Monday, 30 June 2008

Only Natural

These are for another of Helli's swaps. For this one all ATCs need to be made using only natural items, including the colours. (I did ask if I was allowed to use inks or paints but have been banned!)

The one one the left was the simplest of the three. This one was made with a coffee background, (I made some extremely strong coffee and spritzed it onto the card with a squirty spray then painted a coffee border on it), plant fibres, undyed linen, jute mesh, shells, a strip of bark (at the bottom), a skeleton leaf and a wooden disc with the letter N painted on it using coffee.

For the second one I again used a coffee background as before but this time I also painted swirls on it using coffee. I've also used a square of leather, a shell, tiny pebbles, a strip of hessian, a bay leaf and another wooden disc with the N painted in coffee. This one has a bit of a strange smell - coffee and bay leaves anyone?

For the third one I wanted a bit of colour so had to have a think about what I could use that was natural. I had some cherries in the fridge, so I decided on cherry juice (and yes, I ate the cherries after I squeezed them and I've now got pink fingernails that won't come clean). I started off by doing the background. I just dipped the card in the cherry juice to start with and dried it with the heat gun, but I wasn't happy with the way the cherry juice had distributed so I gave it a spritz of water and dried it again with the heat gun. I kept on doing this until I had a nice distressed background that I was happy with and then painted on a cherry juice border. I think it looks quite effective as there are lots of different shades of pink and purple and also some brown where the cherry juice has cooked with the heat from the heat gun. I then dyed all the bits I was going to put on, also using the cherry juice. I think it's quite interesting that the different bits have all turned out different colours even though I used the same juice. On this one I've used plant fibres, jute mesh, shells, bark, a skeleton leaf and a wooden disk, all coloured with the cherry juice. I couldn't get a strong enough concentration of cherry juice to paint the N in it so I've used coffee again for that. Unfortunately instead of smelling of cherries it smells of the silicone glue that I've filled the shells with to protect them from breaking in the post - bleh!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Pen and Ink with a Splash of Colour

These are some ATCs I've done for a swap being hosted by Helen on the DoCrafts forum. The ATCs for the swap have to be drawn in pen and ink with a splash of colour and only one colour is allowed.
My ATCs are pen and ink with a little bit of watercolour. I know they're not the best drawings in the world, but I have never drawn in pen and ink before, not even at school, so these are the first ones I've ever done (and I know my perspective is rather wonky on the frog).
I was originally going to post a picture of just the bottom three as those are the ones I like best, but I thought it would be more interesting to show a picture of all of them in the order I did them, as looking at them I think you can actually see how I've progressed and got a bit better at it as I've become more used to the new medium. (Feel free to tell me if you disagree, LOL!)
I've really enjoyed doing these, so think I will probably have to do some more. I need the practice anyway!
Oh, I should perhaps just mention that it's the photo that's not straight and not my ATCs. One day I will learn to take a decent photo!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Stampbord Brooch ATCs

These are for a swap being hosted by Clare on the DoCrafts forum.

The backgrounds are stamped and inked. The brooches are Stampbord with a stamped image and the background coloured with inks, and UTEE over the top. They are pinned to the ATCs and are detachable and wearable.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Round Robin Journal: Paula's Page

This is my page for Paula's journal for Astrid's Round Robin Challenge. Paula chose the theme "Imagine" for her journal, which for some reason I struggled with as there was so much scope. (I think I need somebody to tell me what to do!) I decided to go with a dreamy interpretation of the word Imagine, using light and dreamy colours and giving it a soft, swirly appearance. I had a rare day full of free time yesterday and so this is how I spent most of it.

