I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 22 September 2017

The Fire of the Frost

Hello all!  We've made it to the first of the EAB05 Winter Edition samples, and I thought I'd kick off with a double.  Both of these samples use the longer quotes from the set, but you could easily just use a line or two at a time if you didn't want all the words at once.  One of the two pieces was a CASEing of a card I made over a year ago... it's a rarity around here, as it's basically a Clean and Simple creation.

The other took the same basic idea and added a coat of frosted sparkle.  For the full launch post over at PaperArtsy (here if you missed it) I shared a 20-second snippet of video because it was really the only way to show the full effect of the frosted stamping.  You'll get a look at it later in this post too.

Lots of people have already been asking how the icy sparkle was done, so now's your chance to find out.

Both cards start with really the simplest of backgrounds... just some gesso or white acrylic dabbed onto the craft mat, then spritzed with water and smooshed around with a large brush... and then you simply press some kraft card down onto the mess and lift it away.  If you want you can go in for repeated pressings, or you may be perfectly happy with the first.

I love that it gives a wonderful look of whirling snowstorms, or of a snowy landscape glimpsed through a mist of snowflakes.

For the first card I paired Christina Rossetti's beautiful words with Sara Naumann's solitary bird from ESN18 - simply meant to be.

It's probably my favourite Christmas carol of all (though, as I've said before, for me it has to be the Harold Darke setting - no need to listen now if, like me, you can't handle Christmas this early... these are "winter cards" not Cxxxxxmas ones!).

The bare twigs from the same set add a little vertical dimension to the composition.

This is an absolutely straightforward stamping in Jet Black Archival (another rarity around here), no embossing, no nothing special.  About the quickest thing I've ever made I think!

Oh, some white splatter, of course.  Never forget the white splatter...

I created the same background ready for the glorious Lynne Perrella snowflake woman (that's just what she's called in my head, nowhere else) from LP016.

I think this quote by John Burroughs is extraordinary - so poetic in its multi-sensory sounds and colours and images and temperatures, and from the moment of finding it, the intricacies of the thinking felt as though they would work well with the intricacies of a Lynne Perrella stamp.

To echo the power of those images - the "fire of the frost", the "life of the crystal" (all phrases that you could use by themselves if you don't want to use the quote in its entirety) - I thought I'd push the boat out and go for some sparkle.

I tried a couple of methods on a piece of scrap card.  I had high hopes of the Frosted Crystal embossing powder by Ranger, but it didn't make quite the impact I wanted.  It does look like a sort of icy coating, but it's not really sparkling.  Maybe I overheated it?

So I tried something else.  I stamped her in Jet Black and then used Sticky Embossing Powder over the stamping.

You heat it to melting point (but don't go on too long), and then you can add particles, whether glitter or fluff or mica, depending on your look.  I used Tim's Distress Dry Glitter in Rock Candy (magical stuff which isn't really like real glitter at all), and that was much more like it.

Once I had that worked out, I stamped directly onto my snowy kraft (using the Stamping Platform - fantastic for a detailed image like these Lynne Perrella ones, especially a large stamp like this one - you can always go for another stamping if you don't quite get it all first time), and proceeded with my sparkle addition.

I love that you get a properly thick, crunchy coat of frost...

... but you can still see all the magical detail of the image beneath.

I did the same for the words themselves, which has quite a magical effect too, I think.

Of course none of these photos really shows you the full effect, so here's that snippet of video I promised you.

There's really no other way to catch that sparkle in the light as it moves!

I added a couple of Calico Craft Parts snowflakes, to which I'd given a coat of white gesso and one of matte medium to adhere some more of the Dry Glitter.

And again, once I knew how to get my sparkle, a really quick card to make, and easily repeatable if you're making many cards for sending.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I'll be back soon with some more samples - back to Music and Silence for some singing Zinskis I think - but before that there's something brand new to see, which you can catch on Sunday evening.  Until then, have a great weekend everybody.

They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?
Jeanette Winterson

EAB05 The Winter Edition available now from Country View Crafts, That's Crafty, The Artistic Stamper and many more...

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Fabulous Fungi

Hi, I'm back with the second follow-up post of samples for my new word stamps.  (Once again, the full launch post, in case you missed it, is here at PaperArtsy.)  This time we're hitting EAB04 The Autumn Edition.  Autumn is maybe my favourite crafting season - those incredible colours which take over the trees as well as craft rooms everywhere.  It's the only time of the year when orange starts to appear regularly on my craft mat, though it's rarely called by that name!

And there are so many good autumnal quotes, too... it was tough to whittle it down to the selection on the stamp plate, but I was trying to think how the words would work on projects as well as just how much I loved them.  So here are the first of my Autumn Edition samples... a coaster trio of fabulous fungi (with a bonus ATC into the bargain).

I started with a sheet of A4 cardstock and did some wrinkle-free distressing with various autumnal Distress Inks.  It's a while back now, but I'm guessing Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge, maybe some Wild Honey and/or Gathered Twigs?

This sheet came into play on some of my other samples too, but at least half of it was available to cover these three beer mats and leave enough over for an ATC.

I used images from the wonderful Scrapcosy plate ESC05 and stamped them in various positions on the coasters, clear-embossing for a little extra oomph.  I then "watercoloured" the images using Fresco paints.

I simply add a dot of paint to my craft mat, spritz with water, and then use a water brush to apply the paint.

