Sunday, 20 April 2014

Shabby chic jumbo tag: a spring craft frenzie.

I have had a lovely peaceful couple of days and its made me want to craft "a LOT" lol...

I am still being inspired by the theme over at "A Vintage Journey" of  Spring Blooms, but as i have entered two projects over there since Friday, (this being the third) I am in danger of boring them to death. I best make this my last lol.

I would also like to share it over at "it's all about the vintage" as their theme is Shabby Chic. And I think this fits the bill. its made out of paper as are the flowers and that is a requirement there. :)

I have used some of my favourite "Calico Craft parts". These gorgeous corners didn't need any paint or ink. I love them.

Another Vintage journey with blooms and new beginnings.

 I am combining two challenges again today. I had time to play in my craft room and I wanted to do another item for "A vintage journey - Spring blooms". and as i was over on their page i remembered they were Sponsored by Country View crafts (I am a shopaholic there), who also have a challenge blog. I checked it out and the theme there is "New beginnings!. Well spring and new beginnings just go hand in hand do they not? I altered a canvas using the reverse side.

My colour choices were inspired by two things...
1. Some tim holtz distress inks i had in a pile (peeled paint, shabby shutters, scattered straw and wild honey)
2. that special green you only see either in spring or during a thunder storm. you know the way the light changes during thunder and all the green pops? and in spring all the new growth is bright and vibrant. my chosen distress inks remind me of those greens and yellows.

Although the new growth is vibrant and bright, I am incapable of making anything that doesnt look vintage and scruffy ancient (I totally blame Tim Holtz for this obsession lol). so i had to get a cross between new, fresh and vibrant - with - old, distressed and shabby!!
I ended up using paint as i dont have distress stains. i didnt want to use up my pads to cover such a large area on the canvas as it is quite absorbent. I started with DecoArt crackle texture; its a bit like texture paste mixed with plaster... it just dries with crackles. you can even heat dry it with your heat gun. (I like things that are happy to be hurried along with a heat gun)...

"Tim inspirations" include:
1. well obviously my colour pallet chosen from my distress inks as mentioned before
2. the fact I am no longer capable of making anything that looks "modern" lol.
3. i had never heard of altered art until I was given Tims first DVD as a gift. and now altered art is my favourite format. he converted me.
4I have used some tattered flower die cuts for my blossom and one of tims Ephemera pieces (the clock at the back) as well as two of the beautiful ornate feet.

Z x

Friday, 18 April 2014

A Vintage spring flower plaque.

I was up late last night religiously refreshing the "Vintage journey" challenge page from midnight (on the dot) for a full five minutes at regular intervals, waiting on the new theme.  Having seen it was "Spring flowers" I took myself to bed and slept on it. So I got up this morning at 7am, ran to the loo, had the fastest wash ever, skipped breakfast and went straight to the craft room. it is now 11:40 and i am now eating breakfast as I type lol.
I dont often do challenges on challenge blogs. too many focus on card making. but the two I do do when i have some free time,  are "A Vintage journey" and the "Simon says" (monday and wednesday).

The "Vintage Journey" theme of spring flowers, seemed to blend in well with the  wednesday Simon says challenge. it is "animal antics"  as spring does have lots of baby animals appearing; lambs, chicks, bunnies (although mine is a march hare). so I have combined the two themes and made a spring themed plaque. I have used one of Calico Crafts fab new plaques (lots of styles, lots of sizes).
I think the influences are obvious for the Tim Holtz based challenge rules of "A Vintage Journey", but just to be sure to follow the guidelines, here is a list...

-tattered flower die
-tattered leaves die
-found relatives cabinet card
-Hope ticket
-metal 2
-holiday chit chat stickers
-remnant rubon
-a little paper fastener

Monday, 14 April 2014

Lavender's blue... Altered bottle

altered bottle swap zuzu 01
Well I have my decoart chalk finish paints!!!!! I love them. and just to be clear, although many folks are showing them on large furniture style items (which it IS great for), its also great on small projects and is beautiful to stamp on with its chalky finish. so this makes it great for tags and other mixed media stamping projects too. it crackles as well as any acrylic when used in conjunction with a crackle medium. I am in danger of gushing on about this paint.
Anyway, to get on.... I altered this bottle for a "bottle and jar" swap I organised on my facebook page. I have put lavender oil in it to make it a "Lavender bottle".
altered bottle swap zuzu 02
Firstly i glued on the little "embroideries" and some narrow lace. i made sure the glue (just simple PVA wood glue does fine) covered all the glass. it just makes it easier to paint I feel. next I gave it a coat of  "Rustic (a rusty brown)" DecoArt chalk paint. I let that dry and due to my glue still being a bit tacky, lovely crackles began to form as it all dried.
altered bottle swap zuzu 03
(PVA glue is a cheap alternative to crackle medium although not quite as reliable and effective.) then i gave it a coat of  "Serene (a sort of duck egg blue)"  Chalk finish paint. I highlighted the raised bits and some bits of the bottle with Treasure gold and treasure jewels in golds and blues, glued on some torn bits of tissue paper and added some beads and lace.  the cameo in the middle is an "artemio brad". I just pulled the brad bit off the back.
and there you have it. an altered bottle.
I hope my recipient liked her swap. It was fun to do.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Vintage Journey to Paris....