I started with an acrylic painted background, which I painted round in a spiral using three colours of paint, then added some Brilliance Ink over the top which I dabbed on with a sponge through some sequin waste and also some direct from the pad around the edges. I then added some sequin waste on two of the corners and a circle of shiny mesh in the centre. I layered on a circle from the bottom of an alminium pie tin which I coloured using alcohol inks and then the image of the woman over the top. I coloured the eyes and headband using a Sharpie pen and then added some Anita's Gloss Finish to the eyes to make them look watery. Next I added the mosaic tiles at the bottom right, (they haven't photographed very well, but are actually a pale lilac and a silvery grey), and the "think bubble" which I drew and wrote on white card using a Sharpie pen. After that I added the arrow and the flourish, which are both Grungeboard. I painted them with gesso and then coloured them using Brilliance Inks, so they have a pearlescent finish (which again doesn't show up well due to my poor photography skills), and the word "dreamer" which I printed out on white paper. Finally I added the butterflies, which I stamped on acetate using black Stazon and glittered on the back using Stickles.

It's on its way to Paula today so I hope she likes it!

Some Simple Stamped ATCs

These are just rubber stamped with nothing much added. For the sorceress, I've started by spraying the background with Cosmic Shimmer Spray, settting it and then inking over it with Distress Inks. I then stamped the runes for the background in Versamark and dabbed on some Cosmic Shimmer Powder,stamped the main image in Stazon over the top and added accents with Stickles.
For the gothic lady, I inked the background with Distress Inks, gave it a spritz of water and heat dried it. I stamped the lace down the side in distress ink, masked it off and stamped the writing. I stamped the image over the top in Stazon then stamped it again on a separate piece of card, cut out the lady, coloured her with Distress Inks and stuck her on.
For the geisha, I started with a distress inked background and stamped the full image in brown Stazon onto it. I then stamped it separately in black Stazon and Brown Stazon on a separate piece of card, cut out the various elements, coloured them with Distress Inks and layered them.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

I Dare You: More Pink and Pretty

Nicks has organised a challenge on the DoCrafts forum entitled "I Dare You", the idea being that you have a group of five people and each person challenges all the others to make something for them. This is what I made for Dee, who challenged me to make her a house using a colour I don't normally use. This was a tough one for me as I use all kinds of colours all the time. Anyway, as I'm definitely not a pink and girly person, light pink was the obvious choice (not to mention that it's just about the only colour that I don't tend to use on a regular basis).
I started with a mountboard base, stuck some patterned papers on it, gave it a light coat of gesso, then painted it using white and pink acrylics. I then stamped some brickwork onto it (although this doesn't show up too much as most of it ended up being covered). I then added some mesh, which I inked slightly with pink and brown. I stamped the music score background onto white card and coloured it using pink and brown inks then tore a piece of handmade paper to go behind it and stuck these on, drawing some stitching around the edges of the paper. Next I stuck on the little girl image and the butterfly wing, and added a bit of Stickles to the wing. I then added the strip below the roof, which is a layer of inked lace, an image of a tape measure which I've also inked and then a layer of white lace with some tiny flower gems at the top. I then cut some flowers from a piece of lace and stuck those on at the bottom, and added the flourish on the roof and the crown which are both grungeboard that I've painted with gesso and inked. Finally I added the paper flowers. The centres are buttons with ribbon tied through, brads and beads.
(I was going to wait until Dee had received this before I put it on my blog, but she wanted to see it.)

Encaustic Art

I decided to do a couple of hours of encaustic art yesterday, which managed to turn into most of a day. (Not sure how that happened).
I made 10 encaustic ATCs, and these are the four I like best. These and the others are in my trading album (link on the top right) if anyone's interested.

(I've also made a couple of other things over the last couple of days but can't post piccies yet as it would ruin the surprise, so watch this space!)

Friday, 20 June 2008

Fabric and Fibres

I'm always in awe of people who can create fantastic textile art, the reason being that I can't do it. I haven't got the foggiest idea where to start. Anyway, I had some bits and pieces hanging around so I decided to create something with them in my own way. The background is lace stuck on mountboard and covered with acrylic paint. The face is made from Makin's clay with gems stuck into it. I then added some fibres behind for the hair. The tile behind the face is also made from Makin's clay, and I've pressed a piece of lace into it and lifted it off for the texture, then layered mesh and fabric behind it and added a strip of the same mesh and fabric at the bottom with some fibres and a paper flower with a gemstone centre.

