Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Mixed media underwater scene with By The Tide

Here’s another mixed media project – I do hope you like these as I have several more to come! 

Bit of a long story this one but, at the weekend, some of my stamping friends (many of whom are in my team) were due to go on a crafting retreat. Unfortunately, the organiser had to cancel due to family problems, which was awful for her, and also left us at a bit of a loose end... all geared up and nowhere to craft. 

Happily, one of my crafty friends came to the rescue and offered her house as an alternative venue. Much scrabbling around ensued and we put together a hasty plan. 

Can I tell you that when eight creative ladies are given a week and a half to plan a crafty retreat, they will most definitely step up to the plate? We soon had more inflatable beds than we needed, more craft projects than we could fit in and enough food to feed an army!

Jacqui was keen to use up some MDF plaques she’d had for a while, and suggested that we try texture paste on them. This rather put me on the spot… hence my dabble with mixed media last week. But it worked out ok and we each produced two plaques using various techniques. It was interesting to see how the plaques reflected the different personalities. Some people were a little out of their comfort zone but everyone had a go and soon got into the swing of things. 

Due to a surfeit of food, we cancelled a planned meal out on the Saturday evening, which was a good thing in the end, as we all ended up with VERY inky fingers!

Anyway, here’s (roughly) how I created my fishy plaque:
  1. We’d previously given all the plaques a coat of paint. This one was done in cheap white acrylic and allowed to dry overnight. A shortage of brushes (I forgot to mention that paintbrushes were needed) meant this one was done with quite a coarse brush, leaving brushmarks, but they are all part of the finished design. 
  2. I painted some colour on, using Island Indigo, Coastal Cabana and Wild Wasabi reinkers mixed with a tiny amount of water. 
  3. The Island Indigo is REALLY intense and I panicked. But then I decided to squirt it with water and rub it a little with some kitchen roll, and it miraculously came good. I applied Silver Encore ink around the edge of the plaque, using the ink pad direct to the wood.
  4. I stamped the background with By The Tide (Mossy Meadow) and Summer Silhouettes (Island Indigo). I stamped the words from By The Tide and the tiny flower from Summer Silhouettes in Silver Encore ink.
  5. The seahorses are stamped onto Whisper White cardstock and sponged with Calypso Coral and So Saffron ink. I cut them out, complaining all the while, because I really hate cutting out little things. 
  6. Next came the texture paste, which I made myself (1 part white glue, 1 part white paint, 2 parts cornflour). It probably could have done with more paint, as it’s a little translucent, but I quite like the effect. I used the polka dot stencil from the Banner Kit and deliberately made rough circles.
  7. Once this was dry (it only takes a few minutes), I added the words, from various stamp sets, stamped onto Whisper White and stuck on. 
  8. I felt I needed some red colour adding, so stamped some more weeds around the bottom. 
  9. Then I blinged it all up with some sequins and rhinestsones. 
  10. Finally, I gave the whole lot a coat of Mod Podge, to seal it. This was the only non-SU product (other than the plaque) used in the whole project and, no, you can’t use Tombow because when Tombow dries, it stays tacky so you can use it as a temporary adhesive. 
  11. No stopping for a cup of tea after this one! Nope, it was straight onto the next, for something completely different...

Monday, 30 March 2015

Life in the Forest thank you cards with Birthday Bash washi sheets

Time is running out to enjoy the benefits of Sale-a-Bration! You have until 10pm tomorrow (Tuesday) to order, so the best way for you do this is to order online, via my online store. You could order by contacting me, but I’ll need the order by 5pm please. Shipping is £4.95 and it will come directly to a UK address of your choice.

It‘s also your last chance to sign up during Sale-a-Bration. If you do this before 10pm Tuesday, you’ll get a choice of freebies, as outlined in this post.  You can sign up in minutes, by clicking here... and it will only cost you £99!

Now, a little puzzle for you... apart from the sentiment, can you spot where I used a SAB stamp set on this card? You’ll find the answer if you scroll down.

While you ’re thinking, let me tell you about the washi sheets. They’re quite exciting. They are literally what they say on the packet... big (about 6"x12" but don’t quote me on that) sheets of washi “tape’. You get two each of four designs, so eight sheets in total, and they work just like washi tape, because that’s what they are! You can punch it, cut it, tear it or die-cut it, as I’ve done here. It’s cool to see what happens to the patterns when you overlay them.

I made these little cards for my Virtual Hostess Club members, to thank them for their latest orders. The mouse is coloured with blender pens and a smidge of Coastal Cabana ink. The speech bubble for the Thank You is flipped over, so that it faces the right way (well, the right way to me!).

