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Monday, 2 March 2015

DT Cards for Clarity Stamp on C&C TV March 2015

Good Morning all - I thought I would Blog a display of  some of my cards made for Clarity Stamp for the Create & Craft Show today with Barbara Gray. I will Blog the rest later in the week. 
Barbara has  just won  the official  British Craft Award  for the "The Most Inspirational Craft Blog" !! Congratulations Barbara you really deserved it.  If you click on Barbara Gray just above the link will take you to her Blog. But hang on!!! read to the end of here first please. xxx
So the Create and Craft TV Show today?

I had a bit of a mess around on here and discovered a few little things. So who can name all the inks I have used on here????
I would give up now because I don't think I could even name them all, but its definitely a mixed media piece.
I can't comment on weather it was a good show because to be honest with you I am really writing this Blog yesterday - Saturday -  trying to keep ahead of myself!!! But I can say with confidence that Barbara will have been great and she will have done some great demonstrations and I bet that the Fairy Stamps were a sell out and pretty quick too!!!!
This was just a bit of messing around with a Stencil image once I had inked into it. I don't normally have the confidence to show my Doodling but hey what the heck go for it.  It just felt like these Clarity Stamp Flower stamps were begging to be added to a doodle. The Words on the side spin round too so you can put them in any order. I think I will do this again on a card but with a sentence.
So when I got my Stamps and Stencils I was really in the mood for a good play, while I am not doing my Gelli Plate Classes I am sat with my nose to the letterbox waiting for my new Clarity Stamps and Stencils to arrive.  I only like to craft for a reason.  So in between time when there is a bit of a Lull I study!! Well I say Study? I watch a lot of You Tube and search for unusual crafty people on line and on Pinterest to see what everyone is up to? I even made my You Tube video and it is waiting for its second edition, which I have made BUT it was so long even I fell to sleep while I watched it??? So I will "Study on You Tube" how to cut chunks out of your videos seamlessly????

Anyone who knows me or what I do might be surprised to learn that this is one of my person favourites.  I love double dipping onto different ink pads and surprisingly enough you can generally get the same ink tones once you get used to doing this.  I have found some gorgeous colours using this technique and I can hear people screaming now "you will contaminate your ink pad" yep that's right, great isn't it!  This Mushroom Stamp is absolutely gorgeous and I wasn't sure if I would like the fairies (not normally my thing) but once I stamped them, well try for yourself, you just can't leave them alone.

I encased this little chappie in glass. but  you could see the join where I fixed it so using Red Double Sided Tape I put the strips over the top of the glass and added the Glitter to it.  Then I decided I needed to do a bigger glitter frame and did the same on the cut out edge of the white card.
So you know when you have too many ideas and you start to get muddled up and then you send off your DT Samples and remember all the other things you were going to do -that was me.  But its OK because we have a great Design Team and I am sure that there will have been plenty of techniques and styles covered between us all. The reason I had so many ideas was purely because I loved the Stamps so much.

This was a new one I did for the Bunnie Set -  So My thoughts on this, its an Easter Egg Hunt and the Bunnies are cuing up to go on the search.  I love to make card and Tags that have little surprises so see below!
I thought the little chap from the Clarity Stamp Wee People Set was perfect for using to give instructions. "Pull"

And there is the Surprise -  when you pull the Tab with the Man on you get a Happy Easter Popping up.
So someone once commented on how much they liked the way I had all my pictures on display in between my chat so I have mostly kept it that way since and think it works myself, after all we crafters are visual people aren't we?? 

I made this card, then I got a better idea but I really enjoyed colouring this with proper water colour techniques "My Water Colour Techniques" !!?? I say that because I have never really learnt any proper ones.
I have had a few new followers on my Blog lately and I would just like to thank you all for following, old and new Followers.  I really appreciate it. 
So on this one I decided in the beginning that it was going to be one of my "Peek-a-boo" Designs.  Like I say I do like surprise cards. Again I did Water Colour techniques with paint but  it was more about the whole affect rather than shading.
There you go here is the "Peek-A-Boo" bit.
 I will be putting plenty of work and techniques on here in the next few months so I hope you will join me in my little You Tube (just for fun) adventure my promise to myself in January to enter all the challenges I wanted to enter last year but couldn't find the time to and on my Page that I will be running alongside it on Face Book in  between my Clarity Work which is my main focus. All sounds good on paper doesn't it?? 
With this one, well it nearly got thrown out but I decided to persist with it.  There is a lot involved in this one but well worth making I thought, I really like it myself and will be doing a few more of these I think?  I will post a picture tutorial on this later in the week.
I love the depth that can be achieved with this.
 My Face Book Page is Altered Arts & Crafts .
You will be able to see and buy the lovely stamps and stencils from today's show on the Clarity Stamp Website
So I hope you like my cards and thank you for any comments you leave and I will see you soon xxx
So much for doing a Blog the day before?? Due to modern technology it has taken me many many hours over two days to get this uploaded with pictures, so thank you for Popping in.
Sam. xxx

