Stamp It Stencil It to stamp and colour three roses using Archival Ink. I finished them off with some lace stamping from the Art and You set before layering them together and adding an embellished filigree brass piece. Oh, and you may notice the roses are double-layered - I restamped/coloured them onto spare paper, added them to Clearly for Art (with Glue n Seal of course) cut and heat shaped! Hey presto, dimensional roses. A Wendy sentiment completed the design - thank you Wendy!

Hopefully this will have given you some ideas for incorporating ribbon into your projects. For even more head on over to the 'Put a Ribbon on It!' challenge over at Frilly and Funkie where my Funkie team mates are sharing more super designs.
Don't forget, there are some great prizes up for grabs if you enter yourselves!

That's it from me for today but I'll be back on Friday for the launch of a new A Vintage Journey challenge. For now, take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

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