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Thursday, 11 December 2014

My Little Book of Ideas

Well when we got the last set of Stamps from Clarity Stamp for the Create & Craft Show on Sunday 7th Dec 2014 I had so many ideas. I played and got a few  cards done straight away. But as I went along I kept ending up with lots of bits and pieces that I really liked but that wouldn't be good enough on their own as a card. 

I had also made a batch of these! The Leaf Stencil was lovely and I wanted to try it in lots of different colours.  This is embossed onto the Clarity Stamp Black Shiny Card and then sanded down - nothing else done to it.  See how I kept the frame in, that finishes off the front Book Cover nicely I think.  The Wonderful was stamped with Yellow Ink and then dabbed onto a blue ink pad top and bottom.
I did these in several colours and couldn't decide which I liked the best.  Which one should I use I asked Hannah - for a card?  Well she said why don't you overlap them and use them all. What a great idea I said.  So that inspired me to make the book.  I did try to make a card - you know those ones where you have the overlapping flap down the middle and you can lift them all up in one go - Well that didn't work!! So Hence the MDF Book, from our lovely MDFMan.  I think my friend Linda Page would have been able to sort me out with the Flap Card thing she is good at things like that.
I do think it looks lovely in Mustard Yellow, don't you. Each one I embossed, apart from the Black and White one, was then rubbed over with a Wet Wipe and Re-Inkers but you could do this with a round sponge, or the Clarity Brushes.
The Orange one looks lovely too? This stencil just looks great in all its glory I think.
And the Green and Black - well you can't go wrong with Green & Black together.


The Hearts were cut out from an embossed black image coloured in the same way and then cut with a Heart Punch.
I just couldn't leave this Owl Stamp alone!! 

Ta Da !!!

Too many pages, I will show the rest later and maybe explain how some of them were done.
So there you have it, my Ideas and Techniques Book.
Like I say I also had a lot of ideas and strips of lovely papers I had coloured and stamped that wouldn't quite make the grade for a Card for TV but look OK in this book. It was fun to be able to play a bit and not have to worry about finishing everything off.  But it was really all about the - the above picture - the Stencil embossed and coloured on the Black Clarity Card.
I will come back and show you some of the inserts in my next Blog otherwise this one will just go on forever - I have a fair few pictures. 
All Products - Stencils & Stamps can be found here - Clarity Stamp
This is a page my Daughter did, she has been wanting to join in with my crafting lately.
  Isn't it lovely!! xx
So I hope you like my little MDF Book made for Clarity Stamp and I hope you give it a go yourself, but be warned, its more fiddly than it looks.
Thank you for dropping by and thank you for any comments left.
Carry on Crafting
Sam Crowe. xx

Monday, 1 December 2014

ClarityStamp Challenge Dec 2014

Hi there everyone.  There is a new Clarity Challenge which starts today.  The theme is "Trees" and I would say as any Clarity Stamp Lover will know there are lots of lovely Tree Stamps to choose from.  If you enter our Challenge you will be in with the chance of winning the Main Prize, randomly picked, so everyone is in with a chance. Ah what is the main prize I hear you ask??

Also we, the DT will pick out our  Top 5 Winners
I nearly forgot to put the link to the Clarity Stamp Challenge ? Here it is.

I pulled out one of my Many Many Gelli Plate Prints for this one. I read through them like a little book (actually a very large book) to see what I can see in them.  Sometimes the plainest ones are the ones I play with the most.  When they are heavily patterned and looking good I think they should be displayed on their own, when they are plain but a bit grungy I know that the Clarity Stamps will bring them out to their best. I have been playing "Perspective" - something I am not very good at, but I do know that with tine and patience you can improve on this. I remember at college when we used to do Room Plans, my Bed or Settee would often be a bit odd looking i.e. jumping off the front of the Mood Board or a leg missing because I couldn't quite get the angle right? Still I passed???? Maybe my Teacher should have gone to Spec Savers?
The Trees I used are from the Re-mountable Wrought Iron Set
I often refer back to stamps from this set because they work really well with all sorts of  Tags, cards etc its one of my Favourites and I have just seen that it is on Offer Too - Bonus!
So this Tag was just Blue, I wanted the Car to look like it had driven from Tree to Tree!

and I wanted it to look like it was in heavy snow.

