Monday, 19 March 2018

Moonlit Sky

Hello everyone,

I have a simple project to share with you today, using the Landscape Edges stamp set. I wanted to create a quick moonlit scene, and this treeline image was perfect for the effect that I wanted to achieve.

I started by placing a circle mask onto a piece of smooth cartridge card, and adding some dots of masking fluid across the area of sky. I placed a piece of torn paper along the lower part of the background to cover the portion of the card that was going to be the hills, and then started to add some colour for the sky. I chose a series of Distress Ink colours, graduating out from the moon, getting darker as I moved further out.

I added some green Distress Ink underneath the sky for the hills, and stamped the tree image over the top, using Versafine Clair Ink. I added some detail to the trees with a white pen to give the impression of moonlight falling on the trees. I rubbed the masking fluid away from the sky area, revealing the 'stars', and added a sentiment from the Amazing Mackintosh Words stamp set

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Colourful New Home

Hello everyone, over on the Chocolate Baroque blog today, we are sharing our regular Fifteen Minute blog post, a bumper post full of quick projects that are made in fifteen minutes or less. I have a project to show you that forms part of that larger blog post.

I demonstrated this card on last month's TV shows on Hochanda, and it really was a very quick card to make. I created a vibrant Distress Ink background, using Picked Raspberry, Salty Ocean and Squeezed Lemonade spritzing it with water.

To create the main section of the card, I used an offcut of cartridge paper, the piece that is left from a piece of A4 when I cut my backgrounds for 8" by 8" cards. I stamped the housesfrom the Townhouses and Village Life stamp sets, masking them as I went along, to create a street. I picked out one house to colour, and made a reverse mask so that I could colour only that house with the same inks that I had used for the background.

Once I had coloured the house, I used black card to mat my layers before attaching them to a large card blank. I added a sentiment from the Loving Sentiments stamp set.

This would make a very quick New Home card, or in a smaller version on a tag, could be used to announce a change of address. Do check out the rest of the projects made by my Design Team mates on the Chocolate Baroque blog.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Masking Up a Scene

Hello everyone, I have a project to share with you that was created for the February TV shows on Hochanda. I wanted to show how to create a scene using polyester sheets as a quick and simple mask or stencil.

I chose two stamps from the Sunburst Scenes stamp set, and placed one of them onto a piece of copy paper where I thought a hill might be in my design. I drew the hill with a pencil, and then using a piece of polyester over the top, drew the line again with a permanent pen. I cut through the polyester along the line and was left with the positive and negative part of the mask. I also planned a set of masks for smaller cards by drawing the shape of a smaller card on a piece of copy paper, and creating a hill in the same way.

Once I had the masks, I stamped the windmill and house onto a piece of smooth cartridge paper that had been trimmed to size, and covered them with an image stamped onto masking tissue. I used my 'hill' mask to draw the hill underneath the windmill, joining up with the line attached to the stamp design. I reversed the mask to add another hill behind the first hill, and then drew the final smaller hill in the foreground by hand. I used both masks to cover over the areas as I needed to, so that I could add colour for the sky and hills. To create a bit of depth in the hills, I added some deeper green once the initial colour had been placed all over the area.

I also created a stencil from polyester using circle dies so that I could add suns or moons in various sizes, and I used one of these to add a sun in the sky. I kept the blue inking quite blotchy, to give an impression of a cloudy sky.

The house and windmill were coloured with pencils once I had removed the masks. I added some birds from the Landscape Edges stamp set, and a sentiment from the Amazing Mackintosh Words stamp set.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Floral Canvas Projects

Hello everyone, I have a couple of projects to share featuring the beautiful individual flower stamps that we brought to you on the TV shows last month on Hochanda.

Both projects were demos from the show, but the first project was designed to be finished in two ways, depending on how the sales of the items on the shows were going. Little did Lesley and I know that everything would sell out like crazy on that first show!

I decided to separate the word clouds from the flower images on my stamps, making it easier for me to create a lot of my projects, and I just cut them apart very carefully with some sharp scissors. I then slot them back together whenever I want to, jigsaw fashion, to create something with the design as a whole. If you are worried about doing this yourselves, you can simply use masking tape to cover the areas that you do not want to use, ink your stamp, then peel the masking tape away before stamping each time.

I stamped the words over a piece of tissue paper, and glued this to a small canvas with matte medium. Once the canvas was dry, I added some watered down acrylic paint in green and orange tones. I stamped the Floral Delight image onto a whiteboard heart, masking it and adding some paint in the same colours as I had used on the canvas. I coloured the flower image with pencils, and added a single word to the heart to finish. This was the version that was seen on the show.

