Monday, 6 July 2020

Creating Backgrounds

Hello everyone, I hope that you are all keeping well. Even in times like these, I hope that you have been able to find some enjoyment in your crafting, in whatever form that has taken. A lot of you have been saying that your mojo has taken a walk, but hopefully the inspiration on the Chocolate Baroque Design Team blog, on the Facebook Group, and Lesley's daily Facebook live posts are continuing to provide you with lots of ideas.

I have created a card for you using the lovely Katya, and stamps from the Timeless stamp set. I used a piece of Drawing Cartridge from my stash that had been washed with a tea bag dipped in warm water. This gives the card a lovely aged feel, perfect for the look I wanted. It's a very quick way of colouring a background.

I stamped Katya using dark brown Archival ink, and covered the image with masking tissue before adding the large image from the Timeless stamp set a couple of times. I then added lots of the smaller images using second generation stamping to fill the rest of the space, and overstamping the other image as well. I used sepia tones, keeping in with the general colour palette.

I removed the mask, and coloured Katya with Koh-I-Noor Polycolour pencils, these blend really well, and add a pop of colour to the main image. I felt that the main decorative piece on Katya's headdress reminded me of a cog, and so she fitted so well with the 'Timeless' theme, a lady from a bygone era.

To create my second card, I added pink and green Distress Inks to a piece of Drawing Cartridge with some water, and then stamped the little butterflies from Baroque Meadow across the background using toning colours of Versafine Clair inks. I used a whiteboard postcard, and stamped a sentiment from Words of Gratitude across the background using grey Archival Ink. I added some shading around the edge of the postcard using Distress Ink and stamped the Tangled Birch over the top using black ink, which I coloured with pencils as before.

My final card, which I shared at the time of the TV shows was a really quick card, a simple Brusho background with the same wording added. I then stamped the images from Baroque Meadow in black ink, and added a piece of black ribbon, before mounting the project onto black card.

These lovely stamps are so versatile, always a pleasure to create with. I will be back later in the month with more ideas to share with you.

Take care and stay safe,

Judith xx

Friday, 26 June 2020

Patchwork Sunset

Hello everyone, I hope that you are enjoying this warm weather! I thought that I would share a brightly coloured project with you today, showcasing some of the stamps from last month's TV shows on Hochanda. These colours probably reflect the tropical temperatures right now!

I started my project with a background created using Yellow and pink Distress Inks and water. I stamped some images from Patchwork Landscape using Versafine Clair ink. I added some lines using a fine liner pen to complete the scenery, and coloured the images with Koh-I-Noor Polycolour pencils. I stuck to a limited colour palette, and coloured the grass, adding shading using the same colours that I had used in the foliage and flowers, (pinks and blues). This stamp set is really great for scene building, and is so useful for lots of different purposes. You could vary the colours and create quite masculine cards by using grey, terracota and ochre, for example. Stamp and emboss in white on kraft card for a completely different look, there are so many possibilities.

Take care, and thanks for stopping by, xx

Monday, 8 June 2020

Tree of Hope

Hello everyone, I hope that you are all keeping well during these uprecedented times. Life is still very uncertain for lots of us, and for this blog post, I wanted to create a card with a message of optimism.

I started my project with a piece of kraft card, and stamped a large image from Trees a Crowd, using brown Archival ink. I added a little image from Sticks and Stones as foliage, using first and second generation stamping. I coloured the image using Koh-I-Noor watercolour pencils, and ran a waterbrush only over the first generation stamped images, as I wanted the colours in the other images to remain very soft. Adding water tends to brighten the colour somewhat. I added some colour under the tree to ground the image. A sentiment from Patchwork Landscape was perfect for this card.

To create a border, I ran the edge of an old credit card through the inkpad, and drew it along the card at various angles around the edge of the background. I added some shading with Rusty Hinge Distress Ink.

Thanks for stopping by, and take care, xx

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Happy Flowers

Hello everyone, I have made a quick little card to share with you today. My intention when making this card was to spread a bit of cheer during the lockdown period. I know that I have days when I feel down, and I am sure that it hits everyone else in the same way. If you are reading my post, and you are feeling low, then I hope that you can feel brighter by my wish for happiness for you. Try to look after yourself, and take time out to do something for yourself if you can.

I have taken a piece of Textured Art card, which I coloured with Distress Inks and water. I then stamped the large Fritillary stamp from Happy Flower's Day three times, masking the first image before I stamped the image twice again. I coloured the image with Koh-I-Noor watercolour pencils, and added some water with a brush. I used lots of different colours on the flower, to create a blended final colour, which is a bit more natural than colouring with just one colour. I added some grey for shadows around the stalks and underneath the flowers.

