Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Welcome Arthur...

Hello there...hope you're all safe and well and looking forward to a little bit of Halloween inspiration!

As promised today we have a very special guest to welcome you to this post and if you saw Tim Holtz's recent Facebook Live showcasing all the new Halloween Chapter 3 dies from Sizzix, then you might recognise my feathered friend! So please, say hello to Arthur....

As soon as I saw the new dies, I fell head over heels in love with this one in particular because I've always been fascinated by the Arthurian Legends. One of my favourite tv shows from a few years back is, Merlin (I've recently been binge watching the whole series and have been in my element), and one of my favourite Disney films is The Sword In The Stone, and that film is where my inspiration for this piece came from ~ Archimedes the wise old owl, highly educated owl. So, I hope you enjoy how I created this halloween home decor project, something that is just perfect to hang on your door to welcome your guests.
To begin with I'll start with the frame and used a framed panel which I painted with Black Soot Distress Paint. The panel comes in two separate pieces, the frame and the baseboard ~ so I covered both of these in two layers of paint, including the back, and the sides of the baseboard.

Once the paint is dry, I sanded back some areas of the paint to reveal the natural wood, before dry brushing a small amount of Pumice Stone and Brushed Pewter Distress Paint over the top of each piece. I then used a small amount of Crackle Paste, which I smeared on with my finger to add an aged effect to the wood. Allow to dry and once the crackles appeared, run the Walnut Stain Distress Crayon over the paste to accentuate the cracks and also the areas where the wood has been sanded back. At this stage, I applied a coat of Matte Collage Medium over the top to seal the frame. Once again, allow to dry and to add the final touch to complete the frame, I took a small amount of gilding wax, (I use Treasure Gold Gilding Wax for this ~ colours; White Fire and Florentine) and using my finger, applied this over the surface of the frame to highlight the beading.
Moving onto the background, I cut a panel of Distress watercolour card, slightly larger in size than the aperture of the frame and applied Hickory Smoke, Black Soot, Pumice Stone and Frayed Burlap Distress Inks to my glass mat. After spritzing the inks with water, I smooshed the card through the inks to create the inked background. If you need to add more colour, just keep dipping the card back into the inks. After heat drying the card, I added some stamping across the top section of the background and used the Tangled Webs stamp set from Stampers Anonymous, stamping the webs with Black Soot Archival Ink.
I adhered the finished background panel to the baseboard, added some Design Tape from my stash ~ placing this around the edge so that once the frame is over the top it will create the appearance of a mount, sitting just inside the frame. Attach the frame over the top using matte collage medium. At this stage, I always clamp the frame into place, using really strong clips and set it aside to dry thoroughly.

Now for the webs and I cut a few webs from black card using the fabulous new Spider Webs Thinlits die. I then die cut the same amount of webs from black card but this time I wanted to emboss them. So after applying the Embossing Dabber over the surface, I sprinkled with Ranger Ink Bone Mixed Media Embossing Powder, tapped away the excess and heat embossed them.

As Tim mentioned in his FB LIVE, these webs can be cut into sections so that you can pop them in the corners, which is exactly what I did. For each piece I cut a section of the black web, then overlaid one of the embossed webs, slightly offsetting it. It's a bit fiddly but the effect is so cool ~ it's worth doing!

After attaching all my webs with collage medium, placing them around the inside of the frame, I applied some more crackle paste and once dry, used the Walnut Stain Crayon to accentuate the crackles. I also added three little gold stars.
At this stage, I also cut the spider and hung that from one of the webs, placing it on the right hand side.
Before we get Arthur ready for his appearance, I added a banner with the words "Foolish Mortals" and for the I cut a piece of chipboard, the same width as the frame and covered the surface with some self adhesive linen that I had in my stash. I then cut a piece of silver metallic kraft stash, slightly smaller in size than the chipboard layer and after sanding back the shiny silver card, I cut the words from gold metallic kraft stash using the Alphanumeric Label Die set.

Attach the letters to the silver strip and then using a Crop A Dile, I punched a hole in either end of the banner strip, wrapped twine through the hole and added a Hardware Head over the top to cover the hole. Each of the hardware heads are painted with Rusty Hinge, Ground Espresso and Black Soot Paint to create the rusty, crusty look.

Attach the banner across the frame, attaching the edges of the chipboard piece onto the wood on either side and using foam pads underneath to support it and add some height.