Friday, 20 February 2015

Craft Stamper Magazine Challenge Feb 2015

 Hi there, well this is my second entry for The Craft Stamper Magazine Take It Make It Challenge

You Are My sunshine.

I have done a picture tutorial to make it more interesting than all my waffle ?? But I have to say I was excited to see that this Challenge was about Stencils. I have been playing with stencils since the days of Changing Rooms with Lawrence Llewlyn and Linda Barker. In fact I have a signed book by Linda - she was my hero because she was all about colour and so was I but in a kind of opposite way.  In those days I used to buy stencils at B&Q but I also used to make my own. I got quite a reputation And lost count of how many Kitchens I stencilled ? mostly with Ivy!! But I did enjoy blending the leaves with shade and light, not an easy thing to do with "stencil paint"?? Do you remember that? Anyway I am not new to stencils. So you'd think I would go a bit mad Eh ?? But I didn't because sometimes just one or two simple images with a good stencil is all you need. Like the ones I used from Clarity Stamp. I love these images  - and the striped stencil is one of my favourites, it's so versatile. You can easily change the feel of a card, tag or Canvas with a Stencil like that. From Pretty to Arty, from Messy to Organised, because its a directional Stencil  it forces the eye to follow it but if you did it in both directions it would just calm everything down. Like these Tags here, I used the same Stencil. The one on the left is telling you to look all the way to the bottom and back up to the top - or to look at the whole item at once?  right?  The one on the right is telling you to stop at certain points because it is blocking your eye from looking at the whole thing at once.  Well that's the way I see it anyway.  So sometimes if I am a bit stuck as to where I am going with a project I pull out my Striped Stencil.
Anyway about the no waffle thing???

So I got a Canvas Board out - you can buy these from Clarity Stamp along with the Grunge Paste and Two Stencils that I used.
Coat it in Paint with a Sponge, you might want a few layers because obviously canvas is thirsty for paint. I used Dina Wakley Media Paint - Magenta
Next I got out the Dina Wakley "Night" Media paint, if two colours were made for each other, its these two!  So two ways you can do this, make your "rain" marks on a gelli plate and then pick it up and slap it onto your Canvas Board using your Gelli Mega Mount from Clarity or get a sponge and/or flat paint brush  and have a go at flicking the paint down-over - to give the effect of movement.
Get your Stencil and Grunge Paste out and spread the GP through the Stencil.
If you add rough lines at this stage it gives you more play for shadow or the look of texture when you ink or paint it later.

See, If you look closely I have left the girl on the left with a textured skirt and the girl on the right with textured hair.
Let them dry - about 10 minutes but if you are going to play straight away I would give it about half an our because the ink and paint wet the GP again and if it wasn't totally dry it could easily be dented or rubbed off - it is water soluble so if you really get it wet like I have done on occasion  it just disintegrates  altogether leaving you wondering where it went ??? 
So here we are 1 canvas board and two stencils later and we have the base of the picture - well I say picture, it isn't really meant to be a picture its just a bit of Mixed Media abstract!!
So here you can see the effect now of leaving the Grunge Paste a bit uneven, but it is pre-thought unevenness!!
So now I just started to play, I inked it up I wiped it off I painted it I sanded it - that's what Mixed Media is - play see what you get and if it doesn't work stick another medium on it and see what happens. Isn't it???
So I went from too bright to too dull and then too bright again ........ you get the picture, but this is the norm for me.   So I decided what was really needed was a bit of pattern.  Hence the Punchinella blended through the Line Stencil onto the GP using Ranger Inks and Sponge (I bought mine at Clarity Stamp -  these Ranger sponges are perfect for blending.
So what a mess eh??? But you can see that the pattern breaks it up a lot, and the girl on the left is starting to get a skirt that suits her and the little girl on the right is starting to look girly girly,  don't you think?  I love colouring GP with inks or paint. 
So here I wanted to stamp some words but my verses were too long for the size of words I have. So I shortened the verse and hand wrote the wording - which now isn't a verse at all just a few song lines.  I would have much preferred to have used a stamp, my hand writing isn't great so its another reason I love stamps and I have some great letters and words, so next time!  For the background I just blended some ink through my Clarity Circles Stencil (so 3 stencils used) and some punchinells.  
Here now I was just playing with the positioning of everything, this is all too spread out and so I fitted the words in more with the GP