A sentiment from the same stamp set completes the card.

Take care, stay safe, and thanks for stopping by, xx

Sunday, 10 May 2020

A Bit of Crocheting Goodness

Hello everyone, something a bit different for you today. I posted a few pictures on Facebook last week of a project that I created for my little Granddaughter, that I have been making during this period of lockdown. I cannot spend time with her, and wanted to give her a gift to let her know that I love her very much. She is eight months old now, and although she won't realise that I am missing her, it means a lot to me to give her something that she can keep from her 'Nana'.

I chose to crochet this beautiful Rainbow Unicorn design from FlyvFlyv as soon as I saw the design I was literally hooked! I loved everything about it, the colours, the size, the look of the embroidered eyes, it is just beautiful. My daughter had asked for a rattle unicorn, so I added rattles inside each of its feet, for an added extra.

I had not realised what an epic project this was going to be, and set out to crochet the unicorn. The main pieces worked up quickly enough, but the mane and tail pieces took ages! The construction was quite a feat, stuffing everything and sewing it all together, as it is such a large toy. I have never made anything like it before, but I was determined to finish it for little Ruby. The crochet flowers look lovely amongst the mane, and I added them almost as a headband at the front, which works really well.

The colours I have chosen are a little bit brighter than the designer's, because I wanted to stimulate Ruby and draw her interest, I stuck to the rainbow palette, and the colours look amazing as you can see from this rear view:

The unicorn has such a happy look with the embroidered eyes, they are really safe for Ruby at her age, and are a lovely feature.

Ruby seemed to really like her new friend, and you can appreciate how big the unicorn is against its new owner:

Ruby will hopefully have hours of fun playing with Rainbow as she grows up, and if it gets a bit floppy, then I will have done a good job.

I have moved on to another crochet project now. I am finding that in these times of uncertainty, crochet is giving me a degree of calm and the mindful nature of the craft is allowing me to process my thoughts. Several years ago I completed the Lily Pond CAL by Jane Crowfoot, a beautiful blanket, and actually learned to crochet along the way. Jane has designed another CAL called the Fruit Garden CAL. I love this project with its Arts and Craft Movement design, and am looking forward to working on the segments over the Summer. I have almost finished the first set of squares and here is a progress photo of how I am getting along:

The yarn is absolutely gorgeous, a new bamboo cotton from Stylecraft, probably the nicest yarn I have ever worked with, it is so soft. This flower has been designed to represent a forget me not, although it is not blue in this instance. If you are interested in finding out more about the CAL, you can go to the Stylecraft website and here is the link you will need:

I hope that you are all keeping safe and well during this time, keep crafting, and look after each other.

Thanks for stopping by xx

Friday, 1 May 2020

Butterfly Mind

Hello everyone, our unusual lockdown life seems to be rather normal these days. Crowds and large gatherings almost feel out of place and it will be strange to go back to a life where we can meet up and see friends once again. Hopefully you have been able to catch Lesley's daily Butterfly Tree Facebook Live get togethers and have been getting lots of inspiration from her demos and tips. Maybe you have made new friends through these virtual gatherings, and do not feel so isolated being able to share in the chat and crafty experience. I have been 'meeting' some of my friends for online video chats, and at least we can still keep in touch with each other. I hope that you are all managing okay and finding ways of dealing with life as we know it right now.

I am sharing a couple of cards today featuring stamps used from last month's TV shows on Hochanda. I actually made these cards a little while ago, but never blogged them, so decided to show them to you this time around instead. The first card features the Bokeh technique on the background, and is a bright, zingy card, sure to brighten anyone's day. It would be great for any occasion, and you could add a sentiment to suit the situation.

I created a background using Brushos, and chose a palette of greens and blues, making sure that I covered the background really well. I dried the background, and then using a range of circle stencils, and white ink, starting with the largest stencil, I stencilled over the background. I added enough of the largest circle until I was happy, then moved onto the medium circle, overlapping some of the larger circles, then added the smaller circle, again overlapping some of the other circles.

The Bokeh technique is used to recreate a photographic effect which looks like an out of focus blur on a photograph. It is great for backgrounds, to then add something sharper in the foreground. I chose to add some of the butterflies from Butterfly Mind. I stamped them onto some card that I had coloured with orange Brushos for a really great contrast of colour, and cut them out. I omitted the stamens. I stamped the butterflies once more directly onto the background, and layered the cut out butterflies over the top. I added a sentiment from the same stamp set.

