Sunday, March 30, 2008

Shrink Plastic atc class, soot class

The shrink plastic atc class that I taught a couple of months back was so popular I decided to do a "shrink plastic re-visited" class as there are other techniques that can be done with this product. Here's the raffle atc from the last Saturday atc class...

The shrink plastic portion of this atc is in the upper left hand corner. It's a piece of white shrink plastic that I cut out using deckle decorative scissors, then lightly scribbled some coloured sharpie marker on it, then blended the colouring with the Blending Solution that is used for Ranger alcohol inks. Before heating it with a heat gun, I inked up a postage-mark stamp with brown Stazon and left that aside for the moment. Then the shrink plastic piece was heated with a heat gun to shrink, when it has shrunk to it's fullest, while it is still hot, I stamped into it with the postage-mark stamp and pressed down. I waited for about 5 seconds for it to cool then lifted up the stamp and the shrink plastic piece comes off the stamp cleanly, leaving an impression in the shrink plastic piece so it is much more textural than a normal piece of stamped shrink plastic. I then mounted it onto a piece of torn dark brown shimmer paper and attached to the atc.

Another way of using shrink plastic is to do multiple stampings on a piece of shrink plastic of a reasonable size - say 6" x 5". Stamp like you would for a collage piece, the piece can be coloured first with sharpies or alcohol inks or you can sand first (if you're using white or almond), then stamp, then colour the images if you like. You can then cut sections out using decorative scissors (or normal scissors) or use a large punch so you get portions of different stamps on each piece, then shrink and use how you want!

I taught another soot class on Tuesday night last week and the girls all loved how they turned out using Glimmer Mists underneath the soot for added colour & shimmer. I have used alcohol inks before under the soot before, but the Glimmer Mists are so fabulous as there's a huge colour range - from blues, greens, reds, yellows as well as metallic silvers, bronzes and golds. I didn't take a picture of the raffle atc before I gave it away but the base colour in Glimmer Mist for the raffle one was called Patina....a beautiful blue shimmery colour. This one below is another sample I did for the class using the colour Wheatfields, a lovely olive green colour with a green pearly shimmer.

The instructions for doing the soot technique is here.

This weekend I have also worked on a canvas though I can't show any pictures yet as it's supposed to be going into a scrapbooking magazine (stop laughing.....I CAN do things that may appeal to scrapbookers too!!! lol) When it's published I'll be able to post the pics as well as which magazine it is - I don't remember if it is Scrapbook Creations, Scrapbooking Memories or something similar sounding???

Less than 3 weeks to the big trip, biggest decisions are how many pair of shoes to take and whether to take day cream & night cream, or just wing it with one to cut down on weight!!! lol

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Crackle Technique, Canvas class & The Trip

Last weekend I had another one of my canvas classes. I taught different canvases, all basically using the same technique but the girls had a choice of several different styles. They were all surprised at how quickly it comes together, the class is 2-1/2 hours but after you've done a few of them you should be able to get that down to around 1 to 1-1/2 hours. The hardest thing is to make your decisions about images, colours, quotes, embellishments....isn't that always the way though!
Here are a few of the canvases that some of the girls made, yes, I remembered my camera this time! First up are Debra & Lorraine...

then Karen & Donna...

....then Jane M & Jane W...

....Sheryl & Marie....

lastly Nicky & Caryl...

There were another 6 girls in the class but I didn't manage to get photo's of them all, but at least you can see the different styles represented here.

After the canvas class was an atc class on crackle techniques. We used Ranger Crackle Paint for backgrounds, Ranger Crackle Accents on images and also a 2 step crackle using Helmar 2 step crackle which will create a cracked effect over an image. Below are some atc samples using the 3 different techniques, some of them you may have seen before in earlier posts.
The Ranger Crackle Paint works best for me on chipboard rather than paper-weight and what you would consider is a thick coat is actually a medium coat. Generally if people can't get this stuff to work, it's because they've laid it on too thin. Just slap it down, it is self-levelling and let it dry. Once it has started to crack you can use a hair-dryer to force dry the rest of it. The act class is 2 hours and these backgrounds were all dried and made into atc's in that time period. Here's the raffle atc for this class using the Ranger Crackle Paint. (Weathered Wood colour)

and another... (antique linen colour)

Crackle Accents is applied just like a dimensional medium (Glossy Accents, Dimensional Magic etc) over an image, let dry - this takes hours - and your image has a crackle finish to it. This stuff doesn't work on non-porous surfaces though, only paper/cardboard type substrates. This is a sample of Crackle Accents - the man is crackled.