For the alternate version, I stamped the flower image onto a spare piece of card and coloured it with pencils as before. I stamped the word onto a die cut rectangle and added these to a canvas.

My second project was all about colour matching. I chose a pretty piece of patterned paper by Crafty Individuals, and stuck it to a postcard sized whiteboard piece. Looking at the paper, I could see that it was made up of mainly blue and lilac with hints of green and orange. I painted a larger piece of greyboard with lilac and blue acrylic paint to match the paper, adding hints of green and orange around the edges. I added some harlequin stencilling to match the patterned paper, before stamping the words from the main image across the background using first and second generation stamping. I used grey ink for a softer effect than black ink would have given.

I stamped the Wish Flower onto the postcard piece, and coloured it with woodless pencils, toning the colours to match the background paper.

I hope that you have enjoyed the projects that I have shared with you today, and will give them a try for yourselves. You could make a simpler version as a card, or take elements from my designs for your own projects. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Meditation Canvas

Hello everyone, something a bit different from me today. I have been interested in the artwork of Tamara Laporte for a long time, and have seen other people trying her online classes and enjoying following her tuition and particular style of drawing. I bought a fabulous book that she has published a little while back: Create Your Life Book, which incorporates several projects from the past few years of her Life Book classes. One of the projects caught my eye, as it incorporated a yoga figure meditating. Those of you that know me will know that I attend yoga classes regularly, and find them to be very helpful, both physically and mentally. My instructor is a lovely person, very caring and supportive. She is far more than a teacher, and has become a real friend since I have known her.

I wanted to make a canvas very much along the lines of the project in the book, it seemed very apt to give as a gift to my yoga instructor for her many kindnesses. I had not created anything in this style before, and so I followed the process fairly carefully. There were several times along the way that I wished I was using watercolour paper instead of a canvas, but I did stick to my guns, and it has worked out okay in the end. I hope that I will improve the moreof these that I create, but hopefully, it's not bad for a first attempt!

I started out by drawing the central figure, and adding some colour. Once I had got the basic colour added, I then stuck some scraps of paper to the background.

I added some blocks of colour over the background, and added more detail to the main image, including some chakra symbols.

I added deeper colour to the background.

At this point, I loved the background, but the instructions in the book were telling me to knock it back with some gesso, and I did as I was told!

I added some little doodles and phrases, along with gold dots across the background for a bit of sparkle. I will add a few close up shots for some of the detail:

I know that this project is by no means perfect; my pens hated the surface of the canvas. I would have much preferred the smooth surface of HOT pressed watercolour paper. I need to improve my drawing skills, but practice will help with that. I have really enjoyed this process, and it has been enormous fun. I have had the chance to dig out lots of my unused supplies for this projects, and it has been great to work with these beautiful colours on a gift for my lovely friend. She has now received the canvas, so I can share my post.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Have you got Fifteen Minutes?

Hello everyone, it's time for our monthly Fifteen Minute blog post over on the Chocolate Baroque Design Team blog.  The post endeavours to share quick and easy ideas for creating cards and projects that can be completed in fifteen minutes or less. These projects are great for new stampers who could be put off by more complicated projects that look too difficult for them to attempt. The projects may also be useful for people looking for batch card ideas for Christmas cards, wedding invitations, or craft fair stalls, etc. There is no limit to how many cards you can make with Chocolate Baroque stamps, so these ideas are perfect for multiple projects.

I have made three quick cards for you, showcasing the lovely new stamps and colouring pages that were featured on the January Hochanda TV shows. You might have caught a quick demo that I did with a couple of these cards on those very busy shows. If you blinked, you might have missed it though! For my first card, I created a gelli print background using a round gelli plate, I used Distress Inks in blue and green shades, brayering the colour onto the gelli plate. I pressed a piece of bubble wrap onto the plate before taking a print with a white card blank. I really like the pattern that the bubble wrap creates, and it tied in with the bird image, which has lots of hand drawn circles incorporated into the image. I then stamped the Bird of Joy, minus the word cloud onto the background. I added one of the words from the Floral Delight image, by masking everything else off before I inked the word, using low tack masking tape. I removed the tape, and then stamped the word. I have actually cut my words away from my images, because it makes it easier to use the words separately from the images, but by using the masking tape to cover the other areas up, you do not need to do this. I coloured the image and added some coordinating pearls to finish.

To create my second card,  I stamped the Medici Flower onto some pretty Crafty Individuals patterned paper, and coloured the image with the woodless pencils. I then matted the background onto black card:

For my last card, I created an acrylic block background, simply adding colour to an acrylic block with Distress inkpads, spritzing the block with water, and swiping it over the background. I added a piece of colouring page, trimmed from a completed page. I have lots of the page left over to create plenty more cards like this. I then simply added a sentiment to finish the card.

