Thursday, 11 September 2014

Been doing the dusting....!

Inspired by Sally's fabulous new Inkylicious ink duster video tutorial and her stunning sample cards, I decided to have a go at doing something similar with my Inkylicious tree.



I kept it quite simple, a) because that's how the tree looks, up there on its hill all by itself, and b) because I needed to make it quickly and get it in the post for a friend's birthday!

Having first cut a circle mask for the setting sun, I made the ink dusted background using the colours of Memento Inks which Sally used, but substituting Danube Blue for the Bahama Blue, which I don't have. An Inkylicious Mountain Valley Stencil helped to produce the receding hills. I love these durable and reusable masks, much better than fiddling about with torn pieces of paper.

Once I was happy with the background I stamped the tree and buzzards with black Versafine ink. I wanted the base of the tree to go right across the card so I extended it using a black pen. The sentiment was ideal for filling in the space at the top left of the picture. All stamps are from the Inkylicious Old Beech Tree set.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Come and have a flutter!

Last month at Stamping Sensations we had a bumper crop of entries - over 350 - which was fabulous, and huge thanks to everyone who joined in. This month our theme is

***** THINGS WITH WINGS *****




One of my favourite topics, of course! My winged thing is a beautiful fairy by Lavinia Stamps. I've set her against a background created with Inkylicious ink dusters and Memento inks, surrounded her with foliage by Inkylicious and Lavinia Stamps, and glittered her wings. The gorgeous poppy ribbon was bought at the Stamp Magic show earlier this year, but unfortunately I can't remember the name of the company selling it.

Here's a close up of the fairy, gazing at the moon!

Our lovely sponsor for September is Crafty Devils, who have donated a very generous £35 voucher to be spent on their website, and I can promise you that the lucky winner will be spoilt for choice!


As always, do have a look at the stunning projects my brilliant teamies have made to inspire you. Thanks for looking, and I will be looking forward to seeing lots of beautiful Things With Wings fluttering by to join our challenge.


Sunday, 10 August 2014

"The Shire"

Proud Grandma alert!! My young grandson, Andrew, aged 5, saw the picture I made with my tree stamp and Brusho paints (see here) and he wanted to make one.



First he punched a circle from a post-it note to make a mask for the moon. Next  he made the Brusho background by dipping a paintbrush into the powders and tapping it over the paper where he wanted the colour. Then he sprayed water over the picture until the colours had merged to his satisfaction. He did all of that with instruction but no physical help.

Having finished his background, he compared it with mine and decided that my picture was too plain, as it only has the tree and a bird. We looked through my stamps, and he found the Hobbit Door (Lavinia Stamps) and said that he wanted his to be a picture of The Shire (from Lord of the Rings. He's a big LOTR fan!) He chose some other stamps to go with the Hobbit Door (from Lavinia, Inkylicious & Hobby Art) and decided where they all should go. I helped him to hold the stamps as he was stamping them, just to make sure that he didn't smudge the images, because it would have been a shame to spoil his lovely background, but everything else was entirely his own work. He finished by colouring the door surround and the tree with coloured pencils.

We both decided that his artwork was far superior to mine!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Anything Goes at Stamping Sensations!

Summer certainly arrived last month at Stamping Sensations  and it was an absolute treat looking through all the beautiful entries full of gorgeous summer blooms! But now to this month, and we have an open theme for our August Challenge. It's

*****  ANYTHING GOES  *****

You can enter any project on a theme of your choice. The only stipulations is that as we are a stamping challenge it must contain some rubber (or polymer!) stamping done by hand. Any project which uses only digital "stamps" (which are of course not stamps but clipart) will unfortunately not be eligible for the prize. And it would be such a shame for you to miss out on the prize opportunity, because this month it's a stunner!

Our wonderful sponsors are Tonic Studios, and just look what they are offering the lucky winner! Absolutely gorgeous and newly released!



For my card I've gone with a Scottish theme. I took my inspiration from the thistles which have now replaced the spring bluebells on the bank across the road from my craftroom window, and also from this month's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
 
 
I'm still loving my Brusho paints, and have used them to make the background. I'm also trying to challenge myself to go outside my comfort zone a bit with my colour choices. Not too sure about this one but I *think* it works ok.....! I'd got in my head that the official Games tartan had orange in it, but when I checked later it's more pink! Oh well, never mind! The thistle silhouette (Chocolate Baroque) was stamped on to the background and surrounded with the Tonic Studios Celtic Circle die (from which I cut out the middle with a Spellbinders circle die to make it into a frame). The border at the side was made with the Tonic Studios Celtic Border Strip punch. The final touch was the tag with the sentiment (Chocolate Baroque) which I thought was quite appropriate to the ethos of the Commonwealth Games as the "friendly games".  I sponged around the edges of the tag with pigment ink, trying to match the Brusho colours as closely as I could.
 