I sanded back the clothing and umbrella a bit and this gives more of a muted look.
I struggled with the colouring on this little lady but only because it was the skirt that didn't fit the rest of the canvas colours but it was the bit I liked the best, so I just played till it worked, well I think it worked??
Ta Da - my Take It - Make It Challenge piece for the Craft Stamper Magazine.
So black frame or white frame???
I hope you like it?  Any nice comments are always welcome thank you.
This is the link to the Challenge
B y for now
Sam xxx

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

12 Tags of 2015 - Tim Holtz Challenge


Hi there thanks for nipping over t my Blog. 
Last year I was determined to join in with the Tim Holtz 12 Tags Challenge but I failed pretty miserably to keep up. This year again I was determined and so far so good because I have only missed one?!? January ??? Still here I am in February I have a little more tme on my hands at the moment because I am not on the Clarity Challenge because later in the year we will be very busy, also I have stopped my Gelli Plate classes for now because it is logistically impossible to get me and my two kids to 3 different places at the same time so something had to give ?? For now. I will be doing one off Mixed Media / Gelli Plate Classes when I can get them organised. 

I didn't have the Heart Die so I used my Tim Holtz Dress Form Die instead.
Anyway I thought I would have a bit of fun and join in all the Challenges I have been wanting to do for Little while - well I say all, there are 3 I want to do and this is definitely one of them. I absolutely love making Tags - everyone including me loves Tim Holtz work and Products ! So it's a no braver. 

So I thought I would do a mini picture tutorial but I kept changing my mind on the backing layout so I don't have as many pictures as I would like, I think you will get the idea though?

I tried to keep it as close to Tim's Tag as I could so I did the dress form in Black glittery Felt and then made her a little outfit with a Heart to decorate it.  The Felt outfit was a bit too bright so I grunged it up a bit with distress Re-inker and the matching Ink Pad on the edges.  
For the Tag itself I just used a drop of Weathered Wood re-inker on my craft mat spread with a little water and then just rubbed the tag in it to make a base colour.
Then to darken the edges I made a puddle of distress ink  with a drop of  Vintage Photo Re-inker and water and just dragged the edges of the Tag through it, that's how you get the tattered look.
With the Claritystamps - Word chain Love word and Numbers with oval stamp.
 I used the Weathered wood again to stamp them directly all over the Tag randomly this gives you the look of secondary stamping because the background ink is watered down and the stamped ink is pure.
So, the layout, well I do sometimes struggle with this.  You think it would be easy to randomly throw bits of paper onto a Tag but if you don't do it right it doesn't look right.  Once I put the Black and white Bow on the neckline of the Die Cut Dress Form I started to feel my way !!!
Normally I would do my Shading in charcoal pencil but Tim did his with a Black Distress Pen and rubbed it in with his finger, so I thought I would give it a go too.  Except on the Love square because that is just directly on the Tag and I wanted it to look like it had been stuck on. So I needed a deeper shaded area - but I like the subtle look you get with the Distress Marker.
Here look, it does leave a nice shadow, if you flicked the pen out a little you could get rough edges and could get quite a deep look.
I added a die cut house from a Tim Holtz Die it just seemed to fit with the subject, love, families home? Some of the backing papers are cut up Gelli Plate Prints and the Sun Flower is a Claritystamp.  I added an embellishment from the Tim Holtz range and this was placed all over the Tag until it hit me, well it just fits perfect as her head??
See don't you agree?
So this is the finished Tag - I didn't have the White Ink that Tim used on the Tag towards the end but I did have his new White Ink Spray and have sprayed some onto the Tag just tried to catch the edges, Where it was too much I dabbed a bit back off with a Wet Wipe.
  I hope you like my Tag, it would be lovely if you left a comment. 
Bye for now. 
Sam x

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Making Books?! Use up your Gelli Prints.

