Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Playing with Brushos again

Hello everyone, it's time for another visit to the Chocolate Baroque Challenge Blog, as it is our weekly blog post slot over there today. I have a tutorial for a card this month in our regular Design Team tutorial blog post. I have made a card using a technique using Brushos and spray starch recently spotted on my travels through Facebook and Pinterest.  Here is where I saw the technique originally:

I took a piece of pearlescent card, and spritzed it with spray starch, before dropping small amounts of Brusho over the card. I used Prussian Blue, Turquoise and Purple, in keeping with the challenge colours. I then spritzed the card with spray starch again, and covered the card with cling film, crinkling it up as I covered the surface to create lots of creases.

I removed the cling film after 30 minutes, and then left the card to dry naturally. I then painted some leaves onto the background using a Crafter's Workshop stencil and white paint, but gesso would do fine. I stamped and embossed some marine creatures onto spare pearlescent card, using white embossing powder, and coloured the images with Copic markers. I highlighted a couple of the fish with pencils for extra detail. Once I had added the marine creatures to the background, I used a layer of green card before adding the background to a black card blank.

Dark colours seem to work very well for this technique, as do coated cards. Glossy card seems to work much better than pearlescent card, but in this instance, I was going for an irridescent underwater look. Here is a sample of glossy card that I made during a practice session:

So you can see the difference in the two card surfaces quite clearly. It's a really fun technique to try out, and a much better way to use up that spray starch in my opinion!

Head over to the challenge blog if you get a chance, take a look at the information regarding our latest challenge, and why not go at entering yourself? You could win the monthly prize. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Butterfly Dress

Hello everyone, I have been working with one of the new individual cling mounted stamps currently available on the Chocolate Baroque website, Butterfly Dress. The image is full of my favourite things, flowers and butterflies, and I had great fun creating this card.

I stamped the flower edge from the Floral Edges clear stamp set across the bottom of the piece of smooth white card. I needed to stamp the image twice to fill the space. I stamped the image again onto a piece of spare card a couple of times, so that I could colour some extra flowers to decoupage onto the original image. I stamped the Butterfly Dress image above the flower border, and cut a mask of the image and covered it over. I used a cloud stencil and Memento Summer Sky to create clouds across the background, however you could use a frilly edged die cut to achieve a similar effect. I stamped the Butterfly Dress image twice more onto a piece of spare card so that I could decoupage the butterflies.

I coloured all of the images with Inktense pencils, and cut out the extra flowers and butterflies before adding them to the card. Finally, I added a layer of green card to correspond with the grassy green of the lady's skirt and the grass of the border.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Eggs are not just for Easter!

Hello everyone, I have been working with the incredibly useful Natural Eggs stamp set to make a clean and simple masculine card to show you today. Cards for men are so difficult to make, and these eggs lend themselves to a Nature themed card suitable for any time of year.

I took the solid stamp, inked it with Versamark, and stamped it across the bottom of a piece of beige linen card four times, overlapping the edges. I coloured the eggs with Pan Pastels, using a lighter colour at the top of each egg, graduating to a darker colour at the bottom. I then used the speckled stamp over the top of each egg, using a Potting Shed Archival Ink.

I added a sentiment from the Thinking of You Sentiments stamp set, and matted the background onto dark brown card before placing it onto a kraft card blank.

I have made a bonus tag project, using a Prima tag, but a piece of scrapbook paper cut to size would be just as good. I started by inking the solid egg stamp with Aqua Adirondack Ink, and stamping the image at the bottom of the tag. I used a whole image, and two partial images. I dried these with a heat gun. I then added the crackle image using the same colour ink. I took a swirl stamp from the Dawn Chorus stamp set and added this to the top of the eggs using Espresso Truffle Memento Ink. I stamped two birds from the same stamp set onto the tag, one perched above the eggs, and another higher up the tag. I filled in some of the background with feathers to create the feeling of a nest, and then added some more swirls, using the aqua ink, because my background contained elements of the same colour.

I added a bit of grey shading around the eggs using pencil, to add a bit of definition, and coloured in the swirls on the birds, also using pencils.

