Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Christmas Birds ........

Good morning .......

Welcome to the middle of the week.  Not quite sure what happened to Monday and Tuesday but, here we are, and I'm hoping to spend the day in my craft room ..... whoo hoo!!  Lets hope it's a productive one. 

I thought it was about time I made a real start on some Christmas cards,  as it's only about six weeks until the beginning of December ........ eeeek!!  It's a good excuse to play along with this month's CAS Christmas Card Challenge too.

The theme for October is ...... Christmas Birds 

I do love a cheeky little robin or two, or three ..... and seeing as this gorgeous stamp flew into the craft room recently I couldn't resist playing along

I saw this stamp a few months ago on Bonnie's Blog (Stamping with Klass) and I fell in love with it.  I don't think they're actually robins but ......... depending on what colours you use on them they could be any type of bird.
I think they make cute little robins .......

Stamped and heat embossed in gold, and then coloured using Distress Inks and a waterbrush.

I stamped a snowflake onto the background and heat embossed in white and I created a mask to cover the birds.
I then applied Distress Ink over the background ....... around the birds and over the snowflake.

The white embossing acts as a resist to the blue ink, so once I was happy with the depth of colour I polished off any excess left on the snowflake and finished off with a sprinkling of Chunky White Embossing Powder to give the look of falling snow.  
With the Chunky White I simply sprinkle this where I want it to be (it's great for covering up small mistakes!) and then I heat set from UNDERNEATH so that it doesn't all blow away.

A festive sentiment stamped underneath finishes everything off nicely

I loved how this turned out so ..... I have three for the Christmas box!  Lets hope the festive mojo is in the mood for playing again today.

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.

Just to add to the festive spirit it's the Christmas Preview evening at my favourite garden centre tonight.  We might just pop in and have a little look at what they've got this year ..... there's always room on the tree for more pretty decorations!

Cheerio until next time ........

Products used:
Stamps: The bird stamp is from Impresssion Obsession (E19968); Most Wonderful (sentiment set - Clearly Besotted); Snowflake from my stash
Inks: Distress Inks - Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, Gathered Twigs, Evergreen Bough, Festive Berries, Fossilised Amber; Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Versamark ink
Others: White Embossing Powder, Gold Embossing Powder (WOW!); Chunky White Embossing Enamel (Stampendous)

Thursday, 15 October 2020

There's still time to play at the CAS Mix Up Challenge .......

Happy Thursday .......

The weekend is approaching, and if this nice weather that we're having at the moment continues, we might just get a couple of days away in the van!  Not sure where yet.  Wherever we end up, it'll be a bit of 'wild camping' as I think nearly all the actual campsites on the island are now closed for the winter, which is a shame.  But I believe there are a few places dotted around the island where we can still stay overnight.  We'll be fine, we have everything we need in the van, and enough power to last us a few days. 

Anyway, enough of all that ........ the reason I'm here is to remind you of this months CAS Mix Up challenge.  Have you played along yet?  Don't worry there's still time, the challenge doesn't close until October 24th. 

Viv is our host this month, and it's a stencil challenge with the theme ..... Tone on Tone

I do like this effect, especially when using stencils.  It's a real easy way of creating layers and adding depth to your cards.

Like the piece I made for the challenge launch ....... which you can see here if you missed it ..... I started out with a piece of coloured cardstock, and then chose my inks in different shades of the same colour.

Very Autumnal don't you think!

I used the pretty leaf stencil from Uniko and Distess Inks. 
I started with the lighter shade first, which was Spiced Marmalade, then stenciled over the top with the new Crackling Campfire ..... a gorgeous colour for this time of year.

I added a few splatters of gold ink over the top, stamped my sentiment  .......

And finished off with a few sparkly sequins, before mounting it onto a black cardblank ....... I love how it makes the colours really stand out. 

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.

Cheerio until next time ........ 

Products used
Stencils: Natures Treasures II (Uniko)
Stamps: sentiment collection (Penny Black clear stamp set)
Inks: Distress Inks - Spiced Marmalade, Crackling Campfire: Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Delicata Metallic ink - Golden Glitz (for the splatters)
Others: Sequins

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Sweet Poppy Stencils are back on the TV .........

