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Thursday, 23 April 2015

A very happy...

...St. George's Day.


Unfortunately, the weather doesn't seem to be wanting to celebrate...it is very chilly, dull & grey here in my neck of the woods.

But never mind...if you have celebrations planned for today - enjoy!...........................................

Monday, 20 April 2015

Decadent Teal...

...in a different format.

This time the medium used was Mica powder.

Using a leaf stamp from the new John Lockwood range...
...a random pattern was stamped in Versamark over two black CS squares...
 ...then Decadent Teal Mica powder was applied.
I won't describe how you can achieve a reverse image using the same materials...
 ...as Andy gives details over on his blog here.
We were going to make an 8x8 card as the final piece...
 ...so we got stuck in with a bit of matt & layering...
 ...which involved deciding which way round to mount the stamped panels...
 ...and resulted in a quartered look as shown above.
The sentiment I picked was from a recent Phill Martin, clear stamp set...
...it was stamped with Versamark and then dusted with the Mica powder before a bit more matt & layering.
Here is the final card...
...all twinkly in the sunlight not just because of the mica but also because we sealed the panels with Spray & Shine.

A mucky play-day but wonderful results.

Thank you to Andy for another fabulous day where we had the opportunity to try new techniques and have a 'play'...a perfect day.

Pinnacle Crafts will be holding a free demo day on Saturday 25 April (see here for full details) where Andy will be showing uses for the various products that come in the new "Chic" & "Decadent" colours. If you are in the area, why not pop in and take a look......................................................


Sunday, 19 April 2015

A bit of...

..."decadent" play.

Creative Expressions have a whole load of new Phill Martin colours in their product range. We have had the 'Vintage' & 'Graceful' colours, now we have the 'Chic' & 'Decadent' ones.

Yesterday at Pinnacle Crafts was most definitely a Decadent Teal day...

Starting off with some black CS and a stencil/mask (I think this one is Peacock feathers)...
...the two were run through a die cutting machine to create an embossed effect.
Andy had already created a sheet of textured paste in the teal colour...
...this was done because it takes around 24 hours to dry. Once dry, you have a sheet of co-ordinating material (has a vinyl feel) that you can die cut as you wish - not really suitable for very detailed dies but perfect for many flower shapes etc.
With the same texture paste and a spatula...
...the paste was applied to the CS through the stencil/mask.
One of the reasons for running the CS and stencil/mask through a die cutting machine to emboss it is to raise up the design. This helps to keep the stencil/mask in place and also helps to ensure that you don't apply the paste too thickly, otherwise you would be waiting a month of Sundays for it to dry.
Paste duly applied...
 ...unfortunately, as I took the stencil/mask off - I smudged the right-hand side. This is where Andy reminded me that the CS had been cut larger than would be required, so could be trimmed down once dry to tidy it up. Phew...
Back to the sheet of 'vinyl' and there are many dies on the market that create 'pinwheel' or 'quilling' type flowers but we decided to go with the old fashioned method of cutting everything by hand...
 ...four roughly cut circles/blobs about the size of the central ring on a reel of DST. All four cut by hand in a rough spiral and then rolled from the outside;in to create four matching roses.
Also from Creative Expression, there are some lovely sentiment stamps from Phill Martin but this one is from a new collection by John Lockwood...
 ...stamped in Versamark onto the black CS and then dusted with matching Mica powder - sealed with 'Spray & Shine' (Crafters Companion) and then matt & layered.
After trimming the peacock feathers piece of CS and matting & layering...
...some toning ribbon was wrapped over the front before being attached to the card blank.
A double bow and the other prepared pieces were arranged and attached to the card using Pinflair Glue Gel...
...and there you have it - one finished, totally co-ordinated card.

My friend Hilary couldn't make it yesterday as she is away for the weekend but there was a new lady at the class who is fairly new to crafting. It was refreshing seeing how excited she got by the results of the various techniques she tried. Another super day of crafting play with Andy.

If you thought that was the last you would see of the 'Decadent Teal' - WRONG!!!

Pop back tomorrow and you will see what else was created............................................


Thursday, 16 April 2015

A bit of crochet...

...to keep the hands busy.

As you know, there hasn't been a great deal of colouring going on around here but I can't just sit in front of the TV and not be doing something of an evening. That 'something' has been knitting & crochet for the last few weeks...I mean, what's the worse that can happen if the old fingers lock up...a dropped stitch? - easily put right...a dropped hook/needle? - no problem.

So I've been crocheting blankets and have two on the go at the moment.

I prefer one large 'granny square' rather than lots of little ones that then need to be joined together.

I found some glittery yarn which is actually lovely and soft despite the lurex content and it washes well.

Here are some photos of one of the blankets...

 I have used white/grey/black for this one...
 ...it is coming along nicely and makes me think of a moonlit sky...
...with all the twinkling stars. A few more balls of black around the outside and it will be done.

The other blanket on the go is also sparkly but is in navy/white - I'll show that to you another time.

The only problem with making blankets like these is...as the weather gets warmer you tend to swelter under the completed bit of the blanket that is sitting on your lap LOL

Have a great day - hope it is lovely and sunny where you are..........................................................

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Almost at the middle of the month...

...and not an April post in sight.

How bad am I?

In fact, not a post since 23rd March...oops!

To be honest, this is the busiest time of year at work - performance assessments, Easter holidays - and there just doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything that I need or want to do.

Back on the 27th March, Members Weekend kicked off and I met my friend Hilary for a bit of retail therapy and a good chin-wag. I had intended to be good on the shopping front but there were some things that I had been wanting - so with 30% off it was too good an opportunity to pass by.

