Thursday, 11 December 2014

Let's Celebrate. . . . .

Good morning everyone. Today sees a new challenge at Artist Trading Post Exchange and our host is the lovely Toni. Here's Toni's challenge for you:

I hope everyone has had something to celebrate over the last year. It may have been a wedding, a significant birthday, a new baby, or religious festival such as  Diwali and now, of course, Christmas ! We'd love to see your celebration crafty makes. It may be a card, a layout or piece of altered art. Just let your imagination fly! Remember that we are a Mixed Media Challenge and stamping must feature in your entries and please, no digital images. Although your celebration may have taken place a while ago, please ensure that your entry hasn't been featured previously on your blog.

Now, I didn't think Christmas, birthdays, weddings etc. No, my mind was on another wave length and I decided to make something to celebrate my daughter passing her degree this year. She studied Illustration for three years and an art foundation course for one year to start with. 

Here's what I made this time. I decided to use two pieces of my Daughter's art to alter a large wooden heart (similar to these). These images show the two sides of the piece:

Here are the two pieces I used belonging to my daughter:

These are both pencil drawings which I altered in an image editing programme and made them into 'threshold' images which make them easier to work with and look a little funky!

The software converts the images to these black and white versions which can be transferred in several different ways onto your substrate.

The heart is given three coats of gesso and is dried and lightly sanded between coats to provide a smooth surface.
Both sides of the heart are roughly coloured with the shades of acrylic shown. You can do this with a brush, sponge or your fingers.
Stencilling is then added to both sides using metallic gold paint, a stencil brush and stencil.
Random stamping is then added using Archival inks, with the addition some white acrylic paint for the raindrop stamp.
The design is traced onto the heart using artists carbon paper. Black acrylic then fills the traced design. In this image you can clearly see the raindrop stamp with tiny little white paint highlighting dots. The stencilling sits under the stamping but is allowed to show through in some areas without any distractions. The flagstone stamp (in turquoise) is much paler in colour and this helps to build depth.
Both sides of the heart are developed using the same techniques for continuity.
I love the way that Audrey peeps through the design on both sides.
The top of the tag is finished with some wired paper 'twine' which curls beautifully.
The letters are die cut from a piece of scrap card which has been painted and finished with crackle glaze plus a little antiquing cream to highlight the cracks.
The threshold images were transferred using the transfer paper shown - it's very much the same as carbon paper and comes in black and white. The matte medium (find similar here) was used to finish the image painting and a layer of Triple Thick glaze is applied and left to dry for 24 hours.
If you'd like to see more inspiration then please visit my teamies here and over on their blogs. An outright winner will receive a £10 voucher to spend at the Artist Trading Post who stock an endless array of goodies to tempt you. The challenge designer will choose their top three to appear on the blog. All winners can download our badge and pop it on their blog.

You have until January 7th 2015 to get your entries in - we're having a Christmas break!

Thanks so much for visiting and looking at what I've made. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have - just use the email contact point on the side bar.

I do hope your Christmas/Holidays preparations are going well!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Have Yourselves A Very Merry LITTLE Christmas At Our Creative Corner. . . . . . . . . . . .

Good morning everyone. Today sees a new  challenge starting at Our Creative Corner and our hugely talented host is Alison from Words and Pictures.

Alison would like you to make ATC's - or ATB's or Chunky ATC's with either a Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or other seasonal festive theme. Please check on the blog for the full details of the challenge.

I loved this challenge because I like working to this small size now. It's taken a bit of getting used to but it is fun and challenging to see what you can do in such a small space. My next goal should be to try an ATB or a chunky ATC but one step at a time!

As I'm going to be involved in an ATC swap, I thought it would be a good idea to make a small number of ATC's all along the same theme.

Here's what I made:

Four Christmas themed ATC's using non traditional colours!
Firstly, I made a background design using DecoArt Misters and a stencil on some card. Both background pieces were given a light coat of Media Fluid Acrylic in transparent yellow iron oxide after using the misters. (a must have colour in my opinion!).
Four ATC's were die cut - two from each background. They are glued to some chipboard atc's also die cut.
Each ATC was stamped using black archival ink on a Lynne Perrella festive stamp. One of the images was too large to fit the ATC so that was stamped onto spare card and cut out then applied to the ATC.
The 'Russian Doll' was stamped on scrap card and then painted before applying to the now crackled ATC background.
I didn't want to use traditional colours so opted for something more to my taste. I love this Transparent Yellow Oxide as you only need a thin coat to bring things alive.
A little touch of rusty wire and a tiny rusty bell to adorn the bottom edge.
A small Spellbinders snowflake as a headdress works fine for me! The snowflake was coloured using the same DecoArt Misters followed by more transparent yellow iron oxide.

The same lovely stamp but a different configuration for the snowflakes and more mister of one colour added.
Two snowflakes for the headdress this time.
More rusty wire and a little bell but twisted in a different way this time. Loving that crackle in the background.
The lighter background this time with another Lynne Perrella stamp and a Spellbinders snowflake which is predominately yellow. A little leftover flower crept onto this snowflake - I still have geraniums flowering in my garden so thought it'd be ok to add a little bloom here!
Love the word 'believe' on this stamp.
I had some hand coloured seam binding leftover from another project so it was pleated and added to the bottom of my ATC. Of course, some more rusty wire and a little bell!
This is my favourite stamp - I think it's that crown of Christmas trees that does it for me! 
I used the last little piece of my hand coloured seam binding here with a small twist of rusty wire.
Not sure what I'd do if I couldn't get any crackle glaze! I just love all the detail in this stamp.
More layered Spellbinders snowflakes with a good dose of transparent yellow oxide on the top flake!
All the products used for my series of ATC's.
I even remembered to stamp this onto card for the back of each one. The backs of any bits that stick out from the ATC's have been coloured with Krylon pen to avoid looking untidy. No date yet. . . . even I don't want to do Christmas this early!
I hope you enjoyed seeing how I made these small pieces of art. There's plenty more inspiration over at Our Creative Corner so why not click here and see what the rest of the DT has come up with - you won't be disappointed.

