Saturday, 27 September 2008

Stamp versatility swap

The idea of this swap was to explore how the same stamp can be used to create different 'looks'. We each had to create 3 cards or ATCs using the same stamp in different ways. here's my take on it, using a stamp by Invoke Arts:

Background - Reynolds freezer paper used in a 'spray box', which has accumulated overspray from previous projects on non-plasticised side. Adhere to cardstock using gel medium.

Embellishment - heat fun foam with a heat gun until it begins to curl, stamp into fun foam and hold the stamp down as hard as you can for about a minute, until the foam cools. Remove stamp, cut around image. Paint the fun foam with 2 coats of a paint intended for fabrics - I used Stewart Gill, but Lumieres would be fine. Once dry, gently rub some Rub'n'Buff or Treasure Gold over the raised areas to highlight them. Adhere to the background using glue dots.

Background - cover cardstock with small pieces of metal tape, burnish, then use a Ten Seconds Studio metal roller tool to add texture. Rub with Rub'n'Buff or Treasure Gold to dirty it up a bit, then add colour with a Brilliance Inkpad.

Embellishement - fold a piece of Fantasy Film (ART Glitter Institute) or Glitterati (Stewart Gill) in half and put into a hot laminating pouch. Laminate, then stamp image using Stazon ink. Cut around image once ink is dry, and adhere to background with gel medium. The scan doesn't show the iridescence that is visible in real life.

Background - coat the card with Golden Iridescent Copper paint. make fabric paper - lay a thin cotton fabric (muslin in the US, 'lawn' in the UK) onto a plastic sheet, coat with diluted PVA glue - the cheaper the glue, the better. Add pieces of thin gift wrapping paper, leaving gaps between, coat with more diluted glue, add a sheet of white tissue paper, smooth down, add more diluted glue, and while the glue is still wet, add very diluted Golden fluid acrylic paints (other acrylics will also work, but diluting them until they are the thickness of ink may render some cheaper paints fairly colourless as they don't have enough pigment). leave overnight to dry. Overstamp with Brilliance ink - I used Cosmic Copper and a Stamp Camp stamp. Glue to felt using PVA glue, cut to size, adhere to cardstock and edge with 3 dimensional paint, which gives a 'faux solder' effect.

Embellishment - lightly colour some translucent shrink plastic with pigment ink, stamp image using Brilliance ink - I used Pearlescent Olive. Leave overnight to dry. Cut around image, shrink with heat gun, adhere to fabric paper with glue dot. Take a small metal tile, colour with alcohol inks, edge with copper tape, stamp part of image with Stazon, adhere to fabric paper with glue dot.

I had lots of fun experimenting, playing with techniques old and new, and combining techniques. I hope the recipient likes the results!

Monday, 22 September 2008


I went on a course at Gallery Textiles with Annie, to learn about Lutradur. I had purchased a sheet of Lutradur last year but didn't have the confidence to play with it in case I "ruined" it. Now I know that "ruining" it is one of the fun things to do with it!!!

Lutradur is a lightweight polyester fibre substance which responds to heat by melting, and which can be coloured in a range of ways. It can also be printed on (but the images will be ghostly rather than dark and crisp), or have toner based images and text transferred onto it with acetone. Colour can ba added using transfer dyes or even colourwashes or paints, but these may not react in quite the way you expect as the lutradur doesn't actually absorb the wash or paint, this wraps itself round each fibre and clings to itself. And you cna't hurry the drying, because heat melts Lutradur!

The piece below was stamped with Xpandaprint (sometimes called dimensional fabric medium) using a foam stamp. I learn that less is more with this stuff!

Once stamped, if you carefully heat, the Xpandaprint bubbles and expands into a raised image. At that point I sprayed the whole piece with a colourwash, then used hot foils to highlight the highest areas of the main focal point with gold. (Not all foils use heat, some only work with glues.)

I then took a versatool and used the fine solder point, to 'cut' the Lutradur here and there,and wafted a heat gun over it for a while until it started to melt into small distressed holes.

The piece below was black Lutradur (70g weight), which was coloured using metallic paints. They give texture rather than lots of colour. Once painted and dry, I used Xpandapriont and a stencil to create the ferns, then heated them until they expanded. As this was a test piece, I used the fine soldering tool again, to cut some shapes into the Lutradur. You can use metal stencils to cut precisesly, the tip goes through the Lutradur like a hot knife through butter. I heated the whole piece with the heat gun, if you enlarge by clicking on the image, you can see where the cut and heated areas are.