I love open themes, as there are always some lovely surprises among the entries! I look forward to seeing yours!
 

 

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Tree - the sequel!

The Brusho has been put to one side for a moment while I tell you about something far more exciting!

For the background to this story you need to read my earlier posts about The Tree, see here (scroll to end of post) and here.

The Tree is an old beech tree which stands alone on top of a nearby hill. I see it every day from my house. It is quite a landmark, and, tree lover that I am, it has fascinated me ever since we came to live here. I have taken hundreds of photos of it. I don't know how old it is, but it must be quite old. It has been there through all seasons and withstood all weathers, buzzards and crows dwell in its leafy heights, the sheep and cows enjoy its shade and shelter. What a story it would tell if it could speak!

This is the view I see of it from my garden, up on its hill in the distance.

I managed to make one of my photos into a digistamp, but being a stamper at heart, I really wanted it in rubber. Chatting about it with my good friend and fellow Tree lover Sally, it occurred to us that Deby, the lovely lady who owns our favourite stamp company Inkylicious, and who is surely a kindred spirit as there are none of her stamps that we don't like, might be interested in turning my digi into a stamp. So when we saw her at Stamp Magic last month we asked her, and she was!

This is the photo which became my digi.

You can imagine my excitement when I received the stamp this morning! Not only has Deby made the tree into a stamp (and you can see from the photo above how faithfully she has reproduced it), she has also included two buzzards and two sentiments to make up a brilliant set! I love it! Of course, I had to ink it up straight away, and here's the result!

For the first card I wanted to show the image of the tree alongside a photo of it in its setting, so have kept it quite simple, with just some stamped greenery around the edges of the card as a backdrop. (All stamps by Inkylicious, of course!) The background to the tree was lightly coloured using ink dusters and Memento ink.

Back to the Brusho for my second card! I masked a circle for a moon, sprinkled and sprayed the Brusho over, stamped the tree, extended the base to fit the frame with a black pen, stamped the buzzard, and matted it with a black border on to a 7" x 7" card base. I think I will frame this one.

This will be a great design for a man's card. All the men in my family will probably be getting a variation on this theme for their birthdays for the next year!

Well, I have lots more plans for The Tree, but wanted to share these with you just now. I have to say a huge thank you to Deby for my fabulous set. She's a star! And by the way, if anyone else likes it, I think Deby will be putting it on the Inkylicious website in the near future.

 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Brusho Meadow

On a roll with the Brusho now! This card took about 15 minutes to make!

Sprinkled various colours of Brusho on  to water colour paper, sprayed it with water & blotted it. Stamped over with Crafty Individuals stamps. Mounted it with a narrow black border on to a 6" x 6" blank card. Quick, easy and colourful!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

One layer at the Butterfly Challenge

Challenge No. 10 at the Butterfly Challenge is One Layer. I decided to see whether I could recreate the card in my previous post in a one layer format. It involved a lot of masking! My base was a 7" x 7" blank card.


To begin with, I outlined the main image area very lightly with pencil, so that I could see where to place the masks. I used a waterproof masking film. The first ones went around the outside of the area so that I could stamp and clear emboss the grasses inside. With the masks still in place, I then sprinkled on some Brusho (this time sandstone rather than black, for a change), lightly sprayed it with water and blotted off the excess. The butterfly was then stamped with Versafine ink. As before, all stamps are by Chocolate Baroque.

I removed the outside masks and then masked the main panel instead. Next I stamped the grasses at the edge of the card. By this stage it was looking okay but a bit untidy where a bit of the Brusho had leaked under the mask. The final step was to draw the black frame around the main image with a drawing pen, which covered the untidy edges and pulled everything together.

Looking at the two cards side by side, I don't think this one is quite as crisp looking as the original version and I think I prefer the effect of the black Brusho rather than the sandstone. Perhaps brown ink rather than black would have gone better with the sandstone. However, given the limitations of the one layer format I was quite pleased with it, and it was an interesting exercise to try.

Monday, 7 July 2014

More Brusho

Here's another card I made while playing with my Brusho paints (see also my earlier post here).


For this one I embossed the ferns first with Versamark ink and clear embossing powder on watercolour paper before sprinkling with the Brusho powder (I used black only) and lightly spraying with water. The embossing resisted the wet paint. I blotted it with a paper  towel to remove the excess ink. Next I stamped the butterfly, followed by the ferns again, this time with Versafine ink on the right hand side of the card blank. I had considered colouring the butterfly, as on my earlier card, but decided not to as I rather liked the graphic quality of the black and white, with just the hint of colour in the Brusho background. I matted the picture with a thin black border and stuck it to the card. All stamps are by Chocolate Baroque.

