Thursday, 31 October 2013

Thursday's Blog is always blue...

Here's one Martyn and I did together in the Classroom on TV last time, using the Jigsaw Puzzle Stamp and the Winter Wonderland. Both sets are very versatile, and very popular! It's never hard for me to find something blue; I guess blue is just bluetiful!
Ready for a simple step-by-step?
All you need is

Stamp the jigsaw puzzle in Cobalt on Theuva Card.
Cover up all 4 sides with post-Its
Stamp the Winter Wonderland into place. Blot lightly on copy paper first, for a mottled effect.
add the trees and deer....
Sponge Cloudy blue around the edges. Add a few hillocks, and shadow under the deer.
Coat the whole area with Versamark.
Remove the post-its.
Cover with Clear embossing powder.
Dust off excess speckles.
Heat emboss from underneath.
Flatten and admire!
Cut the Snowflake stencil into 2!
Position the 2 parts above and below the Winter Scene.
Load the stencil brush with Cloudy blue
(and believe me when I tell you : these brushes of ours are pretty spectacular,)
Carefully dust the snowflake stencil with cloudy blue stencil brush.
Remove stencil to reveal a subtle, ghosty snowflake background. Very very cool.
Do a waltz around the edge with the little snowflake stamp. Ink up in black Archival and start stamping:
123 ink 123 ink 123 ink. Just keep travelling round all four edges.
Pretty straightforward really. And it didn't take long. and it's pretty. And it's blue!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Another little bird told me .....

This blogging can be challenging, can't it! Don't you just love it when you delete a whole post? So this is a feeble attempt at reconstructing what I thought was a really cool set of photos and fun! That'll teach me!
Here's a sneak peek
At a rather fabulous beak;
A brand new Stamp and Stencil Set
Not just any old bird -
But our finest yet!
So if you would like to know how to get from here...
to here ...
join me on Create & Craft this Sunday morning.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Grant me the Serenity...

Rolling back the hours, and the years, I went to my little memories box, to see what I could find. I am not a big keeper of things from the past, I don't have loads of photos all over the house, or boxes of stuff from previous lives. But I do have a little box I made many years ago, in which I store a few precious photos and lovely things.
I found this Serenity Prayer which I stamped on Clayboard many moons ago.

The background was created with alcohol inks and a gold Krylon pen. It's an old technique called polished stone, where you mix the gold leaf pen with the alcohol ink and blending solution, and it shatters and spreads, just like polished stone.
I remember many years ago, doing a stamp show in the States in Pennsauken, New Jersey. I met a little Jewish woman called Suze Weinberg, and she was demonstrating this fabulous technique. I even bought her book, so that I could master it properly. And this plaque was the result.
Maybe I should do a step by step blog on the Polished Stone technique, so that those of you who haven't seen it can have a go. It's very easy, and very lovely.

And the Serenity Prayer? I try to live by it.
Sometimes things happen which I'm not happy about, but mostly they are beyond my control.
I guess the prayer just reminds me that if I can't change it, then I'd best accept it.
And if I can change it, then I'd better figure out how and get on with it!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Blogging at 65mph in a van in a storm...

Monday's blog is trees and flowers. Well, here we are trundling home after 4 days at the Glasgow Craft Show, and the weather is pretty bad. Actually, it always is when we leave Scotland! Rain, snow, blizzards...but we had a brilliant time in Glasgow, so many thanks to all those kinds visitors to our stand, who made us feel so very welcome.
And since Monday's blog must be writ,
This is it...
The background was made by pulling a ghost print off the Gelli plate with Titanium Buff. It's just copy paper, but it looks magnificent, and can be stamped straight onto, using a permanent Archival ink pad. Here, I used the Sepia Archival, our Clarity Happy Christmas Stamp, and the trees from the Christmas Set "In the Bleak Midwinter" . And my goodness! Is it bleak out here tonight!
Difficult to believe that this is made with stencils and a bit of acrylic paint....
When you consider that these paper prints are actually created from the leftovers on the gelli plate, that's pretty awesome...
I think they are little works of art,
Each and every one! Boy oh boy do I get some practice at these shows!
For every one of the Deerscapes (oooh look! Another Tree!), I get a lovely paper ghost, too.
This is one of my favourites from this weekend.
And then we simply plant a tree...
Or three...
And d'you know? Even though I must have pulled a hundred of these paper prints this weekend, because that's my job, to show folks how it works, I got a little buzz every single time.
And what's more, every time I pulled back the paper off the gelli, to expose the ghost print, those watching would all coo and wow in unison! Try it. It really does you the power of good.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

