18 April 2014

Distress Paints at Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone. My second post of the day, and this one's a link to my Friday Focus tutorial over at Frilly and Funkie. I hope you can join me there.

Have a great Easter weekend and take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

Spring Flowers at A Vintage Journey

Hi everyone and welcome on this Friday morning. This is the first post of the day for me and it's for the next challenge at A Vintage Journey. Jennie (Live The Dream) is our host and as many of you will know she has a passion for paper flowers. With that in mind here's her challenge theme;

"As (hopefully) spring will be in the air by this time, let’s see your makes adorned with spring flowers - you might want to use stamps, handmade flowers from dies, ideology blooms or bought blooms as long as they have been stamped, made or altered using a Tim technique or product. They don’t have to be actual spring flowers, but just the colours of spring."

Apart from an all consuming love for anything Tim I'm also completely hooked on Artist Trading Blocks (ATB's) and they make the perfect vehicle on which to display handmade flowers.

Inspired by Tim's Junk Bonanza trip I went down the route of wild Spring flowers 're-greening' a discarded collection of bottle tops and rusted trellis.

This 2" square ATB was cut from mountboard and covered in paper from the latest Menagerie collection. This particular design proved to be the perfect size for covering both the insides and outsides completely for that distinctly vintage shabby feel.
The edges were smeared with Tarnished Brass Distress Paint.

Next for the rusted trellis. I love getting this texture created quickly and my 'go to' method these days is to cover plain card with a couple of layers of metallic embossing powder (in this case Ranger's gold) followed by a couple of layers of Distress Embossing Powder (I used Walnut Stain but Vintage Photo works equally well). You can't over heat Distress powder and a little more heat than usual allows the two powders to combine beautifully.

As the amount of trellis used on this smaller box was restricted I chose only to add a few inserted pieces. In this case they were cut from an alcohol ink altered metallic sheet to add a contrast in texture and a touch of shine.

Now to the foliage. Tim's Kraft Coredinations cardstock has become such a favourite of mine as it cuts so well through the Sizzix Alterations Spring Greenery Strip die and looks fantastic when sanded and inked. I chose to use three designs and colours to add to the untamed natural feel.

The flowers were cut from another Strip die, Tattered Flowers. The whiter ones were actually coloured with Old Paper Distress Stain, edged with Pumice Stone Distress Ink and centred with a combination of Wild Honey Distress Paint and Clear Rock Candy Distress Glitter.

The mini purple flowers were cut from the reverse side of the bottle top backing paper, inked on the edges to give them a little more depth of colour, and completed with Idea-ology mini fasteners in the centres.

And now for those Catkins... I cut four of the same twig shapes from that Spring Greenery Strip die I mentioned earlier, sandwiching them together to make a much thicker stem. After applying a coat of Gathered Twigs Distress Paint, I dipped the ends into my Studio 490 Wendy Vecchi white embossing paste and then into some Antique Linen Distress Embossing Powder.
By heating this mixture the powder was 'set' and the paste puffed up to form the perfect textured Catkins.

The box lid was a great place to add not just flowers and foliage, but some more 'discarded items'. As well as a nut and cog I created a flattened bottle top from a painted chipboard die cut and a painted piece of embossed metal foil.

I know this isn't your traditional Spring project but I love the way the bright bottle tops work with those shabby flowers and of course now I have another super little box to use as the most glamorous packaging for a gift (if I can bear to part with it that is!!)
I am going to enter this into Eileen Hull Designs current Art With Heart Challenge - April Showers. Make sure you hop over and take a look as there is a Sizzix Prize Pack up for grabs!

Please do make sure to hop over to A Vintage Journey to see the most beautiful DT projects inspired by Jennie's theme. There's a gift voucher up for grabs from Country View Crafts for one lucky winner so that's a great reason to enter too.

I've got another post coming up later so I hope you can join me then, but for now take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

Links to Country View Crafts;

16 April 2014

Flights of Fancy at Frilly and Funkie

Hi everyone and welcome back. It's the second week of the current Frilly and Funkie challenge 'Flights of Fancy' and Trace would like you to create any vintage project inspired by the onset of Spring. Your project must include wings somewhere, either in the form of birds, bees or butterflies.

