Friday, 29 November 2013

A winter tale - Chris

Hi everyone, Chris here with you today to share my last guest designer project. I've thoroughly enjoyed my month on the blog being able to work with the gorgeous Artistic Stamper stamps.

I decided to go for a Christmas home decor project this time and I've created a scene on a deep edge canvas which I'll be putting out with my other decorations in a couple of weeks.

I love the vintage images in Victorian Christmas 1 # 005 and particularly the snowy cottage scene which reminds me of my favourite winter poem by Robert Frost. I decided to combine the images indicative of the ideal Christmas onto a mixed media canvas.

 I've given my background a snowy feel with texture paste, die cut snowflakes and doily, Tim Holtz Composer tissue wrap

 and my handmade clay embellishments which are all bound together with

DecoArt paints, Frantage embossing powders, pearl pen pearls and stamping with the lovely Snowflakes stamps in the background and around the sides of the canvas.

The focal images were stamped with Archival ink in coffee and given a little bit of colour with distress markers. 

Thank you again Jenny and Emma for your kindness and to everyone on the team for the constant inspiration. Not too long until Christmas now so if you celebrate I wish you all a wonderful time.

Chris x

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Christmas is coming......

Well, as if you didn't know that....
Hi everyone, thanks for dropping in,  Astrid here and yes, - Christmas is now less than a month away, - eek.
Anyway, here is my first Christmas project, a gift card holder, for that special person who is so hard to please....

These are the stamps and products I used:
Mini Christmas 1
Christmas Plate 3
Size 10 Manila tag
Kraft Resist Seasonal (Tim Holtz)
Hinge Clips
Distress Stains, Iced Spruce, Salty Ocean, Stormy Sky and Brushed Pewter, Picket Fence
Distress Inks,  Iced Spruce, Salty Ocean, Stormy Sky, Walnut Stain
Archival Ink Potting soil
From my stash: Flowers, embossing folder, gold embossing powder, hand dyed cheese cloth and ribbon, various dies and punches Treasure Gold in White Fire Core'dinations and smooth white card, scrapbook paper scraps.
 This is how I made the booklet and gift-card holder:
I folded my size 10 tag in half and trimmed the two corner pieces at one end. I then coloured the tag by swooshing it through my chosen colours of stains which I had squeezed onto my craft-mat. I darkened it and blended further with Distress Inks. Next I ran it through an embossing folder. I then crumpled the whole tag up and then unfolded it again to get even more texture.
My chosen stamps were stamped on smooth white card and then layered up with fussy cutting, dies and embellishments as you can see from the photos.

The inside had become very messy, so I covered it with a piece of the Kraft Seasonal papers, which I had first blended some Picket Fence Distress Stain over to tone it down a bit. I created the pocket with the help of the Sizzix Distressed Doily die cut from Core' dinations Kraft Core.
And here you can see what the message and little gift card envelope looks like.

And here they are all tucked in place:
Hope I have not made it too long winded and that you got the basic idea.
Thanks so much for visiting and see you next time

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Take a leaf out of my book...

Hello all, Alison (butterfly) here with an autumn mini-journal for you.  There's time for a last breath of autumn before we kick into gear for Christmas, isn't there?!

I had great fun altering this little papier mâché book (8 x 11cm, and there's an even tinier one still to come), and creating a mini-album to go inside.

I started by covering it with some Tim Holtz tissue wrap, leaving the "edges of the pages" just with a coat of gesso (thick enough and on a hard bristled brush, so you get some "pages" showing - I'll see if I can find a picture showing that later).

Next step was to stamp the new Leaves Background onto the front and back covers.  I used lots of Archival inks on the stamp: Sepia, Sienna, Coffee and Plum, all blended on there.

Distress Inks next: Vintage Photo, Gathered Twigs, and probably some Rusty Hinge if I remember correctly.

I ended up giving it a coat of medium to seal it, which meant some of the Distress Inks faded a bit with the brush strokes, but I'm fine with that, as it brought the leaves to the fore again.

Time to create what's going inside.  I cut some pages to size (pretty much ATC-size) and did some wrinkle-free distress technique with lots of warm golden brown inks and stains.  I also added a couple of spritzes of Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold to the craft mat before smooshing through with the pages, so you get a lovely golden shimmer in places.

