Sunday, November 28, 2010

Seasonal inspirations

We are almost to December and my days over the past week have been filled with sunshine, school athletics day, a training day at the library, and working in the garden. I haven't been doing much in the way of crafty stuff, but a few weeks ago our quilt housegroup made a start on Xmas cards. I had a go at a few different ideas....I really want to make more of the Ruth Rae style that I have shared before - bottom right with music/text/organza combo.I borrowed the Xmas tree stamp below and I really love it. I have embossed it with Distress embossing powders, and the heavier Opals on the right.I want to add some stitchy elements to these bases, and have other crafty ideas for xmas which I really hope to make a start on this week so thought I would share those bits of inspiration here.....they are only small so I hope to get something done soon.
Christmas Fairy Shoes still on my list from last year - from Annette Emms pattern
Really love these sweet stitchings from Donna Downey
Karen's Whimsy site has some new images for Xmas - she also has tons of other lovely free images for your art.
And some blogs to follow in December for projects :
Tim Holtz is doing his 12 Tags of Xmas again
Click on my Holidays Handmade button in the righthand column for info from Balzer Designs.
And if you are looking for something a wee bit different to watch - try this Tim Burton DVD.Whimsical with just the right amount of scarey.
Am having a stitchy playday on Tuesday with a couple of friends, so will share the results of that and some book reviews with you in my next post. Happy rest of your weekend.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ink on my fingers

On Saturday I managed to get myself some of Tim Holtz' lovely masks - I got the flourish, borders, and a couple of minis and thought I would show you what I did with them. First up was a tag - I swiped a couple of distress ink pads over the baking paper, then misted the ink with water. The tag was then wiped over the mixture, dried with a heat gun, and re-swiped. You can see here the baking paper with beads of ink and the wet tag.Click here for a video by Tim Holtz using the distress inks in this way. The resulting dry back and front are a lovely mix of colours. I then used the small flourish mask (from the Regal set) to decorate the tag front. I just used a little VersaMark ink cube for this because that was the nicest colour I had to stand out against the dark background. In Tim Holtz' YouTube of using the masks, he throws all the surrounds away. But as you can see, you can use the left-over bits as well like a stencil to get the opposite image on the back! Then I wanted to have a go with the borders - again I inked using the mask, and also the leftovers....then I finished the journal page.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Best of the week

Have been reading and enjoying thisSaw this DVD - my husband and I both enjoyed itMade another couple of cards - this is the one I remembered to photograph!Making (slow) progress on the applique quilt - liking the checkerboard sashingsLess than $10 for these useful lovelies - 3 sweet heart stamps; I have wanted a date stamp for journalling for a while now; and the cardboard cutout borders are so cute.I have added a badge to my sidebar for Balzer Designs Holidays Handmade week of craft coming up soon. Check more details here Maybe we can do some projects together.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spray paint and stencils

Part 2 of our play day from last week - I am an admirer of Dina Wakley's graffiti-type journals using spray paint. She has a good-looking on-line class called "Graffiti of My Life" - other sample pictures from her blog here. Also don't forget to look at Martha Lever's chunky book created from that class which I shared in the last blog post.
Been wanting to try this kind of technique, but no spare money for a class at present so armed instead with an online tutorial by her with some useful tips, Katherine & I had a go -in the garage. We didn't have the proper sprays, so our attempts were okay but not great to start with, although watering down silk paints seemed to give a reasonable result through small atomiser bottles. Part of the problem was the paints were too runny with fine stencils. The most success came once we started using grungeboard stencils as a resistThese examples below show a lovely page in Katherine's journal which she had painted first and then sprayed through a stencil on top. The ones on the right show how I used a grungeboard cutout as a resist, and then flipped it over onto the lower page so we got the coloured opposite image.Katherine left me with several atomisers of watered-down silk paints to try, and today I used the lot! Love the ones using the grungeboard swirly designs. You can see I also used an ordinary alphabet stencil, and I also had a heavy piece of cardboard with holes in it which was the remains of a board game with the pieces taken out - more stuff to keep! I am happy with the papers I now have, and will try & create some pages inspired by Dina. The colour mixes are lovely, but I quite fancy the grungy one using just black spray too.My next plan is to purchase some proper sprays (eg. Smooch Inks, or Glimmer Mists or the Adirondack Colour Wash sprays - the challenge is finding sources and the best price in NZ - any suggestions?) and do some more experiments....I would also like to try making my own stencils. Will share more as they the meantime, this is another cool tutorial by Dina using Ink Resist technique (written, not video this time) and this is a link to an interview with Dina which I liked once again for the pretty pic's of her work :-)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