This was a quick project to make, and I hope that I have shown you just a couple of ways that you can use these stamps to use them throughout the year. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Thursday, 19 March 2015

A very colourful workshop

I recently attended a workshop run by the very talented Lin Brown whose classes I enjoy enormously.This class was a bit different to the usual classes that she runs, because she decided to look at composotion with us, rather than presenting us with a specific finished project to make. We looked at how to use pieces of scrapbook paper that we might have lurking around in our stash to form the basis for our backgrounds, and then how to build up a series of layers on that paper to produce a backdrop for the stamped images. I was not very keen on the piece of paper that I had to start with, and almost asked to swap it for something different. However, I figured that I was going to be covering it up fairly well, so I would just run with it and see what happened. I really like the finished piece, so I am glad that I stuck with the original piece of paper, and it just goes to show that you can use up those pieces of paper left over from paper pads that you do not want to use for anything else.

Lin showed us how she creates her layered backgrounds step by step, using opaque and transluscent Fresco Finish paints from Paper Artsy. I have seen her demo many times, but it is always fascinating to watch her create a piece of artwork. Her background was much busier than I had realised, and it gave me the chance to experiment with trying this new look out. We had a lot of fun with her vibrant paint colours and the latest stamp images. She also showed us how to make some cute little padded birds to add to our project if we wanted to.

This is my finished project, which I actually completed at home. I had one or two things that needed to be put together after the class. I added some extra stamping to the background to ground the flowers and yet another layer over the white detail, with the little black dotty stamp.

I had such fun making this project, and it sits in my craft room where I can see the vibrant cheery colours to brighten up my day.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Big Bold Butterfly

Hello everyone, it's the start of the final week of the current challenge over on the Chocolate Baroque Challenge Blog. There are some fab projects from some of the contestants which we are taking a look at this week, plus a free digital download from Lesley which you can use to create some beautiful cards and projects. The Design Team have made some cards using the download for your inspiration.

I decided to use some of my favourite stamps to create a card using the download. I chose a large flower from the Tangled Garden stamp set which I stamped twice using Archival Jet Black ink, and embossed with clear embossing powder. I also stamped several leaves from the same stamp set. I then stamped the body and one wing from the large butterfly belonging to the Patchwork Butterfly stamp set. I coloured all of the images with watercolour pencils and a waterbrush.

I layered the flower and the butterfly using 3D foam pads. I assembled the card, adding a deep plum matting and some die cut sprays in the same colour behind the leaves. I used some flower stamens for the butterfly antennae.

I hope that you will pop along to the challenge blog to take a look at the rest of the inspiration over there. Grab the freebie and make a project with it, it would be great to see what you come up with. If you use Chocolate Baroque stamps currently available on the website, and enter into the challenge, you could win a £15 prize to spend online at Chocolate Baroque.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Springtime Krafting

Hello everyone, I have a couple of cards to show you today using the Spring Birds multi-buy rubber stamp set. There are some fabulous little stamps on these stamp plates, that often get ignored in favour of the larger stamps. I wanted to create some cards using these smaller stamps to show their versatility.

I started my first card by cutting a circle in an 8" x 8" kraft card blank. I then stamped and embossed a small motif around the edge of the circle opening, using Versamark and vanilla white embossing powder. I stamped a small flower seven times, masking it each time, so that I did not stamp over it with the next image. I chose two sprig stamps from the Briar Rose Butterfly/Harebell Butterfly multi-buy stamp set to create the background foliage for the flowers. I coloured them with Shaded Lilac and Seedless Preserves Distress Markers. I used first and second generation stamping to create depth in the foliage.

I coloured the flowers, using the same two shades of Distress Markers and a water brush. I stamped two butterflies onto the background and then stamped them again onto a spare piece of card. I coloured the spare butterflies with Distress Markers and then decoupaged them onto the background.

When I was making my coloured seam binding for a previous card recently, I used a scrap piece of card to mop up the excess liquid from the seam binding. The design was really attractive, and I decided to use it as a background for my second card. I stamped the two sets of tulips onto the card, masking one set before I stamped the second. I then stamped both sets of flowers onto a spare piece of card. I coloured the images with pencils before cutting them out and adding them to the background.

