Saturday, 13 May 2017

...anyone for cake??

Hi everyone, nice to be back in blog land and with something a bit different today. I've still been busy creating but took some time out recently as we had a wedding in the family, I've been busy dusting off my cake and sugar flower making skills to make a wedding cake for my son and his bride who got married last week....and yes it was a lovely, happy, perfect day.


I thought I'd take this opportunity to go down memory lane and if you fancy reading on you may want a cuppa to go with your cake as I thought I'd share some of my previous creations. I haven't chosen to do this before because it's nearly 20 years since I made many of them and digital photos weren't around but I recently found an app that's enabled me to scan in a few of the pictures. The photos aren't great quality and it was still a challenge taking photos this time around as cakes are big and cards and pieces I usually make are small and flat and soooo much easier to photograph.

What started me off on my cake decorating journey nearly 30 years ago was finding a book called 'Finishing touches' and I saw a wedding cake in it unlike anything I'd seen before...which I wanted for my wedding...well if possible...well at least like it...and I did.

Our wedding cake 1988
I bought the book and was inspired to have a go, I never set out to make wedding cakes and started with a cake for my mother's 70th, I haven't got a picture of that one but I did make a rose...which looked more like a cabbage if truth be told; as my mum said blood, sweat and tears went into making the cake (I hasten to add not literally). Like all craft/art, you need to practice, practice, practice.

I made all sorts of fun birthday cakes for our children and, communion and nativity cakes for their school. I've come to the conclusion that I prefer to model or sculpt with my hands rather than draw.



I practiced piping and started to wire flowers, the honeysuckle cake was for a 50th Birthday and is still one of my favourite creations.

Then someone asked if I could make their wedding cake.


3 tiered ones followed and as they say every picture tells a story and these are a sign of the times - flowers on all tiers, drapes and swags were in and stacked cakes certainly weren't the fashion then.





Then life threw a curved ball and I went from part to full time work and cake making being quite time consuming had to take a back seat except for special occasions...but I discovered something that was easier to do in the time available and fulfilled my creative need. I was at one of the sugarcraft shows and next door at the craft and hobby show there was 'The Stamp Man'....card making and stamping became and have stayed my thing with a short hop across to mixed media. I genuinely love all the creative journeys I have been on and revisiting them is a treat too.
One thing I had forgotten is how much making flowers affects my shoulders, I do tense up. It's something I know I have to pace myself at and know I couldn't do regularly.

So if you are still with me, I thought I'd share a few close ups of this years model. My daughter-in-law chose a purple and ivory theme. She too had seen a picture of one she liked which was stacked, flowers on top and some decorative piping. In case you're wondering all the tiers are fruit as there was no way I could make and keep sponge fresh enough to decorate in time...but I did make a chocolate ganache cutting cake as well.

I knew she had chosen peonies and vintage lilac toned roses and that the bridesmaids were wearing mid length dresses (Monsoon) so took inspiration from there.



The flowers are made from 'petal paste' and start off like this before being shaded with edible dusting powders....not that they should be eaten! They will keep for years  if stored correctly and make a lovely keepsake. Freesias and Roses I've made before but it was a first time for making Peonies.


Freesia
Rose

Peony
'Pearl drops'
Finally it was a simple wedding card in keeping with the theme...


Thanks for stopping by I really do appreciate it and hope you enjoyed a slightly different creative post. You may be pleased to know that after that sugar rush I will be back next time with some more cards I've been creating. Ruth x

Saturday, 1 April 2017

...bits and bobs

Hi everyone, well I said I'd try and sneak another post in, this is scheduled for April because I have posted every month since I started and didn't want to have nothing for my 'Gallery' this month. I'm sharing 4 cards and a couple of atc's.


I make and keep backgrounds for a reason, you just never know when one might be perfect....well that's the excuse for my huge stash and I'm sticking to it. This one was made with brayered acrylic IZINK a few years ago and just fitted the blooms perfectly.

I've long admired the flower making skills of Jennie Atkinson who has some wonderful tutorials. I noticed that she uses a spellbinders set by Tammy Tutterow quite a lot and so it's a recent purchase of mine. I've just used them flat...well slightly shaped but only one or 2 layers for this card as I wanted the centres to be made of these wonderful old buttons and visible.


I've used Khadi paper and sprayed it with Lindy's Stamp Gang spray in gorgeous teal colours which I then dabbled a bit of  Captain Peacock fresco paint into in. Once sprayed I laid stencils on top an let it dry before carefully peeling off, hope you can see the pattern it left. A little gold text embossing before die cutting.

I had some flowers left over so made this card using up some of my paper from where I experimented with 'mark making' , interesting how the background colour can change the tone of the flowers.


I added some gold hand stitching just to make it a little more special, after all it had only taken 2 minutes to assemble as everything was precut.