Make a Moo or Two: Summer

This week's challenge on Make a Moo or Two is summer. I've chosen bright and summery colours for these. I've done an emboss resist background using clear embossing powder and three shades of Adirondack inks. The suns were created by inking through the hole in the the centre of a washer. I've used various printed images and some tiny Prima flowers with seed beads for the centres.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Silver Wings

I made a few clay faces yesterday for using on ATCs and have been trying to think of ways to make them more interesting. I've been off work sick today as I seem to have acquired a really nasty head cold, the worst syptom of which is a terrible headache, so I decided to make an ATC out of one of the faces to take my mind off it. I made the flowers on the head by pressing flower beads into the clay to leave an imprint, and embedded a dragonfly charm into the top of the head. The wings are also made from moulded clay. I made the textured background by sticking mesh on and painting over it with silver acrylic paint then heating it with a heat gun. I also painted the head and wings silver and then stuck them on, then painted over the whole lot with a black acrylic and PVA wash to give a tarnished effect. To finish it I added tiny gems in the centres of the flowers and silver brads at the opposite corners to the mesh.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Make a Moo or Two: Men

This week's challenge on Make a Moo or Two is men. I've decided to do some stamped Moos this week. I've stuck on the bits of music score at the bottom, the hats and the words, and the postmarks in the top left corners are stamped and embossed (unfortunately my orange embossing powder is a bit transparent).

An Altered Microscope Slide, Alcohol Inks and Stamping into UTEE

First flowers, now pink! I'm not sure what's going on here. Anyway, to make this one, I made an alcohol inked background and stuck it onto mountboard. I then stamped the image onto a microscope slide, alcohol inked the back of it and wrapped it in aluminium mesh. I added three layers of UTEE over the alcohol inked background, dropped the mesh-wrapped slide into it and then stamped the writing at the side into the UTEE. The writing has a slightly faded appearance because I used Stazon ink and had to ink up the stamp before I heated the UTEE due to the time constraints of having to drop the slide into the UTEE AND stamp into it before it cooled. I was originally planning to drop the accent beads into the UTEE as well, but didn't have time to do this before it cooled (and my stamp was in the way), and I didn't want to risk reheating before I stamped in case I cracked the slide (although in retrospect that might have given a nice effect in itself). I added the accent beads when it had cooled using PVA glue and then added the paper flowers (yes, I'm still at it), and attached them with brads. This is another possible contender for the mesh swap.

Friendly Plastic, More Mesh and Shaving Foam

This one's another possible contender for my mesh swap, but I haven't decided yet. It's Friendly Plastic oozed through sinamay mesh and layered onto more FP and some sparkly mesh. I made the background a while ago using shaving foam marbling.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Another ATC for my Mesh Swap

This is one I finished tonight and managed to get a picture of before it got too dark. I've called it Alien Ant. The body is made from Friendly Plastic oozed through aluminium mesh, with FP legs and wire antennae with seed beads on the ends. The background is made from aluminium mesh and decorative granules stuck on with PVA then painted over with black acrylic and metallic rub-ons over the top. The photo doesn't show up the background colours well, but I've used rub-ons in pewter, pink and gold.

Gothic Beauty ATC

This one's for my mesh swap. I started with a piece of ATC sized aluminium mesh which I edged with aluminium duct tape. I then coloured a piece of acetate using alcohol inks and stamped the image on the opposite side. I was going to leave it with with just the mesh and acetate but the colour didn't show up very well, so I layered the acetate and mesh onto a piece of white card and fastened the layers together with silver brads.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Think Monday Think ATC - Hands

This week's challenge on Think Monday Think ATC is Hands. The hand is a stamped image and I've masked it and inked and stamped around it, then coloured some of the details on the hand using ink from the same inkpads and stuck on some tiny gems and the words down the side.

