Friday, 28 February 2014

New Stash....Norty but Nice!!! ;)

Well...I've been really good and haven't bought any stash for over a year.....then I saw the gorgeous Mirabelle stamps from Santoro were being released!! Need I say more??? Four out the five sets available may or may not be in my possession! :/

You'll have to excuse the shonky photos but for some reason I just could not get a good picture!

I managed to sneak in a quick play and this is what I came up with. I used Graph'It markers to colour the image and create the scene behind her. The gorgeous papers are from the Dollie Daydream Goes East CD from Polka Doodles. The embellishments are a mix of the stamps, die cuts and made items.

Oh and whilst I'm here I can't resist sneaking in a quick picture of the new addition to our family...Lillie. She's three years old and a total madam, who is already ruling the roost!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

Claire x

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Make It Monday - Anything Goes
Through The Craft Room Door - Anything Goes
Tuesday Throwdown - Anything Goes
Make My Monday - Grown Up Card
Love to Create - Anything Goes
Crafting From The Heart - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

So Kawaii...

Good morning. Firstly I'd like to thank each and everyone of you who have taken the time to visit me and leave a comment or email since I've returned. You really have no idea how much it means to me! Secondly, I hope that those of you who follow me in the UK have escaped the storms and floods that have been battering us for the past few weeks. We've been really lucky here on the South Coast and escaped with nothing more than a few damaged fence panels. The only good thing to come out of the seemingly relentless rain and wind is that I've managed to squeeze in some sneaky craft sessions. The bad news is I'm still playing with very limited stash... (well apart from the new Graph'It Markers my lovely hubby bought me for Valentine's Day :D).

This card is aimed at those difficult to please teens! Hopefully it will be met with approval - but hey who knows??!! I think you'll be surprised to see that I've used the fantastic Dollie Daydream Goes East CD to create this card!! See not a fan in sight!

The image and sentiment have of course been coloured with my new markers and the ribbon was in my stash. I've then placed some washi tape across the papers before adding some sequin waste and paper flowers. The little skull and crossbones embellishment was made by taking the character image into paint and then selecting just that area and erasing the parts that I didn't require before re-sizing in a word document. I've then added some black glitter to the eyes, nose and mouth and then put Glossy Accents onto the bones.

Thanks for stopping by today. I'm hoping that I'll be back at somepoint in the next week with another project for you, but it will depend upon what is happening with the house.

Claire x

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Ribbon Carousel Blog - Washi Tape
Shopping Our Stash - Make your own embellishment
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes
Craftin Desert Divas - Glitter
Make It Monday - Anything Goes
Just B Creative Crazy - Anything Goes

Friday, 7 February 2014

Valentine's Day Is For Mugs!!!

See the romantic in me isn't dead!!! Lol. Incase you're wondering this project for my oh so patient Hubby who really appreciates handmade gifts. This is a bit of an unusual project which I kind of hope you'll like. It's also a bit of a product comparison/review which for those of you who commented on my last post regarding the Graph 'It Markers. Also if you want to see them in action Nikky Hall is on Create & Craft demoing them at 2pm today - I know she has some amazingly cool techniques to share with us :)

Now, you've all seen the Sharpie Pens projects on Pinterest and I'm pretty sure that most of you will have pinned it onto your "Must Do" board? Yeah, well so did I! Infact I decided that it looked such fun that I'd let the kids in my Arts and Crafts Class have a go (the results of which can be seen here). Now whilst prepping that project, I got to wondering if it would be possible to stamp on a mug and use marker pens to colour the image. A bit of googling didn't provide the answer, I could only find tutorials for stamping using porcelain paints. So I decided the only way to find out if my idea would work was to play and this is what I ended up with.

Now I have to say when I did this project with the kids they drew on the mugs with Sharpies and coloured them in. Before they went in the oven the colours were really vibrant but once fired the colours altered drastically and in many cases went really flat, patchy and dull. Whilst the mugs still looked amazing I have to confess to a tinge of disappointment that the colours didn't hold.

With the above results in mind, I knew that if at all possible I wanted to avoid using Sharpies. However, as I don't have an unlimited stash of permanent marker pens I knew that there was going to be a good chance that I might have to use the odd one or two! So I gathered my pens together and set to work.

The first thing I noticed about the various pens was the way they grabbed the surface of the mug. Sharpies instantly grabbed the surface of the mug and created a nice even vibrant coverage as did the Graph 'It Markers. The Promarkers didn't grab the surface very well and the colours were really translucent with very little depth.

