Thursday, 20 October 2016

Inspiration Post - Upcycled Coasters

It is Cec here and I am bringing you some inspiration today in the form of some upcycled coasters.

I have a bunch of coasters that really should have been thrown out long before now because they have stains on them or little torn spots but the other day I had a bright idea that maybe I could salvage them.

I started by covering the back with some painters tape since I wanted to make sure I didn't damage the cork backing.  Next I covered the front and sides with a couple coats of Liquitex Gesso.

The next step was to paint the coaster with some Folk Art acrylic paint called Italian Sage.  It took two coats to get good coverage.

Next I used Jet Black Archival Ink and an IndigoBlu stamp called Script Background to add some stamping to the coaster.

I crumpled up some tissue, flattened it back out and adhered it to the coaster with some Mod Podge.  This photo was taken of the first attempt at altering the coaster so there was another stamped image that didn't make it on the second version that I am showing you today.  Once the tissue is dry, I trimmed the excess away and added another coat of Mod Podge over the tissue.  Try not to touch the tissue while it is wet because it does tend to disintegrate and you don't want it to come off areas where you want it to be.

The next step was apply some inks of various types in random spots.  I used Tim Holtz Aged Mahogany and Iced Spruce Distress Spray Stain along with some FW acrylic inks in Pearlescent Copper, Pearlescent Silver Moss and Antelope Brown.

I then used Jet Black Archival Ink and a set of stamps from Hero Arts to add some butterflies to the coaster.  I heat set them and then put a coat of IndigoBlu Super Thick Slap It On over the coaster to seal it.  In the future I think I would wait a couple days to ensure that the stamping is really set because the ink still moved a bit when I added the sealer but it wasn't so bad that I couldn't use it.

Here is a close-up view of the finished coaster. I hope you are inspired to rescue your old coasters and give them some new life.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Skeleton leaves anyone?

Hi everyone, Ruth here with an inspiration post inspired by the current challenge theme 'Elements of Nature' . Skeleton leaves were one of the first crafty items I bought many, many years ago to make some cards and I have had some in my stash ever since but never thought of another way to use them that wasn't..well if I'm honest a bit naff. Not wanting to get rid of them they have been moved from one place to another and then when I saw what this months challenge theme would be I decided it was their time! So here is my second creation incorporating skeleton leaves....a nature book.

I started off with a book that had disintegrated and decided to recycle the covers, taping them together with a space for the spine. I will make a text block at a later stage that will fit inside....I do love handmade journals.

Inspired by a cheesecloth covered book on pinterest I gave the covers one coat of gesso and applied some muslin whilst it was still wet, I then painted more gesso on top and scrunched the muslin up a bit.

Once dry I spread a thin layer of grunge paste over and stamped into it with a Lin Brown leaf stamp. Spray the rubber with a mist of water before stamping. I just made a random pattern.

This created some lovely texture.

I decided to apply skeleton leaves to just the front and leave the texture showing on the back. I applied the leaves whilst the grunge paste was still wet, trimming where I needed to and then left it to dry. Once dry I applied a coat of gel medium to make sure all the leaves were stuck down. I also added a few tiny art stones.

I used pinflair book binding glue to stick the muslin to the inside covers.

Next heat embossing on a skeleton leaf with frantage shabby white enamel. This is the same method I used for my herbarium in last weeks post, but I used gold powder that time.

The book was ready for a dry brushing of fresco paints in snowflake, nougat, toffee and french roast. I also used a fine text stamp to add some further detail.

 I then applied torn pieces of the skeleton leaf to the front.

A tickle of white fire treasure gold highlighted the neutral colour palette.

I nearly left it as it was, particularly as it's much easier to work in a journal that has very little dimension on the covers but I decided to use some more of the natural elements and encase them in UTEE.

I put a little glue on the base of the microscope slide and stuck it to my craft mat before sprinkling in some pieces of the skeleton leaf, micro beads and gilded seed heads, then I poured clear melted UTEE in before sprinkling some more tiny additions. The splashed of white are melted embossing enamel on the leaf and just adds a lovely highlight to the piece. A little gilding around the edge of the slide to finish off.

I have loved using skeleton leaves again and have further ideas to experiment with them in encaustic wax...just goes to show you shouldn't throw anything way in crafty land! I do hope you've been inspired to join in with our challenge or experiment working with natural elements as there is an abundance at this time of year.

Thanks for stopping by, Ruth x

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Winners - Autumn Colours Challenge

It is time to announce the winner from our Autumn Colours challenge and share the Top Three.  There were some fabulous projects with warm fall colours but the Design Team kept looking at them until they agreed that their winner was #19.

Kerstin F.

Congratulations Kerstin!  This was such a lovely layout with so many special embellishments and all the colours that fall brings forth.  Cec will be contacting you shortly to discuss your Guest Designer spot.