I stamped the small motif  across the top and bottom of the background using Archival Ink, to create a border. I added some of the orange seam binding, and then matted the background onto black card. Using another small motif, I created two lacy strips by stamping onto a piece of orange vellum with Versamark and vanilla white embossing powder. I cut the strips out, and stuck them to the top and bottom edges of the black card before placing this onto an 8" x 8" Kraft card blank. Finally, I stamped a sentiment using Archival Ink onto the background.

I hope that I have given you some ideas on how to use some of the smaller stamps. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Monday, 2 March 2015

Spring Birds

Hello everyone, I would like to show you some cards made using the Spring Birds multibuy stamp set, currently on offer at Chocolate Baroque. These stamps are perfect for this time of year, as we start to look forward to warmer weather and the changing season.

I started my first card by making a wrinkle free distress background; placing some Spun Sugar and Old Paper Distress Stains onto a craft mat, and spritzing them with water. I also spritzed a piece of watercolour paper with water and then placed it onto the craft mat, ensuring that the paper was covered with colour. I dried the paper with a heat gun, and then patted it randomly onto the droplets of colour left on my craft mat, creating a second layer of colour on the background. I also dried this with the heat gun.

I stamped some dog roses and a bird from the Pretty Birdcage stamp set along with a bird taken from the Spring birds stamp set onto the background. I masked the main dog roses before adding the birds and extra roses. I coloured the images with pencils. I added a sentiment from the Mackintosh Sentiments stamp set to finish.

I decided to create an easel card for my second project, by cutting a piece of dark brown card measuring 12" x 6" and another piece 6" x 6". I scored the large piece at 6" and 9", folding and creasing the folds firmly. I folded the card in half, and then with the fold facing away from me, I stuck the bottom half of the 6" x6" square piece of card to the folded card. I stamped the Leafy Trails Big Bold Background stamp twice onto plain card, and coloured this with waterbased markers. I edged the card with Distress Ink.

I die cut two circles, and whilst the dies were still in place, I added some colour with Distress Ink. Once I had removed the dies, I then stamped the bird image onto the larger circle, and a sentiment from the Amazing Birthday stamp set onto the smaller circle. I hand cut the mounts for the circles, by drawing around the dies onto some card left over from the easel card. I coloured some seam binding ribbon with Distress Stains to match my colour scheme, I used Spiced Marmalade.
 Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A new challenge on the CB challenge blog starts today

Hello everyone, I'm just popping by to let you know that Challenge 8 starts on the Chocolate Baroque challenge blog today. The colours are inspired by a photograph taken by Glenda, and they are fabulous. I have made a Spring themed card using the colours.

I created a wrinkle free Distress background using Wild Honey and Shaded Lilac Distress Ink, and then stamped a tulip image across the bottom of the page, using both colours. I used the same tulip image to stamp onto a piece of smooth watercolour paper three times, masking the image as I went along. I drew around an oval die cut once I was finished, and cut around the outline, just cutting around the edge of the flowers where they stuck out of the oval. I added some colour to the oval, placing the die over the background, so that I could keep a white edge. I used Mustard Seed and Wild Honey Distress Inks to colour the background. I stamped my all time favourite sentiment onto the oval using black ink.

I coloured the tulips using Distress Markers and a waterbrush.To assemble the card, I created mats using orange and purple card, and added a matching purple ribbon.

The challenge runs for four weeks and ends on March 17th. Hop over to the Challenge Blog for all of the information and some more DT inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

So much to show you!

Hello everyone, apologies for such a long post today, but I am multi-tasking, posting both on behalf of the Chocolate Baroque Design Team and the Chocolate Baroque Challenge Blog. I have several projects to share with you, and I hope that you will enjoy what I have to show you.

