Thursday, 18 October 2018

Welcome to today's Guest Designer, Helen !

Hello and welcome back! Today we are being joined by Helen Liu of Happy Stamping and Happy Life. Helen was the winner of the Grunge/Industrial challenge and was therefore invited to join us for a day.

Hello Artsy Friends,

I’m super excited and honored to be the Guest Designer for Stamps and Stencils’ October Challenge - Spooky Fun with an Autumnal twist.

My name is Helen Liu. I live in Taipei, Taiwan and work full-time as a Banker in a Commercial Bank. I enjoy playing with stamps, stencils, inks, paints, die cuts, etc. in my leisure time. To know more about me, please check out my previous Guest Post in March here (link:

For today’s challenge - Spooky Fun with an Autumnal twist, I must confess that I’m not really into the spooky things, especially that I don’t have little children around me for some years. Yet I’ve decided to challenge myself to create an Autumnal tag with spooky elements. It’s fun to explore something out of my comfort zone. The following is how I made my tag.

1. Stamp text (Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz) with brown shadow ink on a watercolor paper tag.

2. Apply various Distress Inks on tag.

3. Die cut several leaves die (Sizzix/Tim Holtz) to create a DIY stencil.

4. Apply several Distress Inks over the DIY Leave Stencil to create a tone-on-tone effect.

5. Spread a thin layer of Texture Paste over the Gothic Stencil (Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz) on tag.

6. When dry, the Texture Paste will absorb some of the Distress Inks. Further apply several Distress Inks over the DIY Leave Stencil to enhance the tone-on-tone effect over the raised texture paste pattern.

7. Stamp Halloween elements (Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz) in black, die cut and color. Stamp text (Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz) in VersaMark and Heat Emboss in white on a black card scrap.

 8. Adhere Halloween elements on tag.

Hope this non-traditional Halloween tag is eye-pleasing and inspirational to you. Please join us for this fun challenge and I can't wait to see your artsy project.

Thank you so much for your wonderful project Helen ! There's still plenty of time to join in with the Spooky Fun with an Autumnal Twist challenge.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Autumnal Match Box

Hello and welcome back ! It's Sue here and today I'm sharing an Autumnal match box. This was a sheer fluke in terms of where the idea came from, I had just finished a box of matches and was about to throw the box away when ......

 I had an idea and grabbed the Gesso ! The sun also came out at this point so apologies for the shadows !

 I also grabbed my Amsterdam acrylics, which seem to be my go to at the moment. The Gesso creates some wonderful texture and the paint, applied with a baby wipe, really highlights it.

 A real change about too are the stamps I've used, the above is a Tim Holtz stamp that I've only used once but I do love the script. I've used Amsterdam acrylic to stamp on to the box.

 Some bits of washi tape are added then some stencilling, using cut 'n' dry foam as the box isn't strong enough to stand me pounding on it with a stencil brush !

More stencilling and stamping, with Tim Holtz stamps and a Wendy Vecchi stamp, all done with Amsterdam acrylics. A little bit of smudging with Gesso then stamping the script stamp again and embossing with white EP. 

The handle is made from jute that I've plaited and the leaf is made from Grunge Paper ( I still love the smell !)

 I even dug out my Distress Inks to shade the leaf and rubbed some Archival Ink around the edges to colour the cut edge.

The text is stamped onto Smoothy card and the stamp is from a Lin Brown set. 

One final shot to show how everything goes all the way around the box.

I hope you've enjoyed today's Inspirational Post and remember you still have time to join us for the Spooky fun with an Autumnal Twist challenge.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Winners, It's been a while

Hello and welcome back ! Today's the day to announce the winner and top 3 from the It's been a while challenge. There were so many fabulous entries but a winner has been chosen, please congratulate:

Congratulations ! We loved the colour combination and the textured design. Please email for the details of your Guest Post and winners badgs. 

Now on to the top 3:

Congratulations everyone ! Please email for your top 3 badges. 

There's still time to join in with the current challenge Spooky fun with an Autumnal Twist.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Spooky Fun with an Autumnal twist

Hello all! How are you? I hope you are well. Time for a new challenge at Stamps and stencils this month ...I would love to see your mixed media makes with a Spooky theme, but if Spooky is not your thing then Autumnal colours also fit the bill ! - you can make anything you like as long as it is in a mixed media style and involves stamps or stencils!!! Enjoy!

Here's a look at what me and my amazingly talented teamies have come up with...

Now it's over to you ! 

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Inspirational post: Playing with Lift Ink

Hello there! Rachel here today to show you my results of playing with stamps, stencils and lift ink plus re-inker. I know  its pretty old hat now but I was a bit late to the party and wanted to play!
My project is very a cute fishy themed card using stamps from Elenazinski at Paperartsy.

I started with a piece of yupo and some alcohol inks and applied the inks to the yupo using a felt applicator.

Next I added some more alcohol ink direct to the yupo and added some blending solution allowing it to run.

I then used the felt and applicator to try and pull the green into a more recognisable plant like shape. If you squint a bit you might be able to see! 

Next I got the alcohol lift ink out and my stamps of choice - I figure these stamps are pretty open to be a great choice for the technique but here's what I managed to achieve.

