Monday, 13 July 2020

The Raven....

Happy Monday friends!

Hope you are all safe and well and had a lovely weekend!

Today, we start the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and this week our theme is called, Early Bird and we hope you and your feathered friends will join us and play along!

When I started thinking about this challenge, I'd just finished creating some Halloween pieces for Tim Holtz's Sizzix Chapter 3 Facebook Live and was definitely in the mood for some more magic creativity. So, with this in mind, I thought I would be an "early bird" and start making some Halloween pieces and as my focal point, I decided to use the Feathered Friends die from Tim, but this time it wouldn't be a cute, pretty little bird...oh no, it was time to go darker, much MUCH darker and I welcome you to the raven....
So, let's get started because the new challenge has begun...

To begin with I took the small etcetera tag and applied a coat of gesso to prime the surface. Once the tag was dry, I added some Distress Translucent Paste around the edges to create texture and again, let this dry before applying a coat of Hickory Smoke Distress Paint over the top.

As soon as the paste is set, I usually give it a blast with my heat gun to make sure it's rock hard before then using a paint brush to dry brush Black Soot over the top. This helps to give a textural look to the painted surface of the tag.

Once again, I allowed it to dry and then applied some Crackle Paste to the surface. Once the crackles have appeared, you know you are good to go and to accentuate the texture, I used the Walnut Stain Distress Crayon, over the top of the paste, and with a dampened finger, just blended the colour into the cracks.
To complete the background, I added a touch of Vintage Gold Alchemy Wax over the top of the Grit Paste, just to highlight it against the dark background and give it some definition. I painted the hole reinforcer piece with Black Soot Distress Paint, added a touch of metallic wax over the top and attached it to the tag.

To create the ledge that the bird will stand on, I used one small Etcetera web trim, a straight edged piece from the same set and a small Etcetera bracket trim. I painted these with a combination of Ground Espresso, Antiqued Bronze and Black Soot Distress Paints and once dry, I added some wax over the top. Assemble the trims onto the tag, placing the straight edged trim to slightly overlap the edges and then attaching the Web Trim onto it and finally placing the bracket trim at a 90 degree angle, to form the ledge.
Moving onto the wreath and for this I used all the dies from the Funky Wreath Thinlit Die set and cut the pieces from black card. To carry through the metallic theme of this piece, I then applied some waxes over the surface of each die cut ~ Fire BirdOld SilverVintage GoldBronze Age.
This creates such a beautiful look to the surface of the die cuts, and to the overall look of the wreath.
I assembled the wreath by layering the larger, leafy wreath over the smaller twiggy wreath and added all the extra foliage to spray out from the circle.

Behind the wreath, I placed a mirror and for this I used Mirrored Sheets and cut a piece slightly larger than the aperture in the wreath. I then used sandpaper to slightly scratch the surface of the mirror before applying a small amount of Rock Candy Crackle Paint to the surface. Once the paint was dry and the crackles had appeared, I applied Mushroom Alcohol Ink directly to the surface, using the applicator tool and then dripped a small amount of the ink over the top. Place the mirror behind the wreath, attaching it with Matte Collage Medium before adhering it to the tag using foam pads.
I cut the spider from black card using the Spider Web Thinlits die set. I then applied the Embossing Dabber over the top and sprinkled the thread of the web with Bone Mixed Media Embossing Powder and the spider itself with Black Embossing Powder. I heat embossed the powder until molten and then attached it to my wreath, hanging it from the top.
I also added another little spider underneath the ledge.

Now for the bird and I used the larger bird from the Feathered Friends set to cut Mixed Media Heavystock card, coloured with Black Soot Distress Paint. I added highlights to create the feathers using gesso and Polychromos pencil, before adding a black pearl to create the eye. To strengthen the bird so that he would stand freely, I cut another piece of black card and layered this behind my finished die cut.
I attached the bird to the ledge with hot glue along the edge of his feet and then created an acetate bracket, which you can see how I made in this tutorial for Simon Says Stamp. To complete the arrangement I placed mummy cloth, moss and fibres around his feet. 
Just to the left, I then added some Boneyard Findings, and a skull fragment.
We're almost there and all that's left is details....
I attached the Halloween Adornments Word Band, complete with Hardware Heads either side, above the wreath. To give colour to the pewter metal, I used some more of the waxes and highlighted the wording using Black Soot Distress Paint. 
The bats are die cut from black card, using the Ghoulish die set, covered with the same waxes as I've used throughout and then adhered to my tag with Matte Collage Medium.
Finally, I threaded rope through the hole reinforcer at the top.

I really hope you've enjoyed the process and inspiration behind this project and it's hopefully given you a few ideas of your own because before you know it, the way this year is flying Halloween will soon be upon us!
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:

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:

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