Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brushless Watercolour Technique & a Card

Last Thursday night was my niece's 18th birthday so as a non-cardmaker, I decided to make her a card. My being a non-cardmaker is not like me being a non-scrapbooker...I've made 1 scrapbook page and will not do another one - too large a format for me! But as a non-cardmaker, I've made quite a few but still don't like to call myself a cardmaker - it's just a mental thing.....if you deny something often enough you can actually start to believe it! lol Not that there's anything wrong with cardmaking!!! Heaven forbid, atc's make great card fronts and if you make them so they can come off the front and attach to the fridge as a magnet - double bonus! So once again I've used a couple of the girls from the Stampotique range, the one on the front is called Prom Queen and the one inside is Girl with a Lunchbox. Just ignore the handwriting inside, s'pose I should've scanned it BEFORE I wrote in it. Duh!

On the front I used the Textured Branches embossing plate from the Cuttlebug range on some silver foil tape adhered to a chipboard frame, then rubbed with black acrylic paint and wiped it off leaving only a small amount in the crevices. Down the bottom I stamped with the metal letter punch stamps "Hayley is 18". Being an 18 year old girl I knew she'd get the "so what" attitude it exudes! lol

I forgot to include this atc that I made for the alcohol Ink & Transparency (acetate) class that I taught last week. I love this stamp so much, it's another of Lina Cavalieri immortalised by Fornasetti. If anyone has a spare one of this stamp they'd be willing to sell, please contact me on my email addy above right - I have a friend who would probably sell her first-born for it...if she HAD a first-born that is!

My next atc class is called Brushless Watercolour and I've made these atc's using either Lyra watercolour crayons and Ranger Distress Inks. The Lyra's are like the Golden paints of the watercolour crayon world. Beautiful rich pigments, wonderful array of colours and so soft and easy to use. I know I've shown these atc's before as this was to be the class I was to teach before my Joan died on December 1st last year - consequently the class was cancelled and put on the back-burner.

It's strange, it feels like years since Joan's death, not the short 2 months, 3-1/2 weeks it has been. The word "passing" is too soft a word for me yet, "death" is much more hard, blunt and factual and this is what it is. In time it will soften, mellow and fade to a gentle ochre colour, right now it's still hard, in-your-face RED! I wonder how many other people think of emotions/thoughts/words as colours? I do it a lot, it's a subconscious thing, before I know it I'm thinking "what you're saying is making me feel a cool blue"! Okay, I admit it, I'm feeling a little "wordy" apologies though, your eyes can skim and I can still type what I want. Back to the atc's....

A diptych..."Dragonfly 1 & 2"... ("Odonata" stamp from Stampers Anonymous")

"Reseda Odorata"... (stamps from the wonderful "Nature's Moment's" set by Tim Holtz!!!)

"Polite"... (stamp from A Stamp In The Hand called "Girl with a Purse" - discontinued though)

"Heal"... (Judikins stamp - not sure of the name, it's a stone angel statue)

and my personal favourite, "Beyond the City Gates"... (stamps from Michelle Ward's Green Pepper Press plate called "Rough Draft")

Only 2 short weeks to go until Creative Soul Retreat in Melbourne!!! Woo-bloody-hoo!!! Bring on the learning/fun/frivolity/bonding/shopping/gawking!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Alchol Inks & Transparency atc's

When I heard that Ranger were releasing 24 new colours of alcohol inks I was absolutely thrilled! I love my alcohol inks and am really looking forward to the new selection of "lights & brights"...particularly the lights! If you want to check out the new colours that are coming, as well as the already released 24, click here. Gorgeous or what!

So my next set of atc classes that I'm teaching at Scraptivate is called Alcohol Inks and Transparency, or more correctly - acetate. I've found that I don't need blending solution as much if I'm using the alcohol inks on acetate to colour it when compared to using the alcohol inks on gloss card. Of course, if it's just way too bright then blending solution is just perfect for lightening it or blending colours if you've just gone overboard and it looks like someone has thrown up a technicolour feast!

I also like to use the alcohol ink to colour gold or silver German Scrap for added cohesiveness. Don't you just love when you're stuck for a word! German Scrap is available at Scraptivate, look on the left for German Scrap in the list of items for sale. Of course, it works perfectly on all of your metal and plastic embellishments, shrink plastic, glass ...keep up.... I'm talking about alcohol inks, not lol

I've also set myself a little challenge...when I make my sample atc's showing each new technique, I MUST use black texture paste somewhere on at least one of them each fortnight. Not a problem she says...I simply LOVE that stuff!!! If you have a look back through the atc's in my previous posts on coloured gloss, embossing, and the original texture paste class, you'll see at least one of the atc's will have black texture paste on it, generally with rub'n'buff over the top. You can also get this at Scraptivate too, though it's not on the website but you can email us with "black texture paste" in the subject line, or ring us on (08)9444 6626 and ask us all about it!

"Conjurer"... (with black texture paste along the bottom)

"Embrace the unusual"...




All of the above atc's were made by using stamps on gloss card (Stazon of course!) and then alcohol inked acetate over the top. You can also use images instead of stamping if you like, as shown in the following samples.


"Inner-beauty"... (with black texture paste down the sides)


One more class before I go away to Melbourne - brushless watercolour - coming soon!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Haunted Houses and chunky pages completed!!!

I have finally finished all that I need to do art-wise for the much anticipated event, Creative Soul Retreat 2009. It's only 4 short weeks away now and the excitement level is certainly building! The retreat is to be held in Melbourne which is on the other side of Australia from me and it's the state that is suffering those dreadful fires at the moment.

