Monday, 14 April 2014

My first ATB!

A quick post to share my first ATB (Artists Trading Block). My Eileen Hull Block/Cube Die arrived on Friday afternoon and I couldn't wait to get started! So in between running a workshop on Saturday, various events yesterday and hoovering this morning I made this!

I embossed the pieces with a Sissix Tim Holtz Die and then applied Victorian Velvet and Bundled Sage Distress Paints with a Palette knife (I am loving this technique!). A covering of gesso, again with the palette knife softened the colours.  

I then had fun decorating the top with various embellishments - two handmade roses using the Tattered Florals Die (tutorial here on my blog) and various bits and pieces which were lying around my desk having been made for other projects. There is a gorgeous piece of lace underneath it all too!

I think I am hooked! 
I can't wait to start another one!

Thank you to Eileen Hull 
for such a fabulous die!

I thought I would enter my first ATB into Eileen Hull's Art with Heart Challenge this month which is April Showers - I think my box would make a great make for a Bridal Shower! 

And I am also linking in with this month's challenge at the Artistic Stamper as the challenge is embossing and texture.

Thanks for visiting and I hope the sun is shining wherever you are and you don't have spring showers as we have here!

Jennie x

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Blog Hop with Catherine Scanlon Designs and Art Gone Wild!

I am absolutely thrilled to be part of Catherine Scanlon's blog hop today (my first ever) showcasing her wonderful stamps from Art Gone Wild. 

Catherine has been a wonderful friend and teacher to me over the last few years - leading me into mixed media work and encouraging me in so many ways with the result that I feel I have managed to find my own mixed media style. It is therefore a pleasure, and an honour, to be supporting her today.

You can see the current collection of Catherine's stamps and stencils in this wonderful catalogue HERE and the Summer 2013 release HERE at Art Gone Wild. To see a list of stores (on-line and in person) that carry the stamps you can go to Catherine's blog and look at the link here.


In the UK Catherine's stamps are available from the Artistic Stamper - click the link HERE to see the lovely range that Jennie is currently stocking. More stamps and masks are on the way - so do revisit.

So to the blog hop and I am super excited to see what this wonderful talented group has created! If you have come to my blog from Nathalie's then you are nearly through! If you are starting with me then you might want to start with Catherine and work you way through.

And so to my project - I have made a small words book from a set of beer mats I picked up in a pub recently! As they were black (Carling Black Label!) they took a little covering with Paper Artsy Fresco Finish Chalk Paints, but I love the finish.

I used the fabulous Black Eyed Susan stamp on the cover and inside the Edna's Flowers set.

Each beer mat got a covering of gesso then a mixture of Orchid and Pansy Fresco Paints with a bit of Snowflake on the top.

On the reverse side I used the Pansy Fresco Paint and when dry gave it a coating of Crackle Glaze and then Snowflake Fresco Paint.  I just love this finish!

Once everything was dry it was out with the Grunge Paste and some Tim Holtz masks to create a bit of texture.  I then stamped the flowers over the top in Arcival ink.

After that it was great fun painting the flowers with the same Fresco Paints.

Finally I stamped a flourish in Dusty Concord Distress Ink over the Crackle Glaze and some of my favourite Tim Holtz life quotes.

I do hope you enjoy this blog hop and the wonderful versatility of Catherine's stamps. I love the clear drawn lines of these flowers which are fabulous for just adding colour, but they also look great cut out and layered too. 

Do leave a comment on Catherine's blog by Friday April 18th as she has a few prizes to give away. Make sure you leave an email address when you comment as she will be picking two winners!

Thank you for visiting!

Jennie x

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Cabbage Rose Tutorial

As promised yesterday I am back to share a tutorial for the blowsy cabbage rose flowers I used to decorate my French wallet and tag yesterday.

You need to use a reasonable quality paper stock as it is going to have a lot of water sprayed on it. I used papers from the Tim Holtz Shabby Chic Paper Stack.  

Using the Tattered Florals Die, cut four each of the largest flower and four of the second smallest flower (the two flowers on the left hand side).

Gather them together with a brad and layer them so the petals are not lying on top of each other but staggered.  I also used different sides of the paper to add extra interest.

Spray the whole stack with water and then scrunch up the very first flower.  Spray again and scrunch up the next flower.  

Keep repeating this until all the layers have been spritzed and scrunched.

Now this is where I would normally leave it to dry, but instead while it is still very wet, start peeling back one of the flower layers and mould each petal around a knitting needle or a thin paintbrush.  You need to work quite carefully as the paper is very sodden, and don't try to ease out the petals, just mould in all the creases and scrunches.

Continue to mould the four large layers and then leave the inner layers to dry scrunched up. I left my flower to dry overnight but you could blitz it with a heat gun to speed it up a little.

For the smaller flower I did just the same thing, but used four cut layers of the second smallest flower and four cut layers of the smallest flower on the Tattered Florals Die.

I also made this flower using the spiked flowers from the die, but the leaves were a little thin to take so much water and kept falling off! However, it does give a slightly different look.

I do hope you have a go at making some of these flowers and do let me know how you get on.

Thank you for visiting today.

Jennie x

Friday, 4 April 2014

A Little Bit French

Ooh la la! we have a lovely new challenge for you over at A Vintage Journey today.  Astrid is our host for this challenge and she has chosen the theme:

A Little Bit French

Give your project that little bit of a French feel. 
Think stamps, embossing folders, distress products ….. the possibilities are endless, but whatever you do enjoy the journey, make your project in a shabby vintage Tim Holtz style

…… and take it to France!

