Thursday, 18 January 2018

Double welcome to todays Guest, Lula !

Hello and welcome back ! Today we are welcoming Lula as our Guest but as the title suggests this is a double welcome as Lula is also joining the Stamps and Stencils Design Team ! So, let's move on to hear from Lula and please give her a warm welcome.

First of all let me say I feel so honoured to be invited here and have a possibility to introduce my work.

How long have you been crafting for ?
 I started my crafting journey 7 years ago. 
What or who inspired you to start crafting ?
 I was inspired by my son's friend (much younger than me) who invited me for a card-making meeting.
What is your favourite technique ?
 I love all of them but mixed media is definitely my favourite thing.
What excites you most about crafting ? 
I'm never satisfied doing things the usual way, so I'm always trying to find ways to be a bit different.
What is your 'go to' product and why ?
 Definitely gesso is the product I use all the time. It is such a versatile product: primer, texture maker, highlighter, transfer medium...etc. Love using both white and black.
Who would you most like to take a class with ?
 I would like to take a class with Seth Apter. I think he is a large format artist and his mixed media masterpieces are so inspiring! Love his grunge style.
What's your favourite style of crafting i.e. journalling, altered items etc.. ?
 I enjoy making almost anything from tags to art journaling, but I love altered art projects and creative upcycling always makes me happy.
Where do you find inspiration? 
 My inspiration come mostly from long walks and nature watching, reading books and music I listen to.

We are so excited that Lula is joining the team and as you can see Lula's work is just stunning !

The current challenge On the Bright Side still has plenty of time to go, so it would be great to see your entries !

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Inspiration Post - Fabric Collage

It is Cec here and today I am bringing you a fabric collage that makes use of lots of bits and pieces you have lying around along with some stamping and stenciling on fabric.  There is absolutely no right or wrong way to create this type of collage but I do recommend that you just dive in and start adding things because I wasted time trying to lay everything out ahead of time.  I did decide where the stamped and stenciled pieces were going to be but for the rest, I made it up as I went along.  I also did not want it to look perfect so I didn't take a lot of care lining things up or making sure the edges were at right angles and I sure succeeded  - LOL.

First I decided how large I wanted to make the finished piece and then cut two pieces of canvas fabric a bit smaller.  They were sandwiched with a piece of quilt batting in between and then I stitched around the edge a couple of times moving the fabric so my stitching was not straight.

The next step was to stencil a butterfly (IndigoBlu) onto some lightweight canvas fabric using a variety of acrylic paints - Pink Iced Gem that I mixed with a bit of Mulberry Bush, Wimberry Pie and Townhouse Teal (all IndigoBlu).

When this piece was dry, I added it to some quilt batting and hand stitched around the butterfly.  I used some double-sided tape to hold the canvas to the batting when I turned it to the back but would not do that again because it is hard to stitch through glue.  Another time, I would leave it un-turned and frayed as it is in the photo.  I would also stencil the butterfly straight on and not on an angle.  I glued a bunch of teeny seed beads (Michaels) randomly around the butterfly.

There was some leftover pink paint on my kraft mat so I mixed it with some Light Molding Paste (Golden) and used a feather stencil (IndigoBlu) to add some textured stenciling to a piece of frayed muslin.  When it was dry I decided it was too bright so I laid the stencil over it again and inked it with some Victorian Velvet Distress Ink (Tim Holtz).  The fabric was then stitched to a piece of quilt batting.

Another piece of muslin was stamped with a little bird from a set called Vintage Outdoors (Stampendous) using Cornflower Blue Archival Ink (Wendy Vecchi for Ranger).  This was also stitched to some batting and some seed beads (Dollarama) were sewn in the corners.

I went to my sewing stash and grabbed a few scraps I thought might work together and started to assemble the collage on the fabric background starting at the bottom and working my way up.  I won't describe every little thing I did because the idea here is that you make this your own and use whatever you have available.  There is lots of hand stitching with embroidery floss, including some french knots.  I sewed some buttons on as well as some seed beads.  I also added some wool and fibres.

Sewing the beads took me right back to the time I made a Japanese fan out of seed beads on a bathing suit for my daughter's synchronized swimming competition and the judges at the first level didn't like the colour of the suit (it was the colour of muslin so the fan would pop but they said she looked like she was not wearing anything under water) so they made her get a new suit before the next level of competition.  All those little beads and I had to start over and only had one week once the new suit was made for her.  Needless to say the fan idea was out and sequins were pressed into service because they were faster to sew on.  But I digress . . . .

