Thursday, 1 September 2016

Clarity Challenge 43 - "In the Garden"

Hi there, thank you for visiting my blog.
I love the garden - the flowers, the birds, butterflies & bees, and in a funny sort of way, all the other bugs too as they keep the garden in good shape!  My brother used to torment me as a child dangling spiders near me, and for that matter, practically any other creature he could find! 
As I love to potter in the garden, over the years I've learned that the bugs have their space, and I have mine, so we get along fine......and so do my brother & I by the way!!!
So my project is quite a simple one this time, the beautiful Foxgloves
Theuva Clarity Card
Archival inks: Jet Black & Deep Purple. 
Distress inks: Picked Raspberry, Shaded Lilac & Tumbled Glass
Stamps: Foxgloves, "May Flowers" verse stamp, Dragonfly (from the "Blooming" stamp set), Post-It notes for masks, or of course use the Foxglove masks available on the Clarity website
Clarity Stencil Brushes, Moon mask
Colouring pencils of your choice, Sakura Gelly Roll pen (Stardust Clear), White Sharpie Pen

Prepare your masks if you're using Post-It notes, then stamp the Foxgloves onto Theuva card using Jet Black Archival, making sure the flower you want in the foreground is stamped first so that you can mask it off to make sure it's not over-stamped by the other flowers as you add them to your composition.  Stamp the sentiment in Deep Purple.  

Trim back your work and put the Moon Mask in place.  Use the pastel Distress Inks and Stencil Brushes to add colour to your work, lightly brushing and blending the colours across your work.  I didn't mask off the flowers as I used similar coloured Polychromos to colour them in.  Remove the Moon Mask and use your colouring pencils to add colour to the sun.
To finish the artwork, I stamped the Dragonfly in Black Archival Ink, added some shadow under the flowers and leaves, and used the White Sharpie pen above the flowers to add light from the sun. 
To add a little bit of shimmer, I used the Clear Star Gelly Roll Pen on the flower edges and Dragonfly.
Finish off by mounting on a contrasting piece of card, then onto a blank base card.
I love this sentiment as it can be used to brighten anyone's day, and for many occasions.
I hope this will inspire you to join in the fun on the Claritystamp Blog Challenge. 
There are many beautiful floral stamps, stencils & Groovi plates from Clarity that can be used for this month's theme, so put your thinking caps on and check out the other Design Team Blogs for some more inspiration.
I look forward to seeing all the entries during September.
Have a lovely day and thanks again for visiting me xxx

Monday, 1 August 2016

Clarity Challenge 42 - "Fussy Cutting"

Hi there, thanks for visiting my blog to have a little look-see at my Fussy Cutting artwork for this month's Clarity Challenge.
I'm loving the Yupo paper and can't stop playing with the alcohol inks - it's quite fascinating to watch the inks react on it and every piece turns out so different.  If you haven't invested, I think it's a must-have in any craft room!
So on to my project.......A peaceful blue lagoon.
For my artwork I used the following:
Yupo Paper
Alcohol inks & Blending Solution
Felt Blending Tool
Archival Inks - Jet Black, Red Geranium, Cobalt & Olive
Tropical Fish & smaller fish from the Harbour Scene Stamp Set
Large Fern from the Entwined Cats Set, branch from the Journaling stamp set & the Bubbles Stamp
Alphabet Word Chains Un-mounted Set
(See links below to the Claritystamp website for the above products)
Start by creating a watery background on Yupo paper using a selection of green & blue alcohol inks.  I found the best way is to drip the lighter colours onto the paper first, then use a couple of drops of blending solution on a clean felt pad to dab & mix the colours as a base. I then gradually dripped more ink in each colour around the edges and dabbed lightly with a clean felt pad to mix the colours.  I wanted a more watery look to the middle to create an aperture, so I dragged the felt pad with the blending solution lightly a few times in one direction across the centre.
The glory of this paper is that you can keep going and going - it will never give up creating new blends as you add to it!  Wish I'd known about it long ago, so thank you to Barbara for the introduction to this on her blog!
Once you're happy with your underwater background, start stamping the seaweed. (Be careful not to slide on the smooth paper). 
Colours I used - Olive for the branch, Red Geranium for the fern & Cobalt for the bubbles, the letters were stamped in Jet Black.
All the fish were stamped in Black Archival on different coloured pieces of scrap Yupo paper, orange & yellow inks for the large fish and the smaller fish and word on a contrasting blue/green piece.
Once the Archival ink is dry (takes a while), cut out the fish & word and arrange them to create your tropical lagoon.  They can be stuck with a glue runner or a ballpoint-tip glue pen, either works well on this surface. 
So that's it.......Ahhhh......very peaceful.
I think I'll look in the charity shops to find a suitable frame as I may well add this piece to the gallery in our bathroom - a lovely scene to look at whilst relaxing in a nice bubble bath.
Hope you get inspiration from this, and all the other lovely Design Team ladies blogs. 
It would be lovely if you found time to join in the fun this month and share your artwork with us, and other fellow crafters on the Challenge Blog.
I look forward to seeing your projects over the coming weeks.  You've got until 31st August to create something "fussy cut" from your Clarity stash. 
Everyone's welcome to enter, so why not have a go?
Have a lovely day, Carole xxx