I used the gorgeous new Journalling Words #5, one per page - it's the US version of "journaling" with one "l", but I guess I can work with that!  Just love all those fonts.

On the reverse sides I used some of the new Katy Fox stamps - the Leaves...

... and the Dates, again stamped in Archival inks, mainly Coffee and Sepia.  Apologies, this was all done after dark - how early is it getting dark already?! - so these are flash photos.

So, enough of the process, let's see some photos of the finished thing by daylight, shall we?

I love that the spine looks like a real old leather volume, burnished with age.

I added some Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs to the cover.

And look how the mini-album nestles just inside the book.

Here's a close-up of that cover, also using the leaves background and some Rock Candy crackle paint.

More crackle paint inside the cover of the box, with layers of autumnal paint shades.

And here are some of the internal pages.  I interleaved them with some hand-made paper pages, and added some stamping using my all-time favourite Calligraphy Mat, number 19!

Oh, almost forgot... here's the promised shot of the "pages" - click for a close-up if you need to!

So that's probably my farewell to autumnal crafting for this year - it's always a sheer pleasure to play with these colours and images, but with the temperature dropping rapidly and Advent Sunday almost upon us, it's probably time to let go soon!

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed taking a leaf out of my book (sorry, appalling pun, but it tickled me!).  If you've already moved on to sparklier times, you could come and play along in our Christmas challenge this month at The Artistic Stamper - you've still got about a week to go.  Hope to see you there!

Ingredients used:
Artistic Stamper Stamps: Katy Fox - Leaves, Dates; Backgrounds - Leaves; Calligraphy Mat #19;
Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs
Distress Inks - Vintage Photo, Gathered Twigs, Rusty Hinge
Archival Inks - Sepia, Coffee, Sienna, Plum
Perfect Pearls Mist - Heirloom Gold
Tim Holtz Tissue Wrap
Claudine Hellmuth - Multi-Medium and Gesso

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Christmas Surprise by Emma

Hi everyone...

Hope you've all had a great week and looking forward to the weekend. Well, if you're looking for inspiration for your Christmas cards or gifts, then I hope that I can inspire you with the piece I'm sharing today ~ my little altered matchbox, with a big surprise when you open it up! As always, I hope you love it...

To begin with I made my own matchbox from kraft card, measuring approx 7 x 11.5cm in size. I then cut pieces of cream card to fit the outside of the box, inked them with Old Paper DI and stamped each piece with the Music Background stamp. I distressed the edges of the paper with Walnut Stain DI before attaching them to the outside of my box. I then added a Idea-Ology Hitch Fastener on the front of the drawer, to enable you to pull the box out of the cover easily.
I then cut more cream card to fit the base and the sides of the box and again inked them with Old Paper DI before stamping the Santa image from the Mini Christmas 1 stamp set onto the base card. 
I coloured the image with Distress Marker Pens and then inked up the Snowflake stamp with Tumbled Glass DI and stamped the flakes onto all my pieces of card before attaching them to the inside.
I then raided my own stash of dies and used the Festive Greenery and the Tattered Pine Cone die from Tim Holtz for Sizzix to die cut card and coloured each individual die cut with Distress Inks, adding highlights of Rock Candy Distress Dry Glitter to each piece. I then added these to decorate the inside of my box, together with a small Bottle Brush tree and some fake snow before finishing the inside with a couple of Tim Holtz Chit Chat stickers.

To decorate the outside of my matchbox, I used the Tattered Poinsettia die from Tim Holtz, again from my stash and made a large bloom from cream card, inked around the edges with Distress Ink and spritzed with Biscotti Perfect Pearls Mists. 
I attached the flower to my box and added die cut holly leaves, inked with Iced Spruce Distress Ink and rusty wire coils, smeared some Rock Candy Distress Stickles over the top of the leaves and then die cut the number 25, painted it with PaperArtsy Snowflake Fresco Finish paint and covered the numerals with Rock Candy Distress Glitter.  

So, that's it from me for today...thank you so much for stopping by and I'll look forward to reading your comments! Don't forget we still have our Christmas challenge running until the end of the month, so if you would like to enter, with a chance to be the lucky winner, then just click HERE for all the details.

See you again soon...Emma x