So What happens when you tell people you are going to do something before you do it? You put the pressure on yourself because there becomes a certain expectation!!
Well I was excited about this at the time I made it because I love books, Note Books, Journal Books, Altered Books, Mini Books, you get the picture.   I opened one up in my craft room the other day and got a lovely surprise because it was one I had Altered a few years ago and forgot all about.

 So I notice a trend for making books.  I did buy a Zutter Binding Machine a while ago and I will be getting that out soon, but I have always fancied having a go at REAL Book Binding.  But for someone who likes quick results, that's most of us Crafters isn't  it?
I decided to do Book Binding "My Way"!!! 
It Has to be easy doean't it? I can use Glue, ink and Paint, I can  Mold Fabric or Card and I can Sew? How hard can it be????
Well My first one was made using Fabric for the Cover at the bottom of this page is a link to my and some of my Self-Reject cards and papers from my Clarity Stamp Design Work, and of course my Gelli Plate Prints.  The Gelli Arts -Gell Printing Prints make great inner sheets for this and a great cover too.
So here it is - not perfect but a learning project.
The cover is Kodak Canvas Paper and Dylusions Inks
with a bit of Resist with a Clarity Stamp
Obviously the Inks are Water based and will "Move" if made wet again, but I managed to coat this cover with Modge Podge to seal the ink with little damage, I only had to patch up little areas here and there. So next time I would spray the colours and seal before I put any pattern on.

This is the Back, Lesson No.1 Inserts,even though they are smaller ALWAYS appear bigger when you close the book???
Answer- Add an extra strip of  an Arty Feature to hide it, I think the white music strip enhances it though anyway.
I am not an Arty Planner or a person who measure things I do it all "by eye". 
So all of the stamps used are Clarity Stamps. This Particular stamp we got for the Clarity Show on Create & Craft last Sunday - it was this stamp that gave me the idea of making the cover.  I made it for the show and all the stamps were just right I think.  I will come back to this further down.