I did create an alternaitive colour option, using blue for the background, and yellow for the butterflies. A zingy pink background with green butterflies might look equally striking, why not try these out for yourself, and see what you think?

For my second card, I created a gelli print background using Distress Inks. I stamped the large film strip butterflies directly onto the gelli print and stamped the butterflies again onto a piece of coloured card, and decoupaged them onto the background. I added the splatter image around the edge of the background to complete the card.

Take care everyone and stay safe, thanks for stopping by, xx

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Book Making Using Recycled Materials

Hello everyone, I have a few more projects to share with you today showcasing the fabulous stamps that we brought to last month's TV shows on Hochanda. The collection of stamps had a little bit of something for everyone, and I enjoyed working with them so much. I am sure that you will love them too!

My first project is a handmade book, I love books, and used to buy so many of them. Nowadays, I like to make my own, from simple accordian books, to fabric covered books that I have stitched together and used more complicated bookbinding techniques. This project uses a corrugated cardboard envelope that I received from a mail order company, and I have simply taken advantage of the fold of the envelope to create the spine of the book. I folded twelve pieces of drawing cartridge in half, splitting them into three groups, and these became the signatures of my book. I popped the pieces inside each other, so that I had four pieces of drawing cartridge sitting neatly inside each other, in groups of three. I made three holes up the fold of each group of paper.

I cut the cardboard envelope to make a cover so that it was slightly larger than the drawing cartridge, and made three lots of three holes in the spine, which would enable me to sew each signature into the cover in a simple bookbinding method. There are lots of You Tube tutorials for this, just do a search online for 'simple bookbinding', and you will find lots of help. If I were to make another one of these books, I do think that I would put washi tape on the spine for added strengthening, but I am not intending to put this book through a lot of tough use, so it will probably be okay.

I used bookbinding thread to sew the signatures into the book, but you can used dental floss if you do not have any specialist supplies.

I used black card as a matting layer, this really sets off the zingy colours that I chose for my masterboard background. I used Distress Inks to blend across some drawing cartridge, and added tone on tone stamping using the bubble wrap effect stamp from Make Your Mark stamp set. I added the cracked stamp and circles in grey ink, and some of the word clusters to build up the background. To finish, I stamped the large circle using black ink onto a piece of scrap card, added the words once more, and matted it onto black card, to create a topper. I felt that these words were perfect for a journal, and especially in these uncertain times, they can remind us that life is not so bad after all.

You could create lots of these masterboard backgrounds and cut them up to make cards, bookmarks, book covers, all sorts of projects, it just goes to show that these mark making stamps can be the stars of the show and not just for backgrounds.

For my next project, I created a background of soft greens, and added leaves and a word cluster from the Glorious stamp set using a darker green ink. I stamped the Floral Study onto a smaller piece of card, and coloured the image using watercolour pencils. I edged both pieces of card with Seedless Preserves Distress Ink.

The background on this card contains a bit of everything! I coloured the drawing cartridge using Distress Ink, and added some stamping using the Large Crackle Background stamp. The circles,words and bubble wrap image are from the Glorious stamp set, and I have used the Chocolate Baroque Strip Stencil set. I have stamped and embossed the Poppy Ledger image onto kraft card using white embossing powder, and coloured it using Koh-I-Noor paints.

Finally, a super quick little masculine card using kraft card once more. I used the tape image from Make Your Mark and three different colours of ink; red, brown and white. I then stamped the sentiment onto one of the strips, which is something that Lesley had always envisaged with this strip image. You could change the colours, as some of the other Team members have done, and make really colourful versions of this type of design.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Glorious Flowers

Hello everyone, I have a few projects to share with you today showcasing the fabulous new stamps that we brought to last month's TV shows on Hochanda.

My first two cards use the same stamp as the focal point, but show what very different looks you can achieve with the same stamp. For my first card, I created a bold background, adding texture paste through a Chocolate Baroque Strip Stencil, and then stamped images from Make your Mark using coordinating colours, plus black ink for the circles. I chose to stamp the words in grey ink for a softer effect. The circles are just the right size to add these word collections, and I will be using this effect a lot for backgrounds, as I really like how it looks.

I took a smaller piece of card and stamped the seed pods and masked them with Masking Tissue. I then stamped the Square Bubbles and added colour as before. I took away the Masking Tissue and coloured the image with Polychromos pencils, and added some grey shading along the edge of the image with a pencil for dimension.

