Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year Circles

The theme at Thee Muses this week is circles.  I've been busy playing with techniques but wanted to do something for the last challenge.  So I made an 'out of this world' piece.
Happy New Year
I think it looks like the craters of the moon, hence the 'out of the world' reference.  It began as white card stock with a thick layer of gesso applied.  Into this I pressed various circular objects, bottle tops, pencil ends, paint brush ends etc.  Once dried I painted the whole piece black and then covered that with a blue / green gold.  Next came many, many layers in ever lightening shades of viridian paint using a dry brush technique, until the final layer was just zinc white (almost translucent).  In all I believe there to be approximately 25 - 30 layers.
I really wanted to use this piece for something so decided to take a photo into photoshop and add a seasonal greeting.  This is where the hard work began!

Becoming more and more frustrated that I couldn't make the words appear as I wanted I threw a hissy fit.  Captain Slow to the rescue....  he took the file and manipulated it as I wanted it and then gave it back to me (so technially, this isn't all my own work).

This piece now feels more like leather than paper but I don't know if it's due to the gesso, the paint or both.

Thank you everyone, for taking the time to look at my work this year and for leaving such wonderful and encouraging words.  I wish you all the very best for the new year and hope that it brings you everything that you would wish for yourself.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Let's get industrial

At Sunday Postcard Art today they have an open theme, which means I have the opportunity to play with my Christmas gifts, even though there is no relevance to the season.

Welcome to my industrial playing
Oh hello rust!
For Christmas this year I got some amazing stamps and embossing folders, many of which relate to grunge, industrial and steampunk.  Although one of the stamp sets randomly is Circus - a theme I don't care for too much.
I was playing around with a rust technique I found on the net and I love it.

It isn't my technique so I won't describe the process but instead I will recommend Andy Skinner, who is a genius :)

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Hope for the New Year

The Three Muses challenge this week is the Queen of Hearts.  My collage is a stylised Queen of Heart with my sincere hope for a New Year full of Peace and Happiness.
Hope for the New Year
 A fairly simple piece today because it's Christmas and also because I have the flu and have been in bed most of the day :(
Background is midnight blue card stock with hand drawn twinkling stars using a Sakura starburst pen.  The lower portion of the page is bead gel, for no other reason than I think it's pretty to look at.
The heart is red card stock painted with Deco Art Quinacridone Gold and then sprayed with sparkling sealant.

The wings and crown are grunge paper die cuts from Tim Holtz, painted bronze and the crown has red diamante attached.
To finish I attached a Tim Holtz 'Hope' ticket dusted around the edges with Vintage Photo distress ink.

Best wishes to you all this festive season, no matter what your faith:  Peace, Love and Happiness!

Thursday, 20 December 2012


I entered an ATC swap with the theme of 'Text'.  Any content was acceptable so long as there is some text on the card.  It was a very long turn-around (approx 2 months) before I could post these but finally, they are in the hands of their new owners and I can share them on here...  Hurrah!

Who's sending me txts?
 This one has a base of vintage text which I cut into random shapes and then glued to the substrate in various directions.  The design of the card was meant to be crisp, so I cut the paper rather than tear.  Then I applied paint to the edges, I think it was antique lined distress ink but I could be mistaken.
Next came three 1" squares that I painted with variously shades of yellow, orange and red.  The letters are chipboard covered in copper embossing powder and then clear embossing powder layer over the top.

 I found a quirky quote in an old Punch magazine and decided to make this the basis of the ATC.  The background is Dylusions spray ink in bubble gum pink and 2 shades of blue with a salt technique(draws in the ink to leave spots).  Next I stamped a row of little houses on vintage text and coloured them with Twinkling H2Os.  I masked the houses and then applied overlapping circles in bronze paint below the houses.  The word showtime uses individual stamps that I punched out from white card stock using a tiny circle punch.

I love this one.  The background is painted with various shades of orange, burnt orange and bronze.  I then splattered some turquoise paint across the card from my paint brush.  (I watered down the paint to flicking consistency first).  Next I applied a very thick layer of Viva Croc medium on vintage paper.  It took ages to dry but the effect was brilliant.  I then carefully applied Broken China Distress ink to the heart and pounced it until it worked down to the paper (I should have just done it on the back, but hindsight is a wonderful thing).
The print is from my computer, edged in vintage photo distress ink and the whole lot glued to the substrate.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Frosty Christmas

Last week I saw freezing fog for the first time in my life, it was stunning.  white covered everything including cobwebs in the trees. The sun shone but looked watered down or filtered through gauze.
I used this memory as inspiration for the Sunday Postcard Art challenge this week where the theme is Blue and Silver.
Song sung blue.....

I used a direct to paper technique with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink, and then smooshed it around with some dry foam.  Next came some music paper, for no reason other than I find sheet music feels festive :)  Stamping the stylised Christmas tree in Versamark, I then applied silver embossing powder and heated it.  Once everything was dry and cooled down I applied Rock Candy distress crackle over part of the tree and the music.  It takes a while to dry, which is why I'm late with my post today.

