15 November 2020

AECP 1 - Seasonal Scene Building

Hello, crafty peeps - and thank you for stopping by for this weekend's second blog post. It has been a difficult week and I feel as though my mojo has been on holiday for a few days, so I thought perhaps creating my final submission to AECP Level 1 might end the week on a more positive note. 

This submission is for the Seasonal Scene Building class, which, over six lessons, introduces the idea of using your stamps to create mini scenes, from cupcakes to safaris. If you're looking for a way to stretch your stash and get more from your stamp sets, this class has great ideas to inspire you.

I've made only one card for this class, though I don't doubt that I shall use the techniques included many times in future. 

Rather than use several different stamp sets for my scene, I decided to use just one mini stamp set and a stencil. 

I used the Mini Delight: Victorian Stamp and Die Set and the Cloud Scene Stencil for this scene. With Misty Morning and Cloudy Sky ink from the Tranquility Mini Ink Cube Set, I stamped the house twice onto a 12.5 cm x 9.5 cm piece of  Neenah Solar White 80lb paper, making sure to leave a one-house-width gap between them. I masked both houses and used the cloud stencil and Sea Breeze ink to create the sky. I used some Post-it paper to mask a straight line under the houses and lightly brushed some Forest Glades ink below. I also used the cloud stencil and Forest Glades ink to create some 'bushes' at the side of the houses, before removing the Post-it paper and the masks from the houses.

I stamped another house in a separate piece of paper in Sicilian Amber, Honey Drizzle and Orange Cream inks and cut it out with the coordinating die. I popped this up on some 3D foam pads and placed this between the two houses on the card.

The sentiment is from Concord & 9th's City Stacks stamp set, stamped with Jet Black ink.

I must be in a neighbourhood kind of vibe this weekend!

I finished off by mounting the stamped piece onto a card base and drawing a couple of gold lines around the card. I also made a coordinating orange envelope.

Thank you for taking the time to read again - do leave a comment to let me know you were here.

Until next time, stay safe and keep crafting.

Peri x

AECP 1 - Easy Ink Blending Techniques

 Hello, crafty peeps and welcome back to my blog. Today's post is my ninth submission to the AECP and is all about ink blending. Whether you have dye inks, Distress Inks or Distress Oxide Inks, this class guides you through the basic techniques you will need for easy and effective ink blending.

My cards for this class use ink blending as a background, specifically a daytime and a night time sky. I thought it would be fun to make a pair of cards using the same stamp set, Neighborhood, changing the time of day with the background. 

Card One
I've moved house a few times and there's nothing better than a warm welcome from new neighbours. I thought it might be nice to create a welcome card and so I stamped the row of houses and road at the bottom of a 4.25" x 5 .5" card base.

I did some very simple colouring with my Copic markers - I didn't want to detract from the blended background by putting too much colour in the houses. I stamped another copy of the stamp onto some masking paper and masked off the houses to protect them from stray ink. The background was created with a blend of Distress Inks in Tumbled Glass, Chipped Sapphire and Faded Jeans, working from the lightest at the bottom, and changing and adding more colour towards the top. Rather than use a cloud stencil, I used a piece of scrunched up paper towel and some Hero Arts Hero Hues Unicorn White pigment ink to add some wispy clouds to the sky before stamping a sentiment from the Across The Pond stamp set with Jet Black ink. I almost always use my Misti stamping platform these days and it comes into its own so often in allowing accurate restamping to ensure a dark, crisp result.

Card Two
And, of course, once you've moved in and unpacked the wine glasses, there's the house warming party to look forward to, for which you'll need to create the invitations: 

I stamped the houses on a second card and masked them before blending a sky with Chipped Sapphire, Faded  Jeans, and Stormy Sky Distress Inks. Then I used some sprayed water (which I blotted with a paper towel) and splattered white gouache to put some stars in the sky. I used the 'You are invited' stamp from the Neighborhood stamp set and stamped with Versamark ink before heat embossing with Stampendous detail white embossing powder. And to finish the sentiment, I used 'Party time' from the Birthday Bash stamp set and heat embossed it with Brutus Monroe Sterling embossing powder.

I coloured the stamp the same way as before, then, as a bit of fun, I lit up the windows and put in the shadows of the partygoers. I also lit up the street lamp, but didn't realise that the water I sprayed earlier had lifted the surface of the paper, meaning that the ink from the marker immediately soaked into the paper and couldn't be blended out. Such a shame. 

I added a few stars and sequins to the night sky and made coordinating envelopes for both cards.

This class is definitely worth checking out as there's lots of inspiration to get you started with ink blending techniques that lend themselves to all sorts and styles of card.