The theme over at "A Vintage Journey" was chosen by my lovely friend Astrid and she chose "A little bit French". Such a super them to do. Especially vintage Paris. And over at Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge it is simple "journey".  I actually had some time to craft "just for me" again today, so here is my "Paris journey" Entry... 

here are a couple of close ups of the detail. firstly the lovely crackle effect and secondly the wee Eiffel tower on top of the R....
Thanks for stopping by.
Z x
Edited to add... I would also like to enter this in to the The Kraft Journal challenge of PARIS

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Plaque style tag featuring "Calico Craft Parts"....

HAPPY SPRING EQUINOX!!!!  may you all have a blessed and fruitful spring. :)
so... back to the crafting.
I wanted to play with my new "Calico Craft parts" today. and i particularly wanted to try some flourishes as i have already tried some of the corners (and loved them)... so I made a sort of a tag come plaque. its made of stiff card so really just a large tag but i didnt snip the corners for a "tag shape".

I also wanted to do some image transfer but i dont have the right kind of printer or any bought sheets. I know from experience that trying it with images on the wrong kind of paper or the wrong kind of print, just leads to a terribly cloudy finish but it can be partially remedied by giving it a coat of some kind of sealer like modpodge etc.  So I went ahead and did it.
It turned out not too badly. the image i used was from one of Tim Holtz paper stacks. I forget its name but its the sort of science themed one (which i love). and i used some of Tim's fab rubons.
the background paper is one of Kaisercraft's basecoat papers and the material is cheesecloth type muslin.
its all finished off with my usual versamagic "gingerbread" chalk ink and of course some wonderful rusty wire. :)
I would like to add this to my souvenirs from my part in "A Vintage Journey" as its on its last day of the first challenge.  do go over and take a look. its promising to be a wonderful blog not just for a challenge to take part in but for the wonderful regular inspirations from the team and their guests. so you dont have to join in to appreciate the posts. :)
Edited to add my "pin worthy mention" from "A Vintage Journey"  (thank you)

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Book of eggs.... for Calico Crafts

calico crafts bird egg book box 00
with the Spring Equinox just 3 days away, I have been very much enjoying the springtime theme of birds and eggs; symbols of fertility and new growth. So I have continued using this them today (probably for the last itme till next year). I have made this book of eggs book box.
It is the smaller of the 2 book set book boxes with the nice rounded spine. I covered the front and back of the book with Vintage Decor Bird paper and an old book page on the spine. I then gave it all a few coats of white wash (watered down Titanium white acrylic paint). I gave a couple of the gorgeous new "Calico Craft Parts"  flourishes a nice rusty paint effect. to achieve the effect, I added a little texture using DecoArt texture paste. when it had dried i painted it using DecoArt Traditions in; transparent red iron oxide, quinacridone gold and some stipples of raw umber.
I gave them a little bit of a white wash too.
calico crafts bird egg book box 01

calico crafts bird egg book box 07 
I then added some of the "Calico Craft Parts" grass, (in stock soon) and some of the Kaisercraft ephemera. i used the texture paste to give the sides of the book some fake pages. apply it flat with a palette knife then before it dries, use the edge of the knife to mark lots of lines in it.  leave it to dry.
calico crafts bird egg book box 02
I painted the sides of the book with a colour wash of raw umber mixed with quinacridone gold then i gave it a white wash when dry.
 calico crafts bird egg book box 05 inside my book i made a little divider, out of corrugated card, to create partitions for my eggs to go in. I used more book pages and white wash paint as well as some moss and some eggs were added.
calico crafts bird egg book box 06
All i had to do then was to just add a few finishing touches here and there, like the little crowns and rusty hearts etc, as well as a few pieces from my personal stash.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A Vintage journey challenge 1

I am still busy being obsessed with birds nests, birds and eggs.... So i have altered this shadow box and used my new Tim Holtz stamp set :)
the corner embellishments are from a brand new range from Calico Crafts. (keep your eye on those as lots of great shapes, embellishments, surfaces and stencils will be getting added to the range a bit at a time.)

I made this project with the main intention of joining in with the fabulous new challenge site "A Vintage Journey". its their first stop on the journey they are taking us on. and the theme is very open (as long as it is inspired by Tim Holtz in some way.

Its clear where the more obvious influences are on mine when it comes to the stamps and the metal word plaque; but for me, almost every project i make is inspired by Tim Holtz, in one way or another. Before he came on to the craft scene, I was making pink and purple teddy-bear cards and the likes. I became intensely interested in the vintage distressed shabby look he was bringing to us and the fact it could be as suitable for male themed crafting as it is for female themes. From then on in, although i have moved on to more paints and mediums etc, every project I have made since, has had a "faux vintage", "shabby" or "distressed" look or influence. his influence is with me constantly.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Rusty spring time wall hanging: Inspired by Tim Holtz' March tag.

