Thank you to all who read my Blog and leave a comment. I really do appreciate every one of them and do my utmost to reply as soon as possible.
Crafty hugs to all!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Grungy Heart!

Hi Folks!  Wet and very cold here in Ayrshire but it is good crafting weather!  I have been having a second play with a new Heart Stencil.  I used the inner bit on the book cover that I showed you in my last post about the Art Journal  The stencil is from Clarity Stamp and it is this months FREE stencil which arrived along with the new FREE stamp of the month.  I am part of the New Design Club at Clarity Stamp.  I am a GOLD member which means that I get a stamp and a stencil every month.
Along with the Stencil I have once again thrown in grunge boards, grunge paste and acrylic paint.   This is what I made.
I have to say at the start that if you plan on doing this then you will NEED a goodly amount of Wet Wipes, Kitchen Roll, warm Soapy Water (for cleaning your stencils, scraper, palette knife and paint brushes).  Use either a craft sheet or a glass cutting mat (I ended up using both).
Can I also say that this post might seem to jump about a bit but there was a lot of waiting around for things to dry so I have actually written this in the order that I did things.

So I began by taking 4 small boards, taped together (temporary) turned over and painted with White Acrylic.  Added a Flourish. Painted more Acrylic over the flourish. Left to dry.


Tape Heart Stencil over boards, add Grunge Paste, remove stencil, Leave to dry.  Place Inner part of Stencil over the Heart, add more Grunge Paste, Take Craft Knife through the paste to separate the squares. Leave to dry.

Lay down some Underskirt Netting then Paint Red Acrylic over Squares. Leave to dry.  Add a layer of Black Acrylic but before it completely dries, wipe a lot OFF with a wet wipe then leave to dry. You can then get on with painting any embellishments

I used a small butterfly die cut and some leaves from my stash.  Painted them Red, then Black repeating what I did above.  Then I did a bit of Brushing with Gold Mica powder.  So my Butterfly ended up looking like this!  Let everything dry.
Now at this point I would like to say that this project was inspired by a piece that  Maria Simms did using this technique.   I Would also like to say that I have altered it a bit, why?  Because Maria Used Gold Acrylic paint and I had none!!! So I had to improvise.  When I took the wet wipe to the Black Acrylic it made it a bit more tacky so that is when I added the Mica powder.  I used Perfect Pearls Mica Powder as it does have its own adhesive quality.
For Framing the boards I took a piece of Printable Canvas and once again repeated the Process with the paint and Mica Powder.  Once dry I cut it into an 8 x 8 square, attached it to a sheet of Patterned paper, cut this into 9.5 x 9.5 square.  I decided that the paper was a bit too pink so I used a Stencil Brush and Archival - Coffee to give it a better shade.  I then attached this to a 10 x 10 Canvas Board which I had cut to size and painted with Black Acrylic.

 I quite liked the boards before I added the Mica Powder.

I added the leaves and butterfly using a silicone glue.  By this time all the natural daylight had gone and my lighting is terrible. There is a lot more shimmer to it than I wanted but it has turned out well. It is also not so dark...must take lessons in photography!!

The piece is now in the hands of its new owner, so I am a very happy crafter!

If you have a go at this design, drop me a note and a picture and I will share it for you.

Happy Crafting!

p.s. Now I will go and have a play with the new stamp!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Art Journal - Grunge Paste, Suede, Gilding Flakes

Hi Folks! Hope you are all recovering from the recent festivities! I thought that I would share with you today a little project that I never got around to until this week.  Bad on my part as I should have organised myself better!
A few months back I treated myself to a Zutter Bookbinder and I have only used it a couple of times, mainly for punching holes. But I changed that today as I finally finished a book from scratch!
I have uploaded two pictures of the front cover as I couldn't get the lighting right.  Looking at them side by side anyone could be mistaken and think that they were two different Books!

I put the the bare chipboard covers through the Zutter followed by the inner pages. I decided to cover the inside front and back covers with a couple of 8 x 8 sheets from an enchanted pad so I had to put these through the Zutter too.  I attached the sheets using A4 Double Sided Sticky Sheets (obviously cut to fit) after I had decorated the front and back covers.

Front cover
I began by stencilling Grunge Paste onto the Front Cover.  I used 3 small leaf Stencils from Clarity Stamp Ltd. along with a Heart Stencil.  More about that later.
Leaf-1-Double-Mini-Stencil-4-x-4-Inch bottom left and right hand edge
Leaf-2-Double-Mini-Stencil-4-x-4-Inch bottom right and middle left
Just before the paste was completely dry, I made an impression into 3 of the leaves with some Clarity Stamps. I scratched the effect of veining into Leaf 3.  I also used the Elder Stamp here and there on the cover.
Imagine and Elder Leaf 2

While the paste was drying I set about the back cover.  Inside - 8 x 8 Enchanted Page as mentioned above.  Outside - I wanted a soft feel to the back as the front would be rough.  I decided to attach some Suede.  I cut a piece of brown suede to just slightly less than the 8 x 8 as I also wanted to put in a border of Gilding Flakes (I wanted to have neat edges to the material and also to cover the edges of the chipboard) so out came the double sided sheet again for the suede and a narrow roll of Double Sided Tape for the Gilding Flakes - Variegated Copper from Clarity Stamp. I prefer to use the ones from Clarity as the Flakes are a decent size and the tub is full to the brim - others that I have tried have been disappointing, really small flakes, half empty tubs, even flakes that are clumped together - not flaked. 