Thank you for taking the time to read - do leave a comment to let me know you were here.

Until next time, stay safe and keep crafting.

Peri x

06 November 2020

AECP 1 - Clean and Simple Boutique Cards

 Hello crafty peeps, and welcome back. Today is the next submission to the AECP - my eighth one of ten - and this one is all about cards with few elements but lots of wow!

Now, I'm not very good at less is more, so this class was a challenge. However, lesson 2 introduced the idea of stamped backgrounds and I was hooked. There are three cards for this submission, because I got carried away with my projects. I decided to use only one stamp set, Weekend Doodles, and I only used the smaller stamps for my backgrounds.

Card One
My first idea was to use the smaller flower spray to create a background and this is the result.

The black and white was stunning, but I felt it needed a pop of colour, so I layered the stamped piece onto orange card from my stash. I stamped one of the leaf circles in Honey Drizzle and then stamped over it again with Orange Cream, as it needed more depth. 

The sentiment is also from the Weekend Doodles set, stamped in the same combination of inks. 

A few orange sequins from my stash and a bright orange envelope completed the project.

Card Two
I loved the idea of only using the smaller stamps from the set to create the background, and for the next card I used one of the leaf sprays. I drew a simple grid on the paper to help me keep the stamping at regular intervals.

I used Firefly ink for a fresh green look, and stamped the sentiment, from the Weekend Doodles set, in black.

On a separate piece of card I stamped the main flower spray in black and coloured the centre with a couple of Copic markers. I cut out the flowers with the coordinating die and mounted this onto the card front. 

Because this is a clean and simple card I didn't use any foam tape, but I think the main flower cluster would have looked great popped up on some 3D foam.

A few green sequins from my stash and a coordinating green envelope and this one is complete.

Card Three
The final card uses one of the smallest stamps of the set. I drew a grid again, to help with the placement, and used a gridded acrylic block so that I could line up the stamp with the grid. It took a little while to stamp this background, in Starlight ink, but I was really pleased with the result. 

I used the Tiny Circles stencil from The Crafters Workshop and some Sea Breeze ink to apply small areas of dots over the background. The colours and pattern reminded me of Delft pottery.

To tidy up the centre where the four stamped leaf sprays meet, I used the eraser at the end of a pencil to apply solid dots of Starlight ink. From some blue mirri card I cut the large 'friend' from the Mega Greetings 3 dies, and paired it up with a greeting from the Mega Greetings 3 stamp set, which I heat embossed in white onto a scrap of navy card.

Some pale blue sequins and a blue envelope and it was finished.

I like these three cards as a set - they are fresh, modern and simple, and I think they show how to get three very different looks from the same stamp set.

Thank you for taking the time to read - do leave a comment to let me know you were here.

Until next time, stay safe and keep crafting.

Peri x

04 November 2020

A Sad Week and A Special Card

It has been a difficult week this week: on 27 October, just one day before his 80th birthday, my lovely Dad passed away peacefully in his sleep. It was expected but no less heartbreaking when it actually happened. Dad was a warm, gentle, generous, kind, musical, artistic, creative superhero of a man, and I miss him very much. 

Dad was diagnosed with dementia almost 11 years ago and we were lucky enough to still have the Dad we knew for many of those years. The decline began a couple of years ago and accelerated rapidly this year. Despite the covid situation, we were able to find him a place in a local nursing home, where he lived happily for the last few months of his life. The staff were incredible and we could tell that he loved them as family and felt safe in their presence. They treated him with such love, respect, care and understanding and we could not have asked for anything more . 

It is always impossible to say a sufficient 'thank you' to people who have worked so hard and given so much, but I feel they will appreciate the time and love that went into this card.

I'm not going to give a lot of detail about the card today - it was an emotional make and I didn't really make notes about the nuts and bolts of  it all. Suffice it to say that all the dies, stamps and inks were from Altenew and I thank Lydia Evans for her inspiration for the vellum layer in the leaf frame.

It took me a long time to decide how this card would look - I started simply by stamping some of my favourite flowers in a gentle colour palette and playing around for hours (literally), coming back several times to make changes. Eventually I was happy with the layout and stuck everything down before I could change my mind again! I think I was just so conscious of everything this card had to say, without words, that I stymied myself a little at the beginning.

I think the dark background really lets the foreground 'pop' and it brings a little soberness to the card, given its reason for being. 

To finish off I added a few clear drops rather than sequins -  they felt like a more fitting embellishment. 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read - I'd love you to leave a comment to let me know you have been here. 

Until next time, stay safe and keep crafting.

Peri x