Monday, 19 June 2017

Wildflowers – Mixed Media Canvas

Hello all!  Today’s project came about based on a combination of a quote I saw on the internet and an idea I have had for a while, but just didn’t have the right quote. BUT now I do, so here goes.

As I’ve said before I have so much stash hanging about and this year I aim to use it, well quite a lot of it, if not all.

I covered a blank MDF Unfinished Artist Panel 300 x 300 mm with Gesso and then added some torn strips of paper from an old dictionary using matt medium. Somehow it all got lost in the end, but it does add a little texture. Everything was covered with a nice layer of Gesso using the Ranger Craft Squeegee. [I really like this product - its my new toy]. When that was dry I used the Ranger Mixed Media die set {chicken wire] to cut myself a stencil. I love this set of dies and often use the cut outs as stencils.
At the same time I used a scrap of silver metal foil to cut two more die cuts and coloured them with Ranger Gold Distress Paint.
Some texture was added to the outside edges of the artist panel with Ranger Texture Paste and my home made stencil and left to dry.

Because I am impatient and I was off to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert, I needed that texture paste to be dry in a hurry so I helped it along with the heat gun.  I mixed up a little Dylusions Calypso Teal with some Liquitex Matt Medium and used a wet wipe to apply it to the artist panel. 
I mixed up some Ranger Ground Espresso Distress paint with Liquitex matt medium and using the bristle paint brush I scrubbed it in around the edges and wiped it back with a clean wet wipe.  This gives it a sort of grungy look which is what I was going for.


Some time back I did a class on polymer clay tiles and have a whole pile of left over clay so guess what, out it came.  This idea has been with me for a while and I was eager to see how it would turn out.  I cut enough white Sculpey Ultra White clay and as per the recommendations I prepped it by kneading it in my hands until it was soft and smooth. Then I rolled it out using a Sculpey Acrylic Clay Roller. The thicker the clay the heavier the flowers and heart.

To create the clay heart I drew a heart shape onto paper, cut it out then laid it over the clay and used a sharp cutting knife to cut the clay. I must say I was a little nervous but it worked like a charm.

Although I don’t often stamp with an acrylic block, this time I felt it was necessary so stuck the flower onto a small acrylic block and applied Black Archival Ink to the Echina flower stamp from the Stampers Anonymous - Tim Holtz - Cling Mounted Rubber Stamp Set - Flower Garden and not applying too much pressure, stamped out three flowers, then like the heart I carefully cut them out and baked them in the oven according to the instructions. Because the pieces were relatively thin they “warped” a little but I do not mind that at all; it adds to the charm of the piece.  


Now for the quote on the heart.  I did write it out onto a piece of tissue paper using a permanent black pen, but I’m still not happy with my “writing” skills, so took to my trusty computer and my huge stash of fonts to create the quote. I printed it onto a left over mop up page and then used my original template to cut it out and collage onto the clay heart. I ran my Distress Ground Espresso around the heart being careful as it could crack, then sprayed some fixative over it.


Using Potting Soil Archival Ink I chose a couple of flowers from the Tim Holtz Cling Mount Stamps - Wildflowers CMS253 and stamped them here and there on the background.


I added some beautiful drips with Daler Rowney Turquoise Artist Acrylic ink and a few circles using Ranger Gold Distress Paint.
I painted the clay flowers with Daler Rowney Brilliant Yellow Artist Acrylic ink and the left over Ranger Distress Ground Espresso and Liquitex matt medium.

I found a bit of cardboard cut it to size and ripped off some of the paper to reveal the corrugated board behind and used a stiff bristle brush to apply some White Gesso then distressed the edges and ran my Distress Ground Espresso ink pad around the edges.   I stuck strong double sided tape to the back.
I also found a bit of gauze in my stash and coloured it using a drop or three of Daler Rowney Turquoise Artist Acrylic ink mixed with a bit of water. I assembled the heart, the gauze and chicken wire onto the cardboard and glued them using Ranger Glossy Accents.

I attached it to the artist panel using strong double sided tape.
I had a few florist wires so bent them a little and attached them to the back of the flowers using glossy accents then glued the flowers onto the artist panel.

That's my project done for today.  I've hung it at the entrance to my craft room/office and it makes me smile each time I walk in or out and acts as a reminder to allow myself to grow.

Thank you for stopping by.