So like I said these beautiful Trees are from the Wrought Iron Re-Mountable Set and I love them, you get two sizes in the set.  I have stamped a part of the car at the bottom corner to show the start of the journey.
I used to do a lot of Doodling like this, just changing the look of things in a subtle way with my Gel Pens, - its my form of colouring in really,  So I have renewed my pens and can't resist getting them out - well OK the Truth - I bought my Daughter some descent Gel Pens after she pleaded with me, so as I had to Sacrifice my set so I could get her some (she wanted different ones) I sneaked into her room and borrowed them.!  I do miss my Mat Yellow one though it always finishes a project nicely.
So my Snow Ha Hem!!  Well it isn't actually meant to look like thick snow, it was more of a directional thing.  See if you draw lots of lines in one direction and then in another and another - your eye follows those lines and it gives the illusion of movement - OK you probably already know that, just checking! So it should look like my Car has driven from Tree to Tree! White Gel Pens are another favourite of mine too, you can get various pens from the Clarity Stamp Website  
This Car and Xmas Tree Stamp  is a very popular Stamp - you can tell because it is plastered all over FB. I have seen some lovely cards made with it.  My Daughter's eyes lit up when she saw it too.  It has come from the NDC Club - I have never been disappointed in a Stamp from the Club, or Stencil for that matter. I love this one too.  If you just stamped it on a page on its own it would look great but I have seen some great snow scene cards made with it and some of the Clarity House Stamps.

For instance one of my fellow DT Members Naomi Mahon  has also used it on  her Card for this Challenge you can see it on her Blog
So I started with the Glittery Gel Pens so I had to have a Glittery Car didn't I. 
 Well in my head this is the shimmer of the Frost on the Car. !?
So there you go, the last leg of its Journey in the snow, for this Tag anyway.  I  put a lot more of the white pen coming from the back of the car to make it look like a build up of snow, from a distance I think this seems to work? Do YOU?

 I hope you like my Tag - I dressed it up on a piece of white card and added a few more trees.
I hope you will join our Clarity Challenge too.
All nice comments are welcome and always appreciated.
What no waffle I hear you say?  Sorry, maybe next time. xxx
By for now and Carry On Crafting
Sam xxx

Friday, 21 November 2014

Light & Shade Paint Tutorial

I was talking to a friend about achieving Light and Shade on a project using Paints. You can do this method with all sorts of mediums some of them are a bit smelly though, Vanessa wanted to know how to get this effect without having to go outside in winter. 
So I was discussing this and said that there are several ways with several mediums to achieve this affect, there always are by the way.  Most things that we do in Mixed Media, Altered Art etc can all be done in more than one way so you just choose the method  you like the best. I have been playing with Paints for a long time on cards, walls, nails ( I used to always have beautiful nails, not now though) anyway, I love the way paint works, its the easiest medium to just wipe out too. If you don't like it you paint it back out simple!!!
I had been working on this at the time, its a much bigger project than this, this is a twinchie made from two Gelli Plate Prints using Clarity Stamps.  I love to do this - right you take two prints, stamp them almost the same, then cut them up.  With the cut areas try to match up one half of a stamped image with a Gelli Print and the other half of that same image with the other Gelli Print. So this is my ATC, it doesn't have to be exact.  Then you try to get some white spaces to make the images stand out BUT (in my head and for a self-challenge) you are only allowed to use the two Gelli Prints and not add any other card or paper to the project.  So I will show you where I am taking it to  when I get chance to finish it, probably in December.
So me and Vanessa were discussing doing some Light and Shade, that's why I showed you the above picture because I will be doing some of that on this Twinchie, using Charcoal pencils.  But for the project for Vanessa its all Paint. OK that's a Lie I have just looked at my pictures Ha ! It has ink on initially but all the effects are done with paint.
So please note that this is just to show how quickly you can change the look of something quite dramatically.  It isn't a finished project and was never intended to be, its all about the Play. I will finish it one day though in my own  way.

I stamped the Car half onto the Tag.  I chopped up some bits of card randomly - well not too randomly because its a Tag so you need them similar sizes. !

Get an Ink pad, Yellow in this case, and just rub it across the Tag, we want some bright base colours on here - most of this will be covered.

 There you go, nice and thick but random.

A bit of Blue! Always need a bit of Blue in a project.

Do the same, just rub it across the Tag.  I am not adding water because I don't want the colour diluted. The wet wipes will dilute it enough.

Mmmm Still putting Blue on?

Ah there you go, see how the Blue lifts it.  We also have a bit of Green going on here from the colour mix, that's fine, its just an undercoat.

So, those bits of cut out/ pre-stamped card, just randomly place them on the Tag and glue down. Keep drying the project with a heat gun. If you don't dry it everything will just start merging and lifting.

I normally use the System 3 Paints, but I am a little partial to Dina Wakely Paints and PaperArtsy paints for special effects and bright colours.

So here I have put the paint onto a sponge, that craft sponge with the black backing - the name escapes me!!!

The fun bit, just rub the paint over the cut out card that you stuck down.  Make note, what ever we do on top from now on we want to take it back again enough to be able to see this Pink - or some of it. AND remember to keep drying your project.