Spring, birds, had to be that Wildflower paper! This is probably the busiest card I've made recently but as the layers built so the drama unfolded.

I started this by cutting one of the 6" square panels from the paper collection and ran white embossing paste onto the areas without flowers. Once dry I used Distress Stain lightly over the top to colour the paste unevenly. Then Glossy Accents were used to highlight the flowers on the paper.
Finally a thin layer of gesso was washed over the whole background, and wiped away from the glossy sections.

Next to start building up those layers; sanded Kraft Coredinations cut with a Frameworks die, a torn piece of paper from the same collection and a piece of sheer lace. These pieces helped to build a structure to the design by adding 'straight' lines to direct the eye to the bottom left corner first.

Again in the paper collection there are some small rectangular versions of the larger designs, so I used the same design, distressing the edges. A coordinating piece of paper was cut with the large ticket die and stamped with the 'Fig' strip stamp.

Now I stamped both the bird and the nest onto paper, covering them in Distress Embossing powder to add texture. This also acts as a resist so you can paint each of them with Distress Stains. Then it was just a question of fussy cutting them both and layering them onto the background elements.

Finally more Distress Embossing Powder was used on die cut branches to simulate lichen before being slotted under the nest. The sentiment strip was stamped in coordinating inks and tucked under the bird.
Great news, it fits with the current Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge theme - Winged Things.
There's also an 'Anything Goes' theme at Vintage Stamping Challenges sponsored by Flonzcraft.

So that's my idea of wings in Spring... what's yours? Take a look at the ideas from the rest of the Frilly and Funkie Design Team to give you more inspiration for your own creation. If you enter you are in with a change of winning the opportunity to be a Guest Designer at Frilly and Funkie and there's a random draw for a $25 shopping spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique! Looking forward to seeing you there.

Take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

12 April 2014

Heads Up (times two!)

Hi everyone. A couple of things to share with you before I disappear off down to London for the weekend.

I'm thrilled to let you know that the Wedding Favour ATB's created by Anne and myself are featured on the Sizzix UK blog today as part of a post by the fabulous Eileen Hull which also includes a beautiful framed collage created by Eileen. It would be really lovely if you could drop by.

And Kay Halliwell-Sutton and the rest of the Indigoblu team will be at the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show at Alexandra Palace, North London, this weekend. If you are going along make sure you visit her stand to see this wonderful lady at work alongside her fantastic product ranges. She has plenty of crafting items to tempt you with!

Oh yes, and my dear friend Anne will be too modest to tell you this herself, but I hope she doesn't mind me letting you know that if you visit the Ali-Craft stand you'll see her work on display too!! Way to go Anne!!

Whatever you're up to this weekend I hope it's a great one. Take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

11 April 2014

Springing Up Again

Hi everyone. Thank you for your lovely comments about recent posts/projects and a huge welcome to my newest followers. It's always such a boost to know there are people out there enjoying seeing what I'm creating. Behind the scenes I'm working furiously on samples for various DT commitments, but managed to squeeze in another touch of inspiration for you relating to the current IndigoBlu challenge 'Spring Blossoms'.

Keeping it fresh and simple with this one I used the Blazing Poppies stamp again, this time in a different colour scheme to show you its versatility.

The card started with white embossing to create and 'edge' to each of the blooms and the foliage.
This allowed for drops of water and ink to bleed across them.

The pale blue background and the centres of the flowers were coloured with (sadly neglected) Alcohol Ink pens.

Finally I added vellum die cut foliage and a matting layer to frame the picture.

I hope you get the chance to check out the inspiration from the rest of the DT over at the IndigoBlu Challenge Blog and even take the chance to join in as there is a fantastic prize on offer for the winner.

Take care of yourselves and have a great weekend whatever you are doing.
Jenny xxx

8 April 2014

Winners at Our Creative Corner

Hi everyone. Just a quick heads up that the winners from the February 'Three Colours (with no black)' challenge are being announced over at Our Creative Corner today. Find out who the bragging rights went to this time! Take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

p.s. If you enjoyed seeing my ATB yesterday my OCC team mate Astrid has posted her own shabby chic one HERE that is definitely worth checking out.