I have really been enjoying working with the current stamps of the month, Sketchy Doodle Landscape/Flowers Multibuy, and my samples today are no exception. I wanted to show you the versatility of these stamps, how they can be used in a variety of different ways. I chose to make a set of pastel cards for my first project, and began by masking the top and bottom of the cards, leaving a large strip of the card exposed across the centre. I poured a bit of Acrylic Wax onto a craft mat, and using a piece of cut 'n' dry, I applied the wax onto my stamp. I stamped the image randomly across the card, reapplying the wax to the stamp each time. I cleaned the stamp immediately I had finished stamping the images. Once the wax was dry, I covered the area with Memento ink, choosing soft pastel shades on each card, (New Sprout, Summer Sky and Lulu Lavender). The wax acted as resist, so that the images were visible through the ink. I removed the masks, and stamped a sentiment onto each card from the Amazing Birthday stamp set using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I stamped some of the butterfly and dragonfly images using Versamark and white embossing powder onto vellum and cut these out, before attaching them to the cards.

My next project was created using a piece of MDF as a base, which I painted with gesso. I added a honeycomb diecut and some lace, which I also painted with gesso.

I embossed several of the sketchy flowers using Versamark and white embossing powder onto a textured card, and cut them out. I added some dark brown die cut pieces, the flowers, and some gessoed metal flowers and butterflies to the board. I layered several of the sketchy flowers up, and added jewellery findings to them, which had been gessoed as well. I sprayed the whole piece with a mixture of blue and lime Dylusion sprays, which I had decanted into mini misters. I wanted a finer spray, without the big droplets that you sometimes get from the normal spray bottles. Finally, I added a bit of gilding wax here and there for a bit of metallic sheen.

I had lots of spray left on my craft mat after this project, so I decided to create a 'mop up' project using some of the left over flowers that I had. So, I dipped a tag through the inks, and also some of the white flowers. I stamped a sentiment from the Rose stem script stamp set over the background using Memento ink. I die cut some leaves from the scrap white card, and added some sari material to the top of the tag. The white embossing powder really pops against the vibrant ink:
 I hope that I have given you lots of ideas with these stamps, and that you will have as much fun as I have had.

This week on the Challenge Blog there is a free digital download from Lesley. It is so useful and I'm sure that you will find a use for it time and time again. I have so many ideas for cards using this download! If you pop over to the blog, you can collect the download following the instructions on the blog post, it's really easy.
I have made two cards this week using the download, as I had two special men celebrating Birthdays that needed a card. The first card incorporates a lovely tree stamp from the Essence of Nature stamp set, which I embossed using Memento Espresso Truffle ink and clear embossing powder onto a Brusho background. I used a spare piece of the background to stamp a sentiment taken from the Birthday Words stamp set.
My second card uses a mixture of stamps including a lovely swirly leaf from the Essence of Nature set to create a branch, which I embossed with Memento Espresso Truffle and clear embossing powder as before. I stamped and embossed an owl image from the Wise Owl stamp set, using copper embossing powder onto a Brusho background. I used another piece of this background to stamp a leafy image from  the SketchyDoodle Flowers stamp set, and a sentiment from the Amazing Birthday stamp set. I cut the leaves out and arranged them around and behind the owl. Both cards were finished using dark brown card as a matting layer.
Some of the other girls on the Design Team have made some beautiful designs with the download, so be sure to take a look on the challenge blog. If you make anything yourself using the download, please upload it to the Facebook page, as we would love to see it.

Thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

Monday, 2 February 2015

Sketchy Doodle Flowers

Hello everyone, there are new stamps over at Chocolate Baroque. Two sets of great flowers suitable for all kinds of projects. I have lots of ideas that I am hoping to show you this month. I have two very different cards to show you today.

For my first card, I wanted to create the feeling of a stained glass window by Gaudi. I coloured my background with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink. I stamped the flower and leaf images onto the background, and then masked these before placing a stencil on the left hand side. I sponged Salty Ocean, Shaded Lilac and Peacock Feathers Distress Inks through the stencil, covering these with a coat of Transparent Soft Form Relief Paste.

Once the Soft Form Relief Paste was dry, I added a bit more colour to the background, with Faded Jeans Distress Ink. I stamped an image from the Texture Fragments stamp set and one of the flower images from the Sketchy Doodle Flowers set over the background. I removed the masks from the flowers.

I created the large flower by spreading some Gold Soft Form Relief Paste over the stamp, and allowing it to dry overnight. I peeled the thin film off my stamp very carefully. I coloured the film with metal paints and added some gilding wax. I stuck a large flat-backed gem in the centre.