Friday, 1 July 2016

Clarity Challenge 41 - "A Day Out"

Hi there.......So here we are, 1st July already and not much sign of summer to give you inspiration to plan a crafty creation depicting "A Day Out"!?!.....
(No wet & washed out artwork now please, although it would reflect our summer perfectly so far!)
Looking through all my Clarity stamps, I came across the Circus set which I've only used a couple of times, so I thought it would be perfect for this month's theme and make a great card for a child.  I'm often stuck for ideas for the little ones, so here we go with "Circus, Circus"......

Piece of A5 Theuva Card & a blank base card
Black Archival ink & an ink pad of your choice for the Big Top (I used a variegated pad)
Circus un-mounted stamp set (good value for money as there's 10 individual stamps in this set!)
Wee folk stamp (sets 1 & 2) together with the Labrador from the "Thank You" set
Children playing from the Meadow Dance & Deerscape stamp set
Mowed Lawn Distress ink, Re-inker, Blending Tool & fine paint brush
Cloud mask, Stonewashed Adirondack ink & Clarity stencil brush
Colouring Pencils, a clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen, black Promarker & a Sharpie pen
(See relevant links below to the Claritystamp website)

So firstly gather together your stamps and ink pads for the basis of your card and lay them out on a piece of Theuva Card to get the correct perspective. Next, cut masks for the ring master, Big Top and dog on the podium.  Stamp the ring master and podium dog in place, then mask them to stamp the Big Top in the distance. 
Stamp the children at play in front of the Big Top (I masked off the grass along the bottom of the stamp as I didn't want the black line underneath).  Once they're in place mask off the tent as well, and stamp your "Circus Circus" in the sky using Black Archival Ink.  (Don't worry about masking the words after you've stamped them as the light blue is easily covered with Polychromo colouring pencils).

Using a blending tool and a torn piece of copy paper, add some grass using Mowed Lawn Distress ink, making it a little darker for shadow under all the stamped images.  Place the cloud mask and use your stencil brush to add Stonewashed ink just above it, randomly moving the mask up across your artwork and repeating the process until you have light fluffy clouds in the sky.  Remove all the masks and have fun colouring in your artwork.  I added some blades of grass by using a very thin paint brush and some Mowed Lawn ink 
Trim your work, draw in a little fence, outline the Big Top and draw a flag on top, all using a thin Sharpie pen.  Using a black Promarker & ruler, draw a line round the edge of your artwork to frame it. 
Mount on a contrasting coloured piece of card, then onto your blank greeting card.
Thanks for visiting my blog today, and I hope that you will have time to join in with us this month.  I look forward to seeing your creations throughout July, and who knows, you may even win yourself a £50 Clarity Voucher for sharing your Clarity creation!  
A random selector is used to draw the winning entry, so all levels of experience are in with a chance.
Check out the other Design Team blogs for more inspiration and good luck to you. 
I hope to see you back again soon......Fingers crossed for a bit of sunshine this month! xxx

Saturday, 18 June 2016

"Life is never going to be long enough"

Hi there
I thought I would try to share some more projects on my blog.  I don't always take photos, then when I've finished my artwork, I wished I had!
I had a feeling that this may come out ok, so I decided to take a few minutes while crafting to take some pics.
I watched some tutorials on YouTube for Tim Holtz's Distress Crayons which I'd bought a while ago when they first came out - I hadn't done much with them apart from try them on scrap!
After watching on YouTube, it seemed that I needed some Gesso which I'd seen mentioned many a time on blogs, but in amongst my crafty stuff, this was something I'd never invested in....Order placed!
So the Gesso arrived and I thought I'd have a go to see what I could create.......
7x7 Clarity Stencil Card
Pebeo white Gesso & palette knife
Tim Holtz Distress Crayons, paint brush & water
Glass Blue & Chalk PaperArtsy Acrylics & Spreader
Olive Green & Black Archival Inks
Boy & Birds Stamp
"Life is never going to be long enough" Clarity NDC Stamp
Clarity Town & Dotty Wave Stencils
White Sharpie Pen & Blue Promarker
First I had a messy session spreading Gesso on several pieces of Clarity Stencil card with a palette knife - left it uneven to add texture then left them to dry. 
I scribbled patches of colour over the dried Gesso and brushed on some water to blend the colours - I may have gone over the top using all the Brights crayon set, but I wanted to try the whole lot.
Next the stamps, Boy & Birds and sentiment stamped in Black Archival - these need to be pressed firmly as the Gesso was quite uneven.  
Using the edge of the blending mat, tear a piece of copy paper and with  Green Archival, sponge a hill in place.
Squeeze a blob of acrylic and dab in the spreader to pick up some of the paint, randomly placing lines on the artwork in each colour (thanks to Sam Crowe for this little tip). 
The bottom left corner looked a bit bare, so I used the Town Stencil to add a bit of interest with black archival & a make-up sponge.  Around the edges & middle, I dabbed a small amount of Chalk Acrylic paint through the Dotty Wave Stencil with a blending tool.
I used a white Sharpie pen for highlighting and then edged the piece with a blue Promarker before mounting on an 8x8 blank greeting card.....finished!

