01 August 2016

Pixels and Paper Challenge Blog - Colourful August!


It's hard to believe we're into August already - just where has 2016 disappeared to, I'd like to know?!!  Perhaps it is sunning itself somewhere with my crafty mojo...  I've turned to one of the Wanderlust 2016 classes for my inspiration for this month's piece for the Pixels and Paper Challenge Blog, and it may just have unearthed that missing mojo...  Our inspiration for this month is a very colourful image of decorated cupcakes...
The criteria for this one is the use of tiny embellishments...  Hmmm...  How am I going to meet this?

So I turned to Week 20 of the Wanderlust 2016 course I'm taking.  The Week 20 class was entitled "More is More", and was presented by the very talented Finnabair.  This is the first time I've been exposed to Finnabair's work, and I have to say, it is absolutely amazing, regardless of if it's your chosen style or not.  It has actually brought about some enjoyment in me for the past few days (are you hearing this, mojo?!!) as I've constructed my piece for this month...

I began by creating my mini-canvas panel in the middle, following the basic steps outlined by Finnabair in the class.  These sorts of projects are all about texture, and the concept of More is More.  There are micro beads set into stencilled 3D gel; mini glass beads set into hot glue, pieces of chipboard that have also been decorated with splonges of hot glue; in the background there are pieces of ribbon, lace and assorted mesh and trim; I've also set some eyelets and stuck them onto the panel.  The 'centrepiece' of my panel was created using a cameo-shaped pendant, and sticking a plastic fairy on top.

I created my own versions of coloured acrylic metallic paints by mixing a few Dylusions colours with an IndigoBlu acrylic paint called 'Snow White'.  This was how I was able to incorporate the vibrant colours of the inspiration piece into my panel.  I've also used DecoArt Metallic Lustre in 'Black Shimmer' around the edges of the panel and across some of the texture to give it a highlight.

When I was happy with my panel, I needed to decide how best to show it off - and so I came up with the idea of creating a background 12x12 page using predominantly the same background techniques as I used on the panel to replicate the texture.  I've machine-stitched a diamond in the middle of the page to use as a sort of frame, as well as machine-stitching around the border of the 12x12 as well.  I've replicated the torn paper strips and the 3d gel stencilling, as well as the micro-beads.  I've also replicated the ribbon, lace, mesh and trim into the backround surface.  This has all then been covered with black gesso and has DecoArt Metallic Lustre in 'Black Shimmer' rubbed all over the surface and around the edges.

I've set some eyelets outside the frame and tied some black metallic thread between them, and I've put some brads on the top and bottom edges, diagonally from each other, in keeping with the criteria of small embellies.

I've used a Sharpie paint pen in White for my journalling, as well as reinforcing the machine stitching with some doodling on the frame and around the edge.  I've diecut the word "MORE" from white card stock, stuck it down and put Dimensional Magic over it to give it some oomph.

I'm rapt with how the panel worked out, and I'm relatively pleased with the background 12x12 as well.  I might have to have another go at a canvas panel to practice more of the 'Finnabair-inspired' works - I quite enjoyed it!

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you get your entries in for this month's challenge over at the wonderful Pixels and Paper!


22 July 2016

Pixels and Paper ~ Team Training in July!

Team Training in July - Colorburst!

Whilst still searching desperately for my mojo, I have managed to put together my very first tutorial for Team Training on the wonderful Pixels and Paper Challenge Blog.  I thought I'd share with you one of my favourite ways to create interesting backgrounds using Ken Oliver's Colorburst. [Apologies in advance for the poor quality of the photos - the batteries were dead in my DSLR, and so I was using a phone camera.]

I'll start with creating a watercolour background on watercolour paper.  I give the watercolour paper a spritz with water on the front (and here's a little tip for you - if you give it a quick spritz on the back as well, it will help to keep it flat while you work, instead of bowing up). 

I then sprinkle the Colorburst powder on the paper and watch the first lot of magic as it reacts with the water and spreads.  (I've chosen Pthalo Green and Alizarin Crimson for this demonstration).

I then add some of the Alizarin Crimson to the white areas on the paper.  As I spray more water to activate the Crimson powder, you can see that it also reactivates the Green powder, leading to a few muddy areas where they mix.

After drying it off, you can see that the overall effect is a very soft watercolour effect, with very vibrant colours. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now for the fun part - here's something I discovered whilst playing around with my Colorburst and different surfaces.  I thought to myself, is there a way to dry off the surface after one colour has been applied, and hopefully stop the 'muddying' effect when more water is added - I didn't realise it until I tried it, that photo paper is the answer!
After spraying the surface, sprinkling the Colorburst powder and spraying again with water to activate the powder, I can then 'blot' the moisture away from the surface with paper towel - when I spray the surface again, the Green stays where it is - it doesn't get 're-activated'.  This means that I can add the Crimson over the top and not have it 'move' the Green at the same time. 

