Monday, 29 June 2015

Mix It Up Monday: Watercoloured Wetlands

It’s Mix It Up Monday again and time for another colour combination from my In Color charts. This one - Tip Top Taupe, Delightful Dijon, Soft Sky and Soft Suede - just screamed “beach scene” to me so I thought I’d combine it with a bit of watercolouring. 

I simply squeezed my ink pads to create a pool of ink on the insides of the lids and then added water so that I could paint simple stripes of colour across my watercolour paper. The colours blended together into some semblance of a beach scene (hurrah! That was the plan!) and then I left it in the sunshine to dry, while I dried my ink pad lids thoroughly (this is important - you don’t want to dilute the ink in your pads). 

Next I added the appearance of texture with some bubble wrap; I wrapped this around a clear block and used it as a stamp around the bottom edge of the paper. It came out a bit smooshy - probably because the brand new Tip Top Taupe ink pad was so wet - but I quite liked it. 

I was going for subtle with the Delightful Dijon stripes stamped with Gorgeous Grunge but then I dropped the stamp so subtle went out of the window as I moved into “more is more” territory. 

The goose is stamped twice in Soft Suede; once directly onto the watercolour paper and again on Very Vanilla, cut out and pieced on top so that the tail can overlap the border. Daughter said it needed birds, so I hand drew those with my Tip Top Taupe marker. 

At the edge of the sea - which I admit doesn’t quite come across as the sea; I needed another blue but that wasn’t in the brief - I have dotted my chalk marker to look (a bit) like the waves. 

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Caturday: Spot the cat!

No, not a cat called Spot. But can you spot the cat? Pretty easy with those eyes, eh? And isn’t he a beauty? This is the archetypal picture of a black cat on a dark night... Tutheran the black stray, captured on camera by daughter in her attempts to befriend him. Her weapon of choice? Dreamies... cats go mad for them, apparently.

Friday, 26 June 2015

You're So Vintage distressed baby wipe technique

I may have invented a technique. Or at least developed it. 

Or it may be that everybody is doing this already but just forgot to tell me. 

What is it? Well, obviously, I don’t know its name as I invented it (probably) but it’s a variation on the baby wipe technique and was born out of a lack of baby wipes. 

I wanted to create a multi-coloured effect using this oh-so-groovy “You’re so vintage” stamp. The obvious choice would be the baby wipe technique; where you create a makeshift ink pad using ink refills and a pad of baby wipes. But, as I just mentioned, I had no baby wipes in the house.

However, I’m a crafter and we will always find a way, so I took some sheets of kitchen roll, folded them into a pad and dampened it by spritzing with water, to create a simulacrum (great word, eh?) of a pad of baby wipes. Then I dripped ink onto it and allowed the colours to bleed together. My multi-coloured ink pad created, I began to stamp. 

And here’s where the fun happened. I realised that, due to the textured nature of the kitchen roll, I was getting a textured effect in my stamped image. This pleased me greatly as I was going for a vintage look, and the image looked beautifully shabby and distressed. So that’s my new technique.

I expanded on the theme with the rest of the card, choosing DSP which reminded me of a vintage fabric print, and sponging pretty much everything to give it a worn look. I added age spots with Gorgeous Grunge and even some vague white stripes to look like it had been sanded. 

Now I want to make another one!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Farmers Market DSP ... and the perils of nature

Look at that lovely paper. Look at it! It has vegetables on it and takes me right back to my early days of stamping when one of my favourite stamps was a pea pod. So what if everyone thought I was weird; I loved it. This paper is from the Farmers Market Designer Series Paper pack and, as soon as I saw it, I knew I’d have to have it. 

I chose this particular sheet for this project partly because it’s my favourite from the whole pack and partly because I thought it would make fantastic dress fabric for a vintage frock. The recipient, you see, was my vintage frock-loving friend at work who very kindly and nobly stepped in to walk the Pink Ribbonwalk with me the other weekend, when all three of my team unfortunately had to pull out at the last minute, for various reasons. 

I was extremely grateful to Jane for ensuring I didn’t have to walk 10 miles on my own, so made her this card. It’s a simple idea but does require measuring and - le gasp! - the Stamp-a-ma-Jig. Eeek. 

Talking of walks, yesterday evening I went for a walk with another friend, who just happens also to be one of my downlines.  We’ve both pledged to do more walking, in a vague attempt to get more active, so off we trotted. We were both in quite grumpy moods, for reasons too dull to mention, and thought the walk would cheer us up… if we could just stop moaning for a few minutes. 

I strode confidently across the fields, taking a route I’ve followed many times before. One of the highlights of this particular route is that there are donkeys and you probably know how I feel about donkeys (clue: they’re great!). One of the disadvantages is that the donkeys are only there occasionally, but that does add a frisson of “will they, won’t they?” to proceedings (I lead a very dull life, clearly).

First hurdle… a loose Jack Russell. Now as you have probably guessed, I do love all (furry) animals but I have to confess that I am a little wary of Jack Russell terriers. I have only ever been bitten by two dogs in my life; one was a Jack Russell and one was a border collie. So guess what was following the Jack Russell? Yep, a border collie.

However, I knew this one was friendly… a little too friendly actually; as a couple of summers ago this same dog had a fine ole time trying to hump my daughter’s leg. 

Keen to avoid being snarled at, bitten or … honestly I can’t think of a word that’s clean enough to describe what the border collie probably had in mind, so let’s move on… I hotfooted it into the next field. And hotfooted it out again, to put my fleece back on to protect myself from the shoulder-high nettles. 

The dogs had lost interest (should we be offended?) so we made our way gingerly through the nettles and into the field. Which just happened to be packed with knee-high thistles. That was no fun either, so we had to take another route. Frustratingly, the donkeys were there but we couldn’t get to them.

We grumbled along for another mile or so, finally finding somewhere pretty and navigable. But lo! What was that at the top of the hill? A herd of cows. Well, bullocks (and other expletives). And, yes, an actual bull. With a ring through his nose and everything. 

But I love all (furry) animals, remember, and felt reasonably confident that they would disperse. After all, they hadn’t chased the dog we’d just passed. Still, I began to feel less confident as we approached the herd. And then Mr Bull stood up and planted himself squarely in front of the stile. 

That was that. We scurried into the adjacent field … and promptly got stuck on the barbed wire. Both of us. The back of my T-shirt was suspended from barbed wire and I looked down to see that the front of my T-shirt was stuck, too. I turned my head to the left and found myself face to face with an assembly of inquisitive cows. And bullocks. And yes, Mr Bull was there at the front of the mob. 

This was the view from my barbed wire prison

But we laughed in the face of danger. There really was nothing left to be done. And eventually Alison managed to free herself, and then me… and we were on our merry way. Just one more delicate clamber through the barbed wire and we were back on the route. This was when Alison put her hand straight on a thistle. 

Blood pressure soaring, we headed for home. Who says exercise is good for you? 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Mix It Up Monday: Blackberry Bliss... I Think You're Great

I do like a colour with a bit of welly and Blackberry Bliss most definitely fits into that category. With the muted shades of Delightful Dijon, Tip Top Taupe and Mint Macaron, it really adds some punch for Mix It Up Monday.

I wasn’t convinced about this colour combo at first but I have pledge to post a project a week using one of my In Color combinations from this post, so thought I’d better give it a whizz, and it turned out ok I think. In fact, I’m really warming to this combination. You may be seeing more of it... (that’s not a hint, by the way, just me trying to sound mysterious).

The small print

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