Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Time to pull out the Sewing Machine

While I had a few items out on my crop table from the last layout and had made a bit of a mess already with the Orchid Color Burst I thought I would give another idea a go - I cant take credit for this one - Pinterest is an incredible source of inspiration and this layout is a very close scraplift from a lovely layout found there in Oranges and Blacks

Starting with some Good Quality high GSM Cardstock Sew a rough circle in the centre of your layout 3 or 4 times - if you go a little wonky in places don't worry to much - they are the areas you will cover over later.  You want to do this before you start inking or painting your paper as this is while it is the strongest.
Then with some Pigment Powder or Water Colour Paint mix up some coloured water and colour up some water colour paper - you want that variegated tone of water colour work so have a good play - paint the water colour paper before you cut it out though not after - it is much easier.  Next water down your mix an little more and drop and flick dots of it randomly over your paper - I have concentrated accross the page on an angle for this layout leaving white in the top right corner and bottom left but whatever works for you is the way to go.

Taking some patterned paper cut a strip about 3" by 10" to pop accross the layout.  I have used Teresa Collins Designs - Tinsel & Company Stars Paper, some leftover from some Christmas Cards I have started working on, It is nice and neutral and worked well for this project.
Prep your photo but dont stick it down yet - I have mounted this photo using a Perfect Layers Ruler - one of the fantastic new inventions out there that make neat even mounting ever so easy.  I have used the 1/16 side from the fine demin border and then that 1/4 side for the water coloured second mount.  If you pop over here down the bottom you will find a utube tutorial on how to use them. 
With a circle cutter (a dies is best, punches dont cut out water colour paper too well) cut two different sized circles from the died water colour paper.  Grab your favorite black pen and draw some dots around the edge of the circles (you could try to sew these however I cant so black pen does the trick for me)

 Next roughly place your photo and circles to work out where you want everything - then pop a little dot in the right place for your sewn lines - then back to the sewing machine - sew a few straight lines to make your arrows and then hand stictch the arrow heads.

Now it is time to stick it all in place - I have used some foam dots under the round circles - this gives that little bit of dimension.
After the basics are stuck down then work out embellishments, alphas, titles etc - I have also added in some extra small dots by using brads in two different sizes from my very old stash however these days the option would be to use Enamel Dots - these are a lot easier to find and quick and easy to stick on as well.   These guys would work well on this layout

Alpha Stickers are quick and easy - the range from MME Necessities has the extra benefit of some small works as well

And some leftover timber embellisments from the last layout - yes they were still sitting on my desk and I was too lazy to go digging for anything else ;) 


Monday, June 20, 2016

Monochromatic Layouts

Every so often I need a little inspiration to have a play and there is nothing like a challenge blog to get your creative mojo going, White with One gives us 1 colour to use with white and this month's in Mauve.  I also like to set MYSELF a challenge every so often and this one was to use a bundle of flowers and bling, those who know me well know that is not usually my thing but I am pretty happy with the results.

 The girl on the swing die is a tattered lace die, unfortunately is has been discontinued - we are down to our very last one.  I have just simply cut the two ropes of the swing at the top. One of the things I love about tattered lace dies is their versatility and how many different ways you can use them
 Tattered Lace Dies - A Little Bit of Bliss

Another of Tattered Lace's discontinued dies is the Heart Dream Catcher - another one that we are down to the last few

Tattered Lace Dies - Heart Dream Catcher 


 Monochromatic layouts can be tricky and having a bundle of acessories that are all the right colour is not something that we all have at our fingertips.  I have been having a play with Colr Burst from Ken Oliver and whilst it does some pretty cool stuff with water and explosions of colour it is also a very easy Pigment Powder to use and disolves really well in water to make a mist, to colour water colour paper with (the paper used for the Journalling to die up flowers to get them to the right tone) to dip flowers and feathers into for just that right colouring - it just works



 And as much as I tell you guys use your own handwriting, I made a spelling mistake on this one so had to cover it up - a couple of oval tags and some Mini Alphas were just what the doctor ordered.

And some Decorative Wood pieces to finish it off!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Gelatos® from Faber-Castel

What are Gelatos and what are they all about? - Well direct from the Manufacturuer - "Nothing on the market today compares with Design Memory Craft Gelatos®.  Compact acid-free pigment sticks glide on creamy smooth for vibrant color and coverage.  All Gelatos® blend easily with or without water.  Try this unique medium on paper, canvas, or wood!"

Gelatos have always been something that you have had to buy in a kit but we are excited to now be able to offer them to you individually so that you can put together your own combination of colours.  Just a few or a whole bundle and the more we sell the more the colour range we offer you will grow.  You can find them here

 So this weeks project started with showing you guys over on facebook this album - for those of you who were looking for a step by step I have done a smaller project to photograph along the way, but this is the first album -

8 1/2 x 11 Ready to Decorate Album
This is the smaller version for the step by step but the only difference is the size.  Same techniques, same products.