Finally, the answer to the puzzle... the mouse is standing on some “grass” I made using the stem from Lotus Blossom. But, as it’s a photopolymer stamp set and very long and thin, it was easy to manipulate it on the block so that the ground became a wavy line, instead of a relatively straight one. I stamped it repeatedly, stamping off to get various shades, too.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Caturday: Licquorice

At the time of writing this, I was frantically packing for a crafty weekend away with some of my stamping buddies. My friend/downline Donna was doing the same, but she was being hampered by Licquorice, her gorgeous black cat!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Sheltering Tree sympathy card

This project is at the other end of the stamping spectrum, using minimal products and keeping things very, very simple. Despite this, and despite CASEing the project (from Eva Bussom) it was the hardest card I have ever had to make. It’s a sympathy card for a friend across The Pond who has suffered the most unbearable loss.  My card is a measly offering in the circumstances but at least she will know I am thinking of her and her family.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Mixed Media flower garden with THREE Sale-a-Bration items

It’s a long one today, and a surprisingly complicated project. No, you haven’t come to the wrong blog, I just fancied a change!

For a while now, I’ve been intrigued by mixed media techniques, but I wasn’t sure how to blend it with Stampin’ Up!® products. My dabbling began with my foray into texture paste but it wasn’t until this week that I had chance to have a proper play. 

But where to begin? Of course, Pinterest came to the rescue. Pinterest has really opened my eyes to a lot of new techniques. Sometimes I just click the search button and then “DIY and Crafts”… it’s amazing what you discover this way! 

This time, I simply searched “mixed media” and after browsing a few blogs, this is my first attempt, which takes inspiration (pinspiration!) from this blog post. Despite normally leaning towards the clean and simple style, I really enjoyed creating this project and it turns out I had almost everything I needed in my SU stash, as you’ll see from the supplies list below. I even managed to include, count ’em, THREE Sale-a-Bration items - can you spot them without reading the list below?

The great thing about this sort of project is that it’s very difficult to go wrong. Well, I say that, but Sunday’s attempt ended up on the fire! 

Happily, today’s project was a little more successful, so here’s a step-by-step guide to creating this project. No pictures, I’m afraid, I was having way too much fun!
  1. Cut a piece of watercolour paper to 12.5cm square and wet it
  2. Using Coastal Cabana and Wild Wasabi re-inkers diluted with a tiny amount of water, paint rough horizontal stripes across the paper. You can add more to strengthen the colour if you wish. Allow to dry, or speed it up with a heat gun
  3. Take some bubble wrap and ink it up with Coastal Cabana at the top right. Repeat with Old Olive at the bottom. 
  4. Stamp the solid stem from Lotus Blossom (SAB) in Garden Green. Stamp a few more with the less solid stem, stamping off as required. I also sponged a little Garden Green in the bottom two corners to fill in some gaps. 
  5. Punch out six bird wings from Flowerpot DSP, and one 3/4” circle. Doodle around the inside edge of the circle. Arrange the wings to resemble a flower and stick them down. Doodle around the edges. Put the circle of DSP to one side for now. 
  6. On Very Vanilla cardstock, Stamp “Our friendship is a very happy thing” from the A Happy Thing stamp set (SAB) in black ink. Cut out the words and adhere them to the project. 
  7. To get the newsprint effect, you will need real newspaper. Tear into small pieces, then apply smears of Mod Podge (Tombow might work, too – I didn’t try it) roughly to the background. Put the paper, face down, to the Mod Podge and rub it with your bone folder to transfer the ink. Gently peel back the paper to leave the ink behind. You may end up peeling away some of the colour but this doesn’t matter. 
  8. I found that I had some shiny patches around the newsprint so decided to Mod Podge over the whole surface. This takes some time to dry and gives the whole background a slightly glossy effect. 
  9. Apply sequins (I simply pressed these into the Mod Podge).
  10. With the Chalk Marker, doodle around the sequins and words.
  11. To make the frame, I glued some Typeset DSP to some Very Vanilla cardstock (using the glue stick) and used the two largest dies from the Square Framelits set to cut out a frame. Ink it with Baked Brown sugar and then press the whole lot into a Versamark pad so it can be embossed with clear embossing powder. 
  12. Cut some grass from Old Olive cardstock using the Fringe Scissors, then taper the ends with your Stampin’ Snips. Stick this behind the frame (I used washi tape).
  13. Attach the frame to the front of the project using Stampin’ Dimensionals, cut in half (Ha! Like I don’t do that all the time!).
  14. Using the In Color Accessory pack (SAB), separate some of the threads from the Hello Honey twine and thread through a Tangelo Twist button. Attach to the DSP circle and then to the project. 
  15. Mount your finished piece on a 5 1/4” square card base of Kraft cardstock.
  16. Make a cup of tea and have a sit down before having a go at another one!

Product List

The small print

This is my personal blog and my sole responsibility as an Independent Stampin' Up!® demonstrator. All images are © Stampin' Up!® All content including photographs, projects and text are © Helen Read, unless otherwise stated. Please feel free to copy my ideas for your personal use and inspiration - if you are a SU demonstrator you may use these ideas for your events but please give credit where it is due. Please do not use my ideas for monetary gain, competitions or publication. The images on this blog - including blog buttons - should not be copied and used elsewhere on the internet or on CDs.