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.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Craft A Scene - Dusk to Dawn (Card 1)

This is the first card I have done for a while for Craft A Scene and it is good to get back to the DT.  The theme for September is "Dusk to Dawn".

As those of you who read my blog will know, I am a big fan of Barbara Gray and Clarity Stamps, and this card owes a great deal to the recent one day workshop I attended with Barbara, and is, indeed, based on one of the projects we did on that day.  To fit the theme, I darkened the whole thing and put in more clouds.

Ingredients:
Clarity Stamps - Castle, bridge, Letterbox Kit, Scots Pine tree (remove the blue "indexing" with nail varnish remover, otherwise you are likely to mess up your clean Versamark)
A5 Clarity silk art card (the shiny stuff)
Adirondack ink pads - Juniper, Denim, Mountain Rose, Black
Versamark ink pas
SplodgeAway Mat
Promarkers - Black, Ivory
Torn copy paper
Brayer
Make-up sponge
Cotton wool

  • The first stage is to create the reflection for the castle and the bridge.  That is achieved by inking up the two stamps and stamping them onto the SplodgeAway mat.  Then take the silk art card and lay it carefully over the top, making sure that your image will be roughly in the centre of the card.
  • Then turn the card round and stamp in the castle and bridge to match the reflection - the see through stamps are what makes that possible.
  • Stamp in the Scots Pine trees at the bottom.
  • Stamp the letterbox squares onto the sticky end of a post it note and cut them out, cutting them on the inside of the line (this helps to avoid the "halo" effect)
  • Stamp your letters into the boxes (check your spelling before you stamp), allow them to dry and mask them with the post it masks.
  • Place two small moon masks (post it notes), one in the sky and one to line up in the water.
  • Once the ink is dry, take some cotton wool and tease it out into wispy cloud shapes and press them into the Versamark with copy paper (helps to keep your hands clean).  Then place your "clouds" as you wish on your picture and place a piece of clean copy paper on top.  Using your brayer, burnish over the top to make sure the Versamark comes through onto the card.
  • Shield the water area of your card with a piece of clean copy paper, and then brayer across the whole sky area with Juniper.  Then ink up the brayer with Denim, making sure that the leading edge is clean of ink and start brayering from the corner you want to be darker.  Continue with this until you get the shading you are after.  I also added a little Mountain Rose to change the colour a little.  At this stage, the clouds will be invisible.
  • Then move your copy paper to cover the sky and land area, and cover the water area with Juniper.
  • Take a piece of copy paper and screw it up totally - the more creases the better.  Load the brayer with Denim and run it across the opened up paper ONCE only.  Then run it straight across the water area ONCE only.
  • Tear another piece of copy paper to form hill shapes and using a make up sponge, in a mushroom shape, add just enough colour (Denim and a hint of Black) to suggest hills, in the background and also in the water.
  • Remove the moon masks and with a hint of Denim, drag the make-up sponge across the moons to give a suggestion of mist and cloudiness.
  • With the Ivory Promarker, colour in the castle and bridge.
  • Before removing the masks from the letters, use your sponge to drag a hint of Denim and Black to suggest a shadow around them.
  • Remove all masks and blot the whole picture to make sure the ink is completely dry.
  • Then take a piece of kitchen roll and polish the whole picture to a high gloss.  As you polish, your clouds should pop out like magic.
  • Once that has been done, trim your work as you wish.  Then you can use your black Promarker to fill in any tiny imperfections in your stamping, if required, and add a black edge to the whole picture, before mounting it.
I hope this all makes sense to you.  I learned loads from doing it with Barbara at the workshop, and you will probably find that you will need a couple of goes to get it just as you want.  If you look at my water, you will see that I have one or two vertical lines.  That is because when I was inking up the brayer, I failed to check that the ink was evenly spread across the roller and missed the line that was darker.  I did not take enough time and care.  Don't worry about making mistakes - you learn far more from your mistakes than if it is perfect first time.

One important thing to remember when you are using this shiny card is to blot your stamp gently on copy paper when you have inked it up.  If you forget, not only does the ink take longer to dry, but you stand a good chance of the stamp slipping as you press it down, and you will not end up with the sharp crisp image you are after.  You also need to blot your stamp before stamping the reflection on to the SplodgeAway mat for the same reason - a little smudging here is acceptable as reflections are seldom crisp.   Have a go and enjoy the playing.  Then, don't forget to create your own scene for this month's challenge.  I look forward to seeing how you interpret the theme.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

WOYWW - 222 - It was tidy - honest it was!

If you have arrived here from outer space and are wondering why I should want to show you a desk that is, to be perfectly honest, a total wreck, then you need to  nip over to see the instigator of this wonderful Wednesday wander round desks - Julia over at Stamping Ground.  She will make you very welcome and explain what it is all about. 

In the meantime, yes, I do know my desk is in a dreadful state again.  Trying to sort things out and craft at the same time quite obviously does not work too well, and can be quite depressing when you see what you have done.  I decided that it was time to get back to more normal levels of crafting, which included the need for a card to fulfil part of this month's requirement for my DT on Craft A Scene, which for September is on the theme of Dawn to Dusk.  This is why, the card I have done is hidden under the detritus of what I used to make it, as it cannot be shown on my blog until it appears on the challenge blog.
So, I am afraid, all I can show you today are the pictures I took in the sunshine on Tuesday afternoon, where you can see a few of the bits and pieces I used.  There are several different Adirondack ink pads, a couple of Promarkers, some masks made from Post it Notes, crumpled copy paper, kitchen roll for polishing (so you can gather that I was working on Clarity Silk Card).  There are also a couple of acrylic paints, but they were just left over from the previous project.

Hopefully, you can see the finished article fairly soon.  Meanwhile, things have been pretty hectic this week.  I have plucked up my courage and joined a gym, the kind of gym designed especially for ladies of all ages, but which is perfect for my age and size.  Three times a week is the target for the moment, so that is something else to fit into an already manic life.

After the gym yesterday, I went to collect the caravan from storage and tried out the adaptation for taking the brake off and on, which is a lethal weapon - a long black metal pipe which fits over the top of the existing handle to give extra leverage, and it works a treat.  I got home fine, then tried to persuade the caravan to let go of the car - a totally different story.  Having completely blocked the entire road and got half the neighbours out to help, and the other half watching in complete disbelief, I admitted defeat and "phoned a friend".  After sorting it out, we decided that the problem was mainly because I was at an odd angle between the car and the caravan and the pressure needed to be relieved by a tiny reverse.  The motor mover then did its job without anyone touching the caravan, which is now back on the front.

When it was stuck in the middle of the road, I would have quite happily abandoned it to the nearest scrappy, but after a night's sleep, I am now back to my usual bolshy state of mind and determined to sort it out better.  However, I have decided not to take it out this year, and wait till I have had time to sort out exactly what I need to take with me and what can stay at home in future.  One more "room" to sort out and tidy.  Oh boy, as if I didn't have enough sorting and tidying still to do.