So we now have the frame ready and we need the star of the show.

Using Distress Watercolour card, I used Aged Mahogany and a selection of most of the brown shades of Distress Inks and Oxide Inks to colour each of the individual layers of Arthur's body, adding highlights to his feathers, using a black and a white pen but you can make Arthur any colour you want! It's your world and you choose how you want Arthur to look. For his black and claws, I chose Mustard Seed and Wild Honey and for his eyes, I used Broken China, Mermaid Lagoon and Tumbled Glass.

Once I'd assembled Arthur, I sat him on the branch which I cut from multiple layers of chipboard, sandwiched together to form one substantial, thick branch. For the final top layer, I used Woodgrain Watercolour card and after cutting this piece, I coloured the card with Gathered Twigs and then adhered it over the top of my chipboard branch. I inked the edges of the branch before attaching it to my background, placing it across the frame using foam pads to add some height. Once I'd attached Arthur, again using foam pads, I then added some Spanish Moss and Reindeer Moss around the branch.

We're nearly there and all that's left is the welcome sign and for this I used a panel of wood! To be honest, this is actually one side from a Vignette Box that I broke up as it was the perfect size and I couldn't find anything else! I then added a Stampers Anonymous Web Trim along the bottom of the wooden panel, attaching it with Matte Collage Medium to secure it into place.

To add some crusty goodness to the panel, I used Translucent Grit Paste and applied it around the edges of the panel and set it aside to dry.
Once the paste is rock hard, I painted the piece with Black Soot Distress Paint, allowed it to dry before dry brushing Brushed Pewter over the top. To complete the panel, I used the Gilding Wax to accentuate the pasted areas. Adhere two rusty painted Hardware Heads onto the Web Trim.

Using Mixed Media Heavystock Card, die cut each letter to spell out the word 'welcome' using the lower case dies. I cut each letter four times and then layered them together to create these thick letters.

After painting the letters with a combination of Black Soot, Pumice Stone and Brushed pewter Distress Paint, I attached them onto my wooden sign. As a finishing touch, i added a little wax over the top of each letter.
Finally, attach the sign to the frame, using chain attached to screw eye vignette hardware fastenings which I placed into the wood.
Place some more chain at the top to use for hanging your finished project...
...and Arthur is ready to put in pride of place....
I hope you love this project as much as I loved making it ~ it was such a fun piece to make and I think it has to be one of my all time favourites projects that I've made and when you think how many i've done ~ that's one helluva lot of projects, lol!

Happy creating my friends and if you have been inspired by Arthur, please let me know as I would love to see them ~ just tag me on social media and I'll come over to visit!

See you all again soon...Emma x

Recipe for project:
Stampers Anonymous: Tangled Webs, Web Trims
Distress Paint
Distress Ink
Distress Crayons: Walnut Stain

Monday, 6 July 2020

Happy Dreams Come True...

Happy Monday friends...

Hope you all had a great weekend and I hope my friends in the US had a wonderful 4th July and as a new week begins, it's time for the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and this week the DT are showcasing Dina Wakley products within their projects as we encourage you to PLAY WITH PAINT. There are so many different paints available, and I'm sure we've all got some stashed away in our cupboards, so hope you'll join us and we can't wait to see what you create!

For my project, I chose to a starry night theme just because all I love all things celestial and used Dina's new Blue Edition Media Journal as a base. What I love about this particular book is that you get so many surfaces to choose from blue denim, heavy stock watercolour card or creates some amazing texture to our work, but because I was going for a them all about dreams and wishing upon that star that shines brightly ~ I used a combination of the watercolour and denim two page spread and told the story of these children who side by side, make their happy dreams come true!
So let's get started and I will admit that this project was a little bit of a nightmare to photograph, gold metallic, shimmer and shine does not like the camera at all, lol...but I hope I've done it justice and here's how I bought it to life!

To begin with I cut a panel of cotton paper, 17 x 23.5cm, applied a layer of clear gesso over the top and allowed it to dry. I then took Dina's Night Acrylic Paint and a touch of Tim's Black Soot Distress Paint and painted a good layer across the surface of the gessoed paper, applying it heavier around the edges but dragging the paint towards the centre of the paper, so that it would add a small amount of colour. I always dry the layers of paint between applications and after doing this, I then started to create this ethereal glow in the centre of the paper using a combination of Dina's Buff Acrylic Paint, Speckled Egg and white gesso and using a large brush, stippled my paint onto the centre of the panel, allowing some of that dark to show through and create pockets of dark blue amongst the paler colours. Once I was happy with the background, I heat dried it and then added a few white splatters over the top.