This means you get a nice translucent medium - even from the opaque Fresco colours like Chalk and Stone - which you can build up in layers without obscuring the stamp detail too much. 

I'm really pleased with how this turned out as an effect.  I was worried the busy ink splotches of the background would be too overwhelming, but I love how the subtle tinting brings the images to life.

I stamped my chosen quotes on some separate card stock, trying out a few Archival colours to see which would work best.  As you can see, depending on the juiciness of your ink pad, you get different degrees of sharpness and clarity in the stamping.

I believe you can see Sepia, Sienna and Leaf Branch in action here...

Once I'd decided - my trusty Sepia won out - I trimmed the quotes and started to arrange them on the coasters.

I really hadn't planned ahead so it was quite lucky that the positioning worked out okay in the end...

... or maybe it's that with the quotes being of different shapes and sizes, it was always going to be possible to work out a satisfactory arrangement.

I hope you can see what I mean about there being some really good autumn quotes.  It seems it's a season which inspires writers as well as artists.

You can always count on L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables in the middle there for a nice positive slant on the fact that summer is over for another year...

I also used the quote stamps to add a little more detail to those backgrounds again.  I just really like having the thought hovering there too.

I do like the off-green tinting of the leaves just on the turn...

... and the sanded edges revealing a hint of white to reflect the quote panels.

And the overall richness of the final effect...

... seems to me to work really well for this most vivid of seasons.

The ATC is really a very simple affair... the same ESC05 stamp set, this time adding in the lovely sycamore pod and the acorn.

I like that the images have their botanical references attached in the same way as my quotes have their authorial references attached...

It pleases me as a little echo.  It doesn't take much to please my brain!

And rather than keeping the quote "solid", for the ATC I've chopped it up.

That way you can position your phrases to suit both the layout of the image design, and to intensify the phrasing of the thought.

So that's a little taste of autumn for you.  I hope you'll forgive all the photos.  Since all these samples have all gone off to live at PaperArtsy on the display boards, these posts will be my only record of them so I'm indulging myself with plenty of photos.  But it's great to have your company for the ride too.

Next up, we'll start to work through some EAB05 The Winter Edition samples, so do come back soon if you'd like to know the secret of the Frosted Lynne Perrella Woman!   Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a great week.

Fungi are the grand recyclers of the planet and the vanguard species in habitat restoration.
Paul Stamets

Falling in love is like eating mushrooms, you never know if it's the real thing until it's too late.
Bill Balance

EAB04 The Autumn Edition available at Country View CraftsThat's CraftyThe Artistic Stamper and many more...

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Rainbow Serenity

Hello all!  I'm so happy that you are as excited as I am by my new word stamps.  (Check out the full launch post at PaperArtsy if you missed it.)  As promised, I'm here to share some more details of the pieces I made for the launch, and I thought I might as well go sample by sample, alternating stamp sets... otherwise we'll end up with even longer posts than usual!

So here's the first of the sample makes for EAB03 Music and Silence, a pair of rainbow tags with full on colour behind the gentle images and words.

These were created with some backgrounds which had been sitting around on the craft table for some time, awaiting their moment in the sun.  They are both Distress Ink/Oxide combinations.

For the bird tag I started with a side by side of the same colours in Distress Ink and in Distress Oxide - DOx on the left, DI on the right - and then created two tags simultaneously.

(I've shared some of this months ago in an Oxide post so, no, you're not suffering from déjà vu - you have actually seen this photo before!)

Of these two, one tag was dipped first in DOx, and the other first in DI.  After that first layer I dipped and dabbed my layers from both kinds of ink to build up different effects.

The tag used in this post is the one which started as DI, so it has a stronger colour intensity, less chalky DOx, more translucent DI.

I don't seem to have a "before" of the tree tag, but it was also from some Oxide playtime, experimenting with colours.

The main images on both tags are stamped in Archival (doesn't matter what colour) and embossed with Wow Bark powder.

I love the definition you get with the dark Bark.  You need something strong when you have backgrounds this busy.

The tree needed some ground to stand on, so I added just a little extra extension and some grasses with a pen.

Stamping the main sentiments caused slightly heart-in-mouth moments, since these powders are really in-your-face and in strong contrast to the background colours.

They're from a Stampendous set of five powders of various colours, entitled "Coastal Express".

Again, I stamped in Archival underneath.  I experimented with Versamark, but found the softer ink pad created a slightly less sharp impression - and the letters got a bit bulbous.

I'm so happy that even the tiny author's names come up so clearly - you can trust a PaperArtsy stamp to give you great stamping!

With those bold statements in place in the centre of the tags, I felt I needed a bit of an echo to frame them.

So this time I did use Versamark, swiping embossing ink onto the edges of the tags and then adding the relevant powder and heating it.

I also stamped partials of the quotes in Potting Soil or Coffee Archival in the backgrounds.

I think it adds a lovely extra touch of detail and I really like how you get what I call the hovering echoes of the main thought.

Simple twine finishes off the tags, and that's us done with the first of the EAB03 Music and Silence sample posts.

I'll be back very soon with the first EAB04 The Autumn Edition post, so I hope you have a lovely weekend and happy crafting all!

Our mind stops racing when we take a nature walk or just look at the clouds that disintegrate at the horizon.
Balroop Singh

EAB03 Music and Silence available at Country View Crafts, That's Crafty, The Artistic Stamper and many more...