Steampunk and Lace

I thought I’d share a project that was recently featured in the Baroque Guild newsletter.  This is a large 8×8 inch card which features a polymer clay tree made with a stamp from Steampunk Christmas.  I also used all sorts of metal bits and pieces or faked a metal look with embossing powder.

The polymer clay tree was dusted with Perfect Pearls before baking, then enhanced with Mystic Green and Firefly Stickles.

I used Fired Brick and Aged Mahogany Distress Stains to colour Kraft Glassine paper which had been resist embossed with clear embossing powder first, using the cog stamps from Steampunk Christmas.  The pointelle lace and velvet ric rac are part of the eclectic Victorian mix that Steampunk is all about.

The robin backing paper is part of the Spirit of Christmas papers that I am in the process of getting onto the website.  I may be able to fit that in this weekend between washing machine shopping and visiting my family.  It’s my Dad’s birthday this weekend so we’re off to Cumbria to see him and the family – one of our personal goals this year is to spend more quality time with my family as they have been a bit neglected with Adrian’s parents taking up so much of our spare time.

Now I do appreciate that this isn’t exactly a batch card for Christmas, but I hope some of the ideas in it give you some inspiration.

Have a great weekend!

Owl Flourish Cards

Here’s another card featuring chalk inks, this time in a palette of violet, turquoise, lilac and touches of sage green and even pink.  I’m  not very good at remembering which colours I’ve used and of course when it’s finished, there’s a whole load of new colours on the paper as I have mixed and blended them.  These are all Versamagic, so maybe the colour chart will help – click on it for a larger view.

I just love the mix of colours in this range – the soft pastel colours have a sophisticated grey undertone to them so they’re not too sugary and the stronger colours are great for overstamping direct to paper chalk backgrounds.

In the product launch video, I did make a note of the colours I used to make the owl card – Sage, Sugarcane, Aquatic Splash, Sea Breeze for the background and I stamped the owls with Eggplant and the flowers with Red Brick.

Heres the finished card I made with that piece.

I added a touch more Red Brick around the edges using a piece of Cut’n’Dry foam to flick it in from the edge.  The flower is made with Tim Holtz Kraft Glassine paper – it holds a scrunched shape really well and goes soft and leathery when scrunched and spritzed.  Interesting stuff that I’ve yet to fully explore … we’re almost out of stock now, but I have more on order.

I made some stuff!

Yay!  I got time to craft last night and apart from stamping a sentiment upside down on a really nice tag, I am quite pleased with my output.  Inspired by Lesley’s class last week, I made these scrunchy flowers with a nestabilities die, ecoline watercolours and three different embossing powders.

Then I looked around for something to put one on and found a tag I started a while ago with Wendy Vecchi stamps – coloured with Ranger’s Clover pigment ink.  I stamped an Elusive Images sentiment on from one of the bird sets.

There’s a bit of shadow on all my images today – I forgot to change the settings on the camera when I took these photos this morning.

Then I felt quite inspired to dig out the Wendy Vecchi stamps and they’re in the same place as my Tim Holtz stamps so some of those came out to play as well.

The result was another couple of tags.

And yes, another scrunchy flower – I’m just addicted to making these.  This one is made with a sheet of paper from Decadent Brocade, crumpled and sanded, then inked with Rusty Hinge distress ink.  The finished result is almost like worn leather.

This tag is my favourite.

It’s a little fuzzy (note to self, don’t leave Aperture priority set on the camera), so it might not be obvious that the patterned bit under the words at the bottom is a gorgeous printed paisley ribbon that I found in Target or Walmart last time I was in the states.  The sentiment is Crafty Individuals and the butterfly sticker is by K&Co – I’ve had them kicking around for a while and just spotted them in a box.

It was so nice to just have some pottering, non pressured play time.  I left things in pieces before I went to bed and actually got up early and stuck things down and finished these off this morning.  I also made another card, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.  I also still have my Regal album to share once I’ve finished editing the photos for that.

While I was finishing off this morning, the garden filled up with rabbits.  With no cats to scare them off, they’re getting pretty cheeky and this morning we watched a big bully chasing all the tiny baby bunnies around and around the trees.  We both got a bit choked up at the one little black baby – I’m still trying to get a photo of him, but he’s managed to elude the camera so far.  One of my nicknames for Sesame was Rabbit because of his mottled, brindle colouring.

As you can see, even early this morning, the sunshine was glorious.  We all got rather overheated upstairs at work today – our unit has a metal roof with skylights in and the upstairs does get very hot in sunny weather.  Adrian and I had a meeting in town today so on the way back we got ice lollies for everyone – I was very virtuous and had a frozen raspberry smoothie.  Just as well as we finished our day with fish and chips on the way back from the hospital!

Medically there’s not much change in Derrick, but he was very fed up and down tonight.  He is determined though to fight through this and get home – the will, the drive and the fight is there – you can see it in him.  He is grateful for all the well wishes coming his way from you guys, though (like many of his generation) he doesn’t really understand the community spirit that can build up on a blog or  how people he has never met can be interested in his welfare.  But he appreciates the kindness of the comments that people leave and the way people are always asking after him.

We appreciate it too and know that this is likely to be one of the most difficult times in our life, but we can’t put our lives on hold.  We have to make a conscious effort to seize moments, pockets of happiness where we can.

As Max Ehrmann said, “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

So I shall leave you with a couple of pictures showing the view we enjoyed while having our fish and chip supper tonight.

It is a beautiful world, you can’t ever forget that.

Ranger Workshop

OK, I finally got round to taking a photograph of the project we made on the Ranger workshop last weekend.  We spent the first hour with Suze Weinberg playing with the  melt pot, then an hour with Claudine Hellmuth playing with her paints, sticky back canvas, gesso and mediums, and finally the last hour with Tim Holtz using fragments, alchohol inks and distress inks.

I painted my mirror with Claudine’s studio paints using Landscape Green and Sable Brown, and stuck to a green/gold/brown colour palette throughout.  When I laid it all out, I realised that the painted mirror was too similar in colour to many of the embellishments, so I have repainted the mirror with a wash of Classic Teal, toned down with traditional tan.  The flash is distorting the colours a little, it looks better in reality, though nothing is stuck down yet, so I may stamp the mirror with a text or damask stamp to add a subtle touch of texture in the background.

I added some metal charms to the mix when I laid it all out and I may colour some of those with a touch of alchohol ink before I finalise it. I think I enjoyed the melt art the most – not that I didn’t enjoy the other stuff, but I think I learned some useful tips from Suze that I hadn’t realised before.

Now the question is, can you read what’s written in the mirror and can you guess from that what the destiny of this piece is?

Here’s a few close ups:

Hmmm, still not quite sure about the background colour of that mirror.  I may change my mind again.

PS – Derrick is home!  It’s actually twice as far for us to travel to see him now, so we don’t actually gain on that score, but it’s all about him rather than us and hopefully he will recover faster in his own home.