I put the double sided sticky sheet onto the back first. Pulled a bit of the protective layer back. Laid the suede on this bit and gradually pulled the layer back smoothing from the middle outwards lightly using the same spreader I used for the Grunge Paste.  I very carefully laid the Narrow roll of Double Sided Tape along the edge of the Suede to the edge of the board.  I had to put tiny bits of tape between the punched holes.  
Then things got a bit messy as I had a sneezing Fit.  The gilding flakes went everywhere.  The red backing of the DS Tape was covered in it...static...I hate it!!!
I then had to deal with the edges.  This was tricky trying to balance the board, pulling of backing, gilding flakes and STATIC!  But job done and pleased with result.  Now back to the Front Cover.

White Acrylic paint left to dry.  Had a coffee.  Blended 2 Yellows and then 2 Greens with a Blue.  Also Red and Violet. All applied with Clarity Stamp Stencil Brushes.
I added some scrap netting (underskirt from a wedding dress - Bride ripped it off at the reception as it was just too much and tossed it at me and said I could probably do something crafty with it) then added a bit more Acrylic paint, this time a Brown.

I let this dry before adding some Gilding WAX.  White Gold, Green Gold, Red.  I blended these in with Kitchen Roll and fingers.  I used a blending stick to add a bit more detail to the word IMAGINE. During all this I went in a few times with copy paper and lifted some of the wet paint off.
As I said before, depending on the light it can look quite shiny in places or really dark and grungy
Final touches were adding two metal letters C B and a fixing to keep the book closed.  I should have added the letters while the paint was still wet and they would have been more embedded.

Another bit of Kitchen Roll and gave it all a polish before putting the Ozwire in and through the Zutter.  Now looks like a book!

I took an old chain  and snipped it here and there to get the pieces I wanted. It is fixed on the back of the book so that when the chain is opened the chain won't fall off and get lost.  I attached one end of the chain along with a smaller bit, a Key - which I added some gems, a small heart - Made With Love and a hoop for the Clasp to grab onto. I added a hoop and a Clasp to the other end.

And there you have it!  I hope that you all like it and maybe give this a go.  There are other ways to bind covers together if you do not have access to a binding machine.  Make yourself a little art journal from scratch.  This was made for someone dear to me but  think I will make myself one too.  If you do have a go, let me know and take a photo and I will share it on my blog.

If anyone has any questions please leave a message and I will get back to you asap.  Now enjoy, go have fun with paste and paint!

Happy Crafting

Emma x

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Bliadhna Mhath ùr dhuibh, Slàinte mhath!

Wishing you all the very best for 2015 xx

Hi Folks!  This is a double first for me today!  This is my First Card for 2015 and it is also...
drum Roll Please - no! - oh well I will get on with it.

This is my First Day as a Design Team Member for  I am so much a Happy Crafter at the moment!!

I was thrilled to bits (as you can imagine) when Barbara Gray asked me to join the Design Team for the Clarity Stamp Blog ( I got hubby and son out of bed) but then I had to keep it a secret (been really hard that, sorry friends).

I will be in the company of Sazzle, Linda Page, Naomi Mahon and Yvonne Froelich who are from the original Design Team.  There are a few of us making up the New Design Team for the Challenge Blog and of course they will be introducing themselves today too. Angela, Amanda, Julie, Barbara, Carol M, Carole P, Lesley and Shelagh I am so looking forward to working with you all.

January's Challenge is: Things with Wings! 

I decided on what I wanted to do, but spent a lot of time dithering about what colours I should use.  In the end I went for a simple design in Monochrome. I found a lovely simple backing paper in my stash and I knew I could match the colours.  So my little piece below is done in Archival Ink - Potting Soil and a bit of Adirondack Ink - Slate for shading in the sky.

Stamps used
Scroll - from Artist Set
Swallows - from Journaling Set
Bird Song Verse - by Maya Angelou
Tree Branch - from Fly away Kit

Tape a sheet of A5 Theuva Card to copy paper, stamp the Feather first. (2nd Gen Ink) Then cover with a post -it note mask.
Next stamp the Scroll in 2nd Gen ink.
Stamp in the Verse and then cut out a mask for the Scroll.
I used a Clarity Moon Mask, they come in various sizes but you can use a punch to make one.  Place it wherever you want.
Copy paper next, torn to make hills. Clarity Stencil Brush, Potting Soil ink for foreground and just a little bit in the sky. Adirondack - Slate was added to the edges at the Sky.  

Remove Moon Mask and with 1st and 2nd Gen Potting Soil ink, Stamp in the Tree Branch on the right side.  I kept the masks over the Feather and Scroll until I had finished stamping the Branch on that side too.  Looks a bit of a mess just now eh!

When the masks and all the masking tape is removed from the edges it makes quite a difference! Close ups of the 2nd Gen Inking. Click on image to enlarge.

I have put in a shadow below the Feather and the Scroll and drawn a shaky line around the edge with a Spectrum Noir Pencil no. 109 and 104. Trim picture and mount with Double sided tape onto desired backing paper and trim.  You can then place your image into a suitable frame.  Remember to sign your work first though! Or you can mount this onto a card blank like I did.
Oh! Just remembered that I took a brown sharpie to the edges of the backing paper before mounting.  (Sorry I was under the influence of excitement).

These are the two sets that I took stamps from and the other stamps and tools used

So I hope you like my little contribution and please feel free to have a go.  

All the stamps used are of course from Claritystamp ltd .  

Why not have a go at the challenge.  £50 Voucher to spend at Claritystamp for the Winner and the Top 5 get to showcase their work.  The winner is chosen by  So no matter what level of crafting you feel you are at everyone has a fair chance of winning.

I hope to see your entries out there.  The Rules of the Challenge are on the Blog for you to see.

Best of Luck!

Emma x