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, 29 June 2015

Pink Peonies in Parchment...Groovi!

Hi Folks!  I know I am a bit late with blogging some of my parchment pieces that were shown on the Television launch of the wonderful Groovi Plate Mate on Create and Craft plates were shown on the Christmas Special too, although they did sell out in about 3 minutes - that's how FAB they are!!!
So I do have a lot of catching up to do - so here goes!

Pink Peonies in Parchment
Claritystamp Groovi Plate Mate
Peony Groovi Plate
I have to say that this piece is not what Parchers usually produce.  I have embossed and coloured on the back as normal, but I had also chosen to do something a bit different and showcase the wonderful Grooving achieved using the Groovi Plates.  So fine and precise! Hence why they are on show!

First thing is to give your Parchment a Smooch with a Tumble Dryer Sheet or Soap Bar to help your tools glide rather than scratch,  The idea is to stretch the Parchment. 
Then find a framework to work within.
You can do this by using an aperture card (as above)or by using the Border Plate Straight Lines and your Mat to mark out your Frame.  If you use an aperture, tape your A5 Parchment to it securely when marking out your frame.
So with Peony Plate in place, Small Ball Tool in the Groove, Build up your design by putting in the flowers you want and where.   As you can see, I started with a couple of smaller flowers in the corners then went about balancing it out.  Remember try not to go over the lines of the previous flower. 
I find the best way to get really white lines is to use the small ball tool and go over the grooves ONE way then change to the smallest Tool and go back along the OTHER way.  No need to add any pressure.  You can come back again the opposite way to get it even whiter.
Next step is to get some Alcohol Blending Solution and some Alcohol Inks.  I used Adirondack Cranberry and Wild Plum.  You will also need two small blending tools (or two separate pads) and a fair wad of kitchen roll, folded not crumpled up.
You can tape your Parchment down to a mat if you wish as long as you can turn it if needed Apply a very small amount of your chosen first colour (lighter) to the pad and dab lightly over the flowers.  
Keep going in where you want to (it is entirely up to you) until first pad is dry.
Next Pad...Darker Colour and same amount, repeat what you did before but try to avoid too much of a build up in one area.
Now the next step is key.  Parchment does NOT like to get wet so you only want to apply as little Blending Solution as possible.  That is why Kitchen Roll and not a sponge for this bit.

Apply the Solution to the Kitchen Roll and as soon as you touch the Parchment start quickly but gently moving in small circles, this will move the ink around.  You will also see that the ink will gather into the Grooves you have made using the Groovi Plate.  Using the same bit of Kitchen Roll (You will know what bit that is as it will be covered in ink lol!) apply a bit more really are just tipping the bottle up and down again....not much at all.
Go back into your picture and start to move the ink around a bit more....guiding it towards the outer areas while trying not to take too much away from the center flower.  And as you can see it is OK to make a mess outside the Frame as you will be hiding this bit!
 Your bit of Kitchen Roll will have plenty of ink and solution on it...time to attack the middle
Start by taking the Kitchen Roll (Paper Towel if you don't know what I refer too) and gently remove some of the ink from the very center.  Then when you are happy with that, do the same to the outer part of the outer petals.  You will be able to tell by now that some of the ink is just not for moving and that is fine for giving you the appearance of a curve in the petal.  Now Leave to Dry for about Ten minutes. If there is any tiny bits that you are not happy with, you can use a Cotton Bud and a smidgin of solution to get it working again.

Want to see what it looked like from the other side?

Now that you have done this, you have learned to colour parchment with Alcohol inks!  The same principal applies to the Pergamano Wax Crayons.  And as you can see you can still go in and emboss a design into the Parchment but please let the Parchment rest if you want to colour first and then emboss.
Now at this point you have a choice...........
You can go in from the back (that is where all this work was taking place) and do a bit embossing to whiten some areas (you will need a large ball tool or hockey stick for the biggest flower and then progress down the sizes.....light smooth strokes as opposed to sharp heavy ones)
You can go in from the back and add more definition to the shading 
with some Spectrum Noir Pencils
I chose to go back in with pencils to the areas where a Petal would naturally overshadow another Petal.  There was also a couple of little bits at the edges where there was space between the flowers which was ideal for darkening up.
Once you are happy with your colouration it is time to frame your work.
I trimmed my piece (having decided at the outset what I wanted was a card)  and attached it to an aperture card...didn't like it!  I Put it aside and when I went back to it, it had fallen over on its side...voila!  I knew then that it was to be mounted, sideways on, on canvas.  The aperture just didn't look up to scratch when I put it against one of my canvases so I cut out another slightly larger framework, attached the picture to the Canvas and then attached the new framework on top.
Neat trick with a ball tool (medium or large)  If you hold the ball tool at a 45 degree angle along the outer edge of your framework (which would mean your arm would be positioned OVER the frame) Then gently but steady run the ball tool along the outer edge, turnframe and continue round all 4 sides....this will curve the edge downwards slightly with gives it a better finish.  You can do the same on the inside of the frame (best to do it before attaching your parchment to it)  If you have a closer look at the top picture you will be able to make out the effect I mean. 
Now I hope that you were able to follow my instructions ( I can waffle - use 6 words where two will do) but most of all I hope you have fun.  Any questions leave me a comment and I will get back to you (barring blogger being a pain that is lol).  Hopefully I will be back soon with another Groovi Parchment Blog!