As you can see from the side-by-side comparisons of the two backgrounds I've created, there is less blending with the one on the photo paper (and no 'mud' when mixing a primary and a secondary), which means you can create beautiful backgrounds that take advantage of the 'spread' of the powder with the Colorburst.  I've included some other samples of backgrounds I've created on photo paper below.
This is the technique I used to make my flowers on my May art journal page with Pixels and Paper, criteria to use flowers.  I didn't end up blogging that creation personally (there was a bit going on at the time), but if you didn't see it over at Pixels and Paper, I thought you might like to see it here.
I hope you enjoyed my very first tutorial - I had heaps of fun making it!
Thanks for visiting, and don't forget to enter this month's wintry challenge at Pixels and Paper!


01 July 2016

Pixels and Paper Challenge Blog - Chilly July

RED Coats

It's been a while since I've blogged my work - I've been finding it hard to come by any form of mojo whatsoever, and have truly struggled the past few months to even meet my DT obligations with Pixels and Paper.  However, I'm hoping that this month's piece has finally fired me up to get moving again - time will tell!

This month's challenge over on the wonderful Pixels and Paper Challenge Blog is to take inspiration from the photo below, and use a winter theme...
It certainly does look chilly, doesn't it??  I took inspiration from the fog, and wanted to recreate it in the background of my layout.  I wasn't sure what sort of photo to use, and so with permission from my friend, I used a photo of her gorgeous girls wearing matching winter coats.  The real winner in the photo is the cheeky look on Sienna's face!!!
And those magnificent winter coats just happened to be a marvellous shade of RED!!  What a fantastic pop of colour for my layout - I was rapt!

To create my foggy background, I used white gesso tinted with a smal amount of black gesso and used a pallette knife to slather it over the page.  Once this was dry, I used a circle stencil and some Liquitex Modeling Paste to put random white circles of texture over the page.  Here's where that gets interesting!!

After allowing the modeling paste to dry almost completely, I then used a snowflake stamp to stamp into the paste.  Some of the paste circles were almost dry and some (the thicker ones) were still quite pliable and I was able to get a better, deeper impression.  After the modelling paste had all dried completely, I then used some Deco Art Antiquing Cream in 'Carbon Black' to bring out the detail in the snowflakes.  This also allowed for darker areas immediately around the circles of paste, and took away the bright whiteness of the paste as well.  I finished off the snowflakes with a dot of Ranger Enamel Accents in 'White' right in the centre.

I trimmed down my white cardstock a bit so that I could mat it onto a red piece of cardstock to provide a border.  (I had cut out the middle of the 12x12 piece of red cardstock so that I would have some to use to mat my photo).

I then mixed up some Dylusions paints together (using 'Cherry Pie' with a small amount of 'Postbox Red' - this gave the 'Cherry Pie' a more reddish appearance on the white/grey background, rather than pink).  I then stencilled randomly using a Kaisercraft hearts stencil and a makeup sponge.  After this stencilling had dried, I used my white Sharpie Paint Pen to doodle around the edges of the hearts.

I cropped the photo down to a square and used the white Sharpie Paint Pen to doodle a border and then matted the photo onto the red cardstock.  I also used more of the red cardstock to cut out the word 'RED' using a Nini's Things alphabet die set.  I also cut out the word 'COATS' using a Stampin' Up! alphabet die set and this was cut from white cardstock.  I diecut some snowflakes from the white card stock as well.

I grabbed some patterned paper (I think it was Creative Memories) - basically I chose this paper for the white with black grungy details and loved that it had black polka dots with the same grungy details on the reverse - this was used to create a bit of layering with strips of paper to add interest.

Once the letters were stuck down, I went over them with Wink of Stella to give them a bit of glimmer so they stood out on the page.  My final touch was just to add "Gorgeous Delainie and Sienna" with a black Sharpie Paint Pen.

Thank you to my friend for allowing me to use this awesome photo of her gorgeous girls!  And thanks for popping by to visit!  I hope you join in on this chilly July theme at P&P to help you beat any winter blues!


18 April 2016

Scrapbook Boutique~April 2016 Moodboard Challenge

Pretty Pink Art Journal page

It's been way too long since I've joined in with the lovely ladies at Scrapbook Boutique!!  Thankfully my mojo has returned from it's recent sabbatical, and I've been able to play along with their awesome April Moodboard Challenge:
Obvious themes for me to take away from this gorgeous Moodboard are "pink" and "roses".  Armed with that in mind, I set about making my Art Journal page:
[At my husband's request, the face in the photo has been distorted...]
There is a lot of layering of acrylic paints with this spread, and stencilling of both paint and texture paste, as well as employing the 'transfer technique' to get my photo onto the layout.  I've been learning a lot of these techniques from the awesome Wanderlust 2016 journey I'm on - it's fabulous!!

