Sunday 31 January 2016

Crafty Countdown - 17 days to go folks

By jove.  17 days!!

I'm going to have to be a bit of a skiver tonight, I'm sorry.  I'm full of a cold, and although I've been busy doing secret crafting all day, my mind is now utterly blank!!  I'll do two postings tomorrow instead.  I was going to do the shaving foam technique - but I haven't got any shaving foam - so that was an instant fail.

Instead, lets have a little chat, and reminisce.

For starters, someone asked me about my idea's for the challenges, and did they just pop in my head.  Sometimes, but like everyone, it's good to use the good old internet for inspiration.  For example, the egg shell challenge, I found the mosaic idea on pinterest, and had a go.  Once you learn a new technique, you can then experiment and change it.  This is what I love about the challenges - they take me out of my comfort zone.  And I do love experimenting.

If I'd have planned today's skive, I would have asked people to send questions in, a little bit of a craft clinic, meets truth or dare :)

However, I didn't plan, so I'm going to share some photo's and stories:

2013 haha, our very own Nigel May, and myself.  This was our first visit to the CHA, and my first visit to an IHop.  I LOVED it - the trip more than the Ihop.  If I remember correctly it was the first time C&C broadcast live from the CHA, so it was a big deal, and I was so honored to be part of the team.  I think I was lucky as well, as we didn't broadcast quite as many shows as they do now, so our days weren't quite as grueling. Obviously, for a crafter, the CHA is such an incredible show - there's so much to take in.  The first time I went was with Dawn, many years ago, and we had such a good laugh.  We went to Disney as well - I decided I wanted to stay there and be Piglet (from Winnie the Pooh).

The team.  Nigel is the best person at being able to bring everyone together, and we did bond with the American team.  Look at our Mr Bloodworth :) When I first started C&C John was brilliant.  I had only guested at QVC, and presenting is such a different beast.  John really helped me, and gave me the confidence I needed to do the job.  A good producer will be able to read their presenter - and understand when they need feeding information, if they need help to bring energy to a show - or alternatively when they need reigning in :) John is such an amazing crafter, therefore you trust his editorial, and he was always ready to help me if he could tell I was struggling.

The Neon Boneyard.  Aaaargh, this is so cool.  Myself and Nigel went off to Vegas after the CHA, and had such a good time.  The Neon Boneyard is where the old Neon signs go to die!  Sounds harsh doesn't it.  It's such a spooky place.  The photo's would make incredible scrapbook papers.  I loved hearing about the signs and the history of Vegas.  It was really interesting.  And they did use some incredible fonts :)

One more, otherwise I know I'll be here all night, and this is so self indulgent isn't it! I love going through old photo's.  I had to share one of my nephew, Charlie, brand new!  I was so happy Marianne asked me to be there for his birth.  It was a massive deal for me, to be there for my sister, to see Charlie, and to face a birth, after my own very traumatic experience.  It was very healing to be honest, as it allowed me to re-write the traumatic memories and emotions, with a very, very positive outcome.  And I felt that utter overwhelming love which you feel for a brand new baby. 

Right, I'm going to have another lemsip and trot off to bed I think. I promise tomorrow will be business as usual. 

Saturday 30 January 2016

Crafty countdown is down to 18 days!!

18 days.  For goodness sake!!

Okay, I fancied a bit of stamping today.  So, I found a scrap of watercolour card stock, this is the base

I wanted to create my own background, so decided to use some nice big stamps

Ink the stamp, but you are only touching part of the stamp to the card.  You will have seen the lovely Julia Watts do this technique on TV I'm sure (check out her blog if you haven't already:

Build up the background with different stamps, filling in the gaps.  I used distress inks.

Now, it looks quite intense doesn't it.

So, spritz it with water.  Now it just looks scary.  Don't panic.  It's a piece of card, there's always more card!  

Cover the whole piece with a piece of kitchen paper to soak up the water and excess ink

This will result in a really pretty subtle background.  See how the images now seem to blend together?

Next I stamped and embossed a stunning Stampendous flower.  This is a massive stamp, so really makes a fantastic focal point.

I coloured the flower with the same distress inks used for the background. This will ensure your colour palette matches perfectly.  I layered the colours, using 2 blue tones, and a red/pink

To create shadow, I worked round the flower image with a pencil.  Choose a nice soft pencil which you will be able to blend.  This really does give your image additional definition.

To create a few highlights, I added just a little white paint.  The paint does soak up some of the ink, but it still looks good

Although there is a shine with the distress ink, I wanted to add another sheen.  I took a little Pebeo gilding wax and literally swept it across my card.  I didn't put pressure on, as I only wanted it to touch the top fibres of the card.  You can just see the shine of gold in the light.  Very subtle

As you can see, I stamped my sentiment under the flower

I matted the piece onto black and white card. Complete.

Friday 29 January 2016

19 days to go - and the challenge is complete!

We're in the teens.

I did my random number generator to find the challenge, and it came up with 24 (I have taken into account the emails I received as well.  The winner of the challenge this week is Myra.  Thank you for the challenge, Myra, this is what she has asked me to use this time:

"Hello Leonie, 
I like that machine too! 
My three things are washi tape, domino and charms! Xxx"

Off I trotted to look for the goodies.  I don't have any dominoes (pizza!!) but I did manage to find something very similar.  They are called Style Stones, and were released years ago.  I'm not sure if they are still produced, but Stampboard will work in the same way.  I decided to use 3, which is just a bit bigger than a domino

Before I started I just wanted to see how they would look if I scratched the ink back.  So I added alcohol ink, allowed it to dry (you can give it a blast with the heat gun to speed up the drying process

When you scratch the ink back the image pops out.  I just used a pokey tool

Next I used a couple of pretty stamps from Clarity, which I stamped and embossed with white embossing powder.  I kept all the plates together so the stamped images go over the whole tile collection.

And then I decided to play with inks.  First I tried the versamagic pads.  I do own so many ink pads, so it's nice to have a play and just see what they do on different surfaces

I dabbed the ink on, building up the colours

I blasted it dry, and then made my first boo boo :)  This is stupid - don't use a cotton wool ball to remove the ink from the embossed image when you've just used a heat gun.  I could have worked out that the heat gun melts the embossing powder again, so therefore it will be tacky.  Cotton wool ball = hairy!!  It's okay, I picked off the fluff.  And then used tissue to wipe away the excess ink

I then decided to have a play with these vibrant Vivid ink pads.  I gently applied these, just dabbing a little colour on my tile

Again you can blast the ink dry.  I then scratched the surface to create texture

I decided to use the washi tape to add the word "Free".  I picked part of the washi tape that wasn't to heavily printed, and stamped on top 

I tore the tape at the top and bottom of my stamped word, as I like the frayed effect

I tested it against my tile to see if I would be able to read it, then popped it to one side

Now, lets really play with scratching.  I worked in the spaces left by the embossing powder.  I love that you don't need to be precise or perfect with this, and it still looks cool.

Myra wanted me to use charms, so I dug out the other earring.  I love these little charms!

I did add a little more ink.  The edges have been inked with alcohol inks, as it's so quick, and I couldn't resist adding a touch round the edges.  I also added washi tape to the side of the top and bottom tile.  I popped my Free in place, and did go over it with my drawing pen.  

I strung them together using wire, with pretty beads in between each tile.  I doubled the wire over to make it stronger

When I reached the end, I created lots of twirls

Finally, I added my charms.  Really chuft with this little wall hanging.  I will add glossy accents to it - but decided to photograph it before otherwise I would have to wait ages for the GA to dry

I took photo's on the white card as well, as it does look different on there.