After I sewed and/or glued everything on my fabric canvas background, I prepared my stretched canvas by adding some clear Gesso (Liquitex) on the top to create a border and on the sides.  I purposely put it on thickly and used my brush to create some bumps for texture.  When the Gesso was dry I added some Blood Orange Fresco Finish (Paper Artsy) and then when that was dry I gave it a spritz with some Aged Mahogany Distress Spray Stain (Tim Holtz).  Finally I glued my collage onto the stretched canvas using Super Thick Slap It On (IndigoBlu).

I had fun making this collage and hope I have inspired you to try your hand at stamping and stenciling on fabric.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Winners - It's beginning to look alot like Christmas

We're back today to announce the winners of the December challenge, It's beginning to look alot like Christmas. There were some beautiful entries, unfortunately not all the entries followed the full requirements of the challenge as we were looking for stamping and stencilling this time. However, we have chosen a winner so please give your congratulations to....

Congratulations Kate ! We loved the textured background and the fabulous Christmas tree is perfect ! Please email carringtons22@yahoo, for your winners badge and the details of your guest post. 

Now onto the top 3:

Congratulations everyone ! Please email for your top 3 badges. 

The current challenge is On the Bright Side and you still have plenty of time to join us !

Thursday, 4 January 2018

On the Bright Side!

First of all may we wish you a Very Happy Creative 2018! It's Ruth here as the host this month....It may still be winter but it's a brand New Year, the days will be soon getting longer, and pops of bright colours will soon start to appear in the garden. This month I'd like you to dazzle us by using lots of bright colours in your Spring themed creations ...and don't forget to use stamps or stencils.

You have until 20.00 UK time on the 31st of January to share your Bright creations with us, can't wait to see what you come up with!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Winners of the Pastels challenge !

Hello and welcome back ! We're running a little late today but it's time to announce the winner and top 3 for the Pastels challenge.

Congratulations to Hazel !

We thought your card was beautiful Hazel and loved how you used the dried flowers as the main focal point. Please email for details on your Guest Post and also your winners badge.

Now onto the top 3:


Congratulations everyone ! Please email for your top 3 badge. 

This is the last post for 2017 we are all taking a well earned rest but will be back in January for the start of a new challenge. We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and all good things for the New Year. Also, we would like to thank all of our followers and those of you who join in with our challenges. If you do find yourself with time on your hands the current challenge to use Stamps AND Stencils with a Festive theme is still open and we would love to see your entries. 

Happy Christmas !

Thursday, 7 December 2017

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas !

Hello ! Welcome to the start of the new and final challenge for 2017 ! Before we get onto the theme we have to share some sad news. This will be the last challenge for Autumn as she is leaving the team. Autumn has decided that she needs to divide her time differently and we would like to thank her for all her beautiful work and wish her well.

So now onto the theme for the new challenge. It's Sue here and I think that at this time of year it's needs to be something simple and also relevant so I've chosen the below theme:

Festive Stamps AND Stencils - Now normally to join in with us we ask you to use either stamps or stencils, but for this challenge I want to see both and lots of them with a Festive theme ! So dig out all your stamps, maybe some long forgotten that need some love and all of your stencils and let them take centre stage !

The team have created some fabulous projects for your inspiration !


Now it's over to you ! 

Thursday, 30 November 2017

A trip down memory lane

Hello and welcome to today's post ! It's Sue here and today I'm sharing a look back over my crafty journey and a few of my favourite projects too.

I have been crafting for more years than I can remember but the day it all started, when I wandered into the small craft shop in the village where I used to live, is still a vivid memory. I wasn't really sure what I was looking at and ended up buying a pack of 5 Christmas cards to make myself. The response I got from the recipients set me to wondering what else I could do. I attended a workshop in the shop not long after and was introduced to embossing powder, seeing it melt had me hooked !

My favourite technique has to be stencilling and all things associated with it. I love building layers and the depth and interest you can achieve just fascinates me. This led me to journalling, the blank pages are full of possibilities and it's also a place to experiment. I've taken many classes both online and also face to face but if there was one person I would love to take a class with it would be Donna Downey.

A few years ago I was very honoured to be invited to join the PaperArtsy blogging team and this was a real change in my crafting direction. I discovered Freso Finish Chalk Paint and that changed my thinking completely. New craft products are always exciting but new techniques have always attracted me more and using the Fresco paints just opened a whole new world !

I still enjoy making the occasional card and the above was made as a sample for the launch of some Lynne Perrella stamps. Being challenged to use different colours and stamps is always daunting but when the wheels start to turn and the ideas start to take shape it's always exciting.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, but sometimes it's a case of being given the building blocks then taking what you've learnt and using it in your own way. I attended a fabulous class with Lin Brown a couple of years ago and rusting fabric was the technique we were working with. The above was a project that came together really quickly, rusting lots of fabric and including metal too which is another passion of mine.

In recent years I've not crafted as much, life has turned in a different direction but I still enjoy the time I do spend surrounded by my craft products.