A Leafy Window...

Sunday's Blog is step-by-step and typically Gray. Here then, is a little leafy picture.
All you need is
Raisin and Slate Adirondack ink pads
Make-up sponges and Claritystencil brush

Are you ready to start? Right, here goes...
Tape the leaf stencil in place.
Load a Clarity stencil brush with Raisin ink and lightly swirl around the edge of the leaf stencil.
Use a make-up sponge to pull the ink on the plastic into the leaf, so that the edges are sharp and crisp and darker. Add a tiny amount of Slate around the lower edge with a make-up sponge.
Using Raisin, stamp the Pine Ridge into place, and with a make-up sponge, drag the inky tree on the stencil into the lower area of your miniature masterpiece...
Using a piece of torn copy paper and a make-up sponge, add more Raisin.
Add a mountain range,
or two....
Remove the stencil.
Using the Dotty wave stencil, a stencil brush and raisin, add a surround.
You can use Sequin waste ( punchinella ) too.
Darken and age the edges with Slate and a Stencil brush.
Outline the leaf with an Antique Rost Promarker with fine nib.
This was done at the SECC, at the end of the busiest Saturday ever!
But I wanted to make something true to Scotland for the Sunday step by step.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Fancy a Gelli Sandwich?

Saturday's blog, a New Technique. Here's one for those of us with a Gelli Plate appetite. I have been playing with my Gelli Plate for a year now, and the more I figure out, the more I realise what I haven't figured out ! This simple new sandwich trick which I worked out last night, after the Exhibition at the SECC had closed, (so that I could stick to my Blog Poem!) made me think of all the hundreds of different sandwiches we could make...
You need:
Copy paper
Time and Patience.
Lay the Gelli Plate down on a piece of the same size card you will be using.
Spread the Naples Yellow over the Gelli Plate with your Speedball Brayer.
Lay the Leafy Swirl stencil down. Then lay down a sheet of copy paper and blot well.
Remove the blotting paper.
Remove the stencil. Allow to dry for at least 5 minutes. This is the hardest part...
First layer of the sandwich made.
Now for the sandwich fill.
Without pulling the yellow print off, spread a layer of Payne's Grey over the dry yellow pattern.
Using the brayer, roll off the black/grey paint until you can see the pattern peeping through.
That just ensures you don't overfill the sandwich!
Lay the Dotty Wave stencil down. Blot with copy paper again.
Remove the copy paper and the stencil, and allow to dry for at least 5 minutes again.
Needs to be completely dry.
That's the 2nd layer, the sandwich fill made.
Now I don't know about you, but I tend to use the same sort of bread for both layers, so get your Naples yellow out again and spread it over the dry black dotty pattern.
Lay down the white card on the wet yellow, to pull the print.
Use the card underneath the Gelli Plate to position the print.
Rub the back of the card with your hand or use a clean brayer to apply pressure, and pull your print.
Et voila, Plat de Jour au Gelli!
You will pull all 3 layers off your plate at the same time.
The Leafy Swirl, which you used first, will be at the front.
Stop and think about that for a moment. Think about the sandwich whilst you look at the colours.
Then rustle up your own flavours!
All you need is 2 contrasting colours and 2 stencils which go together well.
Bon Appetit!