I chose to stamp the flower and leaf images onto a seperate piece of card, and coloured these with Inktense pencils. I cut them out and decoupaged them over the original images. Finally I added the focal flower.

The transparent relief paste has given a lovely sheen to the stencilled area, and the colours are so vibrant underneath.

My second card uses the lovely floral frame image on the Sketchy Doodle Flower stamp set. I stamped the image onto a die cut piece of smooth watercolour paper. I masked the outer area of the image, leaving the oval uncovered. I added some colour using Distress Inks, blending them together where they met. I removed the mask, and coloured the leaves with a watercolour pencil.

I created the background by stamping a leaf taken from the Thistle Butterfly stamp set, using the same colours that I had used on the main image, randomly over some smooth watercolour paper. I die cut some leaves from the same paper and coloured them with Distress Ink. Finally, I assembled the card adding dark brown card and ribbon. I have left the card without a sentiment for now, as it is such a versatile image that it will be useful for many occasions.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Bee Happy, Don't Worry

Hello everyone, I'm posting my inspirational project for this month's challenge over on the Chocolate Baroque Challenge Blog today. Each week, we like to provide something different throughout the month to help inspire any visitors to the blog. It's winner's week over on the blog, and we are announcing who has won last month's challenge, so it's worth taking a look if you entered to see if you have won the prize. The Design Team also choose their Top Three favourite entries each month just for fun.

So, onto my project, I have based my card on the challenge colour swatch, which I will show you at the end of my post. I stamped the artichoke thistle onto a piece of smooth watercolour paper, and masked the image. I then stamped the foxglove image several times, and masked these images as well. Finally, I stamped the silhouette foxgloves, and I was ready to complete the background.

I coloured the background with Scattered Straw, Mustard Seed and Wild Honey Distress Ink, blending the colours where they met. I then stamped the honeycomb image across two opposite corners, using Siena Archival Ink, but I used second generation stamping, for a faded look. I also added a script stamp using Forest Moss Distress Ink over and around the honeycomb image.

I removed the masks, and coloured the images using pencils. I stamped three bees diresctly onto the page, and then stamped them again onto a scrap piece of card. I coloured the bees, and cut out only the bodies from the scrap card, sticking them onto the main background.

To create the sentiment, I cut an oval of shrink plastic, and stamped the bottom line of the wording using Timber Brown Stazon. I then stamped 'e happy', masking off the letter 'b' before I inked up the stamp. I then inked up 'be', masking off the word 'happy' before I inked up the stamp and completed the sentiment. I shrunk the oval, using a heat gun, and flattened it with an acrylic block when it had shrunk to size. Once it had cooled down, I added some alcohol inks to the reverse in toning colours and left it to dry.

Here is the colour swatch for this month's challenge:
We would love to see your entries, so please do pop over and read all about it. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Valentine Rose

Hello everyone, I have a project to show you today using the Punky Hearts stamp sheet, currently on offer on the Chocolate Baroque website. It's coming up to the time of year when Valentine's cards are needed by ourselves, or requested if we make cards for other people. Here is an idea for the lovely punky rose.

I began my project by stamping and masking the punky rose on a piece of smooth watercolour paper. I then covered the background with a stencil, and using Memento Desert Sand ink, I coloured through the stencil. With the stencil still in place, I stamped the crackle stamp from the Echoes of Italy stamp set all over the background, using Memento Rich Cocoa ink. I stamped the image onto scrap paper each time first, so that I got a lighter image. This is called 'second generation stamping', as I did not want the ink to be too dark. Once the ink was dry, and with the stencil still in place, I brushed a layer of acrylic wax over the top, and allowed this to dry.

I removed the stencil, and covered the rest of the background with Memento Lulu Lavender ink, and then added a darker colour around the edges . The wax acts as a resist, protecting the area that was covered earlier. I buffed the wax areas, to remove any of the lilac ink, and the contrast between the two areas became much sharper.

I removed the mask from the rose, and coloured the image using more Memento inks stamped directly onto an acrylic block, which I picked up with a waterbrush. I picked out the 'metal' areas of the rose using a gold pen. I added a die cut sentiment, and matted the project onto green card.

Thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

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