Hope you like it and I look forward to seeing you back again soon xxx

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Clarity Challenge 40 - Masculine (Mid-month Blog)

Hi there - well they say June is set to be the wettest in years, so no excuse not to stay in, keep dry, and CRAFT!
Here's my mid-month Masculine themed card to hopefully inspire and encourage you to join in the fun.......
7 x 4 ins piece of watercolour canvas (or for a different texture use watercolour paper)
8 x 6 ins blank greeting card & contrasting card to frame the artwork
Oriental Lattice Stencil
Clarity Stencil Brush
Paperartsy Acrylics - Zesty Zing, Beach Hut, Inky Pool
Pebeo Patinating Wax - Empire Gold
Ranger Black Archival Ink
Tropical Fish & Coral stamp set
Small fish from the Harbour Scene stamp set
Spectrum Noir Aqua Pens - Kingfisher, Bud Green, Sunflower & Meadow
Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen - Aquamarine
Used lolly stick
Gathered Twigs & Peacock Feathers Distress Ink
White Pen & Fine Black Sharpie Pen
Short length of garden twine & a brad
Start by sweeping the Paperartsy Acrylics randomly across the piece of canvas - small amounts at a time to give a watery effect.  I used my fingers for this - lovely & messy!
Next place the stencil where you want it and tape it down to the canvas.  Using the stencil brush and a small amount of paint at a time, brush through the Inky Pool acrylic paint sweeping it lightly round the outer edges.  I then used a light touch of dark blue Distress Crayon to add definition in small areas, worked in with my finger and did the same with the wax to give a luminescence.
Stamp the fish in Archival Ink, wait for the ink to dry fully before colouring in with the Spectrum Noir Aqua pens.  I also highlighted parts of the fish with a Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen
Snap the ends off the lolly stick and use the middle piece for your sign.  Wipe it onto the Distress Ink pad for a variegated colouring to the wood.  Once dry, write "Gone Fishing" with the white pen.
Tie a knot in each end of the twine and glue onto the sign.  Once the glue has dried, make a small hole in the canvas with a sharp point and use the brad to attach the sign in the corner.
After assembling the card, when I was drawing on the bubbles with the black sharpie, I scribbled on what I thought was the scrap paper underneath to check the pen, but it was the edge of the main card!
All was not lost - I guillotined the edge off the card and using Peacock Feathers Distress ink, used the fish stamp and added his tail down the inside edge of the card.  Works ok I think......?
Hope you like it and don't forget you have until the 30th June if you haven't already entered the competition to showcase your artwork and win yourself a £50 Claritystamp voucher.
If you're stuck for ideas, check out the other Design Team artwork for some inspiration.
Good luck xxx 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Clarity Challenge 40 - Masculine

Hi there, thanks for visiting today. 
Another month, and the June Challenge is "Masculine" which fits in perfectly with Father's Day on Sunday, 19th June.
So if you're considering making a card, or something for your Dad, check out mine and the other Design Team blogs for some inspirational ideas.  It's always special when you know that time and effort has gone into creating something from the heart, for someone you love - make your Dad proud, or help the youngsters with a project for your partner or hubby on their special day.
Ingredients for my project are as follows:
7x7 Clarity Stencil card
Archival Coffee, Fern Green & Black inks
Rope Frame Scene (post-its for masking)
Ken Oliver Bursts - Yellow Ochre & Sepia
Trellis Stencil
Tea Dye & Peeled Paint Distress Inks
Stonewashed Adirondack
Clarity Stencil Brushes & make-up sponge
Moon mask
Alphabet Word Chains Un-mounted Clear Stamp Set
Black Micron Pen, Yellow ProMarker, Grey Colouring pencil
(See links to Claritystamp website below)

