Three colour tag challenge

A couple of weeks ago, Lesley and I had a day of crafting while the boys prepared a belated Christmas dinner for us.  Oh, it was such a treat to be pampered – Lesley’s hubby (Chef) did all the cooking so we were left to our own crafty devices.

A couple of days before that, I’d updated my Distress stain tag swatch book and asked Adrian to choose me three colours to work with.


He chose Mowed Lawn, Pine Needles and Chipped Sapphire.  I picked out the relevant inkpads and began by swirling the colour on with Cut’n’Dry foam.  I then stamped with plain water (a stamp from Lace Fragments) and blotted the tag to ‘lift’ colour in places.  Here’s a close up of how that looked before I added any stamping.

three colour tags01

I enjoyed it so much, he gave me a couple more challenges and I ended up with these three:


My self imposed rules were that I had to use at least two of the three colours to create the background, but I could pick any Distress product in that specific colour to work with.  For stamping and foreground detail I could use any stamps, any colours.

So from left to right above, the colours and stamps are:

Lesley liked the idea so we took turns choosing colours for each other – sometimes we did a blind pick, sometimes deliberate.  This is what we came up with between us.

three colour tags10

And here are the close ups of my tags.  Can you guess what the colour trio is for each one?

three colour tags07 This tag uses distress stains as it turns out my  inkpads in these three colours are bone dry and falling to bits – time for a bit of shopping I think!  I used Breath of Spring and Amazing Birthday stamps.

three colour tags04 I used a mix of inkpads and paints for this one.  The wave was created with the paint, just lightly swirling the dabber top to create the shape, then using a paintbrush to add detail.  The stamps are from Seashell Collage.

three colour tags05 This was using Distress stains again and lots of water.  The image is from Seashore Scenes and is coloured with ColourSoft pencils.

three colour tags02 On this one I tried something Lesley had done on her first tag – put some paint down patchily then, when dry, use Distress stain over the top and the paint acts as a resist.  I used a stencil in the background too, then embossed the stamp from October Fairy.

The fun thing was that as the tag background came together, the idea for which stamp to use just came to me.  I read something recently about different types of creativity – there are some people that plan what they’re going to do from the start and then there are those that experiment and let the ideas develop.  These tags definitely fall into the latter of those two approaches and it was liberating and fun to work with no preconceived idea of what you would end up with.

Why not have a go yourself.  I’d recommend you make a swatch book – tags or small pieces of card you can punch and collate on a book ring or similar.  That allows you to fan them out and either pick colours that speak to you, or turn it over, close your eyes and pick them blind.   If you use Chocolate Baroque stamps, why not share your results with us on the CB Facebook group – click here to visit.  Or if you blog your colour challenge, leave a link in the comments to your blog post (remember to link to the specific post, not your home page).

Anyone fancy picking three colours for me to do my next tag with …?



A Charming Patina

We have had a lot of cool new products on the website lately and I have been a little bit like a kid in a sweet shop.  One of the recent additions was the Vintaj Patina kits and I need to go public and state that I am officially in love with them.  I was so impressed with the gold and silver that I decided to get the colours in.  I have used them on metal charms, but did you know that they can be used to create a resist too?  Here’s some charms that I painted and you can see there’s a range of finishes from the slick shiny black of the top hat to the chalky verdigris finish on the filigree embellishment.

All these charms started out as plain brass or metal – click on the image to see an enlarged version.  As you know we also now have the Dylusions sprays on the website and I used a mixture of the patinas and Dylusions on the block behind the charms which was painted first with crackle paint.

I still haven’t fully explored the possibilities with these Patinas, but I love what I’ve seen so far.  They clean up with water and mix with water based products and a little goes a long way.  They contain a little ball and need shaken up before use like a lot of metallic products do and they come in the same type of bottle as the Ranger alcohol inks which means they have a fine tip, but they are liquid so don’t hold a rigid shape if you ‘draw’ with the bottle.

They are waterproof when dry and this means you can paint with them, then add a wash of colour over the top and your patina will stay put creating a resist type look.  I only know that from the scrap paper under my work when painting these charms, I haven’t actually put that little nugget of information to a creative use – yet!  (I’m thinking cut’n’dry and stencils …)

I’m starting to sort through my craft stuff ready to pack away and I’m building three piles.  The ‘definite keep’ pile, the ‘stuff to get rid of’ pile and there’s a third one evolving, which is ‘stuff I want to keep, but not pack up in the hope I’ll get time to play with it over the holidays’ pile .

