Thursday, 24 July 2014

Two successes and one failure

Hi everyone

I don't know about you, but I am wilting in the summer heat that we have at the moment.  It's gorgeous, but I do not cope well in very hot weather. It has been as high as 37 degrees in my conservatory, so I am very happy that I have the studio to escape to; it is probably the coolest room in the house.  That being said, today I have a huge fan wafting me.  It's a good job that I don't have a project with loads of small pieces of paper on the go otherwise they'd be everywhere.  I think that the hot weather has been affecting my crafting mojo too as I have not been very active at all craft wise.  

Last week I spoke briefly about the Copic Ciao pens that I had bought and asked if anyone had a preference.  Well I had a go with mine and what a total disaster so far

I'm not sure that you can see the stamping and embossing that I have done; the flower is stamped using the Hobby Art Ltd set CS024D Anna's Collection - Special Wishes and embossed with clear powder.  I started to colour in with the light pink (R22 Light Prawn) Copic and followed it with a red/pink colour (R29 Lipstick Red) going back again with the light pink to get a blend, it looks terrible!  At the present time, I will not be rushing out to buy more Copics, but I will be watching several tutorials on YouTube on Copic colouring to see what it is that I should or should not be doing.  In fact, I'll stamp the same flower on the same piece of card and give it another go when I have watched some.  Check back to find out how it's going.

Let's get on to some more positive makes from this week.  

This card was for a friend who was celebrating a special birthday.  I knew that she would not want a 'fussy' card, but that she would appreciate something simple.  I used a Penny Black slapstick cling stamp called Longing and embossed it with ultra thick black embossing powder.  The ultra thick powder gave the image the slightly distressed look that I wanted and I was pleased with the outcome and glad that I had taken the risk of using the ultra thick.  I used Distress Ink for the background in Peacock Feathers, Broken China and Evergreen Bough, I applied the inks with the new mini ink blending tool (pictured on left) from Ranger.  I really like the smaller style of these as opposed to the original tools (pictured on right), I find them so easy to use and I find that I get a better blend.  I also find that using them with stencils so easy too.

Continuing the theme of simple cards that I seem to be creating lately, I loved how this card below turned out.  Using Hero Arts stamp set Many Dots along with Hero Hues Shadow Inks, I feel that I have a really nice birthday card that can be for a male or female.  I think that I am going to do some more versions of this one, possibly in gender specific colours although I haven't decided yet.  I can also see this card with many different greetings also.

Perhaps you'd like to drop in next week when I may have had more success with Copic blending and to see what else is new.

Thanks for stopping by

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Craft Show Haul


The summer days are flying by and I don't seem to have enough (or any) time to spend in the studio and I even missed posting to the blog last week.

At the beginning of the month I went along to the Artstamps England show in Newbury.  I have been to this show several times over the past few years and have always enjoyed the day.  This year was a little different; don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the day, but the show itself had a shortage of stalls.  Apparently this event has been taken over by new management and organisation of any kind was severely lacking.  I felt sorry for the stall holders who had been contacted and had made the brave decision to attend as I'm sure that their sales must have been badly affected.  I hope that the management can pull this show together again next year as it is a lovely venue with lovely stall holders, together this creates a great atmosphere.  All that being said, none of the above stopped me from spending my money! 

Here's my haul and a little scary is the fact that there are items for the winter season, or dare I say the 'C' word, to be found in amongst my goodies.  

Like many crafters out there at the moment, I am loving the stencilling and die cutting 'fashion' in card making.  I am a big fan of Memory Box dies and stencils and chose the Flowering Christmas Tree, Hanging Ornaments and Blissful Butterfly Border dies.  I also chose the Texture Tessatina stencil which I thought could be used on cards as well as in my art journal. You can see in the photograph below that I have already played around with the stencil and the Flowering Christmas Tree die a little.  

I have used three different colour Distress Inks for the background stencilling which I was very pleased with.  I embossed the tree with gold embossing powder and used some Stickles in the centre of the flowers.  I was also really pleased with the tree.  It is such a shame that when put together, I feel that they both lose something.  The tree gets lost on the background and the background focus is taken away by the tree. I'll be working more with these to come up with pleasing effects for both the die and stencil.

This was such a quick little card to make using the Card-io Majestix Sweet Birdhouse set that I bought.  I also used some of my beautifully coloured VersaColor mini ink pads.  I love everything about how this card has turned out; the colours, the shape and the stamps from the set used.  I am planning to make a set of these cards with various different greetings, I think that the simple heart shape design lends itself to this idea. 

You may have spotted the Copic Ciao pens at the front of my display.  I have several Promarker pens but have never really mastered them and will probably be passing them on to my daughters to share.  I decided to buy a few of the Copics to see how I get on with them.  Do any of you have a preference or do you use both?  I'd be interested to hear your views and I'll let you know how I get on with the new pens.

I hope that the days slow down a little to let me play a little longer in the studio and I look forward to posting again next week.

Thank you for dropping by, I hope your week is going well and that you are enjoying some beautiful sunny days.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

It really works!

Hi everyone

It's been a quiet week in the studio as I have been away for a few days, but I still have a couple of things that I'd like to share with you all.

Do you ever read about something that is supposed to help you and you think to yourself 'well, that'll never work'?  I did when I read about a Flash Magic Eraser to help remove stubborn ink stains from stamping blocks, the article even claimed that Staz On ink would disappear.  

I didn't think that it would work and thought nothing about it again until I spotted one during my weekly shop.  I thought that I'd give it a go and that even if it didn't work for my crafting purposes, I could use it as it is meant to be used.  It says on the the package -  Try it on anything: from grimy baths to greasy microwaves, from crayons on walls to grouting between tiles –even those dirty white trainers Just add water, squeeze, then watch stains disappear like Magic.

So here it is and to be totally honest, I wasn't expecting much.  After all, I had tried and tried to remove the ink stains on my blocks before using Staz On Cleaner that is specially made for the Staz On inks.

I hope that you can see all the ink smudges that are on my blocks.  I am one of those people who will be bothered by not being able to remove them.

It's a miracle!  It works!  I was really surprised and delighted that with just a little water and without having to scrub, the stains just disappeared.  The Magic Eraser has not made it back into the kitchen.  I'm keeping it in my crafting arsenal.

* * * * * * *
Have you ever produced something that you liked so much that you have recreated it elsewhere?  That is exactly what happened towards the end of last week.  I had really enjoyed making the cards for my recent giveaway and had been very pleased with how they had turned out.  I needed to make my ATC's for the June swap and decided to do a mini version of each of the cards.  

I added a different sentiment and used one different stamp on the striped watercolour ATC.

For this watercolour with Distress Ink ATC, I used a different stamp set - I had to as between finishing the cards for the giveaway and producing this, I have lost the original stamp set.  How a whole stamp set can just disappear is a mystery to me.  I have turned the studio upside down looking for it.  

On the third and final ATC, I used a different sentiment stamp and I love the words on this stamp.  

My week ahead looks pretty busy with a friend coming to stay and a theatre trip, but on Saturday I'll be heading off to Newbury ArtStamps Exhibition.  I'm sure that I will find some items that I need for the studio. Watch out next week for haul photos!

I hope you are continuing to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and as always I am grateful for you stopping by to my little corner of the crafting world.