When the background was thoroughly dry, I then laid my Hocus Pocus Layering Stencil over the top and applied Matte Texture Paste through the stencil creating the swirl of stars. Working quickly, sprinkle some gold embossing powder over the paste and set aside to dry. Once the paste is dry, then gently heat emboss the stars until the powder becomes molten.

After machine stitching a border around the outside of the panel, I used Matte Collage Medium to adhere it onto the denim page of the media journal, adding some torn paper underneath the page to soften the edges slightly and also applying the smallest hint of foiling around the edge, using Ranger Ink Foil Transfer Sheets that I have in my stash.

Now to create the circles that are behind the boy and girl. I used Tim's Stacked Circle die to die cut some inked card that I already had in my stash. I always keep a supply of inked card because you never know when you'll need it and this was the perfect colour combo for this project ~ I just wish I could remember what it is though, lol!

After die cutting a selection of various sized circles, five circles and 8 rings using the die set, I took six rings and individually inked each ring with the embossing dabber before sprinkling a combination of Liquid Platinum and Gold Embossing Powders over the top. Heat emboss each ring and set aside. I then inked the edges of the remaining rings and circles before adhering my little celestial collection into place, arranging them across the bottom of my page.
I colour tinted the paper doll image using Distress Marker Pens and then attached them over the top of the circle cluster.
For the star bursts, I used the gorgeous die that is in the brand new Ornamental Birds set. I just love the shape of this and it worked so well on these pages, that I had to use it but if you don't have this die, you can use any star you choose ~ it's just my favourite of the moment! I cut 9 stars from gold metallic kraft stash and attached four of those stars, 2 large and 2 small, onto my background, keeping the remainder for later.

To complete this side of the layout, I added a Mini Pin, pinned through the top right hand corner....
...and some small crystal gems before adding the clippings stickers, 'side by side' and 'happy dreams come true".
Moving onto the left hand page and this is something I particularly love to do...and that's to bring together the two pages to tell the story.

So to begin with I applied some Vintage Collage Medium down the spine and around the edges of the page and after allowing it to dry, I applied my Black Soot and Walnut Stain Distress Crayons over the top, blending out any harsh lines with a damp baby wipe.
I then tore small sections of the Typography Collage Paper and adhered these onto the page before applying Crackle Paste. I concentrated on the top right and bottom left hand corners with the paste and once it was dry, I once again used Distress Crayons, Pumice Stone and Walnut Stain to add some colour and accentuate the crackles.
In the top right corner, I wanted to add some stamping and for this I took the 1929 from the Field Notes set, masking off the 'agent' part of the stamp and stamped the numbers only onto plain collage paper using Black Soot Archival Ink. Underneath the number, I stamped the Office Stamp taken from the Correspondence stamp set and after tearing around the stamped imagery, I used matte collage medium and a Distress Collage Brush to adhere it onto my page and allowed it to dry.

To create the quote, Wish Upon A Star, I used the Alphanumeric Label Die set and die cut one set of letters from Blackout card and one set from gold metallic card. I then attached my black lettering onto the page with collage medium and layered the gold over the top, slightly offsetting this set of letters to create a shadow.
I then added a small gem and remember those remaining die cut stars? Well, I arranged those to cascade down the page.
To complete the layout, I added some small stitches which I die cut using the Media Marks die and just attached with matte collage medium.
I hope you've loved this project and it's inspired you with some ideas for this fun challenge!
Don't forget, if you would like to see more inspiration from my talented teamies over on the challenge blog and every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $25 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp and you can join in up to 5 times, which means you could have 5 chances to winYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today ~ stay safe and well, and see you again soon, love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Happy Christmas In July...Tim Holtz Sizzix Chapter 3

Happy Thursday friends and Happy Christmas in July!

Yes, here we are ~ it's CHRISTMAS in the world of Tim Holtz and Sizzix and today, we celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with the launch of Tim's brand new seasonal dies!

