Monday, 30 May 2016

SDC246-Anything But Black

SDC246 - Anything but black!
The Stampotique challenge this week is a tester, most of us use an immense amount of black ink, either to stamp with, splatter or paint, a touch of black can make your project pop.
So bearing in mind no black is allowed I'm opting for blue.

This is what our host Samantha Read at Stampotique says about this challenge.

"The first thing I usually do after choosing which stamp I'm going to use is to reach for my black inkpad. So I'm challenging myself and you to make anything you fancy so long as there is no black ink or paint etc. Have fun!"
So let's see your best "non-black" creations. No black what-so-ever is going to be quite a challenge to most of us, as we usually run for that black ink pad, just like Samantha does. 
Good Luck!!

Now for something different.

I've just signed up for a class with the lovely Lynne Brown who has her own range of stamps and paint colours with  Paperarsty. The class I'm doing is called, "The Street Where We Live". 
This involves making gelli plate prints on fabric then creating a collage from them.
Ooooooo interesting, it's not until the beginning of October and I can't wait.
You may ask where I was going with this well I thought I would give gelli printing a go without a gelli plate..

Impossible? nah! I have a hot glue gun mat that I have been using as a printing tool in the same manor as a gelli plate. I presume it's some sort of silicon based heat proof, floppy gelli plate impersonating mat. Oh and it was only cheap when I bought it (many years ago).

You can find loads of gelli plate printing videos on YouTube give them a little look if your interested.
Using paints, masks and several different layers the background was created. 
 Happy Birthday was stamped directly onto it, then also onto a  piece watercolour of paper.  The watercolour image was cut out and adhered to the background piece. 
A Grounding was made by stamping in the same blue ink  then
the little character was stamped on watercolour paper, cut out  and coloured with watercolour pencils, then stuck into place.

There you have it, a card created not using black ink.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out and perhaps I should ban myself from using black more often.

If you would like to see more inspiration hop on over to the Stampotique challenge blog here.

That's it for now.

Sue X

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Single Layer Card

Tis the season for birthdays, my brothers, oh dear, a man type card.
I decided on a single layer, stamping and colouring on just one piece of watercolour card stock.

I felt this needed to be lifted a little and so ended up mounting it onto black card and layering onto a card blank.

Hope he liked it.

Sue X

Not So Mini Journal

Not So Mini Journal
As the title suggests this art journal is a tad larger, due to the eldest daughter requesting a larger version to be able to draw in.
 So here goes.
Take one large piece of  mixed media card stock 8" x 16".
Score at 3",3"1/8",3"2/8",3"3/8".
Score again at 9"4/8",9"5/8",9"6/8",9"7/8".
This is going to make a slightly different book to the  previous mini books made due to the size of the paper I have available.
Next job to stamp in archival ink and mask of the image with masking fluid.
Other images added to create an interesting backdrop,
Distress stamp pads were pressed into the cardstock.
Then misted with water to make the colours run.
This was misted with water  again when dry and removed with kitchen roll to leave a mottled pattern.
The masking fluid was removed by gently rubbing with a finger to reveal the un-inked card ready for colouring with water colour pencils. You will have to wait to see the photos and the end of the post as ooops forgot to take a photo.
The back was coloured with a block of colour in the centre and then another colour around it. This was misted with water and removed with kitchen roll to leave a mottled design.
The whole piece front and back was sealed with mat medium by sponging over the surface,
To make the signatures take cardstock measuring   8" x 11"6/8" score at 5"7/8" and fold, I made 3 signatures using several pages to bulk up the journal.
Pierce holes in spine of signatures. I have done 3 at 1" intervals from the outside edges.
At this point  I messed up a little, it was getting late and I was being harassed to get it done by the eldest daughter. Say no more. In the spine area I should have been a little more accurate with my hole placement and used a ruler. I saved the day tho by doing an inner liner more accurate. But I forgot to take a picture. 
Because it was late I didn't take photos, basically I used a needle to sew each signature into the spine from the centre of each.
Will do another just to show you, but check out the videos on internet there is a mass of information out there to inspire you.
So, this is the finished journal, now in the hands of a 15 year old.
Its been decorated in the same way as a  previous smaller journal I did for the  stampotique  design challenge but on a larger scale.
You can see the inner support I added while it stitching it together and I was going to stick it down but, George liked it loose, so, loose it is.
Just one flap too on this version to keep pages tidy, holes were made in the back cover and the ribbon thread through to wrap around the front cover.
Hope you like it,
What ever next I ask myself.
Sue X

Friday, 27 May 2016

Mini Books

Mini Books

My current love is up-cycling books and giving them a new lease of life (after I've read it of course). Whether for a display of mini artwork, a more practical letter rack or even a photo display piece  it can all be made from an old book.