My thoughts drift often to the many thousands of people affected by the devastating fires that are still raging in Victoria. The death toll is expected to rise from the current 181 to possibly 300 and the wildlife numbers of deaths they surmise will be around 1 million. So hard to fathom those sorts of numbers in both human cost, infrastructure, livelihoods, homes and those poor animals. Australia's worst natural disaster has bought out the best in many people though with around $77 million raised through the red cross disaster appeal so far, an amazing amount in less than a week! Australians rock!!!

As a little arty extra for the retreat, most of us decided to take part in a swap. So I was sent some little chipboard houses, 1" x 3", and I'm happy to say they are now complete! What a wonderful feeling to put the last bits on the final one. I decided to do them all the same in a production line style as there were so many. I first used Glimmer Mist in Graphite, then Black Webbing spray, some Baroque German Scrap in black with some silver Rub'n'buff. I also did a shrink plastic piece for the front using a Zetti stamp on white shrink plastic then finally, on silver foil tape I used my metal letter stamping set and stamped BOO, then applied black acrylic paint and wiped it off so it settled just in the letters. Here's 5 of the houses....there were 50, yes...50 in total!!!

Some of us are also taking part in the book challenge for the Creative Soul Retreat, you can see other pages here. Debbi Baker was chosen to pick the theme for January and I was lucky enough to get to choose the theme for February. Debbi's choice was "Words". I'd recently read the new James Patterson book and there were some lines from a poem in there that struck a chord with me. I searched online for the full poem, it's entitled "Dirge Without Music" by Edna St Vincent Millay.

"Dirge Without Music"

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.
Crowned with lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave.
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

I used the last verse for my "Words" page, it resonated strongly with me as it describes how I felt about losing my Dad and my best friend in the space of 3 months late last year. We move on, but we still don't like it! The background is Rinse Aid Resist on canvas paper and the image is a transparency over paper that was painted with Lumiere paints - nice and shimmery.

Here is my "Birds" page again. I'd posted it before but decided after I made it that I wanted to make the pages bigger. My first thoughts were to do a chunky book 4" x 4" in size but eventually found that the book I wanted to use to make the book from is 6" x 6", so I had to fill it out a little more.


My choice of theme for February was "Inspired By Song". I chose a song by another great Finnish band, The Rasmus (thanks Kathy for putting me on to them!). I did a gel medium/transparency transfer over the words to one of their songs "Not Like the Other Girls" and yes, I found it on youtube.

"Not Like the Other Girls"...

...and here's the song by The Rasmus, a beautifully haunting melody and wonderful lyrics.

Finally, here are the front and back covers. The front cover is texture paste with Golden Paints for colour and the back cover is a piece of scrapbook paper in colours that I loved so I tried to replicate it closely for the front cover with the paints. They match pretty closely in real life, not so much here. ;-(
Front cover...
Back cover...

I'd like to thank Mary Schweitzer for this award too! Mary does some amazing things with bits & bones and skulls....a woman after my own heart! (Probably quite literally!!!! just joking Mary....hahahahaha).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Embossing...with a twist!

So of course everyone knows how to do embossing with embossing ink pads and stamps but there are other things you can use as well! My upcoming Embossing classes at Scraptivate starting this Saturday will show the girls how to use another couple of products to create beautiful embossed elements on their atc's...or cards or layouts or whatever!

The first is a wonderful pen by Papermate called an Erasermax. It's an erasable pen that seems to stay wet longer than an ordinary pen so you can rub it out if you change your mind about what you've written, previously only able to be done with a pencil. This is a ball point pen so your embossed writing is very, very fine! You write with it like you normally would, and don't say "I don't like my handwriting!"...try it, embossed writing looks cool! You could always get someone else to write it for you if you REALLY don't like your writing, or try printing, or all capitals or add some dots to the ends of your letters. The trick is you need to emboss straight after you've written as I'm not sure if it'll stay wet indefinitely. I've never bothered to find out, just write and emboss....beautiful! So here's a couple of samples using this wonderful pen, which of course, we sell at Scraptivate as they are pretty hard to get hold of elsewhere.

"Gothstrasized"...(the very delectable Ville Valo from HIM).

Here's a taste of Ville with Natalie Avelon singing Summer oldie but a goodie.

"Desolation"... the fine lines are on the angels wings as well as on the large Gothic writing, you may need to click on it to enlarge it to see them clearly.

The second embossing technique I'll be teaching is using Embossing Web Tape. This is a very fine web tape that melts when you heat it and once again, working quickly, you dump the embossing powder on, tip off the excess and heat. You can apply more of the tape if it's not looking how you'd like but this stuff is very have to accept it's going to go exactly where it wants to! Also available at Scraptivate.


"Hushed casket"...

These are the 3 raffle atc's using the embossing web tape as well.
"Promise, Hope and Dream"...
In my next post I'll have another book page to show from the Book Challenge that I'm taking part in for the Creative Soul Retreat that's coming up in about 6 short weeks!!! So looking forward to meeting Bernie Berlin, DJ Pettit and Stephanie Lee and having some wonderful arty time with my talented pals. I was lucky enough to be drawn as the person to choose the last theme for the book, I pondered much about it and finally decided on "Inspired by Song". I thought this gave the girls a fairly broad range of things to choose from, besides....I chose one of my favourite The Rasmus songs..."Not like the other girls". Will see if I can do a link to it in the next post, if youtube has it available that is! lol (silly statement, they have EVERYTHING on there!)