Blank MDF Unfinished Artist Panel 300 x 300 mm
White Gesso
Texture Paste
Tim Holtz Mixed Media Dies - chicken wire
Creative Craft Metal Roll 1mx43cm - Silver
Dylusions Calypso Teal Paint
Tim Holtz Distress Paint - Ground Espresso and Gold
Daler Rowney Turquoise and Brilliant Yellow, Artist Acrylic ink
Wet Wipes
Bristle Paint Brush
Scrap of Corrugated Board
Liquitex Matt Medium
Potting Soil and Black Archival Ink Pad
Holtz Cling Mount Stamps - Wildflowers CMS253
Sculpey Ultra White clay
Echina flower stamp from the Stampers Anonymous - Tim Holtz - Cling Mounted Rubber Stamp Set
Florist Wire
Ranger Gossy Accents
Glue Gun 
Double Sided Tape

Monday, 12 June 2017

Just a little bit Distressed - father's day

Hello everyone, 

Today’s post is "just a little bit distressed, meaning a little bit grungy, a little bit Tim Holtz inspired" but also a little bit stressed. Seems I got muddled with my phone and somehow clicked the video button instead of the photo button so I don't have many pics to share.  

I thought that seeing its Fathers’ Day next Sunday I’d do a large tag for a gift bag and a small gift card holder for those lucky Dads getting gift cards.

I cut my own 11 x 22 cm tag from a sheet of Daler-Rowney Aquafine Watercolour Paper Pad A4 – 16 sheets 300gsm. I bought a few Distress Oxide Inks a while back, namely broken china, fossilized amber, spiced marmalade and peeled paint, but haven’t used them yet so today’s the day I get to try them out.

I stamped Broken China and Fossilized Amber Distress Oxide Ink onto my craft mat a few times and spritzed with water until small bubbles appeared, [the more water the more diluted the ink becomes] then pressed my tag into it, squishing it around a bit to ensure as much of the tag as possible got covered. I heat set the tag and using a Ranger Foam applicator applied more Broken China and Fossilized Amber Distress Inks [not oxide this time], then used the Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer to create some water droplet effects.  The reason I used this sprayer is because if you squeeze the trigger only half way you can create these amazing droplets and drips of water. I went around the edge of the tag with Ground Espresso Distress Ink using a Ranger foam applicator.

There was still some ink left on the craft mat so I mopped it up with an already cut Gift card envelope and added a bit of vintage photo to the craft mat and repeated the process.
At this stage I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do, so I gathered a pile of stamps, Black and Potting Soil Archival Ink pads, some already stamped images from my stash and a few bits of ephemera, including a die cut camera strip.  I stamped a few images in both Potting Soil and Black Archival Ink.  I also had two small pieces of watercolour paper from my experiments with Distress Oxides. I die cut a metal tab using a piece of Creative Craft Metal Roll 1mx43cm - Silver as well as another tab from Kraft card stock.

Using Black Archival Ink I stamped the Postal Telegraph stamp across the top of the tag and used the “underground” stamp [not on a block] from the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz: Steampunk set to randomly stamp the tag. 

I tried different arrangements from my pile of stash until I was happy, then glued everything down but not before using my date stamp to stamp a small ticket with next Sunday’s date. I also used a small Ranger paper clip that I found whilst rummaging.

I used a Spectrum Noir marker to colour the tab and stamped the word “DAD” in black Archival Ink and attached it to the top of the tag. It looks a bit wonky but its not, its just the effect of the light.

I used more or less the same technique on the Gift card envelope and used the Curiosity stamp from the Tim Holtz Steampunk Stamp Set to stamp some text. [There are lots of links to instructions for gift card envelopes on google]. I folded the gift card envelope and glued it down, I stamped the three men in top hats with black Archival Ink and heat embossed using clear embossing ink, then fussy cut the image. I used a few bits and pieces left over from the tag and a word from the Big Chat collection.

I hope these two projects will inspire you to make your own Father’s Day gift bag tags, and for those lucky Dads’ getting a gift card, make a gift card envelope.

Supplies Used:
Daler-Rowney Aquafine Watercolour Paper Pad A4 – 16 sheets 300gsm
Broken China and Fossilized Amber Distress Oxide Ink Pads
Broken China, Fossilized Amber and Ground Espresso Distress Ink Pads
Ranger Foam Applicator
Ranger Distress Sprayer
Jet Black and Potting Soil Archival Ink Pads
Spectrum Noir markers
Creative Craft Metal Roll 1mx43cm - Silver
Idea-ology Big Chat sticker pad
Stampers Anonymous Steampunk Stamp Set
Stampers Anonymous  Elements of Time Stamp Set
Stampers Anonymous Rubber Stamp Set - Odds and Ends
Stampers Anonymous - Tim Holtz - Paris Memoir Stamp Set
Stampers Anonymous - Tim Holtz Cling Mount Stamps: CuriositiesDate stamp
Ranger Washi Tape
Black Card Stock
Camera Strip Die [don't know where it came from now]

Monday, 5 June 2017

Mixed Media Notebook Cover

I’ve had this notebook in my stash for ages and ages.  I have to confess, more often than not I buy “cheapo” notebooks and decorate them to look like a million dollars.  It gives me such pleasure to see something beautiful emerge. 
I started off by carefully loosening the binding wires and removing them and the plastic cover. I cut a cardboard cover to the exact size of the plastic cover and covered the cardboard with a good layer of gesso.