And now, the Top Three:


Congratulations to our Top Three as well.  Please email to claim your Top Three badges.  All our winners will be pinned to our Stamps and Stencils Pinterest Board..

The current challenge, Elements of Nature is running now and you have lots of time to share your projects with us so we hope you will join us.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Elements of Nature Challenge

Welcome to Stamps and Stencils and our October challenge, Elements of Nature.  I'm Autumn and I'm your hostess for this month's challenge.  I know you will be inspired by our design team's fabulous creations.  Please take the time to visit their blogs for the details on their lovely projects.

Whether you are inspired by the glorious world around us with the changing seasons, or tempted to use elements of nature in your art work, this month we'd love to see your nature inspired entries.  Anything goes as long as you include a natural element in your art which can be either stamped or an actual item!  As always you need to include stamping or stenciling.

Over to you now!  We cannot wait to see your creations for this challenge.  Happy autumn from the Stamps & Stencils design team!

The challenge is open until Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 20:00 UK time.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Having Fun With Stickers.

Hi everybody! It's Toni here and my Inspirational Post today, is all about creating stickers. Some years ago, I bought a whole box of A4 sheets of round white paper labels, for the princely sum of £1. I've never managed to use them successfully with my printer, so they have been stashed in a cupboard waiting for inspiration to strike..........
This is one of the sheets, before I got started with my acrylic paints. To begin with, I used some lovely bright flourescent colours, which I applied to the surface with my small Gelli Plate. I attached the Gelli plate to a large acrylic block and brayered the paint onto it. I then used it like a giant stamp, and coloured over the whole sheet. This worked well, as it meant the labels didn't become too wet. They also dried quickly. I then tried spraying another sheet of labels with Dylusions Inks and blotted the surface 'Dyan style', with a kitchen role. I Sprayed another sheet with Distress Inks. I really could have gone on and on at this point !
 Here are the two sprayed sheets of labels. Once all the backgrounds were dry, I used a variety of stencils and stamps to pattern them. I stuck to those that had relatively small designs here are some close ups.......
This is one of the acrylic painted backgrounds The stamping and stencilling has been done with Archival Inks....
On this painted sheet of labels, I used my type writer to randomly type letters across the surface.
This sheet has been sprayed with Distress sprays to create a vintage style.
I used some months of the year stamps on this sheet, which I think would be great to use in a planner. It was really fun selecting stamps and stencils for the whole process of making my 'sticker' sheets. I also made a few tags to show how they would look on a  project....
I firstly coloured this tag, using my Gelli Plate.
 I then peeled off a few stickers and stuck them onto the background. I doodled around the circles adding petals and leaves using a black Zig pen. I also used a Stabilo pencil and water brush, to add a bit of depth to the circles.
I used the stickers to create a border on the side of this tag and finally.........
I created this tag with a vintage style using Distress Inks for the background. Once again I used a Stabilo pencil around the circles. I hope this gives a little flavour of how the the stickers can be used. The great thing is that I still have loads left! If you fancy trying your hand at sticker making, you can buy round labels, of various sizes, quite cheaply on the internet. I do hope you give it a try as it really is great fun ! Until next time, happy crafting ! x

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Welcome to today's Guest Designer, Coco !

Hello ! Today we are welcoming Coco of Chez Coco as our Guest Designer. Coco was chosen by the DT as the winner of the Tic Tac Toe challenge and was therefore invited to join us for a day as Guest Designer.  Before we move on to hear from Coco I would just like to say a huge thank you to our followers who have now reached 200 ! This is fantastic !

So now it's time to hear from Coco.

Hello everyone. I was absolutely delighted to be invited by Sue to guest here at Stamps and Stencils. The team is uber-talented, and the tutorials are always great, shared works often incredible. This is a real opportunity for everyone to learn new techniques, be inspired, and experiment more and better!

My name is Corinne, but I am more known as simply Coco – my nickname - on Craftyblogland, or Cocofolies. I am a French self-made wanna be artist at heart, and a free-lance teacher and demonstrator in Mixed Media art in my area since early October, 2015. A dream come true. Working full-time with my stamps, inks and paints in my messy room, with a good cup of coffee near me makes me just so happy!!!
I live in beautiful France, Brittany. I have had 5 children, one boy and four girls (which take so much of energy!!), and happily, I have also a wonderful husband to give a little bit of help! I’m so thankful to him. Without his support, I would not have been able to fulfill my dream.
My style is detailed, colourful, sometimes a bit quirky and often whimsical, which is my world basically maybe. I always pay a lot of attention to the details, loving them.
I am very proud to have been designing for Crafty Individuals for several years now. I also love experimenting and sharing tips, techniques and ideas wherever possible on my blog, Pinterest, FB and IG social networks. Thank you so much for the honour today to share with you a little piece of my own artwork, as I have really enjoyed creating this canvas, loving the colours of Autumn so much! 

