Sunday, 17 May 2015

Creations from the Garden ...

Summer is slowly but surely on its way and with it comes a burst of colour in the garden.

Have you ever used some of your favourite flowers on your projects instead of rubber/clear stamps?  You can create lovely little notelets, cards, gift tags or writing paper etc.

For best results flowers with a good outline/definition work best.  Lavender (used in the project above) works very well and is plentiful in the garden during the Summer.

Start by giving your flower a good press down on a table top with your hand to flatten it.  This will help to spread the petals out and create more of a flat stamping surface.  

Look at the flower from the angle that you will use for stamping e.g. lavender from the side, gerbera - top down.  If you need to remove a couple of the petals to create more open space and a better result then this is fine.

Use a good strong pigment ink (so that it dries slower) and start to press the flower head into the ink pad.  Once you have inked the flower stamp it onto some scrap card to see how the impression looks when stamped.  You can go back and remove a few more petals to create a better stamped image if you want to.

I tend to stamp the image by using my finger to press the flower onto the page.  If you have a particularly thin flower (like the lavender stem) you can use an acrylic block to press the flower so that you can keep your fingers out of the way).

You will be able to use the flower as a stamp several times before it will become too 'soggy' and damaged to use.  This is one advantage of using a pigment ink pad to ink your flower as it will have a sponge pad (rather than felt) and will be flooded with ink so you will not have to press as hard on the flower when inking, thus minimizing the damage to the flower.  

You may find that you get a better effect when you ink the flower, stamp onto scrap card and then stamp again without re-inking.  This can give a slightly drier effect which can show more detail of the flower (this technique works very well with gerberas).

It is just a case of trial and error, finding the best flowers, inks and number of stampings that you can get out of each inking that works for you.  Each stamped image will be completely unique!

The girls and I can have a lovely afternoon stamping as many flowers as we can onto scrap pieces of card which we can then use to create all sorts of projects at a later date.  It really is a lovely way to use flowers that have been blown over in the garden or buds that have broken off those flowers from the supermarket on the journey home.

Have a go, it is simple, cheap and a great way to keep the children happy!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Weekend Walk ...

I hope that the weather is being kind to you today.  It is beautiful here, the birds are singing and the sun is shining.  

We are getting busy with end of term bits and pieces at school now (the girls will be breaking up for Summer at the start of July) so I have been busy arranging 'school stuff' which has not left much time to create!

As a result I am afraid that I do not have a project to share with you today so instead here are a few pictures of a recent walk around the headland at Noss Mayo, South Devon (not far from Plymouth).

The walk is definitely in our top ten walks in Devon and is around 5 miles long.  A moderate amount of exertion is required to walk up the hill to the headland but it is not that bad, you can push a pushchair, I know I have done it many times.  Walking the route anti clockwise is certainly easier than clockwise as there is quite a steep slope on part of the route and it is easier to walk down than up! 

The nice thing is that you start and end with the Pub and get to see some wonderful views during the walk.

 We start in the village (at the pub) and follow the path along side the river. 

You get a different view depending on the season and whether the tide is in or not!

It really is a boat and coastal river lovers paradise!

The path takes you along the river and through a nature reserve until you eventually reach the headland.

The walk is perfect for the dogs as for most of the walk they do not have to go on a lead.  Sometimes we do come across cows with their young on the path and we do put the dogs on a lead then but otherwise they and come and go as they please!

We follow the path for a couple of miles along the headland and eventually we start to come away fro the sea, down a country path and back towards the village...

... and to the pub for coffee or lunch!

The walk itself takes about 1.5 hours (if you are not rushing and stop to take in the views).  You could easily spend an afternoon afterwards sitting outside the pub watching the tide come and go!

If you are interested and would like to know more about the walk you can find the full route and directions in this months Devon Life Magazine.