Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chalkboard ATC's

The Chalkboard style of stamping has been around for a little while now and it really suits a more focal image style of stamp as well as a great opportunity to use some quote or word stamps.  I love the simplicity of embossing with white powder and using white pigment ink to create the shadow effect around the stamp and then making your chalkboard dirty by sponging on more of the white pigment ink.  A white pencil adds some more detail or alternatively, you can use a little coloured pencil, either watercolour or normal pencils work equally as well!  A few samples for this last class for my Technique Book for this year.  Classes start again in January 2014.
"Rubber gloves"... (I've wanted to use
this quote for a while now!  lol)
"No Prince Charming"...
"Last Embrace"...  (this stamp is a little busier
than the previous two, I think I like a little
more chalkboard showing.)
Here's the last three samples from my previous class, Bleach & Faux Bleach.
"Medicated"... (Love these Stampotique girls!!!)
"Decompose"... (this is Faux Bleach using the paint
and you can see how much more the
Twinkling H2O's show up with
the paint acting as a base on the fish.)
I'll have more Chalkboard ATC's to post pictures of before Christmas.  Can't wait to see what the girls do with this particular technique!!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bleach & Faux Bleach Technique

The last time I taught the Bleach Technique was nearly four years ago and some of my newer students have asked to have a replay of it.  I like to also add a little extra for my girls who've been doing classes with me for several years so have introduced Faux Bleach to this class as well.   Not all card stock is created equal!  Meaning, not all brands will bleach with household bleach.  I like to work with a black background and I've found the Black Bazzill works the best for this technique with bleach.  I do have other black that just doesn't change colour at all, so to get around this, after stamping and embossing your image with clear embossing ink & clear powder, paint over the areas you wish to re-colour using a watered down acrylic paint, or even Picket Fence Distress Stain. 
I then add colour (after the paint or bleach is dry), using Twinkling H2O's.  These little pots of watercolour paint add lots of dimension and shimmer and even work over the solid black areas that you don't add bleach to. 
An open style stamp with areas to colour works better than a stamp with lots of solid areas.  If you want to see my earlier bleach atc's, click here.
"Damaged"... (using real bleach)

"Romantic"... (Faux bleach - acrylic paint)
"Simple moment"... (real bleach)
"Ill-fated Voyage"... (Faux bleach - acrylic paint)
"Ill-fated passage"... (Faux bleach - Distress Stain Picket Fence)
"Finding yourself"... (real bleach)

Finally, here's the last couple of Marble Emboss atc's from the previous class.
"End of the Ocean"...

"Dig two graves"...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Marble Emboss

Just over three years ago I did a marbling technique using shaving foam and distress inks.  Because I have new students I'll be repeating this class but I like to add something different so the students who have stuck with me all this time can have a play with an old technique, but with a twist.  I'll be using embossing as a way of highlighting the wonderful swirls and patterns you can create with the marbling technique on the card stock.  Love how different all these backgrounds turn out and how the little addition of embossing applied with the special Eraser Max pen can alter how it looks.  The Eraser Max pen does such fine lines that it doesn't overpower whatever you use it on but if you want to do a heavier application, you just scribble with it to colour in an area and it will emboss a larger area if you wish.
"Two languages"...
"A chair to sit in"...
These next two are the remaining samples from my previous class, Flooded Alcohol.
"Work to become"...

More Marble Emboss to follow.... if you want to check out my previous
Marbling atc's, go here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


We used Alcohol Inks in a class a few weeks ago so I thought as I had the girls drag theirs out from hiding, we might as well continue with Alcohol Inks in another technique.  This one is based on a technique I saw on you-tube.... which of course I can't find now.  I knew I should've book-marked it!  Anyway, I went ahead and had a play and it worked out just fine from what I could remember.  Foil tape as a base, run through the Big Shot (or Cuttlebug) with an embossing folder of choice, painted with Gesso, dried then flooded with Alcohol Ink, hence my Flooded Alcohol name for this technique.  I also sanded back some of the Alcohol Ink to get the silver foil tape to show through, just for a distressed look and so it shows the texture of the embossing folder more as well.  Whoever did this on you-tube.... thank you!   I think I did it slightly different from the original one I saw but this still worked fine as far as I'm concerned. 
"Chain of command"...

"Old Age"...

Below are a couple of more samples from the previous class - Noodle Embossing.


"The kind of glance"...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Noodle Embossing

I had seen a couple of posts on the internet about using those silicon basting brushes as a way to do embossing.  The beauty of these brushes is, unlike an ordinary paint brush, the noodle type bristles separate and can place more randomly spaced lines on the card.  The other really unusual thing about this particular technique is no embossing ink is used.  (Note:  K-Mart sell the noodle brushes for $2 each!!!)
Generally when you do embossing, it's embossing ink onto a stamp and then pour your embossing powder on, tip off excess and heat the design to get the beautiful embossed stamped image.  There really is no other way to get this more random, organic effect than with the noodle brush and, wait for it....... water!   You need to work quickly so the water doesn't dry, don't use too much water and a low blow heat gun works the best as it won't blow all your embossing powder everywhere before it has a chance to heat and melt.  If you don't have the Ranger low-blow heat gun you can use a normal one, just heat from the underneath of the card and watch the embossing powder on the top as it melts and try not to burn the underneath of the card.   The smell should give it away, nothing like the smell of burnt card stock!!!  After the embossing is done you can go to town using your Glimmer Mists or Starburst Stains or whatever other shimmer sprays you have.  Here's my samples.
"Fragile"... (the tape up the top and down the bottom is
gold washi tape with one of my clear
sticky words placed on it)
"Obedient"... (this is me being my obedient wifely self.... lol... nope!)