For my second card, I coloured a piece of book paper with Scattered Straw Distress Ink and stamped the seed pod again several times up one side, masking it each time to create  a cluster of pods. I added the small flower sprigs from the same Glorious stamp set, and coloured everything with Polychromos pencils. I edged the book paper with Seedless Preserves Distress Ink.

I stamped the single leaf and flower sprig randomly across a larger piece of kraft card, using green and purple Versafine Clair inks, and also stamped the sentiment onto a small piece of kraft card. These pieces of card were also edged with Seedless Preserves Distress Ink.

My final card uses the large fantasy flower from the Glorious stamp set. I stamped the image onto a piece of cotton fabric using Archival Ink. I coloured the image with Inktense pencils, and blended them with a waterbrush. I frayed the edges of the fabric and adhered it to a layer of dark card using strong double sided tape.

I created the background using a piece of drawing cartridge stained with tea, but you could use Distress Ink, or any other water based medium, it's up to you. I like the speed of running a wet tea bag over the drawing cartridge, and tend to colour several pieces in one go, as I make a jug of tea especially for this purpose. I then have lots of backgrounds ready for future projects.

I stamped a couple of images from Make Your Mark randomly over the background, giving the loose impression of cracked plaster, by sticking to a warm brown colour palette.

I will be back later in the month with more projects to share with you, thanks for stopping by,


Monday, 30 March 2020

Stamping on Surfaces

Hello everyone, I have a few more projects to share from last month's TV shows on Hochanda. This time, I have been looking at various surfaces and how the stamps could be used to decorate a project.

My first make is a card, using the Snowdrop Script stamp set, and I have chosen a simple colour scheme of pastel blue, reminiscent of the bluebells that I have chosen to stamp. I coloured a piece of drawing cartridge using Distress Ink, and then stamped the bluebells repeatedly, using blue ink in first and second generation stamping, to create a bluebell meadow. I coloured the images with Koh-I-Noor watercolour paints, using blue, green and purple.

I edged a whiteboard heart with blue ink, and again stamped a single bluebell image and painted it with the Koh-I-Noor paints. I added the word 'Bluebell' to finish.

I took another whiteboard heart and covered it with texture paste. I spritzed the large bird from Doodle Butterfly with water, and pressed it into the paste. I allowed the paste to dry completely, and them coloured the surface with beige coloured ink, adding a deeper colour into the bird image and around the edges with a dry brush. I also added some copper wax around the sides of the heart.

I used a piece of texture card for the background, and painted it using acrylic paint and tinting medium. I added a border from the same stamp set using Archival Ink.

For my final project, I stamped a collection of flowers, butterflies and dragonflies from both Doodle Butterfly and Doodle Birds onto circles cut from Designer Papers 8" x 8"- Chic Script, which I then coloured with pencils. I adhered these to Circular Acrylic Tags, which would make really pretty additions to cards, or lovely gift tags. These were fairly quick to make and colour beautifully.

I hope that you will try out some of the ideas that the Design Team have given you this month with these fabulous stamps. Thanks for stopping by, see you next month!


Friday, 13 March 2020

Stamping on Black Card

Hello everyone, I have a few projects to share with you today using the stamps that we brought to you on last month's TV shows on Hochanda. All of the projects share a common technique; stamping on black card with acrylic paint, which suits these doodle style stamps really well. I was shown this technique a long time ago by the very talented Lin Brown, and certainly do not try to pass it off as something I invented myself.

For my first project, I painted a piece of sticky backed canvas with some paint, watered down slightly, blending the colours where they met. I dried this layer, and stamped a flower from Doodle Butterfly over the top using white acrylic paint, for a subtle effect. Once dry, I stamped some of the words found on Snowdrop Script and Edgy Edges, using Archival Ink. I added some doodle stems using green Archival Ink.

To create the flowers, I added white paint to the stamps, then added the other colours over the top, before stamping onto black card. I chose a mixture of blue and green paint over the white. I fussy cut the images, leaving a slight border, and adhered them to the tag shape, which I matted onto black card as well. Some coloured ric rac completed the tag.

For my second project, I coloured a whiteboard tag with green and blue ink before stamping the image from Edgy Edges using Teal ink over the top. I created two butterflies as before, and stamped the sentiment onto a strip of left over card, which I then cut into pieces before adding to the tag. Blue and green ribbon complete the tag.

This card feels a little on the busy side! However, I wanted to show you what you could do with these stamps, and you could certainly leave some of the elements out, or incorporate them all!

I started by colouring the background with Distress Oxide Inks, and adding overstamping with a mesh design from Rustic Fragments. I used a darker version of each colour from the background for a tone on tone effect. I edged the background with the top of the flower head using black ink for a decorative border.