You can catch up with Tim's Facebook LIVE replay over on his blog, HERE and see the whole release in full, together with all the wonderful projects from the makers and I can't thank you enough Tim for making such awesome products for us to design with ~ it's always so much fun to bring these amazing dies to life and I'm always so grateful to be asked to create samples for any of Tim's FB lives's a dream come true!

So make sure you keep popping back to my blog because I will be sharing all four of my projects, plus my Halloween samples over the coming weeks, and I will also be introducing you properly to Miss Gertrude, who is all dressed up in her winter wardrobe ready for some winter fun!
See you soon and stay safe...Emma x

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Twit Twoo...Sizzix Chapter 3 has landed!

Hello friends!
Can you believe July is here already! It's been a crazy year, so many changes to our lives but there is always something to look forward to and I think that time has just arrived, because if you love Halloween and Tim Holtz as much as I do, then you'll be excited to know that the brand new Sizzix Chapter 3 release from Tim is here and as one of the Seasonal Makers who has been working with these dies for a while, I can guarantee you are going to LOVE it!! 

So, by now I'm sure you've already checked out the big reveal over on Tim's FB Live, but if you missed it, you can catch up on the replay HERE and I hope you'll join me over the coming weeks to see all of my Sizzix Seasonal Makes, including the full reveal of how I created this little character who will welcome you to his home!
So from Arthur and myself...we'll see you soon!
Stay safe, love Emma x

Monday, 29 June 2020

Next Stop: Hogwarts

Hello friends...

Hope you are all keeping well and enjoyed the sunshine we finally got to see here in the UK last week ~ it might've been brief and extremely hot but it was nice to see that big yellow ball up in the gorgeous blue skies!

Now back to this post and the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge that's starting today which this week is all called TAKE ME FOR A RIDE! So, with the theme in mind, what will you create? There's so many interpretations of this fun challenge and we can't wait to see what you will be sharing.

For my project, I decided to create a piece that I've been wanting to make for a while and this just seemed like the perfect theme to bring it to life ~ welcome to the world of Harry Potter and the first stop of London, on his journey to Hogwarts. Other than a few additions from my own stash and a few retired pieces of Tim's idea-ology, (which I'm sure all the TH fanatics will have in their stash) this piece was created entirely using products from Tim Holtz, Sizzix and Ranger Ink and believe me, it was the most fun I've had creating a project for a while!

So, all aboard the Hogwarts Express because the new challenge has begun...

To begin with I made my suitcases/baggage and for these I used the Baggage Claim die from Tim. I used chipboard to cut all the pieces I need to make three pieces of baggage and then assembled the die cuts to make what will be the fronts of my cases, leaving all the remaining pieces, handles, straps, buckles to one side. I then painted each case in a different colour of Distress Paint ~ top to bottom; Chipped Sapphire, slightly darkened with a touch of Black Soot, Candied Apple with a dry brushing overlay of Black Soot, Peeled Paint, Forest Moss and once again, a dry brush of Black Soot over the top. Just remember to dry the layers of paint between each application to avoid the paints becoming muddy in appearance.

Whilst the cases are drying, I painted the handles with Black Soot and once dry, rubbed the Antiqued Bronze Metallic Crayon over the top. The buckles, straps and locks are all painted with Walnut Stain and have a gold metallic piece overlaid and are then placed into position onto the die cut cases. To create more of a worn, vintage feel, I took a piece of sandpaper, sanded the edges back to reveal the chipboard and then used Walnut Stain Distress Crayon to give some colour.

So we now have the fronts of the cases and to make this a 3D piece and my first stop on this journey was to make them look realistic. So to do this, I cut pieces of chipboard to make three small boxes that would fit the backs of each case. Each of these boxes have four sides and then have a piece of chipboard on either end to form the rectangles and to hold them all together, I used Matte Collage Medium, which is my 'go-to' adhesive for constructing anything like this!
I applied a small amount of Distress Transluscent Paste over the surface of the boxes, just to create a little texture and then after painting the boxes to match the die cut fronts and then attach the fronts onto the rectangular chipboard boxes and voilĂ , you have your 3D suitcases, all ready to be placed on top of one another.

To decorate each box, I used various label pieces from the Halloween and Field Notes Snippets Ephemera sets and attached these directly onto the cases with matte collage medium, placing them front and back and then once the medium was dry, I ran the Walnut Stain crayon over the top to create more of a worn, vintage look. I also added some Hardware Heads onto the blue case, you can see those on the top of the case and added a Ring Fastener to the side.