This week's inspirations

Hope you have had a happy week. Mine has been full of lovely visual inspiration :
2 faces of Compassion - one of my favourite roses. Beautiful in bud And gorgeously scented in full bloom
This movie is great - it was an entertaining story with very strong characters, and lovely to see the footage at the end of the real women who were involved. Best quote "This is just my job, not my life"You MUST read this bookCarla Coulson wrote this book about her experiences when she moved from Australia to Italy - disillusioned with her life, and seeking more. The presentation of the book is stunning with its imagery, heavy pages and artistic layout. This is from the back cover and I can't say it any better "Carla's evocative text and rich photographs bring alive the laughter, warmth and passion of Italy. We meet the people who have embraced her; we see the streets, bars, churches and markets that have enchanted her; and we feel her gioia (joy). Italian Joy will make you yearn to follow Carla's footsteps and discover the true beauty of life in a magical place"
She now lives in France and has published some books about Paris that I am now dying to feast upon, and she also has a lovely blog featuring her gorgeous photography.
Other Blog love this week :
Martha Lever - a wonderful new chunky book using lots of lovely sprays...mmmmmmm
Cool idea from Ali Edwards - advent action cards - you could create your own artful ones without the template of course :-)
More colourful creativity from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer - I want to make her accordian fold mini album
Get a good visual art journaling fix here
I wish I had more space to wishing - hoping - that we might one day in the not-so-distant future create another room on our house that could enable me to have a larger room to make my creations. Can you recommend blogs of studio loveliness? Or ideas to feed my growing needs list for an art and quilt studio? A girl can dream ;-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Decorative Tape making

On Tuesday, Katherine & I had a play day. We spent half the day making our own decorative tape as per this great tutorial. Our play days are great fun and we love taking pictures of the table or room that we're working in - we always combine our resources and have so much stuff! I purchased 2 different widths of micropore tape from the chemist. We laid this on freezer paper, and tried different means of colouring and decoration.On some of the tapes we tried pen or stamping as the first layer. On others we used paint first, and decoration over the top. These are Katherine's in progress. She mainly used watercolour paints and dyes for the colour. Aren't the finished tapes lovely? She also tried one which was sponging distress ink on as the colour layer, and then stamping over that with another distress ink. It gives a lovely textureThese are my first layerStep 2And all finished - I have listed the details of what I did on each below for my own reference, and perhaps your interest :-) Numbered from left to right
1. Green Koh-I-Noor waterbased dye stamped over the top with Lumiere gold paint
2. I used a green zig pen to draw stars on the top half, but these pretty much disappeared when I added the Persimmon LuminArte H2O watercolour - the resulting blend of colour was quite nice though and I stamped over with Copper VersaColor cube
3. Simple loveliness - painted with Lumiere Halo Pink Gold - in real life this is gorgeously glittery
4. Used a black Pitt pen for the dots, and stamped Purple StazOn ink on the lower half - both of these were fine beneath the layer of Sky Blue LuminArte H2O watercolour that I painted over the top
5. Purple StazOn ink again using one of my fav swirly stamps - unfortunately I was then a bit heavyhanded with the Goldens Dioxazine Purple acrylic - although it was watered down it was too strong a colour for the original layer, so I had to use a different stamp and black StazOn ink over the top. Playdays are good for lots of learning.
6. Purple StazOn ink again, this time sponged over with Peeled Paint Distress Ink Pad
7.Drew a large zigzag line with orange sakura glaze pen, then painted on a yellow watercolour. Stamped the japanese characters with Mountain Lake VersaColor cube. This didn't obscure the zigzag which I didn't like, so I re-stamped with Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink. I will obviously tear this piece so I have 2 quite different pieces of tape to use.
8. Again used a sakura glaze pen to draw some hearts and swirls at the top. This was followed by a distress reinker dropped and wet-brushed to disperse the colour. I stamped over the re-inker with Dusty Concord Distress Ink.
We both decided that we preferred the look of the stamped designs to the thinner lines of what we drew.
Have a play yourself, and come share with me :-)
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