Happy Wednesday ......

I just wanted to pop by and say, if you're a Sweet Poppy Stencils fan you'll be pleased to know that Lucy is back on Hochanda tomorrow ...... whoo hoo!!!

There are two shows ......... the first one is at 11am, and then again at 3pm.  
There'll be lots of gorgeous stencils, some festive designs, some not.  Lots of fab mediums etc., to use with your stencils, and a whole load of inspiration from Design Team samples and of course live demonstrations from the lovely Lucy herself.

I've been busy playing (oops!) working with some of the stencils, making samples for the shows. 
So, if you have some time to spare and fancy a quick look ..... here we go!  You might want to grab a cuppa, it's a bit of a long post!
One of my favourite Sweet Poppy stencils is making it's TV debut this time ....... the gorgeous Teardrop Background

I do love this design ..... it is a great background but, it's so pretty as the focal point too.  
For this card I used washi tape to mask off a strip across my piece of card, placed the stencil over the top and inked through using Autumnal shades of Distress Inks ..... love it!

Oooh .... did I mention that Sweet Poppy now have their own stencil brushes ....... the really popular make up style ones, and they are soooo nice to work with.  Watch out for them on the shows .... you need these!

I stamped a sentiment onto the white strip and added some dry embossed lines top and bottom to highlight the area

I finished off by adding a few gems here and there in matching colours 

Why not change the colours and give the same stencil a more festive look .......

Distress inks again, with a little bit of pen work this time ...... white highlights onto the 'berries'

and a touch of gold around some of the teardrop shapes.

A simple sentiment stamped over the top .....

and to give it a real Christmassy look, some chunky white embossing enamel .... I love this stuff on Christmas cards!

Another of the stencils coming up on the shows is the Absolutely Abstract Back Plate ........ 

I must admit, it took me a while to decide what to do with this one, I haven't done much abstract (I have been watching Eileen Godwin's YouTube videos though, so you might just see a bit more in the near future!)

I used a whole bunch of Distress Inks again through the stencil, blended to create a Galaxy Sky ......

With the stencil still in place, I added a few splatters of water, not much, I didn't want it to leak underneath the stencil.  
I mopped up the excess with a paper towel and you can see that the water reacts with the ink and removes some of the colour too, leaving this lovely speckled look behind. I never get tired of this technique!

I added a spritz of  Perfect Pearls over the top to add some shimmer, and a few splatters of white paint, then I carefully removed the stencil.

Once everything was dry, I stamped my sentiment across the shapes .......... 

And finished with a splattering of gold ink all over the design.

Same stencil, only this time I didn't use the whole design ......

A bit of masking whilst I was inking, to keep the edges of the colours crisp .......

and I drew around each of the shapes using a gold gel pen just to give a different look ...... you can see I've splattered with water again to, gives it a bit more interest I think.

I used the lines of the stencil design as a guide for my sentiments

Last, but not least I have a few more festive makes ....... the beautiful Cross stencil is back.

A cross is perfect for all sorts of occasions, but I gave it a festive feel and used it along with the Christmas Words stencil, which will also be on the show.

I used the words to create the background, and Versamark ink through the stencil and heat embossed the cross in gold.  I then fussy the cross and attached it over the words using foam pads to add a bit of dimension 

A few gold ink splatters and a sentiment .......

and some Christmas holly, cut using the Sweet Poppy Holly die and a little bit of glitter card

Here's the cross again, used a little differently this time .......

Again using Versamark ink and gold embossing powder, and a little bit of masking, I made a decorative frame around one of my large Christmas sentiments.

There's that holly again!

And finally, here are the Christmas Words again ..... used to make a very quick and easy card 

Festive colours of Distress Inks, a pretty ribbon bow and just a touch of Christmas sparkle!

Phew!  That was a long one!

Enjoy the shows tomorrow.

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.

We're out this evening ...... it's a Wine Down Wednesday Wine Tasting and it's Rioja week!  We're doing the tasting and learning all about Rioja, and then we have a meal ..... 4 courses of delicious food all paired with the perfect wines ..... looking forward to that!  

Cheerio until next time ......