Ok so very first step - grab a piece of chipboard or the blank album or a piece of raw timber or whatever you are decorating - it can even be just a page in your Art Journal.  The find some 'rubbish'  yep that is right, basically your leftover scraps.

Mixed "Rubbish" and Cardstock, Miscut edge punches, torn bits of handmade papers, strips of ribbon or lace, make sure you have some thin papers, some thick to get some distinction under the Gesso when we get there.

This Product is Amazing, hopefully you have some already - unfortunately we are all out of stock at the moment, it happens when you start showing people how to use stuff and how great it is, however there is more on its way hopefully it will be here in a couple of weeks time.

Paint surface with glue - you want something workable not to fast drying but not to slow - Multi Medium is what I have used with an old paintbrush, , don't go to slow with this stuff - it is pretty quick so only do one or two pieces of paper at a time

Randomly place pieces of paper gluing as you go

Getting there

One last piece of rubbish off my desk - this was literally rubbish - a doily die that had gone very wrong when I tried to run it through a second time left me with this ring, but hey it was sitting right there screaming at me that it wanted to play too.  Dont worry about going over the edge - after it is all dry you simply trim it off.

Next you need to set that aside to dry for a while, grab your Staz-On Ink (whatever colour you like to work with) a stamp that is good for colouring and cutting out.  An old book and some white tissue paper.  Special thanks to Sandy Foster for the tissue paper lesson that I have incorproated here.  The concept is very versatile for a lot of projects
Stamp Image onto Tissue Paper - does not hurt to do two just in case.

Stamp same image onto old book page a couple of times.  Now this is where the fun with the Gelatos just begins.  Using a craft mat scribble a little Gelato onto the mat.  Then with a wet paint brush pick up some of the medium and start painting the flowers darkish around the outer edges - you are going to be cutting these flowers out so don't fret about being neat.  Now dabbing a little Gelato onto your finger gently rub accross the whole flower blending until you are happy with the tonning a centre colour of the flower.
Stamp same image with Staz-on Ink onto Tissue Paper

By now your glue should be dry - add a coat of Gesso and set aside to dry, allow about 15 minutes while you start to cut out your painted flowers from the book stamping.  Don;t worry about being too neat with the cutting however if you cut to the inside of the black line rather than the outside of you are not 100% neat like me.

After you have added another couple of layers of Gesso to give you a relatively white work area start to apply some colours of Gelato directly onto the project and spread around with your finger.

Keep adding some more until you are happy with where you are headed however remember that you will re-touch here and there as you go, this is only the first layer.  I was not keen on the dark purple on the mesh so I just grabbed a damp washer and dabbed it off again

Time to work out the rough placement of your stamp to give you an idea where to stick it down

Get out a wet paintbrush and do a rough oval/circle around the stamped image then slowly move the tissue paper away from the image this will give it a nice frayed edge and not be such an easily noticed edge on your final project.

Time to stick it on - we have the fussy cut "book" flowers and the tissue version, fistly paint the medium or glue onto the project, place on the tissue paper and then go over it again - now this is tricky - you will notice the onle of the flowers the tissue paper tore away a little - not to worry - after we stick on the other flowers it will hardly be noticed. 
So now it is time to marry up the right flowers and stick them down as well - on the first album above I did this with the dolls dress - same efftect.  Later when everything is dry I have finnished off around the top left flower with a black pen.  Leave it all to dry for a while and go make yourself a cup of coffee or tea.

Now it is time to get out some Texture Paste and a suitable Mask.  Crafters Workshop are a great brand with funky designs and they come both in 6x6 and 12x12 size.  We have other brands as well but I find these are the ones that I tend to prefer the disgns of.  The Paste we have instore however we do not sell online girls, sorry, but it is very difficult to post safely.

The texture paste can be added with pretty much anything flat but I find an old credit card or a pallet knife good for the job.  Now set it aside for the night to dry.

And the results of the texture paste the next morning.  As a finishing touch later I have rubbed some purple Gelato over the top of the paste to highlight and make it stand out more.

Now time to docorate as you see fit, punch some holes in the side if you are doing a little chipboard album like this one, add some more gelato colours and highlight here and there.  I have added some bling into the centre of the flowers and played with the doilies a bit but that is about the limit of it.

This is the final project at the moment - I made a mistake with the placement on repunching the holes however just added a little ribbon to the top corner to cover up the half hole on the edge.  In a couple of days when I know I am happy with it I will pop a coat of wax or mod podge over the top and turn it into a little mini album for a friend.  This is a lot of work however a handy hint is if you are thinking of making then for friends for presents or something like that do multiple ones all at the same time - a lot of time factor is in the drying in between layers.

Thanks for checking out our project - for our local girls pop into the shop sometime and I will show you what these new products are all about - (just remember, always ring before you come, we do run away occassionally)

I think you will love these as much as I do.  For all our other girls you will just have to come visit North Queensland sometime soon.