I have also stamped some text and whimsical rose images with Archival Ink in 'Watering Can'.

Thanks for visiting - I hope you like my Art Journal page!


11 April 2016

Kraft+ April'16 Challenge~Kraftboard #2 with Black&White~Entry No.2

"Thank You Card"

I loved the look of the Moodboard Challenge at Kraft+ so much this month, that I wanted to play along again, this time making a card.  Here is the fabulous Moodboard once again:
Apart from the obvious black and white combination, I also drew inspiration from the three circular shapes, and decided to put three pretty flowers as the feature on my card.
I stamped the pansy image using the 'Flower Shop" stamp set by Stampin' Up! in VersaMark on Kraft cardstock and heat embossed it in black.  I then watercoloured the images in with white, allowing the moisture to sink into the Kraft cardstock, and then building up the white until I was happy with it.  I then added some black and grey tones over the embossed area, and topped up the centre with white watercolour as well.  I then used the co-ordinating punch by Stampin' Up! to cut out the pansies.

I used a piece of Kraft cardstock a bit smaller than my card size so that I could edge it with 'Black Soot' Distress Ink.  I stamped the "Thank You" sentiment from the 'Four You' stamp set by Stampin' Up! in VersaMark and heat embossed it in black.

I wanted to add a bit more texture to the card front, and so I heated my panel from the underside with my heat gun.  Once it was warm, I sprinkled black embossing powder randomly and continued to apply heat from the underside for a few minutes.  I then carefully (and from a distance!) applied heat from above my panel to set the embossing powder.  Quite a bit of it still 'flew away', but I got an effect I was happy with.

In constructing my card, I used a piece of organza ribbon by Stampin' Up! to put across my panel.  I clustered my flowers, using foam squares for the front one.  Once I had adhered my panel to the front of my card, I realised the card needed something else.  I added three white enamel dots in a triangular shape (with two around the sentiment to draw the eye).

I'm really happy with how this card turned out, and I'm even more thrilled to be crafting again after an annoying hiatus while my mojo went on a little vacation (without taking me!).

Thanks for visiting!

10 April 2016

Kraft+ April'16 Challenge - Kraftboard #2 with Black&White!

"Creativity takes Courage"

It's been a long time since I've joined in with Kraft+, but I couldn't resist the look of this month's challenge:
I took inspiration from the framed quotes, particularly "What's stopping you?".  I based my art journal page around the thought that "Creativity takes Courage" - here it is!
To create my kraft background, I ripped up some old kraft packing paper (the paper that comes with Stampin' Up! orders).  Using a gel medium, I stuck my ripped up pieces down to my journal page.  I alternated between smooth pieces and scrunched pieces to add dimension.  I also added some black and white chevron washi tape around the edge of my page to replicate a frame.

Once it was dry, I used a pallet knife and black gesso to add a large smear down the middle of the page.  I chose the pallet knife over a brush as I wanted to get the effect of the scrunch vs smooth texture I had created in the background.

I stencilled some opaque white texture paste through a cobblestone stencil to the top and bottom of the page.  I wasn't happy with the finish once it was dry (to me it wasn't white enough), so I touched it up with some Titanium White acrylic paint.

I grabbed a film frame chippy by 2crafty and heat-embossed it in black.  I then added some Tinby Designs Metallic Melts in 'Carbon Black' to give it some additional detail (hard to see in the photo).

Looking through my Tim Holtz "Small Talk" book, I found my exact quote "Creativity Takes Courage".  I grabbed both white ones and both black ones and planned to put them inside my frame - but how???  Lightbulb moment - the back of the packing from these books is in a Kraft colour - why not use some of the packing on my spread?!!  So I measured up my frame on some of the packing cardstock and put it all together.  I thought it might also be nice to use some extra bits of the packing cardstock elsewhere on my spread.  Before putting down my central piece (being the film frame), I added some black and white cotton thread for extra texture and interest).

I also used a random strip of white cardstock that had been torn, as well as some Stampin' Up! DSP to fill out the layers on my spread.

Taking my Sharpie White Paint Marker and Black Paint Marker, I added some journalling which I highlighted with the alternate colour in a shabby circle, as well as some small doodling bits.  Finally, I spattered white acrylic ink over the layout, added a few black enamel dots and some words ("be brave" and "create") from my Tim Holtz "Big Chat" book.

Thanks for visiting!

01 April 2016

Pixels and Paper Challenge Blog - Vintage April

"Vintage Art Journal Page"

Wow, where is the year going?  We're into April already, Easter has been and gone, and it's First Term school holidays in Victoria - OMGee!! 