Our sponsor for the December challenge
Our sponsor this month is Tando Creative and if you are our lucky winner you will receive a prize from the lovely people there - another reason to enter! You might also be lucky enough to be chosen as the top three talent - it won't happen if you don't enter though! Don't forget that throughout the month some of the team will showcase products from Tando Creative - the first Sponsor Spotlight will be on the 4th December so remember to pop back and have a look.

Thank you so much for visiting today and having a look at my offerings.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Recycle For Christmas At Artist Trading Post Exchange. . . . . . .

Good morning all. Today sees the second challenge at the Artist Trading Post Exchange for November. Our host today is the lovely and talented Yvonne

Yvonne's theme is 'Recycle For Christmas' and as we are getting closer to Christmas, this seems like a great idea! (Some of us haven't even made a card yet so at least this will be a start).

We are asking you to recycle an object, some packaging, a box or anything suitable that can be turned into something you can use for the coming Christmas festivities. For example a piece of leftover packaging could be used to make the base for a wall hanging. An empty box could be given a makeover to hold a gift - the ideas are endless. What you make is your choice but we do ask you to remember that we are a mixed media challenge blog and we'd like to see this reflected in your projects. Please add some stamping somewhere too - real stamps only, no digis please.

If you link up a project with us you have the chance of winning a £10 voucher to spend at the fab Artist Trading Post. . . . . you could also be chosen as one of our top three and be featured on the winners day.

Here's what I made for the Yvonne's Recycle For Christmas challenge:
A selection of Christmas gift tags all made in a grungy, mixed media style. 
Here's what I made my tags from:
Outside and inside packaging has been used to die cut ornament/bauble shapes for the tags. I also used some packaging from an embossing folder but forgot to add it to the photo before I cut into it.
These tags have been folder embossed before being transformed using paints and mediums.
These tags have each been developed using either modelling paste or fibre paste prior to the acrylic paints and other mediums.
These two tags were die cut from packaging acetate then colour and design was applied using a stencil, gelli plate and acrylic paints. I haven't finished these yet as I need to find something suitable to hang them with and a way of writing on the back without scratching the paint off.
The card tags have a second shape glued to the back with stamped greetings and space to personalise each tag.
Tim Holtz stamps and archival ink are used for the stamping.
The base of each tag has been given a rust finish using some of the products shown. The oval label and numbers are painted using the acrylic colours shown. In the following close up shots you will see more clearly where the products have been used. To do a tutorial for each tag would take forever but do email me if you need to know any further details.
The 'rivets' on each side of the label are made using DecoArt's Liquid Glass. When dry this product keeps the raised shape rather than collapsing as other similar products do. 

The two tags shown here were folder embossed then finished with the acrylic colours shown followed by the antiquing cream. Crackle glaze is used on the numbers. More close ups follow to show the details.
The light isn't good at the moment for taking photos and the patina finish looks much more blue than it is in real life. Roll on the good weather!
Each tag has been given some twine as a 'hanger'. I'm not really into sparkly stuff so I stick to my preferred painty, grungy finishes!
I've just discovered this 'fiber paste' which gives a finish like handmade paper. The paste was applied to the die cut and left to dry. The next step was to emboss the shape in a folder, apply black gesso and finish it with the acrylic colours shown. 
I love the texture that the fiber paste creates and I think this looks like a rich piece of fabric. I decided against adding anything else as I liked the texture to be the star of the show.
This tag was given a coat of gesso followed by modelling paste through a stencil. When dry, the tag was coloured with the acrylic misters shown. The raised sections are then dry brushed with DecoArt Media acrylic gold but I forgot to add it before taking the photo! The final step was to coat the tag with Triple Thick Gloss Glaze which gives a beautiful rich finish.
It's not easy to capture the beautiful shine and glistening gold raised areas but I hope you get the idea!
The acrylic misters blend together to create areas of different colour depth. Not all areas have been dry brushed with the gold. 
I've gone for a slightly industrial, steampunk look on this tag. It has been created as described previously using a stencil and modelling paste. The raised areas have been dry brushed with a metallic silver paint. The surface has been left quite matte in finish to give a more masculine feel.
A little Quinacridone Gold fluid acrylic has been used to give a slightly rusty appearance to some areas.
For this tag, modelling paste was again used through a stencil. Acrylic misters added colour. Crackle glaze and antiquing cream finished the look.
The acrylic misters have blended beautifully to make a rich red/purple colour. I like the contrast with the white antiquing cream against the dark background.
A touch of Halloween here but I think it makes an interesting gift tag for Christmas!
The two acetate shapes have been coloured using a gelli plate, stencil and the colours shown. I'm not 100% pleased with them but it is a technique that I will explore further and hopefully and improve on. I think they could have a card piece on the back like my other gift tags or they could be used as part of a Christmas card design perhaps?
The back of each tag has been coated using a brayer and titanium white paint.
I do hope you enjoyed seeing what I did with my packaging. I always keep those 'good' pieces of card etc. which can be easily recycled into many different projects.

You need to pop over and see the projects made by the rest of the team - you're in for a treat! Click HERE to be taken to the blog and click on the DT names to go to their blogs for further details  of how to make each project.

It's your turn now to dig out that saved packaging, box, tube etc and turn it into a wonderful Christmas make for Yvonne's challenge. We're really looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

I'm also going to enter my ornaments at the Artistic Stamper. Their challenge this month is 'Christmas Is Coming' so I think these will fit in!