Friday, 30 January 2015

'The key to my heart'

A few months ago there was a 'to die for' challenge over at A Vintage Journey, the 'effects powders' challenge for CC3C and a couple of Heart inspired challenges....and I had an idea! Unfortunately the original idea didn't work so I put it to one side...until now. This is my filigree heart, starting to crumble and rust away but still beautiful with hints of the gilding and precious metals that once adorned it.

A lover's tree decoration with a hidden key.....

When I saw that the current challenge over at A Vintage Journey was 'Love is in the Air', I got my thinking cap back on. Celebrating all things Tim, my inspiration comes from the rusting, ageing and worn effects he creates.

Firstly carve a heart out of brown oasis, (I picked this idea up at a class of Michelle Webb's). You can finish shaping and smoothing it with your hands then cut it in half lengthwise. It creates a wonderful mess!

This is from my first attempt when I thought I'd use flourish die cut grunge paper and embossing powder, hoping it would hold it's shape, but it didn't.

Second attempt was to use clearly for art film, which could be heat molded into shape. I thought I'd use clear and then realised I couldn't see the shapes on the foil covered oasis so painted it black with black ice silk glaze. I wanted the inside to be dark to provide some contrast anyhow.

I cut about 8 pieces and then started to form it around the heart with tiny bits of overlap.

I realised I wouldn't be able to use any heat on it from now on, so gradually built up the look using the above with matte gel in lots of layers.

I started with iridescent gold silk glaze and a touch of love struck dry brushed in areas before  using glitter, mica, micro beads.

Every so often I would 'knock it back' with cinnamon and paprika, see link (thanks Brenda ...fabulous  inspiration!). Once I was happy with it I used some very fine wire in several places to join it it looked like repairs had needed to be done to prevent this valuable treasure from falling apart anymore...

The key had the same treatment and I wrapped some copper wire around it to make a rigid hanger. It's secured through the top between a bead and a small rusted washer. I'm also going to enter it at the  Inspiration Journal challenge this month which is 'Fresh Start' , I've certainly tried some new techniques with this one.

Honestly, although it was a bit fiddly to assemble, probably the hardest part was trying to get a good photo showing it's true colours!

Against black

and white.

It's 9 cm in length and surprisingly resilient but lightweight ...and yes it will adorn our Christmas tree this year. Hope you enjoyed this post, thanks again for all your lovely comments, I really appreciate every single one. Have a lovely crafty weekend!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

CAS meets Steampunk!

Hi everyone, thanks for all the lovely comments you've left recently. A quick post from me today. Just thought I'd share a card I'd been asked to make. Sometimes keeping it simple is what's requested ....hence the title. I thought I'd take the opportunity to combine it with the current challenge over at SanDee & amelie's  blog which is 'Three's my lucky number' .

I hope it scrapes in as an entry...definitely a trio and watch, cogs and grungy background with gilding fit the steampunk bill......just hope it's not too CAS!!

The background is a brayered acrylic ink one from a recent post, with a little florentine treasure gold over the embossed areas. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

'Flower Power'

It's time for our next challenge over at ATP Exchange and our host this time is the talented Julia whose chosen a wonderful theme close to my heart, in her words......January is often a very grey and dark month. With this in mind, I'd like to brighten things up a little and bring some summer fun into the winter. Using a Mixed Media style, I'd like you to make some handmade flowers and use them on a project of your choice. Remember we are a Mixed Media challenge and and stamping must be included, but no digi images please.

I have to be honest and say I'm not a crafter who can make Christmas cards in the summer so I can't get away from the fact it's frosty and cold outside.....My hands strayed to cool blues.....but I think a sunny winters day can be just wonderful, so that's where my inspiration came from.

I had some beautiful Prima scrapbooking paper from the Artist Trading Post which I cut some 1.5 and 2 inch circles out of. I added some stamping with a flourish in blue Brilliance pigment ink and 'splats' in black archival (Stampers anonymous and PaperArtsy Hot Picks stamps).

The garden greens diecuts are painted with fresco then text stamped with ESN11 in Brilliance again. 

I then painted a coaster with space cadet fresco paint, applied PaperArtsy crackle glaze, the top layer is antarctic fresco.  

To make the flowers, I cut a spiral out of the circles and then you roll the spiral up from the outside in. The 'squashed' flatter flowers are the ones I usually make and involve you creasing or curling the edge of the spiral before rolling and securing with glue. 
I decided I wanted to try the rolled rose version by Jenny Atkinson of Live The Dream  ....a non squashed version.....Jenny makes the most fabulous flowers!

Having followed her tutorial and distressed the edges, I added glamour dust to the edge of the coaster and the card as well as frosting the roses.

I used clear rock candy distress paint on the leaves to continue the frosty effect. 

I then started to assemble the elements on the coaster. Finnabair mechanicals were layered up with the roses. The loops were made from 2 loops of wire wound around a handle then twisted and brushed with Treasure Gold in Sapphire

The card base has been splattered with the two colours of fresco paint I used and some further stamping with the text stamp. The shape of the flowers reminded me of spring bulbs bursting forth out of snow, so the arrangement is a cross between that and a posy..... not sure how I'll get it in the envelope though!

I hope you'll hop over and see the wonderful creations from the rest of the DT...we're really looking forward to seeing your creations incorporating handmade flowers for the challenge. Don't forget there's a £10 gift voucher for the chosen winner. Thanks so much for stopping by and happy crafting. Ruth x

Sunday, 18 January 2015

'Fragile Papers'

The first challenge of 2015 over on the PaperArtsy blog is 'fragile papers'. There seems to have been a lot of interest in the new format of the challenge and I'm hoping I'll be able to join in with a few more this year. Well I love fragile papers and as you can see I've been inspired by Leandra's box canvas and just adapted what I had.