Guess which pile is biggest (hint, it contains the Vintaj Patinas)!



A week of Christmas Inspiration – Day 4

I want to start by saying thank you all for the encouraging comments – I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to and it’s doing me good to get back in the groove – I just love inspiring people!  I know some people struggled yesterday to leave a comment and I noticed that the blog was painfully slow myself.  Not sure why, but I’m hoping that it was a temporary glitch.

Todays card began life as a large tag, but I trimmed a tiny bit off the top to turn it into the background layer for this card.  The tag was coloured using Distress inks and Cut’n’Dry foam – Tumbled Glass at the bottom, Antique Linen in the middle and if I remember rightly Tea Dye at the top.  Might be Tattered Rose … I did the background a while ago.

I then used the same inkpads to stamp the word Joy (from Steampunk Christmas) repeatedly down the card and rubbed a little Vintage Photo ink around the edges.  I then embossed the snowflake tree (also from Steampunk Christmas) in white at the bottom.

What you can’t really see now is that I also took a Versamark pen and drew a hill for the tree to stand on which I embossed in Sparkling Snow WOW embossing powder.  That is mostly covered up now by the chipboard town shape.  I also added my favourite Stardust Stickles to the centre of the snowflakes on the tree.

Winter Town laser cut chipboard

The chipboard shape is from a Magenta laser cut set called Winter Town.  I almost discontinued this product after we had them sitting on the shelf all year doing nothing – then I thought I would just have a little play and they’re charming so I’ve brought it back from the brink.

I used Chipped Sapphire Distress Stain to colour the chipboard then left it to dry thoroughly before patting a Versamark inkpad all over.  I embossed it with a sparkly powder – I think it was Clear Hologram Sparkle because I have that one in a large tub which makes it convenient to just drop in shapes like this.

After cooling, I used a sponge to add a little versamark to the top and embossed again with Sparkling Snow.  If I make some more cards with the rest of the shapes, I will probably add a snowy hill that shows up behind the town.

I finished off with a sentiment from Warm Christmas Greetings stamped in Versafine.  The whole thing is mounted onto a slimline copper pearl card – I’m back to that copper and blue combination again aren’t I?!

X does not mark the spot

Did you ever draw a pirate map when you were a kid?

I was transported back to childhood doing this project and thoroughly enjoyed it.  When I was a kid my favourite books were the ones with a map of a mythical world in the front of the book.  You knew it was going to be a good story if they started out with an unfamiliar map full of strange place names, hinting at adventures to come.

I started by stamping the quote on a mottled parchment paper and then masked off the edges of the paper and stamped various travel words from the Steampunk Travel and Steampunkery sets with Adirondack Pesto ink.  I took the mask off and drew a sketchy border around the masked area then carefully covered over the quote and splashed the stamped words with water.  Adirondack dye ink bleeds when wet, so the words became blurred and patchy.  It needed to look more worn so I decided to add some distress inks and set to with Bundled Sage, Old Paper and Antique Linen – all pretty subtle colours.  I may have added a hint of Brushed Corduroy as well.

I distressed the edges and crumpled the paper around the border before adding stronger colours and water.  While wet, I rubbed a Rusty Hinge distress pad over the creases and misted with more water then when that was dry, I flicked droplets of Distress Stain and water over it quite liberally.

This evolved over several evenings as I kept putting it aside to dry and coming back to it.  I began to pick out splodges and draw round them with a fine liner to create islands.  I used Copic markers to add a  blue line around the outside edge of each island and an ochre tone to the inside edge of each island.   I used Copics as a water based marker of any kind would have blended the Distress colours on the paper more, but Copics or Promarkers won’t move water soluble pigments around.  Some of the larger ones got some little mountains on them too, then I came up with the idea of a sea monster.

I dug out an old stamp set – Here be Dragons – and applied a little masking tape before stamping him (I practised on scrap paper first to get it right).  I then drew in little waves around the masked line and coloured him in lightly with pencils.  I think he makes quite a convincing sea monster.

This is a treasure map, but you won’t find an X on it anywhere.  The real treasure is in the words – a super quote from Steampunk Travel by Mark Twain (hence the American spelling).  It’s got me inspired to create another map with place names on it now – Embellishment Bay, Bling City, Distressville … hmmm, I can see lots of potential here…  So what would the treasure on your map be?

Copyright 2008-2014 Glenda Waterworth. All rights reserved.