Stamp the rope framer using Coffee Archival ink and the man on horseback using Black Archival.
Mask off the centre of the frame.
 Spritz the card with water and puff the Bursts around the frame.  Dab the colours with kitchen roll and wait for the artwork to fully dry before continuing.
Mask the outer side edges of the frame and stamp the trees in Archival Fern Green.
 Mask  the centre again and place the Trellis stencil over the artwork and tape down.  Brush Tea Dye Distress Ink  through using a stencil brush. Remove the stencil and post-it mask and place a sun mask in the sky.  Brush Stonewashed ink across the sky, then using a make-up sponge and a torn post-it, shape & colour the hills.
 Remove the sun mask and use yellow and red pencils to colour the sun and skyline in between the trees.
Add the greeting and use the grey colouring pencil to add shadow around the rope framer and under the horse.
Finally, edge the card with a yellow ProMarker using a ruler, then mount on an 8x8 blank greeting card = Card for an Awesome Dad!
Don't forget to check out the other Design Team Blogs too for some more ideas........
Have a wonderful day and enjoy creating your entry for this month's Challenge - I'm looking forward to seeing your artwork over the coming month.
There'll be more artwork from the Design Team mid month too if you get time to come back for another visit. xxx

Friday, 15 April 2016

Clarity Challenge 38 Mid-month - Masking Technique

Hi again - hope you're enjoying the springtime, isn't this just the best time of year? 
It's given me an idea for my second inspirational piece.....Hands up those that have started sorting out their wardrobes to see what summer gear they've got?
Well this is not exactly about what we've got, but who wouldn't like a nice snazzy pair of shoes...and more's to the point...who doesn't just "LOVE SHOES".......???
Piece of watercolour card 6"x6" & a second piece 7"x7"
An 8"x8" blank greeting card
"Clarity Style" Stencil & Unmounted Stamps & a couple of shoe masks made from post-it notes
Woodpress Letters Alphabet & masks
Unmounted Daisies stamp set & masks made from post-it notes
Black Archival Ink
Selection of dye based inks - I used Adirondack Mountain Rose, Tin Holtz Festive Berries, Peacock Feathers, Scattered Straw & Weathered Wood, make-up sponges and blending tools
Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens
Watercolour pencils
Charcoal pencil
Glossy Accents & ribbon to finish off
Start by placing the shoe innie onto a post-it pad and draw round it and cut two shoes (don't forget that the stamp will face the opposite direction and don't do what I did  and cut them back-to-front!).
Decide where you want your pair of shoes and remember the first one you stamp will be the one in the front of the artwork.  Use Black Archival ink as this gives you a permanent image that won't bleed when you add the dye-based inks later.
Mask the first shoe and stamp the second one slightly offset so that it appears behind.  (Post-its are better for masking when stamping as the acetate is a bit thick for this purpose)
Next, place the stencil over the front shoe, tape it down, (and cover the dress so that there's no chance of getting ink through that part), and sponge Festive Berries through the aperture.
Once dry, place a shoe mask over the inked area and move the stencil up and repeat the process on the second shoe

Next,mmmmm, what to say....Well as I said, who doesn't "Like Shoes"....
Stamp the Woodpress letter boxes onto tracing paper (thank you for the tip Barbara) and decide where you want to place them on your artwork, then go ahead and stamp the first set of boxes and mask them before continuing.  Apologies for the sideways photo, but I couldn't rotate it - hope you don't get a crick in your neck looking at it!
Leave the letter box masks in place and replace the shoe masks, then stamp & mask the daisies around the edge.  Once these are all done and masked off, using the blending tools and your ink selection, lightly colour the card using the blending tools.
Remove the daisy masks as you want the flowers to appear behind the letterboxes & shoes, then add some shadow using a grey-tone ink with a make-up sponge to add depth to your artwork round the letter boxes & shoes.
Colour in the daisies using the Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen, I used "Macaroon" from the Vintage Hues set as that matched the shoes perfectly.
Stamp the letters into the boxes and once dry, colour in the boxes with a yellow watercolour pencil
I also like to add depth to the shadowing using charcoal - looks fab on watercolour card as it picks up the texture really well.
And just because I like a bit of glitz & sparkle, I went over the daisies and the shoes with a clear Sparkle pen - you get one in each Spectrum Noir set, I love 'em. 
Add a few black speckles with a black Micron pen to the middle of the daisies and finish off using Glossy Accents in the centre.
Using the same colours that you blended for the shoe background, blend them on the larger piece of card, and using a circular motion with the blending tool, edge both pieces with Festive Berries. 
I flicked some water at the artwork and blotted it to add a bit more interest.
Mount the small piece onto the second and before mounting the larger piece on the greeting card, put ribbon round and secure on the back with a small piece of cellotape. 
Tie a bow and stick on in the middle and that's it finished!

Well I think I'd better start sorting out my summer clothes as I'm off to New York at the end of this thing's for sure, I definitely won't be taking any high-heeled shoes with me!!!!

There's already some lovely entries to the Challenge, but if you haven't entered yet, you've got until 30th April, so come and join in the fun!
Look forward to seeing you back here again soon xxx