I seem to have used very similar colours, I started off with blues and greens and the intention of adding in some brown, but at some stage a touch of lilac appeared.

This is my selection of fragile papers and the piece I used is some tissue wrap form some boots of my daughters, seemed perfect for the challenge and I just scrunched it up to add some texture.

The covered 7 x 5 canvas and the painted tissue paper (which is what  I wanted to have a go at). The stamps I used were EEV02/06/07/10. ELB01 & ESN10.

This was my first attempt, not sure what went wrong, but I think it's difficult to see where you've brayered when your tissue is on a craft mat and I think I just over worked it. I couldn't stamp on it but it's not going to waste because I love the distressed look of it!

The layered effect on the flower.

Some of the details.

As always thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

'Exchange Day at ATP'

Hi, it's Exchange Day over at 'The Artist Trading Post' and my turn to share what I've been up to. I've been experimenting with acrylic pigment ink so please hop over here for all the details. Here's a sneaky peek!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Tim's Tag

Just thought I'd share my entry for Tim's January tag. All the instructions for the original can be found here . I was restricted by my colours of distress glitter, paints and stains and what would work well together. It was either vintage photo or pumice stone. I know I love brown but I wanted to do something different....

....the end result is a very grungy almost industrial look....very different to how it began, and very different for me.

I decided that pumice stone had a slightly pink tinge so put that with milled lavender paint and brushed pewter stain. The placement and use of different alpha parts was straight forward however I just couldn't get the colours to work for me.
It started out as a very much lighter project but the light coloured paint and glitter just didn't pop as they do on Tim's tag. It underwent several changes and I used some dusty concord and pine needles DI as well. I had several mishaps including overdoing the picket fence and silver splattering, which is when I walked away from it.....temporarily.

This morning I went back to it with fresh eyes and decided that to make it pop the background had to go much darker. I used a water soluble pencil around the edges of the words and although you can't really see the lilac and green tones it is what it is and at a stage I'm happy with.

I did think about the words I put on and had included  'don't give up have courage to be different', not realising how appropriate they would be! First tag of the year completed.

As always thanks for stopping by, it means a lot that you take the time to leave comments and I always enjoy reading them.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

'Fresh Beginnings'

May I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year and welcome you to the first 2015 challenge over at ATP Exchange! Sue is our host and has chosen 'Fresh Beginnings' for this challenge...... Now that the festive season is over and thoughts turn to what lies ahead in the New Year, take a look through your craft supplies and share with us a new product/technique/ or even a new item to alter !

I bought a tub of Silk Clay just before Christmas from the Artist Trading Post and thought this challenge was the perfect opportunity to experiment with something new (who me...experiment?). I also used my new iridescent silk glazes (yummy) and some lutradur (or it maybe Tyvek?) that I purchased a while ago.

Silk Clay comes in a range of colours but I opted for white for versatility. It's a very lightweight modelling clay and I think there are similar products available. I have some homemade silicone moulds, made from buttons that I have used with plaster before.
Some were very pretty buttons but anyone who has been to one of Finnabairs classes will know that 'ugly' buttons have their place so you can make lots of lightweight ugly buttons for projects this way.

It's a lovely squidgy, marshmallowy compound with a not unpleasant smell. Pinch some off and press into the mould and remove. It takes 2-24 hrs to dry properly depending on it's thickness and size. The above dried properly within a couple of hours. The result feels like a paper cast and the beauty of it is there's an immediate result, UTEE, Mod Podge and hot glue need to set before unmoulding. I found myself making lots very's quite addictive.

I decided I wanted to make a Birthday card for a friend who sews and used the buttons as a starting point. I applied some nylon lace strips to a piece of lutradur using a little pva glue. I had bought a mixed bag of lutradur and tyvek, both are used in creative textiles and react when heated.

The piece on the left is in it's 'raw' state, the piece on the right I had painted for my first attempt but it didn't quite work as I used some cotton lace in the mix and it didn't melt evenly. Next I carefully blasted the back and front with a heat gun trying not to set fire to the piece....joking!

The lutradur starts to form holes, the light brown horizontal strips being the glue I used. This picture of the back I think shows a rather lovely texture, which is really the aim of using the lutradur. I haven't coloured it at this stage, it's purely the effect of the heat gun. I was aiming for a very distressed effect.

 The front- the result is a very lightweight but 'set' piece, suitable for a card. I was really pleased with the colours the lace had taken on and just emphasized this around the edges with some distress inks in antique linen and teadye.

Next I used the copper irridescent silk glaze on the buttons (love the effect) and being so lightweight they just sat perfectly on top of the lace. I also added a couple of bead findings before mounting onto kraft card.

The card base was stamped with the text stamp from the ESN11 set using teadye DI. To finish a Krylon leafing pen was then used around the edges.

A fairly simple but hopefully effective card...and very light for posting! I have a longing to make some more lace panels mounted on a canvas....but we'll see, my workdesk and mind is littered with ideas but there is never enough time to craft!

Please visit my lovely teamies blogs to see what they have been up to....hopefully they will inspire you to have a go and dust off something you haven't used yet, remember there's a £10 gift voucher from our lovely sponsors at The Artist Trading Post up for grabs! Looking forward to seeing your creations and as always thanks so much for stopping by.