Products used:
Stencils: Teardrop, Absolutely Abstract, Christmas Words, Cross (all from Sweet Poppy Stencils)
Stamps: A7 stamps set - Have a Great Day;  A6 stamp sets Family, Cheers, Joy & Peace (all Sweet Poppy); large sentiment from my stash
Inks: Distress Inks - various colours; Versamark ink; Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Delicata Golden Glitz metallic ink
Others: Gold embossing Powder (WOW!); Crystalina Glitter (Sweet Poppy), Gold and white Gel Pens, white paint, gems

Monday, 12 October 2020

Welcome to a new week .......

Happy Monday ......

I hope you had a lovely weekend.
We're at the beginning of a new week, and looking at the diary it's going to be a busy one ...... you'll be fed up of me by Friday! 

I'm starting the week with a little bit of inspiration for October's Simply Sweet Poppy Facebook Challenge
The theme is an easy one this month ....... Flowers and Blooms.  The difficult part is going to be deciding which one of the gorgeous Sweet Poppy floral stencils to use. 
I dug deep into my box and came up with this little beauty ....... Poppy Circle

I'd forgotten just how pretty this stencil is.  And I know I say this a lot but, change the colour of the ink  you use and you change the whole look of the results ......  the flowers don't always have to be poppies.

I did keep mine red this time though.   Using a sponge and Distress Inks I applied the colours through the stencil building up the depth of colour gradually ..... you can see that I went off the edge of my card with the circle just to give it a different look.

I also inked more of the larger flower heads onto snippets of white card. and fussy cut them so that I could layer them up and add a touch of dimension.

I stamped my sentiment in the centre of the circle ...... heat embossing part of it in gold

A few gold ink splatters onto the background, and I also added some pretty sequins to give things a little sparkle and shine

And I finished by adding those layers to some of the flowers

My second piece is something I made a few years ago, and I still have it hanging in my craft room.  
If you've been reading my blog for a while you might have seen this before ........ if not here's the original post (WOW!  I didn't think it was so long ago!)  As I still love this stencil and it fits the challenge perfectly, I thought I would share it again.

It started out as one of my samples for a workshop that I did using Brushos ....... those little pots of pigment that work their magic when mixed with water and other mediums, along with the gorgeous Sweet Poppy Stencil ..... Black Orchid.

I taped the stencil over a piece of white cardstock in the usual way then I sprinkled the Brusho pigments where I wanted the colour.  These powders go a long way so you only need a tiny amount.  The more powder you use, the more intense the colour will be.

You could spritz with water at this stage, to activate the pigments, just be careful not to add too much or it will seep under the stencil and you won't get a crisp image.
I used a Gel Medium instead, through the stencil in the same way you would use a texture paste.  The gel activates the pigments and spreads the colour ..... magic!  Set it aside to dry ....... and clean any excess off your stencil straight away ..... a gel medium is like a glue so you don't want it drying on your stencil.
The finished effect will be slightly raised, and depending on your gel medium you could have a gloss or a matt finish.
For something a little different I mounted the finished card onto a canvas.

The challenge is open until October 29th so you've lots of time to play along.
Please do read the rules though, especially the one about using ONLY Sweet Poppy Stencils on your designs ...... we don't like it when we have to disqualify entries because they've got other branded stencils on there.
You can use stamps though to accent your designs BUT, the stencil MUST be the main focal point.

I look forward to seeing you in the gallery.

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.

I said it was going to be a busy week, Lucy is back on the TV!!

Two shows on Thursday this week, with a fabulous mix of gorgeous stencils ...... here's a little look at some of what's going to be on there

Cheerio until next time .....

Products used:
Stencils: Poppy Circle (Sweet Poppy)
Stamps: A6 stamp set - Smile (Sweet Poppy); it's your birthday stamp from my stash
Inks: Distress Inks - Candid Apple, Barn Door, Gathered Twigs, Victorian Velvet; Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Versamark ink;
Others: Fine Detail Gold Embossing Powder (WOW!); Sequins from my stash

Stencils: Black Orchid (Sweet Poppy Stencils)
Inks: Brusho Pigment Powders
Others: Golden Gel Medium (Matt Finish); Black Stencil Paste (Sweet Poppy); Black Gesso