The Helmar 2 step crackle is a little more complicated. Once you have painted Step 1 onto your image, not too thick a coat, just a normal sort of coat, you have to let it dry to the tacky stage. On the jar it recommends 10 to 20 minutes though it depends on your climate and how thick or thin you have applied it. You have to wait for all the creaminess to go away and your image to become clear before you can go onto the next step.

There are a couple of main points to remember with the second coat of the Helmar 2 step.
You must make sure that you totally cover all of your step 1 coat, if you leave any edges uncoated then these will stay tacky as the base coat dries to a tacky finish and stays tacky! I did Step 1 in the class to show the thickness and took it home. The next morning I applied the 2nd coat and it worked perfectly fine so the 10 to 20 minute rule is just to make sure that you don't try to apply step 2 too early!
Secondly, don't go back over where you've already painted with the 2nd coat. I start at the top of the image and using a soft brush, start to paint the 2nd coat on, going down the image and across. Very hard to explain, but I'll try. I start at the left top of the image and go across the image to the right side and then move down a bit and go across back to the left. Making sure that you've not left any bits uncoated. I use a sort of cross-hatch motion as well. This needs to be a trial and error thing but once you've done it a couple of times and it has cracked, then you'll know how much to use and the direction of your 2nd coat can affect which way the cracks appear.
After the second coat has dried (it needs a fair bit of time - can be force dried with a hairdryer to finish the cracking off - just don't overheat the paint), you can apply some acrylic paint in a contrasting colour and wipe it off immediately so you don't let it dry on the image. When you wipe it off you should have some of the acrylic colour seep into the cracks to highlight them. You may need to use a baby wipe very lightly to wipe off the extra colour from the image, just don't over wipe as you'll soften the crackle.
After all of this, if you find that you've got some tacky bits as you haven't done the edges too well, then I use a bit of Treasure Gold in a colour that's relevant (silver, copper, gold etc) and rub it onto the edges of the image lightly. This will cover the tackiness and solve the problem.
These are some samples of this Helmar 2 step crackle technique.

I don't do much personal info on my blog but you may have noticed my ticker counter on the right hand side counting down to a holiday! Only 4 weeks to go now before we go on 2 back-to-back cruises. Firstly a 15 day cruise to Columbia, the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, 3 stops in Mexico and finishing at San Francisco. Then later that same day after arriving in San Francisco, we leave on the same ship for a 15 day trip up to Alaska visiting Astoria, Seattle, Ketchikan, Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, Skagway, Sitka, Inside Passage, Vancouver, Victoria and then back to San Francisco!

Going on this wonderful trip of a lifetime is my hubby and myself, my Auntie and Uncle (who are only about 5 years older than us) and my Mum and Dad. Well, that was the plan anyway....we've had some bad news from Dad's doctor and he's unable to make the 13 hour plane flight from Sydney to San Francisco. Too tough on his heart and lungs, he has asbestosis from working in Wittenoom and has some heart disease as well. So he is staying home, BUT showing what a truly wonderful man he is, he's asked my best friend if she would like to go in his place!!!! All the trip is paid for her, including her air-fares, all she needs is some spending money.

So this all happened within the last few days and now she only has to wait 4 weeks to go on a fabulous once in a lifetime trip! Joan and I have been best friends since we were 12 and she has had her fair share of personal tragedies in her lifetime and has come through with such a wonderfully positive attitude. Dad is really, REALLY, happy to be giving her this gift and I for one am really thankful to have a great Dad.....Mum's pretty cool too!!! lol She's sharing her cabin with Joan and she is virtually like a second daughter to my parents. We'll be sad to not be sharing the memories with Dad, but if it gives him some more time with us, then yay to that!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Birdhouse, Cards & Scraptivate shop & 6 things

I hope you're all ready for lots of photo's in this post!