For some reason France makes me think of blousy flowers, birdcages and the colour pink! I have no idea why! however I did spend many years cycling the length and breadth of France (including the Alps) for my summer holidays, so something must have sunk in while pedalling up those steep hills!

For this challenge I have made a tag in a pocket and used Tim's wonderful French Embossing Folders with Victorian Velvet Distress Ink. I toned down the colour a bit with some Gesso as I wanted to create a more "arty feel".

I have decided to leave the tag undecorated at the moment as I have an idea to send this to a friend instead of a birthday card, so I will personalise it for her nearer the time.

And so to the "blowsy" flowers! I made these from the Tattered Florals die using a combination of shapes and some of the very last of my pink papers from the Shabby Chic Paper Stack (oh how I have loved these papers!)

Pop back tomorrow and I will have a tutorial on how I made the flowers.

I do hope you will join us for our challenge and we all look forward to seeing your makes. There are some amazing projects from the rest of the Design Team, so do pop over HERE and have a look. Such fabulous inspiration from everyone and all the projects are so different.

Thank you for joining me today.

Jennie x

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

New Beginnings

Another new month! heavens where did March go to!  As it is a new month we have a new monthly challenge theme at Country View Challenges which I am sure you will love

New Beginnings

I have decided to interpret this fabulous challenge by learning two new techniques for my DT projects.  

And here is the first …………

I have no idea what you might call the technique but ever since I saw Stephenie Leykauf's tutorial on Simon Stays Stamp Blog I just wanted to give it a go.

First of all I ran my tag through the Cuttlebug with the fabulous Sissix Ornate Embossing Folder.  I then painted the whole tag with Gesso - Stephenie uses another medium, but I found this worked just as well.

Then Distress Paints were layered onto the tag with a palette knife.  My first layer was Bundled Sage, then Broken China and finally Chipped Sapphire.  I love how the colours blend on the embossed surface, quite haphazardly due to the palette knife. I did add a little bit of gesso (again with the palette knife) to tone it down a bit at the very end.

As the tag was quite "busy" with colour I kept my embellishments light and used natural tones.

The flowers were made using the Stampin Up Pansy Punch (5 petals) and white card stock. 

I sprayed the flowers with water and scrunched them up in the usual way, but once they were dried I rolled the edges with a knitting needle, some curled over and others curled under. 

I stuck three layers together and then added these fabulous bunched stamens - a recent purchase from an online millinery store HERE.

A small wooden button and some hemp just finishes off the top of the tag.

I shall certainly be having another go at this embossing/paint technique once I get some more Distress Paint colours! 

I do hope you will join us at Country View Challenges for our challenge. We have all  interpreted the theme in quite different ways, so do hop over and have a look at today's reveal pieces from the DT and then of course there will be plenty of other inspirational pieces through the month as well.

Thanks for visiting.

Jennie x

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

March Tag - Double Take!

First of all thank you for joining me today and a huge welcome to new followers! It is really lovely to have you here on this exciting journey.

I was absolutely thrilled (to put it mildly!) to have my February tag chosen by Tim as one of the monthly winners and I can't wait for my prize to arrive which is a set of the new release stamps. Thank you Tim (and also thanks to Mario and Inspiration Emporium too). 

Now it is time to share this month's tag which involves a fabulous new stamping technique

smudge stamping!

You can get all the details HERE on Tim's blog with regard to the technique.  And here is his tag - just fabulous! and I soooo love those stamps.

As usual I didn't have the stamps, distress marker spritzer or the embellishments (other than tissue tape) but that doesn't normally stop me having go.  So here is my take on his tag:

I used a number of Tim Stamps and Distress Inks:

Flourish : Crushed Olive
Tape Measure : Brushed Corduroy
Butterflies : Fired Brick and Dusty Concord
Text : Black Soot
Vintage Photo in the background using the Latticework Layering Stencil 

I do love the effect of smudging - both the first stamping and then the second generation, but I must admit to loving the second stamping - it is so soft and delicate and the colours are just so wonderfully muted without even trying.

As we are nearly at the end of the month there is not much time to join in but I do recommend you have a go if you haven't already.

Thank you for visiting.

Jennie x

Friday, 21 March 2014

It's All About Words …...

We were all bowled over by the amazing response to our first challenge at A Vintage Journey and what fabulous pieces have been entered!  Today we start another challenge which is being hosted by Alison (aka Butterfly) of Words and Pictures:

Say It With Words

Tim Holtz makes it so easy to say it with words - 
sentiment stamps, chit chat stickers, Alphas, 
alphabet stamps, grungeboard letters ……. 
So whatever you pick let words be at the 
heart of your project.

I decided to make a little book of useful sentiments using a single sheet of 12 x 12 card stock and following Tim's Valentine book tutorial which you can find HERE

I should warn you that this is a very heavy photo post!!

This was the finished book before decoration. I decided to leave some of my pages open for some tags.

I had great fun decorating the outside - I made the flower from the Tattered Pinecone Die and some sandable Co-ordinations card stock.

The flower and the butterfly frame are holding the dyed ribbon in place.

I had these tags left over from demonstrating Distress Inks at a workshop last year, so I thought I would use these for decoration. I am sure you can recognise quite a number of different inking techniques!

I gathered a number of sentiment stamps which I hope will act as reminders to me over the next few months when I feel challenged. I then just got stuck in using a number of scraps lying around the craft table as well! 

I do hope you will join us in this challenge.  
All the details are HERE as well as some great pieces from my fellow Creative Guides.

I am also entering my little words book into the Artistic Stamper Creative Team Challenge as this month is Letters, Words and Numbers - all very appropriate!

Thank you for joining me today!

Jennie x