7 April 2014

Gonna Have to Face It, You're 'Addicted To Blocks' (ATB's)

Hi everyone. Are you singing that Robert Palmer classic to yourself now?! The current Our Creative Corner challenge theme has me in a tuneful mood and in this case it's not far from the truth; I can feel this addiction to Eileen Hull's Artist Trading Blocks developing rapidly!

And so I give you my take on Tim Holtz April  2014 tag...

To date I've applied Tim's awesome monthly tag inspiration to cards, but I always have difficulty with the 3D elements as the UK Postal Service hates anything that doesn't lie flat (and the butler won't hand deliver everything for me these days :) The flowers are an essential feature on this month's tag so I figured an Artist Trading Block would be the way to go.

In case you haven't seen Artist Trading Blocks yet they are blocks/boxes that can be die cut using Eileen Hull's Sizzix Scoreboard XL dies (smaller ones HERE and a larger one HERE). They are due to be released by the end of the month, fingers crossed. You don't need to use a crease mat with them as the creases are built into the design, but you do need to use heavier weight card/chipboard/mount board with them. That's great because it means they will take all sorts of creative abuse and won't warp!

Then it's just a case of decorating. You may have seen the wedding favours Anne and I had great fun creating HERE and HERE. And some of the best designers out there (Linda Cain, Shelly Hickox, Anita Houston, Amy Bowerman, and Anna-Karin Evaldsson, to name but a few) have been putting their own stamp on these blocks too (see them at The Artists on the Block).

Tim as ever has done a fantastic job of explaining how to decorate this on his blog so I won't bore you with too much detail here. Suffice to say I highly recommend following his colour choices as the results give you an incredible timeworn look that has to be seen to be believed.

I did add a little Salty Ocean Distress Paint to the Frameworks trellis along with the Evergreen Bough which he suggests. The verdigris feel positively shines through when the ink is applied over it into the 'scuffed' patches.

I chose a different paper from the Menagerie paper collection, a bright floral one that works really well when you patchwork it this way. I also opted out of the mirror and cork patches, going instead for altered foil pieces. These were created by applying foil tape to plain card, embossing it, working Iced Spruce Distress Paint into the de-bossed areas and, when dry, rubbing away the top layer. To protect the surface and add a glossy look a layer of clear embossing powder was heated over it.

You can see the inside of the box was lined with more of the Menagerie paper. I also added some paint to the corners to embrace the aged feel. From experience, I suggest you line the inside of your box (except for the front and back insides) before you assemble it to make it much easier.

I also recommend you decorate the outer surface of the box before you glue it together. It means you can add paste, inks, stencilling, paint and whatever else you fancy to a flat surface - so much better! Then add your embellishments to the assembled box. Grunge board and Grunge paper are superb materials for bending around corners of course!

The great part about the new Frameworks die cuts are the fact that you can join them together to form continuous patterns or chop them into smaller strips. You'll see I did this around the sides of the box. Whilst the joins are visible on this one I'm not at all bothered as real trellis would also have joins.

Let's take a look at the top - the flowers. They were of course the starting point for all of this. I went the 'make your own out of Mini Tattered Florals' route for this, using the same paper as for the inside of the box. Once assembled I died each of the two paper blooms with Distress Stains (which just happen to be on offer at The Funkie Junkie Boutique this week!!) For me they are unsurpassed at colouring patterned paper quickly and effectively.

The final 'plain' flower was made from suede effect Kraft Core card in the lightest colour available. You can find my tutorial for making this 'suede' paper HERE or in the Tutorials section of my blog, along with a whole heap of other ideas. To finish that TH button seemed perfect with the Philosophy tag and of course a little of Linda's custom seam binding.

I must confess to loving this so much that there is a distinct possibility the previous/future Tim tags will get the ATB treatment! Make sure you hop over to The Artists on the Block for lots more inspiration and check out The Funkie Junkie Boutique's Tim Tag Suggestions section for all your monthly 'needs' at great prices.

Tomorrow sees the announcement of the February challenge winners over at Our Creative Corner so I hope you can join me for that. And hands up who's off to Ally Pally next Sunday? It would be great to put more faces to names (I promise to wear a balaclava if that's too much of a scary thought!!)
Take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx

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