In this close up you can see the effect of the Brusho more clearly. It's great stuff to work with. Think I'll be playing with it again before long!



Sunday, 6 July 2014

Summer at last!

Just hoping the last two weeks aren't all we're going to get! For once, Scotland seems to have had better weather than the rest of the country but as we start our school holidays this week, I fear things will probably revert to form before long!

Anyway, it's a new month, and at Stamping Sensations we are brightening things up whatever the weather with a theme of

***** SUMMER BLOOMS *****

Garden glories or wildflowers or weeds, we don't care which, just show us flowers galore! But please do remember, as we are a stamping challenge there must be some hand rubber stamping on your project. Entries containing only digital images will not be considered for the prize or top 3.
 
Making a return visit as our sponsor for July is the wonderful Heartfelt Creations, who are generously offering a voucher to the value of $60 to spend in their online store.
 
 
They have asked us to point out that should the prize winner live outside the USA, a charge for postage, packing and shipping will apply.
 
For my card I've taken inspiration from the masses of beautiful wildflowers adorning our hedgerows just now.
 
The background was colour washed with diluted Distress Inks on water colour paper, then various flowers and a couple of butterflies were stamped over. Some of the flowers were coloured with Inktense watercolour pencils. Stamps used were from Lavinia Stamps, Chocolate Baroque and Crafty Individuals. The sentiment is by Inkylicious.
 
Flowers are, of course, one of my favourite topics for cards, so I am really looking forward to seeing lots of lovely entries full of summer blooms! My fabulous teamies have definitely excelled themselves this month with their gorgeous creations, so don't forget to check them out on the Challenge Blog if you are in need of inspiration. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Just playing

Woo hoo, it's the school holidays! No work to prepare, nowhere I needed to go, nothing I needed to do for the time being, so I decided it was time for a play!

Recently on Pinterest I've been admiring various artworks (some of which I've pinned on my Bister and Brusho Art board) using something called Bister, or Bistre. Having never heard of it before, I had to investigate! It seems to be popular in The Netherlands, and there are some great examples using it on the Stampinback Blog. I really fancied having a go at something similar, but I don't have any Bister. Then I remembered that, quite some time ago, I bought some Brusho powder paints, although I didn't do much with them at the time. As far as I can tell, Brusho and Bister appear pretty much to be the same kind of product. I'm not quite sure whether to call the Brusho paints or inks, as they behave similarly to both.

Right, I thought, I'll have a go with the Brusho and see whether I can get similar results. The trouble was, I couldn't find them! I knew they must be somewhere in my craft room. So I spent a whole day and a half (yes really!) going through all my stuff with a fine tooth comb, so determined was I to find them. I even looked in cupboards in other rooms in the house, just in case for some strange reason they had migrated elsewhere. By last night they still hadn't turned up, but at least I now have a very tidy craft room!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I eventually realised there was one box I hadn't looked in, one I keep under my desk. It used to house a mixture of bits and pieces, a microcosm of my stash, if you like, that I could just pick up and take with me if I was going away anywhere. Since we moved up here there are very few occasions now when that would happen, so during my last reorganisation I had put all the bits and pieces away with their fellow bits and pieces and the box underwent a change of use. And, of course, that's where I finally found the Brusho!

It's brilliant stuff. So many different ways it can be used. I won't go into them all just now, but there's lots of info here. For my first card, I sprinkled some Brusho (sparingly - it's very concentrated) over watercolour paper and lightly sprayed it with water. The powder magically turned into paint and spread out over the paper.


I overstamped  it with stamps from Art Journey, Stampinback, Lindsay Mason and Hobby Art and filled in the gap at the side with a Memory Box diecut. I used a white gel pen to add highlights to the flowers.

For the second card my method was similar, except that I used plain smooth card instead of watercolour paper and coloured just part of the card with Brusho. The interesting thing here is that I only used black Brusho. When you mix it with water to use as a paint  it comes out black, but as a powder it's a composite of different colours which separate out when you spray it or drop it on to wet paper. The butterfly and grasses are by Inkylicious. I mixed a little turquoise Brusho with water to use as a paint to colour the butterfly.

The third card uses watercolour paper again, but this time I dampened the paper first before sprinkling the Brusho on to it. I stamped the flowers and butterflies (Lavinia Stamps) and painted the flowers as above. Sentiment is by Indigo Blu. Flower border punch by X-Cut.


The fun of the sprinkled backgrounds is seeing how they turn out. No two will be the same. I guess it may be possible with practice to control it a little more, but I'm not sure I'd want to. I like the randomness of it.

I've barely yet scratched the surface of what can be done with Brusho, and I'm sure I'll be doing some more experimenting, so thanks for looking, and watch this space!

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