"Nocturnal Spirit"... (love the organic effect of the stick
and the string on this one)
"Eternal Dreamscape"... (the shimmery paper up the top, which
you probably can't see very well, is actually some
gift wrap that I've had for years and use little
bits of it occasionally on my atc's.  It's very shimmery
and is quite crinkly, very hard to describe.  Keep your
eyes open for good gift-wraps to use!)
Finally one more sample from the previous class, Alcohol
Acetate Smoosh.
More Noodle embossing to follow.....

Friday, September 27, 2013

Alcohol Acetate Smoosh

The technique for this fortnight's class is called Alcohol Acetate Smoosh.   I wanted to use alcohol inks on acetate as I know how wonderful they look when placed against a light coloured background.  Usually you would stamp an image on the un-inked side of the acetate and place the ink down against the card to protect it and the light coloured card stock would show not only the wonderful ink colours, but the stamping as well.   This technique incorporates that technique but also uses the fantastic properties of glossy card stock as it also takes alcohol ink really well!    So we've all done Tim Holtz's Distress Ink Pad smoosh technique on craft sheets but I wanted to do a similar thing but using the acetate on one side and the gloss card on the other.   This way you get two pieces of wonderfully coloured background to work with. 
There are several ways to treat the card and acetate once it's coloured.  The first sample below "Horticulture" is the gloss card with Red Pepper, Pitch Black and Silver Alcohol Inks, then stamped with Black Archival Ink.  You can see how wonderfully the silver actually shows up and this would have to be one of the first times when I've seen Pitch Black actually behave as a black.  Sometimes it ends up a weird dark purple colour, depending on what you are doing it on.  The sample below is the acetate piece that was smooshed against the gloss card, then the image was stamped on white card stock and the coloured acetate was layered over the top.  Wonderful!!!

"Wicked Intention"... (This one has the coloured acetate layered over a stamped image that was
stamped onto a piece of book paper instead of plain card stock.)

"Black Bird"... (This is the gloss card piece of the acetate/gloss card smoosh
from above.  The moon is a small piece of acetate
that has been coloured with alcohol inks
then layered over a piece of foil tape to give it shine. 
This was layered under a hole that was punched in the atc.)
"Destiny"... (Alcohol Ink on acetate and then stamped onto the
un-inked side of the acetate, layered over a buff coloured
piece of card stock.)
"Like a Star"... (This stamp was stamped onto a piece of white card stock, then
coloured with markers and a coloured piece of acetate layered over the top.)
"No Fear"... (Alcohol Ink acetate layered over stamped image on white card stock).
I know people have some difficulty in working out how to attach acetate to cards.  As you can see from some of the samples above, I stitch the layers together using a sewing machine, you can also run the acetate piece through a Xyron sticker maker machine to add adhesive as it's pretty clear (you can't use JAC paper, it's too milky).  I have also used a very thin double-sided tape around the 4 edges to attach some of them and if the adhesive shows up you can also disguise this with thin German Scrap or similar (as in the sample above called "Destiny").  Of course you can also use brads or even the Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher (mini stapler) but just make sure that you have no buckling in either the acetate or the card behind and they both lay nice and flat against each other.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Paper Trapunto

Trapunto is a quilting technique where an area is raised by the addition of stuffing between two layers.  It's actually more complicated than that but this explanation will do for this technique.  I first learnt how to do Trapunto when I was making cloth dolls several years ago before I ventured into the paper-craft world.  I was going to teach my students how to do a trapunto technique using fabric but thought about what's actually required with sewing machines etc and figured there must be an easier way to do it with paper.  Well, there is... and even though you can't see it in these pictures, there is a section on each atc that is raised above the rest and is about 2-3mm higher than the rest.   It needs to be a large enough section of a stamped image to raise and fairly simple in shape.  Cotton wool balls are the secret and the images are coloured using watercolour pencils.  Think this technique is going into my next Technique book that I hope to have ready by about November this year,
just in time for Christmas!
"Exhibit A"... (raised area is the pointy brick hat)

"What is art"... (raised area is the body of the urn)
"See me"... (raised area is the rectangular body)
"Lather"... (raised area is the skirt - this one also incorporates
micro beads from a previous class)
There will be more samples to follow and I'll try and get a side-on picture so you can see the raised area as it's really not noticeable on these scans....it also doesn't help if you squash down the atc on the scanner bed so you can get a clear picture!!!   ;-)
These images below are from previous classes.  The first one is from Faux Brick and the other 3 are from the Micro Beads class.
"Lash"... (Faux Brick class)
"Mesmerize"... (micro beads class)
"Diamonds"... (micro beads class)

"Steampunk"... (micro beads)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Faux Brick

The technique for this fortnight is called Faux Brick.  I've had a scrap of scrapbook paper floating around in my off-cuts box for a while that is like a stone brick wall which is where the inspiration for this technique came from.   On some of my samples I've stamped the Faux Brick over the top of one of my previous classes where we did Wax Resist.  This gave a little more texture to the bricks.  But it can be done just on plain white card stock.  The Faux Brick is stamped with Distress Inks and another darker colour is added to the edges to give depth and definition to the bricks.  Of course, it's sort of hard to see the bricks with some of the eye-candy I have on my atc's!  Always a problem, but one that I'm happy to put up with.  :-)

"Sticks & Stones"... (the metal piece is one of Tim's
 little tassel embellishments!  You can also see
the wax resist showing through.)
"Never regret"... (this one is on plain card stock)
"Arrow of Truth"...
These next two are from my previous class, Micro Beads.  I also have a couple more of
these samples to post but haven't finished them yet.
"Emotional baggage"...
"Depth of Life"... (See the little microbeads in the background?)