I applied more distress ink around the edges in Broken China and then in Chipped Sapphire.  Then I dripped some pretty large drops of water on the background.  I applied more distress ink to the cracks in the crackle glaze and dabbed on some white picket fence stain here and there.  I finished the whole lot off with a few random dots of Stardust stickles and a lovely silver bow at the top of the tree.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

You little sew and sew

A month or so ago I entered a swap to create a printers tray from a used Graze box.  (recycled boxes used to ship dried fruits and nuts)  We were each supplied with a used box and challenged to create a printers tray in the style selected by our partner - my partner chose vintage sewing.
Sewing / Vintage sewing isn't my favourite theme and I have no stamps or ephemera associated with it.  Not to mention that the Graze box horrified me and I couldn't see how anyone could make anything remotely attractive from it.
Top of the printers tray
I threw away the entire content of the Graze box, cut off all flaps and anything that stuck out!  (These things are all fold and tuck).  I then covered with sacrificial paper, just to add strength and cover the nasty brown recycled box.  I bought some chipboard sewing ephemera and used a tailors dummy on the lid.  I used pink in the centre and brown on the edges although it looks green in the photo.  The paper on the outside of the lid is gorgeous although I can't remember the make
Inside Lid 
On another tailors dummy I applied shabby pink embossing enamel and printed out a sewing image I found on the net plus some buttons.  The edges here are covered with Tim Holtz tissue tape.

I had thrown away the inside but made divisions using poster board and my hot glue gun before covering the edges with tissue tape in pink. The base of the tray compartments are some of my favourite papers and one I made myself.
Inside Printers Tray
I filled the compartment with various ephemera and images I found on the net, except for one item.  I went to an antique fair and found a real vintage packet, containing real needles so I bought this and added it to one of the compartments.  Needless to say I didn't glue it into place.  My swap partner has received it now so I am able to share.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Full steam ahead for Christmas

I've had a great time creating this piece but unfortunately taking photo's of it has proved very difficult.  I've included an extra photo to try to capture it, but even that doesn't do it.
The background is white card stock, dry embossed with watch parts and gears.  The whole piece was painted in acrylic paint in brown.  Once dry, I dry brushed with Veridian mixed with interference green.  Over that, I dry brushed with copper and once that dried I dry brushed with bronze.
Steampunk Christmas wishes to you!
I just couldn't seem to take a photo that really showed the colours and texture.  Above is without flash and below is with flash.  Imagine a combination of the background below and the tree above.

What a flashy little tree :)
The tree was create in four layers.  Each cut out originally in green card stock and then covered with aluminium tape (Not the same as kitchen foil).  For each layer I created marks to represent rivets and some patches to indicate it's not new.  All was then glued to a final base layer before I applied Mars black paint to distress and knock back the shine.

To finish it off, I painted some press studs with black paint to represent wheels and then sorted through my stash of watch parts to find brass parts to glue to the tree base as tree ornaments.

I hope you get as much pleasure from looking at the pics as I did making it.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

I have strayed from my path again!

I was well underway for my entry to the Three Muses challenge this week.  I had the background made and the primary image worked out, then my Craft Stamper magazine arrived and the front cover showed a lovely Gothic image, I thought it would be fun to try.  I not sooner began the technique than I started to change it and do it differently.  This is now absolutely nothing like the example in the magazine, but I'm happy because it's now 'my technique'.
A different technique than originally intended
The background is Dylusions spray inks in Lemon and Lime.  Then over stamped with Archival monarch orange (I found some children's texture stamps in HobbyCraft and bought a pack - did the small and mediums dots brilliantly)
Then I over stamped the background again with London Fog and a wallpaper background stamp.  I over stamped again with London fog and a pattered heart stamp.

The Gothic Arch window is an Invoke Art stamp that I stamped in black on white card stock and then cut it out.  Next I covered it with Versamark embossing ink and Tim Holtz Black embossing powder (first deviation from the magazine instructions).  Then I applied pearlex powder in copper around the edges and a mint colour in the centre.

Next came more Versamark and this time clear embossing powder (next deviation from magazine) Then I decided it makes it look like old distressed copper and at this point I completely ignored the magazine :)
Applying another 2 layers of clear embossing I let it cool and then over stamped it with Moonlight White ink using a 2nd impression (stamped once off the image to remove ink) and then a second stamp on the image.

I mounted it to gold Miri board and then attached it to the substrate.  The red heart is punched from a magazine picture and glued to the window.

This is a technique I will definitely continue to play with but my deviation from the magazine directions made me think of the Albert Einstein quote - which I printed from my computer and then attached.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Christmas Bauble

Years ago (15 approximately) I used to love drawing in Corel Draw and creating digital images but slowly my interest waned and it was always more fun to work with real substrate and mediums.  I've had Photoshop for a long time and have only used it to sharpen up images, adjust lighting and remove red eye.
I was lucky enough to receive a Wacom tablet for my birthday some months ago and thought I should put it to use today.
You won't see this often, but here is my first attempt at digital art!  (I'm cringing already)
I still have clean hands!
All images are just random from the net and I manipulated them in Photoshop Elements 11.