I have a lot of dies but not many of them are sentiment ones...
...so these came home with me along with a considerable number of additions to my Cosmic Shimmer collection. I have a whole new range of colours to have a play with.
 
Talking of colour, I was horrified to realise that I hadn't done any real colouring since Christmas...



 
...that is soooooooooooo not me. However, I have been having trouble with the old arfa-ritus and a couple of previous attempts had ended in the bin because a pen slipped when my fingers locked. A bright blue streak across the face of an image is not a good look. Where as I would normally complete a few of this size image in a evening, this Saturated Canary took me several days because every time the old fingers started to tingle I thought it safer to give it a rest rather than risk spoiling what I had done. The weather has started to warm up and things are improving so I hope to be back in full 'colouring-in' mode soon.
 

Another area of concern was the lack of availability of the new Ranger Distress colours. Cracked Pistashio was launched in January but my local retailer was told that due to demand their supplier would not be able to provide the range until mid/late April. It has been awful seeing all the wonderful creations that folk have made using the new colours and not being able to get hold of them myself. A very kind crafter even emailed me with a couple of possible suggested sources after she saw the comment I left on "Sir Tim's" blog. Imagine my delight to arrive at Pinnacle Crafts yesterday just as Andy was unpacking a delivery of these...
...happy, happy dance. The only thing that didn't arrive was the distress markers (sad face) but the latest news is that Abandoned Coral (Feb) and Mermaid Lagoon (Mar) should be arriving shortly...YIPEE!!!!!

Andy and I have been trying to guess what the next colour will be as we get to the next first Friday of each month. I was actually right this time - the April colour is a yellow, Fossilized Amber. Andy is hoping for a range of proper 'White' stuff (not the wash effect created by Picket Fence) and we both thought that his prayers had been answered when we saw the latest thumbnail on the Tim Holtz blog...but it turned out to be the announcement of a blank die pad that you can custom colour yourself using re-inkers - fabulous idea but the indications are that the cost will be quite high when they hit the UK...shame.

So I have plenty to 'play' with at the moment and plenty of stuff that needs to be finished off, just need the time to do it. Anyone else still struggling to catch up on the hour we lost going into BST?.....................................................................

Monday, 23 March 2015

Play day part 2...

...attack of the ink pads.

Yesterday I shared with you the embossed panels that had been coloured with a mix of mica & ink sprays - very pretty colours but on most of the embossed designs you couldn't really see the texture.

Out came the box of StaZon ink pads and we set to.

The leaf vein design had orange and saddle brown applied as the main colours and just a touch of olive green...   
 ...however, when the piece was given a spray of 'Spray & Shine' it is the green that is most noticeable.
I know I used black cherry on this one but I had more or less covered it completely with orange, espresso and black...
 ...but you would not have believed that once it was sprayed as the cherry came through as the prominent colour.
I can't remember what colour combos went onto these...
 ...there was iris, teal...
 ...cherry, black...
 ...olive, orange and saddle brown in a variety of combos. I really should have taken a photo of each of them before spraying so you could see the difference.
This panel had a mix of graceful blue, graceful lilac & graceful pink embossing wax applied...
 ...before a touch of teal, lavender and iris StaZon.
Andy then got out a couple of pots of "Buff it" by Pinflair. I had seen this but never used this product. Andy explained that it could be used just the same as a gilding wax or it could be mixed with water and used more like a paint.
I mixed in some water and used the silver & teal colours to dry-brush over the leaf design...
 ...and then buffed it to give the sheen.
The parquet design was painted with a mix of the silver & teal...
...not the best of photos because once buffed it really did have a sheen. This will probably be given an inking at some stage to help highlight the texture.

Hilary & I had a wonderful time on Saturday and we came away with some fabulous backgrounds for use in our paper crafting. We also got to try out different products and ideas which meant for a perfect day of crafting.

Thank you Andy, another super day of play........................................................

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Play day part 1...

...with Hilary & Andy.

The workshop on Saturday was "Masks & Stencils" and we started off by using a trellis die to create an embossing plate and mask/stencil.

We cut four of the dies from smooth card stock and using spray adhesive, stuck 3 together to form a thicker more substantial board. This was then used to emboss a couple of pieces of CS.

The spare die cut was placed into the indentations to create a mask for the trellis...
 ...and then glittered texture paste was applied...
...I used Graceful Peach on both the black and the white CS and as you can see, the resulting colour is very different. The black background has more of a silvery effect but the white shows the true peach colour.
The CS mask is really only viable for two uses because it soaks up the moisture and becomes very fragile...
...but don't throw it away as it is now a pretty, glittery trellis and once dry can be used on your cards or scrapbook LOs. You can also cut some of your CS masks/stencils to use with sprays, inks, Pan pastels etc. Again, you will only be able to use them a couple of times (chalks & Pan pastels will allow a few more uses) but do keep them & allow them to dry so that you have a collection of pretty pieces for use on other projects.
Out came the box of sprays...
 ...and Andy gave us the choice to play with some more die-cuts or the new 8x8 texture embossing folders - we decided to go with the folders...
 ...and just had a wonderful time playing with colour mixtures...
 ...I doubt any of us could remember exactly what colours we used...
 ...but they all turned out very different...
 ...there were some fabulous resulting combos...
...but at this stage you couldn't really tell what the textures were on all of them. We had used - distress, parquet, leaf view and dry stone wall.

Pop back tomorrow to see what we did with a variety of StaZon ink pads to make the texture more noticeable...........................................................