This is fun stuff and I am sure I will be using it again.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Canvas with metal

Another birthday or two, another canvas or two! I made 2 similar canvases for friends with birthdays. I painted the canvases purple because one of them loves purple, then stamped a swirly flourish with Victorian Violet Brilliance ink. I made the heart embellishment by cutting up an aluminium can, then running it through the Wizard with a small Cuttlebug heart die. It left a deep mark in the cutting mat... I ran it thought the Wizard again in the little embossing folder, to emboss it, and gave it a coat of Ranger alcohol inks - Eggplant, Currant and Wild Plum.

Finally, I adhered the heart and buttons using sticky dots. I hope both friends like their presents!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Playing with fun foam

Today I made a 5 x 5 chunky book page out of fun foam (aka funky foam). I thought it would travel well, being bendy and waterproof!!! I heated the foam and stamped images into it while it was still hot. I protected already stamped area with a piece of mat board, so I didn't 'warm away' the first impressions while creating later ones.

This started out as green foam, I gave it a coat of Stewart Gill Metallica chestnut, then a coat of Stewart Gill Metallica bronze. Then I gave it lots of Treasure Gold wax rub on, in Olive, Copper and Gold.

I created the focal point by stamping onto a small sheet of mica, and used a piece of fabric paper behind the mica to make the image visible.

For the back of the page, I used the same paints and rub ons, but didn;t dare heat the foam again to stamp into it! So I stamped onto it with Brilliance Galaxy Gold - which you can just about see if you hold it at the right angle to catch the light! The image is a gel medium transfer onto fine cotton fabric, afdhered to the fun foam with more gel medium.

I enjoyed working with a different base so much, that I decided to make my next project out of fun foam, too!!! This swap involved making a set of 4 ATCs, representing the seasons. So, I heated the foam and stamped it withthe most appropriate stamps in my collection, and used Stewart Gill paints and Treasure Gold wax to colour them. Finally, each ATC had an embellishment added, to give a bit more depth and texture. Fun to make, I hope my swap partner likes them!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Deco book page

This is one of the pages I am doing in a round robin of deco books. There are 16 of us and this is the seventh page I have done, the 8th is drying as I write!

Page is painted with Stewart Gill Byzantia paint, no name for the colour, it was a sale item! I gave it a coat of Jo Sonya Opal Dust to add glimmer, then painted the chipboard letters purple and adhered those. The image is fantasy film, using an Enchanted Gallery stamp inked with Stazon and ironed. Don't forget to put a layer of greaseproof or silicone paper between your iron and the fantasy film!

Another fanatsy film embellishment, on a stamped background. I used Pearlescent Crimson Brilliance Ink and a Stampcamp stamp for the background.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

In This House pages

On a (mainly Australian) swap group, we are doing an 'In This House' chunky book. We needed to make 15 pages each, using a standard template, where the total page height is 8 inches, and the width is 4.5 inches. Each of us had to choose a different theme for our pages, thereby ensuring no duplication within the books.

I chose 'The Welsh House' - Ty Cymreig - for my theme.

The front and backs of my pages were mat or mount board (used in picture framing), and I covered them with pages from an old Welsh language New Testament. I gave them a wash of lightly tinted gesso, to provide a chalky finish and a 'key' for what I planned to add.

For the front of the page, I created a digital collage, and printed it onto transparency, adhered top the page with Glossy Accents, and trimmed with German Scrap. The collage is made from photographs I have taken over the last year or so, and each element represents something form Welsh history, or which is culturally important.

The fossils represent the ancient landscape, where much of Wales was under the sea, while the modern landscape forms the background to the page. The carved standing stone represents the Celts, who were living in Wales 1500-3000 years ago. The Roman soldier represents the invaders who had such an effect on Wales 2000 years or so ago, the medieval character represents the Norman invaders, who arrived a1000 years o sao ago, and changed the culture and society completely. The timber framed roof is an image of a 1404 house in Beaumaris, the iron signpost in the bottom right hand corner reopresent the industrialisation of Wales (the world's first industrial country) in the 19th century, and the carved Ram's head represents the craftsmanship which abounds across Wales, and also the fact that we have so many sheep!!!

For the back of the page, I decided to use image transfers. I wanted the page to look older and more distressed thatn the front. I printed the reverse images out onto good quality photo paper (Epson double sided matte), then coated them with a very thin coat of soft gel, rapidly followed by a second coat, probably before the first coat was dry. Then I laid the immage onto the page, and ran them through my Wizard. It was easy to peel the paper off and leave the image on the page. I started with an image of a map of Wales:

and added two ladies in 17th century Welsh costume:

then a chapel:

and finally I picked a fern frond from my garden, dired it in the microwave, adhered to the page with gel medium, and painted over it with gesso. I hope I don't fall foul of the Australian customs people with that!



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