I started with a plain cheap 12x12 canvas, as I  had no idea at start where my steps would lead me...
I first painted my canvas with titan buff, then roughly brayered over it a bit of Gesso and yellow. Burnt Umber and Sierra paints, also some Iridescent copper lightly, were added on the edges and blended using my fingers and a baby wipe.
For the base, I used tissue paper (Kleenex) and had fun to stamp in black onto several sheets a lot of leaves from various rubberstamp brands, I used mainly a wonderful leaves background stamp and some other fantastic texture stamps (among them the trees) by Chocolate Baroque, and a great foliage by PaperArtsy, designed by Darcy Wilkinson. Everything was glued with gel medium, overlapping sometimes a few leaves on tissue paper at some areas (but heat set the first piece a bit before!). Using Kleenex for this technique may be viewed as difficult since it is a delicate paper, but what is fantastic with it is that it merges wonderfully, it almost totally disappears on support underneath and dryes clear. It is a wonderful way of integrating images on textured parts.  Most of you know that well probably, but we never know, the tip can be useful for some others maybe! 

My leaves, foliage and trees were colored with Neocolor II pencils and a few Faber-Castell Big Brushes and small ones too. 
I used extra heavy gel to adhere my distressed lantern die-cut in grungeboard, I had so much fun altering it!!! For the luminous globe, it was covered first with frosted film and painted in white at the back side, as I had learned from Brenda Brown on her blog Bumblebees and Butterflies last year... I really wanted to give it a try, but had no occasion to use this TH die so far, so perfect this time!

I have just one photo at intermediate stage to share…

However, I have a few pics on how I made my 3D butterfly:

First, I chose a lovely stamp set by Darcy Wilkinson from my PA stamps collection, this one comes from EDY19.

I started to colour the wings of this wonderful butterfly with Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics in the shades you can see on the photo above.

Then added some blues lightly on its body, for a nice contrast… 

Finally decided to play also with my Silk Acrylic Glaze paints, as I wanted to make it sparkle more. I knew it would seek the light and be very close to it...

I made two, just because I was not too sure of the colours!!
Since then, I have put the second one in a spread in my Nature Art journal, on which I have also applied my leftover paints.

You can see above on the right pic how fun Darcy’s flower is, with the little eye I created with a dot of black enamel... My flower is also bended, looking at the lantern and luminous globe of course!
Added to it a few dots and strips of white acrylic pen to highlight it… I just love the unique flower I have created here, beautiful I feel.

Now for the mushrooms :

I chose the fabulous couple of mushrooms from PA JOFY37 stamps, these are so cute !!!  

I used the same technique as before to stamp and adhere them on my canvas, bending them a bit more than normal to look in the direction of the light too. But I wanted extra texture... Thus I applyed a thick layer of modeling paste over their heads with a palette knife. I gently tapped into the paste directly with my finger, just for fun and creating here a bit of texture.

When dry, added some crackling definition, with the help of Distress Crackle Paint in Clear Rock Candy… I was not totally satisfied yet, so I painted over them, applying several layers of paints and DecoArt antiquing creams in white, black and grey, wiping back every layer after a few seconds, and finally adding Metallic lustre from DecoArt too in Polished Coral. You can not see it well, but the final texture is fabulous!! This has been a quite long process, but well deserved the time as I love to bits the result!

At the bottom, you can admire also the fabulous new Tim Holtz twisted edges!! I received them lastly from the Funkie Junkie boutique, and I’m totally under the spell… You can also use, like I did, a few parts torn up from the remaining parts; I glued them here and there, in any direction.. Just to simulate some quirky leaves buffeted by the wind… like under the spell too.
I also brushed half circles of brown pain in various senses to accentuate this movement.

The main quote is from the same stamp set as the butterfly. The second one ’Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will always fall behind you’ comes from another one, EDY10. And a last close-up..

Maybe you can catch on my photo that there is also a touch of glitter in this scene ... I poured a bit of white and gold DecoArt Glamour dust in the vertical line under the lantern, like if a bit of magical light was falling from the white glass luminous globe... A few pinches were also added at the top in some areas, just before I decided to also apply some Stampendous frantage bronze enamel on parts of the edges (and a bit on the trees too). I used my Versamark pad, and everything heat set slightly at the same time.

Some Metallic lustre and Treasure Golds finally added on all edges for the finishing touch. Et voilĂ !

Hopefully you will now feel even more inspired to create your own Autum mixed media project and share it here at Stamps And Stencils. I really enjoyed working on mine, using these warm colours that I love!!! Huge thanks to Sue and the Design Team for inviting me to be their guest this month. It has been an absolute joy.

  A big thank you to Coco for sharing her beautiful project with us, you now have even more inspiration to join in with the current challenge which is The Colours of Autumn.