Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A Crafty Family ...

A couple of weeks ago we went to one of my favourite places, Morwellham Quay.  

If you who have ever watched Edwardian Farm on BBC2 you may know that this is where the series was filmed.   The Quay lies on the River Tamar and whilst it is now part of a World Heritage site it was once a working Port, village and Copper Mine which were all very important to the economy of the South West and particularly the Tamar Valley.  

On the day that we went there were lots of craft stalls all demonstrating traditional crafts and offering their wares for sale.  One particular stall was offering workshops for children making things from natural materials and a glue gun.  There were lots of children making animals and fairy gardens/houses etc.  My youngest, Amy could not wait to get stuck in and this is what she created all by herself.  

 Meet Rosie, her new pet dog!  

Rosie is made completely from small branches/twigs (pre cut by an adult), bits of moss, small dried flowers and any other little bits that you would find when out on a walk in the woods.  She does have a little leather collar and her eyes are actually dried beans (very clever!)

Amy had a lovely time making Rosie and the lady who was running the workshops asked if she could take a photograph for her Facebook page so as you can imagine Amy was very pleased with herself.

 I was so impressed with the final result that Amy and I have decided that we are going to make more of these this Christmas and turn them into reindeer to hang on the Christmas Tree!


On to today's project using the Oh Happy Day and the Petals & Stems stamp sets from Avery Elle.

This card uses the flowers from both sets of stamps to create a beautiful bouquet of flowers perfect in size for a C6 card.

I started by positioning the flowers into a 'bunch' on a large acrylic block (if you do not have a block large enough then you can of course use a smaller block and stamp several times).

I used the same colours as in the previous project to ink the flowers as I think that this stamp set works so well with bright, Spring/Summer colours  (If you would like to see the colours used again see the list at the bottom of this post).  I mixed some of the colours on the flowers by stamping a darker colour over a lighter one for no other reason than I think that it looks pretty!

Once the stamps had been inked with the fluid chalk ink I stamped this onto a C6 white card.  You will notice that I have 2 'scratches/stripes' on the large flower, this was actually where I was not paying attention and did not notice that I had imprinted the side of the ink pad case onto the stamp - it really does not matter though as this will be covered later so no need to stamp again!)

At the same time as stamping the image on the card I reinked the three larger flowers, stamped onto spare cardstock and cut out. They can then be put to one side for the moment.

To create the stems of the bouquet I scribbled at little green Distress Marker onto the side of the acrylic block and with a clean wet paintbrush picked up a little of the colour to paint some stems onto the flowers (you do not have to try and create a stem for each flower.  If you do the design may come very crowded and unbalanced - just a suggestion of stems is fine!)

The small leaf stamp from the set was then stamped around the bottom of the bouquet with the Olive Chalk ink pad several times.  I also stamped another leaf onto scrap card and trimmed out to sit over the sentiment (see further down the post).  Again the stamped leaf can be set aside for the moment. 

With foam pads I added the three cut out flowers to the card positioning them over their stamped images on the base card.  

I stamped a sentiment from the stamp set with Charcoal chalk ink, trimmed and positioned onto the card with foam pads.  This is where the leaf design that I stamped onto spare card earlier is used.  I placed a piece of foam pad towards the top of the leaf and positioned it so that it half sat over the sentiment and half off it (supported by the foam).

I wanted this card to sparkle and so added a little Diamond Glitter Glue to the flowers.

 On the final card I also added some 3mm Glitter Domes for a touch of even more sparkle.  As the card is so simple to look at I think that the glitter glue and glitter domes work well with the flat colour of the chalk...

...and here from this side shot you can hopefully see the 3D effect of the bouquet.

The stitched effect that you can see at the bottom of the sentiment and around the edge of the card was created with a pencil.

List of Fluid Chalk cats eyes used:

 Well this post has been a little longer than I planned today but I hope you have enjoyed reading about our crafty activities and we'll be back with more to share soon.

Hope the sun keeps shinning where ever you are!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Spring Flowers ...

We have been stocking Avery Elle Stamps & Dies for a while now and I am a huge fan.  Not only are the designs modern and fresh but the stamps also give a crisp finish when stamped and clean cut when the dies are used.

This week I have a couple of projects to share with you - all using the Petals & Stems stamp set and the Oh Happy Day stamp set below:

Today's project is this Spring Floral card which uses the sets as well as my favourite Fluid Chalk Cats eyes from Clearsnap.