Dans Ma Maison Il y a du Soleil

In my house there is the sun. This is my effort for this week's challenge on the Dans Ma Maison challenge blog. It's not turned out quite how I'd envisaged, and I can't decide whether I like it or not, so it might get painted over at a later date!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Some More Silly Ones

OK, I have a bit of a problem. I recently discovered the Prima Bitty Bags, full of lots of different types of small flowers, and consequently I seem to have developed a bit of an addiction to them. I LOVE them! You're probably now wondering what the problem is. Well, the problem is that I don't DO pretty. Don't get me wrong, I do like pretty, when it's done well, but I like it when other people do it. It's just not my thing.
Anyway, I'm guessing that's why these two ATCs ended up being a bit silly. I just seem to rebel against anything that may be considered too girly! (Maybe it's time I grew up, but that's so boring).

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Father's Day

This is a photo frame and a card I've made for my dad for father's day. I don't make many cards any more, so this is the first one I've done in a while. The photo frame is made from mountboard which I've stuck bits of paper on, painted with gesso and coloured using distress inks. The letters are cut from mountboard, inked, stamped and covered with two layers of UTEE, and the photo is of my two little boys.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Think Monday Think ATC - Round

This week's theme on Think Monday Think ATC is round - there must be something round on the ATC, so I've decided

to make an ATC for a swap I'm hosting on the theme of holes, where the idea is that there must be at least one hole all the way through the ATC which is incorporated into the design. I've named him Junkyard Jim and have made all of him apart from his head from bits of scrap metal that I've found in the street. (Yes, I'm that strange woman you see that walks down the street picking up bits of other people's rubbish!) His body is made from what I think might be an old pipe joint and I've cut a hole behind it so you can see right through him. I've photographed him on my keyboard so you can see the effect but I had to use the flash and there was a lot of glare so I've also taken a separate photo on white paper with better light.

Black and White

I made these ATCs this afternoon for a black and white themed swap I've joined. I love working with black and white because I think it's something that very few people (myself included) do really well and I enjoy the challenge.
The two top ones are simply stamped and collaged, with stamped baclgrounds and images.

The bottom ATC was originally intended to be stamped into UTEE but didn't turn out very well. I was looking for a stamp that I thought would work well with half black on white and half white on black. It does as you can see,
but what I failed to take into account was how well it would work (or not work) with the UTEE, and the stamp was far too detailed to work well with the UTEE. I'm not one to throw anything away if I can help it, so I ended up with a stamped image on a UTEE background, embellished with some more of my new flowers.

Men ATCs and Some Experiments with Stamping and Layers

I've joined a men themed ATC swap so decided to experiment with some stamping and layers, as I think some of my stamping looks a bit boring. The top one was the most complicated. I started by stamping the text background in blue and then added some torn pieces of book pages over the top. Next I painted a thin layer of gesso over the top of that as I didn't want the text to show too much through the main image. I then inked over the top using blue and brown inks and stamped the main image in brown. To give it a bit more interest, I then stamped the image again in blue on light blue papers, tore bits off and stuck them over the brown image, adding a bit of blue and brown ink to blend them in a bit more. Finally I added the flower at the top because nobody uses flowers with men and I like to be different (well, that and I got some new paper flowers).

For the second one, I started by inking the background in olive green, gradually getting lighter towards the middle. I then masked off a section in the middle and inked around the edges in brown. I stamped the background over that in olive green and then stamped the main image in black. Then I stamped the main image on a separate piece of card in olive green, coloured it olive green to match the main background, cut out the butterfly and stuck it on. Finally I added a couple of flowers to this one too.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Experiments with UTEE