Happy crafting
Emma x

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Television Launch of ClarityStamp Groovi Plates!!!

Hiya Folks!!  The First Sunday in every month means that the wonderful Barbara Gray is on CreateandCraft TV, with wonderful demos and new products from ClarityStamp ltd.  
But for me this time around it is extra special!

This morning saw the Launch of a Brand New ClarityStamp Range
Parchment Embossing Plates...
I think I have mentioned once or twice how much I love Parchment work and also how much I love Clarity Stamps!!  Combine them both and I am definitely One Happy Crafter!!

When I was approached by Barbara Gray to join the team I was over the moon and spent several long days waiting for what was to be a Very Very Happy Postal Delivery.  I was so excited!!! Keeping it a secret was very hard as I just wanted to show them to everyone as I knew they would be an immediate hit!  (I was very good Barbara...Didn't even tell my best friend!)

 So that meant that my Groovi Design Team mates and I got first play with the New Groovi Plates
and for the first time for me....I have some samples to show here and on....
I was Very excited and very nervous!!
So what's it all about...

Claritystamp have designed Embossing Plates to be used with Parchment.  They are clear plastic, laser etched with ClarityStamp Designs.  Very easy to use...I have a touch of Arthritis in my hands and found them great to work with.  I loved how the ball tool glided in the Groove...

The Starter Kit is very easy to use.  You get a double sided mat...soft one side for embossing and a hard side for colouring.  Two embossing tools, parchment.  A Groovie Plate Mate (for the plates to sit in) and two Groovi Plates - Trees and Hills.   So easily interchanged!

You simply tape your Parchment over the design...smooch it with a tumble dryer sheet (so your tool glides rather than scratches), then use the ball tool to emboss the design.  From there you can create beautiful Parchment designs using one Groovi Plate or by combining different Groovi Plates.

In this first launch there are another two sets of Groovi Plates
Sprig Pattern and Blooming Peonies, Meadowgrasses and Butterfly Wreath
and two Border Plates

Here are photographs of the rest of my TV Samples 
Which hopefully over the next two weeks I will give an individual blog on how I made them
and also what Groovi Plates I used.

If you managed to catch the show I hope you enjoyed it as much as me and that you managed to get 
what you wanted, Barbara's show was a sell out, despite how much stock she brings to the show... that good and that popular. 

You will be happy to know that they are available on the Claritystamp website: Groovi Plates

I hope you like my samples and that you will look in again when I do the blog posts.  I look forward to hearing from you all.

You can also have a look at the other Design Samples shown for the Groovi Plates by clicking on the following link to the Artroom at Claritystamps website: Groovi Gallery

Happy Crafting

Emma x  

Monday, 1 June 2015

Clarity Stamp Challenge 28

Hi Folks! Once again another month has flown by this year and it is now 1st of June...You all know what that means...Yes the start of another ClarityStamp Challenge over on the Blog  (last month's challenge 'Clocks' brought in some absolutely wonderful artwork....getting tougher each month for us on the Design Team to pick our Top 5 Favourites!!!)

This months Theme is: Boys, Boys, Boys!

For my Design Team Sample I have made a Triptych Birthday Card using some Clarity Boy stamps.

So in order to make this card I used the following:

Boys - Wee Folk 2
Mini Leaf
Mini Grasses 1
Archival - Potting Soil,
Adirondack - Stonewashed,
Memento - Summer Sky
Clarity Stencil Brush
Makeup sponge
Post-it Notes
Double sided Foam Pads
Double sided Tape
Craft Knife
Brown Sharpie Pen

I stamped the Boy with his Dog first. As you can see this stamp comes within a frame. Made a mask of this stamp leaving just the edges exposed, inked it up with Archival Potting Soil, as I wanted to make frames for the other two ATC's.
I masked off the edges of all the Frames with Post-it Notes and then stamped the other images onto the ATC cards.  I stamped the boys first before masking two of them so that I could do some background and foreground stamping with the grasses and tree.
I had a right old mess going on...glad I had Nail Polish Remover to clean the stamps with!
After all this stamping I began shading the foreground with a makeup sponge and the Archival ink and a bit of torn copy paper.  Then using Memento Summer Sky across the middle of each card, also some Adirondack Stonewashed for the sky and a bit of water.  I applied the ink using my Clarity Stencil Brushes.
I removed the Post-it notes, marked the edges with a Brown Fine Line Sharpie Pen and added the tip of the Leaf stamp to the corner of each card for a finishing touch.  I trimmed the ATC's down to the edge of the Framing on all three.
I stamped the sentiment onto another ATC and used the excess ink on one of my brushes to colour the boxes.  This is a great little set from Clarity Stamp....very useful!  I cut out the boxes, mounted the 'Happy' directly onto the ATC  and mounted the 'Birthday' underneath directly onto the DL card with Foam Pads.
A little private sentiment for the insert later and there you have a finished card!

I hope this gives you a bit of inspiration to join in the challenge this month and I hope to see your wonderful artwork there!!  Remember there is a £50 gift voucher to spend at ClarityStamp up for grabs and a spot as guest designer for the winner too!!
To see the RULES and have a gander at what the other ladies on the Design Team have made, just follow the link below:

Happy Crafting and hope to see your wonderful entries soon.


Emma x