Once you have coloured several of your colouring pages, it is great to be able to turn them into other projects, Cutting them down into tags, cards or adding them to mixed media projects means that they will be appreciated, rather than stuck in a folder somewhere. You might remember the card and tag that I made using the earlier set of colouring pages that Sue designed. You can see them in this blog post.

The Design Team have created some lovely projects on the Design Team blog for this month's Fifteen Minute post, do check out  what they have been up to by visiting the blog. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Book of Flowers

Hello everyone, I have a project to share with you today showcasing all of the beautiful stamps featured in the Chocolate Baroque Anniversary TV shows in January on Hochanda. I hope you managed to catch the shows, they seemed to go in a flash, and Lesley and I were overwhelmed by your enthusiasm for all of the products that we brought to share with you!

My project is a concertina book, made with two pieces of whiteboard for the covers, which I have covered with some lovely patterned paper by Crafty Individuals. I stamped one of the images, minus the words onto the cover, and coloured it with the Koh I Noor woodless pencils that we also featured on the show. I chose to cut my stamps apart, separating the word clouds from the images, which made creating this project much easier. When I wanted to stamp the words and images together, I just placed them back together on the acrylic block, slotting them together like jigsaw pieces. You could just use masking tape to mask the words off, ink the images and peel the tape away before stamping if you wanted to as an alternative.

I created some pages for the book using smooth watercolour paper, but cartridge paper would work equally as well. Each page measures 10.5 cms x 14 cms, and I allowed an extra panel to join the sections together each time. Cut your strips of paper, score and fold them, and decorate as you like. I decorated the back of the pages using Distress Oxide Ink, and stamped the words from several of the images on top, creating a tone on tone effect.

On each page front, I stamped a different flower image, and coloured these with Distress Inks and a water brush, keeping to a common colour theme throughout.

As I assembled the book, I added some ribbon before adhering the pages to the covers, which allowed the book to be tied shut with a bow. This was such a fun project to make, and would be a lovely keepsake for someone special.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Underwater Inspiration

Hello everyone, I have a couple more watery creations for you, using the sea themed stamp sets that we have been showcasing all month at Chocolate Baroque.

My first card was created by making a background using Distress Oxide Inks in shades of blue, yellow, pink and green. I created lots of layers until I was happy with the result. I stamped the shells from the Seaside Dreams stamp set, and masked the image before adding the second image behind. I painted both images using the little Koh I Noor palette, and then added some Inktense pencil detail and white highlights. Finally, I stamped the sentiment onto three pieces of scrap card, and attached these to the background. I edged all of the card pieces with blue ink before constructing my project.

For my second card, I used a background from my stash that had been made by painting Turquoise and Sea Green Brushos over the background with lots of water to make a colour wash. Sea salt had been sprinkled over the top and left to dry, which had created small bubbles randomly over the background.

I added some stencilling using coordinating Distress Ink, and stamped the small seahorse using first and second generation stamping. I added some stamping along the bottom using stamps from the Mermaid Queen and Underwater stamp sets. The bubbles were created by dipping a pen lid into white acrylic paint, and pressing it onto the background. I added a white highlight to each bubble to represent the light reflecting on the bubbles. I painted the foliage using the Koh I Noor palette once again.

I stamped the large seahorse onto a scrap of card, another background left over from a previous project, and cut the image out, leaving a small border around the edge. I attached the image to the background, and added a sentiment from the Seaside Dreams stamp set. Finally, I edged the background with teal ink, before adhering it to a white card blank.

Don't forget that there is a callout for new members for our Guest Design Team. Do check out the post on the Shop Blog for details of how to apply. The deadline is 23rd February, so there is plenty of time to apply. We are a really friendly Team to work with, and you could get to see some of your designs on the TV!

Thanks for stopping by, I will be back with some floral inspiration for you next month. xx

Friday, 19 January 2018

Mermaid Queen

Hello everyone, I have a card to share today using the stamps featured on last month's TV shows on Hochanda. The images I have used were from the Mermaid Queen and Underwater stamp sets.

I had a pretty background lurking in my stash created using inks and mica powder with cling film onto a piece of plain card, which when dried created beautiful silvery patterns on the card. I felt that this would be a perfect backdrop for a watery scene. I wanted a feeling of looking through the water at the images, and so I stamped straight onto the background with Jet Black Archival Ink, and coloured the images using Derwent Procolour pencils. The mica on the background gives a floaty effect of water both in front of and behind the images.

Where there were gaps between the three individual images, I used a fine permanent marker pen to join the images up using small dots, as Sue has drawn on the images themselves. This way, it looks as if the three images all form part of one larger piece. I have also used common colours across the three sections to tie everything together. Creating a scene this way avoids the need to mask any images, and speeds up the process considerably.