I've found with my new heat gun that UTEE is much easier to work with (and there's a lot less waste and mess too, i.e. it doesn't blow away and end up all over the house, in my coffee, down my top and everywhere else), so it's opened up a whole lot of new opportunities. (It looks more shiny too as I don't have to keep addiong more Versamark between the layers to keep it stuck down). Anyway, I've been experimenting the last couple of days and these are some ATCs I came up with. For the top one I've started with a stamped image on an alcohol inked background , then added a mountboard frame which I've painted and added some metallic rub-on to. I then added a single layer of UTEE over the frame and sponged a bit of brown stazon ink around the edges. I've found that the new heat gun has so little blow to it that I can actually leave the UTEE loose and heat it without it blowing away, so I then sprinkled some UTEE inside the frame to cover the stamped image and heated it. There were a few little gaps so I just filled these in with a bit more UTEE adn heated it again. As I'd hoped, the Stazon I'd added on the frame bled into the UTEE to give the frame a distressed appearance, and my picture looks like it has a layer of glass over it.
With the seahorse the mesh is actually inside the UTEE. I started with a black mountboard background which I coloured using Radiant Rain Sprays, (again, the colours are a bit brighter than they appear in the picture as the light was fading a bit when I took it. I haven't yet mastered the art of photographing UTEE with the flash, and am not sure I ever will, LOL). I also coloured the mesh with the Radiant Rain sprays and then stuck it onto the background, quick-dried it with the heat gun because I'm impatient, and added three layers of UTEE over the top, then stamped the image into it with black Stazon.

Another Stampbord Pendant

This is a stamped image on Stampbord with an inked background. I've scratched bits away to create highlights but unfortunately the photo was taken in bad light so it doesn't show up too well, and also the colours are brighter than they look. I've added a couple of layers of UTEE over the top to portect the image.

More Mesh!

This is one I made on Saturday. I can't tell you how I did the background because it's not my idea (I'm not copying it, it was suggested to me), so it will have to remain a secret for the time being at least. I've used sinamay mesh which I've painted gold and a head made from Makins Clay and covered with gold embossing powder. The wings and the starts along the bottom are Paperartsy German Scrap.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

More Mesh!

This is another ATC I've made using mesh. As I'm so obsessed with putting various types of mesh all over everything at the moment I'm hosting a swap on the theme of mesh in the hope of getting it out of my system! I wonder if it will work?

Anyway, this ATC is probably going to be one of my ATCs for the swap. I've used sinamay mesh (thank you Mandy!) and sequin waste on the background, and some copper mesh around the face. The tape at the top and bottom is actually copper, although it looks more of a gold colour in the picture.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Pencil Drawing

I blame Paula for this, er... I mean thank you you Paula for inspiring me to do some pencil drawing for the first time in years! (Seriously, I did enjoy doing it very much). This is pretty much the first pencil drawing I've done since leaving school lots of years ago, so I'm a bit rusty, but I don't think it's too bad. It's ATC size as I'm hoping to swap it with Paula (LOL).

I've drawn it from a photo of a Roman statue of Apollo, but my picture looks much less angelic and more manly than the statue. I think it looks more like David Hasselhoff in his Baywatch days, yeek! Ah well, never mind. At least it looks like a man.

Vintage Flowers ATCs

These were made using stamped images and backgrounds and distress inks.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Dans Ma Maison Il y a Du Métal

In my house there is metal.
I've been dying to make one of these little houses ever since I first saw them, so when I came across the Dans Ma Maison challenge blog I decided to give it a go. This week's challenge is to include metal.
I did the embossing for this first. The metal I've used is from the bottom of a disposable aluminium tray and has a slightly embossed pattern. The main image was done using a Paperartsy stamp which I embossed, folded over the edges and then painted with black acrylic paint and wiped off with a sponge to create the tarnished look. I did the same thing with the chimney and the strip underneath the roof. For the strip under the roof I also embossed it to look like it was riveted. My house is made from mountboard. I did the background using Cosmic Shimmer Powders in various metallic shades, (unfortunately the shimmer doesn't show up very well in the photo), and them stamped over it. I added some silver embossing powder around the edges and then added my metal bits and some aluminium mesh on the roof (which I also added some acrylic paint to to make it look old).
I'm quite pleased with how my embossed image has turned out - it's probably my best so far - but I still have a lot to learn!