I have been asked to run a class on my previous post, "Book Love", so if you live in the West Midlands area get in touch with Sunrise Crafts in Wombourne and book yourself in for a few hours of mess and mayhem. It's taking place on Saturday the11th June if your interested.

Moving on, I came across an ensemble of mini travel journals/books finished sizes approximately
3" x 4.5" which, I thought, hey they look cute and easy to make. Emphasis of easy!
If you would like to check out the technique go to Jen of eve designs here.
There are step by step instructions on how to achieve a similar mini book.

Just in case you want a visual on the measurements here they are with a brief how to.

To begin cut 2, 9" x 12" card pieces in half to make 4 pieces measuring 4"1/2" x 12".

Use one piece and score as follows. 
 Measure 2" score, 5"1/8" score, 5"2/8" score, 5"3/8" score, 5"4/8" score.
Measure 8"7/8" score, 9" score, 9"1/8" score, 9"2/8" score.

The other 3 pieces cut in half to create 6 pieces of card measuring 4"4/8" X 6".
Measure 3" score and fold all 6 pieces.

These 6 pieces make 3 signatures made up from two of the folded cards. (A signature is the name given to a number of sheets of paper grouped together to create one of a set of signatures in a book. A book can be made up of one signature or many signatures, you can use as many sheets as you like to create a signature using all sorts of papers too, use your imagination).
You can add more pages as I have done either to make pockets or simply just more pages.

Decorating the long scored strip/cover piece  is your own choice, you can use  paints,  decoupaged papers, or inks as I have.
 Decorate both sides of this piece.
 To start with use archival ink and stamp images you like.

Then using  2 colours of distress ink build up the colour in a way you are happy with. Mist with water then lift off with a sheet of kitchen roll to leave a mottled effect.
The edges were then reinked and the whole piece sealed with a Matt glaze.
With the 2" score mark on your left fold towards you and glue along the two short edges, hold in place until dry, this creates a pocket.

You can ink the edges of the pages in your signatures to make them match your colour scheme and even add random stamping to make them more interesting.

Next up, making up the book. for this you will need a hole punch and 3 pieces of ribbon measuring Approximately 50".
The cover on the side where you have your 2" flap the next measurement was 5"1/8" followed by 3  score lines close together. Using the middle scored section as a guide for the hole punch measure up 1" from the outer edge and punch, turn the cover around using the same line as a guide go in from the opposite side and punch.

Punch holes the same distance from the edge on the signatures using the centre score line as a guide.

Thread the ribbon from the inside of the signature to the outside, do this to all three.

Group the three signature together and thread the three threads at the same time into the corresponding holes on the cover. Pull through nice and snug then tie in a knot.

The ribbons/threads should be long enough to wrap around the journal in opposite directions to meet at the front and tie in a bow.
Note when I make this book I make the top group of threads shorter than the bottom to make sure when tied around the book the bow appears equal in size.

I enjoyed making it so much I had to make another, and another, then I changed to size and made it slightly larger  finished article approximately 4" X  6".
Measurements below.
Begin with 4 strips 5"7/8" (Half of  11"6/8"x 16" of mixed media card (strange measurements as not exactly 12" x 16").

Take one piece and score as follows.
 Measure 3" score, 7"1/8" score, 7"2/8" score, 7"3/8" score, 7"4/8" score.
Measure 11"7/8" score, 12" score, 12"1/8" score,12"2/8" score.

The other 3 Cut in half to produce 6 pieces of card measuring 5"7/8" x 8".


Measures 4" score and fold all 6 pieces. Then follow the previous suggested decoration ideas or go for your own version.

Give it a go and you will become addicted too, enjoy.

Sue X

Monday, 23 May 2016

SDC244/245 - Scribbles/Circles


This is a combined entry as I missed the deadline for scribbles, it only seem wright to combine the
 two challenges and actually they do go well together.
Anyhow, here goes.

