Thursday, 13 July 2017

Inspirational Post ~ Let's Get Organised ! ~ Stamp Storage Binder

Hi everybody ! It's Toni here and I'm quite excited about the project I'd like to share with you today. I don't know about you but I am forever trying out new ways of storing my stamps. I've tried plastic boxes, draw trays, ring binders, the list goes on and on and so far I've never really found the perfect storage solution. After this project I think I may be getting a little closer. Pull up chair, make a cuppa and I'll show you what I've been up to.
I've been retired from my teaching job for almost a year and it's only now, that I finally believe, I'm not going to need the collection of ring binders I've been hanging on to, 'just in case' ha ha! So this is how I transformed one..........
After deciding on the size I wanted, I measured in from the top and bottom and drew a couple of cutting guidelines. I used a pair of strong scissors and cut away the excess. I also removed the vinyl cover.......
I then coated the with gesso, before stencilling the font cover with modelling paste. I have just bought a fabulous stencil by Stencil Girl, it's called Tropical Floral and I thought it would be ideal to use for the front cover. What do you think ? nice eh!.........
I left this to dry before stencilling the back. I used a different design, so that when I pick it up I know instantly which is the front. here is the back........
So far, so good! When the moulding paste was completely dry, I sprayed the surfaces with Imagination Crafts Media Ink Sprays. I have three colours, Magenta, Light Green, and Yellow. I also have one called Liquid Gilt which is just gorgeous!.......
and the back...........
I think the array of colours acheived by just using the three colour sprays is amazing. Whilst the inks were drying, I turned my attention to the 'pages'. Sometime ago, I bought some acrylic book covers in a craft sale. They're made by Zutter and are just the right thickness for this project. They were a little bigger than I needed so I cut them to size using a craft knife and a steel rule ......
I also punched two holes along the top edge, to correspond with the rings in the ring binder. I used six sheets altogether. I also cut twelve sheets of acetate to the same size and punched holes in them. I put all of these to one side, and returned to the ring binder. I wasn't too sure what to do with the inside. I wanted to keep it plain but the surface was a bit rough, so I knew I had to cover it with paper rather than just paint it. I decided to use some scrunched up black tissue paper. I think this is effective because, although plain in colour the 'wrinkles' provide an interesting textured surface. I applied a liberal coating of Mod Podge on the inside cover, layered the tissue onto the surface and then painted more Mod Podge over the tissue.

 After some more drying, it was time to add the finishing touches and to sort out some of my stamps. I decided not to use any dimensional embellishments, as the binder will be used frequently and there's always a risk of knocking off raised elements. I did however add a handle by plaiting together some lengths of sari silk ribbon. This is wonderful stuff, so colourful. I punched a couple of holes in the spine, added some rivets for strength, then threaded the ribbon through. I secured it with a knot at either end. It was then time to load up my stamps. I've just used clear stamps, as I find these more difficult to store. I get very irritated by the cellophane wrappers! Here's the inside.........
Well, that's it! I hope you've enjoyed this post. I must say I've loved  this creating this project and I'm very pleased with how my stamp storage, ring binder has turned out. Just as well, as I think I'll need to make a few more if I'm ever going to get my stamps organised! x 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Winners - Words with Meaning

Hello and welcome back ! Today's the day the winner and top 3 are announced, so we'll get right to it, please give your congratulations to....

Congratulations Beatriz ! We loved the layers of texture and the gorgeous photo taking centre stage. Please email for your winners badge and details of your guest post. 

Now onto the top 3:

Congratulations everyone ! Please email for your top 3 badges.
All of the winners will also be pinned on the Stamps and Stencils Pinterest Board!
The current challenge is Colour, Texture, Shape and you've still got plenty of time to share your projects with us. 

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Colour, Texture, Shape!

Hi everyone, Ruth here as the host for this months challenge and for July I have a picture inspiration board for you!

These photos are from my own collection and I'm hoping there's something among this mix that inspires you, whether it's the colour or shape or texture.....maybe it's the colours ranging from cream and peach through to gold, warm browns and soft greens or maybe you want to choose different colours and include fabric, lace or metal in your creation. As for shape, what about flowers, leaves and architecture or the design elements that are gothic, steampunk or romantic?

Whether you're inspired by one or all of the pictures, please share your mixed media creations with us, the only restriction - you must use a stamp or stencil somewhere in your project. Can't wait to see what you create but first here's some fantastic work from the design team to hopefully inspire you!

