Saturday, 20 December 2014

Christmas Tree Decorations

Well here we are just 5 days to go till the Big Day---- hope you are all prepared!!! ( I'm not sure there is such a thing as being completely prepared.) Anyway I thought I would share a quick and easy variation of a salt dough that I found whilst searching the internet.

This was an american recipe that was measured in cups so I have converted it to tablespoons which makes it easy to knock up a small batch.

4 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Cornflour
3 Tablespoons Water

Mix the 3 ingredients in a saucepan and place on a low - medium heat. This will gradually bubble and thicken to form a stiffish ball similar to mashed potato. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave until cool, a batch this size only takes about 20mins.

Once cool knead until a smooth dough is formed then its ready to roll out. Its best to collect cutters, stamps, inks, baking sheets etc before rolling out. Heat oven to around 170F and line baking sheet with baking parchment.

Once the dough was rolled out I stamped various designs onto the dough before cutting out with different christmas shaped cookie cutters.

I used Archival ink pads as I wasn't sure whether the dye based ones would bleed. After cutting the first batch out I kneaded the remains of the dough and rolled out again. Where there was parts of ink in the dough it made a nice marbled effect.

These small shapes took about 45-50 mins turning over once after 25 mins. This will vary according to the size and thickness of your pieces.

This is how it looks once baked, I lightly sanded the edges to neaten before colouring with various waxes.

On this tree I used Treasure Gold in Ruby and Renaissance and finished with Inka Gold in Platinum.

Its amazing how quickly these shapes transform once you start to add colour.
I am entering these tree shapes into Clarity Stamps monthly Challenge titled 'Trees'

I would like to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. Hopefully we will meet again very soon in 2015. Take care and thank you as always for stopping by today.

Best Wishes Jane x

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Fresco Chalk Acrylics with Iso Propanol Alcohol Inspired by Wanda Hentges

Hi and welcome to you on this blustery, chilly Sunday. Today I've been playing with a technique that inspired me over on the PaperArtsy Blog earlier in the week, to follow the technique in greater detail click on the link here.

Wanda used Rubbing Alcohol but as I didn't have any of this I raided my husbands stock of IPA which he has for cleaning old vinyl records.

To begin with I painted various pieces of card and a MDF heart with a coat of Fresco Chalk Acrylic paint.

The heart had a base coat of claret with snowflake on the top with then a couple of spots of baltic blue before adding the alcohol.

The green piece of card started off with guacamole with baltic blue then the alcohol was added and whilst it was still wet watered down claret and snowflake were then flicked from a paint brush!

The blues were given a coat of Lake Wanaka first, then the Baltic blue, next the alcohol was added and watered down drips of snowflake dropped onto the alcohol. I then tried adding some guacamole but the alcohol had really evaporated by then.

The small piece in the centre had been painted with pansy a few weeks ago and as I had some watered down Baltic Blue left added this to it, then the alcohol but when I dripped the snowflake on everything was drying out so the paint didn't spread so well but I'm sure it will have a use one day.

I decided to use the green and blue pieces for a christmas card so stamped the words from Special Christmas Plate 3 in Archival watering can on the green.

And Adirondack in currant on the blue ----- but this bleed into the paint so I changed to Brilliance Crimson Copper ( much better!)

These were then torn onto pieces of graduating sizes, the edges inked in Vintage Photo DI and brushed with mica powder just on the ends. The pieces were then rolled round a knitting needle and glued.

The kraft card base was stamped and then white embossed with the sentiment and the edges were stamped using the little lines from Jofy 07. ( Do like white on kraft card)

The tree trunk is a small piece of wood cut to size from the kindling box which I then tied a length of 3 coloured twisted cotton round. 
The star is made from MDF and was heat embossed twice with gold embossing tinsel.

I will have another session with the paint and alcohol as I feel there is more to be explored. I'm not sure of the alcohol content of the IPA as this might well have an effect of the finished piece, but I am happy with todays outcome. 

Thank- you for all your lovely comments on the shaving foam entry a couple of weeks ago, they were much appreciated. I was lucky enough to be the winner of the monthly prize draw over on the PaperArtsy blog last month and am looking forward to playing with my Goodies.

Take care and have a good week whatever you may be doing. Jane x

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Altered Cheese Box !

