Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Probably my favourite craft right now is with parchment, both traditional skills and Groovi, very relaxing and calming to do.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Clarity Stamps, a Brayer and a Splodge Away Mat - essential! And a Snippet

Two very different cards, but both using Clarity Stamps.  This first one, is fairly simple to achieve.  The background is one that I had in the box from when I used to just play with the bits left over from the paper with the excess ink from the brayer.  I liked the way this one was blended across the paper, giving a real feel of heat.  The stamps is a Clarity one, the Daydreamer, and I just stamped it direct to the background with black Adirondack.  This is my Snippet card for Pixie's Snippet Challenge for this week - all the bits came from the bits box.

The second card is a completely different kettle of fish, and took a long time to work out.  Before I started this card, my desk was tidy.  Now the entire room looks as if a bomb has gone off in there.  All the stuff I showed yesterday is still there but either buried or shoved to the left.  I had to finish this card today as it is needed tomorrow lunchtime, so tidying up was not an option.

I wanted a card very simple in style for this friend.  She definitely likes the LIM style and also likes the elegant lady type of card.  The lady is the Large Sketchy Lady from Clarity Stamps, and was the first thing to put into place.  I also had to cut myself a mask to protect this image from the rest of the card.  You may recognise the Paris skyline at the bottom, which is actually the ready cut mask from Clarity.  I had to cut the card down a bit as the Eiffel Tower would otherwise have been totally hidden by the lady, so it had to move a bit.  I used a make up sponge to apply the colours to the skyline from the Soothing Sunset Big and Juicy inkpad, keeping the colour paler on the side nearest the sun.  Once I was happy with that, I swapped the one mask for the other (with the masks from Clarity you get the innie and the outie, for the want of a better description), and used the same inkpad to brayer the background.   Then I loaded the brayer with the blue from the Waterfall Big and Juicy to brayer round the edges.

Once all the background was complete, I removed the mask from the lady and coloured her face and neck and legs with a Promarker, and a purple one for her shoes.  Then I got out something I have had around for ages and not tried - the Angelina fibre and film.   Then I had to extract the travel iron form beneath a mountain of other stuff and put it together and get it heated up - it has never been used since we bought it for the caravan years ago.  I inked up the lady with Stazon and put her onto the stand, then loaded it with two colours of fibre and film.  I did remember to put a piece of cooking parchment on top to protect the iron, then applied heat until the ink showed through all over, let it cool and removed it from the stamp.    Then I cut around her, removing the dress and the hat, all the rest going back into a bag for use on another project later.  The dress and the hat then had a bit of Pinflair glue gel on the back to attach it to the stamped image.  The only other thing was the addition of a silver peel off which I coloured with a purple Promarker to blend with the lady and the background, and I edged the card with the same Promarker.

Several people have asked me recently what the benefits are of using a Splodge mat, I thought I would write down the advantages I have found so far.  
I used the Splodge mat to hold the colour I wanted, which means you save a massive amount of ink and get much more control over the application.  This brilliant mat just holds the ink for you to return to as needed, and only gives as much as you need.  I used it for the sponge and definitely for the brayer work.  
It makes brayering almost foolproof, but even more important in these cash strapped days, it save on ink and paper.  No longer do you need to ink up the brayer heavily and lay most of it down on scrap paper and repeat the process several times to get the right colour level.  No wheelies either.  You just ink up the centre of the brayer, and work it well into the Splodge mat, and work your ink from there.  Instead of going back to the pad for more ink, you just return to the mat for your refill.
You can also use the mat for stamping, just inking your stamp from the ink on the mat.  Again, you get just the right amount of ink for a perfect image..  
Don't be in too much of a hurry to clean off your mat (all that needs is water and kitchen paper - never use a baby wipe).  The ink will stay usable on the mat for several days - I have left it for a week and still been able to use it successfully.

Hope this is a help to anyone who is thinking about buying a Splodge Away Mat.  I can only speak about the genuine mat, not the seemingly similar mats that have appeared since.  My feeling is always that you should try to use the best tools - they usually work out cheaper in the end, and give you the best results.


Mrs A. said...

Your second card with the lady on the sky line is fabulous.An absolute gem of coluring and technique used. Your friend is sure to love this card. I know I do!
Hugs Mrs A.

Sandra (Stamping For Pleasure) said...

Hi Maggie . . . well I really like both the cards you're showing here and I TOTALLY agree with you about the Splodgeaway mat. I absolutely LOVE mine and consider it a craft essential. I have the genuine orig not an imitation one. xxx

Di said...

Wahoo Maggie, two very different and totally fabulous cards. Am so with you about the Splodge mat - I love mine, if only I could fine space and time to play with it more :(

The Playground is very wet and cold today so mind yer drawers don't get wet on the slide!

Hugs, Di xx

Cathy said...

Hi Maggie, amazing cards. I'm intrigued by the splodge mat, never heard of it before...maybe cos I'm in Australia, or maybe cos I don't get out much lol !!

scrappymo! said...

Two wonderful cards. each gorgeous in their own way!!!

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

thanks so very much Maggie for sharing the bit about splodge away.

I am not sure will be able to get it though for number of reasons one they are not on eBay (my usual source these day) here and the folk in Uk have not replied to my query on post cost which is not unusual have found a lot of Uk firms ignore queries from downunder.

Mind you have not looked on Joanna Sheen they are very good. Even good ones will want to charge 20 pounds post which makes it out of limit..well and truly!

Well you cards are really lovely but the second the subtlety is just beautiful!!
... that skyline really is something was curious about the angel hair ..

I must have another peek to see if can see it up close - thanks for being a true friend - one of my longest standing blogging buddies. You are a treasure, Shaz in oz.x