So you can't make a book without pages?  Perfect for the Pages obviously are some of my Gelli Plate Prints. On the next book though as I say, the whole thing will be Gelli Prints in Ink and Paint. So this bit was easy, I trimmed down some Prints and folded them in half, measuring against the cover obviously, by eye!
This canvas was moulded  but I wanted it too look as much like a real book as I could manage, so I lined it with the PaperArtsy "12 by "12 card/paper pad.
So these are the Gelli Prints, all inks and paints and rejects for the projects I was making at the time, rejects make the best Journal and Note Book pages because they are so Random.  Re-jects as in Gelli Prints, don't exist, there is always something you can do with them.
So if you want to doodle on a Gelli Print in a book you need to make it more like a background page - so I used the PaperArtsy Chalky White paint - I always use this but there are so many Gesso's out there you can just experiment, even a normal watered down white would do it, but I like the Chalkyness of this paint and it is just made to soak up a stamped image. So I used a sponge and just did a light coating depending on the depth of colour I was covering. Obviously you want all of the pattern to show through.
Right this is the bit I thought was "easy" of course it is? a few tacking stitches and you're away. ~Well hands up - it takes more thought than I anticipated  if you don't want to be in and out of the same hole half a dozen times, and it needs to be as tight as you can possibly get it without ripping the Card/Paper = I did mention these insert pages are all card didn't I?  They are Clarity Gelli Plate Card, really good quality.
So as I was saying, when folded put all the pieces together and prick a hole in the centre of each one. keeping them firmly slotted in line with each other.  Then put a prick between the top of the page and the middle hole and again in the middle of the bottom of the sheet and the middle hole - complicated ? no - basically three holes evenly distributed on each page.
I decided to use up some of my "we are memory keeper" yarn.  I have the needles to go with it see, perfect size. So your thread needs to be quite thick, not too fluffy and any colour you like, this is an arty book so go for it?
Now ten how do I explain this?
Keep all knots on the outer edge that you see here, we will be covering that up.
Bear in mind there are instructions all over for real book binding.
 So I will name each page - from Bottom Page 1 up to Pg 5
Lets do this like a Knitting Pattern
In at middle Pg1 out at Pg1 Left
In at Pg2 middle -  out at  Pg2 left
In at Pg3 middle - out at Pg 3 left
In at Pg4 middle - out at Pg4 left
In at Pg 5 middle *out at Pg5 Right !!
In at Pg4 middle - out at Pg4 right
In at Pg 3 middle - out at Pg 3 right
In at Pg 2 Middle - out at Pg2 right
In at Pg1 middle - out at Pg1 right
To finish
Loop in and out of thread from Pg1 right to Pg5 right
In at Pg5 right - out at Pg 5 middle
In at Pg 5 Left - out at Pg5 middle
loop under Pg5 Left thread - and down over weaving in an out of thread to Pg1
In at Pg1 - Out at Page 3 tie off end
You can add as many pages as you like this way - I think I will come back and show other methods because this is for a quick gathering of pages so all you need is for them to stay in place but still to open easily. - so remember to keep firmly pulling your thread together, but don't rip.
Here you can see that after I did the above step I then sewed it onto a fabric outer edge. Obviously you can decorate the canvas inner in anyway you like - this isn't really going to show - you will see what I mean if you make this.  Its that transitions sheet between hard cover and pages.
So here you can see the moulded outer cover, the Insert Fabric Sheet and the Pages
This is the Side of the Canvas Sheet Insert that has the Pages attached. 
Glue the moulded area only on the cover - put a bit of glue on the centre of the Insert just to get it to attach. I used Mod Podge for this but there are other glues that I would happily use too, its a case of what is in front of you?
Hold the cover into place with grippers or your stamina?  Keep moulding it into the curve of the cover as it dries. This is a very hands on job and if you don't keep pressing it in you will just end up with a big gap between cover and Insert.
TA DA !!! This is what it all looks like - doesn't it look neat?? This is why I was so excited when I made it, because it worked! I had no idea when I started if it would work or not but if you don't play you don't doscpver?
So here are a few of my Pages - all made on the Gelli Plate over the past few months with inks, and paints and Clarity Stamp Stencils.
Here you can see where I have put the Chalky paint, for a Journal I would keep it like this or mute it more for a Note Book I would put a centre piece of thicker paint to write onto.
Look it even stands on its side.  Mod Podge is a very clever glue though sometimes a little too runny for some projects.
This is the Back of the Book Cover

So for this part I Stamped onto a Photo Fabric Sheet in Versamark and Heat embossed with clear Embossing Powder
I did this with all the images. It creates the Resist on the Fabric against the Ink so that part always looks stays the same. (except with fabric it could possible come back at you from the other side if you get it too wet.
 I then Sprayed with Dylusions Inks after making the Fabric slightly damp with water.
I very carefully applied a coat of ModPodge Mat, as soon as your brush picks up some of the ink colour clean it and dry it and carry on where you left off, in between  time you can keep wiping you brush on kitchen roll.  If you don't keep cleaning your brush all the inks will emerge into one colour.

So you can still play on top of the ModPodge so then you can start to do a little background stamping and adding some pattern with Stencils.

 Simply sew through from each page and into the Back of this fabric at each individual hole and then tie a knot at the back of the fabric where it will be glued to the inner spine of the book in the same way I am about to show you in this video! Yep that's right VIDEO!  I have been promising some for a long time and now I have my new Ipad Mini I will be making more, I have lots of tutorials on my promise list.
So this tutorial on You Tube tells you how to make the cover, the one above is Fabric but on the video it is a Gelli Print on Card - same method though but with the fabric you need to attach it to a card insert to stiffen it even more - the Mod Podge does do a pretty good job of this though.
So I will leave you with it, please let me know if you like the tutorial and video, if you don't like them there is no need to let me know thank you!! xx
Gelli Plate Book Cover 1of 2 - 2 is to follow shortly.

About Me

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Teesside, United Kingdom
I am proud to be on the Design Team for Claritystamp & for the Clarity Stamp Challenge Blog and the Fussy and Fancy Challenge Blog. I have always had an interest in Arts & Crafts and studied for six years and gained certificates in Arts & Crafts, Interior Design, and Soft Furnishings, I even did a Painter & Decorator course. I was originally taught everything I know by my Mam and I now have a passion/obsession for crafts as I develop my techniques. I archived my Goal and have now worked as a demonstrator too.