Finally, I edged the background with Lucky Clover Distress Ink before attaching it to a large white card blank.

I hope that my card will inspire you to create something using these lovely stamps yourselves. I will be back later in the month with another nautical project. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Going Live!

Hello everyone, I have three projects to share with you today, which I took with me to last month's TV shows on Hochanda to use as demos on the shows. If you watched the shows, you will have seen two of these projects in action, but the third one did not make it to air, because the stamp featured sold out so fast. That's the nature of live TV!

For my first project, I created a watercolour background on a large piece of cartridge paper, and stamped a selection of stamps from the Underwater and Mermaid Queen over the top. I cut a postcard sized piece of cartridge paper, and stamped the seashells from Seaside Dreams, and masked the image. I added a watercolour wash over the background. I coloured the shells once I had removed the mask, using just three colours of Distress Ink, Salty Ocean, Fossilized Amber and Rusty Hinge, mixing the three colours to create a variety of different shades. I added a sentiment to the bakground.

I created a postcard back by drawing some lines using a fineliner pen, and adding images from the Mail Art stamp set. Once I had completed all of my elements, I assembled the card.

To create my second project, I used the same selection of stamps to decorate some brown paper using brown, orange and red tones of ink. I used the paper to make first some wrapping paper for a present, addng some red hessian and some string as a decorative feature. I stamped and embossed some shell images onto kraft card using gold embossing powder, and added some colour using Distress Ink, before cutting the images out, and attaching them to the parcel. The card was made in exactly the same way.

To create my final project, I made a watercolour wash for a piece of watercolour card using Turquoise and Sea Green Brushos, and sprinkled sea salt over the background while it was still wet. The salt draws some of the liquid away and creates beautiful patterns. Once the background was dry, I brushed the salt away, and stamped a seaweed image from the Underwater stamp set across the background, using first, second and third generation stamping. I also added a sentiment.

Finally, I stamped the Ammonite image onto cartridge paper using some of the left over diluted Brushos, which I picked up from my craft mat, directly onto the stamp. I used a water brush to draw some of the colour from the outline of the image. I cut the image out, and attached it to the card using 3D foam pads.

I will be back with more watery inspiration for you in a little while. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Sunday, 31 December 2017

New Year Wish

Hello everyone, I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas and are enjoying a bit of quiet time over the festive break. This year seems to have gone so fast, and has brought many changes, I even made my first tentative steps onto live TV! Whatever you have done and are looking forward to in the months ahead, I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year, and a healthy, creative 2018.

I have some cards to share with you today using stamps featured in last month's TV shows on Hochanda. I made a background using Brushos, spritzed with water. I wanted to create a Wintery sky, and so I chose Turquoise, Lilac and Grey for the background. I stamped a large butterfly from the Tangled Garden stamp set using Stazon Jet Black Ink onto a piece of sparkly acetate, and stuck this to a piece of coloured background that I had in my scrap box. By chance, this was a very similar colour to my Brusho background. I fussy cut the butterfly out, omitting the antennae.

I stamped and embossed the sentiment from the Words of Inspiration stamp set, and an image from the Seasonal Fragments stamp set onto the background using Versamark and silver embossing powder. I added a few sparkly gems randomly throughout the fragment images. Just before I stuck the butterfly to the background, I stamped the antennae onto the background, using black ink.

Here are a couple more of my show projects, a pretty gelli plate card using another image from the Tangled garden stamp set:

A necklace and tag using images from the Bold Blooms and Words of Inspiration stamp sets. I have used shrink plastic to create the necklace:

Finally, a card made using Soft Form Relief Paste to create the focal point, adding gilding wax over the top, to pick out the fabulous detail of the stamp:

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Bold Poinsettia

Hello everyone, as Christmas Day draws near, I hope that you are all nearly ready with your plans and preparations, whatever you are doing. I have a festive card to share with you today, using stamps featured on last month's TV shows on Hochanda.

I created an inky background using a mixture of Distress Inks in blue, green, red and purple, which I spritzed with water, and stamped a leafy spray from the Steampunk Christmas stamp set on the background, and added a sentiment from the Let's Get Festive stamp set. I used a combination of green and purple Versafine Ink to stamp these images.

I stamped and embossed some leaves and a flower centre from the Bold Blooms stamp set onto cartridge paper, using gold embossing paper. I coloured the images with Dr. P. H. Martin's Bombay Ink and a water brush, before fussy cutting them out, and attaching them to the background, to create a poinsettia style flower.

Have a lovely Christmas everyone, and if you get a chance, do try and watch Lesley on Hochanda today. Her shows are on at 12.00 and 3.00. Thanks for stopping by, xx

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