The SHOCKING BIT ! Cover the whole thing in Black or "Night" if you have the Dina Wakely Paints.

Use a Wet Wipe or the sponge as with the pink.

Gooowwwnnn get on with it!

Ta Da - Yuk!!! So I put it on with a Wet Wipe and I took it back off with a wet wipe - but not all of it. So what we are looking for here is to catch the edges of those pink areas, we are going to take all of the top of the pink, but leave it on the sides.

See - you can already see that the pink just looks a tiny bit more embedded, and the dry areas (by dry areas I mean the flat of the Tag, we don't want to mess too much with this because it will start to rub off, keep it quite dry)  of the Tag have started to change the way they look, that's just from one or two sweeps

So here I decided I am going to need more bright colours in the base, So I added Yellow and Orange Paint. Randomly rubbed on with a sponge. Remember to keep some pink!!

So Again I have done the sweep over with System 3 Brown this time and then rubbed back off with a wet wipe. Just catch different edges each time or ALL of them but not evenly.

Now we are starting to get somewhere, I have brought in the ink to use a little with my Blending Tool, I didn't do much with this though. As it is water based I took most of it back out and  you don't get as much play as with the paint on this type of play.

Gone Mad!! So I have added a bright Blue paint, same methods. The purpose of all these layers is that although most of it is going to be covered up, the little bits that do show through at the end are the bits that absolutely make the look !!
So out with the Charcoal Pencil = rub it around all the edges of the layered card and just onto the card at the upper edge.
(I did this version of this  technique for the first time in a class with Hels Sheridan)
once you have shaded all the areas rub in circular movements all along the edge and slightly on the top with your finger - or if you want to stay clean use a Blending tool.  Remember the circular movements though it makes all the difference.
Dyan Reavely taught me that in a Journal class.  Funny isn't it see you take one Charcoal Pencil and everyone has so many different methods to use with it - all of them completely different.  Remember the Scratching off technique Barbara Gray showed me on the Vase Stencil?

See the flower top left, this is the Charcoal taken back out like Barbara showed me which I think is great for shading, that's the technique I used here :-


So anyway back to it. 
Look you even get Repeats on Blogs these days !!!

So its starting to look a right mess, but a controlled right mess, this is exactly what we want.  See all the light areas, remember I said every time you add a layer, no matter what it is, get out your Wet Wipe and again in circular movements (so that you don't get any straight lines) wipe away the paint, ink whatever from the areas you want the bright colour to show through till the end!

A close up - you can see here I have added some shadow stamping and a bit of  silver pen - do be careful because if you do too much it will spoil it completely.  I partly did it because nothing will sit on top of it except the Paint, so you will just see a tiny bit of shine popping through at the end. If I did this again I would leave the Silver out of it.  See how the car jumps out with the bright Yellow, this is one of the areas I want to look almost the same when I am finished.

Right here we go again (you know this only took me half an hour in all!)  Get out a bit of kitchen roll or a sponge and rub black over your project completely, have a wet wipe handy we don't really want this to dry.

Lovely job!  If it does dry too much just give a little spray of water to the paint and it will re-activate it enough to be able to wipe it off with the Wet Wipe!

Ah there you go !

So start rubbing it off.  Remember we are not doing housework here, we don't want the whole Tag cleaned off.  We just want to rub  enough away to be able to see the colours and we want to catch the edges of those raised areas. So to do that we need to gently wipe up and down and across. 
I think this picture really gives you a good idea of how to do this.

Ooh What a mess, I love  it.

So what do you think Vanessa  - are we getting close?  Its just a case of having a play now and taking it to the depth or level you want it to be at. I have added some white at the tops here to start to make areas look Light shaded. Paint of course.
You can of course go back in with light colours if you have lost too much of it, but personally I wouldn't because its the Dark edges over the light that make it work. So if you did feel you had to add some, just do the black process again on top.

I added  a bit of varnish on in some areas to make it look a bit "leathered".

So there you have it, as I said not a finished project as such but a method and a grungy look.  I think to finish this off nicely I would slightly darken the edges and stamp some of those lovely Word Chain stamps from Clarity Stamp on the pink areas. I would stamp my "Art" one but I have lost it, I am gutted!  I could have fitted in "Home is where the Art  is" ! I was quite chuffed with myself when I made that one up !
So I hope this helps Vanessa and anyone else who fancies doing a bit of light and shading. Its not a Method as such I suppose, this is just the way I play with my paints for this grungy look. A bit of Mixed Media meets Journaling.
I love these little Girly Stamps from Clarity Stamp, I only just bought them a few months ago and want to get them out all the time. .
I hope you can see the potential.
This one gets it next. xx

Bye for now
Thank you for dropping by
Sam xx

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.