I ordered some large tags and when they arrived they were HUGE... I am terrible for not reading the measurements and having a ruler close by. so i decided, rather than doing a tag, I would do a wall hanging. I dont have many distress inks left, so couldnt copy the technique Tim was sharing but I was still very inspired by the fantastic stamp set he used on his March tag, so i used that as my inspiration. here is my version. you an see Tim's original version HERE.

I used corrugated card, painted to look rusty so it looks a bit like a rusty corrugated fence, as my base and the tag went in the middle. I do love Birds, eggs and nests as a theme and will be doing that a lot in the next few weeks. Spring is such a joyful time of year. full of hope and new beginnings. even when life feels dire, a bit of spring birdsong and some spring flowers, can still give you a few seconds pause from the difficult stuff life throws at us.
And as it is a jumbo tag (despite it now measuring over a foot long lol), I am entering it in to Simon says stamp's Wednesday challenge.

Monday, 3 March 2014

My turn over on the Calico Crafts design team blog HERE. Here is a small portion of the project. to see the whole thing please do visit the Calico Crafts blog and maybe leave a comment if you have time and like the project. Thanks
Z x

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Rusty corrugated card assemblage ...

I had a bit of "me time" in the craft room today. this means I am not creating for design teams or  magazines etc ... so it was creating for fun. And my new Tim Holtz "cabinet cards" and "Found Relatives" arrived so i decided to make an assemblage style hanging. I also added two of my favourite craft looks; Rust and corrugated card. ....

It was simply assembled using the card,  an old hard book cover, paint (a lot of quinacridone gold and transparent red iron oxide with a touch of Indian turquoise), book pages and a selection of rusty bits picked up off of a junk yard floor.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The "Alice jar" ....

alice jar alice front 1

I decided to try and alter an old coffee jar. I had this old Kenco coffee jar from 7 years ago when i used to drink instant coffee... it has been used for storing pasta or something. so i gave it a makeover.
I started by coating the whole thing in a layer of PVA glue and torn book pages. this gave a good base for paints and mediums etc.

alice jar alice front high 1
I put some random areas of texture paste on it then when that was dry i added paint in green and aqua tones. I stamped out my Alice themed stamps and cut them out. I tinted them with watercolour pencils and stuck them in to place. then i added details with more paints ... i let everything dry and gave it a coat of multi-purpose sealer followed by a coat of one step crackle.
alice jar Rabbit front 1
I used Quinacridone gold to give a rusted and aged look and let it get in to the cracks of the crackle glaze (cleaning off the extra with a damp cloth. (remember a damp cloth will do the same job as a baby wipe but you can use it over and over again without adding more waste to the planet).
alice jar tweedle dee dum front 1

I went over all the raised sections with treasure gold gilt wax and then i added some fabric and lace (stained with paints) and lots of lovely rusty wire that i dangled some charms from...
for the lid I also included some lovely green moss, a few red rose heads and a very cute toadstool.

alice jar lid close up sneek peak
Paint used:
Decoart Traditions:
Quinacridone gold
Blue green light
sap green
Quinacridone Gold
Decoart acrylic:
Indian turquoise
Calico red
lamp black
titanium white

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

12 tags of 2014 February.. only its a card...

I have decided to join in the challenge over on Sir Tim Holtz blog for the 12 tags of 2014 February tag.
I have heard a few people say they dont join in because they dont have "all the stuff" but i think its quite clear that Tim's tag is for "inspiration" and not intended as an exact template to be followed. there are many elements on the tags he makes and you can be inspired by just one of them. you can see lots of great examples by others who have joined the challenge and who didnt have "all the stuff".

I am lucky to have just acquired a few valentines themed "Tim Holtz" products so was keen to try them out. But i didnt have the elements he used.
so i looked at the tag and decided my inspiration was 1) small red hearts and 2) the blackboard effect words. There was a slight hitch with the blackboard effect... I dont have any appropriate word stamps and i dont have the embossing powder stuff; but as Tim's example was purely "inspirational inspiration " then i set to, working out an alternative method for this look...
I used the valentines embossing folder on black kraft core card and gently sanded it a little. then i rubbed my chalk over the raised bits, very carefully smudged it a bit and then sprayed a fixative over it. I used a spray matt varnish but i think any artists fixatives for chalks and pastels would do. perhaps even hairspray as i have heard of folks using that.
When i first sprayed it, the chalk seemed to vanish when it was wet but it came right back again as soon as the spray varnish had dried.

Then i cut out little red hearts and also used the heart border embossing folder to bring the little red hearts inspiration on to my version. the background paper is actually from a christmas stack (merriment) but i think it went well with the theme... hop on over to see Tims original inspiration and maybe get some of your own inspiration and have a go ;)

Z x