Saturday, 18 April 2015

Caturday: Maud

Today’s Caturday is the third of the Staffordshire triumvirate who rule the house of my colleague Jane. Maud is eight years old and, according to my records, likes shiny things, open spaces and wet dishcloths. She dislikes “mild racism and fact-based literature”.

Eagle-eyed readers will spot a Stampin’ Up!® card in the background of this pic. Remember this one? I gave it to Jane for her birthday and she was most entertained by the shaker element.  A bit like a cat, in fact.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

AW39 - Around the World Challenge mixed media project

It’s Around the World Challenge time again! And this month I was asked create a project inspired by this image:

I decided to take my inspiration from the colours of the flowers and foliage, so began with a watercolour-style background. This one uses a fun salt technique which was shown to me by Karina Goodman at Studio 61 here in Derbyshire. 

TIP: If you want to play around with this kind of project, make a few backgrounds at a time, so you can get started quicker next time. 

So, how did this card happen? I really should start writing these posts immediately after creating this sort of project, as it’s hard to remember all the many steps that go into them, but here goes… and please bear in mind that I am still learning this technique so some of the steps are purely experimental.

  1. Take a piece of watercolour paper and wet it, with a brush, aquapainter or with a spray bottle
  2. With a paintbrush or aquapainter, drop or swish some ink so that the colours blend
  3. While the ink is still wet (this is important) sprinkle some coarse seasalt on top. I did this on the red section only.
  4. Allow to dry completely before brushing away the salt. You’ll see that it has absorbed the ink and leaves paler spots behind; it’s a little unpredictable but you can get some amazing patterns this way. 
  5. Now you can begin adding some fun elements to the project. I began by cutting and tearing strips of Typeset DSP and laying them across the left hand side of the project. This was inspired by the March page from this lady’s smash book.  
  6. With the brayer inked up, tap just the edge of it onto the project, to create vertical lines - you can make flower stems, grass or patterns this way
  7. Stamp around the top using Gorgeous Grunge and red and black inks
  8. Using the brayer, colour a piece of Typeset DSP in red… and another in purple. Alternatively, if your ink pad isn’t too wet, you can simply press the paper into it. Don’t worry about perfection; it’s over-rated. 
  9. Using the bird punch, punch out six wings from each of the coloured pieces of DSP. Trim the purple ones down so they’re slightly smaller, then arrange both sets in a flower pattern. 
  10. Now you can decorate the petals as you wish, by outlining them in black pen, white pen (or both) and adding dots and lines. I also hand-drew the stems and a leaf, doodling dots along the stem and colouring the leaf white with the Chalk Marker. 
  11. I created a third flower with the Itty Bitty Accents Punch pack flower, but cut out the petals individually (you may need to punch two or more flowers), again arranging them in a flower pattern and inlining them in black pen. 
  12. All three flowers are topped with a circle of gold glimmer paper.
  13. Next I added some white splodges of various sizes, simply freehanding them with the chalk marker. I outlined them in black pen. This was inspired by this lady’s project. 
  14. I found words from two different stamp sets, stamped them in black and cut them out roughly. Once stuck down, I outlined them in black pen. 
  15. Individual sequins were added with Glue Dots. I haven’t found anything else which will stick them down successfully.
  16. Finally, I spritzed the whole project with Vanilla Smoosh Spritz for a gentle shimmer.
Now it’s your turn to create a project inspired by the photo. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as this one - take a look at what the rest of the team made for some more ideas.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

15 Stampin' Up!® products you can used for Mixed Media projects

Yes you CAN use SU products for mixed media, as I’ve been enjoying finding out lately. I decided to make a list of some of the items you can use. I bet you already have loads of these, so what are you waiting for? Get messy!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Fabulous items added to the Clearance Rack


I’ve just come back from a week in the Lake District and, before you ask, no it didn’t rain. We nearly always have great weather and I actually had to nip to Boots to buy suncream!

With being away, I’m only just catching up on all the SU news, and I’ve noticed that the Clearance Rack has been updated with some fab.u.lous items from the Autumn/Winter catalogue! Check them out to grab yourself a bargain. 

You can purchase direct from my online store, any time of day or night, by clicking HERE. Below is a selection of the goodies on offer...

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Caturday: Trudy

Another submission for Caturday from my work colleague Jane. This is Trudy, aged eight, and also from Staffordshire. She apparently likes Curly Wurlies and playing Candy Crush! Her dislikes include “jealousy, rudeness and dandelion and burdock”. Frankly, I think she looks a little shameless!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Chicken picture with Sweet Dreams DSP

We certainly tried lots of different projects on our homemade crafty retreat. This had us all way out of our comfort zones as we had to hand-draw and hand-cut the elements to make three chickens. Even now, as I look at it, the beaks get on my nerves. I might buy another canvas (it’s A4 and was only 99p from Home Bargains) and have another go.

Still, check out the supplies list... minimal, eh?

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Mixed Media Project Life pansy plaque

This is a product-heavy creation, but I really enjoyed creating it, sitting in my own little world, stamping away. The beauty of mixed media projects like this is that it’s very difficult to go wrong. If you do something you don’t like, you just cover it up with something else!

Here’s how I created this project:

  1. The MDF plaque had been painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint - you can just see glimpses of this through the yellow at the top.
  2. If I remember correctly, I may have painted some white acrylic over the top and then, while it was still wet, painted it with reinkers. I found that the water lifted the white paint off in certain places, so went with the flow and allowed this to become part of the project.
  3. Once the background was fully dry, I stamped over it with Cherry Cobbler ink using bubble wrap as my stamp. I love this effect.
  4. Next I stamped in black with various Project Life stamp sets. I chose happy words, like “Saturday” and “summer”, as well as elements such as brackets, dots and arrows.
  5. On top of this, I stencilled with homemade texture paste through the chevron stencil from the Build a Banner Kit. I deliberately kept this rough and ready.
  6. I stamped the stems and leaves with the Build a Bouquet stamp set in Garden Green.
  7. I created the petals with the Pansy Punch, cutting each out one individually and piecing them together on the plaque. Same for the smaller flower, but using the Petite Petals punch.
  8. The centre of the flower was cut out from one I’d previously stamped onto Typeset DSP, and topped with a rhinestone.
  9. Finally, I gave the whole lot a coat of Mod Podge to seal it all in. This is completely optional.

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.