I thought I'd start off by showing you the wonderful store where I work and teach, Scraptivate here in Perth, Western Australia.

This is what greets you as you walk in the door, our display table, full of wonderful Collections samples, as well as some other bits & pieces.....mostly chipboard goodies that have been decorated to the hilt!

Here's the Collections products you can see, lots of lovely chipboard for altering...these are available online at Scraptivate and yes, we ship worldwide!!! If you've seen the lovely houses that Linda has had on her blog, they are part of the fabulous Collections range of products.....oooooh, don't I sound like an advertisement for Julie....she's a lovely girl (the designer of the Collections stuff and better still - a local!!!!).

Here's where we display all the upcoming classes.

Next is all the lovely German Scrap that we have for sale.

Anyone for a bit of patterned paper???

The tools and paint stand with a view into the classroom.

The ink/mists stand, rubber stamps are on the other side of this. This is not all of the shop, just a few of the stands, we have lots more!!!

We recently received some wooden birdhouses in the store for sale and we were asked if we wanted to take one home to decorate. I think there is about 6 of us who have them to alter and I've finished mine so thought I'd put the pics up.
The things that went into this are:

  • texture paste
  • gesso
  • Pearl White metallic paint
  • Dove Grey Stazon
  • Patina Glimmer Mists
  • Graphite Glimmer Mists
  • stamping on tissue paper
  • gauze
    shrink plastic (whoops, lost my bullet point on this one???)
  • metallic paper
  • antique pewter embossing powder
  • mica
  • brads
  • mouse cage wire
  • chipboard
  • sharpies & treasure gold
  • my clear words
  • a fuse
  • my own poem
  • and finally, clay wings.
Shrink Plastic Stampotique stamp...

The eye is stamped on mica...

The fuse and more shrink plastic (heart)...

The clay wings on the top of the house with my clear words, texture paste is on every 2nd square on the roof...

Front & left side view...

Front and right side view...

The fuse...with the backward "E". Sometimes you do things that you don't mean to do, but they turn out okay....I've had this "E" issue before!!! lol

A final close-up of the front panel...

So that's it for the birdhouse, now onto some cards that I have coming up in the March issue of Australian Stamping & Papercraft. I've had some atc's published 3 times before in this mag but I was asked to take part in a stampers challenge using a Stampers Anonymous stamp of a maple leaf with text. I know that Debbi is also doing this challenge so I can't wait for the issue to come out as Deb always does outstanding work! These are my 3 cards.

Spotlight technique using twinkling h2o's to colour sections of the leaf.

For this one I've alcohol inked the background gloss card, then done the soot technique on top.

Last one is shrink plastic tiles. I coloured the shrink plastic tiles first with alcohol inks, then stamped, then shrunk them.

So I'm not a card maker (can you tell??? lol), but I wanted to do something that incorporated some of the things that I teach in my atc classes. Now I can say I'm "published", not that it is a huge deal to me but for teaching purposes, every bit helps. ~grin~

Apologies if I've worn out your eyes with all these pics, also sorry if you're dealing with dial-up speed - been there, done that....what a pain! I know for some people, they have no choice....better slow speed than NO speed!

Finally, Sam tagged me to tell 6 non-important/quirky things about myself. I've done this before but it was 7 and I think I spilt my guts a little too much in that here's some banal info about me...
1. I'm not a fake flower lover!
2. I used to tap-dance, do modern jazz as well as acrobats, AND I have the trophies to prove it!
3. I have 1 tattoo, got it when I was 15.
4. I love sharpies!
5. I have all my internal organs, except my gall bladder.
6. I am old, older than you think! (You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely!)

I know I'm supposed to tag 6 people but I did this before so won't do it close your eyes.....sleeeeeeep.......sleeeeeeep.......sleeeeeeeep......