To begin, take a square white card and with a pencil lightly draw a circle in the middle of the card (the circle will pretty much fill the card - see the picture a couple of images below). I used my pen pot as it was sat on my desk but you could use your roll of double sided tape or a saucer etc. This circle will become the guide and will keep your stamping on track when creating the circular wreath.

Take the largest flower from the Petals & Stems stamp set and ink with Rose Coral fluid chalk.  Then, before stamping take a Lipstick Red chalk pad and add a little red ink around the edge of the stamp using the sponge pad of the red ink pad as the applicator. 

{I had originally intended to create this card using my Distress markers but I found that when I stamped the design the image was not particularly crisp and bled into the card.  I find that whilst there are some jobs that dye based markers & inks are great for, I much prefer pigment inks and chalk based inks if I want a crisp detailed impression so created the whole card with the fluid chalk cats eyes}

The stamp is quiet a large stamp so I placed the image just three times at regular intervals around the circle/wreath.  

You can see from the picture above that in addition to stamping the flower directly onto the card I also stamped the image three times onto 'post it' paper, carefully cut the flowers out and then used these to cover up the flowers stamped onto the card (see below).

This will create a 'masked' effect so that we will then be able to stamp over and around the flowers whilst the flowers themselves will be protected.

Once the large flowers were masked, I took one of the smaller flowers from the stamp set and using the Lipstick red fluid chalk created clusters of flowers around the circle.  Continue to use the pencil circle as a guide and also remember to position the small flowers so that they point in different directions (this will make the overall effect look more realistic and natural).

 The medium leaf was used as the base for the foliage.  This was stamped with the Lime Pastel Fluid Chalk ink pad to create a light and fresh effect.

The wreath will look more natural if you stamp over and around your masked large flowers.  REMEMBER: we have not masked the small red flowers so do not stamp over these.

The smaller fern leaf was then stamped with the slightly darker Olive Pastel fluid chalk ink pad. Again stamping over and around the large flowers will make the large flowers 'pop out' when the masks are removed later and the foliage sits 'behind' the flower designs. 

From here you could add any extra little flowers or detail to the wreath.  I took little berries etc and stamped in both Creamy Brown and Yellow Citrus fluid chalk.

{TIP: these little berries etc are great for 'balancing' up your circle so if you have not quite followed the pencil drawn circle and your design looks a little off balanced you can easily add the tiny stamped berry details to even out the circle and make the design look balanced overall}

Once you have stamped enough foliage and little details to the design you can remove the 'post it' masks.  I tend to keep these and store them with my packet of stamps so that I will not have to stamp and cut out masks next time!  You will now be able to see that the foliage looks as if it sits behind the large flowers making the larger flowers 'pop out'.

At this stage also carefully erase the pencil circle (you will be able to remove the pencil line under your stamping if you have used the fluid chalks without any smudging etc - remember to make sure it is dry before you start to rub the line out!)

Using one of the stamps from the Oh Happy Day stamp set add the sentiment with a Charcoal fluid chalk ink pad.  I stamped the 'love you' three times diagonally as I have a particular occasion in mind for this card but all of the sentiments would look good with their beautiful cursive font.

Finally add a little bakers twine to the bottom of the card, tie a bow and hey presto a beautiful card suitable for many occasions.

Look out for more ideas using these stamp sets this week.

Happy crafting!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Where have I been?

The other day I started thinking that I really must get back to blogging and project making now that we are finally settled here in Devon.  I took a peek at the Blog and could not believe that I have not actually posted since October last year.  

How did that happen?  What have I been doing for the past six months?  Well not much other than exploring our new landscape.  

Most mornings after dropping the girls at school we take a walk with the dogs.  This is probably our closest beach (Bude) and has got to be one of the Dog's favourite beaches as the water is fairly shallow with lots of sand.  

We were there this morning and the boys had so much fun retrieving sticks from the sea ...

Archie (the black one) particularly likes to dig in the sand ...

Barney (the cream one) loves to roll in the sand and get as dirty as possible ...

Some of the beaches in South Devon have red sand so we end up with a pink dog for a while!

We all had lots of fun and fresh air this morning, then it was off to do a spot of shopping at Waitrose, get ourselves a much needed coffee and head off back to start work.

If you have ever wondered why we do not open the phone lines until 10am, well now you know, you will find us here or somewhere similar before 10am!