Now it's over to you and you have until 20.00 UK time on 2nd August to share your creations with us.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Learning to write

Hi, it's Sue here today sharing with you my first dabbbling at journal writing. I have long admired the wonderful journal pages with the all the various types of fabulous handwriting. I bought Joanne Sharpe's The Art of Whimisical Lettering months ago and have never, until now, sat down and read it and played around with the lettering examples in the book. So these are my first attempts, but lots more practice is required !

I gathered together some pens and I also bought a cheap set of brush pens to add to my little collection.

I grabbed a note book and started to work through Joanne's book. The above are trying out a brush pen and then an old paintbrush dipped in Bombay ink.

I also purchased a cheap set of calligraphy pens, working through the alphabet to get a feel for how to write with them.

As I worked through the different examples of creating different fonts and diffent styles of writing I was really pleased with the effects. The bottom example above is the end of a paintbrush dipped in Bombay ink.

Even when it starts off looking really quite scruffy when you add colour and block out areas and add some doodling it takes on a completely different look.

The brush pens are water based so colouring around the lettering, which is written in a waterproof pen, then using a waterbrush gives a great watercolour effect.

This style is called Wonky Printing, I quite like it but I need more practice !

The calligraphy pens are really quite effective and I will need to put in more time to perfect a style with them.

The above style is called It's a Wrap and it's all about drawing a vine like leaf around your lettering. I was a little dubious when I started but it really is quite effective !

The above page is roughly copied from Joanne's book, sometimes to copy something gets the brain thinking how you can use this style. The text is written with the black brush pen so I had to be really careful when colouring around it with the blue brush pen and then using a waterbrush.

Dabbling done, now it's time to create a page, or in this case a bag ! The above is a brown paper bag, the kind that some shops give you when you've purchased some goodies. I gave it a coat of Glue 'n' Seal first of all to protect it from the paint. I then splodged some Snowflake Fresco paint over it, this blocks out the background and then you get the true colours of the paints that come next. The numbers stencil is by Donna Downey and I've used Snowflake Fresco paint again.

I've used the 'Bumping' technique and stencilled the numbers again, I think this colour was Bougainvillea Fresco paint.

The leafy stencil is another one from Donna Downey and I've used Eggplant Fresco paint.

I carried on building up layers of stencilling and also stamping. Then it was time to be brave and add the text ! One of the things I learnt from this exercise is to pay attention to the placement and space for the text. If I was to do this again I would probably change how the words are placed on the page (bag). 

I added some doodling with a white pen and also white dots by dipping a paintbrush end into Snowflake Fresco paint. The flowers are drawn with a Micron pen, which is waterproof, then I've used the brush pens to colour them.

I am quite taken with the end result and my next brown paper bag is already prepped and ready for my next page ! 

I hope you've enjoyed learning to write all over again, and if you're quick you can still join in with the current challenge Words with Meaning

Thursday, 8 June 2017

A word very close to my heart!

Hello there! Its Rachel here with another take on this months challenge set by Sue - words with meaning. This time I decided to use just one word and decorate the letters in it in different ways. The word is craft - its got me through allsorts that life has thrown at me and so for that alone is incredibly important. I know many of you find it really helpful too!

Here's the final piece...

Each letter was firstly gessoed then painted in acrylic paint in a shade of green or yellow. Then I treated them separately.

The C was treated with the Tim Holtz distress mosaic kit.

Next for the R .... this was stamped and painted...

The A was simply stencilled ...

F was stencilled with crackle paste and then gone over with distress oxide. I also stamped too.

T was painted in crackle glaze and gone over in more paint.

I hope you like my ideas ... perhaps you can decorate a word that is important to you and enter our challenge?


Rachel xxx

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Winners of Fabric and Fibres

Hello and welcome back ! It's time to announce the winners of the Fabric and Fibres challenge. As always all of the entries are fabulous, but as there can be only one winner please congratulate...

We loved this little notebook that Lula has altered, the gold of the dragonfly against the colourful background is beautiful ! Please email for the details of your Guest Designer spot. 
Now on to the top 3:




Congratulations everyone ! Please email for your top 3 badge. 
All of the winners will also be pinned on the Stamps and Stencils Pinterest Board!
The current challenge is Words with Meaning and you've still got plenty of time to share your projects with us.


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Words with Meaning

Hello and welcome ! It's time to kick off the new challenge, it's Sue here and I'm your host for the month. I may be an old romantic but I love to see quotes and meaningful sayings on pieces of art. These can be quotes that are particularly meaningful to you or family sayings ! So, for this challenge I want to see your words taking centre stage, big and bold ! Remember, as always, you need to include some stamping or stencilling or both !

The DT have created some fantastic projects to get your creative juices flowing ! Click on each member's name to visit their blogs.

Now it's over to you !