Next up I revisited my stitched babywipe leaves and petals. I added some more hand stitching and colour to the petals and it made for a modern CAS card.



These are some ATC's I made for the PaperArtsy stand at stitches in February using Lin Browns stamps and I'd forgotten I hadn't shared them.


This is a style I just keep going back to...



Lastly Lynne Perella and infusions that I'd already sneaky peeked but here it is as a finished card.


It's on glossy card which gives a softer effect which I rather like.


Thanks as always for stopping by and now I can say I'll be back in bloggy land next month. R x

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Home is where the heart is...

Hi everyone, I haven't had a lot of time to play in recent months and apart from some delicious dabbling with the new infusions I haven't sat down and just done something for fun for what seems like ages...my last journal page was over 6 months ago! Time to rectify that, and I have been inspired by a lot of the work and the introduction post for the current Paperartsy challenge 'Doors, Windows and Architecture'  so here is my journal page with architectural elements.



If I get the chance I love looking at architecture, older buildings with ornate work, some decaying and crumbling...or modern with smooth, clean lines. I struggle to walk past anything made from hewn stone, be it house or wall without touching it, especially if covered in moss....and might even take photographs of it....


So this particular house of my imagination has elements of my dream holiday place or retreat. I've used a mixture of Paperartsy and Crafty Individual stamps.

Infusions in 'Blackcurrant' and 'In the Navy' were used on the background and then overlaid in gold paint with one of my go to stencils. 



Home has always been where my heart is, it is my sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle ...peace and quiet so I can think...and of course create...the heart key seemed apt.


All the stamping was done in watering can archival and a little clear embossing added some texture that shows through the knocking back or 'whitewashing'...


Still on the architectural theme, I shared a snippet of this on instagram but here it is in full. Sometimes the randomness of using products like infusions can throw up backgrounds that just speak to you and need little adding. This was another background from the infusion post here and I just thought it looked like a stormy night.


A little Lynne Perella and stitching.


The splash of red just highlights the man in the door.


A gold posca pen just dotted and splashed adds gold highlights.

As I was in a card making mood it has been turned into one, I felt this font fitted the style best but not sure about the best wishes for someone just yet as it is a rather dramatic card...but you never know and I'm sure it will fit an occasion at some stage in the future!


The first 6 months of this year are pretty busy non craft wise and for lovely reasons....I might not be posting for a while unless I can sneak another one in soon, but I will definitely be back mid May....in the mean time Happy crafting! Ruth xx

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Framed Botanical Print for PaperArtsy

Hi everyone I have a post over on the PaperArtsy blog tonight using some favourite products of mine for the current challenge theme 'Paint and Infusions'. Here's a sneaky peek...


...hop across for all the details here.

EDITED - thought I'd just share a  few more  close up details of the steps.

The frame before it's coat of varnish and treasure gold



The flowers - infusions, pearl glaze and stamping.



The watercolour effect with additional stamping in paint and infusions....


...I'm really pleased with how this turned out. R x


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep! - Put a Bird On It...at Stamps and Stencils

Hi everyone, it's time for the very talented Toni to set our challenge over at Stamps and Stencils this month. Without further ado here's what she has to say about it. 

'One of the joys, at this time of year, is to wake up to the glorious sound of birdsong. The challenge this month is in celebration of our fine, feathered, friends. We would love to see your mixed media projects, that include at least one bird. Whether it's a  journal spread, an assemblage or card, just make sure that a little dickie bird or birds, feature somewhere. Please don't forget to include stamping, or stenciling or even both! Can't wait to see your creations!'

When I was looking around for ideas and inspiration I came across the artwork of  Karyn Fendley please follow this link Inspiration from a Karyn Fendley print 'Song Bird 1', I loved the red and cream and the idea of cutting my own stencil/mask to try and recreate this seemed like a good challenge for me. This is my very amateur take on it. 



To start, I used a copyright free image to cut my stencil with the idea that I would mask areas off before I painted out areas. I glued some watercolour paper to an 8 x 8 plywood panel.


First coat of vanilla, yellow submarine and tangerine twist fresco paints roughly blended. I wanted to start light and build up lots of layers.


Stenciling and stamping in archival ink and paint, quite liked this stage but I couldn't be deviated from my original plan.


I know, even more layers...the idea being that whatever sections were visible there would be detail


Then to bring it all together, I used london bus over the whole area which is translucent. 


Some metallic red foil and gold embossing and I think it takes on an almost oriental look 


Next masking fluid using the stencil, once dry a slightly watered down coat of vanilla and chalk fresco paint, a couple of coats of this as I wanted to be able to see the underlying detail.


I used a maskaway eraser to reveal the quirky tree and bird. 


Not bad for a first attempt at several techniques?


Please hop across and see what my other teamies have created for you, they are all so talented!  I hope you'll be inspired to join in with this months challenge and thanks for stopping by.