Gosh if your day outside is anything like it is here in Kent there is only one thing for it and that is to stay in and play--- ( oops I mean be creative!).

Sometime ago I saved a wooden cheese box, having enjoyed the contents of course and left it outside on the garden table to allow it to release the now stale cheese aromas. As with so many items saved the thoughts were this must have a use, well this one will have.

The decoration 'sort of' follows on from my last blog entry as I really love the effects the shaving foam and acrylic paints made through a stencil.
To begin with the box was given a coat of white gesso all over-- top, bottom, sides etc. Then a coat of Toad Hall Fresco Chalk acrylic paint and once dry, which was very quick as the box absorbs the paint like a sponge, a coat of Americana Weathered Wood just on the lid, top and sides and the sides of the base. The top coat was then Guacamole in the Fresco Chalk mixed with Eco-Friendly Aged Silver acrylic. Once this had dried I then went over with a dry brush using Inky Pool translucent acrylic.

Then using the medium sized reindeer stencil from the Tando-Creative set of stencils and masks I spread a mix of the shaving foam with Autumn Fire, Pumpkin Soup and Claret Fresco Chalk paints. I also fancied a card to match.

Once the reindeer was completely dry I went around the outline of the reindeer on the box with a fine nibbed black pen.

Next I added touches of grunge paste through the Tando-Creative Stitches group mask around the top half of the lid above the reindeer. 

Around the rim of the lid I stencilled Christmas twice using Brilliance inks in Starlight Black and Ocean Depth.

I randomly stamped some music in black ink around the legs of the reindeer before decorating the Mini Wonky Trees also by Tando-Creative.
These were embossed twice with Cosmic Shimmers ultra thick Lave Black embossing crystals and then whilst the embossing crystals were still hot a stamp inked in black Archival was pushed into the molten plastic. Beware though not all makes of stamps will stand up to the heat !!!

Once cool and the stamp removed the raised edges were then rubbed with Decoart Metallic Lustre in Black Shimmer as were the grunge paste stitches on the lid. The trees were stuck onto the lid with pva glue.

The reindeer was lightly rubbed with Treasure Gold in Ruby and Renaissance and a few tiny silver stars were added in the sky.

The inside was lined with some copper coloured tissue paper.

The thoughts behind the box is to fill it with home made chocolate truffles for a christmas present.

And there's a matching card to go with the present.

The lovely marbling shows up better in the photo of the card than it does on the box, but unfortunately it doesn't pick up the slightly raised texture.

If you would like more details of the shaving foam and stencil technique pop over to my previous blog entry titled 'Playing with Fresco Chalk Acrylics and Shaving Foam'.

I would like to enter this into Tando-Creatives monthly Challenge titled "Something with a use".

Thanks for stopping by today  and a big thank you for all the wonderful comments - they really are appreciated. Hope you enjoy your day and hopefully have some time to do something 'Crafty'.
Take Care, Jane x

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Playing with Fresco Chalk Acrylic Paint and Shaving Foam

A very happy Sunday to you all and today I've been having a session with paint and shaving foam which was inspired by Lucy Edmondson over on the PaperArtsy Blog. To view Lucy's experiments click here.

To begin with I gave the MDF heart a coat of white gesso, the other items used were smooth white card, black card, cream coloured hammered card and white glossy coated card.

I sprayed some cheap shaving foam into a shallow plastic lid and added Baltic Blue, Claret, Zesty Zing and Guacamole fresco paint.

This was then swirled around with a wooden skewer. ( yummy)

First off a laid the MDF heart into the foam and lightly pressed down, took the heart out straight away and scrapped off the excess foam with an old credit card.


Next I put in the black card and repeated the process.

Then I spread some of the foam onto the smooth white card and covered it with a piece of cling film and wriggled it about a bit !

This was left for a couple of mins to soak in. While I was waiting to scrap the foam from this one I decided to try making a ball of bubble wrap, dipping it into the foam and paint mix and dabbing it onto the glossy coated card stock.

I'm not so sure about this one --- maybe the paints were getting a bit muddy at this point, but I would give it another try sometime.

Next I grabbed the cream hammered card and a Tando Creative stencil and spread the foam mix through.

This was left for 2 mins before scrapping the excess off, then the stencil was carefully removed.