On the blue box, I added Harry's initials using the Alpha Tiny Type Upper die set to cut the H and the P from gold metallic card before adding it to the front of the case.
Moving on, I made a base for my piece to sit on and used the two middle sized vignette panels. To cover the raw edges of the panels, I used Design Tape and ran this along the edge of each panel. I then adhered a panel of paper from the Abandoned Paper Stash to the tops of each panel, using Matte Collage Medium and also applied a layer of the medium over the top to seal the paper. Now throughout this project, I have made as many references to the world of HP as I possibly could, so the  paper from the Abandoned stash with the London wording written on it, was perfect to adhere to the smaller panel and I placed it so that LONDON was towards the front.
Adhere the smaller panel in the centre of the larger one and once dry, I applied some Crackle Paste around the edges. I left this to work it's magic and start crackling before applying the Walnut Stain crayon over the top to accentuate the crackles. To create some drama to the piece, I attached it to a Vignette Base, attaching the base to the bottom of the panel using Matte Collage Medium and then setting it aside to make sure it was securely attached.

So, we now have the main pieces ready to build upon and after attaching my three cases into place, arranging them to sit perfectly on top of one another at angles, I adhered moss around the base and added some Art Stones for some realistic texture, which I allowed to dry before painting with Pumice Stone Distress paint and adding Unicorn's Hair Metallic Paint over the top to add some shimmer.
Now we start building up the scene...
...and I began with the Golden Snitch...

For this I used the smallest wings from the Regal Adornments set and coloured these with Pearl Alcohol Ink and one of the Baubles which I coloured with Gold Mixative Alcohol Ink. I then laid the wings flat on my desk, side by side and applied a good amount of collage medium before placing the golden ball in the centre. I would leave this to one side to dry overnight before even touching it and I would also recommend that you strengthen it at the back ~ I used a small piece of wood, attached to the back and painted silver. Once this piece is dry, I attached it to the top of my cases with hot glue.
Take the broomstick and tie a 'spells" Halloween Story Stick onto the handle before leaning it and attaching it to the right hand side of the cases.
I added a Tiny corked vial in front. Prime the surface of the glass with Matte Collage Medium, allow to dry and then paint a layer of Rock Candy Crackle Paint over the top. Again I allowed the medium to dry and once the paint is crackled, drip Mushroom alcohol Ink over the glass, allowed it to run down and add a tiny label from the Halloween Snippets set. I placed the vial in the bottom right of the cases, nestling it with a "Train Check" ephemera piece, crumpled up and just given the look it's been discarded.
I added a Skull Fragment, to sit on the green case and then you'll notice on the opposite side, I have a scarf. This was made from two pieces of Mummy Cloth, one dyed with Fossilized Amber and Mustard Seed Distress Spray Stains and the second piece dyed with Aged Mahogany and Fired Brick. Once the mummy cloth is dry, I twisted the two pieces together and tied some cotton around the two ends to secure the twists. I then frayed the ends of the cloth before draping it down the side of my cases and attaching it with a dab of hot glue.
Finally, no student is complete without books and you don't know how much fun it was to make these tiny little vintage books! I cut a piece of black card, 2 x 3.5cm and then just rolled the card around a pencil to create a spine. For the pages, I used old book paper and cut this to the same size as the black card. Layer each of the tiny pieces of book paper over one another, attaching them down the centre with matte collage medium and then fold in half before attaching them inside the book cover. Run the Antique Bronze Distress crayon around the edge of the little cover and then blend the crayon over the surface with your finger.
I then attached my books to the projects, adding vial labels to the front of each and placing the name 'Potter" onto one of the tiny books. 

I also made another little book from a Snippets Ephemera piece, using this to create the cover instead of the black card, using exactly the same technique.
To complete the project, I added a birdcage which is one of Tim's pieces from the Assemblage Jewellery range and I just placed this onto top of the cases.
So, that's it for me from today and I hope you've enjoyed this trip to Harry's world and loved this piece as much as I loved creating it ~ i think this has to be one of my favourite pieces to create, collecting all the little bits and pieces of idea-ology to bring it to life!
Don't forget, if you would like to see more inspiration from my talented teamies over on the challenge blog and every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $25 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp and you can join in up to 5 times, which means you could have 5 chances to winYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today ~ stay safe and well, and see you again soon, love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:

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