I applied the lift ink to the stamp then stamped onto the yupo and off again onto the card. After stamping on the yupo you need to carefully dab any excess ink off. 

Next I used a stencil and some lift ink re-inker and applied that on some clean felt using the applicator tool.

I really like this result!

Finally I added the cut out stamped images and made it look like an underwater scene, in my mind the fish at the bottom are more ghost like and harder to see then those at the top! I added the sentiment as a bit of a play on my family name.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Welcome to today's guest designer, Jo !

Today we are welcoming Jo from Let's Art Journal as our Guest Designer. Jo was the winner of the Ombre challenge and was therefore asked if she'd like to join us for a day. So, let's move on to meet her !

Hello everyone, I’m so excited to be here at Stamps & Stencils as Guest Designer for their It's been a while... challenge this month.

My name is Jo and I blog at Let’s Art Journal. I live by the sea in the North West of England with my hubby and I started Art Journaling nearly 3 years ago as a way of expressing my life through words and pictures. I love using mixed media for all sorts of projects, with stamps and stencils often featuring in my designs. I’m captivated by the variety of techniques and materials that can be used to create so many different styles of art. I’ve always been a creative person, and this has now become a passion of mine which I like to share with others.

I am often inspired by things I see and do, so my art journal page today is inspired by rainbow colours and sunshine to mark the end of summer. I had so much fun layering all the different stamps and stencils to create my page, I hope you like it!

I started by adding strips of old book pages, washi tape and homemade sheet music decoupage paper to the centre of the page using matte gel medium.

Then I applied Faber-Castell Gelatos by scribbling them onto the page and smudging the colour with my finger which I wet using a baby wipe so they blended together easily. I find that using a baby wipe to wet my finger provides just the right amount of moisture to ensure the gelatos smudge perfectly.

I stamped a sponge stamp design from Finnabair and also a Collage Numbers stamp from Gummiapan Stamps using black Archival Ink. Next I used a baby wipe through a dot stencil to erase some of the gelato colour and create the white dots.

Then I stamped a circle stamp from Gummiapan Stamps using black Archival Ink and added high density white gesso through a Wheels stencil by Dina Wakley using a palette knife.

I took an old book page and stamped some butterflies by Graphic 45 from Hampton Arts onto it using black Archival Ink and fussy cut them out.

The butterflies are stuck in place using matte gel medium and when dry, I added more detail to them using a black Uni Posca paint pen. I splattered black and white acrylic paint over the page with a paintbrush after adding the motivational words which are rub-on transfers. To finish, I outlined the wheels with a black Uni Pin marker so they stood out more.

Here are the materials I used to create this page and you can also find a full list of materials on my blog here.

Thanks so much, I have really enjoyed spending time with you today and I hope that you are inspired by this month’s It's been a while... challenge too and are able to join in the fun!

Thank you. Jo x

Wow Jo, thank you so much for such a fabulous project ! There is still time to join us for the It's been a while challenge ! 

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Inspiration Post - Sun Prints

Hi everyone, Ruth here this week experimenting with a 'Sunprint Kit' that I've had for a while and just never got around to using until now. The kit contains photosensitive paper (cyanotype) which you expose to light. The resulting images can then be used in a number of ways and as this months challenge is 'Anything Goes' I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to dabble.

The kit is fairly readily available and comes in a variety of sizes and the one I've used is the smallest 10x10 cm. It's great fun for children and suitable for 6 years and I thought I would be safe to be let loose with it!

It's so simple, card + paper + object + expose to sunlight and you can use a negative or a 3D object. Here in the UK we have had a glorious summer and I wanted to preserve some of the lovely foliage and flowers that have bloomed in the garden. Yes it took a little experimenting as the sun was so bright I overexposed some of the papers and also wasted one as I didn't separate 2 of them...but got it down to a fine art by the end, 1 minute! Once exposed you rinse in water and dry the paper.

All 12, 'disasters' included. Some images were very crisp as I used sunlight through a window, but some wafted a bit when I tried leaving them outside but I really liked the variety achieved. So how to use them?

I've recently inherited a huge pack of index cards which I'm really pleased about as I've seen a few challenges recently using them. I scraped glass blue and venice blue fresco paint on to a card.

I brayered some tango paint on and knocked back with snowflake paint.

Stamping and texture paint through a stencil, vintage book paper and stitching, also some of the Tyvek lace I created for this months challenge piece.

Trim the print and add a little more stitching, first piece finished.

For the card I wanted to echo the blue again and returned to one of the first techniques I ever tried, versamark stamping and mica powders.

I hope you can see the lovely shimmer, I decided to use one of Lin Browns grasses stamps as a background and keep the decoration simple.

I also used a kraft IC on this card, a little stamping, stitching and silver paint be honest they are more like blobs as the paint was far too thick but I rather liked the effect....happy accident.

I know there are other supplies such as toners for fabric and paper if I wanted to step it up a notch but I'm happy enough with these results. I hope you've enjoyed my first experiments and as it's an anything goes challenge, dig out something you've had for ages and just have a play, we'd love to see what you create and there's plenty of time to join in. Ruth x