It was then left to dry which took about 10 mins.

Ooh like this a lot!!!

I looked at the foam and paint mix and felt it had formed a painty mess now so decided to scrap off the bulk of colour from the top, smooth over the top to make it level and add some more paint.

This time I used Pumpkin Soup, Claret and Snowflake and swirled it about like before. As I liked the effect through the stencil I went with that idea again, this time I used a reindeer which I stuck onto some smooth white card with masking tape and then pressed this into the foam mix.

On taking out I then scrapped off the excess but left the stencil in place foe 2 or 3 mins.

Love the odd touches of left over blue in the mix.
I then removed the stencil carefully and gave it a quick flash with the heat gun.

I really do like this one!!! It has got some depth and texture but it is still very smooth.

A big thank you to Lucy for the fantastic idea, I now need to clear up all the mess I've made, still it smells nice in the craft room now so that's a bonus!

Lunch is calling me now so I must away, I will enjoy using these backgrounds and will definitely explore these 2 mediums some more. Thanks as always for stopping by, I hope there has been something of interest to you and perhaps you will even give this a try like me.
Take care and enjoy your weekend, what's left of it! Jane x

Monday, 10 November 2014

Stencilling with Grunge Paste inspired by Sara Naumann

Good evening and welcome, tonight I am sharing 2 cards that I've made using a technique being shown over on the PaperArtsy Blog by Sara Naumann. To follow this in technique in greater detail click on the link here.

For this I used a blank cream coloured card measuring 18cm x 13cm.
To begin with I cut 2 pieces of white card one measuring 17cm x 12cm and the other 9cm x 6cm, both pieces were given a coat of Fresco Chalk paint in Baltic Blue.
The larger piece was mounted onto the card base and then a piece of cream card was cut measuring 16cm x11cm and stuck on top.

Next I coloured some grunge paste with Toad Hall and Guacamole paint and spread this through a honeycomb patterned stencil. A small piece of white card was also spread with the coloured grunge paste ready to stamp on for the centre.

Using Versa-mark ink I stamped and then white embossed one of the images from Lynne Perrella 011 onto some kraft card.

Once the grunge paste was completely dry I distressed the edges of the card and then lightly coloured them with Antique Linen D.I. as this has a slight green tint. The 2 side edges of the kraft card were torn so as to be in keeping with the green honeycomb card.
The small piece of card with grunge paste on was then stamped using Walnut Stain D.I. and stamps from Hot Picks 1004.

A piece of navy twine was tied around the edge of the kraft card and 4 screw shaped brads were used to attach the stencilled card and the kraft card to the base.

The stamped grunge paste was mounted onto the small piece of painted card and then a piece of cream card. The clipboard top was cut from black card using Tim Holtz Movers and Shapers Mini die and then rubbed with Decorate Metallic Lustre in Black shimmer to give a metallic appearance.

When I was using the coloured grunge paste I had some left so quickly grabbed another stencil and spread the remainder through the baubles.

Once the paste was dry I cut the baubles out leaving a slight margin all the way round. Then using a white linen card I stamped the bunting and the laying down baubles from Jofy 07 stamp set in Archival Watering Can. Once completely dry I then coloured these in using 2 water colour pencils and then blended the colours with a wet brush.
The grunge paste baubles were given some Treasure Gold in Olive Bronze before sticking onto the card and finally 'Believe' was stencilled on using Bundled Sage D.I. and Brilliance Pearlescent Olive and Crimson.

I really like how these extra baubles have turned out, a little bonus!!

The grunge paste mixes really easily with the paint and its a great to colour the paste if you are not going to paint the whole piece once the paste has been applied.
Thank you to Sara for the tips and inspiration, a technique that will be used many times.

Thanks for stopping and reading this blog and your comments are very much appreciated. Hope you have a good week, take care and enjoy your 'Crafty Time". Jane x

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Christmas Cards Inspired by Anneke De Clerck

Welcome and a very happy Sunday afternoon to you all. Today I would like to share a couple of Christmas cards I've made that were inspired by the PaperArtsy blog.

For the backgrounds I followed the technique used by Anneke De Clerck which you can read if you click on the link Here.

For this one I used Memory Box Alpha Worn Out stencil with PaperArtsy Chalk acrylics in Spanish Mulberry, Snowflake and Beach Hut.