It's also time for another challenge over at the Pixels and Paper Challenge Blog, and this month we're all about vintage!  Here is the gorgeous inspiration photo:
The criteria (obviously) is Vintage.  You are welcome to submit traditional paper layouts, art journals, divided page protectors, smash books, a mixed media canvas. Digital entries are welcomed and encouraged.  All entries must be new for this challenge and no back-linking please.

You may combine with a sketch challenge only - no other combining will be accepted. Please include our inspirational picture as well as provide a link back to Pixels and Paper on your blog post and don't forget to tell us how you were inspired. International submissions are welcome.
So, vintage isn't really a style I'm familiar with at all, so this one was waaaay out of my comfort zone!  I decided to make it an art journal page as I'm into learning about mixed media at the moment, and here is what I came up with:
I started with sponging 'Tattered Rose' Distress Ink on the background of the page, and then stencilled some 'Tea Dye' Distress Ink through a lace stencil by Prima Marketing.  Wanting to get a bit of texture into the background, I also stencilled some texture paste through the same lace stencil, and inked up some of the raised sections with 'Tattered Rose' once it was dry.
I grabbed a piece of hessian from my stash and sewed some random buttons onto it and frayed the edges.  I also grabbed a piece of white lace from my stash and inked it up with 'Tattered Rose' to change the colour.  I grabbed a piece of patterned paper from the Duchess Collection by Kaisercraft and cut it into strips and uneven lengths.  One thin strip from the blue side of the paper was threaded through the lace.

Once the papers were stuck down, I applied a small amount of gesso over them to hold some blue watercolour paint.  There is also a gold doily there somewhere, under the lace and under the hessian and mannekin base (a retired die set by Stampin' Up!).  The dress for the mannekin was cut from the remnants of the patterened paper and a piece of ribbon was added to differentiate between the bodice and the skirt of the dress.

There is a piece of scrunched up kraft paper set out like a fan behind the dress mannekin, and this also has patches of gesso and then blue watercolour paint.  As a finishing touch, I added a few paper flowers under the bottom edge of the dress.

There's a lot going on with this page!!  As someone who is (a) only just really learning about mixed media and art journalling; and (b) not all that flash with the vintage style, I'm pretty rapt with how this page turned out!!

Thanks for visiting, and be sure to enter the challenge so you have the chance to win a prize!


01 March 2016

Pixels & Paper Challenge Blog ~ Monochromatic March!


So it's time for a new challenge over on the Pixels & Paper Challenge Blog, and I must say, I love this one!
MMMMM - Coffee!

The criteria for this month is "Monochromatic Colour Scheme".  You are welcome to submit traditional paper layouts, art journals, divided page protectors, smash books, a mixed media canvas. Digital entries are welcomed and encouraged.  

For me this month, I had an idea right away that I wanted to put a black and white photo onto a black and white monochromatic page - however, it took me a few false starts to get there!

I initially started with a 12x12 black board that I'd picked up in a specials bin - I wanted to seal it with black gesso and then after that was dry, daub white gesso then white acrylic paint to create an interesting background effect...  

Well, I'm not sure if it was the board, or the black gesso that was a bit suspect, because everything white that I added to my background turned pink - every single layer!  I even put a layer of clear gesso over the offending pink in order to break the chain, but still my white acrylic paint turned pink ~ aaarrrggghhh!!!

So, I scrapped that idea and moved on to my next one - and it turned out much better!
The black border is the background 12x12 Bazzill Cardstock. I then grabbed some heavy-weight white smooth cardstock and cut it down by 3cm all round.  I then cut out two half-circles out from the edges top and bottom so the black would show through underneath.

I mixed up some DecoArt Crackle Paste with black acrylic ink to make it a grey colour.  Then using Finnabair's "Cobblestones" stencil, I stencilled in the crackle paste on an angle down the middle of the white cardstock.  I also dropped random splatters of Liquitex 'Carbon Black' acrylic ink over the page using the dropper tip.  This was set aside to dry.
Onto the background on the left hand side, I stamped 'Filmstrip' by Stampin' Up! twice using Versafine Ink in 'Onyx Black'.  Once the background was completely dry, I stuck it down onto the Bazzill Black cardstock.  Using the dropper tip from my Liquitex 'Titanium White' acrylic ink, I drew in the heart shapes on the Black background where the half-circles had been cut out.

I actually used those half circle cutouts to make a new embellishment for my page - I joined them together to make a circle, and then added a circle piece on top from a Kaisercraft's Collectables set (I can't remember which one) because it had a heart in it.  I used two other pieces from the same Collectables set, one to put the date, and the other with a camera on it as it suited the overall theme and the photograph.

I've used some old Creative Memories Storybox papers to mat the photo and to build up the layering, and finally I used my new favourite tool - a dip pen with Liquitex acrylic ink - to write my title "Siblings". 

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you feel inspired to join in this month's Pixels and Paper challenge!