Now this instantly created a problem for me as the majority of my pens are Promarkers and I really didn't want a "wishy washy" colour effect. I tried adding further layers of the pens to create depth but it caused the ink to reactivate, bleed and go patchy, so that was a no go. At this point I started to think that maybe the reason why I'd found no tutorials online other than the Sharpies one was because quite simply other permanent markers just didn't work. At this point I felt really disheartened  as it had taken me a fair bit of time to stamp the images to an acceptable standard and in addition it meant that I'd have to rethink the whole Valentine's gift thing! But you know me I'm not a quitter and decided that even if it was a complete disaster that at least I'd tried but not only that I'd have an understanding of what results I could achieve with each type of pen.

So with that in mind I thought I'd start the whole colouring process from scratch. So I grabbed a baby wipe and went to clean the ink of off the mug. The Promarkers and Sharpies wiped off instantly but to my surprise the Graph' It Markers didn't. I actually had to use an old blender pen to loosen the ink and bit of elbow grease before it would wipe off cleanly! Now this in itself was a fab discovery because potentially it means that the pens can be used on lots of non -porous surfaces with great effect, think of the endless possibilities.......... :)

Once the cleanup operation had been finalised I started the task of colouring again. The first thing I did was the ground and rocks with Graph' It Markers. Much to my amazement I found that if you allowed the pens to dry for a couple of minutes you could start to add another layer or even a different colour without the ink underneath starting to bleed or move. This meant that I could add shade to the rocks and soil, so I was pretty impressed.

The soil, rocks and notice frame have been coloured with Graph' It Markers. You can see that the pens allowed multiple layers to be added without bleeding or lifting the base colours.
I then switched to Promarkers and Sharpies which drove me to distraction! Firstly I found that it was almost impossible to darken any colour already applied to the surface with Promarkers as the ink just re-activated, so it basically meant that I couldn't shade. The only way I found I could create any depth within the image was to work from dark to light, but even this was tricky as the ink would lift away leaving white areas. Eventually I found that if you allowed the ink to dry for a few minutes and then used a stippling action you could with extreme care create shading. I also found that if you applied Sharpies first you could successfully blend a lighter coloured Promarker. However, the Promarker then needed cleaning as it obviously picked up the darker ink, so not really an ideal method to be using!

The purple character has been coloured with Promarkers and Sharpies, Notice how the colour has been leached and gives a mottled effect when colouring from light to dark. However the blue character has been coloured with Sharpies and then Promarkers which gives a much smoother finish.
Next came the firing of the mugs. Now at this point I was fully expecting the inks to either fade or reduce in vibrancy during the process, but I actually got a really nice surprise! The Graph' It Markers didn't appear to change, the colours remained true and vibrant. The Promarker colours intensified slightly but retained an even coverage, which on this project was fine, but could be potential problem with other projects. Sadly the Sharpies behaved exactly as they had done in previous projects and changed colour, went patchy and dull.

The character with the black heart was coloured with an Orange Sharpie - as you can see the colour has changed upon firing and looks flat and lifeless
Considering this project was one massive experiment I was actually  really pleased with the way the mug turned out and even more pleased that I can now use this experiment as an excuse to buy more Graph' It Markers. Maybe another new set will be my Valentine's pressie to myself  ;) 
Claire x

Graph' It Markers
Images - Whisker Monster With Sign, Line Up

I'd like to enter this mug into the following challenges:
Stampotique - Heart in your art
Simon Says Stamp - Have a heart

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Wanderer Returns!

Tap, tap...... Is anyone out there still? Remember me? "Vaguely" I hear a voice say! Well..........I'm back :D Not fully but I've got some limited stash, a small area to craft (albeit a temporary area) and most importantly a desire to create!

For those of you who wondered what happened I'll give you a brief explanation..... In December 2012 I undertook a project to completely renovate my house. It was supposed to be a 4 - 6 month project and I'd already arranged to take time out from various DT's and other commitments for a 3 month period to accommodate the build. Unfortunately, things went really, really wrong and the build has now entered the 13 month stage and is unlikely to be completed for another six months. However, the good news is the builder has admitted liability and we can finally move forward and reclaim our home. So whilst I might not be about as regularly as I was, I will be creating and posting as often as things allow :)

Anyway, enough of my waffling, I've got something to show you today that I hope you'll like! It's a sample from the brand new Dollie Daydream Goes East Collection from Polka Doodles. OMG I love this collection and have had loads of fun playing with it. My only problem is finding my stash - much of it is still in storage or very difficult to access, so supplies are currently limited!It's taking me longer to find each item than it is to create a project :(

I made a simple spring card for the base which I topped with a basic paper fan. The image has been paper pieced and coloured with Graph 'It markers. If you haven't tried these yet, then I can highly recommend them! This was my first play with them and I was really impressed with the smooth flow and vibrancy of the inks. In addition the pens are a fab shape to hold.

The card was finished with a simple tag and some paper punched flowers and butterflies and piece of gold card candy that I found in the bottom of a bag of scraps!

Thanks for stopping by today,  hopefully I'll be back with another creation real soon (I have a work in progress as we speak).

Claire x
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