Before attaching the background to the card I rubbed the edges with a little Treasure Gold in Sapphire and Pewter.

For the coloured star I stamped the large star from Jofy 07 in versa-mark and then white embossed onto card I'd previously coloured with Pan Pastels in Phthalo Blue shade, Magenta Extra Dark and Ultra Marine Blue. This was then cut out and given a coat of Distress Stickles Clear Rock Candy.

The white star was stamped in Adirondack in denim and clear embossed. This too was given a coat of clear rock candy after being cut out which in various places has made the ink bleed---- I must confess I rather like the distress look it gives.

The sentiment was also stamped in denim onto white card and clear embossed and then mounted onto some remains of the pan pastels coloured card. The ring was made from some coloured jewellery wire with a silver bell threaded at the top and then some blue ribbon attached.

Card no 2, for this I used Tim Holtz Measured stencil with PaperArtsy Chalk acrylics in Autumn Fire, Pumpkin Soup, Toad Hall and Guacamole.

I then added some Antique Linen Distress ink with a blending tool as I didn't like the stark white contrast of the card. This had Treasure Gold in Renaissance added to the edges.

The baubles were stamped using the same Jofy set as before, the white ones stamped in Tea dye distress ink and clear embossed and the coloured ones were from the Pan pastels coloured card in the Magenta extra dark, Ultra Marine Blue and Hansa Yellow Shade and white embossed.

Both lots were given a coat of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Metallic Glaze. Small holes were then punched in the tops and cream coloured bakers twine attached. Gold coloured wire was used for the ring on this one. Merry Christmas was stamped and then gold embossed on white card.

I was very pleased with the end results and will use this technique again for backgrounds.

Plus as a bonus that's 2 christmas cards made!!!

Well the nights are drawing in now so that means for me it's more crafting time as I won't be gardening and watering. Thanks as always for stopping by today and I love to read your comments as I know how busy everyone is. Take care and I hope you all have a good week. Jane x

Monday, 20 October 2014

Autumns Bounty mixed with Cold as Ice

Today I'm mixing my crafty make with another of my passions and that's foraging for wild mushrooms.

This was our pickings at the weekend and boy the smell in the car coming home was fantastic, mind you the pasta sauce made with them was just pretty wonderful too! The remainder have been sliced and laid out on a tray over the Aga and dried ready for using in the winter.

Now onto todays make--- 'Cold as Ice' is this months challenge theme over on Tando Creatives Blog of which I was the lucky winner of in September. I am entering this piece as I really enjoyed the theme although I would ask for my name not to be entered into the draw for a prize this time.

For this I started by brayering the Tando Large Snowflake with PaperArtsy Chalk acrylic paint in Mermaid, Beach Hut, Snowflake and Pewter. I then made a small hole in the top ready to hang the finished decoration from.

I then threaded 3 christmas tree light embellishments that I had left from last year onto some ice blue fringed wool and attached these to the top.

Next the snowman was cut from white and black card using the slice machine. The hat and arms were cut from the black version and stuck onto the white snowman. The hat was lightly rubbed with Treasure Gold in Sapphire, 2 holly leaves attached and the berries were from a packet of red metal nailheads. The edges of the hat and the bottom of the snowman were dabbed with Versa-Mark ink and embossed with Stampendous Aged Ivory Enamel. I then tied a length of silver tinsel gift ribbon round the neck for his scarf.

The trees were cut using Tim Holtz Movers and Shapers die, embossed with the aged ivory and then dabbed onto the versa-mark ink pad and sprinkled with ultra fine pewter glitter and lightly heated with the heat gun to melt it in place.
Let It Snow was stamped with versa-mark ink and embossed with white powder onto dark blue card and cut out by hand.

I then wanted a base for the trees and snowman so I tore a piece of corrugated card, painted it with white gesso, embossed with the aged ivory and while it was still hot sprinkled with some white flower soft.

Everything was then stuck onto the snowflake using pinflair glue.

Its hard to pick up the silvery shimmer of the pewter paint in the photos on the snowflake but I think you can get a vague impression.

Well that's all from me for now, a blend of 2 seasons! Thanks as always for stopping and reading this blog and I really appreciate all your lovely comments. Take care and have a good week. Jane x