Next I die cut a few die cuts using the Tim Holtz mixed media set using heavy white cardstock and glued the pieces onto the cardboard cover.  

I also added some pieces of Tim Holtz washi tape.

I applied a good layer of texture paste onto the cover using a palette knife.

I sort of patted the palette knife into the texture paste in some places and in other places I used the texture paste with a stencil and left it to dry.

I used a little gesso to knock the washi tape back a bit and to bring everything together but wiped it back a little off the bezel and the bee. 

A bezel, a bee and some small coins from my stash were covered with a coat of gesso. I filled the back of the bee with gesso and left it to dry.  This took quite a long time because of the thickness of the gesso behind the bee. I glued the bee onto the bezel using Glossy Accents and then glued the bezel onto the cover using texture paste. Lucky I didn’t use glossy accents and you’ll see why later.  I also glued three coins onto the left-hand side and one coin onto the bottom right hand side. This pic was taken before I moved them.

I mixed Turquoises and Warm Yellow Acrylic paint with Liquitex Matt Medium into a paint palette and applied it onto different areas of the cover in using a wet wipe.

True to the way I art, I felt there was something missing so I removed the bezel and added a black trellis die cut behind it, then glued everything down again. Much happier with this.

The bee got a coat of orange paint with black stripes and black legs.

At this stage I felt the cover looked a little dull, so I added some black script stamping here and there [I most often use script stamps without a block so that I can control how much text is stamped. Dry brushed some white highlights on the raised areas.

The white brought out all the texture and I’m really pleased I did this step. It changed the whole look. I also ran my Potting Soil Archival Ink pad around the edges.

I lay the original plastic cover onto the new decorated cover and traced the binding wire holes using a black marker then punched them using this punch. I have no idea what it is called. Hopefully soon I will learn how to photograph white paper.

I added a sentiment and sprayed the cover using Spray and Shine.

Last but not least I threaded the binding wires back through the holes and closed them by pressing them together with my fingers. They can easily be closed with a pair of flat jewellery pliers.
Now I’ve got a notebook to write down all my "arting" ideas.

White Gesso
Texture paste
Palette knife
Jet Black and Potting Soil Archival Ink Pad
Script stamp
Liquitex Matt Medium
Heritage Turquoise and Warm Yellow Free Flow Acrylic paint 
Wet Wipes
Tim Holtz mixed media die set
Lattice die 
A bezel, a bee and some small coins
Large flat bristle paint brush


Monday, 29 May 2017

A Trio of Dylusions

I don’t usually do cards. My thing is to decorate a gift bag and a matching tag, but there are the occasions when I give cards.  My stack of cards is running low so I needed to make some more.
 I started off by stamping a border around three 10.5 x 15 cm cards, using images from two different Dylusions borders stamp sets and Black Archival Ink. I also used Dylusions ink spray in lime and an Aquafine Water brush to colour in the background around the stamped images. I forgot to take a pic when all three were done, but you will see them all at the end.

The backgrounds are Gel Press prints. More often than not I scan my prints before I use them so I’ve always got a good supply of backgrounds for cards or gift bags when I need them.

I chose three images from the Dylusions die cuts that I thought I might use and, because I don’t really like the white borders, I fussy cut them.

I also stamped a number of other bits and pieces from Dylusions stamp sets, some onto Gel prints and the others I painted with Dylusions ink sprays and Liquitex Matte Medium using an Aquafine Water brush. The Liquitex Matte Medium makes the colours pop and also makes them permanent [they won’t react with water] I recoloured the stems of the yellow/orangy flowers with a Black Posca pen. After I took this pic I stamped and coloured some more flowers.
I layered the various elements onto the backgrounds and stuck them down using Liquitex Matte Medium just because it was close at hand. At this stage I realised I hadn't fussy cut some areas, so I fixed this up. 

I used a combination of Antique Linen and Victorian Rose Distress inks and an Aquafine Water Brush to colour the faces, arms and legs of the images.

I glued the backgrounds down onto the stamped cards and finished them off with some Dylusions quotes.
... and my cards are done.

