Saturday, 12 July 2014

Shabby Chic Altered Mirror

I've been altering a lot of stuff lately instead of making cards. Don't know what has come over me! Anyway, this Ikea mirror has been in my stash for ages and I had a sudden inspiration on what I wanted to do with it.


First I covered parts of the mirror with net lace, sticking it on with Claudine Hellmuth Mat Multi-Medium.

Then I cut some of my favourite diecuts from white card and used them to make a scene. Once happy with the layout, I stuck those down too.


Next I covered the whole thing with a couple of coats of white gesso, added some flowers and clay embellishments, and picked out highlights with gold Pinflair Buff-it.


The final step is to add some colour by spraying with distress reinker diluted in mister pens. I used lots of Tattered Rose, Antique Linen , Tumbled Glass and Bundled Sage.

This last photograph gives you an idea of the dimension achieved at the bottom of the frame.
We've had some gorgeous weather here in Northern Ireland this week. Today is overcast and they are forecasting rain, but that's OK. The sun will come out again soon. Have a great weekend everyone. Maddy x

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Summer Blooms at Stamping Sensations

This month at Stamping Sensations we are asking you to submit projects with the theme "Summer Blooms". It can be anything you like, but must feature some stamping. There is a brilliant prize on offer of $60 to spend at Heartfelt Creations (please note that PP&S will apply outside the US). They are one of my favourite companies so it really is a terrific prize this month! So, on to my DT card.

"Summer Blooms"

The background is stamped in Archival using Kaisercraft's "Secret Bird Society" stamp set and coloured using distress markers. This is matted onto card and decorated with lace before layering and fixing to the base card.


The Heartfelt Creations Chateau Gate die is used to cut the window from brown card. There are matching stamp sets for this die which can change the look from wood to stone, etc. but here I've just added some gilding for an old painted look. There is a tutorial to make the window box. I couldn't resist adding a bit of bling in the form of these teardrop gem sprigs that I bought in a tiny craft shop just outside Derry / Londonderry. That lovely image is from the Graphic45 Birdsong paper pad. There are a host of images just the right size for this window if you are careful which part of the paper you use.

Well, that's it from me. Don't forget to enter our challenge and you might win this:

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Stencil it! at Countryviewcrafts this month.

I'm honoured to be guest designing for Country View Challenges this month.  Country View Crafts  is one of my favourite companies. They have a huge range of craft stash at reasonable prices and free P&P, even to here in Northern Ireland! For July the challenge is "Stencil it!" and it gave me a great excuse to get the texture paste out.

"Peace at Home"

I came across some blank Artemio frames in a local department store. They are probably the largest pieces I've worked on to date, and this first one to be finished is probably a bit full of small details, but it was great fun to do. I thought you might like to see some of the intermediate steps and some closeups of the details, so there are plenty of pics to follow.


The paste is layered through stencils a few at a time, leaving the project to dry between applications. I strated with the brickwork around the window and then built up the leaves and branches in layers, finishing with the largest leaves which are from a handmade stencil.


Bought stencils are great, and I've used a few in this project, but it's also easy to make your own from acetate by diecutting. The best dies to use to cut acetate are the steel rule type, such the Sizzix Bigz and Originals dies. Here, I've used the Tim Holtz Sizzix Bigz "Garden Greens". After diecutting the plastic, I like to spray the back with repositionable adhesive and this makes it easy to stick the stencil to your artwork while applying the paste, and to remove it when you're done.


Steel rule dies are best for cutting plastic, but you can use thinner dies to make temporary stencils from card, which is how my cat, birds on branches and these flowers were made.


Here's an intermediate view of some of the leaves on the brickwork. a little colour is added as the layers are built up so the finished project isn't too uniform. Living in Ireland makes me very aware of all the different greens!


More colour is sponged on using distress inks.


This window uses a diecut from white card with lace stuck on behind the diecut, and the whole thing is covered with a layer of white gesso.


Once the texture layers and sponging is complete, the board is fitted into the frame. The frame itself is decorated with diecut flourishes and given a good coat of white gesso at this point. You can see that I've also added a window box to the window, cut from plain, white card. (This is the same type of window box as the one I use for my cards).


The last few steps are to add the flowers, the clay and wooden embellishments and to spray the whole project with inks. I made my own spray inks for this project using a pipette of distress reinker in a mister pen.


To make kitty furry, I added some flowersoft to the texture paste while it was wet. he looked great white, but our cat is black aso I went over the whole thing with a black marker once it was dry. He's hiding near the gate eyeing up the birds :-)


The flowers are a mixture of paper and clay. Those ferns and butterflies are made from Martha Stewart white paperclay which picks up the colour of the spray inks beautifully.


Did you spot the little bird and his nest?

Or the one at the top of the gate? There are lots more birds hidden in the finished picture, but I'll leave them for you to find. I hope I've inspired you to get your stencils out and join in with the challenge - there's a fabulous prize on offer for the winner!