This week Kristen Catalano is our hostess and she has challenged us to a "Circle" challenge, here is what Kristen says about this challenge:

"I love to use circles in my projects, so this week I am challenging you to get creative and show us what you can do with circles in your project"

 My vision of scribbles is slightly different to the DT's version of scribbles, in my mind I see a mass of well  jumbled scribble! lines and disorganised mess.
Circles are easier, round, solid, hollow, large and small even bubbles.
Now to combine the two.
This is what  I came up with, a little book/journal using the new stamps I had delivered last month.
Yeah, using my new stamps at last.
I have a thing at the moment for homemade books but haven't gotten around to posting about them yet, I will eventually with measurements and details.

I began with a piece of watercolour card and made a cover by first cutting to the correct size then scoring at various points. Stamping followed using archival ink then masking fluid on the stamped images to retain the white paper beneath.

Mini ink pads were pressed directly onto the card and spritzed with water to make the colours run and blend then dried. The masking fluid was removed and the images coloured with watercolour pencils.

Scribbles and doodles in white/black marker pens were added to the background.
Signatures were added using ribbon and threaded through  the punched holes, a small pocket was formed in the cover and more ribbon created a mechanism to keep the book closed.



 And inside.

So hope you like this entry, if you would like to see more inspiration pop on over to the Stampotique blog here.

Thanks for looking.

Sue X

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Book Love!

I love books!

I have done for a number of years, going way, way back to my first years at school.
My obsession began when the school I attended was having a book sale, the books were purchased for  1p maybe 2p (cost of living was slightly different back then).
The Golden pathway was one of my favourites and is one of a few I managed to keep in  reasonable condition, it is undated  I do know its older than 45 years as it was a little battered and musty smelling when I had it. I'm not even sure if I could read it at the point I bought it, the pictures were amazing, the coloured pages have tissue paper protecting them, inside are stories, nursery rhymes all manor of tales. My brothers friend bought me his sisters old books too, I was in heaven, my own little library.

These days I still read proper books the kindle doesn't do it for me, I  prefer to pick one up and read it, no need to be charged.
As you can imagine I have a vast collection, some I will re-read others I will not pick up again.

The next question being, what to do with them?

Answer, Up-cycle of course!

I use them for crafting, stamping on the pages, re-using the pages to make home made books with a layer of gesso to obscure the writing a tad, making hidden niches and lots more. Paper folding is popular at the moment, you can find lots of books and videos on YouTube here and here for inspiration.

This is one is my version.

  Over the years I've seen many different versions of book folding, more recently people have been doing more word art. However, I wanted to keep it even more simple than that, so easy anyone can do it.

Here goes.

To begin with find a reasonable sized paperback 300 plus pages if possible although it does work with less. Ideally you want your folded book to be quite full so that you can wedge photos, tags and other memorabilia comfortably without bits falling out. 
You can use all sorts of methods to calculate how many pages you need to fold at once but I  work  on approximately 5-7 pages at a time. All you have to do in fold the pages in half ensuring you bend the spine as you go to make it bend into an arch nicely when complete, get your pages as close to the spine as possible to give an even appearance. 

Once all  the pages are folded they can be secured into position by placing double sided tape onto the edge of the page folded inwards close to the spine, this will stick to the next group of pages and create the segments.

Two circles of  card are folded in half and placed over the spine ends, glued into position with part on the outside of the book and the other half going under the base, you could glue small knobs or beads on theses flat edges for decoration.

Grey board is used as a support to give ridgitity to the base stuck with a strong glue, feet could be added to lift it off the table a little.
Once dry the painting begins, the first layer gesso, not all over though as you want to see the text a little. You could use a combination of clear gesso and white or black if you prefer.
Next the colour, I tend to use a dry brush and apply sparingly to get brush marks and layers of paint to make it appear shabby, apply one colour at a time and sometimes another layer of white until I'm happy with the effect, only two colours are used.


Tim Holtz vintage glaze is added to the ridges of the pages once dry to give an aged look.

Next a combination of hand made flowers, die cut leaves, moss and dried flowers are added to the piece and there you go, an ideal decoration to stick your letters in when they come through the letterbox whilst  waiting to be opened or to put a few family photos, receipts or just stuff.

This was the first one I did.

And this was the second one! They are slightly addictive to make next one will have a more manly appearance (no flowers).

Hope you like it!

Sue X