Three - 10.5 x 15 cm cards
Clear stamp set Clearly Quotes
Clear stamp set Clearly the Right Words
Dylusions Stamp Clearly Borders
Dylusions stamp set Bordering on the edge
Dylusions stamp set Inbetweenies
Dylusions stamp set How does your garden grow
Aquafine water brush
Assorted Dylusions Ink Sprays
Lquitex Matte Medium
Black Archival Ink
Dylusions Ink Spray - Bubblegum Pink, Fresh Lime, Calypso Teal, Dirty Martini, 
      Pure Sunshine & Lemon Zest
Aquafine water brush
Black Distress Paint
Black Posco pen

Friday, 26 May 2017

Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils

Hi Everyone,

My most favourite coloured pencils in the whole world is Faber-Castell Polychromos!  When I saw that the Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils are available in South Africa, I decided to give it a try.  And, no surprise! It did not disappoint!   

It has the same feel as the Polychoromos (smooth and creamy)  but with the added benefit of dissolving in water and behaving as traditional watercolour paints. It can be used as regular colored pencils or with water.

This whole project was done with only three colours - Cadmium Yellow, Deep Scarlet Red, Emerald Green available in the Pencil Tin Set of 12.

Trace outlines of the Rose Bouquet Stencil with the Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils.

Remove the stencil and fill in the gaps with pencil.  

Use a Soft Round Paint Brush to add lots of water to dissolve the pencils.  The now saturated red and yellow pigment will start moving and blending to create a soft watercolour effect.

As with watercolours the pigment will move into wet areas. It is thus important to make sure that the rose petals are dry before starting to add the green, otherwise it will run into the pinks and oranges of the rose petals.

If you love watercolouring, but need a bit more control that is offered by a pencil, this  Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils are the answer.  I also, love the fact that the pigments are so strong that it can also be used as a normal colouring pencil.

Products Used:

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Gift Bag Makeover

Today’s project is a gift bag makeover.  I only ever buy plain white/kraft packets or gift bags or I sometimes make them from scratch. I have a stack and decorate them as and when I need them.
Today’s gift bag started off as a plain brown paper packet. I covered the front of the bag with a layer of Gesso, applying it with a palette knife.

I tore up some dictionary paper and stuck it down.

I applied another thin layer of Gesso and wiped it back in some places so that the dictionary paper would show through. 

I rummaged through my stamps and found some round stamps from the Finnabair “Don't Forget To Fly” stamp set and used black Archival Ink to stamp them out onto plain white craft stock.

Then fussy cut them out and stuck them onto the packet.

 I used some texture paste through a stencil on the top right hand and bottom left hand side and left it to dry for a while.

 I used a vintage photo distress crayon and a stencil to stencil the coffee cup stain.  I rubbed over the crayon using my finger to blend it in a little.

 I used Salty Ocean and Twisted Citron Distress Crayons on the background and made a few drips here and there.  

I coloured the circles with a Twisted Citron distress crayon, also rubbing it slightly to blend it in. Then went round them again with my Stabilo Aquarable water soluable pencil and used a Pentel Water brush to activate.

I stamped the butterflies from the same stamp set. I wanted them to be sturdy so I drew a little squiggle of Picked Raspberry distress crayon onto my craft mat, picked up a little onto my Pentel Water Brush, then swiped it into Liquitex Matt Medium and painted the butterflies.

I cut the  words using the Tim Holtz Alterations Collection - Thinlits Die - Celebration Words – Script and black cardstock and glued to the packet.  I thought I was done, but true to form, I came back and added touches of Picked Raspberry distress crayon to pull everything together.

I wanted something to close the packet so stamped the small butterfly twice onto heavy water colour paper fussy cut them then glued the two together. I coloured the butterfly with Picked Raspberry distress crayon using a Pentel water brush. I have this pack of Bobby Pin Hair Clips with Round Cabochon fitting in Antique Bronze  that I often use as packet closures. I cut a few small circles from heavy cardstock and glued them into the round Carbochon fitting, then added a bit of Glue and Seal that I coloured then glued the butterfly on and left it to dry.  It makes an awesome packet closure.  I also couldn’t resist a few dabs of Silver Stickles on the butterfly bodies. Now my gift bag makeover is done.

A gift doesn’t always have to be expensive but when it’s in a hand decorated gift bag it seems to be a million dollar gift.


Kraft packet
Texture paste
Black Archival Stamp Pad
Palette knife
Stabilo Aquarable water soluable pencil
Pentel Water Brush
Dictionary paper
Finnabair “Don't Forget To Fly” stamp set
Salty Ocean, Twisted Citron and Picked Raspberry Distress Crayons
Liquitex Matt Medium
Bobby Pin Hair Clips with Round Cabochon fitting in Antique Bronze