I created the flowers and dragonflies in the same way as before, using green, yellow and pink paint on top of white paint.

Thanks for stopping by, I will be back later in the month with more projects to share with you.


Thursday, 20 February 2020

Pastel Blueprints

Hello everyone, I have some more projects to share with you showcasing the fabulous new stamps that we aired on last month's TV shows on Hochanda. I have really enjoyed working with these beautiful stamps and have so many ideas that I still want to try out.

For my first project, I took a piece of kraft card, and embossed an image and sentiment from the Calla Lily Blueprint stamp set, using white embossing powder. I coloured the image using Koh-I-Noor paints. The white paint in the set is particularly effective on kraft for creating delicate effects on flowers.

For my second project, I coloured a piece of drawing cartridge with tea, and then stamped a small worker image from the Freesia Blueprint stamp set randomly over the background. I coloured the image with Koh-I-Noor watercolour pencils. I stamped the main image from the same stamp set onto a piece of fabric, (these detailed stamps still work perfectly even on a surface such as fabric), using Archival Ink. I then coloured the image with Inktense pencils.

For my next project, I coloured a canvas with acrylic paints. I blended the paints using a baby wipe to get a smooth effect. Once the paint was dry, I stamped an image from the Sweetpeas Blueprint stamp set onto a piece of tissue paper and coloured it with Polychromos pencils. I tore around the edge of the tissue paper, using a waterbrush to make tearing the tissue paper easier. I then stuck the paper to the canvas background using matte medium. I stamped a sentiment onto a piece of scrap card which I edged with black ink, and stuck that to the background to finish.

As we become ever more conscious of the effect of our actions on the environment, I did not simply want to throw the baby wipes away. I dried them off, and look how cool they are!

They would make fabulous backgrounds in their own right, you could tear them into strips and layer them with other papers, lace and ephemera to make layered backgrounds, or simply stamp onto strips to make a decorative type of washi tape. I chose to use some for a mini card as follows....

I stamped a sentiment from one of the stamp sets and a flower from the Wild Cornflower Blueprint stamp set onto one of my baby wipes and cut them out. I adhered them to a coordinating piece of drawing cartridge using matte medium and added a layer of black card to mat the background.

  Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Blueprint Florals

Hello everyone, I have some projects to share with you today using the fabulous stamps and stencils that we brought to you during last month's TV shows on Hochanda.

My first card was created using the beautiful Freesia Blueprint stamp set. I used the Dotty stencil from the Strip Stencil - Collection 1 set and added some texture paste to a piece of drawing cartridge. I coloured the background using Distress Oxide Ink once the texture paste was completely dry. I added some background stamping using one of the smaller images from the stamp plate.

I stamped the main freesia image onto another piece of drawing cartridge, and coloured the image with Koh-I-Noor watercolour pencils. I stamped a sentiment onto a small piece of card, coloured in the same colours as the main background, and edged all of the pieces with brown ink.

To create my second card, I took a piece of glossy card, and embossed a couple of images from the Wild Cornflower Blueprint stamp set using white embossing powder. I then covered the background with blue Distress Ink and polished the card. I stamped the main image from the stamp set onto a piece of smooth stamping paper using blue ink, and coloured the image using pencils as before. I added a sentiment, and some shading with blue ink, before edging the paper with dark blue ink.

Using a piece of drawing cartridge, I added some yellow Distress Ink to create a wrinkle free distress background, and then drew lots of postage stamp shapes using one of the inserts from Triple Postage, another one of the Strip Stencil - Collection 1 set. I stamped the smaller images from all of the stamp sets into the postage stamp shapes, and coloured them with pencils, adding a sentiment into one of the shapes. For extra definition, you could add shading around the shapes to give a 3D effect, making the postage stamps look as if they had been stuck onto the background.

My final card was created by adding one of the beautiful Designer Papers A5- Background Splash, designed by Lesley, onto a card blank. I stamped one of the engineer's drawings from the Sweetpeas Blueprint stamp set three times across a piece of drawing cartridge. I varied the height of each image. I added some foliage in between the images and coloured everything in with pencils. I stamped the small sweetpea flower head onto a scrap piece of the patterned paper three times, and cut them out. I stuck each flower head into the top of a 'bulb'. This piece of apparatus is actually a flagpole, but I thought that it resembled a quirky specimen jar and made a perfect home for the flower heads.

I edged the card with black ink before attaching it to the coloured bakground.

I hope that you have enjoyed my first batch of cards this month. I will be back later on with more inspiration to share with you. Thanks for stopping by, xx

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